The Oscars and Ant & Dec will shine bright this weekend

Our own Boyd Hilton is on Sky's live Oscars coverage, but it's still the highlight of the weekend's TV


by Boyd Hilton |
Published on

The 87th Annual Academy Awards (Sky Living/Sky Movies Oscars, Sunday, 11.30pm/1.30am)

Stock up on only the classiest of snacks and booze, because it’s the most glittering and fun of awards nights in the known universe. The Oscars are live on Sky again, and yes, they’re on really late, but it’ll be worth staying up for because not only is it being hosted in LA by the thoroughly talented and charming Neil Patrick Harris (who played a fab psycho in Gone Girl), and not only is it the closest race for years in at least two categories (Best Picture and Leading Actor), but you also get to see me, your favourite TV & Reviews Editor, wittering on all night during Sky’s coverage alongside fabulous presenters Alex Zane and Zoë Ball. It’ll all kick off with comprehensive red carpet action at 11.30pm on Sky Living, then the actual ceremony will be on Sky Movies Oscars from 1.30am. I’m currently predicting Boyhood and Eddie Redmayne for wins in Best Picture and Actor In A Leading Role, respectively, but by the time I arrive in the glamorous Sky studio I might just change my mind and go for Birdman and Michael Keaton. See? It’s that exciting! (If you don’t have a Sky subscription, by the way, you can at least watch it all via

A sideways glance at Ant & Dec
A sideways glance at Ant & Dec

Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV, Saturday, 7pm)

Much as I loved Harry Hill’s maverick reboot of Stars In Their Eyes it did not exactly capture the viewing public’s imagination, so ITV will be massively relieved they’ve now got the return of the Best Duo On TV in their endlessly entertaining format to bring viewers back to the channel on a Saturday evening. I full expect *The Voice’*s ratings to be duly dented as Ant & Dec kick off their series with a prank on Olly Murs, Ed Sheeran performing live and more Ant Vs Dec, helped by Ashley Roberts. SNT is the TV gift that keeps on giving.

Una and Rich: the perfect match

The Big Painting Challenge (BBC1, Sunday, 6pm)

We’ve had Bake Off and the Sewing Bee and now we’ve got Painting. This is The Great British Paint Off by any other name, and if you think Sky Arts already did this kind of thing with its Portrait Artist Of The Year, this is more of a general painting challenge competition. It’s hosted by the brilliantly unlikely combo of veteran actress Una Stubbs off Sherlock and ace presenter Richard Bacon, who does love his art. They actually combine really well in this first show, which introduces the 10 contenders who have to paint Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.

Keekey Hawes checks Heatworld for review

And don’t forget… It’s ep 2 of the superbly gritty, utterly mesmerising adaptation of JK Rowling’s first adult novel The Casual Vacancy (BBC1, Sunday, 9pm) and it’s even better than last week’s opener.

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