TV Highlights

Births, Deaths and Marriages - Confetti falls on Registrars Alison Cathcart, Amanda Al-Salami, Mark Tiller, Emma Richards, Tejal Patel, Tommy Hanover, Jack Spencer, Neil Paknadel, Tracy Zimmerman and David Atkinson as they stand on the main steps of the Old Marylebone Town Hall.
Births, Deaths and Marriages - Confetti falls on Registrars Alison Cathcart, Amanda Al-Salami, Mark Tiller, Emma Richards, Tejal Patel, Tommy Hanover, Jack Spencer, Neil Paknadel, Tracy Zimmerman and David Atkinson as they stand on the main steps of the Old Marylebone Town Hall.
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This weeks top viewing

MONDAY: DCI BANKS (ITV, 9PM)

Stephen Tompkinson returns to our screens tonight as dogged and rugged northern cop DCI Alan Banks.

As we launch into another series of this fantastic drama, there’s bound to be some tense moments as DS Annie Cabbot (Andrea Lowe) returns from maternity leave.

Banks leads the investigations after a man and woman claiming to be social workers visit a mother and tell her they need to take her son away.

However when they don’t return the boy, it soon transpires that the pair aren’t known by the relevant authorities.

Banks pushes DI Morton (Caroline Catz) to get closer to the mother to find out why she might be targeted, but the whole thing’s a little close to home for the detective in the face of the problems with her son.

TUESDAY: BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES (ITV, 9PM)

Alison Cathcart probably has a story or two to tell each weekend down at the local boozer.

She is head registrar at Westminster registry office, the most famous in the UK, which holds the birth, death and marriage records for an array of famous names including Joan Collins, Brooklyn Beckham, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.

For this two-parter, cameras have been given full access to the register office, which until recently was based in Old Marylebone Town Hall.

Alison has conducted around 5,000 weddings in her role and recently had the job of registering Prince George’s birth.

The programmes explain that one of the biggest changes for registration came in 2005, with the introduction of civil partnerships.

WEDNESDAY: NCIS (FIVE, 9PM)

Few slick procedural dramas have been quite as entertaining as NCIS, aka Mark Harmon and David McCallum’s high-octane Naval-gazing saga/pension plan.

NCIS celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013, the same year that McCallum turned 80. The opening episode of the latest run is certainly one of the best episodes for many a moon – and should tie a few things up following the cliffhanger ending to season nine.

Rescue crews sift through the wreckage of Harper Dearing’s attack on NCIS HQ.

While Abby, Gibbs, McGee and Vance are okay, Ziva and Tony are stuck in a lift which is hanging by a wire. Things aren’t looking too good for McCallum’s alter ego, forensics expert Ducky, either. He suffered a heart attack after hearing news of the catastrophe.

THURSDAY: INSPECTOR GEORGE GENTLY (BBC ONE, 8.30pm)

Returning for a sixth series tonight, as the story progresses we begin to realise that not only are our two heroes, Gently and Bacchus, forever changed by the explosive events of last season, but that the world they police is also adapting, and becoming – if you can imagine it – even more hostile.

Following the shooting in Durham Cathedral which almost cost both men their lives, Bacchus has lost his confidence. Gently is shocked when the formerly ambitious sergeant hands in his resignation, but is determined to do his best to set his protégé back on track and takes him along to investigate a death in custody.

The victim was arrested after Newcastle Police’s efforts to clear out a slum resulted in riots, but after spending a night in the cells, was discovered dead.

FRIDAY: LIVE WINTER OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY (BBC TWO. 3.30pm)

Cast your mind back to the heady summer of 2012, when the British public forgot it was supposed to be moaning about the cost of the London Games, and instead came down with a serious case of Olympic fever.

And then get ready to enter into the spirit again as the Winter Games in Russia officially begin.

The BBC is dedicated to bringing us all the action from every event via six HD streams. But while you can watch the sporting action on your smartphone or laptop, the best place to see the Opening Ceremony is on good old BBC Two, as Clare Balding introduces coverage from the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia.

Here’s hoping that we will be celebrating some British triumphs in a Games in which we, traditionally, don’t excel