FOR what is supposed to be a cosy show about celebs of a certain age contemplating retirement abroad, the new series of The Real Marigold Hotel (BBC1, Thursday) didn’t half have some spiky moments. Some intentional, others not.

Most of them involved Britt Ekland. Dear, fabulous Britt. She pouted and moaned about the heat in India (“Absolutely destroys your hair”), the occasionally rudimentary travel arrangements (“Does this look like first class, or even business?), and the wildlife (“I’m not fond of monkeys.”)

Britt was unhappy this week, the finale, because the party was decamping from a luxury hotel in balmy Puducherry to the foothills of the Himalayas. We watched as she packed publicity shots from The Man with the Golden Gun into her bag. “Very handy when you go through customs in case there’s a problem.”

She gave a signed photo to the hotel owner. Fellow Marigolder Duncan Bannatyne, he of the dung-pat coloured hair, leaned over for a look. “That must have been what, 50 years ago?” said the Scot. Roughly correct, Dunc, but mee-ow!

Britt hated the no expense spared retirement village (£850k for a three bed flat) she visited in Rishikesh. Reminded her of the place in Sweden her grandparents moved into. On what lay in store for her, she said: “I’m collecting sleeping pills so when the day comes I’ve got plenty.” She wasn’t interested in any silly notion of staying young. “I just want to survive.” Amen to that, sister.

Everyone departed chums. Some said they would visit India again. As usual, none was planning to make good on the premise of the show and retire there. Dunc invited them all to his place in Portugal. Wonder if that includes viewers too? Get the kettle on, Dunc.

A House Through Time (BBC2, Tuesday) was back for a third series. What a terrific idea to chart history through the inhabitants of a home. If walls could talk indeed.

Historian David Olusoga had chosen a handsome three storey in his home city of Bristol. Built in 1718, the property whispered serious wealth. Given it was built with money from the slave trade, perhaps that should be “screamed” wealth.

Olusoga was good company, though I do wish he would ditch that thigh-freezing mini-raincoat. I loved his leather notebook in which he had pinned extracts from records and other evidence. Every now and then the film would drop an ugly truth like a grenade: pirates were hanged slowly, the death rate in the workhouse for under fives was 95%, and so on. As for what happened to the poor mite left on the front steps of the house, that would have brought a tear to a glass eye.

Olusoga simmered with righteous anger, which made his points come across more powerfully. Next week we are promised scandal. See you there.

A lot of the lockdown-inspired, DIY broadcasting has been desperate stuff. No, I don’t want to decorate cushion covers, have Jaffa cake eating competitions, or learn a language. Gi’es peace. But Grow Your Own at Home with Alan Titchmarsh (STV, Monday, above) – now you’re talking.

His wife Alison operated the camera. She did a smashing job, part from the moment she sneezed, and that other time when she bent down for a low shot and couldn’t get up again. Alan’s instructions were easy peasy to follow, and looked eminently doable, though there was rather a lot of drilling – seed beds and power tools –involved. We’re not all handy with a saw.

By the end, Alan and his helpers, scattered across different parts of the country, had conjured up appetising visions of gardens packed with fruit and veg. Just watching it made you feel like lovely Barbara in The Good Life, but without the derriere alas.

How loud are the birds in the morning? It is wonderful to hear them so clearly without all that aeroplane racket, but they seem to be wearing mics.

They are becoming bolder, too. I had to walk past a couple of blackbirds in my front garden the other day. Normally they would fly out of the way, but not this pair. I felt like Tippi Hedren in The Birds.

Chris Packham was full of the joys on Springwatch (BBC2, Tuesday). As he said, this would be a series like no other, perhaps a once in a lifetime (please God) chance for the natural world to thrive in peace. Packham’s enthusiasm is always infections, but there was something positively evangelical about him on the first night of a 12-part run, especially when he heard one particular bird sing out. “Cuckoo!” he cried. “Yes, yes!”

After an hour in the company of the Tiggerish Packham and his fellow presenters I felt calm and hopeful, and as inspired as he was. And I believed him truly, madly, deeply when he said: “It will be fine, or it won’t be fine. Either way, we’ll deal with it.”

That we will.

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