Friday’s TV tips

Check out our spoiler-free guide to what’s good to watch on the box tonight.

Friday’s TV tips

REALITY: The X Factor (TV3, 9pm)

If your nerves have recovered from last week’s three-part bootcamp extravaganza, then get ready for another triple helping of X Factor as we reach the judges’ houses stage.

It’s always a stressful time for the acts, as they wait to discover if they’ve made it to the live shows, but now that Simon is back, there’s an added element of tension for the viewers – what exactly will his adviser Sinitta, who once turned up in strategically placed palm leaves, be wearing?

She’s joining Simon in Los Angeles to help him decide which of the ’overs should make the cut.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is whisking the girls of to the French city of Nice to audition for her and Tinie Tempah, while there’s a mini-Spice Girls reunion in Cancun, Mexico, as Emma Bunton gives Mel B her opinion on the boys.

And there’s even an X Factor return for former judge Tulisa, who will be joining Louis Walsh in Bermuda to assess the groups. So, even if they fail to make it to the live shows, at least everyone’s had a nice holiday.

FOOD: Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes (BBC2, 9pm)

’Molecular gastronomy’ and experimental cooking may have its place, but some recipes have become classics for a reason, and really shouldn’t be tampered with, right?

Well, not quite according to double Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge. In this new series, he takes some of Britain’s favourite dishes, from lasagne to treacle tart, and shows that with a little extra effort, they can become something truly extraordinary.

In the first episode, he’s concentrating on dishes that are perfect for sharing at parties, but can he persuade a group of guests that it’s worth rustling up his crispy stuffed potato skins with Roquefort and pancetta, or pulled beef brisket with garlic coleslaw, rather than just putting out a few bowls of peanuts?

In the unlikely event that he fails to win the crowd over with his barbecued mackerel, an indulgent, deceptively easy chocolate tart might just swing the vote in his favour.

COMEDY: Have I Got News for You (BBC1, 9pm)

It goes without saying that it’s great to have the topical panel show back - Friday nights never seem quite the same without it.

However, some viewers may think it’s a shame Ian Hislop and Paul Merton didn’t time their return to coincide with the Scottish referendum, which would have given them plenty of headlines to get their teeth into.

Luckily for them though, the news never stops, and there’ll be a whole host of new stories for them to tackle this week – and in the unlikely event that there isn’t, the HIGNFY bosses are never adverse to throwing in the odd viral internet clip as well.

Jennifer Saunders is settling into the guest host chair, while satirist Armando Iannucci, who as the creator of The Thick of It has an impressive track record when it comes to skewering politicians, and comedienne Sara Pascoe will be trying to spot the odd ones out and identifying the missing words.

COMEDY: QI (BBC2, 10pm)

It’s a great night for people who love panel shows, but not repeats.

Thanks to the combined efforts of the BBC and Dave, there are plenty of opportunities to see old episodes of Have I Got News for You and QI, but tonight we’re in the rarer position of being able to watch new series of both.

There will still be something comfortingly familiar about tonight’s edition though, as not only are Stephen Fry and Alan Davies present and correct, but they are joined by QI regular Ross Noble, as well as comedians Sarah Millican and Colin Lane, who have both appeared before.

In keeping with the letter-themed series, we’re now up to L (it feels like they should have actually reached Q by now, doesn’t it?), and in this episode the focus is on the animals.

However, lions and llamas would probably be a little too obvious, so brace yourself for questions on lonely whales to larval locomotives.

FILM: The Spy Who Loved Me (ITV4, 9pm)

(1977) James Bond teams up with KGB agent Maj Anya Amasova to recover missing British and Soviet nuclear submarines before their warheads are fired.

However, standing in their way are web-handed mastermind Karl Stromberg and his metal-toothed henchman Jaws.

The title track suggests “Nobody does it better”, but many would argue that Sean Connery is the original and best Bond.

Nevertheless, this film probably represents Roger Moore’s finest hour as 007, with the actor complimented by great action sequences, sets, script and co-stars (including the recently departed Richard Kiel as ubervillain Jaws).

Starring: Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curt Jurgens, Richard Kiel, Caroline Munro, Walter Gotell, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, Shane Rimmer, Bryan Marshall, Desmond Llewelyn, George Baker

RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 78%

FILM: Wall Street (Channel 4, 12.35am)

(1987) A financial whizzkid is confronted with a series of moral dilemmas after ruthless and corrupt New York stockbroker Gordon Gekko becomes his mentor.

Okay, so some of this film has dated – it’s all very 1980s when it comes to fashion and philosophy – but parts of it still resonate today.

Michael Douglas has never been better than as Gekko, and won an Oscar for his efforts. Despite the character being a villain, his red braces become a must-have item for yuppies everywhere after the film’s release. If you only catch five minutes, make sure it’s those featuring the famous ’greed is good’ speech.

Starring: Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Terence Stamp

RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 78%

FILM: The Pianist (ITV3, 12.35am)

(2002) Wladyslaw Szpilman is a popular Jewish pianist living with his close-knit family in 1939 Warsaw.

When the Nazis invade, the rest of the Szpilman clan – including his father and mother – are sent to concentration camps, but Wladyslaw manages to escape from enemy soldiers. For months, he manages to lay low, until a Nazi captain discovers his hiding place, with startling consequences.

Pianist is a gut-wrenching recreation of one man struggling to live through a nightmare, wrestling with the knowledge that he will probably never see again all the people he loves. Brody’s central performance is electrifying, and he deservedly won an Oscar.

Starring: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox, Ed Stoppard, Julia Rayner

RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 96%

NEW ON NETFLIX: The House of the Devil

From writer-director Ti West comes The House of the Devil, a satanic thriller set in the 1980s starring Jocelin Donahue, indie ingenue Greta Gerwig, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, AJ Bowen and Dee Wallace.

College student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse.

She slowly realizes her clients harbour a terrifying secret; they plan to use her in a satanic ritual.

RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 86%

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