June 16, 2024

Adventure Awaits Journeyers

Discovering the World Anew

TV tonight: Mel Giedroyc and Martin Clunes embark on a literary journey through Dorset | Television

3 min read

Mel Giedroyc and Martin Clunes Explore Britain By the Book

9pm, ITV1

Giedroyc and Clunes are old friends who read books and like travelling – and that’s reason enough for them to make this nice literary travelogue in Dorset (where Clunes happens to live). Highlights include an impression of Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman in Lyme Regis, reading Thomas Hardy extracts while trying not to puke on the boat to Durdle Door, and a steam train through Enid Blyton country. Hollie Richardson

Gemma and Gorka: Life Behind the Lens

8pm, W

More inconsequential celebrity domesticity sees heavily pregnant radio host Gemma Atkinson preparing for the birth of her second child and dealing with a tight schedule that includes a kids’ party, a hair appointment and an appearance on Steph’s Packed Lunch. Meanwhile her hubby, Strictly pro Gorka Marquez, is dancing in Windsor. Jack Seale

More gory goings on in BBC Four’s Colosseum. Photograph: A+E Networks/BBC/October Films


9pm, BBC Four

The final double bill of this utterly fascinating (and very gory) docudrama catches up to the rule of Emperor Commodus, the wicked, disliked son of Marcus Aurelius, who stepped into the Colosseum arena as a gladiator hundreds of times and always survived. HR

The Bold Type

9pm, BBC Three

Is there a more mortifying no-strings-attached-sex faux pas than screaming “I love you!” during a shower romp? Not for Jane, who might be developing feelings for “Pinstripe Guy”. Back in the Scarlet magazine office, Sutton’s relationship with board member Richard continues to cause problems. HR

Decoding Turner

9pm, Sky Arts

The roiling seas and fiery light in JMW Turner’s later works, as well as his eccentric and controversial private life, tell us he was no ordinary landscape painter. This film posits that there is even more to Turner’s art. Could it really contain hidden messages, à la the Da Vinci Code? JS


9pm, Alibi

A trip to an eco-retreat with her father doesn’t offer much respite for Nicola Walker’s detective, who hammers home the sense of familial strife with King Lear references. The mood darkens further when a body is found in a nearby river: “Nothing says a relaxing holiday like a mobile homicide unit.” Katie Rosseinsky

Film choice

The Little Mermaid (Rob Marshall, 2003), Disney+

Jonah Hauer-King and Halle Bailey in Disney’s remake of The Little Mermaid. Photograph: Album/Alamy

The danger in Disney remaking its animated back catalogue as live action has always been in staining the memory of a much-loved children’s film (The Jungle Book will never be the same again for me). Rob Marshall’s splashy new version of the 1989 fantasy musical mostly keeps it simple, with tweaks to the plot (Ariel gets more agency) and soundtrack (three new songs). The one major change is the colourblind casting of Black actor Halle Bailey as the mermaid princess who falls for a human prince. It is a refreshing move, and the engaging Bailey knocks it out of the park. The photorealistic talking crabs and birds are less convincing, but movie musical veteran Marshall is a steady hand at the tiller. Simon Wardell

Live sport

T20 International Women’s Cricket: England v Sri Lanka, 5.45pm, BBC Two The third and final match from the County Ground, Derby.


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