Revel in the joy of a brand new Doctor, as Peter Capaldi joins the team alongside Jenna Coleman. The new reincarnation of the Doctor promises a more experienced view of things (code for slightly older), whilst also bringing something of a darker tone to the upcoming episodes. Here, we'll enjoy each and every episode of the eighth season of New Doctor Who, in one lovely long block with no interruptions. Herald the return of the Doctor, Clara, the TARDIS, the screwdriver and everything else, as well as a heap of new guest starts. It's time!
The Bake Off is back! Brush off your spatulas and mixing machines as it is time to get inspired for a whole new batch of sweet treats and savoury delights. This first week is all about cake, a simple concept as we get to meet the new batch of bakers - 12 fresh faces all ready to face the terrifying prospect of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. It's always hectic in the first week, trying to get to know everyone, but it's also a lot of fun. On your marks, get set... bake!
If you're missing the track and field events from the Olympics, then look no further, the Commonwealth Games have arrived. Their tagline: "17 sports. 11 days. 1 place to be." With similar events such as gymnastics, cycling and badminton, the games provide for all kinds of tastes, although there are fewer than in London and other Olympic schedules. Glasgow presents a great opportunity for smaller nations to have their chance in the spotlight, including the dissolution of Team GB into England, Scotland and Wales. If you're looking for a place to hang out during the week and a bit of Commonwealth action, then you've found the spot!
It's not been long since the French Open but it's time for a complete change of pace now. Players have had a couple of weeks to get practice on the grass courts before the main event - the Wimbledon Championship 2014. Defending champion Andy Murray comes in with all the pressure on his shoulders, but faces some stiff competition. Last year's winner Marion Bartoli has retired from the sport, leaving the women's side of the draw wide open. Smart money would be on Serena Williams for victory but it's not all been going her way of late. Sit back, dish out those strawberries and settle in for two weeks of British summertime tennis.
The clay court season has seen some surprises and some not-so-surprises, with Serena Williams playing very well, and Rafael Nadal holding his own. We've got a fortnight of tennis ahead of us, where the best of the best descend upon Roland Garros to battle it out for supremacy on the orange courts. Expect a lot of umpires getting up and down off their chairs, plenty of tennis racquets hitting trainers to dislodge any errant clay, and plenty of bright and colourful outfits. It's the French Open!
The final round of the 2014 ice cross championship returns to its spiritual home in Canada, with the season finale in Quebec. There are always a bumper crop of Canadian racers hoping to participate in their home race, get to attempt the finals, and of course win the event. The 2014 World Championship is also at stake as this final round gets underway at the longest track on this year's Crashed Ice calendar - it's bound to be a breathtaking ride from start to finish!
The Crashed Ice championship returns to the wintry climes of Russia, as Moscow prepares to host the third round of the 2014 season. Having not been to the country since 2011, there are plenty of those new to the city, and to the track situated on the banks of the Moskva river. Apparently, the last visit to Russia was the coldest in ice cross downhill history, "with temperatures plunging as low as a bone-chilling minus 30 degrees celsius." I don't envy the skaters or anyone in the crowds!
The second round of 2014's epic Crashed Ice season takes place at the popular Saint Paul downhill track, where champion Derek Wedge will continue to try and defend his title. More than 100,000 spectators are anticipated to brave the freezing temperatures to watch the brilliant high-speed heats and cheer on the daring racers as they hit the jumps and avoid the obstacles to win the race, and attempt to take victory in the event as a whole. With only four rounds this year, every single race counts.
It's been two years since we were last gripped by Olympic fever, and now it is time for the winter sports to get their moment in the spotlight. From the joys of snowboarding and skiing, to ice hockey, curling and figure skating, there's something out there for everyone. It may be icy and cold to view, but from the comfort of your own toasty living room, you can enjoy the brilliance of another fortnight of the hectic hunt for medals.
