Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jane Shilling's Festive Highlights

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jane Shilling's Festive Highlights

Article excerpt

Boxing Day THE BORROWERS BBC1, 7.30pm Victoria Wood, Stephen Fry and Aisling Loftus as an unexpectedly sexy Arrietty star in Ben Vanstone's lively adaptation of Mary Norton's story about a race of tiny people who live hidden in the houses of "human beans" and borrow their stuff (this is why you can never find a pair of scissors when you need them). It's family drama with real charm.

MISS AUSTEN: THE UNSEEN PORTRAIT? BBC2, 9pm Literary biographer Paula Byrne is the proud owner of an early 19thcentury portrait of a woman sitting at a writing desk with a cat asleep on it. Byrne is convinced that the woman is Jane Austen, whose biography she is currently writing, and sets about trying to prove her theory. Austen experts are sceptical, but it's a treat for Janeites.

AGATHA CHRISTIE'S POIROT: THE CLOCKS ITV1, 9pm This feature-length drama finds David Suchet as the fastidious Belgian detective investigating a particularly complicated murder, involving an unidentified corpse discovered behind a sofa in a blind woman's house, surrounded by four stopped clocks (don't you just hate it when that happens?). A strong cast includes Geoffrey Palmer, Frances Barber and the late Anna Massey.

BEAR'S WILD WEEKEND WITH MIRANDA C4, 9pm So madly annoying is Bear Grylls, with his much-vaunted survival skills, that I confess to a vague hope that at some point in their joint expedition to the Swiss Alps, Miranda Hart would creep up behind him and push him quietly into a bottomless crevasse.

For some reason, she never takes her chance. Possibly because she is roped to him.

Bank Holiday Tuesday December 27 Gillian Anderson is marvellous at lending a tragic glamour to Dickens's darker heroines. She gives a powerful performance as an uncharacteristically glamorous Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (BBC1, 9pm). Contestants on Celebrity Mastermind (BBC1, 5. …

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