TV TONIGHT: Friday 13 December - Derren Brown, ABBA Years, Graham Norton, Ben Stiller, Martin Freeman And Co


Laughs, magic and music are the scores on the doors for tonight's best offerings from the box. They are...

Derren Brown: The Great Art Robbery - 9pm, C4

Opinions waver as to how good a magician Derren Brown actually is, but one thing's beyond debate - he knows how to dress up his actual trickery in the kind of psychological trappings and theatrical drama that always makes for excellent telly.

This week, he brings his skills to bear on on a one-pound wager with art collector Ivan Massow - that he will be able to steal a valuable painting from under Mr Massow's nose, on a given date and time, oh, and here's a photo of who will be carting it off. It's a heist straight from Oceans 11, or The Thomas Crown Affair, except Mr Brown has recruited for his caper a bunch of cunning pensioners. Expect twists a-plenty, and let us know... how does he do it?

ABBA Night On Channel 5 - starts 9pm

Another week, another ABBA documentary, and I should warn you, there's another BBC one on its way before the end of the year, too. But why not? In this age of PR-created romances and intrigue, the fact that ABBA created their own myth through a combination of broken romances and peerless pop should never go uncelebrated. Tonight's ABBA-fest kicks off with a timeline of their surprisingly short career - The ABBA Years - and then continues with ABBA: The Image - think hair, boots and a star-shaped guitar. The evening rounds off with a 1979 concert. By the end, you probably won't need to swot up on ABBA for at least... a fortnight.

The Graham Norton Show - 10.35pm, BBC1

I know I always end up nodding in the direction of Graham and his guests bundled up on the sofa, but this show remains consistently high quality entertainment, as he keeps everyone happy, and makes it look effortless.

Guests tonight include Ben Stiller, plugging his new remake of 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' and who is a far more thoughtful gentleman than his funnies would have you presume, Jamie Oliver, always an appealing mixture of food and good intentions, and Martin Freeman, whom we know isn't a great fan of junket-style stuff and can't always be relied upon to smile on demand. So the curiosity factor for this one is high. Rebecca Ferguson sings.


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