9.00pm Burma, My father and the forgotten Army BBC2 – Apart from a few fragmentary stories, Griff Rhys Jones’ father never talked about his war. Yet as a medical officer to a West African division he travelled 15000 miles from Wales, to Ghana and the jungles of Burma. He and his men were part of an army of a million raised in Africa and Asia to fight the Japanese. To understand their story Griff travels first to Ghana and then accompanied by 90-year-old veteran Joshua he goes to jungles of Burma. It is known as the forgotten war but Griff discovers how it transformed these West Africans from children of the empire into masters of their own destiny.
8.30pm Count Arthur Strong BBC2 – Sitcom about an out-of-work former variety star with delusions of grandeur. The death of a famous comedian leads to a momentous meeting between his son Michael and his old comedy partner Count Arthur Strong. Arthur makes an impact at the memorial service after treating Michael to a performance of his world famous Memory Man act.
9.00pm The Apprentice: The Final Five BBC1 – As this series of The Apprentice draws to a close and the tension mounts, this programme profiles the remaining five candidates. Revealing the true stories behind the super confident egos, we discover what really makes these budding business men and women tick. Parents, friends and employees, along with Lord Sugar’s trusted aides Nick Hewer and Karren Brady, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the final five personalities, and look back over their journey in the process.
8.00pm Raymond Blanc: How to Cook Well BBC2 – his first episode is all about slow-cooking, a great technique that has meltingly delicious results. See what happens to a tough cut of meat with his Asian flavoured beef shin with papaya salad and the fabulous merging of flavours with a squid and chorizo stew. But simplest of all is an amazing compressed apple terrine.
8.30pm The Cruise: A Life at Sea BBC2 – In January 2013, the Cruise Liner Balmoral set sail on a 112-day world cruise. She is embarking on 33,000 mile voyage, stopping at 33 ports of call on her trip around the globe. On board are 1,700 passengers and crew and their chaplin for the journey, the Reverend Colin Still. After a brief stop in Madeira, Captain Victor Stoica soon has a medical emergency on his hands as a sick passenger has to be airlifted off the ship in the middle of the Atlantic. On board, Colin and the passengers settle into a routine. Sue Alderson, the energetic choir mistress, is soon drilling her passenger volunteers for a performance of The Pirates of Penzance at the end of the leg in Acapulco. Bob and Vivien Speding met and fell in love on a previous cruise, but are on a honeymoon with a difference this time.
9.00pm Piper Alspha: Fire in the Night BBC2 – Documentary chronicling the tragic events that occurred in the North Sea on board the Piper Alpha rig in July 1988, in what was the world’s deadliest offshore oil disaster. It was a cataclysm that killed 167 men and left only 61 survivors. Emotional testimonies, archive footage and dramatic reconstructions show how survivors, against all odds, escaped the inferno – including those who were forced to jump from the 175ft high Helideck into the sea below.
9.00pm Robson Green: How the North Was Built ITV – The first of two programmes in which Robson Green journeys across the north of England and into its past, to a time when what happened in the north shaped both Britain and the world. He starts by telling the story of coal mining in the north over the course of two centuries and hears from members of his own family what it was like to go underground every day of your working life. Robson then looks at the great Lancashire industry of cotton and how the hard work of the mill workers created the profits that built Manchester. He also describes the transport revolution that changed the face of the north, with canals and railways criss-crossing the land, linking cities, factories and ports.
9.00pm The Murder Trial Channel 4 – After three years of negotiation, the Scottish High Court gave permission for this extraordinary and unique access: to film the case of a man accused of murdering his wife. Her body has never been found, there is no weapon or crime scene, and her husband appears to have a cast iron alibi for the day she disappeared. For the first time ever, remotely operated cameras have been placed inside a British criminal court to capture a murder trial in its entirety for this brand new feature-length documentary. Recorded over six weeks, this film shows the process of justice in a Scottish High Court like never before.
9.00pm Football’s Suicide Secret BBC3 – Footballer and chairman of the PFA Clarke Carlisle investigates depression – and even suicide – in British football and speaks to young players, managers and Gary Speed’s family to find out why footballers are suffering in silence.
