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The Observer The New Review 17 December 2017

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Features | Reportage | Arts | Reviews | Plus David Mitchell and 7-day TV listings
By John Boorman
By Johnny Dark
By Alan Hollinghurst
By Marianne Faithfull
By Diane Abbott
By Joe Lauro
By Carla Bruni
By Sarah Stennett
By Giorgio Locatelli
By Robert Badinter
By Gareth Southgate
By Anton du Beke
By David Hare
By Julian Schnabel
Actor John Hurt,
Photograph by
Tim Roney/
Getty Images
By Duncan James
Features | Reportag
e | Arts | Reviews
| Plus David Mitchell
F E AT U R E S 6-19
S C I E N C E & T E C H 21-23
On my radar Writer
Sally Rooney’s
cultural highlights
Banking Can smartphone-only
bank Monzo challenge the big five,
asks Tim Lewis
Q&A Film director
Edgar Wright
John Naughton Did data-analytics
really play a critical part in Brexit?
David Mitchell
B O O K S 34-39
C R I T I C S 24-33
Mark Kermode’s verdict on
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Rowan Moore on the
new US embassy
Kitty Empire on the
new Eminem album
Music: the hidden
gems of 2017
Euan Ferguson on TV
Obituaries of 2017, including…
Howard Hodgkin by Alan Hollinghurst
Anita Pallenberg by Marianne Faithfull
John Hurt by John Boorman
Fats Domino by Joe Lauro
Ugo Ehiogu by Gareth Southgate
Johnny Hallyday by Carla Bruni
Sam Shepard by Johnny Dark
Oliver Bullough on Luke Harding’s
Collusion: How Russia Helped
Trump Win the White House
Rachel Cooke on Bloomsbury
insider Dora Carrington’s letters
Sean O’Hagan on Richard F
Thomas’s Why Dylan Matters
Meet the author: South Korean
writer Han Kang
Best photography books of 2017
In February next year, Zadie Smith
will publish Feel Free, a book of
essays on topics ranging from
Brexit to Beyoncé, JG Ballard to
Justin Bieber. Smith has written six
novels – including White Teeth, NW
and last year’s Swing Time – and a
number of nonfiction titles, edited
collections and
essays. Raised in
north-west London,
she lives between
London and New
York. We are putting
readers’ questions to the
award-winning author:
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
subm your questions
by emailing
us at review@
or tweeting
by midday
on Monday
18 December.
The interview will appear
in the New Review early
next year.
As a teacher, I love that the play has
made history come alive and be relevant
to my high-school students. To hear
a group of 14- to 15-year-olds talking
and debating about Hercules Mulligan,
Aaron Burr, Hamilton, Jefferson etc, and
then turn around and tell me things they
learned from reading about history on
their own is just wonderful.
Why does the life of a doctor have to
be filled with stress (interview with
Adam Kay, former junior doctor turned
comedy writer)? Would it not be
possible and, moreover, reasonable, for
doctors, who, after all, serve perhaps
the most valuable function in society, to
be able to live with a healthy workload?
It would be a real shame if this book
put anyone off a career in medicine.
I have already had a couple of
medical students tell me it’s coloured
their opinion of obs and gynae (I
am a consultant obstetrician and
gynaecologist). Adam freely admits
this book is a collection of anecdotes
gathered from multiple sources
[with] plenty of artistic licence taken.
Adam left a long time ago, and as a
It took Broadway
set to open in the storm and now it’s
creator Lin-ManuelWest End. Hamilton
Miranda talks about
the musical everyone
Interview byTim Lewisto see.
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
I have never been interested in musicals
but Hamilton is something to watch
for sure. A delight (Hamilton creator
Lin-Manuel Miranda talks to Tim Lewis,
cover last week).
David Marquez, posted online
YEAR 2017
Pages 10-17
The finest writing every Sunday for arts, science, politics and culture
A G E N D A 3-5
and 7-day TV listings
Lin-Manuel Miranda
photographed in London
Pal Hansen for the
Observer New Review. by
profession we have become a lot better
at supporting each other through
difficult times.
The first “best of 2017” that I’ve really
enjoyed (Critics’ review of the year:
Laura Cumming on art). Great images –
and emotions, a joy.
Thank you @RowanMoore, for naming
the Canaletto tower as the architecture
turkey of the year. A gross, ugly,
disgrace of a building.
@MaxwellMuseums on Twitter
The Steve Hewlett interviews on Radio
4’s PM were magnificent. They moved
from “what’s this?” to essential listening
in a fortnight. Sharing the rollercoaster
with Steve was a profound, humbling
experience. The radio highlight of my life.
JM8135 , posted online
A lovely read (Q&A with Barbara
Hosking, former aide to Harold Wilson
and Edward Heath). I’ll raise a claret in
your honour.
As well as being a great read, this
interview makes me think of all the
people who serve their country without
grandstanding or fuss. Integrity and
principles don’t always make the
headlines, but they are the values that
make for good government.
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
Brought up in Castlebar, County
Mayo, Sally Rooney studied English
at Trinity College, Dublin. By 22
she was the top student debater in
Europe. Earlier this year her debut
h Friends,
novel, Conversations With
nglements of
about the romantic entanglements
ed to great
four people, was published
acclaim. Rooney’s editor at Faber
described her as “Salingerr for the
Sally Rooney
Snapchat generation”, while the New
Yorker praised her “natural power
[...] as a psychological portraitist”.
Her writing has also appeared in the
Dublin Review, the Stinging Fly and
Granta. Her short story Mr Salary
was shortlisted for the Sunday Times
EFG short story award, and last week
Rooney won the Sunday Times/PFD
young writer of the year award.
1 | Music
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
The window in which it’s acceptable to
listen to Ella Fitzgerald’s 1960 record Ella
Wishes You a Swinging Christmas is short,
so I keep it in heavy rotation throughout
the festive season. Opinions naturally
vary on the topic of Christmas music, but
who could object to Fitzgerald’s recording
of What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?,
or even her gleeful Sleigh Ride? Originally
comprising 12 tracks, the version of the
album available on Spotify boasts six
extra, including the single version of The
Secret of Christmas, recorded with Russ
Garcia and His Orchestra in 1959.
2 | Photography
The Giving Light by Gavin Corbett
Gavin Corbett’s book of photography,
The Giving Light, is, of course, a beautiful
object in itself, with its little metallic
gold sun beaming out from the front
cover. But Corbett, best known as a
novelist, also brings a novelist’s eye to his
photographs, which are somehow both
entirely mundane and wholly remarkable.
A stripe of sunlight lines a brick wall. A
face glows through a bus window. The
photos are accompanied by enigmatic
fragments of text: “Here is a person who
has lived a full and responsible life in the
world of decisions and affairs”. It’s a book
worth spending time with.
3 | Book
The Aeneid
In anticipation of Emily Wilson’s muchdiscussed translation of Homer’s
Odyssey – the first ever English version
by a female translator – I’ve been
rereading Sarah Ruden’s magnificent
translation of Virgil’s The Aeneid. As a
reader with next to no knowledge of
classical mythology, I approached The
Aeneid just as I would a contemporary
poem or novel – and, despite my
ignorance, I was rewarded with a rich and
affecting portrait of, among other things,
the memorably doomed love affair
ween Aeneas and Dido.
Mohamed Salah
Though I have no real understanding
of the mechanics of football, I do enjoy
watching people who are enormously
good at something doing that thing very
well. And Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah
– the Premier League’s top goal scorer
at the time of writing – is spectacularly
good at playing football. The ingenuity
of professional footballers impresses
me, not only because of their extreme
technical skill, but because of the
unimaginably rapid pace at which they
have to make high-pressure decisions.
5 | Film
Call Me By Your Name
I saw Luca Guadagnino’s film here in
Dublin a couple of weeks ago, and it’s
been on my mind since. It struck me first
and foremost as a film of rare, unusual
beauty – its central love story takes
place during a summer in Italy, in almost
oppressively gorgeous surrounds – but
it’s an interesting coming-of-age film too.
Timothée Chalamet is wonderful as Elio, a
bored and indulged 17-year-old suddenly
discovering his own gigantic capacities
for pleasure (and pain). The languid pace
of the narrative, and its loose structure,
allow the intensity to gather slowly and
steadily. I’ve been thinking about the final
moments of the film for weeks.
6 | TV
Babylon Berlin
For me, no natural splendour or artistic
triumph can rival the humble human face
for joy and interest, and Volker Bruch,
who plays the lead in the German drama
Babylon Berlin, must have one of the
most interesting faces on TV. It’s worth
watching just for Bruch’s performance
as Gereon Rath, a police investigator
permanently on the verge of spiritual
epiphany or nervous collapse. Set in the
heady 1920s and structured around a
vice investigation,
it’s one of the most
expensive non-English-language TV
series ever made, with sumptuous
production values. But performances
from Bruch and co-star Liv Lisa Fries
make all the visual fireworks superfluous.
7 | Podcast
Saturday Review
The BBC Radio 4 show Saturday Review
is the calmest listening experience I can
imagine. It consists solely of host Tom
Sutcliffe and a rotating panel of guests
discussing cultural goings-on. Often
the conversations will focus on new art
exhibitions or theatrical productions in
the UK, none of which I can go and see
because I don’t live there. Since I almost
never have any opinion on the content,
and I have no reason to take sides when
the guests politely disagree, the podcast
takes on a relaxing quality for me. I often
listen to it while doing the washing-up.
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Q & A
The director on taking 22 years to make
Baby Driver, the Kevin Spacey revelations
and finding Cornettos in far-off places
Dorset-born director Edgar Wright,
43, made his name with cult
Channel 4 sitcom Spaced before
moving into film. He made the
“Cornetto trilogy” with long-time
collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick
Frost, comprising Shaun of the Dead,
Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. Since
heading to Hollywood, Wright has
directed Scott Pilgrim Vs the World
and co-written The Adventures of
Tintin. He scored his biggest box
office hit so far with this year’s
getaway car thriller Baby Driver, out
now on DVD.
Baby Driver was both a critical and
commercial success, so I guess you’ve
had a good year?
I can’t complain. It was my passion
project. It’s been a long and winding
road to get here, but I’m extremely
happy with how it came out. Funny
how my oldest idea ended up being
my biggest hit.
Hadn’t it been two decades in
the making?
I’d been thinking about it for 22 years.
My initial idea of a car-chase film
powered by music goes right back
to a pub in Wood Green, when I was
21 and first living in London. Then,
between Spaced and Shaun of the
Dead, I made a music video for Blue
Song by Mint Royale. I hadn’t come
up with a concept so I cannibalised
the opening scene I’d planned for
Baby Driver, with Noel Fielding as
a getaway driver. I was happy with
the video but also mad at myself
for squandering this great idea. But
it ended up helping because years
later, I had proof of concept. People
sometimes say “Is it a Drive rip-off ?
Did you get the mixtape idea from
Guardians of the Galaxy?” and I go:
“No, look, here’s a video I made 15
years ago.” It’s backdated evidence.
In 2010, I did a film festival Q&A with
[fellow director] JJ Abrams and they
wanted to show that Mint Royale
video. While it was playing, JJ leaned
over and said: “This would make a
good movie.” I replied: “Trust me, I’m
way ahead of you.”
Did you research the art of
getaway driving?
Yeah, I interviewed real-life getaway
drivers. Two gangland ex-cons in
London, which was fascinating. In the
States, I spoke to this extraordinary
former bank robber called Joe Loya. He
inspired part of the movie too, because
he had a post-heist song that he always
played when he thought he’d got away.
Kevin Spacey plays the crime boss in
Baby Driver. Were you surprised by the
recent revelations about him?
The truth is, I had a really
professional experience with him on
set. I certainly wasn’t aware of any
misconduct during production. So
the stories have been troubling and
alarming. All I can do is support the
victims who have been brave enough
to come forward and be aggrieved on
their behalf. For a while, I stopped
promoting Baby Driver because it
seemed insensitive while the story
was still developing. But eventually
I realised that he’s just one of 200
people who worked on the film. It
seems unfair if the private actions of
one person tarnish everyone else’s
incredible contribution.
With Weinstein and other scandals, has it
been a turbulent time in Hollywood?
It all started from redirected anger
at Donald Trump, I think. That
Access Hollywood tape came out over
a year ago. Trump even admitted
to saying that stuff and nothing
happened. There’s a hypocrisy that
in entertainment and other fields of
business, people’s careers are ending,
but Trump is still ploughing on
regardless. It’s an incredibly upsetting
thing but will it change the way
people think about their behaviour
going forward? Absolutely. I think it
already has. That’s the good thing to
come out of it.
Did you see that John Waters named
Baby Driver as his favourite film of 2017?
I did. It’s lovely getting recognition
like that. It’s not like I made it to
win awards. Sometimes you see
movies where their raison d’être is
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
Edgar Wright:
‘My oldest idea
ended up being my
biggest hit.’
Photograph by
Andy Parsons /
Camera Press
to be Oscar-bait but Baby Driver was
never that kind of movie. Although
oddly enough, I did joke in one studio
meeting that it was a dead cert for
best sound editing. Whether that
comes true, we shall see! All sorts
of unexpected things happen. The
soundtrack’s nominated for two
Grammys. Trust me, I never thought
I’d be a Grammy nominee.
This year’s top three box-office hits have
been female-led - Star Wars: The Last
Jedi, Wonder Woman and Beauty and the
Beast. Any plans for a female protagonist
in your films?
I play rebel scum
with a gun in The
Last Jedi. You have to
look hard but I’m in a
three-second shot
Yes, oddly enough. I haven’t had a
female lead before but one of the
scripts I’m currently developing does
have one. I’d love to make it and it’d
be a great thing to do, so we’ll see.
Have you seen The Last Jedi yet?
Yes – and I’m also in it. [Director]
Rian Johnson is a friend, so me, my
brother [comic book artist Oscar
Wright] and [director] Joe Cornish
went down to the set and stood
around as a resistance fighters in
one scene. I play rebel scum with
a gun. You’d have to look hard for
me but I’m in a three-second shot.
I was very proud of Rian. He did a
great job.
What have been your films of the year?
I liked Get Out, Dunkirk, The Shape
of Water and Call Me By Your Name.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s film
Phantom Thread [out in the UK in
February] is great. Early this year,
I loved a French horror film called
Raw, I’m also a supporter of Mother!,
right down to the exclamation mark.
When did you last eat a Cornetto?
This summer. It was a Classico – the
fancy name for vanilla. The US is just
about the only place in the world
that doesn’t have Cornettos but on
our press tour in Malaysia, we pulled
over for a break three hours outside
Kuala Lumpur. Lo and behold, they
had Cornettos. I made the entire crew
have one too. I do love ’em. Cornettos
were my hangover cure at college.
What are your Christmas plans?
I’m in LA at the moment but I’m
coming home. It wouldn’t feel right
to spend it out here in 81 degree heat,
so I’m looking forward to a blast of
cold. I’ll experience true festive spirit
by walking down a freezing, crowded
Oxford Street, then see the parents, eat
too much and fall asleep during Doctor
Who. A traditional family Christmas.
Interview by Michael Hogan
David Mitchell
Our modern designs for
life are no oil painting
y parents are the owners of what
I’m pretty sure is a bad painting of
Neath Abbey. I can’t be completely
certain because I know nothing
about painting and I’ve never seen
Neath Abbey. But it doesn’t look
much like anything I have seen, so
I’m willing to believe it looks like
Neath Abbey. Though not that it
looks exactly like Neath Abbey – it’s
not credible to me that any medieval
ruin (Neath Abbey is a medieval ruin)
could, in real life, so closely resemble
a vertical plane of dried paint.
My best shot at an objective
conclusion about it is that someone
of above average painting skill for
a human, but below average for a
professional artist, has rendered on
canvas some shapes which, if you
knew Neath Abbey, would remind
you of it, but wouldn’t come close
to fooling you that you were really
looking at it.
These are deep waters, I realise.
Ignorant about art though I am,
I’ve still heard the whole thing about
some paintings not having to look
exactly like their subjects, or anything
at all, to be deemed good. I get that
– it’s not photography. Everything’s
valid in a certain sort of way. Unless
it isn’t.
Because, of course, there is another
category: paintings that don’t look
exactly like their subjects, but were
meant to. They look wrong, but not
in a Picasso two-eyes-on-the-sameside-of-the-nose way that pushes
through into being applauded.
They’re a narrower miss: nowhere
near the triple 20, but it’s hit the
board so the thrower can’t get away
with claiming he wasn’t playing darts
in the first place. I reckon that’s what
we’re dealing with here.
The artist, by the way, is long dead.
I don’t know his name but the story in
our family is that, about 100 years ago,
he gave the painting in payment of a
bar bill to an ancestor of my mother’s
who ran a pub. He obviously didn’t
owe very much.
For all that, I love it. It’s large, dark
and old and it’s got a thick gilt frame.
It’s extremely painting-like. It’s a big
old painting and, deep in my middle-
class soul, I know there’s nothing
better for making a room seem posh
than a big old painting on the wall.
So I was interested to see it
reported last week that big old
paintings are falling out of favour.
Sir Nicholas Penny, former director
of the National Gallery, wrote in
the London Review of Books that
art investors and collectors are
suffering from “a sort of collective
intoxication” with contemporary art
and that institutions founded to house
“old art” were now “determined to
welcome” new works.
It appears the market for topend modern artworks is booming
because, Penny says, they’re being
“bought as investments, more than
has ever previously been the case;
they are deemed to constitute a
secure ‘alternative asset class’”. This
trend is receiving “strong
institutional endorsement
from the museums that
hope to receive, or at least
to borrow, some of this art”
and is further enhanced by
“a background of popular
enthusiasm”. This last point
is illustrated by the fact that
visitor numbers for Tate
Modern are much higher
than for its elder sister
Tate Britain.
Now he comes to mention
it, I think I’ve noticed this
going on. Everything seems
increasingly modern-arty.
It goes with that clean and
spacious interior design
style that magazines and
hotels are so insistent on.
All glass and marble and
exposed brick. Big expanses
of floor or wall, perfect for some
interesting “piece”: perhaps a giant
pair of neon lips, or a floor-to-ceiling
rt of the
shiny acrylic rendition of part
iat Uno
word “February”, or half a Fiat
d bobbing
with Marilyn Monroe’s head
through the sunroof on a spring.
I’m probably letting myselff down
with these dated or inexact references.
oe any
Maybe it isn’t Marilyn Monroe
more, though vaguely Monroeish
imagery seems to have been a resilient
feature of this kind of clobber ever
since Warhol kicked it all off. So
perhaps I mean tall nobbly taupe
sticks, or giant aluminium fish, or a
huge voluptuously lashed eye with a
tiny golden ear at the very centre of
the pupil, or a giant hunk of cheese
marked “chalk”, or a small watercolour
of the front at Sidmouth with a
swastika daubed on it in dog shit.
I’m not being fair, but I’m not really
talking about the art, which I don’t
Big expanses of
floor or wall are
perfect for a giant
pair of neon lips, or
half a Fiat Uno
understand and never will. I’m talking
about the “modern art” domestic
look, as opposed to the “old pictures”
domestic look. For these purposes,
I lump Constable in with the Neath
Abbey bar bill guy, and whoever
incontrovertibly does modern art well
with whoever incontrovertibly does
it badly (and if there’s no consensus
about who’s in which camp, please
don’t tell me, as I’ll find it frustrating).
You see, to me, modern art usually
looks vulgar. Not in a gallery, where
it looks appropriate – I mean at
home. I don’t much like it – I think
it’s jarring and is often an attempt
on the part of its owner to project
both taste and originality. In my
view, you have to pick one. Going
for the double is hubristic and
the physical manifestation of that
hubris is a horrible living room
you’re pretending to like. Get some
bookshelves up and a bunch of old
paintings, maybe a little table covered
in family photos and knick-knacks –
that’ll be much nicer.
I’m now just shouting at hippies
to get a haircut, and of course people
can do whatever they want with
their homes (and who cares about
my approval anyway? I like a bad
old painting of Neath Abbey), but
I’m finding it liberating to admit all
this. My whole life, the culture has
been pushing various versions of a
“designed” environment in which it
is advocated that we should live. To
me, it always looks broadly the same,
from the 1950s to the present day –
all part of a massive and relentless
reaction to the dark clutteredness of
the Victorian era.
I like clutter and I don’t think that’s
unusual. But I think the appeal of old,
comfy stuff is one of those feelings
people mistrust in themselves. They
think they’re supposed to want to
“declutter”, so they dutifully replace
their shelf of dusty and chipped
porcelain dogs with a single grey
bowl of silver pebbles. And they tell
themselves that’s much better.
Meanwhile, the gallery sends
another lorry-load of gilt frames into
storage so it can clear a whole wing
for self-referential Perspex.
SNAPSHOTS Surrealism in the city
Brooklyn-based photographer Ben
Zank has an eye for the unusual.
His urban portraits – many of them
self-portraits – present a surreal
depiction of the struggles of everyday
life, inspired by the area he lives
and works in. While he attempts
to capture as much of the final
effect as possible using the camera,
digital manipulation in Photoshop
afterwards can take anywhere
between one and 15 hours per image.
Zank sees each setup as its own selfcontained story rather than part of a
series. “Each image stands alone in its
own way – it’s more of a spontaneous
reaction to the environment,” he
says. “I don’t want all the images to
make sense, but I do want people to
be able to digest them and have their
own opinion.” Lauren Kelly
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
John Hurt’s extraordinary voice, Howard
Hodgkin’s tears, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s
infectious laughter, Darcus Howe’s mischievous
streak… Over these pages, friends and
collaborators share fond memories of cultural
figures who died this year
By Alan Hollinghurst
‘He was thrillingly
productive up to the
last weeks of his life’
Novelist Alan Hollinghurst recalls how he
became friends with Hodgkin after the
artist offered to design his book jacket
I first saw paintings by Howard
Hodgkin at the Museum of Modern
Art in Oxford in 1976, when I was a
graduate student. They were vivid,
complex and highly individual,
shimmering seductively between
public and private – you glimpsed
intimacies veiled in the very moment
of being declared. Howard himself I
first saw five or six years later, going
just ahead of me into a London cinema
for a screening of Frank Ripploh’s
unprecedentedly candid gay movie
Taxi zum Klo; I have an impression,
like the vivid blur of one of his own
paintings, of a small figure with
greying hair settling in the reddish
gloom of the auditorium, and when the
lights came up at the end a glance of
his grey eyes, which were uncanny in
their effect of simultaneous absorption
and penetration.
We got to know each other 10
years later, when he amazed me by
asking if he could do the jacket for
my second novel, The Folding Star.
After a week’s silence he rang and
invited me to his studio, to see if I
thought what he’d done was suitable.
I remember blinking, not only at the
peculiar pure light of the studio, but
at the fact it was there at all, a former
dairy concealed in the heart of a
block between the British Museum
and New Oxford Street. In the square
white room, under a pyramidal glass
roof, tall canvas screens propped
against the walls concealed every
painting but one – in this case a small
intense horizontal displayed on the
far wall and magnetising the eye,
the only bit of colour to be seen. He
hadn’t read the book (it wasn’t yet
finished), and it seemed to me sheer
intuition that had led him to create
this intensely apt image, a gorgeous
sunset above hilltops, the crossing
red clouds themselves forming a vast
ragged star.
I knew Howard in two roles – as the
living painter I felt the most inward
connection to, and as a friend who
was interesting in everything he did
and said. It was certainly part of the
interest that I was stepping, quite
ignorantly, into a richly populated
world – the titles of his paintings,
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
with their allusions to friendships,
affairs, dinner parties, travels, were
further evidence of that. He had been
married, had two children, separated;
now he was living, as he would for
the rest of his life, with the writer
Antony Peattie, charming, funny,
practical, and much younger than him.
Their house, with rooms painted in
intense, unEnglish colours, testified
to Howard’s obsessions as a collector
– he’d begun his major collection of
Indian paintings at the age of 15. Now
we sat among tapestries and baroque
busts – his own pictures weren’t hung
in the house.
Howard was a marvellous
conversationalist – he listened as
acutely as he spoke, with small
pauses before each exact formulation.
Everything he said was personal,
and original. He had a witty, musical
voice, which age and illness later
narrowed to a wheezy bass, with
gravelly chuckles of sometimes
guarded assent. He cried frequently.
Recalled generosity could make him
well up – it would be wrong to say it
reduced him to tears, since crying was
just one of a range of expressions that
he moved in and out of quite naturally,
Howard Hodgkin in
front of Where
Seldom is Heard a
Discouraging Word in
his central London
studio, 2008. Portrait
by Eamonn McCabe/
the Guardian
and after a while I was less alarmed by
the sudden crumpling of the face. He
had resolved to be an artist at the age
of five, and a stubborn individuality
characterised his talk, which turned
easily to his own upbringing, his first
electrifying exposure to Picasso and
Matisse as an evacuee in New York in
the war, the three schools he had run
away from on his return to England,
and his tearful gratitude to certain
teachers who had understood him
and encouraged him. He was sociable,
and a friend of other painters, but he
wasn’t, as an artist, a part of a group.
His feeling of apartness, and his
belief that he was unappreciated by a
philistine society – despite numerous
prizes, a knighthood and being made
a Companion of Honour – clearly
sustained him too.
I never saw Howard at work (I
think very few people did) but it
wasn’t hard to imagine him painting,
since his marks, the great arcs of
the right arm, the broad sumptuous
horizontals that trundled the whole
width of a picture and often out
on to the frame, the soft storms of
blobs and dashes, like multicoloured
snow, which half-screened and halfrevealed his subjects, all bore such
clear evidence of their making. What
was harder to imagine was the process
of gestation, the sometimes hugely
slow and halting advance towards
the moment when he knew that a
painting, begun perhaps years before,
was done. There was a ravishing
small picture called Leaf, 2007-2009
which was just one brushstroke –
we’ll probably never know why it
took so long. He claimed repeatedly
that he hated the act of painting – it
was never pleasurable, it was agony.
But he was thrillingly productive up
to the last weeks of his life, when he
was planning the exhibition Absent
Friends at the National Portrait
Gallery – a great gathering of his
portraits and evocations of friends
over nearly 70 years. It was a glorious
show, exploring those themes of
memory and intimacy that were
central to his art – and it became, a
few days before it opened, his own,
magnificently apt, memorial.
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
By Marianne Faithfull
‘To be Keith’s moll was
not necessarily her
destiny at all. She was
a really good artist’
Marianne Faithfull on her fellow 60s
survivor, who styled the Stones, made
her own art and was afraid of nobody
Talking about Anita is something I
have to do. I don’t want who she really
was to be forgotten. People think of
her in one way – a 60s muse, all that
shit – but she was so much more than
that. A really talented artist, a great
actor, intelligent, funny, thoughtful,
fearless… she truly didn’t give a fuck
what anybody thought of her. I was
desolate when she died. Until she
got very ill, we spoke on the phone
most days. I don’t want to sound
in 2017
John Berger
Art critic and
2 January, aged 90
Jill Saward
against sexual
5 January,
aged 51
sentimental or sappy, she’s worth more
than that. She was so important to me.
I don’t think we’d ever have become
friends if it wasn’t for Mick [Jagger]
and Keith [Richards, who became
Pallenberg’s boyfriend after she dated
another Rolling Stone, Brian Jones].
We weren’t naturally meant for each
other, really, but because the boys
were so close at the time, and spent so
much time in the studio, it threw me
and Anita together. We also took a lot
of drugs.
We had very different personalities.
Anita was really sophisticated and
elegant, all that, and she was very
good for me on that level, as I was a bit
hopeless. She would put me together,
tell me what to wear, get me to look
right. I’d give her books, and she’d like
that. She was four years older than
me – I was much more vulnerable than
her. When I say she never cared what
anyone said, thought or wrote about
her, it wasn’t that she talked about
it – it was almost if all that stuff didn’t
exist. I was always so jealous of her
being able to do that.
Anita was really well educated. She
spoke five languages, and was a really
good artist in her own right. She could
have done a lot of other things – to
be Keith’s moll was not necessarily
her destiny at all. Keith is a very old-
fashioned macho guy, who when he’s
in love with a woman, wants her to be
completely focused on him. I’m not
putting that down – it’s just how it is.
Anita rebelled a bit, of course. She did
Barbarella when he told her not to. She
did Performance when he told her not
to [laughs] – for obvious reasons! But I
have to say that taking drugs does not
help your work. Don’t get me wrong,
we had some wonderful times – like I
remember being with Anita, Mick and
Keith, [rock photographer] Michael
Cooper, [art dealer] Robert Fraser,
going down to Stonehenge and taking
lots of acid. That was wonderful. But
drugs blocked her, as they did me.
Anita started doing all the things
she could have done after stopping the
drugs. This was many years later. She
did a fashion degree [at Central Saint
Martins, London, in the early 1990s].
She started to paint again and did some
wonderful watercolours – I’ve got a
lot here. She did botanical drawing
classes, and she was a wonderful
gardener. She liked nothing better than
doing the gardens for her kids. And
her children [with Keith Richards] are
wonderful people – her son, Marlon,
his wife, Lucy, and Angela. They were
incredibly kind to me after she died,
phoning me up, really making sure I
felt like part of the family. Children of
Una Kroll
Campaigner for
6 January,
aged 91
Akbar Hashemi
Former Iranian
8 January,
aged 82
Clare Hollingworth
War reporter and
10 January,
aged 105
football manager
12 January,
aged 72
Babette Cole
Author and illustrator
15 January,
aged 66
Betty Tebbs
Peace campaigner
23 January,
aged 98
Sir James Manham
Former president
of the Seychelles
8 January,
aged 77
Peter Sarstedt
8 January,
aged 75
Lord Snowdon
Royal photographer
13 January,
aged 86
Rachel Heyhoe Flint
England cricketer
18 January, aged 77
Gordon Kaye
23 January, aged 75
Zhou Youguang
Chinese linguist
14 January, aged 111
Emma Tennant
21 January, aged 79
Mary Tyler Moore
25 January, aged 80
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
Tony Booth
Merseybeat artist
11 January, aged 83
Graham Taylor
Former England
Nigel Rodley
Lawyer and professor
25 January, aged 75
Buchi Emecheta
25 January, aged 72
Brunhilde Pomsel
Goebbels’s secretary
27 January,
aged 106
By Diane Abbott
‘He never lost his passion
and his belief in the
need for change’
Diane Abbott recalls her friend and
fellow activist, a fearless, witty man
with a pleasingly mischievous streak
famous people aren’t always like that, I
tell you. They had very difficult times.
We all did – Anita could be a difficult
woman, and I don’t want to idealise
her. But once she got clean, things were
so much better.
Her getting ill was terrible bad luck.
She got diabetes first of all, and when
she was diagnosed, her nose was in the
air about it. “I’m going to cure myself
with diet!” she said. If only I’d said,
“Are you out of your fucking mind, you
nitwit!” If you don’t treat diabetes with
insulin, it goes to your whole nervous
system. She’d get things her body
should have been able to ward off. Then
she had to give in, of course, and she
Anita Pallenberg
with Keith Richards
and newborn son
Marlon, 1969.
found it hard to inject. To be clean and
have to take a drug was tough for her.
I do wonder how her life would
have been different, of course, but
come on, she had a wonderful life. I
miss calling her up about a lyric, and
her always saying something brilliant.
I miss her more than I can tell you.
Every morning, when I wake up, I read
a poem that makes me think about her,
Sara Teasdale’s There Will Be Stars.
It speaks to me so much about her
[reads]: “There will be stars over the
place forever, though the house we
loved and the street we loved are lost…
there will be stars forever, while we
sleep.” That’s Anita to me.
Ken Morrison
1 February, aged 85
Peter Mansfield
MRI scanner inventor
8 February, aged 83
Jennifer Jenkins
National Trust chair
2 February, aged 96
Al Jarreau
12 February,
aged 76
Alan Simpson
Comedy writer
8 February, aged 87
Louise Hulton
15 February,
aged 46
Dick Bruna
Writer and artist
16 February,
aged 89
Norma McCorvey
Abortion campaigner
18 February,
aged 69
Frank Delaney
21 February,
aged 74
Salomé Karwah
Liberian nurse and
Time magazine
person of the
year 2014
21 February,
aged 28
I remember very clearly the first time
I saw Darcus. He was standing in
the Old Bailey representing himself
during the Mangrove Nine trial in 1971
[at which a group of black activists
faced charges including inciting a riot
over police targeting of the Mangrove
restaurant in Notting Hill, west
London]. I was watching from the
gallery and he seemed this incredible,
almost romantic figure standing up
against the state on behalf of the
black community.
I was active in the women’s
movement and also the “scrap sus”
campaign and so Darcus and I moved
in the same circles, although he was
a far more prominent figure. He
was editing Race Today and part of
a generation of activists who were
really internationalist in outlook.
They took it for granted that people
from the Caribbean, Africa and India
were all involved in the same struggle.
Today we’ve become more fractured
and caught up in individual concerns,
and perhaps we have lost something
of that sense of common cause.
Once Darcus started to appear
on television, his fame spread and
he became known to a whole new
generation. It helped that he was
very outspoken. He also instinctively
understood that you have to use
every platform available to make
your voice heard – writing, appearing
on television, whatever it took. He
had a big personality but he always
understood that it wasn’t about him,
that there was a bigger picture.
He had a really mischievous streak
and enjoyed provoking people. When
he first met me I don’t think he
thought I was quite leftwing enough
but, as time went on, he could see that
I was prepared to make a stand on
issues. He was a good person to have
on your side because he wasn’t afraid
to say what needed to be said, stand
up for himself and the community,
and slap people down if necessary.
While he could be quite acerbic at
times, he was also very witty. After I
became an MP, I got to know him well
and would take him to lunch at the
House of Commons. He was a very
social man and he used to love talking
to whoever was around. We’d sit and
talk about politics and he would stress
how important it still was to keep
speaking out for people who didn’t
have a voice. He never lost his passion
and his belief in the need for change.
The more time I spent with him,
the more I realised that the public
image of Darcus – as this controversial
person with opinions on everything
– wasn’t the whole picture. I think of
him instead as a public intellectual,
someone who could take ideas and
political analysis and disseminate
them to a wide audience. He was
very smart, very funny, an absolutely
brilliant man. Yes, he sometimes
made people feel uncomfortable
but you need outriders like Darcus,
people who are prepared to speak
truth to power and stand up for what
they believe in. There will always be
pushback when you speak out: Darcus
knew that and I’ve learned it too.
But there is also hope – I think
there’s a definite through-line from
Darcus to the younger generation of
writers such as Reni Eddo-Lodge.
They may be online more than they
are on the streets, but they are still
speaking out and making their voices
heard in the way that Darcus did.
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Film director and producer John Boorman
remembers his friend, the actor with the
‘single malt of a voice’
By John Boorman
‘On stage, his voice
put audiences
into a light hypnosis’
That voice, distilled from alcohol and
Gauloises, a single malt of a voice,
caressed the nation for half a century.
In The Elephant Man it was only the
voice. As Quentin Crisp in The Naked
Civil Servant the voice swerved into
a gay queenery. It expressed pain and
suffering as a monster exploded out
of his stomach in Alien. His Christ for
Mel Brooks persuaded us that Jesus
had such a voice. Its emollience spread
over hundreds of movies, plays and
commercials. On stage, it put audiences
into a light hypnosis.
He lent it to me for two short films
which were the most enjoyable of my
career. He was a fine companion over 45
years. He first came to Ireland to make
Sinful Davey in 1969. He was convinced
that [the director] John Huston decided
after the first week that the film was
a dud and if he could kill or seriously
injure his star it would be cancelled
and the insurance would pay up. He
had Hurt riding over rough terrain on
mettlesome horses. Despite that John
moved here. He spent four months
living in my guest cottage with a lover
and we had dinner nearly every night.
In 1991 I made a docudrama, I
Dreamt I Woke Up. I conducted the
reality elements myself, but when
it became mystical or magical John
became my alter ego. In the final scene
we appeared side by side debating the
nature of reality. It was tongue-incheek. He was fearless and would rise to
any challenge. I loved that about him.
For Two Nudes Bathing in 1995 I
asked him to play the strict, possessive
father. I sent him the script but got no
response. He was having a bad time.
His marriage was collapsing and he was
staying with various friends. When I
finally reached him he apologised.
“I left the script somewhere, John.
Lost it.”
“I’ll send you another copy,” I said,
“but I need a quick answer.”
John said, “Don’t worry, John. Of
course I’ll do it. I don’t need to read
the script.”
Nevertheless, I sent him another
copy, a plane ticket to Paris and
instructions about where to get the
train for Angers. He headed for Dublin
airport; halfway there he realised he
had left his passport behind. He raced
back and retrieved it, but left the script
and ticket behind. He bought another
ticket, made the plane by the skin of
his teeth and astonishingly got on the
right train despite having been drinking
heavily for several days. Whatever else
went wrong, he always managed to turn
up on the set on time.
He spoke to his fellow passengers and
told them he was going to Angers, then
fell asleep. We waited on the platform to
meet him: the train pulled in, people got
off, people got on, no sign of John. The
train started to pull out. John’s fellow
passengers wondered if they should
wake him. Someone shook him. With
a roar he leapt out of the moving train
and fell in a heap on the platform. His
suitcase was hurled out after him.
In the morning we dressed him in
his elaborate costume as he drank a
beer to steady himself. He asked me
what dialogue he had in the first setup;
I said just these two lines. He looked
them over, we shot it and moved to the
next setup. He learnt the next speech as
we lit the scene. I filled in the absolute
minimum of story and emotion that he
needed to know for each shot.
Thus we proceeded through the
morning. He had not read the script,
did not know the name of the character
he was playing, or even the name of the
Dr Sylvia Moody
23 February,
aged 75
Bill Paxton
25 February, aged 61
Gerald Kaufman
26 February, aged 86
Gordon Thomas
3 March, aged 84
John Surtees
Formula One driver
10 March, aged 83
Joni Sledge
10 March, aged 60
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
Derek Walcott
Poet and playwright
17 March, aged 87
Chuck Berry
18 March, aged 90
Andy Coogan
Author and distance
20 March, aged 99
David Rockefeller
20 March,
aged 101
Colin Dexter
21 March, aged 86
Martin McGuinness
21 March, aged 66
David Storey
27 March, aged 83
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
1 April, aged 84
Ahmed Kathrada
Political activist
28 March, aged 87
Parv Bancil
Playwright and
1 April, aged 50
Louis Sarno
1 April, aged 62
Cathy Hopkins
2 April, aged 70
Dr Helen Szamuely
Academic and
5 April, aged 66
Masha Leon
Columnist and
5 April, aged 86
Christopher Morahan
7 April, aged 87
Tim Pigott-Smith
7 April, aged 70
Chris Bevington
Music executive
7 April, aged 41
Sheila Abdus- Salaam
By Giorgio Locatelli
‘He changed the way Italian food
is perceived – the guy was 20
years ahead of everyone else’
Chef and broadcaster Giorgio Locatelli
reflects on the life, work and compendious
knowledge of the Italian culinary pioneer
John Hurt at breakfast
in Hollywood, California,
circa 1985. Kypros/
Getty Images
film. As we broke for lunch, he said,
“This is the way to make movies. All
that rehearsal bullshit is a waste of time.
Spontaneity is everything.”
Drinking steadily through those three
days, John was wonderful and I loved
him dearly. He played this authoritarian
aristocrat out of some kind of actor’s
intuition that connected him to the
period. He was brilliant. After the
three days we poured him back on to
the train.
John won best dramatic actor at
the Ace (Award for Cable Excellence)
awards for his performance, although
he scarcely remembered being in the
film at all. Nevertheless, he went out to
Los Angeles and graciously accepted.
I later wrote a stage play for him,
The Loves of My Life, but he died before
we could stage it. It was about a man
revisiting the loves of his life and I drew
freely on John’s life for it.
We had a memorial for him at the
magical Luggala Valley [inWicklow,
Ireland], where he had spent many good
days with his friend [Guinness heir]
Garech Browne. His two sons planted
three Scots pines in his honour in the
presence of past and present wives and
a long-time lover. I hope their branches
will whisper his name.
I met Antonio through [the chef and
restaurateur] Fergus Henderson,
when I was a young man working
at the Savoy. I had come from Italy
in 1985, and Antonio was already
running the Neal Street Restaurant.
He was like an encyclopedia: I
remember thinking: “Wow, this guy
really knows a lot about Italian food!”
I thought I knew a lot, but he knew
much more than me.
After that we became friends,
and sometimes we worked together.
For me he was a great inspiration:
this was someone who changed the
way Italian food is perceived in this
country. Before Carluccio people
thought of Italian food as one thing:
he was one of the first to highlight its
regionality, which is very important.
And his books are an amazing legacy
– the last one, about vegetables,
was unbelievable.
Over the years, whenever I felt
trapped in a corner or didn’t know
what to do with the restaurant, he was
practically the only person I could
call. Because he’s been through it all:
he got it all, he lost it all, he won it all.
He’s been through all these emotions.
So for me he was a very important
person: he would just put me back in
my place and say, “Come on, get on
with that, that’s what you have to do.”
A few years ago, when he was going
through divorce and things like that,
even if he was down himself he was
always ready to give you good advice.
There was never any self-interest:
he wanted all of us to do well. He
understood the importance of Italian
food – there was no such thing as
competition. He wanted everyone to
know what he knew, he wanted to
teach everyone.
The thing he taught me about food
was simplicity and truthfulness.
He said: “You have to look at a dish
and say, ‘Would my grandmother be
proud of me if I cooked this?’” And
that’s exactly the thing you should
do all the time as a chef. It was his
down-to-earth approach that made
him so accessible and popular. What
he did with the restaurants and the
delis – the guy was 20 years ahead of
everyone else.
The best food he ever cooked for
me was spaghetti with tomato sauce
– it was the most delicious spaghetti.
He never tried to strike you with
the genius of the chef, it was always
about the quality of the ingredients
and telling a story: where the dish
came from, why it was made like
that. People remember dishes that
come with stories, and he was very
Antonio Carluccio
and Giorgio Locatelli,
photographed by
John Reardon for the
Observer Food
Monthly magazine:
‘He was super
grumpy about it.’
good at them. This is a guy who went
mushroom-picking with Gorbachev
– he did a lot of things in life. Some
people tell you things to show off, but
for him it meant he was not going to
die with only him knowing it.
At one point the Italian government
gave me a prize, like a knighthood,
and I was so nervous about going to
the embassy. He called me up and
said “That night I’ll be there next to
you.” My father had passed away, but
it felt like my dad was there. I think
he saw a bit of himself a little through
me: we had a 30-year age difference
– a generation. He was roughly my
dad’s age.
We also did charity work together –
every year we’d go to these “Olympic
games” organised by an Italian youth
group, to give them medals. He was
so sweet about it, with all these kids
around. We also did a project called
The Clink, a charity run by a friend
of mine where young offenders set
up a restaurant at High Down prison
outside London. Once, when we had
worked really hard on lunch there,
he gave me a lift back. In the car he
started to tell stories, so for over two
hours I just sat there listening. It
was like an audiobook: like you were
travelling through someone’s life. It
was such a moment of intimacy – I felt
very close to him.
I love the picture we did with the
fish and the violin [above, for Observer
Food Monthly]. For the shoot he was
really super grumpy: he arrived at
the hotel and didn’t want to change.
I was all dressed up with a hat and
everything, and he was wearing jeans
and a shirt. I said, “No, come on,
Antonio, it will look fantastic” and in
the end he changed. But every time he
came to my house he would see it and
go, “Argh, look at that”.
For every slice of truffle I’ll cut for
the rest of my life, or every mushroom
I sauté, I’ll always think of Antonio.
He’s going to be there for ever.
12 April,
aged 65
Jon Prinz
Food scientist
13 April, aged 64
Sylvia Moy
15 April,
aged 78
Michael Bogdanov
Theatre director
16 April, aged 78
Robert Taylor
Tech pioneer
13 April,
aged 85
Lord Williams of
23 April, aged 67
Jonathan Demme
Film director
26 April, aged 73
Robert Miles
9 May, aged 47
Roger Ailes
Television executive
18 May, aged 77
Anne Piper
18 May, aged 96
Roger Moore
23 May, aged 89
John Noakes
Television presenter
28 May, aged 83
Ueli Steck
30 April, aged 40
Miriam Rodríguez
10 May, aged 50
Chris Cornell
17 May, aged 52
Albert Bouvet
French cyclist
20 May, aged 87
Tom Gilbey
Savile Row tailor
24 May,
aged 79
Manuel Noriega
Ruler of Panama
29 May, aged 83
Rhodri Morgan
17 May,
aged 77
Stanislav Petrov
Soviet air defence
19 May, aged 77
Gregg Allman
27 May, aged 69
Jiří Bělohlávek
31 May, aged 71
Michael Wearing
Television producer
5 May, aged 78
Brendan Duddy
12 May, aged 78
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
1928 -2017
By Joe Lauro
‘Rock’n’roll formed
around him. Even Elvis
called him the King’
Joe Lauro, who made a film about Domino
shortly before his death, recalls a humble
yet flamboyant man of prodigious talent
In August 2005, shortly before Katrina
hit, I went to see Fats Domino at his
house in the Lower Ninth Ward in New
Orleans. I’d seen him play a few years
earlier at the House of Blues and knew
I had to make a film about this guy. His
good friend Haydee Ellis took me over
to his house and I explained what I
wanted to do. He wasn’t committing,
but the seed was planted.
Fats is one of the great American
icons. Rock’n’roll just kind of formed
around him. Even Elvis called him the
King. Up till 1955, he sold records to the
black audience, but his hit Ain’t That a
Shame crossed over and brought him to
the attention of a white audience. This
guy was a major star. The only person
who sold more records in the 50s was
Elvis. But Fats was happy living a quiet
life at home in the neighbourhood he
was born in.
He lived in a double shotgun, which
is a house with all the rooms in a row,
so if you wanted to go from the living
room to the kitchen, you had to walk
through Fats’s bedroom. There was a
big room at the back where he had all
his memorabilia, his silver-dollar bar
and his couch in the shape of a pink
Cadillac. There was a beautiful, modern
house next door where his wife lived,
but Fats, the great star, was happy living
in that little double shotgun.
When he finally agreed to do the
documentary, he wasn’t good at
remembering incidents in his career.
But I could say, “Fats, play Swanee River
Boogie,” and without missing a beat
he’d play it beginning to end. He used
to change the words, so Blueberry Hill
would become “I found my thrill / Just
drinking this beer” – and he’d take a
swig of beer. It was just charming. Every
time he finished a song he’d stick his
hand out like, “Pay me now”.
He loved bright colours. I’ve photos
of Fats in hot-pink jackets and purple
pants. Even as an elderly man, he had
diamond rings on his fingers and bright
Hawaiian shirts on, very dapper-looking.
He was the epitome of New Orleans.
Everything he did – his patois, his creole
accent, the beats he used – reflected the
city. He was on the road for probably
50% of his adult life, but he always came
back home. In the early days, he hated
being away so much he would carry food
with him on tour. He had little hot plates
so he could make his beans and rice
in the hotel room. His band members
would sometimes steal his supplies for a
joke and that would really mess him up.
Before the hurricane, his house was
buzzing with activity, his friends would
be around playing cards and hanging
out. All of that ended when Katrina
hit. His house was rebuilt after the
storm but he never moved back because
nobody else moved back. He moved in
with his daughter, Adonica, who cared
for him for the rest of his life.
