Wednesday’s TV tips

Plenty to watch on the tellybox tonight.

Wednesday’s TV tips

FILM: Iron Man (E4, 8pm)

(2008) Charismatic tycoon Tony Stark gets a taste of his own medicine when one of the warheads his company makes detonates after a sales pitch.

Captured by terrorists, they leave him long enough to craft a suit of armour, escape their lethal attention, and then he returns with a new model suit to wreak revenge.

Thanks to a great performance by Robert Downey Jr , this was one of the best superhero movies since Spider-Man 2.

Cleverly directed by Jon Favreau, it features excellent turns from Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges, while the special effects are superb.

Successfully updating the old Marvel tale, this is one of the few genre entries where the man inside the suit is more entertaining than his masked alter ego.

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard

REALITY: The Great Comic Relief Bake Off (BBC1, 8pm)

Now, not that we like to hint at any sort of favouritism, but this celeb version of Bake Off may have gone and saved the best crop of the bunch until last.

At the very least, we’re guaranteed a few laughs, as big personalities Victoria Wood, Chris Moyles, Alexa Chung and Kayvan Novak take a deep breath and head into the tent.

The final four contestants certainly have the gift of the gab, but do they know their sponges from their Arctic Rolls?

We will soon find out, as they tackle a traybake, rustle up a dozen crumpets and get creative with a vegetable cake that they are told must also double as a self portrait.

There will no doubt be banter among the contestants, and attempts to impress each other, but at the end of the day, the only people they need to be worrying about impressing are judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

ENTERTAINMENT: Big Star’s Little Star (UTV, 8pm)

Don’t ever work with children or animals – that’s the golden rule in telly, they say.

But the leading lights behind this superb series understand that actually, it’s the little ones who make the best television – because of their unpredictability.

For the producers behind this game show, the youth are comedy gold, and presenter Stephen Mulhern takes advantage of that and grills them about their celebrity parents in the hope that they will spill their deepest secrets.

As the series kicks off, Ronan Keating plays alongside his nine-year-old daughter Ali, while Sheree Murphy and her six-year-old daughter Matilda, and Carl Froch and his four-year-old son Rocco also join in the fun. But which of the celebs will be the most fidgety with nerves?

Even if they do leave red-faced, it’s all for a good cause, with all pairs taking home money for their chosen charities.

HEALTH: The Consumer Show (RTE One, 8.30pm)

In episode one of the new series Ella McSweeney reveals the issue that’s costing our health service more than €20 million a year, and a lot of it is down to our love of chicken.

It’s been called the poultry industry’s dirty secret, why the levels of bacteria are still so high on our supermarket shelves.

Presented by Keelin Shanley, with reporters Tadhg Enright and Ella McSweeney, the team will fight for consumer rights, look at the issues that hit your pocket and investigate your complaints.

DOCUMENTARY: Surviving Sandy Hook (BBC2, 9pm)

On December 14th 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Before driving there, Lanza shot dead his mother, and following the mass shooting, he then turned the gun on himself.

America and the rest of the world were left in shock by the tragedy, and discussion was once again raised about gun control in the States.

This documentary follows those affected by the shooting.

Giles Rousseau’s daughter Lauren was a teacher killed in the attack, but he’s been met with with resistance in his campaign for moderate gun reform.

Meanwhile, Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse was killed, tells how she’s begun a crusade to get a message of hope to the most deprived corners of society.

IMPORTED DRAMA: The Vampire Diaries (ITV2, 9pm)

Never getting any older, and being able to stay up all night – no wonder impressionable teens on both sides of the Atlantic seem to have decided that vampires are cool.

Throw into the mix the fact that every single one of the bloodsuckers seems to be a million miles away from Dracula (in that each one of these is as beautiful as the next), the modern vampire appears to have it all.

But the whole ’undead’ thing really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, with proof here, as this gripping series returns for its sixth series.

Elena is forced to face her problems head on when the past comes back to haunt her, while Jo opens up to Alaric about her own tragic past.

Meanwhile, Stefan, Matt and Enzo take action when Tripp withholds information about his vampire-killing operation, Tyler and Liv grow closer, and Damon stumbles upon a clue that renews his hope.

DOCUMENTARY: Being Bipolar (Channel 4, 10pm)

Psychotherapist Philippa Perry has worked in mental health for 20 years, so she knows better than most just how dramatically numbers have risen of people being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

In this insightful one-off documentary, filmed over several months, she explores the condition from the perspective of those living with it in an attempt to understand the impact the illness has on them, their friends and family.

Some sufferers’ depressions can leave them with suicidal feelings or worthlessness, while at the other end of the scale, manias can generate feelings of omnipotence and invincibility. Philippa considers various explanations for the disorder, and looks at treatments including prescriptions drugs, therapies and treatments.

FILM: The Conspirator (Channel 4, 1.35am)

(2010) An idealistic lawyer puts his efforts in to defending a woman accused of being an accomplice in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

However, he soon comes to realise she may be innocent, and that her trial is actually being used by the government to lure the real culprit, her son, out of hiding.

Robert Redford directs a top-drawer cast – James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline and Evan Rachel Wood – in this period drama, and the results are stunning.

This is a highly appealing and supremely entertaining drama, which has its moments as a touching tear-jerker in places, and an eye-opener in other areas. Hats off to all involved.

Starring: James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood.

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