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Saturday, April 5


Midsomer Murders, ABC1, 8.30pm

Something's rotten in the Calder biscuit empire, and it goes way beyond the odd mouldy macaroon or dodgy digestive. The head honcho, the big biscuit himself - Eric Calder - has been murdered. Exhibit A is the murder weapon - an empty biscuit tin that bears traces of something a little more lethal than a few rich tea crumbs. And so the stage is set for John Barnaby to bumble to a conclusion in the biggest scandal to hit the British biscuit world since it was revealed Garibaldis are named after a foreigner. This is the 100th episode, and to celebrate the ton the writers have taken some of the action out of the county of Midsomer - possibly because pretty much everyone there must be dead by now. Mr Calder's death occurs in a Copenhagen hotel, opening the way for a joint investigation between the plod and their Danish counterparts. It also opens the way for a fun collision between this most British of whodunits and stars from the Nordic noir series The Killing and Borgen. Throughout, Neil Dudgeon, as John Barnaby, maintains an air of quiet amusement, which is possibly a self-defence mechanism when forced to deliver dialogue such as this:

Victim's brother: Eric had very few friends.

Barnaby: But at least one enemy.

VB: So it would seem.

Anyone reaching 100 deserves some respect, plus the acknowledgement that it's way too late to change their ways. So it is with Midsomer. It remains far-fetched and, in places, quite silly. Sitting through an episode, however, has all the familiar, guilty charm of a custard cream dunked in a mug of Earl Grey.


The Simpsons, Ten, 6pm

Lisa befriends the new kid at school (voiced by Eva Longoria), and the geeky pair get along famously until Isabel reveals she is - shock horror! - a Republican. Perhaps the biggest treat is the extended "couch gag", dubbed the "Silly Simpsony". Apparently, it is a tip of the hat to 1930s Disney cartoons and features Springfield residents transformed into musical instruments. Mr Burns as a grumpy bassoon is genius.

Alan Carr: Chatty Man, ABC2, 9.30pm

The chatty one is back in a repeat of Thursday's "super-fast-tracked" episode. Ricky Gervais and Gary Barlow grace the couch in this first go-round of the series. Love him or loathe him, Carr certainly has no trouble securing the big names.



Tattoo Rescue, TLC, 2.30pm, 10.30pm

Tattoo guru Joey Tattoo - yep, that's his name - is criss-crossing the US, trying to turn around failing tattoo parlours. Today we find him in Fort Worth, Texas, where Funkytown Tattoo is fast circling the drain. Owner Beth bought the place for her inexperienced tattoo-artist boyfriend, Thomas, with a loan she had taken out to flip a house. That was her first mistake, and there have been plenty since. Tattoo (Joey, that is) is appalled at the work that Thomas and fellow artist Skelly are turning out. He immediately bans them from tattooing customers until they have fixed their equipment (which is a big part of the problem) and done some remedial work on artificial skins under the tutelage of tattoo legend Rick Walters. It's interesting stuff with a feelgood ending - and a reminder to do your homework before getting new ink.

Best In Chow, TLC, 9.30pm

Get it? It's like ''Best in Show'', but it's best in chow. Chow, of course, is ancient American slang for food. Artery-abuse porn such as Best in Chow, Man v. Food (6.30pm) and United States of Bacon (8pm) is a more recent invention - and wildly popular in the US. Unlike other food shows, the artery-abuse genre avoids anything resembling salad and focuses on fetishising towering piles of meat, cheese and grease. Tonight: Hollywood's best burger.



The Ant Bully (2006) Go, 6.30pm

Animated Hollywood bug movies were quite the thing thanks to A Bug's Life and Antz, and while John A. Davis' movie doesn't carry quite the same heft as its predecessors, The Ant Bully is an enjoyable children's story that passes on its lessons - be kind to those smaller than you, think about how your actions may impact on others, don't trust wasps - without too much overt moralising. As is now the norm, the computer-generated animation is a delight, giving us an ant's-eye view of the world as a lonely little boy, Lucas (Zach Tyler), takes out his frustration on their colony (to the ants he is ''The Destroyer'', a fearful and inexplicable creature). When he's shrunk down to their size he learns the error of his ways through adventures that are more exciting than scary. Julia Roberts and Nicolas Cage voice his insect guardians, but the best vocal performance comes from Paul Giamatti as a shifty exterminator.

The Look of Love (2013) Premiere Movies (pay TV), 8.30pm

The partnership of actor Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom has been productive and rewarding, resulting in 24 Hour Party People, A Cock and Bull Story and The Trip. Coogan's dialogue-as-commentary, where he virtually discusses the scene and his character as he plays them, suits the dry, self-referential mood of Winterbottom's comedies; neither man is that interested in a punchline. But in this biopic of Paul Raymond, the London strip club owner-turned-porn baron who eventually built a vast London property portfolio, Coogan's portrayal feels overly familiar. His Raymond is a version of 24 Hour Party People's music impresario Tony Wilson - smart, slightly embarrassed, sadly unwilling to rein himself in. The backdrop is British attitudes to sex, with Raymond in court often early on, but his increasingly liberal attitudes after leaving his wife, Jean (Anna Friel), are played out with conventional images of excess despite the fine performance of Imogen Poots as Raymond's increasingly troubled daughter.