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The Observer The New Review - March 11, 2018

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Michael Caine
on his new
film about
the 1960s
11 | 03 | 18
The seasoned
who’ve turned
to teaching
Nick Cohen on
a vital exposé
of the ‘gig
Tacita Dean
testing film in
her studio in
Los Angeles,
October 2015.
© Jim McHugh
Three cheers
for Tacita Dean
The acclaimed British artist talks to Tim Adams
about her trio of major new shows
The finest writing every Sunday for arts,
science, politics and ideas
Agenda 2-7
Features 8-22
Science & Tech 23-27
 On my radar Comedian
Tim Key’s cultural highlights
 Bored or burnt-out professionals
who’ve turned to teaching thanks
to a new initiative talk about their
 Will blockchain change the
world? Gian Volpicelli looks at the
technology’s future use
 Q&A Michael Caine on
Woody Allen, working-class culture
and his new film about the 1960s, My
 The grid Posters inspired by
brutalist Italian architecture
 ML Casteel’s photographs of the
interiors of war veterans’ cars.
By Sean O’Hagan
 Q&A: Evolutionary scientist
Martie Haselton on her in-depth
study of female hormones. Interview
by Nicola Davis
 Force Majeure director
Ruben Östlund on his Palme
d’Or-winning film, The Square
 John Naughton: how to get your
Twitter feed back on song
Critics 28-43
Books 44-51
Puzzles & Television
 Mark Kermode on Lynne
Ramsay’s hitman drama You
Were Never Really Here, starring
Joaquin Phoenix
 Nick Cohen reviews James
Bloodworth’s vital undercover
exposé of the ‘gig economy’
 Stewart Lee column
 David Byrne’s new album,
American Utopia, reviewed by Kitty
 Guy Lodge on the new Netflix
sci-fi, Annihilation, by director Alex
 Susannah Clapp reviews Macbeth
at the National
 Kitty Empire on a poignant music
memoir by Lamont ‘U-God’ Hawkins
of the Wu-Tang Clan
 Literary critic James Wood’s
second novel, Upstate, doesn’t
impress Rachel Cooke
 Interview: journalist and author
Blake Morrison discusses his new
novel, The Executor
 The five: hybrid vegetables
 Everyman crossword, sudoku,
Azed crossword, chess, readers’
pictures – p52-53
 The week’s television and radio
highlights – p54-55
 Today’s television – p57
 Monday to Saturday’s listings
and choices – p58-63
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ObsNewReview and email us
Last week, Andrew Anthony spoke
to six ex-foreign secretaries about
Britain, Brexit and Boris Johnson.
Here’s how you responded:
Fascinating insight into one of the
hardest jobs in the land, ruined by its
current incumbent.
Lucy Purdon @LucyPurdon on Twitter
It’s not really surprising that none of
the old foreign secretaries condemn
Johnson in a strong way – professional
courtesy and all that. It doesn’t change
the fact that he turned an office that
should be impartial, effective but
unobtrusive, into a public stage for his
personal political ambitions.
alemontree, posted online
I know it makes for a catchy alliterative
headline, but please stop calling
him “Boris”. He isn’t our mate and
he is doing dreadful damage to this
Good piece on six foreign secs, three
of whom I worked for (Cook, Straw
and, briefly, Beckett). Don’t agree with
all verdicts, but nice idea to look at the
office and its holders.
John Williams @JWilliams2336
I realise British politics must be in a
bit of a sorry state at the moment
when I find myself agreeing with
politicians I used to hate, or am I just
getting older?
The Observer
Nicola and Milly in
buckets, Derby, 1988.
The big
Makeshift paddling ‘pools’
help a Midlands family
keep cool on a sweltering
summer day in the 1980s
David Moore was a photography
student at Farnham college of art
and design, in Surrey, being taught
by Martin Parr, when he hit on the
idea of photographing families on
the Osmaston estate in his home
town of Derby for his third year BA
project. “Parr inspired me,” he says.
“I turned up at the estate regularly
over the course of a year, just
photographing incidental things,
routine things.”
The Mosley family – parents
Lisa and John and children Claire,
Nicola, Milly and Daniel, aged from
one to five – were his favourite
subjects. “At the time, they were
busy, popular, loving,” says Moore,
now principal lecturer on the MA
documentary photography course
at the University of Westminster.
“Lisa looked after the family and
John worked nights at the nearby
Qualcast foundry.”
This photograph was taken at
their home, a prewar Midlands semi
overshadowed by an old Rolls-Royce
factory, on a hot July day in 1988.
John had rigged up a couple of
makeshift paddling pools in a pair
of plastic homebrew fermenting
buckets, which allowed Nicola,
three, and her sister Milly, aged two,
to keep cool. The other two siblings
were just out of shot.
Moore went on become a leading
chronicler of English working-class
life. But the Osmaston photographs
lay forgotten in a box under his
bed for a quarter of a century until
he rediscovered them in 2013 and
published them as Pictures From the
Real World. Since then, he has been
revising the series and it can now be
seen at London Gallery West. Moore
has also developed a play based on
the photographs, The Lisa and John
Slideshow, to be staged next month
in central London. Lisa O’Kelly
Lisa and John is at London Gallery
West at University of Westminster,
Harrow, until 22 April. The Lisa and
John Slideshow is at Regent Street
Cinema, London on 20 April
Photograph by
David Moore
The Observer
On m
Tim Key, the comedian, actor, writer
and performance poet, was born
76. He won
in Cambridgeshire in 1976.
ward in
the Edinburgh comedy award
d has
2009 for The Slutcracker and
n as Alan
since appeared on screen
on, on
Partridge’s Sidekick Simon
wipe, and
Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe,
n’s Old
last year in Art at London’s
Vic. His Radio 4 comedy series Tim
Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme
d his hit
is available on iPlayer and
egadatee will
Edinburgh 2017 show Megadate
tour the UK in May and June.
1. TV
Mum, BBC2
To illustrate how behind
I am with this show, I am
recommending the first series
even though the second
series has just come out and
everyone’s losing it about how
good it is. Fortunately for me,
they’ve popped series one on
iPlayer to coincide with these
new episodes. It’s a sitcom
about a mum (Lesley Manville)
keeping a family moving. It’s
beautifully written (Stefan
Golaszewski), with warm,
authentic dialogue and vaguely
ridiculous/moving scenarios.
You might cry, but it’s also the
funniest thing I’ve seen for a
long time. And I’ve got nine
episodes still in hand.
2. Cafe
5. Book
Brown & Greens, Crystal
Palace, south London
I go to Crystal Palace every
Tuesday to play football (boxto-box midfielder, improving
with age, back in the scoring
habit) and every week I go to
Brown & Greens for essential
pre-exercise full English. They
let you swap out bits and pieces
in the B & G breakfast and I go
to town swapping more or less
everything. By the end, we’re
usually back where we started
and I can start dunking a fat
sausage into some beans.
They also serve sparkling
water in weird cans and their
hot lemon and ginger really
courses through you.
The Corrections by
Jonathan Franzen
I always balk when a so-called
“friend” gives me a book as a
gift and it’s 650 pages long. I
was pretty prickly with this girl
for a few days. But owing to my
loyalty to her, I cancelled all of
my appointments and buried
my beak in it. And my God, this
is some book. A sprawling,
colourful tale of one family’s
ups and downs over some
decades. All the classics are in
there, infidelity, sadness, falling
off boats, prescription drugs.
I wanted to finish it to get it in
here, show my friend what I’m
made of. I’ve still got 70 pages
to go and it’s torn me apart.
3. Standup
4. Tea
John Kearns: Don’t Worry,
They’re Here
Kearns won the Edinburgh
comedy award in 2014 for
his masterfully crafted hour
of standup and character
comedy (he has a mouthful of
false teeth and a wig). Three
shows and three years later,
like a glass of Grolsch left in
the fridge, he’s getting better
and better. Kearns has funny
bones but doesn’t rest on
them, writing meticulously
and relishing language. Shades
of Hancock, Pinter, and John
Sullivan. Not a household name,
weirdly, but he will be.
Taylors of Harrogate
Sweet Rhubarb
This is a game changer. I am
into this stuff to the extent that
it’s a problem. Rhubarb has
always been on my radar, I had
it drummed down my throat via
Carol Key’s apple and rhubarb
crumble in the 80s, but here it
is distilled into the perfect sack,
the fragrant bitterness of the
rhub softened with some kind
of sweetness, which means I
return to the box four to five
times a day. Coffee has taken a
back seat as I have stockpiled
this and begun to gift it. The
other entries here I can take or
leave; this blushing root-brew,
however, is indispensable.
6. Podcast
The Horne Section
I should probably declare
that I know the band leader,
Alex Horne, and have been
to Wagamama with him,
but that notwithstanding
I still think this podcast is
worth a reco. It’s an underrehearsed, unprofessional
hour of some musicians and
their leader misusing a special
guest, playing divvy songs,
and occasionally ordering a
takeaway. It’s pretty babyish
stuff but also very funny if
you’re running on a treadmill
or can’t get to sleep. Also,
I’m the guest in one of the
episodes so actually there’s no
way I can recommend this one
at all so let’s chalk it off.
The Observer
Awake, King Arthur! The
Cornish pasty needs you
ay “Cornwall” to an uncontacted pygmy
brave deep in a New Zealand forest and his
bamboo flute will swiftly carve the shape
of the Cornish pasty into the Shotover
riverbank sands. “Oggy, oggy, oggy,” he
will cry, as he mimes pushing a too-hot
Cornish pasty into his unambiguously delighted face.
“Oggy, oggy, oggy!”
But last Monday, the feast day of Cornwall’s proud
Saint Piran, American food industry lobbyists revealed
plans to exploit the end of our protection by the EU’s
regional foods scheme. American “Cornish” pasties
could be on their way into Britain. And yet Arthur,
who swore to return if his land was imperilled, sleeps
soundly still in his Tintagel cave.
American Cornish pasties? Say the horrible words
and savour their bitter taste. Was this desecration what
Leave-voting Cornwall voted for? Did proud Cornwall
want the crusty foodstuff that has made Kernow
beloved worldwide replaced by a foul foreign fake? Did
Arthur die on adulterous Mordred’s lance to see the
sacred pasty cuckolded so? Did Henry Jenner, bard of
Boscawen-Un, strive to revive Cornwall’s lost language
for his cultural inheritors to ask the man in Pengenna
Pasties for a King Size American? Did the noble Cornish
folk want nothing more than to be Donald Trump’s
Brexit pasty whores? Because that is all they are!
Especially the people from London who own cottages
there!! And Rick Stein!!!
The Leave-voting Cornish comedian Jethro Tull has
appeared twice on the Leave-voting comedian Jim
Davidson’s Generation Game show, demonstrating how
to make Cornish pasties. During one sequence, Tull
mocked the interfering EU for insisting pasty preparers
wear gloves. Now he and Davidson will be able to fly
to America and see Cornish pasties being made by
Hispanic slave labour from factory-farmed, hormoneridden cattle, doused in petroleum, reduced to pulp
and squeezed from automatic tubes into pre-molded
pasty pastry Hot Cornwall Pockets™®. Doubtless they
are delighted.
If he could see the meat and potato atrocities about to
be enacted in the name of his beloved Cornish pasties,
Cornwall’s holy Saint Piran would turn in his grave, had
his remains not been split up and sent all around the
country in the 14th century. As it is, one of Saint Piran’s
arms revolves in Exeter Cathedral, the other in Waltham
Abbey, while his missing head spins somewhere
undisclosed in St Piran’s Old Church, Perranzabuloe.
In the Mad Max dystopia of our post-Brexit nation,
it is unlikely hungry Britannia will have the luxury of
rejecting Donald Trump’s food regulation-relaxing
advances, no matter how many times she slaps his
tiny hands away from her cool thigh. Scotch whiskies,
Melton Mowbray pork pies, Jersey Royal potatoes,
Solihull stickleback slices and Cumberland sausages,
all sourced from the finest American processing plants,
will soon foul our patriotic British palates. First they
came for the West Cornwall Pasty Company. And then
they came for me.
I will miss the West Cornwall Pasty Company’s cheery
wayside retail outlets, a Greggs for road-worn wayfarers
who fear not the harsh crust or the hot steak steam.
Doubtless they are soon to close when cheap American
imports undercut the business, sending hundreds of
gainfully employed Cornish pasty-makers back to their
old ancestral ways of piracy, smuggling and wrecking.
The West Cornwall Pasty Company’s honest fayre is
one of the comforts of the road to an endlessly touring
comedian and last week I needed my Cornish culinary
uring these last, final weeks of my 18month standup comedy tour around
broken Brexit Britain, I have been
reading the 1967 novel Ice by the sciencefiction pioneer and heroin enthusiast
Anna Kavan, newly rescued from
oblivion by Peter Owen Publishers. Ice eerily depicts a
man travelling through a Kafkaesque collapsing society,
beset by an encroaching ice age, against the backdrop of
some imminent but unspecified political catastrophe.
What ghostly forces of guidance compelled me to read
this prophetic novel at this exact moment in time?
Mother? Are you there? Is that you?
On Thursday night, I and my tour manager were
trapped in Bristol by the Beast from the East and I
was denied two days back with my resentful family in
London, as we remained there until Sunday and a date
in Plymouth. An audience member’s ice-skidding car
had crashed into the loading doors of the Bristol theatre,
where it remained for days, blocking our exit, closing the
Overton window of our departure and tripling our hotel
bill. I missed the kids and sat in reading Ice, worrying
about their futures until my heart ached.
On Sunday we set off toward Plymouth. Though
the sudden snow was thawing, all along the A386
abandoned cars lay shipwrecked in laybys, ditched
during Thursday’s snowstorm and now stripped clean of
parts and fabrics, the Devonshire locals reverting to type
at the first sign of a social breakdown.
At the Fox Tor cafe in Princetown, high on Dartmoor,
above the prehistoric stone rows of Merrivale, I
suspended my diet to stand and scoff a Cornish pasty,
looking out across the ancient, frost-flecked landscape
of the nation that made me. The pasty was good eating,
and authentically Cornish too, but there was a bitter
aftertaste not of its own making. As I ate into the pasty,
I felt the very notion of Britain itself being eaten away,
like some kind of enormous metaphor.
On his Cornish deathbed in 1934, the last Cornish
words of the Cornish language revivalist Henry Jenner
were: “Here in Cornwall, we do not need other meat and
pastry products. The whole object of my life has been
to inculcate into the Cornish people, and the Cornish
pasties, a sense of their Cornishness. Either that chicken
and mushroom slice goes or I do. Aaaagh!”
How sad that Brexit befouls Jenner’s legacy and turns
his Cornish pasty to cows’ dungs in our mouths. Wake,
proud Arthur! Wake and bake!!
Stewart Lee’s Content Provider continues to tour until
April, when it is abandoned over three nights at the Royal
Festival Hall in London
As I ate into
the pasty,
I felt the
very notion
of Britain
itself being
eaten away,
like some
The Observer
The concrete legacy
of Italy’s brutalist
architecture reframed
as stylish posters
On a family holiday in Florence, Londonbased art director and graphic designer
Peter Chadwick was struck by the difference
between the brutalist architecture in Italy
and the kind he was familiar with in the UK.
“Because of the different climate, it looked
cleaner, the concrete,” he says. And while there
The Simone Lia cartoon
were fewer brutalist buildings, they seemed
grander in scale.
These testaments to another age inspired
Brutalismo, Chadwick’s new poster series of
Italian brutalist architecture. They are also
influenced by Chermayeff and Geismar’s
classic Pan Am posters of the 70s, which
Chadwick has loved since his boyhood in
Middlesbrough. “My dad was a travel agent
and I remember seeing those posters in the
agency where he worked,” he says.
The series is part of a larger project, This
Brutal House, which Chadwick launched on
Twitter in 2014, celebrating an architectural
style he admires but acknowledges is out
of favour among today’s “faceless” glass
and steel towers. But he feels there is still a
place for brutalism’s “personality and grand
gestures”. He adds: “I just hope that we keep
some of them. I don’t know how many will be
left in 50 years’ time.” Yen Pham
The Observer
Michael Caine
Actor, 84
before the BBC finally gave in and
started playing pop music. Coffee
bars started putting on live groups,
like the Beatles. Discotheques
arrived from Paris. The first night I
went to the Ad Lib club every single
Beatle and every single Rolling
Stone was in there dancing.
You were friends with Roger Moore. Did
his death last year hit you hard?
Yeah, we were close. But at my age,
you get used to your friends dying.
Who would you like to play 007 next?
Tom Hardy. And make him do a
posh accent.
You won an Oscar for Hannah and
Her Sisters. What do you make of the
accusations against Woody Allen?
I am so stunned. I’m a patron of the
NSPCC and have very strong views
about paedophilia. I can’t come to
terms with it, because I loved Woody
and I even introduced him to Mia
[Farrow]. I don’t regret working
with him, which I did in complete
innocence; but I wouldn’t work with
him again, no.
As his documentary
about the 1960s
opens, the Hollywood
veteran talks about
working-class culture,
Woody Allen and why
he never liked drugs
Tess Daly says you’d be her dream
celebrity contestant on Strictly Come
Dancing. Fancy it?
Oh, really? I’m afraid I’m beyond
that. She should be mighty relieved.
I watch Strictly every weekend with
my three grandchildren. We all
shout out the scores together.
Michael Caine has appeared in
127 films, including Zulu, Alfie and
The Italian Job, and been Oscarnominated six times, winning twice.
Caine is the narrator, co-producer
and star of new documentary film
My Generation, about his journey
through 1960s London.
What inspired you to make
My Generation?
Simon Fuller [Spice Girls/Pop Idol
svengali] and I are friends, and over
dinner, conversation kept coming
round to the 60s. He was too young,
so was always asking about it.
One evening he said, “Let’s make a
documentary. You can tell the stories
and I’ll find the music.” It’s taken a
few years, but that’s what we did. I
have a very good memory, which is
fortunate at my age, so there’s a lot
of material left over. We’re turning
that into a six-part TV series.
Michael Caine:
‘Boy, did we
have fun…’
Portrait by
Richard Saker for
the Observer
I thought the saying went “If you
remember the 60s, you weren’t
really there”?
That’s more the late 60s/early 70s.
In the 60s, we were drinkers. What
ruined the 60s, towards the end of
the decade, were drugs. If people
were taking cocaine, they’d start
talking bollocks and not stop for
hours. If they were on other drugs,
they’d just sit around, going “Wow,
man.” So it was either people talking
too fast to understand, or people
not saying anything at all. It brought
to an end the 60s as we knew it –
which was a load of drunks getting
up to all sorts and dancing like mad.
Is it true you smoked marijuana just
the once?
Yes, and I laughed for five hours.
Was the 60s the best decade of
your life?
At the time it was. Since then, my
life has improved from decade to
decade. My joy nowadays is my
grandchildren. I’m devoted to them.
I nearly got a hernia. I must have
been very tense beforehand! When
I left the party at 1am in Grosvenor
Square, I was standing alone on a
corner, roaring with laughter, and no
cab would stop for me. I had to walk
to my flat in Notting Hill, and when
I got back, I vowed I’d never take
bloody drugs again. And I never did.
I’m not anti-drugs: I’m sympathetic
to people who take them, because
they’ve got themselves in a situation
that I really do not envy. Most drugs
are terrible… at least marijuana’s
good for medicinal purposes.
My Generation has a 50/50 gender
split of contributors. Did you insist
on that?
Absolutely. I’m a feminist to the
core. An interviewer once asked my
wife, “What first attracted you to
Michael?” and she said, “The way
he treated his mother.” I respected
women tremendously, right from
the start. I just didn’t know I was a
feminist until they invented it.
Social change is a big theme in
My Generation…
That’s the serious point of the film,
really. Society was transformed
by the 60s. I was born during the
Depression, then came the Blitz. I
was evacuated and spent six years
waiting for a telegram telling me
my dad was dead. A tough start. Six
years after the war, I was in the army
myself – first in the occupation
force in Berlin, then the Korean
war, fighting the Chinese. When
I got home, London was all smog
and rationing. The last straw was
[Soviet leader] Khrushchev’s speech
saying they now had the atom bomb
and could annihilate us within four
minutes. So the attitude became:
“We’re miserable as sin, we’ve got
four minutes to live, let’s have some
fun.” And boy, did we have fun.
Was there a working-class takeover
of culture?
Yeah, slowly but surely. Small things
happened: Radio Caroline launched,
‘I respected
right from
the start.
I just didn’t
know I was
a feminist
until they
invented it’
You’re 85 next week. How are you
My wife’s organising something but
won’t tell me what. My 80th was in
Las Vegas with Quincy Jones. We call
ourselves “the celestial twins”. He
composed the music for The Italian
Job and when he came on set, we
worked out we were born at exactly
the same hour. One thing I love
about Quince is he’s always late for
everything. He invited me around
for lunch recently and he was an
hour late. In his own house.
Will you ever retire?
No. The movie business retires
you. I’ve just turned down a film,
actually; but if I get a script I really
want to do, I will. I’m busy enough.
I’ve got the TV series and a book
I’m writing. I did a guide to acting,
which went very well, so now I’m
writing one on stardom. It’s full
of funny stories and I name-drop
like fury, obviously. You might have
noticed. Interview by Michael Hogan
My Generation is released 16 March.
On 14 March a preview screening in
cinemas will be followed by a live Q&A
with Michael Caine, broadcast from
BFI Southbank
The Observer
Cover story
This year Tacita Dean is staging a
trio of shows at three of the country’s
most prestigious galleries. In a break
from making her final preparations,
the acclaimed British artist, heir to
Constable and Turner, talks about
her struggle to continue using
16mm film for her work, her father’s
influence and living with arthritis
Interview by
Tim Adams
Portrait by
Antonio Olmos
A celluloid
trying to
keep it real
t is tempting to think of Tacita
Dean as a witchy presence in the
world, a diviner of hidden forces.
Her chosen medium is an antique
one: spooled film. Waiting is a big
part of her method, and watching;
there is also an alertness to chance
and coincidence. She is a lifelong
collector of four-leaf clovers; a
sometime chaser of solar eclipses.
One artistic quest saw her pursuing
the three known sightings of the
severed breasts of St Agatha among
Italian relics. In another, she rose
in a hot air balloon in the Alps
before dawn to try to capture a
plastic bag full of alchemists’ ether.
She has long been drawn both to
lighthouses and to shipwrecks.
The prospectus for her three solo
shows about to open in London – in
an unprecedented collaboration
between the National Gallery, the
Royal Academy and the National
Portrait Gallery – involves ancient
and modern obsessions divided
in the traditional way: still life,
portrait and landscape. She will
bring her own quiet magic to each.
I meet her one lunchtime in the
midst of one of those three pressing
deadlines, in a closed gallery at the
National, surrounded by still lifes,
some chosen from the collection,
some shipped in, some her own.
She sits beside a long trestle table
of plans and tools and notes, trying
not to feel the pressure of the 101
decisions she has still to make,
while a gallery assistant paints a
final section of wall and one of her
regular team works on the sound
for one of her films.
Dean has suffered from
rheumatoid arthritis for the past
25 years, which causes her to walk
with some difficulty. She can’t
extend her arm for a handshake.
She chooses to sit and talk to me
in a wheelchair in this makeshift
studio, but only, she adamantly
insists, because it is the only comfy
chair around (true: I sit at her feet
on a camping stool). “Don’t for
God’s sake imply I am wheelchair
bound!” she says. As a lover of
serendipity, she warms to my
discovery that we were born 10 days
apart in November 1965, before
noting drily that means we are both,
however much we might like to kid
ourselves, much “closer to the end
than the beginning”.
We talk first about some of the
work she had chosen, what she calls
“still life within a landscape”, the
rootedness of rocks and trees, not
least because it connects this show
Continued overleaf
Tacita Dean at
the National
Gallery in
London earlier
this month
preparing for her
still life show.
The Observer
The Observer
Cover story
Continued from page 8
Teignmouth Electron, still just about
resisting the waves in the Caymans.
“All the things I am attracted to are
just about to disappear,” she has said.
The medium she has chosen to
capture these farewells has always
been a big part of the message.
Her very earliest work was chalk
on blackboard, haunted seascapes
and ghost ships, which remains a
signature of all her shows. After that
it was 16mm and 35mm film, itself
now a mostly lost art form. When the
last film-processing studio closed in
London she launched a one-woman
campaign in the Guardian to try to
save it. She felt bereft, like a painter
suddenly denied oils. She made a
haunting valedictory film, Kodak,
about the final knockings of the
company’s factory in Chalon-surSaône, in France.
“Any artist who works in paint
or chalk or film or whatever knows
that sometimes the medium itself
will give you something entirely
unexpected, and something far
better than what you intended,” she
says now. “And at that point you
follow the medium.” That, for her, is
art. “Digital media do not have that
resistance and I think that is a big
problem,” she says. “Nothing can
really happen in digital that is not
intended.” When Dean was invited
to fill the Turbine Hall at Tate
Modern in 2011, she projected a film
montage 13 metres high on the wall,
a lovingly spliced poem of handtinted images in which the very final
sequence was Dean’s own enormous
eye, opening and staring at her
audience, before disappearing.
She cites the German writer WG
Sebald as an important influence on
her method, in particular the way
his writing made the life of the past
so present, as if in a dream. “I really
liked his description of his work,”
she says. “He said when he worked
he was like a dog crossing a field,
following its nose.” She picks points
A and B in the National Gallery air,
and traces a slow meandering line
between them with her finger.
Her conversation naturally follows
that kind of trajectory too. Dean
is mildly amused when she talks
about herself, reserving any ego
for her work. As a young woman,
her parents wanted her to take up a
place at Oxford, but she insisted on
studying art, first at Falmouth, then
at the Slade in London. She was
occasionally grouped as a younger
artist with her contemporaries, the
party-loving YBAs, Damien Hirst
and Tracey Emin. In retrospect,
given the rigour and unshowiness of
her approach, the association seems
quite comical. She was up for the
Turner prize in 1998, but lost out to
Chris Ofili.
How often does her windingroad approach, where the journey is
everything, just lead to a dead end?
“Well, always,” she says. “And that is
the terrifying part, really.”
She recalls a story she took
to heart from a celebrated
screenwriter, Stuart Stern, who
wrote the film Rebel Without a Cause.
She met Stern, then in his 90s, at the
Sundance film festival, and he was
still fretting about writer’s block.
The story he told, she says, went like
to her Royal Academy retrospective
in May, where among other wonders
she is including her collections
of clover and round stones. Stone
collecting is a habit she shares with
some other artists she’s gathered
here: Paul Nash, Henry Moore. Her
own fossicking was handed down
from her father, a circuit judge and
frustrated writer; the 17th-century
house in which she grew up on the
North Downs in Kent was “full of
pocketed flints – it’s quite a British
thing, isn’t it?”
Dean feels the thought of that
Britishness a little more keenly
now she lives abroad. She moved to
Berlin with her husband and fellow
artist, Matthew Hale, nearly 15 years
ago, to get the studio space they
could never afford in London. For
most of the last four years they have
been in Los Angeles with Rufus,
their 13-year-old son, where Dean
has been at work in Hollywood
creating new copy negatives of
her work for an archive in perhaps
the last corner of the world that
knows how to care for film. She
misses British landscape most. “I
chose to leave; but I definitely feel
a connection to the land still, to the
ground,” she says.
hat connection is one
of the many affecting
things about Dean’s
work. As a landscape
artist she is a natural
heir to Constable
and Turner, a beholder of big skies
and seas, with an uncanny ability
to make you watch time passing,
to see into the heart of things. For
the occasion of the solar eclipse in
Britain in 1999, for example, in her
film Banewl, she trained her lens on
an idyllic Cornish pastoral. Over the
course of an hour the coming and
going of the strange crepuscular
light and sound worked its way into
her film, as her camera watched the
cattle and birds gently spooked by
the once-in-a-lifetime little death of
the sun.
Some of her formative projects
led her into outlandish narratives
and quests. Girl Stowaway (1994)
began in an old bookshop when she
found a Victorian photograph that
took on a life of its own. Miss Jean
Jeinnie (I kid you not), the tomboyish
stowaway in question, went off
on an unplanned posthumous
voyage when the book in which
her photograph was printed was
somehow lost from an airport
security scanner and turned up in
Ireland. Dean later found out that
Jean Jeinnie’s boat was scuttled off
Salcombe, an event she reimagined
on film, and the plot darkened
further from there. Something
comparable happened when she
began to explore the story of
the delusional round-the-world
yachtsman Donald Crowhurst
(James Marsh’s recent feature film,
The Mercy, starring Colin Firth, was
partly inspired by Dean’s work).
Her camera eventually found the
upturned hull of Crowhurst’s
abandoned trimaran, the
A still from
Dean’s 2016
portrait of David
Hockney, a
16-minute film
shot on 16mm.
© Courtesy of
the artist; Frith
Street Gallery,
London and
Marian Goodman
Gallery, New
Dean working
on The Montafon
Letter, a largescale blackboard
drawing, in Los
Angeles, 2017. It
will form part
of her landscape
this: “There is a ballet dancer and a
wizard in the desert and the ballet
dancer goes up to the wizard and
demands ‘Whither?’
And the wizard points to the
distance and says ‘Thither’. The
ballet dancer heads off in that
direction and after a few minutes
she goes ‘Splat!’ into an invisible
wall. And she comes back to the
wizard and repeats the question,
and the same thing happens. After
the third and fourth time that she
hits the wall, the ballet dancer is
bruised and angry and shouts at the
wizard, ‘Where’s whither?’ ‘Well, it is
about 15 miles beyond ‘Splat!’” the
wizard says.”
The story, Dean insists, illustrates
the agonies she has gone through
to create her new film, Antigone,
nearly an hour long, which will be
a star turn in her Royal Academy
show. She has felt fated to address
the Greek myth itself for a typical
reason: Antigone is her elder sister’s
name; it was the first interesting
word she held in her head.
“We all had a bit of a tough time
with our names,” she says, with a
laugh. Her brother is called Ptolemy
(he is on TV these days, as an
architectural historian; you can’t
help but think other career options,
hod carrier, say, might have been
more of a challenge with that silent
P). But even so, her sister probably
came off worst. “Antigone is an
incredibly burdensome name to
give to a daughter,” Dean says. “I
remember being so shocked when
I read the tragedy at school. Her
ending [torment and hanging] was
so awful.” Dean once asked her
father why he had chosen the name.
He told her he chose it because
Antigone was the first feminist, an
answer that Dean didn’t expect, she
recalls in her notes to her film, “as it
came from the mouth of a man who
had penned me a letter while I was
at art school calling feminism the
‘anorexia nervosa of the west’.”
ean suggests she
already knew she
had to do something
with the Antigone
story way back in
1987, when she was
22 and had wangled a winter artist’s
residency at Delphi in Greece. She
had the oracle’s temple mostly to
herself, felt a proximity to the gods
and a settling of her fate. After that,
she says, the Antigone myth “kind
of always hung over me”. She had
an idea for a film that filled the
gap between the first two plays of
Sophocles’s original tragic cycle, in
which Antigone leads her blinded
father (and brother), Oedipus,
through the wilderness of exile. “I
was incapable of writing a single
word of dialogue though,” she says.
“I was encountering that invisible
wall every other minute and turning
back.” This went on for decades.
Then the gods appeared to step
in. For one thing, she met the
writer Anne Carson, who had just
completed a new translation of
Antigone and, it turned out, had
also sketched out something along
the lines that Dean imagined. For
her film she wanted Carson to
come to Thebes in Greece to read
her work. When that didn’t work,
Dean discovered a Thebes, Illinois
(population 436), and suggested
filming there.
There is little in Thebes, Illinois,
apart from “trailer park and
desolation”. Little apart from a
historic roadside courthouse in
which Abraham Lincoln first
practised law. Antigone is concerned
with judgment of the ages, so a
lot of the filming happened there.
And then Dean realised there was,
a few months into Donald Trump’s
presidency, an eclipse of the sun due
in Wyoming. “The myth is all about
blindness, of course,” she says, so
her filming also took her there (and
in fact the blundering 45th president
did risk looking at the eclipse
The Observer
things, it is that Oedipus itself
means ‘swollen foot’. He was lame.
It is odd, but way back when I was at
Falmouth and I started to work with
my sister’s name, I used to do these
drawings of Oedipus’s swollen feet.
My sister had this godfather, Bootsy,
who’d had polio and I was interested
in him too; and then Byron and
his club foot.” She did a series of
drawings; a professor remarked that
her drawings resembled film strips
and suggested that she turn them
into animations; that was the start.
Majesty (2006), one of a series of
photographs Dean took of ancient
trees in the south-east of England.
directly, though without harm). In
this way, as if led by a guiding force,
Dean’s Antigone came together.
How does she think of those
chains of creative connection
and chance? “I always use the
phrase ‘being in a state of grace’,”
she says. “Sometimes when you are
working hard and open to things
you start to see patterns. I am not
thinking of grace in a religious way,
just in your head.”
You could say some of that
creativity was always in Tacita
Dean’s genes. Basil Dean, her
grandfather, was a pioneer and
director and producer of early
films starring George Formby and
Gracie Fields. He established what
became Ealing studios, and then,
during the war, founded and ran the
Entertainments National Service
Association (Ensa), producing
shows and films for the troops.
Dean didn’t know grandfather
Basil well. He died when she was 11
and anyway was quite a wayward
figure in the family’s life: three times
married. “He was among the first
people ever to think about colour
film and about sound,” she says.
“But he was also an old-fashioned
cad and a bounder. I would have
been so fascinated to talk to him…”
His most insistent legacy for her
was in his formative influence on
her father, Joseph. “He was really
shaped by his father. Not in a
positive way at all. And I suppose I
in turn am still being shaped by my
father,” she says.
In a moving small obituary for the
Guardian when her father died aged
88 in 2010, she chose to emphasise
how he never got over being
abandoned by Basil when he was
four. “Joe never recovered from the
wretchedness of his childhood and
it remained a presence throughout
his life,” she wrote. “He studied
classics at Merton College, Oxford,
and became an anti-tank gunner
with the 51st Highland Division
and fought in Alamein, Sicily and
Normandy, where he was wounded
in a mortar attack a day after he
landed. In that instant, he wrote
later, he looked down at his bleeding
chest and noticed he was wearing
his jumper back to front.”
Joe retired early from the law, in
order to pursue the career he always
wanted for himself as a writer, but,
Dean explained, he became instead
obsessed by trying to save the
market town of Ashford from being
ruined by the arrival of the Channel
tunnel. Finally, “in his late 70s, he
embarked upon psychotherapy to
unblock his writing, but Parkinson’s
disease prevented him from
finishing this process and his
autobiography, ‘Prisoner on the
Bench’, was barely begun.”
If you were psychoanalysing the
roots of Dean’s own determined
creativity, you might be tempted to
believe that above all she has tried
to resist her father’s frustration. Her
work examines might-have-beens
but also dramatises her refusal to
accept them. She gets the job done.
I suggest that her films always
seem to be metaphors of her own
life, without documenting it directly.
She laughs. “You don’t think it’s
all riddled with autobiography?
All artists are led back to it. It’s not
conscious, but it happens.”
In the last 10 or 15 years she has
turned her attention away from
ruins and shipwrecks and gnarly
trees to examine their human
equivalents: artists in late life.
A series of nine of these filmed
portraits will feature at the National
Gallery. Were they all also voyages
around her father?
I don’t know
what I’d be
like if I didn’t
have arthritis…
You work
with the stuff
you’re made of
“They started from different
places,” she says, while admitting
that the first, made in 2002 of the
Italian artist and political radical
Mario Merz, began entirely “because
I thought he had a really strong
resemblance to my father”.
Others followed: the venerable
choreographer Merce Cunningham
“dancing” to John Cage’s silent
composition 4’ 33” in his 90s;
Sebald’s translator, Michael
Hamburger, the poet, among the
rare apple trees in his Suffolk
orchard. And the latest, David
Hockney, a newfound friend in Los
Angeles, lighting a cigarette.
There is something quite
thrillingly determined in the way
that Dean captures these portraits.
The novelist Jeffrey Eugenides,
godfather to her son, suggests
her friends routinely call her
“formidable” and the longer you talk
to her the more you are convinced of
the appropriateness of that epithet.
You also wonder how much of that
strength comes from her blatant
refusal to be defined in any way
by the progression of her arthritis,
though given her travel schedule
and the intricacy of some of her
post-production film work, it clearly
affects her. “How well are you?” I
ask, as politely as I can.
“You mean,” she says with a laugh,
“How’s me arth-er-itis?”
“I guess,” I say.
She winces a bit. “You know the
other thing about Antigone,” she
says, “one of those subterranean
he wonders now if
her body was having a
premonition of what
was to come. She first
noticed a limp when
she was at the Slade.
To begin with she thought it was
the result of an uncomfortable pair
of shoes that she had bought for
the opening of her first show at the
New Contemporaries in Manchester,
but then she got the diagnosis.
Since then the two things, her work
and the illness, have progressed
in tandem.
“I don’t know what I would be like
if I didn’t have arthritis,” she says.
“Obviously, I make slow work. I can’t
take a step which is not painful.
Sitting here talking to you is all
right. But my ankles are now just
bone on bone. I have no idea what
life would be like if I wasn’t, you
know, lame. The fact is,” she says,
“you can’t but help work with the
stuff that you are made of. Antigone
is all about that. [The illness] is part
of the genesis of what I do, but it
is not the explanation. Which is
important. Which is very important.”
She’d far rather talk about where
she is up to with Antigone than her
swollen ankles. She invented a new
technique for it, which involves an
adapted camera aperture she made
with 3D printing; the aperture
masks half of each frame of the film.
For part of it, one half of each frame
was filmed in Cornwall, the other in
Wyoming at the eclipse.
“I can’t tell you how risky it was
to take to film from Cornwall in
February, not knowing what was on
it, and put it back in a can and take
it to Wyoming in August,” she says.
“It could have gone catastrophically
wrong. But the effect is really
beautiful and surprising I think.”
She loves the idea that the
direction of the film is somewhat
in the lap of the gods. But does she
always know deep down when she
is on to something?
“Well, I just try to pursue
blindness at all costs,” she says.
Speaking of which, our lunch hour
or so over, she turns her mind again
to the pressing business of opening
three exhibitions, each one bearing
her name, in three of the nation’s
most prestigious institutions, all at
“No pressure,” I say. She
just smiles.
Still Life is at the National Gallery and
Portrait is at the National Portrait
Gallery from Thursday to 28 May;
Landscape is at the Royal Academy
from 19 May to 12 August
The Observer
Please Sir,
can I have
sum more?
What unites film-makers, soldiers,
athletes, a clergyman, a diplomat and
Nasa scientist? They’re just some
off the people
pe p who have signed up to
Teach, a soon-to-be-nationwide
Now Teach,
heme giving
givin jaded professionals a
t into
i teaching.
Here, five new
teachers offer their first-term reports
Lisa O’Kelly
t is 10am on a dismal, wintry
Saturday in Hastings, east Sussex.
The town’s handsomely refurbished
pier, winner of the Stirling prize
for architecture last year, is barely
visible through a curtain of drizzle.
Nonetheless, a steady stream of
people is making its way towards its
striking, timber-clad visitor centre.
Inside, a small crowd has already
gathered and coffee and croissants
are being consumed. Chatting
politely are several accountants,
a couple of lawyers, a newspaper
editor and a chief financial officer.
It could easily be a professional
networking event, only these people
are not here to make new business
contacts – they are here because
they want to change their lives.
This is the Hastings launch of
Now Teach, a scheme that aims
to help bored and burnt-out
professionals switch careers and
move into teaching – an idea that
clearly appeals to the middle-aged
citizens of east Sussex. By the time
home secretary Amber Rudd, MP
for Hastings and Rye, sweeps in
alongside the mayor , the room is
packed with people in their 40s and
50s, all seeking new beginnings.
I talk to a tall, soft-spoken
Northern Irishman, Maurice
Kennedy, editor of the Fermanagh
Herald. “I’m divorced. My three
daughters are now adults, all living
in the UK, one of them in Hastings,”
he tells me. “I want a fresh start.”
So too does Gareth, an asset
manager who lost his job last year,
and Caroline, a former lawyer who
took time out of work to raise a
family and wants “a new challenge”.
Could teaching, they wonder, be
what they are looking for?
Now Teach was set up 18 months
ago by former Financial Times
journalist Lucy Kellaway, 58, when
she decided she wanted to leave
the pink paper after 31 years as
a columnist to become a maths
teacher. It was not a decision she
took lightly. “For me, this had been a
long time coming,” she says. “When
my mum died just over 10 years ago
I thought I’d had it with journalism
because it was too shallow. My mum
had been a brilliant English teacher,
so I thought, I want to be a teacher.
“Once I’d gotten over extreme
bereavement, I thought: ‘Don’t be
so ridiculous.’ Then it hit me again
when my dad died two years ago.
I went back to work afterwards
and I was sat around with all these
journalists fussing over what the
headline was, and I thought: ‘No,
I don’t want to do this any more. I
want to do something useful.’”
Initially she hesitated because she
Lucy Kellaway: ‘I wanted
to do something useful.’
Chris McAndrew/the Times
feared feeling “weird and lonely”
going into the profession as an
older person. But then Kellaway’s
daughter joined Teach First straight
out of university and started
working at a school in Leeds. “I
chatted to her about how she was
helping these kids and I thought:
‘Where is the scheme for me and
my contemporaries to let us do
something amazing in the way that
my daughter is?’”
A chance encounter with Katie
Waldegrave, co-founder of the
educational charity First Story,
helped get the idea up and running.
“It all fell into place very, very easily,”
Kellaway says. “Katie said, ‘That’s
Continued overleaf
The Observer
English teacher at Kensington
Aldridge academy. Previous career:
“I stopped work when I became a
mum and combined motherhood
with going back to study. I was a
maths graduate but had a passion
for English Lit, so went to Birkbeck
to pursue that. I did some teaching
while I was there of mature students
who had little formal training in
English, and I loved it. That planted
a seed in my mind that teaching
might be for me.
“My son, Lucas, is almost 14 now
and as he has gone through school
I have experienced first-hand the
difference great teaching can make.
Combined with my increasing
passion for my subject, this
made me think that teaching was
something meaningful that I could
pursue. Hearing Lucy talk about
Now Teach on the Today programme
made up my mind for me.
“I was interviewed by KAA and
offered my placement to start there
last September, just before the
Grenfell fire happened. The school
is very close to the tower and many
of the pupils lived there. That was
very strange. I felt very affected by it.
What I’ve experienced since then is
that it’s really quite remarkable how
resilient the pupils seem. The school
has ensured from day one that
counselling is provided and that’s
ongoing. There’s no stigma attached
to it and the pupils freely make use
of it if they feel they need to.
“When it came to September,
I was quite gung-ho and really
wishing to get started. It’s been a
massive learning curve. I hoped
there’d be some overlap with the
skills one has as a parent – be
consistent, pick your battles,
remember you’re the adult – and
there absolutely is, but the huge
lesson is that you really must use
the tried-and-tested teaching skills.
How and where you stand, how you
use your voice, how you administer
rewards and sanctions – these
things cannot be underestimated.
“The most fabulous thing is that
no day is the same. The high is when
the penny drops, when the pupils
start to adopt the terms they’ve
learned with confidence.
“I am putting in a lot more hours
than in my previous career. But no
question, I’m getting a big buzz out
of it.”
Isabelle Zahar, 51
Vaishampayan, 55
“I spent about 30 years in the
corporate world, initially in the
hotel industry, then in advertising
and marketing with Unilever and
Shell. My last job with Shell was
global brand strategy adviser,
which was a pretty senior job. I left
in 2009 and started off trading as
an independent consultant, but by
2015 I wanted a challenge that was
very different from what I had done,
something that would push me to
study and learn.
“I thought of becoming a teacher,
as I believe I am what I am because
of teachers who never lost faith in
me during my own school days.
My dream when I was young was
to be a fighter pilot, to join the
Indian air force. Then, when I was
16, I discovered that was not going
to happen because of an eyesight
defect. I was devastated. I used to
be a top-ranking student, but I let
my grades slip and didn’t do as well
as expected in my A-levels. I was
looking into this abyss, but some of
my teachers really stuck by me and
kept saying: ‘Look, you can make
something happen if you put your
heart into it and don’t give up.’ That
has stayed with me all my life.
“It has ended up being more of a
challenge than I thought it would. I
think I resisted some of the systems
and processes that schools have in
place in order to manage behaviour.
That was because of my ego: I’ve
managed senior people around
the world for years, and I thought
I knew what I was doing. But I
Physics teacher at Ark Putney
academy, south-west London.
Previous career: brand and
marketing consultant
was dealing with well-qualified
adults… that’s very different
from a school.
“After a few months at Ark
Putney I found that things were
not working. I was fooling myself
into thinking that ‘if the children
are badly behaved, it’s their fault’.
I hadn’t really appreciated how
important the tried-and-trusted
processes I’d been learning in
training were. Somewhere around
November the penny dropped – ‘if
they’re not engaged, that’s because
I’m teaching badly’.
“Since then I’ve been putting a
lot more thought into my lessons,
asking myself what it is that I want
to achieve for the students. I can’t
pretend that I’ve succeeded 100%
yet. I’m still on the steepest learning
curve in my life. But there’s a certain
competitiveness within me that says
I have to try to make this happen. I
suspect you may see that with a lot
of Now Teach folks.”
The Observer
Continued from page 12
a brilliant idea. Why don’t we set
it up now and you can be in the
first cohort?’” Ark, the educational
charity, agreed to “incubate” Now
Teach for the first couple of years
and provide some training.
Ark’s schools and some more
besides came on board to welcome
the older teachers. Others were less
positive. “There was quite a lot of
naked ageism from some of the
schools we talked to,” says Kellaway.
“A couple of them were pretty much
saying: ‘Teaching is exhausting
and you won’t have the energy for
it.’ I was irritated by that because
teaching is exhausting whether
you’re 22 or 62.”
Within six months Now Teach
was ready to go. Kellaway launched
the scheme in one of her FT
columns, telling readers, “I want you
to jack in whatever you are doing
and come with me.” Appearances
on the Today programme and in the
London Evening Standard followed.
She expected a modest take-up, but
1,000 people applied, by no means
all of them jaded bankers or lawyers.
“My favourite was a CEO who
withdrew his application 24 hours
later after his wife pointed out that
he didn’t like children very much,
not even his own,” she says.
