TV picks of the week: The Fear | The Royal Variety Performance | The Town

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THE FEAR is another of these big dramas rolled out nightly, requiring you to cancel everything else – and another hardman role for Peter Mullan.


The Fear

Channel 4, Monday-Thursday, 10pm

We’re in Brighton, where underworld boss Richie Beckett is taking the praise for regenerating the West Pier. “Nice to put something back,” he smirks as the big cheque is flourished and the champagne pops. But some East Europeans are moving in on his patch. “Albanians, Dad,” confirms one of his laddies. Beckett: “I know who they are. They live in caravans and pick cabbages. You cross them, they throw rhubarb at you.” Our man insists he doesn’t want a fight. “All I want is peace. I haven’t lifted a finger to anyone in this town for 15 years so I’ve no intention of starting now.” Yeah, yeah. Four nights of “peace” on Channel 4? That would be a first.


The Royal Variety Performance STV, Monday, 7.30pm

Thirty-four RVPs she’s endured – someone give that woman a British Empire Medal, or at least a Crackerjack pencil. Some of the comedians being set before the Queen are as ancient as Crackerjack – Ronnie Corbett, Jimmy Tarbuck – and they’ll be trying once again to come up with a gag as good as John Lennon’s about jewellery-rattling. And failing, most likely.


The Town STV, Wednesday, 9pm

Right away this has got the feel of Jimmy McGovern’s The Street: similar title, similar title sequence, similar stellar cast, led by Sherlock’s Moriarty, Andrew Scott, as a family wind down for the night, and then… wow, wasn’t expecting that. The last thing the truculent teen said to her mum was “Nazi”, after being made to get off the phone. By the morning, everything’s changed forever.