The Week in TV: Gunpowder; The Ganges with Sue Perkins; Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me and more

An all-star cast tackled the Gunpowder Plot, Sue Perkins grieved on the Ganges and Chris Packham came out fighting for autism

Gunpowder (BBC1) | iPlayer

The Ganges with Sue Perkins (BBC1) | iPlayer

Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me (BBC2) | iPlayer

H is for Hawk: A New Chapter (BBC2) | iPlayer

The Vietnam War (BBC4) | iPlayer

It is the filthy England of 1603, than which there were few lands filthier, and you can practically smell the dung, both animal and human, on the streets, but the new king, James I and VI, encounters only sweet nosegays and daintily wafted hankies. There’s no doubting that Jamie Saxt, the “wisest fool in Christendom” did much to continue that era’s shining cultural age – Shakespeare, Donne, Bacon and the other lads, and then there was that Bible. One area, however, on which he’s generally agreed to have absolutely manked up, not knowing his VIs from his Is,
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Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me review – a brave, ballsy film

The TV naturalist wants viewers to understand what it’s like to be him – ​and the results are brilliant

‘When you first lick the back side of a beetle that’s oozing a yellow fluid, and it’s bitter on the taste of your tongue as if you’ve licked a dirty old sixpence, and it doesn’t go away for an hour, that’s a really quite powerful thing,” says Chris Packham.

I’m hoping it’s back side, not backside. And beetle, not Beatle … Anyway, having spent his entire life hiding his form of autism, the TV naturalist is opening up about it. He wants people to begin to understand what it feels like to be him. Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me (BBC2), it’s called. And it’s brilliant.

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Spotlight: Humane Society International's Celebrity Supporters

Humane Society International and our partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations-backed by 11 million people. Hsi works to protect all animals-including animals in laboratories, farm animals, companion animals, and wildlife-and our record of achievement demonstrates our dedication and effectiveness. With the support of our advocates and donors, we have advocated for strong legislation to protect animals. For example, in 2009 we helped achieve a European Union ban on trade in seal products, a major step toward ending the annual commercial seal slaughter in Canada. We work with local animal organizations in countries all over the world to provide direct, hands-on care to animals in need and spread the culture of compassion. Our campaigns strike at the root of problems affecting animals by providing the tools and resources to prevent animal suffering both now and in the future.

Sir Paul McCartney – has actively supported Hsi’s
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The week in TV: In the Dark; The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn; Who Wants My Council House?; Love Island

The BBC1’s new crime thriller suffered from a lifeless plot – while Chris Packham made the garden grow into hedgehog heaven

In the Dark (BBC1) | iPlayer

The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn (BBC4) | iPlayer

Who Wants My Council House? (C4) | All4

Love Island (ITV2) | ITV Hub

I watched the entire opening episode of In the Dark and for the life of me can’t remember the first thing about it. That’s a tiny lie. It wasn’t a cartoon, nor set in space, nor a documentary on tardigrades. It was – oh do wait, it’s coming – it was a cop thriller. Set probably by default in Manchester. Or Brighton, which is what the Beeb does for the tang of ozone and home in time for tea. It featured a ballsy, headstrong female ’tec in mustard and leather, angrily pregnant, ambitious, but having to go back to
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Nat Geo’s incredible Earth Live, hosted by Jane Lynch and Phil Keoghan, shows us nature as it happens

Anything could happen tonight as National Geographic screen their most pioneering event yet — Earth Live. The unprecedented two-hour program takes us on a wild trip around the world as we witness species in a way we’ve never seen them before. In real time, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo networks in 171 countries will screen spectacular footage of the natural world from across six different continents and 18 time zones. The show will be hosted out of New York City by Jane Lynch and Phil Keoghan, featuring a string of expert zoologists and naturalists including Chris more
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Chris Packham talks Earth Live & McLaren & Badgers

Author: Colin Hart

Chris Packham is a TV presenter, conservationist and all round wildlife enthusiast who has presented TV’s The Really Wild Show and more recently BBC’s Springwatch plus its assorted offshoots. With his enthusiasm and unapologetic focus on propagating the outcomes of good science he can count a lifetime achievement award by the Wildscreen wildlife film festival, dubbed “The Green Oscars” amongst his various awards and has written many books on wildlife across the years.

Now he’s featuring in the presenting team, alongside Emmy award winners Phil Keoghan and Jane Lynch, for the new Nat Geo Wild show “Earth Live” which will connect to live cameras across the globe to present a compelling live view of important wildlife habitats. Describing it as “ground breaking” Chris will provide the factual support for the team and describes being part of it as being “an enormous privilege.

