Wednesday's TV tips

Your daily, spoiler-free guide to what to look out for on the box.

Wednesday's TV tips

QUIZ SHOW: Celebrity Squares (UTV, 8pm)

Between 1975 and 1979, nine celebrities tried to help members of the public light up a giant noughts and crosses board in hit game show Celebrity Squares.

King of the question masters was Bob Monkhouse, who revamped the series in 1993.

“Shows such as Celebrity Squares have to be put together very skillfully if they are to work,” he remarked once. “They are much harder to get right than many people think – yet they are not afforded any respect.”

It’ll be intriguing to see whether new host Warwick Davis can work the same Monkhouse magic for this revamped version.

Willie Rushton and Pat Coombs used to fill two of the boxes on a regular basis. Now it’s the turn of Tim Vine and Joe Wilkinson as the resident comedians.

This week they are joined by James Corden, Catherine Tyldesley, Jamelia, Tom Rosenthal, Charlotte Hawkins, Mick Miller and Sara Pascoe.

DOCUMENTARY: The Homeless Shelter (TV3, 9pm)

The Homeless Shelter is a brand new TV3 documentary about homelessness in Ireland, and those working to combat it.

Since 1844, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has worked with a diverse range of people who experience extreme poverty and social exclusion throughout Ireland. TV3 will document the staff that work in 24 hour shelters and follow those who are in real need of their services.

In this two-part series, we witness the strong commitment that the SVP staff has towards helping all residents that walk through their doors.

We see the daily struggles they encounter while trying to assist those who need help the most. And, we get a true insight into life from inside a shelter from those who know it best, the homeless.

DOCUMENTARY: Treasures Decoded (More4, 9pm)

The giant stone heads of Easter Island are some of the most recognisable statues on earth.

And where there’s a mystery like those iconic edifices, there’s usually a film crew keen to try and shed some light on them.

Which brings us to this new documentary series using forensic science to try and piece together the pieces of this enigmatic puzzle.

There are around 1,000 moai (statues) on the island. However, by the mid-19th century all but one of them lay toppled. The standing figures seen today were re-erected in the last 50 years.

The island’s people were cut off from the outside world until 1722. They had no written language and handed down their history and traditions orally, so that knowledge was lost when most of the island’s elders were kidnapped by slave traders.

Hopefully by the end of this film, narrated by Mark Bazeley, we will be a little more enlightened.

DRAMA: Our Zoo (BBC1, 9pm)

He may not be a household name yet, but Lee Ingleby is a star on the rise. You may remember him from Spaced, Master and Commander, and Luther.

Now he’s giving a knockout turn as George Mottershead in this engaging series.

It doesn’t hurt that he’s supported by Liz White (aka Lizzie Mottershead), who’s also become a force to be reckoned with since starring in projects such as A Thing Called Love, Life on Mars and The Woman in Black.

In this week’s offering, George is offered a pair of Himalayan black bears free of charge. However, his family are not too keen on the idea. He carries on regardless, but the problem is he and Billy have to coax the animals out of the cave where they are currently living.

With the zoo expanding beyond the Mottersheads’ control, Lizzie takes matters into her own hands.

Meanwhile, the Rev Webb determines to find out what George is up to.

Solid support comes from Anne Reid, Peter White and Ralf Little.

REALITY: All Creatures Great and Stuffed (Channel 4, 10pm)

Given the viral power of pets on video sharing sites, there’s little wonder Channel 4 made a documentary about their role in advertising.

Now, a few weeks after Star Paws comes the more bizarre, flip side of that strand.

With taxidermy undergoing a global revival, high-street shops popping up, and demand outstripping supply, this film takes a closer look at some of those involved.

Director Matt Rudge meets Holland-based artist Bart. For some reason he thought his pet’s death would be best honoured by creating a radio-controlled flying cat, with the technical help of engineer Arjen.

We also meet Arkansas businessman Daniel Ross. He runs a specialist taxidermy service on home turf where customers can have their deceased animals freeze-dried.

Closer to home in Blackburn, Nicola decides to open a boutique roadkill creations, and Essex shot-girl Jayne tries her hand at the preservation of dead animals.

FILM: Rounders (BBC One, 11.45pm)

A law student’s dream of winning a fortune at poker falls flat, leaving him broke, single and determined to give up the cards for good - that is, until an ex-convict ropes him into one last high-stakes game.

Although not as impressive as director John Dahl’s previous hit The Last Seduction, this drama has a lot going for it, particularly its cast, which includes Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Turturro, John Malkovich and Famke Janssen.

Norton ad-libbed many of his character Worm’s lines. He also refused to smoke, despite the fact Worm was supposed to do so.

Both Norton and Damon took part in the $10,000 buy-in Texas Hold ’Em championship event at the 1998 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Damon did well – but he was knocked out by poker legend Doyle Brunson on the fourth day of competition.

Starring: Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Turturro, John Malkovich, Famke Janssen, Gretchen Mol, Martin Landau, Josh Mostel.

RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 65%

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