Top UK shows on DStv


Munashe Rungano

Some of the world’s best television entertainment is produced in Britain, with a worldwide fan base for many of the films, series, documentaries and other content sourced there.

Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe, said that a range of existing and new programmes on the DStv platform highlighted the variety and quality of the British television industry’s output.

“Channels like BBC First, BBC Prime and BBC Lifestyle focus primarily on this content, but there are also British programmes on other channels and we know these are generally well received,” she said.

BBC First is now featuring a remade version of the popular detective series Van Der Valk, while a new season of Riviera is also running on the same channel. In this new season, Georgina is focused on trying to get away with murder as she fights to retain power within the Clios household and in her position at the top of the art world.

McDonald and Dodds is a new drama series on BBC Brit that brings together two characteristically different detectives working together to crack two intriguing cases. Jason Watkins stars as the unassuming Bath detective DS Dodds alongside Tala Gouveia (Cold Feet) who plays the ambitious DCI McDonald, a confident police professional who has transferred from the mean streets of South London.

Together the pair examine a greed-fuelled murder in the upper echelons of Bath society, before investigating the unexplained death in a private hospital in episode two. McDonald and Dodds is created and written by DCI Banks’ lead writer Robert Murphy and features a host of guest stars including Robert Lindsay and Joanna Scanlan

 In BBC First’s series called Doctor, the focus falls on the lives of staff at a Birmingham medical practice, including their often dramatic involvements with their patients. After falling through the ceiling, an injured Valerie milks the attention. Jimmi calls in the Rat Catchers to catch the pesky rodent. Mrs Tembe gets annoyed when JJ gets taken in by Rob over a string of robberies.

In Agatha Raisin on BBC First, Agatha retires early to a picturesque village and soon finds a second career as an amateur detective investigating mischief, mayhem, and murder in her town. In BBC Brit’s Semi-Detached in August and September, comedian Lee Mack stars in this family sitcom about a divorced couple, each living on the same street.

Playing out in real time, this madcap comedy is packed with exquisitely timed mayhem. With each episode, a new crisis kicks off in Stuart’s life. Stuart hasn’t exactly made it easy for himself. His ex-wife lives across the street, his alcohol-swilling dad lives in the bedroom next door and his new girlfriend and daughter can be somewhat dramatic.

We Hunt runs on BBC Brit from August, a gritty cat-and-mouse thriller investigating the dangerous power of desire, combining stunning visuals with moral depth. When Freddy, a troubled young woman, is nearly assaulted outside a nightclub, the toilet attendant steps in to help.

Baba, a former child soldier, acts with swift, unstoppable brutality. She’s entranced. The pair form an instant intoxicating connection. Something dark within both of them quickly emerges.

Soon they set about exacting revenge on people from Freddy’s past. Baba’s skill for violence and Freddy’s tinge of psychopathy prove a lethal combination. But they’re not the only ones on the hunt. Can dysfunctional detectives DI Mendy and DS Franks set aside their opposing views long enough to catch the deadly duo?

Years and Years is a BBC/HBO production now running as a six-part series following the Manchester-based Lyons family: Daniel is to marry Ralph, Stephen and Celeste worry about their kids, Rosie is looking for a new partner, and Edith is engaged in one humanitarian cause after another.

Presiding over them all is Gran, the imperious Muriel. All their lives converge on one crucial night in 2019, and the story accelerates into the future, following the lives and loves of the Lyons over the next 15 years as Britain goes through political, economic and technological advances. It stars Emma Thompson, Rory Kinnear, Russell Tovey, Jessica Hynes

Game shows, reality series, lifestyle programmes and talk shows are also popular British fare. Among this content is a show with a South African touch: Come Dine With Me South Africa, which runs with series five on BBC Lifestyle from  July 1 to August 5. Following the success of series four, BBC Brit’s critically-acclaimed hit follows the drama as in each episode four strangers are wined, dined and entertained in each other’s homes in a bid to win a R10 000 cash prize.

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show is on  BBC Brit  from a new home, the world-famous London Palladium. Presented in front of a live audience McIntyre brings his own comedy to the stage, as well as introducing celebrity guests, musicians and other comedians to perform alongside him.

Perennial favourite Dragon’s Den runs on BBC Brit from July 8 to August 26. Sara Davies is a new addition to the panel on the business ideas contest, joining returning dragons Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman and Tej Lavlani in putting more would-be entrepreneurs’ ideas to rest.

Mister Winner has  first series on BBC Brit from July 10, as a sparkling new comedy following the exploits of the ironically-named Leslie Winner, a well-meaning optimist who frequently finds himself in the midst of chaos through a combination of silly decisions and tough luck.

 Looking further ahead, series 14 of the hugely popular Britain’s Got Talent will run on M-Net channel 102 from August 27.

 “There’s a rich store of entertainment from Britain, and we are pleased DStv is able to platform some of the best of it now and in coming months and years,” said Dziva.

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