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Tonight's terrestrial TV tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 02/11/2009 - 10:30

I'm still fanning my brow after last night's terrific new courtroom drama on BBC1, Garrow's Law (crammed with powdered wigs, heaving bosoms and the birth of legal defence*) but my thoughts are already turning to the late, great Steve McQueen's iconic cross-country motorbike getaway in The Great Escape.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 01/11/2009 - 10:17

It’s a good plan to start with Life (BBC1, 6pm) tonight, even if you saw this episode last Monday; it’s quality Sunday evening chill-out television, a perfect companion to cheese on toast and a pot of tea. If you have kids it’s a good way to slip in some education just before bedtime without them even noticing – they’ll be too absorbed in the amazing imagery, this week of bats migrating in Zambia, and lulled into perfect calm by Sir David’s tones.

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Armchair Viewing: Halloween (1978)

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 31/10/2009 - 12:50

"It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare"

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 31/10/2009 - 10:19

A proper Saturday full of quality stuff at last! X Factor Schmex Factor! Strictly Schmrictly! (Note to self: don’t overdo the ‘schm’ thing.) Drama, comedy and documentary are pushing their way back in and I am cheering them on.

BBC4 is hosting an evening of programmes about the 20th century figurative artist Francis Bacon from 9pm, and why not? We ease in with Francis Bacon’s Arena which is a general documentary about him, his life and his career, then lead into the more interesting Francis Bacon in His Own Words at 10.35pm, then finally we get the very exciting (but not actually new) Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon at 11pm, a feature-length drama investigating the relationship between Bacon (Derek Jacobi) and George Dyer (Daniel Craig). Sorry, those brackets there very much obscured the fact that Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig are in this! I can’t imagine why it’s on quite so late. Hopefully they’ll show it again at a more sensible time.

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Green Zone: new trailer released

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 30/10/2009 - 12:21

Green Zone

After their brilliant work on The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass have re-teamed for the thriller Green Zone, a film set in the chaotic early days of the Iraqi War when no one could be trusted and every decision could detonate unforeseen consequences. And you can check out the new trailer below.

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Tonight's terrestrial TV tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 30/10/2009 - 08:19

You know you're probably best off spending the evening away from the sofa when the most appealing programmes on offer are repeats and compilations. So it is tonight, although it has to be said the repeats and compilations are well. worth catching. If you missed the BBC Proms 2009 earlier this year, BBC4 is reshowing the MGM musicals special at 7.30pm - two glorious hours of the very best of the songs from classic musicals. An array of singing stars including Curtis Stigers and Sarah Fox are on hand to deliver showstoppin' numbers from the Wizard of Oz, High Society, Singin'in the Rain and many more.

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Tonight's terrestrial TV tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 29/10/2009 - 10:08

There is an unwritten law that BBC2 must show a food programme every week night and so tonight at 8pm we're getting a fresh season of The Restaurant, like it isn't enough that we've just had the horror called Restaurant in Your Home inflicted on us. To be fair, Raymond Blanc is always at his charming best while oozing Gallic culinary wisdom and a bit of sexiness. And the format of The Restaurant is more credible and more feasible than opening a bistro in one's 10-feet square living room. It's just a shame that every such programme has a second unwritten law - that there must be a competitive element to it. However, the joy of this show is that it's very revealing about how a good restaurant is actually run which must be good for the punters.

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Eli Roth to judge Inglourious Basterds fanpage competition

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 28/10/2009 - 15:33

By Lizzie Husher

It seems the team at the official fanpage of Inglourious Basterds have outdone themselves with their latest competition venture. Not only are the Tricky Basterds (as they like to call themselves) planning on giving away limited edition "Bear Jew" posters to 10 lucky winners of the "Donnie Returns" comp, but they have also drafted in director/actor/buddy of Quentin Tarantino Eli Roth, who plays the Bear Jew himself, to judge the entries.

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Tonight's terrestrial TV tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 28/10/2009 - 09:53

Journalist Andrew Marr picked up a well-deserved Bafta gong for his History of Modern Britain series in 2007, which chronicled life here after WW2. Now he's back with a prequel, The Making of Modern Britain (BBC2, 9pm) which examines the first half of the 20th century. Marr's great strength as a presenter is that he's not a historian - he has a genuine and infectious curiosity for his subject and he's good at using seemingly trivial stuff to make the bigger point about what's really going on. This series looks set to be every bit as entertaining and fascinating as the previous one. Tonight, Marr takes on the Boer War, music hall, working-class morals and the death of Victoria in one polished swoop.

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Tonight's terrestrial TV tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 27/10/2009 - 09:54

Hands up if you built Lego houses or Airfix planes as a kid! Most of us over a certain age almost certainly did - it was a given before the arrival of games consoles that your hobbies included model-making. It's a shame today's kids don't see the appeal, but thank goodness for James May, a man who is almost single-handedly reintroducing the delights of kit toys. There's been lots of pre-publicity for James May's Toy Stories (BBC2, 8pm), such as the plasticine garden at the Chelsea Flower Show and the full-scale inhabitable Lego home, complete with a flushable toilet. The series kicks off with an ambitious project - May is going to build a Spitfire jet from a giant Airfix kit. The mind boggles but you have to admire the spirit of a man with such a fabulous and childish (in the true sense) imagination.

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