I WINCED at the silly title of this programme. It seems like it should be attached to something tacky on Channel 5, but this is a grim and fascinating documentary about the race to build a “tomb” to enclose the radioactive poison at the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

It exploded in 1986 and threw radioactive material into the air. It created more radiation than 400 Hiroshima-sized bombs and was the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

The site became “one of the most deadly places on earth” and Soviet firemen, soldiers and labourers made a superhuman effort to quell the fires and enclose the remains in a huge “sarcophagus”. However, this is now collapsing and so a new “mega tomb” must be built, and built quickly, to contain the poison. Not only are the team working amidst lethal radiation, they’re having to endure the bitter weather of Ukraine.

SCOT SQUAD, BBC1, 10.40pm

THIS is a Christmas special in advance of the new series which begins in the new year.

You’ll be glad to hear they haven’t tampered with anything. All the old characters are still here – even the ones who are not funny in the slightest, such as the annoying and bland Maggie Le Beau.

Usually big Cameron Miekelson (Jack Docherty) gets the majority of the screen time but tonight, and quite rightly so, the star is the nervous wee volunteer officer, Ken Beattie.

He tries to help a rather large and intoxicated lady up from the pavement and it turns out badly for the good Samaritan: the big, loud woman is always either screeching at him or trying to seduce him. He ends up being dragged back to her house for, er, mince pies. Poor Ken!

Strangely, the best character of all, Bobby, only gets a tiny appearance tonight, which is a shame. Maybe he and the weary Officer Karen are keeping their powder dry for the new series.