Our top daily TV programmes week beginning Saturday, November 14

McFly: All About Us (ITV, 6.40pm) Saturday

Not only are McFly one of Britain's most successful bands, they are also best mates.

However, like all friends, the lads have had their ups and downs, and in the 10 years since their last album Above the Noise, there have been times when fans wondered if they'd seen the last of Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Dougie Poynter and Harry Judd as a quartet.

McFly were formed back in 2003, when Tom, having unsuccessfully auditioned for Busted, but helping to write their second album, A Present for Everyone, was asked by the record label to film auditions for a new band, V.

There he met Danny and invited him to write with himself and Busted founder James Bourne.

Tom and Danny then began collaborating for their own band, and recruited bassist Dougie and drummer Harry via a classified ad in the NME.

McFly enjoyed instant success - their debut single 5 Colours in Her Hair entered the UK chart at No.1 in April 2004, followed by Obviously, which also topped the charts.

Their LP, Room on the 3rd Floor (named after where Jones and Fletcher wrote most of the songs - room 363 in the InterContinental Hotel in London), went double platinum, and McFly beat The Beatles' record for youngest band to have a No.1 debut album.

The subsequent years saw the band register four more hit albums Wonderland (2005), Motion in the Ocean (2006), Radio:Active (2008) and Above the Noise (2010) spawning smash-hit singles such as All About You, I'll Be OK, Don't Stop Me Now, Star Girl and Baby's Coming Back.

And it wasn't only musical success that the lads were enjoying. As well as sell-out tours and shows, they also made an appearance in the Lindsay Lohan movie Just My Luck in 2006, Doctor Who in 2007, Hollyoaks in 2009, and five years later released their first jewellery range.

Dougie won the 11th series of I'm a Celebrity, and Harry, who triumphed in Strictly Come Dancing, was invited to carry the torch for the 2012 London Olympics.

In 2013, they hooked up with Bourne and Matt Willis from Busted to form supergroup McBusted, embarking on a tour and releasing an album in 2014.

The group's tenure was cut short when former Busted member Charlie Simpson returned to the band.

However, McFly made their own triumphant return in 2016 with a greatest-hits tour and live album.

Then, early in 2019, the group issued a compilation of unreleased demos, The Lost Songs, and that has now been followed by their sixth original album, Young Dumb Thrills, released yesterday and containing singles Happiness and Growing Up.

Back in 2011, you may recall the lads were the subject of a Channel 5 documentary series, McFly on the Wall, which followed the band on their UK tour.

And now, cameras are once again dropping in on Tom, Danny, Dougie and Harry as they take part in emotional and intimate interviews to tell the story of the band.

There is never-before-seen footage as fans are taken inside the highs and lows of their professional and personal journeys, from their rise into superstardom, to winning a Brit Award and appearing in a Hollywood film.

They will also reminisce about their time in McBusted, their recent hiatus that until now they haven't felt ready to share, and how group therapy has helped them get back on track.

McFly: All About Us brings their story up to the present day, as we see them take to the stage for a triumphant reunion gig at the O2, and prepare for the release of their first album in 10 years.

Finally, the show ends with a special intimate gig at the Union Chapel in London in front of their families who have been a constant support through the years.

McFly said: "This is the true and open story of our band and our friendship, the challenges we've faced as well as highs we could never have dreamt of and why we're stronger now than ever."

I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (ITV, 9pm Sunday)

Forget the infamous Bushtucker Trials - arguably the toughest challenge in I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here history has been getting this 20th series on air.

Like so many other TV series, the hit reality show has brought in changes due to the pandemic, the biggest of which is the change of location. Flying a group of famous faces to the other side of the world to compete in Australia was out of the question, so instead ITV are setting up camp in Gwrych Castle in Wales.

When the announcement was made back in August, Richard Cowles, Director of Entertainment at ITV Studios said: "The Australian jungle is such an integral part of the show it was a big challenge to find a UK location where we could continue to deliver what viewers love about I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

"But Gwrych will definitely do that; the Castle sits in an amazing and atmospheric setting on a hillside overlooking the Irish Sea. While there will be plenty of changes required as we move from New South Wales in Australia to North Wales in the UK, we are really excited to see how we can adapt the format and make the Castle our new home for a very special 20th series of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!"

However, since then, some viewers may have wondered if even Wales would be a non-starter in the wake of more lockdowns and tightening restrictions. But for the moment at least, it looks like the series is going ahead.

So, tonight we get to find out just what the Castle has in store for this year's batch of celebs, who are rumoured to include Olympian Mo Farah, singer Russell Watson, musical-theatre star Ruthie Henshall, presenter Vernon Kay, broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire, former Strictly Come Dancing pro AJ Pritchard, Coronation Street star Beverley Callard and EastEnders actress Jessica Plummer.

