Telly Today: From The Savoy to Trump Tower

Television highlights today include Gordon Ramsay, Harold Shipman and Donald Trump, what an eclectic mix.

THE SAVOY

“The Savoy has two point five staff per guest because people like that attention, they like to be able to talk to people.” – butler, Sean

In the first episode of ITV’s behind-the-scenes documentary at The Savoy Hotel, London, there are nerves in the basement florists as one young trainee attempts to create her first bouquet for a VIP guest, a young butler muddles his way through a pricey cocktail party and there are tensions in The Savoy Grill when owner Gordon Ramsay arrives to do a menu tasting.

The episode starts at the beginning of 2020 with staff and guests alike looking forward to an exciting and prosperous year ahead. Opened in 1889, The Savoy has 267 room, four restaurants, the oldest cocktail bar in London and 600 staff members making it all run smoothly.

Amongst the staff are ten butlers who serve the 67 suites. Head Butler, Sean, is seen organising and reprimanding his team in the butler’s pantry before showing cameras around the royal suite which costs £13,000 per night and runs the whole length of one corridor.

At the heart of the hotel is the Thames Foyer where guests can experience the £75 per person champagne afternoon tea. The cameras drop in on those enjoying the sandwiches and cakes whilst the reception staff greet David Hasselhoff as he walks through the hotel on his way to his performance at The Savoy Theatre.

At The Savoy Grill, manager Thierry is checking standards in the restaurant and critiquing everything from the table cloths to the curtains.

“Your guests are not stupid. They have got so much choice. This is an institution, you need to show a lot of respect. Last year we were very good, this year we have to be even better.” – Grill Manager, Thierry

Thierry is seen briefing his staff and preparing them for the arrival of owner, Gordon Ramsay, who is coming in to check new dishes for the menu. Thierry is determined not to disappoint, but everyone is nervous as they wait for Gordon to arrive.

The Savoy, episode one, tonight at 9pm on ITV, STV and UTV


THE SHIPMAN FILES

The final episode in the series which re-examines the case of GP Harold Shipman, who in 2000 was found guilty of the murder of 15 people, with the total number of his victims thought to run in to the hundreds.

The final episode opens as the public inquiry into the deaths of Shipman’s patients concluded that, while working as a GP, Harold Shipman had murdered 260 of his patients. But how had he got away with killing on such a scale for so long?

Film-maker Chris Wilson explores the reaction to the staggering total, exploring how attention began to focus on the killer, as experts and commentators came up with a range of psychological profiles and theories to try to understand why one, the seemingly ordinary doctor had killed so many people. He meets a detective who questioned Shipman after his conviction, close friends and families of his victims, and others intimately connected to the case – all trying to make sense of Shipman’s motives.

Shipman killed himself in prison, four years into multiple life sentences. He would never reveal why he killed. But Wilson is less interested in his motives, and more in the question of how he had been able to murder so many people over such a long period of time without anyone raising the alarm.

The Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story, episode three, tonight at 9pm on BBC Two


TRUMP: AN AMERICAN DREAM

The major series exploring Donald Trump’s extraordinary life continues. It’s the 1980s and just like the rest of America, Donald is going big. Against his father’s advice Donald plunges into the casino business.

He goes on a mega spending spree that includes a yacht, an airline, a helicopter and an American football team. He’s also at the top of the best-selling book chart, with The Art of the Deal. Featured in this episode are Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter behind the book, and Mike Dunbar, who first suggested in 1987 the idea of Donald Trump becoming President.

But as the decade closes Donald’s life is starting to unravel. His marriage to Ivana falls apart due to an affair with Marla Maples, and the 1989 stock market plummet results in his loans on the assets he has bought overwhelming him.

Donald runs out of cash, has to sell major parts of his empire and seeks help from the only person who can discreetly bail him out: his father.

Trump: An American Dream, episode two, tonight at 11pm on Channel 4

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