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As the name would suggest, What’s On TV is a magazine guide to TV scheduling for the week. At just 42p, and with around 80 pages, it is one of the best value for money weekly guides around. Boasting on the front cover of being Britain’s best-selling magazine, I cannot verify this, but can well imagine it to be true.
The front cover usually features characters involved in a current or forthcoming major storyline of a popular soap. You’ll also see a few other familiar TV faces, and from this, you’ll get an idea of some of the magazine’s features for the week.
Inside the cover you’ll inevitably find an advert, on the next page, the contents. Listed down the left hand side of the page, you can easily find the page numbers to guide you to exactly what you want......
TV, Satellite & Radio Listings ~ speaks for itself really, and is the main purpose of the magazine. You’ll find 3 double spread pages for each day of the week. Presented in five pastel coloured columns, the first spread offers you the terrestrial TV listings. On the next page spread are details of the main satellite channels (ie Sky, MTV etc). The third double page spread has cable/digital channels and some key radio station listings.
Film Week ~ a section of short reviews on all the films you’ll find on your terrestrial channels for the week. Listed by day, in the screening order, each film is rated with regard to it’s watchability, and age group suitability.
What’s On This Week ~ a couple of pages of small feature reviews on some of the best TV for the week. One off documentaries, new series alerts... just a few highlights of the week’s viewing.
Soap Week ~ keeps you up to date with the terrestrial soaps that we don’t admit to watching but love to follow. A taste of what the week’s storylines have to hold for us, this section does sometimes give away more details than you may want to know.
Zap ~ the kids page. Just a single page with reader submitted jokes, star profiles on presenters of some children's programmes, and the Kids’ Puzzle competition.
Postbag ~ reader submitted letters, horoscopes for the week, a small question and answer section, and a little taste of what the following week’s TV viewing has in store for us.
Competitions ~ a brief run down of the competitions you can enter and what you stand to win. You can enter these by phone or post, and they do offer some good prizes.
You will also find listed the remainder of the special feature articles (often focused on the best of the weeks documentaries) and other quite interesting TV related stories to read.
In to its 10th year of publication, What’s On TV is on money well spent. It does lack some of the finer detail you may be used to if you are a reader of one of the more expensive TV guides (example TV Times or Radio Times). You won’t find cast listings for any of the week’s programmes, and the radio guide is very brief. You’ll also notice the focus of the magazine is quite heavily on terrestrial soaps and dramas.... but if that doesn’t bother you, I’d recommend giving it a try. (On sale from the Tuesday prior to the weeks content)