The eight best shows of Easter 2024


by tv-choice |
Updated on

Easter TV 2024

Of course, it’s a religious holiday, but Easter is also the next-biggest fixture in the TV calendar after Christmas. So, with a few extra days to yourself to enjoy the telly, we’ve put together a list of the dozen best things to watch between Good Friday and next Friday. ‘Eggs’-pect (sorry!) to get busy with that series-link!


Renegade Nell
Renegade Nell

DRAMA – Renegade Nell, Disney+

It’s 1705 and Nell Jackson’s just returned to her family’s tavern in Tottenham after fighting in the war in Europe. But when she’s framed for a crime she didn’t commit, she turns to highway robbery to survive, while a little flying sprite called Billy Blind gives her supernatural fighting abilities…

‘She has been wrongly accused of murder and now lives life on the run while trying her best to protect her sisters,’ explains Louisa Harland, who plays her.

Created by Sally Wainwright, in the opening episode of the eight-part series Nell stands up to local landlord Lord Blancheford after his wayward son Thomas attacks her dad. However, Thomas has fallen under the spell of the Earl of Poynton, a member of the Queen’s privy council that practices dark magic and is desperate to inherit his father’s wealth. And when he shoots his dad, Nell’s blamed, as his widowed sister Sofia backs up his account…

Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales
Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales

DOCUMENTARY – Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales, BBC2, 9pm

It’s the sixth series of Pilgrimage, which sees celebrities from different faiths and beliefs take the journey of a lifetime.

This time around, presenter Somali Shah, wildlife broadcaster Michaela Strachan, former reality star Spencer Matthews, Friday Night Dinner’s Tom Rosenthal, comedian Eshaan Akbar, Amanda Lovett from The Traitors and TV personality Christine McGuinness tackle the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way.

For Christine, 35, who describes herself as spiritual but doesn’t follow a particular religion, the two-week trek was particularly challenging. She was diagnosed with autism in 2021 – which her three children with her ex, Paddy McGuinness, also have – so things like walking through a forest could overwhelm her senses. But she gained so much from her experience.

‘I'm not the best around people, I don't have a lot of friends. It was the first time I'd ever eaten with people I didn't know! And they never made me feel any different to them…’



ENTERTAINMENT – Gladiators, BBC1, 5.50pm

After weeks of intense competition, it’s time for the final four contenders to get ready as they battle it out in the Gladiators final.

‘During the heats, the quarters and the semis, there were a lot of bruises, bangs and knocks,’ says referee Mark Clattenburg, 49. ‘The final is compelling and there will be lots of drama. There are some shocks, you’ll see some amazing things that we just don't expect. There's not that much between them and they give the gladiators a good run for their money.’

Lining up – firefighter Bronte Jones, 23, faces fitness coach Marie-Louise Nicholson, 28, while army officer Finlay Anderson, 34 takes on Leeds’ Wesley Male.


Easter Sunday Service From Canterbury Cathedral
Easter Sunday Service From Canterbury Cathedral

RELIGION – Easter Sunday Service From Canterbury Cathedral, BBC1, 10am

There’s something reassuring about the permanence of this service on our TVs every Easter. Airing live, the Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury (above), shares his message of celebration, while the service is led by the Very Revd Dr David Monteith. It’s followed by Urbi Et Orbi

Gareth Malone’s Easter Passion: The Concert
Gareth Malone’s Easter Passion: The Concert

MUSIC – Gareth Malone’s Easter Passion: The Concert, BBC2, 6pm

Baby’s got Bach! This one-off features the special performance of the composer’s St John Passion by a choir of plucky amateurs collated by the preternaturally patient Mr Malone. We’ve seen in the regular show his bid to whip them into shape, and now here’s the final, unexpurgated gig recorded at Cardiff’s Hoddinott Hall. Hopefully they now know their arias from their elbows.


DOCUMENTARY - Mammals, BBC1, 7pm

It’s been 20 years since David Attenborough’s series The Life Of Mammals, which saw him travel all over the world, often filming in challenging locations, to reveal the magic and mystery of these animals.

Sir David is 97 now, so can be forgiven for simply narrating this new series – but he’s still very much invested in it, says series producer Scott Alexander.

