Tuesday’s TV tips

Check out our spoiler-free guide to tonight's TV.

Tuesday’s TV tips

ANIMALS: The Supervet: Christmas in the Clinic (Channel 4, 8pm)

If Christmas already gets you in a sentimental mood, then this programme might just finish you off as it pays a seasonal visit to Noel Fitzpatrick’s clinic.

His patients include Fieval the Labrador, who needs a total hip replacement - and while Santa may not be able to provide one, Noel just might.

The programme also catches up with some of the pets who have benefited from Noel’s pioneering techniques and inventions, including Scooby the Labrador cross, who lost a leg in his fight against cancer, and Jasper the puppy whose legs were so deformed he needed two pioneering operations.

We also find out how Pixie the cat is faring with the new bionic limb she received.

As well as giving us a chance to marvel at the advances in veterinary science, it may also leave a few viewers hankering for a pet of their own, but remember, a bionic cat is for life, not just for Christmas.

FOOD: The Great British Bake Off Christmas Masterclass (BBC2, 8pm)

The last series of The Great British Bake Off probably inspired quite a few viewers to have a bash at making their own mince pies this Christmas, but judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are here to remind us that you don’t have to stop there.

There’s a whole world of festive baking to explore beyond the old British favourites like Christmas cake and pudding, and the experts are going to show us how it’s done.

Paul starts off with St Lucia buns, saffron concoctions that are traditionally eaten throughout Advent in Scandinavia.

He also offers up a variation on the mice pie in the form of a mincemeat and marzipan couronne, but his real showstopper is a kranskake, a spectacular tower made up of rings made from a delicate mixture.

Mary is getting busy too with a French galette, a fruit-filled Genoa cake that works as an alternative to the more traditional Christmas variety, and a white chocolate and stem ginger cheesecake.

DRAMA: The Missing (BBC1, 9pm)

Michael Palin’s recent supernatural drama Remember Me may have been spooky, but some parents would probably argue that The Missing has been the most terrifying series of 2014.

Poor Tony (James Nesbitt) only took his eyes of his five-year-old son for a split second in a crowded bar, but it was long enough for the youngster to disappear without a trace – until eight years later, the bereft dad spotted a familiar-looking yellow scarf in the background of a Facebook friend’s photo.

It may not have seemed like much, but it was enough to persuade retired detective Julien (Tcheky Karyo) to take up the case again, and to hook viewers for eight episodes. Now, the investigation comes to an end, but will Tony, Emily (Frances O’Connor) and Julien finally get the answers they’ve been waiting for?

And can Nesbitt start clearing a space on the shelf for his Bafta yet?

MUSIC: The Choir: New Military Wives (BBC2, 9pm)

Just weeks after teaching a group of celebrities to sing in aid of Children in Need, choirmaster Gareth Malone is back for another two-part documentary, ready to assemble a new choir to take part in the First World War centenary commemorations.

He’s decided to create a Military Wives ’super choir’ for the occasion, and finding willing performers shouldn’t be a problem _ in the three years since he launched the first such group, it’s become a worldwide organisation boasting 2,000 members and over 80 different choirs.

However, most of the singers are used to belting out pop songs, and Gareth has a very different repertoire of First World War-era classical hits in mind, including Gustav Holst’s Ave Maria set in eight-part harmony.

Only the best technical singers will make it into the final 100, and they still face gruelling rehearsals if they are to be ready to take the stage during a very special Prom.

REALITY: The Office Xmas Party (ITV2, 9pm)

The office Christmas party – a great way to bond with your colleagues and celebrate a year’s worth of hard work and achievement, or the perfect method for making a drunken fool of yourself in front of a group of people you are going to have to face again on Monday morning?

If you won’t be experiencing the joys of works Christmas outing yourself this year, ITV2 are giving you the chance to attend one vicariously in this series, which follows three very different businesses as they prepare for their yuletide celebration.

In this second instalment, we meet the staff of two rival wedding venues in Somerset who are sharing their bash – and each group is determined to show the other that they really know how to party.

There is a chance they will forget their rivalries though if the rumours about an international superstar joining in the karaoke turn out to be true...

FILM: 300 (ITV4, 9pm)

(2006) It tells the story of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, when Persians were under the rule of King Xerxes, who had sent his army to conquer Greece.

Sparta is prepared with some fine warriors, and some 300 of these soldiers are chosen to attack the Persians.

But the battle is a suicide mission, employed to buy time so that the rest of the Greek forces can prepare for the invasion...

Writer and director Zack Snyder has absolutely outdone himself - and all his peers in the field. Gerard Butler takes up a lead role as King Leonidas; a role which saw film-lovers the world over sit up and take notice of his talents.

Although criticised for not being entirely historically accurate, 300 boasts incredible fight and action scenes, that leave the likes of Troy out in the cold.

Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham, Vincent Regan, Michael Fassbender

COMEDY: Tommy Tiernan (TV3, 10pm)

Live from Cork, the genius that we know and love, Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan, delivers some of his best material yet in this side-splitting comedy stand-up show. With an hour of pure lunacy, this is Tiernan at his best.

Now entering his 20th year as a stand-up comedian, having won every award going and still as passionate as ever about the adventure of storytelling and comedy, Tommy is also starting to take some very exciting risks.

There’s no manners on him, profound, dark, and silly too, his performance mesmerises in a way that is joyful, uplifting, inspirational and most importantly always breathtakingly funny.

Richard Ayoade (Writer and Director of the independent movie “Submarine”, who also plays Maurice Moss in C4’s The IT Crowd) undertook the challenge of shooting and directing “Crooked Man”. It took eight motion film cameras to capture the live show with all its vigour and verve intact. It was shot in July 2011 in one night, in City Limits Comedy Club in Cork, Tommy’s early and much loved stomping ground.

MUSIC: Bressie’s Teenage Kicks (RTE Two, 10pm)

Niall Breslin, aka Bressie, is on a mission. He’s formed a band with five teenagers from different communities in Limerick city. He wants to help Calvin, Nathan, Damien, Sherisse and Kelsey express themselves through music.

It hasn’t been easy keeping everyone on track – there’s been break ups, walk outs and warnings. In less than six weeks time, the group will record their first ever EP in Windmill Lane Studios and then play their first gig in Limerick’s premier music venue, Dolan’s.

After six months of writing, rehearsing and recording – will everything come together in the end?

FILM: Wreckers (BBC One, 11.35pm)

(2011) Married couple Dawn and David move back to his home village with a view to starting a family – although their difficulties in conceiving are putting a strain on their relationship.

That isn’t the only problem they have to contend with though, as David’s troubled brother Nick unexpectedly returns from the army, ready to dredge up a few old family secrets that leave Dawn wondering just how well she really knows her husband.

Even if it starts to get a bit overwrought towards the end, this is still an intriguing drama and a promising feature debut for director Dictynna Hood.

It builds up a sense of unease throughout, and there are very strong performances from Claire Foy, Benedict Cumberbatch and Shaun Evans as the central trio.

Starring: Claire Foy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Shaun Evans, Peter McDonald, Sinead Matthews, June Watson

FILM: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Film4, 1.05am)

(2009) Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is found guilty of slandering a prominent industrialist, but with six months to go until he starts his prison sentence, he accepts a job from the reclusive Henrik Vanger.

The old man is still haunted by the disappearance of his daughter and hopes that the discredited journalist will be able to deduce, once and for all, who abducted and possibly killed the teenager.

Taking up residence in a cottage on the Vanger estate, the hack begins his investigation and he is soon joined by computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, who has valuable insights to the case.

An exquisitely paced piece of genre filmmaking, distinguished by the sharpness of Neils Arden Oplev’s direction, Nicolaj Arcell and Rasmus Heisterberg’s script and fearless performances from the two leads Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace.

It also has a definite edge over the still-pretty-decent Daniel Craig remake.

Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Sven-Bertil Taube, Lena Endre, Peter Haber.

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