Comedy, cakes and kids

03 May 2018

As if the promise of a bank holiday weekend, and possibly enough sunshine to merit cracking out that BBQ, wasn’t enough, Channel 4 also has a whole range of treats for you this coming week.

There’s nothing better than starting a long weekend with a smile, so to get you in the mood join the gloriously idiosyncratic Goodman family for their FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER. Returning to Channel 4 for a fifth hilarious season, the award-winning comedy sees bickering brothers Adam (Simon Bird) and Jonny (Tom Rosenthal) back at Mum and Dad’s house for their usual Friday night menu of chicken and wind-ups. In episode one, the boys are mortified when they find Mum (Tamsin Greig) and Dad (Paul Ritter) in a hot tub in the garden, sipping champagne. But the nightmare deepens when eccentric neighbour Jim (Mark Heap) asks the family to look after Wilson because his dog-phobic sister is coming to visit. The boys are sent out for a takeaway, only to spot Jim on a date, and when they tell Mum that she’s been duped into dog-sitting so Jim can romance his new lady friend, she is furious. Then when Jim and his date turn up back at the house – mysteriously soaking wet – the family dinner that follows is as hellish as the Goodman clan have ever endured. FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER returns to Channel 4 on Friday 4 May at 10pm.

And if one new comedy isn’t enough for you, then stay on Channel 4 for a brand new series, written by and starring Marc Wootton. In HIGH & DRY, paradise turns to hell at 10.30pm on Friday 4 May, when Air Intacta flight A0176 mysteriously crashes in the Indian Ocean. Survivor Douglas Jennings (Harry Peacock) is a cautious family man who now finds himself on a deserted, palm-fringed island with only sociopathic flight attendant Brett Sullivan (Wootton) for company. Indebted to Brett for saving his life but fearing for his own, the arrival of three further survivors gives Douglas hope. Straight-talking Harriet (Vicki Pepperdine), zombie-obsessed Arnab (Asim Chaudhry) and sheltered Christian Susan (Grace Rex) navigate one another's neuroses and endure the distorted fantasies of Brett. But while everyone else is desperate to get back to their friends, their families and their ordinary lives Brett has decided he's going to be 'King of the Island'. He is prepared to do anything to keep his subjects together, including sabotaging their escape attempts.

The one thing the survivors from flight A0176 are unlikely to find on their deserted island is cake, but we’ve got plenty of it on offer on Sunday 6 May. BAKE OFF: THE PROFESSIONALS makes its debut on Channel 4 at 8pm as six teams from top hotels, restaurants and small businesses battle it out for their place in the competition. Presented by former Bake Off contestant, and audience favourite, Liam Charles, alongside comedian Tom Allen, the first episode has the teams facing two tricky challenges set by judges Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin. First, the teams must finely craft two batches of uniform miniature classics in just three and a half hours. Then, for the showpiece challenge the teams have five hours to reinvent a classic dessert – the retro favourite, the Black Forest gateau. At the end of this round only one team with be left to bake another day.

What could be sweeter than all that cake? Only the return of the THE SECRET LIFE OF 5 YEAR OLDS. Starting on Tuesday 8 May at 8pm (and continuing the following Tuesday), this two-part special examines how children learn the difference between right and wrong. In the first episode a new class of children have to decide whether it's ever okay to cheat and what to do when one of the group makes a big confession. When the dressing-up box comes out, it's not long before Donald Trump makes an appearance in the nursery, but what do the children think of the most powerful man in the world? And when division and arguments break out in the playground, can any of the five-year-olds find a way to reunite the group? Consultant clinical psychologist Dr Elizabeth Kilbey and educational neuroscientist Professor Paul Howard-Jones watch the drama unfold and offer expert insight as the children learn lessons about moral choices and jellybeans.