TV tonight: a fascinating dive into the creation of a unified Britain

Union With David Olusoga

9pm, BBC Two

The always absorbing David Olusoga returns with a fascinating four-parter about union and disunion, to better understand the history that “lies behind the faultlines of contemporary Britain”. He starts in the 17th century, recalling the events that led to the act of 1707 which created a new nation, Great Britain. The story begins in the early 1600s with the union of the crowns that saw James VI of Scotland add James I of England to his titles, and was soon followed by his divisive Plantation of Ulster scheme. Hollie Richardson

Musical Masterpieces

8pm, Sky Arts

Georges Bizet’s seductive and sultry Carmen is the operatic masterpiece being celebrated by Myleene Klass and leading composer Errollyn Wallen this week. There’s a performance by Opera North, along with a deep dive into the piece’s legacy with Simon Callow, who directed an award-winning production of Carmen Jones in 1981. HR

The Long Shadow

9pm, ITV1

The superbly handled, if totally grim, drama about the lives of Peter Sutcliffe’s victims continues. When Emily Jackson is murdered, her son has to identify her body. It is only after another murder and an attack that police realise a serial killer is at large – which leads to detective Dennis Hoban being sidelined from the case. HR

Endurance: Race to the Pole With Ben Fogle

9pm, Channel 5

“How the hell did they do it?” Ben Fogle and Dwayne Fields follow in the footsteps of three south pole explorer heroes: Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen. In the first episode, they head to Antarctica and slip into proper Edwardian gear to start their terribly tough journey – hopefully without scurvy and coughing up blood. HR


10pm, BBC Two

This British seaside comedy about a missing arcade owner initially aired on Gold in 2020. The calibre of its cast probably explains the BBC’s decision to buy it – Hugh Bonneville, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Simon Bird and Sophie Thompson all star. The fact that the name of the vanished entrepreneur is Les Vegas also gives a decent guide to the subtlety of its humour. Alexi Duggins


10pm, BBC Three

Mawaan Rizwan’s sitcom feels like a standard family comedy given extra intrigue by its unapologetic queerness and regular surreal digressions. This week, Rizwan’s Jamma has arranged for Guy (Russell Tovey) to meet his parents. Everyone seems content with this arrangement; in fact, the occasion could only be derailed by Jamma himself. Cue derailment. Phil Harrison