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The Observer The New Review 24 December 2017

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Features | Reportage | Arts | Reviews | Plus Stewart Lee and 7-day TV listings
THE NEW
REVIEW
MORE
PUZZLES
AND QUIZZES
INSIDE
SUNDAY 24 DECEMBER 2017
S
P
P U Z Z L E S
C
I
A
?
?
?
?
??
L
2
MINESWEEPER
Place mines into the
unnumbered cells in the
grid, at most one mine per
cell, so that each number
in a cell represents the
number of mines adjacent
to that cell (including
diagonally adjacent cells).
6 5 5 6 6 4 4
3
4
3
4
Answers
on page 2
Example solution:
0
3
3
4
COUNT THE SHAPES
2
4 3 4 3
2
4
2 4 4 4
4
5
4
4
3 4 3 4 3 3 4
Top gameshow
hosts interviewed,
including Nick Hewer,
Victoria Coren Mitchell,
Jeremy Vine and
Lesley-Anne
Brewis
Determine the number of triangles of any size in diagram A and the number of rectangles
of any size in diagram B
12A
INS
AL
SO
A
Th
sc e
ie 12
n
of ce big
20 sto ge
17 rie st
s
IDE
B
THE NEW REVIEW
AA NN SS W
W EE RR SS
Contents
(?from the cover)
?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??
? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ??
?? ? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? ? ??
? ? ? ? ? ? ??
MINESWEEPER
The ?nest writing every Sunday for arts, science, politics and culture
6 5 5 6 6 4 4
A G E N D A 3-5
F E AT U R E S 6-18
On my radar Actor and singer
Pearl Mackie?s cultural highlights
Stories of 2017 Leading scientists
on their highlights of the past year
Q&A Neuroscientist
rer
and Christmas lecturer
Sophie Scott
Q&A Former Nasa biochemist
turned body hacker Josiah Zayner
Stewart Lee
John Naughton Who?s doing
Google and Facebook?s dirty work?
C R I T I C S 25-33
B O O K S 34-37
Does Hamilton live up to the hype?
Susannah Clapp?s verdict?
Mark Kermode reviews Jumanji
Interview
Actor Emily Watson on starring in
a TV adaptation of Little Women
Luke Jennings on the
magic of The Nutcracker
Kitty Empire on British folk
maverick Richard Dawson
Puzzles special
Six pages of festive brain-teasers,
including a guess-the-?lm picture
puzzle and bumper crossword
This year?s Christmas
albums reviewed
Laura Cumming on art
Gameshow hosts
We speak to the presenters of
some of TV?s best-loved shows
Assignment ? share your images
of what ?celebrate? means to you at
witness.theguardian.com
Gallery ? Rachel Denny?s knitted
reindeer and other animals
the guardian.com/artanddesign
Showcase ?
original photography
e
commissioned for the
Observer last month
theguardian.com/
artanddesign
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
3
4
3
4
2
4 3 4 3
2
4
2 4 4 4
A 23
Bethany on Jura ? an exclusive
short story by William Boyd
GAMES & PUZZLES
GAM
38-39
TV
T LISTINGS
40-46
B 42
4
5
4
4
3 4 3 4 3 3 4
COUNT THE SHAPES
Plus
ONLINE THIS WEEK
2
S C I E N C E & T E C H 19-23
2
Agenda
Q&A
This year?s
Christmas
lecturer,
Sophie Scott
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
Born in Brixton, Pearl Mackie is a
graduate of Bristol Old Vic Theatre
School. Early roles included the
music comedy Svengali, daytime soap
Doctors, and the West End production
of The Curious Incident of the Dog in
the Night-Time. She shot to fame this
spring playing dinner lady Bill Potts,
sidekick to Peter Capaldi?s 12th Doctor
in his ?nal series of Doctor Who,
Pearl Mackie
ACTOR AND SINGER, 30
and the ?rst gay main companion
in the show?s 54-year history. Her
farewell appearance as Bill comes in
Doctor Who?s Christmas Day special
at 5.30pm on BBC1. She also stars
alongside Stephen Mangan, Zoe
Wanamaker and Toby Jones in a new
production of The Birthday Party,
running at London?s Harold Pinter
theatre from 9 January. Michael Hogan
4
2
7
3
1 | Play
Barber Shop Chronicles
The best thing I?ve seen in a theatre for a
long time. This play by Inua Ellams is back
at the National for a last few weeks, so
even if it?s sold out, go and get returns. It?s
got a big cast, a bold set, it?s vibrant and
loud as it leaps between barber shops
in Peckham to Johannesburg, Harare,
Kampala, Lagos and Accra. There?s song,
dance and audience participation, where
they have proper patter with you. It
explores the fragility of black masculinity,
father-and-son relationships, migration,
Mugabe, the media, and illuminates
perspectives that you don?t necessarily
hear all the time. I cried, but I also laughed
loads. I was fully moved.
2 | Film
Mudbound
This is the ?rst Net?ix feature to be
simultaneously released in cinemas,
which could change the shape of the ?lm
5
industry. It?s also a truly beautiful ?lm,
directed by a black woman called Dee
Rees, about two guys ? one white, one
black ? who return to rural Mississippi
after ?ghting in the second world war.
They end up working on the same farm
and form a touching friendship, but family
issues, PTSD and racism all bubble to the
surface. It gets horribly harrowing towards
the end, but it?s an emotive, visceral story.
And Mary J Blige is in it, which is a bonus.
Sometimes when musicians appear in
?lms, it can be cringey, but she?s brilliant.
I was like, ?Yes girl, do it!? I cried. I?m quite
a cryer, especially on planes. I cried at
Moana on a plane recently.
3 | Music
Leon Bridges
His song River was on the Big Little Lies
soundtrack, and via that I discovered the
album Coming Home. It?s old-school soul
with hints of gospel, blues and haunting
storytelling. I recently did that Spotify radio
thing [an automatic playlist] based on this
1
album and it came up with the best playlist
ever. I?m claiming I compiled it myself,
obviously. My mum has better taste in
music than I could dream of having. I grew
up listening to Motown and Marvin Gaye.
She?s got a very extensive, eclectic record
collection, so I thank her for that.
4 | TV
Blue Planet II
My favourite TV show this year, apart
from Big Little Lies. David Attenborough
is the grandfather of the nation, and it?s
so epic. I?ve always been fascinated by the
sea ? it?s so scary and unknowable. The
way creatures have evolved down there?
Never underestimate a ?sh ? that?s a
motto to live by. The ?making of? sections
are awe-inspiring. When the cameramen
are in super-deep water, surrounded by
sharks ? hats o? to those guys, I?d be
freaking out. In terms of TV drama, I adore
The Crown, and Feud looks incredible. I?ve
told my mum to record it so we can binge
on it over Christmas.
5 | Book
You Can?t Touch My Hair (And Other Things
I Still Have to Explain)
Wonderfully written by a black feminist
comedian, Phoebe Robinson, this is so
hilarious I cackled out loud like a weirdo
when reading it. It starts with the idea
of people touching black people?s hair,
which has happened to me many times.
People feel the need to touch it and dive
straight in without asking. I can?t put it as
funnily as she does, but that becomes
a jumping-o? point for an exploration
of being a black woman who doesn?t ?t
into stereotypes. Which shouldn?t exist
anyway, because we?re all individuals.
A great insight into the contemporary
black experience.
6 | Designer
O? White
This is a streetwear label started by Kanye
West?s creative director, Virgil Abloh. I
love how individual and witty their pieces
are, and they do amazing collaborations.
There?s this sick pair of deconstructed Nike
Air Max which are all undyed creams and
whites with ?foam? written on the sole.
They did knee-high Vetements boots with
?for walking? up the side. I?m normally too
scared to buy designer clothes, but I?m
partial to this stu?. The trainers might have
to be a Christmas present to myself.
7 | Website
Vinterior
I just got a new house, so I?m trying to
gather some furniture. I got sucked into
Vinterior by a targeted ad on Instagram,
but it?s perfect for me: vintage pieces from
independent antique dealers. I only just
realised you can search by price, which is a
revelation because before I?d type in ?large
table? and it?d come up with a palace?s
120-seater banqueting table for 15 grand.
You can ?nd bargains on light ?ttings,
mirrors and other bits and bobs. I keep
putting things in my basket, then losing out
on them, which is quite sad.
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
3
AGENDA
Q & A
Sophie Scott: ?If
I meet someone
who calls me
Sore-phie I?m
almost purring
like a cat. ?
Photograph by
Richard Saker for
the Observer
Sophie
Scott
The neuroscientist giving this year?s Royal
Institution Christmas lectures on doing
standup comedy and why rats laugh
Sophie Scott is a senior fellow
at University College London.
She is an expert in cognitive
neuroscience, particularly in relation
to communications. This year, she is
giving the Royal Institution Christmas
lectures looking at how evolution has
shaped our bodies to communicate
with each other. She also does
standup comedy.
When and how were you asked to do the
Royal Institution Christmas lectures?
They asked me back in April this year.
I was contacted by somebody from
the RI on Twitter and they said: ?Can
you come in to chat to us about a
project?? I thought it was going to be
for educational purposes or a podcast.
It didn?t cross my mind for a second
what it was. It was amazing.
Growing up, did you watch the RI lectures?
I watched them intently when I was
a child. They changed what I thought
about science, because I was used
to science at school being a body of
knowledge you were told about. Then
Carl Sagan did one, looking at the data
coming back from the Voyager craft,
and I was blown away. There aren?t
many things you can point at and say:
?This why I ended up doing what I?m
doing?, but the Christmas lectures for
me really are that.
Your area of expertise is communication,
but there remains a suspicion that
scientists who communicate with a
wider audience trivialise science. Have
you encountered this attitude?
It?s what?s known as the Carl Sagan
effect, which refers to the fact that
he was blackballed by the American
scienti?c community because of his
public engagement work. But there
was an analysis a couple of years
ago that found that that attitude
still holds爐rue in neuroscience. So
the more public engagement work
someone does, the less scienti?c their
science is. It?s not seen like that by
the public, but of course they?re not
making the decisions about who gets
funding. It?s something I really strive
to overturn.
Many animals laugh, including,
apparently, rats. What have rats got to
laugh about?
They laugh for the same reasons as
other animals: it?s a social behaviour.
We associate laughing with jokes and
humour in adult humans, but actually
laughter is always something that
happens primarily around members
of your own species. Particularly the
ones you know, particularly the ones
you like. Rats laugh when they?re
tickled and when they?re playing.
That?s true of apes and humans too.
What are the advantages of laughter
over a wry smile?
They are twofold. Laughter is a very
strong cue to others to join in. So it
works as a behaviourally contagious
phenomenon. It also feels good to
laugh. You get a kick from laughter.
It?s having an effect at multiple levels.
There?s some very good research from
Robert Levenson on positive affect.
If both members of a couple laugh
or smile, they can deal with stressful
situations. But only if they both do it.
We?re 30 times more likely to laugh
with someone than on our own. Is
laughing alone an activity that should be
of concern?
All laughter?s good. Don?t worry about
laughing on your own. It?s a statistical
phenomenon ? you?re much more
likely to do it around other people. I
realised the other day the same is true
of speaking. You?re much more likely
to talk around other爌eople.
You have done standup comedy. What
made you try that?
Professional jealousy. UCL does
a standup event that has become
incredibly popular. When I ?rst
heard燼bout it, I thought I really don?t
want to do that. I don?t want to expose
myself. I have worked very hard to
get爓here I am, thank you. I don?t want
to throw it away in a pub. Then one
of my male燾olleagues said to me that
he?d done it and he was really good,
and I thought, you haven?t even燼sked
me, you swine. Next thing, I was in
a pub in central London thinking,
SIMONE LIA
4
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
what have I done? But it was爒ery
interesting.燨bviously, it was a great
kick when people laughed, but爉y
main thought when I came off爄s that
I want to do that again. I think that it?s
made me a more con?dent speaker.
Can you explain your interest in
thermostats?
I was on Facebook and I saw a group
called Photo of My Thermostat.
You can only post photos of your
own thermostat, unless it?s a Friday,
when you can post pictures of any
thermostat. It?s an absolute delight.
You?re fascinated by accents. What?s
your favourite accent?
Without question, a Blackburn
?It feels good to
laugh. You get a kick
from laughter. It?s
having an e?ect
on multiple levels?
accent. I grew up in Blackburn, but
my parents were from the south.
They had markedly different accents
to everybody else. And there weren?t
many people called Sophie in those
days. In Blackburn, people call me
Sore-phie. I love it. If I meet someone
who calls me Sore-phie I?m almost
purring like a cat. It?s like going home.
Why are women?s voices getting lower in
the west but higher in Japan?
Entirely cultural factors. In the west,爄t
seems to mirror women coming into
the workplace. Voices are very ?exible
and, although we?re not going to reach
a male register, we seem to be reducing
the difference. Whereas women in
Japan are known to raise the pitch
of their voices if they?re around men.
Research shows that the more a man
likes a woman he?s talking to, the more
he?ll raise his pitch to match hers.
What book would you recommend that
you?ve read this year?
I read Sel?e by Will Storr and it?s
absolutely brilliant. It?s a fantastic
investigation into the concept of self-
esteem and identity. The literature
on self-esteem is just based on
wish-ful?lment. The literature that?s
supposed to support it just doesn?t
support it. It?s an amazing book.
Can you tell us a surprising fact about
language or communication?
Only human eyes have got whites that
are visible all the time. It?s to do with
making human eyes stand out so we
can tell where each other is looking,
because we use eyes a phenomenal
amount in communication.
You?ve recorded the lectures already.
How did they go?
I got so stressed out I was actually
sick. I?ve never known stress like it
and I did physics A-level. But there?s
an incredible team here. And it was
amazing. Interview by Andrew Anthony
The Royal Institution Christmas
lectures with Sophie Scott will be
broadcast at 8pm on 26, 27 and 28
December on BBC Four. Sophie Scott
contributes to our science stories of
the year, page 19
AGENDA
Stewart Lee
Christmas sounds a
clanging chime of doom
T
ILLUSTRATION BY
DAVID FOLDVARI
here is much we can learn from the
ancient traditions of Winterval, each
culture?s festive myths and rituals
being equally valid, and equally
instructive, irrespective of their
veracity or worth.
Upon the solstice night in Latveria,
for example, Pappy Puffklap leaves
a dried clump of donkey excrement
on the breakfast table of each home.
Is this so very different from the wise
kings bringing the infant Christ sealed
?agons of foul-smelling gas, the divine
in harmony with the physical at its
most pungent?
There is only really one story this
Christmas. The snow that decorates
your cards will soon be a halfremembered folk myth. The arctic
ice sheet is melting from underneath
as well as above now. Did you notice,
or were you grime-dancing to Man?s
Not Hot at an office Christmas
party, the annual arse-photocopier
roped off爓ith ?police line do not
cross? tape,爉anagement confused
by the exact nature of their legal
responsibilities to staff buttocks in the
current social recalibrations?
My own Christmas sounds a
note of doom. So far, I have escaped
ownership of a smartphone or a tablet.
With a deserved sense of superiority,
I have watched the rest of you
degenerate into being no-attentionspan zombie scum, ?xated on trivial
fruit-based games and the capture
of invisible Japanese imps, entirely
unaware of the geography of your
own surroundings, info-pigs gobbling
bites of fake news head?rst from shiny
troughs 24 hours a day, while our
decaying planet performs its last few
million fatal, and yet still beautiful,
rotations before you.
But now I must become one of you.
Having abandoned paper letters, and
now declaring even email obsolete, my
nine-year-old daughter?s school has
told me I need an iPhone to receive
any administrative communication.
And so, with a heavy heart, I have
asked for one for Christmas, a shire
horse begging for harness, a hamster
requesting its own torturous wheel,
Robert Lindsay asking for another
series of My Family.
But perhaps, like Jesus renouncing
his divinity to become a mortal, ?nally
owning an iPhone will help me to
understand Observer readers, and the
trivial concerns and inundations of
ignorance that drive you in your futile
lives. Beneath a powerful enough
microscope, even a cluster of wriggling
threadworm can be beautiful.
I accepted my iPhone destiny on the
morning of last Wednesday, but by the
afternoon I wanted to renounce it. I
attended the carol service of my niece?s
nursery school. Upon each carved
pew, the screens of the iPhones of
proud parents, their heads respectfully
bowed, displayed pages from Facebook
and Twitter, and twinkled throughout
the ancient religious ritual like the
stars that led the wise men to the very
cradle of Christ.
As the lights dimmed and the
candles ?ared up for a beautiful choral
arrangement of the Coventry Carol,
the assembled infant singers could
look up and see that many of the
grownups in the room, their lowered
faces lit beati?cally from below by
the Caravaggio glow of their iPhone
screens, were not the slightest fucking
bit interested in them or their stupid
fucking song.
This is of course a valuable
preparation for adult life, where
dreams are crushed and hope and
pride are trampled in the dirt.
Nothing爏ays ?Christmas? like
orchestrated mass indifference to the
creative efforts of small children, I
always think.
In my own line of work, as Britain?s
most consistently critically acclaimed
standup comedian, I take a hard
line against in-show mobile
phone usage. If I spot a screen
lighting up from the stage
I leap into the aisle, wrestle
it from the offender?s grasp,
and put it down the back of
my爌ants.
Here, clenched in the
smallest ?ssure of my cavity by
one of its corners, the phone
remains until the end of the
three-hour show, before being
handed back to its owner in a
sealed jiffy bag, its screen ideally
complete with tell-tale smears.
I appreciate that this course of
action is not appropriate for the
headmaster of an infant school during
a Christmas carol service, but he
would probably only need to do it
once for it to take permanent effect.
And it would certainly be discussed
on燤umsnet.
Christmas continues to educate
me. The following day I dropped my
seven-year-old son off at school while
absentmindedly still wearing the elf
jumper my sarcastic wife had hatefully
bought me. Knitted legs dangle down
from the waist, making me look like a
morbidly obese Yule sprite.
It was assumed that I had arrived
to replace an absent elf for the
children?s Christmas party and, too
embarrassed to explain otherwise, I
soon found myself in Santa?s grotto in
an inappropriate security guard stance,
policing suspicious toddlers.
Afterwards, as they ate cake,
I listened, in my undercover elf
capacity,爐o the children rationalise
their Santa experience. They
concluded that the Santa they had
Nothing says
?Christmas? like
mass indi?erence to
the creative e?orts
of small children
seen wasn?t the real Santa, but that
Santa did exist, and that he had been
merely a representative Santa, the real
one being too busy, obviously, to make
school visits.
Psychiatrists call the balancing
of contradictory facts cognitive
dissonance. With regard to the
Christmas beliefs, these children?s
dissonance was certainly cognitive
beyond their years. With regard
to leaving the EU, Boris Johnson?s
cognitive dissonance found form as
the notion of having your cake and
eating it, but his cognition was swiftly
undissonated, the cake neither had
nor爀aten.
Some precocious girls had even got
as far as explaining that Santa?s sledge
would not be covered by the same
air traffic agreements that may make
European air travel more complex
post-Brexit, because it was magic. And
so Christmas 2019 deliveries should
function as normal.
Children that disagreed were
swiftly燿enounced as traitors, and
saboteurs of Christmas. Luckily my
accidental elf status gave me a John
Bercow-style authority, and I was just
able to mediate between the realists
and those that would condemn them.
Even Santa brought me back to the
spectre of Brexit.
Last week, in a gift shop on Oxford
Street, I bought my Scandinavian
sister-in-law the Christmas present
of a mass-produced commemorative
mug, which declared on its side that it
was ?celibrating? (sic) the forthcoming
royal wedding.
Now, every time she raises her
hot mug of Christmas glogg, she and
her fellow Vikings will celibrate the
marriage of Harry and Meghan with
the respect it deserves. Even working
in a second language, the Scandinavian
spotted immediately the spelling error
that had escaped our highly trained
royal ceramics taskforce. The ?ne
detail of post-Brexit paperwork will be
an exciting challenge for small British
businesses. Merry Christmas.
Stewart Lee?s Content Provider is in
London until 3 February and
continues to tour in 2018
SNAPSHOTS Trophy knits
Rachel Denny created her ?rst
knitted doe in 2005. ?She was a
grand experiment,? says Denny, ?that
commented on feminine versus
masculine domestic ideals in the
home.? She has since made busts of
other animals, such as sheep, reindeer
and horses, making silicone moulds
for resin casting and covering them
with textiles and materials including
alpaca and yak wool. As a child she
was struck by visiting the house of
a neighbour, a hunter with trophies
on his wall. ?It was wondrous to see
these creatures close up, but strange
to see them lifeless. We have not
evolved so much when people still
hunt exotic and endangered creatures
for trophies.? Denny lives in a farm
near Portland, Oregon, and owns
four爕aks. Lauren Kelly
racheldenny.com
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
5
II
PP UU
TT
TT ??SS
ZZ ZZ
II M
M
LL
EE
EE
!!
It?s Christmas Eve. Grab a mince pie, put your feet up and let your brain do
the heavy lifting with six pages of festive puzzles. From the fiendish to the
more family-friendly, we kick off with five rounds compiled by our
quizmaster, Frank Paul ? interviewed below ? before getting into a guessthe-film picture puzzle, number games and a bumper Everyman crossword.
tc g
Answers are on page 18 but remember: Santa is watching!
INTRODUCING? CRYPTIC QUIZ MAESTRO FRANK
K PAUL
W
hen Frank Paul was six,
his teacher asked the
class to write down what
happiness meant to them.
?Happiness is solving
puzzles,? wrote Paul.
It wasn?t long before he moved on to
compiling puzzles, and soon he was
writing his own quiz questions and
riddles. The guinea pig for his ventures
was his mother, artist Celia Paul (his
father was Lucian Freud): ?Something
I very much enjoyed doing was making
a maze so difficult that my mum
wouldn?t be able to solve it, though I
would be very disappointed if she ever
gave up.?
His mother encouraged young
Frank?s puzzle-making as a creative
pursuit and enthusiastically took part
in his quizzes, at least until he got to
his somewhat obsessive ?logic puzzle
phase?, when tasks became more and
more mystifying. Apart from the odd
game of Trivial Pursuit, the rest of
the family don?t share his passion for
puzzles. ?I always feel very envious
when people talk about their fond
childhood memories of getting together
as a family and doing quizzes,? he says.
Fortunately, at 33, Paul has found
more willing participants. An artist
by day, since 2015 he has hosted the
?unusually ?endish? weekly pub quiz
at the Mill in Cambridge, stepping
in after the previous quizmaster left.
?I had these very nervous, terri?ed
fantasies that I?d have to fend off lots
of other candidates,? he says. ?But I
think I was probably the only one.?
Rather than the usual clear-cut general
knowledge questions, Paul?s quiz
g,
comprises wordplay, lateral thinking,
is own quirky,
and rounds based on his
elaborate drawings. A friend dubbed
it a ?cryptic pub quiz? (analagous to a
hich is now the
cryptic crossword), which
title of a book collatingg the quiz?s best
rounds.
es of cryptic
One of the advantages
questions is that they make it more
difficult to sneak off to the bathroom
and look up the answerr on your phone.
?I wanted to make sure it was as
d make
Google-proof as I could
n?t own
it,? says Paul, who doesn?t
lso
a smartphone. ?And I also
eable?
think that more ?Googleable?
questions are less fun.? The
n
trick, he says, is to listen
tion
carefully and pay attention
to detail: ?Often a reallyy good
quiz question is something that gives
you a big hint about what something?ss
going to be. That makes it very
satisfying to work out.?
Here are ?ve rounds of puzzles
ng
from the book, with questions ranging
from mackerel to cheese, wordplay to
h
Christmas songs. Kathryn Bromwich
Frank Paul?s The Cryptic Pub
Quiz is published by Duckworth
((�.99).
) To order a copy
py ffor �.44
go to guardianbookshop.com oor calll
0330�3�46
MORE
PUZZLES
ON PAGES
38-39
DID YOU KNOW? The world?s first crossword was published in the New York Times on 21 December 1913 | Word square puzzles were found in the ruins
ins of the ancient city of Pompeii
6
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
P U Z Z L E S
S P E C I A L
THE 12 DAYS OF
CHRISTMAS
HUNT THE
SYNONYMS
One word of each answer
corresponds to a gift given on one of
the 12 days of Christmas (according
to the standard version, published by
Frederic Austin in 1909). Have half a
point for each answer and half a point
for naming what day of Christmas
that gift was brought on.
In this round (one of my less
?endish ones), change one letter of
each word to make pairs of synonyms,
eg ?Convert and gunnery? could be
changed to ?Convent and nunnery?.
Have one point per answer (half a
point for each word).
1 Mistress and buffering
According to the most
common version of the
nursery rhyme, who does
?Mary, Mary, quite contrary?
keep in her garden along with silver
bells and cockle shells?
2 Paid and dug
1
Depictions of a Toblerone,
graffiti on a car with some
of the letters painted over to
look less rude and a tennisplaying monkey were among the
exhibits in an art exhibition paying
tribute to which ?ctional character?
3 Engage and maiden
4 Sacked and hole
5 Charm and gull
6 Aware and prime
2
A bizarre gardening
accident, asphyxiation on
someone else?s vomit and
spontaneous combustion are
among the fates that have befallen
which series of people?
3
The title character of which
1934 American crime novel
is never mentioned in the
rest of the book? The author
later explained that this character
symbolised how fate would always
catch up with you even if it had
missed you the ?rst time.
4
Bagrock to the Masses
and Music for the Kilted
Generation are among
albums released by which
fusion band, the name of which is a
play on the name of an American rock
group?
5
6
HOLY
HO
OLY MACKEREL!
C
1
2
3
Which chemical element has the
shortest name, and is also the only
one not to contain any letters of the
word ?mackerel??
Which of the seven traditional
colours of the rainbow is the only
one not to contain any letters of
the word ?mackerel??
Which is the only Northern Irish
county to contain none of the
letters of the word ?mackerel?
(that is, if you exclude the word
?County? at the beginning)?
4
Which Old Testament book has
the shortest name, as well as being
the only one in the King James
Bible not to contain any of the letters of
the word ?mackerel??
5
What, described by one critic as
?a musical ?lm that bears such
a basic resemblance to My Fair
Lady that the authors may want to
sue themselves?, became in 1958 the
?rst sound ?lm to win the best picture
Oscar while also containing no letters
of the word ?mackerel?? And, for a
bonus point, what was the ?rst ?lm
? as well as the only fully silent ?lm ?
to win the best picture Oscar, which
also contained no letters of the word
?mackerel??
6
7
Apart from Go!, which is the
only space on a standard London
Monopoly board that contains no
letters of the word ?mackerel??
Which two African nations, both of
which are coastal countries north
of the Equator, share no letters with
the word ?mackerel?? (Have a point for
each.)
8
Which is the only US state to
share no letters with the word
?mackerel??
This round is out of 10
In 2009, the supreme
court replaced what as the
highest court in the UK?
7 Pertain and surf
8 Delicate and denote
This round is out of 8
HIDDEN LANDS
Each question has two answers.
By piecing together the ?nal letters
of the ?rst answer and the ?rst letters
of the second, you can make the
names of eight countries. Identify the
countries (you don?t need to name
either of the answers that make it up).
For example, ?A comic book detective
portrayed by Warren Beatty and a
former state ruled over by Frederick
the Great? would give you ?Dick
Tracy/ Prussia? ? hence, ?Cyprus?.
1
Small Italian dumplings often
made with potato and the city
in which Richard III is buried
According to the Bible, a
wise and wealthy king who
ordered the building of the
First Temple in Jerusalem
and a Philistine killed by this
king?s爁ather
2
The co-author of Scots
Criminal Law and The
Criminal Law of Botswana
is best known as the creator
of which series of novels, adapted for
television by Anthony Minghella and
Richard Curtis?
7
A soft drink which,
according to one advertising
slogan, is ?made in Scotland
from girders?, and a
Canadian musician whose albums
include Harvest
3
The British royal family
and the fellows of St John?s
College, Cambridge have the
legal right to do what? At
the time of writing, this right was last
exercised by St John?s at a May Ball in
the mid-to-late 1980s.
8
A disease resulting from
thiamine de?ciency and the
word that completes Neil
Patrick Harris?s comment at
the 2015 Oscars after Citizenfour won
best documentary: ?Edward Snowden
couldn?t be here for some??
4
T is round is out of 8
Th
This
WORDSEARCH
WO
W
ORDSE ARCH P
POEM:
O E M : CHEESE
CHEESE
Find the names
nam of 15 cheeses hidden in the poem (including its title). They may be
written forwards
forw
or backwards, and may be divided between words and separated
by punctuation
punctuati or line breaks. For example, the words ?screen a phone call? would
?pan
yield ?paneer?.
The name of each cheese is at least four letters long. No letter
be
overlaps between
more than one cheese. Where a punctuation mark or diacritical
mark occu
occurs in the name of a cheese, it has been missed out. Have half a point for
each answer.
The Tarantula?s Trophy: A Poem
Mental leeches, hirelings of Lady El,
Climb, urge, ransack our unmade brains,
?Ti tongues ? that once with laughter ached ? dare tell
?Til
Of naught but fearsome Lady El?s new chains.
Who but you can stop this hateful ?eet?
So curb our sinful foes with your sobriety.
Sharp like a stingray and, like apricot tart, sweet,
Mock them, rend them asunder by your piety!
This round is out of 7�
A weapon that, according
to the tagline of a ?lm that
bears its name, was ?Forged
by a god, foretold by a
wizard, found by a king? and a word
used to denote that a boxer has been
recognised as the champion in their
weight category by all of the sport?s
main governing bodies
5
A David Bowie song that
begins ?You?ve got your
mother in a whirl/ She?s not
sure if you?re a boy or a girl?
and a Coldplay album that includes
the songs Clocks and The Scientist
6
A character honoured with
a statue in Crystal City,
Texas, the so-called ?spinach
capital of the world?, and a
character in the Odyssey whose name
can be used to mean a trusted and
experienced adviser
7
A Beatles song that begins
with part of the French
national anthem and ends
with a snippet of She Loves
You and a 1953 ?lm noir with Marilyn
Monroe and Joseph Cotten
8
This round is out of 8
DID YOU KNOW? Crossword aficionados are called
calle ?cruciverbalists? | The phrase ?back to square one? most likely originates from the board game snakes and ladders
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
7
ILLUSTRATION
BY TOBY TRIUMPH
GUESS-THE-FILM PICTURE PUZZLE
Can you spot the 20 hidden Oscar-winning movie titles in the picture below? Some are more cryptic than others? Answers on page 18
THE TEN COUNTERS
Here is a little puzzle that may keep you amused
for some time, though it is quite possible that you
may hit on the answer at once. Place 10 counters,
or coins, on the table in two straight lines of ?ve,
as shown in the illustration. Now, take up four of
them (any four you like) and replace them so that
the 10 counters shall form ?ve straight rows with
four counters in every row.
This puzzle and the ones on page�are extracted from The Penguin
Book of Puzzles (Penguin �.99).
To order a copy for �.04 go to
guardianbookshop.com or call
0330�3�46
DID YOU KNOW? The world?s largest jigsaw puzzle consisted of 551,232 pieces and was completed by 1,600 students from the University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in 2011
8
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
P U Z Z L E S
S P E C I A L
CONTEMPORARY PUZZLES
Brace yourselves! A selection of competition puzzles from the World Puzzle Federation?s Grand Prix tournaments for 2016 and 2017
ARITHMETIC
SQUARE
ELASTIC BANDS
Fill in each circle with a letter so
that the two networks are identical;
that is, if two letters have a line
connecting them in one network,
then those two letters have a line
connecting them in the other
network, and vice versa.
Place each number from 1 to 9 into
the cells (a different single number
in each cell) so that the indicated
equations/relations are correct.
Evaluate from left-to-right and top-tobottom (ignore the usual precedence
of the operators). It is possible for
expressions and partial expressions to
be negative or non-integral.
Example
solution
9
+
6
�
�
5
8
+
?
4
=
75
2
> 23
+
�
�
�
7
3
=
8
1
B
C
E
F
D
E
B
C
A
F
D
B
C
L
D
K
E
J
F
Example
solution
1
= 11
=
9
I
H
3
2
= 8
?
+
Some cells in the grid are marked with
numbers; each number appears exactly
twice and no cell contains more than
one number. For each pair of identical
numbers, draw a path that connects
those two numbers. The paths must go
through orthogonally adjacent cells.
Each cell may be visited by at most one
path, and may be visited at most once
by that path. (It is permissible for a cell
to not be visited by any path.)
Example solution
A
A
A
+
ARUKONE
3
G
2
1
B
A
�
�
?
?
?
?
= 10
?
?
C
E
+
=
0
F
= 12
H
=
12
�
�
�
I
=
2
Put each word into a different box such that the number between two boxes indicates
the number of letters those words have in common. Duplicate letters are counted
separately; for example, AABBB and BBCCA have three letters in common.
= 1
+
?
=
1
+
= 4
3
KAKURO
4
�
�
+
+
�
>
13
< 83
�
>
14
3 4 5 6 7 8
3
2
3
9 10
4
2
2
3
4
5
9
10
3
8
1
2
1
0
BENIN
CONGO
GABON
INDIA
ITALY
LIBYA
MALTA
NIGER
SYRIA
TONGA
B
< 74
C
0
+
�
2
1
1
+
3
1
< 65
PASSWORD
PATH
Find a path that starts in the upperleft letter and ends in the lowerright letter, that goes through each
letter once and repeats only the
password (given below the grid).
The path may only travel in the eight
standard directions and may not
intersect itself.
2
1
0
COLD
WARM
P
Z
Z
L
E
P
U
Z
U
Z
U
L
Z
P
L
P
Z
E
U
E
L
E
Z
P
Z
L
E
Z
U
L
PUZZLE
Z
P
U
Z
Z
E
2
0
13 11
2
1
HARD
SOFT
APPLE
GRAPE
HATE
LOVE
D
D
O
O
DO
2
1
0
2
A
Example
solution
7
1
11
6
12
13
1
0
0
>
15
2
1
4
2
KROPKI
1
0
HITORI
3
=
8
+
9
10
2
B
A
Example
solution
C
�
10
9 5
= 2
?
+
6
8
?
?
5 6
7 8
7
COMMON LETTERS
�
�
4
3 1
4
G
B
�
1
2
3
D
= 0
+
A
B
+
?
=
10
A
O
D
D
D
D
O
O
O
O
D
D
O
B
GUAVA
LEMON
P
E
A
R
P
P
L
E
G
A
E
P
A
P
Y
A
A
M
R
P
2 14 15
15 12 16
1
A
A
H
P
A
A
H
N
E
L
P
A
C
A
P
P
C
G
O
E
L
P
Y
A
R
E
E
A
O
M
MANGO
PEACH
E
P
E
P
A
A
G
P
M
N
G
A
M
M
E
N
O
E
E
O
R
E
N
M
L
L
M
L
L
L
L
P
O
O
O
I
O
M
E
I
O
N
M
E
L
N
P
O
M
E
16
14
ANSWERS
ARE ON
PAGE 18
PEACHPEARPAPAYAAPPLEGRAPEMANGOLEMONMELONPOMELOLIME
DID YOU KNOW? The world record for solving a Rubik?s Cube is 5.5 seconds | Famous puzzle-lovers include Daniel Craig, Bill Clinton, Katy Perry, Claire Danes, Paul Simon and the Queen
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
9
PENCILS AT THE READY?
Two more teasers (a wee bit easier than the competition puzzles!)
CHRISTMAS SPIRAL
BATTLESHIPS
Enter the answers to the clues into the grid, following the spiral pattern. The last letter
of each answer is the ?rst letter of the next. Once complete, rearrange the letters in the
highlighted squares to spell out something else related to Christmas.
The numbers on the side and bottom of the grid indicate occupied squares or groups
of consecutive occupied squares in each row or column. Can you ?nish the grid so that
it contains three Cruisers, three Launches and three Buoys so that the numbers tally?
4
7
8
1
1
3
6
4
2
1
4
1
1
3 1
5
3 1
9
10
1 A 2003 Christmas comedy
starring Will Ferrell
2 Thickly wooded area
3 Traditional Christmas
dinner meat
1
4 _ log, Christmas dessert
5 A drink made from milk,
sugar, eggs and brandy
7 Child?s toy
8 Twinkling illuminations
9 Essential weather
Men?s gifts
10 Christmas garland
6 First of the Three Wise
1
1
1
1
5
1
1
1
3
1
1
3
1
for skiing
Cruiser
Launch
Buoy
VISUAL QUIZ: CHRISTMAS CLOSEUP
Each of the characters and objects below is associated with Christmas. Can you identify them?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
DID YOU KNOW? English cartographer John Spilsbury created the very first jigsaw puzzle in 1767. He cut up a wooden map and challenged people to reassemble it to help teach geography
10
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
P U Z Z L E S
S P E C I A L
JUMBO EVERYMAN CROSSWORD
Answers are on page 18; the regular Everyman crossword is on page 38
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
25
23
26
24
27
28
29
34
35
30
31
32
36
33
37
38
40
41
42
39
43
44
45
46
47
49
48
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
ACROSS
1 Argument put by homily erring badly before start of
happy carol (4,4,7,2,4)
14 One seeking attention for problem (5)
15 Stone, element not right for sports ground (7)
16 Popular stances unusually constant (9)
17 Ru?ans fail to enter ranks (7)
18 Fuming smoke with density (8)
19 Discontent in heart of court with king in retreat (6)
21 Criticise book about one mass entertainment (9)
23 Castle perhaps involved in game (4,3,6)
25 Second-hand American edition (4)
26 Sweet end of adventure after former misfortune (8)
28 Fashion centre keeping diamonds in reserve (9)
31 Very ?ne experiment, most delicate (7)
32 Remaining to receive kiss, endlessly hopeful (9)
35 Public more than content, ?nally (5)
36 Reported trades in rooms (5)
DOWN
37 Abundantly evasive about holy life?s beginning (9)
38 Insects in place inhabited by saint (7)
40 Temperature hot in experiment concerning sporting
contest (9)
42 Party, on re?ection, inspector links with anomalies (8)
44 Shock in crazy round (4)
46 New season encapsulated by gifts and
forebodings (13)
48 Superior star receiving top mark for dance (5,4)
49 Away with secular spending (6)
51 Levels achieved by man with line in electronic tricks (8)
52 Wise guy, eminence around Washington (4-3)
54 Dog in tea garden out of order (5,4)
55 Distinguished source in ?eld of medicine (7)
56 Farewell notice that is for all to see (5)
57 Three to check hint changing world in Christmas
story (3,7,2,3,6)
2 Film, one with ruined fellow fast transformed (3,1,9,4)
3 Group of troops in jail, losing power after scrap,
upset (8)
4 Nomads ?rst regularly coming to fertile spot (5)
5 Rock with wild rage, interrupted by fool (7)
6 Is ?rm friend supporting record of bishop? (9)
7 Memories about small incidents outside clubs (13)
8 City I select, moving with hesitation (9)
9 Formerly supported by tips of course (4)
10 Expression of praise from Jericho?s annals (7)
11 Scrape metal frame (5)
12 Start recommendations for engine components (5,5)
13 Grandest gallery is located in street (10)
20 Support terms of service broken by loftier
abstainers (12)
22 Incoherent version of ritual I enact (12)
24 Talker using alias is not broadcast in turn (17)
27 Actor appearing in Blithe Spirit (5)
29 Selection from chapter, say, not verse (6)
30 Accommodation supplied by county shortly before
appeal (6)
33 We, for instance, join ?rmly in declaration (13)
34 Unknown in a group up to now (2,3)
36 Distressed general got very angry (3,2,5)
39 One delivering gifts without covering actual
ground? (5,5)
41 Mention chap coming up with English test (9)
43 Nightmarish working day in post (9)
45 View duck on river in country (8)
47 Flexible deal rising above habitual action (7)
48 Beg son with energy to cut tree (7)
50 E?ective power in resolute ethos (5)
52 Drawing omitting small boat (5)
53 Periodical start of interest in wise men (4)
DID YOU KNOW? University Challenge is the longest running TV game show | Sudoku first arrived in the UK from Japan in 2004 but it actually originated in a US puzzle magazine in the late 1970s
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
11
?I MET
MY HUSBAND
AT A PUB
QUIZ?
