LIKE many other industries, the TV business has had to bob and weave to keep up with the coronavirus times. This week, Tom Hardy returned to CBeebies with specially chosen Bedtime Stories to comfort and reassure youngsters (not to mention their parents).

It was also announced that Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads is to return with new faces and two freshly minted monologues. Among those set to appear are Sarah Lancashire, Jodie Comer, and Martin Freeman.

With new dramas and soaps having to be mothballed due to social distancing restrictions, there are going to be a lot of gaps in the schedules in the coming months. Judging by the number of writers, actors and directors coming up with suggestions for lockdown viewing, we won’t be short of programmes to watch. If all else fails, there are always the repeats.

Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience: Care Worker (above) sounds like it was commissioned to pay tribute to workers currently on the front line against coronavirus, but just by luck it was filmed before the lockdown. Serendipity, I think they call it.

Now on its ninth series, Work Experience has found the Welsh stand-up try his hand at being a soldier, firefighter, farmer, and RAF pilot, among other things.

But donning the blue scrubs of a care worker proves to be one of his most demanding gigs yet, largely due to his nervousness over what he calls “the washing other people’s bits bit”. One of his tutors tells him that “75% of our work involves someone’s bottom.”

His first job looks easy enough – go into a care home and have a cuppa and a chat with the residents. He watches from the sidelines at the interaction between carers and the people they look after, the shared intimacy, the laughter, the comforting that is going on. Suddenly he is overcome. It is not really the bottom business that is going to be the big deal; it’s becoming emotionally involved.

Gilbert could talk the hind legs off a passing Welsh donkey. He loves his wordplay and never uses short simple sentences if he can get away with a long trek round the houses. He is a likeable big lug, though.

Onward he goes, meeting Londoner Betty, who accuses him of not being able to talk properly while he is reading out the bingo numbers. Ever eager to please, he adopts a Cockney accent just for her. Later, after he teases her in the swimming pool she tries to duck the comedian.

“Betty,” says Gilbert’s fellow carer, “I don’t think you’re allowed to drown a celebrity.”

By the end of his work experience Gilbert is exhausted and, once more, in tears. “I can’t think of a more important job off the top of my head than this,” he says. “Low skilled? Says who?” Not him. Not me.

End of an era time as Modern Family comes to a close after 11 seasons in 11 years. It’s a fair old run for a sitcom, particularly one which follows the well-worn mockumentary style, but great writing, strong characters, and an adoring audience has kept the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning show on the road.

Modern Family has someone for everyone in its three LA households set-up. Behind door number one are head of the family Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill of Al Bundy/Married … with Children fame), his glamorous second wife Gloria, and their two sons. Then there is Mitchell (Jay’s son) and Cameron and their daughter Lily, while the final bunch are Jay’s daughter Claire, her husband Phil and their three children. There is a dog knocking around as well.

Like all the best sitcoms, Modern Family has a set of running gags, including a faulty stair that Phil is obliged to trip on. It has been a blast seeing the youngsters in the cast grow up, but the greatest joy is to be had from watching creators Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan at work. Two seasoned pros with shared stints on Frasier, the level of polish they bring to the writing makes all the difference. There is not one line that is a dud.

Back to coronavirus viewing and the return of a pair of celebrity bibliophiles. Richard and Judy: Keep Reading and Carry On is filmed at the couple’s home. Joining them virtually will be authors and fellow famous faces with their reading recommendations.

BBC Scotland has Shelf Isolation, hosted by author and presenter Damian Barr of the Great Scottish Book Club. In the first of three half hours he talks to Mark Bonnar (Guilt) about the books, box sets, movies and music he has been working his way through during the lockdown. Next up: author Denise Mina and writer-actor Greg Hemphill.

Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience, BBC2, Wednesday, 10pm; Modern Family, Sky 1, Friday, 8.30pm; Richard and Judy, Channel 4, Monday, 5pm; Shelf Isolation, BBC Scotland, Sunday, 10pm.

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