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What’s on – TV highlights for 30 December

Three great movies and an hour of the late and very great Burt Bacharach – here are our telly picks for Saturday

The Bridge on the River Kwai, RTÉ One, 2.45pm

David Lean’s epic Oscar-winning Second World War drama about a British colonel with a misplaced sense of ethics and a warped moral code is always worth a watch. Alec Guinness gives a career-best performance as Colonel Nicholson, whose men are tasked in a Japanese PoW camp with building a railway bridge over a river. The great cast also includes William Holden as a cynical American Commander Shears and Jack Hawkins.

Respect, RTÉ One, 10.00pm

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Jennifer Hudson delivers a powerhouse performance in this joyous but cliched Aretha Franklin biopic. Handpicked to play the part by Aretha herself, the quietly charismatic Hudson has a lot in common with her idol. Both grew up singing in gospel choirs with no formal musical training and both have been through a lot of family heartache and trauma.

Hudson does her best with a hackneyed script and she is ably supported by Forest Whitaker as her father, the Baptist Minister C. L. Franklin. Scenes belting out the music and Hudson’s journey from little girl lost to soul powerhouse lift Respect out of the workmanlike. Read our full review.

Psycho, RTÉ One, 12:45am

Janet Leigh

A woman on the run arrives at an isolated motel, where the owner’s curious relationship with his mother results in murder in this landmark Hitchcock thriller, with Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh.

Celebrity Catchphrase: Christmas Special, 6.00pm Dec 30, Virgin Media One, UTV

Stephen Mulhern (above) hosts this festive edition of a show that seems to have been on the telly forever. This time he’ll be joined by the likes of Dermot O’Leary, Samantha Banks, Jonathan Ross – that’s his third gig this Christmas! – and Kelly Holmes.

Burt Bacharach at the BBC, BBC Two, 10.00pm

Composer Burt Bacharach, who played Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens in 2019, died aged 94 last February so it will be nice to relive his many, many hits all over again in this hour-long special. He delighted millions with the quirky arrangements and unforgettable melodies of songs such as Walk On By, Do You Know The Way To San Jose and dozens of other hits. These archive performances feature Aretha Franklin, Adele, Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, Cilla Black and the White Stripes

Full TV listings here


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