Christmas Eve

I FILM: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (BBC l) 2-4.l5pm. Excruciating songs and Dick Van Dyke make this ideal afternoon fare for lovers of eccentric inventors. cutesy kids and flying cars. Screenplay by Roald Dahl.

I FILM: Ernest Saves Christmas (Scottish) 3.25—5. lOpm. A hapless Florida cabbie is forced to step in and rescue the festive season when Santa is nicked by the cops. Slapstick a-go-go.

I FILM: Big Top Pee Wee (BBC2) 4.40-6pm. Remember Pee Wee Herman? The frankly weird character emerges from his basement to find a circus has arrived on his farm. including a particularly attractive trapeze artist.

I FILM: A Chorus Oi Oisapproval (Scottish) 8.30—l0. IOpm. Alan Ayckbourn‘s comedy of embarrassment stars Jeremy Irons. Anthony Hopkins and Prunella Scales in the tale of a nervous widower joining art amateur drarnatics group.

I FILM: The Ilunt For Red October

(BBC I) 8—10. IOpm. Sean Connery is a Russian submarine commander (with a sherioushly Shcottish accent) heading for

the East coast of America. Is be planning to attack or defect? CIA analyst Alec Baldwin believes the latter. A tense end- of-Cold-War thriller.

I Have I Cot Iiews For You (BBC2) 9—9.30pm. Seasonal cynicism from Hislop, Merton and Deayton. joined by Griff Rhys-Jones and Bob Geldof.

I The Sorceress (BBC2) 9.30—lo.20pm. '

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa stars in a lavish production combining Handel’s music and spectacular dance to tell a tale of love conquering evil.

,I Xmas In New York: Camp Christmas

(Channel 4) 10—1 1.05pm. What rhymes with Perry Como. but is never seen at Christmas? The answer is here in abundance in a wicked send-up of traditional fatnin Christmas variety shows. See preview.

I Chef! (BBCI) l0. lO—l0.40pm. A festive slice of the Lenny Henry sitcom. with tempestuous Gareth Blackstock setting off on a wild goose (or turkey) chase.

I South Bank Show Special: Cliff Richard (Scottish) lO.20—l 1.50pm. Melvyn Bragg presents a profile of the

God-bothering pop legend with ‘unprecedented access’ to all areas of his life.

I FILM: White Palace (BBC2) 10.40pm-12.20am. An offbeat love story about the romance between young widower James Spader and middle-aged waitress Susan Sarandon. The differences in age and lifestyle threaten to disrupt their already unusual relationship.

I Xmas In New York: Manhattan Cable’s Christmas Extravaganza (Channel 4)

l. lO—l.55am. Laurie Pike hosts a ' selection of festive messages from all your cable favourites. not forgetting Filthy the dog.

I FILM: The Fly (BBC2) 1.05—2.40am. An unashamedly unseasonal showing of the I958 original in which a careless scientist reassembles his atoms with a few contributions from a passing insect.

Christmas Sunday

I FILM: Superman III (BBCI )

3. 15—5. I 5pm. Christopher Reeve dons Ieotard and underpants for another bout of superhero-dom. tackling megalomaniac tycoon Robert Vaughan and unwilling computer wiz Richard Pryor.

I Wrong Trousers (BBC2) 5.20—5.50pm. Oscar-winning Nick Park‘s latest animation revisits eccentric inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit as they have fun with their automated trousers. See feature.

I Porgy And Bess (BBC2) 5.50—8.55pm. George and Ira Gershwin's opera is directed by Trevor Nunn. and stars Willard White and Cynthia Haymon as the star-crossed lovers in the 20s Deep South. See preview. .

I The Ghosts OI Oxford Street (Channel 4) 6.40—7.45ptn. A repeat showing for Malcolm McLaren‘s fascinating musical odyssey through the history of Oxford Street. with tunes from Happy Mondays. Tom Jones. Sinead O’Connor and more. I Casualty (BBCI ) 8-8.50pm. Duffy departs in the Christmas edition of the hospital soap. with the patients including a fireman. a young student and a self- styled hospital chaplain.

I FILM: Manhattan (Channel 4) 9-lO.45pm. Woody Allen's classic melancholy comedy about a writer’s love affair with his city (and a 17-year-old Mariel Hemingway).

I Dame Edna In IIoIIywood (Scottish) 9-IOpm. Melbourne‘s favourite HRT patient holds a star-studded soiree in Beverly Hills. with guests including Kim Basinger. Ringo Starr and Robin Williams.

Mi Farrow in Crimes and Misdeineanors

I I FILM: Crimes And Misdemeanours

(BBC2) 9.05-10.45pm. Head-to-head Woody Allen! This bleak comedy is

, riddled with themes of guilt and morality. with the excellent Martin Landau the main ' culprit. He plays eye surgeon Judah

Rosenthal who decides to have his mistress killed rather than lose his good name.

* I One Foot In The Algarve (BBCI )

9.05- I0.40pm. Britain‘s favourite moaner. Victor Meldrew (Richard Wilson) heads

f off for a holiday in Portugal. where.

wouldn't you know it. there's more than a few im'tations to complain about. Peter Cook happens to be one of them.

I The Spitting Image Pantomine (Scottish) l0—lO.30pm. Rubber-faced mayhem ensues when John Major organises the annual panto.

I Itod Stewart: Unplugged (BBC2) l0.45ptn-I2. ISam. Rod kicks off a series of MTV concerts with a set drawn from his entire career. with guitar provided by his old mate Ron Wood.

