Television

Et tu, Hugh?

22 October 2011 1:00 pm

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall thinks it’s time we all went veggie (River Cottage Veg; Channel 4, Sunday). Coming from a man whose…

Critics’ choice

15 October 2011 1:00 pm

I caught an intriguing session at the Cheltenham literary festival, titled ‘Secrets of the TV Critics’. As it happened, the…

Care in the community

15 October 2011 1:00 pm

‘We all need to rendezvous every week. It keeps us all as a community,’ said Jane Copsey on the In…

Nice Mr Fry

8 October 2011 4:00 pm

Whenever I find myself dreaming about how awful things would be under a red/green dictatorship — increasingly often, these days — the one person who gives me a glimmer of hope that I might get out of the hell alive is Stephen Fry.

Tale of the unexpected

1 October 2011 12:00 am

I imagine there is software that helps you write biopics for television. First you pick the childhood from a drop-down…

How to behave

24 September 2011 12:00 am

‘I don’t suppose the war will leave any of us alone by the time it’s done,’ prophesied one of the…

Out of sight

17 September 2011 12:00 am

There are some things television can do which no other medium can manage. Take one of those little-noticed programmes, Hidden…

Rebellious Prommers

17 September 2011 12:00 am

The Promenaders have excelled themselves this year. I thought initially they were slightly more docile and slightly less dotty than…

Money for nothing

10 September 2011 12:00 am

When future historians sift through the wreckage of Western Civilisation to try to find out where it all went wrong, I do hope they chance upon at least one episode of The World’s Strictest Parents (BBC3) and one of Deal or No Deal (Channel 4).

The odd couple

3 September 2011 12:00 am

Years ago I did some charity gig with Will Self, a sort of Desert Island Books. He had chosen a Raymond Chandler, and I remarked on the similarities between Chandler and P.G. Wodehouse.

Edge of darkness

27 August 2011 11:00 am

I’ve got this idea for a book, when I get the time, called Everything You Know Is Wrong. Its job will be to attack all the idiot received ideas of our age — what my father-in-law calls ‘notions’. High on the list of candidates, most definitely, is the commonly held belief (especially among stand-up comics) that Bill Hicks was the greatest comedian who ever lived.

Let them eat cake

20 August 2011 12:00 am

Prince Charles turned up on TV again this week, in Britain’s Hidden Heritage (BBC1, Sunday), wandering round a country house in Scotland that he had helped to restore.

Simon Hoggart: Chilean Miners

13 August 2011 12:00 am

A rich seam of drama

Dare to be dull

6 August 2011 12:00 am

Why can't we be shown old documentaries in full?

Power and influence

30 July 2011 12:00 am

Hold on to your seats, everyone, and grab yourselves a stiff drink.

Barking mad

23 July 2011 12:00 am

The latest series of The Apprentice (BBC1, Sunday) had, I gather, its best ratings ever.

Under the radar

16 July 2011 12:00 am

Evan Davis clearly has a great sense of humour.

24-carat self-indulgence

9 July 2011 12:00 am

After watching Troubadours (BBC4, Friday) for about ten minutes, I was close to gibbering with rage.

Poverty porn

2 July 2011 12:00 am

British poverty is normally a subject for comedy, rather than documentary.

The glory of Rory

25 June 2011 12:00 am

I watched Rory McIlroy win the Open Golf last weekend (it was on Sky, so there was no Peter Allis and his reminiscences of clubhouse banter past; to my surprise, I missed him).

Stuff of legend

18 June 2011 12:00 am

A few years ago, my at-the-time-quite-impoverished screenwriter friend Jake Michie told me about this brilliant new children’s TV series he’d dreamed up about the Knights of the Round Table.

Righteous anger

11 June 2011 12:00 am

Can a documentary ever be as entertaining as a fictional feature film? And, if it can, does that mean it cannot be a serious contribution to public debate?

Princely war

11 June 2011 12:00 am

The Duke at 90 (BBC1) was another engagement in Prince Philip’s ongoing war against the media.

Is he a genius?

4 June 2011 12:00 am

You’ll forgive me, I hope, for coming back so soon to the subject of Adam Curtis, the first part of whose All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace was so ably dissected by Simon Hoggart last week.

Big Brother Beeb

21 May 2011 12:00 am

For the past few weeks, unnoticed by all but the most sharp-eyed critics, BBC1 has been running a Celebrate Communitarianism season.