Last Night's TV: Misbehaving Mums to Be/BBC3
The Animal's Guide to Britain/BBC2
The Kennedys/History

It's been a good hour since I watched Misbehaving Mums to Be and I'm still not quite sure how I feel. A bit... icky? Halfway between concerned and shame-faced? The former, because the facts presented really were alarming, the latter because, well, there's something terribly uncomfortable about poking one's nose into someone else's pregnancy. And then judging them on it. Still, it was riveting. Now, this might have something to do with the absence of a Y-chromosome in my makeup, but pregnancy – as far as I'm concerned – always is.

Twenty per cent of pregnant women smoke, we were told, which seems rather a lot, doesn't it? Even more so when you consider that only twenty per cent of women, on average, smoke. But it's true. I even called up Ash, the anti-smoking group, to ask and – what do you know? – they agree. One in five, and a full 68 per cent of pregnant teens. So there you go.

Anyway, one of them is Heather, who's 22 and expecting her second child. She puffed away throughout her first pregnancy and doesn't see why she should stop for this one, which, I suppose, is some sort of logic. It all changed, though, after a meeting with midwife Lisa, who specialises in getting expectant mothers off the fags. Lisa left Heather with no illusions as to her habit's effects, explaining how it stunts growth and showing her babies in intensive care. Heather was in floods, vowing to quit within five days. She didn't. Instead, she went walkabout, refusing to be filmed any longer.

It was a more successful story with our other two MMTB. Largely because they're not all that M in the first place. Juliet is a workaholic bar owner who, in her non-pregnant life, would have gone through four bottles of wine a day. Now she's sticking to one glass of red on a Sunday, which doesn't exactly warrant the little baby-necking-a-bottle-of-lager logo that flashes up whenever she's onscreen. Still, her midwife, Alison, wasn't too happy, and told her to get off the Sunday sauce immediately (hang on, wasn't there some study that a little bit of wine was good for the foetus?). Kayley, meanwhile, is a 16- stone fan of chips and gravy. She eats her favourite dish several days a week, the rest of the time living off frozen meals. Initial confusion over what constitutes a healthy meal ("Are you going to cook a gourmet four-star meal when you get in from work?" she asked friends, incredulously) rapidly melted away when she met her midwife. Before you knew it she was buying broccoli and doing squats.

Somewhere along the line, presumably to compensate for the lack of misbehaviour, Juliet's non-existent booze problem got conflated with a stress problem and so, instead of nursing her through hangovers, Alison spent most of her time trying to get Juliet to go to yoga. I'm with Juliet on this one: she found it impossible to get through a class without giggling, and can't heed Alison's call to work less because, well, she needs the money. But this is TV, and so a compromise was reached. Alison won't go to yoga, but she will host regular coffee and cupcake mornings. Which, well, never hurt anybody.

Chris Packham wants to find out how animals see Britain. In truth, that's not what really happened in The Animal's Guide to Britain. Aside from a brief reconstruction of a vole being chased around his burrow by assorted predators, there was little in the way of in-their-(metaphorical)-shoes insights. This is not, necessarily, a bad thing, because what we did get – a look at five freshwater creatures on their way back from extinction – was rather lovely.

There was the osprey, which a balaclava-clad Packham ("You won't have seen this on the catwalk this season") got to watch fishing in the Scottish highlands. And there was the dragonfly – "a triumph of evolution," with his compound eyes, unchanged for thousands of years. There was the water vole and the trout and – far and away my favourite – the beaver. Each one had been awarded some significance that led, eventually, to their extinction.

For instance: dragonflies were thought by medieval Englanders to be evil – so evil that they were in cahoots with snakes, which they could awake from the dead. Osprey eggs were treasured collectables among the Victorians. And the beaver was hailed for its testicles, which were believed to have pain-killing properties (they also flood land to build dams, which may or may not account for more widespread antagonism towards the poor, toothy things). Now conservationists are doing their best to reintroduce these species to Britain, be that by building fake nests complete with pretend birds in them (the osprey) or by culling the predatory mink (the voles). It's all rather sweet, and also rather fascinating, for the trivia if not the animal's guide.

A word on last night's instalment of The Kennedys. OK, so I know I rubbished it the first time around (apart, that is, from the wonderful Tom Wilkinson). And I stand by that. The hefty clump-clump of the mini-series format is horribly outdated and Katie Holmes really is abysmal as Jackie.

But – quite a big but – in spite of all the flaws, I've found myself returning. I've now watched the whole second episode – plus several more – on DVD, and I've every intention of continuing. Somehow, I've been sucked in.;

Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL are releasing Plectrum Electrum next month

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Arts and Entertainment
John Kearns winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award with last years winners: Bridget Christie and Frank Skinner
comedyJohn Kearns becomes the first Free Fringe act to win the top prize
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Sue Vice
booksAcademic says we should not disregard books because they unexpectedly change genre
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Muscato performs as Michael Crawford in Stars in Their Eyes

Arts and Entertainment
‘Game of Thrones’

Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
    Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

    What is the appeal of Twitch?

    Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
    Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

    How bosses are making us work harder

    As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
    Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

    Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

    As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
    Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

    A tale of two writers

    Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
    Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

    Should pupils get a lie in?

    Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
    Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

    Prepare for Jewish jokes...

    ... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
    SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

    A dream come true for SJ Watson

    Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
    Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

    Paul Scholes column

    Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?