DStv is your passport to brilliant British TV this winter
01 May 2021
Stuck at home, you can still stamp your DStv passport with the best British shows this winter, from Bake Off, to legal drama The Split and sci-fi comedy series Avenue 5
01 May 2021
Stuck at home, you can still stamp your DStv passport with the best British shows this winter, from Bake Off, to legal drama The Split and sci-fi comedy series Avenue 5
The big news for fans of British TV is that from May, the BBC channels will be bringing a little local sizzle into the mix every Wednesday at 20:00.
First up on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) is the long-awaited second half of Come Dine With Me SA S6, which is back on screen from Wednesday, 5 May. Then, starting Wednesday, 16 June is the glamorous, high-flying property sales series Listing Jozi. And later this year, The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) will get an African twist when The Great Kenyan Bake Off launches on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174).
Beat the winter chill when you cosy up in the DStv kitchen with shows like the new seasons of The Great British Bake Off and MasterChef: The Professionals, and a new show from beloved TV chef Ainsley Harriot, titled Ainsley's Food We Love.
And while those travel bans are in place, The BBC channels will continue to be our guide to the world – with an educational twist thanks to our guides Greta Thunberg, Ray Mears, Ben Fogle, Joanna Lumley and Simon Reeve, who all have their own new shows for us.
And read on, because as well aside from checking the menu for a feast of British fun this May, you can also find out what DStv will be bringing our way in June and July, like the return of The Mallorca Files, local reality series Listing Jozi, and more education travel series like Coast Australia, Sara Pascoe's Last Woman On Earth and Ade Adepitan's Climate Change: Ade On The Frontlines.
Also see where you can still find April’s series like Drag Race UK and Top Gear. And what you can catch up on with Showmax, including the release of every single Harry Potter movie this May!
PS: The fantastic David Attenborough-narrated nature series A Perfect Planet will be available on Catch Up until Monday, 14 June.
BBC channels BBC Brit (DStv channel 120), BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) and BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) will continue to bring viewers all the best drama, comedies and documentary series. Some of them will also be seen on DStv’s premiere channel, M-Net (DStv channel 101). And soapie fans can catch EastEnders on Mondays to Thursdays on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 17:30.
If you’d like to catch the incredible upcoming action on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) and M-Net (DStv channel 101), there has never been a better time to upgrade to Premium.
Coming in May…
It's back! Come Dine With Me South Africa brings us new dinner parties to be nosy at, which is great if it's just been your 4 walls and bowls of pasta for the past year in lockdown. There are new seasons of The Great British Bake Off and MasterChef: The Professionals, and look who's back! It's beloved TV chef Ainsley Harriott, who's brought along some of his celeb friends for cooking adventures in Ainsley's Food We Love.
Dave Lamb narrates as groups of 4 South Africans judge each other’s grand dinners in this fiercely competitive reality show. Coming up, 1 low effort host will discover that simplicity is not the key to the ladies’ hearts, and a fierce critic finds herself in the firing line when someone well-travelled turns their nose up at her exotic cuisine. A host ropes everyone into a burlesque-themed party, and a germaphobe has the horrors when someone pulls a dog hair out of their dish. And did a sneaky someone buy all their food pre-prepared?
Watch from Wednesday, 5 May on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
Comedian Matt Lucas joins Noel Fielding co-hosting for the first time (goodbye Sandi), with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. This season was filmed in July 2020, and the crew and contestants – including retirement living team leader Linda, diagnostic radiographer Loriea, bronze resin sculptor Marc, and pantomime producer Lottie – lived together in a safe “bubble” to make filming possible. Expect hilarity as the amateur bakers try their luck with cakes that are meant to look like busts of celebrities, but they’ll have more success in dazzling technical challenges.
Watch from Monday, 10 May on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
Gregg Wallace, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti put 32 professional chefs through their paces over 6 weeks of intense competition. To start, 4 of the chefs have to step up immediately to make either a pasta dish or a fish dish before they have the chance to impress with their own signature dishes. The next 4 must tackle sweetbreads with a red wine sauce, or a glazed sabayon fruit dessert. And in the final challenges this May, the chefs face restaurant critics Jimi Famurewa and William Sitwell.
