See off those January blues with exciting new shows ...

09 January 2018

As Christmas fades into a distant memory, Channel 4 plans to lighten those grey days of January with a series of exciting new and returning programmes. First up, starting Wednesday 10 January at 9pm, is KIRI, fresh from the pen of BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne (National Treasure). Thorne returns to Channel 4 with this powerful and compelling new 4-part drama which examines the abduction of a young black girl, shortly before she’s due to be adopted by her white foster family, and the trail of lies, blame, guilt and notoriety that follows.

At the heart of the drama lies Miriam, played by BAFTA and RTS award-winner Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax), an experienced, no-nonsense social worker who loves and believes in her job, but has a maverick and instinctive approach to protecting the children in her care. When Miriam arranges for Kiri to have an unsupervised visit with her biological grandparents and the girl disappears the fingers of suspicion and blame from the police, the press, and even her colleagues, point firmly at Miriam. As the media spotlight around the story intensifies, Miriam, as well as both sets of families, are forced to ask the toughest questions, not just of themselves, but of each other. This gripping, heart-breaking drama also starts Lucian Msamati (Taboo, Luther) and Lia Williams (The Missing, The Crown) and continues on the three following Wednesdays.

If you’re looking for a place to escape the drama of real life then maybe George Clarke can help as he returns with a new series of GEORGE CLARKE’S AMAZING NEW SPACES. In this seventh series architect George and master craftsman Will Hardie travel around the UK visiting ingenious and eccentric builds created by pioneering small space designers. From abandoned sewage works and subterranean air raid shelters, to cockpits of commercial airplanes and cattle trucks, the series shows how a bit of vision and innovative design can transform even the most unusual space into a thing of beauty. George also travels to Japan, where innovation and groundbreaking design blend seamlessly to create breathtaking spaces like no other. And George and Will attempt the impossible: to build their own four-tonne toy tree house. The first episode (Thursday 11 January at 8pm) visits a canal boat conversion in Dudley, a cattle trailer in Yorkshire being turned into a luxury holiday camper and a dynamic, multi-coloured open plan space in Japan.

But if you’d rather be out in the open air then why not tune into the brand new series of WALKS WITH MY DOG, exclusive to More 4. Starting from Thursday 11 January at 9pm, this year even more celebrities take a stroll in the great British outdoors with their faithful hound. There's no better way to discover Britain's special landscape than going out on a walk with a four-legged friend and for this second series walks in Cornwall, Galloway, Norfolk and the Welsh mountains are explored. In the first episode, Caroline Quentin visits Cornwall, following the Helford estuary, including Frenchman's Creek, while Dom Joly is on Hadrian's Wall with his two black Labradors. Meanwhile former rugby captain Gareth Thomas explores the Brecon Beacons with his German pointer Boyo, which inevitably includes a steep climb or two.

And if all that fresh air has exhausted you, round off your week with a Friday night on the sofa as THE BIG FAT QUIZ OF EVERYTHING returns (Friday 12 January at 9pm). Yes, quizmaster Jimmy Carr is letting loose on not just the past year but, well... everything as he poses questions covering 100,000 years of human history, giving a unique Big Fat Quiz spin on history, music, film, TV and science from every epoch. Contestants Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Claudia Winkleman, Miranda Hart, Jonathan Ross and Nish Kumar join Jimmy to compete for the Big Fat Quiz crown. Plus there are cameos from Charles Dance, Jon Snow, the children of Mitchell Brook Primary School, and a host of celebrity question setters. Ever needed to know what was said on the first ever phone call? Or why 1997 was such a big year for chess? Or what, specifically, doesn't impress Shania Twain? Then make a Friday night date with The Big Fat Quiz.