June 15, 2024

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Pat Stacey’s weekend TV picks: Ruthless fitness queen flexes her power again in Physical

4 min read

MURRAY Bartlett, fresh from his success as long-suffering hotel manager Armond in The White Lotus, joins season two of 1980s-set comedy-drama Physical (Apple TV+).

artlett plays a fitness guru who may or may not be of some use to irredeemably awful anti-heroine Sheila (the always wonderful Rose Byrne), who’s trying to build an aerobics empire.

It’s third time out for The Boys (Amazon Prime Video). the raucous, funny, foul-mouthed, cartoonishly violent superhero series in which the cape-wearing, knicker-clad crimefighters are the real bad guys.

Karl Urban continues to seek the Guinness Record for uses of the C-word as resistance leader Billy Butcher, who hatches a plan to bring down the outwardly squeaky-clean, inwardly rotten-to-the-core Homelander (Antony Starr).

Another week, another true-crime series. But Mr Good: Cop or Crook? (Netflix) is quite a few cuts above most of the others. It tells the extraordinary story of Oslo’s detective Eirik Jensen.

Jensen was one of the top cops in the fight against Norway’s organised crime gangs, until his arrest in 2013 revealed he was moonlighting as a major drug trafficker — quite possibly the biggest in the annals of Scandinavian crime.

Cops as criminals is also the theme of Dispatches (Channel 4, 7pm), which examines claims that the Met were linked to organised crime.

Man of the moment Clive Pyrie gets his white-gloved hands on The Crown Jewels (BBC1, 7.30pm). As well as admiring the bling, he examines its complicated and often controversial history, and ponders whether the jewels have any non-monetary value in modern Britain.

In the final double bill of The Terror: Infamy (BBC2, 9pm & 9.40pm), the Terminal Islanders return home to find things much changed, but there’s still a demon to be dealt with. Scary and thoughtful.

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Frank’s (Christopher Walken) escape is scuppered in Outlaws

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Tomorrow

IF you’ve not seen it on Amazon Prime Video, Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In (Channel 4, 7.30pm) is an excellent documentary and far more honest and probing than you’d expect of a film made by his son, Jason, who also acts as interviewer.

Shot shortly after Ferguson had recovered from the brain haemorrhage that almost killed him, it deals, of course, with his glorious spell as Manchester United manager (38 trophies, including two Champions League titles, one of them as part of a historic treble), but gives even more weight to what shaped him as a man, including his apprenticeship in the Clyde shipyards and his life with his wife Cathy, a Catholic.

Platinum Party at the Palace (BBC1, 7.30pm) — or rather on the Mall just outside it – is an entertainment fit for a queen, and indeed one featuring Queen + Adam Lambert.

Other stars on a huge bill include Andrea Bocelli, Craig David, Duran Duran, George Ezra, Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers, Sam Ryder, Diana Ross, David Attenborough, David Beckham, Julie Andrews, Elton John and Lin-Manuel Miranda. It’s a three-hour extravaganza that plays out across three stages and in front of 100,000 people.

The evening’s earlier Jubilee-related show, The Big Jubilee Street Party (ITV, 5pm), feels low-rent by comparison. Among those appearing in this concert, recorded in Manchester in May, are Jason Manford, Mark Owen, Kaiser Chiefs and Steps.

Later… with Jools Holland (BBC2, 10.30pm) seems to be trying to shake up the old formula just a little.

There’s a strong hip-hop flavour in a line-up that includes Kai Tempest, Kohey Radical and Knucks. Keeping up the old guard’s end are Kasabian.

Sunday

AS much as I love football, for space reasons I tend to leave it to the sports pages. But there’s a huge emotional pull in the World Cup Playoff (Virgin Media 2, 4pm) between Wales and Ukraine for a place in this year’s finals.

The producers of Top Gear (BBC1, 8.30pm) must be smiling. Having come within inches of skidding into a ditch, the programme has got back on track with personable Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Freddie Flintoff behind the wheel(s).

Meanwhile, nobody talks much about the expensive exploits of Clarkson and his two pets over on Amazon Prime Video anymore. The trio try out swamp buggies and drag racers in Florida.

The increasingly popular practice of filming whole seasons of TV series back to back means Stephen Merchant’s splendid comedy-drama The Outlaws (BBC1, 9pm) makes a swift return.

As we rejoin the likeable group of community service misfits, the roguish Frank (Christopher Walken) finds his Rio escape plan scuppered because his teenage grandson has hidden his cut of the gangsters’ stolen money. Fun.

Many people are fascinated by serial killers, but how many want to see one given a platform? The Toolbox Killer (Sky Crime, 9pm) features Lawrence Bittaker describing the 1979 spree during which he kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered five teenage girls in California. All yours.

First shown in March, the powerful and unusual drama Life and Death in the Warehouse (BBC3, 9pm, repeated at 11.05pm) lifts the lid on the brutal regime endured by those slaving in massive distribution centres owned by online retail giants.

Poppy Lee Friar plays a pregnant young worker who’s pushed to the limit by her boss, with terrible consequences. It’s fiction, but based on real experiences.