Monty Python: Almost the Truth – The BBC Lawyer’s Cut (BBC2, 9pm)

HARD to believe it’s 50 years since a bunch of university types got together and made a series that would have an indelible effect on popular culture. Michael Palin, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle and Terrys Gilliam and Jones were late-1960s mavericks whose mix of sketches, the odd musical number and even more odd animations struck a chord with millions around the world. Monty Python’s Flying Circus helped spawn a series of films, and inspired countless other funny folk to follow in their footsteps. This documentary tells the story of the troupe, from their humble beginnings; first meetings; their influences and how their transition into movies, with offerings such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail (an Elvis Presley favourite), changed the face of comedy. It’s followed by Python at 50: Silly Talks and Holy Grails.

Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show 2019 (BBC1, 7.10pm)
IT’S back for a new run, and there are plenty of familiar faces taking part. Anneka Rice, Corrie veteran Catherine Tyldesley and EastEnders’ Emma Barton will be competing respectively against footballers Alex Scott and David James, comedian Chris Ramsey, DJ Dev Griffin; model Emma Weymouth, Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell, reality star Jamie Laing, CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual, singer Michelle Visage, sports correspondent Mike Bushell, Paralympic table tennis player Will Bayley and online video star Saffron Barker. Returning to the judging desk are Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood, while Motsi Mabuse takes the place of Darcey Bussell.

Cycling: Tour of Britain Live (ITV4, 10.15am)
MANY sports fans will be in their element as ITV4 cover most of the opening stage of the race. Participants have to cover the 201.5km route between Glasgow and Kirkcudbright, and you can bet that if there’s a chance of racers passing by your house during the five-plus hours of coverage, the ad breaks might get in the way of your few seconds of fame. Obviously it remains to be seen what coverage is slotted in between the breaks, but we can tell you that Matt Barbet and Yanto Barker will be guiding us through proceedings, while expert commentary is provided by Marty McDonald and Rob Hayles.

Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions (STV, 7.30pm)
ANT and Dec host the spin-off from the talent show in which winners and memorable acts from past series return to the fray, competing against each other and performers from Got Talent shows from around the world. The second installment features the return of Lost Voice Guy, the first comedian to ever win the show, the group Mersey Girls from series 11, and series 5’s winner Jai McDowall. Joining the British entries is an unusual act from Germany – Alexa Lauenburger and her eight performing dogs.