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Heartache behind the headlines

A programme full of heartbreak, Missing: Claudia Lawrence (Channel 4, 7.30pm) took us inside the world of those who are left behind when someone goes missing and just never comes back.

Around 20,000 people go missing in Britain every year, but most -- 99pc, in fact -- turn up safe and sound.

It's those poor unfortunates who have to face the fact that their loved one is part of that other 1pc who last night's emotional documentary shone a light on. And what a dark place it is for those waiting and hoping. Most of us only feel the merest pinch of such pain whenever we see a tattered 'Missing' sign sellotaped to a lamp post.

It was back in March 2009 that Claudia Lawrence went missing, her whereabouts still unknown, the reasons behind her disappearance still a mystery. For those looking for clues, it's an itch that they can never scratch, a reunion they've had to accept may never happen, possibly a body they can never lay to rest. In other words, for the friends and family of Claudia Lawrence, it's a living nightmare.

And it doesn't help when the press decide that the missing young girl in question is pretty enough to run salacious stories on their background and possible motivations for disappearing -- treating her, as one relative put it, "like a Big Brother contestant who deserved to have her past raked over".

Showing us murky CCTV footage of Claudia the night she went missing, her father recalling that first 999 call, her sister reminiscing about their childhood, gave the viewer a real sense of who this girl was -- and made the pain of her disappearance all the more tangible.

Here's hoping...

With the Beeb naturally having a greater -- and better class -- well of critics to drink from, The Review Show (BBC2, 11pm) is like The View without the Jim'll Fix It grins and the David Brent-esque pronunciations of virgin reviewers blinded by the studio lights and their 15 minutes.

The first of three shows from the Edinburgh festival, Kirsty Wark and a panel of guests discussed the International and the Fringe festivals there. Broadcast live, the fact that Wark had the likes of upcoming comedian Natalie Haynes, Scottish writer and funnyman A L Kennedy, novelist Stella Duffy (Calendar Girls) and that patron saint of pop culture analysis Paul Morley, meant that there would be much stroking of beards alongside some wry, crisp and dry observations.

The main point of discussion was Edinburgh's glittering reputation for new comedy, and whether or not it still deserved to be seen as a mecca for up and coming stand-ups.

And so the panelists were sent out to witness for themselves three young up and coming stand-ups -- Glaswegian Kevin Bridges, the sweet Josie Long (winner of the best newcomer in 2006, and a TV regular on shows such as Never Mind The Buzzcocks) and 19-year-old American Bo Burnham, the true baby of the group.

There was also the challenge of finding out if the weird and the wonderful were still truly weird and wonderful when it came to the Fringe offerings.

For those seeking something a little less hip and a tad more sedate, Martin Creed was present to talk about his latest exhibition at the Fruitmarket gallery.

All good, clean, adult fun (and not a "begorrah, it was mighty" in sight), without the restriction of members of the panel being friends with those they are supposedly judging, The Review Show proudly wears its informed, impartial opinion on its sleeve. As it should.