TV Preview: Cutting satire The Thick Of it makes long-awaited return

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It’s been a long wait – two years – but a fourth series of the brilliantly funny The Thick of It returns to our screens on Saturday.

This country is amazingly good at satirising our politicians and nobody does a better job of mocking Westminster than the series creator, Armando Ianucci.

We are now midway through the coalition and the focus is on the new Secretary of State for Social Affairs and Citizenship (DOSAC), Peter Mannion, played by Roger Alam. Even if you’ve never seen it, you may at least have heard of the monstrous and profane Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) who’s sadly missing from the first episode, but don’t worry he does return in episode two. If you watch one thing all week, 9.45pm on BBC2 should be it.

Which might mean missing the Last Night of the Proms over on BBC1 when the traditional flag-waving, Elgar-induced crescendo arrives at the Albert Hall from 9.15pm.

Elsewhere, Channel 4’s excellent coverage of the Paralympics 2012 climaxes with the closing ceremony on Sunday from 7pm. It is produced by Kim Gavin, who also lined up the Olympics’ closing ceremony and promises a cast of 2,000 celebrating British culture and music from the likes of Rihanna and Coldplay.

Other things to look out for include a new (tenth) series of Dragons Den (BBC2, Sun, 9pm) and The Scapegoat, ITV’s dramatisation of Daphne du Maurier’s slightly daft novel, starring Matthew Rhys as an Englishman who changes identity with his double, a French aristocrat.

Look out too on Monday for a new series on Channel 4, Food Unwrapped (8.30pm) which sets out to find out exactly how food from around the world is made, beginning modestly, but intirguingly, with tinned grapefruit segments produced in Swaziland.

Ross Kemp’s new series, Extreme World (Sky1, 9pm) takes him to Caracas, the crime-ridden Venezuelan capital which even hosts a prison with no guards.

If you want something similar closer to home, try Trouble on the Estate, a Panorama special in which Richard Bilton spent months looking at drug problems, anti-social behaviour and joblessness on the Shadsworth estate in Blackburn (BBC1, Tues, 9pm).

And don’t forget England start their bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They travel to Moldova tomorrow (ITV, 7.45pm) and then entertain Ukraine at Wembley on Tuesday evening (ITV, 8pm). The last time we failed to make it to the World Cup was USA 1994 and we all remember how dull that summer was, so fingers crossed.