TV

A documentary about the M25 that will make your heart soar

4 July 2020 9:00 am

When a 90-minute documentary is introduced with the words ‘This is the M25’, you’d be within your rights not to…

Dysfunctional music for dysfunctional people: The Public Image is Rotten reviewed

4 July 2020 9:00 am

A star is born, but instead of emerging into the world beaming for the cameras, he spits and snarls and…

The festivalisation of TV

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Televising Glastonbury has changed the festival, and in turn transformed television, says Graeme Thomson

Sensual and silky: the Royal Ballet returns to Covent Garden

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Wayne McGregor’s Morgen! and Frederick Ashton’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits are the first pieces of live dance — streamed…

A fine, even rather noble drama: BBC1's The Salisbury Poisonings reviewed

20 June 2020 9:00 am

This week, BBC1 brought us a three-part dramatisation of an ‘unprecedented crisis’ in recent British life. Among other things, it…

Jeffrey Epstein really was a streak of slime

13 June 2020 9:00 am

Did Jeffrey Epstein kill himself or was he murdered — and frankly who cares? Actually, having watched the four-part Netflix…

Another drama about how women are great and men are rubbish: C4's Philharmonia reviewed

6 June 2020 9:00 am

On the face of it, a French-language drama about a Parisian symphony orchestra mightn’t sound like the most action-packed of…

The best Macbeths to watch online

23 May 2020 9:00 am

The world’s greatest playwright ought to be dynamite at the movies. But it’s notoriously hard to turn a profit from…

Netflix’s Caliphate is all too frighteningly plausible

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Sweden is now properly celebrated as the Land that Called Coronavirus Correctly. But in the distant past, those with long…

Joyous and very, very funny: Beastie Boys Story reviewed

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The music of the Beastie Boys was entirely an expression of their personalities, a chance to delightedly splurge out on…

Riveting – and disgusting: BFI's 'Dogs v Cats' and 'Eating In' collections reviewed

9 May 2020 9:00 am

This week I’d like to point you in the direction of the British Film Institute and its free online archive…

Not merely funny but somehow also joyous: Sky One's Brassic reviewed

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Danny Brocklehurst, the scriptwriter for Sky One’s Brassic, used to work for Shameless in its glory days — although if…

How Tom Stoppard foretold what we’re living through

9 May 2020 9:00 am

A TV play by Tom Stoppard, A Separate Peace, was broadcast live on Zoom last Saturday. I watched as my…

The unstoppable rise of television-rewatch podcasts

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Talking Sopranos — a new weekly podcast which launched this month— is another example of a seemingly unstoppable sub-genre occupying…

Superbly convincing: Unorthodox reviewed

2 May 2020 9:00 am

When I lived briefly in Stamford Hill I was mesmerised by the huge fur hats (shtreimel) worn by the local…

The importance of sadism in writing a great screenplay

2 May 2020 9:00 am

How do you tell a great story? According to Craig Mazin, you have to be a sadist. ‘As a writer,…

Felt longer than the lockdown itself: BBC1's One World – Together At Home reviewed

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

You have to admire the spirit of the organisers of last weekend’s One World: Together at Home concert. To put…

Classic tangled thriller: Sky's Gangs of London reviewed

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

There were plenty of TV shows around this week designed to cheer us up. Sky Atlantic’s Gangs of London, however,…

The Amazon Prime doc that will convert anyone to cricket

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Imagine rooting for the Australian cricket team. If you’re Scottish, Welsh or Irish — or Australian obviously — it might…

An extraordinary tale: BBC2’s The Countess and the Russian Billionaire reviewed

11 April 2020 9:00 am

There can’t be many programmes that bring to mind quotations from both Henry Kissinger and Boney M., but BBC2’s The…

Welder, banjo player, comedian, actor, and now artist – Billy Connolly interviewed

11 April 2020 9:00 am

William Cook talks to Billy Connolly – welder, banjo player, comedian, actor, and now artist – about growing up in Glasgow, ditching the mike stand and living with Parkinson’s

Taylor Swift is fascinating – but you really wouldn't want to be her

4 April 2020 9:00 am

There had been some question about whether Taylor Swift’s Netflix special would actually appear. Last year it seemed that the…

Foreign language TV is without the political correctness spoiling English drama

28 March 2020 6:55 pm

Every cloud has a silver lining. Never again are you likely to have a better opportunity to catch up with…

Riveting documentary about a remarkable man: Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War reviewed

28 March 2020 9:00 am

First shown on BBC Scotland, Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War (BBC4, Wednesday) was the documentary equivalent of…

Old-school Sunday-night family viewing: ITV's Belgravia reviewed

21 March 2020 9:00 am

The world may be going to hell in a handcart but some things remain reassuringly unchanged: Julian Fellowes period dramas…