ERREN BROWN: MIND CONTROL Channel 4. Fri 28 Feb. 10.35pm oooo

Who says there are oo many magicians on the telly? Plenty do. And they're probably right. but when it comes to Jaw-dropping screen moments .vhich astound both eye and brain. wetild you rather see Robson Green stammer about er watch DaVid Blaine perch atop a pole? Or does the prospect of Amanda Burton pecting her way through another authority figure with a heart role fill you with more exotement than Witnessing Paul Zenon Outfox east European Iburists’?

YOur answer WI” determine whether a new series of Derren Brown's mind trickery is a must-see. In this Opener. he allows a medica? student to push a needle through his own seemingly dead flesh and plays a pair of ad execs at their own game with Subliminal communication. While the odd deliberate error and his mad illusionist goatee may distract. these are minor quibbles when such Class‘y coniuring fare is laid befOre yOu. And not one rabbit eXits a hat.

(Brian DOltaldSOlTl


BBC1. Sat 1 Mar, 9.05pm 00

YOu know that bit at the end of Scoop). 000 where Velma steps forward and explains the intricate mechanisms of that week's cunning contraptions’? Well, that shOrt sequence is the entire premise behind

V(.{,"(' 'V“..v v H l '1'!(} ' .k .'

As a prer'.isr,- 1's i/ett,

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time he's<; Jana Saxraiha ‘r,r t‘t:.' Cri/rrewi‘itc':-st,re i)’()9"£tl‘ll"(: but at *ts test. the series has stir‘.i'.ed Thanks to the charm of the performers and the gentle writ of the scripts, No gripes abort the acting here 'good to see Adrian Edmondson in a rare straight roiei but the script is a feeble thing. full of clunky dialogue. one dimensiona| characterisation and a painfully unfunny subplot.

'Real life can be very badly i-iritten.’ says Dawes at one i)()llli. At least no know where they got the:r inspiration. then. (Mark Fisheri HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY 3.23:3? Channel 4. Thu 6 Mar, 8.30pm .000

Once. there was a n‘ore Innocent time. when historica' documentaries were not smeared With the pr—3rsenalities of media-friendly professors from third rate LllTlVBY'Sli‘, departments This long. beautifully paced {1'10 re- enacted progra'i‘n‘ie is a hark back to th > old SChool

Long before dumb Dubya declared a Crusade On the Muslim fundamentalist infidel. the kings of Europe were getting behind the pope and gathering spoiis frOm the Holy Land. King Richard III Of England

inAudELA! Til-TE LIVING LEGEND BBC1. Mon 3 Mar. 9pm 0..

MAGGIE: THE FIRST LADY Scottish, Thu 6 Mar. 9pm 00..

Typical. You wait weeks for a decent profile of a world leader and two come along at once. First up is Nelson Mandela. and if there‘s a round of sycophancy to be indulged in. you can be sure a Dimbleby will be there. complete with patronising manner and arsenal of arse-licking questions. Mercifully, the Dimble-bore manages to keep his ego out of shot for most of this documentary, allowing Mandela to discuss his progression from the rural Transkei to his ascent as the ‘black pimpernel‘ of the ANC and subsequent imprisonment for treason.

Mandela's rehabilitation as a living saint, for whom the great and the good will queue endlessly to just touch his colourful sleeve (while his one-time mentor Castro is still viewed as the bogeyman), is explained here by his enormous charisma and boundless energy. Less incisively probed are Mandela’s views on nation building and despotic neighbouring regimes, making the programme somewhat inconsequential.

From arguably the world‘s most popular politician to one that split public opinion right down the middle. There’s something of the Frankenstein myth about Margaret Thatcher, with the mad scientists in this particular horror story being Keith Joseph and her dad, Alf


Episode one of Maggie explores the milk snatcher’s austere upbringing at the hands of her staunchly conservative grocer father, a lonely spell at Oxford, burgeoning political passion and growing shame about her humble background. The series compiles contributions from contemporaries with archive interviews from the old handbag herself to create a compelling portrait. Weirdly, I can’t wait for part

two. (Allan Radcliffe)

ithe Coeur de Lioni was the "lost ‘ear'ed of them all: in i(3f'l‘l8 of military strategy he was matched only by Saladin. a brilliant Kurdish warrior and leader of the Jihad.

This is a fascinating story of two brilliant men who 'l()\.’(3l met but admired each other deeply. Superbly shot and "eseaiclied. the i.-.riiters feel no particular

need to neaVin underline

tne ()i)‘.’!()tifi contei'iporan./ parallels. 0." top of that, Joss Ackland's s >ft. pitched at Just the right lexel, iRaal Dale FASHlUN $€ti§"‘liil$'i‘§éi LIFE

Channel 4. Tue 11 Mar. 9pm .00

This somewhat illlT‘iS", documentary ‘s probably trying to reveal the truth behind the glamorous z'icrld of stiperr“odels. Sadly there are :zreCious fer. rexeiations

contained herein Yes. modelling is boring but hard work; yes, .'Tl;;(l€:lfl are itl‘..'nan tar; and caller.» and yes. The, get paid a fortune tor standing about teeming; exotic \.'.’eli. her. sonnefhir‘g .‘xe don't

tell as

This first f:i;if$()(lfr

{Om-#5 me iriodels Tlié:

“hugely successfii superi'iodei and i<;:,r:' Ern O'Connor inexer heard of her. 'l‘étit; d"ft struggiing {.(:§}illfl(:f and as. student Ratt‘ ()9. Both are whim-mil, likeabi‘e a'd semrtgze. and they " gnign’. f"»i: diverse -r+":is if this 'uthless :,_.sir‘.ess. O'Cf>""<" Sbéfl‘ilty r‘e'

time getfi'g paid a

fortane to took me [)axid horse circa TEli'I). .‘Jl‘ile poor Roth '.'.r’."~ a rather endearing (tar, between "fer teetl‘ r..r‘.s aroand iok.o t",~‘g 2c scrape together enough r;rai,p, cataiog..e ,c is to pafi, off "r," stuzferi’. leans. Ail :agiel, entertaining but "oth'ig particularly 'lf3.‘.

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I.R,‘«t.l,‘~ REAL MEN 8802. Wed 12 & Thu 13 Mar. 9pm 00.

H. " '-

T'wifle's writhing like an m .e ending t9 1“. the spirifs. With too "rich ’V (lftdlcai‘fli to tyrg e :ery finale.

it's "ié:ar".e"i 'lg to naie

The good, the bad and the ugly?

Hear i'flen ipenned by frank [)easy of looking Ai‘fu/ Jo Jo 'lliéllllyl leave I.o., dangling over the abyss at; the credits roll Not that t it: central i'i‘,ster, isn't 'esolved rthe disappearance of ‘i 1 year old lawrence Meiklei but there is an iiripiessiye intertwining of :ssues such as rrlaiiipiilation trust and the dodgy procedures .‘Jnicl‘ can go tlllf,il(.‘f,Kf,‘fi in childcare centres

lne only downsides are the early loss of Steve John Shepherd '(LTOC‘iHi, brilliant as a prime suspecti and the drar'ia's often unease between being a simple ‘.'.lil’)(iLlllllli and a complex social study, Arid .vhiie Ben Daniels is good as the traumatised Dl Fenton. you could see a hardbitten Scot in the form of Coltrane or Stott being more effectixe. But in an 0 /er the shoulder adaptation era. this is a ‘.'/elcorne siab of real Nflilllg. iBrian Donaldson)

' -, '.‘ia' ./' THE LIST 99