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Fridays, channel 5 


I probably shouldn’t love Five’s new murder-mystery series anywhere near as much as I do… so, shoot me! 

But before you do, please wait until the cabaret has started in the ship’s theatre. And make sure you use a silencer – because that chap from housekeeping is probably doing double shifts as a private investigator…

Whoops, got carried away there, plot-wise. Mind you, on The Good Ship Murder that’s very easily done. 

Catherine Tyldesley, who appeared in Coronation Street, plays feisty First Officer Kate Woods in The Good Ship Murder 

So, first things first: TGSM is a whodunnit-wheredunnit-howdunnit cross between Death In Paradise and The Love Boat, with a soupçon of Just Good Friends. 

And if that doesn’t sound like a surefire hit, well, it has plenty of those, too; every episode ends with a song.

Starring Shayne (X Factor, Coronation Street) Ward as copper-turned-cruise ship entertainer Jack Grayling – now there’s a career path! – and Catherine (also Corrie) Tyldesley as feisty First Officer Kate Woods, this eight-part series is aimed at armchair Marple-istas of a certain age. 

And though it doesn’t sit squarely within the ‘cosy crime’ genre it is ‘comfy-ocean-view-balcony-suite crime’, more Richard Coles than Stephen King.

It’s not short on plot – there’s a lot packed in, a la Midsomer Murders – and I wasn’t bothered by the fact that I spotted the murderer before there’d been an actual murder. 

Bearing in mind that this show isn’t in the Colombo ‘inverted story’ style – in which a death is a given at the start and it’s the route to the solution that entertains us – this could have finished me off before the second ad break. Instead, I was (gently) gripped.

There’s something about Shayne’s smile – and the prospect of everything getting neatly wrapped up just in time for a show tune – plus the way Cath stands on the ship’s bridge, her pretty brow furrowed, saying, ‘Switching on radar…’ that makes me think this show will last longer than, for example, Triangle, set on a North Sea ferry in the 80s.

Then there’s that bubbling chemistry between their characters Jack and Kate, which calls to mind (for those of us old enough to remember) Penny and Vince in Just Good Friends. 

Shayne Ward, who was also in Coronation Street, plays police officer-turned-cruise ship entertainer Jack Grayling in the eight-part series 

Like Penny, Kate is a pursed-lipped high-flyer; like Vince, Jack is a bit twinkly and jazz hands. ‘I have a rule when I’m at sea,’ says Kate, when he asks her out. ‘Officers and Ents never mix. It’s good to have boundaries.’

You don’t need to be a detective to guess that Kate’s personal and professional boundaries are going to be tested while she steers a course towards the next murder. And it’s not long before FO Woods gets promoted to Captain, surely?

Tuck into Eva’s tasty travelogue 


Sundays, BBC2 


Former Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria takes viewers on a journey through Mexico in Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico 

In this delectable series, the former Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria – who describes herself as a ‘Texican’ (Texan Mexican-American) – explores Mexico via its food. 

And if that idea sounds more than a little like the fabulous Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy (BBC iPlayer), in which the Italian-American actor gets in touch with his roots via platefuls of perfect-looking pasta, then it will come as no surprise to discover that Tucci is one of this show’s producers.

Mexico is one of my favourite countries. I’m lucky enough to have visited a few times and have incredibly happy memories of the people, culture, ancient architecture, beaches, food… and the tequila. 

So I was delighted that the first episode kicked off somewhere I haven’t visited – the state of Jalisco, home to Mexico’s second city, Guadalajara, where it’s ‘T-shirt weather all year round’. Yes, please.

Though she doesn’t look as though a carb has ever passed her lips, Longoria tucks into all the local delicacies, including a Torta Ahogada. 

When the French invaded Mexico in 1864 they wanted food that reminded them of home, but were unable to get any yeast so created a sourdough baguette. 

It’s now a Jaliscan staple, loaded with refried beans, tomato salsa and pork. Guadalajara’s now on my bucket list. Thanks, Eva.

A close-up of a bushbaby in BBC2’s Big Litlle Journeys

Another wild ride

There’s so much great natural history TV that you might think the genre’s peaked. I’m still recoiling at the memory of snakes chasing iguanas in Planet Earth II in 2016. 

Mind you, 2016 is, technologically, ancient natural history, so I can’t wait to see what Planet Earth III has to offer. 

And in BBC2’s brand new Big Little Journeys (Sun, BBC2), the images are extraordinary. 

In episode one, about the perils facing a young turtle and a bushbaby, footage was captured with a ‘newly developed periscope probe-lens’. Hooray for new tech – the results are unmissable. 

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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