Martin Freeman is back serving the nation in The Responder (BBC1, Sunday). Whatever your everyday stresses and woes, rest assured that compared to Chris Carson, “the angriest copper alive”, you, fella, are living the dream.

What does Chris *not* have to complain about? He is on constant night shift. Separated from his cheating wife, who might be taking his beloved daughter from Liverpool to that London, he’s skint, depressed, possibly in the middle of a full-blown breakdown, and now someone is threatening him with a handful of dog poo. I think we can all agree that is one tough paper round.

That we still want to hang out with the character, soaking up his stress at one remove, is testament to the quality of Tony Schumacher’s writing and Freeman’s performance. Watching Chris have a bad time makes for a good time, which is pretty warped, and is thus entirely in keeping with this state-of-the-nation, broken Britain crime drama.

Life has moved on from the first series, but not by much. Chris still believes his luck will turn if he can only get a day job, his partner in fighting crime, Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo), remains traumatised by the past, while pals Casey and Marco (Emily Fairn, Josh Finan) are causing chaos as per.

Chris does a former colleague a favour, and since no good deed of his ever goes unpunished, he is soon up to his neck in all sorts of carry-ons that could get him sacked, jailed, or killed.

Having lost his dear old mum in the first series, we were introduced to Chris’s bad old dad, who turned out to be played by Bernard Hill. Hill’s death was announced earlier on Sunday, and I wondered if the BBC would cancel. But then what better way to pay tribute than seeing Hill do what he did best.

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A red letter week for espionage aficionados with Spy/Master (BBC4, Saturday) and Secrets and Lies: A Nuclear Game (BBC2, Wednesday). One was fact, one was fiction, though at times it was hard to tell which was which. Spy/Master zeroed in on the fictional Victor Godeanu, right-hand man to the all too real Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena. “The Comrade” suspects traitors everywhere, and expects Godeanu (Alec Secăreanu) to dispense justice accordingly.

Seeing the way the east-west winds are blowing, Godeanu attempts to make contact with the US embassy in Bonn, only to get cold feet. CIA agent Frank Jackson (Parker Sawyers) wants to land this big fish defector. First, though, Godeanu has to stay alive long enough.

This HBO Max drama oozes grooviness, with some serious sideburn and flares action from Secăreanu and Sawyers. If you are in the market for some old school tradecraft, it delivers. There’s a ridiculous amount of faffing with the timeline, but two episodes in I was hooked.

Secrets and Lies: A Nuclear Game takes the action on to the 1980s with the true story of not one, not two, but three real-life double agents, Michael Bettaney, Aldrich Ames and Oleg Gordievsky agents.

The archive footage is terrific (see Westminster as it was), the dramatisations hit and miss. The real draws here are the recorded recollections of agents, some never aired before, and the top drawer talking heads, among them former agents.

According to one such watcher, MI5 was kept busy listening in to the conversations of Russian spies in London. A favourite topic was the white goods they were going to buy in Tottenham Court Road. In a nice touch the narrator is Saskia Reeves, who plays Jackson Lamb’s long-suffering colleague Catherine Standish, in Slow Horses.

For the most part this is a tale of chaps and chapesses, all doing their bit for their country. Their tone is surprisingly breezy at times as if the “spying game” really could be a caper. But mostly the message conveyed is how terrifyingly close the world came to nuclear war.

If there is any programme capable of surviving a nuclear attack it is surely Location, Location, Location, (Channel 4, Wednesday) now back for an incredible 41st series. I can see them now, Kirstie and Phil, shepherding buyers through some post-apocalypse hellscape to view a dream three-bed semi (or what is left of it, anyway).

In the opening episode the home hunters in East Sussex included a retired couple, one with arthritis, facing the old “bungalow or stairs” question. While those two knew roughly what they wanted, the other pair, first-time buyers, needed Uncle Phil’s reassurance.

The prices were crazy - average for the area is not a hop skip and a jump away from half a million. But everything turned out nice again on the south coast.

Even when the plan doesn’t pan out there are no tears before bedtime - that’s one of the reasons why the show has lasted so long. In Phil and Kirstie’s world there will always be another day, and another property, that could be “the one”. Who says romance is dead?