TV tonight: poet laureate Simon Armitage takes stock of the pandemic

The poet’s words combine with people’s personal stories to provide an emotional roadmap of Covid-19. Plus Mary Beard talks to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Here’s what to watch tonight

A Pandemic Poem: Where Did the World Go?

9pm, BBC Two

“There was a world once, but where did it go?” With the richer countries perhaps approaching at least the beginning of the end of the pandemic, it’s time to take stock. This affecting film combines the words of the poet laureate, Simon Armitage, with personal stories ranging from the uplifting to the tragic, to explore the deeply disturbing and utterly strange experience we have all recently undergone. An emotional roadmap of Covid-19 rather than a linear narrative, and all the better for it. Phil Harrison

Inside Culture With Mary Beard

7.30pm, BBC Two

In this week’s special programme, Mary Beard is in conversation with the bestselling, Beyoncé-influencing author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In Adichie’s first public appearance since the death of her mother earlier this year, she will discuss her latest book, Notes on Grief. Ellen E Jones

Unreported World

7.30pm, Channel 4

This week’s dispatch comes from Nigeria, where reporter Yousra Elbagir meets couples hoping for joy on their respective wedding days, despite terrorism and insurgency on the part of Boko Haram. From high-society events to ceremonies for those displaced by conflict, Elbagir tells the stories of those in Maiduguri. Hannah J Davies

Andrew Marr with Constable’s The Hay Wain
Andrew Marr explores the meaning behind Constable’s The Hay Wain. Photograph: Channel 5

Great Paintings of the World With Andrew Marr

9pm, Channel 5

The current affairs journalist continues his art history series by exploring John Constable’s The Hay Wain. The painting is often misrepresented as a depiction of a bucolic rural idyll. In reality, Marr explains, it reflected Constable’s reluctance to recognise the harsh realities of rural life. PH

Intergalactic

9pm, Sky One

It’s finale time for the slick sci-fi action thriller about scrappy female convicts on the lam. The crew of the hotwired prison ship Hemlock have almost made it to the mythic haven of Arcadia. But they are not beyond the influence of Earth’s overbearing Commonworld cabal – even in deepest space. Graeme Virtue

Later … With Jools Holland

10pm, BBC Two

The final episode of this latest series of the jovial music show. This week, Kano, who has just performed at Glastonbury’s Live at Worthy Farm event. Alongside the grime legend, two newcomers: Rebecca Taylor performing under her Self Esteem alias and soul singer Joel Culpepper. Phil Harrison

Film Choice

Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Brian d’Arcy James in Spotlight
Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Brian d’Arcy James on the journalistic trail in Spotlight. Photograph: Kerry Hayes/AP

Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2016, 11.20pm, BBC Two)

A justifiably angry, fact-based film in the vein of All the President’s Men, with honourable journalists uncovering scandals involving the rich and powerful. In this case, it’s the Boston Globe’s investigative reporting team, led by Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo, unearthing child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Simon Wardell

Live sport

Tennis: Queen’s 1pm, BBC Two. The singles quarter-finals of the grass court tournament.

Horse Racing: Royal Ascot 1.30pm, ITV. Day four of the festival of horses and hats.

Euro 2020: Sweden v Slovakia 1.45pm, BBC One. Followed by Croatia v the Czech Republic and England v Scotland (ITV) in the evening.

Contributors

Phil Harrison, Ellen E Jones, Hannah J Davies, Graeme Virtue and Simon Wardell

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