Those 1,000 applicants were
whittled down to a group of 45.
They included film-makers, soldiers,
athletes, a clergyman, a diplomat,
a former Nasa scientist and the
former Labour MP Kitty Ussher. At
first the scheme focused on London,
where the national teacher shortage
– particularly in science, maths and
languages – is most acute. The next
stop will be East Anglia as it is rolled
out across the UK.
Two terms into her job as a maths
teacher at Mossbourne Community
Academy in Hackney, east London,
Kellaway says she couldn’t feel
further removed from her old life as
a “pampered” FT columnist. Being
a teacher is “exhilarating, alien,
exciting, exhausting. I’m mentally
pinching myself every day thinking,
‘Am I really a teacher?’”
Little about teaching is what she
expected. “What I’ve discovered is
that teaching is not about charisma.
It’s massively about detail. Every
day I have to be on top of so many
things, make sure I have my red pen,
their exercise books, the answers to
the homework and so on.
“But I’m finding the stress of
teaching easier than journalism.
The journalism I did ate away at my
soul because it was so public. It was
such an egotistical high-wire act and
there was so much unproductive
competitiveness. That is not the case
with teaching. I’m bone-tired at the
end of the day through having done
an honest day’s work.”
How long does she expect her
new career to last? “Now that we’re
all living into our 90s, it makes
every sense to be working longer.
I like the idea of myself as this
70-year-old teacher and I would
love to think some of the people I’ve
recruited might survive as teachers
into their 70s. Wouldn’t that be
avid Butler, 47
Science a
and physics teacher
at Ark Wa
Walworth academy.
Previous careers: Royal Marine,
financial services consultant, risk
management consultant
“I graduated from University College
London back in 1992 with a degree
in astrophysics and went straight
into the Royal Marines, where I
spent eight years doing a bunch of
different things. I was a military
observer in Bosnia, then I became a
pilot, flying helicopters. My last job
was as a recruiting officer, going
around schools and universities.
“By then I had a family and
wanted to be more settled, so I did
an MBA at Warwick and went to
work first in financial services and
then in risk management. At around
the same time, in 2013, my father
passed away, then my mum passed
away a couple of years later. I found
it very difficult to be enthused and
motivated, and when you’re an
entrepreneur it is all about being
really passionate and enthusiastic
about the business you’re running. I
found that I wasn’t able to give 100%
to it. Quite often, I’d sit there and
go: “I’ve got a networking event in
London. Can I really be bothered?”
“I started to question what I was
doing. I wanted to give back to
society. I wanted to be thankful for
all the positives that had happened
in my life. Quite a few of my friends
and family had hinted that I would
make a great teacher, and when I
read Lucy’s article, where she talked
about her mother passing and
how it had changed her view of the
world, that chimed with how I was
“When I came to Walworth for an
open day, it was the academy itself
– the staff and the environment –
that made me resolve to become
a teacher; I knew I could give
back almost immediately here.
It’s nearly 70% boys, 60% mixed
race or black. It’s only 20% white:
a high proportion of low-income,
white British and then a lot of white
Europeans who don’t have English
as a first language. So it’s a hugely
diverse, multicultural place and an
economically disadvantaged group,
and all of those challenges suit me
down to the ground.
“I wanted to make a difference
straight away. Now, that doesn’t
mean I felt that I’d be a great teacher,
but I thought just being there, going
through teacher training, being
who I was, could have an impact on
those kids.
“It’s a good school, but behaviour
management’s tough and you’ve got
to be good at that, and the kids come
into class with all sorts of problems
– haven’t slept the night before,
so their heads are on the desk the
whole time… they’re not engaged.
“Then last week I had a year seven
class and everything went perfectly
– they were all well behaved and all
learning. The kids left going ‘Thank
you, sir. That was great,’ and that
gave me such a sense of euphoria.
Then this week the same class were
just terrible.”
English teacher at Ark All Saints
academy, Camberwell, southeast London. Previous careers:
university lecturer, member of the
Royal Household, diplomat
“I went to a secondary modern on
a council estate in Scunthorpe. It
was pretty grim. Very few people
ever went on to higher education,
so those of us lucky enough to do
any exams at all were the ones able
to get out. Others got stuck there
in the steelworks, or not working
at all. I got myself to sixth-form
college and then to Cardiff
University, where I did an English
degree and a PhD.
“I taught English at Cardiff for a
while and worked for several years
at Balmoral. I was in the Master of
the Household’s office and would
see members of the royal family
daily. Then I began training to
be a priest, but after a few years
decided it wasn’t for me. I joined
the Foreign Office and spent 25
years in the Diplomatic Service.
“It was only when I saw an
article by Lucy Kellaway in the
Evening Standard that I thought
about teaching. Going into the
classroom for the first time, I
wasn’t quite as terrified as I
expected to be, but it is pretty
scary when you’ve got all these
eyes staring at you, and you just
know half of them are waiting to
see whether you’re someone to be
scared of, and the other half are
waiting to see where the wound
is – they’re almost licking their lips
in anticipation of the fun to come.
Lara Agnew, 48
“I’m enjoying it hugely. It can
be frustrating. You go in there
brimming with confidence and
it’s a disaster from the get-go.
The kids are in their own world.
You try all the tricks to re-engage
them, reset them, get them
working and focusing, and you
come out exhausted after an hour.
But to anybody thinking of doing
this, I’d say explore it. There’s
such a difference between this
school and the school I was at.
The engagement with families
is amazing. And the biggest
difference is the lack of aggression.
We don’t have shouting at
children. Whereas at the school I
came from it was a daily thing and
left lasting scars.”
English teacher at Holland
Park school. Previous career:
Simon Harkin, 59
The Observer
“My first career was as a news
journalist with CBS and then as
a documentary film-maker for
Channel 4 and the BBC. Then
I had children, which made
travelling around the world making
documentaries quite difficult.
“I started to work at the National
Film and Television School on the
MA programme as a tutor, which
I really enjoyed. That was my first
experience of teaching, although
teaching eight very keen mature
students is very different from
being in a classroom. At the same
time, I started to see the impact of
education in the lives of my own
children. I suddenly saw how our
self-esteem and confidence are
partially formed by our education.
“I heard Lucy on the radio and
on a whim I applied to Now Teach
and got swept along. I was lucky
enough to do two weeks’ work
experience at the London Oratory
school, the Catholic boys’ school in
Fulham, with the head of English,
Rob Tilbury, who is a wonderful,
inspiring teacher. What he’s got, it’s
like an artistry that I can’t describe. I
was hooked.
“Going into the classroom at
Holland Park on my own was really
hard and really frightening. I got the
most funny piece of advice from the
deputy head. She said: ‘Buy a jacket
that you hate, because you will
sweat so much it will never recover.’
That’s absolutely true. There is
nothing like the sweat of fear.
“At the beginning it was very
difficult keeping hold of my
intelligence and staying centred,
not disengaging. I was clutching
my notebook – as a journalist I
always carry a notebook – and at my
first observation the observer was
saying: ‘You’ve got to let go of the
notebook!’ I was clutching it… you
could see the palm prints.
“Initially, my school-based
trainer, Vanessa Murray, was like:
‘You’re not being tough enough,
you’re not setting high enough
expectations for their behaviour.’
So I said, ‘You’re going to have to
help me… can we do a role play?’
She took me into the drama studio
and she started channelling Phil
Mitchell from EastEnders (she looks
like Snow White but channels Phil
Mitchell). She said I needed to
channel someone scary. So suddenly
I recalled my dad bellowing at me 35
to 40 years ago, and now I channel
my dad.
“The most rewarding element
for me is for the first time in my
life I feel like I’m in it rather than
outside it. I was privately educated
and I’ve had a very privileged life,
and I think one of the motivations
for being a documentary-maker
was to understand and explore
people less fortunate than myself,
but I never got past the glass door
– commenting, watching, observing.
ow II’m
m a paid-up member of
ciety. That feels really
good. I
en’t regretted it for one
o minute.”
The Observer
but the
Interview by
Xan Brooks
Portrait by
Richard Saker
Ruben Östlund, the Swedish director of
Force Majeure and Palme d’Or winner
The Square, starring Elisabeth Moss
and Dominic West, finds drama in the
oddities of human behaviour. Violence
and killing, he says, aren’t necessary
uben Östlund is the rugged adventurer of
Swedish film, the man who came down from
the mountain to sun himself by the Med. I
first meet the director on a posh restaurant
terrace at the Cannes film festival. He’s easy to
spot among the immaculate diners, perched
at a corner table and clasping a mug of coffee
as though to keep his hands warm. Östlund
is bearded and rumpled and reeks of the
outdoors – a child of nature come to gatecrash
high society. He says he loves the Alps; he
loves to ski. He spent most of his 20s shooting
extreme sport videos. “Then I got bored of
resorts. Too many lift queues.”
I think the ski slope’s loss might be cinema’s
gain. Or possibly he’s just swapped one
extreme sport for another. Östlund’s latest
film, The Square, crash-landed on the festival
as a last-minute addition, still warm from
the editing suite (and would later make off
with the all-important Palme d’Or). It’s a
lovely, freewheeling piece of work – a comedy
that starts out as a satire on modern art and
then jumps the fence to embrace the whole
world, riffing on themes of public space and
personal responsibility. The film’s title refers
to a utopian free zone that is marked out on
the street outside a Stockholm museum. “The
Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring,” the
accompanying brass plaque explains. “Within
it we all share equal rights and obligations.”
Before it became a film, The Square was
actually a physical square. Östlund and his
producer Kalle Boman installed it as a social
experiment at the Vandalorum Museum in
Värnamo, Sweden in 2014. On the opening
night, drunken youths stole the plaque.
Afterwards the square became a base for
buskers, beggars and protesters. Office
workers gathered to eat lunch on sunny days.
Lovers proposed within its borders. In this
way the installation took on a life of its own.
“We were no longer in control of the square,”
Östlund says. “How it is used is up to the
people of the city. If they abuse it, it reveals
something about them. If they treat it well,
it says something interesting, too.” All these
ideas would seed and water his film.
Beyond the hotel terrace, music blares and
cars honk. Östlund slots a cigarette in his
mouth but then can’t find his lighter. He checks
his breast pocket, he checks his trousers. He
appeals to the diners at a neighbouring table.
Finally the publicist scurries across with a
replacement. She says this has happened
before and will probably happen again. “I’m
like his own personal Pez-dispenser.”
The Square, as luck would have it, is loaded
with such fleeting social transactions. People
call out for assistance and are either obliged
or ignored. Some gambits pay off and others
bring disaster. The Danish actor Claes Bang
gives a tremendous performance as Christian,
chief curator at Stockholm’s Royal-X Museum
– a man by turns insecure and honourable,
vain and generous. Christian wants to
establish a utopian free-zone outside his
institution. But he also wants to take revenge
on a pickpocket who stole his wallet and
phone. From here, the film sends him down
all manner of rabbit-holes. He comes slipsliding through posh gala dinners and across
polished gallery floors, bumping up against
brittle American journalist Anne (played by
Elisabeth Moss), and preening visiting artist
Julian (Dominic West). Christian’s job is on the
line and his dignity in tatters. “I’m a semipublic figure,” he wails at one point. Which in
a sense we all are.
The thing is, Östlund says, he has never
regarded himself as a fiction film director.
The plan was always to make documentaries.
He fell into drama almost by accident and
scored a breakout hit with 2014’s avalanche
saga Force Majeure, in which a middle-class
Continued on page 19
The Observer
‘By the act of
admitting frailty,
I came away with
more authority’:
Ruben Östlund
photographed for
the Observer
New Review.
The Observer
7-17 JUNE 2018
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Theatre commissions
Community projects
Talks and much more!
Created by
Continued from page 16
dad abandons his family at the first whiff
of danger – and then compounds the crime
by lying about it. Human behaviour is what
fascinates him: how people respond to a crisis;
how they rub against the wider environment.
For better or worse, Östlund’s characters are
defined by split-second decisions. “Basically,”
he says, “all my films are about people trying
to avoid losing face.”
The Square, for instance, contains a
fabulous scene in which Dominic West’s artist
is interviewed on stage at a theatre. Julian
claims to be most fascinated by “human
responses to art” and yet he is thrown off his
stride by a man with Tourette syndrome, who
periodically bellows expletives from the floor.
“Fuck off!” the man explodes. “Cocksucker!”
The rest of the audience don’t know where
to look.
Östlund explains that this episode, too,
was lifted from experience. “I have a good
friend who’s a theatre director in Sweden,”
he says. “And one night I was sitting in the
audience watching the play when this guy
starts clapping and then shushing himself.
Clapping and shushing. But very loudly, you
know, everybody could hear him. So we’re all
sitting there and our attention is split. What’s
more interesting? The play on the stage or the
man in the seat? And every time the actors did
a loud scene, the man would get more excited.
So now the actors are terrified! ‘Oh my God,
I’m coming to the scene where I have to raise
my voice and that’s only going to set him off’.”
Östlund bursts out laughing. “It was probably
the best play I’ve ever seen in my life.”
I tell him the theatre should have the man
there every night. “Well now,” he says. “That’s
basically what they did. Because it turns out
that this guy is very well known. The theatre
staff like him. The ensemble knows that
he’s coming. ‘Our friend is here’. And that’s
a beautiful thing, a tolerant thing.” Östlund
reaches for a second cigarette. “The only
difference now is that he wears these thick
woollen gloves,” he says. “That way he doesn’t
make so much noise when he claps.”
r to put it another way: there’s
nothing wrong with the
occasional rogue ingredient.
Östlund feels that the process
of directing should be as
loose-knit and responsive as
possible. This, he says, is the Scandinavian
style. Keep the script fluid, even during
shooting. Encourage your actors to discover
their roles in the moment. It’s a method that
suited Claes Bang, a 50-year-old veteran
of Danish theatre. But for Moss and West –
used to the more regimented practices of US
television – Östlund’s approach caused all
manner of headaches.
He pulls a face. “You encourage them to
improvise. You tell them: ‘Always save your
energy at the beginning of the day because
I want the maximum energy at the end of
the day’. But even if you say this, they don’t
really understand until they experience it.
For Elisabeth Moss, especially, it was hard,
because she thought I didn’t like what she
was doing. But for me this way of working
is normal.”
And how about West? “Well,” says Östlund.
“Starting out, I was scared of the idea of a
hierarchy of actors. I worried they would come
in and demand their own big trailer and all of
that. And I love Dominic – I think he’s great.
But at the start of the shoot he was always
coming on to set last. So in the end I took
Claes to one side and said, ‘Claes, now you
wait until I call you to come. Because you are
the one who should come in after Dominic.’”
The Observer
me that they’re copying a character.”
He draws on his cigarette. “Apparently it’s
the same with our depictions of romance.
People who love romantic comedies – they’re
the ones who get divorced the most. They
move on to the next partner. They move on to
the next romcom.”
Our hour together is up; we must move
on ourselves. I gather my notepad, phone
and MiniDisc and leave the director to finish
his cigarette at the table – and it is only
later, back on the Croisette, that I realise I’ve
inadvertently stolen his replacement lighter
as well. I really ought to take the thing back
except I don’t think I can face it. What would
Östlund have done? How would his characters
have responded? Have I, in some small way,
broken the social rules of The Square?
Dominic West
(top, centre) and
Elisabeth Moss
(left) in Östlund’s
Palme d’Orwinning drama,
The Square.
He snorts. “It took maybe three days to settle.
After that it was fine.”
The second cigarette dangles unlit from his
mouth. The lighter has somehow hidden itself
under a napkin. Östlund mimes mopping
sweat from his brow. For a moment he
thought he’d lost another one.
The director was raised far from the hurlyburly – on the small island of Strysö off the
southern coast of Sweden. His mother was a
teacher and painted landscapes on the side. It
was she, he says, who first taught him to trust
his vision, to stay true to his instincts. Then
later, studying at the Gothenburg film school,
he found himself electrified by Harmony
Korine’s Gummo and Michael Haneke’s Code
Unknown – a pair of art-house classics that
caught human life in the raw. These, above all,
showed him what a fiction film could achieve.
Apropos of nothing, he tells me a
story about shooting his 2005 short
Autobiographical Scene Number 6882.
Ostensibly the film is about an alpha male,
Martin, who wants to impress his friends by
jumping off a bridge, but the drama tackles all
of Östlund’s favourite themes: group-think,
bravado and the fear of social disgrace. An old
man warns Martin not to jump, pointing out
that a diver recently died in the exact same
spot. And as a result, Martin finds that he
really can’t walk away.
Östlund decided he wanted the camera
dangled out over the water, shooting the side
So many directors
kill people left and
right. I want my
films to be true to
my experience
of the bridge from mid-air. This required the
crew to construct a tower with an extendable
arm, a job that took all day. When he saw the
image on the monitor, though, he realised that
the shot was all wrong. He was an untested
young film-maker overseeing a crew of old
hands. He didn’t want to admit defeat.
“Should I say ‘Thanks, that’s great’ and
just shoot it anyway – knowing that I was
never going to use that image? No, because
if I did that I’d be exactly like the man in my
film, not wanting to lose face. So I had to
gather everyone together and say: ‘Look, I’ve
made a mistake.’ I was afraid there would be
a mutiny, that I’d never work again. But what
actually happened was that the crew suddenly
respected me in a way they hadn’t before. By
the act of admitting frailty, I came away with
more authority.”
His next project is called Triangle of Sadness.
It’s about two catwalk models and will be
his first predominantly English-language
production. The success of Force Majeure
and The Square have put the director on the
studios’ radar and I have the sense he may
be drifting westwards, towards an American
career. He accepts that he’s not entirely ruling
it out. But the man goes with conditions; he
has his own moral code.
He refuses, for example, to kill anybody on
screen. “So many directors kill people left and
right. I have never experienced anything like
that in my life. And I want my films to be true
to my experience.”
Occasionally an American producer will
send him a script. If it’s littered with corpses,
they’ll swear blind it’s a love story. He wants
no part of it. “The industry is perverted
when it comes to violence. Of course it’s an
easy way to create a dramatic event. But my
view is that human beings are copycats – we
imitate what we see. If you’re reproducing
pictures of men running around with guns,
people will imitate that. Look at any highschool shooting. The images the killers take
of themselves in the mirror. It’s so obvious to
onths later I speak to
the director again. This
time he’s in London,
poised to fly out to LA for
the Oscars. The Palme
d’Or, it transpires, was
only the beginning. After The Square’s first
appearance, Östlund took it back to the editing
suite, switched things around, tightened
the last 20 minutes, and then submitted it
for the Academy Awards. “It’s like being a
theatre director, right?” he says. “The piece
is constantly evolving and changing. It’s
important not to have too much reverence.”
He says he has high hopes of winning the
best foreign film Oscar (“I want to tick this
big thing off my list”). On the night, though,
he loses out to the Chilean drama A Fantastic
But in the intervening 10 months the
landscape has shifted. Hollywood has grown
darker; the US film industry is in spasms. The
toppling of Harvey Weinstein has exposed
a culture of abuse, with a recent survey
reporting that 94% of female employees have
experienced sexual harassment or assault.
Östlund admits that he had heard stories in
the past. He just hadn’t realised how bad it
could be. “Again, we have to look at the kind of
images that we reproduce. Young violent men.
Women as sexual objects. So we can’t only put
the blame on certain individuals. We have to
put the entire culture in context. How did we
get here? What do we do now?”
I wonder if he knows what he’s getting
into. Come to think of it, what’s he doing in
the Oscar race anyway? Isn’t the notion of an
awards contest antithetical to the communal
spirit of The Square? It involves one picture
beating out the other nominees, hogging the
glory, taking the whole space for itself.
“That’s very harsh,” he sighs. “But you are
right. The nominees all share the attention
beforehand – and that is why awards are good.
They bring attention to good and interesting
films. But you’re right, in the end it’s unfair.
Life is unfair.”
While we’re on the subject of moral
quandaries, I figure I can ask him to resolve
one of my own. Somewhere, probably, I still
have his cigarette lighter. Ought I to have
brought it back to him that day in Cannes?
It’s a trifling thing but it’s been nagging at
my conscience.
Östlund ponders this dilemma like a
cross-legged sage. He weighs up the evidence
then delivers his verdict. “I don’t think you
did anything wrong,” he says finally. “One,
because the value of the lighter was such that
you didn’t need to bring it back. And two,
because don’t you think lighters change hands
all the time? Lighters are part of the social
contract between us. If it’s my lighter, it’s your
lighter. I share it with you.”
The Square is out 16 March
The Observer
The car’s the scar – interior
lives of US military veterans
Photographs by
ML Casteel
The Observer
Images of the interiors
of former servicemen’s
cars provide a powerful
metaphor for the enduring
psychological impact
of warfare, writes
Sean O’Hagan
hen I was growing
up in south-west
Virginia, it was
ingrained in me
to thank a veteran
if I met one,” says
Matthew Casteel, a 37-year-old photographer
who works under the name ML Casteel. “That
was the norm back then, the understanding
that they had made a huge sacrifice for the
country. Somewhere along the way, that has
changed. Their plight has gotten lost in the
bureaucracy of government.”
Casteel’s new book, American Interiors, is
a compelling indictment of the way in which
US war veterans, the wounded and the warweary, are often treated on their return to
the homeland that demanded that sacrifice
of them. What is audacious about Casteel’s
approach is that there are no portraits of
veterans in the book. Instead, while working
as a valet parker at a veteran’s hospital in
Asheville, North Carolina, where he now lives,
he began surreptitiously shooting the interiors
Continued overleaf
The Observer
One in seven
homeless adults in
the US is a veteran
Continued from page 21
of their cars. The result is a grimly powerful,
extended metaphor for the neglect and decay
that makes their daily lives at home a dogged
extension of their lives at war.
“Many of the pictures, with their impersonal
and scrutineering eye, have the look of crimescene photography,” writes Kenneth MacLeish,
author of Making War at Fort Hood: Life and
Uncertainty in a Military Community, in his
illuminating afterword, and one immediately
notes the recurring tropes among the messy
interiors: guns, knives, syringes, porn mags,
crushed beer cans and overflowing ashtrays.
The detritus of survival, of lives altered
immeasurably by combat in faraway places.
Many of the interiors are untidy and
cluttered, several are encrusted with dirt and
piled high with debris. They are decorated
with photos of loved ones, lucky charms, holy
pictures, flags and littered with discarded
children’s toys, walking sticks, medicine
bottles, airbrushes, toothbrushes, socks and
lottery tickets. In one photo, a baseball cap
bears the words “Life Is Crap”. In another,
someone has written “Better days!!” on a tiny
US flag.
“I parked hundreds of cars a week and
most were in some state of neglect and
disrepair,” says Casteel, who honed the project
during his time as a postgraduate student
on the renowned MFA photography course
at Hartford, Connecticut. “The symbolism of
neglect was pervasive in the cars, but also in
the folks that were driving them. I met several
guys who actually lived in their cars.”
The statistics speak for themselves: one
in seven homeless adults in America is a
military veteran; one in five veterans of Iraq
and Afghanistan has post-traumatic stress
disorder; every day, 22 veterans take their own
lives, averaging one suicide every 65 minutes.
Casteel worked as a valet parker at the
hospital for seven years, during which time
he took thousands of photographs of the car
interiors using a small camera, working fast so
as not to be detected by his fellow workers. The
project took on an almost obsessive dimension
for him: “At times it did feel like I was shooting
the same interior of the same car,” he says.
I first came across Casteel and his work
five years ago while working with Hartford
Neglect was
pervasive in
the cars, but
also in the
folks that
were driving
them. I met
several guys
who lived in
their cars
students on an intensive weekend of seminars
and workshops in Berlin, organised by his
mentor, Jörg Colberg, who also edits the
influential Conscientious Photography
website. It was easily the strongest series
I saw, but the early dummy of the book
he showed me contained more than 150
images. The finished work comprises 55. “I
was maybe a bit lost in it back then,” says
Casteel, laughing. “But I knew it had a formal
consistency because I was creating the view
of the interior from the driver’s seat over and
over. It was what the vets’ saw when they
looked around them.”
The car is an enduring symbol of America
and American photography, synonymous
with mobility, freedom and independence,
but here that symbolism is upended. “That
dream of freedom that the car symbolises
doesn’t always translate into real freedom,”
says Casteel.
Surprisingly, many of the vehicles shown in
the book belong to veterans of much earlier
US wars: Vietnam, Korea, and even a few
from the second world war. Of the 21 million
military veterans in America, 3 million served
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Unless they were seriously injured, the
vets from more recent conflicts in the Gulf and
Afghanistan would park their own cars,” says
Casteel. “This was an ageing population. They
were, to a man, tough. They were hanging in
there and the veterans’ hospital was a place
where they could go and be with their own
people, be with guys who understood what
they had been through and what they were
going through.”
Casteel befriended several veterans, even
visiting their homes to take formal portraits,
but he says “it always came down to the cars”.
He has shown the resulting images to several
of the vets he befriended – the usual reaction
is “my car doesn’t look like that”. He plans
to make a special edition of the book with
proceeds going to a veterans’ charity.
“I heard so many stories and saw so many
guys struggling with addiction or health
problems relating to what they had been
through that it kind of humbled me,” he says.
“I grew up as a rebellious teenager who played
in punk rock bands and was involved in antiwar activism. Back then it was just ‘fuck war!’,
but I never really considered the human plight
of individual veterans. The ones I met were
struggling, but they were also cool guys and
I was always struck by their generosity. They
were inspiring to be around, for sure. They
changed my way of thinking.”
American Interiors by ML Casteel is published by
Dewi Lewis (£28)
Science Tech
The Observer
Ideas, analysis, gadgets and beyond
Body chemist
Martie Haselton
talks to Nicola
Davis about her
research into
women and
the power of
The five
Hybrid fruit and
veg that actually
tastes good
The networker
John Naughton
on where Twitter
went wrong –
and how to fix it
Behind every good
Illustration by
Bryan Mayes
Blockchain is the technology that allows bitcoin
and its rivals to work. Now entrepreneurs and
innovators are harnessing its power to perform a
host of other functions, writes Gian Volpicelli
hese days, bitcoin is
front-page news, as
its price’s vertiginous
ups and downs elicit
glee and despondency
by turns among
investors. It was not always this
way: the now-definitely-in-abubble cryptocurrency is making
a comeback following years in
which its association with crime
and darknet drug markets kept it
away from the spotlight. During that
period, technologists and corporate
evangelists had stopped touting the
qualities of bitcoin, turning instead
to a technology that underpinned the
cryptocurrency without being tainted
by dodgy connections: blockchain.
The blockchain was born
as the digital scaffolding for
cryptocurrency transactions. When
devising bitcoin, pseudonymous
inventor Satoshi Nakamoto’s aim
was to create a stateless virtual
currency, not controlled by any
bank or government.
But without any third-party
guarantor, how could you ensure
users did not cheat and spend
their immaterial coins more than
once? The solution was to entrust
oversight to the whole network: all
transactions are etched on a public
log – the blockchain – maintained by
a peer-to-peer swarm of computers
Continued overleaf
The Observer
Continued from page 23
(or “nodes”), each holding an
identical copy of the ledger. When
users spend their coins, nodes take
note and update the ledger.
The decentralised structure
ensures that there is no single
point of failure, making it nearly
impossible to hack the network,
forge transactions, or freeze them
for legal purposes.
Nakamoto added a further
wrinkle to the system – “mining”:
transactions are clustered in
“blocks” and added to the ledger
by powerful computers (“miners”),
which earn the right to do so after
solving mathematical puzzles
through an electricity-consuming
series of random attempts.
The narrative that started
spreading at some point in 2013 was
that blockchain technology should
be decoupled from bitcoin, and used
for more than exchanging digital
currency. Cryptocurrency units
could be inscribed with additional
information and transformed into
tokens representing anything from
diamonds to title deeds; in this way
blockchains could be repurposed
as devices to verify property rights,
or track products through the
supply chain. Every sector could
adopt a blockchain to move value
or information among a multitude
of parties, without the need for a
mediator. Blockchain would lead to
efficiency, transparency and security.
New blockchains emerged.
Banks and financial institutions
started experimenting with
private ledgers, in the hope that
they could streamline the transfer
of stocks and financial products.
A blockchain called Ethereum
came to dominate the open-source
landscape: launched in 2015, it
allowed developers to code and
run “decentralised autonomous
organisations” – applications
selling their services in exchange for
cryptocurrency, and self-managing
themselves according to sets
of automatically enforced rules
dubbed “smart contracts”.
Advocates recast blockchain as a
tool for decentralising the internet
itself. The Facebooks and Amazons
of the future would be autonomous
companies living on Ethereum, and
they would store user information
across the network, rather than in a
data centre in Oregon.
That vision did not survive the
appearance of the first decentralised
autonomous organisations –
unmanned venture capital fund the
DAO was launched and immediately
hacked in spring 2016. But that did
not stop other, more conventional
startups from popping up with the
promise to crack one of the multiple
problems with blockchain.
More recently, an Ethereum
feature that allows anyone to mint
and sell their own mini-currencies
was bent into a crowdfunding tool:
developers just had to float their idea
for a blockchain venture and sell
their tokens with the understanding
that they would be of some use
on a yet-to-be-built platform.
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) were
born, unleashing a speculative
Clockwise from top left: scanning
a tin of tuna using the Provenance
app; the Australian Securities
Exchange; singer Imogen Heap;
Catalan demonstrators, 2017.
Provenance; Getty Images; Phil
Fisk for the Observer; Alamy
craze that would foreshadow the
current bitcoin resurgence.
The question many are asking
now is whether there is much to
blockchain apart from hype and
speculation. The technology is still
too slow to be used on a large scale:
Ethereum can only process about 15
transactions per second compared
to Visa’s 2,000. Mining is a carbongenerating disgrace – Iceland uses
more electricity for mining bitcoin
than it does in powering its homes.
And some wonder what exactly a
blockchain does, that a centralised
tamper-proof digital ledger – a
decade-old technology – does not.
“I have seen no use cases for
blockchain; there’s nothing that a
blockchain in particular brings to
the party,” says David Gerard, author
of crypto-sceptic book Attack of
the 50 Foot Blockchain. “The only
use case I found for blockchain is
cryptocurrency, and the only use for
cryptocurrency is illicit transactions.
And even for that, bitcoin is too slow.”
Anarcho-libertarians might value
blockchain for its imperviousness to
state interference but Gerard sees no
reason why businesses should adopt
one. Others think it is just a matter of
waiting for the technology to mature.
Jamie Burke of the blockchainfocused fund Outlier Ventures
believes that blockchain could make
several industries more automated,
transparent and decentralised,
and that the ICO model might
allow teams behind open-source
projects to make a profit. Current
scaling hurdles are simply par
for the course. “I don’t think any
meaningful application will be built
on the blockchain for at least two
or three years,” he says. “But then
again it’s never the first generation
of a technology that delivers the
blockbuster hit. It’s always the
second, or the third. This is the
reality of how technologies are
adopted: the only difference is
that with blockchain, this cycle is
happening very publicly, because
of the cryptocurrency hype.”
It’s never the first generation of
a technology that delivers the hit
– always the second, or the third
Linked in: some alternative
applications for blockchain
Funnily enough, one of the areas
where blockchain technology could
make the biggest impact has little to
do with business, and much to do with
politics: voting. Some think the ledger’s
decentralised, tamper-proof nature
make it safe enough to allow fraud-free
online elections: voters would just get
vote tokens and transfer them in order
to signal their preference. The idea has
already been proposed by Ethereumpowered nonprofit organisation
Sovereign, and actually piloted and
green-lighted in Estonia – although
in the apolitical context of e-voting in
corporate shareholder meetings. Even
the European parliament devoted a
short white paper in 2016 to assessing
blockchain-based electronic voting.
More recently, during a talk
in Barcelona, bitcoin developer
and anarchist firebrand Amir Taaki
proposed using blockchain technology
for rerunning the Catalan independence
referendum online, a method which, he
argued, would neutralise the repression
of Spain’s central government.
Supply chain
How to make sure that the shirt we
are wearing was not manufactured
using child labour, or that the jewel
in our wedding ring is not a blood
diamond? Tracking a product’s history
through the global supply chain is a
tantalising task, given the multitude
of parties involved. Some companies
think blockchain technology could
help make it easier. London-based
Provenance, for instance, labels
products such as fish or cotton with
radio-frequency identification (RFID)
tags that guarantee its ethical and
safe sourcing; as the product changes
hands, each step of its journey is
automatically added to the blockchain;
the end customer can then verify
the object’s origins through a mobile
app. Provenance claims to work with
over 100 businesses, including large
brands such as Sainsbury’s, and
its architecture relies on Ethereum
and Linux Foundation’s blockchain
Hyperledger. Still, founder Jessi Baker
thinks that public blockchains “have
a long way to go before they can be
applied at scale”. To solve the problem,
some of the logging is conducted
without relying on a blockchain.
Another London-based company,
Everledger, uses the blockchain
to guarantee the provenance of
diamonds: each stone is assigned a
blockchain-based ID, which follows
it from mine to jeweller, chronicling
its history. This makes it possible to
spot and root out diamonds whose
provenance is unclear – which are
often sourced in conflict zones. Over
a million diamonds have gone through
the Everledger treatment so far.
The Observer
Finance and payments
The networker
The Australian Securities Exchange
announced in December 2017 that it
would start using a blockchain to keep
track of shareholdings and carry out
equity transactions. Its blockchain,
though, is to be very different from
bitcoin’s or Ethereum’s public ledger:
it will be a private, invitation-only
network, run by the exchange in
compliance with law and regulation.
Although finance seems like an obvious
field for applying blockchain technology,
it is only partially so. In nearly all cases,
big banks and financial institutions
dabbling in blockchain have ditched the
decentralised element and the mining
mechanism, preferring – perhaps
reasonably – to create a closed, private
digital transaction record book.
Something similar happened when
companies harnessed blockchain
to power payments in real-world
currency. Take Ripple, a payment
system backed by several large banks.
Its open-source ledger is powered by
tokens standing in for fiat money –
which can be transferred cross-border
in a cheaper and quicker fashion than
remittances. Ripple’s protocol does not
use mining and is pretty centralised;
it also allows for payments to be
“frozen” for legal reasons.
“Our mission is not to apply
blockchain to payments, but to make
payments better. We use blockchain
only insofar as it provides benefits,”
says Ripple’s Stefan Thomas.
“Blockchain is going to solve trust
problems in transactions, but it
comes at a cost: it’s more expensive
and harder to coordinate. And it’s
not always worth it: how often has
your bank stolen money from you?”
John Naughton
British singer Imogen Heap has
been at the forefront of an effort to
improve the music industry through
blockchain. The problem Heap set out
to tackle in 2015, through her initiative
Mycelia, was that of music royalties.
Heap’s initial vision was one of total
decentralisation: musicians and artists
would get rid of publishers, producers
and labels and get paid directly by
consumers, through the blockchain.
Over the following three years,
though, Mycelia’s mission has shifted.
Today, it is working on promoting
a “creative passport”: a digital
document containing a musician’s
personal information, professional
biography, discography and
background – or, as Mycelia head of
research Carlotta De Ninni defines it,
“a beacon of verified information”.
These passports are to be stored on
a tamper-proof blockchain and could
incorporate smart-contract elements
for quick direct payments. “Imogen,
for instance, receives tens of emails
every day from people who want to
play her songs at weddings or other
similar contexts; answering them all is
tiring,” Di Ninni says. “A smart contract
included in a creative passport could
specify the terms of use for some
songs, and automatically authorise
the use after payment.”
The organisation plans to launch
the passport later this year but has
not decided on which blockchain
platform the project is to run. GV
Dear Twitter users, here’s a way of getting
your feed back on song #NoMoreRetweets
hen Twitter
first broke
cover in
July 2006,
the initial
reaction in the
non-geek community was derisive
incredulity. First of all, there was
the ludicrous idea of a “tweet”
– not to mention the metaphor
of “twittering”, which, after all,
is what small birds do. Besides,
what could one usefully say in 140
characters? To the average retired
colonel (AKA Daily Telegraph reader),
Twitter summed up the birdbrained frivolity of the internet era,
providing further evidence that the
world was going to the dogs.
And now? It turns out that the
aforementioned colonel might have
been right. For one of the things
you can do with a tweet is declare
nuclear war. Another thing you
can do with Twitter is to bypass
the mainstream media, ignore the
opinion polls, spread lies and fake
news without let or hindrance and
get yourself elected president of the
United States.
How did it come to this? When
it first appeared, Twitter seemed
such a smart idea. You could decide
who was interesting and worth
following and, in a sense, plug
into their thought-streams. As the
writer Kathryn Schulz put it in 2013:
“Collectively, the people I follow on
Twitter – book nerds, science nerds,
journalists, the uncategorisably
interesting – come pretty close to
my dream community.”
And because no reciprocity was
involved – if someone decided to
follow you, you had no obligation to
follow them also – Twitter enabled
low-commitment transactions,
which is one reason why it initially
spread so rapidly. And later, as
organisations, companies and
governments cottoned on to it and
started to use it as a way of putting
out information, Twitter became a
kind of wire service for everyone. All
of which was good.
Yet it went from that to what it
is now: a firehose from bedlam, an
amplifier of every kind of human
frailty and malice as well as a
channel for “bots”, automated or
semi-automated scripts designed
to pump out propaganda. And the
maddening thing is that, despite all
that, conscientious journalists have
to keep up with it just in case they
miss a vital bit of breaking news.
Where did Twitter go wrong?
The answer, according to Alexis
Madrigal, a perceptive observer of
The medium and
the message:
Donald Trump’s
Twitter account.
Getty Images
What I’m
John Naughton’s
When carrying a gun
makes people feel safe
Unusual essay in the
Atlantic by David French,
a man who carries a
gun, explaining how his
fellow gun-owners see
the world, was followed
by fierce pushback from
furious readers.
Reasons for Amazon’s
chaotic warehouses
Intriguing essay on
Quartz explaining why
classic librarianship
principles don’t work at
Amazon’s scale. Hint:
you don’t have to be
tidy if you have enough
computing power.
Why Christian
evangelists felt able
to vote for Trump
Fascinating account
by Francesca Tripodi
on Points, the Data
& Society Research
Institute blog, of
what she learned
from watching
evangelist groups
doing Bible reading.
these things, lies in a decision made
by the company’s executives in 2009
to introduce a “retweet” button.
This enabled users effortlessly to
rebroadcast to their followers a
tweet that seemed to them striking,
outrageous, funny, annoying or
otherwise noteworthy.
Previously, they could have
achieved the same effect via a
laborious cut-and-paste operation,
but the new button reduced to
zero the transaction costs of
rebroadcasting, which meant that
you didn’t have to waste valuable
time thinking about whether or not
to retweet.
And guess what? That’s exactly
what happened. Which is why my
Twitter feed is full of anguished
liberals retweeting the latest stupid
thing that Trump has tweeted or
being outraged by the manipulative
hypocrisy of Facebook or
humblebragging about their latest
book/article/speech by retweeting
nice things that the publicist posted
o Facebook.
In the end,
this torrent of
iidiocy and selfindulgence gets
tto one, which
iis why I have
from being
who always
Twitter into
someone who
only occasionally
cchecks it.
is selfd
of course, because it means I’m
also missing out on the good
stuff that is still buried in the
torrent of trash. Madrigal had
similar thoughts. “I felt the same
urge,” he writes, “but I wanted
to do something less extreme,
something that would allow
me to keep the baby, even as
I drained the bathwater. So I
began to take note each time I
experienced a little hit of outrage
or condescension or envy during
a Twitter session. What I found
was that nearly every time I felt
one of these negative emotions,
it was triggered by a retweet.”
Having diagnosed the problem,
he then found a solution, provided
by a geeky colleague who wrote
him some code that turns off all
the retweets in his Twitter feed.
(Retweets make up more than a
quarter of all tweets.) “When they
disappeared,” Madrigal reports,
“my feed had less punch-thebutton outrage. Fewer mean
screenshots of somebody saying
precisely the wrong thing. Less
repetition of big, big news. Fewer
memes I’d already seen a hundred
times. Less breathlessness. And
more of what the people I follow
were actually thinking about,
reading and doing. It’s still not
perfect, but it’s much better.”
That sounds good to me. I’d like
one of those. So I’m now boning up
on the JavaScript Object Notation
(JSON) in which the metadata of
a tweet is expressed. Somewhere
in there is the “retweet” attribute
that I have to find and act upon.
I may be gone for some time. In
the meanwhile, please think before
you retweet.
The Observer
Evolutionary scientist
Martie Haselton talks
about her in-depth
study of women’s
hormones and their
effects on behaviour
Your book is all about reproductive
hormones, and their impact on our
behaviour. It only focuses on female
hormones. Why not look at men’s too?
Two reasons. One is that the focus
of research in my lab is to look at
women’s hormones. The other is
that I think there are problems with
how people have viewed hormones
and women, and I really want to
debunk those myths, then pursue
some of the implications for further
exploring links between women’s
hormones and their behaviour.
I think they are really important for
women’s wellbeing.
You say that some people, including
women, have pushed back against
discussing the influence of hormones.
Why is that?
I get a strong sense that if you
ascribe a woman’s behaviour to
biology, people will automatically
think that women are automatons,
driven by their hormones and
unable to regulate their own
behaviour. That is false. There is
a female stereotype, whereby any
time a woman does something a
little bit difficult to understand, then
it is hormones that make women
“irrational”. But nobody says that
about men. For that reason, those
who are concerned about women
achieving equality with men worry
that if we talk about women and
hormones, then people will say such
things as women shouldn’t hold
higher office and so on. That’s silly,
because men have hormones, too.
Our hormones don’t make us
crazy, they don’t make us irrational.
They nudge us. And to the extent
that we understand what those
hormonal nudges are, we can
exploit them.
Are you surprised by how recently we
have begun investigating the impact of
hormones on women?
One reason is that scientists were
content for many decades with
studying the male as the default
sex, and that was in part because
women had cycles that made them
messy. If you are doing a scientific
experiment, you don’t want noise,
you don’t want variation, you want
everything to be strictly controlled.
One of the conundrums you explore
is how it was discovered that women
have oestrus [changes in behaviour
or signals at high fertility], rather
than their hormonal changes being
completely concealed, as was long
thought. One study found that at high
fertility, women found the sweaty
T-shirts of symmetrical-looking men
attractive. Why was that a big deal?
That was the first really compelling
study. Steve Gangestad and Randy
Thornhill had been studying
bilateral symmetry – the extent to
which the two sides of your body
match. If there are genetic mutations
[or diseases in development], then
the person might be a little off in one
place or another. They were thinking
that the same things that give rise
Our hormones
don’t make us
irrational. They
nudge us. And
to the extent that
we understand
those nudges, we
can exploit them
in action
Given we use deodorants, how relevant
are these cues to modern life?
This is definitely a concern. More
research is needed, for sure. We
go to great lengths to remove all
Odour cologne
Home truth about nuns
According to Haselton, the idea
that menstrual cycles sync among
women who live under the same
roof is a myth, such scenarios
simply arising from the fact that
women’s cycles vary in length
– and hence sometimes occur at
the same time. “The reason that
it’s so easy to think that menstrual
to a symmetrical appearance when
you measure it in the lab might also
give rise to a more attractive scent.
And they thought that might be
particularly important to women
when they are at the high-fertility
phase of their cycle, when they are
most likely to conceive.
synchrony exists in humans is
because “normal” cycles among
a group of women can easily overlap
– and appear to converge,” writes
Decades before the famous smelly
T-shirt research, another pioneering
study took place that also suggested
that human females have oestrus.
In the 1970s scientists collected
tampons from women who had
inserted them overnight over the
course of several ovulation cycles.
These were then put in glass jars
and sniffed by men and women.
“Samples collected near ovulation
were rated as more attractive
then samples collected during
any other point in the cycle,”
of those dousings of other scent
products. So, it would be definitely
of interest to know how these cues
manifest in daily life. But there are
a couple of studies that suggest
that they do. One study – and it is a
small study, so I express a little bit of
scepticism about how easily it would
replicate – is the lap dancers study,
showing that women were earning
about $100 more per shift on high
versus low fertility days in the cycle
and that was erased for women who
were on the pill.
Haselton writes, noting that many
animals emit attractive odours to
beckon mates when fertile.
An instinct against incest
When at their most fertile,
female animals dodge male
relatives, probably to avoid
the possibility of unhealthy
offspring, writes Haselton.
To test whether women
avoided men in the
same way, Haselton
and colleagues looked
at the mobile phone
How big an effect is this, compared to
everything else influencing your choice
of a mate?
We don’t have all the information
we need for me to give you a full
answer to that question. I’m not
trying to tell people that this is the
most important thing. But I think
that the changes associated with
pregnancy and the postpartum
period are very profound.
What impact does hormonal
contraception have?
records of female students over a
to see when they spoke
t their father or mother.
“At high levels of fertility,
called their dads
often, and if the
dads did call them,
they hung up the
phone more
quickly,” she
writes, noting
the opposite
pattern was seen
for chats with
Martie Haselton:
‘Everybody is
hormonal. It
makes sense
that our biology
is designed this
way.’ Dan Tuffs
for the Observer
The Observer
The five
Hybrid fruit’n’veg
Some of the tastier food on supermarket shelves
created by experimentation in the produce world
with their partners. Why do we have
sex when we are not fertile in the
first place? Perhaps it’s because it
shores up investment from partners.
Is it likely that women might switch
their partner if they came off the pill?
I don’t think so. There are many
factors that play into attraction. Our
hormonal state probably affects
our attractions more for immediate
sexual attraction and not so much
for who we might be attracted to as
a long-term mate.
You talk about how heterosexual
women have had to choose between
Mr Sexy (attractive guy with good
genes who might not stick around)
and Mr Stable (family man, who might
be less attractive), and how hormones
might nudge us one way or the other.
Is that trade-off still happening?
I am pretty careful about this in the
book because I don’t want people
to think, “Oh my gosh, I mated with
Mr Stable – does that mean that I
am going to have genetically unfit
children?” No, I don’t think that at
all. But I still think there are going to
be these trade-offs that will preserve
these shifts in women’s preferences,
especially in harsher environments.
Is there such a thing as a male period?
Men have daily hormonal cycles.
Super-early in the morning,
testosterone peaks and then it dives.
