Today’s TV highlight reminds us ‘they don’t like it up ’em’

Telly Today highlights for Saturday, August 21st.

Dad’s Army: Secret Lives & Scandals

Channel 5 do love a good poke into the past. And tonight the much-loved BBC sitcom Dad’s Army and its cast is getting probed. More than fifty years after the show first marched on to our TV screens, in the summer of 1968, millions of viewers are still laughing at the antics of the hapless Home Guard platoon via repeats on UKTV channel Gold and BBC Two.

The characters of pompous Captain Mainwaring, laidback Sergeant Wilson, boyish Lance-Corporal Jones and the Privates – dour Scot Frazer, wide-boy Walker, gentle Godfrey and mollycoddled Pike – are as familiar to us as friends and family. Their memorable catchphrases such as ‘Don’t Panic’, ‘Stupid Boy!’ and ‘We’re Doomed’ have all become part of British culture. At one point the show was drawing in a huge 18 million fans in primetime.

The programme features exclusive new interviews with some of the original cast and their wives and children, as they tell us the inside story of what the much-loved characters were like in real life – the drinking, the affairs, the personal problems, and the tragedies that befell them during the nine incredible series. And new interviews reveal the secrets, hidden until now, behind the hit show – including how one of the key actors nearly turned down the role of a lifetime, as he was convinced it would be a massive flop.

We also discover stories of their own real-life heroic efforts in the World Wars – as the men took on the Germans and fought with courage. And we find out what the young unknown actors did before they became famous, from classic Shakespearean theatre roles to an early appearance in Coronation Street, as they battled to get a lucky break and become the household names we still love today.

Channel 5, 8.30 pm

Billy Monger: Changing Gear

Presenter, racing driver and double amputee Billy Monger immerses himself in the world of Paralympic sport.

This involves taking on one of the biggest challenges of his life: learning to run again. With the Tokyo Paralympics starting this week, this documentary follows Billy as he trains alongside some of Britain’s Paralympic stars and gains an understanding of what it takes to become an elite Paralympic athlete.

Billy swims in open water with Alice Tai and canoes with Charlotte Henshaw. He is also fitted with his very first running blades and, under the guidance of Paralympic legend Jonnie Peacock, attempts to sprint for the very first time. In this powerful, insightful and often amusing film, Billy throws himself wholeheartedly into the sports, ending with an emotional run at Donnington, the location where, exactly four years ago, Billy lost his legs in a driving accident.

Presenter, racing driver and double amputee Billy Monger immerses himself in the world of Paralympic sport.

This involves taking on one of the biggest challenges of his life: learning to run again. With the Tokyo Paralympics starting this week, this documentary follows Billy as he trains alongside some of Britain’s Paralympic stars and gains an understanding of what it takes to become an elite Paralympic athlete. Billy swims in open water with Alice Tai and canoes with Charlotte Henshaw. He is also fitted with his very first running blades and, under the guidance of Paralympic legend Jonnie Peacock, attempts to sprint for the very first time.

In this powerful, insightful and often amusing film, Billy throws himself wholeheartedly into the sports, ending with an emotional run at Donnington, the location where, exactly four years ago, Billy lost his legs in a driving accident.

Channel 4, 8 pm

Pink Floyd: The Endless River

In 2014, artist, animator and director Ian Emes created a visual accompaniment to Pink Floyd’s Endless River album, No.1 in more than 21 countries.

The album primarily comprises instrumental and ambient music based on the Division Bell album sessions, and as Ian Emes says:

“The challenge was to make a film that complemented the album experience. With the all-enveloping rhythms and dream-like power of The Endless River music, my goal was to make something immersive and spatial, in which image and music are one.”

Directed and Produced by Ian Emes on location in London and Exmoor National Park, it was shot by a number of cinematographers, including Bud Gallimore and David Cawley.

Sky Arts, 9 pm

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