Arts and culture

Television programmes to give you wanderlust this week

The Brahmaputra River
The Brahmaputra River Credit: © Ivan Vdovin / Alamy/Ivan Vdovin / Alamy

Sunday June 25

Great Canal Journeys: India (Channel 4, 8pm)

Timothy West and Prunella Scales leave India's canals behind to explore the Brahmaputra river, a rarely navigated stretch of water with a remarkable history. They follow an old tea trading route, meet a community of monks and take a ride on an elephant.

Monday June 26

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC Four, 7.30pm)

Michael Portillo begins the fourth leg of his journey from Derby to Lindisfarne in Middlesbrough, visiting one of the last iron foundries in the town and helping cast a carrot valve for a steam engine. His next stop is Darlington, Co Durham, where he meets the editor of the Northern Echo and finds out about the colourful history of WT Stead, one of his predecessors. Portillo also learns the Venerable Bede, known as `the father of English history', before finishing in Hexham, Northumberland, where he visits a historic ginger beer emporium. Repeat

The Art of Japanese Life (BBC Four, 9pm)

Art historian James Fox explores the art of the Japanese home, the clean minimalism of which has been exported round the world from modernist architecture to lifestyle stores.

A traditional Japanese home Credit: AP

A League of Their Own: US Road Trip (Sky 1, 9pm)

The stakes are high in the final leg of the boys’ US adventure as they take on three last make-or-break challenges that will determine who’ll be humiliating themselves at New York’s number one drag club. With the threat of fish nets and fancy frocks hanging over them, the boys begin their next Big Apple challenge.
With Freddie Flintoff driving the pick-up, Jack Whitehall on a bicycle and Jamie Redknapp struggling to ride a skateboard, they race each other across town to deliver a sandwich from Katz’s Delicatessen to a VIP customer on a yacht near Chelsea Pier. They then head off to Broadway, aiming for a role in the Disney musical Aladdin before they are challenged to make a fortune on Wall Street.

Tuesday June 27

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC Four, 7.30pm)

Michael Portillo sets off from Newcastle on the final leg of his journey from Derby to Lindisfarne, finding out about the world's earliest swing bridge and its inventor William Armstrong. He also travels by boat from the port of Seahouses to examine the story of lighthouse keeper's daughter Grace Darling, who, along with her father, rescued nine people from tumultuous seas in 1838. Repeat

The Hotel Inspector (Five, 9pm)

Alex Polizzi returns to help a couple with their beach-front business in the Merseyside resort of Southport. John and Mel opened a craft ale bar and started renovating the flats above it into a hostelry despite having no experience. With the residence more of a building site than a boutique hotel, Polizzi has to get stuck in as the first guests are due in a matter of weeks.

Wednesday June 28

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC Four, 7.30pm)

Michael Portillo embarks on a new journey following his Bradshaw's handbook from south-west Wales to Cambridge, beginning in Pembroke Dock, where Queen Victoria's royal yachts were built. In the little market town of Naberth he investigates what caused rebels to dress up as women, later spending the night at an inn in Carmarthen where Horatio Nelson once met Emma Hamilton. Repeat

Natural World: Sudan: The Last of the Rhinos (BBC Two, 9pm)

The remarkable story of Sudan, the very last male northern white rhino on the planet. Snatched from his mother's side in Central Africa, Sudan became a prized exhibit in a zoo while the rest of his kind were poached to extinction. This programme focuses on the desperate battle to bring his sub-species back from the brink of extinction, told through the characters who have been involved in his life.

Holiday Horrors: Caught on Camera (ITV, 9.15pm)

Documentary series looking at what can happen on holiday, including footage of a paragliding experience going terribly wrong, and every caver's worst nightmare as one caver gets stuck inside. Plus, a chilli-eating duo travel the globe testing the world's hottest chillis.