What to watch tonight
PUBLISHED: 00:01 10 November 2017
Friday’s best TV: Extreme Wives with Kate Humble, International Football England v Germany, Travel Man: 48 Hours in Stockholm
Extreme Wives with Kate Humble, BBC2, 9pm
Although we often see her working with animals, Kate Humble is an equal opportunities presenter: she likes humans, too.
When she’s not at the business end of a sheep for Lambing Live or hosting Animal Park, she can often be found travelling the world to learn more about tribes, for programmes such as Living with Nomads, which aired in 2015.
She’d be there, so she says, even if the cameras weren’t rolling: “I am fascinated by the way that people live,” she said, “In 1999, I had an extraordinary five weeks with a tribe who live north of Timbuktu in the Sahara Desert, trading salt - and I did that for fun. Now I’m doing similar things for work.” If my bosses are reading, I stayed in a five-star hotel for fun last week and am more than happy to transfer this to a work-based situation.
During her travels, Humble has been particularly struck by what the way in which women are treated reveals about a society and its values. In this new three-part series, she will look at extraordinary communities in Kenya, Israel and India, where the roles of women are particularly unusual and complex.
Her journey begins in southwest Kenya and the predominantly Christian district of Kuria. Traditionally, the Kuria people were cattle-herding warriors and although they are now mostly agricultural farmers, cattle remain important as a currency in marriage. That’s not the only thing that makes the Kuria attitude to marriage unusual to British eyes: they are polygamous and also practice a form of woman-to-woman marriage known as Nyumba Mboke. Humble learns these female marriages aren’t seen as sexual, and the wives may have already had children or become pregnant by men outside the household.
During her time in Kenya, Humble also learns more about female genital mutilation (FGM), discovering the practice was made illegal in Kenya in 2011 and the Church supports the battle against it. With the help of journalist and local Peter Murimi, Humble talks to anti-FGM campaigners and people in the community about the issue. She even manages to get a meeting with the tribal elders who explain they can’t support the banning of FGM as it would anger their god, Eresa. Eye-opening.
International Football Live: England v Germany, ITV, 7.30pm: Three lions on a shirt and all that - Mark Pougatch hosts as England begin their preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with the first of a pair of daunting fixtures at Wembley against two of the most successful nations in the history of the game. Reigning world champions Germany arrive at Wembley having qualified with ease for Russia 2018. They recorded a perfect ten wins in a row and a staggering 43 goals. Still. It’s only a game, right?
Travel Man: 48 Hours in Stockholm, Channel 4, 8.30pm: Richard Ayoade and actress Sally Phillips head to the Swedish capital for a fulsome two days of fun. Despite having no head for heights, the duo fearlessly sample the city’s only rooftop tour. The pair also a visit to the museum established in homage to 1970s pop group Abba and attend an interactive late-night art show involving their phones. After all this, there’s still time to sample some meatballs, ride on a pedalo and experience the world’s first ice bar. Wish I was there.
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