When my film The Big Beat: Fats
Domino and the Birth of Rock’n’Roll
premiered last year at the New Orleans
film festival, I wasn’t sure he’d come.
But he did, and his eyes never left the
screen. At the end, he said nothing but
he grabbed my hands and squeezed
them. That moment was it for me. I
didn’t care if no one else saw the film
and it flopped, so long as he liked it.
That was the last time I saw him.
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
By Johnny Dark
‘Sam and I got up to
a lot of mischief…
we raced around’
The actor and playwright’s best friend recalls
a 50-year bond based on their shared love of
literature, letters and life in the fast lane
We first met in 1963 in New York’s Lower
East Side, when it was a neighbourhood
of actors and theatres and artists. He
was introduced to my wife, who had two
daughters, and he married the eldest [the
actress O-Lan Jones]. We hit it off right
away. He was 24 years old and in the
early stages of writing plays, and he was
getting some recognition. He was very
unpretentious and friendly.
Then my wife and I left New York,
and when Sam and O-Lan came to
California to visit us we all decided to
live together as an extended family.
We took a series of houses and lived
together for about 15 years, with Sam,
his wife and son, her younger sister and
my wife. We were in our late 20s, early
30s; he was three years younger than
me. It was unusual to have another male
in the house – my son-in-law – who was
also a best friend.
Sam and I got up to a lot of mischief.
We had motorcycles and we raced
around, we travelled. I was a writer
and he was a writer, and we both
loved movies. He was an alcoholic and
I was a drug addict. We had an inflated
sense of how wonderful we were.
It was during this time that he was
first approached to be in a movie.
Bob Dylan called to ask him to
go on the road with the Rolling
Thunder Revue to do some
writing for a movie they were
making. And on the basis of that,
the director Terry Malick called
and asked him if he would like to be in
Days of Heaven, with Richard Gere, an
unknown at the time.
But what happened is he ran off
with Jessica [Lange], which was a big
upheaval. One day he just didn’t come
home. Everyone was surprised, except
me. They started a life together, and
eventually had two children. We started
to write letters to each other. We were
both big letter writers: we’d write about
women, drugs, various stories. And
we’d talk a lot about literature: his main
man was Samuel Beckett, mine was
Jack Kerouac.
We were friends in our 20s, 30s,
part of our 40s, and then he fell under
Jessica’s influence. He started going
through a change there. And you have
to factor in the tremendous effect that
becoming famous through movies has
on a person. It’s a terrible influence.
Wherever you go, the whole world is
giving you special treatment, and that’s
a very damaging thing for the ego.
I was never particularly interested in
his plays: they were filled with humour,
but also with violence and chaos, so it
always amazed me that people were
attracted to him based on his plays. He
drew another audience through his
movies, and that was outstanding. He
was a very handsome, popular young
man. It was a form of mass hypnosis. He
played Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff,
the man who broke the sound barrier,
and people literally thought Sam broke
the sound barrier.
We were both loners, and when
we got older it became more intense.
He had a very difficult time with
relationships. He left his first wife,
he ended up leaving Jessica and the
kids, and living alone on his ranch in
Kentucky. His love before anything else
was writing. He was really a lost soul,
looking for something impossible. He
couldn’t maintain relationships at all.
Even when he was married to Jessica,
he bought a place that was far away so
he could run off from it all. Ever since
I met him, he was running away. And
he described himself like that to me.
Restless. Discontented. Lost. Those
things don’t matter that much when
you’re young, but when you’re older
they become more and more difficult.
When Sam came to visit me in
Deming we’d meet every day in a local
road-side restaurant. We’d sit for hours,
talking and reminiscing. Until the end,
when he started getting sick: he had
ALS and emphysema. That was difficult.
He knew he was dying. There’s no cure
for either disease. From what I could
see he was getting more depressed,
more angry, going through all the stages
people go through when they’re dying.
He had been busted for the second time
driving drunk. All of these things were
happening at once for him. The last
time he came through here he shouldn’t
have been driving at all. He was having
trouble controlling the truck, travelling
with a large oxygen machine. I took a
load of pictures of him that morning
and they may be the last photos ever
taken of him.
So it goes from the light in the 60s,
and youth, to the dark at the end. He
had a great need to be adored, and
applauded. He was a big influence on
me, in a good way and a bad way. He was
a big part of my life.
Main image: Sam
Shepard in 1985.
Left, with Johnny
Dark in the 80s.
Portrait by Cannon/
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
By Carla Bruni
‘His voice got better
as he got older. It was
like a forest fire’
Carla Bruni recalls the French rock star,
a complex figure who started young, lived to
perform and was loved by an entire nation
I met Johnny Hallyday for the first time
as a teenager – I was at school with
his son David and sometimes I would
see him at David’s parties. I met him a
few times but didn’t get to know him
properly until I got married. He was
a good friend of my husband [former
French president Nicolas Sarkozy], who
knew him for years – he went to his first
Johnny Hallyday concert when he was
13, at the Olympia in Paris, with Jimi
Hendrix as the opening act.
When we got married, I got to
see Johnny quite a lot. He was a
very simple, kind man with a lot of
charisma – he was big, strong, tall and
very handsome. On stage he was really
amazing. He was one of these artists
who burns, like Elvis or Edith Piaf. He
would sing like he was going to die the
very next minute. He was a good actor
too – the only problem was that his
presence was so strong, it was hard to
forget it was him.
Offstage, he was very shy. Johnny
was abandoned as a child, and you
could really feel that when you met
him. His father left the minute he was
orn and his mother was very fragile,
o he was brought up by his aunt. He
erformed from a very early age, which
meant he had no real adolescence. He
ad no time to be normal, but that
was good for him, because I
on’t think he would have
een happy being normal.
He had something broken
n his soul, and being on
age, being a superstar,
made him very happy. A
good friend once told me that when
Johnny wasn’t touring, he just used to
turn round and round, like a tiger in a
cage. He didn’t like normal life.
He had a lot of fun. He liked women,
he liked food, boats, motorbikes, music.
He had a great life. He sold more than
100m albums. When he died, people
in the street were saying: “He was
with me at the worst time of my life.
When I was depressed, when I lost my
job, when I got divorced, I listened to
Johnny.” Even though he was famous
and rich and handsome, I think people
could feel the gap he had inside. It also
helped that he came from a very simple
background. He was popular like the
Tour de France is popular, like football
is popular, and people loved him almost
like he was part of their family.
The last time I saw him was last
week lying in his coffin. That was a
very sad and strange thing because he
looked like he was going to wake up
and walk. Before that, I saw him on
stage during his final tour, about a year
ago. He didn’t fight the cancer for very
long. He hated death and he died the
way he lived: quickly and strongly.
One day, six or seven years ago,
Johnny invited me to sing with him
for a TV show. I was so thrilled to be
asked. We sang this very beautiful song
called Quelque chose de Tennesse
about Tennessee Williams. There is a
talking part at the beginning, whi
which I
did. And then he started singing, aand
really it was like a storm coming
into the studio. His voice actu
got better as he got older, it was
lower and had more blues
in it – it was like a burning
forest fire. It was a magical
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson
in 2002: ‘She made a
point of talking to
everyone.’ Photograph
by Karen Robinson
Johnny Ha
in 1968: ‘He
‘He would
sing like h
he was
going to die.’
Sipa Press
By Sarah Stennett
‘He was a true original.
Spotify couldn’t find the
place for his music’
The musician’s adviser and business
partner reflects on a unique talent
whose life was cut cruelly short
I met Lil Peep in summer 2016. Travis
Mills, who used to have a radio show
on Beats 1, came to see me at my LA
office and said, “I think this guy is really
interesting”. He showed me a photo of
Gus [Lil Peep’s real name was Gustav
Åhr] in a rowing boat with “Cry Baby”
tattooed on the side of his face. That
struck me really hard, it was instant.
Then Travis played me a Lil Peep track,
Nineteen, produced by a friend he met
online, Smokesac, and within seconds I
knew he was something very special.
It took a while to track him down, but
eventually Gus came in to see me and
my colleagues Adam Mersel and Travis
Mills at my office. He was very self-
Peter Sallis
2 June, aged 96
Helen Dunmore
Poet and novelist
5 June, aged 64
Adnan Khashoggi
6 June, aged 81
Vin Garbutt
6 June, aged 69
Naseem Khan
Activist and
8 June,
aged 77
Adam West
9 June,
aged 88
Kailash Puri
9 June, aged 92
IRA bomb survivor
13 June,
aged 93
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
Khadija Saye
14 June, aged 24
Helmut Kohl
16 June, aged 87
John Avildsen
Film director
16 June,
aged 81
Lord Joffe
Lawyer and
18 June, aged 85
Carla Fendi
Businesswoman and
19 June, aged 79
Michael Bond
27 June, aged 91
Barry Norman
Journalist and
30 June,
aged 83
Heathcote Williams
Poet and dramatist
1 July, aged 75
Chuck Blazer
Businessman and
sports administrator
12 July, aged 72
Liu Xiaobo
Author and Nobel
peace laureate
13 July, aged 61
Maryam Mirzakhani
14 July, aged 40
Prunella Briance
Campaigner, founder
of the National
Childbirth Trust
14 July, aged 91
Clancy Sigal
Writer and activist
16 July,
aged 90
George A Romero
16 July, aged 77
Mary Turner
Trade unionist
19 July, aged 79
Chester Bennington
Singer and
20 July, aged 41
By Duncan James
‘She was like a child, really.
We’d spend hours laughing’
Singer, actor and broadcaster Duncan
James remembers his friend, the socialite
and TV personality who died too young
I met Tara on [ITV’s now defunct
music programme] CD:UK back in
2002. She’d come runner-up on I’m a
Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, and I
went up to tell her I loved her in the
jungle. She was all, “Really?”, all selfdeprecatory, but also very charming
and thankful. She returned later to
thank me again, shook my hand, and in
hers was some paper with her phone
number on it, scrawled in eyeliner.
That was very Tara: naughty, playful,
headstrong. We were close friends
after that.
This was after the craziest days of
her fame. She still liked going out, but
we’d stay in lots, playing the piano.
She was talented. She’d be playing
Bach one moment, then Clocks by
Coldplay, or Somewhere Only We
Know by Keane – she had a great
singing voice – then she’d jump off
the stool and do a headstand on top of
it. I’d be, “You’re going to fall over!”
She never did. She was like a child,
really. We’d spend hours on our backs
laughing on her living room floor.
She’s known for her wealth [she
was born into a family of landowners
close to the royal family], but she was
generous too. If someone came up
to her in a restaurant and said they
liked her handbag, she’d tip out its
contents and give it to them. “Oh, they
really liked it! It’s only fair they should
have it.” One night she walked home
barefoot because she’d given her
shoes away.
She’d make a point of talking to
everyone at a party, and make sure
no staff got left out. She even made
friends with her fans on Twitter, and
effacing and a bit anxious. We talked
about his background. He had grown
up in Long Island and moved to Los
Angeles to pursue a music career – he
was living in a squat on Skid Row when
we met him. He was estranged from
his father but very close to his mother,
brother and grandparents. He told me
he’d felt isolated at school, different
from other people. I quickly realised he
was acutely intelligent – he didn’t have
a college education but he was very
well-read and intellectually curious.
We both knew we were going to
work together, but he led us on a sort
of dance – he’d disappear, pop up
to do some underground show, and
disappear again. He was testing me, but
I never gave up. Eventually we tracked
him down and he said, “Let’s make it
happen, let’s work together.”
We became his advisers and business
Lil Peep: ‘He knew once he got the tattoos
he was committed to being an artist’
partners. He’d listen to advice, and
wanted to meet other creative people,
but he was his own man, there was
nothing manufactured about him. Once
I said, “It looks like you’ve got some fans
in Russia, why don’t we go there and
do a gig?” He agreed straight away and
bought a book, How to Learn Russian,
and put Russian subtitles on his videos
so his fans there could follow his lyrics.
When he arrived in Moscow there were
fans at the airport. He ended up playing
to 2,000 people.
He was a true original. Spotify
couldn’t find the place to put his music:
it wasn’t rap, it wasn’t rock, it wasn’t
alternative. So they created a whole
playlist for Peep called Teardrop. They
knew he was special and unique.
There are a couple of reasons he got
those tattoos on his face. First, he knew
that once he got them there was no
went to some of their birthday parties.
“Where are you off to, Tara?” “Oh,
Manchester, darling, I’ve met these
lovely, lovely people online!” Imagine
her turning up – all their Christmases
coming at once. Her childlike
innocence made me love her.
Things got difficult after she did The
Jump [ITV’s celebrity winter sports
programme, which was broadcast in
January 2014]. It was her chance to
come back, and she’d always been good
at skiing, but it didn’t work out for her
[she left shortly before the series was
shown]. It put her into a dark place,
and when Tara went dark, fucking
hell, it was dark. She wouldn’t eat, and
wouldn’t look after herself. I tried to
motivate her, but nothing worked.
Eventually, I spoke to her family
and they helped her get better, but
still she would be devastated at
what people would say about her
in newspapers and on comments
on stories. She went to a launch last
October in a 60s bobbed wig – she’d
really tried to make an effort – and the
comments devastated her. She’d had
lots of hospital tests that year [she was
diagnosed with a pituitary tumour
and an autoimmune disorder], and
was still complaining about feeling
sick, but she was fed up of being, as
she’d say, “poked and prodded about”.
If she’d gone again, I think she’d have
been with us now.
She’d have been so excited about
the royal wedding. She grew up
around those boys, and Harry was
her favourite. I know she’d have
absolutely loved Meghan Markle.
She’d also be planning her outfit as we
speak, wanting to do one better than
last time [she wore electric blue to the
2011 royal wedding]. I can imagine her
squealing down the phone right now,
an excited little girl.
turning back, he was committed to being
an artist. That takes a lot of courage. The
second thing, his grandmother told me
later, was that he’d always felt like an
outsider and he wanted to understand
how it was to feel like a minority. He
said he could spot the people who saw
the tattoos and the people who saw
him. That’s how he would connect
with people, from the way they
reacted. It wasn’t a mindless defacing
of his face, there was nothing mindless
about it. It was measured and it was a
He would take drugs recreationally.
He was not an addict. He died from
taking a laced pill he was given with
a huge dose of [the pain medication]
fentanyl in it. He was given something
he thought was one thing and turned
out to be something else. This was
clearly not something he was planning.
I was in London when I heard. My
husband came into the bedroom at 6am.
He started opening the blinds, and kept
saying, “It’s very sad.” When he told
me Gus was dead, my first reaction was
total disbelief. I had this enormous burst
of anger, and a terrible sense that the
floor had dropped from under me. My
reaction was, “Where’s he gone, how
can I find him?”
The last time I saw him was at his
21st birthday in New York, two weeks
before he died. We got a cake and met
him in his dressing room after a show.
He was having the time of his life.
He was creatively inspired and very
excited about the future and all the
music he was going to put out. I think
he was going to sell out stadiums. He’d
already established himself as an icon.
Everyone knew he was going to be a
very important artist, including Gus.
UR Rao
Rocket scientist
24 July, aged 85
Hywel Bennett
Actor and director
25 July, aged 73
Jeanne Moreau
31 July,
aged 89
Robert Hardy
3 August, aged 91
Dame Helen
Business executive
5 August, aged 60
Barbara Cook
Actor and singer
8 August,
aged 89
Ruth Pfau
Doctor and nun
10 August, aged 87
Brian Aldiss
19 August, aged 92
Gordon Williams
20 August, aged 83
Glen Campbell
8 August, aged 81
Fatima Ahmed
Writer and politician
12 August, aged 88
Dick Gregory
19 August, aged 84
Sean O’Callaghan
Former Provisional
IRA commander
and informer
23 July, aged 62
Kim Wall
10 August,
aged 30
Wayne Lotter
16 August, aged 51
Jerry Lewis
Actor and film-maker
20 August,
aged 91
Jeannie Rousseau
French resistance
25 August, aged 98
1 September,
aged 85
Ann Jellicoe
31 August, aged 90
John Ashbery
3 September,
aged 90
Cardinal Cormac
Walter Becker
3 September,
aged 67
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Simone Veil, 1974.
By Robert Badinter
‘Against all the odds, she
turned her back on
despair and chose hope’
The former justice minister and fellow
Holocaust survivor on the French politician
who became a symbol of forgiveness
Simone Veil and I were born just a few
months apart, in the late 1920s. Both
teenagers during the war, we shared
the same sensibility and convictions
even though we didn’t belong to the
same political family. But even more
than I admire the politician, I admire
the woman. I lost my father in the
concentration camp of Sobibór but
what she had to live through was much
crueller. As I contemplate my own
mortality, my esteem for her only grows.
Simone was 16 when she and her
family were arrested and deported
to Auschwitz. In January 1945, on
the death march from the camp, her
mother died in her arms. As for her
father and brother, transferred to
another camp, they never returned.
And yet, with her indomitable
youth and determination, she became
a champion of reconciliation with
Germany. Instead of looking back,
she looked ahead: the future for the
next generations and hope of a lasting
peace could lie only in a European
Union, with a reconciled France and
Germany at its heart. It required true
moral greatness to have felt this way
just months after returning from the
death camps.
That is how I see her: as a woman
who managed the incredible
achievement of transcending her own
immense personal suffering in the
higher interest of her country and of
her children’s future. Against all the
odds, she turned her back on despair
and chose hope.
Simone’s passion for the European
project was as considerable as it was
sincere. It reminds me of Victor Hugo’s,
who dreamed of the United States of
Europe after the Franco-Prussian war
of 1870 and whose writings about it still
feel revolutionary today. Victor Hugo
too suffered terrible personal tragedies,
the loss of his children to accident and
madness, also the early deaths of his
wife and mistress. Both Victor Hugo
and Simone Veil had a qualité d’âme,
as we say in French, in other words a
nobility of the soul, that is very rare.
For me and my compatriots, Simone
soon became a symbol, and there is
nothing more powerful than a symbol.
Had she run for the French presidency,
there is little doubt in my mind that she
would have won her party’s backing
and gone on to be elected. However, I
don’t think she wanted to; she was too
devoted to her family.
Still, she remained until her death
the French Republic incarnate, and
the symbol of the unremittable will to
live. I would add, on a personal level,
too, that she was virtue incarnate. Her
67-year marriage to Antoine, who died
in 2013, provided her strength and joy
throughout her life.
Simone and I often discussed the
Jewish condition, and what struck me
was how, in the interests of the nation,
she wanted to turn the page on the
dark hours of the Nazi occupation. For
instance, when [the Nazi “butcher of
Lyons”] Klaus Barbie was brought to
trial in France in the late 1980s, I was
justice minister then, she disapproved
of it. I was astounded but her main
concern was the interest of the nation:
she wasn’t in favour of stirring up the
pain of the past; she always looked
towards the future. For her, Vichy and
the collaboration wasn’t France.
When she led the fight to legalise
abortion in 1974, she was still a novice
in politics. Parliamentary battles were
very tough, but she battled on, with
great courage, in the face of vicious
attacks by her own political family,
the right. It was cunning of president
Giscard [d’Estaing], and the sign that
he was a true moderniser, to choose
her to lead this fight: she was a deeply
devoted mother and wife, and a
Holocaust survivor. It is important
to say that she was not a militant;
she was the defender of a cause that
was just. A great humanist. Just like
Victor Hugo and Emile Zola whom
she will join in her last resting place in
France’s Panthéon.
By Anton du Beke
‘The day he passed
away was the day the
dancing stopped’
Kate Millett
Feminist writer and
6 September,
aged 82
Nancy Hatch Dupree
10 September,
aged 89
David Shepherd
Artist and
19 September,
aged 86
Lillian Ross
20 September,
aged 99
Teddy Taylor
20 September,
aged 80
Liz Dawn
25 September,
aged 77
Tony Booth
25 September,
aged 85
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
Hugh Hefner
Publisher and
27 September,
aged 91
Tom Petty
2 October,
aged 66
Peter MacGregorScott
Film producer
25 October, aged 69
Rodney Bickerstaffe
Trade unionist
3 October, aged 72
Herbert Strabel
German art director
21 October, aged 90
Daphne Caruana
16 October, aged 53
Jac Holmes
IT worker who fought
against Isis in Syria
23 October, aged 24
Nelly Olin
French politician
26 October, aged 76
Trevor Bell
3 November, 87
Sean Hughes
Comedian and actor
16 October, aged 51
Walter Lassally
23 October, aged 90
Linda Nochlin
Feminist art historian
29 October, aged 86
Nancy Friday
5 November, aged 84
Paddy Russell
TV director
2 November, 89
By Gareth Southgate
‘He gave his time to lots
of young people’
I first met Ugo in 1995 when I signed
for Aston Villa. We were both young
defenders and we played together
as centre-backs. We had five years at
Villa and then we both met up again
at Middlesbrough, where we played
together for another five seasons.
The reality of a centre-back
partnership is that you put your
bodies on the line for each other.
You get in the way, block the shots,
you cover each other’s backs
metaphorically and physically. We
developed a really close, almost
telepathic understanding of each
other. But you play with someone for
10 years and ultimately so much is
unspoken between you. There are so
many parts of each other’s life that
you know nothing about.
I saw Ugo more socially at Villa. We
were younger then and used to go out
for dinner more often. He was a little
introverted perhaps, but someone
who just got on with his work in a very
professional way. I remember he was
meticulous about what he ate, which
was a source of amusement then.
Things would get sent back, but he
had high standards and was singleminded enough not to worry about
what people thought. Yet he was
always very respectful.
Although he was a quiet guy he
was physically incredibly imposing.
He was cut like a sculpture. One of
the things when he died that hit me
most was that he was just the most
incredibly athletic lad. Although
you understand that physical fitness
doesn’t necessarily prevent a problem
with the heart, it made it all the more
difficult to get your head around: that
someone who was the epitome of
physical fitness could die so young.
Ugo grew up in Hackney and he
retained very strong community
values. The last message he tweeted
was about giving £10 to a homeless girl
in Hackney. It was the way he lived
his life. He did a lot of fundraising.
We, his team-mates, used to have a
laugh because every Christmas he
would organise a raffle for his old boys’
club. But although we’d pull his leg,
everyone would contribute because we
recognised what he was trying to do.
He supported and gave his time to
lots of young people. Not just those he
was coaching at Tottenham, but some
of the music acts he’d worked with
at his record label. But he didn’t just
tell young people what they wanted
to hear. He’d highlight the areas they
needed to improve. He was a great
role model.
He was also a tremendously brave
man. I had to manage him for a year
when I took over as manager at
Middlesbrough, and it was difficult
because he had some horrendous
injuries: a fracture to the eye socket
that required a really delicate head
operation, a punctured lung from a
rib injury. His courage to come back
was remarkable.
We always judge sports people, and
footballers in particular, by the games
they play, what trophies they win. But
in the end we’re all judged as people,
and what was clear from the tributes
across the game was the respect
for Ugo as a person, his nature, his
humility and his values. I wish I’d had
the chance to sit and have a beer with
him and tell him what I thought of
him. His death made me think about
how often, if ever, we let people know
that we love and respect them. I
would have loved the opportunity to
tell him.
running gag that I was his love child.
Then, after the first series, he invited
me to play golf with him at his club.
Len Goodman and I drove to his house
together and the three of us went to
play a round. That was the beginning of
our friendship.
In some ways it felt as if we were
the same person, he and I. We had
the same interests. We both loved
entertainment, being out in front of
an audience; we both loved to dance
and tell a few gags. We both loved
Fred Astaire and proper dancing. We
both loved playing golf and we loved
playing golf the same way: properly,
trying to play as well as possible. It
was the same with everything he did:
this desire to be the best he could
possibly be.
It’s quite a thing when your
boyhood hero becomes your friend
and meeting Brucie and working with
him on Strictly Come Dancing was
the best thing that ever happened to
me. It felt like a lifetime achievement,
both personally and professionally.
Apart from having children it was the
highlight of my life.
When he stepped down as host I
was so sad. Half the fun of doing the
show was being with Brucie. On a
Saturday afternoon I could spend a
bit of time with him. We could have
a cup of tea together, arrange to play
golf later in the week. Just that. So I
missed him. The day he passed away
was the day the dancing stopped. We
were in rehearsals when the news
came through, all the pros together in
a studio. One of the producers came in
to tell us the news and we all fell silent
and went home. There was nothing
else we could do that day.
The England football manager recalls
the former player and coach, who died of a
heart attack in April aged just 44
The former Strictly dancer on meeting his
boyhood hero, the veteran entertainer
whose career spanned 75 years
I grew up watching Brucie on the telly.
We all did. He was there at the very
beginning of TV – with Sunday Night
at the London Palladium – and right up
until the past couple of years. He was
what they used to call the triple threat,
the full package: actor, singer, dancer.
But he was actually so much more than
that. He was the multiple threat. He
didn’t just act, sing and dance, he could
host, tell gags, play musical instruments
– he could do anything.
He had this wonderful ability to
make other people do what he wanted
them to do. Without ever being
malicious, he got them to be part of
the gag, or to be the gag. They would
Pat Hutchins
Illustrator and author
8 November, aged 75
Keith Barron
15 November, aged 83
Duffy Ayers
10 November,
aged 102
Bill Pitt
17 November,
aged 80
Jill Barklem
Writer and illustrator
15 November, aged 66
Malcolm Young
AC/DC guitarist and
laugh along with him because he didn’t
make them feel uncomfortable, he
made them feel included. That’s an
incredible skill. Lots of hosts are able
to do a funny line but often it’s a putdown to someone, so it feels unkind.
Brucie was never like that. He made
gags at other people’s expense but it
always felt like they were in on it.
I first met him on the old Come
Dancing when he did a guest spot and
I happened to be dancing on the show.
I’d been such a huge fan ever since I
was a boy that I was overwhelmed and
couldn’t speak, all I could manage was
“hello”. Years later, I met him again
on the launch show of the first series
of Strictly Come Dancing and I was
completely star-struck again. He broke
the ice by teasing me about my, shall
we say, distinguished jawline, which
is very similar to his own. It became a
18 November,
aged 64
Mark Milsome
18 November,
aged 54
Peter Spufford
18 November,
aged 83
Jana Novotná
Tennis player and
1998 Wimbledon
19 November,
aged 49
Derek Barber
Member of the
House of Lords
21 November,
aged 99
Rodney Bewes
21 November,
aged 79
David Cassidy
Singer and actor
21 November,
aged 67
Milein Cosman
21 November,
aged 96
Anthony Harvey
23 November,
aged 87
Manjit Wolstenholme
23 November,
aged 53
Jimmy Hood
4 December, aged 69
Christine Keeler
Model and showgirl
4 December,
aged 75
Annette Page
4 December,
aged 85
Shashi Kapoor
Actor and director
4 December, aged 79
Keith Chegwin
Television presenter
11 December,
aged 60
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Peter Hall
in 1993.
Portrait by
By Julian Schnabel
‘Mr Alaïa just stepped
out and left his
cellphone at the studio’
The painter and film-maker remembers
the French-Tunisian fashion designer,
his best friend of 35 years
There is supposed to be a permanence
about death. Not sure what that means.
Azzedine left home, left his atelier
a lot of times without his cellphone.
It was a way not to be bothered, to
be free during the day, and we all
understood and waited for Mr Alaïa to
appear. Everyone waited and knew he
would be back soon. In the meantime
everything that he touched surrounded
everyone he came in contact with;
surely all those who worked with
him, who he cooked for, who ate with
him, his friends and everyone who
By David Hare
‘The theatre we inherit
is largely his. We owe
him everything’
Playwright David Hare remembers the RSC
founder as a visionary of British culture
who kept his personal feelings to himself
Peter Hall was just 25 when Samuel
Beckett’s Waiting for Godot arrived
on his desk, and he directed the UK
premiere. He was 29 when he went
to be the director of the Shakespeare
Festival Theatre and transformed it
into a resident ensemble, persuading
the Arts Council to let his new Royal
Shakespeare Company have a base in
There, he pursued a revolutionary
policy of presenting the work of
living writers like Harold Pinter, John
Whiting and David Mercer on the
same main stage – and with the exact
same status – as that of the dead. On
any night in his theatres you could
see Vanessa Redgrave and Judi Dench
and Paul Scofield and Peggy Ashcroft
and Ian Holm, while he also produced
some of Peter Brook’s greatest work as
a director.
When he moved the National
Theatre from the Old Vic to the South
Bank in 1976, he welcomed every one
of us who wanted theatre not just to
reflect society, but also to represent it.
By the time he left in 1988, Peter had
turned what had seemed a shaky and
expensive venture, beset with fierce
enemies from Fleet Street to Downing
Street, into an institution that not even
the most malign government would
dare to close down.
It was typical of Peter that he
insisted the doors and lobbies of
the National Theatre be open all
day, because he wanted everyone
else to enjoy the art and culture that
had transformed his own life. If you
now see tens of thousands of people
enjoying the river between Tate
Modern and County Hall, remember
the open-door initiative began with
him. The most musical of directors, in
his spare time he managed casually to
be artistic director at Glyndebourne,
where he directed operas by Mozart
and Benjamin Britten better than
anyone else in his lifetime.
For someone who worked in public
for so many years, he was a curiously
private man, with a much stronger idea
of loyalty than friendship. In spite of
publishing carefully edited diaries, selfrevelation was not his thing. In 40 years
I had only one conversation with him
that you could call intimate. With four
wives and six children, no one was ever
going to call Peter solitary. But the man
who reshaped an entire industry and
fought so hard for the principle of state
subsidy would flee parties, preferring to
go home and play the piano.
The theatre we inherit is largely
his. If you dislike the British theatre as
it’s currently arranged, then you will
blame Peter Hall. But if you approve
of it, and of its values, then you are
never going to be able to thank him
enough for the courage and foresight
he showed in creating the stages,
the financing and the structures
that have enabled countless actors,
writers, designers and directors to
do their very best work. We owe
him everything.
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
Alaïa with model Farida, 1985.
Portrait by Jean-François Rault/
Sygma via Getty Images
possessed something that he made,
each coveted object, every shoe, every
dress, every piece of clothing that he
lovingly turned into art for everyone,
something to accompany all of us so
that we would be more beautifully
equipped on this journey.
The permanence of death pales next
to the permanence of beauty, which
transgresses death, never fleeting,
materialising then inhabiting the ether
for always.
Azzedine keeps us engaged with
his persistent joy of life, from beyond
the grave, from a little patch of earth
that he will eternally light in his
beloved Tunisia.
Mr Alaïa just stepped out the other
day and left his cellphone at the studio.
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Beth Nielsen
2018 UK TOUR
With Special Guest
Robert Vincent
6 GLASGOW City Halls
11 BEXHILL De La Warr
12/13 MK Stables
15 SAGE Gateshead
22 LONDON Cadogan Hall
27 LEEDS City Varieties
29 BRIDPORT Electric
30 BRISTOL St.Georges
19 Stamford, Corn Exchange
20 Milton Keynes, Stables
22 Edinburgh, Queens Hall
23 Sage, Gateshead
25 Birmingham, Town Hall
26 Southport, The Atkinson
27 Manchester, RNCM
30 Leeds, City Varieties
31 Bury St Edmunds,
The Apex
2 Bristol, St.Georges Hall
3 Worthing, Pavilion
12 Cardiff, St.Davids Hall
13 London, Cadogan Hall
A n E ve n i n g W i t h
Julie Fowlis
Wed 17 Jan
13 SALISBURY City Hall
17 LEEDS O2 Academy
Bridgewater Hall
24 LONDON Palladium
29 SAGE Gateshead
02 CARDIFF St.Davids
Produced by SJM & ESL
9 BUXTON Opera
10 HARROGATE Theatre
17 OXFORD Academy
19 CLEVEDON Princes Hall
2 NEWPORT Waterside
10 LINCOLN Engine Shed
12 CARLISLE Fire Station
15 BINGLEY Arts Centre
16 BANGOR Pontio Arts
17 KENDAL Brewery
21 WIMBORNE Tivoli
24 ST ALBANS Arena
4 DUBLIN Whelans
Wed 24 Jan
at Chetham’s School
of Music
Mon 29 Jan
at Chetham’s School of Music
Star of BBC's The Fast Show, Grass & History of Rock
In Character
Melton Theatre
16 WESTBURY Laverton
8 STROUD Sub Rooms
9 BATH Komedia
10 LUTON Library
13 CHESTER Live Rooms
15 SALE Waterside
17 BRIDPORT Electric Palace
22 WIGAN Old Courts
23 SHEFFIELD Abbeydale
Picture House
30 CLEVEDON Princes Hall
Plough Arts Centre
Trinity Theatre
For more information and box office
Cambridge Theatre 02070877745
ST MARTIN’S 020 7836 1443
66th year of Agatha Christie’s
Mon-Sat 7.30, Tues & Thu 3, Sat 4
HER MAJESTY’S 020 7087 7762
QUEEN’S 0844 482 5160
The Musical Phenomenon
Mon-Sat 7.30, Thu & Sat 2.30
Eves 7.30, Mats Wed & Sun 2.30
Calls to 084 numbers will cost up
to 7 pence per minute, plus your
phone company’s access charge
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
Monzo is a truly unusual thing –
an exciting bank. And if young
people carry on joining in droves,
it could even break the hold of
the big five. There’s only one
problem, says Tim Lewis – it’s
not making any money
letter from the bank tends
to arouse dread. In these
mostly paperless days,
it usually means you’ve
gone overdrawn again or
the interest rate on your
savings account has moved
even closer to zero. Best not open
it now; stick it on the pile for laterslash-never. But when my new Monzo
bank card landed on the doormat one
morning, I felt a frisson of excitement.
Perhaps it was the six-week waiting
list: there were 66,000 people ahead
of me in the queue when I applied.
Maybe it was just the hot pink debit
card, the millennial’s answer to the
black Amex.
Monzo, a smartphone-only
“challenger” bank, has this effect
on a lot of people. In its first round
of crowdfunding, in March 2016, it
Continued overleaf
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
‘We value being able
to approach a problem
from first principles’
¥ Continued from previous page
raised £1m in 96 seconds, the fastest
crowdfunding campaign ever. In a
more recent campaign, the singer
Tom Odell and Kevin Systrom,
co-founder of Instagram, came on
board as investors and the company
raised £70m. Wired magazine asked if
Tom Blomfield, Monzo’s 32-year-old
British founder and chief executive,
would become “the Jeff Bezos or Mark
Zuckerberg of banking”.
It’s not easy to say why Monzo
inspires such passion. Unlike many
banks, the startup does not offer you a
cash incentive to join. (Instead it gives
customers one “golden ticket”, which
they can pass on to a friend to jump the
queue to join; these do brisk business
on eBay.) Furthermore, you don’t
receive interest on the money you keep
with it. Monzo offers attractive savings
on spending abroad, but it’s hard to
believe that this alone has brought in
almost half a million UK customers,
who have spent more than £800m,
since it was launched in 2015.
“There’s a group of very rational
people who know about it, but don’t
get it,” Blomfield concedes, over
a coffee in Monzo’s office, just off
the Old Street roundabout in east
London. If the Monzo story ever gets
the Social Network treatment, Ryan
Gosling would be a shoo-in for the
Blomfield role. “Typically bankers,
accountants, lawyers or sometimes
investors, they say, ‘Why do people
like this? Why are you growing so fast?
What’s the benefit?’ And when they
say what’s the benefit, they mean the
benefit for a purely economically
rational person: ‘What do I get?’”
How does Blomfield convince
them? “Well,” he replies, “the answer
for them, frankly, is that you get free
foreign exchange. And they go, ‘Ahhh,
I get it.’ But that’s totally missing the
point. For something like 90% of our
customers, the free foreign exchange is
nice, but they might go on holiday once
or twice a year. They are living on an
average salary and it’s about visibility
and control. It’s the feeling that: ‘With
my old bank I never knew how much
money I had at any point and I’d
spend over a weekend and on Monday
morning all the charges would hit my
account and I’d realise I’d overspent
and it caused me anxiety and stress.’”
Monzo believes it can restyle banking
for the digital age. Its strapline is:
“We’re building the kind of bank that
you’d be proud to call your own.” It uses
a lot of emojis in its communications.
Along with other app-based challenger
banks, such as Starling and Atom, it
thinks it can offer a different, more
intuitive and personal experience than
the five big banks – Lloyds, Barclays,
HSBC, the UK arm of Santander and
Royal Bank of Scotland – that dominate
more than 80% of the current-account
market in the UK.
So far, Monzo has made a
particularly effective landgrab in the
youth sector. Half of its users are under
30, and a further quarter are under 40.
It started out offering a prepaid debit
card that updated purchases instantly
and sorted them into helpful categories
(eating out, groceries, transport and
so on) on the app on your smartphone.
In recent months, it has begun to
switch customers over to a full-blown
current account.
“Monzo can’t be for everyone, but
I think it’s for about 90% of people,”
says Blomfield. “It’s for people who
live their life on their mobile phone,
that’s the primary unifying factor. So
if you really really are glued to this
thing” – he holds up an iPhone – “then
it’s an app that’s designed in the same
way that WhatsApp, Citymapper, Uber
and Amazon are. It just works the way
they expect. And it gives you real-time
visibility and control. It’s one of those
home-screen apps: you have five or
six apps you use to live your life and
Monzo is one of those things.”
Not long ago, Blomfield claimed that
if Monzo kept growing at the same rate
it would have a billion customers by
2023. Today, he backtracks, but only
a couple of steps. “This is a 20-year
project,” he clarifies, “but a billion
users, yes, that is our mission.”
The exact form it will take is up
for grabs; Blomfield wants to keep
Monzo fluid. “What we’re trying to
build is a web platform. Something
like a Facebook or a Google, almost
Tom Blomfield,
CEO and
of Monzo.
an Amazon even or a Twitter. A
marketplace bank, where we don’t offer
all of the products to our customers
but we are the interface between them
and their money. So they use Monzo
to visualise and control their money
wherever it sits, and that might be in a
Barclays savings account or their HSBC
mortgage or their pension or their Isas
or whatever. So all the products aren’t
necessarily provided by us. In fact, most
of them are not.”
test for
men at sea
page 38
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
anking has, historically, changed
at a pace just a little faster
than glacial. The big banks all
offer a very similar range of
products and dominate the financial
landscape. Overwhelmingly, we
open a current account with one of
them as children or young adults and
that becomes our bank, often for the
rest of our lives. Before a switching
service was introduced in 2013, on
average we would stay with our bank
for 17 years. The typical marriage in
Britain, meanwhile, lasted 11 years,
seven months.
This situation, however, is set to
receive a shake-up. From 13 January
2018, open banking will force the
UK’s nine largest banks to share
their data with licensed startups
(subject to the approval of account
holders). One simple benefit of this
change is that, at last, we will be
able to coordinate transactions from
different banks in one place, such
as a Monzo app. More intriguing,
though, is what use can be made of the
data; in theory, putting aside obvious
privacy concerns, it should lead to a
personalised bundle of services and
products. Maybe it will automatically
switch your gas and electricity to
ensure you’re always on the best rate.
Open banking has been called “the
Uber moment” for the finance industry
by Antony Jenkins, the former chief
executive of Barclays who now runs
10x, a financial services data firm. And
the assumption is that the banks will
be unable to keep pace with the fleetfooted startups.
Blomfield admits that he has
basically no banking experience and
he mostly employs people who haven’t
worked in the field either: “We really
value naivety, being able to approach
a problem from first principles.” His
early years were spent in Hong Kong
and Singapore, where his father
was a civil engineer. He went to a
grammar school in the home counties
and then studied law at Oxford.
After graduating, he slipped into
management consulting: “The career
for people who don’t know what they
want to do with their career.” He has
since set up and worked on a bunch of
startups – and had a six-month spell at
Monzo’s competitor Starling, which he
can’t talk about for legal reasons – but
settled on Monzo because he believes it
can be “a world-changing company”.
Open banking, Blomfield insists, will
spark a revolution, but its impact will
CASH CONVERTERS Eight more finance apps
Enables you to set up an Isa from your
phone in just a few minutes. There are
various options for determining your
monthly deposit, but the most unique is
that the app will round up any purchases
made from your linked bank account
to the nearest pound and deposit the
difference in your Isa. You can also select
the level of risk to which you would like to
expose your investment.
Offers a full-featured mobile-only current
account with overdrafts, direct debits and
so on. Additional features include zero
ATM fees abroad, the ability to analyse
your spending by sector (eating out, for
instance) or merchant (Pret a Manger),
and the option to create “goals” to save
for a specific purpose. Protected by
the Financial Services Compensation
Scheme’s £85,000 savings guarantee.
Another saving app. Once linked to your
bank account, the app’s algorithm will
learn how much you can afford to save
each month. Your initial interest rate is
0%; this increases by a percentage point
for each person you refer who also signs
up (to a maximum of five).
Currently in beta stage, this app and
website describes itself as “your money
platform” – you can feed in data from
all your various accounts, cards and
investments to keep track of them
in one place. The app will then make
suggestions for financial products and
services it thinks will interest you.
Do you have a wallet stuffed with plastic?
This service enables you to merge them
all into one Curve card, then select which
account to debit from your smartphone
on a use-by-use basis. Features low fees
on overseas transactions and also allows
business users to sync with accounting
app Xero.
Like Chip, this app employs an algorithm
to learn how much you can save. It invests
your money in RateSetter, a peer-topeer lender. The nature of peer-to-peer
lending means the interest you receive
may vary from the average rate of 3%.
Communication with the service is
conducted through Facebook Messenger.
Currently a Mastercard only available
to the startup’s 11,000 “founders”.
But Tandem recently acquired Harrods
Bank and, if the deal is confirmed by the
banking authorities, it will gain a licence
to offer current accounts to all. Tandem
also plans to offer account aggregation
and money-saving recommendations
generated by algorithms.
Like Starling and Monzo, Atom offers a
mobile-only fully functioning current
account. In 2015, Atom was the first
digital-only bank to be granted a licence by
the Bank of England. Also offers savings
accounts and mortgages through brokers.
John Naughton
‘Weaponised’ social media
isn’t Brexit’s smoking gun
not be felt immediately. He cites the
adage coined by the American futurist
Roy Amara: “We tend to overestimate
the effect of a technology in the short
run and underestimate the effect in the
long run.”
“With open banking, people are
expecting a tidal wave of something,”
says Blomfield. “I think it won’t
happen in January next year, but the
concept behind it has the potential
to revolutionise retail finance totally.
There is just so much valuable data
sitting in these bank accounts. I don’t
think banks are doing it malevolently,
they are not using it for nefarious
purposes, they are just incompetent.
They just can’t get it out. And if
consumers are able to unlock that data
and use it for their own benefit it will
create entire new industries.”
Martin Lewis, the journalist who
agrees that we should prepare for
disruption, but he is wary of writing off
the major banks just yet. “The game is
changing and Monzo is at the forefront
of it, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a
‘This is a 20-year
project,’ says Monzo’s
Blomfield, ‘but a
billion users, yes,
that is our mission’
huge outlier with everything else that’s
going on,” he says. “Monzo is an appbased bank that is doing it well. But
Monzo has neither invented the app,
nor has it invented the bank. It would
be stretching it to say it’s going to be
an Amazon; to be honest it’s stretching
it even to say that it might become a
Nationwide. It would be lucky to be on
the Nationwide scale.”
This is not “a slag”, Lewis explains.
Nationwide has an enormous customer
base and billions of pounds under
management. But Lewis takes a
different view from Blomfield on why
people are reluctant to change their
bank. “A lot of people actually – and
we know this from surveying – are
pretty happy with their bank account,”
he says. “It’s a bit like changing your
computer or changing your operating
system. That’s a big deal, it’s a hassle
and I think some of the inertia is due
to relative customer satisfaction. And
that’s difficult to get over.”
Monzo has certainly had some
growing pains in its short life. In
October, it announced that it would
cap overseas ATM withdrawals from
18 December: £200 a month will be
fee-free, but further withdrawals will
incur a 3% charge (spending by card
abroad in shops, hotels and so on will
remain free of charge). The problem,
Blomfield says, is that it started out
costing about £6 per customer – which
Monzo swallowed – but it became so
popular with a small number of users
that the bank was paying an average of
£17 per customer per year.
“The way we address those things is
just through radical transparency,” says
Blomfield. “We lay out exactly what the
ATMs are costing us and how the usage
has changed and people can really
look under the covers and go, ‘Oh, OK,
here’s a problem and that’s a solution.’”
Then there was the small matter
of the £7.9m pre-tax annual loss that
Monzo announced for the financial
year ending in February. “The losses
this year will be much, much higher,”
says Blomfield, smiling. “I don’t say
that with any glee, but it’s very weird
how, especially the tech press, in
almost a single breath will report the
great news of a funding round and then
the devastating news of a loss.
“We have just raised £70m,” he goes
on, “that will give you an indication of
the size of the losses over a year or two.
We wouldn’t raise that much money if
we weren’t going to lose it.”
There’s a quiet confidence to
Blomfield; he describes himself
as “highly caffeinated, very, very
direct and driven”. But there are
no guarantees. “The investors who
have put their money in Monzo
know that they’re taking a big risk
for an outsized return,” he says.
“Our valuation went up two and a
half times in 12 months. So if you
invested in January, your investment
is now worth approximately two and
a half times what it was in 12 months.
That is not risk-free, clearly. We hope
it will multiply in value over the next
few years, potentially many, many
times in value…”
He pauses. “But there’s a really big
chance you’ll lose everything.”
ast May the UK information
commissioner, Elizabeth Denham,
launched a formal investigation
into the use of data analytics for
political purposes. This involved an
initial exploration of what went on
in the Brexit referendum campaign
but potentially also in others. And
given the global nature of digital data,
the investigation also involved an
investigation into how “companies
operating internationally” were using
the personal data of UK citizens for
political purposes.
The overall goal of this inquiry
was to understand how personal
information was used in political
campaigns. The commissioner was
concerned about the “invisible
processing” of citizens’ private data
by algorithms that carry out datamatching and profiling – which of
course is what Google and Facebook do
for a living. Their automated engines
were originally built to facilitate the
targeting of commercial messages at
their users. But what became clear
in 2016 is that those same engines
had been “weaponised” by political
actors to deliver targeted political and
ideological messages, and that’s a very
different game. “When the purpose
for using these techniques is related
to the democratic process,” wrote
Denham, “the case for a high standard
of transparency is very strong.”
Quite so. What the commissioner
may not have appreciated when she
embarked upon her inquiry, though,
is that transparency is about as
popular with these companies – not
to mention the political actors who
exploit their automated systems – as
garlic is with Count Dracula. Her
investigation has covered more than
30 organisations – including political
parties and campaigns, data companies
and social media platforms, together
with a mysterious Canadian outfit,
AggregateIQ, whose name continually
crops up in connection with this stuff.
Denham’s progress report –
published last week on her office’s
website – suggests it hasn’t exactly
been plain sailing. “A number of
organisations,” she reports, “have
freely cooperated with us, answered
our questions and engaged with the
investigation. But others are making
it difficult. In some instances we have
been unable to obtain the specific
details of work that contributed to
Nigel Farage
claims victory
for the Leave
campaign in the
EU referendum,
June 2016.
the referendum campaign and I will
be using every available legal tool and
working with authorities overseas to
seek answers on behalf of UK citizens.”
