CIRCUS KIDS: OUR SECRET WORLD, C5, 9pm

IT’S the supposed secret wish of many a bored commuter, to run away and join the circus, but what if you’re already there?

What do children dream of if they were brought up in circus families and taught to perform in the ring? Do they want to run away and join the bank?

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Forget the idea that circus kids sleep on pillows of candy floss, ride a silver-saddled unicorn to school, and then come home to a dinner of warm popcorn. It seems like hard, thankless work.

We see young ’uns in this documentary who work with Planet Circus, including Esmeralda and Scarlett. It seems you get a glamorous name, if nothing else.

The circus kids are taught iron discipline as they have to train, stay fit and learn ever-changing routines. But someone also has to stand at the door collecting the tickets, roll up their sleeves to clean the seats and scoop up the litter left behind by the rather more carefree children.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?, BBC1, 9pm

CHARLES Dance has done Shakespeare, blockbuster films and Game Of Thrones where he is often cast as an aloof, icy aristocrat, and so that’s how the public tend to perceive him.

“There’s nothing aristocratic about me!” he protests. His mum was a servant, “an under-house parlour maid – you can’t get any lower than that”, and he knows hardly anything about his dad, who died when he was four.

He doesn’t even have an image of him in his mind.

Thinking now of his own children, Charles Dance hates the idea they could get to his age and still be in the dark about where they came from.

So the experts dig into the history of this posh actor who isn’t actually posh, trying to hunt down some traces of his invisible father – and end up uncovering a whole new family.