Tuesday’s TV tips

Check out our guide to the best of tonight's TV.

Tuesday’s TV tips

REALITY: My Big Fat Gypsy: Luck of the Irish (TV3, 9pm)

This special episode celebrates the Irish travelling community, exploring their unique culture and covering some truly spectacular family events.

In England, 16 year-old Lully speaks with a thick Irish accent and lives within a fiercely Irish community… but she’s never been to Ireland. The build-up to her wedding is so stressful she loses her voice!

In Ireland, the fearsome Joyce family are preparing for baby Alice’s christening. Her grandfather, Joe, is a former bareknuckle boxer once known as King of the Travellers.

Witness the chaos of the morning, Alice’s amazing christening and the raucous celebrations that follow. A distant relation of Joe’s, Brendan, has lived in England his whole life.

He gets teased for being a ‘Plastic Paddy’ but is is desperate to maintain links to the homeland.

FILM: Superbad (5*, 9pm)

(2007) It’s the end of high school for best friends Seth and Evan, so they are determined to make the most of one last party before they go off to separate colleges.

Unfortunately, they’ve rashly promised to supply the booze for the event, and buying alcohol proves to be a lot more difficult than they anticipated – and their friend’s plan to help just makes matters worse.

Although it’s arguably a shade too long, this hugely entertaining comedy should still appeal to the teenager in everyone.

No wonder it became a box-office smash – it was shot for 20 million, and went on to gross more than 160 million.

Jonah Hill and Michael Cera make a great double act, but there’s also a scene-stealing turn form Christopher Mintz-Plasse into a cult star as Fogell, aka ’McLovin’, and co-writer Seth Rogen also gets in on the action.

Starring: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen

REAL-LIFE: The Gift (BBC1, 9pm)

This tear-jerking series has been known to reduce us to emotional wrecks before now, but you’ll just need those tissues one more time, as tonight’s is the final episode, serving up several more people, desperate for the chance to apologise or show their gratitude.

Peter Miles served six years in jail for his part in a series of aggressive armed robberies in Bristol. Having been released from prison three years ago, he’s now determined to turn his back on his life of crime, and wants to say sorry to his victims.

Meanwhile, Pauline explains how 26 years ago, she was rushed to hospital to give birth to her daughter, who was born 14 weeks prematurely and almost didn’t make it.

As doctors fought to keep her alive, Pauline was stranded at home, 50 miles from the hospital – until a stranger offered to give her a lift to the hospital everyday to be with her baby.

Now, Pauline wants to thank the woman for her small act of kindness, which had a big impact on her life.

SCIENCE: Horizon: Secrets of the Solar System (BBC2, 9pm)

Thanks to a certain professor Brian Cox, there’s a heck of a lot of interest in the universe these days – more so than primetime telly has ever seen before.

Sorry to get your hopes up, but Cox doesn’t appear in this Horizon documentary which looks at new theories about the origins of the solar system.

It explains how planets are now being discovered outside the Earth’s solar system on a regular basis.

Because of these strange new worlds, scientists are finding themselves having to re-write the history of how the sun, and the planets, satellites, dwarf planets, asteroids and comets that orbit it, came into being.

The programme reveals that we’re looking at a far-from-simple story of objects orbiting a star – it asserts that the development of the solar system was a combination of hellfire, chaos and planetary pinball which makes it something of a miracle that Earth was even created.

TOPICAL: Exposure: When Pregnant Women Drink (UTV, 9pm)

Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh is a woman on a mission to reveal the impact of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, as one in 100 babies are born in Britain each year brain-damaged with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Ranvir explains how these babies will go on to have developmental, social and learning difficulties, and while some might have tell-tale facial features, for the majority it’s an invisible disability.

The programme meets four people affected by FASD to understand the challenges they face, and the impact on their families.

Those featured include Sam, who drank all the way through her pregnancy and Lee who was 26 when diagnosed and had already served a prison sentence for a violent crime.

Ranvir also brings together mums-to-be to find out what they’ve been told about the risks of consuming alcohol.

REALITY: Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial (Channel 4, 10pm)

With much being written in the news about cannabis and the dangers associated with it, the programme returns to focus on two different forms of the drug.

Over the last year, around two million people smoked cannabis in one form or another; around a third of people aged 16-24 have tried it at least once. However, in recent years, cannabis in the UK has changed.

Now, alongside the more familiar ’hash’ form of the drug, there’s a far more potent variety: ’skunk’.

It’s this type which is under close media scrutiny, with some people claiming it is far more addictive, and studies seeming to show a link between its use and paranoia, memory loss and psychosis.

In this trial, volunteers including newsreader Jon Snow, ex-MP Matthew Parris and former royal correspondent Jennie Bond will be taking skunk, hash and placebo under controlled, laboratory conditions, while undergoing rigorous testing including MRI scans.

The results are stark.

PROFILE: Paula Radcliffe: Sports Life Stories (ITV4, 10pm)

World record-holder Paula Radcliffe will call time on her career this year - but she’s still going to fit one final marathon in before she does.

Given that she’s the most successful sportswoman of her generation, it’s hardly a surprise that the leading lights behind this series think it fitting she’s included in the strand.

As the programme will explain, few athletes have experienced such a contrast in emotions as Paula, whose world record for the marathon has already stood for more than a decade. However, many will remember her disappointment at failing to win gold at the Olympics in Athens in 2004.

This programme offers access to Paula, and her trainer and husband Gary Lough, and reveals what drove her to become the greatest female marathon runner of all time.

FILM: Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Film4, 1.40am)

(1972) Set in 16th-century Peru, it follows a group of Spanish explorers as they travel along the Amazon in search of the fabled city of Eldorado.

For one conquistador in particular, the mission becomes an obsession, even as he and his followers are beset by hostile tribes, disease and starvation. However, his lust for glory threatens to drive him to madness.

Like the later Apocalypse Now, it’s one of those films where the shoot was apparently as fraught and surreal as anything you see on screen.

While that has undoubtedly added to Aguirre, the Wrath of God’s cult status, it shouldn’t detract from Werner Herzog’s movie itself, which remains amazingly atmospheric and oddly beautiful, with an unforgettable lead performance from Klaus Kinski.

Starring: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo, Cecilia Rivera, Del Negro, Peter Berling, Daniel Ades, Edward Roland

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