Today's pick

Hotel (9.30pm BBC1) New eight-part "docu-soap" going behind the scenes at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool. Neil Grant's team were there when the IRA disrupted this year's Grand National - always a profitable weekend for the Adelphi. "Perhaps they'll run it tomorrow and we'll get an extra night out of them," is the initial reaction of General Manager Eileen Downey, who emerges as the heroine of this opening programme. The spirit of the Blitz finally prevails, however, as mattresses are laid out in the function rooms - albeit at pounds 45-a-head.

I'm Alan Partridge (10pm BBC2) Tony Ferrino, the Portuguese crooner- cum-sex god, was a sketch which Steve Coogan ill-advisedly turned into a character - so welcome back to his sports reporter-turned-chat show host, Alan Partridge. Except that Coogan (with co-writers Peter Baynham and Armando Iannucci) has moved Partridge on. Having accidentally killed someone on his TV show, Knowing Me, Knowing You, he now languishes in a graveyard slot on Radio Norwich while living at a "travel tavern" just off the M11. The genius is in the detail, and Partridge is a comic monster to put up there beside Hank from The Larry Sanders Show.

THe film

The Mechanic (12pm BBC1) You know it's a quiet night when anything made by Michael Winner finds its way into this box. It's not Winner, though, but Charles Bronson who may possibly persuade you to glance at this 1972 production - the second of four broadly similar "vigilante" movies which Winner made with Bronson in four years. The title refers not to a bloke in beige overalls servicing your Mondeo, but a contract killer. The plot, as it is, involves Bronson's "mechanic" training up an apprentice.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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