Pick of the day: Bridget Riley – Painting The Line
9pm, BBC Two
“She moved art on 500… no, a thousand years,” says Tracey Emin of Bridget Riley, whose sometimes dizzying line paintings made the artist a poster girl for the 1960s. Centred on Kirsty Wark’s rare interview with the 90-year-old Riley, this revealing profile follows her progression from copying the pointillism of Georges Seurat, through the groundbreaking black-and-white paintings before embracing colour. Riley explains why she dislikes the “Op Art” label and hated the commercialisation of her work by the 1960s fashion industry. Among the contributors are her friend, the author Hilary Spurling.
Children In Need 2021
7pm, BBC One
Despite being pared back because of the pandemic, last year’s telethon still raised nearly £40m for the charity’s various youth-related causes. The latest fundraiser is the first to be helmed at Salford’s Media City UK, Joe Wicks and Love Island host Laura Whitmore are among the famous faces involved, alongside singers Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Ella Henderson, I’m A Celeb… winner Giovanna Fletcher, rappers Professor Green and Lady Leshurr and presenters Katie Piper and Ade Adepitan. Plus, news of Matt Baker and his team’s Rickshaw Challenge, which is now in its 11th year. Mel Giedroyc, Graham Norton, Chris Ramsey and Alex Scott host.
7.30pm, Channel 4
Minnie Stephenson visits Senegal to report on the young female surfers trying to smash traditional stereotypes as they fight to get their surf school recognised. The predominantly Muslim state takes a conservative view on the roles of women, arguing that female empowerment encourages debauchery in the young, and Stephenson hears about physical intimidation and opposition.
Griff’s Great New Zealand Adventure
In case anyone is wondering how Griff Rhys Jones managed not only to wangle getting into New Zealand, but also to travel around mask-free and performing the socially non-distanced Māori greeting (nose and forehead pressed together), then it’s because this travel series was filmed pre-pandemic in 2019. Travelling from tip to toe, Griff’s opening leg takes him from Cape Reinga, where he sledges down some enormous sand dunes (“bruising my crotch area” in the process) to the North Island city of Auckland.
Valley Of Tears
The skirmishes within the larger battle are viscerally well portrayed in the ongoing Israeli drama about the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The remnants of the 87th tank regiment are still attempting to fight their way to safety, and now use the captured Syrian pilot as a bargaining tool, while the geeky intelligence officer Avinoan is even more adrift in no man’s land.
In My Skin
11.55pm, BBC One
Admirers of Kayleigh Llewellyn’s ridiculously good coming-of-age drama could be forgiven for bingeing on the entire second series, but for those preferring to savour this Welsh Bafta-winner, the latest episode follows Bethan and her schoolmates on a taster visit to a local university that involves some drunken revelations. Back home, Beth’s mother takes her to meet her lover, “the man from the bingo” – a vast improvement on her violent, layabout father.
Pick of the day: Paul McCartney At The BBC
7.55pm, BBC Two
An evening of programmes dedicated to the ex-Beatle begins with BBC clips from his post-Fab Four career – performing “Live And Let Die” with Wings at the Electric Proms, “Band On The Run”, “Jet” and, lest we forget, “Mull Of Kintyre”. Not that McCartney’s Beatles output is neglected, with a fair sampling of the back catalogue (“Get Back”, “Yesterday”, “Eleanor Rigby” and, inevitably, “Hey Jude”), while Macca is newly interviewed by “die-hard fan” Bob Mortimer.
Strictly Come Dancing
6.35pm, BBC One
Musicals Week is here again. Last year, Bill Bailey tangoed to “The Phantom Of The Opera” and HRVY topped the leader board with his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-inspired Charleston – a dance style that always seems to please both crowd and judges. One musical that won’t be channelled by the contestants this year is Cabaret. Instead, it is being celebrated by the pro dancers in their opening routine.
Britain By Beach
8pm, Channel 4
Anita Rani is on the coastline of eastern Scotland this week, visiting the world’s oldest sea-washed lighthouse and Second World War fortifications in the Firth of Forth. She also discovers how the Scottish crown jewels were smuggled out of Dunottar Castle, and how the poet, novelist and playwright Sir Walter Scott used a royal visit in 1822 to reinvent the idea of Scotland.
