Excellent epic

IF YOU want eclecticism in your viewing look no further. Easter Monday has thrown up among the chocolate eggs, no pun intended, something for everyone: the romantic, the religious and the incurably brain-dead.

In deference to the season the religious comes first.

King of Kings (World, 9.30pm) is an excellent Biblical epic with Jeffrey Hunter, not really a major actor, doing an effective job in one of cinema's more demanding roles, Jesus Christ. Although Ray Bradbury is not credited he allegedly wrote the narration that is delivered by Orson Welles, a man with a voice that would add dignity to and import to dirty limericks.

The film covers 33 years, from Jesus' birth in Bethlehem through the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension.

ROMANCE rears its pretty head in the form of Barbra Streisand and George Segal in The Owl and the Pussycat (Pearl, 12.50pm). Streisand and Segal go together like The Rugby Sevens and alcohol, there are more than enough laughs and the occasional opportunity to get the Kleenex out. Streisand plays a semi-illiterate prostitute and Segal the pompous intellectual she has a shine for.

FOR the brain dead, there is The Trail of the Pink Panther (Pearl, 2.45pm), which Blake Edwards made after Peter Sellers' death by cobbling together old footage with all the dexterity of a baby elephant with a co-ordination problem. Joanna Lumley doesher best to hold things together, but it does not take long for the joins to show.

Then there is Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (Pearl, 9.30pm), a cartoon which is every bit as flatulent as the title suggests. A beautiful princess - someone should make a film about an ugly one - lives in a windy valley. But trouble is around the corner.

In another life this was known as Warriors of the Wind, but was just as bad.

THE television film Minder on the Orient Express (Star Plus, 12 midnight and 3.30am) is one for homesick Brits.

Minder was a cult television series in the UK, starring Denis Waterman as Terry, or Tel, an affable Cockney cheekie chappy and George Cole as Arthur Daley (''Arfur'' in the London East End pronunciation), second hand car dealer, seller of assorted acquired goods, jack-of-all-trades and friend of the local constabulary. Minder turned Waterman, who sang the tongue-in-cheek theme tune, into an unlikely pop star.

Minder on the Orient Express sees the duo at the centre of some typically nasty goings-on, including gangland revenge, murder and general mayhem.

For non-Brits the Cockney rhyming slang might prove inaccessible. Here is a brief cut-out-and-keep guide: Whistle and Flute: Suit. Mince Pies: Eyes. Trouble and Strife: Wife. Salmon Pink: Drink. Brahms and Liszt: Drunk (think about it). ALSO on Star Plus, Michael J. Fox reaches puberty at last in Teen Wolf (8.30pm), but instead of getting pimples and a squeaky voice turns into a werewolf, which makes him popular with the girls. It's a standard adolescent comedy, but not a bad one, and gave rise to an animated television series.

IN The Pearl Report (Pearl, 7.20pm) Diana Lin looks at the recent National People's Congress pledge to reduce the gap between rich and poor in China. Will it really happen? Lin meets people in the villages and in the cities: the glitzy big spenders, of whom there are more and more, and the grovelling survivors.

The programme also reports on the controversial practice of renting CDs instead of buying them. One of those controversies it is difficult to get controversial about.