Watch from Monday, 17 May on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 18:00
TV chef Ainsley Harriott and his celebrity pals dish up their all-time favourite treats in Ainsley’s kitchen, or join him via video from their own homes. Everything is on the menu, from long-lost retro recipes and classic comfort food, to high tea, pub grub, and world cuisine. The season starts with an episode on holiday food as Ainsley and his friend cook Italian, Greek and Tunisian recipes. Ainsley will also explore food his mom made and dishes from the school canteen, like cornflake tart and macaroni-cheese.
Watch from Tuesday, 11 May on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
The Defoe sisters are still finding their feet in the newly merged law firm, Noble Hale Defoe, when this British legal drama series returns. Hannah’s acting squirrely while trying to hide her fling with Christie on the night before James and Rose’s wedding, but that’s going to blow up in her face as the season progresses and the firm gets embroiled in the high-profile Fi Hansen (Donna Air) celebrity divorce case. And mom Ruth comes to grips with the new power structure in the firm.
Watch from Wednesday, 26 May on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 22:30
Fans of The Orville and sci-fi comedy in general, prepare to blast off into space aboard interplanetary cruise ship the Avenue 5, with inept Captain Ryan Clark (Hugh Laurie) and the ship’s billionaire owner, Herman Judd (Josh Gad). There’s been a technical mishap and now the ship is on an estimated 3-year journey back to Earth, with a dead chief engineer, and only enough supplies aboard for their planned 8-week cruise. The series is created by Armando Iannucci (Veep, I’m Alan Partridge, The Day Today).
Watch from Friday, 14 May on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 22:30 and on Catch Up
The BBC channels are full of travel shows with an environmental twist, a theme that will continue throughout the year. The documentary Greta Thunberg: A Year To Change The World will take us around the world with activist Greta; Wild China With Ray Mears takes us inside a little-explored part of the world; Ben Fogle: Return To The Wild UK catches up with people who’re trying to live more sustainable lifestyles off the grid; and both Joanna Lumley and Simon Reeve keep their travels close to home as they explore the UK during the pandemic. And a new season of River Hunters takes a historical journey around the UK's rivers.
This documentary follows environmental activist Greta Thunberg as she takes a year off school to travel around the world exploring climate change and meeting world leaders to drive home the need for urgent action to prevent further damage and to start healing the planet. Greta speaks to scientists and economists to piece together the complexities of changing our behaviour, and the far deeper and darker consequences if we don’t do so. The documentary will also reveal the impact that the COVID-19 endemic had on Greta’s journey and her mission.
Watch on Sunday, 23 May on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 16:10
British bushcraft and survival expert Ray Mears will show us how 8 dramatic Chinese landscapes have shaped the people, culture and customs of China. China’s territories embrace everything, from lush rainforest to high plateaus, dramatic limestone karsts, terraced rice fields and mountains. Ray will explain the physical geography of each region: Its topography, its climate and its extreme weather conditions. And he’ll track down and identify the key wildlife species and unique plants that live there, and show how all their lives are intertwined.
Watch from Friday, 14 May on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 20:00
Ben Fogle reunites with some of the people he met in his series Ben Fogle: New Lives In The Wild to find out how they adapted to their lifestyles and whether they’re continuing with their wild experiments. Find out what happened to Oxford graduate Emma, who moved to a mud hut in Wales as part of her dedication to zero-impact living, see whether it is really possible to run a guesthouse on the most isolated island in Scotland, and what people are doing about issues like insecure water sources and isolation.
Watch from Wednesday, 26 May on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 19:00
Performer and presenter Joanna Lumley loves to travel, but like most of us, she’s having to stay home these days. But that doesn’t mean staring out the window. Join Joanna on her 3-episode journey around the UK. She’ll explore her own life history (she was born in India and spent her childhood in Malaysia before moving to the UK when she was 8 years old) and take us around the Outer Hebrides through to Cornwall, meeting inspiring people and uncovering fascinating locations.
