Tonight's TV Pick: John Bishop's Sport Relief Hell, Werner Herzog Explores Death Row

Tonight's TV Pick: Two Kinds Of Hell

These are two engrossing tableau of real life on the TV tonight, arguably capturing the best and worst of people. See what you think:

John Bishop's Sport Relief Hell - BBC1, 9pm

Anything David Walliams can do, John Bishop can do... more of. Last year, Sport Relief had Walliams swimming the length of the Thames to raise money and profile, this year sees stand-up comedian Bishop making a three-tiered effort - cycling from Paris to Calais, rowing from Calais to Dover, and finally running to London. True, there were a few hours sleep to be had, and lots of celebrity friends to cheer him along the way - Davina McCall, Denise Lewis and Freddie Flintoff were even in the boat with him across the Channel - but it remains a valiant effort.

Death Row - Channel 4, 10pm

We've had several thoroughly absorbing studies of life on death row before, and it would take a fine film maker to make a rich contribution to the canon of material already on the subject. Werner Herzog has applied himself to the task.

In this first of three episodes (Herzog also has a film Into the Abyss dealing with the subject for imminent release), he talks to Hank Skinner, a convicted triple-killer, who has a stay of execution even while he is making his way through his last meal. It is the detail - "three pieces of fried chicken, two catfish fillets..." that is so heartbreaking. Sister Helen Prejean, the real nun played by Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking, has previously said - "what happens in there isn't justice.... it's man taking the role of God on earth, and I can't conceive of a god who isn't merciful." This programme may help you make up your own mind.

Here is John Bishop in action - notice the different facial expressions:


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