Thursday’s best TV: Who Should We Let in?; Host the Week; Riviera

Ian Hislop unearths some surprises in a history of Britain’s response to outsiders. Plus: Scarlett Moffatt is the first celeb to Host the Week; and revelations on the riviera for Julia Stiles

Who Should We Let in? Ian Hislop on the First Great Immigration Row

9pm, BBC2

With “concerns” about immigration as high as ever on the political agenda, Ian Hislop looks back at the history of Britain’s response to outsiders coming here. Extraordinarily, it turns out our Victorian forebears were far more open-minded about immigrants, believing in an open-door policy as a matter of principle. Only when migration levels rose at the end of the 19th century did a backlash begin. David Stubbs

Kat and Alfie: Redwater
8pm, BBC1

It’s all gone a bit murder-mystery as Kat Moon’s quest to find her long-lost son reaches its climax. The odds of her boy Dermott coming out of this well are reduced as Peter’s still missing after a row and the loose ends of Lance’s death are about to be wrapped up. Kat has never been a character regularly granted happy endings, so perhaps the best she can hope for here is to make it to the closing credits without being killed off. Hannah Verdier

The Supervet

8pm, Channel 4

People love their pets. They really love their pets. You won’t understand quite how much until you’ve heard the story of the woman who travelled all the way from Romania to seek the counsel of Noel “The Supervet” Fitzpatrick. Or looked deep into the puppy-dog eyes of a golden labrador facing a total shoulder replacement. Whether you can emotionally invest in the daft hound that collided with a plant pot is, however, a judgment call. Ellen E Jones

Gavin Hughes heroes of the somme
Somme mistake … Gavin Hughes in Thiepval Woods, where the 36th Ulster Division assembled for an attack on the German frontline. Photograph: UKTV

Heroes of the Somme

8pm, Yesterday

Of the many questions raised by any study of the battle of the Somme, the most intriguing is: why did it continue? What impelled men to keep walking into a massacre? This documentary seeks an answer by focusing on the actions of seven men who went sufficiently above and beyond duty’s call to win the Victoria Cross. It’s deftly illustrated with archive footage, plus interviews with historians and descendents of the fallen. Andrew Mueller

Killer Women with Piers Morgan

9pm, ITV

Piers Morgan meets Rebecca Fenton, serving life without parole but protesting her innocence. In 2008, she entered her Florida home to find the house ransacked and her husband lying in a pool of blood. Police believed it to be a home invasion by an unknown assailant, but eventually convicted Fenton. It’s compelling, but then the lowest common denominator of true crime can travel comfortably across the Atlantic. John Robinson

Host the Week

9pm, Channel 4

The concept for this new show is that each week it will presented by a different celebrity guest. The twist comes in that they have had no rehearsals, haven’t seen a script, and basically have no idea what’s going on from one moment to the next. Comics and improvisers will guide said celeb through everything from their opening monologue to sketches and interviews. First up, it’s Scarlett Moffatt from Gogglebox, and best of luck to her. Ben Arnold

Julia Stiles Riviera
Southern comfort … Julia Stiles as Georgina Clios in Riviera. Photograph: Sky UK Limited


9pm, Sky Atlantic

Adrian Lester has a ball reprising a mildly tweaked version of the charming, shady art dealer persona he inhabited in Hustle as this glossy drama continues. It turns out that Robert Carver (Lester) had been in regular touch with Constantine Clios during the period leading up to his death, and – as Georgina Clios (Julia Stiles) is beginning to realise – that doesn’t reflect well on her late husband. Good fun, so long as you have the requisite pinches of salt to hand. Phil Harrison

Film choice

The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994) 9.15pm, ITV4

After a gentle start at the box office, Darabont’s cinema debut rapidly grew into an all-time favourite, maybe because – although it contains all the cliches of jail drama – it breaks free to create a rich, life-affirming tale of comradeship in the harshest conditions. Tim Robbins stars as accountant Andy Dufresne, an innocent incarcerated in the brutal Shawshank prison; Morgan Freeman is Red, who befriends him. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Tennis: Queen’s 1pm, BBC2. The fourth day of the grass-court tournament as the men’s singles continues, minus Andy Murray.

