Granite Harbour ‐ Thursday, BBC Scotland, 10pm/Friday, BBC One, 7pm
This new Aberdeen‐based cop show begins with Lance Corporal Davis Lindo (Romario Simpson) arriving in town to start a new life and career as a Detective Constable with Police Scotland. Lindo is Jamaican and dreams of one day working at New Scotland Yard. Before he can get there, however, he must earn his stripes on the mean streets of the Granite City. He’s paired with DCI Lara ‘Bart’ Bartlett (Hannah Donaldson), an Aberdonian who strikes up a natural rapport with her ambitious new partner. An engaging duo, their first case involves the murder of a local Big Oil magnate. He was a controversial figure, to say the least, so the list of suspects is practically never‐ending.
Secrets of the Middle Aisle ‐ Monday, Channel 4, 8pm
To the layperson’s eye, budget supermarket monarchs Lidl and Aldi just throw their wares together in a haphazard way. Get in, get out, and buy whatever you can afford. Well, nothing could be further from the truth according to this two‐part series. Your host Denise Van Outen reveals the subtly ingenious psychological ways in which those budget supermarkets keep us coming back for more. Which all sounds rather sinister, I know, but Lidl and Aldi are forces for good in the grand scheme of things. All supermarkets employ the same set of tricks, the only difference being that terrible snobs would never be caught dead shopping in those particular stores. Well, that’s their life choice I suppose.
Trailblazers: A Rocky Mountain Road Trip ‐ Monday, BBC Two, 9pm
A cut above your standard celebrity travelogue, this enjoyable new series stars Ruby Wax, Melanie Brown and Emily Atack. They’re following in the footsteps of Victorian explorer Isabella Bird, whose pioneering expeditions have been largely forgotten. Bird is an absolutely fascinating character. She travelled alone throughout the American Wild West and befriended outlaws along the way. So this isn’t just another case of celebs having wacky adventures against a backdrop of stunning scenery, it’s an educational tribute to an unjustly overlooked hero. Wax, Brown and Atack are a likeable trio, they’re smart, funny and inquisitive. You can’t fake that chemistry. An evidently sincere endeavour, their eventful trip through the rocky mountains of Colorado is also quite touching at times.
24 Hours in Police Custody ‐ Monday, Channel 4, 9pm
The return of this true‐crime stalwart begins in rural Bedfordshire. A married couple are awoken in the dead of night. The husband runs downstairs to confront the intruders. When they flee the scene on motorbikes, he gets in his car. A high‐speed chase ensues. Mere moments later, the police receive reports of a serious road accident involving three men. Two of them are critically injured. While the shaken husband is taken into custody, he asks the arresting officer: “I am not going to prison for this, am I?” Was he within his rights to pursue them? You know the score with this show. It raises uncomfortable questions and doesn’t flinch. It’s uneasy. Please, don’t have nightmares.
Secrets of Playboy ‐ Monday, Channel 4, 10pm
Channel 4’s night of secrets‐busting continues with a troubling peek behind the burgundy velvet drapes of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire. Burgundy velvet drapes which were, according to several visitors to his legendary mansion, stained with the urine and ordure of Hef’s many cats. You’d think he’d have hired at least one person to empty their litter trays, but he presumably wasn’t troubled by such everyday trifling concerns. He was too busy manipulating and exploiting women, as this apparently in‐depth twelve‐part series will illustrate. Preview copies weren’t available, but I’ve read enough about Hefner to know that he wasn’t some sort of idiosyncratic rebel. An American hero! He was a seedy creep, an opportunistic sleazeball.
Louis Theroux Interviews… ‐ Tuesday, BBC Two, 9:30pm
In the final episode of his current series, Theroux breaks bread with pop superstar Rita Ora. The Kosovo‐born singer comes across well, she’s funny, self‐aware and admirably determined. The poignant highlight is an encounter with her adoring parents, who talk about the difficulties of building a new life in Britain as Albanian refugees. Ora is proud of her heritage: the episode begins with her playing a free concert in Albania. She also tells Theroux about the disturbing problems she’s had with stalkers and the media. Women in the public eye are judged, mocked and scrutinised in a way that most famous men never are. Theroux, as always, navigates this difficult territory with the utmost tact and empathy.
Avenue 5 ‐ Wednesday, Sky Showcase, 10pm