LAST NIGHT; Scotching the myths about the man, not the legend.
AS we nurse another hangover the day after another Burns Night celebration, it must be asked: do we really know our national bard?
Each January 25, we use his name as an excuse to have a party, to sink whiskies and gorge ourselves with haggis, neeps and tatties.
But some more literary Scots want to know much more about the Ploughboy Poet.
Robert Burns' image surrounds us on tea towels and shortbread tins. Most of us could name his famous poems. Some can even recite them.
But what do we know of his life? Mainly that he liked a good drink.
The myth has overtaken the man and he is seen as some pop star poet who enjoyed riotous boozing sessions.
For The Love Of Burns claimed it wasn't the drink that fuelled the poet, but sex.
Narrator Scots writer A. L. Kennedy was obviously a Burns groupie, whose heart had melted at the thought of his britches.
She talked breathlessly about the Ayrshire farmer's son who enjoyed the company of women and wrote about his exploits.
There was once a time in his life when his wife was pregnant, as was his mistress, and he was still entertaining his mistress' maid.
But it wasn't all physical and he charmed women by his voice and manners alone. He even had a long- distance love affair by letter with a woman called Clarinda.
A. L. Kennedy's poetic voice-over added a haunting, rhythmic quality to the programme which added much to the romance of Burns.
Now all it needs to make him a modern-day hero is to give him the same image makeover William Wallace had in Braveheart.
There has been much talk of a Burns movie but, for some reason, none has been made.
Who would play Rabbie in a film? For Kennedy, there was only one Scots actor who could measure up.
"Ewan McGregor," she sighed. "He can't keep his tackle in."
EASTENDERS (BBC1, 7.30pm)
SIMON (Andrew Lynford, left) is all a-flutter as the day of the inquest into Tiff's death dawns. Grant (Ross Kemp) is determined to get Frank (Mike Reid) sent down for the death of his wife. Ruth (Caroline Paterson) decides to keep her baby by Conor (Sean Gleeson). But does she have the courage to tell him and her husband Mark (Todd Carty)?
PICK OF THE BOX
FACTUAL: Crimewatch UK 150 (BBC2, 9.30pm)
NICK ROSS hasn't missed an edition of Crimewatch since it started in 1984.
And watching this, you realise how wonderful a series it really is. For once a programme that really does help.
With his co-presenter Jill Dando, he reflects on the past 14 years and 603 arrests made possible thanks to viewers.
There's a review of the successes - of the 1742 crimes featured, one in three have ended in an arrest as a direct result of a call from a member of the Crimewatch audience.
Viewers have played a part in convictions in the Jamie Bulger and Stephanie Slater cases.
MEDICAL: Holby City (BBC1, 8.00pm)
SUAVE surgeon Nick Jordan (Michael French) has a dark secret - the ward Romeo is married.
He's not the only one who has to face the music tonight. When a serious infection breaks out on one of the wards, all of Nick's team in Darwin ward come under close scrutiny.
Suspicion falls on nurse Julie Fitzjohn (Nicola Stephenson) who is becoming the hospital punch-bag.
Meanwhile, the attention of ward clerk Paul (Luke Mably) may have prompted some reaction from coma victim Nicola Jordan (Joanna Kirkland).
DRAMA: Peak Practice (ITV, 9.00pm)
YET another medical drama but one that has matured greatly over the years.
Tonight's episode is a case in point. Frank Mills and David Ryall play Eric and Ben, two old soldiers who have lived as a couple for many years.
But they have a two-pronged battle on their hands. Eric has an incurable brain tumour and is desperate to end the feud with his daughter, Sara, who can't stand Ben and their relationship.
Dr Andrew Attwood, played by Gary Mavers, tries to mediate but his judgement is put on the line in a battle of prejudice and personal feelings.
MUSIC: Short Stories (Channel 4, 11.00pm)
THE series of documentaries by up-and-coming film- makers.
Tonight's Chilling Fields follows the build-up to one of the biggest dance music events of last year - Creamfields.
One minute it was on, then off, then postponed. But finally it had the go- ahead last April in a field in Hampshire.
