Our choice of programmes to watch week beginning Saturday, October 31

On Demand: Godfather of Harlem (StarzPlay, from Sunday)

It's taken a while to reach our shores (the series made its debut more than a year ago on US TV), but this eagerly awaited Forest Whitaker vehicle is here at last. It's based on a true story and acts as a prequel to the 2007 film American Gangster. The Oscar-winning actor plays Bumpy Johnson, an infamous crime boss. The story begins in the early 1960s, as Bumpy is released from jail and decides to take control of his local neighbourhood by any means necessary.

Saturday: Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, 7.15pm)

Tonight should be Strictly's Halloween special, one of the most spectacular editions of the entire series. However, it's been scaled back somewhat this year, according to executive producer Sarah James: "We have done a Halloween group number but Halloween would fall on the second week this year and we thought it would be a bit soon for a themed week." But one element that remains scary is the famously forthright judge Craig Revel Horwood – no doubt his comments will send shivers down the spine of the celebs who fail to impress.

Saturday: A Big History of America (C5, 9pm)

The US is rarely out of the headlines these days, but it's going to be dominating the news over the next week thanks to the forthcoming election. That's perhaps why Channel 5 has chosen this moment to broadcast a documentary about the country, although it presents a very different view of the place than we're usually treated to.

Saturday: The Voice UK (ITV, 9pm)

It's been a long time coming, but at last, the talent contest is returning to our screens to complete the 2020 series - which began way back in January. Meghan Trainor will appear via video link from her LA home, with her fellow judges Tom Jones, Olly Murs and will.i.am appearing in person in the studio. But before the semi-final and final can take place, viewers are being treated to a special programme featuring profiles of the eight remaining singers.

Saturday: Spitting Image: US Election Special (ITV, 10pm)

For those who don't subscribe to the streaming service BritBox, this will probably be their first view of the famous satirical latex puppets for some time. There should be plenty of material for its writers and performers to get their teeth into ahead of this week's US election, in which President Trump goes head-to-head with challenger Joe Biden.

Sunday: The Wonderful World of Cake (Channel 5, 8pm)

This celebration of some of the UK's favourite treats begins with a glimpse inside baking behemoth McVities, learning the secret of how teatime titan the Jaffa Cake is made. Chef and food historian Dr Neil Buttery takes on the ultimate Jaffa Challenge - can he break the World Record for the largest Jaffa ever baked at over 1.5 metres wide?

Sunday: The Pride of Britain Awards 2020 (ITV, 9pm)

It's been a difficult year for so many of us, but one thing that has shone through even the darkest periods has been the number of homegrown heroes we have, folk who always go that extra mile to help others less fortunate than themselves – and several of them will be receiving awards tonight. One person we already know has won an award is Captain Sir Tom Moore, but the rest will be announced by presenter Carol Vorderman and a variety of celebrity guests.

Sunday: Totally Under Control: Trump and Covid 19 (BBC2, 9pm)

Some critics have described this feature-length programme as 'essential viewing' and 'the Covid-19 documentary all Americans need to see'. Oscar-winning film-maker Alex Gibney has joined forces with Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger to look back at the chaotic events of 2020, and how President Trump handled the coronavirus pandemic. Filmed in secret over five months, it promises to be a brutal history lesson, and one that might not yet have been completely learned.

Monday: Coronation Street: Soapy Slip Ups (ITV, regions vary)

Coronation Street celebrates its 60th anniversary later this year, so in theory, the soap should really be running like a well-oiled machine by now. In reality, the cast are just as like to fall prey to misbehaving props, wardrobe malfunctions, unfortunate attacks of the giggles and missed lines as any other actors. Simon Gregson, Jimmi Harkishin, Ben Price, Jane Danson and Jack P Shepherd (aka Steve, Dev, Nick, Leanne and David) are among the stars talking us though their biggest bloopers in this special. And the cast of Emmerdale shouldn't feel too smug – it's their turn soon.

Monday: Don't Rock the Boat (ITV, 9pm)

No offence to the famous faces currently taking part in Strictly (or those gearing up for I'm a Celebrity), but the stars who have signed up for this new series must be some of the bravest in the UK. That's because their challenge, which we'll be following over five consecutive nights, is to row the entire length of Britain. Setting sail tonight are politician and author Tom Watson, Olympians Denise Lewis, and Victoria Pendleton, actors Adam Thomas, Lucy Fallon and Craig Charles, model broadcaster Jodie Kidd, singer-songwriter Fleur East, YouTuber Joe Weller, Love Island winner Jack Fincham, The Chase's Shaun Wallace and Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt. They'll be split into two teams as they tackle the adventure of a lifetime.

Monday: Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC1, 9pm)

Actress Liz Carr is probably best known for playing Clarissa in Silent Witness, and now she's getting forensic about her own family tree. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given her detective drama background, she's most intrigued by the rumour that one of her ancestors was linked to an attempted murder in the 1850s.