?LISTEN,
EVERYBODY
IS BRILLIANT
AT HOME??
ANSWER
Is being a gameshow host
a) occasionally humiliating,
b) easy because you have the
answers, or c) a bit of both?
We speak to presenters from some
of TV?s best-loved shows and ask
them what they love about games
and quizzes, whether they?re any
good at them, and which ones they?ll
be squabbling over tomorrow
NICK HEWER
Countdown, Channel 4
Nick Hewer has been the main
presenter (along with Rachel Riley
and Susie Dent) on word and numbers
gameshow Countdown for six years.
For the ?rst two years on the show he
was still Alan Sugar?s right-hand man
on The Apprentice.
Best thing about your job?
I genuinely think that the team we?ve
got is brilliant. It?s a big team, about
40 people, and a really well-oiled
machine. No Autocues, none of that.
Also the contestants love it so much.
They don?t win a trip to Miami, they
get a bloody teapot. And yet, that?s all
they want. It?s the absolute enjoyment
of the contestants actually.
hasn?t happened yet but someone
can get a bit beaten up. They can get
agitated. But it?s OK, because we have
breaks. Then I can say: ?Don?t worry,
we?ll look after you, it?s ?ne.?
What advice would you give to
contestants?
Be calm and enjoy it. They all say: ?I?m
brilliant at home?, and I say: ?Listen,
everybody is brilliant at home.? But
they don?t have all those lights, they
don?t have that bloody big clock. They
haven?t got all those people. Generally
speaking though they love it. It?s been
what they?ve been wanting to do for
years, to get on Countdown. It has
an extraordinary following. And, for
what? A teapot? Some people have got
a tremendous ability in that area [word
and number puzzles]. They can just
see爐hings.
ME
That?s so important, it livens the show
up. We have some wonderful people.
I loved Michael Whitehall, Jack
Whitehall?s dad. He is terribly funny.
Ranulph Fiennes is good. Jo Brand ?
she?s such a sweet, decent woman. The
worst is when guests don?t prepare their
anecdotes. Some people try to wing it.
What?s your favourite quizshow?
I love Mastermind.
What would be your specialist subject?
I was at the same school as James
Joyce but I don?t think I?d want to be
questioned about燜innegans Wake ?
too complicated. I could hone up on
Jack Kennedy ? my generation loved
him. And he had a short life too. I was
at school when he was elected and
of course it was a huge thing if you
were Catholic. He was Irish. He was a
great爉an.
Who is your inspiration?
Why are you a good quiz host?
PORTRAITS BY SUKI DHANDA
INTERVIEWS BY URSULA KENNY, IMOGEN CARTER,
KATHRYN BROMWICH AND FRANCES PERRAUDIN
12
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
If I do have a talent, it is the ability
to talk to people. Some people shy
away from people in the street but I
like them. I make them comfortable.
Kindness is part of the role. I?m always
terri?ed that somebody won?t score
? my heart goes into arrhythmia. It
I think Paxman is great on University
Challenge. Though he can be hard.
Are you any good at quizzes?
Best and worst moments on the
programme?
Do you do pub quizzes?
The best moments come with having a
great rapport with the [special] guests
who appear [in Dictionary Corner].
I?m quite good at general knowledge.�
I don?t. I?m not a pub sort of bloke.
When I can I do the Dimbleby Cancer
Care quiz, which they do every year.
It?s great.
P U Z Z L E S
S P E C I A L
Left to right: Nick
Hewer, Lesley
Anne Brewis, Rick
Edwards.
?LEARN THE
CHARACTERS
FROM THE
SOUND OF
MUSIC?
question. If you put a buzzer in front of
me I fall to pieces.
What would your specialist subject be?
I was a contestant on a quizshow
many years ago where I needed a
specialist subject and it was the novels
of Jane Austen. This was A Question
of Genius. I don?t go on quizshows as
a contestant much any more. There
was a period when I was at university
when I was applying for them all the
time. And I?ve won a lot of money
from quiz machines. I paid my way
through university for a while with
pound coins. I once paid a term?s bill
with them. I plonked them down at the
bursar and said: ?I won these in a quiz
machine, here you go.?
Do you go to pub quizzes?
Yes. I met my husband at a pub quiz.
He was on my team and we were
introduced by mutual friends. It took
me a while to warm to him. They used
to say when I was at university that in
order to go out with me you had to pass
a general knowledge test. He de?nitely
did. We have a young son now but
before starting our family if we weren?t
running a quiz then we were at one
every night of the week.
Who would be on your dream pub
quiz team?
THIS?
Do you have any favourite board games
at Christmas? From childhood?
In the old days we used to play
Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, which is
great fun.�
QUICK-FIRE ROUND
Turkey or nut loaf? Turkey! It?s traditional.
We had goose for a little while, but there?s
nothing on them, and they?re terribly
expensive. But turkey is a visual feast as
much as anything.
Queen?s speech or family games?
Queen?s speech. She?s fantastic,
extraordinary. No, I?ve never met her. I
have met Philip, who was fun.
Midnight mass or Christmas Eve pub
crawl? Midnight mass. We?ve got a
beautiful Norman church in our village and
it?s only used for that service.
Do you prefer to give or receive? It
depends who you?re giving to, doesn?t it? I
love to give to children.
White Christmas or barbecue on the
beach? White Christmas. I?ve never
been away at Christmas. And certainly not
on a beach.
LESLEY-ANNE
BREWIS
The Code, BBC One
Co-host with Matt Allwright of
BBC燨ne gameshow The Code, in
which contestants answer questions
to crack a three-digit code, Brewis爄s
also the founder and director of
QuizQuizQuiz, a company爐hat
hosts corporate quizzes燼nd writes
quiz questions. She studied history
but after graduating decided her
calling爓as to be a professional
quiz爉istress.
Best thing about your job?
I like watching other people succeeding.
When people aren?t getting爐he answers
to questions I really want to nudge them
in the right燿irection.
Advice for guests on your show?
Take a deep breath, keep calm and read
the question. If a question has been
written well, no word is redundant,
there will be breadcrumbs in it,
signposts, to help people towards the
right answer.
I have to say my husband ? that?s
the rule of marriage, isn?t it? He?s a
king quizzer. I?d ask people I know.
Someone like David Stainer, one of
the highest-ranking quizzers in the
UK. Then a mixture of Chasers and
Eggheads. Also the comedian Tim
Vine. I worked with him several years
ago. If he weren?t already a comedian
I?d try to employ him as one of my
quizmasters?
Tips for festive family quizzes?
Don?t fall out over the answers! Leave
the questions themselves to the
professionals, either by buying a quiz
pack or something like Trivial Pursuit
Family Edition. Balance the teams out:
don?t put all the children on one side
against the grownups.
QUICK-FIRE ROUND
Turkey or nut loaf? Turkey. But they can
be a bit dry. I?d prefer a nice goose.
Best moment?
Every time anyone?s won. There was
one contestant called Paul, who was
on the show for such a long time.
He?s a pilot so we nicknamed him
Long Haul燩aul. We were all willing
him along. When he won it was
such燼爎elief.
Worst moment?
When people are talking themselves
out of the correct answer ? especially
when they?re in pairs or threes. Often
the dominant person will lead the
others astray.
What makes you a good TV quiz host?
I often call myself a professional
explainer. I like ?nding the right
words and analogies to explain things
to people. Matt Allwright, who?s
the primary host of The Code, he?s a
journalist. He?s great at ?nding a way
into a conversation with people really
quickly. I lack those skills. Mine are
in facts and information rather than
people and personalities.
Queen?s speech or family games? There?s
time for both. The Queen?s speech is a
tradition but we have our dinner and family
games and then watch it on catch-up. You
have to watch Doctor Who when it?s on
telly though.
Midnight mass or Christmas Eve pub
crawl? What you want is a pub next to a
church. Or midnight mass with a festive
quiz. I have once done a Christmas Eve
pub quiz. My husband and I wiped the ?oor
with everyone so I?m not sure we?ll ever be
invited again. I do go to midnight mass but
if I knew there was a pub quiz on it would
be really tempting.
Prefer to give or receive? Oh, I like
both. I particularly like to come up with
something for my husband that he didn?t
know he wanted. Last year I got him a
personalised Lego ?gure that looked like
him. He loved it.
RICK EDWARDS
Impossible, BBC One
Impossible involves contestants
avoiding giving impossible answers
and quizshow host Rick Edwards
has also presented Tool Academy,
Freshly Squeezed and the London
2012 Paralympics on Channel 4.
Edwards studied natural sciences and
is co-author with Michael Brooks of
Science(ish): The Peculiar Science
Behind the Movies (Atlantic), based
on their podcast of the same爊ame.
Best thing about your job?
Spending a lot of time with a bizarre,
diverse group of people. We have
contestants on for two weeks, so you
get this real family atmosphere. The
group dynamics are fascinating.
What advice would you give guests on
the show?
There are certain tropes ? you should
probably know all the character
names from The Sound of Music.
But by and large you can?t do any
useful preparation. I can?t guarantee
you?ll win any money, but I can
almost guarantee you?ll have a good
time ? contestants stay in touch and
have big Whatsapp and Facebook
groups爐ogether.
Best moment so far on the show?
In the ?rst series we had a guy
everyone really loved who kept getting
through to the ?nal question and not
getting the �,000. He must have been
there four times, then on the ?fth he
got it. There was this euphoric mixture
of relief and joy: the other players
were glad that a) he?d won the money
and b) ?nally someone else could
have燼燾hance.
Worst moment?
Very occasionally you have a player
who none of the other contestants
particularly warm to. There was one
in particular who was just incredibly
smug, and then went on to win �,000,
and was quite smug in victory as well.
Everyone in the room was a bit like,
[sarcastically] ?Oh, yeah, well done.?
How about in previous shows?
In the ?rst series of Tool Academy [in
which men are tricked by their partners
into attending a ?charm school? to
work on their personality], after the
reveal, I think we underestimated how
angry the ?tools? would be. I had to
hide in a basement while I could hear
it kicking off upstairs. We had more
security in subsequent series.
What makes you a good TV quiz host?
It?s just liking people. If you don?t like
people, presenting is a mad thing to do.
Who?s your inspiration?
This is not a fashionable thing to
say, but Michael Barrymore. He?s
unbelievable at going into the audience
and chatting to people: funny and
warm and charming. He really does
rip the piss out of them sometimes, but
they love it. I?m basically doing my best
to channel Barrymore.
Favourite quizshow?
Are you any good at quizzes?
Christmas jumper or fancy frock?
Christmas frock ? I don?t often get the
chance these days, with my little boy, to
really glam up.
I?m not bad. I?m pretty handy at pub
quizzes because when there?s no time
pressure I am able to examine the
White Christmas or barbecue on the
beach? White Christmas. It may happen.
I really like University Challenge, Only
Connect, Pointless. But for nostalgia?s
sake I?d go for Fifteen to One ? when
William G Stewart did it, it was an
absolute mainstay in our house.
Continued overleaf
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
�
13
P U Z Z L E S
S P E C I A L
?YOU CAN
TRICK PEOPLE
INTO THINKING
YOU?RE CLEVER?
?THE BRITISH
HAVE GOT AN
UNNATURAL
OBSESSION WITH
QUIZZING?
� Continued from previous page
Are you good at quizzes?
Slightly better than average. But the
?rst time I went on Celebrity Pointless
I did terribly, I panicked ? all the lights,
the cameras ? even though it?s my job.
People always say this, but it is very
different playing at home. When you?re
actually there it?s tough.
What would you choose as your
specialist subject on Mastermind?
Either Liverpool FC in the 80s and 90s,
or the history of maths.
Do you play quizzes at home?
I love a quiz ? we watch quizzes on
telly and play along. And my friends
like them as well, so we often compete
against each other on online quizzes,
particularly football or sport ones.
How about pub quizzes?
Yes, although at the moment I
haven?t爂ot a regular one. You?ve got
to爂et into the pattern and go every
week I think, and you?ve also got to
?nd爋ne at the right level. The last
one I did was a bit too easy, and that?s
no爁un.
What?s a good pub quiz team name?
There?s a few absolute classics, like
Quizzee Rascal. Personally I like
Quiz燗kabusi.
VICTORIA COREN
MITCHELL
Only Connect, BBC Two
panellists would come along to play
Only Connect; if they did, I?d make sure
it was a very difficult episode. Regular
viewers will know I like nothing better
than to get my hands on a wrinkly old
chap and make it as hard as possible.
Dream pub quiz team?
I?ll have Barrymore, although I?m
not sure he?ll offer much in terms of
knowledge. Victoria Coren Mitchell ? I
feel like she knows loads of stuff. And
my friend the poet and comedian Tim
Key. Not a bad team.
Victoria Coren Mitchell is a writer,
professional poker player and
presenter of Only Connect, the
quizshow in which contestants
make links between apparently
unconnected爐hings.
Any tips for festive family quizzes?
Best thing about your job?
My sister-in-law, Beth, runs their
family quiz ? she dedicates a good
few days to getting the rounds right:
some active, some singing. You need to
have stuff that?s going to keep people
interested. And there?s always going to
be arguments, so you?ve got to be ready
for that.
I don?t really think of myself as
having a job. And that?s de?nitely
the best thing about it. Whether you
mean speci?cally Only Connect, or
the column I write in this paper, or
other TV and writing, or playing
?professional poker?, basically it?s all
just unemployment with an income.
Best board game to play with the family
over Christmas?
Why are you a good TV quiz host?
Scrabble is one of the greats ? but with
a chess clock to speed things along.
Oddly, me and my mum and dad ? who
are working-class ? play a game called
Rat Race, which is a sort of capitalist
class aspiration game. It is bizarre
when you think about it.
QUICK-FIRE ROUND
Turkey or nut loaf? Turkey. Not that I
have a problem with nut loaf but I have
the opposite of a problem with turkey ? I
love turkey.
Queen?s speech or family games? Family
games. Just not that interested in the
Queen. Sorry.
Midnight mass or Christmas Eve pub
crawl? I?ve done both.
Prefer to give or receive? Give. I?m quite
hard to buy for, and I?ve always liked
getting people stu?.
Sparkly clothes and big boobs. Jeremy
Vine tried that for a couple of episodes
but it didn?t work for him. If you host
a quiz, the viewers spend a lot of time
looking at shots of you while the teams
try to work out the answers. The more
closely you resemble Danny La Rue,
the more there is to look at. And, on the
current quiz scene, I would say I am
the closest. Merry Christmas!
Best/worst moments?
Best moment: a contestant shouting
?COCK, COCK, COCK!? during the
missing vowels round when the answer
was ?CUCKOO, CUCKOO, CUCKOO?.
To be fair, he?d been shouting it since
round 2. Worst moment: a picture of a
pile of steel rods coming up, as a clue
to one of the members of the Gang
of Four. But David Steel wasn?t in the
Gang of Four. It would have taken a
seriously good quizzer to ?gure out
that a pile of steel rods was supposed to
indicate Roy Jenkins.
What would your specialist subject be
on Mastermind?
I would never go on Mastermind. If
you?re a quizshow host, you get all
the answers in advance and can trick
people into thinking you?re clever. Why
risk whisking the curtain away?
Who would be on your dream pub
quiz team?
It?s not safe to answer that. Over the
course of 13 series of Only Connect I
have had about 100 favourites, and
they?re all brilliant, so I can?t risk
naming three of them. I will say that
there is a particular person on the
winning team of this year?s OC who I
think is very special, and it becomes
pretty clear over the course of the
series how much I admire them, but
the ?nal episode won?t be on TV for
some weeks yet so I?d better not say.
Tips for festive family quizzes/games?
People don?t play Cluedo enough these
days. It may be the greatest game of
all time. Also, in any game or quiz, it
doesn?t matter who wins. It?s amazing
how easy it is to forget that in the heat
of battle.
QUICK-FIRE ROUND
Turkey or nut loaf? Turkey. I aspire to be
a vegetarian, while secretly hoping I don?t
achieve that goal in my lifetime.
Queen?s speech or family games? I would
say family games but my family don?t play
games. Other than idiomatically.
JEREMY VINE
Eggheads, BBC Two
Best known for hosting his own
Radio�show, since 2008 Vine has
also presented the long-running BBC2
quizshow Eggheads in which a team of
?ve top quizzers (including the official
world quizzing champion, Kevin
Ashman) is challenged by a team of
?ve contestants for prize money.
Midnight mass or Christmas Eve pub
crawl? Ideally, both. Unfortunately I have a
two-year-old child. So, neither.
Best thing about your job?
Prefer to give or receive? I refuse to
answer this question because, as you?ll see
from above, I despise innuendo.
What advice would you give to guests
who come on your show?
Meeting members of the public who
love to quiz.
Your inspiration?
Christmas jumper or sharp suit? Oh
Christmas jumper, de?nitely. Although last
year my friend Tim lent me his suit that
was made out of Christmas material, and
I wore that over a Christmas jumper ? so,
again, both.
White Christmas or barbecue on the
beach? I?ve done hot Christmases before
but it just feels a bit weird. You want to
be snuggling up by an open ?re in your
Christmas jumper and Christmas suit.
14
Humphrey Lyttelton. He was clever
and funny and odd, and you could
believe that the quiz wasn?t the most
important thing in his life. A quiz
shouldn?t be the most important thing
in anyone?s life. And he conjured up
the ?lthiest images in the minds of
listeners, while never saying anything
that couldn?t be repeated in church.
Favourite quizshow?
I?m Sorry I Haven?t a Clue. I wish those
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
Christmas jumper or sharp suit/
posh frock? A posh frock, which nobody
sees all day because I?ve got my apron on.
Only Connect: The Official Quiz Book by
Jack Waley-Cohen and Victoria Coren
Mitchell is out now; the show returns to
Monday nights from New Year?s Day
Know your capital cities and your
currencies, your states of the US and
your presidents. Be aware particularly
of stuff that?s happened in the past 12
months. We often have people on who
are shocked when they?re suddenly
asked, for example, who won the
Olympic 400 metres two months ago.
Also, if you want to win Eggheads,
you?re going to have to take out Kevin.
Best moment on the show?
We had a period where Kevin didn?t
get a history question wrong for eight
years. I began to pump this up, saying,
?This is amazing, we?re watching one
of the greatest miracles of modern
quizzing?? When he then got a
question wrong, lost a round and then
lost a round again I realised I?d jinxed
him. That was very funny.
Worst/most embarrassing moment?
The most embarrassing was when I
mispronounced the name of the band
?NSync as N-S-Y-N-C. Also, I don?t
know whether the question setters were
having a little prank day but they had
this question which was impossible to
read without laughing: ?Which world
leader was photographed bare-chested
in Siberia in 2007 ?shing in a river?? and
the ?rst choice was Angela Merkel.
Your inspiration?
Richard Whiteley probably because he
managed to do something like seven
shows a day and you did feel they were
all the ?rst time. The one I remember
watching a lot as a child was The Golden
Shot with Bob Monkhouse. A guy had
Left to right:
Victoria Coren
Mitchell, Jeremy
Vine, Susie Dent.
Eyevine
Why are you a good at being on a TV quiz?
Looking words up in a dictionary
is not something that many people
want to boast about, but I happen to
be quite good at it. Before we had the
laptop which we use now, we had
a massive printed dictionary and I
got very fast at looking words up. It?s
not a very transferable skill and it?s
probably the爊erdiest one you can
possibly爄magine.
Best/worst moments?
There are often moments where we
just collapse into giggles because
I don?t know the rude alternative
meanings of words. I?m quite prone to
piping up and saying things like ?Oh,
you could have had blowie for six?
without thinking about it. They?re not
really bad moments though, they?re
just ones where everybody else gets the
joke and I don?t.
Your inspiration?
?MY PUB
QUIZ TEAM
NAME?
THUNDERPLUMP?
I am inspired by anyone who is so
passionate about what they do, no
matter how niche it is, and who
doesn?t燾are if they get labelled as
geeky or nerdy ? as I?m sure I do all
the爐ime.
Favourite quizshow?
Only Connect. Victoria Coren Mitchell
is an inspiration. She is fantastic. It?s
just one level up ? really challenging ?
but fun at the same time.
Are you any good at quizzes?
Not brilliant. I remember going on
Pointless and getting very nervous and
being weirdly frozen to the spot. I do
love quizzes, but I?m better at them
when I?m not standing there with a
camera looking at me.
What would your specialist subject be
on Mastermind?
Probably trees of the British Isles.
I had爋ne ambition when I was
growing爑p, which was that I would
have a garden with a tree in it. And
I do have a little fruit tree in my
garden爊ow.
Do you go to pub quizzes?
Yes. They?re a great excuse to get
people together and there?s a real
community spirit. I love pubs and
they need to be celebrated as much
as possible. They?re having a really
hard爐ime.
a crossbow and a blindfold on and the
contestant had to go, ?left a bit, right a
bit and ?re?, and he ?red at an apple.
It?s amazing that no one was爇illed.
Favourite quizshow?
I enjoy Only Connect without necessarily
being able to answer anything. I haven?t
got a cryptic crossword brain, my mum
and sister have it.
Are you any good at quizzes?
I?ve got better since I started hosting
Eggheads. I know what things come
up in quizzes ? for example, Greyfriars
Bobby, the dog, comes up all the time.
Also the fact that John Wayne?s real
name was Marion. I?ve got a classic
brain that ?nds something interesting
and then digs and digs. The quizzer?s
brain is different ? they see every fact
as being of equal importance because
they could all become questions.
They?re immersed in everything.
What would your specialist subject be?
Probably the albums of Joy Division.
Do you play quizzes at home?
This sounds like a plug, but the
Eggheads brought out a book that has
all the questions in and I took it on
holiday. I was quizzing my family at
this restaurant in France and I could
see a British couple looking at me
thinking: ?Bizarre behaviour. He?s
obviously not content with being
a quizmaster on TV?? The British
have got an unnatural obsession with
quizzing. It?s weird. I think British men
particularly think that the knowledge
of facts gives you social status.
QUICK-FIRE ROUND
Turkey or nut loaf? Turkey. If I had nut loaf
I think I?d go into cultural trauma because
every single Christmas I?ve had turkey.
Queen?s speech or family games? You
can?t miss the Queen?s speech.
Midnight mass or Christmas Eve pub
crawl? That?s a very hard question.
Christmas Eve pub crawl. Sorry, Christians
everywhere.
Do you go to pub quizzes?
I was in a pub recently when a quiz
spontaneously started and I hid. There
are a couple of areas where I?m in a
difficult position and one of them is
history. You?ve got to know the order of
kings and queens.
Who would be on your dream pub
quiz team?
A celebrity team of women writers that
we had on Eggheads about six months
ago including the historian Kate
Williams, Wendy Holden and Jenny
Colgan. Through sheer quiz power
they were one question away from
beating the eggs. They were amazing.
Prefer to give or receive presents? Always
give, particularly when you?ve got young
children. The excitement around Christmas
now is fever pitch.
Christmas jumper or sharp suit? Jumper
because that to me says day o?.
White Christmas or barbecue on the
beach? White Christmas every time. One
of the many problems of climate change
is that I feel I?ve not really had a Christmas
Day with snow since I was a child. I
also don?t really like people who have
barbecues on beaches. That sounds like
the beginning of a Radio 2 item?
SUSIE DENT
What?s a good pub quiz team name?
Thunderplump. It?s one of my favourite
words, meaning a heavy downfall
of爎ain.
Countdown, Channel 4
Lexicographer Susie Dent is
the longest-serving member
of Countdown?s on-screen
team (her燚ictionary Corner is
responsible爁or ?nding the best
possible words each round), having
?rst appeared on the show in 1992.
She started working on the comedy
spin-off show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does
Countdown in 2012.
Best thing about your job?
The people I sit next to. I have the
best seat in the house because I get
to sit next to a different guest every
week. I have sat next to some of the
best comic geniuses in the country. I
could be sitting next to [the explorer]
Ranulph Fiennes, who is telling stories
of amazing feats up a mountain, or
I could be sitting next to [science
presenter] Liz Bonnin, who has been
reporting back from the Gal醦agos
islands. I爂enuinely never get bored on
this show.
Your dream pub quiz team?
Jo Brand, Joe Lysett, Richard Osman,
Nigella Lawson and Jimmy Carr.
QUICK-FIRE ROUND
Turkey or nut loaf? Nut loaf. I?m
vegetarian.
Queen?s speech or family games?
Family games, though my mum loves the
Queen?s speech.
Midnight mass or Christmas Eve pub
crawl? There?s something special about
midnight mass.
Prefer to give or receive? I like receiving,
but de?nitely giving.
Christmas jumper or posh frock? Jumper
all the way.
Mince pies or Christmas pud? Mince pies
? with lots of brandy butter.
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
15
INTERVIEW
?Turning 50
felt爂reat? I was,
like, so where?s
the爌arty??
It?s 20 years since Emily Watson leapt from the
London stage to Hollywood stardom. Here she
talks about her role in the BBC?s adaptation of Little
Women, why binge TV is good news for female actors,
and the virtues of Ars鑞e Wenger
BY MICHAEL HOGAN
PORTRAIT BY SUKI DHANDA
F
or Emily Watson, 2017
has been bookended
in starkly contrasting
styles. She started the
year having wild sex in
a House Of Commons
broom cupboard in BBC
One?s hit psychological thriller Apple
Tree Yard. She ?nishes it in a much
more wholesome role as much-loved
matriarch Margaret ?Marmee? March
in a three-part Christmas TV adaptation
of Louisa May Alcott?s Little Women.
In between all the steamy scenes and
bonnet-wearing, Watson also turned 50.
The Shakespearean stage actress
came relatively late to the screen,
making her ?lm debut aged 29 in Lars
von Trier?s 1996 drama Breaking the
Waves (when Helena Bonham Carter
pulled out at the last minute). She won
an Oscar nomination for that ?lm and
was nominated again two years later for
her role as cellist Jacqueline du Pr� in
Hilary and Jackie. She won a Bafta for
playing a social worker in ITV?s Fred
West drama Appropriate Adult and has
an OBE for services to drama.
Once describing herself as ?a
character actor who gets laid?, when we
talk she?s articulate, contemplative and
full of mischievous wit while discussing
everything from parenting to petticoats,
Oscar Wilde to Ars鑞e Wenger.
Were you a fan of Little Women when you
were young?
I absolutely loved it. Certain events
from the novel are seared into my
childhood memory. I?m sure that?s the
same for many readers. When Amy
burns Jo?s book then falls through
the ice ? all those terrible, traumatic,
shocking scenes. It was fascinating to
reread as an adult. And then that awful,
heart-rending sense of grief over Beth.
Heidi Thomas [Call the Midwife creator
and writer of the new adaptation]
hasn?t shied away from that at all.
What did you make of Marmee second time
around?
16
I was wonderfully taken with her,
actually. She?s such an inspirational
parent, whereas I just despair of
myself燵Watson is mother to Juliet, 12,
and Dylan, nine]. The March family
lead a considered life, very mindful
of what it means to be good human
beings. The ?rst thing we see them
do is give away their Christmas meal
to refugees, which would still be a
striking thing to do today. It wouldn?t
go down well in my house [laughs].
She teaches her girls to be thoughtful
citizens of the world.
How else is she inspirational?
She also has another great parenting
skill to which I aspire: the ability
to step back, let her children make
mistakes and wait for them to come to
her. In our age of helicopter parenting,
where everything gets micro-managed,
that?s a joy to read, even though I won?t
ever reach her lofty heights.
Marmee?s quite a saintly character. Was it
tricky to bring her to life?
What I love about her is when she
talks to Jo about her terrible temper.
Marmee tells her, ?I used to have a
temper just like yours but I?ve learned
to control it. I?m still angry every day of
my life but I?ve learned not to show it.?
That?s the key to her character. She?s
done work on herself, she?s mindful of
how she comes across to her children.
rehearsal period where we shared lots
about ourselves and it was a strong
bonding爀xperience.
What was it like wearing 1840s out?ts?
Oh my God, so heavy. Too many
petticoats. We were trying to convey
the impression of an active life ?
fending for yourself, chopping wood,
cooking ? and it was exhausting.
Turning mattresses when you?re
wearing 30lb of petticoats is no fun.
Thank goodness for progress.
It?s shot in a So?a Coppola-esque
naturalistic style?
It doesn?t look like a BBC chocolate
box version, which is pleasing. Ness
[director Vanessa Caswill] has a unique
eye. She?s very connected to the young
female body, that feeling of the blood
running through young women?s veins.
There?s an earthy, innocent freshness
to it. And it was shot in County
Wicklow, which was certainly handier
than Massachusetts.
Were you surprised by how talked about
Apple Tree Yard became this year?
I was delighted, because I?d hoped it
would strike a chord. I hadn?t had a
chance in a while to take out my inner
Yeah. I can get very short-tempered,
I?m afraid.
Did you feel maternal towards the four
rising stars who play the March sisters?
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
You were already good friends with your
co-star, Ben Chaplin. Did that make the sex
scenes easier?
It meant we weren?t embarrassed, so
could talk it through and scienti?cally
plot the scenes to make them seem
real. It?s quite a strange thing to do, but
we all have to make a living.
How do you re?ect on the rape scene?
It wasn?t graphic but very emotionally
realistic, which made it difficult to
watch. There wasn?t a single bit of
lace or bra strap, but it was all about
the psychological peril of rape. People
felt affected by that. We took the
fallout爏eriously.
Was it a rare treat to play not just a female
scientist but a sexually active mature
woman?
In ?lm, those roles don?t really exist
for women my age, but in television
that?s de?nitely changing. The way
we consume TV is evolving rapidly.
It?s like going to the bookshop now,
where you choose the thing you want to
read. Half that audience is female and
they?re going to make powerful choices.
So many issues are emerging about
how women are affected by the power
balance in this industry. More femaledriven stories will eventually lead to
equal pay, respect, all sorts of changes.
That?s driven by audiences, by people?s
perceptions of the industry and by brave
individuals who are making changes.
Is that something you can relate to? Are
you angry every day?
Very much. They were four very
interesting young actresses with
intelligent minds. Often in this
industry, you come across young
people who are very commercialminded. Ambitious and all about
climbing the greasy pole. This
felt different. We had an intense
lion and gallop for a good stretch like
that. The BBC marketed it cleverly
and told us we weren?t allowed to
talk about anything beyond episode
one. It annoyed me at the time but
was a smart move. Viewers thought
they were sitting down to watch
a steamy, middle-aged romance,
but it turned爄nto something more
provocative and unsettling.
?Certain events from the novel are seared
into my childhood memory?: Watson in the
BBC?s new adaptation of Little Women.
Will recent revelations be a turning point?
I really hope so. There?s an awful
lot happening at the moment that
Emily Watson
photographed
this month for
the Observer
New Review.
Hair and makeup by
Ciona Johnson-King
@ aartlondon
needs to be dealt with calmly,
carefully and patiently ? but it could
lead to fundamental change and be
very爌ositive.
Have you ever experienced sexual
harassment at work?
No, I?ve been very lucky. I entered the
industry at quite an unusual level. My
?rst ?lm was Breaking the Waves, aged
29, so I went into the ?lm business
with a bit of clout. People didn?t mess
with me. I wasn?t ever as vulnerable
as a novice teenage actress might
be ? or maybe I just have that vibe.
Fierce, I think it?s called. Although you
shouldn?t have to be ?erce to be safe in
your workplace.
Lars von Trier directed Breaking the Waves.
Did Bj鰎k?s recent allegations against him
surprise you?
Yes. The man is obviously eccentric
and his work is quite extreme, but I
was never treated with anything other
than respect. I can?t speak for others,
though. It?s incredibly brave of people
to come forward. But there?s a massive
range of allegations, from the clearly
criminal to much milder. We can?t put
everyone in the same bracket. People
still have a right to presumption of
innocence and due process. It?s become
a rolling media storm but it would be
disrespectful to the women who have
been brave enough to come forward if
it wasn?t treated with the seriousness it
deserves.
?Viewers thought
they were sitting
down to a steamy
romance. It turned
into something
more provocative?
You turned 50 this year. Did you celebrate?
Yes. It felt great, as if a lot of perplexing
issues about being younger were爐icked
off. I was, like, so where?s the party?
You?re an Arsenal fan. Do you go to many
games?
No, I?m an armchair supporter. But
I?m de?nitely Wenger in. Loyalty and
longevity. The man?s got an enormous
amount of dignity, unlike most people
in his profession.
Do you ever get mistaken for Emma
Watson?
Only once. A load of old ladies in Mexico
wanted my autograph and said營 was
wonderful in Harry Potter. I can only
assume they hadn?t actually seen it.
Next up, you?re in The Happy Prince ? the
Oscar Wilde biopic written, directed by
and starring Rupert Everett. That must
have been fun?
Brilliant. Rupert is so immersed in that
character. He played Wilde on stage
for a long time, so lives and breathes it.
I play his wife, Constance, which was
lovely. We?re old friends and had such
a laugh.
What else is coming up?
On Chesil Beach, but blink and you?ll
miss me. I?ve just ?nished King Lear
with Anthony Hopkins and directed
by Richard Eyre. That?ll do for the
moment, I think.
Are you home for a family Christmas?
Yes, thankfully. I?ve done a long tour
of duty but I?m ?nally home, ironing
school uniforms and just being mum.
Me and my husband [playwright Jack
Waters] will tag-team on the cooking,
then we?ll all sit down to watch Little
Women. It?s one of爐he very few things
I?ve done that my kids can watch
[laughs]. My daughter?s reading the
book at the moment. She?s got all the
trauma to come!
Little Women is on BBC One from 26 to
28 December
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
17
P U Z Z L E S
S P E C I A L
AA NN SS W
W EE RR SS
PAGE 7
THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
1 Pretty maids all in a row; eight maids
a-milking
2 Alan Partridge; a partridge in
a pear tree
3 Spinal Tap?s drummers;
12 drummers drumming
4 The Postman Always Rings Twice
(by James M Cain); ?ve gold rings
5 Red Hot Chili Pipers; 11 pipers piping
6 The Appellate Committee of the
House of Lords; 10 lords a-leaping
7 The No 1 Ladies? Detective Agency;
nine ladies dancing
8 Eat, or serve to eat, unmarked mute
swans; seven swans a-swimming
PAGE 8
GUESS-THE-FILM PICTURE PUZZLE
THE TEN COUNTERS
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
The illustration shows the correct answer. The
four shaded counters are the ones that you
move to the new positions outside the two lines.
They now form ?ve straight rows with the four
counters in every row.
Pulp Fiction (dancers)
The Red Shoes (shoe box, bottom left)
Milk (milkman delivering milk)
Titanic (small hand on the window of the milk ?oat)
The Sound of Music (on Hollywood Hills)
Moonlight (beam of light shining from moon)
Man On Wire (man walking between corners of cinema)
Rocky (on top of cinema)
The Silence of the Lambs (man shushing lambs)
Birdman (Michael Keaton character ?oating on the right)
Gandhi (big Gandhi near cinema)
The King?s Speech (giant peach with a crown on it)
Forrest Gump (box of chocolates)
Ghost (ghost mid-right)
Alien (alien poster)
The Deer Hunter (deer with cross hairs on it)
King Kong (Kong on building)
The Piano (small piano near peach)
Chariots of Fire (chariot on ?re near peach)
The Hurt Locker (locker saying ?Ouch?)
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THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
�
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HIDDEN LANDS
1 Chile (Gnocchi/Leicester)
2 Mongolia (Solomon/Goliath)
3 Brunei (Irn-Bru/Neil Young)
4 Eritrea (Beriberi/Treason)
5 Burundi (Excalibur/Undisputed)
6 Belarus (Rebel Rebel/A Rush of
Blood to the Head)
7 Yemen (Popeye/Mentor)
8 Slovenia
(All You Need is Love/Niagara)
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1 Distress and suffering
2 Pair and duo*
3 Enrage and madden
4 Sacred and holy
5 Chasm and gulf
6 Award and prize
7 Certain and sure
8 Dedicate and devote
* When I posed this question to the pub,
one team came up with ?pail and jug?,
which I hadn?t considered but accepted,
though I?ve now come to the opinion that
they?re not synonymous enough to count
3
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1 Port Salut (Tarantula?s trophy)
2 Emmental (poem/Mental)
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5 Edam (unmade)
6 Stilton (brains, ?Til tongues)
7 Cheddar (ached - dare)
8 Wensleydale
(fearsome Lady El?s new)
9 Feta (hateful)
10 Boursin (curb our sinful)
11 Brie (sobriety)
12 Yarg (stingray)
13 Ricotta (apricot tart)
14 Comt� (sweet,/Mock)
15 Derby (asunder by)
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9
CHRISTMAS SPIRAL
PAGE 9
ARITHMETIC SQUARE
HOLY MACKEREL!
1 Tin
2 Indigo
3 Down
4 Job*
5 Gigi and Wings
6 Just visiting
7 Djibouti and Togo
8 Ohio
* In some other versions Song of
Solomon is known by the nonmackerelly alias Song of Songs
PAGE 10
G
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+
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
JOSIAH ZAYNER
LIGHTBULB MOMENTS
OUR TOP SCIENCE
STORIES OF 2017
What makes the radical
biohacker tick?