Director Stuart Mitchell focuses on the faceless people behind the organisation who make sure that the revellers have a great time when the day arrives.
APARTMENT FOR PEGGY (Ch4, 1.50pm - 3.30pm) Edmund Gwenn in cherishable form as an unhappy widowed professor regaining a zest for life when pregnant Jeanne Crain and her ex-GI husband move into his college campus attic. Unashamedly sentimental comic drama with William Holden. 1948
WOMAN ON THE LEDGE (BBC2, 3.30pm - 5.00pm) Why is that lady teetering on the ledge of a towerblock 15 floors up? And what is the significance of the little bell on her bracelet? Flashbacks provide the answers in a maudlin Canadian drama acted by a largely unfamilar cast. With Deidre Hall, Leslie Charleson, Colleen Zenk Pinter, Ken Kercheval. 1990
FEAR ON TRIAL (Ch5, 3.30pm - 5.20pm) William Devane as radio broadcaster John Henry Faulk, his career wrecked by anti-communist smear tactics in the 1950s. Fine cast in angry teledrama, including George C. Scott in the role of authoritative real-life attorney Louis Nizer. With Dorothy Tristan, Judd Hirsch, John Houseman, Lois Nettleton. 1975
THE ROOKIE (Ch5, 9.00pm - 11.20pm) Clint Eastwood as a grouchy street cop reluctantly breaking in young partner Charlie Sheen. By-the-book violent crime thriller with an extremely jaded air. A good cast wasted. With Lara Flynn Boyle, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga and Tom Skerritt. 1990
THE HONKERS (BBC1, England, 12.05am - 1.45am, except Scottish) James Coburn as ageing rodeo rider in uneventful drama cut from the same saddlebags as Junior Bonner. With Lois Nettleton, Anne Archer, Slim Pickens, Richard Anderson. 1972
EMPEROR OF THE NORTH (Ch4, 1.40am - 3.50am) During the Depression, hobo Lee Marvin aims to become the first man to ride the Oregon train commandeered by sadistic guard Ernest Borgnine, who boasts of killing tramps on board. Odd drama from Robert Aldrich, brutal but intriguing. 1973
SATELLITE & CABLE
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR
(Sky Cinema, 4.00pm)
NOT the Eddie Murphy version, but the original starring the hyperactive Jerry Lewis.
Although Murphy's was excellent, especially the family meal scene, it is no patch on this classic.
Lewis, above, plays the bumbling chemistry professor who falls hopelessly in love with one of his students.
The ugly boffin wants to be sophisticated and trendy (well, it was made in the swinging 60s) and invents a potion which makes him Mr Cool.
AFTER his mother catches him in a precarious sexual position, George insists he will never do it again.
His friends are unconvinced, so he strikes a bet with Jerry, Elaine and Kramer on who can go for the longest time without having sex.
It's little surprise when temptation proves too much to resist and they all start falling by the wayside.
(Sky One, 7.00pm)
MORE of everyone's favourite cartoon American family - and, no, it's not the Clintons.
A double dose of The Simpsons is much more interesting than any impeachment trial.
In the first episode, Homer makes an enemy at the power plant and Bart buys an abandoned factory at a Government auction. As you do.
That's followed by Lisa's Sax, when Homer and Marge recall how their daughter came to be the proud owner of that saxophone.
RUBY WAX MEETS ... PAMELA ANDERSON
(UK Gold, 9.40pm)
THE American bigmouth can be really annoying and her noisiness can be a turn-off.
But when she met Pamela Anderson, above - at the height of her Baywatch and I Love Tommy Lee phase - Ruby was in her element.
She gets Pammy to show us her favourite sexual position - in the back of a car - and is a hoot when she tries out as a Baywatch extra. Don't miss it.
BANGERS AND SMASH TONIGHT AT 9pm
Make sure you tune in for some exclusive, thrilling and smashing banger racing action from the final of the British Banger Unlimited Open, plus the consolation final and destruction derby.
Ringwood Raceway, in Hampshire, hosts this prestigious and fiercely-competitive all-banger event and has put an amazing pounds 5000 forward for prize money.
Tune in to find out which drivers get their hands on the cash.
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Jan 26, 1999|
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