MY only foray into Scotland saw me literally nip over the border, buy some shortbread and nip back again, but it’s somewhere I’d really like to explore properly, preferably in a deluxe top-of-the-range camper van with toilet and shower.
As you can probably tell from this statement, I’m not really one for roughing it, so I’ll let someone else do the survival tactics. Wild Britain with Ray Mears (ITV1, Friday October 14, 8pm) sees him hiking through Scotland’s Caledonian Pine Forest, encountering ospreys and capercaillies amongst the Scots pines. There are red squirrels too, and tips on how to use fungus to start a campfire.
> Stephen Mangan, who you’ll probably recognise from Green Wing and the Barclaycard adverts, plays the former PM in Comic Strip Presents – The Hunt for Tony Blair (Channel 4, Friday October 14, 9pm).
Many of the original Comic Strip members – including Robbie Coltrane, Jennifer Saunders (as Margaret Thatcher) and Rik Mayall – are reunited for this outing, a film noir pastiche that sees our Tone hunted for a series of murders. Despite regretting his deeds, he justifies the killings as the right thing to do at the time. Also stars Nigel Planer as Peter Mandelson.
> If there’s one thing you can say about Lulu it’s that she’s certainly got staying power.
Lulu – Something to Shout About (BBC2, Saturday October 15, 10.30pm – 12am) charts the singer’s career from her 60s hits through to the present day, as she prepares for a concert in her home city of Glasgow. Paying tribute to the perennially-perky popster are Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Cliff Richard and Barry Manilow.
> A first hand account of the horror of the D-Day landings is what’s in store in World War II: The Last Heroes (Channel 4, Saturday October 15, 8.45pm).
The hour-long programme, the first in a new series, sees testimonies from veterans of the Second World War, and dramatic reconstructions showing just what they were up against. The former soldiers tell the story of how, despite the superior weaponry of the German troops, they managed to take the beaches in Northern France in 1944.
> Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of daily life it’s easy to forget the incredible journey that humanity has been on. The Origins of Us (BBC2, Monday October 17, 9pm) sees anthropologist Alice Roberts telling the story of human evolution over six million years by exploring our bodies. She starts with the skeleton, looking at how its shape has changed since man first evolved from apes.
> A sad tale now, in This World: Spain’s Stolen Babies (BBC2, Tuesday October 16, 9pm). Katya Adler investigates the trafficking of babies in Spain, a phenomenon that started at the end of the country’s civil war. It is alleged that thousands of children were taken from their mothers, who were told their children had died at birth. Many of the stolen children are now grown-ups seeking to be reunited with their biological families.
> Just one more thing. After two years writing this column, this week’s Gossip Girl column is my last. I’ve very much enjoyed writing it and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, but it’s time to move on to something different. I’ll be back with something new next week, but what it will be, well, you’ll just have to wait and see..