They’re battling it out on The Voice and Matt Lucas is back in this weekend’s TV highlights

Heat TV critic Boyd Hilton's pick of what to watch this weekend


by Boyd Hilton |
Published on

The Voice UK (BBC1, Saturday, 7.15pm)

To be honest I’m not sure I can fully recommend this next stage in the evolution of this series of The Voice UK, because it is the dreaded “Battle Round”. But I thought you’d like to know where we’re at, Voice-wise. In case you haven’t ever sat through the series beyond the initial and reliably fun Blind Auditions, once they’re over, and the coaches have picked their initial batches of 12 contenders each, the process of whittling down each team to a more manageable gaggle begins with this next phase in which the acts are put in pairs, thrust onto a “boxing ring” style stage where they proceed to belt out the same song at the same time. This inevitably means wild bouts of over-singing, general caterwauling and shouting as loudly as possible. It’s all a bit exhausting, which makes it all the more daunting that the episode goes on for two whole hours. Invest in some ear plugs.

Matt Lucas is back!
Matt Lucas is back!

Pompidou (BBC2, Sunday, 6.30pm)

Matt Lucas is back with his first major series away from his work with David Walliams and if you’re wondering why on earth it’s on in this slightly obscure slot, it’s because that’s where Matt wanted it to go. Think of Pompidou as the latest in a tradition of family-friendly but quirky shows on Sunday teatime. But there hasn’t been anything like this for quite some time. Pompidou is an almost wordless comedy, about an eccentric toff living in a caravan, for mysterious reasons, along with his butler (the great Alex McQueen off Hunderby and The Thick Of It) and a dazzlingly brilliant dog. Everyone communicates in weird grunts and noises, but it’s all about the slapstick and goofy visual gags.

Who will win the Casual Vacancy?

The Casual Vacancy (BBC1, Sunday, 9pm)

This adaptation of JK Rowling’s immense adult novel has been one of the best things to grace Sunday night TV in ages. And the three-parter written so skillfully by Sarah Phelps concludes tonight with a wonderfully enthralling and powerful episode, as the election for the vacancy on the parish council arrives and sends the village of Padford into meltdown. Most of the adult characters – played by such greats as Michael Gambon, Julia McKenzie, Keeley Hawes and Rufus Jones - are pretty horrible, but in the middle of all the greed and selfishness is young Krystal, trying to make her way in the world. She’s played by newcomer Abigail Lawrie and she’s a star.

Wossy has a line-up of legends

And don’t forget… Next week is Wossy’s Madonna special, but in the meantime he has a fab line-up for The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, Saturday, 9.40pm) this week: living legends Kanye West, Thierry Henry, Sigourney Weaver, Tracey Emin and Martin Clunes.

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