Monday’s TV tips

Weather's crap, weekend's miles away, here's what's on telly tonight.

Monday’s TV tips

GAME SHOW: The Lie (TV3, 8pm)

Returning to TV3, The Lie is an exhilarating game show hosted by Jonathan McCrea that gives contestants the chance to win big money; all they have to do is survive a nail-biting series of rounds, risking an increasing amount of cash on their ability to spot the lie.

In each round they are faced with a series of statements in a chosen category, from pop culture to current affairs.

There will always be one lie but as they get closer to the jackpot, the number of true statements and inevitably the number of pitfalls increase.

The anticipation levels rise as the rounds go by, with the lies becoming more difficult to spot.

MONEY: How Rich Are You? (Channel 4, 8pm)

Unless those winning Lottery numbers paid off, or you’re the brains behind a lucrative business, money, for most of us, is too tight to mention.

However, while many are struggling to make ends meet, we may be richer that we thought compared to some families. It’s all a question of relativity, and one man who’s attempting to put things in context is Richard Bacon.

This one-off special illustrates where each of us stand in the great money map of Britain – and what that position means.

As the UK has been officially declared the most unequal society in Europe, Bacon, the experts and the studio audience examine the consequences of the income divide.

Oh, and if you want to test yourself at home and see whether you’re as rich - or poor – as you think you are, there’s an app for that developed by Channel 4 in association with the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

DRAMA: Intruders (BBC2, 9pm)

The BBC weren’t joking when they said this series ’contained images that some viewers might find disturbing’. The sight of a little girl drowning a cat was enough to give anyone nightmares in the opener.

Julie Gardner is one of the producers, and as she proved with Doctor Who (back in the days when John Simm chewed the scenery) and Torchwood, she’s best at backing creepy thrillers with a fantastical spin. In the latest offering, our young protagonist is trying to find the answer to her problems, but is haunted by bad dreams... and images of perfect piano-playing. What does it all mean, you may wonder?

Well, like The X Files (on which writer/producer Glen Morgan honed his craft), Intruders is a show that gives us more questions than answers.

However, with a great cast including Simm, James Frain and Mira Sorvino, this saga about a secret society seeking refuge in the bodies of others makes for compelling viewing.

MUSIC: Gareth’s All Star Choir (BBC1, 9pm)

While many of us struggle to carry a tune the minute we step out of the bathroom, the thought of having to belt out a tune in front of an audience is far scarier than anything we’ve seen at Hallowe’en.

So, full marks go to the brave souls in Gareth Malone’s latest challenge. As we see in the conclusion of this two-part documentary, the choirmaster hopes 12 celebrities have the right stuff to make this year’s official Children in Need single something to be proud of.

They’ve committed their dulcet tones to record. Now the choir members begin a nationwide tour to drum up support for their charity single.

Many of the folks on display are used to addressing large audiences, but will they keep their nerve when they perform at the Children in Need gala dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel?

Guests there include influential music industry figures, so it should be a tense time for many.

COMEDY: Republic of Telly (RTE Two, 10pm)

This week Bernard O’Shea is on a mission to promote Cabbage and has filmed a series of sexy cabbage ads. One ad features Rosanna Davison in a bikini made of cabbage leaves (and Bernard in Cabbage pants).

Top Mayo footballer, heartthrob Aidan O’Shea, also makes an appearance (in the style of the Diet-Coke hunk!).

REALITY: The World’s Most Extreme (More4, 10pm)

Ice Road Truckers has a lot to answer for. Before that hit series, the ’roads from hell’ genre had yet to be established, but since then we’ve seen celebs on BBC2 tackle all manner of death-defying thoroughfares and tracks.

Now this new strand covers similar ground by taking us to the most jaw-dropping places in the world.

From Siberia to India, the Andes to the Arctic, and from death-traps and crucial lifelines, to thrill-seekers’ playgrounds, this TWME examines Earth’s 10 most extreme roads.

We see how in Russia, dashboard-mounted cameras capture mayhem on the roads, and how in the United States, helicopters bomb snowy mountainsides to keep the roads open and safe following semi-controlled avalanches.

Down Under, we see how kangaroos can pose more risk than other motorists, and in Delhi, 11 million vehicles struggle through the old town. Believe it or not, a velocity of 1mph is considered speeding.

FILM: Pacific Heights (Channel 5, 10.55pm)

(1990) Michael Keaton turns in an outstanding performance as Carter Hayes, the new tenant of happy couple Patty Palmer (Melanie Griffiths) and Drake Goodman (Matthew Modine).

It soon turns out he is far from the charming bachelor they believed as he begins terrorising them with strange pounding noises, cockroaches and the presence of a sinister companion – while never paying a penny in rent.

The couple are thrust into a nightmare as Carter seems intent on driving them from their home.

On the surface this is a stark, psychological thriller. However, first-time screenwriter Daniel Pyne and veteran director John Schlesinger have much more in the bag.

They turn the spotlight on America’s dramatic rise in white-collar crime and highlight the loopholes in Californian rental laws, which, the film attests, allow tenants to take advantage of landlords.

Starring: Michael Keaton, Melanie Griffith, Matthew Modine, Laurie Metcalf, Tippi Hedren

FILM: The Station Agent (Film4, 11.05pm)

(2003) When his only friend and co-worker dies, a young man born with dwarfism moves to an abandoned train depot in rural New Jersey.

Though he tries to maintain a life of solitude, he is soon entangled with an artist who is struggling with a personal tragedy and an overly friendly hot-dog vendor.

Critically acclaimed, this arthouse offering deserved a bigger push when it was released on the big screen. Touching, daring and thought-provoking, it boasts some impressive performances and will have you doubting your preconceptions by the closing reel.

This is the kind of film that audiences should be given more access to and proof that great writing and flawless acting are far more important than big bangs and special effects.

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale

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