The alternative Coronation TV guide: What to watch if you don’t want to see the ceremony

The alternative Coronation TV guide: What to watch if you don’t want to see the ceremony

April 29, 2023

While millions are planning on tuning in to the TV coverage of the Coronation of King Charles III and throwing street parties in his honour, not everyone wants to spend their Bank Holiday weekend watching the new monarch take the throne.

Whether you're anti-monarchy or simply Coronationed out, there are plenty of other must-watch shows over the long weekend and in the run-up to it – here's our pick of the best.

Frankie Boyle's Farewell to the Monarchy

If you need an irreverent take on events to balance out the royalist celebrations, you can always count on controversial comedian Frankie Boyle to provide the goods.

As he looks back over the Royal family's 1,000-year history of violent, ruthless land grabbing, child murdering, wife beheading, slave trading, misogynism and empire-building, Frankie wonders how these qualities have shaped our royal family today.

Sunday 30 April, 10pm, Channel 4

The Windsors Coronation Special

What better time to revisit sitcom The Windsors than for King Charles’ coronation?

Harry Enfield returns to his bumbling best as the now monarch Charles, with Haydn Gwynne as Queen Consort Camilla as they plan a lavish royal event – much to the frustration of William (Hugh Skinner) who thinks his family should be reflecting the cost of living crisis.

Meanwhile, Harry (Richard Goulding) and Meghan (Kathryn Drysdale) intend to enjoy the simple life in California following their Netflix series and book, but they start to question whether they can afford to miss the coronation.

Sunday 30 April, 9pm and Friday 5 May, 11.05pm, Channel 4

Andrew: The Problem Prince

There's been a huge amount of embarrassment caused for the Royal family by Andrew since his infamous 2019 Newsnight interview about his friendship with the late convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew's revelations shook the monarchy to its core, as well as involving bizarre moments such as his claim to not be able to sweat.

This two-part documentary looks at how the interview clinched its headline-grabbing answers, featuring Emily Maitlis who tells the story from her side.

Monday 1 May, 9pm and Monday 8 May, 9pm, Channel 4

Magpie Murders

Even the keenest Coronation watchers might need a little light relief from coverage by Saturday evening, and luckily there's a new episode of Magpie Murders to get your teeth into.

Lesley Manville stars as a literary agent who tries to complete her late client's final whodunnit novel – but discovers his characters were real people and the novel's murderer seems to be responsible for its author's death.

Saturday 6 May, 9.15pm, BBC One

Pride & Prejudice

If you're hiding behind closed curtains from your nearest street party on Saturday afternoon, this 2005 adaptation of the Jane Austen classic is a good way of forgetting the outside world.

Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen star in this timeless will-they-won't-they romance as the lead characters Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.

Saturday 6 May, 4.20pm, BBC Two

Britain's Got Talent

Reality TV stops for no man – even the King – so the BGT auditions press ahead as usual on Saturday night.

Ant and Dec host as the judging panel (Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli) search for a star and decide whether any of the contestants have what it takes to be their Golden Buzzer choice.

Of course, the series winner gets to perform in front of the King at the Royal Variety Performance later in the year.

Saturday 6 May, 8pm, ITV

The Wire

Sometimes only a good binge watch will do to help you tune out the noise of the outside world, and The Wire is one of the most immersive TV series ever made.

Each season focuses on a different facet of the Baltimore drugs world, and on Saturday viewers can sit down for a season three marathon which introduces the politicians who are battling and corruptly supporting the city's problem.

Starting at 11am, it continues through until evening on Coronation day.

Saturday 6 May, 11am, Sky Atlantic


While the main day of the Coronation celebrations is Saturday, there's still the Coronation Concert to come on Sunday evening that you might want to tune into or out of.

A gripping alternative is the latest episode of ITV's medical corruption drama Malpractice, where a pathologist reveals shocking evidence at the inquest and a surprise return from her past leaves Lucinda (Niamh Algar) reeling.

Sunday 7 May, 9pm, ITV


The Windsors aren't the only omnipotent family looking at the dawn of a new era – there's a succession line in play at WayStar Roy Co, too.

Although the latest episode of the final season airs as usual at 2am in line with the US, there's a more palatable 9pm slot, too, as the Roy juniors played by Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin continue to battle it out as heirs to their father Logan (Brian Cox).

Monday 8 May, 9pm, Sky Atlantic


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  • Princess Charlotte will 'prove Prince Harry wrong' says Jennie Bond
  • 'Major' body language changes in Kate and William explained by expert

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