The Choir: Sing While You Work (9pm, BBC2)
Gareth Malone’s choral adventures have followed a pretty well-worn groove so far. You might even call it a rut. Hold auditions, pick a cutely appropriate song for his workforce of the week to rehearse, make them sing it in public, then get stuck into the real song which they’ll perform for the judges.
This week’s episode sticks to the same script, but also includes scenes of Gareth entering a smoke filled building and being involved in a rope rescue from a high tower.
Yes, this week Gareth has got his red trousers on which means he’s with the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service. And that means that the other four choirs in the competition might as well pack up and go home.
I could be wrong of course, but are any other choir’s rehearsals routinely interrupted by half its members having to leap into a fire truck to go and save lives? Is any other choir performing a Bruce Springsteen song inspired by the firefighters of 9/11? No they’re not. Which means that The Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Choir could sound like they’re strangling Louis Walsh’s cat up a tree and they’d still be the favourites to win. Be warned – this one's going to get emotional.
Fresh Meat (10pm, Channel 4)
There’s a blistering return to top form this week for a show which has set its comedy bar so high most other sitcoms would need oxygen and crampons to get close.
After blatantly cheating in last week’s charity quiz, JP has come up with a new wheeze to stalk would-be girlfriend Sam. He’s volunteered for a drugs trial and has persuaded Josie and Kingsley to join him, under the impression they’re signing up for some kind of pharmaceutical theme park.
Meanwhile, Howard comes to blows over a geology text book, and back at the house, Oregon has written her very first play. Oregon’s anxiousness to appear cool, coupled with her fear that she might not be as clever as she thinks she is, make her one of Fresh Meat’s richest characters. Her growing rivalry with new housemate Candice is a joy to behold, but she’s still very much in the shadow of the almighty Vod. Which explains the title of her play perfectly. Bag yourself front row seats for this one.
Ripper Street (9pm, BBC1)
I wonder what the GPO and Barings Bank will make of becoming the latest real organisations to be drawn into Whitechapel’s latest Issue Of The Week. The brutal murder of a telegraph boy despatched from the GPO to one of the borough’s notorious rent by the hour hotels shows how detectives Reid and Drake tackled homosexuality which is still very much illegal.
As is often the case in Ripper Street, the obvious clue to the murder, in this case the victims’ sexuality, will turn out to have very little to do with the motives for the crime. But before that, the script manages to toss every offensive slang word for homosexuality into the conversation. Reid, though, is in thoughtful, poetic mood again as he observes that, “a law that makes a crime of human love will police itself in pure despair”. And Susan is in a different kind of despair about her outstanding debt to moneylender Silas Duggan. Don't worry – Captain Jackson believes he has found a solution to all their problems.
Emmerdale (7pm, ITV)
Despite not being able to shave under his own chin properly, Robbie can actually be pretty smart sometimes and Declan has decided to go with his suggestion of forging Katie’s signature on the deeds to one of his houses. So it’s too bad that Robbie has already tipped Katie off about how she can screw up Declan’s property deal. Like we said, Robbie can be pretty smart sometimes – other times he’s a flippin’ menace.
Coronation Street (7.30pm and 8.30pm, ITV)
Owen always knew that Faye’s friend Grace was bad news and after the girls bullied Simon last week, she’s banned from the house. Which will be of small comfort to Simon as the video of his humiliation starts doing the rounds. With a traumatised Simon refusing to go to school, it’s another excuse for Peter to ask Tina to babysit.
Eastenders (7.30pm, BBC1)
A soap bride has got more chance of winning the lottery while being struck by lightning than having her wedding go off without a hitch, so we wish Roxy Mitchell the best of luck today as she heads to the church to marry Alfie. Kat has decided to remove herself from the equation by emigrating to Ibiza (as you do) while Alfie assures Ronnie that he’s chosen the right woman. “If I didn’t love Roxy, do you honestly think I’d put up with you?” he tells her. Good point.