The Young Ones BBC1, Tuesday-Thursday 9pm
A number of celebrities in their 70s, including actors Liz Smith, Sylvia Sims and Lionel Blair, attempt to “think themselves young” by wearing the clothes, cooking the food and generally living the lifestyle of 1975. So it’s basically a three-part version of The Supersizers Go… for people who think Sue Perkins and Giles Coren are far too young for that sort of thing…
First Light BBC2, Tuesday 9pm
An incredibly moving tribute to the armed forces who took part in the Battle of Britain. It’s billed as a drama-documentary, but the focus is on the dramatic portrayal of Geoffrey Wellum, nicknamed “Boy” by his fellow pilots as he joins 92 Squadron while just 18. Sam Heughan as Wellum captures Wellum’s path from delight at flying to the personal anguish of losing so many comrades. Gary Lewis and Ben Aldridge also excel, while the real life Wellum provides interlinking narrative.
- First Light: playing tribute to the Battle of Britain heroes
- The Stage podcast: Sam Heughan interview
Time Shift: 1960 - The Year of the North BBC4, Tuesday 9pm
The 1960s provied a fertile time for the North of England to assert itself in the culture of the whole country. In theatre, in television and on film, writers like Alain Sillitoe, Stan Barstow, Tony Warren and Shelagh Delaney really made an impact. Which leads us to…
The Road to Coronation Street BBC4, Thursday 9pm
Former Corrie archivist and screenwriter Daran Little (now on the EastEnders writing team) crafts a fine origin story for Tony Warren’s tale of everyday Weatherfield folk. Jessie Wallace (who herself returns to EastEnders next week) is in fine form as Pat Phoenix/Elsie Tanner, with Lynda Baron and Celia Imrie bring to life Violet Carson (Ena Sharples) and Doris Speed (Annie Walker) respectively. William Roache, who is the only remaining cast member still in the current Corrie cast, is played by his son James, recently seen in the soap itself playing Ken’s previously unknown grandson.