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Easter TV 2024: all the best shows and films to watch this bank holiday weekend

  Paul O'Grady meets the Elephants at The Elephant Nature Park, which is the largest elephant rescue centre in Thailand - part of Easter TV 2024.
Paul O'Grady meets the Elephants at The Elephant Nature Park, which is the largest elephant rescue centre in Thailand - part of Easter TV 2024.

It’s Easter, which means a four-day weekend for many of us in the UK and chances are you'll be unwinding in front of the TV and enjoying all the lovely chocolate that the Easter Bunny is sure to bring!

So with that in mind, here is our pick of the best shows to watch over the Easter weekend from Good Friday to Bank Holiday Monday...

Good Friday — March 29

Gareth Malone's Easter Passion, BBC One 11.15am

Gareth Malone in a black shirt and tie stands in a conductor's podium in Gareth Malone's Easter Passion
Gareth Malone in a black shirt and tie stands in a conductor's podium in Gareth Malone's Easter Passion

Gareth Malone's Easter Passion is a two-part documentary that follows Gareth over two months as he searches for eight amateur singers who have little experience of choral music, but who he feels have what it takes to sing Bach’s The St John Passion in the special performance to mark the 300th anniversary of the 1724 oratorio.

As he selects his vocalists and puts them through their paces, the choristers try to get to grips with the tricky music, while they also open up about their own backgrounds and the difficulties they have faced in their lives that allow them to connect to the piece, which recounts Jesus’ crucifixion.

In the final concert, which will air on Easter Sunday, March 31 at 6 pm on BBC Two,  they will then sing alongside professional soloists Roderick Williams, Nicholas Mulroy and Julia Doyle as well as the BBC Singers and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

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

Pilgrimage North Wales Christine, Eshaan, Amanda, Michaela, Spencer, Sonali and Tom
Pilgrimage North Wales Christine, Eshaan, Amanda, Michaela, Spencer, Sonali and Tom

Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales is a three-part series that sees seven celebrities — of all different faiths and beliefs — go on a soul-searching journey along the Pilgrim's Way. Taking part are ex-Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, broadcaster Sonali Shah, comedian Eshaan Akbar, Traitors favorite Amanda Lovett, Friday Night Dinner actor Tom Rosenthal, former model Christine McGuinness and Springwatch star Michaela Strachan.

The gang will star their adventure at Flint Castle on the bank of the Dee Estuary and will follow the coastal path to Greenfield Valley, the official start of Pilgrim’s Way. Travelling on foot and by bus, they’ll journey along a 220km route that ‘embraces early Christian Celtic saints’, finishing up at the fabled ‘Island of 20,000 saints’, Bardsey Island.

Famous Five: Peril On The Night Train, CBBC, 5.30 pm

Julian (Elliott Rose), George (Diaana Babnicova), Anne (Flora Jacoby Richardson), and Dick (Kit Rakusen) leaning on a wall
Julian (Elliott Rose), George (Diaana Babnicova), Anne (Flora Jacoby Richardson), and Dick (Kit Rakusen) leaning on a wall

Famous Five: Peril On The Night Train, the second adventure in the Enid Blyton updates, has a modern feeling, despite being set in 1939. Uncle Quentin (the perfectly cast James Lance) has invented an Algebra Engine, whose capabilities lead the children on an adventure that takes them to a secret facility in the Highlands. From night-time shadows to deciphering Morse code via encounters with strangers on a train, this ticks all the right mystery boxes. This episode is repeated on BBC One on Easter Monday at 2 pm.

Saturday, March 30

Gladiators 2024 grand final, BBC One, 5.50 pm

Gladitors
Gladitors

Contenders Ready! Gladiators Ready! It’s the Grand Final of Gladiators 2024! After weeks of grueling battles, the remaining four contenders face the show’s squad of elite athletes for one last time as they compete to be crowned the 2024 male and female champions. Through to the final are Finlay and Wesley for the males, and Bronte and Marie-Louise for the females. As usual, Bradley Walsh and Barney Walsh host the proceedings at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena while referees Mark Clattenburg, Lee Phillips and Sonia Mkloma will be keeping everything in check and commentator Guy Mowbray will report on all the action happening in the arena.

Michael McIntyre's Big Show, BBC One, 6.50pm

Michael McIntyre's Big Show 2023
Michael McIntyre's Big Show 2023

This compilation episode of Michael McIntyre's Big Show brings us highlights from the hit variety show over the last 10 years. The hour-long extravaganza will feature all the usual favourites including Send to All, Unexpected Star and Midnight Gameshow. Plus, a look back at karaoke surprises on unsuspecting members of the public, with help from singing superstars Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow and ABBA's Bjorn. A cracking start to the Easter weekend.

Easter Sunday, March 31

Mammals, BBC One, 7pm

A fennec fox in the middle of the desert at night in Mammals.
A fennec fox in the middle of the desert at night in Mammals.