JOHN NAUGHTON
Who?s doing the web
giants? dirty work?
Leading scientists pick the dozen most significant discoveries and
developments of 2017 ? from a steep decline in flying insects and large
carnivores to quantum leaps and a virus that can kill bacteria
1
Healthy appetite: a
computer illustration
of a bacteriophage, or
virus that consumes
bacteria. Science
Photo Library/Alamy
Stock Photo
1
Viruses save a man from
antibiotic-resistant bacteria
In April, it was reported that
69-year-old Tom Patterson, an
American who fell gravely ill with
an antibiotic-resistant acinetobacter
infection, had been brought out of
a two-month coma by an injected
cocktail of bacteriophages, tiny
viruses that speci?cally attack and
kill燽acteria.
The story is a testament to
Patterson?s wife (Steffanie Strathdee,
a scientist), who searched for
alternative therapies when
conventional treatments failed, to
his physician, Robert Schooley, who
used an untested爐reatment, and
to a large band of phage scientists,
led by Ryland Young of Texas A&M
University and Theron Hamilton of
the US Naval Academy. Their longterm, and sometimes unfashionable,
research work meant that phages were
available in their labs for the rescue
attempt. Because a mixed-phage
cocktail was used, no one is sure what
tipped the balance, but, importantly,
it worked. The Eliava Institute in
Tbilisi, Georgia爃as dispensed phage
therapy for years, but it was little
tried in the west until recently. This
new case encourages physicians
to try such microbial treatments
for infected patients worldwide,
when antibiotics fail. It should also
encourage governments to fund more
research into natural bacteria-killing
microbes,燽ecause these may be
medicines of the third millennium.
Liz Sockett, professor of bacterial
genetics, University of Nottingham
2
Parrots are found to
lark about
It?s a common misconception that
only humans laugh: in fact a variety
of mammals, from gorillas to rats,
have been shown to laugh, and as in
humans, animal laughter is a social
behaviour, associated with tickling and
play. I have long suspected that there
is more mammal laughter out there,
Continued overleaf
�
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
19
SCIENCE & TECH
We have barely scratched
the爏urface of human origins
� Continued from previous page
not least because so many mammals
are social and all mammals play. My
favourite paper of 2017 revealed solid
evidence that in fact a laughter-like
play vocalisation ? a warble call ? has
been discovered in keas, a highly
social and intelligent parrot from New
Zealand. These parrots play a lot ? on
their own with objects, and with others
in rough-and-tumble play (a bit like
cats), or in aerial acrobatics. Strikingly,
the study found that when these
play vocalisations are played back to
wild kea, both juveniles and adults
will start to play with the other kea
around them. This suggests that kea
are showing a contagious response to
the play sounds. Much as humans will
join in with laughter even if they don?t
know why people are laughing, kea will
spontaneously start to engage in play
just from hearing the sounds of other
kea playing.
This is a dramatic demonstration
both of play and play vocalisations
in a non-mammal, and also of the
contagious effect of these positive
emotional sounds in a non-mammal.
I?d love to know if this really is an avian
form of laughter, and after this year I
feel like we need to know there is more
laughter out there!
Sophie Scott, professor of cognitive
neuroscience, University College London
3
Date of the earliest Homo
sapiens is pushed back
to 300,000 years ago
No other science has enjoyed such
a perpetual revolution in recent
years as human evolution. In 2017,
the pace of change accelerated, with
dozens of爏tudies again rewriting our
own story. In autumn, exploration
of the genes of living people in
Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana
painted a newly complex picture
of pigmentation, and revealed both
light燼nd dark skin colours in our
ancestors hundreds of thousands of
years before our species existed.
Though much of the fuel for this
revolution is the addition of DNA ?
from the living and the dead ? to the
toolbox of the palaeoanthropologist,
there is still plenty to be learned from
old bones. In June, the latest scrutiny
of fossils old and new pushed back the
date of the earliest members of Homo
sapiens to more than 300,000 years
ago, and moved their location from east
Africa to Morocco.
A few weeks before that, the
2013 discovery in South Africa of a
primitive爃uman called Homo naledi
was ?nally dated: a jaw-droppingly
recent 300,000 years ago too ? those
humans were contemporaries of
our own species in time, if not in
space. We爃ave燽arely scratched the
surface of human origins from DNA
and bones,燼nd our nursery, the vast
African燾ontinent, remains largely
unexplored. Seek and ye shall ?nd:
our爏tory will get richer and deeper
in�18.
Adam Rutherford, author of A Brief
History of Everyone Who Ever Lived
(2016, Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
4
Chinese satellite
beams entangled particles
of light to Earth
Of all the big science breakthroughs
of 2017, I have gone with the one that
is probably the hardest to explain:
quantum entangled particles of
light beamed down from a satellite.
This was an impressive new world
record: less than a year after they
launched the world?s only quantum
communications satellite, Chinese
physicists have for the ?rst time ever
sent entangled photons from space.
The pair of particles were produced
on the satellite, which then sent them
down to ground stations in China
750 miles (1,200km) apart, where
they remained quantum entangled.
One video seemed to
end any argument
about when the robots
would be arriving ?
they are already here
Everyman
crossword,
page 38
20
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
7
The researcher had to overcome
many technical challenges and it is
remarkable what they have achieved.
Quantum entanglement is the most
counterintuitive phenomenon in the
often baffling subatomic world. The
idea that a pair of particles can be
widely separated and yet still be able
to instantaneously in?uence each
other is so weird that even Einstein
hated it, famously calling it ?spooky
action at a distance?. And yet, it
has been shown, time and again in
laboratory experiments, to be a real
effect. Indeed,爄t provides us with a
radical system for secure quantum
communications. China is now leading
the world with this fast-developing
technology.
Jim Al-Khalili, professor of physics,
professor of public engagement in
science, University of Surrey
5
Extent of large
carnivoredecline reveale
Large carnivores, such as lions, tigers
and bears, are some of the world?s
most important species. They are
apex爌redators with vital ecological
roles, and have immense economic
value in the (often developing)
countries where they remain. They
also have great existence value,
having lived alongside humans for
millennia, and have become cultural
symbols of strength and beauty.
Given their charisma and allure, a
2017 study documenting the extent of
their global decline was particularly
shocking. Lions, African wild dogs
and cheetahs have disappeared from
at least 90% of their range, tigers from
95%, and Ethiopian wolves and red
wolves from over 99%. However, the
situation is not hopeless: carnivores
can successfully rebound in areas
where threats are reduced, and can
even coexist with humans under the
right circumstances. Nevertheless,
if we want our grandchildren to live
in a world with these incredible
species, we爊eed to act fast ? securing
and funding protected areas, and
investing in communities that still
maintain these amazing species. This
is a clarion燾all for action, which
must be heeded if we are not, within
a generation, to lose species that
have燽een revered for thousands
of爕ears.
Amy Dickman, conservation biologist,
department of zoology, the University
of燨xford
6
Wine waiter
right after
start of
meal in
a certain
lounge
(9)
SEA HORSES, SAPIENS AND SATELLITES: THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
8
What the world?s ?rst ?ower
may have looked like
The science stories that make the
headlines are usually the ones bringing
bad news ? like the recent report
that the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has
added wild relatives of wheat, rice and
yams to its threatened list this year.
This matters enormously, because
to feed an ever-expanding human
population we will need to learn from
the genetic tricks that those爓ild
species use to tolerate drought and
disease. But a much more cheerful
news story this year was the report of
an in-depth statistical analysis of what
the world?s ?rst ?ower might have
looked like. The study used the features
of nearly 800 ?owers across the
?owering plant family tree to produce
a most likely image of the ?rst ?ower.
This was very exciting for evolutionary
biologists, because the interactions
between ?owers and animal
pollinators have driven great species
radiations of both. Being able to picture
the ?rst ?ower gives us the opportunity
to explore how those relationships ?rst
evolved, and then how they changed
over time to generate the enormous
diversity of ?ower forms we enjoy
today ? including seasonal favourites
like the Christmas rose (which is
really a燽uttercup).
Beverley Glover, director of Cambridge
University Botanic Garden
7
A sea horse clasping
a cotton bud highlights
plastic pollution
This year we discovered that no
corner of the ocean is untouched
by plastic pollution. Microplastic
particles ? pieces of broken-down
plastic smaller than a few millimetres
in diameter ? were found in almost
every animal sampled from 10km
down in the deepest part of the sea,
the Mariana爐rench. They were also
discovered at densities of 100,000
pieces per sq km in Antarctica?s Ross
Sea, one of the remotest seas on
Earth. The beaches of Henderson
Island in the eastern Paci?c, one
of the most isolated in the world,
were found to be covered by tonnes
upon tonnes of plastic rubbish. But
as we wallow deeper in the ?lth of
generations of plastic litter, there is a
movement for change, building like
a steepening wave. This may come
Clockwise from
far left: a sea
horse clings to a
cotton bud in
the ocean off
Indonesia; a 3D
model of the
world?s first
flower; the
quantum
satellite link
established
by Chinese
physicists; Go
players; fireflies
in woodland.
Justin Hofman;
Herv� Sauquet
and J黵g
Sch鰊enberger;
Xinhua/Alamy
Stock Photo;
Reuters/China
Daily; Paul
van Hoof/
plainpicture
6
soils and sediments from the mid-20th
century onwards. Insects, though, do
not fossilise easily, and so it is hard to
show precisely how far populations
have departed from their natural
baseline levels. Working out such
deep-time comparisons ? a challenge
to the ingenuity of palaeontologists
? would show the scale of this new
phenomenon, and of爐he task ahead: to
restore healthy insect populations.
Jan Zalasiewicz, professor of
palaeobiology, University of Leicester
9
4
Google?s AlphaGo ditches
the human tutors
We humans are great at solving a wide
variety of challenging problems, from
low-level motor control through to highlevel cognitive tasks. Google?s arti?cial
intelligence group DeepMind aims to
produce incredibly intelligent machines
that can perform the way we can. Its
AlphaGo became the ?rst computer
program to defeat the best player of
all time, Lee Sedol, at the ancient and
complex Chinese game of Go, in March
2016. Previous versions of AlphaGo
trained on thousands of human amateur
and professional games to learn how to
play Go. What I ?nd incredible is that
AlphaGo Zero, a new version announced
in October, skips this step and learns to
play simply by playing games against
itself, starting from completely random
play. It created knowledge from ?rst
principles, from a blank slate and
learned how to play the game to an
expert level in just three days! By not
using human expertise in any fashion,
the creators have actually removed the
constraints of human knowledge.
AlphaGo?s historic victory
against one of the best Go players
of all time was a landmark for the
?eld of arti?cial intelligence, and
especially for the technique known
as deep reinforcement learning.
If this technique can be applied to
other problems, such as reducing
energy consumption or searching for
revolutionary new materials, then
AI will truly have a huge positive
impact on society and pave the way for
arti?cial general intelligence ? imagine
a species of machines that could
successfully perform any intellectual
task that a human being can.
Danielle George, professor in microwave
communication engineering at the
University of Manchester
9
10
to be viewed as the year we said:
enough! Individuals,燾ommunities,
cities and燾ountries are beginning
to call time爋n plastic waste,
banning single-use bags, straws, and
introducing deposit schemes for
plastic bottles. Politicians declared
war on plastic pollution at a highlevel international meeting on the
oceans held in Malta this year. Change
is under way and although there
will be setbacks, the momentum
appears爑nstoppable.
Callum Roberts, professor of marine
conservation at the University of York,
and scienti?c adviser to Blue Planet II
8
Number of ?ying insects
plunges by three-quarters
The demonstration that ?ying insect
populations have declined by some 75%
over the last quarter-century was for
me the most beautiful, disquieting and
thought-provoking piece of research of
the past year. Beautiful, because it was
a marvellously solid and爈ucid study,
based on systematic,爌atient collection
of unfashionable ?background? data.
Disquieting, because of the vital
importance that ?ying insects have
to爐he terrestrial biosphere ? and
hence爐o our own life-support systems.
And thought-provoking, because
it is only a tantalising fragment of
some larger global process of the
Anthropocene, the new geological
epoch proposed to re?ect human
impact on our planet.
How large is the true insect decline?
The study started in 1989 ? by which
time the transformation of global
agriculture by massive fertiliser and
pesticide applications had already
been under way for several decades:
the爎esidues of these chemical
innovations are widely detected in
Robots start doing
back?ips
Observers of the robotics industries
have been saying for a quite while now
that robots are coming to take our jobs.
But in 2017, these claims reached a
crescendo with engineers, economists,
and politicians all agreeing that it will
happen soon. This unusual alignment
of opinion gave everyone pause for
thought, since these professions almost
never agree. Then the robotics ?rm
Boston Dynamics released a video of
its latest creation, named Handle. It
is a hybrid robot that has both wheels
and legs. The wheels allow it to take
advantage of the fact that the urban
landscape is wheel-friendly, so
the robot can easily zip around.
Its legs and joints give it
stability and balance. In
other words, Handle
combines the speed
of a vehicle with
the versatility of
a biped. Reactions
to Handle were mixed; some
praised the innovation that
made it possible, while others
described it as ?nightmareinducing?. At the end of the year, Boston
Dynamics released a new video
of Atlas, a robot that can do
back?ips. This one video seemed
to end all argument about when
the robots are coming. They are here.
The question is which jobs they will
replace ?rst: shelf stackers or爂ymnasts.
Mark Miodownik, professor of materials
and society, University College London
11
Tesla opens the world?s
largest battery farm
in Australia
For me, the most signi?cant story of the
year isn?t one of those that announces
its arrival with a brass band, a ?rework
display and headlines the size of
hippos. My pick is an accelerating ?ow
of smaller stories that together tell an
enormous tale: a massive revolution
in battery technology. We all know
the problem: in the rush for cheaper,
lighter, more ?exible everything, the
battery is still the ball and chain around
an inventor?s ankle. They?re heavy, they
run down quickly, and occasionally
they burst into ?ames. But 2017 marks
a sharp uptick in innovation success.
Apart from Tesla?s trumpeting about
its bigger, better Li-ion batteries,
we?ve seen developments in sodium
battery technology, the use of organic
components and polymers, and an
enormous exploration of better
materials and control systems. We?ve
also seen the falling prices of highcapacity Li-ion systems, and the
installation, completed in November,
of Tesla?s system big enough to store
energy for an electrical grid.
These new batteries won?t just
revolutionise our personal electronics;
they will change our energy generation
and our transport. This is not a battle
for the one ?winning? technology,
but the development of an ecosystem
of possibility. The new technologies
themselves may be this year?s star,
but營燾an?t wait for the inventions
that爑se them.
Helen Czerski, research fellow
in the燿epartment of mechanical
engineering at UCL
12
Voyager 1 keeps
on trucking
In November, a team of engineers
at Nasa?s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
signalled the ancient Voyager 1 space
probe, asking it to ?re a set of thrusters
that haven?t been activated for 37 years.
It is more than 13bn miles away now
and has been exploring since its launch
in 1977. No object made by humankind
has ever journeyed so far; signals take
over 19 hours travelling at the speed of
light to reach it.
Nevertheless Voyager dutifully
complied with the command, puffing
hydrazine in precise millisecond
bursts, gently rotating and successfully
realigning its antenna, allowing it to be
audible across the void for a few more
years to come. That pirouette became
my favourite science moment of the year.
Voyager 1 is out there in the darkness,
coasting in the frictionless ocean of
space, so distant from Earth now that
it is nearly meaningless to describe
the span in any conventional unit of
measurement. It has left behind the
inde?nite edge of our solar system and
begun its long journey into interstellar
space, but continues to
gather and transmit
information about the
alien environment that
surrounds it.
That after all this time, and
across all that space, engineers
can still ?nd ways to make Voyager
1 do cartwheels, allowing that huge
triumph of science, engineering,
technology and mathematics to
share its odyssey with us just a
little while longer is, I think,
something worth燾elebrating.
Kevin Fong is co-director of the
Centre for Altitude, Space and
Extreme Environment Medicine
and a lecturer in physiology at
University College London
10
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
21
Section:OBS RW PaGe:22 Edition Date:171224 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 22/12/2017 16:41
cYanmaGentaYellowblack
SCIENCE & TECH
Former Nasa biochemist Josiah Zayner became an online
sensation by conducting DIY gene therapy on himself. He
explains why he did it and why, in the future, everyone
should be able to modify themselves . By Tom Ireland
?WE HAVE BEEN
SLAVES TO THE
GENOMES WE HAVE?
J
osiah Zayner, 36, recently made
headlines by becoming the ?rst
person to use the revolutionary
gene-editing tool Crispr to try
to change their own genes. Part
way through a talk on genetic
engineering, Zayner pulled out
a syringe apparently containing DNA
and other chemicals designed to trigger
a genetic change in his cells associated
with dramatically increased muscle
mass. He injected the DIY gene therapy
into his left arm, live-streaming the
procedure on the internet.
The former Nasa biochemist, based in
California, has become a leading ?gure
in the growing ?biohacker? movement,
which involves loose collectives of
scientists, engineers, artists, designers,
and activists experimenting with
biotechnology outside of conventional
institutions and laboratories.
Despite warnings from the US Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) that
selling gene therapy products without
regulatory approval is illegal, Zayner
sells kits that allow anyone to get
started with basic genetic engineering
techniques, and has published a free
guide for others who want to take it
further and experiment on themselves.
through with these爀xperiments?.
I chose to start with the gene for
myostatin [a protein that regulates
muscle growth], because it has been
extensively studied, and it produces an
obvious change if it has worked.
So, how is your arm looking?
In similar experiments with animals,
you only start to see results after four
to six months of treatment. I would
expect that the DNA in some of the
cells of my arm has changed, but I am
still working on developing assays
[tests] to try and detect that. As to
whether the actual size of the muscle
changes, I?m more sceptical. �
Changing the way one gene behaves can
have a huge number of knock-on e?ects
on the way other genes are regulated
or expressed. Do you really know what
you?re doing?
Was administering a dose of Crispr on
yourself an experiment, or a stunt to show
what amateur scientists/biohackers
can do?
It?s a good question. These things are
complicated, and obviously with things
like this there are lots of unknowns.
I look at what the possible negative
outcomes are and ask: ?Are those risks
insigni?cant enough that I?m willing
to undertake this experiment?? Based
on the data I read, for a local injection
the answer was yes. A treatment that
blocks myostatin throughout the whole
body? That would be much more
hazardous ? you would be messing
with the muscles of your heart.
Both. The technical feasibility of what I
did is not under question ? researchers
have done this many times, in all
sorts of animals. But there?s a barrier
? people are afraid of it. I wanted to
break that down, to say ?Hey look, the
tools are inexpensive, and somebody
with a bit of knowledge can actually go
You support the idea of people attempting
gene therapy and other experimental
procedures on themselves. What?s
wrong with the existing system, where
treatments are thoroughly tested by
professionals before being approved
for use?
If we?re going to do these experiments
you have to balance two things:
how many people can possibly die
from testing their own products or
making them available prematurely,
versus how many people have genetic
disorders and are just dying because
they don?t have access to them. I think
there?s a huge imbalance, where we?re
overprotective of hurting people
instead of offering a chance to millions
of people who are dying right now.
As human beings we?re very big on
freedoms, equality, equal rights. What?s
more of an equal right than being able
to control what genes we have? I think
people should be able to choose that.
I?m not saying anything I can do can
help treat people, but treating things
genetically is the ultimate medicine.
I grew up in the 90s with the
computer hacker movement, the
development of the internet ? the
whole open-source movement was
amazing. Who created Linux, the
most used operating system ever? Not
students from Harvard or Cambridge,
but Linus Torvalds, a student in
Finland working in his apartment.
I don?t think for a second I?m going
to be the mastermind behind a great
biotech revolution, but I think there?s
some brilliant person waiting to be
discovered out there that could be.
In another recent biohacking experiment,
a man injected himself with an unproven
gene-therapy treatment for HIV which
had been developed by biohacking startup
Ascendence Biomedical. What do you
know about what they are doing, and do
you support their approach?
I think they?re at a lot more risk
because they are trying to work in the
medical ?eld, saying they can cure
people. I think that starts to get a little
more ethically and morally sketchy,
and the government will certainly
crack down on that.
When people start proposing new
treatments without data to back them
up or without consulting people, I
think ?Hey, be smart?. Get a second
opinion, third opinion, ask doctors,
ask other biohackers. Trying a therapy
that doesn?t work instead of your
medication obviously could be worse.
The problem is, it?s like the freedom
of speech thing: it sucks sometimes.
If I say I want the freedom to test
something on myself, it means
everybody does ? even people who are
stupid or want to do crazy stuff.
But if you say people should experiment
on themselves outside of the traditional
clinical trial system, surely that?s exactly
what will happen? There will be a grey
area where people are halfway there, or
guessing what the e?ects will be.
Yeah. I don?t know ? honestly, I would
never put me in charge of running this
stuff for the FDA or the government. I
think there are people who know how
to make the rules to protect the most
amount of people.
People are going to get hurt with this
stuff and I feel ethically terrible about
that, and I don?t know how to prevent
it. I see these instances of people doing
crazy stuff and I?m like, ?No, that?s not
what I meant! Why are you injecting
things in your eyeballs??.
I have this very libertarian side of
me that says people have the right
to do whatever they want with their
22
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
?I did a DIY faecal
transplant to help
my gut health issues.
It still blows my mind
the e?ect it had?
bodies. But I also have this part of me
that says ?Be knowledgeable! Base it on
scienti?c data!?
What do your family think of what you do?
I usually hide stuff I?m about to do
from them, in case they try and talk me
out of it. If I decide to do something, it?s
because I?ve carefully weighed up the
pros and cons. They won?t understand
how much research I?ve done. My
mom supports me, but thinks I?m crazy.
She was so sad when I left Nasa.
Last year, you performed a DIY faecal
transplant on yourself. How did that go?
Yes, I did a DIY faecal transplant to
help with my gut health issues. It still
blows my mind the effect it had, and
DNA samples showed I did manage to
change the makeup of my gut bacteria.
I don?t exactly recommend the course
of action I took, because there are
safer alternatives to DIY. But if people
have no access to those I support their
choice to try it. Faeces is quite strictly
regulated in the US, like a drug, so
people travel to the UK where there
are燾linics.
Where do you and other biohackers get
the equipment, tools and chemicals to
conduct genetic engineering at home?
People don?t know that generally the
same resources that are available
to scientists are available to nonscientists. I can just order DNA online
and they ship it to my house. If I want
to get some sequencing done I send
it off to a company and they?ll do it
for me. It?s really inexpensive ? we?re
talking $6 to get a sample sequenced,
or $10 to get a piece of DNA.
What are you working on next?
We have always been slaves to the
genomes we have, and giving people
the ability to change that almost
changes what it means to be human.
It seems so sci-? and made up, but
we?ve been genetically modifying
humans with gene therapy since the
1990s ? it?s just been very few people
and for medical reasons. I want to help
humans genetically modify themselves.
If DIY genetic engineering becomes
commonplace, as you hope, what do you
THE NETWORKER
THE SCIENCE
OF?
sadfvs
John Naughton
PRICING
5%
OFF
�
Who?s doing Google and
Facebook?s dirty work?
OFF
MONEY TALKS
Pricing
psychology
tactic number
one: a price
reduction
stated in the
amount of
money as
opposed to a
percentage
increases the
likelihood of
impulse-buying,
according to
researchers at
Jinan University.
T
he basic deal offered by social
media companies to their users
runs like this: ?We give you tools
to publish whatever you want,
and then we take the revenues that
result from that. You get the personal
satisfaction and the warm glow that
comes from seeing your holiday
pictures, your home movies or your
cute cats online, and we bank the cash
we earn from selling your data-trails
and pro?les to advertisers.?
It?s the digital world?s equivalent of
the old American south?s practice of
sharecropping ? a form of agriculture
in which a landowner allows a tenant
to use the land in return for a share
of the crops produced on their plot.
In the digital version, however, the
virtual ?landowners? differ in their
degrees of generosity. Facebook gives
its sharecroppers a zero share of the
harvest. YouTube, in contrast, invites
them to become amateur broadcasters
by uploading ?lms to its site. If it runs
ads alongside these epic productions,
then it shares some of the proceeds
with the sharecroppers. And if said
productions attract large numbers
of viewers then this can be a nice
little爀arner.
The sharecropping business model
has been a roaring success since 2006
(when Google bought YouTube and
Facebook opened its doors to the great
unwashed). But in recent times, some
difficulties have emerged. First of all,
the old adage that nobody ever went
broke underestimating the taste of
the general public was proved right.
Sharecroppers discovered that fake
news ? ie tasteless, misleading or
sensational content ? stood a better
chance of ?going viral? (and earning
more) than truthful stuff. And second,
it turned out that there are an awful lot
of violent, hateful, racist, misogynistic,
fundamentalist sharecroppers out
there. The internet, it seems, holds up a
mirror to human nature, and much that
we see re?ected in it isn?t pretty.
For a long time, the landowners of
cyberspace tried to ignore this problem
by inviting users to ??ag? inappropriate
content, which would then be reviewed
at a leisurely pace. But as Isis began to
master social media and the political
temperature in the west hotted up, the
inappropriate content problem changed
from being an irritating cost centre into
an existential threat. Major advertisers
decided that they didn?t want their
MAGIC
NUMBER
Using the
number nine,
known as
charm pricing,
is one of the
oldest, most
widely used
pricing tactics.
According to
the journal
Quantitative
Marketing and
Economics,
prices ending
in nine can
outsell even
lower prices
for the same
product.
H E LLO
my nam e is
think the world will be like in the future?
To me it?s like Blade Runner, where
he goes into that back-alley science
lab and there?s the guy making eyes.
I imagine people going to some place
like a tattoo parlour, and instead of
getting a tattoo they pick out some
DNA that makes them muscly, or
changes the colour of their hair or eyes.
DNA de?nes what a species is, and
I imagine it wouldn?t be too long into
the future when the human species
almost becomes a new species because
of these modi?cations.
Josiah Zayner
with his Crispr
gene editing
kit. He injected
himself with
the therapy in
an attempt to
increase the
muscle mass in
his arm.
Courtesy
Josiah Zayner
ALL ABOUT ME
Research
from Clark
University,
Massachusetts,
found that
we gravitate
to prices
that contain
the same
letters as our
name or the
numbers from
our birthday.
They call this
phenomena
?implicit
egotism?.
HING!
CHA - C
�
CH
A
37 59
�6543 30-22CHIN
9
When scientists ?rst started altering
DNA just to make, say, tomatoes ripen
di?erently, there was immense public
concern. Do you expect the general
public is going to be supportive of people
modifying any organism, including people,
in any way they can, in their garage?
The whole thing with GMOs
[genetically modi?ed organisms] was
that it was ?us and them?. They have the
power to modify plants and we don?t
know what they?re doing, and have no
control over it, and so we are against it.
This technology that I?m trying to do is
for all of us. We?ll see what happens. I?m
sure we?ll get a different response when
people are doing it every day, or when
the ?rst person decides to try and give
themselves a tail or something.
�
FLEXIBLE
FRIENDS
Consumers
splurge more
when paying
with credit or
debit cards,
says the Journal
of Experimental
Psychology,
as parting
with cash is
physiologically
painful.
Lauren Kelly
Report image
The internet giants have been forced
to clamp down on inappropriate
content, but at what psychological
cost to those hired to view terrorist
propaganda and child-abuse videos?
ads running alongside beheading
videos, for example. And social media
executives found themselves being
hauled up before Congress, castigated
by European politicians and threatened
with dire consequences unless they
cleaned up their act.
Alarmed by this, the companies
have been bragging about the number
of extra staff they are recruiting to
deal with the problem. Facebook,
for example, is hiring 10,000 extra
people to work on ?safety and security
generally? ? which means that by the
end of 2018 it will have 20,000 people
working in this area. And YouTube?s
CEO, Susan Wojcicki, announced her
goal of ?bringing the total number
of people across Google working to
address content that might violate our
policies to over 10,000 in 2018?.
What these impressive-sounding
commitments do not specify is how
many of the new hires will be actual
employees and how many will be
merely contractors. My hunch is the
latter. A more important question ? and
one we have all shamefully ignored
until now ? is what kind of work will
they be required to do, and under
what燾onditions?
p
This is important
because much of the
objectionable content that is uploaded to
social media is truly vile. And we know
from our law enforcement authorities
that reviewing child-abuse videos
for prosecution purposes can have
traumatic psychological consequences
for the police officers who have to
do it. But until now we knew almost
nothing about the circumstances under
which the content-moderation that
keeps Facebook and Google sanitised is
carried爋ut.
A few days ago, the ?rst conference
to discuss these questions was held
in Los Angeles. It was convened by
Sarah Roberts, a UCLA professor
who has been studying online
content-moderation for some years,
and included speakers who had
done this kind of work, and revealed
interesting details like the rates of pay
that contractors get: $0.02 for each
image爎eviewed.
What was more alarming, though,
was testimony on the psychological
impact that this kind of work can
have on those who do it. ?When I left
MySpace,? one reported, ?I didn?t
shake hands for, like, three years
because I ?gured out that people
were disgusting. I just could not touch
people. I was disgusted by humanity
when I left there. So many of my peers,
same thing. We all left with horrible
views of humanity.?
Welcome to the dark underbelly of
our networked world. There?s no such
thing as a free lunch: online ?safety?
comes at a p
price.
B E TA T E ST I N G : I N N OVAT I O N S I N S P E C T E D
G!
#79 SOUND
REACTIVE LED
MASK
What is it?
A mask that reacts to music
to create spooky, constantly
changing light patterns,
like having a laser show on
your face.
Good points
Range includes an Obamask
for ravers nostalgic for more
politically stable times.
Bad points
Likely to scare small children
from 100 paces.
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
23
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Critics
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3
FILM | MUSIC | T V | R ADIO | ART | DANCE | GAMES
?Worth the wait?: Jamael Westman,
centre, in the title role with the
West End cast of Hamilton.
Photograph by Matthew Murphy
A treat for your heart and head
Smash Broadway hit Hamilton really is that good. And testimony from Calais refugees makes vital drama
Susannah
Clapp
@susannahclapp
Hamilton
Victoria Palace, London SW1; until 28 July
The Jungle
Young Vic, London SE1; until 9 Jan
Belleville
Donmar Warehouse, London WC2;
until 3 Feb
Yes it is. Worth the wait. Yes it does.
Speak powerfully to British audiences.
Yes it has. Changed, expanded, given
new wings to musical theatre. But no
you can?t. Get a ticket before a mooted
next booking period opens. Unless you
win the daily lottery. Keep trying.
Lin-Manuel Miranda?s Hamilton
? and it?s his all the way through,
book, lyrics and music ? is made up
of revolution and ?rsts. As be?ts a
show about one of America?s founding
fathers: Alexander Hamilton, as
suddenly everyone knows, was the ?rst
Secretary of the Treasury, the man on
the 10 dollar bill. The hype has been
so overwhelming that audiences go
in groaning with knowledge about
its breakthroughs. About the seizing
of the stage by street music ? rap
and hip-hop alongside R&B, soul,
Britpop and爎ock opera. About the
unlikeliness爋f Hamilton, hitherto a
relatively uncelebrated statesman,
as musical hero. About the beautiful
elision of America past and present,
with the white founding fathers ?
and爉others ? played by mostly black
and brown actors.
Above all, they know the words.
Which is another departure. This
must be the ?rst time that people have
gone into a new show ? as opposed to
a jukebox musical, where the point
is familiarity ? having got the lyrics
by heart. The test used to be that you
came out able to hum a tune. Hamilton
proves that agile words can be a major
motor. Just as words drove Hamilton,
himself (played by impressive recent
Rada graduate Jamael Westman), one
of the most nimble of speakers. His
ally-turned-antagonist Aaron Burr
(powerful Giles Terera) constantly
advises him to ?talk less, smile more? .
Hamilton expands your heart and
concentrates your brain by deliciously
stretching your ears. By the sheer
surprise of a vocabulary which jumps
from ?diuretics? to ?two-party system?
to Macbeth?s ?tomorrow and tomorrow
and tomorrow?. By the comic spikiness
of its rhymes: squalor and scholar,
anarchy and panicky, ?Can we confer,
Burr??. By the way it forces you to
listen questioningly, as it drills into and
splits apart words ? ?phe-nom-e-non?.
The inspiration may be the making
of America and the drafting of its
constitution, but the effect is universal.
One of the guaranteed huge responses
is to Hamilton and Lafayette high?ving as they declare: ?Immigrants! We
get the job done!?
Is there anything wrong with
Miranda?s show and Thomas Kail?s
direction? Well, it is perhaps out
of character to end on a relatively
orthodox ballad. I?m not keen on
the vulva-revealing tight jodphurs
(worn with corsets and boots).
Andy Blankenbuehler?s muscular
choreography sends characters
seamlessly from civilian to military life
but is not transporting.
Still, nothing can detract from this
A musical of in?nite
dexterity: could we
Brits ever devise
something as original
and necessary?
marvellous mashing of political and
musical history. Michael Jibson?s
petulant King George, a nursery-rhyme
monarch with crosspatch face and
plush crown, stamps his foot as he
tunefully, Elton John-ishly, accuses
unfaithful America. Christine Allado,
Rachelle Ann Go and Rachel John
belt out, full-throttle, the destiny of
America?s women ? in the manner of
Destiny?s Child. Wrangles between
Jason Pennycooke?s Jefferson (deftly
doubling as Lafayette) are recounted in
battle rap.
Hamilton is ?the room where it
happens?. Miranda?s show asks ?who
lives, who dies, who tells your story??
? and answers the query not with a
who, but a what: a musical of in?nite
dexterity.
It leaves two questions for
Brits. Could we ever come up with
something as original and necessary?
And will we ever have a government
? just look at the Obama hosting of
Miranda at the White House ? who
would take time out to look at it, or
recognise the talent if they did?
From the making of one continent
to the dismantling of another. From
America to Europe. The Jungle is one of
the most vital productions of the year.
Desperate and vibrant. Joes Murphy
and Robertson, who set up Good
Chance theatre in the Calais refugee
and migrant camp known as ?the
Jungle?, have based their play on what
they heard and saw there. Stephen
Daldry and Justin Martin?s production
punches it home.
Miriam Buether has recreated the
Young Vic as the camp?s Afghan Cafe: a
canvas roof, a muddy ?oor, splashes of
colour, rough wooden benches for the
spectators. Any qualms about seeming
to be a participant while really being a
voyeur are met by the production. You
are there like the French and British
authorities, encircling and containing
talent and despair. The UK volunteers
on stage re?ect your own muddle: the
earnest mature man carrying a bag for
life; the Etonian who judges the place
?Glastonbury without the toilets?.
That?s the periphery. The core is the
experience of people who don?t choose
to be in the camp. John Pfumojena is
composed and still as he tells the story
of Okot. The people smugglers laid him
down, put a concrete slab on his back ?
and made a video on his phone to send
to his mother in Darfur with a demand
for money. Okot was 17. His ringtone
was The White Cliffs of Dover.
There is no sentimentality about
the camp. The camp was needed and it
Continued overleaf
�
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
25
Film
� Continued from previous page
John Pfumojena (Okot) in the ?desperate
and vibrant? The Jungle at the Young Vic.
Photograph by David Sandison
was terrible. The gifts of its inhabitants
occasionally ?ash out exuberantly:
a beautiful clatter on a drum; wild
dancing; fragrant food in the cafe,
which AA Gill visited, giving the
chicken livers four stars. But so does
ferocity and factionalism ? in which
the audience is embedded. There is
low-level noise as men walk around
trying to get hold of families on their
mobiles. There is hullabaloo: when
desperation turns to violence, the
?ghts threaten to burst off the stage.
This is a place full of intimate
tragedy in which there is no privacy.
The death of a teenager trying to
escape is yelled across the heads of the
audiences. When the police arrive they
look like armour-plated aliens.
?How did you survive?? a volunteer
asks one of the inhabitants. ?We didn?t,?
he replies. ?We are different now.?
Doors are battered, blood is
spattered, a person is lifted, apparently
lifeless, from a bath. The swift hour
and 40 minutes of Belleville, Amy
Herzog ?s play, ?rst seen in the States
in 2011, is directed with clever
claustrophobia by Michael Longhurst,
aided by a ?nely detailed Paris
apartment design by Tom Scutt and a
shiveringly reverberating soundscape
by Ben and Max Ringham.
The intense acting of James Norton
een so close up in
and Imogen Poots is seen
the compressed space of the Donmar
d or corrugation
that each drop of blood
ncing away from
of a forehead, every wincing
eismic. But this
confrontation, looks seismic.
ouple ?ghting
drama about a young couple
their way through and perhaps
ore full of
out of a marriage is more
chological
violent twists than psychological
ou see a
surprises. As soon as you
uple on the
billing-and-cooing couple
stage, you know all helll is likely
to break loose. It does. It looks
o care.
calculated. It is hard to
FILM OF THE WEEK
Role-playing
on a whole
new level
Mark
Kermode
@KermodeMovie
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
(119 mins, 12A) Directed by Jake Kasdan;
starring Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan,
Jack Black, Kevin Hart
This crowd-pleasing
game-world romp,
with a deadpan cast
and fantastic beasts,
is wildly superior to its
1995 predecessor
?Intense?: Imogen Poots
and James Norton in
Belleville at the Donmar.
Chris Van Allsburg ?s 1981 children?s
book Jumanji spawned a weirdly
saleable 1995 movie in which Robin
Williams escaped from a board
game pursued by rhinos, elephants,
monkeys and lions which then ran
amok in Brantford, New Hampshire.
This ?continuation of the story?
smartly inverts the premise of the
original, welcoming us to the jungle
as we follow four young players into
the game, where they must meet
various next-level challenges to secure
their safe passage home. Wholly
superior to Joe Johnston?s wildly
uneven big-screen predecessor (and
indeed to Jon Favreau?s related Van
Allsburg adaptation Zathura: A Space
Adventure), this crowd-pleasing romp
combines boisterous action with
coming-of-age comedy, all delivered in
a shiny FX-laden package tailor-made
for holiday audiences.
?Who plays board games?? asks an
unsuspecting Brantford teen after
opening the recently unearthed
Jumanji box, which promptly mutates
into a video console plug-in ? with
transportive results. Years later, nerdy
Spencer (Alex Wolff ) ?nds himself in
Breakfast Club-style detention with
popular jock Fridge (Ser?Darius Blain),
Instagram-addicted queen bee Bethany
(Madison Iseman) and studious
introvert Martha (Morgan Turner).
Advised by their school principal to
learn ?who you are, and who you want
to be?, the mis?t quartet start fooling
around with ?an old-school Nintendo
game?, which promises thrills for
?those who seek to ?nd a way to leave
their world behind?. A few ill-informed
role-play choices later, the foursome
are sucked into the digital vortex,
and reborn as alter-ego avatars in the
cursed world of Jumanji. Which is
where the fun begins?
