Televisual treats for Thursday, January 7.
Let’s start over on Beeb One with dog fanatic Sheridan Smith and her fluffy co-host Stanley who are on a mission to find the nation’s best dog groomer, in this launch episode of a competitive dog styling series.
In this first heat, the four groomers are given one of the most popular breeds to grace British salons – the long haired Shih-Tzu.
Next the groomers need to let their imagination off the lead when they give four curly coated canines a cute Teddy Bear trim to parade on The Dogwalk in front of their owners. Pooch Perfect also features Colin Taylor and Verity Hardcastle as judges whilst Dr Bolu Eso is the show’s resident vet.
Pooch Perfect, BBC One, 8pm
While on Channel 4 George Clarke is back with more inspirational and ingenious small builds, showing how tiny spaces can be transformed into incredible places to live, work and play.
In the first episode of this new series, George meets a couple who turn an old fire engine into a bar to raise money for firefighters’ charities, and 23-year-old Max who’s building a shepherd’s hut from scratch, including the nuts and bolts!
George also visits an extraordinary home in Chile and Will Hardie builds a telescope.
George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, Channel 4, 8pm
Streaming right now on Netflix there’s an education in expletives.
The series – yes there are six episodes in total – is a history lesson you didn’t know you needed. History of Swear Words, hosted by Nicolas Cage, is a loud and proudly profane series that explores the origins, pop culture-usage, science and cultural impact of curse words.
Through interviews with experts in etymology, pop culture, historians and entertainers, the six-hours dedicated to swearing dives into the origins of “F**k”, “Sh*t”, “B*tch”, “D**k”, “Pu**y”, and the lesser evil known as “Damn”.
The History of Swear Words, Netflix, streaming now
On Sky Arts documentary series The Directors returns once again examining the masters of the moving image, beginning with one of the most vital directors to have emerged in the late 20th Century, Spike Lee.
Bursting onto the scene in the 1980s when cinema was primarily made by white people for a white audience, Lee’s 1985 debut She’s Got To Have it was significant for its representation of black people as upscale, educated urbanites, rather than the stereotypical depictions of pimps and grifters that existed through the Blacksploitation period.
Lee’s seminal Do the Right Thing followed, famously being snubbed at the same Academy Awards that saw Driving Miss Daisy – a film based on safe stereotypes engineered to garner a “feel-good” response from a majority white audience – win best picture.
A biopic of Malcolm X starring Denzel Washington in an acclaimed role would follow, and while Lee would not be officially recognised by the Academy before winning his first award for BlacKKKlansman in 2018, he remains one of the most important filmmakers active today.
The Directors: Spike Lee, Sky Arts, 9pm
BritBox brings us some classic Sean Bean from today.
The streaming service brings a collection of the feature-length television films Sharpe, set during the Napoleonic Wars.
Starring Sean Bean as the maverick British rifleman Richard Sharpe the 15 episodes feature, includes the special, Sharpe: The Legend, in which Rifleman Cooper (Michael Mears), who fought alongside Sharpe throughout the Peninsula Wars, looks back at all the adventures and romances that his senior officer got up to, showing clips from the best of the long-running ITV drama.
The other episodes comprise: Sharpe’s Rifles, Sharpe’s Eagle, Sharpe’s Company, Sharpe’s Enemy, Sharpe’s Honour, Sharpe’s Gold, Sharpe’s Battle, Sharpe’s Sword, Sharpe’s Regiment, Sharpe’s Siege, Sharpe’s Mission, Sharpe’s Revenge, Sharpe’s Justice and Sharpe’s Waterloo.
As a footnote its also worth noting that from today BritBox’s popular Old School collection of cult kids’ TV shows has been extended with BBC series’ The Borrowers (1992), Maid Marian and Her Merry Men (1989), The Demon Headmaster (1996), Rentaghost (1976), Grange Hill (1978), Mr Benn (1971), King Rollo (1980), Southern TV’s Worzel Gummidge (1979) and ATV’s The Secret Service (1969) all joining the line-up from today.
Sharpe, BritBox, streaming from today