DEBORAH ROSS: Greed isn’t good, can someone tell Ruthie? 

Eamonn And Ruth: How The Other Half Lives

Thursday, Channel 5  

5 stars… or is it 1 star?

Unforgotten Sunday, ITV


Our Shirley Valentine Summer

Thursday, ITV 

3 stars (with potential to go higher)

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, the married co-presenters of This Morning, kicked off their latest travel series by visiting Monte Carlo, where they broke down in tears at the plain hideousness of it all: the facelifts; the vile, show-off tax-avoiders; the €240 million penthouses; the yachts for hire at €500,000 a week; the kids whose birthday parties are attended almost exclusively by nannies and bodyguards. ‘Ruthie, let’s get out of here,’ said Eamonn. ‘This place makes me sick,’ said Ruthie, ‘and a true darkness has entered my soul.’

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, the married co-presenters of This Morning, kicked off their latest travel series by visiting Monte Carlo

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, the married co-presenters of This Morning, kicked off their latest travel series by visiting Monte Carlo

She shuddered. He held her hand, comfortingly. She laid her head on his meaty shoulder. ‘Eamonn, I could weep for humankind,’ she said. ‘The sooner we’re back working among the poor the better,’ he said, as he wiped away her tears. It was riveting television. It was startling television. It wasn’t, for once, Eamonn and Ruthie prostrating themselves at the feet of the super-rich while lapping up the five-star luxury for themselves and delivering their (well-rehearsed) spontaneous bants… except that it was. It was exactly that. But I think you knew that all along. I think you knew Ruthie didn’t cry for the poor. I think you knew this was one star and not five stars, really. Such a pity, though. The travelogue where Ruthie breaks down – ‘Oh, Eamonn, I can’t take all this greed a minute longer’ – and Eamonn doesn’t perform a thumbs-up when climbing aboard a helicopter? That’s the one most of us would prefer to see.

Of course, you don’t expect Eamonn and Ruth to be Woodward and Bernstein, but in the course of an hour they only had one question: how much? Visiting a wine cellar: ‘How much is your most expensive bottle?’ ‘€25,000!’ Visiting a hotel suite: ‘How much a night?’ ‘€20,000!’ Hiring a Maserati: ‘How much for the day?’ ‘€1,000!’ Visiting a rental villa: ‘How much a month?’ ‘€405,000!’ They were smitten with the rental villa.

Ruthie: ‘Oh, Eamonn, look at the view.’

Eamonn: ‘It’s so special.’

Ruthie: ‘It’s so beautiful.’

Eamonn: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a view like that.’

Ruthie: ‘How much did they say it was again?’

Eamonn: ‘€405,000 a month!’

Observing the unbelievably rich can be mesmerising, but you have to have some smarts, as otherwise it’s just ‘how much?’ over and over. And you had to wonder if Ruthie and Eamonn have any natural curiosity at all. For instance, if a two-bed apartment costs €30m, where do the workers live? Is there an arts scene or any culture at all? Does avoiding tax make people feel good about themselves? ‘It’s been fascinating,’ she said at the end. But for whom, Ruthie? For whom?

On to the shows we’re keeping an eye on: Handmaid’s (so grim I’m wishing they’d lock her up and take the baby and we could all go home); Keeping Faith (even if the camera fetishises Eve Myles to the point it practically goes up her nostrils); and Unforgotten, back for a third series, which we’ll return to once it’s bedded down. As it stands, human bones have been discovered buried in the central reservation of the M1 and we’ve been introduced to a disparate range of characters whose stories will connect to that discovery, although we do not know how yet. (The usual set-up, in other words.) But it’s fabulous to have Nicola Walker back as DCI Cassie Stuart. Walker was always better than The Split, where the jackets wore her and she couldn’t walk in those heels, and better than that vicar in David Hare’s Collateral bore-a-thon. Welcome home, love.

You might also wish to keep an eye on Our Shirley Valentine Summer, which sees its midlife participants looking for romance on the Greek island of Naxos. The participants include Annabel Giles, Ingrid Tarrant, Melinda Messenger, Siân Lloyd and not Debbie McGee, amazingly. Also, we have Nancy ‘I am beautiful’ Dell’Olio, teetering around in killer heels and telling the matchmaker what she wants in a man. ‘It is important we share interests but if he has a helicopter is better and if he has a private plane is better. I’m joking. But serious.’ Bet she never cries for the poor, either. She kept herself apart, and I quickly deduced she hates her housemates. ‘Some people has the glamour,’ she said pointedly, ‘and some people don’t…’ The others are now clocking on to her disdain. So this could be terrific.

Sorry for failing to provide a Poldark recap this week but I need to ask, with what little space is left: George’s thug, Tom Harry, isn’t Tom Harry any more? He behaves like Tom Harry and is a brute like Tom Harry and he looks a bit like Tom Harry, but he isn’t Tom Harry, and when I looked at the end credits, there was no Tom Harry, just a ‘Harry Harry.’ What, dear readers, is going on?