Not exactly spoilt for choice this week, although some of you will be pleased to learn that Game of Thrones is debuting on 22 February – check out our preview next week.
In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with returning series of two tried and tested British oldies: Strictly Come Dancing, which is putting on its frocks and tails for the sixth time, and the conmen of comedy drama Hustle, almost unrecognisable from their first outing, now back for season seven.
Strictly Come Dancing is showing no signs of dying on its feet – which is pretty much the case of any British show that involves an ever-changing cast of celebrities. Given our international readership, it’s hard to gauge who the majority will know from this season. Phil Daniels, the lead actor in cult classic Quadrophenia, is probably your best bet, or Cherie Lunghi, Guinevere in John Boorman’s Excalibur.
But series six is actually notable for two reasons. The first is broadcaster John Sergeant, the show’s worst ever contestant who is carried to the latter stages by a mischievous British public. The second is the rumba performed by Rachel Stevens.
Hustle has also been incredibly popular despite undergoing more line-up stages than the percussion unit of Spinal Tap. But while the absence of Marc Warren is a blow, Adrian Lester carries the show with a level of charisma that might have taken him further in another lifetime – although he will be consoled that Warren continues to flit from one mediocre series to another.
Elsewhere, Work of Art (DR HD, Wed 18:45), which has the same format as Project Runway, is back for a welcome second season as there’s nothing better than seeing a pretentious artist being confronted for being the talentless arsehole they truly are; watch the brilliant Dickens adaptation Bleak House (DR K, Sat & Sun 13:45) and The Devil’s Mistress (DR K, Sat 20:00) in their entirety; Manchester United vs Liverpool (K6, Sat 13:00) is arguably English football’s fiercest fixture; and don’t forget to tune in for Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville (SV1, Sat 20:00), a triumphant retelling of one of the most captivating whodunits ever – which is funny because whichever way you look at it, there’s only really one suspect.