BBC4

I had no idea how fascinating rubbish could be: The Secret Life of Landfill reviewed

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Not the most beguiling of titles, I admit, but The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History (BBC4, Thursday) was…

Exhilaratingly original, C4’s Flowers is much more than just a ‘dark comedy’

16 June 2018 9:00 am

On Wednesday, BBC Four made an unexpectedly strong case that the human body is a bit rubbish. Our ill-designed spines,…

A non-sniggering look at the latest developments in the lucrative sex-robot market

2 December 2017 9:00 am

This week on Channel 4, we watched a cheery 58-year-old American engineer called James going on a first date. He…

Neil MacGregor’s latest Radio 4 series is exhilarating

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Only Neil MacGregor could do it — take us in a single thread from a blackened copper coin, about the…

The best documentary series of the past decade

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Any rival reality-TV makers watching Channel 5 on Thursday will, I suspect, have been both mystified and slightly embarrassed at…

BBC1's The Last Post is not for those who like their TV fearless and innovative

7 October 2017 9:00 am

BBC1’s latest Sunday-night drama The Last Post, about a British military base in Aden in 1965, feels like a programme…

Watch a sobbing landlord confess his capitalist crimes on BBC1

1 July 2017 9:00 am

It’s not unusual to see a pop concert on TV where teenage girls and a group of middle-aged men are…

Hippies gave us wonderful things, but they left an evil legacy too

10 June 2017 9:00 am

There’s an incredibly addictive old iPhone game called Doodle God where you effectively invent civilisation from scratch by combining basic…

In rock 'n' roll you need an accountant more than talent

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Birds have been giving me a lot of grief of late. There’s Tappy — the blue tit who has built…

1932. Right, John Cockcroft adjusts a pump at the Cavendish Laboratory's atom splitter. Left, Ernest Walton sits working in the detector of a Cockcroft-Walton generator.

Britain’s Nuclear Bomb: The Inside Story was as good as its word – I wish it was longer

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Like most documentaries, Britain’s Nuclear Bomb: The Inside Story (BBC4, Wednesday) began by boasting about all the exclusives it would…

How refreshing to find the BBC doing its job instead of handwringing about Islamophobia

4 March 2017 9:00 am

Here’s the bad news. One day you or someone like you will be shopping in a mall or enjoying a…

‘SS-GB’ takes the commitment to the crepuscular a lot further than most

A drama set in Nazi-occupied Britain really shouldn’t be this dull: BBC1’s SS-GB reviewed

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Rival law-enforcement agencies arguing about which of them should investigate a murder has, of course, been a staple of crime…

The SAS in the Western Desert, c.1942. John Tonkin second from right.

Why am I drawn to things that could kill me?

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Recently on holiday I did a very bad thing. I nearly left the Fawn to die on a precipitous mountain…

Would Britain have become half so great without George III?

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Before he died aged 44 (probably of a pulmonary embolism, poor chap), Frederick, Prince of Wales, compiled a list of…

Stanley Gibbons – the womanising stamp-collector

19 November 2016 9:00 am

If I tell you that on Monday there was an hour-long documentary about the history of stamp-collecting, then you probably…

Is Channel 4’s Humans in danger of losing its heart?

5 November 2016 9:00 am

In 2015, the first series of Humans (Sunday) was apparently Channel 4’s most watched home grown drama since The Camomile…

Distinctly corny: ITV's Tutankhamun reviewed

22 October 2016 9:00 am

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb may well be one of the 20th century’s great stories — but naturally that doesn’t…

Why do doctors think Down’s children are a disaster to be avoided at all costs?

8 October 2016 9:00 am

At my wife’s first 12-week scan, I was expecting — and duly got — that much-documented sense of thrilled wonder…

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,…

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…

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...

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…

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…

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…

How does anyone keep up with all the good stuff out there on TV?

19 March 2016 9:00 am

‘We have a problem. Yes. At the wind farm.’ Any conspiracy thriller with lines like that has definitely got my…