Planet Dinosaur (BBC1, 8.30pm)
Grand Designs (C4, 9pm)
Valentine Warner Eats the Sixties (Yesterday, 9pm)

THREE years in the making, this Beeb blockbuster has been one of the trickiest and most rewarding projects of executive producer Andrew Cohen’s career.

So, what was the highlight of the show for him? “It’s the fact that it’s not just the big dinosaurs that are amazing,” he explains.

“Animals like spinosaurus are extraordinary – some of the smaller, weirder ones I just find amazing.

“There’s a dinosaur in episode two, and it is almost like an alien. You can’t quite believe it ever existed on Earth, it’s got these long fingers, strange teeth and extraordinary feathers. It’s just an unpredictable favourite of mine.”

The new giants – the heavyweights of the dinosaur world – are the focus of the latest episode, and if you ever wondered how the dinosaurs got so big, here’s a chance to find out.

The largest known dinosaur, the Argentinosaurus, roamed South America 95 million years ago. At 35 metres long and weighing 75 tonnes, each of these beasts reached its stunning size by growing up to 40kg a day. However, their physical dominance, and the success and survival of the species, evolved over millions of years.

Making a show like this may be a dream come true for many kids – of all ages. So, was Cohen one of those children hooked on old fantasy movies with cardboard fins stuck on iguanas? “For me it was going to the Natural History museum when you’re a kid and just being scared,” he says.

“I always thought the dinosaurs were just the most enjoyable kind of feeling of being scared, really. So we’ve pushed the series to have enough detail to satisfy adults, but at the same time be something that the whole family can watch together.

“You want a little bit of hiding behind the sofa; you want a touch of the feeling the kids might have a nightmare or two.”

With computer software more advanced and cheaper than when Walking With Dinosaurs was made in the Nineties, was this a case of more realism for less money?

“In some ways it is,” says Cohen. “In other ways it’s the expectation level, with companies like Pixar and the fact people don’t want to see something sub-standard compared to what they see in the cinema.

Although technology has got cheaper, the standards have got higher.

“We’ve stretched as far as I think anyone ever has done on television in terms of delivering a quality that really brings these worlds to life.”

JUST when you thought you’d seen it all on Grand Designs, an Irish engineer decided to turn a decaying Tenby lifeboat house into his home the other week. It was arguably the trickiest conversion in the show’s history, and even left host Kevin McCloud stunned.

The question is: will McCloud like this week’s project involving a latter-day Tom and Barbara Good – estate manager Ed Waghorn and his wife Rowena?

They live an almost self-sufficient life with their four children on a smallholding in Herefordshire. The couple have been building a timber-framed house using recycled materials, wood from nearby forests and stone from around the site.

However, as construction becomes a way of life for Ed, they seem to have lost sight of their end goal of a finished home.

FOOD and nostalgia are two ingredients that programme-makers love, and now it’s Valentine Warner’s turn to jump on the bandwagon with his two-part historical food special Valentine Warner Eats the Sixties.

Our host will be lifting the lid on our culinary habits of the Sixties and discovers which dishes were being eaten both at home and at the increasing number of restaurants cropping up on high streets across Britain at the time.

In episode one, VW sets out to explore the influences that social and economic change in the Sixties had on what we ate at home. He looks at the new ways that we shopped for and cooked our food and how things such as advertising, kitchen design and developments in technology affected the types of everyday foods we cooked.