Shows to snuggle up with on DStv


Romantic, cosy viewing to warm you up from head, to heart, to toe this winter

Winter’s cold is biting in, we haven’t seen our families and friends for months, and we’re still doing our best to stay brave and positive in a frightening and uncertain time. We all could use a hug, but if you’d settle for something heart-warming to watch, DStv has a pile of shows stacked up like fuzzy blankets just waiting for you to jump in.

Come Dine With Me South Africa

Come Dine With Me SA brings laughter, parties and a taste of authentic South African flavour back into our lives with this round of dinners presented by hosts who are going all out to impress. In each episode you’ll be the invisible guest of honour as each of the four hosts invites you into their home (along with their three competitors) and even into their kitchen as they prepare a magnificent feast, dazzle you with conversation, and then ask you to do what you’ve secretly been doing all along – judge them! And you’ll have narrator Dave Lamb as your BFF and viewing buddy, whispering wicked comments to you as you watch with glee.

The show’s producers have made sure that every episode brings the spice and everything nice with a range of strong characters from across South Africa's cultural spectrum, fun conversation topics, and a hint of danger as ambitions in the kitchen run sky high… and these are all passionate, but amateur, cooks. Nobody is on their best behaviour and everyone’s silly sides soon come out. This is one to sit back and watch as you savour your own dinner. And don’t neglect the tastiest side dish of all: the spicy conversation throughout each episode on social media. Join in the fun using #ComeDineSA on:

Twitter: @BBCSouthAfrica

Instagram: @BBCStudiosza

Facebook: @BBCLifestyleSA

Watch S6 on Wednesdays on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) at 20:00 and on Catch Up


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The Great British Bake Off

The kindest, sweetest reality show is back with 13 new bakers in the big white tent. Bake Off is full of heart and warmth as the bakers (who’re interesting characters in themselves and representative of the incredible cultural diversity in the UK today) help and support one another and cheer each other on. And hosts Sandi and Noel rush in with support and to cheer everyone up with silly, surreal jokes when things are going wrong. While judges Paul and Prue are tough, there’s nothing like a word of praise from Prue when the flavours impress her, or that famed Paul Hollywood Handshake for a baker who’s triumphing in all aspects of the challenge.

It’s all about the simple things – friendship, camaraderie, skill and talent. And the fact that these things all come baked into delicious treats makes it the tastiest show on TV and a true feast for the eyes. This season, The Great British Bake Off is really going all out with challenges. There will be fiendishly complicated treats from around the world to bake, including a Moroccan Pie made from warka pastry, Sicilian Cassatelles, milk-based Indian sweets known as Mishti, and kek lapis Sarawak, a traditional layered Malaysian cake. So much to learn.

Watch S10 on Mondays on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) at 20:00 and on Catch Up

And for more sweet, supportive and skilful bakers, watch Kids Baking Championship S5 from Friday, 19 June on Food Network (DStv 175) at 19:55


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Joanna Lumley's Hidden Caribbean: Havana to Haiti

Aside from series host Joanna Lumley’s easy warmth and charm, we’re turning in for some literal warmth as she works up a sweat exploring the sun-drenched Caribbean. Joanna talks her way into places that tourists normally only glimpse from the outside, and she takes us along with her. In Cuba, Joanna meets a widow who now owns one of those grand, crumbling old villas we drool over on Instagram, and she gets to look around inside. It’s a rare invitation – the house’s original owner, the widow’s late husband, used to play chess with revolutionary Che Guevara. Joanna meets dancers and female boxers and the ladies who work in cigar factories and is given the warmest of welcomes wherever she goes. And while Haiti is less welcoming, Joanna will get your heart racing with a visit to a voodoo ceremony, and to an artist’s studio where she’ll see some real eye-opening work involving human skulls.

Watch S1 on Wednesdays on BBC Earth (DStv 184) at 19:00 and on Catch Up


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Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip

Touring round the world with British chef Gordon Ramsay, Italian actor and chef Gino D'Acampo, and First Dates host with the most Fred Sirieix, is the best version of taking a road trip with our friends. Each of the guys is absolutely passionate and knowledgeable about food, but brings in a different point of view. And as with any group of people who’ve been friends for a long time, the teasing and banter is constant. They’ll be taking in the food and the sights in Morocco, where they’ll meet snake charmers; they’ll jump into Mexico’s wrestling rings; prepare a dinner for Gordon’s mom at his home in Las Vegas; and take in San Francisco and the California winelands; then in Texas they’ll get a real taste of the USA – seen through the eyes of some distinctly un-American chefs.

Watch S2 on Tuesdays on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) at 20:00 or on Catch Up


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Mal, Mooi Troues

Weddings are still mostly a fantasy at this point, but we can dream, can’t we? In this Afrikaans-dubbed series, Canadian event planner Lynzie Kent of Love By Lynzie will get your heart fluttering as she explores couples’ love stories to inspire glorious wedding receptions and weddings. To find out how Lynzie’s business is dealing with lockdown (15 of the couples she’s dealing with have had to postpone their weddings now thanks to lockdown), drop by her Instagram page.

