Food Unwrapped, Long Lost Family, Royal Marines Commando School – best TV on tonight

Bacon, family and the Royal Marines on our telly picks tonight Sunday 14 July


Food Unwrapped – 8:30pm, C4


Fresh from his recent quest to find the world’s best diet, Jimmy Doherty now turns his attention to a foodstuff that didn’t feature on the Icelandic winner’s table. Bacon. 

He’s at the world’s biggest abbatoir in Denmark following the process that turns pigs into rashers. It’s understandable that the sight of thousands of slaughtered pigs dangling from hooks may not appeal to everyone (and Matt Tebbutt’s report on why we can’t eat the snails we find in our gardens may be an equal turn off) but even Kate Quilton’s investigation into buffalo mozzarella is a little off-putting because of the cheese’s stringy, gooey chewing-gum-like properties. 

But then that’s why we need programmes like this – to get us closer to the reality of what we consume.

Long Lost Family – 9pm, ITV

When Ann Munro discovered she was pregnant by her cheating boyfriend, her severe father was unequivocal: “You’ve ruined your life, get on with it.”

Barred from the family home Ann gave birth to her son Mark, who was adopted when he was two months old. She’s been haunted by her decision for more than 40 years. Later, after a piercing family tragedy, Ann says: “I really did think that ‘God is punishing me.’”

Long Lost Family quite rightly recently won a Bafta. It’s a powerfully emotional series that answers the call for a family and for a past that lives deep within us all, including the subject of tonight’s second story, that of 29-year-old Louise. She yearns to know the French father she has never met. You might will yourself not to cry as the stories unfold, but give up, and give in to your tears.

Royal Marines Commando School – 9pm, C4

The main thing you need to know about this military training doc is that it’s made by the people who brought us Educating Yorkshire. So because it uses the same filming techniques, it can capture scenes like the one early on where a recruit called James decides – at the last possible minute – that he doesn’t want to take his enrolment oath, and then has hushed discussions with officers over why the hell not. 

A regular film crew might have missed it, but the Big-Brother-style fixed rig here misses nothing. The result is brilliantly watchable, with less of the usual military machismo and more on the simple human details – would-be Marines being taught exactly how to soap their private parts, for instance… The recruits’ nemesis and our guide is bug-eyed drill instructor Corporal “Froggy” Chauffour. Yes, he’s French.


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