The trouble with our wonderful new World of digital Television with its 115 channels is that the really good stuff is lost in a sea of shite and it becomes almost impossible to pan through the torrent of listings to pick up those few gold nuggets. Exciting, fresh and innovative documentaries and repeats of Rock Family Trees are submerged below a sea of Flog It!, Come Dine With Me! and I'm a Masterchef on Ice Get Me out of Here! (Never watch a programme with an exclamation mark on the end of it!)
Fortunately technology fixes its own problem with the amazing watch-on-demand of BBC Iplayer, and this came to my rescue this week when I discovered I'd missed two of the best documentaries of the season from the BBC Imagine series with Alan Botney.
The Harmony Game delved into the making of Bridge over Troubled Water and was quite sublime. Interviewed separately and intercut with archive film, Simon & Garfunkel came over really well and it was fascinating to see how the iconic tracks developed.
Then there was Greetings from Scarborough, an interview into the normally retiring Alan Ayckbourn which went some way to explaining how he became Britain's most successful playwright of all time, at one point having five plays on in the West End. Wonderfully watchable stuff.
When there was a flashback to Ayckbourn being "adopted" by Sir Peter Hall to do a season at the National Theatre, the young Sir Peter looked vaguely familiar.....