The best TV to watch tonight

Your indispensable guide to the best things on the box...

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Peter Kay’s Car Share

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9pm, BBC1

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Kayleigh decides it’s much too nice a day to go to work, so she pulls a sickie and urges her friend/chauffeur/possible romantic interest John to join her.

He’s scandalised. He must drive to the Wigan store to drop off some paperwork and have a full English breakfast with the manager (“They have a cracking granary there”). But irrepressible Kayleigh (Sian Gibson) gets her way and John (Peter Kay), Mr Predictable, becomes her nervous partner in crime. 

The episode suffers slightly because John and Kayleigh abandon their usual route, ending up at a safari park for a bit of low farce with a monkey. Broadening the action doesn’t work in such a finely tuned comedy, which is all about everyday boredoms like who said what at work, and the familiarity of a routine. 

But there are still enough good lines to keep Car Share’s engine running smoothly.

First Dates

10pm, Channel 4

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“One man’s foie gras is anther man’s burger and chips,” winks French maître d’ Fred as we meet an impressive array of humans all looking for their catch of the day. Retired civil servant Cecelia (age undisclosed…) meets 90-year-old Raymon, the show’s oldest-ever dater. Both are beginning to feel lonely and would quite like a dance partner for a bit of quick step. 

Meanwhile at the bar, 21-year-old Sarah is feeling nervous. She had cancer at 16 and to save her life, doctors amputated her leg. Now she’s worried about men being put off by how different she is. “They could get a normal girl with two legs, so why would they look at me?” In this particularly moving episode, First Dates subtly challenges prejudice with warmth, humour and intelligence.

Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Animals – India

9pm, ITV

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If this was work experience, Paul O’Grady covers every aspect of the job. He’s in India giving a rescued elephant a shower followed by a pedicure, massaging a baby macaque whose back legs have atrophied and training nine orphaned rhino calves how to defecate. Apparently, they get constipated if they don’t have a mother to encourage them to go. 

As always O’Grady’s love of animals shines through, even when they step on his foot or knock his glasses off. He’s never happier than when bottle-feeding an orphaned animal. But the tears flow over a half-starved elephant that’s covered in abscesses. “I’ve never seen an elephant in a condition like this,” he says angrily, when he’s recovered his composure. “I’m ashamed of humanity… of what we’ve done to these beautiful creatures.”

Life and Death Row: Love Triangle

iPlayer

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This disturbing eight-part documentary looks at the case of Heather Strong, who disappeared in 2009. her ex-husband’s girlfriend is now on death row for her murder – until recently the youngest woman to be sentenced to death in America.

Life

10.50pm, Film 4

https://media.immediate.co.uk/volatile/sites/3/2017/08/135431.082d5723-2c3b-4631-879a-6d123d8d85aa.jpe

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Dennis Stock’s justly famous Life magazine image of James Dean, overcoat collar pulled up as he traverses a windswept Times Square, is the jumping-off point for this biographical drama. Appropriately, considering director Anton Corbijn’s previous career was shooting portraits of rock royalty, the focus is actually on the working photographer rather than the youthful movie star, and Robert Pattinson gives a nuanced, involving performance as Stock, a failed marriage and shaky prospects pressing him hard as he waits for the assignment that will make his name. Stock is the one who spots Dean’s new kind of charisma, effectively rendered by upcoming actor Dane DeHaan, who gets the ill-fated icon’s distinctive combination of outcast melancholy and wilful egomania spot-on. The low-key narrative basically spends a few days with them as Stock struggles to get his pictures, and delivers a quietly absorbing drama reflecting on the uncomfortable yet necessary relationship between Hollywood, the talent and the media – and how much it’s changed in the intervening decades.