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Tony on TV- 14th March

Dirk Gently

Dirk Gently

MY new best gardening chums Dee and Jay have just returned from hibernation at their Tenerife timeshare to find their brown bin has gone.

Person or persons unknown are suspected of this rubbish offence, rather than the boys from Mansfield District Council whisking away bins not wanted by residents who have opted out of paying the £25 annual charge.

Goodness know what the baddies have gained by their crime, but they would probably be spoilt for choice with the number of brown bins being returned to the wheelie bin graveyard.

It’s the sort of oddball crime that would suit the style of ‘Dirk Gently’ (BBC4, Monday), in which Stephen Mangan plays a self-styled holistic detective taking a rounded approach to investigations as he discovers far-fetched solutions to seemingly insoluble cases.

This short, three-part series ends next week with Dirk fleeing the country, despite the fact that he is the only link to the murder of several of his clients.

Staying in the country (Manchester to be precise) are the crime-busting duo ‘Scott & Bailey’ (ITV, Monday) starring, respectively, Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones, who are both colleagues in the city’s murder squad, as well friends off duty, both having complicated private lives.

For something a little more wholesome, although the opening plot would make you think otherwise, try ‘Love Life,’ starting on ITV tomorrow, a romantic drama in which footloose Joe (Rob James-Collier, the baddie butler from ‘Downton Abbey’) returns home from a year abroad to find his girlfriend, Lucy (Andrea Lowe) is pregnant with the baby of her married boss, Dominic (Alexander Armstrong).

It’s a recipe for turmoil, not unlike that to be found over on BBC2 at the same time in the second episode of the 1960s to present daydrama ‘White Heat’ (BBC2), while clicking down another channel lets you sweat it out with John and Gregg as they preside over ‘MasterChef: The Final Three.’

This marks the end of eight gruelling weeks (and that’s just listening to India Fisher’s irritating narration) as the three finalists, Tom, Shelina and Andrew, have to produce three exceptional courses in as many hours in their bid to win the top title.

WORTH WATCHING

Our Economy -- BBC1, Monday. Mansfield comes under the regional spotlight with a late-night programme at 11pm, subtitled ‘The East Midlands Today Debate,’ from Vision West Notts College where principal Asha Khemka joins a heavyweight panel ahead of the Budget this week.

WHAT A WASTE!

The Love Machine -- Sky Living, Sunday. Fans of ‘Blind Date’ and ‘Take Me Out’ should give a wide berth to this new take on the dating game, which puts viewers and contestants in a real spin even before co-presenters Chris Moyles and Stacy Solomon have got in on the action.

 

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