Diana – Thursday, STV, 9pm
Princess Diana would’ve turned 60 this year. This feature-length documentary recounts the story of her eventful and ultimately tragic life. It’s a sympathetic portrait of someone who was hounded by the press from the moment she emerged into the public eye at the age of 19. It doesn’t ignore the fact that Diana used the media to her advantage at times; such is the nature of celebrity. I’m no royalist, nor am I a knee-jerk cynic: for all her wealth and privilege, Diana was a sensitive human being whose adult life wasn’t especially happy. While the film occasionally borders on hagiography, I have no reason to doubt its overall assessment of her as a genuinely warm and caring person.
Devon and Cornwall – Monday, Channel 4, 8pm
The best thing about this series by a picturesque country mile is John Nettles’ hilariously rich and fruity narration. It’s an absolute masterclass in rococo over-enunciation. He makes Matt Berry sound like one of those fuzzy mumbling teachers from the Peanuts cartoons. As the latest series begins, we meet some more people enjoying seemingly idyllic lives. Chief among them are a trawlerman, a wildlife ranger and the head gardener at Cornwall’s Lost Gardens of Heligan. It’s a perfectly pleasant programme. Lovely scenery, genial protagonists, what a wonderful world etc. But Nettles catapults it into a bizarre realm far beyond its simple remit. And I’m still not entirely convinced that everyone involved, including Bergerac himself, isn’t in on the gag.
Philly D.A: Breaking the Law – Tuesday, BBC Four, 10pm
This engrossing eight-part series chronicles the controversial first term of Philadelphia’s District Attorney Larry Krasner, a veteran civil rights lawyer hell-bent on fixing the city’s broken criminal justice system. An uncompromising anti-establishment figure, Krasner vows to introduce sweeping changes with regards to law enforcement. He feels that far too many Philadelphians are being incarcerated for relatively trivial reasons. Naturally, this places him in direct conflict with the city’s police department (during his former career as a defence attorney, he sued them some 75 times). Krasner is a charismatic progressive whose dedicated fight against racism, police brutality and mass incarceration represents some hope for America as a whole. The series begins with a double-bill.
Eat Shop Save – Thursday, STV, 7:30pm
Presenter Ranvir Singh returns for another volley of consumer lifestyle assistance. Her guinea pigs this week are Michelle and Neil from Dudley, who are worried about their unhealthy diet. Michelle and Neil mostly work from home, hence why they often rely on a quick and easy diet of takeaways. Believe you me, when you’re very busy and working to deadlines, it’s all too easy to slip into that rut. Fortunately, Singh and her team of experts are on hand to improve Michelle and Neil’s fitness levels while helping them to save money. Why this couple, who come across as nice people, have decided to address their problems on television is beyond me. That’s just something I will never understand.
The Supervet: Noel Fitzpatrick – Thursday, Channel 4, 8pm
If they ever make a biopic about Noel Fitzpatrick, he should definitely be played by Gabriel Byrne. A quietly charismatic, genial Irishman, Fitzpatrick is a veterinary surgeon who has never met a sickly snout or paw he couldn’t mend. He’s James Herriot with cutting-edge RoboCop technology at his disposal. Thank God he’s a force for good, otherwise we’d all be in trouble. A world ruled by cyborg cats is a horrifying proposition. The latest episode of this always watchable series focuses on Fitzpatrick’s pioneering experiments in joint replacement treatment. His patients include a beautiful black Labrador with debilitating arthritis and a quite magnificently massive Great Dane who Fitzpatrick sadly describes as “a neurological disaster”. But he’s on the case.
Dragons’ Den – Thursday, BBC One, 9pm
The latest episode of this never-ending series in which tycoons make anxious entrepreneurs squirm for their idle amusement is, of course, business as usual. The Dragons’ Den formula must never bend or yield. With Den stalwart Peter Jones still in self-isolation at the time of filming, his old mucker Theo Paphitis once again steps up as a temporary replacement. What a hero. This week’s hopefuls include an enthusiastic multi-instrumentalist who has invented a training aid for drummers, a woman with an eco-friendly recyclable shoe range, an LA-raised entrepreneur who has created a culinary alcohol product, and a couple from Leeds who bring four of their six kids along to pitch a mini-first aid course.
Unreported World – Friday, Channel 4, 7:30pm
In this stark report, journalist Seyi Rhodes meets some of the Syrian and Afghan migrants who can no longer find safe refuge in a once welcoming Europe. These desperate people, many of whom have been brutally assaulted, are stuck in Serbian limbo. They’ve trekked for miles on foot, only to be beaten back from the European Union by border guards. They’re living in abandoned farmhouses with no electricity or running water. Outside, anti-migrant vigilante groups circle them menacingly. It’s a frightening situation. These men and women have nothing left, no homes to go to. Their lives and careers have been destroyed by war. And if they do manage to escape into Europe, will they really be any better off?