Thursday's TV tips

Your spoiler-free guide to tonight's telly.

Thursday's TV tips

FILM: The Phantom (Film4, 7.05pm)

(1996) Titanic rotter Billy Zane stars as the latest in a long line of heroes known as the Phantom, whose power derives from three ancient skulls. Now, a band of pirates are out to steal the mystical artefacts, hoping to combine them to create the ultimate weapon. Can the Phantom thwart them before it?s too late?

As with Blankman and The Pickle, this is another of those comic strip adventures that fell by the wayside. But despite its lack of success, it?s amiable enough fun from director Simon Wincer of Free Willy fame.

Starring: Billy Zane, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Treat Williams, Kristy Swanson, James Remar, Patrick McGoohan Rating: 43%

FOOD: The Lazy Chef (TV3, 8.30pm)

The Lazy Chef sees Simon Lamont share his secrets to cut every corner, offer tips, tricks and short cuts that will allow you to make complicated food in a simple way.

Along his adventure Simon will be rustling up food that will appeal to the Irish public, blending traditional with a modern international twist and finished with a sprinkle of lazy! Proving that you don?t need to compromise on taste to cook lazy!

In this first episode, Simon Lamont visits Cork. The Rebel County is famed for its influence on artisan food movement so it?s a must stop for Simon. And with a coastline spanning in excess of 1000km there is some superb seafood on offer.

Simon takes full advantage of it for his Shellfish Roast. A quick stop at Toonsbridge buffalo farm means that Simon has some fresh authentic mozzarella for his ?cheatza? pizza.

REALITY: Bad Bridesmaid (ITV2, 9pm)

Would you risk ruining your big day and put your friendships with your best pals at risk on the off chance that you could win a trip somewhere sunny?

Probably not, but it seems to us as if that such a disaster could happen if an edition of this programme went horribly wrong.

Comedian Anna Morris takes centre stage in the final episode of the series as Daisy, a ringer set to cause havoc during a supposedly fun hen weekend for bride-to-be Zoe which also includes maid of honour Emma, bridesmaids Sophie and Lisa, and close friends Vicky, Sarah and Jo.

The guests have been told that Daisy is the groom?s mum?s cousin, but will anybody work out that she isn?t quite what she seems once her behaviour turns bad?

Flirting with special guest Arg from TOWIE gets on everyone?s nerves, but it?s Daisy?s decision that she should join Emma as the maid of honour that tips things over the edge.

FACTUAL: Crimewatch (BBC1, 9pm)

Kirsty Young is back with more appeals for information about crimes committed across the country.

Over the years, this long-running programme has had several notable successes, so hopes will be high that members of the public come forward to help the police with their inquiries.

The first case focuses on e-cigarettes tycoon Jason Cropper. In August last year, he was attacked in his own home by thieves who attacked him, tied him up, doused him in bleach and stole cash, gold bars, valuable watches and his Range Rover.

In the months since, he has offered a sizeable reward in the hope of finding the culprits, and now hopes that TV coverage will help.

There is also a report on the work of anti-terror police as they battle extremism, which is now hugely topical following Britain?s involvement in air strikes in Iraq, as well as the usual line-up of wanted faces and crimes caught on camera.

DRAMA: Peaky Blinders (BBC2, 9pm)

Last week, Tom Hardy made his debut in the programme, playing a tough East End gangster. Now his real-life better half, Charlotte Riley, appears too.

She plays May Carleton, a woman who isn?t as accustomed as the Shelby women to getting her hands dirty. Quite the opposite in fact. May is an aristocrat and Tommy thinks that latching onto her could help him move up in the world and assist him in his efforts to gain control of the south?s racecourses.

But he should, perhaps, be watching his back more closely. Being powerful brings with it a heap of problems, not least that others are gunning for you.

Sure enough, both Major Campbell and London gangster Darby Sabini are intent on bringing the entire Shelby clan down a peg or two. Can Tommy find a way to get them off his family?s back before it?s too late?

FILM: Saving Private Ryan (Film4, 9pm)

(1998) Steven Spielberg?s thoughtful war tale tells the story of a platoon of American soldiers (led by Tom Hanks), who are ordered to scour the battlefields of France in search of a missing infantryman, the titular Private Ryan (Matt Damon), who has been granted permission to return home because his brothers have been killed in the conflict.

Spielberg is a true modern-day master of film and it came as no surprise when Saving Private Ryan scooped five Oscars in 1999. The opening scenes depicting the Normandy invasion are harrowing to say the very least, and are among the most realistic ever made.

This superb film is capped off by some impressive acting from Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Ed Burns, Matt Damon and Jeremy Davies.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Matt Damon, Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel Rating: 93%

COMEDY: Detectorists (BBC4, 10pm)

So far, so good. That?s how we?d describe this sitcom from Mackenzie Crook.

We?ve reached the halfway point, and already those of us hooked on the antics of metal detector enthusiasts Lance and Andy are dreading the time when they?re no longer on our screens.

Will there be a second series? Well, we?re keeping our fingers crossed about that, and we?d like you to do the same too.

This time around, the undynamic duo are still desperate to get into the bottom paddock at Bishop?s Farm, and they now have a new ally to help them ? club president Terry. He does, however, have an ulterior motive ? Terry is convinced that owner Larry Bishop has murdered his wife and buried her there, and the only way to find out if that?s true is to unearth her corpse.

Lance, meanwhile, is somewhat distracted by matters of the heart ? he desperately wants his ex to hear him play at the local pub?s folk music night.

NEW ON NETFLIX: Picture This!

High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale headlines this coming of age comedy about an unpopular high school senior who lands a date with the most popular boy in school, only to find herself grounded on day of the big event.

Mandy Gilbert (Tisdale) never ran with the "in" crowd, but the biggest party of the year is coming up and she needs to land a date as soon as possible. Much to Mandy's surprise, high school hunk Drew (Robbie Amell) agrees to accompany her to the big event.

But just when it seemed like everything was going to work out in the end, Mandy is placed under detention by her overprotective dad.

Perhaps with a little help from her resourceful friends and her handy new video phone Mandy will be able to trick her father, outsmart Drew's jealous ex-girlfriend, and finally prove that she has what it takes to become the most popular girl in school. Rating: N/A

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