And some outfits have been
obstructive – or “failed to be as
comprehensive as I believe they need
to be in answering our questions”,
as the commissioner politely puts
it – forcing her to invoke statutory
powers to demand information from
data processors. Her office has to
date served four formal information
notices as part of the investigation,
including one to – guess who! – Ukip,
which has now appealed against
the commissioner’s demands to the
Information Rights Tribunal. Cue
battalions of m’learned friends and a
long war of legal attrition.
Political campaigning has always
been a dirty and corrupt business,
polluted by dark money and the
unscrupulous use of whatever
communications media happens to
be dominant at any particular time.
The main lesson of the 2016 Brexit
and Trump campaigns is that social
media and data analytics are now
the tools of choice for manipulating
public opinion and influencing
elections. At the moment, they
have several advantages over oldfashioned broadcast TV. First, a lot of
the money spent on them in political
campaigning can be hidden from
regulators, partly because it involves
exploiting troves of personal data
accumulated over decades by social
media companies (and is therefore
outside any particular campaign
window). Second, unlike older media,
different (and possibly contradictory)
messages can be delivered to
individuals, and no one will ever
know. And third, they are fantastically
cost-effective. Investigations in the
US, for example, suggest that messages
crafted by Russian agencies, which
spent about $30,000 on Facebook,
may have reached up to 126 million
users. That’s an awful lot of bangs
per buck and perhaps explains why
the Leave campaign spent 98%
of its communications budget on
data analytics.
It seems obvious now that the
weaponisation of social media
played some role in both the Brexit
referendum and the US election.
What’s much less clear, however, is
whether it was critical in determining
the outcome. Personally, I’m sceptical.
Our current obsession with digital
technology as the trigger for these
political earthquakes may actually be
a kind of displacement activity. What
we’re overlooking is that none of this
would have happened if our ruling
elites had noticed what four decades of
globalisation and neoliberal economics
had done to the life chances of many of
our fellow citizens.
Nearly four million people in
the UK voted for Ukip in 2015, for
example, and got just one MP for their
trouble. So when David Cameron
presented them with a chance to give
the neoliberal order a good kicking,
they hardly needed their Facebook
feeds to tell them what to do. I hope
the information commissioner does
succeed in unearthing the role of data
analytics in Brexit. But even if she does,
she’ll only have retrieved one piece of
the jigsaw.
#78 INOV-8
What is it?
A trail running shoe featuring
the wonder material graphene
in its sole, developed in
collaboration with the
University of Manchester.
Good points
Claims to have extra flexibility
(useful for increased grip)
without sacrificing strength.
Bad points
Wonder materials aren’t cheap:
the shoes are expected to retail
for £140-150 when they go on
sale next year.
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Section:OBS RW PaGe:24 Edition Date:171217 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 15/12/2017 18:10
F I L M | T V | T H E AT R E | C L A S S I C A L
The embassy’s move from Mayfair to
south of the Thames is admirable, but the
area is now home to ‘a Weinstein-o-rama
of ill-planned luxury high-rises’.
Photograph by Richard Bryant
A very diplomatic America on
London’s new US embassy may be just a glass cube with
disguised fortifications, but it is also restrained, efficient,
green… so quite the antithesis of Donald Trump
“A giant, translucent bladderwrack”,
“a high security Travelodge”, “a glass
box covered in shite”. Within hours of
its unveiling my tweeting colleagues
in the architectural press have chosen
to be particularly unkind to the new
US embassy (which President Trump
may or may not inaugurate at the
still mysterious date when he comes
to Britain) in Nine Elms, south-west
London. In this they follow the tepid
response its competition-winning
designs received when they were
unveiled in 2010. Its detractors
then were said to include dissenting
members of the competition jury, Lord
(Richard) Rogers and the property
developer Lord Palumbo, who opposed
the choice of the young-ish winning
practice, KieranTimberlake. They
would have preferred the winner to be
one of Rogers’s fellow winners of the
Pritzker prize – Thom Mayne of the
Los Angeles practice Morphosis, or the
New York-based Richard Meier or Pei
Cobb Freed.
Well, perhaps my expectations
have been lowered by exposure to too
much dross, but I find it hard to match
this level of scorn. There are other
buildings that deserve it more, several
of them in the embassy’s immediate
vicinity. There are even aspects of
the building – again this might be a
reflection of parched times – for which
to be grateful.
It’s a fortress, of course it is. As
the embassy of the Great Satan to
the Little Satan – as the unlamented
Ayatollah Khomeini would have put
it – it couldn’t not be a target and
defended accordingly. The architects
therefore decided to make it as nice
a fortress as possible, a transparent,
democratic, open, not-aggressive and
environmentally responsible symbol of
their country. It wants to combine, as
James Timberlake of its Philadelphiabased architects put it, “security
and sustainability”. And so, while its
form resembles a castle keep with
a moat, and while it observes such
requirements as being set back
from surrounding roads by 100ft, its
concrete bulwarks come disguised
as earthworks, and its anti-truck
bollards are fig-leafed with hedges. The
moat is an ornamental lake, and being
set back is taken as an opportunity to
create gardens, some of them accessible
to the public without crossing any
security lines. The quarters assigned
to the marines who guard the complex
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
are like a tasteful metropolitan hotel.
Its roof is covered with photovoltaic
cells, rainwater is collected and
recycled, and ground heat is
exploited. The walls are in glass,
symbolising transparency, and then
veiled on all sides except the north
with ethylene tetrafluoroethylene
screens – that’s a high-performing
translucent plastic, in case you didn’t
know – in order to stop the building
overheating in the sun. These efforts
have been rewarded with high
ratings in both British and American
ways of measuring environmental
performance, BREEAM and LEED:
“outstanding” in the one and
“platinum” in the other.
The offices are high ceilinged,
well lit and open plan, with a view
to encouraging the staff to be more
collaborative and productive. Dignity
is given to all the consular and
service entrances, not just the one for
dignitaries. The experience of getting
a visa, which usually impresses on
Getting a visa will
take place in some
of the least obnoxious
spaces ever given
to this purpose
‘As nice a fortress as possible’: the roll call of former US ambassadors to the United Kingdom in the
forest garden, featuring hi-tech translucent plastic screens that stop the building overheating in the
you your profound unworthiness
of entering the country in question,
will take place in some of the least
obnoxious spaces ever given to
this purpose. A well-meaning and
multicultural arts programme includes
the work of British and American
artists. There is work by Jenny Holzer,
Mark Bradford, Sean Scully and, in
that fine consular entrance, a nice
Rachel Whiteread based on a standard
American wooden house.
Then there’s the decision, made
in 2007, to put the embassy in the
former industrial area of Nine Elms,
between Battersea power station and
Vauxhall, south of the Thames, a quite
different place from the Grosvenor
Square location that the embassy was
associated with for more than two
centuries. The embassy, which since
1956 has been housed in one of the
stuffier works of the freeform modernist
Eero Saarinen, was driven from there
due to the increasing difficulty of
protecting it. The high-class nimbys you
get in those parts – a countess had gone
on hunger strike against its dangerous
presence – were thrilled.
It helped that the supergalactic
property prices of Mayfair meant
that the billion-dollar cost of the new
embassy could be financed by selling
the old building, at no expense to the
US taxpayer. Yet even if the move was
driven by expediency, there is still
something both brave and inspired
about relocating to this unlikely area,
which could then be transformed
by the embassy’s arrival. It is not
the National
At th
page 28
All woke up, nowhere to go
The demands of his
core audience and
bland beats hamper
Eminem’s ninth album,
writes Kitty Empire
e main lobby, left. Above: the embassy’s Pacific
e summer. Richard Bryant;
the US government’s fault that that
opportunity was turned by former
mayor Boris Johnson into what is
becoming a Weinstein-o-rama of illplanned luxury horndog high-rises.
The new embassy is bland, vanilla,
just as a diplomatic dinner is rarely
riotous and a diplomatic speech is
rarely spellbinding. Its use of art and
nature and decoration are somewhat
Starbucks – a grande vanilla latte
then – and with approximately the
same relation to real architecture as
that has to real coffee. Timberlake’s
multiple objectives are all good and
worthy, but like wishing for world
peace and an end to hunger are a touch
platitudinous. They also contain the
occasional conflict and contradiction –
most obviously between being fortified
and being nice – which the architects
have chosen to smooth over rather
than dramatise. The basic shape of the
building is a cube, which Timberlake
explains as being a timeless form. It
does give the embassy a presence,
but – because it minimises the amount
of expensive external skin in relation
to the volume – it also happens to
be the most efficient shape for an
office building.
But at this precise moment
something calm and reasonable and
a bit boring seems quite precious. As
Timberlake explained the project to
the press, you could see the current
ambassador, Woody Johnson – the
Trump-appointed owner of American
football team the New York Jets –
keep a poker face. You sensed that all
the recycled grey water and LEED
ratings weren’t really his thing. They’re
certainly not his boss’s: you can only
wonder what a Trump-commissioned
embassy would be like; something
with huge columns, perhaps, or a bit
Atlantic City, or a bit Mar-a-Lago, and
not bothered about sustainability and
public access.
The old boys preferred by Rogers
and Palumbo would have offered more
strident shapes but not something that
would have better served the embassy’s
public purpose. It also does a better
job of combining high security and
accessibility than its near neighbour,
Terry Farrell’s MI6 building of 1992,
which will doubtless one day be listed
on account of its characterful PoMo
style. The new embassy building is
also better than everything else that
developers are putting up around it.
This is faint praise, of course, but it’s
not damning.
‘Many of these tracks are filled with grownup remorse’: Eminem.
to Trump comes laced with the
usual misogyny. The body of Ivanka
Trump ends up in the trunk of a car
on Framed; elsewhere he’s “hittin’ on
Melania”. On Heat, Eminem admits
there is one thing he agrees with
Trump on: “Why do you think they call
it a snatch?” he sneers.
Offended, meanwhile, lands firmly
on the wrong side of #MeToo. “I’m
still copping a feel like Bill Cosby at
will,” Mathers rhymes. The context is
a rhymed hip-hop simile – how other
rappers are still “copying, Xeroxing”
– but it’s probably still a bit early to
canonise Mathers. Another setback
is that Eminem’s political sentiments
may have missed their moment, that
“wokeness” may have moved on from
stating the obvious. Even as you thrill
to Mathers’s ire, you are waiting for
him to tell you something you don’t
already know.
And yet so many of these tracks
are filled with grownup remorse. As
well as blistering verses about his own
emotional past (“I’m sorry, Kim”),
the Ed Sheeran-assisted River finds
Eminem analysing a fraught romance
that ends in an abortion. “This love
triangle left us in a wreck tangled,”
he snarls. Arose ends the album with
an arresting track about Eminem’s
near-death overdose.
There are just too many pop stars
here (Pink, Beyoncé, Kehlani) wailing
anodyne hooks over glutinous beats.
Perhaps the biggest problem with
Revival – as with many latterday
Eminem records – is the struggle
of an intelligent fortysomething
artist to evolve while somehow
remaining true to the demands of his
sniggery core audience of alienated
males, one he knows he shares with
Trump. Listening to Eminem trying
to square this circle, it’s just one face
palm after another.
It was pure
joy, joy, joy
Jamie Oliver
on the best
thing he ate
in 2017
Eminem has been older and
theoretically wiser now for almost as
long as he was Slim Shady – a rapper
obsessed with outrage and doing
unspeakable things to his ex-wife, Kim.
It is worth remembering what a nasty
piece of work this exquisitely talented
rapper has been, as you contemplate
Revival, his ninth album.
The cover finds Marshall Mathers
literally face palming, the US stars
and stripes superimposed over his
despair. A number of tracks find
Eminem raging at an even more
deplorable moral vacuum than Slim
Shady: the current US president.
Following on from his pugilistic
freestyle at the Bet awards in October,
Eminem remains on the warpath.
“You ain’t ruining our country, punk,”
Mathers snarls. Revival takes a word
previously sacred to another musical
form – Americana – and transposes
its religious connotations to the
national discourse.
There is an enormous amount to
chew over on these 19 tracks, much of it
intriguing – Eminem’s roller-coastering
self-esteem, plus emotive updates on
Kim (Bad Husband) and his daughter
Hailie (Castle, feat Skylar Grey) and,
perhaps most shocking of all, Eminem’s
take on the staccato sound of now,
the “Migos flow” (Believe). But the
headline news is Eminem’s political
engagement. The apex of his patriotic
horror is a track called Untouchable,
which met with mixed reactions when
it appeared online the other week.
It finds Mathers on scathing form,
tackling police brutality, institutional
racism and his own white privilege. In
career context, it and its anti-Trump
companion piece, Like Home (feat
Alicia Keys), are quite literally amazing.
Who would have thought Slim Shady
would one day rail against the lie of the
so-called land of the free built by slaves,
or explain that violence is frequently
the only avenue left to desperate
people, or – and you may want to lift
your jaw back into position here –
inveigh against military transphobia?
There are issues with these issues,
though. These songs’ undercarriages
tend towards the string-laden, rockleaning and bombastic, a problem
that lies mainly with producer Alex
Da Kid. Although not a political track,
the Joan Jett-sampling Remind Me is
a particular travesty; this one is Rick
Rubin’s fault.
Other tracks here sound far more
up-to-date and minimal. Chloraseptic
(featuring the only guest rapper, New
York’s Phresher) is raw and skeletal,
its subject matter – Eminem going for
the throat like medication – taut and
blistering. Offended finds Eminem
gargling mercury, doing what rappers
always used to aspire to: cramming
syllables of scintillating wordplay into
a small space without stumbling.
This new, woke ’Nem hasn’t exactly
been doing his intersectionality
homework either. His shit-talking
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
More bangs
for your buck
Film-making is a matter of life and death for
Afghanistan’s most prolific director, as this
touching and hilarious documentary reveals
The Prince of Nothingwood
(86 mins, 15) Directed by Sonia Kronlund.
Documentary with Salim Shaheen, Qurban
Ali, Sonia Kronlund
In the current release The Disaster
Artist, James Franco celebrates the
tale of Tommy Wiseau, who realised
his dream of getting a movie made
when all the odds were apparently
against him. Yet Wiseau made his
2003 “disasterpiece” The Room with
seemingly endless financial resources,
in the heart of Hollywood, where all
the perks and luxuries of modern
cinema were available to him and his
crew. Would he have been able to pull
it off if he’d been shooting on the fly in
war-torn surroundings with nothing
but his belief in the power of B-movies
to see him through?
Meet Salim Shaheen, the “most
popular and prolific actor-directorproducer in Afghanistan” (which he
laughingly calls “Nothingwood!”),
who has made and distributed more
than a hundred movies, working
on shoestring budgets, undeterred
by rocket attacks, riots or religious
fundamentalism. As he embarked on
his 111th feature (or perhaps 114th – he
seems to be making at least four films
simultaneously), first-time feature
director Sonia Kronlund decided to
join him, travelling from Kabul to
Bamiyan to see if she had “missed
something” in her previous reports
from the region for French public radio
and TV. How could a land so riven with
strife have provided the backdrop for
such prolific creativity?
Shot on handheld digital cameras
and packed with sub-Bollywood
action, comedy and lip-synced songand-dance numbers, Shaheen’s films
have a DIY quality, like the “sweded”
epics of Michel Gondry’s Be Kind
Rewind. He clearly sees himself as a
latter-day Rambo, telling stories in
which he casts himself as an avenging
hero – strong, bold, and macho to a
fault. When Shaheen tells Kronlund
“You are a man!”, he means it as the
highest possible compliment – an
endorsement of her ability to follow
him on his film-making adventures
in a world where women are notable
by their absence. By contrast, actor
Qurban Ali is a bundle of camp
charisma who cross-dresses to
play female roles, including that of
Shaheen’s mum (their latest romp has
an autobiographical theme). Together,
Ali and Shaheen make odd-couple
magic; one embodying the macho
stereotype to which this culture clings,
Actor-director Salim Shaheen, left,
with collaborator Qurban Ali, who make
‘odd couple magic’ in Sonia Kronlund’s
The Prince of Nothingwood.
Many of the crew are
war veterans who
carry a camera and
a Kalashnikov with
equal ease
the other hiding in plain sight as an
outrageous caricature whose wife
and family roll their eyes at his outre
public persona.
Like Shaheen, many of the crew
on these mini-epics are war veterans
who carry a camera and a Kalashnikov
with equal ease, and have no qualms
about using live ammunition on set.
When Kronlund asks if the area they’re
travelling to might have landmines,
everyone simply shrugs as if to say, “So
what?” These intrepid film-makers
seem to accept that what they are
doing really is a matter of life and
death – a truth illustrated by horrifying
footage of the aftermath of a civil war
rocket attack which struck his film
set in 1995. As Kronlund recently told
the Guardian, “These guys are true,
genuine lovers of the cinema – they
would really risk their lives.”
As a child, Shaheen would sneak
into movie theatres – a habit his family
attempted to beat out of him. The
lessons he learned from cinema served
him well in later life; he tells Kronlund
that he once survived an attack on his
army unit by playing dead among real
corpses – a trick he’d seen on screen.
As for his own movies, they clearly
strike a chord with domestic audiences,
telling stories about the triumph of the
underdog which lend a brave face to
people unrepresented elsewhere. In
one eye-opening interview, Kronlund
‘Outstanding’: Clémence Poésy,
in the third and final series o
of Sky Atlantic’s
The Tunnel: Vengeance. Bel
Below: Sarah
Parish in ITV’s Bancroft: ‘a d
driven, smart
career woman who has it al
all except sanity’.
Blue Planet II ended on a true high,
which, without wishing to detract
in any way from the patient four
years of brave, frozen filming, was all
Attenborough’s doing. His narrative for
this final recap trod an immensely wise
line between shaking us to our souls
and offering hope.
A single plastic toothpick, washed
and blown to the end of the Earth,
resulting in an exploded penguin.
Sperm whales trying to swallow
plastic the size of car doors, albatrosses
filigree’d in nylon. Wrong in so many,
many ways. But there was also, for
instance, the tale of Norway’s clever
herring resurgence, and perhaps
most inspiring of all Trinidadian local
Len Peters: the way in which he has
(literally) battled to change the attitudes
of villagers to the leatherback turtle –
Channel hopping made easy
The Tunnel returns for
more Anglo-French
crime-busting, while
psycho DI Sarah Parish
gets away with murder
The Tunnel: Vengeance Sky Atlantic
Bancroft ITV
Blue Planet II BBC One
Detectorists BBC Four
Two thrillers of wildly varying style,
quality and plot credibility battled for
our attention. The Tunnel: Vengeance
dealt with plagues of rats in the
Chunnel, a sexy Sarajevo survivor
wielding a bayoneted rifle, gruesome
commedia dell’arte cellar daubings
in the blood-stink of nightmares,
scopolamine, buttock brandings, stolen
children and a grim reworking of the
Pied Piper tale; Hamelin as reimagined
for the 21st century by Hieronymus
Bosch. Bancroft was a police
procedural about a little suburban
murder, reopened as a cold case. Guess
which was the turkey?
The Tunnel is, of course, the
Anglo-French reworking of The
Bridge, which, along with The Killing,
changed the face of detective drama.
Clémence Poésy is outstanding as the
nerveless Gallic version of The Bridge’s
Saga, Stephen Dillane similar as the
understated Brit counterpart. The plot,
which rattles and shuttles between
Brittany and the Kent coast, is complex
and sprawling, but in the hands of
Finnish director Anders Engström
(Wallander, Jordskott, Taboo) kept
surprisingly tight and, crucially, lucid,
as we explore the darker side (as if
there’s any other) of those who seek to
profit from the refugee crisis.
Unlike season two, which went
eventually a bit loopso, this grips, as
a hand to the windpipe, throughout.
Part of the reason is surely the fact
that Poésy and Dillane exude little
of that will-they-won’t-they? sexual
tension so often found, in fact now near
mandatory, between cop characters of
similar age and romantic availability
– he’s too damaged, she too quirkily
spectrummed – and thus you’re able to
shrug and phew it off and concentrate
instead on the many enthralling
twists and subplots. Yet they remain
the backbone: the interplay, the rare
flashes of pawky humour (Poésy
deadpans with sly brilliance), the
mutual respect, the froideurs, the
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
undoubted yet unspoken warmth are
the glue: you could wait a long time for
a thriller of such class, and there will
doubtless be uproar at its being the last
ever season.
No such uproar can ever be
expected to greet the failure to
recommission Bancroft. After watching
Thandie Newton’s meltdown in Line
of Duty (to which this plot bore truly
remarkable similarities, to the possible
extent that lawyers might begin to rub
their little hands), and that of Suranne
Jones in Doctor Foster, it was poor
Sarah Parish’s turn to play the driven,
smart career woman who has it all
except sanity.
She made the best of a doomed jjob as
tious and gilded policewoman
the ambitious
covering up her part (spoiler: she did
rushed-away murder. In her
it) in a brushed-away
own wayy Faye Marsay shined, too, as
’s young northern nemesis.
But, oh, the plot holes, wide as fishnet
s, the yawnworthy subplots,
the joke violence, Ade Edmondson
trying to “act”, Parish firebombing
ses and throwing wheelchairs
safe houses
off cliffs and being a masked burglar
ing off life support machines
and turning
and, leastt believably of all,
way with it! As
getting away
appen, yet
might happen,
uch in real
not so much
… cartoons!
life as in…
I suspectt Line of Duty
e, if only out of fear
won’t sue,
rassment through
of embarrassment
May the eighth be with you
The new Star Wars is a
fine balance between
character, storytelling
and explosions, says
Mark Kermode
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
(152 mins, 12A) Directed by Rian Johnson;
starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill
learns that black-market copies of
Shaheen’s film have popular cache
even among members of the Taliban.
Shaheen has been called “the Afghan
Ed Wood”, and it’s tempting to look for
mockery in this portrayal of his cheapand-cheerful output. Yet Kronlund
finds something more substantial
to build her film on – a genuine
admiration for Shaheen’s dedication
to making movies, and a warm sense
of wonder at his almost childlike belief
in the transcendent power of the
moving image. Werner Herzog once
told me that all he wanted to be was “a
good soldier – a soldier for cinema”.
On the evidence of this film, that’s a
description tailor-made for Shaheen.
they used to eat them, now they guard
them, rescue them, and the village
thrives as never before. Through such
personal increments, and a modicum
of political impetus (perhaps a certain
president being mugged one dark night
by his own cardiovascular system), the
wrongs remain, just, rightable.
I’m relieved to recall I whacked
Detectorists on to last week’s “10 best”
of 2017 TV, so needn’t convince you
of what a beautiful respite from the
rest of the year it has been: its lack of
judgmentalism, its gentle tolerance
of human frailty, its being gallantly
unafraid of silence, at spiritual poles to
febrile Twitter spats, to endless virtuesignalling and 24-hour offence-taking.
The last ever series (we’re told) ended
with the closest it could ever come
to “villains”, the pitifully pompous
“Simon and Garfunkel” (last season,
in an inspired little twist, they had to
give their real names to police: Peters
and Lee) being welcomed into the
arms of the Danebury Metal Detecting
Club, not without a few grateful tears
on behalf of Garfunkel, the splendid
Simon Farnaby. Andy (Mackenzie
Crook) and Lance (Toby Jones) didn’t,
quite, get to do the “gold dance” at the
close… cleverly, the high camera simply
lingered, ambiguously, on the magpie’s
tree, as, coin by coin, then in a rush,
it began to shed its secrets on to the
sward below.
The very last drone-camera shot
had the boys, alerted by some sixth
sense, ambling towards the tree. I’m
tempted to beg for more, but begin to
wonder if creator Crook isn’t quite
right to leave it at this: perfect, and thus
unimprovable, a treasure to be simply
yearned over with wry wistfulness.
Pub? Yeah, go on then.
The core theme of the ongoing Star
Wars narrative has always been one of
balance – an equilibrium between light
and dark, life and death. Balance is also
the key to making a great Star Wars
movie, with the directors of each new
episode standing or falling on their
ability to walk a tightrope between
spectacle and substance, seriousness
and absurdity – keeping both the fans
and the first-timers happy.
In this eighth episode in the official
Star Wars saga, writer-director Rian
Johnson (who made his name with
such adventurous features as Brick
and Looper) proves himself the master
of the balancing act, keeping the
warring forces of this intergalactic
franchise in near-perfect harmony.
Just as the film’s sound designers
understand the tactical use of silence,
so Johnson instinctively knows when
to internalise or externalise the film’s
multiple explosions – conjuring
vast attack ships on fire and tiny
individuals in torment with equal ease.
Picking up where JJ Abrams’s
The Force Awakens left off, The Last Jedi
puts distance between Daisy Ridley’s
Rey and John Boyega’s Finn, sending
the latter chasing across the galaxy
while the former searches for her true
self on the remote island where Luke
Skywalker (Mark Hamill) lurks.
“Who are you?” Luke asks “Rey from
Nowhere”. “Why are you here?” It’s
one of several questions that Johnson
tantalisingly dangles, teasing out
answers over The Last Jedi’s recordbreaking running time (this is the
longest Star Wars movie to date), which
only occasionally slips into bagginess.
Is Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren “a new
Vader” or just “a child in a mask”?
Can the decimated Resistance really
be “the spark that will light the fire”
that will burn the First Order down?
And is there more to Oscar Isaac’s Poe
Dameron than just “jumping into an
X-wing and blowing something up”?
Armed with all the samuraistyle sabre battles and eye-popping
dogfights (both in dark space and
on bright land) that a Star Wars fan
could hope for, Johnson’s increasingly
crowd-pleasing adventure packs
its heftiest punch by respecting
the narrative arcs of its disparate
characters. Whereas certain previous
instalments suffered from George
Lucas’s drama-free formula of having
two-dimensional ciphers explain
the plot to each other, Johnson
adheres to the maxim that “action is
character”, nowhere more so than
in the introduction of Kelly Marie
Tran’s winning Rose Tico – already
a firm fan favourite who turns out to be
much more than a mere maintenance
engineer for the Resistance.
A recurrent motif of hands reaching
across great divides becomes a defining
image, with allies and enemies bound by
strange ties, and cowardice and heroism
easily confused. No wonder Rey finds
herself gazing at her own image in a
Wellesian hall of mirrors in one of the
film’s most strikingly surreal sequences.
There are some quibbles – a visit
to a space casino seems distractingly
diversionary, and a few minor elements
are a little on-the-nose. But as the
third act approaches, the crescendo of
air-punching interludes accelerates,
eliciting gasps, cheers and OMG
whoops from an audience whom
Johnson treats with respect, affection,
and evident admiration.
Winning formula: Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Lucas Film Ltd
(106 mins, U) Directed by Carlos Saldanha;
animation voiced by John Cena, Kate McKinnon,
Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant
Based on Munro Leaf and Robert
Lawson’s 1936 children’s book
The Story of Ferdinand, this gently
subversive Madrid-set feature from
animation studio Blue Sky and
frequent collaborator Carlos Saldanha
(the Ice Age films, Rio) follows an
adorable, flower-sniffing bull named
Ferdinand. “Is it OK if that’s not my
dream?” the baby bull asks his father
of fighting. When he discovers that
he has no choice, Ferdinand scarpers,
hoofing it to a flower farm, where he
befriends a human girl and her shaggy
sheepdog. Ferdinand’s passivity (and
flower obsession) isn’t explicitly coded
as queer, though the film hints that this
might be the case.
Either way, Ferdinand celebrates
his mild temperament and nonconfrontational masculinity, which
remain unchanged as his bull’s body
grows resplendently large. The adult
Ferdinand (voiced by WWE superstar
John Cena) ends up causing a ruckus
at a local flower fair (and offers viewers
a very funny scene in a china shop)
and so is carted back to the ranch
he came from. Other fun characters
include a neurotic, calming goat voiced
by Kate McKinnon, a trio of bitchy
German horses with swishy pastel
manes, and mischievous, pilfering
hedgehogs Uno, Dos and Cuatro (“We
do not speak of Tres”).
The Unseen
though there are interesting moments,
such as the blurred visuals that match
Gemma’s slipping vision and the
inventive sound design woven into the
audiophile subplot.
(73 mins, PG) Directed by Jennifer Peedom;
featuring Willem Dafoe
This repetitive essay from Australian
documentarian Jennifer Peedom (of
Mount Everest avalanche doc Sherpa
fame) is an ode to “the siren song of the
summit”. Using Vivaldi, Beethoven and
Arvo Pärt, along with excerpts from
Robert Macfarlane’s 2003 memoir
Mountains of the Mind as narration,
the film is voiced, bizarrely, by Willem
Dafoe (his mollifying baritone works
well with the material, though his
connection to it remains a mystery).
His voiceover accompanies drone
footage of miniature mountaineers
scaling sheer cliff faces and craggy,
snow-capped peaks shrouded in mist,
compiled from footage shot in 15
different countries. As a mood piece, it’s
soothing and occasionally transportive,
though its individual parts are mostly
indistinct, coming together to form a
vague thesis hinged on lofty platitudes
such as “mountains restore our wonder
and challenge our arrogance”.
Bingo: The King of the
(114 mins, 15) Directed by Daniel Rezende;
starring Vladimir Brichta, Emanuelle Araújo
Augusto (Vladimir Brichta) is a single
dad and struggling actor. As the louche,
handsome son of a famous actress,
performance is in his blood, even if
studio executives are only interested in
(106 mins, 15) Directed by Gary Sinyor; starring
Jasmine Hyde, Richard Flood, Simon Cotton
When Gemma (Jasmine Hyde) and
her husband, Will (Richard Flood),
lose their young son in a grim accident,
death colours their marriage. At first,
Gary Sinyor’s low-budget British
thriller fashions itself as a film about
grief and the way it clouds our vision;
Gemma experiences temporary
blindness induced by the panic attacks
she’s started suffering since the
accident. In an attempt to get away
from it all, the couple leave their own
frankly ridiculous house (apparently,
Gemma’s career as an audiobook
narrator is lucrative enough for them
to have an indoor swimming pool) for
a glamorous guesthouse in the Lakes,
courtesy of neighbourly presence and
former pharmacist Paul (the creepy
Simon Cotton).
The film lurches into conventional
horror-thriller territory as it progresses,
‘Gently subversive’: Ferdinand, the Spanish
bull who doesn’t want to fight… Blue Sky
his butt (the sole work he seems to get
is soapy, made-for-TV soft porn). When
he gets the opportunity to audition
for the part of Bingo in the Spanishlanguage remake of American morning
TV hit Bingo the Clown, he brings
Brazilian swagger and a rambunctious
energy to his new role. Augusto gets
the part, goes off script and drives up
the show’s ratings with salacious jokes
and saucy guest stars. But as the show
becomes successful, his backstage
antics become more and more Boogie
Nights-esque, literally bleeding into
his live shows (one performance sees
his red nose disintegrating while a
cocaine nosebleed flows underneath).
Brichta’s performance has an edge of
mania, creating a high-energy happysad clown quality that’s riveting, if
exhausting, to watch.
Bingo wears its 80s setting,
pop soundtrack and neon colours
well, and rollicks along enjoyably,
though in doing so brings a sense of
undue haste to Augusto’s obligatory
redemptive ending.
Mountains May Depart
(123 mins, 12A) Directed by Jia Zhangke; starring
Zhao Tao, Liang Jin Dong, Zhang Yi, Sylvia Chang
Chinese director Jia Zhangke’s bulky
three-act melodrama (appearing in
cinemas a full two and a half years
after its festival debut in Cannes) is an
intriguing, imperfect beast. Beginning
on the eve of the millennium, and
opening with an exuberant dance
sequence set to Go West by Pet Shop
Boys, the film moves through three
time periods as lived by a trio of
childhood friends in China. There
is Tao (Zhao Tao), an easy-going
rainbow-cardiganed presence, strong,
silent coal miner Liangzi (Liang Jin
Dong), and bratty posh boy Zhang
Jinsheng (Zhang Yi). Against a
backdrop of homemade steamed
dumplings, Cantonese pop songs and
smoky clubs blaring rave music, a love
triangle unfolds.
The second chapter skips ahead
14 years and sees Tao as a single
mother, Jinsheng with a new
wife, and Liangzi’s lungs failing
him; the third is set in 2025 and
focuses on Tao’s now college-aged
son Dollar (Dong Zijian), who
lives in Australia and is estranged
from his mother. The time periods
(accompanied by three changing
aspect ratios) allow Zhangke to
look at the specific emotional and
sociological repercussions of China’s
changing economic landscape, but the
film’s sections aren’t equally weighted,
with the final “future” chapter floating
free of the rest of the narrative.
Simran Hans
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Decline and
fall at speed
Rome rocks in seven
hours at the RSC.
At the National,
Pinocchio isn’t the
only puppet in town…
Swan, Stratford-on-Avon; until 10 Feb
National Theatre, London; until 10 April
The Twilight Zone
Almeida, London; until 27 Jan
There are, well, a legion of reasons for
going to Imperium. To experience a
driving theatrical narrative on a scale
rarely attempted. To be transported
to the politics of ancient Rome. To see
21st-century politics through classical
spectacles. To watch a masterly
performance by Richard McCabe.
Mike Poulton, who adapted Wolf
Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the
RSC, has turned Robert Harris’s trilogy
about the rise and fall of Cicero, and
the decline of the Roman republic into
a seven-hour, six-act, two-part epic. It
thwacks down: clear, and, particularly
early on, speedy. It helps that Harris is
a story-teller not a phrase-maker. He
nails a resonant subject, spins a plot,
gives a sharp take on character. His
default mode is plain speaking. Which
makes Cicero’s eloquence the more
luxuriant and striking.
Nothing miniature or delicate in
Gregory Doran’s production or Anthony
Ward’s design. A giant pair of mosaic
eyes oversees the action. A bronze globe
dangles: glowing, fading and – as an
augury – darkened by a murmuration
of starlings. Audiences count off
contemporary parallels. The rise of
populism. The suppression of citizens’
rights during a crisis. Conspiracy.
Dictatorial leaders. “Stupid people vote
for stupid people” goes down well.
A point is sometimes pressed
too far. Christopher Saul’s Pompey
swaggers around with blond wig and
pouter-pigeon chest, proclaiming
himself “a good republican”. Actually,
modern parallels are the least
unusual aspect. It is the underlying
manoeuvring that fascinates, the
intricate arguments that entice.
McCabe – a celebrated Harold
Wilson in The Audience – is a
beautifully judged Cicero. Propelled by
adherence to the republic and the rule
of law, tugged by vanity, he operates
sinuously, especially adept at warmly
greeting someone he is excoriating.
Expressions perch fleetingly on his
face. It is words that count. After an
impressive declaration, his jaw juts, his
lips move: he savours his speech as if
he can’t bear to let it go.
Joseph Kloska is shrewd and wry
as Tiro, the slave who, as in Harris’s
novels, is the framing narrator. It is
an anti-dramatic device, but Poulton
plays with that danger: “This is getting
very expositional,” Tiro is warned. He
should also be warned about dropping
into facetiousness.
Tiro is rare in not being a chap about
to take or lose power. Peter de Jersey
is a lethal, poised Julius Caesar; Joe
Dixon’s Mark Antony a feral panther.
Oliver Johnstone, as the young
Octavian is chilly and unwavering: he
might be the statue of a child come
commandingly to life.
This is a testosterone-fuelled
production. Drums; whopping sandals;
lots of roaring and rushing across the
stage. Siobhan Redmond makes an
intelligent, stalwart Terentia, wife
to Cicero. Otherwise, the significant
female parts are a saccharine daughter,
harpies – and vestal virgins, who whisk
around like ambulant lampshades. Of
course, this is imperium. Still, Emily
Wilson’s brilliant introduction to her
new translation of The Odyssey shows
the classical world as capable of feminist
inflections. I would have welcomed
some of those inflections here.
It is easy to draw up a list of items
that make Pinocchio, the National’s
Christmas show, beguiling. An
unexpected levitation. Invisibly wired
flying. The star that dances down to
flick across the stage as a guardian
angel. The grinning gob of the whale
that floats on and swallows up key
members of the cast. Oh, and as well as
a witty script by Dennis Kelly there is
Martin Lowe’s score, which expands
and sometimes folklorically rearranges
songs from the Disney movie.
Still, what really makes John Tiffany’s
production distinguished is a tilting of
emphasis. Suddenly, this story seems
tailor-made for the stage. Of course, the
telescopic proboscis is a high point –
From top: Richard McCabe, a ‘beautifully
judged’ Cicero in Imperium; Joe IdrisRoberts (Pinocchio) with the puppet
Geppetto; and Lizzy Connolly and Matthew
Needham in The Twilight Zone: ‘ingenious’.
Photographs by Ikin Yum; Manuel Harlan;
Marc Brenner
Pinocchio wants to
be ‘real’ (don’t we all?)
– but who’s to know
who is pastiche, fake
Pinocchio’s nose is a terrific shooting
broomstick – as is the anti-wooden
heart sentiment: When You Wish
Upon a Star still soups its way to the
tear ducts. But the centre of it all is the
Frankenstein/Pygmalion moment of the
inert coming to life. It’s an idea skilfully,
unsettlingly played with throughout the
evening. Pinocchio wants to be “real”
(don’t we all?) – but who’s to know who
is pastiche, fake, authentic? Brilliantly,
Geppetto the puppetmaker is himself a
gigantic puppet (his puppeteers huddle
having an affair with the other’s wife,
their infidelity both a symptom and
an engine of the loneliness on which
stranger-danger feeds. As a scavenging
panda remarks in the last of three
sections, the corpse whose spine he is
gnawing died of natural causes: which is to
say “human on human”.
The multitasking performers Alex
Austin, Alex Beckett and Amaka Okafor
have fun in a medley of genres, from David
Lynch to the Coen brothers and Starsky
and Hutch, the fluency of their transitions
from killers to cops and victims underlining
the fragility of identity in the modern city,
and the delusion of assuming anyone is
who they appear to be.
The staging is thrilling, using the large
windows of this reclaimed studio to
take the action out into the yard while
simultaneously beaming it back in brilliant
colour via an assortment of video screens.
The result is a chilling and beautiful
reminder that Christmas was invented
to disguise the darkest time of the year.
Claire Armitstead
The Wizard of Oz
inside him like refugees). Meanwhile,
his creation, Pinocchio, (sprightly Joe
Idris-Roberts), slowly unbends from
the wooden block in which he is carved,
not as a mannequin but a human. Flesh
and fabric, original and imitation are
beautifully, disconcertingly entangled.
This familiar fable has an unexpectedly
long reach.
There is no question about the reality
of the talent of Audrey Brisson, joint
puppeteer and voice of Jiminy Cricket.
Brisson has been captivating before
– particularly in The Flying Lovers of
Vitebsk. Now she reaches into another
dimension. Her voice and sweet-clown
demeanour are perfect for Pinocchio’s
conscience. But she is also a crotchety
cricket (really cross when called a
beetle) who is obsessed with bacteria:
suddenly Brisson is not only adorable
but annoying. Her future is secure.
Can irony and fear coexist in the
theatre? Anne Washburn’s ingenious
adaptation of The Twilight Zone
shows it’s a slippery combination.
Knowingness strangles anxiety. In
Mr Burns, Washburn used episodes of
The Simpsons to examine a devastated
America. Now she looks at her country
through the television nightmares of
the late 50s and early 60s.
Travellers on a coach realise that
one of their number must be an
alien: no one can figure out who it
is – though the audience gets a hint
from one passenger’s whirligig eyes.
A child is sucked from her cot into an
otherworldly dimension. Returning to
earth, an astronaut finds that his fellow
voyager in space is seen only by him.
There are cryogenics, terrifying plastic
surgery – and the threat of nuclear
Director Richard Jones and designer
Paul Steinberg evoke the black-andwhite originals with added archness.
The drilling theme tune is replicated,
as is the stunned style of acting:
John Marquez, taking the part of the
sonorous narrator, is particularly good
at deadpanning. As tribute turns to
parody, what is lost is the hysterical
belief that made the episodes so
compelling, as thriller plots slithered
into the supernatural, and projected
the terrors of the cold war.
Washburn has cut and spliced
episodes, with the result that the
narrative drive wavers. She does leave
intact a scene in which neighbours fall
out over the occupation of a nuclear
bunker. It’s impressive – but underlines
too heavily the political content of a
series in which the uncanny begins to
look penetrating. The disappearance of
figures from newspaper photos, which
at first seems merely spooky, carries
memories of the doctoring of pictures
in the former Soviet Union. The lighter
the touch, the further the reach. All hail
to a great running gag about cigarettes.
Grimly Handsome
The Site, Royal Court, London SW1;
until 23 Dec
Around the side of the Royal Court,
through a yard filled with Christmas trees,
lies a trio of sinister installations: a topsyturvy Wendy house, with a table set for
an upside-down meal; a room in which a
young woman pores over police mugshots;
and a grotto stuffed with death kitsch, like
the lair of a psychopathic Santa. Plastic
evidence bags hang from a rail along a
corridor where small animals have made
nests from city junk.
These are antechambers to the main
arena, where Julia Jarcho’s macabre
comedy Grimly Handsome plays out
variations on the theme of partners in
crime, with a pair of homicidal Christmas
tree sellers plying a deadly trade on the
sidewalks of an unnamed American city,
stalked by a brace of swaggering, knownothing detectives.
This revival of Jarcho’s 2013 Obiewinner by the director and designer
partnership of Chloe Lamford and Sam
Pritchard has its bafflements: who are
the two men who slide from English to
Slavonic accents, donning their characters
with the hats and scarves they select
from hooks behind our backs? What is the
reason for their murderousness?
Gradually it emerges that unknowability
is the point. While the killers prey on
trusting young women, wooing their
victims with coffee and sympathy, the
detectives cheat on each other. One is
‘Chilling and beautiful’: Grimly Handsome
at the Royal Court. Tristram Kenton
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
Crucible, Sheffield; until 20 Jan
Every good Christmas show has a
transformation scene; The Wizard of Oz
has many - from Kansas to Munchkinland
to the Emerald City to the lair of the Wicked
Witch of the West, and then the same
in reverse. In a proscenium-arch style
theatre, the main problem is how to
make these changes spectacular.
On the Crucible’s thrust stage,
with the eyes of the audience
viewing the action from almost
every angle, the big question is
how to make them at all.
Designer Janet Bird’s solution
is genius (and satisfyingly echoes
the style and colour palette of the
iconic 1939 film). I long to describe it... I’m
holding back so as not to spoil the “Wow!
I did not see that coming” surprise of it all.
Suffice to say that almost every effect
is achieved in full view; we see how it’s
done, and still we marvel. Here is very little
jiggery-pokery trickery but a great deal
of honest skill. And this is the keynote of
Robert Hastie’s production – it rings true
to L Frank Baum’s original 1900 story, with
its homespun message that, if you want to
find your heart’s desire, you best start by
looking closely at what’s around you.
In the same way, all the performances
combine picture-book clarity and emotional
heft (a quality also of the live music,
stunningly performed under Toby
Higgins’s direction). To name a
few among the many: Andrew
Langtree’s brainless Scarecrow,
spineless in his straw-floppy
movements, is steadfast in
friendship. As the Tinman
without a heart, Max Parker
may be puppet-jointed, but his
facial expressions are often close to
rust-threatening tears. The roar of Jonathan
Broadbent’s cowardly lion resonates like an
apologetic purr. But, the heart of the show
is Gabrielle Brooks (above) as Dorothy,
expressing the perfect combination of
innocence and wonder to carry us off into
the shared dream of Oz. Clare Brennan
Dunkirk spirit falters on the home front
Cannily timed, I presume, to catch the
weary eye of the desperate last-minute
Christmas shopper wondering what
they can get their dad who expressly
said he didn’t want anything, but will
act mortally aggrieved if you listen
to him, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk
(Warner Bros, 12) jackboot-stomps
on to DVD shelves tomorrow. It’s
a summer blockbuster that adapts
quite well to yuletide event-viewing
status, and not just because of its
chilly, windblown atmospherics.
There’s plainly a warming, unifying
intent to its multi-angled breakdown
of the Dunkirk evacuation, a feelgood
sensibility laced through its solemn,
storm-blue elegy, that’ll draw many a
familial crowd to fireside viewings in
the final week of the year.
It’s hard to deny, however, that
Nolan’s film, almost overwhelmingly
big and bruising on the Imax
canvas, loses a fair bit of its mojo in
the transition to TV screens. The
muscular, immaculate beauty of Hoyte
van Hoytema’s cinematography, its
gunmetal metallics spiked by orangeblue flame, is still in evidence, but the
scale of its compositions no longer
stretch and challenge the eye. Hans
Zimmer’s marvellous, louring score
is still impressive, but no longer
rings in the ears with caught-in-the-
‘Storm-blue elegy’: Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Warner Bros
crossfire immediacy. It still plays, then,
as a handsome, stirring, intricately
conceived battle study, missing the
sensory extravagance that, in cinemas,
outweighed some scripted flaws. The
slenderness of its characterisation and
performances (save for a constrained
but soulful Tom Hardy) stands out more
glaringly, as do its narrow, parochial
politics. Nolan’s decision to foreground
the British military experience above all
else, rendering collaborators secondary
and the enemy literally unseen, seems
an ungenerous one. It remains a
grand, symphonic feat of film-making,
marshalled by a man at the peak of his
formal powers. Its human errors just
loom a little larger now.
Félicité (Mubi, 12A) may be worlds
away from Dunkirk in almost every
conceivable respect, but it is, in its
own way, just as technically tactile
and rousing. French-Senegalese
director Alain Gomis’s thrillingly
alive character study hits the scratchy
streets of Kinshasa running, filtering
rich, earthy environmental detail
into its close-up portrait of a hard-up
nightclub singer (the
striking Véro Tshanda
Beya Mputu) scraping
together funds to save her
hospitalised son. A oneline synopsis might suggest
rote social realism, but Gomis
has sensual matters on his mind
too. The film thrums with colour,
music and poetry, filling in how its
protagonist’s desperate circumstances
look, sound and feel. It’s now streaming
on Mubi after a low-profile cinema run,
and deserves a devoted audience.
Over at Netflix, meanwhile, Errol
Morris’s new project Wormwood
(Netflix) has just landed, and it’s
the veteran documentarian’s most
curious, circuitous work in some time.
A six-part series melding investigative
documentary and reconstructions
that play as straight-up psychodrama,
it probes the 1953 death of American
biochemist Frank Olson, contentiously
ruled a suicide – until later evidence
tangled the supposed facts with
CIA conspiracy and governmental
experiments with LSD. It’s a trip in
multiple senses, one Morris steers with
icy expertise, even as the dramatised
portions of the enterprise test and
expand his tonal reach.
Since this will be my last column
before the holiday, this week’s top
re-release is cosily apt. You probably
need no introduction to Billy
Wilder’s The Apartment (Arrow, PG),
starring Shirley MacLaine
and Jack Lemmon (left),
but a sparkling new
4K restoration only
burnishes its case as one
of the most exquisitely
bittersweet Christmas
movies. It’s mercifully
short on conventional
festive cheer, of course,
but the delicate, fractured
romance it draws from the
farcical hideousness of office-party
season finally glows with the spirit of
togetherness and fellow-man feeling
that we’re supposed to treasure
beneath all the tinsel. Last-minute gift
shoppers could do far worse.
