The BBC's songless but brilliant Les Mis adaption, Lily Cole on The Secret World Of Emily Brontë, and elusive sea otters up close and personal.
OT A MUSICAL
Les Misérables, 9pm Sunday, BBC One
Banish all memories of Hugh Jackman’s Jean Valjean and say goodbye to Anne Hathaway’s Fantine, because there’s a new Les Misérables adaption in town – and you won’t find any songs in it. The BBC’s much-anticipated drama is a straight-laced retelling of the classic 1862 book, and while it’s much less musical than the version we’re all used to, the casting packs just as much Hollywood punch. David Oyelowo takes on the role of Javert, the nationalistic police officer who becomes obsessed with catching Dominic West’s Jean Valjean, while Lily Collins’s Fantine falls hopelessly in love with Johnny Flynn as student Felix. Olivia Colman, Ellie Bamber and Adeel Akhtar also crop up, but you’ll just have to watch it to find out where.
THE WILD MOORS OF YORKSHIRE
The Secret World Of Emily Bronte, 6:05pm Saturday, Channel 4
It’s not necessarily the history and facts presented in this documentary about the life, times and social context of Emily Brontë’s work that’s interesting, though it’s the sort of information that’s well worth sticking around for. Instead, it’s the presenter, supermodel Lily Cole, who draws in most of the attention. Despite having a history of art degree from Cambridge, the old guard at the Brontë Society weren’t very happy with Cole’s appointment as 2018’s creative partner, so much so that author Nick Holland resigned from his post. Obviously, Cole’s interest and enchantment with the Brontës makes this documentary a delightful watch – but it’s the idea that Holland and his cronies will be devastated with the result that really makes you want to tune in.
A SCOTTISH LEGEND
Billy Connolly: Made In Scotland, 9pm Friday, BBC Two
What’s the lead-up to Christmas without a laugh? Luckily, comedy legend Billy Connolly is back on the telly to provide us wth just that. Looking back on his early career as a comic, Connolly also tells a tale of a long-gone version of Scotland, specifically Glasgow, where he grew up before moving to Florida in his later years.
A SNEAKY NATURE DOC
Spy In The Snow, 7pm Sunday, BBC One
You could send a crew to Antarctica for two years to film some penguins à la David Attenborough, but you could also make like nature documentary maker John Downer and stick a camera in a fake sea otter head. With his crafty filming tricks, we’re treated to up close and personal shots of the most gorgeous otters and polar bears taking an interest in the suspicious newbie in town. Bonus: unlike Dynasties and Planet Earth, there’s little to no violent hunting or devastatingly upsetting family drama. Sorry, Mr Attenborough, but it’s just not very Christmassy.