Watch from Friday, 7 May on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 19:00
In this 2-episode series, Simon Reeve travels through Cornwall (filming location for series like Doc Martin and Poldark) during the Summer of 2020 as the county emerges from lockdown and businesses have to adapt to new regulations and a rock-bottom tourist market if they are to survive. Simon will travel through beautiful coastal locations, meet the incredible Cornish characters who make the county unique, and discuss what the pandemic has revealed about the vulnerabilities in local economies and the problematic housing issues that tourism has created.
Watch from Friday, 28 May on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 19:00
Presenter Rick Edwards, YouTube star Beau Ouimette, and underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead are on a treasure hunt in the UK’s rivers. This season finds in the River Ouse in York will highlight the Battle of Stamford Bridge, while artefacts from the River Conwy link to the rise of the Plantagenets in Wales, the River Debden’s proximity to the burial grounds of the Anglo-Saxon Kings might offer some glittering prizes, and they’re hoping to get their hands on anything in the River Lochy that links to the Jacobite rebellion.
Watch from Thursday, 13 May on History (DStv channel 186) at 20:15
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Weather report: Scorching temperatures, torrential floods and hurricanes! Recent climate shifts and technological advances have made weather reporting far more extreme than the soothing, non-news reports of the past. In this series, a panel of experts, scientists and meteorologists take an in-depth look at the increase in major weather events globally, and their consequences for the communities they affect. And if you’ve had questions about what makes predicting the weather so difficult even with a wealth of satellite information, here are the answers.
Watch from Thursday, 13 May on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 19:00
George Clarke helps enthusiasts who have big dreams to turn non-traditional spaces into architecturally intriguing homes. This season, a couple are working to transform a 1930s stable block into their cosy retirement nest. A 1910 electricity tower is surrounded by coastal views that would make for a stunning home, and some postal office owners want to turn their shop into a cosy haven for retirement, while 3 generations of a family are restoring a coach house into a home that they can all enjoy.
Watch from Friday, 14 May on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
TV journalist Cherry Healey and her team have just 10 days to transform people who’re looking and feeling old before their time in this makeover series. They show us how to handle broken, stained and missing teeth, receding hairlines, saggy skin, and creased lips, to wardrobe woes and sloppy posture. This season, she helps someone whose marriage melted down after the kids left home to get a new lease on life, and a single foster mom who has given her kids the world and herself nothing needs a little TLC.
Watch from Thursday, 6 May on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
Phillip Schofield is back hosting this show that makes even simple games insanely difficult by pouring on the pressure. Each pair of players have 9 lives to complete 7 games. And as each game is won, the prize money mounts and the stakes get higher. S10 launches with Jason Manford and Mo Gilligan playing for their favourite charities. But if they’ve studied the game and think they know all the Cube’s tricks, they’re in for a shock, because there are new games on the cards.
Watch Sundays on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 19:00
In this unique talkshow, Mrs. Agnes Brown (comedian Brendan O’Carroll) invites her favourite celebrities and their moms round to her house for a cuppa and a natter, too. John Barrowman introduces Mrs. Brown to his mom and dad, who’re every bit as out there as he is. Billy Ocean performs the music for an episode in which Silent Witness star Emilia Fox and her mammy, Joanna David, drop by with comedian Lee Mack, and even Little Britain star Matt Lucas brings his mammy, Diana, to tea.
Watch from Tuesday, 11 May on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 20:00
This award-winning Australian children’s animated series centres on a family of dogs including Bluey, a 6-year-old Blue Heeler, her 4-year-old sister, Bingo, mom Chilli and dad Bandit. Bluey loves to play, and her games transform her everyday family life into extraordinary adventures that unfold in unpredictable and hilarious ways. Aside from showing how Bluey learns from playing, the series also shows a healthy relationship between Mom and Dad, who love and play with their kids and share responsibilities around the house.
Watch weekdays on CBeebies (DStv channel 306) at 17:25
This modern take on Charles Dickens’ 1838 novel, Oliver Twist, stars Jude Law’s son, Rafferty, as the young graffiti artist Oliver Twist who is lured into a street gang headed by father figure Fagin (Michael Caine). Fagin is planning a series of crimes with the help of the brutal Sikes (Lena Heady), and cunning Dodge (Rita Ora).
