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Neil turns medical detective; PICK OF THE BOX.


Bitter Inheritance (BBC2, 9.50pm)

FORMER copper Neil Halliday is investigating his toughest case - tracking down members of his family to save their lives.

Over decades, premature deaths were so common in his family that it became known as the Gorry Curse - Neil's mother was a Gorry.

He lost his mother, sister and brother while they were young and their deaths were put down to vague and multiple causes.

This incredible documentary - the first in a series about five families facing up to genetic disorders - follows Neil as he attempts to rid his family of the curse.

When one of his teenage nieces collapsed and died while out dancing, Neil started to link the deaths.

Her sister, Melanie, became the only living witness after surviving a blackout. Doctors identified it as a rare genetic heart disorder that can easily be controlled by beta blockers.

With the family spread across three continents, Neil joins forces with his late mother's sister Michelle Gorry to trace the survivors.

Michelle had already lost one son at the age of 14 and has another, more pressing reason to look into the family's past - she gave up a son for adoption more than 20 years ago.


The Sopranos (Channel 4, 10.30pm)

THERE'S little festive spirit to cheer up Tony Soprano as the Mob boss starts to get a little misty-eyed over his dear departed friend Pussy Bompensiero.

Memories of Christmas 1995 have sent Tony (James Gandolfini) to Dr Melfi, but Tony's happy recollections of big Pussy are soured when he realises his old friend had been wearing a wire for the FBI for much longer than he realised.

Meanwhile, Janice hosts Christmas dinner while Silvio dreams of missing cheese and a dirty rat, and Baccala reluctantly dons the Santa suit that Pussy used to wear for a party.


Horizon (BBC2, 9.00pm)

THE legend of the lost city of Atlantis has held us in thrall for centuries, ever since Greek philosopher Plato started the legend of the sunken city in 360BC.

All attempts to find Atlantis have failed, but scientists Steven Soter and Dora Katsonopolou are about to change all that.

The classical Greek city of Helike disappeared under water after a massive earthquake, inspiring the myth of Atlantis.

The entire city and its inhabitants were lost and explorers' attempts to find its location have always failed, mainly because they only had obscure and often contradictory texts to guide them.

But Dora and Steve, both obsessed by the legend, believe Helike wasn't buried by the sea, but was actually an inland city engulfed by a lagoon.

The only drawback to this theory was that there was no inland lagoon.

Then a trail of clues emerged - a bridge that was nowhere near any stretch of water, the remote cave with a legend attached to it and some strange microscopic creatures hidden in mud with a bizarre tale to tell.


Flora's Story

(Channel 4, 9.00pm)

IN December 1983, Sara Keays gave birth to a daughter, Flora, the result of an affair with then Tory party chairman Cecil Parkinson.

The revelations forced him to resign his post, but she was left alone to raise their child when he refused to leave his wife and was able to pick up the pieces of his political career.

And when Flora's health deteriorated - at the age of four she needed an operation to remove a brain tumour - Parkinson initiated unprecedented legal restrictions to prevent the publication of anything to do with her until she reached the age of 18.

On December 31, Flora turned 18 and now she and her mother are ready - and able - to tell their story.




(Sky One, 8.00pm)

A ROLLICKING two-hour special opens the brand new series of Buffy.

At the end of the last series, our heroine was dead, but the Scooby gang are nothing if not resourceful.

So as Giles makes preparations for his return to England, the gang try to bring Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) back from the dead with a magic spell.


(Granada Plus, 9.00pm)

KAY MELLOR'S award-winning drama about a group of women trying to escape prostitution gets a welcome rerun.

The girls have set up a cleaning co-operative and, despite its apparent success, they are struggling to make a living away from the street.

Things get worse when an old enemy exacts a violent revenge.

With Samantha Morton, Cathy Tyson and Barbara Dickson.


(Paramount, 7.30pm)

THE comedy about a struggling forty-something actress takes a giant leap into the future in tonight's episode.

It's the year 2027 and Cybill (Cybill Shepherd) and best friend Maryann are elderly women travelling down memory lane.

But some things never change - Maryann is still drinking Martinis and Cybill is still doing commercials.


(Discovery, 8.30pm)

TWO more shocking real-life cases are solved by the forensic scientists who turn medical detectives.

In the first, a US man finds his wife drowned in the bathtub of their hotel, but what first seemed like a tragic accident soon begins to appear more like murder.

The second involves the brutal murder of a mother of three.

Her drunken husband confesses to the crime, but sceptical police don't believe in his guilt and the medical detectives soon rule him out as a suspect. The hunt then begins to find the real killer.
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Title Annotation:Pick of the Box
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 10, 2002
Previous Article:JUST JOAN: The Agony Aunt With The Answers; I'm 15 and all I want is a baby.
Next Article:Great news, but I don't plan another baby; Proud mum Kirsty Young talks about her return to Channel 5's newsroom.

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