Empire State Of Mind
9pm, Channel 4
Spun out of Sathnam Sanghera’s recent book, Empireland, exploring the ongoing legacy of the British empire on modern British, this two-part documentary starts with Sanghera looking at how contemporary racism is rooted in a historic sense of exceptionalism. The journalist and author of The Boy With The Top Knot uncovers the stories of Sikh soldiers who fought in the First World War, only to be disregarded when their service was over. He also discovers disturbing parallels with the treatment of soldiers from Commonwealth countries today.
9.30pm, BBC One
Police officer Ffion serves notice on wife Jan that she is filing for divorce – moments before they are both taken hostage by an angry, terminally ill lawyer who live-streams his actions on the internet. It would be fun to be a fly on the wall in the Casualty writers’ room as they dream up these scenarios. Adding to the soapy melodrama is the aftermath of Ethan’s stabbing, with Stevie understandably worried about what the consequences may be once Ethan regains consciousness.
Stieg Larsson’s Millennium
9.30pm, BBC Four
Fans of Beck may be confused to see its star, Peter Haber, as one of the suspects in this continuing Swedish adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, especially as he plays another character called Martin. This particular Martin is a nasty piece of work, as anyone who has read Stieg Larsson’s book, or seen David Fincher’s movie adaptation, will know. But is he the serial killer whose long history of murders is being investigated by journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the asocial hacker Lisbeth Salander? Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace star as the two sleuths.
Pick of the day: I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
So, as usual, the so-called “rumours” about who would be heading to North Wales again this year turned out to be 100 per cent correct. Gwrych Castle will host a promisingly combustible mix of boomers and millennials, older campers including the hopefully abrasive Richard Madeley, as well as French ex-footballer David Ginola and former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips. Music producer Naughty Boy is among the under-40s. And not forgetting, of course, the show’s essential ingredient: presenters Ant and Dec.
Doctor Who: Flux
6.20pm, BBC One
Departing showrunner Chris Chibnall is certainly throwing everything in the Doctor Who toy box at his swansong story, from Daleks and Cybermen to CGI graphics not dissimilar to Professor Brian Cox’s Universe series. But it’s the Weeping Angels, with their scary take on the old game of “grandmother’s footsteps”, that are lead monsters this week, as the Tardis lands in a supposedly cursed 1960s English village where a child has gone missing.
An Audience With Adele
A one-off concert at the London Palladium, in which the singer performs songs from her new album 30, as well as classics. The specially invited audience includes friends, family, fans, her own personal heroes and heroines, fellow musicians and so on, who have the chance to ask questions. Her answers will no doubt be characteristically forthright.
9pm, BBC One
The penultimate episode in the best of the current glut of television crime dramas – and it’s day one of the titular murder trial. As “anti-privilege” protesters gather outside the Bristol court, defence lawyers brace themselves for the testimony of the victim’s mother and the forensic evidence found on Talitha’s bracelet. Meanwhile, Talitha’s solicitor Cleo considers the nuclear option – revealing the childhood abuse suffered by the “poor little rich girl”.
The Lakes With Simon Reeve
9pm, BBC Two
The great thing about Reeves’s travelogues is the way in which he reveals both the light and dark sides of the places he visits. So, after an invigorating cold-water swim in pristine Buttermere, he learns how Derwentwater is clogged with invasive New Zealand pygmy weed imported for use in aquariums. Then he’s off to the “underrated gem” of Carlisle to see how it is menaced by floods, before meeting conservationists “re-wriggling” the straight rivers that make floods so much worse.
Close To Me
9pm, Channel 4
This curiously stilted amnesia thriller (Scandi-noir translated to the Sussex seaside) continues with Jo’s creepily solicitous husband Rob (Christopher Eccleston) still claiming that everything has been just fine during Jo’s 13-month absence in a coma. But why is Rob pressing Jo for a loan towards his failing estate agency, and is that a familiar tattoo we spy on her daughter’s boyfriend?
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