James Walton

The darkest secret about commuting: some of us enjoy it

29 November 2014 9:00 am

In the early days of Victorian railways, train journeys were (rightly) considered so dangerous that ticket offices sold life insurance…

Jaw-dropping confessions of a very un-PC Plod

22 November 2014 9:00 am

There can’t have been many people who watched Confessions of a Copper (Channel 4, Wednesday) with a growing sense of…

James Walton uncovers the sound of Nashville - money

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Twenty minutes into BBC4’s The Heart of Country (Friday), there was a clip of Chet Atkins, country music’s star producer…

Hooray for Homeland - Carrie’s back blasting America’s enemies to pieces with drones

25 October 2014 9:00 am

One of the more welcome and surprising things about television at the moment is that Homeland (Channel 4, Sunday) is…

From working-class heroes to Disney World mascots: the sad fate of the Chilean miners

18 October 2014 9:00 am

On 5 August 2010, 33 men entered the remote San José mine in Chile’s Atacama desert to begin their 12-hour…

We're great and baboons are losers: this week's lesson from Brian Cox

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Anybody feeling a bit depressed about the shortcomings of humanity could do worse than watch Brian Cox’s new series Human…

Colm Toibin’s restraint – like his characters' – is quietly overwhelming

4 October 2014 9:00 am

In Colm Tóibín’s much-loved 2009 novel Brooklyn, Eilis Lacy, somewhat to her own surprise, leaves 1950s Enniscorthy (Tóibín’s own home…

Marriage and foreplay Sharia-style

27 September 2014 8:00 am

Needless to say, it’s not uncommon to hear single British women in their thirties and forties saying that all the…

Howard Jacobson’s J convinced me that I’d just read a masterpiece

13 September 2014 9:00 am

At first sight, J — which has beenshortlisted for the Man Booker Prize — represents a significant departure for Howard…

Asking the questions: Victoria Coren Mitchell

Now for the really tricky question: can Only Connect survive BBC2?

13 September 2014 9:00 am

For some of us, the biggest TV question of recent weeks hasn’t been how Newsnight is doing without Jeremy Paxman,…

Kate Bush Hammersmith Apollo review: Still crazy after all these years

30 August 2014 9:00 am

It says something about Kate Bush’s standing in the music world that, perhaps uniquely in the history of long-awaited live…

Showing up to your prom in a tank is a bit 2013

BBC2’s Hotel India: slums? What slums?

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Viewers who like their TV journalism hard-hitting should probably avoid Hotel India, a new BBC2 series about the Taj Mahal…

The case of the amnesiac autobiographer

16 August 2014 9:00 am

In October 2002, 28-year-old David Stuart MacLean woke up at Hyderabad railway station. He was standing at the time, and…

Murakami drops magic for realism in this tale of a lonely Tokyo engineer

2 August 2014 9:00 am

When Haruki Murakami — Japan’s most successful novelist at home and abroad — was interviewed by the Paris Review in…

The Terracotta Army Museum: the warriors were built to protect Quin Shi Huuang, China’s first emperor

Barbie dolls? This girl aims for the head

2 August 2014 9:00 am

Channel 4’s Kids and Guns (Thursday) began with an American TV advert in which a young boy’s eyes shone with…

A series of indisputable masterpieces: Nile Rodgers of Chic

The quest for the perfect guitar riff is a noble one – if not quite the key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe

19 July 2014 9:00 am

A few weeks ago, my eight-year-old son, who’s taken up the guitar, announced that he’d learned something new. He then…

A tribute to the King – or a compendium of journalistic bad habits?

12 July 2014 9:00 am

With Elvis has Left the Building, the longstanding editor of GQ has inexplicably written a book that could serve as…

A woman of substance: Maggie Gyllenhaal as the saintly Nessa

The Honourable Woman could have done with some help from an overpaid executive in a suit

5 July 2014 9:00 am

BBC2’s The Honourable Woman (Thursday) began with a rather portentous voice-over bringing us the unsurprising news that ‘We all have…

The girl who had sex with dolphins

21 June 2014 9:00 am

BBC4’s The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins (Tuesday) began with the overstated-sounding claim that it would be tackling ‘perhaps the…

Those weren't the days

21 June 2014 8:00 am

If you wanted a brief epigraph for Linda Grant’s recent fiction, then five words from Dorothy Parker might well do…

Is BBC1’s Quirke bravely unhurried – or too slow?

7 June 2014 9:00 am

The work of John Banville — Booker-winning novelist and impeccably high-minded literary critic — might seem an unlikely source for…

So Dylan Thomas was a drunk: does this TV drama have anything else to say?

24 May 2014 9:00 am

According to its executive producer Griff Rhys Jones, A Poet in New York (BBC2, Sunday) sought to rescue Dylan Thomas…

Jack Bauer hits, er, West Ealing

10 May 2014 9:00 am

Whatever worries Kiefer Sutherland may have had about reprising the role of Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day (Sky1,…

John Crace digested – twice

3 May 2014 9:00 am

Fiction ‘So how come we’re in the same book?’ Paul from The Stranger’s Child asked Florence from On Chesil Beach.…

Caught between a New Age rock and a theory junkie hard place

22 March 2014 9:00 am

Siri Hustvedt’s new novel isn’t exactly an easy read — but the casual bookshop browser should be reassured that it’s…