Wolff ?s allergy-prone geek becomes
Dwayne Johnson?s bulked-up
archaeologist/explorer Dr Smolder
?Tailor-made for holiday audiences?: Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black are the
Bravestone (?Where?s my hair??); the
previously imposing Fridge turns into
Kevin Hart?s diminutive zoologist/
weapons-valet Franklin ?Moose?
Finbar; and Martha acquires dance?ghting skills (?Is that a thing??) as
?killer of men? Ruby Roundhouse
(Karen Gillan). Most rewardingly,
having chosen ?curvy genius? Dr
?Shelly? Oberon as her in-game
persona, Bethany transforms into Jack
Black?s cartographer Sheldon (?I?m an
overweight middle-aged man!?) who
promptly gets eaten by a hippo, only to
return with one less game-life to play.
It explores genderchange revelations as
Jack Black makes the
most of puerile peeingwith-a-penis gags
Body-swap routines have proved
catnip for everyone from Steve Martin
and Lily Tomlin to John Travolta and
Nicolas Cage, but casting physicalcomedy maestro Black (who ?rst
worked with director Jake Kasdan
on 2002?s Orange County) as a teen
princess who literally ?can?t even? is
a masterstroke. Like last year?s anime
hit Your Name, this playfully explores
gender-change revelations, with Black
making the most of cheerfully puerile
peeing-with-a-penis gags (?Oh this
is so much easier!?) and delivering
wisecracks about the sensory
elevation of losing one?s phone with
deadpan燼plomb.
Having hit a career high note
voicing demigod Maui in Disney?s
Moana, Dwayne Johnson continues
to subvert his monolithic ?Rock?
persona, providing a solidly likable
centre for Kasdan?s somewhat overcluttered ?lm, relishing the chance
AND THE REST
ST
Wendy
Ide
@wendyide
The Greatest Showman
?Ol�!? he
said, as
he started
?icking
me with
an Herm鑣
scarf
Photographer
Michael
Powell recalls
a shoot with
Luciano
Pavarotti
Observer
Magazine
page 25
26
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
(105 mins, PG) Directed by Michael Gracey;
starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams,
Zac Efron. Released on Boxing Day
Imagine Tod Browning ?s 1932 preCode horror ?lm Freaks asset-stripped
by a third-rate Baz Luhrmann
wannabe, the chilling refrain ?one of
us? sanitised into something closer
to a soft-drink commercial tagline
than a爉enace. Imagine a musical
that, like its score, is all air-punching
chorus and no verse; a featherlight
?lm in which what meagre narrative
there is unfolds in endless, oily
musical montages. Imagine a ?lm
that replaces an emotional climax
with a scene in which the main
character rides an enormous CGI
elephant covered in glitter. In fact it
doesn?t take燼 lot of imagination to
conjure up a ?lm such燼s The Greatest
Showman, which爄s an uninspired
plod through the life of PT Barnum
Barnum humbug: Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman. 20th Century Fox
(Hugh Jackman). For燼ll the skittish,
pirouetting camera and sparkles, the
characterisation is barely Lycra-deep,
and the magic that Barnum brought to
his shows is lacking.
It?s not entirely without
redeeming爁eatures. An aerial
song-and-dance sequence between
slumming toff Phillip Carlyle (Zac
Efron) and trapeze artist Anne
Wheeler (Zendaya) is a giddy joy.
And燡ackman is clearly having an
absolute ball in the role. Still, it?s hard
to forgive a ?lm that casts Michelle
Williams in a key role but doesn?t
give爃er the opportunity to do any
actual acting.
Pitch Perfect 3
(93 mins, 12A) Directed by Trish Sie; starring
Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow
The ?rst Pitch Perfect ?lm was like
the ?rst Christmas party of the season
Pop
Hark! A herald angel sings
The Geordie ?folk music? maverick welcomes a ?rstborn son, and
a startled audience, with a display of raw power and emotion
Kitty
Empire
?Marcus Mumford
he is not?: Richard
Dawson at the
Islington Assembly
Hall. Photograph by
Antonio Olmos for
the Observer
@kittyempire666
Richard Dawson
Islington Assembly Hall, London N1
game avatars of four teenagers catapulted into the cursed world of Jumanji. Sony Pictures
to play insecurity for poignant effect.
As for Gillan, her post-Doctor Who
big-screen career has been a shrewd
balancing act between offbeat oddities
like Oculus and fantasy-adventure
romps such as the Guardians of the
Galaxy series. Here, she displays
admirable comic skills as the
uncomfortably attired Ruby/Martha,
who dismisses her Lara Croft-style
costume as basically ?a bikini?, but
discovers her true powers to the
reggae-lite sounds of Big Mountain?s
Baby, I Love Your Way, a naff Peter
Frampton cover which previously
featured on the soundtrack of 1994?s
Reality Bites.
Considering the chequered past of
game-world movies (from the Gerard
Butler clunker Gamer to the Adam
Sandler stinker Pixels and worse),
plaudits are due to Kasdan for keeping
things sprightly. Potentially clunky
riffs about non-player characters,
such as Rhys Darby?s expository Nigel
(?return the jewel and lift the curse?),
are deftly handled, while a recurrent
joke about Franklin?s explosive
weakness for cake raises more
chuckles than expected.
Visually, the Hawaiian locations
provide eye-catching backdrops for the
effects-heavy action, with thunderous
beasts and spiralling helicopters
charging and swooping their way
through the narrative. Along with
a touch of Andy Muschietti?s teenfriendly It (this year?s breakout horror
hit), nods to The Wizard of Oz abound,
from character names (Ruby), to
plotlines (a mission to get home), oneliners (?I?ll miss you the most?) and a
musical motif that keeps threatening to
take us somewhere over the rainbow.
It never quite gets there (this is no
timeless fantasy classic), but Jumanji:
Welcome to the Jungle is frothy fun, and
that will do nicely for now.
? all perky, wide-eyed optimism,
effortless harmony and adorable,
spangly accessories. Which makes Pitch
Perfect�the last party ? when the good
times have long given way to a grinding
sense of duty and inevitability; when
you?ve been recycling and touching up
the same smeared makeup for more
than a week. It?s the moment when
you are trying to work out if the vomit
on your shoe is yours or someone
else?s. It?s the point when your own
liver ?les a restraining order. And
if you think this metaphor
is laboured, trust me, it
is nothing compared to
this joyless ?ogging
of the dead horse of
competitive a capella.
The key members
of the singing troupe
the Bellas ? Beca (Anna
Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel
Wilson) and Chloe (Brittany
Snow) ? are all now long past
college age but are ?xated on the glory
days of their youth. As such, it?s a little
bit like Trainspotting 2, but with less
heroin. The Bellas are offered the
opportunity to take part in a US army
entertainment tour that, more through
narrative necessity than logic, is also
a competition. Meanwhile, there?s a
subplot involving Fat Amy?s estranged
dad that is so lazy, you half expect it to
just curl up in the middle of the movie
for a nap. A-ca-trocious.
Sanctuary
(88 mins, 15) Directed by Len Collin;
starring Kieran Coppinger, Charlene Kelly,
Robert Doherty. Released on 29 December
My ?rst impression of Sanctuary, an
Irish ?lm about two people with
intellectual disabilities (lovely
performances by Kieran
Coppinger and Charlene
Kelly, left) who want to be
together was that it was a
gentle, low-key comedy
with charm but not much
in the way of impact. The
physical humour is well
handled, and although the
performances, from nonprofessional actors with special
needs, are not polished, they are
persuasive. But there is rather more to
it than that. A devastating conclusion
leaves us with an aching sadness and
some quite profound questions about
the basic human right to love the
person we choose.
The lead-up to Christmas riffs hard on
the theme of tradition. All those nordic
evergreens and new world turkeys
are recent imports falsely claimed as
deep heritage. On stage, by contrast, a
harried-looking man from the northeast is hollering a cappella, heralding
a firstborn son into the world
with vein-bulging joy, and no little
trepidation (?what perils thou must
pass through!?). In between songs, he
asks us to remind him that he?s put his
glasses on his amp.
You wish the NHS could somehow
provide folk singer Richard Dawson
? and his trio of hypnotic backing
vocalists ? at every delivery. A Parent?s
Address to a Firstborn Son on the Day
of His Birth is not an easy listen, but it
is a mighty incantation that welcomes
the ?stranger? of the lyric, and the
audience to the gig, doubling as a palate
cleanser to banish the saccharine
and the mellifluous. Pumping his
arm as though to drag more sound
out of himself, Dawson unleashes a
stentorian bellow that would pin the
entire crowd to the back wall even if he
put the microphone down.
He straps on an electric guitar for
a song set in the year ?600 or 700?.
This is Soldier, from Dawson?s latest
album, Peasant, released in June. It
finds a miserable conscript thinking
of his sweetheart, vowing never
again to draw blade. ?Let?s betroth
without delay, pack the horse and
ride away,? the deserter agonises. It?s
a Bruce Springsteen song in all but
timeframe, with Angharad Davies?s
violin providing an abstracted, icy
chill rather than conventional musical
accompaniment.
Births, deaths and the harrowing
stuff in between fill Dawson?s songs,
which ? six solo albums in ? span
concerns both timeless (Peasant is
set in the dark ages) and pointedly
modern (his older stuff is full of
Peperami and staffie crosses).
Inevitably, we call what Dawson
does ?folk music? ? the addition
tonight of harpist Rhodri Davies and
violinist Angharad Davies add their
strings to that chorus. But as a few
bars of Black Sabbath?s Iron Man later
hint, Dawson came to the dramatically
sung tales of suffering people through
heavy metal, and working in record
shops in his native Newcastle. He
cites the Sufi devotional music
qawwali as an influence, and counts
Sleaford Mods as fellow travellers.
Tonight he?ll humorously recite a bit
of Roy Orbison?s I Drove All Night,
emphasising the dodginess of the
lyrics. Marcus Mumford he is not.
Even to fans of non-mainstream
sounds, the barriers to loving
Dawson?s work are high. It takes
time to acclimatise to his uneven
voice, which spans a baritone rumble
and a Robert Wyatt falsetto. His
recorded works start weird, embrace
accidents and galumph towards
the Captain Beefheart end of the
musical spectrum, sometimes coming
worryingly close to prog rock.
The sleeves of most of his albums
are hideous (an exception is 2015?s The
Magic Bridge, where an infinite loop of
Hokusai?s wave-froth features on A4
paper). The videos for Peasant?s songs
are designed to drive people away,
shielding their eyes: check out Weaver
(the song itself is tremendous tonight)
and Ogre, if you dare.
Persevere, and Dawson rewards you
generously, with kitchen-sink realism,
a psychedelic take on fable, and an
almost pugilistic sense of compassion.
Persevere, and he
rewards you with
kitchen-sink realism
and an almost
pugilistic compassion
Pathology is not everything, but a
number of his works involve eyes ?
Dawson suffers from a degenerative
eye condition ? and his mighty voice
exists in a helix with the breathing
disorder of sleep apnea.
It?s only when you see Dawson
live that you realise something vital
has always been lost in the recording
of him. Perhaps it?s the wallop of all
the instruments on the stage, or the
magic of Dawson?s little avant-garde
guitar motifs in the run-up to each
song. Somehow, the awkwardness
disappears and even a song like
Beggar ? with its mannered interplay
of Dawson?s racked tenor and falsetto,
and his guitar arpeggio and Davies?s
harp ? turns into a flowing stomp.
Time dissolves on Beggar, when
a destitute man sings the praises of
his dog; an image as dispiritingly
familiar now as it was in the dark ages.
Naturally, the song is a tragedy, which
finds its anguished narrator begging
his collie?s forgiveness. ?I sold my
shoes to buy her a chicken!? is a tearjerker of a line, ripped in an emo howl
from Dawson?s very innards.
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
27
TV + Radio
Bad blood
backstage
Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, left,
?bewitching? in Feud: Bette and Joan.
Below: Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton
and Reece Shearsmith in The League of
Gentlemen: ?a fine swansong?. BBC/Fox
you will come to the inescapable truth
that it was nonetheless ramped up,
endlessly and unashamedly, for pro?t
alone, and thus that even the strongest
of ?ashing-eyed screen goddesses can
be laid low ? by the studio system, by
witchy, bitchy columnists, by their
own ungrateful bloody children, by the
crime of ageing, but chie?y, of course,
by powerful men.
In its own immensely smaller way a
similar theme was tackled in Shamed,
in which a 27-year-old girl, internetshamed a decade ago for having,
senseless on sambuca, performed a
?sex act? on a whooping, leering conga
of men in a sleazy Tenerife nightclub
(as if there?s any other kind), gets
her revenge. It?s quite a revenge: she
kidnaps, Tasers and locks up two of the
men responsible over a long weekend,
and shames them in return ? via the
internet, via their smartphone history.
And worse. It?s no secret that Channel
4 is still stinging from having lost
Black Mirror to Net?ix, and this had
?erce resonances (borrowings?) in its
exploration of the technological evils
into which we may be sleepwalking,
and Faye Marsay was outstanding
as the wronged Sarah. But the two
(geezerishly unlikable) men were
pitifully underdrawn, and the whole
point was missed: one geezer, tearfully
pleading that ?no one made you
do it?, when the ?it? was the sexual
exploitation of an abysmally drunk and
naive 17-year-old, surely got to the true
heart of the current consent debate,
which was then left shambolically
unexplored. This either demanded
a braver thinker and a whole threeepisode series, or not making it in the
?rst place.
The queasily wonderful The League
of Gentlemen returned for three nights
only, and has lost little of its grotesque
charm nor its appalling beslimed
humour. A ?ne swansong, but it?s hard
not to recall the urgent freshness, the
otherness, with which Gatiss and co
?rst invaded our screens: sic transit
gloria vasey.
Darcey Bussell took us on a pretty
enough canter around aspects of Fred
Astaire. I hadn?t realised that, even
before the ?lms, he was immensely
rich and successful, nor his simmering
resentment towards Ginger and
most of his other leading ladies: too
long de?ned by powerful women, he
longed to break out. But for all that,
and a welcome excuse to rewatch
some of the routines, neither Darcey
nor we viewers ever got a smidgen
closer to Fred?s personality in Darcey
Bussell: Looking for Fred Astaire.
Perhaps we never will, other than by
rereading his good friend David Niven:
interestingly, in his will Astaire makes
it thunderously clear that he is never
to be portrayed on ?lm. The clause,
he said, was ?there燽ecause I have
no particular desire to have my life
misinterpreted, which it would be?.
Fittingly for the time of year, we
made two trips to Bethlehem, one
in the company of Danny Boyle and
Banksy, one along with some scouse
Christmas-?tters. Both Alternativity
and The World?s Best Christmas Lights
were remarkably light programmes,
albeit with intense undertones.
In the shadow of the West Bank?s
brutalist, ludicrous ?peace wall?, we
?rst watched Danny putting on an
?Alternativity?, with sleeve notes from
an unseen Banksy: Muslims, Jews and
Christians all roughly got on, and it
was lovely. All three Abrahamic faiths
mingled, too, beneath the same wall?s
shadow, as Liverpool?s ?nest switched
on the big lights on the big tree, in the
neighbouring Manger Square; after
four seriously hardworking months
there was champagne, and joy. Four
days later, all lights were switched off
by the Palestinian authorities in protest
against the US decision on Jerusalem,
the wrecking of a hard-wrought and
febrile peace.
Radio 4?s The East Coast Listening Post,
written and performed by comedy duo
Lazy Susan. On late at night and just
15 minutes long, this is an out-andout mickey-take of Serial-type shows.
Two US journalists, sisters Jenna
(Freya Parker) and Dana (Celeste
Dring) ? complete with up-speak at
the end of their sentences and NPR
vocal fry ? are employed by Eric Sass,
?MC, host, story connoisseur?
(David Elms, pictured right
with Parker and Dring),
to report on interesting
tales from the UK. They
decide to investigate
the goings-on of two
other sisters, Gilly and
Sally. Gilly and Sally
are elderly English
aristocrats and thus
utterly eccentric, especially
Gilly. Gilly?s fond of shooting,
shouting and, well, shagging and drugs.
Jenna燼nd Dana ful?l everything you
might expect from Serial-style hosts:
they insert themselves into the story,
have moments of self-doubt, and
describe the main characters swiftly
and emotively. ?Sally has a sweet,
round red face,? says Jenna. ?Kind
of like an apple in a wig.? The joy of
this show is partly in the silliness, but
mostly in the spoo?ng. As a big US
podcast fan I loved it.
If you?re looking for something less
niche, then perhaps Story Pirates might
suit. Actually it?s still pretty niche, as
it?s a children?s podcast, and aside from
Fun Kids? great offerings such podcasts
aren?t especially established here. In
the US, however, Story Pirates
has a well-known live show
that draws big audiences,
and Gimlet has taken
notice and snapped up its
podcast.
This features stories
written by kids and
performed by comedians
and improv actors.
Whether you like it or not
will depend on how well you
can handle the latter?s ?what ho!?
panto acting style. I don?t like it really,
but the stories themselves are great,
and I love the interviews with the
authors. ?Why did you decide to set
this story in an office?? asks one of the
hosts. ?Oh, I?d learned how to spell
office and I wanted to use it,? replies
Eric, aged eight. Of course.
Feud brilliantly revives the famed enmity
between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, while
Shamed pokes clumsily at fresher wounds
Euan
Ferguson
@euanferg
Feud: Bette and Joan BBC2/iPlayer
Shamed C4
League of Gentlemen BBC2
Darcy Bussell: Looking for
Fred Astaire BBC1
Alternativity BBC2
The World?s Best Christmas
Lights C4
) A long time ago in a galaxy far,
far away ? in truth, California, in
that seemingly endless early-60s
sunshine that splashed the world in
Kodachrome ? some real star wars
were being fought out, between real
stars. Not just Twitter-spats: there
was real, poisonous, physical on-set
kicking, toxic brie?ngs to either
Hedda燞opper or Louella Parsons, in
the days when one snide columnist
could make Hollywood careers, or
break entire studios. And, when
Joan Crawford died of a heart attack
in her early 70s, Associated Press
telephoned Bette Davis to ask for her
reaction. ?You should never say bad
things about爐he dead, only good. Joan
Crawford is dead. Good.?
This has been the premise, then,
behind the last glorious series of the
year, before we are snowed in under
generally saccharine skies. But FX?s
Feud: Bette and Joan, all eight episodes
of which are now on the BBC iPlayer,
is one ?nal hurrah, and a worthy
reminder of the greatness of much of
our television in the year just ?own.
The opening credits owe much to
Saul Bass?s celebrated Hitchcock title
sequences, lurid and frenzied and
angular: the production values start
high and simply get better as, through
eight episodes suffused under that
impossible California light, we are
taken deep into the heart of the making
of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?,
in which two warring stars, all but
washed-up, play two rival washed-up
ex-Hollywood sisters.
It?s not without its ?aws. I fret
slightly, as I am now starting tentatively
to do with The Crown, that the
vogue for recreating just-memorable
historical events, no matter how
deep the research, how informed
the dramatic speculation, how much
vaultingly better this whole new era
of biopics, still suffers, as it must, from
the creators (Ryan Murphy here, Peter
Morgan for The Crown) needing, for the
sake of drama, to insert actual dialogue
where no such dialogue ever existed.
As we speak, Olivia de Havilland ? now
101 and living, as she has since 1956, in
Paris ? is suing the makers of Feud over
misrepresentation of her character.
No such quibbles over the acting.
Alfred Molina as the (relatively) kind
Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci as the
distinctly unkind pottymouth Jack
Warner, Jackie Hoffman as the German
immigrant maid Mamacita, quite
possibly the only genuine female friend
Joan ever had in her ultimately tragic
life ? all excel, as does Susan Sarandon
as Bette, but Ms Sarandon doesn?t
know how not to excel. The revelation
is Jessica Lange as Crawford, who
bestrides every scene with a onceproud beauty, Joan?s history of abuse,
dhood
of ?erce hard work from childhood
ated
on, shining from those excavated
cheekbones throughout.
There?s little, here or in thee
wford
actual history, to gainsay Crawford
and Davis not having any lovee lost
between them, but you almostt long
oth
for them, so bewitching are both
ad some
lead performances, to have had
faintly civil rapprochement byy the
hly
end (as hinted at in a thoroughly
convincing ?nal-chapter
akes,
hallucination, before Joan wakes,
weeping drunkenly, and dies)..
ud,
Whatever the truths of the feud,
The League of
Gentlemen has lost
little of its grotesque
charm nor its appalling
beslimed humour
?Outstanding?:
?Ou
Fay
Faye Marsay in
Chan
Channel 4 drama
Shamed.
RADIO
I was abducted by arcade aliens
The tale of an 80s urban
legend keeps you
guessing, while Radio 4?s
Serial spoof is a treat
worth staying up for
Miranda
Sawyer
@msmirandasawyer
The Polybius Conspiracy:
Showcase from Radiotopia
radiotopia.fm
The East Coast Listening Post
R4
Story Pirates Gimlet Media
28
Searching for something absorbing
to take you away from the festivities?
A podcast to make the long drives
bearable, the enforced walks
enjoyable? I have something for you.
The Polybius Conspiracy, a seven-part
podcast from Radiotopia?s Showcase
strand, has been out for a couple of
weeks and is an intriguing story, ripe
for binge listening. Be warned: it
doesn?t do exactly what you expect.
Super?cially, it?s a journalistic
unpicking of a tale from the early
1980s. A mysterious video game, now
known as Polybius, appeared in an
arcade in Portland, Oregon. Just a new
black box arcade game. One young
teen, Bobby, played it over and over,
until he felt sick in the head and went
home? and was then, according to him,
abducted by strange people, or peoplelike beings. He escaped and lived to tell
his tale. Unfortunately for Bobby, he
was never believed and this, he claims,
ruined his life. When you hear the
details of his tale, you too will ?nd it
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
hard to believe him. But other people,
other incidents, make you question
your initial scepticism.
There?s some seductive retro
detailing here that recalls Stranger
Things. We learn what gaming arcades
were really like back then: slightly
dodgy places with dubious older men
hanging around as well as kids. We
get a sense of the conspiracy theory
proclivities of gamers, and we too
have our buttons pushed. But what?s
interesting about this podcast ?
other than, obviously, the story ? is
its format燼nd its tone. Journalistic
podcasts from the US are now so
familiar that we accept their style
and structure in the same way as we
do romcoms or TV news. We know
the atmosphere, the language, the
tropes. How the storytellers approach
Bobby, how they choose to tell his tale:
all ridiculously familiar. Everything
soothes us into thinking that we know
what?s coming next, but we don?t.
Also playing with this format is
Classical
?Voluptuous but
restrained magic?:
mezzo-soprano Joyce
DiDonato with
the Brentano String
Quartet at Wigmore Hall.
Photograph by Sophia
Evans for the Observer
Joyce to the world
With a string quartet for company, Joyce DiDonato was at her intimate best. Plus, a blast of Bach and Bernstein
Fiona
Maddocks
@FionaMaddocks
Joyce DiDonato, Brentano
String Quartet
Wigmore Hall, London W1
Christmas Oratorio
Royal Festival Hall, London SE1
Wonderful Town
Barbican, London EC2
?It?s the end of a big year,? Joyce
DiDonato observed with a hint of a
wry grin, a mere roll of those clear blue
eyes. No one thought she was talking
about her own career. She?s American.
Nothing to add right now. She?s been
vocal elsewhere, on the value of
cultural politics since Trump, the plight
of young refugees in camps in Greece
where she performed in the summer,
and her new role as ambassador for
World Voice, which helps children
across the globe learn through singing.
The Kansas-born mezzo-soprano
superstar had reached the closing
moments of her Wigmore Hall recital
on Monday, repeated later in the
week. ?Tomorrow?s another day, the
sun always rises,? she summed up,
delighting in cliche, not misquoting
Hemingway but paraphrasing the
opening line of Richard Strauss?s
Morgen! (1894). Rarely ?ickering
above a whisper, ending mid-air, this
much-loved song intensi?ed rather
than broke the spell that hung over
this sensuous, sensual, at times languid
programme. Her single encore sent
us out into the night on a misty yet
melancholy high.
On the opera stage, DiDonato is
unafraid of grand gesture and, as
required, melodrama. In the intimacy
of Wigmore Hall, she shape-shifted to
an entirely different persona: equally
expressive but now understated,
physically restrained, letting a minutely
gradated range of vocal colours do the
work. This was no standard recital. It did
not invite ?irtation with the pianist or, in
that particular manner of lieder singers,
endless caressing of the piano itself.
Both were absent. Instead, her musical
partner was the Brentano String Quartet.
After Strauss?s ?ve early songs, Op�,
here agreeable as warm-up works of
yearning charm, DiDonato and the
quartet performed Debussy?s sexy
Chansons de Bilitis (1897-8). Originally
for female voice and piano, this version
for string quartet worked its own
voluptuous but restrained magic,
allowing DiDonato to unleash a subtle
and fantastical range of expression.
The imagery and harmonic palette
brushes up against Debussy?s opera,
Pell閍s et M閘isande (1898): hardly
surprising given their proximity of
composition. The arrangement was
made by Jake Heggie, whose song
cycle Camille Claudel: Into the Fire
(2012) ? written for DiDonato ? ?lled
the second half of this beautifully
constructed programme.
Claudel, a French sculptor, was the
oppressed, now we might say abused,
lover of Rodin. Struggling to爀stablish
her own artistic identity ? she set up
a workshop with other female artists
? she was eventually committed to
a psychiatric hospital, dying in an
asylum in 1943.
Heggie, whose Dead Man Walking
comes to the Barbican on 20 February
starring DiDonato, has created a
powerful six-song work, giving full rein
to Claudel?s tortured feelings, from
desire to horror to mental collapse
(the text is by Gene Scheer). The rich
warmth of DiDonato?s voice soared to
the back of Wigmore Hall, while the
excellent Brentano Quartet delivered
Heggie?s singular brand of melodic
semi-minimalism with expert ?uency.
They also played the one-movement
Molto adagio sempre cantante doloroso
? ?My soul is exceeding sorrowful
even unto death? ? by the 17-year-old
Guillaume Lekeu (1870-94), a strange
but agile work by the scarcely known
Belgian who died early of typhoid.
Two events ended the season in
chalk-and-cheese festive style. The
LPO mixed old and new performance
styles in a sprightly account of Bach?s
Christmas Oratorio, conducted with
athletic precision by Vladimir Jurowski
and sung by a large but lithe London
Philharmonic Choir, with assured
soloists led by the tenor Jeremy
Ovenden. The six cantatas, intended
for individual performance between
Christmas Day and Epiphany, call for
different instrumental ensembles.
Trumpets and drums herald the birth
of Christ, pastoral woodwind carol
the shepherds in the ?elds, a pair of
horns announce the circumcision.
All ends with victory over death and
damnation. Special praise to violinists
Kevin Lin and Tania Mazzetti, to the
nimble, unfussy continuo players and
to principal trumpet Paul Beniston.
Beniston started his career as a
Salvation Army cornet player, which
must have meant standing on many a
chilly street corner at this time of year.
With all respect, the Christmas
Oratorio lacks one ingredient: a conga.
It?s the touchstone of Bernstein?s
neglected 1953 musical Wonderful Town,
performed in concert twice by the LSO
and Simon Rattle, wittily directed by
the uncredited Gary Brown. I heard
the second, on Thursday. A terri?c cast,
including Nathan Gunn, Duncan Rock,
David Butt Philip and Ashley Riches,
was led by Alysha Umphress as bookeating Ruth and Danielle de Niese as
her ?zzing sister Eileen.
Rattle has had this score in his
blood since a 1999 EMI recording with
BCMG and London Voices directed
by Simon Halsey, now supremo of the
London Symphony Chorus. (And amid
these long loyalties, nice to see Mark
Elder grinning in the audience. He
staged Wonderful Town with the Hall�
and Manchester Royal Exchange in
2012, having been introduced to it by
Rattle.) The LSO was ampli?ed with
luscious, moody saxophones who, like
the brass, made sure every player knew
how to swing. Rattle applies the same
wild-eyed energy to Broadway as to
Birtwistle, or anything else. By the end,
cast and half the chorus were congaing round the hall. On stage, anarchy
reigned with so many musicians
wearing big white Rattle wigs you
couldn?t tell which was the conductor.
More please. Certainly the most zany
and joyous event of the year.
limited space. Hitting the ideal note
of being easy to learn but with ample
depth, it really is the perfect game for
invigorating Christmas gatherings.
Another superb example of taking
a traditional concept and reinventing
it with new rules is Flick ?Em Up: Dead
of Winter. It revisits the coin-?icking
mechanic of shove ha?penny, but here
the game is played amid cardboard
scenery on an open tabletop ? rather
than a board. Instead of rolling dice
to move, players must ping disks with
a ?nger, using dexterity to charge
about the self-assembled diorama.
The winter theme isn?t as seasonal as
it sounds though. The game is actually
a homage to another board game ? the
zombie-themed Dead of Winter. That
means that in this version of Flick ?Em
Up there?s also plenty of having to
ping tiny weapons at undead targets
with a ?nger. Special cards introduce
a surprising degree of strategy, and
overall it stands out as one of the year?s
most unusual, playful releases, proving
that tabletop games don?t need to be
rigidly constrained in grids, or even
have boards.
Those looking for something a little
more demanding would do well to
check out Gaia Project. With games
lasting from one to three hours thanks
to a wealth of rules, it?s not entirely
family-oriented. But this complex,
detailed and component-heavy game
of building galactic empires is worth
every moment spent learning to play,
and offers a truly brilliant taste of the
upper end of strategy board gaming.
At the other end of the spectrum,
the fantastically fun Rhino Hero: Super
Battle is recommended for players
aged ?ve and up, but should appeal
to adults as well. It involves building
a rickety network of buildings by
balancing cardboard pieces on each
other, and proves that complexity
doesn?t have to be a prerequisite of
quality board game design. It?s fully
deserving of a place on the table come
Christmas Day.
On stage, so many
musicians wore big
white Rattle wigs
you couldn?t tell which
was the conductor
BOARD GAMES ROUNDUP
More family games than
you can shake a dice at?
There?s life beyond the
lead pipe in the library for
your analogue festive
fun, writes Will Freeman
With Christmas Day almost upon
us and much communal jollity in
prospect, there is no need to settle for
the traditional clashes over tripleword scores, Cluedo weaponry or the
precise rules of the free parking kitty.
The renaissance of quality, accessible
strategy board games is so strong that
it de?es accusations that it would be
a passing fad. Whether you?re looking
for last-minute gifts for the family,
or simply an alternative to staring
at the television, this year has seen
some wonderful new additions to the
cardboard realm.
The standout game of the past
12爉onths is Kingdomino, recently
revised after winning the biggest
honour in the world of board games
? the 2017 Spiel des Jahres award.
Suitable for adults and youngsters
alike, the pun of the title encapsulates
this simple but clever concept.
Taking the familiar rules of dominoes
as its basis, this exceptional, fastplaying release offers a competitive
kingdom-builder, reinventing what
is typically a complex, sometimes
bewildering爂enre.
Here the dominoes are oversized
Kingdom-building, with dominoes?
the award-winning Kingdomino: ?easy
to learn but with ample depth?.
cardboard slabs, where numbers have
been replaced with different types
of land, from ?elds and woodland to
ocean and desert. Just enough extra
rules see players striving to build a
bountiful, productive empire in a
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
29
Dance
Birmingham Royal
Ballet?s 2017
production of
The Nutcracker,
at the Royal Albert
Hall in London until
New Year?s Eve.
Photograph by
Thomas Bowles/
Rex/Shutterstock
It?s not Christmas without a
Up and down the land this winter, Clara and the prince of
her dreams will dance through a flurry of snowflakes to
Tchaikovsky ? and packed houses. So what makes this
annual ballet fixture so irresistible, asks Luke Jennings
?Dreams are strangely familiar places,?
says Julie Harris?s narrator in the
1986 ?lm version of The Nutcracker.
?They are not all make-believe, but
only the homely inside of yourself,
like the inner lining of your favourite
coat...? Every winter, Britons ?ock to
productions of The Nutcracker. This
year, six ballet companies, including
the Royal Ballet, English National
Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet,
are presenting versions of the piece
across the UK, where an estimated
quarter of a million people will see
them. The versions differ, but all offer
a dream of Christmas past. A dream
of presents and parties and ?ickering
?relight. Of deep winter, dark nights
and ancient magical beliefs. A dream
that few of us have ever known as a
reality, but which remains a strangely
familiar place.
The work?s popularity guarantees
sold-out houses all over the world.
Many ballet companies, particularly in
the US, are only able to survive because
of their Nutcracker revenues. The
30
piece usually opens in early December
and runs in some cases until late
January. Dancers view the prospect
of anything up to 40 performances of
the piece with a mixture of dread and
anticipation. I?m a critic now, but I used
to be a dancer, and I did my share of
Nutcracker seasons. It was a marathon,
but there was the satisfaction of those
capacity audiences, and the children?s
gasps at the sets and the tutus. There?s
the knowledge that you?re part of
something unique, a theatrical artwork
unlike any other.
For a start, there?s Tchaikovsky?s
sublime score. It?s one of the most
popular and instantly evocative
works in the classical musical
repertoire. From the ?rst ?icker of
the conductor?s baton the music
rushes forward, charged with the
airy thrill of childhood. Then there?s
the choreography, by Lev Ivanov,
which contains some of the loveliest
passages in ballet, and the libretto,
or storyline, by Marius Petipa. It?s a
sentimental tale, sometimes tooth-
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
achingly so, but the saccharine is cut
with psychological insight and a subtle
melancholy.
The annual recurrence of the
ballet, which had its premiere in
St燩etersburg in 1892, is a reminder of
the passage of time. The Royal Ballet
soloist Claire Calvert, who danced
the Sugar Plum Fairy in this season?s
opening matinee at Covent Garden,
has performed in the ballet since 1999,
when she was 11. ?For me, Nutcracker
is Christmas,? Calvert says. She
remembers the excitement of her ?rst
rehearsals at the Royal Opera House,
with her packed lunch in her ballet
bag. ?I was a party child in Act 1, in
a white dress with a ruff at the neck.
And every year since then, there?s been
a new girl in that same dress.?
The Nutcracker, based on a
story by the Prussian writer ETA
Hoffmann, is conventionally set in a
19th-century Nuremberg household.
It?s Christmas Eve, and the Stahlbaums
are entertaining. Outside the snow
whirls, but inside all is warmth and
festivity. For the Stahlbaum children
and their friends, it?s an occasion of
high excitement. There?s a Christmas
tree, games to be played, gingerbread
and marzipan to eat. There?s even a
magician, the mysterious Drosselmeyer.
And at the centre of it all, poised
between childhood and adulthood, is
the Stahlbaum?s daughter Clara (Masha
in Russian productions). Falling asleep,
Clara awakes at midnight to ?nd
everything changed. She is now as tiny
as a porcelain doll. Around her, the toys
come to life, and do battle with invading
mice. An ugly wooden nutcracker that
Drosselmeyer has given to Clara turns
into a prince, and repels the mice. The
adventure begins.
Here, perhaps, is another clue to
the work?s popularity. It transports us
to an idealised childhood that never
existed, but for which we still dimly
yearn. Clara?s world is prosperous,
hermetic and safe. Even as she voyages
to the magical realms conjured by
Drosselmeyer, she never really leaves
the clock-ticking, cinnamon-scented
security of home. Everything that she
encounters is a trans?guration of the
I?m a critic now, but
I used to be a dancer,
and I did my fair share
of Nutcracker seasons.
It was a marathon
familiar into the fantastical. In this and
other respects ? the young heroine?s
shrinking, the cast of anthropomorphic
beings ? The Nutcracker resembles
Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland,
published in London 27 years before
The Nutcracker?s creation.
When the ballet ?rst opened, the
Russian critics were lacerating. The
Nutcracker, one wrote, ?provided
nothing other than boredom to the
public, and many left the theatre before
the end of the performance?. The
presence of so many children on the
stage led others to dismiss the ballet
as infantile. The more perceptive
critics pointed at Petipa?s scenario,
and its structural and narrative
?aws. In Nutcrackers based on this
scenario, Act�works brilliantly.
There?s the party, and there?s Clara, our
protagonist. Drosselmeyer is not just a
conjuror, he has real magical powers.
It?s implicitly suggested that, in Act 2,
we will accompany Clara on a journey
in which she and the prince will play
an active role.
Act 2 reneges on this promise.
When it begins, we ?nd ourselves in
the Kingdom of Sweets, ruled by the
Sugar Plum Fairy. Suddenly this new
character has the glamorous ballerina
role, and Clara and the prince are
relegated to the status of spectators.
And although the divertissements
that follow are entertaining enough,
a spectator is what Clara essentially
remains. The grand pas de deux
Pop
It?s beginning to look
a lot like Elvis?
Magical realms?
Guilherme
Menezes (the
Nutcracker) and
Shiori Kase (Clara),
right, in English
National Ballet?s
production of
The Nutcracker,
at the Coliseum
until 6 January.
Best Christmas album?
Sia comes close, but
this year it?s the King
in all his crooning glory,
writes Marc Burrows
Below: Alexander
Campbell
(Nutcracker) and
Nicol Edmonds
(Mouse King) in
the Royal Ballet?s
production, at the
Royal Opera House
until 10 January.
Bottom: Rudolf
Nureyev, with
an unidentified
Clara, in rehearsal
for The Nutcracker
in New York, 1982.
Photographs by
Tristram Kenton;
Laurent Liotardo;
Getty Images
Nutcracker
(extended duet), which is the ballet?s
musical and choreographic climax, is
danced not by Clara and the prince,
but by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her
consort. Gary Avis, who has danced
the role of Drosselmeyer in the Royal
Ballet?s Nutcracker for more than a
decade, explains that the Sugar Plum
couple are showing Clara what love
can be. ?Two becoming one. The
excitement of being with someone
you燼dore. They?re saying: this is what
you can have.?
Adults get this, but younger
audience members, who have invested
in Clara in Act 1, can ?nd the Act 2
divertissements frustrating. They want
their heroine to have an adventure in
which she plays an active role. They
want a story, not a series of formal set
pieces. I can?t count the times I?ve seen
children leaning forward enthralled as
Act 1 unfolds, only to sink back in their
seats as Act 2 gets under way.
