A punch at Tyson

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 February, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 February, 1997, 12:00am

We seem to be experiencing a run of biographies. First it was Mia Farrow, then Madonna, now Mike Tyson (coincidentally, their names all start with the letter M, so it may be Michael Jackson next).

Two other things they have in common is that they're still alive and they have highly public, controversial lives; the plots considerably better than anything in fiction. It used to be such dramas were made when the subject was dead and anything could be said but, it seems, film-makers can't wait that long given such material.

The Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson (Pearl, 9.30pm) is a documentary that was released shortly after he was sent to prison for six years for raping a beauty pageant contestant.

Fallen Champ includes interviews with trainer Ken Rooney; Teddy Atlas, Tyson's junior Olympics trainer; and fight promotor Al Braverman. It explores the influence of Robin Givens, Don King, boxing mentor Cus D'Amato, and manager Jimmy Jacobs.

Last week, I was, on more than one occasion, accused of liking Central Park West (World, 8.30pm). 'Do you really think it's good?' asked someone baffled by my habitual Monday ravings.

'I don't think it's good,' I said (sounding, I suspect, a little too defensive). 'I think it is so bad, so extreme, so utterly trashy and bitchy that I find it addictive viewing. People think NYPD Blue is good, but people seldom talk about the plot in the same way they do CPW.' That said, even I am beginning to think it has gone a little too far over the summit of sanity and is verging on the absurd.

Still, I shall faithfully watch tonight as Linda swallows her pride and returns to Allen for help in bailing Peter out of jail. Allen agrees to put up the money - but for a heavy price. Seldom has an actor been so associated with one role as Yul Brynner and the King of Siam that it's almost impossible to separate the two.

The bald Russian with gypsy ancestry was clearly born to play the imperious monarch in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King And I (World, 9.30pm), and he did many times, first on the stage in 1951 (for which he won a Tony) and then in the 1956 film version (for which he won an Oscar).

Despite many other roles, he returned to the king, reviving him on the stage on several occasions and in a shortlived mini-series, Anna And The King, in 1972.

Brynner was always a colourful and bouyant character, working in his early days in a circus and studying at the Sorbonne. Before he died aged 70 in 1985 of lung cancer, he made a number of anti-smoking commercials to be screened after his death.

The King And I is one of those perennial favourites, sumptuous in its production and perfect in its casting, with Deborah Kerr as the widow Brynner hires to educate his hordes of children.

Kerr is faultless, though her singing voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon. Songs include Hello Young Lovers, Getting To Know You and Shall We Dance.

Green living in Hong Kong is possible (though sadly uncommon) with the trend for natural food, organic farming, and 'green restaurants' on the increase. But with this comes the risk some companies may use the 'eco-friendly label' to sell their products.

The Pearl Report (Pearl, 8pm) looks at what actually makes a product environmentally friendly, and what consumers should look for or avoid when choosing products.

It also examines the long-term challenges and incentives, and asks whether green living actually saves money or costs more. Isn't it supposed to be about our environment - not money?