Christmas Day

Kevin Costner’s Field of Oreams

I FILM: The Railway Children (BBC2) I2.40—2.25pm. A bona-fide kids‘ classic. with Sally Thomsett. Jenny Agutter and Gary Warren as the twee children it) Edwardian Yorkshire playing near the railway. Bernard Cribbins is the lovable porter. Perks. _

I Xmas In New York: The Alternative Oueen’s Message (Channel 4) 3—3.15pm. A heartfelt message to citizens of Britain from famous emigre Quentin Crisp.

I FILM: Back To The Future III (BBC 1) 4.05-5.55pm. Not up to its predecessors but still offering plenty of thrills. the time- travelling adventure finds our heroes Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd sorting out a few complications iii the late 19th century Wild West.

I The Snowman (Channel 4) 4.25—4.55pm. Raymond Briggs‘s festive classic walks through the air once tnore. I Only Fools And horses (BBC l)

6. lO—7.30pm. A substantially tttore reliable treat than anything you'll fitttl it) your stocking. John Sullivan's dodgy duo are facing the tribulations of real and potential fatherhood. with Del spending too much time down the pub. and Rodney ashen-faced front Cassandra‘s attempts to conceive.

I Christmas With Luciano Pavarotti (Channel 4) (3.20—7.25an A special concert with the Italian tenor. recorded in Montreal‘s Notre Dame Cathedral.

I FILM: American Friends (BBC2)

7.30-9.05pm. A frightfully nice but dull tale of Victorian romance. starring Michael Palin as his own great- grandfather. finding love on a Swiss walking tour.

I FILM: Field Oi Oreams (Scottish) 8—9.55pm. A feelgood tale of love. death. baseball and the American Way. Kevin Costner is the sensitive lowa farmer who ltears a voice telling him to build a baseball diamond in his cornfields. Don‘t tell the missus Kev.

I Birds Oi A Feather (BBC l) 8—9pm. A frankly preposterous plot finds Tracey and Sharon heading off to Hollywood in search of a father they never knew they had. Look out for George Wendt. aka Norm from Cheers. in a cameo role.

I Swan Song (Channel 4) 8.30—9pm. Chekhov‘s short story about art ageing actor stars Sir John Gielgud. with Richard Briers as the theatre prontpter. Kenneth Branagh directs.

I La FanciulIa Oel West (Channel 4)

9—l l.30pm. Placido Domingo plays bandit Dick Johnson in Puccini's Wild West opera set in the Califomian gold rush.

I FILM: Ghost (BBCI) 9. 10—1 l.lOpm. The record-breaking box-office smash is a shamelessly sloppy supernatural romance starring Patrick Swayze as the perky corpse who returns to woo girlfriend Demi Moore from beyond the grave. Stifle your sobs as the Righteous Brothers croon ‘Unchained Melody‘.

I FILM: Boonie And Clyde (Scottish) 9.55—l 1.50pm. The bullet-ridden biopic of the notorious gun-toting couple. played by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.

I Morecamhe And Wise (BBC 1) ll.l0pm-12.l5am. In the days before Vic and Bob. the BBC had this pair. often dull. occasionally brilliant. with a gift for humiliating celebrity guests. But why did they sleep together?

I FILM: Belle De Jour (BBC2) lO.55pnt—-l?..30am. Make sure granny‘s asleep before tuning in to Bunuel's erotic tale of a bored wife (Catherine Deneuve) taking a part-time job in a brothel.

I Robin Williams Live At The Met (Channel 4) ll.50pnt—12.50am. An hour of offbeat and observational wit with the comic genie.

Boxing Day

I FILM: Dumbo (Scottish) 9.25—1035am. Warm-hearted. ear-flapping fun in Disney‘s classic tale of an airborne elephant. ‘I believe I cried.‘ admits one tough List staff member.

I PI’IIICB Cinders (Channel 4) 7—7.30pm. A new animation giving a gender twist to the Cinderella tale. with voices supplied by the likes of Jennifer Saunders. Jonathan Ross. Lenny Henry and Dexter Fletcher.

I At home With Vic And Bob (BBC2) 7—l lptn. Spend the entire evening with japesters Reeves and Mortimer. Punctuating the sketches with all your favourite characters. including the Bra Men and Slade. are some of Vic and Bob's favourite shows and clips from the archives. Rullund Weekend Television kicks off the evening with Eric Idle. followed by the wildlife documentary Meerkats United. and the evening closes with Mike Leigh's Home Sweet Home. the bitter-sweet story of three postmen.

I Lovejoy (BBCI) 7—8.35pm. More feature-length foreign nonsense with the antiques expert swanning off to North Carolina itt search of the long-lost Lovejoy clan.

I FILM: New York Stories (Channel 4) 9—I I.20pm. A compendium of three hornages to New York life. featuring Martin Scorsese's Life Lessons. Francis Ford Coppola’s Life Without Zoe and


1‘ '. I! ‘\\\\‘\ N5. 1.:

Rosanna Arquette in New York Stories

Woody Allen’s Oedipus Wrecks.

I FILM: A Fish Called Wanda (BBC 1) 9.25—1 1.05pm. Popular British comedy with plenty of dog-crushing and chips inserted into nostrils. John Cleese is barrister Archie Leach who becomes obsessed with jewel thieflamie Lee Curtis. Kevin Kline steals the show as the psychopathic Otto.

I FILM: Pale Rider (Scottish) IO.30pm—l2.45am. When a lone preacher (looking a hell ofa lot like Clint Eastwood) rides irtto a small mining town. he looks like the answer to the locals‘ prayers. But what are his real motives? Superior Western hokum.

I FILM: The Year My Voice Broke (BBC2) ll. lOptn—12.50am. An Australian rites of passage drama set in I962 starring Noah Taylor and Loene C arttten as teenage friends who are maturing at different rates. Their friendship comes under pressure when she falls for the football coach.

The List I7 December I993 »l3 January l994 87