Television Choices: Working a way out of a pensions predicament


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The Independent Culture

The Town That Never Retired

Wednesday 9pm BBC1

The highlight of the When I'm 65 season looking at issues facing Britain's elderly reunites The Apprentice mentors Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford – mere striplings at 68 and 60 respectively. Starting with an estimation that today's newborns will have to work until their late seventies before they retire on the state pension, a group of over-70s in Preston are put back to work – in restaurants, doctor's surgeries and on building sites – to see whether they can realistically be expected to soldier on. The former nurse Sheila struggles with computer skills, while the ex-plumber Roy looks non-plussed by the new tools of his former trade. And for all the pensioners, the early start is a shock to the system after years of retirement.

The Hollow Crown – Henry IV, Part 1

Saturday 9pm BBC2

Rory Kinnear, young Henry IV in last week's Richard II, now morphs into Jeremy Irons as the Shakespeare history cycle continues. Tom Hiddleston plays Prince Hal, hearing the chimes of midnight with Simon Russell Beale's Falstaff at the tavern of Mistress Quickly (Julie Walters), as Richard Eyre takes both writing and directing duties.


Sunday 9pm BBC1

Sir Kenneth Branagh returns with a knighthood and a new series of BBC1 adaptations of Henning Mankel's Swedish detective stories. Kurt Wallander seems to have found a level of contentment, with a house by the sea and the attentions of Vanja Anderson (Saskia Reeves). He even gets a dog. But then the mutt unearths something unsavoury beneath the blackcurrant bushes...

Faster, Higher, Stronger

Monday 7pm BBC2

Week-long history of the Olympics as seen through four different disciplines, starting with the 100 metres, which may seen like a blur to you and me but which, for the athlete, is broken down into such stages as "release" and "drive". All quite interesting, as Michael Johnson and Alan Wells explain why it's better to be surprised by the starting gun than to listen out for it.

BBC Proms 2012

Friday 8.30pm BBC2

A programme of all-English music gets the Olympics year season underway at the Royal Albert Hall, with four British conductors passing the baton throughout the evening – Roger Norrington, Mark Elder, Edward Gardner and Martyn Brabbins – to lead the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in music by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Delius, Tippett and Elgar.

Bank of Dave

Thursday 9pm Channel4

There's something Capra-esque about this look at the squeeze in bank-lending, as the millionaire minibus dealer Dave Fishwick tries to set up a bank in his home-town of Burnley, making loans to local businesses while offering a market-leading 5 per cent interest to savers. But the red tape is awesome, no new banks having been licensed in the UK for more than 100 years.

Twenty Twelve

Tuesday 10pm BBC2

The first of three welcome pre-Olympics visits to the offices of ODC, where travel and security are at the top of the agenda for Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville). Siobhan (Jessica Hynes) dreams up a nifty slogan ("way to go"), Kay (Amelia Bullmore) tries to interest Dagenham & Redbridge FC in the post-Games stadium, and a US security forward unit are in town.