Sunday 10th July

Today’s previews by Dave Kenning

Law & Order: UK

9pm, ITV1 ★ ★ ★

Scott & Bailey pass the ITV Sunday evening crime drama baton over to Bradley Walsh and co, as the UK spin-off of the long-running US police procedural/legal drama returns for a fifth series. Yes, that’s right – it only started in 2009 and it’s already in its fifth six-episode run. Wow, they really are churning them out.

law and order

In this opener, DS Ronnie Brooks (Walsh) and DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) are called in to investigate when a girl dies in mysterious circumstances after being admitted to hospital with flu. It seems a cut-and-dry case, all the evidence pointing towards a junior doctor who gave the girl the wrong medication and then tried to cover his tracks by tampering with the notes. And just when you’re thinking they’re going to struggle to string this one out for an hour, the case takes a couple of bonkers zig zags…

Compared to some of the other shows that have recently filled this Sunday evening slot, Law & Order has a pleasingly old-fashioned feel. There’s no attempt to make the characters “interesting” by giving them personal issues to deal with, it’s all about the police investigation and ensuing legal case. OK, so the script is annoyingly cheesy and clichéd at times, but it’s all nicely put together with well-crafted (if slightly daft) storylines and a cast of reliable Brit B-listers (Peter Davison and Dominic Rowan join the regulars for this series) supplemented by decent guest stars, tonight’s being the always excellent James Fox. On a night when there really isn’t an awful lot else on telly to pique the interest, that’s something of a relief.

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Art critic Alastair Sooke (recently seen updating his wardrobe in The Perfect Suit on BBC4) tracks down the ten most expensive paintings ever to sell at auction in the cryptically titled The World’s Most Expensive Paintings (9pm, BBC1). But the works themselves aren’t the main focus of the show. Alastair is much more interested in looking into the motivations of the super-rich people who buy them, and in going behind the scenes at auction house Christie’s.

Elsewhere, festival season continues on BBC3 with coverage of Scotland’s answer to Glastonbury, T In The Park. Featured highlights include My Chemical Romance (8pm), Tinie Tempah (9pm) and Foo Fighters (10.45pm).

If your musical tastes are more, erm ‘middle of the road’ (sorry) then you might prefer Top Gear (8pm, BBC2). Clarkson and Hammond are off hunting for secondhand cars, May drives a new Range Rover across Death Valley, and Current Formula One championship leader Sebastien Vettel takes a spin round their track, and chats to JC in an interview filmed ahead of what will probably be yet another victory in the British GP (12.10pm, BBC1).

And it’s the finale of Popstar To Operastar (8pm, ITV1, results show at 10pm), with Bucks Fizz’s Cheryl Baker facing off against toothy Geordie crooner Joe McElderry. Can you take the excitement?

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Fake Or Fortune – 7pm, BBC1

A Place In The Sun: Home Or Away – 7pm, Channel 4

The TV Book Club – 7.30pm, More4

Grand Designs Australia – 9pm, More4

Coast – 9pm, BBC2

Hawaii Five-0 – 9pm, Sky1

Family Guy – 10pm, BBC3

Hunting Britain’s Most Wanted – 10pm, More4

Seve: The Legend – 10.25pm, BBC1

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Cyrano De Bergerac – 10pm, Sky Arts 2


There are a lot of good movies on tonight, from early evening kiddie-pleasers like Matlida and Stuart Little to big old blockbusters such as Back To The Future and Master And Commander. The nod for movie of the night could have gone to any of those. It very nearly did go to The Thick Of It’s swear-tastic big-screen spinoff In The Loop (which is a corkingly funny flick). However, in the end I plumped for Cyrano De Bergerac because… well, I’m a big old sentimentalist with a soft-spot for doomed love stories wrapped up in swashbuckling invention. Gerard Depardieu has never and will never be better than he is here as the big-nosed swordsman and poet of the title reluctantly helping a dim-witted friend to woo a beautiful lady whom he secretly loves himself. Gorgeous to look at, played with real gusto and shot through with bittersweet poetry, it’s a truly wonderful film. (Ceri Thomas)

Worth A Look…

Happy Feet – 4.05pm, Comedy Central

Matilda – 4.35pm, Channel 5

Stuart Little – 6.20pm, Gold

Back To the Future – 6.45pm, ITV2

Grown Up – 8pm, Sky Premiere

How To Train Your Dragon – 8pm, Sky Family

When Harry Met Sally – 8pm, Sky Drama/Romance

Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World – 9pm, Channel 5

Knocked Up – 9pm, ITV2

Frantic – 9pm, ITV3

Crimson Tide – 9pm, Sky Crime/Thriller

Double Indemnity – 9pm, Sky Classics

Go – 10pm, Sky Indie

The Dirty Dozen – 9pm, TCM

Last Man Standing – 9.05pm, ITV4

Armageddon – 10pm, Sky2

In Her Shoes – 10.15pm, Channel 4

In The Loop – 10.30pm, BBC2

Borat – 10.55pm, Film4

United 93 – 11.05pm, ITV4

Sleepers – 11.30pm, ITV3

Star Trek: Generations – 11.45pm, E4

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