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Fire up the remote! This week’s best TV and films

Lord, it’s frosty. Even if we could go out, we wouldn’t want to. So grab your hot water bottle, brew a large cup of tea, wrap yourself in that fleecy throw and settle in for the week

Misbehaviour (Sky Cinema) – 20 December

Burn your bras, girls! Keira Knightly, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley (plus all-time greats Lesley Manville and Keeley Hawes) star is this feel good British comedy-drama about the 1970 Miss World competition (held in London) that was stormed by the Women’s Liberation movement. Feathers were ruffled. The Patriarchy was exposed. And the winner… well, that would be telling, right?

Song Exploder: Volume 2 (Netflix) – Tues 15 December

One for the musos, among you. Netflix has hit upon a winning format for a TV series where artists take one of their best known songs, and then relate to camera, in minute detail, how it was made. This season – sorry, volume – Dua Lipa will be picking apart Love Again, The Killers, When You Were Young, Trent Reznor will be talking through Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt and latino artist Natalia Lafourcade will break down her multi-Grammy-winning Hasta la Raíz.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) – Fri 18 December

Bit of a heartbreaker, this one. Not so much because of the subject matter: this feature length film is based on a 1982 play by August Wilson, and explores the tensions surrounding a blues band one afternoon in a 1920s Chicago recording studio. More because it was Chadwick Boseman’s final role (he died during post-production) and so good is his performance, all the clever money is on him winning an Oscar. And, quite potentially, his co-star Viola Davis might snag one too. One to relish.

After We Collided (Amazon Prime) – Tues 22 December

After We Collided is the feature length romantic drama sequel to 2019’s After, which had the critics spitting but millions of viewers worldwide just did not care (thanks in part, no doubt, to male lead Hero Fiennes Tiffin – yes, of that family –  and gorgeous girl-next-door heroine Josephine Langford). So you know what to expect: lots of silly dialogue, unlikely situations and truly bizarre decision-making that, if you were to enact in real life, would promptly see you plonked in a psychologist’s chair. Enjoyable, escapist nonsense.

Strictly Come Dancing Final (BBC One) – Sat 19 December, 6pm

Strictly Come Dancing

It’s that time of year again! But, quite frankly, with nowt else to do of a Saturday night, Strictly has been a bit of a saviour in 2020. So gather the family round in their PJs, crack open the Doritos, and enjoy the glittery extravaganza. Because once we’ve got this vaccine, this time next year, the chances are you’ll be out on the town shimmying in your own sequins.

Idris Elba Meets Paul McCartney (BBC One) – Sat 19 December, 9.20pm 

Idris Elba meet Paul McCartney

This, as a well-known wood preserver would have it, does exactly what it says on the tin. Adored Brit actor Idris Elba meets, erm… adored Brit musician Paul McCartney for a hour-long world exclusive as they talk about Paul’s life and songwriting and solo work and I think there was this pop beat combo thing called The Beatles… ? I dunno. It rings a bell.

Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children (BBC One) – Mon 21 December, 7pm

Marcus Rashford

This lad. What an absolute hero. And he’s only 23! Honestly, it brings a tear to the eye, especially when you grew up in the era of footballers falling out of Chinawhite, three women on each arm. Instead of using his platform and money to buy a Bugatti and 10-bed mansion, he’s used his power and clout to fight for the basic rights for underprivileged children, which is detailed in this hour-long documentary. A beacon in the gloom of 2020. 

Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat Christmas Special (BBC One) – Tues 22 December, 8pm

Nigella Cook Eat Repeat

Fancy a some suggestive side-eye with your festive recipes? Well, you’re in the right place as Nigella conjures up some pomegranate cocktails, Austrian Linzer biscuits, Norwegian pork ribs and smoked salmon on black bread for her seasonal offering. All in time for you to make a manic last-minute dash to the shops.

Being Bridget Jones (BBC Two) – Tues 22 Dec, 9pm

Bridget Jones Christmas

If I tell you it’s TWENTY FIVE YEARS since Bridget Jones was unleashed onto the world, do you promise not to be sick in a bucket? Because I nearly was. It feels like yesterday but alas, it clearly isn’t. Anyway, pointless nostalgia and wasted youth aside, Helen Fielding is on BBC Two to open up her personal archive and tell us all how Dear Bridget came to be, with additional help from Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and the mighty Renee Zellweger. And it might clear up that Keir Starmer rumour once and for all, eh?

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