Watch on Thursday, 6 May on TNT (DStv channel 137) at 20:00 and Friday, 7 May at 13:15
This crime thriller is based on the 2015 novel of the same name by Nicholas Searle. British con artist Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen) romances widowed ex-professor Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren), hoping to snatch her millions while running an investment scam on the side, only to walk into a revenge plot years in the making.
Watch on Catch Up
In the UK in real life, there are 75 choirs made up of wives of military personnel serving at home and abroad. This dramedy draws on their stories and 1 group’s efforts to train as a choir and function as a support group while their partners were serving in Afghanistan. With Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan.
Watch on Sunday, 9 May on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 20:30
While cop drama fans can place a calendar note for the return of The Mallorca Files, if it's real-life drama you're after, make way for local reality series Listing Jozi. If you're looking for something to keep you cosy at home this winter, read more about My Impossible House, Donal's Family Food In Minutes, and sunny, educational travel series Coast Australia. And if you long for travel with a purpose, environmental issues take the spotlight in Sara Pascoe's Last Woman on Earth and Ade Adepitan's Climate Change: Ade On The Frontlines.
A group of charismatic estate agents introduce viewers to South Africa’s high-end property market, with multi-million rand houses up for grabs in and around Johannesburg. Get an insider look at lavish homes in opulent suburbs like Waterfall to the North, Dainfern to the North-West, Morningside, Hyde Park, Strathavon and
Sandton, and Meyersdal. Along the way we’ll meet the buyers, too, including successful businesspeople, local sport stars, celebrities and property moguls. And we’ll find out what’s on everyone’s “must” list, from security to swimming pools.
Watch from Wednesday, 16 June on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
Cop partners DCs Miranda Blake (Elen Rhys) and Max Winter (Julian Looman) are working like a well-oiled machine now, and they’re being entrusted with the trickier cases. This season, they’ll tackle the murders of world-famous Mallorcan opera singer Jose Castana (Carlos Magnusson) and the renowned food critic Oliver Barker (Andrew Whipp); a case that ties to the legacy of the Spanish Civil War; the stalking of a rising football star; childhood love and jealousy; bird smuggling; and what appears to be a grand patricide.
Watch from Monday, 14 June on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 20:00
Donal Skehan draws on his experiences from his own childhood, cooking for friends and family, his wife Sofie’s favourites and what his own kids love to eat, along with family favourites around the world, to whip up this 10-episode series. He’ll tackle everything from midweek emergency meals to lazy brunches, and special date-night meals that’ll dodge those meltdowns. It’s a collection of new and re-mastered recipes that you can use to form the foundation of your own home cooking recipe collection.
Watch from Monday, 14 June on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 18:30
Professor Alice Roberts takes us inside her decade-long historical quest to explore 1 of the mysteries of the famous bluestone circle of Stonehenge. Using cutting-edge research, and the help of a dedicated team of archaeologists led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson, Professor Alice introduces the evidence that fills a 400-year gap in our knowledge of the bluestones, showing that the original stones of Britain’s most iconic monument had a previous life, revealing where the stones came from, and how they were moved from Wales to England.
Watch on Monday, 7 June on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 18:50
Writer and comedian Sara Pascoe travels around the world in this 3-episode series learning how to do jobs that are on the verge of disappearing altogether, from ice carving and being 1 of Father Christmas’s elves in Finland; what it takes to be a museum guide in the Stalin museum in Georgia; climbing giant coconut trees; and to make sweets in Cuba. She’ll also meet workers in endangered jobs like a mattress magician, a cigar factory reader, a forest cleaner, and polyphonic folk music singers.
Watch on Friday, 11 June on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 19:00
The effects of global warming and the destabilising effects of climate change are already impacting communities around the globe. TV presenter and wheelchair basketball champion Ade Adepitan is on a journey around the world to meet people who’re having to face rising seas, unpredictable drought, and intense forest fires to see what they’re having to adapt and save what they can of their way of life. Ade will also talk to the scientists and tech entrepreneurs who’re racing the clock in their search for solutions.
