Andrew Marr explores how the Elizabethans influence modern society

Pick of the day: New Elizabethans With Andrew Marr

9pm, BBC Two

During Elizabeth II’s long reign, Britain has gone from being rigid, deferential, patriarchal and class-obsessed toward a more inclusive and egalitarian society. That, at least, is Marr’s reading, one which informs his eclectic choice of individuals he sees as responsible for this seismic change. There’s a lot of ground to cover so the pace is brisk as Marr jumps from Diana Dors to the tragic Ruth Ellis, Roy Jenkins – “the architect of the permissive society” – to that society’s sworn enemy, Mary Whitehouse, and from Monty Python to Tracy Emin, by way of Darcus Howe, Nancy Mitford and the only recently deceased Jan Morris.

DIY SOS: The Big Build

8pm, BBC One

Nick Knowles meets the Sweet family in Weston-super-Mare, whose three children have all been diagnosed with multiple rare illnesses and will soon be full-time wheelchair-users. It may also affect their speech, fine motor skills and vision. All three children already struggle with basic normal life at home, so the team – plus hundreds of local workers – are here to give them the specially adapted four walls they need.


9pm, Channel 4

Watching Greg Davies expressing his disappointment with the contestants and them hanging their heads in shame, you can well see that he might have been a schoolteacher for 13 years. Education’s loss is entertainment’s gain, and the funniest task this week involves performing a bizarre little sketch. Professional actress Katherine Parkinson fails to learn her lines, Daisy May Cooper is incapable of delivering regional accents while, conversely, Johnny Vegas is rather good at them. All that and we learn that wasps can recognise human faces. Apparently.

The Dam Busters: Attack! Attack! Attack!

9pm, Channel 5

Dan Snow concludes the docuseries with the raid itself, which got off to a rocky start as two of the Lancaster bombers were forced to return home damaged, while a third was destroyed by enemy fire. As the crews made their way across Europe, more planes were lost and the first attempts to destroy the Ruhr dams failed. But then 21-year-old pilot David Maltby and his crew released their bomb and breached the dam with devastating effect. The targets were destroyed
– but at a shocking cost.

The Dam Busters (Photo: Channel 5/October Films)

Celebrity Crystal Maze

10pm, Channel 4

TV presenter Laura Whitmore, comedian Chris Ramsey, Diversity dancers Perri Kiely and Jordan Banjo, and former rugby player Gareth Thomas are the “suspiciously free celebrities sprinkling their soiled stardust” in the various zones as Richard Ayoade, his fake hand and sardonic turn of phrase return for a new series of the fantasy game show.

Imagine – Tracey Emin: Where Do You Draw The Line?

10pm, BBC Four

Repeating now presumably on the back of Emin’s revelation about her cancer treatment, Alan Yentob’s 2018 documentary saw him shadow the erstwhile Young British Artist as she turned 55 and was completing a major large-scale commission at London’s St Pancras Station and her bronze bird installations in Sydney city centre. Discussing her tough early years in Margate, Emin explained why she was returning to the coastal Kent town, creating a studio that’s going to be like Rodin’s in Paris, but “slightly bigger”.

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