Friday’s TV tips

What to watch on the box tonight.

Friday’s TV tips

SPORT: Live Six Nations Rugby Union (BBC1, 7.30pm)

One of the fiercest rivalries in international rugby is the perfect choice for the starting point for the opening match of this year’s Six Nations championship, with Wales welcoming England to the Millennium Stadium.

There is little love lost between the sides, even with club team-mates and British Lions colleagues lining up against each other, and there is the added intensity of knowing that defeat for either will blow a huge hole in their plans of winning the championship.

Throw in the fact that the nations will meet later this year in the pool stage of the World Cup, and the knowledge that there are few people less welcome on the Cardiff turf than an English rugby player, then the ingredients are all there for an edge-of-the-seat sporting occasion.

The visitors may be missing a host of injured players, but few will give coach Stuart Lancaster much more time as he aims to find the perfect blend ahead of bigger challenges to come this year.

FOOD: Food & Drink (BBC2, 8.30pm)

Viewers of a certain age will remember this amiable strand in the days when it was presented by Chris Kelly – a show memorably lampooned by Vic and Bob.

(Given the fact F&D frontman Tom Kerridge is such a larger-than-life character, you can bet Reeves and Mortimer would happily send up the latest run as well.)

This week he’s joined by The Incredible Spice Men’s Cyrus Todiwala to discuss the benefits of wholesome food.

Tom will be challenging the award-winning chef to come up with an alternative take on a curry to rival his own spice-crusted tuna salad.

There’s plenty more mouthwatering features where that came from.

Arabella Weir – these days best known as Bob Mortimer’s screen wife in Drifters - tries her hardest to fall in love with salad.

And if you fancy a tipple but hate the thought of calories, drinks expert Joe Wadsack spotlights a selection of healthy red wines.

REALITY: Celebrity Big Brother: Live Final (Ch5, 9pm)

Few people thought this show would be one of the most enjoyable and controversial series to date, but full marks to hostess Emma Willis and Channel 5 for providing the guiltiest TV pleasure of a very cold, bleak winter.

Series 15 kicked off on January 7 with Katie Hopkins first in the fairytale-themed abode. The Apprentice reject and controversial commenter provided backstage musings on the inmates as they arrived.

Fans whooped, booed and scratched their heads as Emma welcomed the rest of the cast: Patsy Kensit; Perez Hilton; Ken Morley; Cami-Li; Calum Best; Alicia Douvall; Alexander O’Neal; Nadia Sawalha; Jeremy Jackson; Kavana; Michelle Visage; Chloe Goodman and Keith Chegwin.

Katie Price’s arrival on Day 10 shook things up, as did Ms Hopkins, who despite her reputation for explosive Tweets and TV comments, turned out to be one of the least incendiary housemates.

Now we discover which of the eclectic fame-hungry contestants has made the biggest impact on the public when the winner is announced.

Take a bow Ms Willis, you’ve done us proud... even if some of the inmates haven’t.

FILM: The Pursuit of Happyness (TV3, 9pm)

(2006) Life is a struggle for single father Chris Gardner (Will Smith). Evicted from their apartment, he and his young son (Jaden Smith) find themselves alone with no place to go.

Even though Chris eventually lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position pays no money. The pair must live in shelters and endure many hardships, but Chris refuses to give in to despair as he struggles to create a better life for himself and his son.

Starring: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith

CONTEST: The Big Allotment Challenge (BBC2, 9pm)

The ground may have been frostier than Neptune in recent weeks, but with that pre-spring thaw on the way, there will be no excuse for the green fingered to stay indoors.

And if you fall into that category, ’The Great British Rake Off’ (as we’re dubbing it) offers plenty of inspiration for those planning their next wave of ploughing and planting.

With three contenders left in the game, there’s everything to play for as Fern Britton presents this all-important grand final.

For the show bench, Jim Buttress asks players to present cauliflowers and Cape gooseberries, while Jonathan Moseley asks them to grow perpetual carnations and use them along with other flowers they have cultivated to decorate a floral arch.

For the final task, Thane Prince requests canapes, cocktails and confectionery. The judges eventually decide who will follow in the footsteps of 2014 winners Alex and Ed and clinch victory.

FILM: Parenthood (UTV, 10.40pm)

(1989) Dedicated family man Gil Buckman feels his cantankerous dad never had time for him, and is determined not to make the same mistakes with his own children. However, he finds it difficult to juggle being the perfect father with putting in the overtime needed to get a big promotion.

At least he’s in good company – his siblings are also having trouble with their own offspring, and even Gil’s dad is about to learn that you’re never too old to have problems with your kids.

Although it may be one of the first films that tempted Steve Martin away from his old ’Wild and Crazy Guy’ persona and into family friendly fare, this is also a very funny and well-observed comedy. Martin is the stand-out, but the ensemble cast – which also includes Keanu Reeves and a very young Joaquin (then named Leaf) Phoenix – are all terrific.

Yes, it gets a little schmaltzy at the end, but chances are by then, you’ll be so charmed, you’ll be willing to overlook it.

Starring: Steve Martin, Keanu Reeves, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Dianne Wiest, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Joaquin Phoenix

FILM: Things We Lost in the Fire (BBC2, 11.05pm)

(2007) Powerful melodrama of loss and redemption with Halle Berry as a grieving widow drawn to her dead husband’s best friend, recovering heroin addict Benicio Del Toro.

As he fills a void in her life, his presence causes distance between the widow and her young daughter.

This is superb, though you may not be in the mood for popcorn. Both leads give terrific showings in a subtle and compelling examination of human nature and the power of grief.

Berry gives the kind of performance that made the critics sit up and take notice at her turn in Monster’s Ball. Del Toro is a powerhouse, eclipsing his previously defining roles in movies with similar subjects; Traffic and 21 Grams.

Alison Lohman as a fellow ex-addict determined not to let Jerry (Del Toro) slip back into his old ways and John Carroll Lynch as a lonely neighbour reaching out to the bereaved family work wonders with their small roles.

Starring: Halle Berry, Benicio Del Toro, David Duchovny, Alison Lohman, Micah Berry, John Carroll Lynch

FILM: Nine to Five (Channel 4, 1am)

(1980) Three very capable female office workers are tired of being passed over for promotion and taking orders from their chauvinistic boss. The trio spend their days fantasising about getting their own back on him, but unexpectedly get the chance to make their daydreams a reality and teach him a lesson he’ll never forget, when a series of mishaps culminates in them kidnapping him.

This film suffers from a slightly ramshackle plot and a little too much padding, but at its heart, this is a fun, sharp comedy. Its take on the sexism of office politics probably hasn’t dated as much as we might like.

The lead actresses make an appealing trio, with Dolly Parton contributing more than just a wonderfully catchy theme tune. Even though it’s her film debut, she steals plenty of scenes from her more experienced co-stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman is so good as the monstrous boss, you may find yourself wishing he had more scenes.

Starring: Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dabney Coleman, Sterling Hayden, Elizabeth Wilson, Henry Jones, Lawrence Pressman

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