8.00pm Restoration Home BBC2 – Series following the fortunes of properties facing a struggle for survival and their committed new owners wanting to turn historic ruins into dream homes. Caroline Quentin meets Alex and her partner Martin. When they bought Rock Farm, the once perfectly proportioned Georgian house was a crumbling shell, cracked and contorted. The build schedule and the budget were tight but Alex believed she could save this 200-year-old building in just six months. As the fabric of the building begins its steady restoration, layers of Rock Farm’s long lost history also becomes clear. Dr Kate Williams reveals the influential landowners that lived there throughout the ages while architectural expert Kieran Long invites a specialist to look at the decaying bricks.
8.00pm The Zoo ITV – Cameras return to the Zoological Society of London to explore the changing role of zoos in the 21st century, the struggle to protect endangered species, and the extraordinary relationships between keepers and their animals.
8.00pm Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead Five – Documentary following Australian Joe Cross, 100lbs overweight and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, as he attempts to regain control of his health. Joe trades in his junk food diet and sets off on a US road trip with a juicer and generator in tow, vowing to drink only fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days. In Arizona, he meets a morbidly obese truck driver suffering from the same rare autoimmune condition and inspires him to begin his own journey to better health.
9.00pm Horizon: The Truth About Personality BBC2 – Michael Mosley explores the latest theories on how our personalities are created – and whether they can be changed. Despite appearances, Mosley is a pessimist who constantly frets about the future. He wants to worry less and become more of an optimist. He tries out two techniques to change this aspect of his personality – with surprising results. And he travels to the frontiers of genetics and neuroscience to find out about the forces that shape all our personalities.
10.00pm Some Vicars with Jokes BBC4 – Clergy folk from around the UK swap the good book for the joke book and share their favourite gags. Old, new, clean, not so clean, these vicars are hell bent on getting us laughing.
8.00pm Great British Budget Menu BBC1 – Three of Britain’s leading chefs come face-to-face with one of the most pressing issues of our times: food poverty. Recent research estimates that nearly five million people in the UK are struggling to feed themselves properly and eat nutritiously. Great British Budget Menu goes straight to the heart of the problem as James Martin, Angela Hartnett and Richard Corrigan live with three households where people are finding it hard to make ends meet.
8.30pm Married to the Job ITV – New series following high-ranking female police officers, and the interaction between their work and home life. In this episode, Detective Inspector Kay Lancaster leads an investigation into a ruthless team of criminals who victimise old people living alone. Kay runs Manhunt, one of only three units in the country which specifically targets crime against the elderly. At home, she is steadily adapting to life as a newly single mum after splitting up from her policeman husband and is trying to keep family life on track for her young sons.
9.00pm Nick & Margaret: We are pay your benefits BBC1 – Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford want to discover how much benefit is enough to live on and if work is worth it. Four claimants and four taxpayers come face-to-face to explore each other’s lives, examine their values and speak their minds.
9.00pm Hebrides: Islands on the Edge BBC2 – Ewan McGregor narrates a landmark nature series focusing on the wildlife struggling to survive on the Hebridean Islands. In this edition, the arrival of autumn sees young swallows, otters and grey seals face the biggest storms and highest tides of the year. Tens of thousands of geese and swans arriving for the winter encounter predatory white-tailed eagles ready to hunt them. And on the Isle of Rum, a stag faces the ultimate challenge in a battle to decide the true Monarch of the Glen.
9.00pm Brady and Hindley: Possession ITV – This documentary to mark the 50th anniversary of the first of the Moors Murders raises new questions about a case whose impact continues to be felt. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley’s horrific child killing spree shocked the nation and they have been front page news ever since. Ian Brady fantasised about committing the perfect murder. He wanted to keep possession of his victims – dark secrets in shallow graves on the moors above Manchester. The programme includes Myra Hindley’s version of events, recorded from a prison cell, and heard for the first time.
10.35pm The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them BBC1 – this programme provides a chance to look back on the candidates who fell before the final hurdle, and the tasks that tested them to the limit. From making beer and selling caravans to thinking up an online dating concept, this year’s budding business partners have been pushed to breaking point. Lord Sugar takes us through the best, and worst, decisions made by this year’s candidates, and explains how each week he decided who would hear the fateful phrase ‘You’re fired!’.