Wednesday 13th July

Today’s previews by Ceri Thomas

The Apprentice

9pm, BBC1 ★ ★ ★ ★

It’s the last but one episode of The Apprentice and it’s time to start pondering the big questions. That’s right, tonight we wonder “Was Byron a vegetarian?” and “ Didn’t Christopher Columbus discover the potato in America?” You can almost hear Lord Sugar muttering “Blahdy ‘ell!” can’t you?


The task this week? Setting up a prototype for a fast-food chain. Oirish Jim’s team goes for a Mexican-themed joint named Caracas. The fact that that’s the name of the capital city of Venezuela gives you some idea of the staggering lack of attention to detail on display there. Meanwhile, the other team – featuring Tom the Boffin and the formerly undefeatable Helen – decide to go for a restaurant that flogs exclusively English pies. Named after great Englishmen. The look on Nick Hewer’s face as they blithely assume that Italian explorer Christopher Columbus is one of those is a fantastic discovery in its own right…

This is the last task of the series. After tonight’s firing, the four survivors go straight into the final on Sunday night (set your Sky+ boxes *now*!) where they’re going to get grilled about their CVs and the business plans they’ve submitted for the Lord of Sugar to invest his £250,000 in. They must be praying that there isn’t a round of general knowledge questions…

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Do you enjoy Springwatch? Does the weather fascinate you? Then The Great British Weather (7.30pm, BBC1) might be for you. Or at least that’s what the Beeb hopes. We’re not so sure. The premise is that Alexander Armstrong, Carol Kirkwood and Chris Hollins head to a beach in Cornwall where they chat to experts about meteorology, look at films about how important accurate weather predictions were to things like D-Day, and – since the show is live – field comments from the great British public about it all. It could be fascinating or it could end up like an Armstrong & Miller sketch full of emailing old biddies keen to complain about the weatherman not telling them that it was going to rain when they went down the shops last Tuesday.

There are a couple of new American telly shows starting on the satellite channels tonight. Franklin & Bash (10pm, E4) is a blokey comedy drama about two in-your-face party boy lawyers who are hired to liven up the stuffy corporate thinking of a big law firm. It’s brash and daft, but it’s shallower than an Apprentice candidate’s general knowledge. It’s hard to hate, but virtually no-one is going to love it.

The Glee Project (8pm, Sky1), however, might find a place in people’s hearts. It’s basically an X Factor-ish attempt to find a new cast member for Glee out of 12 finalists, but as befits the show they’re hiring for, it’s an oddly cuddly warm-souled affair full of positive affirmation and personal revelations (though there are still eliminations at the end of each show – it’s not *that* hippyish!). Each episode after the opener is themed, so the second of this kick-off double bill is all about individuality. Aw, bless!

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The Culture Show – 7pm, BBC2

Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance – 8pm, Channel 4

The Removal Men: Pickfords – 8pm, Channel 5

24 Hours in A&E – 9pm, Channel 4

Roger: Genocide Baby – 9pm, BBC3

Nikita – 9pm, Sky Living

The Apprentice: You’re Fired – 10pm, BBC2

Supernatural – 10pm, Sky Living

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Emmerdale – 7pm, ITV1

So, Hazel’s going slightly loopy then, is she? Refusing to leave the house and turning the place into a shrine for poor dead Jackson? oh well, at least a refusal to let things go means that she should (if she ever steps out of doors again) fit right in with the rest of Emmerdale’s inhabitants. Nicola and Jimmy keep refusing to accept that their relationship is over and simply move on (and preferably keep on moving until they’ve left the village and the series all together) while Charity can’t let go of the idea that she is both and expert businesswoman and a master manipulator of men. Despite her latest boobs-on-display, tongue-licking efforts at both going spectacularly wrong… (Ceri Thomas)

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Stardust – 6.35pm, Film4


A young man (Charlie Cox) crosses a fantasy land in search of a fallen star to give to the bitchy girl who has stolen his heart, but when he finds it, the star turns out to be a beautiful, if somewhat understandably grumpy, girl (Claire Danes) who only wants to get home… A brilliantly imaginative fairy tale crammed with cameos (Robert De Niro’s guest turn as a camp sky pirate is a highspot…) and played with just the right mixture of tongue-in-cheek comedy, gory menace and straight-out sentiment. But then you’d expect no less from a movie adapted from a story by Neil Gaiman… (Ceri Thomas)

Worth A Look…

Grown Ups – 8pm, Sky Premiere

Fatal Attraction – 9pm, Film4

Kidulthood – 10pm, BBC3

Ronin – 10pm, Sky Modern Greats

City Of God –11.25pm, Sky Indie

Tigerland – 11.40pm, More4

Kevin & Perry Go Large – 11.45pm, BBC1

Barbarella – 11.55pm, ITV4

Cyrano De Bergerac – Midnight, Sky Arts 2

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