Horse Racing: Royal Ascot 1.30pm, ITV. Day three of the meeting with the prestigious Gold Cup at 4.20pm.

Under-21s European Championship Football: England v Poland 7pm, Sky Sports 1. The final group game for both teams takes place at Kolporter Arena in Kielce, Poland.


Ben Arnold, Phil Harrison, Paul Howlett, Ellen E Jones, Andrew Mueller, John Robinson, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Thursday’s best TV: Educating Greater Manchester; Tin Star
Impressive tough love from Harrop Fold school’s student development team. Plus Tim Roth as a Rocky mountain cop

Ali Catterall, Phil Harrison, Paul Howlett, Andrew Mueller, Jack Seale, David Stubbs, Graeme Virtue, Jonathan Wright

07, Sep, 2017 @5:00 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

Article image
Wednesday’s best TV: Britain’s Lost Waterlands, Versailles; Boy Meets Girl
Jolly boating weather round the Lakes, the Broads, and Suffolk; King Louis’s palace construction is stopped by the mob; Leo gets a job offer in London. Plus: the final episode of Power Monkeys

Graeme Virtue, Andrew Mueller, Hannah Verdier, Jack Seale, Phil Harrisonand David Stubbs

06, Jul, 2016 @5:20 AM

Article image
TV tonight: the tortuous tale of Castro's Cuba
Norma Percy’s two-parter on the communist state is immaculately sourced and assembled. Plus: How to Beat Pain. Here’s what to watch this evening

Phil Harrison, Hannah Verdier, Hannah J Davies, Ellen E Jones and Paul Howlett

11, Aug, 2020 @5:20 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: Russia with Simon Reeve; The Handmaid’s Tale
Mountains, mysticism and militarism as our guide continues his Russian trek. Plus, another chance to catch the most talked-about drama of the year

Ali Catterall, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Phil Harrison, Paul Howlett, Andrew Mueller, David Stubbs, Graeme Virtue, Jonathan Wright

05, Oct, 2017 @5:05 AM

Article image
Thursday’s best TV: Line Of Duty; The Secret History Of My Family; Digging For Britain
The return of Jed Mercurio’s superior cop-corruption drama, plus Salford’s unruly tradition of ‘scuttling’, and Alice Roberts unearths more buried secrets

Ben Arnold Ali Catterall Hannah J Davies Mark Gibbings-JonesPaul Howlett John Robinson David Stubbs Graeme Virtue

24, Mar, 2016 @6:10 AM

Article image
Thursday’s best TV: Circus Kids; Who Do You Think You Are?
A peek behind the curtain of a touring troupe, with the children working hard to join the family firm; plus revelations about Dad for actor Charles Dance

Ben Arnold, Ali Catterall, Phil Harrison, Paul Howlett, Ellen E Jones, Andrew Mueller, Jack Seale, David Stubbs

06, Jul, 2017 @5:00 AM

Article image
TV tonight: the disappearing world of London's Isle of Dogs
A documentary examines the real-life drama of a community losing its battle against gentrification, plus sport’s social conscience is celebrated. Here’s what to watch this evening

Ammar Kalia, Ellen E Jones, Hannah J Davies, Phil Harrison and Paul Howlett

21, Jul, 2020 @5:20 AM

Article image
Thursday’s best TV: Paula; Election 2017; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Choose the team to help you watch the results trickle in. Plus: the psychological horror concludes, and Oprah stars in the tale of a medical marvel

Ben Arnold, Ellen E Jones, Phil Harrison, Paul Howlett, Jack Seale, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier, Graeme Virtue

08, Jun, 2017 @5:10 AM