The Daily Telegraph
Painted Boats (1945, b/w) TALKING PICTURES TV, 3PM ★★★
◆ A 1945 Ealing film celebrating the close-knit families who worked England’s canals for 150 years. Part history lesson, part dramatised documentary, it vividly captures a vanishing tradition. Directed with a light touch by Charles Crichton, with a poetic commentary by Louis Macneice, it will have you looking up narrowboat holidays before the final credits have rolled.
Waking Ned (1998) AMC, 9PM ★★★★
◆ An unexpected breakout hit, Kirk Jones’s energetic comedy bottles the same mix of small-town eccentricity, madcap schemes and affectionate satire as classics such as Whiskey Galore! It follows the inhabitants of a tiny Irish village who, when one of their number wins the lottery, but then promptly dies from shock, must band together to keep the winnings within the parish.
The Greatest Showman (2017) FILM 4, 7PM ★★★
◆ As critically mauled as its soundtrack was relentlessly downloaded, this fictionalised – read: completely made up – musical about American theatre impresario PT Barnum has energy to spare. Hugh Jackman brings a hearty dollop of charisma as the magnate, while Zac Efron, Michelle Williams and Zendaya provide eye-candy support. But its message of acceptance is lightweight.