We (0”) the shox'.’ in its 19‘)? season ‘itt:zi‘.'(3lt only knox'xs wliat subtext we may be llllf3f3lllfijl arrrl the brutal death of a middle aged teacher. A taped conversatror‘ appears to l)()llli conclusiver at the killer. but the old i'iadn‘issrble evrdence routine kicks HLAmimrmowMY,Mi \flKHOJHJWqu synchr'onrstrc coincidences and talk them up as postmodernist referencing. our hapless murder victims tftlf;t)£l'lrl is one Ian Rankin. rBrran Donaldson.



BBCQ, Sun 3 Feb, 9.50pm 000.

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appr‘oachrng unreddrng of Neil and M ssi ibetter known. when he's not ‘.'.’(?£1l'lll() a skirt. as Mark».

It's an intimate and honest portrait of Manchester‘s gay men and drag queens that gains breadth from the number of characters on offer. including various people's mothers rall ot whon‘ seen‘ yery nicer and a bunch of unreconstructed hornopnoiies rall oft .'."l‘.<)l“ need a slap:.

lSut its focus on nightlife and sex. to the near é?X(Ii;ifEl()ll of any other area of experience rr‘akes it claustro))hobrc and trar‘sient. then again. there are some real stars here. notably the rr‘eri who chat h a (il‘."i. restrained rifartner 1c the ::arr‘era shortly before donning rnrnr skirt ar‘d Herr. and {)l‘.’|.’l(} the “attics? berftirrriances rn‘agir‘atile.

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Channel 4, Thu 7 Feb, 10.30pm COO.


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--*>-¢- and learn

about the science of twanging elastic bands. Pranksterish )unk genius you can play at home. With the added bonus that Jeremy Beadle and the fat lass from meerda/e are nowhere to be seen.

(Mark Robertson)

DRAMA MINI SLRIlS THE SWAP Scottish, Sun 10 & Mon 11 Feb, 9pm OOOO

S‘.‘/Zl))l)lllg their million- pound London townhouse for a beach property in sunny Perth seems the perfect

DOCUMlN lAHY Sl‘ltll 8

Christmas arrangement for the Forresters. Tom (Michael Maloney) and Jen's (Jemma Redgrave) marriage needs a boost. their two sons need a holiday and Australian professor Charles Anderson (Jonathan Cake) wants to spend the festive season in England.

But as the Forrester's nosy neighbour Rose (Phyllida Law) finds out. Anderson is not all his emails made out. Despite being on the other side of the world. work-obsessed Tom soon smells a rat and journeys home early to find . . . ah. that would be telling.

Suffice to say that while the denouement is fairly obvrous. fairly early. this is a ‘tense. psychological thrrller' worthy of the name. Don't even think about watching part one

KINGS OF BLACK COMEDY Channel 4, Sat 9 Feb, 9pm .0.

Was Sammy Davis Jr a fighter for racial equality chipping away from within the anti—black establishment? Or was he an Uncle Tom character so hellbent on being accepted by white society that he would downplay his roots? In this first part of three on black comedy icons, we are offered evidence from both camps but left in little doubt that while direct political action may have been limited, Davis’ strident belief in civil rights informed everything he did.

On the evidence of Kings Of Black Comedy part one (Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy

unless you’re certain you can see/tape part two; even waiting 24 hours will seem interminable. (Kelly Apter)


John McGrath: A Tribute (BBCQ. Sun 3 Feb. 10pm) DOCumentary celebrating the 7:84 founder.

Mary Anne’s Bikes (BBC C/IO/CO, Tue 5 Feb. 7 1.30pm) DJ Hobbs indulges in her passion for motOrcycles.

The Estate Agents (Channel 4, Thu 7 Feb, I 7.05pm) Regrettably dire new sitcom. Jubilee Day: Timewatch (BBCQ, Fri 8 Feb, 9pm) Remembering the Queen's big 77 bash. Because You’re Worth It (Channel 4, Wed 73 Feb. 70pm) The histOry of the cosmetics industry.

Tap-dancing Uncle Tom or civil rights pioneer?

complete the series), there is little attempt at positing a ‘black’ comic sensibility as such. Instead, we are offered a fascinating, if overly-familiar portrait of an entertainer at work and play.

Very much a product of his times (it’s hard to imagine a tap-dancing James Stewart impersonator going too far these days), Davis became disillusioned with JFK and eventually he began courting the Republican Party. Davis sharing the same stage as Richard Nixon was bad enough, but giving him a cuddle in public left a vitriolic taste in millions of black

American mouths.

Yet, Davis lived through such tough times that no one should really condemn him for following his own instincts, no matter how ill-judged they appeared to be. Loathed by the KKK (no black, born-again Jew could have slept too soundly in 19505 USA), his love for Kim Novak also brought unwarranted attention from the Chicago mobsters who effectively ran the Hollywood studio she acted for.

While Frank Sinatra may have been a better actor and Dean Martin a finer crooner, no one paved the way for future generations quite like Sammy. (Brian Donaldson)


'-1I(?l7.)ll(l:)THE LIST 103