Wednesday’s best TV: No Offence; A Very British Brothel

Paul Abbott’s comedy cop drama returns, while Channel 4 make another visit to Sheffield’s thriving massage parlour City Sauna

We Have Been Watching
8pm, Gold

New addition to the curious watching-people-watching-television genre. The twist in this case is that the people watching TV comedies have also acted in them themselves. The commentators – including Meera Syal, David Baddiel, Ralf Little and Ricky Tomlinson – are funny people, and their critiques and appreciations are well informed, even if some jumpy editing gets in the way. Andrew Mueller

No Offence
9pm, Channel 4

The return of Paul Abbott’s entertaining, comedy-tinged procedural drama sees Joanna Scanlan’s Viv come back from extended leave only to be plunged right into, er, the thick of it. As the extraordinary circumstances of an attempted murder at a funeral (an explosion, no less) become clear, a vicious set-to shapes up between rival gangleaders and their families. Paul Ritter’s forensics expert is a particular delight amid the carnage. David Stubbs

Italy’s Invisible Cities
9pm, BBC1

Alexander Armstrong in the Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples
Alexander Armstrong in the Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples. Photograph: Freddie Claire/BBC

In this enjoyable opener, Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott travel to Il Bel Paese. A trip both cultural and geological, their visit to the bay of Naples uncovers fruity detail (“See Naples and die” was a reference to its 18th-century syphilis problem) and physical marvels. Taking a break from strained banter, the pair visit the jawdropping network of tunnels created by the Bourbons, from which the city’s preferred building stone was also sourced. John Robinson

Pop Quiz: The Comeback
9.30pm, BBC4

One of the most reliable sources of delight on the BBC iPlayer is the small, rotating cache of early 80s Top of the Pops episodes. This two-part revival of the same era’s music quiz is a cheerful companion piece to those cherishable slices of pop culture, offering an opportunity to catch up – a few decades on – with the likes of Nick Heyward, Cheryl Baker, David Grant and Ranking Roger. Mike Read reprises his role as host. Phil Harrison

A Very British Brothel
10pm, Channel 4

The last time a Channel 4 documentary crew visited Sheffield’s City Sauna – a pub-turned-massage-parlour – they encountered pragmatic mother-daughter team Kath and Jenni, plus a couple of talkative regulars and a goldfish called Pimp. Now, more than a year later, business is booming to the extent that Kath is actively scouting for a second location, while also dealing with day-to-day problems such as damp in the lounge. Graeme Virtue

In Therapy: Coleen Nolan
10pm, Channel 5

The Nolans have publicly aired much of their family drama, so it’s no surprise that youngest sibling and long-serving Loose Woman Coleen Nolan has decided to book televised sessions with Channel 5’s resident therapist, Mandy Saligari. At first, such an intimate insight into a stranger’s life – albeit familiar from tabloid splashes – makes for uncomfortable viewing. But, like all car-crash TV, you’ll find you just can’t look away. Grace Rahman

10pm, E4

By this point, only the staunchest Supernaturaller will have the foggiest what’s going on, but a show doesn’t reach the wizened old age of 12 series without a few superfans occasionally updating its Wikipedia entry. This opener sees Sam withstanding “enhanced interrogation” of various hues at the hands of Toni, while Dean and the lads’ mum try to sniff him out. Meanwhile, Crowley is looking for Lucifer. As you do. Still nonsense, but of the ripely enjoyable sort. Luke Holland

Film choice

The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock, 1956), 11.20am, More4
Hitchcock’s glossy Technicolor remake of his own black-and-white 1934 British thriller stars James Stewart and Doris Day as a doctor and his wife holidaying in Morocco who have to sharpen up their act when their son is kidnapped. Many prefer the leaner, fun-filled original, but this grips, too – and has Day’s lovely rendition of Que Sera, Sera as a bonus. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Test cricket: South Africa v Sri Lanka 7.55am, Sky Sports 2
The third day’s play in the second Test of this three-match series.

Premier League football: Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea 7.30pm, Sky Sports 1
Coverage of the London derbyfrom White Hart Lane (kick-off 8pm).

