Friday's TV tips

Friday's TV tips

CHAT: Life (TV3, 8pm)

Friday's TV tips

'Life', the show that investigates the stories going in the lives of Irish people today. Presenter, Sybil Mulcahy meets Ireland's very first Michelin starred chef who's left the restaurant business to create a whole lot more affordable food in Mahon Point, Co Cork.

She's also in Sutton, Co Dublin to meet the babies that you don't have to wait nine months for, the reborn dolls which are helping women to deal with the loss of a child.

Reporter, Michael Ryan is wood carving sculptures in Mullingar, Co Westmeath and he also travels to Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan to meet one of the country's biggest Star Wars fans.

ADVENTURE: Bear Grylls: Celebrity Mission Survive (TV3, 9pm)

Adventurer and television presenter Bear Grylls returns to our screen with a show that’s sure to have us relieved we’re sitting under a blanket instead of out in the wilderness!

This time, Bear is putting eight celebrities to the test, as they face a 12-day survival mission unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before.

To stay alive they must learn to navigate difficult terrain, build shelter, make fire and eat food that nature provides.

Actors, and cousins, Emilia Fox and Laurence Fox, singer and actor Max George, double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes, TV presenter and singer Jamelia, comedy actor Tom Rosenthal, DJ, Model and presenter Vogue Williams and former England International rugby player Mike Tindall, make up the celebrity expedition team.

DRAMA: The Musketeers (BBC1, 9pm)

Given the hundreds of versions of Alexandre Dumas’s swashbuckling tale over the years, we didn’t really need another one.

But if there’s one thing you can be sure of: in 100 years’ time the same old tales will be re-told to future generations – probably via contact lens TV, or living room holograms.

Back to the present and we have to make do with good old telly boxes as Porthos demands answers from his new-found family after uncovering the shocking truth about his parentage. While uncovering more secrets about his past, he starts to question his fidelity to the Musketeers.

They in turn have their own suspicions of their own as they process the bombshells in their colleague’s life.

Can d’Artagnan and his associates save Porthos from the lethal avenue he seems to be headed down, and are they even certain of where his loyalties lie?

Howard Charles and Luke Pasqualino head the cast.

HISTORY: Nelson in His Own Words (BBC2, 9pm)

Friday's TV tips

In 1911, Sydney Booth played Horatio Nelson in the movie The Battle of Trafalgar, the first time the great British naval hero was depicted on film.

In the years since we’ve had more than 30 portrayals of the legendary warrior, most recently in the new Night at the Museum movie. But what was the real Nelson like?

Well, as any historian would tell you, he was also a prolific writer of letters, which reveal that he was a very different and more complex man.

Using Nelson’s personal correspondence, this drama-documentary reveals how he was measured in his praise of his rivals in case they threatened his own career prospects, as well as revealing how his passionate love affair with Emma Hamilton changed his life for ever.

RSC thespian Jonathan Slinger – perhaps best known for his work on 2001 movie A Knight’s Tale – portrays the man who changed British warfare forever.

MUSIC: Boy George and Culture Club: Karma to Calamity (BBC4, 9pm)

Friday's TV tips

For those of us around in the early 1980s, Top of the Pops was THE focal point for all lovers of mainstream music. And nothing set the masses talking faster than something slightly out of the ordinary.

So when Boy George and Culture Club made their debut on the BBC’s flagship music strand, millions sat up and took notice.

This photogenic, androgynous frontman sent shockwaves around the world, and following the success of Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?, the band scored a string of chart smashes, including Karma Chameleon, Church of the Poison Mind, and Victims.

This documentary charts the history of the group, examines its rise to fame, disintegration and those within the group who made it such a success.

Following their decision to reunite in 2014, director Mike Nicholls follows the band members as they meet in George’s London home to pen fresh material.

SOCIAL INTEREST: First Dates (Channel 4, 10pm)

True love is never easy to find at the best of times, but while those awkward blind dates and uncomfortable silences can sometimes be the stuff of nightmares, imagine doing all of that on national TV.

Yes, many fame-hungry souls might love the idea, but what of the other sensitive folks who shy away from the limelight?

Well in this show, a less in-your-face version of Take Me Out, you never know what sort of folks you’re going to get.

The format is simple: singletons meet with possible partners at a restaurant, hoping to find love.

Here we see Frankie, who’s had some experience of being hurt by the wrong kind of guy. Will fellow dancer Muhala be her soulmate?

And will trainee midwife Kate have a labour of love with paramedic Liam? Finally, there’s Tim, an eternal romantic.

Bored of online dating, he hopes Jenny will want to meet him again.

FILM: Papillon (BBC Two, 11.35pm)

(1973) Petty criminal Henri Charriere (aka Papillon) is wrongly convicted of murder and shipped off to the notorious Devil’s Island, a former leper colony that has been transformed into France’s toughest maximum security prison.

Papillon vows to escape, even agreeing to act as a bodyguard for a notorious counterfeiter in return for the cash to fund his plots.

Based on a supposedly true story – some people have since questioned the veracity of Charriere’s memoirs – this is a no-holds-barred drama.

Steve McQueen is excellent in the title role, but Dustin Hoffman isn’t too shabby either in a movie which is still a powerhouse production, well handled by director Franklin J Schaffner.

You have to feel sorry for co-stars Anthony Zerbe, Don Gordon and George Coulouris as McQueen and Hoffman blow them off the screen with their presence. Jerry Goldsmith’s soundtrack is an added bonus.

Starring: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Zerbe, Don Gordon, George Coulouris

FILM: Dog Soldiers (Channel 4, 12.25am)

(2002) A group of British soldiers on a training exercise in the Scottish Highlands are attacked by hungry werewolves.

Can they survive in an isolated farmhouse until morning? Or are they destined to die under a full moon?

This is one of the most inventive horror films made for many a moon, and all on a minuscule budget, too.

Writer-director Neil Marshall shot the film, believe it or not, in Luxembourg rather than Scotland, before going on to make another low-budget classic chiller, The Descent.

Starring: Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham

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