Dec 29 – Jan­uary 4

BBC Two, 9.00pm

The Daily Telegraph - Review - - TV & RADIO -

This true story is based on the ex­pe­ri­ences of jour­nal­ist Martin Six­smith (Steve Coogan), who helped Philom­ena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irish woman in her sev­en­ties, search for the son whom she was forced to give up for adop­tion 50 years ear­lier. Stephen Frears’s film is charm­ing and hard­hit­ting, de­liv­er­ing tough emo­tional blows as well as some harsh truths about the his­tory of the Catholic Church in Ire­land. Ab Fab was weird and spiky, be­long­ing nei­ther to the Thatcher years nor Cool Bri­tan­nia. Hap­less PR Ed­ina (Jen­nifer Saun­ders) and her hanger-on Patsy (Joanna Lum­ley) make a strong come­back here. At a party, they knock Kate Moss into the Thames; she’s pre­sumed dead, ig­nit­ing a me­dia storm. em­bar­rass­ment ridicu­lous and bor­der­line tragic, and he saves the day in this slight but en­ter­tain­ing com­edy. Alexan­der (Ed Ox­en­bould) blows out a can­dle for his 12th birth­day and ini­ti­ates a fate­ful curse so that his fam­ily un­der­stand how it feels to have a purely mad­den­ing 24 hours. to ev­ery­one that their mar­riage isn’t over. Alas, the truth will out when they drive to the High­lands to cel­e­brate the 75th birth­day of Ten­nant’s dad (Billy Con­nolly, at his least an­tic and most touch­ing). The script is full of win­ning sen­ti­men­tal­ity, and has an Eal­ing flavour to it too.

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