THE best TV shows and documentaries to watch this week, including a new spy drama starring Ben Whishaw and a four-part series on Loch Lomond wildlife
DRAMA: London Spy
This promising five-part espionage thriller is the story of a chance romance between two people from very different worlds, one from the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service, the other from a world of clubbing and youthful excess.
Ben Whishaw plays Danny – gregarious, hedonistic, romantic and adrift – who falls for the antisocial enigmatic and brilliant Alex (Edward Holcroft). Just as the two of them realise that they’re perfect for each other, Alex is found dead.
When information about the suspicious circumstances of Alex’s death are not forthcoming, Danny decides to seek the truth, bringing him to the attention of the security services. Out of his depth in the world of espionage Danny seeks help from mentor Scottie (Jim Broadbent) and embarks on a journey where no one is what they seem.
Written by Tom Rob Smith, author of the hit trilogy Child 44, it is directed by Jakob Verbruggen, who made The Fall as well as the US version of The Bridge. The superb cast includes Charlotte Rampling and Adrian Lester.
Expect political machinations, suspense and paranoia. As Jim Broadbent’s character says, “Occasionally, it’s right to be afraid.”
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
MUSIC: Tom Jones & Rob Brydon: One Big Night
The actor and comedian hosts a nostalgic look back at the career of Sir Tom Jones, above. The fundraiser for Children in Need, filmed at Wembley Arena, mixes sketches with music, including performances with James Morrison and Dame Evelyn Glennie. What hope we don’t have to hear a reprise of Islands in the Stream, which Brydon recorded with Jones (both Ruth and Tom) for Red Nose Day in 2009?
Thursday, BBC1, 8pm
CONSUMER: The Shopper’s Guide To Saving Money
Dave Fishwick and Kate Quilton return for a new series of the show which wants to know if we’re getting a good deal when we spend our hard-earned cash. With access to big corporations and industry insiders they offer tips on making savings. First up the duo investigate the true cost of owning a dog, and uncover the surprising world of printer ink, asking why it can cost ten times as much as vintage champagne?
Monday, Channel 4, 8:30pm
NATURE: Loch Lomond: A Year in the Wild
This new four-part series charts the seasons across the 700 square miles of rugged mountains, hidden valleys and churning rivers that make up Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Lots of wildlife – from mountain hares to deer – along with spectacular scenery will be on view as the programme kicks off with a study of spring.
Tuesday, Channel 5, 8pm
COMEDY: Live At The Apollo
Mondays just got a lot funnier with the showcase for stand-ups starting a new season. Alan Carr hosts with guests including Nish Kumar and Francesca Martinez.
Monday, BBC2, 10pm
CHARITY: Children in Need 2015
Settle in with your bank card at the ready for an evening of jolly celebrity-led high jinks and shameless heartstring-tugging. Sir Terry Wogan and Tess Daly present. Watch out for a Star Wars special featuring The Stig.
Friday, BBC1, 7:30pm