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The Observer The New Review 03 December 2017

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Features | Reportage | Arts | Reviews | Plus Stewart Lee and 7-day TV listings
THE NEW
REVIEW
SUNDAY 3 DECEMBER 2017
Five years after
the gang-rape and
murder of 23-year-old
Jyoti Singh on a Delhi bus,
what has changed for
women in India?
12A
Special report by
Gethin Chamberlain and
Soudhriti Bhabani
A student at an
anti-rape rally
in Hyderabad,
September 2013.
Noah Seelam/
AFP, Getty
THE NEW REVIEW
Contents
The finest writing every Sunday for arts,
science, politics and culture
A G E N D A 3-5
BOOKS OF THE YEAR 31-35
On my radar Craig Charles’s
cultural highlights
Peter Conrad, Rachel Cooke,
Alex Preston and other
Observer critics on their 2017
highlights in art, graphic
novels, fiction and more…
Q&A Journalist Clive Myrie
rie
Stewart Lee
F E AT U R E S 6-18
S C I E N C E & T E C H 17-21
Abba exclusive Jude Rogers on the
unseen photographs and memorabilia
collected in a new UK exhibition
Mark Kermode’s verdict on James
Franco’s The Disaster Artist
Kitty Empire on Songs of
Experience, the new U2 album
Inequality Writers, academics and
politicians on the books that opened
their eyes to social injustice
Delhi Gethin Chamberlain and
Soudhriti
Bhabani report,
five years after
the rape and
murder that
shook India
C R I T I C S 22-30
Laura Cumming on Rose Wylie
at the Serpentine gallery
Euan Ferguson on TV
Cyberwar How Russia
weaponised the web
Sight The tech helping
blind people to read
John Naughton
Plus
GAMES & PUZZLES
36-37
TV LISTINGS
39-45
Fiona Maddocks reviews
Mitsuko Uchida at the
Royal Festival Hall
Guy Lodge’s DVD
round-up
Feedback
Write to us at
THE NEW
review@observer.
REVIEW
co.uk or post your
comments online
at observer.co.uk/
new-review.
You can follow
us on Twitter:
@ObsNewRePRINC E
view or faceCHARM ING
book.com/
observernewreview. Submission and
publication of all feedback is subject
to our terms and conditions: see
http://gu.com/letters-terms
Features | Reportage
| Arts | Reviews | Plus
SUNDAY 26 NOVEMBER
Stewart Lee and 7-day
2017
TV listings
INSIDE
BOOKS OF
THE YEAR
Pages
34-37
12A
From the Tardis to
Palace… Matt Smith Buckingham
Duke of Edinburgh on playing the
in The Crown.
Interview by Tim
Lewis
Matt Smith
photographed
by Phil Fisk for
the Observer
New Review.
As well as standing at the summit
of great Doctors, Matt is a superb
theatre actor and utterly delightful in
person (Cover: interview with Matt
Smith, star of The Crown and formerly
Doctor Who). A genuine original who
doesn’t care what others think.
Eileen Rogers
Everyone has their own idea of what
climate change looks like. For some,
it’s a polar bear on a melting iceberg.
But for more and more girls, climate
change is the baby in their arms as
they watch their friends walk to school
(Gethin Chamberlain: Why climate
change is creating a new generation of
child brides).
@Greenpeace on Twitter
Isabelle Huppert makes every
character credible, human and
fascinating (On My Radar). It follows
that her comments on art are insightful,
down to earth and generous.
melchiscott
The super-impressive Anna Soubry
on fire in this interview (the Tory MP
discusses Brexit with Rachel Cooke).
Chris Deerin @chrisdeerin
I’m looking forward to seeing a
presidential portrait that is more than
a guy in a suit looking all serious and,
after watching a film about Wiley,
knowing there will be vibrant colours
(Q&A with Kehinde Wiley, the artist
painting Barack Obama’s portrait).
joAnn chartier
It’s good to see the can-do
entrepreneurial spirit of endeavour
that made this great nation what it is
so enthusiastically displayed by Mr
Lee (Stewart Lee: My futile attempt
to sell satire to the Daily Mail). I think
those killjoys at the Mail should be
ashamed for not giving this hardworking fellow a contract.
freespeechoneeach
I enjoyed hearing about this artist
and his work (Tim Adams talks to
Trevor Paglen). Here is someone
with a mission and the know-how
necessary to reveal the hidden world
of surveillance that we are only just
beginning to understand. A worthy
objective for an artist in these times.
spartacus69
Paglen’s satellite sounds amazing.
I hope there will be an app to predict
when it passes overhead.
JekonGregory
I have kept every single book I’ve
owned. They are memory markers for
places I’ve been and states of mind I’ve
experienced. I doubt [my collection]
will be replaced by an e-reader in the
near future (Spinal columns: Mark
Vessey’s photographs of collections).
Starlight Zero-Niner
2
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
Agenda
Q&A
Journalist
Clive Myrie
page 4
C U LT U R E | P E O P L E | P O L I T I C S | I D E A S
On my radar
Craig Charles
ACTOR, COMEDIAN AND DJ, 53
Born in Liverpool, Craig Charles
began his career as a poet, performing
on various television and radio
programmes. In 1988, he landed the
role of Dave Lister in the sciencefiction comedy series Red Dwarf; since
then, he has had a number of roles
on television, including presenting
Robot Wars (1998-2004) and playing
Lloyd Mullaney in Coronation Street
(2005-2015). More recently, he has
appeared in new episodes of Red Dwarf
and presents The Gadget Show on
Channel 5. The Craig Charles Funk
and Soul Show is on Radio 6 Music
every Saturday, and his House Party
is on Radio 2, also on Saturdays.
Charles’s Funk & Soul Club Volume 5
compilation is out this Friday on
Freestyle Records. Sarah Harford
1
3
5
4
1 | Book
The Cartel by Don Winslow
This is an absolutely stunning book. It’s
about the Mexican drug wars from the
1980s up to the present day and the battle
between the cartels and the FBI and the
CIA, along with the Mexican government.
The central character, a guy called Adán
Barrera, is the head of one of the cartels.
It’s fiction, but it’s so realistic that it reads
like a piece of investigative journalism. It’s
riveting: the intensity of it, the amount of
detail and the complexity of the plot just
draw you in. So I’ve just started reading
his next one, The Force, which is brilliant.
2 | Art
Basquiat: Boom for Real at
the Barbican, London
My 20-year-old daughter, who’s reading
English at King’s College London, brought
me to this. I didn’t know much about
Basquiat until then, so it was a revelation;
I’ve since read up about him because
6
I was quite affected by it. He was the
father of that graffiti movement; without
Jean-Michel Basquiat, there wouldn’t be
a Banksy. He was friends with the stars,
such as Andy Warhol and Madonna, and
he elevated celebrity to a kind of art
form in itself. He didn’t handle fame very
well and it all spiralled out of control – he
got into drugs and all that. Some of his
work was like a riot of colour, but some
of it was quite dark as well. It was a really
fascinating exhibition.
3 | Film
Mother! (Darren Aronofsky, 2017)
This is a psychological thriller and a proper
horror film. Jennifer Lawrence is the young
wife of a writer played by Javier Bardem
and they live in a mansion in the middle
of nowhere, like in all good horror films,
surrounded by nothing but the woods.
Then two strangers come to stay and it
gets really weird. There are some real jawdropping moments where you think, is this
happening? It really sucked me in and I felt
quite disquieted when I left. I very rarely go
to horror films, but I was with my wife and
my daughter and it was two against one.
I came out thinking: “Wow. If that’s what
horror films are like, I’ll go and see more.”
4 | Play
The Lion King, Lyceum theatre, London
We went to this as a family the other day.
I’ve got a 14-year-old daughter, Nellie,
who’s a fantastic singer, and she wants
us to take her to see musicals. We’d been
to Les Misérables recently but I found the
production looked really tired, and I was
quite disappointed. So when we went to
see The Lion King a few weeks ago, I didn’t
have great hopes because the production
has been around for so long. But man, was
I surprised. It was an absolute spectacle.
The way the performers become the
animals is absolutely stunning, with the
singing, the lights, the atmosphere. I’m
not a big fan of musicals, but it was a
great evening’s entertainment. I came
out of it feeling really uplifted.
2
5 | Restaurant
Altrincham Market
In Cheshire, not far from where I live,
they’ve opened up this old market. I’ve
recently discovered it and it’s just fantastic.
There are benches and long tables in
the middle of the market and around
the edges you’ve got all these different
vendors selling street food: the nicest
pizzas, burgers, Thai food, a wine shop. I
like Italian food and I love Asian fusion. The
atmosphere in the market is brilliant and
it’s always packed. When everyone’s got
different tastes, and everyone wants to
do different things, you can actually go to
the one place, everyone can have what
they want, and you can all still be together.
6 | Music
The Allergies: Push On (Jalapeno Records)
I’ve chosen this as my album of the year
on my Radio 6 Music show. The Allergies
are two boys from Bristol and they’re
fantastic. I predict big things for them,
because the album is right on the money.
It takes the golden era of black American
music, twists it all up and makes it relevant
for a modern dance floor. I love their sense
of rhythm and the way they use samples.
They’re brilliant live too – they seem to be
able to feel what the dance floor wants.
It’s very spontaneous – they’re mixing it
and creating it as they go along.
7 | TV
John Bishop: In Conversation With…
I was on John Bishop’s chatshow [on the
W channel] recently and I really liked the
way he interviewed me. So I watched
some of his other interviews and they
were fascinating. He’s very relaxed, with a
great sense of timing. He just talks to one
guest for a whole hour, so it’s not rushed –
you can tell stories, play around, go off on
meanders. On some chatshows, you get
a celebrity on, six minutes, next celebrity,
six minutes. The chatshow has become
a promotional tool, but John Bishop has
turned it into the art of conversation again.
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
3
AGENDA
Q & A
‘America is the
most alien place
I’ve ever reported
from’: Clive Myrie,
photographed
in London for
the Observer by
Karen Robinson.
Clive Myrie
The BBC correspondent on the despair of
the Yemeni people, change at the Beeb –
and being inspired by Trevor McDonald
Born in Bolton, Lancashire, in 1964,
Clive Myrie has worked for the BBC
as a news presenter and an awardwinning foreign correspondent for
more than 30 years. His career has
taken him to war zones in Croatia,
Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Most
recently, his reports from Bangladesh
and Yemen on News at Ten have made
harrowing viewing. His account of
the desperate flight from Myanmar
of more than half-a-million Rohingya
Muslims showed the refugee
crisis morphing into a full-blown
humanitarian disaster. A few weeks
later, his rare, shocking footage from
inside war-torn Yemen revealed an
abandoned people on the brink of
starvation and despair.
You have reported from some of the
world’s most troubled regions; what
is your perspective on the situation in
Myanmar and Yemen?
What struck me, particularly with
Yemen, was this sense that there is
no one out there with any influence
who actually cares. At least the
Rohingya are being given safe haven
by the people across the border in
Bangladesh. In Yemen, that is not the
case. The borders are sealed, the air
space is under the control of Saudi
Arabia, you can’t escape. You have
people trying to escape to Somalia:
that’s how bad it is.
What should the international
community be doing?
It feels to me that Saudi Arabia is
being allowed to prosecute the war
in this way because of the perceived
threat from Iran. One can understand
the Saudis responding to the attack
on Riyadh airport by closing down
the airspace but that in turn prevents
aid getting into Yemen. There have
been various attempts to bring both
sides together but there seems to
be no real determination to get
talks off the ground again. It feels as
though the world is turning away and
millions of civilians are being left in
the middle, trapped.
What’s the hardest aspect for you of
reporting on these desperate situations?
Is it the children?
It’s seeing people who are suffering,
whether children or adults, and
having this sense that no one is
bothering to do anything about it.
Obviously, if you see a malnourished
child in an intensive-care ward
struggling to breathe, it’s horrific. But
when you know help is on the way
you can deal with it. What I find most
heartbreaking is when there is no one
to help these children in time.
Is it hard, when you get home, to get
places like Yemen and its people out of
your head?
The images stay with you. One
piece we did from Yemen featured
a girl I will never forget. She was no
more than eight or nine. She was
in a beautiful long blue dress, as
though she had put on her very best
clothes for some reason. Nicky, the
cameraman, panned down from her
face to her feet and we saw she only
had one leg and she didn’t have a
prosthetic. A shell from an airstrike
had blown her leg off. That image,
probably of all of them, stands out the
most for me.
You weren’t drawn into the recent
controversy over BBC presenters’ pay
because you didn’t feature on the list of
highest paid. What’s your view?
As far as I am concerned, the salary
that I get is way above what your
average teacher or doctor or nurse or
policeman – someone doing a proper
job, frankly – would get. So I am happy
where I am. Certain other people get
more – well, good luck to them.
So you think it’s a storm in a teacup?
No, because public sector workers
have had just a 1% pay rise for several
years now and when they see some
of the salaries at the BBC, which is
publicly funded, there can be a lot of
anger. I understand that.
You’ve worked at the BBC for pretty much
your whole career. Do you feel loyal?
Yeah, I do, actually. I think it is an
organisation with its heart in the
right place. It makes mistakes, like
any other organisation, but it should
be treasured because of what it brings
to people’s everyday lives. I don’t
think enough people appreciate that.
They will miss us when we’re gone.
You grew up in Bolton in the 1960s and
70s. Where has your accent gone?
When I joined the BBC in 1986, the
SIMONE LIA
4
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
only northern voice you heard was
Andy Kershaw. At Sussex University,
I was surrounded by people from the
home counties, so my flat vowels got
elongated because it felt as if that was
what I needed to do. Now, of course,
the flatter my vowels, the better off
I would probably be. But those were
very different days.
How did you get interested in news and
current affairs?
By watching Trevor McDonald on
television when I was a small boy.
Here was this guy who looked like
me, on the TV, travelling the world
and looking like he was having a
really interesting time. I thought,
maybe I could do that. The only
‘I think the BBC
has its heart in the
right place. It makes
mistakes, but it
should be treasured’
other times you saw black people on
the television would be on the news
when there was something horrific
happening in Africa or some crime
story. Or in shows like The Black and
White Minstrel Show.
of story-telling. Strangely enough, I
would say America is the most alien
place I have ever reported from. I
think we have far more in common
with northern Europeans than we
will ever have with Americans.
How much have things changed as far as
black presenters are concerned since Sir
Trevor was on the screen?
What’s the most memorable moment
from your life in broadcasting?
They’re a lot better. There are far
more positive role models out there.
But in news broadcasting there are a
limited number of slots out front, so it
is always going to be difficult to break
in, as much for a white, working-class
person as for a black person.
Which posting do you have the fondest
memories of?
Being based in Los Angeles during the
Clinton years. The USA, pre-9/11, was
a much more carefree place and the
Clinton White House was incredible
to cover. Because I was based in Los
Angeles, I wasn’t just covering hard
news; I covered Central America,
hurricanes in Honduras, the Oscars,
three times, so there was a breadth
The victory of Barack Obama in the
2008 US elections. I was covering
the story from Morehouse College
in Georgia. It’s where Martin Luther
King studied, Samuel L Jackson,
Spike Lee – they all went there.
Everyone around me was in tears and
I remember saying, before handing
back to David Dimbleby in London: “I
have to tell you, it’s a privilege for me
to be here at this particular moment
in time”; as soon as I said that, I
thought: “Damn, I’ve crossed the line.
This is the BBC and I’ve become too
emotional.” Then I turned around
to see the ABC News reporter Steve
Osunsami in tears live on air. So I
thought: “I haven’t crossed any line
at all.”
Interview by Lisa O’Kelly
AGENDA
Stewart Lee
Can Harry and Meghan
make Britain whole again?
I
ILLUSTRATION BY
DAVID FOLDVARI
n 2005, the then 20-year-old Prince
Harry appeared as a Nazi at a fancy
dress party. Perhaps the uniform
had been inherited from his greatgreat-uncle, Edward VIII, who was
not averse to a spot of recreational
sieg heiling.
But next year Prince Harry is to
marry the mixed-race descendant
of a black American slave, his
wedding garments scrupulously
stripped of any stray swastikas. Cosmic
order is restored.
Has the Prince nobly taken upon
himself the symbolic role of a healing
force in our rapidly unravelling
world, suddenly riven with the sort
of open racism and fears of nuclear
annihilations that we had assumed had
been laid to rest? I’m all for 70s and 80s
revivals, but these aren’t the parts of
my childhood I feel nostalgic for. A Fab
lolly, an Altered Images 12-inch remix
and a vibrant trade union movement
would have done.
Today, we need the hope that the
forthcoming royal nuptials offer more
than ever. Prince Harry and Meghan
Markle’s marriage could be a healing
ritual for our ruined land, a joining
of races that fascists would have us
divide. But of course, the racist writing
has been on the wall for years.
In 1965, during Eric Clapton’s
tenure in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers,
the phrase “Clapton Is God” began to
be grafittied around London. But in
1966, Jimi Hendrix arrived in the city
and Clapton was usurped, a seething
Salieri to Hendrix’s soaring Mozart.
Ten years later, on stage in
Birmingham, a drunken Clapton
praised Enoch Powell and declared,
“Get the foreigners out, get the
wogs out, get the coons out. Keep
Britain white.” The Rock Against
Racism movement was formed soon
after his pronouncement, and the
Stranglers brought cavorting strippers
on stage with them to smash racism
at a Victoria Park RAR concert.
Different times.
Today, western world leaders
openly praise neo-Nazis, but instead
of forming a grass roots rock’n’roll
resistance, young people remain
passively plugged into their PS4s
playing PacMan Go, waiting for their
braindead fuck-buddies to come round
with some pacifying bong-weed, I
expect, while laughing at You-net
films of people gobbling down more
cinnamon than is necessary,
squandering bakers’ dwindling
spice reserves.
There’s currently a cynical viral
marketing campaign for Clapton’s
forthcoming Hyde Park show that
sees the ancient phrase “Clapton Is
God” sprayed up all around London
once more by paid PR-vandals. I have
prepared a stencil saying “Clapton is
an alcoholic racist”, but getting it out
there doesn’t, at the moment, seem like
a great use of time. There are worse
people to worry about than Clapton or,
to give him his blues name, Mississippi
Nigel Farage.
We should have seen all this coming,
but I thought the culture wars were
won when New Order got John Barnes
to do a rap on their 1990 World Cup
single. I expect I was too busy being
ar,,
ironically racist in a Shoreditch bar,
bottle
drinking Grolsch from a pop-top bottle
nly
and toasting Tony Blair. It’s not only
past.
Eric Clapton who has a shameful past.
Alarm bells should have been
ringing. Somewhere around the
turn of the century, in the perineall
mail
period between the ubiquity of email
and the pervasive idiocy-tsunami of
nt
Twitter, my BNP-voting auntie sent
ra,
me an attachment, typical of the era,
ind.
designed to melt my snowflake mind.
ntific
It comprised a supposedly scientifi
study, using history and genetics,
to prove that all Muslims were
ally
demonstrably culturally and morally
s.
inferior, and downright dangerous.
Of course, a quick Google showed
rote
that neither the academic who wrote
or,
it, nor the institution he worked for,
ne
had ever existed, a discovery that o
one
dit
would have thought would discredit
the piece.
nce
But confronted with this evidence
my auntie just said, “All the same, I
.”
think it makes a lot of good points.”
he
How pleased she would be, were sshe
arch
alive today, to know that her research
ards
reached the same exacting standards
ted
as that of the president of the United
States of America.
This morning, on LBC radio, the
professional wasps’-nest-poker Nick
Ferrari was audibly rattled. Ferrari, a
man who is 85% wazzock, and who
has made a living out of inflaming
the unstable passions of the “political
correctness has gone mad” brigade,
realised the monster robot he had
reared on raw opinion meat and a
vapour of Facebook hearsay was now
beyond his control and he’d forgotten
to install its emergency-stop button.
Cautiously describing Trump’s
Britain First-endorsing missive as “a
tweet too far”, Ferrari suddenly found
his white-knuckled listeners largely
disagreeing with him, and retorting
that these videos needed to be aired,
whether they were verifiable or not.
Could straight-talking Ferrari smell
the smoking torches of a previously
loyal mob approaching his own
mountaintop castle, his Jaguar F-type
aflame on the brick-paved driveway?
On Monday, as Theresa May
cautiously accepted that we will have
DOREEN GOLDING ‘Doreen has been a
pearly queen for more than 20 years –
they collect money for charitable causes.’
LYALL HAKARAIA ‘He’s a designer and
has worked with some of pop’s biggest
stars: Lady Gaga, Madonna, Beyoncé.’
to pay for EU schemes we were already
signed up for, and the inevitable
impossibility of the fluid Irish border
was at last made flesh, it seemed to me
that the wheels had finally fallen of the
lie-encrusted Brexit battlebus.
But the quiet coup currently
enacted by the billionaire tax-avoiders
behind Brexit continued its forward
motion, as cognitive dissonance drove
their brainwashed leave-voting serfs to
misdirect their ongoing anger towards
everyone but themselves.
But Harry knows the power of
symbols and he begins the enactment
of a healing ritual. Has Harry, ever
the self-aware prankster, chosen the
tiny St George’s Chapel, Windsor
Castle, as his wedding venue in a
coded satirical message every bit as
meaningful as the clearly pro-EU hat
his grandmother wore at the opening
of parliament last June?
In a comic pantomime of selfimmolating isolationism, our next
National Royal Ceremony will be
perfor
pe
o meed in a roo
oo too small to
performed
room
accommodate all tthose who might
have been expected
expectee to attend, in a
building named aft
ft our national saint,
after
a man famous for fighting something
that didn’t exist, a d
dragon as unreal as
Boris Johnson’s Daily
Da
a Telegraph vision
of a banana-hatingg EU.
o is decorated with
The chapel’s roo
roof
heraldic animals. Guests
G
might find
themselves staringg up at a unicorn,
which canters away
awaa into the mist of
myth, as gaseous aas an NHS promise,
the porous Irish bo
o
border,
the cake that
can be eaten and h
had.
And here come the prince and
his scion of slaves,, to make us whole
again. Meghan Mark
Maa le. Her name even
sounds like “Mrs M
Merkel”, and she
symbolises an Am
m
America
far better than
Trump’s, a virgin n
new land coming
into conjugal unio
o with a grizzled
union
Britain that, like th
h Prince himself,
the
could still choose tto divest itself of
its unattractive fascist
fass
garments and
begin again.
Coo
Stewart Lee’s Content
Provider is
in London untill 3 February and
tou
u in 2018; see
continues to tour
stewartlee.co.
stewartlee.co.uk
SNAPSHOTS The real East Enders
Over 22 months, photographer
Maryam Eisler scoured the streets
of east London for colourful,
interesting characters to photograph
for her book Voices: East London
(TransGlobe and Thames & Hudson
£28). From a retired gangster to a
pearly queen – and more established
personalities, such as drag artist
Jonny Woo – Eisler found many of
her subjects by word of mouth or
by chance on the street. Many have
become lasting friends. “There’s a
great sense of camaraderie in east
London, and it’s a fertile ground for
creativity,” says Eisler. “Even despite
gentrification, you still have a sense
of community and unique thinking.
People here have this incredible
ability to reinvent themselves: they
embrace change, like chameleons.”
Stacee Smith
PHILIP COLBERT ‘He’s a pop artist with
incredible art history knowledge,’ says
Eisler. ‘He lives and breathes theory.’
DANIEL LISMORE ‘Daniel does artistic
performances and fashion design. His
ethos is “daring to be you”.’
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
5
MUSIC
DABBA
DO!
The Swedish band once derided by the serious
music press are today widely regarded as
masters of their art. Now, in an immersive
exibition that gathers a host of photos, costumes
and other artefacts, their story is being retold
BY JUDE ROGERS
O
nce upon a time, Abba’s story was lost
in the mists of pop’s past. The mere
mention of their name would raise a
smirk. The satin jodhpurs. The shiny
teeth. That glistening, wedding-disco
sheen. Those catchy tunes full of hooks,
those huge No 1s. How dare those four
Swedes come over here and take over our charts?
Then everyone woke up. But of course: Abba
were huge because they were one of the greatest
groups in the world.
Next week, Abba: Super Troupers launches
at London’s Southbank Centre, an ambitious,
immersive exhibition that continues the critical
rehabilitation the group have enjoyed in recent
years. It is narrated by Jarvis Cocker, a long-time
fan of the band, and takes the audience through
nine rooms that tell the story of the group in
revealing detail.
An admission at this point: I’m the exhibition’s
writer, and have put together scripts for Cocker
and the hosts that guide visitors through the
exhibition. As a result, I have been plunged into
Abba-world for the last month, from the early
days of the band as individual artists in the 1960s,
through the white heat of their Eurovision Song
Contest success, to globe-gobbling fame, then the
dissolution of their marriages and their perfect pop
unit, before they split for good in 1982. Throughout
that process, their talent as performers and
composers has become even more obvious to me
than it had been before, and even more thrilling.
“Abba were loved, to my mind, because once
in a while in the music world, there is some
connection between people that has magic,” says
Ingmarie Halling, director of the Abba museum
in Stockholm, with whom the Southbank Centre
has been working to develop this exhibition.
Halling is not just a corporate figure: she was
the band’s makeup artist and costume assistant
from the mid-1970s, and one of Anni-Frid “Frida”
Lyngstad’s best friends, working with the band on
their international tours, photoshoots and videos.
Some of the museum’s archive is used in the show,
and glorious things gleam among the artefacts: a
gold cape of Frida’s, stained with rain from their
1977 Australian tour, a hand-painted pair of Benny
Andersson’s cowboy boots, an old school report of
Björn Ulvaeus’s which shows a B grade for singing.
But this isn’t an exhibition where punters
stand reverently contemplating captions on walls.
These rooms are more like installations, zoning
in on vital moments in the story of their success.
We’re taken to a recreation of the hotel suite in the
Brighton Grand where Abba celebrated winning
Eurovision in April 1974 (it had been booked by
their manager, Stig Anderson, and in an amazing
coincidence, was called the Napoleon room – you
may remember that he had quickly surrendered in
the first line of Waterloo’s lyrics). Then you walk
through a wardrobe on to the stage at the Folkpark
summer circuit in Sweden, where Abba played
their first gigs together as a band.
You can play with a mixing desk at a
reconstruction of their specially built studio, Polar,
and experience the gloom of an early 70s British
living room, into which their pop music brought
brightness and life. Throughout, Cocker is your
audio narrator.
Abba: Super Troupers feels particularly timely
now as pop culture exhibitions have boomed in
recent years. The blockbuster David Bowie Is…
exhibition at London’s V&A in 2013, which has
since toured internationally, and 2016’s Björk
Digital at Somerset House, adapted from her New
York MoMA show, being prominent examples.
But there’s something else that feels right
about Abba getting this treatment. They were
a group who created a world where magic and
melancholy came together in all-consuming
exciting, emotional songs. They said things about
ordinary lives on extraordinary scales. And anyone
who denies that the joy that they brought, and
still bring, feels a little lost now. It’s about time we
thanked Abba for the music, in all honesty.
Abba: Super Troupers is at the Southbank Centre,
London SE1, from 14 December-29 April 2018
Continued on page 9
6
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
¥
The Abba tour
plane in Australia,
1977. Private jets
were de rigueur in
the money-drizzled
1970s music
business; Elton
John even had an
organ on his. This
Abba plane tells
another story. A
standard jet for a
company that only
ran internal flights
in Australia at the
time, it was branded
by the company
as a promotional
tool. Inside was
standard seating
with everyone in
ordinary rows, the
band, as ever, not
separated from
their crew. This
was the way Abba
always toured,
without pomp.
Their riders were
also remarkably
slim, only asking for
post-show drinks.
Photograph
by Lena Maria
Gårdenäs
Suitcase of Dr Olsson, who
travelled with Abba on tour,
late 1970s. One of Abba’s only
touring indulgences was a tour
doctor, although he only joined
them because he was a friend of
their Swedish promoter. He was
treated like the rest of the crew,
in the same generous way, such
as the band not starting aftershow dinners until everyone,
including the roadies, was ready.
Unsurprisingly, Dr Olsson loved
touring life, especially as he
was an ordinary GP when not
on the road. He also enjoyed
collecting stickers and tour
paraphernalia. After he died a
few years ago, his family came to
the museum offering his suitcase
in his memory.
Golden cassette awarded in
Japan for the hit single, Super
Trouper, 1981. Abba were
successful all over the world,
but their 1980 arena concert in
Japan proved to be their most
surprising to date. Used to
screaming, dancing fans, they
found the crowd at Tokyo’s
Budokan merely sitting and
clapping, which worried Benny
Andersson. Later on, the group
found out that Japanese crowds
at the time were unbelievably
polite, often not doing anything
at large concerts without the
artists granting permission. The
next time Abba played there,
the audience were told to get up
straight away and start dancing.
Normal service resumed.
Frida Lyngstad as a vocalist in a
local jazz band in her home town
of Torshälla, Sweden, mid-1960s.
Long before Abba, Frida was a
jazz singer, and a huge fan of Ella
Fitzgerald. Here, she is singing
with the Gunnar Sandevärn
Orchestra, next to her first
husband and musician Ragnar
Fredriksson, with whom she had
two children. In 1967, she formed
her own group, the Anni-Frid
Four, won Sweden’s New Faces,
and got a short contract with
EMI. Two years later, while going
through a divorce, she entered
the country’s Eurovision heats
for the first time; here, she also
met future husband, Benny
Andersson. In 1973, Abba tried
and failed to get through to the
Eurovision final again. A year
later, they entered with Waterloo
– and won.
White cowboy boots, 1979. Benny
Andersson went full glam-rock
with his look early on in Abba’s
career, but he was never a fan
of the towering platform shoe.
On Abba’s 1979 tour of Europe
and North America, he wanted
boots in the same colour as his
glistening white stage outfit,
with low heels, but none could be
found. Abba’s enterprising crew
bought him these cheap cowboy
numbers, and painted them
white. Abba were a thrifty band,
using theatrical tricks rather than
expensive details to make their
costumes work well – and no one
could see the paint-marks left by
the boots far away in the crowd.
Off stage, Andersson ditched
them for Fred Perry plimsolls.
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
7
ARTS ENTERTAINMENT
THEATRES
Cambridge Theatre 02070877745
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MUSIC
Red hare and
green fox shirts,
mid-1970s.
Designer Owe
Sandström made
most of Abba’s
costumes, many
of them purely
for photoshoots
and videos, as
the group rarely
toured. In the
decade the band
were together,
they only spent
three months away
from home; both
couples had young
children, and their
image travelled
the globe in
magazine articles
and short, snappy
promo clips. Lasse
Hallström directed
these, inspired
by the stark, fullface imagery of
Ingmar Bergman;
later, he would
direct movies.
The red shirt was
Frida’s; the green
Agnetha’s. The
hare and fox were
hand-painted by an
artist in their crew.
One of the
e gold
memorable
and white
costumes
designed by
ström
Owe Sandström
and worn by Frida
Lyngstad and
ältskog
Agnetha Fältskog
during the band’s
Australian tour in
1977.
Photograph of
Björn Ulvaeus
and Agnetha
Fältskog
backstage at the
opening of Jesus
Christ Superstar
in Gothenburg,
1972. All four
members of Abba
had impressive
earlier musical
lives. Fältskog
had success as
a solo musician,
writing a 1968
Swedish No 1, Jag
Var Så Kär, before
performing in
musicals (here,
Ulvaeus has
come to toast her
with champagne
after her first
night as Mary
Magdalene in a
production of the
Andrew Lloyd
Webber musical).
Frida Lyngstad
was also a singer
and band leader,
while Ulvaeus
and Andersson
were members
of 60s groups
the Hootenanny
Singers and
the Hep Stars.
They released
their first album
together as a duo
in 1970, but soon
realised that their
girlfriends were
better singers
than they were.
Just some of the
many thousands
of items of fan
mail received by
the band over the
course of their
10-year history.
The group’s
international fan
club is still going
strong today.
This was taken in
1982 by the boss of
the UK Abba fan
club at a party at
London’s Belfry
Club to promote
their compilation
album, The Singles
(all 23 of them are
framed here). Their
manager, Stig
Anderson, can be
seen on the far left
of the photograph,
the person who
first managed
Ulvaeus and
Andersson in the
60s. The party also
celebrated the
band’s first 10
years together;
they were given a
cake that night
with 10 candles.
This was 5
November 1982.
Later that night,
Ulvaeus and
Andersson went to
dinner with lyricist
Tim Rice to discuss
a musical called
Chess. A month
later, Abba
performed
together for the
last time, on the
BBC’s Late, Late
Breakfast Show,
saying they would
split when making
music ‘wasn’t fun
any more’.
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
9
COVER STORY
A rally in Delhi on 29 December 2012, the day that Jyoti Singh died of her injuries in a
hospital in Singapore. Photograph by India Today Group/Getty Images
‘Her memory will
save a lot of daughters
from brutal rapes in India.
I will continue to raise my
voice against rape while
I am alive’
Five years after the gang-rape and murder of
Jyoti Singh in Delhi horrified the world,
her parents and campaigners say that not
enough has been done to make women feel
safe on the streets. By Gethin Chamberlain
and Soudhriti Bhabani in Delhi
J
yoti Singh stood by the
side of the road, wrapped
up from the chill of a
Delhi winter evening,
looking out for the
headlights of a bus. It was
about 9.30pm and she
was on her way home from watching
Life of Pi at the cinema in the Citywalk
mall with a young male friend,
Awindra Pandey.
The date was 16 December 2012.
She was 23 years old, a young woman
making her way in the world, working
nights in an IBM call centre to put
herself through medical college to
achieve her dream of becoming a
physiotherapist. She had less than two
weeks left to live.
A white bus was approaching, one
of the many private vehicles plying the
streets of the city. The conductor was
calling their destination – Dwarka – so
they handed over their money and
stepped on board. There were five
other passengers, all young men. The
doors closed behind them. And the trap
was sprung.
What happened to Jyoti Singh over
the best part of an hour physically
sickens everyone who has been obliged
to listen to the details. The men took it
in turns to rape her and then they used
an iron bar on her. They beat Awindra
and threw the couple out, half-naked,
into the night. The police found them
by the side of the road at about 11pm.
It was clear that Jyoti had suffered
catastrophic injuries.
We know all this because Jyoti did
not die there at the roadside. She clung
on, because she was determined to tell
10
the police enough to catch the men
who had violated her.
“I want to survive,” she wrote on
a piece of paper she handed to her
doctors.
It is five years later. A bus pulls up
to the Munirka stop where Jyoti and
Awindra waited that night.
The doors open, 10 rupees change
hands and the bus noses back into the
traffic. The darkness outside is full of
the smoke from wood fires that hangs
in the cold air. There are neon signs
and the lights of cars and lorries and
the cacophony of horns. These are the
last sights and sounds Jyoti would have
heard before the men closed in on her.
Tonight, the bus is almost empty, just
as it was when the doors shut behind
Jyoti and Awindra.
“The conductor closed the doors of
the bus. He closed the lights of the bus
and came towards my friend and started
abusing and beating him,” Jyoti told the
police as she lay in her hospital bed.
“They held his hands and held me
and took me to the back of the bus. They
tore my clothes and raped me in turns.
They hit me with an iron rod and bit me
on my entire body with their teeth.
“They took all belongings, my mobile
phone, purse, credit card, debit card,
watches etc. Six people raped me in
turns for nearly one hour in a moving
bus. The driver of the bus kept changing
so that he could also rape me.”
Tonight, the handful of people who
have got on the bus have now departed.
The driver turns off most of the lights.
Alone, in the semi-darkness, there is
that sense of vulnerability familiar to
any young women brave enough to
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
travel at night in a city where, even five
years after the promises that lessons
would be learned, many feel that
beneath the surface, little has changed.
But on the surface, in the bright light
of day, life for young Indian women
growing up in 2017 looks very different
to the way it was for their mothers
and a world away from that of their
grandmothers.
They wear jeans and T-shirts, hang
out in coffee shops, obsess over their
mobile phones and mingle with boys
just like their western counterparts
do and in a way that would have been
unthinkable just a few years ago.
“Gender sensitisation” is the new
phrase: trying to change deeply
ingrained attitudes about male and
female roles. Taxi drivers get lessons
in why they cannot leer at their
passengers. Two years ago, the country’s
first all-woman police station opened
in Gurgaon, just outside Delhi. There
is even a campaign for compulsory
gender sensitisation programmes in
all of India’s schools to try to catch
them young.
There is a lively feminist movement,
hotly debating issues such as the
continuing stigma attached to
menstruation – by women as well
as men. There have been milestone
victories, including the supreme court’s
decision to rule as unconstitutional the
“triple talaq” practice, which allows
a man to divorce his wife by saying
“divorce” three times.
Yet it is an uphill battle: many men
brought up seeing their mothers
doing all the household chores expect
the same of their wives. Daughters,
especially those in poorer families,
are widely expected to perform the
household chores while the boys are
not. It is worse in the rural areas, where
traditional attitudes prevail and there
are still widely held beliefs that girls
who go out to bars and drink with
boys are not decent Indian girls but
westernised and sexually permissive.
That mindset was at work on the
night of Jyoti’s last bus ride. The men
who fell upon her had no respect for her
as a person: to them, she was simply an
object to do with as they wanted.
“I heard these people saying, ‘Catch
them, tear their clothes, hit them, take
her bag’ and using abusive language,”
Jyoti told the police. “Ram Singh,
Thakkur, Raju, Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay
etc were their names. We were all the
time in total darkness…
“Half of the time I was unconscious,
but whenever I came to consciousness
they beat me up. My friend tried to save
me but these people beat him every time
he came forward to save me. They also
beat him with an iron rod and hit him in
the head.
“They removed all the clothes of
my friend and they thought we had
both died. They threw us out of the
moving bus. We were both naked on
the side of the road and many passersby
actually saw us and informed the police
control room.”
Outside the hospital, the city was
ablaze with anger. The initial reports
of the rape and the sheer savagery had
brought women out on to the streets.
The police responded by beating them.
The anger grew and spread.
Eventually, on 26 December, the
then prime minister, Manmohan Singh,
and his cabinet took the extraordinary
decision to fly Jyoti to a transplant
specialist hospital in Singapore. Cynics
suggested the real reason was that no
one wanted her to die in an Indian
hospital that would become the focal
point for more violent protests.
Her family went with her to
Singapore, but her strength was gone.
A bus waits near the stop
in the Munirka area of
Delhi where Jyoti Singh
boarded the bus on which
she was attacked.
Photograph by
Biplab Banerjee for the
Observer New Review
On the evening of 28 December, the
doctors told them there was nothing
more to be done. They sat with her as
her heartbeat faded. At 4.45am on 29
December, it finally stopped and Jyoti
Singh’s fight was over.
Jyoti’s parents, Asha Devi and
Badrinath Singh, had sacrificed
everything to give their children the
chance of a better life. They lived in a
small house down a blind alley in the
Mahavir Enclave II area in the southwest of the city, a poor area of slum
dwellings. They had sold their little plot
of farmland in their home state of Uttar
Pradesh to pay for their three children
– Jyoti and her younger brothers
Gaurav and Saurabh – to study and
make something of themselves. Asha
was 46, Badrinath 53. He was working
double shifts as a baggage handler at
the airport to pay the bills.
The day of the attack, 16 December
2012, was a Sunday. Jyoti had made
tea for the family and gone off to meet
Awindra. When she failed to return,
‘There was a
huge public
outcry to change
the system…
but hardly any
change has
taken place’
the family started calling her phone
but each time it was switched off. At
11.15pm, the police called to say that
there had been an accident. Badrinath
went to the hospital and called the
others to join him at 2am. Even then, the
surgeons had little hope: the iron bar
had torn out most of her intestines.
A
thick blanket of smog covers
the city. The family moved
to a new two-bed apartment
in Dwarka in 2013. The area
is not far from their old home, but
smarter and on the up; earlier this
year, the government chose it as a new
diplomatic area for foreign embassies.
The couple were given the flat by the
government as part of a compensation
package – it’s an improvement on
their previous home but still one of
the cheapest types of housing in the
city. They greet visitors in one of the
bedrooms. There is a single bed placed
on one side of the room and on the
other, four plastic chairs and a small
tea table.
A large poster on one wall shows
the burning flame of a candle against a
black background, the symbol for the
women’s welfare trust they have formed
in the name of their daughter – the
Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust.
Nirbhaya – the Hindi word for
fearless – is the name by which Jyoti
came to be known because Indian law
initially prevented the publication of
her identity. The authorities, anxious
to avoid the creation of a martyr, were
quick to threaten publications with
section 228a of the Indian penal code
and the possibility of two years in jail for
identifying a rape victim. However, the
code also contains a clause permitting
the next of kin to give written consent
and after Jyoti’s family consented to
her name being published, it started
to be used more often. They continue
to refuse to give permission for her
photograph to be used.
A glass cabinet on another wall
displays the mementoes and certificates
they have been given for their tireless
campaigning. It includes a photograph
of Asha with the prime minister,
Narendra Modi.
Asha fiddles with her mobile phone.
She is angry still, angry that the men
who were convicted of the rape and
murder of her daughter have still
not hanged, angry that the youngest
member of the gang, who was tried
separately as a juvenile, was released
from prison after serving his threeyear sentence, angry that nothing has
really changed.
“I disclosed the name of my daughter,
Jyoti Singh. She was a victim. She did
not commit any crime. Why should we
suppress her details? They, who gangraped and murdered her, should hide
their names for committing that brutal
act,” she says.
“I cannot have peaceful sleep at night.
I cannot explain how difficult it is to
Continued overleaf
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
¥
11
COVER STORY
‘For our government, rape is
not a grave issue. They think
these are trivial matters’
¥ Continued from previous page
accept that those who gang-raped and
murdered my daughter so brutally are
still alive. I fight with myself every day.
The question comes every time to mind:
what was Jyoti’s fault? What did she do?
I have no answer. We are still waiting
for justice.”
Her eyes fill with tears. No one can
really appreciate their pain, she says.
“I lost my daughter. I know she will
never come back again. But the work I
am doing in her memory will save a lot
of daughters from brutal rapes in India.
I will continue to raise my voice against
rapes while I am alive, whether I have
people on my side or not.”
The trust is trying to work with rape
victims in Delhi. “I feel good when I
voice protest against rapes. It gives me a
sense of satisfaction,” says Asha.
But she doesn’t feel good about what
has happened since 2012.
“[At first] there was a huge public
outcry to change the system as far as the
issue of women safety was concerned.
But there has hardly been any change
that has taken place.
“Five years have gone. These five
years have been really difficult for us.
We suffered a lot. Our emotional pain
was enormous. Everyday girls are being
raped and targeted for sexual assault,
be it in Delhi or other states across
the country.”
She does not understand why the
men whose death sentences were
upheld by the supreme court on 5 May
this year have still not been executed.
“What is the benefit of the law if it
takes so long to punish perpetrators in
connection with such heinous crimes.
Justice delayed is justice denied. We all
know that,” she says.
“We are always ready to point fingers
at girls. We never ask questions to
our boys. If any rape takes place, we
immediately raise questions about the
behaviour of the victim, like: why did
she step out so late at night? What was
she doing so late outside? Why was she
skimpily clad, etc.”
There are tears pouring down her
face, tears of sadness and rage.
“It has been five years now since
we lost our daughter, but still we are
suffering that pain and dying a slow
death every day. We are waiting for the
justice. There would be thousands of
such parents like us waiting for justice
in our country.”
Better law, faster justice, stiffer
penalties: that’s what she wants. But
more than anything, she wants attitudes
to change.
E
ven as the angry protesters
took to the streets five years
ago, other voices in Indian
society, male voices in general,
were taking to the airwaves to claim
that Jyoti was the author of her own
misfortune.
“Can one hand clap? I don’t think so,”
religious leader Asaram Bapu told his
followers.
Then the president’s son, Abhijit
Mukherjee, weighed in, attacking the
women who were protesting.
“It is becoming fashionable to land up
on the streets with candle in hand. Such
people are completely disconnected
from reality. They go to discotheques.
I am very well versed with student
activism and I can bet on it that most of
the protesters are not students. They are
chasing two minutes of fame.”
Asha says that if change is to come,
it must come from the top, from those
who should be setting an example.
“In our families, when our daughters
come home late after work we ask them
so many questions. But for boys it is
absolutely normal. We are absolutely
fine if they come home late at night.
This mindset has to be changed.
“Parents actually create these malefemale divides at home. I believe it is the
responsibility of all parents to give equal
attention to their children, irrespective
of boys and girls, and give them proper
education. Then only we can fight out
the crisis in our society.”
She gets up, offers tea. She doesn’t
want to talk about her sons: they have
their own lives and must move on, she
says. Badrinath is getting ready for work
in the cargo section at Delhi’s Indira
Gandhi international airport. While
Asha is animated, he seems subdued and
depressed about the lack of progress.
“The journey has been really painful
for us. If you ask me if there has been
any change in the system, I would say
no with a capital N,” he says.
“I don’t see any significant change.
When the incident had taken place, the
then government did take some steps
to amend the law. But that government
completed its term and a new
government came in as people voted for
a change.
“But the crime graph never stopped.
It continued to grow day by day. The
situation has worsened to such an
extent that nowadays girl children
are being raped in various parts of our
country.”
Politicians don’t care, he says. “It is
unfortunate that for our government,
rape is not a grave issue. They think
these are trivial matters,” he says.
“When we reach out to people and
knock on their doors asking when the
‘My mother
saw I was
ripe for
bullying.
She said
if people
picked on
me, never
to react’
Graham
Norton
interview
Observer
Magazine
pages 16-22
12
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
death penalty would be executed, they
try to convince us, saying that all four
perpetrators are dying a slow death
behind bars. But who will understand
how my wife and I are dying a gradual
death every day? And we have no one to
share that pain.”
For the rich, able to live in
gated colonies and be chauffeured
everywhere, the issue seems far
removed from their experiences.
They don’t have to negotiate the city’s
dangerous streets alone at night.
“The saddest part is such incidents of
rape only happen with our daughters.
These kinds of incidents don’t happen
with big people or with ministers’
daughters. Then they would understand
the pain we commoners bear when
brutal gang-rape murders happen with
our daughters or sisters. So, we know
where we live.”
The murder changed their lives, he
says, but he still believes that they can
use it to change the lives of other young
women for the better.
“I know my daughter will never come
back. But this fight is not for us or our
family. It is for many other Jyoti Singhs
who are also like my daughter and
suffered similar mishaps in life. This
fight is to ensure safety for them.”
Yet still the legal process grinds on.
The supreme court is due to hear a
challenge to its May ruling on the death
sentences on 12 December.
There are four men on death row:
Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay
Thakur and Pawan Gupta.
