BBC2, 9pm

I USED to think travel writers had the best job in the world, being paid to wander about, but surely they have been usurped by celebrity chefs who get to wander about and stuff their faces while they’re at it. Go on, name a better career ...

In this series, Rick Stein makes his way down America’s west coast to Mexico and tonight reaches Los Angeles.

The uninitiated might think LA can’t offer much by way of fine dining. Surely, as the ultimate American city, it’s all about fast food? Stein puts that belief down to jealousy on the part of stuffy British people.

So forget burgers and fries. He stops at Pismo Beach, famous for its clams. There were once “so many clams they had to use ploughs to harvest them,” he says and he tucks into a gigantic plate of clam chowder. There’s also time to sample some New World wines.

BBC2, 10pm

IT’S the dreaded parents’ night (“Doesn’t the smell of school make you want to kill yourself?”) and Julia desperately needs the teacher to just hurry up and dish out the bad reports so she can rush away and get back to her work. Soon she’s embroiled in a snappy exchange with the teacher and the judgmental mums slowly crowd in to eavesdrop. “Can you back off a bit? It’s not the Antiques Roadshow!” she yells.

Even when she’s free from school, the horrible insecurities of the playground still dog her. She spots a glamorous woman from her office at the school gates and flies across to say hello, but the superwoman doesn’t even seem to know her. Surely the most glamorous mummy at the school isn’t snubbing her? Do the cool girls just not care about her?

But Julia is determined to make them notice her by coming up with great ideas for the school fundraiser. “She still didn’t say yer name,” Liz keeps reminding her.