Wednesday's TV tips

Wednesday's TV tips

DRAMA: Waterloo Road (BBC1, 8pm)

Given the amount of schoolyard romances at Waterloo Road, it’s little wonder that the teachers are concerned about the prospect of teen pregnancies.

In theory, Allie has come up with a plan that should teach the pupils about the realities of parenthood as she challenges them to take care of ’virtual babies’.

But instead of making Rhiannon realise that she’d rather have a few more years of being carefree and irresponsible, she takes to virtual motherhood with an enthusiasm that leaves Darren feeling distinctly uneasy.

Elsewhere, Carol needs an alternative source of income now that she can no longer help herself to George’s cash, and what better to way raise a few easy quid than to fake an injury in a Home Economics class, even if it leaves Maggie fearing for her own livelihood?

REALITY: Surprise Surprise (ITV, 8pm)

Holly Willoughby steps into Cilla Black’s shoes once again – although unlike Sheridan Smith in the recent drama Cilla, she won’t also have to dye her hair and wear prosthetic teeth – to surprise deserving people from across the country, including Sophia Wyatt from Guilford.

After her daughter Chloe was tragically stillborn in January 2010, Sophia wanted to spare other parents from going through the same heartbreak and set up the charity Count the Kicks, which raises awareness of the importance of monitoring an unborn baby’s movement.

Now, she’s about to find that her charity is being given a boost by two very high-profile supporters – Holly and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, who have posed for a poster campaign.

Meanwhile, Iris Kerr, 75, from Glasgow recruits the host (and former Strictly Come Dancing professionals Vincent and Flavia) to help thank her friend Jean Coleman for standing by her following a devastating diagnosis – and they are being watched by a very special guest.

So, if you thought you could pack your hankies away after Long Lost Family finished, you could be the one in for a Surprise.

FILM: Footloose (E4, 8pm)

(1984) Rebellious teenager Ren McCormack moves to a small-town where pop songs and dancing have been banned by the local Reverend.

Despite his initial difficulties fitting in with the locals, Ren discovers he isn’t the only one desperate to hit the floor, so launches a campaign to hold a prom-style party and finds an unlikely ally in the shape of the preacher’s beautiful but wild daughter Ariel – little realising the uproar their efforts will cause.

A remake proved reasonably successful, but never quite captured the public’s imagination in the way the original did.

Strong performances from a likeable cast, led by Kevin Bacon, make up for the rather cheesy plot, and the soundtrack may be dated, but it’s still a toe-tapper.

Starring: Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow, Lori Singer, Chris Penn, Dianne Wiest, Sarah Jessica Parker Rating: 56%

REALITY: The Apprentice (BBC1, 9pm)

It’s safe to say the recent ’wearable technology“ task didn’t go all that well, as the girls came up with a jacket with solar-powered shoulder pads, while the boys designed a jumper with an inbuilt camera that Daniel Lassman pitched to a retailer by admitting he probably wouldn’t wear it in public.

However, this week, the would-be entrepreneurs are getting a second chance to prove that they are savvy when it comes to 21st-century technology, as Alan Sugar challenges them to create their own online video channels to go live on YouTube.

Once they’ve chosen their concepts – cookery demonstrations for one team, health and fitness for the other – it’s time to join forces with some existing online stars in a bid to drive up the clicks.

But it’s when the candidates have to pitch to a website for promotion that one person goes a little over the top.

REALITY: Freshers (ITV2, 9pm)

Last month, thousands of young people from across the country left home for the first time to start a life at university.

In theory, they should now be busy drinking, watching daytime TV, worrying about debt and maybe squeezing in the odd bit of studying, but does the reality match the stereotypes?

This new series aims to find out as if follows five students at Swansea University as they attempt to find their feet and negotiate the chaotic first two weeks of term.

It begins, naturally, with an emotional goodbye to their parents, but they don’t have long to feel homesick when there are new friends to be made.

Blonde Chloe is a big hit with her new male flatmates, while aspiring soldier James hopes to bond with his new pals on a pulling mission, and Jake opens up to party girl Amelia about his sexuality.

ARTS: Grayson Perry: Who Are You? (Channel 4, 10.05pm)

As well as being a Turner Prize-winning artist, Grayson Perry is also a TV natural, as anyone who saw his series All in the Best Possible Taste will confirm.

His latest project, which sees him exploring the ideas of identity as he creates portraits of people who are at a crossroads in their life, is shaping up to be even more fascinating.

In this second episode, Grayson is asking why in an age when so many people’s lives fail to slot into the traditional ’mum, dad and 2.4 kids’ model, the idea of family remains so powerful.

In the process, he meets people who test the boundaries of what some people consider a family unit to be, whether it’s the Jesus Army or a white gay couple who have adopted a mixed-race child.

But he also meets Christopher, who was diagnosed Alzheimer’s several years ago and is now looked after by his wife Veronica, prompting Grayson to ponder what happens to our identity when the memories that once bonded a family together are gradually stripped away.

FILM: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Film4, 9pm)

(2012) It’s set in an area of Louisiana known locally as the Bathtub due to the constant risk of flooding, where the impoverished locals largely survive off the land.

Six-year-old Hushpuppy’s future is thrown into doubt when her father falls ill, the water levels start to rise, and she’s haunted by visions of prehistoric monsters returning to life.

Could finding her estranged mother be the key to bringing back order to their lives?

Director Benh Zeitlin makes a remarkable debut with this poetic, haunting fantasy.

It helps that he was able to assemble an impressive cast of largely first-time actors, including young Quvenzhane Wallis, who is simply remarkable as Hushpuppy.

Starring: Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes, Pamela Harper Rating: 86%

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