My Last Summer, Episodes, Mary’s Silver Service – best TV on tonight

Turn on your telly for mortality, Hollywood pressure, and an underrepresented workforce on tonight's top picks for Wednesday 4 June


Mary’s Silver Service – 8pm, C4


All the skills and experience acquired in life don’t disappear just because someone’s got older, yet the over-65s are frequently underestimated or ignored as a potential workforce. 

Mary Portas’s latest project is a catalyst for retirees to find new jobs and a renewed interest in life. Her first set of OAPs has catering and hospitality experience, so she sends them off to cater a Great Gatsby-themed cocktail party. They’re a charming bunch, but struggle to carry a tray of canapés up the steps or follow recipe specifications. A few are brilliant, though: former Savoy barman Salim is in his element serving cocktails and it’s a joy to see him so happy and fulfilled.

My Last Summer – 10pm, C4

It’s something we’re all going to do eventually, but most of us still can’t bear to talk about death – even if we’re not the ones who are dying. So brace yourself for a series that’s incredibly upsetting yet really should be compulsory viewing. 

Five terminally ill people have bravely agreed to meet up to share their experiences as they contemplate the last months of their lives. They cry, joke and talk candidly about how they live with a terminal illness and how they’re preparing for death while railing at the suffocating sympathy of others. 

They have different viewpoints about death, but all are exasperated at the way people don’t know what to say and so sweep the subject under the carpet. As the remarkably vivacious Jayne, who has breast cancer, says: “This could be you tomorrow.”

Episodes – 10pm, BBC2

In theory he’s the star of the show, but you sometimes wish we saw more of Matt LeBlanc in Episodes. There’s a reason he was one of the highest-paid comic actors in the world: like a tennis pro, he hits the sweet spot of any line or reaction without breaking a sweat. 

Here Matt is once again wound up by that bumptious young co-star and starts to feel that his own star is slipping: he’s not washed-up, exactly, but neither is he quite the A-lister he once was. Episodes is excellent on these Hollywood status games: a trip to the Tonight show delivers a dent to the ego (Jay Leno guest-stars as himself). But the best gags revolve around a natural disaster in Peru – and how real-life tragedy plays out in Tinseltown.


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