Here are our top picks from tonight’s TV (Wednesday, 30 December).
From a Not Going Out speial to a festive return of MasterChef: The Professionals, here’s a selection of what’s on TV this evening…
Not Going Out Special – 9PM, BBC One
This one-off special will feature Lee Mack as Lee, Sally Bretton as Lucy, Hugh Dennis as Toby, Abigail Cruttenden as Anna, Geoffrey Whitehead as Geoffrey and Deborah Grant as Wendy. Bobby Ball will also appear as Lee’s father Frank having filmed the episode prior to his passing in October.
It’s New Year’s Eve and we join Lee and Lucy, Lee’s lovably feckless father Frank, generally put upon Toby (Hugh Dennis), the ever uptight Anna (Abigail Cruttenden), Lucy’s occasionally pompous father Geoffrey and an unusually high-spirited mother Wendy as they wait for the traditional midnight… trifle?
When parlour games are suspended in favour of a no-holds-barred round of New Year’s Resolutions, the fireworks might be in the house when friendly suggestions on how to improve individual behaviour are received with not a lot of festive spirit. Will it be a Happy New Year for Lee and Lucy in suburbia?
MasterChef: The Professionals – 8PM, BBC One
The second of two festive specials of MasterChef: The Professionals sees four of the most memorable chefs from past series return to compete in festive-themed competition.
2020 has seen the hospitality industry face the most critical time in its history and the returning contestants showcase their culinary skills to judges: Michelin-starred chef, Marcus Wareing; highly-reputed chef, Monica Galetti, and celebrated MasterChef judge, Gregg Wallace.
In this second programme we see the following finalists step back into the MasterChef kitchen: Steve Barringer (finalist 2011), Exose Grant Lopo-Ndiga (finalist 2019), Oli Martin (finalist 2018) and Olivia Burt (finalist 2019).
Stephen Fry’s 21st Century Firsts – 8:30PM, ITV
As this century approaches its 21st birthday, Stephen Fry takes viewers through his pick of the fascinating and ground-breaking things that have happened for the first time since the year 2000.
On this nostalgic journey he explores a century that has seen huge technological advances and a social media revolution that has affected all our lives. He also examines the most significant cultural and political firsts that have shaped our world over the last 20 years.
Through interviews with experts and well-known faces, as well as ordinary people involved in some of the breakthroughs, the programme highlights some of the great advancements we’ve seen for the first time in the 21st century. Illustrated with a rich mix of archive, we turn the clock back 20 years and witness the great pace of change and ponder what the next 20 years will bring.
Tom Allen Goes to Town – 9PM, Channel 4
Comedian Tom Allen heads to Wakefield in West Yorkshire. In his week in ‘Wakey’, Tom sees the sights and meets some of Wakefield’s extraordinary characters, before putting on an end-of-week show to celebrate everything and everyone he’s encountered in the city.
Along the way, Tom takes in one of the world’s biggest rhubarb crops, explores Wakefield’s beautiful cathedral and visits one of the only drive-in fish and chip shops in the world. He also buys a round of Wakefield’s famous steak pies and comes over all Nick Knowles when he renovates the local Caribbean restaurant for the family he’s been staying with.
Concluding his week in Wakefield at the beautiful Theatre Royal, Tom is joined by his assistant for the night, Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp, to host a full house of locals. The Theatre Royal show is made for the people by the people of Wakefield… and Tom Allen. Together they show the rest of the country just what makes this West Yorkshire cathedral city special.
Pandemonium – 9:30PM, BBC One
This one-off comedy pilot follows the Jessop family. Having seen their finances and future plans devastated due to the pandemic, they’ve also had to abandon their holiday of a lifetime to California.
With family morale at an all-time low, the Jessops decide they’re going to have their summer holiday after all, even if it means doing it in December. In Margate. All filmed by their youngest son, Pandemonium charts the Jessops last, dogged attempt at some quality family time in 2020, despite the best efforts of a global pandemic to pull them apart.
Pandemonium features an all star cast including Katherine Parkinson (Defending the Guilty, The IT Crowd) as Rachel, Jim Howick (Sex Education, Ghosts) as Paul, Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey, Hold the Sunset) as Sue, Tom Basen (After Life, Plebs) as Robin and Tori Allen-Martin (Pure, Unforgotten) as Cherry.