Wednesday’s TV tips

Wednesday’s TV tips

Inspector George Gently (BBC1, 8pm)

It’s Christmas Eve 1969 and Gently is enjoying a spot of festive cheer until he gets the news that a bank has been hit by armed robbers and he and Bacchus have work to do.

The detective’s hunt for the gunmen takes him into the world of skinheads and he is later faced with a dilemma. Does the law always have to be so cruel, or can he bend it just this once?

Detective drama set in the north-east of England, starring Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby, with a guest appearance by Jody Latham (Shameless). Last in the series.


Horizon: Is Binge Drinking Really That Bad? (BBC2, 9pm)

It’s a common belief that it’s far better for you to enjoy the odd glass of beer or wine most evenings, rather than abstaining through the week and then binging on booze during the weekend. But how much truth is there in this theory?

Doctors and identical twins Chris and Xand van Tulleken put their bodies on the line by taking part in an experiment to investigate the effects that different drinking patterns have on an individual’s health.

Chris consumes his recommended weekly intake of 21 units of alcohol spread evenly across the week, while Xand uses up his allowance in single binges. How will their bodies differ after a month, and is it really any better for you to drink in moderation, rather than getting drunk?


Peter Kay’s Car Share (BBC1, 9.30pm)

It’s John’s grandmother’s birthday, but he has completely forgotten to post her card. Will he be able to put things right on the journey to work?

Comedy about the daily commute of supermarket employees John Redmond and Kayleigh Kitson, who have been thrown together in a company car share scheme, with each trip bringing fresh insight into their lives, as well as twists and turns in their unlikely relationship.

Co-written by and starring Peter Kay and Sian Gibson, with Danny Swarsbrick. The next episode is on Friday at 9.30pm.


The Job Centre (Channel 4, 10pm)

Not to be confused with ITV2’s similar sounding sitcom The Job Lot, this new documentary series follows Jane Vincent, the larger-than-life boss of Bradford recruitment agency, Candelisa People, her straight-talking team and the sometimes colourful characters who walk through their doors in search of employment.

In the first episode, the pressure is on for Jane’s newest recruit Phil as he handled a job that would allow him to hit his monthly target in one fell swoop, while his colleague Carlos discovers that one of the agency’s largest clients needs 60 workers, in just three hours.


Murder in Successville (BBC3, 10pm)

It may have taken us a little while to get grips with this comedy series, which sees an actual celebrity joining forces with DI Sleet (Tom Davis) to investigate a crime in a town populated by ’stars’, who are being impersonated with varying degrees of accuracy.

But now we’ve got to grips with it, it’s a lot of fun. This week, it’s the turn of Dragons’ Den veteran Deborah Meaden to investigate the poisoning of Lady Gaga.

Could the victim’s niece Lady Cheryl Fernandez-Versini be responsible, or should the cops be taking a closer look at her invalid aunt Nicki Minaj, retired scoutmaster Boris Johnson or butler Jay Z?


New Series: Tyrant (RTE Two, 10.50pm)

Barry Al-Fayeed, the youngest son of a Middle Eastern dictator, has relocated to California, started a new life and become a well-respected pediatrician and family man. When his father demands he return home to attend his nephew’s wedding, Barry reluctantly agrees.

Amidst the clash of cultures, he and his family are thrust into the politics of the complex and turbulent nation straining to break free from dictatorial rule. Barry’s concern intensifies when he sees the degeneration of his older brother, heir to the throne.

Then, amidst a chain of tragedies, Barry and his family are thrust into the midst of political circumstance that will forever change their lives.


Robot & Frank (BBC1, 11.15pm)

(2012) A futuristic buddy movie about the unusual bond of trust between an ageing ex-con called Frank (Frank Langella), whose memory is faltering, and his VGC-60L robot helper (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard).

Frank lives alone and is slowly relinquishing his grasp on memories of the past, so the old man’s techno-reliant son (James Marsden) installs a servant bot to do Frank’s bidding. At first, Frank is reluctant to switch on the automaton, but eventually, can’t live without him.

This is an endearing slice of techno-life, anchored by a terrific performance from Langella as a cantankerous old coot who finds companionship when he least expects it.

Susan Sarandon, Liv Tyler and Marsden offer solid supporting performances as friends and loved ones, helping Frank through the fog of his twilight years.


Weekend (Channel 4, 2.15am)

(2011) Writer-director Andrew Haigh induces a swoon with his intoxicating second feature, an achingly beautiful romance in the spirit of Brief Encounter and Before Sunrise.

It unfolds in the tower blocks and pubs of Nottingham, where nice guy Russell (Tom Cullen) spots Glen (Chris New) and is smitten.

The two flirt and what begins as a drunken one-night stand threatens to become a defining moment of both young men’s futures as they wrestle with extraordinary feelings on the very weekend one of them is poised to make a life-altering decision.

Galvanised by molten screen chemistry between Cullen and New, the film wears its heart on its sleeve, laying bare the emotions of the lovingly sketched central characters.

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