A spot of torture and ‘tache-twirling would spice up this dull crime drama

The Investigation (BBC Two) was a crime drama in which neither the victim nor murderer appeared. It was a bold approach and laudable in its intent. In televisual terms, however, it was about as thrilling as watching the test card. Only without a toy clown or game of noughts and crosses to divert you. This … Read more

When is Peep Show not Peep Show? When it’s Back

Back (Channel 4) is back for a second series, and if you missed the first I recommend catching up. I confess to abandoning series one after the first episode and dismissing it as a pale imitation of Peep Show; that was partly a failure of imagination on my part, and partly down to the fact that, in Peep Show, … Read more

Show must go on-line for Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival

It’s the lucky 13th year of the Origin First Irish Theatre Festival and this year they’re hosting 20 virtual events running through January 11 to 31. “Giving artists a platform, and a chance to showcase their work, feels even more important after a year that has been so devastating for our community,” Festival co-creator Sarah … Read more

meet the confirmed celebrity contestants of the new series

Despite rumours that Dancing on Ice 2021 could be postponed following another national lockdown, ITV is going ahead with the pairs training together in isolation.  Now in its 13th series, the celebrity skateathon is set to test the nerve of a new cast of famous faces as they skid, pirouette and crash-land onto our screens … Read more

is it really a surprise that a kale smoothie is low on energy?

If your lockdown fitness regime has been anything like mine, it will have started on a high note with daily Joe Wicks sessions, progressed to brief consideration of a Pilates Zoom session, and currently be at the stage of walking to the fridge and back. According to The Truth About Getting Fit at Home (BBC … Read more

painstaking realism, but paperwork just isn’t that dramatic

We went into the final part of The Pembrokeshire Murders (ITV) knowing who did it, knowing that he was in custody, and feeling pretty certain of what the trial outcome would be. So what was left? This final stretch tried to ramp up the tension with an interrogation scene and a race against time to … Read more

The Pembrokeshire Murders, ep 1 review: A solid drama, where even the accents hit the bullseye

The first episode of The Pembrokeshire Murders (ITV) was proceeding as police procedurals tend to do. Creepy serial killer, hard-working detective with personal problems, capable young sidekick, Jim Bowen in Bullseye – hang on,  Jim Bowen? In Bullseye? If you remember the details of the case, that image probably made sense. For everyone else, it was … Read more

A compelling case but an uneasy watch

Jiah Khan was a beautiful Bollywood actress whose star burned briefly before she was found dead at her home, aged 25. The police quickly declared it a suicide, but Jiah’s family suspect foul play. The first episode of Death in Bollywood (BBC Two), a three-part investigation, presented the family’s case. It wasn’t clear if the … Read more

Revival of hit show Sex and the City announced

Parker, who will also produce alongside Nixon, Davis and Michael Patrick King, posted a teaser trailer on Instagram Sunday. The short video is a montage of classic New York City shots, intercut with images of Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic computer screen, on which the phrases “And just like that…” and “The story continues…” are … Read more

A Discovery of Witches: season two episode 1 review

From Shakespeare in Love to Upstart Crow, Elizabethan England has long cast a spell over film and television. So when season two of Sky’s solidly silly supernatural romance A Discovery of Witches (Sky One) splashed down in the hey nonny nonny land of statement ruffs and Catholics hiding in attics, it was with an overpowering sense … Read more

UK lockdowns fuel record year for home entertainment spending | Media

British consumers spent a record £9bn on entertainment last year as the pandemic fuelled a boom in the popularity of digital services such as Netflix, Amazon and Spotify while the public sought to alleviate lockdown boredom. Overall spending on entertainment, which covers digital and physical video, music and gaming including sales of CDs, DVDs and … Read more

Pooch Perfect, review: Throw me a bone – we’re now shampooing dogs on TV

Ok, I’m doing the contestants a disservice. They also trim and blow-dry dogs. And when tasked with zhushing up a Shih Tzu, they have the option of giving them a top knot with a cutesy bow.  The presence of the immensely likeable Sheridan Smith saves it from total disaster. She hosts the show with a dog … Read more

this sweary chef act has gone rotten

At the end of Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back (Channel 4) came a preview of next week’s episode, in which the TV chef expressed horror at seeing a restaurant boss be abusive to his staff. Which was strange, because the programme I’d just watched featured Ramsay yelling himself puce and rounding off … Read more

A Great British Year and more

Camilla: Making of a Mistress Channel 5, 9.30pm Given an added topical piquancy by the ongoing controversy over Netflix’s The Crown, this documentary aims to set the record straight about the Duchess of Cornwall and how she went “from Britain’s most hated woman to loved royal”. Starting in 1989, when the Prince of Wales’s affair … Read more

Tanya Roberts, Bond girl and Charlie’s Angels star, still alive despite reports of her death

James Bond star Tanya Roberts is still alive, her publicist has said, after earlier being quoted as saying she was dead. Mike Pingel, the actress’s representative, was quoted by US website TMZ saying Roberts had died aged 65. The outlet had quotes from her husband and tributes were paid on social media to Roberts, who … Read more

UK music festivals face cancellation without government support | Music

Summer music festivals face cancellation unless the government steps in to provide support, the British music industry has warned. The call for action came as Emily Eavis, who co-organises Glastonbury festival with her father, Michael, turned to social media to deny that this year’s event has been cancelled. “There’s no news this end yet, we … Read more

an incredible story hampered by its attention-hogging filmmaker 

Every so often, an awful story will appear in the news, of a stowaway falling to their death from the wheel well of an aircraft. In 2015, the body of one such man, Carlito Vale, was discovered on the roof of an office building in west London. Incredibly, a second man survived the journey and … Read more

never mind the charmless killer, it’s 1970s Bangkok that most impresses

The problem with The Serpent (BBC One) is that it is a whodunit where we already know who did it. As this retelling of the true story of Seventies serial killer Charles Sobhraj meandered through the second of eight episodes, no attempt was made to conceal the French ex-pat’s criminality or to cloak him in … Read more

Bond girl and Charlie’s Angels star Tanya Roberts dies, aged 65

American actress Tanya Roberts – born Victorian Leigh Blum – died on January 3 at the age of 65 after collapsing while walking her dogs in Los Angeles. She was best known for playing Bond girl Stacey Sutton in 1985’s A View To Kill and Julie Rogers on ABC’s show Charlie’s Angels. The Hollywood actress made her film debut … Read more

Celebrated musician finds new ‘best friend’ to replace smashed piano | Music

One of the world’s most celebrated pianists has described for the first time how she got over losing a piano she described as her “best friend” by receiving its replacement. Angela Hewitt played for the first time using the new piano at a concert in Leipzig, streamed live on ARTE Concert, after becoming the first … Read more