The Ben Elton Show BBC1,Thu 16Apr, 10.20pm.

The man from Auntie returns for a new eight-part gigglefest. Music, sketches and stand-up is the basic deal, thOugh qurte why he's gm Ronnie Corbett or. every week is a mystery. Irony, or something.

Now We Are One: A Night To Remember

Channel 4, Sat 18 Apr, 9pm.

Hard to believe that it's nearly a whole year since the whole country stayed up lost to see Michael Portillo get his sorry ass whupped. Recall the night when the Tories' Ibudest cheers were for the demise of Neil Hamilton and EdWina Currie and the country switched from blue to red.

Ruby Wax Meets . . . OJ Simpson

BBCI, Sun 19 Apr, 10.35pm. III-fitting gloves, racist cops, bloody socks and a show-trial are all on the agenda when the Waxster meets the man most people believe got away with murder. Now all he does is plot in his head how he is going to set about catching the real killers. From the safety of the clubhouse.

Festival of Fun Channel 5, Sun 19 Apr, 10.50pm.

The first of thirteen weeks of Montreal's comedy bash With a themed show each week Stewart Lee and Richard Herring Will be schmoozmg among the llkCS of DaVId Baddiel, Bill Bailey, Phil Kay, Denis Leary, DaVid Hyde-Pierce and Lea Thompson. Look out for rare live footage of David Schwimmer displaying the cutting edge hilarity which has infused his role in Friends. This is sarcasm, by the way.

Hotel: Rubber Studies BBC 1, Mon 20 Apr, 9.30pm.

Another chance to see one of the highlights from the last series and catch up on what those crazy people are up to now. This one is not as exotic as it sOunds as the 101st International Rubber Studies Conference makes its way to the Adelphi.

106 TflElIST 16—30 Apr 1998

Alternative ulcer: Stressed Eric. BBCZ, Mon 20 Apr, 10pm.

Stressed Eric BBC2, Mon 20 Apr, 10pm.

Eric Feeble is 40 years old and crippled by mortgage payments, single parenthood and liVing next door to the Perfect family. Adult animation from the people who draw Duckmar; and Rugrats. Voices are prowded by the likes of Alison Steadman, Morwenna Banks and Gordon Kennedy.

The Trial Of Enoch


Channel 4, Mon 20 Apr, 10.55pm. This is y0ur chance to decide whether the ’Rivers Of Blood’ speechmaker was a principled statesman or cynical racist. EVidence is given by Darcus Howe, Andrew Neil and Nicholas Budgen, while political heavyweights such as Billy Bragg and Garry Bushell espouse their opinions.

Timewatch: The

Oklahoma Outlaw

BBC2, Tue 21 Apr, 9.30pm.

In 1911 a small time crook Elmer McCurdy was gunned down by a sheriff's posse in Oklahoma, but his funeral only took place 66 years later. In between, McCurdy spent his time as a corpse in films such as Narcotic and She Freak. The scam was rumbled on the set of The Six Million Dollar Man and he was finally allowed to rest in peace. None of the above is a Joke.

Omnibus: Man Of The

Match - Nick Hornby

BBCl, Tue 21 Apr, 10.50pm.

The man who made football palatable to the middle classes is put under the microscope, With standing ovations from Melvyn Bragg, Jo Brand and Blake Morrison. The other side of the ref's com is Will Self, who describes his stuff as 'Wimp fiction', presumably because Hornby has yet to write a scene of a tramp’s decapitation and subsequent necrophilia.

Coming Out Night Channel 4, Sat 25 Apr.

The episode of Ellen which stunned America comes to Our SCreens as part of an all-night celebration of things related to what George Michael should have done years ago. (BD)

Spike Night BBCZ, Sat 18 Apr, from 9pm.

Jolly Goon fellow: Spike Milligan

Iconic comedy genius or demented unfunny old fool? Opinion on Spike Milligan is pretty much divided that way. If thumbs up from your fellow pack of jokers is any guide then he clearly lands firmly into the former. Eddie lzzard and Billy Connolly are among those only too willing to

ruminate on the legend that is Spike.

To mark this auspicious occasion, BBCZ are launching ‘Spike Night'. Beginning at 9pm, the event is presented by Prince Charles. memorably described in front of viewing millions by the unpredictable comic as a ’grovelling little bastard‘ at televised comedy awards. A Loose Canon (9.05pm) sees the likes of John Cleese and Michael Palin owning up to the almighty influence he has had on a generation of surreally-minded comics.

Happy Birthday Spike (9.50pm) is a birthday celebration, reuniting Spike with his oldest chums at the BBC Radio Theatre, where he helped make comedy history with his fellow Goons. Finally, Spike In His Own Words (10.40pm) is the moment where Milligan talks frankly of his life, loves and the electro-convulsive therapy he required to combat manic-depression: 'I said “Well, look, I'm a shareholder in Eastern Electricity put as much electricity in as will send up the shares”. That's Spike: always out to shock.

(Brian Donaldson)



The Afternoon Play - Take That Lennon And Sid

Radio 4, Fri 17A r, 2.15pm.

Two girls act on t teir devotion to Take That by getting suspended and taking a trip to London to meet up With Mark and Robbie. On the way they meet a classmate who ison a mission of her own

All Back To Mine - Irvine Welsh

Radio 1, Sun 19Apr, 9pm.

The series returns With a house call on Hibs’ most famous fan, If you don't count Fish Or The Proclaimers. Or Finley Quaye Or the tall bloke that used to be in Blue Peter. Anyway, Jez Nelson has a flick through Welsh's record collection which Will probably hold more Surprises than earlier victims such as Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller.

Free At Last - A Tribute

To Martin Luther King

Radio 2, Tue 21 Apr, 9pm. Paul Boateng presents a special tribute

to the man assassinated 30 years ago this month. He chats to King’s widow and other civil rights activists, while music comes from Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary.

Beethoven The


Radio 3, Wed 22 Apr, 7.30pm. Glasgow’s City Hall is the venue as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra continue their innovative Ludo symphony cycle. Tonight it's the Seventh, described by Wagner as ’the apotheosis of the dance’. The splendidly named Geoffrey Baskerville presents.

Bussman And Quantlck KingSIze

Radio 4, Thu 23 Apr, 11pm.

A fast-moving assortment of sketches, monologues and characters in this brand new show from the highly amusmg Jane Bussman and David Quantick. To give you an idea of their pedigree, the pair have written material for Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci. (BD)

STAR RATINGS it it a it * Unmissable w i it it Very ood * it *3 Wort a shot it it Below average it You've been warned