Choreographers and directors have
been tinkering with this issue for more
than a century. In 1919 a new version
of The Nutcracker was created by the
Russian choreographer Alexander
Gorsky. In this version the magical
scenes created by Drosselmeyer are
a dream from which Clara awakes at
the ballet?s end. Gorsky dispenses with
the Sugar Plum Fairy and her partner
and gives their dances to Clara and
the prince. These changes not only
place Clara at the centre of the action
but they give her a romantic storyline.
The ballet becomes her metaphorical
journey from girlhood to womanhood.
If more psychologically satisfying,
Gorskyite Nutcrackers entail their own
challenges. Do you cast a teenage Clara
for Act 1, and a ballerina Clara for the
much more technically demanding
Act� Do you have an adult Clara
dance the whole ballet?
Paradoxically it?s these problems,
and the ongoing attempts to solve
them, that provide another reason
for The Nutcracker?s popularity. It?s a
living, evolving work, not a museum
piece. There are the big traditional
productions ? Balanchine?s for New
York City Ballet, Yuri Grigorovich?s
for the Bolshoi, Peter Wright?s for the
Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal
Ballet ? and there are revisionist
Nutcrackers by Mark Morris, Matthew
Bourne and others. New versions are
born every year.
?Well, we are one more Nutcracker
nearer death,? said the dance critic
Richard Buckle in 1972, and it?s hard
at times not to feel the same way. But
whether you?re a dancer waiting in the
wings, or an audience member settling
into their seat ? whether it?s your ?rst
Nutcracker or your 50th ? something
happens when you hear those ?rst
pizzicato strings. Call it magic, call it
what you will. It gets you every time.
Christmas albums are tricky things.
Strike gold and you?ve got a pay
cheque for life. Get it wrong and it?s
forgotten by the time the season rolls
around again. They can be charmless,
phoned-in collections of standards
(the Michael Bubl� route), shameless
attempts to add new songs to the canon
(Leona Lewis and Kelly Clarkson
both tried recently; Mariah Carey
has a pop every couple of years), or
a genuine celebration of the season
(Sufjan Stevens writes a low-key
Christmas album every year for family
and friends). Whatever the motivation,
stars make an annual grab for the
tinselly pound, and you suspect most
musicians reckon there?s a Christmas
classic inside them. Will the class of
Christmas 2017 still be soundtracking
the sherry this time next year?
Probably not, if we?re honest.
Gwen Stefani?s You Make It Feel
Like Christmas justi?es its title
only because爄t?s both cloyingly
sentimental and charmlessly tacky.
The fun in Jingle Bells is in singing it,
not listening, and no amount of faux
rat-pack swing is going to make it
any more appealing. Her Santa Baby,
like versions by Kylie, Madonna and
Ariana燝rande, bloodlessly retreads
Eartha Kitt; Let It Snow tries to
swing燽ut misses; and adding a 60s
girl-group sheen to Wham!?s Last
Christmas and a key change to Silent
Night (which has rubbed along ?ne
without one for 200爕ears, thanks) is
more evidence of Stefani?s tendency to
over-?g the pudding.
Thank the baby Jesus, then, for
Sia?s燛veryday Is Christmas. If Stefani?s
album was a phoned-in Holiday
Special, Australia?s top pop export
takes things the other way with no
standards and a bare minimum of
sleigh bells. It succeeds by funnelling
the turkey and trimmings through its
star; this isn?t just a Christmas record,
it?s ?rst of all a Sia record. There?s
joyful bounce aplenty in singles Ho
Ho Ho and Candy Cane Lane, while
Snowman, in which the singer tries to
stop her literally frozen boyfriend from
melting, and Underneath the Mistletoe
are as good as any ballad Sia has
delivered. Stefani?s record could
have been made by anybody.
This one is uniquely Sia.
Back in 1997, the
Hanson brothers,
riding high on their
Mmmbop! fame,
released their ?rst
Christmas album,
Snowed In. Though
rarely bothering the
charts since, the trio
have never stopped making
music, and mark the anniversary
of their commercial peak with Finally
It?s Christmas, an album as forgettable
as the past two decades of their career.
There?s a passable run at the Eagles?s
Please Come Home for Christmas,
a too-sugary take on All I Want for
Christmas Is You, and a chirpy version
of Wonderful Christmastime that
shoehorns in a brand new chorus.
You?d admire the chutzpah of
rewriting Paul McCartney if the result
weren?t so bland.
At least Chicago rock veterans
Cheap Trick know how to have a good
time. Their album Christmas Christmas
swings for the same sonic space as
Hanson but does it with far more
unpolished fun. You can feel the proper,
boozy cheer as the band jam the faders
up and rock out unashamedly on Chuck
Berry?s Run Run Rudolph and the
Ramones?s Merry Christmas (I Don?t
Want to Fight Tonight). American
audiences aren?t generally familiar with
The class of Christmas 2017 (from top):
the ?cloyingly sentimental? Gwen Stefani;
Keane?s Tom Chaplin, ?pleasant and
plaintive?; and ?joyful bounce aplenty?
from Sia. Below: Elvis Presley shows
everyone how it?s done.
the British glam classics, so the band
allow themselves faithfully joyous takes
on both I Wish It Could Be Christmas
Every Day and Merry Xmas Everybody.
It?s an unselfconscious blast.
People ask for lots of strange things
for Christmas, but you?d be surprised
to ?nd anyone wishing desperately
for the singer from Keane to cover
East�?s Stay Another Day. Yet here
we are. Tom Chaplin?s Twelve Tales of
Christmas is likable enough, though
his original songs will exit your
brain as quickly as they
enter it. His pleasant and
plaintive爒ocal works
on a stripped-down
Walking In the Air, but
the Pretenders?s 2,000
Miles is charmless,
and his voice lacks
the depth needed to do
justice to Joni Mitchell?s
classic River. Ultimately,
it?s thin stuff.
If Hanson?s cover of All I Want
for Christmas Is You isn?t enough, the
soundtrack album to Mariah Carey?s
animated movie of the same name adds
another two ? Carey?s original and a
near identical version taken from the
?lm. A handful of Carey?s Christmas
songs, including an unremarkable new
one and a few sub-High School Musical
tunes from the movie, are harmless
enough, but this is inessential for
anyone over the age of seven.
Finally, there?s Elvis Presley?s Elvis
Christmas, showing us how it?s done.
The sentimentality of the season
lends itself to tracks that use Presley?s
original vocals over a new score by
the燫oyal Philharmonic Orchestra.
There?s not much levity, save for the
opening swing爋f Santa Claus Is Back in
Town,燽ut Presley?s voice on the gospel
carols is untouchable. Whether the new
arrangements really add much is爑p for
debate, but as a soundtrack to燿inner on
the big day, you won?t ?nd much ?ner.
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
31
Art
Transported
to a world of
barefoot grace
THREE MORE
TO SEE?
Peter Doig
Michael Werner
Gallery, London;
until 17 Feb
Much-feted
Scottish-born,
Caribbean-based
painter returns
with another
tranche of
sumptuous yet
mildly sinister
images.
Shipped as a convict to Tasmania in 1823, the
English artist Thomas Bock made his name
there with portraits of exceptional empathy,
both of colonists and those they displaced
Laura
Cumming
@LauraCummingArtt
Thomas Bock
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; until 11 March
There is a painting in this riveting
exhibition of a child in a red muslin
frock with puffed sleeves and a black
velvet sash. The year is 1842. She might
be any Victorian sitter, posing for her
portrait with hands sedately clasped
in her lap. But there are signs of strain
in her sweet face, the feet are bare and
her dark hair is cropped. Mithina is the
child?s name, and she is an Indigenous
Australian from Flinders Island off
the coast of Tasmania. The painter is
evidently a strange ?gure to her.
He is Thomas Bock (c1793-1855),
and quite possibly unfamiliar to us
as well. For Bock was a convict artist.
He started out with a considerable
reputation for engraving and miniature
painting in Birmingham, where he
lived, and is now being brilliantly
revived by the city?s Ikon Gallery. On
the evidence of his ?ne and sensitive
images, he would surely have become
a燾elebrated portrait painter.
But in April 1823, Bock appeared
at Warwickshire Assizes charged
with ?administering concoctions of
certain herbs to Ann Yates, with the
intent to cause a miscarriage?. He was
a married father of ?ve; Yates was his
pregnant lover. Bock was founded
guilty and sentenced to transportation
for 14 years. He arrived in Hobart, the
capital of Tasmania, aboard the Asia in
January 1824 ? there are deft sketches
of the prison hull, the convicts, the
sailors working, or idling, all the way
through the three-month voyage ? and
never returned to England.
Hobart was an imperial settlement
in a new world. Founded by the British
in 1804 as a penal colony, it was just
?Deeply touching: Thomas Bock?s
Sketchbook of postmortem studies,
c1835. Courtesy Queen Victoria Museum
and Art Gallery
beginning to acquire churches, schools,
courts and the outward semblance of
respectable society; a little England in
Tasmania. Quick sketches show spires
and Georgian houses rising up in the
few dusty streets, in a landscape that
had for thousands of years belonged to
the Indigenous Australians, many of
whom appear in Bock?s paintings.
But to begin with he was employed
engraving notes for the new Bank of
Van Diemen?s Land (as Europeans
initially called Tasmania) and
producing documentary sketches at
the request of the Colonial Surgeon.
These include postmortem drawings
of infants who lived only a few months,
deeply touching in their attempts to
discover the living character of the
children in their dead faces; and visual
records of executed convicts. The
most notorious爋f these was Alexander
Pearce, an Irish prisoner who escaped
jail several times and is alleged to have
become a cannibal to survive in the
wild. Bock?s drawings of his handsome
head, after hanging, recall G閞icault?s
paintings of executed prisoners ?
looking so closely at the features, and
with such sensitivity, that they amount
to portraits.
The Ikon, not incidentally, has a
parallel show in an upper gallery by
the contemporary artist Edmund Clark,
based on a residency at Europe?s only
therapeutic prison, HMP Grendon in
Buckinghamshire. Unlike Bock, Clark
is unable to show prisoner?s faces;
one work is a ?lm of The Oresteia,
performed by inmates in masks;
another depicts them as a series of
pale ghosts on spectral banners; a third
shows the endless round of corridors,
cell blocks and courtyards from which
nobody can escape, in a looped video
with official pixellations. These lives
are effectively censored.
In 19th-century Hobart, however,
Bock was commissioned to paint
prisoners and civilians alike, and
following a conditional pardon in 1832
became Tasmania?s most sought-after
artist. His most extraordinary legacy
is the long sequence of portraits of
Indigenous Australians. The young
warrior with dreadlocks, tribal
markings and a brave but tense face;
the old leader, wary but profoundly
engaged with this strange man sitting at
an easel before him; the young woman,
fur wrapped around strong shoulders.
A beautiful portrait duo shows
Trukanini and her husband, Wurati,
quick as life and full of vitality, proud
yet also palpably desperate (they
have been exiled to the dwindling
Indigenous Australian population on
Flinders Island). Bock gives them the
fullest respect in graceful watercolour.
At the Ikon Gallery the two paintings
hang next to each other like Victorian
vignettes; they might be husband and
wife above a Victorian mantelpiece.
And this is an extraordinary double
world for the modern viewer. On the
one hand, watercolours of colonial
ladies in ringlets and empire waist
dresses, on the other, their exact
contemporaries in beads and furs,
some holding harpoons or torches, as
if they were all equally citizens of some
polite Tasmanian Cranford.
Paper is scarce so the pictures may
Ages of Wonder
Royal Scottish
Academy,
Edinburgh;
until 7 Jan
From Renaissance
masterpieces to
contemporary
Scottish painting:
a century of RSA
collecting.
Cozens and Cozens
Whitworth
Art Gallery,
Manchester;
until 16 June
The great
18th-century
father-and-son
watercolour
painters celebrated
in a joint exhibition.
Mithina, 1842
by Thomas Bock.
Collection
Tasmanian
Museum and Art
Gallery
be small, but no less strong in their
force of personality. Bock catches
Sir John Franklin at a distance, the
governor or Van Diemen?s Land
deep in conversation in a knot of
other colonialists (Franklin will later
vanish on the expedition to discover
the Northwest Passage). He notices
the specially mischievous smile of a
spear-carrying ?sherman, and the
keen anxiety in the intelligent face of a
young Indigenous Australian woman
abducted, and severely maltreated, by
an English whaler. The images, one
feels, often exceed the commission;
Bock sees more than he is paid for.
He was a pioneer in other respects
A beautiful portrait duo
shows Trukanini and
her husband, Wurati,
quick as life, proud yet
also palpably desperate
too. Some astonishingly candid chalk
nudes of his second wife (with whom
he had another ?ve children; his ?rst
family were all dead by 1845) attest to
Bock?s endlessly tender line. And he
made stunning daguerreotypes, the
?rst in Tasmania, of which there is
a case in this show. Double portraits
capture the shadows of people from
the long-ago past on tiny silver plates.
Bock?s subtle eye for family affinities
and close relationships immediately
strikes home in these intimate objects
with their burnished frames.
Empathy seems to me to be his
legacy. An empathy for his fellow
convicts, for the desperate white
men thrust into this new world; but
even more for those driven out by the
colonists. His portraits amount to a
memorial for an indigenous people
dying out even as he painted and
drew them. Bock is now described as
an English-Australian artist, but that
doesn?t seem quite right. For the best of
his work surely belongs to Australia.
As a flawseeking
missile, I
know how
easy it is to
allow bad
relations
to fester
Agony aunt
Mariella
Frostrup
Observer
Magazine
page 54
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
33
Books
SHORT STORY
Bethany
on Jura
A chance discovery leads George Orwell fanatic Bethany Mellmoth
on a pilgrimage to the Scottish island where Nineteen Eighty-Four
was written. But what will she ?nd there? By William Boyd
B
ethany Mellmoth hasn?t really
registered the nature of the
person sitting beside her as she
makes the long tube journey
homewards from her place of
work, from Dalston, in the very
east of London, to Fulham in
the fairly far west. Male, tall, possibly
a smoker ? she can smell the cigarette
smoke on him ? would be the best
description she could muster, if asked.
She?s reading, not paying attention.
But, as they pull into Fulham Broadway
station, this indeterminate male stands
up and makes his way through the
crowd to the doors. Bethany follows.
34
The train is full and some schoolkids
are larking about, bumping into people.
Bethany sees a book drop from the
man?s bag as they brush clumsily by
him and she stoops to pick it up. She
grabs it and is swept out by the crowd
on to the platform.
?Hey! You?ve dropped ? ?
But he?s gone, lost in the surging
stream of impassive commuters
heading home. He probably never
even noticed it had fallen, she thinks,
such was the scrum at the door. She
stands there and looks at the book
in her hand ? a hardback, wrapped
in brown paper, as if to protect the
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
jacket. What should she do? She goes
to a bench and sits down. It?s just a
book, maybe it wasn?t very important
to him. She opens it and reads on
the title page: Nineteen Eighty-Four
by George Orwell. She closes her
eyes. Opens them. Fulham Broadway
tube station seems to bend and swirl
around her, hallucogenically. She
feels the skin across her shoulders
tighten and she shivers. Is this a joke?
Her gaze searches the people on the
platform but nobody is looking at her.
But it must be some kind of sign, she
thinks. George Orwell is her favourite
writer; she reveres George Orwell.
In fact, she reveres him so much that
she?s contemplating writing a novel
herself ? a homage to Nineteen EightyFour ? that she?s going to call 2084.
But nobody knows this except her.
Nobody in the entire world. What?s
going on?
Bethany is ?between boyfriends? as
she likes to put it. She has unilaterally
abandoned her latest boyfriend, Aldous,
the standup comic, as he was clearly
insane, but as to who her next boyfriend
will be she has no idea, currently.
She?s not perturbed, in fact she?s quite
enjoying these weeks of celibacy, these
weeks of self-indulgence. She?s moved
back home, symbolically, into the
granny ?at in her mother?s house in
Hollywood Road, Fulham, SW6.
She lets herself into the basement
? she can tell her mother?s in, she
can hear music: there?s always music
playing in her mother?s bit of the house.
She dumps her rucksack, sits at her
desk and carefully unpeels the sticky
tape that secures the book?s brownpaper wrapper to reveal the dust jacket
beneath. Green background, white
cursive script, the words ?nineteen
eighty-four? (no capitals) overlaying
the paler white numbers: 1984. She
opens the book delicately as the pages
are stiff, yellowing somewhat. On the
title page is an inscription in black
ink: ?To Ailsa McTurk, with thanks,
Geo. Orwell?. Bethany closes her eyes
again, hearing the rushing of blood in
her ears, her cheeks hot. This is getting
out of control. Further investigation
reveals that the book is a ?rst edition,
Secker and Warburg, 1949, and, on the
endboard at the back there is a new
small sticky label: ?www.Orwelliana.
com, Isle of Jura, Scotland?.
A moment at her laptop, ?nding
the website, uncovers more details.
Orwelliana is an antiquarian bookseller
on the Isle of Jura, off the west coast of
Scotland. Bethany needs no reminding
? Jura was where Orwell actually wrote
Nineteen Eighty-Four. And there?s a
telephone number. She makes the call
and a woman answers. Bethany tells her
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Accra, Ghana, in 1952, William
Boyd grew up there and in Nigeria. He
went to Gordonstoun school in Scotland
and studied at the universities of Nice,
Glasgow and Oxford before becoming a
lecturer in English literature at St Hilda?s
College, Oxford in 1980. His ?rst novel,
A Good Man in Africa, was published
in 1981. Since then, he has received
worldwide acclaim for his novels, which
include An Ice-Cream War, Stars and
Bars, The New Confessions, Waiting
for Sunrise and Sweet Caress.
He is a proli?c screenwriter
and has adapted several
of his own novels for ?lm
and TV, most recently a
four-part version of Any
Human Heart for Channel
4. In 1998, Boyd caused
a stir on both sides of the
Atlantic when he conspired
with David Bowie to publish the
fake biography, Nat Tate: An American
Artist. His new short story collection,
The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, is
published by Viking (�.99).
what happened, how she came to have
this precious book in her possession.
Her love of Orwell. The extraordinary
coincidence. Hello? The woman on
the end of the phone has gone silent
for a moment. Then she says: ?Yes,
yes. That?s, ah, wonderful. Wonderful,
wonderful. It?s ours. Our courier lost it.?
?Would you like me to bring it back
personally?? Bethany hears herself
saying. ?I?d be more than happy to.?
Another silence. Bethany now
recognises that the woman has a slight
South African accent. Bethany thinks
she?s talking to someone in the room.
?That?s very kind of you,? the woman
says. ?We would pay all expenses.?
Pause. ?And a reward.?
?I don?t want a reward,?
Bethany says ? thinking: Jura.
Bethany on Jura. ?It would be
a privilege and an honour.?
Bethany goes upstairs to
her mother?s portion of the
house. Her mother is removing
the decorations from the Christmas
tree that she installed three days
before. She and Bethany had spent
two hours decorating that tree on
15 December. Now all the tinsel and
baubles are going back in their燽oxes.
?What?s going on, Mum ? Allanah??
?Festive drama at its
very best: Victoria:
Comfort and Joy?
page 40
�
ILLUSTRATIONS BY
MARCIN WOLSKI
Bethany asks, surprised, turning down
the volume of the music that?s playing
(?Radio Gaga?). Bethany?s mother has
recently asked her to stop calling her
?Mum? or ?Mummy? and to use her
Christian name instead. Bethany is still
not accustomed to the change. When
she asked her mother why she wanted
to be called Allanah her mother had
simply said: ?Because it?s right. It?s the
right time.?
?Why? I want to call you Mummy.?
?You can?t. You?re 24 years old.?
?Twenty-?ve.?
?Exactly. So it should be woman to
woman, not child to mother.?
?If you insist.?
?I?m afraid I do, darling.?
Allanah goes into the kitchen and
reappears, e-cigarette poised.
Bethany plunges in. ?I?m going away
for a few days,? she says, ?but I?ll be back
before Christmas.?
?Don?t hurry home,? Allanah says. ?I
was going to tell you. That?s why I?m
dismantling the tree. I?m going away
myself ? to Ghana with Kwaku.? Kwaku
is her mother?s Ghanaian boyfriend.
?You?ve got your own keys ? I?ll ?ll the
fridge before we go.?
?I can buy food, Allanah,? Bethany
says.
?Where are you going??
?Jura.?
?Jura??
?Scotland. An island.?
?Christmas in Scotland. Fabulous. I
envy you, darling. Amazing, wonderful.?
The antiquarian bookseller is in a
small side street in Mayfair. Looking
through the plate-glass window
Bethany can see it is very dark inside
and there seem only to be a few dozen
books on the many solid shelves.
Bethany pushes the door open and
hears a bell tinkle, as in a Dickens novel.
At the far end a young man appears
in a three-piece suit and a bow tie.
Even in the gloom Bethany can see he
has ?aming orange hair ? almost like
high-vis hair, she thinks, and wonders
what torments he endured at school.
They greet each other and she sits down
opposite him at his desk. He has even
features ? quite nice features, in fact ?
very pale skin and a defensive, haughty
demeanour. Because of his hair, Bethany
supposes.
She tells him she has a friend who
has inherited a signed, dedicated, ?rst
edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four and she
wonders how much it might cost.
?Signed, dedicated, ?rst edition?? the
bookseller asks, sceptically. ?Very rare,
On the title page is
an inscription in
black ink: ?To Aisla
McTurk, with
thanks, Geo. Orwell?
with dedications.?
?Yes. With a dust jacket, also.?
Bethany can see he?s still doubtful,
but growing excited, despite himself.
?The dedicatee?? he asks.
?Someone called Ailsa McTurk.?
?How?s it signed??
?Geo, full stop, Orwell.?
?What colour is the dust jacket??
?Green.? She smiles. ?My friend was
keen to know how much it was worth.?
He thinks for a moment.
?I?d offer you �0,000. Subject to
inspection.?
He gives her his card.
The journey to Jura is fairly
complicated. Bethany ?ies to Glasgow
on a jet and waits three hours before she
takes another plane (propeller) to the
island of Islay, south of Jura. From Islay
airport there is a bus journey to Port
Askaig where she then takes a short
ferry ride across the half-mile of the
Sound of Islay to Feolin, the ferry port
on Jura. Then it?s another bus the few
miles to Jura?s only village, Craighouse,
with its one hotel (with a bar) and
a爏hop.
On the way she has plenty of time to
read. She has George Orwell?s diaries
that cover the two years of his stay on
Jura ? 1946-48 ? and so she thinks she
knows roughly what to expect: a long
thin mountainous island (27 miles
long, approximately); one side, west,
unpopulated, with Atlantic beaches,
the other side facing the mainland, the
promontory of Argyll. Orwell came
to Jura for isolation, she knows, and
for Jura?s surprisingly mild weather.
Orwell?s house, Barnhill, is at the
northern tip of the island, 20-odd
miles away from Craighouse. Once she
has returned the book to Orwelliana,
Bethany tells herself, she?s going to
make a pilgrimage to Barnhill, come
what may. It might inspire her own
2084, she reasons. She might pick up
the Orwell vibe.
Sitting on the bus from Feolin to
Craighouse Bethany sees the lemony
afternoon sun light the round brown
tops of the three stark mountains at the
island?s southern end, three mountains
known as the Paps of Jura. It?s
surprisingly mild, given that Christmas
2017 is coming up fast. Bethany pulls
her beanie cap off and shakes down her
long hair. A young man with red-framed
spectacles, reading a book, looks up and
round at her and smiles.
The South African woman ? whose
name is Marelize Swanepoel, Bethany
now knows ? has given her directions
from the hotel. Bethany tramps up a
sloping track leading off Jura?s only
main road towards a large modernlooking bungalow set in an overgrown
?eld. A big maroon 4x4 stands parked
outside and on the front door is a sign, in
cod-Celtic lettering, saying ?Welcome
to Orwelliana?. Somehow Bethany feels
that George wouldn?t approve. She rings
the bell.
The door is opened and Bethany ?nds
herself confronting a thin-faced but
attractive young woman with a tousled
mass of dense blond hair, wearing a
denim dress and a pale blue ?eece.
?You can only be Bethany,? she says,
and leans forward to give her a dry kiss
on the cheek. ?Our saviour.?
Bethany tries not to look at the silver
steel pole of Marelize?s prosthetic right
Continued overleaf
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
�
35
Books
� Continued from previous page
leg, set securely in an acid-green trainer,
as she follows her through to the office,
a light-?lled room with a wide view of
the stretch of water ? the Bay of Small
Isles ? between Craighouse and the
Argyll shore beyond. There are three
long shelves all ?lled with editions
of Orwell?s books and books about
him. Piled in the corner are huge rolls
of bubble wrap and bales of padded
envelopes. On a desk is a computer and
a franking machine.
Antiquarian bookselling in the
internet age, Marelize explains. Who
needs a bookshop any more?
?Buying an Orwell book from Jura is
our USP,? she says, showing Bethany the
customised franking label (Orwelliana
overlaid on an outline of Jura) that
they insert into the franking machine.
?You wouldn?t believe how many
people will pay more for this baby.?
She places her hand on the franking
machine and smiles. A lips-only smile,
Bethany thinks, as she rummages in
her rucksack for Nineteen Eighty-Four
and hands it over. She has protected
it with a simple parcel of corrugated
cardboard and, as she looks around at
the rolls of bubble wrap and the heaps
of padded envelopes, a thought comes
to her suddenly: why was this ?courier?
carrying the book wrapped only in
brown paper? Why was it not sealed
in its own bubble-wrapped, padded
envelope?
Marelize is addressing this very topic.
She tells Bethany that the courier ?
from a small but very reputable ?rm;
all Orwelliana?s expensive editions are
hand-delivered ? is now wanted by the
police, accused of theft.
?Did you tell them I had the book?
The police??
?What? Yes, I think so. Weren?t you
contacted??
?No.? Bethany thinks back. ?I can?t
really describe the man, either. It all
happened in a ?ash.?
?They?ll get him, don?t worry,?
Marelize says, unconcernedly, placing
the book in a glass-fronted cabinet with
a lock. ?Would you like a whisky? Cup
of tea??
?Got to be a whisky,? a man?s voice
says. Bethany turns to see the stranger
from the bus, the man with the redframed spectacles who smiled at her.
Marelize mock-punches him on
the燼rm.
?Alcoholic,? she says and introduces
him. ?This is Mister Nolan Rees, my
surgeon. He?s the man who chopped my
leg off.?
Bethany unpacks her rucksack, her
head in something of a whirl. She is in a
small, thick-walled, two-roomed cottage
with a shower and WC a hundred yards
up the track from Orwelliana. She had
booked a room in the Jura hotel but
Marelize had insisted she stay with
them. This was the Orwelliana guest
cottage ? free, stay as long as you like,
we?ll all have supper tonight. The
cottage is functional ? carpet tiles, good
junk-shop furniture ? the walls ?lled
with reproductions of photographs
of George Orwell at various stages of
his life. Bethany feels she knows this
face as well as her distant, divorced
father?s ? almost. The thick hair, the
deep seams on either side of the thin
mouth, the ? frankly ? incredibly stupid
little moustache lying along the top of
his upper lip like a bit of edged furze,
the omnipresent cigarette. The cottage
comes with a pair of state-of-the art,
multi-geared mountain bikes. Orwell?s
house, Barnhill, is hard to reach, at the
end of a muddy dirt road. Marelize says
it?ll take her a day to get there and back.
At dinner Bethany meets Marelize?s
husband, Lachlan Ballater. He?s a lean,
quiet man with short prematurely grey
hair and a polite Scottish accent. He?s
one of those men, Bethany quickly
decides, who seem, annoyingly, to be
always laughing quietly to themselves
as if permanently amused by the world?s
inanity. Nolan Rees, the surgeon, is
also there and Bethany warms to him
more. He seems genuinely interested
in her Orwell ?xation and keeps saying:
?Yes, yes, fascinating man? as Bethany
rambles on, wondering who this Ailsa
McTurk was, trying to imagine what
Jura must have been like for Orwell in
the late 1940s ? the deprivation, the
hardships, the isolation ? almost but not
quite telling them about 2084. Lachlan
doesn?t say much and does the cooking
36
and clears the dishes. Bethany wonders
if this is because Marelize only has
one leg but she seems pretty mobile as
she jumps up to replenish their wine
glasses.
Then, over coffee, Marelize tells
Bethany how she lost her leg and the
convivial atmosphere in the room sours,
immediately. It happened in Morocco,
Marelize says, looking squarely
at燣achlan.
?We?d rented a villa and a car. Lachlan
backed the car out too quickly and
crushed me against a wall. My leg was
broken in a dozen places. Shattered.?
Lachlan sits there silently, not
laughing to himself any more, Bethany
notices, as Marelize outlines in
some detail the excruciating pain
she suffered, no anaesthetic seemed
to work, even on the air ambulance
summoned to ?y her to the Royal
In?rmary in Glasgow.
?I thought I was going to lose the
whole leg, up to the hip,? Marelize
says. ?But this wonderful man beside
me worked his magic. And here I am
today.? She lifts up her prosthetic leg for
everyone to see. Then kisses Nolan Rees
on the lips, quickly. Nolan laughs it off.
?She was a very brave girl,? he
says.�Very.?
After dinner Bethany asks if she
can step outside to smoke a cigarette.
Lachlan joins her. They are both rolling
their own.
?Orwell rolled his own,? Bethany
says, keen to break the silence. ?Smoked
like a chimney.?
?I don?t know very much about
Orwell,? Lachlan says. ?I work for the
Forestry Commission. Orwelliana
is Marelize?s business. My house,
her燽usiness.?
?Oh, right.?
?Sorry about the Marelize show,
by the way,? Lachlan says, drily.
?Everybody has to go through it.?
He draws on his roll-up. ?It?s my
punishment for the accident. My
penance.? He looks at Bethany. ?My own
little circle of hell.?
Standing beside him like this stirs
something in Bethany?s memory. She
glances at his pro?le as he turns away.
She smells the smoke from his cigarette.
The conviction creeps up on her and
settles. Retrospective recognition.
Memories cohering late in the day.
Lachlan Ballater was the man on the
tube at Fulham Broadway. Of course. He
was the man who dropped the book as
he left the train?
Back inside Bethany drinks too much
Isle of Jura whisky, as a nightcap is
offered (and re-offered), troubled by
this revelation and what its implications
might be. Why? What was going on?
What?s the motive, here? She feels
distinctly unsteady as she walks away
She picks up a ?inty
pebble and puts it in
her pocket; breaks o?
a sprig of heather and
folds it into her map
from Orwelliana. She pauses for a
moment, getting her bearings, realises
she?s gone down the hill instead of up
and turns about. She switches on the
torch device on her mobile phone and
plods up the track towards the cottage.
She stops. Somebody is at the front door.
?Hello!? she shouts. ?Can I help you??
The ?gure darts away and disappears
completely into the night. Bethany
inhales, smelling only the whisky on
her own breath. Too much to drink, girl.
You?re imagining things.
She stands at the front door searching
for her keys, then remembers there
aren?t any. Nothing is locked on Jura,
Marelize had boasted. Bethany reaches
for the door handle then pauses. There
is something odd hanging from the
door. She switches on her phone, shines
the light.
It?s a dead rat, its tail tied to the doorknocker.
She somehow sti?es her scream,
reeling back, feeling sick. She knows
what this means. Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Room 101. Winston Smith and the rat
torture. ?The worst thing in the world.?
Somebody is trying to frighten her away.
Bethany does not sleep well, even
though she?s dragged a chest of drawers
to block the door. With a stick she had
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
knocked the rat off the knocker and
kicked it into the darkness of the night.
She is up before dawn, makes herself a
cup of tea and plans her day ahead. She
knows it was Lachlan who put the rat
on the door ? he must have sensed her
mood-change, sensed her suspicion,
somehow. Anyway, she decides, she will
go to Orwell?s house then leave Jura,
and Orwelliana, forever. She needs no
more encouragement.
She cycles one of the mountain
bikes down into Craighouse and buys a
sandwich and a bottle of water before
heading north up the A846 along the
edge of the Sound of Jura, the Kintyre
peninsula appearing through the mists
on her right-hand side, the craggy
hills looming on the left. It looks like
being another crisp sunny day. She
cycles on, making good time, along
the undulating single-track road. She
stops for lunch and eats her sandwich,
looking at a small herd of deer on the
hillside opposite. Down below on a
rocky bay is a small white house with
a jetty. Bethany imagines herself living
there, tending her vegetable garden,
writing 2084 undisturbed by the world
and its demanding business. It has a
powerful appeal, she admits to herself,
?nding the prospect of returning to
London, and her job as a gallerina in a
Dalston art gallery, depressing ? not to
say燿emeaning.
Onwards, she says to herself. An
hour later she reaches the end of the
metalled road. A dirt track stretches
ahead through the tough grass and
heather and there is a sign: ?PATH TO
CORRYVRECKAN. Barnhill 4 miles. No
motor vehicles.? She cycles on.
B
arnhill is exactly as she
pictured it, except whiter
than it appears in the old
photographs, and somewhat
larger than she imagined,
still isolated on its low hill
and rocky cliffs. Beyond is
the silvered stretch of water that is the
Sound of Jura with its small islands and
Loch Crinan opposite on the mainland.
Bethany feels her shoulders hunch and
she shivers, feeling the Orwell vibe, she
hopes. She leans her bicycle against a
fence post and walks down towards the
house, thinking: this is almost exactly
as it was for George Orwell, 70 years
ago. The house seems empty ? it can
be rented, she knows ? but there is no
sign or indication anywhere that this
was where Orwell lived and where
Nineteen Eighty-Four was written. For
some reason she thinks he?d be pleased
by this indifference. She picks up a
?inty pebble and puts it in her pocket;
breaks off a sprig of heather and folds
it into her map. She inhales, exhales,
printing everything as best she can
on her memory. Then she hears the
sound of an engine and looks around.
Up above, where the track is, she sees
some birds take ?ight, disturbed.
She clambers back up to where she
left her bicycle. Both tyres are ?at. She
tries to pump them up but they won?t
in?ate. She ?nds the small holes where
they were punctured. She doesn?t
believe these punctures were caused
by the rocky terrain she has covered.
And there was that noise of a vehicle.
First a rat and now her bike sabotaged.
She gets the message. Leave. Now.
Thanks,燣achlan.
Bethany arrives back in Craighouse
after dark. She has managed to have
her punctures repaired at a farmhouse
in Ardlussa, her irritation eased
somewhat by the thought that this
was where Orwell would come from
Barnhill to collect his post, twice a
week. She goes straight to her cottage
? all lights are blazing in Orwelliana,
the maroon 4x4 parked innocently
in the driveway. She ?nds the card
she was looking for. Grenfell Gower,
Antiquarian Booksellers. Time to talk to
Grenfell, she reckons, he of the ?aming
orange爃air.
Grenfell sounds more friendly on
the phone and is surprised to hear from
her ? and even more surprised when he
learns she?s telephoning from Jura.
?If I was going to sell you that
?rst edition,? she asks, ?what would
you燾heck??
?The book itself is easy to verify,?
Grenfell says. ?It?s the dedication
that gives one pause ? assuming the
handwriting and the signature match. I
mean ? who is this Ailsa McTurk? I?ve
never heard of her ? then I?m not an
Orwell expert.?
?I?ve never heard of her either,?
Bethany says. ?And I am a bit of an
Orwell expert. In all modesty.?
?The ?rst edition was published in
1949, Orwell died when??
?Saturday, January 21st, 1950,?
Bethany says, instantly.
?Well, this Ailsa McTurk was
probably someone on Jura, most likely.?
The next morning, Bethany stands on
the small stone pier that is Craighouse?s
harbour looking for an old person. She
wanders up and down scanning the
passers-by. She sees a man with grey
hair coming out of the distillery and
approaches him. It?s hard to tell how old
people are, she realises. Everybody who
isn?t obviously young seems old to her.
She introduces herself and asks if he?s
from Jura.
?Born and bred,? the man says. ?How
can I help you??
?I?m trying to ?nd out about a woman
called Ailsa McTurk ? who might have
known George Orwell in 1948.?
He frowns and says the name
McTurk a few times. ?You?d better ask
my mother,? the man says. ?She knows
everybody on Jura.?
The man?s mother lives in a cottage
beyond the distillery. She?s a small,
Barnhill
Port Askaig
JURA
SOUND
OF
JURA
I S L AY
Craighouse
10 miles
bright-eyed woman with ?oaty white
hair like thistledown.
?Ailsa McTurk is long dead,? she says.
?I knew her daughter ? she?s dead too.?
Bethany asks if there?s any George
Orwell connection.
The old lady ponders. ?She lived up
at Ardlussa. I think she may have helped
with the wee boy.?
?That would be Orwell?s adopted son,
Richard,? Bethany says. ?He was just a
toddler. Two years old.?
?Aye. Ailsa McTurk is buried in
Kilearnadil cemetery if you?d like to visit
her grave.?
?Where?s that??
?Up the road to Keils and turn left.?
?Ailsa McTurk. 1904-1950?. Bethany
stands in the small graveyard, all
tussocky grass and leaning headstones,
and takes a photograph of Ailsa
McTurk?s grave. She has done an
internet search and can ?nd no
connection at all between George
Orwell and this woman ? this dedicatee
of a ?rst edition of Nineteen EightyFour. Not that the absence means
anything, Bethany realises. She thinks
of all the people she?s known in her 25
years ? dozens, hundreds ? and how
few of them would actually ?gure in
a biography of her life. Perhaps Ailsa
McTurk was a babysitter, or took little
Richard Orwell for walks, and George
was duly grateful.
She jumps a bit as her phone rings
? strange to be called in this remote
cemetery. It?s Grenfell Gower.
?Thought you?d like to know,? he
says. ?A signed, dedicated ?rst edition of
Nineteen Eighty-Four has just been sold
to an American university ? $220,000.?
Bethany knows what she?s meant to
ask next.
?Who?s it dedicated to??
?Someone called Ross Sherrifmuir.
Ever heard of him??
Bethany returns to Orwelliana to
pack up her bits and pieces and say
farewell. She?s going to catch the
?David Walliams? children?s
tale Ratburger is a grisly,
grease-slathered delight?
TV, page 46
�
ferry back to Islay and head on from
there to Glasgow. She rings the bell
of Orwelliana ? no reply. She opens
the燿oor.
?Hello? Lachlan? Marelize? It?s me??
No reply. The house is empty.
Nothing is locked on Jura, after all.
Bethany stands there. She knows
she shouldn?t do what she?s going to
do next but the opportunity is there
and must be taken. She slips into the
office. The glass- fronted cabinet has
its key obligingly left in the lock. Inside
there are numerous ?rst editions: she
spots Coming Up For Air, Animal Farm
and Keep the Aspidistra Flying and, the
ones she?s looking for, four copies of
Nineteen Eighty-Four. All the editions of
Nineteen Eighty-Four, unlike the others,
are signed and dedicated. There?s Ailsa
McTurk, but also dedications to Jennie
Forfar, Neil Langbane and Stuart Skaith.
