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Sunday, January 5


Foyle’s War, ABC1, 8.30pm As we enter the eighth series of this BBC stalwart, it’s not so much Foyle’s War as it is ”Foyle’s Cold War”. Protagonist DCS Foyle (Michael Kitchen) has been transplanted from Hastings during World War II to London in 1946, as the Cold War brews. He is reunited with his trusty sidekick, Sam Wainwright (Honeysuckle Weeks), but the circumstances are less than desirable. Wainwright is working for a nuclear physicist who has been implicated in an MI5 investigation, and the secret service suspects that Wainwright might be involved too, thwarting Foyle’s plans of retirement – again. Indeed, Foyle was originally supposed to hang up his boots at the end of World War II – and series seven – but audiences demanded that he return. This episode was hampered by a little too much scene-setting, but there appears to be life in this old dog yet.

Robson’s Extreme Fishing Challenge, One, 7.30pmIn South Africa, recreational fishing generates more cash than rugby, cricket and football combined. The South Africans clearly take their fishing seriously, which is what makes it the perfect place for Robson Green to challenge the locals at their own game. As is the format for this series, Green takes on five expert fishermen over five rounds in five different locations. Bringing his Uncle Matheson along as his teammate is a cute touch as they battle Tim Babich, South Africa’s No.1 fly fisherman, in Sterkfontein Dam in round one. Later, Green gets up close and personal with a great white shark in Cape Town, and joins a team of commercial fishermen looking for snoek on the ocean. Green’s no Rex Hunt, but he’s a jovial, enthusiastic host who somehow manages to make 10 hours without a bite feel like it would have been a good laugh all the same.

Escape to the Country, 7Two, 8.30pmDon’t we all want one of these? A sea change or tree change? An escape to the British countryside though is a particularly alluring retirement plan, and is part of what makes this show so watchable – it’s vicarious wish fulfilment. Tonight, host Vicki Chapman heads to Nottinghamshire, where house prices are 26 per cent below the national average for a detached property. The featured couple were both born in the shire and want this house – their 14th in 36 years of marriage – to be their last. We’re also treated to a glimpse of the local attractions, and Chapman takes an archery lesson in Sherwood Forest.


Bill Cunningham New York, (2011) ABC1, 10pmBill Cunningham is an eccentric and charming photographer who for what seems forever has recorded fashion on the streets of Manhattan for The New York Times. Despite knowing absolutely everyone in the designer business, Cunningham has been its silent, dispassionate observer – some would even say its soul.This is a fascinating documentary from director Richard Press, a touching portrait of a self-deprecating man many of us would fail to notice, an everyman in basic clothes but, like every human, unique in special ways.The film is an insider’s view of the fashion world, where capitalism has more than successfully found a way to profit from desire (here, mostly female). It is peopled with iconic figures such as Anna Wintour (Vogue), Tom Wolfe (writer), Catherine Deneuve (actress) and Michael Bloomberg (billionaire mayor).Wintour comes across not as the monster the press so likes to label her, but as a highly talented and motivated sweetie. That is because Press is a whiz at letting us see people from a new angle, allowing us to discern what is often obscured. This is a gem.

Key Largo (1948) GEM, 4pmJohn Huston’s Key Largo, about a group of people trapped in a Florida Keys hotel with seedy gangsters during a hurricane, is Hollywood at its best. The cast is superb, especially Edward G. Robinson (as Johnny Rocco) and Claire Trevor (Gaye Dawn). Rocco’s denying Gaye a drink, saying it’s ”’cause you were rotten” after she has been forced to sing, is near unbearably painful.In contrast, the chemistry between Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) and Nora Temple (Lauren Bacall) is understated and tender. Nora’s ”Only he had it the other way. You were the one on the hill” (you’ll understand) is a classic, while the last shot, where Frank turns to the camera and smiles, remains one of the most startling post-modern moments in cinema.


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