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The Observer The New Review 10 December 2017

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Features | Reportage | Arts | Reviews | Plus David Mitchell and 7-day TV listings
YEAR 2017
Pages 10-17
It took Broadway by storm and now it’s
set to open in the West End. Hamilton
creator Lin-Manuel Miranda talks about
the musical everyone wants to see.
Interview byTim Lewis
Lin-Manuel Miranda photographed in London by
Pal Hansen for the Observer New Review.
Features | Reportag
e | Arts | Reviews
| Plus Stewart Lee
A G E N D A 3-5
F E AT U R E S 6-19
On my radar Novelist
Jessie Burton’s
cultural highlights
John Naughton Messenger Kids:
a recruitment tool for the next
generation of Facebook users
David Mitchell
C R I T I C S 24-32
B O O K S 33-37
Kitty Empire on a star-studded
Gorillaz live show and the new
album from Pharrell’s NERD
Andrew Rawnsley reviews two
books revealing how the Tories’
2017 election gamble turned sour
Mark Kermode reviews Menashe
Euan Ferguson on
Peaky Blinders and the
return of The Crown
Susannah Clapp
on theatre
Laura Cumming enjoys
Charles II: Art and Power
Adam Kay, the junior doctorturned-standup and author,
talks to Andrew Anthony
Review of 2017
Our critics reflect on the year in
film, art, music and more, picking
their highlights – and turkeys
Cover story
Lin-Manuel Miranda on his hiphop Broadway musical, Hamilton
Assignment – share your images
of what ‘icy’ means to you at
Gallery – Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy’s
ghost town nightscapes
Our pick of the best children’s
books this Christmas, from picture
stories to titles for teenagers and
older kids
Ekow Eshun on a history of
seminal British magazine the Face
Graphic novel of the month
S C I E N C E & T E C H 21-23
Gadgets Hayley Campbell visits a
sex tech hackathon in south-east
London and discovers a world of
diversity and invention
Barbara Hosking
Showcase –
original photography
commissioned for the
Observer last month
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
Five years after
the gang-rape and
murder of 23-year-ol
Jyoti Singh on a Delh d
i bus,
what has changed for
women in India?
Write to us at or post your
comments online at
You can follow us on Twitter: @ObsNewReview or Submission and
publication of all feedback is subject to our terms
and conditions: see
A distressing but powerful piece (Five
years after the gang rape and murder
of Jyoti Singh in Delhi, cover story, last
week). I urge you to read it.
Claire Felstead @clairefelstead on
India, where cows, corrupt politicians
and intangible religious “sentiments”
matter more than the citizens.
Vaibhav Sharma @taoofdudeism
Thoughtful and insightful comments
and answers from one of the BBC’s
greatest assets (Q&A with BBC
correspondent Clive Myrie, last week).
Barney Jones @wbarneyjones
An outstanding professional, and the
best-dressed man on the telly.
ochongodeo, posted online
In our house children were positively
encouraged to make up their own
minds about books (Books that opened
eyes to inequality, last week). So I read
a huge mix and came out of it a leftie,
bookish human being, alert to racism
and sexism. I loved Rudyard Kipling’s
Jungle Book and Just So Stories. Would
I have felt differently about them if I’d
read his jingoistic poetry? I think I’d
have felt astounded, unable to reconcile
the tone or content of one with the
other. And I think that that is the thing.
We contain multitudes of personae,
and in Kenneth Grahame’s and Kipling’s
cases some of those were unsavoury.
Special report by
Gethin Chamberlain
Soudhriti Bhabani
The finest writing every Sunday for arts, science, politics and culture
and 7-day TV listings
A student at an
anti-rape protest
in Hyderabad,
September 2013.
Noah Seelam/
Dr Seuss can be pretty bigoted at
times, but his story Yertle the Turtle
is a delightful take on class and
This was an important article for
anyone that’s wondering whether
the whole fake news/Russian
bots business is true (How Russia
weaponised the web, Science and Tech,
last week). Very informative.
It’s been a decade since our planet’s
first “cyberwar”. As this article
concludes, this new way to harass each
another, on a global scale, is here to
stay. It is the price we pay
for wanting to live in a connected
Thanks for recommending the
Allergies, Craig. Fabulous. They
have just got me through my Sunday
run (On my radar: actor and DJ
Craig Charles’s cultural highlights,
last week).
I saw the headline, thought oh for
f@&k sake, don’t be ridiculous! and
then saw it was Stewart Lee (Can
Harry and Meghan make Britain whole
again? last week). It’s all so surreal at
the moment that I’m no longer sure
what’s serious and what’s satire.
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
Jessie Burton is a former actor and
PA whose 2014 debut novel, The
Miniaturist, a period mystery set in
17th-century Amsterdam, has sold
more than 1m copies and won multiple
awards. Last year’s follow-up, The
Muse, about a painting that connects
1930s southern Spain to a Trinidadian
immigrant in 60s London, was
another bestseller. The Londoner’s
Jessie Burton
first novel for children, The Restless
Girls, a feminist retelling of the
Grimms’ fairytale The Twelve Dancing
Princesses, will be published next
September. A two-part TV adaptation
of The Miniaturist, starring Romola
Garai and Anya Taylor-Joy, is on BBC1
at 9pm on 26 and 27 December. The
novel is published by Picador (£7.99).
Michael Hogan
1 | TV
Alias Grace
This is the Netflix adaptation of Margaret
Atwood’s novel, based on the true
story of servant Grace Marks, who
was arrested aged 16 for her role in two
murders at the house near Toronto
where she worked. It examines not
only whether she did it but sexual
hypocrisy and class divisions. With
this and The Handmaid’s Tale, it’s as if
Atwood’s suddenly become our top
TV screenwriter. She’s always been a
huge hero of mine: I studied Cat’s Eye at
A-level, have read The Blind Assassin
three times and have a signed copy
of Alias Grace from when it was first
published in 1996. And she called her
daughter Jessie, so she’s got great taste.
2 | Instagram
Mari Andrew @bymariandrew and Lucy
Knisley @lucyknisley
These are two American graphic artists
whose Instagram feeds I absolutely
love. They’re just a joy and both have
phenomenally huge followings. I work
alone and social media can prove too much
of a distraction but it also provides some
cheering little moments of connectivity. I
left Twitter for five months and didn’t miss
it. For me, Instagram is a friendlier, more
generous, supportive place.
3 | Play
This deserved its rave reviews at the
National Theatre and has just been given
a West End run, starting in January.
Written by David Eldridge and directed by
Polly Findlay, it’s an absolutely beautiful
and very funny two-hander between
Sam Troughton and Justine Mitchell, who
is one of my favourite stage actresses.
It’s one long scene of will-they-won’tthey dialogue between a couple at
the end of a housewarming party, but
Eldridge manages to vacuum-pack all
manner of existential dilemmas into 100
minutes – about social class, potential
parenthood and the mess of modern life.
4 | Documentary
Joan Didion: The Centre Will Not Hold
It’s surprising that this Netflix
documentary, directed by her nephew
Griffin Dunne, is the first film anyone’s
made about Didion, given her advanced
years and extraordinary life – from her
presence as a reporter at major events
in the 60s, through to her accounts
of the deaths in quick succession of
her husband and daughter. She’s a
very singular person with a pervasive
influence on other writers.
5 | Hotel
Mama Ruisa, Rio de Janeiro
This boutique hotel in the Santa Teresa
barrio is the most beautiful little place.
You feel instantly more stylish and
classy just by being there. The swimming
pool is surrounded by palm trees and
hummingbirds. The balconies have
views of Sugarloaf Mountain. The decor
is understated and tasteful with little
splashes of kitsch. It’s run by Jean Michel
Ruis, who’s impossibly handsome and
reminds me of the dashing, debonair
Brazilian millionaire [José da Silva
Pereira] in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. His
fluffy cat, Colette, comes into your room
if you leave the window open. Great
passionfruit caipirinhas too.
6 | Book
13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane
This is brilliant for anyone who’s a reader
or a writer or both. I saw Jane Smiley
at Adelaide Literary festival and it was
one of those shy audiences where
nobody had any questions at the end of
her reading, so she sang instead - she
just launched into an unaccompanied
protest song from the 60s. She was
a hoot – sharp as a nail and so candid
about her four marriages. This book was
written in response to 9/11 when she
was feeling “What good is literature?”,
and set herself a task to read 100 novels.
It’s literary criticism from a writer’s craft
point of view. The only drawback is that it
makes your to-read list even longer than
it already is.
7 | Exhibition
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Paris
Celebrating 70 years of the fashion
house, this is a bit like the Alexander
McQueen exhibition at the V&A - and
it’s mind-blowing. It’s at the Musée
des Arts Décoratifs and there’s
an embarrassment of riches. It’s
chronological but also arranged by colour,
which is stunning. And at the end, just
when you’re thinking it can’t carry on, it
opens out into this huge atrium and there
are the famous gowns worn by Elizabeth
Taylor, Marion Cotillard, Emma Watson,
the one Jennifer Lawrence fell over in at
the Oscars and Natalie Portman’s from
the Miss Dior ads.
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Q & A
The former aide to Harold Wilson and
Edward Heath on a rollicking career, writing
her memoirs and a daily glass of claret
Born in Cornwall in 1926, Barbara
Hosking moved to London aged 21
to pursue a career in journalism.
Instead, she joined the Labour party
press office and went on to serve
as a press officer to Harold Wilson
and later Edward Heath. She also
spent three years in East Africa
running the office at a remote mining
company and worked in TV, becoming
executive chairwoman of Westcountry
Television. Now, aged 91, she has
written about her storied life, and
her sexuality, in Exceeding My Brief:
Memoirs of a Disobedient Civil Servant.
Was it a challenge to write a memoir in
your 90s?
Not really. The disadvantage was,
about 10 years ago, I threw all my
diaries away. But I was amazed at
how much I remembered. You could
say it’s just a string of after-dinner
anecdotes. Or, if you were being
academic, you could say it’s a history
of the social life of the 20th century.
The irony is that I’ve always been a
private person, but here I felt I had to
be honest and I couldn’t write about
myself without mentioning the fact
that I’ve been gay all my life.
How did it feel to come out at 91?
Well, I didn’t actually realise what
I was doing, until it was published.
Then one of the committees at the
august Reform Club, of which I’m a
member, said: “We’d love you to come
and give a talk; would you like to do
it in Gay Week?” Suddenly I thought,
what have I done? [laughs] My joke is:
I’ve come out at the age of 91 and if I
don’t like it I’m going back in again.
How’s it working out so far? No plans to
go back in?
No. One or two people were a bit
surprised, but they were fine with it.
Did you feel burdened by the secret?
I got on with it. I didn’t feel it was
something I had to be furtive about.
Early on, there was nobody I could
talk to about [being gay]. But when
I moved to London in 1946, my
landladies took me off to this gay club
in Chelsea called Gateways. As I got
into their car, one turned to me and
said: “You are queer, aren’t you?” I
said yes, but I was thinking to myself,
what does this mean? Does it show?
You almost ran as a Labour candidate in
Stroud, but backed out at the last minute.
I know. It was a legitimate ambition. I
had been a councillor in Islington, I’d
chaired the council for Labour party
staff of Transport House. It was only
driving back from the interview in
Stroud that I thought, this is not for
me. In order to govern, you sometimes
have to park your principles.
You felt you weren’t suited to
No. A principle is a principle. I
know that there are grey areas. But
politically I couldn’t do it. My only
regret is that I would have loved
speaking in the House of Commons.
You worked as a press officer for Harold
Wilson and then Ted Heath. Was that an
odd transition?
It was. But when Ted Heath came in, I
did have sympathy for him, especially
when he arrived at Number 10 for the
first time and got red paint thrown all
over him.
You spent a lot of time together…
Yes. I wasn’t frightened of him, as
others were. I felt it was my job to
help him in any way I could.
What was it like working in these maledominated spheres?
Well, at my first job, at a cinema chain
in Soho, women and boys had to clock
in and out but the men came and went
as they pleased. Later, when I went
into the civil service, there were five
men in the office and me. They were
upset about me being there; they
thought they’d have to moderate their
behaviour, but they relaxed. Things
have improved a great deal. Still,
there are probably a lot of men who
wouldn’t believe in equal pay.
What do you make of the current storm
of sexual abuse allegations?
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
Barbara Hosking
photographed at
home in London by
Antonio Olmos
for the Observer
New Review.
I think where one person, usually
a man, has power over another and
they make a pass at you, this should
be called out. Although I have a slight
problem over the word “abuse”. It
seems to me to cover everything from
a glancing stroke of the bottom to a
full-frontal attack.
Is there a danger of overreacting?
It depends on the circumstances. If
it’s your boss doing it, that’s one thing,
but if it’s just a chap you work with,
I think that surely you’d have sense
enough to say: “Get off.”
You’ve seen a lot of political ups and
downs over the decades. How does
‘My joke is: I’ve
come out at the age
of 91 and if I don’t
like it I’m going
back in again’
the current situation compare?
I don’t feel very happy about it. It’s
sad that both major political parties
are in such disarray. And of course
you’ve got the trans-party groupings
over Remain and Brexit. These
are very difficult times to live in. I
probably won’t see it resolved in my
lifetime, which is a pity, because I
want to know what happens.
when someone takes pleasure in
speaking English.
I have to ask, because you look great
for your age: what’s your secret?
I think it’s luck and a Mediterranean
diet. I eat a lot of fish, I like olive oil
and salads. I sleep eight hours a night.
But I smoked until I was 50 and I’d
hardly let a day go by without having
at least one drink – usually claret.
How do you spend your time?
I’m still on committees. I see friends.
And of course there’s the arts. The
day before yesterday I went up to
Oxford on the coach – two hours
there and two hours back – to hear
the Welsh National Opera production
of Janáček’s From the House of the
Dead – a powerful bit of work.
Are you as disobedient as the subtitle
of your book suggests?
What annoys you about modern life?
Interview by Killian Fox
I get annoyed by people saying
“enjoy”, or starting a sentence
with “so”, or saying “different
to” or “different than” when
it’s “different from”. I know the
language is changing but I love it
Exceeding My Brief: Memoirs of a
Disobedient Civil Servant is published
by Biteback £25. To order a copy for
£21.25 go to or
call 0330 333 6846
Yes. A civil servant once said to me:
“When will you learn that rules are
to be obeyed?” I looked at her in
amazement and I said: “I was brought
up to understand that rules are to be
interpreted.” That’s my philosophy of
life: rules are to be interpreted.
David Mitchell
Want a tip on weight loss?
Don’t ask Mick Jagger
eople won’t take dietary advice
from obese nurses, but they will from
stick-thin film stars – with terrible
results in both cases. That was the
news last week.
The first half of the above is an
inference from a study in the journal
BMJ Open saying that about 25%
of nurses in the NHS are obese, a
discovery the report’s lead author, Dr
Richard Kyle of Edinburgh Napier
University, declared to be “deeply
worrying”. The depth of his concern
surprised me considering that about
25% of the adult population is obese,
which he must have known. So,
what he’s found is that nurses are, on
average, neither thinner nor fatter
than the general population which, if
I were him, is precisely what I would
expect to find. Then again, calling the
findings “deeply predictable” would
probably have been a kick in the teeth
for the people who’d just paid him to
find them.
His deep worry stems from two
issues: first, the health impact of
obesity on all those nurses – “It is
vital that we redouble our efforts
to take care of our healthcare
workforce who do so much to care
for others” (maybe he used to work
in greetings cards) – and second,
that patients will be reluctant to take
dietary advice from the very fat. “If
someone is visibly overweight people
don’t necessarily trust that advice.
The public expect nurses to be role
models,” he said. Tam Fry, chairman
of the National Obesity Forum, echoes
this sentiment: “People in the health
service are meant to be role models
but they’re not.”
You hear a lot these days about
who are supposed to be role models.
Reality TV stars are bad role models,
footballers should try to be better
role models, etc etc. It makes a
certain amount of sense when talking
about people who are paid a lot to
do something unimportant. But I
think it’s a bit much also to lay that
burden on those paid a pittance to
do something vital. Purely by their
choice of profession, nurses are surely
already making a contribution rolemodel-wise, and they can probably
do without our heaping on a load of
extra pressure to be thin and healthy
and beaming with media-groomed
joie de vivre.
In the west today, it can be difficult
to be thin. I certainly haven’t got the
knack. And, in a cruel reversal of what
historical imagery makes us expect,
the poor are now more likely to be
fat than the rich. Time and money
are a huge help in attaining the trim
appearance that contemporary visual
snobbery associates with success.
These days the euphemistically
prosperous-looking are probably
anything but. And, as time and
money are commodities nurses are
notoriously short of, I’d say the fact
that the profession’s obesity rate is
no higher than the national average is
already an achievement.
But what of the concern that
patients suffering weight-related
health issues will be less willing to
take lifestyle advice from a fat nurse?
Well, I can’t immediately dismisss it
– people can be pretty stupid. Maybe
they’d also be less likely to heed
om a
safety advice about crocodiles from
zookeeper with only one arm.
The media have a slight obsession
with hypocrisy. It’s like potting
the eight-ball early in pool.
If someone can be labelled
a hypocrite – if you can say
they “don’t practise what they
preach” – then it’s game over:
you can ignore everything they say.
That’s not always a very sensiblee
approach. We all know someone can
completely sincerely advise you to
do something that they’ve tried and
failed to do themselves.
d it
But many of us do seem to find
reassuring to get our dietary advice
from the rake-like. The British
Dietetic Association is so concerned
about this that it brings out an annual
list of “celebrity” diets to be waryy of.
This year’s includes the alkaline diet,
favoured by Kate Hudson, Tom Brady
and the Duchess of York, the raw
vegan diet, advocated by Gwyneth
Paltrow, Megan Fox and Sting, and
the ketogenic diet, followed by the
likes of Kim Kardashian, Mick Jagger
and Halle Berry.
These people are all in good shape
so the idea that they’ve got some
glamorous trick for maintaining their
appearance is as attractive as they
are. But, as you’d probably expect,
it doesn’t work like that. According
to the BDA, while some of these
diets might help you lose weight a
bit (largely because of the extent to
Film stars are thin
from assuaging a
different hunger –
one that dwarfs
doughnut cravings
which they overlap with the broader
scientific consensus on healthy
eating), they might also be bad for
you if you stick to them for too long
(probably not a massive worry).
They’re fashionable fads cooked
up (or left raw) by amateurs, which
means they are often, as the BDA
says of the alkaline diet, “based on
a basic misunderstanding of human
physiology”. “If something sounds too
good to be true, it probably is,” was
how Sian Porter, consultant dietitian
with the BDA, put it.
To my mind, the idea that a film
star is thin for reasons primarily to do
with diet is as foolish as thinking that
nurses might have their facts wrong
on healthy eating simply because
they happen to be fat. Film stars are
we people – they have a drive to
be looked at that, in most cases, has
a very high percentage
of tthe choices they’ve made. They
hav a huge amount riding on their
and it is insufficiently
to say that it’s primarily
They are thin from assuaging
d erent hunger – one that dwarfs
a diff
the doughnut cravings under which
the majority labour. They’re the
people to advise the general
pub about what to eat. It’s like
a cheetah for techniques to
cut out
If a problem with our society
is that people unquestioningly
believe the thin and rich, and
ignore out of hand the utterances
of the poor and chubby, then I
wonder whether pressurising
the chubby to slim and the slim
to shut up is really the answer. I
that’s treating the symptom
than the underlining cause –
wh is the utter vacuity of millions
of people’s
system of values.
S let’s leave Halle Berry and
nurses out of this. It’s not their
fau The unavoidable truth is that
you shouldn’t judge the wisdom of
words according to how
attractive they are. People
wh don’t realise that are bound
s er. And their minds won’t be
to suff
by anything I say. Not unless
lo weight.
I lose
SNAPSHOTS Nightscapes in a ghost town
When French artist
Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy
learned how to use digital image
manipulation, he decided to mix
reality and perception by creating
a city made entirely of facades.
“The facade [of a building] is the
first thing we see and it could tell
us everything and nothing at the
same time – it is just a question
of imagination,” he says. “I like to
wander through the city at night and
when something tempts my eyes I
take a picture.” Gaudrillot-Roy, who
lives in Lyon and has been working
on the project since 2009, adds: “I
choose a building when it evokes
something in me and causes me to
interrogate myself. So it is not really
a conscious choice, but more about a
feeling.” Stacee Smith
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton was a Broadway
phenomenon that wowed critics, hoovered up awards
and made headlines after taking on audience member
Mike Pence. As it opens in London, its creator explains how
his rap retelling of the life of a US founding father is at heart
an immigrant tale to offer hope in the age of Trump
in-Manuel Miranda, the Americaborn, Puerto Rico-infused
lyricist-performer-megastar, has
a deep streak of Anglophilia. This
reveals itself most conspicuously
in his fondness for quoting Monty
Python and The Office. On one of
his first trips to Britain, he landed at Heathrow
and had his driver take him directly to Slough,
so that he could pay homage to the milieu that
inspired Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
So when Hamilton, the musical he created
and starred in, began doing well off Broadway
in 2015, Miranda’s mind drifted beyond the
inevitable Broadway transfer to whether it might
play in London one day. There was a problem
though, a couple really. The show was a telling
of the life and times of Alexander Hamilton, a
bureaucrat in the second half of the 18th century
and one of the founding fathers of the United
States. Would anyone over here care about his
(admittedly juicy) travails? Even more, the
only British character in the musical, which is
performed mostly in rap verse, is George III,
whom Miranda has written as a jumped-up,
flamboyant fop.
“Helen Mirren was one of the first people to
see Hamilton,” recalls the 37-year-old Miranda,
his voice urgent, conspiratorial. “She saw it very
early and I said, ‘If we’re lucky enough to go to
London, are they going to be bothered by King
George?’ And she said, ‘Nahhh! We love it when
you take the piss!’”
Miranda cracks up. “So I’m not worried,” he
goes on. “I’m excited.”
Two years on, Hamilton is most definitely
coming. Previews at the Victoria Palace theatre in
London began on Wednesday, with the main run
starting on 21 December. And the question now is
not will British audiences be interested in a hiphop reimagining of the birth of modern America?
But, rather, is there any possible way that this
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
cultural behemoth can live up to the hype?
To start with the silverware: Hamilton
has, to date, won 11 Tony awards, a Grammy
for best musical theatre album and the 2016
Pulitzer prize for drama for Miranda’s writing;
he has also been given a MacArthur “genius
grant”. Somehow more telling, though, are the
breathless testimonies from those who have seen
the show. “I am loath to tell people to mortgage
their houses and lease their children to acquire
tickets to a hit Broadway show,” wrote Ben
Brantley in the New York Times. “But Hamilton…
might just about be worth it.” Michelle Obama
described it as “the best piece of art in any form I
have ever seen in my life”.
Miranda, meanwhile, is personally most
gratified by Hamilton’s reach in other ways. He
always wanted a multicultural cast and he is
thrilled no one blinks an eye that the old and
middle-aged white guys who created America
are played by young black and Latino performers.
He is also beyond pleased at the affirmation he
has received from his musical heroes: last year,
the Hamilton Mixtape was released and the
contributors included Busta Rhymes, Alicia Keys,
Queen Latifah and Usher.
It’s not easy to find negative notices for
Hamilton, but there are some. In November 2016,
the president-elect Donald Trump described it
as “highly overrated”. He hadn’t actually seen
the show, but was reacting in 140 characters to
a story that had blown up when Vice-President
Mike Pence attended a performance the week
after the election. Pence was roundly booed as
he took his seat and during the curtain call one
of the actors read a speech written by Miranda,
Hamilton’s director Thomas Kail, and Jeffrey
Seller, the lead producer. Unusually for a theatre,
a request was made for phones to be turned on,
so the message could be circulated more widely.
“We, sir, are the diverse America who
are alarmed and anxious that your new
administration will not protect us, our planet, our
children, our parents, or defend us and uphold
our inalienable rights, sir,” the statement read.
“But we truly hope that this show has inspired
you to uphold our American values and to work
on behalf of all of us.”
Trump claimed the speech was “harassing”
Pence; the vice-president, for his part, said that
the jeers were “what freedom sounds like” and
that he had enjoyed the show. Either way, it
has become clear that Hamilton is much more
than just a night at the theatre. When Hillary
Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination
for president, she lifted lines from the musical
to finish her speech. After Trump’s victory, the
historian Niall Ferguson asked whether the
election was “a vote against Hamilton”.
Hamilton is already a hit in London; the tickets
were sold out almost instantly for the first run
until June next year, though there is a daily
lottery for £10 seats. But will we love it more than
we love our own children? How desperate will
people get to snaffle a ticket?
If Miranda is feeling any pressure about the
transfer, he isn’t showing it. On the morning
we meet, in the offices of theatrical producer
Cameron Mackintosh in Bloomsbury, he bounces
into the room, wearing a T-shirt, jeans and
running shoes, all blue. The ponytail and goatee
he had on stage in New York have been clipped
and it has the effect of making him look two
centuries younger. Miranda is a prolific tweeter
and he has provided regular updates on the
new production since arriving in the UK in late
November. After the first run-through, he wrote:
“London, gird your heart. This company is not
playing around.” A couple of days earlier, he
gushed: “This company is so fuhuuucking good.”
None of the cast is a household name: Jamael
Westman, one of a pair of Alexander Hamiltons,
Continued on page 9
‘You could write
five more musicals
about Hamilton’:
Lin-Manuel Miranda
in London for
the Observer
New Review..
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
‘I don’t remember
my parents ever
having less than
three jobs each’
¥ Continued from page 6
graduated from Rada last year and this is just
his fourth credit. “It’s a similar mix of vets and
newcomers as we had in our original company
on Broadway,” says Miranda, who has no plans to
step into Hamilton’s blouse and breeches in this
run. “I can’t wait for London audiences to get in
front of this show. I’m curious how certain things
will play: there’s a couple of New Jersey jokes
and I’m like, ‘That’s going to be huge…’” Miranda
rolls his eyes.
“Right now, I’m really just faffing about!
The director has a job to do, the music
supervisor is making sure it sounds right
and the choreographer is making sure it’s as
precise as the other companies. And I’m like,
‘Hey, the show’s written!’ I’m giving notes here
or there if I see something, but I’m basically like
a proud grandparent.”
any of the reasons given now for
Hamilton’s unimaginable success
were, in advance, used as predictors
for why it might sink without trace.
When the show first opened in New York, Miranda
and his team scrupulously avoided the description
“hip-hop musical”. This was, in essence, because
those two forms had never been credibly fused
before. A musical based on the lyrics of Tupac
Shakur, Holler If Ya Hear Me, had been a blink-andyou’ll-miss-it opening the previous year. Likewise,
historical adaptations didn’t have a great precedent
either: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a musical
about the seventh US president, was critically
approved in 2010 but only lasted four months.
Hamilton, though, has become an umbrella for
just about every niche interest. “People who don’t
ordinarily like musicals can get in, because they
are fans of hip-hop,” says Miranda. “Or because
they are fans of history and we treat the history
with respect, as much as a two-and-a-half-hour
musical can. And there’s just as many Easter eggs
for musical theatre fans as there are for hip-hop
fans. For every Biggie or Mobb Deep quote, we’ve
also got Rodgers and Hammerstein and Jason
Robert Brown.
“So it is my love letter to all of these things,” he
continues. “You know, popular music and theatre
music used to be friends, they used to be the same
thing. And Hamilton is my attempt to do that by
hook or by crook, wedging these things together.”
Miranda believes that audiences respond to
Hamilton for exactly the same reason he did. He
was in Borders bookshop – that’s how long ago
it was – looking for some holiday reading when
he stumbled across Ron Chernow’s doorstop
biography of Hamilton.
“What I knew about Hamilton prior to picking
up that book was that he was the dead white guy
on the 10,” says Miranda, referring to the $10 bill.
“I knew his son had died in a duel and he died in
a duel. I think that’s what took it off the shelf and
into my hand, because I’d written a paper on that
in high school. But I didn’t know he was born in
Nevis, I didn’t know he grew up in the Caribbean.
I didn’t know his Dickensian childhood; it
sort of out-Dickens Dickens. Then I got to the
part where he writes about a hurricane that
destroys his island and they take up a collection
to get him his education on the mainland. I
st.’ He’s a guy
just thought, ‘He’s a hip-hop artist.’
who writes about his struggle so well that he
transcends it. And once I had thatt insight, it kept
proving me right.”
As much as Miranda made the link to hip-hop,
day in Mexico,
he also, reading the book on holiday
floating in a lounger in the pool, began to see
parallels with his own life. His father
was born in Puerto Rico, but camee to
America in his late teens to study at
New York University. He was smart
and had a ferocious work ethic and
he would become a special adviser
on Hispanic affairs to Ed Koch,
the Democrat mayor of New York
for much of the 80s. Miranda’s
mother came to America from
Puerto Rico as a child and was a
clinical psychologist.
“I just recognised that guy,”
says Miranda of Hamilton. “When
you see Hamilton as an immigrant
story, it becomes universal to
me because I grew up in a largelyy
immigrant neighbourhood in New
York and we just knew the deal was:
we have to work three times as hard.
I don’t remember a time when myy
parents had less than three jobs each.
That is just the immigrant story and in
Lin-Manuel Miranda (centre), Hamilton music director Alex Lacamoire (in blue) and the Broadway cast celebrate winning best
musical theatre album at the 2016 Grammy awards. Photograph: WireImage
‘The good idea comes
when you are walking
your dog, or in the
shower, or resting, or
waking up from sleep’
Hamilton’s case, he ends up shaping the nation.
He gains the trust of George Washington and he
ends up shaping our financial system, inventing
the coast guard, creating the New York Post
and a million other things. You could write five
more musicals about that guy. It’s the classic
bootstraps story.”
From the beginning, Hamilton has had a
political agenda if you scratch the surface. The
first time Miranda performed any material from
the musical in public was in May 2009, when
he was asked by the Obamas to participate in an
evening celebrating “the American experience” at
the White House. When the approach was made,
the expectation was that Miranda would sing
something from his debut musical, In the Heights.
This was a semi-autobiographical tale of growing
up on a multicultural block in New York that had
won four Tony awards, best musical among them.
Instead, Miranda tried out “16 hot bars about
Alexander Hamilton”. There’s YouTube evidence
of the performance and it’s clear that Miranda,
who’d never met the president before, is nervous;
well, as nervous as Miranda ever gets, which is
not especially. Still, in his introduction to the
song, there’s more “ums” than usual and even a
little stammering. When he explains the concept,
people, including the Obamas, giggle, not sure if
they should take him seriously.
with his wife,
Vanessa Nadal.
“Yeah, it was really scary and it’s a little bit
like showing the ultrasound at five weeks,” says
Miranda. “I had a lot of people look at me like I
was crazy for a very long time. I mean, you can
kind of see the reaction in miniature at the White
House. I state what I’m going to do and everyone
just laughs at me. And I go, ‘You laugh but it’s
true!’ Just trying to keep my cool, because I’m
also performing in front of the leader of the free
world for the first time in my life. And then you
see people get sucked into the story. Then their
heads start bobbing. And that’s been the story of
Hamilton: it’s been an insane idea but the story
works. The story is compelling, it’s a human one.
And yeah, that’s that.”
or a piece of art that was “the musical of
the Obama era”, according to the New
Yorker, the Trump years were always
going to present some challenges. The
aftermath of the statement to Mike Pence was
especially uncomfortable. “When the president
sends a tweet he’s also sending trolls and bots
your way,” says Miranda. “It is a way of targeting,
so we had to deal with death threats for several
weeks and we had to wait for that kerfuffle to blow
over. So we lived through it. There was a bit of a
pendulum swing, right; we were beloved by the
Obama administration; we’re really not beloved by
the current administration.”
Did Miranda consider putting “Highly
overrated: Donald Trump” on the Hamilton
poster? “Haha!” he replies. “There are certainly
those who would wear that with a badge of
pride, but I would not trade it for the stress of those
weeks. These are just not normal times. We have a
president who targets people and goes after them
and that’s really without precedent and scary, but
that’s where we are.”
Miranda, though, does not shy away from a
fight, either. When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto
Rico in September, killing at least 500 people
and destroying the electrical grid, he was furious
at Trump for his inaction. While the president
quickly offered reassurance and funds to Texas
and Florida after the natural disasters that affected
those states, he was much quieter about Puerto
Rico, which is an unincorporated US territory.
Nearly three months on, a third of the island
remains without power. Miranda’s response was
to tweet Trump: “You’re going straight to hell.”
“What does that tell the people of Puerto Rico
about the person who is supposedly in charge?” he
asks. “Those are 3.5m American citizens. So that’s
when the rhetoric is heartbreaking: you know
relief could come with one signing of the pen and
it’s just not. Because he doesn’t care.”
Miranda, who has raised $2.5m for the relief
effort from a charity song, also recently announced
that he would be taking a production of Hamilton
to Puerto Rico in early 2019. He did a similar tour
in 2010 with In the Heights and it remains one of
his proudest achievements. “I find it hard to talk
about it without tearing up,” he says and it’s true,
he looks like he might cry. “Growing up, I’d get sent
to Puerto Rico for a month a year where I was the
kid with a fucked-up Spanish accent who couldn’t
really speak it well enough to hang with kids my
age. I was like the weird exchange kid. I loved
Puerto Rico, but I never felt at home with it. Then
to have In the Heights be embraced in English,
the way I wrote it, it closed some hole in me that I
didn’t know was open.”
These are manic, sometimes confounding times
for Miranda. Hamilton took the best part of six
years to write but now life seems to be happening
in fast-forward. So far, he has only been accepting
offers “that are just so bonkers that you’d kick
yourself for ever if you didn’t jump at the chance to
do them”. These have included a pivotal cameo in
the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm and a sixmonth spell in London to shoot a lead role in Mary
Poppins Returns, which will be released Christmas
next year. The film is directed by Rob Marshall
(Chicago) and stars Emily Blunt as the umbrellawielding hero, as well as Meryl Streep, Colin Firth,
Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer.
“Poppins was both incredibly hard work and
sort of this joyous vacation,” says Miranda.
“Because I had just been in Hamilton-mania
in the States, it was starting to get to the point
where I couldn’t ride the train without having a
conversation about Hamilton. So the only sane
response is to chop off all your hair and leave the
country. I was really very anonymous here and
that was a wonderful thing to reclaim, to ride the
tube around and take my kid to Lady Di park. To
sort of do normal things was wonderful, because it
was getting weird. Like, famous-person weird.”
This is just the tip of it. The Weinstein Company
had optioned the film rights to In the Heights,
so Miranda is endeavouring to extricate himself
from that. (“So monstrous,” he says. “I met Harvey
several times. I knew he was never going to win a
nice-guy competition, but I didn’t know about all
of this other stuff.”) Miranda’s first child, Sebastian,
was born two weeks before rehearsals for
Hamilton started in 2014 and he revealed last week
that his wife Vanessa Nadal, a corporate lawyer, is
expecting their second. He would also like to start
work on a new musical, but he probably just needs
to lie in a pool to figure out what the subject is.
“You’re right,” he exclaims, “I should take more
vacations, thank you! Yeah, that is the hardest
lesson to take hold of: the good idea comes when
you are walking your dog or in the shower or
resting. And waking up from sleep. I don’t believe
it’s an accident that on my first vacation from In
the Heights, the best idea of my life shows up. So
I have a couple of ideas, but I’m waiting to see
which one grabs hold and doesn’t let go.”
Until then, Miranda will keep on doing what
he’s done every day since Hamilton opened in
New York in early 2015: field requests for tickets
for the show. In London, it is sure not to be any
different. Miranda made some good friends here
when he was filming Mary Poppins Returns –
Whishaw and the chef Yotam Ottolenghi among
them – and he is excited for them to see the
show. Otherwise, there’s only so much he can
do. “People tweeting me, ‘I can’t believe I paid
$2,000,’” he says. “I didn’t charge you $2,000! I
don’t know why you paid that.”
What about the royal family? “Oh, I’ll give Prince
Harry some engagement tickets, that would be an
absolute treat,” Miranda smiles. “Obviously that
would be an honour for us.” Let’s just hope he isn’t
too offended by the portrayal of his great-greatgreat-great-great-great grandfather.
Hamilton is in previews at the Victoria Palace
theatre, London. Press night is 21 December, and the
show is booking until 30 June 2018
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
America and Russia brought their combined dazzle to the art world, politics was at
the heart of the best pop, theatre and dance, and there were triumphant returns for
Simon Rattle, Blade Runner, Super Mario – and even Ed Miliband as a star of talk radio.
Here, the Observer’s critics share their top moments of the year
Hot-off-the-press plays
thrust the personal and
political centre stage, and
Bob Dylan had a moment,
writes Susannah Clapp
What a terrific turnaround year.
At the end of 2016, I was struck by
how unpolitical the theatre had
become. Not any more. In 2017, James
Graham displayed the dramatic
K politics in quickpossibilities of UK
bour of Love and
fire plays: Ink, Labour
Quiz. Worldwide disasters – sexual
g, the terrors faced
abuse and bullying,
by those escaping perils in their
manded the stage
homelands – commanded
in The Suppliant Women (Young
burgh festival)
Vic), Flight (Edinburgh
and The Welcoming
Pary (Manchester
international festival).
At the Dorfman,
ber Shop
Inua Ellams’s Barber
Chronicles – skidding
from continent to
continent on song and
caster chairs – combined
n and
personal revelation
political debate. Adam
(Traverse, Edinburgh)
cy and
spoke with urgency
gentleness of 21st-century
transgendering. Just
to Get Married acutely
recaptured the struggles
TOP 10 (favourite first)
Girl from the North Country Old Vic
Conor McPherson’s theatre ballad
knocked on heaven’s door.
of early 20th-century feminists.
Hurrah for the Finborough, for its
recovery of old dramas.
New theatre spaces offered new
hopes. The Bridge – the mighty oak
and steel building created by Steve
Tompkins and Roger Watts for Nicks
Hytner and Starr – cemented the
South Bank’s reputation as the new
West End theatre strip. And in the
black shadow of Grenfell Tower,
the Playground theatre opened,
promising next year to stage an
examination of Shirley Porter and her
social housing shenanigans.
artis directors were
Changes in artistic
announced up and down the country.
I shall miss the pro
programming of
Andrew Hilton, stepping
down from
Bristol’s Tobacc
Tobacco Factory, David
V Emma Rice
Lan (Young Vic),
(Shakespeare Globe) and Barrie
Rutter (Northern
And welcome
that of Kwame
and Michelle
a the Young Vic
Terry at
Glo respectively.
and Globe
Daniel Evans moved from
el to Chichester –
and produced
a programme
not only for its
quality but its variety: from
swe directness of The
the sweet
Country Girls (with excellent
Genevie Hulme-Beaman
Gra Molony) to the
and Grace
weird vividness
of Caroline,
Chang , with its singing
or Change
a the compelling
fridges and
Sharon D Clarke.
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
The Tin Drum Everyman, Liverpool
Kneehigh’s urgent staging of Europe
falling apart.
Hamlet Almeida
Robert Icke’s production made every
moment ring with significance.
The Suppliant Women Young Vic
Flew to the heart of current anxieties.
The Ferryman Royal Court (below left)
Brimming with geniality and threat.
‘Galvanising’: Sheila Atim with Arinze Kene in Girl from the North Country. Tristram Kenton
Under its new chief, Robert Hastie,
Sheffield produced the smash musical
surprise of the year in Everybody’s
Talking About Jamie. Ellen McDougall
zoomed into the Gate in Notting
Hill, opening impressively with The
Unknown Island, featuring one of the
soaring talents of the past two years,
Thalissa Teixeira. Another star was
Rosie Elnile’s design, which wrapped
the audience in the same floating world
as the actors. It has been inspiriting
to watch women designers disprove
the idea that females are (it used to be
code in job ads) particularly good at
“detail”. They are the most adventurous
of visualisers. Elnile also displayed her
talents in The Convert, Christopher
Haydon’s sign-off show at the Gate,
with the radiant Mimi Ndiweni.
Every week someone lit up the stage
with exceptional gifts. Sheila Atim
was a galvanising singer in Girl from
the North Country. Kate O’Flynn was
magnetic in John Tiffany’s production
of The Glass Menagerie. And if anyone
wants to see nonchalant wit, watch
Joshua James, who was one of several
nascent stars (Anjana Vasan was
another) in Life of Galileo (Young Vic).
A couple of occurrences may not
amount to a trend but they suggest
something blowing in the wind. Bob
Dylan’s songs wound their way through
two productions. In Robert Icke’s
revelatory Hamlet, with Andrew Scott as
the prince, they sounded like the voice
of a goblin damned. They were also
the inspiration for Conor McPherson’s
beautiful Girl from the North Country.
On two occasions real babies took to the
stage, popping up both in The Ferryman
and in Consent. Much is said in praise
of theatre being a live form: these vital
small creatures showed how comically
disarming vivacity can be.
Flight Churchill Theatre Studio,
Edinburgh A miniature epic in an
extraordinary peepshow.
Consent Dorfman
Multilayered subtlety by Nina Raine.
This Beautiful Future The Yard
Delicate, forceful and ambiguous.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Crucible, Sheffield; Apollo, London
Irresistible, high-kicking musical
about a boy and his frock.
The Welcoming Party 1830 Warehouse,
Manchester A Sudanese escape
conjured with puppets and promenade.
Salomé Olivier
Ululations, sonorous paradoxes,
Clockwise from
above: Brooklynn
Kimberly Prince
and Bria Vinaite in
the The Florida
Project: ‘vibrantly
honest’; Ellie
Kendrick in
The Levelling; Ella
Rumpf and Garance
Marillier in the
‘flesh-ripping’ Raw;
and Ana de Armas
and Ryan Gosling in
Blade Runner 2049.
Below: the
‘profound’ My Life
As a Courgette.
TOP 10
Raw Julia Ducournau devours her
audience with this fearless feature
Mark Kermode looks
back on a top year for
horror and animation, a
pair of great female-led
indie films, the return of
Blade Runner – and that
Academy Awards howler
To get a sense of how many great
movies played UK cinemas in 2017,
just look at some of the outstanding
titles that didn’t make my top 10
list. From Park Chan-wook’s The
Handmaiden (brilliantly adapted from
Sarah Waters’s novel Fingersmith)
to Anocha Suwichakornpong ’s
dazzling By the Time It Gets Dark,
Paul Verhoeven’s Elle (featuring
an Oscar-nominated Isabelle
Huppert) and Kleber Mendonça
Filho’s Aquarius (with Sônia Braga
in breathtaking form), there was a
dizzying array of delights on offer.
Even so-called mainstream cinema
seemed particularly adventurous this
year, ranging from Patty Jenkins’s
rip-roaring Wonder Woman to
Christopher Nolan’s overwhelming
Dunkirk, Kathryn Bigelow’s gripping
Detroit, Edgar Wright’s pulse-racing
Baby Driver and Darren Aronofsky’s
bewildering Mother!.
Home-grown triumphs included
William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth
(which made a star of Florence
Pugh) and Francis Lee’s passionate
God’s Own Country, while Zambianborn, Welsh-raised Rungano Nyoni
emerged as a major new talent with
the uncategorisable I Am Not a Witch.
My favourite Bollywood film of 2017
was Advait Chandan’s Secret Superstar,
which cleverly interwove dark themes
of domestic abuse into its musical
fantasy narrative. There were also
several Netflix-backed movies that
cried out to be seen on the big screen,
most notably Bong Joon-ho’s creaturefeature Okja.
As always, I restricted my top 10 list
to films that actually opened in the
UK cinemas in 2017, so such eagerlyy
awaited titles as Clio Barnard’s
Dark River, Greta Gerwig’s Lady
Bird, Guillermo del Toro’s The
Shape of Water, Lynne Ramsay’s You
Were Never Really Here and Martin
McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside
Ebbing, Missouri (all of which will be
released here in 2018) aren’t eligible.
My list also features some films that
other critics may have included in
last year’s lists, such as Toni Erdmann,
The Red Turtle, My Life As a Courgette
and of course Moonlight, all of which
competed for the Oscars in February.
The subject of the Academy’s most
infamous “mix-up”, Barry Jenkins’s
Oscar-winner Moonlight was a
kaleidoscopic gem which found great
beauty in tough surroundings – a
quality that also characterised Sean
Baker’s vibrantly honest The Florida
Project. In my review of Moonlight
in February I wrote: “I doubt I will
see a better film this year”. But then
I hadn’t reckoned on Raw, the fleshripping French-Belgian debut from
writer/director Julia Ducournau.
Using cannibalism to tell an intimate
story of growing pains and sibling
rivalry, Raw is an astonishingly assured
work from a film-maker whose unique
vision is etched into every frame,
straddling humour, heartbreak and
horror with ease.
The year has proved particularly
strong for horror, with Andy
Muschietti’s It becoming a recordbreaking box-office hit, while
Trey Edward Shults’s It Comes at
Night got under the skin of these
paranoid times. And then there was
Jordan Peele’s Get Out, a brilliant
sociopolitical chiller which provided
a rollercoaster ride into the dark heart
of so-called post-racial America, aided
by a superb cast led by the versatile
British actor Daniel Kaluuya.
From the hand-drawn beauty of
Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red
Turtle to the stop-motion wonder
of My Life As a Courgette, a variety
of animation formats continued to
thrive, coexisting with the computer
graphics that were once predicted to
wipe out more traditional techniques.
Both these movies moved me to tears,
offering some of the richest and most
profound viewing experiences of
the year. Good, too, to see Makoto
Shinkai’s Your Name (which featured
in my top 10 last year) back in UK
cinemas in 2017.
T year also saw the long-awaited
of The Levelling, a tremendous
debu from writer-director Hope
Leach. It’s a brilliant work
from a film-maker who should also be
for setting up Raising
Fi , a campaigning organisation
suggestions for addressing
and discrimination in
t UK film industry in the wake
o the Harvey Weinstein scandal
o ered some positive, practical
to the horrors of this still
story. Brava!
Moonlight Barry Jenkins’s Oscar
winner is a miracle in a minor key.
The Levelling Love, loss and
reconciliation in Hope Dickson
Leach’s family drama.
The Red Turtle Swoon and swoon
again at the beauty of Michaël Dudok
de Wit’s heartbreaker.
The Florida Project Sean Baker finds
a modern-day Our Gang on Disney’s
My Life As a Courgette Stop-motion
magic from director Claude Barras
and screenwriter Céline Sciamma.
Toni Erdmann Sandra Hüller shines in
Maren Ade’s bittersweet comedy.
Blade Runner 2049 Denis Villeneuve
doesn’t disappoint with this belated
sci-fi sequel.
Get Out Shades of Ira Levin in Jordan
Peele’s razor-sharp chiller.
