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Bare facts about nookie on screen; PICK OF THE BOX.

FACTUAL

Sex On TV (Channel 4, 10.00pm)

TOO much, too little, too revealing, not revealing enough - we've all got an opinion on sex on the box.

Now this three-part series guides us through the turbulent relationship between TV and sex from the sexual revolution of the Sixties to the naughty Noughties where anything goes.

Or so the habitual whingers about anything adult on view will claim.

We've come a long way since the early Sixties when the social climate dictated that the word "virgin" was not allowed to be said.

And almost every taboo about sex, that most basic and basest of human instincts, now seems to have been broken.

Tonight's first part - and those hoping to catch salacious glimpses of a bit of how's-yer-father will be sorely disappointed - looks at how sex gradually emerged on our television screens.

Nudity, rape, gay relationships and incest were all covered by seminal programmes such as The Naked Civil Servant and Bouquet Of Barbed Wire, which sent shock waves through Seventies' audiences.

There is fascinating archive footage of those shows that pushed back the boundaries and interviews with those doing the boundary pushing.

COMEDY

Sweet Charity (ITV, 8.30pm)

IT'S hardly the most promising of comedy scenarios for audiences whose appetites have been whetted by the wit of Frasier or the dark satire of The Book Group - two elderly ladies running a charity shop.

ITV has a habit of putting its comic eggs in an elderly basket - see Gwen earlier tonight on this channel and recall with a shudder its version of The Golden Girls, Brighton Belles.

Thelma Barlow and Anne Reid are the stars of Sweet Charity, having teamed up before in Dinnerladies.

Jan (Barlow) is the dowdier of the two with Reid as tartier Agnes and they share a routine of regular tea breaks, gossip and friendly nagging.

Tonight's pilot episode - if audience reaction is good, expect a series to follow - has Agnes being bothered by a persistent bag-snatcher.

DRAMA

Cutting It (BBC1, 9.00pm)

HANDS up everyone who wants to work in a hair salon now? Cutting It makes the world of perming lotion and "going somewhere special tonight?" seem as glamorous as Hollywood.

Last week we had serial love rat Finn bedding all three Henshall sisters in a spectacular 24-hour display of randiness.

And now for the fall-out. Cuckolded spouses Gavin (Jason Merrells) and Mia (Amanda Holden) are turning to each other for support - uh-oh.

Allie is doing her level best to keep Finn at bay by compiling a list of reasons to hate him.

Lippy salon junior Ruby - vying with nail technician Sydney for all the best, bitchy lines - is behaving even more badly than normal and Gavin is shocked to discover the extraordinary secret behind this.

Meanwhile, the Henshall sisters discover they have something else in common.

FACTUAL

Real Crime (ITV, 9.00pm)

HOW many times in recent years have we watched the grieving relative of a murder victim make an emotional and tearful plea for help at a Press conference?

And how often now do we immediately think "they did it"?

In the last decade alone, there have been at least 17 cases of people attempting to cover their tracks by crying on cue for the cameras.

Tonight's Real Crime - subtitled Crocodile Tears - looks at those cases where killers have lied on camera, appealing for help and lying to the public and police alike in a bid to evade suspicion.

There are first-hand accounts from victims' families and the detectives who have unravelled such webs of deceit.

BEST OF SATELLITE TV

DRAMA

STAYING UP

(BBC Choice, 11.00pm)

IT'S 1990 and an end-of-season clash between north-eastern rivals Newcastle United and Middlesbrough means everything to two RAF men stuck on an air base in the mid-Atlantic in this drama, part of the Waiting For The Whistle series.

Boro must win to avoid relegation and Toon fan Omar (Christopher Fulford) and Boro fan Billy (Stephen Tompkinson) are desperate to find a radio to hear the game.

The approaching Gulf War means nothing compared to the clash of the north-eastern rivals. But Billy is struggling to come to terms with an unspoken trauma from his past that he has to confront for the first time.

FACTUAL

BLOOD TIES

(Discovery, 8.00pm)

THE documentary series looks at the lives of those forever in the shadow of their family name and those who have fought to rise above their blood ties to make a name for themselves.

Tonight's episode focuses on the land-and-water speed record-holder Donald Campbell.

CHAT

THE KUMARS AT NO 42

(BBC Choice, 10.30pm)

THE stars of EastEnders are Sanjeev's guests in the spoof chat show tonight.

Barbara Windsor is the first arrival, but mum Madhuri is not pleased to see the diminutive pint-puller - dad Ashwin's revelation that he worked as an electrician on the set of Carry On Camping and felt a special chemistry with Babs does not go down well.

Granny Sushila checks out the gossip websites and wrongly believes that Babs and guest No. 2 Patsy Palmer don't speak - so she invites Adam Woodyatt as a replacement, then Patsy turns up, too.

CULT

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

(Granada Plus, 10.00pm)

OUR heroes Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin race against members of THRUSH to learn a secret formula for extracting gold from ocean water.

Their search takes them to THRUSH headquarters under the Arctic ice cap in the concluding part of this seminal Sixties' spy nonsense.
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Title Annotation:Pick of the Box
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 7, 2002
Words:916
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