British TV winter warmers
01 June 2021
Chill out and stay cosy this winter with the best of British TV on DStv, including The Split, Mallorca Files, Listing Jozi, The Masked Singer (UK)
01 June 2021
Chill out and stay cosy this winter with the best of British TV on DStv, including The Split, Mallorca Files, Listing Jozi, The Masked Singer (UK)
This winter, the BBC channels will be bringing a little local sizzle into the mix every Wednesday at 20:00. Come Dine With Me SA is currently back on air, and starting Wednesday, 16 June, the glamorous, high-flying property sales series Listing Jozi will make your couch South Africa’s swankiest address. Location, location, location!
Later this year, The Great British Bake Off will get an African twist when The Great Kenyan Bake Off launches on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174).
Now check out what’s on the way in June, coming soon, and already out there for you to watch on DStv, from exciting dramas to blue-chip nature and environmental documentaries, along with what you can see on Showmax – including every single Harry Potter movie, a whole lot of new Game Of Thrones content, and the return of Downton Abbey.
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). Soapie fans can catch EastEnders on Mondays to Thursdays on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 17:30.
PS: The fantastic David Attenborough-narrated nature series A Perfect Planet will be available on Catch Up until Monday, 14 June.
If you’d like to catch the incredible upcoming action on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) and M-Net (DStv channel 101), what better way to beat the winter chill than to upgrade to Premium for the hottest TV out there?
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 is 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 Thursday, 10 June on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 22:30
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
Hmm, nice light, good neighbourhood, interesting details… we’ll take it! Local property reality series Listing Jozi is here at last to show us what the rich and famous can afford – and how some teams of ambitious real estate sharks are reeling them in. There’s more silly fun to come in the UK version of The Masked Singer, and we’re Back in the First Dates Restaurant down under in a new season of romantic dating reality show First Dates Australia. All this and the nailbiting challenges that lie await in gameshow The Cube, too.
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 business people, local sport stars, celebrities and property moguls. And we’ll find out what is on everyone’s “must” list, from security to swimming pools.
Watch from Wednesday, 16 June on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
This is the UK version of the fun gameshow in which celebrities disguise themselves in extravagant costumes while a panel of judges try to guess who they are based on their singing voices and performance style. Now it’s BAFTA award-winning comedian Mo Gilligan’s turn to take a judge’s chair and try to figure out who’s under the giant bobblehead, with host Joel Dommett co-ordinating the chaos, and singer Rita Ora and TV presenters Davina McCall and Jonathan Ross returning to judge who’s hiding under 12 new costumes.
Watch from Sunday, 6 June on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 19:00
Feeling romantic but also in the mood for a giggle? The Australian version of this blind dating show always has a twist of the absurd. Hidden cameras dotted around the First Dates restaurant capture 2 blind dates’ every move, from the moment they enter the restaurant, to that first glimpse across the room, and all the awkwardness of making conversation over the spaghetti. The show’s relationship experts have paired these couples fully believing that they’ll be compatible, so we’re hoping to see the first flutterings of affection by the dessert course.
Watch from Sunday, 6 June 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 from Wednesday, 23 June on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) at 20:00
Conservation, travel and history shows are taking us around the world this June. Ade Adepitan travels the globe to meet communities who’re already feeling the effects of climate change to see how they adapt in Climate Change: Ade On The Frontline, while new documentary Day Zero will look at Earth’s growing water crisis. If you’re looking for something light and fun, actress Joanna Lumley’s train adventure in Joanna Lumley: Trans Siberian Adventure is the ticket, or join comedian Sara Pascoe as she travels around the world in Last Woman On Earth, trying her hand at some strange jobs. Then documentary series Stonehenge: The Lost Circle Revealed and Coast Australia will take an educational look at some monuments and landscapes.
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 how 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
Cape Town recently narrowly escaped its Day Zero. But around the world, communities are in danger of consuming more fresh water that rainfall and groundwater can support, and Earth’s resources are being drained at an alarming rate. This documentary features the voices of people who’re at the forefront of this water scarcity crisis across Africa, in the US and in Brazil. We’ll find out how pollution, industrial demands, corporate greed and overpopulation are driving scarcity, and the effects that water stress can have on lifestyles and economies.
Watch on Sunday, 13June on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 16:30
Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley embarks on a romantic, epic rail journey, from Hong Kong to Moscow, via Beijing in China and Mongolia. Joanna lived in Hong Kong as a child, so it’s a symbolic starting point for her trip. In Mongolia she pals around with some nomads, visits a statue of Ghengis Khan, sees throat singers perform in the capital Ulan Bator, and pops in at a gold mine. Then it’s off to Russia to visit lake Baikal and to meet with an oligarch. She’ll even nose around Stalin’s nuclear bunker.
