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TV Weekly: From 70s Holidays to a nightmare waiting to be uncovered

TV Weekly

TV Weekly: From 70s Holidays to a nightmare waiting to be uncovered

Telly picks for the coming week…

Abused by Mum: The Ruby Franke Scandal

This documentary charts the rise and fall of Ruby Franke, a popular “momfluencer”.

Sharing parenting tips and videos of her family life online, she amassed millions of followers for her channel “8 Passengers” that she ran with her husband Kevin. No moment was too small to document in the lives of their six children, and the content made them millionaires.

But behind the perfect façade was a nightmare waiting to be uncovered. Ruby’s harsh parenting style began to raise eyebrows among her fans, leading to complaints and even calls to police. After befriending a therapist named Jodi Hildebrandt, things turned even darker. Ruby and Jodi became incredibly close, and soon Ruby cut all ties with her extended family and went into business with Jodi, offering life coaching, and of course using social media to monetise their content. Spending more time together, further concerns were raised about Ruby’s children.

Then on the 30th of August 2023, after fleeing from home, her son alerted a neighbour to the abuse Ruby was inflicting on her children. What followed was a dramatic police raid and tense search to find her other children. Police bodycam footage shows how the action unfolded.

Channel 5, Monday, May 13th at 10pm

Janey

One minute you’re a vilified racist, the next – after a terminal illness diagnosis – you’re the nation’s sweetheart. We’ve seen it many times before, the two-faced world of the British press, and indeed many of the public. Most notably with the late Jade Goody. But there’s another. Scottish comedian Janey Godley. A few years ago she was the shame of Glasgow, now she’s the pride of the city.

This production digs behind those headlines and stories to find the real Jane Godley.

Cameras follow Janey on her 2023 Not Dead Yet Tour, following her diagnosis of terminal cancer. It features reflections on a life which has encompassed being sexually abused as a child and her mother being murdered, along with a career which has spanned cult online status, international tours and UK-recognition on shows like Have I Got News for You. And potentially career-ending ‘cancellation’ when offensive historic tweets emerged, just shortly before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer which changed the negative mood surrounding her.

In the documentary film, Janey is touring with her best mate Shirley, and her daughter, comedian Ashley Storrie, who can currently be seen in the lead role of the brand new BBC Scotland/BBC Three comedy series Dinosaur, which she also co-created.  Their relationship is woven throughout the film, with Ashley capturing intimate moments on tour. But the documentary also sees Janey reviewing pivotal times in her life, with her trademark take-no-prisoners honesty and dark humour.

Janey grew up in poverty in Glasgow’s East End. Her mother was an alcoholic and as a child, Janey was sexually abused by her uncle. She tells the story of her mother’s horrific murder when Janey was 21, revisiting the river where her mother’s body was found. At age 19 Janey married into a notorious family of Glasgow gangsters. She ran a successful pub for them with her husband. Janey had always been funny and when she and her husband fell out with his family, Janey reinvented herself as a comedian. She outlines her hard-fought battle for success playing in strip clubs and sacrificing family life to make her way in stand-up. And turning points such as when she hit the headlines in 2016 with her forthright protest sign against Donald Trump on a visit to Scotland, and the viral success during the pandemic of her comic re-voicing of Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid briefings.

Janey is filmed in conversation with former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – herself currently surrounded in controversies – at Glasgow’s Aye Write book festival, talking about Janey’s Covid take-offs, the success of which led to the racist historic tweets being uncovered. The comedian meets up with old friend Jimmy Carr at the Edinburgh Festival with Janey talking unsparingly about her guilt and shame as well as wider issues around cancel culture. Throughout the film, Janey also deals with the grim reality of stage 3 cancer, along with the highs and lows of touring.

BBC Scotland Channel, Tuesday, May 14th at 10pm

Orphan Black: Echoes

This ten-part science fiction thriller series arrives on ITVX this coming week.

Written by Anna Fishko the saga follows a new story set in the popular Orphan Black universe.

Lucy (Krysten Ritter), woke up two years ago in a strange room with no memory of who she is or where she came from and she’s been running ever since. That is until her past finally catches up with her and she’s faced with the reality that she was created in a lab and those who had a hand in making her want her dead.

In the first episode two years after Lucy wakes up in a strange room with no memory, she’s finally found by the scientists who created her. Now she’s on a mission to save her life while discovering who she is and where she came from.

Other cast include Keeley Hawes, Krysten Ritter, Avan Jogia, James Hiroyuki Liao, Rya Kihlstedt and Amanda Fix.

ITVX, Thursday, May 16th. All ten episodes will be accessible on this date

Dispatches

The latest episode of Channel 4’s investigative series Dispatches takes a look into one of the world’s best-known drink brands.

Coca-Cola sell two billion plastic bottles and two billion cans every year in the UK. This programme investigates the environmental impact of the nation’s huge soft drink habit.

The Coca-Cola Company is the biggest soft drinks producer in the world and stands accused of being its biggest polluter.

Reporter Ellie Flynn – herself a big Coca-Cola lover – looks at what Coke say they’re doing and investigates the reality: from uncovering what happens to used bottles – to Coke’s claims about recycled plastic and water sustainability. Flynn examines the impact of her thirst for Coke in the UK and globally.

Channel 4, Thursday, May 16th at 8pm

Holidaying in the 70’s: Wish You Were Here

In the second of two episodes, Channel 5 discover how the advent of the jumbo jet led to a boom in long haul travel and how British holidaymakers crossed the pond to visit the newly created mega tourist attraction in Florida, Disney World.

The documentary tells the story of Freddy Laker, the British entrepreneur who offered cut-price air fares, enticing us with flights to America for just £59 but whose airline ultimately went bust. The show also catches up with Tony Walker who recalls how his backpacking adventures in the 1970s led to the creation of the world’s most famous brand of travel guides ‘Lonely Planet’.

The rise of interrailing in the 70s is also explored as is the growing popularity of ski holidays, along with the lure of ‘apres-ski’. On board our retro plane, holidaymakers experience the early days of in-flight entertainment and discover a shortage of storage for their take-on luggage. Inside the authentic recreation of a 70s travel agent, they delve into the genuine holiday brochures also discover the deals offered by tour operators to far-flung locations.

The programme revisits the challenges of long-haul coach travel in the 70s, with its lack of mod cons and – in stark contrast to today’s smartphones – Channel 5 remembers how we used to take holiday snaps, only seeing the results weeks’ later once we’d developed the film back home.

Experts also recall the joys of duty-free shopping in the 70s and how joining the European Economic Community meant Brits could enjoy more cut-price bargains than ever before. Plus, a look into the growing popularity of cruises in the 70s, for those who fancied a more sedate travelling experience, and some reminiscing about the souvenirs Brits used to bring back from trips abroad.

Channel 5, Tuesday, May 14th at 9pm

Judith Charmers offered Brits a view of sunny holiday destinations in the 1970s series Wish You Were Here? for Thames/ITV

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