Television

National Treasure: Robbie Coltrane (Photo: Getty)

Clearly intended as an Important Piece of TV – but is it?: C4’s National Treasure reviewed

24 September 2016 9:00 am

The closing credits of National Treasure (Channel 4, Tuesday) contain the usual disclaimer that any resemblance between its characters and…

Jenna Coleman as Victoria

ITV's Victoria is silly, facile and irresponsible – I blame the feminisation of culture

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Did you know that Queen Victoria might never have married Prince Albert had it not been for an amazing stroke…

Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman

BBC2’s heroic attempt to poke an unwanted nose into the world of British Vogue

10 September 2016 9:00 am

With documentary-makers these days, it can be hard to tell the difference between faux-naivety and the real thing. (Personally, I…

Lizzie Roper as Else and Simon Day as Alf Garnett in ‘Till Death Us Do Part’

Watching old, unPC sitcoms should be part of the national curriculum

3 September 2016 9:00 am

I think I might be turning into Alf Garnett. When I was growing up I saw him as an obnoxious,…

11553028-low_res-the-great-british-bake-off-2016

A few things you didn't know about the Great British Bake Off – such as how it's all faked

27 August 2016 9:00 am

You know when late summer has arrived because conkers are starting to form on the horse chestnuts, your eagerness to…

Diving - Olympics: Day 7

Why isn’t arse quality included in the judging for the diving? The Rio Olympics reviewed

20 August 2016 9:00 am

Stuff I have learnt after two solid weeks watching the Olympics on TV. 1. Tennis and golf shouldn’t be Olympic…

The 80s with Dominic Sandbrook

The true queen of the Eighties wasn't Thatcher – it was Delia, according to the Beeb

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Proof that someone has really made it as a TV historian comes, I would suggest, when they join the likes…

Eden

Why Channel 4’s new reality TV series, Eden, should actually be called Die, Hippies! Die!

6 August 2016 9:00 am

The unacknowledged subtitle of Channel 4’s new reality series Eden (Mondays) is Die, Hippies! Die! Obviously they’re not going to…

Carol White as Cathy and Ray Brooks as Reg star in Cathy Come Home by Jeremy Sandford 'The Wednesday Play', 1966

Was 1966 really as grim as this BBC4 documentary suggests?

30 July 2016 9:00 am

In the song ‘All the Young Dudes’, David Bowie gamely tried to reassure the youth of the Seventies that, despite…

Ross Kemp: The Fight Against ISIS (Photo: Dave Williams / Sound Ltd)

In Ross Kemp the Kurds have found their Byron: Sky 1’s The Fight Against Isis reviewed

23 July 2016 9:00 am

Before I set about reviewing Ross Kemp: The Fight Against Isis (Sky 1), I thought I’d have a glance to…

Child genius, Mog

Prodigies and pushy parents: Child Genius reviewed

16 July 2016 9:00 am

On Tuesday night on Channel 4, a stern male figure peered over his glasses (as equipped with one of those…

Professor Brian Cox, Forces of Nature (Photo: Getty)

The content was clearly a secondary consideration: Brian Cox’s Forces of Nature reviewed

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Pop idol turned top boffin Brian Cox doesn’t shy away from the big issues. With programmes such as Wonders of…

Colin Morgan as dashing Nathan Appleby

Poldark meets The Exorcist: BBC1’s The Living and the Dead reviewed

2 July 2016 9:00 am

It’s sadly possible to imagine that The Living and the Dead was sold to BBC1’s commissioning editors as ‘Poldark meets…

Anthropomorphism taken too far in Storyville’s ‘Unlocking the Cage’

The nutcase animal-rights lawyer who wants chimps granted the legal status of humans

25 June 2016 9:00 am

He may claim to only want these rights for sentient creatures, but remember how the EU was supposed just to be a trading bloc...

The New Gypsy Kings (Photo: BBC)

A Gypsy documentary that alternated between the eye-opening and the hair-raising

18 June 2016 9:00 am

In his latest documentary for the This World series, the Romanian film-maker Liviu Tipurita could have been forgiven for treading…

Television

Graphic novels are produced by sad blokes stuck in arrested adolescence

11 June 2016 9:00 am

Sometimes I wonder whether, of all the literary genres, graphic novels aren’t the most stupidly overrated. I can say this…

Matt Lucas in A Midsummer Night's Dream

BBC1’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream seems deliberately designed to flush out purists

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Spoiler alerts aren’t normally required for reviews of Shakespeare — but perhaps I’d better issue one before saying that in…

Jo Brand in Going Forward, BBC4

Isn’t it puke-inducing being lectured about poverty by millionaire comics?

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Going Forward (BBC4, Thursdays) is a BBC comedy about the continuing adventures of Kim Wilde, the fat, cynical but lovable…

Sir David Attenborough on  the quest of the Komodo Dragon,1956 (Photo: BBC)

David Attenborough used to steal the animals he found in the jungle and take them home

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Let me start this week with an admittedly hard quiz question: in 1954, how did the sudden illness of Jack…

Ben Elton's Upstart Crow (Photo: Getty)

James Delingpole is loving Ben Elton's new Shakespeare sitcom

14 May 2016 9:00 am

There’s no way of saying this without shredding the last vestiges of my critical credibility, but this new Ben Elton…

Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby

Even the sternest Leavisite critic would find it hard to resist BBC2's Peaky Blinders

7 May 2016 9:00 am

The big returning show of the week began with servants laying out the silverware at a large country house in…

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in ‘Games of Thrones’

It’s time Cersei destroyed the Corbyn-like High Sparrow: Game of Thrones, season six, reviewed

30 April 2016 9:00 am

So: Game of Thrones. Finally — season six — the TV series has overtaken the books on which it is…

Inside the Portland Hospital

Downton Abbey with epidurals: BBC2's Five Star Babies reviewed

23 April 2016 9:00 am

Five Star Babies: Inside the Portland Hospital won’t, I suspect, have been a hard sell to BBC2’s commissioning editors. Childbirth…

What British Muslims Really Think with Trevor Phillips

Trevor Phillips's documentary on Muslims was shocking - but not surprising

16 April 2016 9:00 am

‘Our findings will shock many people,’ promised Trevor Phillips at the beginning of What British Muslims Really Think (Channel 4,…

Bob Geldof enjoys WB Yeats (Photo: BBC/Fergal O'Reilly)

BBC4’s Bob Geldof on WB Yeats was one of the best literary documentaries I’ve seen

9 April 2016 9:00 am

In recent years there’s been a fashion for arts documentaries presented by celebs rather than boring old experts — presumably…