COVENT Garden, a great place to eat, shop, and generally watch the world go by. Outside of the city’s parks it is one of the few places you can go in London for a relaxing, convivial time (just don’t use the Tube station; you’ll wait years for a lift).

The People’s Piazza: a History of Covent Garden (BBC2, Sunday, 9pm) offers a very different view of the square, one that could change the way you look at it in future. Having 400 years of history will do that to a place.

Historian David Olusoga, perhaps best known for charting the life of a home in A House Through Time, is your guide. Joining him and fellow historians are people who live and work in the square.

Micky Mole (great name, great stories) worked in the market, as did his family before him. It was a tough place, he recalls, packed with characters and buzzing with life.

When the market closed in 1974 he was the last man to leave because he had the keys to the place. “Heartbreaking,” he says, “as if it was part of my soul, part of me, and they’d just taken it away and destroyed it.”

Covent Garden survived the attentions of city planners who wanted to knock everything down and redevelop the space. The local community fought back successfully and for a while the square lived up to its billing here as a “people’s piazza”, home to community festivals and housing co-ops.

It couldn’t last. By the 1980s the piazza had been sold to a private landlord and the square we know today began to take shape. Change has turned out to favour Covent Garden. Long gone are the days of the 18th century when it was packed with brothels and ankle deep in filth. Any illusion that it was a jolly place where good times rolled is quickly demolished with a dig through the parish records that brings up some heartbreaking results.

The Crown and The Watcher aside it has been slim pickings lately on Netflix. So it is with wild cheering and cries of “What took you so long?” that we welcome back Dead to Me (Netflix, series 3, from Thursday). If you haven’t watched the first two seasons look away now and get going on them.

Dead to Me stars Christine Applegate (forever Kelly Bundy in Married with Children to some of us) and Linda Carellini as Jen and Judy. Jen is the cynical, hard-boiled one, Judy the hippy dippy chick who tries to do the right thing but generally ends up causing havoc and heartbreak.

The two meet at the lowest point in Jen’s life, when she has just lost her husband in a car accident. Against her better judgment she goes along to a grief support group where everyone is keen to help, none more so than Judy. The two hit it off and start on the road to being best friends forever. What Jen doesn’t know is that Judy sought her out for reasons that will make Jen banish her new pal with the words of the title.

Dead to Me is the creation of Liz Feldman, formerly a writer on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, who also explored female friendship in 2 Broke Girls. The humour and the subject matter are on the bleak side, but this is feel good comedy drama of the highest order, with terrific performances from the leads. A mark of the show’s quality is that it is not going to hang around forever – this is the final series.

Strictly Come Dancing is entering one of its tricky phases. It happens every time: the comedy candidate, this year Tony Adams, can’t dance for toffee but is a huge hit with the public (in his case legions of Arsenal fans), and keeps being voted back.

There has proven to be plenty of life after Strictly for one of the show’s truly gifted dancers. Oti Mabuse: My South Africa (BBC1, Thursday, 9pm) is a one off documentary along the lines of Who Do You Think You Are?

Mabuse left South Africa a decade ago and has not been back for three years. That itself makes the film emotional, and that is before she starts exploring the country’s apartheid past.

Oti was born in 1990, the year Nelson Mandela was released. Her South Africa was entirely different from that of her older sisters, parents and grandparents, all of whom endured the evil of apartheid.

She has never spoken to her parents about what they, in common with millions of others, went through. As the pieces of the past come together she starts to realise just how much her family sacrificed to give her the life she has now. Among the experiences she recalls are the dance competitions at Sun City, the luxury resort once notorious as the place where some bands and singers performed in defiance of a boycott. A visit there brings back happy memories, but there are painful realisations besides, things she did not notice at the time but are all too apparent now.