Watch on Sunday, 27 June on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 16:15
Get ready for a travel show with the most interesting guides you’ll ever meet. UK-based archaeologist and historian Neil Oliver explores the Australian coastline over the course of 8 episodes with the help of palaeontologist-explorer Professor Tim Flannery, marine ecologist Professor Emma Johnston, historian Dr. Alice Garner, marine biologist Dr. Dean Miller and the show’s brand-new co-presenter, indigenous archaeologist Dave Johnston. They’re going to give us an in-depth look at places like the Great Australian Bite, West Coast Tasmania, Arnhem Land and The Gulf of Carpentaria, and the Cocos & Christmas Islands.
Watch from Saturday, 19 June on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 19:00
If you’re a fan of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and Grand Designs shows, this series explores similar territory as it takes us inside the design challenges faced by people working on over-the-top renovation projects to transform unique buildings into dream homes. We’ll see projects involving old windmills and churches, derelict barns and lighthouses filled with curved walls, oddball angles, and ancient features that challenge modern materials and working methods. And at the end of it all, we’ll see the solution the builders arrive at.
Watch from Friday, 11 June on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
First Dates Australia S3 Coming to BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) from Sunday, 6 June at 20:00
Tidal Wipeout – Freddie & Paddy Takeover S1 Coming to BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) from Sunday, 4 July at 17:00. Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff’s banter track follows the action in the anarchic Japanese-style game show with a tricky obstacle course.
Pointless S24 Coming to BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) from Monday, 5 July at 18:00. Quiz show co-presented by Alexander Armstrong and host Richard Osman.
Mary Berry’s Simple Comfort S1 Coming to BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) from Monday, 19 July at 20:00. Mary Berry’s brand-new 6-episode series is all about comfort food around the world.
Amazing Hotels S3 Coming to BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) from Tuesday, 20 July at 20:00. Presenters Giles Coren and Monica Galetti go behind the scenes to meet the staff at a tropical paradise in St. Lucia, a historic Highlands retreat and more.
Top Gear S29 & S30 – The Best Of Coming to BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) from Thursday, 22 July at 20:00.
The Great Kenyan Bake Off S1 Coming to BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) from Wednesday, 28 July at 20:00. 12 Kenyan amateur bakers take on the judges’ challenges.
Green Planet S1 Coming soon to BBC Earth (DStv channel 184). Sir David Attenborough presents this 5-episode series from the BBC Natural History Unit, which shows us life from the perspective of plants.
Oti’s South African Odyssey S1 Coming soon to BBC Brit (DStv channel 120). Strictly Come Dancing’s Oti Mabuse returns to her home country to tour SA, especially her childhood home in Mabopane.
Top Gear S31 Coming soon to BBC Brit (DStv channel 120). Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness are hoping to get back on the road with eased travel restrictions.
Strictly Come Dancing S19 Coming soon to BBC Brit (DStv channel 120). South African stars Oti Mabuse and Johannes Radebe return to put the celebs through their paces, with Oti’s sister, Motsi, on the judging panel.
These series, which started in April, are still on the air or still available on Catch Up. Whether you get your motor racing with Drag Race UK or Top Gear, there’s still plenty of action. If you go wild for wildlife, you can still catch Animal Einsteins, Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure, and China: Nature’s Ancient Kingdom. There are 3 The Truth About documentaries that'll help you understand more about your own body. And we get down to business with Grand Designs, Inside The Factory and Undercover Boss.
NB! The fantastic David Attenborough-narrated nature series A Perfect Planet will be available on Catch Up until Monday, 14 June.
The brand-new 8-episode season of this drag competition brings Michelle Visage and RuPaul back to the UK, where they and judges Graham Norton and Alan Carr (along with special guest judges like Liz Hurley and Dawn French) will meet some astoundingly talented and funny drag queens as they take on weekly design, comedy, singing, dancing, acting and makeover challenges. A word of warning: This season is merciless, and some queens who you might pick as winners are going to be early outs for dubious reasons.
