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The Observer The New Review — February 4, 2018

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04 | 02 | 18
How the
contents of our
sewers became a
museum exhibit
Leïla Slimani
meets writer
Afua Hirsch
photographs of
gangs in Paris
The rise of Greta Gerwig from indie
film stalwart to Oscar-nominated
director. Interview by Tim Lewis
Photograph by Suki Dhanda for the Observer New Review
The finest writing every Sunday for arts,
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Agenda 2-7
Features 8-23
Science & Tech 25-29
 On my radar Booker winner
George Saunders shares his
cultural highlights
 Q&A Film-maker
Alex Gibney on his new Netflix
series, Dirty Money
 The grid A celebration of the
timeless brilliance of Biba
 Stewart Lee column
 Writers Leïla Slimani and
Afua Hirsch discuss race and
identity in the modern world
 How did 130 tonnes of sewer
waste become London’s latest
museum attraction? Tim Adams
on the Whitechapel fatberg
 Sean O’Hagan on Philippe
Chancel’s intimate images of
multiracial gang life in 80s Paris
 Can giant fans strip CO2
from the air and use it to
synthesise carbon-neutral fuel?
John Vidal reports
 John Naughton Why Amazon
is muscling in on healthcare
 Zoë Corbyn reports from San
Francisco on the race to develop a
marijuana breathalyser
 The five domestic robots
Critics 30-45
Books 46-53
Puzzles & Television
 Mark Kermode reviews
Daniel Day-Lewis’s swansong
performance in Phantom Thread
 Kitty Empire on Lady Gaga
and Justin Timberlake
 Susannah Clapp on plays from
Nicholas Hytner, Tarell Alvin
McCraney and James Graham
 Miranda Sawyer on
podcasts and radio
 Sundance festival report
 Rachel Cooke on two books
offering different takes on the
fight for women’s suffrage
 Zadie Smith’s new collection
of essays, Feel Free, reminds
Tim Adams of a more hopeful age
 Cookery writer Ruby Tandoh
talks to Killian Fox about reading,
eating and Elizabeth David
 Alex Preston is captivated by
Julian Barnes’s The Only Story
 Everyman crossword, sudoku,
Azed crossword, chess, readers’
pictures – p54-55
 The week’s television and
radio highlights – p56-57
 Monday to Saturday’s listings
and choices – p58-63
 Today’s television – p64
Last week, we asked 100 political
women about 100 years of voting.
Here’s how you responded:
We’ve come a long way but still much
further to go for complete equality.
Great article in the Observer especially
re power and importance of voting.
Annabel Harper
@AnnabelCC on Twitter
The 1918 act was a victory for both
men and women. Prior to this, many of
the men fighting in the trenches would
also not have had the right to vote.
WW1 changed everything.
NoBanana, posted online
Here’s the history for those that
complain about some of us women
“bleating” on. We got the vote 100
years ago – as long as we were
over 30 & owned property or were
graduates. We’re still bleating.
Julia Bradbury
This is fabulous, a wonderful
reminder of how precious and fragile
government by the people is.
John Mullahy
Powerful article and hard to believe
only 100 years ago. Don’t let
disillusionment stop us from voting
when we can honour the sacrifice
that suffragists and others made.
Alun E Morgan MBE
The Observer
The big
One of Afghanistan’s largest
girls’ schools, Herat, 2009
Photograph by
Monika Bulaj
Dozens of young girls are hunched
over their books, white headscarves
glowing in the dim light, chasing
an education. One is standing up,
glancing out of shot towards a
teacher, or perhaps just caught up in
her dreams.
The image, The Hidden Light of
Afghanistan, was captured by Polish
photographer Monika Bulaj as part
of the Aftermath Project, which aims
to document the messy realities in
the wake of conflict. Bulaj’s subjects
are the Afghans the west claims it
went to war for in 2001 – all the
women shut out from education
and work by the Taliban.
It is a triumph of sorts that the
girls are back at their desks in a
government-run school. But this
classroom is underground and
others are just tents. In other areas,
girls are threatened for trying to
study. Even if they graduate and find
work, it will be in a world still largely
defined and controlled by men.
And the war that was meant to end
with the toppling of the Taliban is
gathering intensity again.
Bulaj is one of 53 photographers
whose work documenting life in the
wake of conflict is featured in War
Is Only Half the Story. The photos
are interspersed with lines from
the poems of Polish Nobel laureate
Wisława Szymborska, who lived
through two world wars and had
a sharp eye for the painful, often
overlooked struggle that always
follows the peace celebrations.
“No sound bites, no photo
opportunities,/ and it takes years./
All the cameras have gone to other
wars,” she wrote.
Aftermath attempts briefly,
beautifully to redress that balance.
Emma Graham-Harrison
War Is Only Half the Story: Ten Years
of the Aftermath Project is published
by Dewi Lewis Publishing (£35)
The Observer
Geo my
ra nders
George Saunders is the author of
eight collections of short stories and
novellas and is professor of creative
writing at Syracuse University.
Between 2006 and 2008 he wrote
a column in the Guardian called
American Psyche. His first novel,
Lincoln in the Bardo – a fictionalised
account of the death of Abraham
Lincoln’s 11-year-old son Willie –
was awarded the Man Booker prize
2017. It is released in paperback by
Bloomsbury on 8 February.
Kathryn Bromwich
1. Opera
3. Gig
5. Fiction
The Exterminating Angel
We saw this at the Met and it
was a magical, transporting
experience, almost like it was
coming out of my own mind.
We came out two hours later
and it felt like no time at all
had passed. In preparation we
watched the Buñuel movie it’s
based on, and the opera was a
textbook example of how you
do an adaptation beautifully.
Sometimes you go to the opera
and you think you’re going to
a museum, seeing this thing
that used to be current, but in
this case it felt so new. I think
Thomas Adès, the composer, is
a genius.
Leo Kottke
He’s a legendary solo guitarist
and his music was really
important to me when I was
young. I was a working-class
person, sort of stumbling into
the idea that I might want to
be an artist someday, and his
music really spoke to me. To
hear him play live is an amazing
experience: it sounds like there
are four people playing. And it’s
a real education in the idea that
you can’t be virtuosic without
being precise: you might want
to be flashy but before that you
have to be disciplined.
The Complete Works
of Shakespeare
This is my reading project for
the new year: to read all the
plays in order. I’m putting all
other reading aside. I got hold
of this newish copy and I’ve
been working through it. I’m
not even at the good plays yet
– I’m up to Henry VI, Part One
– but it’s been so invigorating.
I’m trying to figure out how to
mimic the way he could get so
many people in a play so fully
realised, and I’m learning some
tricks. I won’t say what they
are, but my thought is that if I
read all these I’ll absorb some
fundamental lesson.
2. Film
Battle of the Sexes
This is the story of the Bobby
Riggs and Billie Jean King game.
I thought it was an amazing
bit of narrative: the way the
two storylines run in parallel
and then cross at exactly the
right moment – in a lot of my
stories I do a similar thing. It
was really entertaining: I love
how it managed to get both
the incredible weirdness of the
70s and the simplicity of the
time as well. And it also did a
beautiful job with the romance
between King and her first
female lover [Marilyn Barnett].
4. Place
Monterey, California
We lived in upstate New York
all of our adult lives, and about
two years ago we moved out
to California for half the year.
It just so happened that we
moved into Steinbeck country,
near Monterey. So we’ve been
casually doing a little greatest
Steinbeck hits tour, going
around his different houses
and places where his books
were set, like Cannery Row or
Tortilla Flat. I’ve been doing a lot
of that, to reconnect with him
and his books. It’s a fun way to
spend a weekend.
6. Album
Lemonade – Beyoncé
I was late to this, but I
discovered it last year and now
I’m addicted. The mix of music
and visuals and poetry and
politics has really gotten under
my skin. I’m drawn to certain
cultural products because I can
feel them affect and change
my artistic approach, and I
feel like every time I watch the
DVD I learn something. I can’t
articulate what that is, but
it’s almost like it’s clarifying
my vision of what’s beautiful.
It’s really something new
and special.
The Observer
How I became the king
of cetacean comedy
n my way to pick up fresh cat litter in
the car on Wednesday, I suddenly heard
the following snippet of radio news:
“A hulking and senseless creature,
driven only by instinct and self-interest,
has nonetheless learned to emit
recognisable human words through its blowhole.”
But I am sick of hearing about Boris Johnson all the
time and quickly turned the radio off. When will people
realise that it’s only by denying this lying Brexit oaf the
oxygen of publicity that we can finally stem the flow of
falsehood that seems to stream endlessly from his filthy
blowhole, day after day after day?
Back at home I realised LBC’s Nick Ferrari hadn’t been
describing Boris Johnson at all, or even himself, but
was in fact announcing the arrival on the world stage of
Wikie, a sentient and apparently communicative killer
whale, living in a French theme park. “Hello,” he says,
and “one, two, three.”
Oddly, despite being in France, the whale appears
to have chosen to communicate in English, observing
current EU negotiating protocol. Doubtless all European
cetaceans will revert to their original regional dialects
when our glorious independence from those Brussels
bureaucrat fat cats is finally enacted, unless the
traitors triumph.
(Remember, though, we will have only our
independent British selves to blame if, having capsized
a catamaran off the Belgian coast, we are unable to
convince local dolphins to tow us to safety, lacking the
now requisite Flemish or Walloon.)
I have often suspected the cetacean community could
understand us a lot better than they let on. In 1993, I
began writing my first solo standup hour in the splendid
isolation of a remote peat cutter’s bothy on the Isle of
Lewis, not far from the Callanish III standing stones,
where Ultravox filmed the video to their 1984 single,
One Small Day.
I had become fixated on the idea that although
critics assumed standup audiences were laughing at an
alternative comedian’s subject material – farts, periods,
Thatcher etc – what was more profound was the extent
to which they were actually subconsciously affected by
changes in a comedian’s speech rhythms, which subtly
tickled the laughter out of them, irrespective of content.
(If you’ve ever seen my standup act live and wondered
why you found it quite so exciting, well, let me enlighten
you. You, dear reader, have a subliminal awareness of
how most comedy follows the regular rhythms drilled
into us as foetuses by the beating of our mothers’
hearts. My own punchlines and asides, thrillingly,
are falling just outside the beats where they might be
expected to land, in the style of pioneering free jazz
percussionists like Sunny Murray, Tony Oxley and
Ronnie Verrell.)
But, I wondered, would an audience of sentient, but
not culturally literate, beings appreciate this strategy?
I rowed out on to the midnight Minch and emptied
a bucket of fish into the choppy waves to attract the
dolphins, who soon gathered around my boat, already
a more appreciative audience than can be found in, say,
the entire city of Carlisle.
Through a purloined megaphone I performed two
routines to the attentive sea creatures; the first a long
story of being visited repeatedly by Jehovah’s Witnesses,
which relied on the audience knowing who both the
actor Robert Powell and the proto-grunge band the Jesus
Lizard were; the second a shambling improvisation
around a poster of a kitten playing the piano, the actual
words largely irrelevant, the humour derived essentially
from micro-managed tonal and rhythmical shifts.
Needless to say, the patient cetaceans were left cold
by the first bit, but clapped their flippers and clacked
their tongues enthusiastically to the second, just as an
audience of Scots at the Edinburgh fringe were to do the
following summer, where, typically, I was overlooked for
the main award as usual. Never mind. In the world of the
dolphins I was a player.
t is the killer whale, however, which has always
been my favourite cetacean, ever since an illadvisedly youthful exposure, at the age of nine,
to Dino De Laurentiis’s violent and horrific ecothriller Orca: The Killer Whale. I duly noted that
the pornographic elements of Arthur Herzog’s
source novel, which I had already read, were absent
from the screen adaptation, but this was more than
made up for by Richard Harris’s unexpectedly brilliant
portrayal of a drunken Irish fisherman, surely a highwater mark in a career characterised by impossible and
unpredictable versatility.
By Wednesday night on the day of the whale
revelation, I was on a train to France, arriving at the
animal park where Wikie was held at around 3am and
soon scaling the typically weak French fence. I flopped
on to the concrete by the side of his silent pool, my
shadow cast against a bank of seating by a lone security
spotlight, and suddenly the whale’s great black-andwhite head rose from the water to greet me.
“You,” the whale Wikie intoned, the syllable echoing
from his cavernous blowhole, “your Jehovah’s Witness
routine was cheap shit, but your kitten playing the
piano bit is still spoken of with reverence in the cetacean
community. In the language of the cetaceans, you are
called He Who Laughs At Kittens, or Ikky Ikky Ak Ak
Bwaaa Auuuuuuk Ka Ka Ka Eeee Eeee Eee Pweeeee
Pweeee Pweeeee Urk Urk Fweeeeeeeeeee.”
“You can speak,” I whispered in awed reverence. “And
I think you always could. Has the proliferation of plastics
finally forced you to break your silence? You could all
speak, and understand us, all along, couldn’t you? Why
did you never say anything before?”
“Because,” replied the whale, after a thoughtful pause,
“up until fairly recently, everything has been quite
satisfactory. Now, if you please, the kitten piano bit.” I
got up, stood before the enormous sentience and began.
The jazz-noise album Bristol Fashion by capri-batterie
with Stewart Lee is available to download at bandcamp.
com. Content Provider continues to tour until April, when it
finally resolves with three dates at the Royal Festival Hall
My kitten
playing the
piano bit is
still spoken
of with
in the
The Observer
A colourful collision
of art and fashion,
via Rome and
60s London
Italian artist Emanuela Di Filippo
uses oil pastels to create sinuous
images of women wearing bold
outfits in the style of Biba, the
swinging 60s fashion store set up by
Barbara Hulanicki.
Influenced by the vibrant colours
of artist Sonia Delaunay and the
slender portraits of Modigliani,
Di Filippo trained in fine art in
Rome before moving to the UK. “I
was inspired by abstract, minimal,
contemporary artists. But then
I came back to my first loves. It
is natural, to me, to create art
from fashion.” Biba’s designs are
reminiscent of the classic Italian
fashion Di Filippo grew up with:
“They have a simplicity of shape,
and I loved the colours.”
Hulanicki referred to these as
“Auntie Colours”, such as olive, rust,
and “bruised purple”. For Di Filippo,
Biba’s 60s style remains timeless.
“It’s like Coco Chanel’s little black
dress. It will never get old.”
Dominic Holbrook
Biba Inspiration is at the Vestibules,
Bristol City Hall, 12-16 February
Simone Lia
The Observer
Alex Gibney
Film-maker, 63
The documentary-maker famed
for exposing dodgy dealing talks
about his new Netflix series,
Trump’s trail of slime and how
tennis keeps him sane
a view of the world that I don’t
believe in, which is that there
are good people and bad people,
whereas I believe we’re all a mixture
of both. When I do interviews,
my goal is not a kind of “gotcha”
moment, it’s to understand the
perspective of the people I’m talking
to. Empathy is terribly important.
Alex Gibney was born in New York
City in 1953. He was 52 when he
scored his first major success as
a documentary film-maker with
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the
Room (2005). Three years later, he
won a best documentary Oscar with
Taxi to the Dark Side. Since then,
he has been hugely productive,
turning out films about political
sex scandals (Client 9), WikiLeaks
(We Steal Secrets), doped-up
cyclists (The Armstrong Lie) and
Scientology (Going Clear). The theme
of high-level corruption, which
runs throughout his work, lies at
the heart of Dirty Money, a six-part
series he has produced for Netflix.
The final film in the series focuses
on Trump, who has been covered
endlessly over the past couple of
years. What more was there to add?
The essence of Trump’s appeal was
that he’s a great businessman, so
therefore he’ll be a great president.
We thought, OK then, let’s take a
focused look at what he was like as a
Erik Tanner/
Contour by
What drew you to these particular
We were looking for stories in which
the characters seemed larger than
life and in those stories you find
the larger themes. With people like
[VW exec] Stuart Johnson, whose
deposition we showed in Hard NOx
[the first episode of Dirty Money,
which Gibney also directed], it
was instructive that he felt the
need to tell the truth. It was the
same on the Enron film: people
wanted to unburden themselves.
They all remembered a kind of
slow corruption, what they called
a tugging in the gut when they felt
they might be doing something
wrong. But your boss thinks it’s OK,
so you go ahead, making one corrupt
compromise after another, until you
realise the line you weren’t supposed
to cross disappeared some time ago.
Can you empathise with these people?
You have to. Otherwise, you inhabit
Not so great, it turns out…
He was an absolutely terrible
businessman. Every business he
touched withered and died and he
would always leave someone else
holding the bag. You look at the
trail of slime he left behind and just
shake your head and wonder.
Why do you think people are still
buying into him?
It’s something I dealt with in my
film about Scientology: some people
just have the need to believe in
Trump. They come to feel that he
represents part of their character.
No matter how much evidence you
present to them about what a bad
guy this is, they don’t want to hear
it, because somehow an attack on
Trump is an attack on them.
Can you imagine him staying
the course?
Yes I can. A similar thing happened
in Russia when Putin rose to power:
everybody mocked him as some
small apparatchik who wasn’t going
to stand the test of time. But power
has a way of solidifying.
Given the focus of your work, do you
exist in a state of constant outrage?
You can’t – you’d go crazy. I spend
‘My goal is not a
kind of “gotcha”
moment, it’s
to understand
the perspective
of people’
a lot of time trying to find other
outlets. I dig into music. I’m a
fanatical tennis player. I love to
watch sports. And my wife and
I are getting into mindfulness
meditation. You have to find some
reason for optimism about the
human condition, otherwise you
end up being that bitter person
drooling in the corner talking about
how we’ve all been screwed.
It must be a good time to be making
investigative documentaries – there’s
so much going on…
There is a hell of a lot going on, but
there’s also an intense interest in
and affection for documentaries,
which was utterly missing when
I was starting out 30 years ago.
Audiences have come to appreciate
films that don’t have actors in them.
What stories are catching your eye at
the moment?
The opioid crisis in the US. There’s
been a lot of hand-wringing about
it, as if it’s some kind of natural
disaster. I see it more as a crime
story. And I find the psychology very
interesting. People like the Sacklers
[the family who made billions
from OxyContin] have a hard
time understanding why anybody
should consider them the bad guys
– after all, they were just trying to
make a buck.
Have you been following the #MeToo
movement? Any thoughts?
I think it’s a hugely important
moment in history. As a white man,
I think it’s also my moment to listen
rather than proclaim. But you realise
how pervasive the problem is. I was
reading some correspondence of my
dad’s, when he was in journalism,
and it betrayed the worst kind of
male supremacy and sexism. It was
baked into the environment and
that’s a terrible burden for 50% of
the world to bear.
Do you ever read for pure pleasure or
are you always looking for stories?
A lot of reading I do is pretty
targeted – skimming a book for this
or that. But I’m going on a short
vacation soon and I’m bringing
along Americanah by Chimamanda
Ngozi Adichie. Also, my friend
Lawrence Wright has a new book on
Texas, which I’m dying to read.
You said you’re a fanatical tennis
player. Are you any good?
In my mind I am. I wouldn’t say
anybody on the tour would be
shaking in their boots. But I’m good
enough to at least hit the ball with
most people.
Interview by Killian Fox
Dirty Money is available now
on Netflix
The Observer
Cover story
of the new Hollywood
Greta Gerwig is only the
fifth woman in 90 years
to receive a best director
Oscar nomination, for her
assured mother-daughter
drama, Lady Bird. She
talks about why more
women’s stories need to
be told, her antipathy to
smartphones and how
Christoph Waltz made
fun of her in front of
Angela Merkel
Interview by
Tim Lewis
Portrait by
Suki Dhanda
his year’s Oscar nominations were
announced a couple of Tuesdays ago
in Los Angeles at the frankly antisocial
hour of 5.22am. Greta Gerwig, whose
very personal, coming-of-age debut film
Lady Bird was hotly tipped, lives in New
York but happened to be in LA for work. She woke up
first at 3.30am: “And I said, ‘No, it’s not time’ and I
forced myself to go back to sleep.” When she eventually
surfaced just before seven, the nominations were
headlines around the world. Gerwig made herself a
coffee, had a shower and ever-so-casually checked her
phone. There it was: she’d made the cut for best original
screenplay. And “achievement in directing”. Oh, and
Lady Bird was in the running for best picture, too.
“I started crying and laughing and screaming,” says
the 34-year-old Gerwig, who, until now, has been mainly
known as an actress, often in comic roles. “And it sunk
in… It’s still sinking in. It doesn’t quite feel real. You’re
still getting me at peak shock and happiness.”
The Oscar selections were a personal triumph for
Gerwig and for Lady Bird – its stars, Saoirse Ronan and
Laurie Metcalf, who play a squabbling daughter and
mother, are also nominated – but it was an important
moment for female film-makers everywhere. Gerwig,
scarcely credibly, is only the fifth woman ever to be
shortlisted in the best director category at the Academy
Awards in its 90 years. If she wins on 4 March, she will
only be the second, after Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt
Locker in 2010, to take the honour.
“I remember very well when Sofia Coppola was
nominated for best director and won best screenplay
[for Lost in Translation in 2004] and what that meant
to me,” says Gerwig on the phone from New York last
week. “And I remember when Kathryn Bigelow won for
best director and how it seemed as if possibilities were
expanded because of it. I genuinely hope that what this
means to women of all ages – young women, women
who are well into their careers – is that they look at this
and they think, ‘I want to go make my movie.’ Because a
diversity of storytellers is incredibly important and also I
want to see their movies. I want to know what they have
to say! So I hope that’s what it does.”
These have been a seismic few months for women in
the film industry. The allegations against the producer
Harvey Weinstein and others, while monstrous in
their scope and detail, have led to the most positive
kind of backlash: through the #MeToo and Time’s Up
movements, and the 50/50 by 2020 initiative, which
aims to have male-female parity in the business world
in two years. There’s an optimism that Hollywood has
changed for ever.
“I think it’s going to shift much more quickly now,”
says Gerwig. “When studios are looking to hire now,
they’ll ask themselves – as they rightly should – ‘Is
there a woman who is qualified for this job?’ That’s
tremendously important. And again, if I were running
a studio, I would think that it’s just good business.
Because I look at the audience response to films made
by women about women that have done incredibly well
and I’d say, ‘Well, that’s a reason right off the bat.’”
As for whether there are any plans for a co-ordinated
style protest at this year’s Oscars, in line with the
black gowns at the Golden Globes or white roses at
the Grammys, both orchestrated by the Time’s Up
organisers, Gerwig is unsure. “I am not aware of a dress
code,” she says. But if there is, she’s in: “I’m in awe of the
people who are collectively working on this.”
Gerwig insists she hasn’t dared yet think about how
it would feel to win an Oscar. But if the Golden Globes,
where Lady Bird took the prize for best film (comedy/
musical), is anything to go by, she might well struggle
to hold it together. “I had an entire speech prepared
but once I got up there, none of it came out,” she says
with a laugh. “I was looking down and I saw Oprah and
Steven Spielberg and I just went into a state of sublime
happiness. I think I just said ‘thank you’ a lot. So my
guess would be, I’ll prepare and probably I’ll not say any
of it – if it should happen. Because that’s just how those
moments seem to go for me.”
hen I first talk to Gerwig, on
an otherwise regulation Friday
during the London film festival,
there is a surreal, even comic,
imbalance in London’s Soho hotel.
Movie stars, it appears, outnumber
the rest of us. Bill Nighy stands at a urinal in the men’s
room, director Alexander Payne sweeps through the
lobby. In the lift up to the suite where Gerwig is doing
interviews, who else? The great Christoph Waltz.
“Christoph Waltz is here?” she shrieks. The pair
became friends when they were on the jury for the Berlin
film festival and catch up every so often for dinner in
New York. “He’s one of my favourite people; he makes
Continued on page 10
The Observer
When studios
hire now, they’ll
ask themselves
– as they rightly
should – ‘Is
there a woman
who is qualified
for this job?’
The Observer
Cover story
Continued from page 9
A life in film
fun of me the entire time,” says Gerwig. “On the jury,
there was this one time where we had a meeting with
Angela Merkel. So I wore something that felt appropriate
for a daytime lunch with a head of state. And I showed
up and Christoph looked at me and said – she slips
into a strident Mitteleuropean accent – ‘Greta, are you
applying for an internship with Angela?’” Gerwig cracks
up. “‘Did you bring your resumé?’ I looked such a nerd.”
Payne she knows less well, but is an ardent fan. At the
Telluride festival last September, there was a photocall
for the film-makers and Gerwig collected a giant bruise
on her leg trying to hurdle a bench to tell Payne how
much she liked his latest movie, Downsizing. “I thought,
‘I must tell him it’s a masterpiece,’” she explains. “So as
I’m jumping over the bench, it clipped my shin and I
went sprawling. Everyone turned to look and I looked
up at him and I said, ‘It was a masterpiece!’ And he said,
‘You could have just walked over.’”
Left: Saoirse
Ronan (left) and
Laurie Metcalf in
Gerwig’s Oscarnominated
directorial debut,
Lady Bird, out
later this month.
ight now, there are plenty of
people – rightly and properly, albeit
metaphorically – tripping over furniture
to tell Gerwig that she’s made her own
masterpiece. Lady Bird is a beautiful,
affectionate rumination on the motherdaughter dynamic that could well be this year’s
Moonlight: an underdog that charms and surprises, and
overshadows everything else.
It is not immediately clear how to square these
achievements with Gerwig’s tendency towards selfdeprecation. Physically, she mixes elegance with
eccentricity. At 5ft 9in, with credulous sea-green
eyes, and today wearing a pink, pleated cocktail dress
with buckled black-and-white heels, she presents an
image of impossible glamour. But she undercuts the
effect by slouching a little, laughing unguardedly and
demonstrating odd and endearing mannerisms, such as
the stiff handshake of a Victorian industrialist packing
his son off to boarding school.
“I arrived on a flight this morning at 6am, so this is all
pretend,” she explains, smoothing an invisible wrinkle
on her frock. “I don’t actually feel like this inside. People
came to my room and made me look nice. I know,
everyone needs it.”
In Lady Bird and before, Gerwig is drawn to dreamers:
young women who believe they are destined for
greatness, even when the audience finds plenty of cause
to doubt that. The film follows Ronan as 17-year-old
Christine McPherson, who’d rather you call her Lady
Bird: when asked if it’s her given name, she clarifies:
“It’s given to me, by me.” The year is 2002, the place
is Sacramento, a mid-size city in California, and both
these facts are a cruel disappointment to her: “The only
exciting thing about 2002 is that it’s a palindrome,” Lady
Bird sighs. She’s in her final year at an all-girls Catholic
high school and, after graduating, she wants to move
to the east coast to study, “where writers live in the
woods”. This is one of many, though perhaps the most
irreconcilable, point of contention with her mother,
Marion (a heart-wrenching Metcalf).
It has been a common assumption that Lady Bird is
Gerwig’s teenage diaries transcribed. She, too, grew up
in Sacramento and attended a Catholic school there,
before escaping to the other side of the country, to
Barnard College in New York, where she studied English
and wanted to become a playwright. But, Gerwig notes,
not sniffily, that there are plenty of differences, as well.
She didn’t dye her hair pink or assume a strange name
or even argue that viciously with her mother.
“Even though it isn’t literally autobiographical there’s
a core of emotional truth that’s very resonant,” says
Gerwig. “Again, it’s not what literally happened, but it
does rhyme with the truth. It’s close in a way. And it
doesn’t bother me, because it’s the assumption people
make and in a way maybe they make that assumption
because it feels very real. So it’s not dissimilar to when
people think a character is you. Which you could be
offended by or you could also think, ‘Well, then I’ve done
my job. You’ve believed it. You think that’s me.’
“But I don’t know,” she continues. “I think one thing
about doing this for a period of time is that you learn
how to live through either misconceptions or correct
Left: alongside
Mickey Sumner
in Noah
Frances Ha
(2013), which
Gerwig also
Above: an
early role in
Joe Swanberg’s
indie movie
Hannah Takes
the Stairs (2007).
conceptions and just continue doing the work. Because
then you figure, ‘Well, in the end, I’ll just be an old lady
one day and then they’ll think, Oh, she’s an old lady.’ And
they’ll be right!”
What, then, are some solid, hard facts about Gerwig?
She is the eldest child of Gordon and Christine, a loans
officer for a credit union and a retired nurse respectively.
As a child, she was a diligent student with an obsessive
streak: her first passion was dancing; later, she would
become skilled in the sport of fencing.
“I loved ballet,” says Gerwig. “I always knew I wasn’t
the most naturally gifted. I didn’t have quite enough
turn out, my feet weren’t quite right, but I did work
harder than anyone else. And I think that’s something I
have maintained. There’s no substitute for hard work.”
Gerwig acted a little at school but became more
serious at college. She saw herself as a theatre person,
but when she was rejected from graduate programmes
in playwriting, she started working on films with her
friends. These no-budget projects became notorious in
arty, hipster circles and then beyond, where they were,
somewhat derisively, called mumblecore; they were
sketched out, but not scripted, and the makers were
involved in every aspect of production.
“Those became kind of a makeshift film school for
me,” says Gerwig, referring to LOL (2006), Hannah
Takes the Stairs (2007) and Nights and Weekends (2008),
which she made with Joe Swanberg. “When I went into
pre-production for Lady Bird, I’d been working in films
in different capacities for 10 years. Especially on the
early little ones because it was an all-hands-on-deck
situation. If you weren’t doing something on camera,
you held the camera.”
These early films, too, led in a roundabout way to
Gerwig’s acting breakthrough. Swanberg knew the
director Noah Baumbach and he then cast her in his
2010 film Greenberg, opposite Ben Stiller. The film
received mixed notices, but Gerwig’s performance
caught many eyes. In the New York Times, critic AO Scott
described her style as a method without method. “Ms
Gerwig,” he wrote, “most likely without intending to be
anything of the kind, may well be the definitive screen
actress of her generation, a judgment I offer with all
sincerity and a measure of ambivalence.”
Greenberg was a life-changing experience personally
as well: after it wrapped, Gerwig and Baumbach began
dating, for a while on the down-low, these days more
openly, though Gerwig tends to refer to him as “Noah
Baumbach” or “Baumbach” in our interview, suggesting
they keep their work and private lives quite distinct.
They soon began collaborating and their first film as a
writing team was 2012’s Frances Ha, a warm-hearted,
black-and-white comedy about a dancer, Frances
(Gerwig), who doesn’t seem wholly cut out for the real
world. They followed that with Mistress America in 2015,
which has a similar vibe: Gerwig plays Brooke, who has
The Observer
I like language
that’s quotidian
but poetic. I like
that quality
of stumbling
into beauty and
then it’s gone
Greta Gerwig
in London
by Suki
Dhanda for
the Observer
New Review.
a million creative ideas and a very low strike rate.
Gerwig’s writing, first with Baumbach and now on her
own, has a naturalistic tone that is funny without having
jokes, heartbreaking without being schmaltzy, highly
specific and yet clearly universal. She is so particular
about how the dialogue sounds – the “music” of speech
– that there is a not a single line of improvisation in
Lady Bird, not even an added “like” or “you know”.
“I like language that sounds quotidian but poetic,”
says Gerwig – the perfect description. “Something that
maybe the character doesn’t even know is as beautiful
as it is. That’s something I was working through
when I was writing with Noah Baumbach and I just
kept moving in that direction. That was always what I
liked. That quality of stumbling into beauty and then
it’s gone.”
It is a timely moment for Gerwig to emerge as a
director and for her debut to have such an assured,
idiosyncratic voice. Despite the success of Lady Bird
at the Golden Globes in January, Gerwig was a glaring
absentee on the best director shortlist. Natalie Portman,
presenting the award, made the point succinctly,
announcing: “And here are the all-male nominees.”
Likewise, the Baftas have a five-man shortlist.
Of course, this is just one facet of the soul searching
that the film industry is now going through. In the week
that I meet Gerwig, the first allegations of sexual abuse
have been made against Harvey Weinstein, and it was
clear that Gerwig found the revelations upsetting and
deeply shocking.
“I felt so badly for all those women,” she says, “and
I felt so understanding of where they were, especially
the young women, the women who were in college, the
women who were just excited about movies and filmmaking and found themselves in a position that they
didn’t know how to say no, but they didn’t know how to
leave and that they felt overpowered and then they felt
scared to say anything.”
There are tears in her eyes; her voice cracks. “I’ve felt
for so long that there just need to be more women in
positions of power,” Gerwig goes on. “Not that women
are magic or perfect beings, but that they need to have a
seat at the table because then I would think that things
like this would have far less chance of happening.”
hen Gerwig realised she was
writing about mothers and
daughters, she started thinking
about movies that covered
a similar theme. There were
hundreds of films on the fatherson relationship, including some excellent ones by
Baumbach, but she struggled to think of stories told
from the female perspective: James Brooks’s Terms of
Endearment (1983) and Mike Leigh’s Secrets and Lies
(1996) were among the rare inspirations. “There are
surprisingly few movies about it,” says Gerwig, “and I
think that speaks to the fact that there are surprisingly
few female film-makers.”
In preparation for shooting Lady Bird, Gerwig created
dossiers for her lead characters. Timothée Chalamet,
for example – who plays Lady Bird’s crush Kyle and is
also Oscar-nominated this year for his role in another
coming-of- age drama, Call Me By Your Name – was
directed towards the films of Éric Rohmer and a
collection of theoretical essays, The Internet Does Not
Exist. Kyle is a pretentious mansplainer: he lectures Lady
Bird on how mobile phones are tracking devices for the
government and that clove cigarettes have fibreglass
in them. At one point, he puts down Howard Zinn’s A
People’s History of the United States to announce, “I’m
trying to live by bartering alone”.
Kyle’s a pseud, but Gerwig clearly has a soft spot for
him. “I am not a fan of phones,” she explains. “I talked
for a long time with Timothée about his character’s
beliefs, and he said, ‘The funny thing is that everybody is
going to think you’re Lady Bird, but you’re Kyle’.” Gerwig
laughs, “And I was like, ‘I know! I am secretly Kyle.’ I have
all of the same paranoias as Kyle does.”
Gerwig is technically a millennial, but not spiritually
so. She grew up pre-internet and has no social media
presence: “Sure, I’ll lurk. But I don’t participate. I’m just
a Peeping Tom.” Part of the reason for setting Lady Bird
in 2002 is that it’s not “cinematic” to shoot screens. She
longs for the pre-phone era when you couldn’t get hold
of someone instantly, and the only way to find them
would be to drive around to all the locations they might
be. We rarely allow ourselves to become properly bored,
Gerwig believes, and the internet and smartphones are
in part responsible.
On the wall of her bedroom, Lady Bird has the
Leo Tolstoy quote, “Boredom: the desire for desires.”
“Boredom is, I think, pretty useful,” says Gerwig. “You
need to reach a level of boredom to make anything.
Because I don’t know if you remember, being bored as a
kid, just so bored. You were at a grocery store with your
mom and you were like, ‘It’s just excruciating!’ But then
you get to a point where you start making up a game for
yourself or you’ll start imagining things or whatever it
is. But I worry that we’ve lost that capacity, which I think
maybe erodes some creativity as well.
“I’m just as bad as anyone,” she admits. “Because it’s
like your flitting brain can be completely satisfied by
this machine that can give you feedback for all of your
passing thoughts. Like, ‘Where can you grow avocados?’
I don’t know, let’s find out. And then, ‘Oh, how much
water does an avocado tree take every year?’ Let’s look at
that. And then, ‘Different crops and the water usage for
each of them.’ You are creating this weird feedback loop
for yourself.”
This is a very Gerwigian conundrum: hem-hawing
about restricting access to the internet because she’s
worried she’ll waste time Googling avocados. But she’s
not saying it to be cute. It clearly concerns her. One of
the strict directives on the set of the Lady Bird was that it
was entirely phone-free. “And not just for the actors, for
the crew,” she says, “because it’s quite depressing for an
actor to be doing an emotional scene and look over and
see someone checking Instagram. It’s a real bummer.
But it was quite impressive, because I had a lot of young
people in this movie and none of them ever brought
their phones to set. Saorise set the tone: I never saw her
on her phone, never once.”
Gerwig is effusive about her two stars, Ronan and
Metcalf. Everything in the film, she says, comes back to
“the central love story” between Marion and Christine,
mother and daughter. “For all of time it’s probably been
the most rich, fraught relationship. Something with
Laurie and Saoirse that I loved was that they were the
same height and I gave them the same haircuts so that
when they were in profile, you say: ‘Oh, you’re so at odds
with each other but actually you’re the same. And that’s
why the fighting is so intense because you guys can both
bring it.’
“So I knew I needed actresses who could punch
the same weight class,” Gerwig adds. “They give
extraordinary performances and they should get all the
statues and prizes. Work like that should be rewarded.”
For her part, whatever happens, Gerwig insists that
little will change. She will keep acting – when the project
and specifically the director is right – and she wants to
collaborate with Baumbach again: “I hope Noah and
I will write another movie together because it’s really,
really fun.” She also wants to start her own production
company one day. “It’s important that if you have any
kind of a platform and it matters to you that you should
figure out how to bring other people along,” she says.
As for the Oscars, she is not about to pretend that
she’s not freaking out a little. “I grew up watching all the
award shows and I’d put on a fancy dress and watch it
with my friends,” Gerwig recalls. “It’s thrilling and it’s
also part of what the dream of making films is.”
Then Gerwig’s eyes narrow; these are defining
moments both for her personally as a director and also
as an inspirational member of the too-small band of
female film-makers. “But awards are not important in
terms of whether or not I’ll make another film,” she says.
“I’ll keep making films, no matter what.”
Lady Bird is in selected cinemas from 16 February and
nationwide from 23 February
The Observer
It came from
the sewers.
And now it sits
in a museum…
The Whitechapel fatberg
was 250 metres long and
took a team of 12 workers
two weeks to remove
It was made up of:
congealed fat, congealed
human waste, wet wipes,
nappies, cooking oil,
condoms, cotton buds
hypodermic needles
sanitary pads, kitchen
roll, plasters
The Observer
The Museum
of London is to
display a chunk
of the infamous
Whitechapel fatberg.
Is this unnatural
wonder of the world
a defining monument
to the age of waste?
by Tim Adams
obody remembers
exactly who coined
the word, but it
started off as a bit
of slang used by
the Thames Water
“flushers” who work to keep the
sewers flowing freely beneath
London. Their word first surfaced
from those Victorian tunnels and
into the newspapers in August 2013,
when a bus-sized “fatberg” – a
solid mass of oil and grease and
undisposable disposables – was
removed from a sewer in Kingston
upon Thames. After that the name
caught on in the way that its rival
“johnnyberg” (used by the flushers
of Anglian Water, who had been
struck by the preponderance of
condoms in the ossified deposits)
did not. “Fatberg” reached the
Oxford English Dictionary in
2015 – at the same moment as
“manspreading” and “Brexit”
and “bantz” – and in the same
year in which a record-breaking
10-tonne example broke a sewer
in Chelsea costing Thames Water
£400,000 to fix. But it wasn’t
really until last year that “fatberg”
went viral.
The Whitechapel fatberg that
made headlines in September was
among our most infectious social
media exports of 2017. The units in
which it was routinely measured
gave away its birthplace. This
being a London phenomenon it
was invariably described in local
currency: at 820 feet, the fatberg
was “longer than Tower Bridge” or
“twice as long as Wembley Stadium”
and “the weight of 11 double-decker
buses”. Having once led the world in
sewer engineering with Sir Joseph
Bazalgette’s cavernous underground
network of marvellous tunnels,
London was now the undisputed
global leader in sewer blockage.
TV crews were dispatched from
Moscow and Montreal and Madrid to
stand above manhole covers along
Whitechapel Road and hold their
noses while Thames Water flushers
in white protective suits used highpowered jet hoses and picks and
shovels and vacuum pipes to break
the fatberg up and then remove it
in tankers at the rate of 20 to 30
tonnes per day. Ninety three per cent
of its complex structure was said to
Continued on page 14
The Observer
Continued from page 13
consist of the element “wet wipe”.
By the time the clean-up was over,
and its notoriety had spread, lesser
fatbergs were being unearthed in
Belfast and Denver and Melbourne.
It was in the first week of the
discovery of the Whitechapel
Monster (the hyperbole was part
of the attraction, no nomenclature
for the Subterranean Beast was
too extreme) that the Museum of
London, halfway through a series
of exhibitions about modern city
living, decided it must have a slice
of it. Sharon Ament, the museum’s
director had been thinking about the
possibility of displaying a fatberg
in the museum – whose collection
includes a variety of valuable
objects retrieved from drains and
cess pits and sewers from Roman
times on – since the previous big
find in Chinatown in Soho. On that
occasion the museum had not acted
before the fatberg was destroyed;
this time it was ready. (Apparently
there was some talk that the Science
Museum wanted a chunk of fatberg
too, though when it discovered the
Museum of London had first dibs
there was, by some accounts, a
collective sigh of relief among the
curators there.)
At the end of this week, a
representative chunk of the
Whitechapel Leviathan will be
put on display at the Museum of
London. It is likely that no lavatorial
exhibit will have caused quite as
much a splash in the capital since
Marcel Duchamp’s famous urinal
went on display at the Tate, and
invented conceptual art, exactly a
century ago.
The woman charged with
curating Fatberg! is Vyki Sparkes,
who looks after social and working
history at the museum. “It was like
the finger of fate pointed at me,”
she explains to me in the museum’s
cafe, with well-scrubbed hands
and a slightly rueful smile. She is
unsure yet on how high up her CV
“curator of 21st-century sewage”
will appear, but she is confident
that the exhibition will be a worthy
addition to the museum. “If you
went up to someone in the street
and asked them to talk about what
We thought
of pickling
it, like one of
Damien Hirst’s
cows. All sorts
of things live
inside it. One
of our samples
hatched loads of
flies in store
they put down their toilet they
would tell you to bog off, basically,”
she says. “But this is a way to open
that conversation. We are not here
to tell people how to behave, I am
here to reflect how we live and to
raise questions.”
Those questions are welcomed
above all by Thames Water, some
of whose employees have begun to
feel fatbergs looming over every part
of their life, crowding in on them.
Alex Saunders has been working on
waste networks for four of his six
years with the company, but on the
Whitechapel Fatberg, and its ripple
effects, for most of the past four
months. The East End Mammoth
was, he suggests to me, “kind of
a perfect fatberg storm”. A fatberg
needs two principal elements to
evolve. The first is a large and
regular amount of oil and grease
poured into sewers; the second is a
population that flushes wet wipes
and tampons and condoms and
nappies down the toilet.
If you go and stand in
Whitechapel Road, Saunders
suggests, you could guess it was
likely fatberg territory. It is a street
lined with cafes and restaurants and
takeaway outlets. Then there is the
Royal London hospital, “which can
lead to the flushing of some sanitary
products”, and also a very high
density of flats and houses.
When you walk along that stretch
of road it seems extraordinary that
the fatberg could evolve to such
a scale beneath your feet without
Thames Water noticing it – or
without the sewers backing up and
flooding. Part of the reason for that
is the sheer volume of the London
network, Saunders suggests. The
pipework is “hundreds of thousands
of kilometres long” and “you cannot
be sticking your head down the
same bit of sewer every week”.
The Whitechapel sewer, part of
Bazalgette’s original brick-built
labyrinth, has an inverted eggshape cross-section; the bottom is
narrower than the top so during
a time of low flow there is a thin
channel to keep it moving and when
it rains the sewer amplifies. The
fatberg had formed along the upper
part of the tunnel. Below it there
was still a good flow and therefore
no warning signs. “Then suddenly,”
Saunders recalls, “during our
normal inspections the guys popped
down there and found this thing
that turned out to be bigger than
Tower Bridge.”
The Whitechapel Behemoth had
hardened into a kind of concrete.
The flusher teams have a variety of
high-pressure jets, some revolving,
some with chains and drill bits, to
break up the bergs, which they try to
use like keyhole surgery, careful not
to damage the sewer itself. “We have
lots of weapons at our disposal,”
Saunders says, “but sometimes, as
with the Whitechapel one, it is so
impacted that a lot of it is the teams
going down and chiselling away
by hand.”
n London, which has a
magnified version of a
universal problem because
the sewers are so large, this
work never stops. Thames
Water has teams working
full time; usually they are aware of
five or six fatbergs that are growing.
Some cause immediate blockages,
others like the one in Whitechapel
don’t. Saunders estimates the work
costs £1m a month, but that doesn’t
include the collateral damage of
“sewage flooding living rooms
and public spaces cordoned off
and out of bounds because they
are contaminated”.
In many cases the job of flusher
in London is a family occupation,
the work traditionally passed down
from father to son, much like the
job of undertaker. Saunders was
out with some second- and thirdgeneration sewer flushers, the other
evening, men who have been doing
the job for 30 years themselves. In
the past, they suggested, there was
a good deal of job satisfaction in the
work; it had a nice psychological
trajectory: they started a shift with
a blockage, and ended it with the
sewer flowing freely. It is only in the
last few years that they have found
themselves routinely hacking away
at fatbergs.
When the Museum of London
decided to take a chunk of the
material the flushers raised an
eyebrow, Sparkes recalls. The
idea is that the world below street
level does not invade the world
above. The size of the sample was
inevitably limited by what could
come up through a manhole.
The museum ended up with two
sizeable chunks. To give a sense of
its original serpentine scale they
thought about installing it in a
case with Victorian infinity mirrors
which would extend it as far as the
eye could see, but that idea was
eventually abandoned.
Because the substance itself is
somewhat volatile though, and of
an unusual consistency, they still
had to rewrite procedure to work
out how to deal with it. “We had
The Observer
our head of conservation look at it,”
Sparkes says. “We initially thought
about pickling it like one of Damien
Hirst’s cows. The problem with that,
we felt, was that it would likely make
it liquid and runny.” What they did
instead was to dry the samples. They
did this at different rates, uncertain
how it would respond. In the event,
the one that was dried most quickly
has crumbled into pieces; the other
remains intact.
Health and safety was an
inevitable concern. “Worst case
scenario if it is handled incorrectly
is death,” Sparkes suggests. “It has
come out of the sewer so it might
contain Weil’s disease.” There was
a fear it might also hide disposed
needles – another hazard of the
modern sewer – so it was x-rayed
with that in mind. Museum staff still
approach the fatberg with extreme
caution, in full body protective
suits and masks and disposable
gloves, disinfecting as if they are
in an operating room. The fatberg
remains in quarantine ready to be
encapsulated in a specially sealed
case. “One of the problems is you get
all sorts of things that live inside it,”
Sparkes says. “One of our samples
unexpectedly hatched loads of flies
in store.”
As well as breeding maggots,
the fatberg breeds metaphors. It is
hard not to think of it as a tangible
symbol of the way we live now, the
ultimate product of our disposable,
out of sight, out of mind culture.
One of the reasons this feels like
a distinctly London story, is the
horrible history of the city and its
effluent, a history that until recently
seemed happily confined to the
past. Prior to autumn 2016, the last
time we looked so hard at sewage
was during the Great Stink of 1858,
when a combination of a hot and
‘Flusher’ Tim Henderson holds
a piece of fatberg in the sewers
beneath Regent Street in
London, left and top. Above: the
Whitechapel fatberg.
AFP/Getty images, PA
dry summer and the practice of
discharging the raw sewage of a
fast-growing population directly
into the Thames, turned the river
brown and saw sewage 10ft-deep
at the river’s margins. MPs were
forced to debate in Parliament with
handkerchiefs over their faces.
Cholera and typhoid were epidemic.
Like the burghers of Hamelin
menaced by rats, the government
charged the director of metropolitan
works, Joseph Bazalgette, with
solving the problem. With 318
million bricks and over the course of
16 years he did just that.
The Observer reported on
Bazalgette’s grand plan on 15 April,
1861, suggesting it was “the most
extensive and wonderful work of
modern times”. The paper noted
how the network would carry
waste to a cathedral-like treatment
plant beyond the city margins,
from where “the united sewage
of three areas will be conveyed to
Mucking Flats in that reach of the
Thames called ‘The Lower Hope’.”
It also bemoaned the fact that “the
inhabitants of this metropolis seem
to take little interest in the great
It was the genius of Bazalgette
to create a system designed to
allow for enormous population
explosion. His great underground
caverns and diverted rivers, were
designed to flow as 98% water.
From the beginning, some of the
city’s residents took advantage of
the network as a rubbish disposal
system, but it is only in recent years
that the throwaway society has
routinely clogged the network.
