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Richard Arnold's Armchair Guide: May 1

This week Richard brings you some classic British comedy, couple with some meaty box sets to sink your teeth into and a rare foray into live theatre productions streamed right into your living room.

But first up, be prepared to be brought to the edge of your seat and times and brought to the edge of tears at other with ITV's flagship talent show.

Britain's Got Talent

This weekend BGT has a magic act who merges escape artistry with close up magic and tells the story of slave Henry Brown.

A mother daughter duo who sing together, a junior orchestra who put on a modern twist on a classical performance, and a young choir who have a very important message to share.

It is on ITV on Saturday at 8pm.

Britain's Got Talent: Unseen

Fancy some extra BGT in your life? Well we’ve got plenty more ready for you!

Britain’s Got Talent is back in full swing and we’ve got more acts, more auditions and even more of the action for you in a brand new show.

BGT: Unseen is an extra weekly episode with acts that are exclusive to the ITV Hub. On top of all the extra auditions and on-stage shenanigans, there’ll be more of Ant & Dec’s side-of-stage comments and extra chat from the Judges.

So, after you’ve settled in for your Saturday night Britain’s Got Talent viewing session, make sure you head straight to the ITV Hub for BGT: Unseen!

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey - a sprawling, lavish Edwardian mansion and park nestled in the lush North Yorkshire landscape - needs an heir. Dame Maggie Smith turns in a show-stopping performance as Violet, the charmingly stubborn Dowager Countess of Grantham, matriarch of Downton and the irrefutable authority on everything.

Hugh Bonneville stars as her son, the stoic, unflappable Earl of Grantham; Elizabeth McGovern plays his far-sighted American wife, Cora; and a star-studded cast round out the glittering, gossipy, and beguiling men and women of this epic tale from Academy Award-winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park).

Pitting hundreds of years of British aristocracy against the tides of social upheaval and technical progress, under the looming shadow of World War I, will the fate of Downton and its family - above and below the stairs - be resolved? Or will life be altered so dramatically that its master no longer matters?

All six seasons available to stream on BritBox.

Carry on

All of these Carry On films are available to watch on ITV hub until May 11th

Carry On Camping Sid and Bernie decide to take their girlfriends on a camping holiday to a nudist camp. On arrival, however, they discover that they have been misled - everyone is fully clothed!

Carry On Up The Khyber India, 1895 and the British colonials rule. The natives are ready to revolt, prevented from acting only through fear of Britain's famous 'Devils in Skirts', the Scottish regiment protecting the Khyber pass.

Carry On Matron British comedy about a gang's plan to raid a maternity hospital to steal a gigantic stock of birth control pills. Starring Sid James, Kenneth Williams and Barbara Windsor.

Carry On... Follow That Camel Comedy about an aristocrat who, unjustly disgraced by accusations of cheating, joins the Foreign Legion and comes across a fort full of nervous legionnaires. With Phil Silvers.

Carry on Dick It is 1750 and King George has set up the Bow Street Runners to combat the increase in crime.  Many highwaymen are captured, but not Dick Turpin (Sidney James), the most notorious of all.

Carry On Doctor Doctor Tinkle's underhand plots with the matron to dismiss on of the more popular doctors at Borough County Hospital inspire, of all things, a patients revolt!  The gags fly in this raucous comedy starring Kenneth William's and Hattie Jacques. 

Carry On Girls Carry on comedy about the town council of a seaside resort who are persuaded to hold a beauty contest - with chaotic results.

Carry On Behind Professor Crump investigates the remains of a Roman encampment in Britain.

Carry On Up The Jungle Bawdy British comedy. On a jungle safari, the gang find themselves plunging in and out of the wrong tents and thrashing their way through the foliage in search of a rare bird.

Isolation Stories

Sheridan Smith, Robert Glenister, Tom Glenister, Darren Boyd, Angela Griffin, David Threlfall, Eddie Marsan and his sons Blu and Bodhi, Michael Jibson, Leanne Best and Philip Jackson star in Isolation Stories, a series of four short dramas depicting life in lockdown. 

Catch them at 9pm on ITV starting on Monday


In 2011, the Royal National Theatre in London staged a production of Frankenstein directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. And this was no normal take on Mary Shelley’s classic tale. To change things up, Cumberbatch and Miller would alternate their roles, with each actor having an opportunity to play both Dr. Frankenstein and his creation. The productions were filmed, and have been previously broadcast in movie theaters, but now, the National Theatre’s YouTube page will stream both versions on two different dates.

Thurs 30th April to Fri 8th May, 7pm, National Theatre Youtube.

May 4th on Disney

The final chapter of the Skywalker saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” will begin streaming two months early on Disney+ in honour of “May the 4th,” affectionately known by fans around the world as “Star Wars Day.” For the first time ever, fans will be able to stream the complete Skywalker saga all in one place.

Sign-up to Disney+ to watch.

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