Monday's TV tips

If you've had a hectic weekend, here's the best shows and films on TV to unwind to tonight.

Monday's TV tips

TRAVEL: Travel Man: 48 Hours in Istanbul (Channel 4, 8.30pm)

We like travel. We like funny stuff.

So this mix of travelogue and documentary presented by two of Channel 4’s funniest guys is a winner, as this week Richard Ayoade is joined by comedian Adam Hills.

They’re visiting – as the title would suggest – Istanbul for the weekend, as Richard attempts to show Adam how to holiday with ruthless efficiency.

Istanbul is unique in that it is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, and the men cross the River Bosphorus from Europe to Asia, comparing a private yacht tour and a low-price public ferry.

They go on to take in an authentic Turkish shave at a local barber shop, but get a shock when it’s a lot closer than they expected, and share an awkward moment at a Turkish bath and massage parlour. Plus, they head to the Grand Bazaar market and have a go at haggling.

NATURE: Kew on a Plate (BBC2, 9.30pm)

It’s getting a bit chilly at Kew Gardens as winter takes hold.

But while many of us hate the thought of freezing evenings trying keep warm around the fire, the crops love the cold, and Raymond learns how brassicas cope in the frosty season.

Meanwhile, Kate visits Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank to discover the secret to the survival of winter greens, while Raymond Blanc cooks a nutrient-rich kale dish with sweet and sour pork.

The Palm House at Kew holds the UK’s largest collection of bananas, although only one variety, the Cavendish, seems to be consumed, and it’s now vulnerable to extinction. Kate heads off to the University of Leicester, where they are racing to find a replacement.

Kate also learns how chicory coffee was once a popular British drink, and Raymond tastes the chicory grown at Kew in his chicory gratin.

REAL-LIFE: My Big Fat Gypsy Grand National (Channel 4, 9pm)

Three guesses as to what a Traveller’s day at the races looks like...

The chances are that if you’ve caught any of the weddings amid these stunning (but very eye-opening) series, you’ll only need the one guess.

We’ve not been treated to a new offering of the programme for a while now, so you can bet we’re not going to miss this one-off special that celebrates this year’s Grand National Festival.

As you’d expect, this is a massive event in their calendar, and it attracts everyone from the local Traveller bride, staging an outrageous hen do at Aintree, to Gypsies paying their first visit.

There’s also a chance to catch up with Traveller Paddy Doherty, who is determined to make the most of the occasion.

COMEDY: Republic of Telly (RTE Two, 10pm)

Panti Bliss is the special guest star this week on Republic of Telly as “Jen of the Week”!

Panti struggles to keep her cool when filming with Bernard O’Shea for his “Living with….” series. Bernard seems to have the hots for Panti – will he get the message? Given that he’s shared a bath with Bressie, just what has he planned for Panti?

In “Gaff of Cards” Panti channels her Robin Wright first-lady to Kevin McGahern’s very best Kevin Spacey as the couple plot to outwit their flatmates, all to get the best room in the house.

REALITY: Made in Chelsea Does Come Dine with Me (E4, 10pm)

The Made in Chelsea series has gone some way to showing us just how the other half really live, but as that show meets another favourite, we’re about to find out how they eat too.

Over the years, Come Dine with Me has grouped together the most mismatched of people, and with narrator Dave Lamb’s hilarious comments, it’s proved to be a winning formula.

Tonight, the gang from MiC take to the hob, as Jamie Laing, Louise Thompson, Georgia ’Toff’ Toffolo and Alex Mytton battle it out to win a thousand pounds for charity.

Up first is DJ Alex, who plans a festival-themed evening in the countryside, before Georgia adds a posh twist to classic student dishes.

Third host Louise plans a night of refinement and fine dining, while Jamie goes all out for his masquerade evening, which includes a performance inspired by the Moulin Rouge, a king-size knickerbocker glory and a starter that shoots down and straight back up again. Intrigued?

FILM: The Wedding Video (BBC Two, 11pm)

(2012) Shambolic oaf Raif decides to make a video of his estranged brother’s forthcoming nuptials as a present to the bride and groom. So the laconic best man turns up with camera in hand at the door of his brother Tim, determined to immortalise every aspect of the preparations.

The first surprise comes when Raif learns that Tim is engaged to Saskia, a booze-swigging wild child who was the scourge of their school days.

Saskia has been polished into a refined lady by her well-to-do mother, Alex, a doyenne of the Cheshire social set. As Raif spends more time with the soon-to-wed couple, he glimpses tiny cracks in the romance.

Nigel Cole’s film amuses and charms in equal measure, relying on the excellent comic timing of the ensemble cast.

Robert Webb and Lucy Punch are well matched as the happy couple and Harriet Walter purses her lips with gusto as her matriarch heaps extravagance upon garish finishing touches.

Starring: Rufus Hound, Robert Webb, Lucy Punch, Harriet Walter, Miriam Margolyes

FILM: My Cousin Vinny (TV3, 11pm)

(1992) Classic comedy.

Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins - an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners - comes in to defend them.

Starring: Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio

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