Flushers report finds of
motorbikes, prams, coins, phones
and jewellery – and once a live hand
grenade. The toxic nature of some
of the industrial waste that finds
its way into the sewers means that
fewer animals survive than in the
past; rats are in decline; beyond that
there are occasional terrapins and
the odd gasping goldfish. A decade
ago the biggest problem facing
Thames Water was cotton buds
which blocked the mesh of sieving
drums at treatment plants. It is only
since the advent of the wet wipe
that the blockages have consistently
advanced upstream.
Patented moistened close weave
wipes first found a mass market at
Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises
in 1963 to obviate the need for so
much finger lickin’. Moistened baby
wipes became available in the 1990s,
but it wasn’t really until KimberlyClark and Proctor and Gamble
started marketing adult wipes as an
alternative to loo roll in 2005 that
sewage systems started to clog.
The global sale of moistened
wipes is now a $17.5bn (£12.4bn)
business, growing globally at
around 4% per year. Many “adult”
wipes carry the tag “flushable”, a
description which means that they
will likely get around the U-bend,
but not that they will biodegrade
in the sewer. “There is not a single
wet wipe on sale that has passed the
UK standard,” Saunders says. “The
companies are marking their own
homework when they say they are
flushable.” Wipes are particularly
resistant to degrading in water,
and when after many years they
eventually do, their plastic content
becomes part of the problem you
winced at on Blue Planet II.
Thames Water did some research
last year with a sample of 2,000
people. A third said they put their
wipes in the bin and never put fat
down the sink. A third said they
used to flush wipes down the loo
and pour fat down the plughole but
had changed their habits now after
understanding the issues. And a
third admitted they had no idea that
you weren’t supposed to use the
drains as a catch-all waste disposal.
Thames Water tries to aim its
education about the issue at fatberg
hotspot areas, which has resulted in
20% fewer blockages.
The Whitechapel
Monster’s weight
in London buses
he other part of
the great fatberg
equation has been
the rise and rise of
fatty and fast food
as part of our diets.
In 1884, Nathaniel Whiting of San
Francisco patented the first grease
trap to catch “substances which
would tend to choke and clog the
sewers”. His design is still the simple
standard model for commercial
kitchens: wastewater drains into
a box where fat settles out. The
problem is that eventually, someone
has to clean the box out and dispose
of the fat according to guidelines.
Increasingly, it appears, this is a
practice easily sidestepped and a
regulation often ignored. Saunders
suggests a simple solution: “I
think as well as giving those health
ratings on the doors of cafes they
need to be inspected for their waste
management. If they couldn’t get
more than a ‘one out of five’ rating
if they had no fat trap under their
sink, we could change a lot of
this overnight.”
With the Whitechapel Colossus,
Thames Water tried to show an
example of best practice. The
tankers of fat and grease were
filtered of sanitary products and
refined into enough biofuel to
power a London bus for a year. But
that was an expensive one-off; a
better plan is to have a system for
recovering the fat before it goes
into the sewage. The company
is exploring the economics of a
collection service. With Bazalgettestyle organisation there is much
potential. In the United States,
there have been stories of gangs
blowtorching their way into grease
traps to steal used cooking oil that
can be made into biofuels.
In the meantime, Saunders still
exists in a world of fatbergs. Having
had a great deal of experience
with the substance how would he
describe it?
He had a big lump in his gloved
hands from Whitechapel. “It is
2013 Bus-sized ‘fatberg’
removed from a sewer in
2017 The Whitechapel
Monster, 10metres
longer than Tower
Bridge, is discovered
2015 ‘Fatberg’ enters Oxford
English Dictionary. 10-tonne
mass breaks sewer in Chelsea
2017 Fed by restaurants, four
large masses block sewers in
London’s Theatreland
browny, yellowy, greeny in colour,
a bit slippery to hold but also very
heavy and very hard, and when you
cut into it you find a stitching of wet
wipes holding it together.” He was
with a team extracting a big lump
the other week; it was like exhibit A:
“there was a condom hanging out
one side, a wet wipe the other, big
globs of fat holding it together.”
At the Museum of London, the
curatorial challenge has centred on
the question of whether the fatberg
was more like a soap or more like
a candle. On balance, they have
decided it is more like a candle. The
sample that broke up has been sent
to experts at Cranfield University to
run a “fatberg autopsy” to discover
exactly what it is made of.
Having worked with it for a few
months, has Sparkes lost any of her
sense of disgust?
She suggests it has become one
of those uncanny objects where
it is not immediately apparent
whether it is animal, vegetable
or mineral. Somewhere between
compost and coral and bin juice.
“It is really hard to classify,” she
says. “Bits of it were wet to start
with, now it is more like a crust. It
is going slightly mouldy. There is a
risk it will deteriorate on display.”
The only distinctly synthetic thing
you can quickly identify on its
surface is, fittingly, the tiny purple
and orange of a Double Decker
chocolate wrapper. When they
first received it, it was hard to get
the smell out of your nose. “It has
calmed down a bit now,” Sparkes
suggests. “It is like a damp basement
smell now, like someone has lived
in a house for 70 years and done
nothing to it.”
Though it clearly has some
historical value, she views it
very much as a one-off. “For us
Whitechapel was the key moment in
this story. We are not in the market
every time there is a blocked pipe.”
Why does she think it struck such
a chord?
“I think it is the grossness, and
the size above all,” she says. “I was
talking about the display to another
curator and she suggested that
basically I had designed the perfect
exhibition for teenage boys.” The
name is also critical; the Museum of
London has added an exclamation
mark for effect. “If you can’t use an
explanation mark with a fatberg,
when can you?”
I wonder if she would like to
see the fatberg in the permanent
collection, taking its place as a
defining monument to our age of
waste. She suggests it remains to
be seen. “If it goes on display and
ends up as a pile of dead flies then
ultimately it has no display value
obviously.” In the meantime, for five
months, museum-goers can look on
this unnatural wonder and perhaps
reflect that a culture is most clearly
understood from the things it makes
and the traces that it leaves behind.
As Ozymandias once observed:
“Look on my Works, Ye mighty,
And despair!”
Fatberg! goes on display at the
Museum of London from 9 Feb as part
of the City Now City Future season
The Observer
‘I think we
have a very
cliched way of
looking at race’
Interview by
Alex Clark
Portrait by
Richard Saker
Leïla Slimani is the writer of
the acclaimed French bestseller
Lullaby and an adviser to
President Macron. Afua Hirsch is
a lawyer, journalist and author
of Brit(ish), a timely book on race
and identity. Meeting for the
first time in London, they found
a lot of common ground…
Leïla Slimani, left,
and Afua Hirsch,
photographed in
London for Observer
New Review.
wo highly serious and influential women
are sitting in a pub in Dulwich, south-east
London, looking at one another – almost
gawping, in fact – and giggling. “We
could be sisters!” laughs Leïla Slimani, the
French writer and adviser to the Macron
government, whose terrifying new novel Lullaby is
giving readers sleepless nights and booksellers rather
rosy till receipts. Journalist and former barrister Afua
Hirsch nods her head vigorously in agreement. “I know,
right? It’s not very often that I do something with
someone who actually looks like me!”
It’s true that there’s a resemblance – they are the
same age, 36, and of roughly similar build, both lightskinned women of colour with fine, delicate features,
both with a mass of coppery-brown curls. And they are
both chicly dressed, catching their breath in the middle
of hectic days of duties and appointments, and eager
to talk to one another, which they will do first with me,
and then in front of an audience for Dulwich Books.
But their humorous greeting of one another is rooted
in more than a mere coincidence of looks. We are here
The Observer
to talk, among other things, about identity: about the
contortions that societies force on those they regard as
“other”, on the continuous demands that marginalised
and oppressed groups face to justify who they are, where
they are and what they’re doing.
The publication of Hirsch’s book, Brit(ish), provided
a great example: one review called her a “high
priestess” of the religion of anti-racism and accused
her of encouraging “victim status among minorities”;
on the Sky TV debate show, The Pledge, on which she
is a regular, Hirsch was told by her colleagues that
society had moved on from the worst excesses of racial
prejudice, and that if good intentions lay behind people’s
behaviour, they could not be described as racist.
All of which seems to both miss Hirsch’s point and
make it for her. Talking about Slimani’s novel – which
centres on a professional Parisian couple who believe
they’ve discovered the perfect nanny – she expresses the
surprise, and then pleasure, she felt as she realised that
race and identity were not overtly discussed. “I found
that really liberating,” she says. “Because this is the
problem with us: we spend so much time just explaining
the fact that we exist. It’s like Toni Morrison said: the
real problem of racism is distraction. While everyone
else is inventing and exploring, you’re just having to
justify the fact that you exist.”
Slimani, who was born in Morocco and moved to
France with her family – her father a minister of finance
and her mother a doctor – when she was 17, understands
Hirsch’s reaction. “I want to say that I can be Moroccan
and speak about someone without speaking about his
‘We became
complacent under
Obama's postracial narrative’
nationality,” she explains. “Because, you know, I have the
feeling that when you come from Morocco, when you
come from Afghanistan, when you come from Africa,
Occidental people always wait for you to write a novel
about identity. No: I just want to write a novel like a
French writer or like an American writer, about a couple,
about love, about sex, about children.”
In fact, there is an inversion underpinning Lullaby: the
children’s mother is Moroccan, and their nanny an older
white woman with painful personal problems. While
they live in a good neighbourhood (even though they’ve
had to sub-divide the rooms to make it work), the nanny
treks to and from a dispiriting flat in the outskirts. “It’s
very ironic that I choose to say that [the mother’s] from
north Africa but do nothing with it,” Slimani says. Why
did she make that choice? “I think that we have a very
cliched way of looking at race,” she replies. “Of course, if
you are from Morocco or from Algeria, you’re going to be
poor, you’re going to be a nanny, and you’re going to live
in the suburbs of Paris. If you are a boss, and you employ
a nanny, you are a white woman, very successful. But it’s
not true, it’s not the reality.”
The reality, she continues, is that there are plenty of
north Africans living in the centre of Paris, many of them
lawyers, journalists, actors. And many white workingclass people do what are regarded as “immigrants’ jobs”
and are consequently despised by those around them.
The intersection of class and race is one of the abiding
preoccupations of Afua Hirsch’s book, in which she
describes the fundamental differences between her
background – she grew up comfortably middle-class
in Wimbledon in south-west London, attended private
school and went to Oxford – and that of her partner,
Sam, whom she met when they were in their early 20s
and eyeing a career in the law. Both have Ghanaian
heritage: his parents were both first-generation
immigrants; Hirsch’s mother is Ghanaian, while her
father is white, with a Jewish, German and Yorkshire
family background.
Hirsch opens Brit(ish) with a scene in which Sam,
from a tough part of Tottenham that he always describes
as “the hood”, clerking at a solicitor’s office to save
money for his studies, meets her friends for the first
time when he comes to collect her from one of their
houses. The scene that greets him – young people sitting
around talking earnestly while eating vegan nibbles and
sipping herbal tea – does not immediately charm him.
“You lot went to Oxford,” Hirsch reports him as
saying in the book, “you are supposed to be the crème
de la crème. You are supposed to be blitzing this life.
And there you were, sitting there, so tentative like. So
unsure of yourselves. Trust me, if a man like me had the
opportunities you all had, there would be no stopping
me. We’d be up in this country making some serious
money. We’d be running things. Instead of sitting
around all quiet.”
Now, she explains why it was important for her to
write about him. “Because he’s so far off the spectrum:
dark-skinned, black man, muscular, audibly workingclass accent – he’s got no hope of being seen as a ‘good
immigrant’, so he doesn’t crave acceptance. From an
early age, he’s acknowledged that he’s never going to
be seen as the right kind, and that’s liberated him. He
genuinely doesn’t care what people think about him.
He’s heightened my recognition of how much I try to be
he efforts she has made – and still makes
– in the service of “acceptance” are painful
to hear: keeping her hands visible in
shops from an ingrained memory of being
looked at suspiciously as a teenager; not
playing loud music late at night, even
though her white, middle-class neighbours do; adopting
a cheery, heightened version of received pronunciation
when she comes through passport control, always halfaware that “there is something conditional about your
right of entry”. (Slimani jumps in here, voicing her own
nervousness every time she goes through an airport
“I seek white acceptance,” says Hirsch, bluntly. “And
I think that is a huge problem for us: in many subtle
ways, people of colour in this country are given the
idea that success is achieving white acceptance. And so
it’s something that people aspire to – to be recognised
by mainstream institutions, to behave.” She tells the
horrifying story of a black, male friend, an extremely
senior lawyer, who took his wife, who is also black, to
a work dinner. He was chastised by his boss, who told
him he’d been asked to bring his wife, not his sister.
As Hirsch points out, beneath the assumption the
expectation was that he would likely have married a
white woman to demonstrate his integration. (Shocked,
I asked what happened next. Did her friend deck his
boss? I hoped so. Which rather neatly illustrates how
much I’d missed the point, too.)
Slimani adds another variation to the narrative;
the preconceived ideas brought to encounters with
immigrants, or those thought to be immigrants. Despite
her bourgeois (her word) upbringing, she is frequently
congratulated on overcoming it to achieve what she
has; often, when people discover that she was born and
grew up in Morocco, they ask her if it was hard, if she
wore a veil, if there were camels. Did her parents bring
her up strictly, or was she allowed to go out? It seems,
she says, as though the people asking the questions can
only believe that anyone comes to France in search of
freedom from poverty or oppression; not that where
you lived and what you did might be simple matters of
individual choice and circumstances.
For Hirsch, all these things converge in one simple
truth: “The message I’m trying to get across is there’s
not a healthy space to explore our history and why we
are the society we are.” It manifests itself in a host of
ways, including the constant repetition of what both
she and Slimani call “the question” – in other words,
the inquiry “Where are you from?” that faces so many
people of colour in the west, and which comes with a
(not always) silent follow-up, “No, where are you really
from?” Or, perhaps, “Originally?”
“I play the idiot,” says Slimani, who merely replies
“Paris”. Hirsch notes that nobody is ever interested in
Continued on page 19
Continued from page 17
hearing about her Jewish ancestry. But the problem
begins even with the language we have at our disposal:
“We talk in really crude ways about immigrant
communities, ‘the’ black community, which is not one
monolithic blob. We have the fastest growing mixedrace population in Europe – they’re not a community,
they’re dispersed, like me, in places like Wimbledon or
rural Scotland, even. And we don’t have a good language
for talking about people’s heritage, you know. I get called
half-caste, I’ve been called coloured in the last month,
and often very well-meaning people are very nervous.
They’ll say things like [her voice drops to a stage
whisper] ‘as a black woman’, as if it’s this huge taboo to
say the word.”
She is, she adds, perfectly prepared to bring her
perspective to bear in work situations – a newsroom, for
example. “But at the same time, I don’t want to feed into
the idea that I am the black voice. If there’s an issue of
race, you have to come to me: I’m the black police.”
She attributes the linguistic gap she’s detected – now
being filled with what she calls “infuriating corporatespeak” such as “BAME” and “diversity” – to the fact that
this country has never had a civil rights movement, “a
moment of national reckoning where we grappled with
the end of empire, and the disappearance of imperial
words like negro and coloured; we haven’t evolved a
new language”.
But Hirsch also believes that beyond language lies an
even deeper problem of identity: “A lot of British people,”
she argues, “don’t fully accept that you can look like me
and be British. That’s the issue.” That even third- and
fourth-generation immigrants are asked questions
about their ancestors, for which they might have no
answer, speaks to her of “the failure of Britishness to
be an identity that we all accept encompasses someone
like me”.
or Slimani, the issue of language and
identity recently took on a new meaning
– and provided her with an opportunity
to effect change. In November of last
year, Emmanuel Macron appointed her
Francophone affairs minister, her task to
represent what a spokesperson called “the open face
of Francophonie to a multicultural world”. “It’s very
important to say that French doesn’t belong to France
and to French people,” she tells me. “Now you have very
wonderful poets and writers in French who are not
French or Algerian — who are from Senegal, from Haiti,
from Canada, a lot of parts of the world.”
It’s hard to think of a country more overtly obsessed
with the care of its language than France, so Slimani’s
job seems highly significant. Hirsch likens its place
in French public life to that of the royal family in
Britain, as evidenced by the coverage of Prince Harry’s
engagement to Meghan Markle. “It’s that sense of
opening up the most precious part of your national
identity and accepting that white English people do not
own it exclusively,” she says, noting that many of the
initial reports were couched in coy, oblique phrases that
described Markle as “not your average society blonde”.
Hirsch sensed that something was being hinted
at, and, because she had no idea who Markle was,
Googled her. The penny dropped immediately: “Oh
– she’s black, that’s what they’re trying to say.” In
case anyone was worried, she adds, the Daily Mail
soon came up with a succession chart to reassure
the public that she would never actually become
Queen. I point out that lines of succession,
royal protocol and the like will mean nothing
to a younger generation, who will simply
see Markle as a style icon, someone relaxed,
intelligent, go-ahead, likeable. Yes, says Hirsch:
“It’s the first time I have ever been remotely
interested in the royal family.”
And now, the million-dollar question. Do
they think that substantial change is on its
way? Are we approaching anything like a
paradigm shift?
Slimani: “In France we have the sort of
moment of optimism with Macron, with
things changing, we have the feeling that
maybe something is possible… But for my
The Observer
Left: Slimani
and Hirsch.
Below: Leïla
Slimani with
‘When you come
from Africa, western
people expect you to write
a novel about identity’
country, for Morocco, for Algeria, for Tunisia, I’m very
worried for the future – because I have the feeling that
things are not evolving at all for women, or for young
people, and it’s very depressing.”
What does she think accounts for the situation? “It’s
stagnation. And it’s very difficult to see a country where
50% of the population is under 30 and nothing moves,
there are no jobs and no future and no ideal to fight for.
There is just nothing; nothing is happening. And that
makes me very sad.”
What about Hirsch? Does she sense a shift? In among
all the terrible news that we seem to see every day, is
there a glimpse of bright blue sky?
“I do think that we became quite complacent,”
she replies. “I do think that, for example President
Obama, whom I personally loved, allowed people to
just accept this narrative that America is post-racial
now, everything’s fine, all that historical inequality...
and actually, Trump has radicalised people to take a
long hard look, for example, at the fact that there are
a significant number of Americans who will support
someone more if he describes Africa as a bunch of
shithole countries. And that is a social reality for millions
of people in America. And in a way I welcome that
because I knew it was there anyway but I used to have to
defend the idea that it existed, whereas now it’s out. You
can see it. You can analyse it. I prefer that.”
Lullaby by Leïla Slimani is published by Faber (£12.99).
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch
is published by Jonathan Cape (£16.99). To buy a copy for
£9.74 or £12.99 respectively, go to
or call 0330 333 6846
Women of influence
Leïla Slimani
1981 Born in Rabat,
Morocco. Her father was
finance minister and later
became a banker; her
mother was a doctor.
1999 Moves to Paris aged
17. Studies political
science at Sciences
Po and subsquently
media studies at ESCP
2005-2012 Works at
weekly journal Jeune
Afrique, covering
Morocco and Tunisia.
2008 Marries
Antoine, a banker,
with whom she has two
2014 Publishes first novel,
Dans le jardin de l’ogre (In
the Garden of the Ogre).
2016 Second novel,
Chanson Douce, becomes
a bestseller and wins Prix
Goncourt. The English
language versions are
Lullaby in the UK, The
Perfect Nanny in the US.
2017 Publishes non-fiction
work Sex and lies: sexual
life in Morocco. Becomes
President Macron’s
representative for the
Organisation internationale
de la Francophonie.
Afua Hirsch
1981 Born in Stavanger,
Norway, of Ghanaian,
English and German Jewish
heritage, brought up in
south west London.
1999 Studies Philosophy,
Politics and Economics
at Oxford followed by law
2006 Works as a criminal
defence barrister at
Doughty Street chambers
2008-14 Works for the
Guardian as legal affairs
correspondent then,
from 2011, West Africa
correspondent based in
Accra. She and her partner,
a lawyer, have a daughter,
born in 2011.
2014 Returns to London to
work as social affairs editor
for Sky News.
2017 Calls for Nelson's
Column to be removed,
on the grounds that
it is a symbol of white
2018 Her book Brit(ish):
On Race Identity and
Belonging is published.
Now works as freelance
print and TV journalist
with regular show, The
Pledge, on Sky News and
a Guardian column.
The Observer
Rockabilly rebels: the stylish
French gangs who fought
racists on the streets
Philippe Chancel’s intimate images of the Vikings and the Panthers capture the tensions –
and the innocence – of mixed-race gang life in Paris in the 1980s. On the eve of an exhibition
at the Barbican, the photographer recalls the risks of documenting the ‘skinhead hunters’
By Sean
by Philippe
taken in 1982.
The main image
shows Slim
Jim Phantom
(left) from the
band Stray
Cats alongside
Parisian gang
The Observer
hilippe Chancel was only 20 years
old when he first encountered the
Vikings, a street gang whose teenage
members hung out on the streets
of central Paris in the early 1980s.
He was immediately struck by their
retro style, based on 50s rock’n’roll:
check shirts, pleated trousers
and sculpted quiffs for the boys;
gingham tops, hooped earrings and
polka-dot headscarves for the girls.
Chancel was further intrigued
by the fact that, while most gang
members in Paris at the time were
white, working-class youths who
espoused ultra-rightwing views
and racist attitudes, the Vikings
came from a variety of ethnic
“Back then, the Vikings were
the exception because they were
black, blanc, beur,” says Chancel,
employing a well known term to
describe France’s multi-ethnic
culture (“beur” meaning French of
North African origin). “That made
me curious. I wanted to shoot
them from the inside over a period
of time. I think they accepted me
because I was also young and had
confidence and attitude. I wanted
to find my place in life so I was
looking for thrills and ready to face
extreme situations, taste the real life.
Photography was a good pretext.”
Chancel’s photographs of the
Vikings and of another, allied gang,
the Panthers, were published in the
French counterculture magazine
Actuel in the 80s but have remained
relatively unseen since. Now they
will be included in a forthcoming
exhibition, Another Kind of Life:
Photography on the Margins, which
opens at the Barbican, London later
this month. It looks at outsiders –
“sexual experimenters, romantic
rebels, outlaws, survivalists, the
economically dispossessed and
those who openly flout social
convention” – through the lens
of photographers including Jim
Goldberg, Larry Clark, Mary Ellen
Mark and Pieter Hugo.
Chancel photographed the
Vikings and the Panthers
throughout 1982. The majority of
his black-and-white images capture
a relatively innocent time, when
dancing, clubbing and hanging out
were the main concerns of these
rebellious teenagers. “The spirit of
the times is one of tribes, of style,”
Chancel noted back then, identifying
a pivotal pop culture moment when
the dress codes of the recent past
were being reappropriated in the
on page 22
The Observer
from page 21
style-conscious early 80s.
It was a time, though, when
French politics was becoming
polarised as the beleaguered
leftwing government struggled to
survive against a backdrop of rising
unemployment. It was in 1983’s
municipal elections that the Front
National first became a presence
in French politics when its leader,
Jean-Marie Le Pen, won a council
seat in the 20th arrondissement.
As immigrants were being
increasingly scapegoated for the
country’s troubles, the Vikings and,
in particular, the Panthers became
both more organised and more
aggressively anti-racist.
The Vikings had named
themselves after the first successful
multiracial rock’n’roll group in the
1950s, the Del Vikings, while the
Panthers honoured the American
revolutionary movement the
Black Panthers. Made up of young,
second-generation West Indians,
the Panthers borrowed their look
– vintage air-force jackets and caps
These guys
could be very
There were
when they did
not like me to
be there with
my camera’
– from black GIs and many of them
practised martial arts. In their use
of often violent direct action, they
were at the vanguard of a network
of leftwing Parisian street gangs
that, as the decade progressed, came
to be known collectively as antifa
(anti-fascists) and chasseurs de skins
(skinhead hunters).
ne of the most
striking aspects of
Chancel’s series
is the way the
tone suddenly
shifts from the
celebratory to the ominous. While
accompanying the gang members
on their nocturnal forays into
central Paris, he photographed a
youth brandishing a wooden club,
baseball bats being concealed in
a kit bag, and a shotgun lying in
the boot of a car. “I was friendly
with them, but an enemy, too,” says
Chancel. “It was difficult to manage
my position and I had to learn
fast the language of diplomacy. As
things developed, it became more
risky. Plus, I was using flash and
that is not the most discreet way to
photograph. Sometimes the reaction
could be very aggressive.”
The Vikings alone had around
100 members in the early 80s and
both gangs controlled a territory
that spread from the north-eastern
suburbs to Gare de l’Est. Skirmishes
with rival gangs sporadically broke
out in bars and music venues
across the city and there were
several running battles amid the
crowds at the popular flea market
at Clignancourt. “I was on alert for a
lot of the time,” recalls Chancel, who
went on to become a well known
photojournalist, covering conflict
in Kabul and everyday life in North
Korea. “Even if you got to know
them, some of these guys could
be very unpredictable. There were
situations when they did not like me
to be there with my camera.”
Was he shocked to realise some of
the gang members had guns?
“Yes, for sure, but I thought at
first it was just showing off, or
maybe also for their protection. It is
even more shocking now because
all of this was happening, not just
in the banlieues (suburbs), but on
the major boulevards of Paris. In
the context of today’s high levels
of security, it seems unbelievable,
almost impossible.”
In early 1983, for reasons that
have been lost to the passing years,
the Vikings and the Panthers
clashed violently on the streets of
Montmartre, signalling the abrupt
end of their alliance. By then,
Chancel had already moved on. He
tells me that many of the young
people in his photographs are now
dead “from accidents to do with
drugs, excess, the violent lives they
lived”. His wonderful images evoke
a brief time of innocence before the
fall. “The past is the past,” he says
now, wistfully, “but looking at my
photographs now, they seem like a
record, not just of another time, but
another world.”
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London from 28
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Science Tech
The Observer
Ideas, analysis, gadgets and beyond
Top gear
New tech to test
whether drivers
are stoned
The five
Robots to have
around the house
The networker
John Naughton
on how Amazon
are primed for
CO2 capture
fans erected on
a waste disposal
plant, seen
from a nearby
where the gas
improves the
yield of tomatoes.
Julia Dunlop/
Is carbon
the way
John Vidal
Giant fans can strip CO2 from
the air to make fuel but questions
remain over the scheme’s viability
t’s nothing much to look
at, but the tangle of pipes,
pumps, tanks, reactors,
chimneys and ducts on
a messy industrial estate
outside the logging town of
Squamish in western Canada could
just provide the fix to stop the world
tipping into runaway climate change
and substitute dwindling supplies of
conventional fuel.
It could also make Harvard
superstar physicist David Keith,
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and
oil sands magnate Norman Murray
Edwards more money than they
could ever dream of.
The idea is grandiose yet simple:
decarbonise the global economy by
extracting global-warming carbon
dioxide (CO2) straight from the
air, using arrays of giant fans and
patented chemical whizzery; and
then use the gas to make clean,
carbon-neutral synthetic diesel and
petrol to drive the world’s ships,
planes and trucks.
The hope is that the combination
of direct air capture (DAC), water
electrolysis and fuels synthesis used
to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels
can be made to work at a global
scale, for little more than it costs
to extract and sell fossil fuel today.
This would revolutionise the world’s
transport industry, which emits
nearly one-third of total climatechanging emissions. It would be
the equivalent of mechanising
The individual technologies may
not be new, but their combination
at an industrial scale would
be groundbreaking. Carbon
Engineering, the company set up in
2009 by leading geoengineer Keith,
with money from Gates and Murray,
has constructed a prototype plant,
installed large fans, and has been
extracting around one tonne of pure
CO2 every day for a year. At present it
is released back into the air.
But Carbon Engineering (CE)
has just passed another milestone.
Working with California energy
company Greyrock, it has now
begun directly synthesising a
mixture of petrol and diesel, using
only CO2 captured from the air and
hydrogen split from water with
clean electricity – a process they call
Air to Fuels (A2F).
“A2F is a potentially gamechanging technology, which if
successfully scaled up will allow
us to harness cheap, intermittent
renewable electricity to drive
synthesis of liquid fuels that
are compatible with modern
infrastructure and engines,” says
Geoff Holmes of CE. “This offers
an alternative to biofuels and a
Continued overleaf
The Observer
Continued from page 25
complement to electric vehicles in
the effort to displace fossil fuels
from transportation.”
Synthetic fuels have been made
from CO2 and H2 before, on a small
scale. “But,” Holmes adds, “we think
our pilot plant is the first instance of
Air to Fuels where all the equipment
has large-scale industrial precedent,
and thus gives real indication of
commercial performance and
viability, and leads directly to
scale-up and deployment.”
The next step is to raise
the money, scale up and then
commercialise the process using
low-carbon electricity like solar PV
(photovoltaics). Company publicity
envisages massive walls of extractor
fans sited outside cities and on nonagricultural land, supplying CO2 for
fuel synthesis, and eventually for
direct sequestration.
“A2F is the future,” says Holmes,
“because it needs 100 times less
land and water than biofuels,
and can be scaled up and sited
anywhere. But for it to work, it will
have to reduce costs to little more
than it costs to extract oil today, and
– even trickier – persuade countries
to set a global carbon price.”
Meanwhile, 4,500 miles away,
in a large blue shed on a small
industrial estate in the South
Yorkshire coalfield outside Sheffield,
the UK Carbon Capture and Storage
Research Centre (UKCCSRC) is
experimenting with other ways to
produce negative emissions.
The UKCCSRC is what remains of
Britain’s official foray into carbon
capture and storage (CCS), which
David Cameron had backed strongly
until 2015. £1bn was ringfenced
for a competition between large
companies to extract CO2 from coal
and gas plants and then store it,
possibly in old North Sea gas wells.
But the plan unravelled as austerity
bit, and the UK’s only running CCS
pilot plant, at Ferrybridge power
station, was abandoned.
The Sheffield laboratory is funded
by £2.7m of government money
and run by Sheffield University.
It is researching different fuels,
temperatures, solvents and heating
speeds to best capture the CO2 for
the next generation of CCS plants,
and is capturing 50 tonnes of
CO2 a year. And because Britain is
phasing out coal power stations,
the focus is on achieving negative
emissions by removing and storing
CO2 emitted from biomass plants,
which burn pulverised wood. As the
wood has already absorbed carbon
while it grows, it is more or less
carbon-neutral when burned. If
linked to a carbon capture plant, it
theoretically removes carbon from
the atmosphere.
Known as Beccs (bioenergy with
carbon capture and storage), this
negative emissions technology is
seen as vital if the UK is to meet
its long-term climate target of an
80% cut in emissions at 1990 levels
by 2050, according to UKCCSRC
director Professor Jon Gibbins. The
plan, he says, is to capture emissions
from clusters of major industries,
such as refineries and steelworks, to
Swiss pioneers prove that
carbon dioxide is good
for your tomatoes
Perched on the roof of a
household waste plant outside
the Swiss village of Hinwil,
18 giant fans sit sucking in
fresh Alpine air, passing it over
chemically treated plastic filters
and then extracting almost
pure CO2.
Using the heat generated from
burning the rubbish, the filters
are warmed and the pure carbon
dioxide given off is collected and
compressed by a small startup
called Climeworks. It is then
piped 400 metres to a farmer’s
greenhouses, where it is said to
improve the growth of tomatoes
and cucumbers by 20%.
Humans send up 40bn tonnes
of CO2 a year, and the Hinwil
operation extracts just a few
hundred. But it is billed as the
world’s first commercial direct
air capture (DAC) plant, and the
forerunner of a growing “negative
emissions” industry. JV
reduce the costs of transporting and
storing it underground.
“Direct air capture is no substitute
for using conventional CCS,” says
Gibbins. “Cutting emissions from
existing sources at the scale of
millions of tonnes a year, to stop the
CO2 getting into the air in the first
place, is the first priority.
“The best use for all negative
emission technologies is to offset
emissions that are happening now
– paid for by the emitters, or by
the fossil fuel suppliers. We need
to get to net zero emissions before
the sustainable CO2 emissions are
used up. This is estimated at around
1,000bn tonnes, or around 20-30
years of global emissions based on
current trends,” he says. “Having
to go to net negative emissions is
obviously unfair and might well
Rocks soak up carbon
over time, a process that
can be accelerated
Natural weathering locks up carbon
in the atmosphere over geological
time by means of chemical reactions
between rocks and air. But scientists
think this process could be greatly
prove an unfeasible burden for
a future global society already
burdened by climate change.”
The challenge is daunting.
Worldwide manmade emissions
must be brought to “net zero” no
later than 2090, says the UN’s
climate body, the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
That means balancing the amount
of carbon released by humans with
an equivalent amount sequestered
or offset, or buying enough carbon
credits to make up the difference.
But that will not be enough. To
avoid runaway climate change,
emissions must then become
“net negative”, with more carbon
being removed than emitted. But
only a handful of CCS and pilot
negative-emission plants are
running anywhere in the world, and
debate still rages over which, if any,
technologies should be employed.
(A prize of $25m put up by Richard
Branson in 2007 to challenge
innovators to find a commercially
viable way to remove at least 1bn
tonnes of atmospheric CO2 a year
for 10 years, and keep it out, has
still not been claimed.)
The achilles heel of all negative
emission technologies is cost.
Government policy units assume
that they will become economically
viable, but the best hope of Carbon
Engineering and other direct air
extraction companies is to get the
price down to $100 a tonne from
the current $600. Even then, to
remove just 1% of global emissions
would cost around $400bn a year,
and would need to be continued for
ever. Storing the CO2 permanently
would cost extra.
Critics say that these technologies
are unfeasible. Not using the
fossil fuel and not producing the
emissions in the first place would be
much cleverer than having to find
end-of-pipe solutions, say Professor
Kevin Anderson, deputy director
of the Tyndall Centre for Climate
Change Research, and Glen Peters,
research director at the Centre for
International Climate Research
(Cicero) in Norway.
In a recent article in the journal
Science, the two climate scientists
said they were not opposed to
research on negative emission
technologies, but thought the world
should proceed on the premise that
they will not work at scale. Not to
accelerated by crushing olivine rocks
and spreading them over land and
water to soak up CO2.
The carbon-capture potential of
“enhanced weathering” is huge, but
it is not clear how much would be
needed to significantly reduce carbon
emissions, how long it would take to
work, or whether it would be costand energy-efficient (or socially
acceptable) to dig large new quarries.
Meanwhile, giant diamond-mining
company De Beers is investigating
whether it can store carbon dioxide
in old mines through the process
of enhanced mineralisation, and
Australian company Mineral
Carbonation International is hoping
to develop “green” concrete,
plasterboard and other experimental
building materials by reacting CO2
emissions with low-grade quarried
minerals like serpentine.
Other ways to lock up CO2
include ocean alkalisation, which
involves spreading lime on to the
ocean to chemically increase the
absorption of carbon dioxide, and
iron fertilisation, which would see
iron filings dumped into the sea to
improve the growth of organisms
that can absorb CO2. JV
do so, they said, would be a “moral
hazard par excellence”.
Instead, governments are relying
on these technologies to remove
hundreds of millions of tonnes of
carbon from the atmosphere. “It
is breathtaking,” says Anderson.
“By the middle of the century,
many of the models assume as
much removal of CO2 from the
atmosphere by negative emission
technologies as is absorbed
naturally today by all of the world’s
oceans and plants combined. They
are not an insurance policy; they are
a high-risk gamble.” According to
Anderson, “The beguiling appeal of
relying on future negative emission
technologies is that they delay the
need for politically challenging
The Observer
The networker
Some believe that
nature’s own carbon
capture and storage
system is the best and
cheapest solution
to emissions
There was much scepticism in 2015
when former Pakistan cricketer
and politician Imran Khan launched
the “billion tree tsunami” and
pledged that his party would
reforest the province of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa, to slow down the
melting of the Himalayan glaciers
and prevent natural disasters.
But last August the WWF
confirmed that more than
1bn trees had been planted.
Degraded land had been allowed
to regrow naturally, forests had
been regenerated, sawmill licences
cancelled and river banks and
mountainsides planted.
In the past three years,
more than 120 countries have
committed, like Pakistan, to
regenerate and plant new forests
to counter climate change. But it is
not known exactly how much land
is required to reduce emissions
substantially, or how much CO2 the
trees can soak up.
Trees suck up carbon, but
how much depends on where
they grow, and the rate and age at
which they are felled.
The best estimates are that a
massive global effort to reforest
the world might cut emissions
by 10-12%, and could take up an
area equivalent to 35-60% of the
world’s arable land.
“No government… can ever
ensure that carbon will remain in
trees,” says international forests
group Fern. “Forest fires, insect
outbreaks, decay, logging, land
use changes as a result of climate
change are impossible to control.
We need to plant trees at the
same time as reducing fossil
fuel emissions to zero.” JV
Above (left-right):
Christoph Gebald and
Jan Wurzbacher of
Climeworks. Julia Dunlop
Critics say the
are unfeasible.
Not producing
the emissions
would be
policies today – they pass the buck
on to future generations. But if
these Dr Strangelove technologies
fail to deliver at the planetary scale
envisaged, our own children will be
forced to endure the consequences
of rapidly rising temperatures and a
highly unstable climate.”
Kris Milkowski, business
development manager at the
UKCCSRC, says: “Negative emissions
technology is unavoidable and
here to stay. We are simply not
moving [to cut emissions] fast
enough. If we had an endless pile
of money, we could potentially go
totally renewable energy. But that
transition cannot happen overnight.
This, I fear, is the only large-scale
John Naughton
Healthcare is a huge industry – it’s
no wonder Amazon is muscling in
ealth groups
suffer as
Berkshire and
JP Morgan
team up,”
proclaimed the front-page headline
in Wednesday’s Financial Times.
The report below the line revealed
that the online giant had teamed up
with Warren Buffett’s conglomerate,
Berkshire Hathaway, and America’s
biggest bank to create a not-forprofit healthcare group whose
mission is to reduce the healthcare
costs for their combined payroll of
nearly a million employees.
Launching the initiative with
his customary folksy bluntness,
Buffett said that “the ballooning
costs of healthcare act as a hungry
tapeworm on the American
economy. Our group does not come
to this problem with answers.
But we also do not accept it as
inevitable.” If this – plus the fact that
the new venture is to be a not-forprofit enterprise – was intended
to be soothing, then it failed. The
announcement immediately wiped
billions off the valuations of the
corporate tapeworms that have for
decades fastened like leeches on the
US healthcare system. And it’s not
Buffett that scares them, but Jeff
Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive.
They’re right to to be scared. The
healthcare market – in the US as
well as everywhere else – is one
of the biggest industries there is.
What’s more, it’s guaranteed to grow
forever – or at least until nuclear
Armageddon or climate change
wipes us out. Accordingly, several
of the digital giants have their
beady eyes on it. Alphabet (Google’s
holding company) has at least nine
life science and health companies
up and running. So it seemed likely
that Amazon would also want to get
in on the act. But what everybody
expected is that it would do so in
a conventional way – by buying a
pharmacy chain, for example, much
as it got into the grocery business by
buying Whole Foods.
If that’s what people expected,
then they haven’t been paying
attention to Bezos, or indeed to
the way Amazon has grown and
prospered under his leadership. And
at each point in that astonishing
progress, people have viewed his
decisions through a rear-view
mirror. Thus, at the beginning,
Amazon was seen as “just” an
online bookstore. Then it was
“just” the Walmart of the web, and
later “the everything store”. Then
Amazon staff: will their health data serve Amazon in the future? David Levene
it was Walmart plus an eBay-type
marketplace. And so on.
My guess is that we will see the
same thing with the healthcare
venture: it will be seen as a simple
cost-cutting exercise. Suppose, says
an analyst in the FT, a quarter of the
one million employees of Amazon,
Berkshire and JP Morgan are
covered by health insurance costing
on average $19,000 a year, one
third of which is paid by employees.
Suppose further that deployment of
Amazon’s formidable cost-cutting
systems results in a 10% reduction
in costs (which seems a conservative
estimate to me). There’s an
immediate saving of $300m-$500m
a year for the three partners. Ergo:
the new venture is just about
efficiencies and costs. This, of
course, is already bad news for the
tapeworms, whose inefficiencies
and wastefulness are legendary. But
it’s not an entirely new ball game.
Anyone familiar with Amazon’s
history would see it differently.
Those one million employees will
be the equivalent of the company’s
Prime customers: users who
inadvertently tell Amazon and
its algorithms what works and
doesn’t work, because their annual
subscription provides free delivery
and therefore makes them more
likely to order stuff on spec. So
in due course we can expect the
lessons learned from the not-forprofit venture to be incorporated
into an offering to Amazon’s
American customers. In which case
the online retailer will have become
one of the leading providers of
health insurance in the US.
As an industry, healthcare has
two components. First, there’s
the delivery bit – the interactions
between patients and the skilled
personnel and specialist institutions
that provide diagnosis, treatment,
nursing and care. Then there’s the
computational and data side –
medical records, image scanning,
test results, administration, etc. This
second component is where the tech
companies see their opportunities.
After all, handling, manipulating
and exploiting data is what they do.
And since they’re better at it than
the medical profession, they think it
gives them an edge.
In the preliminary draft of a new
research paper published last week,
some Google AI engineers claim
that machine-learning software is
significantly better than existing
software at predicting outcomes
– such as whether a patient will
die in the hospital, be discharged
and readmitted, and what their
final diagnosis will be. The study,
which analysed the health records
of more than 216,000 adults in two
university hospitals over the period
2009-2016, includes a startling
claim that the technology could
predict patient deaths 24-48 hours
earlier than other methods – which,
of course, might allow time for
doctors to administer lifesaving
procedures in some cases.
You can see where this is heading:
the belief that mastery of big data
might yield clinical benefits. At the
moment it’s just an article of faith
among the tech companies, but in
some cases it might turn out to be
well founded. If so, then they’ve
discovered their entry point into the
healthcare industry. When they’re
in, though, they’ll find that Bezos is
already there.
The Observer
Can a breath
test smoke out
stoned drivers?
As more US states legalise marijuana use, the
race is on to find a drug version of the roadside
breathalyser, reports Zoë Corbyn in San Francisco
n a sparely furnished,
exceptionally clutterfree office in Oakland,
California, Mike Lynn
is blowing into a black
plastic box the size of a
rat trap. It is making a loud, steady
beep. An electronic blue bar on the
side progresses. “It takes a certain
amount of breath,” he says after
around eight seconds, when the bar
has advanced to about a quarter. “I
can do it in one breath, some people
take two.”
Lynn, whose career has taken him
from emergency medicine doctor
to venture capitalist, is now the
co-founder and CEO of Hound Labs.
The startup began in 2014 and has
received $14m in funding to date
including $8.1m from Benchmark
Capital which also provided early
stage funding for Uber, Twitter and
eBay. Hound Labs aims to do what
no one has yet done: produce a pot
breathalyser for use at the roadside.
While alcohol breathalysers are
standard, so far there is no such
equivalent for marijuana. And that’s
because it is a tough problem: unlike
alcohol, breath levels of THC – the
psychoactive chemical in cannabis
that makes people high – are much
lower. Up until now it has taken
large, costly instruments to detect.
“The analogy is taking 20 Olympic
swimming pools and finding one
drop of water,” says Lynn. “But that
is what we are so excited about –
because we figured it out.”
The time is ripe: stoned drivers
are an increasing problem as more
US states, and even whole countries,
move towards legalising cannabis
for medicinal or recreational use.
California went from medicinal only
to recreational use on 1 January.
Canada is planning to go legal this
summer. According to one study
based on data from the state of
Washington, the number of cases of
impaired driving in which marijuana
use was suspected rose from about
19% of the total in the years before
full legalisation to 25% the year
afterwards. “You are going to get a
lot more adults driving with higher
THC levels in their blood,” says
Wayne Hall, a professor of public
health policy who studies cannabis
at the University of Queensland.
Recent cannabis use approximately
doubles accident risk, he says.
The device Lynn is blowing into
– and which takes a few minutes
to deliver a yes or no reading – is
a Hound Labs prototype. And no,
Lynn isn’t going to blow positive –
he isn’t a user and it would be illegal
for him to be high anyway because
he is also a sworn police officer.
Accurately assessing recent
marijuana use is surprisingly
difficult. Saliva, urine and blood
tests do not distinguish marijuana
use in the past few hours from
marijuana used yesterday or last
week. THC is stored in body fat and
can remain in saliva for several days
and in blood and urine for weeks.
In blood, for example, THC levels
increase sharply upon smoking
but then fall rapidly as impairment
increases because the molecules
dissolve into the fat (alcohol, in
contrast, is water soluble).
In most states in the US, including
California, impairment needs to
be shown to prosecute someone
for driving under the influence
of marijuana. Get pulled over
on suspicion and field sobriety
testing – think the walk-and-turn
exercise and tracking a pointer with
your gaze – will ensue, followed,
if you fail, by a blood test at the
station. Yet it can be hard to get a
conviction, says Jonathan Feldman,
the legislative advocate for the
California Police Chiefs Association,
because defence attorneys can
successfully argue first that the
sobriety testing isn’t objective and
second that presence in blood isn’t a
legitimate indicator of impairment.
“Whether you agree or disagree with
Could marijuana
breathalysers be
useful in the UK?
In England and Wales, there is no
need for the police to demonstrate
someone has shown impairment
to arrest them on a drug-driving
charge (Scottish law is due to
change to reflect this next year).
Rather, since March 2015, when
new laws took effect in England and
The analogy
is taking 20
swimming pools
and finding one
drop of water
– but we have
figured it out
Wales, prosecution for driving under
the influence of cannabis is based on
exceeding a limit of two micrograms
per litre of blood. (There is a get-out
clause for those with a legitimate
medicinal use prescription: cannabis
is an illegal drug in the UK except for
one medicinal product, Sativex, which
can be prescribed to people
with multiple sclerosis to help
with muscle spasticity.) If a
driver in England or Wales is
suspected of being impaired,
a roadside screening test
based on a saliva sample can
marijuana legalisation,” Lynn says.
“We need to rapidly find technology
that is going to provide objective
data to get people off the road who
shouldn’t be driving.”
Lynn argues breathalysers solve
the problem because of a neat
relationship. The two-to-three-hour
window of impairment – which he
points out is what has been cited
by the US National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration – aligns with
how long THC can be detected in
breath. It also works if you have
been munching on cannabis in food,
says Lynn. It just takes longer to
show up and longer to dissipate.
Hound Labs isn’t the only one
racing to develop marijuana
breathalysers for the roadside.
Others include Canadianbased Cannabix Technologies
and Colorado-based Lifeloc
Technologies, which already makes
alcohol breathalysers. Washington
State University has a project, too –
but it is in hiatus after state funding
ran out last autumn. The companies’
breathalysers all work in different,
proprietary ways. Hound Labs uses
filtering and chemicals to isolate
the THC. Cannabix and Washington
State’s are based on creating
miniaturised mass spectrometers.
Lifeloc, meanwhile, has licensed
a lab test from Sandia National
Laboratories. Lynn envisages selling
versions of his device to consumers
and employers as well as law
enforcement agencies.
be expected. If that yields a positive
result the driver would be taken to
the police station for a blood test,
though levels fall rapidly so police
need to be quick. A breathalyser
could help ensure medical marijuana
patients aren’t hauled down to the
station unnecessarily when they
aren t impaired.
impaired If someone used
legally the day before but is
n longer impaired,
their saliva might test
positive, but they
would blow negative
on a breathalyser. ZC
hus far it would
appear Hound Labs
is furthest along – it
has even set up a
track test at an old
navy base to study the
type of impairment that cannabis
causes in drivers. The company
has done many hundreds of tests
on human subjects to ensure the
breathalyser is accurate and has
worked with police agencies to field
test the device’s design, says Lynn. A
company-funded clinical trial of the
breathalyser is currently being done
at the University of California, San
Mike Lynn holds
a prototype of
Hound Labs’
at tests in
The five
Robot helpers for
around the house
Advances in robotics are
seeing high street models
become more than toys
1 Aeolus
Named after the Greek god of the
brainy idea…
Francisco, with results expected in a
few months. Cannabix, meanwhile,
says it is getting close to completing
its own trials of its device and has
clinical trials in the wings.
Toxicology experts agree that a
roadside marijuana breathalyser
would help to solve a growing public
health problem – but they aren’t
holding their breath it can be done.