The Little Match Girl
Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells,
London EC1; until 24 Dec
To 19th-century authors, Christmas
presented the perfect opportunity for
social commentary. A favourite theme
was the contrast between wealth and
poverty, between the firelit drawing
rooms of the prosperous and the stark
and frozen world beyond the silk
curtains. For every fictional child such
as Clara in The Nutcracker, with her
presents and her party dresses, there
was a ragged waif shivering on the
pavement outside.
Nowhere is this pathos more
excruciatingly brought to bear
than in The Little Match Girl by
Hans Christian Andersen. A child
is wandering the streets barefoot
in the snow, but she’s afraid to go
home because she hasn’t sold enough
matches and her father will beat her.
As night falls she strikes her matches
to keep warm and sees visions of the
Out of this world…
Corey Claire
Annand in Arthur
Pita’s The Little
Match Girl at
Sadler’s Wells.
Photograph by
Tristram Kenton
Thou shalt
not serve
likes it
Jay Rayner’s
10 Christmas
Warmed to
loving family life that fate has denied
her. Finally, curling up beneath a street
lamp, she succumbs to the piercing
cold and is borne to heaven.
Adapting this story for the stage, as
the choreographer and director Arthur
Pita did in 2013, cannot have been easy.
Poignancy is one thing; an auditorium
full of sobbing parents and children
quite another. That Pita succeeds
not only in producing a joyous
spectacle, but in leaving Andersen’s
compassionate message intact, is
testament to his theatrical deftness.
Corey Claire Annand is as entrancing
as she is touching in the title role, and
the three-strong supporting cast of
eccentric vagabonds are individually
Pita has coloured the piece with
quirky humour and imaginative
grace notes. The story is relocated to
19th-century Italy, and when our young
heroine freezes to death (in a scene no
less heart-rending than Andersen’s)
she is transported to the moon.
There, she attends the 1969 American
landing, dances with an astronaut, and
helps relaunch the lunar module with
one of her matches.
Pita’s choreography for Annand
is simple but telling, and she
draws strong, articulate lines. The
cast sing, too. The countertenor
Angelo Smimmo is notably fine,
while Annand has an engaging,
canary-like chirrup. A live multiinstrumental soundtrack by composer
Frank Moon provides haunting
atmospherics. All in all, a delicate and
charming work, which deserves to
become a Christmas perennial.
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
A fairytale
Hansel and Gretel caused a mild stir at Berlin’s
refurbished Staatsoper Unter den Linden,
but the real fireworks came from Daniel
Barenboim’s superb Staatskapelle orchestra
Hänsel und Gretel/Staatsoper
Berlin 275th birthday concert
Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin;
opera in rep until 29 Dec
Children, hardly a revelation, are
not easy to please at the opera. A
small boy spotted at Covent Garden
for Semiramide – four hours of epic
Rossini tragedy – must have been glad
of the toy dog he thought to bring.
His seat was empty by the interval.
Few operas breach the unknowable
gap between youthful fun and adult
reward. Engelbert Humperdinck’s
Hänsel und Gretel (1893), based on
a Grimm brothers story and full of
darkness and delight, heads the list.
Humperdinck’s fairytale opera
found itself opening the new season
at Berlin’s rebuilt Staatsoper Unter
den Linden, closed from 2010 until
two months ago but only now in full
operation, four years late and at a cost
of €400m. A few dozen white and gold
balloons tied to the exterior columns of
this once imperial neoclassical building
– “neo” a lot things; variously damaged
and bombed, it was imitatively rebuilt
in 1955 during the GDR period – felt
about right. The message was simple:
business as usual, at last. A more glitzy
launch might have been expected,
with Daniel Barenboim, the company’s
music director, at the helm rather
than in the audience. Other potential
openers fell by the wayside as the
building stayed shut and the company
remained in its temporary home (the
Schiller theatre).
‘Fantasy-grunge’: Katrin Wundsam and Elsa Dreisig as Hänsel and Gretel at the reopened Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin.
Below: Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin at the Staatsoper’s 275th birthday concert. Monika Rittershaus; Holger Kettner
Premiered on 23 December 1893,
conducted by Richard Strauss, Hänsel
und Gretel at least has the merits of
being a Christmas tradition. Last
week the freshly gilded horseshoe of
the Staatsoper, chandeliers sparkling,
looking superficially much as before
(more anon), was abuzz with families
as well as VIPs. This fast-changing
city revels in its collective identity,
with two Berliners responsible for this
The League of
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
Christmas with
Septura The
brass ensemble
performs seasonal
Bach, Handel and
Kings Place,
London (Mon).
RSNO Christmas
The Snowman and
more performed by
the Royal Scottish
National Orchestra
and Chorus.
Perth Concert
Hall (Wed); Caird
Hall, Dundee
(Thu); Usher Hall,
Edinburgh (Fri);
Glasgow Royal
Concert Hall (Sat).
Bach’s Christmas
The Orchestra
of the Age of
Choir of
Trinity College,
Stephen Layton.
Saffron Hall,
Saffron Walden
(Thu); St John’s
Smith Square,
London (Fri).
production: Sebastian Weigle, one-time
principal French horn in the company’s
orchestra, conducted Humperdinck’s
melodic, Wagner-inspired score. The
staging was by Achim Freyer, 83, a
veteran director who began his career
as a student in Bertolt Brecht’s Berliner
Ensemble, training with the luminaries
of East German theatre (such as Ruth
Berghaus) before coming west in 1972
and making a name in America.
Aspects of Freyer’s kooky approach
guaranteed trouble. As the curtain went
down on Act 1, a disgruntled juvenile
let out a boo so prolonged and raucous
you felt sorry for the parent. In fact it
was a grownup throwing his critical
faculties out of his front-stall seat.
Hänsel und Gretel, a work so often first
encountered in childhood, provokes
keen passions. No doubt he wanted a
real gingerbread house and a female
witch who looked like a female witch
instead of a man (Stephan Rügamer)
dressed up as a priapic chimney sweep.
(The role was written for a mezzosoprano but is often taken by a tenor.)
Trained first as a painter, Freyer
designed his own sets and costumes
in singular fantasy-grunge style:
whizzing, chalk-on-blackboard
projections, tinsel and blown bubbles
at any opportunity, a triangular,
faceless Santa Claus as the magical
Sandman, an elephant-shaped
watering can as Dew Fairy. Swirling
over all, a disco glitterball and an
oppressive mood of anti-consumerism
made a queasy impression. It had a
certain charm and some fatal flaws.
Much of the action took place at
the front of the stage, presumably to
help children in the audience engage
fully and see the workings of theatre.
Hänsel (Katrin Wundsam) and Gretel
(Elsa Dreisig) sang winningly, but were
invisible beneath cute mesh heads in
the generic manga-cum-Heidi style
referred to as “Kindchenschema”.
The performers proved surprisingly
expressive and physically subtle as the
evening progressed, but if you wanted
the immediacy of human “children”,
you’d be in a tantrum. The vile parents
Peter (Roman Trekel) and Gertrud
(Marina Prudenskaya), decidedly ripe
for social services, could have been
more fully characterised.
The real let down was the witch.
Whereas the many excellent British
productions of recent years –
Richard Jones’s classic for Welsh
National Opera, Laurent Pelly’s lurid,
ecowarrior staging for Glyndebourne
– have pushed horror as far as possible,
here the staging seemed scared of
itself. There might be many reasons a
German director resists enacting in too
much detail the story’s climax in which
a stereotypical “ugly old woman” is
pushed into an oven and burnt, as the
text puts it, to a crisp.
I feared this too fanciful an
explanation for a dull finale. Instead,
political sensibility played a part. In a
newspaper interview Freyer said that
had he been forced to burn the witch
he would not have gone ahead with the
production. Witches were intelligent
women, burnt because their way of
thinking endangered the system; this
should not, he continued, be a cause
of jubilation. So in his version, the
children throw adverts for a global
chain selling useless products named
after the witch, Rosina, into some
flame-effect curtains. So much for
neutering fairytales.
The previous night, as a celebration
of the 275th birthday of the building
– founded by Frederick II of Prussia
and opened in 1742 – Barenboim
conducted the resident Staatskapelle
Berlin, star visitors at this year’s BBC
Proms, in an orchestral programme
of Mendelssohn, Boulez and Richard
Strauss. In a brief speech, Barenboim
said we should forget the delays and
the millions of euros overspend and
The incredible,
adjusted acoustic has
been achieved by
raising the domed
ceiling by four metres
celebrate the glories of this restoration.
The repertoire was chosen as a test
for the incredible, adjusted acoustic,
achieved by raising the domed ceiling
by four metres and veiling the newly
created reverberation gallery in a
striking white lattice. All sounded
crystalline yet warm. The revelation
was the Boulez.
Notations I-IV and VII, serial
works written for piano in 1945, were
reworked three decades later for
massive orchestra. Every player in
the phenomenal Staatskapelle pulls
their weight to the maximum. Eight
percussionists positively bopped to
and fro across a variety of marimba,
vibraphone, tubular bells, glass chimes,
wood blocks, cowbells and more. As
rhythmically incisive as Stravinsky, as
sensuous as Ravel, this concert was
worth the seven-year wait.
Plenty of bodies, few signs of life
A confused survey
of life drawing at
the Royal Academy
offers little hope
for this traditional
but dying art
‘Strange truths’:
Chantal Joffe’s
Naked in Garden,
2016, left.
© Courtesy
Chantal Joffe
and Victoria
Miro, London;
Royal Academy
of Arts
Right: Ars Equina,
2006 by Liane
Below: Jeremy
Deller’s Iggy Pop
Life Class, 2016
From Life
Royal Academy, London W1; until 11 March
You cannot draw, and yet you are an
artist. Might this be a contradiction
in terms? It would have been, a century
ago. Even comparatively recently,
art students were required to study
anatomy, sketch classical casts in the
sculpture court and stand for hours
drawing professional models as
twilight fell in the studio. To draw was
to see, to understand, to learn. Drawing
was the vital underpinning of every
other art. For the artist, wrote John
Berger, drawing was pure discovery.
But this great skill was gradually
required less often. Conceptual art,
performance art, land art, video,
installation, digital and film art:
they all made drawing (supposedly)
redundant. Photography, what’s
more, appeared made to catch the
living figure. By the 1990s, the life
class was fading out of art schools
and Goldsmiths had even banned the
practice, lest it objectify the female
model. Those of us who wanted to
draw or paint the human body were
better off in a local evening class.
This is the unspoken premise of
From Life – that there is a before
and after for this kind of art. Thus,
the first gallery is devoted to antique
paintings of students in breeches
and wigs drawing nude models by
candlelight. Sometimes their drawings
are visible, and show the same
Chantal Joffe can draw;
it is there, holding
everything together,
in images of a woman
almost falling apart
moderate degree of technical ability
as the painter himself (it’s always a
man). Sometimes the model looks like
a Greek warrior with a modern head
farcically attached. In one picture, of
a drowsy Georgian life class, a student
is making stealthily for the door. He is
our surrogate, for we too, it’s implied,
might be looking for a way out of this
old academic practice.
Life drawing is hard, compulsive,
demanding – enthralling. A beautiful
nude drawn by Humphrey Ocean as
a student of Ian Dury at Canterbury
College of Art in 1971 shows many
cancellations and corrections. It took
four days, and taught Ocean not to
keep straightening things out, and
thus compound the lies of his eye and
pencil. Michael Landy, starting off
a sketch with this very anxiety, sits
nose to nose with Gillian Wearing, his
partner, trying to map her appearance
with faithful accuracy. The line is tense
with effortful concentration, and so
is her face. He wants to get it exactly
right; she wants to stop being so
minutely observed.
When does drawing from the life
shade into portraiture? The central
work in this show – it takes up nearly a
third of the space – is Jeremy Deller’s
Iggy Pop Life Class, 2016. Deller invited
the lean and leathery star, always in
violent motion on stage, to lie still for
a while and be drawn by a variety of
artists, both amateur and trained, over
the course of one day.
The results are striking for their
weakness. Some show no grasp of
anatomy, others can’t get the figure
down from three dimensions to two;
almost all depict this limber sprite as
if he weighed 20 tons. And scarcely a
single artist manages the faintest hint
of a likeness, except for the very few
who try to get at his contained energy
with a kind of primitive expressionism.
The project is a portrait of a life class
faced with such celebrity it can hardly
get past the knowledge of a thousand
photographs to observe the real man
himself. But this is also history, Deller
implies. In the catalogue, the Turner
prize winner says he has never even
been to a life class.
Things appear to improve in
China, in Cai Guo-Qiang ’s frantic
film of students working up their
drawings of Michelangelo’s David
in replica. These chalk sketches are
perfectly competent, but they all
look remarkably alike. Perhaps this is
what academic drawing looks like in
China, the viewer might think. But of
course these artists are working on an
object, not a person – a plaster effigy
rather than a living presence. Colour,
musculature, spontaneity, the breath of
life – none are here in this art.
Should art from the life be lifelike
in any case? There’s another question.
This show includes three of Antony
Gormley’s interminable self-portraits.
Here’s the casing of his body cast,
standing open and empty as if the
spirit has flown, and a kind of cubist
self-sculpture, asking how far one
can depart from resemblance and
still be a likeness (any distance in his
case: one would recognise his selfregarding project anywhere). And
here he is again as a set of twinkling
computer-generated lights, a crowdpleaser fit for Christmas.
For actual spirit, who wouldn’t
rather look at the strange truths
of Chantal Joffe’s self-portraits, so
gangling and awkward. Joffe can draw;
it is there, holding everything together,
in these images of a woman almost
falling apart.
At which point this show collapses
too. It hauls in a pair of Yinka
Shonibare’s mannequins, dressed in his
usual west African batik, for no obvious
reason (except that he is an RA, and
this event is part of the RA’s 250th
anniversary celebrations). It dwells
on the technology behind Jonathan
Yeo’s bronze self-portrait, derived
from Google’s 3D Tilt Brush software,
a sculpture almost as stilted and dead
as his paintings. It presents a whole
wall of Gillian Wearing’s pseudo selfportraits at 70, a poor reprise of Cindy
Sherman’s masquerades. Worst of
all are the virtual reality films where
you can stumble among Shonibare’s
mannequins via a headset; as remote as
possible from both art and life.
This is not art from the life
so much as an exploration
of portraiture in the age of
mechanical reproduction. (If you
want to see the real thing, go to the
graduation shows of colleges that
still have life classes, such as the
Slade, the Royal Drawing School,
Plymouth and the Ruskin.) But this
shambolic exhibition can’t work
out what it really wants to ask about
the contemporary status of this
ancient tradition in any case. What it
accidentally reveals, however, is just
how close today’s RAs often are, in
their formulaic repetitions, to the rote
academicism of their forebears.
Nicolas Party
Modern Art Oxford;
until 18 Feb Highchrome heads by
this modern-day
fauve sculptor
celebrating great
women of Oxford.
Cecily Brown
Manchester; until
15 April Visions
of shipwrecks
by this Englishborn, US-based
painter, inspired by
Géricault’s The Raft
of the Medusa.
Soutine’s Portraits
Courtauld Gallery,
London; until 21 Jan
Battered, buckling,
beautiful: the
bellhops and waiters
of the great Jewish
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Carey on top
of the tree
‘A mermaid clad in champagne’:
Mariah Carey at London’s O2
last week. Photograph by
Samir Hussein/WireImage
No one celebrates Christmas quite
like Mariah Carey, whose festive show
features Santa, choirs and histrionics
Mariah Carey
O2, London SE10
Back in 1994, Mariah Carey launched
a takeover of Christmas so complete it
rivalled the landgrab executed by CocaCola. Starting in 1931, Coke made Santa
Claus jolly and his coat, which had
previously been a variety of colours,
Coca-Cola red. The company’s website
denies the colour change but admits
the wider branding point.
Sixty-odd years later, All I Want
for Christmas Is You made Christmas
all about Mimi. On the song itself,
so full of yearning and shocking
anti-consumerism (“I don’t care
about the presents…”), Carey paid
jingling tribute to the girl groups on A
Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector
(1963). The fug of abusive testosterone
that now hangs over Spector’s every
opus can’t quite dent the magnificence
of those largely African American
young women; two songs from that
album still figure in Carey’s repertoire.
In the AIWFCIY video, Carey lands
in Santa’s lap – a cameo played by her
then-husband, Columbia exec Tommy
Mottola, whom she subsequently
accused of controlling behaviour.
Often caricatured as a petulant
diva, one indicator that Carey has a
personality is how the songbird with
the five-octave range referred to their
shared mansion as Sing Sing.
All I Want for Christmas Is You
– back in the charts this week at
No 2 – came from an album, Merry
Christmas (1994), so successful, Carey
made another one, Merry Christmas
II You (2010). There is clearly nothing
that says “Christmas” so much as a
fortysomething female superstar who
has overcome adversity: not even the
combined forces of two other stars
– Sia (whose Everyday Is Christmas
LP came out in November) and
Gwen Stefani (You Make It Feel Like
Christmas, released in October) – have
managed to unseat Carey from her
position atop Christmas’s tree.
Every year, Carey stages a series of
seasonal extravaganzas in New York.
Last year, one disastrous New Year’s
Eve show filmed for live TV was beset
by technical problems, revealing that
Carey expected to mime to her songs.
Undaunted, this year Carey delivers
this saturated figgy pudding of a show
to us. Dressed, at least initially, as a
mermaid clad in champagne, Carey
emotes her way through an opening
medley of hymns, which segues –
visually and aurally – into a Peanuts
Christmas special.
“I wrote this song for my second
Christmas album,” Carey confides
of Oh Santa!. “This one is from my
first Christmas album,” she says of
several other songs. Inter alia, we learn
that live reindeer form part of the
festivities chez Carey. Seasonal themes
include a giant tree, fake snow, gospel
On Silent Night she
is joined by three
backing singers and 30
choristers; who knows
who is singing what
choirs, a snowman, Santa, bits of The
Nutcracker, another choir, Carey’s
own children, some other children,
Dick Van Dyke-calibre faux British
accents, actual presents, trimmings,
trappings. There is much beefcake on
display, too – including Carey’s current
partner, dancer Bryan Tanaka, who has
a great throwing arm, lobbing one toy
bear into the stands.
The yeti in the room is whether
Carey is singing at all, of course. On
balance, her mouth and throat move;
corresponding sounds come out of
speakers. You wait and wait for Carey
to hit at least some of the frequencies
that made her such a prodigy, however.
There’s a tease on Oh Santa! when
Carey hits one dog-whistle note. Then
nothing, for ages. On Silent Night she
is joined by her three backing vocalists
and about 30 choristers; who knows
who is singing what, frankly.
Carey is justly famed for her
melismas – the now tiresome habit of
inserting as many notes into a syllable
as possible, which currently defines
“proper singing”, at least as seen on
TV. And yet you find yourself yearning
for a Carey vocal run that will floor
you beyond doubt. She parcels out
the vocal histrionics very carefully: a
note held here, some lower register
warblings there. On Joy to the World –
just Carey and piano – her performance
certainly sounds like the real deal.
But it is a medley of three nonChristmas songs that gets the crowd
overjoyed. If everyone who ever saw
the Sex Pistols formed a band, everyone
touched by Mimi has gone on to be a
belter – even if it’s just in the shower. As
a result, these singalongs are deafening.
On Hero, she finally sounds in
strong voice. On Emotions, however
(from the 1991 album of the same
name), she really gives the melisma
some welly, finally making way for
those high, high notes. All we wanted
for Christmas was some near-inaudible
frequencies, and – barring any footage
that reveals otherwise – Carey
finally delivers.
This powerful
testimony did
Grenfell justice
Grenfell: Dust on Our Lips R4
Darknet Diaries
The Tip Off iTunes
Six months since the Grenfell fire, and
the wounds are still raw. In Radio 4’s
Grenfell: Dust On Our Lips, a local mother
described how, on the night of the fire,
she saw children at one of Grenfell
Tower’s windows, “with the fire behind
them. And then they weren’t there any
more”. She explained how her own
children talk about the tower, which
they see every day: “They’re scared it’s
going to fall on them.”
Father Alan Everett, vicar of
local church, St Clement, spoke too.
He called the tower “a perpetual
indictment of incompetence and
neglect”. He’s been writing a poem.
Some lines stood out: “… the body
parts/ are being identified for burial/ or
to complete the process of cremation.”
This was a devastating and sensitive
programme, with presenter Faisal
Metalsi, who grew up and lives in the
area, talking to people directly affected
by the tragedy. There are many. He
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
spoke to the police commander who
oversaw the terrible forensics: “We
haven’t been finding bodies … the best
way to describe it is human remains.”
The councillor from Harrow in charge
of making the tower safe now (oh,
the irony). The man who’s keeping all
the residents’ rescued stuff until they
are found new housing. The locals,
including bereaved families, who
march silently together around their
area on the 14th of every month. Their
chant at the end: “No justice, no peace”.
Metalsi confessed that he can’t stop
thinking about the disaster, the friends
he lost, how the community is coping.
“I keep my curtains closed now,”
said one woman who lived opposite
the tower. “I won’t open them until it’s
demolished. It is very difficult looking
at that building.”
What is the future of the building
itself? Should it stand as it is? Should
it be pulled down? This programme
looked, gently, but with justice at its
core, towards the future.
A real-life tragedy such as Grenfell
puts virtual ones into shadow. But
Darknet Diaries does contain small
disasters: players of online games
seeing all their work disappearing
– all the treasures and ammunition
and safe spaces they spent so long
building up going phoof!, just like
that. It sounds ridiculous, if you’re
not a gamer (I’m not), but if you
know people who are (I do), you
can understand the upset. It’s not real,
but it’s real.
The consistent topic of Darknet
Diaries is the staggering lack of
security of many internet-related
institutions. It looks at games, such
as World of Warcraft, at hardware like
an Asus router, at services such as
Talk Talk. And it shows us how easily
hackers have broken into them and
accessed people’s personal lives. Neatly
Father Alan
Everett, vicar
of St Clement,
in front of Grenfell
Tower. Photograph
by Graeme
Robertson for
the Guardian
edited and charmingly presented
by Jack Rhysider, the podcast does
occasionally stray into nerdiness, but
it’s chock-full of real-life examples of
when our virtual lives fail. Start with
episode 6, where a man called Jayson
E Street walks into several high street
banks and hops straight on to their
computer systems…
Finally, a quick reminder that The
Tip Off is back. The podcast about
investigative journalism was one of my
favourites of 2017, and its new series is
just as quietly hard-hitting as the last.
Three episodes in, and we’ve heard
about the lack of women’s refuges and
the appalling state of those that exist;
the cover-up of negligent practice at a
Manchester health trust; how prices
of drugs bought by the NHS were
manipulated upwards.
And the council that reduced its
women’s refuge funding by 45%, that
housed women in places where the
ceiling fell in, the electricity failed,
that were riddled with vermin? The
council that triggered the nationwide
investigation? Kensington and Chelsea.
Where Grenfell Tower is situated.
The ones that nearly got away
From hypnotic hiphop to Japanese
psych-rock, our critics
pick some albums
of 2017 that deserve
a wider audience
Hidden gems of 2017
included releases by
(clockwise from left)
Mhysa, alter ego
of US performance
artist E Jane;
Norwegian singersongerwriter Anna
Lotterud, aka
Anna of the North;
American rapper
Future; and Japanese
psychedelic rockers
Kikagaku Moyo.
Rolling Blackouts
Coastal Fever
The French Press
They say “EP’, we say “mini-album”.
The six percolating tracks of this
Melbourne band’s extraordinary
March outing share literate space
with a peer such as Courtney Barnett
even as they hark further back, to the
wry, loose takedowns of 80s masters
the Go-Betweens. You never know
exactly what this band’s three singing
guitarists, Fran Keaney, Tom Russo
and Joe White, are getting at on these
obliquely crafted songs. But lust,
rancour and misunderstandings figure
prominently, as do bejewelled guitar
lines and a rhythm section that doubles
as a perpetual motion machine.
Kitty Empire
This debut from queer black diva
Mhysa, aka multimedia artist E Jane,
is an experimental masterwork of
industrial electro meets R&B. Largely
self-produced, it has a sculptural,
echoey sound, evoking the abrasive
beauty of smashed mirror glass, plus
glitchy, nonchalantly confident bangers
such as Strobe. The Philadelphia
performer uses her lithe, light
vocals to investigate sensuality,
vulnerability, loneliness and, most of
all, black femininity. With gloriously
jarring nods to Beyoncé, Janet Jackson
and Prince, and striking spoken
word interludes, this is a superb leftfield album. Tara Joshi
Anna of the North
Lovers, the debut of Norwegian
singer-songwriter Anna Lotterud and
New Zealand-born producer Brady
Daniell-Smith, cloaks a devastating
breakup in soft-focus electro-pop. The
gently pulsating title track dissects
emotional numbness over supple
drum beats; Someone is drivetime
80s MOR via M83; while All I Want
(“is your love and affection”) closes
things on a suitably bittersweet note,
Lotterud’s multitracked, unvarnished
vocal adding a blank sadness. In fact,
Lovers is so unfussy that on first listen
it can wash over you, but there’s real
beauty to be found on repeated listens.
Michael Cragg
Aimee Mann
Mental Illness
Despite four decades as a songwriter
on a par with Randy Newman and
Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann rarely
gets her dues. And Mental Illness, her
ninth album, is a low-key yet major
work. She picked the title to mock
critics who ignore the diversity of
her catalogue to label her a sad sack,
but inhabits depressive stoicism with
total conviction and characteristic
grace. The acoustic arrangements
are light, her melodies indelible –
the counterpoint to 11 beautifully
melancholic songs about addiction to
extreme emotional states. Laura Snapes
Relatives in Descent
The fourth album from Detroit
post-punks Protomartyr is their most
ambitious yet: lyrically tangential
and musically dense, rich with ideas,
drawing equally from the National
and Les Savy Fav. The palpable sense
of unease conjured up by singer Joe
Casey, by turns angry and vulnerable
but always compelling, is perfectly
complemented by the arrangements.
Hooks are deployed sparingly, yet
are all the more thrilling when they
crash in. With the exception of Don’t
Go to Anacita, there’s little here
that’s immediate, but persevere and
an exceptional album slowly comes
into focus. Phil Mongredien
Kevin Morby
City Music
Wistful and pithy, Kevin Morby’s
fourth album is a sepia-tinted tribute
to New York. There are echoes of Lou
Reed, Television and, on the homespun
1234, Ramones, but the singersongwriter is never derivative. Mostly
he sounds sleepy, lost in his own
thoughts, excited by the bright lights
of the big city but fearful of facing life
alone. “Ain’t got no friends in a world
so big,” he drawls on the brooding
Come to Me Now, while the liquid
title track revels in the energy of the
sidewalk. Paul Mardles
Hndrxx’s ascetic self-examination and
croaky, metallic flow perhaps isn’t the
ideal introduction if you’re unfamiliar
with Future’s weirdly hypnotic weephop aesthetic. However, it’s the most
coherent of the Auto-Tune king’s
six albums, despite being somewhat
overshadowed by the million-selling
Future, released just a week before. It
remains unclear if doing shedloads of
downers and rapping like you’re about
to pass out makes you the spiritual
child of rock’s most exciting guitarist.
Still, there’s just about enough evidence
of generation-severing genius to call for
a DNA test. Damien Morris
Nothing Feels Natural
Most punk bands would die for the
synchronicity that Priests achieved
when their debut album landed the
week after Trump’s inauguration.
But although the DC four-piece had
delivered funny, searing polemics
(even aimed at Obama’s unfulfilled
promises) on earlier EPs, Nothing
Feels Natural abandons sloganeering
for a more introspective interrogation
of how capitalism and chaos can
corrupt anyone’s sense of self. Happily,
it’s nothing like as worthy as that
sounds. Instead, it’s a raunchy rampage
through surf rock, hardcore and
sprightly punk-funk, led by firebrand
Katie Alice Greer. LS
Kikagaku Moyo
Stone Garden
For fans of Kikagaku Moyo, a
psychedelic rock band from Tokyo,
this fourth album is a surprising break
from the past. Stone Garden eschews
the furious guitar thrashing that has
earned the band cult-like status in
Japan in favour of an experimental
fusion of global beats, jazz and rock.
It still explodes in places as guitars
scream away from the jazz-inspired
bass lines, but there are also moments
of tranquillity, heralded by the trill of
the sitar and a haunting vocal score.
Leander Hobbs
Battle of Santiago
La Migra
There is no shortage of brass-heavy
world fusion bands, but on their third
album this Toronto collective conjure
up a distinctive hybrid of Afrobeat,
salsa and funk. The Santería-style
chants of Aguanileo and BarasuAyo attest to Toronto’s large Cuban
community, while elsewhere the
band explore dub on the clattering
Cimarron, show off skilful hard bop
sax and African balafon, and squeeze
in electronica and stratospheric guitar
on Rumba Libre. The album title refers
to the feared border cops whom the
band clearly hope to vanquish if they
play hard enough. Neil Spencer
Echoes of Swing
Bix: A Tribute to Bix
Behind a rather boring title lurks a
fascinating set of modern reworkings
of jazz classics from the 1920s.
Sometimes a simple change of tempo
or rhythm style makes the trick of
jumping 90 years sound simple;
in other cases it’s a whole new
tune, hauntingly reminiscent of a
melody remembered but just out of
reach. The playing is pitch perfect
throughout. The second disc of this
double set contains 10 original tracks,
beautifully remastered, proving that
distant generations can still talk the
same jazz language. Dave Gelly
delicate, musical ghost tales, in this
world premiere recording, make a
mysterious, unsettling contrast. Ideal
fireside listening, beautifully packaged.
Fiona Maddocks
A Telemann
Akademie für Alte Musik
Much anniversary attention was given
to Monteverdi this year, but Georg
Philipp Telemann (died 1767), who
eclipsed Bach in fame and fortune
during his 86-year life, fared less
well. This varied set demonstrates
“the three lucky cards dealt him by
nature: precocity, facility, longevity”.
There’s a complete opera, Orpheus,
the popular Brockes Passion, and
several quirky instrumental suites,
including the famous Hamburger Ebb
und Fluth. An absurd slip is that the
box set is described as celebrating the
350th anniversary of Telemann’s death:
early planning for 2117?
Nicholas Kenyon
Sterndale Bennett;
Schumann Sonata Op 13;
Symphonic Etudes
Hiroaki Takenouchi (piano)
Es war einmal…
Once Upon a Time…
Fairy Tales by Robert
Schumann and Jörg
Widmann Tabea
Zimmermann (viola), Jörg Widmann
(clarinet), Dénes Várjon (piano)
Once upon a time, a trio of top
soloists pulled together an irresistible
collection of music depicting
fairy stories. Robert Schumann’s
Märchenerzählungen, Op 132 for
trio, his Fantasiestücke for clarinet
and piano and his Märchenbilder
for viola and piano capture both the
lyricism and the dark side of German
romanticism, the Grimm brothers’
1812 collection of tales ever hovering
in the background. Clarinettistcomposer Jörg Widmann’s spiky,
Exhilarating playing here from
pianist Hiroaki Takenouchi,
who champions the work of the
19th-century English virtuoso
William Sterndale Bennett, and now
tackles his demandingly muscular
Sonata in F minor, Op. 13. The
20-year-old composer gave the piece
to Mendelssohn as a wedding gift
when he befriended him in Leipzig,
where he also became firm friends
with Schumann, who dedicated
his masterly Symphonic Etudes to
Bennett. It’s also played with great
panache on this recording.
Stephen Pritchard
What have we missed? What are your
favourite unsung albums from 2017?
Email, or tweet
@ObsNewReview by 4pm on Tuesday
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Conspiracies, crises
and the Kremlin
A gripping account of the alleged links between Trump and Russia
separates the evidence from the fake news, writes Oliver Bullough
Collusion: How Russia Helped
Trump Win the White House
Luke Harding
Guardian Faber £14.99, pp352
When I was a boy, I liked to listen while
my parents and their friends discussed
when they had first heard about various
significant events: the murder of John
Lennon, the assassination of JFK, the
Cuban missile crisis. Although the
events were grim, there was something
comforting about the conversations.
Yes, all these terrible things had
happened, but here we all were, sitting
around, having a cup of tea.
When current affairs turn into
history, the edges get rubbed off; they
become merely interesting, rather than
terrifying. So, thanks are due to Luke
Harding for writing Collusion, his book
about the ascent to the presidency of
Donald Trump, a man so ill-suited to
the role that he can’t even hate-tweet
the right Theresa May. Once events
are confined within a book, they start
to feel like the past and less like a
constantly perturbing present. I’m
not yet ready to reminisce about how
Trump trolled the mayor of London
during a major terrorist incident, but
it’s no longer unimaginable.
Harding is a veteran Guardian
journalist, and the author of several
books on current affairs (he and I sat
next to each other during the public
inquiry into the murder of Alexander
Litvinenko, and know each other
well), often but not exclusively with a
Russian focus. There are many angles
that a book on Trump could take, but
Harding hits squarely at the president’s
weakest point: the allegations of
cooperation between his campaign
and Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. This, of
course, remains a fast-developing story,
but it is valuable to be able to sit back
and see where it all came from.
For Harding, it began in 2008 when
he met Paul Manafort in Ukraine.
Manafort went on to become Trump’s
campaign manager, and then to be
indicted this October for money
laundering (he has pleaded not guilty).
A decade ago, however, he was working
for Viktor Yanukovych, a thuggish
Ukrainian crook who had just lost
power and was seeking to refashion
himself as a modern statesman.
Manafort had worked on multiple
US presidential campaigns by then,
and had been selling his organisational
skills to ex-Soviet insiders since the
1990s, so spinning Yanukovich was
just another gig. “He’s still his own
man. There is no Russian influence
in this campaign. The perception
that he is the candidate of Russia
against the interests of the west is bad
reporting,” Manafort told Harding.
It is to Harding’s credit that he lets the
irony do the talking there, rather than
highlight the parallels immediately
clear between the Ukrainian kleptocrat
and the man currently in the
White House.
And the parallels don’t stop there.
Ukraine was a divided country.
Ukrainian-speakers, mainly in
the capital and the west, looked
optimistically towards a future with
Europe. Russian-speakers, in the cities
and towns of Crimea and the east,
where the collapse of communism
had doomed a whole way of life,
preferred the certainties of their
past relationship with Moscow. In
2007, and again in elections in 2010,
Manafort and his team rammed a
wedge between these groups, playing
up their differences, and casting
Yanukovich as the candidate for the
elderly and the ignored, the opponent
of corrupt insiders. It was a winning
strategy. “He’s an evil genius,” was
one Ukrainian politician’s assessment
of Manafort.
If you’ve ever wondered how Trump,
a trust fund kid who made a fortune
out of gaming the bankruptcy laws,
successfully claimed to be the saviour
of the left-behind and the scourge of
the elite, Ukraine was where his team
Conspirators or allies
of convenience?
Putin and Trump at
the G20 summit in
Hamburg, 7 July 2017.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
practised its moves. “Everything he
told me was a lie,” Harding notes of his
chats with Manafort.
The book’s subtitle is How Russia
Helped Trump Win the White House
and much of it is structured around
the notorious memos written first
for a Republican rival of Trump’s and
then for the Clinton campaign, which
revealed the extent of the Trump
campaign’s ties to the Kremlin, as well
as other things (prostitutes, wee, etc).
Harding has met Christopher Steele,
the memos’ author, and provides useful
background on him and his career:
president of the Cambridge Union, MI6,
then his own private intelligence firm.
Steele was so concerned by his
findings that he shared them with
non-clients, and his memos circulated
among Washington journalists in
the weeks before the US election.
Eventually Buzzfeed published them in
full, and ignited the firestorm that has
raged ever since. For what it’s worth,
I think Russia’s role in this is often
exaggerated, perhaps so we don’t have
to confront the way wealthy Americans
have themselves spent decades
perverting their political system. Putin
helped Trump win, but only in the way
that a 14th pint of beer helps you fall
over. It wouldn’t have the same effect if
you hadn’t already drunk 13 pints.
But that doesn’t mean the
provenance of the 14th pint isn’t
Utterly smitten by Lytton
The obsessions of a
Bloomsbury insider
becomes exhausting,
writes Rachel Cooke
Carrington’s Letters: Her Art,
Her Loves, Her Friendship
Edited by Anne Chisholm
Chatto & Windus £30, pp448
Dora Carrington was the star of her
year at the Slade School of Art. But
her life’s work was, in the end, not
her painting; it was Lytton Strachey,
the writer to whom, in spite of his
homosexuality, she almost certainly
lost her virginity. Was ever a woman
more dotty about so highly unsuitable
a man? In the annals of literary
biography, certainly she takes some
beating. Although she and Strachey
lived together for most of her adult
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
life, first in a mill house at Tidmarsh
in Berkshire, and then nearby, at Ham
Spray House, proximity did nothing
to cool her fever, which burned from
1916 until 1932, when she took her
own life following his death from
cancer. Her long, cloying letters to
him, compulsively scribbled whenever
he was up in town or she was away
visiting family or other friends, seem at
times to have been written, not by his
housekeeper and close friend, but by
a figure more akin to a stalker. It’s true
that Carrington may never have fully
understood the interior life of her love
object. Nevertheless, no outward detail
escaped her attention; the man was like
an insect beneath a glass slide. “The one
afternoon when I saw you in the bath,”
she notes, listing cherished memories
in June 1918. “How I loved the smell of
your face in your sponge,” she writes in
May 1921.
It’s this obsession that dominates
Anne Chisholm’s superbly edited
new selection of Carrington’s letters.
Yes, there are sideshows: her doomed
relationship with the artist Mark
Gertler; her reluctant marriage to the
writer Ralph Partridge; her seemingly
endless on-off affair with his friend,
Gerald Brenan. In the end, though, all
roads lead to Strachey. Partridge, for
instance, is useful to her chiefly because
Strachey has conceived a passion for
him; better to live in a triangle than
to risk disappointing her “bearded
El Greco saint”. As she admits, she is
incorrigible in her “lies, deceits and
distortions”, always saying one thing
when she means another: a tease
by any other name. But her life as a
“rouée”, though frantically busy, is also
“imaginary”; the sole “affaire” that is
truly real to her is the one she is having
(if only in her own mind) with Strachey.
What was the nature of his attraction
for her? Impossible to say. He seems
to me to have been little more than a
repository for her most intense feelings;
an absence, rather than a presence.
Another hunch: had he suddenly
started knocking on her bedroom door
at night, he might well have cured her
brilliance: Peaky
Blinders, the finale’
page 44
Virgil, Homer, Ovid… Dylan?
Why Dylan Matters
Richard F Thomas
William Collins £12.99, pp358
important, and Harding’s analysis of
Steele’s claims is thorough, fascinating,
fast-paced and lively, embedded in a
chronological account of the madness
we’ve all been living through for the
past aeon. Before you read the book,
try listing the five worst decisions
Trump has made as president; you’ll be
amazed by how many you’ve forgotten.
When you see them all grouped
together, as they are here, you begin to
get a sense of the appalled fascination
that historians will feel when they
come to write about this period.
Part of that fascination will focus on
how falsehoods have been transformed
into news by the alchemy of social
media. Harding tracks one lie – of
Dora Carrington: a keen observer of
goings-on from beneath her stylish bob.
of her passion, once and for all.
Carrington was born into a middleclass family in Hereford in 1893; she
adored her father, a former employee
of the East Indian Railway, but always
resented her clenched, aspirational
mother. There are no letters from her
childhood. The earliest dates from 1912,
two years after her arrival at the Slade,
where she was a friend of John Nash
and Richard Nevinson, both of whom
fell for her. In 1915, she was invited
to stay with Vanessa and Clive Bell at
their home near Lewes. “What poseurs
how British intelligence agencies had
bugged Trump on Barack Obama’s
behalf – from its birth on Russia’s
propaganda channels, to Fox News,
to Donald Trump, to his Twitter
followers, and into the strange zombie
half-life of the “alternative fact”. Every
falsehood is another drop of poison
in the well we all drink from. The less
we trust the news, the more traction
Trump’s narcissistic cynicism will gain,
and the more his billionaire friends
will be free to make money.
So was there collusion between
Putin and Trump? Harding lays out
what evidence we have, while being
clear about the fact we – as yet –
don’t know all that much. My own
view is that the two presidents are
allies of convenience. They and their
supporters benefit when their money
is left unscrutinised, so both of them
oppose any structures that would
scrutinise it.
I sincerely hope this book will be the
first of many that will do that scrutiny
for us. It’s the perfect present for
anyone who sees Christmas as a time
not just for festivity and merrymaking,
but also for fretting about the
imminent collapse of the western
liberal order.
they are really,” she writes of their set
with some perspicacity (the Bells and
Duncan Grant were amazed to discover
that Carrington knew which part of
the leek to cook); at this point, it seems,
she was unimpressed – “ugh!” – with
Strachey’s “yellow face & beard”. Only
later, while staying with Ottoline and
Philip Morrell at Garsington, did she
fall for him, much to the surprise and
mystification of all who knew them.
But perhaps there was safety in this
unlikely alliance with a man 13 years
her senior (and already somewhat of a
valetudinarian). She was his naughty
niece, his granddaughter, his Mopsa
(the shepherdess in The Winter’s
Tale). Carrington’s attitude to sex, and
to her gender, was complicated and
ambivalent. “I hate being a girl,” she
writes. “I am continually depressed
by my effeminacy.” Menstruation
disgusted her. Marriage was to be
avoided for its lack of privacy. She
disliked children, and feared childbirth
(when she became pregnant by Brenan,
it was Partridge who paid for an
abortion, though this is not something
she cares to mention in the letters).
Later, after she’d enjoyed at least one
full affair and various flirtations with
women, she would wonder why she
hadn’t experimented on this score
earlier. Did Strachey keep her, his
faithful “pen wiper”, from thinking on
all this too much? She thought so. “Left
to myself,” she writes after his death, “I
lapse (secretly) into superstition, drink
and mooning about.”
When she’s not busy obsessing over
Strachey, Carrington can be a good
writer: a beady observer of friends
(Virginia Woolf and the ballerina
Lydia Lopokova are particularly
deftly drawn); a poetic chronicler
of nature (the moon is like “a half
sucked acid drop”; decaying apples
on the grass resemble “garrulous
old men”). But still, en masse her
letters are exhausting: repetitive in
their emotional cycles; so intensely
manipulative and deluded. One’s
sympathy is more often for those in her
thrall (poor, desperate Brenan), and
even for the elusive Strachey, forever
having to restate his friendship, than for
their twittering author. Good as it is to
see Bloomsbury from a new angle – she
saw such a lot of it, from beneath that
stylish bob – it left me feeling weary. I
may have had my fill of their strangely
ruthless bed-hopping by now.
To order Collusion for £9.99 go
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To order Carrington’s Letters for £25.50
go to or call
0330 333 6846
In June 1970, a reluctant Bob Dylan
turned up at Princeton University
to receive an honorary degree. He
had been persuaded to attend by his
then-wife, Sara, and his friend and
fellow musician David Crosby, but
the ceremony so rattled him that he
referred to it subsequently in a scathing
song called Day of the Locusts. It
included the line, “sure was glad to get
out of there alive”.
What annoyed Dylan most was
the introductory speech in which
he was referred to as “the disturbed
and concerned conscience of young
America”. Over three decades later,
as the following passage from his
2004 memoir, Chronicles Volume
One, illustrates, that description still
rankled. “Oh sweet Jesus! It was
like a jolt. I shuddered and trembled
but remained expressionless. The
disturbed conscience of young
America. There it was again. I couldn’t
believe it! The speaker could have said
many things, he could have emphasised
a few things about my music.”
Early on in Why Dylan Matters,
Richard F Thomas, a classics professor
at Harvard, recalls the Princeton
incident before setting out to
emphasise a few new things about
Dylan’s music, as if to make amends for
the careless words that so offended his
subject. Academics have picked over
Dylan’s songs in the past, most notably
the Cambridge don Christopher Ricks,
who made heavy work of the myriad
allusions therein in his grandly titled
Dylan’s Visions of Sin. In the wake of the
Nobel prize in literature controversy,
Thomas’s timely book goes further
by attempting, though not always
convincingly, to recast Dylan as an
heir to Virgil and Homer. “He is part of
that classical stream,” asserts Thomas,
“whose spring starts out in Greece and
Rome and flows on down though the
This may be so, but in affixing
Dylan’s songwriting to that GraecoRoman tradition, Thomas is forced to
constantly negotiate a line between
the scholarly and the tenuous. We
learn, for instance, that the young
Robert Zimmerman liked Hollywoodproduced cod-Roman epics as a
boy and was briefly a member of his
school’s Latin club. How much this
proves a deep and abiding affinity with
the classics is debatable. Likewise,
the number of times that Dylan has
included Rome on his touring schedule
is hardly evidence of the same given
that Dylan tours the world’s capitals
Thomas also cites the relatively
minor Dylan song When I Paint My
Masterpiece as further evidence of
Dylan’s love for, and identification
with, Rome. One can only wonder what
the singer’s poetic predecessors would
have made of lines as throwaway as
the opening verse: “Oh, the streets of
Rome are filled with rubble/ Ancient
footprints are everywhere/ You can
almost think that you’re seein’ double/
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish
Stairs...” Ovid it ain’t.
Thomas is more persuasive when
he looks at Dylan’s work in light of the
other many influences the singer draws
on, which range from 19th-century
symbolist poetry to early American folk
and blues by way of Woody Guthrie,
Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, the Beat
poets and the Bible. Dylan is nothing if
not wide-ranging in his inspirations.
The book is oddly structured,
the autobiographical fandom of the
first chapter and a recollection of an
academic symposium he attended
in Dylan’s home town of Hibbing,
‘Are my songs literature?’: Bob Dylan in
New York, February 1963. Sony/Getty
Minnesota, soon giving way to a
series of intermittently illuminating
reflections on various subjects:
selected albums, the memoir, the
Nobel prize literary canonisation,
as well as the accusations of
plagiarism that have periodically
dogged Dylan. One of the most
revealing sections concerns Dylan’s
creative “stealing” from Ovid for his
Modern Times album. “It eventually
emerged,” writes Thomas, “that
more than 30 lines of Ovid’s exile
poems had been reappropriated
and become an essential part of
the fabric of the songs...” Thomas
is surprisingly forgiving of such
widespread borrowing, describing it as
transformative and praising Dylan for
bringing these “long-dead souls” back
to life and “in effect bringing them into
the modern times”.
For all that, there is a definite
suggestion of intellectual snobbery
in Thomas’s choice of title: Why
Dylan Matters. It is echoed, too, in
his fellow classical scholar, Mary
Beard’s assertion on the book cover:
“At last an expert classicist gets to
grips with Bob Dylan.” Both suggest,
unconsciously or otherwise, that
Dylan’s songwriting only really
matters if he can be shoehorned
into the Homeric tradition and that
academic canonisation is the ultimate
vindication of Dylan’s worth. It isn’t.
Nor, even, is the award of the Nobel
prize in literature.
What is worth remembering here
is that Dylan is a singer-songwriter
who uses classical poetry in much the
same way that he uses old blues and
folk songs: as raw material for songs
that only occasionally stand up to the
kind of scholarly scrutiny that complex
poems can withstand. Revealingly,
there is little here about how Dylan
delivers his songs, the emotional thrust
of that imperfect, now faltering, voice
and his often wilfully perverse delivery.
