Saturday 10 December 2016

The best of Thursday's TV - from Mayo cowboys to the homeless at Christmas

Pat Stacey

Published 03/12/2015 | 14:33

Cowboy Jack features in The Local Eye, RTE 1, 7pm
Cowboy Jack features in The Local Eye, RTE 1, 7pm

Pat Stacey has trawled through the TV listings so you don't have to...

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WHAT A PERFORMANCE!

BBC4, 9pm

Sparkling new three-part series with Frank Skinner and Suzy Klein (above) cantering through the history of British entertainment in the pre-television era. Their first port of call is the music hall, where stars of the day included Marie Lloyd, Champagne Charlie and comedian Dan Leno, from who, legend has it, Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel copied their styles.

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THE LOCAL EYE

RTE1, 7pm

In the latest episode of the breezy series about regional newspapers, photographer John Kelly sets out to capture love at the Matchmaking Festival in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, and journalist Willie McHugh interviews local character Cowboy Jack Holian (a name that belongs in a Western movie) at his Mayo daffodil ranch. Daffy indeed.

 

FILM: THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN

BBC4, 11pm

(1957) Dismissed by some boneheaded British film critics of the day as lurid and disgusting, Hammer's first foray into horror movies is now rightly regarded as a classic that changed the face of cinema and created a unique and unmistakeable studio style. Peter Cushing (above) plays Frankenstein as an irredeemably evil man, and Christopher Lee's Creature swaps poignancy for pure horror.

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PEARL HARBOUR: WHO FIRED FIRST?

PBS America, 9pm

Fascinating documentary questioning the conventional wisdom that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour was an act of unprovoked aggression. The film reveals that an hour earlier a US destroyer captain had dropped depth charges on what he believed was a Japanese submarine, so why wasn't the base prepared for action?

HOMELESS AT CHRISTMAS

Channel 5, 10pm

First of four heart-rending documentaries about the unfortunate people who won't, as the song goes, be home for Christmas. They include Emily, whose children sleep rough alongside her. Not easy to watch, but vital TV.

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