Saturday’s TV tips

Your guide to tonight's TV.

Saturday’s TV tips

MUSIC: The Voice UK (BBC1, 7pm)

It sometimes felt like the early rounds, with the blind auditions and revolving chairs, had gone on for months, but The Voice is positively whipping through the live shows – they only started last week, but we’re already at the semi-final stage.

Cynics may think that’s because the BBC bosses have realised that the end of The Voice tends to be a bit of an anti-climax, and the show doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to launching stars.

However, that doesn’t mean the remaining contestants won’t be singing their little hearts out in a bid to get through to next week, win the competition and prove the doubters wrong.

Emma Willis and Marvin Humes are on presenting duties, while coaches Tom Jones, Will.i.am, Rita Ora and Ricky Wilson lead their proteges in a group performance.

ENTERTAINMENT: You’re Back in the Room (TV3, 9pm)

Coming up with new ideas for game shows must be difficult, so let’s all give praise to whoever dreamed up You’re Back in the Room.

The idea is that five members of the public have to complete seemingly simple challenges, but the twist that differentiates it from The Cube and The Generation Game is that they have to do it while hypnotised.

If you can put aside your scepticism, it makes for entertaining viewing, and this week should be especially good as the contestants tackle a sports quiz, paint a picture and attempt to collect prawns from a sushi conveyor belt.

Just in case that doesn’t have enough scope for chaos, former I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! campers Joe Swash, Vincent Simone and Vicki Michelle will be on hand to join them for a Bushtucker Trial.

Illusionist Keith Barry is the man doing the hypnotising, while Phillip Schofield has the difficult job of keeping order.

DRAMA: Coalition (Channel 4, 9pm)

Rumours, back-stabbing, double-dealings and u-turns – such things are about to dominate the headlines as a general election is looming large on the horizon.

To get us in the mood for it, Channel 4 is broadcasting the latest in a long line of its political dramas (postponed from Thursday).

In 2010, Nick Clegg was the Liberal Democrat leader, and barely anybody gave him a second thought – until he took part in the televised leaders’ debate, and appeared to capture the voting public’s imagination, raising the prospect of a major shake-up in British politics.

Then, after the election, he was given the opportunity to form a coalition - and, as this drama reveals, Clegg’s political moves at that time became some of the most influential and significant of recent years.

Bertie Cavel, Mark Dexter and Ian Grieve star.

DRAMA: Casualty (BBC1, 9.05pm)

We usually know what to expect from Casualty – in fact, one of the pleasures of watching the show is seeing someone going about their day, and trying to guess what sort of grisly accident they might have by the end of the programme.

But every now and then, the medical drama likes to throw us a curveball, and this looks like being one such episode, as it has a distinct Groundhog Day feel. It starts with Zoe being offered a job by her friend Maggie, who works for the air ambulance, and then heading to work for a difficult shift.

However, it emerges that the consultant is experiencing recurring bad dreams, meaning she keeps reliving the same incidents again and again.

That’s not necessarily all bad for a medic who has to make life and death decisions, as it gives her an opportunity to correct some mistakes, but it also gets Zoe thinking about what else she’d do differently if she was given a second chance.

CHAT: The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 9.25pm)

A couple of weeks ago, Jonathan Ross more or less handed over his show to the Queen of Pop for a Madonna special, but normal service has been resumed this week as he’s got a selection of celebrities.

Just to re-enforce the fact that this is classic Ross, one of them is Russell Brand. They’ve had plenty to time to learn their lesson since the unpleasantness of 2008, so while we would be disappointed if they were on their absolute best behaviour, they hopefully won’t cause any major scandals.

Also dropping by for a chat are Catherine Tate and Keanu Reeves, who will be talking about his new film John Wick and giving us all a chance to marvel at how little he’s aged since the days of Speed and The Matrix.

Meanwhile, music comes from Olly Murs, who will also find time for a natter.

FILM: Looper (BBC2, 9.05pm)

(2012) This mind-bending thriller opens in 2044 Kansas. Joe is an assassin or ’looper’, who guns down hooded targets that have been sent back in time by his mob bosses, represented in 2044 by the sadistic Abe.

Like his fellow loopers, Joe knows his life expectancy is finite and one fateful day he will “close the loop” by gunning down his future self.

Needless to say, it’s crucial that loopers do not allow sentiment to cloud their judgment in case their older incarnations dodge the bullet and run amok in 2044, altering the course of the future.

So when Joe hesitates from his bloody duties and allows Future Joe to escape, the race between hunter and hunted begins in earnest.

Writer/director Rian Johnson made a splash with Brick 10 years ago, and this slick time-travel thriller proved the cleverness of that movie was no fluke.

Once more he works well with Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Bruce Willis plays to his strengths as an action man, and Emily Blunt impresses in her limited scenes as a mother, who will lay her life on the line to protect her special little boy.

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Pierce Gagnon, Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels

The Graham Dwyer Trial (TV3, 10pm)

Presented by Ciara Doherty, this TV3 special tells the story of a trial which has gripped the nation.

It lasted eight weeks and involved 200 witnesses, who were asked to give often gruesome evidence about the murder of Elaine O’ Hara.

The programme revisits the events of Elaine’s disappearance, Graham Dwyer’s arrest and the subsequent trial.

It includes interviews with a number of journalists who covered the case and detailed accounts of the crucial evidence which led ultimately to a guilty verdict.

FILM: Meet the Parents (BBC One, 10.25pm)

(2000) Hapless nurse Greg Focker discovers he must win the approval of his girlfriend’s dad before he can pop the question.

Greg desperately tires to win over his future father-in-law on a weekend trip but, during the course of 48 hours, his efforts to impress lead to a catalogue of disasters.

With a superb array of acting talent on display, it’s hard to determine who is the pick of the bunch.

Robert De Niro is excellent as the intimidating dad; Ben Stiller does the unfortunate beau routine to perfection and Blythe Danner is wonderfully quirky as his future mother-in-law.

Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, Owen Wilson

FILM: Wanted (Channel 4, 10.35pm)

(2008) Wesley, an office wage slave, turns out to be the son of an assassin and is soon inducted into a world of gifted killers.

However, as events take an unexpected turn, the former desk jockey seeks vengeance against his stealthy new employers.

James McAvoy is a dubious choice as the lead, but Angelina Jolie smoulders in every frame as his sexy tutor, Fox. Some of the stunts are out of this world, and Danny Elfman’s closing song The Little Things is an under-rated gem.

However, Morgan Freeman’s swearing is as wrong as the excessive gun-worshipping which permeates the movie.

Starring: James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common

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