IN what now seems a lifetime ago, your correspondent used to be the film critic of this parish. Every week I would trot off to press screenings of the latest releases and report back on what was best value for your movie buck. Then readers would catch the same film and drop me a line telling me what an eejit I was. What fun we had.

Mark Kermode used to do the same (attend press screenings, not tell me I was an eejit). But now the cinemas, like everything else, are in lockdown and movie viewing is done on the television or tablet screen. To paraphrase Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, Kermode’s quiff remains big, it’s the screens that got small.

Just as well he had his television and radio work to fall back on. Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema (BBC4, Monday, 9pm) returns with three new episodes. Having covered rom-coms, heist movies, coming of age, science fiction, and horror in the first run, and superheroes, spies and British history in the second, he now turns his attention to British comedy, pop movies, and cult films.

Though the title might suggest otherwise, Kermode’s one hour programmes do not consist of gossip from the set or a deep dive into a scandal. The man is a bona fide cineaste for heaven’s sake, a contributor to Sight and Sound magazine no less.

No, as he puts it, the show is his chance to “explore the conventions that underwrite the movies we love the most, and examine the techniques filmmakers use to keep us coming back for more.” If that sounds like dullsville, think of Secrets of Cinema as a fancy clip and comment show featuring all the best bits from the movies.

In his look at British comedy, Kermode divides films according to themes. So there are the movies that focus on “the little man” or underdog (your George Formby, Norman Wisdom, Paddington bear); class (I’m All Right Jack, The Full Monty); and so on. He makes connections, some obvious, many not, and after watching you could probably go on Mastermind with British comedy as your specialist subject.

Written by Kim Newman, John Das and Kermode, Secrets wears its considerable learning and decades of movie watching lightly, and you cannot fail to come away without several ideas about films to revisit or discover.

Though it has become accepted wisdom that TV is the new cinema, anyone who has watched a Christopher Nolan or other modern master at work on the big screen knows such claims to be nonsense. True, TV at its best can be as slickly enjoyable and gripping as many a movie, and some source material is better suited to television, as can be seen in The Night Manager (BBC4, Sunday-Tuesday, 10pm, 11pm).

Previously, the best page to television adaptation of John le Carre had been 1979’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Then along came this drama about arms and men and the wicked things done in search of profit. Starring Hugh Laurie as a merchant of death, with Tom Hiddleston as the titular hotel worker persuaded to do his bit for Queen and country, The Night Manager is showing over three nights as a tribute to its late creator.

If the same could be done with the original Tinker Tailor we would be most grateful.

Who would you list as a rock and roll President of the US? The saxophone-playing Clinton, Camelot era JFK, the too cool for school Obama? Wrong. As can be seen in Jimmy Carter: Rock n Roll President (Sky Arts, Saturday, January 16, 9pm), it’s the former peanut farmer. In this fascinating documentary from CNN Films the man himself speaks of his love for music and the friendships he forged with everyone from Dylan to Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. The relationships were not only personally valuable to him but via the fans they were votes in the electoral bank too, though that was clearly not why he pursued them.

This is Carter’s life story and an affectionate account of his lifelong love of music, starting with gospel. It is testament to his support of artists and knowledge of music that so many turn out to pay tribute to him, from Willie Nelson to Dylan, Garth Brooks to Paul Simon, and to read from his writings.

Dylan recalls being invited to the then Governor Carter’s home. “When I first met Jimmy, first thing he did was quote my songs back to me. It was the first time I realised that my songs had reached into basically the establishment.”

The clips, particularly of concert footage, are terrific, the photographs are groovy, the politics of the times are examined seriously, and Carter has a lot of stories to tell.

Carter has long been one of the more misunderstood and underrated of presidents, his time in office ending in the humiliation of the Iran hostage crisis. As such, he is long overdue another look, and this many layered film provides that and so much more besides.