This week Trevor McDonald returns to South Africa to mark Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday for ITV, Channel 4 takes a look at the real children involved in the refugee crisis and Danielle de Niese explores the unsung heroines of composing.
The Family Farm
Monday: BBC 2, 8pm
Kate Humble and Gareth Wyn Jones take three families out of their natural surroundings and plunge them into the harsh realities of living on a farm in the first of a four-part series.
On a secluded Snowdonian hill farm, the families will be put to the test, as the parents try to show their children there’s more to life than a sedentary existence filled with screens. Some struggle while others thrive. The families must work hard to find their groove and complete the challenges set for them by Humble and Jones. This episode focuses on sheep, which much be collected, sheared and sold at market.
Trevor McDonald: Return to South Africa
Tuesday: ITV, 9pm
Trevor McDonald was the first person to interview Nelson Mandela following his release from prison in 1999. Since then McDonald has maintained a strong relationship with the often troubled country.
This series sees him return to examine the country’s inequality gap, one of the largest in the world. He visits locations that are becoming gentrified such as part of the Soweto township, then visits shanty areas where people are so desperate that one resident claims to wish for the return of apartheid, claiming that “democracy is for people with money”.
Britain’s Refugee Children
Wednesday: Channel 4, 10pm
The refugee crisis is often discussed in abstract terms in facts and figures. This documentary helps put faces to the statistics. A camera crew follows Abdul and his sister Rawan over six months as they arrive in Britain and settle into their new lives. Abdul, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, fled Syria with his family to Turkey in 2016, from where they were offered asylum in Cardiff last year.
The Last Leg
Friday: Channel 4, 10pm
Unsung Heroines: Danielle de Niese on the Lost World of Female Composers
Friday: BBC4, 8pm
Dispelling the notion that western classical music is entirely populated by white male geniuses is lyric soprano Danielle de Niese. She guides viewers past the usual line-up and instead focuses on five gifted female composers from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century. The women all had to overcome obstacles to achieve fame in their own lifetimes and sadly their work has since fallen into obscurity. Highlights include a glimpse into the life of Florence Price, the first African-American woman to be recognised as a symphonic composer.
Elvis Presley: The Searcher
Sunday: Sky Atlantic, 10.10pm
There’s something alluring about Elvis. From the tragic and unusual circumstances of his death to the rumours that he is still alive; whatever it is, it keeps us coming back for more, as we to dissect his movements and find out what made him so special.
This two-part film looks at the life of The King from childhood right up to his last recordings at The Jungle Room in 1976. There are atmospheric shots of his iconic home in Graceland and interviews with those who knew him best, including his ex-wife Priscilla.