Wednesday’s TV tips

Check out our spoiler-free guide to the best TV to watch tonight.

Wednesday’s TV tips

FOOD: The Great British Bake Off (BBC1, 8pm)

The quarter finals are just a week away, and things are definitely hotting up in the Bake Off tent – we’d even say it was warm enough to melt a Baked Alaska if we weren’t worried about reopening old wounds and causing a Twitter war.

There shouldn’t be any of the pesky ice cream lying about though, as this week the bakers are once again demonstrating their pastry skills. To start with, they have to whip up a batch of their signature ’savoury parcels’, which sound more appealing when you discover that they include everything from pasties to samosas.

Then it’s the technical challenge, which this week sees the hopefuls being confronted with something none of them have ever heard of – namely, Paul’s recipe for Kouign Amann. Can it go worse than those pear pies from the last pastry week?

At least we’re on more familiar ground for the showstoppers, which involves making two types of doughnuts, while the history bit concentrates on the international fame of the Cornish pasty.

MUSIC: At Home with Country Music (TV3, 9pm)

In 'At Home With Country Music', TV3's Ciara Doherty goes on tour with Ireland's biggest country acts.

As a genre country music is loved and hated in equal measure but this documentary is a chance for the uninitiated to see exactly what gets country toes tapping and for the seasoned supporter to get up close and personal with their favourite artists.

There are those who believe the music is enjoying a resurgence of late, with artists like Derek Ryan attracting a young fanbase, but for years country music has been firmly embedded in rural Ireland's social scene and whether you find it endearing or torturous there's no denying it has a loyal, enthusiastic following.

In 'At Home With Country Music', Ciara meets artists including Jimmy Buckley, Robert Mizzell, Lisa Mc Hugh and Derek Ryan and goes behind the scenes as they gig across the country, speaking to fans and fanatics addicted to country music.

DRAMA: Scott & Bailey (UTV, 9pm)

Syndicate 9 has a new sergeant, but the ’lucky’ candidate barely has a chance to get to grips with running the team when a high-profile historical case lands on the desk.

Mandy Sweeting’s body has been discovered, 23 years after she was first reported missing, and the press are taking a keen interest in the investigation.

The detectives take on the difficult job of re-interviewing grieving family members, but it’s wading through the narrow-minded original investigation that proves most frustrating, especially when it turns out it was conducted by someone with close links to the Syndicate. And unfortunately, keeping her feelings under wraps has never been one of Rachel’s strong points.

Meanwhile, Janet is also embarking on a private search of her own, as she admits she wants a boyfriend, and has started looking at matchmaking sites. We just hope that in between catching killers and dealing with the fallout from her daughter’s announcement that she’s off to live with her father, she finds time to go on a date.

PROPERTY: Grand Designs (Channel 4, 9pm)

We’re used to episodes of Grand Designs where Kevin McCloud is a bit sceptical about the plans for a house

But this week, we’re faced with a more unusual situation where even the couple doing the building can’t decide on what their project should look like.

GP Peter Berkin and his wife Chard, an alternative medicine practitioner, want their new home to be at the bottom of their garden, but they can’t agree on much else – including the basic shape.

Peter wants to construct a round house, complete with a workshop where he can build his own plane, and expects to spend around £400k. Meanwhile, Chard wants something square and practical that comes in at the £200k mark.

And as she’s in charge of the finances while her husband takes control of the building work, it looks like we’re set from clashes, especially as according to Chard, Peter has a habit of not finishing what he’s started...

DRAMA: Our Zoo (BBC1, 9pm)

Period costumes, a cute kid, an inspiring real-life story, and a collection of animals – this drama seems custom-made for Sunday nights, which is why even three weeks in, some of us are still surprised to find it on a Wednesday.

However, once you get over that feeling of disorientation, there’s a lot going on this week, as the family nurse Eve the bear back to health. Sadly, it seems some of the neighbours might have preferred it if she’d stayed frail, as the locals becoming increasingly worried about having dangerous animals living on their doorstep.

At least George still believes in the project as he tries to get a local journalist on side, hoping that good publicity might lead to a much-needed injection of funds.

But when that plans fails to pay off, Billy comes home with a surprise that might just secure the zoo’s future.

MUSIC: Oh! You Pretty Things: The Story of Music and Fashion (BBC4, 9pm)

As anyone with fond memories of watching Top of the Pops with their family, while their dad asked ’Is that a boy or a girl?’ will tell you, music and fashion have long gone hand in hand.

And this new series, narrated by Lauren Laverne, sets out to explore how this mutually beneficial relationship even further, looking at what it tells us about social changes in Britain.

Our tale begins in the mid-1960s, when the Mod movement was still in full flow, and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were starting to go psychedelic – but it was the Small Faces who could put up the strongest case for being the best-dressed band in Britain.

They aren’t the only surprising style icons on show, as Cilla Black opens up her wardrobe, revealing why instead of wearing a haute couture dress to meet the Queen at the Royal Variety performance, she instead went for a high-street design that had been inspired by Richard Burton.

And Status Quo revealed how they moved away from frilly shirts to embrace their trademark ’double denim’ style.

FILM: Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (BBC One, 11.50pm)

(2004) Supermarket checkout girl Rosalee (Kate Bosworth) gets to meet her favourite film pin-up, the decidedly dodgy Tad (Josh Duhamel), after winning a competition thought up by his manager to get the idol’s reputation back on the right track.

He quickly takes a shine to her, but will she go for the actor, or her best friend and long-time admirer Pete (Topher Grace)?

It might be on late at night, but this is likeable, easy viewing, perfect for sitting back and putting your brain into neutral.

Bosworth is perfectly cast as the lovely, mild-mannered Rosalee, whole co-stars Grace and Duhamel match her solid performance every step of the way.

This is a decent-enough compromise for women who fancy a chick flick and men who’d prefer a comedy.

Starring: Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace, Josh Duhamel.

FILM: Tropic Thunder (BBC Three, 12.30am)

(2008) Using a simple film-within-a-film conceit, Tropic Thunder centres on director Damien Cockburn. His epic Vietnam picture is behind schedule and over budget.

Taking the advice of a war veteran, he drops the actors into a jungle with the intention of filming them guerrilla-style – but the cast is oblivious to the fact that the surrounding warfare is for real.

This directorial offering from Ben Stiller unites some of Hollywood’s finest comics in a slam-bang satire of war epics. It might not be the funniest film ever made, but the cast are clearly enjoying themselves.

Steve Coogan is great as the troubled director, but it’s Tom Cruise who steals the show in a glorified cameo.

Starring: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr, Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan, Tom Cruise.

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