Saturday’s TV tips

Here's what to watch on TV tonight.

Saturday’s TV tips

FILM: The Ant Bully (3e, 2pm)

(2006) Tired of weathering constant attacks on their colony, ants shrink a destructive boy, named Lucas, to their size and sentence him to live among them until he learns the errors of his ways.

Guided by his insect guardians, Lucas discovers a world he never knew existed and soon joins forces with his new friends to combat an exterminator who threatens their colony.

Starring: Zach Tyler Eisen, Julia Roberts, Regina King, Bruce Campbell, Paul Giamatti.

LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: Planet’s Got Talent (UTV, 6.30pm)

You can run but you can’t hide from Warwick Davis this year.

Following the superb BBC documentary about his Reduced Height Theatre company the other week, he’s doing a great job narrating this highlights show compiling the best bits from Simon Cowell’s global ’Got Talent’ franchise.

With another series of Weekend Escapes on the horizon, and JJ Abrams’ Star Wars VII at Christmas, safe to say he’s not wondering where his next meal is coming from just yet.

In the latest selection of PGT feats, we see a man from India cover himself in giant crabs; a pre-school Popeye flexing his muscles, and a pig showing off his footie skills... or should that be trotter skills?

And if that’s not enough to wet your whistle, there’s also man playing the harmonica with his nose, a death-defying drop down a tower of lights, and one of the cutest monkeys you’ll ever see.

ENTERTAINMENT: Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (TV3, 7pm)

The lads are back – and they’re promising to banish the winter blues.

While we await the first glimpses of a little bit of sun to blink through the grey February clouds, we can at least trust the Geordie boys to put a smile back on our faces.

For the next couple of months, they will bring their unique brand of humour to our living rooms via a new run of their Saturday Night Takeaway – and we’re thrilled about that.

Perhaps the best news is that Little Ant and Dec are also returning. Expect more cheeky questions to be heading the way of other unprepared celebrities over the coming weeks, as well as performances from some of the world’s biggest music stars.

And yes, the lads will be chanting their usual “don’t just watch the ads – win them!” mantra too as viewers get a chance to bag the stuff seen during the commercial breaks.

To kick off the series, Olly Murs features – the duo play an undercover prank on him, and Ed Sheeran will be performing live in the studio.

And if you want to see more of Ant and Dec in action, don’t forget they’re presenting the Brits on Wednesday night too.

CONTEST: The Voice UK (BBC1, 7pm)

For some of us The X Factor is way past its sell-by date, but after a few series of getting up to speed, The Voice UK is now one of the most entertaining talent searches of the year.

With the dream team of Ricky Wilson, Will.i.am, Tom Jones and 50 Shades of Grey’s Rita Ora, the dynamic between the judges is better than ever, while some of those acts are so good they leave many reaching for the rewind button.

This is the final week of the blind auditions, so the pressure’s on as the four stars attempt to find the right singers for any spaces they have left.

Burlesque dancer Amber Topaz and Tina Turner impersonator Andrew Marc are among the wannabe winners, while Emma Willis and Marvin Humes offer support backstage.

The big question is: can any of these acts break The Voice curse and become a household name?

MUSIC: Reginald D Hunter’s Songs of the South (BBC2, 9pm)

The eponymous funnyman has long been one of the best additions to any panel game, whether it’s Have I Got News For You, QI or 8 Out of 10 Cats.

Now Reginald D Hunter presents this three-part road trip, exploring the American South through its songs both past and present, beginning with the music of Kentucky and Tennessee.

“When you think of American music, what you’re really thinking of is the south,” he says. Reg is keen to go beyond the stereotype of hillbilly made notorious in films like Deliverance, and explore the rich and ancient culture of southern mountain folk.

Aside from examining the disturbing tradition of blackface minstrels, he also visits Dollywood theme park, a slave plantation, the home of country music in Nashville, a moonshine distillery in Gatlinburg and a string-band festival in Mount Air.

Dolly Parton, the Handsome Family and Del McCoury are among those adding their contributions.

DRAMA: Hostages (BBC4, 9pm)

There’s aren’t many original ideas left in Hollywood, which is one of the reasons they keep making tried and tested dramas from overseas.

You may recall the namesake drama starring Toni Collette, in which an innocent family were mixed up in a terrorist plot that compromised US security and the President of the United States.

Now there’s a chance to see where it all began with by Omri Givon and Rotem Shamir’ series.

Bnei Aruba, aka Hostages, centres on Yael Danon, a brilliant surgeon who is selected to perform a routine operation on the Israeli Prime Minister it puts her and her whole family in danger.

The night before the operation they are taken hostage in their house by masked men and Yael is given an ultimatum; she must kill the PM during his operation or her family will die.

Ayelet Zurer, best known for her work in Angels and Demons, and Man of Steel, heads the cast.

FILM: Paul Blart: Mall Cop (TV3, 9pm)

(2009) Paul Blart (Kevin James) is a single suburban dad trying to make ends meet as a security officer at the local mall.

But when Santa’s helpers at the mall stage a coup, shutting down the megaplex and taking shoppers hostage, Jersey’s most formidable mall cop starts acting like a real police officer to save the day.

Starring: Kevin James, Keir O'Donnell, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Gerety

FILM: Silver Linings Playbook (Channel 4, 9pm)

(2012) Having battered his wife’s lover to a bloody pulp, school teacher Pat Solitano is banished to a psychiatric facility for eight months as part of his plea bargain.

He returns home to Philadelphia to live to with his father Pat Sr and mother Dolores, who want their boy to find some stability. However, Pat is determined to overcome his wife’s restraining order and win her back.

Best friend Ronnie introduces Pat to his sister-in-law, Tiffany. She’s a young widow who reacted to her husband’s death by sleeping with all of her co-workers.

Pat isn’t interested in Tiffany until he learns she could smuggle a letter to Nikki.

In return, Tiffany needs him to train as her partner for an amateur dance competition.

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver

FILM: Gambit (BBC2, 10pm)

(2012) Mild-mannered art curator Harry Deane grows tired of the constant bullying at the hands of his obscenely wealthy boss, Lord Lionel Shabandar. So he concocts an elaborate swindle to teach his employer a lesson.

With the help of loyal friend and forger The Major, Harry travels to Texas to befriend rodeo queen PJ Puznowski.

Harry asks the blonde beauty to pose as the owner of a priceless Monet called Haystacks At Dusk, which Shabandar is desperate to acquire as a companion canvas to the other Haystacks in his private collection.

The masterpiece is actually a fake painted by The Major but Harry is convinced he can pull the wool over Shabandar’s greedy eyes.

On paper it should be incredible. A dream cast, a script by the Coen brothers, and Michael Hoffman in the director’s chair. But films, like souffles, can have all the right ingredients and fail to rise. This collapses about 20 minutes in.

Starring: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Tom Courtenay, Stanley Tucci, Cloris Leachman

FILM: Green Zone (Channel 4, 11.25pm)

(2010) Military officer Roy Miller is sent to Iraq after the downfall of Saddam Hussein and tasked with finding the weapons of mass destruction used to justify the invasion.

Even though a CIA agent warns him that no such weapons exist, he continues his fruitless search and uncovers evidence of a political conspiracy.

Director Paul Greengrass has created a terrific conspiracy thriller that uses the Iraq War mostly for background colour.

It’s not as good as his Bourne movies, or Captain Phillips, but even a flawed Greengrass movie is better than some other directors’ best work.

Starring: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Ryan

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