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Image / Living / Culture

The US election, dancing queens and double Scanlon…  this week’s TV attention-grabbers

by Lucy White
02nd Nov 2020

BBC/Remarkable Television/Guy Levy

Lucy White’s lockdown couch-potato guide to terrestrial telly

It Takes Two

Weeknights, BBC Two, 6.30pm

Fans of Strictly Come Dancing can get their weekday fix with this fizzy show presented by the effervescent (and former contestant) Zoe Ball. Each day, Ball welcomes competing couples, with guest spots from choreographers, judges, behind-the-scenes dressmakers and super-fans, such as Marian Keyes, who is a regular Friday panellist each series. Let us pray to St Vitus that she will one day become a contestant. Wouldn’t that be fablis? 

US Presidential Election

Tomorrow, RTÉ One, 11.15pm

If you can stomach it, after following the most divisive election battles of living memory, watch Caitríona Perry’s analysis of the 59th presidential election alongside guests Robert Shortt, Carole Coleman and more to be announced. The victor won’t officially be confirmed until postal votes have been counted, which will be long after Trump has barricaded himself in the White house, come what may. Whatever happens next in this sordid saga of American history will be a tough watch – and a lesson for all Western so-called democracies to never elect a failed businessman turned reality show figure as leader.

Your Home Made Perfect

Wednesday, November 4, RTÉ2, 8pm

So many restrictions, so many telly repeats. You’ll be glad, though, to get another chance to view Your Home Made Perfect, a BBC series currently being re-aired on RTÉ2. Angela Scanlon looks through the keyhole and beyond, into homes that desperately need ergonomic attention from either Belfast boy Robert Jamison or Laura Jane Clarke, two brilliant architects who each present their solutions to the house owners via the magic of VR. Only one design will get the green light, the results of which are as awesome as they are inspirational. And if you fancy some double Scanlon: pop on over to BBC Two at 10pm to see her hosting the third episode of The Noughties, which light-heartedly investigates the year 2002, with this week’s special guests Kimberley Walsh and Dane Baptiste.

Home Rescue, RTÉ One

Thursday, November 5, 7pm

Sorry not sorry for including a second home improvement entry here (I nearly also added George Clarke…). During lockdown, the very concept of “home” has never been more prescient, with interiors magazines, property search engines and social media posts reflecting our fundamental need for a safe refuge that reflects our tastes and sudden needs. Let’s look forward, then, to seeing Róisín Murphy and Peter Finn rejuvenate a house in Gorey, Co Wexford, where one couple has been sleeping and working downstairs during the lockdown, unable to agree on how to create an office, chill-out zone and play space for the whole family.

The Band Wagon

Friday, November 6, BBC Four, 8pm

Singin’ in the Rain is Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse’s better-known MGM musical produced by Arthur Freed, but this 1953 razzle-dazzling romp directed by Vincente Minnelli will also make your heart sing and toes tap. Astaire – here in his fifties – plays a faded actor trying to kickstart his career on Broadway, as his theatre friends attempt to reimagine Faust as an all-singing all-dancing stage show. It’s a meta wink at pretentious/perfectionist directors everywhere, not least at Minnelli himself. Throw in Charisse’s sublime turn as a ballerina – those endless legs and that scarlet gown – and That’s Entertainment (one of the film’s hit songs) says it all.


Header photo: BBC/Remarkable Television/Guy Levy

Read more: Lockdown The Sequel: the dos and don’ts for long winter nights

Read more: 9 of the best TV shows to enjoy this Autumn

Read more: IMAGEwrites: Is anyone else daydreaming about property during the lockdown?

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