Friday’s best TV: Extreme Wives with Kate Humble; Unreported World

A new series on societies where the role of women confounds outsiders looks at same-sex marriage in Kenya; and a report from Jordan’s Mowasah hospital

Extreme Wives With Kate Humble
9pm, BBC Two

Or more accurately, extreme patriarchy. Episode one of a new series, which examines communities where the role of women confounds outsiders, takes Humble to Kenya’s Kuria district. Its culture includes marriage between women – nonsexual relationships often parentally imposed. There she meets Paulina’s wives, Lillian and Faith, who reveal how limiting their lives are, and encounters the shocking practice of illegal female genital mutilation. Sharon O’Connell

Unreported World
7.30pm, Channel 4

With innocent victims crushed by conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Jordan’s Mowasah hospital offers the only hope for many victims desperate for medical care. Yousra Elbagir visits the hospital, meets the Doctors Without Borders surgeons offering operations and speaks to the patients who have made some extraordinary journeys to reach the hospital. For what kind of future can these people now hope? Mark Gibbings-Jones

Eight Days That Made Rome: Crossing the Rubicon
9pm, Channel 5

After Spartacus, now it’s time to judge Jules: Bettany Hughes continues her history of the Roman empire by assessing Julius Caesar, scourge of Gaul and sorrow of the republic. With the help of reconstructions elaborate enough to include dream sequences, Hughes zeroes in on the fateful day in 49BC when Caesar declared war on his homeland by leading his legions across the Rubicon river. Graeme Virtue

Tracey Breaks the News
9.30pm, BBC One

A big 80s name – a comic actor who made quite good records – Tracey Ullman then made an enormous success of herself in the US. Now she’s back, it’s quite hard to see how. What has changed? Could it be that impersonations have been devalued as a comedy tool? Or that our expectations of political comedy have been raised very high by The Thick of It? To those not devotees already, this is hard to recommend. John Robinson

The Graham Norton Show
10.35pm, BBC One

In Paddington 2, Hugh Grant plays a villainous, ageing west London-based actor whose best years are behind him. So absolutely not like the real-life Grant, whose roles have actually been rather interesting since a potential career derailment 20 years ago. Will the nation’s favourite bear give Grant’s Phoenix Buchanan a very hard stare? Also joining Norton is the triple Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson. Ali Catterall

Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge
9pm, Sky Arts

Alex Gibney, the man behind Scientology exposé Going Clear, turns his attention to another all-American success story in this six-part documentary on the history of Rolling Stone magazine. Founded in San Francisco at the heady height of the 60s counterculture explosion, the magazine has mapped the cynical 70s, the acquisitive 80s, the pragmatic 90s and the berserk present. One of the few constants in modern US life, then. Phil Harrison

The Age of Consequences
8.20pm, PBS America

The kind of people who make a belligerent point of not taking scientists seriously are often equally adamantine in their admiration of soldiers. That being the case, this is a valuable contribution to the journalism on climate change, revealing as it does that the Pentagon takes climate change very seriously, regarding it as an “accelerant to instability” – and, as such, a potential threat to the national security of the US. Andrew Mueller

TV films

Silver Linings Playbook (David O Russell, 2012) 12.05am, Channel 4

The laughs are painfully revealing in Russell’s cranky romcom. Bradley Cooper is the volatile Patrick Solitano, returning to live with his parents (Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver) after a spell in a mental institution. He meets another awkward soul in young widow Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence). It’s likable, rewarding and funny.

Live Sport

International Football: England v Germany 7.30pm, ITV. Can Southgate’s underwhelming lot muster a bit of swagger?

Anglo Welsh Cup Rugby: Bath v Leicester Tigers 7.30pm, BT Sport 1. Coverage from the Recreation Ground.

World Cup Football: Sweden v Italy 7.40pm, Sky Sports Main Event. Two World Cup stalwarts struggle to qualify.


Sharon O'Connell, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Graeme Virtue, John Robinson, Ali Catterall, Phil Harrison, Andrew Mueller

The GuardianTramp

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