Watch from Friday, 4 June on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 20:00
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
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
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
Stay cosy at home this winter with series like My Impossible House, which celebrates some amazing new home design ideas and construction projects. Donal Skehan’s Donal's Family Food In Minutes has ideas by the dozen for those weeknight meals when you “just cannot”. See the effects of lifestyle change and healthy habits in action in Lose A Stone In 21 Days With Michael Moseley. And if you’re sitting home with tiny kids, try out a clever little show that will encourage them to work through problems in Tinpo.
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
Donal Skehan draws on 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
Doctor Michael Mosley is offering a lifestyle intervention programme to 5 volunteers who’re looking to get their health back on track, post-lockdown. He’ll talk to them about how lockdown impacted their choices, and then he will tailor new eating plans, recipes and exercise schedules to get his fab 5 fighting fit again. Dr Mosley believes that his volunteers can lose 6,35 kg in just 3 weeks – or a proportionate ratio of their total physical mass – and along the way he’ll explore the links between the brain and comfort eating.
Watch from Tuesday, 15 June on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) at 19:00
Tinpo is a computer animated series about problem solving for tiny kids. In each episode Tinpo and his team set about fixing a situation by asking “What if we tried this?” For example, what do you do if a truck is carrying a load that makes it too big to fit through a tunnel? No idea is too crazy to start with, but as they compare their ideas, the team settles on the best course of action. Together, they can handle anything that crops up around their home, Tinpotown.
Watch daily from Wednesday, 9 June on CBeebies (DStv channel 306) at 16:50
Catch these before you get caught short! These series are already on Catch Up and ideal for bingeing and downloading for days when you suspect that loadshedding might be looming. All 8 episodes of fantasy series The Watch, based on Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, are finally here along with the complete RuPaul’s Drag Race S2. The Great British Bake Off S11 is still on the go, as in the second half of Come Dine With Me South Africa S6, and the space comedy series Avenue 5. On a more serious note, you haven’t missed the remarkable documentary Greta Thunberg: A Year To Change The World because it’s available on Catch Up until 20 June. There’s still plenty of comfort viewing to be had in Ainsley's Food We Love and kids show Bluey, so check out all the detail on these shows and more below.
This series is inspired by fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett’s Guards characters in the Discworld novels (1983-2015). A motley crew of cross-species guardsmen (including dwarves and werewolves) led by the grumpy and down-at-heel Sam Vimes (Richard Dormer) rise out of apathy to restore law and order to Ankh-Morpork, pushing back against lawless politicians, shadowy guilds, the super rich, and street gangs. But an old enemy of Vimes’s named Carcer Dun (Sam Adewunmi) is dogging their every step while trying to get his hands on a magical artefact.
Watch the finale on Wednesday, 2 June on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 22:30 and binge the Box Set on Catch Up
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 Fridays on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 22:30 and on Catch Up
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 Mondays on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
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 on Catch Up
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 Wednesdays 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 Mondays 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 Tuesdays on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00
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 Catch Up
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 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 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 Catch Up
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 on Catch Up
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 on Catch Up
Presenter Rick Edwards, YouTube star Beau Ouimette, and underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead are on a treasure hunt in the UK’s rivers. This season’s 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 Thursdays on History (DStv channel 186) at 20:15
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 Fridays 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
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 Catch Up
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
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.
If you’re not still salty over GOT’s final season, there’s a 2-part making-of special, Game of Thrones: The Last Watch; a season 8-centred, 10-episode Game Of Thrones Behind The Scenes documentary series; the 2020 Game Of Thrones Reunion special, and the entire 8-season Game Of Thrones series.
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. The Victorian-era HBO Joss Whedon (Marvel’s Avengers) sci-fi drama series The Nevers S1 focusses 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). The Third Day, a psychological folk horror thriller (think Midsommar) starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris, centres on a mysterious island and a sinister cult.
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. Gentleman Jack (S1) gives us the unconventional Victorian heroine Anne Lister and her romance with a lady named Ann. Beecham House gives us drama and mystery in India. A whole world is at war in WWII drama World On Fire, and you can still see all 6 seasons of big house drama series Downton Abbey.
Light drama lovers can get onboard for Good Karma Hospital (S1-S3), which is available to stream first on Showmax. Sketch comedy series Famalam (S1) gives you a British twist on series like Key & Peele and A Black Lady Sketch Show.
The Good Liar stars Sir Ian McKellan and Dame Helen Mirren in a grifter story filled with wicked twists, 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. The Night Of with Riz Ahmed is a tense crime drama in which the accused has no memory of the night of a murder.
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, Keira Knightley and Emma Corrin. Look out for Loreece Harrison as then-Miss South Africa Pearl Jansen. Wild Rose 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.
The big news is that ALL 8 Harry Potter movies are now available on Showmax. So set up that viewing party and look out for:
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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