Sally-Anne Stewart’s TV Preview (01.09.11)

BENEFIT scrounger-bashing is a great sport isn’t it?

All of us smug wage slaves can make ourselves feel better about the hamster wheel we’re on by having a go at those who sit at home watching The Jeremy Kyle Show and Homes Under the Hammer on their big screen TVs, purchased at our expense. Ah, I feel much better already.

I’m kidding of course (well, mostly). So what’s the reality for jobless Brits at the moment? The Working Life – How to Get a Job (ITV1, Friday September 2, 8pm) is the last in a three-part Tonight series and follows people currently struggling to find a job as our economy itself tries to get back on its feet.

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We’ve got a school leaver, a graduate and a 55-year-old former caretaker who are among the 2.5 million people unemployed in the UK at the moment. To boost their chances of getting hired they’re given a masterclass by Dragons’ Den entrepreneur James Caan.

> I used to love watching Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in Jeeves and Wooster, but I’ve never actually got round to reading any of PG Wodehouse’s books. Wogan on Wodehouse (BBC2, Friday September 2, 9pm) is an hour-long exploration of the author’s life and work by Terry Wogan, who speaks to other fans, including Fry, Richard Briers, Joanna Lumley and Griff Rhys Jones.

But as well as the plaudits, there’s an examination of Wodehouse’s career clangers, which included agreeing to write radio essays for the Nazis.

> Red or Black (ITV1, Saturday September 3, 7pm) is the latest venture from the telly juggernaut that is Simon Cowell’s company, Syco.

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The Ant and Dec-hosted gameshow will be broadcast over seven nights, with 1,000 potential contestants gathering at Wembley Arena every day to be in with a chance of winning £1 million on the spin of roulette wheel. The results show is on at 9.15pm.

> So, what do we think of the new X Factor (ITV1, Saturday September 3, 9.15pm) judges, then? I’m liking Gary (but who wouldn’t), am warming to Tulisa more than I thought I would, am a bit ambivalent about Kelly Rowland, and Louis, well... never mind.

So far I haven’t really been bowled over by many of the contestants, but that hasn’t stopped me shedding the odd tear already. Better get the man-size Kleenex at the ready for the live shows...

> I wonder how much Jonathan Ross is costing ITV now that he’s on their payroll rather than the BBC’s?

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I used to enjoy his Friday night show, so I’m hoping for more of the same from The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV1, Saturday September 3, 9.45pm).

The guests on the first show are Sarah Jessica Parker, who’ll be talking about her new film, I Don’t Know How She Does It, singer Adele, and racing driver Lewis Hamilton.

> I doubt The World’s Most Dangerous Roads (BBC2, Sunday September 4,9pm) will include the Lake District’s Wrynose Pass, but it looked pretty dodgy when we drove down it during our recent holiday – not one for the faint-hearted.

This series sees celebs taking on some of the planet’s most dicey drives, starting with the Dalton Highway, which was originally a supply road for the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline. Arctic conditions and the threat of avalanches add to the fun.