One could argue that the majority
of Dylan’s songs evade academic
interpretation, that they come to life
when performed rather than as texts
on the page.
In this context, Why Dylan
Matters misses the point, but there
are nevertheless enough glimpses of
illumination to make this a must for the
converted. The rest of us can enjoy the
songs without carrying the burden of
how to measure or fully explain them,
buoyed by Dylan’s own admission in
his Nobel prize acceptance speech:
“Not once have I ever had the time to
ask myself: ‘Are my songs literature?’”
Sean O’Hagan
To order Why Dylan Matters for £11.04
go to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Winston’s luckiest hour
A novelist’s flair makes a gripping tale of
Churchill’s rapid rise to power, says Ian Thomson
Six Minutes in May: How
Churchill Unexpectedly
Became Prime Minister
Nicholas Shakespeare
Harvill Secker £20, pp528
Hitler died amid the flames of Berlin in
April 1945. The most reckless criminal
in modern history was no more. So long
as “good” Germans are at the helm of
Germany today, a Fourth Reich seems
unimaginable. Yet Nazism really did
happen, and it came close to engulfing
Britain. The BBC sitcom Dad’s Army
poked fun at the feared German
invasion. In one episode, Private
Godfrey’s sisters are seen to prepare
their Regency cottage for the most
charming of guests. “The Germans are
coming, Miss Godfrey,” Lance Corporal
Jones warns. “Yes, I know, so many
people to tea. I think I’d better make
some more.”
The second world war continues to
fascinate young and old alike: how to
make a familiar subject new? Several
large, one-volume histories have
appeared in recent years. Smoothly
readable, they present the standard
British narrative of the war built round
Winston Churchill (standing) and Neville
Chamberlain in 1939. SSPL/Getty Images
the rise of Hitler and the dictator’s
attempts to assert hegemony over
Europe. Correspondingly little analysis
is made of the Scandinavian theatre of
operations, though the Führer’s assault
on Norway in 1940 set the stage for the
coming “total” war, which claimed the
lives of more than 50 million people.
Six Minutes in May, by Nicholas
Shakespeare, chronicles Churchill’s
lightning-quick rise to power
following Hitler’s invasion of Norway.
Shakespeare, better known as a novelist,
has written an absorbing account of
how events 1,300 miles away across
the North Sea led to the most drastic
cabinet reshuffle in modern British
history. The odds were stacked against
Churchill becoming prime minister.
As first lord of the Admiralty he had
bungled the Anglo-French operation to
counter Hitler’s aggression in Norway.
Campaigns that end in failure tend
to be forgotten very quickly, and the
April-May 1940 Norwegian campaign
was no exception. The operation’s
strategic prize was to cut off the supply
of Swedish ore shipped to Germany
through Norway; instead, British troops
had to be ignominiously evacuated.
The episode was considered such a
disaster that the Admiralty later mislaid
crucial files so as to hide its mistakes
from historic records. Churchill’s
campaign did, however, help to
extricate the Norwegian royal family
and much of the gold reserves (for
which the Christmas tree in Trafalgar
Square each year is a memorial gift).
Churchill’s failure to deny Hitler his
iron ore meant that Britain faced the
real threat of Nazi German invasion.
It is also meant, ironically, that
Churchill was favoured to take over
from Neville Chamberlain as prime
minister. The Umbrella Man in pince-
Churchill tried to
freeze Chamberlain
out of posterity. It was
easy to do. Churchill
had all the best lines
nez and wing collar, who had returned
from Munich in September 1938
“fluttering a barren sheet of paper”,
was reckoned to be too weak for the
job. “In the name of God, go!” the
Birmingham-born Chamberlain was
commanded in the House of Commons
on 7 May 1940, a watershed date, after
which Chamberlain left office, and
presently died. Shakespeare is at pains
to rescue Chamberlain’s reputation
from Churchill’s revisionist history;
far from the feeble prevaricator of
legend, Chamberlain was a resolute and
quietly humorous man, who had run a
sisal plantation in the Bahamas and, as
prime minister from 1937-1940, ensured
that Britain spent an astonishing
40-50% of its GDP on defence.
In Shakespeare’s view, Churchill
tried to freeze the “narrow, obstinate
man” Chamberlain out of posterity.
It was easy to do. Churchill had all
the best lines in his four-volume A
History of the English-Speaking Peoples,
published between 1956 and 1958. If
Churchill claimed that Chamberlain
was “the most disastrous prime
minister in British history”, it must
be true. Though indifferently written
at times (“Churchill’s star might have
sunk to its lowest in eight months, but
that of Lloyd George had rocketed over
the weekend to astronomical heights”),
Shakespeare’s book grips the attention
from beginning to end. He conjures
the characters and personalities of the
senior commanders in the Norwegian
campaign with a novelist’s flair and eye
for detail. Most memorable are the Earl
of Cork and Orrery, a monocle-wearing
admiral known to junior officers as
“Cork-n-orrible” and Adrian Carton
de Wiart VC, who wore a patch after
losing an eye during the first world
war and was the model for Evelyn
Waugh’s Brigadier Ritchie-Hook in
the Sword of Honour trilogy. The fjords
and ironbound rocks of Norway are
memorably evoked. The country that
gave us trolls and Peer Gynt also gave
us, indirectly, Winston Churchill.
To order Six Minutes in May for £17
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THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
‘A Christmas lock-in:
n: Al
Murray’s Make Christmas
Great Again’
TV, page 46
Hindus praying in Mauritius circa 1855.
The island issued the first stamps in
the British empire outside Britain.
When one road
leads to another
Norman Davies’s
weighty tome of travel
and history leaves you
wanting more, says
Sara Wheeler
Beneath Another Sky: A Global
Journey into History
Norman Davies
Allen Lane £30, pp742
“Travelling,” historian Norman Davies
writes near the end of this enthralling
book, “had allowed me to think freely
about the subject I have spent most of
my life studying.” From the journeys
described in these pages he has
confected a fragrant stew of history,
literature and travel spiced with
digression, detective work and dabs of
A distinguished academic whose
many books include the bestselling
Europe: A History, Davies’s itinerary
“was not dictated by any principle
other than keeping on the move in
the general direction of the sunrise”.
Twelve of the 16 chapters focus on
a place – these range from Baku in
Azerbaijan, where Asia and Europe
overlap, to Cornwall. Four chapters
are thematic. Davies’s goal, he said,
was roughly akin to that of Goethe’s
“school of seeing”: “To test my powers
of observation, to spot the recurring
themes and catch the fleeting details.
And then to tell the story.”
His themes include the history,
and subsequent marginalisation, of
indigenous peoples. The sections on
the first inhabitants of Tasmania are
particularly gripping. Linguistic revival
and language in general fascinate this
author, too. He uses Chinese characters
and Japanese kanji to illuminate
toponyms of those countries and
includes a section on Tahitian nature
words. There is even a glossary of
“Strine”, or Australian English.
Davies is a literary man and quotes
everyone from Dante to Aphra Behn
to Alexander Blok. Bunyan, that
master of allegorical travel, provides
a kind of leitmotif. The passages of
straightforward history in Beneath
Another Sky are excellent, as one might
expect, and of course, given the subject
matter, parts of the book are gruelling,
whether viewed through a long lens
(war) or in close-up (a nine-year-old
destitute British boy is transported
for stealing toys). The chapter on
Mauritius relates the unedifying
episodes of Chagossian forcible
deportation and Britain’s secrecy over
the leasing of Diego Garcia in return
for aircraft discounts. On a jollier note,
Mauritius issued the first stamps in
the British empire outside Britain, and
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the son
of an illiterate Indian immigrant, rose
to become his country’s first prime
minister. Davies casts a wide cultural
net throughout.
The author’s sensitivity to the
sweep of history binds the disparate
parts of this book. He has spent a
lifetime thinking about his craft
and applies what he calls the daily
task of orientation, or “finding one’s
way” to historians. “Whatever their
subject or period of interest, they
have to navigate through Time and
Space, establishing what happened in
particular moments and places, and
create a chronological narrative.”
Amusing cultural comparisons
enliven proceedings. “By sending Abel
Tasman in search of the ‘Southland’,
the lords of the Dutch East India
Company were investigating a
category of knowledge that the great
epistemologist Donald Rumsfeld
would have classified as a ‘known
Han Kang is a South Korean writer whose novels
include Human Acts and The Vegetarian – for
which she won the 2016 International Man Booker
prize. Her latest work, The White Book, is an
autobiographical meditation on loss and grief.
I didn’t plan to write about my elder
sister. I was raised by my parents
who couldn’t forget her. When I
was writing Human Acts, there was
a line of dialogue: “Don’t die. Please
don’t die.” It was strangely familiar
and it hovered inside me. Suddenly
I discovered that it was from my
mother’s memory: she told me she
kept saying those words repeatedly to
the sister who had died before I was
You write about how you had “been born
and grown up in the place of that death”.
How did it affect you growing up?
It was not just about the loss. It was
about how precious we are. My
parents told my brother and me:
“You have been born to us in such
a precious way and we have waited
for you for a long time.” But there
was grief as well. It was a mixture of
mourning and a sense of precious life.
You acknowledge in the book that if your
mother’s first two babies hadn’t died,
unknown’.” In Tasmania the author
visits a museum of old and new art,
which turns out to be “a temple of
nihilist brainwashing”.
He has let his opinions seep into
this book more than he did in previous
works – after all, he has earned
the right to a little subjectivity. He
writes plainly, for example, about the
“horrible racist nonsense that underlay
Hitler’s policy of Lebensraum”.
In a long chapter on the history
of aviation, Davies deploys his
meticulous research skills to set out the
probabilities and possibilities of what
happened to downed airliner MH370.
After many pages, he concludes: “It
must be a near certainty that someone
in the world knows more about MH370
than they have chosen to reveal.”
But who? He gives clues. Maritime
disasters also heave into view. Know
the worst sea disaster in European
history? It was during the first punic
war in the third century BC, when
90,000 Roman soldiers drowned when
a transport fleet sank off Carthage.
Davies has an eye for the arresting
To order Beneath Another Sky for £25.50
go to or call
0330 333 6846
me realise I’m mortal and vulnerable.
Maybe if I was 100% healthy and
energetic I couldn’t have become
a writer.
Han Kang
Your new book tells the story of your
sister who died two hours after she was
born. What made you want – or feel able
– to write about that now?
In the polar regions
a schooner captain is
found frozen solid
to his desk, his crew
mummified in ice
detail, that all-important specificity. In
the polar regions, a schooner captain is
found frozen solid to his desk, his crew
mummified in ice in their hammocks.
“No food for 71 days,” the captain’s last
diary entry read. “I’m the only one left.”
The prose is crisp and clear,
notwithstanding the occasional
infelicity – an interlocutor “bends my
ear” – and truism: a chapter on Texas
begins: “The United States of America
is a big country…” On the whole the
style is chatty, even playful, and Davies
is an amiable companion on the road.
He often tells us what he eats. Hesse’s
Handkäse mit Musik (a sour cheese),
for example, “is famed for its flatulent
Beneath Another Sky is a plum
pudding of a book. Davies includes
squibs, anecdotes and what he calls
“items of interesting irrelevance”,
sometimes for sheer fun. Anthony
Burgess’s tutor at Manchester, AJP
Taylor, Davies tells us, wrote on one
of Burgess’s essays: “Full of bright
ideas insufficient to conceal a lack of
knowledge.” In Singapore we learn
that the island’s last tiger was shot
from the balcony of Raffles hotel in
1902. This kind of detail lightens
the statistics and data – though
Davies never deploys either without
a purpose. Most books are too long,
but even at 742 pages this is not.
Approaching 80, with strokes and
cancer behind him, Davies has allowed
himself to spread his wings.
The final chapter, Imperium, is
based on a lecture he delivered at
various institutes while he was on
his journeys. In it, he challenges
the arguments of, for example, Niall
Ferguson and Jared Diamond, who
“rely on a binary… view of the world”
– by which he means European and
non-European. Davies’s pages on this
topic will become essential reading for
students of imperialism. He gives the
last word to Indian politician Dr Shashi
Tharoor: “No wonder that the sun
never set on the [British] empire. Even
God would never trust the English in
the dark.”
you and your brother wouldn’t have been
conceived. How does that feel?
When my mother was pregnant with
me, she was very sick, so she was
taking lots of medication. And because
she was so weak, she considered
abortion. But then she felt me move
inside her and decided that she would
give birth to me. I think that the world
is transient and I was given this world
by luck.
In the opening pages, you say that you
want the process of writing this book to
be transformative: has it been?
Yes, the process has really helped me.
It was like a small ritual every day:
like a prayer. When I was writing,
it felt as if I was getting closer and
closer, day by day, to a certain part
inside us which cannot be destroyed,
which cannot be or harmed.
You’ve had debilitating migraines since
you were a teenager. How has that
affected you?
My migraines are always reminding
me that I am human. Because when
a migraine comes, I have to stop my
work, my reading, my routine, so it’s
always making me humble, helping
You’ve said you knew you wanted to be a
writer at 14. How did you know?
I was looking for answers to
fundamental questions. And then,
as a reader, I realised every writer
is seeking answers and they don’t
have any conclusions, but they’re still
writing. So I thought why don’t I do
that too?
What were some of your favourite
children’s books?
I loved lots of Korean writers and also
books in translation, such as Astrid
Lindgren’s The Brothers Lionheart.
Which writers have most influenced
your writing?
Among Korean writers I love the
short stories of Lim Chul-woo.
And among foreign writers I love
Your novel The Vegetarian won the
International Man Booker prize. What
impact has that had on your career?
I’ve met more readers and a
wider audience. But I wanted to
recover my private life after a few
months, because a lot of attention
isn’t always good for a writer. It’s
impossible to care about attention
and still write.
Interview by Hannah Beckerman
The White Book is published by
Granta (£10). To order a copy for £8.50
go to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
‘A homage to champagne’s
home: Joanna & Jennifer:
Absolutely Champers’
TV, page 45
Quiet and unquiet
in equal measure
Tensions in the UK and US, rural Sweden by night,
mafia countryside… Sean O’Hagan’s 2017 highlights
If America increasingly seems
like a nation riven beyond repair
politically, Peter van Agtmael’s
Buzzing at the Sill (Kehrer Verlag
£32) evokes that ominous sense of
disunity in darkly poetic images and
impressionistic prose. Over the past
few years he travelled extensively
across the country, spending time in a
rehabilitation centre for traumatised
soldiers, on a Native American
reservation, with Ku Klux Klan
members at a flag burning and in a
black-owned Louisiana bar, where an
all-white audience were attending a
themed “white night”. An unsettling
book for these uneasy times.
Likewise, in an altogether different
way, Mathieu Asselin’s Monsanto:
A Photographic Investigation (Verlag
Kettler $55), an exhaustive look at
the ways in which a multinational
agrochemical and agricultural
biotechnology corporation impacts on
the lives and environments of hundreds
of communities across America. Asselin
spent five years delving deep into
the company’s history, from the use
of Agent Orange during the Vietnam
war to the introduction of genetically
modified seeds in the late 1990s. A
book about corporate impunity that
unfolds through the deft interweaving
of Asselin’s own images and a wealth
of found material, from personal
testimonies to courtroom files.
American mores come under
scrutiny, too, in Deep Springs (Mack
£35) by Sam Contis, which is set in
a remote desert community close
to Sierra Nevada, where a small,
all-male liberal arts college has
existed since 1917. Merging old
photographs of its earliest students
with her own, often intimate studies
of their contemporaries, as well as
the elemental landscape, Contis
explores the traditional idea of
masculinity in the American west in
a subtle, thought-provoking way.
For the past two decades, the
Japanese photographer Rinko
Kawauchi has created luminous
images of the world around her with
an unerring eye for the everyday
sublime. In Halo (Thames & Hudson
£55), she broadens her gaze, portraying
the Shinto rituals that occur annually
at ancient Japanese holy sites and
contrasting them with the natural
wonder that is the winter murmuration
of migratory birds along the south-east
coast of England. Here, the elemental
and the tranquil are portrayed in
moments of otherworldly beauty.
The British photographer Stephen
Gill has also shifted his gaze to evoke
the magic of the natural world with
Night Procession (Nobody Books £48).
Gill placed cameras equipped with
motion sensors and an infrared flash
on trees in the woodland of rural
A street parade in New Orleans in 2012 from Peter van Agtmael’s ‘unsettling’ Buzzing at the Sill. Peter van Agtmael/Magnum
Sweden, where he now lives. The
resulting images of nocturnal animals
in a spectral landscape have the aura of
19th-century photography. Gill writes
about how he wanted to step back from
the position of active observer “so that
the subjects would orchestrate and
perform and take on the role of author
while I was likely to be sleeping. This
was nature’s time to speak and let itself
be felt and known.”
For Terra Nostra (Dewi Lewis £35),
London-based Sicilian photographer
Mimi Mollica cast his eye over his
native island, a place of deep shadows
and harsh sunlight. The stark blackand-white portraits and landscapes
suggest the lingering, insidious nature
of mafia crime and corruption on the
land and people. There is nothing
How to Stop Time
Matt Haig
Canongate £8.99
NO 98
Robert Burton (1621)
From its full
title onwards
(The Anatomy of
Melancholy, What it is:
With all the Kinds, Causes, Symptomes,
Prognostickes, and Several Cures of it.
In Three Partitions with their severall
Sections, Members, and Subsections.
Philosophically, Medicinally,
Historically, Opened and Cut Up),
Burton’s masterpiece is garrulous and
repetitive, but strangely addictive.
A teeming study of melancholia, it
becomes a sublime literary doorstop
of some 1,400 pages that explores
humanity in all its aspects, drawing
from the science of the age, and
mixing it with 17th-century astrology,
meteorology, psychology, theology
and old-fashioned kidology.
According to Boswell, Dr
Johnson (No 86 in this series, with A
Dictionary of the English Language)
said that this was “the only book
that ever took him out of bed two
hours sooner than he wished to rise”.
Keats derived the story of his poem
Lamia from Burton and claimed
The Anatomy of Melancholy to be his
favourite book.
In the 20th century, Samuel
Beckett was another devotee:
Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy
lurks behind the writing of Murphy.
Other 20th-century admirers
include Jorge Luis Borges, Philip
Pullman and the American artist Cy
The Oxford English Dictionary’s
principal definition of melancholy
is “affected with the disease of
melancholy”, what we would call
“depression”. Burton’s own account
of the word is typically discursive:
“Melancholy goes and comes upon
every small occasion of sorrow,
need, sickness, trouble, fear, grief,
passion, or perturbation of the mind,
any manner of care, discontent, or
thought, which causes anguish,
dulness [sic], heaviness and vexation
of spirit, any ways opposite to
pleasure, mirth, joy, delight, causing
forwardness in us, or a dislike.”
The Anatomy of Melancholy is
among the strangest books on this list,
but in its day it was wildly popular
among the Jacobean reading class.
It continues to exert a spell over
the susceptible imagination as an
offbeat, encyclopedic, stream-ofconsciousness meditation on the
mysteries of existence.
At face value, Burton’s enormous
work is a medical text, but also a
benign satire on the fallibility of
the human mind. The author finds
“melancholy” to be, in his words, “an
inbred malady in every one of us”.
As advertised in its subtitle, the
book falls into a long introduction
and three parts (on the symptoms of
melancholy; on its cure; and thirdly,
on “love-melancholy” and religious
melancholy). In the manner of
Montaigne, Burton, who was a highly
educated man, stuffs his exposition
with quotations from a remarkable
range of writers. He also adopts a
playful pseudonym (“Democritus
Junior”, a pointed allusion to the
classical writer known as “the
laughing philosopher”) and closes
with good advice to all his readers:
“Be not solitary, be not idle.”
For an extended version of this review
go to
Remainer mum should seek out
Simon Roberts’s big and beautifully
designed Merrie Albion: Landscape
Studies of a Small Island (Dewi Lewis
£45). A portrait of contemporary
Britain, it presents the nation in all its
complexity, from city traders to Muslim
worshippers, while somehow evincing
a sense of place that is palpable and
oddly reassuring. Shot on a medium
format camera, often from an elevated
point of view, Roberts sometimes
makes composites of the same
scene, creating images that have the
theatricality of one of his inspirations,
William Powell Frith, the 19th-century
painter of everyday English tableaux.
A book that speaks powerfully about
this increasingly disunited kingdom at a
pivotal moment.
(A film version starring Benedict
Cumberbatch is in the pipeline.)
Tom Hazard, our hero, was “born
on the third of March 1581”, but is still
alive today. How? He has an incredibly
rare genetic condition, “anageria”,
which causes sufferers to age 15 times
more slowly than normal people. So
despite being 439 years old, and having
hung out, in his day, with Shakespeare,
Captain Cook and Christopher
Marlowe, Tom can, in the present,
pass himself off as 41-year-old London
comprehensive school teacher.
Superficially, being anageric sounds
fun: all that time to roam, Zelig-like,
through history. But inevitably, there
are downsides. Tom must watch
everyone he knows grow old before
him, and die, so love is extraordinarily
painful for him. He must also switch
identity every eight years to minimise
the risk of detection by unscrupulous
types who might imprison, experiment
upon or even kill him.
It may sound convoluted, but the
cleverness lies in how effortless Haig
makes it feel. He has been gifted with
a rare ability to make the far-fetched
seem believable. The question that
bubbles away, none too subtly, below
the surface of How to Stop Time is: “Can
a life without love still be worth living?”
Haig’s conclusion – that it can’t – isn’t
exactly surprising, but it nonetheless
feels properly earned. William Skidelsky
By Robert McCrum
The Anatomy of
bloody or violent here, just a sustained
atmosphere of unease made all the
more palpable by the play of darkness
and light. In stark contrast, another
London-based Italian photographer,
Lorenzo Vitturi, follows up his
acclaimed debut, Dalston Anatomy,
with Money Must Be Made (Self Publish,
Be Happy £45), which evokes the
sensory overload of Balogun market
in Lagos, an overwhelming maze of
streets selling cheap plastic products,
fabrics and household goods. Vitturi’s
mix of studio portraits, sculptural
still lifes and collage is an imaginative
response to an overwhelming
environment where everything is used,
reused, recycled and resold.
Anyone looking for a Christmas
present for their Brexiter dad or
Matt Haig is a writer of admirable
versatility (children’s books,
nonfiction, adult novels) and an
enviable ability to produce bestsellers.
Reasons to Stay Alive, his memoir of
being depressed in his 20s, was one
of the bestselling nonfiction books of
recent years. The Humans, his wickedly
funny 2013 novel about an alien taking
over the body of a Cambridge maths
don, sold more than 200,000 copies.
And now here is Haig’s latest, which
you just know is also fated to succeed.
To order How to Stop Time for £7.64
go to or call
0330 333 6846
The Best of Times, the
Worst of Times
At the End of the Century
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Diary of an Ordinary
Michael Burleigh
Little, Brown £20
Margaret Forster
Macmillan £25
Reading Burleigh’s new polemic about
skulduggery in our world is both bracing
and depressing. Bracing, because he takes
aim at targets obvious (Putin, Trump,
Saudi Arabia) and less obvious (Obama)
and manages to come up with endlessly
revealing detail; we find out, for instance, that
it costs about 60 times more to build roads
in Russia than in the US due to the rampant
corruption in the east.
Yet Burleigh’s book is also depressing
because it spends most of its length
articulating the problems but little coming
up with solutions. There is some vague
gesturing towards greater accommodation
with China and Burleigh certainly seems
more impressed by Xi Jinping than he is by
most of the other world leaders. It might
have been more successful had he allowed
more sunshine into his entertainingly
pessimistic account. Alexander Larman
Chatto & Windus £10.99
The laser-sharp intelligence of awardwinning novelist and short story writer
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is etched into these
17 compelling tales, which are drawn from
previous collections. Jhabvala, who died
in 2013, was also a prolific screenwriter
(winning Oscars for adaptations of A
Room With a View and Howards End),
and her cinematic eye roams widely,
from Indian village life to the streets of
European cities and New York. In her
introduction, Anita Desai describes how
Jhabvala explores passion’s “immense
potential for both joy and destruction”.
Such emotions range from the pining of
an elderly woman for a younger man in
The Widow to a fear of loneliness in Great
Expectations. The writer’s talent is best on
display in the tension she creates between
the pleasures and pains of passion and the
slick composure of her prose. Anita Sethi
In 1954, Forster was 15 going on 16, her
days filled with homework, evening radio
plays, Woman magazine and getting
her “mop” cut. Edited by her husband,
Hunter Davies, this is her diary of that
year: part social history, part character
study – funny, acute and revealing.
There are signs of a precocious intellect,
a voracious appetite for books and plays
and a keen interest in international affairs:
she documents the Queen’s Australia
tour, the four-minute mile and Russian
spy scandals. Accompanying photos offer
a nostalgia-inducing glimpse into a young
life and a lost world. Lettie Kennedy
To order The Best of Times, the Worst of
Times for £21.25, At the End of the Century
for £17 or Diary of an Ordinary Schoogirl for
£9.34 go to or call
0330 333 6846
The Observer | 17.12.17 | 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
to Next theme:
merry (to appear 24 December). Share
your photos of what ‘merry’ means to you
at by 10am
on Thursday 21 December.
1 | ‘Testing the ice... Sarnia, Canada.’
Amelia Yorke/GuardianWitness
2 | ‘A robin sits on a frozen branch...’
Di Carey/GuardianWitness
3 | ‘Beechwood allotments, Glasgow.’
Fiona Macdonald/GuardianWitness
4 | ‘On the high moors of the Peak District.’
Kathryn Cooper/GuardianWitness
5 | ‘Icebergs washed up on the beach,
Jökulsárlón, Iceland.’
Joel Vardy/GuardianWitness
6 | ‘Exploring the ice caves under the
Vatnajökull in the south of Iceland.’
Ian Cumberland/GuardianWitness
The Killers
Las Vegas golden
boys the Killers (right)
have made the leap
to stadiums with this
year’s Wonderful
Wonderful LP.
Swansea, 23 June,
Bolton, 13 July
Django Django
Propulsive Scots
psych outfit Django
Django are back
on form on their
forthcoming third
album, due January.
Tour starts London 26
January, ends Bristol
24 March
Anne-Marie Duff
and Rory Kinnear are
the Macbeths. Rufus
Norris directs.
Olivier, London SE1;
from 26 February
A quiz about events that happened on this
day, 17 December, throughout history
1. In 1892, which fashion magazine started
2. Who were the brothers famous for
making the first powered aircraft flight in
3. In 1927, which Australian cricketer
scored 118 on his first-class cricket debut?
4. Which London department store was
bombed by the IRA in 1983, killing six and
injuring 75?
5. America’s longest-running sitcom
debuted in 1989. What was it?
6. Angela Merkel was elected chancellor
of Germany in 2013. Was this her first,
second or third term?
7. In 2015, José Mourinho was sacked as
manager of which British Premier League
football club?
Picasso 1932 – Love,
Fame, Tragedy
More than 100
outstanding works
in paint, print and
sculpture from a
time in his career so
prolific it is known
as “the year of
Tate Modern, London
SE1; 8 March to 9
The Return of Ulysses
For the Royal Opera,
Roderick Williams
sings the title role in
Monteverdi’s great
Roundhouse, London
NW1; 10-21 January
The Place, London
WC1; 20-22
London international
mime festival 2018
Includes Lift Off,
from France, in
which mechanical
installations come
to life; Lähtö, from
Finland, mixing video
technology with
19th-century stage
magic; from Belgium,
300 el x 50 el x 30 el,
inspired by Noah’s Ark.
Various venues; 10
January to 3 February
Celebrating Carter
Contemporary Music
Group, with pianist
Aimard and conductor
Mirga Gražinyté-Tyla,
performs works by
Elliott Carter.
Town Hall,
Birmingham; 28
Chosen by Kitty
Empire, Susannah
Clapp, Fiona
Maddocks, Luke
Jennings and Laura
What the Moon Saw
A new show for
children by Tamsin
Fitzgerald and 2Faced
Answers on page 41
1 Tons in store, say, for
competitor in field
event (4-6)
6 Unwanted messages in charts
going around (4)
9 Storm, test for men at sea
throughout (4,4,2,5)
11 Supervisor in favour of
returning call (7)
12 Burden quietly accepted by
old journalists (7)
13 Chapter, part containing
good unfinished record of
events (9)
16 Raging against one breaking
cover (5)
18 Careless in head of state’s
absence (5)
19 Cheerful people I spot, excited
about film (9)
20 Anger acceptable in show (7)
21 Musical piece from applicant
at audition (7)
23 Criticism popular doctor
alters, changing dressing (8,7)
24 Outfit beginning to
accumulate capital (4)
25 Like an idealist, waited to
receive right cereal (6-4)
1 Cut off, erring in appeal
for help not sharply
NO 3714
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
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night to: The Observer PO Box 6604,
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opened will receive a set of stylish
Penguin Dictionaries, worth £24
defined (4-5)
2 Smell food, so hurry, deprived
of regular portions (5)
3 Upright fellow with second
innings in game (8,5)
4 Metal casing that is forming
connection (3-2)
5 Outgoing traveller, on time
after departure, missing
AZED CROSSWORD For a different challenge see page 41
one (9)
7 Maintains power over
substitutes (9)
8 Without source of light I’m
upset (5)
10 Extra flexible with translation
of any term (13)
14 Group filled with energy when
working and thinking (9)
15 Finish with king and fool
bound together (5-4)
17 Wanted around Panama, lost
hope (9)
20 Difficult question for
exhibitionist (5)
21 Cloak right for illicit activity (5)
22 Restless, say, bothered about
part of Bible (5)
AZED 2,372 Solution & notes
Across 1, anag. incl. p, & lit.; 11, alternate
letters + ah!; 14, Rambo in sec (rev.); 15,
trat in anag.; 16, lo! in pt; 19, h ant in anag.;
22, rag (rev.) + ran; 31, is in Dem.; 32, rec
Eden t in anag.
Down 2, comp. anag.; 3, Prad(o); 6, a
repo(rter) (rev.); 9, hidden; see hern; 11,
cap ego in sat; 23, (M)arie + n; 27, plug
(qv) (rev.).
£25 in book tokens for the
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AZED No. 2,375, The Observer,
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AZED No. 2,372 prizewinners
John M Brown, Staffordshire
Gordon Hobbs, Essex
Mrs M Hoare, London
33 Sailors lost at sea, master going first (6)
34 Creative evolutionist shifted bearings on being drawn in (10)
2 Divination of a kind – look around, mood can change (10)
10 One condemned to hard labour, notwithstanding
the lash? (6)
12 Flowering plant, a devil to prune? (6)
13 From which printer prepares moulds, strong and extended (5)
14 Women in clan did part of housework (5)
15 Wing membrane: see one flap in a fly that bites (8)
17 Pure greed maybe – breakfast dish almost all polished off (7)
18 One following conductor closely, cheerful type
regardless of op (6)
19 Penultimate in over landing in long grass – one has a long
hard look (6)
21 Bit of old armour battles damaged (not the first) (6)
24 Gloss cast light on standard operating procedure
retrospectively (6)
26 Beard left trimmed indicating areas of sovereignty (7)
29 Fancy valve? You could make do with tranny (8)
30 Flight of steps formerly for one in litter? (5)
31 Rebuffed Scot is shown cold one left in vomit? (5)
32 Fodder for cattle from Cumbria initially, R. Lune
swirling round (6)
1 What winds toff up like a thrill in a way that’s
disconcerting (12)
2 Compensations in law, very tardy mostly, reverse of ideal (7)
3 Just for now, introduction has limited time (6, 2 words)
4 Love drug creating dudgeon, we hear? (5)
5 Rearing water parsnips takes in half of water for
Chilean shrubs (6)
6 Bulletin we scan nervously on street (8)
7 First in class, getting prize? (6)
8 Spot runs up, circling one, barks briefly – not what
golfer wants (4)
9 Fast shift to get round what careless actress loses –
being protective? (12)
11 Mixed drink? Idiot imbibes second (5)
16 It’s nicer, mostly less windy – yet muffler’s required (8)
20 As Caesar might say, ‘I don’t want to end up a ghost’ (7)
22 A bit of a bat, making 50 mid season? (6)
23 Some foreign cash is tiny change (6)
24 Heathen, as of old, I am following heathen deity (5)
25 A plain yogurt? One’s paying outrageously with this yeast (6)
27 Fleece, essential for Arab as a nightshirt (5)
28 Had short massage? Pummel, more like (4)
The Chambers Dictionary (2014) is recommended.
Top 10 DVDs at
Top 10 tracks at Spotify UK
Top 10 for toddlers at
Micky Flanagan: An’ Another Fing Live
Beauty and the Beast Dir: Bill Condon
Paddington Paul King
Trolls Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell
The British and Irish Lions Uncovered
Despicable Me 3 Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Trolls: Holiday Joel Crawford
Blue Planet II
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge
Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
10 Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 James Gunn
All I Want for Christmas Is You Mariah Carey
Rockstar Post Malone
Last Christmas Wham!
Havana Camila Cabello
Fairytale of New York The Pogues
Perfect Ed Sheeran ft Beyoncé
Let You Down NF
Anywhere Rita Ora
New Rules Dua Lipa
I Miss You Clean Bandit ft Julia Michaels
Magnus Carlsen
(White to play)
After 36 cxb6 Qxb6, it would have been
rather unpleasant but Carlsen would
presumably have held. Instead he saw
something “better”, 36 Qc6. Why was
“better” actually much worse?
The Ugly Five Axel Scheffler
Zog and the Flying Doctors Julia Donaldson
Paddington and the Christmas Surprise
Michael Bond
4 You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus
Patricia Cleveland-Peck
5 The Night Before Christmas Clement C Moore
6 The Snowman Raymond Briggs
7 The Lost Words Robert Macfarlane
8 Oi Frog! Kes Gray
9 Boogie Bear David Walliams
10 Ten Little Elves Mike Brownlow
The 9th London Chess Classic concluded
on Monday in victory for Fabiano Caruana
after a rapidplay and then blitz play-off
against Ian Nepomniachtchi. Magnus
Carlsen had a terrible tournament by
his standards, but still did enough to win
the overall Grand Chess Tour ahead of
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
It was a real slow-burner, with three
rounds without a single win and just
one per round in the next three, but it
combusted at the end as the players tired.
With three to go, Caruana, who had
beaten Sergey Karjakin and Viswanathan
Anand, was half a point ahead of
Nepomniachtchi, who had beaten Michael
Adams. No one else had won a game.
All that changed in the final three days
with seven more victories. “Nepo” beat
Adams in round seven and Carlsen in
round 8 (see above). But after the Russian
had quickly contrived a draw in the final
round as White against MV-L, Caruana
caught him, grinding out a tough win
against Adams. The play-off was for glory
rather than money, but it’s nevertheless a
big deal to be the winner of a world-class
The final scores were: Caruana and
Nepo 6/9; MV-L, Wesley So and Carlsen
5; Hikaru Nakamura 4.5 (nine draws!),
Levon Aronian 4, Karjakin 3.5 and Anand
and Adams 3. In the overall tour, Carlsen
made 41 ahead of MV-L 38, Aronian 29
and Nakamura 25.
A number of events were held alongside
the classic, most notably the British
knockout championship, an eight-player
tournament in which Luke McShane
defeated David Howell in a gruelling final,
which comprised four classical games
followed by four rapidplay, and with scores
tied, two blitz play-off games.
A powerful open was won by Gabriel
Sargissian and Hrant Melkumyan (both
from Armenia) and Sébastien Mazé
(France) all on 7.5/9; a rapidplay by
Norwegian junior Ingvar Andreasson with
6/6; and a formidable blitz tournament by
Eduardo Iturrizaga from Venezuela, after
he beat me in the semi-final and David
Howell in the final.
In the top diagram, Carlsen had missed
36 Qc6?? Qa4! retaining an extra piece
since if 37 Qxb6 Qxf4+. After 37 Qxa4
Nxa4 38 c6 Nb6 39 c7 f6 40 Rb3 Nc8
Carlsen resigned.
Ian Nepomniachtchi v Viswanathan Anand
London 2017 (round 7)
English Opening
1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 e3 a6 5 b3
Bd6 6 Bb2 0-0 7 g4 This sharp move leads
to very complicated play.
7... Nxg4 8 Rg1 f5 9 cxd5 e5! Closing the long
diagonal but weakening the white squares.
10 h3 Nf6 11 Ng5 Qe7 12 Qf3 Kh8 13 Ne6
Bxe6 14 dxe6 Qxe6 15 Qxb7 Nepo had
intended 15 Bc4? Qc8 16 Qg2, missing the
much better 15... Qd7 when if 16 Qxb7?? Nc6
the queen is lost.
15... Nbd7 16 Bc4 Qe7 17 Qg2 Nb6 18
Be2 a5 19 Bb5! It’s important to stop the
a-pawn’s advance. If 19 Qg5?! a4 20 Qxf5?
a3 21 Bc1 e4 White is in deep trouble.
19... Rad8 20 Qg5 g6 21 Qh6 Ng8 22 Qg5
Nf6 23 Rd1 Spurning a repetiton to fight.
23... e4 24 Qh6 Rg8 25 Ne2 Be5 26 Bxe5
Qxe5 27 Nf4 g5! This looks best. If 27...
Qxb5 28 Nxg6+ Rxg6 29 Rxg6 Rg8 30 Rxg8+
Nxg8 31 Qe6 White looks better.
28 Rxg5 Rxg5 29 Qxg5 Rg8 30 Qh6
Anand (Black to
30... Rg7? Here Anand seemed rather to
lose heart. He considered 30... Nbd5 and
30... Nfd5, both of which are inferior but
30... Rg1+! 31 Bf1 Nbd7 would have been
perfectly acceptable.
31 Bc4 Nxc4 32 bxc4 Qb2 33 Ke2 Now
White is a clear pawn up.
33... a4 34 Ne6 Rf7 35 Nf4 Rg7 36 a3 Ne8
36... Qb6 was better but still grim after 37 d3.
37 Qc6 Here Anand resigned. He’s losing
more pawn(s) but might still have played a
few more moves.
The annual competition will appear on
31 December.
Everyman No. 3712 winners
Walter Shaw, Wembley
John Roberts, London
J B Senior, Sheffield
Kris Myatt, Nottinghamshire
James Ashmore, Holmfirth
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. Vogue
2. The Wright Brothers
3. Donald Bradman
4. Harrods
5. The Simpsons
6. Third term
7. Chelsea
Fill in the blank cells using the numbers 1 to 9. Each number must appear
just once in every row, column and 3x3 box.
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Monday 18
For today’s TV
see back page
glazed ham, squash, brie and cranberry
tarts, a pear and hazelnut pavlova and
more, culminating in Berry’s very own
tempting brandy-based cocktail recipe:
the MB zinger. Try it if you dare.
vote for the sweetness of human nature.
Almost sitcom stuff, but acidic as a supersour gumball. Jonathan Romney
Sophie’s Lights
Radio 4, 2.15pm
Birds of a Feather
Christmas Special
ITV, 9pm
Tracey has a plan that looks set to disrupt all
attempts by the Chigwell trio to achieve any
thing approaching festive harmony. Plus
Dorien has a mystery to solve. Mike Bradley
ITV2, 2.20am
Father Brown
BBC One, 1.45pm
(Leslye Headland, 2012)
The Tree of Truth is the first in a new 10-part
run for Kembleford’s clerical crime-solver.
Tonight he must unravel the mystery of a
woman who went missing after an amateur
dramatic society rehearsal of Cinderella
seven years earlier. His investigation leads
him to uncover heroin and cocaine use
(in Kembleford!) which results in a cruel
miscarriage of justice. Gently excellent.
Writer-director Headland launched her
career writing a set of plays including
Assistance, allegedly inspired by her days
as assistant to Harvey Weinstein. You might
well imagine, then, that her humour runs on
the spiky side, witness her debut feature, a
female satire often mentioned approvingly
alongside the likes of Bridesmaids and Bad
Girls. Kirsten Dunst plays a disgruntled maid
of honour at a wedding with a long-standing
animus against an old schoolmate (Rebel
Wilson) who finds herself in for further
sniping when she announces her marriage.
With Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher as her
sidekicks, Dunst puts her professional Nice
Girl days behind her, showing a relishably
nasty side in a film that’s anything but a
Mary Berry’s Christmas Party
BBC One, 8.30pm
A joyous one-off festive special in which
the nation’s favourite cook is joined by
celebrity helpers as she prepares ginger-
The League of Gentlemen
BBC Two, 10pm
Return to Royston Vasey is the first of
three 20th anniversary specials, in which
Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton
and Mark Gatiss reprise their many roles
as they “settle old scores and dig up old
friends”. It being the first Monday in the
month, or “Nude Day”, when Auntie Violet
(MG) meets Benjamin (RS) at the station
she is grotesquely, pendulously naked,
but soon that is forgotten as the pair begin
to discuss preparations for the funeral
of recently deceased Uncle Harvey. A
more shocking change to Royston Vasey
comes to light when a reporter tells the
mayor that the county plans to move the
boundary line to exclude the town and
“force the populace into Blackbottoms”.
Elsewhere, Pauline (SP) is undergoing
reminiscence therapy and, disappointingly,
there’s only a fleeting appearance from
Edward (RS) and Tubbs (SP). Some very
funny moments, though. Mike Bradley
“One second she believes in Santa Claus,
next thing you know she’s bringing home
a non-Jewish boyfriend and she’s hooked
on bacon…” Alan (William Ash) feels his
six-year-old daughter Sophie is on a
slippery slope in Adam Usden’s wellscripted drama exploring the difficulties of
being “middle-of-the-road Jewish” when
everyone around you is going overboard
on Yuletide celebrations. With his wife
Rachel (Ophelia Lovibond) unbothered
by Sophie’s interest in Santa or even her
appearance in a school Nativity play, Alan
realises that their relationship as well as
his faith are on the line. Freya Pollard is
engaging as Sophie in this amusing and
unexpectedly magical play. Stephanie Billen
Sky Sports Premier League, 7pm
Everton v Swansea City: Premier League.
Coverage from Goodison Park, where the
Toffees welcome another side struggling
at the wrong end of the table. The Swans
are still hoping for a return of the form that
rescued their fortunes towards the back
end of last season, but for the time being it
seems in short supply. MB
Breakfast 9.15 Let’s Get a Good
Thing Going 10.0 Homes Under
the Hammer (R) 11.0 Street
Auction 11.45 Fake Britain (R)
12.15 Bargain Hunt 1.0 News and
Weather 1.30 Regional News and
Weather (T) 1.45 Father Brown
(T) 2.30 Escape to the Country
(T) (R) 3.30 The Instant Gardener
(T) (R) 4.15 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 Panorama:
Myanmar – The Hidden Truth (T)
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Island Medics (R) 7.15 Hairy
Bikers Home for Christmas
(R) 8.0 Mary Berry’s Country
House Secrets (R) 9.0 Victoria
Derbyshire 11.0 Newsroom
Live 12.0 Daily Politics 1.0 The
Link (R) 1.45 Terry and Mason’s
Great Food Trip (R) 2.15 Home
Away from Home (R) 3.0 Inside
Claridge’s (R) 4.0 Alaska: Earth’s
Frozen Kingdom (R) 5.0 The Blue
Planet (R) 6.0 Celeb Eggheads
6.30 Celeb Antiques Road Trip
7.30 Inside the Christmas Factory
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) (R)
3.59 Local News and Weather
(T) 4.0 Tipping Point (T) (R) 5.0
The Chase (T) 6.0 Local News
(T) 6.30 News (T) 7.0 Emmerdale
(T) A villager is arrested for
Emma’s murder. 7.30 Coronation
Street (T) Gary distracts Phelan
while Anna hunts for evidence.
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 The Big Bang Theory
(T) (R) 11.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R) 12.0
News (T) 12.05 Jamie’s Comfort
Food (T) (R) 12.20 Carry
On Cleo (Gerald Thomas, 1964)
(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)
Milkshake! 9.15 Puppies Make
You Laugh Out Loud (T) (R)
10.05 The Gadget Show (T) (R)
12.10 Jim Henson’s Turkey
Hollow (Kirk R Thatcher, 2015)
(T) 1.55 Back to Christmas
(Tim O’Donnell, 2014) (T) 3.35
A Cinderella Christmas
(Tosca Musk, 2016) (T) 5.20
Christmas Bucket List
(Paul A Kaufman, 2016) (T) 7.0
World’s Strongest Man 2017 (T)
New series. James Richardson
introduces action from the
Scandinavian Open in Norrköping.
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
(T) (R) Alumni of Magdalene
College, Cambridge, and St
Hilda’s, Oxford compete, including
Mike Newell and Val McDermid.
Mexico: Earth’s Festival of
Life (T) (R) The deserts of
Mexico’s northern region.
Last in the series.
The Art That Made Mexico:
Paradise, Power and Prayers
(T) How faith has always driven
cultural life in Mexico, exploring
art that blends Mesoamerican
and Catholic iconography. Last
in the series.
EastEnders (T) Tina thinks
she may be pregnant.
8.30 Mary Berry’s Christmas Party
(T) Alex Jones, Darcey Bussell,
Adil Ray, Myleene Klass and
others prepare delicious dishes.
9.30 Would I Lie to You? At Christmas
(T) With Henry Blofeld, Kerry
Howard, the Rev Richard Coles
and Clive Myrie.
8.30 University Challenge (T) Two
teams battle it out for a place
in the quarter-finals.
9.0 Employable Me (T) Psychologist
Nancy Doyle invites a man
with autism and a woman
with Asperger syndrome to
her training centre where they
learn the rules of the office
environment. Last in the series.
Save Money: Good Food (T)
The team offer money-saving
festive tips. Last in the series.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Phelan
blames Anna as Eileen is taken
to hospital.
9.0 Birds of a Feather Christmas
Special (T) Tracey’s plans could
upset the festive harmony and
Dorien has a mystery to solve.
Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life
(T) The Bake Off judge takes a
trip to Cyprus. Last in the series.
8.30 Supershoppers (T) Identical
products at different prices in
the same supermarket. Last
in the series.
9.0 Old People’s Home for
4 Year Olds at Christmas (T)
Festive update to the August
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.45 Have I Got a Bit More News for
You (T) David Tennant hosts.
Last in the series.
11.30 Michael McIntyre’s Big Show
(T) (R) With Niall Horan, Jason
Manford and Miranda Hart.
12.30 The Graham Norton Show (T) (R)
1.15 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 1.20 BBC News (T)
10.0 The League of Gentlemen (T)
New series. Familiar faces return
to Royston Vasey to settle old
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Blitz: The Bombs That Changed
Britain (T) (R) An incendiary
bomb that set fire to a Bristol
church in November, 1940. Last in
the series.
12.15 Sign Zone Countryfile (T) (R)
1.10 Blue Planet II (T) (R) 2.10
Nigella: At My Table (T) (R)
2.40 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Killer Women With Piers Morgan
(T) (R) The journalist travels
to Homestead Correctional
Institution in Florida.
11.45 Fraud: How They Steal Your ID (T)
(R) Techniques used by criminals
to swindle online customers.
12.35 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 73-year-old has
her first date for 44 years.
11.05 Sarah Millican: Home Bird Live
(T) (R) Standup show recorded
at Newcastle’s Tyne theatre &
opera house.
