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TV Time! 7 of the best things to watch this week

From Netflix’s highly anticipated Austen adaption starring Dakota Johnson to Oscar nominated animation Flee and a fly-on-the-wall royal doc - get set for some top telly

PICK OF THE WEEK: Persuasion, Netflix, 15 July 

Nick Wall/Netflix

Often (imho wrongly) overshadowed by Jane Austen’s other novels, Persuasion portrays heartache like no other. But not content with telling the story in an uncomplicated format, this latest adaptation starring Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot breaks the fourth wall, (shock, horror), uses unconventional language and humour! The story follows Anne’s pain after her elitist, yet financially broken, family and father (Richard E. Grant) persuades her not to marry her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis). Seven years in a love triangle forms when Anne and Frederick get a second shot at true love but then rich suitor William Elliot (Henry Golding) comes onto the scene and you can guess what happens next…

Camilla’s Country Life, ITV, 13 July

This one-off documentary gives a rare glimpse into the Duchess of Cornwall and her journey to become the future Queen Consort. It’s a deep dive into the real Camilla (well, the presentable bits), her personal passions and her private relationships. It also follows her as she acts as Guest Editor for Country Life magazine. The film goes behind the scenes at big events including the State Opening of Parliament. Think of it as royal reality TV, without bikinis or bush tucker trials…

Don’t Make Me Go, Amazon Prime, 15 July

A road movie with heart that beautifully shows the complexities in the bond between father and teenage daughter. Single dad Max (John Cho) is diagnosed with a terminal illness and gets his reluctant daughter Wally (Mia Issac) to join him on a road trip from California to New Orleans. He races to teach her everything he wants to, while secretly hoping he can reunite Wally with her estranged mother. Tears will be shed, but this comedy/drama will have you laughing too.

Ackley Bridge Season 5, C4, 11 July

The popular school-set comedy is back with a punch as this series sees Ashley Walters (Top Boy) make his directional debut – and he doesn’t disappoint. The first episode sees headteacher, Martin Evershed, (Downton Abbey’s Rob James-Collier) suffer a huge blow as his protege, Asma Farooqi (Lalia Zaidi), is arrested. While in a humours twist Kaneez Paracha (Sunetra Sarker) finds herself teaching sex education. Expect laughs aplenty in each bite-size 30-minute episode.

First Night of the BBC Proms, 7.30pm BBC 2 and on iPlayer, 15 July

Jubilee got you feeling patriotic? Then you’ve just got to tune in to this new season of rousing and spine-tingling music. Opening night will see the whopper that is Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ – a fitting choice for live music on this scale after the pandemic put a pause to things. The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will be conducted by Sakari Oramo and joined by a collection of soloists including mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston. The evening will be hosted by BBC journalist, Clive Myrie.

Flee, Disney+, 15 July

When a film receives multiple nominations at the Oscars and BAFTAs you can guarantee it’s going to be a goodie. Flee is an innovative Danish animated documentary that uses imagery to expose the plight of refugees. Through a series of interviews this evocative piece of film work lets you reimagine and travel with Amin and his escape from Afghanistan to Denmark, and the dark secret he holds on to. Personal, political, powerful – not to be missed.

McEnroe – cinemas nationwide, 15 July

Yes, we’re serious! If you feel like going from the small screen to the big, McEnroe – following the story of legendary mens tennis player, John, should be on your ‘to watch’ list. This is a no-holds bars documentary where McEnroe reflects on his tumultuous life – on and off the court. He openly speaks about his marriages, ferocious perfectionism, his alcoholic father, and the pressure to perform at top level sport. With contributions from his family and icons Billie Jean King, Bjorn Borg and Keith Richards.

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