Bethany steps back into the hallway,
listening ? silence. She lines up the
editions of Nineteen Eighty-Four and
takes photographs of their title pages
with the dedications. She puts them
back in the cabinet and almost locks it
? then remembers. Seconds later, she?s
back outside. The maroon 4x4 turns
into the driveway. Marelize is at the
wheel and Nolan Rees is beside her.
?Hi,? Bethany smiles. ?I just rang the
bell but no one was there. I wondered if
I could stay on for a couple more days.?
?Our pleasure, dear,? Marelize says,
not smiling back. ?It?s the least we
can燿o.?
Back in Kilearnadil cemetery,
Bethany prowls around. There?s still
enough light left in the afternoon sky
for her to read the inscriptions. It takes
her 10 minutes to ?nd the graves of
Jennie Forfar, Neil Langbane, Stuart
Skaith and Ross Sherrifmuir. All of them
died in 1950, the year after Nineteen
Eighty-Four was published. She takes
photographs of the headstones and
sends them to Grenfell Gower. She
knows what?s happening, now ? as,
indeed, will Grenfell. The next step is
going to be the tricky one.
Bethany is waiting outside the Jura
hotel. It?s cold. There?s a smell in the
air ? a distillery smell, she thinks, not
surprisingly given there?s a great big
distillery about 30 yards away. What
would that be? Barley. Yes. Barley
fermenting or something. She has called
Marelize and asked her to meet in the
hotel bar but then has decided against
that. Too many people who know
Marelize. Best to keep it one on one as
it?s so delicate, not to say potentially
explosive. So she waits outside,
smoking, until she sees Marelize
walking along the front towards her.
Bethany stands on her roll-up and goes
to meet her.
?What?s going on, Bethany? What?s
all this cloak and dagger stuff ??
?This is very awkward,? Bethany
begins, ?but I think you should know.
The person who dropped that edition
of Nineteen Eighty-Four on the tube in
London was Lachlan. I recognised him.?
Marelize doesn?t respond. She visibly
stiffens, however, arching her back.
?What are you saying? Exactly.?
Bethany takes a deep breath. Squares
her shoulders.
?I think he?s been forging the
dedications to those ?rst editions of
Nineteen Eighty-Four,? she says. ?He?s
selling them for hundreds of thousands
of pounds.?
Marelize listens as Bethany tells her
what she?s discovered. She nods, mutely.
Then she asks a couple of questions.
Bethany mentions an ?antiquarian
bookseller? in London who has given
her crucial information ? this seemed
to be particularly devastating news
to Marelize. She asks the name of
the bookseller and Bethany tells her.
Grenfell Gower. Marelize appears to
slump and says, quietly: ?Oh God, oh
God, no.? Then Bethany tells her about
the graves in Kilearnadil cemetery ?
the燾lincher.
?Thank you,? Marelize says, in a
little strangled voice. ?Leave everything
to me, please. I think it?s best if you
stay燼way.?
?God, yes. I?ll get a room in the hotel.?
?Give me 24 hours. I?ll sort
everything爋ut.?
?I?m sorry, Marelize. I thought I had
to tell you.?
?Yes.? She thinks. ?Yes. Thank you,
Bethany.?
She turns and walks slowly ?
thoughtfully, Bethany thinks, her head
bowed ? back to Orwelliana.
What have I done? Bethany
asks herself. This was meant to be
a爌ilgrimage.
Bethany waits until noon the next
day before returning to Orwelliana.
The maroon 4x4 isn?t there but, to her
surprise and embarrassment, Lachlan
Ballater opens the door.
?I was looking for Marelize,? Bethany
says, sensing her blush spreading.
?I?m afraid she?s gone,? Lachlan says,
?atly. ?Done a runner. She?s left me. Run
off with her bloody surgeon ? sorry,
her lover. She did leave a note, though.?
He smiles his cynical, amused smile. ?I
should have seen it coming, I suppose.
The husband?s always the last to know.?
Bethany is feeling a little sick.
?Could I just have a quick look in
the office?? she says. Lachlan leads the
way. Bethany goes to the glass-fronted
cabinet. The four copies of Nineteen
Eighty-Four are gone. Of course.
Evidence destroyed. She tells him about
last night?s conversation with Marelize.
The graves in Kilearnadil cemetery.
She gabbles a bit as she explains her
reasoning: it must have been Nolan Rees
who was sitting beside her on the tube
that day when he accidently dropped
the book getting off. Maybe he was
down in London trying to sell it ? he and
Marelize working in tandem.
?I think I owe you an apology,
Lachlan,? Bethany says.
?How could I have got it so wrong??
she continues, exasperated. ?I was
convinced it was you.?
?There?s the benign paradox,? he says,
nodding, thinking it over. ?Your entirely
wrong assumption led you to solve the
mystery. In a way.?
?I suppose I should be pleased. But
I?m sort of irritated.?
?Think about it.? Lachlan says. ?Very
smart. Five ?rst editions of Nineteen
Eighty-Four, all dedicated to genuine
Jura folk after the book was published,
all very plausible.?
?Half a million pounds,? Bethany
says. ?Not bad for a running-away
fund.?
?More. If they were clever.?
?Yes? They?d take their time selling
them, I suppose.?
?Don?t ?ood the market.?
?Sell around the world. Here, the
States, Australia??
They both pause, considering the
nature of the scheme. Bethany is quite
impressed.
?I suppose it was Nolan Rees who
hung the rat on my door and punctured
my bicycle tyres,? she says. ?Wanted me
off Jura.?
Lachlan looks at her, shrewdly. He?s
really rather attractive in his laconic
way, Bethany thinks, feeling sorry for
him, what with his wife using him
like this for her elaborate fraud, then
running off with her boyfriend.
?They must have sensed you were
dangerous in some way,? Lachlan
muses. ?Your Orwell obsession spooked
them. Didn?t want another expert
sniffing around.?
?I?m hardly an expert. I came here
on a pilgrimage,? Bethany says. ?I had
no爄dea.?
?What can I do to thank you??
Lachlan says. ?You name it.?
Bethany has her answer ready.
?Can I stay on in the cottage until the
new year?? she says. ?My mother?s gone
to spend Christmas in Ghana.?
Bethany opens her laptop. There?s a
small ?re glowing in the hearth and the
wind has got up outside. She has food
and drink, the world and its demanding
business is far from her door, just as it
was for George Orwell when he came
to Jura. And Lachlan Ballater has asked
her to Christmas dinner.
Bethany straightens her back, ?exes
her ?ngers.
?2084,? she types, ?a Novel by
Bethany Mellmoth.?
100 BEST NONFICTION
BOOKS OF ALL TIME
By Robert McCrum
NO 99
The History of
the World
Walter Raleigh (1614)
Raleigh is one of
those larger-thanlife characters ? an
inveterate buccaneer
and a gifted poet, parodied by
Shakespeare ? who has long been an
object of awestruck anecdote. See, for
instance, John Aubrey?s sexual gossip
about Raleigh in Brief Lives (No 54 in
this series).
Raleigh had sprung to prominence
under Elizabeth I, for whom he acted
as an explorer and coloniser, notably
in Virginia. His devotion to Gloriana
made him suspect in the eyes of her
successor. On the queen?s death in
1603, he was tried for high treason on
trumped-up charges and imprisoned
in the Tower of London.
In this far from ideal research
library, Raleigh embarked on his
History of the World, with the aid of
several assistants and the more than
500 books that he was allowed to
keep in his quarters. This remarkable
work of English vernacular would
become a late Jacobean bestseller.
Written during the ?rst seven years
of his long (1603-1616) incarceration,
The History of the World seems to
have been intended for Henry, Prince
of Wales, with many references
to warfare, kingship and strategy.
When Henry died in 1612, Raleigh
was forced to bring the project to a
premature conclusion. His narrative
ends abruptly instead of continuing
as originally intended. Plainly, he had
gone too far.
In addition to his advice to the
Prince of Wales, Raleigh had used
ancient history as a sly commentary
on contemporary issues, and his
work was construed by King James
as critical of the new Stuart dynasty.
Several months after publication in
1614, King James ordered further
sales of the book suppressed and all
unsold copies to be con?scated ?for
divers exceptions, but especially for
being too saucy in censuring Princes?.
In 1616, Raleigh was released
from the Tower to lead one ?nal
expedition to South America.
The campaign was a disaster. A
commission of inquiry revived the
1603 charge of treason. Raleigh was
executed upon his return to England,
an event that has also entered
folklore. Reportedly, Raleigh?s last
words were: ?I have a long journey
to take and must bid the company
farewell.?
After his death, despite the king?s
ambivalence about the book, Raleigh?s
History of the World survived through
sheer popularity, and the posthumous
fame of its swashbuckling author.
This is a just appreciation of an
English classic. Raleigh?s History has
many famous re?ective passages (?O
eloquent, just and mightie Death!
Whom none could advise, thou hast
perswaded??) which, in hindsight,
express a kind of premonition about
his fate.
Raleigh was never less than
mesmerising. His History speaks
the man: pirate, poet, politician and
provocateur.
For an extended version of this review
go to theguardian.com/books
� Blue PM Ltd 2017
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
37
Charts & puzzles
PHOTOGRAPHY
YOUR PICTURES OF?
1
2
3
MERRY
Each Sunday we run a selection of
contributions from a weekly themed
photography assignment. To see a wider
selection of readers? entries each week go
to theguardian.com/witness.
Next theme: celebrate (to appear 31
December). Share your photos of what
?celebrate? means to you at theguardian.
com/witness by 10am on Thursday 28
December.
6
1 | ?Dried fruit hanging from the tree.?
Michael Davies/GuardianWitness
2 | ?Santa?s little helper.?
occipitals/GuardianWitness
3 | ?Merry snowman.?
davide fantasia/GuardianWitness
4 | ?Icing on the cake??
Jenny Downing/GuardianWitness
5 | ?Merry-go-round, Edinburgh.?
BadAlbert/GuardianWitness
4
5
6 | ?Christmas decorations in Delhi.?
prerna02/GuardianWitness
W
POP
Tyler Childers
The Bluegrass singer
and Drive-By Truckers
fan?s forthcoming
album is full of up-todate stories of love
and other addictions.
Tour starts Brighton
29 January, ends
Glasgow 3 February
Alex Lahey
Lahey?s recent debut
combined buzzsaw
guitar pop with
slackerish charm; the
Melbourne songwriter
is back again in March.
Tour starts London
23 March, ends
Belfast 31 March
THEATRE
My Mum?s a Twat
Anoushka Warden?s
debut drama ? about
losing her mother
to a cult ? will be
directed by Vicky
Frost/Nixon
Peter Morgan?s
riveting dramatisation
of the post-Watergate
television interviews
by David Frost is
directed by Kate
Hewitt. This is the
play?s ?rst British
production since its
2006 debut (right).
Crucible, She?eld;
22 February to
17 March 2018
CLASSICAL
Turangal頻a
Vasily Petrenko
conducts the
Royal Liverpool
ON THIS DAY
DANCE
Featherstone.
Royal Court Upstairs,
London SW1;
8-20 January 2018
The Nutcracker
Birmingham Royal
Ballet in Sir Peter
Wright?s sumptuous
traditional version.
Royal Albert Hall,
London SW7;
28-31 December
A quiz about events that happened on this
day, 24 December, throughout history.
1. Which British explorer landed on
Kiritimati (Christmas Island) in 1777?
2. Which opera by Giuseppe Verdi had its
premiere in Cairo in 1871?
3. Born in 1945, rock musician Ian Fraser
Kilmister was better known by what
name?
4. Libya became independent from which
country in 1951?
5. Having faked his death in 1974, former
UK minister John Stonehouse was found in
which country?
6. A rocket built by the European Space
Agency was successfully launched in 1979.
What was its name?
7. Time magazine named which politician
and New York native as Person of the Year
in 2001?
ART
Philharmonic
Orchestra in
Messiaen?s
voluptuous
symphony, with
pianist Steven
Osborne.
Philharmonic Hall,
Joan Jonas
Five decades of
pioneering work from
the American mother
of performance art.
Tate Modern, London
SE1; 14 March to
5 August 2018
Orchestra and starring
Matthias Goerne, Toby
Spence, Michelle de
Young, conducted by
Vladimir Jurowski.
Royal Festival Hall,
London SE1; 27
January
Liverpool; 25 January
2018
Das Rheingold
The ?rst part of
Wagner?s Ring cycle,
with the London
Philharmonic
Chosen by Kitty
Empire, Susannah
Clapp, Fiona Maddocks,
Luke Jennings and
Laura Cumming
Answers on page 39
NO 3715
EVERYMAN CROSSWORD
ACROSS
1 Ditch ?sh in river? On the
contrary (6)
4 Time for example consumed by
random plan (8)
9 Protest in error about
railway (6)
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villain possessing one
unknown power (7,6)
14 Famous sign of assent to
protect tribe?s borders (5)
15 Brief record, hot gem
mostly (9)
17 Wine waiter right after start of
meal in a certain lounge (9)
19 Film to follow while making
jelly (5)
21 Learner in tangled web
overdrawn in dystopian
novel (5,3,5)
24 Private signal (8)
25 Move restlessly following
identi?cation and capture (6)
26 Predicted worry about ring,
antique (8)
27 Drink during supper, no
doubt (6)
DOWN
1 Player isn?t robot designed to
cover miles (10)
2 Passage further north of
court (7)
1
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AZED CROSSWORD For a di?erent challenge see page 39
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island (4)
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� book tokens for the ?rst ?ve
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AZED No. 2,376 ?CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS? COMPETITION PUZZLE
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self (rev.); 29, anag. less n + t; 33, RN in
see (rev.).
Down 2, pop in o/a + n a x; 4, lit + anag.;
5, axe (qv) + l; ref. Christopher Dean,
champion skater; 7, a L (Bill) Gates;
8, comp. anag.; ref. Jean-Paul M.,
Jacobin leader murdered in his bath by
Charlotte Corday; 10, comp. anag. & lit.;
16, ras I in pate; 21, anag. & lit.; 23, o Jim +
e; 26, du(n)es; 27, i.e. ?fenny?; 28, anag. of
first letters & lit.; ref. Mormons.
AZED No. 2,373 Prizewinners
CACOGASTRIC
1 R. J. Whale (27 Amberley Drive,
Twyford, Berkshire RG10 9BX): A
stomach accruing fluid might make
human this (comp. anag. & lit.).
2 Dr S. J. Shaw (Goosnargh,
Lancashire): Such persons may be
disposed to gripe, so can act cross
(comp. anag. & lit.).
3 P. L. Stone (Knaresborough, North
Yorkshire): See the undoing of tragic
Tosca ?? tense going with stomach
churning (c + anag. less t; ref. Verdi
opera).
VHC M. Barker, M. Barley, T. C. Borland,
Dr J. Burscough, A. Chamberlain, J.
Grimes, R. J. Heald, M. Hodgkin, J. C.
Leyland, M. Lloyd-Jones, M. Lunan, D.
F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, J. R. C. Michie,
C. G. Millin, J. Smailes, R. C. Teuton, J. R.
Tozer, T. West-Taylor, Dr E. Young.
Postcode
This puzzle is based on the traditional practice of inserting small
coins into Christmas puddings as tokens of good fortune for
those coming across them in their helpings. Each of eight entries,
clued in italics, including the unclued 26 Across, consists of a
coin at some point within a pudding, the whole non-word being
clued without definition. In one case the pudding word may be
regarded as part of a (common) compound. Unchecked letters in
these entries (not including letters occurring where they touch
or cross) may be arranged as PAY FOR SOME, SEE, ON NOEL.
Competitors should submit a clue like the other italicized clues
to the entry at 26.
ACROSS
1 Dad?s trouble returning, male truly lacking ultimate yen (10)
11 Oysters copper consumed in Teresa?s place (7)
12 Bantu language that latterly is observed in London district (5)
13 Kiss cheek (4)
14 Colt skirting trees growing wild, jungly (9)
15 Drive work on loosed individual game dogs (8)
16 It may be hard to administer when one of pair leaves (5)
17 Article about shortened length of spore-cases (6)
20 Hamper stuff for Jock must include opener for Merlot (5)
22 Trilby maybe seen in town, oddly nondescript thing (7)
26 See preamble (13)
28 Buccaneering renegade I spotted in photo (7)
29 Working in university with Oxford exam coming round (5)
31 A doorman before going off knocked back jar of wine (6)
33 Independent parliament recalled for confrontational epic (5)
35 Capital alibi contrived to protect prince (8)
37 Posse disturbed about old gun going off (9)
38 Sanction appropriate when imprisoning one (4)
39 Prevent condition with removal of mine (5)
40 Royal favourite in pursuit of fashion? Old bore (7)
41 One wandering glens surrounded by Scottish river (10)
SUDOKU CLASSIC
DOWN
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
18
19
21
23
24
25
27
30
32
34
35
36
Dish to extinguish ? dismay when losing a spread (13)
Red in the face after spells of bowling? Mark often is (8)
Ornamental loop, topic for knitting (5)
Female involved in excellent dessert coming up (8)
Love bottled pub drink ? it?s bitter (4)
Bids at table formerly showing strength East held (4)
Roundabout in LA or Edinburgh?s noisy, including
junction? (6)
Rung sweethearts up (4)
Early instrument producing silence ? relief almost (5)
Poorly organized and secretive, clubs dine inside (13)
Conservative in dress, perform together (5)
Dig has this to be expanding, volatile? (5)
Make good Elizabethan houses (4)
One getting married in a state of reverence (4)
Lupin maybe artist?s shown in embroidery fabric (8)
Monogram possibly I found in Latin is requiring
translation (8)
A selection of exquisite sausage rolls (6)
Crumpled peplos page scrubbed in Greek vessels (5)
Street accepts this outsider to be outstanding (5)
Palm clutching love letter from abroad (4)
I?ll serve for rubber, a point up (4)
Work in silver getting one eagerly excited (4)
Every word used is in The Chambers Dictionary (2014) except one
familiar proper name.
Last week, we saw how Maxime VachierLagrave won the London Classic, after
beating Ian Nepomniachtchi in a play-off.
This is always a very busy period in the
chess calendar, and London was far from
the only recent or current top event.
The annual European rapidplay and
blitz championships took place a week
ago in Katowice in Poland. Maksim
Vavulin, a little-known 19-year-old
Russian IM, won the rapidplay with
an amazing 10/11; while grandmaster
Sergei燴higalko (Belarus) won the blitz
with 18/22. Congratulations to Luke
McShane who took the blitz silver
medal爋n tie-break with 17.5/22. The
world rapidplay and blitz is following
apace in the Saudi capital Riyadh, with
amazing ?elds headed燽y Magnus
Carlsen himself and battle commencing
on Boxing Day.
The Russian Championship super?nal
is a ferocious affair (of ?classical chess?,
of course) which takes place annually.
It?s often in Moscow but this year?s
70th edition, from the 3rd to 14th of
this month, was in St Petersburg at the
State Museum of the Political History
of燫ussia.
Russia is perhaps the only country in
the world where the championship will
remain murderous, even if several of the
very top guys don?t compete. Vladimir
Kramnik, currently their top-rated爌layer,
was absent as was Alexander燝rischuk
(2) and Sergei Karjakin (4) and
Nepomniachtchi (7) who were both in
London. But the ?eld headed by Peter
Svidler (3) was nevertheless utterly
formidable, averaging 2690 (category 18).
Svidler himself started rather badly,
losing to Daniil Dubov in the second
round after drawing with Nikita Vitiugov
in the ?rst. Vladimir Fedoseev (who
like Svidler and Vitiugov is from St
Petersburg), meanwhile, set a blistering
early pace with four straight wins. But
Fedoseev had a couple of hiccups in the
middle and with two to go was half a
point ahead of Vitiugov and a point ahead
of four players including Svidler, whom
he now faced with White.
In this crucial game, Fedoseev got
an edge but overpressed in the ending
and ?nally lost. Vitiugov and Svidler
both won爄n the ?nal round and ?nished
?rst equal on 7/11, ahead of Dubov
and Fedoseev 6.5. A rapidplay play-off
followed, which Svidler won 2-0 to
become champion for the eighth time.
In the parallel Women?s Championship,
Natalia Pogonina and Aleksandra
Goryachkina ?nished ?rst equal on 7.
Goryachkina won the play-off 2-0 and at
the age of 19 is already champion for the
second time.
Svidler?s revival began with this nice
win against tailender Sergey Volkov.
Sergey Volkov v Peter Svidler
St Petersburg 2017 (round 3)
Grunfeld Defence Russian System
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 Qb3
dxc4 6 Qxc4 Be6 5 Qb3 is the ?Russian
System? against Svidler?s beloved Grunfeld
(starting 3...d5). Perhaps the world?s top
expert in this dynamic opening, Svidler has
all sorts of ideas and here employs a rare
recipe as compared to the normal 6...0-0.
7 Qa4+ 7 Qb5+ Bd7 8 Qxb7 Nc6 is most
critical, but would be hazardous for White
unless he was prepared for this sideline.
7...Bd7 8 Qb3 c5 9 d5 9 dxc5 was
unambitious but safer.
9?b5 10 e4 If 10 Nxb5 Qa5+ 11 Nc3 Nxd5 12
Qxd5 Bxc3+ 13 Bd2 Bc6 Black is ?ne.
10...b4 11 e5 bxc3 12 exf6 Bxf6 12...cxb2
13 Bxb2 Bxf6 14 Bxf6 exf6 15 Qe3+ Kf8 was
also very possible, but Grunfeld players are
loth to exchange the black squared bishops
unless it?s really necessary.
13 bxc3 0-0 14 Bh6 Re8 15 Bc4 Bg4 16
Nd2 Nd7 17 h3 Rb8 18 Qa3 Bf5 19 0-0 Ne5
20 Bf4 Rb7 21 Bxe5?! The preparation
for what turns out to be a disastrous idea.
Instead, there were numerous possible
lines in many of which Black gets good
compensation for the exchange, for
instance, 21 Ba6 Rb6 22 Nc4 Qxd5 23 Bxe5
Bxe5 24 Rad1 Qc6 25 Nxb6 (not 25 Nxe5?
Rxa6 with advantage) 25...axb6.
21...Bxe5 22 f4? A serious weakening.
22...Bd6 23 g4?
Peter Svidler
(Black to play)
Sergey Volkov
(White)
23...e6! Simply 23... Bc8 would have been
excellent, but this is more dynamic.
24 gxf5 exd5 25 Ba6 If 25 Bxd5 c4! the
bishop comes to c5 with devastating effect.
25...c4 26 Qa4 Rb2 27 Nf3 Ree2 28 Qc6
Qe7 29 Qa8+ Bb8 30 Qxd5 Bxf4 With the
a6 bishop a passenger, White has no chance.
31 Rfe1 Qe3+ 32 Kh1 Rh2+ And faced with
mate next move, Volkov resigned.
Next week: the annual competition.
SUDOKU SOLUTIONS
8
7
3
4
6
1
5
2
9
9
5
6
9
8
7
2
3
4
1
8
2
1
4
5
3
9
7
6
8
7
9
4
7
6
2
3
8
1
5
6
1
5
2
9
8
7
4
3
6
5
3
8
6
1
4
5
9
7
2
4
4
3
5
2
1
8
6
9
7
3
6
9
1
7
5
4
2
8
3
2
7
2
8
3
9
6
1
5
4
1
CHESS B Y J O N AT H A N S P E E L M A N
KILLER
19
10
11
27
26
11
12
18
27
11
4
11
8
28
8
8
9
14
30
15
14
17
14
15
15
Fill in the blank cells using the numbers 1 to 9. Each number must appear
just once in every row, column and 3x3 box.
Everyman No. 3713 winners
John Taylor, Bognor Regis
Ann O?Clery, Dublin
Richard Bundy, Salford
Daniel Barber, Hyde
Mr R Green, Neston
S
O
F
T
F
O
C
U
S
P
O
S
E
R
H O T P U T
D
O
I
R OMS T E
U
T
I
O R EMAN
A
H R ON I C
E
S
L
L A C K
O
S
N
S
R O V O K E
N
C
K
T I C K I N
N
I
I G A
S T
T E
X
MT
R
O
V
L E
R
P T
C
A
G P
E
A R
R
O S
U
P P
P
L
E
I M
E
AN
T
L A
R
R Y
S P
R
T E
S
R E
R
I V
E
I S
T A
N
S T
S
E Y
10
Normal Sudoku rules apply, except the numbers in the cells contained
within grey lines add up to the ?gures in the corner. No number can be
repeated within each shape formed by the grey lines.
AM
I
R N
U
S S
I D
E
T S
P
T A
I
E R
E
E D
ANSWERS
On this day
1. Captain James Cook
2. Aida
3. Lemmy
4. Italy
5. Australia
6. Ariane 1
7. Rudy Giuliani
SOLUTION NO. 3714
13
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
39
FULL TV AND
RADIO LISTINGS
Christmas Day
PICKS OF
THE DAY
For today?s TV
see back page
excitement as preparations get under
way for the annual pantomime. Sherry
logs, musical chairs, the sparkle in Sister
Winifred?s eyes: the snow can?t spoil everything. ?We unwrap so much at Christmas,?
intones narrator Vanessa Redgrave?
he sleeps with sheep.? To be taken with
a pinch ? nay, a mountain ? of salt, but
boisterously exuberant. Jonathan Romney
FOOD
Radio 6 Music, 7am
RADIO
Shaun and the Three Wise Brians
The Great Christmas Bake O?
Channel 4, 7.40pm
Familiar faces ? Paul , Beca, Selasi and Val ?
return for a jolly reunion Bake O? involving
Yule logs, mince pies and a showstopper to
end all showstoppers. A treat. Mike Bradley
FILM
DRAMA
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Channel 5, 11.05am
Doctor Who
BBC One, 5.30pm
(Stanley Donen, 1954)
Twice Upon a Time. Something has gone
very wrong with time as the 12th Doctor
(Peter Capaldi) encounters the ?rst (David
Bradley) at the south pole at the start of
a Christmas adventure involving soulstealing aliens, marooned soldiers and a
refusal to regenerate. Too pleased with
itself by half and hugely confusing for
many, but oddly, magically, good fun.
DRAMA
Call the Midwife
BBC One, 7.40pm
Boxing Day 1962 and the snow collects
in drifts on the streets of Poplar, causing
chaos. Nonnatus House is agog with
Some special pleading may be needed
for a ?lm already notoriously unsound in
its gender politics, but which looks even
i?er in the year of #MeToo. Still, sexual
harassment has never been executed
to snappier tunes or more dazzling
choreography. This classic MGM musical
is about a clan of brutish mountain men
who kidnap the local town?s womenfolk for
brides, and end up tamed by them. Howard
Keel and Jane Powell lead a cast including
Russ Tamblyn, later of West Side Story
(and Twin Peaks!) Bless Your Beautiful
Hide remains the greatest song ever for
singing in the shower, and I?m a Lonesome
Polecat the ultimate ballad of male sexual
frustration: ?A man can?t get no sleep when
TV CHOICE
Victoria: Comfort and Joy
ITV, 9pm
This special Christmas episode makes
for ideal viewing at the end of a day?s
festivities. It?s a heartwarming tale in
which the palace takes an orphan under
its wing; an excited Albert (Tom Hughes,
above) cannot disguise the fact that
Christmas is his favourite time of year as
he capers about singing O Tannenbaum;
and the Queen (Jenna Coleman, above)
manages to overlook his decision to
invite her domineering mother and
interfering Uncle Leopold (Alex Jennings)
for ?a family Christmas?. Below stairs,
luck smiles on Nancy Skerrett (Nell
Hudson) but frowns on poor Penge
(Adrian Schiller). And at the close, even
the cantankerous King of Hanover?s
appearance at Christmas dinner cannot
prevent a welcome peace from dispelling
the rancorous atmosphere for a festive
interlude in the royal household. Comfort
and joy indeed. Mike Bradley
Musician Brian Eno and Professor Brian Cox
join Shaun Keaveny at the Royal Observatory
in Greenwich for an intelligent end-of-year
review. The grand setting seems entirely
appropriate for a conversation covering
everything from the state of the planet
to space travel and the need to ?enjoy
being uncertain?. Thankfully their sense of
humour remains intact and the programme
also features lively interjections from
another Brian ? actor Brian Blessed ? plus
eclectic music from the likes of Johnny Cash
and Harry Belafonte. Listeners may feel
alarm, however, when Cox outlines his plan
for the rest of the year as being to ?leave
the country? on his ?own personal Brexit?.
Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Cricket
BT Sport 1, 10.30pm
Australia v England: The Ashes. Fourth Test,
day one. A pleasingly early start to provide
some extra excitement as we wind down
from the day?s celebrations. The opening
day?s play at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
could prove a bruising a?air as Mitchell
Starc and co seek to further stamp their
authority on a cowed England side. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast 9.0 The Snow Queen
9.45 Go Jetters 10.0 Christmas
Morning from All Saints Fulham
11.0 The Madagascar Penguins
in a Christmas Caper (R) 11.10
Snow Chick (R) 12.10 News;
Weather 12.20 Top of the Pops
Christmas Special 1.20 Toy
Story 3 (2010) 3.0 The Queen?s
Christmas Broadcast 3.10
Cinderella (2015) 4.45
The Highway Rat 5.15 News;
Weather 5.30 Doctor Who
6.30 Strictly Christmas Special
Six previous contestants return.
6.10 Hairy Bikers Home for Christmas
(R) 7.10 Island Parish Shetland
(R) 7.40 Bee Movie (2007)
9.0 The Big Family Cooking
Showdown (R) 10.0 Harry Potter:
A History of Magic (R) 11.0 Carols
from King?s (R) 12.15 The
Importance of Being Earnest
(2002) 1.40 Oklahoma! 4.30
Dame Vera Lynn: Happy 100th
Birthday (R) 5.30 The Queen?s
Christmas Broadcast (R) 5.35 The
Morecambe & Wise Christmas
Show (R) 6.45 Winter?s Weirdest
Events (R) 7.45 Dad?s Army (R)
6.0
CITV 9.25 National
Lampoon?s Christmas Vacation
(Jeremiah S Chechik, 1989) (T)
11.10 Mr Bean?s Holiday
(Steve Bendelack, 2007)
(T) 12.50 Santa Claus:
The Movie (Jeannot Szwarc,
1985) (T) 3.0 The Queen (T)
3.10 Harry Potter and
the Prisoner of Azkaban
(Alfonso Cuar髇, 2004) (T) 5.50
Emmerdale (T) 6.50 News and
Weather (T) 7.0 Paul O?Grady: For
the Love of Dogs at Christmas (T)
6.0
6.0
7.40 Call the Midwife (T) Boxing
Day sees heavy snowfall
descend on the country and the
adverse weather causes major
disruption across Poplar.
9.0 EastEnders (T) Things are set
to explode for Max as Stacey?s
phone is returned to her. Mick
discovers the hard way not to
cross Aidan Maguire.
8.25 Upstart Crow (T) Will?s new play
is to be performed at the Queen?s
Christmas festivities.
9.0 Tom Jones & Beverley Knight?s
Gospel Christmas (T) Tom Jones
and Beverley Knight host a
festive concert featuring gospel,
carols and renditions of classics
by modern musicians such as
Prince and Bob Dylan.
8.0
Coronation Street (T) Peter
threatens to kill Billy, Carla?s
surprise arrival annoys Aidan,
Daniel ?nds Tracy sneaking Steve
out of No 1, and Brian is arrested.
Victoria (T) The Queen and
Prince Albert have very di?erent
expectations for a family
Christmas. Jenna Coleman stars.
7.40 The Great Christmas Bake O? (T)
(1/2) Former contestants Paul
Jagger, Beca Lyne-Pirkis, Selasi
Gbormittah and Val Stones face
three festive challenges.
9.0 First Dates at Christmas (T)
The restaurant hosts a festive
party as maitre d? Fred and his
Christmas Cupids celebrate a
year of proposals, engagements
and the show?s very ?rst baby.
9.0
10.0 Mrs Brown?s Boys Christmas
Special (T) Cathy has an internet
date, and Rory decides to have
plastic surgery.
10.35 300 Years of French & Saunders
(T) 30 years of the sketch show.
11.25 News and Weather (T)
11.40 On Christmas Night (T) A reading
of Luke?s account of the angels
appearing to the shepherds.
11.45 Have I Got a Bit More 2017 News
for You (T) Memorable moments.
12.30 Darcey Bussell: Looking
for Fred Astaire (T) (R) 1.30
Weather (T) 1.35 News (T)
10.0 Judi Dench: All the World?s Her
Stage (T) (R) A look back over
the actor?s 60-year career.
11.05 Mrs Henderson Presents
(Stephen Frears, 2005) (T) A
widow invests her fortune in
an abandoned London theatre
and de?es censorship laws to
stage a controversial nude revue.
Fact-based comedy drama, with
Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins.
12.45 My Week with Marilyn
(Simon Curtis, 2011) (T) Factbased drama starring Michelle
Williams. 2.15 This Is BBC Two (T)
11.0 News and Weather (T)
11.15 The Holiday (Nancy
Meyers, 2006) (T) Two single
women from opposite sides of the
Atlantic ?nd love after they swap
houses over Christmas. Romantic
comedy, with Cameron Diaz, Kate
Winslet, Jack Black and Jude Law.
1.45 The Dam Busters
(Michael Anderson, 1954) (T)
Fact-based second world war
drama, with Michael Redgrave,
Richard Todd, Basil Sydney.
3.50 ITV Nightscreen
10.0 Alan Carr?s Christmas Chatty
Man (T) With Noel Gallagher,
Christian Slater, John Bishop,
Lorraine Kelly and Rob Beckett.
12.0 George Michael: Freedom (T)
(R) 1.40 George Michael: Live in
London (T) (R) 2.45 The Crystal
Maze (T) (R) 3.40 Location,
Location, Location (T) (R) 4.35
Four in a Bed (T) (R) 5.0 Kirstie?s
Handmade Christmas (T) (R)
5.20 Moomins on the Riviera (T)
10.55 Britain?s Best Loved Double
Acts: Christmas Special (T)
(R) Featuring Morecambe and
Wise, French and Saunders,
the Two Ronnies, Ant and Dec,
and Cannon and Ball.
11.55 Steptoe and Son (Cli?
Owen, 1972) (T) Comedy based
on the TV series. Harry H Corbett
and Wilfrid Brambell star.
1.45 SuperCasino (T) 3.05 Love/Hate
(T) (R) 4.0 Now That?s Funny!
(T) (R) 4.45 House Doctor (T)
(R) 5.10 House Busters (T) (R)
5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.15 Christmas With Val Doonican
(T) (R) Seasonal music and
performances.
11.0 Swingin? Christmas (T) (R)
Michael Parkinson presents
festive music.
12.10 The Christmas No 1 Story (T) (R)
1.05 Christmas Night With the
Stars 1972 (T) (R) 2.20 Christmas
with Val Doonican (T) (R)
swagger to this Rodgers and Hammerstein?s 1943
hit musical. The performers include Belinda Lang,
Nathaniel Hackmann, Scarlett Strallen, Robert
Fairchild, David Seadon-Young, Lizzy Connolly
and Marcus Brigstocke. In the interval, Edward
Seckerson and Jason Carr discuss Oklahoma! (R)
10.30 New Generation Artists. Brahms: String
Quintet No. 2 in G major. Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad
(viola), Quatuor Van Kuijk. 11.0 Jazz Now: Herts
Jazz Festival. A performance of Fish Tales by the
Alan Barnes Octet and poet Josie Moon, a piece
that celebrate Grimsby?s fishing heritage. 12.30
Through the Night. A concert of liturgical music by
Tchaikovsky, Chesnokov and Rachmaninov.
age of 80. Continues tomorrow. 3.0 The Queen?s
Speech 3.05 News 3.15 Soundstage: The Reed
Bed (R) 3.30 The Food Programme (R) 4.0 The
Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special 4.30
Beyond Belief: Charles Dickens?s A Christmas
Carol (7/8) 5.0 Logical Family: An Evening
With Armistead Maupin and the BBC Symphony
Orchestra 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 6.0
News 6.15 15 Minute Musical: The Legend of
Holy Superior Mother Theresa May and the Magic
Money Tree (1/2) 6.30 Just a Minute: 50 Years
in 28 Minutes. Nicholas Parsons presents the
programme?s 50th birthday bash. 7.0 The Archers
7.15 Front Row 7.45 Incredible Women (R) (1/5)
8.0 The Nativity (R) 8.30 Crossing Continents:
33 Ways to Dispel a Chinese Mistress (R) 9.0
Mysteries of Sleep: Sleep Deprivation and Insomnia
(R) 9.30 Miss Simpson?s Children (R) 10.0 Loose
Ends (R) LW: 10.30 Test Match Special: Australia
v England. Commentary on the first day of the
fourth Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
12.48; 5.20 Shipping Forecast. FM: 10.45 Book
at Bedtime: How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig.