Watch from Tuesday, 23 March on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 21:00
With COVID-19 still hampering overseas productions, presenters Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness are staying at home in the UK this season. This is Top Gear going back to its roots. The guys will be trying out “mid-life crisis cars”, as well as taking on a challenging off-road adventure in the Scottish Highlands and driving some of the most iconic cars from the James Bond films. For a special touch, they’ll be trying out the cars that their own dads drove way back when. There are also reviews of the new Toyota GR Yaris, the Ferrari Roma and more.
Watch on Thursdays on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 20:00 and on Catch Up
Chris Packham turns to scientists in the field of behavioural research to show us how animals use their intelligence to survive and thrive in the wild. In each episode we’ll meet the Masterminds, Communicators, Builders, Social Networkers, Con Artists and Travellers of the animal kingdom. Find out how bees that can do maths and play football, apes use body language, cuttlefish disguise their gender, budgies choose mates based on intelligence, and dung beetles use the light of the Milky Way to navigate, and more.
Watch on Mondays on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 19:00 and on Catch Up
Actress Dame Judi Dench is walking the lush rainforests, rivers and spectacular coral reef coastlines of Malaysian Borneo in search of its wildlife in this 2-episode series. With local expert guides to help her, she’ll be hoping to find 1 of her favourite animals, the Orangutan. She’ll also meet sun bears, elephants, a strange gliding mammal called the Kubong, a dung beetle named Bob, and a snake that Judi names James Bond. Judy runs a little wild herself, as she climbs one of the tallest tropical trees on Borneo.
Watch on Catch Up
China has embarked on the world’s largest conservation project, with a commitment to dedicate 20% of the country as protected land. The series takes us on a tour of the national parks and the fantastic animals that they’re home to. It’s a journey from mountains filled with foxes, antelope and snow leopards, to forests where snub-nosed monkeys and giant pandas roam. The series also checks in on how local populations are dealing with the push to conservation, and how this project could lead the way worldwide.
Watch on Catch Up
Dr. Ronx Ikharia introduces us to our body’s superhero: The immune system. It’s a complex fighting system powered by blood and lymph, and it keeps us all alive. Find out how you can support your immune system as experts in the medical field talk about everything from why a massage can help your immune system, to the underplayed role of the gut. Plenty of products are cashing in on our desire to defend ourselves from viruses with superfoods and supplements, but what does the science say really works?
Watch on Catch Up
The pandemic lockdown in 2020 and continued gym closures have really challenged people to find alternative ways to keep fit and keep to an exercise routine. In this show, journalist and blogger Mehreen Baig teams up with scientists at Liverpool John Moores University and 100 volunteers, to test how much online workouts really improve your fitness, and to discover the tricks to help you stick with it and avoid giving up. Mehreen wants to make sure she’s not wasting her effort or her money.
Watch on Catch Up
Clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron and former England footballer Alex Scott, who has gone public about dealing with the challenges of her depression, team up to explore how science can help us to improve our mental health and wellbeing and overcome common issues like anxiety and insomnia, including being mindful when we exercise. And we’ll find out what a team from Imperial College London uncovered when they surveyed the mental health of over 350,000 people across the UK before and during the pandemic.
Watch on Catch Up
Gregg Wallace visits some of the largest factories in Europe to show us the mind-boggling processes and machinery behind high-volume manufacturing. This season, he’ll follow the journey of popular items such as cider and socks from raw ingredients to the finished product. And outside the factory, Cherry Healey will investigate the science and innovation behind each product, while historian Ruth Goodman reveals how it was invented and popularised. We’ll also see how modern factories are working to reduce their packaging’s environmental impact.
Watch on Wednesdays on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 20:00 and on Catch Up
9 top-level executives in the US are going undercover as regular Joes on the job as they get to grips with their company’s logistics and policies, and how their ideas and innovations really affect the people who have to do the work that keeps the money rolling in. This season, we’ll check in with a sports bar business that’s looking to expand, a hazardous waste company that has too few employees for all the dirty work, an ice cream business that’s clawing its way back from bankruptcy, and more.