Testosterone is really important for
building male bodies, maintaining
muscle mass and their fertility,
and so it is important. But it also
has its drawbacks. It is associated
with increased aggression, more
impulsive decision-making and
some other things that can get you
into a lot of trouble. So one theory is
that it peaks so early in the morning
when you are still groggy and just
getting out of bed. It also potentially
explains why if you are sleeping
with a man, you’ll feel a poke in your
back when the alarm goes off.
In the US, the predominant
formulation is the combined pill.
That might put women more into
an oestrous state, whereby they
are more interested in sexually
attractive characteristics. If their
partners are not as sexually
attractive as alternatives, they
might look around a little bit more.
Whereas women who are on more
progesterone-heavy formulations
might be more in the extended
sexuality mode, and so they are
particularly interested in having sex
Breastfeeding mothers are calmer but
more aggressive, suggests Haselton,
noting a study in which breastfeeding
mothers played a computer game
more ferociously against what
they had been told was an irritating
opponent than formula-feeding
mothers and non-mothers, but had
the lowest increase in blood pressure.
“[This] work highlights the hormonal
impact of breastfeeding which allows
mothers to become assertive while
still remaining calm – mama bear in
action,” she writes. ND
Who’s been eating my porridge?
So should we be calling men hormonal?
Everybody is hormonal. It makes
perfect sense that our biology is
designed this way. Hormones are
signals generated by our brains and
glands associated with reproduction
in our bodies. The bottom line of
evolution is reproduction. We may
choose not to reproduce now, and
we may have control over that now,
but there were millennia where that
was the dictating force behind the
design of our brains and bodies.
Interview by Nicola Davis
Hormonal by Martie Haselton is
published by OneWorld, £12.99.
To order a copy for £11.04, go to or call
0330 333 6846
Flame beetroot
1 Badger
Row 7, a collaboration between
a chef, a plant breeder and a seedsman,
aims to sell seeds for vegetables
that might not otherwise reach a
broad market, reported the New York
Times last month. One of its offerings
is the Badger Flame, a beetroot of
brilliant orange that a professor at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison
bred to produce a sweet and mild
variety his children would enjoy.
EverMild onion
2 The
The troubled reputation of
agriculture giant Monsanto was
built on Roundup and GM crops.
But it discovered that GM wasn’t as
effective in producing new vegetables
as a tried-and-tested method:
crossbreeding (enhanced for the 21st
century by a technique called genetic
marking). Among its inventions is the
EverMild onion, bred for lower levels of
the pyruvate that lends onions their
pungency and tear-inducing qualities.
3 The
The oroblanco was introduced
to the world in the 1980s after its
development at the University of
California Citrus Experiment Station.
A cross between the grapefruit and
a pomelo, it borrows from the latterr
to make a less bitter hybrid. Initially
unsuccessful because it is green even
when ripe, it has bounced back, partly
due to success in popularising the
similar Sweetie variety in Japan.
Black tomatoes
Scientists from the US and
Israel have experimented with
breeding “black tomatoes” that
are red on the inside and dark on th
outside. Their exterior hue derives
from high levels of anthocyanin,
the pigment that lends blueberries,
blackberries and chokeberries
their colour. Black tomatoes are
commercially available in the UK
under the name Indigo Rose.
Apriums and pluots
Developed in California in
the 1980s by Floyd Zaiger, apriums
and pluots are hybrids themselves
descended from hybrids. Plums and
apricots have been naturally crosspollinating for centuries. The aprium
and pluot were created by tinkering
with proportions. The aprium is mostly
apricot and part plum; the pluot the
other way around. Yen Pham
The year
of magical
In 1932, Picasso
threw himself into
a love affair that
led to 12 months of
furious creativity –
as revealed in this
riveting Tate show
Picasso 1932: Love,
Fame, Tragedy
Tate Modern, London SE1; until 9
Christmas, 1931. Picasso, at 50,
is boxed into a terrible marriage,
everything fraying through the day’s
festivities. To get away from his wife,
Olga, he leaves their grand Paris
apartment and goes upstairs to the
studio above. Here, in the space of
one evening, he finishes a vicious
little picture of a woman stabbing
her sexual rival through the breast,
then starts on a much larger canvas.
The new painting shows a
curvaceous girl in an armchair. Her
arms are lilac – telltale colour, if only
Olga had eyes to see it – and her
body softly voluptuous. Her head
takes the shape of a heart. Picasso
cannot paint her face, for that would
give him away; instead she has a
flurry of brushmarks that blur the
special palette he so often, and so
ostentatiously, uses for this sitter.
She is Marie-Thérèse Walter, 22
years of age, the artist’s secret lover.
To say that life and art are never
far apart would be true, but an
understatement for Picasso. “The
work one does,” he wrote, “is a
way of keeping a diary.” And the
object of this riveting exhibition
is to open that diary for the year
1932, following the artist with such
dramatic intensity that you can
see what he painted by the week,
the day, and even before and after
making love with Marie-Thérèse
– the impulses of mind and body
streaming straight into the art.
Picasso met Marie-Thérèse
by chance outside the Galeries
Lafayette in 1927; she was 17, he
was 45. Photographs show her as
short, sturdy and tanned, extremely
athletic and addicted to the beach;
surely a kind of female counterpart.
Marie-Thérèse did not know who
he was, but her bourgeois mother
did, for Picasso was world-famous,
a chauffeur-driven celebrity with
a Russian ballerina wife, about to
buy a Normandy mansion with a
tower for painting and a barn for
sculpture. Anyone visiting this show
will be amazed that Olga Khokhlova
could have seen exactly what we see
– over 100 major works from 1932
– and failed to deduce the threat of
a rival.
Marie-Thérèse is the central
presence here, first to last. The
opening portrait is sensational – an
odalisque in lavender, blue and
gold, head thrown luxuriously back
in an armchair. You will recognise
her palette all the way through
the show, along with her oval
se and
eyes, classical nose
londe hair.
radiant crop of blonde
Here she is in post
bliss, reclining, sleeping,
ming, nearly
stretching, dreaming,
always pictured as if seen in,
or from, bed.
In January, shee appears by
t; in August,
silvery moonlight;
nude beneath a scorching
cobalt sky. She becomes
les of
the yellow triangles
her swimming costume,
balances a ball seal-like
on the beach, curls
up like a cat. Picasso
sculpts her as a massive
nd yet
head, bulbous and
ABOVE ‘A rhythm of
undulations … she dreams;
he conjur
conjures the myths’: The
Mirror, 12 March 1932.
All image
images Succession
Picasso/DACS London, 2018
‘Bulbous and yet
somehow beautiful’:
Bust of a Woman, 1931.
somehow beautiful with her ancient
Greek profile. The bust reappears
in a painting, poised on a classical
column in remembered white light,
or bursts into the present as a living
painting alongside her fascinated
The titles give nothing away
– Sleeping Woman, Bather, Nude,
always anonymous. Marie-Thérèse
was installed in an apartment
directly opposite the Picassos by
now. But perhaps Olga wasn’t
looking; she was, after all raising
their son, Paulo, and running
a hectic social salon. Life goes
torrentially forwards, as indicated
in judiciously selected photographs,
newspapers, films and letters
throughout this show. In February,
a Picasso sells for a record-breaking
56,000 francs. In March, editors
begin the first catalogue raisonné.
He’s in Zurich for a solo show; he’s
bulk-buying canvases for a flat-out
summer; he’s sleeping with MarieThérèse while Olga is away.
Even if one did not know the
affair was clandestine, the paintings
might show it. For of course, they
are nothing like conventional
portraits, where the subject sits
The Observer
before the painter. Marie-Thérèse
is often recollected as a hazy purple
memory, or her limbs and hands
are isolated, then ecstatically
reassembled so that one can scarcely
make out the figure. In one painting
the nose appears priapic, the hands
vulval. In another, a sweeping oval
of back and hips holds the face and
breasts like lush fruit in a dish.
Not the least virtue of this
tremendous exhibition is that
it emphasises the irreducible
strangeness of Picasso. For all
the miscegenation of forms, the
apparent dissonance of colours
– crimson, pistachio, mauve –
these paintings are often erotic,
even tender. Their beauty is
counterintuitive. One begets
another in sequence. It feels as
if the paintings are talking to
each other across the studio, and
nowhere more than the majestic
group of nudes painted across six
momentous days in March, reunited
here for the first time since 1932.
Marie-Thérèse lies sleeping below
her own classical bust, a theatrical
curtain pinned up behind her. Now
the leaves of a fig tree look down
upon her, as if swooning over
her body. And here she is again, a
rhythm of undulations multiplied
‘Erotic, even tender’:
Reclining Nude,
2 April 1932.
Three stars of the show
You can see
what Picasso
painted by the
week, the day,
and even before
and after
making love
in the glimmering mirror behind,
like Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus. The
atmosphere runs from midnight to
bright day, across the seasons and
centuries from some ancient grove
to modern-day Paris. She dreams;
he conjures the myths.
These paintings appeared in
Picasso’s first retrospective in June
1932. Two thousand Parisians
attended the opening in evening
gowns and tails; photographs
show that they weren’t inured
to the shock. And it seems that
Olga finally realised what was
going on, although she did not
leave Picasso until Marie-Thérèse
became pregnant in 1935. Picasso
was absent; he went to the movies
The retrospective is brilliantly
condensed in a few works at Tate
Modern, giving a full sense of his
career so far, from the sorrowful
Girl in a Chemise and Blue Period
self-portraits to a neoclassical Olga
in all her glacial rigidity. Picasso
redefines the portrait for each
woman. Olga does not appear again,
except perhaps in a frightening
painting of a black-haired woman,
her face a violent black palette,
features unrecognisable. Olga was
undergoing psychiatric treatment.
What did Picasso really feel for
either woman? “Love is the only
thing,” he once said, but with a hasty
qualification, à la Prince Charles,
“whatever that means.” His is not
an open-hearted art; and there is a
fine line between beauty and horror.
Marie-Thérèse may be his glorious
shining moon, but she can also
dwindle to a stick figure scuttling
along a beach.
Picasso was so prolific this
show could have run to several
hundred images. But discerning
selection means you are never
overwhelmed. A room of black-and-
The Dream
24 January 1932
Billionaire investor Steve Cohen paid
billionaire casino magnate Steve
Wynn a record £103m for this trophy
in 2013. Marie-Thérèse dozes in her
chair, dress slipping off to expose one
breast, fingers significantly gathered
to a point. She is dreaming of Picasso
(look closely at the coded forms in
that head). A morning of love followed
by a single afternoon’s work.
white canvases shows him working
with paint as if it were charcoal,
drawing then freely erasing,
the blackened results presaging
abstract expressionism. Another
gallery presents Titianesque
goddesses reclining to the music
of young Grecian flautists – he was
always competing with the old
masters – and 14 inky crucifixions
based on Grünewald’s Isenheim
altarpiece. There’s no profundity
here, only ramification; Picasso is
merely investigating that spiritual
masterpiece as a way of practising
his own graphic notations.
That he worked quite so
intensively in series, image
breeding image, is a physical
revelation at Tate Modern. Every
work is charged with sensational
force and desire, the brush moving
around his lover’s body like a
tongue or hand. Life alters towards
the end of the year. Fascism is
stirring in Europe, Marie-Thérèse
becomes dangerously ill after
swimming in a contaminated
river. The final works show men
desperately trying to rescue
drowning women. But still there
is a sense of metamorphosis, of
episode and emotion becoming
myth. Picasso is about to enter the
worst period of his life, shifting
faithlessly between two women.
But Marie-Thérèse never abandons
him. Like the classical bust he
astutely makes of her, she remains
heroic and enduring.
Nude Woman in a Red Armchair
27 July 1932
Of all the hundreds of images Picasso
made of his lover, this is surely the
most beautiful and tender, painted in
high summer not long after her 23rd
birthday. Marie-Thérèse is all rhyming
curlicues and arabesques, holding her
own bosomy beauty together. She
has two kissing forms for a face, like
the new moon holding the old in its
arms, and her silky flesh is bathed in
The Rescue
November 1932
Marie-Thérèse became gravely ill
after swimming in a polluted river
in the autumn of 1932. She lost her
brilliant blonde hair. Picasso produced
a tide of images of men desperately
attempting to rescue drowning
women. In this early version, the agony
is condensed on a small-scale, the
bearded man has classical features
and the victim might be a nymph.There
is that pale lavender again: MarieThérèse’s signature colour. LC
The Observer
Joaquin Phoenix as the ‘scarred and
tortured’ Joe in You Were Never Really
Here. StudioCanal
Film of the week
Can a hitman
truly have a
Lynne Ramsay’s new film is a nightmarish
vision of a killer’s quest for redemption
You Were Never Really Here
(90 mins, 15) Directed by Lynne
Ramsay; starring Joaquin Phoenix,
Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov
In 2011, I named Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay’s third feature,
a brilliant adaptation of Lionel
Shriver’s novel We Need to Talk About
Kevin, as my favourite film of the
year. Since then, Ramsay has talked
enticingly of making “Moby-Dick in
space” and walked away from the
female-led western Jane Got a Gun.
In the process, she’s apparently
earned a reputation for being
“difficult”, a term first whispered
during her battles to bring Alice
Sebold’s The Lovely Bones to the
screen, an ambition eventually
realised by Peter Jackson, with
dismal results.
Now, with her fourth film (from
a novella by Jonathan Ames),
Ramsay offers a riposte to anyone
who ever doubted her talent or her
working methods. Combining the
visual poetry of Ratcatcher with
the dizzying first-person fugues
of Morvern Callar, You Were Never
Really Here is a head-spinningly
accomplished work that reconfirms
Ramsay as one of the most
thrillingly distinctive and daring
film-makers of her generation.
Joaquin Phoenix is a lumpy
symphony of pain as Joe, a
bedraggled hired gun who
specialises in retrieving lost kids.
He has a reputation for brutality, a
useful asset when searching for a
senator’s missing daughter, Nina,
eerily played by rising star Ekaterina
Armed with a ball-peen hammer
(a weapon that chimes with his
traumatic childhood memories), Joe
sets out to return the child to her
father. But beyond the handsome
price tag, his motives are personal
and his deadly endeavours will bring
the chaos of his work back home.
Along with a Cannes best
actor award for Phoenix, this
Palme d’Or contender also
earned a best screenplay trophy
for Ramsay, a particularly sharp
choice considering how sparse
the dialogue remains throughout.
Reimagining Ames’s page-turning
source, Ramsay strips out explicit
exposition, conjuring an elliptical
world through which the audience
must find its own way. The focus
is on Joe’s inner turmoil, creating
a kaleidoscopic portrait of his
fractured psyche, interspersed with
flashbacks that offer clues to his
shattered emotional state.
We meet our antihero with
his head in a plastic bag, his face
contorted in a silent scream. Later,
he dangles a dagger into his open
mouth; a combat-shocked veteran,
hungry for death. In some ways,
he’s already dead, a wraith-like
figure who, as the title suggests,
leaves no physical trace in the world.
The Observer
And the rest
Everywhere, he sees ghosts of the
past: a child killed in a war zone; a
container full of dead bodies. Most
significantly, he’s haunted by the
spectre of an abusive father whose
violent rages the young Joe was
powerless to oppose.
Now Joe spends time between
jobs caring for his elderly mother
(a heartbreaking Judith Roberts).
Psycho may be playing on the TV
in the family home (one of several
horror-movie nods), but this
mother’s boy is no mere Norman
Bates. A scene in which Joe and his
mum polish the cutlery together
while gently singing “A” You’re
Adorable is full of tenderness
and affection, reminiscent of the
beautifully understated scenes
between Jason Miller and Vasiliki
Maliaros that are nestled amid the
growing mayhem of The Exorcist.
The Shawshank Redemption
pops up on TV too, as we hear Tim
Robbins opining that the Pacific
“has no memory”, signposting this
The focus is on
Joe’s inner turmoil,
a kaleidoscopic
portrait of a
fractured psyche
film’s own baptismal journey of
death and rebirth. Like Taxi Driver’s
depiction of “God’s lonely man”,
there’s something of the cracked
messiah about Phoenix’s Joe, from
his unkempt hair to his scarred
and tortured body, as bruised and
battered as his mind.
Thomas Townend’s granular
cinematography places us right
inside Joe’s crepuscular world, a
collage of close-up physical details
– hands, fingers, eyes. Passages of
lyrical beauty are interspersed with
grotesque eruptions of violence,
although even these have a surreal
quality, whether filtered through the
black-and-white gaze of surveillance
cameras or reflected in the shattered
glass of an overhead mirror.
Brilliantly chosen pop songs
provide ghoulish counterpoint
to the grim action (neither Angel
Baby nor I’ve Never Been to Me will
ever sound the same) while Jonny
Greenwood’s pulsing, throbbing,
clanging score heightens the
sensory overload as it meshes
with Paul Davies’s immersive
sound design.
It all adds up to an overwhelming
experience, a slice of pure cinema
from a director who refuses to dance
to the beat of anyone’s drum but
her own. From the disorienting
opening to the enigmatic finale,
Lynne Ramsay is always really here,
her commanding vision shining
through every frame.
Sweet Country
(113 mins, 15) Directed by Warwick
Thornton; starring Hamilton Morris,
Sam Neill, Natassia Gorey-Furber
Rangy and lean as a cattle dog, this
1920s-set tale of racial tension and
rough justice in Australia’s Northern
Territory is an intriguing mongrel
mix of cinematic bloodlines.
The most obvious influence is
the western. When Indigenous
Australian farm worker Sam
(Hamilton Morris) is forced to shoot
a drunken white landowner in
self-defence, he and his wife, Lizzie,
(Natassia Gorey-Furber) head out
into the bush, pursued by dogged
lawman Sergeant Fletcher (Bryan
Brown) and a posse that includes
Sam’s friend and employer, Fred
Smith (Sam Neill). The “decent man
forced into violence” is a stalwart
of the western tradition – there’s
a touch of the stoic resignation
of Gregory Peck in Henry King’s
The Gunfighter in Sam’s tacit
resourcefulness. But, with a scene
featuring a rowdy screening of The
Story of the Kelly Gang (thought
to be the first feature-length film
ever made), Thornton also nods to
Australia’s own frontier legends.
But there is something else: a
sparse yet mythic quality that owes
a debt both to the oral tradition of
the country’s indigenous people and
to the religious parables that are a
guiding force in the lives of those
who fall to the light side of this
starkly delineated morality tale.
A few flash-forward premonitions
notwithstanding, this is storytelling
with an unfussy directness.
Thornton eschews a score, instead
foregrounding the sounds of the
bush. And the look of the film is
as striking as that of his earlier
picture Samson & Delilah. This sweet
country leaves its mark on the men
who live on it – clothes, skin, even
sky are all smeared with a dust the
colour of dried blood.
Wonder Wheel
(101 mins, 12A) Directed by Woody
Allen; starring Kate Winslet, Jim
Belushi, Juno Temple
After a career full of men with the
craggy skin of a Galápagos tortoise
tucking into a diet of peachy-fresh
young women, Woody Allen finally
permits an older woman to have
a relationship with a younger
man. But don’t get your hopes up.
Allen ensures that Ginny (Kate
Winslet) is desperate, bedraggled
and ultimately treacherous:
suitable punishment, evidently, for
a woman who dares to be sexually
past her sell-by date.
Set against the striking backdrop
of Coney Island in the 1950s, this is
a wearisome homage to the theatre
of Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee
Williams. As such, the conversations
are all shouted, and the women are
half-dressed and half-cut most of
the time.
The production values, though,
are superb: the design gives the film
the feel of a Saul Leiter photograph
brought to life. The deep pockets
of Amazon Studios are evident in
every frame. But even this is marred
by lurid use of coloured lighting.
Allen was no doubt aiming for the
luxuriant melancholy of a Douglas
Sirk film or the brash sleaze of
Vincente Minnelli’s Some Came
Running. However, there’s an oily,
deep-fried quality to the tawny
glare that creates distraction rather
than atmosphere.
(110 mins, 15) Directed by Nash
Edgerton; starring Joel Edgerton,
Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo
This woolly-headed thriller is so
casually incoherent, so erratically
paced and unfocused that you rather
suspect that medical marijuana
From top: Natassia
Gorey-Furber and
Hamilton Morris in
Sweet Country; Charlize
Theron in Gringo; and
Hedy Lamarr, profiled
in Bombshell. Allstar/
Amazon Studios
featured as heavily in the writing
process as it does in the plot. The
always likable David Oyelowo is
Harold, hapless employee of a drugs
company run by Charlize Theron (a
cross between a Disney evil queen
and a dominatrix) and Joel Edgerton
(ruthless, stupid, priapic: the kind of
man who either ends up in prison
or in charge of a country). During
a business trip to Mexico, Harold
learns that he is about to lose both
his job and his wife and so stages a
fake kidnapping. Meanwhile, Harry
Treadaway and Amanda Seyfried are
adrift in a subplot that goes missing
for large chunks of the film. In a
particularly crass twist, in this film
full of crooks, cartels and mariachi
musicians, the only trustworthy
Mexican turns out to be American.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr
(88 mins, 12A) Directed by Alexandra
Dean; starring Nino Amareno, Charles
Amirkhanian, Jeanine Basinger
It is, as one interviewee says, the
ultimate “crime fighter by night”
story. By day, Hedy Lamarr was the
most glamorous star in Hollywood.
By night, she was an inventor whose
frequency-hopping technology is
now used in bluetooth and wifi.
This rousing documentary charts
the story of a brilliant woman who
was, in some ways, handicapped by
her beauty. Film-maker Alexandra
Dean explores a fascinating life full
of contradictions. Lamarr claimed
that the world never saw her true
self, yet she lived her final years
as a recluse, hidden even from her
family. She was an immigrant who
gave her all to support her adopted
country but who was always
regarded as an outsider.
The Observer
Too brainy for the box office
Alex Garland’s follow-up
to Ex Machina was hotly
anticipated, yet it’s gone
direct to Netflix. Why?
A gift to Netflix: Gina Rodriguez
and Natalie Portman in Alex
Garland’s Annihilation.
Tonight, at the stroke of midnight,
one of the year’s best films will be
readily, quietly available to pyjamaclad night owls at home – while
over in the US, it is still screening
to admittedly sparse crowds in
multiplexes. Feverishly awaited by
cinephiles and sci-fi geeks alike,
Alex Garland’s Annihilation was not
supposed to be a direct-to-Netflix
release internationally. Tensely
following an intrepid group of
female scientists into an uncannily
mutating stretch of wilderness from
which almost no man comes out
alive, it’s a larger-scale follow-up
to Garland’s smart, stark, Oscarwinning directorial debut, Ex
Machina, and should have doubled
down on that film’s sleeper success
in cinemas. Watching it at home,
I missed the vast, dark expanse of
a cinematic environment for its
gasp-worthy effects and shuddering
sound design – it may be intimately,
brain-scramblingly idea-driven, but
Garland has fashioned it first and
foremost as big-screen spectacle.
What happened, then?
Annihilation’s surprise, do-notpass-go swerve into the streaming
realm portends an interesting,
somewhat alarming future for
grownup genre cinema: films
that are too large and flashy
for arthouses, but whose adult
inclinations or deviance from
formula make major distributors
commercially nervous. Paramount,
the studio behind Annihilation,
started to get cold feet after test
screenings for the film suggested
mainstream audiences found
Garland’s film overly chilly and
intellectually complex – quite
what manner of blockbuster
they were expecting from him
after Ex Machina, not exactly a
candyfloss rollercoaster itself, one
can only imagine.
With Garland refusing to make
suggested alterations to the final
act – rightly so, since the whole
film is contained in its wordless,
haunting crescendo – and
Paramount still licking its wounds
from the box-office failure of its last
adult auteur experiment, Darren
Aronofsky’s outlandish Mother!,
the studio settled on a cautious
compromise: release it theatrically
stateside but cut their losses by
dumping it on Netflix abroad.
Nice as it would have been had
the American public then proven
the studio drastically wrong, you
can’t count on the American public
for much these days: Annihilation
took in a somewhat soft £8m on its
opening weekend in February. Might
audiences on Garland’s British home
turf have been more supportive?
Perhaps. We’ll never know.
This would be a dispiriting turn of
events for cinemagoers even with a
less exciting film. That a Hollywood
studio has effectively given the
2018 version of straight-to-video
treatment to a £29m A-list sci-fi epic
because a) it’s deemed too brainy,
and b) its predominantly female
ensemble, led by Natalie Portman,
isn’t deemed bankable enough,
says volumes about the fears and
biases of an industry in thrall to
safe, macho franchise formula.
(Would swapping Portman for Chris
Hemsworth have strengthened
Paramount’s resolve?)
For Netflix, however, it’s a gift
after a couple of months that have
seen the credibility of the Netflix
Originals brand – a catch-all term
that covers both the films it develops
in-house and the ones it acquires
from other production companies
– take some hard knocks. After
establishing itself as a distributor
of quality documentaries and
arthouse fare, this was supposed
to be the year Netflix broke out
A Hollywood studio
has given the 2018
version of straightto-video to a £29m
A-list sci-fi epic
into blockbuster genre territory.
Yet after derisive receptions for a
trio of fantasy duds in David Ayer’s
Bright, Duncan Jones’s Mute and
the surprise-release The Cloverfield
Paradox, Netflix’s creative instincts
have been called into question.
With the streaming giant still set
to premiere more than 60 new films
this year, Annihilation – even if it’s
not strictly its own – may restore
some lustre to the term “Netflix
movie”. But it’s something of a
sacrificial lamb, sounding a bleak
warning for other directors with
cinematic visions that don’t fit the
Marvel-era mould. If you’ve got big
ideas, you might need to accept a
smaller screen for them.
New to streaming &
DVD this week
The Florida Project
(Altitude, 15)
Unjustly sidelined in the recent awards
season, Sean Baker’s spirited child’seye vision of poverty on Orlando’s
social fringes remains a small miracle
of hard truths and candy hues.
Paddington 2
(Studiocanal, PG)
Its predecessor ingeniously fused
childhood nostalgia with progressive
social politics; this ebullient sequel
somehow makes lightning strike
twice, with added Hugh Grant japery.
The Little Hours
(Universal, 15)
A farcical revisionist twist on The
Decameron, with Alison Brie and
Aubrey Plaza, is a pitch that’ll draw a
specific audience who won’t feel let
down by the funny but scatty results.
The Observer
True/False festival report
A fact-free film
about Trump
and black British
cinema from the
80s are among
the highlights of
Missouri’s beloved
festival, writes
Simran Hans
ABOVE Malcolm
X in Black Audio
Film Collective’s
Songs (1986).
LEFT Fernando
Serrano in
Bisbee ’17.
Courtesy of
ABOVE A scene
from Our New
LEFT Khalik
Allah’s Black
Sex, lies and
hi-8 videotape
I first heard about True/False, an
annual documentary film festival
that takes place in the college town
of Columbia, Missouri, through a
film-maker friend some years ago.
He described it as a documentary
paradise of packed cinemas playing
odd, interesting nonfiction films
and a place where documentary,
so often misunderstood as a pure
educational tool, is reframed and
celebrated as an art form.
To call a documentary festival
True/False might seem a little
obvious, but the themes of
reportage and truth are part of
Columbia’s identity (Columbia
University houses one of the
world’s oldest journalism schools).
Formed 15 years ago by David
Wilson and Paul Sturtz, who ran
local microcinema the Ragtag and
decided to start their own festival
(the “co-conspirators” are so loved
by the natives that giant, papiermache sculptures of their heads are
paraded down the street each year),
its programme is now run by Chris
Boeckmann and Abby Sun. All four
grew up in Columbia. Boeckmann
is a homegrown talent who started
as an intern at True/False at the
age of 14, while Sun joined the
team after studying at Harvard’s
Sensory Ethnography Lab under
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna
Paravel, directors of acclaimed,
woozily experimental fishing
documentary Leviathan. Together,
their inventive, risky programming
is some of the most thoughtful I’ve
seen at any festival.
Risky seems the right word,
too, given that the festival takes
place in the red state of Missouri.
Columbia’s left-leaning voters
make it a pocket of hope in Trump’s
middle America, but even to a
crowd of mostly white progressives,
there’s no guarantee how these
politically charged films (45% of
them directed by women, and 33%
by film-makers of colour) will play.
Still, the almost midwest setting is
part of its charm; volunteers drive
shuttles for guests; buskers perform
before each screening and pass
around a hat for tips; a “Queen”
in full Alice in Wonderland-style
costume collects cinema tickets;
there’s even a live game show night
called Gimme Truth!, where filmmakers submit short films that the
audience votes for as true or false.
With its cast of characters and
community atmosphere, at times
it feels a bit like the self-contained
universe of Twin Peaks.
As for the films, politics was an
inevitable presence, particularly
in Our New President, which
film-maker Maxim Pozdorovkin
described in a post-screening Q&A
as “a factual film with no facts”.
Made entirely of archive footage, it
uses clips from state-run Russian
news outlets and YouTube videos
of Russian citizens sharing their
views on Hillary Clinton and
Trump to look at how conspiracies
masquerade as news and how that
news can spread like a virus.
Top five finds
Black Mother
Khalik Allah’s mesmerising film
travels to his maternal grandfather’s
home in Jamaica, collaging his
portrait photography with intimate
audio testimonials on God, sex,
marijuana and colonisation.
The Task
Leigh Ledare’s film playfully explores
the ethics of documentary-making
through this fascinating group
therapy session that asks its diverse
participants to consider the power
dynamic between them, out loud.
Leilah Weinraub surveys the flow of
money, sex and power in this dreamlike foray into a black lesbian strip
club in LA in the early 00s.
Bisbee ’17
Robert Greene’s haunting
docu-fiction successfully uses
re-enactment to recontextualise
the unlawful deportation of striking
workers in the copper mining town of
Bisbee, Arizona 100 years ago.
Kinshasa Makambo
Dieudo Hamadi’s propulsive look at
ways to resist, following three young
activists in the Democratic Republic
of Congo as they fight President
Joseph Kabila on the frontline.
Some of it is very funny (one
YouTube clip shows someone
reading Trump’s astrological
birth chart), though by looking
specifically at Russian propaganda,
the film is able to avoid the hard
work of implicating Americans too.
A film that did deal with
complicity was Cristina Hanes’s
António and Catarina, about a
young woman (Catarina), played by
Hanes, who forms an ambiguous
relationship with a much older
man she calls Antonio in Lisbon.
She films their sexually charged
conversations over a three-year
period, at night time, creating
a heightened, intimate space in
which provocative exchanges
can play out. Though Catarina
tells Antonio she has a boyfriend,
he asks her invasive questions
about her sex life and insists she
drives him mad with desire. It’s
uncomfortable, but the suggestion
is that she invites it, raising
questions about the ethical line
between film-maker and subject.
Themes of guilt and lineage
were thrown up in the hugely
compelling Bisbee ’17, directed
by Robert Greene, film-maker in
residence at the Missouri University
School of Journalism, which uses
song, dance and re-enactment to
resurrect the ghosts of resistance
that haunt a tiny Arizona town
unable to come to terms with its
own dark history of racism, and in
music video director, photographer
and documentarian Khalik Allah’s
Black Mother. Allah, who worked on
Beyoncé’s Lemonade, has made a
deeply personal, jazz-like portrait of
his maternal grandfather’s Jamaica,
using a combination of hi-8 video,
mini-DV tapes, super 8mm and
super 16mm film, to address ideas
of identity and home.
The most brilliantly incongruous
programme of films I saw was the
festival’s Neither/Nor series, this
year curated by London-born, New
York-based writer and programmer
Ashley Clark. It highlighted the
docu-fiction created by Black
Audio Film Collective, a movement
funded by Channel 4 in Thatcher’s
Britain of the 80s, and comprising
artists such as John Akomfrah,
Reece Auguiste and Trevor
Mathison. It was bizarre to watch
Handsworth Songs (1986), Testament
(1988), Who Needs a Heart (1991)
and Twilight City (1989) – all made
for television in the UK – play to
sold-out cinemas in Missouri, but
audiences were rapt.
“Carrying the mantle of the
Soviet avant garde”, as Auguiste
put it, Black Audio Film Collective
drew on the work of Pudovkin,
Dovzhenko, Vertov and Kuleshov,
all of whom skipped traditional film
school. Of the four films screened,
Auguiste’s furiously political,
formally daring tone poem Twilight
City was an eye-opening highlight,
splicing first-person voiceover with
winding images of London at dusk,
and homoerotic tableaux vivants
inspired by Nigerian photographer
Rotimi Fani-Kayode.
It’s this commitment to “creative
nonfiction” – a term Bockemann
tells me they prefer to use over
“documentary” (and indeed, two
fiction films, including Chloe Zhao’s
The Rider, played as part of this
year’s lineup) – that feels genuinely
groundbreaking. A more flexible
definition of the form allows
True/False to experiment with the
ethical possibilities (and limits) of
nonfiction film-making.
The Observer
A doomed love affair brought
to glowing new life
Summer and Smoke
Almeida theatre, London N1;
until 7 April
Olivier, National Theatre, London SE1;
until 23 June, then touring
Patsy Ferran shows
her dramatic range in
a Tennessee Williams
revival, but Rory
Kinnear’s Macbeth
is one-dimensional
Summer and Smoke must make
Rebecca Frecknall’s name as
a director. Her extraordinary
production redeems a seldomseen play by Tennessee Williams.
It also irradiates Williams’s gifts:
his lyricism and wildness – and
his strangeness.
It is from the beginning a
revelation. No sultriness and
sashaying, but intensity, isolation,
peculiarity. Patsy Ferran, enclosed
in a bubble of golden light, stands
at the front of the bare stage with
a mic. She is having a panic attack,
gulping for air and syllables. Behind
her the rest of the cast sit at upright
pianos, their backs to her as they
play. Angus MacRae’s music rolls
through the action, as individual
notes and occasional melodies. Tom
Scutt’s set and Lee Curran’s lighting
design create a surreal landscape.
Even the keyboards have an eerie
vitality, flashing white to produce
the effect of fireworks.
Originally called “Chart of
Anatomy”, Summer and Smoke
features the almost love affair
between Alma – neurasthenic
singing teacher, prim daughter of
a minister – and the lusty son of a
local doctor. First staged just after
A Streetcar Named Desire, in 1948,
it is a source book for Williams’s
themes: mental fragility, insistent
muscularity, sexual suppression.
Williams claimed that Alma – he
over-insistently points out this
means “soul” in Spanish – was
his favourite heroine: like him, a
late developer. Not everyone has
shared his enthusiasm. The first
Broadway production was a failure.
Twelve years ago a West End revival
closed early. But Frecknall, focusing
everything through Alma’s fractured
sensibility, makes the play into an
intimate triumph.
There is more than one marvel.
A neat vignette from Nancy Crane
as a dippy mother with a passion for
jigsaws and ice cream. A beautiful
blues number languorously
delivered by Anjana Vasan. And a
first-rate performance by Matthew
Needham as the hot doc: twisting
between rawness and confidence,
hesitancy and coercion. Still,
the evening depends on Ferran.
There has been plenty of reason
to praise her since her debut only
four years ago. Now she moves to a
different level.
She brings her distinctive
restlessness to the part: swivelling
features, limbs threatening to
shift out of their sockets. That has
looked like a comic talent, but
here febrility becomes tragic. Her
face is constantly tweaked by fear;
anxious to impress, she pushes her
mouth into a smile with her fingers.
Her speech comes in compulsive
gushes and staccato phrases,
as if every word were weighted
with possibilities.
As it sometimes seems. Alma
deals in fancy locutions – she calls
a car “a four-wheel phenomenon” –
and woozy inwardness. Brilliantly,
Williams shows that sensuality
has always been welling up in
her, evident in her speech. When
drowsy, she feels “like a water-lily
on a Chinese lagoon”. And who
could resist a play in which the
heroine supplies a tranquilliser,
explaining: “The prescription
number is 96814. I think of it as the
telephone number of God!”
If only Rufus Norris had savoured
his script’s most pungent moments
with equal gusto. Instead, he has
matched his slasher production of
Macbeth with a slashed text that
eviscerates the witches’ speeches
– no hubble-bubble or eye of newt –
and makes the drama blunter, more
Ferran has looked
like a comic talent,
but here febrility
becomes tragic,
tweaked by fear
The dominant note is anger,
barely inflected by fear or despair.
At times everyone seems to be
head-butting both stage and verse.
Soldiers whoop and holler and grunt
in unison; the king leads them in
a dance like the lord of misrule.
Severed heads are dropped so often
into plastic bags that you expect a
Tesco van to home-deliver them.
The pairing of Rory Kinnear and
Anne-Marie Duff as the Macbeths
looked inspired. But though they
hinge together well, neatly showing
the point at which strength ebbs
from her to him, their performances
are flattened by the prevailing wrath.
They are an impoverished couple on
the make. Kinnear is a martial not a
meditative presence, too robust to
seem deeply disturbed, though he
does something remarkable with
this interpretation in the “tomorrow
and tomorrow” speech, making it
less of a philosophical lament than
a practical complaint. Kinnear is not
so much mournful as disgusted,
a sulky teenager kicking against
constraints, addressing himself
not to fate but to the dead wife he
holds in his arms. Duff is precise,
guarding against her own fragility
– she delivers her smashing-thebaby speech tearfully – but lacks
the fire that usually makes her
so memorable. The most blazing
performance comes from Patrick
O’Kane as Macduff, glowering with
tamped-down energy at the start,
and under the cosh of tragedy
turning into the hell-hound he
accuses Macbeth of being.
Poverty hovers as an explanation
for the couple’s cruelty – Duff’s jeans
are very scruffy; their feast is held
in a cramped murky space like a
disused railway carriage. This brings
its own absurdities. Would the king
really have put up here? Then the
discovery of his death has to take a
little time. While Macduff is offstage
hoping to wake him up,
the audience needs to be given
news of dire combustions and bad
omens. But Macduff only has to
nip around the corner. What can he
be doing to take so long? Stuffing
the corpse?
Rae Smith’s black pleated walls
– bin-bag cliffs – engulf the action
The Observer
Circle Mirror
tell an epic story in a one-man show.
When we needed to create an image,
we asked a projectionist or a graphic
designer or a videographer to help
us. There are two worlds in the play,
one naturalistic and one in verse;
when I first started writing 20 years
ago, it was rhymes, raps that I made
up to beats in my bedroom.
she moves to a
different level’:
Patsy Ferran as
Alma in Summer
and Smoke at
the Almeida.
Photograph by
Marc Brenner
BELOW AnneMarie Duff and
Rory Kinnear
‘hinge together
well’ in Macbeth.
Tristram Kenton
on the huge Olivier stage. They are
dark all right, and of a piece with
the large amounts of 21st-century
ound: Macbeth’s
waste sloshing around:
red with brown
battle tunic is secured
ere is little here
sticky tape. Still there
gle with doom,
to suggest a struggle
i’s soundscape
though Paul Arditti’s
of foghorn moans suggests a
wounded creature trapped in
ches are
the wings. The witches
y mildly
decorative and only
disconcerting. Onee does a bit
hers are
of scuttling; the others
statuesque. At the end they
es as
perch on high poles
if they were the sourest
fruits of the forest. Or
lollipops. Not a
weird look.
Home, Manchester; until
Pulitzer prize winner Annie
Baker’s 2009 play was
staged in 2013 by London’s
Royal Court theatre, in a
production directed by
James Macdonald, who
also directed Baker’s more
recent work John at the
National. Both plays explore
emotional faultlines.
The setting is realistic:
a rehearsal space with
mirrored walls (one reflects
the audience); a clock
showing times between
1pm and 4pm; an alcove
with a first-aid box fixed to
the wall (Samal Blak’s set).
The action shows shifting
relationships among four
participants in a theatreworkshop class and their
teacher over six weeks.
Overall, the impression
is that the writer
is also involved
in a workshop
exercise: how
to craft a play.
and acting
styles conform
to the model of
early naturalism’s “slice of
life”: the world observed
through the fourth wall;
dialogue reflecting current
expectations of “everyday”
language – vocabulary,
sentence structurelessness
and pauses. But, lacking
naturalism’s examination
of the social, economic
and political forces that
shape people alongside the
emotional and psychological
ones, the characters seem
thinly drawn and twodimensional. The focus on
emotional entanglements
explored through gameplaying has a 60s-70s feel
(RD Laing-lite), as does
the presentation, which
consists of 26 short scenes
interrupted by lights fading
or snapping to blackout.
Bijan Sheibani’s
direction is committed
tto the text, as are the
performances. Schultz, the
most coherently drawn
ccharacter, is beautifully
rrendered by Con O’Neill
((pictured). Home’s artistic
director Walter Meierjohann
ccompares Baker to Anton
Chekhov, who famously
ssaid that a playwright who
hangs a gun on the wall
sshould make sure it is used.
My eyes fixed hopefully
on the first-aid box; it
was never needed.
Clare Brennan
‘When I first
started writing, it
was raps made up
in my bedroom’
Arinzé Kene
Arinzé Kene was born in Lagos in
1987 and brought up in Hackney,
London, the fourth of five children,
his mother a nurse and his father a
taxi driver. His screen credits include
EastEnders, Our Girl and the role
of a gay footballer in The Pass. On
stage, he played Simba in The Lion
King and Sam Cooke in One Night in
Miami and got rave reviews for his
current role as Joe in Girl From the
North Country, Conor McPherson’s
play that uses Bob Dylan songs.
His plays have been staged at Soho
theatre and the Royal Court and he
is rehearing Misty, a one-man show
blending verse, music and video
projection for the Bush theatre.
Tell me about Misty...
It’s a weird, absurd version of my
experience as a creative in this
industry, but also a universal story
about struggling with confidence
and responsibility and artistic
freedom – about who gets to tell
what story. It is really quite nerveracking to put yourself on stage, but
I am enjoying being able to play and
be more silly than I usually am.
I gather the show addresses the catch22 of being a black man in the industry
– that to combat stereotyping you
have to become a “spokesman” for
your race – and also gentrification.
We do touch on both those things
and my working-class background
also comes into it. I grew up in
Hackney and have seen it change,
for better and for worse. Over the
years, I’ve been asked a lot about the
lack of diversity [in the arts], but that
whole conversation is incredibly
boring. I’m a writer and I tackle
these things when I am alone and
can think about them from all the
angles, and this is my response to it.
What dictated the form of the play?
Omar [Elerian, the director] and I
decided early on to use music and
recorded sound because it’s hard to
What does writing give you that acting
The two inform one another and
writing gives me more agency. I
don’t prefer one to the other, but
there is something in me that says
writing is more important
Has Bob Dylan been to see Girl From
the North Country yet?
[Laughs] Your guess is as good as
Are you still based in Hackney?
I’ve just moved back, after moving
to LA, which was a baptism of fire.
I did a film called Been So Long that
Film4 financed and Netflix bought
it for the most they’ve ever paid for
a UK film. Their way of working out
there is a million miles a minute –
everybody loves you but a lot of it is
blowing smoke up your arse. Then
you come home and realise you are
not the best thing since sliced bread.
Race, gender and class are hot-button
issues here and in the US right now –
are you hopeful or pessimistic?
I have hope. I was very proud to be
at the Baftas, wearing my Time’s
Up badge and speaking about the
women who have influenced my
life, my mum and three sisters. I was
there with Daniel Kaluuya, who’s
been one of my closest mates for 17
years – we were at school together
– and who’s now in Black Panther
and was up for an Oscar for Get Out.
Seeing what we’ve both been able to
do in the last decade and knowing
what we’ve been up against – I
think there is going to be a change.
Because I know too many people
who won’t let there not be.
How was it to appear in One Night
in Miami [a play about four black
figureheads] at the Donmar?
I had no idea Sam Cooke, Malcolm
X, Muhammad Ali [then known
as Cassius Clay] and Jim Brown
were friends, let alone that they
spent an evening together when Ali
became world champion. The play
is provocative; it’s really in your
face. We don’t talk about race the
way Americans do. That was one
of the leaps we had to make. That
rehearsal room was enlightening
and I am delighted our director,
Kwame Kwei-Armah, is now artistic
director of the Young Vic.
Interview by Nick Curtis
Misty runs at the Bush theatre,
London from Thurs to 21 April; Girl
From the North Country is at the Noël
Coward theatre, London, until 24
The Observer
Natalie Prass
Short Court Style
Box-fresh southern soul, a taster
for the singer-songwriter’s second
album, due in June.
Artist of the week
to the top
Stefflon Don
Trinity Centre, Bristol
Fuelled by musical
versatility and a
bold stage presence,
the grime star from
Hackney seems
poised for global
World domination: when it comes
to British music over the past
few months, UK grime is barely
mentioned without this phrase in
the same breath. Nor has it looked
so possible, especially in the United
States. Skepta, who has tried to
crack America once already in a
Puff Daddy video – and whose
fashion credentials see him on the
cover of this month’s British GQ in
the buff with Naomi Campbell –
exudes crossover appeal. Stormzy’s
charged Brits performance, calling
out Theresa May’s lack of action
for Grenfell survivors as water
showered down on him, had the
megawatt charisma of a Hollywood
A-lister. And now there is Stefflon
Don, the 26-year-old Clapton MC
who looks as if she could take on
the States with a flick of her acrylic
nails and who has gone from being
an Observer “One to Watch” to No 7
in the US charts and – this week –
the last ever cover of the NME.
If she’s going to make it abroad,
at least she’ll be bringing the best
girls’ night out with her. A small
venue such as Bristol’s Trinity
Centre already doesn’t feel big
enough to hold her presence, as she
swishes on stage in a red bodysuit
and tumbling platinum blond
weave, flanked by an all-female
dance troupe. The word DON, in
mirrored lettering, is the statement
backdrop. Tonight kicks off Stefflon
Don’s first UK tour and, though the
place is not completely full, it feels
like a secret warm-up for a stadium
show. Her twerktastic megamix
is slick, and the young crowd, all
contour, boob tubes and Spice Girl
hair buns, reel off her catchphrases
and big tunes. Like stripper-turnedrapper Cardi B, who came out of
nowhere and knocked Taylor Swift
off the US No 1 spot last year, her
take-me-or-leave-me attitude and
glam swagger resonates, and is just
one of the reasons she’s so hyped.
Another is her versatility.
