1/ Cricket on Five: England Vs Australia

When:
Sunday, 7.15pm Five

Why should I watch it:
Sky can sod right off. It is entirely the fault of Rupert Murdoch’s cash-obsessed TV mega bastards that this country cannot unite over watching 2009’s Ashes series on Channel 4. It’s a disgrace. It’s inhumane. It’s the stripping away of an Englishman’s basic human rights. It should be brought up in parliament. GIVE US THE CRICKET BACK.

In 2005 we could watch every second of England’s 2-1 demolition of Australia. But this year, unless you’ve got Sky, you have to make do with the radio, the pub or Justin TV. Which is fine, but it’s not amazing. And it means that more people have watched the one hour highlight show that Geoffrey Boycott and Mark Nicholas make brilliant on Channel Five every evening than have watched Sky at key moments in the first two Ashes Tests. Sod you, Sky. Sod you right off. You may have some of England’s money, but you will never have our hearts.

Show me where:
Watch it on Channel Five's on demand thingy.

2/ T4 On The Beach

When:
Sunday, 14.00pm Channel 4

Why should I watch it:
T4 On The Beach makes a lot of sense. Oh sure, Steve Jones and Miquita Oliver with their cooler-than-thou presenting style and whiff of attractive success do their thing while the ghost of Alexa Chung haunts the from the dunes. But top acts like Alesha Dixon, Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal, The Saturdays, The Noisettes, The Enemy, Little Boots and MORE took turns to illuminate the big noisy stage in the hope of teasing the day up to some kind of blistering climax. So far so dull. So far so identical to every other festival in the known universe. But here’s the deal: no one (not even you, Daniel Merriweather) gets to play more than three songs. It’s genius. It’s revolutionary. It could end boring festival slots forever. It’s the ultimate ploy to end rock star’s egos. It’s the armchair music fan’s dream scenario.

Show me where:
Watch it on 4oD.

3/ Mock The Week

When:
Thursday, 9pm BBC2

Why should I watch it:
Seven series is good going for a comedy quiz that at first glance looks identical to Have I Got News For You. But Mock The Week makes itself different by focusing heavily on the scripted stand-up comedy skills of Russell Howard, Frankie Boyle, Hugh Dennis, Andy Parsons and other people who appear on Radio 4 comedy shows that you don’t listen to. Dara O Briain is less like a host and more like an umpire, awarding points to people who take good comedic shots. But the show would be nothing without Howard. He’s not only the nicest comedian (possibly the nicest man) on television, but all of a sudden he’s become a massive star. He does arena tours, and you cannot help but warm to his outrageous talent. His surrealist take on the world is a constant pleasure, especially in contrast to Frankie Boyle’s acid tongue which would probably land him in some kind of institution if it weren’t all lovingly wrapped in a cloak of LOL.

Show me where:
Watch it on the BBC iPlayer.

4/ On Thin Ice

When:
Sunday, 9pm BBC2

Why should I watch it:
A programme following Ben Fogle, James Cracknell and a doctor called Dan trekking across the Antarctic could easily have played out as a glorified public school trip. But once you’ve got over the hilarious bogey-esque drips of ice hanging from Fogle’s big posh beard, On Thin Ice does a good job of allowing you to feel and smell the enormous pain the trio are going for. Weirdly, James Cracknell appears to be the biggest pussy. All three of these immense men cross-country ski for 16 hours a day in temperatures of -40 while carrying a sledge each, as part of a 750km race to the South Pole. But it’s Cracknell, a man who won two Olympic gold medals rowing for Great Britain, who has ruined his feet, got pneumonia in his left lung and had a resurgence of his childhood asthma. Most depressing for him must be that Fogle, who presents TV programmes about wildlife, and his big posh beard are totally fine. It makes no sense. While doctors look horrified at the raw skin on Cracknell’s feet and talk to him like he’s a war victim, Fogle just stands there with his big posh beard looking like a champion, a warrior and a behemoth. He was built for this. Presenting Countryfile can do that to man.

Show me where:
Watch it on BBC iPlayer.