TUNE INTO A MEGA-FUNDRAISER HERE: BBC Big Night In
For the first time in either of their histories, Children In Need and Comic Relief are joining forces to deliver a very special night of television, hosted by Lenny Henry and Matt Baker. Bringing the nation an evening of unforgettable entertainment, the night aims to raise money for and pay tribute to those on the frontline fighting Covid-19, as well as all the unsung heroes supporting their local communities. Expect treats from comedy legends Peter Kay and Catherine Tate and music from Take That star Gary Barlow, while the stars of Strictly Come Dancing lead the way in encouraging viewers to have a good dance round the house. Finally, the show will broadcast some of the greatest comedy sketches of all time, as voted for by the British public.
Thursday 23rd April, 7pm, BBC1
SUPPORT REFUGEES IN CRISIS HERE: Choose Love
If you think you’re struggling with lockdown, imagine not having a safe place to call home. As the global pandemic spreads, refugees have been forced to face overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, often with limited access to running water. Help Refugees is currently raising funds for prevention measures and medical support for these communities, and you can show your support by heading to the online Choose Love shop. By buying hygiene and healthcare items such as a basic washbags and medical supplies, shoppers can support those refugees most at risk. With items starting from just £15, you can help reduce the chance of the virus spreading in some of the most dire situations.
SUPPORT LOCAL FARMERS HERE: Hello Groceries
For Londoners looking to support local country farmers, Hello Groceries can deliver a basket brimming with fresh fruit and vegetables straight to your door within two to four working days. There are two options available: regular for singles, couples or small families for £39.90 or large for bigger families priced at £59.90. Expect an assortment of at least 18 different varieties including raspberries, blueberries or strawberries; potatoes, new potatoes and onions; avocados, aubergine, garlic or chillis; oranges, limes or lemons, tangerines or satsumas. There’s also free delivery for addresses in London, with zero-contact drop-off to ensure all health and safety precautions are properly adhered to.
CATCH UP ON THIS OVERNIGHT HIT HERE: Quiz
Having premiered earlier this month on ITV, the story of the infamous ‘coughing major’ on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is the show everyone is talking about. Michael Sheen’s (Frost/Nixon) turn as the competition’s host and presenter Chris Tarrant is uncanny, while Matthew Macfayden (Spooks, Pride & Prejudice) and Sian Clifford (Fleabag) star as Major Charles Ingram and his wife Diana. The Wiltshire couple's obsession with the game show almost two decades ago led to them making multiple attempts to appear until, in September 2001, Major Ingram managed to scoop the life-changing million-pound prize. Shortly after, he was convicted of cheating with the help of his wife and another accomplice coughing in the audience to signal the correct answers to difficult questions. But were they really guilty?
FIND SOME OFFLINE INSPIRATION HERE: Time Well Spent
This new online hub from Islington Square includes video workshops, interviews and ideas for self-care. The three main categories – At Home With, Kids' Time and Workshops – span craft, wellbeing and living ideas, including expert advice on wine and food pairings from Islington’s Humble Grape wine bar; recipe inspiration from all-day dining spot Megan’s; how to make the perfect cup of coffee with London Grade Coffee; and recipes, tips and cookery tricks from Borough Kitchen. Future workshops include printmaking with home-made stamps with illustrator Laurie Avon; candle making and ‘good night rituals’ with Earl of East; and home workouts with Third Space. Finally, families looking to entertain their children at home will find an abundance of different ideas, including videos on how to host a virtual birthday party and stage your own puppet show with the Little Angel Theatre. In return for free tips and inspiration, participants can make voluntary donations to Mind Islington, the borough’s leading independent mental health organisation.
BRUSH UP ON YOUR BAKING SKILLS HERE: Laura Jackson x Lily Vanilli Cook-Along
If there’s one person who knows a thing or two about putting together the perfect celebration, it’s fashionable foodie and dinner party enthusiast Laura Jackson. After recognising that lots of people will be celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions very differently over the next few weeks, Laura is teaming up with baker Lily Vanilli for a celebration cake cook-along on Instagram this Saturday. While Lily Vanilli Bakery cake kits are available for delivery in London, a full ingredients list is available on Laura’s Instagram account for those living outside the capital. We can’t wait.
Friday 25th April, 11am
GET LOST IN A WORLD OF STYLE HERE: Clothes...and others things that matter by Alexandra Shulman
Long awaited, this new memoir from the legendary editor of British Vogue is finally out today. Read on as Alexandra Shulman delves into her own life to look at the emotions, ambitions, expectations and meanings behind the way we dress. From the bra to the bikini, the trench coat to trainers, the slip dress to the suit, she explores how these garments shape women's lives and how our wardrobes intersect with the world outside. Equal parts funny, refreshingly self-deprecating and moving, it's the perfect self-isolation read.
‘GO’ TO THE THEATRE HERE: Twelfth Night
A ship is wrecked on the rocks: Viola is washed ashore, but her twin brother Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, she steps out to explore a new land. This week’s live broadcast from London’s National Theatre is Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Just don’t expect the usual stuffy production – this version of the whirlwind comedy of mistaken identity stars Tamsin Greig (Green Wing) as a transformed Malvolia, a role for which she won critical acclaim during the show’s original run a couple of years ago. Just tune in to the theatre’s YouTube channel on Thursday evening to bag a front-row seat to one of its most memorable productions.
Thursday 23rd April, 7pm
EXPERIENCE THE THRILL OF LIVE MUSIC HERE: The Action Station
The team behind New Generation Festival, an Italian music and opera festival with a focus on championing young musical talent, has announced the launch of The Action Station. Bringing awe-inspiring performers to screens all around the world, The Action Station not only aims to boost morale through wonderful music, it’s also hoping to support key charities in the fight against Covid-19. Consisting of a specially recorded daily concert, followed by a live afternoon chat (and sometimes another performance) with the artist to talk about their music and experiences, everything will be broadcast live via Instagram and will feature a fabulous flurry of opera singers, classical musicians, jazz cats, DJs, drag queens and more. In exchange, viewers can consider a voluntary donation to the Italian Red Cross here.
BINGE WATCH THIS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SERIES HERE: Normal People
The long wait for the highly anticipated television adaptation of Sally Rooney’s bestselling Normal People is finally over. On Sunday night, Connell and Marianne’s complicated romance will finally be brought to the small screen via the BBC’s iPlayer channel BBC Three. While the 12-episode box set will land as a whole from Sunday, those wanting to space it out can watch it in double-bill episodes at 9pm every Monday from 27th April. Set in the Republic of Ireland, Normal People has a predominantly Irish cast, with Marianne played as Daisy Edgar-Jones (Cold Feet, Silent Witness). Meanwhile, newcomer Paul Mescal, who is best-known for his theatre work, will play the self-assured Connell. For those who’ve yet to read the book, the plot follows both characters as they embark on an on-again/off-again romance through school, university and into early adulthood.
Available from Sunday 26th April
GET CRAFTY HERE: Toast Virtual Workshops
High street fashion brand Toast has launched 'Time To Make', a series of creative guides for its community to engage with. From how to sew on a button and hem a pair of trousers to creating a sourdough starter and making a bee hotel, all guides are available on the brand’s Instagram account and website. This weekend, tune into knitwear darning with repair specialist Emily Settle or mindful creative writing with Elaine Kingett, as she encourages viewers to take up a notebook and pen to record this extraordinary time in our lives. For something more soothing, check out the brand’s newly launched 'Slow Sound' programme, a selection of soundscapes that focus on the wellbeing benefits of music in collaboration with two highly skilled artists, Leon Jean-Marie and Christin Rauter.
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