Tonight’s show is proof that,
when it comes to genre, it pays to
be promiscuous. Stefflon Don (a
play on her birth name Stephanie
Allen, the city she calls home and
the nonstick saucepan coating)
has risen up the ranks of UK
grime, from her 2015 remix of
Section Boyz’s scene hit Lock Arff
to last November’s Ding-a-Ling,
a magniloquently phallic single
featuring Skepta. But while her
sound has a distinctly London
flavour, it isn’t limited by the tube
map. “I knew that with anything I
do, I want to be the greatest,” she
told Billboard last month. “That
entails being great everywhere.”
And so she raps over dancehall,
Brazilian baile funk, Afrobeats
and ravey house – a blend of
syncopated African, Caribbean and
Latin-American rhythms united
by Technicolor bombast. Another
marker of her global appeal: she has
appeared on tracks with Kingston
Stefflon is a brash
breath of fresh
air, with her
bravado and
mainstay Sean Paul, hip-hop giant
Future, R&B smoothster Jeremih
and Latin America’s Bieber, J Balvin.
Last year, way ahead of her home
peers, she reached the US top 10
with her Rihanna-ish single Hurtin’
Me. The only downside of being
a guest feature on so many great
songs is that Stefflon has to play
them all. Whenever she is alone
on stage waiting for her verse, the
energy of the show changes: the
sass dips. She is a skilled vocalist,
but her rap prowess is rarely given
time to shine before she tosses her
hair into another track.
Typically British inner-city
accents have been a tough sell for
audiences abroad, but Stefflon’s
style is diverse. Born to Jamaican
parents in Birmingham, her family
moved to Rotterdam and then to
east London when she was 14. As a
result, her flow switches seamlessly
with songs in either her parents’
patois, the gangsta rap of her
influences such as Lil’ Kim, or her
adopted Hackney inflection. Often
she pairs them with, she has said,
the delivery of Dutch hip-hop. A
highlight tonight is the wonky rave
of Popalik, a 2016 collaboration
with Amsterdam rapper Cho in
a style called “bubbling”: a type
of Dutch house music set to a
dancehall pace.
Stefflon is a poised yet expressive
performer: head cocked, eyebrow
raised, the occasional knowing bum
waggle. Although the representation
of female MCs is much better
than it used to be – Lady Leshurr,
Little Simz, Nadia Rose, Ms Banks,
Paigey Cakey and Flohio are just
some of the UK’s growing grime
sorority – they still rarely make it
in a male-dominated rap world.
Stefflon feels like a brash breath
The Observer
Rae Sremmurd
Addictive hooks battle grubby
lyrics on this showcase for “next
Drake” Swae Lee.
Flower of the Universe
The enigmatic singer’s first release
in eight years burns slow and
tender with typically silken vocals.
Other albums
David Byrne
American Utopia
(Todo Mundo / Nonesuch)
For those of us accustomed to
thinking of David Byrne as an
articulator of American anxiety
– his band Talking Heads filled
the late 70s and 80s with jittery
art disguised as pop – his latest
album, American Utopia, requires
some readjustment. Songs like
Every Day Is a Miracle skew largely
towards the bright side – a mature
and thoughtful reaction to the
despair felt by many in the wake of
Trump’s presidency.
This being Byrne, one of pop’s
most refreshing thinkers, it’s not
as simple as chipper equanimity,
however. Bullet, for one, is a
superficially lovely song about a
bullet finding its mark. Everybody’s
Coming to My House (made with
longtime foil Brian Eno) is a funky
workout in which Byrne finds that
“we’re only tourists in this life”.
On Every Day Is a Miracle and
Dog’s Mind, by contrast, the album
hits peak “quirk”, as Byrne seeks
to explain that “the chicken thinks
in mysterious ways” and that dogs
can’t drive. The message might be
that, if we acknowledge that the
context created by our perceptions
is not the same as truth, and
re-examine our distress, it might
lessen. Yuval Noah Harari posits
something not entirely dissimilar
about human myths in Sapiens, but
with fewer good tunes. Kitty Empire
Young Fathers
Cocoa Sugar
(Ninja Tune)
I think about the name of the last
Young Fathers album a lot. White
Men Are Black Men Too. I’m not sure
I know what it means, or if I agree
with it, or if either of those things
matter. But I like the way it feels –
‘A lewdness that
matches any
male Jamaican
dancehall MC’;
Stefflon Don in
concert last week.
Andrew Hasson
for the Observer
of fresh air, with her unapologetic
bravado, her celebration of sexuality.
She raps about her breasts (“She’s
Stefflon Don, five-foot five/ Big tits,
brown eyes,” she goads in Ding-aLing) and riding “the banana” with
a lewdness that matches any male
Jamaican dancehall MC, though she
also continues grime’s history of
fun-poking, with creative putdowns
such as “You don’t smell good / You
come like tuna”. Her fans, of course,
love it – 75% of them are female, and
they gleefully rush the stage when
she invites them to recreate the
party video for her single Real Ting.
“This is history, you’re gonna
be part of history. I’m going to
remember this moment for ever”,
she announces, as her bouncer
nervously eyes the number of girls
trying to get selfies and the rapper
disappears into the scrum. Spoken
like a global superstar-in-waiting.
George FitzGerald
Fatherhood has brought
a more mature edge to
the electronic maestro’s
melancholic euphoria
A gradual progression from night
to day, from the dancefloor to the
domestic, is one way of looking
at George FitzGerald’s musical
trajectory to date. His forthcoming
second album All That Must Be,
like the sort of thing a freethinking,
biracial Scottish rap band should
say. Similarly, it’s unclear why this
album is called Cocoa Sugar, and its
typically fragmentary, allusive lyrics
won’t help you. Maybe it doesn’t
matter – maybe what’s important is
how it makes you feel. Cocoa Sugar bursts with the
weird warmth of an ice burn, a
sizzling stew of Tricky-coversthe-Fall garage rap. Each song is
nasty, brutish and short, bristling
with imagination. Wow shackles its
motorik angst to a dead-eyed drawl,
seasoned with abattoir squeals. In
My View is a slugabed’s vision of
anthemic pop, while Toy is the most
conventionally vicious rap here,
every word a wound. The trio reckon
this is their most “linear” album,
which seems a stretch. It feels just
as estranged of pop’s traditional
structures and strictures as they’ve
always been. It feels exhilarating; it
feels like freedom.
Damien Morris
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night
Tearing at the Seams
After a decade spent peddling
undistinguished Americana to a
largely indifferent world, Denverbased Nathaniel Rateliff changed
tack in 2015, casting himself as a
1960s soul man. As reinventions
go, it was a successful one. Having
assembled a crack, seven-piece
backing band, the Night Sweats, he
got himself signed to the rebooted
Stax imprint, released a wellreceived self-titled debut album and
wowed audiences across Europe.
Whereas that debut was
effectively a solo project – Rateliff
composed most of the parts himself
– Tearing at the Seams is more of a
collaborative affair, the band writing
it together in New Mexico. In places
the results are stunning, the horn
which comes loaded with crossover
potential, is informed by the 33-yearold moving back home to London and
embracing fatherhood after years of
service at the more thoughtful end of
the international club scene.
Raised in London on a diet of
garage and dubstep, FitzGerald cut his
teeth as a DJ before moving to Berlin
in 2010 and becoming a producer.
Berlin nurtured a growing interest in
techno, and FitzGerald’s early releases
were fit-for-purpose club tracks,
though euphoric moments were
counterbalanced by melancholia.
The latter quality was all over his
2015 album debut, Fading Love, which
alchemised romantic troubles and
touring fatigue into melodic, slowburning electronica. All That Must Be
pushes further in the same direction,
section giving Coolin’ Out and Be
There a real emotional potency. The
title track, meanwhile, has echoes of
Sam Cooke in Rateliff’s delivery.
Some of the more introspective,
low-key songs (Still Out There
Running, Babe I Know) are less
memorable, and perhaps a clue as
to why his earlier tilts at success
came to nothing. But as with that
debut album with the Night Sweats,
you get the sense that this material
only really comes alive on stage.
Phil Mongredien
Henry Lowther’s Still Waters
Can’t Believe, Won’t Believe
(Village Life)
If I wanted to convert a reluctant
listener to modern jazz, I’d happily
present them with this. The main
reason is because it’s very good.
Also, though, like all good music,
it can be enjoyed at various levels.
You can just relax to the unfolding
melodies, the sound of Henry
Lowther’s warm-toned trumpet
and flugelhorn, and the smooth
perfection of the ensemble –
saxophonist Pete Hurt, pianist
Barry Green, bassist Dave Green
and drummer Paul Clarvis. Or you
can catch the subtle interplay of
harmonies and rhythm. The surface
may be calm, but there’s a wealth of
animation beneath. The more you
listen, the more you find.
One thing that did strike me was a
faint but unmistakable Englishness
about the whole album, something
to do with the clarity and openness
of the music, which goes back
several jazz generations.
It comes across, too, in the
extravagant, tongue-in-cheek
modesty of Lowther’s cover note.
Apologising for inflicting yet
another jazz album on the world,
he points out in mitigation that the
last one under his own name came
out 20 years ago, “and I do sincerely
hope nobody will mind”. Dave Gelly
though any sleepless nights that fed
into the album’s delirious, spun-out
quality are more likely to have been
caused by a screaming baby than a
pounding dancefloor.
“I wanted that to mirror the
uncanniness you feel when a
massive event happens in your life,”
says FitzGerald of the disembodied
vocals that haunt the album,
alongside guest slots from Lil Silva
and Tracey Thorn. “Everything
looks and sounds the same, but
it’s somehow different.” It’s a neat
summation of the album itself, which
feels more rounded and focused,
more mature even, without breaking
radically from the past. Killian Fox
George FitzGerald’s world tour
arrives in the UK on 26 March
The Observer
BELOW Carey Mulligan as DI Kip
Glaspie in David Hare’s Collateral.
Photograph by Liam Daniel/BBC
You don’t have
to be mad to be
a TV detective…
Collateral BBC Two
Shetland BBC One
Rough Justice More4
Homeland C4
Seven Year Switch C4
Still Game BBC One
From thwarted polevaulters to terrible
drummers, cop shows
are reaching ever
further for those
dark backstories
Collateral slammed shut as loudly
as it began those confusing few
weeks ago, rattling the shutters
with echoes of a good yarn bothered
by preaching. For “bothered”, read
“harpooned through both knees”.
David Hare’s drama did indeed
(of course) turn out to be a stateof-the-nation piece of work, but
one delivered with far less subtlety
and nuance than we might have
expected. It was essentially about
three things: a murder, and attitudes
to “good” and “bad” immigrants,
and (of course; this is David Hare)
the general filthy-bastardness of
the security services. It was almost
wholly redeemed by Carey Mulligan,
as DI Kip Glaspie: Mulligan
practically solved the murder bit
with one hand tied behind her back.
But what could have been a timely
exploration of our oh-so-nudgeable
attitudes to immigration was almost
wholly ruined by poor John Simm,
as a righteous lefty Labour MP,
vouchsafing such appalling duds
as “Keep people out because we’re
rich and they’re poor and that’s
the way it’s going to stay for ever?
History tells us that’s never going
to work.” Simm’s acting talents, as
wonderfully evinced last month in
the frankly superior Trauma, were
hogtied throughout with such sub2:2 Sociology lines. And what was
the fine Nicola Walker ever doing
there as a lesbian vicar, other than
being a pretext to shout (preachily):
lesbian! Vicar! Yes! It’s 2018! Or 1992
or… something! Get with the groove,
But Mulligan, as I say, almost
saved this: she makes a caustic,
chirpy, wonderful copper, her face
poised forever between a sneer and
a quirky wink. Although Jeany Spark,
as Capt Sandrine Shaw, ran her close
in the concluding episode, almost
managing to make one feel sorry for
a cold-blooded, borderline racist,
overprivileged military murderer:
we should hope to see much more
of Ms Spark.
Glaspie was of course an
ex-championship pole-vaulter come
to grief. All telly detectives have to
be. Either that, or a bipolar genius,
or an amputee, or a jazz fiend, or an
OCD drunk. I do sometimes wonder
how they get so many crimes solved.
Perish the thought that I should
argue for the polar opposite – we’d
get the (not even first but second)
Barnaby in Midsomer Murders – but
Dougie Henshall seems to be doing
a bang-up job as the relatively
unscathed, borderline normal,
DI Jimmy Perez in Shetland. A
hugely rounded, sane, chiselled
and finessed creation, Perez (and
Henshall) remind us of the strengths
of having a writer – Ann Cleeves,
whose novels the series is based
on – think long and hard about
characters rather than simply
assigning traits. This so-toothsome
series is building tremendously to a
revelatory climax.
Over in Belgium, however,
More4’s Walter Presents has given
us more ’tecs with quirks in Rough
Justice. Liese Meerhout relaxes from
murders by banging – thoughtfully,
badly – on a drum kit. She even
has a drum kit as the screensaver
on her crime-busting laptop – and
drives a big, old, yellow, tank-like
Carey Mulligan
makes a caustic,
chirpy, wonderful
copper, face poised
between a sneer
and a quirky wink
Merc, and frequents gay clubs, and
has a drunken loser sidekick who
resembles Dave-the-beta-one from
The Hairy Bikers. For all that, it’s
not at all bad. I’m seriously looking
forward to tuning in next week,
though the frenetic pace has one
rather longing for the longueurs of
Scandi subtitling.
Another week in Homeland,
another damaged crime-fighter,
although a beautifully realised one
in the shape of Carrie Mathison,
whose lithium dose has suddenly
stopped working. When even
Carrie can admit “impulse control
is becoming a problem. It’s safe
to say I’m not as risk-averse as I
should be,” your own impulse is to
glance to your left for impending
Armageddon. This, too, even
these few episodes in, is starting
to simmer tremendously: Saul
locked into a Waco-style siege
in backwoods Buttfuck, West
Virginia, sneaky chief-of-staff David
Wellington overriding his president
to bomb Syria (a filthy-bastardness
twist of which David Hare would
surely approve and yet hand-wring),
all is nicely poised: all we’re really
waiting for is the four horsemen.
The latest bout of gleeful
marriage-wrecking sponsored by C4
took the shape of Seven Year Switch,
the best thing about which was the
title, the only thing at all leavened by
wit in this long hour. Four couples
struggling with their marriages –
Danes, as the
realised’ Carrie
Mathison in
RIGHT: Still
Showtime, BBC
eight people, at least three of them
utterly appalling, and all of those
men – get sent to Thailand to live for
a fortnight in sun, luxury and one
double bed, with one of the other,
swapped, partners. Ostensibly a
“social experiment” to find whether
the marriages can be saved after
seven years, it’s of course nothing
of the sort, but a voyeuristic slice of
trash. The question is not whether
any of the four marriages can be
saved: the question – apart from
why three of the men have survived
until adulthood while being to all
purposes, both functionally and
emotionally illiterate – is why any
of the pairings ever got together in
the first place. It’s awful, savagely
prurient hogwash, and it’ll be
wildly popular.
Still Game returned to our
screens. It has something like
a 70% penetration in Scotland
and many fervent fans south of
the border, and any random 30
seconds are still only 1,000,000%
cleverer and funnier than any
entire series of Mrs Brown’s Boys,
but I wonder if it’s not in danger
of beginning to run its course. It
cantered through all the houses
amiably enough – Boabby trying to
gentrify The Clansman, jokes about
lemongrass and insanely overpriced
bottled beer – but cantered at
very much one pace, one note,
throughout. (Yes, I do appreciate
The Observer
Podcasts & radio
Five sides to an
unsavoury story
Five Women This American Life
The Inquiry: How Did We
Get Hooked on Plastic?
BBC World Service
#MeToo brings epiphany
for a group of women in
a subtle podcast, while
the BBC puts our plastics
problem under scrutiny
Five Women, last week’s edition
of This American Life, the longestablished, well-respected doyen
of informative podcasts, is very
much a programme of now. The
story begins with a woman who’s
been in a relationship for 23 years.
She starts wondering about her
partner, how he treats other women.
Her wondering begins because
of the #MeToo movement. And, it
turns out, she is right to wonder:
BuzzFeed publishes an article about
her partner, whose name is Don,
detailing several instances of him
sexually harassing women at his
company, Alternet. And Vivian, Don’s
partner, the woman at the start of
the story, starts unravelling her own
attitudes, her own history.
What follows is a complicated,
subtle tale that involves four other
women, all of whom accuse Don of
harassment. We hear about their
pasts, how they learned about
sex, the relevance of what they
were taught as children. It’s about
them, rather than about him. “It’s a
reckoning,” says Chana Joffe-Walt,
the interviewer and presenter. And
it is. If all of us have been brought
up in an environment where women
make allowances for men, where
women recall sexual experiences
and justify the times when it felt
wrong, when we tell each other that
“that’s how men are”, then it is hard
to step up and speak out when we
need to. We haven’t learned how to
do that. We haven’t had the practice.
There are many memorable
quotes in this programme. One
young women describes an older
man unexpectedly talking about
her body, or showing her porn, as
another type of imposition: “I’m
going to force the fact that I have
a sexuality on you.” (As though it’s
her business, as though she wants
to know.) Another speaks of when
she was 12 and realised that her
male friends had started to treat
her differently. It was as if, she says,
there were two of her. One “separate,
objectified body” and another
person, who was actually her. But
the most easy-to-remember quote
is when Don, in a rage because he’s
been denied sex, starts shouting at
his then-girlfriend. He yells: “I am
Unusual storytelling podcasts
Zombies, Run! – The Way of All
that I’ve just invited 70% of Scotland
to appear outside my nice New
Town flat with pitchforks, torches
and angry cries of “bawbag”.)
Or perhaps it only suffered by
reappearing in the very week
another Scottish comedy series was
(temporarily, we pray) ending; for
the third series of Two Doors Down
has been, again, a triumph.
It all got a bit slapstick at
the very end admittedly, Doon
Makichan’s Cathy having been
driven to extremes of toxic
jealousy by a nicer, newer, younger,
bustier version, but has still given
us a blistering distillation of
flawed Scots humanity. As if there’s
any other kind.
Booker-prize winner Naomi
Alderman’s fantastic novel, The
Power, has been rightly feted by
many, including Barack Obama. Why
not enjoy Alderman’s humour and
talent for sci-fi tension in a different
format? The Way of All Flesh takes
the story of the fitness app Zombies,
Run! (which Alderman helped to
create) and makes it into a more
conventional audio drama. You’re
less physically active, but a rest is
always nice.
Story Quest by Fun Kids
Story Quest gives kids proper tales,
well told, with new (extremely short)
episodes every week. If you can’t
wait seven days, there are some
stories already up on the site that are
binge-worthy. Bryony Brownwell’s
Mystery Project Is Fun (strange
goings-on at school!) and there’s 40
minutes’ worth there already. So,
if you can’t face another bedtime
of reading David Walliams, simply
plug your phone into speakers,
load up Bryony B and leave the kids
Anywhere But Home by Save
the Children
A series of six true-life tales from
displaced families across the world.
Save the Children has taken the
testimonies of those in war zones
such as Syria and writer and
producer Alexia Singh has turned
them into stories. Actors (including,
full disclosure, my husband, Michael
Smiley) voice the words and Singh
uses sound and music to create an
intimate, moving listening experience.
This American Life’s Chana Joffe-Walt.
the most feminist man you know!”
It’s so ridiculous it makes you laugh
out loud. Until you remember that
if you hear that stuff enough times,
you might start believing it.
Rather more academic, but as
relevant to today’s world, is the
World Service’s latest episode of The
Inquiry, How Did We Get Hooked
On Plastic? In under half an hour,
we follow plastic from its initial
creation (wow! It’s unbreakable) to
today, when it has taken over the
world (uh-oh! It’s unbreakable).
Right now, we are in crisis, as
China has stopped accepting other
countries’ plastic for recycling and
many places don’t have the facilities
to correctly dispose of it. In short,
there is a whole load of plastic out
there and no place to put it. The
Inquiry looks back to the start, when
this wonder product was created
to ease our plundering of the
world’s resources. It all sounded so
positive, back then.
The Observer
BELOW An image from Larry
Clark’s ‘powerful’ Tulsa. Luhring
Augustine Gallery
with other
ways of being
From the outlaw junkies of the 50s
to the pioneering but privileged
Victorians, two new shows cast
light on marginal worlds of
radically different kinds
Another Kind of Life:
Photography on the Margins
Barbican Art Gallery, London EC2;
until 27 May
Victorian Giants: The Birth of
Art Photography
National Portrait Gallery, London
WC2; until 20 May
In 1956, Colin Wilson published
The Outsider, one of that year’s
most talked-about books. Using
characters created by the likes of
Dostoevsky, Kafka and Camus,
Wilson explored the turbulent
psyche of the outsider, an existential
everyman driven by irrational
impulses and nihilistic views.
“The average man is a conformist,
accepting miseries and disasters
with the stoicism of a cow standing
in the rain,” declared Wilson. “For
the Outsider, the world is not
rational, not orderly.”
That same year, as if he had
arrived from another universe,
Elvis Presley was causing moral
panic across America during his
first nationwide concert tour.
Somewhere between the existential
alienation that Wilson identified
as a strain of literary outsiderdom
and the instinctive sexuality that
the young Presley exuded lies the
historical and conceptual starting
point for Another Kind of Life:
Photography on the Margins.
Spanning the 60 years since
Presley shook things up with just
a wiggle of his hips, it features the
work of 20 photographers, including
Diane Arbus, Mary Ellen Mark, Boris
Mikhailov and Alec Soth. The theme
is marginality, whether imposed
by mainstream society or selfexpressed through gender, sexuality,
identity or political rebellion.
Larry Clark was 13 years old when
he saw Presley perform in a Tulsa
fairground in April 1956. “It was just
amazing,” he recalled more than 50
years later. “It was really dirty.” With
his 1960s series, Tulsa, Clark would
define the notion of dirty realism in
photography and his images are still
about as powerful and as morally
ambiguous as it gets, even in a show
about often extreme outsiders.
Tulsa depicts the chaotic lives
of his junkie friends in the town
he grew up in. He photographed
them hanging out, making out
and shooting up, their clandestine
lifestyle happening in the heart of
America in the booming postwar
era. Clark’s positioning of himself as
one of his subjects as well as their
chronicler is what gives the series
its disturbing power: there is no
detachment, no humanist undertow
to offer the viewer any sense of
moral reassurance. His junkies
are not furtive or ashamed. On the
contrary, they appear cavalier and
gleefully amoral – one girl grins as
she squirts water from a syringe.
Clark is the quintessential
outsider as insider, a stance that
is adopted in different ways
throughout the exhibition, not least
in the tender early work of Bruce
Davidson, whose 1959 Brooklyn
Gang series remains one of the
earliest, and most sympathetic,
The Observer
Ballet British Columbia
performing 16+ a Room by
Emily Molnar. Alamy
BELOW Clementina Hawarden’s
Photographic Study (1863-64), from
Victorian Giants. PA
LEFT From Boris Milhailov’s
The Wedding. Boris
Mikhailov/Sprovieri Gallery
depictions of aberrant postwar
youth culture. It finds an echo
here in Philippe Chancel’s seldom
seen series on young anti-fascist
rockabilly gangs in 80s Paris.
In both, the studied cool of the
protagonists hints at the ways in
which rebellion has since been
presented as outlaw chic in style
mags and on the catwalk.
Representations of gender and
transgender people are constants,
too, particularly in Chilean
photographer Paz Errázuriz’s
evocative portraits of male
cross-dressers who worked as
prostitutes throughout the terror
and persecution of the Pinochet
regime. A schoolteacher turned
activist, Errázuriz was a self-taught
photographer who for a time lived
with some of her subjects in a
brothel. Her attitude is in stark
contrast to some of the betterknown artists here, not least Diane
Arbus, whose portraits of the
so-called freaks that she sought
out and identified with retain an
unsettling power despite their
familiarity. Even more so, Boris
Mikhailov’s series The Wedding
(2005-06), for which he paid two
“bomzhes” (homeless people) to
re-enact a marriage ceremony for
his camera. Like Arbus, Mikhailov
creates images whose impact
relies on our discomfort and
embarrassment as viewers of other
people’s strangeness. He makes us
complicit in the questionable pact
between photographer and subject.
To one degree or another,
all the work in the exhibition
occupies that same uneasy terrain,
often highlighting the various
strategies photographers have
employed in order to represent
the “other” without objectifying
or exoticising their subjects. Jim
Goldberg’s democratic approach
began with him befriending the
young, homeless outsiders he
photographed in Los Angeles and
San Francisco for his hard-edged
but humanist series Raised By
Wolves. He filmed and photographed
them as they killed time between
turning tricks and scoring drugs,
as well as using their handwritten
testimonies and those of their
The images make
us complicit in the
questionable pact
between subject
and photographer
parents and social workers. The
result is a portrait of young
survivors in an unforgiving America.
One of his central characters was
a kid called Tweeky Dave, who did
not survive. It is his denim jacket,
bequeathed to Goldberg and covered
in often obscene felt-tip scrawls,
that hangs from the ceiling like a
relic – and an accusation.
Among the surprises at the
Barbican are the more obscure
series unearthed by curator Alona
Pardo: Igor Palmin’s Russian
hippies; Chancel’s retro rockabilly
rebels; Seiji Kurata’s yakusa
gangsters at play in the Tokyo clubs
and gambling dens they control. A
word, too, for Dayanita Singh’s deft
blending of the still and moving
image in her ode to Mona Ahmed,
an ageing Indian eunuch whose
outsiderness seems almost holy.
At the National Portrait Gallery,
four pioneers of early British portrait
photography are reconsidered in
Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art
Photography. Here, the subtext is
not really art but privilege: Lewis
Carroll was an Oxford academic,
Julia Margaret Cameron a product
of colonial Ceylon, and Lady
Clementina Hawarden as aristocratic
as her name suggests.
The most intriguing figure is
their mentor, Oscar Rejlander,
whom the National Portrait Gallery
describes as both “a Swedish
émigré with a mysterious past”
and the “father of Photoshop”.
His composite photograph Two
Ways of Life (1856-57), in which
he combined several different
negatives to create a single image, is
the conceptual centrepiece, but this
is essentially a show about the birth
of a very British kind of portraiture.
Cameron’s stately photographs
of contemporary writers such as
Carlisle and Tennyson enshrine
their literary greatness, while her
more allegorical images of Mary
Pinnock as Ophelia say much about
Victorian ideals of female beauty.
Children, too, are portrayed as
vessels of innocence throughout,
though Carroll’s relentless
fascination with the young Alice
Liddell makes for even more
complex viewing in an age when
children have become an almost
taboo subject in photography.
The curatorial claim that Victorian
portraiture was “raw, edgy and
experimental” is overstating the
case somewhat as only Rejlander
convinces as an early avant gardist.
His series of staged self-portraits
in which he mimics expressions
of emotion – surprise, apology,
disgust and, oddly, shrugging –
have a postmodern feel. The rest
is familiar, perhaps overfamiliar
in the case of Carroll and certainly
Cameron, who has had two London
gallery retrospectives in the past
few years. An intriguing exploration
of the formative years of a medium
that had yet to find its essentially
democratic voice.
The new classical
Ballet British Columbia
Sadler’s Wells, London EC1
With the future of ballet very much
up for discussion, and directors
faced with the knotty problem
of how to honour the classical
canon while also producing
groundbreaking work, it’s
exhilarating to see the confidence
with which Vancouver-based
Ballet British Columbia takes the
stage. The Canadian company has
been directed since 2009 by Emily
Molnar, formerly a dancer with
William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt.
Forsythe’s choreography shows
how the classical technique can,
while remaining true to its essence,
be employed as the basis for any
number of radical evolutions and
Molnar has taken this idea and run
with it. The dancers of her company
display the rigorous, coolly centred
control implanted by classical
training, while performing work that
looks nothing like traditional ballet.
Tuesday’s triple-bill opening night
was sold out. The first work was 16
+ a room, choreographed by Molnar.
Inspired by the writing of Jeannette
Winterson and Virginia Woolf, and
set to an electronic score by Dirk P
Haubrich, the piece is a compelling
introduction to the company style.
The dancers’ movements are
rubbery, their bodies like stretchy
toys, but beneath the surface we see
complex articulations that owe as
much to hip-hop as to ballet. Joints
pop and lock,hip isolations morph
into smoothly sustained pirouettes.
At times, the dancers slip and side
as if unmoored from the floor, from
their own physical foundations,
from life’s certainties. Molnar has
described the piece as “a metaphor
for the unknown”.
I am always awed by the
precision with which Crystal Pite’s
choreography cuts to the heart. Like
Molnar, Pite is an alumna of Ballet
Frankfurt, and although she has
travelled far from her own classical
training, its imprint remains.
Inspired by the poem Lines for
Winter, by the American poet Mark
Strand, who died in 2014, Solo Echo
is set to two Brahms cello sonatas.
As snow falls in near darkness,
seven dancers progress through a
series of evanescent encounters.
Pite’s choreography is exquisitely
fine-tuned, flickering and jolting
through the complex circuitry of
her dancers’ bodies, but it has a vast
expressive sweep. Solo Echo occupies
the place between abstraction and
narrative that Pite has made her
own and its overarching message
is perhaps contained in the poem’s
final lines: “...tell yourself / in that
final flowing of cold through your
limbs / that you love what you are.”
The evening is completed by
Sharon Eyal’s hypnotic Bill, a fullcompany piece that sees the dancers
performing set pieces of bizarre
intricacy and precision. The work is
unsettling, unexplained and weirdly
brilliant. That the evening’s ballets
are all by women is, according
to Molnar, incidental. That said,
parity of creative opportunity is
a cause she espouses. Gender is a
volatile issue in Canadian dance,
as elsewhere, and last week a
furore arose when Les Grands
Ballets Canadiens scheduled a
triple bill entitled Femmes. Three
male choreographers, the company
announced, would explore
“one of culture’s most generous
symbols: Woman.”
Following a volley of protest at
this questionable project, Mehdi
Walerski, one of the chosen
choreographers, announced that he
would be stepping down. “I strongly
support a more visible presence of
my fellow female choreographers,”
Walerski wrote on Facebook.
“I stand for a more inclusive
participation of female artists in
the dance world.” His principled
decision has won much praise and
Grands Ballets has announced that
the Femmes programme will not
now take place. This looks, and
sounds, like progress.
The Observer
All things bleak and beautiful
From the House of the Dead
Royal Opera House, London WC2; in
rep until 24 March
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Coliseum, London WC2; in rep until
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Royal College of Music, London SW7
Royal Opera’s take on
Janáček’s brutal work
dazzles – plus a double
helping of Titania,
Bottom and friends
Stabbing, soaring, glittering, now
abstract, now igneous, now full
of song, the music of Janáček’s
final opera, From the House of
the Dead (1928), is one of the
great masterpieces of the 20th
century. Despite familiarity with
the piece, not least from Welsh
National Opera’s recent, thrilling
revival, I would not have said that
a week ago. The Royal Opera’s
first staging, conducted by Mark
Wigglesworth and directed by
Krzysztof Warlikowski, making his
ROH debut, changed my mind, or
focused it.
Based on Dostoyevsky, set in a
Siberian prison, with scarcely a
narrative or plot, much brutality
and the merest shreds of mercy,
From the House of the Dead is
opera at its most confrontational.
Dramatically it’s extremely difficult
to get right. This gets part way.
Running under two hours without
an interval, the score is taut,
relentless and lean – a long sit if you
cannot face its uncompromising
nature, all too short if you can. It
addresses the hardest questions
about humanity: what unites sinner
and sinned against? Sharing a
Quaker view, Janáček saw a glimmer
of God in every one.
One reason (aside from the more
obvious) for the work’s relative
rarity is its fraught editorial history.
The idiosyncratic Czech composer
was correcting proofs at the time
of his death. Only now, after
painstaking efforts by the scholar
John Tyrrell, can it be performed
as Janáček intended. When you
consider that he spattered his
pages with every kind of shorthand
scribble, you see why the process
has taken so long.
Wigglesworth drew dazzling
playing from an enlarged ROH
orchestra, percussion spilling out
into the side boxes so that the
sinister drum roll, late on, had even
more than the usual terror. Janáček’s
singular technique, developed here
in a manner almost unrecognisable
from his earlier, well-known operas
Jenůfa or Káťa Kabanová, was to
wedge blocks and shards of musical
ideas together like hardtack. The
closest image to convey this strange
sound world might be the lumpen
beauty of mica schist.
The excellent, all-male – bar
the prostitute (Allison Cook) –
ensemble cast gleamed with strong
interpretations, led by Willard
White, Stefan Margita, Ladislav
Elgr and, especially, Johan Reuter.
Among cameos, Nicky Spence
making his ROH debut graced the
stage in voice as well as dance,
with Graham Clark tearing at our
emotions as the elderly prisoner.
In designs by Małgorzata
Szczęśniak, with stark lighting
by Felice Ross, Warlikowski has
given the piece a closely observed
21st-century prison setting: prefab
sports hall, observation gallery,
chicken wire, a mood of ceaseless
tedium. Anyone who has had cause
to visit such a place will recognise
the glaring accuracy of this bleak
vision. At times it was too fussy.
There’s no question that the French
philosopher Michel Foucault has
thought about the meaning of
justice more than anyone, and none
of us is above being reminded, but
the big-screen projection of him at
the start fought with the pulsating
beauty of the opera’s prelude. There
was something pathetic about those
who booed at the end. What on
earth did they want from a work of
such cold comfort?
Of the many words you could
apply to Britten’s A Midsummer
Night’s Dream – magical, ethereal,
at times amusing – concise is
not one. Act II, in the Athenian
wood, when the humans take for
ever to lose and find themselves,
can be an endurance test. It
certainly meandered last week at
ENO’s revival of Robert Carsen’s
‘Strong interpretations’:
Allison Cook and Johan Reuter
in From the House of the Dead.
Photograph: Clive Barda
It addresses the
hardest questions
about humanity:
what unites sinner
and sinned against
production, first seen at the
Coliseum in 1995.
Musically secure, with an
attractive cast and some detailed
and voluptuous orchestral playing
under the baton of Alexander Soddy,
the production has downy charm
but zero bite. ENO has restored it
in favour of Christopher Alden’s
boys’ school production (2011),
which bristled with darkness and
brilliance, raised tough questions
and split audiences. Carsen’s
approach may be closer to Britten’s
intentions, but it’s hard to believe
the work’s world premiere, in
Aldeburgh’s Jubilee Hall in 1960,
wasn’t rather more chewy.
Michael Levine’s designs consist
mostly of beds large and small,
and a colour scheme dominated by
green, blue and white. With several
ENO Harewood artists in the cast,
Soraya Mafi’s regal Tytania stood
out. Joshua Bloom’s Bottom and
Graeme Danby’s Quince eased cheer
into the mechanicals’ scenes. Above
all, the actor Miltos Yerolemou
injected energy as an athletic, beady
Puck. There’s a visual coup in the
last act that lifts the spirits and
softens hard hearts.
You prefer sleaze? Try South
Kensington. The Royal College of
Music International Opera School
has staged its own Midsummer
Night’s Dream – like ENO,
employing the committed skills of
Trinity Boys Choir (rather better
drilled at RCM). Eschewing gauze
and fairy wings, Liam Steel’s
production plunged us into seamy
1920s Berlin and a Cabaret-style
underworld of sexual uncertainty
and “dark wood” fantasy.
The second of two casts, both
under the supportive musical
direction of Michael Rosewell,
fielded plenty of talent. Everyone,
orchestra too, deserves praise.
Imaginative if uneven, this
bold staging gave the work
contemporary edge, with a due nod
to health and safety. Snug, playing
the lion, had a notice pinned to him:
“I am not a real lion.” You can never
be too careful.
Home listening
Classical music on CD,
on air and online
It shouldn’t take an event such
as last Thursday’s International
Women’s Day to wake up the classical
music world to female composers
from the past, but let’s be thankful
that it did. Radio 3 went to town,
reviving the work of five women
who have long been neglected. If
you missed it, catch on iPlayer the
BBC Concert Orchestra’s illuminating
performances of works by Leokadiya
Kashperova (1872-1940), a Russian
pianist who taught Stravinsky;
Marianna Martines (1744-1813),
an Austrian who enjoyed fame
throughout Europe in her lifetime;
Florence B Price (right) 1887-1953),
the esteemed African American
symphonist; Augusta Holmès
(1847-1903), a French-Irish writer
of oratorios and operas; and Johanna
Müller-Hermann (1868-1941), an
Austrian renowned for her songs.
 A new professional choir, Sonoro,
as its name suggests, produces a
sonorous, full-bodied sound. Its debut
recording, Passion and Polyphony
(Resonus), features anthems by
James MacMillan and Frank Martin’s
mighty Mass for Double Choir.
Conductor Neil Ferris encourages
his singers to generate a rich, robust
texture. Flexibility is matched by
careful attention to blend and nuance.
The results won’t please everyone,
but it’s refreshing. Give it a try.
 Light Divine (Signum) features the
treble voice of Aksel Rykkvin, who,
with the Min Ensemble, performs
baroque music for treble by Handel,
Albinoni and Rameau. Actually, that’s
a bit of a misnomer because the
pieces were all written for soprano,
but they suit young Rykkvin’s pure
tone and mature musicianship. A
month after the recording, his voice
broke and that ethereal sound was
lost for ever – but it is now frozen on
disc for all time. Stephen Pritchard
The Observer
The week ahead
Our cultural highlights
My Golden Days
Bad Faith
The Inheritance
Created in Conflict
Debussy festival
It’s taken so long to arrive in the UK
that director Arnaud Desplechin
has released another film since, but
this swirlingly sensual coming-ofage patchwork, starring Quentin
Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Lecollinet, finds the
Frenchman on woozy, witty form.
In cinemas from Friday.
The final part of Belgian-born
choreographer Tara D’Arquian’s
strange and unsettling In Situ trilogy.
Twenty years after her mysterious
disappearence, we find Nora, a onceacclaimed actress, in “a place of
nothingness”. Laban theatre, London
SE8; Wednesday and Thursday.
Stephen Daldry directs Matthew
Lopez’s two-part play looking at
the life of a young gay man in New
York City a generation after the Aids
crisis. The cast includes Vanessa
Redgrave. Young Vic, London. Now
previewing. Opens 28 March; runs
until 19 May.
Figures made from mud in the
trenches, quilts made by convalescing
soldiers, paintings from the war zone:
a show centring on the extraordinary
resourcefulness of “soldier art” over
almost two centuries. Compton
Verney Art Gallery, Warwickshire; from
Saturday until 10 June.
Conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and
the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra join forces with Birmingham
Contemporary Music Group and
Birmingham Conservatoire in first of
two weekends devoted to Debussy
and his influence. Symphony Hall,
Birmingham; Saturday and Sunday.
Soho theatre
Alternative Gala Party
Comedy in a good cause: from £29,
including free booze and nibbles, watch
standups including Bridget Christie,
Tim Key and Rose Matafeo and support
the theatre’s work with young people.
An afterparty promises “a bit of
anarchy”. London, Thursday, 7pm
Last chance: Beginning
The cutting-edge
London producer
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has stepped
nd th
from behind
k to
mixing desk
rontbecome a ffrontntre
re artist.
estined for
Songs destined
Sophie’ss forthcoming
album, Whole New World,
get theirr European live
his week. She
debut this
eaven, London,
plays Heaven,
on Tuesday.
Final fortnight in which to see Polly
Findlay’s finely calibrated production
of David Eldridge’s will-they-won’tthey dating play. Justine Mitchell and
Sam Troughton are the unlikely couple
circling each other after a party.
Ambassadors, London WC2; until
24 March.
Book now: Glyndebourne
festival 2018
Book now: Meltdown 2018
New productions of Puccini’s
Madame Butterfly, Debussy’s
Pelléas et Mélisande and Samuel
Barber’s Vanessa, plus revivals of
Der Rosenkavalier and two Handel
operas, Saul and Giulio Cesare. Lewes,
E Sussex; 19 May-26 August.
The Cure’s Robert Smith curates
an eardrum-threatening Meltdown
this year. Nine Inch Nails, Deftones,
Mogwai and My Bloody Valentine are
among the noise-bringers. Southbank
Centre, London, 15-24 June. Presale
to members from Tuesday; on general
sale Thursday.
‘Jeff Bezos is
an associate,
and so are
you’: Amazon’s
logistics centre
in Pforzheim,
Dispatches from the gig economy
Journalist James
Bloodworth lived as
a zero-hours worker
for six months, going
undercover at Amazon
and elsewhere. His
insights are vital
reading for all, writes
Nick Cohen
Hired: Six Months Undercover
in Low-Wage Britain
James Bloodworth
Atlantic Books, £12.99, pp288
We perpetrate a swindle every time
we use that hip phrase “the gig
economy” to describe the modern
labour market. If we wanted to be
accurate, we could call it the “piecerate” or the “precarious” economy.
If we wanted to be polemical, we
would call it the “rapacious” or the
“boss-takes-all” economy. Silicon
Valley’s success in prompting us to
talk of “the gig economy” instead
suggests that exploited men and
women are the equivalent of rock
stars, nipping into a club for a
surprise session one night and
heading off to Glastonbury the next.
Far from being beaten down by lives
of grinding insecurity, workers are
freewheeling bohemians liberated
from the routines that tied down
their boring parents.
By allowing the myth that
drudgery is freedom to pass
unchallenged, we have sold out our
fellow citizens so thoroughly they
no longer even have the language to
describe their predicament.
In this exceptional book, James
Bloodworth sets out to work
among “that now permanent class
of people who live a fearful and
tumultuous existence characterised
by an almost total subservience
to the whims of their employers”.
While he was walking the miles
of corridors in Amazon’s Rugeley
warehouse, a comparison between
today’s gig economy and yesterday’s
Soviet Union hit him. All around
were admonishments “to workers
to feel joyful at the prospect of
struggle”. Socialist realism had
mutated into corporate uplift. In a
Staffordshire warehouse the size of
10 football pitches, feelgood slogans
were plastered next to pictures of
beaming workers. “We love coming
to work and miss it when we are not
here!” they announced.
Language was policed as
thoroughly as every other aspect
of the working day. Bloodworth’s
supervisors told him he should not
call the warehouse “a warehouse”.
It was a “fulfilment centre”. No one
Bloodworth met lasted the nine
months required for Amazon to
give them a full-time job. Like wornout machines, they were scrapped
after six. But their bosses did not
“sack” them, they “released” them.
Not that the bosses were “bosses”.
Everyone was an “associate”.
“Jeff Bezos is an associate and so
are you,” a cheery supervisor said.
The only difference being Bezos was
worth $60.7bn, while Bloodworth
and his fellow “associates” walked
back at midnight to fetid digs “with
heavy legs supporting suppurating
feet which over the course of
the day had puffed up half a size
bigger”. All the contracts he worked
on, first for Amazon and then at
Carewatch UK in Blackpool, the
car insurers Admiral in Wales, and
Uber in London, were zero-hours
or nonexistent. Everywhere, “any
vitality new employees might
possess falls away from them like
an old coat”.
We know this, don’t we? All
who order from Amazon or hail
The Observer
James Wood
Children’s books
Garry Winogrand
Rachel Cooke reviews
Upstate, the second novel
by the New Yorker’s
fearsome literary critic
Imogen Carter on naughty
kittens, put-upon bears
and a lively twist on the
Rebel Girls formula
Geoff Dyer’s essays are
a fine tribute to the 60s
street photographer,
writes Sean O’Hagan
He gives
you the
smell of
the cheap
paint, the
for cheap
a shift
is over
Uber on our phones have had the
opportunity to read many exposés.
Why then is Bloodworth’s book
being praised across the political
spectrum when the work of so many
other writers has been forgotten?
The answer, I believe, lies in his
physical and intellectual integrity.
Bloodworth does not just take jobs.
He moves into the slums his fellow
workers live in. He gives you the
smell of the cheap paint, the sight
of the cockroaches scurrying across
the floor, and the craving for junk
food and cheap booze when an
exhausting shift is over.
Equally important, Bloodworth
avoids the narcissistic style that
blights so much leftwing journalism.
He has no time for the identity
politics of those who imply that
because they are speaking as a
woman/queer/person of colour/
transgender person they can be
excused the need to think clearly
and write well. “If it matters,” he
says, he is the son of a single mother
from Somerset. He might have been
one of the labourers or care workers
he now reports on, if he had not
escaped to university. Prohibitions
on cultural appropriation, in any
case, fall particularly harshly on
the working class because it, like
all groups facing discrimination,
needs support from every available
Immigration and class are
now inseparable subjects. By
Bloodworth’s account, the native
working class has respectable
reasons to worry about mass
migration. The recruitment agencies
that supplied eastern Europeans
to Amazon warned their workers
that, if they made a fuss about their
conditions, there was a reserve army
of their fellow countrymen ready
to take their place. Bloodworth and
his colleagues made about £250 a
week. The average weekly wage in
Romania was a little over £100. One
migrant told Bloodworth he worked
like an animal and was a nobody in
the UK. But in Romania he would be
a nobody without enough to eat.
Bloodworth argues it is progress
that most British workers will
not take jobs from employers
who treat them like animals. He
does not want to lionise migrants
for putting up with intolerable
conditions. Instead, he takes a nice
swipe at stereotypical reactions
to migration. The average eastern
European meets two types of people
in England: “those who wanted you
to go home and those who wrote
letters to liberal newspapers waxing
colourfully about how wonderful
and hardworking you were”.
The point is that no one should
have to work in the conditions
Bloodworth experienced. This is
an easy sentence to write. But if
we were to build a society where
its sentiments were made a reality,
every reader would have to accept
paying more for the goods and
services they now receive at bargain
rates. Even from a selfish point of
view, I think it a price worth paying.
Jason Moyer-Lee of the Independent
Workers Union of Great Britain
warns at the end of this book that, if
we do not stop the mistreatment of
Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders,
one day everyone could wake up to
find their employment rights gone.
It feels wrong to say that it is
a pleasure to read Bloodworth
when he is describing the true
location of poverty in Britain, which
is not among the allegedly workshy,
but in the lives of the women at
checkouts and the men packing
boxes for 30 hours one week and
two the next. That said, the element
of pleasure or at least satisfaction
cannot be denied. For Bloodworth
is the best young leftwing writer
Britain has produced in years. And
it is not only the exploited who are
lucky to have him.
