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TV preview: Gary brings us a harmonious start to the year

in unison: Nicole Scherzinger and Gary Barlow perform at the Manchester Apollo

in unison: Nicole Scherzinger and Gary Barlow perform at the Manchester Apollo

What to watch this week

TONIGHT

Jools’ Annual Hootenanny (BBC Two, 11.10pm)

It’s New Year’s Eve, it’s BBC2 and that means one thing: it’s Jools’ Hootenanny. For the past two decades, the former Squeeze man has welcomed in the New Year with the aid of special guests galore, and this year is no exception. Emeli Sandé, Paloma Faith and Petula Clark all feature.

TOMORROW

Gary Barlow & Friends (STV, 9pm)

MORE than 20 years since Gary Barlow burst onto the music scene, with fellow members of Take That, the singer-songwriter is back with this gig recorded in December at the Manchester Apollo.

He performs some of his most popular hits, along with Take That colleague Mark Owen and boy band JLS.

If that isn’t enough to keep fans happy, then perhaps the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes footage from his hit nationwide tour will be.

WEDNESDAY

Africa (BBC One, 9pm)

SIR David Attenborough takes a breathtaking journey through the vast and diverse continent of Africa.

It’s a place he’s been to before, but not quite in as in-depth a way. Filmed over the course of four years, this stunning six-part series gives an animal’s-eye view of the action, as Sir David’s journey begins in the Kalahari, Africa’s ancient southwest corner.

THURSDAY

Waterloo Road (BBC One, 8pm)

AFTER a mid-season break, series eight of the school-set drama returns. As we rejoin the action, we find new pupil Barry coming to blows with fellow pupil Jack MacAlister. Tom discovers the reason behind their hostility – Barry is sleeping with Jack’s mum, Olivia. It’s not long before the troublemaker humiliates Jack in front of the whole school, by playing a steamy video of them.

It falls to Michael to deliver a stern warning to the miscreant – if he doesn’t put an end to his bad behaviour, he will face exclusion.

FRIDAY

The Channel 4 Mash Up (Channel 4, 7.30pm)

Channel 4 regulars swap roles in an evening full of shaken-up schedules; Alan Carr jumps into The Million Pound Chatty Man Drop; comedians Pete Firman, Olivia Lee, Angelos Epithemiou are among those taking part in Come Dine with Me Comedy Mash Up; there’s a Made in Chelsea Celebrity Mash Up, and then an 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Deal or No Deal sees Jimmy Carr and company taking on the Banker.

SATURDAY

Stanley Baxter: The Many Faces Of... (BBC Two, 8pm)

Now 86, Stanley Baxter made a name for himself on stage, appeared in a handful of films and was successful on radio too – but it was TV that proved to be the perfect medium for his talents. Baxter became known for his lavish Christmas specials, but, as this documentary reveals, although his programmes brought him success, they also led to his downfall – the expense of producing them led to Baxter being pushed off our screens.

SUNDAY

The Hotel (Channel 4, 8pm)

The figures aren’t tallying at the Grosvenor Hotel, so Mark ploughs on with his one-man mission to help it regain its one-time reputable status. However, this week, he realises that any changes he’s made thus far are a drop in the ocean; what he really needs to do is call in the big guns – i.e. a former AA chief hotel inspector.

 

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