TELEVISION viewers watching television viewers watching television. It sounds like a terrible idea for a programme, the kind of monkey tennis nonsense Alan Partridge might have offered to the controller of BBC1. Auntie should have been so lucky.

Gogglebox (Channel 4, Friday, 9pm) was instead the creation of Stephen Lambert (Wife Swap, Undercover Boss) and Tania Alexander. From its beginning on Channel 4 in 2013, the programme has won a clutch of awards, including a Bafta, with the format taken up by broadcasters around the world.

Back for its 16th series, Gogglebox shows no signs of outstaying its welcome. The secret of its success, as its makers have acknowledged, is that it is so much more than just a programme about the week’s television.

It’s a way of catching up with the news, with familiar faces – the Malones and their dogs (and cakes) in Manchester, posh Giles and Mary in Wiltshire, the giggling Siddiquis from Derby, best pals Jenny and Lee in Hull among them – and the state of the nations in general.

To watch Gogglebox is to take the political and cultural temperature of the UK – which is just the sort of Pseuds Corner remark that would be rightly mocked by these ladies and gents of the television jury.

Its only failing so far has been the producers’ inability to find a Scots family that can stay the distance. Maybe this new series will be the one to change that.

For the most part, expect the usual cast of regulars, some of whom seem to have spent the period in lockdown losing weight and changing their hairstyles. Perhaps they are hoping to follow the example of former Goggleboxer Scarlett Moffatt and become television personalities in their own right. Now that is television eating itself.

A mention in dispatches, too, for narrator Craig Cash, who had the unenviable task of taking over from his beloved pal, the late Caroline Aherne. Cash shines in the role. Both earned their telly reviewing stripes, and more, on The Royle Family. A family, on a sofa, watching telly. That idea worked too. It’s all about the people.

An hour of Gogglebox on a Friday is a great way of unwinding from the week. If you cannot wait that long, consider taking a dip into Mindful Escapes: Breathe, Release, Restore (BBC4, Monday-Thursday, 7pm). Narrated by Andy Puddicombe, co-creator of the Mindspace app, the four half hour programmes introduce viewers to the concept of mindfulness, or “the ability to be present with a clear, calm, curious mind”.

If you think this is hippy dippy stuff for the birds, Mindful Escapes will be anything but relaxing.

To the untrained ear and eye it looks like one long clip show featuring familiar scenes from nature documentaries, but what do I know?

It did seem curious to be watching something to relax, rather than having one’s eyes closed and listening solely to a voice and music, but I suppose lava lamps and fishtanks work on the same principle.

Might be worth downloading from the iPlayer for future use. You never know when you might need some inner calm, pronto.

Eat Well for Less? (BBC1, Tuesday, 8pm, above) makes its return next week for a seventh series. The first family to have their shopping and cooking habits overhauled are the Macbeths from Berkshire: mum Holly, and her two sons Spencer, 16, who has cerebral palsy, and Fletcher, 11, recently diagnosed with autism.

Mum’s cooking strategy can be summed up as pierce and ping – most meals are ready made, microwave numbers – and there is a lot of snacking going on throughout the day.

Presenters Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin take up their positions in the backroom of the supermarket to watch Holly and Fletcher shop. The usual drill is to surprise the family at the checkout, but such is the amount of biscuits and other baddies going into the trolley, Chris decides an emergency intervention is needed, via the tannoy. Fortunately, Holly sees the funny side.

Keeping the tone light but informative, and serving up advice with a sense of humour, is what Eat Well for Less, does better than most. Even though it sticks rigidly to its format, including staging taste tests and swapping brand names for own labels (or as Fletcher said when he came home: “They’ve got rid of all the good stuff,”), it still comes across as fresh.

In the case of the Macbeths, the changes were easy, quick, and delicious. Fletcher, who at the start of the programme is described as a fussy eater who never has breakfast, turns out to be a dab hand in the kitchen.

Give a boy a packet of crisps and you feed him for ten minutes; teach him how to make a pasta bake and you feed him for a lifetime.