TV highlights of the week

Host John Bishop with giant hands at this year's Royal Variety Performance 2013.

Host John Bishop with giant hands at this year's Royal Variety Performance 2013.

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Our pick of the best TV each day

THURSDAY: Charley Boorman’s USA Adventure, Channel 5, 8pm

The globetrotter has seen more sights than he’s probably had hot dinners, and while we’d be envious of him if we thought too hard about it, we at least get to share his journey every step of the way. And though we’ve reached the penultimate episode, there’s no sign of adrenaline junkie Charley slowing down anytime soon. He’s venturing into Georgia’s Walker County, an area well-known to pot-holers thanks to its deep, underground caverns

FRIDAY: Robbie Williams One Night at the Palladium, BBC One, 8pm

Many Robbie Williams fans have their favourite standout gig, whether as part of the band that made him, Take That, or as a solo artist. It won over a new wave of fans who would normally have given him a wide berth, and for many remains Robbie’s finest hour.

On November 8 this year, there was a sense that things had come full circle as he performed at the London Palladium.

SATURDAY: Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Mine, Channel 4, 7.15pm

Often dubbed the “greatest living scientist”, Stephen Hawking is known for being a renowned theoretical physicist whose discoveries about relativity, quantum mechanics and black holes have changed the way science views these subjects. But it wasn’t always so, as Stephen Finnigan’s feature-length documentary shows. Look out for contributions from everyone from Hawking’s family and colleagues, to Jim Carrey.

SUNDAY: I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! ITV, 9pm

When series 13 kicked off on November 17, we welcomed snooker veteran Steve Davis, Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington, The Wright Stuff’s Matthew Wright, EastEnder Laila Morse and Emmerdale’s Lucy Pargeter. Now, as many of the above have been voted out, the question is: who will follow in the footsteps of 2012 winner Charlie Brooks and clinch this year’s title? Hosts Ant and Dec guide us through the final few hours before revealing all.

MONDAY: Royal Variety Performance 2013 ITV, 7.30pm

If variety happens to be the spice of your life, then this most spectacular of extravaganzas is likely to pep up a cold Monday night’s viewing no end with two and a half hours of the stuff of which showbiz legends are made. John Bishop hosts the events, while Chas & Dave, Mary J Blige, Gary Barlow, Jimmy Carr and the cast of various West End shows appear. Don’t forget to look out for Attraction who won their slot by winning Britain’s Got Talent.

TUESDAY: The Great Christmas Toy Giveaway, Channel 5, 7pm

While we appreciate the festive season’s many charms, it hardly comes cheap - especially where kids are involved. So imagine how welcome the star prize of this spectacular show would be: it’s a whopping £10,000-worth of toys, delivered in time for the big day. It may not actually be anything to do with Mr Claus, but it is fronted by Myleene Klass, Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, who bring a touch of glam to proceedings.

WEDNESDAY: Lucan ITV, 9pm

It’s one of the most mysterious vanishing acts in modern British history, and a crime that has fascinated the public for nearly 40 years. So it’s no wonder ITV was able to assemble such an impressive cast, including Rory Kinnear, Christopher Eccleston and Michael Gambon, for this two-part drama about the events leading up to the disappearance of Lord Lucan. Written by Jeff Pope, it looks at Lucan’s exploits with the infamous Clermont Set as well as at the strains on his marriage.