A parent’s worst nightmare

IF recent events in the news have made you, like me, question why on earth any sane person would want to become a parent, look away now. From the torture of watching your child succumb with an all-consuming addiction to the horror of hearing they’ve been the victim of a cold-blooded killer, the worry of sending your precious child out into the world to fend for themselves is an unavoidable part of the journey of parenthood.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 3rd August 2011, 9:27 am

Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son (ITV1, Friday August 5, 9pm) is a three-part documentary series with friends and families of murder victims talking about their lost loved one, and what life has been like since their death.

The first part tells the story of 26-year-old nurse Jane Clough, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend Jonathan Vass last year while he was on bail after she reported him to police for raping and assaulting her.

Her family and rape charities say Jane was let down by the criminal justice system, and have questioned why the violent Vass was let out on bail to attack her.

If you haven’t had enough of the circus surrounding Amy Winehouse’s death, immerse yourself in A Tribute to Amy Winehouse (BBC2, 10.35pm), a documentary celebrating the life and career of the singer.

And to remind yourself of the undeniable talent that made her famous in the first place, catch BBC Sessions: Amy Winehouse (BBC2, Saturday August 6, 11.15pm), which showcases tracks from her albums Back to Black and Frank.

Now I’m not normally one for this sort of programme, but I do like whales, so I’ll make an exception for Sperm Whale: Inside Nature’s Giants Special (Channel 4, Sunday August 7, 9pm). Unfortunately the whale is dead, which explains why they’re able to look inside it.

The poor old thing passed away at Pegwell Bay in Kent earlier this year, and a team of scientists explored its internal organs to work out how the sperm whale, the world’s largest predator, lives in deep-sea conditions that would be fatal for many other mammals.

This next pick is a repeat, but watching one of Britain’s top chefs sweating it out over a cuisine he’s totally unfamiliar with is well worth a second viewing. Rick Stein and the Japanese Ambassador (BBC4, Sunday August 7, 9.15pm) sees Rick cooking at the residence of the Japanese ambassador after a crash course in creating traditional Japanese delicacies. Can his skills match those of the ambassador’s own team of highly-trained kitchen wizards?

A welcome return now for Shooting Stars (BBC2, Monday August 8, 10pm). The last series showed the old magic is still there, although Angelos Epithemiou will never be any match for George Dawes in my opinion.

In the first of this new run, Vic and Bob are joined again by team captains Ulrika Jonsson and Jack Dee, with guests including Brigitte Nielsen (who will inevitably come in for Vic’s thigh-rubbing treatment) and TV chef James Martin.

Shooting Stars was one of a number of shows in the 1990s that proved a huge hit with audiences and brought their stars huge fame. Jennifer Saunders: Laughing at the 90s (Channel 4, Monday August 8, 10pm), looks back at shows including The Mary Whitehouse Experience, The Fast Show, The Royle Family and, of course, Absolutely Fabulous.