12.10 The Woman in Black
(James Watkins, 2012) (T)
Supernatural horror starring
Daniel Radcliffe. 1.50 One
Born Every Minute (T) (R)
2.45 Extraordinary Teens:
School of Life and Deaf (T) (R)
3.40 Gillette World Sport (T)
4.10 KOTV Boxing Weekly (T)
11.05 Abba: Live in Concert (T) (R)
The Swedish band in concert
during their six-night residence
at Wembley Arena, London, in
November 1979.
12.10 The Greatest Ever Pop Families
(T) (R) 1.05 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
Top 20 Funniest (T) (R) 4.0 Now
That’s Funny! (T) (R) 4.45 House
Doctor (T) (R) 5.10 Great Artists
(T) (R) 5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.0 Handmade in Mexico (T)
Following the creation of
alebrijes, brightly coloured,
fantastical creatures carved from
wood and decorated in detailed
paintwork. Last in the series.
10.30 Britain’s Lost Masterpieces
(T) (R) Last in the series.
11.30 Kiri Te Kanawa at the BBC (T) (R)
12.30 Mexico: Earth’s Festival of Life
(T) (R) 1.30 The Art That Made
Mexico: Paradise, Power and
Prayers (T) (R) 2.30 Britain’s
Lost Masterpieces (T) (R)
David Stein. 4pm Bach: Violin Concerto in D minor,
BWV 1052. Leonidas Kavakos (violin), Danish
National SO, Fabio Luisi. 5.0 In Tune: Christmas
Special from the BBC Radio Theatre 7.0 Spirit of
Bach Mixtape. A compilation of Bach’s greatest
music. 7.30 In Concert. A recording from this
year’s Proms in which John Butt and the Dunedin
Consort perform JS Bach’s St John Passion, with
Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook, Sophie Bevan,
Tim Mead, Andrew Tortise and Konstantin Wolff.
(R) 10.0 Music Matters. Sara Mohr-Pietsch
investigates how little-known British dialects have
helped shape the nation’s classical music. Plus, she
assesses crisis in traditional instrument building.
(R) 10.45 The Essay: Luther’s Reformation Gang.
Prof Lyndal Roper on the father of the Reformation,
Martin Luther. (1/5) 11.0 Jazz Now: Herts Jazz
Festival. A tribute to the great Scottish saxophonist
Bobby Wellins. 12.30 Through the Night (R)
examine the legacy of the UK’s first gramophone
records. (R) (1/5) 2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15
Drama: Sophie’s Lights, by Adam Usden. 3.0 Round
Britain Quiz (6/12) 3.30 The Food Programme:
The World’s Most Popular Cheese – The Story of
Cheddar (R) 4.0 Snapshots. Following a leading
photographer at work on a shoot. (4/4) 4.30
Beyond Belief: Light. Ernie Rea and guests look at
the symbolism and use of light in Judaism and other
religions. (6/8) 5.0 PM. Presented by Eddie Mair.
5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather 6.0
News 6.30 I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. 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. (6/6) 7.0 The Archers. Brian
receives an unexpected offer. 7.15 Front Row. Arts
roundup. 7.45 Holmes and Watford (1/5) 8.0
Iceland’s Dark Lullabies. Andri Snær Magnason
reflects on the dark side of Icelandic Christmas,
with traditional stories partly harking back to a preChristian times when people worshipped the Norse
gods. 8.30 Crossing Continents: Daphne and the
Two Maltas (R) 9.0 Mysteries of Sleep: Dreaming
(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. (6/10) 11.0 Mastertapes:
Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now (A-Wide)
(7/8) 11.30 Today in Parliament. With Sean
Curran. 12.0 News 12.30 Book of the Week (1/5)
12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer
for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of
the Day: The Twelve Tweets of Christmas (2/12)
BT Sport 1
10.30am Premier League Review 11.30 The
Ashes 1.0 Premier League 2.30 Extreme Sailing
Series Highlights 3.0 Premier League Review 4.0
The Ashes 5.30 The Outdoor Sports Show 6.0
SPFL Highlights 6.30 Bundesliga Review 7.30
Live Bundesliga 2 9.30 BT Sport Goals Reload 10.0
Premier League Tonight 10.30 The Ashes 12.0
ESPN Films: Charismatic 1.0 Live NBA: Minnesota
Timberwolves v Portland Trail Blazers (tip-off
1am) 3.30 Nottingham Forest v Liverpool 1978
4.0 Notts County v Watford 1983/84 4.30 Man
Utd v Arsenal 1984/85 5.0 Everton v Southampton
1985/86 5.30 Liverpool v Notts Forest 1987/88
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 8.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
9.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 10.0 CSI:
Crime Scene Investigation 11.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 12.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
1.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation 3.0 Without a Trace 4.0
Without a Trace 5.0 Without a Trace 6.0 Without
a Trace 7.0 Without a Trace 8.0 Attenborough at
90: Behind the Lens 9.0 Game of Thrones 10.20
Game of Thrones 11.35 Game of Thrones 12.50
Band of Brothers 2.25 The Enemy Within
(1994) 4.05 Blue Bloods 5.0 Blue Bloods
All programmes from 10am to 7pm are double
bills 6.0am-7.0 Hollyoaks 7.0 Charmed 7.55
Rude(ish) Tube Shorts 8.10 The Dog Who
Saved Christmas (2009) 10.0 Rules of Engagement
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 Brooklyn Nine-Nine 8.0-9.0 The Big
Bang Theory 9.0 Made in Chelsea 10.0 Born in
Chelsea: Baby Steps 11.05-12.05 The Big Bang
Theory 12.05 Gogglebox 1.10 Tattoo Fixers
2.15 Rude Tube 3.10 Made in Chelsea 4.054.50 How I Met Your Mother 4.50 Charmed
11.0am The Lawless Breed (1953) 12.45
Mysterious Island (1961) 2.50 Gunman’s Walk (1958) 4.45 Operation Petticoat
(1959) 7.10 Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (2005)
9.0 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
(2004) 10.55 The Watch (2012) 1.0 The Tree of Life (2011)
6.0am Futurama 6.30 Futurama 7.0 Futurama
7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 The Simpsons 8.30
The Simpsons 9.0 The Simpsons 9.30 Modern
Family 10.0 Modern Family 10.30 Modern
Family 11.0 David Attenborough’s Wild City 12.0
Hawaii Five-0 1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0 NCIS: LA
3.0 NCIS: LA 4.0 Modern Family 4.30 Modern
Family 5.0 The Simpsons 5.30 The Simpsons
6.0 Futurama 6.30 The Simpsons 7.0 The
Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 A League of
Their Own Christmas Special 9.0 2012
(2009) 11.55 The Russell Howard Hour 12.55
Sick Note 1.25 A League of Their Own 2.20 The
Force: Manchester 3.15 Micro Monsters With David
Attenborough 3.40 Micro Monsters With David
Attenborough 4.05 Monkeys: An Amazing Animal
Family 5.0 Monkeys: An Amazing Animal Family
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 Live MNF: Everton v Swansea
City (kick-off 8pm) Coverage from Goodison Park.
10.0 Live World Darts Championship 11.0 Sky
Sports News 1.0 My Icon: Shaun Gayle 1.15 Live
NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
(kick-off 1.30am) Coverage of the NFC South
clash at Raymond James Stadium. 4.45 Great
Sporting Moments 5.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.30pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.05 Killer Women With
Piers Morgan (T) (R) 12.05 Teleshopping 1.05
After Midnight 2.35-5.05 ITV Nightscreen
ITV WALES As ITV except 10.45pm Sharp
End 11.45-12.35 Killer Women With Piers
Morgan (T) (R)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.35am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.30pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.05 Killer Women With Piers
Morgan (T) (R) 12.05 Teleshopping 1.05
After Midnight 2.35-5.05 ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 12.35am
Teleshopping 1.35-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 7.30pm8.0 The Woman Who Can Smell Parkinson’s
(T) Elizabeth Quigley talks to Joy Milne and
meets the scientists who are investigating her
groundbreaking ability to detect Parkinson’s
disease by her sense of smell. 10.45 Panorama:
Myanmar – The Hidden Truth (T) 11.15 Have I Got
a Bit More News for You (T) 12.0 The Graham
Norton Show (T) (R) 12.50-1.50 Michael
McIntyre’s Big Show (T) (R)
BBC ONE WALES 10.40pm Cardiff: Living
on the Streets (T) 11.35 Have I Got a Bit More
News for You (T) 12.15-1.15 Michael McIntyre’s
Big Show (T) (R)
Jonathan Rea: Three in a Row (T) 11.20 The Arts
Show: In Conversation With Adrian Dunbar (T)
(R) 11.50 Have I Got a Bit More News for You
(T) 12.35 Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (T) (R)
1.35-2.20 The Graham Norton Show (T) (R)
The Lego Story: Brick by Brick
(T) Documentary charting the
history of the toy. Includes news.
Abba: When All Is Said and
Done (T) Docudrama telling
the stories of singers Agnetha
Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad,
told through the words both of
those in Abba’s close circle and
of the women themselves.
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 Alice & Dev 5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Alice
& Dev 7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 The 8th With Charlie
Sloth 11.0 Huw Stephens 3.0 Specialist Chart
With Phil Taggart 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 The
Blues Show With Paul Jones 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0
Marc Almond’s Torch Song Trilogy (3/3) 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. Petroc Trelawny presents. 9.0
Essential Classics. Brian Blessed joins Suzy Klein to
discuss the experiences, times and places that have
inspired him. 12.0 Composer of the Week: Johann
Sebastian Bach (1/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: Live from Wigmore Hall. Ysaÿe: Poème
élégiaque, Op 12. Vierne: Violin Sonata, Op 23.
Alina Ibragimova (violin), (piano). 2.0 Afternoon
Concert. Telemann: Overture – St Matthew Passion,
TWV 5:53; Cantata: Der am Ölberg zagende
Jesus, TWV 1:364; Overture: Der für die Sünde
der Welt gemarterte und sterbende Jesus, TWV
5:1; Cantata: Jesus liegt in letzten Zugen, TWV
1:983. Bach: Sinfonia: Gleich wie der Regen und
Schnee vom Himmel fällt, BWV 18; Sinfonia: Der
Herr denket an uns, BWV 196; Sinfonia: Ich hatte
viel Bekuummernis, BWV 21; Cantata: Ich habe
genug, BWV 82. Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor),
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Petra Mullejans. 3.25
Bach: Tilge, Hochster, meine Sünden, BWV 1083.
Ania Vegry (soprano), Hilke Andersen (contralto),
Hanover Girls’ Chorus, NDR Radio Philharmonic,
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
5.30 TMS: The Ashes, Day Five. 9.45-10.0 Daily
Service. FM: 6.0 Today 9.0 Start the Week 9.45
Book of the Week: Village Christmas, by Laurie
Lee. (1/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented by Jane
Garvey. Includes at 10.45 Drama: Holmes and
Watford. Comedy by Jon Canter, in which Jessica
Ransom and Susan Wokoma star as policewomen
in a small village. (LW joins at 10.30) 11.0 The
Untold: The Oboe Man. Grace Dent introduces the
story of the oboist Paul Mosby, who has Alzheimer’s
and is receiving music therapy. (7/16) 11.30
Cooking in a Bedsitter: Green Pea Sandwiches.
Beattie Edmondson and Nikesh Patel star, with
Eleanor Bron reading extracts from Katharine
Whitehorn’s culinary classic. (3/4) 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home
Front: 18 December 1917 – Edie Chadwick, by
Shaun McKenna . (26/40) 12.15 You and Yours
12.57 Weather 1.0 The World at One. Presented
by Martha Kearney. 1.45 His Master’s Voices:
Beginnings. Cerys Matthews and Tristram Penna
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Adrian
Chiles 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 Drive 7.0
Monday Night Club 9.0 The Ashes: Tuffers and
Vaughan 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 19
new tracks from their new LP, Songs of
Experience. Plus behind-the-scenes
footage of the band filmed in October
as they prepared to perform at the
Morumbi stadium in São Paulo, Brazil.
Judy Becker’s design and Sandy Powell’s
costumes fuel the 1950s atmospherics
impeccably. Jonathan Romney
Bach Walk
Radio 3, 7pm
The Indian Detective
Suspended for incompetence, Doug
D’Mello, a constable in the Canadian police
becomes involved in a murder investigation
on a visit to his father in Mumbai. A hidden
gem of a comedy. Try it. Mike Bradley
Film4, 9pm
The Royal Variety Performance
ITV, 7.30pm
(Todd Haynes, 2015)
Miranda Hart hosts the annual jamboree,
which this year features: the Killers, Louis
Tomlinson, Paloma Faith, the Script, Leading
Ladies, Seal, Ball and Boe, Jason Manford,
Tom Allen and Circus Abyssinia. Plus, turns
by the cast of Annie and 42nd Street;
Kelsey Grammer premieres his new West
End show Big Fish; and Cirque du Soleil
provide a preview of their new show OVO.
After a series of variously experimental
films, mercurial US auteur Haynes heads
for more approachable territory with an
adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel
The Price of Salt, about two women falling
in love. Scripted by Phyllis Nagy, the film
stars Rooney Mara as Therese, a young
photographer falling for an older married
woman, Carol (Cate Blanchett). Playing
somewhat like a sequel to Haynes’s 2002
Far from Heaven, in which he channelled
the themes and style of Douglas Sirk, Carol
lowers the critical distance, replacing wry
pastiche with a controlled directness that
makes this the director’s most moving
film yet. The performances are superb,
while Edward Lachman’s photography,
U2 at the BBC
BBC One, 9pm
In a special concert recored at the famous
Abbey Road studios, U2 perform some
of their biggest hits, as well as brand
Channel 4, 9pm
Writer/director Anthony Philipson’s
powerful single drama is one of the most
resonant programmes on television this
week and despite his already respectable
track record – Youngers, My Mad
Fat Diary – it signifies an altogether
higher level of accomplishment for this
valuable new voice in TV drama. Without
giving too much away, Shamed is
about what happens when Sarah (Faye
Marsay, above), 27, exacts her finely
choreographed revenge for an act of
violation which occurred 10 years earlier,
when she was a carefree teenager on
holiday in Tenerife. Now, to rebalance the
scales for “something that led to me losing
everything, my life, my friends, my job
and my family”, she has two men, a fiance
and a stranger, held captive in a prison
cell. A thought-provoking, cautionary
meditation on the theme of consent.
Gripping from start to finish. Mike Bradley
As part of Radio 3’s Spirit of Bach season,
author and broadcaster Horatio Clare
re-creates the German composer’s 250mile winter walk from Arnstadt to Lübeck
to hear the organist Dietrich Buxtehude. In
today’s slow-radio instalment he imagines
the “soundscape of a Bruegel painting”
with its volleys of birds, creaking carts and
horses’ hooves, lamenting the ubiquitous
car noise of 21st-century Europe. Visually
he has to become enthusiastic about a
“dreamscape” of wind turbines, bullocks
by a motorway or graffiti on a bridge that
almost, but does not quite, spell out “Bach”.
Still, it is an atmospheric trek and plentiful
Bach music adds to the meditative mood.
Stephanie Billen
Sky Main Event, 7.30pm
Leicester City v Manchester City: League
Cup, quarter-final. The visitors have been
in excellent form in the league this term,
but they were held to a goalless draw
by Wolves in the previous round before
finally prevailing on penalties. Leicester,
meanwhile, have already beaten Liverpool
here in this season’s competition. MB
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Let’s Get a
Good Thing Going (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 and Weather (T)
1.30 Regional News and Weather
(T) 1.45 Father Brown (T) (R) 2.40
Escape to the Country (T) (R)
3.25 The Instant Gardener (T) (R)
4.15 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 (T) (R)
6.30 Let’s Get a Good Thing
Going (T) (R) 7.15 Street Auction
(T) (R) 8.0 Sign Zone: Celebrity
Antiques Road Trip (T) (R) 9.0
Victoria Derbyshire (T) 11.0 BBC
Newsroom Live (T) 12.0 Daily
Politics (T) 1.0 The Link (T) (R)
1.45 Equestrian: Olympia Grand
Prix Highlights (T) 3.0 Inside
Claridge’s (T) (R) 4.0 Alaska:
Earth’s Frozen Kingdom (T) (R)
5.0 The Blue Planet (T) (R) 6.0
Sacred Rivers (T) (R) 7.0 The
Repair Shop at Christmas (T)
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
7.35 Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 10.05
The Big Bang Theory (T) (R) 11.0
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
USA (T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Jamie’s Cracking Christmas (T)
12.20 Carry On Cabby
(Gerald Thomas, 1963) (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) (R)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
Holby City (T) Rushed off her
feet on Christmas Eve, Morven
is torn between her past and
her future. Last in the series.
U2 at the BBC (T) The band
perform some of their hits at
Abbey Road studios, alongside
tracks from their latest album,
Songs of Experience, and chat
to Cat Deeley about their lives.
MasterChef: The Professionals
– The Finals (T) Four remaining
chefs get the chance to cook
at one of the most prestigious
events in the UK culinary
calendar – The Chef’s Table.
Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico (T)
The chef reaches Oaxaca, home
to Mexico’s national cheese.
7.30 The Royal Variety Performance
2017 (T) Miranda Hart hosts the
annual event, this time at the
London Palladium, where the
evening’s acts include Alfie Boe,
Michael Ball, Seal and Britain’s
Got Talent winner Tokio Myers.
10.10 News (T)
10.40 Local News (T)
10.50 Lethal Weapon A Problem Like
Maria (T) (R) Riggs is a cause
of further concern for Captain
Avery as his attachment to
Karen Palmer deepens..
11.50 Lethal Weapon Commencement
(T) (R) Riggs makes a shocking
discovery about Miranda’s death.
Last in the series.
12.35 Jackpot247 3.0 Loose Women
(R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R
10.0 Extraordinary Teens: Young,
Gifted and Broke (T) Cameras
follow what happened to the
young pianist and composer
Shane Thomas, hailed in 2009
as Britain’s answer to Mozart.
11.05 Micky Flanagan’s Out Out Tour
(T) (R) Standup show.
12.10 Naked Attraction (T) (R) 1.05 The
Supervet at Christmas (T) (R)
2.0 The Secret Life of the Zoo
at Christmas (T) (R) 2.55 Grand
Designs Australia (T) (R) 3.50
Phil Spencer: Secret Agent (T) (R)
4.45 Extreme Cake Makers (T) (R)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.45 Drugsland (T) The question
of whether the 1971 Misuse
of Drugs Act is it still fit for
purpose. Last in the series.
11.45 KKK: The Fight for White
Supremacy (T) (R) Documentary
about a North Carolina chapter of
the Ku Klux Klan.
12.45 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.50 BBC News (T)
10.0 The League of Gentlemen (T)
Royston Vasey faces a situation
more terrible than any before.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 NFL This Week (T) Action
from the 15th round.
12.05 Dara and Ed’s Road to Mandalay
(T) (R) (1/3) The comedians
explore South-East Asia. 1.05
Sign Zone: The Apprentice (T)
(R) 2.05 Expedition Volcano
(T) (R) 3.05 This Is BBC Two (T)
BT Sport 1
VfL Wolfsburg (kick-off 7.45pm) Coverage of the
third-round match from the Max-Morlock-Stadion.
9.45 Premier League Reload 10.0 MLB: World
Series Review 11.0 The ’85 Bears 1.0 Live NBA.
Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers (tip-off
1am) Coverage of the Eastern Conference Central
Division clash at BMO Harris Bradley Centre. 3.30
Classic Boxing: Ali v Blin 4.0 Classic Boxing:
Monzon v Valde II 4.30 Classic Boxing: Laing v
Mittee 5.0 Classic Boxing: McCrory v Lumumba
5.30 Classic Boxing: Nelson v McDonnell
6.30am Bundesliga 2 7.30 Game of the Week
8.0 Premier League Review 9.0-3.0 Serie A
3.0 Bundesliga 2 4.0 Premier League Review
5.0 Premier League Tonight 5.30 Cricket: Big
Bash League 6.30 BT Sport Goals Reload 6.45
Premier League Reload 7.0 German Cup Highlights
7.30 Live German Cup Football: FC Nürnberg v
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets 7.0-2.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation 2.0-8.0 Blue Bloods
8.0 Arctic Peril 9.0-12.35 Game of Thrones
12.35 Band of Brothers 1.45 Confirmation
(2016) 4.0-6.0 Blue Bloods
All programmes from 10am to 7pm are double
bills 6.0am-7.0 Hollyoaks 7.0 Charmed 7.55
Rude(ish) Tube Shorts 8.10 The Dog Who
Saved Christmas Vacation (2012) 10.0 Rules of
Engagement 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 Brooklyn Nine-Nine 8.0-9.0 The
Big Bang Theory 9.0 Tattoo Fixers at Christmas
10.0 Rude Tube Christmas Cracker 2016 11.0512.05 The Big Bang Theory 12.0 Gogglebox
1.05 Tattoo Fixers at Christmas 2.10 Rude Tube
Christmas Cracker 2016 3.05 First Dates 4.04.45 How I Met Your Mother 4.45 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) (R) 3.59 Local News
and Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping Point
(T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T) 6.0
Local News (T) 6.30 News (T) 7.0
Emmerdale (T) A villager is kept in
for questioning, and a family are
thrown into turmoil.
11.0am Magnificent Obsession (1954)
1.15 Drums Across the River (1954) 2.55
Billion Dollar Brain (1967) 5.05 Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960) 6.45 Night at the Museum (2006) 9.0 Carol
(2015) 11.20 Safe House (2012) 1.35
Girlhood (2014)
6.0am Futurama 6.30 Futurama 7.0 Futurama
7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 The Simpsons 8.30
The Simpsons 9.0 The Simpsons 9.30 Modern
Family 10.0 Modern Family 10.30 Modern
Family 11.0 David Attenborough’s Wild City
12.0 Hawaii Five-0 1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0 NCIS:
Los Angeles 3.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 4.0 Modern
Family 4.30 Modern Family 5.0 The Simpsons
5.30 The Simpsons 6.0 Futurama 6.30 The
Simpsons 7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons
8.0 Sky Sports Funniest Moments: Best Bits
10.0 Trollied: Christmas Special 10.30 A League
of Their Own Christmas Party 11.30 The Russell
Howard Hour 12.30 A League of Their Own 1.30
NCIS: Los Angeles 2.30 The Force: Manchester
3.30 Micro Monsters With David Attenborough
4.0 David Attenborough’s Wild City 5.0 Monkeys:
An Amazing Animal Family
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 7.30 Live Carabao Cup: Leicester City
v Man City (kick-off 7.45pm) Coverage of the
quarter-final from the King Power Stadium.
10.0 Live World Darts Championship. Coverage
of day six of the PDC event from Alexandra Palace
in London. 11.0 Live One-Day International
Cricket: New Zealand v West Indies. Coverage
of the first ODI in a three-match series, which
takes place at Cobham Oval in Whangarei.
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.40pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.15 Lethal Weapon
(T) (R) 12.10 Teleshopping 1.10 After Midnight 2.40-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.35am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.40pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.15 Lethal Weapon (T) (R) 12.10
Teleshopping 1.10 After Midnight 2.40-5.05
ITV Nightscreen (T)
ULSTER As ITV except 12.35am
Teleshopping 1.35-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
River City (T) Christmas Day in Shieldinch brings
an unwelcome surprise for Bob and Kim. 10.45
Holby City (T) 11.45 Drugsland (T) 12.45-1.45
KKK: The Fight for White Supremacy (T) (R)
BBC ONE WALES 10.40pm Children’s
Ward (T) (R) Behind the scenes with the doctors
and nurses of Wrexham Maelor in Wales. Last in
the series. 11.10 Drugsland (T) 12.10-1.10 KKK:
The Fight for White Supremacy (T) (R)
BBC TWO N IRELAND 10.0pm-10.30
Jonathan Rea: Three in a Row (T) (R) The story
of Co Antrim motorcyclist Jonathan Rea, who
became the first person to win three successive
world superbike titles. 11.15 The League of
Gentlemen (T) 11.45 Detectorists Christmas
Special (T) (R) 12.15-1.05 NFL This Week (T)
Jamie’s Italian Christmas (T)
In a log cabin, accompanied by
his mentor Gennaro Contaldo,
Jamie Oliver cooks a meal for
the big day.
Shamed (T) Two men are held
captive in a prison cell by a
27-year-old woman. Revenge
drama starring Faye Marsay,
Nick Blood and Ryan McKen.
BBC Four
Milkshake! 9.15 Access (T) 9.25
The Nutcracker Sweet
(Eduardo Schuldt, 2015) (T) 10.45
Free Birds (Jimmy Hayward,
2013) (T) 12.30 Five
Children and It (John Stephenson,
2004) (T) 2.10 A Royal
Family Holiday (Lance Kawas,
2015) (T) 3.50 Hearts of
Christmas (Monika Mitchell,
2016) (T) 5.25 A Prince for
Christmas (Fred Olen Ray, 2015)
(T) 7.0 World’s Strongest Man
2017 (T) Highlights of the British
Open from the Doncaster Dome.
Jo Brand’s Cats & Kittens
Christmas Special (T) A cat
colony has got out of control
at a house in Liverpool. Includes
news update.
Britain’s Favourite Biscuit
(T) Celebrities including Sally
Lindsay and Joe Swash discuss
beloved biscuits, before the
nation’s favourite snack is
revealed via a survey.
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
(T) (R) Bristol take on Nottingham,
with contestants including Will
Hutton and Kate Quilton.
Armada: 12 Days to Save England
(T) (R) Dan Snow reveals the
circumstances that led to the
armada’s defeat. Last in series.
Invasion! With Sam Willis (T)
French plans to invade Britain
by balloon, the subterranean
fortress built for troops in the
19th century, and the legacy of
the Huguenots. Last in series.
10.30 Greatest Ever Christmas
Movies (T) (R) Countdown of
the best festive films, from It’s a
Wonderful Life to Bad Santa.
1.15 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 GPs: Behind
Closed Doors (T) (R) 4.0 Now
That’s Funny! (T) 4.45 House
Doctor (T) (R) 5.10 Great Artists
(T) (R) 5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.0 The Science of D-Day (T) (R)
The engineer Rob Bell examines
the science and innovations that
made the Normandy landings of
6 June 1944 possible.
10.30 Flying Scotsman: Sounds
from the Footplate (T) (R)
11.30 The Trains That Time Forgot:
Britain’s Lost Railway Journeys
(T) (R) Andrew Martin revisits
the golden age of the railways.
12.30 Mexico: Earth’s Festival of Life
1.30 Bought with Love (T) (R)
2.35 The Man Who Collected the
World: William Burrell (T) (R)
Settings: Thy Hand Is Mine; Where She Lies Asleep;
Love Went A-Riding. Kathryn Rudge (mezzo),
James Baillieu (piano). Beethoven: String Quartet
in E flat, Op 127. Van Kuijk Quartet. Finzi: Let Us
Garlands Bring. Kathryn Rudge (mezzo), James
Baillieu (piano). Schumann arr Liszt: Widmung.
Beatrice Rana (piano). 7.0 Bach Walks: Arnstadt
to Erfurt. Horatio Clare retraces JS Bach’s famous
250-mile walk from Arnstadt to Lübeck. (1/5) 7.30
In Concert. Recorded at Wigmore Hall in London,
the pianist Beatrice Rana plays Bach’s Goldberg
Variations. (R) 10.0 Free Thinking: Breaking Free
– Martin Luther’s Revolution (R) 10.45 The Essay:
Luther’s Reformation Gang – Thomas Muntzer. With
Andy Drummond. (R) (2/5) 11.0 Late Junction.
Exploring the history of black music in Europe
before the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948.
12.30 Through the Night. A concert from the
Polish National Radio SO and Lawrence Foster.
(LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 19
December 1917 – Alan Lowther, by Shaun McKenna.
(27/40) 12.15 Call You and Yours 12.57 Weather
1.0 The World at One. With Martha Kearney. 1.45
His Master’s Voices: Laughter & Novelty. With
Cerys Matthews and Tris Penna. (R) (2/5) 2.0
The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: Have You Seen This
Child? By Clare Dwyer Hogg. A trip to the park turns
into a nightmare when a woman realises that her
four-year-old grandson has wandered off. (R) 3.0
Short Cuts: Christmas 3.30 Mastertapes: Benjamin
Clementine – At Least for Now(B-Side) (8/8) 4.0
I Was: I Was John Lennon’s Trauma Surgeon (R)
4.30 Great Lives: Daniel O’Connell. Nominated
by Louise Richardson. (3/8) 5.0 PM. Presented by
Eddie Mair. 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 5.57
Weather 6.0 News 6.30 Mark Steel’s in Town:
Inverness (3/6) 7.0 The Archers. Lynda puts her
foot in it. 7.15 Front Row. Arts roundup. 7.45
Holmes and Watford (R) (2/5) 8.0 What Would
Bagehot Say? 8.40 In Touch. With Peter White.
9.0 All in the Mind (8/8) 9.30 Black Music in
Europe: A Hidden History (R) (1/3) 10.0 The
World Tonight. With Ritula Shah. 10.45 Book
at Bedtime: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine,
by Gail Honeyman. (7/10) 11.0 Where’s the F in
News. Jo Bunting keeps order as a largely female
panel take current events and lifestyle trends as
a starting point for a series of funny challenges.
11.30 Today in Parliament. With Susan Hulme.
12.0 News 12.30 Book of the Week (2/5) 12.48
Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service 5.20
Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for
the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of
the Day: The Twelve Tweets of Christmas (3/12)
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:
Heroes 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 Jamie
Cullum 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0 Levi Roots (4/4) 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. Suzy Klein’s guest this week is the
actor Brian Blessed. 12.0 Composer of the Week: JS
Bach (2/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert: LSO
St Luke’s Bach Series. The first in this week’s series
of solo Bach concerts from LSO St Luke’s in London.
Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord). Bach: Sonata in D
minor, BWV964; Preludes and Fugues (Book 1 of
The Well-Tempered Clavier): No 20 in A; No 22 in
B; No 24 in B minor; Partita No 5 in G, BWV829.
2.0 Afternoon Concert: Bach. Recorded earlier this
year in Utrecht. Bach: Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn,
BWV119; Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König
der Ehren, BWV137; Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele,
BWV69. Miriam Feuersinger (soprano), Alex Potter
(countertenor), Thomas Hobbs (tenor), Peter Kooij
(bass), Netherlands Bach Society, Peter Dijkstra.
3.40 Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition 2017.
Petroc Trelawny presents a concert given by the BBC
Singers of the six finalists from this year’s Radio 3
Breakfast Carol Competition 2017. 4.30 Words
and Music: Serpentine (R) 5.45 New Generation
Artists. Schubert: An die Laute. Bridge: Coleridge
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. With Mishal Husain and John Humphrys.
7.48 Thought for the Day, with John Bell. 8.30
(LW) Yesterday in Parliament 9.0 Black Music in
Europe: A Hidden History. Clarke Peters uncovers
the stories of black musicians in Europe, from the
birth of recorded sound to the height of the jazz
age. In this edition he discovers the huge variety of
black music recorded in Europe at the start of the
20th century. (1/3) 9.30 One to One: Sian Harries
on Ambivalence to Motherhood, Part Two 9.45
(LW) Daily Service: Hope of a Saviour – The Birth
of a Saviour 9.45 (FM) Book of the Week: Village
Christmas, by Laurie Lee. (2/5) 10.0 Woman’s
Hour. Presented by Jane Garvey. Includes at 10.45
Drama: Holmes and Watford, by Jon Canter. (2/5)
11.0 Mysteries of Sleep: Sleep Deprivation and
Insomnia. Guy Leschziner examines how a lack of
sleep affects our minds and bodies. (3/3) 11.30
Viz: An Unfeasibly Large Success. Nick Baker
charts Viz’s controversial explosion from gutter
rag fanzine to national success. 12.0 News 12.01
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Adrian Chiles
1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 Drive 7.0 5 Live Sport
7.45 Carabao Cup Football: Leicester City v Man City
(kick-off 7.45pm) 10.30 Phil Williams 1.0 Up All
Night 5.0 Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Wednesday 20
circuit who include Ed Byrne, James
Acaster, Tom Allen, Rhys James, Zoe Lyons,
Ed Gamble, Miles Jupp, Nish Kumar and
Romesh Ranganathan for quizzes, outtakes and unseen material. Always fun.
it resembles a boxing movie with beats.
Oh yes, and the kid can act – at least, act
himself. Jonathan Romney
Soul Music
Radio 4, 9am
Male Rape: Breaking the Silence
BBC One, 10.45pm
Three men who have been victims of rape
break their silence to tell their stories,
providing a unique perspective on the
facts and revealing why male rape is such a
taboo subject in Britain today. Mike Bradley
8 Mile
Sky Cinema Greats, 11.45am/8pm
Judi Dench’s Secret Woodland
BBC One, 8pm
(Curtis Hanson, 2002)
Actor Judi Dench has a passion for trees
and in this hour-long documentary filmed
over the course of a year she discusses and
learns more about the “beautiful, magical
beings” with whom she has chosen to
share her Surrey garden. Experts arrive to
educate her (and us) about the biology of
trees and Dench exclaims joyfully: “My life
now is just trees and Champagne.”
Screening to coincide with Eminem’s return
and self-reinvention as hip-hop’s voice of
anti-Trumpism, 8 Mile is that Hollywood
oddity, a (quasi-)biopic in which the subject
plays himself. The rapper born Marshall
Mathers plays Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith, Jr,
a Detroit car factory worker moving back
into the trailer home of his alcoholic mother
(Kim Basinger). Times are hard, but when
there are rhyme battles to be fought
in the city’s cavernous rap venues, it’s
time to remember that “this opportunity
comes once in a lifetime, yo”. The late
Curtis Hanson gives grit and vision to an
intelligently muscular melodrama with
hints of a latter-day On the Waterfront or
Rebel Without a Cause. Most of all, though,
Mock the Week
BBC Two, 10pm
As Dara O Briain hosts a Christmas special
he and his regular little helper Hugh Dennis
are joined by guests from the UK comedy
Peaky Blinders
BBC Two, 9pm
There’s a rough, bloody poetry to this
thunderous finale of Steven Knight’s
fourth season of the gangster drama set
in the Birmingham suburb of Small Heath.
A storm is gathering as the night of the
big fight between Goliath (Dino Kelly) and
Bonnie Gold (Jack Ryan) arrives. Everyone
at the venue has been stripsearched, but
we already know that Luca Changretta
(Adrien Brody) has somehow managed
to hijack the cornermen. The question is:
when will he strike in his bid to end the
vendetta? And is it humanly possible
that Tommy (Cillian Murphy, above) can
stay one step ahead of the mafia man
and his thugs – or has his luck run out?
A rumbustious, soul-shredding display
of dramatic brilliance brimming with
Miltonian wrath and strange, unexpected
resurrections that ends when at last a
fateful connection is made on Margate
sands. A genuine blinder. Mike Bradley
This beautiful series turns its attention
to the carol O Holy Night, which was
composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847
to a French poem by Placide Cappeau.
Contributors include Katie Melua,
who learned it as a schoolchild and
had an almost physical reaction to the
song’s chord change in the “fall on your
knees!” chorus. We also hear from the
Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who
remembers the impact it made on him and
a fellow patient when he was in hospital
with pneumonia, and from outreach
worker Asteria Vives who movingly
describes taking the song and the spirit
of Christmas to homeless addicts living
rough in Philadelphia. Stephanie Billen
Sky Sports Main Event, 7.30pm
Bristol City v Manchester United: League
Cup, quarter-final. Coverage from Ashton
Gate, as the Robins look to slay the titleholding giant. The hosts have been in good
form so far this season and have already
claimed two Premier League scalps in the
form of Watford and Stoke City, but United
will still remain strong favourites. MB
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Let’s Get a
Good Thing Going (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 and Weather
(T) 1.30 Regional News and
Weather (T) 1.45 Raiders of
the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg,
1981) (T) 3.35 Chicken Run
(Nick Park, Peter Lord, 2000)
(T) 4.55 Book of Dragons (T)
5.15 Pointless (T) (R) 6.0 News
and Weather (T) 6.30 News and
Weather (T) 7.0 The One Show (T)
6.30 Flog It! Trade Secrets (T) (R)
7.0 Nigella’s Christmas Table
(T) (R) 8.0 David Suchet: In the
Footsteps of St Peter (T) (R)
9.0 Victoria Derbyshire (T) 11.0
Newsroom Live (T) 11.30 Daily
Politics (T) 1.0 The Link (T) (R)
1.45 Terry and Mason’s Great
Food Trip (T) (R) 2.15 Home Away
from Home (T) (R) 3.0 Inside
Claridge’s (T) (R) 4.05 Alaska:
Earth’s Frozen Kingdom (T) (R)
5.05 The Blue Planet (T) (R) 6.0
Sacred Rivers (T) (R) 7.0 Sweet
Makers at Christmas (T) (R)
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
7.40 Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 10.05
The Big Bang Theory (T) (R) 11.0
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
USA (T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Jamie’s Cracking Christmas (T)
(R) 12.25 Carry On Nurse
(Gerald Thomas, 1959) (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) (R) 6.30
Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
Judi Dench: My Passion for
Trees (T) The actor discovers
how much trees are an integral
part of Britain’s history.
The Real Marigold on Tour (T)
Sheila Ferguson, Rustie Lee, Paul
Nicholas and Dennis Taylor head
to Iceland, where they split their
time between the capital city,
Reykjavík, and a fishing village.
Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape
(T) Gino D’Acampo’s journey
takes him to the Aeolian Islands.
Last in the series.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Leanne
falls victim to a dastardly con.
9.0 A Night for the Emergency
Services (T) Members of the
emergency services team
show off their performance
skills with celebrity guests.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Car Crash Britain: Caught on
Camera (T) (R) Road accidents
and near-misses.
11.45 Play to the Whistle (T) (R) Holly
Willoughby hosts the sportsbased panel show, with guests
including Frank Lampard, Bradley
Walsh, John Terry, Jonnie Peacock
and Rachel Riley.
12.35 Jackpot247 3.0 May the Best
House Win (T) (R) 3.50 ITV
Nightscreen 5.05 The Jeremy
Kyle Show (T) (R)
10.0 Gogglebox (T) (R) Punters
turn pundits.
11.05 Micky Flanagan: Back in the
Game (T) (R) The comedian
performs to his home crowd at
London’s Hackney Empire.
12.40 Alan Carr Live: Spexy Beast (T)
(R) 1.35 One Born Every Minute
(T) (R) 2.30 The Supervet (T) (R)
3.25 Grand Designs Australia
(T) (R) 4.25 Phil Spencer: Secret
Agent (T) (R) 5.20 Jamie’s
Comfort Food (T) (R) 5.35
Countdown (T) (R)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.45 Male Rape: Breaking the Silence
(T) The stories of three men who
were raped.
11.25 Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat and
Tears (T) The junior doctors come
to the end of their placements.
Last in the series.
11.55 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.0 BBC News (T)
MasterChef: The Professionals
(T) The four remaining chefs fight
to secure their place among the
final three.
Peaky Blinders (T) The night of
the big fight arrives and dangers
lurk in the shadows for Tommy
and his family. Last in the series.
10.0 The League of Gentlemen (T)
Matters in Royston Vasey come
to a head. Last in the series.
10.30 Mock the Week Christmas
Special (T) With Dara O Briain,
Hugh Dennis and guests.
11.0 Alternativity: The Performance
(T) A contemporary performance
of the nativity play.
11.30 Cunk on Christmas (T) (R)
12.0 Dara and Ed’s Road to
Mandalay Thailand (T) (R)
(2/3) 1.0 Employable Me (T)
(R) 2.0 Attenborough and
the Giant Elephant (T) (R)
BT Sport 1
6.0am BT Sport Goals Reload 6.15 Premier
League Reload 6.30 The Big Match Revisited
11.30 Serie A Review 12.0 Premier League Tonight
12.30 Premier League Reload 12.45 BT Sport
Goals Reload 1.0 Bundesliga Review 2.0 SPFL
3.30 Premier League 5.0 Premier League Tonight
5.30 BT Sport Reload 6.0 BT Sport Goals Reload
6.15 Premier League Reload 6.30 Premier League
World 7.0 Der Klassiker: One Game, So Many
Stories 7.30 Live German Cup Football: Bayern
Munich v Borussia Dortmund (kick-off 7.45pm)
Coverage of the DFB-Pokal third-round match
from the Allianz Arena. 9.45 Celtic v Real Madrid
1980 10.15 Dundee United v Roma 1983/84
10.45 BT Sport Reload 11.0 UFC Ultimate
Knockouts 11.30 UFC Ultimate Knockouts 12.0
Rugby Tonight 1.0 Live NBA: Houston Rockets
v Los Angeles Lakers (tip-off 1am) Coverage of
the Western Conference clash at Toyota Centre.
3.30 Doc & Darryl 5.0 Cricket: Big Bash League
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets 7.0-2.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation 2.0-8.0 Blue Bloods 8.09.0 Micro Monsters With David Attenborough
9.0-12.50 Game of Thrones 12.50 Band of
Brothers 2.15 The Sopranos 3.20 The Tunnel:
Vengeance 4.20-6.0 Blue Bloods
All programmes from 10am to 7pm are double
bills 6.0am-7.0 Hollyoaks 7.0 Charmed
7.55 Rude(ish) Tube Shorts 8.10 The Dog
Who Saved the Holidays (2012) 10.0 Rules of
Engagement 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
Black-ish 6.0 The Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks
7.30 The Goldbergs 8.0-9.0 The Big Bang
Theory 9.0 Don’t Tell the Bride: Christmas on Ice
10.0 8 Out of 10 Cats Christmas Special 10.5511.50 The Big Bang Theory 11.50 Gogglebox
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 The Jeremy Kyle
Show (T) 10.30 This Morning (T)
12.30 Loose Women (T) 1.30
News (T) 1.55 Local News (T) 2.0
Judge Rinder (T) 3.0 Dickinson’s
Real Deal (T) (R) 3.59 Local News
and Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T)
6.0 Local News (T) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 Emmerdale (T) Lydia and
Sam are torn over a decision. 7.30
Coronation Street (T) Leanne
gets back into the dating game.
12.55 Rude Tube 2.0 8 Out of 10 Cats Christmas
Special 2.45 Gogglebox 3.35 Rude Tube 4.054.50 How I Met Your Mother 4.50 Charmed
11.0am True Grit (1969) 1.35 Stalag 17 (1953) 4.0 The Train (1964)
6.50 Romancing the Stone (1984) 9.0
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
(2014) 10.55 X-Men: First Class (2011)
1.30 100 Bloody Acres (2012)
6.0am Futurama 6.30 Futurama 7.0 Futurama
7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 The Simpsons 8.30
The Simpsons 9.0 The Simpsons 9.30 Modern
Family 10.0 Modern Family 10.30 Modern
Family 11.0 David Attenborough’s Wild City
12.0 Hawaii Five-0 1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0 NCIS:
Los Angeles 3.0 Golf’s Funniest Moments 4.0
Modern Family 4.30 Modern Family 5.0 The
Simpsons 5.30 The Simpsons 6.0 Futurama
6.30 The Simpsons 7.0 The Simpsons 7.30
The Simpsons 8.0 Michael Bublé’s Christmas in
Hollywood 9.0 The Rock (1996) 11.40 The
Russell Howard Hour 12.40 A League of Their
Own 1.40 NCIS: Los Angeles 2.40 The Force:
Manchester 3.40 Micro Monsters With David
Attenborough 4.05 David Attenborough’s Wild
City 5.0 Big Cats: An Amazing Animal Family
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Good Morning Sports Fans 10.0 Premier
League Daily 11.0 Sky Sports Daily 12.0 Sky
Sports News 1.30 Live International T20 Cricket:
India v Sri Lanka. Coverage of the first match in
a three-game series, staged at Barabati Stadium
in Cuttack. 5.0 Sky Sports News at 5 6.0 Sky
Sports News at 6 7.0 Sky Sports Tonight 7.30
Live Carabao Cup: Bristol City v Man Utd (kickoff 8pm). Coverage of the quarter-final clash at
Ashton Gate. 10.30 Conor Benn: The Destroyer
11.0-6.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.30pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.05 Car Crash Britain:
Caught on Camera (T) (R) 12.05 Teleshopping
1.05 After Midnight 2.35 Storage Hoarders
(T) (R)
ITV WALES As ITV except 8.0-8.30pm
Crime Files (T) 10.45 Gino’s Italian Coastal
Escape (T) 11.10-11.45 Wales on TV (T) (R)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.35am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.30pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.05 Car Crash Britain: Caught on
Camera (T) (R) 12.05 Teleshopping 1.05 After
Midnight 2.35 Storage Hoarders (T) (R)
ULSTER As ITV except 10.45pm Judge
Rinder’s Crown Court (T) 11.10 Car Crash Britain:
Caught on Camera (T) (R) 12.10 Play to the
Whistle (T) (R)
Squad (T) 11.10 Male Rape: Breaking the Silence
(T) 11.50-12.20 Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat
and Tears (T)
BBC ONE WALES 10.40pm Young, Welsh
and Pretty Minted (T) 11.10 Male Rape: Breaking
the Silence (T) 11.50-12.20 Junior Doctors:
Blood, Sweat and Tears (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 10.40pm Nolan’s
Christmas Cracker (T) Daniel O’Donnell, Nathan
Carter and guests join Stephen Nolan in the
studio for a night of Christmas cheer and festive
fun. 11.40 Male Rape: Breaking the Silence (T)
12.20-12.50 Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat
and Tears (T)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 1.45pm Inside
Claridge’s (T) (R) 2.45 Politics Scotland (T) (R)
3.30-4.05 Terry and Mason’s Great Food Trip
(T) (R)
The Secret Life of the Zoo at
Christmas (T) Chester Zoo’s
keepers are busy making gifts
for all the animals.
The Channel: The World’s Busiest
Waterway (T) During the first
summer since the Jungle camp
in Calais was demolished, ferry
captain Mark and his crew guard
their ship from migrants. Last in
the series.
Milkshake! 9.15 The Snow
Queen (Vladlen Barbe, 2012)
(T) 10.35 Jack and the
Beanstalk (Gary J Tunnicliffe,
2010) (T) 12.25 James
and the Giant Peach (Henry
Selick, 1996) (T) 1.55 My
Angel (Stephen Cookson, 2011)
(T) 3.40 Christmas Carol
(Terry Ingram, 2016) (T) 5.20
A Fairytale Christmas
(Alex Wright, 2013) (T) 7.0
World’s Strongest Man 2017
(T) Highlights of the Europe’s
Strongest Man event in Leeds.
GPs: Behind Closed Doors
(T) A patient complains of
dizzy spells whenever he goes
for a jog. Includes news update.
Harry Potter: 20 Years of Magic
(T) The tale of one of the most
successful publishing and cinema
phenomena of all time, from its
roots to becoming a moneyspinning movie franchise.
BBC Four
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
(T) (R) Jeremy Paxman asks the
questions in the second semifinal of the Christmas contest.
The Two Ronnies: Old Fashioned
Christmas Mystery (T) (R) The
two comedians host Christmas
dinner, but someone steals the
turkey and they must put their
heads together to catch the thief.
The Two Ronnies: Christmas
Show 1982 (T) (R) Ronnie Barker
and Ronnie Corbett in a special
evening of sketches, jokes and
songs, joined by David Essex.