‘At a very basic level, you could listen to him read the telephone directory! He puts on the most amazing performance. But on another level, it is also nice for him, 20 years later, to be able to narrate the next mammals, see how they have evolved, and hear their new stories.’

This Town
This Town

DRAMA – This Town, BBC1, 9pm

Like his most famous work, Peaky Blinders, Steven Knight’s latest series, This Town, is set in his native West Midlands but this project is far more personal to him because it takes place during the turbulent year of 1981, a time he lived through as a young man. Riots are sweeping the country and IRA bombings are a frequent occurrence.

It centres on a group of working-class teenagers who, disillusioned with their lack of life choices, decide to form a band.

‘It’s about young people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in very difficult circumstances. They realise that they can only escape if they become famous,’ says Steven.



REALITY – MasterChef, BBC1, 6.30pm

To mark 20 years of presenting MasterChef, John Torode and Gregg Wallace are cooking up a treat – starting with new challenge ‘Basic to Brilliant’ when six new hopefuls enter the hallowed kitchen.

‘It’s all about taking an everyday item you find in your shopping basket, and elevating it from what would normally be served at home into something special,’ says John.

As ever, all 58 cooks dream of being a finalist and this year the show has pushed the boat out – all the way to Singapore. But there’s another treat in the semi-finals, which officially marks the anniversary by inviting 80 winners and finalists from the past two decades to be cooked a meal by the contestants, inspired by dishes that have been served by finalists over the years.



DRAMA – Ripley, Netflix

It’s 1960, and musician Tom Ripley is playing piano at a party wearing a borrowed varsity jacket. A wealthy industrialist mistakes him for a Princeton alumnus and thinks he’d be the perfect person to go to Italy, all expenses paid, and bring home his wayward playboy of a son, Dickie Greenleaf. And so begins a journey of lies, deceit – and murder…

‘Ripley’s put into this world where people are very entitled and confident and maybe not even as gifted as him. But he's not seen in that way,’ explains Andrew Scott, who plays him.

‘And if you are repeatedly ignored by society, it starts to have a dark effect on people. Tom is very charming and not in a manipulative way. I think he's somebody who loves life.’



COMEDY – Avoidance, BBC1, 9.30pm

Well-known for his stand-up and fronting big shows like The Weakest Link, Romesh Ranganathan is back with a second series of his rom-com.

Picking up with Jonathan (Romesh) and his ex, Claire (Jessica Knappett), it’s one year on from when we last saw them. And while she’s moved on with her life, he’s still very much trying to win her back for the sake of their son Spencer (Kieran Logendra).

‘When we see them again it is almost exactly a year after Claire asked Jonathan back and he’s spent the interim regretting he said no,’ says Romesh, 45, who plays Jonathan.

‘He’s trying to sort himself out to impress her by cycling and wearing a lot of Lycra! His sister Dan (Mandeep Dhillon) and Courtney (Lisa McGrillis) are about to have a baby and Spencer is stable – in fact he’s the happiest person in the show!’

Alex Rider
Alex Rider

DRAMA – Alex Rider, Amazon Freevee
Over the past two series, Alex Rider, played by Otto Farrant, has already encountered some very dangerous foes. But in series three – based on the novel Scorpia – the young spy comes face-to-face with the formidable Julia Rothman, who has a personal axe to grind…

‘She has a past that connects her with Alex,’ explains Swedish star Sofia Helin, 51, who previously starred in The Bridge. ‘It’s been lovely to work with Otto. He’s a very talented young man, and I love playing with him… like he’s a mouse!’

‘It’s been fascinating to see Sofia bring her character to life,’ adds Otto. ‘Our director described Julia as being like a snake! She’s very subtle, and very manipulative.’


DRAMA – Sugar, AppleTV+

Movie-loving PI John Sugar finds missing people, but when he’s hired by a legendary Hollywood producer, family secrets are soon exposed in this contemporary noir thriller set in Los Angeles.

‘He's somewhat mercurial, incredibly fastidious, and incredibly intuitive. And he has a wound of his own from his past that compels him forward in the work that he does,’ reveals Colin Farrell, who plays the smart-suited detective who drives a vintage Corvette.

‘His only true allegiance is to finding people, locating those lost souls who have usually been the victims of kidnap or abduction, and returning them home to their families.’

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