Bodyguard, BBC One, Sunday/Monday, 9pm
Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes star in Bodyguard, BBC One’s new contemporary thriller from the makers of Line Of Duty.
Set in and around the corridors of power, Bodyguard tells the fictional story of David Budd (Madden), a heroic but volatile war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch (RaSP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service.
When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Hawes), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, could he become her biggest threat?
Keeley Hawes told us about her role: “At the time [of filming], Amber Rudd was home secretary, so parallels were always going to be drawn. But I’m not playing Amber Rudd - that wasn’t what we were going to do - but she’s a very good example and she was brilliant for me to research. It’s fascinating, actually.
"It’s changed my ideas of politicians, as silly as that sounds. I ended up listening to a podcast on Radio 4 that Amber Rudd’s sister was giving, and she was talking about Amber’s upbringing - a side we don’t often see when we look at our politicians.”
Bodyguard is written by Jed Mercurio. The six-part series also stars Gina McKee, Sophie Rundle, Pippa Haywood, Stuart Bowman, Vincent Franklin, Ash Tandon, and Nina Toussaint-White.
Upstart Crow, Wednesday, BBC Two, 8.30pm
Welcome my lords, ladies and groundlings to the third series of Ben Elton’s studio audience sitcom starring David Mitchell, based on the life of William Shakespeare, genius, family man and highly-strung baldy-boots, as he struggles to be a dad, a husband, a commuter and the greatest literary genius of all time.
Will (David Mitchell) is just finishing writing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a tale of love potions, enchantment and a wood full of fairies. He’s very pleased with how realistic it is, as he based it on his own experience. But his Burbage (Steve Speirs) and the other actors tell him it lacks a little comedy, like say a character with a funny name or a big visual joke. Meanwhile, back in Will’s lodgings, where on earth is his servant Bottom (Rob Rouse) going to put that donkey head?
Kate (Gemma Whelan) has problems of her own, because Lord Egeus (Nigel Planer) - a rather old but very wealthy gentleman - has taken a shine to her, and Robert Greene (Mark Heap) is determined to be the matchmaker. Along the way we learn a little more about how Will and Anne (Liza Tarbuck) found love, and how Will managed to get hold of a love potion.
Speed With Guy Martin: Classic F1 Special, Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm
Guy Martin built his racing reputation on two wheels, but now he’s switching to four, to take part in his first-ever Formula 1 race, as he goes head-to-head with 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button around Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. Guy is driving a classic 1983 Williams F1 car.
A League Of Their Own, Sky One & Now TV, Thursday, 9pm
Jack Whitehall may have called time on sixyears but Sky One has got a super sub in store. Funnyman Romesh Ranganathan steps in to the spot, joining the James, Jamie and Freddie dream team. Alongside him on his debut are boxer Tony Bellew, skeleton champ Lizzy Yarnold and comedian Alan Carr.
The History Of Comedy, Sky Arts & NOW TV, Wednesday, 9pm
The critically-acclaimed series returns to examine what makes people laugh and how comedy has affected the social and political landscape. This time the spotlight falls on teams such as Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers to clean cut family-friendly comics such as Jerry Seinfeld.
S.W.A.T., Sky One & NOW TV, Sunday, 9pm
There’s no hope of a quiet Christmas for S.W.A.T after shots ring out at an illegal bar owned by a Mexican drug cartel. The shooters have made off with their stash of gold bars and the cartel is out for blood. Amid the chaos, Hondo and the team track down Reya, a scared cartel accomplice.
For The People, Sky Witness & Now TV, Monday, 10pm
After Seth learns the people of his hometown and former elementary school in Lincoln, Nebraska, have become seriously ill due to groundwater contamination, he becomes personally invested in seeking justice – even if it jeopardises the future of his career.
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