TV listings – Dec 23-Jan 5

Hardtalk (BBC World, 21:30 unless stated) has always been good value for money, but unfortunately the Beeb rarely gives us advance warning of who’s appearing. However, this Xmas, it’s made an exception, giving us a head’s up on six of its shows, revealing that its guest on January 3 is none other than Noma’s enfant terrible, Rene Redzepi. Let’s see if he gives as good as he gets – a question punters have been asking about his restaurant for many a year.

Other guests include euthanasia proponents Tony and Jane Nicklinson (Tue), There’s something about Kevin author Lionel Shriver (Wed), a review of the best bits on Hardtalk (Thu), Guns and Roses bassist Duff McKagan (Dec 30, 15:30), and the voice of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones (Jan 2).

From hard talk to hard-talking bitch, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour, the subject of The September Issue (SV2, Mon 22:00) and possible inspiration for the Meryl Streep character in The Devil Wears Prada. Anyhow, despite a cinematic relief, you can’t help thinking the director was merely going through the motions.

Mildred Pierce (SV2, Mon 20:00) is pretty dull as well. As far as I could see, the first episode was about a housewife short of cash who gets a job in a diner – and that was it, although she was played by Kate Winslet. Based on a James W Cain novel (never seen the appeal, but there’s always the guarantee of murder), it’s an award winner with a 69 on Metacritic but we defy you not to fall asleep.

Two other period dramas making their debuts are detective yarn The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (SV1, Dec 31, 21:00) with Paddy Considine, and private girls school miniseries South Riding with David Morrissey.

Elsewhere, these docs speak for themselves: Charlie Sheen – Bad Boy On The Edge (DR HD, Jan 2, 18:05), The Doctor who Killed Michael Jackson (DR1, Jan 4, 23:25), Crimes that Shook Britain: Hungerford (DR2, Jan 2, 23:00) and Marc Bolan – The Final Word (DR2, Jan 31, 21:55); there’s an unwelcome return for Absolutely Fabulous (SV1, Mon 22:00); and Alan Carr: Tooth Fairy (BBC Ent, Jan 5, 22:00) is silly but actually quite funny – go on, give him a chance, it’s Xmas.

Read the InOut section online for TV selected English TV listings.