Thursday’s TV tips

Plenty to watch on the tellybox tonight.

Thursday’s TV tips

ANIMALS: Crufts 2015 (More4, 6.30pm)

Sorry cat lovers, this week sees the start of the largest dog event in the world – the legendary Crufts show.

And if you do believe that mutts are man’s best friend, but couldn’t get down to the NEC in Birmingham, Clare Balding and her team, which includes Crufts newbie Iwan Thomas and veteran Peter Purves, are bringing us all the action.

Today’s highlights include Agility and Flyball competitions, and judging of the Gun Dog Group.

However, if your own pooch is still struggling to understand ’sit’ and ’stay’, there’s still plenty to inspire you, including some heart-warming stories exploring the bonds between dogs and their owners.

Vet Nick Blayney and veterinary nurse Kate Beavan will be offering their views and tips on canine health, and there’s also a guide to the judging process, showing what the experts are looking for in the different breeds on show.

ANIMALS: The Supervet (Channel 4, 8pm)

It’s a good day for dog owners – not only is More4 covering Crufts, but the series following the work of pioneering vet Noel Fitzpatrick and his team is back for a new run, starting with a canine-themed episode.

So, have your hankies at the ready as Kevin and Natalie discover that their beloved six-year-old German shepherd, Otto, has a life-threatening tumour. The couple would love their dog to be there when they tie the knot, but can Noel find a way to prolong the pet’s life until their wedding day?

The practice also gets a visit from Jane and Simon, whose Rottweiler puppy Elvis is having trouble walking.

Meanwhile, Amber and her two children have just only owned their tiny Pomeranian named Gucci for 48 hours, but are already experiencing their first big pet drama when the puppy breaks her paw.

DOCUMENTARY: Britain’s Worst Crimes: Lee Rigby (Channel 5, 8pm)

Few crimes have shocked the British public like the brutal murder of Lee Rigby.

On May 22, 2013, the 25-year-old soldier was killed while walking down the street near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, by two Islamic extremists armed with knives and a cleaver.

His attackers were subsequently given life sentences, and it was announced that there would be memorials to the victim in both Woolwich and his home town of Middleton, Greater Manchester.

However, for many people, questions still remain about how such a horrific crime could have taken place, and how we can avoid such attacks in future.

This documentary revisits the events of that fateful day, hearing from witnesses who give their account of what happened.

The programme also hears from international experts on terrorism, who give an insight into how killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale became radicalised.

MUSIC: The Nation’s Favourite 70s Number One (UTV, 8.30pm)

Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West) by Benny Hill, Mouldy Old Dough by Lieutenant Pigeon and Amazing Grace by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards – the chart-topping singles of the 1970s make for eclectic listening.

But while those tracks may not turn up on many younger viewers’ playlists, the era also gave us some number ones which remain just as popular four decades later – and here, Zoe Ball counts down 20 of the very best.

It’s a list that includes glam stompers, heartfelt ballads, and disco classics (although it’s probably light on novelty hits), and the programme also gives us the stories behind hits ranging from Blockbuster to I Will Survive, via Bridge Over Troubled Water and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Art Garfunkel, Blondie, Abba, Freda Payne, George McCrae, Kiki Dee, The Four Seasons and Gloria Gaynor are among the acts sharing their memories of an era when the charts really were a national talking point.

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

Ep 4 - Mark Watson, Ray D'arcy And Kevin Kilbane

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 Today FM presenter Ray D'Arcy, UK Comedian Mark Watson and former Republic of Ireland International, Kevin Kilbane. With stand-up comedy plus live sketches performed by Foil Arms and Hog.

DANCE: The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief (BBC1, 9pm)

In theory, appearing on Strictly Come Dancing must be a dream come true. You get to spend your days in the arms of a glamorous professional, mucking around in the training room, before a team of make-up artists and costume designers coat you in fake tan and put you in a glamorous outfit – what’s not to love?

Well, the six potential ’people’s champions’ are discovering that even with an expert to offer encouragement, mastering the art of Latin and ballroom dance is a lot harder than it looks.

And just to make them that bit more nervous, this week they are going to have to perform a portion of their routine for the fearsome Craig Revel Horwood - although he’ll be dishing out pointers, rather than scores.

Former winner Abbey Clancy is also on hand to offer encouragement and advice on what to wear, but as the day of their big performance draws ever nearer, will the contestants start to feel that maybe a place on The People’s Strictly isn’t such a reward after all?

FILM: The Killer Inside Me (ITV4, 11.05pm)

(2010) A deputy sheriff in an oil-rich Texan town is a sadistic and violent thug on the quiet.

To the outside world he seems a charming individual, but it’s his girlfriend and a prostitute he’s gotten involved with who bear the brunt of his violent impulses, and he uses his position to get away with murder.

If you’ve had the pleasure of catching any of Casey Affleck’s previous offerings (Gone Baby Gone, directed by his brother Ben, is particularly good), you’ll know why he’s perfectly cast in this dark drama from director Michael Winterbottom.

Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba match him every step of the way as the two women in his life who suffer at the hands of his violent temper. It’s a savage story, but it’s told well nevertheless.

Starring: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba.

FILM: The X Files: I Want to Believe (Film4, 11.10pm)

(2008) Paranormal investigators Mulder and Scully are back on the FBI’s books after years in hiding to assist in the search for several missing women.

They are eventually led to a former priest, who claims to have psychic visions of the victims, and a long-forgotten case involving sinister experiments.

Many X Files fans were left disappointed with the plotline in this sequel, but, really, there’s nothing not like, especially if you view it as a stand-alone film.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will never lose their likeability as the two protagonists, and the chemistry between them remains.

It’s well-directed by Chris Carter, executive producer behind the episodes, so at least fans can trust the film is in safe hands. Billy Connolly is superb in a role that viewers won’t quite know what to make of.

Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Billy Connolly.

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