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

Cuba: Castro vs the World

9pm, BBC Two

Like all Norma Percy documentaries, this two-parter about Fidel Castro’s quixotic international relations strategy has been immaculately sourced and meticulously assembled. The former US president Bill Clinton is among the witnesses to Cuba’s strange journey from international pariah state and economic oddball to symbol of kitsch resistance to US capitalism. This second episode covers the chaos of Cuba’s refugee crisis, the country’s alliance with Venezuela and the US’s imposition of a trade embargo. Phil Harrison

How to Beat Pain

8pm, Channel 4

What is pain for? Can it be reduced? What would we do without it? All these questions are discussed in Kate Quilton and Dr Javid Abdelmoneim’s documentary. With the aid of volunteers, the pair test the pain-killing efficacy of everything from yoga to cold-water swimming and ponder the implications of a pain-free life. PH

Little Birds

9pm, Sky Atlantic

The delightfully decadent holiday in 50s Tangier continues. Juno Temple’s Lucy finds herself in an unexpected position after a lunch with the secretary takes a turn. Meanwhile, Hugo is on a slow, angry simmer thanks to business problems and his ongoing clash with Adham. PH

Issa Rae in Insecure
Flawless ... Issa Rae in Insecure. Photograph: HBO/Merie Weismiller Wallace/SMPSP


9pm, Sky Comedy

Crank up Mya’s Case of the Ex because Lawrence is back in the frame as Issa Rae’s flawless comedy continues. Although their reunion happens in a noisy bar and gets off to a textbook clumsy start for Issa, there is lots of intimate chat and the background crackle of: “Will they, won’t they?” Hannah Verdier

Joanna Lumley’s Unseen Adventures

9.15pm, ITV

The honey-voiced globetrotter concludes her roundup of travel moments that ended up on the cutting-room floor. This week, it is back to Iran and the tomb of Cyrus the Great – founder of the Achaemenid empire – before Azerbaijan, Georgia, Italy, Cuba, Haiti … and maybe a little lie down. Hannah J Davies

How’s Your Head, Hun? With Michelle Visage

10.45pm, BBC One

RuPaul’s bestie and Kween of Kwarantine, Michelle is still locked down in Los Angeles. She is making the time pass by learning how to fold a fitted sheet and video-chatting with icons. This week it is Lorraine Kelly, plus Tituss Burgess from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Ellen E Jones

Film choice

Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz in Disobedience
Old flames ... Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz in Disobedience. Photograph: Allstar/Braven Films

Disobedience (Sebastián Lelio, 2017), 9pm, Film4
Rachel Weisz is Ronit, a photographer returning from New York to her Jewish roots in London on the death of her rabbi father and walking into a passionate reunion with her former love, Rachel McAdams’s Esti. Sebastián Lelio’s first English-language feature is a compelling tale of love, faith and sexuality. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Snooker: The World Championship 10am, BBC Two. The quarter-finals continue at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Scottish Professional Football League: Dundee United v Hibernian 5pm, Sky Sports Main Event. Action from Tannadice.

Europa League football 7pm, BT Sport 1. Wolves face Sevilla in a quarter-final at the MSV-Arena in Duisburg, Germany.


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

The GuardianTramp

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