Channel Hop

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 April, 2006, 12:00am

Anyone with an interest in conspiracy theories or celebrity gossip may have noted the subject of controlled demolition has been in the news lately. Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen (Spin City), himself no stranger to controversy, made public last month his concerns the United States government has not been entirely truthful in its accounts of the events of September 11, 2001. Among Sheen's claims, which have been supported by a number of high-profile figures within the political and scientific communities, is the assertion that both World Trade Centre buildings, and the nearby Building 7, were brought down by controlled explosions and not by melting structural girders or any of the other explanations offered by officials.

While one has to question the credibility of a man who was once notorious for his nigh-superhuman use of cocaine and prostitutes, there do seem to be holes in the official explanation big enough to fly a Boeing 747 through. Those who believe the truth is out there may want to check out one of the many online documentaries on the subject, such as that produced by Loose Change 911, available at www.loose Those with a more general interest in demolition, however, should check out Blasters (Discovery, Sunday at 9pm). This two-part special travels around the world to reveal how the best demolition experts in the business do their job: 'to cause the maximum amount of damage with the least amount of effort'.

As well as featuring the Gustafson family, who must knock down a section of a North Dakota bridge without damaging the replacement that stands just five metres away, and the Kellys from Idaho, a husband and wife demolition team looking to destroy a wheat silo in Greece, Blasters focuses on experienced demolition expert Mick Williams as he attempts a tricky job at Twickenham Stadium in London. No, it's not a result of the England rugby union team's dire showing in the recent Six Nations Championship; the famous stadium is to be expanded, which requires the South Stand to be pulled down.

Working with a support crew that includes Holly Bennett, Europe's only female blast engineer, and using more than 75kg of explosives, Williams looks all set for a textbook demolition until a series of terrorist bombings on the city's buses and underground railway and a nearby resident who refuses to leave the exclusion zone threaten to scupper his plans. Interesting, informative and occasionally spectacular, Blasters may leave you wondering why architects get all the glory.

From destruction, we move to creation as Australian-Chinese chef Kylie Kwong (above) launches a new season of Kylie Kwong: Simply Magic (Travel & Living, Mondays, 8pm). This series sees Kwong travel to Shanghai and Hong Kong to explore her heritage and the cuisines the cities have to offer.

The first episode follows Kwong as she wanders through Shanghai's Fuxing Park, among locals performing early-morning tai chi and fan dancing, and tries some of the best street-stall food the city has to offer before whipping up a creation of her own for her hosts.

Next week, Kwong visits Hong Kong, dropping in on the members-only China Club, enjoying afternoon tea at the Peninsula and demonstrating how to make a quintessentially Australian-Chinese delicacy: king-prawn toast. She may not be as charismatic as other television chefs, but Kwong's perspective on Asian cooking makes Simply Magic worth sampling.