BILLY Connolly once said that no people are more in love with the tartan and shortbread tin idea of Scotland than the Scots themselves.

Unless, of course, you are a Scot of the Trainspotting persuasion, in which case you think being Scottish is not a terribly satisfactory state of affairs (I paraphrase).

I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that the presenter of Martin Compston’s Scottish Fling (BBC Scotland, Thursday, BBC2, Friday) is in the first, non-Renton, camp.

It may have been his bellowing of the word “FREEDOM”, or his spirited singing, alongside TV presenter pal Phil MacHugh, of such popular classics as Loch Lomond, Caledonia, and Digniteeeeeee (that ship called, even though it is not a ship). Whatever, tourism chiefs will be delighted to see the Line of Duty actor is on the case of selling Scotland.

In the first of six episodes Martin and Phil went to Dunoon, played crazy golf, walked up a hill (all 300 metres of it), ate fish heads, and jumped off a cliff. In short, all the stuff your average Scot would have to be paid to do. Martin lapped it up. “It’s the people that make this place,” he said, growing misty-eyed as only someone with a house in Las Vegas can.

That was the west coast “done”. Next week the boys are off to the Western Isles, and if a piper, kilts, and innards don’t feature there will be hell to pay.

For something completely different on the documentary front there was How to ... with John Wilson (BBC2, Sunday). How to describe John Wilson if, like me, you had never heard of him? A nerdy-sounding New Yorker, he mostly walks the streets of his home city musing on subjects from small talk to scaffolding, filming anything and everything and interviewing people as he goes. Think Louie Theroux or Jon Ronson, but much stranger.

How to … comes across at first as haphazard and amateurish, but don’t be fooled. The show hails from HBO, the people who brought you The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm. What seems like a hotchpotch of randomness will every now and then generate an image or an insight that stops you in your tracks. Bizarre, funny, and surprising, it takes a while to tune in but once you do … Available in the Marmite aisle.

Brazil goes to the polls in October to elect a president. The incumbent, one Jair Bolsonaro, is already questioning the legitimacy of the voting system and it is feared that if he loses, he won’t go. Sound familiar?

The docu-series The Boys from Brazil: Rise of the Bolsonaros (BBC2, Monday), drew the inevitable comparisons with Trump. As with the orange one, the media treated ex-Army captain Bolsonaro as a joke, but then he got into power and the joke wasn’t funny anymore.

The first episode cantered through recent Brazilian history, and there was plenty of footage showing Bolsonaro behaving badly, particularly when women were around. But the film never really pinned down how he had managed to get to the top so quickly.

Thank you to reader Tom Rodger for nudging me in the direction of Sunset Song (BBC4, Wednesday). This 1971 BBC Scotland adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s novel looked its age, and the budget was clearly miniscule. Yet director Moira Armstrong and the cast, led by Vivien Heilbron as Chris, managed to fashion a thing of beauty that, once started, demanded to be watched straight through to the end. Old man Guthrie would not have approved of a Saturday’s binge watch on the sofa while there was ploughing to be done, which only made it even more enjoyable.

I dread to think what he would have made of Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (BBC2, Friday), two grown men messing about on rivers, in this case the Exe in Devon.

Now in its fifth series and still one of the funniest, most relaxing half hours on television, the show began as a way to talk about heart health (both presenters had near fatal problems with their tickers in the past). They still discuss how to stay healthy but it’s done lightly, with laughs. The first episode had them measuring each other’s bellies (should be under 102cm), and discussing the merits of vegan pasties made with non-saturated fat. In a less scientific exercise, Bob asked the woman in the baker’s shop if he was fat.

The bigger message from Gone Fishing is that life is too short to not enjoy it while you can. If that means floating in a hot tub while a mate puts a (heart healthy) sausage on your belly, or playing cricket despite your dodgy knees and bad back, then so be it.

By the end you can feel any stress disappearing into the distance, like the fish caught and released with the duo’s catchphrase, “And away...” Perfect.