TV tonight: the tender, touching poetry of Seamus Heaney

A new film situates Heaney’s work in his life, featuring readings from the writer himself and his family. Plus: The X Factor Celebrity winner is crowned. Here’s what to watch this evening

Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens

9.45pm, BBC Two

Much like Heaney’s own poetry, this film is a tender, touching and emotionally intense portrait of one of the greatest Irish writers of the 20th century. Six years on from the poet’s death, Heaney’s wife and three children, as well as his four surviving brothers, read his work and situate it within his life. Archive footage of Heaney, as well as current interviews with his family, provide a beautiful companion piece to his work or a necessary introduction to new readers. Ammar Kalia

Strictly Come Dancing

7.10pm, BBC One

Just when you thought it was safe to relax, it is time for a Strictly musical special. This week’s show features Craig Revel Horwood leading anyone he can round up in the studio to a Hello, Dolly! medley. And if that’s not enough to tempt you, the competition is fierce as the remaining couples head towards the final. Hannah Verdier

The X Factor: Celebrity Final

7.10pm, ITV

Tears and triumph ... The X Factor: Celebrity.
Tears and triumph ... The X Factor: Celebrity. Photograph: Syco/Thames TV/PA

It has been a long and bumpy seven weeks for our tuneful celebrity hopefuls and now it’s time to see who will be crowned the first X Factor Celebrity winner. With fan favourites Martin Bashir and Glee’s Kevin McHale already long gone, the title is anyone’s to play for. There will be tears and triumph to come. AK

Great Australian Railway Journeys

8pm, BBC Two

The final episode of a series that hasn’t exactly gone out of its way to swerve Aussie cliches (tonight’s detours include koalas and lamingtons) but has been gently cheerful viewing all the same. Faint praise perhaps, but Michael Portillo remains a more palatable TV presenter than politician. Phil Harrison

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show

8.10pm, BBC One

Given we appear to be fast hurtling back to 1975, this throwback variety show should fit in rather well. This week, Baby Spice sacrifices her phone for another game of Send to All, a pair of unwitting brothers from Coventry end up as the Unexpected Stars, and Freya Ridings performs. Ali Catterall

The Sinner

9.10pm, BBC Four

After the opening two episodes of this psychological thriller pitted the child Julian as the possible murderer of his two parents on a trip to Niagara Falls, this week’s revelations twist the plot even further. Speculation about Julian’s time raised in the Mosswood commune abounds. AK

Film choice

Tasteless and offensive ... Borat.
Tasteless and offensive ... Borat. Photograph: 20thC.Fox/Everett / Rex Features

Borat 11.15pm, Comedy Central

Sacha Baron Cohen became public enemy No 1 in Kazakhstan with this big-screen excursion of his naive, misogynist and antisemitic reporter Borat, trailing across the US in search of Pamela Anderson. It is one of the most tasteless and offensive films ever made – but you’ve got to laugh. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Premier League Football: Newcastle United v Man City 12noon, BT Sport 1. A top-flight clash from St James’ Park.

Rugby Union: Wales v Barbarians 2.15pm, Channel 4. Wayne Pivac takes charge of his first Wales game.

Premiership Rugby: Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 2.30pm, BT Sport 2. A fifth-round match.


Ammar Kalia, Hannah Verdier, Phil Harrison, Ali Catterall and Paul Howlett

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was due to change, his days of ravening
had come to an end.

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