Jacko takes to grand Oprah

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 March, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 March, 1993, 12:00am

WACKO Jacko sets out to prove he's not certifiable after all in his ratings-grabbing interview with talkshow queen Oprah Winfrey, which attracted almost as many viewers as the Superbowl when it was shown in the US last month.

At the same time, The Michael Jackson Special (Pearl, 9.45pm) also proves that neither is the singer particularly Bad and certainly not Dangerous, as he weeps his way through questions about his abused childhood and confused adult life.

The show comes across as part Grand Oprah, part Soap Oprah, with Jackson showing Winfrey round his estate - appropriately named Neverland by this Peter Pan of pop - and denying rumours that he sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber, or bleaches his skin.

The interview, along with Jackson's singing spots at the Superbowl and at President Bill Clinton's inauguration celebrations, represents an attempt by Jacko to shed his obsessively reclusive image.

Whether you like him or not, it's fascinating stuff, and means that for once, the ever popular Racing Night Live (World, 9pm), is likely to be given a run (gallop?) for its money ratings-wise. MAD About You (Pearl, 6.15pm) stands out from the rest of theearly evening sitcoms in that it has witty scripts, believable characters, original ideas and . . . er, it's funny. It even gets away with being a little risque now and then.

Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt play Paul and Jamie, a newly-wed couple who can bicker about anything, no matter how trivial.

Tonight's episode sees Jamie under stress when her fussy parents come to visit, while Paul, who's a stranger to things practical, is being taught how to remove a hair clog from the plumbing. NOT quite so funny - though certainly streets more amusing thanManiac Mansion or Full House - is Baby Boom (World, 7.30pm) starring Kate Jackson of Charlie's Angels and The Scarecrow and Mrs King fame.

The series began where the movie of the same name ended, with businesswoman JC (played by Diane Keaton in the film) having inherited an infant girl.

Tonight JC sees red when she makes a presentation to secure a $2 million account, only to find the prospective clients are sexist scumbags.

THERE'S hope for the planet yet, as witnessed in The Monk, the Princess and the Forest (Pearl, 8.30pm), the story of a monk in northern Thailand who's using Buddhist concepts to inspire villagers to reverse the destruction of the rain forests.

He is being helped by a Princess called Nunie from Thailand's royal family who handles the administration and provides funds. IN Film 93 (BBC, 7.25pm), Barry Norman adds his two penn'orth to Spike Lee's much-discussed biopic Malcolm X, starring oscar-nominated Denzel Washington (Glory) as the black activist.

He also reviews Robin Williams' latest movie Toys, which was savaged by critics in the US, as well as Consenting Adults, the thriller about next-door neighbours from hell which is showing in Hongkong at the moment. INSOMNIACS can enjoy more live soccer action in the semi-final second leg of the League Cup (Prime Sports, 4am) between Arsenal and Crystal Palace.