Top TV for the Fortnight

by Ben Felsenburg

He’s a true adventurer who’s braved the depths of the world’s oceans and was commander of an Antarctic base but has made his home in one of the best-loved parts of Britain after being captivated by its beauty. The Lakes With Paul Rose (Friday 19, BBC2, 8.30pm) is a four-part love letter to a district steeped in history and culture, and in the opening episode the presenter gives us a close-up of the very particular magic to be found around the waters of Windermere.

Imagine: Tracey Emin – Where Do You Draw The Line? (Tuesday 23, BBC1, 10.45pm) is a portrait of a woman who leapt to fame thanks to an unmade bed in a gallery and was for so long the enfant terrible of contemporary British art. But should we really be braced for a truly mature Emin at the age of 55? Find out as Alan Yentob follows her project to convert a derelict printworks in her native Margate over the course of a year.

Trevor McDonald And The Killer Nurse (Wednesday 24, ITV, 9pm) looks back to the shocking case of Beverly Allitt, who in 1991 murdered four children in her care at Grantham hospital and attempted to take the lives of a further nine. The bare facts of Allitt’s crimes are disturbing enough: still more haunting are the memories of the children who survived and are now grown up. As McDonald listens attentively, he hears of moments that will be hard for those involved – from family to police – to ever shake off.

If, like me, you’ve never quite got around to overhauling your diet with lots of food supplements, then you’ll find Vitamins Pills: Miracle Or Myth? (Thursday 25, BBC2, 9pm) immensely reassuring. cambridge scientist Giles Yeo has taken a long, hard look at these products and asks if they’re really worth the hundreds of millions of pounds Britain is spending on them each year. Let’s just say you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.

The John Le Carré adaptation The Night Manager was a singular success two years ago: now can the BBC capture lightning in a bottle once more? The Little Drummer Girl (Sunday 28, BBC1, 9pm) is a six-part adaptation of Le Carré’s 1983 thriller, delving deep into the quagmire of Middle East conflict. Sans Tom Hiddleston, we have instead the devastatingly handsome Alexander Skarsgård as the mysterious figure of Joseph, who seduces a young British actress, Charlie (the promising Florence Pugh) and draws her into a complex web of deceit. You’ll have to watch carefully, but if you do temporarily lose the thread, don’t worry – simply lap up the exotic international locations.

How did the man born Archibald Leach into the most humble of circumstances in Bristol turn into the archetypal Hollywood star? Imagine: Becoming Cary Grant (Tuesday 30, BBC1, 10.45pm TBC) provides at least part of the answer, following the actor’s extraordinary personal journey that eventually led him to intense psychotherapy and even experiments with mind-altering drugs.

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