Television

God awful: BBC1’s His Dark materials reviewed

9 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Here’s your new Sunday night obsession…’ the BBC announcer purred, overintoned and mini-orgasmed, like she was doing an audition for…

BBC wildlife documentaries are just a chance to tell us all off

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Older readers may remember a time when landmark BBC wildlife documentary series were joyous celebrations of the miraculous fecundity of…

Praise be to Mary MacLeod Trump. [Photo: The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images]

If we do get a good Anglo-American trade deal, we should thank Trump’s mother

26 October 2019 9:00 am

In an uncharacteristic fit of almost-robustness, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan has said she is ‘open-minded’ about scrapping the BBC licence…

Should we be playing the surveillance state for laughs? Celebrity Hunted reviewed

19 October 2019 9:00 am

One of the many great things about The Capture was that we could never be sure whether the British authorities’…

Pure, undiluted genius: Succession reviewed

12 October 2019 9:00 am

I have never ever watched a TV series I have enjoyed more than Succession (Now TV). There’s stuff I’d put…

A solid costume drama but Dame Helen has been miscast: Catherine the Great reviewed

5 October 2019 9:00 am

It’s possibly not a great sign of a Britain at ease with itself that the historical character most likely to…

Gloriously un-PC: Ronan Bennett’s Top Boy reviewed

28 September 2019 9:00 am

Sir Lenny Henry, the former comedian, is wont to complain to anyone who’ll listen that there isn’t enough ‘diversity’ on…

Abba, Twitter vs Instagram, and papal selfies: the modern face of the Catholic Church

21 September 2019 9:00 am

As a lifelong Catholic, I’ve often thought that two of the Church’s chief characteristics are a) how weird it is…

With these documentaries, the BBC has lost any claim to impartiality

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Because the rise of the Nazis is a topic so rarely mentioned these days, least of all in schools, the…

I have no clue what’s going on, but can’t wait to find out: BBC1’s The Capture reviewed

7 September 2019 9:00 am

How did the police ever solve any crimes before CCTV? That was the question which sprang to mind watching the…

I like Brassic but the reason it’s getting such glowing notices is depressing

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Brassic (Sky One) feels like the sort of TV comedy drama they last made about 15 years ago but would…

Heidi’s changing-colours-and-textures routine never failed to delight

The Octopus in My House left you with an overwhelming sense that octopuses are astonishing

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Professor David Scheel, the presenter of a BBC2 documentary on Thursday, instantly brought to mind that American scientist in The…

Amnesia rave, Coventry, 1991. Image: Tony Davis / Pymca / Shutterstock

I agree with Jeremy Deller – the birth of acid house was a revolution that changed Britain

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Jeremy Deller’s Everybody in the Place: an Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992 (BBC4) began with some footage of kids queuing…

Patrizia (Cristiana Dell’Anna) in Series 4 of Gomorrah

The reason Gomorrah is one of the best series ever shown on TV is its fidelity to truth

3 August 2019 9:00 am

My favourite epithet about my favourite TV series was the headline in a review by the Irish Times: ‘Gomorrah. Where…

A badly missed opportunity: How the Middle Classes Ruined Britain reviewed

27 July 2019 9:00 am

BBC2’s How the Middle Classes Ruined Britain (Tuesday) began rather promisingly. ‘I’m a working-class comedian who voted Leave,’ announced presenter…

Pure hagiography – the BBC’s Extinction Rebellion: Last Chance To Save The World?

20 July 2019 9:00 am

I’m beginning to feel like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers: almost the last person on Earth who…

Moonwalking: Rufus Wright as Neil Armstrong in 8 Days: To the Moon

Reminds you how uncomplicatedly thrilling the first moon landing was: BBC2’s 8 Days reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

As the title suggests, 8 Days: To the Moon and Back (BBC2, Wednesday) comprehensively disproved the always questionable idea put…

Kanye wipes the floor with David Letterman

6 July 2019 9:00 am

My plan to cut the BBC out of my life entirely is working well. Apart from the occasional forgivable lapse…

Shameless and corny: ITV’s Beecham House reviewed

29 June 2019 9:00 am

ITV’s new drama Beecham House is set in late 18th-century India where the British and French were still battling it…

The photogenic womenfolk of Otter Bay: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern in Big Little Lies

Girls will love it – and there’s just enough eye candy for boys: Big Little Lies reviewed

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Six hundred and thirty years ago, Chaucer revealed in ‘The Wife of Bath’s Tale’ that what women really want is…

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…

Accidental hero: one of the Chernobyl liquidators

Blast from the past

8 June 2019 9:00 am

How many people do you think died at Chernobyl? 10,000? 50,000? 300,000? The correct answer, according to the never knowingly…

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…

Lusty, roistering Suranne Jones as Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack. Image: BBC / Lookout Point / Jay Brooks

Sunday night on the Beeb was an orgy of virtue-signalling and third-rate sport

25 May 2019 9:00 am

After its new costume drama You Go, Girl! (Sundays) about how amazing, empowered and better-than-men women are, especially if they…

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…?’…