Friday 15th July

Today’s previews by Imogen Ridgway

Double Lesson

7.30pm, Channel 4 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

First Cut is a gem of a series, offering us a selection of documentaries from new directors. However, this new run kicks off with something a little different: a dramatic monologue. Fair enough, Double Lesson stars top-drawer telly actor Phil Davis, but considering it’s written and directed by the relatively unknown George Kay, we weren’t sure quite what to expect. We needn’t have worried: it’s absolutely brilliant.

Double Lesson 2

Davis stars as David De Gale, a teacher about to face trial for assaulting a pupil. As the day of the hearing unfolds, we see him pottering around his garden and dressing for court, delivering a monologue straight to camera talking us though the events leading up to the assault.

It’s a captivating script: the story is built up in gentle layers, giving us an idea of the commitment De Gale has to his teaching career and pupils, as well as the pressure he faces from certain kids (and their families) who take against him.

There are some properly clever lines, allowing De Gale to veer from despair to black humour and slowly drip-feeding us a picture of his family situation and his feelings about himself and his school.

A small slice of amazing drama that might normally be tucked away in a dusty corner of Sky Arts, Double Lesson is hardly typical Friday-night telly. But it’s more than worth finding half an hour to watch.

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It’s Latitude weekend, which you may have worked out by the conspicuous absence of Audi estates outside your children’s primary school this morning. To Southwold we go for the festival that combines some blinding musical acts with a wide-ranging line-up of literature, art, cabaret, fashion and DJs. Zoe Ball fronts the coverage (9pm, Sky Arts 1), and tonight’s turns include The National, Bright Eyes and KT Tunstall.

But of course another musical institution kicks off tonight: it’s the First Night Of The Proms (8pm, BBC2) and the 117th season begins with a new work from British composer Judith Weir entitled ‘Stars, Night, Music And Light’. There’s also a piano solo from 19-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor, from Southend. He takes on Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 2 and in doing so will become the First Night’s youngest soloist. Good lad.

If you can resist the temptation to open a bottle of something and revel in the culinary car-crash we call Come Dine With Me (8pm, Channel 4) – and we can’t, if we’re being honest – you might prefer a more substantial foodie offering. In episode two of The Good Cook (7.30pm, BBC1), Simon Hopkinson serves up a risotto which is so creamy it actually appears to glisten. There’s also a reasonably authentic tandoori chicken and a grown-up take on pancakes (parma ham and asparagus… honestly, it’s enough to make you salivate).

Of course, Friday night has also become synonymous in recent months with decent US drama. We head to the therapist’s couch for In Treatment (10.15pm and 10.45pm, Sky Atlantic/HD), in which Paul catches up with Oliver, trapped in the maelstrom of his parents’ divorce, and CEO Walter (a knockout performance from John Mahoney). Also rumbling along is Dexter (10pm, FX), and it’s the final episode of The Kennedys (9.45pm, BBC2), where Bobby and Jackie are united in grief.

And finally, Whovians take note: Matt Smith is one of the guests on Alan Carr: Chatty Man (9.30pm, Channel 4).

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Fifth Gear – 7.30m, Channel 5

Love Your Garden – 8pm, ITV1

Danger: Diggers At Work – 8pm, Channel 5

Eight Out Of Ten Cats – 9pm, Channel 4

Castle – 9pm, Channel 5

Big Love – 9pm, Sky Atlantic

Kinkdom Come: Dave Davies – 9pm, BBC4

King Of… – 9.30pm, Channel 4

The Apprentice: How To Get Hired – 10.35pm, BBC1

T In The Park – 11.05pm, BBC2

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Emmerdale – 7pm, ITV1

Why is everyone so surprised that Hazel is struggling to cope with the aftermath of Jackson’s death? SHE HELPED HER OWN SON TO DIE! That kind of thing is going to take more than a few weeks to shrug off. Still, the Emmerdale writers know just what will sort her out: a visit from hatchet-faced Chas. Lock the doors, Hazel! Lock the doors! Meanwhile, the village’s rag-tag collection of teenagers (Amy, Victoria, Belle and a bunch of others we’ve barely ever seen before) continue planning for their secret party. It’s hard to know what the daftest thing about it is: that they think they’re going to get away with it (it’s a scheme that has disaster written through it like a stick of rock from Disaster Town). Or that they’re having the thing on a Monday night. What self-respecting bunch of teens decides to wait until AFTER the weekend to hold their big bash? (Ceri Thomas)

EastEnders – 8pm, BBC1

For some strange reason, Billy seems really chuffed that errant granddaughter Lola has turned up, and decides to show her off to the rest of the Mitchell clan (wouldn’t a tour of The London Dungeon been less scary for her?). Wait a minute, I think I’ve worked out the strange reason… It’s because Billy is the sort of chap who loves family – despite what it’s done to him. (Terry Ramsey)

Coronation Street – 7.30 & 8.30pm, ITV1

Carla’s done the deed with Frank so is wandering around Weatherfield with a Cheshire Cat grin today. Less happy is Leanne who has a huge row with Peter about the fact that he revealed to Carla that they were expecting. To say that it doesn’t end well is like saying that the tram crash caused a small disturbance… Speaking of the Barlows, Tracy’s long been unchallenged as the family’s meanest backstabber, but she’s got competition from twitchy James’ now. Is some bad lad/lass instinct going to kick in as they have a minor confrontation of their own? Surely someone will soon spot that James is a wrong un? Every time he speaks, he’s clearly picturing himself sitting in his volcano base stroking a white cat… (Ceri Thomas)

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The Scream Trilogy – 9pm, Sky Sci-Fi/Horror


“Do you like scary movies?” The Scream-faced stab-happy killer’s fourth outing hasn’t made it onto the small screen yet, so we’re just going to have to make do with the first three of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson’s blackly tongue-in-cheek slasher flicks. The first (9pm) is the most out-and-out scary but the sequel (11pm) is arguably the cleverer movie, with a smart film geek stance on sequels and bodycounts. The third film (1am) is weakest of the trio, but even that delivers a fair dollop of gory fun as the killer strikes on a movie being made about his first rampage. (Ceri Thomas)

Worth A Look…

Zombieland – 7.20pm, Sky Sci-Fi/Horror

Knight And Day – 8pm, Sky Premiere

Ghost – 8pm, Sky Showcase

Miss Congeniality – 9pm, 5*

Dumb And Dumber – 9pm, Watch

Kick-Ass – 9pm, Sky Action/Adventure

Enemy Of The State – 9pm, Sky Crime/Thriller

Blazing Saddles – 9pm, TCM

Frantic – 10pm, ITV3

Rendition – 10pm, More4

Memento – 11pm, Film4

Euro Trip – 11.45pm, BBC1

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