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Tune in! 7 top picks from the TV this week

Something to watch? Space-age Shakespeare, a rag-tag group of spies, and Oscar Isaac wielding a baffling British accent — there's all this and more on the box this week.

PICK OF THE WEEK: Slow Horses, Apple TV, 1 April

A rag-tag team of MI5 screw-ups forms the beating heart of this new, darkly comic spy thriller. Gary Oldman is the scruffy, likably brusque head of a dumping-ground department where disgraced agents are relegated, and Jack Lowden (Dunkirk; War and Peace) is the newest sucker to have been sent there. The team is stuck with dull, frustrating work — until something darker raises its head. Kristin Scott Thomas, probably still most iconic in Four Weddings and a Funeral, also stars.

Banned! The Mary Whitehouse Story, BBC2, 29 March

A veritable well of righteous indignation, Mary Whitehouse spent the better part of the 20th century rallying against indecency, promiscuity, and — well, most things, really. This documentary takes a deep dive into her fascinating, generously-ridiculed career as a public figure of outrage, and notes the ways her fears of increasing child sexualisation were, unfortunately enough, rather on the money.

Concert For Ukraine, ITV, 29 March

A brand new charity telethon for the war-torn eastern European state. Ed Sheeran, Anne Marie, Emeli Sandé, Camilla Cabello, and more will headline the two-hour benefit in honour of the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Emma Bunton, Marvin Humes, and Martin Kemp are hosting.

Moon Knight, Disney+, 30 March

It’s the trippiest instalment from Marvel yet, and it features a frankly baffling British accent (officially, at least, this is intentional). And yet: it’s pacey and intriguing — a refreshingly niche comic to adapt — and, accents aside, rippled through with some excellent acting. Oscar Isaac (Dune; Star Wars: The Force Awakens) stars as Marc Spector, a mercenary with a dissociative identity disorder, who is jittery and alarmed by what’s happening to him, transforming in his sleep.

Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars, BBC1, 31 March

Think The Apprentice, but it’s exclusively the food bits. Oh, and it inexplicably leads with an extended sequence where Gordon Ramsay jumps out of a helicopter into the ocean, then entreats the contestants to do the same. That’s business, baby! Future Food Stars offers 150 grand to the winning food entrepreneur that can make it through a series of industry challenges, with one going home each week — we weren’t kidding when we said it’s like The Apprentice. It’s early days, but it has the makings of some solid prime-time TV.

Hacks, Amazon Prime Video, 1 April

Having premiered in America last year, this wry and clever series about a legendary stand-up comic forced to work with a young comedy writer is coming to UK screens. Jean Smart (Mare of Easttown; Fargo) is electric as the manipulative, wilful Deborah Vance (a sort of Joan Rivers figure), who — staring irrelevance in the face — ends up hiring a young and desperate TV writer (played by comedian Hannah Einbinder) with much generational clashing. The dynamic between them, a heckling, sharp mix of hate that gradually resembles love, is wildly compelling.

Much Ado About Nothing, BBC4, 3 April

After a knockout run in Stratford-upon-Avon, a recording of this RSC production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Roy Alexander Weise, will show on the Beeb this Sunday. The play is set in an imagined future reality and features show-stopping costumes inspired by West Indian and West African designs. It’s bright and bold: a deeply entertaining space-age take on one of Shakespeare’s greats.

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