Wednesday’s TV tips

REAL LIFE: Surprise Surprise (UTV, 8pm)

Is Holly Willoughby the busiest woman on telly?

Probably, but at least she can console her tired self with the fact that she’s making people’s dreams come true in this heartwarming series, one of her many presenting roles.

She’s got a jam-packed show lined up for us tonight, as she’s joined by Olly Murs, who surprises an inspiring fitness instructor, before giving an exclusive performance in the studio.

Meanwhile, footballer Rio Ferdinand shocks a dedicated youth worker with a life-changing gift, and Dave Berry comes to the aid of teenager who’s facing an uncertain future, and helps her fulfil her dreams.

Plus, a young bride-to-be who has overcome two life-threatening illnesses is reunited with her older sister.

This series could possibly have been the most tear-inducing yet, so we dread to think what Holly has in store for us for next week’s final episode – we’ll definitely need those hankies at the ready.


FOOD: Rachel Allen: All Things Sweet (RTÉ One, 8.30pm)

Wednesday’s TV tips

It’s celebration time this week as Rachel serves up salted caramel cupcakes, nectarine and sloe gin jelly trifle and chocolate meringue cake.

In Rachel Allen: All Things Sweet, Rachel is at home in Ireland to indulge her passion, and ours, for sweet things. From rich desserts to afternoon tea, children’s treats to dinner party wow factor, Rachel has it covered.

And with desserts, cakes and confectionery often amongst the most technical of kitchen challenges, there is also a compendium of techniques, tricks and chef’s tips designed to help us all get the best possible results.

Rachel’s latest collection of delicious sweet recipes is the basis for this new series. The recipes featured in the series cover the full range, including everything from show-stopping dinner party finales to sweet treats for a simple cup of coffee with friends.

The series features 39 set-piece recipes.


REALITY: The Apprentice (BBC1, 9pm)

Wednesday’s TV tips

They may have spent the past eight weeks putting their various skills (as well as a number of more dubious traits) on display at the request of Lord Alan Sugar, but there’s one amazing skill each contestant possesses that’s so far been overlooked.

How on earth do they all manage to get themselves looking business and television-ready in just half an hour?

Anyway, Lord Sugar doesn’t seem overly impressed by this, so it’s onto more important matters.

This week, the entrepreneurs head for the countryside, as they are challenged to sell a selection of products to the visitors at the Royal Bath & West agricultural show.

While half of the teams pick out sure-fire winners in Somerset, the others stay behind in London to seek out innovative ideas that will knock the rural market for six.

But the challenge is almost over before it’s begun, what with one candidate’s over-enthusiasm, and a case of mistaken identity.


DOCUMENTARY: Great Continental Railway Journeys (BBC2, 9pm)

Whatever you think of Michael Portillo, you have to admire him for this latest jaunt of his.

He’s opinionated, to put it mildly, but this series has taken the spotlight off his oft-discussed private life, and put forward some well-travelled, well-researched opinions that you might want to take heed of.

Put on rails, and with a copy of George Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide from 1913 clutched under his arm, Michael is rather good company.

Here, he finds himself travelling through Spain and Portugal.

First up, he’s in the city of La Coruna, where he examines the Celtic roots of the Galician people, and even attempts to master the bagpipes, before meeting walkers on the pilgrims’ trail to Santiago de Compostela.

After he crosses the border to Porto, Michael then finds out about the origins of Britain’s long alliance with the Portuguese, and wraps up his journey in the capital, Lisbon.


FILM: Rambo: First Blood Part II (ITV4, 10pm)

Having shot up an American town, Vietnam veteran John Rambo is rescued from his hard labour prison by his old Colonel, and recruited to rescue a bunch of Vietnam PoWs.

So Rambo jets off; tools up; loses most of his kit, and descends into hostile jungle, where he befriends a local and takes on hostile forces with just a handful of weapons.

First Blood was a hugely enjoyable sleeper hit which saw John Rambo as a semi-credible hero. In this sequel he turns into a superhero, capable of superhuman feats against the one dimensional bad guys.

Only reliable Hollywood rent-a-villain Steven Berkoff has any depth as Soviet antagonist Lt Col Podovsky.

For all its faults, this is great escapism which was followed by three sequels.

James Cameron divided his 1984 time between this and the screenplay for Aliens.

Co-star Julia Nickson later married Starksy & Hutch veteran David Soul.

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Julia Nickson.


NEW ON NETFLIX: Frankenweenie

Young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is a science nerd and outsider at school, but he does have one good friend: his dog, Sparky.

But then, tragedy strikes, and Sparky shuffles off this mortal coil. Victor is heartbroken, but his science teacher (Martin Landau) gives him an idea of how to jolt old Sparky back to life.

The experiment is successful, and all goes well, until Victor's fellow students steal his secret and use it to resurrect other dead animals, with monstrous consequences.

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