10 of the best TV shows to watch this week
Civil rights in ’68, Brendan O’Connor marking time, and fighting sex crimes in Belgium
The new-look neon Big Brother eye. Photograph: Channel 5/PA Wire
Jamie Cooks Italy
Monday, Channel 4, 8.30pm
Jamie Oliver and his friend, mentor and fellow chef Gennaro Contaldo explore traditional Italian home cooking, beginning by visiting the Aeolian Islands to track down undiscovered recipes untouched by time. Franchina, a 93-year-old caper farmer, teaches Oliver how to cook stuffed squid, inspiring his grilled squid and zingy caper salsa. He also cooks Sunday lunch with the matriarch of one of the archipelago’s biggest families; the menu features chicken and aubergine pot roast with lemony couscous.
Bollywood: The World’s Biggest Film Industry
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
Part one of two. Anita Rani explores the world of Indian cinema, revealing the extraordinary stories and secrets behind an industry that employs more than 250,000 people. She begins her journey in Mumbai, the home of Bollywood, where the stars tower over the city on enormous murals. Rani discovers just how important the movies are to everyday people at one of the city’s oldest cinemas, where she quickly finds herself in the middle of a screaming mob as the cast of that night’s film make a surprise appearance.
1968: The Long March
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
In 1968, Vietnam War protests were raging across the globe, students were rioting in Paris, and the US civil rights movement was reaching its peak. And, in Northern Ireland, the nascent civil rights movement was taking its first, tentative steps on the streets of Derry. This documentary, presented by Miriam O’Callaghan, looks at the tumultuous events between spring 1968 and summer 1969, focusing on three key marches that changed the dynamics in Northern Ireland forever, including the “Long March” inspired by Martin Luther King, which ended in violence and led to the arrival of British Troops in Northern Ireland. The programme gives an insight into what life was like for ordinary Catholics in the North 50 years ago, and features interviews with Eamonn McCann, Bernadette McAliskey, Kerry Kennedy (daughter of Robert Kennedy) and the Rev Al Sharpton.
A Passage to Britain
Tuesday, BBC2, 9pm
Dr Yasmin Khan explores a collection of ship’s passenger lists to trace the changing story of migration from the Indian subcontinent to Britain over three key decades. She begins by tracking down passengers who travelled from Mumbai (then Bombay) to Britain in the 1930s on P&O liner The Viceroy of India. Khan will discover the challenges faced by these new arrivals as they tried to build a life in a strange land and reveal how their individual stories reflect the increasingly strained relationship between Britain and its Indian empire.
On the Edge
Tuesday-Wednesday, Channel 4, 10pm
Channel 4’s new three-part crime anthology serves a double purpose: to explore the justice system from the perspectives of a young offender, a witness and a victim, as well as offer a showcase to emerging new writers and directors. The first two instalments air tonight, beginning with Through the Gates, which focuses on Aimee (Ria Zmitrowicz), who may only be young but has already spent a huge chunk of her chaotic life in and out of prison. Meanwhile, her parole officer (Wunmi Mosaku) is stuck in her own destructive rut – can the pair help each other to escape? It’s followed by A Mother’s Love, which shows how the lives of a single mum (Nadine Marshall) and her 11-year-old son are shattered when he witnesses a gangland crime on their estate. The third instalment, That Girl, airs on Wednesday.
Recipes That Made Me: Punjab
Wednesday, BBC2, 8pm
It no secret that immigration has had a huge impact on British cuisine. But how do UK home cooks with their roots in the Indian subcontinent keep their family recipes and traditions alive? Restaurateur Nisha Katona finds out in this new series, which begins with her travelling to the West Midlands, which has the largest population of Punjabis in the UK. She learns about the ingredients and techniques that give Punjabi cuisine its distinctively rich dishes, and discovers that the high-calorie food could be linked to the region’s ancient warrior culture. In the second half of the opening double bill, Katona heads for London to learn why Sri Lankan food has gained in popularity before receiving a masterclass in making a “string hopper”.
Celebrity Big Brother
Thursday, 3e, 9pm
It’s time for another bunch of slebs to enter the Big Brother house in the hope of keeping those cosmetics endorsements and chat-show invites coming in for a few more years. But how can CBB compete with the tanned and toned young things on Love Island? Easy –get porn star Stormy Daniels on the show. She’s rumoured to be joining the Big Brother house, and what’s the bet the first question her housemates will ask is, “So, what first attracted you to the billionaire Donald Trump?” Also rumoured to appear is telly presenter Noel Edmonds, singer Sinitta, former Cheers star Kirstie Alley, Meghan Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle, and “bad boy” footballer Jermaine Pennant, who wants to go on CBB to prove he’s not really a bad boy. (There goes the shower with Stormy, then.)
Searching for Mum: Sri Lanka
Thursday, BBC2, 9pm
Who Do You Think You Are? and Long Lost Family tap into that basic need we all have: to know more about our culture and our roots. This new two-parter should prove just as moving as those ratings-winners. Two women, both adopted as babies, return to Sri Lanka to try to find their birth families. Rebecca (38) was adopted when she was three months old by a Sri Lankan couple living in London. For the first nine years of her life, Rebecca thought her adoptive family was her birth family. One evening she found her adoption papers by accident. Since then she has been trying to find the truth about the family who brought her into the world. And Ria (27), who was adopted by a couple living in northern Scotland, always wondered what her life would have been if she had stayed in Sri Lanka – and what happened to her mother. Hopefully now she’ll get some answers.
Brendan O’Connor’s Time Out
Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
It’s a busy summer, what with all the barbies, beers and beaches. Time to take a break to reflect on the important thing in life (er, I thought they were the important things in life). Brendan O’Connor’s new three-part series, basically a holding series until the return of Cutting Edge, has a simple premise: he pulls up a chair, sits down with a celebrity or public figure, and has a nice aul’ chinwag about the things that really matter. Sounds not a million miles away from Gaybo’s legendary chat show The Meaning of Life. Can Uncle Brendo get under the skin of his guests and bring out their real selves? His guests are Majella O’Donnell, Michael Harding and Chic guitar legend Nile Rodgers. We’ve been promised no bells and whistles, although the Rodgers interview takes place in the iconic Abbey Road Studios. I’m impressed.
Code 37: Sex Crimes
Friday, More4, 9pm
Veerle Baetens, Michael Pas and Marc Lauwrys star in this Belgian 13-parter screened as part of the Walter strand. It orbits around young and single-minded chief inspector Hannah Maes, who starts her new job as head of the Ghent police department section that specialises in sexual offences, also known as Code 37s. In episode one, the body of wife and mother is found in a hotel room. The cause of death was erotic asphyxiation, making it a case for Hannah and her team. Who was behind the one-night stand that proved so fatal?