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Getting to the bones of crime; Cannibal Ch4, 10.00pm.

WHAT with the recent release of "Hannibal" to give us all nightmares, you'd think the last thing we need is a real-life exploration of what makes one human being eat another.

But nevertheless, Cannibal takes a challenging and fascinating look at the evidence and explanations for the existence of cannibalism in our society.

Ranging in breadth from Russia to Fiji, Neanderthal to modern man, and from archaeological to DNA evidence, the latest theories are espoused by psychologists and behavioural scientists.

One thing's for sure - cannibalism holds a morbid fascination for the Western world. From Victorian tales of the "missionary in the pot" to the iconic status of modern cinema's cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, people who eat other people have always shocked society.

This series tells the story of how, since man's earliest incarnation, cannibalism has been a central part of human behaviour and how even today, in some parts of the world, it remains central to human culture.

The programme also reveals how new archaeological evidence is proving that cannibalism was practised far more widely in pre-history than we previously thought.

Last year, a set of human bones was found at the bottom of Eton lake in Berkshire. Archaeologists dated the bones back to the early Iron Age, some 3000 years ago.

The bones, mainly legs, were brought to Professor Margaret Cox of Bournemouth University.

Her analysis discovered teeth marks and fine cut marks made by a very sharp blade.

Might these bones be the latest evidence in a human story that goes back nearly a million years? In the Atapuerca Hills in Northern Spain, human bones dating back 800,000 years were found six years ago.

Like the Eton bones, the bones were broken at the ends and had similar cut marks.

Analysis of animal bones shows that in the all these cases humans were being butchered and processed like animals.

But was human flesh being eaten or was this activity part of some kind of ritualistic ceremony?

The Spanish findings suggest that the bones were indeed broken for the highly nutritional marrow inside, and the teeth marks on the Eaton bones certainly give the theory of cannibalism some weight.

If we accept that cannibalism was taking place, the next question is why?

Was it purely for food and nutrition or was it something more sinister?

Auntie Jeanie with a nice bottle of Chianti, anyone?

Holiday 2001

BBC1, 7.00pm

LASHINGS of pure sunshine, plenty of blue skies and some Irish charm make the perfect basic recipe for winter evenings in Holiday 2001, presented by Craig Doyle.

Former BBC political editor and presenter of BBC Radio Four's The Week in Westminster, Robin Oakley, heads for Hong Kong but this time he is a holiday-maker rather than a political correspondent.

Unless viewers suffer from vertigo he recommends they stay in the highest hotel to enjoy the best views.

Robin takes in the sights, sounds and smells of the frenzied city life and the quiet countryside.

He also tries out a Chinese remedy, experiences the delights of the egg tart which the last British Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, famously adored and samples a seafood restaurant where diners choose live victims.

We also join Holiday 2001 regular Alison Comyn as she escapes the crowds in Southern Italy, making full use of a new direct flight to explore Calabria. This "Land of Legends" is something of a secret and remains enjoyably low-key.

She visits an amazing museum and checks out the history of the area.

Finally, Craig is on a short break in an Irish castle. Castle Leslie, owned by Sir John Leslie, provides a weekend break with a difference.

Holby City

BBC1, 8.00pm

TASH Bandara (Thusitha Jayasundera) faces a personal crisis when her father, Kushara Bandara (Roshan Seth), arrives from Sri Lanka for a coronary by-pass performed by Anton Meyer (George Irving).

She confides to Mike Barratt (Clive Mantle), referring to her sexuality: "I'm not the girl he left behind. I want him to know me."

But her father's erratic behaviour is cause for concern and Meyer refers Mr Bandara to a neurologist, who diagnoses that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

Stars and Cars Special

Ch5, 7.00pm

TWO things are guaranteed to turn heads in this country - big cars and big stars.

Channel Five know this, and have employed Henry Cole to surround himself with both.

First guest Gary Numan wrote Cars, the ultimate motoring anthem, after a road-rage fracas forced him to lock himself in his car.

Cars are still his passion 21 years on. He tells Henry about his TVR Cerbera, before describing his rise to fame after two unfinished songs and one wrong note became the smash hit Are Friends Electric?

He says: "I became famous through a total lack of songwriting talent or playing ability."

We also meet a man famous for his big tackle - Will Carling - who, we discover, also likes big cars.

The former England rugby captain discusses the virtues of his Range Rover and Jaguar XK8, as well as pondering the question of how history will view him.

He says: "Will I be remembered as a rugby player or as someone whose private life has been in the papers all too often?"

It's a tough call.

Finally, we also meet someone obsessed with Bentleys, and talk to Vic Reeves about the advantages of the Channel Ferry over the Channel Tunnel.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 24, 2001
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