To order Hired for £11.04 go to or call
0330 333 6846
We’re all domed…
Rowan Moore finds
out why our mosque
designers stick to the
tried and tested
The British Mosque: An
Architectural and Social History
Shahed Saleem
Historic England, £60, pp340
From top to bottom:
London Central
mosque, Shah Jahan
mosque in Woking,
and Madina mosque in
Sheffield. Alamy
“Mosque design,” says academic
and Muslim convert Tim Winter,
“has historically reflected the
local cultures of the Muslim
world. A mosque in Java bears
no resemblance to a mosque in
Bosnia, or a mosque in Senegal.”
The question underlying The
British Mosque, by the architect
and academic Shahed Saleem, is,
then, what one should look like in
this country.
There are an estimated 1,500
mosques in Britain, most of them
built in the last decade or so. Some
have become landmarks, their
domes and minarets rising above the
brick terraces of old industrial towns
such as Blackburn and Sheffield, or
cathedral cities like Gloucester and
Peterborough, wherever there is a
Muslim population large enough to
support them.
For all their visibility and
significance, little has been written
about their origins, how they come
into being and why, who designs
them and what they are trying to
achieve. Saleem’s book sets out to
put this right. It aims to be the “first
ever overview and explanation of
Islamic architecture in Britain”.
The tone is measured and
informative. Saleem goes back
to the earliest known British
mosques, such as the Liverpool
Muslim Institute and the Shah Jahan
mosque in Woking, both of 1889.
He describes the early mosques in
Cardiff and South Shields, built to
serve mostly Yemeni recruits to the
merchant navy, who had settled in
these ports. Then came the partition
of India and mass immigration from
the subcontinent, in part to remedy
labour shortages in British factories.
Gradually new communities started
to shape their places of worship,
often starting with converted
houses, moving in time to purposebuilt structures.
Saleem picks apart the patterns
and tendencies in what to a casual
glance looks homogenous. There
are the works of well-funded
international organisations, such as
the Ismaili Centre and the London
Central mosque in the capital, and
the bottom-up, locally resourced
efforts of sometimes deprived
communities in industrial cities. He
observes the stylistic preferences
that come with country of origin –
Moghul for south Asians, Ottoman
for Turks and Turkish Cypriots
– also the varying tastes of the
Deobandi (austere) and Barelwi
(decorative), both Sunni movements
originating in India.
The dominant theme is that
of the expression of identity,
the overwhelming preference in
British mosque design being for
traditional elements and decoration
– especially dome, minaret and
arches – applied to sometimes basic
box-like structures. From time to
time the cry goes up, including in
Jonathan Glancey’s introduction to
this book, that a “contemporary”
Islamic British style should be
developed. In the 1970s and 1980s
there were intermittent, if not very
successful, attempts at such a thing.
Since then, the direction has mostly
been towards ever more confident
and wholehearted recreation of
historic styles.
Saleem addresses, in his
diplomatic way, the debates that
arise from this architectural
conservatism. Its critics, inside and
outside Muslim communities, have
accused it of architectural timidity
and “inconsistent mish-mash”. Also
of “self-orientalism”, a dangerous
desire to define a separate identity
to the point where it encourages
outsiders to confirm their prejudices.
The defence is that new mosques
have a social role before they
have an artistic one. “Imaginative
architecture is a luxury,” says a
historian quoted in the book, both
financially and culturally.
A mosque is more about process,
argues Saleem, than it is about the
finished product. It is about the
often slow, “iterative” business by
which a community defines its
needs, finds a site, raises money and
commissions a building.
Mosques, he says, are “vehicles
for the dynamic reconstruction of
tradition” and their conservatism
can be explained as a reaction to
both racism and homesickness for
countries of origin.
His own preferences do, however,
become clear, in a non-traditional
mosque that he has himself
designed in Bethnal Green, London.
He also likes the abstractly Islamic
Cambridge mosque, now being built
to the designs of Marks Barfield,
architects of the London Eye. And,
surely, the future of mosque design
should indeed be about finding
a British Islamic way of building
to stand alongside – rather than
copy – those of the Mahgreb, or
Turkey, or the subcontinent. Just
don’t expect this transformation to
happen quickly.
To order The British Mosque for £60
go to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer
‘A team player’:
Lamont ‘U-God’
Hawkins of the
Wu-Tang Clan.
Photograph by
David Corio/
Glimpses into
the way of
the Wu-Tang
Lamont ‘U-God’
Hawkins is suing his
fellow rappers for
millions. This poignant
memoir gives his side
of the saga, writes
Kitty Empire
Raw: My Journey Into the
Lamont ‘U-God’ Hawkins
Faber, £14.99, pp292
The first memoir out of the ranks
of the Wu-Tang Clan – a sprawling
hip-hop organisation who lit up
the 90s with their martial artsthemed works – is not that of
their mastermind, RZA. It is not by
Raekwon or Method Man, two of its
bigger personalities. It is by U-God
– a core, if minor, member of the
original nine-strong Staten Island
outfit. And there are reasons for that.
Back in 2015, the latterday Wu
recorded an album – Once Upon
a Time in Shaolin – and pressed
only one single copy. In a flurry
of publicity, it was sold for $2m
to the disgraced pharmaceutical
entrepreneur Martin Shkreli.
U-God – AKA Lamont Hawkins
– duly sued the rest of the group
for $2.5m in unpaid royalties in
2016. Last year, Shkreli stuck his
album on eBay where, after the
price zigzagged, it was eventually
sold for $1,025,100. The lawsuit
remains unresolved.
The final chapters of Hawkins’s
eye-popping memoir attempt to
explain why he broke fealty and
sued his colleagues. At their height
in the 90s, the Wu-Tang bristled
with threat and exotic philosophy,
taking their name, and more than a
few samples, from the 1983 martial
arts film Shaolin and Wu Tang.
Hawkins didn’t figure much on the
Wu’s debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36
Chambers), because he was in jail
– although his place in the lyrical
hierarchy was later confirmed by
his solo track, Black Shampoo,
on the group’s second album,
Wu-Tang Forever.
On one level, the issues are
grindingly familiar from every other
band lawsuit and memoir: wrongheaded business decisions. Hawkins
– it transpires in the preceding
chapters – is especially fed up
because he was once rather good
at running things, having operated
a large business organisation that
happened to sell illegal drugs. In his
teens, he was turning over hundreds
of thousands of dollars’ worth of
product and employing handfuls of
people while keeping a low profile in
high-school classrooms and, later, at
college, studying mortuary science.
Those hungry for an insight
into the Wu’s lifestyles or their
inner creative processes will get
a few peeks into the mansions
and the recording booths here.
Hawkins’s fight to get his bars
up to scratch after coming out of
prison is strangely poignant, even in
this context.
The bigger story, though, is his
life. He writes with a mixture of
braggadocio, insight, pride and
weariness about the years leading
up to the Wu-Tang, with the
occasional laugh (“I’m the ninja
squirrel”) to break up the litany
of horror. The product of rape, he
grows up in a series of unforgiving
projects where physical violence is
omnipresent, and a future studded
with crack, guns and tragedy pretty
much inevitable. He and the rest of
the Wu were absolutely desperate to
leave the charnel pit that was Park
Hill behind, and most of Raw is a
catalogue of how, why and where
Hawkins dealt drugs and survived.
At their height in
the 90s, the
Wu-Tang Clan
bristled with threat
and exotic
Reading between the lines,
Hawkins’s biggest contributions to
the Wu were not, perhaps, his own
rhymes, but forcing Method Man
to give up dealing and concentrate
on his verses, supporting him
financially. A “team player”, he is
– categorically – no angel, but the
hells that befall him are appalling.
His two-year-old son is used as
a human shield by another drug
dealer and is shot in the kidney.
No one from the Wu betrays much
sympathy as Hawkins abandons
his duties to rush to his hospital
bedside. A breakdown, sobriety
and therapy have had a role in
the making of this memoir, which
should have an audience in hip-hop
fans and policymakers alike.
To order Raw for £12.74 go to or call
0330 333 6846
Three men in
a symphony
of empathy
From a Low and Quiet Sea
Donal Ryan
Doubleday, £12.99, pp192
“If a tree is starving, its neighbours
will send it food,” observes Farouk,
one of the characters in Donal
Ryan’s wise and compassionate
novel. “No one really knows how
this can be, but it is. Nutrients will
travel in the tunnel made of fungus
from the roots of a healthy tree to
its starving neighbour.” Through a
series of interlinking monologues,
From a Low and Quiet Sea explores
the ways in which human beings,
too, sustain one another through
deep connections.
Farouk is the first to tell his story.
We meet him as a doctor, living with
his wife and daughter in a Syrian
town where war is gradually
escalating. The police force
has turned into a militia,
and a new regime is
asserting itself: one
day, a woman is
dumped outside the
hospital, having been
flogged for adultery;
the next, all Farouk’s
female patients are
moved into a disused school.
A heavy-set man waits for him after
work, and offers to get his family
to Europe, noting darkly that the
doctor is not an observant Muslim,
and that his daughter is westernised.
After weeks of arguing with his wife,
Farouk visits the market square,
where “the crucified boy swung the
argument”. The family sets out on
the voyage to Europe, with terrible
Ryan, whose previous books
include The Spinning Heart, winner
of the Guardian first book award,
has rightly been praised for
his gift for empathy. He is
also a writer of beauty and
precision. But Farouk’s
monologue is this novel’s
weakest link: his story
will feel tragically familiar
to anyone who has read
the news over the past
seven years – the character
is not particular or idiosyncratic
enough to really come alive.
In contrast, those who narrate
the subsequent sections of the
book have their own pulse. We
meet Lampy, a young man with
a broken heart and anger issues,
trying his best to make a go of a
job in the care industry. His day is
interrupted by memories that stop
him in his tracks, “like a bouncer
at a nightclub door in town”. Here,
Ryan painstakingly creates a threedimensional person, one with a
grandfather whom he loves but who
maddens him; a curiously distant
mother, and a father he has never
met, who is apparently “beyond in
England somewhere”.
Next comes John, an older man,
who seems to be making his dying
confession – but where? He is
a much less likable character; a
classroom bully who has spent his
life as an unscrupulous lobbyist on
behalf of the rich and powerful. The
story builds towards the admission
of an unpardonable sin, but by this
point Ryan has skilfully developed
the reader’s sympathy for John
– we understand how the death
of an adored brother, and a father
who was by turns cold and violent,
might create such a monster.
The author resists making any
connection between the three
stories until the final section – a
daring decision, as by this time it
feels almost impossible that the
book will come together. But it does,
in a conclusion that is both deft
and devastating. Several secondary
characters chip in with short
narratives, which reveal how closely
Farouk, Lampy and John’s three
lives are intertwined. It becomes
clear that this book is both hardhitting and uplifting: it serves as an
indictment of the care industry, but
also a tribute to the way humans
care for one another.
“What’s the rule?” asks Farouk.
“You know. I’ve told you lots of
times before. Be kind.” Alice O’Keeffe
To order From a Low and Quiet Sea
for £9.69 go to
or call 0330 333 6846
The Observer
Springs in
upstate New
York, the
setting for
James Wood’s
‘strange’ new
novel. Getty
In brief
by Anita Sethi
Mick Kitson
Canongate, 12.99, pp240
Survival is all for two halfsisters, 13-year-old Sal and
10-year-old Peppa, who escape
from a violent home in a small
town near Glasgow and move
to the wilderness of Scotland.
The atmospheric story opens
just before dawn and, in Sal’s
distinctive voice, details their
daily efforts to find food, shelter
and warmth using information
gleaned from YouTube videos,
the SAS handbook and an
Ordnance Survey map. A vivid,
moving tale about the strength
of sisterhood.
An incident waiting to happen
The angsty midlife
dad of James Wood’s
new novel spends
too much time with
his implausibly wellorganised thoughts,
writes Rachel Cooke
James Wood
Jonathan Cape, £14.99, pp240
Alan Querry is a moderately
successful property developer from
Northumberland with a couple of
largish problems on his plate. First,
there is his company, provider of
his comfortable life and payer of
his elderly mother’s care home
bills, which is teetering on the edge
of trouble. Second, there is his
daughter Vanessa, an emotionally
frail philosopher at an American
university who is struggling under
the weight of depression.
However, as his name suggests
– the extra “r” didn’t stop me from
reading it as “query” – perhaps his
greatest problem is his character,
which seems at times to be little
more than a repository for highminded questions mostly to do
with happiness and acceptance.
Alan Querry thinks, and thinks, and
thinks: in bed, in the car, in front of
the blue screen of his laptop. How,
the reader wonders, did he ever get
anything built, let alone find time to
meet his accountant? Suddenly you
think you know why his business
might be inching towards collapse.
In Upstate, the second novel by
the literary critic James Wood, we
follow Querry from the north-east
of England to New York, where he
meets his other daughter, Helen,
an executive in the music industry,
and thence upstate by train to
Saratoga Springs, where Vanessa
lives in a decrepit clapboard house
with her lover, Josh, a journalist
whose anxious note was the spur
for this family gathering. In this
town, snow lies all around, literally
and metaphorically; a great thaw,
we sense almost from the get-go, is
what will pass for a plot in this story.
So many things cannot be
discussed, or not easily: the death
of Cathy, his daughters’ beloved
mother; the continued existence of
Querry’s new partner, Candace, a
Buddhist psychotherapist of whom
Helen and Vanessa do not approve;
the motives of the flaky Josh in the
matter of Vanessa’s heart; above
all, Vanessa’s mental state, the real
reason she has a plaster cast on her
arm. The novel’s characters spend
most of the book skirting delicately
around one another. They say little,
and do next to nothing; we get to
know them courtesy only of their
long and almost laughably wellorganised internal monologues.
When it comes to Wood, the “best
literary critic of his generation”
according to the press release, I’m
in a seemingly unusual position.
Having never really fancied him
much as a reviewer – I dislike the
pomposity, and I’ve learned not to
trust his taste – I don’t really have it
in me to go on about the impossibly
high standards to which he holds
other novelists, and his unerring
failure to live up to them himself. (In
any case, I admire him for trying at
all; too many critics have no book to
their name for reasons that may, you
suspect, have mostly to do with a
certain kind of cowardice.) But still,
what a strange and disappointing
novel this is, its nuts and bolts so
much in evidence there are times
when what it resembles most is a
diagram: a scheme, all long arrows
and stark oppositions, to be marked
out on some college whiteboard.
It isn’t that Wood can’t write.
Clearly, he can. A hotel sofa has
cushions so “buoyantly tight” they
are reminiscent of flotation devices;
businessmen cradle their mobiles
like pet lemurs on their shoulders.
But, of course, he wants to write
better; an easy sufficiency will not
do for him. And so it all begins to
feel a bit effortful. Why use the
words “a decreasingly facile project”
to describe the tricky process, for
the ageing Alan, of getting out of
the bath? And what on earth does
he mean when he goes on about
the “mysterious, packeted groins”
of male ballet dancers? (Mr Wood:
their groins are only as strange, or
not, as your own – unless there is
something you want to tell us.)
Speaking of groins, one day
Alan wakes up with an erection,
What the novel
resembles most is
a diagram – a
scheme, all long
arrows and stark
which makes him very happy: “Old
morning friend,” he thinks, fondly.
And then (I could hardly believe my
eyes): “Penis angelicus.” This might
do as a future entry for the Bad Sex
award, if it wasn’t for the fact that, as
usual, poor old Alan proves himself
wholly incapable of action. (The very
next line begins with a deflating:
“She returned for an early lunch.”)
Poor old Alan, indeed, who is
sometimes only poor old James
Wood in disguise. He spends, you
see, such a weirdly large amount
of time thinking about the north,
and even about his own definitive
northern-ness. It’s a giveaway, for
in this he is surely more like his
creator, a deracinated northerner
(Wood grew up in Durham, but
now lives near Harvard, where
he is a professor), than a bloke
whose lovely stone house stands,
we gather, somewhere between
Corbridge and Newcastle.
So far, in fact, is Alan from what
he purports to be, I began to feel it
almost as a physical shock when he
referred to his dead father as “Da”,
and to his ailing mother as “Mam”;
it was as if he’d started taking the
piss out of himself. Would such a
man really have found the solution
to all his sleep problems in a firm
pillow bought from Laura Ashley?
The fact that I began worrying
about this, or even noticed it at
all, tells you everything. Fiction
should cast a spell, not send you to
Google, searching for the names of
homeware stores in Morpeth and
the Metro centre.
To order Upstate for £12.74 go to or call
0330 333 6846
The Little Book of
Feminist Saints
Julia Pierpont (illustrated
by Manjit Thapp)
Virago, £12.99, pp208
This finely illustrated
book, featuring the potted
biographies of 100 inspiring
women, is brimful of startling
anecdotes about females
who flouted traditional gender
roles. There is activist Harriet
Tubman, who smuggled slaves
to freedom using safe houses,
conservationist Rachel Carson,
whose “eyes were set on a
life beyond the limits of her
own”, and Junko Tabei, the first
woman to reach the top of
Everest and to climb the “seven
summits”. Like all of the women
in this book, she blazed trails
where none existed before.
Why I’m No Longer
Talking to White People
About Race
Reni Eddo-Lodge
Bloomsbury, £8.99, pp288
This powerful polemic, the
fruit of a blog that went viral,
has sparked a much-needed
discussion about race relations.
Since publication last year,
the book has been acclaimed
by, among others, Marlon
James and Emma Watson, who
acknowledged that it made
her question “the ways I have
benefited from being white”.
Grappling both with what is
said, and the stubborn silences
around the subject of race, this
is an important book.
To order Sal for £11.04 or Why
I’m No Longer Talking to White
People About Race for £6.36 go
to or
call 0330 333 6846
The Observer
David Adam
with a tablet of
the ‘smart drug’
David Levene for
the Guardian
Can science help
boost our brains?
David Adam explores
the history of
intelligence and ways
to enhance his own,
raising timely questions,
says Barbara Sahakian
The Genius Within
David Adam
Macmillan, £16.99, pp336
Which of us would not want to
enhance our intelligence? Indeed,
some ethicists, such as John Harris
at Manchester University, argue that
it is our duty to improve ourselves if
we can, and in turn society and the
quality of life for future generations.
If we were more intelligent,
perhaps we would invent better
ways to generate energy efficiently
at less cost and damage to the
environment. Or generate ideas for
solving political disputes without
engaging in conflicts.
It is interesting that when we
think of improving ourselves
as individuals, we immediately
consider boosting “cold” cognition
– logic, critical thinking, memory
capacity, etc – rather than “hot”
cognition – the type required for
you to understand what another
person is thinking, termed “theory
of mind”, and so important for
soft diplomacy, resolving conflicts
and psychological therapy. David
Adam, author of The Genius Within,
regards cold intelligence as a key
target for enhancement and I agree
that superior cold intelligence is a
great advantage. However, many
of the jobs currently available are
in the service industry and while
these require a certain degree of
skill, the ability to have theory of
mind, to understand what others
are thinking and feeling and to be
personable and likable are essential.
The Genius Within is a fascinating
account of intelligence and its
measurement. The book covers
the history of intelligence: how
the concept developed from Alfred
Binet (inventor of the IQ test) and its
subsequent misuse in the eugenics
movement. The reflections on ethics
are extremely refreshing, especially
given the emphasis currently
being placed on genetics in health
science, even in the area of complex
mental health disorders such as
schizophrenia, despite the fact that
there are many genes involved of
very small effect.
In addition, Adam experiments
with DIY brain stimulation using
an electrical brain stimulator
bought over the internet from the
US. While transcranial magnetic
stimulation (TMS) is an approved
treatment for depression in both
the UK and US, the evidence for
the efficacy of transcranial direct
current stimulation (tDCS) to boost
cognitive abilities is controversial.
Some experts have reported positive
effects; others have found no effect.
Adam also purchases the “smart
drug” modafinil and when the
package arrives from India he tries
200mg. This dose has previously
been found to be the most effective
for cognitive enhancement in our
placebo-controlled, double-blind
experiments, and he does feel
that focus, motivation and even
progress in writing the book are
But as Adam discusses, there are
many unanswered ethical questions
raised by cosmetic neuroscience. To
what extent is neuroenhancement
cheating, undermining effort and
hard work? Adam points out that
while populations are growing,
work opportunities are shrinking.
He regards cognitive enhancement
as a vital tool to help people get
on. As we develop new drugs,
technologies and devices to help
people with neurological disorders
improve cognition, healthy people
will also use these innovations to
boost their brain power.
Are we likely to use these new
enhancement techniques to
improve our work-life balance? Or
will we simply accelerate into a 24/7
work pattern, because we can now
stay awake, alert and focused? It is
clear that with the rapid advance
in neuroscientific techniques and
indeed in artificial intelligence, we
will need to consider which forms
of cognitive enhancement are
acceptable and by what methods we
would wish to improve and flourish.
Meanwhile, I recommend exercise,
lifelong learning and evidencebased brain-training games, which
are all safe and effective ways to
boost the genius within you.
Professor Barbara J Sahakian is a
psychologist and neuroscientist based
at the University of Cambridge.
To order The Genius Within for
£14.44 go to guardianbookshop.
com or call 0330 333 6846
Browse a bookshop…
A weekly look at what’s selling
around the country
Walking Wounded Sheila
Sidelines: Selected Prose 1962-
2015 Michael Longley
Female Lines: New Writing by
Women from Northern Ireland
ed Linda Anderson and Dawn
Miranda Sherratt-Bado
Five recommendations
No Alibis, Belfast
No Alibis specialises in mystery
and detective fiction. Bookseller
David Torrans says it is essential
to utilise the store as a community
venue too, for literary events
and concerts. “We even had Van
Morrison and Jimmy Page come to
a gig,” he says. “It’s hard work, but
it means the bookshop is seen as
more than just a bookshop.”
Top five sellers
Thirteen Steve Cavanagh
Don’t Skip Out on Me
Willy Vlautin
Disorder Gerard Brennan
“A dark, disturbing and satiric look
at the absurdity of politics, power
and crime in present-day Belfast.”
Silver’s City Maurice Leitch
“One of the most lyrical depictions
of the Troubles… with a style that
defies cliche.”
Out Natsuo Kirino
“A wonderful look at the social
position of women working in
blue-collar factories in Japan.”
Multitudes Lucy Caldwell
“Coming-of-age stories set in
Belfast through the 80s and 90s.
Vibrant, poignant and, at times,
This Sweet Sickness Patricia
“Not a Ripley novel, but equally
compelling and disturbing.”
83 Botanic Ave, Belfast BT7 1JL;
The books
‘You must write a memoir like a novel’
[about sexual harassment]. I don’t
think he’s so bad. But then again,
how do we know? Part of what
the novel is about is the idea that
you think you know someone, but
actually you don’t.
Do you blame yourself for the deluge
of memoirs that followed the success
of And When Did You Last See Your
Father? Are too many memoirs
published nowadays?
I had no idea what was going to
happen. At that point, I’d only
published poems, for which you
don’t have much of an audience.
This was just a book about my dad.
I’d no expectations. But then it took
off – though remember Fever Pitch
[by Nick Hornby] came before mine,
and Philip Roth’s Patrimony. There
probably are too many now – and
yet, among my students, a couple of
really interesting ones have not been
able to find a publisher.
Blake Morrison is an award-winning
poet, novelist, journalist and
librettist, and a professor of creative
and life writing at Goldsmiths,
University of London. He is best
known for his acclaimed memoir,
And When Did You Last See Your
Father?, which was made into a
film starring Jim Broadbent, Juliet
Stevenson and Colin Firth, and for
his study of the murder of James
Bulger, As If. His novel The Last
Weekend was adapted for television
in 2012. His latest novel is The
Executor (Chatto & WIndus, £16.99).
Your new book is about a journalist,
Matt, who reluctantly agrees to
become the literary executor of an old
friend, a poet called Robert Pope, only
for him to die unexpectedly. What
drew you to this situation?
A very old friend asked me to be
his executor, so maybe that got me
thinking about it. But I also have
many students who worry about
writing about their fathers, mothers,
brothers, sisters and partners, so
that was in my mind, too. I got
interested in the rights of people
who are being written about, rather
than the rights of the writer. Since
my memoir came out [in 1993], it
seems like there have been a lot
more cases of people feeling their
right to privacy has been violated –
either that, or I got off lightly.
The Executor includes several poems
‘by’ Robert Pope: his reworking of
some of Ovid’s Amores. How should
we read these? To what degree are
they poems by Blake Morrison?
I was working on the poems first.
Lots of people have had a go at
[reworking] Ovid’s Metamorphoses,
so I thought I would have a go
at the Amores; they’re very male
poems, and I wanted to see if they
could be made to work today. In
the end, though, I found I couldn’t
make some of them work, and
others I didn’t feel I had remade
Blake Morrison
The writer who
launched a thousand
family memoirs talks to
Rachel Cooke about
his new novel, the story
of a literary executor
Robert Pope’s widow responds very
badly to Matt’s discoveries.
Yes. But think of all the biographies
that have been written where
the widow was furious: TS Eliot,
Stephen Spender, Ted Hughes.
That’s the background to her
reaction. My feeling is that it’s all
going to come out in the end. I’ve
always felt, too, that there’s the
writing, and the life; that they’re
separate. But if you’re the widow,
and there was another woman or
man before you, you’re hurt and
your instinct is to stop the book.
The Observer
You’re one of a growing number of
university creative writing teachers.
Do you believe writing can be taught?
Yes, skills can be learned and
developed. With life writing, the
work is about getting past the idea
that the experience itself is enough,
that you’ve only to transcribe it. You
must write a memoir as if you’re
writing a novel; you have to give it
a shape.
So it’s not about catharsis.
What’s that word people use?
Closure. There is no closure. I still
find myself writing about my dad. I
go on thinking about him.
What books are on your bedside
Maggie Nelson’s The Red Parts,
Wendy Cope’s Anecdotal Evidence,
Nikesh Shukla’s The Good
Immigrant, Svetlana Alexievich’s
Chernobyl Prayer, Adam Kay’s This Is
Going to Hurt, Aida Edemariam’s The
Wife’s Tale.
Blake Morrison:
“It was just
a book about
my dad. I’d no
expectations. But
then it took off.’
Photograph by
Murdo MacLeod
sufficiently in my own voice. I was
left not knowing what to do with
these poems I’d written – and then
I started to work on this novel.
To answer your question, they’re
neither Ovid nor Blake Morrison,
really. But then again, I did them,
not “Robert Pope”. Someone said to
me I should have owned them, put
my name to them, but I don’t feel
that I’ve thrown them away, or that
they’re wasted. I like the idea that
you could read the novel without
the poems, or vice versa – I put them
at the end for that reason, and also
because, like lots of people, when I
read Possession [AS Byatt’s Booker
prize-winning novel of literary
detection, which includes pastiche
Victorian poems], I skipped the
poems. I wanted to give people the
option of doing that.
‘I got interested in the
rights of people who are
Matt is a bit sententious,
shocked. But perhaps he also
experiences Robert’s slightly racier
life as an implicit criticism of his own.
There’s a bit of social commentary in
his character, isn’t there?
Yes. He’s envious of Robert’s
adventure, but he can’t admit it to
himself. He’s a different generation
to me, and to Robert, with different
values. Don’t you think that younger
men are more puritanical, more
shocked by infidelity or even the
merest hint of it, than older men?
There are questions about Rob, and
the kind of man he is, questions that
play into this debate we’re having
What book might people be surprised
to see on your bookshelves?
The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary.
I know poetry’s meant to come as
naturally as leaves to a tree, but
sometimes it needs stimulants.
What book did you last put down
without finishing?
I’m a puritan. I might skim but I
always get to the end.
Which book or author do you always
return to?
Philip Larkin. The funniest, saddest
and most quotable of poets.
What do you plan to read next?
Wendy Mitchell’s Somebody I Used
to Know, so as to understand what
dementia’s like, from the inside.
To order The Executor for £14.44
go to or
call 0330 333 6846
The Observer
of the
A series of discursive
essays by Geoff Dyer
make for a playful
and astute tribute
to a great street
photographer, writes
Sean O’Hagan
The Street Philosophy of
Garry Winogrand
Geoff Dyer
University of Texas Press, £46, pp239
Garry Winogrand was an obsessive
New Yorker with attitude who,
in the 1960s, defined street
photography to such a degree that
nearly every example of the genre
since looks like imitation. For all
the apparent spontaneity of his
images, Winogrand was acutely
attuned to the ways in which a
photo altered what it captured,
often imposing a formal, and thus
transformative, symmetry on the
unruly drama of the everyday.
“Photography is not about the
thing photographed,” he once said.
“It is about how that thing looks
In many ways, Winogrand’s
work is the perfect starting point
for a series of short essays by Geoff
Dyer, whose nonfiction writing
merges discursive scholarship with
personal flights of fancy. The Street
Philosophy of Garry Winogrand
takes its cue not from Dyer’s
previous book on photography,
The Ongoing Moment, but the late
John Szarkowski’s wonderful book
on Eugene Atget (Atget), the great
flâneur-photographer of Victorian
Paris. Szarkowski, a brilliant curator
and incisive writer, selected 100 of
Atget’s images and wrote miniessays on each. Dyer has done
something similar with Winogrand,
“weighing up”, as he puts it, “the
often competing claims of word
and image”.
The result will disappoint anyone
looking for a comprehensive
appraisal of Winogrand’s work,
which, as Dyer points out, can
be found elsewhere. Instead, the
images allow Dyer to range far
and wide through photography,
literature, art, theory, architecture,
design and music as he teases out
his own offbeat associations. When
it works, it works beautifully: an
image of a lone young girl, lost in
thought at a bus stop in London,
“reminds us that the swinging 60s
was a highly localised epoch” in
that “there is no sign that any of the
associated tentacles – psychedelia,
op art, flower power – reached from
Carnaby Street or the Kings Road
to this part of London, let alone the
rest of England”. Dyer also picks up
on an ominous pile of rugs in a shop
window, “which lie there like an
octopus” (the photograph within a
photograph being a characteristic of
Winogrand’s work).
Winogrand’s photo of a woman
on the phone ‘blurs the thin line
between public and private’.
Garry Winogrand Archive
His best photos
distil the ongoing
momentum of city
life into a single
stolen moment
Dyer is astute, too, on
Winogrand’s key tropes: people
waiting, looking, lost in thought,
arriving and departing; crowds, big
and small, calm and chaotic; the
various striking females he shot
on the street for his series, Women
Are Beautiful, which, in our current
moral climate, may well be read
as a damning example of the
predatory male gaze. Dyer artfully
deconstructs a shot of a woman
in a phone booth, one leg raised,
her hand cupped over the receiver.
It is an image that blurs the thin
line between public and private, a
line photographers have walked
since the invention of the medium
and that is now blurred to such an
extent that this photograph seems
almost quaint. Almost.
At least two male passers-by
in the frame are aware of
Winogrand’s presence, the
woman possibly so, though
her eyes are concealed by a
horizontal bar. As Dyer notes:
“The ballet of the glimpsed and
the unseen, the concealed and
revealed, is present at several
levels, including the aural.” Like
several of Winogrand’s best
photographs, it distils the ongoing
momentum of modern city life into
a single stolen moment.
There are a few instances when
Dyer’s flights of fancy become too
fanciful. A nun tending a prone
woman surrounded by sidewalk
gawkers is compared to a scene
from a film by Alain Resnais, but
Winogrand was too much of a
New Yorker to ever approach the
clinical formalism of Last Year
at Marienbad. Even his stillest
moments have an unmistakable
Winograndian energy. Most of the
time, though, Dyer’s riffs are both
playful and illuminating, and will
make you look anew at the work
of a man who once said: “I’m a
photographer, a still photographer.
That’s it.”
As this book reminds us, it isn’t.
Death and dying
about before
you go…
Waiting for the Last Bus:
Reflections on Life and Death
Richard Holloway
Canongate, £14.99, pp166
Fortitude, writes Richard Holloway,
is “one of the most important
lessons life teaches”, but it can take
us a long time to learn. Ageing, he
suggests, may be our last chance to
master it.
It is a slightly more sober version
of Bette Davis’s line about old age
not being “a place for sissies”, but
also one that affords the 84-year-old
broadcaster, writer and former head
of the Anglican Church in Scotland
plenty of space in his flawless,
pitch-perfect prose to explore with
unflinching and unsentimental
fortitude the taboo of death.
Curiously, since it is the one
thing that will happen to every
single one of us – however much
exercise we take, quinoa we ingest,
or mindfulness we embrace – death
rarely features among the publicly
voiced anxieties of our secular,
scientific and sceptical age.
Part of the problem, Holloway
believes, is that having discarded
the organised form of religion that
used to serve as a framework for
society and individuals in which
to address death, we have nothing
to put in its place. And so we delay
considering the inevitability of our
demise until the very last minute,
when it is often too late to do
anything but panic.
What he would prefer us to do is
take the arrival of biblical fourscore-years-and-ten as a prompt
for the sort of self-examination of
our place in the bigger scheme of
things that used to characterise the
medieval discipline of memento
‘The perfect inclusive guide
to death’: Richard Holloway.
Murdo Macleod/the Guardian
mori – “remember that you will
die”. However much we resist the
thought, there are things we can
learn from the past.
Waiting for the Last Bus, though,
is far too subtle a book to be an
alternative manifesto. Much better
to regard it instead as a different
way of looking at things, and a
hugely nourishing one at that.
Because Holloway’s attachment to
the rigid formulas of religious faith
has loosened in the years since his
retirement – he refers to himself
as a “doubting priest” – he is the
perfect inclusive guide to death.
The free-flowing structure he
adopts is elegant, elegiac and
thought-provoking; questions not
answers, interspersed with material
from a range of writers – WH Auden,
Philip Larkin, C Day-Lewis, Edward
St Aubyn and Atul Gawande.
Although this isn’t a self-help
book, full of top tips for a better
death, Holloway does offer the
occasional pointer: try thinking
about death, he proposes, with an
old friend over a bottle of wine.
Or why not read obituaries, which
“work like those meetings of
substance abusers who help each
other overcome their addictions
by owning and sharing them”.
And even if you long ago rejected
any link with religion, Holloway
recommends giving choral evensong
in your local cathedral a try. The
place is, he notes, big enough for
you to “avoid recruiters out to pressgang your mind”, while the service is
sufficiently intimate “to experience
the music and touch the longing it
carries for the human soul”.
What Waiting for the Last Bus
pointedly does not do is offer an
invitation to weep, which too often
gets in the way of our efforts to
think about our own death. And it is
therefore Holloway’s triumph that
– soppy as I am – I summoned up
sufficient fortitude to remain dryeyed until the very last paragraph
of the very last page. There he
mentions, in passing, that his dog,
who walked the Pentland Hills with
him for 17 years, died in the midst of
the writing of the book.
“Given how old I am,” he
concludes, “she will not be replaced.
Daisy was my last dog. And the years
blow away like leaves in the wind.”
Peter Stanford
Peter Stanford’s What We Talk
About When We Talk About Faith
is published by Hodder. To order
Waiting for the Last Bus: Reflections
on Life and Death for £12.74 go
to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer
Children’s picture books of the month
Tales to inspire
strong mums
and brave spirits
Naughty kittens light up
Cressida Cowell’s latest, while
another twist on the Rebel
Girls formula is full of spark,
writes Imogen Carter
“Can we EAT a story?” one
hungry kitten asks her mother
at the beginning of The Story of
Tantrum O’Furrily (Hodder, £12.99,
published 5 April). Resembling a
modern-day folktale, the latest from
bestselling author Cressida Cowell
is such a lip-smacking pleasure
to read, so playfully told, that you
may well find yourself wanting to
swallow it whole. Presented as a
story within a story, it begins with
ginger stray Tantrum O’Furrily
telling her three kittens the tale of
Smallpaw, a bored kitten warned
not to go outside where the stray
cats – “the story cats” – get up to
mischief. Nevertheless, Smallpaw
creeps out and is almost eaten
by a sweet-talking fox: “‘Don’t be
frightened, furry biscuit,’ said the
foxy gentleman...” Thankfully she’s
saved from his clutches by one
of the strays, and there’s a happy
ending for everyone. Newcomer
Mark Nicholas provides the dark
and smudgy illustrations, lit
A new weekly series
answering readers’
up by orange cats scampering
everywhere that add a moody
air and mark him as a real talent
to watch.
Another outstanding debut
comes from Nicola Kent with The
Strongest Mum (Macmillan, £11.99).
Parents and carers everywhere will
relate to this tale of an ever-smiling
but put-upon bear who eventually
collapses under the weight of all the
stuff she’s asked to carry, from her
son’s forest treasures to a flamingo’s
piano. The message is simple: even
grownups need a bit of looking after.
But it’s the pictures that really shine,
painted in the colours of bright
boiled sweets and full of witty detail
(including a tremendous aerial view
of mum’s overloaded handbag). A
tale as sweet as honey.
Grumpy kids should be cheered
by Simon Sock (Hodder, £6.99),
the tale of an odd sock who longs
to find his other half so he can
be picked like the other pairs to
go on adventures (“The sparklies
go to parties! The woollies go to
the park!”). The latest from Sue
Hendra and Paul Linnet (with
Nick East illustrating), it’s as
delightfully daft as their previous
books, Supertato and Barry the Fish
With Fingers.
There’s been a real boom lately
in nonfiction books imaginatively
presented for young children and
Once Upon a Star, exploring how
the universe was created, by poet
James Carter and illustrator Mar
Hernandez (Little Tiger, £11.99), is
a beautiful addition. Carter’s verse
bounces along: “A mighty boom, a
huge kerrang, that scientists call the
big bang”, while Hernandez’s images
explode on the page.
A major nonfiction success story
from this recent flourishing has
been Good Night Stories for Rebel
Girls, tales of extraordinary reallife women, which has prompted
dozens of similar titles, and a
recently released second volume.
One first-rate imitator is Young,
Q: What are some good books with
LGBTQ+ representation? I’m a
bisexual Australian 16-year-old.
(Wishes to remain anonymous)
gay characters and scenes without
necessarily revolving around
specific queer “issues”.
Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the
City series is a joyous novelistic
chronicle of San Francisco’s queer
scene (including many bisexual
characters). Jeanette Winterson’s
Written on the Body is a highly erotic
novel about two women falling in
love, while her debut novel, Oranges
Are Not the Only Fruit, is based on
her sexual awakening as a young
teen. An excellent exploration of
bisexuality and lust in the 1950s is
James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room.
Into poetry? Dive into the works
of black lesbian feminist poet Audre
A: Hannah Jane Parkinson,
comment and features writer on
the Guardian and Observer
LGBTQ-themed books were once
few and far between – either
polemics relegated to dark genre
corners of bookshops, or artless
fiction with awful titles and even
worse covers. Wider representation
of LGBTQ people in publishing and
progressive attitudes have pushed
queer books into the mainstream,
however. Works often now include
Top: The Strongest Mum
and, above, Young, Gifted
and Black.
Gifted and Black by Jamia Wilson
and illustrator Andrea Pippins
(Wide Eyed, £14.99), which tells
the stories of “52 inspiring icons
of colour” using the same formula
as Rebel Girls – a biographical page
and accompanying portrait per icon
– from Nelson Mandela to Zadie
Smith and Nina Simone (whose
song provides the book’s title). While
the biographies don’t zip along
as well as those in Rebel Girls, the
striking portraits in carnivalesque
colours really sing, and I like how a
pertinent quote or fact is highlighted
for each person. This is an essential
book for inspiring even the tiniest
children to face the world with
boldness and self-belief. As wise
Tantrum O’Furrily puts it to her
own offspring in Cressida Cowell’s
book, “A cat with courage makes her
own story.”
To order any of these books for a
special price go to guardianbookshop.
com or call 0330 333 6846
Lorde, as well
as Thom Gunn,
Carol Ann
Duffy and Anne
Sexton. Oh,
and, of course,
gems include
the love letters
between Vita
Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf.
Sticking with Woolf, Orlando, in
which a nobleman wakes up as a
woman (a story partly inspired by
Sackville-West), is among her finest.
Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, his
writings to his former lover from
jail after being convicted of gross
indecency, is as beautiful as it is
Finally, it is worth checking out
the source material of some recent
films: The Danish Girl by David
Ebershoff (a novelisation of the
trans pioneer Lili Elbe), and Call Me
By Your Name, by André Aciman. For
fun, I have an obsession with 50s
and 60s lesbian pulp fiction. Titles
include Satan Was a Lesbian and
Homicide Hussy. Amazing.
If you’ve got a question for Book
Clinic, submit it at or email bookclinic@
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: unusual (to appear
18 March). Share your photos of
what ‘unusual’ means to you at by 10am
on Wednesday 14 March.
1 ‘Rainy day survival kit.’
Gisele Tuliplander/GuardianWitness
2 ‘Tea cosy keeping the pot hot.’
David Dobbing/GuardianWitness
3 ‘A greylag goose improvises
some shelter for its goslings.’
Everyman crossword No. 3,726
1 Field covered with variety of shady
shrubs (10)
6 Inspire scorn, dropping name (4)
9 Pass westward around good island,
showing sense (5)
10 Sweet advance, seizing moment
with run before work (5,4)
12 Instrument in old saloon perhaps
popular with audience initially (7)
13 Archives in care of king seized by
revolutionaries (7)
14 Mountaineer near muddy ground
around tor? (6,7)
17 Story by bishop, weak, involving
hesitation before church wine (13)
21 Potential row after daughter
admitted to obsession (7)
22 Judge in revolutionary period
accepting part with resistance (7)
24 Extended barrier in eastern
capital? Not on (9)
25 Grand number followed by odd
pieces from ballet (5)
26 Carry toddler with energy (4)
27 Engine component about level with
small handle (10)
1 Large room, outstanding,
sanctified (8)
2 Follow mother’s teaching (5)
3 Dodgy gear I continue selling (13)
4 Giant success? End up with
hotel (7)
5 One in drama at sea left naval
officer (7)
7 Picture in doorway catching shaft
of light (9)
Sudoku classic
Fill in the blank cells
using the numbers
1 to 9.
8 Rest with engineers present (6)
11 Discount large scam, coming up
with goals and beginning to bear
burden (2-6,5)
15 Commercial, in distortion of moral
appeal, lacking skill (9)
16 Most acute pressure in parts over
time (8)
18 Raised in Nazareth, gifted one with
unyielding determination (7)
19 Lack of restraint in scrap (7)
20 Protest? It’s a thing (6)
23 Bone from bird endlessly
conserved by volunteers (5)
Each number must
appear just once in
every row, column and
3x3 box.
Post code
How many times a month do
you buyThe Observer?
SOLUTION No. 3,725
How many times a week do
you buyThe Guardian?
□Tick here if you do not wish to receive any further information from The
Observer or other companies carefully selected by us
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. 3,724 winners
Patricia Mitchell, Devon
Duncan Cowen, Cheshire
Alan Anthony, Nottingham
Mrs L English, Leicester
Susan Burnett, Berwichshire
The Observer
Azed No. 2,387
Azed No. 2,384 solution & notes
Post code
1 Sign of cold weather, not special,
teeth only ultimately chatter (5)
6 Very complicated recipes (7)
12 All upset about tragic playing,
requiring tranquillizer (9)
13 I am in favour of verse that’s
ad-lib (6)
15 Gooey stuff, not fat, on rear of
univalve (5)
16 Asian language, no good in north
Welsh town (6)
17 Introductory musical section, one
in a round (5)
20 Part of flower Her Madge stuck in
bent hatpin (8)
21 Mayflies etc a rheometer revived
with pep! (13)
23 The Lord’s concerned with court
examination (8)
27 Nothing in excess? Sulk as before (5)
29 Sweet turns allowed for a pair of
sixes maybe (6)
31 Busy getting lance’s head in, as in a
joust? (5)
32 ‘Puckered’ fabric? Piles machined
round front of shirts (6)
33 Version of memoirs penned by
posh name initially? It’s plummy (9)
34 One who’s agreed to meet in
Coventry’s terminus (7)
35 I’ll draw off liquor, a dash of rum –
stick around (5)
1 Workshop with British work unit
occupying fixed floor (11)
2 Carmen, amateur, useless (4)
3 Barrel lost dry seal (5)
4 One in hospital set perchance (5)
5 Tricky spot right inside shaft (6)
7 Plate e.g. duke nicked from club (5)
8 Merge short section of text that’s
overrunning? (7)
9 Outstanding capital features in
Bernini aquatints (4)
10 What may cause traumas at sea? (7)
11 Cumbersome peahen trips
catching end of bill on spike (11)
14 Protective garb, taking everything
into account (7)
18 Impure metal forming second
shower of missiles (7)
19 Bristles? Use half of them wrongly (7)
22 Over 50, belle getting on a bit (6)
24 Currency unit, note about to
increase over euro (5)
25 Is in with climbing band of
yesteryear (5)
26 Professional theologian providing
some useful emails (5)
28 Like lardy-cake, or what it’s served
on, without topping? (4)
30 Former mate subject to senior
officer in the Guards (4)
Across 15, hidden; 19, or (rev.) + a + die; 22, n, a + ad (rev.); 26, anag. less r incl.
I; 31, Nerys (rev.); see Names in C.; 35, sum (rev.) + term aster.
Down 1, batter + ingram; 3, rep in tid; 6, 1 z in anag.; vague ref. to Roy Kinnear;
8, t in anag.; 10, on 1 in g organ; 16, CIA + 0; 20, ups warm; 27, cf. visit; 28, comp.
Rules and requests
£25 in book tokens for the first three correct solutions opened.
Solutions postmarked no later than Saturday to:
AZED No. 2,387 The Observer, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU.
AZED No. 2,384 prizewinners
M Coates, London
Cathy Carstairs, Midlothian
Marian Young, Chester
The Chambers Dictionary (2014) is recommended.
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.
After 26...f6 (see diagram 1), Grischuk
would have had the advantage, but
he played 26...Rg8?? What shattering
sequence did this run into? (Answer at
the end.)
The 2018 Candidates Tournament
is now under way in Berlin as the
eight warriors – Sergey Karjakin,
Levon Aronian, Ding Liren, Shakhriyar
Mamedyarov, Alexander Grischuk,
Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and
Vladimir Kramnik – do battle to
become Magnus Carlsen’s next
The first round was yesterday so
a substantive discussion must be
deferred to next week, but we can
return now to a question I broached
a fortnight ago: how wise was it to
play in advance? Of the eight, five
played in Wijk aan Zee in January, while
Aronian was at the top-class open in
Gibraltar, which he won. Grischuk and
Ding kept their powder dry, which I
suggested might be an advantage. But
I’d forgotten about the annual Mikhail
Tal Memorial tournament, which took
place just days ago in Moscow with
half of the candidates taking part –
Karjakin, Kramnik, Mamedyarov and
The crucial thing is that this was
rapidplay and blitz, which are very
different from “proper” classical chess,
especially in the breadth of openings
that you can play successfully. So the
four can reasonably claim they were
merely warming up without giving
much away at all.
