The countess and the russian Billionaire
TV ON DEMAND
BBC2, 9pm This documentary is by some distance the most astonishing tale you’ll see all week. It begins in 2015, as British-born Countess Alexandra Tolstoy (right) shows off the fabulous lifestyle she enjoys as the wife of Russian billionaire Sergei Pugachev (above left). They have homes all over the world – including properties in France and the Caribbean, as well as their sprawling main residence in London – and a strictly ‘money no object’ approach to shopping. But there are already dark forces gathering, for as an oligarch who has fallen out with Vladimir Putin, Pugachev is in fear of his life and that of his wife and children. What happens next will take you completely by surprise and keep you more enthralled than the most unputdownable bestseller. Among many questions, one has to ask why such privileged folk opened up every aspect of their private lives to prying cameras, but thank goodness they did.