Marilyn Huestis is a veteran of the
field and former chief of chemistry
and drug metabolism at the
National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Her 2013 study of THC in breath
has been key to the current wave of
breathalyser interest. She says it is
an open question whether handheld
devices will be sensitive and specific
enough to detect THC in the small
concentrations that exist in breath.
“We don’t know enough about
these devices yet. So far nobody has
published any data,” says Huestis,
who is listed as an adviser to
Cannabix on its website.
Kim Wolff, professor of addiction
science at King’s College London,
questions the impairment window.
“It’s not accurate to suggest that
impairment only occurs within a
three-hour window after cannabis
smoking or that this is well correlated
with driving-related impairment,”
says Wolff, citing a 2016 study that
recommends an eight-hour delay
before driving after being high.
Feldman, who represents
California’s police chiefs, has met
When Harvard University
neuroscientist Jodi Gilman was
presented with the problem of
how the number of marijuanaaddled drivers could be curbed,
her thoughts didn’t turn to
a breathalyser – but to the
brain. She’s currently running a
clinical trial looking at the brain
activity of people high on THC
to see whether it is possible
to characterise a signature of
cannabis impairment. “We are
trying to detect impairment,
not just whether someone has
smoked marijuana or not.” Her
device is an electrode-studded
head cap. It is early days, and
Gilman’s invention needs to be
shown to work in the laboratory.
One potential problem is that
our brains can be impaired for
other reasons – such as lack
of sleep. Gilman will need to
be sure what she is seeing is
specific to cannabis. But one
day, who knows – it may not
be a case of “madam, blow into
this breathalyser” but “madam,
put on this head cap”. “Yes, it is
a little bit sci-fi – which is what
we thought, too,” says Gilman.
“Then we thought, ‘Oh, this
might actually work!’” ZC
Lynn and thinks the breathalyser
may be an option but is waiting to
see the results of clinical trials.
Lynn says Hound Labs will get
its data out there. He agrees it is
possible that some smokers will still
be impaired after the three hours.
But, he says, that’s no different from
the situation with alcohol where
some drivers may blow below a
0.08% blood alcohol concentration
(the drink driving limit in US states)
but still be impaired – which is
why an officer can still arrest a
driver even when the breathalyser
reading falls short. The Hound Labs
breathalyser, he says, “will pick
up the people who are by far the
most impaired”.
The Observer
wind, this bot’s abilities are more prosaic
yet nevertheless useful. Its big boast
is that it can fetch you a beer from the
fridge, but it can also vacuum, pick up
toys and find your lost glasses. The price
tag will probably be five figures and the
manufactures are hoping it will breeze
into shops later this year.
Sony Aibo
This could be your ideal techno
pooch. It has touch-sensitive panels
and will learn to differentiate between
family members’ voices. It also
operates as a wifi-connected guard
dog thanks to a camera in its nose.
Currently only available in Japan for
198,000¥ (£1,300), plus a 2,980¥
(£20) monthly subscription.
Buddy the robot
Like a sort of smiley, pancakefaced R2-D2, Buddy is touted as a
“companion” that can tutor your
children and keep an eye on elderly
relatives. Much like the Amazon Echo, it
can also suggest recipes, maintain your
schedule and announce the weather
forecast. Unlike the Echo, it can follow
you around on castors.
Sophia the robot
This tall, bald humanoid robot
won over Piers Morgan when she
appeared on Good Morning Britain,
prompting him to ask: “Are you
single?” The bot batted away his
advances and demonstrated a good
command of language. How many
of her responses are generated by
AI or by a man behind the curtain is a
moot point. While she’s intellectually
accomplished, Sophia has only just
learned to walk – last month she
demonstrated her first pair of legs.
the owl
5 Luka
Although many would argue
that reading to your children is one of
parenthood’s greatest pleasures, this
Chinese robot owl can do the job for
you. Arriving in US shops later this year,
the bird can read from a database of
50,000 books, though it sounds a little
like a stoned David Mitchell. Ian Tucker
Artist of the week
Will the real
Lady Gaga
please sit down
Lady Gaga
Arena, Birmingham
The singer’s Joanne
tour aims to give
us the ‘real’ Stefani
Germanotta – but
heartfelt hollering
can’t beat the surreal
artifice her fans adore
Of all the songs her fans would want
Lady Gaga to play twice in one night,
it seems unlikely that many would
choose Scheiße. Quite literally called
Shit, this camp, Euro-club bagatelle
off the singer’s Born This Way album
of 2011 is sung-spoken in made-up
comedy German.
Tonight, on the first show of
the UK leg of Gaga’s rescheduled
European tour, after a heartfelt
preamble about overcoming
obstacles and “being strong without
somebody else there”, after a
load of fierce choreography on a
vertiginously tilting tripartite stage,
Lady Gaga announces that there has
been a technical error – one entirely
unnoticed by the sell-out crowd.
The gig is being filmed, and
Gaga wants to do the song again.
The show has just hit its exultant
stride. And now, suddenly, the
fourth wall drops away. Rather than
feeling like a deliciously unscripted
moment, it’s as if we have all
become extras in a giant film set.
The thought occurs that this first
of two Birmingham gigs, in two
different venues due to popular
demand, is actually serving some
future Joanne tour DVD rather than
prioritising the moment.
It’s a dislocation that dogs this
marathon gig through peaks,
longueurs, costume changes, 22
songs and one spectacular, lumpin-the-throat moment near the
end that you fervently hope is
Artifice, and a level of metaperformance, have long been at
the heart of Lady Gaga’s seductive,
21st-century pop offering – until
very lately. Early singles such as
Paparazzi – both ballsy and wistful
tonight – willed the feral packs of
photographers into her orbit.
Calling her 2008 debut album
The Fame engineered the very
stardom Gaga craved, in order for
her to be blasé about it. For most
of her imperial tenure through the
past decade, she has appeared in
public less as a celebrity of flesh
and blood and more as a preening
art installation, once dressing as an
actual star, once, infamously, decked
out in bloody flesh.
It is axiomatic that pop stars will
reinvent themselves, particularly
when an album like 2013’s highconcept Artpop failed to connect as
Gaga’s previous albums had. With
this fifth album, Joanne (2016),
Gaga stripped back the layers, both
visually and aurally, offering up a
less processed iteration of the now
31-year-old singer, a trajectory
towards the “real” that included
last autumn’s riveting Netflix
documentary, Five Foot Two.
As Gaga tells it on stage tonight,
in one of many spoken segments,
producer Mark Ronson asked the
singer what theme she would
choose for an album if she could
only make one more, and she
replied: “Joanne”. Joanne was Gaga’s
aunt who died in 1974, aged 19, of
the autoimmune disease lupus, a
loss that scarred the Germanotta
family indelibly. Five Foot Two
bore witness to the making of
Joanne-the-album, and Gaga’s own
struggle with injury and chronic
fibromyalgic pain. Joanne had fewer
concepts, and more guitars and
piano ballads; Gaga wore cut-off
denim shorts rather than the pelts
of discarded Kermit the Frogs. A
load of rumoured new songs with
RedOne – the producer of many of
her most memorable hits – were left
off the record.
The album’s occasional Broadway
bent and strange conventionality
does not translate seamlessly to
this busy arena tour, which tries to
You miss US pop’s
imperious maven,
the one with the
banging futurist
reconcile all Gagas, past and present.
The stop/start pacing is problematic
– especially when the crowd are
made abruptly aware that there is a
bigger picture (the filming) beyond
the sacred rush of the moment.
The “real” proves a mixed bag
for Stefani Germanotta. On the
one hand, on Joanne songs such as
Million Reasons, played out on a
distant B stage reached by a system
of bridges over lilypad sub-stages,
the singer re-emphasises her vocal
range and musical chops, something
that her Autotuned early records
glossed over.
On the other, all the heartfelt
hollering at the transparent laserlit piano renders Gaga almost
ordinary tonight, on a level with
any number of common-or-garden
female belters. You miss US pop’s
imperious, otherworldly maven,
the one with the banging, futurist
anthems (Bad Romance remains
one of the greatest pop songs ever
written by anybody) and razorsharp cheek prosthetics.
The best thing about
manufactured pop at this giddy-
high level is its highly synthetic,
ridiculous, quasi-monstrous nature.
When Gaga appears, wrangling
a keytar in a rhinestone get-up
with huge shoulder pads for
Just Dance, her very first hit, the
feeling is one of glorious relief, as
that fourth wall goes back up and
some semblance of the old outré
weirdness is restored.
While the windswept Born This
Way and Edge of Glory are still
two of Gaga’s greatest hits, other
rockier songs – such as A-Yo, seem
to perform “rock”, with bombastic
solos and gurning. Lengthy guitar
workout codas fill the gaps from
song to video interlude.
If the codas are long, the set’s
visual padding – the videos that play
during costume changes – actually
provide the most visually creative
parts of the show. In one segment,
Gaga spins around in a vintage
GTO car that spits pink smoke. In
another, she transforms from a
tipsy showgirl into a long-taloned
creature from a horror film. In a
third, she sports double rhino horns.
The “real” has its occasional
The Observer
Hot t
Let’s Eat Grandma
Hot Pink
The ears boggle: produced by Sophie,
the ethereal Norwich teens here turn
into Charli XCX crossed with Lorde.
Jack White Corporation
Anaïs Nina
The latest surprise from White’s
forthcoming album sees him abandon
his rock puritan rep to deliver funky,
hip-hop-flavoured grooves.
A mesmerising ode to Ms Simone,
this soulful track from the
emerging Franco-Senegalese
artist is imbued with theatricality.
Album reviews
Justin Timberlake
Man of the Woods (RCA)
We live in complicated times.
Forbes, a website that counts the
assets of the world’s richest 1%,
has accused Justin Timberlake of
“fake wokeness” on the occasion
of his fourth solo album. Billed
as something of a return to the
singer’s Tennessee roots, Man of the
Woods lands just as Timberlake’s
working relationship with Woody
Allen is under scrutiny, and his
imminent appearance at tonight’s
Super Bowl recalls his less-thangallant role in Janet Jackson’s
wardrobe malfunction in 2004.
Tunes-wise, Timberlake’s return
to his roots is partial, as standout
songs like Sauce and Filthy gyrate
persuasively around Princely funk
and bombastic, lubricious R&B.
Midnight Summer Jam is the sort
of busy party production that
Timberlake has specialised in for
years, abetted by the Neptunes (who
produce again here).
From here on in an uneasy
fusion ensues, however, in which
Timberlake “gets his flannel
on” (Flannel) and mostly fails to
combine the rural with an edgy
digital aesthetic – a particularly
gnomic duet with country star
Chris Stapleton (Say Something) is
produced by Timbaland. Sometimes,
though, new ground is broken. Wave
is , blithe, downright ear-pricking
ska just on the “yes” side of “what?”.
Kitty Empire
Joan As Police Woman
Damned Devotion (Pias)
‘A celebrity of
flesh and blood’:
Lady Gaga on
stage at the
Arena last week.
appeal though. Gaga does a lot of
good talking – about loneliness
and feeling different, about LGBTQ
equality, and how we can fix hurt
with love. All of it feels meaningful,
even if she said the same thing in
Amsterdam the other night.
Nothing illustrates those
core Gaga themes better than
a letter, balled up and thrown
onstage after Bad Romance. “A
monstergram!” Gaga announces,
retrieving it. It’s from a teenager
called Conor who has travelled
from Belfast with his brother for
the gig. All pop stars have rabid
fanbases, but the resonance
between Gaga and her “little
monsters” has always been
particularly potent.
A superfan since a tender age,
Conor tells in his letter how Gaga’s
music and message of fabulousness
has made him feel less lonely at his
secondary school. The cameras cut
to a stunned-looking young man
in the front row. “Although I doubt
you’ll ever see this letter,” Gaga reads
out at one point. The whole arena
chokes up as one.
The common criticism of Joan
Wasser is that she slinks too close
to AOR blandness; that she is,
essentially, alt-Adele. Yet with
all due kudos to the mighty Ms
Adkins, you’d be unlikely to hear
her sing, as Wasser does on the
psychedelically angry clatter of The
Rejjie Snow
The young
decided against
a career in
football – and
has never
looked backk
Silence: “My body, my choice, her
body, her choice”. An irrepressible
smoothie she may be, but like her
airier Canadian contemporary Feist,
she’s got spikes.
After poppy diversions for 2014’s
The Classic and Let It Be You, her
2016 collaboration with Benjamin
Lazar Davis, Wasser is back in a
more characteristically languorous
zone for her fifth album as Joan As
Police Woman. Her edgily lascivious
high notes light up Godley and
Creme-y soft, reverby spaces on
Wonderful and Tell Me. Talk About
It Later gets funky, and Steed
(for Jean Genet) positively filthy,
dabbing hints of Parliament falsetto
weirdness on hot pulse points.
Lushly regretful lead single
Warning Bell finds Wasser
lamenting her lack of romantic
wariness but diving back in anyway.
Damned Devotion embraces the
messy as well as the smooth, and
the balance here is as perfect as
Wasser’s ever likely to strike.
Emily Mackay
Steve Reich
Pulse/Quartet (Nonesuch)
Steve Reich may no longer rewrite
the rules of modern composition
as he did with revolutionary works
such as Piano Phase and Music for 18
Musicians, but the great 81-year-old
minimalist continues to be inspired
by younger artists. His Radio Rewrite
(2012) evolved from a meeting
with Radiohead guitarist Jonny
Greenwood, while Pulse uses electric
bass to nod to Giorgio Moroder
via Daft Punk. The International
Contemporary Ensemble make
the wistful Pulse (premiered 2015)
sing, with its spiralling, inquisitive
strings, completely free of the
tense nervousness of some of
Reich’s more repetitive work. It’s
a less complex listen than Quartet
(2013), a lightly jazzy essay in keyconfounding hypnosis on piano
and vibraphone, written for and
When it comes to unexpected
success stories, Rejjie Snow’s ranks
highly. The 24-year-old is one of
rap’s rising stars, mingling with
heavyweights such as Kendrick
Lamar, yet he hails from a small
suburb just north of Dublin, an area
hardly known for its hip-hop heritage.
Snow, real name Alex
Anyaegbunam, says he was “the only
coloured kid” in Drumcondra. Now
he’s signed to the same label as Fetty
Wap and Young Thug, is about to
release his debut album, Dear Annie
– exec-produced by Lamar’s righthand man, Rahki – and is attempting
to bridge the transatlantic divide with
his own brightly-hued grab bag of
G-funk, acid rap and spectral jazz.
It’s a good job Snow packed in a
football scholarship in Florida. Since
performed by Reich’s favourite
percussionists, Colin Currie Group.
Both recordings are technically
impressive, but it’s difficult to forget
Reich’s own words: “I’ve devoted
my life to writing live music for
live musicians.” Compared to live
versions on YouTube, these studio
takes lack the undersong of the
concert hall, the beating pulse
of the audience’s internal clocks,
the blood-in-the-ballet-shoes of
performance. Damien Morris
Kings of the South Seas
Franklin (Hudson)
The last time this oddball trio
convened, in 2014, was to refit
19th-century whaling songs for
modern times – hence their name.
Here they do much the same for
the ballads and broadsides that
arose from attempts to forge a
northwest passage through Arctic
waters, notably Lord Franklin’s
doomed expedition of 1845. The
crazed mindset that undertook
such a mission, and the hardships
endured on icebound sailing ships,
are evoked through contemporary
songbooks (some printed onboard)
and the odd hymn.
While the booming baritone of
Ben Nicholls (of the Seth Lakeman
Band) is clearly “in the tradition”,
the space rock guitar of Richard
Warren (ex-Spiritualized) and
the jazzy shots of drummer Evan
Jenkins (the Neil Cowley Trio) are
not. The outcome, recorded in a
Gravesend missionary church, is
an album that shapeshifts from
the solemnity of Reason’s Voyage
to the shimmering dread of Song
of Defeat and the gothic chill of
The Reindeer and the Ox. Along
the way comes Alouette (yup, that
one), restored to the hypnotic
charm of its Canuck composers, and
conventional outings such as Song
of the Sledge. A bleak but absorbing
voyage through seafaring history.
Neil Spencer
deciding to focus on music, he has
been steadily pinpointing the sweet
spot between experimental and pop.
On moving to London, he befriended
King Krule and Loyle Carner, the
Mercury nominee who also appeared
on Snow’s first mixtape, 2013’s
Rejovich. And there was the small
matter of supporting Madonna on her
2015 Rebel Heart tour.
Since then, his collaborations with
Canadian DJ Kaytranada have helped
to smooth his genre-jumping style.
That’s not to say that Snow would
rule out working with mainstream
stars. “I’m down to do a track with
Britney Spears, if she’s down,” he said
recently. Anyone got her number?
Kate Hutchinson
Dear Annie is out on BMG on 16 Feb
The Observer
The designer and his muse:
Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky
Krieps in Phantom Thread.
Film of the week
I will always
love you, after
a fashion
In what could be his final film role, Daniel
Day-Lewis is a perfect fit as a celebrated
dress designer in Paul Thomas Anderson’s
beautifully realised tale of 50s haute couture
Phantom Thread
(130 mins, 15) Directed by Paul
Thomas Anderson; starring
Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps,
Lesley Manville
Paul Thomas Anderson’s best
film since Punch-Drunk Love is
another cracked romance with a
masochistic streak and a strong
fairytale underpinning. Set in
postwar London, amid the insular
world of 50s haute couture,
Phantom Thread is an oedipal gothic
romance, a tale of lost mothers
and broken spells, with secret
messages (“never cursed”) sewn
into its gorgeously cinematic cloth.
A swooning score, crisp visuals
and paper-cut-sharp performances
combine to conjure a poisoned rose
of a movie, inviting you to prick your
finger on its thorns and succumb to
its weird, dark magic.
Daniel Day-Lewis, in what
the actor has claimed is his final
performance, plays fashion designer
Reynolds Woodcock, an artist with
an obsessive streak, in the mould of
Anton Walbrook’s Lermontov from
The Red Shoes. Reynolds’s sister,
Cyril (Lesley Manville), tends to his
peculiarly picky needs – running
the family business, facilitating
his creative rituals and politely
dismissing the disposable muses
who have outstayed their welcome.
When Reynolds meets Alma
(Vicky Krieps), a lowly serving maid,
Cyril thinks she’s just the next in a
long line of passing fancies, to be
catalogued, dressed, then tossed
aside. But is Alma actually a match
for the Bluebeard-like Reynolds,
the beauty who will break his
beastly spell and perhaps stave
off the inevitable fall of the House
of Woodcock? As Reynolds tells
his unexpected inspiration: “I feel
as if I’ve been looking for you for a
very long time.”
Tipping his hat in equal measure
toward Hitchcock, Powell and
Pressburger and the Brothers
Grimm, Anderson swaps the heady,
Stateside fug of Inherent Vice for
a sharp Euro-vision as clear and
pristine as alpine snow. Leading
his own collaborative camera
team (no director of photography
is credited), the writer-director
waltzes us through the doors,
corridors and staircases of this
strange land – from ivory towers
to woodland retreats, where
magic mushrooms lurk in the
undergrowth, tempting and tasty.
Through this kingdom prowls
Reynolds, as predatory as he is
pernickety. With his insect-like
limbs and ghoulishly handsome
face, he has more than a touch of
the vampire about him, a quality
enhanced by a trembling vocal
inflection that is part cloisteredBrit, part timeless-Transylvanian.
Moreover, he’s hungry like the
wolf (Alma calls him her “hungry
boy”), displaying a voracious
appetite when aroused. A scene
of Reynolds appreciating a hearty
breakfast recalls Michael Hordern
The Observer
And the rest
in Whistle and I’ll Come to You,
Jonathan Miller’s 1968 adaptation
of MR James’s classic ghost story.
And make no mistake, this is
a ghost story too, replete with
fevered apparitions of the departed
returning to possess the living.
It’s also very funny, thanks in no
small part to Manville’s withering
delivery of zingers such as: “I don’t
want to hear it because it hurts
my ears.” If Reynolds is the eyes
and mouth of this house, Cyril is
its nose, sniffing Alma like fresh
prey, smelling “sandalwood and
rosewater, sherry and lemon juice”
as she sizes up the new arrival.
As for the phantom thread of the
title, the phrase apparently refers
to the ghostly yarn that would
haunt Victorian seamstresses, their
exhausted fingers compulsively
repeating sewing motions long after
their work was done. But it could
This is a ghost story,
replete with fevered
apparitions of the
departed returning
to possess the living
also invoke the lock of his mother’s
hair that Reynolds has sewn into
the canvas of his coat, keeping
her always close to his heart. She
taught him his trade and, aged just
16, he created a wedding dress for
her. It’s a task Reynolds appears to
have been repeating ever since –
making dresses fit for his mother,
waiting for someone to fill them and
to take her place.
Pulsing through this celluloid
swirl is a superb score by Jonny
Greenwood which has earned him
a long overdue Oscar nomination
(he was deemed technically
ineligible for his brilliant work
on There Will Be Blood). From its
looping, muted piano themes to
lush orchestrations that recall a
bygone age, the score is the golden
thread that stitches the pieces of
Anderson’s bewitching garment
together. Gesturing toward Richard
Addinsell’s music for David Lean’s
The Passio nate Friends, alongside
Rachmaninov-esque echoes of
Brief Encounter, Greenwood’s
work is note-perfect, capturing the
delicate balance between creation
and destruction that Anderson’s
script maintains.
Plaudits, too, to costume designer
Mark Bridges, production designer
Mark Tildesley and editor Dylan
Tichenor, whose craftsmanship
helps bring this exotic vision to
life. I’ve seen Phantom Thread three
times now, and each time I have
been gripped ever tighter in its
sublimely eerie and immaculately
constructed web.
‘Repressed turmoil’: Denzel
Washington, left, in Roman J Israel,
Esq. Allstar/Columbia
Roman J Israel, Esq
(122 mins, 12A) Directed by Dan
Gilroy; starring Denzel Washington,
Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo
Lies We Tell
Roman J Israel, Esq is a strange
film, much stranger than features
containing Oscar-nominated
performances tend to be. Denzel
Washington plays Israel, a brilliant,
socially awkward, behind-thescenes civil rights lawyer who is
left high and dry when his partner
unexpectedly dies. Offered a new job
by Colin Farrell’s wealthy criminal
lawyer, he is thrust into a set of new
circumstances and presented with a
series of moral conundrums.
Directed by Dan Gilroy
(Nightcrawler), the film isn’t quite
sure what it’s doing. It begins
as a legal drama, but lacks a
courtroom climax. It’s set in the
present day, but is bogged down
by period trappings (Israel listens
to 70s soul on an iPod classic,
carries a mobile and is guided by
a poster of the civil rights activist
Angela Davis that hangs in his
flea-bitten apartment). The plot
flails desperately at every turn,
and lags unevenly, before hurtling
towards its rushed twist ending.
Yet the film’s messiness – and oldfashioned Hollywood flashiness –
remains compelling.
The zing in Washington’s Oscarnominated performance is all in
the physicality: heavy, slumping
shuffle; ill-fitting three-piece
suit (in gauche plum, no less);
eyes shifting downwards; gaze
obscured by plastic, 70s-style
aviator glasses. The charisma, the
smile, the sharp-eyed, straightbacked leading man sense of
purpose – everything audiences
have come to expect from the actor’s
screen presence – is deliberately
dulled and de-glammed. We don’t
learn very much about Israel’s
relationships or motivations from
the screenplay, but it’s fascinating
to watch Washington’s display of
repressed turmoil.
Mitu Misra’s rough-and-ready,
Bradford-set debut is, to its credit,
attempting something innovative.
The film sets itself up as a crime
thriller about a driver, Donald
(Gabriel Byrne), who must conceal
the evidence of his deceased boss’s
(Harvey Keitel) Muslim mistress.
However, the story pivots around
Amber (Sibylla Deen), a young,
beautiful Pakistani lawyer who
lives with her parents, wears a
hijab, and drinks white wine with
older men in her downtime – as
proved by incriminating cameraphone footage of her in a negligee,
pinot grigio in hand. Amber has
to manage the potential fallout
while juggling the everyday
expectations of her community
and the impending marriage of
her younger sister to Amber’s
dangerous ex-husband, KD (who
also happens to be her cousin).
“When are you going to stop
judging us by British standards?”
berates her mother.
The film is hindered by clunky
dialogue and strained performances
from minor characters, though
there’s something to be said for
Amber, a modern, multifaceted
Muslim female. Deen inhabits all
of her contradictions, with Byrne a
welcome fatherly foil. Frustrating,
then, that the film is too cynical
(or simply not confident enough)
to create a conclusion befitting its
heroine, ending instead with the
sort of stock grand finale that has
come to characterise movies about
the “oppression” of Muslim women.
Journey’s End
(108 mins, 12A) Directed by Saul
Dibb; starring Sam Claflin, Paul
Bettany, Asa Butterfield, Toby Jones,
Tom Sturridge
This taut, handsome historical
drama about a British battalion in
northern France is adapted from
RC Sherriff’s 1928 play. With all
the action confined to a few days
in a trench circa 1918, it feels a
little stagey in parts. That said, the
film’s focus on characters rather
than action offers a contrast to the
sheer in-the-moment spectacle
of a wartime feature such as
Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.
(110, 15) Directed by Mitu Misra;
starring Gabriel Byrne, Sibylla Deen
Journey’s End is an ensemble
affair, with Toby Jones’s grumpy
cook channelling Rowan Atkinson’s
Blackadder, and Asa Butterfield (The
Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Hugo) as
Raleigh, a bug-eyed recruit whose
boyish wonderment is unable to
protect him from the inevitable. Sam
Claflin is particularly good as the
boozy, brooding Captain Stanhope,
whose intensity, belligerence and
self-loathing flesh out what might
in less capable hands have been a
cliched, shell-shocked soldier.
(99 mins, 15) Directed by Peter Spierig
and Michael Spierig; starring Helen
Mirren, Jason Clarke
Asa Butterfield, top
left, in Journey’s End.
Above: Helen Mirren
in ‘schlocky’ horror
Set in California in the early
1900s, this tedious horror pitches
Australian actor Jason Clarke
(Zero Dark Thirty) as a swaggering
psychiatrist sent to assess Helen
Mirren’s increasingly erratic (or
possibly possessed) gun heiress.
Mirren’s Sarah Winchester lives in
an elaborate stately home made up
of “almost 100 rooms”, setting up
a conventional haunted house film
that insists on schlocky thrills and
trite genre cliches (such as toys that
skid across hallways of their own
accord and mysteries lurking under
the bed and in the cellar).
The film builds itself around the
platitude that “fear exists only in the
mind”, refusing to explore anything
remotely frightening beyond cheap
jump scares. Still, at least Mirren
seems to be having a great time
in high-necked black lace, hurling
herself about her mansion.
(97 mins, U) Directed by Emmanuel
Gras; Kabwita Kasongo,
Lydie Kasongo
This immersive, slow-burning
documentary about a Congolese
charcoal maker finds poetry in the
punishing, monotonous graft of
one man’s trade. Twenty-eight-yearold Kabwita lives in Kolwezi, some
50km from “town”, where he must
trek (goods strapped precariously to
a pushbike) to sell the charcoal that
he has stripped and smoked himself.
Kabwita’s wordless journey is
emotionally involving, helped
along by Emmanuel Gras’s
dizzying camera, which captures the
dusty browns of the dirt roads and
the pulsing blue of a hot, cloudless
sky. Yet it’s hard to know what
exactly it is about this work (or,
indeed, this man) that the film finds
compelling, beyond its inherent
physical strain.
The Observer
‘Aching intensity’: Josh
O’Connor and Alec Secareanu
in God’s Own Country.
Landmarks on a rocky road
From tender rural
romance to urban angst,
the current crop of
queer films to watch at
home is among the best
cinema around
With Call Me By Your Name basking
in the glow of its Oscar nominations,
hoping to inherit the trophy won
by Moonlight last year, and the likes
of A Fantastic Woman and BPM
on their way to cinemas, we’re
in the midst of a bustling surge
of LGBTQ cinema in the relative
mainstream. It’s still heaviest on the
letter G, admittedly, but the days
of Brokeback Mountain standing
alone as the popular byword for gay
cinema may be numbered.
Still, Francis Lee’s exquisite God’s
Own Country (online and DVD:
Spirit, 15) must put up with being
labelled “the British Brokeback”.
Love stories between young, gruff
sheep farmers isolated in remote,
wind-whipped hills aren’t a
sufficiently well-stocked subgenre
to make the comparison resistible.
But Lee’s story of a guarded, selfdestructive son of the soil gradually
finding physical and psychological
release in a Romanian migrant
worker deserves to be treasured on
its own terms.
Soaked in the dew and sweat of
Lee’s Yorkshire homeland, it’s not
just a rare, hopeful, working-class
gay romance, but a fortuitously
timed rejoinder to the isolationist
mentality of Brexit – a tender,
sensual examination of what
individuals have to gain by seeing
past their own borders. Performed
with aching integrity by Josh
O’Connor and Alec Secareanu,
and shot like an especially stormhued northern watercolour, it’s
both a humble queer landmark
and one of this decade’s great
directorial debuts.
No less revelatory a rising British
talent than O’Connor, 21-year-old
Harris Dickinson burns through
US director Eliza Hittman’s Beach
Rats (online and DVD: Peccadillo,
15) like the last lit coal in an ashfilled barbecue – which I mean as a
compliment both to the actor and
to the mood of scuzzy, no-way-out
anxiety sustained by this tough
Brooklyn-bro study.
As a brooding, sexually conflicted
teen attempting to secretly satisfy
his curiosity in the dimmed,
nameless world of anonymous gay
chatrooms and nervous, no-strings
hookups, Dickinson clutches a
tangle of inchoate erotic impulses
and personal insecurities into one
intensely felt, fevered character
portrait. It’s a performance, and a
film, that leaves us with a blurrier,
glitchier picture of millennial
coming out than God’s Own
Country, though both films present
a fraught route to the closet door
for those on society’s fringes.
Over at the ever-improving
BFI Player, meanwhile, an LGBT
Best of 2017 collection keeps the
gay playlist going nicely. Several
of its most exciting selections –
The Ornithologist, A Date for Mad
Mary, Taekwondo – have been
profiled in this column before,
but they’ve also brought Argentine
director Edgardo Castro’s buzzing
La Noche (2016) out of the
shadows. A sprawling, neon-lit
trawl through the underground gay
club circuit of Buenos Aires, openly
inviting comparisons to the Gaspar
Noé school of provocation, it’s at
once tough-minded and giddy on
alkyl nitrites.
That puts it altogether a world
away from the simple, sensitive
It’s both a humble
queer landmark
and one of this
decade’s greatest
directorial debuts
intimacy of Loev (now streaming on
Netflix). Sudhanshu Saria’s gently
rambling study of two gay childhood
friends reunited in Mumbai reflects
on chances missed over the course
of their longtime relationship. An
effectively bittersweet miniature
on its own terms, it also stands
as a fascinating milestone of gay
representation in Indian cinema.
Finally, old-school DVD is your
only avenue of access to Heartstone,
Icelandic director Guðmundur
Arnar Guðmundsson’s emotionally
shivering, ravishingly shot tale
of adolescent friendship shifted
by one-sided attraction, but it
rewards the extra effort.
Also new to streaming
& DVD this week
Blade Runner 2049
(Sony, 15)
A decades-late sequel to the totemic
sci-fi classic sounded a foolhardy
prospect on paper, but Denis
Villeneuve’s vast, dream-building
vision gives the lie to that.
Hounds of Love
(Arrow, 18)
Those with fragile stomachs should
steer clear, but Australian director
Ben Young’s true-crime serial-killer
nightmare is a bloodbath of laserfocused intent and intensity.
Something Wild
(Criterion, 15)
The late and much missed Jonathan
Demme’s superbly dotty romantic
farce – like Bringing Up Baby for the
coke-crazed 1980s – gets the highend Criterion Collection treatment.
The Observer
Sundance festival report
After #MeToo, a new
generation rises in Utah
The shocks that have
hit the industry are
being felt, with diverse,
female-driven movies
dominating at this
year’s US indie film
showcase, writes
Amy Nicholson
The seismic shifts in Hollywood
have rippled over to Park City,
Utah, for the Sundance film
festival. At 2016’s Sundance, held
a week after the 2016 Academy
Awards nominations triggered
the #OscarsSoWhite movement,
the aftershock was immediate.
Fox Searchlight paid $17.5m – the
highest price tag in Sundance
history – to acquire Nate Parker’s
slave uprising drama Birth of a
Nation, which, in the high altitude,
was prematurely hailed as a can’tmiss Oscar contender.
The ground under Hollywood
hasn’t stopped shaking. After that
buy, details of Parker’s 2001 rape
trial resurfaced. In the two years
since, dozens of other men in the
film-making world have been
accused of sexual assault: actors,
directors, producers, and former
Sundance titan Harvey Weinstein,
who burned the festival on to the
map three decades ago when he
bought Steven Soderbergh’s Sex,
Lies And Videotape, and later Clerks,
Reservoir Dogs and Garden State.
Harvey’s gone. Other voices
are taking his place (including
a documentary on his chief
prosecutor, Gloria Allred). In
Weinstein’s wake, the #MeToo and
Time’s Up campaigns have had the
snowballing impact of motivating
the industry to tell more femaledriven stories. Additionally, since
2016, the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences has invited 1,457
new members. That incoming
group is now a fifth of the voting
membership and can dramatically
shift the Oscar race towards films
that celebrate young, diverse filmmakers – the kind of talents who get
their start at Sundance.
At this year’s festival, you could
feel the rise of a generation of filmmakers and stars lifted up by the
terrain-shifting reverberations of
an industry shaken to its core. What
does a must-see movie look like in
2018? After the parallel triumphs of
two small, daring and very different
festival hits, Moonlight and Get Out
(last Sundance’s surprise midnight
‘A new classic?
Forrest Goodluck,
Sasha Lane and
Chloë Grace
Moretz in Desiree
Akhavan’s The
Miseducation of
Cameron Post.
Below: Lakeith
Stanfield is
‘fantastic’ in
Boots Riley’s
Sorry to
Bother You.
Courtesy of
premiere), the answer is: anything.
Opening-night crowds raved
about Blindspotting, starring
Hamilton star Daveed Diggs, a
buddy flick set in San Francisconeighbouring Oakland about two
moving-van drivers – one white,
one black – that teeters into spoken
rhymes when arguments get heated.
First-time director Carlos López
Estrada, a friend of Diggs since
college, claims his two influences
are Gabriel García Márquez and
Spike Lee. That’s palpable in the
film, which manages to be funny
and furious while hitting every beat.
People also flipped for another
bold Oakland-set debut, which
easily claimed the trophy for most
ambitious film of the fest. Boots
Riley’s Sorry to Bother You is a
wacky, anti-capitalist comedy about
a broke kid (the fantastic Lakeith
Stanfield) and his artist girlfriend
(Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson)
trying to sell encyclopedias over
the phone. That deliberately
vague description leaves space
for audiences to be astonished
by Riley’s bold surrealism, which
brings together an economicdisrupter tech company signing up
poor people for a pittance, stopmotion montages that have the
whimsy of Michel Gondry, and an
awkward rap scene that had people
holding their breath until they were
sure it was safe to laugh.
Also on the border between shock
and guffaw were Aubrey Plaza and
Jemaine Clement in An Evening With
Beverly Luff Linn, the second film
from the twisted brain of British
absurdist Jim Hosking (The Greasy
Strangler). Plaza plays an unhappily
married woman who’s fixated on
travelling performer Beverly Luff
Linn (Craig Robinson), a mute in
Scottish tweeds who claims to
be the voice of Aberdeen. Along
with Clement’s lovelorn gunman,
she steals a box of cash and hides
out in a hotel where the odd
couple fight, flirt and chug tacky
cocktails until Beverly takes the
stage. The movie is half-hilarious,
half-audience dare. When a scene
gets interrupted by a coughing
fit, again, irritated viewers might
storm out – and you sense Hosking
doesn’t mind a bit. Like his bizarro
characters, he’s not trying to fit in.
Neither are the teen satanists
in Jonas Åkerlund’s phenomenal
Lords of Chaos, based on the real-
life story of early 90s Norwegian
black metal musicians who wore
corpse paint, burned churches and
ended the decade dead or in jail.
Åkerlund used to play drums in the
seminal Swedish band Bathory. He
knows these guys, literally. Better
still, he knows their posturing
insecurity. His vibrant dramedy is
a bloody, sarcastic send-up of boys
who want to be the baddest on their
block – but when Åkerlund twists
the knife, it hurts.
Speaking of misfits, one of the
best documentaries of the festival
was 24-year-old Bing Liu’s Minding
the Gap. Liu, a skateboarder from
Rockford, Illinois, picked up a
camera in high school to begin
filming his best friends Keire and
Zack as they soared over stairs.
Now, they’re older – and life’s
obstacles are more perilous. Keire’s
lost his dad; beer-chugging Zack
has become one, and it’s beautiful
and upsetting to watch these two
big-grinning, indestructible kids
become bruised men.
What does a
must-see movie
look like in 2018?
The answer is:
Women directed over a third of
this year’s features, won all four
directing prizes: Sara Colangelo
for The Kindergarten Teacher (US
drama), Alexandria Bombach for On
Her Shoulders (US documentary),
Sandi Tan for Shirkers (international
doc) and Ísold Uggadóttir for And
Breathe Normally (international
drama). Plus, the grand jury award
was taken by Desiree Akhavan’s The
Miseducation of Cameron Post, which
follows a teen girl (Chloë Grace
Moretz) shipped off to a Christian
camp named God’s Promise to
pray away the gay. At the premiere,
Akhavan introduced the film as her
attempt at a queer John Hughes
comedy, and like his coming-of-age
classics, it’s both sincere about its
characters’ struggles and aware that
maturity will solve most of them.
Will The Miseducation of Cameron
Post become a new classic? Maybe.
In the middle of the festival, the
2018 Oscar nominations were
announced and landed in Park City
like a blueprint to the immediate
future, with classical dramas by
Steven Spielberg and Christopher
Nolan competing against lowbudget, first-time directors Greta
Gerwig and Jordan Peele. Suddenly
Sundance felt like standing in the
middle of a construction site. Here,
Hollywood is looking for the planks
to rebuild the industry. And the
materials are good.
Amy Nicholson is a freelance critic and
presenter of film podcast The Canon
The Observer
‘Calculation is always there’: David
Morrissey as Mark Antony in Julius
Caesar at the Bridge. Manuel Harlan
The empire
strikes back
Nicholas Hytner’s outstanding production
reconfigures Julius Caesar in more ways than
one. Plus, Moonlight’s Tarell Alvin McCraney
at the Young Vic and James Graham in Hull
Julius Caesar
The Bridge, London SE1;
until 15 April
The Brothers Size
Young Vic, London SE1; until 14 Feb
The Culture: A Farce
in Two Acts
Hull Truck, Hull; until 17 Feb
The male playwright William
Shakespeare endures, but his
individual plays are famously
prone to fashion. My heart dipped
when I realised that, with the rise
of populism, we were heading
for the Julius Caesar era. All that
mechanical flipping of allegiance; all
that male grandstanding. All those
easy, dodgy political parallels. Last
year’s Public Theater production in
New York showed Caesar in a blond
wig and blue suit.
But Nicholas Hytner’s vital, farreaching production – the fourth
major British staging in the past 12
months – has made me reconsider
my prejudice. Not only is this
Julius Caesar rousing, it is actually
affecting. Yes, it’s in modern dress
– the evening begins with a rock
concert and ends with concrete
rubble and barbed wire. But though
the 21st-century resonance is plain,
it is not overinsistent. Drama comes
not only from public politics but
from the private lives of the four
main characters, awakened here in a
way I have not before experienced.
The new Bridge theatre has been
dramatically reconfigured for its
second production. Bunny Christie’s
design puts the action in the
round, on raised sliding platforms.
Around these some 400 audience
members (the theatre holds 1,070)
promenade – or, rather, stand and
surge. Seen from above, the crowd’s
changing shape looks like a map of
its fickle mind.
Above this fluid mass, isolated in
the glow of Bruno Poet’s exemplary
lighting, Brutus and Cassius plot.
They do so with none of that raisedeyebrow shiftiness of traditional
conspirators. These are comrades:
their hearts as well as principles will
be shattered.
Michelle Fairley makes Cassius
into one of the most vivid and
interesting of characters – rather
than just a lethal, skinny person
lurking around for plotting
purposes. She speaks and moves
with beautiful clarity and intent. The
production – quietly emphasising
the word “man” from time to time
– makes perfect sense of casting a
woman in the role.
This is hardly the first time Ben
Whishaw has taken on a tormented,
undecided Shakespearean role – he
was 23 when he played Hamlet –
but as Brutus he has a marvellous
gravity and variety. Gently furrowed,
playing with his specs, spinning
anxiously on his caster chair. And,
most memorably, announcing
with quiet resignation the death
of his wife. It is a measure of the
production’s detail that her suicide
is, with only the tiniest of textual
interventions, delicately prepared
for and made to seem inevitable.
David Calder is finely judged
in the title role: both complacent
and magisterial. David Morrissey’s
Mark Antony is magnificent. He
arrives as if charging into battle,
but his voice vibrates as if with
a held-back sob: no wonder he
got swayed by Cleopatra. Yet
calculation is always there. After
schmoozing the conspirators, a
flicker of cynical resolution crosses
his face. He begins by booming at
the crowd like a statesman, but then
drops his mic as if to talk simply,
shoulder to shoulder, brother to
brother. I have never seen Julius
Caesar given so much heart – and
so little hope.
It is 10 years since The Brothers
Size was first staged at the Young
Vic. A lot has happened to its author,
Tarell Alvin McCraney, since then.
Not least Moonlight, the movie
that made McCraney look as if he
must have been destined to be a
There is a Moonlight moment in
this play, when a young man sits
‘It’s hard to imagine a more vibrant
trio’: Sope Dirisu, Jonathan Ajayi
and Anthony Welsh, above, in
The Brothers Size at the Young Vic.
Above right: Amelia Donkor and
Nicola Reynolds in The Culture
at Hull Truck. Photographs by
Tristram Kenton; Andrew Billington
with a friend he met in prison and
is surprised to feel a hand on his
thigh; there is the same feeling
for comradeship and the difficulty
men have in speaking intimately.
Still, this is a play about brothers
trying to make a warm life together,
struggling against difficulties that
come with growing up black and
poor and surrounded by dealers.
And its movement, the apparent
simplicity of Bijan Sheibani’s
staging, the emphatic physicality of
its three actors, is utterly theatrical.
It makes McCraney look as if he
must have been destined to be a
The Brothers Size hits the ground
running. Two men muscle on to
the stage. They draw a circle on
the ground, within which they leap
and dream and wrangle and dance,
trampling red dust into the floor
where it bears the marks of their
bare feet. McCraney’s language is
sinewy too: short, jumpy, beating
lines, sometimes incorporating
stage directions.
A harsh present is threaded
through with Yoruban myth. The
prison mate is named after a
god of temptation; an account of
someone cutting off her ear turns
out, astonishingly, to be not just
“Van Gogh shit” but a Yoruban tale.
Mingling dream and harsh daily life,
The Observer
four Belfast
Harrison introduced me to the play
[John Dryden’s Aureng-zebe], because
he knows I love a rhyming couplet. It’s
John Dryden’s view of India based on
travel writings, but also it contains
some mores on who was shagging
who in London in 1675. We decided to
locate it in the last days of the mills in
the north where a lot of the blue-collar
population were Asian.
Bold Girls
Citizens theatre, Glasgow;
until Sat
the action is accompanied by terrific
live sound by Manuel Pinheiro;
the brothers, who are dazzling
dancers, also duet to Otis Redding’s
Try a Little Tenderness. It’s hard to
imagine a more vibrant trio than
these: Jonathan Ajayi, Sope Dirisu
and Anthony Welsh.
What, a month into 2018 and only
one new play from James Graham?
The Culture, his first farce, is his
fourth play in the past 12 months.
It has a perky palette, easy targets –
and a kind heart.
Set in the offices of the city of
culture just as Hull is about to cede
its crown to Coventry, the play does
not (arts education cutters please
note) ridicule the idea that arts can
lift the spirits of a place. It is the
mechanics of change that Graham
has in his satirical sites. He spoofs
culturespeak – “transitioning”
rather than “ending” – and dogged
statisticians: a marketing officer,
played with eye-popping, mouthstretching, capering zeal by Amelia
Donkor, is determined to quantify
exactly the difference the limelit year
has made to the city’s inhabitants.
Graham rolls a quizzical eye
at artistic claims. A chap (nicely
glum Andrew Dunn) chucks his
old sofa onto the pavement, where
it is immediately rebranded as an
installation. Someone proposes that
traffic flow should be considered as
ballet (I’d vote for that).
Unfortunately, this mild satire is
also an effortful farce of mistaken
identities. A sign painter gets taken
for a officer from the Department of
Culture, Media and Sport, and a bigbreasted inflatable doll is confused
with an artificial respiration
dummy. Maureen Lipman’s
telephone number is muddled with
that of a sex shop.
For all its determined brightness
– a volunteer with bobble hat
and big grin might have escaped
from Hi-de-Hi! – Mark Babych’s
production only staggers through
its many farcical doors. A year that
has woken some of us up to Hull’s
theatrical possibilities deserves
something richer than this.
A searchlight strafes the
auditorium. A girl in a slip
trembles out of darkness.
She speaks to the audience
of birdsong; her words fade
beneath the clatter of a
helicopter’s blades.
The lives of the four
Belfast women in Rona
Munro’s 1991 play are
intricately bound up with
the Troubles: husbands,
fathers, brothers – killed or
imprisoned – are powerful
absences. But it is not the
Troubles that shape them.
As Munro has said: “I don’t
think the battles women
fight, or the daily struggles
they have in much of
Belfast, are particularly
different from those in any
other area with bad housing
or high unemployment –
except that guns make a
difference to everything.”
So, while its particular
historical moment is past,
the sharpness of the
play still cuts because it
is honed on the abrasive
interdependencies of three
generations: young widow
Marie; her best friend,
Cassie; Cassie’s mother,
Nora; and the enigmatic,
teenage Deirdre, whose
identity wavers between
eerie wraith and threatening
interloper – all hard-hitting
Munro’s play combines
naturalism and symbolism
– the mystery of Deirdre;
characters slipping out of
the action to speak to the
audience. This poeticised
structure highlights the
universal aspects of their
individual situations. If
director Richard Baron’s
choice of realistic period
setting, beautifully
realised in Neil Haynes’s
design, tethers the drama
too tightly to its context,
in every other respect
his production is acute
and passionate.
Clare Brennan
Barrie Rutter
Barrie Rutter OBE, 71, was brought
up by his father, a Hull docker
who worked nights. There were
no books at home, but an English
teacher spotted Rutter’s talent for
performing. He was a member
of the National Youth Theatre,
then studied at the Royal Scottish
Academy of Music and Drama. After
a career at the National Theatre
and the RSC, he founded the
touring theatre company Northern
Broadsides in 1992 with the aim of
presenting “northern voices, doing
classical work in non-velvet spaces”.
After 25 years as artistic director,
Rutter steps down next month.
His final Northern Broadsides
production opens at Shakespeare’s
Globe in London this week.
Why are you stepping down?
We met the Arts Council to press our
case for an increase in our funding
grant. We asked for £400,000 over
four years to give some sort of parity.
We didn’t get it and were told that our
25 years of work didn’t matter. This
woman at the Arts Council said we
struggled with diversity, in a year when
Mat Fraser, an actor with phocomelia
[underdeveloped arms caused by the
drug thalidomide], played Richard III. I
took her up on that because I wasn’t
allowed to say, on this bloody form,
about diversity of sound, geography,
attitude and socioeconomics. Who else
plays to Yorkshire hill farmers in their
own place of Skipton cattle market?
Is it a case of anti-northern bias?
No, no I can’t say that. It might have
been a bit of a bias against me. I’m not
everybody’s cup of tea. They don’t
want to deal with the maverick, the
artist. They don’t like that, because we
take their money and then we lampoon
them. If any other industry was that
successful, you think they’d be thrilled.
We’ve kept seven theatres around
the country afloat by bringing in our
productions. Anyway, the decision’s
made and I’ve had 25 glorious years.
Your new production, The Captive
Queen, sounds pretty diverse...