In any case it was Viswanathan
Anand, the winner of the world
rapidplay in Saudi Arabia last
December, who won the rapidplay
in Moscow with a very impressive
6/9, winning four, drawing four and
losing only to Mamedyarov. He was
followed by Mamedyarov, Karjakin and
Hikaru Nakamura on 5/9. Grischuk
finished halfway down the 10-player
field making 4.5 together with Boris
This took place with three rounds a
day from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 March,
and on Monday four more players
joined the fray in a 14-player blitz
tournament won by Karjakin with a
terrific 10/13 ahead of Nakamura 8.5
and Ian Nepomniachtchi (who had
come equal last in the rapidplay) on
Rapidplay (and even more so blitz)
games shouldn’t be scanned too
rigorously for absolute accuracy, but
they can certainly have a nice “flow”
as in these two fine endings.
Diagram 2
27 Nxe5 Bxe5 It’s very natural to bale
out into an opposite bishops endgame,
but perhaps 27...Rxd5 28 Nxg6 Kf7 29
Nf4 Rd6 was better.
28 Rxe5 Re8 29 f4 g5 30 Rxe8+ Bxe8
31 fxg5 hxg5 32 g4! Fixing the g5
pawn, which is now doomed.
32...Kf7 33 Kf2 Ba4 34 Ke3 Bd1 35
Kd4?! By playing 35 Bd2 first, Anand
could have kept a pawn on the
kingside and it turns out that 35...Ke8
36 Kd4 Bf3 37 Bxg5 Bg2 38 h4 Bf3
39 Kxc4 Bxg4 40 Kc5 should then be
winning, if White leaves the pawn on
d5, advances the other to b6, forces
g6 with Be5, resets the bishop and
then moves his king via e5 towards f6.
35...Bf3 36 Kxc4 Ke7 It seems that
36...Bg2 37 Kc5 Bxh3 38 Kc6 Bxg4 39
b4 Ke7! draws by a tempo since if 40
b5 Bd7+ 41 Kc5 Kd8.
37 Bxg7 Bg2 38 h4! Passed pawns
are crucial in opposite bishop endings.
Now Black has too many to deal with.
38...gxh4 39 Be5 Bf3 40 g5 Kf7 41 b4
Kg6 42 d6 And Nakamura resigned
since a passed pawn will queen.
Diagram 3
In a fiendishly complicated doublerook endgame, Anand went astray:
33 b5? This hopes to eliminate the
queenside but lets the Black king into
the action. Instead 33 Re6 would have
been all right.
33...axb5 34 Rb2 Obviously his
intention when playing b5, but now the
king can advance.
34...Kc6! 35 Re6+ Kc5 36 Rb6 Ra3 37
Rxf6 d3 38 f5 Threatening 39 Ke3,
which was no good at once because
of Re7+, but it was already too late
to prevent Mamedyarov’s monarch
linking up with his passed pawns.
38...Kd4 39 Rb4+ Kc3 40 Rxb5 Rd7 41
Rc5+ Kd4 42 Rc1 Ra2+ 43 Kf3 d2 44
Rd1 Kd3 45 Re6 d4 46 f6 Ra3 The final
blow with the unstoppable threat of
47...Kc2+ and 48 Ke2 d3+, so Anand
In diagram 1, Grishcuk’s 26...Rg8?? ran
into 27 Ng5+! hxg5 (27...Rxg5 28 hxg5
was also hopeless) 28 Rxf7+! Qxf7 29
hxg5+ Kg7 30 Qh6 checkmate.
1 Viswanathan
Anand v Alexander
Grischuk (to play)
2 Viswanathan
Anand (to play) v
Hikarua Nakamura
3 Viswanathan
Anand (to play)
v Shakhriyar
The Observer
By Sarah Hughes
Films by
Jonathan Romney
The week’s highlights
Pick of the Day
Call the Midwife
Pick of the Day
Being Blacker
Pick of the Day
The Ruth Ellis Files
Pick of the Day
BBC One, 8pm
It would be easy to dismiss Call the Midwife
as standard Sunday night fare but as this
beautifully balanced finale demonstrates,
it remains one of the most accomplished
shows on TV. Tonight sees everyone
trying to move on after Barbara’s shocking
death, as Heidi Thomas expertly juggles
storylines allowing for laughter amid the
tears. There’s nothing saccharine about
it, however; instead Thomas reminds us
that when terrible things happen, we must
face them head on.
BBC Two, 9pm
Molly Dineen returns to television with
this gorgeous film about a man, his family
and the community in which they live. The
subject is Steve “Blacker Dread” Martin,
owner of the famous Blacker Dread Muzik
Store in Brixton, and the film follows him
through three turbulent years beginning
with his mother’s death. What emerges is
an intimate protrait which looks cleareyed at the Jamaican experience in the UK.
Bleak, beautiful and ultimately hope-filled,
it’s the best thing on television this week.
BBC Four, 9pm
The subheading for this fascinating if
flawed meld of documentary, social history
and investigation, airing over three nights,
is “A Very British Crime Story” and it’s
true that there is something about the
tale of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged
in Britain, that feels peculiarly of its
time and setting. American film-maker
Gillian Pachter brings enthusiasm and an
outsider’s eye to the story, although certain
reconstructions, notably those touching on
Ellis’s dead son, may make you feel queasy.
Sky Atlantic, 10pm
Sky Atlantic’s latest US import isn’t exactly
laugh-out-loud funny but stick with it
because this caustic, warm-hearted and
very honest take on single motherhood is
one of the more interesting new shows of
the year. Scripted by Frankie Shaw, who
also stars as Bridgette Bird, the “Smilf”
(single mother I’d like to…) of the title, it’s
an affectionate warts-and-all portrait of life
in scrappy South Boston, with a winning
and complicated heroine who’s hiding
some dark secrets behind her smile.
Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words
The Cheltenham Festival
Saving the British Bulldog
ITV, 8pm
Icarus An outstanding series comes to a close
with an elegiac tale of grief and the difficulty
of saying goodbye that ends on a bittersweet
but entirely fitting note. There’s crime along
the way, of course, as Morse (Shaun Evans)
is sent undercover to a boys’ boarding school
and writer Russell Lewis has fun referencing
everything from The Browning Version to If. As
always, though, the heart of the show is the
relationship between Morse and Thursday
(Roger Allam). Fans won’t be disappointed.
BBC One, 10.45pm
Few stars shone as brightly Ingrid Bergman,
whose vitality burned up the screen in movies
from Casablanca to Stromboli. This film by Stig
Björkman, presented as part of the Imagine…
strand, uses Bergman’s diaries, letters and
home movies to depict a woman who seized
life with both hands. “She went where the
wind took her but she was so amazing to be
with that we wished we had more of her,” says
oldest daughter Pia Lindström. Watching this
lovely film, it’s easy to see why.
ITV, from 1pm
All eyes on Cheltenham as the four-day racing
extravaganza begins. Today’s big race, the
Champion Hurdle, has an under-par field this
year but there’s compensation in the form
of an interesting Arkle led by hot favourite
Footpad. Tomorrow’s Champion Chase will
see Min, and possibly Douvan, attempt to reel
in Altior, while Gold Cup day on Friday should
belong to Jessica Harrington, who enters
Sizing John and Our Duke – although I have a
soft spot for Noel Meade’s Road to Respect.
BBC One, 9pm
Catherine Tate proves a dogged (sorry)
investigator in this serious and well-informed
look at how inbreeding has negatively
affected the popular bulldog breed, leaving
many animals with spinal defects, joint
problems and breathing issues. Whether
holding the Kennel Club to account or asking
owners why they prize looks over health, Tate
never lets her subjects off the hook. The result
is a damning, eye-opening film which raises
serious questions about how we treat our pets.
Love and Drugs on the Street
This Country
BBC Three from 10am
Amid all the recent jokes about the “Beast from
the East” it’s easy to forget the impact that
bad weather can have on lives. This second
film about homeless women in Brighton
demonstrates how bad it can get as Kelly,
Charlotte and Diana struggle in the snow. SH
BBC Three from 10am
Amid the one-liners here’s a serious point
being made about the way in which rural
communities are left short of services in
tonight’s superb episode, as Kerry injures
herself playing football, necessitating a trip to
the hospital – much to Kurtan’s despair… SH
BBC Two, 10pm
The thing about Mum is that you never know
when it’s going to shatter your heart. Tonight’s
fourth episode is a quietly devastating gem as
a sleep-deprived Michael (Peter Mullan saying
more with his eyes than many manage with
entire speeches) makes a huge decision. SH
Channel 4, 10pm
Jo Brand’s social worker comedy is probably
the smartest thing on TV right now, expertly
balancing sardonic humour with devastating
storylines. Tonight is no exception as Nitin
finds himself trying to help a young girl
whose parents are both addicts. SH
Hilary and Jackie
The Levelling
The Artist
(Otto Preminger, 1944)
BBC Two, 2.45pm
One of the monuments of romantic noir, all
the more alluring because the heroine is dead
when the film starts. Dana Andrews plays the
cop investigating the murder of ad executive
Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney), whose complex
life unfolds as we meet those who knew her
– including her playboy beau (Vincent Price)
and gadfly journo Waldo Lydecker. The latter,
one of the more indelible and ambivalent
characters in noir, is played in a tour de force
of waspishness by Clifton Webb. Also here is
Judith Anderson, seen four years earlier as
Mrs Danvers in Hitchcock’s Rebecca. David
Raksin’s score puts the seal of sublimity on
one of the greats. JR
(Anand Tucker, 1998)
London Live, 2am
This portrait of cellist Jacqueline du Pré
and her flautist sister Hilary attracted both
praise and condemnation, with scepticism
over the reliability of Hilary’s account of the
relationship. Scripted by Frank Cottrell Boyce,
the film explores the hazy terrain between
brilliance and ego, sacrifice and emotional
demand. Jackie (Emily Watson) isn’t a monster,
she just has absolute needs – including, on
some level, the need to hurt her sister and rival
(Rachel Griffiths), not least by demanding to
sleep with her husband (David Morrissey). The
film doesn’t stint on the heart-tugging, but it’s
the sugar coating on a work of commitment
and intelligence. JR
(Hope Dickson Leach, 2016)
Sky Cinema Premiere, 6am
A prime exhibit in the current cycle of New
British Ruralism, along with Dark River and
God’s Own Country. So are these films about
nostalgia, about finding the apposite setting
for dramas of elemental emotion, or just about
telling bare-bones stories cheaply? Whatever,
Dickson Leach’s acclaimed debut takes its cue
for style and mood from the darker strain of
current European art cinema. It stars Ellie
Kendrick as Clover, a veterinary student who
returns to the family farm to find the place
in chaos and her father (David Troughton)
distraught after sudden tragedy. As revelations
emerge, elements in the landscape around take
on an eerie, ominous heft. JR
(Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)
BBC One, 11.45pm
After making his name with the OSS 117 Gallic
spy spoofs, director Hazanavicius struck gold
– or rather, silver, since it’s in beautiful blackand-white – with this delicious visual comedy.
It’s the perennial story of a silent movie star
who plummets while his hoofing protege
finds fame. Bérénice Béjo exudes ingenue
exuberance; droll, dapper Jean Dujardin
makes the most of his anachronistic matinee
idol (or tailor’s dummy) physiognomy; Jack
Russell terrier Uggie (2002-2015) scene-steals
outrageously, ensuring his place in cinema’s
Canine Hall of Fame. The gags about sound
and silence are exquisite, and the timing is
perfect. JR
The Observer
Pick of the Day
My Baby’s Life: Who Decides?
Pick of the Day
Pick of the Day
Six Nations Rugby
Channel 4, 9pm
Is it ever right to allow a child to die?
That’s the sad question at the heart of this
important and hard-to-watch documentary
filmed at Southampton children’s hospital.
It follows a handful of children with
complex and incurable conditions as
both parents and doctors struggle with
the ethics of ending a life. There’s a lot of
sensitive discussion about who ultimately
should make that choice, but what lingers
longest is a despairing mother’s plea to
ensure her dying baby doesn’t suffer.
BBC One, 9pm
Kris Mrksa’s homage to the great horror
films of the 1960s and 70s has successfully
ratcheted up the tension with each new
episode, as bolshy protagonist Matilda
(Lydia Wilson) continues to ignore all
the signs in her quest to uncover the
truth. Tonight’s gloriously unsettling and
perfectly paced conclusion underlines what
a bad idea that is, as she does what horror
heroines should never do and heads into
the spooky mansion in the dark, by herself.
Oh Matilda, have you learned nothing?
ITV from 12noon; BBC One, 4.30pm
The Six Nations reaches its climax. Sadly
we go to press before the penultimate round
of games has been played meaning it’s
impossible to say whether England v Ireland
at Twickenham (ITV, kick-off 2.45pm)
is the St Patrick’s Day championship
decider it promised to be. There have been
other delights along the way, however,
most notably Ireland’s evergreen Johnny
Sexton, the home performances of Gregor
Townsend’s Scotland and the emergence
of talented Welsh back rower Josh Navidi.
The Good Fight
Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago
Performance Live
More4, 9pm
Day 408 Few US programmes engage quite so
directly with the current situation in America
as this legal drama – even the episode title
refers to the 45th president’s time in office.
The ante has been upped this time around as
Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and co
find themselves increasingly adrift in a world
loosed from its tethers. Naturally they respond
as all good liberal lawyers must with renewed
purpose, excellent one-liners and the odd bout
of infighting. Welcome back, gang.
BBC Two, 9pm
This two-part documentary, which sees seven
unlikely volunteers including Neil Morrissey,
Debbie McGee and Heather Small walk the
historic pilgrimage route the Camino de
Santiago, is a cut above the standard “celebs
swan around somewhere nice finding
themselves” fare. There are some fascinating
conversations about the nature of faith or
lack of it, while the evening’s most touching
moment comes when the widowed McGee
meets a grieving fellow pilgrim.
BBC Two, 10.40pm
Winged Bull in the Elephant Case The latest
in the always interesting live arts series
focuses on acclaimed choreographer Wayne
McGregor’s most recent piece, which is about
how the National Gallery hid key works of
art from the Nazis in Snowdonia during
the second world war. The immersive piece
was filmed both in the National Gallery and
underground in a Welsh slate mine and looks
at the importance of preserving cultural
heritage in the face of violence and aggression.
On My Block
Hap and Leonard
Sky Atlantic, 9pm
Jez and Tom Butterworth’s weird (or should
that be wyrd?) drama hasn’t been for everyone.
Those of us who love its wild ambition,
however, get the ending we dreamed of as
Aulus brings fire and fury to the Celts –
leading to old sacrifices and new alliances. SH
Given that Netflix appear intent on flooding the
world with new content it would be easy for its
less buzzy shows such as this teen comedy to
get lost in the deluge. If so it would be a shame,
because On My Block is a witty romp bolstered
by strong turns from a smart young cast. SH
Amazon Prime
The lovely, laidback adaptation of Joe
Lansdale’s laconic crime novels returns for
a much deserved third season as our heroes
Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael K
Williams) find themselves hunting for Hap’s
ex (Tiffany Mack) and fighting the Klan. SH
The Fly
(David Cronenberg, 1986)
Film4, 1am
This quasi-remake of the 1958 man-intomonster movie is one of Cronenberg’s
signature films, a defining example of the
“body horror” cycle that caused theorists
to spill so much ink at the height of 80s
Aids anxiety. Jeff Goldblum is the boffin who
sacrifices his looks to weird science, mutating
ickily into a human-insect hybrid. It’s hard to
know what’s more shocking – the effect on his
ears, his fingernails or his digestive system. But
this is also a surprisingly touching film about
mortality, as well as a poignant love story, with
Geena Davis co-starring. A rare chiller that
intelligently targets your brain, your tearducts
and the pit of your stomach. JR
(Thomas Kruithof, 2016)
Sky Cinema Premiere, 3.45am
A taut French debut from director and
co-writer Kruithof, quietly crackling with
political anxiety. Duval is a bookkeeper and
a recovering alcoholic who takes on a 9 to 5
job transcribing taped telephone interviews.
Everything goes smoothly until the routine is
broken and Duval hears something worrying.
A conspiracy thriller with low-level echoes
of the 1970s American paranoid cycle (The
Conversation, The Parallax View et al), it stars a
frazzled François Cluzet, alongside European
art-house stalwarts Alba Rohrwacher, Simon
Abkarian, and Denis Podalydès swapping his
trademark doofus affability for something
more sinister. JR
(Larry Charles, 2009)
Comedy Central, 10.30pm
From Sacha Baron Cohen’s imperial phase,
one of those stunt comedies that convinced
us that he was the new Peter Sellers, with
an added dimension of Jackass-style
kamikaze fearlessness. In retrospect, this
follow-up to Borat suggests something
more like the Dick Emery de nos jours,
although Brüno will often have you in
stitches despite your better judgment. SBC’s
preening Austrian fashionista ventures way
beyond the usual frontiers of camp stereotype
to expose homophobia, celebrity narcissism
and myriad other sins. As cinematic
Austrians go, he’s a lot funnier than Michael
Haneke but no less confrontational. JR
Radio By Stephanie Billen
Picks of the Week
No pain, no gain seems to be the
philosophy of violinist Margaret Faultless
interviewed by actor Simon Russell
Beale for Sunday Feature: Concerto
(Sunday, Radio 3, 6.45pm). She believes
that if you do not “come off stage and
feel like you have spent some of your
soul… you’ve kind of short-changed the
music.” The programme’s exploration of
the concerto and the dynamics between
virtuoso soloist and orchestra ties in
with the theme of Radio 3’s Free Thinking
festival: The One and the Many. With
over 50 events, the festival takes place
this weekend in Gateshead. Listen out
for live coverage or catch up via Radio 3’s
Arts and Ideas podcast.
In a thought-provoking Analysis: What
Are Universities For? (Monday, Radio 4,
8.30pm) chief leader writer at the Observer
Sonia Sodha questions whether going
to university represents cash and energy
well spent. Her wide range of interviewees
includes a sceptical Bryan Caplan,
author of The Case Against Education,
and philosopher Martha Nussbaum, who
finds pragmatic reasons to champion
nonvocational learning: “If you want a
successful economy, you need to cultivate
the imagination to see the next thing.”
Along the way, Sodha asks why a student
with three Cs should not go to Oxford
and why universities, unlike schools,
receive little outside scrutiny.
Is there ever anything to be gained
from picking up a balaclava-wearing
hitchhiker with an extra-heavy violin case?
In Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme
(Tuesday, Radio 4, 11pm) the comic and his
musician pal (Tom Basden) offer precious
little poetry but plenty of laughs as they
invite us on an extraordinary car journey
in which they try not to notice they have an
armed robber aboard. Best remembered as
Alan Partridge’s Sidekick Simon, Key has
an engaging way of bringing everything
back to the trivial – witness his relentless
pursuit of a Magnum ice lolly.
For The Art of Now: Dangerous Places
(Thursday, Radio 4, 11.30am) composer
Errollyn Wallen investigates how art
can flourish in war zones. International
musicians, poets and actors talk
about their compulsion to
communicate and create
in such situations while
improvisational trumpeter
Mazen Kerbaj’s duet with
ffalling bombs, recorded
ffrom his Beirut balcony,
provides one of this
week’s most chillingly
memorable radio
Simon Russell Beale.
Suki Dhanda for
the Observer
The Observer
Today’s television
Sir Bruce: A Celebration
BBC One, 9pm
Goodbye to the
great entertainer
Breakfast (T) 7.30 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 News (T) 12.30
MasterChef (T) (R) 1.0
Homes Under the Hammer
(T) (R) 1.55 Songs of
Praise (T) 2.30 Live Six
Nations Rugby Union (T)
Wales v Italy (kick-off
3pm) Coverage from the
Principality Stadium in
Cardiff. 5.05 Earth’s Natural
Wonders (T) (R) 6.05 News
(T) 6.20 Regional News
(T) 6.30 Countryfile (T)
7.30 Hold the Sunset (T)
6.10 Coast (R) 6.55 A to Z of
TV Gardening (R) 7.15
The Instant Gardener (R)
8.05 Gardeners’ World (R)
8.35 Countryfile (R) 9.30
Saturday Kitchen Best
Bites 11.0 Spring Kitchen
With Tom Kerridge (R)
11.45 Lorraine Pascale: How
to Be a Better Cook (R)
12.15 MOTD2 Extra 1.0 The
Ladykillers: Pest Detectives
(R) 2.0 Money for Nothing
(R) 2.45 Laura (1944)
(T) 4.10 Back in Time for
Tea (T) (R) 5.10 The World’s
Most Extraordinary Homes
(T) (R) 6.10 Deep
Impact (Mimi Leder, 1998)
Call the Midwife (T) As
the nurses and midwives
prepare for Sister Monica
Joan’s birthday, they face
an influx of new patients.
Last in the series.
Sir Bruce Forsyth: A
Celebration (T) Tess Daly
pays tribute to the veteran
entertainer with a special
variety programme.
10.05 News (T)
10.25 Regional News (T) Weather
10.35 Match of the Day 2 (T)
Featuring Arsenal v
Watford and Bournemouth
v Tottenham Hotspur.
11.35 Fright Night
(Craig Gillespie, 2011) (T)
Comedy horror remake,
with Anton Yelchin, Colin
Farrell and David Tennant.
1.15 Weather (T) 1.20 News (T)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.10-9.0 Top Gear
9.0 Red Bull Soapbox:
Mumbai 10.0-12.0 Road
Cops 12.0-2.0 American
Pickers 2.0 Dynamo:
Magician Impossible
3.0-5.0 Gavin & Stacey
5.0 Red Bull Soapbox:
Mumbai 6.0-7.0 Yianni:
Supercar Customiser 7.0
Cop Car Workshop 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 Live at the Apollo
11.30-12.50 Room 101
12.50 Have I Got a Bit
More News for You 1.50
QI XL 2.40-4.0 Room
101 4.0 Home Shopping
6.0am Hollyoaks 8.25
The Big Bang Theory
8.55 The Big Bang
Theory 9.25 The Big
Bang Theory 9.50 The
Big Bang Theory 10.20
Spy Kids 4: All
the Time in the World
(2011) 12.0 The Big
Bang Theory: Mother’s
Top Gear (T) Matt LeBlanc
and Chris Harris take
secondhand sports cars
on a road trip across the
Japanese island of Honshu.
Life and Death Row: The
Mass Execution (T) Capital
punishment seen through
the eyes of young people
whose lives have been
shaped by it. Last in series.
10.20 The Mash Report (T) (R)
10.50 Top Gear: Extra Gear (T)
Rory Reid visits a secret
stash of cars in Japan.
11.15 Women’s Six Nations
Highlights (T)
11.45 Sign Zone Question
Time (T) (R)
12.45 Panorama Immigration:
Who Should We Let In? (T)
(R) 1.15 Holby City (T) (R)
2.10 This Is BBC Two (T)
Day 12.30 The Big
Bang Theory: Mother’s
Day 1.0 The Big Bang
Theory: Mother’s Day
1.30 The Big Bang
Theory: Mother’s Day
2.0 The Big Bang Theory:
Mother’s Day 2.30
The Big Bang Theory:
Mother’s Day 3.0
The Big Bang Theory:
Mother’s Day 3.30
The Big Bang Theory:
Mother’s Day 4.0
The Big Bang Theory:
Mother’s Day 4.30 The
Goldbergs 5.0 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 5.30 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 6.0 Young
Sheldon 6.30 The Big
Bang Theory 6.55
I, Robot (2004)
9.0 Marvel’s Agents of
SHIELD 10.0 The
World’s End (2013) 12.10
The Big Bang Theory
12.40 The Big Bang
Theory 1.10 Marvel’s
Agents of SHIELD 2.10
Timeless 2.55 Rude
Tube 3.20 Hollyoaks
11.0am Magic
in the Water (1995)
1.0 A League
of Their Own (1992)
3.40 We Bought
a Zoo (2011) 6.05
The Karate Kid
(2010) 9.0 The
Mechanic (2011) 11.0
Captive (2015)
1.0 American
Hustle (2013)
6.0am The Planet’s
Funniest Animals 6.20
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 6.45 Emmerdale
9.30 Coronation Street
12.20 The Voice UK 1.45
The Flintstones
(1994) (FYI Daily is at
2.45) 3.30 Dirty
Dancing 2: Havana Nights
(2004) (FYI Daily is at
4.30) 5.15 Evan
Almighty (2007) (FYI
Daily is at 6.15) 7.10
Gravity (2013)
(FYI Daily is at 8.15)
9.0 Ibiza Weekender
10.0-11.30 Family Guy
11.30-12.30 American
Dad! 12.30 Zack
and Miri Make a Porno
(2008) (FYI Daily is at
1.30) 2.25 Teleshopping
5.55 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Location,
Location… 10.0 Location,
Location… 11.0 Vet on
the Hill 12.05 Come Dine
With Me 12.40 Come
Dine With Me 1.10 Come
Dine With Me 1.40 Come
Dine With Me 2.15 Come
Dine With Me 2.50 Four
in a Bed 3.20 Four in a
Bed 3.50 Four in a Bed
4.20 Four in a Bed 4.50
Four in a Bed 5.20 Come
Dine With Me 5.50 Come
Dine With Me 6.25 Come
Dine With Me 6.55 Come
Dine With Me 7.25 Come
Dine With Me 7.55 Grand
Channel 4
Channel 5
CITV 9.25 ITV News (T)
9.30 Love Your Garden (T)
(R) 10.0 Peston on Sunday
(T) 11.0 The Voice UK (T) (R)
12.20 News and Weather
(T) 12.30 Ant & Dec’s
Saturday Night Takeaway
(T) (R) 2.0 Britain’s
Brightest Family (T) (R)
2.30 Catchphrase Mother’s
Day Special (T) (R) 3.30
Tipping Point (T) (R) 4.30
News and Weather (T) 4.45
Local News (T) 5.0 The
Chase: Celebrity Special (T)
(R) 6.0 Dancing on Ice: The
Final (T) The three last procelebrity couples compete.
Last in the series.
6.10 3rd Rock from the Sun (T)
(R) 6.35 3rd Rock from the
Sun (T) (R) 7.0 Tennis: Tie
Break Tens (T) 8.0 Winter
Paralympics Breakfast
(T) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 9.30
Sunday Brunch (T) 12.30
Jamie’s Quick & Easy Food
(T) (R) 1.05 The Simpsons
(T) (R) 2.05 The Simpsons
(T) (R) 2.35 The Simpsons
(T) (R) 3.05 The Great
Celebrity Bake Off for
Stand Up to Cancer (T) (R)
4.25 Crufts Extra With Alan
and Clare (T) 5.30 News
(T) 6.0 Winter Paralympics
Today (T) Action from day
two of the Games.
Endeavour Icarus (T)
Morse investigates the
disappearance of a teacher
from a secretive school,
and begins to question
whom he can trust when
a body is found. Thursday
tries to find the evidence
that will connect Eddie
Nero to a series of unsolved
murders. Last in the series.
10.0 News and Weather (T)
10.15 Peston on Sunday (T)
(R) Political magazine.
11.15 Six Nations Highlights (T)
Fourth-round action.
12.15 100 Year Old Driving
School (T) (R) 12.40
Marcella (T) (R) 1.30
Jackpot247 3.0 Take on
the Twisters (T) (R) 3.50
ITV Nightscreen 5.05 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
Designs New Zealand
9.0 Walks With My Dog
10.0 Father Ted 10.35
Father Ted 11.05 Micky
Flanagan’s Out Out Tour
12.05 That’s So Last
Century 1.10 Ramsay’s
Kitchen Nightmares USA
2.10 Car SOS 3.10 8 Out
of 10 Cats Uncut
6.0am Hour of Power 7.0
Futurama 7.30 Futurama
8.0-11.0 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
Futurama 3.30 Modern
Family 4.0 Modern
Family 4.30 Modern
Family 5.0 Modern
Family 5.30-8.0 The
Simpsons 8.0 MacGyver
9.0 Hawaii Five-0 10.0
NCIS: LA 11.0 The Blacklist
12.0 The Force: North
East 1.0 Arrow 2.0 DC’s
Legends of Tomorrow
3.0 Most Shocking 4.0
Stargate Atlantis 5.0
Stargate Atlantis
Sky Arts
6.0am Nigel Kennedy:
The Four Seasons 7.0
André Rieu: Live in Brazil
9.0 Auction 9.30 Tales
of the Unexpected 10.0
Tales of the Unexpected
10.30 The South Bank
Show Originals 11.0
Trailblazers: Pop Radio
12.0 Trailblazers: Pub
Crufts 2018: Best in Show
(T) Clare Balding presents
live coverage of the dog
show as an overall champion is chosen from the six
Homeland (T) Carrie follows
a lead as Saul’s situation
goes from bad to worse.
Espionage drama with Claire
Danes and Mandy Patinkin.
10.0 The Last Leg Winter
Paralympic Special (T)
11.0 8 Out of 10 Cats Does
Countdown (T) (R) With
Jon Richardson, David
Mitchell, Joe Wilkinson
and Roisin Conaty.
12.0 Married at First Sight (T)
(R) 1.0 The Inbetweeners
(T) (R) 1.30 Winter
Paralympics Live (T) Day
three in Pyeongchang.
Rock 1.0 Trailblazers:
Dance 2.0 Discovering:
Peter O’Toole 2.55
Discovering: Joan
Fontaine 3.50 Verdi: I
Due Foscari 6.0 When
Patsy Cline Was Crazy 7.0
Portrait Artist of the Year
2018 8.0 The Eighties
9.0 The Gardens of
Pompeii 10.0 Picasso Live
from Tate Modern 11.0
The Art of the Joy of Sex
12.0 The Music Videos
That Shaped the 80s 1.0
Pink Floyd: The Story
of Wish You Were Here
2.20 The Hollies: Look
Through Any Window
4.45 Miloš: Heartstrings
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
Ocean Rescue: A Plastic
Whale 3.0 Arctic Peril
4.0 Ocean Rescue: Dirty
Business 5.0 In Too Deep:
The Race To Save The
Final Frontier 6.0 Blue
Bloods 7.0 Blue Bloods
8.0 Blue Bloods 9.0 Save
Me 10.0 Real Time With
Bill Maher 11.10 Active
Shooter: America Under
Fire 12.20 Britannia 1.20
Dexter 2.35 Dexter 3.50
Three Billboards Outside
Ebbing, Missouri: Special
4.05-6.0 Fish Town
On the
Radio 3
7.0 Breakfast at Free
Thinking. With Elizabeth
Alker. 9.0 News 9.03
Sunday Morning at
Free Thinking. Sarah
Walker is joined by
the saxophonist and
composer Tim Garland.
12.0 Private Passions:
Richard Flanagan 1.0
News 1.02 The One and
the Many. Musicians from
Paul Watkins to Vadim
Gluzman introduce their
recordings of great
solo works by giving
candid glimpses into
their world as soloists.
2.0 The Early Music
Show at Free Thinking:
Thomas More’s Utopia.
With Lucie Skeaping.
3.0 Choral Evensong
(R) 4.0 Choir and Organ
at Free Thinking. Live
performances from
Musical Originals and
Voices of Hope. 5.0 The
Listening Service at Free
Thinking. Tom Service
explores polyphony. 5.30
Words and Music at Free
Thinking: The One and
the Many 6.45 Sunday
Milkshake! 10.05 Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles (T)
(R) 10.40 Football on 5:
The Championship (T) (R)
11.30 Football on 5: Goal
Rush (T) (R) 12.0 Britain’s
Greatest Bridges (T) 12.15
Police Interceptors (T) (R)
1.15 Police Interceptors (T)
(R) 2.15 Open Season
2 (Matthew O’Callaghan,
Todd Wilderman, 2008) (T)
3.45 Cloudy with a
Chance of Meatballs 2 (Cody
Cameron, Kris Pearn, 2013)
(T) 5.25 Journey 2:
The Mysterious Island (Brad
Peyton, 2012) (T) 7.15 Can’t
Pay? We’ll Take It Away (R)
BBC Four
Only Connect (T) (R)
The Wanderers take on
the Eco-Warriors. 7.30
University Challenge
(T) (R) The quarter-final
matches continue.
Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It
Away (T) (R) The debt
collectors serve a writ
issued for the organiser
of a music festival.
8.55 News (T)
9.0 Olympus Has Fallen
(Antoine Fuqua, 2013) (T)
A disgraced agent tries
to redeem himself. Action
thriller with Gerard Butler.
Ancient Greece: The
Greatest Show on Earth
(T) (R) Classicist Michael
Scott travels to Greece
on a quest to find out
how drama first began.
Michael Jackson’s
Journey from Motown to
Off the Wall (Spike Lee,
2016) (T) Documentary
charting the singer’s career.
11.15 Rise of the Krays
(Zackary Adler, 2015)
(T) Biopic of the gangster brothers, with Kevin
Leslie and Simon Cotton
and Nicola Stapleton.
1.15 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
Cowboy Builders (T) (R) 4.0
Now That’s Funny! (T) (R)
4.45 House Doctor (T) (R)
5.10 House Busters (T) (R)
5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.30 Sings Motown (T) (R)
Motown covers from Dusty
Springfield to Paul Weller
and Amy Winehouse.
11.30 I’m Not In Love: The
Story of 10cc (T) (R)
12.30 The Art of France (T) (R)
1.30 Smile! The Nation’s
Family Album (T) (R) 2.30
Sings Motown (T) (R)
3.30 The Beauty of
Anatomy (T) (R)
Feature: Concerto.
Simon Russell Beale
discusses the dymanics
between musicians
in a concerto. 7.30 In
Concert. Highlights
from a concert the Basel
Chamber Orchestra gave
at La Chaux-de-Fonds
last year. Plus, the Doric
Quartet and friends
at the MecklenburgVorpommern Festival.
Reger: O Mensch bewein’
dein’ Sünde groß, after
Bach’s Chorale Prelude,
BWV 622. Beethoven:
Violin Concerto in D
major, Op 61. Matthias:
Arter Aquarell on Bach’s
Ricercar a 6. Vilde Frang
(violin), Basel Chamber
Orchestra, Trevor
Pinnock. Bruch: Octet in
B, op posth Doric String
Quartet, Martin Funda
(violin), Tianwa Yang
(violin), Hiyoli Togawa
(viola), Gabriel Schwabe
(cello). 9.0 Drama on 3 at
Free Thinking: Suffrage
Dramas. Compilation of
short plays. 10.30 Early
Music Late: Magdalena
Kozena and the Venice
Baroque Orchestra 11.30
Wigmore Hall Mondays:
Leon McCawley (R) 12.30
Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 News 6.05
Something Understood:
Can I Get a Witness?
6.35 Living World: A
Starling Eruption (R) 7.0
News 7.0 Sunday Papers
7.10 Sunday. Edward
Stourton presents the
week’s religious and
ethical headlines. 7.55
Radio 4 Appeal: The
Lullaby Trust. With
Emma Smith. 8.0 News
8.0 Sunday Papers
8.10 Sunday Worship:
Decision Time 8.48 A
Point of View (R) 8.58
Tweet of the Day: Chris
Baines on the Bullfinch
(R) 9.0 Broadcasting
House. With Paddy
O’Connell. 10.0 The
Archers (R) 11.15 Desert
Island Discs: John Gray
12.0 News 12.01 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 12.04
Just a Minute (R) 12.30
The Food Programme:
African Food. With Zoe
Adjonyoh. 1.0 The World
This Weekend. With Mark
Mardell. 1.30 Mums and
Sons. Lauren Laverne
examines depictions of
mother-son relationships
in art, talking to singer
and mother of four
Sophie Ellis-Bextor and
Patrick Ness, author
of A Monster Calls. 2.0
Gardeners’ Question Time
(R) 2.45 The Listening
Project Omnibus: Being
True to Yourself (R) 3.0
Drama: Foreign Bodies –
The Samaritan’s Secret,
by Matt Rees. Dramatised
by Jennifer Howarth.
Omar Yussef joins forces
with a former pupil to
solve a murder at a sacred
Samaritan site. (2/2) 4.0
News 4.02 Open Book.
James Wood talks to
Mariella Frostrup about
turning to fiction. 4.30
Two Poets. How a poet’s
work has opened up a
new world for an autistic
savant. 5.0 File on 4: The
Missing Bitcoin Billions
(R) 5.40 Profile (R)
5.54 Shipping Forecast
6.0 News 6.15 Pick of
the Week. With James
Walton. 7.0 The Archers.
Shula is left disappointed.
7.15 In and Out of the
Kitchen: The After-Dinner
(R) 7.45 Man About the
House: The Top Back (R)
8.0 Feedback (R) 8.30
Last Word (R) 9.0 Money
Box (R) 9.26 Radio 4
Appeal (R) 9.30 Analysis:
Town v Gown – New
Tribes in Brexit Britain
(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. Olave’s
Hart Street, London (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 Pink-Footed Geese
The Observer
Monday 12
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Holding
Back the Years (T) 10.0
Homes Under the Hammer
(T) (R) 11.0 The Sheriffs
Are Coming (T) 11.45
Caught Red Handed (T)
(R) 12.15 Bargain Hunt (T)
1.0 News (T) 1.30 Regional
News (T) 1.45 Doctors
(T) 2.15 Escape to the
Country (T) (R) 2.45 A
Service of Celebration
for Commonwealth Day
(T) 4.15 Flog It! (T) (R)
5.15 Pointless (T) (R) 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) Keegan’s
dad Mitch turns up in
search of the Taylors.
8.30 Classic Mary Berry (T) The
food writer demonstrates
a range of recipes using
produce from Britain’s
farms and gardens.
9.0 MasterChef (T) Seven
more contenders compete
in the cookery challenge.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News (T) Weather
10.45 Imagine… Ingrid Bergman
(T) Stig Björkman’s film
profiles the Swedish actor
using letters and diaries.
With contributions from her
daughters Pia Lindström
and Isabella Rossellini.
12.25 Have I Got a Bit More Old
News for You (T) (R) 1.10
Weather (T) 1.15 News (T)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.0 Scrapheap Challenge
8.0 American Pickers
9.0-10.0 Storage Hunters
UK 10.0-1.0 American
Pickers 1.0-3.0 Top
Gear 3.0 Abandoned
Engineering 4.0-5.0
Road Cops 5.0-7.0 Top
Gear 7.0-8.0 Road Cops
8.0 Cop Car Workshop
9.0 Live at the Apollo
10.0 Dara O Briain’s Go 8
Bit 11.0 Taskmaster 12.0
Dave Gorman: Modern
Life Is Goodish 1.0 QI 1.40
Would I Lie to You? 2.15
Mock the Week 2.50 Suits
3.35 The Indestructibles
4.0 Home Shopping
Caught Red Handed (R)
6.30 Coast and Country
Auctions (R) 7.15 Wanted
Down Under Revisited (R)
8.0 Hugh’s Wild West (R)
9.0 Victoria Derbyshire 11.0
Newsroom Live 11.30 The
Week in Parliament 12.0
Daily Politics 1.0 Women’s
Six Nations Highlights (R)
1.30 Yes Chef (R) 2.15 Your
Home in Their Hands (R)
3.15 Planet Earth (R) 4.15
Into the Wild With Gordon
Buchanan (T) (R) 5.15 Put
Your Money Where Your
Mouth Is (T) 6.0 Eggheads
(T) 6.30 The Repair Shop
(T) 7.0 Top Gear (T) (R)
Only Connect (T) The
Detectives and the Beaks
8.30 University Challenge
(T) The quarter-final
matches continue.
9.0 Being Blacker (T) Molly
Dineen’s documentary
about Blacker Dread, a
Jamaican-born reggae
producer in London.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Putin: The New Tsar
(T) (R) The story of
Vladimir Putin’s rise
to power in Russia,
including interviews with
Sergei Pugachev, Garry
Kasparov and Jack Straw.
12.15 Odyssey Bug Out & Real
World (T) (R) 1.40 Sign
Zone: Countryfile (T) (R)
2.35 Royal Recipes (T) (R)
Mother 3.0 New Girl
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory
7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 My
Hotter Half 8.0 The Big
Bang Theory 8.30 Young
Sheldon 9.0 Made in
Chelsea 10.0 Five Star
Hotel 11.05-12.0 The
Big Bang Theory 12.0
First Dates 1.10 Five
Star Hotel 2.10 Made
in Chelsea 3.0 Tattoo
Fixers 3.55 First Dates
Abroad 4.20 Couples
Come Dine With Me
11.0am Decision
at Sundown (1957) 12.35
The Comancheros
(1961) 2.45 The
Colditz Story (1954) 4.50
The Tin Star (1957)
6.40 Crocodile
Dundee II (1988) 9.0
The Wolverine
(2013) 11.25 The Guest (2014) 1.25
You’re Next (2011)
All programmes
from 8am to 7pm are
double bills 6.0am-7.0
Hollyoaks 7.0 Couples
Come Dine With Me
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 How I Met Your
6.0am The Planet’s
Funniest Animals 6.20
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 6.45
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 7.10
Who’s Doing the Dishes?
7.55 Emmerdale 8.20
Coronation Street 8.55
Coronation Street 9.25
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 10.20 The Bachelor
12.15 Emmerdale 12.50
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
Judge Rinder 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 Two and a
Half Men 9.0 Family Guy
9.30 American Dad! 10.0
Action Team 10.35 Family
Guy 11.0 Family Guy 11.30
American Dad! 11.55 Plebs
12.25 Two and a Half Men
12.55 Two and a Half Men
1.20 Ibiza Weekender
2.20 Teleshopping
5.50 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Food Unwrapped
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 10.30 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
11.35 Four in a Bed 12.05
Four in a Bed 12.35 Four
in a Bed 1.05 Four in a
Bed 1.40 Four in a Bed
2.10 Come Dine With Me
2.40 Come Dine With Me
3.15 Come Dine With Me
3.50 Come Dine With Me
4.20 Come Dine With Me
4.50 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 5.55 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
6.55 The Supervet 7.55
Grand Designs 9.0 Car
SOS 10.0 Inside Bentley:
A Great British Motor Car
ITV, 9pm
LeAnn reaches
the end of her
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) (R)
3.0 Tenable (T) (R) 3.59
Local News and Weather
(T) 4.0 Tipping Point (T) (R)
5.0 The Chase (T) 6.0 Local
News (T) 6.30 News (T) 7.0
Emmerdale (T) Devastating
news places Rebecca’s
future with Seb in jeopardy. 7.30 Coronation
Street (T) Gemma and
Tyrone resolve to forget
their night together.
The Kyle Files (T) Jeremy
Kyle looks at how our public services are becoming
increasingly overstretched.
8.30 Coronation Street (T)
Fiz forces a confession
from Tyrone.
9.0 Marcella (T) The detective
confronts Reg and Alan
about a stolen binder, while
Phil heads to Marcella’s.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Rachel Nickell: The Untold
Story (T) (R) Fiona Bruce
looks into the 1992 murder
of the 23-year-old mother
on Wimbledon Common.
11.50 The Kyle Files (T) (R)
12.15 100 Years Younger in
21 Days (T) (R) 1.05
Jackpot247 3.0 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
11.05 24 Hours in A&E
12.10 Kitchen Nightmares
USA 1.10 Car SOS 2.05
The Good Fight 3.10 8
Out of 10 Cats Uncut
6.0am Monkey Life 6.30
Monkey Life 7.0 RSPCA
Animal Rescue 7.30
RSPCA Animal Rescue 8.0
Motorway Patrol 8.30
Motorway Patrol 9.0 Road
Wars 10.0 Warehouse 13
11.0 Forever 12.0 NCIS:
LA 1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
Hawaii Five-0 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 Wild City
9.0 Ghostbusters
(1984) 11.0 The Force:
Essex 12.0 Ross Kemp:
Extreme World 1.0 Brit
Cops: Rapid Response
2.0 Most Shocking 3.0
The Force: Essex 4.0
It’s Me or the Dog 4.30
It’s Me or the Dog 5.0
Futurama 5.30 Futurama
Sky Arts
6.0am Dvořák: The
Complete Symphonies
6.55 Turandot on Sydney
Harbour 9.0 Tales of
the Unexpected 9.30
Master of Photography
11.0 The Sixties 12.0
Trailblazers: Dance
1.0 Discovering: Joan
Channel 5
Winter Paralympics Live
(T) 8.0 Winter Paralympics
Breakfast (T) 9.0 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
Come Dine with Me (T) (R)
1.05 Posh Pawnbrokers
(T) (R) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 A Place in the Sun:
Summer Sun (T) (R) 4.0
A New Life in the Sun (T)
5.0 Four in a Bed (T) (R)
5.30 Extreme Cake Makers
(T) (R) 6.0 The Simpsons
(T) (R) 6.30 Hollyoaks (T)
7.0 News (T) 7.30 Winter
Paralympics Today (T)
Dispatches: Undercover –
Who’s Policing Your Bank?
(T) An investigation into
the financial ombudsman.
8.30 Food Unwrapped (T)
Matt Tebbutt finds out
about baby carrots.
9.0 24 Hours in Police Custody
(T) Police search for the
body of a woman who
disappeared in 2003.
10.0 Electric Dreams Safe and
Sound (T) A small-town
teenager moves to a big
city and is exposed for the
first time to urban society’s emphasis on security
and terrorism prevention.
11.0 Winter Paralympics (T)
Day three highlights.
12.15 Winter Paralympics
Live (T) Coverage of day
four in Pyeongchang.
10.0 Police 24/7: Armed &
Dangerous (T) New series.
11.0 The X-Files (T) Mulder and
Scully are the targets in a
game of cat and mouse.
