What is up with li'l Richard Hammond? In his new three-part documentary series, Wild Weather (National Geographic Channel, Tuesday at 10pm), the former Top Gear presenter is talking to us like we're the thicko kid at the back of the classroom. The Hamster is ov-er pro-noun-cing ev-er-ree-thing in short, sharp sentences, to add dramatic flare to shots of wind howling through trees and cityscapes. He needn't have bothered. The sight of Mother Nature tearing up the planet is drama enough.
Introducing this series of experiments, Professor Hammond informs us, "To understand weather, you have to really … get … inside … it." So off he scuttles to do exactly that. This week's hour-long episode concentrates on Earth's blustery invisible force, with Hammond deliberately creating a towering whirl of fire before stepping inside the eye of a twister. In next week's instalment ( Water: The shape shifter) our cheeky harbinger of doom will start an avalanche, before the final episode ( Temperature) sees him whip up his own dust storm. A right mini-Zeus is our Richard.
Having recently signed a deal with Amazon to present a new motorcar show, along with chums Jeremy Clarkson and James May, Hammond will no doubt continue to irritate the pants off of me, but here he's more of a gung-ho teacher than a sniggering pet, which earns Wild Weather a surprisingly favourable forecast.
As anyone who has been to Thailand will tell you, it's one of the world's most beautiful countries but it can also get a little crazy. Bangkok, especially, is a top spot for young European travellers looking to party hard and the capital's Suvarnabhumi Airport welcomes a host of colourful characters every day.
Narrated by comedian John Thomson, Bangkok Airport (Nat Geo People, Friday at 9.20pm) is a six-part BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary, with "unparalleled access to all aspects of the airport", that takes a jocular look at disgruntled tourists, dumb farang and slightly bonkers staff who brighten each day at the "Airport of Smiles".
Brits Alicia and Georgia, beauticians from Essex, are two of the show's highlights. With daddy footing the bill, the young ladies are ready to experience their first full moon party in Ko Pha Ngan. On their list of things to do are, "get a massage, get a tan and err … see a lady boy". Unfortunately, their holiday gets a little stressful when they have to start spending money - working out the sum total of eight plus eight turns out to be no easy task for these bright young things.
We are also introduced to the world's happiest immigration officer (probably), the affable Captain Jack, who confounds arrivals with his joyous welcome while the tourist police have great fun zipping around on their new Segways. The medics, however, seem about as in control as the motley crew of drunken travellers struggling to find themselves and their lost passports.
It's all good fun, though, which is more than can be said for Last Man Standing, a tedious, contrived family sitcom that returns tonight at 9.50pm, on Fox.
Tim Allen (the voice of Buzz Lightyear) stars as Mike Baxter, an executive of a chain of sporting stores, whose old-school machismo was relentlessly challenged by his wife and three daughters over the previous three seasons. Little more than a simple retooling of Allen's 90s hit comedy Home Improvement, this cliched show derives its laughs from Baxter's outdated prejudices as he fights the empowerment of the women around him by behaving like a good ol' fashioned man's man.
It's rather embarrassing for a comedic actor who is far more talented than this vehicle would suggest. But it must appeal to someone and, if you've made it this far, there is nothing here to turn you off now.
I never thought I'd say this, though, but I'd rather spend my evening staring up the Hamster's wind tunnel.