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TV highlights: 5 reasons to turn on.

BEST VARIETY SHOW

QUEEN MOTHER 100 - BIRTHDAY GREETINGS FROM THE STARS OF THE ROYAL VARIETY Saturday, BBC1, 8.55pm

The Queen Mum has always been an enthusiastic presence in the Royal Box at the annual variety show and this 50-minute compilation, presented by Bob Monkhouse, is a fitting tribute to her patronage. It rewinds through some show-stopping numbers with performances by everyone from Shirley Bassey, Elton John, Bob Hope, Tom Jones and Frankie Howerd to Michael Jackson, Steve Coogan, and Rod Hull and Emu (above).

BEST FACTUAL

THE SEARCH Wednesday, BBC1, 8pm

This live show, which debuted last year, makes another welcome one-off appearance, hosted by Nick Ross and Fiona Bruce (both pictured below). The hope is to reunite people with whatever they have lost, be that family, friends or treasured possessions. One of the main aims is to locate 14 people registered as missing and put them back in touch with their concerned families. Celebrity searches include EastEnder Wendy Richard, who is keen to trace stolen jewellery of great sentimental value to her, and Michael Buerk hopes to find three old pals who were ushers at his wedding.

BEST DRAMA

BURNSIDE Thursday, ITV, 9pm

Much has been made of this cop drama's Sweeney-style approach to crimebusting. But one thing's for sure, the antics of tough-talking, hard-drinking, no-nonsense, "just call me Guv" Burnside (Christopher Ellison, above right) have already established this as far more than just a Bill offshoot. In Trial By Fire, the third two-part investigation, Burnside's attempt to nail mobster Dale Vickers, who is involved in an international money-laundering operation, backfires when he is forced to name informant Tony Shotton (Shane Richie, left) in court. Has he unwittingly signed Shotton's death warrant?

BEST COMEDY

ROOM 101 Friday, BBC2, 9pm

Paul Merton is back with a new series of the show which revels in the things we love to loathe, consigning them forever to the dusty confines of Room 101. His first guest is actress and comedienne Kathy Burke (pictured with Paul), best-loved as Perry, the mate of sulky teenager Kevin in Harry Enfield And Chums. So if Paul turns down one of her choices - one of which happens to be "poncey tea" - at least she can moan, "That's so unfair!" Future guests include Terry Venables, Bill Bailey, Phill Jupitus, Janet Street-Porter, writer Will Self and Mirror film critic Jonathan Ross.

BEST LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

BARRYMORE ON BROADWAY Friday, BBC1, 10.20pm

Michael Barrymore is mad about musicals, a love affair which began as a 12-year-old at a stage production of The Sound Of Music. And if you share his passion you'll love this. On his first visit to New York, he takes in Broadway On Broadway - the city's annual open-air concert of excerpts from current musicals. After tapping a toe to Cabaret, Cats and Miss Saigon, he chats to Elaine Paige (right with Michael), Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber and also presents clips from all his favourite shows.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Smith, Sue
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 29, 2000
Words:489
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