Jonnie’s Blade Camp
Channel 4, 10pm
If you’re in the mood for some uplift, treat yourself to this two-parter in which, ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics, double gold-winning sprinter and former Strictly star Jonnie Peacock sets out to help five young amputees to realise their sporting potential at a ground-breaking exercise camp. Rallying a group of experts whose skills in biomechanics, prosthetics and performance assessment are normally only available to top-flight athletes, his aim is to develop tailored training programmes to bring out the untapped sporting prowess of each of the five.
They range from charmingly hyperactive Harvey, a 10-year-old double-amputee, to quietly determined 15-year-old Liv, who lost her leg after a drunk driver crashed into her family’s car. All except meningitis-amputee Mitchell have experience of using prosthetic sports blades, but it becomes obvious that emotions have just as much a role to play in getting them to change their behaviours and imbue them with the confidence to perform. In this respect Peacock is inspirational, his combination of star-power, enthusiasm and empathy prove an instant hit and, even in the face of a pandemic, it’s not long before all five begin to see the benefits. GO
The Merthyr Mermaid: Our Lives
BBC One, 7pm
Most people think I’m crazy,” says 48-year-old Cath Pendleton, whose enthusiasm for cold-water swimming extends to lakes, rivers, reservoirs and ice baths in her chest freezer. This engaging profile, previously shown on BBC Wales, trails her as she prepares to fulfil her ultimate ambition – to take a dip in the waters of Antarctica. Brrr.
The Secret Life of the Zoo
Channel 4, 8pm
We’re back at Chester Zoo for another series of behind-the-scenes stories. Breeding is the theme, as Margery the Malayan tapier appears to be eating for two, and minuscule golden mantella Eddie summons up his strength to court his frog princess.
Write Around the World with Richard E Grant
BBC Four, 9pm
Having had a ball in Italy last week, Richard E Grant manages to enjoy himself enormously again, taking in the wildness of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Cevennes, the glamour of F Scott Fitzgerald’s Riviera, and the aromas of Patrick Süskind’s Grasse, as he celebrates the literary legacy of southern France.
Secrets of the Museum
BBC Two, 9.30pm
Art, fashion and fantasy are at the heart of another fascinating visit to the V&A when the museum acquires a treasure trove of Lucian Freud prints and a landmark pink tulle designer dress. Also, an exhibition on Alice in Wonderland poses some surreal challenges.
Daisy Maskell: Insomnia and Me
BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm
Hosting an early morning radio show may seem an ideal job for an insomniac. But the wider impact of the condition is a big concern for Kiss FM presenter Daisy Maskell, who has struggled with the condition for 14 years. Here, she investigates insomnia’s debilitating long-term effects and explores why so many of her generation struggle with sleep disorders.
The Devil’s Throat
Channel 4, 11.05pm
Bulgarian TV dramas that make it as far afield as the UK are a rarity, even for Walter Presents’ idiosyncratic continent-trekking. There’s authenticity, too, in the gritty police-procedural storyline involving murder, a refugee crisis, people-trafficking and a possible terrorism connection with neighbouring Turkey. Vladimir Karamazov stars as the detective who discovers a body whose eyes have been replaced with those of a sheep. GO
Mona Lisa Smile (2003) ★★★☆☆
Julia Roberts cruises on her star quality in this lightweight, Fifties-set drama as a freethinking, feminist art history professor who joins a prominent girls’ school but finds her promising students are more interested in finding husbands than they are in forging their own careers. Her precocious charges are played by, among others, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal (easily the most impressive) and Kirsten Dunst.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) ★★★☆☆
Not one of the best Bonds, but still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Pierce Brosnan’s 007 is pitted against a media baron (Jonathan Pryce) who tries to start World War Three to boost his ratings. Our hero visits some decidedly unglamorous locations (Hamburg, a multi-storey car park, a tank of water) and dallies with Bond-babes Teri Hatcher and Michelle Yeoh. Judi Dench provides solid back-up as M.
Changing Lanes (2002) ★★★☆☆
Sky Witness, 10pm
Rather than follow up smash-hit Notting Hill with another romcom, director Roger Michell turned his attention to this slickly produced thriller. Ben Affleck stars as a lawyer on the cusp of securing the trust fund of a recently deceased tycoon. Samuel L Jackson is a recovering alcoholic whose wife wants a divorce. On the way to court, their cars collide, setting in motion a chain of unexpectedly momentous events.
Wednesday 11 August