MUM, BBC2, 10pm

CATHY is tiptoeing through the dark house, trying to get ready for work without disturbing everyone but Kelly is already awake: “I was just havin’ a little think and a cry”, she explains.

She’s been out in the dawn garden where she saw a family of foxes and spilled out all her worries to the silent animals. Cathy humours her and asks if they had any advice and, for once, Kelly offers a sensible answer: “Not really. They’re foxes.”

The reason for her nocturnal conversation with foxes is that her boyfriend, Cathy’s son, has the chance of a job in Australia and she’s terrified that he’ll leave her.

And Peter Mullan’s character, Michael, continues to walk silently around the house, looking as though he’s squinting at a glorious sun whenever he sees Cathy.

I’m finally starting to warm to its tender scenes. There’s a lovely, wavering silence when Michael admits he wants to lose weight and Cathy replies, “You’re lovely just as you are.”


LANDWARD has been on BBC Scotland since 1976. When it began, Angels and Pebble Mill were featured alongside it in the Radio Times. They’re long gone but the trusty show exploring rural Scotland is still here.

In this show, Euan McIlwraith goes across the country in his Land Rover and uses archive clips to show how the programme, and rural Scotland, has changed in the past forty years.

In its early days, with post-war food shortages and rationing still in recent memory, food security was a key matter and the Common Agricultural Policy was introduced. We see the legacy of those times when we meet a schoolgirl who helps milk 700 cows. No fears of a shortage on their farm, then.

And we look at Scotland’s fruit farming, a branch of agriculture which can’t be easily multiplied and mechanised.