Watch on Wednesdays on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 20:00 and on Catch Up
Kevin McCloud is back to introduce us to more architectural dreamers and their unusual, innovative building plans. This season, we’ll see a radical barn renovation for a couple who’re defying illness, an ex-soldier who’s building a giant subterranean extension, and a pioneering couple who want to create the UK’s first self-heating house in the teeth of common sense and logic. Time to whip out the old TV bingo card and see which couples add pregnancy to the game and decide to take over as project managers.
Watch on Fridays on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00 and on Catch Up
Coming in May…
The big news for May is that ALL 8 Harry Potter movies are coming to Showmax on Thursday, 13 May. So set up that viewing party and look out for:
Crime Thriller The Good Liar stars Sir Ian McKellan and Dame Helen Mirren in a grifter story filled with wicked twists, available from Monday, 17 May.
Liam Neeson (Love Actually) and Lesley Manville (Harlots) star in the drama Ordinary Love, about a middle-aged couple who’re confronted with a cancer diagnosis, which comes to Showmax on Thursday, 27 May.
And parents can keep an eye out for the kids’ animated classic Quest For Camelot, about the race to find a lost sword and save King Arthur. With the voices of Gary Oldman, Eric Idle, Jane Seymour, Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne and John Gielgud.
Fantasy fans can enjoy the epic, bloody and unexpectedly irreverent period fantasy Britannia, the dystopian drama Noughts And Crosses, as well as the debut season of A Discovery of Witches, along with a 2-part making-of special, Game of Thrones: The Last Watch. If you’re more on the sci-fi side of things, try The War Of The Worlds. The time-hopping drama series Years And Years will give you plenty to think about. Victorian-era HBO Joss Whedon (Marvel’s Avengers) sci-fi drama series The Nevers S1 focuses on The Touched, a gang of women with unusual abilities who’re on a mission to change the world. The cast is led by Laura Donnelly (Britannia, Outlander, Tolkien) and British Independent Film Award winner Olivia Williams (Dollhouse, Counterpart), and includes BAFTA nominee James Norton (Grantchester, War & Peace).
If you have a yearning for historical series, there’s plenty of British shows: the royal drama Victoria (S1-3), the WWII submarine drama Das Boot (S1-2), and the WWII hotel drama and spy series The Halcyon.
Comedy fans and light drama lovers can get onboard for Good Karma Hospital (S1-S3), which is available to stream first on Showmax.
Crime thriller fans, Rig 45 (S1-2) is a murder mystery aboard an oil rig around Christmas, and it’s a must-watch. Britcrime thriller series The Victim S1 tells the story of a difficult court case and the limits of the justice system, and the Martin Freeman series A Confession is based on a real-life police case and the complexities of confessions and evidence. There’s also the Ireland-based Taken Down S1, the crime drama series The Bay, surveillance footage conspiracy thriller The Capture, and star-studded Guy Ritchie drug empire crime caper The Gentlemen.
There’s great factual entertainment on the line-up, too. On the human interest side, there are biographical documentaries like I Am Heath Ledger, I Am MLK Jr, and I Am Paul Walker, and American Dynasties: The Bush Years.
British comedy drama Misbehaviour is based on the story of British women who subverted the 1970 Miss World pageant. The cast includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lesley Manville, Jessie Buckley, Keeley Hawes, Rhys Ifans, Charlotte Spencer and Emma Corrin. Look out for Loreece Harrison as then-Miss South Africa Pearl Jansen. Wild Rose on Monday, 29 March stars Jessie Buckley (see her in Misbehaviour, too) as an ex-con mother of 2 who has big dreams of becoming a country singing star.
In tense docu-drama film Official Secrets, South African director Gavin Hood presents Keira Knightley as the whistle-blower Katharine Gun, who exposed the illegal activities of the US and British intelligence services ahead of the Iraq War. Spy and war drama fans can also check out MI6 spy action thriller Legacy Of Lies and historical drama Darkest Hour, which stars Gary Oldman as wartime British PM Winston Churchill.
DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact customers can enjoy these shows at discounted rates if they add Showmax to their DStv bill.
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