Back to their old tricks

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Unfortunately BBC1 and ITV are back to their old tricks of scheduling programmes enjoyed by similar audiences at the same time.

On Thursday evening at 8pm BBC1 begins its new four part series called Ingenious Animals. This programme has Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall investigating with various experts how and why animals do what they do. The first episode will be looking at animal intelligence. Hugh will be visiting Florida where an unusual connection between an alligator and a manatee has experts baffled. Then Lucy Cooke, a zoologist, will be travelling to Canada and the Bahamas to investigate what has happened to a certain wild animal which now lives in cities and seems to have recently grown in intelligence. Patrick Aryee, a biologist, will be looking at the Sun Bear, one of the craftiest animals on earth and at a type of rat which is saving lives as part of a mine detector squad. Then Giles Clark, a conservationist, will be travelling to Kenya to discover if elephants can feel empathy. The team will also be asking if reptiles are smarter than we ever imagined they were. However at eight thirty, halfway through the programme, Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs returns to ITV. In the first programme, again from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Paul will be taking care of three dogs with problems. Firstly there is Spencer, a stray beagle with a contagious virus. Then there is Lydia the puli, who is struggling in the heat and needs to cool down. Paul has an idea – will it help? Finally there is TinTin, the tearaway Yorkshire terrier, who needs to calm down to secure a new home. I wonder which programme will prove to be more popular.

Ian K