More4, Mon 28 Apr, 10pm
Alongside Billie Piper’s transformation from pop pixie and booze-sodden celebrity missus to respected TV actress, the most unexpected showbusiness career shift of our times has to have been Pamela Stephenson’s morphing from spiky-haired comedy foil in Not the Nine O’Clock News and clean-living celebrity missus to respected clinical psychologist. But rather than plying this trade in the shadows she has used her new gift to recharge her stardom, firstly by being the only person Billy Connolly could trust with his memoirs and now taking her therapeutic ways onto the small screen with this second series of Shrink Rap. In the next few weeks, you’ll see her attempt to reach the troubled core of Gene Simmons, Tony Curtis, Salman Rushdie and Kathleen Turner, though whether what we actually see is typical of a normal visit to Dr Connolly’s practice is up for debate.
At just over 45 minutes long, they certainly approximate the chronological span of a session but even with the chatty likes of this series’ subjects, you’d imagine an introspective silence creeping in from time to time. And when Dr Connolly interrupts the Kiss frontman during a deep childhood memory demanding that he removes his shades so she can see his tears, you just know that this is being done purely for the camera. At its very best though, this is the kind of penetrating chat show which blows the chummy fluff-fests served up messrs Ross, O’Grady and Parkinson totally out of the water.