They won't have had to travel quite as a far to get there, and the local wildlife won't be nearly as exotic, but that doesn't mean it's not going to be tough.

As 2015 winner Vicky Pattinson points out, at least in the jungle, the campmates had the sunshine to cheer them up - which will likely be in short supply this year.

She also told The Metro: "It's just going to add another dynamic to it. I think I would struggle, because you fire yourself up. You get all excited that you're going to be in the jungle shower, and in the famous camp.

"Now it is going to be really different. But on the plus side, they're the first to ever do this, they're paving the way for something new. It's going to be exciting. I'll be glued."

This evening we'll see their first impressions of the castle, and maybe we'll also get hint of who is likely to emerge as King or Queen of the Castle at the end of the series.

Nigella: Cook, Eat, Repeat (BBC Two, 8pm Monday)

Nigella Lawson seems to have a knack for knowing exactly what's needed, and when.

So if you are growing sick of your own limited repertoire of dishes during lockdown, you may want to tune in for some inspiration from the 'Domestic Goddess'.

Just in time for the dark nights, and when we are all spending more time indoors and cooking, Nigella is back with her first BBC show in three years.

The food writer and presenter, who, unbelievably, turned 60 at the beginning of the year, first stormed onto our screens way back in 1999 with Channel 4's Nigella Bites.

Since then she has fronted Forever Summer, Nigella Feasts, Nigella Express, Nigella Kitchen, Nigellissima, Simply Nigella and Nigella: At My Table, as well as appearing as a judge on The Taste and MasterChefs Australia and US.

She has always been adept at producing recipes that are nourishing and comforting, and after a year like this, Nigella's is on a mission to make mealtimes a little less overwhelming.

The programme celebrates the small everyday wonders of putting together a meal, and the satisfaction in doing something as simple as chopping up an onion or breaking open a pomegranate.

Nigella provides ideas you can stretch and revise, depending on what you have in.

She also caters to meat eaters and vegans alike, shares how to reuse bits of one recipe with another later on in the week, and suggests recipes fit for a banquet.

And it's all done in Nigella's inimitable style as she reveals the diverse locations where she finds inspirations for her recipes.

The Guardian has described her as "Lady Bountiful, a sensualist celebrator of appetite".

She has also been labelled the "Queen of food porn".

Nevertheless, Nigella is first and foremost a food writer and author - and there is a lot more to her programmes than that infamous "deep pleasure" innuendo and knowing glances to the camera.

In last week's opening episode (available on the BBC iPlayer), she provided her own personal take on the bhorta, an Indian dish of fried and mashed vegetables, as well as spicy lamb shanks with noodles, and a rich and gooey chocolate tahini pudding.

Now, for the second instalment, Nigella focuses on something that has been on the rise during lockdown - homemade bread.

She starts with her recipe for a gorgeously fluffy white loaf that requires minimum effort, before moving on to a real crowd pleaser: a fried-chicken sandwich garnished with some of her favourite condiments, including pickles and kimchi.

Nigella then shares two recipes that can be made in advance.

First, there's a cheesecake ice cream which is popped into the freezer for later.

Then, there's her fear-free fish stew, which starts with a fragrant tomato base full of the warming flavours of mace, cinnamon and nutmeg.

To finish her meal, the host makes a simple yet daring dish of cherry flambe using frozen cherries and kirsch, which she serves up with the now frozen cheesecake ice cream.

Finally, in the bright morning sunlight, Nigella uses up the final slices of her soft white loaf to make rum-spiked French toast.

To date, she has already sold more than three million cookery books to date.

And, as there is also an hour-long Christmas special next month, you wouldn't bet against Nigella's new publication selling by the shedload in the run-up to big day.

Talk about perfect timing.

The Great Plague: Outbreak (Channel 5, 9pm Tuesday)

Shops, bars and restaurants closed. Travel banned. Residents on lockdown.

Britain 355 years ago was not so dissimilar to today.

However, as medic Xand van Tulleken, archaeologist Raksha Dave and journalist John Sergeant explain over the next three evenings, having to queue in the supermarket for a pack of toilet roll or bag of pasta is nothing compared to the hardships faced by the public the last time the country faced a catastrophic epidemic.

In the sweltering summer of 1665, the bubonic plague, a disease with no cure, came to London.

At its peak in September that year, it killed 100,000 in London (25 per cent of the city's population), and a further 100,000 in the rest of the country.

However, these figures are almost certainly an underestimate -many victims were simply not recorded.

As Xand, Raksha and John trace its tragic and rapid spread, week by week, they discover some extraordinary parallels between the 17th-century epidemic and the current pandemic, including how a form of 'lockdown' was used during the Great Plague, how cleaning methods in the 1660s may have been as effective as modern antibacterial sprays, and what Londoners used centuries before PPE was invented.

