PEARL is trying its best to instil in us some belated Christmas cheer, with the likes of The Frog Prince (10.15am), by the Brothers Grimm and The Christmas Stallion (1.20pm), which features an orphan, a horse and many tearful moments. The most festive you will get on World is Tube Time (4.30pm), which features a number of pretty studio decorations. The Christmas Stallion, sickly as it sounds, is not half bad for a film about Christmas. Not only a film about Christmas, but one which features children and animals. The signs are bad, but the film, set in rural Wales where our heroine (Sian Maclean) is being forced to sell the family home after her grandfather's death, does not drown in goo. And the horse is good - a stallion called Gabon. IF you want an example of how not to do it, watch All I Want For Christmas (Pearl, 9.30pm) which is a poor man's Home Alone, complete with insufferable brats. The story centres on a group of brothers and sisters who are intent on spending Christmas as a family, and set about getting their wish in an unorthodox fashion. If this is worth watching for anything, it is only for a camp performance from Leslie Nielsen, of the Naked Gun films, as Santa. THE new animated series The Critic (Pearl, 1.30am), about a critic with his own television show, is from the people who produced The Simpsons, which is something of a recommendation. It did not do as well as its infamous predecessor in America, but sets out to fulfil the same satirical role - poking fun at current and classic films and at life in the entertainment industry. BEFORE you ask, A Very Useful Appendage (World, 8.35pm) refers to the tail, common among reptiles and serving many and varied uses for its bearer. It is used, by way of example, to store fat reserves. Humans, particularly middle-aged males, use their midriffs for the same purpose. That other excellent nature documentary, Alien Empire (World, 9.05pm), was turned off in our house last week, much to my chagrin. The sight of baby cockroaches eating their parents' faeces was simply too much for my wife at dinner time. This episode features the battle between our intellect and their pre-programmed efficiency. STAR Plus makes no concessions to the festive season, which for some will be refreshing. You can see Caroline Kennedy on The Oprah Winfrey Show (3pm) and hear Phil Donahue and his audience discuss love-hate relationships between fathers and sons on Donahue (12pm). Stars of varying degrees feature on For Your Entertainment (11.30pm), among them Jon Bon Jovi, Andie MacDowell and part of the cast of the sickly but occasionally amusing television sitcom Friends, currently showing on Pearl every Saturday evening. FILMS on Cable Movie Channel: Guilty By Suspicion (7pm). Hollywood blacklist drama, set in 1951 during the purge of communist sympathisers in the film industry, is earnest, superficial and numbingly bland. Robert De Niro is a hotshot director who can't comprehend the severity of the witch-hunt; Annette Bening is his sympathetic ex-wife and Patricia Wettig (way over the top), an actress friend. Viewers unfamiliar with this dark chapter of history may find the film interesting. The late Sam Wanamaker, who himself spent the blacklist era in exile in England, plays a villainous attorney. Veteran producer Irwin Winkler's (mediocre) writing and directing debut. The First Shot (9pm). Director David Lam's part-fact, part-fiction drama about the rise of corruption in the Hong Kong police and Governor MacLehose's early efforts to do something about it by establishing the ICAC. Simon Yam stars as an apparently incorruptible cop. Andy Hui and Maggie Cheung also feature.