Television

The edible woman: Lily James as Natasha Rostova in ‘War and Peace’

War & Peace is actually just an upmarket Downton Abbey

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Gosh what a breath of fresh air was Andrew Davies’s War & Peace adaptation (BBC1, Sundays) after all the stale…

Dreams don’t have to make sense - but TV dramas do: Peter & Wendy reviewed

2 January 2016 9:00 am

On the face of it, ITV’s Peter & Wendy sounded like a perfect family offering for Boxing Day: an adaptation…

Twenty things I will ban when I am elected your Dictator For Life in 2016

12 December 2015 9:00 am

The two things I hate most about Christmas are a) Advertland showing me how sparkly and joyous my home and…

Victorian music-hall comedy wasn’t funny. Why pretend it was?

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Let’s start this week with a joke: ‘You know Mrs Kelly? Do you know Mrs Kelly? Her husband’s that little…

I’m a Celebrity is like The Simpsons: good if you’re thick; even better if you’re not

28 November 2015 9:00 am

The best bit in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV) will be when the prisoners finally revolt…

Is television at its best when it mimics radio?

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Not that long ago the BBC trumpeted a new Stakhanovite project to big up the arts in its many and…

The spying game: Ben Whishaw as Danny in ‘London Spy’

James Delingpole cringes at London Spy’s gay sex scenes

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The main problem with being a TV critic, I’ve noticed over the years, is that you have to watch so…

Why most four-year-olds deserve to be sectioned

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The first episode of Let Us Entertain You (BBC2, Wednesday) definitely couldn’t be accused of lacking a central thesis. Presenter…

Not all crap TV is all that crap

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Girl is back for half-term so I’ve been able to watch nothing but crap on TV this week. Some of…

The Last Kingdom is BBC2’s solemnly cheesy answer to Game of Thrones

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The opening caption for The Last Kingdom (BBC2, Thursday) read ‘Kingdom of Northumbria, North of England, 866 AD’. In fact,…

Hunted blows a fresh breeze through the stale world of reality TV

17 October 2015 8:00 am

Television used to employ entertainers to entertain the public. Back then you could count the channels on the fingers of…

Was BBC1’s Rooney show more scripted reality than documentary?

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Close to the Edge (BBC4, Tuesday) feels very much like an idea conceived during a particularly good night in the…

James Delingpole discovers the fons et origo of indie music

3 October 2015 8:00 am

I really hadn’t meant to write a postscript to last week’s column on my dark Supertramp past. But then along…

Middle-England Gothic: Anna Maxwell-Martin as Merrily Watkins in Midwinter of the Spirit

ITV’s Midwinter of the Spirit is a satisfying example of Middle-England Gothic

26 September 2015 8:00 am

For years, Ian Fleming was famously self-deprecating about the James Bond books. (‘I have a rule of not looking back,’…

An Inspector Calls is poisonous, revisionist propaganda - which is why the luvvies love it

19 September 2015 8:00 am

What a load of manipulative, hysterical tosh is An Inspector Calls. It wasn’t a work with which I was familiar…

Novel romance: Richard Madden as Mellors and Holliday Grainger as Constance Chatterley

Guns, tools and toffee apples - but no nudity: BBC1’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover reviewed

12 September 2015 9:00 am

It’s hard to know whether the actor James Norton was being naive or disingenuous when he claimed in publicity interviews…

Finally James Delingpole gets why women are so angry

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Finally I realise why women are so pissed off. It all goes back to the first codified laws — circa…

How many royal cliches can you fit into a single Channel 4 documentary?

29 August 2015 9:00 am

In 2011, the Daily Mail carried a long story about how the Queen’s cousin Prince William of Gloucester, who died…

Why does TV assume everyone is so thick they have to have everything explained?

22 August 2015 9:00 am

My favourite moment in The Scandalous Lady W (BBC2, Monday) was when the heroine played by Natalie Dormer was shown…

Is medical screening bad for your health? Michael Mosley dons a pair of ‘dignity shorts’ to find out

15 August 2015 9:00 am

When the link between tobacco and lung cancer was first established in the early 1950s, one obvious question arose: should…

A demonstrator is arrested during an anti-nuclear protest at Greenham Common air base in 1983. (Photo: D. Jones/Express/Getty)

All that postwar anxiety about being vaporised by a nuclear bomb was a complete waste of emotion

8 August 2015 9:00 am

When I was growing up in the 1970s, my three main fears were: being blown up by the IRA; being…

Bohemian conformity can be just as suffocating as any other type: BBC1’s Life in Squares reviewed

1 August 2015 9:00 am

On all those comic lists of the world’s shortest books (Great Italian War Heroes, My Hunt for the Real Killers,…

Lucy Worsley reveals - yet again - that there’s more to the WI than jam and Jerusalem

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Some revelations, it seems, are capable of being endlessly repeated while still remaining revelations. Think of all the books, articles…

Joanna Lumley is ‘thrilled’ by everything, even being spanked by a Mongolian shaman, in her new Trans-Siberian Adventure

18 July 2015 9:00 am

For keen students of China, this week’s television provided yet more proof that Deng Xiaoping’s decision to open the country…

A documentary that ought to rank with the footage of British troops liberating Belsen

11 July 2015 9:00 am

So you’ve just popped out of town for the day on an errand. And when you get back, everyone has…