Saturday January 22
Dolly Parton at the BBC
BBC Two, from 8.30pm
An evening of repeats to mark the queen of country music’s 76th birthday begins with this new taster compilation of classic clips from the BBC archive, with Parton performances spanning five decades from the 1970s to the 2010s, including favourites such as Here You Come Again, Jolene, 9 to 5 and Islands in the Stream. At 9.30pm there’s a treat for all music fans with a re-showing of Dolly Parton: Here I Am, director Frances Whately’s incisive 2019 biography that sought out the real woman behind the rhinestones, and showcased some great performances.
For hardcore country aficionados, the show of the night will undoubtedly be Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Opry, at 11pm, a concert celebrating five decades of Parton’s close association with the epicentre of American country music, Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry. Recorded in October 2019, it also features performances from Emmylou Harris and Hank Williams Jr, among others. Rounding the night off is Dolly Parton @ Glastonbury 2014, revisiting her barnstorming appearance at Worthy Farm, when she won the hearts of a woozy, swaying, wig-wearing crowd. GO
Tennis: Australian Open 2022
Sat-Fri, Eurosport; highlights, BBC One & Two
If the above event Down Under isn’t going so well for the Poms, we can pray that we have at least some British representation at Melbourne Park as the men’s and women’s singles third rounds conclude and the fourth rounds begin this weekend. If all is going to schedule, the quarter-finals will begin on Tuesday and the semi-finals on Thursday. The last British singles winner in Australia was Virginia Wade in 1972. Men – Fred Perry, 1934.
Football: Everton v Aston Villa
BT Sport 1, 11.30am
Wayne Rooney is having a remarkable season at Derby County, having dragged the Rams off the bottom of the table, despite the club suffering a 21-point deduction for breaching financial rules. Without that penalty, County would be only two points behind promotion-chasing Nottingham Forest, who they face at the City Ground today in what should be a spicy East Midlands derby (Sky Football, noon). Believe the rumours, however, and Rooney could well be sitting in the home dugout at Goodison Park this lunchtime, as his boyhood club, having sacked Rafael Benítez last week, face Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.
There’s plenty of non-Rooney football this weekend too, with Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur (Sun, Sky Main Event, 4pm) in the Premier League and Burkina Faso v Gabon kicking off the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 (Sun, Sky Mix, 3.55pm)Rugby Union: Bath v Leinster Channel 4, 12.30pm The European Champions Cup fixtures keep on coming, beginning this weekend with struggling Bath v four-times winners Leinster at the Rec. The Dublin side won 45-20 when the sides met in December. Bath are yet to win in the competition.
Secrets of the Royal Palaces
Channel 5, 8.30pm
The series heads to Paris tonight to dwell on the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and to Versailles to explore how building Europe’s most extravagant royal palace enabled Louis XIV to control the fractious French aristocracy. Plus, a peek at the Queen’s £100 million stamp collection and why she loves to show it off to visiting dignitaries.
BBC Four, 9pm & 9.55pm
Another nail-biting double bill from the classy Irish/Belgian drama set against a background of international drug gangs and terrorism. As Detective Emer Berry (Angeline Ball) ramps up the pressure on her new prime suspect, Fionn Brannigan (Peter Coonan), an unsuspected link to the Antwerp diamond trade comes to light.
Sky Documentaries, 9pm
“There’s a razor’s edge between genius and madness,” says one contributor to this mesmerising profile of the audacious Canadian climber and mountaineer Marc-André Leclerc. Filmmaker Peter Mortimer brilliantly encapsulates the jaw-dropping risk of Leclerc’s attempts to scale the world’s toughest faces, with no ropes and no margin for error.
The John Bishop Show
Three weeks in and this chat show still fails to be either as slickly convivial as Jonathan Ross’s gatherings or as sharply entertaining as Graham Norton’s. Perhaps tonight’s guests Oti Mabuse and Rob Brydon will give it a lift, although it’s not the guests that feel like they are the problem with this vehicle.
Posh Weekends with Sally Lindsay
Channel 5, 9.30pm
Marbella is the destination for the series’ first trip abroad. “I’m expecting a very beautiful house with an amazing phone signal,” says Lindsay, whose hosts are the expat founder of Orange and his property developer wife. The house is fairly ordinary by “Marbs” standards, with just the six bedrooms, but there’s no shortage of excess on display.
Parkinson: The Interviews – Orson Welles
BBC Four, 10.45pm
Going back almost 50 years to Michael Parkinson’s 1974 interview with the great film director and raconteur Orson Welles, who declaims engagingly about American politics, bullfighting, tiffs with Ernest Hemingway and much more. Amusingly, in fact, he’s willing to discuss almost everything apart from his films.
Cricket: Women’s Ashes 2022
BT Sport 1, 2.45am
If you were up at the crack of dawn this Saturday morning, you may have caught the end of the second match of the 2022 Women’s Ashes. That match (a thumping England win?) was the middle of three T20s at the Adelaide Oval, with the third coming in the small hours of Sunday morning. On Wednesday, the sides meet at the Phillip Oval in Canberra for the only Test match of the series (BT Sport 2, 10.30pm), ahead of next week’s trio of ODI matches. The Women’s Ashes is decided on a points system, with the Test match worth four points, and the limited overs matches two each. Australia have held the Ashes since 2015, drubbing England 12-4 in the most recent series in 2019. Can our women’s side restore the pride mislaid by the men?
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) ★★★
Channel 4, 6.20pm
This is the second leg of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit. It not only has real energy and charm, but it’s full of zesty action propelling its heroes towards their great goal, to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). But it drags; withstand it by gazing upon those magnificent New Zealand landscapes.
Supernova (2020) ★★★★
Sky Cinema Premiere, 8pm
British director Harry Macqueen’s second feature is an immensely tender tale of a middle-aged gay couple on a driving holiday in the Lake District, reeling from the news that dapper author Tusker (Stanley Tucci) has been diagnosed with young-onset dementia. His partner, Sam (Colin Firth), is steeling himself for the years of caring ahead, all while the man he fell in love with fades from sight. It’s not an original story but it’s beautifully told.
Run All Night (2015) ★★★
This thriller doesn’t stray from the Liam Neeson action template set out in Taken: a father, gnawed by regret, will draw on skills learned in some murky previous line of work to save a member of his family from an array of goons sorted by ethnicity. Here he plays a hit man for the Irish Mob who goes after his former employers when his son (Joel Kinnaman) gets caught up in a drug deal. It’s oddly compelling.