Last Night's TV: Autistic Driving School, BBC3
The Landscape Man, Channel 4
Welcome to Lagos, BBC2

I wrote an article once," chuckled Julia, a driving instructor from Leicester. "It was called 'Watch Out, Autistic Drivers About!'." Did you know that autistic drivers are allowed on the road? I'm not sure I did, but then I'm not sure I'd ever thought about it. If I had, I suppose I would have assumed that they drove just like anyone else – why ever not? Though whether or not that is to underestimate the challenge faced by Julia's pupils is another question entirely.

Judging from Autistic Driving School on BBC3 last night, the answer is probably yes. "You can't just give a straightforward instruction," she explained. If she told one of her pupils to just "go straight over", for example, they would plough straight over the roundabout.

Julia is particularly well placed to understand the challenges. She is, after all, autistic herself. Thanks to a late diagnosis, much of her youth was spent on the receiving end of taunts: "ugly", "spastic", you know the drill. Now, though, she's flying high. With her encyclopaedic knowledge of road signs, and a formidably latter-life confidence, she has become an authority on teaching. As well as lecturing college students on the importance of understanding autism, she trains other driving instructors in dealing with autistic pupils. It's quite a sight to behold. Julia fake-panicking, the horrified instructor trying to calm her down, before she breaks into a grin and congratulates them on their handling of the situation.

Driving, it seems, can be particularly therapeutic for those with autism. Chris, for instance, claimed not to know much about his condition ("My mum knows about that stuff, I don't") and would like to be a professional driver some day. He has been racing for years. The speed gives him the kind of freedom that his day-to-day life lacks. Of course, when it comes to passing your driving test, that's not always a good thing. Most of his lessons consisted of his instructor telling him to slow down. Still, when it came to the crunch, he passed, first time at that, and with only one minor fault. "Do you think people would be shocked if they knew autistic people were on the road?" an interviewer asked Julia at the end. "Ha!" she laughed "Probably!" Well, they shouldn't.

The Landscape Man is a sort of Country House Rescue/My Dream Farm hybrid. Except it's not nearly as fun as either, mainly because our Landscape Man (Matthew Wilson) possesses neither Ruth Watson's blunt-bobbed authoritarianism, nor Monty Don's doe-eyed charm. I'm not sure what he's got, really, other than a job at the RHS. Not that he's bad – he's not. It's just that landscaping isn't as fantasy-ready as the rest of those TV concepts. Who doesn't have fantasies about moving to the countryside? Or living in a fabulously large country house and renovating it to all its pristine, profit-turning glory? Personally, though, I've never daydreamed about digging. Or diggers. At a stretch, maybe, I might have fantasised about owning an enormous garden with an enormous lake, which is just as well really because that's what Jason and Demetra Lindsay, the homeowners Matthew was trying to help last night, wanted.

They live in a ginormous Queen Anne house in Essex, which they inherited and have managed to keep afloat by hosting weddings in the grounds. All the resources that they'd ploughed into that, though, meant that they had none left for their gardens.

So, it was up to Wilson to impart his wisdom over a series of visits, in between leaving the Lindsays to get on with the hard slog. The hardest part, apparently, was their ambition to build a six-foot fishpond. The high point of drama came when they realised that a piping fault meant that the damn thing would only fill halfway (gripping stuff, this). Happily, all ended well: they got their pond, a new spot to picnic, and Wilson looked like the hero. I'd bet good money that the rest of the series will conclude similarly, though I'm not sure I've got the stamina to follow it up.

The third and final episode of Welcome to Lagos took us to the city's beach slums, where we met Esther, who, along with hundreds of others, lives in a state of permanent uncertainty. Their settlements are illegal, though they are vigilant in keeping them in order, and any day, one of the city's task forces might do away with them. It was, however, a tale of two sides. As well as Esther and her husband of six years, Segun, we met Sagede, of the city's State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit. Responsible for demolishing dwellings like Esther's, he saw himself as a progressive, reforming the city for the better. "One day, people will compare us to London," he grinned. You can understand his fervour; even those living illegally do. "Aside from the fact that my shop is involved," grinned one slum inhabitant. "It is a welcome development."

Still, it was Esther who was the heroine. Like every individual we've followed in this series, she was remarkable: spirited, ambitious, determined. During the course of the programme, her marriage disintegrated; not that it did anything to dampen her aspirations. One day, she swore, she would work her way out of the slum, become "a professional teacher or work in the communications industry". The entire series has been fascinating, and this conclusion was no anti-climax.

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada