Sunday's TV Tips

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Sunday's TV Tips

QUIZ: Celebrity Mastermind (BBC1, 6.30pm)

Part of the appeal of Celebrity Mastermind is finding out the stars’ specialist subjects.

Some of the contestants this year seem to be taking inspiration from their day jobs – later in the run, we’ll see Ken Dodd answering questions on variety comedians, and lyricist Richard Stilgoe tackling musicals.

But there are also a few curveballs. The BBC’s economics editor Robert Peston is forgoing the stock exchange in favour of David Bowie, while it turns out that comedian Rob Deering is a fan of Jane Austen.

We kick off though with EastEnders actress Emma Barton, comedienne Zoe Lyons, Casualty’s Tony Marshall and Olympic athlete Jamie Baulch, as John Humphrys quizzes them on Carry On films, the life and work of writer Quentin Crisp, comedian Richard Pryor and American musician Prince respectively.

But how will they fare when it comes to the round they can’t swot up on - general knowledge?

GAME SHOE: Catchphrase Christmas Special (TV3, 7pm)

Stephen Mulhern gets you in the festive mood with this hilarious, celebrity special of the much-loved game show.

Celebrities Warwick Davis, Katie Price and Christopher Biggins 'say what they see' as they try to win an early Christmas present for their chosen charities.

ENTERTAINMENT: You’ve Got to Love Christmas (UTV, 7pm)

Whether you love everything about Christmas Day and the run-up to it, or you thank the heavens that it’s only once a year when you have to indulge that ageing loose-tongued relative who always drinks too much, the festive period leaves us with plenty to discuss every year.

And in this one-off programme, a hoard of Blighty’s most familiar faces come together to share their comic takes of Christmases gone by, along with some classic Christmas advice.

Jane Horrocks narrates, and takes us through all the pitfalls and perils that befall us every year – from shopping and cooking, to present-buying, office parties and Boxing Day hangovers.

Keep an eye out for the likes of Dame Edna Everage, Al Murray, Linda Robson, Adil Ray, John Thomson and Warwick Davis among those offering their thoughts, which are bound to strike a chord with many of us...

FILM: Men in Black 3 (Ch4, 7pm)

(2012) An alien criminal escapes from a prison on the moon and goes back in time on a mission of revenge, changing the course of history.

Agent J of the top-secret Earth defence organisation follows him back to 1969, and joins forces with a younger version of his mentor Agent K to set things right.

The first sequel was a massive let-down, so this belated third chapter proved to be a breath of fresh air.

The time travel element gives it a nice spin, and any movie with Jemaine Clement in is well worth a look. It helps that Josh Brolin does such a good job of channelling Tommy Lee Jones, and unlike the previous movie, this features a surprisingly moving finale.

Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson, Jemaine Clement, Alice Eve, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Chernus

FILM: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (BBC2, 8pm)

(2011) Government boffin Dr Alfred Jones works for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office under boss Bernard Sugden.

Alfred is asked to strengthen Anglo-Arab relations by helping consultant Harriet Chetwode-Talbot to realise the impossible dream of Sheikh Muhammad and introduce British salmon to the Middle East.

When the Prime Minister’s potty-mouthed press secretary Patricia Maxwell catches wind of the plans, she sees past the impracticalities and focuses on the feel-good aspect of the story to distract attention from the recent bombing of an Afghan mosque.

She exerts pressure on Bernard to ’persuade’ Alfred to work alongside Harriet and conceive a workable solution to the salmon problem.

When Alfred meets the Sheikh, he is won over by the statesman’s passion and thus begins a momentous journey of self-discovery.

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas

ENTERTAINMENT: Surprise Surprise Christmas Special (UTV, 8pm)

The show comes to an end as a group of Hollywood movie stars join forces with Holly Willoughby to give a remarkable 10-year-old from Cornwall the surprise of a lifetime.

Madison Glinski’s family normally go on holiday for Christmas, but one year the youngster asked if they could go to Africa to help the children there – and she didn’t go empty handed. She collected 300-kilos-worth of toys, shoes, clothes and school equipment to take with her. The following year, the family returned with more than twice as many items.

Madison hasn’t just been concentrating her efforts on Africa. She also set out to raise money for Harbours Children Hospice in St Austell, and quickly surpassed her initial target of £500 – she’s now hoping to raise £30,000 by Christmas.

Holly discovers that Madison has another ambition – she’d like to be a TV presenter. And her dream is about to come true as Holly whisks her off to Canada to the set of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, where she interviews the stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan and Dan Stevens.

But that’s not the only Christmas surprise in this special...

REALITY: The Apprentice (BBC One, 9pm)

After last week’s brutal interviews episode, which saw Lord Sugar’s favourite five get a grilling from his most trusted advisors, just two remain to do battle for the chance to go into business with the Amstrad boss. Just one final task stands in their way, but it’s the most important one of all: they have to actually launch the businesses they have been holding on to all this time, by coming up with brands and devising marketing campaigns before pitching them to an audience of industry experts.

With teams consisting of their former Apprentice colleagues, you’d think they should be able to work together relatively easily by now (especially since the others now have nothing to prove), but one of the finalists’ somewhat dictatorial approach to management doesn’t sit well with everyone.

Meanwhile, things don’t run smoothly for the other when a bout of stage fright takes hold just before they’re due to film a promotional video. Does either contender have what it takes?

Alan must sift through the opinions of a panel of industry bigwigs before deciding who gets the £250,000 investment in a final boardroom showdown. After that, the show heads straight over to Dara O Briain in the You’re Hired studio, where the comedian is joined by entrepreneur Dale Murray and fellow stand-up Romesh Ranganathan to grill the main players about this year’s series.

DRAMA: Homeland (Channel 4, 9pm)

In theory, it’s very easy to make a compelling primetime drama. Just get the best actors, writers and production crew you can, and hope that whatever sparks create TV magic ignite like a November 5 firework.

That was certainly the case with this international smash, a series which has given Claire Danes the best role of her career as Carrie Mathison; introduced stage and screen legend Mandy Patinkin (Saul Berenson) to a new generation of fans, and also given the spotlight to the underrated Tracy Letts (aka Andrew Lockhart).

And despite the occasional shaky moment in the early weeks, this fourth season has really been ratcheting up the tension over the last few episodes, and it’s about to get even more nail-biting in this penultimate instalment as Carrie puts her life on the line in order to get her team out of Pakistan.

Well, whatever you think of her methods, no one can say she’s not dedicated...

CULTURE: Sammy Davis Jr: The Kid in the Middle (BBC4, 9pm)

If anyone earned the title of ’all-round entertainer’, it was Sammy Davis Jnr. He was a hugely gifted singer, dancer and actor, who became a key member of the Rat Pack, and scored number one singles.

He also achieved his success at a time when being a black celebrity meant facing racial prejudice, letter bombs and death threats. Davis Jnr fought back not just with his talent, but by becoming involved in the civil rights movement and marching alongside Dr Martin Luther King.

Yet despite apparently living his life in the spotlight – Davis Jnr was on stage from the age of five – he remains a somewhat enigmatic figure. Even those who knew him best say he never seemed comfortable in his own skin, and his workaholic tendencies led him to put his career ahead of his family, while his spending meant that despite his many successes, he died leaving millions of dollars of debt behind.

This documentary takes a closer look at a complicated man with the help of his family and friends, including Paul Anka, Engelbert Humperdinck, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Ben Vereen.

FILM: Gran Torino (Channel 5, 9pm)

(2008) Walt is a lonely widower estranged from his grasping family. He lives in a neighbourhood now largely populated by immigrants, and Walt doesn’t like any of them, particularly the Korean family living next door.

However, that all changes after the clan’s teenage son tries to steal his car, and Walt realises he could play an important part in all their lives.

Clint Eastwood claims he’s now a director and has retired from acting. If that really is the case, Gran Torino features one of his final performances, and for that reason alone it’s a must.

Once upon a time, Eastwood played grizzled anti-heroes who blasted their way through problems, acting first and asking questions later. Forty years on and he’s now playing... well, exactly the same sort of character really. Except that now, they tend to mellow a bit after putting their foot down.

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Bee Vang, Ahney Her, Brian Haley, Geraldine Hughes

SPORT AWARDS: The 2014 RTÉ Sport Awards (RTE One, 9.30pm)

The RTÉ Sport Awards in association with The Irish Sports Council will see a host of Irish sporting stars in attendance for one of the best sport events of the year.

Darragh Maloney will present the awards ceremony and awards presented on the night will be RTÉ Sports Person of the Year, RTÉ Sports Team of the Year, the RTÉ Sports Manager of the Year and the RTÉ/Irish Sports Council’s Hall of Fame Award.

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