ANIMAL FARM Channel 4, Mon 6 May, 7pm 0000
The old animated version of Animal Farm was the first X-rated cartoon. a status that compelled Higher English teachers to seek parents' permission before showing the film as a visual aid to the set text. At first sight. Channel 4's new live action adaptation of Orwell's tiny masterpiece is more child-friendly. Indeed. this version is as much Johnny Morris' Animal Magic with its mix of animal actors and puppets. heavyweight Pete Postlethwaite as drunken Farmer Jones and familiar voices bringing to life characters like Snowball (Kelsey Grammer). Napoleon (Patrick Stewart) and Old Major (Peter Ustinov). Thankfully. this piece eschews the cuteness of. say. Babe. and succeeds in capturing the dark. dark magic of Orwell's text. lnevitably. the tale of the farmyard proletariat organising to overthrow their despicable bosses has a different resonance today. but the central notion that ‘some animals are more equal than others' still has the power to chill. (Allan Radcliffe)
DOCUMENTARY SERIES UEEN &
COUNTRY BBC1, Wed 1 May, 7.30pm 000.
This is the kind of programme the BBC is perfect for. Irrespective of your opinions of the British monarchy, there's no doubt that old Lizzie's time on the planet so far has been a life less ordinary.
Orwell’s animals are magic
This new documentary series has been put together by award- winning writer and commentator William Shawcross and looks in depth at Her Majesty's 50 years in the hot seat
and it does so with authority. style and an admirable impartiality. / Love The Queen this is not. and they've managed to rope in talking heads such as Princess Anne. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. Thankfully there's not a Stuart Maconie in sight. Instead there is remarkable footage through the years. quality interviews. informed insight and understated. well-paced directing all of which makes Queen 8. Country fascinating viewing whether you‘re a raving royalist or a confirmed commie. (Doug Johnstone)
SO YOU THINK YOU WANT . . . BIGGER BOOBS Channel 4, Thu 2 May, 8.30pm 00
'It's just one of those things you‘ve got to have.‘ says Charlie. ‘You've got to have a
1 10 THE LIST 25 Apr—9 May 2002
mobile phone. a big handbag . . . and you definitely need a big pair of boobs.‘
What delightful Scouse hairdresser Charlie would be better getting a hold of is a copy of Naomi Klein's No Logo and an understanding boyfriend. but her accompanying film crew decide on giving her the next best thing: a pair of DD prosthetic breasts from Shepperton Film Studios.
She discovers that having big tits reguires a major wardrobe change. and makes even the lightest of jogging difficult. doing yoga next to impossible and pulling blind drunk men even easier than usual. Which may hardly push back the boundaries of science. but it seems to have given this charming 21 -year-old a certain amount of satisfaction. ‘The grass definitely isn't as green as what you think it is.‘ she concludes shortly after hanging up her breasts. Go girl! (James Smart)
DOCUMENTARY EXTREME LIVES: ELLEN MACARTHUR - LIFE ON LAND BBC1. Sun 5 May, 10.15pm 0000
This is something of a reunion for the Extreme Lives team and sailor Ellen MacArthur. Recognised worldwide and adopted as a national hero in France. her experience of coming second in last year's Vendee Globe challenge (a solo sail around the world) was documented for the cameras. complete with tears. fatigue and exhilaration.
It's the moment she's become known for (it made the top ten in Channel 4's celebration of last year's telly). but as this return viSIt shows. MacArthur has by no means reached
the pinnacle of her career. In this series of interviews and documentary footage. she does nothing but impress with her determination. Not only is she the first woman to take the world sailing championship. she's the y0ungest. At 25-years- old. it's hard to imagine what new heights she'll reach. with plans afoot for new. bigger boats and a long list of competitions just waiting to be won.
At a time when the front pages tend to be given over to Posh and Becks' latest shopping trip. it's refreshing to see one of the true heroes of our age getting some attention.
DOCUMENTARY HONKY PANKY Channel 4, Fri 3 May, 7.30pm 000
It must have seemed a great idea at the time. Get a sassy. westernised Asian woman to advertise in the personal columns in order to honey-trap all those unfortunate white males eager to find an Asian babe of their very Own. And it nearly works. When Glasgow columnist Anvar Khan places her ad. she attracts nearly 100 would-be mates. So far so good. but this instalment in the Made /n Britain series comes unstuck. Because. however keen these men are to get their hands on the forbidden fruits of her dusky flesh. none of them actually wants to go on camera. 80 the programme switches to becoming a star vehicle for the presenter. Anvar goes to a dance class. Anvar buys a sari. Anvar lounges rOund her flat and pretends she's in Sex And The City. The two men she does persuade to go on screen are so well
balanced they undermine the whole point of her enquiry. Ultimately. it's all very inconsequenUaI (Mark Fisher)
THE JERRY ATRICK SHOW Channel 5, Sat 27 Apr, 10.55pm 00
As proved by his 2001 Edinburgh Fringe run. Jerry Sadowitz is challenged only by Paul Zenon as the country's finest comedy magician. His subtle sleight of hand and torrid fork of tongue merged to sublime effect making you want to cuddle him one minute and throttle him the next.
Yet. when plans were made to shrink this onto the small screen. someone somewhere has made the crucial error of telling him that he is a top notch sketch writer. too. He's not. Certainly. he can do a fine impression of Billy Connolly but making jokes about rich celebrities saving starving little Africans is as dated as it is pointless. Sometimes. Jerry. being outrageous just isn't enough. Uri Geller. Harry Potter and Adolf Hitler are also prey
United we stand, a division we fall
to some cutting but desperately unfunny barbs.
Still. the card capers are startling and there is a neat recurring sketch that conjures up a Pop Ido/s format for budding but mainly crap magicians. Sticking to what he‘s good at is the soundest bit of advice he c0uld take: more tricks. less skits please. (Brian Donaldson)
DRAMA THE KING AND US
BBC Choice, Tue 30 Apr, 10.30pm 0000
In 1974, English football experienced one of those fairytale stories which come along once in a month of Super Sundays. Manchester United legend Denis Law had left the club under a cloud and was now being paid to bang them in by their City rivals. On the final day of a disastrous season. United faced City needing to avoid defeat to seCure their top flight status. What would be the chances of Denis Law scoring the goal that would send his beloved Reds down?
That fateful day is the backdrop for this fine little drama as Christopher Eccleston plays a devoted United fan who is set to become a dad on the same day. How will he keep the missus happy and stay in touch with the most impOrtant game for his club since their European Cup win six years earlier? Eddie Large appears as an unhelpful City addict and the Lawman himself makes an amusing cameo.
In this second of the short Waiting For The