Like all good things, Saturday Night Takeaway must come to an end, so we’d better make the most of Ant and Dec while we’ve still got them, as we tune in to the penultimate episode tonight.
The lads can take a few weeks’ rest knowing that they’ve done it again – won the nation over, and probably bagged yet another National Television Award for their efforts.
They’ve got another corker of a show lined up, as they take control of Peter Andre in I’m a Celebrity Get Out of Me Ear.
They will also be competing in another head-to-head contest, while Little Ant and Dec, as adorable as ever, talk politics with London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Plus, there’s all the usual fun and frolics, as the Supercomputer dishes out prizes in Plymouth, and a member of the audience is given the chance to win the items advertised in one of last week’s commercial breaks.
No doubt the coaches will be cursing modern technology this week – viewers can almost see the sweat dripping off their foreheads as we reach the live semi-final of the singing competition.
Tom Jones, Will.i.am, Kylie Minogue and Ricky Wilson have already proved themselves a fidgety bunch when it comes to feeling the pressure during those on-the-spot decision-making moments. The difference this week, though, is that the fate of their acts lies entirely with the voting public.
Each artist has one shot at this, as they perform a carefully selected song followed by a chance to really hammer it home in a group performance with their superstar coach.
The lovely Emma Willis and Marvin Humes are on presenting duties as always, and Enrique Iglesias and Shakira will take to the stage to give the contestants a chance to see what they’re in with a chance of winning.
The titular Italian cop finds himself the toast of the town following last week’s opener. Having inadvertently been given the credit for saving the life of none other than ’Il Duce’, reluctant hero Achille De Luca finds all manner of opportunities coming his way – including a promotion to a high-profile job in Bologna.
His first task on arrival in the city is to head up a prominent murder investigation – and it’s not long before the no-nonsense inspector is up to his elbows in the murky private lives of the rich and powerful figures of the city’s political world. And all this as the fascist regime of the country teeters on the brink of a precipice...
Alessandro Preziosi plays the lead in this detective drama, based on the novels by Carlo Lucarelli, while Corrado Fortuna, Rolando Ravello and Assumpta Serna also appear.
Regularly hailed as one of (if not the) best comedians in the country, it’s a mystery why more is not made of this series in which Stewart dissects various themes in his inimitably weary, cynical fashion.
Mind you, it must have inspired some degree of confidence from channel bosses, as they saw fit to grant it a third series – in contrast to many of Lee’s previous projects.
This week, the ’comedian’s comedian’ steers his comedy vehicle towards London, as he devotes the episode to the subject of the capital. Considering it was filmed in Stoke Newington, he’ll have to tread carefully. Did he take on script editor Chris Morris’s advice about audience control from three weeks ago? Let’s hope not – we like things slightly chaotic.
There will, of course, be more input from Morris this evening, as well as a closing short film featuring the usual ensemble cast.
A grumpy ogre and a wise-cracking donkey embark on a quest to rescue a beautiful princess from a despotic ruler. However, there’s more to her than meets the eye.
This offbeat fairytale is a delight from start to finish. The computer-generated animation (which took four years to complete) is outstanding, and the vocal performances are excellent, but it’s the script that really works.
The blissful send-up of theme parks, The Matrix, Babe, and a wealth of cliched fairytales is also one of the most exciting films of 2001, especially in the scene where the heroic trio attempt to escape from a dragon.
Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, John Lithgow
It’s a loose remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson movie of the same name. When his mentor Harry is killed for apparently double-crossing his employers, hit man Arthur Bishop decides to take the dead man’s son under his wing and teach him the tricks of their dubious trade.
Well, it’s what his old dad would have wanted, surely?
Even for a remake, it’s a bit on the derivative side, and the morals of the movie don’t bear too much thinking about – it seems that as long as Arthur’s targets are even worse than he is, we can turn a blind eye to his profession.
But what the film does have going for it is leading man Jason Statham, who proves why he’s become Hollywood’s go-to guy for taciturn, charismatic action heroes and helps to turn this into a mindlessly entertaining thriller.
Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Chase, Mini Anden
This gripping but difficult drama based on Lionel Shriver’s novel documents the aftermath of a senseless high school massacre from the perspective of the teenage perpetrator’s guilt-stricken mother.
We sift, with mounting horror, through the fractured history of Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton) and her sociopath son, Kevin (Ezra Miller).
While Eva clashes with the boy, including a confrontation that results in a visit to hospital, Kevin slyly wins the affections of his father, Franklin (John C Reilly), thereby driving a wedge between the parents.
The arrival of baby sister Celia (Ashley Gerasimovich) introduces a new target for Kevin’s sick and twisted games, including a shocking episode with the family’s guinea pig and a close call with drain cleaner that Eva is convinced was no accident at all...
This has a tremendously subtle blend of drama and horror, delivered with style by a very strong cast.
Swinton, in particular, is on form, turning in the performance of her career.
She and Reilly both are perhaps better known for supporting roles, but here they prove just what they are capable of.
Tilda Swinton, John C Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell, Ashley Gerasimovich, Siobhan Fallon