Documentary watch

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 February, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 2003, 12:00am

Living With Michael Jackson

Pearl, 9.30pm

More than 14 million viewers in Britain and 27 million in the United States were gripped by Martin Bashir's extraordinary documentary on Michael Jackson earlier this month. Bashir (above right, with Jackson), whose most famous interviewee was Diana, Princess of Wales, gained unprecedented access to the King of Pop over an eight-month period, spending weeks at a time with the reclusive star in his Neverland ranch in California and on trips to Las Vegas, Miami and Berlin. Bashir was in Berlin when Jackson was thrust back on to the front pages of newspapers across the globe after controversially dangling his baby over a hotel balcony.

Jackson was reportedly furious when he saw the finished programme, accusing Bashir of praising his parenting skills in private but using voice-overs in the programme which criticised his approach. While compelling viewing, this profile doesn't take cheap shots, instead remaining sympathetic to Jackson and creating a complicated but well-rounded portrait of the star.

Ambassador: Under Fire Overseas

World, 10pm

National Geographic goes behind-the-scenes with United States Ambassador Howard Baker (above) and staff at one of the world's largest embassies in Japan. Cameras follow Baker and his wife to State Department charm school for instruction on local language and customs. We also see the ambassador embark upon his first official duties at the Emperor's Imperial Palace and meet the team of dedicated people who keep the embassy running.

English Premier League: Manchester City vs Arsenal, live

ESPN, 10.55pm

League leaders Arsenal looked set for the Double when they belted Manchester United 2-0 in the FA Cup last week, but anything could happen at Maine Road tonight. One of the most inconsistent teams in the Premiership, Manchester City have lost 2-1 at home to lowly West Bromwich Albion and then managed a plucky 1-1 draw with United at Old Trafford this month, but Kevin Keegan's men have a knack of rising to big occasions. Arsenal are as organised, confident, deft and boring to watch as ever, but the chance of seeing City's tightly marked strikers Robbie Fowler, former Gunner Nicolas Anelka (above) and Shaun Goater break and spoil the visitors' Premiership romp could be worth a couple more late pints in the pub.

William Wadsworth