TV tonight: twin doctors return to the wards to fight the pandemic

Ali Catterall, Paul Howlett, Ellen E Jones, Ammar Kalia, Hannah Verdier
·3-min read

Surviving the Virus: My Brother & Me

9pm, BBC One

Doctors and twin brothers Chris and Xand van Tulleken take us behind the scenes of the past six weeks of the coronavirus crisis in this engrossing documentary. TV presenter and infectious diseases doctor Chris hasn’t practised on a ward for years, yet with the crisis at its peak he volunteers to treat patients at University College Hospital London, while Xand’s experience in humanitarian medicine sees him enlisted by NGOs to help those outside the hospitals. Ammar Kalia

Shark Ganglands

8pm, Smithsonian Channel

As evinced by the title, this doc leans a little heavily on shock value as it traces the history of shark attacks in the relatively untouched aquatic ecosystem surrounding Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. Recent years have seen resident sharks grow more aggressive and we see how sports fishermen could be to blame. AK

War Factories

8pm, Yesterday

This history series focuses on the industries that powered the first and second world wars. First up is a look at how important oil was to keep the tanks, trucks and planes going as enemies vied for victory. There is also the story of how Stalin and Hitler went head-to-head over Russia’s Baku oilfields. Hannah Verdier

Michael Portillo
Well travelled … Michael Portillo and his Bradshaws guide. Photograph: Production/BBC/Boundless, part of FremantleMedia UK

Great Continental Railway Journeys

8pm, BBC Two

Listen out for the clink of glasses over the chuffa-chuffa of the locomotive this week because Michael Portillo is heading to the heart of France’s Champagne region. Before that, though, he pays his respects to the teenage warrior Joan of Arc in Orléans and takes a spin around the circuit at Le Mans. Ellen E Jones

Harlots

9pm, BBC Two

This underrated ITV Encore drama about warring 18th-century brothels, which was cancelled after three seasons, now gets an unexpected prime-time reshowing. We open with brothel owner Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton) as she seeks to relocate her business to Soho but is hampered by rival madam Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville). AK

Ibiza Dreams

10.45pm, BBC One

For those craving a bit of ersatz holiday sunshine: tonight’s dollop of reality telly, filmed during the summer of 2019, sees Cat, 25, trying to make it as a swimming instructor; new 18-year-old arrival Max attempt to set up an iPhone-fixing business; and Jake and Sanchez having a boozy bust-up. Ali Catterall

Film choice

The Dressmaker, 11.05pm, Film 4

Move over Priscilla, a new queen of the desert reigns in this deliriously silly adaptation of Rosalie Ham’s novel. Kate Winslet is Tilly, arriving in the Australian outback with a sewing machine and a great deal of baggage: 1950s frocks and laughable shocks are a winning combination. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Test Cricket: England v Pakistan, 10.30am, Sky Sports Main Event. First day of the first test from Manchester.

Europa League Football: FC Copenhagen v Istanbul Başakşehir, 5.45pm, BT Sport 1. Last-16 second-leg match.

Europa League Football: Manchester United v LASK, 7.30pm, BT Sport 2. Second-leg tie from Old Trafford.