HERE is another chance to see this lovely and heart-warming documentary which was first shown on BBC Scotland last month. Now it’s being broadcast across the whole BBC because it’s not fair that we hog the Big Yin, is it?

The show follows Billy as he visits three Scottish artists, each of whom will be creating a huge portrait of him to mark his 75th birthday. The finished works are then displayed as huge murals on Glasgow buildings.

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The cameras follow him as he meets each artist for a chat, and these scenes are mixed in with Billy pottering around in Glasgow, meeting people and telling us some stories. This is when any documentary with Billy Connolly is at its best, when he’s just left to chatter away, although the segments when he has to sit for his portraits are also highly amusing, especially when he has to dress up in lurid tartan and be plastered in green make-up for his portrait by Glasgow artist Rachel Maclean, who seems touchingly nervous about meeting him.


WHENEVER I hear Paul O’Grady’s nasal voice and his heavy accent, I always wince. No, I think, I won’t be able to listen to this for longer than a few minutes – but then I slowly warm to it. My ears get accustomed and I start to enjoy him. It’s like necking a brandy: the first taste is unbearably strong, but then you feel the warmth in your chest and start to loosen up… In this new three-part series, O’Grady presents clips of Hollywood classics, moving from the silent era, through the golden age of cinema, and up to modern-day hits to ask what makes our most famous films so beloved.

It’s a clip show, yes, but it’s not a lazy one. There’s some good analysis here of the dividing line between a “classic film” and a merely “very good film”, and there are contributions from Hollywood insiders who’ve worked on memorable films such as ET and Beaches. John Voight and Celine Dion also make an appearance, and we cover everything from the old weepies through to modern blockbusters like Titanic.



WITH The Handmaid’s Tale finishing last week, Channel 4’s Sunday evening was going to seem terribly desolate. How can you follow such a brilliant series? Wisely, they didn’t even try slotting in a new drama. Instead they’ve gone for a very controversial documentary.

This show broadcasts video clips, never seen before in Britain, where Diana speaks very candidly about her relationship with Prince Charles, her bulimia, and “the top lady”, the Queen.

There’s been a furore in the press about whether it’s right to broadcast these private tapes, but there’s nothing dreadfully controversial here. Diana squirms and giggles when she remembers Charles’s courting rituals: “He leapt upon me. Ugh! Followed me around ... puppy!” and dismisses herself in those early days as “a fat, chubby 20 year old”.

But most of it is filler, with interviews from unremarkable people like her former ballet teacher and make-up artist, the latter with the red-hot revelation that Diana hummed “Just one cornetto...” on her way to her wedding.


THE best TV show with “silicon valley” in the title is the Sky Atlantic sitcom about troubled nerds trying to cope with earning and losing millions. This two-part documentary approaches the same type of tech nerds to ask if they’re changing the world and, if so, are they sure they know what they’re doing?

The first episode, called The Disruptors, looks at the “tech gods” who are dismantling old and trusted industries so they can be replaced with new high tech ways of working. Uber is the prime example, and Airbnb is another, and we know those two companies are constantly being attacked in the media for their disruptive influence.

So in what way are these tech wizards improving life? They might be improving someone’s bank balance, but what about the poor sod who lives next to a rowdy Airbnb or the local cab driver who’s losing his livelihood? And is there a deeper threat of social breakdown and the collapse of capitalism when technology takes over?