Sunday 18 March 2018

Your must-see TV guide for Friday

What to watch on the box tonight....

Pick of the Day

In the final visit to Albert Square of the week, we pick up in the midst of the final showdown between Janine Butcher (played by Charlie Brooks) and Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd).

Alas, it's Alice (Jasmyn Banks) that finds herself in the middle of the row. The advance press from the BBC has stated that a murder does indeed take place tonight, but they're trying to create suspense over who the victim will be.

That said anyone who has been following the announcement of comings-and-goings of cast members in the press over the last few weeks could probably put together which one of the three will bite the bullet.

Besides, does anyone even care? In the past this is just the kind of storyline that would have resulted in a surge in ratings and/or water cooler buzz for EastEnders.

But as it stands, the plot seems to have been greeted with a collective audience shrug, which has defined this soap's fortunes for the best part of 2013.

Indeed, it has been a miserable few months for EastEnders. During the summer, its producer Lorraine Newman was sacked after just 16 months in the job.

Ratings had dipped as low as a dismal 5million per episode during her tenure and she was swiftly replaced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins, who promised to revitalise the ailing soap with dramatic storylines (Phil's car crash, the return of Barbara Windsor, this Janine-Michael-Alice love triangle).

However, Coronation Street is doing much better. It is consistently winning the ratings battle, and the current storyline revolving around Hayley's cancer seems to have struck a real chord with viewers.

In tonight's two episodes of the Manchester soap, a vulnerable Nick loses his cool, Grace launches a charm offensive on Anna, and Liz plans a girls night out.

Eastenders/Coronation Street RTE1 8pm/TV3 7:30pm, 8:30pm/UTV 7:30pm, 8:30pm

Film Choice

Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), an editor of French 'Elle', suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost

totally paralysed body in a condition known as locked-in syndrome.

The only part of his body that he can move is his left eye and it's through this sole means of communication that Bauby dictates a life-affirming memoir.

Artist Julian Schnabel does a remarkable job of rendering Bauby's condition and he's aided in the task by Amalric, who gives a committed performance.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), BBC2, 12.10am

Best Interview

Almost 20 years after that little interval dance performance at Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin launched him as a superstar, Michael Flatley sits down with Piers Morgan to look back on his career. The Lord of The Dance, whose legs are insured for $40million, opens up about his reputation as an ego-maniac.

Piers Morgan's life stories, UTV, 9pm

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