This week’s best telly includes three great documentaries, some live comedy and two superb dramas.
Here are the 7 shows you have to watch this week…
1. Man In An Orange Shirt | Monday 31st July at 9pm on BBC Two
As the BBC’s Gay Britannia series continues, this week sees the start of BBC Two’s new two-part drama The Man In An Orange Shirt.
In his screenwriting debut, bestselling British novelist Patrick Gale tells two love stories, 60 years apart – stories linked by family and a painting, with a secret that echoes down the generations.
Featuring a cast including the Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave, Man In An Orange Shirt charts the challenges and huge changes to gay lives from the Second World War to the present day.
It is 1944, and in the chaos of war British Army Captain Michael Berryman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) meets the artist Thomas March (James McArdle) in Southern Italy. Despite the fact he has a young fiancé Flora (Joanna Vanderham) waiting for him back at home, straight-laced Michael finds himself falling for Thomas’ bohemian charms.
When the war ends they steal some time away at Michael’s secluded cottage, where they briefly experience life as a couple and Thomas paints Michael’s portrait, ‘Man In An Orange Shirt’. Against Thomas’ protestations, Michael then returns to the very different life in London he left before the war – back to Flora, marriage, and their plans to start a family. Thomas returns to the relative freedom of Soho where, at great personal risk, he can live the life of a gay man.
Will their old lives be enough to satisfy Michael and Thomas in the wake of what they had before? Or can they find a way for their love to survive against the pressures of conventional marriage, 1940s society, and the law? And what about Flora, now a mother – how far will she go to hold her new family together?
2. Public Enemies: Jay-Z v Kanye | Monday 31st July at 10pm on Channel 4
Together, Jay-Z and Kanye West have captivated audiences across the world, transcending their hip-hop roots to leave their mark on business, fashion and even politics. But behind their partnership lies an epic rivalry.
With unseen footage and exclusive interviews with the people who know these two iconic artists best, this programme reveals the story behind their spectacular rise, and their colossal falling out. And it reveals how race, wealth and celebrity are shaping modern America.
3. Professor Green on Child Poverty | Tuesday 1st August from 10am on BBC Three
Since his Suicide & Me documentary in 2015, Professor Green has carved out a career as a keen documentary maker and off the back of last week’s fantastic documentary about legalising weed, Professor Green, or Stephen Manderson to give him his real name, is back to uncover what life is like for young people living on the breadline today.
Shocking statistics show that one in four children in Britain today are growing up in poverty and experts say these figures are predicted to rise by nearly one million kids in the next five years.
Over several months he spends time with 10 year-old Kelly Louise, whose family have just been evicted from their home. They can’t afford a deposit on a new property and, facing the possibility of being homeless, Kelly Louise’s life is turned upside down.
He also follows the story of 14 year-old Tyler who has been living in cramped emergency accommodation for 18 months, and witnesses the damaging consequences of poverty on Tyler’s life now and in the future.
4. In The Dark | Tuesday 1st August at 9pm on BBC One
If you haven’t been watching In The Dark on the BBC One for the last couple of weeks, I suggest you catch up on the three episodes so far on BBC iPlayer ahead of this week’s series finale.
This week, Helen finds herself in more danger as the investigation pulls her further into Manchester’s criminal underworld. Paranoid, vulnerable but unperturbed, she tracks down the gang responsible for the shooting – before the case throws up some shocking revelations.
And can Theo cheat death as the gang continues to be hunted by a mystery gunman?
5. Celebrity Big Brother | Tuesday 1st August at 9pm on Channel 5
Whilst Love Island caused Big Brother’s ratings to nosedive this Summer, Channel 5 will be hoping that they’ll be able to lure viewers back with this year’s second series of Celebrity Big Brother, the 20th overall.
Those rumoured to be entering the house include former TV presenter John Leslie, former Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding, former X Factor contestant Amelia Lily, former Corrie actress Shobna Gulati, Gogglebox’s Sandi Bogle, Absolutely Fabulous’ Helen Lederer, Most Haunted’s Derek Acorah, Geordie Shore’s Nathan Henry, Ex On The Beach’s Jemma Lucy, Love Island original Paul Danan, The Cheeky Girls and Barry from EastEnders aka Shaun Williamson.
Oh and there’s a rumour that Channel 5 are desperate to sign Kem Cetinay and Chris Hughes from this year’s Love Island and have them as late entrants. Somehow, I can’t see that happening. But bless them for thinking it might.
If this series fails to be a winner in the ratings, I fear that Channel 5 might be about to pull the plug on the series, either for a few years or for good.
6. Nish Kumar: Soho Theatre Live | Wednesday 2nd August at 10pm on Comedy Central
In a first of a kind partnership with Soho Theatre, Comedy Central are airing six of the most hilarious, diverse and thought provoking stand-up shows from rising star comedians, taped live at London’s most vibrant venue.
Nish Kumar: Soho Theatre Live, sees Nish discuss the woes of his pun-able name, that awkward time he saw the film ‘Shame’ with his father and his innate inability to do sports as a kid .
7. Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay | Wednesday 2nd August at 10:45pm on BBC One
Outspoken frontman of Years & Years Olly Alexander fronts this eye-opening and timely film, Growing Up Gay, which premiered on BBC Three a couple of weeks ago and this week gets a repeat on BBC One.
In the one-off, he explores why the gay community is more vulnerable to mental health issues as he opens up about his own long-term battles with depression.
Recent figures show that more than 40% of LGBT+ people will experience a significant mental health problem, compared to around 25% of the whole population, and are more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide.
Olly is a powerful voice on mental health, bullying and LGBT+ rights. He has broken taboos with music videos that celebrate queer identities and spoken openly about his own sexuality, as well as his ongoing struggles with anxiety.
In the film he joins young people on their journeys battling issues that parallel his own – from homophobic bullying to eating and anxiety disorders – and along the way he’ll ask what can be done to address them.