Pick of the day: The Gallows Pole
9pm, BBC Two
Writer-director Shane Meadows (This Is England, The Virtues) has fictionalised the true story of the Cragg Vale Coiners, a group of 18th-century weavers turned counterfeiters in Yorkshire – their cottage-based livelihood threatened by the Industrial Revolution. Michael Socha plays their leader, David Hartley, joining fellow This Is England alumnus Thomas Turgoose and ex-Downton Abbey cast members Cara Theobold and Sophie McShera. In this first of three episodes, Hartley returns to his family’s moor-top dwelling after seven years in Birmingham to find the area has declined in the time he was away. But he has cash and a cunning plan.
8pm, BBC One
Chef Clare Smyth, who cut her teeth with Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse, is a regular presence on MasterChef and Great British Menu and she now puts the finalists through their paces tonight at her London restaurant Core. They each tackle one of her food creations at a lunch for a select group including chefs Sat Bains, Tom Kitchin, Jonny Lake and Nieves Barragán Mohacho.
The Great British Sewing Bee
9pm, BBC One
“A rave at a youth hostel” is how judge Patrick Grant describes the array of colourful rucksacks created by the sewers in the opening round of Travel Week. The transformation challenge then involves them taking plastic windbreaks of the type familiar to British holidaymakers and turning them into rainwear. Finally, and most challenging of all, they must create a female swimsuit, one sewer describing her creation as “a sexy Battenburg”, while another compares hers to a mermaid “because why not?”. Why not indeed.
A Paedophile in My Family: Surviving Dad
9pm, Channel 4
Emily Victoria is a successful businesswoman who carries the weight of a childhood of repeated sexual abuse by her father. With his release from prison, she considers confronting the person who dominated her childhood as she seeks to find out if the time inside has changed him at all. In a moving documentary, she reaches out to those from her formative years – teachers, family friends and her mother – trying to understand how her abuse remained hidden for so long, and reconnects with the police officers who dealt with her case.
David Fuller: Monster in the Morgue
9pm, Sky Showcase
Necrophilia is thankfully not a usual subject for the true-crime canon, but this grisly two-part documentary is about the case of David Fuller, a double murderer who also sexually abused the bodies of more than 100 women and girls in a hospital mortuary. The maintenance supervisor was able to commit his depraved crimes for over a decade despite the presence of CCTV.
The Long Roads
10pm, BBC Four
The socialist playwright John McGrath’s 1993 state-of-the-nation drama was one of his personal favourites in a busy career that included writing early episodes of the ground-breaking 1960s police show Z-Cars and forming the touring theatre group 7:84. Edith MacArthur and Robert Urquhart are very touching as Kitty and Peter, elderly Scottish crofters who set off to visit their children – now geographically and socially miles apart – after Kitty is diagnosed with cancer.