All Eyes on Itv Choice

Cape Times (South Africa), April 30, 2015 | Go to article overview

All Eyes on Itv Choice


A NEW channel on DStv is always good news, especially when it's ITV Choice, jam-packed with the best of British comedy, drama, and reality shows - some airing here within two or three days of their UK premieres - which launches next Tuesday.

Fans of Brit soapies will be able to watch Coronation Street, Mondays to Fridays at 7.15pm. One of the longest-running soaps in the world, Corrie was conceived in 1960 by scriptwriter Tony Warren and the initial proposal was rejected. Producer Harry Elton convinced Grenada Television to give it a 13-episode run and within six months it was the most-watched show on British telly. Emmerdale (weekdays at 6.20pm, formerly known as Emmerdale Farm), was conceived in 1972, and along with Coronation Street, will be seen here two days after UK broadcast.

There are plenty of fun reality shows and competitions to keep viewers entertained, and drama starring many of the top names from the country's acting world. Below are just some of the highlights at launch phase. ITV Choice will be exclusively available to DStv Premium customers on DStv channel 123, throughout Africa.

Coach Trip Tuesday, 7.40pm

A normal road trip can make or break any relationship or friendship. Criticism of driving or map reading, fiddling with the CD player or air conditioner, too many or too few pit stops... Imagine what it must be like to be put on a bus with seven pairs of strangers, all from different backgrounds, for six weeks on a whirlwind tour of famous sights and holiday destinations? Sounds like a nightmare, but one we get to sit back to watch and laugh at, as during the trip passengers get kicked off the bus. I've put someone out my car before and left him at the side of the road because he was annoying me, and he didn't even get the benefit of a voting process. Each evening the travellers get together to air their grievances face-to-face, and choose who goes and who stays.

Vera Tuesday at 9pm

A genre the Brits simply cannot get enough of is the police drama. We already have it in abundance on BBC, and we're going to get more of it on ITV. This one stars the wonderful Oscar nominated Brenda Blethyn OBE (Pride and Prejudice; Little Voice) as DCI Vera Stanhope and is based on the bestselling Inspector Stanhope books by award winning crime writer Ann Cleeves. We pick it up in season four as Vera and her team investigate the mysterious death of a pensioner on a busy English train at the height of rush hour. Led to a quiet street in a rundown seaside town, they discover a tight knit community living in the shadow of a long-held, explosive secret.

Home Fires Wednesday at 9pm

We'll be seeing this within three days of its UK premiere. Home Fires is set in a small Cheshire village, and chronicles the lives of the members of Great Paxford's Women's Institute during World War II. From the ITV website: "The war will separate these women from husbands, fathers, sons and brothers for years at a time, for some, permanently. These women find themselves under increasing and extraordinary pressures in a rapidly fragmenting world. By keeping the British countryside alive and productive, Great Paxford's WI offers women of all classes and backgrounds a place where they set aside their domestic roles to come together, find strength and comfort in each other and, during the dark days of 1939-1945, 'do their bit'. Inspired by the non-fiction book Jambusters written by Julie Summers, Home Fires stars acclaimed British actresses Francesca Annis (Reckless; Wives and Daughters) and Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey; Bond film series)." Summers said she was "delighted" to get an Alfred Hitchcock style role in the drama. "I am thrilled to be appearing in a cameo role as a WI county organiser. …

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