What to watch on Friday, December 23rd, 2011

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The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen

BBC 2 at 9:00pm (Other show times...)

The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen

To mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's first novel, Sense and Sensibility, Professor Amanda Vickery, one of the leading chroniclers of Georgian England, explores the ebb and flow of Austen's popularity and the hold her fiction has on us now.

In this 60-minute programme, Vickery considers what it is about her plots and characters that continue to delight, amuse, console and provoke. Her fans insist her current popularity is due to the timelessness of the fictional world Austen created, but for Vickery the question is: Why have her novels gone in, and out, of fashion?

What interests Amanda is how different periods and generations have looked for their own reflection in the characters and plots of the novels. She wants to work out what that says about them, as well as about Austen. Interviewing a variety of literary scholars, film directors and costumed devotees who attend the Austen conventions, Vickery also views the Sotherby's sale of an incredibly rare, handwritten manuscript of an unfinished Austen novel.

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The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen

The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen

BBC 2 at 9:00pm

Professor Amanda Vickery explores how and why generations of readers have been won over by six classic Jane Austen novels....

Raymond Blanc‘s Christmas Feast

Raymond Blanc's Christmas Feast

BBC 2 at 8:00pm

Raymond Blanc creates a feast for friends and family, full of Gallic flavour but generously dusted with a frosting of British tradition....

Come Dine with Me

Come Dine with Me

Channel 4 at 8:00pm

Comedians Sean Hughes, Gina Yashere, Paul Tonkinson and Duncan Norvelle do culinary battle in a bid to win £1000 for charity....

8 Out of 10 Cats

8 Out of 10 Cats

Channel 4 at 9:00pm

Stand up comic and presenter Jimmy Carr hosts a cracking Christmas special, overseeing disputes and deliberations on the festive topics that set the great British public's chins wa...

The Jonathan Ross Show

The Jonathan Ross Show

itv London at 9:00pm

Jonathan Ross presents an extra-large Christmas spectacular with guests Tom Cruise, Downton Abbey daughters Jessica Brown Findlay, Laura Carmichael and Michelle Dockery, and Inbetw...

Tamara Drewe

Tamara Drewe

BBC 2 at 10:30pm

After her mother's death, journalist Tamara Drewe returns to her rural home town. Following a transformational nose-job, however, the former ugly duckling quickly causes a stir amo...

The Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show

BBC 1 at 10:35pm

Graham Norton is joined by Kenneth Branagh, discussing his new film My Week with Marilyn; boxing champ Amir Khan; top comic Russell Kane; and the Time Lord himself, Matt Smith, for...

The Lakes at Christmas

The Lakes at Christmas

itv London at 8:00pm

In the second of two Christmas specials, the show catches up with micropig breeder Rob Rose and his partner Helen as they prepare for a very different festive season....

Megamind

Megamind

Sky Movies Premiere at 8:00pm

An evil genius finds his dastardly resolve weakening when he falls for a beautiful reporter. Super-powered animation with the voices of Will Ferrell,

Killer Crocs

Killer Crocs

Animal Planet at 8:00pm

In this one-off special, croc-obsessed zoologist Dr. Adam Britton investigates the sudden disappearances, violent attacks and fatal consequences that are the result of encounters w...

Little Crackers

Little Crackers

Sky1 at 9:00pm

Last of the series. Santa's suit needs last-minute filling in a short inspired, written and directed by Johnny Vegas....

Burlesque

Burlesque

Sky Movies Premiere at 9:45pm

A small-town girl gets a waitressing job in a glamorous LA burlesque club, and is soon pursuing her dreams of becoming a star....