THE best TV shows and documentaries to watch this week, including the Hunt, which follows the fortunes of a pack of wild dogs tracking prey in Africa
Predators may be further up the food chain than those they feed on, but as The Hunt reveals, it doesn’t mean life is easy for those animals looking for a kill to ensure their survival.
First up the travails of leopards, crocodiles, killer whales and wild dogs, each utilising different techniques to try and catch their prey.
The leopard’s success hinges on its powers of stealth and its ability to make the most of whatever cover it can find to get within striking distance of its target. Wild dogs in Africa’s open plains rely on teamwork and stamina to catch their prey, in a habitat where there’s nowhere to hide. The giant crocodiles of the Nile, meanwhile, are among the most patient of predators as they can wait up to a year for a meal and can hold their breath for up to two hours waiting for prey to come close enough for their lightning strike.
Advances in technology allied to the BBC’s peerless and patient camera crews around the world mean this seven part series will be a vision of nature red in tooth and claw. The slow motion, high definition kills might explain its after-the-watershed time slot.
The life or death struggles of the series, narrated by David Attenborough, show that most hunts fail and prey live to fight another day.
Tomorrow, BBC1, 9pm
The Great Pottery Throw Down
The team that brought the world the Great British Bake-Off is turning its attention to pottery. The six part series, filmed in Stoke-on-Trent in the Potteries, sees ten amateurs vie for the title. The Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry of the programme are experts Keith Brymer Jones and Kate Malone. Sara Cox presents.
Tuesday, BBC2, 9pm
After an unpleasant public divorce from Charles Saatchi and allegations of drug use in a court case, Nigella Lawson is back offering a “pared-down” food philosophy designed to reduce stress. Out is the super-indulgence and rich ingredients of before and in is hearty “bowl food” such as Thai noodles with prawns, or avocado on toast, with radishes. Bon appétit.
Monday, BBC2, 8:30pm
Joanna Lumley, Elvis and Me
A long time Elvis fan, Joanna Lumley travels to Graceland, Memphis, in this one hour special about the music icon and interviews various members of the late star’s family, including his ex-wife Priscilla Presley. Lumley also visits Sun Studios where Elvis made his first records.
Wednesday, STV, 9pm
Gino’s Italian Escape – Islands In The Sun
Expect lots of sunshine and delightful food in the company of affable Gino D’Acampo as he journeys through Sardinia and Sicily, learning something of island traditions and cooking his own dishes along the way.
Friday, STV, 8pm
Dominic Sandbrook: Let Us Entertain You
The historian gets his name in front of the title for this four part exploration of one of Britain’s biggest post-Second World War success stories: popular culture. Sandbrook argues that the music, fashion, art, film, literature and theatre which Britain produces is, like steel or textiles, simply a commodity, something manufactured, marketed and then sold around the world.
Wednesday, BBC2, 9pm