Ram Singh, the driver, never made it
to trial. He was found hanged from the
grille in the ceiling in his prison cell, a
remarkable feat given that the ceiling
was 8ft high and he had nothing to
stand on to reach it. His family suspect
foul play.
“Let’s go and have some fun today,”
he is said to have told the others before
they set out that night.
“Ram Singh was the first one to
rape the girl,” the youngest member
of the gang told police. “The girl kept
screaming and howling but, in the
moving bus, everybody raped her one
by one. And they bit the girl on different
parts of her body.”
The Delhi Commission for Women
has sent notices to Tihar jail, where the
men are being held, and to the deputy
commissioner of police, asking why the
executions have not been carried out.
Swati Maliwal, the DCW chair,
recalls the huge upsurge of anger that
spread out across the country in the
days after the attack and the brutality
of the police’s response, hitting women
with their lathis – wooden or bamboo
sticks often tipped with iron.
“Everybody was out on streets. I
remember I was myself lathi-charged.
All of us were demanding a system that
there should be no rape in the capital,”
she says.
Summoned to parliament to explain
what the government was doing
to protect women, the then home
‘We have put in
our effort, but
there is this
complete apathy
in the system’
minister promised to set up a special
task force intended to meet twice a
month. In its first three years, it met
just 12 times.
And it was going round in circles.
When she started attending the
meetings and asking questions, the task
force was disbanded.
“It was in 2016. It was really shocking
to me,” she says.
She was told the task force had
completed its work and the lieutenant
governor of Delhi would set up a new
one. She had to go to court to get it to
happen.
Women struggle to get justice, she
says. She had to threaten the police
commissioner with an arrest warrant
if he did not hand over the figures for
crimes against women.
When she did get her hands on the
figures, they showed that between 2012
and 2014 there were 31,446 cases of
crimes against women in the capital and
150 convictions. No wonder women are
scared to walk the street, she says.
“A one-and-a-half-year-old girl was
raped just five days back. Then a sevenyear-old girl was gang-raped two days
back in the capital,” she says. Both girls
needed operations as a result of the
attacks.
“I went and met the girl. It is really
very difficult to describe. And I really
could not come back home that night.
I was so upset. The entire night I spent
there with her.”
The government has to act, she says.
“We need a proper system to
function, particularly in these cases
of child rapes. Should a one-and-ahalf-year-old girl, for the next 15 years,
tell everybody that she was raped and
demand punishment for that person?
Is that the civilised society we want?
“So, we need to create a mechanism
that in six months, at least in the cases
of child rapes, the death penalty should
be given to the rapists. And for this you
need to create a mechanism. You need
better numbers of police resources.
“You need better police
accountability, better forensics, more
courts. And you need a committee to
really get the political will together. The
committee cannot be on the level of the
bureaucracy.
“We have done such things
before, but it never worked. We are
trying to wake up this completely
apathetic system.”
D
espite everything, there
has been some progress.
In January 2013, a threemember commission,
spearheaded by a former chief justice
of India, published its review of laws
pertaining to sexual crimes. The
committee, set up in response to
the protests and given just 30 days
to complete its work, identified
“failure of governance” as the root
cause for sexual crime. It criticised
the government, the police and
even the public for their apathy and
recommended dramatic changes,
including obliging the police to
record all rape allegations. Parliament
obliged with new legislation that,
among the introduction of several
new sexual offences including
stalking, provided for compulsory jail
sentences for officials who failed to
register rape complaints.
It may sound extraordinary in
2017 that the police needed to be told
to take rape seriously, but they did.
There were regular reports of rape
victims being thrown out of stations,
ignored and browbeaten for having
the temerity to bother the police.
So now it is easier for women to
report rapes. The DCW has a helpline
that has taken 316,000 calls and the
number of reports has increased as
women gain confidence that they may
be taken seriously.
Yet still some women who report
rape are being subjected to the
notorious “two-finger” test: two fingers
inserted into the vagina, to establish
its elasticity and to assess whether the
victim is “habituated” to sex. This is
despite the supreme court ruling in
2013 that someone who enjoyed sex
regularly could not be presumed to
have consented in rape cases.
Only last month, a teenager was
turned away from three police stations
in Bhopal when she tried to report
a rape. She was only taken seriously
when her parents – both police officers
– got involved.
Last month, too, Human Rights
Watch published an 82-page report
▲ ‘We are still
waiting for justice’:
Asha Devi and
Badrinath Singh,
Jyoti’s parents, at
home in Delhi.
Photograph by
Biplab Banerjee for
the Observer
Rukmini Devi,
Jyoti’s aunt, sewing
at the family’s old
home in Mahavir
Enclave II.
Biplab Banerjee for
the Observer
Police inspect
the bus on which
Jyoti Singh and
Awindra Pandey
were assaulted on
16 December 2012.
AFP/Getty Images
citing the difficulties faced by women
and girls in reporting sexual assault.
There is so much further to go, says
Maliwal.
“I am also a citizen of Delhi. I am
a girl. Do I feel safe when I walk at
night? No I don’t and neither does any
girl who is walking on the streets in
Delhi. That is what we have to change.
Though we have achieved so much,
we have put in our effort, there is this
complete apathy in the system.”
Campaigner Yogita Bhayana has
been helping Jyoti’s family for the past
five years. Like Maliwal, she was on
the receiving end of police violence
for joining the 2012 protests. But for
a while, she thought it might be a
turning point.
“We all saw the rage and were
beaten up by the police. There was
some kind of silver lining that we were
seeing at that time,” she says.
“We were hopeful that things might
change for betterment. So, we just took
it like that. One year passed, two years
passed, three years passed… I think
we get to hear more cases. Instead of
being eradicated, the incidents of rapes
were increasing every day. The saddest
part is that there is nothing done on
prevention.
“Nobody talks about it. Has
anybody come forward and asked
what happened after Nirbhaya?
Has the scenario of women safety
improved in Delhi? People are not
bothered about it.”
She is scathing about what she
regards as multiple government
failures.
“Everybody is in denial mode. They
are just not ready to acknowledge
the problem. First of all, they have
to acknowledge the issue and then
address it.
“If you look at the records, all these
crimes are done mostly by juveniles.
There lies the problem. We have to
address the problem from there. I
believe if you have the right value
system early enough, we can prevent
crimes against women.”
Even the words used to refer to
sexual harassment of women – “eveteasing”, so-called as a reference to
Eve’s role in the biblical fall of man,
implying that the victim is responsible
for provoking the harassment –
demonstrate the mountain to climb.
That’s the attitude the police take,
says Bhayana. “If you go to the police
station or court with a complaint of
eve-teasing, they will just throw you
out, saying it is a petty issue,” she says.
“People are also not sensitive enough
to understand that eve-teasers are
potential rapists. There is a typical
mindset issue here also. In most of the
cases, people just don’t understand
the gravity of the issue.”
O
utside Jyoti’s parents’
apartment, the smog has
worsened. Asha stands on
the balcony, looks out at
the city and contemplates what has
changed in the past five years. The
best thing is that women are starting to
report rapes to the police, she says.
“There is an awareness now. Earlier,
women used to hide such cases owing
to social pressure and they never used
to report to the local administration.
That area has undergone a significant
change.”
The young are trying to tackle the
issue, she says, but still more needs to
be done.
“It is true that the law was amended,
but the approach still remains the
same. If we don’t change our mindset
and the approach of our system, we
cannot reduce crime against women
in India.”
They always treated their daughter
and their sons the same, says
Badrinath. Only when everyone does
the same will change come. But at least
people are starting to understand that
change is possible.
“When we started the fight, we were
alone. Now we have many people by
our side,” he says.
Back on the bus trundling through
the night towards Dwarka, a couple
more passengers get on. Like every
other passenger tonight, they are men.
Five years after Jyoti Singh’s death
shocked the nation and the world,
most young women feel it is still too
dangerous to venture out alone on to
the streets of their city at night.
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
13
INEQUALITY
THE BOOK THAT
OPENED MY EYES
We know social and economic inequality is bad for us.
It fuels division, despair and the appeal of populism, as
many writers such as Richard Wilkinson and Danny Dorling
– and even the IMF’s head, Christine Lagarde – have
warned. As part of our Inequality Project, writers,
academics and politicians tell us about the books –
from Émile Zola to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory –
that revealed to them the social injustice in the world
14
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
SARAH PERRY
The writer has published
two novels including The
Essex Serpent, last year’s
Waterstones Book of
the Year.
One Christmas, my mother gave me
Helen Forrester’s memoir Twopence
to Cross the Mersey. What timing! I
was warm, overfed on mince pies, and
wearing a new jumper, and had no idea
these things made me rich. I suppose
I had a child’s sense that some people
were very poor, but thought it rare, and
it never occurred to me that structural
inequalities, unchecked capitalism
and foolish or malicious government
policies could topple anyone at any
time from comfort to penury.
Helen Forrester was born in 1919 to
socialites who built a glittering life on
the tick. Then her father went bankrupt
in the Great Depression, leaving his
family of seven children with only the
clothes they stood in. They decamped
to Liverpool, across the Mersey from
Helen’s grandmother, but could never
summon up twopence for the ferry.
The book is a calm, sad account of
a childhood of bitter cold and nearstarvation. Her mother numbed her
misery with aspirin; her father sought
out parish handouts. They lived in a
single room. Helen left school to care
for the children, waking at dawn to
creep along the street skimming half
an inch from the milk bottles on the
doorsteps, so that her baby brother
would survive.
I never forgot it. It comes to mind
when I see the remains of Grenfell
Tower, read about food banks or people
dying with empty cupboards and halfcompleted government paperwork
on the table. It made me realise that
poverty isn’t a natural law, nor is it
symptomatic of lack of moral fibre. It is
a monstrous and avoidable evil and so
long as society harbours vast inequality,
it will always be lying in wait.
JEFFREY SACHS
The US economist is
director of the Earth
Institute at Columbia
University; three of his
books have been New York
Times bestsellers.
[For me it’s John Maynard] Keynes’s
The Economic Consequences of the
Peace (1919). I read it well over 30 years
ago and it powerfully stuck with me.
This is not a book about inequality per
se, but is a book about self-inflicted
stupidity. The hard peace after the
first world war set the seeds of the
disasters that soon followed: fascism,
the Great Depression, Hitler, the
second world war. Keynes’s message
is essentially that societal wellbeing is
fragile and that we are all in it together.
Grabbing too much leads to untoward
and unaccountable ills; acting for
the common good builds a basis for
prosperity. So true for our time.
We in America are in the hands of a
plutocracy, driven by insatiable greed,
and now capped by a sociopathic
president whose malignant narcissism
could be the end of us all. Yet the greedy
believe that they can use Trump for
their bidding, for example in order to
grab a new round of unaffordable and
undeserved tax cuts for the rich. Unless
we are able to reestablish a sense of
fairness and the common good, this
latest episode of extreme greed and
rising inequality will end badly, once
again. Listen to the Keynes of 1919 and
take care of the common future before
it’s too late.
SEBASTIAN BARRY
Barry has written plays,
poetry collections and
novels, including Days
Without End (2016). He
has twice won the Costa
Book of the Year award.
Always having due regard to the
famous strictures of Chinua Achebe,
nevertheless Heart of Darkness by
Joseph Conrad, which I read when I
was maybe 17, made me question many
things, not least the casual racism
of my grandfather, who had been
an engineering officer in the British
Foreign Service as late as the 1920s.
The scene that burns into the
memory ineradicably is the notorious
“grove of death”, where exhausted
workers are propped against trees to
die, having been drained by empire
not only of their dignity but their
very life force. This image of terminal
eschatology seems to echo and repeat
through many other readings, not least
in Native American history, and even in
accounts of desolate figures during the
Irish famine (ironically of course for my
grandfather). Heart of Darkness alerts
the human heart to its own dreadful
tendency towards heartlessness.
CAROLINE LUCAS
Caroline Lucas is
co-leader of the Green
party of England and
Wales, and MP for
Brighton Pavilion.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,
Roald Dahl’s masterpiece, isn’t just
a story about inequality, it’s a tale
about justice too. I remember reading
it as a child and being shocked by
the heartbreaking poverty that the
Bucket family experienced, especially
in comparison with the other golden
ticket-winning children.
The book begins with a hopeless
scene of poverty and a description of
Charlie’s tiny house, where “freezing
cold draughts blew across the floor
all night long ”. That image of four
grandparents sharing a rickety old
bed has stuck with me, as I’m sure it
has with so many others. The working
life of Charlie’s father is striking too
and brilliantly highlights not just
the drudgery of work for so many
people, but the persistent injustice
of people’s wages not being enough
to support a family on. It’s doubly
tragic to reread these passages today,
when 60% of Britons in poverty are in
working families.
Of course Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory isn’t just doom and gloom and
once Charlie finds that last golden
ticket in his chocolate bar things
start to look up. A large part of the
excitement is being with Charlie
as he witnesses the wonder of Mr
Wonka and his inventions, but I’d be
lying if I didn’t admit that part of the
thrill is also seeing the gluttony of the
other children landing them in hot,
er, chocolate.
We know, sadly, that injustice in the
world isn’t fixed by eccentric factory
owners gifting their assets to children
by means of a chat in a glass elevator,
but this story stuck with me in part
because it has at its heart a sense that
we shouldn’t be just looking to end
poverty, but to have bigger dreams too.
Perhaps it’s the children’s equivalent
of that famous old slogan by Rose
Schneiderman: “The worker must have
bread, but she must have roses, too.”
MONICA ALI
The Bangladeshi-British
writer has published four
novels, including her debut
Brick Lane.
I’m mixed-race and grew up poor,
on a council estate in Bolton in the
1970s, and I’m not sure that I ever
had my eyes closed to inequality and
injustice. I didn’t need a book to open
them. I could just look around. But
in my teens when I started reading
Zola (I think my first was Germinal),
it was a revelation to me that poverty
and inequality could be the subject
of fiction. Then I discovered George
Orwell, including The Road to Wigan
Pier and Down and Out in Paris and
London. I was reading Jane Austen
then as well and switching back and
forth between ballroom and back-alley
scenes. Austen taught me that money
is always an issue, even for those who
have it – because others have more,
because they might lose what they
have or because love of money poisons
something else in their lives.
NIKESH SHUKLA
Nikesh Shukla is the
author of two novels, host
of the Subaltern writing
podcast, and editor of the
2016 essay collection The
Good Immigrant.
The way Peter Parker is haunted by the
murder of his Uncle Ben in the SpiderMan comics, and his own accidental
causing of that death, was one of the
first times I confronted an injustice in
fiction, albeit one that was complex and
layered. Uncle Ben’s mantra, that with
great power comes great responsibility,
was one of the key drivers for Parker’s
vigilante double life as Spider-Man and
the comics always did well to deal with
dualities: Parker’s double life, as unsure
student and cocksure superhero;
his responsibilities at home and his
responsibilities to the citizens of New
York; his need to earn money and his
making said money from exploiting
his own heroism. And each time his
actions, his fight against crime, had an
impact on his own life: from the death
of Gwen Stacy to Aunt May’s ill-fated
marriage to Doctor Octopus, it was
always Parker’s guilt and resolve that
kept him going, and me coming back
issue after issue.
RICHARD WILKINSON
Social epidemiologist
Richard Wilkinson is
professor emeritus at the
University of Nottingham
and co-author of The
Spirit Level: Why More Equal
Societies Almost Always Do
Better (2009).
Though I have never studied
anthropology formally, I have always
wanted to know how differently human
societies can work. Are they just rich
or poorer or can people live in totally
different ways? Are people driven by
the same concerns everywhere or do
they have very different ideas about
what life is about?
Despite starting off as a student of
economic history, I spent a lot of time
with anthropologists and became
increasingly interested in hunting and
gathering societies. I was particularly
influenced first by Richard Lee and
Irven DeVore’s Man the Hunter (1968)
and then more particularly by Marshall
Sahlins’s Stone Age Economics (1972).
For those of us who had assumed
Continued overleaf
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
¥
15
INEQUALITY
¥ Continued from previous page
Game-changing
books and comics
and, below, Graham
Round’s Hangdog,
‘the loneliest dog in
the world’.
that preindustrial people always lived
short lives in perpetual toil and dire
poverty, the view they suggested of
our prehistoric past was eye opening.
Hunters and gatherers were apparently
not living with perpetual scarcity;
instead, they needed to spend rather
little time in food collection and often
had a great deal of leisure. Because
their needs were few, they were dubbed
by these authors as “the original
affluent societies”.
More intriguing still was the
egalitarian nature of these societies,
their reliance on food sharing and
gift exchange and their tendency to
proscribe overtly self-interested forms
of exchange.
However, I also feel very indebted
to Christopher Boehm for taking this
work forward in his book Moral Origins:
The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism and
Shame (2012), which explains the
prehistoric roots of the human concern
for equality, which runs parallel to our
much more widely recognised desire
for status and pre-eminence. In this and
his earlier work, Boehm shows how the
desire for dominance was held in check
to maintain the egalitarianism of these
early forms of society.
LAURIE PENNY
Author, journalist and
activist Laurie Penny
writes for the Guardian
and the New Statesman
and has published two
books on feminism.
I grew up in the golden age of late1980s children’s literature, when artists
were gleefully giving pre-schoolers
permission to side with the underdog
and challenge stereotypes. My first
favourite book was about a literal
underdog: [Graham Round’s] Hangdog,
which is about “the loneliest dog in the
world”. It’s the utterly bizarre story of
a scruffy little basset hound who can’t
make friends no matter how hard he
tries because he has such a grumpylooking face, so he builds a boat and
sails away to a desert island.
There, he meets a terrifying tiger
who is lonely because everyone
thinks he wants to eat them “and
the two friends take tea together
under the moon”. Come to think of
it, that explains quite a lot about my
adult relationships.
AFUA HIRSCH
Afua Hirsch is a writer,
broadcaster, barrister and
human rights development
worker. Her book Brit(ish):
On Race, Identity and
Belonging will be published in 2018.
One of my most striking childhood
memories is watching the telly with
my parents, aged eight, the faces of
four black women starkly lit, lined
up in profile, singing the intro to the
Specials song Free Nelson Mandela. I
asked my parents, my mother weeping
freely as we watched a concert marking
the release of Nelson Mandela from
prison, what the fuss was about. Their
response was the first time I had an
inkling that there was widespread
racial injustice in the world.
Five years after that, my mother
bought me a copy of Cry, the Beloved
Country. I had no inkling as to
ing about
its content – and nothing
the innocuous cover off my little
so-familiar,
paperback, or the oh-so-familiar,
English sound of the author Alan
ave prepared
Paton’s name, could have
ully
me for such a powerfully
beautiful lyric, a long song that
manity of
tells of the deep inhumanity
apartheid. It touched me both
in substance and style..
n
The book is written
in prose of biblical
simplicity. I had neverr
read anything like
it. The spareness of
the language only
serves to augment
the devastating
impact of its narrativee – a
phen
pastor from Natal, Stephen
Kumalo, searches for his son,
n chaos
Absalom, in the urban
of Johannesburg, in a country
riven by the brutality of racial
ay
prejudice and the decay
verty.
and destruction of poverty.
16
British Medical Journal as “the Big
Idea”, showing how income inequality
damages population health. Unhealthy
Societies brought the statistics to
life – typical of Richard’s writing, it
told compelling stories to frame the
epidemiological analysis.
We learned how a small town in the
USA, populated by Italian immigrants,
gave clues to the importance of
social solidarity for the prevention of
heart disease; how health in postwar
Japan was transformed by economic
equality; how baboons in the Serengeti
demonstrate the impact of chronic
stress on immune function and the
central role of disrespect in triggering
violence. The book was so popular
that, no sooner had you checked it out
of the library, someone else would be
requesting it and it had to be returned.
It was years before I met Richard
professionally and before we started
to work together. I once tried to see
him speak at a conference but couldn’t
even get near the room – the corridor
was packed with people trying to
hear him. But, even before we met,
Unhealthy Societies was influencing
my own research programme and
shaping the questions I chose to study.
Now, Richard and I work together,
thinking through ideas, analysing,
synthesising and interpreting data,
finding the stories that will bring
the research alive – campaigning for
a more equal world is our joint and
all-consuming project. Unhealthy
Societies didn’t just open my eyes to
the impact of inequality, it showed me
how research can be used to have an
impact of its own.
DANNY DORLING
Danny Dorling is
professor of human
geography at Oxford
University. He is the
author of a number of
books, including Injustice: Why Social
Inequality Still Persists (2010).
‘I saw the tiny
things that let
minorities
know – this
world is not
designed with
you in mind’
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
Cry, the Beloved Country woke me up
to the reality of the crushing injustice
that existed in South Africa. But it was
also a lesson in inequality and prejudice
everywhere. A lesson I never forgot.
JUNO DAWSON
Journalist and writer Juno
Dawson has published
several young adult
fiction and nonfiction
books aimed at young
LGBT readers.
When I was still a primary school
teacher, a bookseller (from sadly
defunct Borders) suggested I share
Malorie Blackman’s Noughts &
Crosses with my class of 11-year-olds.
I’ve praised this book so often and so
fervently, Malorie is, I’m sure, close to
taking out a restraining order.
One scene in particular stands out.
In a race-flipped parallel world where
white people are inferior to a ruling
class of black people called Crosses,
white Callum cuts his hand. All black
Sephy can offer is a dark brown plaster,
the same colour as her skin. Drawing
attention to something as small as
a Band Aid opened my eyes to how
many other small, but nonetheless
infuriating inequalities there are in
the world. Little tiny things that let all
sorts of minorities know – this world
isn’t, first and foremost, designed with
you in mind.
JULIAN BAGGINI
Philosopher Julian
Baggini’s books include
A Short History of Truth
(2017). He runs the
website Microphilosophy
and is co-founder of the
Philosophers’ Magazine.
Peter Singer’s Practical Ethics issues
a very strong challenge that’s hard
to meet. He argues that all the while
that some live in absolute poverty, it is
unjust to retain more wealth than you
need to live in reasonable comfort, and
by that he doesn’t mean enough for the
odd meal out or a flat white.
His utilitarian morality requires
us to consider the interests of
everyone with complete impartiality,
adopting an almost god-like, detached
viewpoint. Most of us, however,
believe we have more responsibilities
towards some than others, most
obviously to family. If that’s true,
making huge sacrifices for strangers is
laudable but not obligatory.
I think there is something right in
these objections. Still, his argument
does make me acutely aware of the
injustice of economic equality and
deeply uncomfortable that I am a
beneficiary of it. It is a reminder that
when we continue to take advantage
of our good fortune it is a choice
and that we could, and should, be
prepared to share our wealth much
more than we do.
KATE PICKETT
Kate Pickett is professor
of epidemiology at the
University of York,
co-author [with Richard
Wilkinson, see page 15] of
The Spirit Level, and co-founder and
trustee of the Equality Trust.
I was a doctoral student at the
University of California, Berkeley,
in 1996, when Richard Wilkinson’s
Unhealthy Societies was published. I
was studying epidemiology and felt
I had finally found a discipline and
set of methods that met my political
as well as my academic leanings.
Social epidemiology shows us how
important social structures and
relationships are for human health
and wellbeing; population health is a
canary in the coalmine that can alert
us to destructive political and social
policy choices.
We students all knew about
Richard’s research, described by the
I first learned about inequality from
children’s books. Growing up in the 70s
and early 80s, the stories we learned at
school were lessons in snobbery and
arrogance, albeit often inadvertently.
Think of all those stories that featured
animals: almost always, their species
signified their rank and allegiance
in the order of things. Inequality
was being explained in these stories,
usually as being inevitable and for the
good, the natural order of things.
In The Wind in the Willows, “rabbits
are a mixed lot” and weasels, stoats
and foxes are “all right in a way...
but you can’t really trust them”. The
Hobbit is about a common halfling,
Bilbo Baggins, who knew his place
and played his part alongside many
dwarves, some elves and the occasional
man. By the conclusion of the Rings
trilogy, humans are top dog and
everything is again in its rightful
place. In The Lion, the Witch and
the Wardrobe, the animals all played
allotted roles, but now there were
children, destined to be kings and
queens by dint of their species. They
went to boarding schools, spoke well,
wore ties and all was well when they
sat upon their thrones.
Then, Ursula Le Guin published
the first of the six Earthsea books in
1968, the year I was born. In these
books, the heroes are not always
white and success is not always about
maintaining some arbitrary hierarchy.
More important considerations took
precedence, such as the environment
or harmony.
Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series
came much too late for me, but the
pattern has continued: they were
writing in a Britain that was becoming
more unequal and their writings reflect
that. Their progressive messages shine
through decades later.
If you have a very young child,
Andy Stanton’s You’re a Bad Man, Mr
Gum! is brilliant. Published a year
before the financial crash, it features
“a businessman in a grey suit who
never smiled and told lies all the time”.
Mix that with predictions of trouble
ahead in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger
Games trilogy and the future could be
much brighter than we think, if today’s
children heed all these warnings they
are now reading.
To read more of these see theguardian.
com/inequality
I D E A S , A N A LY S I S , G A D G E T S A N D B E Y O N D
FAKE NEWS AND BOTNETS:
HOW RUSSIA WEAPONISED THE WEB
The digital attack that brought Estonia to a standstill 10 years ago was just
the first shot in a cyberwar that has been raging between Moscow and the
west ever since, write Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus
I
t began at exactly 10pm on 26
April, 2007, when a Russianspeaking mob began rioting
in the streets of Tallinn, the
capital city of Estonia, killing
one person and wounding
dozens of others. That incident
resonates powerfully in some of
the recent conflicts in the US. In
2007, the Estonian government had
announced that a bronze statue of
a heroic second world war Soviet
soldier was to be removed from
a central city square. For ethnic
Estonians, the statue had less to do
with the war than with the Soviet
occupation that followed it, which
lasted until independence in 1991.
For the country’s Russian-speaking
minority – 25% of Estonia’s 1.3
million people – the removal of the
memorial was another sign of ethnic
discrimination. Russia’s government
warned that the statue’s removal
would be “disastrous” for Estonia.
That evening, Jaan Priisalu – a
former risk manager for Estonia’s
largest bank, Hansabank, who
was working closely with the
government on its cybersecurity
infrastructure – was at home in
Tallinn with his girlfriend when his
phone rang. On the line was Hillar
Aarelaid, the chief of Estonia’s
cybercrime police.
“It’s going down,” Aarelaid
declared. Alongside the street
fighting, reports of digital attacks
were beginning to filter in. The
websites of the parliament,
major universities, and national
newspapers were crashing. Priisalu
and Aarelaid had suspected
something like this could happen
one day. A digital attack on Estonia
had begun.
Estonia boasts the most
technologically advanced system
of government in the world. Every
citizen possesses a digital identity
– an identification number and
login code for access to completely
digitised interactions with the
state. Estonians can vote online, file
Continued overleaf
¥
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
17
SCIENCE & TECH
‘Cyberwar is
designed to
weaken a
country from
within’
¥ Continued from previous page
their taxes, check medical records,
access the national health care system,
and receive notifications of most
government attempts to access their
personal records. About 97% of the
country uses digital banking. The
Estonian national ethic is built on the
idea that every citizen is transparent
and the state is too. This makes Estonia
extremely efficient – and extremely
vulnerable. “We live in the future.
Online banking, online news, text
messages, online shopping – total
digitisation has made everything
quicker and easier,” Priisalu said. “But
it also creates the possibility that we
can be thrown back centuries in a
couple of seconds.”
O
ver the following two nights,
as the street battles began to
wane, the attacks on Estonia’s
technological infrastructure
picked up. The authorities were slow
to recognise what was happening. It
wasn’t until 24 hours later when the
national defence minister realised
he was unable to log on to the ruling
party’s website that they knew they
had a major problem on their hands.
Then the mail server for parliament
crashed. News sites began to falter.
Some of the country’s most widely read
publications disappeared altogether.
Priisalu began to analyse the
streams of data besieging the
country’s institutions. Vast “botnets”
– networks of captured and linked
computers – were attempting to
bring down computer systems with
automated queries as part of a large
DDoS (distributed denial-of-service)
attack. “Mail-bombing” email barrages
and volleys of status and location
queries overloaded servers across
the country, bringing crucial parts of
the Estonian internet to a halt. Some
websites, according to the BBC,
were “defaced,” redirecting
users “to images of Soviet
soldiers and quotations from
Martin Luther King Jr about
resisting evil”. “War dialling”,
in which automated phone calls
target a company or institution,
placed a virtual blockade on phone
numbers for government offices and
parliament. On 10 May, Hansabank,
Estonia’s biggest bank, had to cease
online services and international card
transactions temporarily.
The digital firepower arrayed
against Estonia was massive and
intense. One thousand data packets
per hour were travelling through
the country’s networks on the first
day. On the second day, it was 2,000
per hour. At its highest point, it was
4m per second. Ordinary computer
users, many of them with no prior
hacking experience, volunteered to
become “script kiddies,” wielding
premade freeware code scripts to
contribute to the attack. Botnets cost
money, and this was funded by online
accounts that anyone could pay into.
The attacks seemed somehow to have
been outsourced, with the cost of the
aggression crowdfunded.
The government was baffled. Were
the attacks the opening moves of a
military invasion? Estonia had recently
joined Nato, despite the vocal protests
of its Russian neighbour. Should it
activate Article 5, the mutual defence
clause of the security group’s charter?
Finally, on 19 May, 2007, the attacks
were stopped. The Estonians had
implemented a simple, almost absurdly
sad solution: they pulled the plug.
The most wired country in the world
severed its international electronic
connections and largely disappeared
from the internet, bringing what
military historians now call the first
internet war to an abrupt halt. It was
a decisive victory for whoever had
perpetrated the attacks.
No one has ever claimed
responsibility, but it soon
became apparent to Priisalu
and many others that Russia
was responsible. Russia had an
obvious, and publicly stated,
political motive: its opposition to
the removal of the statue. More
importantly, the events in Estonia
helped crystallise an emerging
consensus that cyber-attacks could
constitute warfare. The attacks on its
digital infrastructure had paralysed
parliament, shut down banks, and
fuelled violence in the streets. It was,
Priisalu concluded, undoubtedly an
act of war.
Perhaps more telling was the fact
that the strategies used in Estonia had
already been included in a Russian
manual of war. In 1998, Sergei P
Rastorguev, a Russian military analyst,
published Philosophy of Information
Warfare, which included a lengthy
version of this anecdote:
Once there was a fox that wanted
to eat a turtle, but whenever he tried
to, it withdrew into its shell. He bit it
and he shook it, but he wasn’t getting
anywhere. One day he had an idea: he
made the turtle an offer to buy its shell.
But the turtle was clever and knew it
would be eaten without this protection,
so it refused. Time passed, until
one day there appeared a television
hanging in a tree, displaying images of
flocks of happy, naked turtles – flying!
The turtle was amazed. Oh! They can
fly! But wouldn’t it be dangerous to
‘I know
what it’s
like to live
in a country
without
freedom
or human
rights’
Meet the
Muslim
foster
parents
Observer
Magazine
page 24-28
Estonia, 2007: the plan to remove the Soviet soldier
monument in Tallinn, top, sparked protests by Russian
Estonians, above and left, and the Russian cyber-attack
that shut down the country. AFP/Getty
give up your shell? Hark, the voice on
television was announcing that the fox
had become a vegetarian. “If I could
only take off my shell, my life would be
so much easier,” thought the turtle. “If
the turtle would only give up its shell,
it would be so much easier to eat,”
thought the fox – and paid for more
broadcasts advertising flying turtles.
One morning, when the sky seemed
bigger and brighter than usual, the
turtle removed its shell. What it fatally
failed to understand was that the aim
of information warfare is to induce an
adversary to let down its guard.
Rastorguev said that one of the most
effective weapons in modern conflict
was information – or more accurately,
disinformation, like the fake news and
social media posts that US audiences
have been reading since last year’s
presidential election, or the stories
that whipped Estonian protesters into
a frenzy in 2007. The core concept
of cyberwar has to be understood
as something broader than hacks
or the defacement of websites. It is
psychological manipulation, executed
with targeted digital disinformation
designed to weaken a country from
within. Thus, no smoking gun will ever
be found: “The Russian theory of war
allows you to defeat the enemy without
ever having to touch him,” says Peter
Pomerantsev, author of Nothing is True
and Everything is Possible. “Estonia was
an early experiment in that theory.”
Since then, Russia has only
developed, and codified, these
neered in
strategies. The techniques pioneered
rasimov
Estonia are known as the “Gerasimov
doctrine,” named after Valery
neral
Gerasimov, the chief of the general
n 2013,
staff of the Russian military. In
Gerasimov published an articlee in the
strial
Russian journal Military-Industrial
gy
Courier, articulating the strategy
of what is now called “hybrid” or
es
“nonlinear” warfare. “The lines
urred,”
between war and peace are blurred,”
onism,
he wrote. New forms of antagonism,
nd the
as seen in 2010’s Arab spring and
rly
“colour revolutions” of the early
fectly
2000s, could transform a “perfectly
onths,
thriving state, in a matter of months,
and even days, into an arena off
fierce armed conflict”.
Russia has deployed these
strategies around the globe. Itss
er
2008 war with Georgia, another
former Soviet republic, relied on
d
a mix of both conventional and
cyber-attacks, as did the 2014
n
invasion of Crimea. Both began
with civil unrest sparked via
owed
digital and social media – followed
by tanks. Finland and Sweden have
ussian
experienced near-constant Russian
information operations. Russian hacks
and social media operations have also
occurred during recent elections in
Holland, Germany, and France. Most
recently, Spain’s leading daily, El País,
reported on Russian meddling in the
Catalonian independence referendum.
Russian-supported hackers had
allegedly worked with separatist
groups, presumably with a mind to
further undermining the EU in the
wake of the Brexit vote.
As the smoking gun is often missing,
we shouldn’t fall for every allegation
of assumed Russian involvement.
Still, certain patterns have emerged
from these conflicts, allowing
experts to draft a rough model of the
techniques Russia uses to destabilise
its opponents. First, people’s trust in
one another is broken down. Then
comes fear, followed by hatred, and
finally, at some point, shots are fired.
The pattern was particularly striking
in Crimea. People posted reports on
Facebook about gross mistreatment
by Ukrainians; dramatic messages
circulated on Instagram about streams
of refugees fleeing the country;
billboards suddenly appeared in
Kiev bearing pro-Russian slogans;
First people’s trust is
broken down, then
comes fear, hatred, and
finally
point
y at some p
shots are fired
shotsarefired
Valery Gerasimov, the Russian Armed Forces’ chief
of staff and mastermind of ‘non-linear’ warfare.
18
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
HEALTHCARE
The perfect prescription
A new method of distinguishing viral from bacterial infections
will help control the misuse of antibiotics, writes Robin McKie
Y
demonstrations followed. Rising
suspicion and mutual mistrust split
Ukrainian society. In a matter of
months, fighting broke out. Russia
used the conflict as a pretext to send
in “aid convoys”, presenting itself as a
benevolent responder to an emergency.
T
he Kremlin has used the same
strategies against its own people.
Domestically, history books,
school lessons, and media are
manipulated, while laws are passed
blocking foreign access to the Russian
population’s online data from foreign
companies – an essential resource
in today’s global informationsharing culture. According to
British military researcher Keir
Giles, author of Nato’s Handbook of
Russian Information Warfare, the
Russian government, or actors that
it supports, has even captured the
social media accounts of celebrities in
order to spread provocative messages
under their names but without their
knowledge. The goal, both at home
and abroad, is to sever outside lines
of communication so that people
get their information only through
controlled channels.
We spoke with Priisalu on a couple
of occasions earlier this year and asked
him what we should be most afraid of.
Priisalu considered this for a moment.
“Information warfare,” he said.
Since 2007, Estonia has established
itself as a global hub for thinking
about cyber-attacks and, more
broadly, about what constitutes
an act of war in the internet
age. Priisalu has been at the
forefront. In 2008, he helped
establish the Cooperative Cyber
Defence Centre of Excellence, a
Nato-funded international research
centre in Tallinn that brings together
cybersecurity experts from around
the world. Each year the centre hosts
Locked Shields, the world’s largest
international cyberwar exercise. In this
year’s simulation, 25 member states
enlisted representatives to fight off
thousands of simultaneous attacks on a
virtual country called Crimsonia. The
progress of the battle was rendered
visually and beamed on to giant
screens. Some “soldiers” came in suits,
others in sweatshirts – but most logged
in from home.
Priisalu has also helped build
Europe’s first volunteer cyber-army.
In 2011, his network of freelance
cyberfighters was consolidated into a
new sub-unit of the Estonian military’s
armed reserves, the paramilitary
Estonian Defence League. The logo of
the Estonian Cyber Defence Unit (CDU)
depicts an eagle with a sword in its right
claw and a shield in its left displaying an
@ sign. The names of its members and
the numbers in its ranks are secret. If
called on in an emergency, they will take
up battle stations at their computers.
The US has adopted some of
Estonia’s programs in its own efforts to
combat cyber incursions. In 2009, the
American government established its
own Cyber Command centre, under
the NSA, at Fort Meade in Maryland.
Last July, the Trump administration
split the command off as an
independent agency with a proposed
$647m annual budget, 133 operational
teams and as many as 6,200 workers.
Likewise, the Department of Defense
has developed its own cybersecurity
infrastructure, with dedicated digital
“national mission teams” and “combat
mission teams”. But the next step in
the west’s collective defensive strategy
is to develop a consensus about what,
legally, constitutes an act of cyberwar.
The question is how the west can
maintain its core values of freedom
of speech and the free flow of
information while protecting itself
from malevolent geopolitical actors?
For centuries, eastern European
countries such as Estonia relied on
walls, watchtowers, and fortresses to
keep out invaders. The US became
the world’s most powerful country
in part because it was insulated from
foreign threats by vast oceans on two
sides. In the internet age, traditional
borders are less effective.
To survive in the era of information
warfare, every society will have
to create ways of withstanding
cyber-attacks. Blockchain
technology, the underlying
protocol of cryptocurrencies such
as bitcoin, might for example
function as a sort of digital
fortress protecting the secure exchange
of information online. Whatever
form these defences take, democratic
countries will have to focus more
resources on finding and spreading
potent and reliable technologies,
whether in partnership with private
companies or in government cyber
labs in Estonia or the US. But we will
also have to accept the sobering reality
that these attacks, like guerilla warfare
and suicide bombings, aren’t going
away. What’s more, other countries
area already aping theses techniques.
Russia may be the world’s most open
cyberwarfare aggressor –but it’s far
from the only one. Iran, Israel, North
Korea and the United States, and
perhaps other countries, are all active.
Permanent globalized digital warfare
might become the new cost of living in
a connected world.
This is an edited version of a story first
published in Das Magazin, Switzerland.
Translation by Edward W Sutton
ou have a rasping cough. Your
speech is reduced to a whisper
and your throat is raw and
aching. You cannot sleep. So
you tell your sad story to your
doctor, who faces a simple issue: do you
have a viral infection, or is a bacterium
responsible for your illness?
It sounds a trivial issue. In fact, the
problem goes beyond your immediate
health and has implications for the
general wellbeing of society. If your
doctor makes a misdiagnosis and –
thinking your condition is caused by
a bacterium – prescribes a course of
antibiotics, the decision could have
harmful side-effects.
Crucially, you will not recover more
quickly from your illness, because
antibiotics have no effect on viruses. At
the same time, the inappropriate use
of that antibiotic will only further the
spread of anti-microbial resistance,
which has now become a global crisis.
More than 700,000 people a year
are killed by drug-resistant infections,
the result of decades of global misuse
of antibiotics. “The world is facing an
antibiotic apocalypse,” says England’s
chief medical officer, Sally Davies.
Halting this misuse has become
an urgent goal for doctors. And one
solution, based on research carried out
at Leeds University, is aimed directly
at the conundrum facing GPs: how to
differentiate, speedily, an infection that
is caused by a virus from one that is
triggered by a bacterium.
(A bacterium is a single-celled
organism; viruses are smaller and
can only reproduce by invading and
hijacking a cell’s own genetic material.)
The Leeds project involves groups
of engineers, biologists and clinicians
at the university, and has led to the
development of a prototype chip
the size of a large matchbox. From
a pinprick of blood it can identify
chemicals that are released by the
body when it has been infected by
bacteria. In short, it can tell when a
person is suffering from a bacterial or
a viral infection, and once completed
it should help to reduce misdiagnoses,
and, in the process, the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
Scientists hope to have a working
device ready for use in five years or
so. Animal tests using the chip have
already been carried out and validation
tests undertaken in hospitals.
“The next phase will be a largescale clinical trial,” says project leader
Professor Christoph Wälti, of Leeds
University’s school of electronic and
electrical engineering.
Wälti stressed that the chip would
not indicate to a GP which type of
bacterium was infecting a patient. “It
will merely tell them that they have
not been infected by a virus, and that
antibiotics might well be appropriate.
A GP should then have a good idea of
which particular type of antibiotic to
prescribe, depending on which organ
is infected in a patient – their lungs or
throat or bladder, or whatever is the
source of their infection. On the other
hand, if the chip shows you have a
virus, the doctor will know not to give
you antibiotics.”
The chip takes advantage of the fact
that when a patient is infected either
by a virus or a bacterium, one of the
body’s first responses is to release
chemicals that are intended to limit
damage to cells. “Crucially, viruses
trigger the release of different types of
chemicals to those that are released by
bacteria,” Wälti told the Observer.
The device designed by his
colleagues contains agents that react
with the chemicals released in the
blood during the early stages of an
infection by bacteria. Crucially, these
are bound to electronic sensors, which
then give a reading about levels of the
various blood chemicals in a sample
taken from a patient. These will show
whether he or she is suffering from a
viral or a bacterial infection. At present,
it is possible to determine whether
The overuse of antibiotics – prescribing them for a viral infection, say – can lead to the
creation of so-called superbugs such as the MRSA bacteria, above. Getty Images
an infection is bacterial or viral, but
that takes many hours of testing in
a laboratory. The Leeds University
device is not only conveniently sized,
it will take only minutes to provide its
diagnosis.
“Our talks with GPs and healthcare
officials made it clear our device
would have to be able to produce a
definitive diagnosis in only about 10 to
15 minutes,” Wälti says. “You cannot
expect people to come in one day and
then return the next to get their result,
especially if you are going to say to
the patient that he or she has a virus
and there is nothing much you can do
for them. Speed is therefore critical.
And that pushes the technology to the
limit. However, we believe we have
overcome those issues.”
Apart from the fact that western
doctors are over-prescribing
antibiotics to patients who expect to be
given a drug for whatever complaint
they have, there are other reasons for
the spread of drug resistance. In many
countries, both land and fish farmers
use antibiotics as growth promoters
and indiscriminately pour them on
to their livestock feed, while drug
manufacturers often fail to dispose of
their industrial waste appropriately. In
the latter case, the result is antibiotics
leaching into streams and rivers with
alarming results, particularly in Asia.
However, the medical misuse of
antibiotics remains a key problem.
“We need to develop some way
to make it easier for doctors to use
antibiotics as precisely as possible in
future,” says Wälti. “That is why we
have developed this device.”
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
19
SCIENCE & TECH
THE GADGET
OPENING NEW
WORLDS FOR
BLIND PEOPLE
UP CLOSE
The tech
The MyEye camera
attaches to spectacles.
A cable from the unit is
connected to a cigarette
packet-sized computer
which the user keeps in a
pocket or bag.
A revolutionary camera, which uses
text and object recognition technology,
is changing the lives of thousands with
visual impairment, and could soon be
helping those with dyslexia and face
blindness. Andrew Anthony reports
W
hen Claire Bowes was
15 she lost her sight the
instant the Real IRA let
a bomb off in the small
town of Omagh in
Country Tyrone. Pieces
of shrapnel went
between two arteries on the bridge of
her nose and were embedded in her
right eye, which had to be removed,
and lodged below her left eye. She was
rendered completely blind.
“I basically had to learn how to do
everything again,” she tells me on the
phone from Omagh.
She managed well enough to study
music at Queen’s University, Belfast,
and now, 19 years on, she is a mother of
three, a piano teacher and head of the
Omagh Music Academy. It can’t have
been easy because at 15, not only are the
majority of our established skills visionbased, but we also have a vision of the
future. To see it plunged into darkness
must have been a terrible psychological
as well as physical blow.
What’s more, although it was only
two decades ago, there was much less
technological help around in 1998. The
information age was only just beginning.
Phones were a long way from smart,
and personal computers were not to be
rested on your lap, if you didn’t want to
do your thighs permanent damage.
But in recent years there have
been a great many technological
advances in terms of aiding the blind.
“The iPhone has made everything
easier,” says Bowes. “Social media and
texting, I can do it all on my phone.”
However, there are obviously
countless drawbacks to blindness that
even the smartest of phones can do little
about. This is where other technologies
are attempting to offer solutions. One
of them is a product called OrCam
MyEye, produced by an Israeli company
set up by Amnon Shashua and Ziv
Aviram, who were behind Mobileye,
the company specialising in computer
vision for the automotive industry.
Mobileye was acquired earlier this year
by Intel for an astonishing $15.3bn.
OrCam MyEye is a tiny camera and
microphone that attaches to a pair of
glasses and is linked to a processing
base unit that is small enough to fit in
a reasonably sized pocket or clipped
to a belt. By pointing a finger at a text,
the user triggers the text-recognition
technology and a computerised voice
reads out what’s in front of the camera.
The device can also recognise faces,
money and other objects.
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What else can it do?
Aside from reading,
the device can also be
programmed by the user
to recognise bank notes,
credit cards, supermarket
products and friends’ and
colleagues’ faces.
A month before I spoke to Bowes,
she became an ambassador for OrCam
and took receipt of the MyEye. I asked
her what, if any, difference it had made
to her life.
“The main thing is that the first
night I went home with it I was able to
read my children a bedtime story. They
are eight, six and two and I was able to
use OrCam to read the page and then
say it aloud to them.”
She is also helping her six-year-old
son to read, something she couldn’t
do before, and she uses the device to
read a book that’s part of an advanced
course she’s doing on piano teaching.
“Even things like the post coming
into the house – I don’t have to wait for
my husband to come home any more,”
she says. “It definitely makes me feel
more independent.”
Visual impairment affects more
than 2 million people in the UK. It’s a
definition that stretches across a large
range of conditions from the kind of
extreme near- or far-sightedness that
cannot be corrected by glasses, to total
blindness of the sort Bowes lives with.
As much as 80% of the visual blindness
seen across the globe, according to the
World Health Organisation, is either
preventable or treatable.
In the west, much of what can be
done medically has been done. So those
who remain on the visual impairment
spectrum are left needing to find other
ways of dealing with the problem. But if
the ocular condition can’t be improved,
there are, as object-recognition
technology and artificial intelligence
develop, more opportunities to counter
its limiting effects.
As Leon Paull, OrCam’s international
business development manager, says:
“We’re not working on anything that
will give you your sight back. We
are working on things that will you
give you an alternative source for the
information you need.”
Put like that, OrCam’s work
doesn’t sound especially uplifting.
We probably all like to hear stories in
which a blind person’s sight is restored.
But in reality, while sight may be our
most aesthetically pleasing sense,
it is primarily a means of delivering
information. When we look at a street
‘Things like the post
coming into the house
– I don’t have to wait
for my husband to
get home any more’
sign we might appreciate its design
and typeface, but our main interest
is in finding out the name of the
street. Similarly, human faces can be
fascinating to examine, but mostly we
want to establish if the face belongs to
a stranger or to someone we know and,
if so, who exactly that person is.
While Paull demonstrates the
OrCam MyEye for me in his London
office, the camera’s computerised voice
keeps announcing: “There is a man in
front of you.” It’s on a particular setting
that can easily be turned off and the
device has recognised that I’m a man.
Paul then informs it that my name is
Andrew and henceforth MyEye will
recognise me by that name.
Bowes tells me that she hasn’t taken to
Piano teacher Claire Bowes, who lost her
sight in the Omagh bombing, using the
MyEye to read. Courtesy of Claire Bowes
using this facility because the unknown
person has to be directly facing you
for it to work. She acknowledges that
it might be very useful in a meeting.
It could also be helpful for people
who suffer from prosopagnosia – face
blindness – which some estimates put
as high as 2.5% of the population.
There is also another, much larger,
group that OrCam wants to target:
people with dyslexia, who are said to
make up 10% of the population. “That’s
an entire market out there, looking for
solutions,” says Paull brightly.
OrCam was set up seven years
ago and started selling its products
two years ago. Optical character
recognition is an established
technology but Paull says OrCam
has created its own model for each
language that it works in, which at the
moment is 12. He says there are 800
users in Britain and somewhere in the
region of 5,000 around the world.
The basic MyEye cameramicrophone and base unit costs about
£3,120 (including VAT). There is also a
slightly cheaper, reader-only version.
Either way, that sounds like a lot of
money, but Paull demurs. “Think
hearing aids. That’s actually more or
less the price you would pay for a midrange pair of hearing aids. In many
ways we see ourselves as being the
hearing aids of the visual world.”
With that slightly confounding
image in mind, I ask to try out MyEye.
I put on a pair of non-prescription
glasses, look at the page I want to read
and point at it with my index finger. It’s
a page from the book I happen to be
reviewing: Simon Schama’s Belonging:
The Story of the Jews 1492-1900. It’s
not a light read. A computerised voice
reads out the text making scarcely a
mistake, which, given the richness of
the language, is no small achievement.
The only problem for me is the
awkwardness of intonation and
emphasis. There is very little rhythm
in the voice or delivery. It’s not
something you would savour listening
to over a long period. But that’s from
the perspective of someone who can
see a text and read it. For those who
have lived in literary darkness, my
quibbles may seem minor.
THE SCIENCE
OF…
sadfvs
CONCRETE
How it works
Pointing at text prompts
the MyEye to begin
reading and relaying the
words to the wearer
via the device’s boneconducting speaker.
IT’S TOTALLY
LOW-CARB
Although its
manufacture
is carbon
intensive,
researchers
have found
that concrete
reabsorbs
much of the
CO2 created
when it is made.
“It sounds
counterintuitive,
but it’s true,”
says professor
Steven Davis of
the University
of California,
Irvine.
In any case, OrCam sees MyEye as
a work in progress, something that
will get consistently better at what it
does and also be able to do a lot more.
There is talk of uploading the barcode
system so all supermarket products
will be recognised. The facility
exists at the moment, it just lacks the
database. But the device can be taught
to recognise different products – for
example, distinguish between different
medicines in the home. It can also
recognise different colours, although
Paull’s attempt to get MyEye to
recognise a black area ends in failure.
However it does recognise various
denomination bank notes, which
Bowes told me she appreciates on her
trips across the border to the Republic
of Ireland where the local currency
– euros – are all the same size. There
are many other practical applications
that the company is working on too.
MyEye is not, as Paull emphasises, a
cure for blindness but it is an aid for
the blind that could, in time, make a
comprehensive difference.
“The path to get there is a long, long
way,” says Paull. “It’s built with very
minor steps. The kind of things you
will see in the coming year or so would
be things like the ability to recognise a
doorway or stairs. Greater capabilities
in terms of object recognition. And,
eventually, a tie-in with GPS and other
environmental sensors. It’s going to
take time.”
Of course it’s conceivable at some
point in the future that artificial
intelligence, computer vision and
medical science will have progressed
to a stage that may result in a synthesis
of the technologies, creating some kind
of alternative “sight” for the blind.
That’s in the realm of science fiction
at the moment. But so were pocket
global communication devices back in
the 1970s.
But at the moment, says Bowes,
“The OrCam has opened up a whole
new world.”
I ask her what development she
would most like to see in the next
few years. Without hesitation the
piano teacher says: “Something that
could read music. That would just
be fantastic.”
Above: OrCam
MyEye, which
reads text and
can recognise
people and
objects. OrCam
ALL IT’S
CRACKED
UP TO BE
Henk Jonkers of
Delft University
of Technology in
the Netherlands
has created a
concrete than
can repair its
own cracks. The
“bio-concrete”
mends itself
with a bacterial
healing agent.
THE ROMANS
GOT THERE
FIRST
The US
Department of
Energy has been
studying Roman
concrete made
from volcanic
ash, lime and
seawater to
learn about
manufacturing
techniques
that have less
impact on the
environment
than modern
methods.
THE NETWORKER
John Naughton
Trump’s retweets and
the value of a scandal
I
n the 1930s, a maverick young
journalist named Claud Cockburn
resigned from the Times and,
with £40 borrowed from an
Oxford friend, bought a mimeograph
machine (a low-cost duplicating
machine that worked by forcing ink
though a stencil on to paper). With it
he set up the Week, a weekly newsletter
available by subscription in which
Cockburn printed news and gossip
that came to him from his diverse
group of contacts in both the British
and German establishments.
From the beginning the Week
printed stuff that the mainstream
newspapers wouldn’t touch because
of fears of running foul of the Official
Secrets Act, the libel laws or the
political establishment. Cockburn,
having few assets and a rackety
lifestyle, proceeded as if none of this
applied to him. But people in the
know – the third secretaries of foreign
embassies, for example, or City bankers
– quickly recognised the value of the
Week (for the same reasons as they
now read Private Eye). Nevertheless
the circulation of Cockburn’s scandal
sheet remained confined to this small
elite circle – and its finances were
correspondingly dodgy.
And then one day everything
changed. In July 1933 the British
government, with Ramsay MacDonald
as prime minister, hosted the London
Economic Conference to discuss
ways of lifting the world out of the
great depression. The conference was
a dead loss, but the official spin put
on its dismal performance was that
“useful spadework” was being done.
Cockburn produced a special edition
of the Week devoted to the conference,
reporting what was being said sotto voce
by the delegates. The only spadework
being done at the event, he opined, was
that of gravediggers. On the day this
appeared, the prime minister, white
with fury, convened a special press
conference. He railed at the plotting and
conspiracies that were undermining
the important work of the conference
and held up a copy of the Week as an
example of the kind of filth he had in
mind. From that moment onwards,
the financial troubles of the Week were
over. Suddenly, everyone wanted to
become a subscriber.
What brought this to mind was
the Twitter-induced disruption in
the “special relationship” between
Claud Cockburn with his wife Patricia in
1968: his newsletter the Week thrived
after being decried by Ramsay MacDonald.
Victor Drees/Getty Images
Theresa May and Donald Trump, the
unexpected beneficiary of which was
one Jayda Fransen and her Britain First
organisation. Until the other day, few
had ever heard of her. But then Trump
retweeted links to three anti-Muslim
videos that she had posted to YouTube
and – bingo! – she and her little group
were world famous. Trump, after all,
has 44 million followers. “GOD BLESS
YOU TRUMP!” she tweeted.
So suddenly Britain First is a big
deal? Er, no. One source estimates its
membership at around a thousand.
Ms Fransen was arrested last month
for alleged public order offences she
committed at a rally in Belfast in August,
where she addressed an estimated
audience of 50 people. When she stood
for parliament for Rochester and Strood
in 2014 she received precisely 56 votes.
When her colleague Paul Golding
stood for mayor of London, he received
1.2% of the vote, compared to Sadiq
Khan’s 44%. And Britain First seems
to be a bureaucratically challenged
organisation. It was deregistered
by the Electoral Commission
recently for failing to confirm that its
registered details were correct and
neglecting to pay a routine fee of £25
– which means that it cannot now put
candidates on ballot papers under
the name Britain First.
In the real, physical, world,
therefore, Britain First looks like pretty
small beer. In the realm of electoral
politics it’s clearly a minority player.
On Twitter, however, it has 27,200
followers – which sounds like a lot
until you realise that the Women’s
Institute has 33,500, the Church of
England has 74,000 and the National
Trust has 772,000.
And yet, as a result of Trump’s
retweeting, millions of people probably
think that Britain First is a power in
the land. Which provides a powerful
illustration of the extent to which
social media now distort the public
sphere. Many years ago, the political
philosopher Steven Lukes said that
power comes in three varieties: the
capacity to force people to do what
they don’t want to do; the ability to
stop them doing what they want to
do; and, finally, the power to shape
the way they think. This little episode
suggests that outfits like Twitter
have acquired that third capacity –
something that Trump intuitively
understood from the beginning.
Claud Cockburn died in 1981 but I
was lucky enough to have known him
when I was an undergraduate. Once, he
asked me what I was going to do after
graduation. I said that I was thinking
about journalism. “Well then,” he said,
“remember that the key to success is
to libel someone famous early in your
career.” He knew about network effects
before I did. Hopefully, Theresa May
also now knows about them too.
B E TA T E ST I N G : I N N OVAT I O N S I N S P E C T E D
#76 KARDIA BAND
What is it?
A strap for an Apple
Watch that can take an
electrocardiogram and warn
the user about heart issues
such as atrial fibrillation.
WOOD YOU
BELIEVE IT?
Swiss
researchers
have created
a concrete
made mostly
from wood – a
material that is
half the weight
but retains its
strength.
Ian Tucker
Good points
Cleared by the FDA, it can
give a continuous evaluation
of the user’s heart rather
than a one-off reading taken
in a clinical setting.
Bad points
Only available to Apple
Watch users at present.
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
21
Section:OBS RW PaGe:22 Edition Date:171203 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 1/12/2017 16:55
Critics
cYanmaGentaYellowblack
F I L M | T V | R A D I O | M U S I C | T H E AT R E | D A N C E
Clockwise from top left: Ray’s Yellow Plane (Film Notes), 2013 by Rose Wylie, ‘soaring down an unprimed canvas’; the ‘jubilant and preposterous’ Pink Skater (Will I Win, Will I Win), 2015; and Park Bench (the Migrant), 2017. © Rose Wylie,
Child’s play with a worldly-wise
Wartime planes, bathtime ducks, a pineapple and Elizabeth I are equally monumental in the huge, unfettered
Laura
Cumming
@LauraCummingArt
rt
Rose Wylie: Quack Quack
Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London W2;
until 11 Feb
Grand, ungainly and defiantly young
– this is the art of Rose Wylie. It is a
strange and anomalous combination,
especially since she is now 83. Looking
at her enormous canvases, which
might show a park bench, a film star
surrounded by flying ears or a biscuit
on its way into someone’s open mouth,
you reel at the sheer directness of
the painting, presented with all the
primitive force of a child’s drawing.
Her works are crude and joyous, and
as awkward as she wants them to be.
They are also catnip for collectors,
critics and students alike. Wylie found
fame late, winning the Paul Hamlyn,
Charles Wollaston and John Moores
22
prizes for painting in her 70s and
80s. Born in Kent, where she still
lives, her career was interrupted by
motherhood for many years, and
she only completed her MA at the
age of 47. The earliest work in this
retrospective dates only as far back
as 1997 – a yellow bird peering out
of some clumsily painted branches,
but at just the right angle to show its
fledgling wariness – and her style has
scarcely changed ever since.
Ray’s Yellow Plane shows a sunbright aircraft soaring down an
unprimed canvas, yellow and orange
paint pressed hard into the fabric
and so thick you could practically
lift the plane off the surface. Pink
Skater presents a woman in sugarpink costume, orange stars bursting
all around her, held in a leap so
expansive it straddles two canvases.
Her frozen smile echoes the thought
bubble Will I Win, running like a
newsflash below. It is a jubilant and
preposterous scenario.
Here and there, Wylie has added a
bit more canvas or watercolour paper
at the last minute, hastily improvising
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
as she goes. The pictures carry drips
and globs, as if worked on the floor
and then upended. You can see where
the heavily laden brush eventually
runs out, or where a whole paint
tube has been squeezed on to the
surface and worked like wet plaster
across the surface. The subject matter
might seem modest – a pineapple,
two flowers – but the monumental
materiality of the paint slows it all
down. They are like rapid observations
writ large.
Or perhaps they are recollections.
For the Serpentine Sackler Gallery,
Wylie has painted memories of
Kensington Gardens during the
blitz, featuring this very building.
Dogs scramble merrily about in the
gloaming beneath whirring German
Her works are crude
and joyous, and as
awkward as she wants
them to be. They are
catnip for collectors
planes. Two yellow ducks, straight out
of a bath, stand in for the local fowl.
This a seven-year-old’s vision of the
park, curious and without any fear.
The painting is gleefully coarse.
Like the huge man with his knees
carelessly splayed, dwarfing the park
bench on which he sits; or the winedark sky, a banana moon hanging
above another wonky bench in bright
green. Pick your own colour, runs the
wording below, as if everything could
be readily changed. Spontaneity is
crucial to her look.
And the look trips you up every
time. It carries the image with
outright candour (and the influences
too: Wylie’s admiration for Philip
Guston and the neo-expressionists
is openly declared), and then it asks
you to consider why on earth she
would choose to paint like this. These
pictures are not quite cartoons,
although they deploy the language of
caricature – explosion marks, tiny legs
and big heads, and so on – and nor are
they knowing pastiches of children’s
art. There is huge relish in the jaunty
outlines, the exhilaration of colour
and the material characteristics of
paint. They allow Wylie, at best, a kind
of laconically humorous timing.
A two-picture sequence shows
an acorn on one side and a jay on
the other, trying desperately to
force his beak into the next frame,
as if it actually contained food. The
tightrope balanced by an acrobat
with a tiny pursed mouth really is
tight, barely a couple of inches wide.
There is the queer intimation of a
clock in the dragonfly’s head, as if
measuring his one precious day of
life. Comparatively small, and in
watercolour, these paintings are
epigrammatic where the biggest
friezes are not. The comedy of her art
has at least something to do with the
balance between scale and content.
The curators of this show are
putting considerable emphasis on
Wylie’s film paintings, based on
scenes from particular movies, and
on the cinematic aspects of her
art, which aren’t obvious to me.
Certainly there are focus pulls; two
pictures show a pink-draped table
in a desert, in closeup and then at
Mit
Mitsuko
Uchida
At tthe Royal
Festival Hall
Fes
page 27
pag
GAMES
When City of
Heroes, left,
was shut down
in 2012, gamers
gathered in
their thousands
in the virtual
city square
in protest.
It’s the end of the world…
Where do virtual
worlds go to die?
Defunct games leave
players bereft and
historians stumped
Simon
Parkin
@SimonParkin
courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, London; courtesy of Edwin Oostmeijer
e twist
d canvases of Rose Wylie
distance, in a kind of comic jump. But
it feels quite irrelevant that the film
is Syriana, or that it stars George
Clooney, as inscribed in wobbly block
capitals below.
Nor is it quite clear – visually or
intellectually – what drew Wylie to
paint a frame from Kill Bill, or a vast
frieze of caryatids in red dresses,
except that a note scribbled on the
canvas refers to the Cannes premiere
of The Paperboy, notoriously booed, at
which Nicole Kidman wore red.
What engaged Wylie doesn’t emerge
in these works. The subject matter
hasn’t become entirely her own. Look
instead at the abrupt and outlandish
painting of Elizabeth I, based on
Marcus Gheeraerts’ famous “Ditchley
portrait”. Wylie gives Gloriana a
head like a ginger lightbulb, briskly
apt, and surrounds her with
some humble pansies, yellow and
purple, enlarged until they become
almost overpoweringly heraldic.
The juxtaposition is so sudden it
becomes comic; like many kinds of
humour, however, it doesn’t bear too
much analysis.
THREE MORE
TO SEE…
Dalí/Duchamp
Royal Academy,
London; until 3 Jan
Oddest art
bromance: the
relationship
between the
surrealist and
the conceptualist
narrated in
art works and
photographs.
Scythians
British Museum,
London; until 14 Jan
Artefacts long
preserved in the
Siberian ice reveal
the richness of
Scythian warrior
culture.
Imagining the
Divine: Art and
the Rise of
World Religions
Ashmolean
Museum, Oxford;
until 18 Feb
Massive exhibition
tracing the rise
of Judaism,
Christianity,
Islam, Hinduism
and Buddhism in
fabulous images,
scrolls, statues,
coins and even
sarcophagi.
In times like these the anxious among
us are spoiled for choice when it comes
to imagining fitful scenarios of how
the world might end. Will we expire
in a plume of nuclear smoke, or under
a sloshing tide? Will the intricate
machinery that stocks supermarket
shelves and hospital pharmacies fail
in the hazy chaos of a pandemic, or a
genocide of bees?
It’s truly a golden age for apocalyptic
dreamers and fretters. While doom
impends our world, it has already
visited scores of virtual ones, all of
which die in the same way: their
servers are taken offline. Demon’s Souls,
the 2009 opus by Japanese video game
auteur Hidetaka Miyazaki, is the latest
game world scheduled to die. Sony, its
publisher, announced last week that
it will be taken offline. In the Mayan
style, the date for the end of the world
has been set: February. The game will
still work, but in diminished form:
the tens of thousands of helpful or
misleading messages that players have
scrawled into its fantastical landscapes
will, in an instant, disappear.
Video game apocalypses have,
since the rise of the internet, become
almost commonplace. More than 50
online worlds have closed since the
mid-1990s, usually in response to
dwindling populations of players who,
through inactivity, render the project
commercially unviable.
The earliest examples closed
without ceremony, but developers
soon found that this kind of sudden
and unexpected conclusion caused a
kind of trauma for the remainers – they
realised that it was better to end with a
bang than a whimper.
More recently, the game’s designers
have usually folded the end of the
world into their fiction. When Rubies
of Eventide closed down in 2009, for
example, its creators set fire to the
capital city, a blaze that took every
player down with it. That same year
Tabula Rasa closed when an alien
species invaded. When Star Wars
Galaxies closed in 2011, the ending
was marked with wonder, rather than
violence: in the last few hours the
skies flickered with a firework display
set to mournful music, a swansong for
digital existence.
Sometimes, when the game’s
developers fail to put on a closing
ceremony, the players mark the end
of the world themselves. In City
of Heroes, which closed in 2012,
thousands of players gathered in
the capital city’s square, clutching
flaming torches and protest signs while
listening to the final broadcast of the
game’s player-run radio station.
Dr Henry Lowood, curator of
History of Science and Technology
Collections for Stanford University
Libraries, was present when publisher
EA switched off the servers for
The Sims Online in 2008. He watched
its world’s trees and structures pop
from existence. At the time, Lowood
described the scene as like seeing “a
tidal wave or an earthquake wiping out
a town”.
The passing of a virtual world
presents a unique challenge to the
documentarians of our nascent
digital culture. Even offline video
games can be difficult to preserve,
requiring, as they do, specific and
outdated hardware to run. How do the
historians capture for posterity online
worlds that constantly change, evolve
and then disappear?
Weirdly, the kind of oral tradition
that preserved the tales of antiquity
has re-emerged, capturing fragments
of evidence and experience in blog
posts, radio programmes and YouTube
clips. Unlike an old film, which can be
revisited time and again in its original
form, even after its actors and makers
have all died and its sets long been
demolished, an expired video game
world is gone for ever, and certainly
in the form in which it was first
experienced by its inhabitants.
You’ve
given your
daughter
every
reason to
believe
that only
physical
perfection
is of any
worth
Agony aunt
Mariella
Frostrup
Observer
Magazine
page 86
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
23
Film
FILM OF THE WEEK
A turkey that
deserves to
be reheated
James Franco’s meticulous retelling of the
making of ‘the greatest bad movie ever’
is a tragicomic tour de force
Mark
Kermode
@KermodeMovie
The Disaster Artist
(103 mins, 15) Directed by James Franco;
starring James Franco, Dave Franco,
Seth Rogen
As with Meryl Streep in Florence Foster
Jenkins, James Franco hits all the right
wrong notes in this hugely entertaining,
true-life tale of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003
“disasterpiece” film The Room. Like
Wiseau himself, Franco produces,
directs and stars in his magnum opus,
recreating the chaotic production of an
unintentional comedy that has earned
Rocky Horror-style cult status as “the
greatest bad movie ever made”.
Dave Franco plays model/actor
Greg Sestero, upon whose memoir
(co-written with Tom Bissell) the
sharp screenplay by Scott Neustadter
and Michael H Weber is based. We
first meet Greg in San Francisco,
1998, sleepwalking through a stilted
scene from Waiting for Godot. Enter
Tommy (played by James, Dave’s
older brother), a whirling dervish
of dyed hair, questionable age and
bizarre, consonant-obliterating
accent (“Wha accenn?”). Part pirate,
part vampire, Tommy turns a single
word from A Streetcar Named Desire
(“Stellaaaaarghh!”) into a piece of
writhing performance art – terrible,
yet fearless. Bewitched, Greg hitches
his wagon to Tommy’s star and
the pair move to LA, dreaming of
greatness. But when “Hollywood reject
us, we do it on our own” – and the
mysteriously wealthy Wiseau decides
to mount his own cinematic epic, to
the bewilderment of script supervisor
Sandy Schklair (Seth Rogen) who
wonders if Tommy has ever seen a
movie, let alone made one.
Like Tim Burton’s wonderful
Ed Wood, James Franco’s affectionate
behind-the-scenes farce stands or
falls on its ability to convince us that
its subject is more than merely a
terrible film-maker. Just as Johnny
Depp portrayed Edward D Wood Jr
as a movie lover who genuinely
believed in trashploitation weirdies
such as Glen or Glenda and Bride of the
Monster, so Franco’s Tommy fondly
imagines The Room to be “a Tennessee
Williams-level drama” full of universal
truths about “human behaviour, love,
betrayal” and how “people are so
strange these days”. A scene in The
Disaster Artist in which Wiseau and
Sestero find spiritual inspiration at the
site of James Dean’s fatal crash (“We’ll
be famous, we’ll show them!”) recalls
Burton’s imagined encounter between
Ed Wood and Orson Welles during the
filming of Plan 9 From Outer Space, an
‘A whirling dervish of dyed hair,
questionable age and bizarre accent’:
James Franco as Tommy Wiseau in
The Disaster Artist. Warner Bros
Increasingly absurd
documentary-style
intertitles remind us
that you really couldn’t
make this stuff up
earlier contender for the “worst film
of all time” title. “This is the one I’ll
be remembered for!” says Ed at the
premiere of Plan 9, a line that could
easily have been uttered by Tommy as
The Room starts to roll.
“You have a malevolent presence,”
observes Tommy’s Stanislavskian acting
teacher, suggesting that this wannabe
“all-American hero” (Wiseau insists
he’s from New Orleans) should play
“villains” such as Dracula, Frankenstein
or Caliban. Once his movie gets under
way, Tommy does indeed show a
monstrous side; a scene in which he
mistreats The Room’s co-star Juliette
Danielle (Ari Graynor) during an
infamously excruciating sex scene
is ghoulishly uncomfortable. (“Was
Stanley Kubrick nice to actors?” he
rants. “Or Hitchcock?!”) Franco knows
well just how cruelly manipulative
film-makers can be, having selfreflexively explored that very theme
in 2013’s Interior. Leather Bar, which
restaged censored footage from
William Friedkin’s Cruising in playfully
exploitative postmodern fashion.
Yet for all his megalomaniacal
madness, Tommy emerges from The
Disaster Artist as less of a dictator than
a dreamer. There’s an acknowledged
homoerotic edge to his relationship
with Greg, whom Tommy calls
“babyface”, to the alarm of Greg’s mum
(Megan Mullally). “I want you to be
my guest,” Tommy teasingly tells his
new best friend as he moves into his
AND THE REST
Simran
Hans
@heavier_things
Happy End
(108 mins, 15) Directed by Michael Haneke;
starring Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis
Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Fantine Harduin
Michael Haneke’s new film gleams
with cold gallows humour. There’s
blunt, rasping comedy to be found
in its thematic grimness (Happy End
might also be titled Death Wish),
though the Austrian director’s bleak
worldview won’t be to everyone’s taste.
The plot begins with 13 year-old Eve
Laurent (Fantine Harduin), who is
forced to stay with her father, Thomas
(Mathieu Kassovitz), in Calais with his
new wife and their young child after
her mother overdoses. Also living in
the Laurent family home is Thomas’s
sister, severe real estate developer
Anne (Isabelle Huppert), and their
depressed father, Georges (Jean-Louis
Trintignant of Haneke’s Amour),
who at a robust 84 is “too healthy”
to qualify for the assisted suicide he
seeks, and so must make alternative
arrangements. Eve moves quietly,
watching the adults around her.
One of the most interesting things
about Happy End is the way Haneke’s
24
camera captures the act of watching;
always interested in technology and
surveillance, here he often favours
fixed perspectives, trailing his
characters over the shoulder or looking
with detachment from an unmoving
vantage point. A fist-fight plays out
from a voyeuristic, clinical remove,
while the film’s opening takes place
via a series of darkly funny Snapchatstyle videos. Eve discovers her father’s
laptop and a series of sexually explicit
messages on a Facebook-style website.
It’s pretty upsetting stuff, but we’re
encouraged to laugh, and to see the
Laurents as a parody of bourgeois
selfishness (Haneke inserts BBC News
footage to highlight how glaringly
unaware the family are of the refugee
crisis taking place on their doorstep).
There are some brilliantly zany comic
moments too; an interpretive dance
sequence set to Sia’s Chandelier,
Huppert’s Anne dislocating
somebody’s finger, and a magnificent
final set piece filmed on an iPhone.
Wonder
(113 mins, PG) Directed by Stephen Chbosky;
starring Jacob Tremblay, Izabela Vidovic,
Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson
Room’s Jacob Tremblay stars as Auggie,
an unspeakably cute, indelibly clever
10-year-old with a facial disfigurement,
in this adaptation of RJ Palacio’s 2012
novel. Homeschooled up until this point,
his parents (Julia Roberts and Owen
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
The Man Who Invented
Christmas
(104 mins, PG) Directed by Bharat Nalluri;
starring Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer
‘Gleaming with cold gallows humour’: Michael Haneke’s Happy End. Alamy
Wilson) decide to send him to middle
school, where he is speedily eviscerated
by a pack of pre-teen bullies led by
smooth-talking trust fund kid Julian
(Bryce Gheisar). It’s hard not to feel a
lump rising in the throat when Auggie
cries “Why do I have to be so ugly!” in
response to the casual cruelty of his
classmates, who christen him “Barf
Hideous” (an unfortunate pun on Star
Wars’ Darth Sidious) on his first day.
But writer-director Stephen Chbosky
(The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
doesn’t spend too much time letting his
squeaky-voiced hero wallow, gifting
him with several new best friends: the
puppyish Jack Will (Noah Jupe) and
the brightly optimistic Summer (Millie
Davis), whose combined kindness
helps Auggie to bloom.
It’s a little mawkish, but Chbosky,
a YA institution himself, has a gift for
understanding young people and the
nuances of their relationships. This is
drawn out in the performances from
the child actors, but also in a storyline
involving Auggie’s older sister, Via
(Izabela Vidovic), an introverted
wallflower who gracefully accepts
that Auggie is the sun that her family
orbits around but secretly, desperately
craves validation from her parents.
Organising the narrative into chapters
that move between the points of view
of several of the young characters helps
to flesh out their particularities.
This bland, needless retelling of the story
behind Charles Dickens’s A Christmas
Carol is too wrapped up in the banal
intricacies of London’s publishing world
to entertain children, and too desperately
twee to entertain their parents. Downton
Abbey’s Dan Stevens works hard to
enliven his Dickens and brings a certain
energy to the role, but the character
lacks specificity. Here, Dickens is a
cliched sketch of threadbare literary
tropes (manic writer genius with daddy
issues and class anxieties). There are a
few bright spots, such as Christopher
Plummer’s Scrooge, but with its
too-bright visuals and laboured dialogue,
at best, the film belongs on television.
Lu Over the Wall
(112 mins, PG) Directed by Masaaki Yuasa;
starring Kanon Tani, Shôta Shimoda,
Shin’ichi Shinohara
This overlong musical animated feature
from TV anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa
centres around 14-year-old Kai (Shôta
Shimoda), a music nerd and city kid who
joins a rock band with his new
classmates after moving to the Japanese
fishing town of Hinashi. The band meet
an adorable, jelly-faced mermaid named
Lu (Kanon Tani) who is drawn to their
human music, and feared by the local
DVDS & DOWNLOADS
Fruity fun
with friends
reunited
Guy
Lodge
@GuyLodge
LA apartment, “like Beauty and the
Beast. I’m Beauty. Aha ha ha ha”. When
Greg brings home new girlfriend
Amber (Alison Brie), Tommy reacts
like a petulant spurned lover. More
touchingly, when Greg mentions that
watching Home Alone changed his life,
Tommy replies: “I was home alone
too… in real life.”
That whiff of tragedy is essential
to The Disaster Artist, but, as with
The Room, it’s the sound of laughter
that triumphs. The endless retakes of
Tommy’s infamous “I did not hit her!”
speech (his first day on camera) are
replayed with note-perfect timing,
rivalling the sublime “Would that it
were so simple” routine from the Coen
brothers’ Hail, Caesar! Meanwhile,
increasingly absurd documentarystyle intertitles (“Shoot day 58 of 40”)
remind us that you really couldn’t
make this stuff up.
Fleeting turns from the glitterati
likes of Sharon Stone, Zac Efron,
Melanie Griffith and Bryan Cranston
indicate just how much The Room has
been absorbed into popular Hollywood
folklore. But the killer cameo comes
after the credits, to be seen only by
those diehard enthusiasts who stay
till the very end. For a movie about
a cult favourite that owes its second
life to a devoted audience, it seems
wholly appropriate to save the best for
the true cinephiles.
people. It’s a little shouty (musical
numbers notwithstanding), but there’s
lots to admire about Yuasa’s style, which
is flat and free-form, with loose lines and
a curvy, cartoonish, distinctly 2D quality
reminiscent of the animation that
emerged from the 1920s and 30s (and
also, in one surreal scene at the end of
the film, late-period Matisse).
one’s 20s. The leads, Johnny Flynn
(best known as the lead in Netflix show
Lovesick) and Lydia Wilson (Star Trek:
Beyond) have chemistry, and I’m not
one to bat away an attempt to revive a
genre that was once a stalwart of the
British film industry, but ultimately, the
stakes of their relationship are too low
to create any real dramatic fizz.
Love Is Thicker Than Water
(105 mins, 15) Directed by Ate de Jong and
Emily Harris; starring Johnny Flynn,
Lydia Wilson, Juliet Stevenson
A British romantic
comedy written and
co-directed by Ate
de Jong, the Dutch
film-maker behind
cult children’s
comedy Drop Dead
Fred? I’m interested.
Sadly, Love Is Thicker
Than Water is nowhere
near as gleefully wacky nor
as playfully anarchic as de Jong’s
1991 film. He’s a Welsh, working-class
bike courier; she’s a dairy-free cellist
with her own flat, courtesy of her posh
Jewish family. They fall in love, move
in, and, unsurprisingly, find it difficult
to integrate into each other’s radically
different families. It feels like two
films stitched together; one half is an
affected, desperately quaint love story,
the other a darker, more interesting
look at sudden loss as experienced in
The Disaster Artist opens on Wednesday
As the end of the year approaches and
the list-making season begins, I’ve been
asked by various editors to suggest the
year’s best moments at the movies:
the individual scenes, shots or lines
that stick in the memory and make for
neat year-in-film montages. It’s the
kind of polling in which the eminently
lovable Girls Trip (Universal, 15) is
destined to shine.
Taken as a whole, I’d struggle to
name Malcolm D Lee’s raw, ribald,
technically ropey female-bonding
comedy among the year’s greatest
cinematic achievements. For cut-outand-keep moments, however, it’s a
veritable bonanza. Nary a day in the
past four months has gone by without
me thinking of either Tiffany Haddish’s
vigorous demonstration of sexual
“grapefruiting”, a panicked, fullbladdered Jada Pinkett Smith
suspended on a zipline, Regina
Hall turning a genteel cooking
demonstration into a phallic revenge
act, or the entire group nailing surely
the most ferocious, absinthe-enabled
dance-off in screen history.
In my mind, these golden, bigswinging flashes of brilliance swamp
the rather indifferent narrative – about
four old, semi-estranged friends trying
to rekindle the girl power on a dirty
weekend in New Orleans – that binds
them, which is fine. The buzzing
chemistry and camaraderie between
its stars remains. Revisiting it on DVD
was a swings and roundabouts affair.
Couch viewing is kinder to its plodding
structure and daytime telly lighting,
though I missed the elated crowd
response to a film that plays raucously
to the gallery.
Women kick arse in more literal but
no less exhilarating fashion in Atomic
Blonde (Universal, 15), a cold war
punch-’em-up set around the fall of the
Berlin Wall. Coolly led
by Charlize Theron’s
inscrutable MI6 agent
(right), it’s the kind
of espionage tale that
almost crosses and
double-crosses itself
into plotty oblivion; the
energy comes from the
aesthetic and attitude of it all.
Honouring the film’s graphic
novel origins with popping
compositions and razor-sharp visual
contrasts (all Marvel directors should
take notes), David Leitch blends slower
exposition and breathless action
like a DJ working a club floor. One
pummelling real-time fight scene, in
which the spectacular Theron sees
off a squad of KGB heavies to the
inspired accompaniment of George
Michael’s Father Figure, leaves you
almost as winded as her victims. In
its laser-focused attachment to an
ice-hard action hero, the film pairs up
rather well with the skin and chrome
spectacle of Terminator 2: Judgment Day
(Studiocanal, 15). Now given swanky
new Blu-ray treatment with a 3D
option, it looks more gleamingly new
than many a 2017 sci-fi blockbuster.
Captain Underpants (Fox, U) is a
strangely unruly surprise from the
usually regimented realm of bigstudio kids’ animation. DreamWorks’
latest DayGlo escapade, scurrying
after two elementary schoolboys as
they cause classroom havoc, gallops
along with a healthy spirit of anarchic
pranksterism, its wayward, anything
goes storytelling evening out the
predictability of its fart jokes.
The laugh rate is exactly
what you expect in England Is
Mine (Entertainment One, 15), a
suitably dour but
disappointingly
standard-issue
biopic of young
Morrissey. British
rock fans seeking a
dishwatery double
feature should feel
free to pair it up with
On the Road (Screenbound,
15), Michael Winterbottom’s
frustratingly formless faux-doc about
two roadies getting it on over the
course of a Wolf Alice tour. If it’s just
the music you care about, skip over
them to Power to the People: British
Music Videos 1966-2016 (Thunderbird,
12), a self-explanatory but pretty
special omnibus of the modern
art form, rescuing the best clips of
everyone from the Cure to FKA twigs
from the low-res wilds of YouTube.
The week’s great musicophile treat,
however, is one of the year’s great
documentaries, full stop. Bypassing
UK cinemas, Kasper Collin’s shivery,
soul-sick I Called Him Morgan has
surfaced on Netflix, where it begs
to be discovered and held achingly
dear by those on its wavelength. It’s
a rich, misty elegy for the late bop
trumpeter Lee Morgan, killed in tragic
circumstances, to which Collin tensely,
patiently builds, as well as for the
pulsing, whisky-dipped jazz scene of
mid-century Manhattan. The music’s a
dream, but the film lingers for the ways
in which it evokes Morgan’s life and
legacy too. Genius cinematographer
Bradford Young, best known for his
Ava DuVernay collaborations, shoots
it like a smoky, kind-of-blue valentine
to a time that recordings, however
crisply and digitally preserved, can’t
quite convey.
‘Eminently lovable’: Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah
in Girls Trip. Short/Universal/Red/Shutterstock
Dolores
(96 mins, PG) Directed by Peter Bratt;
starring Dolores Huerta
Barack Obama’s
campaign catchphrase
“Yes, we can” is an
English translation
of the Spanish “Si,
se puede”, a phrase
attributed to American
labour and civil
rights activist César
Chávez. In fact, it was
coined by Dolores Huerta
(above), the subject of Peter
Bratt’s essential documentary. A
luminous, charismatic and principled
mother of 11, she embedded herself
in farming communities, advocating
and fighting for worker’s rights and
insisting that “labour movements
are social movements”. The film
doesn’t exactly reinvent the form,
though it does attempt to reconfigure
history by writing Huerta back into
it, acknowledging that women are
often written out.
Only when
its fat is
singing
loudly
in the
pan do I
marinate
it with red
wine, garlic
and woody
sticks of
rosemary
Nigel Slater’s
beef short ribs
Observer
Magazine
page 64
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
25
TV + Radio
At home with guys and dolls
From therapists to lovers, robots were everywhere, while a tremendous western began all guns blazing
Euan
Ferguson
alive.” Actually, no. She’s not. Your
bad. Cripplingly saddening.
In Can We Live With Robots?, star
choreographer Akram Khan not only
created an enthralling dance around
the whole question but, voyaging
from Silicon Valley to the slopes of
Fuji, asked gleefully pertinent ones
of his own. “Why should I like robots
giving me more leisure time: I want to
feel I’ve earned that by doing things I
didn’t want to do. Are we just trying to
connect with robots ’cos connecting
with humans is so difficult?” His
conclusion, with towering wisdom,
was “robots remind us of what it means
to be human”. The final dance was one
of sly and empathetic genius.
An interesting week, C4, but if it’s
persuaded me of anything it’s that
“sentient” robots are no more just
around the corner than they were
in the very early days of Tomorrow’s
World or The Jetsons. While there are
hugely valid concerns over (human)
bosses’ outsourcing of drudgery,
and algorithm-bots sabotaging what
are still the deeply early days of the
internet, robots are still as far from
genuine empathy, creativity, soul or
consciousness as the diodes – or latex,
or dentures, or motherboards – into
which they are pliered or screwed so
very prosaically.
Godless has been shamelessly
marketed as “the first feminist
western”. With huge respect to all
my great friends in the marketing
industries – count them: none
– this is a crock of drying
buffalo kaka. What it
is is a tremendous
western, sprawled
manspreadingly over
seven episodes, telling
some long-buried
truths to America.
Yes, it’s set sometimes
in 1884’s La Belle, a (real)
New Mexican town in
which a mining accident has
left all women widowed, and
there are stirring and standout roles for
Michelle Dockery and Merritt Wever.
Yet all the main action belongs to Jeff
Daniels, as gruff one-armed psycho
Griffin, Jack O’Connell as his nemesis,
Roy Goode, and hotshot deputy Whitey
Winn (this is not so much a spoiler as
a danger-of-feeling-old alert: Winn is
played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster,
sweet young Sam in Love Actually).
And, yes, we get all the classic standoffs
– farm shoot-out, town shoot-out,
rattlesnakes and dust and dead hosses,
tin stars and cheaper hearts – but
also much conflicted ethics from the
villains, kinder to every dirt-devil
soul than the capitalists who actually
stole the west. Unrelentingly brilliant.
Shot for cinema, which makes for
yearningly wide skies but also means
you get to see the real, true, godless
mess that bullets make and question
almost every western, and its morals,
ever seen. Immersive, satisfying.
What fun was BBC Three’s new
comedy Chinese Burn, a talented
attempt to redefine the lives of young
Chinese girls, in London, in the 21st
century: gone are the subservient little
maidens of old, replaced (naturally)
with the sexy one, the geeky one,
the rich, spoilt one. Never less than
passionate, it still varies wildly in
its successful nailing of targets, but
does hit more than it misses, chiefly
by confronting our own appalling
stereotyping with wit, gumption
and intelligence.
Witnesses: A Frozen Death, which
began last weekend and gave us
another enthralling couple of hours
last night, is the follow-up to the 2015
series, similarly with French subtitling
and set on the chill and raw-boned
Normandy coast.
Fifteen unconnected men dressed
as wedding guests, frozen to death, in a
bus. Marie Dompnier as the returning
maverick detective does, admittedly,
wear a groovy leather jacket, drive
a winsomely beat-up bronze Opel
Rekord, and is raising (single-handedly,
naturally) a daughter with “issues”…
so far, so paint-by-numbers
oddbod cop. Yet as the series
progresses it turns out
to be so much more;
becomes something
rather special indeed.
OK, there’s the near
mandatory abandoned
orphanage, all rusting
beds and squeaky pram
wheels, though this one’s
on the spookily glorious
Mount St Michel; and some
hokum about minotaurs, and
some angry French poetry; but also
much tenderness, and fine acting,
from Dompnier and Audrey Fleurot
(Spiral), the amnesiac mother with
whom she eventually bonds. A wholly
worthy successor to any Saturdaynight Scandidrama, though (sigh) still
a preponderance for too many bodies
of abducted and abused girls being dug
from shallow graves.
Knight and Ripley’s winklemanning
lessens during the series, though it does
pop up again in episode four (Oops!
My bike has a flat tyre! Oops! My hair’s
all wet and I’ve got to interview David
Attenborough now! Stop it).
Each podcast is about the TV show
that immediately precedes it, talking
to the programme’s makers, explaining
the thinking behind the research, the
filming, the editing, the narration. Over
the weeks these build up into a showby-show “how to make natural history
TV” masterclass. They also highlight
just how groundbreaking many of the
stories are: no one has ever filmed the
giant trevally fish leaping out of the
sea to catch flying terns before, nor
the grouper standing on its head to
tell an octopus where other, snackable,
fish are hiding, nor a male clown fish
moving sea detritus into the fronds of
an anemone so the female can lay her
eggs. None of these natural phenomena
was known for sure before the Blue
Planet II team filmed it happening.
Don’t let Knight and Ripley’s
winklemanning fool you into thinking
that they are anything other than
brilliantly professional, as is everyone
involved with the wonderful, worldbeating – no, world-representing – Blue
Planet II project.
A much more modest but no less
expert podcast series is the threeepisode-long In Search of the Invisible
Army. This follows the hidden world of
carers, those people who gradually, or
suddenly, find themselves thrust into
the role of medical help, legal expert,
social worker, encouraging friend
when a loved one’s health deteriorates.
Paul Eccles got some lovely
interviews with real-life carers in tricky
situations. Episode one opens with
childless nearly ninetysomethings Iris
and Ivan, “50 years together and never
a cross word”, who want to care for
each other in their own home but need
support – and the whole series gave an
insight into what we can all expect to be
doing for at least part of our lives.
“At some point,” said Anil Patil, CEO
of Carers Worldwide, “either we will
be a carer or someone who requires
care.” The number of carers in the UK
is expected to rise by 40% in the next
20 years, from 6.5 million to 9 million.
Have a listen to see what’s required.
I was going to use a metaphor such
as “steel yourself” in the last sentence,
but I listened to the excellent A Picture
Held Us Captive, about the power of
metaphor, and thus resisted. Presented
by the novelist Zia Haider Rahman, it
pointed out how metaphors supplant
real-life situations with more romantic
images. So resist the stirring battle chat
around politics, the upbeat sports talk
in business. Look at what’s actually
happening behind the story-language
that’s used. A fascinating half-hour;
one that opens your mind like a
blossoming flower.
@euanferg
The Robot Will See You Now C4
The Sex Robots Are Coming C4
Godless Netflix
Chinese Burn BBC Three
Witnesses: A Frozen Death
BBC Four
Channel 4 treated us to a robots
season, with hugely mixed results.
Undoubtedly the most throwaway
was The Robot Will See You Now, which
pretended – I use the word advisedly
– that robots might one day be able to
treat us on the couch.
So we had robot Jess, a perky
tabletop mix of R2-D2 and oversized
salt cruet. Crucially, Jess was “operated
with some human support”. Which
meant, I coldly assume, that Jess
had simply been programmed, given
any pause long enough, to ask “and
how does that make you feel?”, and
given electronic access to Google
and to the social media histories of
all participants, while a couple of
psychologists were crouching in
the room next door, controlling her
responses through wireless wizardry.
And so a succession of gullibles were
led in to ooh and aah at shiny-shiny
coin-coin gimmick, and pour out
their hearts over a variety of wildly
varying problems and non-problems
– overeating, or a father’s desire for
his daughter to marry well, Indian and
rich, or a couple almost starting the
next global religious war over the name
of their delightful new baby.
The phrase “with some human
support”, while deliberately not
expanded upon, gave the game away:
these poor souls just needed someone
to sit down and listen to them, and tell
them to compromise. If sparkly Jess
was that “person”, all well and good. In
some ages a couple of good mates and a
pub would have sufficed, but that does
not whizzy telly make.
I was all ready to dislike The Sex
Robots Are Coming, but gently surprised
at a non-prurient and intelligent take
on advances in the girl-doll market,
and simply jaw-dropped at the size
of that market. I wondered whether
to flagellate myself on behalf of my
entire gender, but in the end decided
‘Cripplingly saddening’: engineer James with one of his sex dolls, Harmony, in Channel 4’s The Sex Robots Are Coming.
‘Sentient’ robots are no
more just around the
corner than they were
in the very early days
of Tomorrow’s World
to feel just sad. The saddest of the
piece was engineer James, 58, who
loved his supine sex dolls April and
Roxanne, and his wife, a little, but
was introduced to Harmony, a new
sex doll, who, infuriatingly, had been
vouchsafed the lissom Scottish accent
of my last girlfriend, and who invited
him to masturbate over her, and
“spoke”, and had “moving” eyes. James
is now saving up the 8,000 bucks. The
villains of the piece of course are the
makers. Who – I can’t even be arsed
giving the name of the company –
dared compare the “taboos” of sad
men indulging in weak simulacra of
electronic latex sex to gay marriage, to
transgenderism: in 50 years, we were
told, it would be deemed normal. Oh, go
away. We were also told, with tears
in one billionaire engineer’s eyes:
“When we finish she’s going to be
RADIO
More oceans
of Blue Planet
brilliance
Miranda
Sawyer
@msmirandasawyer
Blue Planet II: The Podcast
BBC One
In Search of the Invisible Army
invisible-army.com
A Picture Held Us Captive R4
26
Have you been watching Blue Planet II?
Of course you have. Whether you’re on
a still-awake all-nighter comedown or
onesieing with your kids, Blue Planet II
is ideal Sunday viewing. But did you
know that there’s a complementary
podcast? A new episode is released each
week so you can listen straight after the
TV episode finishes, maybe while you’re
crying into your suddenly ironic fish
finger sandwich about the bleaching of
the Great Barrier Reef because you’ve
got the end-of-the-world fear.
At first I found the tone of these
podcasts, presented by Emily Knight
and Becky Ripley, a bit too chirpytwee. I’m not a fan of highly competent
women bigging up their mistakes,
and Ripley’s describing her perfectly
reasonable question of composer Hans
Zimmer as “banal” made me cross.
You’re clearly good at your job, so why
reduce your excellent broadcasting
skills (this podcast is beautifully
produced, as well as presented, by
Knight and Ripley) to “oops, I fell over”
ditsiness? Claudia Winkleman is the
queen of this style of presenting and,
frankly, it drives me nuts. Luckily,
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
‘Funny and clever’: Blue Planet II podcast
presenters Emily Knight and Becky Ripley.
Classical
Now you
see her…
THREE MORE
TO SEE…
A Russian
Christmas
Elim Chan conducts
the Royal Liverpool
Philharmonic
Orchestra in
Prokofiev,
Shostakovich,
Rimsky-Korsakov,
Tchaikovsky, with
pianist Kathryn
Stott. Philharmonic
Hall, Liverpool
(Thur; Fri matinee).
Mitsuko Uchida all but disappears inside
Schubert’s mysterious piano sonatas. Plus,
Welsh National Opera’s blazing Janáček
and Tchaikovsky with quite a lot taken out
Fiona
Maddocks
@FionaMaddocks
Mitsuko Uchida
Royal Festival Hall, London SE1
From the House of the Dead
New Theatre, Oxford
Eugene Onegin
Arcola, London E8; until 23 Dec
Spare in gesture, supple in action,
Mitsuko Uchida does the maximum
a musician can to allow composer
rather than interpreter to speak.
Yes, it’s an illusion. No one works
harder to achieve this state of near
disappearance than the Japanese-born,
European-educated, London-based
pianist. And while she’s busy vanishing,
you can hardly fail to notice her. Her
personality is striking. She may prefer
to spend the day in her Notting Hill
studio, working alone at one of her
four grand pianos, but she’s no recluse.
She can talk as fast as she plays. She’ll
sign CDs. She’ll go to other musicians’
concerts. She listens and laughs.
Yet the moment her hands touch the
keyboard she enters a different realm.
In the case of Schubert, whose ever
mysterious piano sonatas have acquired
their own mythology of transcendence,
this is necessary. If the gods are smiling
it’s all but inevitable. For several
Uchida describes
Schubert as ‘between
life and death; he
dreams, with his eyes
on the far horizon’
weeks Uchida has toured a body of
these works, including the three last,
great sonatas written at speed in the
final weeks of Schubert’s life. After
Snape, Cambridge, Saffron Walden,
Birmingham and venues abroad, she
gave two concerts last week in the
Southbank Centre’s International Piano
series at the Royal Festival Hall.
The first, on Tuesday, spanned early,
middle and late, whatever that means
for a composer dead by the age of 31:
D664 in a A major (1819), D894 in
G major (1826) and D958 in C minor
(1828). As so often in Schubert’s case,
the story is fraught. Attempting nearly
two dozen sonatas, he completed 11 and
had only three published in his lifetime.
His devotees included the younger
composer Robert Schumann (coiner
of the much quoted phrase “heavenly
length” to describe Schubert’s C major
Symphony No 9). Some sonatas were
published a few years after Schubert’s
death, one patched together in a
jigsaw of spare movements. Try doing
that with a few unfinished paintings.
Mostly, the sonatas were ignored until
the middle of the 20th century.
Uchida, part of their saga of
rehabilitation, has long performed
and recorded them. On Tuesday she
was at her most peerless and lyrical
in the G major. The characteristic
violent outbursts, tussling rhythms
and flickering key shifts are there, but
the dominant voice, at start and finish,
is a whisper. She pedals lightly, and
negotiates the fast, pianissimo runs,
in all their wheedling chromaticisms,
with apparently weightless grace.
Both the smaller A major and the
grand, turbulent C minor sonatas
had glimpses of paradise but were
destabilised by fleeting lapses: Uchida’s
innate sense of musical direction made
for quick recoveries. Summing up
the three composers closest to her in
her four-decade career, she describes
Beethoven’s vision as of the cosmos,
Mozart’s as the drama of life and love.
Schubert, however, is “between life
and death; he dreams, with his eyes on
the far horizon”. It’s a potent image.
There’s nothing to add, except to urge
anyone to discover this music.
Welsh National Opera’s strong
autumn season, Russian Revolution
in theme, ended its tour in Oxford last
week. Bucking journalistic trends I went
to the final performance of Janáček’s
From the House of the Dead. Reports
of this WNO rarity had made it sound
essential. It was. David Pountney’s
production (sung in his English
translation) was first seen in 1982.
The novelty here is John Tyrrell’s new
critical edition, completed this year.
That may sound dry. Janáček left
the work unfinished. It’s been much
interfered with and reconstructed. At
last, vitally, we can hear a score as close
to the composer’s intentions as possible.
It’s a stark, episodic work, telling the
stories of inmates in a Siberian prison.
Rape and death feature. Janáček,
who wrote his own libretto based on
Dostoyevsky, was fearless in tackling
the raw and dark. Maria Björnson’s
layered, gulag set, in shades of rust and
mire, captured the mood. Ben McAteer,
Paula Greenwood, Mark Le Brocq,
Robert Hayward, Alan Oke and Adrian
Thompson led an excellent, large
‘Energy and zest’: Flora McIntosh, Alexandra Stenson, Caroline Daggett and Kathryn
Hannah in OperaUpClose’s Eugene Onegin at the Arcola. Photograph by Andreas Grieger
BBC Scottish
Symphony
Orchestra
Thomas Dausgaard
conducts
Scotland-inspired
works by Anna
Clyne, Oliver
Knussen, John
McLeod and
William Sweeney.
City Halls,
Glasgow (Sat).
London
Contemporary
Music festival
The event’s
sixth year of
experimental
music-making,
with Apartment
House as resident
ensemble.
Ambika P3,
London; until
10 Dec.
‘Weightless grace’: Mitsuko Uchida at the
Royal Festival Hall last week. Photograph
by Sonja Horsman for the Observer
ensemble cast. Above all this was a
night for WNO’s music director, Tomáš
Hanus – Janáček’s fellow Czech, born
in Brno, where From the House of the
Dead was first performed in 1930.
The score, requiring a large
orchestra and extensive, bone-rattling
percussion, springs from the same
fount as Janáček’s Sinfonietta and
Glagolitic Mass, composed shortly
before. Folk song collides with
swaggering brass and defiant, terse
string writing. The WNO orchestra,
under particular scrutiny given the
absence of any pit in Oxford’s New
Theatre, blazed and roared, urgent
and precise. This is a fine ensemble.
Hear their recent Shostakovich concert
on Radio 3 iPlayer. The Royal Opera
will stage its own world premiere
production of From the House of the
Dead next March. Can it be so good?
On its own scale, OperaUpClose
does what it says. The mere thought of
cutting Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin,
the perfect opera, down to size – any
size – deals a blow to the soul. In a new
English version by Robin Norton-Hale,
orchestrated for piano, violin, clarinet
and cello by Alison Holford and
nimbly directed by Lucy Bradley, 10
singers did just that. Updated to 1960s
suburbia, with most anachronisms
except that awkward matter of the
duel excised, it somehow conveys
the work’s key emotions, even if the
connective tissue, namely the glory of
Tchaikovsky’s orchestration, is lost.
Sonia Ben-Santamaria conducted from
the piano with great flair.
Never mind whether you like the
quasi-feminist ending (instead of being
a dutiful married woman, Tatyana is,
not entirely convincingly, a bestselling
author). Enjoy the energy and zest.
Lucy Hall (Tatyana), Tom Stoddart
(Onegin) and Cliff Zammit Stevens
(Lensky) made a powerful trio of
troubled young lovers, unlocking the
dramatic floodgates in Act 2. The
talented cast was unfaltering, even as
their skirts brushed against our knees.
Yes it was that close.
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
27
Theatre
Scrooge sees
a shrink
Rhys Ifans stars in a joyous, psychoanalytical
reading of Dickens. Elsewhere, the outlook
is agonisingly bleak, or bleakly comic…
Claire
Armitstead
@carmitstead
A Christmas Carol
Old Vic, London SE1; until 20 Jan
Goats
Royal Court, London SW1; until 30 Dec
The Open House
Theatre Royal, Bath; until 23 Dec
Since its publication as a novella in 1843,
Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol
has become a multimedia institution,
inspiring everyone from Mickey Mouse
to the Muppets with its spooky tale of
seasonal redemption. So there was some
excitement as to where Jack Thorne,
the scriptwriter behind the West End
hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,
would take it at London’s Old Vic.
The answer is: to the rafters of a
theatre that is transformed by designer
Rob Howell into a lofty cathedral of
bells and lanterns, with a stage that
slices dramatically through the middle
of the audience. Up this runway
Jacob Marley clanks, trailing colossal
chains like some malign automaton,
in an opening scene that promises an
evening of Tim Burton-esque neogothic. But the mood abruptly changes
as the Ghost of Christmas Past bustles
in, pushing an ancient pram and about
as threatening as Mrs Tiggywinkle in
her homely patchwork gown.
All three Christmas ghosts are female:
their mission is not to terrify but to
chivvy and move Rhys Ifans’s wraithlike
Scrooge into embracing the fuller,
richer self that he abandoned when he
forsook love for lucre. He is the ghost of
his own potential, and his misanthropy
is traced back to a childhood dominated
by abusive men – a gambling father and
a schoolmaster who boasts that he “did
plenty damage” too.
One could cavil that this
psychoanalytical reading forfeits the
terror of Scrooge’s long night, but there
is a contemporary resonance to it that
is paradoxically most resounding in an
intimate doorstep encounter with his
abandoned sweetheart: “You are part
of my story, and I’m delighted with the
way my story turned out,” says Erin
Doherty’s wonderfully deadpan Belle.
Hurrah for the girls who control their
own narrative.
The true, and truly Dickensian,
horror is that Scrooge messed up
and nobody gives a toss – even
the Cratchits with their meagre
goose stew, which an immensely
touching Tiny Tim magnanimously
offers to share. The release, when
Scrooge finally rediscovers himself,
is orgiastic, transforming him into a
scarecrow magician who conjures
an abseiling turkey, parachuting
sprouts and carols from every
quarter. With its flexibility of scale,
its lush musicality, and its embrace
of spectacle, Matthew Warchus’s
production is a love song to Christmas,
to the redeeming power of theatre and,
not least, to the Old Vic itself.
Fathers are also having a hard
time of it at the Royal Court, where a
generation of young men are sacrificed
to the corrupt ideologies of their elders
This is a love song
to Christmas, to the
redeeming power of
theatre and, not least,
to the Old Vic itself
in Liwaa Yazji’s Goats. Developed as
part of a long-running collaboration
with writers from Syria and Lebanon,
and translated by Katharine Halls, this
agonisingly pessimistic play shows
a society that documents its own
atrocities on YouTube while denying
that they exist.
In the first act, which opens at a
mass funeral of young “martyrs”,
the blame appears to lie with the
complicity between the media and the
Clockwise from
above: Rhys Ifans
and the cast of
A Christmas Carol
at the Old Vic;
Greg Hicks, Crispin
Letts and Lindsey
Campbell in
The Open House
in Bath; and Amir
El-Masry in Goats
at the Royal Court.
Manuel Harlan;
Johan Persson;
Simon Annand
political establishment (eloquently
personified in Sirine Saba’s slippery
TV presenter and Amer Hlehel’s
bombastic anchorman turned local
politico). Each bereaved family is to be
given a goat to replace their lost sons –
an act of political appeasement which
is also a publicity stunt.
In the second act, the camera turns
on the young men themselves – lippy,
spliff-smoking teenagers awaiting
their call-up, whose older brothers have
recorded themselves machine-gunning
hostages, or begging for help, in final
phone calls home. Here, the central
victims are Amir El-Masry’s all too
plausibly brutalised returnee soldier,
Adnan, who punishes his mother and
his pregnant wife for the horrors he has
seen, and Carlos Chahine’s tragically
dignified schoolteacher, whose
insistence on his right to view the
human remains in his son’s ceremonial
coffin can have no happy outcome.
Goats is a richly anecdotal
account of a conflict with no obvious
solution. While the human cost is
harrowingly demonstrated in Hamish
Pirie’s production, I felt politically
disorientated. “When a father says to
his son: ‘I want you to be a hero and
make us proud’, it means: ‘Go and die!’”
shouts Adnan. Are we simply to believe
that Syria’s problems are a regional
re-enactment of Arthur Miller’s All My
Sons – with goats?
A more domestic demonstration of
paternal oppression comes in Will Eno’s
The Open House at Bath’s Theatre Royal.
This bleakly comic reflection on the
nuclear family is set in the impeccably
beige living room of a couple whose
grown-up family have gathered to
celebrate their wedding anniversary.
What could possibly go wrong? Well,
for a start, the dog could go awol,
taking with it the only possibility of
civilised conversation.
Here the monster is a strokeafflicted Greg Hicks, whose face folds
in on itself as he masticates his insults
with dentally challenged gums, before
spitting them in the face of his wife,
brother and children. His vicious
loneliness recalls both the dustbindwelling Nagg from Beckett’s Endgame
and any number of embittered
patriarchs from world literature.
Almost more sinister, in Michael
Boyd’s smartly nuanced production, is
Teresa Banham’s Mother: at first one
cringes on her behalf as she serenely
absorbs her husband’s slights, but
gradually it becomes clear that her
personality has shrunk to fit his, so
that she quite literally looks through
everybody else. In the first of a
spiralling series of derelictions she
absentmindedly discards her children’s
carefully wrapped gift unopened.
This is the Mogadon mother of mid20th-century America reframed as
a 21st-century personification of
culpable complicity.
The mystery is that everyone still
comes home. Between father and
mother sit their son (Ralph Davis)
and daughter (Lindsey Campbell), who
swing between indignation, hurt and
touchingly fresh-faced faith that “some
day we are not going to be like this any
more”. Indeed they aren’t – though
not in a way that they could imagine.
Two thirds of the way through the
80-minute drama, just as one is starting
to feel that it has made its point, Eno
springs a coup de theatre which takes
the situation and the comedy into a
different realm. Both metaphorically
and physically, he tears down the
wallpaper of suburban family life.
Susannah Clapp returns next week
DANCE
Mad about the boys
Alpha males and new
men collide in Charlotte
Vincent’s witty study
of what it means to be
a 21st-century guy
Luke
Jennings
@LukeJennings1
Shut Down
The Place, London WC1
28
Vincent Dance Theatre’s new work,
Shut Down, is about men. “We’re
the problem,” announces a bearded
bloke in the piece’s opening moments.
“It’s hard to know what to do.” This
bewilderment becomes increasingly
apparent as four adult and three
teenage performers struggle to
negotiate the journey without maps
that is contemporary malehood.
Founded in 1994 by choreographer
Charlotte Vincent, VDT has acquired
a reputation for its inventive takes
on gender and identity. The work
is unflinching, but Vincent’s eye for
absurdity, and for the telling human
detail, ensures that it never becomes
issue-bound. You see her magnificent
seven in suits and ties, feet planted
wide, all turkey cock assurance.
Then someone flips a rugby ball and
they’re scrapping like kids, barging
and shoving and ridiculous. Veneers
are biscuit-thin. Performers present
as old-school hard men, as sporty
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
‘Eye for absurdity’: Vincent Dance Theatre’s Shut Down. Photograph by Tristram Kenton
alpha males, and as reconstructed
“new” men wearing tool belts stuffed
with Pampers and baby wipes.
Licensed to show their emotions,
they weep uncontrollably. “There’s
an alternative to the patriarchy right
there,” observes a battle-scarred
gender warrior as his colleague sobs.
Like previous VDT works, Shut Down
has been painstakingly constructed
through observation, improvisation
and research. The piece isn’t an antimale rant, but a witty and humane
examination of conflicting forces.
Vincent identifies, with forensic
precision, the different ways in which
men react to changing times. At one
end of the spectrum there’s the guy
who won’t give an inch and reacts to a
friend’s distress by slapping him and
telling him to “man up” and “stop being
a pussy”. At the other there’s the selfhater, shouting to the world at large that
“we’re an absolute fucking mistake”.
“I’ve quit porn,” a third bloke
confides, explaining that the “death
grip” of masturbation was taking too
great a toll. And then there’s the sharpfeatured young man, whom we’ve
seen earlier belligerently fronting up
to the audience and imploring us to
“have a go, yeah”, who quietly takes off
his street clothes to reveal a satin slip
and lace knickers. Pulling on a blond
wig and high heels, he is approached
by an older man who lifts and holds
him with wondering tenderness.
These evolutions are not organic,
Vincent makes clear, they’re just
rearrangements of the male toolkit.
In a final tableau we see the whole
cast lined up and pissing against the
backcloth, marking their territory,
checking one another out. Some things
never change.
Pop
Grime for the masses
Spotify brought eye-popping visuals to its
playlist-turned-gig starring Mobo winners
J Hus and Giggs, and US rap queen Cardi B
Kitty
Empire
@kittyempire666
Who We Be
Alexandra Palace, London N22
It barely needs stating that the music
streaming platform Spotify has
changed the way music is consumed.
Now, Spotify’s grime-heavy playlist –
Who We Be – is radically reloading the
way this formerly persecuted genre can
be enjoyed. Grime at Alexandra Palace
is not new – Skepta filled it a year ago –
and scene trailblazers Boy Better Know
brought roller rinks and a Drake cameo
to London’s O2 Arena last spring.
But this bill offers something
more dazzling: grime as spectacular
mass-market thrill, with a tech
company providing the shock and
awe. This is an event glitzy enough
to command the very first UK
performance by 2017 hip-hop queen
Cardi B. In the tradition of female
rappers from a New York borough
(Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Kim), Cardi B is tiny
but fearsome, as she stakes her claim to
2017 across three pugnacious tracks.
Tonight, Lick does not feature its
co-star – and Cardi’s fiance – Offset,
but a hype man provides ballast,
and a knowledgable shout-out to
all four compass points of London.
This place becomes a handset
showroom as everyone here chants
her hit Bodak Yellow.
You can take her at her word on one
line. “I don’t dance now, I make money
move,” she spits, with reference to her
previous career as an exotic dancer.
Her stance is consistently battle-ready.
You’re tempted to offer up a
“brrrrap” to whoever scheduled this
bill the night after the Mobo awards,
as there is an obvious simpatico,
spiritually and logistically. Grime’s
biggest winner the previous night –
Stormzy, with three – is not on the bill,
but three other winners are.
Whether it’s the start of the
night – with Stefflon Don, who this
week bagged a Brits critics’ choice
nomination – or the notional headliner,
Dizzee Rascal, who undeservedly plays
to an emptying room, each set features
eye-popping vision mixing on a bank
of screens. Most magnificent of all,
whoever is on the mic is presented as a
lofty icon, higher than the usual stage
level. It’s a far cry from grime’s default
environs – cramped pirate radio studio,
local park.
Three MCs provide the night’s
meatiest substance. Manchester’s
lyrical Bugzy Malone – the self-styled
King of the North – proves there is
major star-power outside the M25.
In his signature black tracksuit,
Malone hails from the more
considered end of grime’s spectrum;
his intelligent posturing on Bruce
Wayne gives way to examining the
past with sensitivity on tracks such
as M.E.N.
The Afro-dancehall-leaning J Hus
won best song at the Mobos for Did
You See, an ode to cars and girls that
sets the throng heaving. Removing
his white T-shirt, J Hus is more
loverman than fighter in this company.
The Mobo could just as easily have
gone to a number of tonight’s bangers
from his Common Sense album –
Spirit, or the Addison Lee-referencing
Bouff Daddy.
The London car service has
provided something of a grime meme
this year. When the DJ drops breakout
star Not3s’s Addison Lee – in which a
car is booked for a girl called Maddison
– in between sets, it gets a massive
response. Apparently Not3s now has a
discount with the car service.
Perhaps the highlight of the
evening is another meme: Big Shaq.
So enjoyable it’s hard to remember
it’s a comedy skit, his track Mans Not
Hot found comedian Michael Dapaah
penning a freestyle about refusing to
remove his coat. The video was later
set in sweltering Miami.
Tonight, a camera follows Shaq
backstage as he tries to find his jacket,
stealing “champagg-nee” from Giggs’s
dressing room in the process. Shaq
finally emerges onstage and, spotlit,
the padded jacket is lowered slowly
down to him, to screams.
‘Battle-ready’:
Cardi B’s first ever
UK set at Who We Be.
Pete Summers/Rex
Despite releasing an excellent
back-to-basics record, Raskit, this
year, Dizzee Rascal appears to have
lost the youth vote and south London
road rapper Giggs serves as the de
facto headliner. In between songs,
he is almost statesmanlike; warm,
even. But his tracks stay true to
grime’s shadowlands, where threat is
omnipresent. Giggs has had a strong
year – on Drake’s More Life mixtape
with KMT – another favourite
tonight – as well as his own Wamp 2
Dem mixtape.
His menace-laden set provides the
greatest contrast between grime’s shiny
future and murky past, however. “You’re
not a gangsta, you’re just the internet
version,” Giggs glowers pitilessly on last
year’s anthem, Whippin Excursion. He,
of course, is the real deal.
Alexandra
Palace
becomes
a handset
showroom
as
everyone
chants
Cardi B’s
hit Bodak
Yellow
MORE THEATRE
The Arabian Nights
Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh; until 6 Jan
A rustle of sweet papers and expectation
in the auditorium. House lights dim.
“Holy moley!” pipes a voice. All other
exclamations are stilled by a strange
howling. Two waist-high, rangy dogs lope
onto the banner-fringed stage, bare but
for a single bone. This causes contention.
A snarling quarrel escalates into a farting
competition. The older dog wins. He
introduces the action (both dogs are
puppets, operated by fully visible humans).
This is set 200 years earlier, in the bustling
Baghdad of market-sellers, musicians,
storytellers, sultan and Scheherazade.
Playwright Suhayla El-Bushra crafts,
for the ancient stories of The Arabian
Nights, a frame that brings out their power
to transform our thoughts, just as they
transform the shapes and fortunes of
their characters. Scheherazade’s mother
is a storyteller. She is imprisoned by the
sultan (a ferocious Nicholas Karimi), who
has forbidden storytelling (and sneezing
and fun - most of the market traders are
locked up). Scheherazade (wily Rehanna
MacDonald) attempts to change the
sultan’s mind, capturing his imagination via
the very stories he claims to despise.
If the sultan is captivated, so too
is the audience. Francis O’Connor’s
architecturally patterned, wittily mobile
set uses the simplest means to suggest
impossibilities and wonders. A sheet +
Captivating… Nebli
Basani and Patricia
Panther in Suhayla
El-Bushra’s The
Arabian Nights.
Photograph
by Tommy GaKen Wan
some shadows = transmogrification of
people to animals; a circle made of solid
wood is suddenly a treasure-filled cave;
while, with the help of another sheet, Mark
Doubleday’s lighting, and nifty timing from
Nebli Basani and Neshla Caplan, a whole,
solid person disappears into a narrownecked bottle.
Joe Douglas’s direction combines with
Ross MacKay’s puppet direction and magic
effects to ensure that scenes cascade as
El-Bushra’s thrilling script intends. The
10-strong cast juggle, perform acrobatics,
play musical instruments and sing and
dance to Tarek Merchant’s live music and
Emma Jayne Park’s clever choreography.
As we leave, an ear-to-ear grinning lad
stops me to declare: “It’s a good play!” That
it is - and a truly ensemble production.
Clare Brennan
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
29
Releases
R&B
Miguel
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Washed-out: U2 do little
to inspire on album no 14.
Photograph by Anton Corbijn
War & Leisure
ROCK
Neil Young + Promise
of the Real
(RCA)
The Visitor (REPRISE)
The Weeknd has a rival for the crown of
“the new Michael Jackson”. On his fourth
album, R&B man Miguel’s versatility and
sureness of touch recall that of Jackson
in his pomp – or, as the track Sky Walker
(featuring Travis Scott) has it, he’s “Top
Gun, on my Tom Cruise”. The 80s are writ
large on War & Leisure, which cribs its
musical ambition and expansiveness from
that era’s pop, rock and soul. Our troubled
times are never far away though, as the
Grammy-winner newly into transcendental
meditation swaps his raunchy default for
loftier themes. Pineapple Skies is the most
obvious soaraway, feelgood hit, but very
little on War & Leisure falls flat. KE
HIP-HOP
Chief Keef
Old enough to know better
ROCK
U2
Songs of Experience
(INTERSCOPE)
With its Blakean set-up, there was
hope that U2’s Songs of Experience
might have seen the mature U2
pugnaciously restate their purpose,
14 albums into their career. Songs of
Innocence (2014) focused tightly on
the band’s formative experiences
against the backdrop of the Troubles.
This latest album, its promised
companion piece, could have taken
on a few flavours. The dismantling
of democracy by social media
bots could have drawn forth from
this grandstanding band a savvy
take-down of new media and the
distraction industry (think Zooropa
retooled). Certainly, the icy, quivering
strings that open the album (which,
deliciously, recall Choir on Perfume
Genius’s No Shape LP) could have
given way to a spacious sidekick to
2009’s No Line on the Horizon.
Alternatively, these tumultuous
24 months could have drawn out of
U2 a towering inferno of humane
righteousness – think (Pride) In the
Name of Love on steroids, or Lemon
with Celtic guitars. When a Bono vocal
sample landed on XXX on Kendrick
Lamar’s Damn album, the compass
was spinning that way. A coruscating
Kendrick returns the favour here on
Get Out Of Your Own Way. But U2’s
political engagement is painted in
mere watercolours here. (“Nothing’s
stopping you except what’s
inside,” counsels Bono, abdicating
responsibility, “I can help you, but it’s
your fight.”)
By contrast, American Soul finds
some backbone; at least this time,
Bono is unequivocally calling the US (a
country founded by refugees, an idea
and “a sound”, more than “a place”)
to account for its lapses in idealism.
There are other strong tunes here:
The Showman (Little More Better) is
a nagging, 60s-inclined ditty in which
Bono ponders the disingenuousness of
frontmen, fulfilling, for once, the Blake
imperative. “Making a spectacle of
falling apart,” he confides, “is just the
start of the show.”
But you can’t help but feel that
the band who toured their 30-yearold hymn to Americana, The Joshua
Tree, so successfully this year could
have brought some of that album’s
swaggering authority to bear here.
As it is, this is a try-hard record,
produced to sound good on a playlist
next to many of Ryan Tedder’s (one
of the credited helpmeets here)
other hits – so much so that the
Edge’s arpeggiating guitar is only
intermittently audible. There is little
evidence, however, of any alarm
or horror here: both key to Blake’s
Experience poems.
There is rather more on the
consolations and risks of love.
Landlady is a song about enduring
love, addressed to Bono’s other half. A
kind of radical positivity has been one
perfectly legitimate response to the
events of the past couple of years.
Coming from U2, however, lines
such as “get out of your own way” and
“nothing to stop this from being the
best day ever” (Love Is All We Have
Left) and “love is bigger than anything
in its way” feel like arena-sized
generalities. They provide a sense of
succour that denies the urgency of the
here and now.
Many fans will enjoy this album’s
radio-friendliness, and its warm hugs.
But these Songs of Experience lack
William Blake’s moral fervour or rage.
Kitty Empire
HOT TRACKS
Depeche Mode
Cover Me (Dixon
Remix)
A sleek house beat
energises Dave
Gahan’s defiant
ballad.
Stick In the Wheel
Follow Them True
One of those
“folk” outfits who
stretch the genre’s
envelope, SITW
have a new album
out in January,
featuring this
mesmerising taster.
Jidenna
Boomerang
The rising
’s
Wisconsin artist’s
y
latest is all catchy
calypso coolnesss
n
contemplating an
ent
especially turbulent
relationship.
st
Follow our playlist
at tiny.cc/
obshottracks
30
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
Neil Young could have settled for an easy
life by now, but at 72, with 40-odd albums
to his name, he still takes pleasure in
confounding his fans. This second studio
set with California quartet Promise of
the Real features Young in gruff, Trumpbaiting mode, plus blaxploitation-style
funk, one spoken-word outburst and,
strangest of all, a gaudy Latin romp. It
shouldn’t work, but pleasingly, most of it
does, thanks to the conviction of Young’s
delivery. Throughout, he is either sardonic
or enraged, his contempt for the Donald
particularly evident on the stirring opener,
Already Great, a Rockin’ in the Free World
for the 21st century. Paul Mardles
POP
Nabihah Iqbal
Dedication
Weighing of the Heart
(RBC)
(NINJA TUNE)
Chicago drill figurehead Chief Keef’s third
album arrives on the five-year anniversary
of his debut, Finally Rich - a half-decade
marked by diminishing returns artistically.
That changed with the excellent Thot
Breaker mixtape in June - and Dedication
builds on its playful aesthetic, resulting
in Keef’s most satisfying album to date.
Noirish drama is paired with sleek melodies
on Bad, with its deeply satisfying brass
fanfares, and piano-driven highlight Keke
Palmer; staccato strings give momentum
to Mailbox and Get It. For a rapper who
has often thumbed his nose at technical
virtuosity, Keef’s craft is increasingly
complex and intriguing. Alex Macpherson
Discarding the ambiguity of former moniker
Throwing Shade, London alt-pop artist
Nabihah Iqbal’s first full-length release deals
in thoughtful, expansive soundscapes.
This is a more laid-back affair than her
earlier work, though it’s just as immersive.
With airy, propulsive percussion, languid
curls of grungey guitar, 1980s-sheen
synths and hazy vocals, tracks such as
Saw U Twice and In Visions are disarmingly
straightforward lo-fi pop songs, while the
glimmering subtlety of Alone Together
and dreamy rave euphoria of Untitled
Friday are especially invigorating. An album
that improves with each listen, with an
accomplished, ornate warmth. Tara Joshi
FOLK
The Staves & yMusic
WORLD
Jorge Drexler
The Way Is Read
Salvavidas de hielo
(NONESUCH)
(WARNER)
The suspicion that this collaboration
between Watford folk trio the Staves and
New York chamber ensemble yMusic
might be incongruous seems borne out by
the opening two tracks. Hopeless is an a
cappella piece, the Staveley-Taylor sisters
harmonising beautifully; by contrast, Take
Me Home is a wilfully discordant battle
between flute and violin, with the vocals
only adding to the chaos. But from there
on in it’s a far more coherent coupling,
the two divergent styles complementing
rather than fighting each other. The Way Is
Read gets better the further in you get, the
thrilling closing title track highlighting the
talents of both parties. Phil Mongredien
Since winning an Oscar in 2005 for his
theme song to The Motorcycle Diaries,
Uruguay’s Jorge Drexler has become
an eminence across the Latin diaspora.
Where his last album, Bailar en la Cueva,
successfully embraced funk, electronica
and rap, here he returns to the clever
acoustic samba that made his name. A
qualified doctor, Drexler boasts a questing
intellect, referencing Gabriel García Márquez
on Despedir a los glaciares, a sad farewell to
our planet’s glaciers, addressing migration
on Moviemento, and the ephemeral nature
of life on the title track, a duet with Mexico’s
Natalia Lafourcade that translates as “Ice
Life Jackets”. Gentle but classy. Neil Spencer
JAZZ
Peter Horsfall
CLASSICAL
Bach & Ysaÿe Vol 3
Nighthawks
Antje Weithaas (violin)
(APP)
(AVI)
Edward Hopper painted it, Frank Sinatra
conjured it with One for My Baby, Tom
Waits anatomised it in forensic detail.
Night-time loneliness in the big city is
a genre of our time, and Peter Horsfall
manipulates it with delicacy and skill.
He’s a trumpeter as well as a singer, and
although he doesn’t play on these tracks,
there’s a good musician’s poise about his
restrained, confidential style. Five of the
seven songs are co-composed by him
and Giacomo Smith, who plays beautiful
alto saxophone here. The two of them
together create one of the set’s highlights,
a ravishing version of Duke Ellington’s
Sunset and the Mockingbird. Dave Gelly
The German violinist Antje Weithaas, an
independent-minded player with a career as
soloist, chamber musician and conductor/
director, has released her third volume of
Bach and Ysaÿe. It’s a treat. Between pliant
accounts of Bach’s Sonata No 3 in C major
and Partita No 1 in B minor, she plays
Ysaÿe’s one-movement, habanera-style
Sonata No 6 in E major and the Sonata
No 4 in E minor. This proves an enlightening
way of approaching the Belgian’s supervirtuosic music, inspired by Bach but not
necessarily as inviting to take in a single
sitting. The ever probing Weithaas adroitly
combines poetry, technical wizardry
and humanity. Fiona Maddocks
CLASSICAL
Mozart
CLASSICAL
Various A due alti: Chamber
Chamber Music Vol 1
Ensemble DeNote
duets Filippo Mineccia, Raffaele
Pe (countertenors), La
Venexiana/Cavina (GLOSSA)
(DEVINE)
This fine collection of three varied works
from the 1780s sheds light on Mozart’s
effortless originality. There’s the Violin
Sonata, K454, where we know Mozart
accompanied the soloist without actually
having written out the piano part; then
the “Kegelstatt” Trio for clarinet, viola
and piano, which is far too subtle for even
Mozart to have written during a game
of skittles; and finally the titanic Piano
Quartet in G minor, a masterpiece. Superbly
inflected performances by periodinstrument specialists Ensemble DeNote
bring gorgeously subtle colouring, with
John Irving’s fortepiano and Jane Booth’s
clarinet outstanding. Nicholas Kenyon
Aristocratic demand for dramatic, intimate,
plaintive duets proved a useful source of
income for 17th-century composers, eager
to show their prowess at setting texts for
the fashionable countertenor voice; Handel,
of course, but also the lesser-known
Steffani, Bononcini, Caresana and Marcello.
Filippo Mineccia and Raffaele Pe unite here
to give us a masterclass in this mellifluous
repertoire, their diamond-bright voices
flashing with colour and character. Claudio
Cavina directs with an expert ear for this
beguiling music’s narrative drive, aided by
exquisitely sensitive cello, baroque harp,
theorbo and harpsichord accompaniment.
Stephen Pritchard
Books
CHRIS WARE
Rachel Cooke on a deluxe
life of the Jimmy Corrigan
creator, p32
OBSERVER CRITICS’ BOOKS OF THE YEAR
George Saunders brought a grieving Abraham Lincoln to life, Craig Brown saw the
world through Princess Margaret’s eyes, and a study of air was an absolute gas.
Here, our reviewers pick their favourite novels, biographies, history books and more
ART
From the real
Leonardo to
the art in Proust
PETER CONRAD
The definite article in the subtitle of
Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci:
The Biography (Simon & Schuster
£25.50) says it all – but why should the
bestselling biographer of Benjamin
Franklin, Einstein and Steve Jobs
pretend to false modesty? Isaacson is
uniquely well-equipped to write the
definitive account of a universal man
who was a painter and a musician, a
scientific theorist and an engineer, a
designer of military hardware and a
theatrical impresario, and he makes
Leonardo’s technological contraptions
– a hoist, a perpetual-motion machine,
a needle-grinder – seem every bit as
fantastical as the effeminate saints and
enigmatic sibyls he painted.
Isaacson marvels at the infinite
curiosity of a thinker who set himself
to “describe the tongue of the
woodpecker”, yet refuses to babble
about genius as a supernatural gift.
His Leonardo is a human being with
foibles and frailties, whose great mind
ultimately goes into a “tailspin” in his
late drawings of an apocalyptic deluge:
the intelligence that wondered at the
miracle of creation took an almost
crazed delight in the spectacle of
destruction.
James Hamilton’s Gainsborough: A
Portrait (Weidenfeld & Nicolson £25)
presents the painter of the Georgian
aristocracy as a riotously ungenteel
character – a rake whose hell-raising
habits prompt Hamilton to call him
“Jerry Lee Lewis with a paintbrush”.
Barbara Ehrlich White’s Renoir: An
Intimate Biography (Thames & Hudson
£24.95) is equally startling. Renoir’s
creamy nudes encourage us to think of
him as an unabashed hedonist; White,
however, emphasises his grim battle
with rheumatoid paralysis, which
left him scarcely able to manipulate a
brush. Art served as Renoir’s medicine,
the only alleviation of his pain, and he
emerges here as a brave stoic rather
than a sweet-toothed connoisseur of
female flesh.
The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington
(Virago £20) is a funny, touching
account of Joanna Moorhead’s
unexpected friendship with the wildly
imaginative painter and writer who
happened to be her long-lost cousin.
Carrington, a renegade debutante,
scorned stuffy England and fled to
Mexico with Max Ernst; incongruously
nicknamed Prim by her family,
she began life as a rebellious child,
enchanted and alarmed Buñuel with
her sensual antics, and aged into a
hawk-eyed, fiendishly witty sorceress
who mocked death and defied it to take
her. She is lucky to have found such a
memorialist.
In Ravilious and Co: The Pattern of
Friendship (Thames & Hudson £24.95),
Andy Friend has a more sedate but
socially ominous story to tell. The
watercolours and wood engravings of
Eric Ravilious and a circle of friends
including Edward Bawden helped
to establish a “graphic identity” for
Britain in the 1930s. Their homespun
provincial anecdotes pastoralised the
country: a foreign observer remarked
that genteel leisure was the main
preoccupation of what was once a hardworking industrial nation. This villagey
vision of the country has renewed
relevance now that Great Britain is
contracting into Little England, literally
insulated from the modern world.
A similarly enticing rural idyll
recurs often in Martin Salisbury ’s
The Illustrated Dust Jacket 1920-1970
(Thames & Hudson £24.95). Vistas
of somnolent valleys are wrapped
around National Trust guides; on the
covers for books about the English
counties edited by John Betjeman;
John Piper relishes wistful Gothic
decay. A series on country pubs has
designs in blushing, bibulous hues
that aimed, according to marketers
in the 1930s, “to seize the beholder
in a chromatic embrace and give
him a mental shake”. The selection
also includes a balefully modernist
jacket for Metropolis, the book of
Fritz Lang’s science-fiction film, plus
some lush art deco extravaganzas that
improbably package novels by Ernest
Hemingway. It’s all wickedly but
irresistibly nostalgic.
Paintings in Proust by Eric Karpeles
(Thames & Hudson £25) is a
visual accompaniment to Proust’s
labyrinthine mnemonic novel In
Search of Lost Time – indispensable
for the addict, but also enticing for the
casual browser, since Proust’s mind
contained a multi-cameral gallery of
pictures, which he cited as sources
for his characters and landscapes. His
narrator notices women in the street
who have stepped out of “the new and
perishable universe” created by Renoir;
Carrington enchanted
and alarmed Buñuel
with her sensual antics,
and aged into a hawkeyed, witty sorceress
‘Infinite curiosity’: Leonardo da Vinci, self-portrait, 1505–1510. Rex Features
as the novelist Bergotte dies, he muses
about a “little patch of yellow wall” in
a Vermeer view of Delft, a symbol of
aesthetic perfection and a memento
of the imperfect world he is leaving.
Proust’s verbal images aspired to the
condition of painting, and here their
wish is granted.
Naum Kleiman’s Eisenstein on Paper
(Thames & Hudson £60) does some
cerebral spying on the great Soviet
film director. The tour of Eisenstein’s
sketchbooks deciphers what he called
his “visuastenography”, and exposes
scenarios he did not dare to include in
his films. The graphic escapades are
often erotic. In a Mexican arena the
horned bull seems to be humping the
matador; Nijinsky is sketched while
performing his notorious act of frottage
in the ballet Afternoon of a Faun. If you
have ever wondered why Shakespeare
doesn’t let us look inside the room
where Macbeth kills Duncan, you
should – if you’re not easily shocked
– take a peep at Eisenstein’s imagined
version of the forbidden scene. Here
we see into the darkness punctuating
the lighted images that flash across the
cinema screen 24 times a second, as if
we had penetrated the shuttered recess
of Eisenstein’s subconscious.
The Artist Project (Phaidon £49.95)
sets 100 contemporary artists loose
in New York’s Metropolitan Museum
of Art to locate works that have a
particular resonance for them. “The
goddam Metropolitan Museum!”
sighs one participant, depressed by
the surfeit of masterpieces. Some of
the players opt to spend their time
venerating Velasquez or Rembrandt;
more intrepid explorers track down
obscure treasures, among them a
murky totem from Mali and a slit
gong from Vanuatu, a fragment of the
pharaoh Akhenaten’s sinuous sculpted
mouth and some armour worn by the
Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I.
A Vietnamese exile selects a Eugène
Atget photograph of a messy Parisian
kitchen, as a homesick reminder
that cooking is synonymous with
culture. The choices made and the
commentaries that explain them
are endlessly fascinating: here is the
voluminous proof of Proust’s belief
that art multiplies reality, enabling us
to see the world from inside someone
else’s head.
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
31
Books
GRAPHIC NOVELS
When a man
meets his mentor
There were fine memoirs and a deluxe life
of Chris Ware, but the year belonged to Joff
Winterhart’s moving portrait of masculinity
RACHEL COOKE
@MsRachelCooke
If it were down to me, every person
in Britain would get a copy of Joff
Winterhart’s graphic novel Driving
Short Distances (Cape £14.99) for
Christmas; I simply can’t see how this
marvellous, moving book about men
– meet Sam, a gentle former student
who is recovering from a nervous
breakdown, and his employer, Keith,
a boastful hairy ball of a fellow whose
work seems mostly to involve sitting in
his car eating pasties – could possibly
fail to spread joy. But since it’s not
down to me, I’ll just quietly note here
that Winterhart’s book is undoubtedly
my favourite comic of 2017 – and that
this is really saying something, given
the competition.
What a bumper year this has been
for graphic books of all kinds. But let’s
stick with fiction for now. Strongly
recommended (and adored by me)
is Grandville Force Majeure (Cape
£18.99), the fifth and final book in
Bryan Talbot’s magical series of stories
about a steampunk badger detective,
Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard.
In this volume, our hero is on the run,
the victim of a diabolical scheme to
annihilate him by Tiberius Koenig, one
of the greatest villains in all detective
fiction. Can DS Roderick Ratzi and
Billie, LeBrock’s fiancee, save him? The
book’s last pages are wrapped in an
“anti-spoiler seal” so that eager readers
do not find out the answer to this
question “accidentally”.
I also enjoyed The Smell of Starving
Boys (SelfMadeHero £24.99) by
Frederik Peeters and Loo Hui Phang, a
stunning, lusciously produced western
set in Texas, 1872 (with the civil war
at an end, a geologist, a photographer
and his assistant set out into Comanche
country, where the wide open spaces
induce in them a kind of horizontal
vertigo that will have a dramatic impact
on social convention); and Voices in
the Dark by Ulli Lust (NYRB £19.99),
a daring graphic novel set in Nazi
Germany whose central characters
are a sound engineer called Hermann
Karnau, and Helga, the eldest child
of Joseph Goebbels. Finally, my Most
Extraordinary Debut prize goes to Emil
Ferris for the crazily weird My Favorite
Thing Is Monsters (Fantagraphics
£35.99), the fictional diary of a 10-yearold girl in late 60s Chicago who tries
to solve the murder of her enigmatic
upstairs neighbour, a Holocaust
survivor called Anka Silverberg.
The memoirs continue to come
thick and fast. Saigon Calling: London
1963-75 by Marcelino Truong (Arsenal
Pulp Press £22.99) and The Best We
Could Do by Thi Bui (Abrams £15.99)
both explore life for those displaced by
the Vietnam war with great subtlety;
Poppies of Iraq by Brigitte Findakly
(Drawn & Quarterly £16.99) alternates
its author’s happy memories of her
childhood in Mosul with those of her
later visits there after her Orthodox
Christian family’s move to France
in the 70s. Uncomfortably Happily by
Yeon-sik Hong (D&Q £23) tells the
story of its author’s decision to leave
21st-century Seoul and move with
his wife to a small house on top of a
mountain. Will the simple life make
these city dwellers less anxious?
Or will their old worries simply be
replaced with a new set of frustrations,
albeit of a more bucolic kind? You
will want to know that among the
fans of this charming and perhaps
unexpectedly complex book is Seth of
Palookaville fame.
Too many graphic biographies
are being published at the moment;
the majority fail to make the most
of the medium, though I did enjoy
‘Marvellous’: Sam, bottom, and his
employer, Keith, in Joff Winterhart’s
Driving Short Distances.
Florent Silloray’s beautifully drawn
life of the war photographer Robert
Capa (Firefly £16.95), which is told
in the first person. Cleverer by far,
however, is Vincent Zabus’s Magritte:
This Is Not a Biography (SelfMadeHero
£9.99), which comes at the surrealist
painter’s life at a suitably odd tangent
(when a man called Charles Singulier
makes the whimsical decision to buy
a bowler hat, he finds not only that he
has unwittingly entered the realm of
its former owner, Magritte, but that he
will have to uncover all of the Belgian
artist’s secrets if he’s to have any hope
of getting out again). In Graphic Science:
Seven Journeys of Discovery (Myriad
£16.99), Darryl Cunningham draws a
series of inspiriting portraits of some
of our lesser-known scientists, among
them the palaeontologist Mary Anning,
and the astronomer Fred Hoyle.
Last but not least, a few
uncategorisable books. In The
Unquotable Trump (D&Q £16.99), R
Sikoryak mashes up to pretty satisfying
effect the president’s most ludicrous
declarations (so far), and all your
favourite comic book covers. (Step
forward, then, Nasty Woman!) Fans
of Chris Ware, meanwhile, will long
to own Monograph (Rizzoli £45), a
retrospective of the life and career
of the creator of Jimmy Corrigan so
luxuriantly huge, it’s almost impossible
to lift. Father and Son by EO Plauen
(NYRB £14.99) is a collection of the
classic strips created in 1934 by the
German cartoonist Erich Ohser
(Plauen was the pseudonym he
adopted after being blacklisted by the
Nazis) in a lovely new edition that will
make an excellent stocking filler (if you
don’t know Plauen’s strangely affecting
work already, these are dialogue-free,
slapstick adventures involving a gruff
but loving father and his sweet but
occasionally naughty son). Finally,
though not strictly a graphic book
itself, Mangasia (Thames & Hudson
£29.95) is Paul Gravett’s definitive
guide to Asian comics – a fat and lushly
illustrated volume that is as likely to
work for fans of manga as for those
who remain entirely baffled by it.
ARCHITECTURE
Humour, humanity and
some grand entrances
ROWAN MOORE
@RowanMoore
Meet the Hon Aeneas UpmotherBrown, Minister for Pop-Uption.
Hear how he gives a press
conference in Milan, in which
squadrons of bees recreate the lost
library of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s
Glasgow School of Art, while
humming Auld Lang Syne. Read
about the Placenta, an iconic building
whose name will give “a literal sense
of place, and also subliminally suggest
that as a landmark entity it will be
organic and full of transmittable
urban nutrients.”
These are inventions of Ian
Martin, who for a quarter-century
has been lighting up the worthy
32
pages of the Architects’ Journal.
Among that periodical’s useful
information on roof insulation, the
photographs of quite interesting
new schools and the paid-for
puffs for the bigger practices, he
weekly skewers and detonates
the absurdities of the business of
building. Like all comic geniuses,
he creates his own cosmos, which
means you don’t have to know
everything about architecture to
appreciate him. Although one of
his strengths is that he does in fact
know a lot about architecture, from
its obscurely academic end to the
cynically commercial.
A few years back his talent was
recognised by his recruitment to
the team that wrote The Thick of
It and related works. This year
Epic Space (Unbound £18.99)
was published, a collection of
his writing. As well as being
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
Left: The foyer of
the Casa Melandri,
by Gio Ponti and
Alberto Rosselli,
Milan. Delfino
Sisto Legnani
weepingly funny, it has a moral
core: Martin’s humour is motivated
by true detestation of exploitation
and deceit and by compassionate
amusement at the more harmless
pomposity of the people he describes.
Professor Joseph Rykwert,
an architectural historian, is a
different character from Martin,
but his Remembering Places (Taylor
& Francis £24.99) is also animated
by its humanity. Born two weeks
before our current Queen, he has a
lot of remembering to do, from his
upbringing in a well-off and cultured
Warsaw family to his friendships with
writers, philosophers, artists and
architects across postwar Europe.
His nine decades have been almost
entirely concerned with the pursuit of
knowledge, ideas and society, except
for the terrifying time in September
1939, when he and his immediate
family only just escaped the invading
Wehrmacht. Other relatives were not
so lucky.
Rykwert describes a period when
a young enthusiast like himself
could travel across Italy meeting
the greatest architects of his time
or, living for almost nothing in the
attic of a rectory in Soho, could
engage in intellectual and artistic
ferments. One mentor was the
misanthropic writer Elias Canetti,
who used to go to a certain cafe in
Hampstead – despite its specially
bad coffee – because the scorn he
felt for its patrons would help him
get past his writer’s block. Rykwert’s
wry and engaging book represents a
triumph of civilisation, for the way a
life punctuated by horror can stay true
to its delicate but essential values.
It is pleasant to escape into
Karl Kolbitz’s Entryways of Milan
(Taschen £49.99), a photographic
glimpse of mid-20th-century
civilised Europe. Its calm, fine
images show 100-plus examples
of the playful, well-crafted lobbies
through which bourgeois Milanesi
like to enter their apartment blocks,
spaces which wear lightly both
Italy’s classical heritage and the
freedoms of modernist design. The
book is from the Taschen stable
of sophisticated archi-porn, but
an exceptionally refined example,
whose seemingly narrow scope
and boring title reveal a miraculous
range of architectural invention. It
is, to put it plainly, just lovely stuff.
‘Hailmakers: well-scripted
comedy about two
Deptford entrepreneurs’
TV, page 40
¥
FICTION
Bleak visions and grave concerns
It was a good year for the Great American Novel, haunting English folk tales and first-time authors
ALEX PRESTONN
@ahmpreston
This was the year in which George
Saunders – long recognised as one
of the masters of the short story
– took on the novel. Lincoln in the
Bardo (Bloomsbury £18.99), set in a
Washington cemetery over the course
of one tragic night, was a worthy
winner of the Man Booker. Focusing
on Lincoln’s grief at the death of
his beloved son, Willy, the story is
narrated by the carnivalesque ghouls
who inhabit the graveyard. It’s as
wildly imaginative and profoundly
moving as anything I’ve read for a
long time. Joining Saunders on the
shortlist was another Great American
Novel, Paul Auster’s 4321 (Faber
£20). While it wasn’t roundly praised
by critics, it feels like the kind of
book that will endure – so much of
Auster’s extraordinary oeuvre comes
together in this long and intricate tale,
which manages to remain fresh and
dazzlingly original.
Fiona Mozley’s first novel, Elmet
(Hodder & Stoughton £10.99), was a
surprise inclusion on the Man Booker
shortlist, but it’s a cracking read.
Darkly lyrical and full of violence,
Mozley’s Yorkshire owes something
to Ted Hughes, something to older,
deeper folk tales and fables. She’s a
name to watch. Another shortlisted
book, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West
(Hamish Hamilton £14.99), casts a
magical realist spell on the horrors
of the migrant crisis, taking us
rlds and through
into parallel worlds
rative strung
portals, the narrative
n, Greece and
between London,
rica.
west-coast America.
Two magnificent books
missed the cut from longlist to
shortlist on the Man Booker,
mselves
but did find themselves
ortlist..
on the Costa shortlist
Kamila Shamsiee’s Home Fire
(Bloomsbury £16.99)
6.99), her
seventh and bestt novel so far,
is a retelling of Antigone set
in a contemporary London riven with
racial tensions. A heart-rending book
that makes the political intensely,
painfully personal. Jon McGregor’s
Reservoir 13 (4th Estate £14.99)
confirms him as one of our best
novelists. It’s haunting and peculiar, a
book that continues to rattle around in
your head long after you put it down. A
series of brilliant BBC radio broadcasts
have been spawned from the novel,
and it was also shortlisted for the
Goldsmiths prize.
There were some superb novels
that didn’t get picked up in the lottery
of the literary prizes. Jennifer Egan’s
Manhattan Beach (Corsair £16.99)
tells a story of Depression-era New
York through the waters that swirl
around it, dredging up forgotten tales
of the city’s maritime past. This is
a book of epic sweep and ambition
whose heroine, Anna, diving beneath
the waves, is a memorable figure.
Egan’s work has always been difficult
to pin down, playing tricks with
narrative conventions and the reader’s
expectations. This feels like her most
approachable novel so far, in places as
daring and unusual as A Visit from the
Goon Squad but with more of a story
and a heart.
Amanda Craig ’s The Lie of the Land
(Little, Brown £16.99) is a knucklegnawing novel of marriage, money
and country life. Witty, vicious, dark
and unsettling, it’s a book that has
finally propelled Craig to her rightful
place at the top table of contemporary
novelists. It manages at once to be
blackly funny, deeply touching and
full of edge-of-your-seat suspense. I’m
not sure I’d read it straight after The
Lie of the Land, but Katie Kitamura’s A
Separation (Profile £
£12.99) presents a
similarly bleak vision of married
life. About tthe absences that lie
at the heart
hear of even the closest
relationsh
relationships, this novel
matches iits desolate subject
matter wi
with luminous,
lapidary w
writing.
If you’re looking for
something a little more
upbeat, El
Elizabeth Day’s The
Party (4t
(4th Estate £12.99)
starts o
off jolly enough – a
Stripe. The fictionalised story of
the short life of playwright Andrea
Dunbar, it’s a beautiful period piece
of 1980s Britain, as funny and sad
as anything by Dunbar herself.
Elif Batuman’s first novel, The Idiot
(Jonathan Cape £16.99), delighted
me every bit as much as her earlier
nonfiction book about Russian
literature, The Possessed (2010).
Her young Turkish heroine, Selin,
manages to be both very clever and
entirely naive. It’s worth searching
out American War (Picador £14.99)
by Omar El Akkad, translated by
Laurent Barucq. Future dystopias
always tell us a great deal about our
most pressing contemporary anxieties
and this is a novel that imagines the
cracks currently emerging in US
society widening into ravines. Also
So much of Auster’s
extraordinary oeuvre
comes together in this
long tale, which is
dazzlingly original
Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot, and, left, Mohsin Hamid. Dan Tuffs/the Observer
group of well-heeled friends gathering
for a 40th birthday celebration. Things
sour quickly, though, and amid the
champagne and cocaine the plot builds
towards an almighty twist. Offering
a nice transatlantic counterpoint to
Day’s novel is Salman Rushdie’s The
Golden House (Jonathan Cape £18.99),
the tale of an immigrant family on the
make in Obama’s America. Carrying
whispers of The Bonfire of the Vanities
and The Godfather, but still brilliantly,
inimitably, a Rushdie novel, it’s one
of the most vivid and convincing
portraits of contemporary America
I’ve read.
There were a host of fine debut
novels this year, not least among
them Black Teeth and a Brilliant
Smile (Wrecking Ball £12)by Adelle
in translation (by Megan McDowell),
Samanta Schweblin’s nightmarish
Fever Dream (Oneworld £12.99) is a
book to read in one frantic sitting –
bold, uncanny and utterly gripping.
Finally, two books that ought to
be on every prize shortlist next year.
A new Alan Hollinghurst novel is
always something to celebrate, but
the sumptuous The Sparsholt Affair
(Picador £20) is a particularly joyful
thing. Funnier and lighter in touch
than 2011’s The Stranger’s Child, but
sharing many of its predecessor’s
concerns about the passing of time
and literary posterity, it’s hard to
imagine anyone not loving this novel.
The same might be said of La Belle
Sauvage (David Fickling £20), Philip
Pullman’s first book in his The Book
of Dust trilogy. It’s a stunningly
good read and shows that truly
great literature renders questions of
genre meaningless – this is not just a
masterpiece of children’s fiction, it’s a
masterpiece, full stop.
POETRY
New voices
from home
and away
CAROL RUMENS
NS
Poetry’s multiverse expanded in 2017.
What struck me most was the sparky
power surge of black and ethnic
minority writers – Karen McCarthy
Woolf, for example, whose new work in
Seasonal Disturbances (Carcanet £9.99)
is a fine antidote to Brexit delusions
and certainties: London-watching and
form-reshaping, unpredictable and
casually intense.
Nick Makoha’s first full-length
collection, Kingdom of Gravity (Peepal
Tree £8.99), was the 2017 debut which
most excited me. Focused on Uganda
during the Idi Amin dictatorship,
his poetry is charged with ethical
sensibility. The lines protest as they
sing “the song disturbed by helicopter
blades…” but they don’t simplify things:
they explore, and complicate. Personal
witness and artistry are one.
Lisa Samuels is an American
experimental poet whose latest
collection, Symphony for Human
Transport (Shearsman £9.95), is a fourmovement, book-length sequence,
somewhat metaphysical in character.
“The door to the train flew open” is
the stated theme for multiple, delicate
variations, and, gradually, the reader
understands that the poem itself is
the train, the journey taken through
consciousness. There are many doors
in these poems, and many perspectives
bathed in haunting, changing light.
Performance poetry often dies on
the page. But the work of Somalian
poet Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is an
exception, strengthened by a highly
craft-conscious, perhaps troubadourlike, oral culture. Though the rhetoric
is impassioned and the diction downto-earth, there are no simplistic politics
lectures in her dual-language, SomaliEnglish collection, The Sea Migrations:
The late Helen Dunmore’s collection Inside
the Wave is full of ‘beautiful light’. Alamy
Tahriib (Bloodaxe £12.00), translated by
Clare Pollard with Said Jama Hussein
and Maxamed Xasan “Alto”. One of the
tools of classical Somali poetry, I’ve
learned, is alliteration, and Pollard has
the perfect balance, not too heavy and
not inaudibly subtle, as in her riff on
the letter G in Recollection, where the
mother is “caught in grinding, groaning
rain, / always on guard while others
rest, / numbly enduring till a new day
glares.”
Poets have to be linguistic virtuosi,
but I prefer them to be brilliant quietly.
Richard Price’s poetry is inventive,
sometimes dazzling, but never merely
showy. I first came to Price’s poetry
with the publication of Lucky Day
(2005) and every subsequent book has
delivered fresh weather. Moon for Sale
(Carcanet £9.99) appeared in January
2017, and I’m still rereading it and
finding new pleasures. Price threads
the political into the personal when he
writes love poetry, and his intensely
felt lyricism is sinewy with warning:
“Grief not grudge. Extinction’s edge. /
Last on the late last list.”
“History is dismantled music,” writes
a similarly-serious Ishion Hutchinson
in the poem Sibelius and Marley. But
House of Lords and Commons (Faber
£12.99) generally refuses bleakness.
Hutchinson’s is an adjective-rich,
sea-lit, gorgeous, post-Walcott voice
in poetry’s transnational conversation.
Born in Jamaica, America-based,
culturally super-sensed (yes, even alert
to the weirdness of Westminster), this
poet steers a tight ship, set deep in its
origins, certain to voyage far.
Louis MacNeice remains a presence
for the tradition-conscious Northern
Irish generation of the 1970s. Leontia
Flynn’s The Radio (Cape £10) sparkles
with 21st-century chutzpah, sometimes
offset by maternal angst. Quicksilver
and self-mocking, Flynn is also the
measured and sombre Heaney elegist
we hear in August 30th 2013 – one
of the most impassioned poems in
a burgeoning genre, but still spiced
with occasional mischief: “Now shut
up. Write / for joy. Be deliberate and
unafraid.”
From Heaney’s own generation,
Michael Longley is as consummate
a stylist as ever in his new collection
Angel Hill (Jonathan Cape £10). The
Lancashire-born poet Michael
Symmons Roberts conducts a richly
imaginative exploration of a real and
unreal city in Mancunia (Cape £10),
dedicated to the victims of the 22 May
Manchester Arena attack.
2017 saw the loss of many loved
poets. Inside the Wave by the late Helen
Dunmore (Bloodaxe £9.95) ensures
her beautiful light will continue to
reach earth.
BOOKS OFFER
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33
Books
HISTORY
Real tales of
the unexpected
Fresh insights into wartime traitors, black
Britain, and pioneers of Victorian medicine
ANTHONY SATTIN
IN
@anthonysattin
History books should give us insight
and information, surprise and
entertainment, and allow us to see
the world, an incident or a character
differently. Nicholas Shakespeare’s Six
Minutes in May (Harvill Secker £20)
delivers in abundance. It revolves
around the prime minister Neville
Chamberlain’s announcement to
parliament, on 7 May 1940, of the
British military defeat by German
forces in Norway: 4,396 men had died.
Few people expected Chamberlain
to lose his post; fewer still thought
that Churchill, architect of the
Norway fiasco, could replace him. The
machinations that led Churchill to
power make for a great story; the wider
context and its effect on the war give
the story significance. Shakespeare
shapes all with an historian’s
thoroughness and a novelist’s flair.
The gory world of Victorian
surgery is the subject of Lindsey
Fitzharris’s The Butchering Art (Allen
Lane £16.99). At University College
Hospital, London, in 1846, a surgeon
– “the fastest knife in the West End”
– amputates a patient’s leg, watched
by a crowd in off the street. The crowd
was a regular feature, the use of ether
to soothe pain – known as “the Yankee
dodge” – was a novelty. Enter Joseph
Lister. Inspired by Louis Pasteur’s
work on microorganisms, Lister fights
infection and the establishment. The
ensuing blood-spattered story leads to
the transformation of the brutal world
of Victorian medicine.
Physicality is at the heart of
Victorians Undone (Fourth Estate
£20). Kathryn Hughes, celebrated for
biographies of George Eliot and Mrs
Beeton, looks beyond crinoline and
starched collars to bring us “tales of
the flesh”. The book focuses on the
physical attributes of five characters,
from Queen Victoria’s confidante
Lady Flora Hastings’s belly to Charles
Darwin’s beard (grown to help with
facial eczema) and George Eliot’s
hands (one larger than the other).
On the way, Hughes spins wonderful
and weird tales of how industrial
revolution Britons, crammed into
cities, learned to cope with their
neighbours’ bodies.
Kathryn Hughes
looks beyond
crinoline and stiff
collars to bring us
‘tales of the flesh’
British surgeon Joseph Lister, who fought infection with his antiseptic sprays. Science History Images/Alamy
Belonging (Bodley Head £25) is
volume two of Simon Schama’s Story
of the Jews, but stands on its own,
ranging from the expulsion from
Spain (1492) to Theodor Herzl in old
Jerusalem imagining the new city
the Jews would build (1900). Schama
writes with power and energy, and his
patchwork of individual tales crosses
the world. The ironic title refers both
to the Jewish quest for a safe home and
the suspicion levelled against Jews, in
the age of empires, for belonging to a
supra-national organisation.
Volume one of Schama’s work
appeared four years ago; if you can’t
wait for volume three, turn now to
The Holocaust, A New History (Penguin
£10.99). Laurence Rees’s shattering
account of the rise of Nazism and the
resultant genocide is a masterpiece
of concision, the best single-volume
portrait of the holocaust.
The 16th-century Tudor world was
dominated by religious schisms: Henry
VIII looking for an heir, Catholic
Mary, Queen of Scots losing her head,
Elizabeth facing a Catholic Spanish
armada... All this is familiar, and white.
Miranda Kaufmann’s achievement
in Black Tudors (Oneworld £18.99) is
to add racial diversity to the picture.
We meet the likes of John Blanke, a
royal trumpeter, and Anne Cobbie, a
Westminster prostitute, both free and
flourishing. Kaufmann has rescued
them, and many others, from the
obscurity of official registers, and in the
process changes our image of the age of
doublets and codpieces.
You need time to savour Stalin:
Waiting for Hitler (Allen Lane £35),
in which Stephen Kotkin fills 900
close-typed pages with an epic telling
of how Stalin consolidated power,
killed millions of his citizens and then
miscalculated Hitler’s intentions. This
is a monumental study of a ruthless
man intent on making his nation
a world leader, whatever the cost.
The tale is made mesmerising by the
personal details with which Kotkin,
professor at Princeton, makes his
characters come to life.
The Traitors (John Murray £20) of
Josh Ireland’s debut work are Britons
who sided with the Nazis. He follows
four of them, linked by common
cause, the most famous being William
Joyce. Better known as Lord HawHaw, he fled to Germany in 1939 and
spent the war broadcasting pro-Nazi
propaganda. Ireland tells his four
characters’ stories with immense skill,
to reveal their motives and lead them
to inevitable ruin. In the process, he
raises a question of great importance
now: what is patriotism, and why
should we care?
A very close second is provided
by Meredith Wadham’s superb The
Vaccine Race (Doubleday £20), which
tells the story of US biologist Leonard
Hayflick who pioneered the use of
human cells to create vaccines against
rubella, polio, and a host of killer
diseases during the postwar years. It is
a tale – told with pace and authority –
of theft, evasion, deceipt and obdurate
overregulation. We take vaccines for
granted today and forget they have
transformed the battle against illness,
wiping killers like smallpox and polio
from the planet. Yet as Wadham makes
clear, their widespread use was often
a close-run battle against the forces of
ignorance and fear.
By contrast, Matthew Walker
offers an intriuging synthesis of
his own work on dreams and sleep
in Why We Sleep (Allen Lane £20).
Here the neuroscientist stresses
the importance of good sleep as a
restorative agent every bit as powerful
as any drug or medical therapy. Ignore
those who claim to need only a few
hours a day, he says. Lack of sleep
doesn’t just make you groggy, it’s a
slow form of self-euthanasia.
James Gleick’s Time Travel: A History
(4th Estate £16.99) and Dava Sobel’s
The Glass Universe (4th Estate £16.99)
SCIENCE
Make
your mince
pies sing…
ROBIN MCKIE
@RobinMcKie
Think of anything that ever breathed –
from bacteria to blue whales to Roman
emperors – and some of his, her or its
last breath is either circulating inside
you now or will be shortly. Thus, with
this startling claim, Sam Kean begins
his examination of all things gaseous,
Caesar’s Last Breath (Doubleday £20),
in which he attempts to make stories
about gases visible “so you can see
them as clearly as you can see your
breath on a crisp November morning.”
By and large, Kean succeeds in this
hugely enjoyable, slightly rambling
account of our atmosphere and the
remarkable men and women who
transformed our knowledge about
the air we breathe. I am not quite
convinced by the arithmetic used
to justify his claim that a few of the
molecules that once danced inside
Caesar’s lungs are dancing in our
own lungs today but still found
enough to entertain and stimulate
in Caesar’s Last Breath to make it
my science book of the year.
34
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
Icy endeavour: the doomed expedition of
John Franklin. Print Collector/Getty
offer historical perspectives on two very
different subjects. The former explores
the impact of HG Wells’s masterpiece
The Time Machine, which invented an
entire new genre of fiction and whose
influence stretches from Tom Stoppard
to Kurt Gödel and from pulp fiction to
modern physics. For her part, Sobel
focuses on the “human computers”
of Harvard College Observatory,
pioneering women who were
employed to study photographic plates
of the stars and whose measurements
showed our own galaxy is only one of
many other galaxies flying away from
each other in an expanding universe.
Still on a historical note, Paul
Watson’s Ice Ghosts (Norton £21.99)
provides a gripping account of the
uncovering of the wrecks of Erebus and
Terror, the lost ships of John Franklin’s
doomed 19th-century expedition to sail
the Northwest Passage. It is a discovery,
we learn, that only became possible
when explorers bothered to listen to
the tales of local Inuit whose ancestors
had watched the ships sink.
Finally, a scientific work to
help you make it through Xmas.
In Gastrophysics (Viking £16.99),
psychologist Charles Spence
examines how our senses influence
our choice of food and drink. Play
gentle Gallic accordion tunes over
supermarket loudspeakers and
shoppers will throng to the French
wine shelves, while a burst of
bierkeller music has them hurrying
to buy German vintages. Cover tables
with checked tablecloths and chianti
bottles and diners invariably rate
pizzas as tastier than those consumed
on formica tops. By this token, endless
replays of the festive best from Bing
Crosby, Slade and Wham! should
therefore make your mince pies seem
much tastier… Well, it’s a theory.
‘The story of Don McLean’s
Lean’s
1971 classic American
an Pie
is an interesting one’
ne’
TV, page 44
¥
BIOGRAPHY
Comedy, tragedy
and the healing
power of plants
From Princess Margaret and politics to a
crop of memoirs, there’s something
for everyone in this year’s life studies
TIM ADAMS
@TimAdamsWrites
Craig Brown says he was prompted
to write Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of
Princess Margaret (4th Estate £16.99) by
the fact that his subject appeared in the
indexes of so many other biographies.
While her sister could make claims to
be the most famous leading lady alive,
Margaret was assigned a character part
in the second half of the 20th century,
the snobbiest and most spendthrift
poor relation in any town. Brown does
not attempt a beginning middle and
end of the princess’s life, rather he
aims to ask the questions that perhaps
plagued her: “Why is she in all these
diaries and memoirs? What is she
doing there?” His answer, offered
in 99 perfectly pitched vignettes, is
consistently hilarious and eye-opening.
Inevitably, the princess has a
small but telling role in what Tina
Brown describes as her “madcap”,
“supercharged” personal history of
late 20th-century fame, The Vanity
Fair Diaries, 1983-1992 (Weidenfeld
& Nicolson £25). When “Queen
Tina” took charge of Tatler with
little experience aged 25, her soonto-be husband, Sunday Times editor
Harry Evans, gave her a crash course
in picture layout. The photo he
demonstrated on – a tight crop of
Princess Margaret dancing in Mustique
with Colin Tennant – gave Brown her
first scoop. At Tatler and at Vanity Fair,
Brown staked a claim to have invented
modern celebrity by making gossip
news. That dubious boast would be
contested, however, by Jann Wenner,
founding editor of Rolling Stone
magazine. Joe Hagan’s biography of
Wenner, Sticky Fingers (Canongate
£25), is as obsessive and self-involved
as its subject (who commissioned it,
then disowned it), but as a chronicle
of those testosterone- and cocainefuelled “purple decades” in which
journalism aspired to the condition
of rock’n’roll, it makes compelling and
sobering reading.
Anthony Powell once observed
that “It is not what happens to people
that is significant, but what they think
happens to them.” You might say that
the best biography occurs in the space
between those two versions. Hilary
Spurling was appointed biographer
to Powell nearly 40 years ago, on the
understanding she would leave it as
long as possible to put pen to paper
(the author of the 12-volume A Dance
to the Music of Time knew all about
playing the long game). Spurling’s
Anthony Powell (Hamish Hamilton
£25) is worth the wait; intimate and
judicious, it doubles as an alternative
history of a lost kind of Englishness.
One of the lessons of Powell’s 94
years is that writers are capable of
glorious second and third acts – he
did not start his life’s work until he
was 45. Politicians are generally
less lucky in this regard. There is a
tragic cast to the two major political
memoirs of this year. Gordon Brown in
My Life, Our Times (The Bodley Head
£25) proves himself wise on almost
every subject but himself. He comforts
himself with the notion that he was
simply not suited to the modern desire
for “celebrity politicians”, that his
ego wasn’t up to it. For all the false
modesty of that position, it is hard
not to feel a sense of nostalgia for the
genuine seriousness of his analysis
of political realities. There is an even
sharper sense of might-have-beens
in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s What
Happened (Simon and Schuster £20).
You come away from her memoir
feeling the title lacks a wtf expletive
and half a dozen question marks.
Chroniclers of other people’s
lives do not always make the best
memoirists, but there are exceptions
to that rule. Armistead Maupin
made his name with the episodic
revelations of San Francisco’s gay
culture before and after Aids in Tales
of the City. His own coming out is
the memorable epiphany of Logical
Family (Doubleday £20), the story
of how he overcame the bigotry of
100 BEST NONFICTION
BOOKS OF ALL TIME
By Robert McCrum
NO 96
Devotions
Upon Emergent
Occasions (1624)
John Donne
In late November
1623, the poet John
Donne was struck
down by a mysterious “relapsing
fever” (so-called because the patient
often died during convalescence).
The patient believed that his
illness was a divine rebuke; he
asked for pen and paper in order
to record the experience of this
“emergent occasion”.
Incredibly, Donne planned, wrote,
and published Devotions Upon
Emergent Occasions, a meditation on
life and death, while still convalescing.
Written with astonishing intensity, the
work was registered in January 1624
and published at once.
Many of the books in this series are
You come away from
Clinton’s book feeling
that the title lacks a
‘wtf’ and half a dozen
question marks
blood relations to forge an alternative
loving community. Plot 29 (4th Estate
£14.99), by Allan Jenkins (editor of
the Observer’s food magazine), is
a no less affecting story of grafting
and regrowth. Jenkins’s diary of a
gardening year, at his north London
allotment, is the occasion for digging
down into a childhood in which he
was taken into care and given up for
adoption. The long shadow that trauma
cast becomes dappled and partly
redeemed by the lessons of the seasons.
Claire Tomalin, celebrated biographer
of Charles Dickens and Samuel
Pepys and Thomas Hardy, knows all
about the light and shade of human
experience. In A Life of My Own (Viking
£16.99) she quietly turns her brilliant,
careful intelligence to the love and
loss she has experienced in her own
84 years. The unfathomable shocks
of the death of her first husband,
Nick Tomalin, killed in Israel while
reporting on the Yom Kippur war, and
of her beloved daughter Susanna who
took her own life while a student at
Oxford, are conveyed with clear-eyed
honesty. And they are set against her
knowledge of how “very lucky” she
has been to “find happiness as well
as tragedy”. There is a truth to every
chapter of her recollection; she takes
her lead from her hero, Samuel Pepys,
who “never pretended that he felt as he
should, or behaved better than he did”.
answers to a crisis. Devotions actually
braids the author’s “emergency”
into the title. Writing to a friend, he
described the process whereby
his “relapsing fever”
brought this neglected
classic into the world:
“Though I have left my
bed, I have not left my
bedside; I have used
this leisure, to put the
meditations I had in my
sickness, into some such
order, as may minister some
holy delight.” Like all Donne’s
greatest writing, these Devotions,
as the poet Andrew Motion has
written, “are a performance. Donne’s
sickbed is a stage and we admire the
patient as if we were looking at him
across footlights.”
The 23 sections of Devotions
correspond to 23 days of the
poet’s fever. These “Stations of the
Sickness” are divided into three parts:
“Meditations”, “Expostulations with
God” and “Prayers”. Each section
contains a succession of dazzling
observations:
“We study health, and
we deliberate upon our
meats, and drink, and
air, and exercises; and
we hew, and we polish
every stone, that goes
to that building; and
so our health is a long
and regular work. But in
a minute a cannon batters
all, overthrows all, demolishes all;
a sickness unprevented for all our
diligence, unsuspected for all our
curiosity; nay, undeserved if we
consider only disorder, summons us,
seizes us, possesses us, destroys us in
an instant.”
As well as reflecting on the shocking
propinquity of life and death, Donne
is tormented by his isolation, as a
patient:
“As sickness is the greatest
misery, so the greatest misery of
sickness is solitude… Solitude is a
torment which is not threatened in
hell itself.”
From his sickbed, he hears the
bell in the neighbouring square,
translating the moment into one of
his most famous lines: “Never
send to know for whom the bell
tolls, it tolls for thee.” Confronting
his mortality, some passages are
strikingly modern:
“No man is an island, entire of
itself; every man is a piece of the
continent, a part of the main; any
man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in
mankind.”
Clockwise from top left: Princess Margaret
meets the Beatles, 1965; Tina Brown in
her office, 1990; Armistead Maupin in San
Francisco, 2017; Hillary Rodham Clinton
addresses the United Nations, 1995.
Alamy Stock Photo; REX/Shutterstock;
Josh Edelson for the Guardian; UN Photos
For an extended version of this review
go to theguardian.com/books
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
35
Charts & puzzles
PHOTOGRAPHY
YOUR PICTURES OF…
1
2
DRIVE
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
to theguardian.com/witness.
Next theme: weekend (to appear
10 December). Share your photos of
what ‘weekend’ means to you at
theguardian.com/witness by 10am
on Thursday 7 December.
1 | ‘A taxi drives off in Havana.’
Steven Hyde/GuardianWitness
2 | ‘Drive-in.’
Emily Alster/GuardianWitness
3 | ‘A silver road.’
MrKatr/GuardianWitness
4 | ‘Driving across the Uyuni salt flats
in Bolivia. The mirror effect of the
water makes it feel like you’re floating
through the sky.’
Ian Cumberland/GuardianWitness
3
W
POP
Taylor Swift
Just the three
UK/Ireland dates for
Swift (right), whose
Reputation is the bestselling US LP of 2017.
Tour starts
Manchester 8 June,
ends London 22 June
Wiley
His Godfather album
restated Wiley’s claim
to be grime’s prime
mover; as he preps
Godfather II, here’s his
biggest headline tour
to date.
Tour starts
Manchester 21
February, ends
London 2 March
4
John
Annie Baker is author
of the mesmerising The
Flick; her 2015 US hit is
directed by the terrific
James Macdonald.
Dorfman, London SE1;
17 January–3 March
THEATRE
DANCE
The Grinning Man
Tom Morris’s show
gave Bristol delicious
shivers last year.
Based on a Victor
Project Polunin –
Satori
Sergei Polunin and
friends in an evening
of new ballet.
ON THIS DAY
Royal Festival Hall,
London SE1; 24 Jan
Hugo novel, the
grisly gothic musical
features War Horse
puppeteers and Julian
Bleach as a torturer
clown.
Trafalgar Studios,
London SW1; from
5 December
A quiz about events that happened on this
day – 3 December – throughout history
ART
Coliseum, London
WC2; 5-10 December
CLASSICAL
National Youth
Orchestra of Great
Britain
Mark Elder conducts
these top teenage
musicians in Bartók’s
Duke Bluebeard’s
Castle and Dukas’s
Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Manchester, 5 Jan;
Nottingham, 6 Jan;
London, 7 Jan
Tacita Dean
An unprecedented
celebration of this
marvellously intelligent
film artist across
three great venues:
film portraits at the
National Portrait
Gallery, still lives at
the National Gallery
and landscapes at the
Royal Academy.
Various venues,
London; 15 March–28
May
London Sinfonietta
at 50
A major celebration
for this pioneering
ensemble, with
music by key
composers of the past
half-century.
1. Which author, who died on this day in
1894, wrote The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll
and Mr Hyde?
2. The Treaty of Alexandropol sought
to end hostilities between Armenia and
which other country in 1920?
3. A Streetcar Named Desire opened
on Broadway in 1947. Who played the
character Stanley Kowalski?
4. Who became the first supreme leader of
Iran in 1979?
5. Which US-owned pesticide plant in India
was the source of a deadly chemical leak
in 1984?
6. In 1992, a test engineer used a computer
to send what to a mobile phone?
7. In 1999, Nasa lost communication with
which expensive unmanned landing craft?
Chosen by Kitty
Empire, Susannah
Clapp, Fiona Maddocks,
Luke Jennings and
Laura Cumming
Answers on page 37
EVERYMAN CROSSWORD
ACROSS
1 Excess force in confident
appeal (7)
5 Answer following reasonable
concern (6)
10 Be uncomfortably hot while
in bunk (5)
11 Royal attendants echo
doubts about king (9)
12 Narrow-minded snub,
ignoring conclusion by
revolutionary artist (7)
13 Barrier formed by river, not
well (7)
14 Engine dad had designed for
secret purpose (6,6)
18 Carefully controlled step by
chap getting on (5-7)
21 No longer working in
December, time filled with
merriment (7)
22 Fancy duck followed by
seconds in endless meal (7)
24 Free article, almost useless,
with large fit (9)
25 Tree without decoration by
the sound of it (5)
26 Dates, not normally variable,
fixed (6)
27 Cloud level about right (7)
DOWN
1 Spectacle involving skill
1
NO 3712
2
3
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
5
6
7
8
Name
9
Address
10
11
12
13
Post code
How many times a month do you
buyThe Observer?
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15
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buyThe Guardian?
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17
Tick here if you do not wish to receive any further
information from The Observer or other companies
carefully selected by us
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No enclosures please other than name and address.
Results on Sunday week
20
21
22
24
26
coming up directly (8)
2 Spy hoard, stirred to make
expression of ecstasy (8)
3 Praise text, old-fashioned to
some extent (5)
4 Novel gag, hasty, better after
revision (3,5,6)
6 In favour of effort, study
taboo (9)
AZED CROSSWORD For a different challenge see page 37
36
4
23
25
£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
27
7 Sour account about police
department on island (6)
8 Extend contract or quit (6)
9 Supply officers in region on
planet disrupted by alien’s
rising (14)
15 Involved in goal, securing
team’s first corner (9)
16 Upset about soldier with
angry speech lacking
knowledge (8)
17 Unravelling lies, ends
inactivity (8)
19 Principles one
compromises? (6)
20 Erase error initially supported
by very loud expert (6)
23 Assistant for each essay (5)
AZED No. 2,373 PLAIN COMPETITION PUZZLE
10
11
AZED 2,370 Solution & notes
12
1
B
11
13
14
12
15
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N M E
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O M O
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N
and Azed’s comments, is
available on subscription at £16 a year.
Cheques payable to the Azed Slip, should
be sent to The Azed Slip, Coombe Farm,
Awbridge, Romsey SO51 0HN. To receive
a sample slip, please send an sae to this
address.
Rules and requests
29
Send correct solution (one only) and
clue to replace definition asterisked (on
separate sheet also bearing name and
address, securely attached) to Azed
No. 2,373, PO Box 518, Oxford, OX2
6WX. Entries should be postmarked no
later than Saturday. Please add a brief
explanation of your clue (one entry
only). £35, £30, £25 prizes and Azed
bookplates for the three clues judged
best. The Azed Slip, containing
details of successful competition entries
30
31
32
33
Name
Across 1, i.e. B-list, cf. A-list; 11, l
acta + anag.; 12, (B)unbury; ref. The
Importance of Being Earnest; 16, pro
mo; 21, a inch in plant; 26, b + airn; ref.
golf; 27, sot tan a (all rev.); 31, aked in
MO; 33, e in matte a; 34, w in anag., & lit.
Down 2, anag. less O x 2; 6, bis cach(e)
a; 7, exclamation; 9, d + Yale (rev.); 10,
anag. incl. E in Sn; 13, anag. in bare a; 16,
Indian = Indian meal; 22, anag. + anag.;
23, la in tuba (rev.); 25, ‘an ’ole’; 28, OK
+ ra(dish).
AZED No. 2,370 prizewinners
Mrs Jacqueline M Buchan,
Aberdeenshire
R C Teuton, Frampton Cotterell
Val Heap, Sheffield
Address
DOWN
Postcode
ACROSS
1 Very little water among black stuff in Aussie swamp (5)
8 East African, one resident in Siam oddly (5)
12 Oh-so-good football team, Roman, nets ball, being
slightly crazy (10)
13 Analyse in old Latin class extreme anxiety nation
disposed of (7)
14 Comprehends page penned by German writer (6)
15 Dry? Stick around for several pints, old style (6)
17 Have trouble breathing when doctor comes round (4)
18 Throaty sound from the belly, ultra distorted (8)
19 Fine old blade, fad rarer arena’s displayed with a
flourish (13, 2 words)
22 Bow during mass unsteadily, revealing fleshy lumps (8)
24 Little bird: hard when it’s caught by its predator? (4)
27 Loathe being taken in by backward personality?
Acts as ringleader (6)
29 Garrison retreat: ruined number lost rebuilt with time (6)
30 E.g. raspberry feature some Manoir eaters knocked back (7)
31 Formally repeat what’s arranged in a meeting (10)
32 Dubious reading of Will’s English in subject of inquiry (5)
33 Sea eagles sailors spotted in experience from stern (5)
FILM
*1 Dyspeptic (11)
2 Perfume dad got in on account of name, presented
with a kiss (8)
3 Drunks like this will turn up after success at the races? (5)
4 Drunk let off – it’s not much (6)
5 Guitar before start of liturgy, Dean’s speciality? (4)
6 Transfer to adjust balance giving the old man energy (4)
7 A liberal philanthropist, however old (7)
8 —— hobo’s out of place in a bathroom – he met his end
in one (5)
9 A blip? Thatcher might have had recourse to this abroad (4)
10 Isis orants might have rattled these with endless noise (6)
11 They’ll save on heating bills – salon units I treated (11)
16 Crown circling prince I’ll follow as hanger-on (8)
18 Name periodical brought up for ‘sexually active’ (7)
20 Menial urged to work with day added on (6)
21 What’s displaying form of rut with age? (6)
23 Bead fastener old James attached to one of netsuke’s pair (5)
25 What may be found in Rhone, flapping about (5)
26 Deserts, or nameless features thereof (4)
27 Indian liquor, peaty by the sound of it (4)
28 Uxorious husbands abound there, principally, abroad! (4)
The Chambers Dictionary (2014) is recommended.
MUSIC
BOOKS
Top 10 movies at talktalktvstore.co.uk
Top 10 albums at iTunes
Top 10 food and drink at amazon.co.uk
1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1
2
3
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Dir: Luc Besson
2 Spider-Man: Homecoming Jon Watts
3 War for the Planet of the Apes Matt Reeves
4 Baby Driver Edgar Wright
5 Transformers: The Last Knight Michael Bay
6 Despicable Me 3 Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
7 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
David Soren
8 The Wall Doug Liman
9 Wonder Woman Patty Jenkins
10 The Mummy Alex Kurtzman
Reputation Taylor Swift
The Rest of Our Life Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Evolve Imagine Dragons
Everyday Is Christmas Sia
A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe Pentatonix
Lambs & Lions Chase Rice
Now That’s What I Call Music, Vol 64 Various
Divide (Deluxe) Ed Sheeran
Atomic Blonde (Original Motion Picture
Soundtrack) Various
10 From the Fires Greta Van Fleet
SUDOKU CLASSIC
5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food Jamie Oliver
The Christmas Chronicles Nigel Slater
At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking
Nigella Lawson
4 Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape Gino D’Acampo
5 Rick Stein: The Road to Mexico Rick Stein
6 Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2018
Hugh Johnson
7 River Cottage Much More Veg
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
8 New Classics Marcus Wareing
9 1001 Beers Adrian Tierney-Jones
10 The Clever Guts Recipe Book Dr Clare Bailey
The line-up at the candidates tournament
in Berlin next March is now complete,
after Fide’s grand prix cycle concluded
in Palma de Mallorca last weekend. The
eight who will vie to become Magnus
Carlsen’s next challenger are: Sergey
Karjakin, Carlsen’s defeated challenger
in 2016; Levon Aronian and Ding Liren,
who were first and second at the world
cup in Tblisi in September; Shakhriyar
Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk,
from the grand prix itself; Fabiano
Caruana and Wesley So, who qualify
by rating; and Vladimir Kramnik, the
organisers’ wild card.
The Palma leg of the grand prix
culminated in a tense last round last
Saturday. After winning two games in
the first four rounds, Aronian gained an
outright lead that he was able to maintain
with a series of draws.
In the final round, Aronian got into
serious trouble as Black against Hikaru
Nakamura but was able to defend himself.
The other big question was whether
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave or Teimour
Radjabov would be able to pull off a win
to grab a top two finish and a place in
Berlin. Radjabov had recovered from a
poor start with two successive wins but
in the final round the normally eccentric
Richárd Rapport played distressingly
solidly against him and he didn’t seem
to make too much effort to press.
Radjabov has already played twice in the
candidates in the knockout in Kazan 2011
and the eight-player, double-rounder in
London 2013, where he was dead last and
perhaps wasn’t greatly bothered.
Vachier-Lagrave certainly was and
had turned down his place in the French
team at the recent European team
championships in Crete to prepare.
However, after getting very decent
chances against Dmitry Jakovenko,
he lost his way. The outcome was that
Aronian and Jakovenko were first on
5.5/9 ahead of seven players on 5, while in
the overall grand prix, the top order was
Mamedyarov, Grischuk, Radjabov, Ding
Liren, Jakovenko, MV-L and Nakamura.
The circus has already moved on to the
London Classic, where the second round
is being played today at Kensington
Olympia. More on this next week.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave v Dmitry
Jakovenko
Palma De Mallorca 2017 (round 9)
Giuoco Piano
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3 Nf6
5 d3 a6 6 0-0 d6 7 a4 Ba7 8 Re1 0-0 9 h3
h6 10 Nbd2 Re8 11 b4 Ne7 12 Qb3 Rf8
Jakovenko has lost two tempi with his rook
but claims that the queen isn’t great on b3.
13 d4 exd4 14 cxd4 d5 15 exd5 Nexd5
16 b5 Be6 Rather odd since the obvious
14... axb5 15 axb5 Be6, keeping the position
compact, looks perfectly playable.
17 bxa6 bxa6 18 Ba3 Re8 19 Ne5 Nf4
20 Ndf3 This allows Jakovenko to simplify.
Instead 20 Nc6 Qd7 21 Qf3 would have kept
more tension. Perhaps Black can play 21...
Bxd4 22 Rad1 Bxc4 23 Nxc4 Rxe1+
24 Rxe1 Bxf2+ 25 Qxf2 Nxh3+ 26 gxh3 Qxc6
27 Qg2 Qxg2+ 28 Kxg2 but this unbalanced
endgame is very hard to judge.
20... Bxc4 21 Qxc4 Qd5! 22 Qxd5 N6xd5
23 Nc6 If instead 23 a5 Nc3 24 Nc6 Nb5!
defends the bishop and puts pressure on the
d4 pawn to maintain equality.
23... Rxe1+? 23... Re2! 24 Kf1 Rc2 25 Rac1
Rxc1 26 Rxc1 a5! was much better.
24 Rxe1 a5 25 g3 Ng6 And not 25...Nxh3+
26 Kg2 Ng5 27 Nxg5 hxg5 28 Re5 Nb4
29 Ne7+! Kf8 30 Rxa5 Kxe7 31 Bxb4+ Kd7
32 Bc5 winning.
26 Nxa7 Rxa7 27 Re8+ Kh7 28 h4 Rb7!
Activating the rook and threatening to fork
the bishop and knight.
29 Nd2 29 Bc5 Rb3 30 Nd2 was more
awkward for Black but not 30 Kg2 Ndf4+
31 gxf4 Nxf4+ 32 Kg3 Nh5+ 33 Kg2 Nf4+
with a draw.
29... Nc3 30 h5 Nh8 The knight looks ugly
here but defends f7 and can come out later.
31 Nc4 Nxa4 32 Ne5? Keeping it
complicated. But really 32 Nxa5 was
sensible when Rb5 33 Re5 Nc3 34 Nc6 f6 35
Re3 Nd5 36 Re8 gives chances without risk.
32… Nb6 33 Bc5 a4 34 d5?! 34 Kf1 f6 35
Nc6 Nf7 36 Ne7 Nd7 37 Ra8 (not 37 Ng6
Rb8!) would have maintained the balance
but of course in the circumstances, MV-L
had to take a chance.
34... f6 35 Nc6 Nd7 36 Bd4 Rb5
Dmitry
Jakovenko
(Black)
Maxime
VachierLagrave
(White to play)
37 Nd8?? Allowing a deadly pin. 37 d6 cxd6
38 Re7 Ne5 39 Bxe5 dxe5 40 Ra7 should still
just about hold but admittedly wouldn’t
have suited MV-L anyway.
37... Rb8! 38 Bb2 Rxb2 39 Ne6 a3 40 Re7
Nf7! 41 Rxf7 a2 42 Rxg7+ Kh8 43 Rxd7
a1Q+ 44 Kg2 Qe1 And MV-L resigned.
SUDOKU SOLUTIONS
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CHESS B Y J O N AT H A N S P E E L M A N
KILLER
11
16
22
10
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24
10
11
8
17
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Fill in the blank cells using the numbers 1 to 9. Each number must appear
just once in every row, column and 3x3 box.
Everyman No. 3710 winners
Richard Boon, London
Mervyn Lipton, Cumbria
Jane Powell, London
J Garret, Bagstone, Bagstone
Mike Higgins, Swansea
C H I L D S P L
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T H
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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.
H
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F
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V
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ANSWERS
On this day
1. Robert Louis Stevenson
2. Turkey
3. Marlon Brando
4. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
5. Union Carbide, near Bhopal
6. World’s first text message
7. Mars Polar Lander
SOLUTION NO. 3711
15
22
5
17
21
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The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
37
Today’s television
PICKS OF
THE DAY
largely to the unending military conflict
in that region of East Africa. The geology
is fascinating, but best of all is Xand van
Tulleken’s encounter with mountain gorillas,
of which, criminally, only 900 remain.
of the official film-making criteria. A
revealing, entertaining journey, but also an
act of joyous defiance. Jonathan Romney
DRAMA
Drama on 3: The Devil’s Passion
RADIO
Radio 3, 9pm
Howards End
BBC One, 9pm
As the pretty but insubstantial adaption of
EM Forster’s novel slouches to a close, the
disgraced Henry offers to release Margaret
from her engagement. Now, still more
secrets are disclosed. Mike Bradley
FILM
ROBOTS
Taxi Tehran
BBC Four, 11pm
Robot Wars
BBC Two, 8pm
(Jafar Panahi, 2015)
All too soon we have arrived at the Grand
Final. First, however, all second and third
place robots from the heats have one last
chance to battle it out in a 10-way, no time
limit, last robot standing fight to the death,
with the winner securing the last spot in
the final. A flipping, flailing, spinning hour
of mechanical mayhem resulting in one of
the least likely winners you will ever see.
This ingenious piece completes a trilogy
of extraordinary features made by Iranian
director Panahi in direct response to his
government’s ban on him continuing
to make films. Here he at last ventures
into the open after This Is Not a Film, his
claustrophobic self-portrait during house
arrest, and the drama Closed Curtain. This
time, he rigged a taxi with hidden cameras
and filmed himself driving round Tehran
with various passengers: among them,
the DVD bootlegger who keeps the city
supplied with Woody Allen and The Walking
Dead; a human rights lawyer who has shared
Panahi’s experience of hunger strike; and the
director’s young niece, whose own movie
project for school reveals the contradictions
DOCUMENTARY
Expedition Volcano
BBC Two, 9pm
The series concludes with a visit to
Nyamuragira, one of the most active but
least explored volcanoes on Earth, owing
TV CHOICE
Blue Planet II: Coasts
BBC One, 8pm
“Coasts are the most swiftly changing of
all ocean habitats because of the tides,”
says David Attenborough at the start of
tonight’s programme, “making them the
most constantly dynamic landscapes
on Earth.” He illustrates his point with
breathtaking aerial footage of a beach
in Costa Rica, where mother olive ridley
turtles (above) arrive in their hundreds
of thousands to lay their eggs. As if that
wasn’t dramatic enough, he goes on
to tell natural history stories filled with
action sequences guaranteed to thrill and
surprise us all: just wait until you see the
footage of Galápagos sea lions working as
a team to trap huge yellowfin tuna. There
is also a miniature timelapse drama of life
in a rockpool – grazers, scavengers and
filter feeders; Pacific blennies conducting
the oddest of courtship rituals; and the
biggest gathering of coastal sharks on
the planet. Don’t miss this. Mike Bradley
David Suchet puts in a magnificent
performance as Satan plus a host of other
biblical characters, human and animal,
in this rewarding radio dramatisation of
Justin Butcher’s satirical play retelling the
Passion story from the devil’s point of view.
Satan, of course, does not see himself
as evil and describes Jesus as a “radical
preacher and populist demagogue” who
must be stopped. Modern war tactics and
surveillance help Satan and his followers
“close in on the target” but Jesus’s
“suicide mission” is about to ensure the
“biggest own goal in the history of hell”.
Darkly comic, this thoroughly stimulating
production raises many theological and
ethical questions. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Rugby Union
BT Sport 1, 2.30pm
Harlequins v Saracens: Premiership . Live
coverage from the Twickenham Stoop,
where poor, beleaguered Quins meet the
Sarries juggernaut. Recently humbled
by champions Exeter, Mark McCall’s men
will be champing at the bit for a chance to
return to winning ways and injury-blighted
Quins must be on their mettle. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast (T) 7.25 Match of the
Day (T) (R) 9.0 The Andrew Marr
Show (T) 10.0 Fern Britton Meets
Stefanie Reid (T) 11.0 Sunday
Politics (T) 12.15 News (T) 12.30
Flog It! (T) (R) 12.50 Mary Berry’s
Country House Secrets (T) (R)
1.50 FA Cup Final Score (T) 4.15
Songs of Praise (T) 4.55 Blue
Planet II (T) (R) 5.55 News (T) 6.10
Regional News and Weather (T)
6.20 Countryfile (T) Helen Skelton
and Sean Fletcher explore the
Cleveland Way. 7.20 Strictly
Come Dancing: The Results (T)
6.05 Coast (T) (R) 7.05 Gardeners’
World (T) (R) 7.35 The Secret
History of the British Garden
(T) (R) 8.35 Countryfile (T) (R)
9.30 Saturday Kitchen Best
Bites (T) 11.0 Food & Drink (T) (R)
11.30 My Life on a Plate (T) (R)
12.15 MOTD2 Extra (T) 1.0 Live
Snooker: UK Championship (T)
Hazel Irvine presents coverage
of the fifth day at the Barbican
Centre in York, featuring matches
in the second round. 6.0 MOTD:
FA Cup Highlights (T) 7.0 Turkey
With Simon Reeve (T) (R)
6.0
6.20 Kevin Can Wait (T) 7.10
Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 7.35 Everybody Loves
Raymond (T) (R) 8.0 Everybody
Loves Raymond (T) (R) 8.30
Frasier (T) (R) 9.30 Sunday
Brunch (T) 12.30 Paul Hollywood:
A Baker’s Life (T) (R) 1.0 F1 2017:
Hamilton’s Record Breaking
Season (T) 2.0 The Simpsons (T)
(R) 3.55 Arthur Christmas
(Barry Cook, Sarah Smith, 2011)
(T) 5.50 Shrek (Andrew
Adamson, Vicky Jenson, 2001)
(T) 7.30 News (T)
6.0
Blue Planet II (T) Footage of
animals that live on the coast.
Howards End (T) Margaret
resolves to uphold her
engagement, while Helen
leaves for Europe with no
explanation. Henry proposes
a plan to resolve the issues at
Howards End. Last in the series.
8.0
Robot Wars (T) The final features
the series’s biggest ever battle,
with 10 robots from previous
episodes returning to fight for
the last place in the final round.
Last in the series.
Expedition Volcano (T) (2/2)
The team take a helicopter to
the crater of an active volcano.
7.20 The X Factor: Live Final (T)
Dermot O’Leary introduces
the climax of the talent contest,
as the two remaining acts give
their final performance before
this year’s winner is announced.
Last in the series.
9.0 I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of
Here! (T) Ant and Dec present the
celebrity challenge, as the famous
faces continue their ordeal.
8.0
Coastal Railways With Julie
Walters (T) The actor travels
from Newcastle upon Tyne to
Edinburgh by train.
Mission: Impossible –
Ghost Protocol (Brad Bird, 2011)
(T) The secret agent team are
falsely implicated in a bombing.
Action adventure sequel starring
Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner.
8.15 Aviva Premiership Rugby
Highlights (T) Action from the
10th round of matches, including
Northampton Saints v Newcastle
Falcons, Exeter Chiefs v Bath, and
Harlequins v Saracens.
8.55 News (T)
9.0 The Paul O’Grady Story (T) (R)
Profile of the talkshow host,
exploring his years as a social
worker and drag act.
8.0
10.0 Snowfall (T) Franklin discovers
that it was Lenny who came
after him.
10.45 Snowfall (T) Franklin finds that
success comes at a price. Last
in the series.
11.40 Snooker: UK Championship
Hazel Irvine presents action from
the fifth day in York.
12.30 Snooker: UK Championship Extra
(T) 2.30 Sign Zone: Question
Time (T) (R) 3.30 Holby City (T)
(R) 4.30 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.30 News and Weather (T)
10.45 Peston on Sunday (T) (R) Political
magazine show with Robert
Peston and Allegra Stratton.
Last in the series.
11.45 Car Crash Britain: Caught on
Camera (T) (R) Road accidents
and near misses, including a
woman who had a close shave as
a car ploughed into her office.
12.35 Jackpot247 3.0 Motorsport UK
(T) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
11.35 I, Frankenstein (Stuart
Beattie, 2014) (T) The scientist’s
monster is caught up in a war
between supernatural beings
who want the secret of his
immortality. Fantasy adventure
with Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy.
1.15 Morning Glory (Toger
Michell, 2010) (T) Comedy. 3.0
Trump: An American Dream (T)
(R) 3.55 Gillette World Sport
(T) 4.25 KOTV Boxing Weekly
(T) 4.50 Mobil 1 The Grid (T)
(R) 5.20 Kirstie’s Handmade
Treasures (T) (R)
10.35 When Reality TV Goes Horribly
Wrong (T) A countdown
of disastrous incidents on
reality shows, featuring Nikki
Grahame, Bianca Gascoigne,
Paul Danan and Jessie Cave.
1.30 Lip Sync Battle UK: Carol
Vorderman v Martin Kemp (T)
(R) 1.55 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
Bargain-Loving Brits in Blackpool
(T) (R) 4.0 My Mum’s Hotter Than
Me! (T) (R) 4.50 House Doctor (T)
(R) 5.15 Wildlife SOS (T) (R) 5.45
Chinese Food in Minutes (T) (R)
10.40 Britain’s Wild Places (T) (R)
Gordon Buchanan visits his
childhood home, Mull, to see
white-tailed sea eagles.
10.50 Britain’s Wild Places (T) (R)
The nocturnal birds inhabiting
Bardsey Island.
11.0 Taxi Tehran (Jafar Panahi,
2015) Documentary following
an Iranian director banned from
making films by the government.
12.20 Classic Quartets at the BBC (T)
(R) 1.20 Natural World (T) (R)
(violin), Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Kevin
Griffiths. Tchaikovsky: Dance of the Jugglers (The
Snow Maiden). Russian National Orchestra, Mikhail
Pletnev.9.0 Drama on 3: The Devil’s Passion, by
Justin Butcher. Satirical drama exploring the Passion
of Christ from the devil’s point of view. David Suchet
plays Satan. 10.40 Early Music Late: Monteverdi
Vespers of the Blessed Virgin. Performed by I
Favoriti della Fenice and La Fenice at this summer’s
Torroella de Montgrí music festival in Catalonia.
11.55 BBC National Orchestra of Wales: On the
Road with Beethoven. A performance of Beethoven’s
Symphony No 2. 12.30 Through the Night (R)
humour with The Last Leg presenter Adam Hills.
(1/3) 2.0 Gardeners’ Question Time (R) 2.45
The Listening Project Omnibus: We Aren’t Always
the Same Person 3.0 Drama: The Loneliness of the
Long Distance Runner, by Alan Sillitoe. Dramatised
by Robert Rigby and directed by Carl Prekopp.
Lee Rufford stars. (R) 4.0 News 4.02 Bookclub:
Jennifer Egan – A Visit from the Goon Squad 4.30
The Echo Chamber: Andrew Motion. Paul Farley
reads excerpts from Essex Clay, a new long poem
by Andrew Motion. (1/3) 5.0 Is Uni Worth It?
(R) 5.40 Radio 4 Christmas Appeal: Making a
Difference (R) 5.54 Shipping Forecast 6.0 News
6.15 Pick of the Week. With Gerry Northam. 7.0
The Archers. Life in Ambridge. 7.15 Dot: Eenie
Meenie Miney… Spy! (R) 7.45 The Reservoir Tapes:
Donna’s Story, by Jon McGregor. (10/15) 8.0
Feedback (R) 8.30 Last Word (R) 9.0 Money Box
(R) 9.26 Radio 4 Christmas Appeal With St Martinin-the-Fields (R) 9.30 In Business: What Keep the
Chancellor Awake? (R) 10.0 The Westminster Hour.
With Carolyn Quinn. 11.0 The Film Programme
(R) 11.30 Something Understood: The Limits of
Friendship (R) 12.0 News and Weather 12.15
Thinking Allowed: 29/11/2017 (R) 12.45 Bells
on Sunday (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As
World Service. LW: 3.15 TMS: Australia v England
– Second Test, Day Three. 5.20 Shipping Forecast.
FM: 5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43
Prayer for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58
Tweet of the Day: Greta Scacchi on the Goldfinch
BBC One
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.20 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.30 Match of the Day 2 (T) Featuring
Manchester City v West
Ham and Bournemouth v
Southampton.
11.30 Ronny Chieng: International
Student (T) Ronny tries to fix
Asher’s computer when he
accidentally gets it infected
with a virus one day before
her assignment is due.
11.55 Weather for the Week Ahead (T)
12.0 BBC News (T)
9.0
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
3am Australia v England. Coverage of the second
day of the second Test at Adelaide Oval. 11.30am
Ligue 1 12.30 The Ashes 2.0 Inside Sailing 2.30
Live Aviva Premiership Rugby Union: Harlequins v
Saracens (kick-off 3pm) Coverage of the top-flight
match, which takes place at the Stoop. 5.15 The
Ashes 6.45 Crystal Palace v Everton 1980/81
7.15 West Ham v Arsenal 1983/84 7.30 Live
Serie A: Sampdoria v Lazio (kick-off 7.45pm)
Coverage of the Italian top-flight clash at Stadio
Luigi Ferraris. 9.45 Vanarama National League
Highlights 10.15 BT Sport Reload 10.30 Live
Extreme Sailing Series. Act eight of the Extreme
Sailing Series from Los Cabos. 12.0 Mysteries of
the Rimet Trophy 12.30 ESPN Films: The Little
Master 1.30 The Ashes 3.0 The Ashes Live:
Australia v England – Second Test, Day Three
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-9.0 David Attenborough’s Conquest of
the Skies 9.0-2.0 Without a Trace 2.0 The
Fall: Decker v Budd (2016) 4.0-9.0 Blue Bloods
9.0-11.0 Babylon Berlin 11.0 Tales of the
Grim Sleeper (2014) 1.0 Room 104 1.40 Blue
Bloods 2.30-3.40 Californication 3.40 Without
a Trace 4.25 The British 5.10 The Guest Wing
E4
6.0am Rules of Engagement 6.25 Couples Come
Dine with Me 7.25 Couples Come Dine with Me
8.25 Hollyoaks 11.0 Made in Chelsea 12.0 Don’t
Tell the Bride 1.0 Marmaduke (2010) 2.45
Rude(ish) Tube Shorts 3.0 The Goldbergs 3.30
The Goldbergs 4.0 The Goldbergs 4.30 The Big
Bang Theory 5.0 The Big Bang Theory 5.30 The
Big Bang Theory 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 Ted
(2012) 11.05 The Big Bang Theory 11.35 The Big
Bang Theory 12.05 Gogglebox 1.05 Rude Tube
2.10 First Dates 3.05 Rude Tube 3.35 Hollyoaks
CITV 9.25 ITV News 9.30
Australian Wilderness With
Ray Mears (R) 10.0 Peston on
Sunday 10.55 The Martin Lewis
Money Show (T) (R) 11.25 Save
Money: Good Food (T) (R) 12.0
Tipping Point (T) (R) 1.0 News and
Weather (T) 1.05 The X Factor:
Final (T) (R) The first of two final
shows. 3.10 Midsomer Murders
(T) (R) 5.05 How to Spend It Well
at Christmas With Phillip Schofield
(T) (R) 6.05 Local News (T) 6.15
News and Weather (T) 6.25
The Chase Celebrity Special (T)
VARIATIONS
Film4
11.0am Just Wright (2010) 1.0 Miracle on 34th Street (1994) 3.15 Flight
of the Navigator (1986) 5.05 The Hound
of the Baskervilles (1959) 6.55 Tower
Heist (2011) 9.0 Legend (2015) 11.35
Broken City (2013) 1.45 Cyrus (2010)
Sky1
6.0am Hour of Power 7.0 Futurama 7.30
Futurama 8.0 Futurama 8.30 Futurama 9.0
Futurama 9.30 The Simpsons 10.0 The Simpsons
10.30 The Simpsons 11.0 WWE Raw Hlts 12.0
NCIS: Los Angeles 1.0 Supergirl 2.0 The Flash
3.0 Modern Family 3.30 Modern Family 4.0
Modern Family 4.30 Modern Family 5.0 Modern
Family 5.30 The Simpsons 6.0 The Simpsons
6.30 The Simpsons 7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The
Simpsons 8.0 Marvel’s Inhumans 9.0 Strike Back
10.0 The Force: Manchester 11.0 Ross Kemp on
Gangs 12.0 Ross Kemp on Gangs 12.55 Ross
Kemp: A Kenya Special 2.05 Brit Cops: Law &
Disorder 3.05 Brit Cops: Rapid Response
4.05 Stargate Atlantis 5.0 Stargate Atlantis
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Live Test Cricket: India v Sri Lanka.
Coverage of the second day of the third Test
at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. 11.0 Goals on
Sunday 12.30 Live SPFL: Aberdeen v Rangers
(kick-off 12.30pm) Coverage from Pittodrie.
1.15 Live Nissan Super Sunday: Bournemouth v
Southampton (kick-off 1.30pm) Coverage from the
Vitality Stadium. 3.30 Live Nissan Super Sunday:
Manchester City v West Ham United (kick-off 4pm)
All the action from the Etihad Stadium. 6.30
Live PGA Tour Golf: The Hero World Challenge.
Coverage of the fourth day at the Albany Resort in
the Bahamas. 9.0 Live NFL 12.50 NFL Gameday
1.20 Live NFL: Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia
Eagles (kick-off 1.30am) Coverage of the NFC
clash from CenturyLink Field. 4.30 Live Test
Cricket: India v Sri Lanka – Third Test, Day Three
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.35am
Teleshopping 1.35 After Midnight 2.35
May the Best House Win (T) (R) 3.25 ITV
Nightscreen 4.05 The Jeremy Kyle Show
(T) (R) 5.0-6.0 Teleshopping
ITV WALES As ITV except 12noon
Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape (T) (R) 12.301.0 Newsweek Wales (T)
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.35am
Teleshopping 1.35 After Midnight 2.35 May
the Best House Win (T) (R) 3.25 ITV Nightscreen
4.05 The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R) 5.0-6.0
Teleshopping
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 11.0am-12.15
Sunday Politics Scotland (T) 11.30 Sportscene
(T) (R) 12.30 MOTD: FA Cup Highlights (T)
1.30-1.55 Ronny Chieng: International
Student (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 11.0am-12.15
Sunday Politics Northern Ireland (T)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 6.0pm Sportscene
(T) 7.0-8.0 River City (T) (R)
BBC TWO WALES 6.0pm Scrum V
Autumn International Special (T) 7.0-8.0
MOTD: FA Cup Highlights (T)
BBC TWO N IRELAND 10.0pm Pop
Goes Northern Ireland (T) 10.30 Sunday
Politics Northern Ireland (T) (R) 10.55
Snowfall (T) 11.40 Snowfall (T) 12.30
Snooker: UK Championship (T) 1.20-2.30
Snooker: UK Championship Extra (T)
9.0
Milkshake! 8.55 FIA Formula
E (T) 10.40 Football on 5: The
Championship (T) (R) 11.25
Finding Father Christmas
(2016) (T) 1.10 The
Christmas Secret (2014) (T)
2.55 On the 12th Day
of Christmas (2015) (T) 3.55
News (T) 4.0 On the 12th
Day of Christmas (2015) (T)
4.45 Northpole: Open
for Christmas (2015) (T)
6.30 Call Me Claus
(Peter Werner, 2001) (T)
BBC Four
7.0
Great Continental Railway
Journeys The Black Forest
to Hanover, Part One (T) (R)
Michael Portillo discovers how
Hansel and Gretel helped to
unify Germany and learns how
to make a cuckoo clock. 7.30
University Challenge (T) (R)
The second round continues.
Classic Quartets at the BBC
(T) (R) String quartets playing
music ranging from Mozart to
Elvis Costello.
9.0 Natural World (T) (R)
Documentary following a
quest to understand more
about great white sharks.
9.50 Natural World (T) (R) Following
tagged whale sharks.
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.0 Dev 10.0 Greatest Hits With Matt Edmondson
1.0 Alice Levine 4.0 Life Hacks With Cel Spellman
& Katie Thistleton 6.0 Most Played 7.0 Rock Show
With Daniel P Carter 10.0 Phil Taggart 1.0 Monki
3.0 Artist Takeover With Sigala 4.0 Adele Roberts
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.0 The Sunday Hour 7.0 Good Morning Sunday
With Clare Balding 9.0 Steve Wright’s Sunday
Love Songs 11.0 Michael Ball 1.0 Elaine Paige 3.0
Johnnie Walker 5.0 Paul O’Grady 7.0 Ore Oduba
9.0 London Theatre Awards 11.0 Moira Stuart 12.0
Sounds of the 60s (R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Blues,
Pop Ballads & Monday Motivation 5.0 Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
7.0 Breakfast. With Elizabeth Alker. 9.0 News
9.03 Sunday Morning. Music by Debussy, Françaix,
Prokofiev, Sibelius, Bartók and Grieg. 12.0 Private
Passions: Susan Richards 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: Wigmore Hall Mondays (R) Bach: Cello
Suite No 1 in G, BWV 1007. Shostakovich: Cello
Sonata in D minor, Op 40. Andrei Ioniţă (cello),
Itamar Golan (piano). 2.0 The Early Music Show:
Brighton Early Music Festival (2/2) The harpsichord
and recorder duo Ensemble Hesperi perform
Scottish baroque music. 3.0 Advent Carol Service
from St John’s College, Cambridge 4.0 Choir and
Organ 5.0 The Listening Service: Bad Music 5.30
Words and Music 6.45 Sunday Feature: New
Generation Thinkers. Historian Edmund Richardson
discusses his search for the final resting place of
Alexander the Great, and Sarah Jackson investigates
the human voice and its mechanical counterparts.
7.30 In Concert: A Winter Journey. Ian Skelly
presents. Schubert arr Normand Forget: Winterreise,
D911. Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Ma’alot Wind
Quintet, Tino Plener (bass clarinet), Heidi Luosujärvi
(accordion). Ysaÿe: Chant d’hiver. Gábor Barta
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 Test Match Special: Australia v England.
Jonathan Agnew, Simon Mann and Dan Norcross
commentate on day two of the second Test at
Adelaide Oval. FM: 6.0 News 6.05 Something
Understood: The Limits of Friendship. With AbdulRehman Malik. 6.35 On Your Farm: Queen of
Cheddar. Sarah Swadling visits the cheesemaker
Mary Quicke in Devon. (6/7) 7.0 News 7.0 Sunday
Papers 7.10 Sunday. Edward Stourton presents
a roundup of the week’s religious and ethical
headlines. 7.55 Radio 4 Christmas Appeal. With
the Rev Dr Sam Wells, vicar of St Martin-in-theFields, London. 8.0 News 8.0 Sunday Papers
8.10 Sunday Worship: Longing for Hope 8.48 A
Point of View (R) 8.58 Tweet of the Day: Michael
Morpurgo on the Magpie (R) 9.0 Broadcasting
House. Presented by Paddy O’Connell. 9.45 Radio
4 Christmas Appeal: Making a Difference. With
Aasmah Mir. 10.0 (FM) The Archers (R) 11.15
(FM) Desert Island Discs: Tim Martin (LW joins at
11.30) 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast
12.04 I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue (R) 12.30 The
Food Programme: Cookbooks of 2017. Sheila
Dillon and guests discuss the best cookery books
of the year. 1.0 The World This Weekend. With
Mark Mardell. 1.30 No Triumph, No Tragedy.
Peter White discusses the ethics of disability-based
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 9.0 SportsWeek 10.0 Pienaar’s
Politics 11.0 5 Live Investigates 12.0 5 Live Sport
12.15 MOTD2 Extra 1.0 5 Live Sport 1.30 Premier
League Football: Bournemouth v Southampton
(kick-off 1.30pm) 3.30 5 Live Sport 4.0 Premier
League Football: Manchester City v West Ham
United (kick-off 4pm) 6.0 6-0-6 7.30 Jane Garvey
& Peter Allen 10.0 Stephen Nolan 1.0 Up All Night
5.0 Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
39
Monday 4
PICKS OF
THE DAY
three major forces – land and nature, the
struggle for power, and faith – that have
propelled change in Mexico. Beautifully
illustrated, this is a rewarding look at
Mexican art and identity. Recommended.
under 30” – and that was in 1974. Little has
changed – and apparently, that includes
Toback. Jonathan Romney
DOCUMENTARY
Marc Almond’s Torch Song Trilogy
RADIO
Radio 2, 10pm
Employable Me
BBC Two, 9pm
Psychologist Nancy Doyle advises two
more jobseekers, Nicola, 26, who has
cerebral palsy, and visually impaired Marve,
29, on how to access what she describes
as the “hidden jobs market”. Mike Bradley
FILM
FOOD
The Gambler
Sky Cinema Greats, 12.10am
Nigella: At My Table
BBC Two, 8.30pm
(Karel Reisz, 1974)
Preview tapes were not available for this
evening’s final feast with the silk-shrouded
purveyor of all things delicious, but news
that she will be concocting “chicken with
red grapes and marsala, followed by a
sunken chocolate amaretto cake with
crumbled amaretti cream” is likely to cause
foodies to go weak at the knees.
A key figure in the new British cinema of the
1950s and 60s, Karel Reisz (Saturday Night
and Sunday Morning, Morgan – A Suitable
Case for Treatment) also made a number
of US films. This one stars James Caan as
a gambling-addicted literature professor
with a penchant for Dostoevsky – whose
own highly personal novel The Gambler lies
at the base of this drama. It’s also a very
personal story for screenwriter James
Toback, whose other compulsions have put
him in the news lately. On its release, Roger
Ebert hailed the film’s vivid evocation of the
gaming world, but noted that the depiction
of the hero’s girlfriend (Lauren Hutton) was
an example of “the inability of contemporary
movies to give us three-dimensional women
ART
The Art That Made Mexico…
BBC Four, 9pm
… Paradise, Power and Prayers. This is the
first in a three-part series presented by
artist Alinka Echeverría, which documents
how down the ages art has reflected the
TV CHOICE
Hailmakers
BBC Three, from 10am
Fiercely proud but hopeless Deptford
entrepreneurs Saz and Sol (left to right,
above, Akemnji Ndifornyen and Samson
Kayo) are determined that they will not
work for other people. Trouble is, after a
year spent cleaning toilets, they’ve lost
the contract and they’re down to their
last £40. Luckily, while sharing a final
fry-up in the local cafe an investment
opportunity presents itself courtesy of
a gaberdined eavesdropper who has a
vanload of football sticker albums she
wants to get off her hands. Saz is not so
sure about the idea, but Sol explains: “This
country is up to its gums in emotionally
retarded babymen who are looking for
the next distraction from the horrors
of modern life.” Join the hapless pair as
they take a wrong turn “out of the valley
of righteousness and into the valley of
stupidness”. Well scripted and likely to
make you laugh out loud. Mike Bradley
In the first of a delicious three-part series,
singer Marc Almond teams up with his
record producer friend Tris Penna to wallow
in some glorious torch songs. Today’s
programme attempts a definition, with
Penna arguing that true torch songs make
you “actually believe that that singer has
had their heart broken”. Accordingly, every
example they pick has that raw authenticity
whether it is Amy Winehouse singing
Love Is a Losing Game or Libby Holman
performing Moanin’ Low, first published in
1929. Other highlights include Lotte Lenya
gasping her way through Trouble Man and
Dinah Washington with Mad About the Boy,
one version of which was actually about
homosexuality. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
BT Sport 1, 7pm
Slough Town v Rochdale AFC: FA Cup,
second round. Live coverage from Arbour
Park, where a Rebels side who sit in sixth
place in the Southern Football League take
on “The Dale”, currently in 19th place in
the League One table, in a bid to progress
towards a big day at Wembley. Proof that
the FA Cup is all about daring to dream… MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Island Medics
10.0 Homes Under the Hammer
(R) 11.0 Claimed and Shamed
11.45 The Sheriffs Are Coming
(R) 12.15 Bargain Hunt 1.0 News
1.30 Regional News 1.45 Doctors
2.15 Armchair Detectives 3.0
Escape to the Country (R) 3.45
The Hairy Bikers Home for
Christmas (T) 4.30 Money for
Nothing (T) (R) 5.15 Pointless (T)
(R) 6.0 News (T) 6.30 Regional
News and Weather (T) 7.0 The
One Show (T) 7.30 Panorama:
Jihadis You Pay For (T)
6.0
An Island Parish Falklands (T)
(R) 6.30 Claimed and Shamed
(T) (R) 7.15 Royal Recipes (T)
(R) 8.0 Sign Zone: Mary Berry’s
Country House Secrets (T) (R)
9.0 Victoria Derbyshire (T) 11.0
BBC Newsroom Live (T) 12.0
Daily Politics (T) 1.0 Live Snooker:
UK Championship (T) Day six.
5.15 Put Your Money Where
Your Mouth Is (T) 6.0 Celebrity
Eggheads (T) 6.30 Strictly: It
Takes Two (T) 7.0 MOTD: FA Cup
3rd Round Draw (T) 7.30 Wild
Cameramen at Work (T) (R)
6.0
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
7.35 Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 9.35
Frasier (T) (R) 10.05 Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R) 11.0
Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night
Feast (T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas (T)
12.25 A Christmas Proposal
(2008) (T) 2.10 Countdown (T) 3.0
Lost and Found (T) 4.0 A Place in
the Sun: Winter Sun (T) 5.0 Four
in a Bed (T) (R) 5.30 Come Dine
With Me (T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
6.0
EastEnders (T) Max’s deception
puts him in a dangerous position.
8.30 Would I Lie to You? (T) With
James Acaster, Gabby Logan,
Melvin Odoom and Fay Ripley.
9.0 The Real Marigold on Tour (T)
New series in which Miriam
Margolyes, Wayne Sleep,
Rosemary Shrager and Bobby
George are reunited, sampling
retirement in Chengdu, China..
8.0
University Challenge (T) The
second round continues.
8.30 Nigella: At My Table (T) Nigella
Lawson demonstrates recipes
for chicken with red grapes and
marsala. Last in the series.
9.0 Employable Me (T) A woman
with cerebral palsy and a visually
impaired man learn how to access
the “hidden jobs market”.
8.0
The Martin Lewis Money Show
(T) Angellica Bell offers advice
on changing energy providers.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) David
and Nicola have a heated
confrontation.
9.0 I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of
Here! (T) Ant and Dec present
the celebrity challenge.
8.0
Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life
(T) The Bake Off judge returns to
Merseyside, recreating the first
thing he ever baked and making
millionaire shortbread for the
congregation of his old church.
8.30 Supershoppers (T) Supermarket
vegetarian dishes and free bets.
9.0 999: What’s Your Emergency?
(T) How stress levels in the
workplace are creating problems.
8.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.45 Have I Got a Bit More News
for You (T) Kirsty Young hosts,
with Richard Osman and Desiree
Burch joining team captains
Ian Hislop and Paul Merton.
11.30 Michael McIntyre’s Big
Show (T) (R) Jessie J and
Stereophonics perform.
12.30 The Graham Norton Show (T) (R)
With guests Elton John, Stephen
Fry, Carey Mulligan and Robbie
Williams. 1.20 Weather (T)
1.25 BBC News (T)
10.0 Insert Name Here (T) With James
Acaster, Kate Williams, Ed Balls
and Lauren Laverne.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Snooker: UK Championship
(T) Highlights of day six of the
tournament, from the Barbican
Centre in York.
12.05 Snooker: UK Championship Extra
(T) 2.05 Sign Zone: Countryfile
(T) (R) 3.0 Blue Planet II (T) (R)
4.0 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.30 News (T)
11.0 Local News (T)
11.15 Killer Women With Piers Morgan
(T) (R) The journalist meets two
very different female murderers,
both of whom killed someone
they loved.
12.15 Life Inside Jail: Hell on Earth
(T) (R) 1.05 Jackpot247 3.0
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
3.55 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
10.0 First Dates (T) A recipe
developer’s date with a rugby
referee starts well when he
turns up with a gift for her.
11.05 Don’t Tell the Bride (T) Groom
Billy plans a pig-themed wedding.
12.05 Life Stripped Bare (T) (R) 1.20
One Born Every Minute (T) (R)
2.15 The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds
(T) (R) 3.10 Like Father,
Like Son (Hirokazu Kore-eda,
2013) Japanese drama starring
Masaharu Fukuyama. 5.10 Draw
It! (T) (R) 5.35 Countdown (T) (R)
10.0 JFK’s Secret Killer: The Evidence
(T) (R) Examining the events of
John F Kennedy’s assassination.
11.05 JFK Jr: The Crash That Killed
a Kennedy (T) The events
surrounding the 1999 death
of John F Kennedy Jr.
12.05 Aircrash: The Downing of Flight
8509 (T) (R) 1.0 SuperCasino
(T) 3.10 Britain’s Greatest
Bridges (T) (R) 4.0 Now That’s
Funny! (T) 4.45 House Doctor
(T) (R) 5.10 Divine Designs (T)
(R) 5.35 Nick’s Quest (T) (R)
10.0 Handmade in Mexico (T) New
series. Documentary about
traditional Mexican crafts
and those preserving them,
beginning with the loose-fitting
tunic known as the huipil.
10.30 Britain’s Lost Masterpieces
Swansea (T) (R)
11.30 Storyville: Mugabe and
the Democrats (R)
1.0 Pappano’s Classical Voices (T) (R)
2.0 How to Be a Surrealist (T) (R)
3.0 The Art That Made Mexico:
Paradise, Power… (T) (R)
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Fraser sets out to explore the human heart. (1/5)
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THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
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(T) Documentary examining
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Tuesday 5
PICKS OF
THE DAY
DRAMA
indulge his passion while entertaining
and educating his audience. Cue: the
origins of MI6, the first unmanned drone,
the art of invisible writing and wartime
troop movements transmitted in coded
knitting. A well researched treat.
warned, Akerman makes little concession
to our comfort, sometimes leaving the
viewer a perplexed onlooker, but this is an
uncompromising, profoundly personal last
word from one of European cinema’s most
intrepid explorers. Jonathan Romney
ART
RADIO
The Turner Prize Live
BBC Four, 11pm
Mark Steel’s in Town
Live coverage from Hull Minster as the
winner is announced from a shortlist
comprising painter Hurvin Anderson;
multi-media artist Andrea Büttner; painter
Lubaina Himid; and film-artist Rosalind
Nashashibi. Mike Bradley
Comedian Mark Steel returns with more
of his extremely funny standup shows
dissecting various towns. Today he is in
Bedford which he finds has the highest
concentration of Italians in the country as
well as housing the world’s biggest airship
and being known for a cult that believed the
Garden of Eden was in Bedford. It is also full
of public schools: “I bet if you live here you
can’t sleep for all the noise of boys getting
thrashed in initiation ceremonies!” Famous
residents include athlete Paula Radcliffe
who went to a state school: “That’s why
she pissed in the street!”, shouts one wag
from the audience. Stephanie Billen
Radio 4, 6.30pm
FILM
The A Word
BBC One, 9pm
No Home Movie
Film4, 1.35am
Paul’s anxieties about his son Joe’s
autism manifest themselves when Nicola
videos Joe to help support an academic
presentation she is planning. Plus Rebecca
makes an announcement that comes as a
shock to Alison, and Maurice tries just a little
too hard when it comes to making plans for
the future. Well worth watching.
(Chantal Akerman, 2015)
This is the final film by Belgian feminist
innovator Akerman, made before her
suicide in 2015. It’s hard therefore not to
read it as a valedictory note, but it certainly
represents a leave-taking – a farewell
to her late mother Natalia, a Holocaust
survivor. This severe work is largely set
in Natalia’s apartment where mother and
daughter talk about topics ranging from the
momentous to the banal, with interspersed
footage from the director’s travels. The
film offers intimacy of an unvarnished,
seemingly unfinished register, with footage
including rough video and Skype imagery
giving the film a sketchy, notebook feel. Be
DOCUMENTARY
David Jason’s Secret Service
More4, 9pm
It turns out that actor David Jason has
always been a self-confessed spy nut and
this three-part history of the secret service
provides him with the perfect chance to
TV CHOICE
Invasion! With Sam Willis
BBC Four, 9pm
Sometimes the BBC has a tendency
to overreach itself in the interests of
simplification and “packaging”, and this
appears to be the case with historian
Sam Willis’s well-intentioned three-part
chronicle of the invasions of the British
Isles over the millennia: an attempt to
cram too much history into three hour-
long programmes. Once we get past the
brouhaha of the introduction, Willis reveals
his conceit involving the usual suspects,
ie Romans, Saxons, Vikings, but then
come “invasions you’ve never heard of…
the foodie invasion, the farmers’ invasion,
the fashion invasion”. There are some
fascinating individual stories delivered
in authentic locations, but an obsession
with the theme of immigration, laced with
distracting political innuendo, makes this
an odd venture in which you detect the
dead hand of the PC police from W1A.
Still, definitely worth a look. Mike Bradley
SPORT
Football
BT Sport 2, 7pm
Manchester United v CSKA Moscow:
Champions League. Live coverage of the
Group A game from Old Trafford. Viewers
also have the option to watch tonight’s
other English Champions League fixture,
Chelsea v Atlético Madrid from Stamford
Bridge, at the same time on BT Sport 3. MB
TELEVISION
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MasterChef: The Professionals
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Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico
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Christmas With Phillip
Schofield (T) Drones,
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I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of
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Film4
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Movie (2015)
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Wars 1.0 The Force: Essex 2.0 Night Cops 3.0
Brit Cops: Rapid Response 4.0 Stop, Search,
Seize 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Live Test Cricket: India v Sri Lanka.
Coverage of the fourth day of the third Test
at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, where the threematch series comes to a conclusion. 11.15 My
Icon: Michael Holding 11.30 Sportswomen
12.0 Sky Sports News 5.0 Sky Sports News at
5 6.0 Sky Sports News at 6 6.30 Live Mosconi
Cup Pool. The second day of nine-ball pool’s
version of the Ryder Cup. 11.0 Sky Sports News
1.0 Live WWE Late Night Smackdown 3.0 Sky
Sports News 4.0 Live Test Cricket: India v Sri
Lanka. Coverage of the fifth day of the third
Test at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.
STV NORTH As ITV except 11.05pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.40 On Assignment (T)
12.15 Lethal Weapon (T) (R) 1.05 Teleshopping
2.05 After Midnight 3.35 ITV Nightscreen (T)
4.05 Jeremy Kyle (T) (R) 5.0-6.0 Teleshopping
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.40am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 11.05pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.40 On Assignment (T) 12.15
Lethal Weapon (T) (R) 1.05 Teleshopping 2.05
After Midnight 3.35 ITV Nightscreen (T) 4.05
Jeremy Kyle (T) (R) 5.0-6.0 Teleshopping
ULSTER As ITV except 11.15pm View
from Stormont: A Brexit Special (T) 11.45 On
Assignment (T) 12.20 Lethal Weapon (T) (R)
1.05 Teleshopping 2.05-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 8.0pm-9.0 River
City (T) 10.45 Holby City (T) 11.45 Drugsland
(T) 12.45-1.45 Life and Death Row (T) (R)
BBC ONE WALES 10.40pm Young,
Welsh and Pretty Minted (T) 11.10 Drugsland
(T) 12.10-1.10 Life and Death Row (T) (R)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 10.40pm Spotlight
Special (T) 11.40 Pop Goes Northern Ireland (T)
(R) 12.10 Drugsland (T) 1.10-2.10 Life and
Death Row (T) (R)
BBC TWO WALES 1.0pm My Life on a
Plate (T) (R) 1.45 First Minister’s Questions
(T) 2.35-5.15 Live Snooker (T)
BBC TWO N IRELAND 10.0pm-10.30
Space Truckers (T) (R) 11.15 Motherland (T) 11.45
NFL This Week (T) 12.35-2.55 Snooker (T)
9.0
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
(T) Kirstie Allsopp with craft
and recipe ideas, including
diorama baubles.
Finding Me a Family (T) New
series. Cameras follows adoption
activity days organised by the
children’s charity Coram, parties
that could change the lives of
both the kids and adopters.
9.0
BBC Four
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
(T) 11.35 Christmas Angel
(Brian Herzlinger, 2012) (T) 1.25
News (T) 1.30 Neighbours (T) 2.0
The Christmas Apprentice
(Fred Olen Ray, 2016) (T) 3.40
Call Me Claus (Peter
Werner, 2001) (T) 5.30 News (T)
6.0 Neighbours (T) (R) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 Yorkshire: A Year in the
Wild (T) (R) As winter takes its
toll, cameras follow grey seal pups
at Ravenscar and the progress
of short-eared owls that land on
the moors. Last in the series.
Jo Brand’s Cats & Kittens (T)
Inspector Herchy gets a call to
a multi-cat household, where
the number of moggies has
got seriously out of control.
Includes news update.
Ben Fogle: New Lives in the
Wild (T) The presenter travels
to Cambodia to stay with a
fellow Brit who is raising his own
castaway tribe. Last in the series.
7.0
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
2015 (T) (R) The University of
Durham v the London School
of Economics, with Tim Smith
and Justin Webb.
8.0
Armada: 12 Days to Save England
(T) (R) Three-part documentary
about the sinking of the Spanish
Armada in 1588.
Invasion! With Sam Willis (T)
New series. The historian reveals
a story of invasion in Britain
spanning millennia, and in the
first edition he searches for
clues at Silbury Hill.
9.0
10.0 The 00s: The Most Shocking
Celebrity Moments (T) (R) A
trawl of memorable incidents
caught on camera.
1.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 GPs:
Behind Closed Doors (T) (R)
4.0 My Mum’s Hotter Than
Me! (T) (R) 4.45 House Doctor
(T) (R) 5.10 Divine Designs (T)
(R) 5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.0 The Vikings: Foe or Friend?
A Timewatch Guide (T) (R) How
the Vikings have been portrayed
on TV documentaries.
11.0 The Turner Prize 2017 (T) Jane
Hill and Rebecca Jones present
live coverage from Hull Minster
and the Ferens Art Gallery as the
winning artist is announced.
11.30 The Fairytale Castles of King
Ludwig II (T) (R)
12.30 Pappano’s Classical Voices
(T) (R) 1.30 Armada: 12 Days
to Save England (T) (R) 2.30
Invasion! With Sam Willis (T) (R)
88-91 MHz
6.30 Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce 12.0 Jeremy
Vine 2.0 Steve Wright 5.0 Simon Mayo 7.0 Jamie
Cullum 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0 Levi Roots (2/4) 11.0
Nigel Ogden 11.30 Listen to the Band 12.0 Sounds
of the 80s 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Folk, 90s Hits &
Wednesday Workout 5.0 Vanessa Feltz
Conductor Juanjo Mena. 5.0 In Tune. Music and
arts news. 7.0 In Tune Mixtape 7.30 In Concert:
Temple Song 2017. A concert from Middle Temple
Hall. Ian Bostridge (tenor), Julius Drake (piano),
Piatti Quartet. Purcell: The Queen’s Epicedium.
Pelham Humfrey: Lord! I Have Sinned; Hymn to God
the Father. William Croft: A Hymn on Divine Musick.
Britten: The Holy Sonnets of John Donne. Interval.
Purcell: Chacony in G minor for string quartet.
Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge for tenor,
piano and string quartet. 10.0 Free Thinking:
Russian – Totalitarianism and Punishment. Masha
Gessen talks to Philip Dodd. (2/5) 10.45 Between
the Essays: Baltimore. Stacia Brown crosses
the borders between communities in her native
Baltimore. (2/5) 11.0 Late Junction. With Cairoborn musician, composer and curator Maurice
Louca. 12.30 Through the Night
Radio 3
Radio 4
Edie Chadwick, by Caroline Horton. (17/40) 12.15
Call You and Yours 1.0 The World at One. With Jonny
Dymond. 1.45 This Old Heart of Mine: The Sacred
Heart. Giles Fraser talks to Dr Rowan Williams. (2/5)
2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: Mahler’s Muse,
by John Banville. Drama exploring the turbulent
and passionate relationship between Gustav Mahler
and his wife, Alma. 3.0 Short Cuts: Long Distance.
With Josie Long. (4/6) 3.30 Mastertapes: David
Gray (B-Side) – White Ladder (4/8) 4.0 I Was: I
Was Phillip K Dick’s Reluctant Host (R) 4.30 Great
Lives. Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory is centre stage at
Bristol’s Colston Hall to tell Matthew Parris why he
feels a kinship with the Irish writer Flann O’Brien.
Carol Taaffe is the expert. (1/8) 5.0 PM. With
Eddie Mair. 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 6.0
News 6.30 Mark Steel’s in Town: Bedford (1/6)
7.0 The Archers. Jennifer is concerned. 7.15 Front
Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 Gudrun (R) (2/5) 8.0
Balfour’s Promised Land. David Reynolds explores
how a desperate war, imperial machinations and
racial fantasies led to the creation of the Balfour
Declaration in 1917. 8.40 In Touch 9.0 Inside
Health: The Future Heart. With Kevin Fong. 9.30
The Long View (R) 10.0 The World Tonight. With
Ritula Shah. 10.45 Book at Bedtime: Rabbit Redux,
by John Updike. (7/10) 11.0 Miss Marple’s Final
Cases: The Case of the Perfect Maid (R) 11.30
Today in Parliament 12.0 News 12.30 Book of the
Week (R) (2/5) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As
World Service. LW: 3.15 TMS: Australia v England –
Second Test, Day Five. 5.20 Shipping Forecast. FM:
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer
for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of
the Day: Tara Robinson on the Treecreeper
10.0 Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life
(T) Documentary following Billy, a
young gay boy growing up in the
21st century who reveals what
life is like for him and his family.
11.05 Naked Attraction (T) (R)
12.05 The Great Songwriters (T) 1.05
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
USA (T) (R) 1.55 The Supervet (T)
(R) 2.50 One Born Every Minute
(T) (R) 3.45 Fill the Void
(Rama Burshtein, 2012) Drama in
Hebrew, with Hadas Yaron. 5.20
Kirstie’s Fill Your House for Free
(T) (R) 5.35 Countdown (T) (R)
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.30 The Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw
10.0 Clara Amfo 12.45 Newsbeat 1.0 Scott Mills
4.0 Greg James 5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Greg James
7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 The 8th With Charlie Sloth 11.0
Huw Stephens 1.0 Annie Nightingale 3.0 Stories:
Music By Numbers – Rihanna 4.0 Early Breakfast
Show With Adele Roberts
Radio 2
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast 9.0 Essential Classics. With
guest Antonio Pappano. 12.0 Composer of the
Week: 21st Century Opera – Myth (2/5) 1.0 News
1.02 Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert. A series of
recitals from Northern Ireland Opera’s Festival
of Voice 2017, recorded at St Patrick’s Church
of Ireland in Glenarm, Co Antrim. Vaughan
Williams: Songs of Travel. Gavan Ring (baritone),
Simon Lepper (piano). Britten: On This Island,
Op 11. Toby Spence (tenor), Joseph Middleton
(piano). Vaughan Williams: Four Last Songs.
Jennifer Johnston (mezzo), Joseph Middleton
(piano). (1/4) 2.0 Afternoon Concert. Live from
the BBC Philharmonic’s home in Salford. David
Matthews: Sinfonia. Mahler: Kindertotenlieder.
David Matthews: A Vision of the Sea. Ruby Hughes
(soprano), BBC Philharmonic, Jac van Steen. 3.00
Cowell: Hymn, Chorale and Fuguing Tune No 8
(first UK performance). Conductor Lee Reynolds.
Ginastera: Dances (Estancia). Conductor Juanjo
Mena. Copland: Statements. Conductor John
Wilson. 3.30 Bruckner: Symphony No 4 in E flat.
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 Test Match Special: Australia v England.
Day four of the second Test at Adelaide Oval.
8.30-8.59 Yesterday in Parliament. 9.45-10.0
Daily Service. FM: 6.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for the
Day, with the Rt Rev Philip North. 9.0 The Long
View. Jonathan Freedland and guests compare the
plight of today’s black cab drivers with the fate of
London’s watermen in 1750. (3/4) 9.30 One to
One: Samantha Simmonds on Competitive Siblings
9.45 Book of the Week: Over and Out, by Henry
Blofeld. (2/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented by
Jane Garvey. Includes at 10.45 Drama: Gudrun,
by Lucy Catherine. (2/5) 11.0 Mysteries of Sleep:
Sleepwalking. The neurologist Guy Leschziner
talks to patients he has been treating at his sleep
clinic at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London. (1/3) LW
& FM: 11.30 The Art of Living: When Words Fail,
Music Speaks. Blanche Girouard travels to see a
moving musical collaboration between school pupils
with complex educational needs and professional
musicians. 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 5 December 1917 –
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Adrian Chiles
1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live Drive 7.0 5 Live
Sport 7.45 Champions League Football 10.0 5
Live Football Social 10.30 Phil Williams 1.0 Up All
Night 5.0 Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
41
Wednesday 6
PICKS OF
THE DAY
Carleton appears with an open cheque.
All he can offer May is “gin distilled for
the eradication of a seemingly incurable
sadness”. And there’s a welcome return for
rumbustious rogue the Jewish gangster
Alfie Solomons. Unmissably good.
mischief, and the ineffable Alan Rickman is
relishably villainous as the monstrous Judge
Turpin. Also adding a splash of savorous
dressing is Sacha Baron Cohen as Todd’s
dubious Italian rival. Jonathan Romney
RADIO
COMEDY
Billie Homeless Dies at the End
Detectorists
BBC Four, 10pm
Radio 4, 2.15pm
Having hatched a plan to save an oak tree
threatened by the solar farmers, Andy
rescues a hedgehog and gains his karmic
reward. Plus Kate shows a new, considerate
side towards dad Lance. Mike Bradley
FOOD
FILM
Mary Berry’s Country
House Secrets
BBC One, 8pm
Sweeney Todd: The Demon
Barber of Fleet Street
ITV4, 11.35pm
On a visit to Powderham Castle, ancestral
seat of the Earl of Devon since 1391, Mary
is inspired to serve up the perfect Devon
cream tea. She also prepares pan-fried
breast of duck with apple and Calvados,
midsummer salad with figs, goats’ cheese
and young broad beans, and peach posset.
Good food and beautiful surroundings.
(Tim Burton, 2008)
Consider this a classy start to the Christmas
panto season. While the pre-release
trailers contrived to hide the fact that this
was a musical, it is in fact a relishably gothic
version of Stephen Sondheim’s classic
about the vengeful barber who turns his
hapless customers into pies. This grisly
– not to say gristly – premise is a perfect
fit for Tim Burton, DoP Dariusz Wolski and
production designer Dante Ferretti, whose
darkly imagined Victorian London catches
the tone superbly. Johnny Depp more than
acquits himself vocally as the baleful-toned
Todd, Helena Bonham Carter imbues his
amoral inamorata Mrs Lovett with saucy
DRAMA
Peaky Blinders
BBC Two, 9pm
Tommy Shelby’s got his hands full as the
Americans infiltrate Small Heath; Polly is
definitely up to no good; and old flame May
TV CHOICE
Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist
National Geographic, 9pm
Gorilla Girl is the first in an absorbing
three-part account of the life and
campaigning work of the American
primatologist who fought to save
mountain gorillas from extinction. As
well as showing her putting conservation
into action at first hand with the local
gorillas, the programme tells the story
of her early years, her heartbreak over
the killing of orphaned gorilla Digit, and
the difficulties she encountered with
poachers. There is no doubt Fossey had
enemies, but her murder in 1985 remains
shocking to this day and, extraordinarily,
one of the men accused of the crime,
former researcher Wayne McGuire,
appears in the programme. Movingly, the
last entry in her diary before her death
read: “When you realise the value of all
life you dwell less on what is past and
concentrate more on the preservation of
the future.” A fitting tribute. Mike Bradley
In the week that Radio 4 launches its
annual Christmas Appeal supporting St
Martin-in-the-Fields’ work with homeless
people, Tom Kelly’s sad drama follows Billie
(excellently played by newcomer Georgia
Scholes) as she navigates city streets
one Christmas. With nothing to her name
except her friend’s blue coat and a special
50 pence with Peter Rabbit on it, she goes
in search of Cal, her mother’s junkie ex
who once showed her some kindness. Set
to atmospheric if sometimes intrusive
original music by electronic duo Coldcut,
the play introduces us to a host of colourful
characters as it paints a disturbing picture
of dysfunctional city life. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
BT Sport 2, 7pm
Liverpool v Spartak Moscow: Champions
League. Live coverage of the Group E
game from Anfield. Tonight’s other English
Champions League fixtures kicking off at
the same time are: Tottenham Hotspur v
Apoel (BT Sport 3) and Shakhtar Donetsk v
Manchester City (BT Sport/ESPN). MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Island
Medics (T) 10.0 Homes Under
the Hammer (T) (R) 11.0
Claimed and Shamed (T) (R)
11.45 The Sheriffs Are Coming
(T) 12.15 Bargain Hunt (T) (R)
1.0 News (T) 1.30 Regional
News (T) 1.45 Doctors (T)
2.15 Armchair Detectives (T)
3.0 Escape to the Country (T)
3.45 The Hairy Bikers Home for
Christmas (T) 4.30 Money for
Nothing (T) (R) 5.15 Pointless
(T) (R) 6.0 BBC News (T) 6.30
News 7.0 The One Show (T)
6.0
An Island Parish: Falklands
(T) (R) 6.30 Island Medics (R)
7.15 The Hairy Bikers Home
for Christmas (T) (R) 8.0
Sign Zone: See Hear (T) 8.30
Nigella: At My Table (T) (R) 9.0
Victoria Derbyshire (T) 11.0 BBC
Newsroom Live (T) 11.30 Daily
Politics (T) 1.0 Live Snooker: UK
Championship (T) Day eight. 5.15
Put Your Money Where Your
Mouth Is (T) (R) 6.0 Celebrity
Eggheads (T) 6.30 Strictly Come
Dancing: It Takes Two (T) 7.0
Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (T)
6.0
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (R) 7.35
Everybody Loves Raymond (R)
9.0 Frasier (R) 10.05 Ramsay’s
Kitchen Nightmares USA (R)
11.0 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday
Night Feast (R) 12.0 News 12.05
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
12.25 Christmas Land
(2015) 2.10 Countdown 3.0 Lost
and Found 4.0 A Place in the
Sun: Winter Sun (T) 5.0 Four in
a Bed (T) (R) 5.30 Come Dine
With Me 6.0 The Simpsons 6.30
Hollyoaks 7.0 News 7.55 The
Political Slot: Labour Party (T)
6.0
Mary Berry’s Country House
Secrets (T) Mary visits
Powderham Castle.
The Apprentice (T) This
week, Lord Sugar asks the
remaining contestants to
become fashion agents and
sell a range of garments from
up-and-coming designers.
8.0
MasterChef: The Professionals
(T) The remaining chefs are split
into two groups of five, with the
first team set the daunting task
of working together to create a
three-course fine dining menu.
Peaky Blinders (T) The Shelbys
are lured by the Italians into a catand-mouse chase.
8.0
Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape
(T) The chef returns to the bay
of Naples, where he grew up.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) George’s
latest health scare alarms Mary.
9.0 I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of
Here! (T) Ant and Dec present
the celebrity challenge, as the
famous faces continue their
ordeal in the Australian jungle.
8.0
8.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Uefa Champions League
Highlights (T) With highlights of
Liverpool v Spartak Moscow,
Shakhtar Donetsk v Man City
and Tottenham v Apoel.
12.15 Stuck on You: The Football
Sticker Story (T) All about the
four Panini brothers and their
hugely successful business
idea. 1.05 Jackpot247 3.0
May the Best House Win (T)
(R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen
10.0 Gogglebox (T) (R) Punters
turn pundits.
11.05 The Mega Brothel (T) (R)
A look inside a five-storey
brothel in Stuttgart, Germany.
12.05 Random Acts (T) 12.35
Pokerstars Championship (T)
1.30 Force Majeure (Ruben
Ostlund, 2014) Alpine drama.
3.35 Phil Spencer: Secret Agent
(T) (R) 4.30 Grand Designs
Australia (T) (R) 5.25 Kirstie’s
Handmade Treasures (T) (R)
5.35 Countdown (T) (R)
BBC One
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.45 A Question of Sport (T) With Carl
Frampton, Louise Hazel, Mark
Wood and Dean Saunders.
11.15 Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat
and Tears (T) Jo treats a onemonth-old baby.
11.45 Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 (T)
A teenager pursues his dream
of becoming a drag queen.
12.45 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.50 News (T)
9.0
10.0 The Apprentice: You’re Fired (T)
An interview with the show’s
freshly rejected candidate.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Snooker: UK Championship (T)
Hazel Irvine presents the opening
matches in the fourth round at
the Barbican Centre in York.
12.05 Snooker: UK Championship Extra
(T) 2.05 Sign Zone: See Hear
(T) (R) 2.35 Rick Stein’s Road
to Mexico (T) (R) 3.35 Extreme
Wives with Kate Humble (T)
(R) 4.35 This Is BBC Two (T)
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
11.30am Game of the Week 12.0 Inside
Sailing 12.30 The Ashes 2.0 Game of the
Week 2.30 Premier League Review 3.30
Premier League 5.0 Uefa Champions League
Highlights 6.0 Serie A Review 6.30 BT Sport
Reload 7.0 Uefa Champions League 7.30 Uefa
Champions League Goals Show 10.0 Rugby
Tonight On Tour 10.30 The Ashes 12.0 Action
Woman of the Year Awards 1.0 Bundesliga
Review 2.0 Ligue 1 Review 3.0 Rugby Tonight
On Tour 3.30 Live NBA: Los Angeles Clippers
v Minnesota Timberwolves (tip-off 3.30am)
Coverage from Staples Centre.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 7.0 Fish
Town 8.0 The Guest Wing 9.0 The West Wing
10.0 The West Wing 11.0 House 12.0 House
1.0 Without a Trace 2.0 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 Band of Brothers 10.15 Band of
Brothers 11.35 The Sopranos 12.45 The Sopranos
2.0 The Tunnel 3.0 The Tunnel 4.0 The West
Wing 5.0 The West Wing
E4
6.0am Hollyoaks 6.30 Hollyoaks 7.0 Charmed
8.0 Charmed 9.0 Rules of Engagement 9.30
Rules of Engagement 10.0 Black-ish 10.30
Black-ish 11.0 How I Met Your Mother 11.30 How
I Met Your Mother 12.0 New Girl 12.30 New
Girl 1.0 The Big Bang Theory 1.30 The Big Bang
Theory 2.0 The Goldbergs 2.30 The Goldbergs
3.0 How I Met Your Mother 3.30 How I Met Your
Mother 4.0 New Girl 4.30 New Girl 5.0 Kevin
Can Wait 5.30 Kevin Can Wait 6.0 The Big Bang
Theory 6.30 The Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks
7.30 First Dates Abroad 8.0 The Big Bang Theory
8.30 The Big Bang Theory 9.0 Prometheus
(2012) 11.25 The Big Bang Theory 11.55 The Big
Bang Theory 12.25 Rude Tube 1.30 Gogglebox
42
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 The Jeremy Kyle
Show (T) 10.30 This Morning (T)
12.30 Loose Women (T) 1.30
News (T) 1.55 Local News (T) 2.0
Judge Rinder (T) 3.0 Dickinson’s
Real Deal (T) 3.59 Local News
and Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T)
6.0 Local News (T) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Emmerdale (T) The Dingles’
family dog Alfie collapses, and is
discovered to have cancer. 7.30
Coronation Street (T) Phelan
sends Luke on a wild goose chase.
VARIATIONS
2.25 The Inbetweeners 2.55 The Inbetweeners
3.25 First Dates at Christmas 4.15 Black-ish
4.40 Black-ish 5.05 Charmed
Film4
11.0am The Victors (1963) 2.05 Bear Island (1979) 4.25 North to Alaska
(1960) 6.55 Playing for Keeps (2012)
9.0 The Heat (2013) 11.20 Boy
(2010) 1.05 Uncle Howard (2016)
Sky1
6.0am Monkey Life 6.30 Monkey Life 7.0
Monkey Life 7.30 Monkey Life 8.0 It’s Me or
the Dog 9.0 The Dog Whisperer 10.0 Monkey
Life 10.30 Monkey Life 11.0 Modern Family
11.30 Modern Family 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 DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
9.0 Marvel’s Inhumans 10.0 Golf’s Funniest
Moments 11.0 The Simpsons 11.30 The Simpsons
12.0 A League of Their Own 1.0 The Force: Essex
2.0 Night Cops 3.0 Brit Cops: Rapid Response
4.0 Stop, Search, Seize 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Live Test Cricket: India v Sri Lanka.
Coverage of the fifth day of the third Test at
Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, where the three-match
series comes to a conclusion. 11.15 Live Ladies
European Tour Golf: The Omega Dubai Ladies
Classic. Coverage of day one of the tournament
from Emirates Gold Club in Dubai. 12.30 Sky
Sports Today 2.0 Sky Sports News 3.0 Sky
Sports News 4.0 Live: Ram Slam T20 Challenge.
Coverage of a match from South Africa’s
domestic competition. 7.30 Live Mosconi Cup
Pool. The third day of nine-ball pool’s version
of the Ryder Cup from Mandalay Bay Resort and
Casino in Las Vegas. 11.0-6.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.35pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.10 Uefa Champions
League Highlights (T) 12.35 Teleshopping
1.35 After Midnight 2.35 Storage Hoarders
(T) (R) 3.25 ITV Nightscreen (T) 4.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R) 5.30-6.0
Teleshopping
ITV WALES As ITV West except 8.0pm8.30 Crime Files (T)
CHANNEL As ITV except 1.05am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.35pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.10 Uefa Champions
League Highlights (T) 12.35 Teleshopping
1.35 After Midnight 2.35 Storage Hoarders
(T) (R) 3.25 ITV Nightscreen (T) 4.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R) 5.30-6.0
Teleshopping
ULSTER As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
Lesser Spotted Journeys (T) 1.05 Teleshopping
2.05-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 10.40pm
Scot Squad (T) 11.10 A Question of Sport
(T) 11.40 Junior Doctors (T) 12.10-1.10
Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 (T)
BBC ONE WALES 10.30pm BBC Wales
Live (T) 11.05 A Question of Sport (T) 11.35
Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat and Tears (T)
12.05-1.05 Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 (T)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 2.30pm Politics
Scotland (T) (R) 3.30-5.15 Live Snooker (T)
11.45-2.05 Snooker (T)
9.0
The Secret Life of the Zoo (T)
After two years living alone,
male onager Holmes is released
into the female paddock.
The Channel: The World’s Busiest
Waterway (T) Wollowing the
work of the Channel tunnel’s
British head of maintenance
Vince and engineer Richard, who
helped to build the tunnel in 1988.
9.0
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
11.45 The Christmas Miracle
of Jonathan Toomey (Bill Clark,
2007) (T) 1.25 News (T) 1.30
Neighbours (T) 2.0 Spirit
of Christmas (David Jackson,
2015) (T) 3.45 Marry Me at
Christmas (Terry Ingram, 2017)
(T) 5.30 News (T) 6.0 Neighbours
(T) (R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0 All New
Traffic Cops (T) (R) Four police
cars are needed to stop a vehicle
with a motorbike hanging out of
the boot, and officers chase a 4x4
from Bradford out to the country.
GPs: Behind Closed Doors:
Young Mums & Toddlers (T) A
special programme focusing on
babies and toddlers being treated
at the clinic. Includes news update.
My Son: The Serial Killer (T)
A documentary examining one
of the UK’s most notorious
criminals, as Steve Wright’s
father offers insights into his son.
BBC Four
7.0
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
2015 (T) (R) Two teams of
distinguished graduates
compete for their old universities
in the first semi-final of the quiz.
8.0
How the Wild West Was Won
With Ray Mears (T) (R) How the
landscapes of the United States’
five great deserts challenged
the pioneers in their westward
push. Last in the series.
Digging for Britain (T) In this
episode, Alice Roberts joins
archaeologists in the north of
Britain as they uncover Roman
writing tablets.
9.0
10.0 Levi Bellfield Left Me for Dead (T)
People attacked by Levi Bellfield,
including his friend and his
ex-wife, share their experiences.
11.05 The Butcher Surgeon: Why
Wasn’t He Stopped? (T) (R)
Documentary profiling former
breast surgeon Ian Paterson.
12.05 Soap Star Killer (T) (R) 1.0
SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Yorkshire:
A Year in the Wild 4.0 My
Mum’s Hotter Than Me! (T)
(R) 4.45 House Doctor (T)
(R) 5.10 Great Artists (T) (R)
5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.0 Detectorists (T) Andy and Lance
become eco-warriors when they
discover that their beloved oak
tree is due to be felled.
10.30 The League of Gentlemen
(T) (R) Mike and Cheryl’s
wedding day arrives.
11.0 The Undiscovered Peter Cook
(T) (R) Documentary
12.0 Spike Milligan: Assorted Q (R)
12.30 Spike Milligan: Assorted
Q (R) 1.0 Pappano’s Classical
Voices (R) 2.0 How the Wild
West Was Won With Ray Mears
(R) 3.0 Digging for Britain (R)
of Don Quixote. Conductor Juanjo Mena. 3.30
Choral Evensong: Keble College, Oxford 4.30
New Generation Artists. The Calidore Quartet play
Tchaikovsky. 5.0 In Tune 7.0 In Tune Mixtape.
An imaginative, eclectic mix of music. 7.30 In
Concert. Live from the Barbican in London, the
BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo mark
100 years of Finnish Independence with music by
the young Sibelius. Guy Johnston (cello), BBC SO,
Sakari Oramo. Sibelius: Press Celebrations Music
(first UK performance). 8.05 Interval. 8.25 Sibelius:
Cantique; Devotion (Two Pieces, Op 77); Symphony
No 1. 10.0 Free Thinking. The winner of this year’s
Turner prize talks to Matthew Sweet. 10.45
Between the Essays: Russia. Vladimir Kryuchev on
the spaces between stations on a radio dial. (3/5)
11.0 Late Junction 12.30 Through the Night
one-time psychoanalyst, Susie Orbach. (3/5) 2.0
The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: Billie Homeless Dies
at the End, by Tom Kelly. A tough and resourceful
teenage girl is driven from her home and on to
the freezing city streets on the last night of her
life. As the streets fill up with drunken Christmas
revellers, she is blown around the city like a leaf on
the wind, from one encounter to another, clinging
onto the hope that she can find Cal, the one man
she knows who would take her in. 3.0 Money Box
Live 3.30 Inside Health: The Future Heart (R) 4.0
Thinking Allowed. Human behaviour, institutions
and conventions examined. 4.30 The Media Show
5.0 PM 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 6.0 News
6.30 All Those Women (R) 7.0 The Archers. The
panto rehearsal descends into chaos. 7.15 Front
Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 Gudrun (R) (3/5) 8.0
The Moral Maze. Combative, provocative and
engaging debate chaired by Michael Buerk. With
Shiv Malik, Michael Portillo, Claire Fox and Giles
Fraser. (9/9) 8.45 Encounters. Two people with
differing views come together to see if they can
empathise with each other. (1/4) 9.0 Science
Stories. Surprising stories from the history of science
told by Naomi Alderman and Philip Ball. (3/5) 9.30
Only Artists (R) 10.0 The World Tonight 10.45
Book at Bedtime: Rabbit Redux, by John Updike.
Read by Toby Jones. (8/10) 11.0 Lenny Henry:
Rogue’s Gallery – Murder Men (4/4) 11.15 Joseph
Morpurgo’s Walking Tour: The Louvre (3/4) 11.30
Today in Parliament 12.0 News 12.30 Book of the
Week (R) (3/5) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As
World Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News
5.43 Prayer for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58
Tweet of the Day: Tara Robinson on the Cuckoo
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.33 The Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw
10.0 Clara Amfo 12.45 Newsbeat 1.0 Scott Mills
4.0 Greg James 5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Greg James
7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 The 8th With Charlie Sloth
11.0 Huw Stephens 1.0 Benji B 3.0 Stories: Music
by Numbers – Calvin Harris 4.0 Early Breakfast
Show With Adele Roberts
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce 12.0 Jeremy
Vine 2.0 Steve Wright 5.0 Simon Mayo 7.0
The Folk Show With Mark Radcliffe 8.0 Jo Whiley
10.0 Mark Kermode’s Celluloid Jukebox (2/5)
11.0 Marcus Mumford (R) 12.0 Pick of the Pops
(R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Country, Easy & Radio 2
Rocks 5.0 Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. Petroc Trelawny presents. 9.0
Essential Classics. Rob Cowan’s guest this week is
the conductor Antonio Pappano. 12.0 Composer
of the Week: 21st-Century Opera – Shakespeare.
Donald Macleod is joined by novelist, critic and
opera librettist Paul Griffiths. (3/5) 1.0 News 1.02
Lunchtime Concert. John Toal presents a series
of recitals from Northern Ireland Opera’s Festival
of Voice 2017, recorded at St Patrick’s Church of
Ireland in Glenarm, Co Antrim. Finzi: Till Earth
Outwears the Rain, Op 19. Toby Spence (tenor),
Joseph Middleton (piano). Britten: A Charm of
Lullabies, Op 41. Jennifer Johnston (mezzo), Joseph
Middleton (piano). Britten: Michelangelo Sonnets,
Op 22. Purcell arr Britten: Music for a While.
Toby Spence (tenor), Joseph Middleton (piano).
(2/4) 2.0 Afternoon Concert: BBC Philharmonic.
Beethoven: Egmont Overture. Caroline Shaw:
Entr’acte. Brahms: Symphony No 4 in E minor, Op
98. Webern: Five Pieces, Op 10. Conductor Joshua
Weilerstein. 3.15 Jesus Guridi: An Adventure
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 Test Match Special: Australia v England.
Day five of the second Test at Adelaide Oval. 8.318.59 Yesterday in Parliament. 9.45-10.0 Daily
Service. FM: 6.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for the
Day. 9.0 Only Artists. Two artists from different
disciplines discuss creative questions. (5/6)
9.30 Life Drawing: John Cooper Clarke Meets
Martin Rowson (R) 9.45 Book of the Week: Over
and Out, by Henry Blofeld. (3/5) 10.0 Woman’s
Hour. Presented by Jane Garvey. Includes at
10.41 Drama: Gudrun, by Lucy Catherine. (3/5)
10.55 The Listening Project 11.0 The First Heart
Transplant: Beat by Beat. Surgeon Stephen Westaby
explores the events leading up to the first heart
transplant and reflects on the consequences of that
extraordinary medical breakthrough. LW & FM:
11.30 It’s a Fair Cop: Stop Search (R) Alfie Moore
presents more tales from the police frontline.
12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04
Home Front: 6 December 1917 – Joyce Lyle, by
Caroline Horton. (18/40) 12.15 You and Yours
1.0 The World at One 1.45 This Old Heart of
Mine. Giles Fraser is joined in conversation by his
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 5 Live Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily with Emma
Barnett 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live Drive 7.0
5 Live Sport 7.45 Champions League Football 10.0
5 Live Football Social 10.30 Phil Williams 1.0 Up All
Night 5.0 Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
Thursday 7
PICKS OF
THE DAY
may be under threat and her fear increases
when Rob says he’s got something on his
phone he “wants her to look at”…
pressures of ordinary life are sources
of panic across the board. Elegantly shot,
highly engaging if not always revelatory,
but nothing if not crackling with nervous
energy. Jonathan Romney
DOCUMENTARY
Storyville: When Rock Arrived
in North Korea – Liberation Day
BBC Four, 11pm
RADIO
Tracks: Series Two – Strata
Radio 4, 2.15pm
This oddly compelling film follows Slovenian
avant-garde rockers Laibach as they
accept an invitation to become the first
western band to perform in North Korea
where, frustratingly, all decisions have to be
made by consensus. Mike Bradley
FILM
DOCUMENTARY
All This Panic
Film4, 1.15am
Catching a Killer: Bullet
Through a Window
Channel 4, 9pm
(Jenny Gage, 2016)
Magazine photographers Gage and her
husband, cameraman Tom Betterton,
started this project by filming two teenage
girls who were their neighbours in
Brooklyn, and ended up after three years
with this intimate portrait of the trials and
joys of American female adolescence.
Seven girls – including problem-laden,
college-bound Lena, sisters Ginger and
Dusty, and Sage, the African American
in the group – reveal their hopes and
anxieties and the stresses of friendship
and growing up, as the conversation flows
nervously and sometimes abrasively. The
title refers ostensibly to high schoolers’
anxieties about what to wear every
day, but it’s clear throughout that the
In the early hours a single bullet is fired
through an open window in Milton Keynes,
killing 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed.
Filmed from the panicked 999 call through
to the courts of justice, this compelling
documentary uses police footage to follow
the investigating detectives (above) and
the resulting convictions. Excellent.
DRAMA
Love, Lies & Records
BBC One, 9pm
Has Judy sent a USB stick containing
footage of the strong-room incident to
Rob? Kate is terrified that her relationship
TV CHOICE
Born to Be Free: Saving
Russia’s Whales
Channel 4, 11.25pm
Every bit as important as David
Attenborough’s continued pleas for
humanity to stop poisoning our seas, this
heartfelt film by a trio of female Russian
journalists about the scandalous trade in
marine wildlife, in particular sea mammals,
is a cry for help which hopefully will be
heard the world over. At the heart of
the programme is the story of 18 beluga
whales destined for the American
aquarium market which, owing to legal
wrangles, wound up stranded in tiny
tanks in Utrish “Marine Mammal Research
Station” on the shores of the Black Sea.
A vet makes the point that for belugas,
a herd animal, “solitude in an aquarium is
possibly one of the cruellest tortures”.
A damning indictment that exposes an
unregulated trade which looks set to
increase as China orders animals to fill its
awful new dolphinariums. Mike Bradley
If you have not caught the 15-minute online
episodes of this second series of Matthew
Broughton’s acclaimed conspiracy thriller,
here is a chance to catch the lot in two
45-minute programmes (the second
airs tomorrow at 2.15pm). Series two
is a prequel to series one and is set in
1980. While fossil-hunting in Snowdonia,
Rachel (Fiona O’ Shaughnessy) becomes
convinced that the rocks have swallowed
up her four-year-old son. Locals Ifan and
Sam (Kai Owen and Robert Pugh) help
her scour the mountains, where they
encounter strangers including a seemingly
pregnant old woman. Excellent sound
direction builds up the tension in this
gripping drama. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Rugby Union
BBC2, 2.45pm
Oxford University v Cambridge University.
Live coverage from Twickenham. In last
year’s fixture Cambridge ended Oxford’s
six-year winning streak. Can they prevail
again? The Women’s Varsity Match is on
the BBC red button at 11.25am. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast 9.15 Island Medics
10.0 Homes Under the Hammer
11.0 Claimed and Shamed (R)
11.45 The Sheriffs Are Coming
12.15 Bargain Hunt (R) 1.0 News
and Weather 1.30 Regional
News and Weather 1.45 Doctors
2.15 Armchair Detectives (T)
3.0 Escape to the Country (T)
(R) 3.45 The Hairy Bikers Home
for Christmas (T) 4.30 Money
for Nothing (T) (R) 5.15 Pointless
(T) (R) 6.0 News (T) 6.30 Regional
News (T) 7.0 The One Show (T)
7.30 EastEnders (T)
6.0
An Island Parish: Falklands (T)
(R) 6.30 Island Medics (T) (R)
7.15 The Hairy Bikers Home for
Christmas (T) (R) 8.0 Sign Zone:
MasterChef: The Professionals
(T) (R) 9.0 Victoria Derbyshire (T)
11.0 BBC Newsroom Live (T) 12.0
Daily Politics (T) 1.0 Live Snooker:
UK Championship (T) Day nine in
York. 2.45 Rugby Union: Varsity
Match (T) 5.0 Live Snooker: UK
Championship (T) 6.0 Celebrity
Eggheads (T) 6.30 Strictly Come
Dancing: It Takes Two (T) 7.0 Live
Snooker: UK Championship (T)
6.0
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (R) 7.35
Everybody Loves Raymond (R)
9.0 Frasier (R) 10.05 Ramsay’s
Kitchen Nightmares USA (R)
11.0 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday
Night Feast (R) 12.0 News 12.05
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
(R) 12.25 12 Wishes of
Christmas (Peter Sullivan, 2011)
2.10 Countdown 3.0 Lost and
Found 4.0 A Place in the Sun:
Winter Sun 5.0 Four in a Bed (R)
5.30 Come Dine With Me 6.0 The
Simpsons 6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0
News (T) 7.55 The Political Slot (T)
6.0
Holby City (T) It remains to be
seen how the staff will cope
when a face from the past turns
up bearing a chilling grudge.
Love, Lies & Records (T) Kate
is horrified to discover that
Judy has sent Rob a flash drive
containing the incriminating
footage. The registrars prepare
for the raid on the sham wedding.
8.0
MasterChef: The Professionals
(T) The second group work
together to cook a fine dining
menu at the Institution of Civil
Engineers.
Blitz: The Bombs That Changed
Britain (T) The story of a bomb
that fell on Jellicoe Street in the
Scottish town of Clydebank.
8.0
Emmerdale (T) Pollard faces
the music, and Paddy is thrown
by an admission.
8.30 Paul O’Grady: For the Love of
Dogs (T) Paul meets a staffie
cross that cannot find an owner.
9.0 I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of
Here! (T) Ant and Dec present
highlights from the past 24
hours, including another
Bushtucker Trial.
8.0
8.0
10.0 News (T)
10.35 Local News (T)
10.45 The Late Debate (T) Paul Brand
is joined by a panel of local MPs.
11.15 Uefa Europa League Highlights
(T) Apollon Limassol v Everton
and Arsenal v BATE Borisov.
12.25 Jackpot247 3.0 Tonight:
Christmas Cons Revealed (T)
(R) 3.25 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
10.25 999: What’s Your Emergency?
(T) (R) The effects of rising levels
of stress in the workplace.
11.25 Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s
Whales (T) An investigation
into the global trade in wild sea
mammals.
1.0 Extraordinary Teens: My Gay
Life (T) (R) 1.55 Finding Me
a Family (T) (R) 2.50 How to
Build a Robot (T) (R) 3.45 Grand
Designs Australia (T) (R) 4.40
Phil Spencer: Secret Agent (T)
(R) 5.35 Countdown (T) (R)
BBC One
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.45 Question Time (T) Topical
debate from Swansea, chaired
by David Dimbleby, with
panellists including Welsh first
minister Carwyn Jones and TV
and radio host Richard Bacon.
11.45 This Week (T) Andrew Neil
introduces political chat.
12.30 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.35 BBC News (T)
9.0
10.0 Live at the Apollo (T) Nish Kumar
introduces Luisa Omielan and
David O’Doherty.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Snooker: UK Championship
Hazel Irvine presents action
from the concluding matches
in the fourth round at the
Barbican Centre in York.
12.05 Snooker: UK Championship
Extra (T) 2.05 Sign Zone: Exodus:
Our Journey Continues (T) (R)
3.05 This Farming Life (T) (R)
4.05 This Is BBC Two (T)
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
6.0am Premier League World 6.30 The
Emirates FA Cup 7.30 The Emirates FA Cup 9.0
The Emirates FA Cup 10.30 Action Woman of
the Year Awards 11.30 Live Men’s Hockey World
League: Third Quarter-Final 1.45 Live Men’s
Hockey World League: Fourth Quarter-Final 4.0
The WRC Magazine: Sydney Gala 4.30 Gillette
World Sport 5.0 NBA Action 5.30 NBA 7.0
Michelin Le Mans Cup Highlights 7.30 Rugby
Tonight On Tour 8.0 Action Woman of the Year
Awards 9.0 The Ashes 12.0 Premier League
Match Pack 12.30 NBA Inside Stuff 1.0 Live NBA:
Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers (tip-off
1am) Coverage of the inter-conference clash at Wells
Fargo Centre. 3.30 Live NBA: Utah Jazz v Houston
Rockets tip-off 3.30am) Coverage of the Western
Conference clash at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The British 7.0 Fish Town 8.0 The
Guest Wing 9.0-11.0 The West Wing 11.0-1.0
House 1.0 Without a Trace 2.0 Blue Bloods 3.05.0 The West Wing 5.0-7.0 House 7.0 CSI:
Crime Scene Investigation 8.0 Blue Bloods 9.0
Olive Kitteridge 10.15 Room 104 10.45 Room
104 11.20 Curb Your Enthusiasm 12.15 TJ Miller:
Meticulously Ridiculous 1.30 The Tunnel 2.30
The Tunnel 3.25 Californication 4.0-6.0 The
West Wing
E4
All programmes from 6am to 7pm are double bills
6.0am Hollyoaks 7.0 Charmed 9.0 Rules of
Engagement 10.0 Black-ish 11.0 How I Met Your
Mother 12.0 New Girl 1.0 The Big Bang Theory
2.0 The Goldbergs 3.0 How I Met Your Mother
4.0 New Girl 5.0 Kevin Can Wait 6.0 The Big
Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 First Dates
Abroad 8.0-9.0 The Big Bang Theory 9.0 2
Broke Girls 9.30 The Big Bang Theory 10.011.05 The Inbetweeners 11.05-12.05 The Big
Bang Theory 12.05 Rude Tube 1.10 Gogglebox
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 The Jeremy Kyle
Show (T) 10.30 This Morning (T)
12.30 Loose Women (T) 1.30
News (T) 1.55 Local News (T) 2.0
Judge Rinder (T) 3.0 Dickinson’s
Real Deal (T) 3.59 Local News
and Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T)
6.0 Local News (T) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 Emmerdale (T) Pollard
takes desperate measures.
7.30 Tonight: Christmas Cons
Revealed (T) How to avoid
fraudulent online sellers.
VARIATIONS
2.05 2 Broke Girls 2.30 First Dates Hotel 3.25
Rude Tube 3.50-4.40 Black-ish 4.40 Charmed
Film4
11.0am Thunder Bay (1953) 1.10 Shane (1953) 3.30 Thoroughly Modern
Millie (1967) 6.15 The Karate Kid (2010)
9.0 Black Sea (2014) 11.10 Oldboy
(2013) 1.15 All This Panic (2016) 2.50
FilmFear Interview Special
Sky1
6.0am-8.0 Monkey Life 8.0 It’s Me or the
Dog 9.0 The Dog Whisperer 10.0-11.0 Meerkat
Manor 11.0 Modern Family 11.30 Modern
Family 12.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 1.0-3.0 Hawaii
Five-0 3.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 4.0 Stargate
SG-1 5.0 The Simpsons 5.30-6.30 Futurama
6.30-8.0 The Simpsons 8.0 A League of Their
Own 9.0 Living the Dream 10.0 The Russell
Howard Hour 11.0-12.0 The Simpsons 12.0
A League of Their Own 1.0 The Force: Essex
2.0 Night Cops 3.0 Brit Cops: Rapid Response
4.0 Stop, Search, Seize 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Good Morning Sports Fans 8.30 Live
European Tour Golf: The Joburg Open. Coverage of
the opening day’s play at the Royal Johannesburg
& Kensington Golf Club in South Africa. 10.30
Live Ladies European Tour Golf: The Omega Dubai
Ladies Classic. Coverage of the second day of
the tournament at Emirates Gold Club in Dubai.
12.30 Live European Tour Golf: The Joburg Open.
Further coverage 2.0 Sky Sports News 5.0 Sky
Sports News at 5 6.0 Sky Sports News at 6 6.30
Live Mosconi Cup Pool. The fourth and final day
of nine-ball pool’s version of the Ryder Cup. 10.0
The Debate 11.0 Sky Sports News 12.0 Sporting
Greats 12.30 Live NFL: Atlanta Falcons v New
Orleans Saints (kick-off 1.25am) Coverage of the
NFC South clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 4.45
Great Sporting Moments 5.0 Sky Sports News
ANGLIA As ITV except 10.45pm-11.15
Anglia Late Edition (T)
BORDER As ITV except 10.45pm-11.15
Around the House
CENTRAL As ITV except 10.45pm-11.15
Central Lobby
WESTCOUNTRY As ITV except 10.45pm11.15 Westcountry Debate
GRANADA As ITV except 10.45pm-11.15
Granada Debate
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.35pm-11.15
Scotland Tonight 12.25 Teleshopping 1.25 After
Midnight 2.55 Tonight (R) 3.20 ITV Nightscreen
4.05 Jeremy Kyle (R)
ITV WEST As ITV except 10.45pm-11.15
Westcountry Debate
ITV WALES As ITV except 10.45pm-11.15
Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape (T)
MERIDIAN As ITV except 10.45pm-11.15
Last Word (T)
CHANNEL As Meridian
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.35pm-11.15
Scotland Tonight (T) 12.25 Teleshopping 1.25
After Midnight 2.55 Christmas Cons Revealed:
Tonight (T) (R) 3.20 ITV Nightscreen 4.05
Jeremy Kyle (T) (R)
ULSTER As ITV except 10.45pm-11.15
Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears (T)
YORKSHIRE As ITV except 10.45pm11.15 Last Orders (T)
TYNE TEES As ITV except 10.45pm-11.15
Around the House (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 10.40pm The
View (T) 11.15 Question Time (T) 12.15-1.0
This Week (T)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 12noon-1.0
First Minister’s Questions (T) 7.0 Dad’s Army
(T) (R) 7.30-8.0 Timeline
9.0
Great Canal Journeys (T) Timothy
West and Prunella Scales explore
the Monmouthshire and Brecon
canal. Last in the series.
Catching a Killer (T) Following
the investigation by Thames
Valley police into a fatal
shooting through an open
window, in the early hours of
the morning in Milton Keynes.
9.0
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
11.45 The Christmas Spirit
(Jack Angelo, 2013) (T) 1.25 News
(T) 1.30 Neighbours (T) 2.0 The Flight Before Christmas (Kari
Juusonen, Michael Hegner, 2008)
(T) 3.40 A Star Crossed
Christmas (John Stimpson,
2017) (T) 5.30 News (T) 6.0
Neighbours (T) (R) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 UK’s Strongest Man 2017
(T) Further action from the final,
in Belfast, featuring the likes of
the Truck Pull, Giant Log, Stones
of Strength and Giant Tyre Flip.
Traffic Cops at Christmas
(T) An insight into the working
life of officers patrolling the
nation’s roads.
Brick Mansions (Camille
Delamarre, 2014) (T) A cop and
an ex-convict join forces to stop
a drug kingpin in a walled-off
ghetto from destroying the city.
Action drama with Paul Walker.
BBC Four
7.0
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
2015 (T) (R) Two teams of
distinguished graduates compete
on behalf of their old universities
in the second semi-final.
8.0
The Secrets of Quantum Physics
(R) Prof Jim Al-Khalili investigates
the theory of quantum physics.
Inside Chernobyl’s Mega
Tomb (T) (R) Following a team
of international engineers as
they build a steel structure to
entomb the ruins of the nuclear
power plant, destroyed in the
1986 disaster.
9.0
10.45 Takers (John Luessenhop,
2010) (T) Six bank robbers plan
a lucrative armoured car robbery
but a determined police officer is
closing in on them. Crime thriller
with Paul Walker, Matt Dillon and
Idris Elba.
12.45 Sinkholes: Sucked to Death (T)
(R) 1.35 SuperCasino 3.10 Ben
Fogle: New Lives in the Wild (T)
(R) 4.0 My Mum’s Hotter Than
Me! (T) (R) 4.45 House Doctor
(T) (R) 5.10 Great Artists (T) (R)
5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.0 Inside Porton Down: Britain’s
Secret Weapons Research
Facility (T) (R) Dr Michael Mosley
on the UK’s most secretive and
controversial military research
base on its 100th anniversary.
11.0 Storyville: When Rock Arrived
in North Korea (T) Laibach are
invited to perform in the country.
12.0 Empire of the Seas: How the
Navy Forged the Modern
World (T) (R) 1.0 Pappano’s
Classical Voices (T) (R) 2.0 Inside
Chernobyl’s Mega Tomb (R)
Viviani (baritone: Gleby), Álvaro Zambrano (tenor:
Prince Alexis/Sergeant), Riccardo Fassi (baritone:
Walinoff/Captain/Governor), Jean-Gabriel SaintMartin (baritone: Miskinsky the banker/Lame
man/Inspector), Anaïs Constant (soprano: Girl),
Montpellier Occitanie National Chorus and Orchestra,
Latvian Radio Chorus, Domingo Hindoyan. 3.35 More
from the BBC Philharmonic. Kay: of New Horizons.
Ligeti: Ramifications. Haydn: Cello Concerto in C.
Matthew Barley (cello). Kodály: Dances of Galanta.
4.40 Smetana: Vyšehrad. 5.0 In Tune 7.0 In Tune
Mixtape 7.30 In Concert. Live from St David’s Hall,
Cardiff. BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Tadaaki
Otaka. Takemitsu: Twill by Twilight. Elgar: Cello
Concerto in E minor, Op 85. Steven Isserlis (cello).
8.20 Interval. 8.45 Rachmaninov: Symphony No
2 in E minor Op 27.10.0 Free Thinking. Catherine
Fletcher talks to Stephen Greenblatt about the
Adam and Eve story. 10.45 Between the Essays:
Prague (4/5) 11.0 Late Junction. Max Reinhardt
remembers Pierre Henry with a piece by Langham
Research Centre. 12.30 Through the Night
(4/5) 2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: Tracks –
Strata, by Matthew Broughton. In the mountains
of Snowdonia, Rachel Turner is looking for fossils
with her four-year-old son when a freak earthquake
shakes the land and the boy vanishes. With the help
of two locals, she embarks on a desperate search
for him. Fiona O’Shaughnessy stars in this prequel
to 2016 thriller Tracks. Concludes tomorrow. (1/2)
3.0 Open Country: Red Squirrels in Formby. With
Helen Mark. (7/16) 3.27 Radio 4 Christmas Appeal
With St Martin-in-the-Fields (R) 3.30 Bookclub:
Jennifer Egan: A Visit from the Goon Squad (R) 4.0
The Film Programme. Francine Stock reassesses
Powell and Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death
as it returns to cinemas. 4.30 Inside Science 5.0
PM 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather
6.0 News 6.30 Keep Calman Carry On. Standup
comedy in which Susan Calman throws herself into
various leisure pursuits designed to help her relax
and unwind. Here she learns about gardening from
writer Val McDermid. (1/4) 7.0 The Archers. Brian
puts his foot in it. 7.15 Front Row. Arts roundup.
7.45 Gudrun (R) (4/5) 8.0 The Briefing Room.
David Aaronovitch and guests discuss topical issues.
8.30 In Business: US Jobs – The Ties That Bind.
With Claire Bolderson in Massachusetts. 9.0 Inside
Science (R) 9.30 In Our Time (R) 10.0 The World
Tonight 10.45 Book at Bedtime: Rabbit Redux, by
John Updike. (9/10) 11.0 Welcome to Wherever
You Are. Andrew Maxwell presents standup from
around the world. (2/4) 11.30 Today in Parliament
12.0 News 12.30 Book of the Week (R) (4/5)
12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer
for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of
the Day: Mark Cocker on the Short-Eared Owl
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.30 The Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw
10.0 Clara Amfo 12.45 Newsbeat 1.0 Scott Mills
4.0 Greg James 5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Greg James
7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 The 8th With Charlie Sloth
11.0 Residency 12.0 Residency: Will Atkinson
1.0 Toddla T 3.0 Artist Takeover With… 4.0
Early Breakfast Show With Adele Roberts
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce 12.0 Jeremy
Vine 2.0 Steve Wright 5.0 Simon Mayo 7.0 Bob
Harris Country 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0 The Arts Show
With Jonathan Ross 12.0 The Craig Charles House
Party (R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Tracks of My Years,
Have a Great Weekend & Feelgood Friday 5.0 Suzi
Perry
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. The Advent broadcasts of JS
Bach’s Preludes and Fugues continue. 9.0 Essential
Classics. Rob Cowan talks to Antonio Pappano.
12.0 Composer of the Week: 21st-Century
Opera – Comedy (4/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: Northern Ireland Opera Festival of Voice
2017. Recorded at St Patrick’s Church of Ireland
in Glenarm, Co Antrim. Britten: 5 songs - At the
Mid Hour of Night; Ca’ the Yowes; O Can Ye Sew
Cushions; Down by the Salley Gardens; The Last
Rose of Summer. Jennifer Johnston (mezzo),
Joseph Middleton (piano). John Larchet: 3
songs - Padraic the Fiddler; The Cormorant; The
Philosophy of Love. Gavan Ring (baritone), Simon
Lepper (piano). Elgar: Sea Pictures, Op 37. Britten:
I Wonder as I Wander. Jennifer Johnston (mezzo),
Joseph Middleton (piano). (3/4) 2.0 Thursday
Opera Matinee: Umberto Giordano – Siberia. Sonya
Yoncheva (soprano: Stephana), Murat Karahan
(tenor: Vassili), Catherine Carby (mezzo: Nikona),
Marin Yonchev (tenor: Ivan/Cossack), Gabriele
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. News and sport. 7.48 Thought for
the Day, with Prof Robert Beckford. 8.30 (LW)
Yesterday in Parliament 9.0 In Our Time 9.45
(LW) Daily Service 9.45 (FM) Book of the Week:
Over and Out, by Henry Blofeld. (4/5) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. Includes at 10.45 Drama: Gudrun,
by Lucy Catherine. (4/5) 11.0 Crossing Continents:
The Lost Children of Isis. A report from Iraq. 11.30
Howzat for Hollywood (R) Jim Carter explores the
history of the Hollywood Cricket Club. 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front:
7 December 1917 – Marion Wardle, by Caroline
Horton. (19/40) 12.15 You and Yours 12.57
Weather 1.0 The World at One 1.45 This Old Heart
of Mine. Giles Fraser meets cultural historian Fay
Bound Alberti at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey
and asks how the landmark moments in the story of
heart surgery relate to the heart as a poetic symbol.
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Emma Barnett
1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 Drive 7.0 5 Live Sport
10.0 Question Time Extra Time 1.0 Up All Night
5.0 Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
43
Friday 8
PICKS OF
THE DAY
royal marriage. “Divorce is not an option,”
Elizabeth tells a guilty Philip. Now the pair
set about restoring a harmony between
them, while outside, in the real world, the
Suez crisis is causing chaos. Excellent.
narrative plates with elegance, holding
up impressively alongside long-form
TV suspensers like Top of the Lake and
Broadchurch. Jonathan Romney
RADIO
CHATSHOW
Superfast Politics
The Graham Norton Show
BBC1, 10.35pm
Radio 4, 11am
Norton welcomes actors Jessica
Chastain, Rebel Wilson, Dawn French,
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack
Black. Plus, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying
Birds perform Holy Mountain. Mike Bradley
FILM
MUSIC
Prisoners
More4, 9pm
The Year in Music
BBC Two, 9pm
(Denis Villeneuve, 2013)
The winners of the BBC Music Awards are
revealed in a programme which also reviews
the best albums, the biggest artists and
the most memorable performances of
2017. The show includes interviews with
Foo Fighters, Liam Gallagher, Stormzy,
Nile Rodgers, Dua Lipa, Nick Grimshaw,
Mistajam and Rag’n’Bone Man, who also
treats us to a special performance.
The breakthrough film that marked Denis
Villeneuve’s transition from Québécois arthouser to the international auteur league
of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. Written
by Aaron Guzikowski, this wintry nailbiter
is about the disappearance of two young
girls in a small Pennsylvania town. Suspicion
falls on a young man with mental problems
(Paul Dano), but when the police let him go,
angry father Keller (Hugh Jackman) takes
matters into his own hands. Meanwhile,
sniffing down leads like a depressive terrier
is Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal, giving
possibly the strangest performance of
his career). With a superb cast including
Viola Davis, Terrence Howard and Maria
Bello, this dark, complex drama spins its
DRAMA
The Crown
Netflix
As Claire Foy and Matt Smith resume their
roles in a second, 10-part series, the year
is 1957 and speculation is rife about the
TV CHOICE
Classic Album: American
Pie – Don McLean
BBC Four, 10pm
The story of Don McLean’s 1971 classic
folk-rock LP American Pie is an interesting
one, and it’s well told in director George
Scott’s film. McLean says he was inspired
by the deaths of Buddy Holly and Ritchie
Valens in a plane crash on 3 February,
1959, “the day the music died”, and the
album is dedicated to Holly’s memory.
It’s a privilege to have the singer himself
explain the origins and the meanings
behind the songs, for example how
American Pie came to him while he was
in the shower. He goes on to reveal: “I
had most of the album written without
American Pie, but I wasn’t happy with that.
I knew it wasn’t finished. I had more to
say. I had this this really big song I needed
to get out.” He also discusses Vincent, his
tribute to Van Gogh, and we watch George
Michael give a moving rendition of The
Grave. Recommended. Mike Bradley
Historian Rhys Jones presents a fascinating
programme examining the era of fastmoving politics with politicians such
as US president Donald Trump keen to
pander to the impatience of the electorate.
Twenty-four-hour news has sped up
communications while technology has
fuelled the instant gratification culture,
but Jones argues: “In the past when time
has accelerated, a trail of destruction has
often followed in its path.” He reminds us
of the quick-fix guillotine solutions of the
French Revolution and demonstrates how
“superfast politics” is nothing new, with
Martin Luther complaining that “almost all
of the new century” had been compressed
into a single decade. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
Sky Sports Main Event, 7.30pm
Sheffield United v Bristol City: Championship.
Coach Chris Wilder’s in-form Blades side
have been one of the surprise packages
of the season so far. That said, The Robins
haven’t been too shabby themselves and
a win here could provide a serious boost to
their confidence. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast 9.15 Island Medics
10.0 Homes Under the Hammer
(R) 11.0 Claimed and Shamed (R)
11.45 The Sheriffs Are Coming
12.15 Bargain Hunt 1.0 News 1.30
Regional News 1.45 Doctors
2.15 Armchair Detectives (T)
3.0 Escape to the Country (T)
(R) 3.45 Hairy Bikers Home for
Christmas (T) 4.30 Money for
Nothing (T) (R) 5.15 Pointless
(T) (R) 6.0 News (T) 6.30
Regional News (T) 7.0 The One
Show (T) 7.30 Sounds Like
Friday Night (T) Last in series.
6.0
An Island Parish Falklands (T)
(R) 6.30 Island Medics (T) (R)
7.15 The Hairy Bikers Home for
Christmas (T) (R) 8.0 Sign Zone:
Anglesey – Island Life (T) (R)
8.30 Caught Red Handed (T) (R)
9.0 Victoria Derbyshire (T) 11.0
BBC Newsroom Live (T) 12.0
Daily Politics (T) 1.0 Live Snooker:
UK Championship (T) Day 10:
the quarter-finals. 5.15 Put Your
Money Where Your Mouth Is
(T) 6.0 Strictly Come Dancing: It
Takes Two (T) 7.0 Live Snooker:
UK Championship (T)
6.0
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
7.35 Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 10.05
Kitchen Nightmares USA (T) (R)
11.0 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday
Night Feast (T) (R) 12.0 News
(T) 12.05 Kirstie’s Handmade
Christmas (T) (R) 12.25 A
Christmas Wedding Tail (Michael
Feifer, 2011) (T) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 Lost and Found (T) 4.0
A Place in the Sun… (T) 5.0 Four
in a Bed (T) (R) 5.30 Come Dine
With Me (T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
6.0
EastEnders (T) Aidan strikes
up a friendship with Mick.
8.30 Still Open All Hours (T) (R) Eric,
Cyril and Mr Newbold try to prove
they have it in them to be exciting.
9.0 Have I Got News for You (T) Mel
Giedroyc hosts, with Sathnam
Sanghera and Hal Cruttenden.
9.30 Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas
Special (T) (R) The first of two
festive instalments.
8.0
Mastermind (T) John Humphrys
presents, with specialist subjects
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels,
Mahatma Gandhi, the Boston
Marathon and top 10 singles.
8.30 Only Connect (T) The Dandies
and Beaks return.
9.0 The Year in Music 2017 (T)
Claudia Winkleman and Clara
Amfo look back at the year’s
music highlights.
8.0
Judge Rinder’s Crown Court (T)
The first of a two-part return
of the iconic 1970s and 80s
courtroom drama.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Michelle is
horrified when Robert collapses.
9.0 I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of
Here! (T) Ant and Dec present
the celebrity challenge.
8.0
8.0
10.0 News (T)
10.25 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.35 The Graham Norton Show (T)
With guests Jessica Chastain,
Dawn French, Rebel Wilson,
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart,
Jack Black and Noel Gallagher.
11.25 Apprentice: The Final Five Profiles
of the remaining candidates.
12.25 The Apprentice (T) (R) The
contestants must sell a range of
garments from up-and-coming
designers. 1.25 Weather (T)
1.30 News (T)
10.0 QI Opposites (T) With Jimmy Carr,
Sara Pascoe and Colin Lane.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.05 Snooker: UK Championship
Action from the concluding
quarter-final matches.
11.55 Snowfall (T) (R) Franklin must
fight back or lose everything.
12.40 Snowfall (T) (R) Last in the
series. 1.35 Sign Zone: Panorama
– Jihadis You Pay For (T) (R)
2.05 Elizabeth & Philip: Love
and Duty (T) (R) 3.05 Blitz: The
Bombs That Changed Britain
(T) (R) 4.05 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.30 News (T)
11.05 Local News (T)
11.20 Tonight at the London Palladium
(T) (R) With Billy Ocean, Rachel
Platten, Ben Hanlin, Gamarjobat,
Julian Ovenden, Paul Sinha and
Peter Andre. Bradley Walsh hosts.
12.20 Jackpot247 3.0 Storage
Hoarders (T) (R) 3.50 ITV
Nightscreen
10.0 The Last Leg (T) Adam Hills, Josh
Widdicombe and Alex Brooker
are joined by another guest for
a comic review of the past week.
11.05 First Dates (T) (R)
12.10 Love, Rosie (2014) (T)
Romantic comedy starring
Lily Collins and Sam Claflin. 2.0
A Thousand Words (2012)
(T) Comedy starring Eddie
Murphy. 3.30 Humans (T) (R)
4.25 Location, Location, Location
(T) (R) 5.20 Draw It! (T) (R) 5.45
Handmade Christmas (T) (R)
BBC One
6.0
8.0
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
6.0am Premier League Match Pack 6.30 TCR
International Series Highlights 7.0 Michelin
Le Mans Cup Highlights 7.30 BT Sport Reload
7.45 A-League Highlights 8.45 Live A-League:
Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United (kick-off
8.50am) 11.0 Bundesliga Weekly 11.30 Live Men’s
Hockey World League. The losing quarter-finalists
match in Bhubaneswar, India. 1.45 Live Men’s
Hockey World League: First Semi-Final 4.0 Reload
4.15 A-League 5.45 Uefa Champions League
Review 6.45 Live Scottish Football Extra 7.15
Live SPFL: Dundee v Aberdeen (kick-off 7.45pm)
10.0 No Filter Boxing 10.30 Premier League
Preview 11.0-1.0 Men’s Hockey World League
Final 1.0 Playback: Football’s Greatest Rivalries
2.0 NBA Reload 2.30 Live NBA: San Antonio Spurs
v Boston Celtics (tip-off 2.30am) 5.0 Champions
League Catch-Up Shows 5.30 Gillette World Sport
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The British 7.0 Fish Town 8.0 The Guest
Wing 9.0-11.0 The West Wing 11.0-1.0 House
1.0 Without a Trace 2.0 Blue Bloods 3.0-5.0
The West Wing 5.0 House 6.0 House 7.0 CSI:
Crime Scene Investigation 8.0 Blue Bloods 9.011.20 Game of Thrones 11.20 The Wizard
of Lies (2017) 1.50 The Tunnel 2.50 The Tunnel
3.45 Californication 4.20-6.0 The West Wing
E4
All programmes from 6am to 7pm are double
bills 6.0am Hollyoaks 7.0 Charmed 9.0 Rules
of Engagement 10.0 Black-ish 11.0 How I Met
Your Mother 12.0 New Girl 1.0 The Big Bang
Theory 2.0 The Goldbergs 3.0 How I Met Your
Mother 4.0 New Girl 5.0 Kevin Can Wait 6.0
The Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 First
Dates Abroad 8.0-9.0 The Big Bang Theory 9.0
Ted (2012) 11.05-12.05 The Big Bang
Theory 12.05 Rude Tube 1.10 Gogglebox 2.0
Tattoo Fixers 2.55 First Dates Hotel 3.50 Rude
Tube 4.15-5.0 Black-ish 5.0 Charmed
44
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 The Jeremy Kyle
Show (T) 10.30 This Morning (T)
12.30 Loose Women (T) 1.30
News (T) 1.55 Local News (T) 2.0
Judge Rinder (T) 3.0 Dickinson’s
Real Deal (T) 3.59 Local News
and Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T)
6.0 Local News (T) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Emmerdale (T) Pete spirals
out of control. 7.30 Coronation
Street (T) Robert snaps at
Zeedan upon his return to work.
VARIATIONS
Film4
11.0am Anzio (1968) 1.15 Man in the
Saddle (1951) 3.0 To Hell and Back (1955)
5.10 The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
6.55 Tower Heist (2011) 9.0 Legend
(2015) 11.35 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
(2014) 1.40 Precinct Seven Five (2014)
Sky1
6.0am Monkey Life 6.30 Monkey Life 7.0
Monkey Life 7.30 Monkey Life 8.0 It’s Me or
the Dog 9.0 The Dog Whisperer 10.0 Meerkat
Manor 10.30 Meerkat Manor 11.0 Modern Family
11.30 Modern Family 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 Karl Pilkington: The
Moaning of Life 10.0 A League of Their Own
11.0 The Simpsons 11.30 The Simpsons 12.0
A League of Their Own 1.0 The Force: Essex
2.0 Night Cops 3.0 Brit Cops: Rapid Response
4.0 Stop, Search, Seize 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Good Morning Sports Fans 8.30 Live
European Tour Golf: The Joburg Open. Coverage
of the second at the Royal Johannesburg &
Kensington Golf Club in South Africa. 10.30
Live Ladies European Tour Golf: Omega Dubai
Ladies Classic. Day three at the Emirates Gold
Club in Dubai. 12.30 Live European Tour Golf:
The Joburg Open 2.0 Sky Sports News 4.0 Live:
Ram Slam T20 Challenge. Coverage of a match
from South Africa’s domestic competition. 7.30
Live EFL: Sheffield United v Bristol City (kick-off
7.45pm) Coverage of the Championship clash,
which takes place at Bramall Lane. 10.0 The
Debate 11.0 Live Test Cricket: New Zealand v West
Indies. Coverage of the opening day of the second
Test in the two-match series, which takes place at
Seddon Park in Hamilton. 5.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 03.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
Elaine C Smith’s Burdz Eye View (T) The comedian
travels to the island of Lewis and Harris. There she
helps out on a traditional croft, makes some black
pudding and tries her hand at weaving. 12.20
Teleshopping 1.20 After Midnight 2.50 ITV
Nightscreen 4.05 The Jeremy Kyle Show
(T) (R) 5.0-6.0 Teleshopping (T)
ITV WALES As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
The Beacons Uncovered (T)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.20am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
Elaine C Smith’s Burdz Eye View (T) The comedian
travels to the island of Lewis and Harris. There
she helps out on a traditional croft, makes some
black pudding and tries her hand at some weaving.
12.20 Teleshopping 1.20 After Midnight 2.50
ITV Nightscreen 4.05 The Jeremy Kyle Show (T)
(R) 5.0-6.0 Teleshopping (T)
ULSTER As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30 UTV
Life (T) 11.20 Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape (T)
11.50 Tonight at the London Palladium (T) (R)
12.50 Teleshopping 1.50-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 8.30pm-9.0
Landward (T) Dougie Vipond and Arlene Stuart
get into the Christmas spirit early and taste-test
Scottish craft gin, while Anne Lundon goes in
search of the sea eagles.
BBC ONE WALES 8.30pm-9.0
Kate Humble: Off the Beaten Track (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 10.35pm The
Blame Game (T) 11.05 The Graham Norton
Show (T) 11.55 The Apprentice: The Final
Five (T) 12.55-1.55 The Apprentice (T) (R)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 11.05pm
The Quay Sessions Presents: Mogwai (T) The band
perform an intimate gig for an invited audience.
11.35 Snowfall (T) (R) 12.20 Snowfall (T) (R)
1.15-2.05 Snooker: UK Championship (T)
9.0
Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night
Feast (T) Star Wars actor Mark
Hamill joins Jamie Oliver and Jimmy
Doherty in their Southend cafe.
Gogglebox (T) Capturing the
householders’ instant reactions to
what they are watching on telly.
9.0
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
11.45 Stealing Christmas
(Gregg Champion, 2003) (T) 1.25
News (T) 1.30 Neighbours (T)
2.0 A Christmas Promise
(Brad Keller, 2015) (T) 3.45 Christmas Under Wraps (Peter
Sullivan, 2014) (T) 5.30 News (T)
6.0 Neighbours (T) (R) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 The Gadget Show (T) Craig
Charles, Jon Bentley, Ortis Deley
and Georgie Barrat reveal the
best Christmas tech presents.
Brunel: The Man Who Built
Britain (T) (1/2) Rob Bell explores
the work of Victorian engineer
Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Includes news update.
Eight Days That Made Rome:
Theatre of Death (T) Bettany
Hughes relives opening day at
Rome’s Colosseum – the first
day of the inaugural games.
BBC Four
7.0
World News Today (T)
7.30 Christmas University
Challenge 2015 (T) (R) The final
of the quiz. Last in the series.
8.0
Top of the Pops: 1981 Big Hits
(T) (R) Performances from
the year that embraced disco
and ska, new wave punk, the
burgeoning New Romantic
scene and synthpop.
Tales from the Tour Bus:
Rock’n’Roll on the Road (T)
(R) Rick Wakeman offers an
entertaining first-hand account
of rockers on the road.
9.0
10.0 Eight Days That Made Rome:
The Rebirth of Rome (T) Bettany
Hughes on the significance of the
day the Emperor Constantine
was baptised. Last in the series.
11.05 Secrets of the Nazi Occult (T)
(R) The Nazi high command’s
obsession with occult matters.
12.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 GPs:
Behind Closed Doors: Young
Mums & Toddlers (T) (R) 4.0
My Mum’s Hotter Than Me!
(T) (R) 4.45 House Doctor (T)
(R) 5.10 Great Artists (T) (R)
5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.0 Classic Album: American Pie –
Don McLean (T) A celebration
of the singer-songwriter’s
1971 release.
11.0 Buddy Holly: Rave On (T) (R)
The story of Buddy Holly’s
tragically short life and career.
Contributors include Don
McLean and Paul Anka.
12.0 Rock’n’Roll America (T) (R) 1.0
Top of the Pops: 1981 Big Hits (T)
(R) 2.0 Classic Album: American
Pie – Don McLean (T) (R) 3.0
Buddy Holly: Rave On (T) (R)
A festive celebration of love, presented by Adam
Tomlinson from Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.
Martin Helmchen (piano), City of Birmingham SO,
Alexander Vedernikov. Brahms: Piano Concerto No
2. Interval. Prokofiev arr Vedernikov: Cinderella Highlights. 10.0 The Verb: On the Road. The 60th
anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s classic Beat novel.
10.45 Between the Essays: Chernobyl. Tadhg
O’Sullivan captures the repopulation by nature of
the area around Chernobyl. (5/5) 11.0 World on
3: fRoots Awards and Lo’Jo in Session 1.0 Through
the Night. Ravel, Shostakovich and Stravinsky
performed by the Luxembourg Philharmonic.
Archers 2.15 Drama: Tracks – Strata, by Matthew
Broughton. In the mountains of Snowdonia, the
future is about to be uncovered. Thriller prequel,
set 36 years before the events that rocked the life of
Dr Helen Ash and exploring the roots of a conspiracy
that is set to envelop the world in the third series.
Fiona O’Shaughnessy stars. (2/2) 3.0 Gardeners’
Question Time 3.45 Radio 4 Christmas Appeal:
Making a Difference (R) 4.0 Last Word 4.30
Feedback 4.55 The Listening Project: Karen and
Victor – Butlins Redcoats 5.0 PM. Presented by
Eddie Mair. 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 5.57
Weather 6.0 News 6.30 The Now Show. Lucy
Porter, Fern Brady, Helen Arney and Kwame Asante
join hosts Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis. (6/7)
7.0 The Archers. Lilian finally faces the truth and
Toby is forced to grow up. 7.15 Front Row. Arts
roundup. 7.45 Gudrun (R) 8.0 Any Questions?
Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate and
discussion from Coventry Cathedral, where the
panellists are work and pensions secretary David
Gauke MP, political commentator Alex Deane, social
justice activist Saffiyah Khan, and shadow leader
of the Lords Angela Smith. 8.50 A Point of View
9.0 Home Front Omnibus: 4-8 December 1917
(4/8) 10.0 The World Tonight. With Jenny Hill.
10.45 Book at Bedtime: Rabbit Redux, by John
Updike. (10/10) 11.0 Great Lives: Will Gregory on
Flann O’Brien (R) 11.30 Today in Parliament. With
Mark D’Arcy. 11.55 The Listening Project: Pam and
Sam – You Can’t Fix Lives 12.0 News 12.30 Book
of the Week (R) (5/5) 12.48 Shipping Forecast
1.0 As World Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast
5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for the Day 5.45 iPM
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.30 The Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw
10.0 Clara Amfo 12.45 Newsbeat 1.0 Alice
Levine 4.0 The Official Chart With MistaJam
5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Dance Anthems With
MistaJam 7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 Pete Tong 11.0
Danny Howard 1.0 B.Traits 4.0 Essential Mix
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce 12.0 Jeremy
Vine 2.0 Steve Wright 5.0 Simon Mayo 7.0 Tony
Blackburn’s Golden Hour 8.0 Friday Night Is Music
Night (R) 10.0 Sounds of the 80s 12.0 Anneka
Rice: The Happening 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Funky
Soul, New to 2 & 21st-Century Songs 5.0 Huey
on Saturday
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. The Advent broadcasts of JS
Bach’s Preludes and Fugues continue. 9.0 Essential
Classics. Rob Cowan talks to Antonio Pappano.
12.0 Composer of the Week: 21st-Century Opera
– Time (5/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert:
Northern Ireland Opera Festival of Voice 2017.
Poulenc: Tel jour telle nuit. Toby Spence (Tenor),
Joseph Middleton (piano). Purcell: An Evening
Hymn. Jennifer Johnston (mezzo-soprano), Joseph
Middleton (piano). Schumann: Dichterliebe Op
48. Gavan Ring (baritone), Simon Lepper (piano).
(4/4) 2.0 Afternoon Concert: BBC Philharmonic.
Stravinsky: Apollo. Sibelius: Six humoresques.
Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind Instruments.
Beethoven: Symphony No 5 in C minor, Op 67.
James Ehnes (violin), BBC Philharmonic, Nicholas
Collon. 3.40 Magnus Lindberg: Clarinet Concerto.
Mark Simpson, conductor HK Gruber. 4.10
Stravinsky: Concerto in D for strings. Conductor Lee
Reynolds. 4.25 Bantock: Fifine at the Fair. Conductor
Michael Seal. 5.0 In Tune. With the Temple Church
Boys Choir. 7.0 In Tune Mixtape 7.30 In Concert.
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. News and analysis. 7.48 Thought for
the Day, with the Rt Rev Richard Harries. 8.31 (LW)
Yesterday in Parliament 9.0 Desert Island Discs:
Tim Martin 9.45 (LW) Daily Service 9.45 (FM)
Book of the Week: Over and Out, by Henry Blofeld.
(5/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented by Jenni
Murray. Includes at 10.45 Drama: Gudrun, by Lucy
Catherine. (5/5) 11.0 Superfast Politics. From the
race against time to deliver Brexit, to the frequent
ructions generated by the Trump presidency, we
seem to be living in an era of superfast politics.
Rhys Jones asks where this phenomenon has
come from and where could it be heading. 11.30
The Wilsons Save the World: The Block. Comedy,
written by Marcus Brigstocke and Sarah Morgan.
Max and Mike attempt to talk to their daughters
about sex. Brigstocke stars with Kerry Godliman,
India Brown and Mia Jenkins. (4/4) 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front:
8 December 1917 – Fraser Chadwick, by Caroline
Horton. Edmund Wiseman stars. (20/40) 12.15
You and Yours 1.0 The World at One. Presented
by Mark Mardell. 1.45 This Old Heart of Mine:
The Lonely Heart. Giles Fraser speaks to essayist
Adam Phillips about love and the language of
the heart, analysing what effect putting his life
in his surgeon’s hands has had. (5/5) 2.0 The
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 5 Live Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With
Emma Barnett 1.0 Friday Sports Panel 2.0
Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review 4.0 5 Live Drive
7.0 The Friday Football Social 10.0 Stephen
Nolan 1.0 Up All Night 5.0 5 Live Boxing With
Costello & Bunce 5.30 The Friday Football Social
Saturday 9
PICKS OF
THE DAY
spend Christmas with her new boyfriend
Marty. Elsewhere, Max makes matters
worse with Polly and house-sharing
arrangements are finalised for himself,
Alicia, and Robyn – a recipe for disaster?
Lou Reed, one of whose songs plays on the
end credits: the film could really have been
called Un Chien and Lou. Jonathan Romney
DRAMA
Great Lives: Four
Hundred and Counting
RADIO
NCIS: New Orleans
Channel 5, 10.25pm & 11.20pm
Radio 4 Extra, 9am
First, in Follow the Money, the team
investigate a possible double murder aboard
a private yacht. Later, in Let It Ride, agent
Pride mounts a risky undercover operation
to snare drug baron Garcia. Mike Bradley
FILM
ENTERTAINMENT
Heart of a Dog
Film4, 2.15am
Michael McIntyre’s Big Show
BBC One, 8.20pm
(Laurie Anderson, 2015)
The host introduces an edition of the
show featuring music from pop rockers
the Vamps and standup comedy from
Jason Manford. He also invites television
presenters Marvin and Rochelle Humes
to hand over their phones in the first ever
double Send to All. Plus an extra in an
advertisement finds himself centre-stage
as the Unexpected Star of the Show.
This moving, marvellously oddball essay
film sees American artist and musician
Anderson paying a fond tribute to her late
dog. Her beloved Lolabelle, wouldn’t you
know, was no ordinary pooch but an artist
and performer in her own right – and you’d
have to have a stony heart not to marvel at
her very idiosyncratic two-pawed keyboard
renditions. Beyond the quirkiness, the film
sees Anderson exploring her fascination
with the Buddhist attitude to death,
philosophising about the strangeness
of modern life and opening up about her
childhood and difficult relationship with
her mother – all to her own distinctive
score. Not mentioned but an inescapable
subtext is Anderson’s loss of her husband
DRAMA
Casualty
BBC One, 9.20pm
Elle begins to realise the extent of her
son Blake’s worsening behaviour from his
reaction to her suggestion that the family
TV CHOICE
John Noakes – TV Hero
BBC Two, 5.30pm
A tribute to the tousle-haired daredevil
Blue Peter presenter who inspired so
many children in the 1960s and 70s. The
programme recalls how jaws dropped
when Noakes climbed Nelson’s Column
without a harness, bobsleighed down
the Cresta Run, scaled the mast of
HMS Ganges, walked the tightrope and
achieved a record-breaking five-mile
parachute freefall. We also hear from his
colleagues, both behind and in front of
camera, including Vicky, his endlessly
patient wife of 55 years; co-presenters
Valerie Singleton, Peter Purves and Leslie
Judd; Blue Peter bosses Biddy Baxter
and Edward Barnes. Noakes will always
be remembered as an unpretentious
explainer and role model whose havea-go enthusiasm endeared him to the
nation. A true hero for viewers young and
old who was famed for his catchphrase
“Get down, Shep!” Mike Bradley
Matthew Parris presents an entertaining
celebration of 400 editions of his
biographical series. Archive material takes
us back to early programmes presented
by Joan Bakewell and Humphrey Carpenter
while producer Miles Warde recalls how it
was once hard to attract guests – Jimmy
Savile being among those who refused. The
potentially too-obvious format of celebrities
nominating great figures quickly became
interesting because of the guests’ choices,
Fay Weldon picking HG Wells because he
smelled of honey. We also hear Parris telling
Penelope Keith that Morecambe and Wise
were “chummy and unchallenging”, and
there is a repeat of the notorious Trotsky row
with Christopher Hitchens. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am
West Ham United v Chelsea: Premier
League. Following a woeful start to the
season, which resulted in manager Slaven
Biliċ being replaced by former Everton and
Man U boss David Moyes, the Hammers
will be hoping for a morale-boosting
victory at London Stadium today. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.15 Holiday of My Lifetime (R) 7.0
Nature’s Weirdest Events (R) 7.30
Nightmares of Nature 8.0 Deadly
60 (R) 8.30 Show Me What You’re
Made Of 9.0 Saturday Mash-Up!
11.0 Penguins on a Plane (R) 12.0
How to Cook Well (R) 12.30 Best
Ever Dishes (R) 1.0 Demolition
(R) 2.0 Operation Snow Tiger
(R) 3.0 Escape to the Continent
(R) 4.0 Mastermind (R) 4.30
Live Snooker: UK Championship.
Further coverage. 5.30 John
Noakes: TV Hero 6.10 BP
Confidential (R)
6.0
6.05 Trail Running: Skyrunner World
Series (T) 6.35 Everybody Loves
Raymond (T) (R) 7.50 Frasier (T)
(R) 8.45 The Big Bang Theory (T)
(R) 9.40 The Simpsons (T) (R)
11.10 12 Dates of Christmas
(James Hayman, 2011) (T) 12.55
Come Dine With Me (T) (R) 2.25
Come Dine With Me (T) (R) 3.0
Come Dine With Me (T) (R)
3.30 A Place in the Sun: Home
or Away (T) (R) 4.30 Best Laid
Plans (T) 5.30 Grand Designs
(T) (R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0 Guy
Martin’s WWI Tank (T) (R)
6.0
8.20 Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (T)
TV presenting duo Marvin and
Rochelle Humes hand over their
phones for Send to All.
9.20 Casualty (T) Elle’s unruly
teenage son Blake gets
involved in an off-licence
robbery, and Max continues
to make a bad impression on
would-be sweetheart Polly.
7.0
8.20 I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of
Here! (T) The celebrity survival
challenge draws to a conclusion.
9.50 Through the Keyhole: I’m a
Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!
(T) New series. The panel show
returns with an I’m a Celebrity…
special, with panellists Jimmy
Carr, Stacey Solomon, Myleene
Klass and Tony Blackburn.
9.0
8.0
Santa Makes You Laugh Out
Loud (T) (R) Showcasing some
of the most popular Christmasthemed viral videos.
9.0 Football on 5: The Championship
(T) Including Wolverhampton
Wanderers v Sunderland.
9.55 Football on 5: Goal Rush (T)
Including Peterborough United v
Blackburn Rovers.
8.0
10.10 News and Weather (T)
10.30 Match of the Day (T) With West
Ham United v Chelsea and
Newcastle United v Leicester.
11.55 The NFL Show (T) Includes
highlights of Thursday’s game.
12.25 Someone to Watch Over
Me (Ridley Scott, 1987) (T) A
married New York detective falls
for the glamorous socialite he has
been assigned to protect from a
murderer. Romantic thriller with
Tom Berenger and Mimi Rogers.
2.05 Weather for the Week
Ahead (T) 2.10 News (T)
10.0 QI XL Opposites (T) With Sara
Pascoe, Colin Lane and Jimmy Carr.
10.45 Insert Name Here (T) (R) With
James Acaster, Kate Williams,
Ed Balls and Lauren Laverne.
11.15 The Cider House Rules
(Lasse Hallström, 1999) (T)
Drama starring Tobey Maguire,
Michael Caine, Charlize Theron
and Paul Rudd.
1.10 Borrowed Time (Jules
Bishop, 2012) (T) Comedy
drama starring Philip Davis
and Theo Barklem-Biggs.
2.40 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.50 News and Weather
(T) Local Weather
11.05 Shaun of the Dead
(Edgar Wright, 2004) (T) An
aimless man decides to get
his life back on track just as
zombies start to roam the
streets. Excellent comedy horror,
with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost,
Jessica Hynes, Penelope Wilton,
Bill Nighy and Dylan Moran.
12.50 Jackpot247 3.0 The Hungry
Sailors (T) (R) 3.50 ITV
Nightscreen
11.35 The Drop (Michael R
Roskam, 2014) (T) A bartender
who secretly works for
gangsters gets involved in a
robbery gone wrong that digs
up long-buried secrets. Crime
drama starring Tom Hardy.
1.35 The Last Leg (T) (R) 2.30
Hollyoaks (T) 4.40 Location,
Location, Location (T) (R)
5.35 Kirstie’s Handmade
Christmas (T) (R) 5.55 3rd
Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
10.25 NCIS: New Orleans Follow the
Money (T) The team investigate a
pair of murders on board a yacht.
11.20 NCIS: New Orleans Let It Ride (T)
Pride goes rogue to take down
drug baron Garcia.
12.15 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 The
Craigslist Killer (Stephen T Kay,
2011) (T) True-life drama starring
Jake McDorman. 4.40 Cruising
With Jane McDonald (T) (R) 5.0
House Doctor (T) (R) 5.20 Wildlife
SOS (T) (R) 5.45 Chinese Food in
Minutes (T) (R)
10.55 The Vietnam War Things Fall
Apart (January 1968 - June 1968)
(T) (R) North Vietnamese and
Viet Cong forces launch attacks.
11.45 What a Performance! Pioneers
of Popular Entertainment (T)
(R) What happened to British
entertainment during the
second world war.
12.45 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
1.45 Peaky Blinders (T) (R) 2.45
Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
Radio 2
Diana Montague (mezzo-soprano: Lucy), Alasdair
Elliott (tenor: Mr Strutt), Kathleen Wilkinson
(mezzo-soprano: Marine’s Mother), Eleanor Dennis
(soprano: Laura Fleet), Matthew Durkan (baritone:
Malcolm Fleet), Darren Jeffery (bass-baritone:
Dr Roman), ENO, Martyn Brabbins. 9.0 Recital:
The Music of Edgard Varèse 10.0 Hear and Now:
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2017.
Highlights. Christopher Trapani: PolyCHROME.
Carola Bauckholt: Laufwerk. Ensemble Modern
and Arditti Quartet. Enno Poppe: Gelöschte Lieder.
Explore Ensemble. Dominic Murcott: Harmonic
Canon. Dai Fujikura: Zawazawa. Polish Radio Choir,
Szymon Wyrzykowski. Christian Weber & Joke
Lanz: Improvisations. 12.0 Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz:
Cab Calloway 1.0 Through the Night. Kristjan Järvi
conducts the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic. (R)
Radio 3
Radio 4
Luther’s Wittenberg theses, stars Harry Lloyd as
the German academic who became the father of
the Reformation. Disgusted by the pope’s sale of
indulgences to fund his private obsessions and
works, Luther starts to see the church he had once
loved so dearly as corrupt, and begins a protest that
would spark a world-changing religious movement.
4.0 Weekend Woman’s Hour. Highlights presented
by Jenni Murray. 5.0 Saturday PM 5.30 iPM (R)
5.54 Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather 6.0 News
6.15 Loose Ends. Clive Anderson and Sara Cox
are joined in conversation by the theatre director
Paulette Randall and the actor and choreographer
Kenrick “H20” Sandy. Plus, music from Tricky.
7.0 Profile. With Becky Milligan. 7.15 Saturday
Review. Tom Sutcliffe and guests examine the
week’s cultural highlights. 8.0 Archive on 4: British
Jews, Right and Left. BBC political correspondent Jo
Coburn makes use of archive interviews and accounts
from her own family to illustrate how the typical
views of British Jews have skewed from left to right
over the couse of the last century. 9.0 Mark Steel:
Who Do I Think I Am? (R) 10.0 News 10.15 The
Moral Maze (R) 11.0 Round Britain Quiz (R) 11.30
The Echo Chamber: Andrew Motion (R) 12.0 News
12.30 An Investigation into Love by Babcock and
Wainwright, by Pippa Goldschmidt. Read by Tamara
Kennedy. (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World
Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43
Bells on Sunday 5.45 Profile. With Becky Milligan.
BBC One
6.0
Breakfast (T) 10.0 Saturday
Kitchen Live (T) 11.30 Nigella:
At My Table (T) (R) 12.0 Football
Focus (T) 1.0 News and Weather
(T) 1.15 Live Snooker: UK
Championship (T) Coverage of
the opening semi-final on the
11th day at the Barbican Centre in
York 4.30 Final Score (T) 5.15 Len
Goodman’s Partners in Rhyme
(T) 5.45 News (T) 5.55 Regional
News (T) 6.0 Pointless Celebrities
(T) (R) 6.45 Strictly Come
Dancing (T) The five remaining
couples face the semi-finals.
Live Snooker: UK Championship
Coverage of the second semifinal at the Barbican Centre
in York. Presented by Hazel
Irvine, with a commentary
team that includes Steve Davis,
Ken Doherty, Stephen Hendry,
John Parrott, Dennis Taylor
and Peter Ebdon. Subsequent
programmes subject to change.
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
6.0am Premier League Preview 6.30 Live
Hyundai A-League: Brisbane Roar v Wellington
Phoenix (kick-off 6.35am) Coverage from Cbus
Super Stadium in Robina, Queensland. 8.45 Live
Hyundai A-League: Western Sydney Wanderers v
Sydney FC (kick-off 8.50am) Coverage from ANZ
Stadium. 11.0 Premier League Match Pack 11.30
Premier League Preview 12.0 Live Vanarama
National League: Macclesfield Town v Wrexham
(kick-off 12.30pm) Coverage of the match from
Moss Rose. 2.45 BT Sport Score 5.0 Live Premier
League: Newcastle United v Leicester City (kick-off
5.30pm) From St James’ Park. 7.45 Fight Night
Live: James DeGale v Caleb Truax. The bout for the
IBF Super Middleweight title at Copper Box Arena in
London. Plus, Lee Selby v Eduardo Ramirez. 11.30
Ligue 1 12.30 UFC Top 10: Monumental Moments
1.0 Live UFC. The preliminary bouts for UFC Fight
Night 123. 3.0 Live UFC: Cub Swanson v Brian
Ortega. Coverage of the featherweight contest at
Save Mart Centre in Fresno, California.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The Fall: Decker vs Budd (2016)
8.0-1.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 1.0-4.0
Kingdom of Plants 4.0-9.0 Without a Trace 9.0
Blue Bloods 10.0-12.10 Game of Thrones 12.10
All the Way (2016) 2.40 The Tunnel: Sabotage
3.35 Californication 4.10-6.0 The Guest Wing
E4
6.0am-6.55 Rules of Engagement 6.557.55 How I Met Your Mother 7.55-8.55 The
Goldbergs 8.55 Made in Chelsea 9.55 Couples
CDWM 11.0-12.0 The Big Bang Theory 12.0
Marmaduke (2010) 1.45 Rude(ish) Tube
Shorts 2.0-4.30 The Goldbergs 4.30-9.0
The Big Bang Theory 9.0 The Impossible
(2012) 11.10-1.20 Gogglebox 1.20-2.25 The
Inbetweeners 2.25 Rude Tube 3.20 First Dates
Hotel 4.15-4.55 How I Met Your Mother 4.556.0 Rules of Engagement
CITV 9.25 Saturday Morning With
James Martin (T) With guests
Harry Judd and Rachel Allen. 11.20
Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape (T)
(R) 11.45 The Hungry Sailors (T)
(R) 12.45 Thunderbirds Are Go (T)
(R) 1.10 News and Weather (T)
1.20 The X Factor: Final (T) (R) 3.0
Endeavour (T) (R) 5.0 The Chase
(T) (R) 6.0 Paul O’Grady: For the
Love of Dogs (T) (R) 6.25 Local
News (T) 6.35 News and Weather
(T) 6.50 New You’ve Been Framed!
(T) 7.15 Ninja Warrior UK (T) (R)
VARIATIONS
Film4
11.0am Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
1.0 Flight of the Navigator (1986) 2.45
Ramona and Beezus (2010) 4.50 The
Two Faces of January (2014) 6.40 About
Time (2013) 9.0 The Wolf of Wall Street
(2013) 12.30 Underworld: Rise of the
Lycans (2009) 2.15 Heart of a Dog (2015)
Sky1
6.0am-8.0 Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew
8.0 Supergirl 9.0 The Flash 10.0 Soccer AM
11.30-2.0 Futurama 2.0 NCIS: LA 3.0 Gillette
Soccer Saturday 6.0-7.0 Modern Family 7.08.0 The Simpsons 8.0-10.0 A League of Their
Own 10.0 The Russell Howard Hour 11.0 Karl
Pilkington: The Moaning of Life 12.0 Living the
Dream 1.0 A League of Their Own: Rally Special
1.30 Arrow 2.30 DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
3.30 Road Wars 4.0-6.0 Stargate Atlantis
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Sky Sports News 7.0 Good Morning
Sports Fans 9.30 Live Ladies European Tour
Golf: The Omega Dubai Ladies Classic. Coverage
of the fourth day of the tournament from
Emirates Golf Club in Dubai. 11.30 Live Premier
League: West Ham United v Chelsea (kick-off
12.30pm) Coverage of the top-flight clash,
which takes place at London Stadium. 3.15 Live
European Rugby Champions Cup: Toulon v Bath
(kick-off 3.15pm). Coverage from the Stade
Mayol. 5.15 Live EFL: Norwich City v Sheffield
Wednesday (kick-off 5.30pm) From Carrow Road.
7.30 Gary Neville’s Soccerbox 8.0 Best PL
Goals: Manchester Derby 8.30 Best PL Goals:
Merseyside Derby 9.0 Soccer AM 10.30 Live
Test Cricket: New Zealand v West Indies: Second
Test, Day Two 3.0 Live Fight Night International:
Tevin Farmer v Kenichi Ogawa. Coverage of the
bout for the vacant IBF Super Featherweight
title, from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in
Las Vegas, Nevada.
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.50am
Teleshopping 1.50 After Midnight 3.20 ITV
Nightscreen 5.05-6.0 The Jeremy Kyle Show
(T) (R)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.50am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen (T)
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.50am Teleshopping 1.50 After Midnight 3.20 ITV Nightscreen
5.05-6.0 The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
ULSTER As ITV except 12.50am
Teleshopping 1.50-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 4.30pm-5.15
Sportscene (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 5.0pm-5.15
Final Score from Northern Ireland (T)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 3.0pm
Mastermind (T) (R) 3.30 Landward (T) (R) 4.04.30 Eorpa (European Current Affairs) (T)
BBC TWO WALES 3.0pm Blitz Wales
With John Humphrys (T) (R) 4.0-4.30 A WelshItalian Christmas with Michela Chiappa (T) (R)
Part one of two. The food writer aims to produce
the ultimate Welsh-Italian festive menu.
BBC TWO N IRELAND 10.0pm The Blame
Game (T) (R) Panellists Colin Murphy, Jake O’Kane
and Neil Delamere find out just whose fault it is
this week in the news, in Northern Ireland and
further afield. Hosted by Tim McGarry. 10.3011.15 QI XL (T) With Sara Pascoe, Colin Lane and
Jimmy Carr.
X-Men: Days of Future
Past (Bryan Singer, 2014)
(T) Wolverine is sent back in
time to the 1970s in a bid to
change history and prevent a
war that has devastated the
world. Superhero adventure
sequel starring Hugh Jackman
and Jennifer Lawrence.
Milkshake! 10.10 Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles (T) (R)
10.45 The Gadget Show (T)
(R) 11.40 Cruising With Jane
McDonald (T) 11.50 A
Perfect Christmas List (Fred
Olen Ray, 2014) (T) 1.40 A Nutcracker Christmas
(Michael Lembeck, 2016) (T)
3.20 Nativity 3: Dude,
Where’s My Donkey?! (Debbie
Isitt, 2014) (T) 5.35 The Family Man (Brett Ratner,
2000) (T) 7.55 News (T)
BBC Four
7.0
Ancient Egypt: Life and Death
in the Valley of the Kings (T) (R)
(1/2) Joann Fletcher examines
the Ancient Egyptian attitude to
death, looking at why Ancient
Egyptians spent a fortune
preparing for it and what they
hoped to find in the afterlife.
Kolkata With Sue Perkins (T)
(R) Sue Perkins details how
the West Bengal state capital
discarded its colonial heritage.
9.0 Witnesses: A Frozen Death
Sandra and Catherine try to
figure out who Martin Souriau
is covering for.
9.55 Witnesses: A Frozen Death
Sandra discovers a new line
of inquiry.
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.0 Dev 10.0 Greatest Hits With Matt Edmondson
1.0 Alice Levine 4.0 Dance Anthems With MistaJam
7.0 1Xtra’s Takeover With DJ Target 9.0 The Rap
Show With Charlie Sloth 11.0 Diplo and Friends
1.0 Kan D Man and DJ Limelight 4.0 Seani B
88-91 MHz
6.0 Sounds of the 60s 8.0 Saturday Breakfast
With Dermot 10.0 Graham Norton 1.0 Pick of the
Pops 3.0 Zoë Ball 6.0 Liza Tarbuck 8.0 Trevor
Nelson’s Rhythm Nation 10.0 The Craig Charles
House Party 12.0 Ana Matronic’s Disco Devotion
2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Showtunes, Love Songs &
Easy 5.0 Huey on Sunday
90.2-92.4 MHz
7.0 Breakfast. With Martin Handley. 9.0 News
9.03 Record Review. Elgar’s The Dream of
Gerontius features in Building a Library. 12.15
Music Matters. Tom Service meets the pianist
Mitsuko Uchida. Plus, a report on a new project
that creates music out of DNA, and an interview
with 101-year-old Helen Clare, a star soprano
from the BBC’s early years of broadcasting before
and after the second world war. 1.0 News 1.02
Saturday Classics. With the Irish soprano Ailish
Tynan. 3.0 Sound of Dance. Katie Derham explores
the choreography of Sir Kenneth MacMillan. 4.0
Jazz Record Requests. The music of trumpeter
Ken Colyer. 5.0 Jazz Line-Up. A performance by
the trumpeter Terence Blanchard and the BBC
Concert Orchestra. 6.30 Opera on 3: Nico Muhly
– Marnie. Tom Service and Fiona Maddocks present
a recording of the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s
Marnie, performed by the English National Opera
at the London Coliseum. Sasha Cooke (mezzosoprano: Marnie), Daniel Okulitch (bass-baritone:
Mark Rutland), James Laing (countertenor:
Terry), Lesley Garrett (soprano: Mrs Rutland),
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 News and Papers 6.07 Open Country: Red
Squirrels in Formby (R) 6.30 Farming Today This
Week 6.57 Weather 7.0 Today. 7.48 Thought
for the Day, with the Rev Dr Rob Marshall. 8.51
(LW) Yesterday in Parliament 9.0 Saturday Live.
Extraordinary stories and remarkable people.
10.30 Don’t Log Off: The Consolations of Art.
Alan Dein introduces more stories from his web of
online contacts. This time, each of the participants
delivers a story about how art has enriched their
lives. (5/6) 11.04 The Week in Westminster 11.30
From Our Own Correspondent. Global reports.
12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04
Money Box. Paul Lewis examines the latest financial
developments and offers impartial advice to those
aiming to make the most of their money. 12.30 The
Now Show (R) 12.57 Weather 1.0 News 1.10 Any
Questions? (R) 2.0 Any Answers? Listeners have
their say. 2.30 Drama: Luther, by John Osborne.
A radio adaptation of the playwright’s Tony awardwinning 1961 historical drama, previously brought
to radio by the BBC in 1984. This performance,
recorded to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Saturday Breakfast 9.0 The Danny Baker
Show 11.0 Fighting Talk 12.0 5 Live Sport
12.30 Premier League Football: West Ham
United v Chelsea (kick-off 12.30pm) 2.30
5 Live Sport 3.0 Premier League Football 5.0
Sports Report 5.30 Premier League Football:
Newcastle United v Leicester City (kick-off
5.30pm) 7.30 6-0-6 8.30 Kermode and
Mayo’s Film Review 9.30 Stephen Nolan 12.0
In Short (R) 1.0 Up All Night 5.0 5 Live Science
The Observer | 03.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
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