David Lean had a reputation in the film business as a director who liked to “break” actors to rebuild them, the better to suit the role they were playing. His method: making them do a scene over and over again.

But there was one actor the director of Doctor Zhivago and Bridge on the River Kwai could not bend to his will – Peter O’Toole.

The star of Lawrence of Arabia is the subject of a lavish new documentary, Peter O’Toole: Along the Sky Road to Aqaba (free to view Sky Arts, Thursday, 9pm).

In O’Toole’s case, the make or break scene involved his riding a camel through the desert in 127 degrees heat while singing The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo (you can see it and the rest of the epic when the film shows on Great Action, Easter Monday, 12.15pm.)

Brian Cox, one of many paying tribute to the proudly Irish (though not born there) star, takes up the story. “Lean wouldn’t break him down because he wouldn’t put up with that English b******s, says Cox. His “Celtic soul” would not allow it.

O’Toole’s indomitable spirit is mentioned often in Jim Sheridan’s documentary. Fellow actors, including his former wife, Dame Sian Phillips, also speak of his lupine handsomeness, his electrifying presence.

He was in the same class at RADA as Albert Finney, Alan Bates and Richard Briers (what a year that must have been). Briers once told Kenneth Branagh the other students were so in awe of O’Toole they called him “sir”.

Branagh is another who skilfully dissects what made O’Toole an actor’s actor as well the star he would become. He can do a pretty good impression of him to boot. As can Brian Cox. Impersonations of O’Toole seem to be second in popularity to those of Michael Caine.

Sheridan’s film takes in O’Toole’s life and career decade by decade. Besides contributions from talking heads we hear extracts from the many interviews he gave over the course of his career. However good the impersonation, nothing beats that original voice with its hypnotic smoothness and stately pace. Added to this are clips, and plenty of them, from the films and stage plays.

While unstinting in its praise of O’Toole the actor, the film does not gloss over some of his harder to handle sides.

There was the drinking of course, the parties, the “hell-raising” as the papers called it. His daughter Kate recalls coming down one morning and having to step around the “drunken corpse” of Richard Burton, a great friend of her father’s, to retrieve her schoolbag.

Phillips, who knew him better than anyone, is generous throughout. “He was the love of my life and I was of his,” she says simply.

A glorious two hours ends with clips from Jeffrey Barnard is Unwell, which I was lucky enough to see at the time. Whatever “it” is that makes a star, O’Toole had it to burn.

Here’s a treat to cheer you up after the holiday weekend is over and you’ve eaten your body weight in chocolate eggs. I can’t promise everything in Colin from Accounts (BBC2, Tuesday, 10pm) is sweetness and light – it’s an Aussie comedy so broad and a touch Marmite in places – but it has some lovely moments.

This is the tale of Gordon, brewery and bar owner, and Ashley, a student doctor. Their singleton lives in Sydney collide when Gordon, driving along and suddenly distracted, hits a stray dog (told you it was Marmite).

Ashley, the cause of the distraction, rushes to help. The dog has no ID and before they know it, the two strangers have been landed with a huge vet bill and a very cute mutt.

Ashley and Gordon are played by real-life married pair Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall, who also wrote the eight part series (on iPlayer from Tuesday).

As for the Colin of the title and where he fits in, all will be explained.

Still on the subject of dogs (it’s like I plan this stuff), one of their greatest fans is remembered in For the Love of Paul O’Grady (STV, Sunday, 8pm).

This hour-long tribute traces the Liverpudlian’s career from his early stints as acid-tongued drag queen Lily Savage through to his presenting For the Love of Dogs.

It was on the latter show that O’Grady cemented his status as national treasure. It’s an oft thrown about title, but O’Grady plus dogs was the real deal.

After another memorable week in politics it’s the perfect time for Have I Got News for You (BBC1, Friday, 9pm) to make its return.

First in the chair for this, the 65th series, is Charlie Brooker, writer and presenter of Screenwipe. He’ll be joined by regulars Paul Merton and Ian Hislop and two as yet unconfirmed guests who will try their best to get a gag in edgewise.