It’s a company of 11, with seven
British Asian actors, two black
actresses and two Caucasians, one
of whom is me. But that’s an artistic
concept. I haven’t done it to tick any
box whatsoever. It’s an idea that’s
been brewing for 25 years after Tony
There’s a strange coincidence in that
The Captive Queen was commissioned
by director of the Globe, Emma Rice,
who is also leaving.
Yes there is. But new director Michelle
Terry has also invited me back to
do The Two Noble Kinsmen. So it’s
wonderful to have the two ladies invite
me. They’re too intelligent to be rivals.
I don’t think I’d have handled [being
forced out] in the way that Emma has.
She’s been terrific, and Michelle is just
grace and wit on legs.
Are you proud to be one the pioneers of
site-specific theatre?
Yes, but also what makes us very
happy is Northern Broadsides’
employment record: 16 actors on stage
regularly, five crew, on the smallest
grant in the middle-scale touring
department. When they wanted to be
scathing, the Arts Council said: “Oh,
your show doesn’t look very good”
and we’d say: “No, but there’s 16 actors
on the bloody stage on the piffling
amount you give us.” And obviously our
design has improved over the years,
but I still put as many actors on the
stage as I can afford.
But you’ve also risked your health?
I can’t blame my health on the theatre.
No one can budget against prostate
cancer, which I’ve got – it’s slow, but
I’ve got it – and a heart attack and a
stent. But it’s not slowed me down. I still
have some red wine.
What do you think of filmed theatre
productions such as National
Theatre Live?
I absolutely loathe the fact that the
theatre is put into two dimensions. And
of course I would say that because I’m
not famous enough to be in one.
Sooner or later, you can see this land
is going to be filled with six or seven
elite companies all beaming their
stuff out. And also all the money goes
back, not into art, but to those elite
buildings themselves.
You say you were naive in 1992 when
you started the company and wouldn’t
do it now. Why?
Well, you don’t need it now. When we
opened, people said: “This is a great
new thing and must be encouraged.”
Although there wasn’t a lot of money
around, we pushed it through. But
now there are other wonderful
pop-up companies out there with
young ideas. The creative juices of
youngsters today – it’s wonderful.
Interview by Liz Hoggard
The Captive Queen is at Shakespeare’s
Globe, London SE1, until 4 March
The Observer
‘The human drama transforms us’: Joyce
DiDonato and Michael Mayes in Dead Man
Walking. © Javier del Real/Teatro Real
A matter of life
and death
Joyce DiDonato is
superb as Sister Helen
Prejean in Jake Heggie’s
2000 opera, soon to
have its UK premiere
Dead Man Walking
Teatro Real, Madrid; until Friday
Das Rheingold
Royal Festival Hall, London SE1
One question elbows aside all
others in Dead Man Walking, Jake
Heggie’s debut opera, first seen in
San Francisco in 2000 and staged
many times since. How do we deal
with forgiveness? Last week the
work received its Spanish premiere
with a cast starring Joyce DiDonato
as the Roman Catholic nun Sister
Helen Prejean, on whose 1993
memoir it is based. DiDonato,
many of the same singers, and
conductor Mark Wigglesworth, will
give the UK premiere in a semistaging in London later this month.
This full-length ensemble piece
in two acts is set in Louisiana state
penitentiary, the largest maximum
security prison in the United States.
Sister Helen – who is now 78 and
was present at opening night at
Madrid’s Teatro Real – befriends
Joseph De Rocher, a killer on death
row with a date fixed for his own
legal murder. The nun’s task, selfimposed, is to persuade him to
admit his guilt and ask forgiveness.
Dead Man Walking, to a libretto
by Terrence McNally, presents
the story without taking sides.
The Madrid production, originally
from Lyric Opera of Chicago and
directed by Leonard Foglia, creates
the sinister walkways and meshedwire prison backdrop all too vividly.
Sister Helen, superbly portrayed in
all her strength and vulnerability by
DiDonato, fights not for De Rocher’s
life but for his soul. He is unyielding.
The moment when he taunts his
confessor-nun about the limits of
her own intimate life – “have you
ever been with a man?” – is ugly,
unsparing. The entire experience
takes its toll on Sister Jean, as much
as the families involved, challenging
her faith, her stamina, her vocation.
In the US, the number of
executions has fallen; public
opinion, if recent polls are accurate,
is shifting away from the death
penalty. Yet it is still practised in
31 states, with President Trump a
vocal proponent. In Europe only
one country (Belarus) still actively
carries out executions. Data of
this sort doesn’t ordinarily have a
place in an opera review, but Dead
Man Walking is no ordinary opera.
The human drama transforms us,
whether from a European or an
American perspective, whether
audience or performer.
For Michael Mayes, who plays De
Rocher, the opera has been lifechanging. Until now he has sung
only in regional US houses. Now he
is singing with Joyce DiDonato in a
major European theatre (apparently
he had to apply for a passport for
the trip). Perhaps more important
still, the violence and prejudice
simmering in the work is a mindset
Mayes recognises first-hand. This
East Texan, who spent his childhood
in a mobile home in the small town
of Cut and Shoot, has said of the
man he plays: ”I grew up with that
guy. He was in my family, he was
in my school, I was surrounded
by him.” His performance, little
wonder, glinted with fierceness and
edgy sadness. At the curtain call, his
emotion was visible.
The fluent music, with its bluesy,
melodic, Broadway-ish feel and
echoes of Copland, Bernstein and
Carlisle Floyd, steers us but is not in
itself hugely memorable – despite
Wigglesworth’s impassioned
direction and bold playing from
the Teatro Real orchestra. Even
listening to DiDonato’s 2012
recording with Houston Grand
Opera, it is the human drama that
hooks us in. (Her latest album, Great
Scott, also by Heggie and McNally,
indicates her loyalty to their
work.) Heggie writes generously, if
Michael Mayes has
said of the death
row inmate he
plays: ‘I grew up
with that guy’
traditionally, for the voice. Pouring
her heart out at top volume,
DiDonato sounded as if she could
have gone on effortlessly for a good
few hours more.
Choruses of innocent children
and prisoners, a climactic company
finale in Act 1, a skilful ensemble for
the parents of the murder victims,
a lyrical solo for the murderer’s
broken mother (Maria Zifchak),
combined effectively in this notquite-a-musical score. The orchestra
and chorus of the Teatro Real
gave their all. The BBC Symphony
Orchestra, with Wigglesworth, play
the UK premiere on 20 February
as part of the Barbican’s Art of
Change series, an exploration of
how art can “effect change in the
social and political landscape”.
Surely this one does.
Transformations of an entirely
musical kind happen in Wagner’s
Das Rheingold, taking us from
scene to scene, turning Nibelung
dwarf into giant snake. Even if
you ignore the story, the music
consumes you whole. Vladimir
Jurowski marked his 10th
anniversary with the London
Philharmonic Orchestra – one of
the glorious partnerships of UK
musical life – with the opening
opera of a complete Ring cycle
between now and 2021 in their
home, the Royal Festival Hall.
It was semi-semi-staged:
singers walked on and off the
choir area behind the orchestra,
and minimal lighting turned
the organ pipes into a quasiValhalla. I found it adequate, so
compelling was the performance.
Robert Hayward, snarling and
swindling as the devious Alberich,
Adrian Thompson’s pugnaciously
horrible Mime, the silken-voiced
Rheinmaidens (Sofia Fomina,
Rowan Hellier, Lucie Špičková),
the giants Fasolt (Matthew
Rose, truculent and tender)
and Fafner (Brindley Sherratt, a
terse, murderous bruiser) led an
impressive cast.
As Wotan, Matthias Goerne, alone
in singing from the score – I thought
there must be a reason, since he’s
sung it before (and enquired but
no answer came) – was velvety
and sonorous but uncomfortably
detached. I tried hard to be
convinced. In the end he was all too
like a failing politician clinging to
his Autocue than a chief god set on
world dominion. The terrific LPO
and Jurowski, proven Wagnerians
all, stole the show.
Home listening
Classical music on CD,
on air and online
 Music in a Cold
Climate could suit
any northern place
in winter. This debut
disc by the crack
British viol-cornetsackbut ensemble In Echo, subtitled
“Sounds of Hansa Europe”, focuses
on rarely heard 17th-century music
from England, Denmark, Holland
and northern Germany. Composers
travelled the trade routes of the
Hanseatic League seeking patronage.
This fascinating disc, with full
explanatory notes by director Gawain
Glenton, introduces us to some dozen
of them, new names all: Bertali,
Albert, Sommer, Schildt among them.
The fashionable melancholy of the
day, as heard in Schop’s beautiful
Lachrimae Pavaen, is offset by
cheerful folk themes and dances,
as well as a sympathetic and lively
new commission, Northern Soul,
from British composer Andrew
Keeling, inspired by four Lake District
walks. Recording in Romsey Abbey,
Hampshire, the group used the copy
of an English Renaissance organ
made by Goetze and Gwynn – so
authentic in its mechanics that
it requires manual “bellowers” to
facilitate the sound. Enterprise fitting
to the disc’s subject matter.
 Keeping repertoire alive is a
priority for the Rautio Piano Trio, as
their latest CD, Beethoven, Hiller &
Schubert (Resonus), demonstrates.
In between fresh,
brisk Beethoven
(Op 70, No 1 in D
major “Ghost”) and
eloquent, confident
Schubert (Op posth
148, D897 “Notturno”, Adagio)
they offer a substantial novelty: the
premiere recording of the wonderfully
buoyant Piano Trio No 6 in C minor,
Op 186, Serenade No 2 (1879) by
Ferdinand Hiller (1811-85). Said to be
an affable character, this dance-like
music smiles right through.
 “My music is like a garden,
and I am the gardener,” Toru
Takemitsu (1930-96) used to say
of his compositions, which have
poetic titles such as Rain Coming
or Dreamtime. In Composer of the
Week (12 noon daily, tomorrow
to Friday, Radio 3, then iPlayer),
Donald Macleod explores the
sensuous, gleaming music, and
the east-west influences, of
this Japanese master, unduly
neglected since his untimely death.
Fiona Maddocks
The Observer
Roll out the rag rugs
‘A bubble of
Kettle’s Yard
combines the
domestic and
artistic. Jamie
Fobert’s tactful
additions give it
the assets of an
art gallery.
© Hufton+Crow
Kettle’s Yard
Cambridge’s home
from home for British
modern art has been
given a suitably
understated redesign
that is, if anything,
too accommodating
You could call it a Very British
Modernism, the process by
which the fierce inventions of
continental artists became gentler
and kinder; whereby Mondrian’s
implacable right angles became
Ben Nicholson’s more negotiable
compositions, whereby the
artistic inventions of a merciless
metropolis like 1900s Paris were
soothed by Cornish seaside air, or
the dismemberments practiced on
the human form by the surrealists
and Picasso grew less brutal in the
hands of a Henry Moore.
Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge,
the creation of the ascetic but
sociable collector and curator Jim
Ede (1895-1990), is one of VBM’s
foremost incubators and shrines.
It is discreet, internal, domestic,
this row of tiny houses that was
converted in the 1950s into a house
for Ede and his wife, Helen, donated
to the University of Cambridge in
1966 and extended in 1970 to form
a gallery of modern art. Or rather
a house-gallery, as the little rooms
of the old cottages, in which the
Edes lived until 1973, are notable
for the way that works of art repose
alongside washstands and spindlebacked rocking chairs. The 1970
extension is a gallery-house, with a
museum’s top-lighting, white planes
for the paintings, but still rugs on the
floor, a long sofa casually assembled
out of single mattresses, informality
in the way that a Brâncuși or a
Gaudier-Brzeska sculpture might sit
on an old barrel or a large log.
The 1970 extension, designed
by Leslie Martin and David Owers,
was itself a manifestation (not
a manifesto – that would be too
declamatory) of the architecture
that goes with VBM. Martin, as
co-designer of the Royal Festival
Hall and as head of the architecture
school at the University of
Cambridge, laundered Le Corbusier
much as those British modernist
artists had Picasso.
The new galleries
conform to the
genre: white
cubes with a
concrete floor
All of which could be taken as a
sort of sniping. For sure, the version
of modern art and architecture
offered by Kettle’s Yard is less
urgent and world-changing than its
inspirations across the Channel. The
name makes you think of tea. But it
is also a miraculous place, a bubble
of humanity and enlightenment. It
is subtly subversive, behind walls
so inscrutable that you would
hardly know it’s there, showing
those undergraduates who care to
look, and who might have thought
Cambridge was all about punts and
Gothic crockets, that there are other
ways of seeing the world.
Now it has been extended, again
– re-re-extended in fact, as the
new extension has entailed, as well
as expansion into neighbouring
19th-century structures, the
scraping out of a 1990s extension
that was felt not to be doing its job
very well. The new work, whose total
cost is £11.3m, has been designed
by the Canadian-born architect
Jamie Fobert, who has also just
been announced as the designer
of the National Portrait Gallery’s
planned £35.5m makeover. Having
been responsible for the remodelled
Tate St Ives that opened last year,
Fobert is becoming expert in
making spaces for the Kettle’s Yard
kind of British modern art. He is
also becoming expert in patience:
where Tate St Ives took 12 years
from his appointment to opening,
at Kettle’s Yard it took nearly 14. He
was initially asked only to create a
new education space, but the brief
expanded to include the inevitable
accoutrements of aspirational
arts institutions: new temporary
exhibition galleries, cafe, shop,
reception area and offices.
These things take time
for various reasons, such as
technical complexity, fundraising,
multilayered processes of approval,
the requirements of planners
and local residents, factors which
also make the design of new arts
buildings a business of negotiation
and navigation, of picking a path
through multiple requirements.
In the case of Kettle’s Yard,
Fobert had to deal with a site of
exceptional intricacy, with the
demand of the planning authority
that a quite ordinary Victorian
brick facade be retained, and with
the desire of the Kettle’s Yard’s
director Andrew Nairne, that
the new galleries conform to the
genre of such spaces everywhere:
white cubes with a concrete floor.
Martin’s floors are made of biscuitcoloured brick.
There were other complexities.
One of Leslie Martin’s favourite
devices was a change of level of
two or three steps, which makes
it impossible to make Kettle’s
Yard – although Fobert’s team
did their best – wholly accessible
to wheelchair users. The estate
management department of the
University of Cambridge boorishly
insisted on using a design and build
construction contract, one that
makes the contractor’s profit the
overriding factor. OK, arguably, for
sports halls or industrial units, but
it destroys the finesse you need in
an art gallery.
The result has some of the
qualities that Fobert showed
at St Ives – good judgment,
sensitivity to the intimacy and
informality of the earlier buildings,
skill at manoeuvring around an
exceptionally tricky site, a good
flow of spaces, good galleries for
the art. There are nice touches,
such as a pleasingly solid oak
reception, the recovery of some
Leslie Martin brickwork that had
been plastered over, and new views
to the old city around.
What stops the additions
being great is that they are too
accommodating of those multiple
pressures. In particular something
has been lost with those concretefloored galleries: they are too
generic and could-be-anywhere,
the house-museum ambiguity of
Ede and Martin having evaporated.
Fobert feels that yet more brick
floor would be excessive, and he
could be right, but there could
have been more creative thought
about alternatives. A chance was
possibly lost with the retained
Victorian elevation, which is
there on sufferance, it feels, like
an embarrassing relative at a
wedding. Was there no way, by
making more positive use of it,
that the ambiguities of domesticity
and art and old and new could have
been reinvented?
Kettle’s Yard reopens on Saturday
The Observer
A hunter who
shot himself
in the foot
Storyville gave its rancid protagonist just
enough rope, Kiri and Spiral ended too soon,
and Requiem had us spooked and hooked
Trophy: The Big Game
Hunting Controversy BBC Four
Kiri C4
Spiral BBC Four
Requiem BBC One
Altered Carbon Netflix
A blue moon, a blood moon, a
wolf moon and a talking whale
featured, naturally enough, in the
first week for a giddily long time
in which President Donald wasn’t
the most bloviatingly repellent
American to hit our screens. In
fact, charmed and softened by the
Piers Morgan thing – truly it was
Frost/Nixon for a generation that
walks into lamp-posts – and the
Davos pampering, he almost went
on to resemble, in his State of the
Union address, a human being.
Steady there boy: I’ll be voting
Racist Nazi next.
Worst Yank on the telly last
week was, without a rat-sliver
of doubt, Philip Glass. Not the
Fulbright scholar who has changed
the way we hear modern music,
but the racist Texan creationist
who believes that, since God put all
animals below man in his dominion,
man has the duty to kill them, not
for need but for sport. The rancid
Phil, with his angry and dottled
sense of patriotic entitlement, thinks
it not even his privilege but his
right as an American to go to Africa
and shoot every last one, the more
endangered the better.
Phil had harsh competition, in
terms of unwatchability, during
Trophy: The Big Game Hunting
Controversy, with the Safari Club
International Convention in Las
Vegas. This was like some end-ofdays festival of bloodied bad taste,
from the soft-porn “Racks” calendar
featuring a model in gingham crop
top posing with an antlered skull sat
in her groin, to the stuffed alligator
frozen, mid-rearing, into a glass
cocktail table replete with chilled
martinis. But Phil still won, whether
tittering as his rifle blew off the top
of an elephant’s head or getting all
emotional-gurny with “pride” after
his first lion kill. From half a mile’s
intensely safe distance.
I defy anyone who watched this
impeccable Storyville strand, nicely
free of narration – they just let the
high-functioning pond life get on
with hanging themselves by talking
– not to feel a shame and a hot
anger rinsing through them. But
extreme cases almost always make
bad law, and we were reminded of
the Cecil the lion outcry of three
years ago. Increasing liberal concern
led, in 2009, to South Africa banning
the sale of rhino horn, which in
turn led to financial pain for one
John Hume, who’s trying his best to
save rhinos by pollarding – safely,
painlessly – their horns every two
years. So the horn-poachers won’t
want them, and thus rhinos will
live, and breed, and thrive. We
watched Hume being shouted down
in a London debate by the kind of
social-justice warriors who, in their
own ways, are as guilty of raging
certainties as any Texan creationist.
Because there were immense
questions thrown up in these 90
minutes. Whether, by permitting
occasional, regulated “canned
hunting”, African farms and safaris
might earn enough from tourist-
shooters to keep other immensely
valuable conservation projects
going; how African locals feel about
being trampled, and sometimes
eaten; why no righteous socialjustice-warrior anger is yet directed
towards the huge global market of
those who insanely believe in the
medicinal powers of rhino horn.
What a bloody, valuable programme.
Kiri ended, way too quickly
for my liking. There were terrific
showdowns in the last episode:
between Finn Bennett as Si and
Steven Mackintosh as his father Jim,
the very definition of an intensely
weak man hiding an intensely
angry man; and of course between
Sarah Lancashire’s Miriam and
her arse-covering employers, the
most timidly bureaucratic of whom
could only flail against the gale
of her epithets: “and as for you,
Billy Big-Bollocks…” Terrific, as
most of this has been, though the
third episode went too heavy on
adoptive mum Alice (Lia Williams),
Truly it was
Frost/Nixon for
a generaton that
walks into
good value though she was. And
even writers of the calibre of Jack
Thorne still get it wrong with the
press. It’s not the pack of reporters
you need to worry about, who in
my experience can be grace and
charm personified; you don’t get
the story by shouting spittily in
someone’s face, yet this was all the
pack seemed to do. It’s the editors,
back in London: in one chilling
aside, Miriam murmured that there
was an online petition to demand
that she was refused her pension.
How easily do we muster hate from
afar. Overall, a wise and provocative
outing, though one that was driven,
in its urgency for narrative plot,
down too many twisty avenues, too
quickly. I wonder whether Thorne,
given a longer run, might have
more truly focused on the anger
that was at the heart of this: the
quiet anger of the privileged, feeling
that they’ve helped, in sometimes
huge ways, yet are of the wrong
class, or colour, ever to be allowed
to expect gratitude. Such niggles,
in soft minds, can fester and
worm disastrously.
Spiral, which also ended, tied
up the crimes, pretty much, in
a rather satisfying double bill.
This truly remarkable series still
stands head and shoulders above
any comparable police series
on TV today, simply because it,
and its characters, with all their
French flaws and dirt and delights,
is allowed to expand over 12
The Observer
Podcasts & radio
‘His crotchetiness will
carry us all through’:
Will Self. Rex
Pay attention, I’m going
to explain something
Will Self’s Great British
Bus Journey R4
The Boring Talks BBC podcasts
from main
image: hunter
Philip Glass in
Trophy: The Big
Game Hunting
Spiral; and
Altered Carbon.
Below: Lydia
Wilson in
BBC; Netflix
sprawling, immersive episodes.
Redemptive humanity sweats
from every clogged pore of Gilou’s
big nose; and he and his fellows
were left, at the last, wonderfully
unresolved. Roll on series seven.
Requiem promises much, not
least in way of sound. Nominally just
another spooksome BBC tingler –
old castle in Wales, birds flying
into windows, locked room, pagan
symbols, creepy locals – it is
rendered a whole cut above by not
having the heroine’s every move into
peril foreshadowed by dissonant
eek-eek strings. The music, and
sound effects, are so muted, or
subtle, as to constitute a revelation:
why, when it can be done this well,
was it ever done otherwise? This
truly, and cleverly, intrigues (as does
the heroine, cellist Matilda, played
by Lydia Wilson) in a way no rusty
hinge ever has. Hooked.
Altered Carbon will not be
to everyone’s taste, being the
adaptation of a 2002 cyberpunk
novel set in 2384, with all that
entails, but if you can get past
the jumpy time-travel and bodydo
double expositions of the opener,
a lavish big Netflix-budget police
noir awaits. As episodes progress,
you start to wonder whether
Philip K Dick and James Ellroy
eever collaborated, locked in a
ramshackle house overhanging
Big Sur. Possessed of vaulting
imagination, Carbon is flawed, but
so are some of the best diamonds.
Mansplaining. There’s a lot of it
about. Clever fellas letting other
people know that, actually, I
think you’ll find, this is the best
way to go about performing a
task, or analysing a situation, or
thinking about a subject in which
you’re already well-versed. For
some reason, last week’s audio
offerings seemed to abound with
such male blether. Maybe I’m
being over-sensitive. January is a
long, dark, skint month. Too much
thinking time.
To be fair, sometimes it was a
woman doing the ’splaining. On
Tuesday’s PM, Fran Unsworth, the
BBC’s director of news and current
affairs, was given the unenviable
task of justifying the PWC report
into the BBC’s gender bias around
on-air pay decisions. It’s OK, said
Unsworth, the report says there
isn’t any. “No one set out to pay
any less,” she explained. “It wasn’t
a systemic approach.” Bias isn’t
written into the rules, so it can’t
be happening. Phew! Thanks for
’splaining! Could you clarify that
to the female employees who are
taking the BBC to court? “It looks
like a BBC management report,
commissioned by BBC management,
for BBC management,” said one
commentator. “PWC don’t seem to
have spoken to any of the people
the report is actually about.” That’s
because there was no need. All the
BBC’s gender bias troubles have
been ’splained away. Do you see?
One of my favourite on-air
’splainers is Will Self. This is
because he is funny, both ha-ha and
peculiar. He moans, he pontificates,
he ruminates, he gets stroppy.
I enjoy it all. And for any other
Self-splaining fans, he’s on every
weekday for the next fortnight,
traipsing around A-roads on the
bus, searching for the truth about
Britain in 2018. God, men love
looking for Britain, don’t they? At
any given moment there are hordes
of them travelling the length and
breadth of the country, sniffing
out some hidden British-osity like
lugubrious bulldogs. “What does
the word Britain actually mean?”
they wonder, as they chow down
on a British (English) breakfast at
yet another authentically British
(English) cafe. “Who cares?”
wonders everyone else.
At least Self takes the mickey out
of himself for doing so. “British!
Are you British? Do you want a bit
of British shortbread?” he hissed,
like a sarky schoolgirl on the back
seat of an interminable bus journey
between Bristol and Swansea.
“Would you like a British sock?
Hello, British woman, where do you
lay your head? In Britain?” He made
himself – and me – laugh with the
ridiculousness of it all.
If you can ignore what he claims
to be looking for, Self is a fabulous
travel companion. He meets
everyone he encounters without
prejudice or bias; he expects –
and usually gets – honesty and
cheer. He’s a great interviewer,
he has excellent descriptive
powers. Whether he’ll manage to
get to the heart of contemporary
Britishness doesn’t really
matter. His crotchetiness will carry
us all through.
If you’re in the mood for yet
more explanation, why not try
The Boring Talks podcast? It’s
new to podcast world, though the
actual talks have been going on
for quite a while. I once met a chap
who told me he’d done a full hour’s
Boring Talk on the merits of the
watch I happened to be wearing, a
Casio something-or-other (I got it
because I liked the colour). Anyhow,
the first podcast is an in-depth
analysis of Douglas Adams’s The
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in
order to determine exactly when,
according to the book, the world
ends. To the day. This is dementedly
detailed mansplaining. And it’s very
enjoyable. Episode two features
Tracy King womansplaining how
book pricing algorithms work. This
is the kind of explication I can cope
with. It’s comforting in its silly
meticulousness. Like sitting next to
a 12-year-old talking you through
the ins and outs of Pokémon Go.
You will definitely learn something.
Whether or not you want to learn it
is another question.
Podcasts for insomniacs
Sleep With Me
Mysteries Abound
Story Not Story
A podcast designed specifically to
send you to sleep. Drew Ackerman –
dearest Scooter to his fans – suffers
from sleeplessness, and understands
the desire for a zzz-inducing podcast.
He calls his shows “a conversation
that goes on a little too long”, and
makes his voice monotonous,
chooses topics that meander into
dullness, and rambles on for an hour.
New shows come online three times
a week, including Game of Drones
(recaps of GoT episodes) and the
Sleep to Strange strand, where
Ackerman drones straight into a
silly story without any previous
explanation (my favourite type).
The Mysteries Abound podcast is not,
in itself, boring at all. It has episodes
called 10 Crazy Facts About Urine,
Earth Is an Alien Prison, and Poodle
Clipping as an Olympic Sport: all of
which, I’m sure you agree, sound far
from dull. It’s just that each episode
opens with woo-woo science
fiction music, and Paulrex, our host,
has a soothing Aussie voice that
lulls you into a weird, everythingis-strange snooze. He reads from
his script in old-fashioned Alfred
Hitchcock Presents/Tales of the
Unexpected style. Expect odd
dreams about mysterious strangers
and alien abduction.
Married US couple Chyna and Craig
tell each other bedtime stories that
they make up on the spot, often
from listeners’ suggestions. Their
voices are too upbeat and croaky
to be naturally slumber-inducing,
plus there are the usual hesitations
that you get with spontaneous tales
(this can drive you a bit mad), but
the idea is sweet enough. There are
a few recurring characters, including
Tumblin’ Toby, who overcomes
brigands for Queen Susan. Chyna
and Craig are taking time off at the
moment, as they’ve just had a baby,
but there are almost 30 episodes
available. MS
The Observer
Mixing memory and
desire in Margate
Journeys With The
Waste Land
Turner Contemporary, Margate;
until 7 May
In the town where
TS Eliot wrote much
of The Waste Land,
his great poem echoes
down the years in an
evocative show that
ranges from Edward
Hopper to Tacita Dean
TS Eliot sat down to write The Waste
Land in a seaside shelter at Margate.
The seats are still there, peeling
red paint beneath a wrought iron
pavilion, looking out at the icy grey
waves. From here, Eliot watched
children playing on the beach,
but also the agonising exercises
of soldiers severely injured in the
first world war. “On Margate Sands,”
he wrote, “I can connect/ Nothing
with nothing.”
It is not the least virtue of this
enthralling show that it puts
you right on the spot. At Turner
Contemporary you can see the
shelter just across the beach; and
you can imagine Eliot sitting there
in November 1921, recovering from
a breakdown, with this spectacle of
innocence and anguish before him.
The opening gallery gives potent
period context. Käthe Kollwitz’s
devastating woodcut Hunger shows
a woman weeping because she can
no longer feed her baby in the ruins
of postwar Germany. Olive MudieCooke’s dark lithograph of the
British military cemetery in Etaples
shows nothing but crosses as far as
the eye can see. Yet Margate’s local
paper that same year is advertising
the annual Armistice celebrations,
with dancing, tea and ices. Truly the
times are out of joint.
Which is the atmosphere of
Eliot’s polyphonic masterpiece,
arguably the greatest poem of the
20th century. A trip to Margate
helps set the scene – the sea,
drowned figures, the fortune-teller
Madame Sosostris, even the wave
movements of certain sections –
but the exhibition goes further. Its
modest promise is to explore the
resonances between the visual arts
and Eliot’s epic work. There are
direct references, specifically Patrick
Heron’s shattered portrait of the
poet, and Philip Guston’s colossal
painting of Eliot as a muckle head
laid out, so to speak, like a patient
etherised upon a table. But the
associations are principally with
mood and form.
Eliot’s structure is unsurpassed
in its staggering segues and jump
cuts, its brilliant fusion of dialogue,
lyric and vignette. Although several
works in this show play with dreamy
leaps, particularly the web-like
watercolour visions of his friend
and fellow poet David Jones, the
most exact analogy is with RB
Kitaj’s If Not, Not from the 1970s.
This great sweep of high-chrome
scenes of love and death surges
up through a wasteland climaxing
in paradise palms on the right
and the gates of Auschwitz on the
left. Civilisation stands, or falls,
between the two. At the bottom is
a forlorn portrait of Eliot wearing
a hearing aid, cradled in the lap
of a Gauguinesque girl. Here is
the painter’s own “heap of broken
images”, the fragments he is
shoring, one feels, against his ruins.
This is one of Kitaj’s best works,
and there are other modern
masterpieces in this show. The full
quartet of Cy Twombly’s great Four
Seasons cycle rings with intensity,
celebrating the changes in his Italian
garden. Here is colour as pure
music, abstract and resoundingly
lyrical; but there are fragments of
Virgil tremulously pencilled in the
Night Windows,
1928, below left,
by Edward Hopper.
© Tate, London,
A trip to
helps set the
scene – the
sea, drowned
figures, the
Below right:
RB Kitaj’s If Not,
Not, 1975-6: ‘here
is the painter’s own
“heap of broken
images”’. Courtesy
National Galleries
of Scotland
lush background – writing mutating
into febrile image. The connection
is unexpected; it isn’t usual to think
of Twombly in terms of TS Eliot,
his fellow American. But both are
indeed epic visual poets.
Edward Hopper’s Night Windows
puts you on eye level with a firstfloor apartment, where a solitary
stenographer has slipped out of
her office clothes into something
more comfortable. The analogy is
with Eliot’s typist in her bedsit after
work, awaiting the arrival of “the
young man carbuncular”. After the
hurried grapple, both return to their
loneliness. “She turns and looks a
moment in the glass/ Hardly aware
of her departed lover/ Her brain
allows one half-formed thought to
pass/ Well now that’s done: and I’m
glad it’s over.”
Thinking of the pub scene in
Section II, where the barmaid has
been ruined by backstreet pills,
the curators present Paula Rego’s
anguished Abortion sketches.
Close by is Sickert’s frightening
Off to the Pub, a man and woman
in bleary yellow gaslight, which
seems to presage the fateful
pregnancy. The show is very strong
on images of – and by – women,
including a melancholy wreath
fashioned out of artificial flowers
and white evening gloves by
Rozanne Hawksley, the fluttering
fingers mimicking both leaves
and imploring hands, a memorial
for all the mothers’ sons who died
in the trenches.
Instead of the usual catalogue,
visitors are handed a short
anthology of writings by the group
of historians, artists, authors and
local residents who have selected
the 80 or so works in this show.
This unusual curatorial democracy
allows for some quite diverse
emphases. There is an Aboriginal
shield to remind you of Aboriginal
“dreamtime” in which past, present
and future coexist, as in the poem
(somewhat); and a fragment
– literally – of St Augustine’s
Confessions, quoted by Eliot in what
may have been a spiritual crisis.
Most extreme is an analysis by the
Norwegian artist Vibeke Tandberg
of the number of times each word
occurs in The Waste Land. To my
surprise, “red” only appears six
times, and “dead” even less, though
of course it all becomes bathetically
predictable with definitive
pronouns. Tandberg’s collaged
tables are visually null, but each
person’s overturned memories and
assumptions are the point.
For one reader will remember
lilacs, another rat’s alley, red rocks
or the Smyrna merchant with
his pocket full of currents. Once
read, certain images remain for
ever; but perhaps uppermost is
the overwhelming tenor. And
this is where the show is at its
best, choosing works that catch
that deathless insomniac mood.
It’s there in Wyndham Lewis’s
portrait of Ezra Pound, irritable
and convalescent in his chair. It is
in Cecil Collins’s eerie boatful of
intellectuals riding to nowhere on
dark seas, and it hovers in Tacita
Dean’s unforgettable film Sound
Mirrors, from 1999.
Dean’s camera homes in on
gigantic concrete dishes used as
primitive early warning systems on
the Kent coast in the 1920s, bizarre
and melancholy in the dying light.
The soundtrack picks up what the
dishes echo – late birds, water on
shingle, the buzz of a byplane – as
if war were once more imminent.
Time past lingers on in the present.
Journeys With The Waste Land
transfers to the Herbert Art
Gallery and Museum, Coventry,
15 September-18 November
The Observer
When time flies
Preoccupations with
our fleeting existence
loom large in a trio of
new works at this year’s
Resolution festival
Orphan Realms; One Eye
Open; Fragmenty
The Place, London WC1
Now in its 29th year, the Resolution
dance festival staged by the Place
in London remains the UK’s
most significant showcase for
new choreography. This year,
Resolution hosts 81 artists, all of
whom are presenting original work.
The festival, which opened on 12
January, will run until 23 February,
with three works showing
each night. It’s a sociable and
atmospheric event, usually packed
out, with choreographers and
performers joining the crowd in the
bar after each piece.
Last Tuesday’s programme
opened with Orphan Realms, a
solo piece by Tara D’Arquian. A
versatile dance artist, D’Arquian is
best known for thee In Situ project,
a trilogy of site-specific works,
inspired by Nietzsche’s Three
Metamorphoses, which launched in
2013 and whose final
part is to be staged
this year. Ambitious
in scale and concept,
unsettling in tone,
the trilogy employs
dance, music
and theatrical
installation to
investigate the
mysterious disappearance of a oncecelebrated actress.
Orphan Realms could not be
further from the elaborately
surreal world of the trilogy. The
creation of the 18-minute work
was prompted by a serious illness
that D’Arquian suffered last year.
Shadowed by her own mortality,
and conscious, although she is not
yet 30, that time was flying by, she
determined to challenge herself
with an extended, pure dance solo.
The result, if untypically minimalist,
is clearly informed by D’Arquian’s
overarching preoccupation: the way
that personal history fractures even
as we experience it.
As a dancer, D’Arquian is whippy
and tensile. Running in faster and
faster circles, as Gareth Mitchell’s
score unfolds – children’s laughter,
ominous electronic crescendos –
she appears to be chasing her own
memories. As she races backwards,
it’s as if she’s trying to rewind the
spool of the past. She sings, very
capably; she essays the posture of
a mythological huntress, drawing
her bow; she’s spun and whirled
on a storm wave. If small in scale,
Orphan Realms reveals itself as an
archetypical D’Arquian quest. “Of
all the places I’ve been to, none
was the place I wanted to find,” she
announces, sad but undefeated.
I was less convinced by One
p . Choreographed
Eye Open
by Bradley
Smail for Imbec
Imbeciles Dance Theatre,
the piece muses whimsically, and at a
leisure pace, on mortality.
decidedly leisurely
“Life is like garde
garden furniture,”
a female perform
performer confides
g omically. Another
pllaces a vinyl
vin record of Dusty
eld Wishin’ and
Hopin’ on a turntable
before sub
subsiding into tears.
are ma
There are masks,
and Smail’s
h the formless
choreography has
character of an imp
improvisation class.
The message seem
seems to be that life
passes swiftly by. If so, this was a
longish 25 minutes.
n work was
The evening’s final
y by Local
Loca Tourists, a
likable duo (Aine Reynolds
Monika Szpunar) wh
who discovered
on a trip to Poland that
the dance
studio they had booked
a so decided
not available and
to devise a pie
piece on the
streets. The re
result is tightly
composed, but infused
with an attentio
larkiness and immediacy
it’s impossible not to respond to.
More, please.
‘Chasing her own mem
Tara D’Arquian in Orph
Realms. Photograph by
Joel O’Donoghue
The Observer
Game of the month
‘Felling these beasts is
no small undertaking’:
Monster Hunter: World.
In pursuit of the
beast within
Monster Hunter: World
Xbox One, PS4; Capcom
The latest in a visceral
series, this breakout hit
shoves humans back
down the food chain to a
land where dinos roam
In 1864, when Jules Verne published
Journey to the Centre of the Earth and,
almost five decades later Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle published The Lost
World, there still existed in readers a
lingering notion that, just maybe, in
some unmapped nook of the planet,
the dinosaurs had prevailed. Not just
the soaring raptors and skittering
lizards, but the lumbering mastodon
and megalosaurus too – vanished
monsters who could observe right
there, plodding through foreign
grass. No more. Google’s prying
satellites have mapped every furlong
of the planet, while sonar long
extinguished any hope of some
subterranean Mesozoic outpost.
The compulsion to rediscover a
lost world remains, however. In this,
the Crichton period, we have turned
to the uncharted plains of test-tube
science in the hope of resurrecting
real-life dinosaurs. Monster Hunter:
World rejects this approach and
returns to the romance of the
Victorian stories: it sends you off to
a forgotten continent, one filled with
wild and unclassified megafauna to
investigate, spot, capture or kill. It
is also, indisputably, the most vivid
and profound opportunity we have
yet seen to come face-to-claw with
our planet’s old monsters.
You arrive on the continent by
galleon, as one of the Fifth Fleet, a
group of palaeontologists turned
zoologists who settle at a higgledy
outpost built by members of the
four preceding fleets. By entering
this world, you are making a mortal
commitment: to rejoin the food
chain from which humans have,
largely, escaped. As such, your first
act is to equip your scientist with the
necessary get-up to survive a brush
with a theropod (in this context,
even the bird-watchers must carry
broadswords). At the outpost, a
blacksmith can forge you weapons
and armour. But the raw materials
for anything other than the most
basic set must be harvested out
in the wild. So begins the game’s
compelling, materialistic loop:
hunting dinosaurs, harvesting their
parts and finally presenting them
to the blacksmith to forge into tools
or fashions. The armour reflects the
beast from which it was made: carve
the fur from a Paolumu – a bussized bat-cum-hamster, for example,
and you’ll be able to parade around
in a Cossack-y ushanka with
matching fur booties, a set that
can be further strengthened by
harvesting yet more monster parts.
Felling these beasts – either alone
or with friends and strangers online
– is no small undertaking. You start
by searching out their tracks in the
grass, or scratching their gloop from
cave walls. Once your entourage of
luminous, sniffing flies catch the
scent, you can follow their cloud
up vines and down ravines toward
your quarry. Hunts have heft and
consequence and can take up to an
hour to complete. Wound the beast
Shadow of
the Colossus.
Team Ico/
Sony Computer
and, typically, it will scurry away to
a new area, meaning that you must
learn to master not only the animal
but also its terrain. Your choice of
weapon vastly alters the game’s
rhythm. A longbow requires you to
maintain space, perhaps picking out
Also out this month
Shadow of the Colossus
(PS4; Sony)
A different kind of exercise
in monster-hunting, Fumito
Ueda’s rebrushed classic casts
you as a young boy wandering
a forgotten land in search of 16
stone giants. Killing each of the
giants by clambering on their
backs is exhilarating but ultimately
melancholic – another thoughtful
study of the relationship between
predator and prey.
Secret of Mana
(PS4, PS Vita, PC; Square Enix)
First released in 1993, Secret of
Mana was a high point in the golden
age of Japanese pixel art role-playing
games, and one of the first to allow
players to collaborate from the sofa.
This wistful tale of environmentalism
and magic has been completely
remade at a time when its themes
have renewed urgency.
a high vantage point from which to
rain down shots. An axe or sword,
meanwhile, forces proximity. The
sooner you can latch on to the
creature’s back the better.
For those who balk at the violence
– and there is an undeniable sense
of tragedy to seeing one of these
magnificent creatures brought
down, wound by wound – traps may
be crafted from scavenged materials
and, once set, the creatures can be
captured alive, if nicked and bruised,
for study. But there are enlightening
benefits to taking the deadly
approach, principally in exploring
up close the way in which, even in
this fictive context, our way of life
– the tools we use, the clothes we
wear, the sustenance we consume –
relies upon the slaughter of animals,
a transaction from which most of
us are blissfully removed. Just as
the Victorian novels met a mass
craving for a world uncorrupted
by man, Monster Hunter: World has
picked its moment well. For years,
the series has been no more than
a curio outside of Japan. This time
it’s a hit – 5m copies worldwide last
weekend and now apex predator in
the UK charts. Either played with a
conscience, where the dinosaurs are
subjects of study, or with frivolity,
where they are fodder to maintain a
lavish wardrobe, we are seemingly
ready to reconnect with the old
natural order again.
The Observer
The week ahead
Our cultural highlights
Shadow Factory
Nicola Benedetti
Ocean Liners: Speed
and Style
Created by Pina Bausch in 1986,
Viktor was inspired by the city of
Rome. Although shot through with
Bauschian foreboding – the stage is
an open grave – the piece is charged
with humour and joy. Sadler’s Wells,
London; Thur-Sun.
Russian master Andrey Zvyagintsev
wowed us with his furious antigovernment allegory Leviathan. He’s
back on Oscar-nominated form with
this intimate powerhouse in which
a child’s disappearance kicks off a
ing social inquiry. In cinemas
from Friday.
Still Alice
Sharon Small stars as the university
professor diagnosed with earlyonset Alzheimer’s in Christine Mary
Dunford’s adaptation of Lisa Genova’s
novel. David Grindley directs, with
Wendy Mitchell,who has dementia, as
consultant. Courtyard, West Yorkshire
Playhouse, Leeds, Friday to 3 March.
Southampton’s new 450-seat
theatre, NST City, opens with the
world premiere of Howard Brenton’s
play about the destruction of
the city’s Spitfire factory in 1940.
Catherine Cusack and Anita Dobson
star. Weds to 3 March.
The star violinist tours Beethoven’s
Violin Concerto, conductor Marin
Alsop, with the Orchestra of the
Age of Enlightenment. Royal Festival
Hall, London (today); Symphony
Hall, Birmingham (Tue); the Anvil,
Basingstoke (Thur); Saffron Hall,
Saffron Walden (Fri).
drick Lamar
Woolf: An Exhibition
IInspired By Her Writings
er of five Grammys
unday and execlast Sunday
cing the new Black
err soundtrack,
eatest rapper
the greatest
of the age hits the UK
eland this week.
and Ireland
ys Dublin (Wed),
He plays
ngham (Fri),
hester (Sat)
and touring.
A show as opulent as its romantic
subject: the floating luxury hotel,
as epitomised in art, architecture
and film. Highlights include Marlene
Dietrich’s travel clothes and a Cartier
tiara recovered from the sinking
Lusitania. V&A, London, until 10 June.
Mrs Dalloway to Orlando, this
sshow explores Woolf’s writings
tthrough the art of Gwen John, Claude
Cahun, Barbara Hepworth, Dora
Carrington and others. Tate St Ives,
Sat to 29 April
Book now: Cave
Book now: Festival of Voice
Tansy Daves and writer
Nick Drake’s new dystopian opera,
ccommissioned by the London
Sinfonietta and Royal Opera,
with tenor Mark Padmore and
mezzo-soprano Elaine Mitchener.
Printworks, London, 20-23 June.
A number of Cardiff venues host
an international cast in June for the
Welsh capital’s biennial arts festival:
an intimate evening with Patti Smith
and local hero Gruff Rhys heads
an eclectic lineup. 7-17 June. Visit to book tickets.
A regiment of pilgrims
and Pankhursts
Two contrasting books
about the campaign
for women’s suffrage
100 years ago uncover
heroines of both
moderate and militant
persuasions, writes
Rachel Cooke
Hearts and
Jane Robinson
Doubleday, £20,
Rise Up,
Women! The
Lives of the
Bloomsbury, £30,
and so too do
those who,
much later, will
try to tell their stories, whether on
paper or on screen. So perhaps it’s
no surprise that in the 21st century,
the campaign for women’s suffrage
has been reduced, in the popular
imagination, to a series of star
names: the Pankhurst women, in
their huge hats, brave and brilliant
but also rather autocratic; poor
Emily Wilding Davison, who threw
herself beneath the king’s horse on
Derby Day, 1913. Some may even
remember that it was a woman
called Mary Richardson who on 10
March 1914 walked into the National
Gallery and slashed Velaquez’s
Rokeby Venus with an axe she had
hidden in the sleeve of her jacket
(Richardson was protesting against
the rearrest of Emmeline Pankhurst
and the many other women the
government was “slowly murdering”
courtesy of the “Cat and Mouse” Act,
which allowed both for the early
release of suffragette prisoners on
hunger strike, and for their recall
once their health had recovered – at
which point the terrible cycle of
starvation and force-feeding would
begin all over again). “I care more
for justice than I do for art,” said
Richardson fiercely, as the Bow
Street magistrates sentenced her
to six months’ imprisonment with
hard labour.
But what of the rest? After all,
many thousands of other women
were involved, playing parts both
large and small. Some limited
their activities to fundraising:
at Somerville College, Oxford, a
group of undergraduates opened
a pop-up milliner’s shop, where
for threepence it was possible to
have the scarf on your summer
bonnet washed, ironed and retied.
Others made the most of their
personal skills, whether ordinary or
arcane: the Hon Evelina Haverfield
of Dorset, for instance, counted
among her talents the ability to
sidle up to police horses during
demonstrations and make them
sit down. And then there were the
lionhearts, women who were every
bit as valiantly militant as Pankhurst
and co, but whose names remain
obscure: Janie Allan, the daughter
of a wealthy Glasgow shipping
family who dreamed, during
her incarceration, of the green
chartreuse she planned to sip on her
release; Phyllis Keller, arrested for
breaking the windows of the arch
anti-suffragist Lord Curzon and
who wrote to her mother from her
cell in Holloway prison begging for
Camp coffee and potted meat; tragic
Lavender Guthrie, a “soldier in the
women’s army”, whose sad death
from an overdose of the sedative
Veronal in 1914 the press tried
loudly and desperately to blame on
her four-year career as a suffragette.
All these names and so many
more – though not, alas, those of the
two Manchester suffragettes who
hurled sausages at the vegetarian
Keir Hardie as he left a Labour
conference early in 1913 – can be
found in a pair of wildly different
books published to mark the
centenary of the Representation of
the People Act, which enfranchised
women for the first time (albeit only
those over 30 who were married or
owned property): Diane Atkinson’s
detailed and authoritative Rise Up,
Women!, which seems to me to be
pretty much a definitive history of
the suffragettes (hurl this volume
at a Westminster window, and it
would break in an instant); and
Jane Robinson’s shorter and gentler
Hearts and Minds, which focuses on
the suffragists, the far bigger group
of women (and some men) who
disliked militancy, and who hoped
instead to achieve their aims via
more persuasive means.
Both contain important untold
stories; both are inspiring and
moving. Like the contrasting
wings of the movement they
each chronicle, they’re also
complementary: only by reading
them together is one able fully
to feel – and how – the almost
unimaginable determination and
pluck of the women who fought this
battle on our behalf. Putting them
down at last, I wondered again at
Vogue, which recently described a
group of women – among them an
MP, an artist and a bestselling writer
– as the “new suffragettes”. No, I
thought. They may be many things,
all of them great. But suffragettes,
they are not.
One number (from Atkinson’s
book) that I cannot get out of my
mind: the “leading comedienne”
Kitty Marion, another of those who
went on hunger strike in protest
at the refusal of the government
to treat the suffragettes as political
prisoners, was force-fed through
a tube 232 times during the three
months she spent in Holloway
Prison in 1914. On days when
this procedure was carried out
at every mealtime, the vomiting
would continue for several hours
afterwards; she lost 36lb in weight.
Somehow, though, this only seemed
to make her stronger. Later, she
would barricade herself in her cell,
smash its windows, or set fire to her
A suffragette
in London. Getty
and Emmeline
Pankhurst in
court circa 1909.
bed, in the full knowledge that this
would only make her treatment by
the authorities all the rougher. “I
found blessed relief to my feelings in
screaming, exercising my lungs and
throat after the frightful sensation
of being held in a vice, choking
and suffocating,” she would write.
