IMAGINE the hell of a Jobcentre interview if you are a maverick TV detective. “So, you’ll only consider vacancies in a sector that is hopelessly overcrowded and outdated, and where the longevity rate is that of an arthritic canary who takes up cat-taming? AND you’re a woman? Buck those ideas up, lady. Next you’ll want to be something totally useless, like a TV reviewer.”

The stars of Bancroft (ITV, Monday-Thursday, 9pm) must have seen those odds and decided they’d go for it anyway. After all, they had a USP in that not one, not two, but three main characters were female: DCI Elizabeth Bancroft (played by Sarah Parish of “Yes, no, yes” W1A fame), newbie detective Katherine Stevens (Faye Marsay) and forensic scientist Anya Karim (Amara Khan). They had a decent yarn: an unsolved murder from long ago in which Bancroft, then just a WPC, was the one who found the body. And they had four nights running on prime time ITV to do their thing.

Alas, good intentions and all that. Despite the strong female presence, and a woman writer, Kate Brooke, the entertainment was still built around a young woman being murdered in extremely violent fashion (a scene repeated many times), and it did not take long for the initially too cool for feminist school characters to start making Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction look like Mary Beard.

There is a fine line between thrillingly credible and outright bonkers, and Line of Duty raised the walking of it to an art form. Bancroft stumbled from the off only to regain some of its footing by the end. Enough though for a second series? I think LoD’s Superintendent Ted Hastings would raise an eyebrow at that.

If The Apprentice (BBC1, Wednesday, 9pm) was an episode of Friends, this week’s would have been titled “The One Where Sir Alan’s Mates Reduce the Candidates to Puddles of Tears and Self-Loathing.” Yes, it was the interview round, and it did not disappoint. Claude used to be the panto villain, barely able to conceal his contempt as he picked through business plans for timeshares on Mars and the like. This year the baddie was a lady by the name of Linda, who was big in interior design and fashion. How to describe Linda? Think Joan Rivers without the jokes.

When Linda met Liz, the florist who goes about every task as if invading a small country, it was bound to be carnage. And it was.

“I looked at your website,” snarled Linda. “Your flowers don’t look that special to me.”

“Well, thank you for that,” replied Liz with all the sarcasm she could muster (about three shipping containers’ worth).

The best candidate, Michaela with the wacky specs, was fired for being too successful in the businesses she already runs. It made no sense, but The Apprentice left Reality Row long ago.

Employable Me (BBC2, Monday, 9pm), being a look at the barriers faced by disabled people trying to find work, was necessarily a more sensible affair, but not without its heartwarming moments. Kerie, from Dublin, wanted to work in customer services and was blind. Daniel was a budding graphic designer from Mintlaw and a double amputee. Both were smart and capable and would be an asset to any employer. Why couldn’t firms see that?

The best thing Employable Me did was avoid patronising participants. As with the Scots firm that gave Daniel a try, it was made clear that an applicant would not be hired because they were disabled, but because they were a disabled person who could do the job. It was getting the chance to show what they could do that was so vital. Please, BBC2 or Santa, whoever is out there, can we have an update soon on how those featured in this excellent series are getting on?

I hope Father Christmas did not catch you watching The World’s Most Expensive Presents (Channel 4, Tuesday, 9pm). Coveting a gold bike (£250k) or a ballgown for a dog (£40k) could land you on the naughty list. As a commentary on society this documentary was utterly depressing, but as a bit of froth it blew over entertainingly enough. It also proved, lest there be any doubt, that the Beatles were wrong. Money can buy love, but never good taste.

Farewell, then, Detectorists (BBC4, Wednesday, 10pm), the most gentle of comedies about life, love, and metal detecting. Cheerio sweet Lance and kindly Andy, ta-ra Stan the toddler, Linda Lusardi (nice cameo), the Danebury Metal Detecting Club, Simon and Garfunkel (not so bad after all), ghostly visitors from the past, and the rest. “I’ll be your treasure,” was a line in the theme tune. And it was.