In tonight's opening episode, the trio trace the epidemic back to its source in the parish of St Giles in the Fields, now at the heart of London's theatreland.

Xand tracks the disease as it took hold in the slum areas of the capital in the spring of 1665.

Meanwhile, Raksha heads to the top-secret labs at Porton Down where she sees the deadly bacteria responsible for the Great Plague, yersinia pestis.

She also travels to Marseille to investigate astonishing new research that overturns the long-held belief that rats and their fleas were responsible for spreading the Great Plague.

Finally, John reveals the symptoms of bubonic plague, and learns that the disease gets its name from the swollen lumps or 'buboes' that were its most obvious indicator.

He also explores the impoverished living conditions of the time and discovers how these helped to spread the plague.

In tomorrow's second edition, Xand heads to St Bartholomew's Hospital where he discovers that while many doctors fled the outbreak, nursing staff stayed behind, risking their lives to help the sick.

He also finds historical echoes of the social-distancing methods used to control Covid-19 in the emergency orders issued by the Lord Mayor of London.

In 1665, infected families were 'shut-up' in their homes and their doors marked with red crosses.

In shops, coins were placed in vinegar to avoid physical contact.

Raksha discovers that the hideous beaked 'plague doctor' outfit was an effective form of 17th-century PPE but reveals that there is actually no evidence it was ever worn in the UK.

Finally, in Thursday's third instalment, Xand visits diarist Samuel Pepys' parish church and discovers the sad tale of the Poole family who lost all five of their children within 11 days.

He also heads to Eyam in Derbyshire, revealing the heroic story of self-sacrifice that saw 700 villagers lock themselves in to stop the disease spreading to surrounding towns.

Raksha trials 17th-century disinfection methods and shows that whitewash can be as effective against bacteria as modern anti- bacterial cleaners.

After watching these programmes, some viewers may wonder if we can learn a few things from the people of 1665 when tackling our current pandemic.

But bearing in mind the 17th-century plague didn't really end until the Great Fire of London, we should take any historical lessons with a pinch of salt.

The Repair Shop (BBC One, 8pm Wednesday)

For many of us, these are dark times. Thankfully the BBC has a programme that never fails to bring a little light to our lives.

The Repair Shop made its debut on our screens in an inauspicious fashion and without fanfare on BBC Two on March 27, 2017. It quickly built a cult following; viewers were wowed not only by the amazing efforts of a group of dedicated craftspeople to breathe new life into dilapidated family heirlooms, but also by the stories behind the items and the people who owned them.

After three increasingly successful series, it was decided the show deserved a slot on BBC One where it's been ever since, airing in both a daytime and primetime slot to great acclaim.

Filmed at the Weald and Downland Living Museum in West Sussex, the heirlooms are found mostly via social media and the owners are not charged for the restoration work carried out on them.

The show has made a star of some of its experts: host and 'foreman' Jay Blades also fronts episodes of upcycling show Money for Nothing and has made appearances on the likes of Would I Lie to You?, Celebrity MasterChef and Richard Osman's House of Games, while furniture restorer Will Kirk recently landed a regular gig on BBC One's Morning Live.

But most viewers would probably tell you that as talented as all the show's experts are, there's one who stands head and shoulders above the rest - Steve Fletcher. A horologist by trade (he learnt his skills alongside his father and grandfather, who were both clockmakers), he can seemingly turn his hand to anything mechanical - and even impressed viewers by showing off his skills as a saxophonist in the famous Repair Shop barn after one arrived for renovation.

But repairing timepieces wasn't Fletcher's original vocation: "I was always into nature and after watching All Creatures Great and Small on TV decided I would be a vet, so I took all the subjects at school to enable me to do this.

"My teachers should have told me that I wasn't intellectual enough to be able to do the studying, so after not knowing what I would do decided that I would go into the family trade."

He adds: "I now run a clock and watch repair business in Witney where we have seven clockmakers including my son, two watchmakers and three admin assistants, including one of my daughters who is also leaning about the mechanics of watches.

"My whole life as far back as I can remember I have pulled apart mechanical things to repair them and to see how they work so when I get something come into the Repair Shop that I haven't seen before I am in my element!"

Steve's sister, leather-worker Suzie, is also part of the team, so between them they have produced many memorable - and often tear-jerking - moments, which they and the rest of the experts hope to continuing doing for years to come.

"We all get on so well and have such fun working with each other," smiles Fletcher. "The best part of being on the Repair Shop is the reaction of people when they see their transformed item, from excitement to true deep emotion."

Make sure you have hankies at the ready for the latest edition - it's bound to inspire a tear or two.

Jo Brand's Kitten Rescue (C5, 7pmThursday)

Jo Brand doesn't suffer fools, and her deadpan wit - which made her name - has terrified wary critics in the past.