Monday: The Bridge (C4, 9pm)

It's the last episode of the reality show, and it gets off to a bad start when the group wakes up to the news that one of their number has sabotaged their hard work in return for £10,000 from the prize fund. For at least one of the remaining contestants, it's enough to make them consider throwing in the towel, while the newly elected leader is also in the firing line. But can the team put aside their feelings of betrayal and disappointment and pull together to rebuild the bridge and reach what's left of the money?

Tuesday: Educating Greater Manchester (C4, 9.15pm)

We return to Harrop Fold Secondary School in Salford for a new year. This new four-part series which begins tonight and continues tomorrow, marks the first time Educating has returned to the same place, and as before, it will follow the drama of teenage life over a year. In the first episode, we are introduced to a new batch of pupils and reacquainted with some much-loved characters from the previous series.

Tuesday: Leeds – United!: Play for Today (BBC Four, 10pm)

This 1974 drama, by Colin Welland, was based on an unofficial strike among female textile workers in Leeds in 1970, as they demanded equal pay with male workers. The ensemble cast includes Lynne Perrie and Elizabeth Spriggs as two of the main characters, Mollie and Maggie.

Tuesday: Alton Towers: A Rollercoaster Year (C4, 10.15pm)

Back in 2018, Alton Towers opened its gates to TV viewers a rare look behind the scenes as the Staffordshire theme park prepared to launch its groundbreaking Wicker Man rollercoaster. Now, cameras are back at one of the UK biggest attractions as the staff gear up to re-open after a period of prolonged closure due to Covid-19.

Tuesday: BBC US Election 2020 (BBC1, 11.30pm)

Katty Kay and Andrew Neil present the results programme as the race to become President of the United States reaches its dramatic conclusion.

Wednesday: Children in Need: 40 Fabulous Years (BBC1, 8pm-9pm)

On Friday, November 13, Children In Need will hit our screens for the 40th time. To celebrate this special anniversary, Ade Adepitan presents a funny and poignant numerical tour across four fabulous decades of the charity. Who could forget Eddie Redmayne's star-studded search for Pudsey, or that clash of the Titans between Barbara Windsor's Peggy Mitchell and Catherine Tate's Lauren? Of course, at the heart of it all were two key elements: the late and much-lamented Sir Terry Wogan, and the children he, and so many others, laid down their egos to help.

Wednesday: On Board Britain's Nuclear Submarine: Trident (C5, 9pm)

For the first time, TV cameras are granted access to one of the UK's nuclear missile submarines as it prepares for a new mission. HMS Vengeance is the youngest of the four Vanguard-class submarines that carry Britain's Trident ballistic missile nuclear deterrent. Built at Barrow-in-Furness by VSEL and launched in 1998, it is home to a crew of 160 men who spend months at sea working in complete secrecy. No area is off limits to presenter Rob Bell, who lives on board for five days and nights.

Wednesday: The Emily Atack Show (ITV2, 10pm)

The actress, comedian and star of the Inbetweeners and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! hosts this new comedy show performing stand-up and sketches, on a series of very relatable topics. Emily will also show off impressions of well-loved celebrities, including Gemma Collins, Keith Lemon and Holly Willoughby, and each episode covers a different theme – this week, the perils and pitfalls of the dating game.

Thursday: Taskmaster (C4, 9pm)

Taskmaster Greg Davies and his 'miniature' assistant Alex Horne's set more inventively pointless tasks for comics Daisy May Cooper, Johnny Vegas, Katherine Parkinson, Mawaan Rizwan and Richard Herring. While Daisy attempts to flirt with a security guard, Richard is surprised by some chickens, and Johnny convinces Alex to wear sparkly shoes while operating heavy machinery.

Thursday: The Apprentice Best Bits (BBC1, 9pm)

The last episode of the series is entitled 'Successes and Failures' and looks back at those occasions when the candidates' hopes were dashed and records were smashed, as the wannabe entrepreneurs fought to enter The Apprentice hall of fame and avoid a ride in the taxi of shame.

Friday: Punk/New Wave Years with Annie Nightingale (BBC4, 9pm)

Veteran broadcaster Annie Nightingale opens up the archives to choose some of her favourite moments, including performances from Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Gang of Four, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Tubeway Army and Ian Dury and the Blockheads, as well as the Damned's set-smashing appearance on The Old Grey Whistle Test and the Sex Pistols' anarchic trip on the Thames.

Friday: The Last Leg: US Elegtion Special (C4, 10pm)

In theory, by the time this episode airs, we should know whether Donald Trump is settling in for four more years as US President or if Joe Biden is getting ready to move into the White House. However, as anyone who remembers the 2000 US election will know, it's not always that straightforward. But regardless of whether the ballots are still being counted or not, Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker should have plenty to talk about as they react to one of the most memorable elections in US history.