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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

What’s on TV tonight: An Audience with Adele, I’m a Celebrity and more

Sunday November 21

An Audience with Adele
ITV, 7.25pm
ITV kicks off a blockbuster evening (centred on the new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! which follows at 9pm) with a pre-recorded 90-minute concert in which megastar singer Adele performs her current single Easy On Me, as well as more songs from her new album, 30, in front of an audience of “friends, family, personal heroes and heroines, fellow musicians, artists, actors, sportsmen, sportswomen and more.” That amounts to a lot of celebrities packing out the 2,286-seat London Palladium – with Dua Lipa, Idris Elba, Samuel L Jackson, Emma Watson, Mel B, Stormzy, Harry Hill and Alan Carr among those in attendance. 

Then again, Adele’s first album in six years is guaranteed to be one of 2021’s biggest and, even more significantly, this is the first time Adele has performed live in the UK since famously cancelling the last two dates of her 2017 world tour due to vocal-chord damage. Quite an occasion, then, and with all but a couple of the tracks kept as a closely guarded secret until the album’s release last Friday, this will be among the first opportunities most of us get to hear songs that are certain to become the soundtrack of the coming months. GO

Formula 1: Qatar Grand Prix
Sky F1, 12.30pm
He simply had to win in Sao Paulo. And, somehow, he did. A mere 14 points now separate Lewis Hamilton from leader Max Verstappen, as the most gripping F1 season in recent memory heads to the Middle East for its final three races. We begin with the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit, with Verstappen still with his nose in front, but, surely after Hamilton’s feat in Brazil,  looking nervously in his wing mirrors. The Briton currently has seven F1 world titles to his name, level with Michael Schumacher. GO

Doctor Who: Flux
BBC One, 6.20pm
Another old enemy for the Doctor to deal with this week, the creepy Weeping Angels, haunting a Devon village where a child has gone missing, a professor (Kevin McNally) is conducting weird experiments, and there’s one gravestone too many in the churchyard. GO

Kenneth Branagh: This Cultural Life
BBC Four, 7.30pm
A TV recording of a Radio 4 series that aired in October, in which John Wilson talks to creatives about the influences that have shaped their work. Branagh talks about his working-class upbringing in Belfast to his love of Thomas Hardy’s poetry and Alan Bleasdale’s Boys from the Blackstuff. GO

The Lakes with Simon Reeve
BBC Two, 9pm
Simon Reeve has a go at wild swimming in the glacial waters of Buttermere before investigating how climate change is affecting the district, looking into schemes to “re-wiggle” (the aquatic equivalent of rewilding) some rivers, and taking a hike up Scafell Pike. GO

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
ITV, 9pm
After the show’s first northern hemisphere, non-jungle-based series last year, Ant and Dec return to the gloriously comfort-free Gwrych Castle in north Wales to play torture-and-tease with another line-up of celebrities for the next three weeks. The Saturdays star Frankie Bridge, The Telegraph’s Agony Uncle Richard Madeley, Paralympian Kadeena Cox, former footballer David Ginola and, at 78, I’m a Celebrity’s oldest ever contestant, Arlene Phillips, are among those taking part. GO

B Catling: Where Does It All Come From?: Arena
BBC Four, 10.15pm
An Arena artist profile is always an event, and artists don’t come much more event-oriented, or multi-talented, than the sculptor, painter, poet, novelist, film-maker and professor of fine art, Brian Catling. Like his art, this film interweaves past and present, exploring his work as a performance artist and his boundary-bending fiction. GO

Walter Presents: Partisan
Channel 4, 11pm
Another superb new thriller series from Sweden, with Swedish-Lebanese actor Fares Fares magnetic in the lead role of Jonny, an Arab immigrant sent to work on an idyllic-seeming organic farm. GO

Sing (2016) ★★★
ITV2, 1.50pm 
More of an excuse to dust off beloved singalongs than a coherent conceit, this joyous CGI musical sees a theatre owner in a city of anthropomorphic animals hold a singing contest. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson are among the many names on the cast list, while Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande’s original song Faith was nominated for a Golden Globe. The sequel is out in cinemas in January.

Octopussy (1983) ★★★ 
ITV, 2.20pm 
In this mid-Eighties example of how Roger Moore did Bond, 007 dresses up as a clown, a knife-thrower and even a gorilla as he tries to stop the KGB detonating an American nuclear warhead. Louis Jourdan’s understated Afghan prince and Steven Berkoff’s deranged Soviet General Orlov stand in his way, while at his side there’s Maud Adams as the titular jewel-smuggler. This is a gently silly caper – rather more camp than suave.

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015) ★★★★ 
BBC Two, 10pm   
Dev Patel plays the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, whose research in the early 20th century on number theory took academe by storm. Self-taught but unemployed in Madras, he reached out, via civil engineer Sir Francis Spring (Stephen Fry), to Cambridge theorist GH Hardy (Jeremy Irons). It’s an impressive and rather overlooked true story that brims with noble intentions and period touches.

Monday November 22

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