All the most Londony TV and radio shows of the week, lightly spiced with commentary, baked in a crust of opinion and served as a succulent mince pie of, erm, OK, this intro ain't working.
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (More 4, 19.00-20.00) Sadly relegated to the backwaters of Freeview the annual lecture series from Mayfair's Royal Institution are this time themed around plant biology, with Prof Sue Hartley of the University of Sussex commanding Faraday's desk. Continues at the same time each day this week.
University Challenge (BBC2, 19.30-20.00) King's College London lock their academic horns with Manchester for a place in the quarter finals.
From The River's Mouth (Radio 4, 15.30-15.45) A short story of murder, narrated from inside the Greenwich foot tunnel by Samantha Bond.
Afternoon Play: Black Hearts in Battersea (Radio 4, 14.15-15.00) Adaptation of Joan Aiken's children's story about Hanoverian London. Continues tomorrow at the same time.
Afternoon Reading: Scene of the Crime-Blackfriars Bridge (Radio 4, 15.30-15.45) Humorous crime story set on the bridge.
Spooks (BBC1, 21.00-22.00) The last in the series sees London hosting peace talks between India and Pakistan.
A Christmas Carol (FIVE, 19.05-21.00) Patrick Stewart seems like an inspired choice to play the miserly Scrooge, having portrayed many convincing journeys of self-examination during his tenure on the Enterprise and wider stage career. But this 1999 adaptation of the seasonal Dickens morality tale somehow lacks heart. A missed opportunity.
The Hound of the Baskervilles (BBC2, 21.00-22.40) OK, so much of Holmes' most famous adventure is set on Dartmoor, but this is one of the few Sherlockian outings over Christmas on the main TV channels. Richard Roxburgh dons the deerstalker, with Ian Hart as Watson and Richard E Grant and John Nettles in support.
Doctor Who (BBC1, 18.00-19.00) With the return of John Simm's Master, assistants Donna, Martha and Rose, cameos by Bernard Cribbins, June Whitfield and Timothy Dalton AND that much anticipated regeneration one week hence, could this all be a bit too overwhelming? And will the London setting actually be London, or a decorated Cardiff?
Notting Hill (ITV2, 21.30-23.55) Ah come on, don't be snobbish. This IS a decent film, if you're not too pedantic about implausibly quick shifts in location. The readers of 'Horse and Hound' will be absolutely delighted.