Being trolled on Twitter is vile. But it
doesn’t come close to this.
Marion was a fully fledged
member of the Women’s
Social and Political Union, the
organisation founded in 1903 by
Emmeline Pankhurst, a widowed
businesswoman and seasoned
leftist campaigner who was growing
The Observer
Ruby Tandoh
Zadie Smith
Graphic novel
The author and
cookery columnist
tells Killian Fox about
relearning the joy of food
Tim Adams on
the writer’s sharp,
wide-ranging new
collection of essays
Rachel Cooke enjoys
Anneli Furmark’s
engrossing Red Winter,
set in 70s Sweden
in the east, Bangor in Wales, and
Land’s End, Portsmouth, Brighton
and Margate in the south, following
a carefully organised itinerary that
would eventually take them to
London, and to a rally in Hyde Park
(50,000 people attended it). Some
walked all the way, and some only
part of it; some camped en route,
while others bunked in the homes
of supporters. It sounds joyful, and
it was; women of all social classes
found, with every step, a new
solidarity and sense of purpose. But
it was not without its dangers. The
crowds that greeted them were often
hostile. The pilgrims were stoned
and beaten up; dead rats were
thrown; their speeches sometimes
could not be heard above the sound
of hand bells, rung to silence them.
increasingly impatient with what
she regarded as the complacency
of most suffragists – and it’s the
WSPU whose history Atkinson
relates, almost exclusively. Given
both the length of her book (the text
runs to almost 700 pages) and the
nature of the sometimes internecine
squabbles of the Pankhursts and
their associates, the only tiny steps
forward the campaign was at times
able to take, it’s a huge achievement
that her narrative, so crisp and
clear, is never less than enthralling;
it rushes along with all the speed
of the motorbike in whose sidecar
the released Kitty Marion would
later niftily elude the police. But
then, her subjects have such dash;
perhaps it was contagious. I thrilled
to stories of women like Annie
Kenney, who donned black clothing
and scrambled down a rope ladder
in the dead of night to escape the
police-surrounded house where
she was recovering from a hunger
strike; and to that of Hilda Burkitt
and Florence Tunks, a secretary
and a bookkeeper respectively, who
embarked enthusiastically on a
campaign of arson in Suffolk (when
they were prosecuted for their
crimes, Burkitt told the judge to put
on his black cap “and pass sentence
Even before its
campaign of
violence, the cause
of women’s suffrage
had plenty of
of death or not waste his breath”).
But bravery and sacrifice come
in many guises. Robinson’s book
is concerned in the main with the
National Union of Women’s Suffrage
Societies, the organisation led by
Millicent Fawcett, which by 1914
had some 600 branches and many
of whose members (they numbered
tens of thousands) were responsible
for the remarkable march, in favour
of votes for women but firmly
against militancy, that forms the
spine of her narrative: the Great
Pilgrimage of 1913. Those involved
set off from Newcastle and Carlisle
in the north, Cromer and Yarmouth
o what degree this
hostility may be laid at
the feet of the WSPU is
moot. Even before its
campaign of violence,
the cause of women’s
suffrage had plenty of enemies
(Robinson reminds the reader that
among its more unlikely opponents
was Gertrude Bell, the explorer;
that men everywhere thought these
lunatic women should be whipped
soundly). Nor is it truly possible
to say how much either group
influenced the politicians. The war
changed everything; Lloyd George,
who replaced the unbudging Asquith
as prime minister in 1916, was a
friend to both wings. Nevertheless,
I can’t share the slight disapproval
detectable in Hearts and Minds for
the WSPU (just as I can’t go along
with its author’s statement, offered
without criticism, that “Emmeline
has been described as being like a
mistress, Millicent like a wife”).
Glorious as it is that Robinson
has put back in the picture unsung
heroines such as Marjory Lees,
who joined the Watling Street leg
of the pilgrimage from Oldham,
taking with her a wooden horsepulled caravan called the Ark,
this adventure surely would not
have happened at all without the
suffragettes; the pilgrimage was a
response to their activities, antics
that also publicised the cause more
effectively than any march or rally,
however well attended. As I read her
book, I had the sense quite often
that fear and hint of reproof was, in
their time as in ours, sometimes a
twisted form of envy, or perhaps, for
those who knew their limits, shame
turned outwards. Who could have
read about the force-feeding and
not felt a kind of queasy awe at what
the bravest out there would do for
their sisters and their daughters?
Perhaps this is why, in the end, it
was Atkinson’s book that stirred me
the more.
To order Hearts and Minds for £17
or Rise Up Women! for £25.50 go
to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer
Anyone for a cultural
thought experiment?
In brief
by Hannah Beckerman
Zadie Smith: ‘missives from
a gentler, more hopeful age’.
Dominique Nabokov
In her wide-ranging
new collection, Zadie
Smith’s sharp eye darts
from Prince to Facebook
to the English seasons,
writes Tim Adams
Feel Free: Essays
Zadie Smith
Hamish Hamilton, £20, pp452
One unavoidable sensation in
reading Zadie Smith’s recent essays
is that “recent” isn’t what it used
to be. Smith is now an insistently
transatlantic writer, dividing her
life between New York and Queens
Park in London. These pieces were
written during the eight years of
the Obama administration, and
therefore largely in the time –
which, alarmingly, starts to look
like a relatively rational period
– of coalition government in the
UK. There is only one mention
of Donald Trump in the book;
Theresa May does not get a look
in. Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, has
a walk-on as a politician who still
looks more a dead-end past than a
born-again future, someone who
has “profoundly betrayed the youth
vote… [and] must go”.
This sense of prelapsarian history
does not necessarily hobble Smith’s
compendious musings – a brick of
an essay collection like this one is
the acknowledgment of a certain
status in a novelist, something like
a “major retrospective” for a painter
– but it does make several of them
read like lively period pieces. Smith’s
Brexit Diary, reproduced from the
pages of the New York Review of
Books, only takes us to the point of
Nigel Farage’s triumphant union
jack shoes (though, written from her
in-laws’ home Ulster, it does contain
many prescient lines: “in Northern
Ireland it was clear that one thing
Brexit certainly wasn’t about, even
slightly, was Northern Ireland” and
“in Britain Nigels come and go,
Ruperts are for ever”). Though they
might not have felt such at the time,
these are missives from a gentler,
more hopeful age.
Within them – as Smith’s
enthusiastic attention ranges
over subjects as diverse as Ella
Fitzgerald’s style and the depiction
of corpses in Renaissance paintings
and the discomfiting smudging
of English seasons one into the
other – there is an additional
nostalgia. The further Smith’s
acclaim as a novelist has taken her
from her growing up in Willesden
in the 1980s, the more she wants
to hold it in mind. That defining
multicultural landscape on London’s
north circular serves her writing
much like the butcher’s shop and
the trials of afternoon tea in Leeds
serves Alan Bennett. It invites us to
share the writers’ belief that nothing
much of what has happened since
has fundamentally changed them.
If in doubt about what she thinks,
Smith’s reflex is to return us to the
community around the flats and
maisonettes in which she once lived,
and from which she emerged thanks
to a retrospectively benevolent state
that gave her NHS glasses and had
faith in public libraries and educated
her for free and looked after her
aged father.
Another attraction of this golden
time is that hers was the very last
generation in human history that
grew up with the printed rather than
the digital page. Both in practice
and in spirit Smith makes a vivid
case for the importance of bookish
culture, even as she sometimes fears
it is a valediction. She is a rigorous
and often inspired reader – writing
with equal acuity about, say, Ursula
K Le Guin or Hanif Kureishi. The
standout essay here is “Generation
Why” (2010), her dismantling of the
idea of Facebook and the addictive
solipsism it promotes: “500 million
sentient people entrapped in
the recent careless thoughts of a
Harvard sophomore,” she writes.
(For 500 million, now read 1 billion.)
Strangely perhaps, given Smith’s
antipathy to virtual worlds, the
reality she tends toward in her
nonfiction is generally a mediated
one. There is next to nothing in
these pages that could be classed
as “reporting” in the sense of going
out into a less friendly corner of
the messy walkable world and
testing what you think you know
against what you find. Smith is not
an essayist in the mode of a Joan
Didion, someone who likes to pitch
up in a place and try to make sense
of it. Instead she uses the format to
engage in sort of cultural thought
experiments from her desk.
Some of these essays gesture
toward the voice that Geoff Dyer has
made his own; her analysis of the
kinship between notable dancers
and the act of writing contains some
seductive moves – “it’s very hard
to bring to mind Prince dancing
where it is practically impossible
to forget Michael Jackson” – but
you wonder whether her heart
is completely in it. Likewise, her
writing is just about sharp enough
to have you stick with her through
a deconstruction of the selfinvolvement of Justin Bieber as seen
through the lens of the philosopher
Martin Buber, but you may not be
convinced of the point.
That latter essay makes the
argument that in our culture of
self-advertisement, “recognising
the reality of other people – and
having them recognise the reality of
you – is at the heart of the matter”.
In one of her pieces here, about her
reluctance to use the first-person
voice in her novels she writes of her
love of a “fiction that faces outward,
toward others”. It’s a manifesto that
makes you wonder, just from time
to time, how her nonfiction would
sound if she put her supple gifts of
description and analysis to work
more often in places other than
galleries and libraries.
To order Feel Free for £17 go to or call
0330 333 6846
Zoe Gilbert
Bloomsbury, £14.99, pp256
Zoe Gilbert’s debut novel
conjures up a mythical island
– Neverness – in which
youngsters battle through
mazes to secure kisses from
local girls, a baby is born with a
wing for an arm, and inhabitants
fashion fiddles to play the
music of their grief. There are
themes of desire and longing,
loss and mourning, and the
rites of passage that must be
undertaken to reach adulthood.
The rhythm of Gilbert’s prose
can feel uneven, but Folk has a
powerful sense of mythology,
reminiscent of Angela Carter.
I Love You Too Much
Alicia Drake
Picador, £14.99, pp256
Paul, 13, lives in Paris with
his vain and self-interested
mother, Séverine. His parents
are divorced and Paul’s
workaholic father shows little
paternal interest. When Paul is
befriended by rebellious new
classmate Scarlett, he dares
to believe his social isolation
may be over. But when he
makes a shocking family
discovery, his emotional world
is thrown into turmoil. Drake’s
characters are richly drawn in
a coming-of-age novel replete
with evocations of adolescent
loneliness and insecurity.
Exit West
Mohsin Hamid
Hamish Hamilton, £8.99,
pp240 (paperback)
In a Middle Eastern city, two
young people, Nadia and Saeed,
fall in love amid political unrest
and the gradual takeover of the
city by militants. But Hamid’s
Booker-shortlisted novel is
no conventional love story. As
mysterious black doors appear
throughout the city, offering
escape, Hamid builds a lyrical
portrayal of the refugee crisis,
merging magical realism with
political commentary. Episodes
of sexual assault, death,
dehumanisation, violence
and misogyny are dealt with
in sparse and unsentimental
prose. Vignettes of parallel lives
provide a rich counterpoint in
this moving and powerful novel.
To order Folk for £12.74, I Love
You Too Much for £12.74 or
Exit West for £10.19 go to or
call 0330 333 6846
The hopes and dreams of
India’s ‘scarred generation’
pains of a
big kid
The Adulterants
Joe Dunthorne
Hamish Hamilton, £12.99, pp173
In his third novel, The Adulterants,
Joe Dunthorne captures the
anxieties that come with being a
British man in his 30s with the
same accuracy, easy wit and telling
The reality is that few young Indians
have undergone skills training. Getty
They are the most
global young
Indians ever,
but with the
narrowest ideas
of what it means
to be Indian
Jason Burke on a
perceptive account of
the challenges India
faces in dealing with
the aspirations of
its growing young
The Observer
Dreamers: How Young Indians
Are Changing the World
Snigdha Poonam
In 2014, in the 16th general election
since winning independence from
Britain in 1947, India voted for a
new leader. The election pitted the
centre-left Congress party, whose de
facto candidate for prime minister
was Rahul Gandhi, the lacklustre
scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty,
against the Hindu nationalist
Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), led
by Narendra Modi, a polarising
but charismatic rightwing activist
turned politician from a poor
provincial family.
Covering the election for the
Observer, I travelled from Delhi, the
Indian capital and my base as South
Asia correspondent, to Meerut, a
small city an hour or so north, to
attend a Modi rally. The meeting
was vast, with tens of thousands
hanging on the BJP leader’s every
word. He promised a national
regeneration, an India that stood up
to its neighbours, was proud of its
Hindu heritage, and which offered a
hand-up to those who worked hard
but had little sympathy with anyone
who expected a hand-out.
In the end, Modi and the BJP
won a landslide. Of the 814 million
Indians eligible to cast a ballot
at 930,000 polling stations, 120
million were first-time voters. At the
time of the election, a third of the
population was under 15, more than
half under 24; every third person in
detail he brought to his 2008 debut,
Submarine. Like Oliver Tate, the
teenage protagonist of that book,
Ray is struggling with the transition
to adulthood. His wife, Garthene,
an endlessly patient nurse, is
eight months pregnant, but Ray is
scraping a living as a freelance tech
journalist, churning out listicles
for a pittance. Unlike some of the
couple’s friends, property ownership
remains a distant dream.
Ray addresses his issues –
insecurities about his marriage,
his friendships, his worth in the
world, and the impending shift in
his responsibilities – by making a
number of poor-to-awful choices.
Most of these he blames on
circumstance, societal pressure
and, occasionally, his wife – but
never on himself.
He contemplates cheating on
Garthene while drunk at a party only
to end up getting punched in the
face when it turns out his friends’
open marriage wasn’t as open as
he had thought. He gets himself
arrested. He begins to worry that
Garthene is cheating on him.
But while he has a gift for selfsabotage and is often extraordinarily
selfish, Ray remains engaging and
relatively sympathetic. Through
Garthene’s interactions with him,
you get a sense of how swiftly he is
unravelling. Like Tom Lee’s recent
novel, The Alarming Palsy of James
Orr, The Adulterants examines the
fragility of masculinity and the
primal urge to provide.
The novel takes place during the
London riots and Dunthorne also
touches on gentrification, as well
Hurst, £14.99, pp224
an Indian city today was between
15 and 32; the median age in India
was 27. Their votes were critical to
that victory.
Among them was the founder
of WittyFeed, a company in Indore
staffed entirely by twentysomething
Indians who have never travelled
overseas but who succeed in
enticing hundreds of millions
of people, many in the US but
elsewhere too, to click on worthless
lists of banalities and thus generate
colossal revenues.
Snigdha Poonam, a writer for
India’s Hindustan Times newspaper,
opens Dreamers with a long passage
about these young editors. One
says their job is “feeding American
curiosity”, which is arguably
something India and Indians have
been doing since the late 1960s.
Another says: “Everyone here is an
entrepreneur. Everyone wants to
be something” – a statement that
would be as relevant in the small
towns across India where they are
all from and which feature heavily
in this perceptive, useful book on an
important topic.
If Dreamers is slightly given
to hyperbole – “the world’s
future” does not “depend on
young Indians meeting their
aspirations” – Poonam is cleareyed on the challenges the youth
of the Indian population present.
At the moment, she writes, less
than 17% of India’s graduates are
immediately employable. Only
2.3% of the Indian workforce has
undergone formal skills training
(compared with 80% in Japan and
96% in South Korea) and India will
therefore need to educate about
100 million young people over the
next 10 years, a task never before
Joe Dunthorne: ‘a superbly economical
writer with a poet’s sensibility’. Alamy
as the economic and psychological
gap between generations – Ray’s
parents live a comfortable life in
Suffolk in a house that has more
than one spare room. There’s a
particularly timely passage, too,
undertaken in history. At least 1,000
universities will need to be built
over this period and nearly 50,000
colleges. Around 117 million people
need to be absorbed into new and
more productive jobs. The growing
gap between jobs and jobseekers
may lead to what the International
Labour Organisation calls a
“scarred generation”.
These young people are hitting
adulthood with the cultural values
of their grandparents – socially
conservative, sexually timid,
God-fearing – but the life goals of
American teenagers: money and
fame, Poonam points out. They
are the most global young Indians
ever, but with the narrowest ideas
of what it means to be Indian,
based on language, region, religion,
and an exaggerated notion of the
country’s precolonial glories.
Meerut is a city of 42% Muslims
and 58% Hindus, and has long
been classified as “riot-prone”. Its
first sectarian riot was well before
Partition, in 1939, and its most
recent in 2015. Kumar, who doesn’t
like “girls” after being spurned
a few years before, spends days
harassing couples, assaulting those
who come from both communities.
This gives him an opportunity to
counter two perceived threats to his
own social and economic position:
the increasing emancipation of
women in India, and minorities.
It also brings him, he says, izzat,
or status and honour.
Kumar already feels anxious
about the future – he can’t go back
to being irrelevant. There is only
one way for him to go and he knows
it. “I am thinking of politics,” he says.
“This is the most desperate
generation of Indians since
Independence… but also the one
most bent on world domination,”
Poonam writes. “No matter
how poorly placed they find
themselves now, they make up
the world’s largest ever cohort of
like-minded young people, and
they see absolutely no reason
why the world shouldn’t run by
their rules.”
To order Dreamers for £14.99 go
to or call
0330 333 6846
about retribution via social media
and public shaming.
Dunthorne is a superbly
economical writer – he crams an
awful lot of plot into 173 pages –
and one with a poet’s sensibility:
a room is described as “unclescented”; a paper plate of baba
ganoush is “smooshed” under a
shoe. He is also properly funny.
There are several snort-throughyour-nose moments, including Ray’s
encounter with a policewoman,
when his every word exacerbates
his predicament. But throughout,
the novel’s comedy is always
balanced by insight and poignancy.
Natasha Tripney
To order The Adulterants for £11.04
go to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer
Fighting disease
with the heroes
of the resistance
Our growing understanding
of the immune system has
transformed medicine, as
this valuable guide shows,
writes Mark Honigsbaum
The Beautiful Cure: Harnessing
Your Body’s Natural Defences
Daniel M Davis
Bodley Head, £20, pp272
In 1989, Charles Janeway, a
scientist at Yale University, had an
epiphany that would revolutionise
immunology. For 50 years,
immunologists had subscribed to
the dogma that vaccines worked
by training the body to recognise
molecules that were foreign to the
body – “non-self” in immunological
jargon. The usual way of doing
this was to use vaccines to expose
people to a dead or harmless
version of a microbe, prompting the
activation of antibodies that would
be ready to swamp the germ should
they encounter the alien entity a
second time.
But there were exceptions to
the rule: sometimes, proteins
separated from originating germs
proved ineffective as vaccines; at
other times, vaccines required the
addition of an adjuvant, such as
aluminium, to kickstart an immune
response and no one could explain
why. What if, wondered Janeway,
the presence of something that had
never been in your body before was
not sufficient to trigger an immune
reaction? What if a second signal
was required?
Today, that second something
is known as a pattern-recognition
receptor and it is understood that
there are countless varieties of them,
each equipped to detect specific
types of germs and switch on the
appropriate immune responses.
Together with an alphabet soup of
other specialised cells, hormones
and proteins, they form part of our
innate immune system, helping us
to distinguish harmful bacteria and
viruses from beneficial ones, such as
gut microbes essential for digestion.
For Daniel Davis, professor of
immunology at the University
of Manchester, they constitute a
“beautiful cure” more powerful than
any product of a pharmaceutical
laboratory. Yet it is only in the past
30 years that immunologists such
as Davis and Janeway, who died
in 2003, have begun to shed light
on these “wonders taking place
beneath the skin”.
In the process, they have found
new ways to treat cancer, diabetes,
arthritis and other age-related
diseases. Immunologists are even
beginning to understand the way
in which immune responses are
dependent on emotional and
psychological states and the role
that stress and exposure to light play
in fighting disease.
Given this, you would have
thought that research into the
workings of the immune system
would be a top scientific priority.
But while billions have been
poured into the pursuit of the
Higgs boson, immunology lacks a
similar programmatic call-to-arms.
Instead, Davis argues, immunology
has always been a curiositydriven science, a matter of “a few
individuals following their nose”.
This is nowhere more true than in
the case of interferon. A signalling
protein involved in a host of
immune responses, interferon owes
its discovery to a chance meeting
in 1956 between two scientists at
the National Institute of Medical
Research in Mill Hill, north London.
At a time when their colleagues were
This week:
Literary page-turners
A new weekly series
answering readers’
Q: Having completed my MA in
creative writing, I can’t read with
pleasure any more because I am
too busy analysing how the book I
am reading is put together. Can you
recommend books I can get lost in
– page-turning literary fiction (or is
that an oxymoron)?
Colette Hill, Bath
A: Nicci Gerrard, whose most
recent novel is The Twilight Hour;
with her husband Sean French she
writes psychological thrillers under
A cancer cell. In the past 30 years,
immunologists have found new
ways to treat the disease.
Getty/Science Photo Library RF
focused on the epidemiology of flu,
Alick Isaacs and Jean Lindenmann
asked a completely different
question: namely, why was it so rare
for someone to be infected with
two different viruses at the same
time? That observation went back
at least as far as Charles Darwin’s
grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, who
commented he had never seen
a patient with measles who also
had smallpox, but until Isaacs and
Lindenmann no one had thought to
investigate the phenomenon.
They found that by signalling
genes to produce proteins such
as tetherin to attack viruses,
While billions have
been poured into
the pursuit
of the Higgs boson,
immunology lacks
a similar
the name of Nicci French.
Your question will chime with many
readers who have studied literature
because they love it, and then
have lost that love because they’ve
studied it, analysed it, dismantled it
to see how it fits together…
But page-turning literary fiction
is not an oxymoron! You need
books, for a while at least, that lack
literary self-consciousness, that
don’t draw attention to their own
style but feel like clear water, and
that offer pleasures which don’t
lie in form or technique. In order
of age, here are six novels (it could
have been 60) that I love for their
fresh and vivid voices, their utterly
interferon played a crucial role in
this process. In an example of how
in science everything comes full
circle, recent studies even suggest
interferon may help people stave
off flu, explaining why people who
lack a key interferon-stimulating
gene are more likely to be admitted
to hospital for the disease. This is
important because if people who
lack the interferon gene could
be screened and prioritised for
vaccination in the autumn, it could
prevent hospitals being swamped by
elderly patients in winter.
Davis is a sure and engaging
guide to these developments.
Beginning with Janeway’s
prediction of pattern-recognition
receptors, each chapter is devoted
to a scientist, or often a pair of
scientists, who, working outside
the mainstream, thought to ask
questions no one else was asking
at the time and often had to endure
years of scepticism and scorn
before seeing their ideas accepted
(unfortunately in Janeway’s case he
died before the award of the Nobel
prize to a colleague whose research
was inspired by his theories).
stories, and the
sheer oomph
they deliver. I
hope they can
drag you under
again and give
you back that
joyous, magical
when the rest
of the world disappears.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Woman in White by Wilkie
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara
These mavericks include
Ralph Steinman, the Canadian
immunologist credited with the
discovery of dendritic cells, and
Jim Allison, whose discovery of
“immune checkpoint therapy”
is fast becoming an important
adjunct to radiotherapy and
chemotherapy for the treatment
of cancers. In each case, Davis
shows how these scientific thinkers
overturned the previous dogma and
progressively deepened the story of
His message is that although
knowledge of the immune system
has come on in leaps and bounds in
the past 100 years, immunology still
lacks a unifying theory. “We must
not expect everything the immune
system does to fit any one overarching principle,” he concludes.
“The system discriminates
between self and non-self, and it
detects germs, and it responds to
danger, and it does all these things
concurrently – and messily.”
To order The Beautiful Cure for £17
go to or call
0330 333 6846
Out Stealing Horses by Per
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman
(And don’t forget Jane Eyre by
Charlotte Bronte, which, Angela
Carter once wrote, came as
close to being alluring trash as a
masterpiece could.)
Looking for the next Philip Roth? Or
maybe you loved Helen Macdonald’s
H Is for Hawk and want to discover
more nature memoirs. If you’ve got
a question for Book Clinic, submit it
at or
The Observer
The books
Ruby Tandoh
‘It’s fine to enjoy a ready meal’
The author and cookery
columnist’s new book is
about relearning the joy
of food – a joy she finds
in print as often as on
plates, finds Killian Fox
liked it. I’m certainly not a fantasyepic type of person. I don’t have
the attention span to keep loads of
characters in my head.
In Eat Up!, you say you’ve never read
Elizabeth David or Jane Grigson, which
is a brave thing for an English food
writer to admit.
It is my personal theory that no one
has read Elizabeth David.
Born in Southend in 1992, Ruby
Tandoh is the author of two
cookbooks, Crumb: The Baking Book
and Flavour: Eat What You Love. She
studied philosophy at UCL and was
a runner-up on The Great British
Bake Off in 2013. Since then she
has written a baking column for
the Guardian, reviewed fast-food
outlets for Vice and co-founded
a zine about mental health called
Do What You Want. Her new book,
Eat Up! Food, Appetite and Eating
What You Want (Serpent’s Tail,
£12.99), deals with eating disorders
(Tandoh had something “akin to
bulimia” for several years in her
teens), the wellness craze and
food snobbery, arguing for a more
relaxed and pleasurable approach
to food. She lives with her partner
Leah, a musician and trainee
counsellor, in Sheffield.
What book did you expect to like
and didn’t?
There are a few books by the
American psychiatrist Irvin D
Yalom that I hated. I usually love
books with all the juicy goss from
the therapist’s chair. Susie Orbach
did one recently [In Therapy] and
Stephen Grosz did one as well
[The Examined Life]. I loved those
but Yalom’s work left me cold. He
said some terrible things about
how a woman sitting across from
him disgusted him sexually and
therefore he found it hard to
counsel her.
What’s the best book you have ever
received as a present?
I went to visit a friend who lives
in Oslo. She recommended [the
American author] Lydia Davis and
took me to a bookshop to buy her
Collected Stories. There’s one story
called Happiest Moment, about a
man who says his happiest moment
was the time that his wife ate duck
in Beijing. I just thought it was
What compelled you to write Eat Up?
There are so many food books
out there – but I couldn’t find any
that dealt in an accessible way
with cultures of eating and our
relationship with food. The books
in this area were either really
academic or food memoirs; there
wasn’t really a middle ground. In a
sense I’m writing this book for my
younger self and anyone coming up
through their teens now who wants
to enter adulthood with a good
relationship with food.
Who is your favourite literary hero or
heroine? Antihero or villain?
This is terrible and deeply childish,
but Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker in
James and the Giant Peach. They’re
so cruel and awful and I kind of love
them. They feed James burnt crumbs
from the oven and make him run
around after them all day and chop
wood. They’re always bickering
between themselves – you’re too
thin, you’re too fat, you’re too lazy
– I think they’re really quite funny.
Merged together, I see something of
myself in them.
Do you have a favourite food scene in a
It’s incredible how often food
comes up in the Harry Potter series.
There’s the start-of-term feasts [at
Hogwarts] where the food appears
magically on the table and keeps
replenishing itself – that’s more
interesting to me than the dragons
and so forth.
What books are on your bedside table?
One book I’m really enjoying – I’m
halfway through – is The Word
for Woman Is Wilderness by Abi
Andrews. It’s about a girl in her late
teens who decides she wants to go
on a Bear Grylls-style adventure,
but finds that, as a woman, her
experience is very different.
I’m also reading Salt, Fat,
Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat. It’s
about the basic elements of good
cooking, but I’ve been reading it
like a novel. Everything I’ve been
doing so far in the kitchen has
been wrong, it turns out, but I’m
fine with Samin telling me I’m
a fool. I would put my life in her
‘There are some
cookbooks on
my shelf that I’ve
never opened’:
Ruby Tandoh.
Photograph by
Suki Dhanda
for the Observer
New Review
What’s the last really great book you
It’s not new, but I read On Chesil
Beach by Ian McEwan recently and
loved it. It’s about a newlywed
couple staying at a seafront hotel
in Dorset on the first night of their
honeymoon. They get brought
this dreadful meal and the waiters
are at the door watching them
eat – it’s so uncomfortable. The
husband is a working-class guy,
his wife is from a middle-class
family, and there are little details
in their backstory that describe
the food they ate growing up and
how weird he feels when he goes
round to her house. I thought it
was fantastic.
Which genres do you particularly
enjoy reading?
I’ve slowly come to realise that my
favourite kind of novel is one in
which nothing happens. It turns out
this is my niche. I like books that
are about just the way people think
and the mundane details of their
lives. For example, I really enjoyed
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila
Heti. For the life of me I couldn’t tell
you what it was about, but I know I
‘I love to see food in films, or
hear about it in music, or
read about it in books’
Are you done with writing cookbooks?
At the moment I think I am, not
because I don’t love them – I really
enjoy the process – but I don’t know
what more I can really contribute in
terms of recipes. There are plenty
of far better cooks out there who I’ll
leave to the recipe-making.
The thing that’s always interested
me most about food is how it figures
in popular culture. I love food when
I see it in films, or hear about it in
music, or read about it in books.
Writing this book, I was allowed to
talk about My Big Fat Greek Wedding
and all these pop-culture references.
That was fantastic.
Eat Up! is published by Serpent’s Tail
(£12.99). To order a copy for £9.99
go to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer
A love trapped
in Metroland
Julian Barnes returns to
the territory and themes
of his first novel, with
captivating results,
writes Alex Preston
The Only Story
Julian Barnes
Jonathan Cape, £16.99, pp224
When asked what he thought of
his son’s books, Kingsley Amis
said: “Martin needs to write more
sentences like ‘He put down his
drink, got up and left the room.’”
Amis père would approve of many
of the sentences in Julian Barnes’s
latest novel, The Only Story, which
steps through familiar Barnesian
territory, giving us the English
suburbs, an aged protagonist
looking back over an unfulfilled
life, all told in deceptively affectless
prose. It would appear that the
muted critical response to Barnes’s
dazzling meta-fictive portrait of the
life of Shostakovich, The Noise of
Time, has persuaded him to return
to the style and subject matter of
the Man Booker prize-winning The
Sense of an Ending (2011).
The Only Story opens with a
question: “Would you rather love the
more, and suffer the more; or love
the less and suffer the less?” In The
Sense of an Ending, the circumscribed
life of Tony Webster was in some
ways a response to that question
(“I had wanted life not to bother
me too much, and succeeded – and
how pitiful that was”). This time,
Barnes’s narrator, Paul, chooses love,
but ends up in the same bitter place.
It’s interesting that Barnes should
spend so much of his late career
turning over the themes of his first
novel, Metroland, published almost
40 years ago. That book allowed
its protagonist, Christopher, to end
up with some measure of comfort
in the banality of a suburban
marriage. Here, viewed from what
Barnes calls “the other end of life”,
there’s only the dull, intransitive rage
of a terminally disappointed man.
The book is told in three parts,
each employing a different voice. We
start off in the first-person narrative
of the 19-year-old Paul, who meets
and falls in love with 48-year-old
Susan at a tennis club. Paul lives
in “the Village”, a stockbroker-belt
enclave “fifteen miles south of
London”. Susan is married to the
comically ghastly Gordon, who
belches and munches on onions like
something out of Roald Dahl. She
and Paul begin an affair, which is
presented to the reader from dual
perspectives – both the 19-year-old’s
hot, naive experience of it and then
the sour reflections of the older man
looking back half a century later.
The narrative is full of little
rebarbative asides aimed at the
process of storytelling. “On top
of this, there are things I can’t be
bothered to tell you,” Paul says at
one point. Time speeds up at the
end of the section, as Paul and
Susan prepare to leave suburbia to
set up together in London. We get a
sudden proleptic leap forward that
strikes firmly home despite – or
Julian Barnes gives us ‘an aged protagonist looking back over an unfulfilled life’. Getty Images
Susan is
married to the
ghastly Gordon,
who munches
on onions like
something out of
Roald Dahl
perhaps because of – the coolness
of the delivery. “We were together
– under the same roof, that is – for
10 or more years… When she died, a
few years ago, I acknowledged that
the most vital part of my life had
finally come to a close.”
In the second part of the novel the
narrative voice segues beautifully
from first person to second, so that
what was a story becomes a kind
of accusation. Paul, still barely an
adult, watches as the fiftysomething
Susan succumbs to alcoholism
and paranoia. Susan’s downward
slide is charted in painful detail,
where the affectless, almost creepy
detachment of the narrative serves
to accentuate Paul’s horror at her
descent. “You are on your own. You
have no theories of life yet, you only
know some of its pleasures and
pains. You still believe, however, in
love, and in what love can do, how it
can transform a life…”
The third section, in the third
person, gives us Paul after ending
things with Susan. He lives alone,
mulling over the meaning of
love, seeking out stories that
will help make sense of what
happened with Susan. The ending
is quietly breathtaking, evidence
of the subterranean magic that’s
wrought by those seemingly
austere sentences.
To order The Only Story for £14.44
go to or call
0330 333 6846
Murder in Hampstead and the mystery that followed
Blood on the Page
Thomas Harding
William Heinemann, £20, pp368
The murder of Allan Chappelow
in Hampstead in 2006 was widely
covered not just because the victim
was eccentric and vaguely famous,
having written books on George
Bernard Shaw. The case also became
notorious because the murder trial
was partly held in camera, meaning
the press and public were excluded
for reasons of national security
(the accused was a well-connected
Walter Mitty type from China).
Thomas Harding grew up only a few
doors down from Chappelow, so his
is a first-person investigation of the
murder, of police procedure, of the
British establishment and, even, of
human nature.
Chappelow was the son
of a Danish mother and an
authoritarian Englishman. He
studied moral sciences at Trinity
College, Cambridge, then became a
photographer and writer, meeting
HG Wells, Somerset Maugham and
Bertrand Russell. He was, Harding
speculates, probably gay, and
possibly a habitué of the nearby
heath. In the last decades of his life,
he lived in near squalor in his old
family home in Hampstead.
Wang Yam was very different. He
had had a tough life in China. He
claimed to be the grandson of one of
Mao’s most famous revolutionaries,
though this – like most of his life
story – is disputed. He was on the
fringes of the Tiananmen Square
protests, before seeking asylum in
Britain in the early 1990s. He set up
businesses with abandon, although
his cheques invariably bounced
and he eventually went bankrupt.
His personal life, too, was messy:
he and his first wife divorced, he
had a fling with a Chinese woman
called “Jenny”, and then met another
woman who was, by 2006, pregnant.
That summer he was desperate
for money but prone to asking
estate agents to show him round
multimillion-pound houses.
The case against Yam was that
he had stolen Chappelow’s post
and identity, emptying his savings
and passing them on to “Jenny”
before fleeing to Switzerland with
his pregnant girlfriend. No forensic
evidence linking Yam to the house
– where the victim was discovered
under half a tonne of papers – was
ever found. Over the course of the
book, it becomes clear that Harding
is unconvinced of Yam’s guilt,
and is increasingly bewildered by
the certainties of the police and
the prosecution.
Structurally the book is both
refined and slightly peculiar. It
splices the backstories of the victim
and the perpetrator, and weaves into
those two narratives the police’s
investigation, giving the book a truly
satisfying geometry: for a few pages
you’re with Chappelow in the 1930s,
then in 1960s China with Wang Yam,
then in north London in 2006.
But just as the narrative drive
threatens to hit fifth gear, there
are little italicised chapters called
“Case Notes”, which are first-person
descriptions of the writer’s travails:
his struggles with bureaucracy,
evasive relatives and the phone
calls and fantasies of Wang Yam.
Rather odd to begin with, these
asides actually grew on me, though
purists of the true crime genre
might just find them irksome.
The last quarter of the book
gets bogged down in the minutiae
of (post-trial) legal processes,
meaning that the story peters
out rather than climaxes. But
it’s a fine and fascinating read,
bolstered by exemplary research
and nuanced insights. It’s absorbing
and melancholy precisely because
there’s a strange symmetry to the
main characters’ lives: one lived in
the same home almost all his life,
while the other was a rootless drifter
who had never had a home. The
murder was a clash between an old
man who cared nothing for, and a
younger man who was nothing but,
appearances. Tobias Jones
To order Blood on the Page for £17
go to or call
0330 333 6846
Graphic novel of the month
The small-town
Maoist and his
secret love affair
A far-left activist falls
for a woman from a
rival party in Anneli
Furmark’s engrossing
tale, set in 70s Sweden,
writes Rachel Cooke
Red Winter
Anneli Furmark
Drawn & Quarterly, £16.99, pp168
Just about any subject can be
interesting in the hands of the right
artist or writer: glory lies in the
telling, not the raw material. All the
same, I was a bit surprised to find
myself so utterly charmed by Red
Winter by the Swedish cartoonist
Anneli Furmark. Yes, at the heart of
this graphic novel is a clandestine
love affair, and yes, it comes with
plenty of snow and subtly lit
interiors. But it’s also a cold-eyed
and occasionally chilling analysis
of the ruthlessness, bullying and
groupthink indulged in by a certain
kind of small-time, small-town
Marxist. It is, in other words, a book
in which the difference between, say,
the APK (a Swedish Leninist political
party) and the SKP (which is, or was,
Maoist) actually matters – at least to
some of its characters.
The action takes place in an
isolated and somewhat bleak town
in the north of Sweden in the late
70s; the four-decade reign of the
Social Democrats has just come
to an end and across the country
far-left parties are mobilising,
hoping to overthrow capitalism
(though naturally they seem not
to be able to work together). Ulrik
came here from the south, having
been deployed by his party to spread
the word, and spends his free time
selling its newspaper in the street
and attending endless meetings
with his zealous comrades. But all
is not going entirely to plan. Siv, the
woman with whom he has fallen
passionately in love, is not only a
married mother of three some 14
years his senior, she also works – oh,
the horror – for the youth wing of
the local Social Democrats.
Both of them fear discovery: Siv
has her husband and children to
think about, not to mention her
Browse a bookshop…
A new weekly look at what’s
selling around the country
 Queers: Eight Monologues
Curated by Mark Gatiss
 Pride: The Unlikely Story of the
True Heroes of the Miners’ Strike
Tim Tate with LGSM
 Trans Britain: Our Journey from
the Shadows Christine Burns
Five recommendations
 Night Sky With Exit Wounds
Gay’s the Word, London
“We have one of the world’s
most thorough and well-curated
selections of LGBT+ books,” says
bookseller Uli Lenart. “I describe
it as a sort of homosexual Tardis:
you never know where it will take
you.” Sarah Waters has called the
shop “the hub and affirmation of a
whole community”.
Top five sellers
Ocean Vuong
“The extraordinary debut poetry
collection by the winner of the
2017 TS Eliot prize.”
 Not Guilty
Sue Elliott and Steve Humphries
“Queer oral histories accompanied
by incisive commentary exploring
a century of discrimination.”
 Artful Ali Smith
“Fiction and essay entwine in this
astounding work from one of our
favourite writers.”
 Troublemakers Catherine Barter
“Compelling YA fiction about
15-year-old Alena, whose mother
died when she was a baby.”
 Straight Jacket Matthew Todd
“A game-changing book about
marginalisation, addiction, selfesteem and emotional health.”
 The Miseducation of Cameron
Post Emily M Danforth
 Call Me By Your Name
André Aciman
Gay’s the Word, 66 Marchmont
Street, London, WC1N 1AB;
The Observer
‘Brings to mind
the forested
landscapes of
Tove Jansson’:
Red Winter by
Anneli Furmark.
friends and neighbours in this closeknit community; Ulrik knows that
his comrades would regard such
a relationship as little more than
sleeping with the enemy, even if he’s
as careful as any spy not to allow his
pillow talk to touch on politics. But
they also dream of running away
together, and perhaps it’s this that,
in the end, draws the attention of
Siv’s suspicious daughter Marita,
and of Ralf, the most horribly devout
member of Ulrik’s Maoist chapter.
Even when they’re present, these
two seem somehow to be elsewhere.
Furmark makes the most of this
narrative tension: at moments, her
comic has the flavour of a thriller.
But she’s also a wonderfully lyrical
cartoonist. When Siv speaks of love,
it’s akin to poetry; when Marita goes
out to play, she enters the enchanted
forest of her own imagination. Best
of all, though, are her gorgeous
watercolours, which utilise blue
and orange – ice and fire – to such
marvellous effect. Something about
her depiction of this subarctic
region, where in the winter the sun
struggles to rise, brings to mind the
forested landscapes of Tove Jansson.
Cosy as her kitchens and bedrooms
are, outside is a dangerous realm.
Here, the winter nights will
always be too long, for lovers and
leftists alike.
To order Red Winter for £14.44 go
to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer
Your pictures of…
Each Sunday we run a selection
of contributions from a weekly
themed photography assignment.
To see a wider selection of
readers’ entries each week go
Next theme: style (to appear 11
February). Share your photos
of what ‘style’ means to you at by 10am
on Wednesday 7 February.
1 ‘Bramble jelly filling.’
Keith Emerick/GuardianWitness
2 ‘Three girls gossiping – the
middle one is well placed.
Eastern Cape, South Africa.’
Ann Mulelly/GuardianWitness
3 ‘Misty morning reflections on a
freezing January day in Belgium.’
Kate Watson/GuardianWitness
Everyman crossword No.3721
1 Sorceress with vagueness left to
get lotion (5,5)
6 Stubborn type in middle of
discussion (4)
10 Cry of triumph about record
showing first-class mark (5)
11 Leader in retreat with old trend
returning (9)
12 Rush in attempt to make delicate
pattern (7)
13 Inscribe name, solemn after
conclusion of service (7)
14 Band’s mood, we felt,
misrepresented by account (9,3)
18 Agitator, gloomier, accepting end of
dream after dreadful rout (12)
21 Revised in the morning, wound
up (7)
23 Fancy publication popular in Italy
and Spain (7)
24 Criminal turning curious about
psychic power with time (9)
25 Useless sign we spot with odd bits
missing (5)
26 Information, a small amount, going
around (4)
27 Generator of current reform
met by security alliance with
resistance (10)
1 Artist enters accompanied by
ghost (6)
2 Hot tap dancing in musical film (3,3)
3 Stars? Bad ones behave idly (8,6)
4 Great design, first off, with neon
gas (9)
5 Banish team, dividing it? Not half (5)
Sudoku classic
Fill in the blank cells
using the numbers
1 to 9.
7 Protesting vigorously, I spur man to
change (2,2,4)
8 Unfamiliar clubs in south-east
coming to prominence (8)
9 Collection, large, in country with
people retaining proportion (14)
15 Boring sport, one followed by a
few? (9)
16 Element editor abandoned (8)
17 County very ready to conserve
most of lake (8)
19 Personal aim (6)
20 Dry hill area (6)
22 Slow way of speaking line at end of
extract (5)
Each number must
appear just once in
every row, column and
3x3 box.
Post code
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you buyThe Observer?
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you buyThe Guardian?
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No enclosures please other than name and address. Results on Sunday week
£15 book tokens for the first five correct solutions opened.
Solutions postmarked not later than Saturday night to:
The Observer PO Box 6604, Birmingham, B26 3RW or fax
0121 742 1313. The first three correct solutions opened will
receive a set of stylish Penguin Dictionaries, worth £24
Everyman No. 3719 winners
Louise Seaman, Doncaster
Hilary de Wit, Lincolnshire
George Robertson, Ayrshire
Dr Simon J Shaw, Lancashire
Sheila Hull, Tyne and Wear
The Observer
Azed No. 2,382 ‘wrong
number’ competition puzzle
Each clue contains a one-word definition of the word required at the number where it stands, but
belongs as a whole to a word of the same length elsewhere. Method recommended is to find, after
solving a clue, a definition of the solution in one of the other clues to words of its length: this
will show where the word is to go. Competitors should submit with their entries a clue following
these rules to replace the definition asterisked. NB The clue thus submitted will of course belong
as a whole to a word appearing elsewhere in the finished diagram, which must be determined.
Azed No. 2,379 solution & notes
Post code
1 Broken-down train not in? Almost
everything about that’ll indicate
variable units (5)
5 Part of nasty latex in a particular mode (7)
11 Low round valley featuring tree in early
stage of artist’s work (7)
12 One in circus you’ll see diminish leaving US
and turning up in pub activity (5)
13 Suitable head of state installed, showing
punch (4)
14 Start of youth and pals are playing
– scram (8)
15 Mostly unfeeling on the whole, the US kind
is called a hooker (6)
18 Estates gaining concealment in salient (7)
21 The French in Loire town, anything
but crusty (9)
22 What storyteller offers following devious
sophi in accommodation once (9)
2 4 Daily deed, one feature in
Shakespearian sketch? (7)
28 Recharge biography turning up bagged in
reference library (6)
29 Limits start of inflammation with
peppery seeds (8)
30 Kids into robbery perhaps, lives looked into
by the Met? (4)
31 Tract of sleeplessness recalled for
the record (5)
32 Excess in drinking vessel involves
falsification (7)
33 Powder sandarach on fashioned boa (7)
34 Song pal’s played, last from album (5)
1 Plant artist among tangled root and I
love composition (8)
2 Boy or girl naps after work (8)
3 Shrink from weak end of fun filling in this
setter endlessly (5)
4 Country lodging in filth with crisp
coating (9)
*6 Strumpet (6)
7 Labrus properly aligned with regard
to pouch (6)
8 Come about in calm, reverse of tense end
to voyage (9)
9 Order rent to go up, central element
for ruler (4)
10 Zambia’s leader in limo? He commands
utter power (4)
16 Romancer making courante
dance, right? (9)
17 Love in progress to make things happen
slower in song (9)
19 No time for weapons etc? Itch it’s futile
to scratch (8)
20 Stun a blue tackled, first in team to go,
non-functional (8)
22 Sign of omission with litre bottled? Many
welcome top-up thereof (6)
23 Red nag set free roamed at large (6)
25 A choc’s bad for one? He may recommend
training with weights (5)
26 Not a vessel for spirits? Near, near (4)
27 Small coin held in grip – a rappen? (4)
The Chambers Dictionary (2014)
is recommended.
Across 1, pur(e) t in a penance; 13, per in sext; ref Alex Comfort, author of The
Joy of Sex, etc; 17, infer + alternate letters; 29, cigar t (rev.); 33, gere(n’t); 34, b
Down 2, p + urine; 3, i.e. l in (hunting) pink; 8, comp. anag.; 9, CE + real; 16, dog
in poo + an (rev.); 20, tin + die (rev.) + s; 25, scarre(d); 27, i.e. m in us = ums; 30,
a + lit (Fr. = bed).
Rules and requests
Send correct solution (one only) and clue to replace definition asterisked (on separate sheet also bearing name and address, securely attached) to Azed No. 2,382, PO
Box 518, Oxford, OX2 6WX. Entries should be postmarked no later than Saturday.
Please add a brief explanation of your clue (one entry only). £35, £30, £25 prizes
and Azed bookplates for the three clues judged best. The Azed slip, containing
details of successful competition entries and Azed’s comments, is available on subscription at £16 a year. Cheques payable to the Azed Slip, should be sent to The
Azed Slip, Coombe Farm, Awbridge, Romsey SO51 0HN. To receive a sample slip,
please send an sae to this address
AZED No. 2,379 prizewinners
David Rainford, Leeds
Mr J Watkins, London
Ann Jeeva, Salford
Chess by Jonathan Speelman
Normal Sudoku rules
apply, except the
numbers in the cells
contained within grey
lines add up to the
figures in the corner.
No number can be
repeated within each
shape formed by the
grey lines.
This is from Gibraltar (see diagram 1).
White opened fire with 29 d5 Rxd5 30
Nxe6 Rxe6. Can you see his beautiful
idea? (Solution at the end.)
The 80th Tata Steel tournament
concluded in Wijk aan Zee a week
ago today in a tie for first between
Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri on 9/13
and victory for Carlsen after a blitz
play-off. It was Carlsen’s sixth victory
at Wijk in just over a decade and one of
Giri’s best results ever.
The two were followed by Vladmir
Kramnik and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
on 8.5/13 while the other scores were:
Viswanathan Anand and Wesley So
8; Sergey Karjakin 7.5, Peter Svidler
6, Wei Yi 5.5, Gawain Jones, Fabiano
Caruana and Maxim Matlakov 5;
Baskaran Adhiban 3.5 and Hou Yifan 2.5.
In such a scrum, 5/13 was a very
acceptable result for Jones and he
actually gained half a rating point. He
played well in the first half but was
understandably knocked back by the
debacle against Carlsen given here last
week and less stable later on.
After two early wins Giri had drawn
five games on the trot, but regained
momentum with this impressive win
against the early leader.
Anish Giri v Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
Wijk aan Zee 2018 (round 8)
Symmetrical English
1 c4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 g6 4 e3 Nf6 5
d4 cxd4 6 exd4 d5 7 cxd5 Nxd5 8 Qb3
e6 9 Bb5 Bg7 10 0-0 0-0 11 Bxc6 bxc6
In this line, White has given up bishop
for knight and allowed the creation
of an isolated queen’s pawn but has
black square control and prospects of
creating a bind. Black needs to react
before White gets full control or it may
become very unpleasant.
12 Re1 Instead 12 Na4 is usual. In a
game in China last year against the
Bulgarian Ivan Cheparinov, Wei Yi
answered this with 12... Qd6 13 Re1 Rb8
14 Qc2 c5! 15 Nxc5 Nb4 and Black had
enough activity to equalise.
12... Qd6?! White can hit the queen.
13 Ne4 Qb4 14 Qc2 a5 14...Bxd4 15 a3
Qb6 16 Nxd4 Qxd4 17 Bh6 Rd8 18 Rad1
would be disgusting for Black.
15 a3 Qb6 16 Nc5 Re8 Perhaps it was
time to attempt to bail out with 16...e5
If then 17 dxe5 Bf5 18 Qc4 Qb5 19 Qxb5
cxb5 Black is worse but fighting.
17 Ne5 f6 18 Nc4 Qc7 19 Bd2 e5?! A
very active player, Mamedyarov can’t
bear to sit and wait but it’s already too
late to create real counterplay.
20 dxe5 fxe5 21 Qa4 Nb6 22 Nxb6
Qxb6 23 Qc4+ Kh8 24 Bc3 Bf5 25 g4
Bc8 If 25...Bxg4 26 Na4! wins a piece.
26 Re4 Qb5 27 Rae1 Qxc4 28 Rxc4
Rb8 29 h3 h5 30 gxh5 Cashing in.
30... gxh5 31 Rh4 Kh7 32 Ne4
Diagram 2
It’s a testament to the impact of Giri’s
positional control that here a no doubt
very depressed Mamedyarov resigned!
It’s very early but he will lose the h5
pawn and still get no counterplay
whatsoever, while an attempt to hold
the pawn would be no better.
Possible lines are: 32...Be6 33
Rxh5+ Kg6 34 Rg5+ Kh7 35 Re3;32...
Kg6 33 Re3 Re7 34 Rg3+ Kf7 35
Rxh5; 32...Kh6 33 Kh2 Rf8 34 Rg1
Rf5 35 Rg2 Be6 36 Ng3.
The 16th annual Gibraltar Open has
been taking place at the Caleta Hotel.
Despite this pyrotechnic first round
debacle against an Englishman rated
more than 350 points less than him,
the young Russian star Daniil Dubov
was one of five top-class leaders with
a round to go.
Gary Quillan v Daniil Dubov
Gibraltar 2018 (round 1)
Modern Defence
1 Abhijeet Gupta
(to play) v Vassily
1 e4 g6 2 d4 Bg7 3 f4 d6 4 Nf3 Bg4 5
c3 Nd7 6 Bc4 e6 7 0-0 Ne7 8 Qe1 0-0
9 Bb3 Bxf3 10 Rxf3 c5 11 Be3 cxd4
12 cxd4 Nf6 13 Nc3 Ng4 14 Rd1 Qb6
Dubov has been winding Quillan up but
here goes a bit far. 14...Nxe3 15 Qxe3
d5 16 e5 was playable.
2 Anish Giri
15 Na4 Qa6 16 Bc1 b5 17 Nc3 Qb6
v Shakhriyar
18 Qh4 Nf6 18...Bxd4+ 19 Kh1 Nf2+
20 Rxf2 Bxf2 21 Qxe7 is better for White. Mamedyarov
(to play)
Diagram 3
19 g4! Opening fire.
19... Qb7 20 Rh3 h5 21 gxh5 Nxh5
22 f5! Clearing out the b3-f7 diagonal.
22... exf5 If 22... d5 23 Bg5 f6 24 Be3
Black will be blown away.
23 exf5 Nxf5 24 Qg5 24... Ne7
Otherwise Qxg6 will be deadly.
25 Rxh5! gxh5 26 Rd2! But not 26 Kf2?
3 Gary Quillan (to
Qd7 en route to f5.
play) v Daniil Dubov
26...d5 27 Nxd5 Rfe8 28 Rg2 Ng6
29 Nf6+ Kf8 30 Nh7+ Kg8 31 Qxg6 And
with mate looming, Dubov resigned.
In Diagram 1 after 29 d5 Rxd5 30 Nxe6
Rxe6.31 Rg8+! Kxg8 32 Qxd5 was
murder. Ivancuk tried 32... Qb5 but
resigned after 33 Qxe6+ Kg7 34 Rd1.
The Observer
By Mike Bradley
The week’s highlights
Pick of the Day
Pick of the Day
Pick of the Day
Islam, Women and Me
Pick of the Day
Stacey Dooley
ITV, 8pm
Muse In a new departure for ITV the
distinguished crime drama returns for a
welcome six-part series with an engrossing
opener that sees a newly promoted
DS Morse set out to catch a serial killer
who preys on seemingly unconnected
victims. Throw the attempted burglary of
a Fabergé egg into the mix, along with DCI
Thursday’s blithe assignment of a cocky
apprentice to shadow Morse, then add the
sudden reappearance of Joan Thursday,
and you have the recipe for a real thriller.
BBC Two, 9pm
My Amazing Brain An extraordinary,
uplifting film by Fiona Lloyd-Davies,
in which she follows the progress of
her former UN peacekeeper husband
Richard Gray as he struggles to recover
after suffering a catastrophic brain
haemhorrage. Much of the credit, both
medical and televisual, must go to
consultant neurosurgeon Mr Ranjeev
Bhangoo, who not only works miracles in
theatre but also explains the procedures in
language we can understand. Excellent.
BBC One, 10.45pm
“Can I be a strong independent woman
and a good Muslim?” asks Mehreen Baig
(below), the presenter of this thorough
interrogation of identity issues surrounding
Muslim women in modern Britain. Former
teacher Baig is 28 and still living at home
with her family in a traditional Pakistani
household ruled by a father who believes
she should be home by 8pm. “Sometimes it
feels like everyone has an opinion on how
you should live your life,” she laments. Best
documentary on television this week.
BBC Three, from 10am
Face to Face With Isis Anyone impressed
by the way reporter Stacey Dooley (below)
manages to get such extraordinary access
to interesting/shocking subjects will be
aghast when they watch tonight’s dispatch
from Iraq in which she accompanies Yazidi
woman Shireen, 23, who was kept as a slave
and raped repeatedly by an Isis family in
Mosul, as she confronts Isis fighters, one
of whom openly and remorselessly admits
to having killed 900 people and raped 250
women. Another gritty eye-opener.
Hull’s Headscarf Heroes
Back in Time for Tea
Eurovision: You Decide
BBC Four, 10pm
Stanley and His Daughters “Children of
geniuses tend to have a rather hard time of it
– if you’re a genius you have to be a bit tough,”
says Unity Spencer, 87, daughter of artist
Stanley Spencer, as she prepares to move to
Wales to be nearer to her sister Shirin, 91.
A fascinating portrait of the painter framed
by the peculiar estrangement of his daughters
following his divorce and second marriage.
BBC Four, 9pm
In 1968 the Triple Trawler Tragedy claimed
the lives of 58 deep-sea fishermen based in
Hull and operating in Arctic waters. Their
deaths prompted a campaign by the women
of Hull’s Hessle Road community, led by “Big
Lil” Bilocca, who together took it all the way to
No 10, Downing Street. A superbly documented
profile of one of the most successful protest
movements of the past 50 years.
BBC Two, 8pm
The aim of this six-part series is to discover
how life has changed for ordinary working
families in the north of England over the past
100 years by transporting brave Bradford
family the Ellises back through the decades
and subjecting them, starting in 1918, to the
likes of tripe and Mucky Dripping. Plus, who
knew Rice Krispies were invented in 1928? A
clever social history about more than just food.
BBC Two, 7.30pm
Mel Giedroyc and 2015 Eurovision winner
Måns Zelmerlöw present the national song
selection show from the Brighton Dome – the
scene of ABBA’s 1974 win with Waterloo. All
six artists – Asanda, Goldstone, Jaz Ellington,
Liam Tamne, RAYA and SuRie – will perform
their songs as they vie to be the one(s) to
represent the UK in the grand final in Lisbon
in May. All formulaic, but Asanda to edge it.
Maltese: The Mafia Detective
The X-Files
Inside No 9
My Millionaire Migrant Boss
Channel 4, 10pm
Handsome, frustrated Italian cop Dario
Maltese returns to his native Sicily to be best
man at the wedding of a childhood friend.
However, when bride and groom are gunned
down before him, he feels compelled to stay
and investigate their murders. A continental
cocktail laced with style and menace. Watch the
full series on All 4 following this broadcast. MB
Channel 5, 9pm
My Struggle III Following on from the last
series finale, which saw Scully battling a global
plague while Mulder hunted the mysterious
Cigarette Smoking Man, Season 11 begins with
the discovery of Scully passed out on the floor
of the FBI office. Further investigation reveals
that her brain is pulsing the message “Find
him” in morse code. Dark thrills aplenty. MB
BBC Two, 10pm
Tempting Fate The No 9 team deserve every
comedy award going for their unfailingly
entertaining, frequently macabre miniatures.
Tonight’s episode, the series finale, is no
exception as a band of council contractors
unearth more than they bargained for when
they are called in to clean up a dead hoarder’s
rat-infested flat. Exquisite. MB
Channel 4, 9pm
Arriving in Britain in 1976 with £200 in his
pocket, Liverpool-based Palestinian Marwan
Koukash now owns a luxury hotel and a string
of successful racehorses. In this show he offers
four unemployed British people a two-week
work placement overseen and mentored by
him that could just lead to a job if they prove
that they have what it takes. MB
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Silence of the Lambs
Midnight Cowboy
Secrets and Lies
(Don Siegel, 1956)
Sky Cinema Villains, 4.25am
Still potent after six decades, this sciencefiction chiller deserves its classic status, with
its tale of alien replicas hatching from pods
and replacing smalltown Californians. There
are several reasons for the film’s success:
taut noir-styled direction, the lack of overtly
weird effects, Kevin McCarthy’s authoritative
lead and a magnificently ambivalent ending.
Open to divergent political readings, the film
has variously been seen as an expression of
anti-communist paranoia; as a critique of that
paranoia; or as a satire on Eisenhower-era
conformism. Its enduring resonance lies in its
fable-like simplicity, and its ability to get under
your skin in the eeriest way. Jonathan Romney
(Jonathan Demme, 1991)
Channel 5, 10pm
Included here partly as a tribute to the muchmissed Mark E Smith: even by the standards of
the famously music-savvy Jonathan Demme,
the inclusion of the Fall’s priceless Hip
Priest makes for one of Hollywood’s oddest
soundtrack selections ever. This adaptation of
Thomas Harris’s novel features two of genre
cinema’s great figures: troubled, intrepid FBI
agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and her
jailed mentor-cum-tormenter Hannibal Lecter.
Anthony Hopkins’s first performance as the
eminently unstable genius of crime now looks
like the most subtly tuned screen incarnation
of a character who has proved highly durable
but devilishly difficult to get right. JR
(John Schlesinger, 1969)
Sky Cinema Greats, 10.25pm
One of American cinema’s most prestigious
bromances. Jon Voigt plays a narcissistic Texan
who comes to New York expecting to thrive
as a stud for hire; Dustin Hoffman, setting an
ominous template for his run of ostentatious
Great Performances, is the down-at-heel
pickpocket who befriends him. This was one of
the US mainstream’s first attempts to tackle the
uncertainties of modern masculinity, brilliantly
locating a sweet spot between scuzzy realism
and heart-tugging emotion. Acclaimed on
sight, and still revered, although the late Roger
Ebert, revisiting it in 1994, was confirmed in
his opinion that it was “a good movie with a
masterpiece inside, struggling to break free”. JR
(Mike Leigh, 1995)
Film4, 1.10am
One of Leigh’s best films, in which Marianne
Jean-Baptiste plays Hortense, a young
black optometrist who sets out to trace her
biological mother and finds Cynthia (Brenda
Blethyn), a middle-aged white woman whose
life has collapsed in a wash of disappointment.
Eventually Hortense meets her new relations
– including Cynthia’s angry daughter (Claire
Rushbrook); her brother (Timothy Spall), a
family portrait photographer; and his wife
(Phyllis Logan). This fabulously acted ensemble
study touches a deep seam: philosophically; in
its reading of British attitudes to race and class;
and in its revelation of emotional complexity
in seemingly the most mundane setting. JR
The Observer
Pick of the Day
James Bulger: A Mother’s Story
Pick of the Day
Winter Olympics
Pick of the Day
Six Nations Rugby Union
ITV, 9pm
This worthy, well-crafted rehearsal of the
1993 abduction and murder of Liverpool
two-year-old James Bulger by two 10-yearolds is a fitting way to mark the 25th
anniversary of the case. Trevor McDonald
interviews Bulger’s mother Denise Fergus
(below), who speaks of her continuing
battle for justice: “They never got punished
for what they did to my son,” she says. “In
fact if anything they got rewarded.” Chilling
police interview tapes combine with
moving first-hand testimony. Shocking.
BBC One, 10.30am
Opening Ceremony Equally at home with
packs of slavering dogshow St Bernards
as she is with rugby league bruisers, the
task of introducing live coverage of the
Opening Ceremony of the 23rd Winter
Olympic Games from Pyeongchang, South
Korea, will hold no fear for seasoned allrounder Clare Balding (below). Following a
spectacular parade and the lighting of the
Olympic torch, watch out for British medal
hopes Elise Christie, Lizzy Yarnold, James
Woods and Eve Muirhead in the arena.
ITV, 4.20pm
England v Wales. Coverage of a fiercely
contested affair from Twickenham. It’s all
very well to possess a balletic back line like
the one fielded by Wales, but coach Warren
Gatland is well aware that if you want to
beat England, you need to win the battle
up front. That said, his recent disparaging
remarks about “question marks” over
England’s campaign may be all the incentive
needed to galvanise Messrs Hartley (below)
and co. Ireland v Italy live from the Aviva
Stadium precedes this match at 1.30pm.
Animals With Cameras
Nigel Slater’s Middle East
BBC One, 8pm
Tonight Gordon Buchanan attaches cameras
to a pair of tame orphaned cheetahs in
Namibia to see if they and their sister can
master the art of hunting sufficiently to enable
them to survive in the wild. Plus we find out
how Australian fur seals evade great white
sharks and how one South African farmer
plans to keep chacma baboons “like a pack of
ninjas” off his butternut patch. Ingenious.
BBC Two, 9pm
Turkey This is a wonderful portrait of a
country with one of the world’s oldest, richest
cuisines. First we learn how to eat baklava,
before Slater moves beyond the confines of
the capital to sample the delights on offer
in the agricultural heartland of Anatolia,
including gorgeous ravioli-style manti, ancient
yufka flatbread, pekmez “healing syrup” and
the universal pide. Utterly unmissable.
BBC Four, 9pm & 9.45pm
Season two of the Swedish crime drama opens
with a double bill that sees psychologist and
criminal profiler Inger Johanne Vik drawn
into a multiple murder investigation. Four
years on from her time working for the FBI
in Washington, we find out the reasons she
came back to Sweden. Now, Stockholm police
are preparing for a visit by US president Helen
Tyler, when suddenly Tyler disappears.
Death in Paradise
The Graham Norton Show
Hard Sun
BBC One, 9pm
DiP stalwart Danny John-Jules (Officer
Dwayne Myers) deserves a medal, not just
for long service but also for being one of the
nation’s best, funniest unsung actors and one
of the main reasons for watching this gentle
Caribbean crime drama. Tonight he assists
maverick boss DI Jack Mooney as they solve
the murder of a guru at a spiritual retreat. MB
BBC One, 10.35pm
Better late than never, Debra Messing and Eric
McCormack discuss the return of sitcom Will &
Grace (already on episode six of its comeback
series); plus Norton entertains actor Saoirse
Ronan, who has been Oscar-nominated for
her leading role in Lady Bird. Music is supplied
by Keala Settle, who performs This Is Me from
movie musical The Greatest Showman. MB
BBC One, 9.30pm
As the riveting sci-fi thriller reaches its
conclusion, an unbowed but exhausted Hicks
and Renko decide it’s time go on the offensive.
Now the steely but uncooperative Grace is
brought into Lethe Road for questioning, while
separately Mooney hunts a serial killer who
may be connected to the case. A spectacular
finale. There will be blood. MB
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Vivre sa vie
The Arsenal Stadium Mystery
(Marielle Heller, 2015)
Film4, 10.45pm
Based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s autobiographical
novel, Heller’s terrific debut feature is set in
San Francisco in 1976, and begins with teenager
Minnie (Bel Powley) announcing that she’s
just had sex – only with a much older man,
her mother’s boyfriend. In the pithy comedydrama that follows, we sometimes feel that
we’re watching things we shouldn’t really be
party to. But we know we’re watching them on
its heroine’s terms; Diary conveys an undiluted,
intensely personal female perspective. As
Minnie’s mother, Kristen Wiig is a revelation
in serious mode, while Powley is fearless in
conveying Minnie’s sexuality. Entertaining,
insightful and ferociously confident. JR
(Jean-Luc Godard, 1962)
Film4, 2.20am
AKA My Life to Live in the US, and It’s My Life
in the UK, Godard’s fourth feature, arranged
in 12 “tableaux”, stars Anna Karina as Nana
(as in the Zola novel), a young married woman
who turns prostitute. Partly an inquiry into
the correspondences between work, acting
and prostitution – a long-time Godard
obsession – it’s also a love letter to Karina
and to silent-era screen goddess Louise
Brooks (whose hairstyle Karina borrows).
Shot in black and white by the great Raoul
Coutard, with Michel Legrand providing an
eerie, stately score, it’s not as popular as some
jazzier 60s Godard, but you can see why Susan
Sontag called it “a perfect film”. JR
(Thorold Dickinson, 1939)
London Live, 1.10am
There have been plenty of Arsenal stadium
mysteries since, but here’s one from a more
innocent age. This was a pioneering attempt to
build a feature drama around football: roughly
speaking, it’s Dixon of Dock Green meets
Roy of the Rovers, as Leslie Banks’s eccentric
Inspector Slade is called in to investigate a
case of poisoning during a match between
Arsenal and an amateur team (talk about sick
as a parrot…) Assorted Arsenal names of the
period, including manager George Allison, play
themselves; so does the old Highbury Stadium.
Robust, inventive entertainment from the
director who went on to make the esteemed
likes of Gaslight and The Queen of Spades. JR
Radio By Stephanie Billen
Picks of the Week
Dreaming big is always a risk. Drama on
3: Love Is Not New in This Country (Sunday,
Radio 3, 9pm) tells the true story of how
a Frenchwoman directed Shakespeare’s
Love’s Labour’s Lost in Afghanistan using
local performers. Based on the book A
Night in the Emperor’s Garden, the drama
is introduced by co-author Qais Akbar
Omar, who recalls how spring 2005 was a
time of wild tulips and abundant optimism
in Kabul following the Taliban’s defeat.
However, men and women had not been
on stage together for 30 years and the
production was under threat of disruption
or even bombing. A sobering coda reveals
what happened to some of the actors after
their magical night of freedom.
A new series of Johnnie Walker’s
Long Players (Monday, Radio 2, 10pm)
begins with a nostalgic soundtracks
edition. Walker and co-presenter David
Hepworth salute the creative daring of
film-makers such as George Lucas who
revived the 20th Century Fox Fanfare (by
Alfred Newman, uncle of Randy) for his
Star Wars movie, and Stanley Kubrick,
who chose an orchestral tone poem by
Strauss for 2001: A Space Odyssey. We
hear recollections from both directors
and musicians, with Bruce Springsteen
revealing how he was initially unsure about
his Oscar-winning Streets of Philadelphia.
Bridget Christie’s Utopia (Radio 4,
6.30pm) finds the gleefully sarcastic
comedian and self-confessed “member
of the middle-class, metropolitan liberal
elite” ambitiously searching for a “place or
a state of mind” that will prevent her from
stressing about Kim Jong-un, Brexit and
bottom-stinging lemon bath bombs. In
the first of four standup shows she risks
losing £10 in a bet with her brother over
whether she can disengage from rolling
news for a week.
Laughter is not an option for Jolyon
Jenkins as he mixes with deadly serious
rebels for Out of the Ordinary (Friday,
Radio 4, 11am). The reporter spent nearly
a year with Britons who think that
thanks to the 1215 Magna Carta treaty,
they can disobey any laws passed by
parliament and refuse to pay fines or
taxes. The Queen herself is a traitor in
their book and Jenkins speaks to one
insurgent and ex-con
who has volunteered
to be a hangman for
“whatever’s coming
next” – whether dream
or nightmare.
Oh for a Brexitfree life: comedian
Bridget Christie.
The Observer
Monday 5
Breakfast 9.15 Countryfile
Winter Diaries 10.0 Homes
Under the Hammer (R)
11.0 Wanted Down Under
11.45 A1: Britain’s Longest
Road 12.15 Bargain Hunt
1.0 News and Weather (T)
1.30 Regional News and
Weather (T) 1.45 Doctors
(T) 2.15 Moving On (T) 3.0
Escape to the Country (T)
3.45 The Farmers’ Country
Showdown (T) (R) 4.30
Antiques Road Trip (T)
(R) 5.15 Pointless (T) 6.0
News and Weather (T)
6.30 Regional News and
Weather (T) 7.0 The One
Show (T) 7.30 Inside Out (T)
EastEnders (T) Les
cancels his visit.
8.30 Panorama: My Return from
IS (T) A British woman who
is back in the UK after living
with Islamic State.
9.0 Silent Witness Family,
Part One (T) Nikki, Jack,
Thomas and Clarissa are
called in to investigate a
Christmas shooting spree.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News
and Weather (T)
10.45 Have I Got Old News for
You (T) (R) Frankie Boyle
hosts, with guests Gyles
Brandreth and Cariad Lloyd.
11.15 The Graham Norton Show
(T) (R), Imelda
Staunton and Cuba
Gooding Jr guest.
12.05 Weather (T) 12.10 News (T)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.10 Scrapheap
Challenge 8.10 American
Pickers 9.0-10.0 Storage
Hunters 10.0-1.0
American Pickers 1.0-3.0
Top Gear 3.0-4.0 The
Hurting 4.0 Cops UK:
Bodycam Squad 5.0 Best
of Top Gear 6.0 Top Gear
7.0-8.0 Traffic Cops 8.0
James May’s Cars of the
People 9.0 Live at the
Apollo 10.0 The Best of
Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit
11.0 QI 11.40 Would I Lie
to You? The Unseen Bits
12.20 Mock the Week
1.0 QI 1.40 Would I Lie
to You? The Unseen Bits
2.20 Mock the Week
3.0 Live at the Apollo
4.0 Home Shopping
Silent Witness,
BBC One, 9pm
Tidings of
await Nikki
Channel 4
My Life in Books (R) 6.30
Wanted Down Under (R)
7.15 Food: Truth or Scare (R)
8.0 Antiques Roadshow (R)
9.0 Victoria Derbyshire (T)
11.0 BBC Newsroom Live
(T) 12.0 Daily Politics (T)
1.0 Women’s Six Nations
Highlights (T) (R) 1.30 Coast
(T) (R) 2.0 Monty Halls’s
Great Escape (T) (R) 3.0 A
Place to Call Home (T) (R)
3.50 This Wild Life (T) (R)
4.20 The Hunt (T) (R) 5.20
Flog It! (T) (R) 6.0 Eggheads
(T) (R) 6.30 Great American
Railroad Journeys (T) Reno,
NV, to Colfax, CA 7.0 Big
Dreams Small Spaces (T) (R)
Only Connect (T) The
Eco-Warriors take on
the Inquisitors.
8.30 University Challenge
(T) The second of the
quarter-final matches.
9.0 Horizon: My Amazing
Brain – Richard’s War (T)
Documentary charting the
recovery of Richard Gray
from a brain haemorrhage.
The Martin Lewis Money
Show (T) How it is possible
to claim money back for
taking out PPI.
8.30 Coronation Street (T)
Zeedan tells Rana about
her parents’ proposition.
9.0 Next of Kin (T) The police
operation is compromised
when Omar tries to
10.0 Two Doors Down (T) Eric
is in recovery following
a medical procedure.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 NFL This Week (T) Mark
Chapman is joined by Osi
Umenyiora and Jason Bell.
12.05 Odyssey Drop King
(T) (R) 12.45 Sign Zone:
Countryfile (T) (R) 1.45
Big Cats (T) (R) 2.45
This Is BBC Two (T)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Death Row 2018 With
Trevor McDonald (T)
(R) The broadcaster
visits prisoners awaiting
execution in the US.
11.45 Killer Women With Piers
Morgan Sheila Davalloo (R)
12.35 Jackpot247 3.0 The Jeremy
Kyle Show (T) (R) 3.55 ITV
10.0 First Dates Hotel (T)
Chicken farmer Griff hopes
it will be second time lucky
with his new date Emily.
11.05 Derry Girls (T) (R)
11.40 Hunted (T) (R)
12.40 SAS: Who Dares Wins
(R) 1.35 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (R) 2.25
How to Lose Weight Well
(R) 3.20 The Lie Detective
(R) 4.0 Coast v Country (R)
Nine-Nine 12.0 The
Goldbergs 1.0 The Big
Bang Theory 2.0 Melissa
& Joey 3.0 Baby Daddy
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory 7.0
Hollyoaks 7.30 Coach
Trip: Road to Tenerife
8.0-9.0 The Big Bang
Theory 9.0 Celebs Go
Dating 10.0 Naked
Attraction 11.05-12.0
The Big Bang Theory 12.0
First Dates 1.10 Celebs Go
Dating 2.10 Gogglebox
3.0 Tattoo Fixers
3.55 Rude Tube 4.20
Rude(ish) Tube 4.45-6.0
How I Met Your Mother
11.0am War of the
Wildcats (1943) 1.05
Arabian Nights
(1942) 2.50 The
Mark of Zorro (1940)
4.40 Rear Window
(1954) 6.55 Rise
of the Planet of the Apes
(2011) 9.0 Lincoln
(2012) 11.55 Chain
Reaction (1996) 2.0
21 & Over (2013)
All programmes
from 8am to 7pm are
double bills 6.0am-7.0
Hollyoaks 7.0 Coach Trip:
Road to Tenerife 7.30 All
Star Driving School 8.0
Baby Daddy 9.0 Melissa &
Joey 10.0 How I Met Your
Mother 11.0 Brooklyn
6.0am-6.55 Totally
Bonkers Guinness World
Records 6.55 Dress to
Impress 7.45 Emmerdale
8.20-9.25 Coronation
Street 9.25 The Ellen
DeGeneres Show 10.10
Who’s Doing the Dishes?
11.10 Dress to Impress
12.10 Emmerdale 12.451.45 Coronation Street
1.45 The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 2.35-5.50 The
Jeremy Kyle Show 5.50
Take Me Out 7.0 You’ve
Been Framed! Gold 7.30
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 8.0 Two and a Half
Men 8.30 Superstore
9.0-10.0 Family Guy
10.0-11.0 American Dad!
11.0 Family Guy 11.3012.30 The Cleveland
Show 12.30 Timewasters
12.55 Two and a Half
Men 1.30 Superstore
1.55 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
2.20 Teleshopping
5.50 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Supershoppers
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Home or Away 10.301.05 Four in a Bed
1.05-3.10 A Place in
the Sun: Home or Away
3.10-5.55 Come Dine
With Me 5.55 The Secret
Life of the Zoo 6.55 The
Supervet 7.55 Grand
Designs 9.0 Car SOS 10.0
World’s Most Expensive
Cars 11.0 24 Hours in
A&E 12.05 Ramsay’s
Kitchen Nightmares
1.10 Car SOS 2.10 Grand
Designs Revisited 3.15
8 Out of 10 Cats Uncut
6.0am The Dog
Whisperer 7.0 Monkey
Good Morning Britain (T)
8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (T) 10.30
This Morning (T) 12.30
Loose Women (T) 1.30
News (T) 1.55 Local News
(T) 2.0 Judge Rinder (T) 3.0
Dickinson’s Real Deal (T)
4.0 Tipping Point (T) 5.0
The Chase (T) 6.0 Local
News (T) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Emmerdale (T) Jimmy
struggles with how to
tell Nicola about a worrying
diagnosis. Rebecca
wakes from her coma.
7.30 Coronation Street
(T) Rana and Imran deal
with a hungover Zeedan.
Life 7.30 Monkey Life
8.0 Meerkat Manor 8.30
Meerkat Manor 9.0 Road
Wars 10.0 MacGyver
11.0 NCIS: LA 12.0 NCIS:
LA 1.0 Hawaii Five-0
2.0 NCIS: LA 3.0 NCIS:
LA 4.0 Stargate SG-1
5.0 The Simpsons 5.30
Futurama 6.0 Futurama
6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30
The Simpsons 8.0
David Attenborough’s
Conquest of the Skies 9.0
The Mask of Zorro
(1998) 11.35 The Force:
Manchester 12.35 Ross
Kemp: Extreme World
1.35 Hawaii Five-0 2.30
Hawaii Five-0 3.25 Duck
Quacks Don’t Echo 3.55
PL Greatest Games 4.10
Stop, Search, Seize 5.05
The Dog Whisperer
Sky Arts
6.0am Classical
Destinations 6.40
Dvořák: The Complete
Symphonies 7.30 Natalia
Osipova at Sadler’s
Wells 9.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 9.30 The Art
Show 10.30 Discovering:
Stella McCartney
11.0 Fake! The Great
Masterpiece Challenge
12.0 The Seventies
1.0 Discovering: Tony
Curtis 2.0 Tales of
the Unexpected 2.30
The Art Show 3.30
Discovering: Calvin Klein
4.0 Fake! The Great
Channel 5
Countdown (T) (R) 6.45
3rd Rock from the Sun
(T) (R) 7.35 Everybody
Loves Raymond (T)
(R) 8.30 Frasier (T) (R)
10.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R)
11.0 Undercover Boss USA
(T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Couples Come Dine With
Me (T) (R) 1.05 Posh Pawn
(T) (R) 2.10 Countdown (T)
3.0 Village of the Year With
Penelope Keith (T) 4.0 A
Place in the Sun: Winter Sun
(T) (R) 5.0 Four in a Bed (T)
5.30 Extreme Cake Makers
(T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T) (R)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News
How to Lose Weight
Well (T) Three more pairs
road-test some of the
most popular diets. Last
in the series.
The Bulger Killers: Was
Justice Done? (T) Key
people involved in the trial
of Robert Thompson and
Jon Venables are brought
together 25 years on.
Masterpiece Challenge
5.0 The Seventies 6.0
Discovering: Doris Day
7.0 Auction 7.30 André
Rieu: New York Memories
10.0 Portrait Artist of the
Year 2018 11.0 The South
Bank Show Originals
11.30 The South Bank
Show Originals 12.0
Inside the Actors Studio:
Neil Patrick Harris 1.0
Norman Lear: Just
Another Version of You
2.55 Hollywood Gossip
3.55 Arts Scholarships:
Sky Academy 4.05
Dag 4.30 Tales of the
Unexpected 5.0 Auction
5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets
7.0 Richard E Grant’s
Hotel Secrets 8.0 The
Guest Wing 9.0 The West
Wing 10.0 The West Wing
11.0 House 12.0 House
1.0 Without a Trace 2.0
Making Attenborough’s
Galápagos 3.0 The West
Wing 4.0 The West
Wing 5.0 House 6.0
House 7.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation 8.0
Blue Bloods 9.0 Active
Shooter: America Under
Fire 10.10 Real Time
11.20 Requiem for the
Dead: An American
Spring 2014 12.50
Dexter 1.55 Dexter
3.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 4.0-6.0
The West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast. With
Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. The
Royal Ballet’s principal
dancer Steven McRae
talks to Ian Skelly about
his cultural inspirations.
12.0 Composer of the
Week: Toru Takemitsu
(1/5) 1.0 News 1.02
Lunchtime Concert:
Wigmore Hall Mondays.
Mozart: An Chloe, K524;
Das Lied der Trennung,
K519. Schubert:
Heimliches Lieben, D922;
Romanze (Rosamunde,
D797, No 3b); Suleika I,
D720; Suleika II, D717.
Amy Beach: Three
Browning Songs, Op 44.
John Carter: Cantata.
Golda Schultz (soprano),
Jonathan Ware (piano).
2.0 Afternoon Concert.
The first in a week of
programmes featuring
the BBC Scottish
Symphony Orchestra.
Wagner: Tristan and
Isolde – Prelude and
Liebestod. Mozart: Un
moto di gioia – aria
K579; Vado, ma dove?
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.15 The Hotel
Inspector (T) (R) 12.10
News (T) 12.15 Cowboy
Builders (T) (R) 1.10
Access (T) 1.15 Home and
Away (T) 1.45 Neighbours
(T) 2.15 NCIS: Revenge
of the Cartel (T) (R)
Obsession 3.15 Killer
Assistant (Danny J Boyle,
2016) (T) Thriller starring Arianne Zucker and
Brando Eaton. 5.0 News
(T) 5.30 Neighbours (T)
(R) 6.0 Home and Away
(T) (R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0
Rugby on 5: Anglo Welsh
Cup Highlights (T)
Police Interceptors (T)
Jacko is hot on the heels
of a speeding car. Includes
news update.
The X-Files My Struggle III
(T) New series. Mulder finds
Scully unconscious and she
is rushed to hospital. Return
of the sci-fi mystery drama,
with Gillian Anderson and
David Duchovny.
10.0 The Silence of the
Lambs (1991) (T) A trainee
FBI agent engages in a
battle of wills with an
imprisoned psychopath.
Thriller with Jodie Foster
and Anthony Hopkins.
12.25 Traffic Cops: Under Attack
(T) (R) 1.15 SuperCasino (T)
3.10 Nightmare Tenants,
Slum Landlords (T) (R) 4.0
Get Your Tatts Out… (T) (R)
– aria K583; Voi avete un
cor fedele – aria K217.
Mahler: Symphony No
4 in G major. Rowan
Pierce (soprano), Martyn
Brabbins. 3.35 Jacob:
Concerto for violin and
string orchestra. Clare
Howick (violin), Grant
Llewellyn. 3.55 Britten:
Four Sea Interludes.
Mendelssohn: Symphony
No 3 in A minor, Scottish,
Thomas Dausgaard.
5.0 In Tune 7.0 In Tune
Mixtape 7.30 In Concert.
The Philharmonia
Orchestra recorded at
the Royal Festival Hall
on 21 January. Debussy:
Prélude à l’après-midi
d’un faune. Ravel: Piano
Concerto in G. 8.05
Interval. 8.25 Ravel:
Suite, Ma mère l’oye.
Debussy: La mer. PierreLaurent Aimard (piano).
Pablo Heras-Casado.10.0
Music Matters: Is Iceland
the World’s Most Musical
Country? (R) 10.45 The
Essay: All Miss Brodie’s
Girls? Ali Smith presents
the first in a series of
essays celebrating the
work of Muriel Spark.
(1/5) 11.0 Jazz Now.
A set by UK improvisers
Black Top. 12.30
Through the Night (R)
Radio 4
6.0 Today. With Sarah
Montague and Justin
Webb. 7.48 Thought for
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T)
News and analysis from
Washington DC and
London. 7.30 Railways
of the Great War With
Michael Portillo (T) (R)
The impact railways had
on the first world war.
Ultimate Swarms (T) (R)
George McGavin goes
in search of some of the
world’s most impressive
animal swarms.
Hull’s Headscarf Heroes (T)
The story of the women
who led a campaign for
greater safety at sea after
58 fishermen died when
three Hull trawlers sank.
10.0 Timeshift: The Last Days
of the Liners (T) (R)
Following the move of a
vital polar research station.
11.0 Horizon: Antarctica Ice
Station Rescue (T) (R)
12.0 Rule Britannia! Music,
Mischief and Morals in
the 18th Century (T) (R)
1.0-2.15 TOTP: 1981 (T)
(R) Double bill. 2.15 Hull’s
Headscarf Heroes (T) (R)
the Day, with the Rev
Prof David Wilkinson.
9.0 Start the Week
9.45 (LW) Daily Service
9.45 (FM) Book of the
Week: Somebody I Used
to Know, by Wendy
Mitchell. (1/5) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. With
Jane Garvey. Includes
at 10.45 Drama: That
Was Then, by Jonathan
Myerson. (1/10) 11.0
The Untold: Out of
School (13/16) 11.30
Tom Wrigglesworth’s
Hang-Ups: How to Make
a Killing (R) 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Witness
(6/10) 12.15 You and
Yours 1.0 The World
at One. Presented by
Martha Kearney. 1.45
Will Self’s Great British
Bus Journey: The Preston
Model. The author visits
a mosque as well as
assessing a bold civic
experiment dubbed the
Preston Model. (6/10)
2.0 The Archers (R)
2.15 Drama 4/4: Rondo
Mysterioso, by Robin
Brooks. After a difficult
night in a Brussels
casualty department,
the Benjamin Quartet
are invited to play at a
festival in Lucca. What
could possibly go wrong?
(3/4) 3.0 Round Britain
Quiz (12/12) 3.30 The
Food Programme: The
World Service Cookbook
(R) 4.0 Black Art Matters
(R) 4.30 The Infinite
Monkey Cage: How
Animals Behave (5/6)
5.0 PM. Presented by
Carolyn Quinn. 5.54 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 6.0
News 6.30 The Museum
of Curiosity (5/6) 7.0 The
Archers. Emma causes
tension. 7.15 Front Row.
Arts roundup. 7.45 That
Was Then (R) (1/10)
8.0 Sylvia Pankhurst:
Honorary Ethiopian.
Helen Pankhurst explores
her grandmother’s role
in the fight for Ethiopian
independence. 8.30
Analysis: The Illiberal
Democrats. Naomi
Grimley asks what impact
Poland and Hungary’s
new illiberal paths might
have on the EU. (2/9)
9.0 In Their Element:
Awesome Iodine (R)
9.30 Start the Week (R)
10.0 The World Tonight.
With Ritula Shah. 10.45
Book at Bedtime: The Big
Green Tent, by Ludmila
Ulitskaya. (1/10) 11.0
Word of Mouth (R) 11.30
Today in Parliament.
With Susan Hulme. 12.0
News 12.30 Book of the
Week (R) 12.48 Shipping
Forecast 1.0 As World
Service 5.20 Shipping
Forecast 5.30 News 5.43
Prayer for the Day 5.45
Farming Today 5.58
Tweet of the Day: Bonita
Johnson on the Robin
The Observer
Tuesday 6
Breakfast 9.15 Countryfile
Winter Diaries 10.0 Homes
Under the Hammer 11.0
Wanted Down Under
Revisited 11.45 A1:
Britain’s Longest Road
12.15 Bargain Hunt (R) 1.0
News 1.30 Regional News
(T) 1.45 Doctors (T) 2.15
Moving On (T) 3.0 Escape
to the Country (T) 3.45
The Farmers’ Country
Showdown (T) (R) 4.30
Antiques Road Trip (T)
(R) 5.15 Pointless (T) 6.0
News and Weather (T) 6.30
Regional News and Weather
(T) 7.0 The One Show (T)
7.30 EastEnders (T)
Match of the Day Live:
The FA Cup (T) Swansea
City v Notts County (kickoff 8.05pm) Coverage of
the fourth-round replay
from Liberty Stadium,
where the Premier League
outfit host the League
Two side. Subsequent
programmes may be
subject to change.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and
Weather (T)
10.45 Islam, Women and Me (T)
Is it possible to be a strong,
independent woman and
a good Muslim?
11.25 The Truth About Sleep (R)
12.25 Stacey Dooley
Investigates: Thailand’s
Drug Craze (R) 1.20
Weather 1.25 BBC News
6.0am Home Shopping
7.10 Scrapheap Challenge
8.10 American Pickers
9.0-10.0 Storage Hunters
10.0-1.0 American
Pickers 1.0 Best of Top
Gear 2.0 Top Gear 3.04.0 The Hurting 4.0-5.0
Traffic Cops 5.0-7.0
Top Gear 7.0 Cops UK:
Bodycam Squad 8.0 Dave
Gorman: Modern Life Is
Goodish 9.0 Live at the
Apollo 10.0 Taskmaster
11.0 QI 11.40 Would I Lie
to You? 12.20 Mock the
Week 1.0 QI 1.40 Would
I Lie to You? 2.20 Mock
the Week 3.0 QI XL 4.0
Home Shopping
All programmes
from 8am to 7pm are
double bills 6.0am-7.0
Hollyoaks 7.0 Coach Trip:
Road to Tenerife 7.30 All
Star Driving School 8.0
Baby Daddy 9.0 Melissa &
Joey 10.0 How I Met Your
Mother 11.0 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 12.0 The
Goldbergs 1.0 The Big
Bang Theory 2.0 Melissa
Back in Time for Tea (T)
New series. Sara Cox and
the Ellis family discover
how life has changed for
working families in the
north of England over
the past 100 years.
Flatpack Empire (T) New
series going behind the
scenes at colossal global
brand Ikea.
10.0 Inside No 9 Tempting Fate
(T) Last in the series.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Mum (T) (R) (1-3/6) A
recently bereaved woman
embarks on a new chapter.
Family comedy with
Lesley Manville.
12.40 Stealing Van Gogh (T) (R)
1.40 A House Through
Time (T) (R) 2.40 This
Is BBC Two (T)
& Joey 3.0 Baby Daddy
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory
7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30
Coach Trip: Road to
Tenerife 8.0-9.0 The
Big Bang Theory 9.0
Celebs Go Dating 10.0
Tattoo Fixers: Top Tatts
11.05-12.0 The Big Bang
Theory 12.0 First Dates
1.10 Celebs Go Dating
2.10 Gogglebox 3.0
Tattoo Fixers: Top Tatts
3.55 Rude Tube 4.20
Rude(ish) Tube 4.45-6.0
How I Met Your Mother
11.10am Terror in
a Texas Town (1958)
12.40 Warlock
(1959) 3.15 Posse
from Hell (1961) 5.0
The Wackiest Ship
in the Army (1960) 7.0
Volcano (1997)
9.0 13 Hours:
The Secret Soldiers of
Benghazi (2016) 11.50
’71 (2014) 1.55
Goon (2011)
6.0am Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
6.25 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
6.55 Dress to Impress
7.45 Emmerdale 8.20
Coronation Street 8.50
Coronation Street 9.25
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 10.10 Who’s Doing
the Dishes? 11.10 Dress to
Impress 12.10 Emmerdale
12.45 Coronation
Street 1.15 Coronation
Street 1.45 The Ellen
DeGeneres Show 2.35
The Jeremy Kyle Show
3.40 The Jeremy Kyle
Show 4.50 The Jeremy
Kyle Show 5.50 Take
Me Out 7.0 You’ve Been
Framed! Gold 7.30
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 8.0 Two and a Half
Men 8.30 Superstore 9.0
American Pie: The
Wedding (2003) (FYI
Daily is at 10pm) 11.0
Family Guy 11.30 Family
Guy 12.0 American Dad!
12.30 American Dad!
12.55 Two and a Half Men
1.25 Release the Hounds
2.20 Teleshopping 5.50
ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Supershoppers
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Home or Away 10.30
Four in a Bed 11.0 Four in
a Bed 11.30 Four in a Bed
12.05 Four in a Bed 12.35
Four in a Bed 1.05 A Place
in the Sun: Home or Away
2.05 A Place in the Sun:
Home or Away 3.10-5.55
Come Dine With Me 5.55
The Secret Life of the
Zoo 6.55 The Supervet
7.55 Grand Designs 9.0
Slumdog Millionaire
(2008) 11.30 Ramsay’s
Kitchen Nightmares
12.35 8 Out of 10 Cats
Our Queen,
Channel 5, 9pm
The royal road to
the throne
My Life in Books (R) 6.30
Wanted Down Under (R) 7.15
Countryfile Winter Diaries
(R) 8.0 Celebrity Antiques
Road Trip (R) 9.0 Victoria
Derbyshire 11.0 Newsroom
Live 12.0 Daily Politics 1.0 The
Super League Show (R) 1.45
Coast (R) 2.0 Monty Halls’s
Great Hebridean Escape (T)
(R) 3.0 A Place to Call Home
(T) (R) 3.50 This Wild Life
(T) (R) 4.20 The Hunt (T)
(R) 5.20 Flog It! (T) (R) 6.0
Eggheads (T) (R) 6.30 Great
American Railroad Journeys
(T) California: Sacramento to
Napa Valley 7.0 Big Dreams
Small Spaces (T) (R)
Channel 4
Good Morning Britain (T)
8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25
The Jeremy Kyle Show
(T) 10.30 This Morning
(T) 12.30 Loose Women
(T) 1.30 News (T) 1.55
Local News (T) 2.0 Judge
Rinder (T) 3.0 Dickinson’s
Real Deal (T) 3.59 Local
News and Weather (T)
4.0 Tipping Point (T) 5.0
The Chase (T) 6.0 Local
News (T) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 Emmerdale (T)
Charity confronts some
uncomfortable truths, Joe
receives a surprise visitor,
and Harriet is determined
to set things right.
What Would Your Kid Do?
(T) New series. Parents
guess what their children
will do in a variety of
entertaining situations.
Jason Manford hosts.
Next of Kin (T) The unit
must foil the incoming
threat, while also working to extract Mona and
Danny. Last in the series.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Girlfriends (T) (R) Linda’s
shock revelation leaves
Gail and Sue reeling.
11.45 Tonight at the London
Palladium (T) (R) With
Simply Red, Caravan Palace,
Pixie Lott. Last in the series.
12.35 Jackpot247 3.0 Loose
Women (R) 3.50 ITV
Does Countdown 1.35
Bodyshockers: Nips,
Tucks and Tattoos
2.35 Grand Designs
6.0am The Dog
Whisperer 7.0 Monkey
Life 7.30 Monkey Life
8.0 Meerkat Manor 8.30
Meerkat Manor 9.0 Road
Wars 10.0 NCIS: LA 11.0
1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
4.0 Stargate SG-1 5.0
The Simpsons 5.30
Futurama 6.0 Futurama
6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons
7.30 The Simpsons
8.0 Premier League’s
Greatest Moments
9.0 The Blacklist 10.0
Trollied 10.30 Football’s
Funniest Moments 11.0
The Force: Manchester
12.0 Ross Kemp:
Extreme World 1.0
Hawaii Five-0 2.0 NCIS:
LA 3.0 Hawaii Five-0
4.0 Stop, Search, Seize
5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Arts
6.0am Classical
Destinations 6.40
Prokofiev: Piano
Concertos 7.15 Celtic
Woman 9.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 9.30 The Art
Show 10.30 Discovering:
Calvin Klein 11.0 Fake!
The Great Masterpiece
Challenge 12.0 The
Channel 5
Countdown (T) (R) 6.45
3rd Rock from the Sun
(T) (R) 7.35 Everybody
Loves Raymond (T)
(R) 8.30 Frasier (T) (R)
10.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R)
11.0 Undercover Boss USA
(T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Couples Come Dine With
Me (T) (R) 1.05 Posh Pawn
(T) (R) 2.10 Countdown (T)
3.0 Village of the Year With
Penelope Keith (T) 4.0 A
Place in the Sun: Winter Sun
(T) (R) 5.0 Four in a Bed (T)
5.30 Extreme Cake Makers
(T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T) (R)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News
The Secret Life of 5
Year Olds: All Girls (T)
Youngsters Eva, Jet,
Miylah and Zaina return
for a one-off special.
24 Hours in A&E (T) Leon,
36, is airlifted in after being
involved in a collision in
a car, while rugby player
Graham, 37, is treated after
a clattering clash.
10.0 Clare Balding’s Secrets of
a Suffragette (T) (R) Emily
Wilding Davison’s story
11.05 Before We Die (T) Hanna,
Bjorn and Tina know they
have a mole in their midst.
