What to watch on TV: New Year’s Day 2018

From McMafia to Bake Off to Mrs Brown's Boys, here's your TV guide for 1st January

James Norton (BBCPictures,mh)

Time to catch the last of the Christmas TV magic, and the start of upcoming series McMafia.


Blue Planet II: Oceans of Wonder 3.30pm BBC1

It’s a show with viewing figures to rival Strictly Come Dancing and – while Blue Planet may now be over – this particular episode compiles highlights from the landmark series. With astounding footage of marine life and David Attenborough’s dulcet tones, it really is the perfect hangover viewing for New Year’s Day.

A turtle in Blue Planet 2

Grandpa’s Great Escape 6.55pm Channel 5

The dramatisation of David Walliams’s book presents viewers with a heart-warming grandfather-grandson relationship. Grandpa, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, ends up in an old people’s home run by evil Miss Dandy (Jennifer Saunders) who rules the roost. The confused ex-Spitfire pilot’s twelve-year-old grandson Jack is the only one who really understands him, so it’s up to him to get Grandpa out of there, and the duo embark on a thrilling adventure.

Grandpa's Great Escape, BBC Pictures, SL

The Great Festive Bake Off 7.40pm C4

The Great Festive Bake Off is here with a second helping, and this time it’s Benjamina Ebuehi, Rav Bansal, Sandy Docherty and Rob Billington heading into a very Christmassy Bake Off tent to complete some seasonal baking tasks.

The Great Festive Bake Off: Sandy Docherty (C4, TL)

Sue Perkins and the Chimp Sanctuary 9.00pm BBC2

Sue Perkins heads to America to visit Chimp Haven, a Louisiana sanctuary for chimpanzees who have spent their whole lives in research laboratories after being purposefully infected with diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. After gaining an insight into the living conditions in a lab where one of the chimps lived, Sue interrogates the National Institutes of Health on how the American government can defend this practice and whether the progress in human health has justified the animals’ suffering.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 28/11/2017 - Programme Name: Sue Perkins and the Chimp Sanctuary - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: with chimpanzees, Chimp Haven.Chimp Haven **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 28TH NOVEMBER 2017** Sue Perkins - (C) Minnow Films - Photographer: Francis Longhurst

McMafia 9.00pm BBC1

The hotly anticipated new thriller inspired by non-fiction book McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime by Misha Glenny kicks off on New Year’s Day. Happy Valley star James Norton plays the series lead, a city high flyer with Russian parents linked to the Mafia. When Alex faces rumours that his firm has broken sanctions, his family’s shady past comes back to bite him.


Mrs Brown’s Boys 10.00pm BBC1

There’s a lot going on in this New Year’s Day episode. Cathy is looking for love and Bono wants to go to his first school disco, while all of the characters are on the look out for a local criminal. There’s lots of slapstick, lots of gags, and lots of superhero costumes.

Mrs Brown's Boys