TONY ON TV: The beauty of the old and the new

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ACTING legend Derek Jacobi is more often associated with the classics on stage.

But his latest TV foray shows how adept he is at lighter, more comedic roles.

That brings him “up North” in the romantic comedy ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ (pulled from the schedules at the last minute to make way for the costume drama ‘The Paradise’), which starts on BBC2 next Tuesday.

The “old and new” thread sees Jacobi and Anne Reid (‘Coronation Street’ and ‘Dinnerladies’) as two widowers in their 70s whose grandchildren put them on Facebook -- rekindling a romance from six decades ago when they were teenagers.

However, while it looks as if true love will bloom, there are family problems ahead as their respective grandchildren, Nicola Walker and Sarah Lancashire, are like chalk and cheese and can’t stand each other. Still there’s always the stunning Yorkshire scenery to enjoy, including many scenes in and around Skipton.

And for fans of Sir Derek, look out for him in the forthcoming ‘Vicious,’ billed as a wicked comedy from ITV, in which he teams up with fellow thespian Ian McKellen as two life-long flatmates in London’s Covent Garden whose autumn years are thrown into disarray by the arrival of a new upstairs neighbour.

Accommodation of a more basic nature is normal for a mixed bunch of “house guests” trying to tough it out in the latest series of ‘I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here’ (ITV1), which brings some jungle realism to Sunday night viewing after eight weeks of escapism in ‘Downton Abbey,’ as well as putting in an appearance on nearly every night of the week during its three-week run.

And for those with the stamina for the long game don’t miss out on the return of the third and last season of the Danish crime thriller ‘The Killing’ (BBC4) which starts a five-week investigation this Saturday with a double instalment as Det Chief Insp Sarah Lund, complete with trend-setting sweater, find little time to celebrate her 25th year on the force after body parts are found at Copenhagen dock only hours before a scheduled visit by the Prime Minister.

Sweaters, cardigans and other retro-style garments are to be found aplenty in ‘The Hour’ (BBC2, Wednesday), a drama about the lives and loves of staff working on a TV news programme in the 1950s, which returns for a second series, starting tonight on BBC2.

However, it’s not all work as Bel (Romola Garai) has her work cut to keep Hector (Dominic West) focused on the news, rather than meandering off to the late-night clubs in nearby Soho.

Keeping with the fashion theme, don’t miss out on ‘Cheryl: Access All Area’ (ITV2, Tuesday), to see what madcap outfits Ms Cole is sporting in this exclusive documentary as the so called “national treasure” prepares for her first-ever solo tour.


Brazil with Michael Palin -- Wednesday, BBC1. End of the road for this Latin American jaunt, but not before our intrepid traveller tries his hand at some piranha fishing.

Everyday -- Thursday, Channel 4. Filmed over five years, this drama stars John Simm and Shirley Henderson in the story of Ian, serving time in jail, while his wife, Karen, brings up four children.

Children in Need -- Friday, BBC1. Another star-studded line-up for this annual charity marthon hoping to beat last year’s record of £26 million.