TRYING to find new formats for a food show is like discovering new ways of boiling an egg. Whatever you do, it still comes down to the basics: food on plates and punters through the door, topped off with a jus of tension. It was with a jaded palate, then, that viewers might have turned to The Rebel Chef: My Restaurant Revolution (Channel 4, Thursday, 10pm).

Gary Usher is the name, and cooking is the game, or rather, opening restaurants is the game. That, and swearing. Gary swears a lot. This seems to be par for the course in the trade; see Gordon Ramsay. As Gary said: "I hate all the fake bull **** about restaurants." Or as the narrator, Ricky Tomlinson, put it: "If you don't like his attitude he doesn't give a ****."

Then we learned a bit more about our Gary. When he was a boy, Gary thought he was a loser and believed he was going to stay that way. Drugs, shoplifting and other bother followed. When it came time to find a job he reckoned kitchen work was classic losers’ territory, but he started at the bottom washing dishes and soon found that if he took a pride in his work rewards would come flowing back. Step by step, he worked his way to the point where he can now open restaurants in places where there is none, and make them a success.

This time, he had come to the town of Prescot on Merseyside. The area was described as "on the cusp of regeneration" (make of that what you will), but basically the joint had to make 10 grand a week or everyone would be working for nothing. Before any else happened he had to raise £55,000 to get the place, a former bookies, up and running.

There was some faux drama as he fretted over whether the money would come in. Since he already has a chain of successful restaurants it was no surprise that he was raising £1000 a minute. Come opening day he was worried the menus were too posh, the place was too fancy, and everything was going to be a disaster. It was no such thing. Gary, as a local put it, was a good kid. Another described his French bistro food as “orgasmic”, adding: "You can't get any higher than that.” Someone’s clearly never tried the breakfasts at Dobbies.

Defending the Guilty (BBC2, Tuesday, 10 pm), being a comedy about the professions, in this case the law, had a similar problem to The Rebel Chef: how to offer viewers more of what they (or at least commissioning editors) like, while making it different enough to be worth your time. In Kieron Quirke’s drama the secret sauce is Katherine Parkinson, she of The IT Crowd, who plays the time-served, cynical barrister to Will Sharpe’s wide-eyed trainee. Plots were there merely to give the jokes something to hang on, you could see what was coming a mile off (that Maya Angelou fan was fooling no-one), and the accuracy was irritatingly iffy (why did the pips on the radio go at 06.10?). What matters here are the personalities, and Parkinson has that stuff to burn. Think of her character as the barrister Anna from This Life might have become.

Japan with Sue Perkins (BBC1, Wednesday, 10.35pm) visited the sporting country of the moment, starting off, where else, but Tokyo. I used to find Ms Perkins something of an acquired taste when she was on The Great British Bake-Off. The relentless double entendres, the exhausting perkiness. As a travel doc host, however, she shows a winning vulnerability. When she likes something she loves it, and when she does not there is no hiding her feelings. She warmed to much in the first of a two part travelogue, particularly Tokyo’s enthusiastic embrace of the future, robots and all. But the management course WHERE EVERYONE SHOUTED A LOT left her teary, ditto the “solo wedding” shops where young women dressed up as brides and had their photo taken, for fear of never having the real experience with a partner. Expect more tears before this series’ bedtime.

From hearing almost nothing from David Cameron since the EU referendum three years ago, he has been everywhere this week. With a newspaper serialisation of his memoirs, and an interview on Monday on ITV, The Cameron years (BBC1, Thursday, 9pm) seemed to be coming too late to the party. But such assumptions did not allow for film-maker Denys Blakeway. Having interviewed many a premier after their time in office, the ex-Panorama producer knows where and when to dig. He also had the added advantage of speaking to the people around Mr Cameron as well as the man himself. George Osborne said the former PM was “one of a number of British Prime Ministers who had fed this idea that Brussels was to blame and that the public ultimately had to have a say, and we’re all paying a price for it.” Mr Osborne, it should be noted, is still considered a friend of Mr Cameron. To think the Rebel Chef reckons opening restaurants is a rough old game.