Margaret Atwood Is Putting On A Puppet Show For BBC Two Viewers In Lockdown

by Escher Walcott
Originally Published: 
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Life has changed considerably for everyone since the COVID-19 pandemic began as most of the world goes into lockdown for the foreseeable future. By now, it would be no surprise if most of us have already gone through half our watch lists on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. Well, thankfully, this isn't a time to freak out as there is new, highly watchable content on the horizon with dozens of new, lighthearted shows coming to UK TV during quarantine.

UK TV networks such as the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 are quickly having to adapt to these unprecedented times as COVID-19 has impacted so much of their regular scheduled programming. But how are they changing? The new titles listed below suggest that the big focus will be on keeping the nation upbeat and motivated while staying at home. A great idea, and definitely what we all need right now.

From TV weddings to cooking tutorials, each new show offers different ways to enjoy life under lockdown, introducing new faces and bringing back old ones too! If you’d like a break from depressing content, keep your eye out for these lighthearted British shows making their way to a TV screen near you soon:


'The Choir: Britain in Lockdown', BBC Two

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Everyone's favourite choirmaster, Gareth Malone, has figured out a genius way to bring people together through music during the COVID-19 crisis, creating The Great British Home Chorus. Offering a digital space for singers to come together, Malone's new initiative has already received over 9,000 applicants. His first live singing rehearsal, posted on YouTube on March 23, has already gained over 270,000 views.

The Choir: Britain in Lockdown is coming soon to BBC Two.


'Healthcheck UK Live', BBC One

Broadcasting weekdays from Mar. 30 at 10 a.m., Healthcheck UK Live is designed to show viewers the best ways to stay fit and healthy during the pandemic.

The show is hosted by Michelle Ackerley, Dr Xand van Tulleken and broadcaster Angela Rippon and features non other than '90s fitness icon - Mr Motivator (aka Derrick Evans)!

Presenting an exercise segment each show, Evans says, “Now more than ever it is important to keep our bodies and minds healthy. Everybody say yeah, let’s get happy and be wicked at home!”

Healthcheck UK Live is broadcast every weekday at 10 a.m. on BBC One.


'The Graham Norton Show' Series 27, BBC One

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Returning in April 2020, The Graham Norton Show will indeed go on – this time with virtual guests. Following similar methods taken by American chat show host Jimmy Fallon recently, Norton will be hosting the show from his own home and speaking to celebs each week via video chat. The red chair will also now be operated from the comfort of contributors' homes, and the show will have an earlier start time – 9 p.m. – and run for only 30 minutes.

Speaking to Variety, BBC Director of Content Charlotte Moore said, "We want to make sure we keep as much of our services going for people. Because, obviously, the need to feel connected, to feel you have information that is relevant to your local area when people are isolated either as families or on their own (is important)."

The Graham Norton Show will be broadcast every Friday at 9 p.m. on BBC One from April 10.


'Kirstie's House of Craft', Channel 4

Part of Channel 4's new Lockdown Academy, Kirstie's House of Craft will introduce creative ways to make use of materials found around the house. Hosted by Location, Location, Location's Kirstie Allsopp, this artsy programme will broadcast throughout the week, "helping the nation get through lockdown by offering creative ideas and crafty projects for the whole family".

Kirstie's House of Craft is coming soon to Channel 4.


'Wedding in Lockdown', Channel 4

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Although weddings are currently disallowed in the UK, Channel 4 viewers will now be able to witness marriage ceremonies through the small screen. Wedding in Lockdown will see couples take their vows live in front of a TV audience overseen by First Dates' Fred Sirieix.

Wedding in Lockdown is coming soon to Channel 4.


'Jamie: Keep Cooking & Carry On', Channel 4

British TV chef Jamie Oliver's new show Keep Cooking & Carry On sees him offering up new budget-friendly meals for the family to cook during the nationwide lockdown. Oliver says, “This show will be packed with easy and delicious recipes that the whole family can enjoy, plus loads of tips, tricks and hacks for simple swaps and ways you can make the recipes work with what you’ve got."

Jamie: Keep Cooking & Carry On is broadcast every Monday on Channel 4 at 5.30 p.m.


'Grayson's Art Club', Channel 4

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Turner Prize winner and beloved British artist Grayson Perry will present Grayson's Art Club, produced by Channel 4, an art show encouraging the country to get creative during self-isolation. Perry will teach viewers how to sculpt, paint and draw as well as talk with other artists, gathering "visual representations of the unique time we are living through as a community".

Grayson's Art Club is coming soon to Channel 4.


'Front Row Late', BBC Two

Mary Beard's Front Row jumped from Radio 4 to BBC Two back in 2019, and it's the perfect lighthearted content to keep you curious during quarantine. On Front Row Late, Beard discusses arts and culture with a line-up of distinguished guests. This series' special guests include Margaret Atwood, who has created her own puppet show, in isolation, to accompany her narration of a story by Edgar Allan Poe. Yes, you read that right.

Series 7 of Front Row Late is coming soon to BBC Two.


'Man Like Mobeen' Series Three, BBC One

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Man Like Mobeen series three just started on March 30, and thank god, because we could all use a laugh right now. Guz Khan plays Mobeen, an ex-drug dealer from inner-city Birmingham who is trying to keep his sister Aqsa (played by the up-and-coming star Dúaa Karim) on the straight and narrow in the absence of their parents. And, as you may have guessed, things don't quite go to plan.

Series 7 of Front Row Late airs every Monday BBC One at 10.45pm. You can also catch it on iPlayer.

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