Watch S1 from Monday, 1 June on VIA (DStv 147) at 17:30


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Die Bruid-boetiek

South African bridal stylist and designer of Diaan Daniels Couture has his very own show with this Afrikaans lifestyle-reality series. He and his glam squad will be helping couples who’re getting married to find the perfect looks and outfits for their big day. Diaan dresses brides, grooms, bridesmaids, moms and even young ladies who want to make a splash at their matric dances. Diaan’s dream is to see his clients not just smiling, but glowing with a happiness that you can feel right through your TV screen. We love a happy ending.

Watch S1 from Thursday, 4 June on VIA (DStv 147) at 17:30

And if you’re in the mood for more local love, binge The Bachelor SA S2 on Catch Up


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Say Yes To The Dress Lancashire

Brides are in the most caring hands with body positivity activist Gok Wan, who’s also the host of the ongoing series How To Look Good Naked. Always deeply sympathetic, Gok has an eye for what will really work with a bride’s figure. And he has a way of getting the best out of some truly picky and outspoken entourages, too. This season finished filming just as the pandemic lockdown started, so the gown designs are fresh and fascinating. And each bride has her own moving, romantic story to tell.

Watch S2 from Sunday, 7 June on TLC (DStv 135) at 18:00 


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Michael McIntyre’s Big Show

Comedian host Michael McIntyre’s bonhomie, wit and sense of fun will keep you in fits of giggles and, occasionally, gales of laughter. We dare you not to at least snicker when he wakes up TV’s stern Judge Rinder in the middle of the night, plonks himself down in the judge’s bedroom, and asks a series of rather silly questions. Michael will snatch Sharon Osbourne’s cellphone to send impertinent messages to her whole contact list, he’ll make Robbie Williams sing random karaoke, and more. There are games, dares, stories and celebrities to enjoy. It’s all just light-hearted fun and a welcome break from our daily tensions.

Watch S5 from Sunday, 7 June on BBC Brit (DStv 120) at 19:00 or on Catch Up


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Amy Schumer Learns To Cook

Comedian and actress Amy Schumer and husband, chef Chris Fischer, are living a rather luxurious version of our lockdown lives. But while they’re at home on Martha's Vineyard with their new baby, Gene, they’ll be handing the camera to Gene’s nanny and getting her to film them as they prepare meals together based on whatever they have at hand in the pantry, which often means adapting recipes. We’ll get Chris’s helpful instructions as he does most of the work, and all the bizarre fun of Amy’s reactions as this inexperienced cook tries to play along. But Amy does have one kitchen skill – this former bartender can mix a mean cocktail. The couple will share movie-night recipes, technical talk and all the fun of their lives together.

Watch S1 from Monday, 8 June on TLC (DStv 135) at 21:00 


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Cherish The Day

This romantic drama series, in which each episode focuses on a different day in couple Gently and Evan’s (Xosha Roquemore and Alano Miler) relationship over a five years period, was created by Ava DuVernay, who brought us Queen Sugar. And if you’ve seen the humanity, love and passion in that show, you’ll know why we’ll have a second reason to make a big red cross on our calendars on 16 June. Gently and Evan are both interesting, complex characters who’re given equal time, understanding and attention in the story. Their motivations and actions make sense, but don’t always work for their relationship together. It’s an honest and compassionate look at real love, starting with the irresistible rush as Gently and Evan connect and fall in love with each other’s minds despite coming from wildly different backgrounds. This true romance will warm your heart before it steals it.

Watch S1 from Tuesday, 16 June on 1Magic (DStv 103) at 20:30


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Dollface

If you’re missing your friends like a tooth that’s been pulled, this series about reconnecting with your besties after being sucked into relationship land is a must-see. Jules Wiley (Kat Dennings) is the guilty party who needs to learn how to reconnect with her former girlfriends after pandering to her guy for the past five years. Aside from the joy of friendships, the series is also an incredibly fun ride thanks to the surreal side of Jules’s imagination, which is shown in its full, playful glory onscreen. Jules’s “journey” back from relationship land (kind of a real place in the show), for example, comes courtesy of a crazy cat lady bus driver… who has the head of a real cat. And the bus stops along the way at sad places like Rebound Town, a desolate and tacky place where you settle for a nice guy you're not really that attracted to.

Watch S1 from Friday, 19 June on M-Net (DStv 101) at 22:00


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Bob Hearts Abishola

This romantic comedy is both wonderfully funny and unusual in that it comes from a mainstream comedy writer, Chuck Lorre (Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory), but also gives us a Nigerian lead character who is a full and realised person from a cultural background that is explored and celebrated. Chuck’s partnership with British comedian Gina Obedapo Iyashere results in writing that is anything but stereotypical. Stern, highly educated nurse character Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku) comes complete with a full, extended, Yoruba-speaking family and circle of friends whose experience as immigrants in the US is explored with tenderness, insight and uproarious humour. And Bob (Billy Gardell) himself, who seems to be your classic Midwestern businessman, soon turns out to be far more complex than his surface suggests. This is not a tale of a man falling for a woman who performs emotional labour for him. It’s about that spark of recognition and attraction between humans that flares into love as they come to understand one another.

Watch S1 from Thursday, 25 June on 1Magic (DStv 103) at 19:00


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