Many people, famous and otherwise, have brought their A-game to test the limits of this most demanding of game shows. It speaks volumes that, of the six people ever to reach the final round and the chance of a £250,000 prize, only double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has had the gumption even to attempt the last challenge. But in tonight’s celebrity special, the transparent torture chamber welcomes a true competitor. Yes, it’s Mollie from the Saturdays.
How will Mollie fare? She’s got band-mates Frankie, Una, Vanessa and Rochelle to cheer her on as she tries to snare the maximum amount possible for charity. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by pop stars before…
Gosh, where to begin? Thanks to the extensive BBC coverage of Glasto weekend, armchair festival-goers needn’t slog from stage to stage, sloshing through thigh-deep mud. Viewers wishing to update their record collections should start with BBC3: Irish rockers Kodaline, Kelis, Lana Del Rey proving she’s no one-hit wonder, Jack White and (after a break for Russell Howard) Jake Bugg – already on his third album at the ripe old age of 20.
BBC4 are taking a gamble here. Having carved a niche on Saturday night with their Baltic-licked successes, they’re now plunging us into Mediterranean waters – with a rise in temperature and temperament.
After the sang-froid of our Scandi friends Kurt, Sarah, even Birgitte, it takes a while to adjust to Salvo – that is, Commissario Salvo Montalbano. He’s fiery, bullish, sarcastic and in many shots resembles Ross Kemp’s slender Sicilian cousin. He has a tender side, though, likes his fish, and loves cooling off with a dip in the Med, which his sumptuous home overlooks.
Based on the novels of Andrea Camilleri, the series is set in the fictional town Vigàta. BBC4 showed two episodes in 2008 but are now taking us back to the first film, made in 1999. The Snack Thief follows two murder cases (one at sea, another in a lift) that shine a light on Sicily’s links with Tunisia. It’s tinged with melodrama and black humour but suffers from an anti-climactic denouement. An inauspicious start perhaps, but as we get to know Salvo, his sensitive wannabe-wife Livia and assorted, sometimes comical colleagues, the future looks bright for the series. (It’s still running in Italy.)