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls 1am (Thursday), BT Sport 2
All the action from the Eastern Conference Central match.


Andrew Mueller, David Stubbs, John Robinson, Phil Harrison, Graeme Virtue, Grace Rahman, Luke Holland and Paul Howlett

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Wednesday’s best TV: Vive La Révolution!; Inside the SS
Joan Bakewell reminisces about the French revolution that nearly was in 1968, while a new series interviews members of Hitler’s notorious paramilitary group

David Stubbs, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Phil Harrison, Hannah Verdier, Graeme Virtue, Hannah J Davies and Paul Howlett

09, May, 2018 @5:20 AM

Article image
Wednesday’s best TV: The Missing; Black and British: A Forgotten History
The gripping thriller cranks up to a super-creepy finale, while David Olusoga’s outstanding series examines Britain’s attitude to slavery

Ali Catterall, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Ben Arnold, Jonathan Wright, Graeme Virtue, Paul Howlett,

23, Nov, 2016 @6:09 AM

Holidate | Eddie Waring - Mr Rugby League | The First Day of the Blitz | The Big School Lottery | Mercury Music Prize | This is England '86 | Tonight's TV highlights
Holidate | Eddie Waring - Mr Rugby League | The First Day of the Blitz | The Big School Lottery | Mercury Music Prize | This is England '86 | Tonight's TV highlights

Julia Raeside, David Stubbs, Ali Catterall, Andrew Mueller, Will Dean

07, Sep, 2010 @7:00 AM

Article image
TV highlights 15/08/2014
International Test Cricket: England v India | On the Yorkshire Buses | Scrappers | Boomers | The Singer Takes It All | The Last Bomb | Edinburgh Nights with Sue Perkins | Drugs Incorporated

Mark Jones, Andrew Mueller, Ben Arnold, Hannah Verdier, Hannah J Davies, David Stubbs and John Robinson

15, Aug, 2014 @6:30 AM

Article image
Thursday’s best TV: Without Limits – Vietnam; Educating Greater Manchester
The intrepid Brits with disabilities meet their Vietnamese counterparts; plus more challenges for Harrop Fold’s Mr Povey

Ben Arnold, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Phil Harrison, Paul Howlett, Jack Seale, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier, Jonathan Wright

21, Sep, 2017 @5:00 AM

Article image
Thursday’s best TV – Vitamin Pills: Miracle or Myth?; Sally4Ever
Dr Giles Yeo examines the food supplement industry for Horizon, while Julia Davis’s latest series promises to be her filthiest yet

Graeme Virtue, Ali Catterall, Gwilym Mumford, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier and Paul Howlett

25, Oct, 2018 @5:20 AM

Article image
Wednesday’s best TV: Hang Ups; Trust
Stephen Mangan’s series about the trials of a video therapist ends in farce, while Donald Sutherland stars as John Paul Getty in a 10-part historical drama

David Stubbs, Mike Bradley, Jack Seale, Graeme Virtue and Paul Howlett

12, Sep, 2018 @5:20 AM

Article image
TV tonight: three events that shaped the black British experience in the 80s
Steve McQueen looks at the New Cross fire, the mass Black People’s Day of Action and the Brixton riots. Plus! Ray Mears explores China, Here’s what to watch tonight

20, Jul, 2021 @6:30 AM

Article image
Thursday’s best TV: Russia With Simon Reeve; The Supervet
An unfailingly polite trek across the former Soviet Union, plus radical surgery for dogs

Ben Arnold, Ali Catterall, Paul Howlett, Andrew Mueller, John Robinson, Jack Seale, Hannah Verdier, Graeme Virtue

28, Sep, 2017 @5:05 AM

Article image
Thursday’s best TV: Riviera; Wife Swap Brexit Special
Julia Stiles stars in a super-rich crime yarn, as an old TV format tests whether leavers and remainers can live together. Plus: The Real Full Monty, 20 years on

Ben Arnold, Ali Catterall, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Sophie Harris, Paul Howlett, Ellen E Jones, Andrew Mueller, Jack Seale

15, Jun, 2017 @5:10 AM