Tonight's TV tips

Tune into BBC Three at 9pm tonight to see a documentary about Kris Hallenga as she battles terminal breast cancer and campaigns to make sure other young women and their doctors are made more aware of the risks.

Tonight's TV tips

ENTERTAINMENT: Big Star’s Little Star (UTV, 8pm – 9pm)

Don’t ever work with children or animals – that’s supposedly the golden rule of telly.

But the leading lights behind this entertaining series understand that actually, it’s the little ones who make the best TV – because of their unpredictability.

For the producers, the youth are comedy gold, as Stephen Mulhern grills them about their celebrity parents and hopes they will spill their deepest secrets. Yep, it’s a cracking premise, and that’s why ITV has brought it back for a second run.

This series we can expect to hear heart-warming revelations and downright embarrassing stories from the children of Michael Owen, Sam Bailey, Nicky Byrne, Shane Lynch and Natasha Hamilton.

First up, are sporting stars (and they are good sports for putting themselves through this) 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Ben Cohen, 2000 Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis and footballer Neil ’Razor’ Ruddock.

A few laughs at the celebs’ expense all in the name of charity never hurt anyone...

SCIENCE: Dead Famous DNA (Channel 4, 9pm – 10pm)

In his previous programmes, veterinary scientist Mark Evans has gone Inside Nature’s Giants and searched for Bigfoot, but this new series sees him taking on his greatest challenge to date.

He’s out to track down the last remains of some of history’s most important figures, from Napoleon to Marilyn Monroe, to find out what their DNA can tell us about their lives.

He’ll be drawing on the expertise of eminent scientists in the fields of forensic genetics, molecular archaeology, biochemistry, molecular biology and forensic osteoarcheology, but it also means dabbling in the somewhat murky world of the trade in human body parts.

So, when he’s not building up DNA profiles of the dead and famous, Evans will also be exploring the ethics of his own search, asking how the law can keep pace with scientific advances.

DOCUMENTARY: Kris: Dying to Live (BBC3, 9pm – 10pm)

Cancer charity Coppafeel has been in the news a lot lately, thanks in part to a tabloid’s campaign to get more women to check their breasts. But this documentary goes behind the headlines to meet the inspiring young woman responsible for the initiative.

Kris Hallenga was just 23 when she was diagnosed with aggressive, terminal breast cancer.

Like many people who had received such devastating news, she was gripped by fear and anger – but she decided to channel those feelings into changing the way the public and the medical profession treat and perceive the illness in young women.

Dying to Live follows Kris as she campaigns to raise awareness that breast cancer doesn’t only affect older women and to make sure that her peers know how to recognise the warning signs, but ignorance isn’t the only thing she’s fighting.

She’s also taking on her own cancer in this moving, eye-opening film.

REALITY: Long Lost Family (TV3, 9pm – 10pm)

Sarah Gale And Laura Mccarthy

Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell introduce the stories of Laura McCarthy and Sarah Gale.

The two women were given up for adoption as babies and have been trying for years without success to trace their birth mothers, with Laura discovering in her quest that she also has a half-sister (4/6).

SPORT DEBATE: Second Captains Live (RTE Two, 10:20pm - 11:20pm)

Second Captains Live is back for a new series on RTÉ TWO with more big guests from inside and outside sport, more contentious debate about Ireland’s greatest ever sports stars and more nostalgic RTÉ archive.

Presenters Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early and Ciarán Murphy will once again fuse sport, entertainment and comedy in front of an energetic live studio audience.

Each week the Second Captains team will be joined by three of their favourite Irish sports stars and together they’ll discuss the week’s major stories, drawing on their guests’ experience of top class competition.

The show will also feature an additional big interview with a major guest, some classic RTÉ archive and the clever and original use of inserts.

The list of the top ten Irish sportspeople of all-time will again be up for debate in one of the most feverishly debated slots on Irish television, The Good Wall.

FILM: Carlito’s Way (ITV4, 10pm – 12.55am)

(1993) Newly released jailbird Carlito Brigante pledges to stay away from a life of crime. He leaves behind the murky world of drug dealing and invests his money in a nightclub, determined to become a successful businessman.

However, it’s not long before the Puerto Rican’s shady lawyer has him twitching at the temples, and a string of former ’associates’ don’t help either. Carlito decides to move to Florida, but can he outrun the thugs who (wrongly) believe he’s a murderer?

Director Brian DePalma has made a few stinkers in his career, but this is one of his best offerings, with a terrific performance from Al Pacino.

Add to that a deliciously sleazy turn by Sean Penn and some masterly direction and you have the makings of cinematic perfection.

Starring: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, John Leguizamo, Viggo Mortensen Rating: 79%

FILM: Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Channel 4, 12am – 1.45am)

(2008) Romantic comedy drama focusing on flighty and single Cristina and soon-to-be-married Vicky.

They head to Barcelona for the summer where they stay with the latter’s relatives.

Taking in the sights, the young women catch the eye of artist Juan Antonio.

Cristina falls under Juan Antonio’s spell and they embark on an affair, only for his crazy ex-wife to stir up dormant desires.

A love triangle becomes a rhombus when Juan Antonio casts admiring glances at Vicky and she questions the depth of her feelings for her workaholic fiance, Doug.

Woody Allen struck gold with this romantic offering, one of his best movies for years.

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz Rating: 82%

More in this section

Click and connect: 100 places in Munster to shop locally this Christmas