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Back to the Land with Kate Humble


BBC2, 8pm

This could so easily have given a romanticised view of rural entrepreneurs. But instead, while a few extol the delights of exchanging an office job or frenetic city life for more artisanal countryside pursuits, the programme’s fairly realistic about starting your own business.

Kate Humble and Geetie Singh-Watson are in south Devon where, over the course of a year, they meet six innovators, including cheery cider-maker Natasha. After seven years of “making every mistake possible”, she’s expanding her business. However, it’s precarious when you’re reliant on nature: a wet spring results in such a poor crop of apples that Natasha has to rethink. 

None of these businesses are making a fortune – a few are only breaking even –but the passion and commitment is obvious. Among them is a pair of charcutiers who set up with an investment of just £250, a 21-year-old with a flock of rare Dartmoor sheep and a husband-and-wife team using wool to make solid furniture. Yes, you read that correctly.

Inside No 9

BBC2, 10pm

In Diddle Diddle Dumpling, househusband David (Reece Shearsmith) is out jogging when he spots a single black shoe abandoned in the street right outside his house. He becomes obsessed with finding its owner — much to the consternation of his wife, Louise (Keeley Hawes, brilliant as ever). Her attempts to distract him are to no avail — he’s fixated on that one wretched shoe. But what is really going on in this increasingly intense short story? Perhaps the truth is hidden in plain sight.

Popping up in supporting roles are Steve Pemberton (as an amiable colleague) and Mathew Baynton (crafty casting), as well as Danny Baker on the radio. But this is very much Shearsmith’s show as he sensitively portrays David’s descent into insanity. 

It’s hauntingly directed by Guillem Morales — and, as always, you must keep alert to the very end.

The Replacement

BBC1, 9pm

You can see daylight through the plot holes in the last chapter of this silly thriller as rivals Ellen and Paula square up to one another in close-up after close-up.

Yes, there’s lots of meaningful staring, but the pair might as well be eyeing up a prize marrow as sending pulsating glances of hatred. 

As their relationship disintegrates, Ellen (Morven Christie) must convince everyone in her life that she’s not paranoid and that Paula (Vicky McClure) really is out to get her. Meanwhile, Paula, who looks oddly like Mrs Danvers in the film of Rebecca, adopts various poses in some great-looking clothes.

Naturally the men behave like idiots and can’t see the madness in front of them.


Channel 4, 10pm

Continuing money worries prompt Rob (Rob Delaney) and Sharon (Sharon Horgan) to consider a downsize (of their house) and an outsize (modelling career for him). Poor, lumbering Rob. But at least they are getting on better in a series that always works best when the two of them are in the same room together taking on the world (“You look like a magician,” they tell their jewellery-laden estate agent). 

Having said that, there is still some joy to be had from Sharon’s mate, the trying Fran (Ashley Jensen), who is also looking to improve her fortunes via (Fran being Fran) a surgical makeover. Her plastic surgeon is played by hunky Douglas Hodge, so she may be in luck.

Finding Vivian Maier

Sky Arts, 1am


The key to a great documentary is a compelling story and skilful, sympathetic film-making. John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s film about Vivian Maier, a former nanny who, after her death, was revealed to be a compulsive and stunningly talented photographer, has both in spades. Maier was utterly unknown to the art world when in 2007 Maloof bought an old box of negatives and, amazed by their quality, resolved to find out who took them, subsequently amassing an archive of tens of thousands of pictures. He and Siskel reveal a complex, difficult character and hint at darker elements to Maier’s personality as they try to bring this intensely private woman’s life into focus. But the film is not just about Maier’s photographs. It’s also about the people she encountered, their surprisingly different memories of the same person, and about the nature of art and the ethics of making money out of the work of a woman who refused to show it during her lifetime. And, finally, it’s a strangely haunting tale of a life quietly slipping away unnoticed.