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Television: TERRESTRIAL PICK OF THE DAY.

The Two Ronnies BBC1, 9.00pm

WITH so many of today's comics citing the Two Ronnies as a major influence, now is the right time for a retrospective of their career.

Their shows might not get repeated ad nauseam in the same way as Morecambe and Wise, but much of the comedy on offer here is both sharper and more clever.

The four candles/fork handles sketch is rightly considered a classic, while other favourites, such as the Mastermind sketch, aren't far behind.

Some of their more surreal work, such as The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town, is also likely to get an outing in this repackaged presentation.

Jonathan Ross BBC1, 10.40pm

IT hardly seems to be any time at all since Ross's last series finished, but already he's returning to our screens.

There can't be many other chat show hosts who could get away with poking gentle fun at their guests in the way Ross does. But there's still a stellar cast of stars eagerly lining up to take a seat beside his desk.

Tonight is no exception, with a typically mixed bag featuring Penelope Cruz, Boy George and Lennox Lewis.

And, as if that were not enough, Beck also makes a welcome return with songs from his new album.

The Contender ITV, 11.30pm

THE latest reality TV show to hit our screens comes from across the Atlantic. But instead of the usual collection of average joes, here we have Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard putting 16 Rocky wannabes through their paces.

Over the next few weeks the contenders are whittled down, with the last two men still standing set for a showdown at Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas.

The winner will waltz off with a million-dollar cheque and the chance of a real shot at the big time.

So it should prove more interesting than the usual reality TV dross.

River City BBC1, 8.30pm

IT'S panic stations in Shieldinch as a deeply scared Della finally goes into labour.

Her marriage to Billy may be on the rocks, however he's still there to offer support as the baby arrives.

But while Della's in the maternity ward, her devious lover Lewis is cosying up to Alice as the pair take a trip down memory lane.

Meanwhile, Scott faces a real dilemma as he tries to decide what he should do with the laptop.

Grumpy Old Women BBC2, 10.00pm

WITH Grumpy Old Men proving such an unlikely hit, a female version of the show was to be expected.

But while the men's show focused on world-weariness with traffic wardens, much of the women's angst is spent on trying to juggle a career and family while husbands offer little in the way of support.

Among the women venting spleens are Sheila Hancock, Janet Street-Porter, Ann Widdecombe and Germaine Greer.

CAPTION(S):

DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Two Ronnies enjoy a welcome return in a retrospective showcase of their timeless comedy sketches on BBC1, 9pm. Sly Stallone puts 16 Rocky wannabes through their paces in The Contender, ITV, 11.30pm.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 18, 2005
Words:512
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