The next two week's top TV

by Ben Felsenberg 

She’s the prima ballerina who since retiring from the Royal Ballet has continued to champion the art form in Strictly Come Dancing. Now in Darcey Bussell: Dancing To Happiness (Saturday 1, BBC2, 9pm), this great British star explores how, for young and old alike, dance is a tonic for both mind and body. Darcey’s on a mission to spread the gospel of the benefits of music and movement and it’s impossible not to be swept along by the sheer energy of her one-woman crusade.

A perfect potboiler blessed with two captivating lead performances, us drama-thriller series The Sinner (Saturday 1, BBC4, 9pm) kicks off with an utterly befuddling mystery. Why would happily married young mother Cora (Jessica Biel) brutally murder a stranger on a family day out at the beach? Biel’s quirkily enigmatic performance will hold you rapt, while Bill Pullman brings world-weary humour and rumpled gravitas to his depiction of the troubled detective tasked with cracking the case. Be sure to stick with this one: the coming weeks are going to be a rollercoaster ride of devastating twists and surprises.

A Very British Country House (Sunday 2, Channel 4, 9pm) takes us behind the scenes of Cliveden House, once the site of the astors’ glittering society parties and notoriously also where the Profumo scandal played out, but nowadays a hotel offering the ultimate in luxury and refinement. It’s always entertaining to witness the goings-on both upstairs and downstairs, as it were, and look out for one rather special guest who stops by just for one night on the eve of her wedding: a certain Meghan Markle.

In Nadiya’s Asian Odyssey (Monday 3, BBC1, 9pm), the winner of the Great British Bake Off sets off on an exotic adventure, touring Thailand, Cambodia and Nepal in a two-part series. Naturally, she’s on the lookout for inspirational local recipes to pick up in between visits to some spectacular sights, starting with the jaw-dropping temples of Angkor Wat in the North of Cambodia. But after Nadiya recently found, thanks to a DNA test, that she can trace some of her ancestry across all three countries this is also a very personal journey back to her roots.

Barbra Streisand: Becoming An Icon 1942-1984 (Friday 7, BBC4, 9pm) does exactly what it says on the tin, as a documentary profile of the first half of the Hollywood star’s career, and features some absolutely astounding footage from the early sixties as she made her first, decidedly unfaltering steps towards conquering Broadway and then the film world. The voice of the kid from Brooklyn was evidently already so miraculously mature and complete that you can immediately forgive her every subsequent occasional misstep – even Yentl, as one clip reminds us what a farrago that was. Stars of music and comedy line up for The Royal Variety Performance (Tuesday 11, ITV, 7.30pm), among them take that and host Greg Davies, but as HRH the Duchess of Sussex accompanies HRH Prince Harry to the show for once, the true main attraction is surely in the audience.

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