4 items from 2012
• Plan your Christmas and New Year viewing with our interactive guide to festive television
Children's books are a familiar second-career path for people in public life, from Prince Charles to Ricky Gervais. Happily, even for a busy person, David Walliams's efforts seem a cut above the celebrity norm. The tale of a homeless man befriended by a middle-class schoolgirl, this adaptation features a suitably strong cast. Benidorm regulars Johnny Vegas and Sheridan Smith play the parents of 12-year-old Chloe, who invites a tramp (Hugh Bonneville) to hang out in her family's garden shed. Gentle family comedy, featuring Walliams himself as the prime minister. Jr
Secret Lives Of The Apostles
7pm, National Geographic
Don't expect revelations about what Peter and Paul »
- John Robinson, Martin Skegg, Julia Raeside, Rebecca Nicholson, Hannah Verdier, Paul Howlett
London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony | Vexed | Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies | Mount Pleasant | John Barrowman's Dallas: Dreaming Of Bobby | The Revolution Will Be Televised
London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony
8pm, Channel 4
Following on from the Olympics, when ordinary life appeared suspended as a cynical nation collectively decided to enjoy the spectacle, here come the 14th parallel games. The opening ceremony, Enlightenment, is intended both "to challenge perceptions of human possibility", and to showcase the work of British disabled artists and performers. Expect a demonstration of circus skills and a fly past by Aerobility, a charity that helps disabled people learn to pilot light aircraft. Considering its Stoke Mandeville origins, and at the risk of appearing sentimental, the Paralympics is coming home. Jonathan Wright
Sometimes all a viewer wants is to switch off the brain and watch telly, something the increasingly lunkheaded Vexed aggressively demands, »
- Jonathan Wright, Phelim O'Neill, Mark Jones, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier
The actor Geoffrey Hughes, who has died of prostate cancer aged 68, played gormless Eddie Yeats in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street from 1974 to 1983, and thereafter was typecast on television as a lovable rogue.
Hughes contributed enormously to the comedy that Bernard Youens and Jean Alexander – as Stan and Hilda Ogden – brought to No 13 Coronation Street. His character, Eddie, a former Borstal boy and Walton Prison inmate, helped Stan on his window-cleaning round and was forever involved in money-making schemes – hiring out a timid guard dog and selling Albert Tatlock's allotment vegetables, dodgy watches and curtains run up by Hilda – before finding work as a refuse collector and becoming the Ogdens' lodger.
"He was always a softy," Hughes told the writer Daran Little in 1995. "His villainy had been opportunist nicking, or thinking of a »
- Anthony Hayward
Actor best known for her role as the housekeeper in The Adventures of Black Beauty
Charlotte Mitchell, who has died aged 85 of pneumonia after suffering from breast cancer and myeloma, was best known to television viewers as Amy Winthrop, the housekeeper in The Adventures of Black Beauty (1972-74). She received second billing to the two-legged star of the popular Sunday teatime series, William Lucas, who, as Dr James Gordon – a widowed Gp moving from London to set up a country practice – himself often played second fiddle to the eponymous equine star.
While having her patience tested by the doctor and his children – played by Judi Bowker, Roderick Shaw and, for the second series, Stacy Dorning – Amy served hearty meals, baked cakes and kept the house ship-shape. The Adventures of Black Beauty was an extension, rather than an adaptation, of Anna Sewell's Victorian novel and it benefited from having writers »
- Anthony Hayward
4 items from 2012
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