Sunday’s TV tips

Here's our pick of today's TV.

Sunday’s TV tips

FILM: Stand By Me (Channel 5, 3.20pm)

(1986) Based on a short story by Stephen King, the drama is set in the 1950s and follows a group of four 12-year-old boys as they set out on an adventure in the Oregon wilderness.

The lads are looking for the body of a missing teenager, but fail to anticipate the other horrors they’ll encounter along the way.

Stephen King has claimed that this was the first big-screen adaptation of one of his works that he was entirely happy with – and it’s easy to see why.

It’s a classic coming-of-age story that manages to be funny and moving, while Rob Reiner coaxes brilliant performances out of the young cast.

And the fact that River Phoenix would never really get the chance to deliver on the promise he shows here only adds to the poignancy.

Starring: River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Kiefer Sutherland, Richard Dreyfuss, Casey Siemaszko, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell

FILM: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (Channel 5, 4.55pm)

(1989) Wayne Szalinski is a mad-as-a-hatter scientist who has invented a miniaturising machine that’s so powerful it blows things up.

But when it does begin to work, he ends up shrinking his own two children and the kids from next door.

The youngsters then have an adventure in trying to get back home, (avoiding hurricane sprinklers, a lawn mower etc) when Wayne accidentally throws them in the bin.

Rick Moranis plays this nutty professor down to a T in a role that could have been cast with him in mind.

This is another one of Disney’s triumphs that years after its release, continues to appeal to all ages and walks of life.

Starring: Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman, Kristine Sutherland, Thomas Wilson Brown, Jared Rushton, Amy O’Neill, Robert Oliveri

CONTEST: The Big Painting Challenge (BBC1, 6pm)

Una Stubbs and Richard Bacon, together at last!

We know what you’re thinking; for what telly effort would the actress and presenter ever be brought together? Well, as it turns out, they’re a presenting match made in heaven for this nationwide search for Britain’s best amateur artist.

Over the next six weeks, we’ll be introduced to 10 keen amateurs who will be taking on three specially designed challenges each week, to showcase their skills across a range of mediums.

In this first instalment, the artists head to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland (which many will recognise as Hogwarts), as they attempt a quick-draw challenge and a four-hour task which sees them paint the grand castle from across the River Aln, before judges Daphne Todd and Lachlan Goudie decides who’s leaving the competition.

Meanwhile, Una speaks with Fraser Scarf at the V&A.

ENTERTAINMENT: Four Rooms (Channel 4, 7pm)

This brilliant show may now be in its fifth series, but if you’re a first-time viewer here, it may take a while to adjust to this cross-breed of a telly effort.

Deal or No Deal-type gambling, but no small blonde hairy man? Antiques Roadshow-style ponderings, yet no yawn-inducing family histories to speak of? The mind boggles.

Jeff Salmon, Wendy Meakin, Raj Bisram and Peter Ratcliffe can count themselves among some of the UK’s biggest art dealers – and they have to pick their way through the public’s prized trash and put in various bids.

The catch is that the sellers, ushered into titular four rooms where the dealers await them, have to make a decision there and then, because the offer is only on the table as long as they are in the room.

First up: Andy Murray’s tennis racket, a piece of Admiral Nelson’s ship HMS Victory, artworks by Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, and cutting-edge jet furniture.

REALITY: Get Your Act Together (UTV, 7pm)

Well, we’ve certainly seen some incredible sights since this curious-sounding series began six weeks ago – but it’s made for compelling viewing.

Celebrities embarrassing themselves by trying to learn a new skill? We’re sold.

Whether or not, the likes of Ray Quinn, James Bolam, Claire Richards and Chip would agree that it’s been entertaining is another matter, but they certainly can’t grumble at making through to tonight’s final, along with last week’s winner.

We’re about to see yet more impressions, singing, fire-eating and martial arts, but there’s one difference in the final _ all the acts will be trying to impress the public, as they get the deciding vote.

The stars have worked their socks off to get to this point, no-one can argue with that, but who has gone that extra mile to pip the others to the post?

DRAMA: Call the Midwife (BBC1, 8pm)

We’d better make the most of this Sunday night staple in the schedules because in two weeks Call the Midwife will be wrapping up for another series.

In tonight’s episode, a secret romance doesn’t look like it’s heading for a happy ending when teenager Paulette Roland falls pregnant.

She has diabetes and her boyfriend has a criminal past, so Nurse Crane helps the young couple as much as she can. However, Paulette’s life is put in danger when they go on the run together.

Meanwhile, a group of Irish travellers passing through the area get wrongly accused of petty theft by Sgt Noakes, and the midwives soon find themselves involved with the group when they treat a newborn infant, and Sister Cynthia delivers her first baby since becoming a nun.

Plus, Patsy organises a fundraising Square Dance, and Fred asks Violet to accompany him as his date.

FILM: Shooter (TV3, 9pm)

(2007) A marksman living in exile is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the President.

Ultimately double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he goes on the run to find the real killer and the reason he was set up.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Pena, Danny Glover, Kate Mara

DRAMA: The Casual Vacancy (BBC1, 9pm)

There is a recently emerged trend of turning dramas into series so long-running that 16 weeks later, we’re still as gripped as we were in that first episode.

That’s all well and good, but there’s also a lot to be said for shorter offerings, like this adaptation of JK Rowling’s novel. After all, who has 16 weeks to spare these days?!

The Casual Vacancy might only be a three-parter, but the plus-side of that is by this time next week, we’ll have all the answers and conclusion we need.

Tonight, the parish council election is fast-approaching, and the townsfolk are all awaiting the next post from the ’Ghost of Barry Fairbrother’.

Samantha is keen smooth things over, and so throws a dinner party for all the warring factors. However, when Howard and Shirley unexpectedly turn up, things soon spiral out of control.

Plus, Krystal considers a new future for her family.

CHAT: The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne (RTE One, 10.30pm)

This week Charles Spencer talks for the first time about his sister Diana’s tragic death

In The Meaning of Life, Irish broadcasting legend, Gay Byrne, talks to major figures from every walk of public life about how their lives have shaped, and been shaped by, their beliefs, values, ideas and opinions.

This week, in a rare personal interview, Charles Spencer, the 9th Earl Spencer and brother of Princess Diana, talks with remarkable openness and candour about his sister’s tragic death, his controversial oration at her funeral, their difficult childhood together and the challenge of guarding his own privacy, as the brother of the world’s most famous woman.

FILM: Moonrise Kingdom (Channel 4, 11.05pm)

(2012) Resourceful orphan Sam is the least popular member of his Khaki Scout troop, which is run with military precision by Scout Master Ward.

The boy elopes with pen pal Suzy, who shares her lighthouse home with parents Walt and Laura and three brothers.

Sam is well prepared for the expedition with a tent and trusty pen-knife but Suzy chooses to pack her hardback books and a battery-powered record player.

The youngsters head for the beach. Meanwhile, Walt and Laura implore local cop Captain Sharp to find their daughter.

This tender love story set in writer-director Wes Anderson’s trademark world of heightened artificiality is bewitching, but it lacks the magic ingredient which turned his recent offering The Grand Budapest Hotel into such a crowd pleaser.

Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Bob Balaban

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