Ever since that iguana escaped those snakes on Planet Earth no wildlife show is complete without a chase sequence. Big Little Journeys (BBC2, Sunday, 8pm) takes the idea and, er, runs with it.

The first traveller we encounter is a painted turtle hatchling that is the size of a walnut. Its mission, one it must accept or die, is to get from the spot where it was born in Canada to the nearest lake, some eight hours away. Where was the birth location, you ask? At the side of a road full of cars and trucks flying past. Played a blinder there, mum.

Over in South Africa another mother, this one a bush baby, is chasing her son out of the house because she has too many mouths to feed. The bush baby fares better than the turtle because it can fly through the trees to escape trouble. By half way through the first episode the bush baby is tearing ahead, while the turtle is still pootling along. It’s the tortoise and the hare all over again, but this time filmed in minute detail with the latest high-tech gear.

Alex Polizzi fair racks up the miles in her role as The Hotel Inspector (Channel 5, Tuesday). In this new series she is widening her remit to look at the hospitality industry in general. Never an easy sector to succeed in at the best of times, Polizzi says she has been receiving an “unprecedented” number of pleas for help.

For the first episode she is on familiar territory. Claire, a single mother from Redcar, has sunk her life savings, and then some, into converting a former bank into a stylish bar with six rooms on top. She has no experience in running a hotel “but I’ve got belief”, she says.

READ MORE Nicola Sturgeon on Loose Women

Polizzi arrives, laden with concerns. It is not long till those become full-blown worries that keep her awake at night. Claire owes a large amount already, and to make matters worse she is being hit by penalty charges every day. She needs to get the rooms open for paying guests, and fast.

To Polizzi’s dismay, the rooms are nowhere near ready. The first one she visits is packed with stuff, mostly knick-knacks, that Claire has bought. “It looks a bit like a charity shop,” Polizzi says.

Claire, with the support of her two adult sons and a group of good friends, works alongside Polizzi and her team. Progress is made, only for another problem to surface, one that might finally mean the end of Claire’s dream.

Usually in The Hotel Inspector it’s a case of not enough effort, directed at the right places, that’s to blame for a place failing. That’s certainly not the case here. Claire gives it her all and takes every piece of advice going, but will it be enough?

Here’s an odd one, but bear with, it could be worth it. Have you come across The Battersea Poltergeist in your travels through podcast land? Presented by Danny Robins, it used drama and investigative techniques to look into strange, very strange, goings on in a house in South London. The result was an award-winning hit. Robins asked listeners to send in details of their own experiences of the supernatural and another podcast, Uncanny was born.

READ MORE Happy Valley and a heroine for the times

Uncanny (BBC2, Friday, 9pm) has now made the leap to television, but will it be as successful? There is something uniquely creepy about listening on the radio to tales of ghosts and things that go bump in the night. I should know, because it happened to me by accident. Fell asleep with the earphones in, and woke to The Battersea Poltergeist. I’d like to say I was wholly rational about it and soon went back to sleep, but no such luck.

In the first episode we meet Kate. She doesn’t believe in ghosts but what she is about to tell us really did happen, she insists. It’s a promising start.

When she was a child living in a Cambridgeshire village, Kate would regularly see the figure of a woman. A stern-looking sort, she would stand at the foot of Kate’s bed or at the window, staring out. The name “Miss Howard” somehow attached itself to the apparition.

As in the podcasts, Robins asks a sceptic and a believer, in this case a psychologist and a parapsychologist, to explain what they think is going on. Then it is up to you at home to decide, if you dare.

Finally, Portrait Artist of the Year (Sky Arts, Wednesday, 8pm) returns for a tenth series. Everything remains the same, thankfully, with Dame Joan Bakewell and Stephen Mangan watching over a group of professional and amateur artists as try to capture the celebrity sitting in front of them.

For more TV picks subscribe here

A lot depends on how much the three celebrities open up. In the first episode the singer Fleur East, of Strictly and pop fame, joins Richard Curtis and Emma Freud. Later in the series Jay Rayner, food critic and broadcaster, gardener Alan Titchmarsh, and the Today programme’s Mishal Husain get to see how others see them.