ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY Starter for 10★★★★ 11.20pm-12.50am BBC2
David Nicholls’s first bestseller Starter for 10 seems quaint compared to his ambitiously structured, life-and-death saga One Day. But while I had problems with the screen adaptation of the latter, the former worked for me. Aimed squarely at the nostalgia crowd, it uses TV quiz show University Challenge as the basis to explore the various prejudices, pretensions and romantic entanglements that ensue when working class James McAvoy aims to woo posh Alice Eve at Bristol University in the 1980s. The dazzling young cast also includes James Corden, Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall, with Catherine Tate as McAvoy’s mum and Mark Gatiss perfect as quizmaster Bamber Gascoigne. A few historical inaccuracies aside, it’s bags of fun.
It’s that James McAvoy again, here playing an emotionally and physically damaged cop who gets a second chance at nailing his man when career criminal Mark Strong breaks cover. A first chance to see on Freeview.