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Elle Fanning’s rollicking Catherine the Great returns for a second season on Channel 4



Pick of the day: The Great

10pm, Channel 4

The second season of Tony “The Favourite” McNamara’s utterly delightful and none-too-historically accurate comedy-drama about Catherine the Great arrives on Channel 4. Elle Fanning reprises her role as the Russian empress, with Nicholas Hoult’s soon-to-be deposed Peter considering giving up the civil war with his pregnant wife because, well, he’s hungry. But will the boorish Russian court ever come round to Catherine’s progressive ideas? Joining the cast this series as Catherine’s mother is Gillian Anderson and, as Peter’s father, Jason Isaacs, while Phoebe Fox returns as Peter’s long-suffering and worldly-wise mistress Mariel.

MOTD Live: UEFA Women’s Euro 2022

7.30pm, BBC One

Germany vs France. Gabby Logan presents coverage of the competition’s second semi-final from Stadium MK in Milton Keynes (kick-off 8pm). Record eight-time champions Germany secured their place in the quarter-finals with a game to spare and prevailed 2-0 against Austria in what was a tighter game than the scoreline suggests.

Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport

9pm, ITV

Once again, cue hollow laughter at the programme title as cameras return to the London transport hub. We are not embroiled in the current chaos at Heathrow, however, because it’s February 2022 and Storm Eunice is wreaking havoc as the staff deal with delays and unhappy passengers, and also try to stop debris from hitting the runway.

More from Culture

Breeders

10pm, Sky Comedy

“I’m suddenly 96,” complains Paul (Martin Freeman) as he undergoes
a scan for his crippled back, but wife Ally (Daisy Haggard) has her own health concerns as she undergoes early menopause in the midst of an oestrogen gel shortage. Meanwhile, son Ben is starting to worry
why he has only one friend, the precocious Jacob, while his sister Ava “is good at everything, she’s going to get into Oxford and heaven, and has three million friends”.

The South Bank Show

10pm, Sky Arts

Melvyn Bragg interviews Dame Helen Mirren about her life and work, and how watching an end-of-the-pier show in her native Southend helped the 13-year-old Mirren decide on her future career. Uninterested in film or television and determined to become a great classical actress, it was appearing opposite Bob Hoskins in the 1980 Brit-noir classic The Long Good Friday that kick-started a screen career that includes Calendar Girls, The Queen and, of course, Prime Suspect. “She was on the last page in a great scene,” she replies when asked what it was about Lynda La Plante’s script that persuaded her to play DCI Jane Tennison.

Colin Baker Remembers – The Roads To Freedom

10pm, BBC Four

The BBC’s acclaimed 13-part 1970 dramatisation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s The Roads To Freedom trilogy has not been screened since 1976, with the BBC silent in the face of countless requests to show it again. Well, now they are – the first four episodes scheduled after this documentary presented by one of the surviving stars, Colin Baker. Set in Nazi-occupied France, it’s been described as a subversive viewing experience with taboos broken with every broadcast. That assessment can now be tested by first-time viewers.

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