December 29: Films of the day

ARTS Editor Andrew Clarke continues his guide to the best of the films on terrestrial TV over the festive period...

- Mary Poppins; BBC One, 4.05pm

If you don’t already know the story then you need to sit yourself down and do some serious catching up.

This is the ultimate classic musical about a magical nanny who helps two children have the time of their lives in Victorian London, and shows their hard-working but distant father just what wonderful companions children can be.

Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent deserves an award of its own – not for authenticity but for being an extra character in its own right!


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Julie Andrews won the Oscar for the role having missed out on Eliza Doolittle in My Fair lady made the same year.

- The Lost World: Jurassic Park; ITV1, 4.10pm

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The sequel to Steven Spielberg’s terrifying journey into a dinosaur world created on a Caribbean island.

In this second instalment a research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there while another team approaches with a completely different agenda in this effects-laden and monstrously successful sequel to the blockbusting dinosaur story.

It doesn’t come close to the original in terms of the ‘wow’ factor but that’s only because the first movie raised the bar so high.

It’s still a great adventure with some amazing set-pieces and typically superb performances.

- Strictly Ballroom; BBC Two, 5pm

Before Brucie came back to Saturday nights, the only attempt to make ballroom seem cool was in this fast-paced and visually stunning movie from visionary director Baz Luhrmann.

Brave new steps put Scott’s career in jeopardy. With a new partner and determination, can he still succeed?

Even within the limitations of the story it’s pretty impressive to look at. These days we’re all experts in ballroom and known how to score the steps and rate the arm movements but when this extravaganza hit the screens almost two decades ago it was pretty shocking stuff.

It’s held in the same esteem as Dirty Dancing by women the world over, so is definitely worth your time.

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