HE was born in Nuneaton but there will always been honorary Scottish citizenship available to Ken Loach should he care to take up the offer. Ae Fond Kiss, Sweet Sixteen, My Name is Joe, Carla’s Song – just some of the films he has made and cast in these parts.

The director, 86 and still working, is the subject of a fascinating This Cultural Life: Ken Loach (BBC4, Wednesday, 10pm). Recorded for radio and podcast and filmed for television, John Wilson’s interviews trace the cultural family trees of artists, often with eye-opening results.

Who would have thought, for instance, that one of Loach’s strongest cultural influences was a week spent in Blackpool in the 1940s watching variety shows? The comedians were the family’s favourite. It was also surprising to hear that he was never that interested in cinema growing up and that theatre was his first love.

After reading law at Oxford, Loach decided his future lay in television and not at the bar.

He landed a spot in the team that made the BBC’s Wednesday Play, shown after the 9 O'Clock News. Up-and-coming writers and directors were given more than an hour of prime time to make their mark. As Loach says, such a concept would be “unheard of” now.

The Wednesday Play set out to make a stir. “We said we’re going to be the real news. We’re going to say what’s really happening,” says Loach.

And they did, Loach most of all. Of the ten he directed, two dramas, Up the Junction and Cathy Come Home, made cultural and political history.

Up the Junction, showing right after This Cultural Life, exposed the horrors of backstreet abortion, while Cathy Come Home highlighted the scandal of homelessness.

Both led to questions in parliament and heated debates on screen, with Mary Whitehouse leading the charge against Up the Junction.

What the public thought was clear from the huge viewing figures: 10 million watched Up the Junction and 12 million Cathy Come Home. A scene from the latter, with officials wrestling a frantic Cathy’s screaming children from her arms, shows Loach’s drama has lost none of its power to shock.

It’s January, the month of New Year resolutions, so there’s a smorgasbord of healthy living programmes coming your way.

Among the most headline-grabbing is Know Your S**t: Inside Our Guts (Channel 4, Tuesday, 8pm), with Scots identical twins Alana Macfarlane-Kempner and Lisa Macfarlane presenting.

The gut, we learn, is the new frontier in well-being. In it can lie clues to what ails us mentally and physically, yet few people want to talk about it. Cue the Macfarlane sisters, on a mission to “break the poo taboo”.

Guests arriving at “poo HQ” have a chat with the twins and are then seen by specialists, including a gastroenterologist.

The tone is kept light (sometimes excessively so) but it soon becomes clear what a detrimental effect gut problems can have.

In the case of one woman, finding a solution to her tummy woes transforms her life. Full of practical tips, the programme certainly lives up to its title, though I wasn’t sure it had kept its promise not to put viewers off their dinner. One to watch after your tea.

Jon Snow, late of Channel 4 News, is on a mission of his own in How to Live to 100 (Channel 4, Sunday, 6.45pm). After 32 years as anchor of a daily news show, Snow admits he’s been having trouble adapting to a quieter life without constant deadlines. He’d like to go on and on having a healthy, happy, active life, but how?

His search for answers involves trips to Greece and the US among other places. The results will hardly surprise you – good food and sunny climes feature prominently – but Snow makes an entertaining guide who is not afraid to give things a go. Brace yourselves for scenes of him dancing.

One cannot easily imagine Vera (STV, Sunday, 8pm) throwing shapes on the dancefloor but who knows? She is a woman who should never be underestimated, as this new series confirms.

Lovely as it is to have Vera back, the two-hour running time means it clashes with Happy Valley on BBC1 at 9pm. So, DCI Vera or Sergeant Cawood? Brenda Blethyn or Sarah Lancashire? Whoever engineered that clash wants a stern talking to.

No matter though. In the brave new world of catch-up television you can schedule the shows to suit yourself. In this household, it’s going to be Happy Valley first and Vera saved for later. This week we find out just what Catherine has to say to the sister who betrayed her. Brace yourself, Clare love.