12.20 The 2,000,000 Calorie
Buffet (T) (R) 1.15 Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R)
2.05 Obsessive Compulsive
Cleaners (T) (R)
Seventies 1.0 Discovering:
Doris Day 2.0 Tales of
the Unexpected 2.30
The Art Show 3.30
Discovering: Calvin Klein
4.0 Fake! The Great
Masterpiece Challenge
5.0 The Seventies 6.0
Discovering: Errol Flynn
7.0 The Eighties 8.0
Portrait Artist of the Year
2018 9.0 Drew: The Man
Behind the Poster 10.50
The Legend of the Palme
d’Or 12.05 Portrait Artist
of the Year 2018 1.05 The
Adventurers of Modern
Art 2.05 Simply Red: Live
in Montreux 4.0 Dag 4.30
Tales of the Unexpected
5.0 Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets
7.0 Richard E Grant’s
Hotel Secrets 8.0 Storm
City 9.0 The West Wing
10.0 The West Wing
11.0 House 12.0 House
1.0 Without a Trace 2.0
Blue Bloods 3.0 The
West Wing 4.0 The West
Wing 5.0 House 6.0
House 7.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation
8.0 Blue Bloods 9.0 A
Girl in the River: The
Price of Forgiveness
10.0 Mommy Dead and
Dearest: The Story of
Dee Dee 11.40 Gomorrah
12.40 Gomorrah 1.45
Dexter 2.45 House 3.45
Girls 4.15 The West Wing
5.05 The West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast. With
Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Ian
Skelly’s guest for the
week is Steven McRae
of the Royal Ballet. 12.0
Composer of the Week:
Takemitsu (2/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert. The first of four
programmes featuring
BBC Radio 3 New
Generation Artists, past
and present at Portico,
Co Down. Beethoven:
String Quartet in F,
Op 135. Calidore String
Quartet. Prokofiev arr
Kent Kennan: Sonata,
Op 94. Annelien Van
Wauwe (clarinet), Pavel
Kolesnikov (piano).
(1/4) 2.0 Afternoon
Concert: The BBC
Scottish Symphony
Orchestra. Mozart:
Symphony No 31 in D,
K297 (Paris). Beethoven:
Coriolan Overture,
Op 62. Schubert:
Symphony No 4 in C
minor, D417 (Tragic).
BBC SSO, François
Leleux. 2.55 Leighton:
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.10 The Hotel
Inspector (T) (R) 12.10
News (T) 12.15 Cowboy
Builders (T) (R) 1.10 Access
(T) 1.15 Home and Away
(T) 1.45 Neighbours (T)
2.15 NCIS: Revenge of the
Cartel (T) (R) Borderland
3.15 The Devil’s
Teardrop (Norma Bailey,
2010) (T) 5.0 News (T)
5.30 Neighbours (T) (R)
6.0 Home and Away (T) (R)
6.30 News (T) 7.0 Secrets
of the National Trust (T) (R)
Alan Titchmarsh examines
the story of Thomas Legh,
owner of Lyme in Cheshire.
QE2: The World’s Greatest
Cruise Ship (T) (1/2) The
story behind the problems
that almost spelled the end
of the QE2. Includes news.
Elizabeth: Our Queen (T)
New series. A look at
Elizabeth II’s life, featuring
interviews with some of
her prime ministers, friends
and special advisers.
10.0 Ben Fogle: Return to the
Wild (T) New series. The
traveller reunites with the
people he met who live
in remote locations.
11.05 Paddington Station
24/7 (T) (R)
12.05 Chris Tarrant: Extreme
Railway Journeys Timbuktu
(T) (R) 1.0 SuperCasino
3.10 GPs: Behind Closed
Doors (T) (R)
Violin Concerto, Op 12.
Clare Howick, Grant
Llewellyn. Tippett:
Symphony No 2. Martyn
Brabbins. 3.55 Sciarrino:
Allegoria della notte.
Ilia Gringolts (violin),
Ilan Volkov. Brahms:
Symphony No 3 in F, Op
90. Ilan Volkov. 5.0 In
Tune. Sean Rafferty’s
guests include the pianist
Martin Helmchen. 7.0
In Tune Mixtape 7.30
Radio 3 in Concert.
Recorded at City Halls,
Glasgow, on 2 February.
Elisabeth Leonskaja
(piano), Scottish
Chamber Orchestra,
Clemens Schuldt.
Prokofiev: Symphony
No 1 (Classical).
Shostakovich arr Barshai:
Chamber Symphony,
Op 110a. 8.15 Interval.
8.35 Beethoven:
Piano Concerto No 5
(Emperor). 10.0 Free
Thinking Landmark:
The Prime of Miss Jean
Brodie (R) 10.45 The
Essay: All Miss Brodie’s
Girls? Kate Clanchy
(2/5) 11.0 Late Junction
12.30 Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today. Presented by
Mishal Husain and Sarah
Montague. 7.48 Thought
for the Day, with Rev
Rose Hudson-Wilkin.
8.30 (LW) Yesterday
in Parliament 9.0 The
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T) News
from Washington DC and
London. 7.30 Railways of
the Great War With Michael
Portillo (T) (R) The former
MP finds out about rail
workers who died during
the first world war.
Andrew Marr’s The Making
of Modern Britain (T) (R)
Examining Britain’s role
in the second world war.
Last in the series.
Art, Passion & Power:
The Story of the Royal
Collection (T) Andrew
Graham-Dixon explores
how royal collecting has
changed. Last in the series.
10.0 Jane Austen: Behind
Closed Doors (T) (R)
11.0 The Incredible Story of
Marie Antoinette’s Watch
With Nicholas Parsons
(T) (R) The life and work
of the Swiss horologist
Abraham-Louis Breguet
12.0 Stories from the Dark
Earth… (T) (R) 1.0 TOTP:
1981 (T) (R) 2.15 The Making
of Modern Britain (T) (R)
Global Philosopher:
Should There be any
Limits to Free Speech?
Sixty people from around
the world join Michael
Sandel in discussion at a
digital studio at Harvard.
9.45 (LW) Daily Service
9.45 (FM) Book of the
Week: Somebody I Used
to Know, by Wendy
Mitchell. (2/5) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. With
Jane Garvey. Includes
at 10.45 Drama: That
Was Then, by Jonathan
Myerson. (2/10) 11.0
Find Me a Cure. Chronic
lymphotic leukaemia, or
CLL, is the most common
form of the blood
cancer and there have
dramatic developments
with new targeted
treatments that are less
toxic than conventional
chemotherapy. Simon
Cox follows a medical
trial based at St James’s
Hospital in Leeds. 11.30
BACH: Man of Passion.
John Butt explores
Johann Sebastian Bach’s
life and work. 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Witness:
The Hanafi Hostage Siege
12.15 Call You and Yours
1.0 The World at One 1.45
Will Self’s Great British
Bus Journey: Dual Control
to Middlesbrough (7/10)
2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15
Drama: Becoming Betty.
Romantic comedy. 3.0
The Kitchen Cabinet:
Bath (R) 3.30 Making
History (7/7) 4.0 Word of
Mouth: Naming Diseases
– Know Your Nosology
(4/6) 4.30 A Good Read:
Ruby Tandoh & Jake
Yapp (2/9) 5.0 PM 5.54
(LW) Shipping Forecast
6.0 News 6.30 Simon
Evans Goes to Market:
The Cost of Health (4/4)
7.0 The Archers. There
is more bad news for the
Aldridges. 7.15 Front
Row. Arts roundup. 7.45
That Was Then (R) 8.0
File on 4: The Great
British Money Laundering
Service. Tim Whewell on
the new transparency
rules designed to reveal
the true owners of British
companies and how
they are being flouted.
(4/10) 8.40 In Touch 9.0
Inside Health 9.30 The
Global Philosopher (R)
10.0 The World Tonight
10.45 Book at Bedtime:
The Big Green Tent,
by Ludmila Ulitskaya.
(2/10) 11.0 The Infinite
Monkey Cage: How
Animals Behave (R) 11.30
Today in Parliament 12.0
News 12.30 Book of the
Week (R) 12.48 Shipping
Forecast 1.0 As World
Service 5.20 Shipping
Forecast 5.30 News 5.43
Prayer for the Day 5.45
Farming Today 5.58
Tweet of the Day: Dave
Leech on the Water Rail
The Observer
Wednesday 7
Breakfast 9.15 Countryfile
Winter Diaries 10.0 Homes
Under the Hammer (R)
11.0 Wanted Down Under
Revisited 11.45 A1: Britain’s
Longest Road. PC Alan
Keenleyside deals with a
three-car collision. 12.15
Bargain Hunt (R) 1.0 News
1.30 Regional News 1.45
Doctors 2.15 Moving On
3.0 Escape to the Country
(R) 3.45 Farmers’ Country
Showdown (R) 4.30
Antiques Road Trip (R)
5.15 Pointless 6.0 News
6.30 Regional News 6.55
Party Political Broadcast
(R) 7.0 One Show
Holby City (T) Hanssen
steps down as CEO and
Oliver’s physiotherapy
is cut short when his
therapist collapses.
Silent Witness Family,
Part Two (T) The team
are brought together in
the heartwrenching
conclusion of a family
tragedy. Last in the series.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News (T)
10.45 A Question of Sport (T)
With Adam Gemili, Alex
Scott, Hannah Cockroft
and Shane Williams.
11.15 Shane: For the Love of the
Game (T) Documentary
following Shane Williams
as he attempts to build a
life after rugby union.
12.15 Weather (T) 12.20 News (T)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.10 Scrapheap Challenge
8.10 American Pickers
9.0-10.0 Storage Hunters
10.0-1.0 American Pickers
1.0-3.0 Top Gear 3.04.0 The Hurting 4.0 Cops
UK: Bodycam Squad 5.07.0 Top Gear 7.0 Cops
UK: Bodycam Squad 8.09.0 Yianni: Supercar
Customiser 9.0 Live at the
Apollo 10.0 Taskmaster
11.0 Unspun XL With Matt
Forde 12.0 QI XL 1.0 QI
1.40 Would I Lie to You?
2.20 Mock the Week 3.0
QI 3.30 Would I Lie to
You? 4.0 Home Shopping
All programmes
from 8am to 7pm are
double bills 6.0am-7.0
Hollyoaks 7.0 Coach Trip:
Road to Tenerife 7.30 All
Star Driving School 8.0
Baby Daddy 9.0 Melissa &
Joey 10.0 How I Met Your
Mother 11.0 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 12.0 The
Goldbergs 1.0 The Big
Bang Theory 2.0 Melissa
& Joey 3.0 Baby Daddy
My Life in Books (R) 6.30
Wanted Down Under (R)
7.15 Countryfile Winter
Diaries (R) 8.0 See Hear
8.30 Great British Railway
Journeys (R) 9.0 Victoria
Derbyshire 11.0 Newsroom
Live 11.30 Daily Politics
1.0 Coast (R) 2.0 Monty
Halls’s Great Hebridean
Escape (R) 3.0 Place to Call
Home (R) 3.50 This Wild
Life (R) 4.20 NZ: Earth’s
Mythical Islands (R) 5.20
Flog It! (R) 6.0 Eggheads
(R) 6.30 Great American
Railroad Journeys 7.0 Wild
Cameramen at Work (R)
7.30 Eurovision: You Decide
The New Builds Are
Coming: Battle in the
Countryside (T) (2/2)
Richard Macer heads to
Oxfordshire, one of the
most expensive counties
in England. He meets the
architects and developers
building new towns in the
countryside and those who
are choosing to live there.
10.0 Mock the Week (T) (R)
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Flatpack Empire (T) (R)
Behind the scenes at Ikea.
12.15 House of Saud: A Family at
War (T) (R) 1.15 Sign Zone:
See Hear – Looking for
Love (T) (R) 1.45 Surgeons:
At the Edge of Life (T) (R)
2.45 The Hairy Bikers’
Mediterranean Adventure
(R) 3.45 This Is BBC Two (T)
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory 7.0
Hollyoaks 7.30 Coach
Trip: Road to Tenerife
8.0-9.0 The Goldbergs
9.0 Celebs Go Dating
10.0 Don’t Tell the
Bride Ireland 11.05-12.0
The Big Bang Theory
12.0 First Dates 1.05
Celebs Go Dating 2.05
Gogglebox 2.55 Don’t
Tell the Bride Ireland
3.50 The Goldbergs
4.15-5.0 How I Met
Your Mother 5.0
Rude(ish) Tube
11.0am Harvey
(1950) 1.10 Destry
(1954) 3.10
Yangtse Incident
(1957) 5.0 The
Tin Star (1957)
6.50 Evolution
(2001) 9.0 The
Dressmaker (2015) 11.20
Easy A (2010) 1.10
Secrets and Lies
6.0am Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
6.25 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
6.55 Dress to Impress
7.45 Emmerdale 8.50
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 9.25 The Ellen
DeGeneres Show 10.10
Who’s Doing the Dishes?
11.10 Dress to Impress
12.10 Emmerdale 1.15
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 1.45 The Ellen
DeGeneres Show 2.35
The Jeremy Kyle Show
3.40 The Jeremy Kyle
Show 4.50 The Jeremy
Kyle Show 5.50 Take
Me Out 7.0 You’ve Been
Framed! Gold 7.30
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 8.0 Two and a Half
Men 8.30 Superstore
9.0 The Hangover
Part II (2011) (FYI
Daily is at 10pm) 11.10
Family Guy 11.40 Family
Guy 12.05 American
Dad! 12.35 American
Dad! 1.05 Two and a
Half Men 1.35 Superstore
2.0 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
2.25 Teleshopping
5.55 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Supershoppers
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Home or Away 10.30
Four in a Bed 11.0 Four
in a Bed 11.30 Four in
a Bed 12.05 Four in a
Bed 12.35 Four in a Bed
1.05 A Place in the Sun:
Home or Away 2.05 A
Place in the Sun: Home
or Away 3.10-5.55 Come
Dine With Me 5.55 The
Secret Life of the Zoo
6.55 The Supervet 7.55
Grand Designs 9.0 Selling
Houses With Amanda
Lamb 10.0 Ugly House
to Lovely House With
IITV, 9pm
Sue discovers
ssecret side
Channel 4
Good Morning Britain (T)
8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25
The Jeremy Kyle Show
(T) 10.30 This Morning
(T) 12.30 Loose Women
(T) 1.30 News (T) 1.55
Local News (T) 2.0 Judge
Rinder (T) 3.0 Dickinson’s
Real Deal (T) 3.59 Local
News and Weather (T) 4.0
Tipping Point (T) 5.0 The
Chase (T) 6.0 Local News
(T) 6.25 Party Political
Broadcast (T) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 Emmerdale (T) Cain
faces a difficult dilemma.
7.30 Coronation Street (T)
Aidan and Kate discover
they are a match for Carla.
Countdown (R) 6.45 3rd
Rock from the Sun (R)
7.35 Everybody Loves
Raymond (R) 8.30 Frasier
(R) 10.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (R) 11.0
Undercover Boss USA (T)
(R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Couples Come Dine With
Me (T) (R) 1.05 Posh Pawn
(T) (R) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 Village of the Year
With Penelope Keith (T)
4.0 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun (T) (R) 5.0 Four
in a Bed (T) 5.30 Extreme
Cake Makers (T) 6.0 The
Simpsons (T) (R) 6.30
Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
Kirstie and Phil’s Love It
Or List It (T) Kirstie Allsopp
and Phil Spencer meet
the Farhalls in Windsor.
My Millionaire Migrant
Boss (T) Liverpool-based
Palestinian multimillionaire
racehorse-owner Marwan
Koukash offers four
unemployed people a
two-week work trial.
Britain’s Brightest Family
(T) The Bakers and the
Sheths battle for a place
in the quarter-finals.
8.30 Coronation Street (T)
Gemma is chuffed to hear
how Chesney defended her.
9.0 Girlfriends (T) Linda, Gail
and Sue arrive in Spain
to identify Micky’s body.
Last in the series.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Britain’s Busiest Airport:
Heathrow (T) (R) Cameras
follow cleaners, ground
staff and members of the
flight crew.
11.45 Holiday Horrors: Caught
on Camera (T) (R)
12.35 Jackpot247 3.0 Tenable (T)
(R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen
5.05 Jeremy Kyle (T) (R)
10.0 999: What’s Your
Emergency? (T) (R)
11.05 The Bulger Killers: Was
Justice Done? (T) (R)
12.05 Pokerstars Championship
Cash Challenge (T)
1.0 Obsessive Compulsive
Cleaners (T) (R) 1.55
Pusher (Luis Prieto,
1996) Crime thriller remake
with Richard Coyle. 3.25
Location, Location… (T) (R)
George Clarke 11.05
24 Hours in A&E 12.10
Kitchen Nightmares
1.15 Selling Houses With
Amanda Lamb 2.15 Grand
Designs Revisited 3.15 8
Out of 10 Cats Uncut
6.0am The Dog
Whisperer 7.0 Monkey
Life 7.30 Monkey Life
8.0 Meerkat Manor 8.30
Meerkat Manor 9.0 Road
Wars 10.0 NCIS: LA 11.0
1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
4.0 Stargate SG-1 5.0
The Simpsons 5.30
Futurama 6.0 Futurama
6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30
The Simpsons 8.0 A
League of Their Own 9.0
Strike Back: Retribution
10.0 Russell Howard’s
Hour 11.0 The Force:
Manchester 12.0 Ross
Kemp: Extreme World
1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
The Blacklist 3.0 Hawaii
Five-0 4.0 Stop, Search,
Seize 5.0 The Dog
Sky Arts
6.0am Classical
Destinations 6.40 South
Bank Masterclasses:
Angel Blue 6.55 Bryn
Terfel at 50 9.0 Tales
of the Unexpected 9.30
The Art Show 10.30
Discovering: Calvin Klein
Channel 5
11.0 Fake! The Great
Masterpiece Challenge
12.0 The Seventies
1.0 Discovering: Errol
Flynn 2.0 Tales of
the Unexpected 2.30
The Art Show 3.30
Discovering: Armani
4.0 Fake! The Great
Masterpiece Challenge
5.0 The Seventies 6.0
Discovering: Sidney
Poitier 7.0 Portrait Artist
of the Year 2018 8.0
Laurel and Hardy: Their
Lives and Magic 9.45
Dying Laughing 11.25
Hollywood: No Sex,
Please 12.25 Johnny
Cash’s Bitter Tears 1.40
The Who: Live in Texas
4.0 Dag 4.30 Tales of
the Unexpected 5.0
Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets
7.0 Richard E Grant’s
Hotel Secrets 8.0 Storm
City 9.0 The West Wing
10.0 The West Wing 11.0
House 12.0 House 1.0
Without a Trace 2.0 Blue
Bloods 3.0 The West
Wing 4.0 The West Wing
5.0 House 6.0 House
7.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 8.0 Blue
Bloods 9.0 Gomorrah
10.10 Gomorrah 11.20
The Sopranos 12.30
Britannia 1.30 Dexter
2.35 Dexter 3.40 Girls
4.15 The West Wing
5.05 The West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast. With
Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Steven
McRae guests. 12.0
Composer of the Week:
Takemitsu (3/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: New Generation
Artists at Portico.
Schubert: Ganymed,
D544; Das Rosenband,
D280; An die Nachtigall,
D497; Musensohn,
D764. Robin Tritschler
(tenor), Chris Glynn
(piano). Schumann:
String Quartet in A,
Op 41 No 3. Calidore
String Quartet. Wolf:
Jägerlied. Killmayer:
Verborgenheit. Wolf:
Fussreise; Der Gartner.
Killmayer: Fussreise.
Wolf: Verborgenheit.
Killmayer: Jägerlied.
Robin Tritschler (tenor),
Chris Glynn (piano).
(2/4) 2.0 Afternoon
Concert: The BBC
Philharmonic Live from
Salford. Antheil: HotTime Dance; Archipelago;
Waltz – Spectre of
the Rose; Symphony
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.10 The Hotel
Inspector (T) (R) 12.10
News (T) 12.15 Cowboy
Builders (T) (R) 1.10 Access
(T) 1.15 Home and Away
(T) 1.45 Neighbours (T)
2.15 NCIS: Revenge of
the Cartel (T) (R) Patriot
Down 3.15 Midnight
Stallion (William Dear,
2013) (T) Rural drama
starring Kris Kristofferson,
Jodelle Ferland and Chelah
Horsdal. 5.0 News (T)
5.30 Neighbours (T) (R)
6.0 Home and Away (T)
(R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0
Police Interceptors (T) (R)
GPs: Behind Closed Doors
(T) A young girl visits the
surgery after hurting her
neck when she tried to do
a back flip. Includes news.
Peyton and Polizzi’s
Restaurant Rescue (T) New
series. Alex Polizzi and
her brother-in-law Oliver
Peyton help save Italian
eatery Riobello in Bedford.
10.0 Frozen: From Dusk Till
Dawn (T) The story of
two young brothers from
Pakistan who go into
an inexplicable state of
paralysis every night.
11.05 Balmoral: A Hidden History
(T) (R)
1.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
Secrets of the National Trust
(T) (R) 4.0 Get Your Tatts
Out: Kavos Ink (R)
No 3 (American). BBC
Philharmonic, John
Storgårds. 3.30 Choral
Evensong: St George’s
Chapel, Windsor Castle
– Archive (R) 4.30 New
Generation Artists.
Poulenc: Les chemins
de l’amour. Quatuor Van
Kuijk. Farrenc: Le berger
fidèle; Andréa la folle; Je
me taisais. Ruby Hughes
(soprano), Anna Tilbrook
(piano). Henselt: Duo,
Op 14. Alec FrankGemmill (horn), Daniel
Grimwood (piano). 5.0 In
Tune 7.0 In Tune Mixtape
7.30 In Concert. Live
from the Royal Festival
Hall, London. Alexander
Ghindin (piano), London
Philharmonic Orchestra,
Vladimir Jurowski.
Stravinsky: Scherzo
Fantastique; Funeral
Song. Rimsky-Korsakov:
Piano Concerto in C
sharp minor, Op 30. 8.15
Interval. Stravinsky:
The Firebird, complete
ballet (1910). 10.0 Free
Thinking. A discussion
surrounding the life
and work of Buchi
Emecheta. 10.45 The
Essay: All Miss Brodie’s
Girls? Janice Galloway
(3/5) 11.0 Late Junction
12.30 Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today 8.31 (LW)
Yesterday in Parliament
9.0 Behind the Scenes:
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T)
News and analysis from
Washington DC and
London. 7.30 Railways of
the Great War With Michael
Portillo (T) (R) The former
politician visits the site of
Britain’s deadliest train
crash at Quintinshill.
Wondrous Obsessions: The
Cabinet of Curiosities (T)
(R) The revival of the cabinets that were popular in
the 16th and 17th centuries.
8.30 A Stitch in Time (T) Amber
Butchart focuses on Marie
Antoinette. Last in series.
9.0 Queen Victoria’s Children
(T) (R) The monarch’s
family relationships.
10.0 The Birth of Empire: The
East India Company (T)
(R) (1/2) Dan Snow charts
the history of the trading
11.0 The Killer Wave of 1607:
Timewatch (T) (R)
11.50 Timeshift: When Coal Was
King (T) (R)
12.50 TOTP: 1981 (T) (R) A double
helping of hits. 2.0 Queen
Victoria’s Children (T) (R)
Dawn Walton 9.45
(LW) Daily Service
9.45 (FM) Book of the
Week: Somebody I Used
to Know, by Wendy
Mitchell. (3/5) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. Includes
at 10.41 Drama: That
Was Then, by Jonathan
Myerson. (3/10) 10.56
The Listening Project:
Zakk and Anthony –
Where is Home? 11.0
Sylvia Pankhurst:
Honorary Ethiopian (R)
11.30 Chain Reaction:
Roy Hudd Interviews
Alison Steadman (R)
12.0 News 12.01 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 12.04
Witness 12.15 You and
Yours 1.0 The World at
One 1.45 Will Self’s Great
British Bus Journey: A
Night in East Kilbride
(8/10) 2.0 The Archers
(R) 2.15 Drama: The Book
of Yehudit, by Adam
Usden. Drama about a
young Orthodox Jewish
woman whose husband
is unwilling to grant
her a divorce. Yasmin
Paige, Henry Devas and
Ashley Margolis star.
(R) 3.0 Money Box Live
3.30 Inside Health (R)
4.0 Thinking Allowed.
Human behaviour,
institutions and
conventions examined.
4.30 The Media Show 5.0
PM. With Carolyn Quinn.
5.54 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 6.0 News
6.30 Bridget Christie’s
Utopia: Disengage. A
new comedy with the
award-winning standup,
as she struggles to come
to terms with a series of
current world events.
(1/4) 7.0 The Archers.
Lynda struggles with
her Lent challenge. 7.15
Front Row 7.45 That
Was Then (R) (3/10)
8.0 The Moral Maze.
Michael Buerk is joined
by Matthew Taylor, Claire
Fox, Melanie Phillips
and Anne McElvoy for
combative debate. (1/8)
8.45 Four Thought:
Ghost Stories (R) 9.0
Inside the Killing Jar.
Adam Hart explores the
issues surrounding the
ethics of killing insects
in the name of science.
9.30 Behind the Scenes
(R) 10.0 The World
Tonight 10.45 Book
at Bedtime: The Big
Green Tent, by Ludmila
Ulitskaya. (3/10) 11.0
Tez Talks: Once You Go
Asian (3/4) 11.15 Rhys
James Is… (4/4) 11.30
Today in Parliament
12.0 News 12.30 Book
of the Week (3/5) 12.48
Shipping Forecast 1.0
As World Service 5.20
Shipping Forecast 5.30
News 5.43 Prayer for
the Day 5.45 Farming
Today 5.58 Tweet of the
Day: Ben Darvill on the
Common Rosefinch
The Observer
Thursday 8
Breakfast 9.15 Countryfile
Winter Diaries 10.0 Homes
Under the Hammer 11.0
Wanted Down Under
Revisited 11.45 A1: Britain’s
Longest Road. A crash in
rush-hour. 12.15 Bargain
Hunt (R) 1.0 News (T) 1.30
Regional News (T) 1.45
Doctors (T) 2.15 Moving
On (T) 3.0 Escape to
the Country (T) (R) 3.45
The Farmers’ Country
Showdown (T) (R) 4.30
Antiques Road Trip (T) (R)
5.15 Pointless (T) 6.0 News
(T) 6.30 Regional News
(T) 7.0 The One Show
(T) 7.30 EastEnders (T)
Animals With Cameras
(T) Bodycams reveal how
cheetahs choose prey, give
an insight into the lives of
South Africa’s baboons
and show how Australian
fur seals survive.
Death in Paradise (T) The
leader of a spiritual retreat
is strangled, but finding
the killer could prove tricky.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News
and Weather (T)
10.45 Question Time (T) Topical
debate from Darlington.
11.45 This Week (T) Andrew
Neil introduces the usual
round-table political chat,
with Michael Portillo and co,
chaired by David Dimbleby.
12.30 Weather for the Week
Ahead (T) 12.35 BBC News
6.0am Home Shopping
7.10 Scrapheap Challenge
8.10 American Pickers
9.0-10.0 Storage Hunters
10.0-1.0 American
Pickers 1.0-3.0 Top Gear
3.0-4.0 The Hurting
4.0 Cops UK: Bodycam
Squad 5.0-7.0 Top Gear
7.0 Cops UK: Bodycam
Squad 8.0 The Best of
Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit
9.0 Live at the Apollo
10.0 Taskmaster 11.0 QI
11.40 Would I Lie to You?
12.20 Mock the Week 1.0
QI 1.40 Would I Lie to
You? 2.20 Mock the Week
3.0 Live at the Apollo
4.0 Home Shopping
All programmes
from 8am to 7pm are
double bills 6.0am-7.0
Hollyoaks 7.0 Coach Trip:
Road to Tenerife 7.30 All
Star Driving School 8.0
Baby Daddy 9.0 Melissa &
Joey 10.0 How I Met Your
Mother 11.0 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 12.0 The
Goldbergs 1.0 The Big
Bang Theory 2.0 Melissa
The Hairy Bikers’
Mediterranean Adventure
(T) The duo explore the
culinary delights of Spain,
heading south from
Valencia to Torremolinos.
Last in the series.
Trouble at the Zoo (T)
Documentary following
the staff of South Lakes
Safari Zoo in Cumbria.
10.0 The Mash Report (T) News
satire with Nish Kumar.
10.30 Newsnight (T)
11.15 Dragons’ Den (T) (R)
Entrepreneurs pitch their
money-making ideas to
a panel of millionaires.
Presented by Evan Davis.
12.15 Sign Zone The Truth About
Getting Fit (T) (R) 1.15
Wonders of the Moon (T)
(R) 2.15 This Is BBC Two (T)
& Joey 3.0 Baby Daddy
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory 7.0
Hollyoaks 7.30 Coach
Trip: Road to Tenerife
8.0-9.0 The Big Bang
Theory 9.0 Celebs Go
Dating 10.0-11.05 The
Inbetweeners 11.0512.0 The Big Bang Theory
12.05 First Dates 1.05
Celebs Go Dating 2.10
Gogglebox 3.0-4.0 The
Inbetweeners 4.0-5.05
How I Met Your Mother
5.05 Rude(ish) Tube
11.0am Lifeboat
(1944) 12.55 The Court-Martial of
Billy Mitchell (1955)
3.0 Appointment
with Danger (1949)
4.50 The Great
St Trinian’s Train
Robbery (1966) 6.45
The Secret Life
of Walter Mitty (2013)
9.0 Lucy (2014)
10.45 The Diary
of a Teenage Girl (2015)
12.50 Copycat
6.0am Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
6.25 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
6.55 Dress to Impress
7.45 Emmerdale 8.20
Coronation Street 8.50
Coronation Street 9.25
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 10.10 Who’s Doing
the Dishes? 11.10 Dress to
Impress 12.10 Emmerdale
12.45 Coronation Street
1.15 Coronation Street
1.45 The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 2.40 The Jeremy
Kyle Show 3.45 The
Jeremy Kyle Show 4.55
The Jeremy Kyle Show
6.0 Take Me Out 7.30
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 8.0 Two and a Half
Men 8.30 Superstore
9.0 Release the Hounds
10.0 CelebAbility 10.50
Family Guy 11.15 Family
Guy 11.45 American Dad!
12.10 American Dad!
12.35 Two and a Half
Men 1.10 Superstore
1.35 Ibiza Weekender
2.30 Teleshopping
5.55 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Supershoppers
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Home or Away 10.30
Four in a Bed 11.0 Four in
a Bed 11.30 Four in a Bed
12.05 Four in a Bed 12.35
Four in a Bed 1.05 A Place
in the Sun: Summer Sun
2.05 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 3.10-5.55
Come Dine With Me 5.55
The Secret Life of the
Zoo 6.55 The Supervet
7.55 Grand Designs 9.0
Walks With My Dog 10.0
The Yorkshire Dales and
the Lakes 11.05 8 Out of
10 Cats Does Countdown
The Young
BBC Three
Conor and Jock
are riding high
My Life in Books (R)
6.30 Wanted Down
Under Revisited (R) 7.15
Countryfile Winter Diaries
(R) 8.0 MasterChef: The
Professionals (R) 9.0
Victoria Derbyshire 11.0
Newsroom Live 12.0 Daily
Politics 1.0 Monty Halls’s
Great Hebridean Escape (R)
3.0 A Place to Call Home (T)
(R) 3.45 This Wild Life (R)
4.15 NZ: Earth’s Mythical
Islands (R) 5.15 Flog It! (R)
6.0 Eggheads (R) 6.30
Great American Railroad
Journeys: San Francisco
7.0 Winter Olympics:
Countdown to the Games
Channel 4
Good Morning Britain (T)
8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (T) 10.30
This Morning (T) 12.30
Loose Women (T) 1.30
News (T) 1.55 Local News
(T) 2.0 Judge Rinder (T)
3.0 Dickinson’s Real Deal
(T) 3.59 Local News and
Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) 5.0 The Chase (T)
6.0 Local News (T) 6.30
News (T) 7.0 Emmerdale
(T) A villager faces an
uncertain future. 7.30
Tonight: Travel Chaos –
The True Cost (T) Jonathan
Maitland on the problems
with our transport systems.
George Clarke’s Amazing
Spaces (T) Clarke meets
a father who is building
a craft workshop in his
garden to lure his children
away from their gadgets.
Hunted (T) There are just
a few days left, but two
singers live-stream their
gig, unaware hunters are
nearby. Last in the series.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Car Wars (T) (R) The work
of police who deal with car
crime in Northumbria.
11.45 Lethal Weapon Flight Risk
(T) (R) A robbery that
apparently took place
20,000ft in the air.
12.35 Jackpot247 3.0 Tonight
(R) 3.25 ITV Nightscreen
5.05 Jeremy Kyle (T) (R)
10.0 Derry Girls (T) Erin becomes
editor of the school magazine. Last in the series.
10.35 24 Hours in A&E (T) (R)
11.35 Shut-Ins: Britain’s Fattest
Woman (T) (R)
12.35 One Born Every Minute
(R) 1.30 Secret Life of 5
Year Olds (R) 2.25 How
to Lose Weight Well (R)
3.15 Location, Location,
Location (R)
6.0am The Dog
Whisperer 7.0 Monkey
Life 7.30 Monkey Life
8.0 Meerkat Manor 8.30
Meerkat Manor 9.0 Road
Wars 10.0 NCIS: LA 11.0
1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
4.0 Stargate SG-1 5.0
The Simpsons 5.30
Futurama 6.0 Futurama
6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30
The Simpsons 8.0 Duck
Quacks Don’t Echo 9.0
A League of Their Own
10.0 Premier League’s
Greatest Moments 11.0
The Force: Manchester
12.0 Ross Kemp: Extreme
World 1.0 Hawaii
Five-0 2.0 The Force:
Manchester 3.0 The
Force: Manchester 4.0
Stop, Search, Seize 5.0
The Dog Whisperer
Sky Arts
6.0am Classical
Destinations 6.40 The
Sleeping Beauty 9.0
Tales of the Unexpected
9.30 The Art Show 10.30
Discovering: Armani
11.0 Fake! The Great
Masterpiece Challenge
12.0 The Seventies 1.0
Channel 5
Countdown (R) 6.45 3rd
Rock from the Sun (R)
7.35 Everybody Loves
Raymond (R) 8.30 Frasier
(R) 10.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (R) 11.0
Undercover Boss USA (R)
12.0 News 12.05 Couples
Come Dine With Me (T) (R)
1.05 Posh Pawnbrokers
(T) (R) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 Village of the Year
With Penelope Keith (T)
4.0 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun (T) (R) 5.0 Four
in a Bed (T) 5.30 Extreme
Cake Makers (T) 6.0 The
Simpsons (T) (R) 6.30
Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
Emmerdale (T) Graham
springs into action.
8.30 The Cruise: Return to
the Mediterranean (T)
Executive chef David has
to get creative.
9.0 James Bulger: A Mother’s
Story (T) Trevor McDonald
visits Liverpool to look
again at a crime that continues to raise questions.
12.10 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares 1.10 Walks
With My Dog 2.15 Grand
Designs 3.15 8 Out of 10
Cats Uncut
Discovering: Sidney
Poitier 2.0 Tales of
the Unexpected 2.30
The Art Show 3.30
Discovering: Versace
4.0 Fake! The Great
Masterpiece Challenge
5.0 The Seventies 6.0
Discovering: Steve
McQueen 7.0 Inside
the Actors Studio: Jim
Parsons 8.0 The Eighties
9.0 Sunset Strip 11.0
Portrait Artist of the
Year 2018 12.0 The
Cranberries 12.30 Joan
Baez: Live in New York
2.20 The Gospel Music
of Johnny Cash 3.20 Ella
Fitzgerald Swings 3.50
Arts Scholarships: Sky
Academy 4.0 Dag 4.30
Tales of the Unexpected
5.0 Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets
7.0 Richard E Grant’s
Hotel Secrets 8.0 Storm
City 9.0 The West Wing
10.0 The West Wing
11.0 House 12.0 House
1.0 Without a Trace 2.0
Blue Bloods 3.0 The West
Wing Special 4.0 The
West Wing 5.0 House
6.0 House 7.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation 8.0
Blue Bloods 9.0 Britannia
10.05 Active Shooter:
America Under Fire 11.15
Britannia 12.20 Dexter
1.25 Dexter 2.30 Banshee
3.35 Girls 4.10 The West
Wing 5.0 The West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast.
Presented by Petroc
Trelawny. 9.0 Essential
Classics. Ballet dancer
Steven McRae’s cultural
inspirations. 12.0
Composer of the Week:
Takemitsu (4/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: New Generation
Artists at Portico. Today’s
programme includes
works by Shostakovich,
the contemporary
American composer
Caroline Shaw and a
range of American song.
They are performed
by the Calidore String
Quartet, and scheme
graduates the tenor
Robin Tritschler and the
pianist Pavel Kolesnikov.
(3/4) 2.0 Thursday
Opera Matinee: Vivaldi –
Teuzzone. A performance
from Barcelona’s Gran
Teatre del Liceu. Paolo
Lopez (male soprano:
Teuzzone), Marta
Fumagalli (contralto:
Zidiana), Furio Zanasi
(bass: Sivenio), Roberta
Mameli (soprano:
Milkshake! 9.15 The
Wright Stuff 11.10 The
Hotel Inspector Abroad
(T) (R) 12.10 News (T)
12.15 Cowboy Builders
(T) (R) 1.10 Access (T)
1.15 Home and Away (T)
1.45 Neighbours (T) 2.15
NCIS: Revenge of the
Cartel (T) (R) Rule FiftyOne 3.15 Abducted:
The Carlina White Story
(Vondie Curtis-Hall, 2012)
(T) Fact-based drama. 5.0
News (T) 5.30 Neighbours
(T) (R) 6.0 Home and
Away (T) (R) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 The Wonderful
World of Puppies (T) (R)
Bargain-Loving Brits in
the Sun (T) New Benidorm
residents Chris and Gary
have found a home – now
they start looking for work.
Dale Winton’s Florida
Fly Drive (T) New series.
The presenter travels
around the Sunshine
State, visiting some of its
best-known landmarks.
10.0 The Special Needs
Employment Agency (T)
(2/2) A young man with
a sunlight allergy spends a
day working on a train.
11.05 Elizabeth: Our Queen
(T) (R) A life of the Queen.
12.0 SuperCasino 3.10 The
X-Files (T) (R) 4.0 Get Your
Tatts Out: Kavos Ink (T) (R)
4.45 House Doctor (T) (R)
5.10 Great Artists (T) (R)
Cino), Aurelio Schiavoni
(countertenor: Egaro),
Carlo Allemano (tenor:
Troncone), Le Concert
des Nations, Jordi
Savall. 5.0 In Tune 7.0
In Tune Mixtape 7.30
In Concert. The pianist
Martha Argerich, the
violinist Janine Jansen
and the cellist Mischa
Maisky in concert at the
Barbican Hall, London.
Beethoven: Cello Sonata
No 5 in D, Op 102 No 2.
Shostakovich: Piano Trio
No 2 in E minor, Op 67.
Interval. Schumann:
Violin Sonata No 1
in A minor, Op 105.
Mendelssohn: Piano Trio
No 1 in D minor, Op 49.
10.0 Free Thinking. Rana
Mitter talks to Tariq Ali.
10.45 The Essay: All
Miss Brodie’s Girls? Val
McDermid (4/5) 11.0 Late
Junction 12.30 Through
the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today. John
Humphrys and Justin
Webb present. 7.48
Thought for the Day,
with Rhidian Brook.
8.30 (LW) Yesterday in
Parliament 9.0 In Our
Time: Frederick Douglass
9.45 (LW) Daily Service
9.45 (FM) Book of the
Week: Somebody I Used
to Know, by Wendy
Mitchell. (4/5) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. Presented
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T)
News and analysis from
Washington DC and
London. 7.30 Top of the
Pops: 1985 (T) (R) With
turns by Shakin’ Stevens,
Madonna, Jermaine
Jackson and Dead or Alive.
Hugh Masekela: Welcome
to South Africa (T) (R)
The musician, who died
last month, reflects on his
career from the 1950s to the
release of Nelson Mandela.
Forces of Nature with Brian
Cox (T) (R) The physicist
examines the effects of
light interacting with the
Earth. Last in the series.
10.0 How We Got to Now With
Steven Johnson (T) (R)
Innovations in lighting.
11.0 Calculating Ada: The
Countess of Computing
(T) (R)
12.0 Top of the Pops: 1985
(R) 12.30 Elvis Costello:
Mystery Dance (R) 1.30
Hugh Masekela: Welcome to
South Africa (R) 2.30 Forces
of Nature With Brian Cox (R)
by Jenni Murray.
Includes at 10.45
Drama: That Was Then,
by Jonathan Myerson.
(4/10) 11.0 From Our
Own Correspondent
11.30 Street Art: Place.
Cadence Kinsey joins
artists at work in their
studios and on the
streets to explore what
happens when art breaks
free from the gallery.
She meets Rachel
Whiteread, currently
working on a piece for
the new US Embassy
at Nine Elms, and talks
to Heather Phillipson
about the logistics of
preparing a piece for
the fourth plinth in
Trafalgar Square. (1/3)
12.0 News 12.01 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 12.04
Witness 12.15 You and
Yours 1.0 The World
at One. Presented by
Martha Kearney. 1.45
Will Self’s Great British
Bus Journey: Across
the Irish Sea (9/10) 2.0
The Archers (R) 2.15
Drama: The Archivist,
by Kellie Smith. (R)
3.0 Open Country: The
Isle of Gigha. With Ian
Marchant in the Inner
Hebrides. (16/16) 3.27
Radio 4 Appeal: Child
Soldiers International (R)
3.30 Bookclub (R) 4.0
The Film Programme.
Francine Stock talks to
Guillermo del Toro about
his Oscar-nominated
romantic fantasy The
Shape of Water. 4.30
Inside Science. Adam
Rutherford and guests
explore the latest
scientific research. 5.0
PM. Presented by Eddie
Mair. 5.54 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 6.0 News
6.30 John Finnemore’s
Souvenir Programme
(6/6) 7.0 The Archers.
Adam takes the strain.
7.15 Front Row. Arts
roundup. 7.45 That
Was Then (R) (4/10)
8.0 The Briefing Room.
David Aaronovitch and
guests discuss the big
issues in the news. 8.30
The Bottom Line. An
overview of the business
world, with Evan Davis.
(2) 9.0 Inside Science
(R) 9.30 In Our Time:
Frederick Douglass (R)
10.0 The World Tonight.
With Razia Iqbal. 10.45
Book at Bedtime: The Big
Green Tent, by Ludmila
Ulitskaya. (4/10) 11.0
The Brig Society: GCSE
(R) 11.30 Today in
Parliament. With Sean
Curran. 12.0 News 12.30
Book of the Week (4/5)
12.48 Shipping Forecast
1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast
5.30 News 5.43 Prayer
for the Day 5.45 Farming
Today 5.58 Tweet of
the Day: Mike Toms
on the Tawny Owl
The Observer
Friday 9
BBC One, 9pm
Rose keeps her
secrets hidden
Breakfast (T) 9.15
Countryfile Winter
Diaries (T) 10.0 Homes
Under the Hammer (T)
(R) 10.30 Live Winter
Olympics 2018 Opening
Ceremony (T) Clare Balding
presents coverage from
Pyeongchang, South
Korea. 1.30 News (T) 2.0
Regional News (T) 2.15
Doctors (T) 2.45 Moving
On (T) 3.30 Escape to
the Country (T) (R) 4.30
Antiques Road Trip (T) (R)
5.15 Pointless (T) 6.0 News
(T) 6.30 Regional News (T)
7.0 The One Show (T) 7.30
Would I Lie to You? (T) (R)
EastEnders (T) Stacey and
Martin try to remain civil
over the children.
8.30 Room 101 (T) With Vicky
McClure, Sandi Toksvig
and Josh Widdicombe.
9.0 Requiem (T) Dean House
grows increasingly unsettling, and Hal urges Matilda
to leave. Trouble is, she
wants to know the truth.
10.0 News (T)
10.25 Regional News (T)
10.35 The Graham Norton Show
(T) With Debra Messing,
Eric McCormack, Saoirse
Ronan and Keala Settle.
11.25 The Young Offenders (T)
New comedy with Alex
Murphy and Chris Walley.
11.55 Witless (T) Last in series.
12.20 Winter Olympics 2018 (T)
Live from Pyeongchang.
6.0am Home Shopping
7.10 Scrapheap Challenge
8.10 American Pickers
9.0-10.0 Storage Hunters
10.0-1.0 American
Pickers 1.0-3.0 Top Gear
3.0-4.0 The Hurting 4.0
Cops UK: Bodycam Squad
5.0-7.0 Top Gear 7.0
Cops UK: Bodycam Squad
8.0 Cops UK: Bodycam
Squad 9.0 Live at the
Apollo 10.0 Taskmaster
11.0 QI 11.40 Would I Lie
to You? 12.20 Mock the
Week 1.0 QI 1.40 Would
I Lie to You? 2.20 Mock
the Week 3.0 Taskmaster
4.0 Home Shopping
All programmes
from 8am to 7pm are
double bills 6.0am-7.0
Hollyoaks 7.0 Coach Trip:
Road to Tenerife 7.30 All
Star Driving School 8.0
Baby Daddy 9.0 Melissa &
Joey 10.0 How I Met Your
Mother 11.0 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 12.0 The
Goldbergs 1.0 The Big
Bang Theory 2.0 Melissa
& Joey 3.0 Baby Daddy
Channel 4
My Life in Books (R)
6.30 Wanted Down
Under Revisited (R)
7.15 Countryfile (R)
8.0 MasterChef: The
Professionals – The Finals
(R) 9.0 Victoria Derbyshire
11.0 Newsroom Live 12.0
Daily Politics 1.0 This Wild
Life (R) 1.30 Monty Halls’s
Great Hebridean Escape
(R) 3.30 A Place to Call
Home (R) 4.15 New Zealand:
Earth’s Mythical Islands (R)
5.15 Flog It! (R) 6.0 Eggheads
(R) 6.30 Great American
Railroad Journeys 7.0 Winter
Olympics 2018 Opening
Ceremony. Highlights.
Mastermind (T) The first of
the semi-finals.
8.30 A Vicar’s Life (T) In
Shropshire, Fr Matthew
Stafford finds time to
visit a couple struggling
with dementia.
9.0 Nigel Slater’s Middle East
(T) The food writer visits
Turkey, starting in Istanbul,
then Central Anatolia.
River Monsters (T) Jeremy
Wade sets out to unravel
the exact fate of merchant
cruiser RMS Laconia. Last
in the series.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Nicola
pretends she is having
problems with the baby.
9.0 Lethal Weapon Let It Ride
(T) Riggs struggles to come
to terms with his past.
10.0 QI (T) Deirdre O’Kane,
Richard Osman and
David Mitchell guest.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.05 Looper (Rian
Johnson, 2012) (T)
Sci-fi thriller with Joseph
Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis.
12.55 Sign Zone Panorama (T) (R)
1.25 Animals With Cameras
(T) (R) 2.25 Weather (T)
2.30 BBC News (T)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Through the Keyhole (T)
(R) With Shane Richie,
Rachel Riley and Alex
James on the panel.
11.45 Take Me Out (T) (R) Men
try to impress 30 single
12.45 Jackpot247 3.0
Alphabetical (T) (R)
3.50 ITV Nightscreen
10.0 The Last Leg (T) A comic
review of the past week.
11.05 First Dates Hotel (T) (R)
12.10 Safe House (Daniel
Espinosa, 2012) (T) Thriller
with Denzel Washington
and Ryan Reynolds. 2.10
Born to Kill (T) (R) 3.10 The
Supervet (T) (R) 4.05 Four
Rooms With Sarah Beeny
(T) (R) 5.0 Coast v Country
(T) (R) 5.55 Draw It! (T) (R)
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory 7.0
Hollyoaks 7.30 Coach
Trip: Road to Tenerife
8.0-9.0 The Big Bang
Theory 9.0 This
Means War (2012)
11.0-12.0 The Big Bang
Theory 12.0 Gogglebox
1.05 Tattoo Fixers: Top
Tatts 2.15-4.05 Celebs
Go Dating 4.05-5.15
How I Met Your Mother
5.15 Rude(ish) Tube
11.0am Rear
Window (1954) 1.15
Footsteps in the
Fog (1955) 3.0 Broken Arrow (1950)
4.50 Carry On
Cleo (1964) 6.40 The River Wild (1994)
9.0 Titanic (1997)
12.45 Black Rock
(2012) 2.20 Vivre
sa vie (1962)
6.0am Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
6.25 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
6.55 Dress to Impress
7.45 Emmerdale 8.20
Emmerdale 8.50
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 9.25 The Ellen
DeGeneres Show 10.10
Who’s Doing the Dishes?
