A late night at the Oprah

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 April, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 April, 1993, 12:00am

THERE'S not a film to be seen on any channel tonight. Movie buffs must be content either with Barry Norman's reviews in Film 93 or with Oprah Winfrey chatting to the stars ''behind the scenes''.

Things sporting are better covered with live horse-racing - assuming there are no false starts - from Happy Valley (World, 9pm) and soccer action from the UEFA Cup (Prime Sports, 3am).

THIS is Pearl's second attempt to show Oprah: Behind the Scenes (Pearl, 7.35pm). The programme was scheduled for March 17, but booted out when China's Lu Ping chose that day to declare personal war on Chris Patten.

Further wars of words permitting, grand Oprah herself should be on-screen tonight talking to Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn on the set of Death Becomes Her, and to Dustin Hoffman on location for Accidental Hero.

(That Death Becomes Her won Best Visual Effects Oscar last week and Accidental Hero is currently being shown in local cinemas, makes this rather dated show more pertinent than it would otherwise have been). ''NOW, I'm the king of the swingers, a jungle VIP . . .'' Is everyone joining in yet? If not you soon will be because Walt Disney is re-releasing what has to be it's best animated feature film The Jungle Book.

In Film 93 (BBC, 7.25pm) Barry Norman recollects those wonderful Kipling-inspired characters including Baloo the Bear, given voice by Phil Harris; George Sanders' languorous tiger, Shere Khan; and Louis Prima as King Louie of the Apes. Magical.

He'll also be reviewing Splitting Heirs the latest comic offering from Monty Python veteran Eric Idle, never to be forgotten for his stoical rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life while dangling from a cross in Life of Brian.

ON the subject of ex-Pythons, another one - Michael Palin - has a narrow escape in Pole to Pole (Pearl, 8.30pm) when he only just manages to catch the last Russian ship out of Odessa hours before the port is closed by the generals' coup plot against Gorbachev.

After that he's off to Istanbul to be pummelled into submission by a burly masseur after asking for ''the works'' in a Turkish bath; to Rhodes where astrologer Patric Walker helpfully suggests it's not a good time for him to travel; through Cairo and onto Aswan.

BORUSSIA Dortmund of Germany play Auxerre of France (Prime Sports, 3am) in the first leg of the semi-final in the UEFA Cup. It's being shown more than 24 hours after the match takes place.

Heartbroken Scottish fans are still phoning in puzzled as to why the station continues to show matches from what is a secondary tournament, rather than the European Champions Cup, a more exciting competition and one in which Glasgow Rangers just happen to be doing rather well.

Answers on a postcard, please.