TONY ON TV: The good, the bad and the ugly of television

Good and bad things usually come in threes, so the saying goes.
Poirot. PHOTO: ITVPoirot. PHOTO: ITV
Poirot. PHOTO: ITV

And it’s no different in ‘TV Land’ where there can be even be a mix of the two depending on what you like or loathe.

The combination of the pros and cons must for many be an apt description of David Suchet’s farewell appearance as Agatha Christie’s fastidious Belgian sleuth in ‘Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case’ (ITV1, Wednesday) while opinions can be divided over another annual evening of fun and fundraising in the seven-hour TV marathon ‘Children in Need’ on BBC1 and BBC2 this Friday.

But helping others is taken to new levels by shy, retiring pop star Peter Andre who, in addition to a fifth series of his dull and indulgent ‘My Life’ series (ITV2), is now heading up a team of designers and workmen in a six-week trip round the UK in ‘Peter Andre’s 60-Minute Makeover’ (ITV1, Monday to Friday) as they transform homes, solving design dilemmas and surprising folks with amazing makeovers.

My new gardening chums, Onslow and Olga, are hoping that Mr Andre will be stopping off to revamp their rickety allotment shed, but that’s a crime scene that warrants attention by the professionals.

Poirot’s the best option, but he’s too busy with old age and a clever adversary planning a series of perfect murders as David Suchet fans will see tonight as the acclaimed actor rounds off 24 years of playing the dapper detective.

And, for good measure, Mr Suchet steps out of character in ‘Being Poirot’ (ITV1 at 10.35pm) to analyse the continuing attraction of Agatha Christie’s fictional character (which he has played in 70 adaptations) by visiting her summer home in Devon, and checking out Hercule’s Belgian roots.

Pre-dating Agatha Christie is the BBC’s ‘Children in Need,’ which started as a radio appeal in 1927, raising £1,143. That figure is dwarfed by its TV presence, which since 1980 it has raised more than £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK.

And, as warm-up to Friday’s main event -- which, as usual, will be presided over by Sir Terry Wogan with this year’s co-hosts, Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton and Zoe Ball -- Take That’s Gary Barlow fronts ‘Children in Need Rocks’ (BBC1, Thursday) a two-hour showcase of the cream of musical talent from two nights at the Apollo in Hammersmith, west London, ranging from Barry Manilow and Robbie Williams to boy band the Wanted and Rizzle Kicks.