Thursday 19 April 2018

Dancing On Ice at Christmas utv, 8pm

Paul Whitington

entertainment of the day

Dancing On Ice at Christmas

utv, 8pm

All that ballroom dancing is a walk in the park compared with careering around on a pair of skates at high speed, and in this Christmas special, teams of celebrities will compete on the ice. Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean will be pitted against each other, as they train two teams. Each celebrity will be paired with a professional, and their efforts assessed by judges Robin Cousins, Ruthie Henshall, Jason Gardiner, Nicky Slater and Karen Barber.

animation of the day

Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death

bbc1, 8.30pm

After their success on the big screen with Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the inventor and his hound return with this new adventure. The pair have entered the baking business. Gromit is worried about a mysterious 'cereal killer' that's targeting all the other bakers in town, but Wallace doesn't care because he's fallen in love with Piella Bakewell. So, as usual, it's left to Gromit to save the day.

programme of the day

Killinaskully: The Emergency

RTE1, 8.25pm

In a special double helping of Pat Shortt's rural comedy, we head back to 1944, when the rest of the world was involved in a massive war that Ireland referred to as the 'Emergency'. It's Christmas, and the Faggart power station is in the hands of the Killinaskully Local Defence Force. When a visit from DeValera finds the troops AWOL and the Defense Committee distinctly tired and emotional, the entire village is mobilised in an effort to get back in the Taoiseach's good books. Concludes on St Stephen's Day.

drama of the day

Doctor Who

bBC1, 6pm

Dervla Kirwan plays the villain in this Christmas edition. It's 1851, and the streets of London have been rudely disturbed by the arrival of the Cybermen. As the Doctor begins to investigate a series of mysterious deaths, he's surprised to meet another time-travelling Doctor (played by David Morrissey). The two decide to join forces to defeat the tin men and the ruthless Miss Hartigan. David Tennant stars as Doctor Who, with Velile Tshabalala playing Rosita.

documentary of the day

Blackadder Rides Again

bbc1 10.30pm

In four series released during the 1980s and early 1990s, writers Ben Elton and Richard Curtis created one of the most memorable comic characters of them all: Edmund Blackadder. Reappearing in various historical periods, Blackadder's essential cynicism and low cunning did not change, and in this extended documentary, Rowan Atkinson gives his first ever in-depth interview about the show and its phenomenal success.

programme of the day

Podge & Rodge's Christmas Craic

RTE2, 11.05pm

Predictably, Podge and Rodge have tended to favour glamorous females when it comes to filling the presenter slot left vacant at the start of this season by Lucy Kennedy. They've indulged in their usual filthy innuendo with the likes of Caroline Morahan and Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, but will no doubt be put in their place this evening by the terrifying Twink. She will present this extended seasonal special, and guests will include Mark Lester, the angelic child star of Sixties musical Oliver! He's now a qualified osteopath, and counts Michael Jackson among his close friends, but may not be prepared for this show.

sports of the day

Euro 2008, Apres Match and All That

RTE2, 8.40pm

Ok we weren't at Euro 2008, but we're beginning to get used to that (the last time we qualified for the European finals was 1988, after all). But the Apres Match team were, and in this hour-long show they give us their own unique view of last June's most memorable Euro tournament. Reminders of some of the special moments from a thrilling competition are provided by Bill O'Herlihy, John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Graeme Souness, while the Apres Match boys give us their unique and skewed view of the action in their after-game sketches.

drama of the day

Caught in a Trap

utv, 9pm

In this new one-off drama from playwright James Graham, Sound of Music star Connie Fisher plays a lonely woman whose only solace is her obsession with Elvis Presley. Still living at home with her overbearing stepmother (Geraldine James) and downtrodden father (Jim Carter), Gemma has a tedious, badly-paid job emptying parking meters, and her only solace is Elvis who, unlike every other aspect of her life, never lets her down. But when she starts stealing money from the parking meter proceeds to purchase rare Elvis memorabilia, her life starts to spiral out of control.

comedy of the day

Your Bad Self

RTE2, 9.40pm

Sketch shows are hard things to get right, but at least the creators of this new skit show have a strong cast to back them up. Written by Ben Kelly and John Butler, Your Bad Self is a fast and furious sketch show that stars Peter McDonald (from screen comedy I Went Down), Michael McElhatton (who played Rats in Paths to Freedom), Hugh O'Conor, Justine Mitchell and Andrew Bennett.

documentary of the day

The Man Who Made Eric and Ernie

BBC2, 8.30pm

For most of the 1970s, Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were synonymous with Christmas, and their festive show was watched by record-breaking audiences. In this tribute, lifelong fan Paul Merton honours the genius of the comic duo. Combining tributes from their peers and comment from contemporary comics, the show charts their rise from the Music Halls to TV superstardom. And as well as clips from the most beloved sketches, there's rare archive footage from their early career. Merton also talks to some of the stars who famously guested on their Christmas shows.

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