Alternative Coronation TV guide: best films and shows to watch instead of King Charles III’s pomp and ceremony

A full day of alternative TV content to get you through the coronation - including top film picks

The King - an unelected man born to privilege who meets for confidential discussions with the Prime Minister each week - will endeavour to paper over the Royal Family’s recent PR disasters with a glitzy coronation this Saturday.

For those of us already growing frustrated with the fawning coverage of the royals, it may be best to unplug your TV set for the entirety of 6 May, as the BBC, ITV, and Sky are presenting almost non-stop coverage of the event - the latter two channels will even suspend adverts during the ceremony.

BBC One and Two will show the exact same programming as the coronation ceremony itself - essentially a £2.5 million hat (in this economy!?) being plopped on a pensioner’s head - is dragged out over several hours.

But even if you do avoid your telly all day, you may still see one of the 30 big screens blasting it out in city centres around the country. So, for those looking for something different to watch on the day of the coronation, we’ve got you covered.

Alternative Coronation day viewing guideAlternative Coronation day viewing guide
Alternative Coronation day viewing guide

An alternative coronation TV viewing guide:

8.55am-9.25am:The King of Queens (Channel 4) - If you’re not planning to rush to The Mall outside Buckingham Palace with miniature Union Flags in hand, hoping to catch a glimpse of Charles on the big day, then you can have a well-deserved lie in. Channel 4 is evidently having a bit of fun with its morning programming - avoiding coverage of the coronation prep, it will instead air back to back episodes of the ‘90s Kevin James sitcom which has presumably been scheduled because of its royal title.

9.20am-10.20am: Red Bull Soapbox Race (Dave) - Frankly anything is better than watching tourists mill around outside Westminster Abbey whilst various public figures mill around inside it. There are very few Dave repeats that are as fun as the Soapbox Race - this episode takes place in Lisbon.

10.20am-11.40am: Only Fools and Horses double bill (Gold) - The classic comedy series will take you back to simpler times. Two of the best episodes from the show will air on Gold just as Charles is making his way from his 775 bedroom house towards Westminster Abbey. The first episode, From Prussia With Love, sees a misunderstanding occur when Rodney and Del-Boy try to sell a pregnant German woman’s baby. It’s followed by Miracle in Peckham, where Del-Boy tries to make money out of a weeping statue at a local church.  

11.45am-1.30pm: Johnny English Strikes Again (Channel 4) - Rowan Atkinson's spy spoof sequel - after a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker. The film will air over the time of the coronation ceremony, and as Charles is being crowned on BBC One, Two, ITV, and Sky, you’ll be watching Atkinson accidentally set fire to a high end French restaurant.

Korean thriller Hunt will air on Sky CinemaKorean thriller Hunt will air on Sky Cinema
Korean thriller Hunt will air on Sky Cinema

1.30pm-3.30pm: The Monaco ePrix (Channel 4) - Sticking with Channel 4 you’ll find live coverage of the motor race at the Circuit de Monaco in Monte Carlo. Last year’s winner was Belgium’s Stoffel Vandoorne with Mercedes, but German driver Pascal Wehrlein currently tops the standings. The race is set to begin just after 2pm.

3pm-4.45pm: Manchester City vs Leeds United (Sky Sports) - The Premier League game has actually moved from the regular 12.30pm kick-off so as not to clash with the coronation. Man City have won all of their last five matches and are second in the table, whilst Leeds have won just one, drawn one, and lost three, and sit in 16th position.

4.50pm-5.50pm: The Chase: Celebrity Special (ITV) - Singer Cheryl Baker, weather presenter Laura Tobin, former American Football player Jason Bell, and comedian Mark Steel join Bradley Walsh as they take on a fearsome Chaser in the hopes of winning money for charity.

5.50pm-8pm: Hunt (Sky Cinema) - Korean language action thriller starring Lee Jung-jae and Jung Woo-sung. The film follows agents from the International Unit and the Domestic Unit of the Korean Spy Agency who are tasked with uncovering a North Korean Spy known as Donglim who is deeply embedded within their agency.

8pm-9.20pm: Britain’s Got Talent (ITV) - More performers of all kinds take to the stage in Manchester and London as they hope to impress judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, and Bruno Tonioli. 

9.15pm-10.40pm: Fawlty Towers: 50 Years of Laughs (Channel 5) - This special documentary will explore the phenomenon that was Fawlty Towers, the iconic sitcom created by John Cleese about a cranky Torquay hotel owner, his icy wife, and their quirky staff and customers.

10.50pm: Con Air (Channel 4) - End a hard day of coronation avoidance with this classic crime action flick starring Nicolas Cage, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack, and John Malkovich. The movie follows a wrongly convicted prisoner due to be released when his plane is hijacked by other hardened criminals.