The week’s essential TV viewing

Black Mirror - Rafe Spall as Joe Potter. Pic: C4
Black Mirror - Rafe Spall as Joe Potter. Pic: C4
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today

Russell Brand: End The Drugs War (BBC Three, 9pm)

COMEDIAN and actor Russell Brand is often making headlines for spouting off various opinions regarding, well, almost everything. However, tonight, he gets vocal about something close to his heart - Britain’s policy on drugs.

Russell challenges the opinion that the drugs policy is working and tries to find out how other countries are tackling substance abuse.

Plus, Russell also comes into contact with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and puts some tough questions to him - but the PM surprises and shocks the comic with his opinions.

toMORROW

Black Mirror: White Christmas (Channel 4, 9pm)

CHARLIE Brooker’s dark drama series may seem like an odd choice to be given a Christmas special. However, this feature-length instalment brings us three yarns for the price of one, as in a remote, snowy outpost, charismatic Matt (Jon Hamm) and secretive Potter (Rafe Spall) swap tales about their lives on the outside world. Along the way, we get to see Oona Chaplin navigating a nightmarish world of ‘smart’ gadgetry, the consequences of being able to block people in real life as you do on social media, and Hamm offering romantic guidance.

WEDNESday

The British Comedy Awards 2014 (Channel 4, 9pm)

REGULAR host Jonathan Ross fronts the 25th annual British Comedy Awards based on programmes or performances in the UK between September 24, 2013 and September 22, 2014.

As you may have guessed, there’s a wealth of comedic talent up for the assorted plaudits.

tHURSday

A Night Of Heroes - The Military Awards (STV, 8.30pm)

NOW in its seventh year, The Military Heroes Awards takes place at London’s National Maritime Museum and is attended by famous faces from the worlds of film, TV, sport and music, many of whom will be handing out trophies on the night. The categories featured are Saving Lives, Brothers in Arms, The Firefight, Bomb Hunters, Hero Abroad, Home Front Hero, Support to the Armed Forces and Judges’ Special Recognition Award.

friday

Text Santa (STV, 8pm)

IT would seem that when it comes to charity work, ITV has now got its go-to team line-up down to perfection. So it’s time to wheel them out, all smiles, for the annual Text Santa evening of festivities and fundraising.

While award-hoggers Ant and Dec are able to offer a little light relief to an otherwise serious subject matter, television’s nicer-than-nice Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley will use their infectious personalities to keep the momentum going as they encourage people to donate to the great causes, under the watchful eye of Father Christmas (Paul O’Grady).

SATURday

Rik Mayall: Lord Of Misrule (BBC Two, 10.05pm)

NARRATED by Simon Callow, Rik Mayall: Lord Of Misrule salutes Rik Mayall and celebrates his part in the UK’s comedy history, using rare and unseen archive footage, and talking to the people who knew or admired him.

SUNday

Equestrian: Olympia (BBC Two, 1.45pm)

CLARE Balding presents live coverage of the World Cup showjumping qualifier at Olympia, part of the London International Horse Show, and one of the highlights of the equestrian calendar.