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CRITIC'S CHOICE - Tuesday 22nd January; War on the dock.

Commando

Ch4, 9.00pm

TELLING the story of the greatest commando raid of the Second World War, the programme focuses on the attack on St Nazaire.

St Nazaire in France was the biggest dry dock in Europe and proved to be the ultimate in suicide raids - a high risk, dramatic piece of brazen daring. It was to be the most spectacularly successful of the Second World War Commando Operations.

At 1am on March 28, 1942 a flotilla of British motor launches and HMS Campbeltown, a destroyer, crept into the Loire estuary, one of the most heavily defended rivers in France.

The target was the port of St Nazaire six miles away. This vast dock - the size of four football pitches - was the only one large enough to house the Tirpitz, a colossal German battleship with the firepower to pose a real threat to Britain's safety.

She was pinned down in Norway but should she escape her blockade and join the U-boats in their plunder of the North Atlantic convoys, Britain might be starved into submission. It was imperative to destroy the only haven available to her - the Normandie dock.

HMS Campbeltown was disguised to look like a German ship from the outside but in fact she was a floating time-bomb packed with four tons of explosive on a long delay fuse.

The commandos aimed to ram it into the gates of the dry dock and blow it up. The trick was to get past the Germans and their luck held for five miles. But with only one mile to go the Germans realised it was a ploy and attacked.

Of the 611 men who took part in the raid 169 lost their lives, but the dry dock remained out of action for the rest of the war.

The mission also played a key role in raising morale.

Former commando Bill 'Tiger' Watson says: "It was worth it not so much for what it achieved tactically or strategically or politically but for the effect it had on morale in Britain and in France.

"It showed that the rest of the free world was not standing by apathetically."

Delia's How To Cook, Part Three

BBC2, 8.30pm

IF you're the type of person who lives on take-away food and ready-made meals, fear not, help is at hand.

Proving you don't need to be a master chef cook to whip up something delicious, Delia shows even the most-reluctant cooks that making food can be fun.

This week, the humble bean is given a makeover as Delia turns her attention to pulses. Though often dismissed as the poorest of meals, pulses are a cheap and delicious form of protein.

Delia runs through the main types of pulses available in Britain, including butter beans, lentils, black-eyed beans and chick peas, and gives advice on how best to prepare them.

Her mouth-watering recipes include Spiced Lamb Curry with Chickpeas, Braised Sausages in White Wine with Borlotti Beans and Shin of Beef Stew.

Fat Club

ITV, 8.30pm

FOUR months in to Fat Club and it's an uphill struggle for all concerned.

At the last meeting of the weight-loss club the experts set 10 members a target of losing 60lbs between them.

They also made a decision to give a written warning to Jacey and hoped this would kick-start her motivation to lose weight.

Jacey and husband Emmanuel, felt the warning had a demoralising effect and she questioned her commitment to Fat Club.

Simon Payne is on holiday with his family - he has embraced the exercise wholeheartedly, but he hasn't quite got the food right yet.

The weigh-in approaches and members are nervous they may not achieve their targets.

Simon has lost 12 pounds and everyone else has lost up to half a stone - apart from Jacey who has gained two pounds.

Will this be her last Fat Club?
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 19, 2002
Words:642
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