Football on 5: The Carabao Cup
(T) Features Arsenal v West Ham,
Leicester v Man City, Chelsea v
Bournemouth, and Bristol City v
Manchester United.
12.20 The Lego Story: Brick by Brick
(T) (R) Documentary charting
the history of the toy brand. 1.15
SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Top 20
Funniest (T) (R) 4.0 Now That’s
Funny! (T) (R) 4.45 House Doctor
(T) (R) 5.10 Great Artists (T) (R)
10.0 The Story of Fairytale of New
York (T) (R) Richard E Grant
narrates a look at the making of
the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s
classic Christmas song.
11.0 TOTP2: Christmas 2012 (T) (R)
Slade, Wizzard, Wham!, Ramones,
Mahalia Jackson, Paul McCartney,
Jona Lewie et al.
12.30 The Two Ronnies (T) (R) 1.30
Bought With Love: The Secret
History of British Art Collections
(T) (R) 2.30 The Trains That Time
Forgot: Britain’s Lost Railway
Journeys (T) (R)
Quartet. Hindemith: Clarinet Sonata. Annelien Van
Wauwe (clarinet), James Baillieu (piano). Donald
Swann: Old Songs of Lost Love. Kathryn Rudge
(mezzo), Christopher Glynn (piano). James Lynam
Molloy: Love’s Old Sweet Song. Ivor Novello: My Life
Belongs to You (The Dancing Years). Kathryn Rudge
(mezzo), James Baillieu (piano). 7.0 Bach Walks:
Schierke to Brocken Summit (2/5) 7.30 In Concert:
Prom 25. Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque
Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner. Schutz: Nun lob, mein
Seel, den Herren, SWV41; Nicht uns, Herr, sondern
deinem Namen, SWV43; Danket dem Herren, denn
er ist freundlich, SWV45. Bach: Gott der Herr ist
Sonn und Schild (Cantata No 79); Ein feste Burg ist
unser Gott (Cantata No 80).10.0 Reformation 500
(R) 10.45 The Essay: Luther’s Reformation Gang
– Katherina von Bora (R) (3/5) 11.0 Late Junction.
Music for midwinter. 12.30 Through the Night (R)
2.15 Drama: Curious Under the Stars – The Arrivals,
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:
Dreams 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 The
Folk Show With Mark Radcliffe 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0
Mark Kermode’s Celluloid Jukebox (4/5) 11.0 Will
Young Essential R&B (1/4) 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 9.0 Essential Classics. Suzy Klein’s
guest is Brian Blessed. 12.0 Composer of the Week:
JS Bach (3/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert:
LSO St Luke’s Bach Series. Presented by Penny Gore.
Isabelle Faust (violin). Bach: Sonata No 1 in G minor,
BWV1001; Partita No 3 in E, BWV1006; Sonata No
3 in C, BWV1005. 2.0 Afternoon Concert: Bach.
Tom Redmond presents live from Salford. Michael
Barenboim (violin), BBC Philharmonic, Moritz
Gnann. Steve Elcock: Choses renversées par le temps
ou la destruction, Op 20. Bach arr Reger: O Mensch,
bewein’ dein’ Sünde groß, BWV622. Berg: Violin
Concerto. Bach arr Elgar: Fantasia and Fugue in C
minor, BWV537. 3.30 Choral Evensong: Music
and Readings for Advent. Recorded in Edington
Priory Church. 4.30 Words and Music: A String of
Pearls (R) 5.45 New Generation Artists. Jerome
Kern: Song Is You (Music in the Air). Kathryn Rudge
(mezzo), James Baillieu (piano). Guy Ropartz: Piece
in E flat minor for trombone and piano. Peter Moore
(trombone), Richard Uttley (piano). Mendelssohn:
String Quartet in E minor, Op 44 No 2. Van Kuijk
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. With Mishal Husain and Nick Robinson.
7.48 Thought for the Day, with The Rev Lucy
Winkett. 8.31 (LW) Yesterday in Parliament
9.0 Soul Music: O Holy Night. How the carol has
touched the lives of people around the world. (1/5)
9.30 Why I Changed My Mind (R) 9.45 (LW)
Daily Service: Hope of a Saviour – The Son of God
9.45 (FM) Book of the Week: Village Christmas, by
Laurie Lee. (3/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented
by Jane Garvey. Including at 10.41 Drama: Holmes
and Watford, by Jon Canter. (3/5) 10.55 The
Listening Project: Harry and Arun – There for Each
Other 11.0 Iceland’s Dark Lullabies (R) Andri Snaer
Magnason reflects on the dark side of Christmas
in Iceland. 11.30 It’s a Fair Cop: Property (R)
12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04
Home Front: 20 December 1917 – Judith Turner,
by Shaun McKenna. (28/40) 12.15 You and Yours
1.0 The World at One. With Martha Kearney. 1.45
His Master’s Voices: British Ethnic. Cerys Matthews
and Tris Penna on the influence of early British
gramophone records. (R) (3/5) 2.0 The Archers (R)
by Anna Maria Murphy. First in the latest series of
the comedy drama about Gareth and Diane, pub
landlords in Glan Don, a village perched on the Welsh
coast. Elis James and Emma Sidi star. Continues
tomorrow. (1/3) 3.0 Money Box Live 3.30 All
in the Mind (R) 4.0 Thinking Allowed. Human
behaviour, institutions and conventions examined.
4.30 The Media Show 5.0 PM. Presented by Eddie
Mair. 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 6.0 News 6.30
Jeremy Hardy Feels It: Jeremy Hardy Feels Sad (2/4)
7.0 The Archers. There is good news at Bridge Farm.
7.15 Front Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 Holmes and
Watford (R) (3/5) 8.0 We Need to Talk About Death:
My Digital Legacy. As we spend increasing amounts
of time online, much of our lives have found their
way into the digital realm. Joan Bakewell asks what
happens to these digital assets when we die. (2/3)
8.45 Encounters 9.0 Science Stories. Philip Ball on
how Michael Faraday was inspired by Jane Marcet’s
Conversations in Chemistry. (5/5) 9.30 Soul
Music: O Holy Night (R) 10.0 The World Tonight.
With Ritula Shah. 10.45 Book at Bedtime: Eleanor
Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman.
(8/10) 11.0 Life on Egg: CCTV (R) 11.15 Lazy Susan:
East Coast Listening Post – Old Money. Comedy by
Celeste Dring and Freya Parker. Journalist sisters
Jenna and Dana tour the UK interviewing people
in the hope of getting at some sort of truth. (1/4)
11.30 Today in Parliament 12.0 News 12.30 Book
of the Week (3/5) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As
World Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News
5.43 Prayer for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58
Tweet of the Day: Twelve Tweets of Christmas (4/12)
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily with Emma
Barnett 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live Drive
7.0 5 Live Sport 8.0 Carabao Cup Football:
Bristol City v Manchester United (kick-off 8pm)
10.30 Phil Williams 1.0 Up All Night 5.0
Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
Thursday 21
the people who made one of the most
popular sci-fi movies of all time. In doing
so he tracks down and meets many of the
remarkably unassuming British boffins who
brought “a galaxy far, far away” to life.
as unremittingly zany as Chow’s follow-up
Kung Fu Hustle, but deliciously knockabout
nonetheless. Jonathan Romney
Crossing Continents: 33 Ways
to Dispel a Mistress
Darcey Bussell: Looking for
Fred Astaire
BBC One, 10.45pm
Radio 4, 11am
The former ballerina goes in search of the
Hollywood hoofer who inspired her love of
dance. A moving, touching personal tribute
to a hero of the silver screen. Mike Bradley
Shaolin Soccer
Syfy, 6pm
Love, Lies & Records
BBC One, 9pm
(Stephen Chow, 2001)
Kay Mellor’s register office drama reaches
its conclusion tonight in a rollercoaster
episode that begins with a personal
catastrophe for Kate that may just have
a silver lining, a change of heart for James
and progress made in exposing the sham
marriage scammers. Mellor fans can look
forward to the start of her new drama
Girlfriends on 3 January on ITV.
A joyously goofy entertainment from Hong
Kong star and director Chow. He plays Sing,
a martial arts master turned garbage man
who teams up with a footballer named
“Golden Foot”, now down on his luck, and
assembles a team of seemingly clappedout Shaolin practitioners. With a little
encouragement, they put their powers to
work on the field, only to face a challenge
in the form of (what else?) “Team Evil”.
Special effects, nifty footwork of both
the sporting and the combat variety, plus
shamelessly cartoonish humour make
this a lot of fun, even if you’re a martial
arts sceptic or a footie refusenik. Action
director Ching Siu-tung is in charge of the
razzle-dazzle. Fairly broad stuff – not quite
The Galaxy Britain Built: Droids,
Darth Vader and Lightsabers
BBC Four, 10pm
Star Wars über-fan David Whiteley
presents previously unheard stories from
Joanna and Jennifer:
Absolutely Champers
BBC Two, 9pm
Famous for their Bolly-quaffing creations
Patsy and Edina in Absolutely Fabulous,
Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders
(above) try their best to incorporate
a little more seriousness in tonight’s
pilgrimage to the Champagne region
of north-eastern France to find out all
about the origins and production of their
favourite tipple. Inevitably, they get the
giggles about every 30 seconds and it’s
likely that you’ll laugh along with them in
a rewarding programme that manages
to squeeze in a wealth of information
between outbursts. Watch as they
take part in the grape harvest, learn
how Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon
discovered the vital second fermentation
process 300 years ago, and sip special
Champagne Abysse that has been submerged at sea for a year. “Definitely not
Countryfile,” says Lumley. Mike Bradley
This fascinating report from Ed Butler takes
us to China where cities are seeing the
growth of a new industry whereby private
detectives are hired to separate unfaithful
spouses from their lovers. In conversation
with one such professional, he learns four
(of 33) ways to “dispel a mistress” – from
making them fall in love with someone else
to creating physical distance between the
pair. The other 29 techniques are deemed
trade secrets. It would be comic were it not
for the hateful attitudes displayed here
with mistresses often beaten up on the
street by jealous wives and one woman
suggesting they should be put to death.
Stephanie Billen
Sky Darts/Main Event, 7pm
World Darts: day eight. Live coverage
of the last four first-round clashes
from Alexandra Palace in London. The
unseeded Max Hopp was a 3-1 winner
against Vincent van der Voort in last
year’s corresponding session, and there
were victories for Jelle Klaasen, Dave
Chisnall and Kim Huybrechts too. MB
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast 9.15 Let’s Get a Good
Thing Going 10.0 Homes Under
the Hammer (R) 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 1.45 Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom
(1984) 3.35 Wallace &
Gromit in The Curse of the
Were-Rabbit (2005) 4.50 Merry
Madagascar (R) 5.15 Pointless
(R) 6.0 News and Weather 6.30
Regional News and Weather 7.0
One Show 7.30 EastEnders (T)
6.30 Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 7.0
Sign Zone: MasterChef – The
Professionals (R) 8.0 David
Suchet: In the Footsteps of St
Peter (R) 9.0 Victoria Derbyshire
11.0 BBC Newsroom Live (T) 12.0
Daily Politics (T) 1.0 Snow Babies
(T) (R) 2.0 Natural World: Nature’s
Miniature Miracles (T) (R) 3.0
Victorian Bakers at Christmas
(T) (R) 4.0 Back in Time for
Christmas (T) (R) 5.0 The Lake
District: A Wild Year (T) (R) 6.0
Sacred Rivers (T) (R) 7.0 Inside
the Christmas Factory (T) (R)
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (R) 7.35
Everybody Loves Raymond (R)
9.05 Frasier (R) 10.05 The Big
Bang Theory (R) 11.0 Kitchen
Nightmares USA (R) 12.0 News
12.05 Jamie’s Cracking Christmas
(T) 12.15 Jamie’s Comfort Food
Bites (T) (R) 12.25 Carry
On Constable (Gerald Thomas,
1960) (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) (R) 6.30
Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
DIY SOS: The Big Build (T)
(R) Nick Knowles and team
transform the home of an
ex-fireman left to look after
his seven-year-old daughter
after his wife’s death.
Love, Lies & Records (T) Kate
faces reality when Rob discovers
the hidden photographs and
the team set up a sting to catch
Marcia. Last in the series.
Emmerdale (T) Daz takes
action and Aaron’s insecurities
are exposed.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Peter
and Billy get embroiled in a
courtroom drama.
9.0 Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Great
Christmas Roast (T) Gordon
Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo
host a banquet for members
of the emergency services.
10.15 News (T)
10.45 Local News (T)
10.55 The Royal Variety Performance
2017 (T) (R) Miranda Hart hosts
the annual event, with Alfie Boe,
Michael Ball, Seal and Britain’s
Got Talent winner Tokio Myers
on the bill.
1.20 Jackpot247 3.0 Tonight: Hungry,
Homeless and on Benefits (T)
(R) 3.25 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
10.0 The World’s Most Expensive
Toys (T) (R) Craftspeople and
inventors making gifts for
Britain’s billionaires.
11.05 Father Ted Christmas Special
(T) (R) Dougal and Ted get lost
in a lingerie department.
12.15 Father Ted (R) Are You Right
There, Father Ted?, Speed 3 &
A Song for Europe 1.45 Britain’s
Favourite TV Detectives (R)
3.10 Extraordinary Teens:
Young, Gifted and Broke (R) 4.05
Grand Designs Australia (R) 5.0
Extreme Cake Makers (R)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.45 Darcey Bussell: Looking for Fred
Astaire (T) The Strictly Come
Dancing judge finds out all about
the dance star.
11.45 New Tricks The One That Got
Away (T) (R) The hunt for a
serial killer forces Sandra to
rethink her career.
12.45 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.50 BBC News (T)
MasterChef: The Professionals:
The Finals (T) The three finalists
have three hours to cook a
starter, a main course and a
dessert. Last in the series.
Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely
Champers (T) Joanna Lumley
and Jennifer Saunders find out
how their Ab Fab characters’
favourite tipple is made.
10.0 Absolutely Fabulous Cold Turkey
(Christmas 2003) (T) (R) Patsy
is rushed to hospital.
10.35 Insert Name Here (T) With Jack
Dee, Martin Kemp, Liz Bonnin and
Suzannah Lipscomb.
11.05 QI Merriment (T) (R) With Jenny
Eclair, Johnny Vegas, Bill Bailey.
11.35 Dara and Ed’s Road to Mandalay
Myanmar (T) (R) (3/3)
12.35 The Alternativity (T) (R) 1.35 Sign
Zone: The Apprentice (T) (R) 2.35
The Apprentice: You’re Hired (T) (R)
3.35 Sweet Makers at Christmas
(T) (R) 4.35 This Is BBC Two (T)
BT Sport 1
6.0am Fishing: On The Bank 7.0 BT Sport
Reload 7.15 BT Sport Goals Reload 7.45
Hyundai A-League Highlights 8.45 Live Hyundai
A-League: Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory (kick-off
8.50am) Coverage from the Suncorp Stadium.
11.0 Premier League World 11.30 NBA Inside
Stuff 12.0 Irish Rally Review 1.0-5.0 The Big
Match Revisited 5.0 Cricket: Big Bash League 6.0
Hyundai A-League 7.30 Premier League World
8.0 The Clare Balding Show 9.0 Cricket: Big Bash
League 10.0 Premier League Match Pack 10.30
The Lane 11.30 The Clare Balding Show 12.30
Angry Sky 2.0 ESPN Films: Keepers of the Streak
3.0 NBA Action 3.30 Live NBA: Utah Jazz v San
Antonio Spurs (tip-off 3.30am) Coverage of the
Western Conference clash at Vivint Smart Home
Arena in Salt Lake City.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am The West Wing 7.0 The West Wing 8.0
Without a Trace 9.0 Without a Trace 10.0 Without
a Trace 11.0 Without a Trace 12.0 Without a Trace
1.0 Blue Bloods 2.0 Blue Bloods 3.0 Blue Bloods
4.0 Blue Bloods 5.0 Blue Bloods 6.0 Blue Bloods
7.0 Blue Bloods 8.0 Micro Monsters With David
Attenborough 8.30 Micro Monsters With David
Attenborough 9.0 The Tunnel: Vengeance 10.0
Game of Thrones 11.10 Game of Thrones 12.20
Band of Brothers 1.40 The Tunnel: Vengeance
2.40 Blue Bloods 3.30 Arctic Peril 4.30 Blue
Bloods 5.15 Blue Bloods
All programmes from 10am to 7pm are double
bills 6.0am-7.0 Hollyoaks 7.0 Charmed 7.55
Rude(ish) Tube Shorts 8.10 A Christmas
Wedding Tail (2011) 10.0 Rules of Engagement
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 Brooklyn NineNine 6.0 The Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 8.09.0 The Big Bang Theory 9.0 2 Broke Girls
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) (R) 3.59 Local News
and Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping Point
(T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T) 6.0
Local News (T) 6.30 News (T) 7.0
Emmerdale (T) Bernice becomes
aware of the consequences of
her actions. 7.30 Tonight: Hungry,
Homeless and on Benefits (T)
9.30 The Big Bang Theory 10.0-11.05 The
Inbetweeners 11.05-12.05 The Big Bang Theory
12.05 Gogglebox 1.05 First Dates at Christmas
2.10 2 Broke Girls 2.35-3.30 The Inbetweeners
3.30 Rude Tube 3.55-4.40 How I Met Your
Mother 4.40 Charmed
11.0am The Return of the Musketeers
(1989) 1.05 The Dark Crystal (1982) 2.50
ParaNorman (2012) 4.40 The Family
Stone (2005) 6.55 X-Men (2000) 9.0 Escape Plan (2013) 11.15 Candyman (1991)
1.20 Magic Mike (2012)
6.0am Futurama 6.30 Futurama 7.0 Futurama
7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 The Simpsons 8.30
The Simpsons 9.0 The Simpsons 9.30 Modern
Family 10.0 Modern Family 10.30 Modern
Family 11.0 Big Cats: An Amazing Animal Family
12.0 Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal 2.0 Terry
Pratchett’s Going Postal 4.0 Modern Family
4.30 Modern Family 5.0 The Simpsons 5.30
The Simpsons 6.0 Futurama 6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons 8.0
Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas
9.0 A League of Their Own Christmas Special
2017 10.0 Russell Howard Christmas Special
11.0 A League of Their Own Christmas Special
12.0 The Russell Howard Hour 1.0 A League
of Their Own 2.0 Road Wars 2.30 The Force:
Manchester 3.30 Micro Monsters With David
Attenborough 4.0 David Attenborough’s Wild
City 5.0 Big Cats: An Amazing Animal Family
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 Live World Darts Championship.
Coverage of day eight of the PDC event at Alexandra
Palace in London. 11.0-6.0 Sky Sports News
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.45pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.20 The Royal Variety
Performance 2017 (T) (R) 1.40 Teleshopping
2.40 After Midnight 3.40 Tonight: Hungry,
Homeless and on Benefits (T) (R) 4.05-5.05
ITV Nightscreen
CHANNEL As ITV except 1.20am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.45pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.20 The Royal Variety Performance
2017 (T) (R) 1.40 Teleshopping 2.40 After
Midnight 3.40 Tonight: Hungry, Homeless and on
Benefits (T) (R) 4.05-5.05 ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 1.20am Teleshopping
2.20-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
Minister’s Questions (T) 12.50 Snow Babies (T)
(R) 1.45 Nature’s Miniature Miracles: Natural
World (T) (R) 2.50 Victorian Bakers at Christmas
(T) (R) 3.50 Back in Time for Christmas (T) (R)
4.50 Sacred Rivers With Simon Reeve (T) (R)
5.50 Nativity! (Debbie Isitt, 2009) (T)
Comedy starring Martin Freeman. 7.30-8.0
Timeline (T) Stories and analysis presented by
Glenn Campbell and Shereen Nanjiani.
Wild Ireland: The Edge of the World (T) (R) (1/2)
Natural history cinematographer Colin StaffordJohnson journeys along Ireland’s Atlantic coast.
The Supervet at Christmas (T)
Noel Fitzpatrick is called upon to
help a Humboldt penguin chick
that needs surgery on its foot.
The Undateables at Christmas
(T) Familiar faces from the dating
show share their plans for the
festive season, with Daniel from
Brighton looking ahead to his
latest single.
BBC Four
Milkshake! 9.15 The
Snow Queen 2: Magic of the
Ice Mirror (Aleksey Tsitsilin,
2014) (T) 10.50 Open
Season 3 (Cody Cameron,
2010) (T) 12.15 Loch Ness
(John Henderson, 1996) (T)
2.15 Our First Christmas
(Armand Mastroianni, 2008) (T)
3.55 Christmas With the
Andersons (Michael Feifer, 2016)
(T) 5.40 A Royal Christmas
(Alex Zamm, 2014) (T) 7.0 World’s
Strongest Man 2017 (T) Highlights
of the North American Open.
Britain’s Craziest Christmas
Lights (T) (R) Four households
transform their homes into
electric – and eclectic – winter
wonderlands. Includes news
Donny Osmond’s Easy Listening
Christmas (T) The singer
presents a countdown of his 25
favourite Christmas songs.
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
(T) (R) The final of the quiz. Last
in the celebrity alumni series.
BBC Proms 2017 (T) (R) From the
Royal Albert Hall, London, where
the BBC Concert Orchestra under
Keith Lockhart celebrate the
85th birthday of the composer
John Williams with music from
Star Wars, Harry Potter, ET
and the Indiana Jones films.
10.30 An Audience With Donny & Marie
(T) (R) The Osmond siblings
entertain a celebrity audience, in
a programme based on their Las
Vegas stage show, featuring old
favourites and songs from their
2009 Donny & Marie album.
11.30 Lip Sync Battle: Christmas
Special (T) (R) Shane Richie
takes on Jessie Wallace. 12.0
SuperCasino 3.10 Top 20
Funniest (T) (R) 4.0 Now That’s
Funny! (T) (R) 4.45 House
Doctor (T) (R) 5.10 Great Artists
(T) (R) 5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.0 The Galaxy Britain Built: Droids,
Darth Vader and Lightsabers
(T) The boffins and behind-thescenes staff at Elstree studios
who helped make the original
Star Wars movie.
11.0 Hollywood’s Master of Myth:
Joseph Campbell – The Force
Behind Star Wars
11.40 Alexander Armstrong’s
Real Ripping Yarns (T) (R)
12.40 Bought with Love (R) 1.40 The
Story of Fairytale of New York
(T) (R) 2.40 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
Peter Moore (trombone), Richard Uttley (piano).
Schumann: Phantasiestücke, Op 73. Andrei Ioniţă
(cello), Roman Rabinovich (piano). Schubert:
Schwanengesang, D957. Ashley Riches (bassbaritone), Joseph Middleton (piano). Weber:
Romance. Peter Moore (trombone), Richard Uttley
(piano). 7.0 Bach Walks. Horatio Clare wanders
among the beeches of the Oderwald on his way to
the town of Wolfenbüttel. (3/5) 7.30 In Concert:
PSM 1. The harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani joins the
Academy of Ancient Music to perform Bach’s Art
of Fugue in an instrumental arrangement written
by Esfahani himself. (R) 10.0 Free Thinking. The
way the Reformation changed lives in homes,
parishes and monasteries. 10.45 The Essay:
Luther’s Reformation Gang – Johann Walther. With
Dr Stephen Rose. (R) 11.0 Late Junction. The video
artist Ed Atkins has compiled a mixtape. 12.30
Through the Night. The Romanian-Moldovan Youth
Orchestra in Enescu, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev.
12.57 Weather 1.0 The World at One. With Martha
Kearney. 1.43 Four Seasons: Winter Solstice 1.45
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.30 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: Eats
Everything 12.0 Residency: Metrik 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
With Jonathan Ross 12.0 The Craig Charles House
Party (R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Tracks of My Years,
Have a Great Weekend & Feelgood Friday 5.0
Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. JS Bach’s Preludes and Fugues
continue with No 21 in B flat. 9.0 Essential
Classics. This week’s guest is Brian Blessed. 12.0
Composer of the Week: JS Bach (4/5) 1.0 News
1.02 Lunchtime Concert: LSO St Lukes. Bach:
Solo Cello Suites in C, BWV1009; in D, BWV1012.
Pieter Wispelwey (cello). 2.0 Thursday Opera
Matinee: Chabrier – L’Étoile. Recorded last year
at the Royal Opera House. Christophe Mortagne
(tenor: King Ouf I), Simon Bailey (bass-baritone:
Siroco), François Piolino (tenor: Prince Hérisson
de Porc-Épic), Aimery Lefèvre (baritone: Tapioca),
Kate Lindsey (mezzo: Lazuli), Hélène Guilmette
(soprano: Princesse Laoula), Julie Boulianne
(mezzo: Aloès), Samuel Sakker (tenor: Patacha),
Samuel Dale Johnson (baritone: Zalzal), Chris
Addison (actor: Smith), Jean-Luc Vincent (actor:
Dupont), ROH, Mark Elder. Followed at 4pm by
JS Bach’s Orchestral Suite No 3 in D, BWV 1068,
performed by the Academy for Ancient Music
Berlin. 4.30 Words and Music: O Albion (R) 5.45
New Generation Artists. Kreisler: Liebesleid.
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for the Day, with the
Rev Dr Sam Wells. 8.30 (LW) Yesterday in
Parliament 9.0 In Our Time. Melvyn Bragg and
guests investigate the history of ideas. 9.45 (LW)
Daily Service 9.45 (FM) Book of the Week: Village
Christmas, by Laurie Lee. (4/5) 10.0 Woman’s
Hour. Presented by Jenni Murray. Includes at
10.45 Drama: Holmes and Watford, by Jon Canter.
(4/5) 11.0 Crossing Continents: 33 Ways to Dispel
a Chinese Mistress. Ed Butler reports on a new
industry in China in which private operatives are
being hired to separate cheating husbands from
their mistresses. (5/9) 11.30 Thinking Outside
the Boxset: How Technology Changed the Story.
Mark Lawson continues to examine how technology
is affecting modern narrative. (2/3) 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home
Front: 21 December 1917 – Matilda James, by
Shaun McKenna. (29/40) 12.16 Four Seasons:
Winter Solstice. Poetry. 12.18 You and Yours
His Master’s Voices: The Theatre/EMI Archive (R)
2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: Curious Under
the Stars – One Bad Apple, by Alan Harris. When
lightning strikes the apple tree outside the pub, an
ancient spirit is unleashed. Comedy drama, with Elis
James and Emma Sidi. (2/3) 3.0 Open Country:
Torridge and Taw, North Devon. With Helen Mark.
(9/16) 3.27 Radio 4 Appeal (R) 3.30 Open Book
(R) 4.02 Four Seasons: Winter Solstice 4.03
The Film Programme: Christmas Presents 4.30
Inside Science 5.0 PM. With Eddie Mair. 5.54
(LW) Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather 5.58 Four
Seasons: Winter Solstice 6.0 News 6.30 Keep
Calman Carry On: Baking. Susan Calman throws
herself into various leisure pursuits. (3/4) 7.0 The
Archers. Justin’s evening takes a surprising turn.
7.15 Front Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 Holmes and
Watford (R) (4/5) 8.0 The Briefing Room. David
Aaronovitch and guests discuss the big issues in
the news. (4) 8.30 In Business: Uganda’s Refugee
Entrepreneurs. With John Murphy. (4/9) 9.0
Inside Science (R) 9.30 In Our Time (R) 10.0
The World Tonight. With Anna Holligan. 10.45
Book at Bedtime: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely
Fine, by Gail Honeyman. (9/10) 11.0 Welcome
to Wherever You Are. Andrew Maxwell presents
standup performances from around the world.
(4/4) 11.30 Today in Parliament. With Susan
Hulme. 11.54 Four Seasons: Winter Solstice 12.0
News 12.30 Book of the Week (4/5) 12.48
Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service 5.20
Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for
the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of
the Day: The Twelve Tweets of Christmas (5/12)
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily with Emma
Barnett 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live Drive
7.0 5 Live Sport 10.0 Phil Williams 1.0 Up All
Night 5.0 Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Friday 22
Christmas Day special; and celebrity chef
Jamie Oliver, here to plug a new cookery
book. Music is supplied by former Keane
frontman Tom Chaplin, who performs his
song Midnight Mass.
“Conceptual science fiction” can sometimes
be a frustrating subgenre, but here Jones
pulls it off neatly. Jonathan Romney
Are You Alright in There?
Radio 4, 11.30am
The Crown
Lisbon. This week we watch Philip go
from the low of having to accept his loyal
playmate Mike Parker’s resignation to the
high of his elevation to His Royal Highness
Prince Philip. Excellent. Mike Bradley
Source Code
Film4, 12.25am
Have I Got Christmas
News for You
BBC One, 9pm
(Duncan Jones, 2011)
An unmissable series finale with a festive
twist in which regular team captains Paul
Merton and Ian Hislop are joined by a
variety of guest hosts and panellists from
the worlds of comedy, journalism and
current affairs for a hilarious compilation
that skewers the biggest news stories to
hit the headlines in 2017.
The Graham Norton Show
BBC One, 10.40pm
Norton entertains Fresh Prince Will Smith,
in town to promote new sci-fi police drama
Bright; Jenna Coleman, star of ITV’s Victoria
After the near-minimalist purity of his
sci-fi debut Moon, Duncan Jones goes for
something a bit flashier, but just as rich in
existential resonance. Jake Gyllenhaal plays
a man who keeps waking up on a train in the
middle of what seems to be someone else’s
story. It turns out he’s there to locate a bomb
– over and over again. The premise suggests
a computer game inspired by Groundhog
Day crossed with the old philosophical
brain-in-a-jar proposition, as seen in The
Matrix, but the outcome is surprisingly fresh.
While Ben Ripley’s script takes Möbius-strip
complexity to dizzying extremes, Jones’s
direction ensures an invigorating ride. Also on
board: Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan and
a shamelessly over-the-top Jeffrey Wright.
Al Murray’s Make Christmas
Great Again
ITV, 9pm
The Guvnor invites us to join him for a
Christmas lock-in at the Reindeer’s Head
featuring “songs, guests and prizes,
you beautiful audience”. The show is
punctuated by appearances from Richard
E Grant as a worried St Nick who is
trying to recover his jollity, but the real
entertainment is provided by mine host,
who rails at the PC brigade, asserts
that “Jesus was British: he was born in
Bethnal Green”, and vents his spleen at
the prospect of a female Doctor Who. The
audience is peppered with star guests,
including Liam from Bake Off who earns
the loudest cheer, but the actual invited
performers – Tom and Harry from McFly,
rapper Honey G, E17’s Tony Mortimer –
are a mixed bunch eclipsed by house band
the Remoans. More end-of-the-pier
than his usual fare, but time spent with
Murray is always a pleasure. Mike Bradley
In a lively programme, the creators of the
Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups, Jason
Hazeley and Joel Morris, offer an irreverent
history of toilet books, the “literary
naughty shelf” of publishing that proves
so irresistible at Christmas. Treating the
subject as seriously as they dare, they
consider the genre’s origin at the end of
the 19th century and salute their own
favourites including TV tie-ins inspired by
Monty Python and Alan Partridge. They
also talk to contributors such as John
Lloyd, who co-wrote The Meaning of Liff
with Douglas Adams, Viz co-founder
Simon Donald (Roger’s Profanisauraus)
and inventive Andy Riley (Bunny Suicides).
Delicious extracts are read by Eleanor Bron.
Stephanie Billen
Rugby Union
BT Sport 1, 7pm
Worcester Warriors v London Irish:
Premiership. Live coverage of a bottomof-the-table tussle from Sixways Stadium.
On recent form Worcester look the more
impressive of the two, but the Exiles aren’t
losing by much these days and could still
turn their season around. MB
6.05 MasterChef (R) 7.05 An Island
Parish (R) 7.35 Holiday
Affair (1949) 9.0 Big Family
Cooking Showdown (R) 10.0
Those Magnificent
Men in Their Flying Machines
(1965) 12.05 Tom Kerridge
Cooks Christmas (R) 12.35
Best Christmas Bakes Ever (R)
1.20 An Ideal Husband
(1999) 2.50 Toys That Made
Christmas (R) 4.15 Back in Time
for Christmas (R) 5.15 Nativity 2 (2012) 7.0 Inside
the Christmas Factory (R)
EastEnders (T) Kush delivers
Donna’s secret Santa present.
8.30 Miranda (T) (R) The first of the
final two episodes.
9.0 Have I Got 2017 News for You
(T) Compilation episode.
9.30 Mrs Brown’s Boys (T) (R) Mrs
Brown tries to work out what
is inside a parcel addressed to
Cathy. Brendan O’Carroll stars.
Mastermind (T) John Humphrys
hosts, with the specialist
subjects including Doctor
Who and Concorde.
8.30 Only Connect (T) The Meeples
and the Parishioners return.
9.0 Saturday Night Fever: The
Ultimate Disco Movie (T) Bruno
Tonioli helps celebrate the 40th
anniversary of the blockbuster
dance movie, set in New York.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.40 The Graham Norton Show (T)
With Will Smith, Jenna Coleman,
Jamie Oliver and Tom Chaplin.
11.30 Would I Lie to You? At Christmas
(T) (R) With Henry Blofeld, Kerry
Howard, the Rev Richard Coles
and Clive Myrie.
12.0 The Apprentice (T) (R) 1.0
Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 1.05 News (T)
10.10 The Joy of the Bee Gees (T)
A profile of the pop group,
charting their journey from
child performers to worldfamous superstars. Features
interviews with Barry Gibb,
John Lydon and Ana Matronic.
11.10 Boogie Fever: A TOTP2 Disco
Special (T) (R) Disco classics.
12.40 Sign Zone Panorama: Myanmar
– The Hidden Truth (T) (R) 1.10
Employable Me (T) (R) 2.10 Blitz:
The Bombs That Changed Britain
(T) (R) 3.10 This Is BBC Two (T)
Breakfast 9.15 Let’s Get a Good
Thing Going 10.0 Homes Under
the Hammer (R) 11.0 Street
Auction 11.45 Fake Britain (R)
12.15 Bargain Hunt 1.0 News and
Weather 1.30 Regional News and
Weather (T) 1.45 Indiana
Jones and the Last Crusade
(1989) (T) 3.40 Puss in
Boots (2011) (T) 5.0 Puss in
Boots: The Three Diablos (T)
5.15 Pointless (T) (R) 6.0 News
(T) 6.30 Regional News (T) 7.0
The One Show (T) 7.30 Question
of Sport: Festive Fun (T)
BT Sport 1
6.0am Bundesliga Weekly 6.30 The Clare
Balding Show 7.30 BT Sport Reload 7.45 NBA
Action 8.15 Premier League Match Pack 8.45
Live Hyundai A-League: Newcastle Jets v Western
Sydney Wanderers (kick-off 8.50am) Coverage
from the McDonald Jones Stadium. 11.0 Premier
League World 11.30 Premier League Match
Pack 12.0 Total Italian Football 12.30 Rugby
Tonight 1.30 BT Sport Reload 2.0 US Game of
the Week 4.0 GC32 Racing Tour Sailing 4.30
World Sailing 5.0 Cricket: Big Bash League 6.0
Rugby Tonight 7.0 Live Aviva Premiership Rugby
Union: Worcester Warriors v London Irish (kickoff 7.45pm) Coverage of the clash from the 11th
round of fixtures, which takes place at Sixways
Stadium. 10.0 The Clare Balding Show 11.0 Once
Brothers 12.30 Live NBA Countdown 1.0 Live
NBA: Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers (tipoff 1am) Coverage of the Western Conference clash
at Toyota Centre. 3.30 Live NBA: Golden State
Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers (tip-off 3.30am)
Coverage of the Western Conference Pacific
Division clash at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-1.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 1.08.0 Blue Bloods 8.0-9.0 Micro Monsters With
David Attenborough 9.0-12.25 Game of Thrones
12.25-3.05 Band of Brothers 3.05 Good Job:
Stories of the FDNY 4.05-6.0 Blue Bloods
All programmes from 10am to 7pm are double
bills 6.0am-7.0 Hollyoaks 7.0 Charmed 7.55
Rude(ish) Tube Shorts 8.10 12 Wishes of
Christmas (2011) 10.0 Rules of Engagement 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 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
6.0 The Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 The
Goldbergs 8.0 The Hunger Games (2012)
10.50-11.45 The Big Bang Theory 11.45-
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.20 3rd Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
7.10 Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 8.35 Frasier (T) (R) 0.05
The Big Bang Theory (T) (R) 11.0
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
USA (T) (R) 12.0 News (T) 12.05
Jamie’s Cracking Christmas (T)
12.15 Jamie’s Comfort Food (T)
(R) 12.25 Carry On Spying
(Gerald Thomas, 1964) (T) 2.10
Countdown (T) 3.0 Lost and
Found (T) 4.0 A Place in the Sun
(T) 4.30 Kirstie’s Handmade
Christmas (T) 5.30 The Simpsons
(T) 6.0 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
You’ve Been Framed! At
Christmas (T) (R) Harry Hill
narrates a festive selection.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Aidan
begs Carla to show faith in him.
9.0 Al Murray’s Make Christmas
Great Again (T) The Pub Landlord
arranges a lock-in with a celebrity
guest audience for a lively mix of
music and chat.
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.40 Bridget Jones’s Diary
(Sharon Maguire, 2001) (T)
Romantic comedy based on
Helen Fielding’s novel, with
Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant
and Colin Firth.
12.30 Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Great
Christmas Roast (T) (R) 1.30
Jackpot247 3.0 Storage
Hoarders (T) (R)
10.0 The Inbetweeners 2
(Damon Beesley, Iain Morris,
2014) (T) Comedy sequel
starring Simon Bird.
12.0 Kick-Ass 2 (Jeff Wadlow,
2013) (T) Action comedy sequel
with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and
Chloë Grace Moretz. 1.45 Rude
Tube Christmas Cracker 2016
(T) (R) 2.45 Windsors Christmas
Special (T) (R) 3.40 Location,
Location, Location (R) 4.35
Extreme Cake Makers (T) (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) (R) 3.59 Local News
and Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T)
6.0 Local News (T) 6.30 News
(T) 7.0 Emmerdale (T) Robert
makes a fool of himself. 7.30
Coronation Street (T) A griefstricken Peter fights old demons.
1.55 Gogglebox 1.55 Tattoo Fixers at Christmas
2.55 Rude Tube Christmas Cracker 3.50 The
Inbetweeners 4.15-5.0 How I Met Your Mother
5.0 Charmed
11.0am Angels Sing (2013) 12.45 Big Miracle (2012) 2.50 Mirror Mirror (2012)
4.55 First Daughter (2004) 7.05 Men
in Black (1997) 9.0 Men in Black II (2002)
10.45 No One Lives (2012) 12.25 Source Code (2011) 2.10 Baskin (2015)
6.0am-7.30 Futurama 7.30-9.30 The
Simpsons 9.30-11.0 Modern Family 11.0 Big
Cats: An Amazing Animal Family 12.0-4.0
Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic 4.0-5.0
Modern Family 5.0 The Simpsons 5.30 Futurama
6.0-8.0 The Simpsons 8.0 Michael Bublé’s
Christmas in New York 9.0 Hugh Jackman: Movie
Musical Greats 10.0 2012 (2009) 12.55
The Russell Howard Hour 1.50 A League of Their
Own 2.45 The Force: Manchester 3.40 Making
David Attenborough’s Flying Monsters 4.35
Flying Monsters With David Attenborough
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Good Morning Sports Fans 10.0
Premier League Daily 11.0 Sky Sports Daily
12.0 Sky Sports News 12.30 Live World Darts
Championship. Coverage of the afternoon session
on day nine of the PDC event at Alexandra Palace
in London, featuring the opening three secondround clashes. 4.30 Sky Sports News 5.0 Sky
Sports News at 5 6.0 Sky Sports News at 6 6.30
Carling In Off The Bar: Pre-match 7.0 Live FNF:
Arsenal v Liverpool (kick-off 7.45pm) Coverage
from the Emirates Stadium. 10.30 SPFL Matters:
Old Firm Special 11.0 Live One-Day International
Cricket: New Zealand v West Indies. Coverage of
the second ODI in a three-match series, which
takes place at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
Elaine C Smith’s Burdz Eye View (T) The comedian
visits Barra. Last in the series. 1.30 Teleshopping
2.30 After Midnight 3.30 May the Best House
Win (T) (R) 4.20 Nightscreen 5.05-6.0
Jeremy Kyle (T) (R)
ITV WALES As ITV West except 8.0pm8.30 The Beacons Uncovered (T) The autumn
months in the Brecon Beacons National Park. (4/4)
CHANNEL As ITV except 1.30am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
Elaine C Smith’s Burdz Eye View (T) The comedian
visits the island of Barra. Last in the series. 1.30
Teleshopping 2.30 After Midnight 3.30 May
the Best House Win (T) (R) 4.20 ITV Nightscreen
5.05-6.0 The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
ULSTER As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
UTV Life (T) 1.30 Teleshopping 2.30-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE WALES 8.30pm Kate
Humble: Off the Beaten Track (T) 9.0-10.0
Tom Jones and Beverley Knight’s Gospel
Christmas (T) Tom Jones and Beverley Knight
host a festive concert from Cardiff featuring
a blend of traditional gospel, carols and songs
of spiritual intent by greats like Prince and Bob
Dylan. 11.25 Have I Got 2017 News for You
(T) 11.55 Miranda (T) (R) 12.30 Mrs Brown’s
Boys (T) (R) 1.0-2.0 The Apprentice (T) (R)
BBC TWO N IRELAND 7.0pm-8.0 Wild
Ireland: The Edge of the World (T) (R) (2/2) Colin
Stafford-Johnson heads north from Clew Bay for
Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night
Feast Christmas Special (T) Liv
Tyler joins hosts Jamie Oliver and
Jimmy Doherty.
The Last Leg Christmas Special
(T) Guest Stephen Merchant joins
Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and
Alex Brooker for irreverent satire
and topical comedy. Last in series.
Milkshake! 9.05 A Monster
Christmas (Chad Van De Keere,
2012) (T) 9.55 Saving Santa
(Leon Joosen, 2013) (T) 11.30
Cats & Dogs (Lawrence
Guterman, 2001) (T) 1.10 A Puppy for Christmas (Justin
G Dyck, Myles Milne, 2016) (T)
2.55 A Christmas Melody
(Mariah Carey, 2015) (T) 4.45
Mrs Miracle (Michael Scott,
2009) (T) 6.30 The Gadget Show
(T) Jon Bentley and Craig Charles
assess three rival electric cars.
Last in the series.
BBC Four
World News Today (T) (R) 7.30
TOTP2 Xmas 2017 (T) Mark
Radcliffe narrates a celebratory
compilation of festive hits,
featuring the Pogues and Kirsty
MacColl, Wizzard, Slade, Mariah
Carey and the Flying Pickets.
7.30 Christmas With the Dog
Rescuers (T) Alan Davies finds
out about dogs that are proving
hard to rehome.
8.30 Celebrity 5 Go in Search of Santa
Claus (T) Christopher Biggins,
Joe Pasquale, the Rev Richard
Coles, Rustie Lee and Sue
Holderness head out on a festive
adventure in the Arctic Circle.
Frank Skinner on George Formby
(T) (R) The comedian presents
a profile of the entertainer, who
was arguably the biggest star in
Britain during the 1930s and 40s.
Skinner explores why Formby’s
films and records enjoyed such
commercial success both in
the UK and abroad, and performs
a selection of the songs that
made him famous.
10.0 Les Dawson: In His Own
Words (T) Remembering the
standup comedian, TV host and
celebrated piano player who died
in 1993, with archive material and
anecdotes from family, friends
and colleagues.
12.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Gone
(Heitor Dhalia, 2012) (T) Thriller
starring Amanda Seyfried. 4.45
House Doctor (T) (R) 5.10 Great
Artists (T) (R) 5.35 Wildlife SOS
(T) (R)
10.0 Tom Jones’s 1950s: The Decade
That Made Me (T) (R) The singer
recalls his formative years in
south Wales.
11.0 West Side Stories: The
Making of a Classic (T) (R)
12.0 Michael Grade’s Stars of the
Musical Theatre (T) (R) 1.0
Rock’n’Roll America (T) (R) 2.0
Frank Skinner on George Formby
(T) (R) 3.0 West Side Stories:
The Making of a Classic (T) (R)
No. 1 in C, BWV1066. Academy for Ancient Music
Berlin. 4.30 Words and Music: Sound Frontiers
– Turning Points 5.45 New Generation Artists.
Brahms: Da unten im Tale; Die Mainacht; Auf dem
See. Ilker Arcayürek (tenor), Simon Lepper (piano).
Brahms: Sonata No 1 in E minor, Op 38. Andrei Ioniţă
(cello), Roman Rabinovich (piano). Beethoven:
Piano Trio in E flat, Op1 No 1. Amatis Piano Trio. 7.0
Bach Walks: Medingen to Bienenbüttel (4/5) 7.30
In Concert: Prom 73. András Schiff performs Book
1 of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. (R) 10.0
The Verb 10.45 The Essay: Luther’s Reformation
Gang – Philip Melanchthon (R) 11.0 World on 3:
Womad Revisited 1.0 Through the Night. Franck’s
Le mystère de la nativité from Netherlands Radio.
by Anna Maria Murphy. Christmas is coming and
Gareth has broken his leg. Bedbound and alone in
Emlyn’s caravan, his paranoia begins to take root.
(3/3) 3.0 Gardeners’ Question Time: Christmas
Special at Broadcasting House 3.45 Short Works:
Letter from Eurydice. Eurydice writes to Orpheus
from her home in the Underworld. Written and read
by Natalie Haynes. 4.0 Last Word 4.30 Feedback.
Presented by Roger Bolton. 4.55 The Listening
Project: Susan and Naomi – You Stopped Speaking
5.0 PM. With Eddie Mair. 5.54 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 6.0 News 6.30 Dead Ringers: Christmas
Special. With Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens, Debra
Stephenson, Duncan Wisbey and Lewis Macleod.
(1/2) 7.0 The Archers. It’s a day to remember for
Lilian, and Pip presents an ultimatum. 7.15 Front
Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 Holmes and Watford (R)
(5/5) 8.0 Any Questions? Jonathan Dimbleby chairs
the topical debate at Cheriton Fitzpaine Parish Hall,
Devon, with the Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey, the
Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti and the Conservative
MP Kwasi Kwarteng on the panel. 8.50 A Point of
View 9.0 Home Front Omnibus: 18-22 December
1917, by Shaun McKenna. (6/8) 10.0 The World
Tonight. With James Menendez. 10.45 Book at
Bedtime: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by
Gail Honeyman. (10/10) 11.0 Great Lives: Daniel
O’Connell (R) 11.30 Today in Parliament. With Mark
D’Arcy. 11.55 The Listening Project: Rachel and
Linda – Falling in Love With Glass 12.0 News 12.30
Book of the Week (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast
1.0 As World Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast
5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for the Day 5.45 iPM
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 (R)
10.0 Sounds of the 80s 12.0 Anneka Rice: The
Happening 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Funky Soul, New
to 2 & 21st-Century Songs 5.0 Huey on Saturday
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. The BBC Singers perform the
winning entry in the Breakfast Carol Competition.
