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Steve Hendry.

The Fear (Channel 4) had all the trappings of classic – or cliched, depending on your particular point of view – gangster drama.

The gangland boss, Richie Beckett, who had gone legitimate, losing his grip on his empire, the wife who has moved on from a life of crime and her criminal husband, the sons unable to live up to their old man's legacy.

What made it different, however, was the threat to the family's empire didn't come just from the Eastern European gang moving in on their turf, but from the enemy within, in this case the dementia ravaging Richie's brain.

Scots star Peter Mullan was typically, hypnotically brilliant as the gangster battling gaps in his memory and disturbing hallucinations, as well as the mercilessly stereotypical Albanians, and discovering the real meaning of fear. It's a performance that, ironically in the circumstances, was unforgettable. I wouldn't bet against him winning every award going next year.

Prince Philip apparently revealed that when heart–throbs One Direction played at The Royal Variety Performance (STV) he and the Queen never heard a thing because they are both stone deaf. He should count himself very lucky indeed.

War on Britain's Roads (BBC1) made full use of cycle helmet cameras to study the battle between 34million vehicles and 13million bikes all trying to share the same crowded space.

There was testimony – and fault – on both sides, which ranged from verbal and physical abuse to the tragedy of a mother who lost her cyclist daughter in a fatal collision with a cement mixer. She dealt with her grief by addressing the company and working with them to make the vehicles safer.

The programme, however, made one fact startlingly clear – a cyclist is always, always going to come off worse in clash with a vehicle. No matter how right you feel you are on a bike, it is worth bearing in mind.

Alien Investigations (Channel 4) studied strange alien–like bodies that have emerged over the past five years, including a mysterious "baby alien" caught in a trap on a ranch in Mexico, three alien–like creatures dubbed the Montauk Monsters, skeletal remains of an "alien child" in Peru and The Blue Hill Monster, discovered by four teenage boys in Panama. The truth is out there... and it's all total bunkum.

'Scottish star Peter Mullan was typically, hypnotically brilliant as the gangster battling gaps in his memory and disturbing hallucinations'
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 9, 2012
Words:410
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