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Christmas Day December 25: As cushty as ever; CRITIC'S CHOICE.

Only Fools And Horses BBC1, 9.40pm

BRITAIN'S favourite wheeler-dealers make a much- anticipated return, as Del Boy (David Jason) and Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) burst back onto our screens in Only Fools And Horses - Strangers On The Shore.

With the family fortune lost, Trotters Independent Trading - under new managing director, Rodney - resorts to what it does best, coming up with hare-brained schemes and watching them fall flat on their face.

In true Trotter style, Strangers On The Shore is a rags to riches to rags again tale, involving a trip to France and some unexpected cargo.

When we last saw them, the Trotters had gone from living the high life in Monte Carlo to owing the inland revenue a sizeable amount of dosh.

Even Del Boy's appearance on a TV quiz show - aided by Rodders and his two GCEs - failed to land them the money they needed.

The new show also catches up with gladiator Maximus Rodney and PC Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong), who were last seen getting into fancy dress in bid to inject something extra into their stale relationship.

As ever, this is classic sitcom at its very best and a must-see.

The show first appeared in 1981 and more than 60 episodes later, it remains one of the most popular on TV drawing in excess of 20million viewers whenever a new episode is aired.

But writer John Sullivan, who has tried to retire the Trotters once before, has said despite the continuing popularity it is unlikely the team will work together again.

In 1996 a record 24.3 million tuned in to see Del Boy and Rodney walk off into the sunset.

It was to be the final show but pressure from the fans persuaded Sullivan to pen a Christmas special last year.

Sullivan says: "I think everyone missed the camaraderie of being part of a family."

However, rumour has it that this is to be the last ever Fools And Horses, with the family leaving for France. Make the most it.

Christmas Celebrity Blind Date

ITV, 6.10pm & 9.05pm

CILLA provides a huge Christmas cracker for two contestants when Tara Palmer- Tomkinson and Big Brother heart throb Alex Sibley look for love.

Cilla plays cupid to lucky Fabio who went on Christmas Celebrity Blind Date hoping for romance and ended up on a date with the ultimate celebrity It-girl Tara.

The investment banker from London had no idea Cilla had invited Tara on as a picker.

Tara picked her mystery hunk and was delighted with the results.

The pair couldn't have chosen a better date for Tara - a weekend shopping in New York.

Alex Sibley still lives at home with his mum and dad.

He tells Cilla he has never been on a proper date. He picks Cazz, a student from Bristol, and the pair pick a romantic trip to Dubai.

Bing On Bing

BBC2, 5.00pm

CHRISTMAS just wouldn't be Christmas without a tribute to Bing Crosby.

This profile is based on interviews recorded by the star towards the end of his life.

Harry Lillis Crosby was born in Tacoma, Washington, in 1903 and took his nickname Bing from a local comic strip.

He was a drummer and vocalist in a band while still at college, but dropped out of law school and headed to Hollywood.

He was discovered by band leader Paul Whiteman and soon established himself as America's favourite crooner.

He later conquered TV and films and his career lasted until his death in 1977.

He was responsible for one of the most popular Christmas records ever made, not to mention the most records to appear in the chart - an astonishing 396 - with 38 No 1 hits in the US.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 21, 2002
Words:617
Previous Article:GOSSIP DIRECTORY; TODAY'S HOTTEST SHOWBIZ GOSSIP.
Next Article:Christmas Day December 25: Jim is a wonder; FILM REVIEW.


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