(1/10) 11.0 Something Understood: On the Eve
(R) 11.30 Anansi Boys. Dirk Maggs?s adaptation
of Neil Gaiman?s mythic fantasy. (1/6) 12.0 News
12.15 Christmas Meditation 12.30 Book of the
Week (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0燗s 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燭weets of
Christmas (8/12)
BBC One
6.0
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
6.0am The Big Match Revisited 8.0 Premier
League Review 9.0 Premier League 10.30
The Lane 11.30 Premier League Reload 11.45
Scottish Football Extra 12.15 Aviva Premiership
Rugby Highlights 2.45 The Clare Balding Show
3.45 Premier League Reload 4.0 Premier League
Review 5.0 Premier League Tonight 5.30 Scottish
Football Extra 6.0 The Ashes 9.0 Packer: The
Man Who Changed Cricket 10.30 The Ashes Live:
Australia v England. Coverage of the opening day
of爐he fourth Test, from Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-8.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 8.0
Attenborough at 90: Behind the Lens 9.0-1.0
David Attenborough?s Conquest of the Skies 1.0
Making Attenborough?s Gal醦agos 2.0-5.0 David
Attenborough?s Gal醦agos 5.0 Flying Monsters
With David Attenborough 6.30 The Bachelor King
8.0 David Attenborough?s Gal醦agos 9.0-12.35
Game of Thrones 12.35-2.40 Big Little Lies
2.40 Mommy Dead and Dearest: The Story of Dee
Dee 4.10-6.0 Richard E Grant?s Hotel Secrets
E4
6.0am Father Christmas 6.30 Ice Age: A
Mammoth Christmas 6.55 The Secret Life of
Children at Christmas 7.55 Rude(ish) Tube
Shorts 8.10 12 Dates of Christmas (2011)
10.0-12.30 The Big Bang Theory 12.30 Ice
Age: A Mammoth Christmas 1.0 Toy Story Toons:
Partysaurus Rex 1.15 Dr Dolittle 2 (2001)
3.0 The Big Bang Theory: Big Bang A-Z ? A Is for.
Anything Can Happen Thursday, B Is for Bazinga!,
C Is for Comic Book Store & D Is for Driving 4.55
Gogglesprogs Christmas Special 6.0 We?re Going
on a Bear Hunt 6.30 The Snowman 7.0 The
Snowman and the Snowdog 7.30 Snow
White & the Huntsman (2012) 10.0 Made in
Chelsea?s Christmas Ding Dong 11.05-2.35
The營nbetweeners 2.35 Made in Chelsea?s
Christmas Ding Dong 3.30 First Dates: The
40
9.0
VARIATIONS
Proposal 4.25 Don?t Tell the Bride: Christmas
on營ce 5.20-6.0 New Girl
Film4
11.0am Arthur Christmas (2011) 1.0 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn
Treader (2010) 3.10 Cheaper By the Dozen
2 (2005) 5.0 Romancing the Stone (1984)
7.05 Night at the Museum: Secret of the
Tomb (2014) 9.0 Kingsman: The Secret
Service (2015) 11.35 Big Game (2014)
1.20 The Warriors (1979)
Sky1
6.0am-9.0 The Simpsons 9.0 Football?s Funniest
Moments 11.0 A Kylie Christmas 1.0 The Simpsons
1.30 Ratburger 3.0 The Queen 3.15 It?s Christmas
Live from the Royal Albert Hall 5.15-8.0 The
Simpsons 8.0 Carpool Karaoke Special 9.0 A
League of Their Own Christmas Special 2017 10.0
The Rock (1996) 12.40 Trollied Christmas
Special 1.40 A League of Their Own 2.40 The
Russell Howard Hour 3.35 A League of Their Own
4.05-6.0 Dogs: An Amazing Animal Family
Sky Sports Main Event
6.0am Good Morning Sports Fans 10.0 Best PL
Goals: Season So Far 10.30 Best of Nissan Match
Zone 11.0 Best of Rory McIlroy 11.30 Katie Taylor:
The Story So Far 12.0 Harry Kane?s 2017 12.30
Jimmy Anderson 500 Wickets 1.0 Sky Sports Today
1.30 Thierry Meets Anthony Joshua 2.0 Lewis
Hamilton: My Fourth World Title 2.30 Best of
Sky Cricket 3.0 Phil Taylor: The Greatest 4.0 Sky
F1 Christmas Special 5.0 McGinley?s Ryder Cup
Moments 6.0 Thierry Meets Anthony Joshua 6.30
Anthony Joshua: The Knockouts 7.0 Boxing?s Best
of 2017 9.0 Live NFL: Houston Texans v Pittsburgh
Steelers (kick-off 9.30pm). Coverage from NRG
Stadium. 1.0 My Icon: Darren Campbell 1.15 Live
NFL: Philadelphia Eagles v Oakland Raiders (kickoff 1.30am) Coverage from Lincoln Financial Field.
4.45 My Icon: Rachel Yankey 5.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 1.45am
Teleshopping 2.45 ITV Nightscreen. Text-based
information service. 5.10-6.0 Tenable (T) (R)
SCOTTISH As ITV except 1.45am
Teleshopping 2.45 ITV Nightscreen. Text-based
information service. 5.10-6.0 Tenable (T) (R)
Quiz hosted by Warwick Davis in which teams of
five compete to answer questions about top 10
lists from the realms of pop culture and general
knowledge, then try to score a perfect 10 in the
final round to win the prize money.
ULSTER As ITV except 1.45am Teleshopping
2.45-6.0 ITV Nightscreen. Text-based
information service.
Rugrats Go Wild (2003)
7.20 The Bear (R) 7.45 Prep &
Landing: Naughty v Nice (R) 8.10
Prep & Landing (R) 8.40 Ice Age:
A Mammoth Christmas (R) 9.05
The Simpsons (R) 11.05 Dr Seuss?s The Lorax (2012)
12.45 The Snowman (R) 1.20
The Snowman and the Snowdog
(R) 1.55 Father Christmas (R)
2.25 News 2.30 The Alternative
Christmas Message 2.35 Scrooged (1988) 4.30 Dumbo (1941) (T) 5.50 Home Alone (1990) (T)
Milkshake! 8.55 Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles (T) (R) 9.20
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
(Brian Desmond Hurst, 1951)
(T) 11.05 Seven Brides for
Seven Brothers (Stanley Donen,
1954) (T) 1.05 Singin? in the
Rain (Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen,
1952) (T) 3.10 Oliver! (Carol
Reed, 1968) (T) Musical version
of the Dickens tale, with Ron
Moody, Mark Lester, Harry
Secombe, Shani Wallis and Oliver
Reed. 6.0 Elf: The Musical (T) (R)
The Morecambe & Wise Story:
Look Back in Laughter (T) (R)
Documentary making use of
old performances, chatshow
appearances and archive
interviews to shed light on the
successful comedy careers of
Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise.
BBC Four
7.0
The Royal Opera: Puccini?s La
boh鑝e (T) Antonio Pappano
conducts Richard Jones?s
production of La boheme, with
tenor Michael Fabiano, soprano
Nicole Car, and baritone Mariusz
Kwiecien among an all-star cast.
Clemency Burton-Hill presents
this performance, which is the
?rst new production of Puccini?s
masterpiece to be performed at
the Royal Opera House, Covent
Garden, in more than 40 years.
9.0
Christmas Night With the
Stars 1972 (T) (R) Ronnie
Corbett and Ronnie Barker
host a variety show, with Lulu
and Cilla Black, and sketches
featuring the Goodies, Mike
Yarwood and the casts of The
Liver Birds and Dad?s Army.
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.30 Scott Mills 10.0 Superstar Playlist. Radio 1
calls on superstar selectors for Christmas Day, each
of whom has put together an hour-long set. 4.0
Jordan North 7.0 Movie Show With Ali Plumb 9.0
The 8th With Charlie Sloth 11.0 Huw Stephens 1.0
Drum & Bass Show with Ren� LaVice 3.0 Specialist
Chart With Phil Taggart 4.0 Early Breakfast
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.0 Angie Greaves?s Gospel Christmas 8.0 Good
Morning Christmas With the Rev Kate Bottley
10.0 Junior Choice 12.0 Paul O?Grady 2.0 Bryan
Adams Rocks 4.0 Melanie C 6.0 Bill Kenwright
8.0 George Michael at the BBC 10.0 Lost and
Found (1/2) 12.0 Johnnie Walker (R) 2.0 Radio�Playlists: Jazz, Great British Songbook & Hidden
Treasures 5.0 Nicki Chapman
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast 9.0 Essential Classics. Ian
Skelly?s guest is Griff Rhys Jones. 12.0 Composer
of the Week: Cole Porter (R) (1/5) 1.0 News
1.02 Sean Rafferty at Home With Dame Janet
Baker. The opera singer chats about her life and
career. 2.0 A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.
Christmas carols and readings from King?s College,
Cambridge. 3.45 Afternoon on 3. This week the
programme features the best of 2017 from the
BBC performing groups, beginning as Penny Gore
presents a concert of Christmas carols by the BBC
Symphony Chorus under new choral director Neil
Ferris. 5.0 Simon Callow?s Dickensian Christmas.
The actor celebrates Charles Dickens and the
author?s association with Christmas, interspersed
with carols of the era sung by the BBC Singers.
6.45 Illuminating the Stage. Fiona Shaw explores
the history of theatrical lighting. 7.30 BBC Proms
2017: Prom 35 ? Oklahoma! Conductor John Wilson
and his orchestra bring their signature energy and
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Voices of the First World War: The Christmas
Truce (R) 7.0 With Great Pleasure at Christmas:
Will Young 8.0 The Listening Project in Hull 9.0
Christmas Service: Christmas Host or Christmas
Guest? The Rev Edward Mason leads a service for
Christmas Morning from Bath Abbey. 9.45 Book
of the Week: Adventures of a Young Naturalist, by
David Attenborough. (1/5) 10.0 Woman?s Hour.
Presented by Jane Garvey. Includes at 10.45 Drama:
Incredible Women, by Rebecca and Jeremy Front.
(1/5) 11.0 The Untold (8/16) 11.30 Cooking in
a Bedsitter: Bolognese Cutlets. Comedy by Sue
Teddern, inspired by Katharine Whitehorn?s classic
guide to cooking. Trisha is definitely over Deepak,
or so she says. Beattie Edmondson and Nikesh Patel
star, with Eleanor Bron reading extracts. (4/4)
12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front:
25 December 1917 ? Sylvia Graham, by Katie
Hims. (31/40) 12.15 Pick of the Year: 2017 (R)
1.0 News 1.15 Count Arthur Strong?s Radio Show!
Christmas Special: Bedbugs and Drumsticks 1.45
Radio 4?s Pen Pals: Fi and Ann. Five of the station?s
presenters celebrate the art of letter writing. (1/5)
2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: Mr Betjeman?s
Class, by Jonathan Smith. Benjamin Whitrow stars
as the poet in his final role before his death at the
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
7.0 Breakfast 10.0 Christmas Day With Ed
Byrne�.0 5 Live News 12.30 Flintoff, Savage
and the Ping Pong Guy 2.0 Puttin? on the Glitz:
The Strictly Story (R) 3.0 5 Live News, Including
the Queen?s Speech 3.30 Danny Baker 5.30
5燣ive F1 (R) 6.30 5 Live News 7.0 Christmas
Day燱ith Ed Byrne (R) 9.0 Jane Garvey & Peter
Allen (R) 11.0 The Ashes
Boxing Day
PICKS OF
THE DAY
wealthy merchant in Amsterdam. Her ?ance
presents her with a doll?s house replica of
their home, but eerily the miniaturist?s tiny
creations seem to predict the future with
uncanny accuracy. A dark curiosity.
Paul?s granddad, enduring a few broad jibes
at his Steptoe persona. You get one or two
decent songs, too. Jonathan Romney
COMEDY QUIZ
James Burke on the
End of Scarcity
RADIO
Big Fat Quiz of the Year
Channel 4, 9pm
Radio 4, 11am
In the traditional end-of-year romp, Jimmy
Carr puts the questions to Richard Ayoade,
Noel Fielding, David Mitchell, Big Narstie,
Roisin Conaty and Katherine Ryan. With
Charles Dance and Jon Snow. Mike Bradley
FILM
NATURAL HISTORY
A Hard Day?s Night
BBC Two, 11.55am
Reindeer Family and Me
BBC Two, 8pm
(Richard Lester, 1964)
On a mission to photograph the northern
lights, Gordon Buchanan ?rst immerses
himself in the culture of reindeer herders
the Sami people of Finnish Lapland, as he
patiently earns the trust of the reindeer
which will haul him and his sled to the
far north to capture ?nature?s greatest
lightshow?. Thoughtful and spectacular too.
The essential Fab Four movie, and one
of the great British ?lms of the 1960s,
capturing the essence of that decade in its
irreverence and creative ?ippancy. It could
almost be called Being the Beatles, with its
docu-?avoured comic take on the sheer
daily work involved in turning up every day
in character as a four-headed organism. A
torrent of non-sequitur gags are threaded
through a superbly shot (by Gilbert Taylor)
black and white evocation of a drab postwar
landscape just waiting to be shaken up.
Alun Owen?s script catches the o?-thecu? wit of the band?s interviews, and the
supporting cast ? including Victor Spinetti,
Lionel Blair and sitcom stalwart Deryck
Guyler ? is headed by Wilfrid Brambell as
DRAMA
The Miniaturist
BBC One, 9pm
The ?rst in an ambitious two-part
adaptation of the novel by Jessie Burton
about the travails of 18-year-old Nella
Oortman who is dispatched to marry a
TV CHOICE
Little Women
BBC1, 8pm
This is the ?rst in a wholesome new
three-part adaptation of the novel by
Louisa May Alcott. It?s by Call the Midwife
writer Heidi Thomas and, as you might
expect, it?s very good. Emily Watson
(above, centre) anchors the piece in the
role of Marmee March, mother to four
daughters. Set in a ?ctional New England
town in 1861, during the American civil
war, the story opens as the girls are
preparing for Christmas, saddened by
the absence of their Union army chaplain
father who has been summoned to the
front. ?I hope that when I return,? he
writes, ?I may be fonder and prouder
than ever of my little women.? As it
turns out, much is about to happen to his
daughters ? heads are turned, careers
are launched, troths are plighted ? and we
follow their joyful progress with interest.
A touch ?Cranchesterford? at times, but
ultimately very rewarding. Mike Bradley
Science broadcaster James Burke, now 81,
proves as compelling as ever as he invites
us to consider a world no longer motivated
by scarcity. In case this is something we
have not quite realised about the world?s
modus operandi, he reminds us how
marriage was introduced as a way to
ensure good agricultural land was passed
down through families, and governments
were invented to organise the distribution
of limited wealth and resources. Now
nanotechnology means that in as little
as 50 years we may be able to assemble
anything we want, atom by atom. Burke?s
fascinating focus is on what that will do to
society ? for good or ill. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
Sky Sports Main Event, 12noon
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton:
Premier League. Spurs won both meetings
against the Saints last season, including a
2-1 victory in which Christian Eriksen and
Dele Alli both scored in the ?rst half, with
James Ward-Prowse pulling one back for
Southampton in the second. Can they do
the same today at Wembley? MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast 9.0 Tinker
Bell and the Legend of the
NeverBeast (2014) 10.10 Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014)
11.25 Mary, Mel and Sue?s Big
Christmas Thank You (R) 12.25
News 12.35 Regional News
12.45 Judi Dench: My Passion
for Trees (R) 1.45 Stick Man (R)
2.10 Shaun the Sheep
(2015) 3.30 Doodlebugs 3.45
Mary Poppins (1964) 6.0
News and Weather 6.20 Regional
News and Weather 6.30 Snow
Bears 7.30 EastEnders
6.15 Sign Zone Celebrity Antiques
Road Trip (R) 7.15 Island Parish
Shetland (R) 7.45 Chimpanzee
8.55 The Big Family Cooking
Showdown (R) 9.55 Nadiya?s
British Food Adventure (R) 10.25
Nadiya?s British Food Adventure
(R) 10.55 The Sweet Makers (R)
11.55 A Hard Day?s Night
(1964) 1.20 The Eagle Has
Landed (1976) 3.30 The Repair
Shop at Christmas (R) 4.30 Final
Score 5.35 Matthew Bourne?s
Cinderella 7.30 Christmas
University Challenge 2017
6.0
6.40 Song of the Sea (Tomm
Moore, 2014) (T) 8.25 Short
Circuit (John Badham, 1986) (T)
10.25 The Simpsons (T) (R) 12.10
Alvin and the Chipmunks:
The Squeakquel (Betty Thomas,
2009) (T) 1.55 News (T) 2.0 Child
Genius v Celebrities Christmas
Special (T) (R) 3.05 The Great
Christmas Bake O? (T) (R) 4.20
The Little Mermaid (John
Musker, Ron Clements, 1989)
(T) 6.0 Back to the Future
(Robert Zemeckis, 1985) (T)
Michael J Fox stars.
6.0
Little Women (T) New series.
Heidi Thomas?s adaptation of
Louisa May Alcott?s American
civil war coming-of-age tale.
The Miniaturist (T) Two-part
adaptation of Jessie Burton?s
bestselling novel set in 1686,
following 18-year-old Nella
Oortman as she begins a new
life in Amsterdam as the wife
of a wealthy merchant.
8.0
6.40 Jurassic World (Colin
Trevorrow, 2015) (T) Sta? at
a safari park for genetically
engineered dinosaurs create a
new species. Action adventure
sequel, with Chris Pratt.
9.0 Coronation Street (T) Eileen
keeps vigil over a comatose
Billy while worrying about a
missing Todd, and Carla begs
Roy not to reveal her secret.
8.0
10.0 News and Weather (T)
10.15 Birds of a Feather Christmas
Special (T) (R) Tracey?s plans
could upset the festive harmony.
11.15 The Keith and Paddy Picture
Show (T) (R) The duo put their
own spin on the classic 1984
comedy Ghostbusters.
11.45 Al Murray?s Make Christmas
Great Again (T) (R) The Pub
Landlord arranges a lock-in at
his pub, the Reindeer?s Head.
12.45 Jackpot247 3.0 Tenable
(T) (R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen
5.05 Jeremy Kyle (T) (R)
11.10 Four Weddings and a
Funeral (Mike Newell, 1994) (T)
A man?s misfortunes in love
look set to change when he
meets an American beauty at
a wedding. Romantic comedy
with Hugh Grant, Andie
MacDowell and John Hannah.
1.20 The Inbetweeners (T) (R) 3.10
Kitchen Nightmares USA (T)
(R) 4.0 Location, Location? (T)
(R) 4.55 Kirstie?s Handmade
Christmas (T) (R) 5.10 Moshi
Monsters: The Movie (Morgan
Francis, Wip Vernooij, 2013) (T)
BBC One
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.30 News and Weather (T) Includes
national lottery update.
10.45 Match of the Day (T) Including
highlights of Bournemouth v
West Ham, Hudders?eld Town
v Stoke and West Bromwich
Albion v Everton.
12.15 Stacey Dooley in the USA (T) (R)
The presenter visits America?s
only prison boot camp for women.
1.15 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 1.20 BBC News (T)
9.0
Reindeer Family & Me (T) Gordon
Buchanan goes to live with a
family from the nomadic Sami
culture in Finnish Lapland.
Dragons? Den (T) A serial
entrepreneur pitches his online
greeting card business, and a
Surrey-based inventor hopes
his word game could become
a family Christmas favourite.
10.0 QI O Christmas (T) With guests
Jason Manford, Romesh
Ranganathan and Holly Walsh.
10.30 Two Doors Down: Christmas
Special (T) New series. Beth
and Eric?s plans for a quiet
festive feast are thwarted.
11.0 Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely
Champers (T) (R)
12.0 Saturday Night Fever: The
Ultimate Disco Movie (T) (R)
1.10 Tom Jones & Beverley
Knight?s Gospel Christmas
(T) (R) 2.10 Sign Zone: Inside
the Christmas Factory (R)
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
7.30am Premier League Review 8.30 Premier
League Reload 8.45 Live Hyundai A-League:
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners (kick-off
8.50am) 11.0 SPFL Highlights 11.30 Scottish
Football Extra 12.0 Live SPFL: Dundee v Celtic
(kick-off 12.30pm) Coverage of the Scottish topflight clash at Dens Park. 2.45 BT Sport Score
5.30 The Ashes 7.0 Cricket: Big Bash League 8.0
Nature Boy 9.30 The Ashes 11.0 The Ashes Live:
Australia v England. Coverage of the second day
of爐he fourth Test, from Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-9.0 The British 9.0-12.0 David
Attenborough?s Wild City 12.0-4.0 Micro
Monsters With David Attenborough 4.0 The
Bachelor King 5.30 The Making of David
Attenborough?s Natural History Museum Alive
6.30 David Attenborough?s Natural History
Museum Alive 8.0 David Attenborough?s
Gal醦agos 9.0-12.35 Game of Thrones
12.35-2.45 Big Little Lies 2.45 Hello Ladies: The Movie (2014) 4.15-6.0
Richard E Grant?s Hotel Secrets
VARIATIONS
Welcome to 2013 4.05 2 Broke Girls 4.25 Don?t
Tell the Bride: Christmas Revenge 5.20 New Girl
Film4
11.0am Mr Popper?s Penguins (2011)
12.50 Mirror Mirror (2012) 2.55 Paddington (2014) 4.40 The Sorcerer?s
Apprentice (2010) 6.50 School of Rock
(2003) 9.0 Ex Machina (2015) 11.10
X-Men: First Class (2011) 1.45 The Breakfast Club (1985)
Sky1
6.0am-7.30 Futurama 7.30-10.0 The
Simpsons 10.0 David Attenborough?s Natural
History Museum Alive 11.30 The Last Dragonslayer 1.30 The Bachelor King 3.0-5.30
Gillette燬occer Special 5.30-7.30 The
Simpsons�30 Ratburger 9.0 Minority
Report (2002) 11.45 A League of Their Own:
US燫oad Trip 2.0 12.45 The Russell Howard
Hour�45 A League of Their Own 2.45 NCIS:
LA 3.45 Futurama: Welcome to the World
of燭omorrow 4.0 Dogs: An Amazing Animal
Family�0 Zoo Tales 5.30 Zoo Tales
E4
Sky Sports Main Event
A-Z ? E Is for Earworms, F Is for Fun with Flags,
G Is for Geology & H Is for Hoarding 5.0 Toy
Story Toons: Small Fry 5.10 Miracle on
34th Street (1994) 7.30 The Snowman and the
Snowdog 8.0-9.0 The Big Bang Theory 9.0
Tattoo Fixers 10.0 Naked Attraction 11.05 Rude
Tube Christmas Cracker 12.10-1.05 The Big
Bang Theory 1.05 Tattoo Fixers 2.15 Rude Tube:
Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton
(kick-off 12.30pm) Coverage of the top-flight
fixture, which takes place at Wembley Stadium.
3.0 Live EFL: Burton Albion v Leeds United (kickoff 3pm) Coverage of the Championship fixture
at the Pirelli Stadium. 5.15 Live Premier League:
Liverpool v Swansea City (kick-off 5.30pm) All the
action from the top-flight fixture, which takes place
at Anfield. 7.30 Live EFL: Brentford v Aston Villa
(kick-off 7.30pm) Coverage of the Championship
clash, which takes place at Griffin Park. 9.45
My Icon: Anthony Joshua 10.0 Sky Sports News
at 10�.0 Sky Sports News 1.0 Live WWE Late
Night燬mackdown 3.0-6.0 Sky Sports News
6.0am Olive, the Other Reindeer 6.55 The
Goldbergs 7.30 New Girl 7.55 Rude(ish) Tube
Shorts 8.10 Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)
10.0 Dr Dolittle 3 (2006) 11.50 Toy Story
Toons: Hawaiian Vacation 12.0-1.0 Brooklyn
Nine-Nine 1.0-1.55 The Big Bang Theory 1.55
The Snowman 2.30 The Snowman and the
Snowdog 3.0 The Big Bang Theory: Big Bang
CITV 8.30 Scooby-Doo!
Haunted Holidays (Victor Cook,
2012) (T) 9.05 Horrid Henry (T)
(R) 9.25 Ferris Bueller?s Day
O? (John Hughes, 1986) (T) 11.25
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge
of Kitty Galore (Brad Peyton,
2010) (T) 1.0 ITV Racing: Live
from Kempton (T) 3.30 ET:
The Extra-Terrestrial (Steven
Spielberg, 1982) (T) 5.50 News
and Weather (T) 6.10 Emmerdale
(T) Diane comforts Robert as he
crumbles after reading a thank
you card for Seb?s presents.
6.0am Good Morning Sports Fans 10.0 Premier
League Daily 11.0 Sky Sports Daily 12.0 Live
STV NORTH As ITV except 1.0pm-3.30
Racing on STV: Live from Kempton (T) Coverage of
today?s race meetings. 12.45 Teleshopping 1.45
After Midnight 3.15-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
Text-based information service.
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.45am-3.0 ITV
Nightscreen. Text-based information service.
SCOTTISH As ITV except 1.0pm-3.30
Racing on STV: Live from Kempton (T) Coverage
of today?s race meetings. 12.45 Teleshopping
1.45 After Midnight. News and conversation,
plus燾lassic clips from the archive. 3.15-5.05
ITV Nightscreen (T) Text-based information service.
ULSTER As ITV except 12.45am
Teleshopping 1.45-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC TWO WALES 1.20pm James Martin?s
Food Map of Britain (T) (R) Chef James Martin
visits Northern Ireland in the hope of gaining an
understanding of the rich flavours of the beef
from native cattle the Dexter. 1.50 Scrum V Live
(T) Dragons v Cardiff Blues (kick-off 2pm) Ross
Harries presents coverage of the match from the
11th round of Pro14 fixtures, which takes place
at Rodney Parade. 4.0-4.30 Land of the Giants
(T) (R) The world of people who grow outsize
vegetables.
BBC TWO N IRELAND 5.0pm-5.35
Final Score from Northern Ireland (T)
9.0
Travel Man: 48 Hours in Hong
Kong (T) Richard Ayoade is joined
by Mad Men star Jon Hamm.
Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2017
(T) Jimmy Carr hosts a comedy
quiz looking back at the past 12
months, with panellists Richard
Ayoade, Noel Fielding, David
Mitchell, Big Narstie, Roisin
Conaty and Katherine Ryan.
BBC Four
Milkshake! 9.15 Access (T) 9.25
Pets Make You Laugh Out Loud
(T) (R) 10.0 Titanic (Jean
Negulesco, 1953) (T) 11.50 Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson,
1981) (T) 2.10 Balmoral: A Hidden
History (T) (R) 4.10 Sandringham:
The Queen At Christmas (T)
5.15 A Royal Night Out
(Julian Jarrold, 2015) (T) 7.0 The
Strictly Story: Fake Tan, Tangos
& A 10 from Len (T) (R) With
contributions from popular past
contestants as well as the show?s
judges, dancers and celeb fans.
7.0
Sound of Musicals with Neil
Brand (T) (R) (1/3) The composer
and author reveals how the
modern shape of the musical
was established through a
series of pioneering works
over the past century.
8.30 Dirty Dancing: Making
Movie Magic (T) (R) A 30th
anniversary celebration of
the movie phenomenon,
revisiting favourite scenes,
discovering what happened
on set and hearing from the
supporting cast and crew.
8.0
Royal Institution Christmas
Lectures 2017: The Language of
Life (T) New series. Professor
Sophie Scott explores how
humans and other animals
use noises to communicate.
Tim Rice: A Life in Song
(T) (R) A concert from the
Royal Festival Hall in London
celebrating the work of the
Oscar-winning lyricist.
10.0 Dirty Dancing (Emile
Ardolino, 1987) (T) A dance
instructor at a 1960s resort
teaches a naive teenager
about self-expression as they
perform in an important show.
Romantic drama with Patrick
Swayze and Jennifer Grey.
12.0 Football on 5: The Championship
(T) 12.55 Aviva Premiership Rugby
Highlights (T) 1.45 SuperCasino
(T) 3.05 Love/Hate (T) (R)
4.0 Now That?s Funny! (T) (R)
4.45 House Doctor (T) (R)
10.30 Norman Wisdom: His Story
(T) (R) Friends and family talk
about the comedy actor, with
contributions by Stephen Frears,
Ricky Tomlinson, Leslie Phillips,
Honor Blackman and Vera Lynn.
11.30 British Sitcom: 60 Years of
Laughing at Ourselves (R)
12.30 Some Santas with Jokes (T) (R)
1.0 Sound of Musicals with Neil
Brand (T) (R) 2.0 Royal Institution
Christmas Lectures 2017: The
Language of Life (T) (R) 3.0
Norman Wisdom: His Story (T) (R)
6.15 New Generation Artists. Ilker Arcay黵ek sings
Schubert?s song cycle Winterreise. 7.40 BBC燩roms
Mr Betjeman Regrets, by Jonathan Smith. In 1984,
during his last days in Cornwall, John Betjeman has
become a popular TV and radio performer, but he
continues to worry about his chequered career and
complex personal life. Benjamin Whitrow and Robert
Bathurst star. 3.0 The Kitchen Cabinet: Cambridge
(R) 3.30 Making History: Who Was Saint Stephen?
Tom Holland visits Norwich to find out more about
Saint Stephen. (1/7) 4.0 The Half: A Countdown
to Performance (R) 4.30 Great Lives: Nazir Afzal
on Gandhi (4/9) 5.0 PM. With Eddie Mair. 5.54
(LW) Shipping Forecast 6.0 News 6.15 15 Minute
Musical: Dud Brothers (2/2) 6.30 Mark Steel?s
in Town: Portishead (4/6) 7.0 The Archers 7.15
Front Row 7.45 Incredible Women (R) (2/5) 8.0
A Culture of Encounter (R) 8.30 In Touch 9.0 The
Power of Sloth. Zoologist Lucy Cooke unleashes her
inner sloth to discover why being lazy could actually
be the ultimate evolutionary strategy. 9.30 Black
Music in Europe: A Hidden History: 1910-1920 (R)
10.0 The World Tonight. With Paul Moss. 10.45
Book at Bedtime: How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig.
(2/10) LW: 11.0 TMS: Australia v England ? Fourth
Test, Day Two. 12.48; 5.20 Shipping Forecast. FM:
11.0 The Missing Hancocks: The Trial of Father
Christmas (5/5) 11.30 Anansi Boys. Written by
Neil Gaiman. (2/6) 12.0 News 12.15 Bone Stories:
Irish Giant (R) 12.30 Book of the Week (R) 12.48
Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service 5.20
Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for
the Day 5.45 Farming Today: Royal Agricultural
Benevolent Institution?s Festive Work 5.58 Tweet
of the Day: The Twelve Tweets of Christmas (9/12)
9.0
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.30 The Breakfast Show With Scott and Chris 10.0
Adele Roberts 1.0 Dev 4.0 Jordan North 7.0 Annie
Mac 9.0 Stories: Rebellion With Annie Nightingale
10.0 Stories: Music by Numbers ? X-Factor 11.0
Huw Stephens 1.0 Annie Nightingale 3.0 Stories:
Extreme Festivals ? Dominator 4.0 Early Breakfast
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Sara Cox 9.30 Trevor Nelson 12.0
Mika�0 In Concert: Deep Purple in Session
(R)�0 Craig Charles 5.0 Strictly Shirley 7.0
The Great American Songbook: Don Black on Van
Morrison 8.0 Sir Roger Moore: Nobody Did It
Better 10.0燣ost and Found (2/2) 12.0 Sounds
of the 80s 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Folk, 90s Hits
&燱ednesday Workout 5.0 Nicki Chapman
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. With Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Ian Skelly?s guest is Griff Rhys
Jones. 12.0 Composer of the Week: Cole Porter
(R) (2/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert.
Highlights of the Schubertiade, recorded at the
Angelika Kauffmann Sall, Schwarzenberg, Austria
last June. Mozart: String Quartet in B flat, K458
(Hunt). Mandelring Quartet. Beethoven: Piano
Sonata No 4 in E flat, Op 7. Paul Lewis (piano).
2.0 Afternoon Concert: The Best of 2017. Music
from the world of ballet performed by the BBC
Concert Orchestra at Watford Colosseum. Arnold:
Water (Homage to the Queen). Gordon: Suite ? Les
noces imaginaires. Delibes ed Wordsworth: Suite
? Copp閘ia. BBC CO, Barry Wordsworth. 3.20 Eric
Whitacre: I Carry Your Heart With Me. BBC Singers,
Eric Whitacre. 3.25 Bart髃: Hungarian Sketches for
Orchestra, Sz97. Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 3
in C, Op 26. 4.05 Korngold: Symphony in F sharp,
Op 40. Beatrice Rana (piano), BBC NOW, B Tommy
Andersson. 5.0 Words and Music: Nonsense (R)
2017: Prom 8. The BBC Concert Orchestra celebrate
the music of the film composer John Williams.
(R) 9.40 BBC Proms 2017: Proms at Wilton?s
Music Hall. Sian Edwards conducts Birmingham
Contemporary Music Group in music by John Luther
Adams, Peter Maxwell Davies, Handel, Messiaen
and Rebecca Saunders. (R) 11.0 Late Junction. With
Gabriel Prokofiev. 12.30 Through the Night (R)
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 TMS: Australia v England. The first day
of the fourth Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket
Ground. FM: 6.0 Today. With Justin Webb and
Nick Robinson. 7.48 Thought for the Day, with Prof
Ben Quash. (LW joins at 7.30) 9.0 Black Music
in Europe: A Hidden History ? 1910-1920. With
Clarke Peters. (2/3) 9.30 One to One: Mark Steel
and Graeme Le Saux (R) 9.45 (LW) Daily Service:
On the Feast of Stephen 9.45 (FM) Book of the
Week: Adventures of a Young Naturalist. David
Attenborough recalls encountering a reluctant
sloth during his 1955 trip to Guyana. (2/5) 10.0
Woman?s Hour. Presented by Jane Garvey. Includes
at 10.45 Drama: Incredible Women. Rebecca and
Jeremy Front?s spoof documentary celebrating
Cicely Leyland?s 100th birthday. (2/5) 11.0 James
Burke on the End of Scarcity. The broadcaster
discusses nanotechnolgy, which he believes is
the biggest change to humanity in 10,000 years.
11.30 Tales from the Stave: Mendelssohn?s
Elijah. Frances Fyfield celebrates the handwritten
manuscripts of famous pieces of classical music
with a piece that was first heard in Birmingham ?
commissioned by the Birmingham music festival
for a first performance in 1846. (1/3) 12.0 News
12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front:
26 December 1917 ? Lester Reed, by Katie Hims.
(32/40) 12.15 You and Yours 1.0 The World at One.
With Jonny Dymond. 1.45 Radio 4?s Pen Pals: Lemn
and Mark (2/5) 2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama:
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
7.0 Ashes Breakfast 10.0 Test Match Special:
Our燭MS (R) 12.0 5 Live Sport 12.30 Premier
League Football: Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton (kick-off 12.30pm) 2.30 5 Live Sport
5.0 Sports燫eport 5.30 Premier League Football:
Liverpool v Swansea City (kick-off 5.30pm) 7.30
6-0-6 9.0燗drian Goldberg 11.30 The Ashes
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
41
Wednesday 27
PICKS OF
THE DAY
Iannucci, Patrick Marber, Peter Baynham,
Rebecca Front, David Schneider and Doon
Mackichan, and features interviews with
regular members of the cast who inhabit
Alan?s extraordinary world. Priceless.
navigates the cross-cultural translation
with some elegance, despite few Asian
names in its voice cast. Jonathan Romney
COMEDY
James Burke on the End of Scarcity
RADIO
World Service, 1.30pm
Miranda Does Christmas
Channel 4, 9pm
Miranda Hart hosts a Christmas special
featuring a gospel choir, a festive take on a
Destiny?s Child classic, and a rosta of guests
that includes David Tennant, Sam Smith
and Prue Leith. Mike Bradley
FILM
DOCUMENTARY
Big Hero 6
BBC One, 4.10pm
Six Robots and Us
BBC Two, 8pm
(Don Hall, Chris Williams, 2014)
The ?rst in a fascinating two-part series
that documents what happens when
six British families with speci?c needs ?
from learning di?culties to ?tness training
? welcome robot helpers into their homes.
Clearly, this is the shape of things to
come, but that doesn?t necessarily mean
they will want to keep them for ever.
Loosely based on an Asian-themed Marvel
Comics series, this inventive and stylish
computer animation from Disney hits a
sweet spot between oddball comic action
and a nicely ironic take on that Japanese
term kawaii, or ?cute?. Its hero is 14-yearold robotics wiz Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter),
who teams up with Baymax, an in?atable
robot that resembles a minimalist cousin
to the Michelin Man. It?s a tribute to the
?lm?s brilliant design that Baymax ? with
only two black dots and a straight line for
facial features ? proves an exceptionally
expressive comic hero, in the deadpan
Keaton mould. The superhero adventure
stu? ? with our heroes forming the titular
team ? is snappily executed, and the ?lm
MOCKUMENTARY
Alan Partridge: Why, When,
Where, How and Whom?
BBC Two, 9pm
This retrospective documentary about the
career of Steve Coogan?s comic creation
Alan Partridge hears from Armando
TV CHOICE
Turtle, Eagle, Cheetah:
A Slow Odyssey
BBC Four, 9pm
What a joy it is to watch a nature
documentary unencumbered by
narrators trotting out silly anthropomorphic conceits. This ?lm experiences
life through the eyes of three species of
animal ? a green sea turtle in Indonesia?s
Celebes Sea, a white-tailed sea eagle on
Scotland?s Morvern peninsula and three
cheetahs out hunting together near Na
an ku S� in Namibia .Thanks to the latest
on-board cameras pioneered by the
BBC?s Natural History Unit, we experience
what the animals encounter at ?rst hand
and the results are quite astonishing.
Embedded graphics give further insight
into the animals? worlds and the latest
information regarding their numbers and
status. A genuinely immersive experience
which allows us to switch into ?nature
time? and get as close to the animals as
possible. Brilliant. Mike Bradley
This valuable series reconsiders some
of the world?s most horri?c disasters,
investigating what really happened and
whether lessons have been learnt since.
Today Tulip Mazumdar remembers the 2013
collapse of Bangladesh?s Rana Plaza where
more than 1,000 people were killed on one
day in the world?s worst accidental building
disaster. We hear how the Plaza was never
designed to cope with the extra storeys and
structural demands imposed by a garment
factory with heavy generators, and also
how workers were forced to show up even
after cracks appeared. Safety issues have
now been largely addressed in Bangladesh,
but attempts to unionise workers there
have met with resistance. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
Sky Sports Main Event, 7.30pm
Newcastle United v Manchester City:
Premier League. Live coverage from St
James? Park, where the Magpies will do
their level best to match the guile of Pep
Guardiola?s Citizens, despite their terrible
record against the Manchester club, with
their most recent league victory coming
way back in September 2005. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Breakfast (T) 7.45 Match of
the Day (T) (R) 9.15 Turbo
(2013) (T) 10.45 The
Princess and the Frog (2009)
(T) 12.15 Snow Bears (T) (R) 1.15
News (T) 1.25 Regional News and
Weather (T) 1.35 Father Brown
(T) (R) 2.20 Shrek 2 (2004)
(T) 3.45 The Gru?alo (T) (R) 4.10
Big Hero 6 (2014) (T) 5.45
Pointless (T) (R) 6.30 News (T)
6.50 Regional News and Weather
(T) 7.0 Celebrity Mastermind
(T) 7.30 A Question of Sport:
Premier League Special (T)
6.25 Mary Berry?s Country House
Secrets (R) 7.25 Island Parish
(R) 7.55 Bears (2014) 9.10
Big Family Cooking Showdown
(R) 10.10 Nadiya?s British Food
Adventure (R) 11.10 The Sweet
Makers: A Georgian Treat (R)
12.10 The Red Shoes (1948)
2.20 World?s Most Extraordinary
Homes (R) 3.20 Inside the
Factory (R) 4.20 The Man
Who Never Was (1956) 6.0
Thailand: Earth?s Tropical Paradise
(R) 7.0 Dad?s Army (R) 7.30
Christmas University Challenge
6.0
Little Women (T) Beth falls
dangerously ill, just as the
March girls are forced to fend
for themselves.
