Forever Summer with Nigella

Thursday, September 19, 2002 by · Comments Off 

As the bellicose, tub-thumping war of words continues unabated over the scheduling of the main channel’s autumn period dramas, then surely it is only fitting that beautiful, bountious praise be sung out for the wonderful 60 minutes that sees the staggeringly successful (though, arguably, phenomenally over-rated) Nigella following on from Rick Stein on a channel-hopping Thursday evening. Read more

Rick Stein’s Food Heroes

Thursday, September 19, 2002 by · Comments Off 

As summer slowly, and seductively, turns to autumn and leaves fall down to splash silently on sun-dappled gardens, it is with apposite changing of the season pleasure that we welcome back the imperiously impressive Rick Stein into our sitting rooms. Read more

What Not to Wear: World’s Worst Dressed

Wednesday, September 4, 2002 by · Comments Off 

In a special edition of BBC2′s bitchy clawfest, the living nightmare of every 15-year-old prep school girl with the misfortune not to a) have thighs like Cadbury’s White Chocolate Fingers or b) have an uncle with a middle-ranking executive job at Channel 4, presenters Trinny and Susannah – whose very names sound like a clarion call to class warfare – decided to compile a list of the world’s worst dressed people, the ultimate offender to be named and shamed on the night. Read more

The Alcohol Years

Tuesday, September 3, 2002 by · Comments Off 

In her documentary The Alcohol Years (first shown in 2000), Carol Morley returns to Manchester, the city of her youth, which she left in 1987 in a whirl of self-destructive excess. There she records the memories of people who knew her during that time. Read more

This Morning

Monday, September 2, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Yes, fear not, ITV1′s great mid-morning behemoth is back – lurching out of the starting gate, with an opening shot of Fern Britton careering wildly toward the camera; black evening gown, bosom heaving, male models everywhere. Read more

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here

Saturday, August 31, 2002 by · Comments Off 

For a programme which had such a low-key start, virtually no pre-publicity, no clearly explained purpose and a “cast” of fairly minor celebrities, I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! has – in contrast – provided a week of gripping, almost unbelievable, television. Read more

Alt-TV: The Luckiest Nut in the World

Friday, August 30, 2002 by · Comments Off 

One of the great strengths of Channel 4 has always been that it can completely surprise you with a programme that you simply weren’t expecting to see. Read more

Phoenix Nights

Thursday, August 22, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Peter Kay and Stuart Maconie, seated together behind a desk. What more could you want? Read more


Thursday, August 22, 2002 by · Comments Off 

If I were to write this review in the style of current EastEnders, then halfway through I’d have completely forgotten what it was that I was originally… bugger me, what was I talking about? Read more


Sunday, August 18, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Someone once said that the eventual parting of the ways overshadows every meeting. As 24 set off on its linear and inexorable course back at the start of the year, the prospect of its final instalment has always been in mind. Read more

Watercolour Challenge

Wednesday, August 7, 2002 by · Comments Off 

There’s been something not quite right with Channel 4′s weekday afternoon schedule for a while now. It’s hard to point to one, guilty, overriding factor; it’s more an impression formed from a variety of sources. Read more

The West Wing

Sunday, July 28, 2002 by · Comments Off 

There are few actors who can capture abject weariness and foreboding in one single, defining expression, and still end up looking dignified. Martin Sheen is one of them. The sky is blackening over his term of office as President Josiah Bartlett, but he’s no Richard Nixon, cursing and spilling bourbon and kicking the furniture. Read more

Big Brother

Friday, July 26, 2002 by · Comments Off 

It’s perhaps a case or ironic confluence that a week prior to the debut of Big Brother 3, I was reading Ben Elton‘s book Dead Famous – the story of a reality TV show, House Arrest, where 10 people are confined together in a pressure cooker environment competing for prize money, all thinly disguised caricatures of contestants from Big Brother‘s first series. Read more

Just Good Friends

Tuesday, July 23, 2002 by · Comments Off 

It’s been almost two decades since its debut, and there’s the legacy of one too many re-runs on UK Gold, but still that very particular, potent appeal of Just Good Friends hasn’t weathered or grown stale. Read more

When Jeremy Thorpe met Norman Scott

Sunday, July 14, 2002 by · Comments Off 

The downfall of Jeremy Thorpe is characterised by absurdity and convolution. It remains resistant to dramatisation in that the plot continually stops-starts, turns back on itself, or sets off on an entirely different course. Read more

The Gathering Storm

Friday, July 12, 2002 by · Comments Off 

In one of those unspoken rules of TV drama, whenever our hero finds themselves up against competition from within their own ranks it must always come in the form of somebody cast as their extreme opposite. Read more

Granada Reports

Tuesday, June 25, 2002 by · 1 Comment 

Tony Wilson’s timely return to regional newscasting was enough of a media event to merit noticeably generous space in several national broadsheets. Read more

Coronation Street

Monday, June 10, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Coronation Street, I have always maintained, is the best television soap and has been since its beginnings in 1960. No other soap has its depth, lent in part by its extraordinarily long tenure but also fleshed out by superb characters and great writing which has often lurched beyond the excellent into the brilliant. Read more

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway

Saturday, June 8, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Despite everyone having differing views on TV, there’s one thing that the world seems to agree on – Ant and Dec are the future of television light entertainment. However, nobody seems to have noticed that they’ve not actually been that great at it. Read more

The Queen’s Golden Jubilee

Tuesday, June 4, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Cocooned snugly in his Jubilee pod high above The Mall, David Dimbleby beamed a careful mixture of imperial indifference and stern-lipped authority. He was going to have a good time over the next 36 hours, and therefore so should we. Read more

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