Lynn from Hertfordshire works behind the deli counter at Tesco and doesn't look like anyone I've ever heard of. Luckily, she's also impersonating someone I've never heard of until now, Maria McKee. Lynn has just won a place on an acting course at Kent University. "A B.A. in acting," gurgles host Matthew Kelly, showing his age. "That sounds a jammy way of getting a grant." Lynn looks nonplussed. No such thing as a jammy student grant these days, Matthew.
If high production karaoke holds no fascination, how about a trip to the Belle Epoque (Sat BBC2), a three-part drama adapted from a screenplay by Francois Truffaut, who died in 1984. Now Truffaut was a filmmaker, and all major TV drama is now shot on film (or videotape enhanced to look like film). But Belle Epoque (the two decades or so before World War One, for those unfamiliar with history books) was made for French TV, where they apparently still shoot drama on unadulterated videotape. The result is rather evocative - of the 1970s rather than the Belle Epoque, however; I kept expecting Keith Michell at any moment. As it is (which is quite enjoyable really), Kristin Scott-Thomas gets to show off her impeccable French as a damned mysterious dame mysterieuse, Marcel Proust has a walk- on role, and Paris has never looked so set-bound.
Now when the Velvet Underground sang "Hey white boy, whaty'a doin' uptown" (I think it was on "Heroin"), they probably didn't have in mind Clive Anderson striding through the Bronx in a light linen suit, for all the world like great uncle Godfrey doing the churches of Florence. Clive Anderson Is Our Man in... (Sun BBC2) belongs to the "tourism in hell" genre, but has an infernal problem of tone. Fans will expect the ready wit of the chat show host - sort of Clive James without the leering. But Our Man seems lost for a snappy retort when confronted with crack babies, drug dealers and real-life desperation. To see how the Bronx became the Bronx, catch Wheeler on America (Sun BBC2), this week chronicling black America's trek to the Promised Land and back again.
The girls are back in Band of Gold (Sun ITV), struggling to stay in cleaning contracts and out of prostitution, and already this looks like a series too far. Band of Gold is followed by the continued rerun of Cracker - strong fare for an ITV Sunday evening. Mind you, there's no escaping to BBC1, where The Scuptress reaches a conclusion.
And finally there's Wolfgang Weber. While most amateur daubers are content to pose a tame relative or bowl of fruit, Weber lies down with lions and hungry grizzlies, and whips out his sketch pad. He even sketches underwater, which is a new one to me. It's just a pity that the script of Hidden Kingdoms (Sat C4) is as lumbering as an albatross taking off. But you'll have to watch Dieter Plage's film (his last) to see just how lumbering that is.Reuse content