11.55 Traffic Cops: Under
Attack (T) (R)
12.55 Britain’s Greatest Bridges
(T) 1.10 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
Cowboy Builders (T) (R) 4.0
Now That’s Funny! (T) (R)
4.45 House Doctor (R)
Fontaine 2.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 2.30 Master
of Photography 3.30
Video Killed the Radio
Star 4.0 The Seventies
5.0 Soundbreaking 6.0
Discovering: Richard
Harris 7.0 Auction 7.30
California Dreamin’: The
Songs of the Mamas and
the Papas 8.45 Frank
Sinatra: A Man and His
Music 10.0 Portrait Artist
of the Year 2018 11.0
The South Bank Show
Originals 11.30 The South
Bank Show Originals 12.0
The History of Comedy
1.0 Classic Artists: Yes
3.15 The Doors: Feast
of Friends 4.0 Dag 4.30
Tales of the Unexpected
5.0 Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-8.0 Urban Secrets
8.0 The British 9.0-11.0
The West Wing 11.01.0 House 1.0 Without a
Trace 2.0 Ocean Rescue:
A Plastic Whale 3.0-5.0
The West Wing 5.0-7.0
House 7.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation 8.0
Blue Bloods 9.0 Alan
Partridge’s Scissored
Isle 10.0 Last Week
Tonight 10.35 Our
Cartoon President
11.10 Real Time 12.20
Crashing 12.55 Divorce
1.30 Here and Now
2.35 Billions 3.45 The
Shape of Water: Special
4.0-6.0 The West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast. With
Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Kate
Adie reveals her cultural
influences. 12.0 Composer
of the Week: Joseph
Haydn (1/5) 1.0 News
1.02 Lunchtime Concert:
Wigmore Hall Mondays –
Calidore String Quartet.
Mozart: Divertimento in
F, K138. Caroline Shaw:
First Essay: Nimrod.
Shostakovich: String
Quartet No 9 in E flat,
Op 117. 2.0 Afternoon
Concert. The first of
a week of concerts by
the BBC Philharmonic.
Mozart: Overture – Don
Giovanni. Beethoven:
Piano Concerto No 5 in
E flat , Op 73, Emperor.
Brahms: Symphony
No 2 in D, Op 73. Louis
Schwitzgebel (piano),
BBC Philharmonic, Ben
Gernon. c 3.30 Haydn:
Cello Concerto No 1 in
C, Hob.VIIb/1. Matthew
Barley (cello), David
Greilsammer. c 3.55
Beethoven: Overture,
Egmont. Berlioz:
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.15 Can’t Pay?
We’ll Take It Away (T) (R)
12.10 News (T) 12.15 The
Gadget Show (T) (R) 1.10
Access (T) 1.15 Home and
Away (T) 1.45 Neighbours
(T) 2.20 NCIS: Naval Killer
(T) (R) Ex-File 3.20 Deadly Daycare (Michael
Feifer, 2014) (T) A divorcee suspects a nursery
is mistreating her young
daughter. Thriller starring Kayla Ewell. 5.0 News
(T) 5.30 Neighbours (T) (R)
6.0 Home and Away (T) (R)
6.30 News (T) 7.0 AngloWelsh Cup Highlights (T)
Extreme Winter Road
Rescue (T) A vehicle
technician rushes to help
a driver who has broken
down on the hard shoulder.
Terror in the Air: Flights
Out of Control (T) Footage
captured by passengers on
board plane journeys that
went wrong, including a
crash on a freeway.
Symphonie fantastique,
Op 14. Juanjo Mena.
5.0 In Tune 7.0 In Tune
Mixtape 7.30 In Concert.
The Royal Birmingham
Royal Opening Gala
Concert. Joe Cutler:
Elsewhereness. Chopin:
Piano Concerto No 2 in F
minor. Čiurlionis: In the
Forest. Ravel: Daphnis
and Chloé, Suite No 2.
Andrey Ivanov (piano),
Royal Birmingham
Conservatoire SO and
Chorus, Mirga GražinytėTyla. 10.0 Free Thinking
Festival: The Population
Bomb. A debate on
the world’s expanding
population. 10.45 The
Essay: New Generation
Thinkers. Welling Up:
Women and Water in
the Middle Ages. With
Hetta Howes. (1/5)
11.0 Jazz Now 12.30
Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today. Presented by
Justin Webb and John
Humphrys . 7.48 Thought
for the Day, with the Rev
Prof David Wilkinson.
9.0 Start the Week: Free
Thinking Special 9.45
(LW) Daily Service 9.45
(FM) An Alternative
History of Art: Ibrahim
El-Salahi. Serpentine
Galleries artistic director
Hans-Ulrich Obrist
examines the work of
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T)
7.30 Great Irish Journeys
With Martha Kearney
(T) (R) The broadcaster
follows in the footsteps
of 19th-century artist
George Victor Du Noyer.
Treasures of the Indus
(T) (R) Sona Datta explores
the history of the Indian
The Art of Spain (T) (R)
Documentary series
exploring the influences
on Spanish art, beginning
with the Moorish history
of the country and the
impact it had on its culture.
10.0 Caligula With Mary
Beard (T) (R)
11.0 Mothers, Murderers and
Mistresses: Empresses
of Ancient Rome (T) (R)
The lives of Messalina
and Agrippina with Prof
Catharine Edwards.
12.0 On Camera: Photographers
at the BBC (T) (R) 1.0 Top
of the Pops: 1982 (T) (R)
2.0 Fabric of Britain (T) (R)
the Sudanese modernist
painter. (6/10) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. Presented
by Jane Garvey. Includes
at 10.45 Drama. Part one
of the 11th series of Scott
Cherry’s A Small Town
Murder, starring Meera
Syal. (1/5) 11.0 What Are
the Odds? 11.30 To Hull
and Back: Welcome to the
Family. Comedy written
by and starring Lucy
Beaumont, with Maureen
Lipman. Last in the series.
(4/4) 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast
12.04 Home Front: 12
March 1918 – Alec Poole,
by Sarah Daniels. (6/40)
12.15 You and Yours
1.0 The World at One.
With Martha Kearney.
1.45 Horse Story: Wild
Horses. Clare Balding
examines five types of
horse to explore the
changing bond between
humans and the animal,
beginning by travelling
to Hothfield Heathlands
in Kent to meet a herd of
konik ponies and learn
about the story of the
domestication of wild
horses in Europe. (1/5)
2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15
Drama: Community
Service, by Jonny O’Neill.
Drama about a young
man in court for the
first time. Daniel Mays
stars. 3.0 Brain of Britain
(3/17) 3.30 The Food
Programme: African
Food (R) 4.0 The Piano
Man. Behind the scenes
with piano technician
Ulrich Gerhartz. 4.30 The
Digital Human (4/6) 5.0
PM. With Carolyn Quinn.
5.54 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 6.0 News 6.30
Just a Minute (4/6) 7.0
The Archers. Toby has a
plan. 7.15 Front Row. Arts
roundup. 7.45 A Small
Town Murder (R) (1/5)
8.0 Mind the Gender Pay
Gap. Prof Emma Griffin
takes a look at the gender
pay gap, from the 16th
century to the present
day. 8.30 Analysis:
What Are Universities
For? With Sonia Sodha.
(7/9) 9.0 Aftermath:
Somerset Air Disaster (R)
9.30 Start the Week (R)
10.0 The World Tonight.
With Ritula Shah. 10.45
Book at Bedtime: The
Long Drop, by Denise
Mina. (6/10) 11.0
Something of the Night.
Libby Purves presents a
chatshow covering topics
connected to nighttime. (2/6) 11.30 Today
in Parliament 12.0 News
12.30 An Alternative
History of Art (R) )6/10)
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: Jennifer Border
on the Whinchat
The Observer
Tuesday 13
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Holding
Back the Years (T) 10.0
Homes Under the Hammer
(T) 11.0 The Sheriffs Are
Coming (T) 11.45 Caught
Red Handed (T) (R) 12.15
Bargain Hunt (T) (R) 1.0
News (T) 1.30 Regional
News (T) 1.45 Doctors (T)
2.15 A Place to Call Home
(T) 3.10 Escape to the
Country (T) (R) 3.45 Coast
and Country Auctions
(T) 4.30 Flog It! (T) (R)
5.15 Pointless (T) (R) 6.0
News and Weather (T)
6.30 Regional News and
Weather (T) 7.0 One Show
(T) 7.30 EastEnders (T)
Holby City (T) Roxanna
tries to cure Oliver but
in the process opens old
wounds, and Donna and
Fletch race to save Ric.
Shetland (T) Perez must
reassess the investigation following Jo’s attack,
the MIT sets its sights
on Malone, and Tosh
grows sceptical of Lars.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News (T) Includes
national lottery update.
10.45 This Country (T) Kerry
receives threatening letters, while Kurtan takes a
labouring job with Martin.
11.15 Inside Britain’s Moped
Crime Gangs (T) With
Livvy Haydock.
11.55 Drugs Map of Britain (T)
12.25 Weather (T) 12.30 News (T)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.0 Scrapheap Challenge
8.0 American Pickers 9.010.0 Storage Hunters UK
10.0-1.0 American Pickers
1.0-3.0 Top Gear 3.0
Impossible Engineering
4.0 Road Cops 4.30 Road
Cops 5.0-7.0 Top Gear
7.0-8.0 Road Cops 8.0
Dave Gorman: Modern
Life Is Goodish 9.0-11.0
Room 101 11.0 Live at
the Apollo 12.0 QI XL
1.0 QI 1.40 Would I Lie
to You? 2.15 Mock the
Week 2.45 Suits 3.35
The Indestructibles
4.0 Home Shopping
All programmes from
8am to 7pm are double
bills 6.0am-7.0 Hollyoaks
7.0 Couples Come Dine
With Me 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 How I Met Your
Mother 3.0 New Girl 4.0
Brooklyn Nine-Nine 5.0
Back in Time for Tea (T) The
Ellis family reflect on their
time-travelling adventure.
Last in the series.
Amazing Hotels: Life
Beyond the Lobby (T) Giles
Coren and Monica Galetti
head to the foothills of the
Swiss Alps to experience
wellness tourism at the
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz.
10.0 Mum (T) Comedy.
10.25 The Archiveologists The
Yorkshire Television Disco
Dancing Championships (T)
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 World’s Most Extraordinary
Homes (T) (R)
12.15 Sign Zone MasterChef (T)
(R) 1.15 An Island Parish:
After the Hurricane (T) (R)
2.15 Royal Recipes (T) (R)
3.0 This Is BBC Two (T)
The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory
7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 My
Hotter Half 8.0-9.0 The
Big Bang Theory 9.0
Tattoo Fixers 10.0 Five
Star Hotel 11.05-12.0
The Big Bang Theory
12.0 First Dates 1.05 Five
Star Hotel 2.05 Tattoo
Fixers 3.0 Gogglebox
3.50 First Dates Abroad
4.15 Couples Come
Dine With Me
11.0am The
Reckless Moment (1949)
12.40 The Flight
of the Phoenix (1965)
3.30 The Train
(1964) 6.20 The
Way Back (2010) 9.0
Terminator Genisys
(2015) 11.25 Hulk
(2003) 2.05 Safety
Not Guaranteed (2012)
6.0am The Planet’s
Funniest Animals 6.20
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 6.45
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 7.10
Who’s Doing the Dishes?
7.55 Emmerdale 8.20
Coronation Street 8.55
Coronation Street 9.25
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 10.15 The Bachelor
12.05 Emmerdale 12.35
Coronation Street 1.05
Coronation Street 1.35
The Jeremy Kyle Show
2.35 The Jeremy Kyle
Show 3.40 The Jeremy
Kyle Show 4.50 Judge
Rinder 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
Two and a Half Men 9.0
The 40 Year-Old
Virgin (2005) (FYI Daily
is at 10pm) 11.25 Family
Guy 11.55 Family Guy
12.20 American Dad!
12.45 American Dad!
1.15 Two and a Half Men
1.40 Two and a Half Men
2.10 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
2.20 Teleshopping
5.50 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Food Unwrapped
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 10.30 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
11.35 Four in a Bed 12.05
Four in a Bed 12.35 Four
in a Bed 1.05 Four in a
Bed 1.40 Four in a Bed
2.10 Come Dine With Me
2.40 Come Dine With Me
3.15 Come Dine With Me
3.50 Come Dine With Me
4.20 Come Dine With Me
4.50 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 5.55 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
6.55 The Supervet 7.55
Grand Designs 9.0 Hunt
for the Arctic Ghost Ship
10.0 Titanic: The New
Evidence 11.05 24 Hours
in A&E 12.10 8 Out of 10
Amazing Hotels
BBC Two, 9pm
Monica Galetti
samples spa life
in Switzerland
Coast (T) (R) 6.30 Holding
Back the Years (T) (R) 7.15
The Sheriffs Are Coming
(T) (R) 8.0 Celebrity
Antiques Road Trip (T) (R)
9.0 Victoria Derbyshire (T)
11.0 BBC Newsroom Live
(T) 12.0 Daily Politics (T) 1.0
The Super League Show (T)
1.45 Yes Chef (T) (R) 2.30
Your Home in Their Hands
(T) (R) 3.30 Planet Earth
(T) (R) 4.30 Into the Wild
With Gordon Buchanan (T)
(R) 5.30 Put Your Money
Where Your Mouth Is (T)
6.0 Eggheads (T) 6.30 The
Repair Shop (T) 7.0 Saving
Lives at Sea (T) (R)
Channel 4
Good Morning Britain (T)
8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25
Jeremy Kyle (T) 10.30 This
Morning (T) 12.30 News
(T) 12.55 Local News (T)
1.0 Cheltenham Festival (T)
Coverage of the opening
day, including feature race
the 3.30 Unibet Champion
Hurdle Challenge Trophy.
Plus, further races at 1.30,
2.10, 2.50 and
Britain’s Best Walks with
Julia Bradbury (T) (R) 5.0
The Chase (T) 6.0 Local
News (T) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Emmerdale (T) Gabby
and Liv accidentally spike
Lisa’s drink instead of Daz’s.
What Would Your Kid Do?
(T) Parents guess what
their children will do in a
variety of entertaining situations. Last in the series.
100 Years Younger in 21
Days (T) The celebrities
learn about their brains and
how they are key to ageing
well. With Bill Roache and
Sherrie Hewson.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 The Cruise: Voyage
to Alaska (T) (R) The
ship makes its way to
Glacier Bay.
11.15 Benidorm (T) (R)
12.15 Piers Morgan’s Life
Stories (T) (R) 1.05
Jackpot247 3.0 ITV
Nightscreen 5.05 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
Cats Does Countdown
1.15 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA 2.15
The Good Fight 3.15
8 Out of 10 Cats Uncut
6.0am Monkey Life
6.30 Monkey Life 7.0
RSPCA Animal Rescue
7.30 RSPCA Animal
Rescue 8.0 Motorway
Patrol 8.30 Motorway
Patrol 9.0 Road Wars
10.0 Warehouse 13
11.0 Forever 12.0 NCIS:
Los Angeles 1.0 Hawaii
Five-0 2.0 Hawaii Five-0
3.0 NCIS: Los Angeles
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 Flash
9.0 The Blacklist 10.0
The Late Late Show with
James Corden: Best of
the Week 11.0 The Force:
Essex 12.0 Ross Kemp:
Extreme World 1.0 Brit
Cops: Rapid Response
2.0 Most Shocking 3.0
NCIS: Los Angeles 4.0
It’s Me or the Dog 4.30
It’s Me or the Dog 5.0
Futurama 5.30 Futurama
Sky Arts
6.0am Celtic Woman:
A New Journey 7.15
From Berlin to New
York 9.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 9.30 Master
of Photography 10.30
Winter Paralympics Live
(T) 8.0 Winter Paralympics
Breakfast (T) 9.0 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
Come Dine With Me (T) (R)
1.05 Posh Pawnbrokers
(T) (R) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 A Place in the Sun:
Summer Sun (T) (R) 4.0
A New Life in the Sun (T)
5.0 Four in a Bed (T) (R)
5.30 Extreme Cake Makers
(T) (R) 6.0 The Simpsons
(T) (R) 6.30 Hollyoaks (T)
7.0 News (T) 7.30 Winter
Paralympics Today (T)
Channel 5
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff (T) 11.15 Can’t Pay?
We’ll Take It Away (T) (R)
12.10 News (T) 12.15 GPs:
Behind Closed Doors (T)
(R) 1.10 Access (T) 1.15
Home and Away (T) 1.45
Neighbours (T) 2.20 NCIS:
Naval Killer (T) (R) 3.20
Missing Daughter
(Emily Moss Wilson,
2017) (T) 5.0 News (T)
5.30 Neighbours (T) (R)
6.0 Home and Away (T)
(R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0 FIA
World Rally Championship
Highlights The Rally Mexico
(T) Action from the mountains north of Mexico City.
The Great Celebrity Bake
Off for Stand Up to Cancer
(T) Nick Hewer, Stacey
Solomon, Ricky Wilson
and Perri Kiely take part
in Sandi Toksvig and Noel
Fielding’s challenge.
9.15 Seven Year Switch (T)
The newly switched
couples head out on
their first dates together.
10.20 Gogglebox (T) (R) Punters
turn pundits once more.
11.0 Winter Paralympics
Highlights (T) With Clare
Balding and Jonnie Peacock.
12.15 Winter Paralympics
Live (T) Coverage of day
five from Pyeongchang,
South Korea, which
features alpine skiing,
cross-country skiing
and wheelchair curling.
10.0 The Crown In Crisis:
Elizabeth – Our Queen
(T) Events in the 1990s.
11.05 The Yorkshire Steam
Railway: All Aboard (T) (R)
12.05 Left for Dead: Weather
Terror (T) (R) 1.0
SuperCasino 3.10 Cowboy
Builders (T) (R) 4.0 Now
That’s Funny! (T) (R) 4.45
House Doctor (T) (R) 5.10
House Busters (T) (R)
Video Killed the Radio
Star 11.0 The Seventies
12.0 Soundbreaking 1.0
Discovering: Richard
Harris 2.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 2.30 Master
of Photography 3.30
Video Killed the Radio
Star 4.0 The Seventies
5.0 Soundbreaking 6.0
Discovering: James
Coburn 7.0 The Eighties
8.0 Portrait Artist of the
Year 2018 9.0 Picasso
Live from Tate Modern
10.0 Discovering: Robert
Redford 11.0 Dennis
Hopper: Uneasy Rider
12.15 Portrait Artist
of the Year 2018 1.15
Classic Artists: Yes 3.30
Discovering: Genesis
4.0 Dag 4.30 Tales of
the Unexpected 5.0
Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets
7.0 Urban Secrets 8.0
The British 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 Here and
Now 10.10 Divorce 10.45
Crashing 11.20 Gomorrah
12.20 Gomorrah 1.20
Dexter 2.35 Billions
3.45 Girls 4.20 The West
Wing 5.10 The West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast. With
Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics.
Suzy Klein’s guest for
the week is Kate Adie.
12.0 Composer of the
Week: Haydn (2/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: Women in the
Shadows. From the
Royal Conservatoire of
Scotland, the pianist
Joanna MacGregor
begins a week of
concerts highlighting
neglected works. (1/4)
2.0 Afternoon Concert.
Beethoven: Piano
Concerto No 3 in C minor,
Op 37. Tchaikovsky:
Manfred Symphony in
B minor, Op 58. Pavel
Kolesnikov (piano), BBC
Philharmonic, Vassily
Sinaisky. 3.35 James
MacMillan: Fanfare
Upon One Note. Magnus
Lindberg (Ottoni),
Clark Rundell. 3.55
Elgar: The King’s Way.
Roderick Williams
(baritone), Andrew
Davis. 4pm Mozart: Flute
Concerto in G, K313.
Secrets of the National
Trust With Alan Titchmarsh
(T) A visit to Waddesdon
Manor in Buckinghamshire.
Includes news update.
Wild Britain: Our Wondrous
Woodlands (T) Cameras
explore some of Britain’s
forests and reveal the wild
boar population boom in
the Forest of Dean.
Adam Walker, Jamie
Phillips. 4.30 Ligeti:
Ramifications. Conductor
David Greilsammer.
4.40 Kodály: Dances
of Galanta. Conductor
Rory Macdonald. 5.0 In
Tune 7.0 In Tune Mixtape
7.30 In Concert. An allRomantic programme
from the Ulster Hall.
Kirill Gerstein (piano),
Ulster Orchestra, Rafael
Payare. Wagner: Overture
– Tannhäuser. Liszt: Piano
Concerto No 2 in A, S125.
Brahms: Symphony No
2 in D, Op 73. 10.0 Free
Thinking Festival: The
Dance of Nature 10.45
The Free Thinking Essay:
Art for Health’s Sake
(2/5) 11.0 Late Junction
12.30 Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today 8.30 (LW)
Yesterday in Parliament
9.0 (LW) The Life
Scientific. Jim al-Khalili
is joined by Prof Stephen
Reicher to discuss the
psychology of crowd
behaviour. (8/8) 9.30
One to One: David Greig
and Angela Mudge
(R) 9.45 (LW) Daily
Service 9.45 (FM) An
Alternative History of
Art: Helen Chadwick.
Iwona Blazwick, director
of Whitechapel Gallery,
profiles the installation
artist and photographer.
(7/10) 10.0 Woman’s
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T)
7.30 Great Irish Journeys
With Martha Kearney (T)
(R) The presenter the footsteps of the 19th-century
geologist George Victor
Du Noyer, visiting Dunluce
Castle and Mussenden
Temple and considering the development of
Victorian Belfast.
Immortal Egypt With Joann
Fletcher (T) (R) The political
upheaval and civil war after
Egypt’s pyramid age.
The Ruth Ellis Files: A
Very British Crime Story
(T) (1/3) New series. The
story of Ruth Ellis, the
last woman to be hanged
in Britain, for the murder
of her lover David Blakely.
10.0 The Prosecutors: Real
Crime and Punishment
(T) (R) Behind the
scenes with the CPS.
11.0 A War (Tobias
Lindholm, 2015) Drama
starring Pilou Asbæk
and Tuva Novotny.
12.45 Top of the Pops: 1982 (T)
(R) 1.55 The High Art of the
Low Countries (T) (R) 2.55
The Art of Spain (T) (R)
Hour. Presented by Jane
Garvey. Includes at 10.45
Drama: A Small Town
Murder, by Scott Cherry.
(2/5) 11.0 Aftermath:
When the Admiral
Duncan Was Bombed.
In 1999, the Admiral
Duncan pub in the heart
of Soho was bombed –
a nail bomb exploded
killing three and injuring
more than 70 people.
What have been the long
term after effects for
those involved? With Alan
Dein. (2/3) 11.30 The
Art of Now: No Singing
No Movement. Sudanese
journalist Yousra Elbagir
visits a groundbreaking
music festival in the
northern desert of Sudan,
on the banks of the Nile.
(2/2) 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast
12.04 Home Front: 13
March 1918 – Adeline
Lumley, by Sarah Daniels.
Drama with Helen
Schlesinger. (7/40) 12.15
Call You and Yours 1.0
The World at One. With
Martha Kearney. 1.45
Horse Story: Performers.
Clare Balding explores the
history of the performing
horse. (2/5) 2.0 The
Archers (R) 2.15 Drama:
When Last I Saw You, by
Peter Whalley. (R) 3.0
Short Cuts: Silent Night
3.30 Costing the Earth: A
Greener Home For All. As
the government promises
to build 300,000 new
homes a year, Tom Heap
asks whether the UK can
ever build homes quickly
and cheaply without
severely affecting the
environment. 4.0 Law
in Action. Presented by
Joshua Rozenberg. (3/4)
4.30 A Good Read: Nina
Stibbe & Kit de Waal
5.0 PM. Presented by
Carolyn Quinn. 5.54 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 6.0
News 6.30 Sara Pascoe:
The Modern Monkey –
Charity (4/4) 7.0 The
Archers. Joe makes a
shocking admission. 7.15
Front Row. Arts roundup.
7.45 A Small Town
Murder (R) (2/5) 8.0 File
on 4. Danny Shaw reports
on private contracts for
prison maintenance.
(9/10) 8.40 In Touch 9.0
Inside Health 9.30 The
Life Scientific (R) 10.0
The World Tonight. With
Ritula Shah. 10.45 Book
at Bedtime: The Long
Drop, by Denise Mina.
(7/10) 11.0 Tim Key’s Late
Night Poetry Programme:
Cars (4/4) 11.30 Today
in Parliament 12.0 News
12.30 An Alternative
History of Art (R) (7/10)
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:
Nick Moran on the Heron
The Observer
Wednesday 14
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Holding
Back the Years (T) 10.0
Homes Under the Hammer
(T) (R) 11.0 The Sheriffs Are
Coming (T) 11.45 Caught
Red Handed (T) (R) 12.15
Bargain Hunt (T) (R) 1.0
News (T) 1.30 Regional
News (T) 1.45 Doctors (T)
2.15 A Place to Call Home
(T) 3.10 Escape to the
Country (T) (R) 3.45 Coast
and Country Auctions (T)
4.30 Flog It! (T) (R) 5.15
Pointless (T) (R) 6.0 News
(T) 6.30 Regional News
(T) 7.0 The One Show (T)
7.30 Panorama: Taking on
Putin. With John Sweeney.
DIY SOS: The Big Build (T)
Nick Knowles and team help
a grieving grandmother and
her family who are making
do in a small house.
Saving the British Bulldog
(T) Actor Catherine Tate
looks at the health problems that affect British
bulldogs and what people
can do to save the breed.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News (T) Includes
national lottery update.
10.45 A Question of Sport (T)
11.15 Film 2018 (T) Reviews
of Peter Rabbit, Mary
Magdalene and The Square.
11.45 The Artist (Michel
Hazanavicius, 2011) (T)
Silent drama with Jean
Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo.
1.20 Weather (T) 1.25 News (T)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.0 Scrapheap Challenge
8.0 American Pickers
9.0-10.0 Storage Hunters
UK 10.0-1.0 American
Pickers 1.0-3.0 Top
Gear 3.0 Impossible
Engineering 4.0-5.0
Road Cops 5.0-7.0 Top
Gear 7.0-8.0 Road Cops
8.0-9.0 Yianni: Supercar
Customiser 9.0 QI XL 10.0
Dave Gorman: Modern
Life Is Goodish 11.0
Unspun XL With Matt
Forde 12.0 QI XL 1.0 QI
1.40 Would I Lie to You?
2.15 Mock the Week 2.45
Suits 4.0 Home Shopping
All programmes from
8am to 7pm are double
bills 6.0am-7.0 Hollyoaks
7.0 Couples Come Dine
With Me 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 How I Met Your
Mother 3.0 New Girl
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Repair Shop (R) 6.30
Holding Back the Years
(R) 7.15 The Sheriffs Are
Coming (R) 8.0 Great British
Railway Journeys (R) 8.30
Grand Tours of Scotland’s
Lochs (R) 9.0 Victoria
Derbyshire 11.0 Newsroom
Live 11.30 Daily Politics 1.0
Two Tribes (T) (R) 1.30 Yes
Chef (T) (R) 2.15 Your Home
in Their Hands (T) (R) 3.15
Planet Earth (T) (R) 4.15
Into the Wild With Gordon
Buchanan (T) (R) 5.15 Put
Your Money Where Your
Mouth Is (T) 6.0 Eggheads
(T) 6.30 Repair Shop (T) 7.0
Saving Lives at Sea (T) (R)
The World’s Most
Extraordinary Homes (T)
Piers Taylor and Caroline
Quentin head to Japan.
9.0 The Assassination of
Gianni Versace (T) Marilyn
Miglin returns home to discover that Lee is missing.
9.50 Live at the Apollo (T) (R)
With Dara O Briain, Zoe
Lyons and Paul Chowdhry.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Amazing Hotels: Life
Beyond the Lobby (T) (R)
Giles Coren and Monica
Galetti visit Switzerland.
12.15 David Attenborough’s
Natural Curiosities (T)
(R) 12.45 Sign Zone:
MasterChef (T) (R)
1.45 The World’s Most
Extraordinary Homes (T)
(R) 2.45 This Is BBC Two (T)
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory 7.0
Hollyoaks 7.30 My Hotter
Half 8.0 The Goldbergs
8.30 The Big Bang Theory
9.0 Don’t Tell the Bride
10.0 Five Star Hotel
11.05-12.0 The Big Bang
Theory 12.0 First Dates
1.05 Five Star Hotel
2.10 Tattoo Fixers 3.10
Timeless 3.55 Don’t
Tell the Bride 4.45
The Goldbergs
11.0am Juggernaut
(1974) 1.15 Twelve
O’Clock High (1949)
3.55 The Sons of
Katie Elder (1965) 6.20
The Karate Kid
(2010) 9.0 Thor
(2011) 11.15 Legion
(2010) 1.15 God
Help the Girl (2014)
6.0am The Planet’s
Funniest Animals 6.20
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 6.45
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 7.10 Who’s
Doing the Dishes? 7.55
Emmerdale 8.55 You’ve
Been Framed! Gold 9.25
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 10.15 The Bachelor
12.05 Emmerdale 1.05
You’ve Been Framed! Gold
1.35 The Jeremy Kyle
Show 2.35 Jeremy Kyle
Show 3.40 The Jeremy
Kyle Show 4.50 Judge
Rinder 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
Two and a Half Men 9.0
Hell’s Kitchen USA 10.0
Hell’s Kitchen USA 10.55
Family Guy 11.25 Family
Guy 11.50 American Dad!
12.20 American Dad!
12.45 Two and a Half
Men 1.15 Two and a Half
Men 1.40 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
2.10 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
2.25 Teleshopping
5.55 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Food Unwrapped
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 10.30 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
11.35 Four in a Bed 12.05
Four in a Bed 12.35 Four
in a Bed 1.05 Four in a
Bed 1.40 Four in a Bed
2.10 Come Dine With Me
2.40 Come Dine With Me
3.15 Come Dine With Me
3.50 Come Dine With Me
4.20 Come Dine With Me
4.50 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 5.55 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
6.55 The Supervet 7.55
Grand Designs 9.0 Vet
on the Hill 10.0 24 Hours
in A&E 11.05 8 Out of 10
Cats Does Countdown
12.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA 1.05
Vet on the Hill 2.05 The
Save Me
Sky Atlantic, 9pm
Nelly turns to friends
for help – but can
he trust them?
Channel 4
Good Morning Britain (T)
8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (T) 10.30
This Morning (T) 12.30
News (T) 12.55 Local News
(T) 1.0 Cheltenham Festival
(T) Coverage of the second
day of the festival, including feature race the 3.30
Betway Queen Mother
Champion Steeple Chase.
4.30 Britain’s Best Walks
(T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T)
6.0 Local News (T) 6.30
News (T) 7.0 Emmerdale
(T) Lisa takes a turn for the
worse. 7.30 Coronation
Street (T) Chesney learns
of Tyrone’s fling.
Britain’s Brightest Family
(T) Two families go head
to head for a place in the
8.30 Coronation Street (T)
Adam admits to plotting
Billy’s downfall.
9.0 Benidorm (T) The Dawsons
continue to speculate about
Cyd’s motives, but Rob
pops the question anyway.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Uefa Champions League
Highlights (T) Featuring
Manchester United v
Sevilla, Barcelona v
Chelsea, AS Roma v
Shakhtar Donetsk and
Besiktas v Bayern Munich.
11.45 Play to the Whistle (T) (R)
12.40 Jackpot247 3.0 Tenable (T)
(R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen
10.0 Damned (T) Rose and
Dennis wake up in bed
in Denise’s house.
10.30 8 Out of 10 Cats (T) (R)
11.0 Winter Paralympics
Highlights (T)
12.15 Winter Paralympics Live
(T) Alpine skiing and
wheelchair curling from
PyeongChang. 4.30 Coast
v Country (T) (R) 5.25
Food Unwrapped (T) (R)
Good Fight 3.10 8 Out of
10 Cats: Best Bits
6.0am Monkey Life
6.30 Monkey Life 7.0
RSPCA Animal Rescue
7.30 RSPCA Animal
Rescue 8.0 Motorway
Patrol 8.30 Motorway
Patrol 9.0 Road Wars
10.0 Warehouse 13 11.0
Forever 12.0 NCIS: LA
1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
Hawaii Five-0 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 DC’s
Legends of Tomorrow 9.0
A League of Their Own
10.0 Bliss 10.30 A League
of Their Own: Unseen
11.0 The Force: Essex
12.0 Ross Kemp: Extreme
World 1.0 Brit Cops:
Rapid Response 2.0 Most
Shocking 3.0 The Force:
Essex 4.0 It’s Me or the
Dog 4.30 It’s Me or the
Dog 5.0-6.0 Futurama
Sky Arts
6.0am Saint-Saëns &
Schubert: Bertrand
7.30 Anne-Sophie
Mutter: The Club
Concert 9.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 9.30 Master
of Photography 10.30
Video Killed the Radio
Star 11.0 The Seventies
12.0 Soundbreaking
Channel 5
Winter Paralympics Live
(T) 8.0 Winter Paralympics
Breakfast (T) 9.0 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
Come Dine With Me (T) (R)
1.05 Posh Pawnbrokers
(T) (R) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 A Place in the Sun:
Home or Away (T) (R) 4.0
A New Life in the Sun (T)
5.0 Four in a Bed (T) (R)
5.30 Extreme Cake Makers
(T) (R) 6.0 The Simpsons
(T) (R) 6.30 Hollyoaks (T)
7.0 News (T) 7.30 Winter
Paralympics Today (T)
The Supervet (T) Noel
Fitzpatrick tries to save
a tortoiseshell cat’s leg
by cutting out a tumour.
One Born Every Minute
(T) Parents-to-be include
29-year-old Ben, who has
been experiencing sympathy pains and cravings, and
thinks he needs to “man
up” for his partner Amy.
1.0 Discovering: James
Coburn 2.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 2.30 Master
of Photography 3.30
Video Killed the Radio
Star 4.0 The Seventies
5.0 Soundbreaking
6.0 Discovering: Dean
Martin 7.0 Portrait
Artist of the Year 2018
8.0 National Treasures:
The Art of Collecting
9.0 Discovering: Leslie
Caron 10.0 Tarzan: The
Man Behind the Legend
11.0 Bettie Page Reveals
All 12.15 Master of
Photography 1.15 Rick
Wakeman: The Six Wives
of Henry VIII 3.40 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 Urban Secrets 8.0
The British 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 Save Me
10.0 Smilf 10.35 Smilf
11.10 Alan Partridge’s
Scissored Isle 12.10 Here
and Now 1.20 Save Me
2.20 Britannia 3.20 Girls
3.55 The Shape of Water:
Special 4.10-6.0 The
West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast. With
Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics.
Kate Adie guests.
12.0 Composer of the
Week: Haydn (3/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: Women in the
Shadows. Trio Apaches.
Tailleferre: Piano Trio.
Boulanger: D’un soir
triste. Ravel: Piano Trio
in A minor. (2/4) 2.0
Afternoon Concert:
BBC Philharmonic Live
in Salford. Arriaga:
Overture – Los esclavos
felices; Hymen! Viens
dissiper (Medée);
Erminie; Symphony in D.
Ruby Hughes (soprano),
Juanjo Mena. 3pm
Copland: Symphony
No 2 (Short Symphony).
Conductor John Wilson.
3.30 Choral Evensong:
Eton Choral Course at
Eton College 4.30 New
Generation Artists.
New Generation Artists
perform Bach, Kern and
Misha Mullov-Abbado.
5.0 In Tune. With guests
Thomas Søndergård,
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.15 Can’t Pay? We’ll
Take It Away (T) (R) 12.10
News (T) 12.15 GPs: Behind
Closed Doors (T) (R) 1.05
Access (T) 1.15 Home and
Away (T) 1.45 Neighbours
(T) 2.15 NCIS: Naval Killer
(T) (R) Nine Lives 3.15
Framed for Murder: A
Fixer Upper Mystery (Mark
Jean, 2017) (T) Lighthearted mystery starring
Jewel Kilcher. 5.0 News (T)
5.30 Neighbours (T) (R)
6.0 Home and Away (T) (R)
6.30 News (T) 7.0 Extreme
Winter Road Rescue (T) (R)
Lorries stuck on the A1(M).
GPs: Behind Closed Doors
(T) Teenager Sam talks to
Dr Alison Bolam about the
raised glands in his neck.
Violent Child, Desperate
Parents (T) Laverne
Antrobus tries to help
Emma and Adrian, who
are struggling to cope
with violent eight-yearold Ioan.
10.0 When Talent Shows Go
Horribly Wrong (T) (R)
Kate Thornton introduces
a countdown of disastrous
1.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
Cowboy Builders (T) (R)
4.0 Now That’s Funny!
(T) (R) 4.45 House
Doctor (T) (R) 5.10
House Busters (T) (R)
5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
Aruna Sairam and
Soumik Datta. 7.0 In
Tune Mixtape 7.30 In
Concert. Recorded at
Cheltenham Town Hall.
Stephen Hough (piano),
BBC NOW, Thomas
Søndergård. Dvořák:
The Golden Spinning
Wheel. Mendelssohn:
Piano Concerto No 1
in G minor. 8.25
Interval. 8.45 Brahms:
Symphony No 1 in C
minor.10.0 Free Thinking
Festival: There is No I in
Team. Johnny Mercer,
Elizabeth Newman and
Paul Fletcher compare
notes on leadership and
teamwork. 10.45 The
Free Thinking Essay:
Does Trusting People
Need a Leap of Faith?
Tom Simpson on a study
of suspicion in a 1950s
Italian village. (3/5)
11.0 Late Junction.
Ireland’s contemporary
experimental and
classical scene. 12.30
Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today. With John
Humphrys and Sarah
Montague. 7.48
Thought for the Day
with Akhandadhi Das.
8.30 (LW) Yesterday
in Parliament 9.0
Only Artists. Two
artists discuss creative
questions. (3/5) 9.30
You’re Doing it Wrong:
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T)
7.30 Great Irish Journeys
With Martha Kearney (T)
(R) The broadcaster visits
places of power in Ireland,
including Newgrange,
the Rock of Cashel,
Waterford Charter Roll
and Castletown House.
The Secret History of Our
Streets (T) (R) The history
of the Footdee housing
scheme in Aberdeen.
Last in the series.
The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very
British Crime Story (T)
(2/3) A forensic look at
the case, this time focusing
on revelations about the
other man in Ellis’s life.
10.0 Timeshift: Crime &
Punishment – The Story of
Capital Punishment (T) (R)
11.0 Blues America (T) (R) (1/2)
The early years of the blues.
12.0 Island at the BBC (T) (R) 1.0
Top of the Pops: 1982 (T)
(R) 2.15 The High Art of the
Low Countries (T) (R) 3.15
The Secret Life of Books:
Confessions of an English
Opium Eater (T) (R)
Diet. With Adam Buxton.
(3/5) 9.45 (LW) Daily
Service 9.45 (FM) An
Alternative History of
Art: Ben Patterson.
Curator Naomi Beckwith
on the work of the
only African-American
founder of the Fluxus
movement. (8/10) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. With
Jane Garvey. Includes at
10.41 Drama: A Small
Town Murder, by Scott
Cherry. (3/5) 10.56 The
Listening Project: Neil
and Helen – Creating a
Monster? 11.0 On and
Off the Valley Lines. The
stories of the people who
live on the South Wales
Valleys rail network.
(1/3) 11.30 Boswell’s
Lives: Boswell’s Life of
De Beauvoir. Comedy
by Jon Canter. (2/4)
12.0 News 12.01 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 12.04
Home Front: Sylvia
Graham, by Sarah
Daniels. (8/40) 12.15
You and Yours 1.0 The
World at One. Presented
by Martha Kearney.
1.45 Horse Story:
Warhorses. With Clare
Balding. (3/5) 2.0 The
Archers (R) 2.15 Drama:
School Drama, by Andy
Mulligan. Failing school
Deer Park Academy
stages a production of
Romeo and Juliet. (R)
(1/4) 3.0 Money Box
Live. With Paul Lewis
and guests. 3.30 Inside
Health (R) 4.0 Thinking
Allowed. Human
behaviour examined.
4.30 The Media Show
5.0 PM. Presented by
Eddie Mair. 5.54 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 6.0
News 6.30 It’s Not What
You Know. Panel game.
(2/4) 7.0 The Archers.
Clarrie has a visitor.
7.15 Front Row. Arts
roundup. 7.45 A Small
Town Murder (R) (3/5)
8.0 The Moral Maze
(6/8) 8.45 Lent Talks:
Put Down your Gun.
The American pastor
and activist the Rev Dr
Tammy Garrett discusses
alternatives to modernday gun violence. (4/6)
9.0 Costing the Earth: A
Greener Home For All (R)
9.30 Only Artists (R) 10.0
The World Tonight. With
Ritula Shah. 10.45 Book
at Bedtime: The Long
Drop, by Denise Mina.
(8/10) 11.0 Domestic
Science. Comedy. (4/4)
11.15 The John Moloney
Show (R) 11.30 Today in
Parliament 12.0 News
12.30 An Alternative
History of Art (R) (8/10)
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: Sarah Harris
on the Blackbird
The Observer
Thursday 15
The Truth About
Having a Baby
BBC Three, 10am
A tell-all guide…
Breakfast 9.15 Holding
Back the Years 10.0 Homes
Under the Hammer 11.0
The Sheriffs Are Coming
11.45 Caught Red Handed
(T) (R) 12.15 Bargain Hunt
(R) 1.0 News and Weather
(T) 1.30 Regional News and
Weather (T) 1.45 Doctors
(T) 2.15 A Place to Call
Home (T) 3.05 Escape to
the Country (T) 3.45 Coast
and Country Auctions (T)
4.30 Flog It! (T) (R) 5.15
Pointless (T) (R) 6.0 News
and Weather (T) 6.30
Regional News and Weather
(T) 7.0 The One Show (T)
7.30 EastEnders (T)
MasterChef (T) Seven
more amateur cooks
cater for the 2012 and
2006 champions.
9.0 Not Going Out (T) Lucy
invites the family to join her
and Lee in a Crystal Mazestyle adventure game.
9.30 Still Game (T) A spooky
new undertaker has
moved into town.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News (T) Weather
10.45 Question Time (T) David
Dimbleby chairs the debate
in Dover.
11.45 This Week (T) Andrew Neil
introduces a round-table
political chat with Michael
Portillo and other guests.
12.30 Weather for the Week
Ahead (T) 12.35 BBC
News (T)
10.0 MOTD: The Premier
League Show (T)
Gabby Logan presents.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Top Gear (T) (R) Matt
LeBlanc and Chris Harris
take secondhand sports
cars on a road trip across
the island of Honshu.
12.15 Sign Zone MasterChef
(T) (R) 12.45 Nigel Slater’s
Middle East (T) (R)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.0 Scrapheap Challenge
8.0 American Pickers
9.0-10.0 Storage
Hunters UK 10.0-1.0
American Pickers 1.0-3.0
Top Gear 3.0 Impossible
Engineering 4.0-5.0
Road Cops 5.0-7.0 Top
Gear 7.0-8.0 Road Cops
8.0 Dara O Briain’s Go
8 Bit 9.0 QI XL 10.011.20 Josh 11.20-12.40
QI 12.40 Would I Lie to
You? 1.20 Mock the Week
2.0 QI 2.30 Suits 3.15
QI 4.0 Home Shopping
The Repair Shop (T) (R)
6.30 Holding Back the Years
(T) (R) 7.15 The Sheriffs Are
Coming (T) (R) 8.0 Earth’s
Natural Wonders (T) (R)
9.0 Victoria Derbyshire
(T) 11.0 Newsroom Live
(T) 12.0 Daily Politics (T)
1.0 Two Tribes (T) (R) 1.30
Yes Chef (T) (R) 2.15 Your
Home in Their Hands (T)
(R) 3.15 Planet Earth (T)
(R) 4.15 Into the Wild With
Gordon Buchanan (T)
(R) 5.15 Put Your Money
Where Your Mouth Is (T)
6.0 Eggheads (T) 6.30
The Repair Shop (T) 7.0
Saving Lives at Sea (T) (R)
Great Continental Railway
Journeys (T) Michael
Portillo takes in Georgia
and Azerbaijan as he
journeys through the
former Russian empire.
Civilisations (T) Simon
Schama looks at how
landscape painting is
often a projection of
dreams and idylls.
The Big Bang Theory
7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 My
Hotter Half 8.0 The
Big Bang Theory 8.30
Young Sheldon 9.0-10.0
Brooklyn Nine-Nine 10.0
Five Star Hotel 11.0512.0 The Big Bang Theory
12.0 First Dates 1.05 Five
Star Hotel 2.10 Tattoo
Fixers 3.0 Timeless
3.45-4.30 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 4.30-6.0
How I Met Your Mother
11.0am Dakota
(1945) 12.40 Run for Cover (1955)
2.30 12 Angry
Men (1957) 4.30
The War Wagon
(1967) 6.35 We
Bought a Zoo (2011)
9.0 RoboCop
(2014) 11.15 I,
Frankenstein (2014)
1.0 The Fly (1986)
All programmes
from 8am to 7pm are
double bills 6.0am-7.0
Hollyoaks 7.0 Couples
Come Dine With Me
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 How I Met Your
Mother 3.0 New Girl
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
6.0am The Planet’s
Funniest Animals 6.20
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 6.45
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 7.10
Who’s Doing the Dishes?
7.55 Emmerdale 8.20
Coronation Street 8.55
Coronation Street 9.25
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 10.15 The Bachelor
12.05 Emmerdale 12.35
Coronation Street 1.05
Coronation Street 1.35
The Jeremy Kyle Show
2.35 The Jeremy Kyle
Show 3.40 The Jeremy
Kyle Show 4.50 Judge
Rinder 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
Two and a Half Men
9.0 The Hangover
Part III (2013) (FYI
Daily is at 10pm) 11.05
Family Guy 11.35 Family
Guy 12.05 Family Guy
12.30 American Dad!
1.0 American Dad! 1.30
Two and a Half Men
1.55 Two and a Half
Men 2.20 Teleshopping
5.50 ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Food Unwrapped
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 10.30 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
11.35 Four in a Bed 12.05
Four in a Bed 12.35 Four
in a Bed 1.05 Four in a
Bed 1.40 Four in a Bed
2.10 Come Dine With Me
2.40 Come Dine With Me
3.15 Come Dine With Me
3.50 Come Dine With
Me 4.20 Come Dine
With Me 4.50 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
5.55 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 6.55 The
Supervet 7.55 Grand
Designs 9.0 The Good
Fight 10.0 999: What’s
Your Emergency? 11.05
24 Hours in A&E 12.05
Channel 4
Good Morning Britain (T)
8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25
The Jeremy Kyle Show
(T) 10.30 This Morning (T)
12.30 News (T) 12.55 Local
News (T) 1.0 ITV Racing:
Cheltenham Festival (T)
Coverage of the third day,
including feature race the
3.30 Sun Bets Stayers’
Hurdle Race. 4.30 Britain’s
Best Walks (T) (R) 5.0
The Chase (T) 6.0 Local
News (T) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Emmerdale (T) 7.30
Tonight: Undercover –
Rough Sleeper (T) Adam
Holloway looks at the rise
of homelessness in Britain.
