Television choices: More operatic aspirations for free-thinking Mercury
TV pick of the week: Freddie Mercury - The Great Pretender: An Imagine Special
Tuesday 10.35pm BBC1
The 25th anniversary of Freddie Mercury's triumphant Barcelona project with the operatic soprano, Dame Montserrat Caballé, is the peg for this richly sourced and oddly moving look at the flamboyant performer's career outside Queen – complete with insightful new interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor. Although it was actually written by the bassist John Deacon, Queen's 1984 "I Want to Break Free" reflected Mercury's thinking at the time – and although his first solo album flopped, he soon found inspiration in his love of opera and ballet – as well as recording with Michael Jackson. Those results are broadcast here for the first time, but don't hold your breath.
The Thick of It
Saturday 9.30pm BBC2
Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) is in particularly pitiless form as deposed leader Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front) makes her farewells ("You have all the charm of a rotting teddy-bear by a graveside," is one of his more printable invectives). But the last laugh is against Tucker, as the PM calls for a inquiry into leaking to the press – The Thick of It's version of Leveson.
Sunday 9pm Channel 4
Carrie (Claire Danes), still in her brunette wig and brown contact lenses, makes contact with Fatima, the wife of Hezbollah's Beirut commander with information to sell. But is Fatima's news a breakthrough or a trap? Brody (Damian Lewis) is meanwhile watching events from 6,000 miles away, ensconced with the chiefs of staff in a bunker – and he isn't a happy US congressman.
Wonderland: Walking with Dogs
Monday 9pm BBC2
A simple but effective documentary, as Vanessa Engle hangs out on Hampstead Heath interviewing dog-owners. With the vicar who finds a canine chum helps his pastoral outreach, the servant hired to pick up the mess left by five Bichon Frises and the ex-wife of a bankrupt living in a hostel with her Weimeraner, all of human life is here.
Wednesday 9pm Channel 4
Kevin McCloud has brought his passion and (its flip-side) disdain to bear on 100 building projects now, and this centenary episode features the most ambitious projects to date – a couple's plans to convert a 150-year-old water tower in central London into a luxury home. The Grade II-listed ruin features 6ft-thick walls, but also 360 degree views over the capital.
Thursday 10pm BBC2
Hebburn, a fictional town in the North-east, "is where dreams come to die", according to Jack (Chris Ramsey), introducing new wife Sarah (Nixon) to his parents (played by Jim "Vic Reeves" Moir and Gina McKee), siblings and drinking mates in this reasonably amusing new sitcom written by the Tyneside stand-up Jason Cook.
Stand Up to Cancer
Friday 7.30pm Channel 4
That is the rallying cry of a benefit concert that concludes Channel 4's week-long programming to raise awareness of the Big C. Davina McCall and Alan Carr host, Cheryl Cole opens the show with her new single, and Dr Christian Jessen intercuts the ensuing acts to explain the science behind new cancer trials it is hoped can be funded by viewer contributions.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
The 1975 leave social-media after cryptic comic strip tweet hinting at possible break up
Britain's Got Talent producers apologise for not making Matisse dog double stunt 'clearer'
Britain's Got Talent 2015 final: Jules and Matisse used secret dog double for winning tightrope act
Netflix is testing out adverts
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9: 'The Dance of Dragons' sees Jon Snow return to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history