9.0 Essential Classics. Suzy Klein’s guest is Brian
Blessed. 12.0 Composer of the Week: JS Bach
(5/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert. Handel:
Sonata in B minor, Op 1 No 9. Bach: Sonata in A
minor, BWV 1013, for unaccompanied flute (3rd
Movement: Sarabande). Kalevi Aho): Solo III for
flute (2nd Movement: Presto). Bach: Flute Sonata
in E major, BWV 1035. Bach: Suite No 2 in B minor,
BWV 1067 (Movements 5 – Polonaise; 6 – Menuett;
7 – Badinerie). Sharon Bezaly (flute). London
Baroque: Charles Medlam (cello), Terence Charlston
(harpsichord). Recorded at the Wigmore Hall and
first broadcast in 2007. 2.0 Afternoon Concert:
Bach. JS Bach: Brandenburg Concertos No 1 in F,
BWV1046; No 3 in G, BWV1048; Orchestral Suite
No 2 in B minor, BWV1067; Brandenburg Concerto
No 6 in B flat, BWV1051; Orchestral Suite No 4 in
D, BWV1069. Academy for Ancient Music Berlin.
3.30 JS Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No 5 in D,
BWV1050. Aapo Häkkinen (harpsichord), Helsinki
Baroque Ensemble. 3.50 JS Bach Orchestral Suite
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. With Justin Webb and Carrie Gracie.
7.48 Thought for the Day, with the Rt Rev Richard
Harries. 8.31 (LW) Yesterday in Parliament 9.0
Desert Island Discs: Christine McVie 9.45 (LW)
Daily Service: Hope of a Saviour 9.45 (FM) Book
of the Week: Village Christmas, by Laurie Lee. (5/5)
10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented by Jenni Murray.
Includes at 10.45 Drama: Holmes and Watford, by
Jon Canter. (5/5) 11.0 George Orwell Back at the
BBC. The making of a statue of the writer to stand
outside New Broadcasting House. (R) 11.30 Are
You Alright in There? Comedy writers Jason Hazeley
and Joel Morris present a history of the toilet book.
With contributions by Ben Schott, John Lloyd, Andy
Riley and Viz comic’s Simon Donald. 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front:
22 December 1917 – Isabel Graham, by Shaun
McKenna. With Keely Beresford. (30/40) 12.15 You
and Yours. Consumer and public interest reports.
1.0 The World at One. Presented by Jonny Dymond.
1.45 His Master’s Voices: The First Superstars.
Cerys Matthews and Tris Penna examine the legacy
and stories of some of gramophone records recorded
in Britain from 1898 to 1902. (R) (5/5) 2.0 The
Archers 2.15 Drama: Curious Under the Stars – Skin,
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 5 Live Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Chris
Warburton 1.0 Friday Sports Panel 2.0 Kermode
and Mayo’s Film Review 4.0 5 Live Drive 7.0
5 Live Sport 7.45 Premier League Football:
Arsenal v Liverpool (kick-off 7.45pm) 10.0
Stephen Nolan 1.0 Up All Night 5.0 5 Live Boxing
With Costello & Bunce 5.30 Friday Football Social
Saturday 23
out. Bravely, she dons her wig and embarks
on a last shift before her flight to America.
Elsewhere, Max and Alicia are puzzled
when they arrive at the new flat and
Robyn clearly isn’t feeling the excitement.
A powerful episode that pulls no punches.
US politics, so now more than ever, expect
it to be troublingly resonant. Which doesn’t
mean you won’t still get a sentimental lump
in your throat. Jonathan Romney
Lenny Henry on Richard Pryor:
The Making of a Satirist
Feud: Bette and Joan
BBC Two, 9pm & 9.50pm
Radio 4, 8pm
As the production of What Ever Happened
to Baby Jane? reaches its climax, things get
feisty behind the cameras between Bette
Davis and Joan Crawford. Mike Bradley
The World’s Best Christmas Lights
Channel 4, 8pm
For the past five years, a company from
Liverpool has put up the Christmas
decorations in Bethlehem’s Manger
Square. This year, the team are preparing
to do it again, but with budget cuts and
the discovery that their lights are stuck
en route in Istanbul, their progress is
hampered. Miraculously, however, things
come together, leading to a happy and
very relieved Christmas for all involved.
BBC1, 8.05pm
The ED is hopelessly short-staffed, so
Hanssen summons a shaky Connie to help
It’s a Wonderful Life
Christmas Gold, 1.25pm
(Frank Capra, 1946)
Over the years, Capra’s American perennial
has become required seasonal viewing
with its apparent message of reconciliation
and good cheer: it’s generally seen as
an inverted Christmas Carol, with James
Stewart’s George Bailey as a smalltown
Bob Cratchit confronting Scrooge-like
banker Potter (Lionel Barrymore). But
it’s a much stranger and darker film than
it’s often painted (and not only because
of the weirdest payoff line in cinema:
“Zuzu’s petals!”). The climactic sequence,
in which George is plunged into a hellish
parallel version of his life, is a traumatic
explosion of film noir darkness in the midst
of comforting bonhomie. It’s a film that
takes on new meaning with every turn in
Our Friend Victoria at Christmas
BBC One, 9.30pm
For many the festive season just wouldn’t
be festive without one of the nation’s
greatest comedians, the late Victoria
Wood (above, right) on TV. This extended
edition of the comedy retrospective
hopes to make amends for her absence
by sharing more highlights from her
career. Dinnerladies star, close friend and
co-conspirator Anne Reid (above, left)
plays host and introduces contributions
by Celia Imrie, Richard E Grant and
Reece Shearsmith. As well as enjoying
a selection of the best sketches from
past Christmas specials, we hear from
the people who helped construct the
showstopping musical finale of 2000’s
Victoria Wood With All the Trimmings,
which lampooned (affectionately) the
then-shadow home secretary Ann
Widdecombe. A fitting, rollicking tribute to
one of the funniest women this country
has ever produced. Mike Bradley
Comedian Lenny Henry salutes his hero,
radical black standup Richard Pryor, arguing
that the seven months Pryor spent in
Berkeley, California in 1971 – a period he
described as “the freest time of my life” –
were crucial to his artistic transformation
from mainstream performer to someone
interested in challenging stereotypes
and bringing African American humour to
racially mixed audiences. With the help of
rarely heard radio tapes, Henry explores
Pryor’s wonderful range of black characters
and his edgy routines. We also learn
more about his insecurities, moods and
addictions from interviewees including his
widow Jennifer Pryor. Stephanie Billen
Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30pm
Everton v Chelsea: Premier League.
Reigning champions Chelsea have already
defeated Everton at Stamford Bridge in the
League and League Cup this season, so
newly installed Everton boss Sam Allardyce
will be looking for a marked improvement in
form today at Goodison Park. MB
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.15 Island Parish Shetland (R) 6.45
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
8.30 The Big Family Cooking
Showdown (R) 9.30 The
Muppets (2011) 11.10 Natural
World (R) 12.10 Mary Berry’s
Absolute Christmas Favourites
(R) 12.40 Nigella’s Christmas
Table (R) 1.40 The Millionaire’s
Gift Guide (R) 2.40 Talking
Pictures: Bette & Joan (T) 3.10
Mildred Pierce (1945) (T)
5.0 Natural World (T) (R) 6.0
Bill (2015) (T) 7.30 Lenny
Henry: A Life on Screen (T) (R)
CITV 9.25 ITV News (T)
9.30 Saturday Morning at
Christmas (T) 11.25 Gino’s Italian
Coastal Escape (T) (R) 11.55
Countrywise (T) (R) 12.25 News
(T) 12.35 Tipping Point (T) (R)
1.35 Harry Potter and the
Philosopher’s Stone (2001) (T)
4.30 Despicable Me (2010)
(T) 6.30 Local News (T) 6.40
News and Weather (T) 7.0 New
You’ve Been Framed! Unwrapped
(T) 7.30 Ant & Dec’s Saturday
Night Takeaway Presents: The
Missing Crown Jewels (T)
6.15 Frasier (R) 6.40 Olive, the Other
Reindeer (R) 7.30 Rugrats
Movie (1999) 9.0 Boxtrolls
(2014) 10.55 Toy Story
That Time Forgot (2014) 11.20
Toy Story Toons (R) 11.55 Toy Story OF TERROR! (2013)
12.20 Father Christmas (R) 12.50
Ice Age: Mammoth Christmas (R)
1.20 Simpsons (R) 3.0 World’s
Most Expensive Christmas (R)
4.0 Handmade Christmas (R)
5.0 News 5.10 Gogglesprogs
Christmas (R) 6.10 Crocodile Dundee (Peter Faiman, 1986)
8.05 Casualty (T) Chemotherapy
takes its toll on Connie.
8.55 Miranda (T) (R) The shopkeeper
makes one final attempt to
accept herself. Last in the series.
9.30 Our Friend Victoria at Christmas
(T) An extended edition in which
Anne Reid revisits Victoria
Wood’s archive material.
8.30 Dad’s Army Turkey Dinner
(T) (R) Captain Mainwaring
proves he is a softie at heart.
9.0 Feud: Bette and Joan (T)
The dispute between Baby
Jane’s leading ladies takes
a turn for the worse.
9.50 Feud: Bette and Joan (T) Rumours
do the rounds about Baby Jane
on the eve of its release, and
Bette and Joan brace for failure.
The Hobbit: The Battle of
the Five Armies (Peter Jackson,
2014) (T) Dwarf king Thorin
descends into madness as his
homeland stands on the brink of
war. Conclusion of the fantasy
adventure trilogy loosely based
on JRR Tolkien’s children’s book,
with Martin Freeman, Richard
Armitage, Luke Evans.
10.10 News and Weather (T) Includes
national lottery update.
10.30 Match of the Day (T) Includes
Everton v Chelsea and Leicester
City v Manchester United.
12.10 The NFL Show (T) With Mark
Chapman, Osi Umenyiora and
Jason Bell.
12.40 Disconnect (Henry Alex
Rubin, 2012) (T) The complex
lives of several strangers are
made far more problematic by
technology. Ensemble drama
starring Jason Bateman. 2.30
Weather (T) 2.35 News (T)
10.35 What Ever Happened to
Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962)
(T) An embittered former child
star keeps her wheelchair-bound
sister a prisoner in their home.
Drama starring Bette Davis and
Joan Crawford.
12.45 Absolutely Fashion: Inside British
Vogue (T) (R) 1.45 Sign Zone:
Mary Berry’s Christmas Party
(T) (R) 2.45 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.35 News and Weather (T)
10.55 Miranda: Morecambe & Wise
and Me (T) (R) Miranda Hart
presents the duo’s 20 greatest
moments. With contributions
from David Walliams, Glenda
Jackson, Paddy McGuinness,
Angela Rippon and André Previn.
12.40 Jackpot247 3.0 The Hungry
Sailors (T) (R) 3.50 ITV
Breakfast (T) 9.30 Saturday
Kitchen (T) 11.0 Mary Berry’s
Christmas Party (T) (R) 12.0
Football Focus (T) 1.0 News
and Weather (T) 1.15 Cool
Runnings (Jon Turteltaub, 1993)
(T) 2.50 Frozen (Chris
Buck, Jennifer Lee, 2013) (T) 4.20
Final Score (T) 5.30 Partners in
Rhyme Christmas Special (T)
6.0 News (T) 6.10 Regional News
and Weather (T) 6.15 Pointless
Celebrities Christmas Special
(T) 7.10 Even Better Than the
Real Thing: Christmas Special (T)
BT Sport 1
6.0am Premier League Preview 6.30 Live
(2011) 11.15 High-Rise (2015) 1.35
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Hyundai A-League: Wellington Phoenix v Sydney
FC (kick-off 6.35am) Coverage from the Westpac
Stadium. 8.45 Live Hyundai A-League: Melbourne
City v Melbourne Victory (kick-off 8.50am)
Coverage from AAMI Park. 11.0 Premier League
Preview 11.30 Live Scottish Football Extra
12.0 Live SPFL: Kilmarnock v Rangers (kick-off
12.30pm) Coverage from Rugby Park. 2.45 BT
Sport Score 5.0 Live Premier League: Burnley v
Tottenham Hotspur (kick-off 5.30pm) Coverage
of the top-flight clash at Turf Moor. 8.0 Premier
League Tonight 9.0 Aviva Premiership Rugby
Highlights 11.0 Scottish Football Extra 11.30 SPFL
1.0 Live NBA: Utah Jazz v Oklahoma City Thunder
(tip-off 1am) Coverage of the Western Conference
clash at Vivint Smart Home Arena. 3.30 ESPN
Films: Unguarded 5.0 Irish Rally Review
6.0am Yonderland Christmas 7.0 The Simpsons
7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 The Simpsons 8.30 The
Simpsons 9.0 The Simpsons 9.30 The Simpsons
10.0 Soccer AM 11.30 Live La Liga Football 2.30
Gillette Soccer Saturday 3.15 Gillette Soccer
Saturday 5.15 Gillette Soccer Saturday 5.30 The
Simpsons 6.0 The Simpsons 6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 It’s
Christmas Live from the Royal Albert Hall 10.0
Take That Live: Wonderland 12.15 Michael Buble’s
Christmas in New York 1.15 A League of Their Own
Christmas Special 2.10 A League of Their Own
Christmas Party 3.05 NCIS: LA 4.0 It’s Me or the
Dog 4.30 It’s Me or the Dog 5.0 It’s Me or the Dog
5.30 It’s Me or the Dog
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-1.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
1.0-8.0 Blue Bloods 8.0 Micro Monsters With
David Attenborough 9.0-12.35 Game of Thrones
12.35-3.20 Band of Brothers 3.20 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation 4.15-6.0 Blue Bloods
6.0am-6.55 Black-ish 6.55 Hollyoaks 9.50
Made in Chelsea 10.55 Don’t Tell the Bride: Christmas Revenge 12.0 Catch That Kid (2004)
1.50 Frozen at Christmas 2.50 Rude(ish) Tube
Shorts 3.0-4.30 The Goldbergs 4.30-9.0
The Big Bang Theory 9.0 The Hunger Games:
Catching Fire (2013) 11.45-3.0 The Inbetweeners
3.0 The Inbetweeners Top 10 Moments 3.555.20 Kevin Can Wait 5.20 New Girl
11.0am The Choir (2014) 1.05 The
Book of Life (2014) 2.55 Gulliver’s Travels
(2010) 4.40 Cheaper By the Dozen (2003)
6.35 Thor (2011) 9.0 The Eagle
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Sky Sports News 7.0 Good Morning
Sports Fans 10.0 Soccer Saturday Pre-Match
11.30 Live Premier League: Everton v Chelsea
(kick-off 12.30pm) Coverage from Goodison Park.
2.30 Live World Darts Championship. Coverage
of the afternoon session on day 10 at Alexandra
Palace in London, featuring three second-round
clashes. 5.0 My Icon: Anthony Joshua 5.15
Live EFL: Aston Villa v Sheffield United (kick-off
5.30pm) Coverage of the Championship clash from
Villa Park. 7.30 Live Premier League: Leicester
City v Man Utd (kick-off 7.45pm) Coverage from
the King Power Stadium. 10.0 Live World Darts
Championship. The evening session on day 10.
11.0 Live NFL: Baltimore Ravens v Indianapolis
Colts (kick-off 9.30pm) Coverage of the match
between the AFC North and AFC South sides, which
takes place at the M&T Bank Stadium. 1.0 Live
NFL: Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings (kickoff 1.30am) Action from the NFC North fixture at
Lambeau Field. 4.30 My Icon: Shaun Gayle 4.45
My Icon: Solomon Wilcots 5.0 Sky Sports News
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.40am
Teleshopping 1.40 After Midnight 3.10 ITV
Nightscreen 5.10-6.0 Freeze Out (T) (R)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.40am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen (T)
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.40am
Teleshopping 1.40 After Midnight 3.10 ITV
Nightscreen 5.10-6.0 Freeze Out (T) (R)
ULSTER As ITV except 12.40am
Teleshopping 1.40-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 4.20pm-5.30
Sportscene (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 5.0pm-5.30
Final Score from Northern Ireland (T)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 1.40pm-2.40
Natural World: Hotel Armadillo (T) (R) 5.0-6.0
Inside the Christmas Factory (T) (R) 7.30-8.30
Proms in the Park (T) (R) A concert by the BBC SSO
from Glasgow Green.
BBC TWO WALES 1.40pm Talking
Pictures: Bette & Joan (T) 2.10 Mildred
Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945) (T) Melodrama
starring Joan Crawford. 4.0 Jane Fonda: Talking
Pictures (T) 4.30 David Hurn: A Life in Pictures
(T) (R) 5.10-6.0 Natural World (T) (R)
Ulster Rugby Live (T) Connacht v Ulster (kick-off
7.35pm). 9.30 Feud: Bette and Joan (T) 10.20
Feud: Bette and Joan (T) 11.10 Other Voices:
A Feast for the Senses (T) 12.10-1.10 The Year
in Music 2017 (T) (R)
The World’s Best Christmas
Lights: From Liverpool to
Bethlehem (T) Documentary
following a team of Liverpoolbased Christmas decorators to
The Wolverine (James
Mangold, 2013) (T) Superhero
adventure spinoff with Hugh
Jackman and Tao Okamoto.
11.20 Gladiator (Ridley Scott,
2000) (T) Thoroughly watchable
Ancient Roman epic with Russell
Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, David
Hemmings, Connie Nelson,
Djimon Hounsou, and Oliver
Reed in his last film role.
2.10 Hollyoaks (T) 4.45 Location,
Location, Location (T) (R)
5.40 The Little Penguin
Pororo’s Racing Adventure
(Young Kyun Park, 2013) (T)
Animated adventure.
BBC Four
Milkshake! 10.15 The Gadget
Show (T) (R) 11.05 A
Christmas Story (Bob Clark,
1983) (T) 12.55 A Heavenly
Christmas (Paul Shapiro, 2016)
(T) 2.40 Scrooge (Ronald
Neame, 1970) (T) 3.40 News
(T) 3.45 Scrooge (Ronald
Neame, 1970) (T) 5.0 Elf: The
Musical (T) A musical stage
adaptation of the festive film, with
Ben Forster and Liz McClarnon.
Blind Date Christmas Special
(T) A festive edition of the
matchmaking show.
Cruising With Jane McDonald
Christmas Special (T) A seasonal
edition finds the presenter
on board the SS Antoinette
travelling up the Rhine. She
also visits some of the most
dazzling Christmas markets
that Europe has to offer.
Timeshift: Stuffed – The Great
British Christmas Dinner (T) (R)
Documentary asking why the
festive meal remains the nation’s
last great traditional feast, and
whether it will endure in an
increasingly diverse society.
James May’s Toy Stories:
Action Man at the Speed of
Sound (T) (R) The presenter
attempts to propel an Action
Man through the sound barrier.
James May: My Sisters’ Top
Toys (T) (R) The presenter tries
to understand the appeal of
certain toys, and seeks to prove
that they can be an effective
and revealing social barometer.
10.0 Jane and Friends at Christmas
(T)Jane McDonald hosts a
festive variety show, joined by
Coronation Street’s Shayne Ward
and the cast of the musical Elf.
10.50 Chas & Dave’s Xmas Knees Up!
(T) (R) A TV special from 1982,
with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Cricket,
Jim Davidson and others.
11.50 Football on 5: The Championship
(T) Hosted by Colin Murray.
12.45 Football on 5: Goal Rush (T) 1.15
SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Our Dream
Hotel (T) 4.0 GPs: Behind Closed
Doors (T) (R) 4.50 Access (T) (R)
10.0 Top of the Pops Christmas Hits
(T) (R) Chart-toppers from
festive episodes of the music
show, including a recently
rediscovered 1967 performance
by the Rolling Stones.
11.0 Prince: A Purple Reign (T) (R)
A profile of the musician.
12.0 TOTP2 Xmas 2017 (T) (R) 1.0
Sacred Music: A Christmas
History (T) (R) 2.0 Timeshift:
Stuffed – The Great British
Christmas Dinner (T) (R) 3.0
James May: My Sisters’ Top
Toys (T) (R)
Christiane Karg (soprano: Susanna), Adam
Plachetka (bass-baritone:Figaro), Rachel WillisSørensen (soprano:Countess Almaviva), Luca
Pisaroni (baritone:Count Almaviva), Serena Malfi
(mezzo:Cherubino), Metropolitan Opera House
Chorus and Orchestra, Harry Bicket. 10.0 Hear and
Now. Kate Molleson presents a programme from
the innovative Sound festival that takes place every
autumn in and around Aberdeen. French bassoonist
Pascal Gallois joins Scottish new music ensemble
Red Note in Gérard Grisey’s Talea, a remarkable
set of Eight Pieces by Philippe Hersant and a
Benedict Mason world premiere. Plus music from
Scotland’s collective of acousmatic composers.
(R) 12.0 Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz: Ella Fitzgerald
(R) 1.0 Through the Night. John Shea presents a
concert of Baroque Christmas Music.
a young man’s infatuation with an attractive
neighbour comes to a tragic end. Read by Alex
Waldmann. 3.45 Survivors (R) 4.0 Weekend
Woman’s Hour 5.0 Saturday PM 5.30 iPM (R)
5.54 Shipping Forecast 6.0 News 6.15 Loose
Ends. Former Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond,
who has just finished presenting a series on torch
songs for Radio 2, joins Clive Anderson in the studio
for light-hearted conversation in the run-up to
Christmas Day. Also appearing are the comedians
Bill Bailey, Joe Lycett and Shappi Khorsandi, and the
actor and singer Martine McCutcheon. Plus Almond
performs, along with Mica Paris. 7.0 Profile 7.15
Saturday Review. Tom Sutcliffe and guests examine
the week’s cultural highlights. 8.0 Archive on 4:
Lenny Henry on Richard Pryor – The Making of a
Satirist. The British comedian explores the impact
of his hero Richard Pryor’s seven-month stay in
Berkeley, California in 1971. While many believe
that Pryor’s transition from a self-confessed Bill
Cosby clone came as the result of quitting a lucrative
job in Las Vegas, Henry claims that it was his time
living within California’s burgeoning black arts
scene that led Pryor to develop his biting satirical
wit. 9.0 Drama: The Scarlet Pimpernel (R) 10.0
News 10.15 We Need to Talk About Death: My
Digital Legacy (R) (2/2) 11.0 Round Britain Quiz
(R) 11.30 The Echo Chamber: Darkness Visible
(R) 12.0 News 12.30 Short Works: Letter from
Eurydice (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World
Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43
Bells on Sunday: Manchester Cathedral 5.45 Profile
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.0 Dev 10.0 Radio 1’s Greatest Hits With Matt
Edmondson 1.0 Maya Jama 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 Dermot 10.0 Graham Norton 1.0 Pick of
the Pops 3.0 The Zoë Ball Show 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. With Martin Handley. 9.0
News 9.03 Record Review. Sara Mohr-Pietsch
contributes to Building a Library, focusing on
choice recordings of the Brandenburg Concertos by
Johann Sebastian Bach, possibly the most famous
set of concertos of the Baroque era. At 10.30,
Andrew McGregor hears from Tom McKinney, who
showcases new releases of contemporary music,
including works by Alberto Posadas, Graham Fitkin,
Arturo Fuentes and Thomas Hyde. Then, at 11.45,
McGregor chooses an outstanding new release as
his Disc of the Week. 12.15 Music Matters: Spirit of
Bach 1.0 News 1.02 Saturday Classics: Sir Thomas
Allen 3.0 Sound of Dance: Bach and the Ballet
4.0 Jazz Record Requests: A Bach Christmas.
Listeners’ suggestions for jazz interpretations of
the music of Bach. 5.0 Jazz Line-Up. A special
solo performance by the Grammy award-winning
artist Jacob Collier, featuring music from his
album In My Room, recorded at the BBC’s Pacific
Quay studios, Glasgow. 6.30 Opera on 3 from
the Met: Mozart – The Marriage of Figaro.
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 News and Papers 6.07 Open Country: Torridge
and Taw, North Devon (R) 6.30 Farming Today
This Week 7.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for the Day,
with Catherine Pepinster. 8.51 (LW) Yesterday
in Parliament. Update on the latest political
proceedings. 9.0 Saturday Live. Extraordinary
stories and remarkable people. 10.30 The Kitchen
Cabinet: Cambridge. Jay Rayner presents a special
festive edition of his culinary panel show, setting
up shop in Cambridge. There, Dr Annie Gray, Tim
Hayward, Sue Lawrence and Rob Owen Brown join
the host to delve into time-honoured Christmas
cooking traditions. (1/7) 11.04 The Week in
Westminster 11.30 From Our Own Correspondent.
Global reports. 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Money Box. Paul Lewis examines
the latest financial developments and offers
impartial advice to those aiming to make the most
of their money. 12.30 Dead Ringers: Christmas
Special (R) (1/2) 12.57 Weather 1.0 News 1.10
Any Questions? (R) 2.0 Any Answers? Listeners
have their say. 2.30 First Love. Ivan Turgenev’s
popular 19th-century romantic novella, in which
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Saturday Breakfast 9.0 Danny Baker 11.0
Fighting Talk 12.0 5 Live Sport 12.30 Premier
League Football: Everton v Chelsea (kick-off
12.30pm) 2.30 5 Live Sport 3.0 Premier League
Football 5.0 Sports Report 6.0 6-0-6 7.45
Premier League Football: Leicester City v Man
United (kick-off 7.45pm) 10.0 Stephen Nolan
1.0 Up All Night 5.0 5 Live Science
The Observer | 17.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
Today’s television
The week’s listings
start on page 42
consisting of Gillian Anderson and Glenn
Close with a filling of Max Irons and a side
of Christina Hendricks. The real star of the
show, though, is the Bristol 405 driven by
private eye Charles Hayward (Irons).
lives, and in the very best sense, is one
of those small-scale film-makers who
write involving, intimate novels in celluloid.
Jonathan Romney
Private Passions
Inside Bentley: A Great
British Motor Car
Channel 4, 9pm
Radio 3, 12noon
As part of a major sales drive, the venerable
marque opens the doors of it Crewe factory.
Bentley is a Volkswagen subsidiary now,
but who wants to quibble when the cars are
so sleek and magnificent? Mike Bradley
Sports Personality of the Year
BBC One, 6.45pm
Love Is Strange
Film4, 11.15pm
Can you pick a winner from this glittering
shortlist: Anthony Joshua; Chris Froome;
Lewis Hamilton; Elise Christie; Harry Kane;
Johanna Konta; Jonathan Rea; Jonnie
Peacock; Mo Farah; Adam Peaty; Anya
Shrubsole and Bianca Walkden?
(Ira Sachs, 2014)
Writer-director Sachs has long been a
consistent if self-effacing presence in
US independent cinema, with films like
The Delta and Forty Shades of Blue,
but the mainstream recently caught up
with him in New York family drama Little
Men. Before that, Love Is Strange made
its mark with the prestigious casting of
John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, playing
two gay Manhattanites who get married
after about 39 years together. But when
George (Molina) is sacked from the Catholic
school where he teaches, the couple find
themselves having to live separately. As
in Little Men, Sachs is adept at handling
the extraordinary stresses within ordinary
Agatha Christie: Crooked House
Channel 5, 9pm
This attempt to dramatise one of Christie’s
two favourite mysteries (the other being
Ordeal by Innocence – scheduled as the
centrepiece of the BBC’s Christmas but
pulled following allegations of misconduct)
is great if you fancy a ham acting sandwich
Man Like Mobeen
BBC Three, from 10am
As one Small Heath drama draws to a
close, it’s time for Peaky Blinders boss
Tommy Shelby to move over and make
room for a very different kind of local hero
in the form of Mobeen Deen (Guz Khan,
above, centre). He’s British Asian, he’s
Muslim and he’s hilarious. Unemployed,
kicking his heels and caring for his little
sister Aqsa (Duaa Karim), Mobeen is the
chief wit in a comedy trio consisting of
him and his best mates Eight (Tez Ilyas,
above, left) and Nate (Tolu Ogunmefun,
above, right) who are plagued by the bored
local police and shocked to experience
Islamophobic behaviour from a Muslim
copper. Watch as tonight they dodge
“death by banana” and the Small Heath
Sex Falcon (who “swoops down to violate
tall men with kind faces”). Great writing,
great acting, great comedy that’s in touch
with real life. Eat your heart out Citizen
Khan, this is properly funny. Mike Bradley
Actor and singer Jane Birkin talks to
Michael Berkeley about her life and career,
recalling her intense relationship with
Serge Gainsbourg and how she originally
found him “sarcastic and unkind” before
realising that he was “devastatingly unsure
of himself”. She attributes some of the
eroticism of their notorious 1969 song Je
t’aime… to Gainsbourg’s decision to have her
sing an octave higher, making her sound like
a choirboy. Her stimulating music choices
include Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring,
John Barry’s music for The Lion in Winter,
Bernstein’s West Side Story and Mahler’s
10th Symphony which she once used to
charm Parisian police after scratching their
vehicle in traffic. Stephanie Billen
Rugby Union
BT Sport 2, 3pm
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens: Champions
Cup, Pool 2. Dare you miss this titanic
encounter at Stade Marcel-Michelin? When
they met in the first leg at Allianz Park
reigning champions Sarries had their pants
pulled down by the French side they beat in
the 2016/17 final. Anyone for an encore? MB
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast (T) 7.35 Match of the
Day (T) (R) 9.0 Andrew Marr
(T) 10.0 Fern Britton Meets Rev
Rose Hudson-Wilkin (T) 11.0
Sunday Politics (T) 12.15 Bargain
Hunt (T) (R) 1.0 News (T) 1.15
Mary Berry’s Country House
Secrets (T) (R) 2.15 Songs of
Praise (T) 2.50 Toy Story
2 (Ash Brannon, John Lasseter,
1999) (T) 4.20 Blue Planet II
(T) (R) 5.20 News (T) 5.35
Regional News; Weather (T)
5.45 Countryfile (T) 6.45 Sports
Personality of the Year 2017 (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 Nigel Slater’s 12
Tastes of Christmas (T) (R) 11.30
My Life on a Plate (T) (R) 12.15
MOTD2 Extra (T) 1.0 Jane Fonda:
Talking Pictures (T) 1.30 Live
Equestrian: Olympia 2017 (T)
4.35 Ski Sunday (T) 5.20 Nativity! (Debbie Isitt, 2009) (T)
7.0 Life in Polar Bear Town With
Gordon Buchanan (T) (R)
CITV 9.25 News (T) 9.30
Best Walks with a View (T)
(R) 9.55 Countrywise Winter
Wonderland (T) (R) 10.40
Martin Lewis Money Show (T)
(R) 11.10 Save Money: Good
Food (T) (R) 11.40 How to Spend
It Well at Christmas (T) (R)
12.40 News (T) 12.45 Step
Up (2006) (T) 2.50 Midsomer
Murders (T) (R) 4.45 Tipping
Point (T) (R) 5.45 The Chase:
Celebrity Special (T) 6.45 The
Chase: The Bloopers (T) 7.40
Local News (T) 7.50 News (T)
6.10 3rd Rock from the Sun (T) (R)
7.05 Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 7.55 Everybody Loves
Raymond (T) (R) 8.25 Frasier
(T) (R) 8.55 Frasier (T) (R) 9.30
Sunday Brunch (T) 12.30 Paul
Hollywood: A Baker’s Life (T) (R)
1.0 Jamie’s Ultimate Christmas
(T) (R) 2.05 The Simpsons (T)
(R) 2.35 The Simpsons (T) (R)
3.05 Jingle All the Way
(Brian Levant, 1996) (T) 4.50
Born Silly (T) 5.20 News (T)
5.50 Miracle on 34th
Street (Les Mayfield, 1994) (T)
The Apprentice (T) The two
finalists take on their last
challenge to win an investment
from Alan Sugar, with
contestants from the series
returning to aid them in their
endeavours. Last in the series.
The Hobbit: The Desolation
of Smaug (Peter Jackson, 2013)
(T) The party of dwarves and
their hobbit ally face the dragon
that stole their homeland. Part
two of the fantasy adventure
trilogy loosely based on JRR
Tolkien’s children’s book and
starring Martin Freeman, Ian
McKellen, Ken Stott, James
Nesbitt, Evangeline Lilly.
10.0 The Apprentice: You’re Hired
(T) Rhod Gilbert is joined by the
winner. Last in the series.
11.0 News (T)
11.20 Regional News and Weather (T)
11.30 Ronny Chieng: International
Student (T) Ronny prepares for
his final exam. Wei Jun lends him
her course notes on the condition
that he does not share them with
anyone else – and he ends up
losing them. Last in the series.
11.55 Weather (T)
12.0 BBC News (T)
James May’s Toy Stories: The
Motorcycle Diaries (T) (R) The
presenter sets out to build a
motorbike and sidecar entirely
out of Meccano and complete a
lap of the Isle of Man’s TT circuit.
The Alternativity (T)
Documentary about the making
of a contemporary performance
inspired by the Nativity story.
10.0 Detectorists Christmas Special
(T)(R) Russell thinks Lance has
been cursed.
10.30 Match of the Day 2 (T)
Featuring West Bromwich
Albion v Manchester United
and Bournemouth v Liverpool.
11.30 Insert Name Here (T) (R) With
Katy Brand, Ed Gamble, Suzannah
Lipscomb and Amol Rajan.
12.0 Talking Pictures: Roger Moore (T)
(R) 1.0 Sign Zone: Question Time
(T) (R) 2.0 Holby City (T) (R)
BT Sport 1
10.30am Bundesliga 11.30 Live Serie A: Hellas
Verona v AC Milan (kick-off 11.30am) Coverage
from the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi. 1.30
BT Sport Reload 1.45 Live Serie A: Bologna v
Juventus (kick-off 2pm) Coverage from the Stadio
Renato Dall’Ara. 4.0 The Clare Balding Show 5.0
Live PSA Squash. The women’s and men’s finals
at the AJ Bell World Championship at Manchester
Central. 7.30 BT Sport Reload 7.45 Live Ligue 1:
Lyon v Marseille (kick-off 8pm) Coverage from
the Groupama Stadium. 10.0 Serie A 12.0 Ashes
Memories: 1986/87 12.30 The Ashes 2.0 The
Ashes Live. Coverage of the fifth day of the third
Test, which takes place at Western Australia
Cricket Association Ground in Perth.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-9.0 Urban Secrets 9.0-2.0
Without a Trace 2.0-6.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 6.0 The Bachelor King 7.30
David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum
Alive 9.0-12.0 Babylon Berlin 12.0 Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of
Belief (2015) 2.15-3.30 Californication
3.30-5.10 Storm City 5.10 House
6.0am The Bear 6.30 Couples Come Dine
With Me 7.25 Couples Come Dine With Me 8.25
Hollyoaks 11.0 Made in Chelsea 12.0 Catch
That Kid (2004) 1.50 Rude(ish) Tube Shorts 2.0
The Goldbergs 2.30 The Goldbergs 3.0 The
Goldbergs 3.30 The Big Bang Theory 4.0 The
Big Bang Theory 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 Three Musketeers
(2011) 10.10 Gogglebox 11.15 Gogglebox 12.20
The Inbetweeners 12.55 The Inbetweeners 1.30
The Inbetweeners 2.0 Rude Tube: All Things Weird
and Wonderful 3.0 Gogglebox 3.55 Hollyoaks
11.05 News and Weather (T)
11.25 Through the Christmas
Keyhole (T) (R) Keith Lemon
hosts as Shayne Ward, Kelly
Brook and Johnny Vegas are
asked to identify the homes
of the rich and famous.
12.15 Jackpot247 3.0 Tenable (T)
(R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
11.0am The Book of Life (2014) 1.0 First Daughter (2004) 3.20 The Train (1964)
6.05 Robin Hood (2010) 9.0 Thor
(2011) 11.15 Love Is Strange (2014) 1.05
Mindscape (2013)
6.0am Hour of Power 7.0 Futurama 7.30
Futurama 8.0 Futurama 8.30 Futurama 9.0
Futurama 9.30 The Simpsons 10.0 The Simpsons
10.30 The Simpsons 11.0 WWE Raw Hlts 12.0
NCIS: 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
The Simpsons 6.0 The Simpsons 6.30 The
Simpsons 7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons
8.0 Marvel’s Inhumans 9.0 Stella 10.30 Trollied
– Christmas Special 11.0 A League of Their Own
12.0 Ross Kemp: Extreme World 1.0 Ross Kemp:
Extreme World 2.0 Supergirl 3.0 The Flash 4.0
Stargate Atlantis 5.0 Stargate Atlantis
Sky Sports 1
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.15am
Teleshopping 1.15 After Midnight 2.45 May
the Best House Win (T) (R) 3.35-5.05 ITV
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.15am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.15am
Teleshopping 1.15 After Midnight 2.45
May the Best House Win (T) (R) 3.35-5.05
ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 12.15am Teleshopping
1.15-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
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) 11.30 Sportscene (T)
(R) 12.25-12.50 Ronny Chieng: International
Student (T)
BBC ONE WALES 11.0am-12.15 Sunday
Politics Wales (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 11.0am-12.15
6.0am Sky Sports News 7.0 Good Morning
Sports Fans 8.0 Live ODI Cricket: India v Sri Lanka.
Sunday Politics Northern Ireland (T)
Coverage of the third and final match in the series,
staged at Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA
Stadium in Visakhapatnam. 12.0 Live SPFL:
Hearts v Celtic (kick-off 12.30pm) Coverage from
Tynecastle. 1.30 Live Nissan Super Sunday: West
Bromwich Albion v Man Utd (kick-off 2.15pm)
Coverage from the Hawthorns. 4.15 Live Nissan
Super Sunday: Bournemouth v Liverpool (kick-off
4.30pm) Coverage from the Vitality Stadium. 7.0
Live World Darts Championship. Coverage of the
evening session on day four of the PDC event at
Alexandra Palace in London 11.0 Live NFL 12.50
NFL Gameday 1.20 Live NFL: Oakland Raiders v
Dallas Cowboys (kick-off 1.30am) Coverage of the
clash between the AFC West and NFC East sides at
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. 4.30
Premier League Highlights 5.0 Sky Sports News
Proms in the Park 2017 (T) Highlights from this
year’s classical concert at Castle Coole in Co
Fermanagh, featuring James and Jeanne Galway,
Evelyn Glennie, Adrian Dunbar, Ruthie Henshall
and Anúna. 10.0-10.30 Dancing Back in Time
(T) (R) 11.30 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland
(T) (R) 11.55-12midnight Waterworld (T) (R)
THE NEW REVIEW | 17.12.17 | The Observer
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 5.20pm Escape
to the Country (T) 6.05 Sportscene (T) 7.0-8.0
River City (T) (R)
BBC TWO WALES 1.0pm-1.30 Flog It!
Coastal Railways With Julie
Walters (T) The actor travels
from Cardigan Bay to Liverpool.
Last in the series.
Inside Bentley: A Great British
Motor Car (T) Behind the scenes
at the car company, from the
factory floor to the world’s
most exclusive car showroom,
as work gets under way on a
range of 4x4s.
Milkshake! 10.0 Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles (T) (R) 10.35 Football
on 5: The Championship (T) (R)
11.30 Football on 5: Goal Rush (T)
(R) 12.0 Season’s Greetings
(Allan Harmon, 2016) (T) 1.50
Twelve Trees of Christmas
(Michael DeCarlo, 2013) (T)
3.35 Our First Christmas
(Armand Mastroianni, 2008)
(T) 5.20 News (T) 5.25 A Heavenly Christmas (Paul
Shapiro, 2016) (T) 7.10 Legally Blonde (Robert Luketic,
2001) (T)
Agatha Christie’s Crooked
House (T) Adaptation of the
mystery novel starring Max
Irons and Terence Stamp. A
man returning to London from
Cairo investigates the poisoning
of his fiancee’s grandfather.
Max Irons stars with Terence
Stamp, Gillian Anderson, Glenn
Close, Christina Hendricks.
BBC Four
Only Connect (T) (R) The
Detectives and Arrowheads
return for this round-two game.
7.30 Great Continental Railway
Journeys (T) (R) The Black
Forest to Hannover. Michael
Portillo ventures deep into the
Black Forest, and a masterclass
in carving cuckoo clocks
demonstrates how Germany’s
reputation for making quality
goods was established.
Mrs Dickens’ Family Christmas
(T) (R) Sue Perkins explores
Charles Dickens’s marriage.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
(T) Thriller based on Charles
Dickens’s unfinished novel about
a choirmaster’s obsession
with a 17-year-old girl and the
measures he takes to attain
her. Matthew Rhys stars.
Sleepy Hollow (Tim
Burton, 1999) (T) A sceptical
18th-century detective is sent
to a small hamlet supposedly
terrorised by a demonic headless
horseman. Tim Burton’s
gothic horror stars Johnny
Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda
Richardson, Christopher Walken.
12.55 Criminals: Caught on Camera
(T) (R) 1.15 SuperCasino (T)
3.10 Top 20 Funniest (T) (R)
4.0 My Mum’s Hotter Than
Me! (T) (R) 4.50 House Doctor
(T) (R) 5.15 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
Radio 1
compilation of three short plays by contemporary
Scandinavian writers. 10.30 Christmas Around
Europe. Ian Skelly presents the final part of the
concert sequence, with a performance of a new
work by Ondřej Kyas from Brno and Christmas
music for choir and organ from Mafra. 12.30
Through the Night (R)
Radio 2
Radio 4
Mariella Frostrup suggests some literary Christmas
gifts, and looks at the rise in crowd-funded
publishing. 4.30 The Echo Chamber: Darkness
Visible. Paul Farley showcases poetry written by
Kayo Chingonyi, Emily Berry and George Szirtes
after spending time in complete darkness. (3/3)
5.0 Grenfell: Dust On Our Lips (R) Residents of
North Kensington talk about living in the shadow
of Grenfell tower. 5.40 Profile. With Mark Coles.
5.54 Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather 6.0
News 6.15 Pick of the Week. With John Waite.
7.0 The Archers. Toby’s life is changed for ever,
and Jennifer fears for her Christmas celebrations.
7.15 Jeeves Live. Martin Jarvis performs Jeeves
and the Yule-Tide Spirit in front of a live audience.
(2/2) 7.45 The Reservoir Tapes: Irene’s Story, by
Jon McGregor. (12/15) 8.0 Feedback (R) 8.30
Last Word (R) 9.0 Money Box (R) 9.26 Radio 4
Appeal (R) 9.30 In Business: Ryanair – A Change
in Direction? (R) 10.0 The Westminster Hour. With
Carolyn Quinn. 11.0 The Film Programme: Star Wars
– The Last Jedi (R) 11.30 Something Understood
(R) 12.0 News 12.15 Thinking Allowed (R) 12.45
Bells on Sunday: St. Eadburgha, Ebrington in
Gloucestershire (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast
1.0 As World Service. LW: 2.15 The Ashes:
Australia v England – Third Test, Day Five. 5.20
Shipping Forecast. FM: 5.20 Shipping Forecast
5.30 News Briefing 5.43 Prayer for the Day
5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of the Day:
The Twelve Tweets of Christmas. Alison Steadman
presents birdsong for Yuletide. (1/12)
10.0 Die Hard (John McTiernan,
1988) (T) A New York cop battles
armed men who have taken over
a Los Angeles skyscraper where
his wife is working on Christmas
Eve. Action thriller, starring Bruce
Willis and Alan Rickman.
12.35 Mercury Rising (Harold
Becker, 1998) (T) Thriller starring
Bruce Willis. 2.25 I Origins
(Mike Cahill, 2014) (T) Drama with
Michael Pitt, Britt Marling. 4.10
Location, Location, Location (T)
(R) 5.05 Extreme Cake Makers
(T) (R) 5.35 Countdown (R)
The Real Star of Bethlehem: A
Sky at Night Christmas Special
(T) (R) The team go in search of
the potential origins of the Star
of Bethlehem, exploring the
possibilities as they reconstruct
the night sky of 2,000 years ago.
12.0 The Genius of Marie Curie: The
Woman Who Lit Up the World (T)
(R) 1.0 Roger Bannister: Everest
on the Track (T) (R) 2.0 Timeshift
(T) (R) 3.0 The Art That Made
Mexico: Paradise, Power and
Prayers (T) (R)
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.0 Dev 10.0 Greatest Hits With Matt Edmondson
1.0 Alice Levine 4.0 Life Hacks 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 Zara Larsson 4.0 Adele Roberts
88-91 MHz
6.0 The Sunday Hour 7.0 Good Morning Sunday
With Angie Greaves 9.0 Steve Wright 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 Don Black 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 9.0 News 9.03 Sunday Morning.
This week’s Sarah Walker presents The Enchanted
Lake by Liadov, plus music from Haydn, Schumann
and Holst. 12.0 Private Passions: Jane Birkin 1.0
News 1.03 Christmas Around Europe. Ian Skelly
presents Radio 3’s annual journey around Europe
for a sequence of live and specially recorded
concerts. The day begins at Kallio Church in
Helsinki with a programme of music for organ
and wind quintet. Then to St Ulrich’s Church,
Vienna where the Vienna Chamber Choir perform
traditional Christmas songs. 3.0 Choral Evensong
(R) 4.0 Christmas Around Europe. Part two
includes a Bach and Vivaldi programme from
Ensemble 1700, recorded at the German National
Museum in Nuremberg. Then at 5pm it’s live to
Bulgaria for a performance of Dimitar Nenov’s
Christmas Oratorio. The Danish contribution
to the day is part of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
followed by Scandinavian Christmas songs, and
then to Frankfurt for Bach and Handel performed
by Le Concert d’Astrée Chorus and the Frankfurt
Radio SO. 9.0 Drama on 3: Nordic Voices (R) A
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
5.30 The Ashes: Australia v England – Third
Test, Day Four. From the Western Australia Cricket
Association Ground in Perth. FM: 6.0 News 6.05
Something Understood: Having Enough. With
Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand. 6.35 Living World:
Godwits (R) 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 7.57 Weather 8.0
News 8.0 Sunday Papers 8.10 Sunday Worship:
Hope of a Saviour 8.48 A Point of View (R) 8.58
Tweet of the Day: Fyfe Dangerfield on the Golden
Oriole (R) 9.0 Broadcasting House. Presented by
Paddy O’Connell. 10.0 The Archers (R) (LW joins at
10.30) 11.15 Desert Island Discs. Fleetwood Mac’s
Christine McVie talks to Kirsty Young. (14) 12.0
News 12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 I’m
Sorry I Haven’t a Clue (R) (5/6) 12.30 The Food
Programme: The World’s Most Popular Cheese – The
Story of Cheddar. Dan Saladino discusses the history
and future of Cheddar. 12.57 Weather 1.0 The
World This Weekend. Presented by Mark Mardell.
1.30 No Triumph, No Tragedy. Peter White talks
to people with disabilities about their motivations,
personal achievements and the challenges they
have overcome. (3/3) 2.0 Gardeners’ Question
Time: Hamble Valley (R) 2.45 The Listening
Project Omnibus: In Recovery (R) 3.0 Drama: The
Scarlet Pimpernel. Chauvelin’s masterplan comes
into play at Lord Grenville’s ball, while Marguerite
comes up with a scheme to save her brother from
execution. Dramatised and directed by Jonathan
Holloway. (2/2) 4.0 News 4.02 Open Book.
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Sunday 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 Premier League Football: Bournemouth v
Liverpool (kick-off 4.30pm) 6.30 6-0-6 7.30
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 10.0 Stephen
Nolan 1.0 Up All Night 5.0 Morning Reports
5.15 Wake Up to Money
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