DECLINE AND FALL, BBC1, 9pm
THIS is a gentle comedy, and last week I complained it was rather too gentle. The permanently pale, nervous, baffled expression worn by Jack Whitehall’s character, Paul, never changed and, with the rest of the cast being men, men, men (plus some bratty schoolboys), it all seemed too colourless and uniform. It was stuffed with waistcoats, brandy, cigars, school ties and dim light.
Eva Longoria appeared towards the end, all radiant and flirtatious, her arrival offering promise that things might begin to step up a gear and throw off the comedy’s dull insistence on the stuffy world of ... men.
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And she does improve things. Longoria plays the over-the-top, glamorous and wealthy American widow Margot Beste-Chetwynde, and she has invited nervous Paul to join her noisy world as a tutor. He hopes to win her heart while struggling to fit in with the flighty, fashionable set she associates with. Things remain gentle, even sometimes dull, but at least we have some feminine flapper-style flirtation and pizzazz going on.
SPECTACULAR SPAIN WITH ALEX POLIZZI, C5, 9pm
TAKE a break from the madness of the Tory dinosaurs who’ve been rattling their senile sabres at Spain. This pleasant series offers you Spain as a country of sunshine, beauty and culture.
Alex Polizzi visits the Costa Blanca in tonight’s episode. It’s a gorgeous region which has been unfairly shrunk down in the public imagination to tacky old Benidorm, but there’s far more to it than that tourist trap.
Polizzi begins by visiting the stylish city of Valencia, a thriving port which is gaining a name for its bold architecture. She pops into the beautiful cathedral and samples the city’s famous paella.
Then, with a deep breath, it’s on to noisy Benidorm which began life as a peaceful fishing village but now surely reeks of suntan lotion and chips?