From playing a small town detective to a crazed dictator via a war photographer, Kate Winslet surely has a stipulation in her agent contract which says she must never be bored.

The Regime (Sky Atlantic/Now from Monday, 9pm) is what Ms Winslet did next after the Emmy-winning Mare of Easttown and Lee, a biopic of Lee Miller. It’s a strange one, but from the off Winslet looks like she’s having a ball.

Directed by Stephen Frears and Jessica Hobbs and written by Will Tracy (Succession), the six-part HBO series is set in a “central European country” ruled by Elena Vernham (Winslet). The set-up has a strong whiff of Ceaușescu’s Romania, though there are enough contemporary references to keep the audience guessing.

Vernham is the mother of the nation, albeit in a Mommie Dearest kind of way. She loves her people but she knows nothing about them and she certainly doesn’t want to meet them in the flesh.

Paranoid that the air around her is full of poisonous spores, Madame Chancellor employs a lackey with a mould detector to follow her wherever she goes. In the first episode the role is taken by Corporal Herbert Zubak, played by Matthias Schoenaerts, the Belgian actor and star of indie favourite Rust and Bone.

Zubak has to be drugged and kidnapped into taking the role, but he soon finds himself devoted to Vernham and determined to help her achieve her goal, whatever that might be. The impoverished country desperately needs investment and the Americans are willing, but should Vernham take their offer or go her own way?

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The Regime has a superb cast - including Andrea Riseborough as a palace aide - and money has been spent on creating Vernham’s world. All eyes will inevitably be drawn to Winslet, who is central to the success of this satirical drama. Believe in her monstrous, larger than life character and the script can go anywhere.

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a real live and kicking Roman emperor? Me neither but that doesn’t mean Meet the Roman Emperor with Mary Beard (BBC2, Monday, 9pm) is a snooze. Far from it. The classicist is always good value as a champion of her subject.

Beard teases us across the threshold with a tale of the emperor who held a dinner party where everything was painted black. Dinner parties, like everything else to do with the emperors of Rome, were about power and flaunting connections and wealth. Dinner parties were also favoured occasions on which to bump off the boss. No one ever retired quietly from the job of emperor.

Beard takes us through the whole soup to nuts experience of being an emperor. Those who served them get a moment in the spotlight too, with Beard calling in on the servants’ lavatory, a 40-seater number with water running alongside and toilet brushes to hand. Not a set-up for the shy or faint-hearted. She also delights in the graffiti left behind by the staff, much of it jokes about each other. It was a thriving upstairs-downstairs world where the safest place to be was somewhere in the middle.

I do like a good fly-on-the-hotel-wall documentary. It’s always relaxing to watch other people working. The makers of The Hilton: Park Lane (Channel 5, Sunday) boasted of the usual “unprecedented access” to the Mayfair venue, which was being renovated to mark its 60th birthday.

The staff are the stars of the show. In charge of executive suites are Georgina and Marcia, or Patsy and Eddie as one cheeky young pup calls them. Then there is Peter, who left school in Liverpool with no qualifications and is now hospitality manager.

The first episode takes in the run-up to the King’s coronation weekend when presidents and premiers are coming to stay. Every detail has been worked out and the schedule timed to the last second, only for one country’s leader to decide they want to check-in early.

The Hilton: Park Lane is the latest in a long line of top hotels to let the cameras in. Between these reality series, celebrity travelogues and the likes of Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby, producers must be running short of luxury piles to review.

It’s everyone’s favourite round in The Apprentice, (BBC1, Thursday, 9pm) -the interviews. After all this time you might think candidates would have learned not to be too creative with their cvs and business plans, but every series they get caught out. For those who survive this the next stop is the final.

This series has been criticised for the calibre of the candidates and the sameness of the tasks. Do we want to see the candidates playing at being shopping channel presenters for the umpteenth time? It’s hard to imagine that there won’t be another series - The Apprentice, like Strictly, is in with the BBC bricks - but a refresh of the tasks is in order, and maybe the judges too. Just don’t touch the interview round.