Television Choices: Textile boss's bid to cushion the blow of recession


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The Independent Culture

TV pick of the week: The Town Taking on China

Tuesday 8pm BBC2

Following Channel 4's Mary's Bottom Line, in which Mary Portas reactivated a mothballed textile factory near Manchester in order to sew a "Made in Britain" label on her new range of knickers, here's another experiment aimed at clawing back a smidgen of the manufacturing lost to China, where labour costs and inflation are exploding. As Portas recognised, it's a small window of opportunity because machinists are an ageing breed, and new blood is needed fast. The town is Merseyside unemployment hotspot Kirkby, where the cushion factory owner Tony Caldeira, who had to lay off workers at his second factory in China, wants to train local youngsters. But with long hours and the minimum wage, will he be able to retain any of the new staff?

Live FA Cup Final

Saturday 3.15pm ITV1

The resurgent old boys of Chelsea, buoyed by the Miracle of Barcelona, take on Liverpool at Wembley – King Kenny's crown tarnished by their recent form in the Premiership. Momentum is with Roberto Di Matteo's Blues, in other words, unless their minds are already in Munich – Didier Drogba or Luis Suárez the likely instruments of fate.


Sunday 9pm Channel 4

Fans coming to the final episode of the best new drama import of 2012 (The Bridge is not far behind) should expect not just a denouement but also groundwork for season 2. As Brody (Damian Lewis) makes final preparations to die for his country, claiming the Vice President is a threat to the US, Carrie (Claire Danes) is confined to bed.

Britain Beware

Monday 10.15pm ITV1

Adrian Edmondson delves into the archives of the Central Office of Information, which closed in March, retrieving some hilariously over-wrought public information films. One about farm safety has the body count of a Sam Peckinpah Western, while Donald Pleasence lends his ominous presence to a film about children playing near ponds.

This World: Michael Portillo's Great Euro Crisis

Wednesday 9pm BBC2

The Eurosceptic (just so that you know) broadcaster travels to Greece and Germany to find out how the Euro crisis has affected attitudes to monetary union. In Athens, he speaks to a destitute family and a former finance minister, while in Germany he encounters angry taxpayers. But are they right to be vexed?

Playhouse Presents: City Hall

Thursday 9pm Sky Arts 1

This season of one-off dramas would be welcome in a world where one-off dramas are rarer than hen's teeth, even if they weren't as strong as this current sextet. In City Hall, Olivia Williams is cast against type as Dorothy, a working-class mother who is elected Mayor of London after winning praise for her stance against rioters.


Friday 10pm BBC2

"Pucks! Sucks!", is the headline of one of the lousy reviews for the American remake of Bev and Sean's hit British sitcom, as the transatlantic meta-comedy starring Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan as Limey scriptwriters adrift in Hollywood (and a Golden Globe-winning Matt LeBlanc as a version of himself) returns for a new run.