We ranged
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Monday’s best TV: May v Corbyn Live; Springwatch 2017

  • The Guardian - TV News
Jeremy Paxman hosts a grilling in the battle for Number 10. Plus: the start of a three-week long wildlife surveil from the Cotswolds

More boing for your buck as the reliably great Springwatch operation relocates to sprawling Sherborne Park in the Cotswolds. For the next three weeks, Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Martin Hughes-Games and Gillian Burke will enthusiastically surveil the wildlife that inhabits the farmland, woodland and riverways of the expansive National Trust property, with streaming available daily from 4am on the Springwatch Live web portal. Graeme Virtue

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Monday’s best TV: Autumnwatch 2016; The Walking Dead; the Cold Feet finale

  • The Guardian - TV News
Chris Packham and friends return for the wildlife perennial, the seventh season of the undead superhit starts – and the revived comedy drama concludes with a life-or-death crisis

With the leaves turning red, it’s time for Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games to return with the wildlife perennial. This time around, the trio are at the Rspb’s Arne reserve in Dorset. Here, they introduce footage of bickering sika deer, offer an update on the eagle chick featured in Springwatch, and report on the remarkable story of a conservationist who’s taken to the air with migrating Bewick’s swans. Continues tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday. Jonathan Wright

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Chris Packham cleared by BBC Trust over Countryside Alliance 'bias' claim

Springwatch presenter was investigated after describing those involved in hunting and shooting as ‘the nasty brigade’

The BBC Trust has has cleared a column in BBC Wildlife magazine by presenter Chris Packham that the Countryside Alliance claimed breached corporation guidelines on bias.

In his monthly column in the BBC magazine, the Springwatch host said that some wildlife charities were “hamstrung by outdated liaisons with the ‘nasty brigade’ and can’t risk upsetting old friends”.

Related: The BBC should treasure Chris Packham, not sack him

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BBC2's Springwatch to Top Gear: ‘You can keep your Dodge Viper’

Chris Packham pokes fun at Chris Evans motoring show as nature series kicks off with biggest launch audience for seven years

Springwatch presenter Chris Packham has told Top Gear hosts Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc to “keep your Dodge Viper”, as the rival BBC2 show returned with its biggest audience for a premiere in seven years.

Packham made the tongue-in-cheek comments in the opening moments of the nature programme offering viewers coverage of a stone-curlew, a rare avian visitor to southern England, on Monday night.

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Is Chris Packham right – should children eat tadpoles?

The Springwatch presenter’s revelation may seem a tad unpalatable, but he is sending an important message to parents about children’s encounters with nature

As celebrity revelations go, it’s one of the more unusual: as a boy, Chris Packham would decant tadpoles on to a special spoon and eat them.

The naturalist and Springwatch presenter reveals his tadpolephagy in his new memoir, Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, and he’s not sorry either. They are gritty and tricky to chew, Packham reports, comparing them to watery semolina with a bit more “thrashing” under the tongue.

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Wildlife shows not reflecting reality of natural world – Springwatch presenters

BBC’s Chris Packham says nature reserves are becoming ‘a bit like art galleries’ while Martin Hughes-Games raises concerns about conservation

The presenters of BBC2’s Springwatch have warned that wildlife programmes are failing to reflect the reality of the natural world.

Chris Packham said there was a danger that nature reserves such as the Rspb’s Minsmere in Suffolk, where the new series of Springwatch is based, “become a bit like art galleries or museums where we go to get our fix” when much of the countryside is “largely sterile, too intensively farmed and with very poor biodiversity”.

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Weird Wonders: BBC America Series Debuts Tonight (Preview)

[caption id="attachment_48017" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Picture Shows: Haboob . a mighty power unleashed. Credit: © Mike Olbinski./caption]

Watch a preview of BBC America's new Weird Wonders TV series, premiering tonight, April 26th, at 9:00pm Et/Pt. BBC America says, "From monkey first aid to a man whose sight was repaired by his tooth, Weird Wonders takes viewers on a surprising, intriguing and fascinating journey through all things weird." Chris Packham hosts

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Davina McCall: Life at the Extreme review – Davina races a cheetah. Seriously. She’s brought her running kit!

Davina McCall may be no David Attenborough, but she’s always good fun

Does the race to succeed Sir David Attenborough fronting the BBC’s landmark national history programmes have a late entry? Is it going to be like last week’s Fifa presidential elections, when everyone thought it was going to be someone and then it ended up being someone else? If Sir David’s lawyers are reading, I’m not suggesting in any way that his reign has been like Sepp Blatter’s, or that Chris Packham has anything in common with candidates for the Fifa presidential elections. All I’m wondering is whether the eventual winner, the Gianni Infantino of wildlife presenting, is going to be … Davina McCall.