Mammals, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, tells the remarkable story of how mammals have used their incredible resilience and adaptability to survive against the odds. This six-part series showcases a range of animals in diverse habitats across the globe and explores their extraordinary capacity for evolution on a rapidly changing planet. The series uses cutting-edge technology to explore how many of the 6000 mammal species use their intelligence, ingenuity and social bonds to thrive in a variety of tough habitats, as human activity has an increasing impact on their lives. A must-watch for the weekend.

Paul O'Grady's Great Elephant Adventure, ITV1, 8 pm

Paul O'Grady meets the Elephants at The Elephant Nature Park, which is the largest elephant rescue centre in Thailand
Paul O'Grady meets the Elephants at The Elephant Nature Park, which is the largest elephant rescue centre in Thailand

Paul O'Grady's Great Elephant Adventure is a bitter-sweet two-parter that sees Paul travel through Thailand and Laos to celebrate the work done by conservation centers to rescue, rehabilitate and protect elephants. He begins by travelling to the jungle surrounding Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, an area where more than half the country's 3,500 domesticated elephants live, and which is also home to the Elephant Nature Park, run by renowned conservationist Lek Chailert. While it is emotional knowing this is Paul's last series, he clearly had the time of his life bonding with such glorious creatures.

Quentin Blake's Box of Treasures, BBC One, 2.15 pm

Adrian Lester, Simon Pegg, Alison Steadman and Nina Sosanya surrounded by Quentin Blake illustrations.
Adrian Lester, Simon Pegg, Alison Steadman and Nina Sosanya surrounded by Quentin Blake illustrations.

Quentin Blake’s Box of Treasures brings to life two of Quentin's stories, Snuff and Mrs Armitage on Wheels in an animated version starring Alison Steadman, Simon Pegg and Adrian Lester. The animated boxset of hand-picked specials is based on six iconic best-selling books by one of Britain’s much-loved authors and is created with traditional hand-drawn animation techniques to capture the famous illustrations of Quentin Blake’s stories and features an original score crafted for each episode that's performed by the BBC Philharmonic orchestra.

Easter Parade, BBC Two, 12.30 pm

Fred Astaire and Judy Garland in Easter Parade
Fred Astaire and Judy Garland in Easter Parade

This musical classic, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and including songs like "A Couple of Swells", "Stepping Out with My Baby" and "Shaking the Blues Away", follows the story of a dancer who has been abandoned by his usual partner and so trains a chorus girl as a replacement. The new pairing is a great success but, although he strives to keep their relationship strictly professional, he begins to fall head over heels in love with her.

The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, CBBC, 5.25 pm

Wallace and Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Wallace and Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was the first Wallace and Gromit feature-length film and has become a firm family favourite over the years. The story follows the animated pals as they try to track down the mysterious monster who is eating all of the village veg. A carrot-joke-filled delight for all ages.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, ITV1, 12.25 pm

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

Another chocolate-filled classic for this time of year, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory follows an eccentric confectionery king who announces that five children will be given a tour of his wondrous factory. The winners turn out to be a kind-hearted boy from a penniless family and four brats, who face a terrible fate when they misbehave. Based on Roald Dahl's classic book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", this family classic stars Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum and Roy Kinnear.

Easter Monday, April 1

MasterChef 2024, BBC One, 6.30 pm

MasterChef 2024
MasterChef 2024

As MasterChef 2024 kicks off on BBC One there are brand new challenges in store and an array of special guests. John Torode and Gregg Wallace are back on judging duties and promise there will be some surprise treats for viewers to look forward to as part of the landmark anniversary. Fifty-eight passionate and talented hopefuls start the competition from all walks of life. With contestants hailing from across the UK – from Dorset to Sunderland, the Scottish Borders and North Wales, and bringing their food and cultural heritage to the table, the judges will be treated to a diverse explosion of flavours. The first episode's contestants include a butcher, a vet and a hotel worker.

The following episodes will air on Wednesday, April 3 at 9 pm on BBC One and Friday, April 5th at 7.30 pm on BBC One.

Anton and Giovanni's Adventures in Spain, BBC One, 8 pm

Giovanni Pernice and Anton Du Beke stand in a doorway holding fans in Anton & Giovanni's Adventures in Spain.
Giovanni Pernice and Anton Du Beke stand in a doorway holding fans in Anton & Giovanni's Adventures in Spain.

The final episode of Anton and Giovanni's Adventures in Spain promises to be a memorable one as the best friends join Anton's beloved mum, Conchita, as they visit her home village for the first time in 40 years. There is also fun to be had when the pair meet up with their Strictly Come Dancing friend Gorka for a food tour around San Sebastian before performing a dance routine at Bilbao's Semana Grande festival in front of 30,000 people, as well as Conchita, Anton's wife, Hannah and their children, George and Henrietta. The perfect end of a great series.

For even more Easter TV see our TV Guide for full listings.