Fresh from learning how to make the most of your bigblu broadband by turning your telly into a Smart TV or, if you’re not a dinosaur like me, just turning on your web-connected TV, I present to you the very best subscription-free content for the weekend (and week) ahead.
A Hard Day’s Night, BBC iPlayer, until Sept 21
The Beatles plus Victor Spinetti, Norman Rossington and Wilfrid Brambell – what else could you want after a long hard week at the office. The doyen of film critics Mark Kermode said of Richard Lester’s epochal pop movie that it “looks as sprightly and mischievous today as it did when the Beatles first conquered cinemas back in 1964…The result is part musical bonanza, part laugh-out-loud farce, part satirical social document.”
The King’s Speech, BBC iPlayer, until Sept 31
If you prefer a little more colour (and a little less black & white) for your weekend watching, you couldn’t go wrong with acting royalty, Colin Firth, playing real royalty. Kermode’s equally astute film critic colleague Peter Bradshaw described it as “a richly enjoyable, instantly absorbing true-life drama about the morganatic bromance between introverted stammerer King George VI and his exuberant Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.” And Rolling Stone called it “a crowning achievement powered by a dream cast” that “digs vibrant human drama out of the dry dust of history.”
Carry On…Don’t Lose Your Head, ITV Hub, until Sept 31
If vintage pop or classic drama is a little too high-brow and you really just want to giggle and guffaw your way through a film then prepare to be side-splittingly surprised by this Carry On instalment. Many consider this to be the true jewel of the series; Sid James is at his best and in the words of the Radio Times, “Kenneth Williams’s Camembert – the “big cheese” of the French Revolution – is as ripe as can be.”
Inside the Court of Appeal, ITV Hub, until Sept 22
Legal eagle Geoffrey Robertson believes that it is time to reconsider the ban on filming trials. The human rights QC argues that “there is a vast public misunderstanding of the criminal process and lack of appreciation of the role of judges and lawyers” and that is “one reason why this government has got away with slashing legal aid”. This recent ITV documentary had unprecedented access to all aspects of the appeals process and told the real devastating human stories at the heart of cases going through the Court of Appeal.
Shameless, series 1-11, 4oD
Now, if you want to go completely off the beaten telly tracks, then tune into the series that the Guardian called “a joyful celebration of free-spirited ne’er-do-wells whose every activity is a two-fingered salute to those who live plodding, respectable lives.” It made superstars of Maxine Peake, James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff and, like a fair few other Channel 4 gems, is available in its 11-series entirety – and all at the click of a couple of buttons.