Digital, Cable and Satellite Television: Pick of the Day

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The Independent Culture
WITH HIS string of amazingly successful travel series, Michael Palin has become one of the most popular TV presenters around. But it should not be forgotten that in his time he has also been a well-regarded actor in films such as The Missionary and Brazil. In A Private Function (8pm Film Four, right), a typically affecting social comedy written by Alan Bennett, Palin heads a wonderful cast which also features Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott, Richard Griffiths and Alison Steadman. The story, directed by Malcolm Mowbray, centres on social climbing and the secret rearing of pigs during the Second World War.

TNT tonight offers a western double bill. Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid (9pm) a 1989 reading of the gunslinging saga with Val Kilmer, is followed by the classic 1941 version of Billy the Kid (11pm), starring Robert Taylor.