In the footsteps of Tarbie...

The famous London Palladium
The famous London Palladium

Allan Crow on this week’s TV highlights

(Sunday, stv, 7.00 p.m.)
The very title will transport you back to the days when we only had three channels, and Bruce, Tarbie and Max Bygraves reigned supreme in what we used to call ‘light entertainment.’

The shows mixed singers - of the penguin-suited variety - with assorted variety acts and stand-up comics; a pick and mix approach which also came with a sprinkling of Hollywood stardust from time to time.

Whether nostalgia alone is a strong enouugh pull remains to be seen, but given ITV’s love of plundering its own archives, this revival should come as no great surprise.

A show first broadcast in 1955, when tellies had muckle big round dials on the front, has been re-booted for 2014, and that means hosts such as Rob Brydon, Jack Whitehall, Jimmy Carr, and Jason Manford ... basically the same people you can see on pretty miuch any panel game show any night of the week.

It almost - almost - makes you pine for a bit of crooning from Des O’Connor or a wee bit tap dancing from good old Brucie ...

River City

(Tuesday, BBC1, 8.00 p.m.)
I’ll admit it, I’m a River City fan.

I’ll also ‘fess up to slightly losing touch with the goings-on in Shieldinch since the World Cup sent the schedules all wonky.

Dipping back in last week I find the great Raymondo has been killed off, and we’re still knee deep in bent businessmen and crime lords.

Must admit I think River City overdoes the mob too much - it needs to get back to some good old Scottish humour.


(Friday, stv, 8.00 p.m.)
A welcome return for Scotland’s answer to ‘Film 2014.’

It’s more informal and chatty than the BBC’s long-standing cinema round up, and has some great contribuors too.

Always worth tuning in, preferrably with a button of popcorn...

A Question Of Sport

(Saturday, BBC1, 7.30 p.m.)
Ah we’ve reached the ‘best of’ compilation show!

Sue Barker, Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell look back on the highlights of the past 12 months - yup, an entire year of QoS condensed into 50 minutes.

The format is as old as the hills, but it’s still good fun to watch.


(Monday, stv, 9.00 p.m.)

Cilla Black is one of our national treasures, so perhaps the only surprise is why it has taken so long to turn her story into a drama.

Sheridan Smith stars as the Liverpudlian singer who may just have mentioned she knew The Beatles.

It charts her rise from cloakroom girl to top of the pops and then on to telly where she reinvented herself as host of ‘Surprise, Surprise’ and ‘Blind Date.’

Can’t say I ever warmed to her style or her voice, but there’s no doubt ‘Our Cilla’ has star quality as this three-part drama explores.

Scotland Decides - The 

(Thursday, BBC1, 10.25 p.m.)

Scotland Decides

(from 10.40 p.m.)

I was going to make this column referendum free, but I guess the biggest show of the week has to be our country’s own X-Factor final.

Get your food and drink supplies in, it’s going to be a very, very long night as both BBC and STV get set to broadcast well into the wee sma’ hours.

The Fife vote may not roll in until 4,00 a.m. and the overall final scores on the doors won’t be known until sunrise.

Take your pick - Bryan Taylor or Bernard Ponsby. The supporting casts will feature the usual talking heads and anaylsts. The real drama will be provided by the results ...