Fit to drop… TV programmes overtaken by events

Tim Dowling reveals a clutch of shows based surpassed by world events


Ten Years and Counting: The Hunt for Osama bin Laden C4
This fascinating documentary chronicles America’s attempts to track down the world’s most famous fugitive. Includes never-before-seen evidence, supplied by the Pakistani security service, that suggests that Osama is actually living freely under an assumed name in Dubai.


Panorama special: the End of Monarchy BBC1
Could economic woes, recent royal scandals and growing public resentment in the wake of a lavish and vastly expensive royal wedding spell the end to centuries of monarchy? Panorama investigates Britain’s burgeoning mood of republicanism.

Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting: Syria BBC2
In this hour-long special to kick off the new series, Angela Rippon travels from the coast to Damascus, searching out antiques and talking to locals about life and work in modern Syria.

The Lonely Life of Pippa Middleton Sky Living
American-made drama plotting the depressing future laid out for Princess (sic) Catherine’s retiring, dowdy younger sister.

Is Osama bin Laden Dead? CNN
A veteran foreign journalist explores the theory – popular in Pakistani intelligence circles – that the notorious al-Qaeda leader actually died of kidney failure many years ago, since which time followers have produced a series of bogus video tapes in order to exploit his image for political purposes. No solid proof, but a highly convincing argument nonetheless.


Obama: Where Were You Born? ITV2
Two-part documentary. Members of the so-called American “Birther” movement make the case that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the USA and is therefore not eligible to be president. Among the evidence is the White House’s failure to produce Obama’s long-form birth certificate, or answer any of the charges put forward by business leader Donald Trump. Obsessive, but compelling.