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CRITIC'S CHOICE; Net closes in on a sex den.

The Secret World Of Michael Fry Ch4, 9.00pm

INTERNET sex, blackmail and scandal all combine in Paul Abbott's original new drama, The Secret World Of Michael Fry which stars Ewen Bremner, Michael Kitchen, Robert Pugh and Rosie Marcel.

Filmed in London and Wales, the two-part story is set in a small Welsh seaside town - a seemingly ordinary town - but one which is hiding some very dark secrets.

Behind the revolving doors of the small hotels, and the net curtains of the terraced houses, sex has become big business.

But for some, sex is not enough. Greed has taken a hold and a quest for money and power has seeped into the streets, bars and offices.

Michael Fry (Ewen Bremner) is a single father with a baby son to look after. He is also a frustrated town planner who laments the economic decline of the town he has known since childhood.

When Fry is asked to close down a local hotel on the grounds that they are breaking fire regulations, he is surprised to be accompanied by the local police - and even more surprised when he discovers an internet sex den within the hotel run by the local industrious pimp, Herbie (Michael Kitchen).

He helps rescue one of the internet porn actresses, Donna (Rosie Marcel) and is so taken with her that later that day he returns her bag which she had left as she fled from the police. There is an instant attraction between them and Donna doesn't seem to be phazed by the fact that he has his one- year old son with him.

Michael discovers that the closure of the hotel has something to do with a deal that his boss Hugh Wentworth Davies (Bob Pugh) is planning behind closed-doors.

But when Michael's parents receive an offer from the council to buy their house, the single father knows something is very wrong in Llangrych.

Michael tries to uncover what secrets lie behind the locked office doors of his boss and finds himself caught up in a race to save his family, his livelihood, his hometown and his new found friend, Donna.

Producer Hilary Bevan Jones says: "This production is truly original.

"The mixture of black comedy and ground-breaking drama will surprise a lot of people."

Cutting Edge, Ch4, 9.00pm

THE curry industry employs more people in Britain than coalmining, shipbuilding and steelmaking combined.

Argi Bhaji introduces us to some of the indomitable waiters who work in this booming industry as well as the punters who spice up their lives with an estimated two and a half million curries every week.

In the final programme of the current series Cutting Edge travels to the curry epicentre of Rusholme, Manchester - a place where an unprecedented 50 Indian restaurants, takeaways and Indian kebab shops vie for an eager clientele.

Rusholme's neon strip, known as The Curry Mile, is the highest concentration of Indian eating establishments in Europe.

John and Jane are self-confessed curryholics who love the taste so much they even have curry for their Christmas lunch. It wasn't always this way for Jane, who admits: "John's quite a dominant person, he totally changed my eating habits".

John is clear where his culinary allegiances lie: "Would I call my self a curryholic? I suppose I could.

"I have at least three curries a week and get withdrawal symptoms when I don't have one."

Three curries a week seems a lot, but not compared to when they went to India on their holidays.

As Jane confides: "We were having curry for breakfast, dinner and tea."

Slave Ch4, 11.55am

CHRIS Cleverley, Terry Burgess and Carla Holdforth are back with their inimitable takes on the world of style.

This week Chris will be on a coolhunting mission to Peckham, John Galliano's old stomping ground.

There he finds Mr Ben, the only stockist of Puff Daddy's fashion range in the country - and goes ghetto fabulous. According to Peckhamites it's `blinging'.

Terry investigates why fashion has gone branding crazy, and he reports on the very latest in style news from around the globe.

Holiday On A Shoestring BBC1, 7.00pm

Travelling the world need not cost the earth as Holiday on a Shoestring continues to prove.

In tonight's show Jackie Bird makes the most of her fortnight in the sun on the Greek island of Crete while Nick Clark manages to stretch his pounds 500 to a 10- day cruise on the Mediterranean.

The trip takes in nine ports, including Lisbon, Tangier, Ibiza and Barcelona and between stops, holidaymakers can enjoy the ship's pool, a small casino and indulge in six meals a day.

Across the pond Kate Humble explores New Orleans, the American city of jazz and Mardi Gras, which has something for everyone.

She visits the French Quarter which is crammed with music venues, bars and clubs and dines out on Southern style portions of food. As she's in swamp country she also checks out what tasty morsels tickle an alligator's taste buds and luckily she doesn't come high on the list and she does live to tell the tale.

Meanwhile Richard Orford throws himself into a weekend activity break designed for bored youngsters.

With abseiling, horse riding, quad bikes and assault courses, there's more than enough to exhaust excess energy levels without breaking the bank.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 22, 2000
Previous Article:FILM REVIEW; No sign of the deaf.
Next Article:FILM REVIEW; Bob's on the case.

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