Thursday’s TV tips

Liverpool have another chance to chase a place in next season’s Champions League as they begin their UEFA Europa League campaign.

Thursday’s TV tips

SPORT: Liverpool v Besiktas (3e, 7.30pm)

Liverpool have another chance to chase a place in next season’s Champions League is as they begin their UEFA Europa League campaign.

Liverpool take on Turkish side Besiktas in the first leg of their Round of 32 tie.

Tommy Martin introduces the action with analysis from former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey.

Commentary from Anfield from Mark Lawrenson and Trevor Welch.

DRAMA: Death in Paradise (BBC1, 8.30pm)

It may be paradise, but would anybody in their right mind really want to go on holiday to the island of Saint Marie?

It may look beautiful, but it’s a hotbed of intrigue and murder – at least one death takes place every week!

Annette Burgess is the latest corpse to appear. She was the CEO of a boutique travel website, but met her demise in her hotel room when she was supposedly taking part in a team-building getaway with her colleagues.

They’re the chief suspects, but as none of them had alibis or a reason to kill their boss, Humphrey is forced to dig deeper into Annette’s life – and uncovers a variety of secrets and lives involving her family.

Humphrey himself is about to land in trouble in paradise too – a call from home brings him back down to earth with a bump.

REALITY: Don’t Tell the Bride (RTE Two, 9pm)

This week – born entertainer Richie wants his wedding to be the Greatest Show on Earth... He’s going all out with a circus theme wedding in a field. He wants to organize a tent complete with fire eaters, lion tamers, tight rope walkers.. the lot!

Both born and raised in Donameade in Dublin – Richie and Amanda first got together when he was 21 and she was just 16 .

They spent four years apart – until their relationship received some much needed ‘parental guidance’ and they reunited.

Richie wants to celebrate his wedding like nobody else. But bride-to-be Amanda just wants a wedding that shows that Richie really knows her, she wants a special day that’s classy and sophisticated.

Can Richie really deliver a dream wedding?

ENTERTAINMENT: Jason Byrne’s Snaptastic Show (TV3, 9pm)

Ep 2 - Pat Shortt, Fred Cooke And PJ Gallagher (plus Ken Doherty)

In this brand new TV3 series, each week comedian Jason Byrne will be interviewing celebrities about their lives and trawling through their photo albums to get a real insight into their past and what they are all about.

Jason will also be sharing some of his own childhood photos, as well as having a look at audience members' embarrassing photo collections.

Joining Jason tonight on the show is Actor Pat short and comedians PJ Gallagher and Fred Cooke.

With stand-up comedy plus live sketches performed by Foil Arms and Hog.

DRAMA: Cucumber (Channel 4, 9pm)

It may lack the sparkle and originality of his groundbreaking Queer as Folk, but Cucumber has nevertheless won over a new generation of fans and kept Russell T Davies’ existing supporters more than happy.

It’s also introduced the world to an intriguing central character in Henry Best, the middle-aged insurance expert who has put his previously happy relationship with long-standing partner Lance on the line during a moment of madness.

This week, his lies seem destined to catch up with him, potentially putting him on a collision course with everyone he loves.

Meanwhile, Daniel appears to be all set to make Lance’s wildest dreams come true, and Adam and Tomasz’s secret online empire begins to spiral out of control.

But what we’re hoping for is more sightings of Julie Hesmondhalgh – the former Coronation Street actress has been wonderful as Henry’s down-to-earth sister, but has been woefully underused so far.

DOCUMENTARY: Reinventing the Royals (BBC2, 9pm)

They hold no political power, and yet the Royal family sits at the pinnacle of British society.

As a result, what the nation’s subjects think of them is of paramount importance.

Once, they were revered and feared, but in recent times the Windsors’ reputation has risen and fallen in equal measure.

This new, two-part documentary presented by Steve Hewlett examines how, in the past few decades, the Royals have rebuilt their shattered image following Princess Diana’s death, and how both William and Harry have been persuaded to work with the press rather than loathe its members.

The first programme opens in 1997 following Diana’s tragic accident, and how Prince Charles’ public image reached rock bottom thanks to media portrayals of him as an unloving husband and bad father.

But he set about turning that around by hiring spin doctor Mark Bolland, whose contacts book helped him turn his employer’s popularity rating on its head.

COMEDY: The Keith Lemon Sketch Show (ITV2, 10pm)

Is there anything that Keith Lemon can’t do?

It seems not. He’s already hosted game shows and made a movie, and now he’s branching out into sketch comedy – not that his creator, Leigh Francis, is no strange to the format.

He first came to fame playing Avid Merrion, the central, celebrity-obsessed character in Bo’ Selecta! which also featured Francis don bizarre masks to portray a wide variety of popular stars.

Lemon made his debut on that cult favourite, and has been a mainstay of Francis’ career ever since.

This series began last week, and like Bo’ Selecta! features celebrities as you’ve never seen them before – the masks may have disappeared, but similarly outlandish portrayals remain.

Yes, it’s another spoof of the A-list world, but this time the humour is, perhaps, more mainstream.

Among those popping up will be Paddy McGuinness, Carrie Fisher, Jonathan Ross, John Thomson and many, many more.

FILM: AI: Artificial Intelligence (BBC One, 11.45pm)

(2001) Imagine a cross between Pinocchio and Blade Runner and you get the idea behind this stylish sci-fi drama.

Haley Joel Osment plays David, an advanced robotic boy created to love his owner as a parent.

However, when he is rejected by his ’mother’, he is abandoned to roam the bleak landscapes of a futuristic America with a fellow robot, searching for a means of becoming human in the hope of regaining her love.

The first two thirds touch on brilliance, a compelling hybrid of Stanley Kubrick’s ideas and Steven Spielberg’s direction. But an underwater scene and the finale will leave many frustrated.

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar tackled a similar theme more effectively recently. Flawed it may be, but it’s still a compelling watch with some great special effects.

Starring: Jude Law, William Hurt, Frances O’Connor, Brendan Gleeson

FILM: Showgirls (Film4, 1am)

(1995) Nomi Malone goes to Las Vegas to become a star, starts as a stripper and ’lap dancer’, then gets the chance to take the lead in a musical called Goddess.

Like Color of Night, this is so bad it’s brilliant.

Watch Saved By The Bell veteran Elizabeth Berkeley squirt ketchup on fries like a malfunctioning robot, before thrashing around a swimming pool with Kyle MacLachlan. See dozens of lean dancers prancing around a papier mache volcano while snarling Raquel Welch lookalike Cristal (Gina Gershon) takes centre stage.

An often unintentionally hilarious film which, made by any other film-maker than Paul Verhoeven, would have been merely a glorified soft-core sex drama.

Not for the easily shocked but a camp adult classic all the same.

Starring: Elizabeth Berkeley, Gina Gershon, Kyle MacLachlan

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