Television choices: Book in for a rich experience at celeb-rated London hotel


TV pick of the week

Inside Claridge's

Monday 9pm BBC2

ITV's 2010 documentary series about the Savoy came across as a monumental puff-piece for the refurbishment of that landmark London hostelry, but the new series about Claridge's (home from home for Tom Cruise, Madonna and various royal families) is something else entirely – by dint of it being the work of Jane Treays, a film-maker unafraid to ask a blunt question and capture a telling moment. Her jaw-dropping insight into the lives of the super-rich begins with an unnamed Middle Eastern royal family booking an entire floor for a week-long shopping binge, the general manager Thomas Kochs drumming up business in New York, and the etiquette of addressing the U2 guitarist Edge. Is it "Dear Edge" or "Dear Mr Edge"?

Michael Jackson: Bad 25

Saturday 9.45pm BBC2

Spike Lee's documentary about the making of Michael Jackson's 1987 album Bad – the follow-up to Thriller – celebrates Jackson the artist instead of attending to the Wacko Jacko myths. Martin Scorsese recalls directing the "Bad" video – one that would "show the homeys he's down" – while others recall Jackson's meeting with the star then stealing his crown, Prince.

Why Poverty? Solar Mamas

Sunday 9pm BBC4

Rafea, an illiterate Bedouin woman from Jordan, travels to India against her husband's wishes to train as a solar-power engineer in this brilliant documentary in the Why Poverty? season. Rafea is followed as she joins women from Colombia and Burkina Faso to learn about circuitry and sisterhood in an inspired programme bringing free energy to the world's poorest.

Imagine: Jeanette Winterson – My Monster and Me

Tuesday 10.35pm BBC1

Winterson's "monster", as anyone who knows Oranges Are the Only Fruit will realise, is her mother, the Old Testament-like figure who adopted Winterson as a baby. Alan Yentob accompanies the author back to Lancashire, as she tells of her recent breakdown and suicide attempt, and her successful quest to find her birth mother.

The Town

Wednesday 9pm ITV1

The acclaimed playright Mike Bartlett (Cock, Chariots of Fire) makes his television drama debut – and, eye-catchingly, it's not on Sky Arts or BBC4 but on ITV1. Andrew Scott (Moriarty in Sherlock) plays a man back in his home-town from London in the aftermath of a family tragedy. The writing is intriguing, and a cast-against-type Martin Clunes co-stars .

Playhouse Presents: A Young Doctor's Notebook

Thursday 9pm & 12.20am Sky Arts 1

Jon Hamm fires up a cigarette – but this isn't Sixties Madison Avenue but Thirties Moscow, and Hamm's doctor is looking back at his younger self (Daniel Radcliffe) and his early career in a rural hospital during the Russian Revolution. This four-part black comedy is based on the short stories of Mikhail Bulgakov.

Westminster Abbey

Friday 9pm BBC2

The second British institution to welcome in the cameras this week has an even longer history and more illustrious guest list than Claridge's. The first episode focuses on the Abbey's little-known boarding school, where its 30 choristers are educated, and the latest "surveyor of the fabric" to follow in the footsteps of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect Ptolemy Dean.

Arts and Entertainment
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)


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No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

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Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
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Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
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Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

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It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

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Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

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Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

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The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

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Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

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Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

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Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

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Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
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Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

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Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

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Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

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