Jonathan Meades: Abroad Again

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Lord Reith was a Presbyterian Scot, a Wee Free wallah, among whose folks the most timid involvement in sensual pleasures had you hellbound. Read more

Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry and Paul

Friday, April 13, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Do you remember the future? I do. The future was called Harry Enfield, and his stock-in-trade was remembering the past. Read more

Jackie: A Girl’s Best Friend

Monday, April 9, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Dear Cathy and Claire, this is not an easy letter to write. I fancy this programme on TV and so want to write about it. Please help!!!! Yours, a confused boy. Read more

Doctor Who

Saturday, April 7, 2007 by · Comments Off 

“Where are we?” exclaims Martha, near the opening of episode two as she steps from the Tardis into the midden of a Tudor street. “I mean … when are we?” Read more

The Sky at Night

Sunday, April 1, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Remember comedy as the new rock’n'roll? Well, maybe it’s now the new new rock’n'roll. Ricky Gervais is selling out the Albert Hall and Hammersmith Odeon (not the Hammersmith Apollo, please). Read more

Whatever Happened to our Dream of Freedom?

Sunday, March 18, 2007 by · Comments Off 

You’ll love this, they told me about Adam Curtis’s single-handed and quixotic attempt at reintroducing intellectualism to prime-time TV. This is your idea of telly; big ideas, big themes. Back to the ’70s. Read more

Country File

Sunday, March 18, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Take a deep breath. Mmmmm, springtime. The frost’s melting off the osiers. Time to get out into the big outdoors. Read more


Saturday, March 17, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Okay, if it’s rude to point, it’s thoroughly bad form to nitpick when productions of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen appear on mainstream terrestrial TV every decade and a half. Whoever sweated blood to get Keith Warner’s Royal Opera House production of the whole 15-hour marathon on the box deserves a medal. But … if you stick it on TV, it had better be good. Read more


Wednesday, February 28, 2007 by · Comments Off 

A question of etiquette – how old is too old to be making serious value judgments on kids’ TV shows? I don’t mean the judgment of the pros and programme-makers – but the judgment of anyone who grew up watching and enjoying kids’ TV, especially those who maybe went on watching a bit too long and consumed too many joints and Sports Biscuits while doing so. What’s the cut-off? 30? 40? Read more

Gene Detectives

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Genealogy. Historically, it’s tricky TV. Read more


Sunday, January 28, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Sometimes you get what TS Eliot meant. Grandstand, one of the most venerable sports shows in world TV, ended not with a bang but with the most whimperingly whimpery whimper imaginable. Read more

The Magic of Swan Lake

Sunday, January 21, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Tonight’s television was a bonanza for lovers of the extravagantly beautiful. Now there’s something rarely said about terrestrial TV, but it was (mostly) true. Read more

Ski Sunday

Sunday, January 21, 2007 by · 2 Comments 

This may be one of the saddest confessions you have ever heard (no, really) but Ski Sunday changed my life. Read more

The Trial of Tony Blair

Monday, January 15, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Here is a true story. A friend of mine stood against Tony Blair as a prospective parliamentary Labour candidate in the early 1980s. He quit in the final round, because Tony was, in his judgement “better looking” and more “electable”. My friend, now a mental health professional, also judged him to be “mad as fuck”. Read more

The Cult of… Adam Adamant Lives!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 by · Comments Off 

I’ve been trying to dig up the past. For some reason, Gerald Harper, the star of BBC1′s Adam Adamant Lives! was referred to in my family as “Old Lemonade-Bottle Shoulders”; after a few years nobody could remember why. Read more

Man to Man with Dean Learner

Friday, October 27, 2006 by · Comments Off 

You wake up screaming and drenched in sweat. No, darling, don’t worry, go back to sleep. It’s all right … it wasn’t really you who commissioned Man to Man With Dean Learner. Read more

Fear of Fanny

Monday, October 23, 2006 by · Comments Off 

You know how it is. You’re gorbing down chocolate Hobnobs at three in the afternoon while watching Pocoyo, or maybe just blasted to the gills on G&T, and the phone rings. Read more

Hitler’s Holocaust

Saturday, October 21, 2006 by · Comments Off 

As Megadeth once sagely observed, “Peace sells… but who’s buying?” Read more

Children of the Valley

Monday, October 16, 2006 by · Comments Off 

144. The number at the end of the times table, the merciless grid emblazoned on countless classroom walls for so many years, and no doubt in those of the Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan, South Wales, whose obliteration by a colliery slagheap landslide 40 years ago this week has been shamefully all but overlooked by TV. Read more

Suez: A Very British Crisis

Monday, October 16, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Given our accelerating obsession with media and pop culture trivia, it’s conceivable that in 50 years time school history lessons will concentrate more on the succession of the Foxes than the ramifications of the Suez crisis. Read more

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