In Between Three women in Tel Aviv
find their own space in Maysaloun
Hamoud’s feature debut.
Wolves at the Door A repellently
exploitative entry in the already sordid
“Manson movies” canon.
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
‘Uneasy beauty’:
Mike Hadreas, AKA
Perfume Genius,
right. Photograph
by Katherine
Anne Rose for the
Far right: Ron Gallo,
whose Heavy Meta
was ‘the most fun
album of the year’.
Photograph by
Tim Duggan
Kendrick Lamar Damn
Both an expression of disbelief and a
passing of judgment on America’s
sins, Damn found rapper Lamar at the
top of his game.
St Vincent Masseduction
Art-pop queen Annie Clark went big
budget, with striking results that
burrowed deep in the ear.
Perfume Genius No Shape
Body issues, lasting love and
glorious musicianship lifted Mike
Hadreas’s fourth album into a thing of
uneasy beauty.
LCD Soundsystem American Dream
Coming out of retirement has rarely
sounded so urgent and vital as LCD’s
heroic coda.
Aldous Harding Party
Haunted and haunting, Harding’s
second record spoke of passions
and regrets with a truly arresting
new voice.
Vince Staples Big Fish Theory
The Compton rapper who cannot be
overlooked, Staples’s Big Fish Theory
was packed with bangers and anger.
Lorde Melodrama
Lorde’s long-awaited second album
proved she’s in pop for the long haul.
From Jay-Z to Taylor
Swift, it has been a year of
high political and personal
drama in the worlds of
hip-hop, pop and rock,
writes Kitty Empire
With a couple of weeks to go until the
new year, a number of significant
records still teeter on the edge of an
unannounced drop in 2017. Rihanna,
for one, loves a fourth-quarter release;
and Frank Ocean has hinted
tantalisingly that he did make his
promised five albums before he turned
30 at the end of October – he just
hasn’t released one of them.
But the past 11 and a bit months have
already seen more than enough
melodrama: heartache and soap
operatics, lawsuits and moral victories,
and everywhere a political climate that
was impossible to outrun. There were
albums that engaged explicitly, from
Hurray for the Riff Raff ’s The
Navigator to Joey Bada$$’s AllAmerikkkan Bada$$.
There were albums that tried butt
failed to communicate their ideas
about how we live now: Arcade Fire’s
overegged Everything Now found the
Montreal band reportedly playing to
half-empty arenas. Most disappointing
of all, there were the albums that
back-pedalled hard. Miley Cyrus went
from the insouciant metropolitan R&B
of Bangerz to the calculated countryy
pop of Younger Now, handing back her
metaphorical ghetto pass and showing,
perhaps, her true colours.
Few albums fell out of a clear bluee
sky as they did in 2016. Swedish
electronic hero Karin Dreijer
landed an arresting comeback as
Fever Ray, but the most important
records of the year – Kendrick
Lamar’s Damn, Taylor’s Swift’s
Reputation, for two – all had long
strategic build-ups. Damn was yet
another masterpiece from this
generation’s foremost rapper,
combining jaw-dropping personal
stories with tirades against Fox News
and pugnacious mainstream sounds.
Swift’s ear-popping Reputation was
another absolutely essential listen, as
pop’s reigning potentate took on all
comers – KimYe, various exes and (in
the courts) a radio DJ who groped her,
in a huge victory against institutional
sexism in the music industry that
dovetailed with the changes sweeping
the entertainment world following the
Harvey Weinstein revelations.
Conspicuously missing from Swift’s
infamous blacklist, though, were the
vocal US neo-Nazis who in 2016
declared Swift “an Aryan goddess”.
Behind the scenes, the producer
pantheon welcomed as a major player
bespectacled Jack Antonoff, who had
a hand not only in Reputation, but in
St Vincent’s Masseduction, his own
album as Bleachers and Lorde’s
Melodrama, in which the
extraordinary New Zealand singer
finally made good on her early promise.
Another major melodrama came to
a thrilling close. When three artists
– Jay-Z, Beyoncé and her sister
Solange Knowles – fatefully entered a
lift one night in 2014, no one could have
foreseen they would go on to produce
three outstanding albums: Beyoncé’s
Lemonade, Solange’s A Seat at the Table
and, this year, Jay Z’s 4:44. On it, the
veteran rapper achieved a level of
wise contrition previously
unimaginable for hip-hop in
one of the finest of his
latter-day works, and outed
his mother in the process.
REVIEW || 10.12.17
10.12.17 || The
The Observer
‘A political
climate that was
impossible to
outrun’: stars of
2017 St Vincent,
above; below,
Kendrick Lamar.
Photographs by
Nedda Afsari; Kevin
Father John Misty Pure Comedy
Josh Tillman’s audacious takedown
of the human condition had
everything: bitterness, hope,
bewilderment and gravitas.
Moses Sumney Aromanticism
The lack of love is a common trope, but
Sumney’s beautiful debut provided a
fresh take on an age-old situation.
Ron Gallo Heavy Meta
The most fun album of the year, this
blazing garage rock recalled the early
White Stripes for snide wisdom and
coruscating guitar.
Miley Cyrus Younger Now
Nice tunes, but a timid pivot away
from R&B.
There’s a new power couple in town,
though. Hip-hop’s latest female force,
Cardi B, arrived in no little style with
her breako
breakout single Bodak Yellow,
and got eng
engaged to rapper Offset,
one third o
of Atlantan trio Migos, whose
breaking Culture album was
released ba
back in January.
Albums aabout love took in all shapes
and predile
predilections, however – including
No Sh
Shape, an orchestral pop tour
de fforce from Perfume Genius,
and Aromanticism, the debut by
the compelling Moses Sumney,
who examined singledom from
an u
unhackneyed perspective.
As big stars dim, new ones
arrive. We saluted artists such as
Tom P
Petty, Chuck Berry and
Sharon Jones for the last time, with
a specia
special 21 guns for AC/DC’s
Malcolm Young. But compelling
debut albums
just kept coming.
Sampha’s lovely Process deservedly
won the Mercury prize. On the
other sid
other side of the Atlantic, Khalid’s
American Teen scored five
Grammy n
Grammy nominations for good
reason. He
Here was a pop R&B record
that cast te
teens – black, white and any
other hue – as just teens, juggling the
travails of ttext relationships, of living
with your p
parents, of being Young,
Dumb & Br
Forget that Leonardo…
there were riches galore
from Russia and the US,
and unforgettable faces,
says Laura Cumming
The highest price for the ugliest
painting: that was the supposed
Leonardo sold to a Saudi prince for
$450m last month. Does anyone really
want to look at this monstrous Jesus,
a heavily restored hippy scarcely
anybody believes in? This was a historic
low point, in which art sank from mere
investment to political pawn in the
culture wars between Saudi Arabia and
the United Arab Emirates, where this
surprisingly un-Islamic purchase is to
go “on loan” to the Louvre Abu Dhabi,
all parties presumably insured against
the future discovery that the picture
really isn’t any better than it looks.
A shameful year for the art trade,
then, but a golden year for art. 2017
gave us Russia and America as never
before. A tremendous succession of
masterpieces flew in from the US,
including Grant Wood’s deathless
American Gothic – the long-faced couple
standing sentry before their wooden
house, pitchfork in hand – in Britain
for the first time at the Royal Academy,
along with Charles Sheeler’s eerie Ford
plant in winter and Edward Hopper’s
hauntingly mysterious New York Movie.
The Royal Academy also brought us
Jasper Johns’s famous flag paintings,
their mood running from funereal to
TOP 10
Cézanne Portraits
National Portrait Gallery
Fifty gripping masterpieces in
the first Cézanne portrait show
in a century.
Revolution: Russian Art 1917-32
Royal Academy
Powerful survey, from avant garde
high points to socialist-realist
Hokusai British Museum
From The Great Wave to the late
watercolours with their full
Rembrandtian depth.
America After the Fall: Painting
in the 1930s Royal Academy
Hopper, O’Keeffe, Guston, Pollock and
– rarest of all – Grant Wood’s iconic
American Gothic.
Giacometti Tate Modern
Pinheads, striding giants and
thin men.
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of
Black Power Tate Modern
Civil rights meets aesthetics in
20 years of black art.
Portraying a Nation: Germany
1919-33 Tate Liverpool
August Sander – photography’s
Emile Zola – paired with the
excoriating satirist Otto Dix.
Seurat to Riley Compton Verney,
The art, and philosophy, of perception
in a small but perfect survey.
Martin Puryear Parasol Unit
Singular sculptures in everyday
materials, united by humour and
Wayne Thiebaud White Cube
Cakes and landscapes by this radiant
California painter.
Impressionists in London Tate Britain
Ratio of impressionists to irrelevant
others roughly 1:10.
magnificent, while the Barbican’s first
British Jean-Michel Basquiat survey
showed the art to be as vivid and
volatile as the dead art star himself. The
American Dream was questioned by
artists from Rauschenberg to Ruscha in
mordant prints at the British Museum,
and by a generation of black artists in
Tate Modern’s rousing Soul of a Nation.
The films of LA artist Arthur Jafa were
a revelation at the Serpentine Gallery
and particularly at the Store Studios,
where his collage of found footage,
from civil rights marches to slam dunks,
set to a Kanye West anthem, built into
an operatic aria for black America.
Several shows marked the Russian
Revolution, but none so dramatically
as the Royal Academy’s Revolution:
Russian Art 1917-32, where one saw
avant garde masterpieces in the opening
galleries and learned their makers’
fate – suicide, murder,
disappearance – at the end.
Tate Modern’s terrific Red
Star Over Russia, showing
how art influenced politics,
and vice versa, is still on. It
includes some of the very
few images of Trotsky that
weren’t Stalinised.
Tristram Hunt quit
politics to take over the
V&A, escaping Corbyn for
culture. Maria Balshaw
succeeded Nicholas Serota
at the world’s largest art
empire. Tates Liverpool
and Modern had great art
aplenty, if not always well
curated. But Tate Britain
(Hockney’s sell-out show
Back cover of the
Black Panther
August 1971,
above, by Emory
Douglas, part of
Soul of a Nation
at Tate Modern.
Below: Grant
Wood’s American
Gothic, 1930,
seen in Britain for
the first time at the
Royal Academy.
Courtesy of Emory
Resource, NY;
Art Institute of
Chicago, friends of
American Art
an exception) remains unmoored,
with some truly blind curating: the
timid and chaotic Queer British Art
and Impressionists in London, which
lacked almost everything, including
the necessary impressionists.
The Turner prize came of age, lifting
the bar on artists over 50, and instantly
renewed itself (indeed the dynamic
Lubaina Himid, 63, is its oldest winner).
John Berger died at 90, still working,
and Howard Hodgkin at 84, just before
his acclaimed National Portrait Gallery
retrospective. Stars on the rise included
Artangel’s Andy Holden, with a
brilliant show about bird’s eggs (and his
father), and Emma Hart, whose darkly
humorous ceramics won the Max Mara
prize. Galleries exchanged art for our
benefit: Caravaggio went from London
to Edinburgh; Glasgow sent Degas to
London; Sidney Nolan, Claude Cahun
and Matisse are still touring Britain.
But above all, 2017 was a year of
faces I can’t forget. Käthe Kollwicz’s
profound self-portraits, head in hand,
in charcoal and chalk, at the Ikon
Gallery, Birmingham. Hokusai’s late
self-portrait, face creased with mirth.
Wolfgang Tillmans’s shot
of Neil MacGregor as an
ascetic saint (Tate Modern),
and Barkley L Hendricks’s
smooth self-portrait
as a black superman in
aviator shades (Soul of a
Nation). Practically all of
Chaïm Soutine’s awkward
and mutinous bellhops
and pastry chefs at the
Courtauld. Most of all,
Cézanne’s great self-portrait
in bowler hat and overcoat,
looking quickly back over
his shoulder, as if suddenly
aware of us but still on his
way to somewhere else,
in this case the luminous,
claggy mass of his paint.
Ballet felt a little flatfooted
as contemporary dance
caught the shapeshifting
spirit of our times, says
Luke Jennings
In 2017, the best dance asked the
hardest questions. Who are we, and
what kind of world do we want to
live in? Issues of loss, displacement
and fractured identity were central to
Boy Blue Entertainment’s powerful
hip-hop work Blak Whyte Gray, which
launched in January, and these themes
were echoed by dance makers in
the months that followed. Shobana
Jeyasingh’s scintillating Material
Men Redux examined the ancestral
journeys of a breakdancer and a
bharatnatyam performer, and Crystal
Pite’s Flight Pattern (for the Royal) laid
bare the suffering of refugees through
choreography that engaged the eye, the
heart and the mind in equal measure.
In these post-truth days, conspiracy
theories abound. Choreographer
Rosie Kay and film-maker Adam
Curtis spotlit some of these in their
hallucinatory MK Ultra, a danced
decryption of the fantastical threads
running through popular culture.
Director David Rosenberg and
choreographer Frauke Requardt
nailed the mordant mood in DeadClub,
a surreal meditation on death and
identity, whose illusions – wires,
disguises, trapdoors – are all in plain
view. Both pieces attempt the near
impossible: to give form to the shapeshifting forces acting on our lives today.
Ballet companies rarely attempt
this, preferring to stake out the
safe terrain of the past, and to
outsource the present, with its more
challenging and elusive texture, to
contemporary choreographers such
as Pite and Wayne McGregor. This is
unlikely to be a long-term solution.
The year has seen the premieres
of several fine neoclassical works,
with Kenneth Tindall’s Casanova
(Northern Ballet) and Liam Scarlett’s
Symphonic Dances (Royal Ballet)
perhaps the most distinguished. But
if British ballet is to win the younger
and more diverse audiences flocking to
contemporary work, it needs to use the
language of classical dance to address
our own times.
The visionary choreographer
Kenneth MacMillan died 25 years ago,
and this autumn, in celebration of his
career, his works were performed by
all the UK’s major ballet companies.
MacMillan made ballet dangerous and
exciting. That needs to happen again.
TOP 10
Flight Pattern Crystal Pite for the
Royal Ballet Sombre, beautiful,
Blak Whyte Gray by Boy Blue
Entertainment Political dance with
heart, soul and muscle.
Leah Marojevic in This Bright Field
by Theo Clinkard. Shockingly joyful.
Marianela Nuñez in Sylvia for the
Royal Ballet Cool, witty and assured.
A world-class ballerina at the
pinnacle of her game.
Folk Caroline Finn for National Dance
Company Wales Rich and strange
dance theatre, with an enthrallingly
sinister edge.
Material Men Redux Shobana
Jeyasingh Psychic journeys,
embodied memories. Wholly
Rocío Molina Fallen from Heaven
Red blood, white ruffles. A dazzling
provocation from the fem-punk
flamenco bailaora.
Autobiography Company Wayne
McGregor Dense, cryptic and
demanding, but repays in full.
Watch With Mother from Matthew
Bourne’s Early Adventures Dark
undercurrents in the school gym.
Precious Adams in Elite
Syncopations (from Kenneth
MacMillan: A National Celebration)
A show-stopping turn from one of
English National Ballet’s
ascending stars.
The Judas Tree Royal Ballet
Kenneth MacMillan was a genius,
but this confused and misogynistic
fable should be laid to rest.
‘Dazzling provocation’: Rocío Molina in Fallen from Heaven at the Barbican. Top: Vadim Muntagirov with
Marianela Nuñez in the Royal Ballet’s Sylvia. Photographs by Tristram Kenton
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Homecoming king:
Simon Rattle, left,
with the LSO
at the Barbican
in September.
Above: Scottish
Opera’s brilliant
Photographs by
Tolga Akmen/AFP/
Getty Images;
James Glossop
Fiona Maddocks on opera
for babies, late-night
Bach, Debussy to die for,
plus women – and men
– making waves
Whichever way you shake 2017, it was
the year of Rattle. Simon Rattle.
Appointed music director of the
London Symphony Orchestra two
years ago, galloping in ever louder and
quicker like a Rossini crescendo, he
finally arrived. The first official
concerts began in September. This Is
Rattle, blasted the series title. It looked
like hype but was spot on. Who else
would launch their tenure with an
uncompromising programme of 20thand 21st-century music?
Rattle’s advent gave a new boost to
plans for a London concert hall, which
advanced rapidly with the
appointment of an innovative firm of
New York architects and the launch
of the City’s “culture mile” project
around the Barbican, where the
hall will be. Not everyone is convinced,
but the success of the admired
Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and the
Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, both new
this year, have set examples.
Life for female musicians made
more strides towards normality, if not
yet equality. St Paul’s Cathedral
appointed its first full-time female
chorister – south Londoner Carris
Jones – and the Vatican’s Sistine
Chapel choir broke a 500-year gender
taboo when mezzo-soprano Cecilia
Bartoli sang solo with the 50-strong
choir of men and boys. Sofi Jeannin
became the first female director of the
BBC Singers. Composer Roxanna
Panufnik and librettist Jessica Duchen
made a mark with their Silver Birch
opera for Garsington. With
inexhaustible determination, slashing
through red tape, Wasfi Kani “built” a
new opera house for Grange Park
Opera at West Horsley Place, Surrey,
in less than a year. Two women won
Cardiff Singer of the World 2017:
mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison
and, in the audience prize, soprano
Louise Alder.
But there were end-of-year troubles.
Mariss Jansons, a much-loved but
old-school maestro, admitted that
women on the podium – now at last
breaking through to take senior jobs –
were not his “cup of tea”. After the
clamour, he issued an apology. The
Metropolitan Opera, New York,
suspended its long-term music director
James Levine pending an inquiry on
sexual misconduct allegations. Andris
Nelsons raised hackles by claiming
there were no sexual harassment
problems in classical music. Perhaps
not for heterosexual men on the
podium. A survey by the Incorporated
Society of Musicians found that 60%
of respondents had experienced
sexual harassment.
The Brexit effect hit hard. The
Oxford-based European Union
Baroque Orchestra announced it
would move to Antwerp, while the
London-based European Union Youth
Orchestra will relocate to Italy.
Anti-Brexit protesters got into trouble
for waving EU flags at the BBC Proms.
Daniel Barenboim, at a Prom with his
Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra, gave an
impromptu speech calling for
European unity (not mentioning
Brexit) and warned Britain against
“isolationist tendencies”.
The nation’s opera houses settled in
with new conductors: Czech-born
Tomáš Hanus triumphed with a
Russian season at Welsh National
Opera. Stuart Stratford’s successes at
Scottish Opera included a mesmerising
Pelléas et Mélisande (in David McVicar’s
new production). Opera North was less
lucky; the promising Aleksandar
Marković left without explanation
almost as soon as he arrived. Martyn
Brabbins made his music directorial
debut at ENO with an expertly directed
and performed Marnie. Nico Muhly’s
new work, together with Ryan
Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale
(ENO), Brett Dean’s Hamlet
(Glyndebourne) and Thomas Adès’s
The Exterminating Angel (ROH), all
had fans and detractors. In December,
Glyndebourne announced the
immediate departure of the admired
Sebastian F Schwarz after two years as
general director (more Brexit fallout?).
Conductors Jeffrey Tate, 74, and
Jiří Bělohlávek, 71, were mourned.
Peter Hall’s contribution to opera
should be remembered. The untimely
death last month of the Russian
baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, 55 –
silver-haired, handsome, above all
a wonderful singer/actor – caused
widespread sorrow.
And the unsung: Deborah Lamprell,
45, worked front of house at Opera
Holland Park. She died in the Grenfell
Tower fire on 14 June. An all-star
performance of Verdi’s Requiem
was given in her memory. She’d have
been astonished.
Maggie’s cancer centre, Oldham
Its architects won the Stirling prize
with Hastings Pier, and will be
contenders again with this playful,
serious and beautiful building.
Tate St Ives Jamie Fobert
A great, reposeful gallery carved out
of a cliff, in a place where the local
politics were as challenging as
the engineering.
Exhibition Road Quarter, Victoria and
Albert Museum Amanda Levete
Architects Another great gallery
space, also buried, reached from a
(literally) dazzling ceramic-paved
courtyard. Bring your sunglasses.
Garden Museum, London Dow Jones
Subtle conversion of a church and
churchyard into an urban homage
to things planted.
The Japanese House: Architecture
and Life After 1945 Barbican art
gallery, London An exhibition of
architectural invention at its
most fertile.
Canaletto, City Road, London
UNStudio In theory, bold
architectural patronage. In practice,
a car crash. Gestural design meets
developers’ expedients and
both lose.
Postmodernism returned
in style, Liverpool’s Welsh
Streets were saved, but
Grenfell Tower defined the
year, writes Rowan Moore
If you’re talking about architecture, or
housing, or construction, in 2017 it’s
hard to look past the charred stump of
Grenfell Tower. This image will
remain in the collective mind, as it
should, long after the year’s novelties
have faded. The best that can be hoped
for from the disaster is that it will alert
public and politicians to the parlous
state of housing in Britain – and all
parties are now at least talking about
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
large-scale public housing
programmes, which not so long ago
was politically unthinkable. It might
also be noticed that a decades-long
tendency to reduce risk, by spreading
it among building contractors, project
managers and an expanding panoply
of consultants – and by marginalising
architects – did not, in this case,
reduce risk.
In other news we found out once
again that vast wealth can produce
splendiferous buildings, whether the
digital billions that paid for Foster and
Partners’ visible-from-space Apple
Park in Cupertino, or the petrodollars
(and offsets from arms sale) that
created the Louvre Abu Dhabi. In both
cases the architects opted for a gigantic
circle, cosmic emblem, symbol of
eternity, as their dominant motif. In
Amanda Levete’s new Sackler Courtyard, above, at the V&A. Above left: dRMM’s ‘playful,
serious and beautiful’ Maggie’s cancer centre in Oldham. Jasmin Sohi; © Hufton+Crow
London, Bloomberg ’s billion-pound
new HQ opened, also by Fosters,
civic-minded and imperial at once.
This was also the year when
postmodernism, for long derided as
the gimcrack style of shyster capitalists
of the 1980s, was well and truly
rehabilitated. (In this it followed on
the heels of brutalism, which was long
derided as the inhuman style of
arrogant socialists of the 1960s.)
Historic England started listing
postmodern works. Books were
published. Playful reincarnations of
the style – post-postmodernism,
perhaps – appeared at the Chicago
Architecture Biennial. In truth, the late
lamented architectural practice FAT
was doing much of this before the turn
of the millennium, but it takes time for
the rest of the world to catch up with
true visionaries.
Lastly, two victories for good sense.
In London the Garden Bridge sank
TOP 10
Pelléas et Mélisande/BambinO
Scottish Opera, Glasgow Hauntingly
staged, beautifully performed. Equal
praise for the touring BambinO for
babies (seen in Rochdale).
Hamlet Glyndebourne Brett Dean’s
new opera, strong in the festival, took
flight on tour.
Clockwise from
right: Sheridan
Smith in the
powerful Shannon
Matthews drama
The Moorside;
Sarah Gadon,
sublime in Alias
Grace; and
Peter Capaldi and
Pearl Mackie,
a dream team
in Doctor Who.
BBC; Netflix
Little Shorts Opera North Brilliant
programming of short, often unfamiliar
operas (Osud, Trouble in Tahiti etc).
Peter Grimes Bergen Opera at Usher
Hall, Edinburgh Storm-tossed
performance conducted by Edward
Gardner, with tenor Stuart Skelton
and a chorus to drown for.
This Is Rattle LSO at the Barbican
Surpassed the hype with bold,
exciting music-making.
CBSO/Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and
Sheku Kanneh-Mason Birmingham
Orchestra, conductor, soloist: a
magical partnership.
Semiramide Royal Opera House
Grand opera in grand style, with the
grandest of divas, Joyce DiDonato.
The Day After Lilian Baylis House
ENO chorus dazzled in world premiere
choral version of Jonathan Dove’s
Phaeton-inspired opera.
Alias Grace (Netflix) Had I the space
I would have chosen two Margaret
Atwood adaptations, but I’ve picked
the one that scared me less – The
Handmaid’s Tale (C4) was too
modern/sobering. Rather than
showing what could happen to
women, Grace, as evinced sublimely
by Sarah Gadon, showed what did.
The Dream of Gerontius Hallé/Mark
Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Elgar’s choral work sounding its
shattering best.
Peaky Blinders (BBC Two)
Back in Small Heath, back on form,
garrisoned in a blood-feud against
the Sicilian mafia, and… simply wow.
András Schiff Late-night Prom
Two hands, a piano, a packed Albert
Hall and Bach.
Broken (BBC One) Somehow both
Kafkaesque and Capraesque, and
an achievement of which Jimmy
McGovern and Sean Bean must be
vaultingly proud.
Patience English Touring Opera,
Hackney Empire Loved by many, but
a nudge and a wink too far, even for
Gilbert and Sullivan.
The Moorside (BBC One) There was
no shortage of appalling real-life
tales, but the hoaxed kidnapping of
Shannon Matthews and its fallout still
lingers powerfully. Expect awards for
Sheridan Smith and Gemma Whelan.
The battle between
terrestrial and online
made for a bumper year,
writes Euan Ferguson
Sou Fujimoto’s
House NA, 2011,
above, as featured
in The Japanese
House exhibition
at the Barbican.
Photograph by
Iwan Baan
under the weight of its own
contradictions and deceptions. In
Liverpool the Welsh Streets – well
liked, serviceable, refurbishable
Victorian terraces – were spared
from demolition after years of
campaigning by committed local
residents and by Save Britain’s
Heritage. As with Grenfell, it might be
hoped that lessons will be learned
from these experiences, but don’t hold
your breath.
It was a year in which Netflix strode
out, re-emboldened, on its quest
for global if not interplanetary
domination, abetted by doughty
lieutenants Amazon and Sky, and yet
something odd and oddly likable may
be happening. The terrestrials are
fighting back.
I wonder if there’s a peak
penetration level to those inclined to
binge-watch, and whether we might
just have hit it. Here on old Bakelite
analogue, many people were still
just sitting down at the same time
each week, watching the telly… Blue
Planet II (BBC One), the triumphantly
reworked Great British Bake Off (C4),
Thandie Newton’s standout Line of
Duty (BBC One), the farewell (and
back on form) Broadchurch (ITV1).
I also grew, despite myself, to like
once more some reality TV… Mutiny
(C4), the wonderful Second Chance
Summer (BBC2), an intriguing, timely
Wife Swap: Brexit Speciall (C4), even
2), which had the
Love Island (ITV2)
on briefly agog.
midsummer nation
alter Presents
Channel 4’s Walter
ards of brilliance;
strand gave us shards
BBC4 battered handsomely
on with some outstanding
music documentaries
and, of course, Thee
Vietnam War.
And we were,
as always, utterly
spoilt for good
comedy. Motherland
(BBC Two), Peter Kay’s
Car Share (BBC One),
Below: Toby
Jones, left, and
Mackenzie Crook
in Detectorists,
‘an utterly British
tonic for our times’.
Photograph by
Chris Harris/BBC
The Other One (BBC Two – a lone pilot
but surely deserving, à la Motherland,
its commission next year), The
Windsors (C4), Man Down (C4), Back
(C4)… even the mixed reception to
W1A (BBC Two) can never diminish it
in my eyes.
With deep pockets comes the luxury
to get it wrong, and too often Sky and
the streamers indulged that luxury –
with Girlboss (Netflix), with American
Gods (Amazon) – but no one could
have foreseen the Harvey Winestain
fallout, with both House of Cards
(Netflix) and Transparent (Amazon)
losing their leads. And much was got
hugely right: Star Trek: Discovery, and
Godless, and season two of The Crown,
already looking good (all Netflix); even
Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic), despite
a so-so year, redeemed itself at the last.
So: wholly honourable mentions
to Gunpowder (BBC One) – Kit
Harington’s head even looked good
on a stick – and Big Little Lies (Sky
Atlantic), the Roots remake (History
Channel), Howards End (BBC One),
Taboo (BBC One) and the too-brief
(Cormoran) Strike series (BBC One).
The chemistry between Tom Burke
and Holliday Grainger just works,
in precisely the way Ben Chaplin
and Emily Wats
Watson in Apple Tree Yard
(BBC One) didn
Disappointments – not turkeys, at
all: just, given tthe hinterland of the
creators, one m
might have expected
more – includ
included Rellik (BBC
One), fr
from Harry and Jack
Williams (The Missing), Jane
Campion’s heavy-handed,
man-hating Top of the
Lake: China Girl (BBC
Two), and Mindhunter
(Netflix) began
with brilliance… then
nothing happened, over
and over again, much like
last year’s Westworld. )
Detectorists (BBC Four) I’m not sure
Mackenzie Crook’s series should
count as drama rather than comedy,
but into drama I will stick it, just
because I love it, and because I can.
Gentle, beguiling, and an utterly
British tonic for our times.
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of
Unfortunate Events (Netflix)
A splendiferous, subversive children’s
tale for grownups, and to my mind
wickedly and sophisticatedly
superior to Stranger Things 2.
Doctor Who (BBC One) Sadly, Peter
Capaldi’s last year, and mystifying as
to why they’re losing Pearl Mackie:
together they served up one of the
best years in many.
Endeavour (ITV) This year’s plots
went Hollywood-loopy, but the small
and perfectly formed unfolding
character arcs of Morse, Fred
(and Joan) Thursday and Reginald
Bright remain its bedrock: a jewel
in ITV’s crown.
Dr Foster (BBC One) Mike Bartlett’s
King Charles III (BBC Two) garnered
mixed reviews, but there was no
doubting the playwright’s finest
creation, Suranne Jones’s
increasingly deranged Gemma.
Big Little Lies (Sky Atlantic) Upper
middle class America never looked so
tasteful. The pass-ag feuds. The icy
smiles. And Reese Witherspoon and
Nicole Kidman as school-run moms.
Netflix’s Girlboss. An appallingly
confused take on “empowerment”
that should have set the cause of
feminism back about 40 years, had
anyone been watching.
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Cambridge Theatre 02070877745
HER MAJESTY’S 020 7087 7762
Mon-Sat 7.30, Thu & Sat 2.30
QUEEN’S 0844 482 5160
The Musical Phenomenon
Eves 7.30, Mats Wed & Sun 2.30
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66th year of Agatha Christie’s
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will cost up to
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plus your phone
company’s access charge
27 CDs & 6 DVDs
To see what the set contains
Phone 01954 268088
What Remains of Edith Finch
A young woman returns to the
derelict island home of her youth
where she inhabits vivid flashbacks
that describe the various eccentric
fates of her family. This tale could
only be possible in the video-game
medium, and shows how careful
design can produce stories as
affecting as any in the higher arts.
Left: What Remains
of Edith Finch:
‘stories as affecting
as any in the higher
arts’. Annapurna
Above: The Legend
of Zelda: Breath of
the Wild, ‘a sweet
wind of change’
on the Nintendo
Switch console.
Below: the
unbeatable Super
Mario Odyssey.
An interactive exploration
of life on Earth and
Nintendo’s resurgence
were among the highlights
of Simon Parkin’s year
As social media shrinks and quickens
the world, and the threats we face
seem to grow ever taller and closer,
the relevance of entertainment (and,
whisper it, art) appears to diminish.
Surely the king’s ransom it takes to
fund a blockbuster film would be
more usefully and perhaps profitably
applied to combating climate change,
TOP 10
S Town podcast
Brian Reed’s sensitive inquiry into an
alleged small-town murder was the
audio event of the year.
Steve Hewlett’s Cancer Diaries
for PM Radio 4
Immensely moving, the Media Show
presenter took us from his diagnosis
to his death. Beautiful and necessary.
or Boris Johnson’s gaffes? What is a
commissioned oil portrait if not the
most extravagant of all selfies, taken
in a world to whose indignities and
injustices no one can claim to be
blind? In this context, video games can
seem like the hollowest endeavours
of all. They cost ever larger sums to
build, require ever greater numbers of
talented minds to make, and distract
ever more humans from the practical
issues of reality.
And yet in video games we often
perceive some of the mathematical
building blocks of existence, often
follow the logical chains of cause
and effect that follow our actions
and reactions, and occasionally catch
ghostly, flitting shadows of how life
works and maybe even what it means.
David O’Reilly’s Everything, released
earlier this year, encourages empathy
with other living creatures in the
simplest way imaginable: offering
you the chance to embody a moose,
a rabbit, a cockroach, a raspberry,
a pebble, a tuba, a star, through the
ossession. You emerge,
spectral act of possession.
ing a little closer,
hours later, feeling
w man, but also
not only to fellow
to fellow matter.
At the other end of the
scale, Playerunknown’s
Battlegrounds (abbreviated
to the preposterous,
le PUBG)
ty and
shows the cruelty
duplicitousness of our
species, by dropping
o an
100 people on to
nd and
abandoned island
ht it
letting them fight
out using whatever
weapons they find
there, until onlyy
one person remains. Yes indeed: video
games reflect humanity’s appetite for
competition as much as cooperation.
What a year, meanwhile,
for Nintendo, a company that
belligerently plots the opposite
course to its competitors, to outcomes
that can be as damaging
as they are
profitable. This year
This ye the gamble
paid off, bookended
by two of
the finest wor
works of escapism
yet devised: T
The Legend
of Zelda: Breath of the
Wild aand Super Mario
Odyssey. Neither
game says much
about the current
world (although,
extraordinarily, the
latter briefly hops
to New York City)
but each deliciously
provides a re
refuge from which
even the mo
most beleaguered
soul will sur
soul will surely emerge newly
ready to fig
Right: the ‘excellent’
prison podcast
Ear Hustle. Below:
the late Steve
Hewlett, whose
interviews with
the ‘exemplary’
Eddie Mair were
a highlight of the
audio year. Below
right: 5 live’s
Emma Barnett.
Photograph by
Richard Saker for
the Observer
The Tip Off podcast
Fascinating insights into the realities
of investigative journalism.
The Butterfly Effect podcast
Jon Ronson follows the money in
internet porn to a more human story.
Ear Hustle podcast
What it’s like to live in prison.
Between the Ears: The Enemy
Within Radio 3
Delicate documentary looking into
the marriages of soldiers with PTSD.
Hilary Mantel, Reith Lectures Radio 4
Mantel’s lectures were as witchy and
brilliant as you would expect.
Remainiacs podcast
Clever people getting upset about
Brexit; more fun than it sounds.
Key 103 Manchester Arena attack
Compassion and truth by on-thespot local journalists.
Ed Miliband Radio 2
Segued brilliantly from flushing toilets
to the universal basic income.
The BBC gender pay gap revelations
About time this turkey was exposed.
Podcasts moved the dial,
from prison to politics,
while Ed Miliband and
Steve Hewlett shone,
says Miranda Sawyer
This year felt different. For the first
time, I found myself reviewing more
podcasts than radio programmes.
S Town grabbed multiple headlines
for its sophisticated take on the
popular real-life whodunnit genre.
Remainiacs in the UK and Pod Save
America in the US, both firmly
partisan in political outlook, proved
more agile at explaining our everchanging governmental hoopla than
the carefully unbiased BBC. Audible
brought out some ambitious new
podcasts; Spotify tried a couple of
homegrown efforts. Radiotopia, the
home of so many wonderful podcasts,
went on a proper fundraising drive.
Gimlet, another podcasting innovator,
brought out several
veral newbies, including
ar Hustle.
the excellent Ear
And for the first
first time, big
ames moved into
broadcasting names
h something more
podcasting with
than a rehash off an established
me. Colin
radio programme.
Murray made At Home With…,
Shaun Keavenyy gave us Show
fy), James
& Tell (on Spotify)
ed Unfiltered
O’Brien launched
with Actor Craig
ght out the
Parkinson brought
wo Shot.
first series of Two
ning to catch
They were running
up with Edith Bowman,
whose Soundtracking
ll over
podcast has well
60 shows underr its
belt. Geoff Lloyd
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild arrived as a sweet
wind of change. It refines many of the
prevailing fashions in contemporary
game design with Nintendo’s wit and
flair and, along with the Switch
hardware for which it was designed, is
the crowning achievement in the
company’s spectacular year.
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
With today’s concerns over home
ownership and climate change, it
seems fitting that the 2017’s most
popular video game should feature
people scrambling for resources and
territory on an island threatened by a
deadly approaching tide.
A game in which you can inhabit
every animal, vegetable and mineral
in the known universe. You start out
as a moose, switching to a monkey
or an apple or a frog, and eventually
a planet or a sun, exploring the world
at a speed and perspective
appropriate to your size. As you
dreamily play, you listen to snippets
of a lecture on the nature of
existence. The weirdness is
intoxicating and, at times, moving.
NieR: Automata
This hyperactive action title from the
idiosyncratic Yoko Taro examines a
time when humanity has been driven
from Earth by the robots we have
designed. Taro’s fearless, fourth-wall
breaking design plays with the theme
in fascinating and varied ways.
Life of the Black Tiger
Such is the variety of game-making
tools and distribution methods that
even the most amateurish video
games can appear on a global stage.
So it is with Life of the Black Tiger,
a game of such comprehensive
deficiency that its shortcomings
seem almost charming.
gave us two new podcasts: Adrift
featured himself and his long-term
broadcasting partner, Annabel Port;
the other, Reasons to Be Cheerful, he
co-hosts with Ed Miliband.
Miliband, whose first, very highprofile hosting slot was as a stand-in
for Jeremy Vine on Radio 2, proved
an excellent audio presenter. Other
standout hosts this year included
Emma Barnett, whose hard work and
enthusiasm has resulted in her 5 live
show moving from three days to four
in the new year; 6 Music’s Lauren
Laverne and talkRadio’s Iain Lee, both
rightly rewarded with awards, at the
APAs and the Arias respectively; and
Radio 4’s PM, with the exemplary
Eddie Mair. Mair, as well as ruthlessly
skewering Boris Johnson
, provided
audi events of the year
another of the audio
with his sensitive
interviews with
the dying Steve
What el
else? Radio 4’s Today
is wafting and wavering with
San in charge, its
Sarah Sands
dull consistency
replaced by
uncertai arts coverage and
far too many
posh people.
FM took over
Brixto for a weekend
g Jon Snow to
and got
revi Stormzy’s
Gan Signs and Prayer.
And the Prison Radio
won indie
th year at the Audio
of the
Yo can feel it. Audio
is changing.
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Adam Kay’s book about his often comic,
sometimes tragic, and almost always
gruelling years as a junior doctor has fired
up the indignation of a public that fears
for the future of the NHS. Even the health
secretary has heard about it…
he morning I was due to
interview Adam Kay I awoke
with heavy flu symptoms and
a painfully frozen neck and
shoulder. I was in perspiring
agony and, even before I got
out of bed, utterly exhausted.
But I thought: what would a junior
doctor do? Of course, if he or she were
suffering from flu, the correct answer
would be: not go anywhere near a
hospital. But that’s not the sense you
get from Kay’s bestselling diary of his
time as a doctor training in obstetrics
and gynaecology – or, as it was referred
to at his medical school, brats and
In This Is Going to Hurt: Secret
Diaries of a Junior Doctor, hospital
doctors, and in particular the
author, are depicted as poorly paid,
undervalued and grossly neglected
professionals who are unfailingly
willing to give up their own time for
free to do battle with the health of
the nation. That is, when they’re not
trading stories about their patients’
bizarre sexual proclivities.
Doctors in Kay’s book don’t have
time to be ill, because everyone else
is sick and they’re busy having to deal
with it. So it was in that dogged spirit
that I eased myself into a vertical
setting, waving away the doubts of my
wife and concerned looks of strangers
in the street, and gingerly made my
way to meet Kay at the Wellcome
Foundation in Euston, London.
Kay is now a 37-year-old comedian
and scriptwriter. He’s got a round,
serious face that breaks occasionally
into shoulder-shaking laughter. Halfcherubic, half devilish, he looks a bit
like a clean and sober John Belushi.
“How are you?” he asks politely
when we meet.
This is a trick question, of course,
the answer to which no doctor, or even
former doctor, ever wants to hear in
detail. Kay grew fed up of friends and
people he met at parties recounting
their ailments for his expert attention.
But as he notes in his book, he prefers
it to people asking him to read
their scripts.
“No one’s sent me their book yet,”
he says. “It’s bad enough finding
time to read books I want to read, let
alone those of friends of my aunt who
decided they’ve an autobiography
in them.”
The medical memoir is not a new
idea. There have been several notable
additions to the genre in recent years,
including the brain surgeon Henry
Marsh’s Do No Harm. But they’ve
tended to focus on the ethical and
the surgical, and as a consequence
have conformed to a scrupulous style
of writing.
That is not Kay’s approach. His
is a much more personal and, not
infrequently, flippant recounting
of his experiences. You’re rarely a
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
paragraph away from a punchline,
and the descriptions err on the side of
comic exaggeration. But it’s also full of
tense situations that sometimes end in
death or disability. It makes for an odd
and rapid-fire oscillation between the
comic and the tragic that has obviously
struck a chord with the reading public.
Was he surprised by the
book’s success?
“Yes,” he says immediately. “I
thought that if it got an audience it
would be because we all use the NHS.
But the majority of people who write
to me say they didn’t realise it was that
bad. The NHS is such a big employer
that everyone knows someone who
works for it. And people are thinking,
‘I know someone who’s in that
position”, rather than ‘Isn’t the human
body marvellous?’”
And if Kay’s account is halfway
accurate, any doctor below the level of
consultant deserves the sympathy that
readers appear to be giving them. The
problem about assessing its accuracy is
that Kay writes a lot for laughs, and his
particular style of humour is to ramp up
events until they seem too anecdotally
perfect to be true.
But he insists the book is “reasonably
accurate”, and that the main sleight
of hand was to bolt the clinical
data of patients to the biographical
details of other patients, and change
everyone’s names.
“I wanted it to be more accurate but
the publisher didn’t want me to go to
prison,” he explains.
Nonetheless there are many
situations that test plausibility. After
he is gazumped in trying to buy a flat
that he and his boyfriend have set their
hearts on, the couple who gazumped
them turn up at his antenatal clinic.
His fantasies of revenge are limited
to revealing the baby’s sex to the
unknowing parents. All true, he says.
On another occasion he deals
with a difficult and racist patient
undergoing surgery by sewing her up
after the operation in such a way as to
disfigure her dolphin tattoo. Did that
really happen?
“I don’t want to talk about that one
because that’s one I wasn’t meant to put
in the book,” he says, adding, “but that
obviously did happen.”
If anything, he says, it’s the stuff
he left out that is really outlandish.
“I’ve got some amazing stories about
celebrities, which couldn’t go in.”
In his first year as a doctor, he writes,
he removed four foreign objects –
including a toilet brush and TV remote
control – from different patients’
rectums. They all suffer from what he
terms Eiffel syndrome – “I fell, doctor!
I fell!” In the book he’s told that the
remote control insertion occurred
while sitting down on the sofa, which
he concedes is a possibility. Cue the
punchline. When the remote control
is removed in theatre, “we notice it has
a condom on it, so maybe it wasn’t a
complete accident”.
I wonder if seeing the absurd lengths
to which people go in an effort to find
pleasure or stimulation affected how he
looked at his fellow humans?
“No, it’s like when you get into your
first serious relationship and you meet
someone’s family and realise everyone’s
family is really weird as well – not
just my one. We’ve all got our hidden
stories. One of the strange privileges
of being a doctor is finding out what
everyone’s up to. Working in sexual
health you stop being surprised about
the things people do.”
he book is based on diaries
he kept while he was a junior
doctor, and he thinks he may
have overrepresented the
comic incidents because he used to
write about them to ease the sense
of pressure he felt. Kay is at his most
vivid as a writer when describing
what that pressure involved. We see
him working 97-hour weeks, falling
asleep in his car, unable to maintain
friendships because he’s never able to
see friends, driving long distances to
work at ever-changing hospitals and
having to pay extortionate parking
fees, and struggling to find decent
accommodation on a paltry salary.
On top of that he’s admonished if he
makes mistakes, but never commended
if he does well. And whereas he has to
cancel holidays, wedding invitations
and much else besides to fit in with
changing rotas, one of his consultants
takes two weeks of compassionate
leave when her dog dies, while other
consultants are almost strangers to
their wards.
Towards the end of the book, Kay is
in charge of an operation that, owing
to an unforeseen complication in the
patient’s pregnancy, goes tragically
wrong. And although he’s only one
rung down from being a consultant, he
realises that he can’t go on and walks
away from the profession.
He says now that he was probably
suffering from undiagnosed post
traumatic stress disorder, and that
little understanding was shown by
the medical authorities. He believes
that in such circumstances, doctors
should immediately be offered a week
off work if they want it. Instead, he
didn’t discuss what had happened
with anyone, even his family, who are
all doctors.
He was in a state of depression for
about a year, not going out, not seeing
anyone, and losing a great deal of
weight. It was only when he began
getting work as a comedy writer that he
got his “life back on track”.
Kay had enjoyed a longstanding
interest in comedy, performing in
medical student revues, and later in
corporate gigs for pharmaceutical
companies. He’d also been on Radio
4 and performed at the Edinburgh
festival, so comedy was the obvious
way to go, though he found it difficult to
turn his back on medicine, and briefly
considered retraining as a GP.
Although he has forged a successful
new career, it would be wrong to say
he never looked back. He still misses
that “non-specific feeling of doing
something good and useful”. And he
maintains a great respect for those who
do the job he once did.
This is why he was so upset about
what he sees as the misrepresentation of
junior doctors in last year’s contractual
dispute with the health secretary,
Jeremy Hunt. At the time the British
Medical Association recommended
the new contracts being offered by the
department for health as “safe” and
“fair”. But junior doctors disagreed and
the BMA then supported strike action.
Kay believes the doctors were
portrayed as money-grabbing and
irresponsible when, he argues,
precisely the opposite is true. So he saw
the book as a chance not only to set the
record straight but “an opportunity to
make a pre-emptive strike … for the
next time around, and there will be a
next time around.”
Indeed, Kay believes the situation
has got much worse since he left
medicine in 2010.
“I spoke to various colleagues and
people when I was putting it together
Adam Kay: ‘I wanted it to be
accurate but my publisher didn’t
want me to go to prison.’
‘The system never
had a lot of slack in it
but is now stretched
to absolute breaking
point. Working
conditions are so bad’
to make sure I was still adequately
representing the plight of a junior
doctor. The system is one that never
had a lot of slack in it but is now
stretched to absolute breaking point.
They’ve got a fraction of the number
of doctors they need to adequately
perform the job. The biggest problem at
the moment is the retention of doctors
and that’s simply because the working
conditions are so bad.”
At the conclusion of the book, Kay
writes an open letter to Jeremy Hunt
in which he suggests he should have to
work shifts alongside junior doctors, so
that their motivation was never again
This message has obviously worked
with readers. At book signings Kay says
he has often been asked to sign an extra
copy that people then send on to Hunt.
Whether or not it was receiving these
books that did it, Hunt asked to see Kay
a few weeks ago.
“It really confused me,” says Kay. “I
don’t understand why he wanted to
meet. All he was going to do was give
me publicity should I want it.”
Presumably he wanted to put his
case across, which, it turns out, is
exactly what happened. “He genuinely
thought he could change my mind,”
Kay says, mystified by the idea. “It was
as if he was explaining to someone who
didn’t know the facts.”
The meeting lasted just over half an
hour and, by Kay’s reckoning, neither
party was much impressed by the other.
“Let’s not forget that this is a man
who got into a fight about statistics with
Stephen Hawking, so the chance that I
was going to change his worldview was
The trouble with the book is that
even if it did persuade Hunt to recruit
more doctors, it would also probably
discourage students from applying.
As Kay admits: “I think if I had kids I
would put them off medicine.”
The book certainly confirms the
popular belief that the NHS has
been financially starved and its staff
is demoralised. There is a more
complex story that could be told about
organisational reform, ever-expanding
medical demands and expectations,
and how much tax we’re prepared
to pay to finance massive investment
in healthcare.
But this is a personal story, and one
that resonates in a time of austerity and
stasis. It’s a tale of hidden self-sacrifice
in an age of naked self-enrichment.
Inspired by such stoicism, I never
do get around to telling Kay about my
various illnesses. Given that he’s now a
comedy writer and he used to specialise
in obstetrics, I think, from my sick bed,
that it was probably the right choice.
This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay is
published by Picador (£16.99). To order a
copy for £14.44 go to guardianbookshop.
com or call 0330 333 6846
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
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
The often phallocentric focus of the sex toy industry has
received a welcome challenge – from hackers with diverse
backgrounds and aims, writes Hayley Campbell
welve years of Catholic
school prepares you for a lot
of weird things, but walking
into a church to find 50
people testing vibrators on
each other’s noses, strapping
each other into inflatable
hug machines and flinging around
bits of deconstructed sex toys under a
huge stained-glass window that reads
CHRIST is not one of them.
I am at Goldsmiths, University of
London, in the church of what used
to be St James Hatcham but was
transformed, some years ago, into an
arts “hub”. Hacksmiths, the studentrun tech society at the university, runs
“hackathons” – invention marathons
– where over the course of three
days, attendees of varying skills and
backgrounds camp out on air beds and
eat pizza while brainstorming and
building machines. For this event, the
theme was sex technology.
While the aim of all these
hackathons is progressive, building
new and better sex toys to your own
specifications is, in itself, nothing
new. George Clooney’s character in
Burn After Reading whipped up a sex
chair for a $100 using stuff he found
in Home Depot (not counting the
dildo: “those things are expensive”).
In 2002, the photographer Timothy
Archibald discovered a small
American web community of
homespun inventors and made them
the subject of his book, Sex Machines,
starring such people as “the laid-off
industry tech exec who transforms
a thrift store pasta-maker into a
high-powered sexual appliance; an
Continued overleaf
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Section:OBS RW PaGe:22 Edition Date:171210 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 8/12/2017 15:51
She showed us a robot with a
highly dubious ‘frigid mode’
¥ Continued from previous page
apocalyptic visionary who builds a
sex machine prototype for female
survivors of a future without men;
and an Idaho cowboy who intends to
use his device as a form of Christian
marriage counselling”. But each of the
machines – all made by men, mainly
heterosexual, on an unselfish mission
– features a realistic-looking rubber
penis attached to the end of some
repurposed domestic appliance, a
mechanical thrusting device of varying
speeds and violence. For all their
ingenuity, these guys stuck pretty close
to the most basic definition of what
(bad) sex is.
Compare that to the sex tech
hackathon and it’s clear the idea here
runs in tandem with identity politics
and social equality. There is no clearer
proof of diversity than a place for sex
toy invention experiments where the
minority is the white heterosexual
man; at the end of the event, only one
of the inventions will be penis-shaped.
The crowd here is as diverse as they
come in terms of race, gender, sexual
orientation, age and hair dye.
In his welcome talk, the organiser,
Kevin Lewis, asks everyone to be
conscious of people’s pronouns when
addressing them (“she, they, he, hit,
zir, ze, hey, ey, peh, fae, etc”) and
there’s a box on our name tags to write
what you’d prefer. Lewis encourages
everyone to think along the lines of
three themes when inventing their
new device: intimacy, accessibility
and personalisation. He wants the
attendees to think of solutions to
problems the mainstream has failed to
recognise are problems at all, toys for
marginalised groups and people who
want to have sex but are physically
unable to, as well as those who just
want toys that do not exist – ones
that pertain to some kink no sex toy
manufacturer has yet covered.
One attendee, Florence Schechter,
a science YouTuber currently raising
funds to open a vagina museum, tells
me that she’s interested in making
a toy for women with vaginismus, a
disorder that causes the vaginal walls
to involuntarily contract, preventing
penetration – or maybe something for
those with vulvodynia, a chronic pain
syndrome where the vulva hurts for no
reason. “As women, we are conditioned
to believe that pain is just what
happens,” she says.
Physical problems needn’t prevent
you from having a sex life; a grant
scheme in the Netherlands gives
money to people with disabilities to
enable them to pay for sexual services.
In the absence of that, we have this
event and if we’re striving for a more
accessible world for all, sex tech is a
massively ignored frontier.
Dr Kate Devlin is a senior lecturer
in the department of computing at
Goldsmiths. In her talk, she stands in
front of a projection of 30,000-yearold stone phalluses and tells us that
she is a former archaeologist who now
researches how society interacts with
technological change and how sex
is an overlooked part of society. Her
speciality, as evidenced by her TEDx
talk and her forthcoming book, is sex
robots. She melds slides of the sex
robots we’ve all seen in the news with
the history of people building lovers
for themselves; one example is Ovid’s
Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love
with a statue he had carved from ivory,
brought to life with a kiss.
She shows us Roxxxy
TrueCompanion with its (highly
dubious) “frigid mode” and contrasts
her with other sex robots with which
you have to commit to a certain period
of foreplay before you are granted
consent. She shows us another robot,
with long blond hair and huge breasts,
and says the weirdest thing about it
is that it speaks with a soft Scottish
accent, the result of niche market
research. Its name is Harmony and it
costs $10,000.
Up close, says Devlin, you come to
regard these robots as sculpted pieces
of art rather than the hypersexualised
hetero ideal they appear to be from
afar. But ultimately, she is not keen on
them – no matter how hard you try,
they will never look human, they will
always look like what they are: robots.
“They will never look right if we try to
make them human,” she says. “We need
to go abstract.”
he hackathon is not just an event
for people who wanted to build
bigger, faster vibrators or make
a blow-up sex doll prettier. The
philosophy and psychology behind
sex technology run deeper than that.
After Devlin’s talk, neuroscientist and
coder Andy Woods explains how the
human brain works. “Everything in
the brain links to everything else in
the brain; the paths are like a lump of
spaghetti,” he says. “Which means, if
you think like a coder, everything is
a pathway that can be hacked. Who
here is a coder?” About 80% of the
crowd raise a hand. Woods says that
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
if you understand the brain, you can
use one sense to bolster another sense
whose signal is lacking. In the same
way that a piano tuner might choose
to work in the dark to heighten their
sense of sound, senses that are weaker
because of physical disability can be
replaced by the strength of another. He
demonstrates how you can augment
reality for the totally blind, using beeps
and whistles to make “a shape” of
sound that translates into a shape in
the mind. “What shape is this sound?
Which of these shapes is bitter and
which is sweet?”
After a full day of talks and
discussion, the attendees divide
themselves into teams and set to work.
There is a station at the front of the
room stacked with wires and hardware,
beside two 3D printers (which were,
when I saw them, printing a bright
pink clitoris that went missing an hour
later. “Has anyone found the clitoris?
This is not a joke.”) There are also some
standard sex toys ready to be broken
up and used as spare parts. I pick up a
Sqweel, a clitoral oral sex toy designed
years ago in a competition organised by
the British sex toy retailer Lovehoney.
It has since gone on to become a
bestseller: 10 tiny silicone tongues
spinning on a motorised pinwheel.
“That was designed by a man,” says
Bevis, the person in charge of the
equipment. “Like, how lazy are you?”
Very quickly, sticky yellow notes
start to fill the walls with ideas and all
the sensations of sex besides the basic
in and out: squeeze, slap, lick, pinch,
etc. Under leaking moulds, unset
silicone pools on the floor while the
chaotic noise of the hackathon bounces
off the stone church walls: royalty-free
female orgasm sound effects, vibrators
buzzing on tabletops, the unfurling of
an air bed for a full-body hug machine.
(When volunteering to test out the
latter, lying motionless as a plastic
strap was wrapped around her throat,
Devlin tells us that her safe word,
should we need it, is “Michael Gove”.)
On the final afternoon, the teams
present their work to the crowd one
‘It’s awkward when
you end up with the
same penis as the
person you’re
getting frisky with’
by one and there are winners and
losers, but it seems like more of a
motivational technique than the point
of the exercise. Someone with carpal
tunnel syndrome and RSI has made a
gyroscopic “tugging” device for a penis
that was not only loud but monopolised
the 3D printer for most of the weekend;
there is a vibrator that is controlled by
the sound of moans rather than buttons
(for those unable to move their hands);
and interchangeable silicone vibrator
sleeves, the closest thing to anything
penis-shaped made over the weekend,
though one of them was green and
scaly and could have been a dragon’s
and the other had tentacles at the base.
There is a string of coloured lights
SEX TECH Tricky questions answered
Is hacking a sex toy sexual assault?
Sarah Jamie Lewis is an anonymity and
privacy researcher who maps the dark
web, a place designed to allow people
to browse with complete anonymity.
In August this year, she connected her
smart vibrator to the dark web, allowing
others to anonymously control it. “I
think this is as queer and as cyberpunk
as it gets,” she tweeted. Though Lewis
consented to anonymous controllers,
technology and internet lawyer Neil
Brown raised the question of hacking. If
you hack someone’s vibrator, is it assault
by penetration? “The law isn’t ready for
the internet of sexual assault,” he said.
Do lookalike sex dolls infringe people’s
image rights?
The lines on this are blurry and mainly
moral ones rather than legal, but as long
as you aren’t selling a sex doll on the basis
that it looks like a trademarked character
or someone famous, it’s not illegal.
However, if you falsely claim the doll was
endorsed by the famous person, or if the
person was misrepresented in a way that
was likely to damage their reputation, you
would be on shaky legal ground. Likewise,
if you’ve made a sex doll that looks like
a real (but not famous) person for your
own use — it’s not illegal in the UK, it’s just
gross. “Personal use is less risky,” said
Brown, “But all of this is untested as far
as I know.”
Who owns my sex data?
In March this year, the Canadian company
We-Vibe – makers of smart sex toys
that can be controlled remotely via
Bluetooth and a smartphone app –
agreed to pay out millions of dollars after
a class action lawsuit over collection of
private data (temperature changes to the
device, dates and times of use, vibration
intensity, etc). It’s a rare case. Brown
makes the general point that updated
privacy policies are often forced on users:
they have to agree to these new terms
or their smart device would become
unusable. After laying out hundreds of
pounds for a device, users are unlikely
to take issue with the new policies and
even less likely to sue because of the
hassle and embarrassment of publicity.
Because of the taboo and our unlikeliness
to speak up, companies are able to do
unethical things. HC
John Naughton
Data-hungry Facebook
seeks younger recruits
Main: getting
to grips with
one of the
inventions at
sex tech
hackathon; left:
ideas and
below: the VR
by Sonja
controlled by Twitter, so those who
become anxious away from their
phones could be aware that their
friends were thinking of them as the
colours changed; and a rose-pink
shawl made by someone who found
masturbation boring – the actual
orgasm was not key to her experience;
she wanted more of a whole body
feeling of being a cloud that people
could walk through (her inspiration
was Zeus shape-shifting to have sex
with mortal women). It probably
made more sense if you were there,
but not much. Another person has
made an app for the geographically
distant that allows users to touch
their fingers to the glass as if their
partner is on the other side. Exploring
intimacy inevitably means highlighting
It isn’t strictly a sex toy that makes
me feel like I am desperately unaware
of problems that exist outside my
bubble, but a packer — the prosthetic
penises that trans men can wear under
their clothing for a realistic bulge that
makes them feel more comfortable
passing as male. “It’s awkward when
you end up having the same penis
ting frisky
as the person you’re getting
mber, as
with,” says one team member,
gs, a
they presented SoftDongs,
ll be able
website where users will
nis size,
customise their own penis
shape, length, width, colour,
etc. In a world where thee trans
ith so
community is dealing with
mple and
much, why does this simple
ld make
personal thing that would
er not
lives just a little bit better
exist already?
In Mark O’Connell’s To
Be a Machine, a book about
transhumanists attempting
to meld their bodies with
technology to solve the
problem of death, he
talks about cyborgs.
When the term was firstt
used in a 1960 scientific
isms were
paper, cybernetic organisms
a solution to the human body being
ration; if the
unsuited to space exploration;
bodies of astronauts and technology
were integrated, they could function in
hostile environments.
But arriving as it did during the
Soviet threat of nuclear annihilation,
the idea of the cyborg swiftly became
transformed into a war machine. It’s
not unfair to say that when humans
invent a new technology, they will
generally find some way to kill each
other with it or have sex with it: they
can either destroy the world or save
their own one.
But if we allow taboo to stifle
innovation, we allow it to stifle the
sex lives of the differently abled and
we allow it to affect the interior lives
of trans people walking around with
prosthetics that have no bearing on
who they are. If, in this complicated
gender landscape, VR can help people
inhabit the bodies they feel are true,
then why not? There is a kindness and
an understanding that can be reached
if the taboo is quashed. This is what the
sex tech hackathon is about – it’s not
just masturbation.
“We make sense of the world
through our bodies,” says Devlin. “I’m a
sex tech optimist. We have a chance to
shape where this is going.”
n one of those coincidences that
give irony a bad name, Facebook
launched a new service for children
at the same time that a moral
panic was sweeping the UK about
the dangers of children using livestreaming apps that enable anyone
to broadcast video directly from a
smartphone or a tablet. The BBC
showed a scary example of what can
happen. A young woman who works
as an internet safety campaigner
posed as a 14-year-old girl to find out
what occurs when a young female
goes online using one of these
streaming services.
You can imagine what happened
and if you can’t, go to the BBC site
and search for “posing as a schoolgirl
to expose online groomers”. No one
who understands the internet would
be surprised, given that the network
holds up a mirror to human nature and
much that is reflected in it is very dark.
Another report claimed that children
as young as nine who use the Periscope
app are being groomed in this way,
getting messages such as “show skirt
under desk” (to cite one of the less
explicit requests). Needless to say,
Twitter (which owns Periscope) says
that it has “zero tolerance” on this kind
of thing. Which doesn’t quite answer
the obvious question: what steps are
you taking to ensure that children can’t
use this app?
Meanwhile, on the other side of the
pond, Facebook rolled out its exciting
new service for younger children and
their peers. It’s called Messenger Kids
– “a new app for families to connect”
– and it allows under-13s to chat with
other people of whom their parents
approve. “After talking to thousands
of parents, associations like National
PTA and parenting experts in the US,”
burbled Loren Cheng, Facebook’s
product management director,
“we found that there’s a need for a
messaging app that lets kids connect
with people they love but also has the
level of control parents want.”
An astonishing 93% of six- to
12-year-olds in the US have access to
tablets or smartphones, while 66%
have their own device and three out
of every five parents surveyed said
their kids under 13 used messaging
apps, social media or both. But
– pace the current moral panic in
the UK – these apps weren’t built
for children’s privacy and, instead,
Facebook’s new Messenger Kids app is
doubtless well intentioned – but it also
helps to get the under-13s hooked
into the social network habit. AP
allow adult strangers to contact or
follow children.
So the new app puts parents in
control. They download the app on to
their child’s phone or tablet, create a
profile for them and approve friends
and family with whom they can text
and have video chats from the main
Facebook Messenger app. There
are safety filters to prevent children
from sharing nudity, sexual content
or violence. Parents fully control the
contact list and children can’t connect
with contacts of whom their parent do
not approve. Parents also control the
child’s account and contacts through
a special panel that appears in their
main Facebook app. The app is free
to download and there are no ads or
in-app purchases on it.
Messenger Kids exudes
wholesomeness and good intentions,
just as Google did at the beginning,
and as Mark Zuckerberg still does
in his pious epistles to his disciples.
But before we get carried away, let us
put this exciting new development
in its wider context. Facebook is a
data-mining and refining company. It
makes almost all of its revenues from
monetising the data trails of its users.
The key to its continuing prosperity
li in ma
making sure that the supply of
that precious data continues to flow in
ever-increasing volumes.
That can only be done in two ways:
by increasing the number of users and/
or by increasing the amount of time
they spend engaging with the service
– ie creating “monetisable” data. At
present, children under the age of 13
are not supposed to have Facebook
accounts (though it seems that some
manage to get around that obstacle).
Accordingly, there are a significant
number of young “data sources” out
there who are currently a dead loss
from the data-mining point of view.
But what’s really alarming – from
that perspective – is that when these
youngsters get to be 13 there might be
other online temptations available that
are more attractive than the Facebook
of which their parents, grandparents
and even great-grandparents have
become avid users.
So why not find a way to get them
into the Facebook habit early in life,
so that when they become teenagers
all they have to do is to upgrade to
an adult account? It’s a no-brainer,
really. Think of Messenger Kids as
the gateway drug that gets these
potentially lucrative data sources
hooked. In a way, Zuckerberg & Co
are just taking a leaf from the Jesuits’
playbook. “Give me a child for his first
seven years,” their founder, St Ignatius
of Loyola, is reputed to have said, “and
I will give you the man.”
What is it?
Claims to be “the world’s first selfcleaning bottle with on-the-go water
purification”. So you can ditch those
wasteful, single-use plastic water
bottles or unhygienic reusable ones.
Good points
The cap contains a UVC light that
eradicates bacteria in the water and
on the bottle’s surface. Also functions
as a vacuum flask.
Bad points
Will retail for $99, which is
equivalent to approximately 115
bottles of Volvic.
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
F I L M | T H E AT R E | A R T | D A N C E
Once more
with majesty
The Crown was back with its Queen’s-eye view of the TV
age, BBC Four unwisely tried to make history ‘fun’, and the
Brummie mafia found themselves up against the real thing
The Crown Netflix
Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four
Peaky Blinders BBC Two
The A Word BBC One
We still have a little time to wait
for Olivia Colman’s much-heralded
appearance as the middle-aged Queen
in The Crown, though it’s hard to see
how even she could match Claire
Foy’s perfectly pitched performances
so far. In the meantime, the second
10-part season was released on
Friday, and… could it match season the
first, which bestrode the world? I am
here to happily report that, if anything,
it’s better.
As ever, creator Peter Morgan’s
trademark mix of scrupulous research,
informed speculation and a 10%
seasoning of wholly unverifiable
scuttlebutt leads to immense events
being dramatised in very human
form. As ever, it’s not all about pomp,
pageantry and deference – though we
get our little gullet-load of that – but
about history, our history, during the
chunk of years that ushered in the
modern Britain.
I suspect we’re all a little obsessed
with the decade immediately
preceding our own births: old history
is just that, but that particular span
seems tantalisingly close yet wholly
unknowable. The second season
kicks off with the Suez crisis of 1956
– a mild pity Morgan didn’t have
room for the crucial part played by
this newspaper via David Astor’s
courageous leader, which almost
broke the commercial kneecaps of
the paper, but I suppose there was,
for Morgan, quite a big-ass slice of
other history to cram in – and ends
with the 1964 birth of Prince Edward.
It simply flies along, racing, as it is in
the new television age, from Egypt
to Paris, Soho to Washington, Ghana
to the Kremlin, via the Melbourne
Olympics, Antarctica and Princess
Margaret’s overstuffed ashtray. The
whole season keeps a lickety-split pace
pretty much throughout. The only
episode that flags even slightly covers
a visit by Billy Graham, in which the
superevangelist gets a remarkable
two private audiences. But even this is
almost wholly redeemed by focusing
on Her Maj’s troubled conscience
regarding forgiveness of her uncle
David, the disgraced abdicator the
Duke of Windsor, angling for re-entry
to “the firm” from his desultory,
hate-filled exile in Paris. And my,
what a limp, wheedling, snobbish
snivelweasel of a man he was; I hadn’t
truly realised the extent of his wartime
treachery (according to this show),
selling secrets to the Nazis, which
meant, effectively, that the blitz killed
many more Londoners than it need
have: these people who once acclaimed
the wretched man as their king. Alex
Jennings is a brave actor to will so
much opprobrium on his head.
There are two standout hours, I
think: poor Charles at Gordonstoun
– I’ve only ever had one royal soft
spot, and it’s for him, and I suspect
after this you will too – and the one
featuring the story of Lord Altrincham
(later to disclaim his title and
become the journalist John Grigg),
who hears, from a dentist’s waiting
room, a particularly poor, borderline
patronising radio broadcast from the
palace. No republican, he’s dismayed at
the sneers from the waiting room. The
peasants are revolting. And he rushes
back to bash out, still with toothache,
a denunciatory tract for his own little
magazine, lambasting the Queen for
being a strangulated throwback in
a fast-changing age. Invited first to
an interview with Robin Day, then
for another at the palace itself, he
argues in both cases with courtesy,
respect, intelligence and some damned
fine points, and changed even royal
minds. His interventions led, among
other changes, to the televising of the
Christmas broadcast and the ending
of the ludicrous debs’ coming-out
While having no time
for the monarchy, I can
also learn to respect
some folk just doing a
job that never ends
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
ball. In such increments we can see,
and reluctantly appreciate, the canny
machine that has operated on behalf
of, and at the occasional specific
request of, the Queen to keep the
monarchy not just alive but, arguably,
never more revered than today. The
machinations are given a nice personal
commentary in the form of debates
between Elizabeth, trying as hard as
anyone in those fantasy castles – it’s no
coincidence, I suspect, that so much
time is spent at Sandringham, Windsor
and Balmoral, rather than the bland
chintz mausoleum that is Buck House
– ever could to emphasise, no matter
how laughably ineffectually, with
changing times, and her appalling snob
of a mother, pickled in Teutonic amber.
Crucially, Foy as Elizabeth is quite
beyond outstanding. Impossibly
clipped, lifelong sensible as gumboots
in the rain, relatively uneducated and
unimaginative, strangely baffled by her
own jealousies – of Jackie Kennedy,
of Philip’s relative freedom – she still
steps up to her many crises with a
backbone of titanium. It’s a towering
performance, as, in their smaller ways,
are Vanessa Kirby as the glorious,
demeaned Margaret, Anton Lesser
as the cuckold Harold MacMillan;
Matthew Goode as the sleazeball
Antony Armstrong-Jones. While
having absolutely no time for the
monarchy myself, or more accurately,
for the spirit of hagiographic media
drool that accompanies its every
engagement, birth, cough, spit or fart,
I can also learn to respect some folk
just doing a job that never ends. In
particular the backstory of Philip, as
played here by the revelation that is
the truculent, slab-faced Matt Smith,
both fascinates and appals: the Nazi
sisters, the exile from war-ravaged
Greece, the long battles against the
constraining “moustaches” of the
palace, the lifelong condemnation of
a ravenously free spirit to a non-job,
yet the constancy, when tamed, of his
devotion to his wife. I met the real
Philip once, at a Duke of Edinburgh’s
award thing, and, while still an ardent,
not to say fleck-lipped, republican, can
now think myself privileged to have
shaken his hand. Thus can television
change minds.
Sadly, I don’t think Sam Willis will
be doing much of that in Invasion!. This
could have been a timely reminder,
amid the ongoing gigglefest that is the
bleary shambles of Brexit, of how we
are, if nothing else, a highly mongrel
nation. There were decent snatches
of explanation – the farming invasion,
the foodie invasion (the Romans
basically overwhelmed us through sly
use of victuals that tasted of something
other than mud) – yet it was wholly
rum, falling short of BBC Four’s high
historical standards.
Apart from that misjudged
exclamation mark in the title, Mr Willis
simply tried too hard to be endearing,
to inject “fun”. So we saw him quoting
Churchill beside… a statue of Churchill.
Or, I don’t know, saying something
about the white cliffs of Dover, standing
atop… I’ll let you guess. BBC Four
usually gets this so right: just lets a few
talking heads explain things, wisely,
without exclamation marks or general
gussying-up: this felt like Johnny
Noakes getting too excited about the
Vikings, with memories of Blue Peter’s
traditional awful drawings. Odd.
A searing episode of Peaky Blinders
saw Cillian Murphy, “cooped up like a
wasp in a beer glass”, besieged back in
Small Heath by mafia to the left of him,
family betrayals to the right, his own
long-forgotten communist conscience
marching down the middle. As usual,
Tommy Shelby’s coping strategy
consisted of distractions – gin-making,
boxing, copulation – punctuated with
seconds of cathartic violence. Adrien
Brody, as the emphysemic Sicilian,
might be in line for the award of most
overcooked ham in the Christmas
Sergei Polunin
At the Coliseum
page 30
All stars blurred into one
Bits of Oasis and
other super-guests
join the party as
Gorillaz’s Humanz
tour ends in triumph
from above: Claire
Foy, ‘beyond
outstanding’ as
Elizabeth II, with
Danny Sapani as
Ghanaian president
Kwame Nkrumah,
in The Crown.
Morven Christie,
Molly Wright,
Max Vento and
Lee Ingleby in
The A Word.
Sam Willis, trying
‘too hard’ in BBC
Four’s Invasion!
Far left: The
Adrien Brody
in Peaky Blinders.
Netflix; BBC
hamper, but it’s still a mesmerising
performance: all is shaping up
As The A Word keeps shaping up,
intelligently, to become perhaps
the most valuable treatment
of autism rendered on screen.
Occasionally drama can do this:
enlighten, teach, in a way even the
wisest of scientific documentaries
cannot. This series, with its focus
on the terribly human frailties –
and prejudices, bickerings, gallumphing
misunderstandings, sudden laughter
and sudden hot tears – a diagnosis can
bring, somehow manages to marvel, to
confuse, to lead one to quiet despair in
equal measure. The acting is uniformly
splendid; much has been rightly made
of Max Vento as young Joe, but Molly
Wright as sister Becky is surely on
course for a gloried career.
Someone won The X Factor last
weekend. The final was watched by a
relatively paltry 4.4 million, compared
with an audience of 9.9 million for
Strictly Come Dancing. Time to put a
bolt through its head?
O2, London SE10
‘On savage form’: man of the moment Vince Staples, left, onstage at the O2 with
Damon Albarn. Photograph by Richard Isaac/Rex/Shutterstock
The last night of a tour often has a
reckless, demob flavour to it, and
the denouement to Gorillaz’s live
rendering of Humanz – an album
already cast as “a party for the end of
the world” – is no exception. During an
all-star rendition of We Got the Power,
Blur guitarist Graham Coxon tosses
his guitar high into the air, narrowly
avoiding clouting Noel Gallagher,
inches away from him.
Albarn and his former Oasis archrival have been pals for some time, of
course – abetted, perhaps, by their
shared guitarist, Jeff Wootton, a
manic mohicanned presence at the
right of the stage tonight. But the
frisson of seeing bits of Oasis and
Blur plying their wares in unison on
the “Hollywood ending ” – as Albarn
has called it – from Humanz’s “dark
dystopian fantasy” remains just one
of the many draws of this monumental
live undertaking. (A Liam-esque
Murdoc occasionally glares down
from above.)
As two drummers, six gospel singers,
a string section, two keyboard players
and a core band grind it out on stage,
you can only imagine the watercooler
moments going on backstage: The
Selecter’s Pauline Black potentially
gargling prosecco with MC Little Simz,
arguably the star of the night with
her Garage Palace; Gallagher trading
witticisms with Shaun Ryder (later
on Dare), as the American hip-hop
contingent compare notes across
coasts and generations.
De La Soul are tour mainstays, as
is 2017 man of the moment Vince
Staples. The latter is on savage form on
Ascension, one of the more explicitly
political songs tonight. “This the land
of the free,” Staples rhymes of the
US, “where you can get a Glock and a
gram for the cheap/ Where you can
live your dreams as long as you don’t
look like me.”
Ice-cold former Clipse rapper
Pusha T is equally coruscating on the
doom-laden Let Me Out, assisted by
Mavis Staples on the big screen. With
a Kanye-produced album on the way,
Pusha is now also a record company
exec, who might be in a position to get
Chicago’s Hypnotic Brass Ensemble on
to a project.
Not long after Coxon throws caution
to the wind, Albarn goes walkabout
in the crowd on the menacing oldie
Kids With Guns. Performers can
safely slap some arena palm from the
shelter of the photographer’s pit, but
the sweaty Albarn goes through the
middle of the standing crush – a level
of fluid exchange rare with stars of
this magnitude.
Here, the frontman is Damon-fromBlur, who emerged from Britpop as
a renaissance man, juggling bands
(there is another the Good, the Bad
and the Queen album in the works),
operas about medieval magicians and
Chinese monkeys, and collaborative
west African supergroups. If anything,
tonight’s huge rotating cast recalls
Albarn’s Africa Express live free-foralls, with Albarn frequently on keytars
and haunting 2 Tone-era melodica.
To the rest of the world, however,
Albarn is the mastermind behind a
cartoon conceit that hit the US hard.
In their primary guise, Gorillaz –
drawn by Jamie Hewlett – began as
a dystopian squad whose pointedly
mixed ethnicities and genders, and
engrossing visual universe, appealed
to multiple sectors of the listening
public. (Another ensemble graphic
undertaking, the reinvigorated Marvel
Universe films, was not far away.)
Avatars allowed Albarn – a white guy
from Colchester – to make hip-hop
and funk without being sneered at.
It helped immensely that they could
The frisson of seeing
bits of Oasis and Blur
plying their wares in
unison remains just
one of the many draws
summon huge names (Snoop Dogg,
passim) and cult figures to front the
songs, and that Gorillaz’s tunes were
often monstrous. Stylo, from 2010’s
Plastic Beach, is reliably gargantuan,
with veteran dance music vocalist
Peven Everett bawling in the late
Bobby Womack’s stead.
Humanz marked the reunion
of Albarn and Hewlett after a
bromantic bust-up and, if there is
one downside to this otherwise
triumphal night out, it is that the
visual side of Gorillaz is strong, but
somehow underwhelming. New-ish
pixelated versions of 2D, Murdoc,
Noodle and Russel appear on a tilting
disc overhead. But as stunning as
Hewlett’s animations are, projecting
videos on screens is commonplace
nowadays. You do wonder why
Hewlett doesn’t even get to play the
triangle, or take a bow, in this vast
rogues’ gallery of creativity.
Tonight, in a massive set that
spans lesser-heard moments from
their four albums and bangers, it’s the
funk that really stuns. The magnificent
Strobelite is one of the tracks that
travels the furthest from Colchester.
Featuring Albarn on the melodica,
and lines like “Are we obsidian?”
delivered in the soulful tones of
Everett, it rocks the house.
If you’re
lusting for
and your
isn’t, it’s
time to
for both
your sakes
Agony aunt
page 78
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Are you a
mensch or
a mouse?
A widower struggles to reclaim his son in
this authentic and affectionate portrait of
New York’s Orthodox Jewish community
(82 mins, U) Directed by Joshua Z Weinstein;
starring Menashe Lustig, Ruben Niborski,
Yoel Weisshaus
This terrifically authentic look at life
inside New York’s Yiddish-speaking
Hasidic community is a bittersweet
treat – a vibrantly engaging portrait of
down-to-earth lives that is affectionate,
amusing and ultimately very moving.
A million miles removed from such
peripherally comparable fare as
Sidney Lumet’s A Stranger Among Us
or Boaz Yakin’s A Price Above Rubies,
Joshua Z Weinstein’s fiction-feature
debut gets right under the skin of its
characters, gently unpicking themes
of social conformity and religious
responsibility with melancholy wit and
wry, tragicomic insight.
Populated by first-time performers
playing close-to-home roles, it
combines the poetry of John
Cassavetes with the grit of Ken Loach,
along with a touch of the cultural
intimacy that Rama Burshtein brought
to Fill the Void and Through the Wall.
Widower Menashe (Menashe
Lustig) works in a grocery shop in
the orthodox Hasidic community
of Brooklyn’s Borough Park district.
A schlubby yet endearingly goofy
presence, he cares for his customers
but irritates his boss, who finds his
habitual haplessness exasperating.
Since the death of Menashe’s wife, his
beloved son, Rieven (Ruben Niborski),
has been living with his more
successful uncle, in compliance with
tradition that dictates a child must
grow up in a two-parent household.
Menashe is in no hurry to marry
again (“nothing will be the same”),
yet only when he finds a match will
he be allowed to resume his paternal
duties. As his wife’s memorial dinner
draws near, our big-hearted antihero
sees a chance to prove himself to the
community – preparing a fitting meal,
demonstrating that he is “a mensch”
and hopefully winning back his child in
the process.
With his quizzical expression and
dishevelled appearance, Menashe has
the air of an accidental rebel, a spark
of chaos amid a rigidly ordered world.
“Why don’t my uncle and teacher like
you?” Rieven asks his father, cutting
to the core of a problem that has lost
the devout yet unorthodox Menashe
the respect of his peers. As his rabbi
tells him, the Talmud says that the key
to happiness is threefold: “Nice wife,
‘Accidental rebel’: Menashe Lustig, left,
with Ruben Niborski, ‘a miraculous
discovery’, in Menashe. Kobal/Rex/
As his rabbi tells him,
the Talmud says that
the key to happiness
is threefold: nice wife,
nice house, nice dishes
nice house, nice dishes.” Yet Menashe
refuses to play ball, throwing obstacles
in the way of a new match (“You’re
not my type”), thereby sabotaging his
chances of regaining his son. Beyond
the shoulder-shrugging stubbornness,
however, lurks something more
vulnerable – a guilty weight resting
behind Menashe’s twinkling eyes.
Taking inspiration from the personal
life of his leading man (Lustig is a
widowed grocer upon whose stories
the screenplay is loosely based),
Weinstein draws on his experience as
a documentary film-maker to conjure
a drama rooted in the reality of these
characters and their community.
Long lenses add verite realism to
the street scenes, situating this story
firmly within the thriving Borough
Park community, offering insight into
a world that has often been hidden.
“Hasidic life in Borough Park has
many similarities to how my great
grandparents lived outside Warsaw,”
Weinstein has said, emphasising
his desire to achieve “a better
understanding [of ] myself and my
ancestors” and allowing an “audience of
outsiders” to “share moments of their
everyday lives that are rarely seen”.
Yet for all its cultural specificity,
Menashe tells a universal story about
a father-son relationship. As Rieven,
Human Flow
Ai’s message here is that while
borders are ultimately arbitrary, our
responsibility as human beings is not.
(140 mins, 12A) Directed by Ai Weiwei;
starring Israa Abboud, Hiba Abed, Rami
Abu Sondos
Brigsby Bear
(97 mins, 15) Directed by Dave McCary;
starring Kyle Mooney, Mark Hamill, Jane
Adams, Greg Kinnear
If you can get past the fact that the
film was precision-tooled for the
quirky feelgood slot of the Sundance
film festival; if you can forgive the
glaring product placement and the
nerd-gasm casting of Mark Hamill
in a key role of a film about fan
geekery, then there is a fair amount to
recommend this solid feature debut.
A narrative that combines the
domestic dysfunction of Yorgos
Lanthimos’s Dogtooth with the
unabashed movie-buff joy of Garth
Jennings’s Son of Rambow or Michel
Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, this is a
study of a very singular character,
shaped – or scarred – by a unique
Twentysomething James (Kyle
Mooney, who also co-wrote the
film) lives with his parents in an
underground bunker, protected by an
airlock from the poisoned atmosphere
outside. His only connection with
the world is through a lo-fi television
series about the galactic adventures
of a large bear. James is consumed
Ursine antics: Brigsby Bear co-writer and star Kyle Mooney. Allstar/Sony Pictures Classics
with Brigsby Bear. It is his creed, his
guiding principle. He pores over each
VHS-taped episode to winkle out
hidden meanings. Then suddenly,
Brigsby is no more and James learns
that everything he had been raised to
believe is a lie. Wrenched from the only
life he has known, he clings to the thing
to which he has always turned for
solace: a squeaky-voiced, human-size
bear locked in an endless conflict with
a malevolent, disembodied head that
mocks him from the sky. He sets out
to finish Brigsby’s adventures with an
amateur feature film.
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
Where the film best succeeds is
in creating a credible character who
has been insulated from the world he
now finds himself flung into. James’s
mangled chewing of language is
particularly effective: “Yes, I would
like one of that,” he says, when offered
a beer. Less persuasive, perhaps, is
the way that naive oddball James
is unconditionally embraced by
hipster teens. And the way that the
internet is portrayed as some kind
of affirming virtual group hug rather
than a venomous snake pit powered
by cruelty and malice.
Broad in scope, vast in ambition but
a little overbearing in execution,
this documentary by the artist Ai
Weiwei is a direct extension of the
themes present throughout his work.
Human Flow is an interrogation of the
world’s response to its unprecedented
migrant crisis. It looks at mass
movement from Syria, Iraq
and parts of Africa to
Europe; of the Rohingya
people from Myanmar
to Bangladesh; from
Palestine to Jordan,
among others.
The title is
interesting – “flow”
suggests something
inanimate but inexorable.
It invokes the alarmist
language of some media
coverage – the “floods” and the
“tides”. And at first the sheer scale
of movement is such that it’s hard
to see the human story. But then,
through brief but intimate exchanges,
Ai (pictured above with a refugee
in Greece) brings the individuals
behind the statistics into focus. What
we take from the film is a dispiriting
network of walls and fences and
the knowledge that those who have
the misfortune to be on the wrong
side have little status or recourse.
(119 mins, 15) Directed by David Gordon Green;
starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany,
Miranda Richardson
The story of a survivor of the Boston
Marathon bombing who became a
symbol of the indomitable spirit of
the city, Stronger is a film that
tries to have it both ways. On
the one hand, the picture
explores the emotional
toll on everyman
Jeff Bauman (Jake
Gyllenhaal), who finds
himself celebrated as a
figure of hope, simply
by virtue of having
survived. On the other,
with its swelling score and
obligatory shots of noble,
fluttering US flags, the film buys
into the hero narrative wholesale.
With his huge haunted eyes,
Gyllenhaal does a decent job of
capturing the conflict of a man
who can’t admit that he is struggling
for fear of letting down his family and
the city that supports him. Headed
by Miranda Richardson as his boozy
mother, the family itself is more
problematic – a kind of Punch and
Judy caricature of a Boston blue-collar
community, all whiplash tempers and
high-octane swearing.
You can’t
make Mum
play happy
‘Wonderful’: Ia Shugliashvili in Netflix’s ‘exquisitely observed’ My Happy Family.
first-timer Niborski is a miraculous
discovery, his expressive face and
lanky limbs perfectly embodying
the conflicts of a young man torn
between love for his father and an
equally pressing need for stability.
It’s not for nothing that juggling has
become Rieven’s preferred pastime, a
metaphor as pointed as the presence of
the hatchling chick whose fate serves
as a commentary upon Menashe’s
parenting skills. Unsurprisingly,
Weinstein cites the Dardenne brothers’
The Kid With a Bike and Vittorio de
Sica’s Bicycle Thieves as touchstone
texts, alongside Robert Benton’s
perennial tearjerker Kramer vs Kramer.
Scenes of prayer meetings have
an unobtrusive immediacy, while
a sequence in which Menashe
drinks with his Hispanic workmates
seems touchingly truthful. A sparse,
plaintive score by Aaron Martin and
Dag Rosenqvist (interspersed with
bursts of spontaneous song) lends
an air of yearning, subtly implying
transcendence amid these day-today travails. Weinstein finishes on an
ambiguous note, after which I was left
with memories of Menashe teaching
his son to roar like a lion, and watching
him play as twilight fell upon these
streets – haunting and beautiful, full of
laughter and sadness.
The Dinner
observed detail. It really is a 2017
standout. I’m glad Netflix has given it
a platform, though I wish it could be
raised a bit higher.
Naming a Netflix film the year’s best
is only mildly contentious relative to
the critical debate that ensued when
Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series
(Universal, 15) came in at No 2 on Sight
& Sound’s films of the year list (and
No 1 on Cahiers du cinéma’s). For days,
the enclave of so-called FilmTwitter
came to blows over whether or not
television can be cinema, and how
much the distinction matters. Tricky
questions, maybe, but small beer
beside the richer, more mind-chewing
puzzles laid out by David Lynch’s
extraordinary return, which can
less controversially be described as
the most transfixingly nightmarish
anything of the year. It’s out on Blu-ray
now, with hour upon hour of extras
and features, if you’re not yet ready to
emerge from its labyrinth.
Luckily, I don’t have to engage in
any finicky, format-related arguments
before naming The Hitman’s Bodyguard
(Lionsgate, 15) the year’s worst film.
The fumes of lunk-headed toxicity
from this shoddy, dated, anti-buddy
comedy can overwhelm any size
screen. As, respectively, a hitman and a
bodyguard – it’s nothing if not clearly
titled – paired up to bring down a
Belarusian warlord, Samuel L Jackson
and Ryan Reynolds attempt to slick
their way through it, but can’t override
the film’s grim, sporadically racist
mismatch of glib comedy and grisly
political violence.
Grisly violence gets less
objectionably playful treatment in
the documentary 78/52 (Dogwoof,
15), a brisk, lively anatomy of Psycho’s
immortal shower murder scene.
Stuffed with celebrity observers, it
entertainingly works critical and
anecdotal detail into every stab.
Playfulness obviously isn’t the order
of the day in An Inconvenient Sequel:
Truth to Power (Universal, 18), an
unimpeachably intentioned but
homework-like follow-up to 2006’s
hit documentary study of Al Gore’s
climate-change awareness mission.
The enduring need for a sequel 11 years
later is itself a testament to the value of
Gore’s campaign, but for the converted,
there’s little here that’s illuminating.
Finally, The Odyssey (Altitude,
PG), an attractive but mostly
Wikipedic biopic of oceanographer
Jacques Cousteau, turns its subject’s
environmental activism into a
minor narrative marker. There’s
an opportunity here for a deeper
documentary dive.
quietly striking moments of beauty.
I was struck by an exquisite shot in
which Manji (Takuya Kimura), the
reluctantly immortal warrior, stands
amid hundreds of slain warriors
while a curlicue of smoke wafts in the
foreground and a bird’s song breaks
through the deathly silence.
But for all the action and the vividly
drawn villians – an effete, floppyfringed killer with J-pop boy band
looks was particularly entertaining,
although not wholly convincing –
the relentless slaughter gets a little
wearing by the end of the second hour.
(120 mins, 15) Directed by Oren Moverman;
starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Rebecca
Hall, Steve Coogan
An absolutely first-rate cast is
cut adrift in a sea of laboured,
overwritten dialogue in this
disappointing drama. Adapted by
director Oren Moverman (Oscarnominated for the screenplay of
The Messenger) from a novel by
Herman Koch, the film is laboured and
theatrical to the point of indigestion.
The dinner itself is crisply
toxic – a tense meeting between
political rising star Stan Lohman
(Richard Gere) and his virtually
estranged brother, Paul (Steve
Coogan), and their respective
wives, Katelyn (Rebecca Hall)
and Claire (Laura Linney). The
fawning of the staff only serves to
heighten the tensions at the table as
they skirt around the subject they
need to discuss – the violent crime
committed by their children.
If the focus had remained in the
restaurant, as a savage four-hander, it
might have been more potent. But the
film is diluted by indulgent flashbacks
both to the crime and, somewhat
redundantly, to Stan and Paul taking a
trip to Gettysburg. A story strand that
explores Paul’s deteriorating mental
health gives Coogan the chance to
stretch his legs into a challenging
role, but slows an already plodding
story to a near standstill.
If you’re still getting your head
around the idea of Netflix as a viable
distributor of first-run films, 2018
isn’t going to ease you into it. The
streaming behemoth has a massive
80 original movies – either developed
in-house or acquired at festivals –
slated for release next year, nearly
doubling this year’s amount. One
hopes their worthy but lower-profile
offerings don’t get entirely lost in
the crush. As it is, I didn’t notice that
the Sundance-acclaimed Georgian
drama My Happy Family had recently
premiered on Netflix until Village Voice
critic Bilge Ebiri named it his film of
the year, its absence from cinemas
I’m glad he did – it’s a stunner.
Personal and professional partners
Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross
previously directed the quietly
stirring coming-of-age drama In
Bloom. Their follow-up shares
that film’s perceptive humanism,
but steps it up a notch in terms of
emotional and narrative breadth. It
begins centred on a fiftysomething
Georgian teacher (the wonderful Ia
Shugliashvili) who, without ceremony
or acrimony, resolves to leave her
husband and grown children for a life
of calmer solitude. With no history of
significant marital discord or domestic
dysfunction to back it up, it’s a decision
that throws her extended family into
perplexed emotional disarray.
As Ekvtimishvili and Gross pull back
and zoom in on each person affected,
the picture deepens and darkens, the
rights and wrongs of the crisis growing
harder to resolve with each exquisitely
Better Watch Out
‘Cut adrift’: Laura Linney raises a glass to
Richard Gere in The Dinner. Allstar
Blade of the Immortal
(140 mins, 18) Directed by Takashi Miike; starring
Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sôta Fukushi
It’s telling when you are barely 30
minutes into a film and you’re already
inured to the sight of severed limbs,
thudding wetly on to the blood-sodden
earth as swords whizz above like
helicopter rotors. The latest picture
from the prolific Japanese genre
director Takashi Miike, Blade of the
Immortal is an eye-wateringly violent
tale of revenge set in a time when
samurai roam the country.
It’s a stylish slash fest, which
delivers visceral thrills along with
(90 mins, 15) Directed by Chris Peckover;
starring Dacre Montgomery, Olivia DeJonge,
Virginia Madsen
A Yule-themed comedy horror that
is neither funny, nor particularly
horrifying, Better Watch Out feels
like a malicious spin on Home Alone.
A precocious 12-year-old comes up
with the idea of terrifying his 17-yearold babysitter in the hope she might
seek comfort in his arms. But matters
escalate along with the body count.
It’s creepy, certainly, but in a mouthbreathing, sexual predator kind of
manner rather than a satisfyingly
chilling way. That said, Australian
actor Levi Miller, soon to be seen in
Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time,
demonstrates an assurance that far
exceeds the requirements of this
festive flop.
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Too much show, not enough tell
A revival of Barnum
brings the big top
to life (if not the man
himself), while the
Young Vic recalls an
oddball of the peerage
Menier Chocolate Factory, London SE1;
until 3 March 2018
How to Win Against History
Young Vic, London SE1; until 30 December
“Humbug” at this time of year usually
means Scrooge. Barnum gives the
word an altogether different twist.
In this 1980 musical, “humbug” is
legerdemain, entrepreneurial flair,
salesman’s hype, the dazzle that puts
stars in your eyes. Phineas Taylor
Barnum, peddler of the American
dream, bravura creator of spectacle
( just look at his elephants sashaying
through Victorian Chesterfield), was
not only a showman and hustler but a
politician. He might have lived in the
19th century but his life and circus
could equally belong to 2017.
Not in Gordon Greenberg ’s staging,
the show’s first major London
revival since the 1981 production
starring Michael Crawford. Mark
Bramble’s script is thin. Episodes of
Barnum’s life – bickering lovingly
with his puritan wife (all principle
and devotion), hearing his museum
has burned down, having a romance
with “the Swedish nightingale” Jenny
Lind, trying to sell us a mermaid – are
plonked undramatically down, one
after another. Cy Coleman’s music –
lots of brass oompah – and Michael
Stewart’s merry but undistinguished
lyrics are entertaining but not strong
Laura Pitt-Pulford
and Marcus
Brigstocke, above,
in Barnum.
Right: Seiriol
Davies as the
fifth marquis of
Anglesey in How
to Win Against
Photographs by
Tristram Kenton
A real historical
character, the marquis
adapted his car so that
the exhaust pipe
sprayed scent
enough to make the story vivid. The
show needs a trump card. Marcus
Brigstocke, who plays Barnum, is not
that card. As a quick-on-the-draw
comedy performer he can do what
many actors cannot: chat easily to the
audience, beckoning them in or (in
the case of a few challenges to critics)
giving them the willies by picking some
of them out and demanding they play
the kazoo. It is, if anything, a plus that
when he sets off to walk the tightrope
you don’t know if he is wobbling in
earnest or just teasing. That high wire
on which he totters stretches from one
lover to another: everyone falls off it
from time to time.
But wobble is not a force. Brigstocke,
whose singing voice is not strong,
sounds pallid beside Laura PittPulford, who as the goody-goody wifey
soars with her lovely, knife-like voice.
Brigstocke also looks puny – and who
wouldn’t? – alongside the acrobats,
who are the real stars of the show.
Paul Farnsworth’s design
turns the tiny Menier into a
big top. Rebecca Howell’s
choreography and Scott
Maidment’s “circus
direction” encircle it in
a whirligig of activity.
Gorgeously. Girls in
frilled corsets cartwheel
and balance one-handed
on their companion’s head.
People eat fire, juggle with knives,
jump through hoops, skim up poles,
balance on enormous balloons. As Tom
Thumb, Harry Francis pirouettes and
leaps beautifully around the ring. As
Jenny Lind, Celinde Schoenmaker
beautifully belts out her numbers.
Very impressive and jolly all this – the
more so for being seen so close up – but
these exuberant skills aren’t enough
to disguise the weakness at the centre.
Not so much humbug as Polo.
I bet most of the audience in How
to Win Against History went home
and Googled Henry Cyril Paget,
fifth marquis of Anglesey. Did the
bespangled hero of Seiriol Davies’s
musical cabaret actually exist? He was
born, the show tells us, in 1875 and was
dead less than 30 years later, having
run through his fortune. He liked to get
himself up in jewel-encrusted frocks,
converted the chapel in his inherited
castle into a theatre, and toured the
country doing a dance as a butterfly.
His relatives were not pleased with
him, and one obituary described
him as a “strange and repellent spirit
opaquely incomprehensible and
pathetically alone”.
Well he was, if not exactly real, a
historical character – who adapted his
car so that the exhaust pipe sprayed
scent. How to Win Against History both
celebrates and sends him up. In front of
gauzy curtains and fairy lights, Davies
appears in a blue glitter frock, ballet
pumps with yellow ribbons, a huge
fixed smile and sometimes a helmet
with wings. But the marquis is only
part of the point. Davies’s orchidaceous
Edinburgh hit, undergraddy but
mercifully far from underwritten, has
a go at the avant garde – Davies does
a good long warble on one note – and a
few elegant sniggers at the mainstream:
“This is BBC One bliss/ Keira Knightley
could have been in this.”
Declaring themselves determined
to bring this recherché life to a
wide public, the three-strong cast
“want to be like pistons/
Following the path of least
resistance.” Dylan Townley,
with Eraserhead hair,
knickerbockers and a
long face, is doleful on
the keyboard. Matthew
Blake plays (and is) an
actor – going from fruity
Shakespearean delivery to
telly slime-master. He’s both
public school bully – taking the
lead in what might be called the Eton
Booting Song – and the cajoler of a
rapt audience, holding out one placard
requesting some tepid applause, and
another requesting “the sound of one
person clapping”. That one took a bit
of sorting out among various spectators
eager for a solo spot.
Guys and Dolls
Royal Exchange, Manchester; until 27 Jan
Like the fantastical Damon Runyon short
stories it’s based on, Michael Buffong’s
new production of this 1950 Broadway hit
never loses touch with reality. Without
this, the poster-bright situations involving
gamblers, showgirls and hustlers would be
a lovely show but have no substance.
Soutra Gilmour’s set projects a corner
of Harlem on to the round of the Exchange
stage, complete with lamppost and
drug store, inside which musical director
Mark Aspinall and his band are cleverly
concealed. Drab, cityscape colours are
offset by 50s-style costumes as colourful,
slinky and sharp as the characters who
wear them. Kenrick Sandy’s choreography
ly: tightly angled jerks of
is tailored similarly:
shoulders, kneess and elbows flowing
into swinging hipss.
urdist wit of Jo
The near-absurdist
e Burrows’s book,
Swerling and Abe
coupled with lyricss by Frank Loesser
c), almost
(to his own music),
transforms their larger-thanto cartoons.
life characters into
Buffong’s core of grit keeps
ting gangster
them human. Visiting
and bad loser Big Jule pulls back
w the gun
his jacket to show
tucked under his arm. Silence
falls over Nathan Detroit’s
“longest floating
crap game in New
York”. The threat of
violence is real – and then the
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
‘Nuanced’: Abiona
Omonua in Guys
and Dolls at the
Royal Exchange.
game goes on. Showgirl Miss Adelaide and
Salvation Army sister Sarah may duet about
marrying their gambler intendeds, but
nuanced performances from Lucy Vandi and
Abiona Omonua, respectively, leave no doubt
that the odds against these women giving
up their own careers and settling down to
“golf, galoshes and Ovaltine” are around 99 to
1. It’s the guys, as sensitively crafted by Ray
Fearon (Detroit) and Ashley Zhangazha (Sky
Masterson), who for all their tough stances
most clearly need the love of these dolls.
For my money, this co-production
between Talawa theatre company and
the Royal Exchange is a “can-do” runner.
Clare Brennan
The Lion, the Witch and the
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds; until 27 Jan
The auditorium of the West Yorkshire
Playhouse’s Quarry theatre has been
transformed into the round for this new
production, based on CS Lewis’s 1950
novel about four children evacuated,
during the second world war, to a house
in the
th country where a magical wardrobe
provides a portal to the land of Narnia.
Having the audience surround the stage
highlights the Cirque du Soleil feel of the
spectacular action.
This has been devised by the 21-strong
company under the direction of Sally
Cookson, as well as of movement director
Dan Canham, puppetry director Craig
Leo, and aerial director Gwen Hales, not
to mention the two fight directors, Rachel
Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown –
a range of directorial specialisations that is
put to full use.
Strikingly physical and visual (designed
by Rae Smith, also responsible for
War Horse), the adaptation delivers
memorable images. A miniature steam
train, carriage windows lit, seems to
race through the night, thanks to the
supporting arms of a chorus of children,
newly evacuated from the city. The
White Witch (spiky Carla Mendonça) is
suspended in midair; white cloths that a
moment before had suggested snowcovered ground stretching from the stage
edges to her waist simultaneously skirt
and landscape. Nightmarish Witch’s allies
wearing headdresses tear the fur from the
prostrate lion Aslan (Iain Johnstone, full of
presence). All of these are accompanied
by three musicians, playing Benji Bower’s
almost continuous soundtrack.
Much here is impressive, but an overtight
focus on effects dulls dramatic tension (as
does, too often, the music, which becomes
over-intrusive and effaces the words).
While characterisations are clear, they
are also simplistic and two-dimensional, a
notable exception being the Witch’s witty
minion, created by Amalia Vitale. Moments
of genuine engagement are rare but
precious (the arrival of spring’s first shoots,
for instance); they show how less can mean
more. As theatre, I found it disappointing
overall, but as a winter extravaganza with
pantomime-style audience participation,
it does the trick CB
In the court
of the king
of bling
The importance of art to the Restoration
is revealed in this tremendous show
featuring some of Charles II’s most
treasured possessions
Charles II: Art and Power
Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace,
London SW1; until 13 May
Charles II (1630-85), otherwise
known as the Merry Monarch, was a
gargantuan baby. At four months he
already looked, his mother complained,
like a one-year-old. From the age of
12 he took part in English civil war
battles and was described as “a tall,
black man” in parliamentary wanted
posters. His appearance was anything
but English, the dramatic height and
darkness most probably inherited from
Danish and Italian grandmothers. At
6ft 2in, he was almost a foot taller than
his father, and he increased it with
towering high heels.
Charles’s appearance is instantly
familiar from the many portraits in
this show. The long, curling wig of
dark hair, the black moustache, the
heavy nose and sensuously curving
lips, above all the great brown eyes,
faintly saturnine; it is remarkable how
precisely the paintings agree. It is a
consolidated look, almost more than
with any other British monarch, and is
even there in a quick-fire sketch by the
great miniaturist Samuel Cooper, made
in chalk on brown paper as Charles
listens to his friend and former tutor,
the philosopher Thomas Hobbes.
The wig is off, the hair prematurely
grey – the king was only 30, but always
looked older than his age. He has only
just been crowned monarch, and this
profile drawing was probably made for
the new royal coins, minted to mark
the end of the Cromwellian regime.
Charles II: Art and Power is a
tremendous narration of history
through objects and images. It
opens with Charles I, whitefaced at the trial that ended in his
execution, and concludes with a
The Exeter Salt, c1630 by Johann Hass, for
the king on his coronation. Royal Collection
Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
gallery of masterpieces by Titian,
Veronese, Lorenzo Lotto and
others, many of them once owned
by Charles I and recovered by his
son, after their dispersal during the
Commonwealth. And what it reveals,
throughout, is the vital role of art in
establishing the Restoration.
Here is the famous Shropshire oak
tree in which Charles hid to escape
the Roundheads after the battle of
Worcester in 1651 – in prints, on
salvers, in elaborate ceramics. Here
is a buoyant painting of the coal brig
he hired from a Sussex captain to
ferry him safely to France, which
Charles bought back nine years later
and renamed the Royal Escape in
celebration of his voyage back to
England (it was moored at Whitehall),
a scene painted more than once by
hired Lowlands painters. The ships
depart from Scheveningen, that
gorgeous beach outside the Hague,
guns blasting in triumph, and watched
by so many Dutch people the roads
beneath them are scarcely visible.
Charles II, in terracotta, turns
to observe a distant scene with
consummate authority. In propaganda
prints he effortlessly calms some
rearing stallion, rides solemnly from
Whitehall past Westminster Abbey for
the state opening of parliament, offers
money to the poor and a healing touch
to the sick. The Italian artist Antonio
Verrio paints him as a fashion plate in
scarlet-heeled shoes fit for Christian
Louboutin, yet also as a heavyweight
intellectual in a broadbrush mural
fragment from Windsor Castle. Sir
Peter Lely, court painter, depicts him as
a refurbished Van Dyck.
But by far the most striking image is
a coronation portrait by the Londonborn, Edinburgh-trained painter John
Michael Wright. This colossal painting
soars up so high that the viewer is only
just about on kissing level with the
royal feet, in their golden shoes, looking
up through yards of silver satin and
red velvet to the royal face beneath its
peculiar exoskeletal crown. Hieratic,
rigid in its geometric interplay of
triangles and rectangles, the portrait
is so symmetrical as to appear almost
alien; a king who is out of this world.
Wright, incidentally, is something of
a revelation. Hanging on the adjacent
wall is his highly inventive portrait
of the actor John Lacy playing three
different roles at once – in tartan on
the left as Sauny the Scott, from Lacy’s
own adaptation of The Taming of the
Shrew; as Monsieur Device in the
middle, with absurd wig and rosettes,
as if in parody of Charles II; and as
hypocritical Parson Scruple on the
right. All three are in dialogue, through
Wright’s ingenuity, and together
present a kind of condensed portrait of
Restoration drama.
Charles was a closet Catholic,
converting on his deathbed. He had no
children with Catherine of Braganza,
his Portuguese wife, who appears here
with heavy jowls and a five o’clock
shadow of discoloured paint. His
reputation as a serial womaniser is
visible in a double-hung wall of royal
mistresses, otherwise known as the
Windsor Beauties. They all look the
A New Era:
Scottish Modern
Art 1900-50
Scottish National
Gallery of Modern
Art, Edinburgh;
until 10 June
Works by
50 Scottish
challenging the
usual picture
of an art scene
dominated by the
Scottish colourists.
John Stezaker
until June
collages of faces
and landscapes
from this modernday surrealist.
Brice Marden
Gagosian Gallery,
London; until
22 Dec Gorgeous
and quasi-mystical
traceries by this
great US abstract
same: loose hair and looser bodices,
suggestive hands and overdrawn
eyelids, both above and below, that
were supposed to suggest a drowsy
bedroom allure, but makes them
appear exophthalmic.
The lovers were made into
countesses, the illegitimate sons
became dukes (Prince William will
become the first monarch directly
descended from Charles II, through
Princess Diana, this way), and the
people were taxed heavily to pay for
it all. The poet Rochester coined the
deathless couplet that summarises
the king’s lechery: “Restless he rolls
about from whore to whore/ A merry
monarch, scandalous and poor”.
Naturally, you would not expect this
show to be stuffed with royal lampoons,
though Verrio’s apotheosis – Charles
at the top of a surging triangle of
mermen, horses, naiads and fishes –
sails helplessly close to parody. But the
exhibition steers a judicious course,
presenting the spectacle of gleaming
golden chalices against the financial
records of ruinous expenditure; prints
of the absurd ceremony of the relief of
the king’s evil, or scrofula, by the touch
of Charles’s hand, a custom he restored,
along with the magnificent works of
Titian and Lotto he recovered.
Charles II collected the drawings of
Leonardo, Michelangelo and Holbein.
Small corner rooms contain these
extraordinary portraits – a gnarled
old man, the head of the Virgin, an
Elizabethan poetess, respectively – in
spotlit cases. The king founded the
Royal Observatory in Greenwich
and the Royal Hospital Chelsea, was
the patron of Christopher Wren
and friend of Isaac Newton and the
Roberts Boyle and Hooke, whose book
Micrographia, or images of insects seen
through a magnifying glass, is one of the
show’s highlights.
But most surprising, perhaps, is
a series of mezzotints of Charles II,
almost the size of life and on the scale
of a modern poster. Invented around
this time, mezzotint allows for nearly
photographic half-tones without the use
of crosshatching or stipple; and these
prints bring the king right up close,
eye to eye with the viewer, soft and
breathing. Echoing the show’s premise
about the power of art, they make a
human being out of a monarch.
Charles II, c1676
by John Michael
Wright. Royal
Collection Trust
© Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
‘Tortured’: Sergei
Polunin in his piece
Satori at the Coliseum.
Photograph by
Tristram Kenton
Polunin puts his hurt into it
Sergei Polunin’s three-part programme is far from perfect but it resonates with an authentic emotional charge
Project Polunin: Satori
Coliseum, London WC2; ends today
Sergei Polunin’s Satori, which opened
last week, is a peculiar evening of
dance. It arrives on an ocean of hype,
and in the wake of a poorly received
programme at Sadler’s Wells in March.
Polunin has stated that he wishes to
divide his professional life between
film acting and dancing, and the former
seems to be going well for him. He has
roles in the recently released Murder
on the Orient Express, in The White
Crow, about the defection of Rudolf
Nureyev, and in Red Sparrow, opposite
Jennifer Lawrence. But ballet is not
a part-time affair, and the glorious
classical technique that Polunin
displayed in his Royal Ballet days is
now only a memory.
The Satori programme is in three
parts. We open with First Solo, created
by the Moscow-born choreographer
Andrey Kaydanovskiy. This is a
tautly sprung solo for Polunin, with
much anguished self-clutching and
a furious expenditure of energy.
One section features balletic
pyrotechnics, performed with a
calculatedly rough edge.
First Solo is followed by Kasyan
Goleizovsky’s Scriabiniana (1962).
Goleizovsky was an avant garde
Soviet choreographer whose
controversial work for the Bolshoi in
the 1920s caused him to fall foul of the
authorities. This is a late work, created
in the post-Stalinist era, and here
performed by Polunin with Natalia
Osipova and a cast of guest artists. For
all Goleizovsky’s kinetic fluency, and
the beauty of Scriabin’s music, the
piece looks terribly dated. Removed
from its historical context, the abstract
imploring and stagey gestures quickly
become relentless. The dancers are
excellent, but the work defies their best
efforts to breathe new life into it.
Scriabiniana calls to mind Icarus,
the 1971 Vladimir Vasiliev piece with
which Polunin opened his Sadler’s
Wells programme. Why is he so
attracted to these overwrought Soviet
relics? In part, I suspect, because they
offer an appropriately dramatic outlet
for his own anguish. When he dances
Scriabiniana’s final pas de deux with
Osipova, he seems to be repurposing
the work. All those heroic lifts, all those
human-spirit-in-chains histrionics,
become the expression of his own
emotional predicament.
This gives the evening an unexpected
resonance. Polunin’s pain is real, as
anyone who saw the documentary
Dancer will attest. He was born with a
phenomenal gift for ballet, but one that
only came to flower at the expense of
his parents’ marriage. How this affected
him is made brutally clear in Satori,
the evening’s 40-minute title piece.
A key passage of the work features
If one discards
conventional balletic
notions of form, then
Polunin’s intention
snaps into focus
a young boy (Tom Waddington) who
is physically dragged in opposing
directions by his parents (Polunin
and Liljana Velimirov), even as he
desperately and unsuccessfully tries
to pull them together. If much of the
piece is cryptic, this sequence is not. As
the mother, Velimirov is portrayed as
unambiguously cruel.
Satori is set to music by the German
film composer Lorenz Dangel, and
opens with Polunin sitting underneath
a giant bonsai tree. Multiple screens
play above his head, disseminating
random information. Polunin staggers
around, characters come and go, and
then Osipova enters and they perform
an odd but engaging duet, in the course
of which she whips off a sequence
of classical fouettés because... well,
because she’s Osipova. Waddington
slips out of the trunk of the tree as if
from a birth canal, and the parent-child
trio ensues. Afterwards, sinister blackclad demons take control of Polunin,
bearing him to the ground, but he is
freed by the final, redemptive entrance
of Osipova.
For a novice choreographer to
present his first work in the largest
theatre in the West End is unusual, to
say the least, and formally speaking
Satori appears chaotic. The set design
(by David LaChapelle) is overelaborate, with colliding clouds and
much else besides. The choreography
mixes styles haphazardly, with
Polunin’s tortured attitudinising
owing a considerable debt to Kenneth
MacMillan’s Mayerling. All this,
however, does not occlude the sincerity
and feeling underpinning the piece.
If one discards conventional balletic
notions of form, and applies to Satori
the same criteria that one might to a
work by an autobiographical artist such
as Jean-Michel Basquiat or Tracey
Emin, in which inner feelings and
personal history are expressed through
unexpected and seemingly disordered
marriages of image and reference, then
Polunin’s intention snaps into focus.
He wants us to understand his hurt,
and through it, himself. The result,
for all its apparent naivety, carries
an authentic emotional charge that
the fashionably arid work of many of
today’s celebrity choreographers does
not. The unmaking of a dancer might
just be the making of an artist.
act. Currently no one quite matches
him. Not yet 40, Hymel has youth
on his side. Canio’s wife, Nedda
(a recklessly coquettish Carmen
Giannattasio), plays fast and loose with
a lover, Silvio (Andrzej Filończyk),
and the unlovely Tonio, superbly
sung with repugnant, tight anger and
a convincing, rubbery physicality by
Simon Keenlyside. The chorus were
reliable as ever, and the orchestra too.
There must be more exciting scores
to play but they didn’t reveal the fact.
The Israeli conductor Daniel Oren
painted all in bright, brazen colours.
Five pianos, five singers, five pianists;
the cavernous underground austerity
of Ambika P3 and a UK premiere, of
Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s
An die Musik (2012) after Schubert –
all lasting seven hours. This was the
grand opening of this year’s London
contemporary music festival. You might
add “anarchic”, given the repeated,
back-to-back performances of
Schubert’s beloved song, simultaneous
but out of sync, ebbing, clashing,
swelling, flowing.
Yet immense control was exercised,
following Kjartansson’s specifications
(including china tea cups or water
glasses for necessary refreshment).
It untethered Schubert’s song and
moulded it into a hypnotic sculptural
sound. I sat, variously, near lovely
soprano Patricia Auchterlonie and
thoughtful baritone Dan D’Souza.
Two hours was enough. At the end
(later seen on video), all united and
sang together, as if in a Viennese
drinking den. It should have been
a nightmare. Inexplicably it was
captivating, up to a point.
The following night the American
composer Robert Ashley (19302014), best known for his spoken
television operas, was featured,
with narrations delivered by his son,
Sam Ashley, and music performed
by the ensemble Apartment House.
Public Opinion Descends Upon the
Demonstrators (1962) sounded like a
series of scratches, swallows, yawns
and mastication of chewing gum. It
turned out it was exactly that, a concert
piece about a concert “situation”. Sound
artist Jamie Hamilton scanned the
audience and turned our bodily noises
into a live electronic score, following
the Fibonacci sequence as laid out by
Ashley. It would be wrong to suggest I
now fully understand how it worked.
I particularly enjoyed Irish
composer Jennifer Walshe’s A Folk
Song Collection (excerpts): short,
sharp ditties about modern life – “I
don’t want to Google you”; “I had to
have Botox to stop me feeling angry”
– delivered with dry insouciance by
Leo Chadburn. Later in the week, too
late for this column, the festival’s New
Intimacy concerts featured Pauline
Oliveros’s orgasmic soundtrack to
the feminist porn film The Sluts and
Goddesses Video Workshop. You can’t
get much more verismo than that.
The power of two
A top cast relishes Royal Opera’s gritty Italian
double bill. Plus, the seven-hour Schubert song
Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci
Royal Opera House, London WC2;
in rep until 13 Jan
London contemporary
music festival
Ambika P3, London NW1; ends today
True hatred, true love. This double
emotional punch is promised in the
prologue to Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci,
half of the traditional Cav & Pag double
bill, which is this year’s festive offering
from the Royal Opera in Damiano
Michieletto’s 2015 staging. Festive, that
is, in holding up a mirror to family life
in all its psychic gore, knife ready to
plunge, tears to spill, yet transformed
into a shred of seasonal hope via the
binding agent of passionate melody.
Pagliacci (1892), based on a
newspaper crime report, tells of a group
of travelling players whose internecine
love quarrel acts itself out on stage, a
Noises Off minus the jokes. The partner
work, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana,
taken from the Sicilian realist writer
Giovanni Verga, is yet more glum:
southern Italian peasant life with all its
reassuring customs – the procession
with the Virgin Mary statue, the beatific
centrality of the village bakery – stained
by blood, rivalry and hypocrisy.
We keep returning to these late
19th-century short, brutal works
because they cut deep – that earthy
realism, or verismo, which Puccini
would explore with greater subtlety
– but they also provide a vehicle for
first-rate voices. The Royal Opera has
fielded a star lineup for this first revival,
updated to the mood of mid-20thcentury Italian cinema by designer
Paolo Fantin. On first night, Latvian
mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča as
Santuzza (Cav) at first struggled with
the high register (the part will later
be taken by Anna Pirozzi, a soprano),
then galvanised all her lustrous vocal
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
‘Tormented by fate’: Elena Zilio and Bryan
Hymel in Cavalleria rusticana at Covent
Garden. Catherine Ashmore
strength and anguish. Italian mezzosoprano Elena Zilio, a Royal Opera
favourite, held the stage as Mamma
Lucia, tormented by the fate of her badboy son Turiddu, sung by Bryan Hymel
in his role debut: trousers tight, white
shirt open, gold chain on show.
Covering for illness, Hymel also
made his role debut, a few days early,
as Canio in Pagliacci, the clown whose
smiles hide murderous jealousy. This
American tenor, recently triumphant
in the Royal Opera’s Les Vêpres
siciliennes, has all the pure, brilliant
top notes of Pavarotti but can really
Who says the kids are all right?
Newsbeat: My Mind and Me
R1 and 1Xtra
Mysteries of Sleep:
Sleepwalking R4
the stairs!... You’re so greedy, you’re
disgusting, you’re not good enough,
you’re weak.”
These programmes were touching
and informative. On the website,
you can watch an accompanying
documentary and hear the radio
shows. There’s also a cross-link to 5
Live, which is doing its own year-long
look into mental health. Plus, there’s
a new 10-part podcast, I Hear Voices,
which centres on Alice and the voices
she can hear when she’s having a
schizophrenic episode. Good stuff.
More mind tricks in Radio 4
documentary Mysteries of Sleep, which
covered sleepwalking, sleep-driving,
sleep-sex. Ooh, it was interesting.
We used to regard sleep as we do
an on-off switch – you were either
awake or asleep – but scientists now
believe that certain parts of the brain
can rouse themselves while others
remain dormant. Often the limbic
part of the brain, which controls
emotions, will wake up maddened and
in a panic while the rational
part snoozes on. There were
some funny stories here (a man
trying to order a pizza by using a
shoe as a phone) and some not very
funny ones at all. The sex-somnia part
of this programme was distressing,
despite presenter Dr Guy Leschziner’s
Yet more mind work in The Art
of Living, a short but very sweet
documentary about two professional
composer/musicians, William Carslake
and Patrick Stockbridge,
working with children
with learning difficulties.
The kids composed and performed
a show, about a bar in a rainforest,
which helped with their confidence
and socialisation. And it helped the
composers too. They said that they
were used to working towards an
expected perfect product. Whereas
with this show, when the kids perform,
“there’s something new every time”.
Yes, and it was wonderful.
The Art of Living: When Words
Fail, Music Speaks R4
Radio 1 understands its audience. It
knows that, despite Ofcom’s worrying
about too many old people tuning in
(ban their ancient ears!), the people
who really listen to it – as in take it
seriously – are young. Teenagers.
Twentysomethings. And although
plenty of young people in the UK are
having the time of their lives, many
are not. Many of them are suffering
with mental health issues. Some recent
stats. Seventy-five per cent of mental
illnesses start before a child is 18; 10%
of school children have a diagnosable
mental illness; 75% of young people
with a mental health problem are not
receiving treatment.
Radio 1 knows this and, with its
sister station 1Xtra, it’s been running
a campaign called My Mind and Me
for the past year. “We want to get
you talking about what’s going on in
your head” is the tagline, and its web
page is full of clips and information
garnered from its various programmes
and discussions on the topic. And
to mark the end of the My Mind
And Me shows, last week Newsbeat
broadcast five short documentaries
where listeners took centre stage
and told us about their mental health
problems. We heard from Mat, who
suffers from anxiety, Laura, who is
When things turned
dark, experts were on
hand to explain how
listeners could manage
difficult situations
recovering from anorexia, Alice, who
has schizophrenia, and Bex, who
has a number of complex conditions
including OCD; and Friday’s
programme featured several listeners
and their tales of recovery.
All these stories were told in the
Newsbeat way. They were emotionally
direct, an arrow to the heart of the
subject. They were sharply edited;
interviews clipped short, no words
wasted. And they had a positive
message. Even when things turned
dark, experts were on hand to explain
how listeners could manage difficult
situations. We were told how Alice
copes when she is overwhelmed with
the desire to harm herself (she flicks
an elastic band on her wrist). Or how
Laura might deal with the stress of
eating a chocolate bar. And if that
doesn’t sound stressful, then you need
to hear Laura detailing the mania of
her thoughts as she does exactly this.
“You’ve done nothing all day, you
don’t need this, have you seen what
time it is? It’s far too late to eat… Do
you remember how fat you used to
be, if you start you won’t be able to
stop… Take laxatives, run up and down
‘Positive message’: Radio 1’s Clara Amfo,
left, at a My Mind and Me event in July.
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Haley, Williams and Hugo
are back together, but
NERD’s new album sounds
‘like Pharrell’s show’.
Photograph by Driely S
It’s Pharrell with bells on
No_One Ever Really Dies
Self-titling your fifth album sends
a signal. The glad tidings are that
No_One Ever Really Dies is not one of
those rock fusions NERD have made in
the past just to prove how versatile the
production duo of Pharrell Williams
and Chad Hugo (and their childhood
friend Shae Haley) could be.
NERD are not only back, for the
first time since 2010’s Nothing album,
then, but relevant – political, even,
in marked contrast to their slinkier
incarnations. You get the impression
that, however huge a hit Happy was
for Williams, there was a desire for
him to make some beats that could in
no way soundtrack a children’s film.
There is a strong Yolo bent, redolent
of Pharrell’s Skateboard P days, to
No_One Ever Really Dies. One track,
Don’t Don’t Do It!, even breaks into
something like ska. This is a brash,
busy party record with its eyes wide
open, in which the NERD brand is
thoroughly refreshed.
Rhythms and visuals to the fore, the
tracks that have emerged thus far are
the album’s more ferociously direct.
Featuring Rihanna rapping bars – a
first – the lead-off, Lemon, cribs from
trap and the kind of pristine dewdrop
beats NERD, the Neptunes and
Pharrell solo have previously deployed
in their more minimal phases.
Another A-lister, Future, is front
and centre on the banging 1000 – a
deranged new wave take on trap,
whose rich video churns through
recent riot footage, the Dead
Kennedys (“Nazi redneck assholes
fuck off !”) and some fierce formation
dancing. By contrast, the equally
fraught Rollinem 7’s hauls fellow
funky elder statesman André 3000 out
for a verse.
The rest of the track listing barely
finds time to catch its breath. The
funky, sassy ESP, one of the relatively
few guest-free zones, is begging to
be a single. It is one of many tracks
whose good-time sounds carry with
them nods to recent times. The “mad
ethnic” sample stitched into Lemon,
cribbed from a Twitter video in which
a New Jersey rapper called Retch films
himself smoking a blunt and shouting
out to Martin Luther King, surrounded
by bemused white onlookers, recurs
again on ESP.
At the album’s first playback in
California, Williams explained that
the title of Don’t Don’t Do It! (which
also features Kendrick Lamar) quotes
the wife of North Carolina police
shooting victim Keith Lamont Scott
as she pleads with officers for his life,
recording the incident on her phone.
Musically, NERD are not short of
things to say either. The only hitch is
that sometimes, a surfeit of ideas all
turns up on one song. Pairing Lamar
with MIA is inspired, but their track
– Kites – deserves to be a killer, rather
than a kitchen sink overflowing with
spare genres.
Another fly in the ointment: it is
unclear how much Chad Hugo (or,
indeed, Shae Haley) was involved in
No_One Ever Really Dies. It sounds –
overwhelmingly – like Pharrell’s show.
Ultimately, though, this is an album
full of what another killer track –
Secret Life of Tigers – calls “serotonin
overload!” – a flow-state that not
even a perky reggae track featuring
Ed Sheeran (Lifting You) can dim.
Kitty Empire
Robert Finley
Juicy J
Goin’ Platinum!
Rubba Band Business
A carpenter by trade, 64-year-old
Robert Finley lost his sight a few years
ago. A spot of busking in the right place
at the right time led to this Louisiana
bluesman’s debut album, Age Don’t
Mean a Thing (2016). Now Finley’s mighty
pipes – honed during his time in an army
band – have been co-opted by Dan
“Black Keys” Auerbach for a lush, teakpanelled Nashville soul record. The storied
session players are top-notch – Duane
Eddy is on guitar – and Finley’s versatile
voice ranges from prime Motown holler
– as on Medicine Woman, the album’s
lead track – to Holy Wine’s heartbroken
falsetto croon. KE
Jim James
Dan Michaelson
Tribute to 2
First Light
Cosmic rockers My Morning Jacket aren’t
the force of old but, as this album of covers
shows, their frontman’s voice remains a
potent instrument. From the Beach Boys’ I
Just Wasn’t Made for These Times to Elvis
Presley’s Crying in the Chapel, these songs
brim with anguish and regret, qualities that
suit James’s supple tones. Occasionally,
particularly on the standards, he tries too
hard to make the track his own, adding
unnecessary howls and flourishes. For the
most part, though, these spare reworkings
are dramatic and wonderfully arranged.
The highlight is Abbey Lincoln’s The World
Is Falling Down, a bewitching snapshot of
society in meltdown. Paul Mardles
Fela Kuti
Three Trapped Tigers frontman Tom
Rogerson plays piano and submits himself
to Eno’s improvisational techniques on
his debut solo album. In a very Enoesque
way, a chance meeting outside a toilet led
to the producer training infrared beams on
the pianist’s keys and improvising around
signals created when the beams were
broken. The results are easy enough to
digest, even if the process isn’t, with just
enough repetition and structure to prevent
attention drift. Most of the pieces forgo
any sort of rhythm, although the baleful
ambience of March Away’s percussion is
so good that it’s a shame the pair didn’t
pursue it. Damien Morris
Blanco y Negro
Dimension Drive
Switch, Linux, Mac, PC,
2Awesome Studio, cert: 7
There are few creators of space games
who can rival the CVs of the team
behind Dimension Drive, previously
engineers in the space exploration
sector. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they’ve
brought a distinct perspective to the
arcade 2D shooter. All the prerequisites
are here: a nimble starfighter, shooting
down enemies and dodging swarms of
bullets. But the screen is also divided
into two distinct areas: the titular
dimensions, which you can warp
between to avoid enemies or recharge
your weapons. Initially this can feel a
little clumsy, but it adds an intriguing
puzzle element. Dimension Drive would
benefit from a little more strategic
depth, but is great fun, challenging and
admirably innovative. Will Freeman
Chronicles 2
Switch, Nintendo, cert: 12
This third title in Monolith Soft’s
Xenoblade Chronicles series is the most
Japanese-leaning to date, the developer
having successfully fused design
elements from western MMOs and
JRPGs over the past eight years. The art
direction has gone unashamedly full
anime, and the more emotive visual style
ties neatly into the newfound focus on
cinematic storytelling. Though far more
scripted, it’s still an experience driven by
exploration, and as usual, delivers big on
scale and spectacle. The battle system is
the zenith of the genre: intuitive, yet
vastly complex and customisable. This is
a lavish, beautiful, full-fat JRPG
experience, and a perfect bookend to a
phenomenal first year for Nintendo’s
hybrid console. Rupert Higham
Summer of Love
A restrained, bassdriven tribute to
defiant Syrian plant
seller Abu Ward, the
“last gardener of
Tkay Maidza and
Danny L Harle
Bom Bom
Marrying the
Australian MC’s
colourful delivery
with Harle’s
industrial beats,
this is ferociously
Oh My Godheads
PS4, Xbox One, PC, Titutitech
cert: 7
The concept sounds absurd and
dated: capture-the-flag, played with
outsized heads in small, brightly lit
arenas. But Oh My Godheads manages its
mashup to perfection, shunning flashy
visuals and online modes in favour of silly,
competitive fun. Viewed from above, up
to four human opponents battle to
capture giant heads while battering each
other into oblivion, with exuberant
gameplay, confidently balanced
characters and clever modes making for a
rare multiplayer delight. There are flaws:
the AI team-mates often refuse to help
and the single-player mode is more like a
tutorial. But to be sniffy is to miss the
sheer joy of carrying a gargantuan head to
its destination as all the while it tries to
kill you. It’s a concept that has made all
other capture-the-flag games suddenly
look tame in comparison. Andy Robertson
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
Doom or Destiny
This punky
ramalama from
their recentt
Pollinator LP
gets the video
Joan Jett.
Follow our playlist
On the evidence of First Light,
Northampton’s Dan Michaelson isn’t the
sort who leaps out of bed to greet the
day. His seventh album concerns itself
with that first moment of consciousness,
and his weary voice sounds suitably
hypnopompic. Indeed, there are echoes
of Bill Callahan in his delivery, the sense
that his measured baritone could imbue
even the most mundane line with emotion.
Arnulf Lindner’s orchestral arrangements
are a subtle delight, meanwhile, violins,
cellos and violas beautifully framing
Michaelson’s lyrics. If there’s a criticism,
it’s just that too little distinguishes one
song from another. Phil Mongredien
Tom Rogerson With
Brian Eno Finding Shore
Memphis rapper Juicy J is an artist
renowned for bangers rather than
lyrical depth, as is the case on his fourth
studio album. Reverberating with gritty,
theatrical, rocket-fuel beats from the
best trap producers around (Metro
Boomin, Mike Will Made It, Lex Luger),
and featuring some stellar guests
(Ty Dolla $ign, Wiz Khalifa, Migos’s
Offset), it has plenty of anthems for
grinding in the club. The puerile misogyny
is unfortunate (Drop a Bag ends by
shaming women who post suggestive
photos on social media), but this is largely
a straightforward collection of bold,
egotistical hip-hop tunes. Tara Joshi
Vinyl Box Set 4
Having other musicians “curate” Fela’s
catalogue has helped maintain the legacy
of Nigeria’s notorious rebel and Afrobeat
founder. Soul queen Erykah Badu follows
Questlove, Ginger Baker and Brian Eno in
choosing seven albums centred on Fela’s
industrious late 1970s, when his best band,
Africa 70, was intact. Badu’s favourite is
Coffin for Head of State, a mournful elegy
for his mother, murdered by government
troops. More typical of Fela’s mix of anger
and exuberance are Yellow Fever, No
Agreement and the live VIP (Vagabonds in
Power), while 1992’s Underground System
is an urgent return to form. A world fan’s
dream present. Neil Spencer
Rossini, Schumann,
Brahms Guido Cantelli,
Philharmonic Orchestra
Ten years ago, when Blanco y Negro first
appeared, their combination of Cuban
music and Scandinavian jazz seemed an
exotic novelty. Now, relaunched with some
phenomenal new players, they’re almost
mainstream, but by no means run of the
mill. The trickiest task is keeping the Latin
and jazz elements in balance, and this they
manage perfectly. The music is dynamic
and imaginative, and the musicianship
superb. All five members have a hand in the
composition. Outstanding among them are
pianist Abel Marcel and saxophonist KarlMartin Almqvist, while the conga playing
of Eliel Lazo is among the most impressive
I’ve ever heard. Dave Gelly
A Christmas solution for historic recordings
fans, but any music lover should be
pleased: a rare live recording of a complete
Philharmonia Orchestra concert at the Royal
Albert Hall, conducted by Guido Cantelli,
whose brilliant career was cut short by his
early death, aged 36, in 1956. Once your
ears adjust, these performances of Rossini,
Schumann and Brahms have engrossing
flair and fizzing energy. It’s one of the first
batch of ICA Classics from the Richard
Itter archive, taken from BBC broadcasts
between 1952 and 1962. Itter recorded
them in his Buckinghamshire home on his
own state-of-the-art sound equipment.
An astonishing story. Fiona Maddocks
Bach Small Gifts
Lully, Rameau, Gluck et al
Andreas Scholl, Dorothee
Oberlinger, Ensemble 1700
An Opera for Three Kings
Soloists, Purcell Choir, Orfeo
Orchestra/Vashegyi (GLOSSA)
The title Small Gifts is taken from the
frontispiece of Bach’s six Brandenburg
concertos, Nos 2 and 4 of which feature
here. Seasonally or not, it makes sense
for this choice selection of arias, chorales
and instrumental works including the
solo cantata Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte
Seelenlust, and the much loved Herz und
Mund und Tat und Leben. Uniting their own
particular talents, countertenor Andreas
Scholl, voice fresh and unblemished as ever,
and recorder player/director Dorothee
Oberlinger are in their element. Oberlinger’s
small, Cologne-based chamber ensemble
plays with lithe precision, each musician a
soloist. Quite large gifts, it turns out. FM
György Vashegyi and his Budapest band
join forces with the Versailles Baroque
Music Centre, conjuring up the splendour of
18th-century court celebrations for Louis
XIV, XV and XVI. A skilfully chosen two-disc
set demonstrates where the originality of
Lully and Rameau came from and where it
led to. The most interesting predecessors
are the ballets of Destouches and
Dauvergne, full of sensual grace, and a
magnificent choral Chaconne by Royer.
Post-baroque, the foreigner Gluck sweeps
all before him in the powerful extracts from
Iphigénie en Tauride. Sprightly orchestral
playing and solo singing, but not such a
well-focused choir. Nicholas Kenyon
Judith Kerr’s new cat, Katinka, is among the
in the best children’s picture books
Page 34
Is Pa
Paul Gorman’s story of style bible the
Face the definitive history, asks Ekow Eshun
Page 36
Rac Cooke hails Tillie Walden’s memoir
about her years as a competitive ice-skater
Page 37
In thrall to the gruesome twosome
Two new books offer engrossing accounts of why it all went wrong for Theresa May, writes Andrew Rawnsley
Betting the House: The Inside
Story of the 2017 Election
Tim Ross and Tom McTague
Biteback £14.99, pp464
Fall Out: A Year of Political
Tim Shipman
Harper Collins £25, pp592
Some called them “the terrible twins”.
To others in government they were
“the gruesome twosome”. No one
ever cast a vote for Fiona Hill or Nick
Timothy. Only a small minority of
Britons will have heard of them. Yet
both of these excellent books suggest
that Theresa May’s chiefs of staff were
the most influential people in the
British government at a time when it
was making decisions of enormous
consequence for the nation’s future.
In Tim Shipman’s engrossing account,
they held the prime minister “captive”
during the 11 months it took for
May to travel from being a leader so
superficially dominant that she was
worshipped by Tory MPs with the
creepy nickname “mummy” to her
spectacular crash at the June election.
“There are three people in this
government,” Timothy liked to boast.
“It’s me, Fiona and the PM.” This was
not just the bragging of a puffed-up
apparatchik. A host of witnesses
testify that he and Hill did wield huge,
unchecked and unaccountable power.
Longtime aides to May, a secretive,
shy and often insecure personality not
always confident of her own political
judgment, they were two of the very
few people she trusted in the world.
In the crude and sometimes cruel
way that politicians attempt pseudopsychological analysis of each other,
some Tories viewed the twins as the
children that Theresa and Philip
May never had. Tim Ross and Tom
McTague’s compelling book quotes one
senior Tory: “They are more influential
than that. I’m close to my kids, but my
kids don’t tell me what to say. They are
more like parents, actually.”
Timothy, who sported a Rasputinish
beard to match his desire to be
acclaimed as a philosophical savant,
supplied the intellectual conviction
that May often lacked. The prime
minister had become dependent on
Hill, a volatile former journalist, to
tell her how to navigate the rapids of
a media world that she neither liked
nor understood. Shipman relates what
happened when May is persuaded to
do a photoshoot for a glossy magazine.
Told that the prime minister wants
to dress in clothes from her own
wardrobe, Hill raves: “First. Fucking.
Mistake. You need to realise that the
PM does not know her own mind
on this and needs me to be the one
making these decisions for her.” She
gets a designer to supply £995 leather
trousers, which become notorious
because they clash so horribly with
May’s stated purpose of being in
government to do something for the
“just about managing”.
May ought to have stuck with her
desire to wear her own clothes. A
willingness to be overruled by her
domineering advisers mattered in
much more important things. The
prime minister was not always
May is painted as a
‘captive’ of her
domineering advisers.
comfortable making decisions and
“moved towards her conclusions with
all the felicity of a static caravan on a
low loader”, observes Shipman, who
is a witty phrase-maker. Timothy and
Hill, by contrast, relished and revelled
in the power they seized when she
brought them into Downing Street.
One of Shipman’s many interviewees
likens the terror they instilled in
the cabinet to “a domestic violence
relationship”. Another suggests that
civil servants were treated like “slaves”.
Both books report on the ruthlessness
with which the twosome excluded
any counsel that might rival their own.
One cabinet minister complained:
“You couldn’t get anything in the PM’s
box, unless Nick or Fi agreed. Access
to the PM was completely shut off.”
Ministers and officials who incurred
the wrath of “the chiefs” would be
dressed down at No 10 in a room near
the prime minister’s office designated
the “Bollocking Room”. On some
occasions, write Ross and McTague,
“people would be summoned from
across Whitehall and made to wait and
sweat for hours in there, only for the
chiefs of staff eventually to cancel the
After Timothy fell out with Philip
Hammond, both books report that
the chancellor was referred to as “the
cunt” and in front of other officials,
so it inevitably got back to him at the
Treasury. The atmosphere in No 10
turned darker even than during the
besieged days of Gordon Brown –
and with much less excuse. May was
enjoying stratospheric personal poll
ratings and Labour MPs assumed
that she could inflict a devastating
defeat on their party at a time of her
own choosing.
These might be no more than
episodes from an entertainingly
grotesque soap opera had it not had
significant consequences for Britain.
Shipman does a very fine job of making
sense of the period since the Brexit
referendum and he is especially
illuminating when he focuses on how
the narrow vote to leave came to be
interpreted as licence to pursue one of
the more severe versions of removing
Britain from the EU. Timothy was
the author of “no deal is better than a
bad deal” and May’s other signature
phrases about the perilous enterprise.
He also imposed his definition of
Brexit on the government without any
discussion about withdrawal strategy
by the mere cabinet. Ross and McTague
agree: “Timothy, more than anyone,
made the Tory party the party of hard
Brexit.” The letter triggering Article 50
was written by the aide and its contents
not shared with the relevant senior
ministers until the day before the
missive was delivered to Brussels.
Hubris is the midwife of nemesis.
Both Hill and Timothy were
instrumental in cajoling May to call
an early election against her own
extremely nervous instincts. Both
were complicit in an almost entirely
May-centred campaign with the rest
of the cabinet erased from the script,
especially the hated chancellor. As
her robotic repetition of “strong and
stable” became the target of mounting
mockery, the prime minister privately
protested that she was being made
“ridiculous” – and yet still carried
on reading out the mechanical lines
given to her as if she had no more free
will than a ventriloquist’s dummy.
A presidential contest might have
worked had she been a charismatic
leader adept at retail politics, but the
Tory party found out too late that it
had been worshipping “the cult of
no personality”. Even after May was
revealed to be a terrible campaigner,
the Tories might still have secured
a reasonable majority had they
not launched a Timothy-authored
manifesto whose contents were shared
with the cabinet too late for ministers
to avert the disaster it became.
This is deftly related by Ross and
McTague in a well-constructed
narrative which gives a lively account
of the campaign while also reflecting
astutely on the underlying forces that
shaped the result. They correctly
highlight Labour’s vastly superior
exploitation of social media and its
more battle-ready ground operation,
during which ride-sharing apps
were used to mobilise activists into
marginal seats. The Corbyn campaign,
which had plenty of unforced
blunders and bitter internal rivalries
of its own, was not that brilliant. It
looks good in retrospect because the
competition from the Tories was so
atrociously bad.
Hill and Timothy were required to
fall on their swords in the immediate
aftermath of the election debacle.
That was a price demanded by senior
Tories in exchange for granting May
a reprieve from being sent to the
chopping block herself. This nags
me with a doubt about whether it is
entirely fair to land all the blame on
her aides. Arrogant and incompetent
they may have been, but they also serve
as handy scapegoats for the prime
minister who employed them and the
Tory party that made her its leader. It
is only since they have been spiked that
those who worked in their proximity
have bared all, though usually
anonymously, to tell these authors that
“the chiefs” were monsters. Where was
the senior civil service when all this
was going on? Where was the cabinet?
What were ministers doing when
Britain’s government was in thrall
to the terrible twins? The gruesome
twosome got to wield so much power
only because others were too feeble or
too frightened to stop them.
To order Betting the House for
£12.74 or Fall Out for £21.25 go
to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Children’s books
Tinselly tales
for a magical
From Quentin Blake’s Scrooge to Judith
Kerr’s new cat and beyond, bright ideas for
presents abound, writes Kate Kellaway
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens,
illustrated by Quentin Blake (Pavilion
£14.99), is an uplifting version of
Dickens’s classic, bound in scarlet, with
which to get Christmas off to a festive
start. Dickens and Blake turn out to
be a canny pairing – what they have
in common is boundless imaginative
energy. Blake’s Scrooge is first
encountered bent double over his desk.
Everything about him and his environs is
greyish save for the pile of golden coins
upon which he is dolefully focused. The
first ghost in the story is rendered as
comic and alarming – a mix Blake has
down to a fine art. Hair standing on end,
desperate mouth – the ghost is chaos
on the move. But the most appealing
picture is of Scrooge transformed – a
benign Christmas figure, if not quite
qualifying as a wise man with holly in
his hair, satsumas and Christmas pud
at his feet (five up – and all the family).
The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse
by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon
Klassen (Walker £12.99), is a model of
storytelling: a simple, compelling tale of
two animals, a duck and a mouse, who
make themselves at home in a wolf’s
belly. Barnett’s nice distinction is that
being swallowed is not the same as
being eaten. The belly is claustrophobic.
It lacks mod cons and daylight but
the animals do surprisingly well in
their dark digs and there are amazing
developments to come. Hassen’s edgy,
subtle, muted drawings illustrate this
story marvellously (three-year-olds of
steady character and up).
Katinka’s Tail by Judith Kerr
(Harper Collins £12.99) is a welcome
and heartwarming postscript to
the inimitable Mog books. Bravo to
94-year-old Kerr and her ninth cat,
Katinka, engagingly encountered
here. Kerr insists Katinka is a perfectly
“ordinary” snowy white cat, apart from
her eye-catching tabby tail. Might Kerr
be protesting too much? She starts off
by showing, with trademark subtlety,
the ordinary ways in which a human/
feline relationship can flourish before
extraordinarily taking off into orbit as
Katinka’s tail turns out not to be tabby
after all but, like the story, pure gold
(three up).
Play in a Box: Everything you Need
to Put on Your Own Show! (National
Theatre 12.99) is a wonderful idea
organised in an attractive and unfussy
way. It consists of a box, not much
bigger than a brick, inside which
you will find a Stagecraft Handbook,
a list of possible characters and –
the importance of this cannot be
overemphasised – a “plot twist book”
to introduce a host of problems young
players will need to solve on stage:
it? A Friend or a Hero? Why? Was it
something you said or did?” All these
prompts will nudge the imagination –
if it is not in overdrive already. It even
contains tickets to fill in and distribute
as soon as you are ready for your play’s
first night (six up).
Frogs are playing
hula-hoop with the
five gold rings. It is
a nice new take on
an old favourite
A Thousand Billion Things (and Some
Sheep) by Loïc Clement and Anne
Montel (Words & Pictures
£12.99), is an intriguing,
sophisticated, beautifully
executed book about a child
growing up in a world
where there is, arguably,
too much choice. It is
presented as a form of
hide-and-seek in which
the reader is asked
to search for a green
jumper, identify a pile of
cream cakes, spot rubber
Main picture:
a scene from
Quentin Blake’s
version of A
Christmas Carol.
Left: Katinka’s Tail
by Judith Kerr.
ducks from pages of minutely detailed
detritus. It is a nice joke that the child in
question cannot sleep because counting
sheep is too samey – not enough choice.
A diverting addition to any picture book
library (four up).
Dragons: Father and Son by Alexandre
Lacroix, illustrated by Ronan Badel
(Words & Pictures £11.99), is expertly
orchestrated, a yarn about initiation
in which a young dragon forgoes
dragonish violence in favour of
helping a fisherman on a beach to get
a barbecue going. How will his dragon
dad react to this benign rebellion? The
young dragon was supposed to have set
fire to a building to mark his coming of
age. In the end, vanity turns out to be a
dragon’s best friend. When the dragons
contemplate their appearance, they
revel in their unusual, orange, scaly
bottoms and hairy noses – all the better
for snorting with (three up).
(Nosy Crow/The British Museum
£9.99) as a child – I adored it. But
my book was inferior. This book is
divided into three horizontal sections
so that depending upon how you flip
the pages, different faces emerge.
Involving the British Museum – and
plundering its ancient artefacts with
clear, detailed photographs – refines
the idea and gives it class and dash.
Turning at random now, I see an
ancient bald head (top section), a
terrific, faded, handlebar moustache
(middle section) and (bottom section)
a pale blue chin with a curvy, enigmatic
red smile. Endless fun (two up).
On the face of it, The Twelve Days of
Christmas, illustrated by Anna Wright
(Faber £9.99), looks like a conservative
little book, but look twice. There are
frogs playing hula-hoop with the five
scale of how to be paid in
Veteran children’s
nonfiction writer Mira
Bartók won plaudits for
her harrowing adult memoir
The Memory Palace (2011),
and, now, a film deal for her debut
children’s novel, The Wonderling
(Walker £14.99). Bartók’s protagonist
is a bullied, foxish half-breed known
as No 13, languishing in a ghastly
workhouse orphanage (shades of
Oliver Twist) run by the monstrous
Miss Carbunkle (shades of Matilda).
Gradually No 13 acquires a friend,
a name – Arthur – a backbone, and
a mission: to discover his long-lost
home. The plot quickly thickens,
however, as the friends travel
through a Dickensian dystopia only
occasionally lit by warmth, music or
hope. Stephen Daldry will direct.
I persevered with Dog (Pushkin
£10.99) by Andy Mulligan, solely
because the author has won awards
for not pulling any punches. He really
doesn’t. Only one puppy is left from
the litter: the one with the funny tooth.
Spider, as he is eventually
called, has to contend with
a gas-lighting minx of a
cat, and a psychologically
abusive spider warping his
innate good nature.
Even when he is adopted
by the loving Tom, it all goes south.
Middle-years books are an excellent
place to introduce the idea that life
can be quite barbaric; Mulligan piles
on the peril. Ultimately, though, this
is a thoroughly gripping buddy movie
begging to be made, in which the
underdogs – canine, human, insectoid
and otherwise – school everyone in
true grit and loyalty.
Most assured of all, The Murderer’s
Ape (Pushkin £16.99) by Jakob
Wegelius (left) comes with an effusive
Philip Pullman endorsement wrapped
around it. It really does not disappoint.
One of those casually erudite
children’s books that does not
treat children as kiddywinks, The
Murderer’s Ape follows the saga of
Sally Jones – a mechanically gifted
seafarer who happens to be an ape –
and her attempts to clear the name
I remember having a book like
Mixed-Up Masterpieces: Funny Faces
Schoolboy standup and
global skulduggery
Kitty Empire on a
tightly plotted comic
quest, a treat of a
seafaring saga and a
Dickensian dystopia
Snow flurries blow across ice
palaces, and a penguin or seven
crops up in this season’s stockingful
of books. Best enjoyed with a mug
of sustaining cocoa, Alex Bell’s The
Polar Bear Explorers’ Club (Faber
£6.99) – probably the start of a series
– delights in sleety detail. Twelveyear-old Stella Starflake Pearl dreams
of being an arctic explorer like her
adoptive father, a derringdoer who disdains club
rules about moustaches
and not taking girls along
on expeditions. Soon
Stella is questing through
the Icelands. Inadvertently
stumbling across the uneasy secrets
of her childhood, she forges unlikely
friendships. Big on tiny enchanted
penguins, pygmy diplodocuses,
moustache wax, unicorns and
compassion, Bell’s book also packs
some fairytale-calibre grimness (hence
the need for strong cocoa).
Another series opener, Mr Penguin
and the Lost Treasure (Hachette £9.99),
finds the titular Mr Penguin – a
private investigator-cum-adventurer
– dreading a return to the frozen
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
south if he doesn’t get some paid work
soon. Icy waves? Brrrr, no, thank you.
Written and illustrated by Alex T
Smith (of Claude fame), this is a zany
whodunnit for emerging readers in
which Mr Penguin traipses through
mysterious lands below a
failing museum in search of
treasure, while dastardly
baddies keep postponing
his lunch (fish-finger
Quests can take all
sorts of forms, of course.
In Harry Hill Presents Matt
Millz, the Youngest Stand-up
Comedian in the World, illustrated by
Steve May (Faber £10.99), the distant
goal is for schoolboy Matt to enter a
proper standup competition – at “the
actual Apollo”, not just the (fictional)
Biddleden Women’s Institute.
One of those celebs who charms
on the page, Hill (above) delights in
freestyling joke ideas while keeping
the plot turning over. Naturally, the
message is really about chutzpah and
the importance of friendship. But it’s
funny, too – witness Matt’s sliding
‘Sarah Parish stars as an
all-action detective with a
secret past: Bancroft’
TV, page 40
Thrills, spills and girl power
Lydia Ruffles’s gripping novel The
Taste of Blue Light (Hodder £12.99)
is a hothouse boarding school for
performance and fine artists where
self-absorption is an art in itself. Luxe,
back at school after a breakdown, has
synaesthesia and is losing face and
friends through her anxiety-fuelled
social lapses.
It’s easy to make fun of the students,
who pledge allegiance to the muses
and Simon Cowell, but an institution
where achievement starts with
confronting the true self is arguably
the best place for Luxe to be. As the
gaps in her memory are filled, her
progress to recovery becomes even
more admirable.
The Unpredictability of Being Human
by Linni Ingemundsen (Usborne
£7.99) follows 14-year-old Malin
through similarly rocky emotional
terrain, her friendships and home
life plagued by miscommunication
and uncertainty. She falls through
the cracks at home and at school,
finds and loses lifelines, but somehow
triumphs and stands up to bullies.
Both this and Ruffles’s novel offer
solidarity and gentle encouragement
to those who find engagement with the
world difficult.
Here’s two punchy thrillers to fill
festive downtime. My Side of the
Diamond by Sally Gardner (Hot Key
£9.99) will entice fans of The X-Files
and Stranger Things. The golem myth
tangles with otherworldly encounters
and conspiracy theories as witnesses
to harrowing and bloody goings-on in
Suffolk make their statements to the
enigmatic Mr Jones (friend or foe?).
If there’s an enticing locked cupboard
in your Christmas holiday let, leave
it alone. Genuine Fraud by the skilled
story-spinner E Lockhart (Hot Key
Continued overleaf
gold rings and the swans are aristocrats
with wings like the endpapers of a
Venetian notebook. The eight maids-amilking turn out to be famished piglets
and the dancing ladies are gorgeous
butterflies. It is a nice new take on
an old favourite and is asking to be
squeezed into a stocking (all ages).
Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht,
illustrated by Jarvis (Walker £11.99), is
a sprightly, unashamedly Christmassy
picture book in which a family ventures
forth in the snow to choose a Christmas
tree. It will take a child through the
merry mission of purchasing the tree,
of balancing it and perhaps of offering
it a drink – and then of decorating
it. The book has an unstrained,
jaunty feel that will appeal to young
children and get them into the mood
for transformation – the celebratory
moment when a pine sapling turns
into a Christmas tree (three up).
of her human friend, falsely accused
of murder. Despite the beautiful
illustrations, we are near the top of the
age range here: parents might be asked
to explain why a maharajah might
have concubines, and why a sensible
woman might be in love with someone
who leaves her with bruises.
Neither is a focus, however.
A multiple prize-winning hit in
Wegelius’s native Sweden, this
extraordinary book acquires a passport
full of stamps – Portugal, Egypt, India,
Greece – as it masterfully juggles
skulduggery and malaria, accordionmaking and aeronautics, fado and
pastries, police corruption and at least
two love stories. To say anything more
would spoil what is a rare treat: a book
you want to thrust into the hands of
children and adults alike.
To order any of the books
listed at a special price go to or
call 0330 333 6846
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
The original purveyor of cool
Revolutionary style
bible the Face
deserves a more
spirited history,
writes Ekow Eshun
The Story of the Face
Paul Gorman
Thames & Hudson £34.95, pp342
In September 1988, the style magazine
the Face celebrated its 100th issue
in triumphal fashion. There was an
elaborate fold-out cover, essays by
star writers such as Nick Kent and
Julie Burchill and fashion stories
by leading photographers including
Mario Testino and Nick Knight,
their contributions all testament
to the magazine’s dazzling
international profile. “Every art
director in New York and Tokyo
has to have the Face now,” declared
cultural commentator Peter York.
“Magazine of the decade,” the
publication itself trumpeted on
the cover.
Behind the scenes the mood
was less bullish. The magazine’s
founder and editor, Nick Logan, was
considering ceasing publication, out
of concern that a second 100 issues
might not match the quality of the
first. Logan eventually relented.
But the fact that he contemplated
closing down the title at the height
of its fortunes is a telling insight
into his high standards. It’s also an
indication of why, 13 years after its
eventual demise in 2004, the Face
retains a reputation as one of the
most influential magazines in British
publishing history.
Logan started the title in 1980 with
£3,500 in savings. As a former editor
of the NME and the creator of Smash
Hits, he had an impressive pedigree.
from above: a spread from the Face, May 1992; founder and editor Nick Logan
pictured shortly before the magazine’s 100th issue, July 1988; cover star Kurt Cobain,
September 1993. Nick Logan/the Face Archive, Martin Argles/the Observer, Alamy
But the Face was something entirely
new to the high street – a publication
that merged the DIY ethos of punk
with the high production values
of Vogue and the literary-minded
reflections on music and pop culture of
Rolling Stone. The success of the title
sent a shockwave through print media
as newspapers and magazines rushed
to catch up with the innovations in
design and subject matter pioneered by
the upstart title.
In The Story of the Face, Paul
Gorman argues that, as the first
ever lifestyle magazine, the title
also changed culture itself. Spurred
on by an evolving cast of young
contributors, many of whom would
go on to become leading names in
journalism, graphic design, fashion
and photography, the magazine
chased down new underground scenes
with voracious eagerness. With each
nascent movement – New Romantic,
grunge, acid house, rave, trip-hop
and Britpop – there came new stars
for the magazine to champion on its
cover: Boy George, Sade, Soul II Soul,
Kate Moss, Kurt Cobain, Alexander
McQueen, Björk, Oasis, Missy Elliott.
The pity about Gorman’s book is
that it falls short of capturing the
sense of delight and discovery that
propelled the title from issue to issue.
At 342 pages, it is compendious and
meticulously researched, yet ultimately
workmanlike in delivery.
It’s said that, in politics, you
campaign in poetry and govern in
Books for
obstacles to change seemed more
insurmountable, Things a Bright Girl
Can Do by Sally Nicholls (Andersen
Press £12.99) is a richly textured novel
examining the effect of the first world
war on the campaign for women’s
suffrage and the hearts and minds of
three young women. While showing
how their passion for their cause is
compromised by patriotism, poverty
and loss, it casts light on underexplored
territory, such as the practicalities of
tax resistance (when the bailiff comes
to stay) and the hardship suffered by
injured soldiers’ families.
Middle-class Evelyn, battling for
an education as good as her brother’s,
as well as for the vote, survives a
hunger strike in Holloway while
still at school, but later is almost
defeated by combining her studies
with domestic pressures. May, the
daughter of an uncompromising
Quaker, and tough East Ender Nell
fall in love but struggle to bridge the
¥ Continued from previous page
£12.99) is a sophisticated, emotionally
literate howdunit in The Talented
Mr Ripley mould. Jule has a stack of
fake IDs, but must be telling the truth
about something. As well as a mystery
to solve, there’s human need and
insecurity to contemplate.
Joe, the narrator of Carnegie medalwinner Sarah Crossan’s verse novel
Moonrise (Bloomsbury £12.99), feels
as isolated and cut off from reality as
Jule, although there is one certainty in
his life: his brother is counting down
the days on death row. So Joe is also
serving time in Texas, where the grim
processes at “the Farm” provide the
only local industry. With help from
the kindness of strangers, Joe takes
on the justice system and rebuilds his
fractured family.
This Book Will (Help You) Change the
World by Sue Turton (Wren & Rock
£9.99) would have been a cheering
companion for Joe. It’s an empowering,
encouraging and grounded handbook
for young people in the UK trying to
work out how society’s ills became
so pressing and what they can do
about them from within (from
lobbying your MP to becoming one)
and without (specialist campaigning
tools from oratory to Snapchat). The
key confidence-building principles
won’t date.
Highlighting an era when
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
Sally Nicholls, author of the ‘richly
textured’ Things a Bright Girl Can Do.
prose. In a similar way, Gorman’s
history of the magazine dwells on the
mundane stuff of personnel changes
and publication deadlines rather
than the way the title came to reflect
the aspirations and oppositions of
modern Britain from the start of the
Thatcher era to the latter days of
New Labour.
Personally, I could have done with
fewer accounts about contractual
negotiations with the distributor or
Logan’s monthly trips to the printer
in Caerphilly.
Then again, I’m probably biased.
I spent my teenage years reading the
Face and my 20s as a senior editor
there, before running its sister title,
Arena. I think of my time on the
magazine as a fever dream of hard
work and constant discovery. The long
hours and late nights paled beside the
thrill of tracking new sounds and styles
as they emerged around the world.
It felt, hubristically, like being at the
centre of things and the sensation
was exhilarating.
The book that the magazine
deserves is one that’s as adventurously
designed and inspiring to read as the
title itself. Anything less falls short of
the publication’s own standards. It’s a
story of the Face. But it’s not the story.
To order The Story of the Face for £29.71
go to or call
0330 333 6846
social chasm between them.
The reader is shoulder to shoulder
with more bright young women in The
Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed (Atom
£7.99), a handbook for the #metoo
movement. Erin, Grace and Rosina
are all misfits in the small Oregon
community where they believe the
high-school kingpins are guilty of
gang-raping former student Lucy,
who has been forced to leave town.
In a revelation in the style of The
Handmaid’s Tale, Grace is inspired
by the desperate graffiti she finds
in Lucy’s old bedroom to start an
underground feminist movement
that exposes and transforms the
macho school culture: but not without
suffering en route.
Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre
Sullivan (Little Island £12.99) is a
compelling collection of fairytales
retold in the rugged and earthy Angela
Carter mode, with Karen Vaughan’s
illustrations making it a classy gift
edition. These bright girls don’t bother
going to balls, and play a long game of
challenging their archetypes. Their
campaigns might be short and brutish,
like Ash Pale’s, or last for generations,
even hopping between stories. We
can imagine the girl who lands the
Frog Prince being reborn to grow
the witch’s garden of entrapment in
Red Riding Hood. Rather than wait
to be rescued, the heroines make
alliances with forces beyond the
tower wall, or know when it’s time to
saddle up and conquer new frontiers.
Perfect fireside reading for a snowy
afternoon or to pass around during
those potentially awkward extended
and blended family gatherings.
Geraldine Brennan
‘One of the most exciting
opening scenes ever seen
on TV: Peaky Blinders
TV, page 42
An intimate portrait
of adolescence on ice
This memoir of competitive skating feels like a
coming-of-age classic, writes Rachel Cooke
Tillie Walden
SelfMadeHero £14.99, pp396
Spinning, the fourth book in two
years by the Ignatz award-winning
cartoonist Tillie Walden, is surely
her best to date. A memoir of the
decade Walden spent as a competitive
skater – having taken to the ice as a
small girl, she did not abandon it until
shortly before she graduated from
high school – it conveys brilliantly
not only the dedication involved in
mid-level competitive sport, but also
the occasional (and sometimes morethan-occasional) loathing. In a longish
afterword, Walden, the acclaimed
author of The End of Summer, insists
that her latest comic “ended up not
being about ice-skating at all”. But
I disagree. Yes, Spinning touches on
bullying, her complex relationship
with her parents, and her sexuality
(for which reason it would, I think,
make a brilliant Christmas present for
a teenage girl). Nevertheless, the rink
is always centre stage. How could it be
anywhere else when it’s the place she
goes both to lose and to find herself?
When the book opens, Walden is
10, and her family has just moved,
somewhat abruptly, to Texas from
New Jersey. Theoretically, skating
should represent a kind of continuity:
just as before, she will attend figure
classes when the rest of the world
is still asleep, and practise with her
synchronised group at the other end
of the day. But this isn’t exactly how
it works. What skating means now is
yet more unfamiliar faces; and while
her fellows on the ice need to work
out how much of a threat this talented
newcomer presents, she in turn must
learn a fresh set of technical terms
(what her Texas synchro group calls
a “splice”, for instance, she knows
only as an “intersection”). Why, then,
does she keep going, enduring both
the early morning alarm calls and the
feeling that she will never be quite
good enough? It’s to do, perhaps, with
those moments when she is overtaken
with a sudden sense of ease: “The only
hard part of a spiral was finding your
momentum. Once you were moving
fast enough and your leg was in the air,
it felt like you could go on for ever.”
Walden’s memoir is, at 396 pages,
quite a long read. But it’s never
anything less than wholly absorbing,
her interest lying not in medals,
certificates and all the rest of the
paraphernalia that come with the
world it depicts, but in what it really
felt like to win and to lose; to spend so
much time alone in hotel bedrooms
at such a young age; to wear all that
makeup, not to mention those hateful
tan tights (even as she disdains the
Tillie Walden’s Spinning…
‘a brilliant Christmas present
for a teenage girl’.
Tillie Walden/SelfMadeHero
Magpie Murders
Anthony Horowitz
Orion £7.99
NO 97
William Shakespeare
The coming of age of
the English language
at the beginning of
the 17th century is
symbolised by the first collected
Shakespeare, a landmark edition that
the playwright had never bothered
with in his own lifetime.
When, towards the end of 1623,
the bookseller Edward Blount held
in his hands a long-awaited text –
Mr William Shakespeares Comedies,
Histories & Tragedies. Published
according to the True Originall
Copies – it’s hard to overstate the
importance of this literary and
cultural moment.
The First Folio established
“Shakespeare” for all time. It
collects some 36 plays, including 18
unpublished scripts, notably Macbeth,
Julius Caesar, As You Like It and The
Tempest, which would be otherwise
unknown. This trove gave posterity
not just a cast of immortals (Falstaff,
Lear, Portia, Jaques, Prospero et
al), but also a heap of new words
(including, for example, catastrophe,
exaggerate, assassinate, indifference,
monopoly and paradox).
Importantly, it connects his
contemporary Ben Jonson and some
of the actors who had first performed
these plays with the playwright
himself, a figure illustrated by the
Martin Droeshout portrait, an icon of
“Shakespeare studies”.
This First Folio is a defining text.
It does not include collaborations
such as Pericles, but it does establish
categories for Shakespeare’s work
– comedies, histories, tragedies –
that survive to the present. Again,
all the manuscript materials of
Shakespeare’s plays are lost. Apart
from one scene, his contribution to
Sir Thomas More, we have nothing in
his hand: no prompt copy, no printer’s
proofs, nothing. The First Folio fills
that gap.
It also has this unequivocal
characteristic. Shakespeare’s
publisher was determined to establish
the poet’s authorship. The name of
Shakespeare had not been a selling
point among Elizabethan playgoers,
as the sometimes anonymous Quarto
editions of his work indicate. For
this edition, however, Blount and
his associates wanted to create a
literary artefact. This, triumphantly,
is what the First Folio achieves. After
1623, Shakespeare and his works are
on the march across the Englishspeaking world.
That is partly due to Jonson.
Opposite the portrait of his friend, it
is Jonson who declares that his rival
was “the applause, the delight, the
wonder of our stage” and then that he
is “not of an age, but for all
time” identifying him as “my
gentle Shakespeare”. Here, beyond
doubt, is one great literary figure
paying posthumous tribute to
another. This must confound the
conspiracy theorists for whom
“Shakespeare” is simply an alias. The
First Folio refutes that nonsense.
In the real world of serious
literary criticism, it remains, in the
words of one recent RSC edition,
“unquestionably the most important
single book in the history of
world drama”.
For an extended version of this review
go to
feeling of a coming-of-age classic – and
yet, amazingly, its talented author has
only just hit 21.
Except he doesn’t really do this at
all. Blakiston’s death is a story within
a story, the work of a crime novelist,
one Alan Conway, whose vintage tales
of murders solved by the wonderfully
umlauted German detective Atticus
Pünd regularly top the bestseller lists.
Conway’s editor, Susan Ryeland, is
Horowitz’s narrator as she settles down
to read her author’s latest: “You can’t
beat a good whodunnit: the twists and
turns, the clues and the red herrings and
then, finally, the satisfaction of having
everything explained to you in a way
that makes you kick yourself because
you hadn’t seen it from the start.”
Horowitz then gives us 200-odd
pages of Conway’s novel, stopping
it before Conway’s big reveal and
jumping back to Susan, who finds
herself investigating a murder mystery
of her own. “I’ve been an editor for
more than 20 years and this must be
the only crime ever committed that an
editor was born to solve,” she says.
It’s a lovely conceit, and Horowitz
peppers his pages with clues and
red herrings aplenty. He’s perhaps a
little too good at ventriloquising his
Christie rip-off novelist Conway, and
the story takes a while to get going as
we plough with Conway through the
residents of Saxby-on-Avon and their
potential guilt. But once it does, this is
a fiendishly plotted crime novel, with a
fabulous twist. Alison Flood
To order Spinning for £12.74 go
to or call
0330 333 6846
By Robert McCrum
The First Folio
“princess” look, she is drawn to it). And
it’s a beautiful book, too, the muted
blues she has used to draw her strips
bringing to mind old bruises, which
could hardly be more appropriate
in the circumstances. Intimate and
charming, Spinning already has the
Anthony Horowitz has ventriloquised
Ian Fleming in Trigger Mortis. He’s
taken on Arthur Conan Doyle in
The House of Silk. And very well too.
In Magpie Murders, Horowitz tries
something different: he pastiches the
cosy country murder stories of Agatha
Christie, setting his whodunnit in the
sleepy 1950s English village of Saxbyon-Avon, where the widely disliked
Mary Blakiston has been found dead
at the bottom of the stairs in Pye Hall,
where she worked as a housekeeper.
To order Magpie Murders for £6.79 go
to or call 0330
333 6846
The Alarming Palsy of
James Orr
Daemon Voices
A Chill in the Air
Philip Pullman
Iris Origo
Tom Lee
David Fickling Books £20
Pushkin Press £14.99
Granta £12.99
James Orr wakes one morning to find he
can no longer move half of his face. He is
diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a condition that
paralyses the facial nerves. He no longer
looks nor feels like himself; he’s signed off
work and his days lose their shape. His
comfortable middle-class existence, a
high-powered job, and a house on a private
estate, starts to come apart. Tom Lee’s
first novel, written while recuperating
from a serious illness, is crisp and slim. It
has a dash of Kafka, but it’s also subtly
propulsive, as James becomes increasingly
competitive with his neighbours, more
sexually demanding with his wife, and
more disoriented by his surroundings. His
frozen face becomes a symbol of a deeper
unease with his status in the community.
Lee writes with elegance and concision,
conveying James’s growing distress and
disconnection. Natasha Tripney
Published alongside La Belle Sauvage, the
first in a three-part prequel to His Dark
Materials, Daemon Voices is a collection
of Philip Pullman’s talks, essays and
newspaper articles spanning several
decades. Exploring themes as diverse
as art, politics, science and faith, Pullman
is eloquent on the craft and power of
storytelling and the folk tales and fairytales
that are his personal touchstones.
A lecture entitled “Let’s write it in red”,
inspired by two little girls writing a story
together on a train, reflects on the need
to “keep the old stories burnished and
bright and new by telling them over and
over again”. Something of this telling and
retelling is revealed in the themes and
literary allusions that repeat like refrains
throughout the collection, offering an
insight into Pullman’s own creative
preoccupations. Lettie Kennedy
Loss haunted the life of one of the 20th
century’s great diarists, Iris Origo, who, in
her vivid, pared-down prose style learned
to turn that loss into memorable lines of
literature. “There is no greater grief than
that of parting,” she wrote about her
father’s death when she was just seven
years old. Origo’s own child, Gianni, died of
meningitis when he was also seven. Origo
is known here for her bestselling War in Val
d’Orcia. In its precursor, A Chill in the Air,
published here for the first time, Origo’s
urgent prose captures Italy in turmoil in
1939-40, and her complex feelings about
her adopted country being at war with her
native one. Anita Sethi
To order The Alarming Palsy of James Orr for
£11.04, Daemon Voices for £17 or A Chill in
the Air for £12.74 go to guardianbookshop.
com or call 0330 333 6846
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Charts & puzzles
Each Sunday we run a selection of
contributions from a weekly themed
photography assignment. To see a wider
selection of readers’ entries each week go
Next theme: icy (to appear 17 December).
Share your photos of what ‘icy’ means to
you at by 10am
on Thursday 14 December.
1 | ‘Rummaging in interesting shops in
Penang, Malaysia.’
Helen Shaw Cotterill/GuardianWitness
2 | ‘It’s all swings and roundabouts.’
Colin Page/GuardianWitness
3 | ‘Touring on the motorbike…’
Kurt Skeels/GuardianWitness
4 | ‘Shanghai nightlife.’
Peter Hinchy/GuardianWitness
5 | ‘No work today.’
Prerna Jain/GuardianWitness
6 | ‘A simple pleasure on a quiet day
in summer.’
Alex Dawson/GuardianWitness
The up-and-coming
Birmingham rapper
just took home a
Mobo for his Hot
Property video, shot
in Iceland. These dates
are closer to home.
Tour starts Glasgow
1 March, ends
Manchester 17 March
Ezra Furman
There’s a new album,
Transangelic Exodus,
from the US singer
(right) in February, a
“queer outlaw saga”
no less.
Tour starts Leeds 3
February, ends Dublin
29 May
Julius Caesar
Nicholas Hytner
directs David Calder,
Michelle Fairley,
David Morrissey
PUSH 2018
The annual celebration
of north-west talent
includes Monkeywood
Theatre’s The
Manchester Project, 18
short plays about the
city, and Manchester
Collective’s Cabaret:
A Show About the End
of Love.
Home, Manchester;
13-27 January
A Viennese
of the Hans Christian
Andersen fable.
Lilian Baylis Studio,
Sadler’s Wells, London
EC1; 13-24 December
and Ben Whishaw
in a promenade
performance at the
South Bank’s superb
new theatre.
Bridge, London SE1;
20 January to 15 April
A quiz about events that happened on this
day, 10 December, throughout history
1. Which country officially adopted a
system of units based on the metre in
2. Name the US president who was the
first American to win the Nobel peace prize
in 1906.
3. What instrument did Edward VIII sign in
4. What did the UN general assembly
adopt in 1948?
5. Zanzibar gained its independence from
which country in 1963?
6. Name the charity single that topped the
charts in 1984.
7. Which fantasy adventure film, shot in
New Zealand, was released in 2001?
Hallé Orchestra, with
conductor Stephen
Bell and soprano
Jennifer France,
performs festive
Strauss family waltzes,
marches and polkas.
Bridgewater Hall,
Manchester; 6 January
Brahms and
Kirill Karabits conducts
Symphony Orchestra
in Brahms’s epic
Piano Concerto No 1
and the rarely heard
Symphony No 3 by
Virginia Woolf
Woolf-inspired art
by artists from Eileen
Agar to Vanessa Bell,
in a show touring
later to Pallant House,
and the Fitzwilliam
Museum, Cambridge.
Tate St Ives; 10
February to 29 April
Lighthouse, Poole;
31 January
Chosen by Kitty
Empire, Susannah
Clapp, Fiona
Maddocks, Luke
Jennings and
Laura Cumming
The Little Match Girl
Director and
choreographer Arthur
Pita’s magical version
Answers on page 39
1 Waterlogged ruins hastily
emptied (6)
4 Reform tailored for
worshipper (8)
9 Shrinks from agreements (9)
11 Number ahead in
projection (5)
12 Destroy poem after
hesitation (5)
13 Article by joker filled with
knowledge, popular and
inspiring (9)
14 Odd loner, brash, playing
without rules (2,5,6)
17 Artist, demon with racket,
endlessly going back into
combat (13)
21 Element first of all used by
artist making pasta sauce (9)
23 Low point in production, a
dirge (5)
24 Depth in error, not fine for
mature person (5)
25 Sad and single, after love in
network, for example (9)
26 Overthrow ended with
detention of the confused
king (8)
27 Thanks returned by nurse?
Listen (6)
1 Derided medium, shaken? Not
NO 3713
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
Post code
How many times a month do you
buyThe Observer?
How many times a week do you
buyThe Guardian?
Tick here if you do not wish to receive any further
information from The Observer or other companies
carefully selected by us
right (6)
2 Disparage extremely tired
summary (7)
3 Recast hero so he’s symbol of
good luck (9)
5 Is success in exam ahead of
one consumed by present
objective? (13)
6 Behind schedule, keeping
AZED CROSSWORD For a different challenge see page 39
No enclosures please other than name and address.
Results on Sunday week
£15 book tokens for the first five
correct solutions opened. Solutions
postmarked not later than Saturday
night to: The Observer PO Box 6604,
Birmingham, B26 3RW or fax 0121 742
1313. The first three correct solutions
opened will receive a set of stylish
Penguin Dictionaries, worth £24
time for coffee (5)
7 Port having a sharper taste (7)
8 Traitor with energy after
study covering information
up (8)
10 Naturalist in wandering saw
richer land (7,6)
15 Land, not hot, inhabited by
northern people in alliance (9)
16 Fish cut up? Not easy (8)
18 Incentive, first off, to join outfit
for activity (7)
19 Silly to plead for larva (7)
20 Comrade, loud and clear,
capturing hearts of fiery
romantics (6)
22 External course, first to
last (5)
AZED No. 2,374 Plain
AZED 2,371 Solution & notes
Across 3, sore in mastic; 15, Eiger
(rev.); 17, hidden & lit.; ref. Bottom in
A Midsummer Night’s Dream; 19, PE
in rears; combine harvesters; 21, u +
sing(let); 32, i.e. ‘a man-eater’; 35, anag.
in shed.
Down 4, pi(e) in alu; 6, c + anag. in ser.;
7, i.e. last letters; 8, de in Eros; 9, Mario
in tit1; ref. Nintendo game; 10, n men
in anag.; 12, jes(t)s; 22, ref. Oxford
dictionaries; 26, m in os x 2 + e; 28, w in
fata(l); 30, l in kip.
£25 in book tokens for the
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AZED No. 2,374, The Observer,
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AZED No. 2,371 prizewinners
Rhys Jones, Gwynedd
Adrian Rostron, Peterborough
Simon Baker, Bath
34 Dictionary university’s not allowed in? They’ll have
passed finals (5)
35 Like many a vessel from Central America in trade at sea (9)
1 Departs pub game that’s over, tucked into beer,
ready for the off? (9)
11 Synagogue elder, male brought in to teach formerly (5)
12 Tear manufactured with lie? Once the opposite thereof (7)
13 Nameless malady right inside ear – iodine applied (5)
14 Attendant offloading minis to peddle (5)
15 Polymath of yore, one attending college in
European capital (8)
16 Paint Pollock-style, singular, modern? (7)
17 Barley of a kind? Granary displays one but not garden (4)
19 Mediterranean vessel departs in distinctive colours (8)
22 Nail damaged after injury? Caper derivative required (8)
25 What, we hear, does it dread getting from
disgruntled guests? (4)
27 Bank, stony? One requiring injection of cash ultimately (7)
28 Boil maybe GP treated with hot lemon (8)
31 Martial art I practise, ideal inside (5)
32 French university degree, one in French certainly (5)
33 Uniting much of the ME, a prince back in lead (7)
2 Losing run, valour wasted, runner admits,
‘One’s skewered’ (8)
3 Add as free extra, sacrificing win all the way (4)
4 Race meeting producing great reverberating cheers (7)
5 Ambitious Verdi composed opening for Nabucco (6)
6 Longing I’ll have to be housed in nice home
(but not special) (6)
7 Part of the furniture in hall at Chequers? (5)
8 You may find elanet, first off, is mistaken for one (7)
9 Head of force, local or national (4)
10 Alternation of generations? Teen miss is upset about
one of them (11)
11 Scots tell tales about dodgy priest – it aids
fundamental cleansing (11)
18 Old BBQ stuff, rank? One gets sick inside (8)
20 Crewman grasping end of taffrail – it helped him climb aloft (7)
21 Chap with a stick for measuring up early instrument (7)
23 Once coated in oily stuff, a brand has head of match inserted (6)
24 Geometrical figures transforming hob rim (6)
26 Market forming circle in Indian city –see a white man there? (5)
29 Where trawler is heading back when it’s replaced line (4)
30 Stanza missing second half, Milton’s botch (4)
The Chambers Dictionary (2014) is recommended.
Top 10 UK films last weekend at FDA
Top 10 CD albums at
Top 10 hardback nonfiction at Waterstones
Paddington 2 Dir: Paul King
Daddy’s Home 2 Sean Anders
Justice League Zack Snyder
Wonder Stephen Chbosky
Murder on the Orient Express
Kenneth Branagh
6 Thor: Ragnarok (3D) Taika Waititi
7 A Bad Moms Christmas Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
8 Battle of the Sexes
Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
9 The Star Timothy Reckart
10 The Man Who Invented Christmas
Bharat Nalluri
Now That’s What I Call Music! 98 Various
Divide Ed Sheeran
Beautiful Trauma Pink
Together Again Michael Ball and Alfie Boe
Diamonds Elton John
Reputation Taylor Swift
The Thrill of It All Sam Smith
Listen Without Prejudice George Michael
As You Were Liam Gallagher
Now That’s What I Call Disney Various
Blue Planet II James Honeyborne,
Mark Brownlow
2 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food Jamie Oliver
3 Private Eye Annual 2017 Ian Hislop
4 The Secret Life of Cows Rosamund Young
5 Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space
Tim Peake
6 Women & Power: A Manifesto Mary Beard
7 Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Elena Favilli, Francesca Cavallo
8 Only Fools and Stories David Jason
9 The Christmas Chronicles Nigel Slater
10 The World Cup of Everything Richard Osman
The 9th London Chess Classic began
quietly, record-breakingly quietly, as all 15
games in the first three rounds were drawn.
It wasn’t that the players weren’t fighting,
quite the contrary: when problems arose
at times, as they do in games of chess, they
fought successfully for their lives.
The tournament director, Malcolm
Pein, reacted at the beginning of round
four by jokingly quoting the relevant
paragraphs from the laws of chess, which
stipulate that the aim of the game is to
deliver checkmate. I fondly imagine that
this baffled most of the many primaryschool children present in the auditorium
at Kensington Olympia and quite
possibly a number of the more serious
online spectators too. But having been
forewarned by Malcolm, I thoroughly
enjoyed the moment myself.
It turned out to be the prelude to a
fierce round, in which after four more
tough draws, the deadlock was finally
broken as Fabiano Caruana wrapped up
victory against Sergey Karjakin (below).
Caruana was also the only winner on
Wednesday when he beat Anand and hit
the rest day on Thursday with a full point
lead ahead of seven on 50% and Anand and
Karjakin at the bottom. The penultimate
round is today.
Sergey Karjakin v Fabiano Caruana
London 2017 (round 4)
Sicilian Taimanov
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4
Nc6 5 Nc3 Qc7 This flexible line is the
Taimanov variation, named after the Soviet
grandmaster and also top-class pianist
Mark Taimanov (1926-2016).
6 Be3 a6 7 Qf3 7 Qd2 is the main line but
this has been tried by top players a number
of times in the last half dozen years, with
both Karjakin and Caruana taking both
White and Black.
7... Ne5 8 Qg3 b5 8... h5 is more common
9 0-0-0 Nf6 10 f4 Neg4 11 Bg1 h5 Black’s
knights are currently active but also loose
and 12 e5 was threatened winning a piece, so
this is necessary to support them.
12 e5 12 h3 b4 13 Nd5 was also critical when
13... exd5 14 hxg4 Nxe4 15 Qe3 h4 wins a
pawn and fixes the knight in the centre but is
rather loose; alternatively, 13... Nxd5 14 exd5
Nf6 15 dxe6 dxe6 keeps the pawn structure
and also seems quite playable.
12... b4 13 Na4 Nd5 14 Nb3 Afterwards,
Caruana said that he’d prepared this line
the previous day to play as Blaxck against
Ian Nepomniachtchi before facing 1 Nf3
instead of 1 e4. And, sensibly not mentioning
alternatives, noted that 14 Nb3 “doesn’t
really work out for White”.
14... Bb7 15 Nac5 Bc6! A novelty. 15... Rc8
was tried in a game – Nepomniachtchi v
Wang Yue in Beijing three years ago – but
was rather unsatisfactory after 16 Bd3 when
White should soon play Nxb7.
16 Ne4 16 Nxa6 Qc8 17 Nac5 Rxa2 is very
satisfactory for Black while 16 Bxa6? d6
17 exd6 Bxd6 is terrible for White.
16... f5! 17 h3 After this, Caruana wins
a big pawn and while it remains very
complicated, he is clearly in the ascendancy.
Instead, 17 exf6 gxf6 18 h3 Qxf4+ 19 Qxf4
Nxf4 20 Nbd2 f5 21 hxg4 fxe4 22 Nc4 also
leaves White a pawn down and with the
queens off but Black is a bit loose.
17... h4 18 Qe1 18 Qf3 runs into 18... Nde3!
19 Bd3 Nxd1 20 hxg4 Nxb2 21 Kxb2 Bxe4
22 Bxe4 Qc3+ 23 Qxc3 bxc3+ 24 Kxc3 fxe4
and Black should win.
18... fxe4 19 hxg4 Nxf4 20 Rxh4 Rxh4
21 Qxh4 Qxe5 22 Bd4
Fabiano Caruana
(Black to play)
Sergey Karjakin
22... Ng6! This crucial intermezzo seals
Black’s advantage since he gets an excellent
square for his queen on g5.
23 Qh3 Qg5+ 24 Kb1 Bd5 25 Bg1 “A terrible
move but already I didn’t think I could have
25... Be7 26 g3? And this worsens matters,
leaving a juicy hole on f3.
26... Ne5 27 Be2 Nf3 28 Bxf3 Giving Black
a huge passed pawn but hoping to erect a
blockade. Instead, if 28 Bb6 a5! 29 Nxa5
Nd2+ 30 Ka1 e3 should win for instance
if 31 Qh5+ Qxh5 32 gxh5 Bc5! 33 Bxc5
Rxa5 34 Rxd2 Rxc5! 35 Rd1 Rxc2 is pretty
28... exf3 29 Bd4 Kf7 30 Nc1 d6 31 Nd3
e5 32 Bf2 Be6 33 Nxb4 e4 34 Qh1 Rc8
35 Nxa6?! This makes it easier for Black.
35 c3 followed by bringing the knight back
was more resilient.
35... Qa5 36 Qh5+ Qxh5 37 gxh5 Bg5
38 Re1 Bc4 38... Bd2! 39 Rxe4 Bf5 won
39 Nb4 Re8 40 Re3 Forced to prevent e3
(of course if 40 Be3 Bxe3 41 Rxe3 f2) but
quite hopeless.
40... Bxe3 41 Bxe3 Re5 42 g4 Rg5 And
with the rook entering, Karjakin resigned.
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. 3711 winners
S Morris, London
Mrs K Henson, Eastbourne
E Alock, Nottingham
Terry Lavell, London
Jacob Holmes, Stockton-on-Tees
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.
On this day
1. France
2. Theodore Roosevelt
3. Instrument of abdication
4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
5. Great Britain
6. Do They Know it’s Christmas by Band Aid
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Monday 11
For today’s TV
see back page
duck with orange, soy and ginger, garlic
and parmesan mashed potato gratin and
sour-sweet soused red cabbage with
cranberries. Plus a sticky toffee pudding
and a novel way to serve brussel sprouts.
entirely convince, but if you’re looking for a
cultish new comedy flavour, Lemon has a
distinctively acidic tang. Jonathan Romney
Composer of the Week
Radio 3, 12noon
The Art That Made Mexico
BBC Four, 9pm
Following the 1910-1920 civil war which
overturned colonial rule, Mexico needed
a new national story. Alinka Echeverria
explains how the power to achieve this
lay with art. Absorbing. Mike Bradley
Sky Premiere, 2.25pm, 9.50pm
Celebrity Voicemail
BBC Three
(Janicza Bravo, 2017)
With the aid of some miraculous
prosthetics, Kayvan Novak brings his Radio 4
comedy The Celebrity Voicemail Show (what
it would be like to listen to voicemails left on
celebrities’ answering machines) to the small
screen. The result is a hilarious romp that this
week imagines messages left for director
George Lucas midway through the Star
Wars shoot in the Tunisian desert.
It’s worth sounding a note of caution for an
American indie debut, which is, let’s say,
abrasively quirky. Lemon is a comedy of
abjection co-written by playwright and
director Bravo, together with lead Brett
Gelman, the creepy brother-in-law in
Fleabag and the even creepier conspiracy
theorist in Stranger Things. He plays Isaac,
a clueless, pompous acting teacher who
falls for a Jamaican American woman (Nia
Long), setting us up for excruciating scenes
with both her family and his neurotic Jewish
clan. IndieWire’s Eric Kohn saw it as a cross
between Buñuel and Woody Allen, although
an even more peevish Todd Solondz may be
nearer the mark. Playing like a hyper-arty
Martian sitcom, it’s perhaps too knowing to
Nigella’s Christmas Table
BBC Two, 8pm
The silken chef provides mouthwatering
suggestions for festive fare, showing us
how to concoct treats that include roast
ITV, 9pm
As writer Kate Brooke’s compelling
four-part thriller (screened over four
consecutive nights) begins, the year is
1990 and twentysomething Laura Fraser
(Lily Sacofsky) is discovered by WPC
Elizabeth Bancroft (Sarah Parish, above,
right) brutally murdered in her own home.
Fast forward to 2017 and ambitious
DS Katherine Stevens (Faye Marsay,
above, left) complains to her boss Supt
Cliff Walker (Adrian Edmondson) that
she is fed up with being stuck behind a
desk. Her reward is a pile of cold cases
to investigate, the first of which is the
unsolved murder of Laura Fraser. The
theory runs that it was a burglary gone
wrong, but the file is a mess and the
forensics are missing. Bancroft is now an
all-action Detective Supt at the same
station. Could a dark secret from her past
be the vital piece missing from Stevens’s
present-day puzzle? Mike Bradley
Donald Macleod promises a “realm of
fairytale and fantasy” as he explores these
themes in the music of Tchaikovsky. At
the heart of today’s programme is his
Swan Lake and we get to hear the whole
of the magical second act performed by
the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under
Charles Dutoit. Interestingly, the Russian
composer embarked on it with no real
understanding of how to write music for
dancers, though copious research led to
him becoming genuinely enthusiastic about
the project. Other ballet scores discussed
this week include The Nutcracker, which is
also the subject of Katie Derham’s Sound
of Dance on Radio 3 this week (Saturday
16 December, 3pm). Stephanie Billen
BT Sport 2, 10.45m
Champions League: draw for the last 16.
The eyes of the footballing world will turn to
Uefa HQ in Nyon as the likes of Tottenham,
Manchester City and Chelsea find out who
they will face in the next round of this toplevel competition. Even as group winners,
Spurs could potentially draw the likes of
Bayern Munich. Étienne Fermie
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast 9.15 Island Medics
10.0 Homes Under the Hammer
(R) 11.0 Street Auction 11.45 Fake
Britain (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 Hairy Bikers
Home for Christmas 4.30 Money
for Nothing (R) 5.15 Pointless
(R) 6.0 News (T) 6.30 Regional
News (T) 7.0 The One Show (T)
7.30 Panorama: The Operation
That Ruined My Life (T) Women
who have had mesh implants.
An Island Parish: Falklands (R)
6.30 Island Medics (R) 7.15 Hairy
Bikers Home for Christmas (R)
8.0 Country House Secrets
(R) 9.0 Victoria Derbyshire 11.0
Newsroom Live 12.0 Daily Politics
1.0 Athletics: European Cross
Country Highlights (R) 2.05 Great
Food Trip (R) 2.35 Home Away
from Home (R) 3.20 32 Brinkburn
Street (R) 4.05 Fifteen Billion
Pound Railway (R) 5.05 Blue
Planet (R) 6.0 Celebrity Eggheads
6.30 Strictly: It Takes Two 7.0
Celebrity Antiques Road Trip
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’s Cracking Christmas
(T) 12.0 News (T) 12.05 Kirstie’s
Handmade Christmas (T) (R)
12.25 The Dog Who Saved
Christmas (Michael Feifer, 2009)
(T) 2.10 Countdown (T) 3.0
Lost and Found (T) 4.0 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun (T) 5.0
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
(T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T) 6.30
Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
EastEnders (T) Linda and Mick
attend an interview to run
another pub.
8.30 Would I Lie to You? (T) With
guests Susie Dent, Bob Mortimer,
Ore Oduba and Stacey Solomon.
9.0 The Real Marigold on Tour (T)
Miriam Margolyes, Wayne Sleep,
Bobby George and Jan Leeming
head to the Cuban capital, Havana.
Nigella’s Christmas Table
(T) Nigella Lawson offers her
tips for relaxed entertaining
during the festive season.
Employable Me (T) Psychologist
Nancy Doyle helps a blind woman
discover her untapped abilities
and gives a double amputee
the help and advice he needs to
believe in himself and his talent.
The Martin Lewis Money
Show (T) Money saving tips,
with mortgages among the
topics covered.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Robert
discovers that the Bistro has
been robbed.
9.0 Bancroft (T) New series.
Detective Elizabeth Bancroft
is running an operation to bring
down a vicious gang.
Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life
(T) The Great British Bake Off
judge looks back at his early
8.30 Supershoppers (T) Anna
Richardson and Sabrina Grant
examine the prices of coffees in
two chains.
9.0 999: What’s Your Emergency?
(T) An increase in young people
challenging authority.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.45 Have I Got a Bit More News for
You (T) Mel Giedroyc hosts, with
guest panellists Hal Cruttenden
and Sathnam Sanghera.
11.30 Michael McIntyre’s Big Show
(T) (R) With Marvin and Rochelle
Humes, and the Vamps.
12.30 The Graham Norton Show (T)
(R) 1.20 Weather for the Week
Ahead (T) 1.25 BBC News (T)
10.0 Insert Name Here (T) With Katy
Brand, Ed Gamble, Suzannah
Lipscomb and Amol Rajan.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Blitz: The Bombs That Changed
Britain (T) (R) A bomb that
destroyed two houses in Hull.
12.15 Blitz: The Bombs That Changed
Britain (T) (R) A bomb that fell
on Jellicoe Street in Clydebank.
1.15 Sign Zone: Countryfile (T)
(R) 2.10 Blue Planet II (T) (R)
3.10 Holby City (T) (R)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.40 Exposure: White Right – Meeting
the Enemy (T) Deeyah Khan
meets US neo-Nazis and white
11.50 Killer Women With Piers Morgan
(T) (R) The broadcaster meets a
Florida woman convicted of her
husband’s murder.
12.40 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 fashion stylist
and an entrepreneur share
stories of the Swinging Sixties.
11.05 Don’t Tell the Bride (T) A groom
plans a 1980s Aussie soapthemed wedding.
12.05 One Born Every Minute (T) (R)
1.05 The Rewrite (Marc
Lawrence, 2014) (T) Romantic
comedy with Hugh Grant. 2.55
Can We Live With Robots? (T) (R)
3.50 Phil Spencer: Secret Agent
(T) (R) 4.45 Kirstie’s Vintage
Gems (T) (R) 5.05 Kirstie’s
Fill Your House for Free (R)
10.0 Concorde: 120 Seconds That
Destroyed a Dream (T) (R) Events
leading to the crash of Air France
Flight 4590 in 2000.
11.0 The KKK: Behind the Mask
(T) (R) A profile of Ku Klux
Klan members.
12.0 Traffic Cops at Christmas (T)
(R) 1.0 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)
10.0 Handmade in Mexico (T)
Following the process of the
creation of a clay sculpture
known as the Tree of Life.
10.30 Britain’s Lost Masterpieces (T)
(R) Two art experts track down
previously unknown paintings.
11.30 Secret Knowledge: In Search
of Rory McEwen (R)
12.0 Everyday Miracles: The Genius of
Sofas, Stockings and Scanners
(T) (R) 1.0 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
2.0 Peaky Blinders (T) (R) 3.0
Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
Symphony No 88 in G major, H188. Mahler:
Symphony no 7. BBC SSO, Thomas Dausgaard.
5.0 In Tune. With live music by period instrument
ensemble the City Musick. 7.0 In Tune Mixtape
7.30 In Concert. Robert Ziegler conducts the BBC
Concert Orchestra and singer Hannah Waddingham
in scores for films noirs by, among others, Miklós
Rósza, Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein, Franz
Waxman and Jonny Greenwood. Presented by Mark
Kermode. 10.0 Music Matters: Mitsuko Uchida (R)
10.45 The Essay: Nothing Is Real. Pop’s Struggle
With Authenticity: Living the Life (1/5) 11.0 Jazz
Now. Soweto Kinch presents Hexagonal in concert
in Welwyn Garden City. 12.30 Through the Night
(1/5) 2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: Do Not Go
Gentle, by Mike Harris. Josey may be approaching
the end of her life, but she is determined to fight.
No one – not even Death – will tell her what to
do. Susan Brown stars. 3.0 Round Britain Quiz
(5/12) 3.30 The Food Programme: Crisps (R)
4.0 Snapshots. Following a leading photographer
at work on a shoot. (3/4) 4.30 Beyond Belief.
Ernie Rea and guests explore the story of the Good
Samaritan. (5/8) 5.0 PM. With Eddie Mair. 5.54
(LW) Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather 6.0 News
6.30 I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. Host Jack Dee
is joined by Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Miles
Jupp and John Finnemore at Hull’s New Theatre,
with Colin Sell at the piano. (5/6) 7.0 The Archers.
Alan reaches the end of his tether. 7.15 Front
Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 The Citadel. Christopher
Reason’s dramatisation of AJ Cronin’s 1920s-set
novel. (1/5) 8.0 The Unconscious Life of Bombs.
Historian and psychoanalyst Daniel Pick traces how
aerial bombardment has made the unconscious
mind a field of battle. 8.30 Crossing Continents:
The Lost Children of Isis (R) 9.0 Mysteries of Sleep:
Sleepwalking (R) 9.30 Start the Week (R) 9.59
Weather 10.0 The World Tonight. With Ritula
Shah. 10.45 Book at Bedtime: Eleanor Oliphant
Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. (1/10)
11.0 Mastertapes: Jimmy Webb (A-Side) (5/8)
11.30 Today in Parliament. With Susan Hulme.
12.0 News 12.30 Letters from South Africa (R)
12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer
for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of
the Day: Fyfe Dangerfield on the Grey Heron
BT Sport 1
6.0am Vanarama National League 7.0 Premier
League Review 8.0 Premier League 9.30 Premier
League 11.0 Premier League Review 12.0 eSports:
Rocket League 1.30 NBA Reload 1.45 Uefa
Champions League Review 2.45 Premier League
Review 3.45 Chelsea v Newcastle United 1980/81
4.15 Everton v Southampton 1985/86 4.45
Premier League 6.15 SPFL Highlights 6.45
Vanarama National League Highlights 7.15
Live Emirates FA Cup. Action from an FA Cup
second-round replay. 10.0 Premier League
Reload 10.15 BT Sport Goals Reload 10.45
Leicester City v Watford 1984/85 11.15 The
Prince of Pennsylvania 12.15 BT Sport Goals
Reload 12.30 NBA Inside Stuff 1.0 Live NBA:
Houston Rockets v New Orleans Pelicans (tipoff 1am) Coverage of the Western Conference
Southwest Division clash at Toyota Centre. 3.30
Vanarama National League Highlights 4.0 Premier
League Reload 4.15 BT Sport Goals Reload
4.30 SPFL Highlights 5.0 Fishing: On The Bank
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The British 7.0 Fish Town 8.0 Hotel
Secrets 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
Hot Spots 10.0 War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend
11.20 Mommy Dead and Dearest: The Story of
Dee Dee 1.0-3.0 The Tunnel: Sabotage 3.04.10 Californication 4.10-6.0 Urban Secrets
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 Kevin Can Wait 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 Baby Daddy 8.0-9.0
The Big Bang Theory 9.0 Made in Chelsea 10.0
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) Isaac is
diagnosed with a heart condition.
7.30 Coronation Street (T)
Michelle takes a risk to solve
Robert’s money woes.
Binky & JP’s Baby: Born in Chelsea 11.05-12.05
The Big Bang Theory 12.05 Tattoo Fixers 1.10
Rude Tube 2.15 Gogglebox 3.0 Made in Chelsea
3.55-4.40 Black-ish 4.40 Charmed
11.0am The Rare Breed (1966) 12.55
The Spoilers (1955) 2.35 The Black
Swan (1942) 4.15 Anastasia (1956) 6.25
The Way Back (2010) 9.0 Salt (2010)
11.0 Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2013) 1.15
Nymphomaniac: Volume II (2013)
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 11.0-12.0 Modern Family 12.0 NCIS:
LA 1.0-3.0 Hawaii Five-0 3.0 NCIS: LA 4.0
Stargate SG-1 5.0 The Simpsons 5.30-6.30
Futurama 6.30-8.0 The Simpsons 8.0 Supergirl 9.0 Football’s Funniest Moments 10.0
Karl Pilkington: The Moaning of Life 11.0 The
Simpsons 11.30 The Simpsons 12.0 A League
of Their Own 1.0 The Force: Essex 2.0 Sick Note
2.30 Road Wars 3.0 Brit Cops: Rapid Response
4.0 Stop, Search, Seize 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Total Goals 9.0 Good Morning Sports
Fans 10.0 Premier League Daily 11.0 Sky Sports
Daily 12.0 Sky Sports News 1.0 Sky Sports News
5.0 Sky Sports News at 5 6.0 Sky Sports News
at 6 7.0 Sky Sports Tonight 7.30 Live EFL:
Reading v Cardiff City (kick-off 8pm) Coverage of
the Championship clash, which takes place at the
Madejski Stadium. 10.0 The Debate 11.0 Live
Test Cricket: New Zealand v West Indies. Coverage
of the fourth day of the second Test in the twomatch series, which takes place at Seddon Park in
Hamilton. 1.15 Live NFL: Miami Dolphins v New
England Patriots (kick-off 1.30am) Coverage
of the AFC East match from Hard Rock Stadium.
4.45 My Icon: Ryan Atkin 5.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.30pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.05 Exposure: White Right
– Meeting the Enemy (T) 12.10 Teleshopping
1.10 After Midnight
ITV WALES As ITV except 10.40pm Sharp
End 11.10 Exposure: White Right – Meeting the
Enemy (T) 12.15-12.40 Judge Rinder’s Crown
Court (T)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.40am-3.0 ITV
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.30pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.05 White Right: Meeting the
Enemy – Exposure (T) 12.10 Teleshopping 1.10
After Midnight 2.40-5.05 ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 10.40pm View from
Stormont (T) 11.40 Exposure: White Right –
Meeting the Enemy (T) 12.40 Teleshopping
The Force: The Story of Scotland’s Police
(T) 10.45 The Real Marigold on Tour (T)
11.45 Have I Got a Bit More News for You (T)
12.30 Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (T) (R)
1.30-2.15 The Graham Norton Show (T) (R)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 10.40pm Dancing
Back in Time (T) 11.10 Community Life (T) (R)
11.20 Pop Goes Northern Ireland (T) (R) 11.50
Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (T) (R) 12.501.40 The Graham Norton Show (T) (R)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 11.15pm-1.15
The Best King We Never Had (T) (R)
BBC TWO N IRELAND 10.0pm-10.30
I Lár an Aonaigh (T)
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
11.45 News (T) 11.50 Access (T)
11.55 The Christmas Gift
(Fred Olen Ray, 2015) (T) 1.30
The Rooftop Christmas
Tree (David Winning, 2016) (T)
3.15 A Rose at Christmas
(Kevin Fair, 2017) (T) 5.0 News
(T) 5.35 The Yorkshire Vet: Winter
on the Moors (T) (R) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 Weather Terror: No Escape
(T) (R) A couple who dodged
landslides in Peru and a man
who stumbled into the path
of Hurricane Sandy in Cuba.
Police Interceptors (T) Cameras
follow elite teams from the
Durham and Cleveland forces.
Includes news update.
Concorde: Triumph & Tragedy
(T) (2/2) A look at BA’s attempts
in the early 1980s to make
Concorde profitable after finding
out that the aircraft was losing
millions a year.
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
(T) (R) Manchester take on
St Anne’s College, Oxford,
with Simon Armitage and
Janina Ramirez on the teams.
Mexico: Earth’s Festival of Life
(T) (R) Exploring the forests of
the Yucatán peninsula.
The Art That Made Mexico:
Paradise, Power and Prayers
(T) Alinka Echeverria examines
the impact of power struggles
on Mexican art.
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 Drum & Bass Show with
René LaVice 3.0 Specialist Chart With Phil Taggart
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
Blues Show With Paul Jones 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0
Marc Almond’s Torch Song Trilogy (2/3) 11.0
Jools Holland 12.0 Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of the
70s (R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Jazz, Great British
Songbook & Hidden Treasures 5.0 Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. Music, news and the occasional
surprise, presented by Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Presented by Suzy Klein. 12.0
Composer of the Week: Tchaikovsky (1/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert: Wigmore
Hall Mondays. The Armida Quartet, live from
the Wigmore Hall, London, introduced by Fiona
Talkington. Mozart: String Quartet in B flat, K458
(The Hunt). Beethoven: Große Fuge in B flat,
Op 133. 2.0 Afternoon Concert. This week’s
programmes feature the BBC performing groups
live in concert, beginning today with the BBC
National Orchestra of Wales at Hoddinott Hall,
Cardiff, followed by the BBC Scottish Symphony
Orchestra recorded at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
Presented by Nicola Hayward Thomas. Elgar:
Cockaigne (In London Town) – Overture, Op
40. Elgar: Sea Pictures, Op 37. Elgar: Serenade
in E minor Op 20. Elgar: In the South (Alassio)
– Overture Op 50. Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzosoprano). BBC NOW, Tadaaki Otaka. Haydn:
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for the Day, with Zia
Salik. 9.0 Start the Week. Tom Sutcliffe and guests
discuss the power and beauty of objects. 9.45
(LW) Daily Service: Hope for Freedom – The Year of
the Lord’s Favour 9.45 (FM) Letters from South
Africa. Five letters from South African writers
about life there in the week of the ANC elections.
(1/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Includes at 10.45
Drama: Not a Love Story, by Shelagh Stephenson.
(R) (1/5) 11.0 The Untold: Zero Hour Hero. Grace
Dent meets the creator of an online recruitment
app, aimed at providing a lifeline for jobseekers
in the gig economy. (6/16) 11.30 Cooking in a
Bedsitter: Veiled Country Lass. Comedy by Sue
Teddern. Beattie Edmondson stars, with Eleanor
Bron reading extracts from Katharine Whitehorn’s
culinary classic Cooking in a Bedsitter. (2/4) 12.0
News 12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home
Front: 11 December 1917 – Marion Wardle, by
Shaun McKenna. (21/40) 12.15 You and Yours.
Consumer and public interest reports. 12.57
Weather 1.0 The World at One. Presented by
Martha Kearney. 1.45 Voices of the First World
War: Third Ypres – Conditions. Dan Snow introduces
more audio recordings of people involved in the
Great War, looking at the events of autumn 1917.
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 5 Live Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily with Adrian
Chiles 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live Drive 7.0
5 Live Sport: The Monday Night Club 9.0 5 Live
Cricket 10.0 Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong
Guy 10.30 Phil Williams 1.0 Up All Night 5.0
Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
Tuesday 12
and that involves his whole family taking
the stage. Meanwhile, Maurice goes into
hiding when Louise takes steps to dampen
his ardour. Does this really have to be the
final episode of the run?
Britain. Very much a period piece, but some
of the laughter is still uncomfortable, with a
persuasively sour edge. Jonathan Romney
Mysteries of Sleep
Radio 4, 11am
BBC Two, 10pm
Julia finally finds the perfect nanny, but her
friendship with Liz comes under pressure.
Elsewhere, Amanda is keeping a low profile
following Kevin’s revelation. Mike Bradley
I’m All Right Jack
TCM, 4.45pm
Food Unwrapped Does Christmas
Channel 4, 8pm
(John Boulting, 1959)
A sequel better known than its predecessor,
this comedy from mid-century Britfilm
powerhouses the Boulting Brothers follows
the further adventures of Stanley Windrush
(Ian Carmichael), the hapless posho from
their Private’s Progress (1956). Here
Stanley takes a job in a missile factory and
finds himself caught between calculating
capitalists, including his uncle Bertram
(Dennis Price), and irate union members
under shop steward Fred Kite (Peter Sellers
in one of his most famous roles). This was
considered pretty pithy stuff in its day – the
British satire boom proper was just over the
horizon – and, although you might take the
Sellers character as the broadest kind of
slur on leftist principles, the film is generally
agreed to sharply catch the mood of 1959
A festive special that asks: where’s the best
place to put the turkey stuffing? To which
the answer, courtesy of stuffing giant
Paxo, is not what you might be expecting.
Also, what are the origins of mulled wine
and which is the better ingredient for it:
cinnamon powder or cinnamon sticks? All
this plus tips on how to stop your Christmas
pudding tasting of burnt cobwebs.
The A Word
BBC One, 9pm
Rebecca wants Joe to take part in the
Millcross Primary End of Year Show, but he
will only perform under his own conditions
The World’s Most
Expensive Presents
Channel 4, 9pm
What do the super-rich buy each other
for Christmas? Find out in this bizarre
catalogue of gifts, most of which are
worth investigating primarily for their
unimaginable levels of vulgarity. How
about a £40,000 ball gown for your
pet chihuahua? Or perhaps “an edible
reflection of the recipient’s life sculpted
in cake”? Even more costly, and actually
very impressive, is the £250,000, 24ct,
gold-plated racing bike (above) we see
snapped up in a Dubai showroom. Elsewhere, there’s the ultimate customised
Monopoly set made by a company
which has been commissioned to make
a £60,000 poker attache case sadly
covered in alligator skin, and we meet two
men who specialise in unique presents
for the very rich who believe that
personalised colouring books at £24,000
a pop are the way forward… Mike Bradley
The series investigates sleep disorders
related to dreaming. Evelyn’s sleep paralysis
means she wakes up unable to move and
suffering from hallucinations involving
demonic images pressing down on her.
Christian has narcolepsy which means he is
no longer allowed to drive but has extremely
vivid dreams that he has come to value as
something akin to a parallel existence. John’s
REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) finds
him lashing out violently in his sleep while
Adrian’s cataplexy involves him suddenly
collapsing during the daytime. Neurologist
Dr Guy Leschziner provides fascinating
context explaining how some sleep
disorders can be an early sign of other
brain conditions. Stephanie Billen
BT Sport 1, 7.15pm
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea: Premier
League. A trip to the John Smith’s Stadium
for Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side, who will
head north looking to force their way back
into the title race. The Blues have won six
out of their last seven Premier League
games since their shock defeat at Palace
in October. Étienne Fermie
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast 9.15 Island Medics
10.0 Homes Under the Hammer
11.0 Street Auction 11.45 Fake
Britain (R) 12.15 Bargain Hunt
(R) 1.0 News and Weather 1.30
Regional News and Weather (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 News and
Weather (T) 6.30 Regional News
and Weather (T) 7.0 The One
Show (T) 7.30 EastEnders (T)
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Island Medics (R) 7.15 The Hairy
Bikers Home for Christmas (R) 8.0
Sign Zone: Celeb Antiques Road
Trip (R) 9.0 Victoria Derbyshire
11.0 BBC Newsroom Live 12.0
Daily Politics 1.0 Coast (R) 2.0
Terry and Mason’s Great Food
Trip (R) 2.30 Home Away from
Home (T) (R) 3.15 32 Brinkburn
Street (T) (R) 4.0 The £15bn
Railway (T) (R) 5.05 Blue Planet
(T) (R) 6.0 Celebrity Eggheads
(T) 6.30 Strictly: It Takes Two (T)
7.0 Celeb Antiques Road Trip (T)
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) Moira is pushed to
the brink. 7.30 Save Money: Good
Food (T) Matt Tebbutt tries to get
the Dhillon family from Surrey
to make more of their leftovers.
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
7.35 Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 10.05
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
USA (T) (R) 11.0 Jamie’s Night
Before Christmas (T) (R)
12.0 News (T) 12.05 Kirstie’s
Handmade Christmas (T) (R)
12.25 The Dog Who Saved
Christmas Vacation (2012) (T)
2.10 Countdown (T) 3.0 Lost
and Found (T) 4.0 A Place in the
Sun… (T) 5.0 Kirstie’s Handmade
Christmas (T) 6.0 The Simpsons
(T) 6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
Holby City (T) With the merger
bringing new F1s Nicky and Meena
to Holby, Hanssen wants to
protect his staff more than ever.
The A Word (T) Rebecca wants
Joe to be included in the school
show, and the news provokes
a mixed response. Meanwhile,
Maurice invites Louise on a date.
Last in the series.
MasterChef: The Professionals
(T) The chefs prepare a dish
dedicated to someone inspiring.
Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico (T)
The chef travels through Mexico
City, then Puebla, where he
samples the meat stew mole.
In the deserts of Oaxaca, he
discovers how mezcal is made.
How to Spend It Well at
Christmas With Phillip Schofield
(T) The host and his guests,
including Rosemary Shrager,
Joe Pasquale and Jenny
Agutter, offer hints on food,
drink and decoration for the
big day. Last in the series.
Bancroft (T) Katherine and
Joe’s relationship progresses.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.45 Sports Personality of the Year
2017: The Contenders (T) A look
at the nominees for this year’s
11.45 Life and Death Row (T) (R) The
2014 murder of an 18-year-old
in Ohio. Last in the series.
12.45 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.50 BBC News (T)
10.0 Motherland (T) Julia’s childcare
problems are solved after she
finds the perfect nanny. Last in
the series.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 NFL This Week (T) Action from
the 14th round of fixtures.
12.05 Frat Boys: Inside America’s
Fraternities (T) (R) 1.05 Sign
Zone: The Apprentice (T) (R)
2.05 Stalkers (T) (R) 3.05
This Is BBC Two (T)
BT Sport 1
6.0am Premier League Reload 6.15 BT Sport
Goals Reload 6.30 Hyundai A-League Highlights
7.30 Game of the Week 8.0 Premier League
Reload 8.15 BT Sport Goals Reload 8.30 The
Emirates FA Cup 10.0 Premier League Review
11.0 Bundesliga Review 12.0 Ligue 1 Review
1.0 Uefa Champions League Draw 1.30 Premier
League Reload 1.45 The Emirates FA Cup 3.15
Premier League Review 4.15 Premier League
5.45 Premier League 7.15 Live Premier League:
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea (kick-off 8pm)
Coverage from John Smith’s Stadium. 10.30 BT
Sport Fight Night 12.30 UFC: Road to the Octagon
1.30 Game of the Week 2.0 Hyundai A-League
Highlights 3.0 Ligue 1 Review 4.0 West Brom
v Man Utd 1966/67 4.30 Man Utd v West Ham
1969/70 5.0 Chelsea v Leeds United 1969/70
5.30 Wolves v Arsenal 1971/72
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The British 7.0 Fish Town 8.0 Hotel
Secrets 9.0 The West Wing 10.0 The West Wing
11.0 House 12.0 House 1.0 Without a Trace 2.0
Blue Bloods 3.0 The West Wing 4.0 The West
Wing 5.0 House 6.0 House 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 8.0 Blue Bloods 9.0 Blue Bloods
10.0 Totem (2017) 11.45 Hot Spots 12.45
The Tunnel: Sabotage 1.45 The Tunnel: Sabotage
2.50 Californication 3.25 Californication 4.0
Urban Secrets 5.0 Urban Secrets
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 Kevin Can Wait 2.30 Kevin
Can Wait 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
10.0 News (T)
10.35 Local News (T)
10.45 Lethal Weapon (T) (R) Riggs and
Murtaugh are forced to work with
DEA agent Karen Palmer.
11.45 Lethal Weapon (T) (R) Riggs
and Murtaugh are drawn into
the corrupt world of college
12.30 Jackpot247 3.0 Loose Women
(R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
Big Bang Theory 6.30 The Big Bang Theory 7.0
Hollyoaks 7.30 Baby Daddy 8.0 The Big Bang
Theory 8.30 The Big Bang Theory 9.0 Tattoo
Fixers 10.0 Sketch’s Prison Ink 10.30 Rude
Tube 11.35 The Big Bang Theory 12.05 The Big
Bang Theory 12.35 Celebrity First Dates 1.40
Gogglebox 2.25 Tattoo Fixers 3.20 Rude Tube
4.15 Black-ish 4.35 Black-ish 5.0 Charmed
11.0am Mysterious Island (1961) 1.10
North to Alaska (1960) 3.45 Shane
(1953) 6.05 Robin Hood (2010) 9.0 Bullet to the Head (2012) 10.50 Unknown
(2011) 1.05 Apocalypto (2006)
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 Flash 9.0 A League of Their
Own 10.0 Sick Note 10.30 The Simpsons 11.0
The Simpsons 11.30 A League of Their Own 12.30
Road Wars 1.0 The Force: Essex 2.0 Brit Cops:
Frontline Crime UK 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 10.0 Premier
League Daily 11.0 Sky Sports Daily 12.0 Sky
Sports News 5.0 Sky Sports News at 5 6.0 Sky
Sports News at 6 7.0 Sky Sports Tonight 10.0
Sky Sports News at Ten 10.30 Premier League
Highlights 11.0 Premier League Highlights
11.30 Live Test Cricket: New Zealand v West
Indies. Coverage of the fifth day of the second
Test in the two-match series, which takes place at
Seddon Park in Hamilton. 5.0 Sky Sports News
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.35pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.10 Lethal Weapon
(T) (R) 12.05 Teleshopping 1.05 After
Midnight 2.35-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.30am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.35pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.10 Lethal Weapon (T) (R) 12.05
Teleshopping 1.05 After Midnight 2.35-5.05
ITV Nightscreen (T)
ULSTER As ITV except 12.30am
Teleshopping 1.30-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 8.0pm-9.0 River
City (T) It is the day of Annie’s tribunal but her
priorities are tested when Frankie collapses, and
Gabriel’s parenting is called into question when
Lenny applies for custody. 10.45 Holby City (T)
11.45 Sports Personality of the Year 2017: The
Contenders (T) 12.45-1.45 Life and Death
Row (T) (R)
BBC ONE WALES 10.40pm Children’s
Ward (T) (R) 11.10 Sports Personality of the Year
2017: The Contenders (T) 12.10-1.10 Life and
Death Row (T) (R)
BBC TWO WALES 1.0pm Home Away from
Home (T) (R) 1.45 First Minister’s Questions (T)
2.35 Terry and Mason’s Great Food Trip (T) (R)
Terry Wogan and Mason McQueen visit Dorchester
in Dorset. 3.05-3.15 Coast (T) (R) Neil Oliver
travels to Langland Bay.
Food Unwrapped Does
Christmas (T) Kate Quilton, Matt
Tebbutt and Dr Helen Lawal reveal
surprises about festive food.
The World’s Most Expensive
Presents (T) Cameras follow
the craftsmen and women
producing lavish gifts with
price tags to match, including
a 24-carat gold-plated bike.
10.0 Finding Me a Family (T) Cameras
follow another group of children
at an adoption activity day.
11.05 Gogglebox (T) (R) Punters
turn pundits.
12.10 Music on 4: The Great
Songwriters (T) 1.05 The
Supervet at Christmas (T) (R)
2.0 Posh Pawn at Christmas
(T) (R) 2.55 Grand Designs
Australia (T) (R) 3.55 Phil
Spencer: Secret Agent (T) (R)
4.50 Jamie’s Cracking Christmas
(T) (R) 5.05 Draw It! (T) (R)
BBC Four
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
(T) 11.45 News (T) 11.50 Window Wonderland (Michael
Scott, 2013) (T) 1.30 Merry
Ex-mas (Brian Skiba, 2014) (T)
3.15 The Mistletoe Promise
(David Winning, 2016) (T) 5.0
News (T) 5.35 The Yorkshire
Vet at the Great Yorkshire Show
(T) (R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0 Steve
Backshall’s Hedgehog Rescue
(T) (R) Steve Backshall visits
a hedgehog rescue centre in
Surrey founded by Brian May.
Jo Brand’s Cats & Kittens (T)
Inspector Keira follows up on
a call about a pregnant cat
living on a waste site in South
Yorkshire. Includes news update.
Ben Fogle: Return to the Wild (T)
Ben Fogle reunites with people
he previously met in some of the
most remote locations on Earth.
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
(T) (R) Kent University take on
Sussex University, with the
likes of Paul Ross and Hattie
Hayridge on the teams.
Armada: 12 Days to Save England
(T) (R) Dan Snow tells the story
of the naval battle in 1588 that
could have led to the conquest
of Britain by Spain.
Invasion! With Sam Willis
(T) Sam Willis tells the story
of the Barbary corsairs who
made their headquarters on
Lundy off the coast of Devon.
10.0 Britain’s Favourite Christmas
Hits (T) (R) A countdown of
festive songs.
1.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Concorde:
Triumph & Tragedy (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 The Mary Rose: A Timewatch
Guide (T) (R) Dan Snow explores
the raising of the ship.
11.0 The Greatest Knight: William
the Marshal (T) (R)
12.0 Everyday Miracles: The Genius of
Sofas, Stockings and Scanners
(T) (R) 1.0 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
2.0 Peaky Blinders (T) (R) 3.0
Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
Mohr-Pietsch, recorded on Saturday 9 December
at King’s Place, London. Sophie Bevan (soprano),
Tom Poster (piano), Samuel West (reader), Aurora
Orchestra, Nicholas Collon. Mozart: Piano Concerto
No 8 in C, K246 (Lutzow); Ch’io mi scordi te?, K505.
8.20 Interval. Mozart: Exsultate, jubilate, K165;
Symphony No 29 in A, K201. 10.0 Free Thinking.
The ideas shaping modern life. 10.45 The Essay:
Nothing Is Real. Pop’s Struggle with Authenticity:
The Terminology. With David Hepworth. (2/5)
11.0 Late Junction. Nick Luscombe presents the
Late Junction 12 best albums of the year. 12.30
Through the Night (R)
the First World War: Towards Passchendaele. Dan
Snow introduces more audio recordings of people
involved in the Great War. (2/5) 2.0 The Archers (R)
2.15 Drama: Single Beds. Comedy by Colin Hough.
A Fife B&B owner refuses to give newlyweds Geoff
and Val a double room. Steven McNicoll, Robin Laing
and John Buick star. 3.0 Short Cuts: Libraries. With
Josie Long. (5/6) 3.30 Mastertapes: Jimmy Webb
(B-Side) (6/8) 4.0 I Was: I Was Johnny Cash’s Tailor
(R) 4.30 Great Lives: Cornelia Parker on Marcel
Duchamp (2/8) 5.0 PM. Presented by Eddie Mair.
5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 6.0 News 6.30
Mark Steel’s in Town: Matlock Bath (2/6) 7.0 The
Archers. There is a surprise in store for Elizabeth.
7.15 Front Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 The Citadel.
Christopher Reason’s dramatisation of AJ Cronin’s
novel. There is an outbreak of typhoid in the town
and Denny is convinced he knows the cause of
it. (2/5) 8.0 Grenfell: Dust On Our Lips. Faisal
Metalsi talks to residents of North Kensington, who
describe living in the shadow of Grenfell tower and
reveal what they think should be done to the tower
block. 8.40 In Touch 9.0 All in the Mind (7/8)
9.30 The Long View (R) 10.0 The World Tonight.
With Shaun Ley. 10.45 Book at Bedtime: Eleanor
Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman.
(2/10) 11.0 Miss Marple’s Final Cases: Sanctuary,
by Agatha Christie. June Whitfield stars. (R) (3/3)
11.30 Today in Parliament. With Sean Curran.
12.0 News 12.30 Letters from South Africa (R)
12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer
for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet
of the Day: Fyfe Dangerfield on the Bluethroat
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: Rebellion With Annie Nightingale
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 Jamie
Cullum 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0 Levi Roots (3/4)
11.0 Nigel Ogden 11.30 Listen to the Band 12.0
Sounds of the 80s (R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Folk,
90s Hits & Wednesday Workout 5.0 Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. With Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Presented by Suzy Klein. 12.0
Composer of the Week: Tchaikovsky (2/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert. This week’s series
of lunchtime concerts, recorded at LSO St Luke’s in
London, is entitled Shostakovich Plus and explores
key chamber works by the composer contrasted with
works by others from different periods. Carducci
Quartet. Beethoven: String Quartet No 11 in F
minor, Op 95. Shostakovich: String Quartet No 4 in
D, Op 83. (1/4) 2.0 Afternoon Concert. The BBC
Concert Orchestra live from Watford Colosseum,
London. Dvořák: The Noonday Witch. Fazil Say:
Night. Dobrinka Tabakova: Together Remember to
Dance (first UK performance). Bartók: Concerto for
Orchestra. Lucas and Arthur Jussen (pianos), BBC
CO, Jaime Martín. 3.50 Bax: Tintagel. BBC NOW,
Martin Yates. 4.10 Beethoven: Piano Concerto
No 3 in C minor, Op 37. Rudolf Buchbinder, BBC
Philharmonic, Juanjo Mena. 5.0 In Tune. Sean
Rafferty talks to the Cuarteto Casals. 7.0 In Tune
Mixtape 7.30 In Concert. Presented by Sara
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for the Day, with Chief
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. 8.30 (LW) Yesterday in
Parliament 9.0 The Long View. Jonathan Freedland
and guests explore a moment in history that throws
light on a contemporary issue. (4/4) 9.30 One to
One: Sian Harries on Ambivalence to Motherhood,
Part One 9.45 (LW) Daily Service: Hope for
Freedom – Freedom Restored 9.45 (FM) Letters
from South Africa. Five letters from South African
writers about life there in the week of the ANC
elections. (2/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented by
Jane Garvey. Includes at 10.45: Drama, Not a Love
Story, by Shelagh Stephenson. A young woman must
cope with the aftermath of having been sexually
assaulted. With Jasmine Hyde and Haydn Gwynne.
(R) (2/5) 11.0 Mysteries of Sleep: Dreaming. Guy
Leschziner looks at why dreams sometimes become
nightmares, exploring conditions including sleep
paralysis and hallucinations and asking what the
purpose of dreaming is. (2/3) 11.30 The Art of
Living: Listening Without Ears. Eloise Garland
tackles assumptions about how people with
hearing loss engage with music. 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 12
December 1917 – Iris Reed, by Shaun McKenna.
(22/40) 12.15 Call You and Yours 1.0 The World at
One. Presented by Martha Kearney. 1.45 Voices of
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 8.0 Premier League Football: Huddersfield
Town v Chelsea (kick-off 8pm) 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 | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Wednesday 13
on a par with the best that Martin Scorsese
has to offer which culminates in a blizzard of
bell-tolling and machine-gun fire in Artillery
Square. Now we learn what Polly has really
been up to and what Jessie Eden is all about.
be mandatory study for anyone dazzled
by the spurious glottal fireworks of the
X Factor generation. Jonathan Romney
We Need to Talk About Death
Radio 4, 8pm
The Detectorists
BBC Four, 10pm
Mackenzie Crook’s gentle rural comedy
bows out with a satisfying final instalment.
Will the ancient oak tree give up her golden
secrets as Lance and Andy comb the field
one last time? Wonderful. Mike Bradley
20 Feet from Stardom
Film4, 2.15am
Mary Berry’s Country
House Secrets
BBC One, 8pm
(Morgan Neville, 2013)
A documentary about the great unsung
of song, the eminent backing singers
whose skill often massively eclipses the
main attractions. Among them are Táta
Vega, Merry Clayton and Claudia Lennear
– all noted solo stars in their day – along
with Darlene Love, whose claim to pop
immortality was her early 1960s spell in the
Phil Spector stable. Some top-name acts
are probably wise to keep these superior
talents the full 20ft away, but the likes of
Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Bruce
Springsteen are on hand to pay due tribute.
At once celebratory about its subjects and
sobering about the cruel vagaries of the
business, this is an illuminating film about
performers whose style and control should
To end the series, Berry visits Goodwood
House in Sussex, home to dapper aristo
and motoring enthusiast Lord March. She
begins with salmon, asparagus and quails’
eggs in a tarragon dressing, goes on to
produce a sumptuous raceday breakfast,
an Earl Grey tea bread, the perfect coq au
vin and her very own cricket cake (above).
Peaky Blinders
BBC Two, 9pm
The Duel. Prepare yourselves for one of the
most exciting opening scenes of TV drama
ever broadcast – 10 minutes of suspense
Vanished by the Lake
Channel 4, 10pm
This intriguing new French thriller about
an unsolved tragedy that haunts a closeknit community on the shores of the Lac
de Sainte-Croix boasts an impossibly,
distractingly attractive French cast led by
Barbara Schulz (above) as Lise Stocker,
head of the Paris Crime Bureau, who
returns to the village where she grew up
to care for her ageing mother, who has
Alzheimer’s disease. Upon her arrival, she
learns that a teenager named Chloé has
vanished during a local celebration. The
mystery ignites old memories for Lise, as
15 years earlier her two best friends, Ana
and Marion, disappeared during the very
same annual event. “History doesn’t have
to repeat itself,” she vows as she revisits
the cold case involving the two missing
girls in search of a connection to Chloé’s
case. A worthwhile slow-burner. Following
the broadcast, the entire series will be
available on All 4. Mike Bradley
Joan Bakewell begins this new series with
an unflinching exploration of what happens
to bodies bequeathed to science. We hear
how they are highly valued over a period of
three or more years by medical students,
training surgeons, forensic anthropologists
and others. Eventually they are returned
to the families as intact as possible and
the medical establishment offers to pay
for a cremation. Along the way, we also
hear about the history of the practice with
Henry VIII offering up executed bodies,
body snatchers causing scandal in the
18th century and Scot Alexander Macphail
changing everything in the late 1930s by
choosing to donate his body to science.
Stephanie Billen
BT Sport 1, 7.15pm
West Ham v Arsenal: Premier League.
The London Stadium hosts the second
of two derbies in the capital within five
days for the Hammers, as new boss David
Moyes tries to improve the club’s fortunes.
The Gunners should go into this game
brimming with confidence, having won
this fixture 5-1 last season. Étienne Fermie
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Island Medics
(T) 10.0 Homes Under the
Hammer (T) (R) 11.0 Street
Auction (T) 11.45 Fake Britain (T)
(R) 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 News
(T) 6.30 Regional News (T) 7.0
The One Show (T) Hosted by
Matt Baker and Alex Jones.
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Island Medics (R) 7.15 Hairy
Bikers Home for Christmas
(R) 8.0 Nigella: At My Table (R)
8.30 Anglesey: Island Life (R)
9.0 Victoria Derbyshire 11.0
Newsroom Live 11.30 Daily
Politics 1.0 Lifeline (R) 1.10 Coast
(R) 2.05 Terry and Mason’s Great
Food Trip (R) 2.35 Home Away
from Home (R) 3.20 32 Brinkburn
Street (R) 4.05 £15bn Railway
(R) 5.05 Blue Planet (R) 6.0 Celeb
Eggheads 6.30 Strictly: It Takes
Two 7.0 Celeb Antiques Road Trip
Mary Berry’s Country House
Secrets (T) Mary visits the March
family at Goodwood House.
The Apprentice (T) The final
five candidates are put through
a series of tough interviews,
each going head to head with
a business heavyweight in an
attempt to prove their worth.
MasterChef: The Professionals
(T) The first three remaining
semi-finalists battle it out for
a place in Finals Week.
Peaky Blinders (T) A deal
is struck with potentially
devastating consequences,
and Tommy prepares himself
as the battle lines are drawn
between the Peaky Blinders
and Changretta.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.45 Match of the Day (T) Includes
West Ham v Arsenal and
Swansea v Manc City.
12.25 Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat
and Tears (T) Osama performs
surgery with a new medical
student. 12.55 Weather for the
Week Ahead (T) 1.0 BBC News (T)
10.0 The Apprentice: You’re Fired (T)
An interview with the show’s
freshly rejected candidates.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Employable Me (T) (R)
12.15 Sign Zone Rick Stein’s Road
to Mexico (T) (R) 1.15 Extreme
Wives with Kate Humble (T)
(R) 2.15 This Is BBC Two (T)
BT Sport 1
6.0am Hyundai A-League Highlights 7.0
Premier League Review 8.0 Premier League
9.30 Vanarama National League Highlights
10.0 Game of the Week 10.30 Premier
League Review 11.30 Uefa Champions League
Magazine 12.0-4.0 Cricket: Women’s Big Bash
4.0 European Le Mans: Season Review 5.0
BT Sport Goals Reload 5.15 Premier League
6.45 Premier League World 7.15 Live Premier
League: West Ham United v Arsenal (kick-off
8pm) Coverage from London Stadium. 10.30
The Ashes 1.30 The Ashes Live: Australia v
England. Coverage of the opening day of the
third Test, which takes place at the Western
Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The British 7.0 Fish Town 8.0 Hotel
Secrets 9.0 The West Wing 10.0 The West Wing
11.0 House 12.0 House 1.0 Without a Trace 2.0
Blue Bloods 3.0 The West Wing 4.0 The West
Wing 5.0 House 6.0 House 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 8.0 Blue Bloods 9.0 Warning:
This Drug May Kill You (2017) 10.15 Hot Spots
11.15 The Sopranos 12.25 The Sopranos 1.30
Californication 2.0 Attenborough at 90: Behind
the Lens 3.0 Californication 3.35 Californication
4.10 Urban Secrets 5.05 Urban Secrets
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 Kevin Can Wait 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 Baby Daddy
8.0 The Three Musketeers (2011) 10.15
Gogglebox: The Best Bits 11.20-12.20 The Big
Bang Theory 12.20 Rude Tube 1.20 Gogglebox
2.10-3.10 The Inbetweeners 3.10 First Dates
Hotel 4.05-4.45 Black-ish 4.45 Charmed
Channel 4
Channel 5
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’s Christmas with Bells
On (T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
(T) 12.25 The Dog Who
Saved the Holidays (2012) (T)
2.10 Countdown (T) 3.0 Lost
and Found (T) 4.0 A Place in
the Sun: Winter Sun (T) 5.0
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
(T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T) 6.30
Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape
(T) Gino travels around the
rugged and wild region of
Calabria by train.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Daniel
makes Chesney feel sick to his
9.0 Bancroft (T) Bancroft is faced
with a blast from the past as
events from 1990 are brought
to the surface.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.40 Exposure: Who Cares?
Children’s Homes Undercover
(T) Investigation into the privately
run care homes that look after
vulnerable children.
11.45 Parking Wars (T) (R)
12.35 Jackpot247 3.0 May the
Best House Win (T) (R)
3.50 ITV Nightscreen
10.0 Vanished By the Lake New series.
A homicide detective returns
to her hometown to find that a
teenager has vanished in a case
identical to one that took place 15
years before. French crime drama.
11.0 999: What’s Your Emergency? (T)
(R) Crimes involving youngsters.
12.05 Pokerstars Championship (T)
1.05 Kitchen Nightmares USA
(T) (R) 1.55 One Born Every
Minute (T) (R) 2.50 Grand
Designs Australia (T) (R) 3.50 Phil
Spencer: Secret Agent (T) (R)
4.45 Kirstie’s Vintage Gems (R)
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) Moira gets in
touch with one of Holly’s old drug
dealers. 7.30 Coronation Street
(T) Chesney’s romantic gesture
to Sinead dismays Daniel.
11.0am Thoroughly Modern Millie
(1967) 1.45 Operation Petticoat (1959)
4.05 True Grit (1969) 6.40 About Time (2013) 9.0 Big Game (2014)
10.45 Bad Teacher (2011) 12.30
Ouija (2014) 2.15 20 Feet from
Stardom (2013)
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 DC’s
Legends of Tomorrow 9.0 Marvel’s Inhumans
10.0 Football’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 Brit Cops:
Frontline Crime UK 3.0 Brit Cops: Rapid Response
4.0 Stop, Search, Seize 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Live One-Day International Cricket:
India v Sri Lanka. Coverage of the second match
in the three-game series, staged at the Punjab
Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.
2.0 Sky Sports News 4.0 Live: Ram Slam T20
Challenge. Coverage of the opening semi-final
from South Africa’s domestic competition. 7.30
Live SPFL: Hibernian v Rangers (kick-off 7.45pm)
Coverage from Easter Road. 9.45 Live Fight
Night: Katie Taylor v Jessica McCaskill. Coverage
of the bout for the WBA Lightweight title, which
takes place at the York Hall in Bethnal Green,
east London. 11.0 Premier League Highlights
11.30 Premier League Highlights 12.0 Premier
League Highlights 12.30 Premier League
Highlights 1.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.30pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.05 Exposure: Who
Cares? 12.05 Teleshopping 1.05 After
Midnight 2.35 Storage Hoarders (T) (R)
3.25-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
ITV WALES As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
Crime Files (T)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.35am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.30pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.05 Exposure: Who Cares? 12.05
Teleshopping 1.05 After Midnight 2.35 Storage
Hoarders (T) (R) 3.25-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
ULSTER As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30 Lesser
Spotted Journeys (T) 11.45 Judge Rinder (T) (R)
12.10 Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape (T) 12.35
Teleshopping 1.35-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
Squad (T) PC Leanne Hunter’s canine partner
receives a medal. 11.10 Match of the Day (T)
12.50-1.20 Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat
and Tears (T)
BBC ONE WALES 10.30pm BBC Wales
Live (T) With Jason Mohammad and Bethan Rhys
Roberts. 11.05 Match of the Day (T) 12.451.15 Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat and Tears (T)
Away from Home (T) (R) 1.45 32 Brinkburn
Street (T) (R) 2.30 Politics Scotland (T) (R)
3.25 Lifeline 3.35-4.05 Terry and Mason’s
Great Food Trip (T) (R)
BBC TWO N IRELAND 1.0pm-1.10
Community Life (T) (R)
The Secret Life of the
Zoo (T) The zebras have a
newcomer to their herd.
The Channel: The World’s Busiest
Waterway (T) Following the work
of Nemo project manager Dave
as he attempts to stick to the
schedule and avoid delays that
could cost a six-figure sum.
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.45 News (T) 11.50
Access (T) 12.0 Guess
Who’s Coming to Christmas
(Kristoffer Tabori, 2013) (T)
1.30 Season’s Greetings
(Allan Harmon, 2016) (T) 3.15
Murder, She Baked: A Plum
Pudding Mystery (Kristoffer
Tabori, 2015) (T) 5.0 News (T)
5.35 The Yorkshire Vet: A FiveLegged Lamb and Other Curious
Creatures (T) (R) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Police Interceptors (T) (R)
GPs: Behind Closed Doors
(T) A patient with a history of
deep vein thrombosis visits the
surgery. Includes news update.
Harrogate: A Yorkshire
Christmas (T) (1/2) The town’s
festive preparations, in which
more than 50 shops pull out
all the stops to put on the best
window display.
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
(T) (R) City, University of London
takes on the University of
Newcastle, featuring Samira
Ahmed and Wilko Johnson.
70 Million Animal Mummies:
Egypt’s Dark Secret (T) (R)
Modern technology is used to
scan Egyptian animal mummies.
Digging for Britain (T) Alice
Roberts sets off across Hadrian’s
Wall to reveal the forgotten story
of the Roman army’s secret
weapon in Britain: their cavalry.
Last in the series.
10.0 Greatest Christmas TV Moments
of All Time (T) (R) Countdown of
50 festive TV highlights.
12.55 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Ben Fogle:
Return to the Wild (T) (R) 4.0
World’s Most Pampered Pets
(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 have one last day on
the farm. Last in the series.
10.30 The League of Gentlemen (T)
(R) Mr Chinnery struggles with
a calving cow, and Geoff fears
that his birthday has been
forgotten. Last in the series.
11.0 Spike Milligan: Love, Light
and Peace (T) (R) Profile.
12.30 Goya Exposed With Jake
Chapman (T) (R) 1.0 Peaky
Blinders (T) (R) 2.0 Peaky
Blinders (T) (R) 3.0 Peaky
Blinders (T) (R)
Simon Rattle conducts the London Symphony
Orchestra. Presented by Martin Handley. Simon
O’Neill (tenor), Christian Gerhaher (baritone),
LSO, Simon Rattle. Strauss: Metamorphosen for
23 solo strings. 8pm Interval. 8.20 Mahler: Das
Lied von der Erde.10.0 Free Thinking: Should
We Keep Pets? Anne McElvoy explores the history
of our relationship with pets. 10.45 The Essay:
Nothing Is Real. Pop’s Struggle with Authenticity:
The Importance of Noise. With David Hepworth.
(3/5) 11.0 Late Junction. Includes a warped
Christmas song from experimental guitarist
Bill Orcutt. 12.30 Through the Night
Peter Jukes dramatises events in this week’s news. A
sky resort in the Carpathian Mountains is home to a
Brit internet election-rigging gang. 3.0 Money Box
Live 3.30 All in the Mind (R) 4.0 Thinking Allowed
4.30 The Media Show 5.0 PM. Presented by Eddie
Mair. 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather
6.0 News 6.30 Jeremy Hardy Feels It: Jeremy
Hardy Feels… Happy. New series in which the comic
discusses emotions. First, happiness. (1/4) 7.0 The
Archers. Rex receives some Christmas kindness.
7.15 Front Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 The Citadel.
Christopher Reason’s dramatisation of AJ Cronin’s
novel. (3/5) 8.0 We Need to Talk About Death: Give
My Body to Science. Joan Bakewell and her panel
explore what happens when you donate your body
to science. (1/3) 8.45 Encounters. Two people
with differing views come together to see if they
can empathise with each other. (2/4) 9.0 Science
Stories. Naomi Alderman on how Humphry Davy’s
playful approach to science led to the discovery
of laughing gas. (4/5) 9.30 Only Artists (R)
9.59 Weather 10.0 The World Tonight 10.45
Book at Bedtime: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely
Fine, by Gail Honeyman. (3/10) 11.0 Life on Egg:
Inspection, by Dan Maier. Comedy starring Harry
Hill as the governor of the Egg, Britain’s most
remote prison. (R) (1/2) 11.15 Joseph Morpurgo’s
Walking Tour: Dante’s House (4/4) 11.30 Today in
Parliament 12.0 News 12.30 Letters from South
Africa (3/5) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World
Service. LW: 1.55 The Ashes: Australia v England
– Third Test, Day One. 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: Fyfe Dangerfield on the Woodchat Shrike
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:
Love With Annie Nightingale 4.0 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 BBC
Music: Home Coming With The Unthanks 8.0 Jo
Whiley 10.0 Mark Kermode’s Celluloid Jukebox
(3/5) 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. With Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Presented by Suzy Klein. 12.0
Composer of the Week: Tchaikovsky (3/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert: Shostakovich
Plus. Second in the series from LSO St Luke’s. Truls
Mørk (cello), Håvard Gimse (piano). Prokofiev:
Cello Sonata in C, Op 119. Shostakovich: Cello
Sonata in D minor, Op 40. (2/4) 2.0 Afternoon
Concert. Presented by John Toal live from Ulster
Hall, Belfast. Mendelssohn: Overture – Camacho’s
Wedding. Liszt: Totentanz – Tone Poem. Liszt orch
John Adams: The Black Gondola. Mendelssohn:
Incidental Music (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op
61). Dejan Lazić (piano), Ulster Orchestra, Olari
Elts. 3.30 Choral Evensong: Eton Choral Course in
the Chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge 4.30
New Generation Artists. Presented by Verity Sharp.
Alec Frank-Gemmill (horn), Armida Quartet. York
Bowen: Quintet in C minor, Op 85. 5.0 In Tune. Live
music from Trio Mediaeval with hardanger fiddle
player Nils Økland. 7.0 In Tune Mixtape 7.30
In Concert. Live from the Barbican Hall, London,
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for the Day, with the Rev
Lucy Winkett. 8.31 (LW) Yesterday in Parliament
9.0 Only Artists. Two artists from different
disciplines discuss creative questions. (6/6) 9.30
Why I Changed My Mind: George Carey (R) 9.45
(LW) Daily Service: Hope for Freedom – A Promise
Fulfilled 9.45 (FM) Letters from South Africa.
Five letters from South African writers about life
there in the week of the ANC elections. (3/5) 10.0
Woman’s Hour. Presented by Jenni Murray. Includes
at 10.45 Drama: Not a Love Story, by Shelagh
Stephenson. Maddy begins to regret reporting the
rape to the police. Drama starring Jasmine Hyde
and Mark Quartley. (R) (3/5) 10.55 The Listening
Project: Matt and John – Lifelong Impact 11.0
The Unconscious Life of Bombs (R) How aerial
bombardment has made the unconscious mind a
field of battle. With Daniel Pick. 11.30 It’s a Fair
Cop: Harassment (R) Alfie Moore presents a reallife case about harassment. 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 13
December 1917 – Fraser Chadwick, by Shaun
McKenna. (23/40) 12.15 You and Yours. Consumer
and public interest reports. 12.57 Weather 1.0
The World at One 1.45 Voices of the First World
War: Passchendaele – John Palmer (3/5) 2.0 The
Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: The AntiSocial Network.
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 5 Live Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Emma
Barnett 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 Drive 7.0 5 Live
Sport 8.0 Premier League Football 10.0 Football
Social 10.30 Phil Williams 1.0 Up All Night 5.0
Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
Thursday 14
Rick’s partner Olivia confronts Kate. She’s
been sent the strongroom video and now
she brandishes her phone, announcing: “I
am going to make it my business to tell him
[Rob].” Plus, Judy gets into yet more trouble.
but a mind-janglingthriller about a man
investigating a murder case – or possibly his
own scrambled psyche. Jonathan Romney
Thinking Outside the Boxset: How
Technology Changed the Story
The Tunnel: Vengeance
Sky Atlantic, 9pm
Radio 4, 11.30am
When a French Eurotunnel worker is
attacked by rats in Calais and three British
children vanish from their home in Kent,
Karl and Elise reunite to investigate the link
between the two crimes. Mike Bradley
Film4, 10.45pm
The Crystal Maze: Celebrity
Christmas Special
Channel 4, 9pm
(Alice Lowe, 2016)
A triple dose of the dark stuff from some
of British cinema’s edgier practitioners.
First, Alice Lowe writes, directs and stars
in black comedy Prevenge, about Ruth,
seven months pregnant and embarking on a
murder spree. Made by Lowe while pregnant
herself, it’s bracingly subversive of the
pieties around motherhood, and gleefully
macabre. At 2.20am, Steve Oram – Lowe’s
partner in Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers
– offers his own grisly amusement
Aaaaaaaah!, in which the cast communicate
entirely in grunts. Think of a cross between
Brit absurdist NF Simpson and legendary
French cannibal freak-out Themroc. In
between (12.35am), Lowe appears in
Gareth Tunley’s The Ghoul, not a comedy
Madcap Maze Master Richard Ayoade
invites the Saturdays star Mollie King,
athletes Ellie Simmonds and Nicola Adams,
Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Locke and Murder in
Successville’s Tom Davis to tackle a series
of challenges in a noble bid to raise money
for Stand Up for Cancer. With appearances
from Adam Buxton and Jessica Hynes.
Love, Lies & Records
BBC One, 9pm
Rob fears the worst when film of his
wedding intervention goes viral; Jamie
reappears at work dressed as a man; and
The Orville
FOX, 9pm
Old Wounds. “I miss the forward-thinking,
optimistic, aspirational space that Star
Trek used to offer,” says Seth MacFarlane,
creator of this respectful Star Trek
spoof. “It’s a space waiting to be filled in
this day and age when we are getting a
lot of dystopian fiction.” Set 400 years
from now, it would be fair to describe the
show as Family Guy meets Star Trek: The
Next Generation, but it’s not all parody
since the story of Captain Ed Mercer’s
(MacFarlane, above, centre) adventures
in command of second-rate starship
the USS Orville (with his ex-wife as first
officer) also contains moments of serious
drama. The result is funny and the look
is every bit as spectacular as Next Gen,
but you do wonder why a studio boss
thought the world needed 12 episodes of
what is effectively a skewed hommage.
Eccentric, but well-intentioned and
certainly worth a try. Mike Bradley
In the first of an intelligent new series full
of high-profile interviews, Mark Lawson
explores how storytelling has been affected
by advances in technology, whether it is
video on demand or the National Theatre
broadcasting live to cinemas. Today’s
contributors include Jed Mercurio, who says
that commissioners are more accepting of
complexity and less worried about alienating
“the casual viewer”, and Ted Sarandos, chief
content officer for Netflix, who disagrees
that TV is becoming a solitary pursuit.
Meanwhile a group of students admit they
actually enjoy being occasionally made to
wait for a week to follow shows such as BBC
Two’s The Apprentice. Stephanie Billen
Sky Sports Main Event, 7pm
World Darts: day one. Live coverage of
the opening day of the tournament from
Alexandra Palace in London. Reigning
champion Michael Gerwen is the bookies’
favourite to win this year’s World Darts,
but he faces fierce competition from the
lethal likes of Peter Wright, Gary Anderson
and Phil “the Power” Taylor. MB
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast 9.15 Island Medics
10.0 Homes Under the Hammer
10.30 Grenfell Tower Memorial
Service 12.0 Bargain Hunt (R)
1.0 News and Weather 1.30
Regional News and Weather (T)
1.45 Doctors (T) 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
and Weather (T) 6.30 Regional
News and Weather (T) 7.0 One
Show (T) 7.30 EastEnders (T)
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Island Medics (R) 7.15 Home for
Christmas (R) 8.0 MasterChef:
The Professionals (R) 9.0
Victoria Derbyshire 10.30 Street
Auction 11.15 Fake Britain 12.0
Daily Politics 1.0 Coast (R) 2.0
Great Food Trip (R) 2.30 Home
Away from Home (R) 3.15 32
Brinkburn Street (R) 4.05 Fifteen
Billion Pound Railway: The Final
Countdown (R) 5.05 Blue Planet
(R) 6.0 Celebrity Eggheads
6.30 Strictly: It Takes Two 7.0
Celebrity Antiques Road Trip
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’s Christmas with Bells
On (T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
(T) 12.25 The Holiday Tree
(David Winning, 2014) (T) 2.10
Countdown (T) 3.0 Lost and
Found (T) 4.0 A Place in the
Sun: Winter Sun (T) 5.0 Kirstie’s
Handmade Christmas (T) 6.0
The Simpsons (T) 6.30 Hollyoaks
(T) 7.0 News (T)
The Apprentice: Why I Fired
Them (T) Ahead of the final,
Alan Sugar looks back on this
year’s series.
Love, Lies & Records (T) Kate
struggles to choose between
her heart and her head after
Rob’s surprise proposal. She
is also shocked to discover
the real reason why Amir and
Ramin knew about the raid.
MasterChef: The Professionals
(T) The last semi-final sees the
remaining hopefuls work a busy
shift at Le Manoir aux Quat’
Saisons in Oxfordshire.
Blitz: The Bombs That Changed
Britain (T) The impact of an
incendiary bomb that set fire to
St Peter’s Church in the heart
of Bristol. Last in the series.
Emmerdale (T) A special
flashback episode, revealing
what really happened on that
fateful day on the viaduct.
8.30 Paul O’Grady: For the Love of
Dogs (T) O’Grady helps to train
an overexcited beagle. Last in the
9.0 Bancroft (T) The superintendent
executes a massive sting
operation. Last in the series.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.40 Birds of a Feather (T) (R)
Sharon, Tracey and Dorien
head to Morocco.
11.40 Tonight at the London Palladium
(T) (R) With stars including Jack
Savoretti, the Vamps and Stomp.
12.35 Jackpot247 3.0 Tonight:
The Butcher Surgeon – A
Scandal Uncovered (T) (R)
3.25 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (R)
10.0 Extraordinary Teens: School of
Life and Deaf (T) Documentary
following life in a school for deaf
11.0 Naked Attraction (T) (R)
Singletons Cathy and Adam
each choose a date.
12.0 Random Acts (T) 12.35 Catching
a Killer: A Bullet Through
the Window (T) (R) 1.50 The
Supervet (T) (R) 2.45 Finding
Me a Family (T) (R) 3.40 Grand
Designs Australia (T) (R) 4.40
Phil Spencer: Secret Agent (T)
(R) 5.35 Countdown (T) (R)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.45 Question Time (T) Topical debate
from Barnsley, chaired by
David Dimbleby, with panellists
including the Conservative MP
Nicky Morgan and the Labour
MP Rebecca Long-Bailey.
11.45 This Week (T) Andrew Neil
introduces affable political chat.
12.30 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.35 BBC News (T)
10.0 Live at the Apollo (T) Rob Beckett
introduces Jen Brister and Darren
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 The Year in Music 2017 (T)
(R) Claudia Winkleman and
Clara Amfo look back over a
year’s worth of popular tunes.
12.15 Sign Zone Employable Me (T)
(R) 1.15 Expedition Volcano (T)
(R) 2.15 This Is BBC Two (T)
BT Sport 1
10.30am European Le Mans: Season Review
11.30 The Ashes 1.0 Premier League 2.30
Premier League Review 3.30 BT Sport Reload
3.45 The Ashes 5.15 Premier League World
5.45 Premier League 7.15 Live Emirates FA
Cup. Action from an FA Cup second-round replay.
10.0 Premier League Reload 10.15 BT Sport
Reload 10.30 Premier League Review 11.30
Premier League Match Pack 12.0 SPFL Highlights
12.30 The Ashes 2.0 The Ashes Live: Australia
v England. Coverage of the second day of the
third Test, which takes place at the Western
Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The British 7.0 Richard E Grant’s Hotel
Secrets 8.0 Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 9.0
The West Wing 10.0 The West Wing 11.0 House
12.0 House 1.0 Without a Trace 2.0 Blue Bloods
3.0 The West Wing 4.0 The West Wing 5.0 House
6.0 House 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
8.0 Blue Bloods 9.0 The Tunnel: Vengeance
10.0 The Trip to Spain 12.0 The Tunnel: Vengeance
1.0 Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing 3.10
Californication 3.45 Californication 4.20 Urban
Secrets 5.10 Urban Secrets
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 Kevin Can Wait 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
Melissa & Joey 8.0-9.0 The Big Bang Theory
9.0 2 Broke Girls 9.30 The Big Bang Theory
10.0 The Inbetweeners 10.35 The Inbetweeners
11.10-12.05 The Big Bang Theory 12.05
Rude Tube 1.10 Gogglebox 2.10 2 Broke Girls
2.35 First Dates Hotel 3.30 Rude Tube 3.55
Black-ish 4.15 Black-ish 4.40 Charmed
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
(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) Harriet prepares for Emma’s
funeral. 7.30 Tonight: The Butcher
Surgeon – A Scandal Uncovered
(T) Julie Etchingham reports.
11.0am Man in the Saddle (1951)
12.45 Billion Dollar Brain (1967) 2.55
Gunman’s Walk (1958) 4.45 To
Hell and Back (1955) 6.55 Volcano
(1997) 9.0 Commando (1985) 10.45
Prevenge (2016) 12.35 The Ghoul
(2016) 2.20 Aaaaaaaah! (2015)
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 Arrow 9.0 TBA 9.30
A League of Their Own 10.0 The Russell Howard
Hour 11.0 The Simpsons 11.30 The Simpsons
12.0 A League of Their Own 1.0 The Force: Essex
2.0 Brit Cops: Frontline Crime UK 3.0 NCIS: LA
4.0 NCIS: LA 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Live European Tour Golf: The Indonesian
Masters. Coverage of the opening day of the
tournament from the Royale Jakarta Golf
Club, where Thailand’s Poom Saksansin won
the title last year. 10.0 Premier League Daily
11.0 Sky Sports Daily 12.0 Sky Sports News
4.0 Live: Ram Slam T20 Challenge. Coverage
of the second semi-final from South Africa’s
domestic competition. 6.30 Live World Darts
Preview 7.0 Live World Darts Championship.
Coverage of the opening day of the tournament
from Alexandra Palace in London. 11.0 Sky
Sports News 12.0 EFL Matters 12.30 Live NFL:
Indianapolis Colts v Denver Broncos (kick-off
1.25am) Coverage of the clash between the AFC
South and AFC West sides at the Lucas Oil Stadium.
4.45 Great Sporting Moments 5.0 Sky Sports News
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.30pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.05 Bear Grylls: Mission
Survive (T) (R) 12.05 Teleshopping 1.05 After
Midnight 2.35 Tonight: The Butcher Surgeon –
Uncovered (T) (R) 3.0-5.05 ITV Nightscreen
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.35am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.30pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.05 Bear Grylls: Mission Survive
(T) (R) 12.05 Teleshopping 1.05 After Midnight
2.35 Tonight: The Butcher Surgeon – Uncovered
(T) (R) 3.0-5.05 ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 12.35am
Teleshopping 1.35-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
View (T) 11.15 Question Time (T) 12.15-1.0
This Week (T)
Minister’s Questions (T) 1.0 Home Away from
Home (T) (R) 1.45 32 Brinkburn Street (T) (R)
2.30 Politics Scotland (T) 3.35-4.05 Terry
and Mason’s Great Food Trip (T) (R) 7.0 Dad’s
Army (T) (R) 7.30-8.0 Timeline (T)
BBC TWO N IRELAND 10.0pm-10.30
The Arts Show: In Conversation With Adrian
Dunbar (T) The Enniskillen-born star of Line of
Duty talks to Marie-Louise Muir about his life
and career. 11.15 Live at the Apollo (T)
11.45-12.15 Insert Name Here (T)
Amazing Spaces Snow and Ice
Special (T) How Norway has
become a leader in architectural
The Crystal Maze Celebrity
Christmas Special (T) Richard
Ayoade guides Mollie King, Ellie
Simmonds, Nicola Adams, Ollie
Locke and Tom Davis through
the time zones.
BBC Four
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.45 News (T) 11.50 The Perfect Holiday (Lance
Rivera, 2007) (T) 1.35 My Christmas Dream (James
Head, 2016) (T) 3.20 An
Unexpected Christmas (Brian K
Roberts, 2016) (T) 5.0 News (T)
5.35 The Yorkshire Vet (T) (R)
6.30 News (T) 7.0 UK’s Strongest
Man 2017 (T) The Team World
Championships, staged in Stokeon-Trent, featuring the Axle
Press Medley, Two-Man Deadlift,
Loglift etc. Last in the series.
Gypsy Kids at Christmas (T)
Johnny, Abraham and Jack Joe
dress as elves at their uncle’s
cage fight, while eight-yearold Margaret is promised a new
mobile home. Includes news.
Harrogate: A Yorkshire
Christmas (T) (2/2) Last year’s
winner Sandi races against time
to improve her design.
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
(T) (R) SOAS University of
London take on the University
of Leeds, featuring Dom Joly
and Gus Casely-Hayford.
The Secrets of Quantum Physics
(T) (R) Jim Al-Khalili continues his
exploration of quantum physics.
The Science of Doctor Who
(T) (R) Brian Cox examines the
science behind the long-running
series and explores the physics
that allows the Doctor to travel
through space and time.
10.0 My Crazy Christmas Obsession
(T) (R) (1/2) Documentary about
people obsessed with the festive
period, beginning by following
four American households that
take decorations to the extreme.
11.05 Crazy Christmas Compulsives (T)
(R) (2/2) A man who celebrates
Christmas every day of the year.
12.0 SuperCasino 3.10 GPs: Behind
Closed Doors (T) (R) 4.0 World’s
Most Pampered Pets (T) (R) 4.45
House Doctor (T) (R) 5.10 Great
Artists (T) (R) 5.35 Wildlife SOS
(T) (R)
10.0 Horizon: Which Universe Are
We In? (T) (R) Documentary
exploring the scientific validity
of the “multiverse” concept, a
staple theory of the sci-fi genre
that champions the existence of
multiple universes.
11.0 Every Breath We Take:
Understanding Our
Atmosphere (T) (R)
12.0 Empire of the Seas: How the
Navy Forged the Modern World
(T) (R) 1.0 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
1.55 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
2.55 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
(piano), BBC Philharmonic, Clemens Schuldt.
Mozart: Piano Concerto no 14 in E flat (K449).
Sibelius: Symphony No 2.5.0 In Tune 7.0 In Tune
Mixtape 7.30 In Concert. Presented by Stuart
Flinders from the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.
Rodion Shchedrin: Dialogues With Shostakovich
(UK premiere). Shostakovich: Violin Concerto
No 1. 8.30 Interval. 8.50 Shostakovich: Symphony
No 15. Renaud Capuçon (violin), BBC Philharmonic,
Juanjo Mena. 10.0 Free Thinking. Matthew Sweet
presents the end-of-year literary salon. 10.45
The Essay: Nothing Is Real – Pop’s Struggle with
Authenticity. David Hepworth asks whether DJs
are doomed. (4/5) 11.0 Late Junction. A Christmas
session featuring Lone Taxidermist, Faust and a
cement mixer. 12.30 Through the Night
recordings of relatives who were involved in the
Great War. (4/5) 2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama:
The Toffee Tip. Semi-autobiographical childhood
adventure comedy, written and directed by Johnny
Vegas. Two boys find a local dumping ground for all
shop-spoiled confectionery. (R) 3.0 Open Country:
Rewilding at Knepp Castle. With Helen Mark in
Sussex. (8/16) 3.27 Radio 4 Appeal: Motivation
(R) 3.30 Open Book: Lionel Shriver (R) 4.0 The
Film Programme: Star Wars – The Last Jedi. Adam
Rutherford joins Francine Stock to review the latest
instalment in the Star Wars saga. 4.30 Inside
Science 5.0 PM 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast
5.57 Weather 6.0 News 6.30 Keep Calman
Carry On. Susan Calman attends a music festival
with Robin Ince. (2/4) 7.0 The Archers. Jennifer
plays matchmaker. 7.15 Front Row 7.45 The
Citadel. Christopher Reason’s dramatisation of AJ
Cronin’s novel. (4/5) 8.0 The Briefing Room. David
Aaronovitch and guests discuss the big issues in the
news. (3) 8.30 In Business: Diversifying Russia’s
Economy. With Caroline Bayley. (3/9) 9.0 Inside
Science (R) 9.30 In Our Time (R) 10.0 The World
Tonight. Presented by James Coomarasamy. 10.45
Book at Bedtime: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely
Fine, by Gail Honeyman. (4/10) 11.0 Welcome
to Wherever You Are. Andrew Maxwell presents
standup performances from around the world.
(3/4) 11.30 Today in Parliament. With Sean
Curran. 12.0 News 12.30 Letters from South
Africa (4/5) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World
Service LW: 2.15 The Ashes: Australia v England
– Third Test, Day Two. 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: Fyfe Dangerfield on the Pied Butcherbird.
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: George FitzGerald 12.0
Residency: Jessy Lanza 1.0 Toddla T 3.0 Artist
Takeover With 4.0 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 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 Vanessa Feltz
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. Hosted by Suzy Klein. 12.0
Composer of the Week: Tchaikovsky (4/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert: Shostakovich
Plus. Fiona Talkington presents Trio Wanderer
at LSO St Luke’s. Copland: Vitebsk. Suk: Elegie.
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No 2 in E minor, Op 67.
2.0 Afternoon Concert. Live performances by the
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the BBC
Philharmonic. Presented by Jamie MacDougall
live from City Halls, Glasgow. Kathryn Rudge
(mezzo), BBC SSO, Ben Gernon. Simon Wills: The
Island – Tone Poem. Ernest Chausson: Poème de
l’amour et de la mer, Op 19 – version for voice
and orchestra. 3.05pm Prokofiev: Romeo and
Juliet – a selection of pieces from his suites. From
2nd Suite: Montagues and Capulets; Juliet – The
Young Girl. From 3rd Suite: Morning Dance From
1st Suite: Minuet; Masks; Romeo and Juliet
Balcony; Death of Tybalt. 3.45pm Presented by
Tom Redmond live from Salford. Martin Roscoe
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 The Ashes: Australia v England – Third
Test, Day One. From the Western Australia Cricket
Association Ground in Perth. 8.30-9.0 Yesterday
in Parliament 9.45-10.0 Daily Service. FM: 6.0
Today. 7.48 Thought for the Day. 9.0 In Our Time.
Melvyn Bragg and guests investigate the history of
ideas. 9.45 Letters from South Africa. Five letters
from South African writers about life there in the
week of the ANC elections. (4/5) 10.0 Woman’s
Hour. Presented by Jenni Murray. (LW joins at
10.30) Includes at 10.45 Drama: Not a Love Story,
by Shelagh Stephenson. (R) (4/5) 11.0 Crossing
Continents: Black and Proud in Brazil. With David
Baker. (4/9) 11.30 Thinking Outside the Boxset:
How Technology Changed the Story. Mark Lawson
examines the different ways storytelling in TV,
theatre and literature has been affected by recent
advances in technology. (1/3) 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 14
December 1917 – Johnnie Marshall, by Shaun
McKenna. (24/40) 12.15 You and Yours. Consumer
and public interest reports. 12.57 Weather 1.0
The World at One 1.45 Voices of the First World
War: The Battle of Cambrai. Families hear audio
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 5 Live 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 | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Friday 15
Mike’s wife prepares to file for divorce on
grounds of adultery. Meanwhile, the Queen
pines in private, but in public she puts on a
brave face and petitions PM Anthony Eden
to sort out the economic crisis. Excellent.
Towering Inferno, with the addition of
Christopher Lee and assorted Warner Bros
cartoon characters. As joyously deranged
a genre-scrambler as a major studio ever
splurged $50m on. Jonathan Romney
The Graham Norton Show
BBC1, 10.35pm
No Smoke
Norton welcomes the stars of the forthcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Daisy
Ridley, John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie
and Mark Hamill. Plus, singer-songwriter
Sam Smith performs Pray. Mike Bradley
Hardeep Singh Kohli stars in an unusual
pilot written by himself and co-star
Maddy Anholt and set in a Dundee vape
cafe. Aspiring chef Hardeep finds himself
the owner of EVapeOr8 after his tenants
do a runner leaving him with a shop full
of vape equipment. His employee Shazza
(Anholt) is a vaping visionary but Hardeep,
admiring as he is of her can-do, whirlwind
nature, wants to turn the place into a
restaurant. The arrival of his parents adds
an element of farce as Sikhs see smoking
as sinful. “Oh my days!” exclaims Hardeep
rather too often in a comedy that has yet
to hit its stride. Stephanie Billen
Radio 4, 11.30am
Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Christmas Gold, 9pm
Jean-Claude Van Johnson
Amazon Prime
(Joe Dante, 1990)
Jean-Claude Van Damme AKA “The
Muscles from Brussels” returns at his
preposterous best in this “action-comedy”
series in which he plays himself and his
alter ego the undercover “black ops” agent
Jean-Claude Van Johnson . Tonight, in a
bid to be reunited with his former love and
fellow agent Vanessa, he takes on a film
role/mission in Bulgaria. Very funny.
Nice to think of this turning up on a
Christmas channel, given how nicely the
first Gremlins movie debunked festive
comfort and joy (remember Phoebe Cates’s
speech, “That’s how I found out there was
no Santa Claus”?). In his follow-up, the
genially infernal Joe Dante was arguably the
first Hollywood director to skewer a certain
monstrous magnate – here named Daniel
Clamp, and played by John Glover. The
horrible horde from 1984’s movie return
in an even more anarchic extravaganza, as
the mutating Mogwai overrun the Clamp
Building, unleashing a stylistic flash-fry of
disaster-movie action, macabre comedy
horror and self-deconstructing pastiche
– like a hybrid of Hellzapoppin’ and The
The Crown
As the Duke of Edinburgh’s world tour
continues, his hands begin to wander. On a
similar note, at home his Private Secretary
The Sweet Makers at Christmas
BBC Two, 9pm
Chocolatier Paul A Young, sweet
consultant Andy Baxendale, cake
decorator Cynthia Stroud and chocolatier
Diana Short (l-r, above) return to recreate
the treats of Christmas past and reveal
the origins of many of the festive
traditions that we enjoy today, including
stockings, crackers, Father Christmas and
the Christmas tree itself. They delve into
the history of the hard candy sugarplum,
before decorating a series of Twelfth
Cakes, affordable only to the wealthy elite
from Georgian times. Advancing into the
Victorian era, when cheaper sugar made
sweets more affordable, they create
an assortment of treats, from Queen
Victoria’s favoured Boar’s Head cake to
jelly pistols and sugar mice. To finish, they
explore chocolate novelties of the 1920s,
including Terry’s Chocolate Apple, the
precursor of today’s Chocolate Orange.
Well worth watching. Mike Bradley
Rugby Union
BT Sport 2, 7pm
Ulster v Harlequins: Champions Cup.
With both sides having already lost to La
Rochelle, it looks likely that only one of
them can possibly catch Wasps in Pool 1
to qualify alongside the French side – so
both teams will be desperate for a win
here to improve their chances of reaching
the quarter-finals. Étienne Fermie
Breakfast 9.15 Island Medics
10.0 Homes Under the Hammer
11.0 Street Auction 11.45 Fake
Britain (R) 12.15 Bargain Hunt 1.0
News and Weather 1.30 Regional
News and Weather 1.45 Doctors
(T) 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 and Weather (T)
6.30 Regional News and Weather
(T) 7.0 The One Show (T) 7.30
A Question of Sport (T) (R)
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
7.35 Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 10.05
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
USA (T) (R) 11.0 Jamie’s Festive
Feast (T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
(T) 12.25 Christmas
Magic (John Bradshaw, 2011)
(T) 2.10 Countdown (T) 3.0
Lost and Found (T) 4.0 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun (T) 5.0
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
(T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T) 6.30
Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Island Medics (R) 7.15 Hairy
Bikers Home for Christmas
(R) 8.0 MasterChef: The
Professionals (R) 9.0 Victoria
Derbyshire 11.0 Newsroom Live
12.0 Daily Politics 1.0 Coast (R)
2.0 Terry and Mason’s Great
Food Trip (R) 2.30 Home Away
from Home (R) 3.15 32 Brinkburn
Street (R) 4.0 The £15bn Railway:
The Final Countdown (R) 5.05
The Blue Planet (R) 6.0 Strictly:
It Takes Two 7.0 Celebrity
Antiques Road Trip
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 police close in
on their suspect. 7.30 Coronation
Street (T) Chesney goes to
extreme lengths to punish Daniel.
EastEnders (T) Josh tries to make
Fi see the real Willmott-Brown.
8.30 Still Open All Hours (T) (R)
Granville has a clever plan
to sell outdated puddings.
9.0 Have I Got News for You (T)
David Tennant hosts.
9.30 Mrs Brown’s Boys New Year
Special (T) (R) A handsome
stranger reveals that he only
has eyes for Agnes Brown.
8.0 Mastermind (T)
8.30 Only Connect (T) Victoria
Coren Mitchell presents
as the Detectives and the
Arrowheads return.
9.0 The Sweet Makers at Christmas
(T) Confectioners re-create the
treats of Christmas past – and
discover how they helped create
many of the traditions of today.
Judge Rinder’s Crown Court (T)
The second of two parts sees the
defence witnesses give evidence
to clear James Byron.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Chesney
accuses Daniel of assault.
9.0 I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out
of Here! Coming Out (T) The
celebrities get ready for life
back in the real world.
10.0 News (T)
10.25 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.35 The Graham Norton Show (T)
With guests Daisy Ridley, John
Boyega and Mark Hamill. Plus,
music by Sam Smith.
11.25 Would I Lie to You? (T) (R) With
Susie Dent, Bob Mortimer, Ore
Oduba and Stacey Solomon.
11.55 The Apprentice Interviews (T) (R)
12.55 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 1.0 BBC News (T)
10.0 QI Operations (T) With Bill Bailey,
Katherine Ryan and Rhod Gilbert.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.05 Expedition Volcano (T) (R) (2/2)
The team takes a helicopter to
an active volcano.
12.05 Sign Zone Panorama: The
Operation That Ruined My Life
(T) (R) 12.35 Hotel for Refugees
(T) (R) 1.15 Blitz: The Bombs
That Changed Britain (T) (R)
2.15 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Through the Keyhole: I’m a
Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!
(T) (R) The home-invading
panel show returns for a special
edition. With panellists Jimmy
Carr, Stacey Solomon, Myleene
Klass and Tony Blackburn.
11.45 Play to the Whistle: Extra
Time (T) (R) Holly Willoughby
presents a compilation of clips.
12.20 Jackpot247 3.0 Storage
Hoarders (T) (R) 3.50 ITV
10.0 The Last Leg (T) Rag’n’Bone
Man performs Human and
joins co-hosts Adam Hills, Josh
Widdicombe and Alex Brooker for
a comic review of the past week.
11.05 First Dates (T) (R)
12.10 Monsters: Dark Continent
(2014) (T) Sci-fi sequel starring
Johnny Harris. 2.15 Humans (T)
(R) 3.10 Grand Designs Australia
(T) (R) 4.05 Location, Location,
Location (T) (R) 5.0 Phil Spencer:
Secret Agent (T) (R) 5.55 Kirstie’s
Handmade Christmas (T) (R)
BT Sport 1
10.30am Premier League Review 11.30 The
Ashes 1.0 Premier League World 1.30 Premier
League 3.0 Premier League 4.30 The Ashes
6.0 Premier League World 6.15 Bundesliga
Special 6.45 Bundesliga Weekly 7.15 Live
Bundesliga: Borussia Mönchengladbach v Hamburg
SV (kick-off 7.30pm) Coverage from BorussiaPark. 9.30 Premier League World 9.45 The
Ashes 11.15 Premier League Preview 11.45
Premier League Match Pack 12.15 BT Sport
Reload 12.30 The Ashes 2.0 The Ashes Live:
Australia v England. Coverage of the third day
of the third Test, which takes place at Western
Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The British 7.0 Richard E Grant’s Hotel
Secrets 8.0 Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 9.0
The West Wing 10.0 The West Wing 11.0 House
12.0 House 1.0 Without a Trace 2.0 Blue Bloods
3.0 The West Wing 4.0 The West Wing 5.0 House
6.0 House 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 8.0
Blue Bloods 9.0 Game of Thrones 10.10 Game of
Thrones 11.30 The Trip to Spain 1.30 Rock and a
Hard Place 3.10 Californication 3.45 Californication 4.20 Storm City 5.10 Storm City
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 Kevin Can Wait 2.30 Kevin
Can Wait 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 Melissa & Joey 8.0 The Big
Bang Theory 8.30 The Big Bang Theory 9.0
The Impossible (2012) 11.10 The Big Bang
Theory 11.40 The Big Bang Theory 12.10 Rude
Tube 1.15 Gogglebox 2.05 Tattoo Fixers 3.0
First Dates Hotel 3.55 Black-ish 4.15 Black-ish
4.40 Charmed
11.0am The Black Swan (1942) 12.45
Anastasia (1956) 2.50 Sword of
Sherwood Forest (1960) 4.25 Earthquake
(1974) 6.50 Regarding Henry (1991)
9.0 Escape Plan (2013) 11.15 Hyena
(2014) 1.30 Bunny and the Bull (2009)
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 Meerkat Manor 9.30 Meerkat Manor
10.0 Meerkat Manor 10.30 Meerkat Manor
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 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 Brit
Cops: Frontline Crime UK 3.0 NCIS: Los Angeles
4.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Live European Tour Golf: The Indonesian
Masters. Further coverage of the second day of
the tournament from the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
10.0 Premier League Daily 11.0 Sky Sports Daily
12.0 Sky Sports News 5.0 Sky Sports News at 5
6.0 Sky Sports News at 6 7.0 Live EFL: Sheffield
Wednesday v Wolverhampton Wanderers (kick-off
7.45pm) Coverage of the Championship clash,
which comes from Hillsborough. 9.30 Live World
Darts Championship. Coverage of the second day
at Alexandra Palace, London. 11.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
Elaine C Smith’s Burdz Eye View (T) The comedian
arrives on the island of Mull. 10.45 Scotland’s Big
Sleep Out (T) Coverage of the music event. 11.45
Andy Cole: Sports Life Stories (T) (R) 12.35
Teleshopping 1.35 After Midnight 3.05 ITV
Nightscreen 5.05-6.0 Jeremy Kyle (T) (R)
ITV WALES As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30pm
The Beacons Uncovered (T) The summer months in
the Brecon Beacons National Park. 10.45 Gino’s
Italian Coastal Escape (T) 11.10-11.45 Judge
Rinder’s Crown Court (T) (R)
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) 10.45
Scotland’s Big Sleep Out (T) 11.45 Andy Cole:
Sports Life Stories (T) (R) 12.35 Teleshopping
1.35 After Midnight 3.05 ITV Nightscreen
5.05-6.0 Jeremy Kyle (T) (R)
ULSTER As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30 UTV
Life (T) 12.20 Teleshopping 1.20-3.0 After
BBC ONE WALES 8.30pm-9.0 Kate
Humble: Off the Beaten Track (T)
Blame Game (T) Susie McCabe joins the regulars.
11.05 The Graham Norton Show 11.55 Would I
Lie to You? (T) (R) 12.25-1.20 The Apprentice
(T) (R)
Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night
Feast (T) Jamie Oliver tutors
Sarah Millican on re-creating
her favourite microwave meal,
while Jimmy Doherty builds a
soft-serve ice-cream machine
for a child’s birthday party.
Gogglebox (T) Capturing the
householders reactions to what
they are watching on telly.
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.45 News (T) 11.50 Married by Christmas (Letia
Clouston, 2016) (T) 1.35 Once Upon a Christmas (James
Head, 2015) (T) 3.15 Mr
Christmas (Blair Hayes, 2017) (T)
5.0 News (T) 5.35 The Yorkshire
Vet at Christmas (T) (R) 6.30
News (T) 7.0 The Gadget Show
(T) Jon Bentley analyses the
quality of smartphone cameras,
while Ortis Deley visits the Far
Cry 5 development studios to
see how the game is made.
Brunel: The Man Who Built
Britain (T) Rob Bell concludes
his two-part documentary
series. Includes news update.
Strictly Come Dancing: Before
They Were Stars (T) Clips
recorded when hosts, judges
and professionals associated
with the hit show were making
a name for themselves.
BBC Four
World News Today (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
(T) (R) Edinburgh take on St
Catharine’s College, Cambridge,
featuring actor Rachael Stirling
and geneticist Steve Jones.
Danny Baker Rocks the
Seventies (A Bit) (T) (R)
Archive sessions including
the Who, Genesis, Kate Bush
and the Specials.
8.30 Top of the Pops: 1984 (T) (R)
The Christmas Day edition.
9.30 Roy Orbison: Love Hurts (T)
The performer’s legacy as a
rock legend and a devoted
father is revealed.
10.0 The Strictly Story: Fake Tan,
Tangos & A 10 from Len (T) The
tale behind the popular celebrity
dance contest, including its origins
in the old show, Come Dancing.
11.35 Strictly Special: Lip Sync Battle
(T) (R) With Danny Dyer and Craig
Revel Horwood.
12.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 When
Calls the Heart (T) 4.40 Access
(T) 4.45 House Doctor (T) (R)
5.10 Great Artists (T) (R)
5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.30 Roy Orbison & Friends: A Black
and White Night (T) (R) The
musician performs his hits. With
Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen,
Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne,
T-Bone Burnett and others.
11.35 Rock’n’Roll America (T) (R)
Including Elvis Presley on TV with
a gyrating version of Hound Dog.
12.35 Top of the Pops: 1984 (T) (R) 1.35
Roy Orbison: Love Hurts (T) (R)
2.35 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
perform for the first time in London’s Temple
Church, singing from different locations around
the building. 10.0 The Verb. Extended interviews
with Lorna Goodison and Jorie Graham. 10.45
The Essay: Nothing Is Real. Pop’s Struggle With
Authenticity: The Rock’n’Roll Funeral. With David
Hepworth. (5/5) 11.0 World on 3. A live session by
the Italian Pizzica ensemble, Canzoniere Grecanico
Salentino. 1.0 Through the Night. Chamber music
by Schubert, Shostakovich and Dvořák.
(5/5) 2.0 The Archers 2.15 Drama: Original
Death Rabbit, by Rose Heiney. A dark, funny tale of
narcissism, mental health and internet addiction,
starring Jessie Cave. (R) 3.0 Gardeners’ Question
Time: Hamble Valley 3.45 Short Works: Granny
Flat, by Cameron Raynes. Read by Richard Dillane.
4.0 Last Word. Matthew Bannister celebrates the
lives of famous and less well-known people who
have died recently. 4.30 Feedback. Presented by
Roger Bolton. 4.55 The Listening Project: Maja
and Eleanor – Getting Help 5.0 PM. Presented
by Eddie Mair. 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast
5.57 Weather 6.0 News 6.30 The Now Show
(7/7) 7.0 The Archers. Justin is stunned by the
truth. 7.15 Front Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 The
Citadel. Christopher Reason’s dramatisation of
AJ Cronin’s novel. (5/5) 8.0 Any Questions?
Jonathan Dimbleby chairs the debate at Rowhedge
Village Hall, Essex. 8.50 A Point of View. Weekly
reflections on topical issues from a range of
contributors. 9.0 Home Front Omnibus: 11-15
December 1917, by Shaun McKenna. (5/8) 10.0
The World Tonight. With James Coomarasamy.
10.45 Book at Bedtime: Eleanor Oliphant Is
Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. (5/10) 11.0
Great Lives: Cornelia Parker on Marcel Duchamp
(R) 11.30 Today in Parliament. With Mark D’Arcy.
11.55 The Listening Project: Catherine and Moira –
Positively Positive 12.0 News 12.30 Letters from
South Africa (R) (5/5) 12.48 Shipping Forecast
1.0 As World Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast.
LW: 2.15 The Ashes: Australia v England – Third
Test, Day Three. 5.20 Shipping Forecast. FM:
5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for the Day 5.45 iPM
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 The Official Chart With Greg James
5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Dance Anthems With Greg
James 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 8.0 Friday Night Is Music Night 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. Presented by Petroc Trelawny.
9.0 Essential Classics. With Suzy Klein. 12.0
Composer of the Week: Tchaikovsky (5/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert: Shostakovich Plus.
Fiona Talkington introduces the fourth in a series
from LSO St Luke’s, London. Alasdair Beatson
(piano), Meta4. Olli Mustonen: Piano Quintet (UK
Premiere). Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G minor,
Op 57. (4/4) 2.0 Afternoon Concert. Two concerts
from London. First to Temple Church for the BBC
Singers conducted by Owain Park, with a selection
of contemporary choral Christmas pieces. Roger
Sayer accompanies them on the organ. Then to the
BBC Symphony Orchestra’s home in Maida Vale.
3.15 Alexander Soumm (violin), BBC Symphony
Orchestra, Tung-Chien Chuang. Liadov: Baba Yaga
– Tone Poem. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E
minor, Op 64. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 in E
minor, Op 64. 5.0 In Tune. With Sean Rafferty.
7.0 In Tune Mixtape. An imaginative, eclectic
mix of music. 7.30 In Concert. As part of the
Temple winter festival, VOCES8 present a seasonal
programme, Lullabies to an Infant King, as they
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 6.0 The Ashes: Australia v England – Third
Test, Day Two. 8.31-9.0 Yesterday in Parliament.
9.45-10.0 Daily Service. FM: 6.0 Today. News
headlines and analysis. 7.48 Thought for the Day,
with the Rt Rev Richard Harries. 9.0 Desert Island
Discs: Kelsey Grammer (R) 9.45 Letters from
South Africa. Five letters from five South African
writers exploring aspects of life in the week of
the ANC elections. (5/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour.
Presented by Jenni Murray. (LW joins at 10.30)
Includes at 10.45 Drama: Not a Love Story, by
Shelagh Stephenson. (R) (5/5) 11.0 Rocky Hard
Place. Around a quarter of a million people live in
Dadaab camp, which has existed in Kenya, near the
Somali border, since 1991. Moulid Hujale spent the
majority of his youth there, after fleeing southern
Somalia with his family. He describes the lives and
stories of several of its inhabitants and explains
how the vast camp is organised. 11.30 No Smoke.
Comedy drama, written by and starring Hardeep
Singh Kohl and Maddy Anholt. Hardeep reluctantly
finds himself the owner of Dundee cafe EVapeOr8,
after his tenants do a runner. 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 15
December 1917 – Dilys Walker, by Shaun McKenna.
(25/40) 12.15 You and Yours. Consumer and public
interest reports. 1.0 The World at One. Presented
by Mark Mardell. 1.45 Voices of the First World
War: Out of It. Families hear audio recordings
of relatives who were involved in the Great War.
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 Friday
Football Social 10.0 Stephen Nolan 1.0 Up All
Night 5.0 5 Live Boxing With Costello & Bunce
5.30 Friday Football Social
Saturday 16
the Unexpected Star slot an A&E doctor is
fooled into thinking the theatre is actually
a grand hotel. And Miranda Hart hands over
her phone in Celebrity Send to All.
Merhige’s tender pastiche of silent-era
stylistics makes this rather more than just
a cinephile oddity. Jonathan Romney
The League of Gentlemen Night
Jeff Lynne’s ELO:
Wembley or Bust
BBC Two, 11.30pm
Radio 4 Extra, 7pm
A spectacular recording of ELO in concert
at Wembley Stadium on 24 June 2017.
Features classics such as Mr Blue Sky,
Livin’ Thing and Evil Woman. Mike Bradley
Shadow of the Vampire
BBC Two, 12.45am
Strictly Come Dancing: The Final
BBC One, 6.30pm
(E Elias Merhige, 2000)
The final four contestants take to the
stage for three dances to determine
who will claim the glitterball trophy. The
judges (above) will review and score the
performances, but ultimately the decision
comes down to the viewers’ vote. After
the winner has been announced, the rest
of the 2017 cast return for a last dance and
Ed Sheeran gives a special performance
(though hopefully not on the dancefloor).
Michael McIntyre’s Big Show
BBC One, 9pm
There’s music from pop star Niall Horan
and standup from Jason Manford. Plus, in
E (for Edmund) Elias Merhige is the cult
director who never quite was, although
people still speak in disbelief of his
exceptionally strange underground horror
Begotten. Slightly nearer the mainstream
is his entertaining second feature, which
asks the question: what if Max Schreck, the
inimitably creepy lead in German vampire
classic Nosferatu, had actually been one of
the undead? John Malkovich plays the great
FW Murnau, on location in 1921 to film his
adaptation of Dracula. Willem Dafoe plays
the actor whose pre-Method identification
with fanged menace Count Orlok is a little
too close for comfort. With these two
channeling the acting mannerisms of
Weimar cinema’s “haunted screen”, you
can be sure of getting something ripe, yet
Feud: Bette and Joan
BBC Two, 9pm & 9.55pm
As this taut, stylish eight-part drama
begins, the year is 1962 and fading
Hollywood star Joan Crawford (Jessica
Lange, above) longs to win another
Academy award. Realising that good roles
for women of her age are rare, she decides
to find one for herself and chances upon
the novel What Ever Happened to Baby
Jane? She knows immediately that the
part is perfect for her and convinces
director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) to
come on board. Next, her bitter rival Bette
Davis (Susan Sarandon) is drafted in and
soon sparks begin to fly. The story begins
in earnest with their fateful collaboration
and continues after the cameras stop
rolling, exploring their struggle to hang
on to success and fame in the twilight of
their careers. With Catherine Zeta-Jones,
Kathy Bates, Judy Davis and Stanley
Tucci. Great script, great frocks, great
drama. Recommended. Mike Bradley
As BBC Two marks the 20th anniversary
of the macabre hit comedy with three new
specials this Christmas, Radio 4 Extra offers
a three-hour showcase of the original 1997
BBC radio series starting with A Guest at
The Dentons in which newcomer Benjamin
has an uncomfortable stay with relatives
in a toad-filled house where “certain
avenues of gratification are forbidden”.
First broadcast on BBC Seven in 2005,
the celebration features insights from
co-creator Reece Shearsmith, who talks
about their journey from stage to radio to
TV, explaining how the diminutive character
of shopkeeper Mr Ingleby, whose height
varies over episodes, was only ever really
suitable for radio. Stephanie Billen
BT Sport 1, 5pm
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur:
Premier League. Coverage from the Etihad,
where City face a tough test in the form of
Spurs. Much has been made of Tottenham’s
poor away record against the rest of the
top six, so Mauricio Pochettino will be
hoping for a statement result at the home
of the champions-elect. Étienne Fermie
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: UK
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 Homes Under
the Hammer (R) 1.45 Coast (R)
2.20 Garden Rescue (R) 2.50
Mastermind (R) 3.20 Possessed (1947) 5.05 Talking
Pictures: Roger Moore 6.05
Escape to Athena (1979)
6.05 Adventure Racing: AWRS China
(T) 6.30 Everybody Loves
Raymond (T) (R) 7.45 Frasier (T)
(R) 8.40 The Big Bang Theory (T)
(R) 9.35 The Simpsons (T) (R)
11.05 Holiday in Handcuffs
(Ron Underwood, 2007) (T) 12.50
Come Dine With Me Christmas
(T) (R) 2.25 Come Dine With Me
Christmas (T) (R) 2.55 Come Dine
With Me Christmas (T) (R) 3.30
Grand Designs (T) (R) 4.30 Best
Laid Plans (T) 5.35 News (T) 6.0
Word of the Year 2017 (T) 7.0 Guy
Martin v the Robot Car (T) (R)
6.30 Strictly Come Dancing: The
Final (T) Tess Daly and Claudia
Winkleman host, with the final
three celebs and their partners
taking to the floor in a bid to claim
the glitterball trophy.
9.0 Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (T)
Niall Horan and Jason Manford
guest, and comedy actor Miranda
Hart handing her phone over for
the Celebrity Send to All.
Attenborough’s Life That
Glows (T) (R) The world
of bioluminescence.
9.0 Feud: Bette and Joan (T) New
series. Drama exploring the
rivalry between Bette Davis
and Joan Crawford. Jessica
Lange and Susan Sarandon star.
9.55 Feud: Bette and Joan (T) Filming
begins on What Ever Happened
to Baby Jane?
6.30 The Hobbit: An Unexpected
Journey (Peter Jackson, 2012) (T)
Hobbit Bilbo Baggins is recruited
to join a band of dwarves on
a quest to reclaim their lost
homeland. Fantasy adventure
loosely based on JRR Tolkien’s
original children’s book, with
Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen.
9.45 News and Weather (T)
Local Weather
Sinkholes: Sucked to Death (T)
(R) Documentary examining
8.55 News (T)
9.0 Football on 5: The Championship
(T) Colin Murray introduces
highlights from the weekend’s
games, including Cardiff City
v Hull City and Sunderland v
10.0 News and Weather (T) Includes
national lottery update.
10.20 Match of the Day (T) Including
Manchester City v Tottenham
Hotspur and Arsenal v Newcastle
11.45 The NFL Show (T) Includes
highlights of Thursday’s game.
12.15 Surviving Christmas (Mike
Mitchell, 2004) (T) A millionaire
hires a family to help him enjoy
the perfect Christmas. Comedy
with Ben Affleck, Christina
Applegate and James Gandolfini.
1.40 Weather (T) 1.45 News (T)
10.45 QI XL Operations (T) With
Bill Bailey, Katherine Ryan
and Rhod Gilbert.
11.30 Jeff Lynne’s ELO: Wembley or
Bust (T) A special concert at
Wembley Stadium.
12.45 Shadow of the Vampire (E
Elias Merhige, 2000) (T) Horror,
starring Willem Dafoe and John
Malkovich. 2.10 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.0 The Hangover (Todd Phillips,
2009) (T) Three men on a stag
weekend in Las Vegas wake up
to find that they have lost the
groom and cannot remember
the night before. Comedy with
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and
Zach Galifianakis.
11.55 Tonight at the London Palladium
(T) (R) With ABC, Nathan Sykes,
the West End cast of Guys and
Dolls, Gregory Porter and Milos.
12.45 Jackpot247 3.0 The Hungry
Sailors (T) (R) 3.50 ITV
11.10 The Inbetweeners Movie
(Ben Palmer, 2011) (T) Big-screen
spinoff of the hugely popular
Brit teen comedy, starring Joe
Thomas, Simon Bird, James
Buckley and Blake Harrison.
1.0 Tomorrow, When the War
Began (Stuart Beattie, 2010) (T)
Action adventure starring Caitlin
Stasey. 2.40 The Last Leg (T) (R)
3.35 Hollyoaks (T) 5.40 Extreme
Cake Makers (T) (R)
10.0 Football on 5: Goal Rush (T)
Including action from Doncaster
Rovers v Oldham Athletic.
10.30 NCIS: New Orleans Hell on the
High Water (T) Pride investigates
a murder on board an oil rig.
11.20 NCIS: New Orleans Return of the
King (T) A hacker collective steal
thousands of government files.
12.15 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Harrogate:
A Yorkshire Christmas (T) (R) 4.0
Harrogate: A Yorkshire Christmas
(T) (R) 4.50 House Doctor (T)
(R) 5.15 Wildlife SOS (T) (R) 5.40
Chinese Food in Minutes (T) (R)
10.55 The Vietnam War Chasing
Ghosts (June 1968 – May
1969) (T) (R) Richard Nixon
wins the presidency.
11.50 Rich Hall’s You Can Go to Hell,
I’m Going to Texas (T) (R) The
comedian takes a trip to Texas to
discover what it really means to
be an inhabitant of the Lone Star
State, exploring the landscape,
people and true heart of the area.
1.20 Natural World (T) (R) 2.20
Flamenco: Gypsy Soul (T) (R)
Writer Elizabeth Kinder goes in
search of the soul of flamenco.
Meade (soprano: Norma), Jamie Barton (soprano:
Adalgisa), Joseph Calleja (tenor: Pollione),
Matthew Rose (bass: Oroveso), NYMO, Joseph
Colaneri. 10.0 Hear and Now: Huddersfield
Contemporary Music Festival Highlights. Bernhard
Lang: DW24; Laura Bowler: FFF. Ensemble PHACE.
Steven Daverson: Elusive Tangibility II; Romitelli:
La Sabbia del tempo. Explore Ensemble. Klaus
Lang: Tehran Dust & Improvisations. Polwechsel
& Klaus Lang (organ). 12.0 Geoffrey Smith’s
Jazz. Revisiting the music of the most prominent
jazz stars of the past year. 1.0 Through the Night.
Archive performances from Swedish Radio.
Wright. 5.30 iPM (R) 5.54 Shipping Forecast
5.57 Weather 6.0 News 6.15 Loose Ends. Al
Murray, Ellie Kendrick and Spencer Jones join
Clive Anderson for light-hearted conversation.
Plus, music from Dave and the Surfing Magazines.
7.0 Profile. Friends, adversaries, colleagues and
confidants provide an insight into someone in the
news. With Mark Coles. 7.15 Saturday Review.
Tom Sutcliffe and guests examine the week’s
cultural highlights. 8.0 Archive on 4: Return of
the Anglosphere. Jonathan Powell investigates
whether the “English Speaking World”, comprising
of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, America, a
handful of Commonwealth nations and England
itself, might gain a new, contemporary relevance.
The dominance of English beyond its home shores
was once a key geopolitical tool, and has arguably
gained new significance in the digital world,
and here, Powell asks whether Britain’s native
language can help the nation thrive beyond the EU.
9.0 Drama: The Scarlet Pimpernel. Jonathan
Holloway’s adaptation of Baroness Orczy’s classic
French Revolution adventure novel. (R) 10.0
News 10.15 We Need to Talk About Death: Give
My Body to Science (R) 11.0 Round Britain Quiz
(R) 11.30 The Echo Chamber: Ocean Vuong and
Mark Pajak (R) 12.0 News 12.30 Short Works:
Granny Flat (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0
As World Service. LW: 2.15 The Ashes: Australia
v England – Third Test, Day Four. 5.20 Shipping
Forecast. FM: 5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30
News 5.43 Bells on Sunday: St Eadburgha,
Ebrington in Gloucestershire 5.45 Profile (R)
Breakfast (T) 10.0 Saturday
Kitchen Live (T) 11.30 Nigel
Slater’s 12 Tastes of Christmas
(T) (R) 12.0 Football Focus (T)
1.0 News and Weather (T) 1.15
Sports Personality of the Year
2017: The Contenders (T) (R) 2.15
Bargain Hunt (T) (R) 3.15 Escape
to the Country (T) (R) 4.0 Final
Score (T) 5.25 News (T) 5.35
Regional News and Weather (T)
5.40 Pointless Celebrities (T) (R)
BT Sport 1
10.30am Premier League Match Pack 11.0
Premier League Preview 11.30 Live Scottish
Football Extra 12.0 Live SPFL: Aberdeen v
Hibernian (kick-off 12.30pm) Coverage from
Pittodrie. 2.45 BT Sport Score 5.0 Live Premier
League: Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur
(kick-off 5.30pm) Coverage from Etihad Stadium.
8.0 Premier League Tonight 9.0 The Lane 10.0
Serie A 11.0 Ligue 1 12.0 Bundesliga Special
12.30 The Ashes 2.0 The Ashes Live: Australia
v England. Coverage of the fourth day of the
third Test, which takes place at the Western
Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-8.0 Urban Secrets 8.0-12.0 CSI:
Crime Scene Investigation 12.0-4.0 David
Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies 4.0-9.0
Without a Trace 9.0 Game of Thrones 10.30
Hot Spots 11.30 Spielberg 2.10 Pete Holmes:
Faces And Sounds 3.25 Californication 4.0
The Guest Wing 5.0 House
6.0am-6.55 How I Met Your Mother 6.558.25 Baby Daddy 8.25-9.30 The Goldbergs
9.30 Made in Chelsea 10.35 Celebrity Couples
CDWM 11.45 A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s
Adventures (2010) 1.30-4.0 The Goldbergs
4.0-9.0 The Big Bang Theory 9.0 The
Hunger Games (2012) 11.50-2.0 Gogglebox
2.0-3.30 The Inbetweeners 3.30-4.25
Rude Tube 4.25 Rude(ish) Tube 4.50-6.0
How I Met Your Mother
11.0am Judy Moody and the Not Bummer
Summer (2011) 1.0 Fast Girls (2012) 2.45
Volcano (1997) 4.50 The Return of the
Musketeers (1989) 6.55 X-Men (2000) 9.0
Men in Black (1997) 10.55 The Purge:
Anarchy (2014) 1.0 A Dark Song (2016)
CITV 9.25 ITV News (T) 9.30
Saturday Morning with James
Martin at Christmas (T) 11.20
Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape (T)
(R) 11.50 Countrywise (T) (R)
12.20 Thunderbirds Are Go (T)
(R) 12.45 News and Weather
(T) 12.55 Endeavour (T) (R)
2.55 The Flintstones in
Viva Rock Vegas (2000) (T)
4.35 The Chase (T) (R) 5.35
Paul O’Grady: For the Love of
Dogs (T) (R) 6.05 Local News
(T) 6.15 News and Weather (T)
6.0am Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons 8.0
Supergirl 9.0 The Flash 10.0 Soccer AM 11.30
Futurama 12.0 Futurama 12.30 Futurama
1.0 Futurama 1.30 Futurama 2.0 NCIS: Los
Angeles 3.0 Gillette Soccer Saturday 3.15
Gillette Soccer Saturday 5.15 Gillette Soccer
Saturday 5.30 Gillette Soccer Saturday 6.0
Modern Family 6.30 Modern Family 7.0 The
Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 A League
of Their Own 9.0 A League of Their Own 10.0
The Russell Howard Hour 11.0 Karl Pilkington:
The Moaning of Life 12.0 A League of Their
Own 1.0 Arrow 2.0 DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
3.0 Brit Cops: Law & Disorder 4.0 Stargate
Atlantis 5.0 Stargate Atlantis
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Sky Sports News 7.0 Good Morning
Sports Fans 8.0 Good Morning Sports Fans
9.0 Good Morning Sports Fans 10.0 Gillette
Soccer Saturday 11.0 Gillette Soccer Saturday
11.30 Live Premier League: Leicester City v
Crystal Palace (kick-off 12.30pm) Coverage from
the King Power Stadium. 3.0 Live European
Rugby Champions Cup: Racing 92 v Castres
(kick-off 3.15pm) Coverage of the Pool 4 match
from the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir.
5.15 Live EFL: Cardiff City v Hull City (kickoff 5.30pm) All the action from this evening’s
Championship encounter at the Cardiff City
Stadium. 7.40 Live World Darts Championship.
Coverage of the evening session on day three of the
PDC event at Alexandra Palace in London, featuring
one contest in the preliminary round and three
first-round clashes. 11.0 Live NFL: Detroit Lions
v Chicago Bears. Coverage of the NFC North clash
at Ford Field, joined in progress 90 minutes after
kick-off. 1.0 Live NFL: Kansas City Chiefs v Los
Angeles Chargers (kick-off 1.25am) Coverage of
the AFC West clash at Arrowhead Stadium. 4.30
Premier League Highlights 5.0 Sky Sports News
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.45am
Teleshopping 1.45 After Midnight 3.15-6.0
ITV Nightscreen
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.45am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen (T)
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.45am
Teleshopping 1.45 After Midnight 3.15-6.0
ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 12.45am
Teleshopping 1.45-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
Sportscene (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 5.0pm-5.25
Final Score from Northern Ireland (T)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 5.05pm Celebrity
Antiques Road Trip (T) (R) 6.05 Talking Pictures:
Roger Moore (T) 7.05-9.0 Escape to
Athena (George Pan Cosmatos, 1979) (T) Second
world war adventure starring Roger Moore.
11.30 Eorpa (European Current Affairs) (T)
12.0 Jeff Lynne’s ELO: Wembley or Bust (T) 1.15
Shadow of the Vampire (E Elias Merhige,
2000) (T) Horror starring Willem Dafoe and John
Malkovich. 2.35-6.05 This Is BBC Two (T)
BBC2 WALES 2.50pm-3.20 A WelshItalian Christmas With Michela Chiappa (T) (R)
10.45-11.30 The Really Welsh Christmas
Show 2014 (T) (R)
Blame Game (T) (R) 11.15-11.30 Late Licence
(T) (R)
The World’s Most Expensive
Presents (T) (R) Craftsmen and
women producing lavish gifts.
Pitch Perfect (Jason Moore,
2012) (T) A college freshman
joins an a cappella singing
group made up of social misfits
to compete in campus music
competitions. Comedy starring
Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson.
Milkshake! 9.50 The Gadget
Show (T) (R) 10.45 Nativity
3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?!
(Debbie Isitt, 2014) (T) 12.55
One Christmas Eve (Jay
Russell, 2014) (T) 2.40 Love Always, Santa (Brian
Herzlinger, 2016) (T) 4.25 A Christmas Melody (Mariah
Carey, 2015) (T) 5.25 News
(T) 5.30 A Christmas
Melody (Mariah Carey, 2015)
(T) 6.05 Sinkholes: Buried
Underground (T) (R) 7.0
Sinkholes: Sucked Under (T) (R)
BBC Four
All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride (T)
(R) A two-hour sleigh ride 200
miles inside the Arctic Circle in
Karasjok, Norway, filmed from
point of view of the reindeer
herder travelling across the
frozen wilderness.
Witnesses: A Frozen Death
Sandra and her past lovers face
the same grisly fate that awaited
the killer’s other victims.
9.55 Witnesses: A Frozen Death
Sandra tries to find a way to
avoid becoming the killer’s
next “bride”, and the mystery
of the “Minotaur” is revealed.
In French. Last in the series.
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 David Rodigan
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.0 Sounds of the 60s 8.0 Saturday Breakfast
With Ricky Wilson 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
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
7.0 Breakfast. Another excerpt from Book Two of
Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. 9.0 News 9.03
Record Review. Andrew McGregor is joined by
Natasha Loges, Elin Manahan Thomas and Andrew
Mellor to discuss the best new releases of 2017,
and David Owen Norris contributes to Building a
Library. 12.15 Music Matters: Hidden Dialects
and Traditional Craft. Sara Mohr-Pietsch explores
the role British dialects have played in shaping the
nation’s music. 1.0 News 1.02 Saturday Classics:
Richard Egarr. The keyboardist and conductor
explores his inspirations. 3.0 Sound of Dance:
The Nutcracker. Katie Derham explores the origins
of Tchaikovsky’s famous festive ballet. 4.0 Jazz
Record Requests. Listeners’ festive-themed jazz
requests, including the music of Tito Puente.
5.0 Jazz Line-Up. Julian Joseph presents a
performance by the American saxophonist Charles
Lloyd and his quartet, recorded at the Tampere
Jazz Happening in Finland. 6.30 Opera on 3:
Live from the Met – Norma by Bellini. Mary Jo
Heath and Ira Siff introduce a live performance of
Bellini’s opera, broadcast from New York. Angela
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 The Ashes: Australia v England – Third
Test, Day Three. 8.51-9.0 Yesterday in Parliament.
FM: 6.0 News and Papers 6.07 Open Country:
Rewilding at Knepp Castle (R) 6.30 Farming
Today This Week 6.57 Weather 7.0 Today. 7.48
Thought for the Day, with Dr Chetna Kang. 9.0
Saturday Live. Extraordinary stories and remarkable
people. LW & FM: 10.30 Don’t Log Off: The
Consolations of Art. Alan Dein shares a last round
of inspiring stories from his online acquaintances.
(6/6) 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 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? Last night’s debate from
Essex. (R) 2.0 Any Answers? Listeners have their
say. 2.30 Drama: The Penny Dreadfuls Present
The Curse of the Beagle. The spoof Victorian
melodrama returns as Humphrey Ker, David Reed
and Margaret Cabourn-Smith take comical aim at
Charles Darwin’s five-year voyage on board HMS
Beagle. (R) 3.30 The Art of Living: Listening
Without Ears (R) 4.0 Weekend Woman’s Hour. A
roundup of highlights from the week, presented by
Jane Garvey. 5.0 Saturday PM. Presented by Ben
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 9.0 Danny Baker 11.0 Fighting Talk
12.0 5 Live Sport 12.30 Premier League Football:
Leicester City v Crystal Palace (kick-off 12.30pm)
2.30 5 Live Sport 3.0 Premier League Football
5.0 Sports Report 6.0 6-0-6 8.0 Kermode and
Mayo’s Film Review 9.0 Stephen Nolan 12.0 In
Short (R) 1.0 Up All Night 5.0 5 Live Science
The Observer | 10.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Today’s television
The week’s listings
start on page 40
of humanity’s impact on our seas and
advice on how everyday personal choices
can help make a difference. Also good on
the subject of undersea sounds.
The Truman Show: again he’s making a film
about an enclosed world with rules entirely
its own. Compelling stuff. Jonathan Romney
Sunday Feature: Laura
Ingalls’s America
Leonora Carrington:
The Lost Surrealist
BBC Four, 9pm
Radio 3, 6.45pm
The story of the British painter who went
from deb to doyenne of the surrealist art
scene in Mexico City, via marriage to fellow
artist Max Ernst. Newly rediscovered, her
works are selling for millions. Mike Bradley
Master and Commander:
The Far Side of the World
Sky Cinema Greats, 1.05pm
BBC One, 6.15pm
(Peter Weir, 2003)
This week’s show is broadcast from
the Norfolk-Suffolk border, where the
presenters explore a conservation effort to
save two species of animal that are on the
brink of extinction and meet a mother and
daughter trying to make Ipswich safe for
hedgehogs. Plus, a farmer who has found a
way to grow vegetables all year round and a
report on animal diseases.
The dependably versatile Peter Weir
makes a venture, probably cinema’s last
to date, into a now largely forgotten genre,
the heroic seafaring adventure fuelled by
testosterone and the mighty wind (much
of the latter generated by Russell Crowe’s
stentorian acting style). Based on three
novels from Patrick O’Brian’s much-loved
marine saga, this Napoleonic-era tale
stars Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey of
the HMS Surprise and Paul Bettany as
trusty sawbones Dr Maturin. Brutal and
authentically steeped in tar and nervous
claustrophobia, it’s a super-vivid, intelligent
piece that’s absolutely about the lost
world it depicts. Weir’s previous film was
Blue Planet II
BBC One, 8pm
Our Blue Planet. David Attenborough
concludes his mesmerising study of the
world’s oceans with a sobering examination
Attenborough and
the Giant Elephant
BBC One, 9pm
In the second Attenborough documentary
of the evening, the great naturalist turns
his attention to the extraordinary, sad
tale of Jumbo, a circus elephant which
many believed to be the biggest in the
world. On arriving at London Zoo in
1865, Jumbo soon became a favourite of
Queen Victoria and her children, and was
nicknamed the Children’s Pet. However,
behind the scenes, things were anything
but rosy as the elephant was suffering
bouts of violent rage only pacified by
copious quantities of alcohol administered
by his keeper Matthew Scott. Before
long, and quite out of the the blue, the
Zoo caused a furore by selling Jumbo to
PT Barnum’s famous circus in America,
where the animal met an untimely, tragic
death. A stark but fascinating reminder
that elephants should never be kept in
captivity. Recommended. Mike Bradley
Samira Ahmed marks 150 years since the
birth of the American writer Laura Ingalls
Wilder with a trip to Mansfield, Missouri,
where she wrote her novels. Little House
on the Prairie and the other books in this
classic children’s series were based on her
childhood as a settler and have been lauded
both by liberals impressed by her protofeminism and conservatives who see her as
championing traditional American values.
Unravelling all this, Ahmed meets fans
of the book, actor Dean Butler from the
Little House on the Prairie TV series, and
critics who object to the books’ one-sided
historical viewpoint and negative portrayal
of Native Americans. Stephanie Billen
Sky Sports Main Event, 4.15pm
Manchester United v Manchester City:
Premier League. A derby between the top
two sides in the legaue. United boss José
Mourinho will be looking to get one over on
his old adversary Pep Guardiola. City could
beat Arsenal’s 15-year-old record for most
consecutive wins in a season by increasing
their tally of 13. Étienne Fermie
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast 7.35 Match of the Day
(R) 9.0 The Andrew Marr Show
10.0 Fern Britton Meets Barbara
Dickson 11.0 Sunday Politics 12.15
Bargain Hunt (R) 1.0 News 1.15
Escape to the Country (R) 1.50
Mary Berry’s Country House
Secrets (T) (R) 2.50 Lifeline (T)
3.0 Songs of Praise (T) 3.35
Toy Story (John Lasseter,
1995) (T) 4.50 Blue Planet
II (T) (R) 5.50 News (T) 6.05
Regional News and Weather (T)
6.15 Countryfile (T) 7.15 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) Coverage from
York of the opening session
of the final. Subsequent programmes subject to change.5.15
Ski Sunday (T) New series. Men’s
World Cup slalom action from Val
d’Isère in France.6.15 Flog It! (T) (R)
CITV 9.25 ITV News (T) 9.30
Best Walks with a View with Julia
Bradbury (T) (R) 9.55 The Martin
Lewis Money Show (T) (R) 10.25
Save Money: Good Food (T) (R)
11.0 Tipping Point (T) (R) 12.0
Junior (1994) (T) 2.05 News
and Weather (T) 2.15 You’ve
Been Framed! Gold (T) (R) 2.45
Midsomer Murders (T) (R) 4.40
The Chase (T) (R) 5.35 How to
Spend It Well at Christmas with
Phillip Schofield (T) (R) 6.35 Local
News (T) 6.45 News and Weather
(T) 7.0 Ninja Warrior UK (T) (R)
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
7.10 Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 8.0 Everybody Loves
Raymond (T) (R) 8.30 Frasier
(T) (R) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 9.30
Sunday Brunch (T) 12.30 Paul
Hollywood: A Baker’s Life (T)
(R) 1.0 Evolution (Ivan
Reitman, 2001) (T) 3.0 The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
(Jon Turteltaub, 2010) (T) 5.10
The Snowman (T) (R) 5.45 The
Snowman and the Snowdog (T)
(R) 6.10 News (T) 6.30 Britain’s
Wildest Weather 2017 (T)
Blue Planet II (T) The impact
of humanity on oceanic wildlife.
Last in the series.
Attenborough and the Giant
Elephant (T) The life of the
Victorian elephant Jumbo,
supposedly the largest ever
to have lived, that became
famous at London Zoo and as
part of PT Barnum’s circus.
The Chase Celebrity Special
(T) Sam Quek, Basil Brush, Andi
Peters and Charlie Higson answer
general knowledge questions.
I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of
Here! (T) Ant and Dec present the
final of the celebrity challenge, in
which this year’s king or queen
of the jungle is revealed.
10.0 News (T)
10.20 Regional News; Weather (T)
10.30 Match of the Day 2 (T) Featuring
Man United v Man City, Liverpool
v Everton and Southampton v
11.35 Women’s Football Show
(T) A look at the big issues
|in the women’s game.
12.10 Ronny Chieng: International
Student (T) 12.40 Weather
(T) 12.45 BBC News (T)
Live Snooker: UK Championship
(T) Coverage of the second
session of the final from the
Barbican Centre in York, where
the first player to reach 10 frames
will be crowned champion.
Presented by Hazel Irvine, with a
commentary team that includes
Steve Davis, Ken Doherty,
Stephen Hendry, John Parrott,
Dennis Taylor and Peter Ebdon.
Employable Me (T) (R) Featuring
a woman with cerebral palsy and
a man with visual impairment.
12.0 Athletics: European Cross
Country Highlights (T) 1.05
Jo Nesbø’s Headhunters
(Morten Tyldum, 2011) Crime
thriller starring Aksel Hennie.
2.40 Sign Zone: Question Time
(T) (R) 3.40 Holby City (T) (R)
4.40 This Is BBC Two (T)
BT Sport 1
6.30am Premier League 8.0 The Ashes 11.0
Premier League Today 11.30 Live Premier League:
Southampton v Arsenal (kick-off 12noon) Coverage
from St Mary’s Stadium. 2.15 Live Serie A: Napoli
v Fiorentina. Coverage from the Stadio San Paolo,
joining the match 15 minutes after kick-off. 4.0
Live Ligue 1: Nantes v Nice (kick-off 4pm) Coverage
from the Stade de la Beaujoire. 6.0 Live WSL:
Chelsea Ladies v Manchester City Women (kick-off
6.30pm) Coverage of the FA WSL 1 match from
Cherry Red Records Stadium. 8.45 From Harlem
With Love 9.0 Live NBA: Detroit Pistons v Boston
Celtics (tip-off 9pm) Coverage of the Eastern
Conference clash at Little Caesars Arena. 11.30
Hyundai A-League 1.0 WSL 2.30 Gillette World
Sport 3.0 The Ashes: Second Test Review
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-9.0 David Attenborough’s Kingdom
of Plants 9.0-2.0 Without a Trace 2.0 Dinosaur 13 (2014) 4.0 Attenborough at 90:
Behind the Lens 5.0-8.0 David Attenborough’s
Galápagos 8.0 Blue Bloods 9.0-12.0 Babylon
Berlin 12.0-1.05 Room 104 1.05-4.05 The
Tunnel: Sabotage 4.05-6.0 The Guest Wing
6.0am Rules of Engagement 6.30 Couples
Come Dine with Me 7.30 Melissa & Joey 7.55
Melissa & Joey 8.25 Hollyoaks 10.55 Made
in Chelsea 12.0 A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s
Adventures (2010) 1.45 Rude(ish) Tube Shorts
2.0 Frozen at Christmas 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
Prometheus (2012) 11.25 Gogglebox 12.30
The Inbetweeners 1.0 The Inbetweeners 1.35
Rude Tube 2.35 First Dates Hotel 3.30 Hollyoaks
10.35 News and Weather (T)
10.50 It’ll Be Alright on the Night (T)
(R) Griff Rhys Jones presents a
compilation of outtakes.
11.50 The Detectives: Inside the
Major Crimes Team (T) (R)
12.40 Jackpot247 3.0 Motorsport UK
(T) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
11.0am Black Nativity (2013) 1.0 Angels Sing (2013) 2.40 Earthquake (1974)
5.05 Fast Girls (2012) 6.50 Regarding Henry (1991) 9.0 Captain America: The
First Avenger (2011) 11.25 The Descendants
(2011) 1.40 sex, lies and videotape (1989)
6.0am Hour of Power 7.0 Futurama 7.30
Futurama 8.0 Futurama 8.30 Futurama 9.0
Futurama 9.30 Simpsons 10.0 Simpsons
10.30 The Simpsons 11.0 WWE Raw Hlts 12.0
NCIS: LA 1.0 NCIS: LA 2.0 NCIS: LA 3.0 Modern
Family 3.30 Modern Family 4.0 Modern Family
4.30 Modern Family 5.0 Modern Family 5.30
Simpsons 6.0 Simpsons 6.30 Simpsons 7.0
Simpsons 7.30 Simpsons 8.0 Marvel’s Inhumans
9.0 A League of Their Own 10.0 The Force:
Manchester 11.0 Ross Kemp on Gangs 12.0 Ross
Kemp on Gangs 1.0 NCIS: LA 2.0 Supergirl 3.0 The
Flash 4.0 Stargate Atlantis 5.0 Stargate Atlantis
Sky Sports 1
6.30am Live One-Day International Cricket:
India v Sri Lanka. Coverage of the first match in the
three-game series, staged at the Himachal Pradesh
Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala. 9.0
The Sunday Supplement 10.30 Goals on Sunday
12.0 Best PL Goals: Merseyside Derby 12.30 Best
PL Goals: Manchester Derby 1.0 Live Nissan Super
Sunday: Liverpool v Everton (kick-off 2.15pm)
Coverage of the Merseyside Derby at Anfield. 4.15
Live Nissan Super Sunday: Manchester United v
Manchester City (kick-off 4.30pm) Coverage of
the Manchester Derby, which takes place at Old
Trafford. 7.40 Live La Liga Football: Villarreal v
Barcelona (kick-off 7.45pm) Coverage from the
Estadio de la Cerámica. 9.45 Live NFL 12.50
NFL Gameday 1.20 Live NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers
v Baltimore Ravens (kick-off 1.30am) Coverage
of the AFC North clash at Heinz Field. 4.30
Premier League Highlights 5.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.40am
Teleshopping 1.40 After Midnight 2.40 May
the Best House Win (T) (R)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.40am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.40am
Teleshopping 1.40 After Midnight 2.40 May the
Best House Win (T) (R)
ULSTER As ITV except 12.40am
BBC ONE NORTH 11.0am-12.15 Sunday
Politics Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (T)
BBC ONE NORTH EAST 11.0am-12.15
Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria (T)
BBC ONE NORTH WEST 11.0am-12.15
Sunday Politics North West (T)
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 11.0am-12.15
Sunday Politics Scotland (T) 1.50-2.50 River
City (T) (R) 11.35 Sportscene (T) 12.30 The
Women’s Football Show (T) 1.05-1.35 Ronny
Chieng: International Student (T)
BBC ONE WALES 11.0am-12.15 Sunday
Politics Wales (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 11.0am-12.15
Sunday Politics Northern Ireland (T) 2.50-3.0
Community Life (T)
Flog It! (T) (R) 6.0-7.0 Sportscene (T)
11.0-12midnight Ski Sunday (T)
BBC TWO WALES 6.15pm The Bug Grub
Couple (T) (R) 6.45-7.0 Flog It! (T) (R)
BBC TWO N IRELAND 11.0pm Pop Goes
Northern Ireland (T) 11.30 Sunday Politics
Northern Ireland (T) (R) 11.55-12midnight
Wild on Water: Killard Nature Reserve (T) (R)
Coastal Railways With Julie
Walters (T) The actor travels
on the famous Great Western
The Second Best Exotic
Marigold Hotel (John Madden,
2015) (T) Retirement home
owner Sonny sets out to
expand his empire. Comedydrama sequel with Dev Patel
and Maggie Smith.
11.30 Unbroken (Angelina Jolie,
2014) (T) An Olympic athlete
serving in the second world war
survives being lost at sea and
held in a brutal PoW camp. Factbased drama, with Jack O’Connell
and Domhnall Gleeson.
1.55 Departure (Andrew
Steggall, 2015) (T) Drama
with Juliet Stevenson. 3.45
Gillette World Sport (T) 4.15
KOTV Boxing Weekly (T) 4.40
Grand Designs Australia (T) (R)
Milkshake! 10.05 Football on 5:
The Championship (T) (R) 11.0
Football on 5: Goal Rush (T) (R)
11.30 The Secret Life of Mrs
Claus (Craig Pryce, 2015) (T) 1.10
Journey Back to Christmas
(Mel Damski, 2016) (T) 2.55 Trolls
Holiday Special (T) 3.25 5 News
Weekend (T) 3.30 Pirates
of the Caribbean: At World’s
End (Gore Verbinski, 2007) (T)
Fantasy adventure sequel. 6.45
Need for Speed (Scott
Waugh, 2014) (T) Street-racing
action adventure with Aaron Paul.
Chappie (Neill Blomkamp,
2015) (T) Two small-time crooks
in South Africa kidnap the
inventor of a law-enforcement
robot and try to make him
reprogramme it to help them
carry out a heist. In doing so,
they incur the wrath of a ruthless
and corrupt general. Sci-fi thriller
with Ninja, Yolandi Visser, Sharlto
Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman.
11.20 Resident Evil: Afterlife (Paul
WS Anderson, 2010) (T) Zombiefighting heroine Alice’s search for
human survivors leads her into a
deadly trap. Action horror sequel
with Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter and
Wentworth Miller.
1.05 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Soap Star
Killer: Countdown to Murder
(T) (R) 4.0 My Mum’s Hotter
Than Me! (T) (R) 4.50 Access
(T) 4.55 House Doctor (T) (R)
5.20 Wildlife SOS (T) (R) 5.45
Chinese Food in Minutes (R)
BBC Four
Only Connect (T) (R) The
Dandies and Beaks return
for this round two game.
7.30 University Challenge
(T) (R) A second round tie.
Young, Gifted and Classical:
The Making of a Maestro (T)
(R) Documentary about BBC
young musician winner Sheku
Leonora Carrington: The Lost
Surrealist (T) A profile of the
English-born Mexican surrealist
artist, who was a key figure
in the movement’s heyday
in 1930s Paris.
10.0 The Sky at Night (T) Maggie
Aderin-Pocock watches the
Northern Lights.
10.30 Horizon: Tim Peake Special –
How to Be an Astronaut (T) (R)
11.30 Secret Knowledge: Walter
Scott’s Castle (T) (R)
12.0 Britain’s Lost Waterlands:
Escape to Swallows and
Amazons Country (T) (R)
1.0 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
2.0 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
3.0 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.0 Dev 10.0 Radio 1’s Greatest Hits With Matt
Edmondson 1.0 Alice Levine 4.0 Life Hacks With
Cel Spellman and Katie Thistleton 6.0 Radio 1’s
Most Played 7.0 Rock Show With Daniel P Carter
10.0 Phil Taggart 1.0 Monki 3.0 Artist Takeover
With Catfish & the Bottlemen 4.0 Early Breakfast
Show with Adele Roberts
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.0 The Sunday Hour 7.0 Good Morning Sunday
With Angie Greaves 9.0 Steve Wright’s Sunday
Love Songs 11.0 Michael Ball 1.0 Elaine Paige
3.0 Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of the 70s 5.0 Paul
O’Grady 7.0 Ore Oduba 9.0 Clare Teal 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: Salford. Featuring another of JS
Bach’s Preludes and Fugues. 9.0 News 9.03
Sunday Morning. Sarah Walker plays music from the
original version of Fauré’s Requiem reconstructed
by Marc Rigaudière and sung by King’s College
Choir. 12.0 Private Passions: Michael Frayn. 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert: Wigmore Hall
Mondays. Schumann: Three Romances, Op 94.
Nielsen: Two Fantasy Pieces, Op 2. Clara Schumann:
Three Romances, Op 22. Schumann: 12 vierhändige
Klavierstücke für kleine und große Kinder, Op 85:
No 12 Abendlied. Pasculli: Concerto on La Favorita
by Donizetti. Céline Moinet (oboe) Florian Uhlig
(piano). (R) 2.0 The Early Music Show: Telemann
at the Opera. Lucie Skeaping looks at the operatic
output of Georg Philipp Telemann. 3.0 Choral
Evensong: Keble College, Oxford (R) 4.0 Choir
and Organ. Featuring Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia
on Christmas Carols. 5.0 The Listening Service:
Mahler. 5.30 Words and Music: The Seven Deadly
Sins. With Adjoa Andoh and Rory Kinnear. 6.45
Sunday Feature: Laura Ingalls’s America. Samira
Ahmed considers the controversial legacy of Laura
Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the
Prairie novels. 7.30 British Composer Awards
2017 at the British Museum. Sara Mohr-Pietsch and
Andrew McGregor present the awards ceremony.
9.0 Drama on 3: Ninety Minutes With Stanislavski.
Marcy Kahan’s play about an actress wrestling
with stage fright. 10.15 Early Music Late: Ghislieri
Choir and Consort. Mediterranean polyphony.
11.30 Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Annelien
van Wauwe and the Amatis Piano Trio perform
Messiaen’s monumental work, composed in 1940
while he was a PoW. 12.30 Through the Night
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 News Headlines 6.05 Something Understood:
Popularity 6.35 On Your Farm: A Farming
Christmas. Charlotte Smith visits a Christmas
farmers’ market at Sedgemoor Auction Centre,
Somerset. (7/7) 6.57 Weather 7.0 News 7.0
Sunday Papers 7.10 Sunday. Edward Stourton
presents a roundup of the week’s religious and
ethical headlines. 7.55 Radio 4 Appeal: Motivation.
With Ade Adepitan. 7.57 Weather 8.0 News 8.0
Sunday Papers 8.10 Sunday Worship: Hope of
Freedom. Rev Hugh Palmer leads the second service
in Radio 4’s Advent series on the theme of longing
for hope. 8.48 A Point of View (R) 8.58 Tweet
of the Day: Greta Scacchi on the Goldfinch (R) 9.0
Broadcasting House. Presented by Paddy O’Connell.
10.0 The Archers Omnibus 11.15 Desert Island
Discs: Kelsey Grammer 12.0 News 12.01 (LW)
Shipping Forecast 12.04 I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue
(R) 12.30 The Food Programme: Crisps 12.57
Weather 1.0 The World This Weekend. Presented
by Mark Mardell. 1.30 No Triumph, No Tragedy.
Peter White meets blind US lieutenant governor
Cyrus Habib. (2/3) 2.0 Gardeners’ Question Time:
Welton-by-Lincoln (R) 2.45 The Listening Project
Omnibus: Why We Choose the Jobs We Do (R) 3.0
Drama: The Scarlet Pimpernel. An adaptation by
Jonathan Holloway of Baroness Orczy’s classic
French Revolution adventure novel, starring
James Purefoy. (1/2) 4.0 News 4.02 Open Book.
Lionel Shriver talks to Mariella Frostrup about her
book The Standing Chandelier. 4.30 The Echo
Chamber. Paul Farley meets Ocean Vuong, who
won the 2017 Felix Dennis prize for best first
collection, and talks to Manchester-based poet
Mark Pajak. (2/3) 5.0 Balfour’s Promised Land.
David Reynolds explores the creation of the Balfour
Declaration. (R) 5.40 Profile. With Becky Milligan.
5.54 Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather 6.0 News
6.15 Pick of the Week. With Sheila McClennon.
7.0 The Archers. Lilian comes to a heartbreaking
realisation. 7.15 Jeeves Live: The Aunt and the
Sluggard. Martin Jarvis performs PG Wodehouse’s
tale in front of a live audience at the Riverhouse
Barn theatre in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. (1/2)
7.45 The Reservoir Tapes: Ian’s Story, by Jon
McGregor. (11/15) 8.0 Feedback (R) 8.30 Last
Word (R) 9.0 Money Box (R) 9.26 Radio 4 Appeal:
Motivation (R) 9.30 In Business: US Jobs: The
Ties That Bind (R) 10.0 The Westminster Hour.
With Carolyn Quinn. 11.0 The Film Programme:
A Matter of Life and Death (R) 11.30 Something
Understood: Popularity (R) 12.0 News 12.15
Thinking Allowed (R) 12.45 Bells on Sunday:
Church of St. Andrew, Stratton, Cornwall (R)
12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer
for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet
of the Day: Fyfe Dangerfield on the Golden Oriole
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
4.30 5 Live Sport: Premier League Football
2017-18 6.30 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
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