A life of luxury

Programme Name: Hotel India - TX: 27/08/2014 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Front of House Staff  - (C) Jacob Robinson - Photographer: Jacob Robinson (9654119)

Programme Name: Hotel India - TX: 27/08/2014 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Front of House Staff - (C) Jacob Robinson - Photographer: Jacob Robinson (9654119)

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Hotel India (BBC2, 8pm)

FLY-ON-THE-WALL documentaries following staff in top hotels around the world always do well because, quite simply we're a nosey bunch.

So let us go behind the scenes of India's oldest and most famous hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. The Taj is where the super-rich come to be treated like the maharajahs of India's past and where rooms can cost up to £9000 per night, all in a city where half of the population still lives below the poverty line. For more than six months the film-makers follow the hotel's 1,500 strong staff as they perform their duties with the mantra "Guest is God" in mind.

The message of staff is "no guest should have to wait more than two minutes for a drink". I'm not sure I'll be throwing that little pleasantry at my other half when I arrive home tonight.

In the first of four episodes we meet general manager Gaurav and executive housekeeper Indrani, who spend their days making check after check on the VIP visits to the hotel's luxurious Tata Suite. Then there is Maria Mooers, one of the hotel's long-term residents, who spends half of each year living in the Taj; oil trader Captain Bhasin, who hosts a cocktail party in his suite, served by his English-style butler, Melville, and Mr Chaskar, who has been in charge of the hotel's minibar service for more than 40 years and is approaching retirement.

The hotel sits near the gateway to India, in the Colaba area of Mumbai in the Maharashtra region, and boasts 560 rooms and 44 suites.

Since the hotel opened in 1903, it has hosted numerous famous guests such as celebrities, royalty and heads of state, as well as Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities. These include The Queen, John Lennon and Liz Hurley, who held a two-week long wedding at the hotel.

The rooms can cost up to £9,000, which whets the appetite of those seeking to find out exactly what you get for almost a Maharaja's ransom.

Star Paws: The Rise of the Superstar Pets (Channel 4, 9pm)

WHILE ITV is content to re-run The Secret Life of Catsat 8pm, this documentary tells the story of the professional animal agents and pet owners whose job it is to supply a new wave of animal stars to appear in some of the world's favourite adverts.

Camera's follow singing kitten Bronte, one of our most famous cats thanks to Three's ad campaign, and we hear from Bronte's owner Caroline. We also meet veterinary surgeon Richard Best who's responsible for casting the Labrador puppies for Andrex adverts, and professional animal agent Chris as he tries to find a lion for a bank's TV commercial.

Addicts' Symphony (Channel 4, 11pm)

IF there's one thing composer James McConnel knows about, it's music; if there's another, it's addiction. James himself is a recovering alcoholic, and in 2011, his son Freddy died of a heroin overdose at the age of 18. It's fair to say he has been to some dark places throughout his life and that addiction has, in one form or another, been the cause of much suffering.

Music has been his salvation and here we follow his efforts as he brings together a group of ten classical musicians, all of whom have struggled with addiction too.

Some of the group have been sober for years, while others just for a few months, and for all of them their battle is far from won. In a bid to help, James leads them as they form an ensemble, in preparation for a performance with the London Symphony Orchestra.

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