11.10 Dress to Impress
12.10 Emmerdale 12.45
Emmerdale 1.15 You’ve
Been Framed! Gold 1.45
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 2.40 The Jeremy
Kyle Show 3.45 The
Jeremy Kyle Show 4.55
The Jeremy Kyle Show
6.0 Take Me Out 7.0
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 8.0 Two and a Half
Men 8.30 Superstore
9.0 22 Jump
Street (2014) (FYI Daily
is at 10.05) 11.15 Family
Guy 11.50 Family Guy
12.15 American Dad!
12.45 American Dad!
1.15 Two and a Half
Men 1.45 Superstore
2.10 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
2.25 Teleshopping
5.55 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Supershoppers
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Summer Sun 10.30
Four in a Bed 11.0 Four
in a Bed 11.30 Four in
a Bed 12.05 Four in
a Bed 12.35 Four in
a Bed 1.05 A Place in
the Sun: Summer Sun
2.05 A Place in the Sun:
Summer Sun 3.105.55 Come Dine With
Me 5.55 The Secret Life
of the Zoo 6.55 The
Supervet 7.55 Grand
Designs 9.0 Rebecka
Martinsson: Arctic
Murders 10.0 24 Hours
in A&E 11.0 24 Hours
in A&E 12.0 Ramsay’s
Kitchen Nightmares
Good Morning Britain (T)
8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25
The Jeremy Kyle Show
(T) 10.30 This Morning
(T) 12.30 Loose Women
(T) 1.30 News (T) 1.55
Local News (T) 2.0 Judge
Rinder (T) 3.0 Dickinson’s
Real Deal (T) 3.59 Local
News and Weather (T)
4.0 Tipping Point (T) 5.0
The Chase (T) 6.0 Local
News (T) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Emmerdale (T) Gabby
continues to blackmail
Daz, and Harriet demands
answers. 7.30 Coronation
Street (T) Phelan storms
his way into Nicola’s flat.
1.10 24 Hours in A&E
2.15 Grand Designs 3.15
8 Out of 10 Cats Uncut
6.0am The Dog
Whisperer 7.0 Monkey
Life 7.30 Monkey Life
8.0 Meerkat Manor 8.30
Meerkat Manor 9.0 Road
Wars 10.0 NCIS: LA 11.0
1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
4.0 Stargate SG-1 5.0
The Simpsons 5.30
Futurama 6.0 Futurama
6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30
The Simpsons 8.0 The
Simpsons 8.30 Modern
Family 9.0 Jamestown
10.05 Jamestown
11.10 Russell Howard’s
Hour 12.10 Ross Kemp:
Extreme World 1.05
Hawaii Five-0 2.0 The
Blacklist 3.0 The Force:
Manchester 4.0 Stop,
Search, Seize 5.0 The
Dog Whisperer
Sky Arts
6.0am Classical
Destinations 6.40
Prokofiev: The Complete
Symphonies 7.20 Sarah
Brightman: Symphony
in Vienna 9.0 Tales of
the Unexpected 9.30
The Art Show 10.30
Discovering: Versace
11.0 Fake! The Great
Masterpiece Challenge
12.0 The Seventies
Channel 5
Countdown (T) (R) 6.45
3rd Rock from the Sun
(T) (R) 7.35 Everybody
Loves Raymond (T) (R)
8.30 Frasier (T) (R) 10.05
Kitchen Nightmares USA
(T) (R) 11.0 Undercover Boss
USA (T) (R) 12.0 News (T)
12.05 Couples Come Dine
With Me (T) (R) 1.05 Posh
Pawnbrokers (T) (R) 2.10
Countdown (T) 3.0 Village
of the Year With Penelope
Keith (T) 4.0 A Place in the
Sun: Winter Sun (T) (R)
5.0 Four in a Bed (T) 5.30
Extreme Cake Makers (T)
6.0 The Simpsons (T) (R)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News
Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday
Night Feast (T) Actor Josh
Hartnett heads to the cafe.
Last in series.
8 Out of 10 Cats Does
Countdown (T) Johnny
Vegas and Rhod Gilbert
take on Joe Wilkinson
and Roisin Conaty. Tom
Allen is in Dictionary
Corner. Last in the series.
1.0 Discovering: Steve
McQueen 2.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 2.30 The Art
Show 3.30 Discovering:
Ralph Lauren 4.0
Fake! The Great
Masterpiece Challenge
5.0 The Seventies 6.0
Discovering: Maureen
O’Hara 7.0 Billy Wilder:
Nobody’s Perfect 8.0
Live from the Artists Den
9.0 The Eighties 10.0
Freddie Mercury: The
Great Pretender 11.40
Queen: Live at Wembley
12.55 Duran Duran: A
Diamond in the Mind
2.55 Nat King Cole:
Encore 3.50 Beat Beat
Beat 4.0 Dag 4.30 Tales
of the Unexpected 5.0
Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets
7.0 Richard E Grant’s
Hotel Secrets 8.0 Storm
City 9.0 The West Wing
Special 10.0 The West
Wing 11.0 House 12.0
House 1.0 Without a
Trace 2.0 Blue Bloods
3.0 The West Wing 4.0
The West Wing 5.0 House
6.0 House 7.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation 8.0
Blue Bloods 9.0 Game
of Thrones 10.15 Game
of Thrones 11.35 Game
of Thrones 12.50 Dexter
2.05 Dexter 3.15 Girls
3.50 Girls 4.20 The West
Wing Special 5.10 The
West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast. With
Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Ian
Skelly’s guest for the
week has been the Royal
Ballet’s principal dancer,
Steven McRae. 12.0
Composer of the Week:
Takemitsu (5/5) 1.0 News
1.02 Lunchtime Concert.
John Toal introduces
works by Mendelssohn
and Weinberg performed
at Portico, Portaferry, Co
Down – one of Northern
Ireland’s newest arts
and heritage centres.
(4/4) 2.0 Afternoon
Concert. The BBC
Scottish Symphony
Orchestra in concert in
Aberdeen. Grieg: Holberg
Suite, Op 40. Glazunov:
Violin Concerto in A
minor, Op 82. Elgar:
Variations on an Original
Theme, Op 36, Enigma.
Roman Simovic (violin),
John Wilson. 3.10
Stravinsky: The Song
of the Nightingale.
Matthias Pintscher. Paul
Patterson: Serenade for
violin and orchestra.
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.10 The Hotel
Inspector (T) (R) 12.10
News (T) 12.15 Cowboy
Builders (T) (R) 1.10 Access
(T) 1.15 Home and Away
(T) 1.45 Neighbours (T)
2.15 NCIS: Revenge of
the Cartel (T) (R) The
Spider and the Fly 3.15
Kidnapping Lizzie:
Nightmare Visions (Darin
Scott, 2016) (T) 5.0 News
(T) 5.30 Neighbours (T) (R)
6.0 Home and Away (T) (R)
6.30 News (T) 7.0 The Wine
Show (T) James Purefoy
and Matthew Goode head
for the Rhône delta.
Celebrity 5 Go Barging
(T) Tom Conti and Tony
Christie visit a cave
system, only discovered in
the last century, to view
some 30,000-year-old art.
Cruising With Jane
McDonald (T) New series.
A trip up the California
coast on a 3,000-berth
cruise ship.
10.0 Will & Grace (T) Karen’s
secret best friend suffers
a fatal heart attack.
10.35 Julie Walters: By Her
Friends (T)
11.30 Lip Sync Battle UK Peter
Andre v Gino D’Acampo
(T) (R)
12.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
A Day Late and a
Dollar Short (Stephen
Tolkin, 2014) (T)
Clare Howick (violin),
Grant Llewellyn. 3.55
Cassandra Miller: Round.
Beethoven: Symphony
No 3 in E flat, Op 55,
Eroica. Ilan Volkov.5.0
In Tune 7.0 In Tune
Mixtape 7.30 In Concert:
Live from the Brangwyn
Hall, Swansea. Matthew
Featherstone (flute),
BBC National Orchestra
of Wales, Thomas
Søndergård. Sibelius:
Suite: King Christian II.
Nielsen: Flute Concerto.
8.20 Interval. 8.40
Sibelius: Finlandia;
Symphony No 5 in E flat.
10.0 The Verb: Poetry
Book Club With Douglas
Dunn 10.45 The Essay:
All Miss Brodie’s Girls?
Louise Welsh (5/5) 11.0
World on 3 1.0 Through
the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today. With John
Humphrys and Sarah
Montague. 7.48 Thought
for the Day, with
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.
8.31 (LW) Yesterday
in Parliament 9.0
Desert Island Discs:
Jack Whitehall 9.45
(LW) Daily Service
9.45 (FM) Book of the
Week: Somebody I Used
to Know, by Wendy
Mitchell. (5/5) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. Includes
at 10.45 Drama: That
Was Then, by Jonathan
BBC Four
World News Today (T) The
day’s leading stories. 7.30
Top of the Pops: 1985 (T)
(R) Richard Skinner and
Simon Bates introduce
performances by Glenn
Frey, Phyllis Nelson, the
Cool Notes, David Grant
and Jaki Graham, and Phillip
Bailey and Phil Collins.
First aired 4 April 1985.
Sounds of the Sixties
(T) (R) Performances
from yesteryear.
8.10 The Good Old Days (T) (R)
First aired on 16 July 1981.
9.0 Classic Albums (T) (R)
Carly Simon reflects on her
career, relationships and
how her experiences fed
into You’re So Vain and the
1972 album No Secrets.
10.0 Rock’n’Roll Guns for Hire:
The Story of the Sideman
(T) (R) David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick on the
musicians behind some of
the greatest songs of the
20th and 21st centuries.
11.30 TOTP: 1985 (T) (R)
12.05 Rock’n’Roll Britannia (T)
(R) 1.05 Classic Albums
(T) (R) 2.05 Rock’n’Roll
Guns for Hire… (T) (R)
Myerson. (5/10) 11.0
Out of the Ordinary:
The Queen’s Enemies.
Jolyon Jenkins meets
the rebels trying to use
Magna Carta to avoid
paying council tax, water
rates and speeding fines.
(1/4) 11.30 All Those
Women. By Katherine
Jakeways. Hetty takes
Maggie on a road trip
to collect a piano for
Emily. Comedy with
Lesley Manville and
Marcia Warren. (3/4)
12.0 News 12.01 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 12.04
Witness. Reports on
key events in history,
featuring first-hand
accounts. 12.15 You and
Yours 1.0 The World
at One. Presented by
Mark Mardell. 1.45 Will
Self’s Great British Bus
Journey: Last Bus to
the Border. The writer
concludes his tour of the
UK in Derry, speaking to
young people about how
they see themselves in
2018. (10/10) 2.0 The
Archers 2.15 Drama:
The Man Who Bit Mary
Magdalene, by Colin
Bytheway. (R) 3.0
Gardeners’ Question
Time. Eric Robson
presents the show from
the Seedy Sunday festival
in Brighton. 3.45 From
Fact to Fiction 4.0 Last
Word 4.30 More or
Less 4.55 The Listening
Project: Ama and Jan
– Racism on the Rise
5.0 PM. Presented by
Eddie Mair. 5.54 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 6.0
News 6.30 The News
Quiz. With Mark Steel,
Desiree Burch, Zoe Lyons
and Fred MacAulay.
(6/8) 7.0 The Archers.
Nic loses her temper.
7.15 Front Row. With
Stig Abell. 7.45 That
Was Then (R) (5/10)
8.0 Any Questions?.
Jonathan Dimbleby
presents the debate from
the Mary Hare School
in Newbury, Berks, with
a panel including peers
Sal Brinton and Danny
Finkelstein. 8.50 A
Point of View 9.0 Will
Self’s Great British Bus
Journey: The Preston
Model Omnibus (2/2)
10.0 The World Tonight.
Presented by Anna
Holligan. 10.45 Book
at Bedtime: The Big
Green Tent, by Ludmila
Ulitskaya. (5/10) 11.0 A
Good Read: Ruby Tandoh
& Jake Yapp (R) 11.30
Today in Parliament.
With Mark D’Arcy. 11.55
The Listening Project:
Liz and Juliane – Heimat
12.0 News 12.30 Book
of the Week (R) 12.48
Shipping Forecast 1.0
As World Service 5.20
Shipping Forecast 5.30
News 5.43 Prayer for
the Day 5.45 iPM
The Observer
Saturday 10
Breakfast (T) 10.0 Live
Winter Olympics 2018 (T)
Clare Balding presents
events including short
track speed skating.12.0
Football Focus (T) 1.0
News and Weather (T)
1.15 Live Winter Olympics
2018 (T) Continued
coverage of day one in
Pyeongchang, South Korea.
4.30 Final Score (T) 5.25
News (T) 5.35 Regional
News and Weather (T)
5.45 And They’re Off
for Sport Relief (T) 6.25
Pointless Celebrities (T)
7.15 All Together Now (T)
Contestants regale the 100.
Live Winter Olympics
2018 (T) Eilidh Barbour
presents, with events
including cross-country skiing. 10.0 Saturday
Kitchen Live (T) 11.30 Mary
Berry Everyday (T) (R)
12.0 Live Winter Olympics
2018 (T) Coverage continues. 1.15 The Hairy Bikers’
Mediterranean Adventure
(T) (R) 2.15 Escape to the
Country (T) (R) 3.0 Italy’s
Invisible Cities (T) (R) 4.0
Nigel Slater’s Middle East
(T) (R) 5.0 Dragons’ Den (T)
(R) 6.0 Hugh’s Wild West
(T) 7.0 Winter Olympics:
Today at the Games (T)
Charles I’s
Treasures Reunited
BBC Two, 9pm
Introduction to the
Royal Academy show
Channel 4
CITV 9.25 News (T) 9.30
James Martin’s Saturday
Morning (T) 11.20 Dancing
on Ice (T) (R) 1.15 Local
News (T) 1.20 News and
Weather (T) 1.30 Live Six
Nations Rugby Union (T)
Ireland v Italy (kick-off
2.15pm) Coverage from
the Aviva Stadium. 4.20
Live Six Nations Rugby
Union (T) England v
Wales (kick-off 4.45pm)
Coverage of the second
match from the second
round, which takes place at
Twickenham. 7.0 Take Me
Out (T) Dating game hosted
by Paddy McGuinness.
The World’s Most
Luxurious Cruise Ship
(T) (R) (1/2) Following
engineers and designers
as they construct the liner
Seven Seas Explorer.
8.55 News (T)
9.0 Football on 5: The
Championship (T)
Highlights from the
weekend’s games.
10.0 Football on 5: Goal Rush
(T) AFC Wimbledon v
Northampton Town.
10.30 The Silence of the
Lambs (Jonathan Demme,
1991) (T) Thriller with Jodie
Foster, Anthony Hopkins.
12.40 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
Cowboy Builders (T) (R)
Double bill. 4.45 House
Doctor (T) (R) 5.10 Great
Scientists (T) (R)
10.30 The Fall: The Wonderful
and Frightening World
of Mark E Smith (T) (R)
Documentary, with contributions by Paul Morley,
Tony Wilson, Stewart Lee
and Franz Ferdinand.
11.30 Top of the Pops: 1985 (T)
(R) A double helping of hits.
12.35 Rock ’n’ Roll Guns for Hire…
(T) (R) 2.05 Sicily: Wonder
of the Mediterranean (T) (R)
8.15 The Voice UK (T) The
penultimate Blind Audition
round arrives.
9.45 Through the Keyhole (T)
Keith Lemon challenges
Jimmy Carr, Eamonn
Holmes and Scarlett
Moffatt to guess which
celebrity homes he has
infiltrated. Hosted by
Emma Willis.
10.30 Match of the Day (T)
Tottenham Hotspur v
Arsenal and Manchester
City v Leicester City.
11.50 Live Winter Olympics
2018 (T) Coverage of the
latest events on day two
of the 23rd staging of
the Games, which takes
place in Pyeongchang,
South Korea, including
downhill skiing.
10.0 Truly, Madly, Deeply
(Anthony Minghella, 1991)
(T) Romantic comedy
starring Juliet Stevenson
and Alan Rickman, Bill
Paterson, Michael Maloney.
11.40 Love Is All You Need
(Susanne Bier, 2012) (T)
Romantic drama with
Pierce Brosnan.
1.30 Weather for the Week
Ahead (T) 1.35 News (T)
10.35 News and Weather (T)
10.50 Lethal Weapon 2
(Richard Donner, 1989) (T)
The detectives go after a
dodgy South African diplomat. Action thriller sequel
with Mel Gibson, Danny
Glover and Joss Ackland.
1.0 You’ve Been Framed! (T)
(R) 1.30 Jackpot247
3.0 Babushka (T) (R)
3.50 ITV Nightscreen
11.35 Ted (Seth
MacFarlane, 2012) (T)
Badly behaved living
teddy bear comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and
Mila Kunis, with the voice
of Seth MacFarlane.
1.25 The Last Leg (T) (R)
2.20 Hollyoaks (T) (R)
4.25 Coast vCountry (T)
(R) 5.20 Location, Location,
Location (T) (R)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.10 Scrapheap Challenge
8.0-10.0 Ice Road
Truckers 10.0-1.0
American Pickers 1.0-3.0
Sin City Motors 3.0-5.0
Would I Lie to You? 5.0
Cops UK: Bodycam Squad
6.0 Motorway Cops 7.09.0 Red Dwarf 9.0-11.0
Would I Lie to You? 11.0
Dave Gorman: Modern
Life Is Goodish 12.0 QI XL
1.0-2.45 Would I Lie to
You? 2.45 Dave Gorman:
Modern Life Is Goodish
3.35 Details unavailable
4.0 Home Shopping
6.0am The Goldbergs
6.25 The Goldbergs 6.45
The Goldbergs 7.05 The
Goldbergs 7.35 Couples
Come Dine With Me
8.35 Don’t Tell the Bride
Ireland 9.35 Melissa &
Joey 10.0 Melissa & Joey
10.30 Melissa & Joey
11.0 The Goldbergs 11.30
The Goldbergs 12.0 The
Goldbergs 12.30 The
Goldbergs 1.0 The
Goldbergs 1.30 Toy
11.0am Catch That
Kid (2004) 1.0 Dr
Seuss’ The Lorax (2012)
2.45 Diary of a
Wimpy Kid (2010) 4.35
Volcano (1997)
6.35 I, Robot
(2004) 9.0 The
Other Woman (2014)
11.10 The Fly
(1986) 1.0 Young
Detective Dee: Rise of
the Sea Dragon (2013)
8.55am Kirstie’s
Vintage Gems 9.30
Food Unwrapped:
Supermarket Special
10.25-2.35 A Place
in the Sun 2.35-5.15
Four in a Bed 5.15-7.55
Come Dine With Me 7.55
Secrets of the Terracotta
Warriors 9.0 Secrets of
China’s Forbidden City
10.0 China: Treasures of
the Jade Empire 11.051.15 8 Out of 10 Cats
Does Countdown 1.15
Father Ted 1.45 Father
Ted 2.20 The IT Crowd
2.50 The IT Crowd 3.15
8 Out of 10 Cats Uncut
6.0am Emmerdale
9.0 Coronation Street
11.55 Take Me Out
1.10 Mr Bean 1.45
6.0am Ashley Banjo’s
Secret Street Crew
7.0 Meerkat Manor
7.30 Futurama 8.0
The Simpsons 8.30
The Simpsons 9.0 The
Simpsons 9.30 The
Simpsons 10.0 Soccer
AM 11.30 What’s Up TV
12.0 NCIS: Los Angeles
1.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 2.0
NCIS: Los Angeles 3.0
Gillette Soccer Saturday
5.15 PL Greatest Games
5.30 Harry Hill’s TeaTime 6.0 The Simpsons
6.30 The Simpsons 7.0
The Simpsons 7.30 The
Simpsons 8.0 NCIS: Los
Angeles 9.0 The
Mask of Zorro (1998)
11.35 A League of Their
Own: US Road Trip 2.0
12.30 A League of Their
Own 1.25 Russell
Howard’s Hour 2.20
Strike Back: Retribution
3.15 Hawaii Five-0
4.10 Stargate Atlantis
5.0 Stargate Atlantis
Sky Arts
6.0am The Animal
Symphony 7.0 Josh
Groban: Stages Live 9.0
Tales of the Unexpected
9.30 Tales of the
Unexpected 10.0 Tales
of the Unexpected
10.30 The South Bank
Show Originals 11.0 The
Adventurers of Modern
Art 12.0 The Seventies
1.0 The Seventies 2.0
Discovering: Doris Day
3.0 Discovering: Errol
Flynn 4.0 Discovering:
Sidney Poitier 5.0
Portrait Artist of the Year
Village of the Year Final
With Penelope Keith (T)
The four remaining villages
compete in the grand final.
Last in the series.
Die Hard 4.0 (Len
Wiseman, 2007) (T) John
McClane goes on the trail
of a criminal mastermind.
Action thriller with Bruce
Willis, Timothy Olyphant.
2018 6.0 Dolly Parton:
Song by Song 6.30 Dolly
Parton: Song by Song 7.0
Dolly Parton: Song by
Song 7.30 Dolly Parton:
Song by Song 8.0 Dolly
Parton: Song by Song
8.30 Dolly Parton: Song
by Song 9.0 Heartworn
Highways 10.45 Fairport
Convention: Folk Heroes
12.15 Mumford
& Sons: We Wrote This
Yesterday (2016) 1.30
Live from the Artists
Den 2.30 Heartworn
Highways 4.15 Drew: The
Man Behind the Poster
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Storm City
7.0 Storm City 8.0
CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 9.0
CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 10.0
CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 11.0
CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 12.0
CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 1.0 Cold
Case 2.0 Cold Case 3.0
Cold Case 4.0 Without
a Trace 5.0 Without
a Trace 6.0 Without
a Trace 7.0 Without a
Trace 8.0 Without a
Trace 9.0 Blue Bloods
10.0 The Trip to Spain
12.0 Dexter 1.0 Cold
Case 2.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation
3.0 Girls 3.35 Girls
4.10-6.0 Hotel Secrets
On the
Radio 3
7.0 Breakfast. With
Martin Handley. 9.0 News
9.03 Record Review.
Caroline Gill discusses
newly released music
by women composers.
12.15 Music Matters:
Leadership in Classical
Music. Sara MohrPietsch examines
potential abuses of power
within classical music
ensembles. 1.0 News
1.02 Saturday Classics:
Roderick Williams
3.0 Sound of Cinema:
Deception. Film scores
that deal with themes of
deception, to mark the
release of The Mercy. 4.0
Jazz Record Requests.
Alyn Shipton looks
forward to St Valentine’s
Day with more listeners’
requests. 5.0 Jazz
Line-Up. A performance
by the saxophonist Brian
Molley and his quartet,
recorded on the Jazz
Line-Up stage at the
Glasgow jazz festival.
(R) 6.30 Opera on 3
from the Met: Donizetti
– L’elisir d’amore. Pretty
Milkshake! 10.05 Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles (T)
(R) 10.40 Pets Make You
Laugh Out Loud (T) (R)
11.05 Police Interceptors (T)
(R) 12.0 Police Interceptors
(T) (R) 1.0 The A-Team
(T) (R) There’s Always a
Catch 2.0 The A-Team
(T) (R) Water, Water
Everywhere3.0 Can’t Pay?
We’ll Take It Away (T) (R)
4.0 Can’t Pay? We’ll Take
It Away (T) (R) 5.0 Rich
House, Poor House (T) (R)
6.0 The Wonderful World
of Puppies (T) 7.0 Cruising
With Jane McDonald:
Caribbean (T) (R)
BBC Four
8.0 Dad’s Army (T) (R)
8.30 Grand Tours of Scotland’s
Lochs (T) Paul Murton
explores lochs close to the
Central Belt. Last in series.
9.0 Charles I’s Treasures
Reunited (T) Documentary
detailing how the Royal
Academy reunited works of
art that once formed part
of Charles I’s collection.
Beethoven (1992)
(FYI Daily is at 2.50)
3.30 Valentine’s
Day (2010) (FYI Daily is
at 4.45) 5.55 The
Hobbit: The Desolation
of Smaug (2013) (FYI
Daily is at 6.55) 9.0
The Hangover Part
II (2011) (FYI Daily is
at 10pm) 11.05 Family
Guy 11.35 Family Guy
12.05 American Dad!
12.35 American Dad!
1.0 Release the Hounds
2.0 Ibiza Weekender
2.50 Teleshopping
5.50 ITV2 Nightscreen
Channel 5
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (T)
(R) 7.10 The King of Queens
(T) (R) 8.0 Everybody
Loves Raymond (T) (R)
9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 10.30
Big Bang Theory (T) (R)
11.0 Big Bang Theory (T)
(R) 11.30 Big Bang Theory
(T) (R) 12.0 Simpsons (T)
(R) 12.30 Simpsons (T) (R)
1.0 Simpsons (T) (R) 1.30
Come Dine With Me (T)
(R) 2.30 Coast v Country
(T) (R) 3.30 A Place in the
Sun (T) (R) 4.30 Secret
Life of the Zoo (T) (R)
5.35 The Supervet (T) (R)
6.30 News (T) 7.0 Great
Canal Journeys (T) (R)
8.20 Casualty (T) The day of
Blake’s trial arrives, and
Elle finds herself face-toface with his victim.
9.10 News (T)
9.30 Hard Sun (T) Hicks and
Renko take the fight to
Grace, while Mooney
suspects that a series of
suicides are the work of
a killer. Last in the series.
Story Toons: Partysaurus
Rex 1.40 The Big Bang
Theory 2.10 The Big Bang
Theory 2.45 The Big
Bang Theory 3.15 The Big
Bang Theory 3.45 The
Big Bang Theory 4.15
The Big Bang Theory
4.45 The Big Bang
Theory 5.15 The Big Bang
Theory 5.45 The Big
Bang Theory 6.15 The
Big Bang Theory 6.45
The Devil Wears
Prada (2006) 9.0 Riddick (2013) 11.20
Gogglebox 12.30 Naked
Attraction 1.30 Celebs
Go Dating 2.35 Celebs
Go Dating 3.30 Celebs
Go Dating 4.20 How I
Met Your Mother 4.45
How I Met Your Mother
5.05 Rude(ish) Tube
Yende (soprano: Adina),
Matthew Polenzani
(tenor: Nemorino),
Davide Luciano (baritone:
Belcore), Ildebrando
D’Arcangelo (bass:
Dulcamara), NYMO,
Domingo Hindoyan.
9.45 Between the
Ears: Drever, Ligo. Poet
Robert Crawford offers
a lyrical meditation on
the role the Scottish
physicist Ronald Drever
played in the search for
gravitational waves.
With music by Jeremy
Thurlow Crawford.
10.0 Hear and Now:
Scottish Inspirations.
Recordings of premiere
performances of two
new works inspired by
Scottish culture. 12.0
Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz:
Karin Krog 1.0 Through
the Night
Radio 4
6.0 News and Papers.
Includes 6.04 Weather.
6.07 Open Country: The
Isle of Gigha (R) 6.30
Farming Today This
Week 6.57 Weather 7.0
Today. Presented by Nick
Robinson and Justin
Webb. 7.48 Thought for
the Day, with the Rev Rob
Marshall. 9.0 Saturday
Live. Extraordinary
stories and remarkable
people. 10.30 All Change
for Gyles Brandreth.
The broadcaster comes
Sicily: Wonder of the
Mediterranean (T) (R)
Michael Scott traces the
history of Sicily, from the
first arrival of ancient
Greek settlers 3,000
years ago to the beginning
of the Byzantine Empire.
Winter Olympics Extra (T)
A review of day one from
Pyeongchang, South Korea.
9.0 Modus (T) New series.
A criminal psychologist
helps investigate a series
of murders at Christmas
time. Swedish crime drama
starring Melinda Kinnaman.
9.45 Modus (T) More
snowbound intrigue.
to terms with his
innate unease about
change, joined by the
economist Linda Yueh,
the political operator
Alastair Campbell and
the fashion consultant
Melanie Rickey. (R) 11.0
The Week in Westminster.
Presented by Anushka
Asthana. 11.30 From Our
Own Correspondent 12.0
News 12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Money
Box. Paul Lewis examines
the latest financial
developments and offers
impartial advice to those
aiming to make the most
of their money. 12.30
The News Quiz (R) 12.57
Weather 1.0 News 1.10
Any Questions? (R) 2.0
Any Answers? Listeners
have their say. 2.30
Drama: The National
Theatre of Brent’s
Illustrated Guide to Sex
and How It Was Done.
Award-winning comedy
double-act Patrick Barlow
and John Ramm return
to Radio 4 with another
mock production, this
time tackling the subject
of sex, and how it has
been portrayed in myth,
history, literature and
film over the ages.
3.30 Martin Morales’s
Peruvian Road Trip.
The Peru-born chef and
record producer explores
the link between food
and music in Andean
culture. (R) 4.0 Weekend
Woman’s Hour 5.0
Saturday PM 5.30 The
Bottom Line (R) 5.54
Shipping Forecast 5.57
Weather 6.0 News
6.15 Loose Ends. Sean
Hayes, John Simm and
Jessica Swale join Clive
Anderson and Tom Allen.
With music from Ezra
Furman and the Visions,
and Geowulf. 7.0 Profile
7.15 Saturday Review.
Tom Sutcliffe and guests
examine the week’s
cultural highlights. 8.0
Archive on 4: A Brief
History of Cunning. Joe
Queenan follows up on
his original 2008 radio
documentary, which
explored humanity’s
relationship with
duplicity from Odysseus
through to the modern
day. 9.0 Drama: Reading
Europe. Russia: Bride and
Groom. A dramatisation
of Alisa Ganieva’s novel.
(R) (1/2) 10.0 News 10.15
The Moral Maze (R) 11.0
Round Britain Quiz (R)
(12/12) 11.30 Poetry
Please: Sinead Morrissey
(R) 12.0 News 12.30
From Fact to Fiction
(R) 12.48 Shipping
Forecast 1.0 As World
Service 5.20 Shipping
Forecast 5.30 News
5.43 Bells on Sunday:
St John the Baptist
Church, Loughton,
Essex 5.45 Profile (R)
The Observer
Today’s television
Breakfast (T) 7.35 Match
of the Day (T) (R) 9.0 The
Andrew Marr Show (T)
10.0 The Big Questions
(T) 11.0 Sunday Politics
(T) 12.15 Bargain Hunt (T)
(R) 1.0 News (T) 1.15 The
Truth About Getting Fit (T)
(R) 2.15 Wonders of the
Moon (T) (R) 3.15 Escape
to the Country (T) (R)
3.45 Songs of Praise (T)
4.20 The Proposal
(Anne Fletcher, 2009) (T)
Romantic comedy. 6.05
News (T) 6.20 Regional
News and Weather (T)
6.30 Countryfile (T) 7.30
Still Open All Hours (T)
6.05 Coast (T) (R) 6.35 The
NFL Show (T) (R) 7.05
Gardeners’ World (T) (R)
7.35 Countryfile (T) (R)
8.30 Saturday Kitchen
Best Bites (T) 10.0 Live
Davis Cup Tennis: Spain
v Great Britain (T) 1.0
Money for Nothing (T)
(R) 1.30 Orson Welles:
Talking Pictures (T) (R) 2.10
Jane Eyre (Robert
Stevenson, 1943) (T)
3.45 The Crane Gang (T)
(R) 4.45 Elise Christie: In
from the Cold (T) 5.15 Ski
Sunday (T) 6.0 Six Nations
Rugby Special (T) 7.0 NY:
America’s Busiest City (R)
Call the Midwife (T) Nurse
Crane and Trixie investigate
when a mother abandons
her children at the clinic.
McMafia (T) Alex is forced
to admit the truth as peace
negotiations get under
way in Istanbul between
Semiyon and his enemies,
but he fails to realise a
further betrayal lies ahead.
10.0 News (T)
10.20 Regional News (T) Weather
10.30 Match of the Day 2 (T)
Featuring the highlights
of Liverpool v Spurs and
Crystal Palace v Newcastle.
11.15 American Football: Super
Bowl LII (T) New England
Patriots v Philadelphia
Eagles (kick-off 11.30pm).
3.50 Weather (T) 3.55
BBC News (T)
6.0am Home Shopping 7.10 Scrapheap
Challenge 8.0 Top
Gear 9.0 Top Gear
10.0-12.0 Cops UK:
Bodycam Squad 12.02.0 American Pickers
2.0-6.0 Gavin & Stacey
6.0-7.0 Yianni: Supercar
Customiser 7.0 Jay
Leno’s Garage 8.0 Cops
UK: Bodycam Squad
9.0 Have I Got a Bit
More News for You 10.0
Unspun With Matt Forde
10.30 QI XL 11.30-12.50
Room 101 12.50 Have I
Got a Bit More News for
You 1.45 QI XL 2.30-3.35
Room 101 3.35 Yianni:
Supercar Customiser
4.0 Home Shopping
6.0am-11.0 Hollyoaks
8.25 Coach Trip: Road
to Tenerife 8.55 Coach
Trip: Road to Tenerife
9.30 Coach Trip:
Road to Tenerife 10.0
Coach Trip: Road to
Tenerife 10.30 Coach
Trip: Road to Tenerife
11.0 The Crystal Maze
Yellowstone: The Blazing
Summer (T) (R) Summer
brings a new challenge for
the beavers as their river
dries up, while the wolves
have a surprising strategy
to keep their pups fed.
Last in the series.
Dragons’ Den (T) Pitches
include language-learning
books for children.
10.0 The Mash Report (T) (R)
10.30 Insert Name Here (T) (R)
11.0 Cleverman (T) Boondee
becomes the first public
victim of the “Process”.
11.55 Women’s Six Nations (T)
12.25 Yves Saint Laurent
(Jalil Lespert, 2014) Biopic
starring Pierre Niney. 2.05
Question Time (T) (R) 3.05
Holby City (T) (R) 4.05 This
Is BBC Two (T)
12.0 The Crystal Maze
1.05 Toy Story Toons:
Small Fry 1.15 The Big
Bang Theory: Go Dating
1.45 The Big Bang
Theory: Go Dating 2.15
The Big Bang Theory: Go
Dating 2.45 The Big Bang
Theory: Go Dating 3.15
The Big Bang Theory: Go
Dating 3.45 The Big Bang
Theory: Go Dating 4.15
The Big Bang Theory: Go
Dating 4.45 The Big Bang
Theory: Go Dating 5.15
The Big Bang Theory:
Go Dating 5.45 The Big
Bang Theory 6.15 The
Big Bang Theory 6.45
The Devil Wears
Prada (2006) 9.0 Celebs
Go Dating 10.0 This Means War (2012)
12.0 The Big Bang Theory
12.30 The Big Bang
Theory 1.0 Celebs Go
Dating 2.0 First Dates
3.0 First Dates Abroad
3.25 Hollyoaks
11.0am The
Cockleshell Heroes
(1955) 1.0 Catch
That Kid (2004) 2.55
Dr Seuss’s The
Lorax (2012) 4.35
Dante’s Peak
(1997) 6.45 The
Secret Life of Walter
Mitty (2013) 9.0
No Escape (2015)
11.05 Queen and
Country (2014) 1.20
Atonement (2007)
6.0am Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
6.15 Emmerdale 8.50
Coronation Street
11.40 Take Me Out 1.0
The Voice UK 2.30
Beethoven (1992)
(FYI Daily is at 3.30)
4.10 Cats & Dogs:
The Revenge of Kitty
Galore (2010) (FYI
Daily is at 5.10) 5.55
The Hobbit: The
Desolation of Smaug
(2013) (FYI Daily
is at 6.55) 9.0 Ibiza
Weekender 10.0 Family
Guy 10.30 Family Guy
11.05 Family Guy 11.30
American Dad! 12.05
American Dad! 12.30
The Cleveland Show
1.0 The Cleveland Show
1.30 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
1.55 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
2.20 Teleshopping
5.50 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Walks with
My Dog 10.0 Location,
Location, Location 11.05
Selling Houses With
Amanda Lamb 12.052.45 Come Dine With
Me 2.45-5.25 Four in
a Bed 5.25-7.55 Come
Dine With Me 7.55
Grand Designs Australia
9.0-10.05 Father Ted
10.05-11.05 The IT
Crowd 11.05 It Was
Call the
BBC One, 8pm
Magda gets the
shock of her life
Channel 4
Channel 5
CITV 9.25 ITV News (T)
9.30 River Monsters (T)
(R) 10.0 Peston on Sunday
(T) 11.0 The Martin Lewis
Money Show (T) (R) 11.30
The Voice UK (T) (R) 1.0
News and Weather (T)
1.10 Britain’s Brightest
Family (T) (R) 1.40 The
Cruise: Return to the
Mediterranean (T) (R) 2.15
Live Six Nations Rugby
Union: Italy v England (T)
(kick-off 3pm) Coverage
of the match from the
Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
5.30 Local News (T) 5.40
ITV News and Weather
(T) 6.0 Dancing on Ice (T)
6.10 Kirstie’s Vintage Gems
(T) (R) 6.15 The King of
Queens (T) (R) 7.058.0 Everybody Loves
Raymond (T) (R) Double
bill. 8.0-9.30 Frasier
(T) (R) Three episodes.
9.30 Sunday Brunch (T)
12.30 Jamie and Jimmy’s
Friday Night Feast (T) (R)
1.35-2.35 The Simpsons
(T) (R) Double bill. 2.35
Never Been Kissed
(Raja Gosnell, 1999) (T)
4.40 Shark Tale
(Bibo Bergeron, Rob
Letterman, Vicky Jenson,
2004) (T) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Posh Pawn (T) (R)
Endeavour Muse (T) New
series. The newly promoted
Detective Sergeant Morse
investigates when a famous
international thief tries
to steal a Fabergé egg
from an auction. The case
leads to the gruesome
murders of an academic
and a gangster. With Shaun
Evans and Lewis Peek.
10.0 News and Weather (T)
10.15 Peston on Sunday (T) (R)
11.15 Next of Kin (T) (R) Mona is
released from custody and
agrees to help the police as
they try to bring Danny in.
12.15 Great Art Girl with a
Pearl Earring (T) (R) 1.05
Jackpot247 3.0 Take on
the Twisters (T) (R) 3.50
ITV Nightscreen 5.05 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
Alright in the 1970s
12.10 8 Out of 10 Cats
Does Countdown 1.152.20 Father Ted 2.20
Car SOS 3.15 8 Out of
10 Cats Uncut
6.0am Hour of Power
7.0 Modern Family
7.30 Futurama 8.011.0 The Simpsons 11.0
WWE Raw Hlts 12.0
MacGyver 1.0 Hawaii
Five-0 2.0 Portrait
Artist of the Year 2018
3.0 Harry Hill’s TeaTime 3.30 Modern
Family 4.0 Modern
Family 4.30 Modern
Family 5.0 Modern
Family 5.30 Modern
Family 6.0-8.0 The
Simpsons 8.0 MacGyver
9.0 Hawaii Five-0 10.0
NCIS: Los Angeles 11.0
The Blacklist 12.0 The
Force: North East 1.0
Ross Kemp: Extreme
World 2.0 Brit Cops:
Law & Disorder 3.0
NCIS: Los Angeles
4.0 Stargate Atlantis
5.0 Stargate Atlantis
Sky Arts
6.0am Daniele Gatti
& Orchestre National
6.45 Lang Lang: Live
in Versailles 8.30
Auction 9.0 Tales of
the Unexpected 9.30
Tales of the Unexpected
10.0 The South Bank
Show Originals 10.30
The Biggest Little Railway
in the World (T) The model
train is halfway through
its journey to Inverness.
Last in the series.
SAS: Who Dares Wins
(T) The seven recruits
who have made it to the
final stage face the most
gruelling challenge so far.
Last in the series.
10.0 Maltese: The Mafia
Detective Gripping new
Italian crime drama following a Sicilian detective.
11.15 Elizabeth (Shekhar
Kapur, 1998) (T) Historical
drama with Cate Blanchett.
1.25 The World’s Most
Expensive Food (T) (R)
2.20 The Supervet (T) (R)
3.15 Four Rooms (R) 4.10
KOTV Boxing Weekly (T)
The Sixties 11.30
The Seventies 12.30
The Seventies 1.30
Discovering: Lana Turner
2.30 Discovering: Tony
Curtis 3.30 André Rieu:
Live in Maastricht VI
6.0 The Adventurers of
Modern Art 7.0 Portrait
Artist of the Year 2018
8.0 The Eighties 9.0 Joan
Baez: Live in New York
10.50 Johnny Cash’s
Bitter Tears 12.05 Dixie
Chicks: DCX MMXVI Live
2.05 Beat Beat Beat
2.15 The World of Hugh
Hefner 3.15 Painting the
Johnsons 4.15 Renoir:
Revered and Reviled
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Cold Case 7.0
Cold Case 8.0 Cold Case
9.0 Without a Trace
10.0 Without a Trace
11.0 Without a Trace
12.0 Without a Trace
1.0 Without a Trace 2.0
David Attenborough’s
Galápagos 3.0 David
Galápagos 4.0 David
Galápagos 5.0 Blue
Bloods 6.0 Blue Bloods
7.0 Blue Bloods 8.0 Blue
Bloods 9.0 Britannia
10.0 Real Time With
Bill Maher 11.10 Active
Shooter: America Under
Fire 12.20 Dexter 1.25
Dexter 2.35 Banshee
3.35 Girls 4.05 The
British 5.05 The British
On the
Radio 3
7.0 Breakfast. With
Elizabeth Alker. 9.0 News
9.03 Sunday Morning.
Sarah Walker presents
a selection of English
music, including pieces
by John Blow, Jonathan
Dove and John Ireland.
This week’s Sunday
Escape is Gerald Finzi’s
Severn Rhapsody. 12.0
Private Passions: Frances
Barber (R) 1.0 News 1.02
Lunchtime Concert:
Wigmore Hall Mondays
– Apollon Musagète
Quartet. Sibelius:
Andante festivo. Puccini:
Crisantemi. Grieg: String
Quartet No 1 in G minor,
Op 27. (R) 2.0 The Early
Music Show: Couperin’s
Concerts Royaux. Lucie
Skeaping marks the
350th anniversary of
the birth of François
Couperin. 3.0 Choral
Evensong: Magdalen
College, Oxford (R) 4.0
Choir and Organ. Includes
works by Sibelius, Vierne
and Pachelbel. 5.0 The
Listening Service: I
Guess That’s Why They
Milkshake! 7.50 Blaze and
the Monster Machines
(T) (R) 10.0 Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles (T)
(R) 10.35 Football on 5:
The Championship (T)
(R) 11.30 Football on 5:
Goal Rush (T) (R) 12.0
Police Interceptors (T) (R)
12.55 Police Interceptors:
Deadly Pursuits (T) (R)
1.55 Johnny English
Reborn (Oliver Parker,
2011) (T) 3.55 News (T) 4.0
The Last Airbender
(M Night Shyamalan, 2010)
(T) 6.0 Bulletproof
Monk (Paul Hunter, 2003)
(T) Chow Yun-Fat stars.
Batman Begins
(Christopher Nolan, 2005)
(T) Billionaire Bruce Wayne
travels the world seeking
the means to fight injustice,
consumed with rage over
his parents’ murder. Comicbook adventure with
Christian Bale, Michael
Caine, Liam Neeson, Cillian
Murphy, Katie Holmes.
10.50 The Punisher
(Jonathan Hensleigh,
2004) (T) Comic-book
thriller starring Thomas
Jane and John Travolta.
1.05 The X-Files (T) (R)
2.45 SuperCasino (T)
4.0 Get Your Tatts Out:
Kavos Ink (T) (R) 4.45
House Doctor (T) (R)
5.10 Great Artists (T) (R)
5.35 House Busters (R)
Call It The Blues. Tom
Service discusses blues
music. 5.30 Words
and Music: Metal 6.46
Sunday Feature: Alex
La Guma – The Black
Dickens. Lindsay Johns
celebrates the South
African novelist Alex La
Guma, travelling to Cape
Town to discover how his
novels from the apartheid
era are still relevant
today. 7.30 In Concert.
Clemency Burton-Hill
presents recordings of
orchestras in Switzerland,
including the Zurich
Tonhalle, l’Orchestre de
la Suisse Romande and
the Lausanne Chamber
Orchestra. 9.30 Drama
on 3: Love Is Not New
In This Country, by
Samantha Ellis. 10.30
Early Music Late.
L’Arpeggiata directed
by Christina Pluhar in
vocal music by Bach and
his predecessors. 11.30
Total Immersion: Leonard
Bernstein. A concert
by musicians from the
Guildhall School of
Music and Drama. 12.30
Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 News 6.05
Something Understood:
The Eyes. With Michael
Symmons Roberts.
6.35 On Your Farm:
Brexit Border. Sarah
Swadling meets a pig
BBC Four
Only Connect (T) (R)
The Dandies take on
the Escapologists. 7.30
University Challenge (T)
(R) The first quarter-final.
Cuba With Simon Reeve
(T) (R) The effects of the
past two years of economic liberalisation.
Scotland’s Vital Spark:
The Clyde Puffer (T) (R)
The history of one of
Scotland’s best-loved
boats, celebrating its
representation in Neil
Munro’s Para Handy tales.
10.0 Arena: Stanley and His
Daughters (T) Artist
Stanley Spencer’s
daughters discuss their
odd family history.
11.15 Stanley Spencer: The
Colours of the Clyde (T) (R)
11.45 The Story of Maths (T) (R)
12.45 The Story of Maths (T) (R)
1.45 Cuba… (T) (R) 2.45
Art, Passion & Power: The
Royal Collection (T) (R)
farmer whose land lies
just south of the Irish
border. (4/7) 7.0 News
7.0 Sunday Papers 7.10
Sunday. Edward Stourton
presents a roundup of
the week’s religious and
ethical headlines. 7.55
Radio 4 Appeal: Child
Soldiers International.
With Jane Garvey. 8.0
News 8.0 Sunday Papers
8.10 Sunday Worship:
Representation and
Rights 8.48 A Point of
View: Too Much Winning
(R) 8.58 Tweet of the
Day: Tony Juniper on
the Woodcock (R) 9.0
Broadcasting House.
Presented by Paddy
O’Connell. 10.0 The
Archers (R) 11.15 Desert
Island Discs: Jack
Whitehall 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 The
Museum of Curiosity
(R) 12.30 The Food
Programme: The World
Service Cookbook
1.0 The World This
Weekend. Presented
by Mark Mardell. 1.30
When Greeks Flew Kites.
Sarah Dunant examines
stories from history that
provide a fresh outlook
on the present day. 2.0
Gardeners’ Question
Time: Correspondence
Edition – Bob’s House
(R) 2.45 The Listening
Project Omnibus:
Reflections on the
World of Work (R) 3.0
Drama: Reading Europe.
Russia: Bride and Groom.
Dramatisation of Alisa
Ganieva’s novel. (1/2)
4.0 News 4.02 Bookclub:
Eimear McBride – A Girl
Is a Half-Formed Thing
4.30 Poetry Please:
Sinead Morrissey (3/6)
5.0 File on 4: A Deadly
Prescription (R) 5.40
Profile (R) 5.54 Shipping
Forecast 6.0 News 6.15
Pick of the Week. With
Sheila McClennon. 7.0
The Archers 7.15 The
Break: Sunday, Flipping
Sunday (R) 7.45 The Poet
and the Echo: Goblin
Market, by Louise Welsh.
(4/5) 8.0 More or Less
(R) 8.30 Last Word (R)
9.0 Money Box (R) 9.26
Radio 4 Appeal (R) 9.30
Analysis: Why Are Even
Women Biased Against
Women? (R) 10.0 The
Westminster Hour. With
Carolyn Quinn. 11.0
The Film Programme
(R) 11.30 Something
Understood (R) 12.0
News 12.15 Thinking
Allowed (R) 12.45 Bells
on Sunday: St Mary’s
Church, Abergavenny (R)
12.48 Shipping Forecast
1.0 As World Service 5.20
Shipping Forecast 5.30
News 5.43 Prayer for the
Day 5.45 Farming Today
5.58 Tweet of the Day:
Andy Clements on the
Golden Plover
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