Despite all the work she's done in the years since, her early image as a black-clad rebel has stuck with some people, and a result, she probably isn't at the top of many folks' list of fluffy, soft-hearted celebrities.

However, those who work with her regard Brand as one of the warmest, kindest people they know.

In fact, while speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, she bemoaned how nasty she felt society had become in recent years, blaming the influence of reality TV shows.

"I think younger people are nasty to each other and I think a lot of it is under the cover of anonymity," she claimed at the time. "So you can be as nasty to someone as you like and I also think it is led by that sort of behaviour being displayed on reality shows, for example, and people almost modelling it.

"On Big Brother, for example, everyone knows it makes better telly to be nasty than it does to make everyone a cup of tea and say a poem to them. I just think it has sort have been made acceptable in a way to be nasty."

In recent years Brand has gained a new following thanks to The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice, in which she and her guests chat about what happened in the most recent episode before speaking to the latest person to leave the tent.

She was reportedly in the running to take over from Sandi Toksvig on the main show - and what could be cuddlier than that?

She's also revealed her softer side as the presenter of this series, which she claims is perfect (or should that be 'purrfect'?) for her because she's a bona fide cat-lover who once shared her home with five members of the species.

These days that's down to a more manageable number, although Brand has admitted to almost taking some of the moggies home after filming... "It's very tempting," she grins.

Here, cameras follow her to RSPCA Harmsworth in Holloway, North London, which was founded using a bequest from Sir Harold Harmsworth in 1968. It's not the first TV series to be filmed there - the BBC's Animal Hospital, which ran for 10 years, was also based at the site.

Each episode follows its dedicated staff's efforts to provide the best care possible for felines in trouble, as well as the RSPCA inspectors on the frontline.

The opening edition begins in dramatic fashion as more than 20 firefighters face a race against time to save tiny kitten Ezri, who has been stuck in a storm drain for 20 hours and is unlikely to survive much longer if the latest attempt to rescue him fails.

There's also a chance to hear about one of the most unusual cases dealt with by inspector Paul, who is called to an emergency involving a cat tied to a fence with a chain.

Brand herself mucks in by helping the nurses with Marta, a puss who somehow survived falling four floors from a balcony, before becoming a surrogate mum to three tiny furry felines. Bless!

Friday 20/11/20

Richard Osman's House of Games Night (BBC1, 8.30pm)

Rachael Popow

For someone who didn't set out to be a gameshow host, Richard Osman has proved to be very good at it.

He started his TV career behind the scenes, becoming an executive at a production company, which led to him working on shows ranging from 8 Out of 10 Cats to Deal or No Deal.

It was in his capacity as a producer that he first pitched the quiz show Pointless to the BBC, and to demonstrate how the format would work, he took the role of the presenter's assistant. The Beeb not only liked the show, they also took a shine to Osman and offered him the job of co-host.

Osman has since written: "I pretended to consider the offer for nearly two to three seconds, but inside I couldn't have been more excited."

As presenter Alexander Armstrong's 'Pointless friend', he went on to see the show go from strength to strength following its launch in 2009. He was offered more jobs in front of the camera, including hosting the quiz Two Tribes, notched up appearances on numerous panel shows, and even won Heat magazine's Weird Crush award.

Then in 2017, there came proof that he'd really made it - he landed a show with his own name in the title, Richard Osman's House of Games. If it had flopped, that could have been something of a millstone, but luckily it proved to be a big hit with BBC2 viewers on tea-time week nights and even enjoyed something of a ratings boost during lockdown.

So, no wonder the BBC decided that a primetime move to BBC1 was in order, with the slightly tweaked title of Richard Osman's House of Games Night.

For newcomers, the format of the BBC2 version sees Osman challenging celebs to take part in a variety of general knowledge-based challenges (which viewers can play along with at home, which might be why it proved to be a lockdown favourite). Each episode has an individual winner, but the stars are given points which accumulate across the week, until an overall champion is declared.

The new version will have a similar format - the same stars will play across five episodes, hoping to win a coveted House of Games trophy, but it won't quite be business as usual.

Osman says: "I'm very much looking forward to bringing the show to primetime on BBC1. We've got some great celebrity guests lined up, and on top of our regular games we've also got a few new surprises in store."

The contestants are comedians Roisin Conaty, Jason Manford and Jennifer Saunders as well as footballer-turned-pundit Jermaine Jenas.

They'll be joined by a new house band and some special guests as they battle it out - and unlike on the BBC2 version, they might even get a chance to take a sneak peek at other rooms within the House.

If that wasn't exciting enough, for tonight's winner, there are some spectacular prizes on offer, from the much-coveted House of Games suitcase to the brand new House of Games eggcups. Clearly, the budget has gone up with the move to BBC1...