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PICK OF THE BOX; An arresting affair for Pauline.

DRAMA

Maisie Raine (BBC1, 9.30pm)

BIRDS Of A Feather star Pauline Quirke shows that you don't have to look like Helen Mirren to lead a squad of detectives.

In the late-90s' rival to Prime Suspect, Quirke swaps her usual comedy image for tough-talking workaholic DI Maisie Raine.

The police chief with an appalling taste in clothes to rival Inspector Frost's is her usual grumpy self in the latest slice of this police drama. But as ever, it looks like she will get results.

Gavin McKay is a loser, desperately trying to get a start in life. After borrowing pounds 2000 from two thugs, Willis and Treat, he finds himself in serious trouble.

He believes the only way out it to help his rogue bosses to ferry illegal immigrants from Calais to London. But when one of his human cargo dies in transit, Gavin helps Willis bury the evidence in a local graveyard.

Inevitably, he finds himself up to his neck in it and it is up to Maisie to come to his rescue.

Watch out for The Knock's Steve Toussaint, who is part of the illegal immigrant racket.

CARTOON

South Park (Channel 4, 9.30pm)

A CHICKENPOX virus hits South Park in the irreverent American animated sitcom. The local mothers decide the safest solution is to send their sons to sleep over at Kenny's house, so they can catch the infection.

But the children are furious when they realise their parents have deliberately put them in the front line.

They complain that Kenny is poor, lives in a ghetto and might not have a Nintendo. If you can stomach it, this eyebrow-raising rival to The Simpsons makes Friday night worth staying in for.

MUSIC

Top Of The Pops (BBC1, 7.30pm)

GAIL PORTER, the Scots presenter with bags of naked ambition, is at the helm of the BBC's chart show this week.

After being exposed on the side of the Houses of Parliament, she will presumably keep her bottom well hidden from those notorious Top Of The Pops cameramen.

Britain has consecutive chart-toppers from the continent for the first time since 1977, with ATB from Germany replacing Holland's Vengaboys at No 1. ATB perform 9PM Till I Come, while the Vengaboys bite back with Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom at No 3.

Whitney Houston returns to the chart with My Love Is Your Love, while Jennifer Lopez debuts at No 4 with If You Had My Love.

CHAT

Parkinson (BBC1, 10.20pm)

ANOTHER chance to see some classic moments from Michael Parkinson's last talk show series.

The undisputed king of chat proves he still has the knack of getting people to divulge trivia.

This is Parky's third choice of his favourite moments from last year's series, so you would expect him to be running out of juicy bits. But he unearths some entertaining material.

The show includes an interview with Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, who plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Days before the film's British release, it is refreshing to hear the actor sounding slightly less jaded about the whole affair.

Also on the menu are the rascal of British pop, Robbie Williams, and satirist Rory Bremner, before he announced he was about to walk down the aisle again.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 2, 1999
Words:545
Previous Article:BEST OF THE SOAPS.
Next Article:LAST NIGHT; It's time to change this tired old Bill of affairs.


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