Saturday's TV tips

Saturday's TV tips

REALITY: Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, 6.30pm)

Things must be getting tense over in the Strictly camp – now that we’re through to the halfway point, the celebs really need to up the ante.

Not that they haven’t put in great performances up until now – the leading lights behind the programme have pulled out all the stops this year; clinching some of the biggest names in showbiz who are so talented they’ve managed to propel the show’s standards sky high (well, all except for Scott and Judy, but it’s still been fun to watch them).

Tonight, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman bring all the action fresh off the dance floor, as the twinkle-toed celebs compete to avoid ending up in the bottom two. There’s even more reason for them to want to stay in this week – next week’s show will be staged at the world-famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

As always, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell are the judges to impress.


DRAMA: Doctor Who (BBC1, 8pm)

Well, it’s been 12 weeks since Peter Capaldi took up post as the famous time-traveller.

In that time, he’s enjoyed filming for the upcoming Paddington Bear movie, and hopefully found time to maintain his friendship his former The Thick of It co-star Chris Addison, who has popped up on the small screen alongside him in the most recent offerings of Doctor Who.

Capaldi has certainly been kept busy.

The bad news is that tonight he wraps up this eighth series. However, the good news is that he’ll be back soon enough for a Christmas special.

In this final instalment, the Time Lord wonders what to do about Missy, the mysterious woman from the Nethersphere, but he’s about to have a whole lot more to worry about than that, as he faces possibly his biggest challenge – and sacrifices must be made before the day is won.

Sanjeev Bhaskar, Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver and Michelle Gomez also star.


REALITY: The X Factor (TV3, 8pm)

Saturday's TV tips

We’re at that awkward halfway point where the competition literally could be anybody’s – between the judges and the voting public, the wheat has been sorted from the chaff and with only weeks to go until the final, we can almost smell the contestants’ determination through the telly box.

There have been a few surprises along the way, with ladies’ favourite Jake Quickenden ousted a couple of weeks ago, and one-time favourite Chloe Jasmine gone before him, so it really is anyone’s guess as to who will be next for the chop.

Tonight the remaining singers ready themselves once more, and face judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh, as they perform songs in a Girlband v Boyband theme. Will anybody be brave enough to choose a Girls Aloud or Spice Girls song?

If they should need a shoulder to cry on, or a friendly hug, Dermot O’Leary is of course on hand.


FILM: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Ch4, 9pm)

(2012) Pensioner Evelyn has recently lost her husband and is coming to terms with solitude in her twilight years.

She abandons Britain for the balmier climes of Jaipur and a grand retirement home called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

En route, Evelyn meets six other retirees all bound for this “luxury development for residents in their golden years”: cantankerous wheelchair user Muriel, who is bypassing the NHS waiting lists to undergo a hip replacement abroad; waspish snob Jean and her long-suffering husband Douglas; retired judge Graham; incorrigible ladies’ man Norman; and love-hungry spinster Madge.

When the travellers arrive at their destination, they discover a building in disrepair and an inexperienced manager, Sonny, struggling to keep the creditors off his back.

Adapted from Deborah Moggach’s novel These Foolish Things, this is a hilarious and touching comedy about growing old disgracefully.

Director John Madden captures a different side to life in modern India than the poverty and crime of Slumdog Millionaire, while composer Thomas Newman adds plenty of spice with his evocative score.

Starring: Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Dev Patel


FILM: The Kingdom (UTV, 11.05pm)

(2007) The authorities are on edge after a US military facility based in Saudi Arabia comes under attack, and a hard-nosed FBI agent gets just five days to locate the people responsible and bring them to justice.

However, the law enforcer finds his task hampered by suspicious locals and suffers obstruction from the regional authorities, who neither trust Westerners nor want them sticking their noses into what they see as a private matter.

The agent turns to a Saudi police officer for support, and together they set about finding the elusive terrorists who caused chaos.

It’s a brave director who chooses to set such a story in the Middle East, but Peter Berg isn’t a man to be thwarted by little things like political correctness.

The superb cast, including Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper and Jennifer Garner, are all on top form, but it’s Jason Bateman on scene-stealing form again who whips the whole thing out from under everyone’s noses.

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, Ali Suliman


FILM: On the Road (Ch4, 11.25pm)

(2012) Sal Paradise is a writer in the late 1940s whose humdrum life is sent into a tailspin by the arrival of nomadic free spirit Dean Moriarty.

This handsome and charming wanderer makes his home wherever he drops his trousers – that could be the bed of his beautiful girlfriend Camille, tormented poet Carlo Marx or incandescent 16-year-old Marylou.

Sal’s odyssey of self-discovery coincides with Dean’s painful fall from grace, set against stunning American landscapes that cinematographer Eric Gautier captures in their glory.

The real-life dalliances of Beat Generation standard-bearer Jack Kerouac provide the creative spark for director Walles Salles’s handsomely crafted if emotionally underpowered road movie based on the 1957 novel of the same name.

Starring: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen

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