Monday, 30 November -0001

Inside Harley Street: Make Me Better

Healthcare on call in the clinics of Harley Street

Written by Ben Felsenburg
Ben-Felsenburg-portrait-176One Harley Street doctor to another: ‘What did you operate on Jones for?’ ‘A hundred pounds.’ ‘No, I mean what had he got?’ ‘A hundred pounds.’ Such is the exchange that had Punch readers guff awing in 1886.

This cunningly crafted three-part portrait of today’s Harley Street (Inside Harley Street: Make Me Better, BBC Two, 9pm, Monday) doesn’t altogether confound the notion of that refi ned quarter of Marylebone as being where medicine meets money, but a generous canvas encompasses characters. The fl owers man reveals how, in W1, there is no winter: right after Christmas the window boxes are bright with the blooms of spring. A medical bike courier dedicated to transporting samples and organs adds up the mileage – equivalent to the circumference of the earth about every 18 months. Some characters aren’t so distant from the world those Punch readers knew: note the lady from Belgravia who arrives in a chauff eured limousine and unapologetically doesn’t know how much she pays her doctor – hubby takes care of the bills. Those who can aff ord it pay for the comfort of knowing you can get your GP when you want – in one case that means a 2am call-out to check the blood pressure of a gambler back home from the casino. But beneath the jaunty anecdotes of the doctors lies dedication, brilliance and care, and the emotional highlight is the relief and joy of a young woman from Liverpool after her successful treatment for cancer, the bills paid by her loving mother.

NOT TO BE MISSED

TV-Apr10-02-590

SEX AND THE CHURCH, BBC2, Fri, 9pm
Sinners and saints both loom large over the millennia in historian Diarmaid MacCulloch’s scholarly account.

WILD IRELAND, ITV, Mon, 8pm
Nature lovers (and the Irish tourist board) will savour Christine Bleakley’s tour of the Emerald Isle at its most beautiful.

GIVE A PET A HOME, ITV, Weds, 8pm
Amanda Holden finds owners for animals rescued by the RSPCA in a heart-warming new series.


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