Diane Morgan’s new character reaches similar heights of truculent gormlessness to Philomena Cunk. But rather than conducting baffling TV interviews, Mandy is struggling along in the gig economy. She begins with a disastrous stint in a chicken shop and a tarantula sequence that will be equal parts nightmare and fantasy for arachnophobes.
Thursday 13 August, 9.30pm, BBC Two
This 13-episode show offers up the perfect tonic to the endless summer holidays as it shifts to Disney+ for its third season. Presented by children’s entertainers and educators Charlie Engelman and Carly Ciarrocchi, it’s a glorious mix of arts and crafts and mind-blowing facts.
From Friday 14 August, Disney+
A very welcome primetime response to Black Lives Matter from ITV, which has quickly created a series of short dramas stripped across the schedules from Monday. We begin with Generational, a father-daughter disagreement about a protest march that eventually turns into much more.
Monday 10 August, 9pm, ITV
A natural world extravaganza from Sky that seems to be suggesting, slightly blasphemously, that such things don’t begin and end with David Attenborough. This visually stunning series first spirits us away to the Galápagos Islands, a very small atoll that supports a teeming, almost overwhelming variety of flora and fauna.
Sunday 9 August, 9pm, Sky Nature
Matthew Rhys’s debut outing as the titular down-and-out PI comes to an end in this season one finale. The sensational child kidnapping trial whose violent twists and turns have kept us – and Mason – guessing reach a climax here. Roll on season two.
Monday 10 August, 9pm, Sky Atlantic
In October 1994, a group of robbers walked into a bank in Colombia disguised as air-conditioning maintenance workers and waltzed off with £26m. Across six episodes, this dramatisation follows the 14-strong cabal – including four cops – as they plot and carry out the audacious heist.
From Friday 14 August, Netflix
An astonishing and frequently harrowing story of racism and redemption as Aussie rules footballer and Indigenous Australian Adam Goodes reflects on the shocking racism that saw him effectively hounded from the sport only a year after being named Australian of the Year.
Sunday 9 August, 10pm, BBC Two
Journalist Elaine Chong explores the pressures put on British east Asians as they navigate a desire to “fit in”. Covering body image, sex and beauty, it’s a peek into a world of impossible scrutiny fuelled by television, film and the high standards of family life.
Wednesday 12 August, BBC Three
This documentary investigates the head-spinning growth of Missguided, one of the UK’s largest online fashion retailers. After making a loss in 2018, it was time for a glitzy rebrand, with this four-part series exploring the A-list collaborations and continuing battles with its fashion rivals.
Wednesday 12 August, 10pm, Channel 4
Having won best documentary at Sundance, Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s political coming-of-age story arrives on TV. It’s a microcosm of American politics that happens each year as 1,100 17-year-old boys head to Texas to build a representative government.
From Friday 14 August, Apple TV+
A stellar lineup, including actors Brian Cox, Elisabeth Moss and Dame Judi Dench, join the erstwhile Doctor for the second season of his hit podcast. Episode one, released on Tuesday, features an interview with Jim Parsons, who recently swapped The Big Bang Theory’s perpetual adolescence for a starring role in Ryan Murphy’s glitzy Hollywood.
Weekly, widely available
The Guardian’s regular science pod recently addressed a very pertinent question for 2020: how safe is singing in the time of Covid-19? Nicola Davis speaks to the University of Bristol’s Professor Jonathan Reid about the science of aerosols and why he’s getting people to sing into funnels. Don’t go to choir practice without it.
Weekly, widely available
A new podcast from the creators of People Just Do Nothing, Allan Mustafa and Hugo Chegwin. It’s informal almost to the point of disintegration: the pair chat about their life and times and welcome the odd pal along for a ramble. Upcoming guests include Charlie Cooper of This Country fame and Partridge sidekick Tim Key.
Weekly, widely available
A neat idea this: Radio 3 classical mavens prepare playlists for popular musicians and then ask for their opinions. Forthcoming guests include London soul diva Poppy Ajudha and Savages frontwoman-turned solo artist Jehnny Beth, but the series begins with Nadine Shah, offering her hot take on, among others, Dmitri Shostakovich.
Weekly, BBC Sounds
The sleepy West Sussex town of East Grinstead hides a fascinating secret: it is a hotbed of alternative religion, from the Church of Latter-Day Saints to Scientologists (Ron Hubbard purchased a stately home there in the late 50s). Nick Hilton’s six-parter tries to get to the bottom of a conurbation that has been described as our answer to Twin Peaks.
(Brandon Trost) 90 mins
As UK cinemas tentatively reopen, here is something that might get people back in decent numbers – though not in the US, where it’s heading straight to streaming. Seth Rogen, hilariously, plays a Jewish immigrant to New York who falls into a pickle barrel and emerges 100 years later to embarrass his grandson – also played by Seth Rogen.
(Drake Doremus) 106 mins
In times past, this off-kilter romcom – starring Shailene Woodley as a woman working out which of two men interests her more – would get a long festival run and a small cinema outing. Now it’s gone straight to streaming. Catch it before it’s submerged.
(Don Hahn) 94 mins
Howard Ashman was the playwright and lyricist best known for writing a string of Disney foot-tappers in conjunction with Alan Menken, including Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid and Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast. He died in 1991 and now Disney’s streaming service has picked up this documentary tribute.
(Éric Hannezo) 94 mins
Nicolas Anelka has some claim to be one of the baddest boys of French football – getting slung out of the World Cup for swearing at your manager ranks pretty high. This documentary suggests the striker was possibly not the bad guy at all.
(Masaaki Yuasa) 112 mins
The excellent Screen Anime website has been serving up treats throughout lockdown: this is a good one from the new batch. It’s about a moody teen whose emo stylings attract the attention of a wacky mermaid. Considerably more off-the-wall than Disney.
(Alexander Payne) 115 mins
The grainy black-and-white odyssey has a thirtysomething son (Will Forte) reluctantly taking his ailing dad (Bruce Dern) on a 750-mile fool’s errand to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a bogus $1m lottery prize. Dern is marvellous as Woody Grant: wild-eyed, irascible but endearing, with the tragic touch of a blue-collar King Lear.
Tuesday 13 August, 1.35am, Film4