AT last Michael Palin's long-awaited follow up series to Around the World in Eighty Days hits Hongkong. Pole to Pole (Pearl, 8.30pm) doesn't have the same sense of urgency as 80 Days , as Palin is not up against such an unforgiving clock, and it's altogether more sophisticated, with single cameraman Passepartout being replaced by a small team of camera andproduction crew. Occasionally, the lack of speed is regrettable, although it does at least afford Palin time to look at the countries he's passing through. The often comical results include being chatted up by an amorous Norwegian lighthouse-keeper; getting completely wasted on bootleg Russian vodka; taking a mud bath - though since this includes a full-frontal of Palin naked, the scene is unlikely to survive HK's censors whole; and taking part in a Russian kissing dance. KENNETH Branagh ''in England now a-bed shall think himself accursed'' . . . by the number of ad breaks that violated Henry V on Monday night. Commercial breaks ripped into the film on average every 11 or 12 minutes before midnight, doing a better job of butchery than those warriors at Agincourt. In all there were 33 minutes of ads in a 137 minute movie - which may be great news for Pearl, but made lousy viewing. Last night's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was slightly more viewer-friendly and tonight's Oscar movie has 22 minutes of ads. But theway they are slapped in at inappropriate moments can really ruin a good film. Gorgeous, poetry-spouting Gerard Depardieu (Green Card ) stars in Cyrano de Bergerac (Pearl, 9.50pm, ORT 138 mins), probably the definitive version of this Edmond Rostand classic - though fans of Steve Martin's Roxanne may beg to differ. Depardieu plays the man with the humongous proboscis who loves Roxanne but, lacks the courage to tell her. Writer-director Jean-Paul Rappeneau scripted the entire film in blank verse, while Anthony Burgess wrote the English subtitles. SPORTS fans are well catered for tonight, with Racing Night Live (World, 9pm), Rugby Sevens countdowns (World, 7.55pm and 11.35pm), highlights from last year's Sevens (Prime Sports, 10.30pm) and even live coverage of a friendly soccer match between Scotland and Germany (Prime Sports, 4am). VINCENTE Minnelli's Lust for Life (World, 12.25am, ORT 85 mins) is not just a study, but a celebration of Vincent Van Gogh's life and art. Minnelli depicts the growing intensity of Van Gogh's work by using the same colours as he uses in his paintings. Anthony Quinn won an Oscar for his portrayal of Gauguin, which must have annoyed Kirk Douglas, who does everything, short of really cutting off his own ear, to depict Van Gogh's increasingly uncontrolled passion.