THIRTY years ago today the Berlin Wall fell. An event important enough to grab the attention in its own right you might think, but the makers of The Fall of the Berlin Wall with John Simpson (BBC4, Thursday) disagreed. Check out those last three words.

The BBC’s world affairs editor thought the collapse would change the world forever. It did not, or at least not in the way he thought, so he was going to look back at his reports and, with the help of historians, work out if he had been wrong to be so optimistic. The question, “What the heck does it matter, man?” hung in the air, but we ploughed on in hope.

On that momentous night in Berlin he was in Warsaw reporting on the visit of Germany’s Chancellor Kohl. Not his fault, as he kept reminding us, no-one could have foreseen what would happen. Except his colleague, Brian Hanrahan, who was in Berlin. Ah, but hold on, though. Turns out Simpson was a witness to history in as much as he sidled up to the German delegation and heard an official muttering something about “the wall” into Kohl’s ear. What a relief.

But then something truly, unimaginably awful happened, at least as far as our man was concerned. He raced to Berlin, ready to do a live piece telling the folks at home what it all meant. Moments in there was a crackle and the line went down. “It was absolutely crushing,” he recalled. Angry, depressed, he felt like jacking the job in. Then he looked round him at the joyous scenes. “I just thought, what happened to me is nothing. It’s a little speck of total irrelevance. This is one of the great, great days of human existence.” Nothing like a bit of perspective to put a world affairs editor right, eh?

While the footage was terrific and his chats with historians threw up the odd nugget (the parts of East Germany that could not pick up West German TV were called “The Valley of the Clueless”), the fact that we were viewing events through the prism of Simpson’s self-regard was almost laughable.

Alan Titchmarsh is possibly about as far as one can get from the John Simpson mould of filmmaker, though he too had his name in the title of the programme. Fifty Shades of Green with Alan Titchmarsh (STV, Monday) was a celebration of his half a century gardening. As he travelled around the UK taking in his favourite sights and gardens – just one in Scotland, Al? – he was smashing company, knowledgeable, funny, and still wide eyed in wonder about the life he had led since first learning about gardening on his grandad’s Ilkley allotment.

As a special treat, he showed off his own garden for the first time. The old sofa and wheelie bins were unconventional choices of horticultural installations, but there we are. In fact, it was heavenly.

How is this for a great idea? Take two strangers. Teach them a dance individually. When they meet for the first time they don’t talk but instead launch into tripping the light fantastic in the hope that romance will follow. That was the script for Flirty Dancing (Channel 4, Friday). It sounds bonkers, but it worked. Choreographer Ashley Banjo was the man in charge of the moves. First up were Kerry, who works in a toy shop and liked to sing country and western, and Jordan, a musician and by his own admission “a massive romantic”. A cheerleading coach to boot, he could also do backflips, which never fails to impress. (Alas I do not speak from personal experience. Now a forward roll …) Both they and another couple danced, hit it off, and agreed to see each other again to do all the dreary talking stuff. It was hardly surprising they got on as they were carefully matched on interests and outlook. Even so, there was much tiresome faffing around trying to inject some tension into proceedings after the dance itself. Would they turn up for date number two, etc. Everything could have been wrapped up easily in half the time. But it was a tonic to find a programme that wasn’t cynical or sneery, with participants and a presenter to match.

Dublin Murders (BBC1, Monday/Tuesday) came to an end. At least I think it did. The merger of two novels into one television drama, complete with differing time lines, led to many a stretch when I did not have a clue what was happening. I’m still unclear what went on with Rob/Adam in the woods. Might have to go mad and read the book.

All hail the arrival of His Dark Materials (BBC1, Sunday). The debut episode was outstanding, largely because the complexities of the tale were stripped back in favour of setting up a traditional quest story with lashings of cute furry animals. I will be on the sofa tomorrow night, daemon by my side, for the second instalment. Clue: she is blonde, sweet, and cannot for the life of her do a backflip. We are a perfect match.