Thursday's TV tips

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

Thursday's TV tips

SPORT: UEFA Europe League ? Live (3e, 7.30pm)

Wolfsburg face Rafa Benitez? Napoli in the pick of the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final First Leg ties live from the Wolfsburg Arena in Germany.

Introduced by Tommy Martin, commentary from Brian Kerr and Trevor Welch.

HISTORY: The Last Days of Rasputin (Channel 5, 8pm)

Thanks to the efforts of Seventies pop group and noted historians Boney M, many of us think we have a working knowledge of the last days of Rasputin.

According to their song Rasputin, it was a shame how he carried on, but will the historians, writers and thinkers featured in this documentary agree? Or do they have a different take on the man who has over the decades has been described as a ?mad monk? and (by Boney M again) ?Russia?s greatest love machine??

What experts, including Helen Rappaport and Dominic Lieven, can agree on is that Grigori Rasputin was a Siberian peasant and faith healer who rose from obscurity to become an adviser to Tsar Nicholas II and his family, before being assassinated in December 1916.

However, his motivations are still open to debate. Did he simply want what was best for Russia, or was he following his own, less spiritual agenda?

REALITY: Home of the Year (RTE One, 8.30pm)

Championing individuality, flair and commitment to design, Home of the Year features homeowners around Ireland who have done something extraordinary to the place they call home.

Over 8 weeks, 21 homes will compete for the Home of the Year title, with three very different properties featuring each week.

Making the tough decisions as to who goes through to the final are our three expert judges; interior design legend Hugh Wallace, award winning architect Declan O?Donnell and textiles and homewares designer Helen James.

This week the judges are off to three very different homes, from a surprising semidetached home in Kildare to a cottage retreat in Wicklow and finally a converted church in Co Galway.

REALITY: Ireland?s Paramedics (TV3, 9pm)

Paramedics is a dramatic and emotive, six-part documentary series with the HSE National Ambulance Service, that gives viewers a keen insight into the hectic routine of Ireland?s frontline emergency medical services.

TV3 goes behind the ambulance doors and on the road with the dedicated men and women who hold so many precious lives in their hands, every day.

In the first episode of this brand new series, we see what frontline Paramedic crews face when called to multiple heroin overdoses, and how saving the patient?s life can sometimes be easier to manage than the reaction of the overdosed patient as they eventually come around.

From car crashes to cardiac arrests, we meet the call takers who handle the thousands of panicked 999 calls for help.

And from the regular to the downright unusual, we respond to a dog groomer who has bitten off more than she can chew, when a client?s dog objects to cut and blow dry!

FILM: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Film4, 9pm)

(2011) This labyrinthine drama centres on the deputy to the head of British intelligence who is forced into retirement after an operation ends in disaster. He is later recruited by the government to return to duty and investigate the possibility of a Soviet mole in a high-ranking position in MI6.

Gary Oldman gives one of the best performances of his life as ageing hero George Smiley; the scene where he reflects on an encounter with his arch-enemy is a master-class in acting.

The cast list reads like a Who?s Who of the best British acting talent working today, including Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong and Toby Jones.

Also good to see Kathy Burke reunited with Oldman: they previously worked together on his impressive directorial turn Nil By Mouth.

Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Kathy Burke

COMEDY: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (E4, 9pm)

It doesn?t seem to have picked up as a much attention as its E4 stable mate The Big Bang Theory, which is a shame, because Brooklyn Nine-Nine is arguably one of the best sitcoms currently on the box.

One of the reasons for that may be that the writers have largely let the police work take a back seat to just watch the impressive ensemble cast play off each other ? and also most of the guest stars who have been fitting in rather nicely.

This week, sees the return of Holt?s arch-nemesis Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick), who for once actually needs his help ? and a job recommendation. Will he finally call a truce?

Also back is Eva Longoria as Sophia, whose job as a prosecutor is causing problems for her relationship with Peralta. However, the detective has a plan, and it involves charming her boss Geoffrey (another guest star, 30 Rock and Suburgatory?s Chris Parnell).

REALITY: Ice Rink on the Estate (ITV, 9pm)

If anyone can encourage the people of Britain to get their skates on, it?s Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean ? even Todd Carty, arguably the least naturally talented skater to ever grace Dancing on Ice was willing to come back for the show?s final series.

So, in theory they should be making good progress this week as they recruit Nottingham teenagers for their planned show in a pop-up rink in the city?s deprived St Ann?s area, especially as their new proteges already have one performance under their belts.

But there are still obstacles ahead as the recruits pull together to raise funds for the project.

If that wasn?t enough of a challenge, they also face another daunting public performance ? this time, they are going to be taking part in an ambitious group number during the interval at a Nottingham Panthers ice-hockey match.

DOCUMENTARY: The Secret Life of the Pub (Channel 4, 10pm)

It?s been a tough few years for the pub industry ? something that?s been blamed on everything from cheap supermarket alcohol to the smoking ban ? but it seems that despite it all, the local boozer still remains an institution, with the average British man spending a year and a half of his life propping up the bar.

But apart from drinking, just what to do they there? Is it all soul-searching and slanging matches, as the soaps would have you believe, or is banter the order of the day?

This documentary rigs the Lord Nelson in London?s East End with cameras to find out what the men, including old mates Cudge and Dodds and city boys Joel and George really talk about when women are not around.

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