What to watch on TV this Bank Holiday weekend

You'll never miss a thing with our indispensable guide to telly...


FA Cup Final


5.15pm Saturday, BBC1

Arsenal v Chelsea (Kick-off 5.30pm). Gary Lineker presents coverage of the showpiece match at Wembley Stadium, as the London rivals meet for the chance to lift the famous trophy and succeed last season’s winners Manchester United. Victory for the Blues would cap off a tremendous first season for Italian manager Antonio Conte, having already clinched the Premier League title, while this game may very well turn out to be Gunners boss Arsene Wenger’s swansong, and the Frenchman will become the most successful manager in FA Cup history with a seventh win.

These sides have not played each other in this competition since the 2009 semi-final, when goals from Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba cancelled out Theo Walcott’s early strike to set up a final with Everton, which Chelsea would go on to win by the same 2-1 scoreline. This fixture has only ever taken place in the final once before, when Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg sealed a 2-0 victory for the Gunners in 2002. That was the first part of a domestic double, with Premier League glory sealed four days later following a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford. Analysis comes from Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and Frank Lampard, with commentary by Guy Mowbray and Danny Murphy. Subsequent programmes are subject to change.

Doctor Who

7.45pm Saturday, BBC1

While poor Bill’s love life is scuppered by another unlikely VIP visit — this time the UN Secretary General! – a blind and brooding Doctor is having a While My Guitar Gently Weeps moment in the Tardis. But there’s no time for musings on mortality: a pyramid has suddenly appeared in the centre of a potential warzone involving the Chinese, Russians and Americans. So what’s it doing there? 

Well, this doomsday scenario with a hint of Stargate and even the odd bit of Bond reacquaints us with the monastic monstrosities who nearly excommunicated our heroes. It’s a tense, zippy tale, which, with its simmering international relations, feels very “now”. And barring the odd cartoonish implausibility, it confirms how delightfully Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie (Bill) and Matt Lucas (Nardole) work as a team… even if it does make you shout at the screen at the Doctor’s maddening behaviour. 

The Handmaid’s Tale

9pm Sunday, Channel 4

Elisabeth Moss is mesmerising in this finely controlled adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. She plays a young mother whom we first meet as she is chased by armed police through woods and brutally parted from her daughter. 

We later learn they were fleeing a regime that has turned America into a puritan dystopia. Moss’s character is given a new name – Offred – and because there has been “a plague of infertility”, she is assigned to a military commander (Joseph Fiennes) to bear him children, via a sex ritual known as the Ceremony.

In this and other scenes, the series renders its imagined future in chilling detail, from ritual punishments to the religious sayings that characters swap in conversation (“Under His eye”, “Blessed be the fruit” and so on).

It’s all chokingly bleak: “I need to scream, I need to grab the nearest machine gun,” Moss says in internal monologue, but her face remains a mask.

Paul Hollywood’s Big Continental Road Trip

9pm Sunday, BBC2

The grin never leaves Paul Hollywood’s face in this love letter to Italian car design. It’s the first of a new not-at-all-like-Top-Gear series where he explores a country’s culture via its cars. 

And the Great British Bake Off judge adores cars: watching this, you feel baking comes a poor second in his passions. Some presenters give the impression of revving up enthusiasm for the cameras but Hollywood’s glee here is real, there’s no mistaking. He looks at a Lamborghini or Maserati not just with love but with full-on, fuel-injected lust. 

Even when he drives a little Piaggeo Ape (a comedy three-wheeled scooter-van) around the streets of Verona, he has a blast. And the look on the face of the man from Pagani as Paul lets rip in the firm’s secret new model, is as priceless as the car itself.

Queer Britain


This humane, eye-opening series has shown Riyadh Khalaf to be a presenter whose own openness inspires the same in his interviewees. This week he tests that by entering controversial territory, looking at the LGBT community’s willingness to express racial preferences when dating.

The Spy Who Loved Me

4.15pm Sunday, ITV


“Nobody Does It Better” than the late, great Roger Moore in the first of the James Bond adventures to really go to town on the budget. It’s well-acted (with less reliance on slapstick humour than normal), smartly cast (metal-toothed henchman Jaws, played by Richard Kiel, makes his first appearance and Barbara Bach is an admirable match for Moore as the alluring Russian agent Anya Amasova) and lavishly directed by Lewis Gilbert. This exceptional spy escapade is far-fetched mayhem of the highest order, with a welcome accent on character realism rather than just spectacular sets.