Channel 5
6.15 3rd Rock from the Sun
(R) 7.05 Everybody Loves
Raymond (R) 8.0 Winter
Paralympics Breakfast 9.0
Frasier (R) 10.05 Kitchen
Nightmares USA (R) 11.0
Undercover Boss USA (R)
12.0 News 12.05 Come
Dine with Me (R) 1.05 Posh
Pawnbrokers (R) 2.10
Countdown 3.0 A Place in
the Sun: Home or Away
(R) 4.0 A New Life in the
Sun 5.0 Four in a Bed (R)
5.30 Extreme Cake Makers
(R) 6.0 The Simpsons (T)
(R) 6.30 Hollyoaks (T)
7.0 News (T) 7.30 Winter
Paralympics Today (T)
Emmerdale (T) Debbie
is backed into a corner.
8.30 The Cruise: Voyage to
Alaska (T) Captain Tuvo
tries to give the passengers a front-row view of
the scenery. Last in series.
9.0 Four Days That Shook
Britain (T) The story of
people directly affected by
the terror attacks of 2017.
10.30 News (T)
11.0 Local News (T)
11.15 The Late Debate (T)
11.45 Uefa Europa League
Highlights (T) The last-16,
second-leg matches.
12.45 Lethal Weapon (T) (R) 1.30
Jackpot247 3.0 Tonight:
Undercover – Rough
Sleeper (T) (R) 3.25 ITV
Nightscreen 5.05 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
10.0 The Job Interview (T)
Aston Martin are recruiting
a group leader.
11.0 Winter Paralympics
Highlights (T) The best of
the action from day six.
12.15 Winter Paralympics Live
(T) Coverage of day seven
in Pyeongchang, South
Korea, which features
banked slalom snowboarding and wheelchair curling.
Kitchen Nightmares
USA 1.05 The Good
Fight 2.05 999: What’s
Your Emergency? 3.10
8 Out of 10 Cats Uncut
6.0am Monkey Life 6.30
Monkey Life 7.0 RSPCA
Animal Rescue 7.30
RSPCA Animal Rescue 8.0
Motorway Patrol 8.30
Motorway Patrol 9.0 Road
Wars 10.0 Warehouse 13
11.0 Forever 12.0 NCIS:
LA 1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
Hawaii Five-0 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 Arrow 9.0
Carpool Karaoke Special
10.0 Jamestown 11.0
The Force: Essex 12.0
Ross Kemp: Extreme
World 1.0 Brit Cops:
Rapid Response 2.0 Most
Shocking 3.0 NCIS: LA 4.0
It’s Me or the Dog 4.30
It’s Me or the Dog 5.0
Futurama 5.30 Futurama
Sky Arts
6.0am Matilda & Me
7.0 Mariinsky Ballet:
Cinderella 9.0 Tales of
the Unexpected 9.30
Master of Photography
10.30 Video Killed
the Radio Star 11.0
The Seventies 12.0
Soundbreaking 1.0
Discovering: Dean
Location, Location,
Location (T) New series.
Kirstie Allsopp and Phil
Spencer search York for
first-time buyers who are
expecting their first child.
My Baby’s Life: Who
Decides? (T) (1/2)
Documentary about
children on life support
in a Southampton ICU.
Martin 2.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 2.30 Master
of Photography 3.30
Video Killed the Radio
Star 4.0 The Seventies
5.0 Soundbreaking
6.0 Discovering: Peter
Sellers 7.0 Tarzan: The
Man Behind the Legend
8.0 The Eighties 9.0
The Ritchie Blackmore
Story 11.0 Portrait Artist
of the Year 2018 12.0
National Treasures:
The Art of Collecting
1.0 The Gardens of
Pompeii 2.0 The Art
of the Joy of Sex 3.0
Master of Photography
4.0 Dag 4.30 Tales of
the Unexpected 5.0
Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets
7.0 Urban Secrets 8.0
Richard E Grant’s Hotel
Secrets 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 Britannia 10.0
Our Cartoon President
10.35 Last Week Tonight
with John Oliver 11.10
Divorce 11.45 Britannia
12.45 Billions 1.55 Blue
Bloods 2.55 Girls 3.30
Girls 4.05 The West Wing
5.0 The West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast. With
Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Kate
Adie reveals the pieces of
culture that have inspired
her. 12.0 Composer of
the Week: Haydn (4/5)
1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: Women in the
Shadows. Soprano Ruby
Hughes sings works by
Alma Mahler, Gustav
Mahler and Helen Grime.
(3/4) 2.0 Thursday
Opera Matinee: Donizetti
– La favorite. A recording
from the Teatro Real,
Madrid. Sung in French.
Kate Molleson presents.
Simone Piazzola
(baritone: Alphonse
XI, King of Castille),
Jamie Barton (mezzo:
Léonor de Guzman),
Marina Monzo (soprano:
Inès), Javier Camarena
(tenor: Fernand), Simon
Orfila (bass: Balthazar),
Antonio Lozano (tenor:
Don Gaspar, officer of
the king), Alejandro del
Cerro (tenor: A Lord),
Teatro Real, Daniel
Oren. 5.0 In Tune 7.0
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.15 Can’t Pay?
We’ll Take It Away (T) (R)
12.10 News (T) 12.15 GPs:
Behind Closed Doors (T)
(R) 1.10 Access (T) 1.15
Home and Away (T) 1.45
Neighbours (T) 2.20 NCIS:
Naval Killer – Broken Bird
(T) (R) Ducky is accused of
war crimes. 3.15 Fatal
Defense (John Murlowski,
2017) (T) Thriller with
Ashley Scott and David
Cade. 5.0 News (T) 5.30
Neighbours (T) (R) 6.0
Home and Away (T) (R)
6.30 News (T) 7.0 The
Secret Life of Kittens (T) (R)
Bargain-Loving Brits in the
Sun (T) Fitness instructor
and entrepreneur Anthony
organises a campsite
coach trip to the Algar falls.
Do the Right Thing
With Eamonn & Ruth
(T) Eamonn Holmes and
Ruth Langsford report
on house fires caused by
dangerous white goods.
10.0 Hunted and Confronted:
Cowboys, Crooks and
Chancers (T) Paul
Connolly goes undercover to investigate a
home-letting agency.
11.05 Panic at 30,000 Feet:
Airline Emergency (T) (R)
12.0 SuperCasino 3.10 Cowboy
Builders (T) (R) 4.0 World’s
Most Pampered Pets (T)
(R) 4.45 House Doctor (T)
In Tune Mixtape 7.30
In Concert. The Halle
live at the Bridgewater
Hall, Manchester. Bach:
Keyboard Concerto No 1
in D minor, BWV 1052.
Mendelssohn: Psalm
114, Op 51. Interval.
Shostakovich: Symphony
No 8 in C minor, Op 65.
Charles Owen (piano),
Halle Choir, Youth
Choir and Orchestra,
Mark Elder. 10.0 Free
Thinking Festival: Has
Social Media Cracked the
Code to the Crowd? The
impact of social media on
the way people behave.
10.45 The Essay: New
Generation Thinkers –
Educating Ida. Eleanor
Lybeck reflects on the
women campaigners
satirised by Gilbert and
Sullivan. (4/5) 11.0 Late
Junction. Including a
mixtape by the Japanese
musician Cornelius.
12.30 Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today. Mishal Husain
and Justin Webb present.
7.48 Thought for the
Day, with Martin Wroe.
8.31 (LW) Yesterday in
Parliament. With Susan
Hulme. 9.0 In Our Time
9.45 (LW) Daily Service
9.45 (FM) An Alternative
History of Art: Dorothy
Iannone. Hans Ulrich
Obrist profiles the visual
artist, whose sexually
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Top of the Pops: 1985 (T)
(R) Mike Read and Dixie
Peach present the 13
June edition, featuring
Bruce Springsteen,
Madonna, Billy Ocean,
Sister Sledge and Marillion.
The Brain: A Secret History
(T) (R) How the study
of abnormal brain activity has helped reveal the
workings of the organ.
Last in the series.
The Ruth Ellis Files: A
Very British Crime Story
(T) (3/3) Gillian Pachter
focuses on the weeks
before Ellis’s execution.
10.0 Timeshift: Crime &
Punishment – The Story of
Corporal Punishment (R)
11.0 Blues America Bright
Lights, Big City (T) (R) (2/2)
12.0 Top of the Pops: 1985
(T) (R) 12.30 Tom Jones
at the BBC (T) (R)
1.30 The World’s Most
Photographed (T) (R)
2.0 The High Art of the
Low Countries (T) (R)
explicit work resulted in
censorship in the 1970s
and 1980s. (9/10) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. Includes
at 10.45 Drama: A Small
Town Murder, by Scott
Cherry. (4/5) 11.0 From
Our Own Correspondent.
With Kate Adie. 11.30 The
Art of Now: Dangerous
Places. Composer Errollyn
Wallen meets some of
the artists working in
places of conflict around
the world, hearing
their testimonies and
exploring why art and
music, poetry and drama
can sometimes flourish
in times and locations of
danger and violence. 12.0
News 12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Home
Front: 15 March 1918
– Ivy Monk, by Sarah
Daniels. (9/40) 12.15 You
and Yours 1.0 The World
at One. Presented by
Mark Mardell. 1.45 Horse
Story: Racehorses. Clare
Balding on thoroughbred
racehorses. (4/5) 2.0
The Archers (R) 2.15
Drama: School Drama,
by Andy Mulligan. The
failing school brings in
has-been TV star Geoff
Cathcart to help stage
a production of Romeo
and Juliet. (R) (2/4)
3.0 Ramblings: Black
Men’s Walking for Health
Group. With Clare Balding
in the Peak District. (5/7)
3.27 Radio 4 Appeal:
The Lullaby Trust (R)
3.30 Open Book (R) 4.0
The Film Programme. As
Paddington 2 is released
for home viewing,
Francine Stock talks
to the movie’s writerdirector Paul King and
writer Simon Farnaby
about the influence of
James Stewart on the
furry hero. 4.30 BBC
Inside Science. 5.0 PM.
With Eddie Mair. 5.54
(LW) Shipping Forecast
6.0 News 6.30 The
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the
Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase
(2/6) 7.0 The Archers.
Adam finds himself
ousted. 7.15 Front Row.
Arts roundup. 7.45 A
Small Town Murder (R)
(4/5) 8.0 Law in Action
(R) 8.30 The Bottom Line.
Presented by Evan Davis.
9.0 Inside Science (R)
9.30 In Our Time (R) 10.0
The World Tonight. With
Razia Iqbal. 10.45 Book
at Bedtime: The Long
Drop, by Denise Mina.
(9/10) 11.0 It’s Jocelyn:
Dates (R) 11.30 Today in
Parliament 12.0 News
12.30 An Alternative
History of Art (R) (9/10)
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
Garden Warbler
The Observer
Friday 16
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Holding
Back the Years (T) 10.0
Homes Under the Hammer
(T) (R) 11.0 The Sheriffs
Are Coming (T) 11.45
Caught Red Handed (T)
(R) 12.15 Bargain Hunt (T)
1.0 News and Weather (T)
1.30 Regional News and
Weather (T) 1.45 Doctors
(T) 2.15 A Place to Call
Home (T) 3.0 Escape to
the Country (T) 3.45 Coast
and Country Auctions (T)
4.30 Flog It! (T) (R) 5.15
Pointless (T) (R) 6.0 News
(T) 6.30 Regional News
(T) 7.0 The One Show
(T) 7.30 MasterChef (T)
The Repair Shop (T) (R)
6.30 Holding Back the
Years (T) (R) 7.15 The
Sheriffs Are Coming (T) (R)
8.0 Back in Time for Tea (T)
(R) 9.0 Victoria Derbyshire
(T) 11.0 BBC Newsroom
Live (T) 12.0 Daily Politics
(T) 1.0 Two Tribes (T) (R)
1.30 Yes Chef (T) (R) 2.15
Your Home in Their Hands
(T) (R) 3.15 Planet Earth
(T) (R) 4.15 Into the Wild
With Gordon Buchanan (T)
(R) 5.15 Put Your Money
Where Your Mouth Is (T)
(R) 6.0 Eggheads (T) 6.30
The Repair Shop (T) 7.0
Saving Lives at Sea (T) (R)
EastEnders (T) Keegan
probes Mitch about what
he overheard.
8.30 Room 101 (T) With Bill
Bailey, Una Stubbs and
Alice Levine.
9.0 Requiem (T) Matilda
ignores Sean’s warning
that her life is in danger.
Trudy pines after Hal.
Last in the series.
8.0 Mastermind (T)
8.30 Gardeners’ World (T)
Monty Don makes plans for
a bumper harvest of fruit.
9.0 Pilgrimage: The Road to
Santiago (T) New series.
Ed Byrne, Neil Morrissey
Heather Small are among
seven celebrities finding
out if a medieval pilgrimage
has relevance today.
10.0 News (T)
10.25 Regional News (T) Weather
10.35 The Young Offenders (T)
A wild bus ride brings Conor,
Jock and the girls closer
together. Last in the series.
11.05 Shanghai Knights
(David Dobkin, 2003)
(T) Comedy sequel starring Jackie Chan, Owen
Wilson and Aidan Gillen.
12.55 Weather (T) 1.0 News (T)
10.0 QI (T) (R)
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.05 The Assassination of Gianni
Versace… (T) (R) (3/9)
11.55 Hitchcock’s Shower
Scene: 78/52 (Alexandre
O Philippe, 2017) (T)
Documentary about the
shower scene in Psycho.
1.20 Civilisations (T) (R) 2.20
The Assassination of Gianni
Versace… (T) (R) (1/9)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.0 Scrapheap Challenge
Roadshow: Welly
Wanging 8.0 American
Pickers 9.0-10.0 Storage
Hunters UK 10.0-1.0
American Pickers 1.0-3.0
Top Gear 3.0 Impossible
Engineering 4.0-5.0
Road Cops 5.0-7.0 Top
Gear 7.0-8.0 Road Cops
8.0 Motorway Cops
9.0 Dynamo: Magician
Impossible 10.0 Dara O
Briain’s Go 8 Bit 11.0 QI
11.40 Would I Lie to You?
12.20 Mock the Week
1.0 QI 1.35 Would I Lie
to You? 2.10 Mock the
Week 2.45 Suits 3.30
QI 4.0 Home Shopping
All programmes
from 8am to 7pm are
double bills 6.0am-7.0
Hollyoaks 7.0 Couples
Come Dine With Me
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 How I Met Your
Mother 3.0 New Girl
4.0 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory 7.0
Hollyoaks 7.30 My Hotter
Half 8.0 I, Robot
(2004) 10.0 Five Star
Hotel 11.05-12.0 The
Big Bang Theory 12.0
First Dates 1.05 Five
Star Hotel 2.10 Tattoo
Fixers 3.0 Timeless 3.45
Rude Tube 4.10 Couples
Come Dine With Me
11.0am The Tin
Star (1957) 12.50 The Quick Gun (1964)
2.35 The Violent
Men (1955) 4.30 Operation Petticoat
(1959) 6.50 Small Soldiers (1998)
9.0 The Mechanic
(2011) 11.0 Ghost
Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
(2011) 12.50 Future Shock! The Story
of 2000AD (2014)
6.0am The Planet’s
Funniest Animals 6.20
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 6.45
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 7.10
Who’s Doing the Dishes?
7.55 Emmerdale 8.20
Emmerdale 8.55 You’ve
Been Framed! Gold 9.25
The Ellen DeGeneres
Show 10.15 The Bachelor
12.05 Emmerdale 12.35
Emmerdale 1.05 You’ve
Been Framed! 1.35 The
Jeremy Kyle Show 2.35
The Jeremy Kyle Show
3.40 The Jeremy Kyle
Show 4.50 Judge Rinder
5.50 Take Me Out 7.0
You’ve Been Framed!
Gold 8.0 Two and a
Half Men 8.30 Two and
a Half Men 9.0 Paul (2011) (FYI Daily
is at 10.05) 11.10 Family
Guy 11.35 Family Guy
12.05 American Dad!
12.35 American Dad!
1.05 Two and a Half Men
1.35 Two and a Half Men
2.05 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records
2.30 Teleshopping
8.55am Food Unwrapped
9.30 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 10.30 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun
11.35 Four in a Bed 12.05
Four in a Bed 12.35 Four
in a Bed 1.10 Four in a Bed
1.40 Four in a Bed 2.10
Come Dine With Me 2.40
Come Dine With Me 3.15
Come Dine With Me 3.50
Come Dine With Me 4.20
Come Dine With Me 4.50
A Place in the Sun: Winter
Sun 5.55 A Place in the
Sun: Winter Sun 6.55
The Supervet 7.55 Grand
Designs 9.0 Rough Justice
10.0 24 Hours in A&E
11.05 24 Hours in A&E
12.05 Kitchen Nightmares
Pilgrimage: The
Road to Santiago
BBC Two, 9pm
Taking the long way
to enlightenment
Channel 4
Good Morning Britain (T)
8.30 Lorraine (T) 9.25
The Jeremy Kyle Show
(T) 10.30 This Morning (T)
12.30 News (T) 12.55 Local
News (T) 1.0 ITV Racing:
Cheltenham Festival (T)
Coverage of the fourth day,
including feature race the
3.30 Timico Cheltenham
Gold Cup Steeplechase.
4.30 Britain’s Best Walks
(T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T)
6.0 Local News (T) 6.30
News (T) 7.0 Emmerdale
(T) Debbie is beside
herself with worry. 7.30
Coronation Street (T)
Josh and David hit the town.
Love Your Garden (T)
The team transform
the garden of a retired
serviceman who lost
his arm in the Falklands.
8.30 Coronation Street (T)
Josh takes a drunken
David back to his flat.
9.0 Lethal Weapon Wreck the
Halls (T) Murtaugh and
Riggs are called to a murder.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.40 The Fast and the
Furious: Tokyo Drift
(Justin Lin, 2006) (T) An
American living in Japan
gets involved in illegal
street racing. Action
adventure with Lucas
Black and Nathalie Kelley.
12.45 Jackpot247 3.0 Take on
the Twisters (T) (R)
10.0 The Last Leg (T) With
guest Claudia Winkleman.
11.05 Winter Paralympics
Highlights (T) Clare Balding
and Jonnie Peacock review
the best of the action from
day seven in Pyeongchang.
12.15 Winter Paralympics Live
(T) Wheelchair curling,
alpine skiing and crosscountry skiing from
USA 1.05 24 Hours in A&E
2.05 Grand Designs 3.10
8 Out of 10 Cats
6.0am Monkey Life
6.30 Monkey Life 7.0
RSPCA Animal Rescue
7.30 RSPCA Animal
Rescue 8.0 Motorway
Patrol 8.30 Motorway
Patrol 9.0 Road Wars
10.0 Warehouse 13 11.0
Forever 12.0 NCIS: LA
1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0
Hawaii Five-0 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 The
Simpsons 8.30 Modern
Family 9.0 Jamestown
10.0 The Late Late Show
With James Corden:
Best of the Week 11.0
The Russell Howard
Hour 12.0 Ross Kemp:
Extreme World 1.0 Brit
Cops: Rapid Response
2.0 Most Shocking 3.0
The Force: Essex 4.0
It’s Me or the Dog 4.30
It’s Me or the Dog 5.0
Futurama 5.30 Futurama
Sky Arts
6.0am Prokofiev: The
Complete Symphonies
6.50 Verdi: I due
Foscari 9.0 Tales of
the Unexpected 9.30
Master of Photography
10.30 Video Killed
Channel 5
Winter Paralympics Live
(T) 8.0 Winter Paralympics
Breakfast (T) 9.0 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
Come Dine With Me (T) (R)
1.05 Posh Pawnbrokers
(T) (R) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 A Place in the Sun:
Home or Away (T) (R) 4.0
A New Life in the Sun (T)
5.0 Four in a Bed (T) (R)
5.30 Extreme Cake Makers
(T) (R) 6.0 The Simpsons
(T) (R) 6.30 Hollyoaks (T)
7.0 News (T) 7.30 Winter
Paralympics Today (T)
Scruffts: Britain’s Favourite
Dog (T) Alan Carr follows
the stories of the six dogs
competing in the semifinals of the Scruffts family
crossbreed dog of the
year competition.
Gogglebox (T) Capturing
householders’ reactions
to what they are watching
at home on the telly.
the Radio Star 11.0
The Seventies 12.0
Soundbreaking 1.0
Discovering: Peter
Sellers 2.0 Tales of the
Unexpected 2.30 Master
of Photography 3.30
Video Killed the Radio
Star 4.0 The Seventies
5.0 Soundbreaking 6.0
Discovering: Robert Shaw
7.0 Last Shop Standing
8.0 Discovering: The
Mamas & the Papas 8.30
Discovering: Crosby,
Stills, Nash & Young 9.0
Legends of the Canyon
11.15 California Dreamin’:
The Songs of the Mamas
and the Papas 12.30
Classic Albums 1.50
Genesis: When in Rome
3.45 Dag 4.30 Tales
of the Unexpected 5.0
Auction 5.30 Auction
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The Guest Wing
7.0 The Guest Wing 8.0
Richard E Grant’s Hotel
Secrets 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 Game
of Thrones 10.15 Game
of Thrones 11.25 Game
of Thrones 12.35 Mosaic
1.35 Billions 2.45 Dexter
4.0-6.0 The West Wing
On the
Radio 3
6.30 Breakfast. With
Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics.
Kate Adie guests. 12.0
Composer of the Week:
Haydn (5/5) 1.0 News
1.02 Lunchtime Concert:
Women in the Shadows.
Another recital from the
Royal Conservatoire in
Glasgow. Eivind Ringstad
(viola). Sinding arr
Røsth: Suite in the Old
Style, Op 10. Enescu:
Concertpiece. Bridge:
Pensiero and Allegro
Appasionata. Ravel: Pièce
en forme de Habanera.
Rebecca Clarke: Sonata
for viola and piano. (4/4)
2.0 Afternoon Concert:
BBC Philharmonic. Elgar:
Overture: Cockaigne.
Rachmaninov: Piano
Concerto No 1 in F sharp
minor, Op 1. Sibelius:
Symphony No 1 in E
minor, Op 39. Kathryn
Stott (piano), BBC
Philharmonic, Andrew
Davis. 3.20 Elgar: The
Pipes of Pan. Roderick
Williams (baritone),
Andrew Davis. 3.25
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.15 Can’t Pay? We’ll
Take It Away (T) (R) 12.10
News (T) 12.15 GPs: Behind
Closed Doors (T) (R) 1.10
Access (T) 1.15 Home and
Away (T) 1.45 Neighbours
(T) 2.20 NCIS: Naval
Killer (T) (R) Knockout
3.15 Locked Away
(Doug Campbell, 2010)
(T) Thriller. 5.0 News (T)
5.30 Neighbours (T) (R)
6.0 Home and Away (T)
(R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0 The
Gadget Show (T) A new
model laser projector is pitted against a top-notch TV
to see how they compare.
The Yorkshire Steam
Railway: All Aboard (T)
Railway staff seek to
complete the overhaul of
Repton, a 1934 Schools
class engine. Last in series.
Jane McDonald & Friends
(T) Bonnie Tyler and Kerry
Ellis join the host, her band
and dancers for an allsinging, all-dancing party.
10.0 Will & Grace (T) Jack
celebrates his “one-monthaversary” with Drew.
10.30 Lip Sync Battle UK Robert
Webb v Sally Phillips (T)
11.0 Greatest Celebrity WindUps Ever! (T) (R)
12.0 Cruising With Jane
McDonald (T) (R) 12.15
SuperCasino (T) 3.10
Cowboy Builders (T) (R)
4.0 The X-Files (T) (R)
Berlioz: Overture –
Le carnaval romain.
Conductor Andrew Litton.
3.35 Beethoven: Piano
Concerto No 2 in B flat,
Op 19. Martin Roscoe,
John Storgårds. 4.10
Tchaikovksy: Symphony
No 4 in F minor, Op
36. Conductor Juanjo
Mena. 5.0 In Tune. Sean
Rafferty’s guests include
the Santiago Quartet
and the Gesualdo Six.
7.0 In Tune Mixtape 7.30
In Concert. From the
Cadogan Hall, London.
Francesco Piemontesi
(piano), SWR Symphony
Orchestra Stuttgart,
Roger Norrington.
Beethoven: Overture
– The Creatures of
Prometheus; Piano
Concerto No 3. Interval.
Beethoven: Symphony No
3, Eroica. 10.0 The Verb
at Free Thinking. With
Joanna Trollope, Hollie
McNish, the Unthanks and
Kirsty Taylor. 10.45 The
Essay: New Generation
Thinkers – Doing Nothing.
With Alastair Fraser.
(5/5) 11.0 World on 3
1.0 Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 Today. Presented by
Nick Robinson and Mishal
Husain. 7.48 Thought for
the Day, with the Rt Rev
Richard Harries. 8.31 (LW)
Yesterday in Parliament
9.0 Desert Island Discs:
BBC Four
World News Today (T)
7.30 Top of the Pops: 1985
(T) (R) Janice Long and
Gary Davies introduce
performances by Sting,
Fine Young Cannibals,
China Crisis and Harold
Faltermeyer. First aired
on 20 June 1985.
Songs of Ireland (T) (R)
Musicians including Brian
Kennedy, Cara Dillon,
Finbar Furey, Eleanor
McEvoy and Luka Bloom
perform famous songs.
The Irish Rock Story:
A Tale of Two Cities (T) (R)
Documentary telling the
story of how rock music
has evolved in Ireland.
10.0 Here Comes the Summer:
The Undertones Story (R)
11.0 Van Morrison Live at
Eden (T) (R) A performance
recorded in July last year.
11.55 Top of the Pops: 1985 (R)
12.25 The Irish Rock Story: A Tale
of Two Cities (T) (R) 1.25
Here Comes the Summer:
The Undertones Story (T)
(R) 2.25 Songs of Ireland
(T) (R)
John Gray (R) 9.45 (LW)
Daily Service 9.45 (FM)
An Alternative History of
Art: Rotimi Fani-Kayode.
With Iwona Blazwick.
(10/10) 10.0 Woman’s
Hour. With Jenni Murray.
Includes at 10.45 Drama:
A Small Town Murder, by
Scott Cherry. (5/5) 11.0
The Charity Business:
Service Delivery.
Governments have come
to rely on charities to
deliver many of their
services, sometimes to
some of the hardestto-reach individuals
and communities. What
happens when charities
get almost all their
money from government?
Matthew Taylor reports.
(2/3) 11.30 A Charles
Paris Mystery: Dead Room
Farce. By Jeremy Front,
based on the novel by
Simon Brett. Bill Nighy
and Suzanne Burden
star. (4/4) 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Home
Front: 16 March 1918 –
Kitty Lumley, by Sarah
Daniels. (10/40) 12.15
You and Yours 1.0 The
World at One. With Mark
Mardell. 1.45 Horse
Story: Healing Horses.
With Clare Balding. (5/5)
2.0 The Archers 2.15
Drama: School Drama,
by Andy Mulligan. (R)
(3/4) 3.0 Gardeners’
Question Time: Leicester
3.45 From Fact to
Fiction 4.0 Last Word
4.30 Feedback 4.55 The
Listening Project: Rory
and Jenny – Growing
Stronger in “Roryness”
5.0 PM. With Eddie Mair.
5.54 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 6.0 News 6.30
The Now Show (3/5)
7.0 The Archers. Emma
is concerned. 7.15 Front
Row. With Kirsty Lang.
7.45 A Small Town
Murder (R) (5/5) 8.0
Any Questions? Jonathan
Dimbleby chairs the
topical debate at the
English Martyrs Catholic
School in Leicester,
where panellists include
the former Chancellor
Ken Clarke MP. 8.50 A
Point of View 9.0 Home
Front Omnibus: 12-16
March 1918 (2/8) 10.0
The World Tonight. With
James Reynolds. 10.45
Book at Bedtime: The
Long Drop, by Denise
Mina. (10/10) 11.0 A
Good Read: Nina Stibbe
& Kit de Waal 11.30 Today
in Parliament. With
Mark D’Arcy. 11.55 The
Listening Project: Adrian
and Peter – Becoming a
Father 12.0 News 12.30
An Alternative History
of Art (R) (10/10) 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 17
Breakfast (T) 10.0 Saturday Kitchen Live (T) 11.30
Classic Mary Berry (T) (R)
12.0 Football Focus (T) 1.0
News and Weather (T)
1.15-3.45 MasterChef (T)
(R) Triple bill. 3.45 Wanted
Down Under Revisited
(T) 4.30 Live Six Nations
Rugby Union (T) Wales
v France (kick-off 5pm)
John Inverdale presents
the final match of the
tournament, which takes
place at the Principality
Stadium in Cardiff. 7.0
News (T) 7.10 Regional
News and Weather (T) 7.20
Pointless Celebrities (T)
Troy: Fall of a City
BBC One, 9pm
Pandarus puts
his dastardly
plot into action
Channel 4
6.10 The Wonder of Animals (R)
6.40 Nightmares of Nature
(R) 7.10 The Pets Factor
7.30 The Dengineers 8.0
Absolute Genius: Monster
Builds 8.30 Beyond Bionic
9.0 Robot Wars (R) 10.0
Gorilla Family and Me (R)
11.0 Homes Under the
Hammer (R) 11.35 Cats
v Dogs: Which Is Best?
(R) 12.35 Orson Welles:
Talking Pictures (R) 1.20
Waterloo (Sergei
Bondarchuk, 1970) 3.30 Me
and My Dog (R) 4.30 Final
Score 5.30 The Repair Shop
(R) 6.0 Hugh’s Wild West
7.0 Amazing Hotels… (R)
CITV 9.25 James Martin’s
Saturday Morning (T)
11.20 Britain’s Brightest
Family (T) (R) 11.50 News
and Weather (T) 12.0 Live
Six Nations Rugby Union
(T) Italy v Scotland (kickoff 12.30pm) Coverage
from the Stadio Olimpico
in Rome. 2.25 Live Six
Nations Rugby Union (T)
England v Ireland (kick-off
2.45pm) From Twickenham.
5.0 The Chase (T) (R) 6.0
News and Weather (T) 6.15
Local News (T) 6.30 New
You’ve Been Framed! (T)
7.0 Ant & Dec’s Saturday
Night Takeaway (T)
8.10 Casualty (T) Rash’s confidence is tested when he
treats a prisoner – who
also leads Gem into danger.
9.0 Troy: Fall of a City (T) Paris
flees to the hills where he
grew up seeking a refuge
from the Greeks, and in
Troy, Helen is left without
a single ally as Pandarus’s
investigation gathers pace.
David Attenborough’s
Natural Curiosities (T)
Are animals and plants
mathematically aware?
8.30 Dad’s Army The Royal Train
(T) (R) The platoon must
provide a guard of honour.
9.0 Suite Française (Saul
Dibb, 2014) (T) Second
world war drama, with
Kristin Scott Thomas.
8.30 The Voice UK (T) The first
of the knockout shows
sees 12 acts sing for a
place in the semis. Jennifer
Hudson,, Tom
Jones and Olly Murs can
pick only one act from their
teams to progress, so there
are some tough decisions
to make. With Craig David,
Kylie Minogue and others.
10.0 News (T) Weather
10.20 Match of the Day (T)
Featuring Bournemouth v
West Brom, Huddersfield
v Palace, Stoke v Everton
and Liverpool v Watford.
11.20 MOTD: FA Cup
Highlights (T)
11.50 Gambit (Michael
Hoffman, 2012) (T) Comedy
remake with Colin Firth.
1.10 Weather (T) 1.15 News (T)
10.40 Performance Live: Winged
Bull in the Elephant Case
(T) Dance choreographed
by Wayne McGregor and
others. Introduced by
Clemency Burton-Hill.
11.10 Defiance (Edward
Zwick, 2008) (T) Second
world war drama starring
Daniel Craig and Jamie Bell.
1.15 Civilisations (T) (R) 2.15
This Is BBC Two (T)
10.30 News and Weather (T)
10.45 Fast & Furious (Justin
Lin, 2009) (T) A fugitive
and an FBI agent are forced
to work together. Thriller
sequel, with Vin Diesel,
Paul Walker and Michelle
12.45 Play to the Whistle (T) (R)
Holly Willoughby hosts.
1.30 Jackpot247 3.0
Babushka (T) (R)
6.0am Home Shopping
7.10-10.0 The Hurting
10.0-1.0 American
Pickers 1.0-3.0 Sin City
Motors 3.0-5.0 Road
Cops 5.0-7.0 Would
I Lie to You? 7.0-9.0
Not Going Out 9.0-11.0
Would I Lie to You? 11.0
Dave Gorman: Modern
Life Is Goodish 12.0 QI
XL 1.0-2.50 Would I
Lie to You? 2.50 Suits
3.35 The Indestructibles
4.0 Home Shopping
6.0am The Goldbergs
6.25 The Goldbergs
6.50 The Goldbergs
7.20 Don’t Tell the Bride
8.20 Made in Chelsea
Does Come Dine with Me
9.25 Made in Chelsea
10.30 Spy Kids 4:
All the Time in the World
(2011) 12.15 Rude(ish)
Tube Shorts 12.30 The
Goldbergs 1.0 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 1.30 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 2.0 Young
Sheldon 2.30 The Big
Bang Theory 3.0 The
Big Bang Theory 3.30
The Big Bang Theory
4.0 The Great Celebrity
Bake Off for Stand Up
to Cancer 5.15 Extreme
Cake Makers 5.45
Extreme Cake Makers
6.0 The Big Bang Theory
6.30 The Big Bang
Theory 7.0 The Big Bang
Theory 7.30 The Big
Bang Theory 8.0 The
Big Bang Theory 8.30
The Big Bang Theory 9.0
The World’s End
(2013) 11.10 Gogglebox
12.15 Five Star Hotel
1.20 Five Star Hotel 2.25
Five Star Hotel 3.20
Timeless 4.05 How I
Met Your Mother 4.25
How I Met Your Mother
4.45 Rude(ish) Tube
11.0am Rio (2011)
1.0 Step Up All In
(2014) 3.10 Hulk
(2003) 5.50 Avatar
(2009) 9.0 R.I.P.D
(2013) 10.55 The
Pyramid (2014) 12.40
Citadel (2012)
2.20 Maniac (2012)
6.0am Emmerdale 8.55
Coronation Street 11.45
Ant & Dec’s Saturday
Night Takeaway 1.20
License to Wed
(2007) (FYI Daily is at
2.25) 3.05 Dirty
Dancing 2: Havana
Nights (2004) (FYI
Daily is at 4.10) 4.55
Evan Almighty
(2007) (FYI Daily is at
5.55) 6.50 Gravity
(2013) (FYI Daily is at
7.55) 8.30 Pacific
Rim (2013) (FYI Daily
is at 9.30) 11.10 Family
Guy 11.35 Family Guy
12.10 American Dad!
12.35 American Dad!
1.05 Action Team 1.35
Ibiza Weekender 2.35
Totally Bonkers Guinness
World Records 2.45
Teleshopping 5.45
ITV2 Nightscreen
8.55am Grand Designs
New Zealand 10.0 A
Place in the Sun: Winter
Sun 11.0 A Place in the
Sun: Winter Sun 12.05 A
Place in the Sun: Winter
Sun 1.05 A Place in the
Sun: Home or Away 2.15
Four in a Bed 2.50 Four
in a Bed 3.20 Four in a
Bed 3.50 Four in a Bed
4.20 Four in a Bed 4.50
Come Dine With Me 5.25
Come Dine With Me 5.55
Come Dine With Me 6.25
Come Dine With Me 6.55
Come Dine With Me 7.25
Britain’s Wildest Weather
9.0 Bin Laden: Shoot
to Kill 10.40 Father Ted
11.10 Father Ted 11.40
Father Ted 12.15 Father
Ted 12.50 8 Out of 10
Cats Does Countdown
1.55 8 Out of 10 Cats
Uncut 2.40 Ramsay’s
Kitchen Nightmares USA
6.0am Futurama 6.30
Futurama 7.0 The Flash
8.0 The Simpsons
8.30 The Simpsons
9.0 The Simpsons 9.30
The Simpsons 10.0
Soccer AM 11.30 Hawaii
Five-0 12.30 Hawaii
Five-0 1.30 Hawaii
Five-0 2.30 Futurama
3.0 Gillette Soccer
Saturday 3.15 Gillette
Soccer Saturday 5.15
Gillette Soccer Saturday
5.30 Gillette Soccer
Saturday 6.0 Futurama
6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30
The Simpsons 8.0
The Simpsons 8.30
The Simpsons 9.0
(1984) 11.0 NCIS: LA
12.0 The Russell Howard
Hour 1.0 Duck Quacks
Don’t Echo 1.30 Bliss 2.0
Hawaii Five-0 3.0 Ross
Kemp: Extreme World
4.0 Stargate Atlantis
5.0 Stargate Atlantis
Sky Arts
6.0am Brahms: Piano
Concertos No 1 & No 2
8.0 National Treasures:
The Art of Collecting 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 Picasso
Live from Tate Modern
12.0 Soundbreaking
Channel 5
Winter Paralympics Live
(T) 8.0 Winter Paralympics
Breakfast (T) 9.0 Frasier (T)
(R) 9.30 Frasier (T) (R) 10.0
Frasier (T) (R) 10.30 The Big
Bang Theory (T) (R) 10.55
The Big Bang Theory (T) (R)
11.25 The Big Bang Theory
(T) (R) 11.55 The Simpsons
(T) (R) 12.55 The Simpsons
(T) (R) 1.25 Casper
(Brad Silberling, 1995) (T)
3.20 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun (T) (R) 4.25
The Secret Life of the
Zoo (T) (R) 5.30 Winter
Paralympics Today (T) 6.30
News (T) 7.0 Penelope
Keith’s Coastal Villages (T)
Britain at Low Tide (T)
Tori Herridge explores
the Severn Estuary.
Fantastic Four
(Josh Trank, 2015) (T)
Four scientists return
from another dimension
where they have gained
unusual powers. Superhero
adventure starring Miles
Teller and Michael B Jordan.
8.10 Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It
Away (T) (R) An insight into
the world of debt collection
from the perspectives of
people who owe money.
9.0 Football on 5: The
Championship (T)
Highlights of Leeds United
v Sheffield Wednesday at
Elland Road and Barnsley v
Millwall at Oakwell.
10.55 8 Out of 10 Cats Does
Countdown (T) (R)
With Jon Richardson,
Michelle Wolf, Jonathan
Ross, Johnny Vegas and
Pappy’s. Last in the series.
11.55 The Inbetweeners (T) (R)
12.30 Winter Paralympics Live
(T) Day nine features alpine
skiing, cross-country skiing and ice hockey. 5.35
Location, Location… (T) (R)
10.0 Football on 5: Goal Rush (T)
The weekend’s games in
Leagues One and Two.
10.30 Live: Hayemaker Fight
Night (T) Matt Askin v
Stephen Simmons and Joe
Joyce v Donnie Palmer.
12.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10-4.45
Cowboy Builders (T) (R)
4.45 House Doctor (T) (R)
5.10 House Busters (T) (R)
5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.30 TOTP2 (T) (R) A St
Patrick’s Day special featuring performances by U2.
11.15 Irish Rock at the BBC (T)
(R) Archive performances.
12.15 Top of the Pops: 1985
(T) (R) 12.45 Top of the
Pops: 1985 (T) (R) 1.15
Lost Kingdoms of Central
America (T) (R) (2/4)
2.15 The Silk Road (T) (R)
(1/3) 3.15 TOTP2 (T) (R)
1.0 Soundbreaking 2.0
Discovering: Richard
Harris 3.0 Discovering:
James Coburn 4.0
Discovering: Dean Martin
5.0 Portrait Artist of the
Year 2018 6.0 Video
Killed the Radio Star 6.30
Led Zeppelin: Celebration
Day 9.0 Black Sabbath:
The End of the End
11.0 Shane MacGowan:
A Wreck Reborn 12.0
The Cranberries 12.30
Villagers Live at La Route
du Rock Festival 2016
2.0 Live from the Artists
Den 3.0 Black Sabbath:
The End of the End 5.0
Last Shop Standing
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Richard E Grant’s
Hotel Secrets 7.0 Richard
E Grant’s Hotel Secrets
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 Mosaic 11.0
Unseen 1.15 Last Week
Tonight With John Oliver
1.50 Dexter 3.0 Cold
Case 4.0 The Guest Wing
5.0 The Guest Wing
On the
Radio 3
7.0 Breakfast. With
Martin Handley. 9.0
News 9.03 Record
Review. With Andrew
McGregor. 12.15 Music
Matters. Tom Service
talks to the French
conductor Laurence
Equilbey. Plus, Caroline
Potter, biographer of
Lili Boulanger, discusses
the life and legacy of
the French composer.
1.0 News 1.02 Saturday
Classics. Conductor Yan
Pascal Tortelier chooses
music from Paris in the
Belle Époque, including
music by Claude Debussy,
Maurice Ravel and Jules
Massenet. 3.0 Sound
of Cinema: Gaming.
Matthew Sweet explores
the influence video
games have had on film
and film-makers. 4.0 Jazz
Record Requests 5.0 Jazz
Line-Up: Alice Coltrane.
In a programme originally
broadcast in 2017, Kevin
Le Gendre celebrates the
music of harpist, pianist
and composer Alice
Coltrane, in what would
Milkshake! 10.05 Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles (T) (R)
10.35 The Gadget Show
(T) (R) 11.35-2.30 Police
Interceptors (T) (R) Triple
bill. 2.30 The Nightmare
Neighbour Next Door (T)
(R) 3.30 The Nightmare
Neighbour Next Door (T)
(R) 4.30 Can’t Pay? We’ll
Take It Away (T) (R) 5.25
Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It
Away (T) (R) 6.25 News
Weekend (T) 6.30 FIA
Formula E Live: The Punta
del Este ePrix (T) Vernon
Kay presents coverage
of the sixth round of the
campaign, held in Uruguay.
BBC Four
have been her 80th year.
(R) 6.30 Opera on 3 from
the Met: Richard Strauss –
Elektra. Christine Goerke
(soprano: Elektra), Elza
van den Heever (soprano:
Chrysothemis), Michaela
Schuster (mezzosoprano: Klytamnestra),
Jay Hunter Morris
(tenor: Aegisth),
Mikhail Petrenko (bass:
Orest), NYMO, Yannick
Nézet-Séguin. 8.45
Details unavailable
9.30 Between the Ears:
Astronautica Fantastica,
by Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
Children exploring a
derelict attic discover a
dusty box of classic film
soundtracks, dropping
the needle on the records
to find clues about the
elusive owner. With Ed
Gaughan and children
from Bristol, London
and Glasgow. 10.0
Hear and Now. Robert
Worby uncovers the
music of the American
theorist and pioneering
experimentalist James
Tenney. 12.0 Geoffrey
Smith’s Jazz: Gary Burton
(R) 1.0 Through the Night
Radio 4
6.0 News and Papers
6.07 Ramblings: Black
Men’s Walking for
Health Group (R) 6.30
Farming Today This
Week 7.0 Today. 7.48
Thought for the Day,
Lost Kingdoms of Central
America (T) (R) (2/4) Dr
Jago Cooper examines the
history of the Taino people of the Caribbean, the
first population of the
Americas to greet explorer
Christopher Columbus.
The Silk Road (T) (R) (1/3)
A history of the trade route.
9.0 Below the Surface (T)
Philip plans an armed
response to the first hostage execution, creating a
rift in the negotiating team.
9.45 Below the Surface (T) Naja
has second thoughts with
about facilitating the fundraising campaign.
with Brian Draper.
8.51 (LW) Yesterday in
Parliament. With Mark
D’Arcy. 9.0 Saturday
Live. Extraordinary
stories and remarkable
people. 10.30 A Call
from Joybubbles. The
story of teenagers who
hacked the US phone
system in the 1960s and
70s. (R) 11.0 The Week
in Westminster. With the
Times journalist Sam
Coates. 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.
12.30 The Now Show
(R) 1.0 News 1.10 Any
Questions? (R) 2.0 Any
Answers? Listeners have
their say. 2.30 Drama:
School Drama: Romeo
and Juliet. By William
Shakespeare, adapted
by Andy Mulligan. The
pupils of Deer Park
Academy stage their
production of Romeo and
Juliet. Tom Hollander
stars. Last in the series.
(R) (4/4) 3.30 The Art
of Now: No Singing
No Movement (R) 4.0
Weekend Woman’s Hour.
Presented by Jenni
Murray. 5.0 Saturday PM.
Presented by Luke Jones.
5.30 The Bottom Line (R)
5.54 Shipping Forecast
6.0 News 6.15 Loose
Ends. Clive Anderson
and Sara Cox are joined
by the actor David
Morrissey, the body
coach Joe Wicks and
the cooking comedian
George Egg. Plus, music
by Hannah Peel. 7.0
Profile 7.15 Saturday
Review. Tom Sutcliffe
and guests examine
the week’s cultural
highlights. 8.0 Archive
on 4: Disinformation
– A User’s Guide. Phil
Tinline mines the long
history of disinformation
to identify techniques in
use today. Contributors
include Robert Service,
Peter Pomerantsev and
Lyndsey Stonebridge.
9.0 Drama: Foreign
Bodies – The Samaritan’s
Secret. By Matt Rees.
Dramatised by Jennifer
Howarth. Omar Yussef
joins forces with a
former pupil to solve a
murder. (R) 10.0 News
10.15 The Moral Maze
(R) 11.0 Brain of Britain:
Heat Three (R) 11.30
Africa’s Digital Poets
(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 Mary’s,
Dunsford, Devon 5.45
Lent Talks: Put Down
your Gun – Rev Dr Tammy
Garrett-Williams (R)
“A masterpiece:
smart, sick, emotional,
“Sets out to make
your jaw drop...
and it succeeds”
Jonathan Dean, The Sunday Times
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
In Cinemas & On Demand 16 March
Журналы и газеты
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The Observer, journal
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