Finland plays host to the first round of the epic Crashed Ice tournament, a hectic fast-paced downhill race where four skaters battle to make it through to the next round. Over bumps, round corners, up and over jumps all the while going as fast as possible and avoiding contact with a fellow racer, Crashed Ice is exhilarating and exciting from start to finish. The Serena Ski Resort's permanent ice cross track is our destination as the brand new World Championship gets underway.
The first Grand Slam of 2014 gets underway in Melbourne, with the Australian Open starting the season with a bang. Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka both attempt to defend their titles, whilst Rafael Nadal returns having withdrawn from last year's tournament due to illness. Home favourites Bernard Tomic and Lleyton Hewitt are both on top form, but there are plenty of top names and faces hoping to stop them in their tracks. Bring on the top tennis action!
It's time for the festive edition of our favourite sci-fi show, and this time, we're waving goodbye to Matt Smith. After an incredible stint at the controls of the TARDIS, it's time to bid farewell to Smith, and welcome in Peter Capaldi. This Christmas special should be emotional, but here's the official blurb: "Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them, the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe."
It's been a long time coming, but this year's special anniversary episode has finally arrived! With the promise of multiple Doctors and even more companions, plus a handful of special guests, the episode looks set to deliver all sorts of fun and witty banter. Steven Moffat also reckons the action will change the series going forward - hesitating to use the word 'gamechanger' but that kind of deal. What on earth is going to happen to the Doctor and just how brilliant are the Smith/Tennant scenes going to be?
Last week's semi-final was a tense and emotional ride, as four fantastic amateur bakers were whittled down to three. We didn't really want to say goodbye to anyone, but for the final we have Frances, Ruby and Kimberley - three very different bakers with plenty to bring to the competition. As it is the grand final, expect the challenges to be harder than ever, and probably more unpronounceable than ever as well. Here's to a fantastic final, and a worthy winner!
With the news that the baking spectacular will be moving to BBC One in the future, our intrepid amateur bakers are fighting for a place in the final. It was a really tense and close competition in the quarter-finals, and there's no reason to expect any less this week. The challenges this week are all French themed, so expect choux pastry, canapés and no doubt a whole heap of baking puns. This is what Tuesdays were made for!
I was slightly confused why this week's episode didn't have the usual naming convention - pastry, sweet dough, cake, etc. Turns out, we're at the quarter final stage already! And the BBC explain what our bakers will be facing in the Bake Off tent this time: "This week's challenges test them on how they cope working with unconventional flours and unusual desserts which push their creativity to the max."
Somehow, there are only six bakers left in the competition, and this time they're facing the challenges that pastry brings. A glimpse at the TV guides suggest our intrepid kitchen adventurers will have to make suet pudding, choux buns and some puffy-puff-puff pastry. In fact, the BBC say: "As they reach the end of their pastry marathon, the bakers reach the showstopper and must make three different types of perfectly puffed pastries. One type must be filled, another must be iced and the third is up to them. From palmiers to cream horns, they have just four hours to impress the judges." Mmm, cream horns.
This week it's all about sweet, sticky buns and fruit loafs and delicious sweet breads. Already I am drooling just thinking about it. The BBC claim they have Paul Hollywood's most twisted technical challenge yet which worries me. The challenges this year have so far numbered more things that I haven't heard of than vice versa. Regardless of how far away from amateur status the show is going, it's still brilliant fun and a delicious watch. Do join in!
We're rocketing through the series, almost halfway through already! This fifth episode takes us into the world of biscuits, so make sure you stock up on snacks so you don't get hungry halfway through. I don't want to spoil any of the challenges coming up, but a quick read of the BBC suggests the Showstopper is a really tricky one! They seem to be getting harder and harder, but that's just whittling down our bakers until we get to the ultimate star baker for 2013. Yum!
Personally, I'm having a terrible evening in the kitchen, involving an exploding microwave and some burnt potatoes, but hopefully our bakers will be faring a little better. This week is all about pies and tarts, which builds on the droolworthiness of the trifles and desserts of last week! There were two shock exits last week, so all the bakers are starting to realise they could go at any time, and as they always say, they're not ready for the journey to end just yet!