Vote 2014, From There to Here and How The Wild West Was Won – best TV on tonight

From election news to wild west adventures, here’s our top telly choices for tonight Thursday 22 May


From There to Here – 9pm, BBC1 


Philip Glenister stars in this drama about a man whose life changes for ever after he is caught up in the 1996 IRA bomb blast that rocked Manchester. Escaping serious injury, Daniel comes to the rescue of a single mother and helps her home, realising she lives in the working-class neighbourhood where he grew up, before he was adopted and went on to live a more charmed life. Now he has it all – wife, kids, his own business – but he is feeling restless after his near-death experience. Saskia Reeves and Bernard Hill co-star.

How The Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears – 9pm, BBC4

In one scene of this history of American pioneers, Ray Mears shows us a gorgeous-looking beaver pelt and explains how it was beaver-trapping that effectively drove the push across the continent to the Rocky mountains. And why was beaver so popular? Because its fur was good for making felt and at a time when tall hats had become fashionable across Europe, that made it a hot commodity. 

So, indirectly, it was fashion that carved the way for the wagon trains that later pushed westward. It’s not the narrative we’ve heard before in the legends of the Old West, but Mears is more interested in the nitty-gritty of pioneer life and the skills they learnt from native Americans. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make a blow-pipe, Ray learns from an expert.

Vote 2014 – 11:35pm, BBC1

David Dimbleby presents as votes are counted in the English local council elections around the country. Emily Maitlis has news of the individual results as they come in, while Jeremy Vine’s virtual-reality graphics help examine and identify long-term trends. Regional teams will be at most of the counts and BBC political editor Nick Robinson assesses the impact the results will have on next year’s general election.


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