Auction House, Tigers About the House, Horizon – best TV on tonight

Multimillionaires with too many material items, Sumatran tigers in danger of extinction and speculation of the Malyasia Airlines flight disappearance on our telly picks Tuesday 17 June


Auction House – 9pm, C4


After Posh Pawn, Channel 4 continues its fascination with the detritus of the wealthy with a new documentary series centred on the Lots Road auction house in Chelsea. This London borough groans with multimillionaires who need somewhere to dispose of their unwanted goods. They also need somewhere from which to buy other people’s unwanted goods and Lots Road sees to all their needs. 

Cheery Martin is in charge of the day-to-day running, but Lots Road’s owner is Roger, a man with a chilling effect on his staff. This is unsurprising as Roger himself describes his management style as “antiquated, dictatorial and offensive to a lot of people”.

Roger tries to institute a plan to sell Lots Road’s antique furniture, which goes down badly with Tom, who is in charge of selling modern items: “Why bother to work here, it’s a waste of time.”

Tigers About the House – 8pm, BBC2

In part two, zookeeper Giles Clark, who’s raising two Sumatran tiger cubs, visits Indonesia to see for himself why the species is on the brink of extinction.

Poachers use brutal tiger traps that can suspend a tiger and even, as the wretched creature is demented by pain and panic, cause it to gnaw off its own paw to try to break free. 

There are penalties, but as a rueful national park ranger points out, they are rarely enforced to their maximum degree. And tiger poaching is a lucrative business, with tiger parts used in the booming illegal trade in “traditional” medicine worth up to £10 billion a year.

Horizon: Where is Flight MH370? – 9pm, BBC2

It is the most tragic and unsettling mystery in aviation. When Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on 8 March, a fog of speculation, false leads and rival theories sprang up in its place. Horizon sets out to apply rigour to the question: how in a connected, digital age does a 270-ton passenger jet simply vanish? 

Talking to undersea search experts and British satellite engineers, the programme charts the clues that have emerged and the evidence that the area where the aircraft is most likely to be has yet to be searched. One expert says of the chances of eventually finding the plane: “If the will is there, the technology exists; it’s a matter of time and money.”


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