TELEVISION BRIEFING / 30 years in action

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The Independent Culture
Two weeks ago, BBC2 hailed the achievements of Granada with an evening of the company's best programmes. Tonight, it is the turn of ITV to salute its own North-west franchise-holder with WORLD IN ACTION - 30 YEARS (10.40pm ITV), a Greatest Hits compilation from Granada's flagship current affairs documentary series. This comprehensive survey opens with various alumni (including Margaret Beckett, Labour's deputy leader) reflecting on the programme's reputation - a phone call from World in Action could strike terror into the hearts of the guilty - before delving into the archives for early programmes on VD and bronchitis (which opened with a scene of undertakers carrying coffins out of every door in a Coronation Street- style terrace). It's good to be reminded of the number of important investigations World in Action has carried out over the years - from John Pilger's 1970 report on US soldiers in Vietnam shooting their own officers in the back through the start of the Birmingham Six campaign in 1985, right up to the 1991 programme questioning whether the Queen should pay tax. Long may it continue.

Rudolf Nureyev is the subject of tonight's opening film in a new series of OMNIBUS (10.25pm BBC1). This rapidly assembled tribute to the ballet dancer who died last week includes excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, and interviews with Natalia Makarova, Anthony Dowell, Dame Ninette de Valois, Irek Mukhamedov and Antoinette Sibley.

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