James Walton

Maud West disguised as a Salvation Army worker, c. 1920

The rollicking adventures of a real-life female sleuth

15 June 2019 9:00 am

Susannah Stapleton’s erudite but hugely entertaining debut is a true-life detective story about the quest for a true-life detective. A…

Makes you wonder if you’ve got drunk without noticing: Wild Bill reviewed

15 June 2019 9:00 am

Usually, the return of Killing Eve would be pretty much guaranteed to provide the most unconventional, rule-busting TV programme of…

Earth dying in five billion years I can deal with, but not a world-weary Brian Cox

1 June 2019 9:00 am

When you see the opening caption ‘4.6 billion years ago’, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re watching a programme…

Emma Thompson as Vivienne Rook in Russell T. Davies’s Years and Years. Credit: BBC/Red Productions/Guy Farrow

A clunky exercise in box-ticking: Russell T. Davies’s Years and Years reviewed

18 May 2019 9:00 am

These days, a common way of introducing radio news items is with the words ‘How worried should we be about…?’…

Did the makers of When I Grow Up have no qualms turning a small boy into a hate figure?

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Channel 4’s When I Grow Up had an important lesson for middle-class white males everywhere: you’re never too young to…

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) having some quality time together

I admire the scale and ambition of Game of Thrones – but isn’t it just a little bit corny?

20 April 2019 9:00 am

If you’ve ever faced the social embarrassment of having to admit that you’ve never seen Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic,…

The Bears v. the Rabbits: The Feral Detective, by Jonathan Lethem, reviewed

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Jonathan Lethem’s new book is billed as ‘his first detective novel since Motherless Brooklyn’, which won America’s national book critics…

The mob is right about Line of Duty – it remains unmissably exciting

6 April 2019 9:00 am

On Sunday a drama began with ED905 being stolen by an OCG who’d faked an RTC that required IR, little…

Why did no one think the premise of Mums Make Porn was questionable?

23 March 2019 9:00 am

What can parents do about the avalanche of pornography available to their children on tablet, phone and laptop? This question…

Faber’s new ‘poetry’ collection

9 March 2019 9:00 am

If you’re unsure whether Shaun Ryder’s lyrics for Happy Mondays and Black Grape really deserve the full Faber-poetry treatment, then…

Sian Clifford as Claire and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag

Promising but, compared to the first series, short of laughs: Fleabag reviewed

9 March 2019 9:00 am

BBC2’s MotherFatherSon announced its status as a classy thriller in the traditional way: by ensuring that for quite a long…

Enjoyably contrived: BBC1’s Baptiste reviewed

23 February 2019 9:00 am

What’s the best way to start a six-part thriller? The answer, it seems, is to have a bloke of a…

The Royals in 1972. Photo: Press Association

Watch Paxo set a new PB for lip-curling: Paxman On The Queen’s Children reviewed

9 February 2019 9:00 am

You might well expect a royal documentary on Channel 5 to be unashamedly gossipy. You might also expect it to…

Danny Dyer trying to keep a straight face in his latest bizarre TV outing. Photo: BBC / Wall to Wall Media

Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family might well be the oddest TV show of recent times

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Last year on Who Do You Think You Are?, Danny Dyer — EastEnders actor and very possibly Britain’s most cockney…

Doors drummer John Densmore and Police percussionist Stewart Copeland. Photo: BBC / Somethin’ Else Sound Directions Ltd / Nico Wasserman

According to BBC4, what was one of the ‘most important inventions in modern music’?

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Here’s a tricky quiz question for you. What word completes this sentence from a BBC4 documentary on Friday: ‘The world…

Writers of some of the best-loved programmes in British television history: Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement

Dick Clement on Porridge, Kirk Douglas and having seven projects on the go

5 January 2019 9:00 am

Given their track record, you might think that Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais would be spared the struggles that…

Sheridan Smith and Alison Steadman in Jimmy McGovern's Care. Photo: BBC / LA Productions / Dan Prince

Could it be that Jimmy McGovern was getting into the festive spirit? No… Care reviewed

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Jimmy McGovern’s one-off drama Care (BBC1, Sunday 9 December) began with a loving grandmother called Mary having a lovely time…

Keeping it in the family: Ruth Wilson playing her grandmother Alison in Mrs Wilson

Refreshingly understated: BBC1’s Mrs Wilson reviewed

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Shortly before her husband’s funeral, the undertaker told the eponymous main character in Mrs Wilson (BBC1, Tuesday) that, ‘We’re here…

The whole narrative of Dynasties was too suspiciously shapely. Image: BBC NHU

How does David Attenborough know what the monkeys are thinking?

17 November 2018 9:00 am

The opening episode of BBC1’s Dynasties — the new Attenborough-fronted series from the Natural History Unit — introduced us to…

Alexander Skarsgard as Becker in BBC1's The Little Drummer Girl

Lucky the director of Little Drummer Girl is an ‘auteur’ or you might call the first episode corny

3 November 2018 9:00 am

The Little Drummer Girl (BBC1, Sunday) is the new John le Carré adaptation from the production company that brought us…

Kazuo Ishiguro winning the Booker Prize in 1989. Photo: Alex Lentati/ Associated Newspapers/ REX/ Shutterstock

An enjoyably gossipy whisk through half a century of fierce rivalries and bruised egos

20 October 2018 9:00 am

At the beginning of Barneys, Books and Bust Ups: 50 Years of the Booker Prize (BBC4), Kirsty Wark’s voiceover promised…

Impeccably – and intriguingly – unclear: BBC1’s The Cry reviewed

6 October 2018 9:00 am

It’s a radical thought I know, but I sometimes wonder what it would be like if a new TV thriller…

Easy rider: Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Killing Eve

Camp, preposterous and weirdly good fun: Killing Eve reviewed

22 September 2018 9:00 am

After the all-conquering success of Fleabag — her brilliant dark comedy about a smart but rudderless young woman in London…

Sharp practice: Olivia Cooke and Claudia Jessie in Vanity Fair

Bad news for fans of good TV drama – there’s three more corkers to keep up with

8 September 2018 9:00 am

This week was bad news for fans of good television drama series — mainly because there’s now three more of…

Jimmy Page performing with Led Zeppelin in May 1975. ‘He did believe that he had the power to control the universe’

Jimmy Page is a Capricorn – that says it all

25 August 2018 9:00 am

In 1957, aged 13, Jimmy Page appeared with his skiffle group on a children’s TV programme dedicated to ‘unusual hobbies’…