Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pick of the Night

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pick of the Night

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY RAMSEY;KIMBERLEY DARKE

Footballers' Wives

9pm, ITV1

Yes, the ludicrous tackfest that is Footballers' Wives is back - and it is just as bonkers as ever.

In this opening episode the makers have thrown in everything that is expected of FW: a fancy wedding, sex, champagne, naked bodies, lesbianism, a sleeping potion, a catfight ... not quite the kitchen sink, but we do get a metal detector, apparently sent from beyond the grave (I'm not making it up).

Several of the old characters have disappeared, but we have a ridiculous new couple, midfielder Tremaine Gidigbi and his supermodel girlfriend Liberty.

And there's a new club owner, Garry Ryan, (former Hazell star Nicholas Ball).

Club captain Bruno is still around, and as the episode opens, he's planning to "renew" his vows with Lucy - despite the fact that he never really married her in the first place (he's hitched to someone else, so their marriage was bigamous).

And Amber (Laila Rouass, right) is still hanging on too, despite her grief for the late Conrad. She's even set up a shrine, where she goes to receive his instructions from the afterlife (honest, I am not making this up).

She is determined to discover who killed her beloved. So, in order to recall the fatal day in detail, she gets regressed by a hypnotherapist (who would have thought Amber could regress any further?).

Meanwhile, things don't go according to plan for Bruno. "Everything I touch turns to shit," he wails. Which may explain his script.

The whole thing is madder than an asylum awayday (as usual). But there's also an air of trying too hard - a feeling that script conferences might have been desperate, what-can-we-come-upwithnow? affairs.

When it started, FW was effortlessly tacky and joyously over-the-top. It appeared as if the makers could produce this sort of crap all day. Now it seems like they're constipated - you can almost hear the straining that has gone into producing this episode.

Perhaps, as the Americans say, it's time to get off the pot. Because, fun though it may be, there's a definite whiff of "one series too many" about this incarnation of Footballers' Wives.

The Culture Show

7.30pm, BBC2 (repeated at 11.20pm)

With the Oscars just around the corner, the arts show features two interviews linked to the awards.

Robert Altman (right), one of the all-time great filmmakers and, arguably, America's leading living director, is due to receive an honorary Oscar in March. But here he talks about coming to London for his latest project - directing Arthur Miller's penultimate play Resurrection Blues at the Old Vic.

Plus, Oscar-nominated actor Philip Seymour Hoffman discusses his role in Capote, about the celebrated American writer.

Capturing the Friedmans

9pm, Channel 4

This Oscar-nominated documentary is one of the more compelling, but unsettling, things you are likely to see on television.

It charts the story of Arnold Friedman and his son Jesse (left), who were accused of abusing innocent children, and the effects this had on a previously close-knit family. The Friedmans' hobby of making home movies helps illustrate many aspects of the story, alongside interviews and news reports.

Just The Two of Us

8pm, BBC1

It's a celebrity singing show. And it features eight TV stars who are each paired with an expert singer and have to compete against one another, with one couple being eliminated each time. …

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