Because here she is with her own four-part show, Davina McCall: Life at the Extreme (ITV, admittedly, but once she has established her natural-history credentials the Beeb will
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Alan Partridge: I don’t need TV, I’ve got two Nutribullets

In an exclusive epistle, Norfolk’s king of chat has harsh words for the future of the small screen. A golden age of TV? More like a golden shower, he writes

Six months ago, I was back at the BBC. It was a drinks reception to celebrate 45 years of The Goodies and Bill Oddie invited me as his plus one, mindful that he might bump into Chris Packham and lamp him for stealing the Springwatch gig.

Related: Alan Partridge to return to Sky Atlantic for second Mid Morning Matters series

Related: Iannucci: Alan Partridge went to Sky because BBC wanted to interfere

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Keeping Up With the Khans review – asylum seekers in Sheffield, from the people who brought us Benefits Street …

The camera crew are not the only ones wondering whether they are entirely welcome in this surprisingly even-handed look at all sides of the issue

Not a great title, this: Keeping Up With the Khans (Channel 4). It’s made by the production company behind Benefits Street and Immigration Street (as well as the equally controversial Great British Bake Off). It is Immigration Street, basically, but after the problems with that (it lasted just one episode, after the Southampton residents scuppered it), and the furore over Benefits Street before that, I can see how they wanted to move away from the street thing. Keeping Up With the Khans, though? Because apparently, for new arrivals, it’s all about catching up with the last big influx of migrants from Pakistan (though there’s nothing about that here)? And it sounds a bit like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and maybe Citizen Khan?
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Tuesday’s best TV: Winterwatch 2016; Sugar Free Farm; The Real Marigold Hotel; The Mad World of Donald Trump

  • The Guardian - TV News
Michaela Strachan and chums head to the Caingorns to see how wildlife is coping with the warm winter; D-list celebs give up sugar for a fortnight; eight Oap-list celebs consider retiring to Jaipur. Plus: Matt Frei investigates the Donald

A welcome reminder that the Beeb’s interest in window-scraping season extends beyond viewer photos of snow-covered miscellanea. Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games head to Cairngorms national park to examine how the furry and feathered residents are coping with the season. With this winter wandering from warmest on record to wettest within weeks, continued survival must seem like the wildlife equivalent of the Ninja Warrior course. Mark Gibbings-Jones

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Snow, panto and rattlesnakes: review of Christmas Day TV highlights

Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston had chemistry, Chris Packham was enthusiastic to a fault, while there were friends aplenty for Cilla’s retrospective

Yet again Doctor Who (BBC1) proved it has the measure of a proper holiday special. There was snow, a Christmas dinner of sorts and, yes, a headless robot charging around the galaxy in search of its head, played by a funny, pompous Greg Davies, but also depth, warmth and comedy, with Alex Kingston reprising her ongoing role as the Doctor’s time-travelling wife, River Song. Considering they had never met – at least in this regenerated incarnation – there was real chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Kingston. Watching the Doctor pretending to be in awe of the Tardis’s unique proportions (it’s bigger on the inside!) was a treat, a joke broad enough to work for both Who-obsessives and families who only visit the Doctor once a year.
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The Apprentice 2015: episode five – as it happened

The teams were tasked with writing and designing a children’s book. Who had a happily-ever-after – and whose dreams of success did a huffing-and-puffing Lord Sugar blow down?

10.02pm GMT

Someone please buy a copy and post a Tumblr of it. I don’t want to waste my precious cash but I’m happy for one of you to, in the common interest.

There we have it. Writing and selling a children’s book should take no longer than a day. Don’t let the so called publishing professionals tell you otherwise.

9.59pm GMT

And then there were 13. This is almost an Agatha Christie dinner party. Bring on the murders.

Next week, the baker’s dozen of dolts are given a new challenge involving bushes as far as I can see. No specifics but one of them definitely gets fired and possibly more than one.

9.57pm GMT

Charleine is just
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Countryfile turns to 'hard core' issues after claims it is squeamish on rural life

BBC says Sunday show now tackles topics such as countryside crime and Springwatch has been ‘sharpened’ after criticism coverage was simplistic

The BBC has said it has made Countryfile cover more “hard core” subjects and “sharpened” reporting on Springwatch following a report that criticised the corporation for being too “squeamish” about covering the realities of rural life.

Last year an independent review criticised the corporation for being too “simplistic” in its coverage of countryside issues.

Related: The BBC should treasure Chris Packham, not sack him

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