The Miniaturist (T) Concluding
the adaptation of Jessie Burton?s
bestselling novel set in 1686.
Nella desperately tries to turn
the fortunes of the Brandt
household around.
8.0
8.0
BBC One
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.20 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.30 Mrs Brown?s Boys Christmas
Special (T) (R) (1/2) Grandad is
convinced the house is haunted.
11.0 Not Going Out Christmas Special
(T) (R) Lee buys the perfect
Christmas present for his children,
but the kids? grandparents have
the same idea.
11.40 Comic Relief 2017: ?Twas the
Thanks After Red Nose Day (T)
A look back at the 2017 event.
12.40 Weather (T) 12.45 News (T)
9.0
Six Robots & Us (T) A unique
experiment exploring the latest
innovations in robotics.
Alan Partridge: Why, When,
Where, How and Whom? (T)
Celebrating 25 years of Steve
Coogan?s creation, featuring
contributions from writers and
co-stars, and previously unseen
rehearsal and improv footage.
10.0 Oasis: Supersonic
(Mat Whitecross, 2016) (T)
Documentary about the early
years of the Manchester band.
11.55 NFL This Week (T) Action from
the 16th round of ?xtures.
12.45 Britpop at the BBC (T) 1.45 Blur
at Glastonbury (T) (R) The
band?s 2009 set. 2.45 Sign Zone:
Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely
Champers (T) (R) 3.45 Bill
(Richard Bracewell, 2015) (T)
William Shakespeare leaves his
family to pursue his dreams.
Comedy with Mathew Baynton.
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
7.30am Swansea v Leeds 1981/82 8.0 Oxford
United v Leeds 1984/85 8.30 SPFL 10.0
Premier燣eague Review 11.0 Premier League
Review: 1996/97 12.0 Premier League Review:
1997/98 1.0 Premier League Review: 1998/99
2.0 Premier League Review: 1999/00 3.0
Premier League Review: 2000/01 4.0 SPFL
5.30燙ricket: Big Bash League 6.30 The Ashes
8.0 Live Rugby Tonight 9.0 BT Sport Reload
9.30 The Ashes 11.0 The Ashes Live: Australia
v England. Coverage of the third day?s play in
the爁ourth Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-10.0 The British 10.0 The Words
That燘uilt America 11.0-6.0 Blue Bloods 6.09.0 David Attenborough?s Conquest of爐he燬kies
9.0-12.30 Game of Thrones 12.30-2.25
Big燣ittle Lies 2.25 The Sopranos 3.30 The
Tunnel: Vengeance 4.25-6.0 Richard E
Grant?s燞otel Secrets
E4
6.0am Hollyoaks 7.0 New Girl 7.30 New Girl
8.0 Rude(ish) Tube Shorts 8.10 A Monster
in Paris (2011) 10.0 Space Chimps 2: Zartog
Strikes Back (2010) 11.35 Ice Age: A Mammoth
Christmas 12.0 Toy Story OF TERROR!
(2013) 12.30 Toy Story That Time Forgot
(2014) 1.0 The Big Bang Theory 1.30 The Big
Bang Theory 2.0 How I Met Your Mother 2.30
How I Met Your Mother 3.0 The Big Bang Theory:
Big Bang A-Z ? I Is for Intimacy 3.30 The Big Bang
Theory: Big Bang A-Z ? J Is for Junior Professor
4.0 The Big Bang Theory: Big Bang A-Z ? K Is for
Knocking 4.30 The Big Bang Theory: Big Bang
A-Z ? L Is for Laundry 5.0 The Goldbergs 5.30
The Goldbergs 6.0 The Big Bang Theory 6.30
The Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 I, Robot (2004) 9.40 8 Out of 10 Cats: More
Best Bits 10.30 Naked Attraction 11.35 The Big
Bang Theory 12.10 The Big Bang Theory 12.35
42
Channel 4
Channel 5
CITV Sooty (R) 6.10 Oddbods (R)
6.15 Om Nom Stories (R) 6.20
Super 4 (R) 6.45 Mr Bean: The
Animated Series (R) 7.10 Horrid
Henry (R) 7.25 K-9 (1989)
9.25 Twins (1988) 11.25
Cannonball Christmas Special
(R) 12.25 You?ve Been Framed!
12.55 News 1.0 Midsomer
Murders (R) 3.0 Tenable (R)
4.0 Tipping Point (R) 5.0 The
Chase (R) 6.0 For the Love of
Dogs (R) 6.30 Local News (T)
6.45 News (T) 7.0 Emmerdale
(T) 7.30 Coronation Street (T)
6.40 Short Circuit 2 (Kenneth
Johnson, 1988) (T) 8.40
Lego Masters (T) (R) 9.40
The Simpsons (T) (R) 10.10
The Simpsons (T) (R) 10.35
The Simpsons (T) (R) 11.05
Small Soldiers (Joe Dante,
1998) (T) 1.15 Sunshine
on Leith (Dexter Fletcher, 2013)
(T) 3.10 Four Rooms with Sarah
Beeny (T) 4.15 News (T) 4.30
Back to the Future Part II
(Robert Zemeckis, 1989) (T) Sci? sequel. 6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0
The Supervet at Christmas (T) (R)
6.0
Harry Potter and the
Goblet of Fire (Mike Newell,
2005) (T) The teenage wizard is
chosen to represent Hogwarts
School in a dangerous magical
tournament. Fourth instalment of
the fantasy saga, starring Daniel
Radcli?e and Robert Pattinson.
8.0
8.0
10.50 News (T)
11.04 Local News and Weather (T)
11.05 Tina & Bobby (T) (R) Drama about
footballer Bobby Moore?s life
with his childhood sweetheart
Tina Dean. Lorne MacFadyen
and Michelle Keegan star.
12.05 Get Shirty (T) (R) Documentary
exploring the origins of replica
football kits. 12.55 Jackpot247
3.0 May the Best House Win (T)
(R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
VARIATIONS
Gogglebox 1.45 Rude Tube: Welcome to 2016
3.40 The Inbetweeners 4.05 Rude(ish) Tube
4.30 New Girl 4.50 New Girl 5.10 New Girl
Film4
11.0am ParaNorman (2012) 12.50
Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) 2.30
Casper (1995) 4.35 Scrooged
(1988)�45 Super 8 (2011) 9.0 Iron Man 2 (2010) 11.25 Colombiana
(2011) 1.35 Chevalier (2016)
Sky1
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 Galapagos
12.0燞awaii Five-0 1.0 Moonfleet 2.0 Moonfleet
3.0 Modern Family 3.30 Modern Family 4.0
Modern Family 4.30 Futurama 5.0 Futurama
5.30 The Simpsons 6.0 The Simpsons 6.30 The
Simpsons 7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons
8.0 A League of Their Own 9.0 The Late Late
Show 10.0 Football?s Funniest Moments 12.0
A燣eague爋f Their Own: US Road Trip 2.0 1.0 The
Russell Howard Hour 2.0 A League of Their Own
3.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 4.0-6.0 Zoo Tales
Sky Sports Main Event
6.0am Total Goals 9.0 Good Morning Sports
Fans 10.0 Premier League Daily 11.0 Sky Sports
Daily 12.0 Sky Sports News 12.30 Live World
Darts Championship. Coverage of the afternoon
session on day 11 of the PDC event at the Alexandra
Palace in London, featuring three second-round
clashes. 4.30 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 Premier League: Newcastle
United v Manchester City (kick-off 8pm) Coverage
of the top-flight encounter at St James? Park.
10.0 Live World Darts Championship. The evening
session on day 11. 11.0-6.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.55am
Teleshopping 1.55 After Midnight 2.55 Storage
Hoarders (T) (R) 3.45 May the Best House Win
(T) (R) 4.35-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.55am-3.0
ITV燦ightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.55am
Teleshopping 1.55 After Midnight 2.55 Storage
Hoarders (T) (R) 3.45 May the Best House Win
(T) (R) 4.35-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
ULSTER As ITV except 12.55am
Teleshopping 1.55-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE WALES 7.30pm-8.0 Eddie
Butler?s Sport Review 2017 (T) 10.30 A燪uestion
of Sport: Premier League Special (T) 11.0 Mrs
Brown?s Boys Christmas Special (T) (R) 11.30
Not燝oing Out Christmas Special (T) (R) 12.101.10 Comic Relief 2017: ?Twas the Thanks After
Red Nose Day (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 10.30pm To
Be Frank Carson (T) 11.30 Mrs Brown?s Boys
Christmas Special (T) (R) 12.0 Not Going Out
Christmas Special (T) (R) 12.40-1.40 Comic
Relief 2017: ?Twas the Thanks After Red Nose
Day (T)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 6.0pm Dad?s
Army�(T) (R) 6.30 Christmas University
Challenge 2017 (T) 7.0-8.0 Roads Less
Travelled (T) With Cameron McNeish.
9.0
Supershoppers Sales Special
(T) Anna Richardson and Sabrina
Grant o?er money-saving tips.
Miranda Does Christmas (T)
A Christmas special hosted
by comedian Miranda Hart,
featuring a unique gospel choir
performance, and a festive
version of a Destiny?s Child classic.
10.0 First Dates at Christmas (R) The
restaurant hosts a festive party.
11.05 East Is East (Damien
O?Donnell, 1999) Two Asian
teenagers in 1970s Salford are
horri?ed when their father
plans arranged marriages for
them. Comedy drama starring
Om Puri and Jimi Mistry.
12.50 Very British Problems at
Christmas (T) (R) 1.45 That?s So
Last Century (T) (R) 2.35 Britain?s
Favourite Superhero (T) (R) 4.0
Location, Location, Location (T)
(R) 4.55 Four in a Bed (T) (R)
9.0
Milkshake! 9.15 Cruising with
Jane McDonald (T) (R) 9.30
World?s Strongest Man 2017 (T)
10.30 North Sea Hijack
(Andrew V McLaglen, 1979) (T)
12.25 Operation Crossbow
(Michael Anderson, 1965) (T)
2.40 Operation: Daybreak
(Lewis Gilbert, 1975) (T) 4.55
The Guns of Navarone (J
Lee Thompson, 1961) (T) Allied
soldiers are sent to sabotage
German artillery emplacements.
Second world war action with
Gregory Peck, David Niven.
World?s Strongest Man 2017 (T)
Action from the opening heat in
Botswana. Includes news update.
Most Shocking Celebrity
Moments 2017 (T) Memorable
moments featuring famous faces
from the past year, including
David Beckham?s leaked emails
and Prue Leith?s Bake O? spoiler.
BBC Four
7.0
Sound of Musicals With Neil
Brand (T) (R) (2/3) The presenter
explores how a new generation
of composers transformed
musical theatre by embracing
more gritty, challenging subjects.
8.0
Royal Institution Christmas
Lectures 2017: The Language
of Life (T) Professor Sophie
Scott explores the world of
silent communication.
Turtle, Eagle, Cheetah: A Slow
Odyssey (T) Cameras capture
the natural world from the
perspectives of a cheetah,
a turtle and an eagle.
9.0
12.0 Blind Date Christmas Special
(T) (R) A festive edition of the
matchmaking show, in which
Paul O?Grady gives a real-life
Prince Charming a chance
to ?nd romance with either
Cinderella, Snow White or
Tinkerbell. 1.0 SuperCasino
(T) 3.05 Love/Hate (T) (R)
4.0 Cruising With Jane McDonald
(T) (R) 4.45 House Doctor (T)
(R) 5.10 House Busters (T) (R)
5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.30 Concorde: A Supersonic Story (T)
(R) The life of the most glamorous
plane ever built, as told by those
whose lives it touched. Narrated
by Sophie Okonedo.
11.30 Timeshift: Bridging the Gap ?
How the Severn Bridge Was Built
(T) (R) Liz Bonnin marks the 50th
anniversary of the construction
of the Severn Bridge.
12.30 Engineering Giants: Ferry StripDown (T) (R) 1.30 Turtle, Eagle,
Cheetah: A Slow Odyssey (T) (R)
3.0 Royal Institution Christmas
Lectures 2017 (T) (R)
Church, Pimlico, London 4.30 New Generation
Artists. Elena Urioste (violin), Beatrice Rana
(piano). Beethoven: Violin Sonata No 5 in F, Op
24 (Spring). 5.0 Words and Music: Once Upon
a Time (R) 6.15 New Generation Artists. The
Calidore Quartet play Haydn?s Lark Quartet and
Ashley Riches sings Vaughan Williams?s Songs
of Travel. 7.30 BBC Proms 2017: Prom 13.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew
Davis, with pianist Beatrice Rana in Schumann?s
Piano Concerto, recreate Malcolm Sargent?s 1966
500th Prom to mark the 50th anniversary of his
death. (R) 9.30 BBC Proms 2017: Prom 67. The
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra perform music by
Mendelssohn, including the Hebrides Overture, the
Fifth Symphony, and the Violin Concerto, featuring
soloist Isabelle Faust. (R) 11.0 Late Junction. With
Gabriel Prokofiev. 12.30 Through the Night (R)
2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: Game Over, by
Emily Short 3.02 Ramblings: Listeners? Walks ?
Cornwall (R) 3.26 The Listening Project: David
and Mike ? Words of Love Not Hate 3.30 The
Power of Sloth (R) 4.0 Thinking Allowed. Human
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.30 Scott and Chris 10.0 Adele Roberts 1.0 Dev
4.0 Jordan North 7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 Stories:
Love With Annie Nightingale 10.0 Stories: Music
By Numbers ? Miley Cyrus 11.0 Huw Stephens
1.0 Benji B 3.0 Stories: Extreme Festivals ? The
Festival That Never Sleeps 4.0 Early Breakfast
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Sara Cox 9.30 Trevor Nelson 12.0 Jeremy
Vine 2.0 In Concert: Chic & Nile Rodgers (R) 3.0
Craig Charles 5.0 Paint It Black With Ronnie Wood
and Anneka Rice 7.0 The Folk Show With Mark
Radcliffe 8.0 Ana Matronic 10.0 Mark Kermode?s
Celluloid Jukebox (5/5) 11.0 Stanley Baxter?s
Musical World (1/2) 12.0 Pick of the Pops (R)
2.0燫adio 2 Playlists: Country, Easy & Radio 2
Rocks 5.0 Nicki Chapman
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. With Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Ian Skelly?s guest this week
is Griff Rhys Jones, who talks about the things
that have inspired and influenced him in his life
and career. 12.0 Composer of the Week: Cole
Porter (R) (3/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert. Ian Skelly presents highlights of the
Schubertiade, recorded at the Angelika Kauffmann
Saal, Schwarzenberg in June 2016. Beethoven:
Quartet in E minor, Op 59 No 2 (Rasumovsky).
Manderling Quartet. Schubert: Fantasy in C,
D760 (Wandererfantasie). William Youn (piano).
2.0 Afternoon Concert: The Best of 2017. A
concert the BBC Philharmonic gave on tour in
Santander. Beethoven: Overture ? Egmont, Op
84. Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of
Paganini for piano and orchestra, Op 43. Berlioz:
Symphonie fantastique, Op 14. Juan Floristan
(piano), BBC Philharmonic, Juanjo Mena. 3.30
Choral Evensong: Rodolfus Choir at St Gabriel?s
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 TMS: Australia v England. Commentary
on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground. FM: 6.0 Today. With
Sarah Montague and Justin Webb. 7.48 Thought
for the Day, with Abdurahman Sayed. (LW joins
at 7.30) 9.0 Soul Music: Redemption Song.
How Bob Marley?s Redemption Song has inspired
generations around the world. (2/5) 9.30 Why I
Changed My Mind (R) 9.45 (LW) Daily Service: The
Poetry of Christmas ? The Word 9.45 (FM) Book
of the Week: Adventures of a Young Naturalist,
by David Attenborough. (3/5) 10.02 Woman?s
Hour. Presented by Jenni Murray. Includes at 10.45
Drama: Incredible Women, by Rebecca and Jeremy
Front. (3/5) 11.0 A Place Called Home: Mary Portas
(R) 11.30 John Finnemore?s Souvenir Programme
(R) 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast
12.04 Home Front: 27 December 1917 ? Fraser
Chadwick, by Katie Hims. (33/40) 12.15 You and
Yours. Consumer and public interest reports. 1.0
The World at One. Presented by Jonny Dymond.
1.45 Radio 4?s Pen Pals: Lyse and Masood (3/5)
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
6.15 Dr John Cooper Clarke at the BBC. The Bard
of Salford performs classic and new poems at the
BBC?s Radio theatre. (1/2) 6.30 Jeremy Hardy
Feels It. Jeremy presents the series that not only
seconds an emotion, but explains it too. (3/4) 7.0
The Archers. Ian looks to the future. 7.15 Front
Row. Arts roundup. 7.45 Incredible Women (R)
(3/5) 8.0 We Need to Talk About Death: Bury Me at
Sea. Joan Bakewell and her panel discuss how to opt
to be buried at sea, and explore how Britain?s naval
history has shaped this modern-day practice. (3/3)
8.45 Encounters 9.0 Against Our Ruin (R) 9.30
Soul Music: Redemption Song (R) 10.0 The World
Tonight. With Paul Moss. 10.45 Book at Bedtime:
How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig. (3/10) LW: 11.0
TMS: Australia v England ? Fourth Test, Day Three.
12.48; 5.20 Shipping Forecast. FM: 11.0 Life on
Egg: Method. Comedy, starring Harry Hill as the
governor of the Egg, Britain?s most remote prison.
(1/4) 11.15 Lazy Susan: East Coast Listening Post
(2/4) 11.30 Anansi Boys. By Neil Gaiman. (3/6)
12.0 News 12.15 Bone Stories: West Runton
Mammoth (R) 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燚ay 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of the
Day: The Twelve Tweets of Christmas (10/12)
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
7.0 Ashes Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Sam
Walker 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live Drive
7.0 5 Live Sport 7.45 Premier League Football:
Newcastle Utd v Man City (kick-off 7.45pm) 10.0
The Ashes 10.30 5 Live News 11.30 The Ashes
Thursday 28
PICKS OF
THE DAY
week shopping bill and examines the retail
stories of the year: getting to the bottom of
the return of big knickers; the facts behind
the unicorn trend; and why the comeback
of gin actually shows we are drinking less.
especially their True Grit, plus echoes of
Jim Jarmusch?s genre exercise Dead Man.
DoP Robbie Ryan brings a luminous touch
to the landscapes. Jonathan Romney
RADIO
COMEDY
The Adventures of a
Young Naturalist
Romesh Ranganathan: Irrational
BBC Two, 10.30pm
Radio 4, 9.45am
A recording of the comedian?s ?rst live show
from 2016, in which he explains why he can
never be a proper Santa Claus and also why
he is rational and everybody else is just
plain wrong. Very funny. Mike Bradley
FILM
LECTURE
Slow West
Film4, 11.25pm
Royal Institution Christmas
Lectures: The Word
BBC Four, 8pm
(John Maclean, 2015)
In the ?nal lecture in The Language of Life
series Sophie Scott asks where human
beings? superior linguistic ability comes
from and whether any other animals
use language in any form at all. She also
considers the world of primates and the
theory that some apes may communicate
through sign language. Engrossing.
DOCUMENTARY
What Britain Bought in 2017
Channel 4, 9pm
From M&S to John Lewis, Superdrug to
Poundland, Hobbycraft to Lakeland, Mary
Portas breaks down Britain?s �5bn-a-
A beguilingly o?beat debut from Scottish
director Maclean, in a previous life one
quarter of left?eld music act the Beta
Band. Kodi Smit-McPhee pays Jay
Cavendish, a 16-year-old Scot who has
crossed the Atlantic to ?nd the girl he
loves and ended up out of his depth ?
?a jackrabbit in a den of wolves? ? in the
Colorado of the 1870s. Michael Fassbender
plays a hardened drifter who appoints
himself Jay?s chaperone across the
wilderness, for a price. And as a fur-coated
heavy, the great Ben Mendelsohn is, for
a change, wol?sh as well as weaselly.
Laconic, pitch-black wit, plus a revisionist
passion for the western genre, ?avour a
?lm with distinctive touches of the Coens,
TV CHOICE
Attenborough and the
Empire of the Ants
BBC Two, 9.30pm
This Natural World ?lm shows a very
di?erent side of presenter Sir David
Attenborough (above). Yes, he displays
his usual inexhaustible enthusiasm for
nature in all its many guises, but this time
it?s expressed in a more scienti?c context
as he studies wood ant colonies in the
Jura mountains on the French-Swiss
border. It?s not so dry and analytical as
to be o?putting, just don?t expect the
usual jaw-dropping spectacular fare
we have come to expect from the great
man as he investigates the life cycles of
two physically identical species of ant
that live in the same area but employ
two very di?erent survival strategies.
Outstanding macro- and infrared
photography monitors the life of these
?insect super-societies? both inside
and outside the nest. A complex but
rewarding animal portrait. Mike Bradley
Throughout the week Sir David Attenborough has been regaling us with tales of how
he sought out rare animals for London Zoo
back in 1955. His travels were also ?lmed for
the BBC television series, Zoo Quest. Today?s
episode ?nds him in Argentina, where he
worries that the wide open spaces will put
o? birds used to concealing their nests.
No such concerns for the ovenbird whose
domed, mud-caked nest is an e?cient
fortress that can be erected in plain sight,
even on top of a swinging gate. He also
observes how the ostrich-like male rhea
prepares a nest that may contain some 30
eggs from multiple females. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
Sky Sports Main Event, 7.30pm
Crystal Palace v Arsenal: Premier League.
Live coverage from Selhurst Park.
Palace recorded their ?rst victory over
the Gunners since October 1994 in this
corresponding ?xture last season, with
Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and
Luka Milivojevi? contributing the killer
blows in a famous 3-0 win. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
6.45 Sign Zone MasterChef: The
Professionals (R) 7.45 Ray
Harryhausen: Special E?ects
Titan (2011) 9.15 The Big Family
Cooking Showdown (R) 10.15
Nadiya?s British Food Adventure
(R) 11.15 The Sweet Makers: A
Victorian Treat (R) 12.15 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing
(1955) 1.55 Natural World (R) 2.55
World?s Most Extraordinary
Homes (T) (R) 3.55 Inside the
Factory (T) (R) 4.55 Heroes
of Telemark (1965) (T) 7.0 Thailand:
Earth?s Tropical Paradise (T) (R)
6.0
EastEnders (T) Fi breaks into
Willmott-Brown?s o?ce to ?nd
out the truth about her father.
8.30 Little Women (T) Jo feels
snubbed when Amy is
chosen over her.
9.30 EastEnders (T) Fi is sickened
to discover how low her family
have sunk, and Linda is hellbent
on ?nding another local pub.
8.0
Christmas University Challenge
(T) Teams from the University of
Leicester and UCL compete.
8.30 Six Robots & Us (T) (2/2) The
experts deliver more robots
to families around the UK.
9.30 Attenborough and the Empire
of the Ants (T) The story of
two physically identical species
of ant that have two very
di?erent strategies to survive.
8.0
10.0 News (T)
10.15 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.25 Bruno Mars: Live in Harlem
(T) A performance by the singer
in Harlem, New York.
11.10 U2 at the BBC (T) (R) The band
perform some of their biggest
hits live at Abbey Road Studios.
12.25 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.30 News (T)
10.30 Romesh Ranganathan: Irrational
Live (T) The comedian?s ?rstever live standup show.
11.30 Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
(Declan Lowney, 2013) (T) The
hapless local radio DJ ends up in
the middle of a siege. Comedy
starring Steve Coogan and Colm
Meaney.
12.55 Oasis: Supersonic
(Mat Whitecross, 2016) (T)
2.55 Sign Zone: Employable
Me (T) (R) 3.55 Blitz: The Bombs
That Changed Britain (T) (R)
4.55 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.35 News (T) Weather
10.54 Local News and Weather (T)
10.55 Tina & Bobby (T) (R) Bobby
Moore player leads England
to World Cup glory. Lorne
MacFadyen and Michelle Keegan
star in the biographical drama.
11.55 Stuck on You: The Football
Sticker Story (T) (R) The story
of the Panini brothers.
12.45 Jackpot247 3.0 Tenable (T)
(R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
BBC One
6.0
Breakfast 9.0 The Pirates!
In an Adventure with Scientists!
(2012) 10.20 Kung Fu Panda
(2008) 11.45 Bargain Hunt (R)
12.45 News and Weather 1.0
Regional News and Weather 1.05
Father Brown (R) 1.50 Revolting
Rhymes (T) (R) 2.20 Shrek
the Third (2007) (T) 3.45 The
Gru?alo?s Child (T) (R) 4.10 How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
(T) 5.45 Pointless (T) (R) 6.30
News (T) 6.45 Regional News
(T) 7.0 Celebrity Mastermind
(T) 7.30 Still Open All Hours (T)
8.0
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
7.30am Premier League World 8.0 Premier
League Review: 2001/02 9.0 Premier League
Review: 2002/03 10.0 Premier League Review:
2003/04 11.0 Premier League Review: 2004/05
12.0 Premier League Review: 2005/06 1.0
Premier League Review: 2006/07 2.0 Premier
League Review: 2007/08 3.0 Premier League
Review: 2008/09 4.0 Premier League Review:
2009/10 5.0 Premier League Review: 2010/11
6.0 Premier League World 6.30 Serie A Review
7.0 Bundesliga Weekly 7.30 BT Sport Goals
Reload 7.45 BT Sport Goals Reload 8.0 The
Clare燘alding Show 9.0 SPFL Highlights 9.30
The燗shes 11.0 The Ashes Live: Australia v
England. Coverage of the fourth day?s play in
the爁ourth Test燼t Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am-9.0 David Attenborough?s Kingdom of
Plants 9.0 The Making of David Attenborough?s
Kingdom of Plants 10.0 San Francisco 2.0 11.06.0 Blue Bloods 6.0 Dinosaur 13 (2014)
8.0 David Attenborough?s Conquest of the Skies
9.0 The Tunnel: Vengeance 10.0-12.40
Game爋f Thrones 12.40 Big Little Lies 1.45
The燭unnel: Vengeance 2.45 Nightingale
(2015) 4.20-6.0 Richard E Grant?s Hotel Secrets
Channel 5
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 Babe
(Chris Noonan, 1995) (T) 11.05
Black Beauty (Caroline
Thompson, 1994) (T) 12.45
News (T) 12.55 Local News (T)
1.0 Midsomer Murders (T) (R)
3.0 Tenable (T) (R) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T)
(R) 6.0 Paul O?Grady: For the
Love of Dogs (T) (R) 6.30 Local
News (T) 6.45 News (T) 7.0
Emmerdale (T) Jimmy and Nicola
receive a tempting o?er, and
Bernice prepares for her date.
7.20 The SpongeBob
SquarePants Movie (Stephen
Hillenburg, 2004) (T) 8.55
Lego Masters (T) (R) 10.0 The
Simpsons (T) (R) 11.0 Spy
Kids 4: All the Time in the World
(Robert Rodriguez, 2011) (T)
12.45 The Net (Irwin
Winkler, 1995) (T) 3.0 Four
Rooms (T) 4.0 News (T) 4.20
Back to the Future Part III
(Robert Zemeckis, 1990) (T) 6.30
Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 We?re Going on a
Bear Hunt (T) (R) 7.30 The Secret
Life of the Zoo at Christmas (T) (R)
6.0
Harry Potter and the
Order of the Phoenix (David
Yates, 2007) (T) The wizard
forms his fellow pupils into
a secret army to battle the
resurrected Lord Voldemort.
Fantasy adventure sequel
starring Daniel Radcli?e,
Emma Watson, Rupert
Grint, Gary Oldman, Michael
Gambon and Alan Rickman.
8.30 The Secret Life of Five Year Olds
on Holiday (T) One-o? special
in which familiar faces from the
observational series are shown
away from the classroom.
9.0 What Britain Bought in 2017
(T) Mary Portas surveys Britain?s
spending habits over the past
12 months, and looks back at
some of the big retail stories.
8.0
10.0 The Undateables at Christmas
(T) (R) Familiar faces from the
dating show share their plans for
the festive season.
11.05 About a Boy (Chris
Weitz, Paul Weitz, 2002) (T)
Romantic comedy starring
Hugh Grant and Toni Collette.
12.55 Alan Carr?s Christmas Chatty
Man (T) (R) 2.50 100 Years of
Movie Musicals (T) (R) 4.10
Location, Location? (T) (R) 5.05
Jamie?s Cracking Christmas (T)
(R) 5.15 Young Sherlock
Holmes (Barry Levinson, 1985) (T)
11.45 The Taking of Pelham
123 (Tony Scott, 2009) (T)
Criminals hijack a crowded New
York subway train and threaten
to kill the passengers unless
they are paid $10m. Crime
thriller remake starring Denzel
Washington and John Travolta.
1.45 SuperCasino 3.05 Love/Hate
(T) (R) 4.0 Cruising With Jane
McDonald (T) (R) 4.45 House
Doctor (T) (R) 5.10 House Busters
(T) (R) 5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.20 Jonas Kaufmann: Tenor for
the Ages (T) (R) Documentary
following the German opera
singer over the course of two
years, as he prepares to return
to the stage after a vocal injury
that left him unable to perform
for ?ve months.
11.50 The World?s Most Expensive
Stolen Paintings (T) (R)
12.50 Sound of Musicals With Neil
Brand (T) (R) (3/3) 1.50 Royal
Institution Christmas Lectures
2017: The Language of Life (T)
(R) 2.50 Peaky Blinders (T) (R)
Orchestra, Giordano Bellincampi. 5.0 Words
and Music: Saints and Sinners (R) 6.15 New
Generation Artists. Strauss: Kornblumen Op�,
No 1. Fatma Said (soprano), Joseph Middleton
(piano). Mendelssohn: String Quartet in F minor,
Op 80. Calidore Quartet. Schubert: Der Hirt auf
dem Felsen, D965. Fatma Said (soprano), Annelien
Van Wauwe (clarinet), Simon Lepper (piano).
Haydn: Trio in C major H.15.27. Amatis Piano Trio.
Eisler: Herr Hauptmann; Mein Sohn, was immer
auch aus dir werde. Fatma Said (soprano), Joseph
Middleton (piano). Sherif Mohie Din: Will the river
flow for ever. Fatma Said (soprano), Dearbhla
Collins (piano). 7.30 BBC Proms 2017: Prom 71.
Stravinsky: Funeral Song. arr Stravinsky: Song of
the Volga Boatmen. Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No
1 in D. 8.20 Interval: The Russian Way of Death.
Britten: Russian Funeral. Shostakovich: Symphony
No 11 in G minor (The Year 1905). Alina Ibragimova
(violin), London Philharmonic, Vladimir Jurowski.
(R) 9.35 BBC Proms 2017: Prom 62: Chineke!
Kevin John Edusei conducts the UK?s first BME
orchestra in their Proms debut. (R) 11.0 Exposure:
Hymn, Shane O?Linski, Laura Cannell & Andre
Bosman. From Norwich Arts Centre. 11.30 Late
Junction Mixtape. By electro-acoustic composer
Jonty Harrison. 12.30 Through the Night
Lawson on the increasingly powerful voice given to
audiences by technology. (3/3) 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 28
December 1917 ? Marion Wardle, by Katie Hims.
(34/40) 12.15 You and Yours 1.0 The World at One.
With Chris Mason. 1.45 Radio 4?s Pen Pals: Jim
and Jenny (4/5) 2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama:
Long Time Coming, by Ben Weatherill. 3.0 Open
Country: Nan Shepherd?s Cairngorms. With Helen
Mark. (10/16) 3.27 Radio 4 Appeal: Handicap
International UK (R) 3.30 Open Book (R) 4.0 The
Film Programme 4.30 Inside Science 5.0 PM. With
Eddie Mair. 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 6.0 News
6.15 Dr John Cooper Clarke at the BBC (2/2) 6.30
Keep Calman Carry On: Birdwatching. Susan Calman
goes birdwatching with Emma Kennedy. (4/4) 7.0
The Archers. Eddie comforts the cast. 7.15 Front
Row 7.45 Incredible Women (R) (4/5) 8.0 The
Briefing Room. Discussion with David Aaronovitch
and guests. 8.30 In Business: Mental Health at
the Workplace. With David Baker. (5/9) 9.0 Inside
Science (R) 9.30 In Our Time (R) 10.0 The World
Tonight. With James Coomarasamy. 10.45 Book at
Bedtime: How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig. (4/10)
LW: 11.0 Test Match Special: Australia v England
? Fourth Test, Day Four. 12.48; 5.20 Shipping
Forecast. FM: 11.0 The Brig Society: Football
Manager (R) 11.30 Anansi Boys. By Neil Gaiman.
Dramatised by Dirk Maggs. Fat Charlie arrives in
Florida. (4/6) 12.0 News 12.15 Bone Stories:
Mary Rose Archer (R) 12.30 Book of the Week (R)
12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer
for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of
the燚ay: The Twelve Tweets of Christmas (11/12)
VARIATIONS
at Christmas 3.05 The Inbetweeners 3.35 2 Broke
Girls 3.55 2 Broke Girls 4.20 Rude(ish) Tube
4.40 Charmed 5.25 Rules of Engagement
Film4
11.0am Jingle All the Way (1996) 12.45
Epic (2013) 2.50 Eragon (2006)
4.55 Fantastic Four (2005) 7.05 Men in Black II (2002) 9.0 Terminator
Genisys (2015) 11.25 Slow West (2015)
1.05 Police Story: Lockdown (2013)
Sky1
6.0am Futurama 6.30 Futurama 7.0
Futurama�30-9.30 The Simpsons 9.30
Modern Family 10.0 Modern Family 10.30
Modern Family 11.0 David Attenborough?s
Gal醦agos 12.0 Hawaii Five-0 1.0 Fungus
the Bogeyman 2.30 The Simpsons 3.0 The
Simpsons 3.30 Modern Family 4.0 Modern
Family 4.30 Futurama 5.0 Futurama 5.308.0 The Simpsons 8.0 Carpool Karaoke Special
9.0 xXx2: The Next Level (2005) 11.0 A
League of Their Own: US Road Trip 2.0 12.0 The
Russell Howard Hour 1.0 A League of Their Own:
Unseen 2.0 A League of Their Own 3.0 The Force:
Manchester 4.0 Monkeys: An Amazing Animal
Family 5.0 David Attenborough?s Galapagos
E4
Sky Sports Main Event
for Meemaw, N Is for Never Have I Ever, O Is for
Ornithophobia & P Is for Prom 5.0-6.0 The
Goldbergs 6.0-7.0 The Big Bang Theory 7.0
Hollyoaks 8.0-9.0 The Big Bang Theory 9.010.0 2 Broke Girls 10.0-11.05 The Inbetweeners
11.05-12.0 The Big Bang Theory 12.0 Gogglebox
1.05 Alan Carr Live: Spexy Beast 2.10 Tattoo Fixers
Championship. Coverage of the afternoon session
on day 12 of the PDC event at Alexandra Palace in
London, featuring three matches from the third
round. 4.30 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 Premier League: Crystal Palace
v Arsenal (kick-off 8pm) Coverage from Selhurst
Park of the contest between the London rivals.
10.0燣ive燱orld Darts Championship. The evening
session on day 12. 11.0-6.0 Sky Sports News
6.0am Hollyoaks 6.30 Charmed 7.25 Rude(ish)
Tube 7.50 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 8.15
Postman Pat: The Movie (2014) 10.0
Animals United (2010) 12.0-2.0 The Big
Bang Theory 2.0-3.0 How I Met Your Mother
3.0 The Big Bang Theory: Big Bang A-Z ? M Is
Channel 4
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
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.45am
Teleshopping 1.45 After Midnight 3.15-5.05
ITV Nightscreen
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.45am-3.0 ITV
Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.45am
Teleshopping 1.45 After Midnight 3.15-5.05
ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 12.45am
Teleshopping 1.45-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE N IRELAND 10.25pm The
Nathan Carter Christmas Special (T) The host
is joined by special guests for a night of festive
music, including Melanie C, Curtis Stigers, Una
Healy and the children from St Patrick?s Junior
Choir. 11.25 Bruno Mars: Live in Harlem (T)
12.10-1.25 U2 at the BBC (T) (R)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 7.0pm-8.0
Roads Less Travelled (T) (2/2) Cameron McNeish
completes his journey, heading from the Falls of
Bruar, southeast to the magnificent Angus Glens
before turning north to Deeside.
BBC TWO WALES 2.55pm-3.55 Proms
in the Park 2017 (T) (R) The Proms in the Park
return to Singleton Park, Swansea, with a show
featuring some of film and TV?s greatest hits, plus
the best of the traditional Last Night celebrations.
9.0
Milkshake! 9.15 Cruising with
Jane McDonald (T) (R) 9.30 The
Gadget Show (T) (R) 10.25 The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad
(Nathan Juran, 1958) (T) Fantasy
adventure. 12.15 The
Vikings (Richard Fleischer,
1958) (T) Kirk Douglas and Tony
Curtis star. 2.30 Jason and
the Argonauts (Don Cha?ey,
1963) (T) Todd Armstrong
stars. 4.30 Andr� Rieu: My Life
in Music (T) (R) 6.0 Andr� Rieu:
Christmas in London (T) (R)
7.0 Winter in Alaska (T) (R)
World?s Strongest Man 2017 (T)
Action from the second heat in
Botswana. Includes news.
Flight (Robert Zemeckis,
2012) (T) A pilot is hailed
as a hero for bringing a
malfunctioning plane down
safely ? until it emerges that
he was drunk. Drama with
Denzel Washington.
BBC Four
7.0
Sound of Musicals With Neil
Brand (T) (R) (3/3) The writer
and composer looks at the rise of
the all-conquering contemporary
blockbuster, from Evita to Les
Mis閞ables and The Lion King.
8.0
Royal Institution Christmas
Lectures 2017: The Language
of Life (T) Sophie Scott asks
where humans? superior
linguistic ability comes
from. Last in the series.
Francis Bacon: A Brush With
Violence (T) (R) Documentary
exploring the public and private
identities of the painter Francis
Bacon.
9.0
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.30 The Breakfast Show With Scott and Chris
10.0 Adele Roberts 1.0 Dev 4.0 Jordan North
7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 Stories: Heroes With Annie
Nightingale 10.0 Stories: Music By Numbers ?
Craig David 11.0 Residency: Dub Phizix & Strategy
1.0 Toddla T 3.0 Artist Takeover With? Tom
Odell�0 Early Breakfast
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Sara Cox 9.30 Trevor Nelson 12.0
Jeremy燰ine 2.0 In Concert: Tears for Fears
(R)�0 Craig Charles 5.0 Johnnie Walker
Meets Blondie (R) 6.0 Johnnie Walker Meets
Alice Cooper (R) 7.0 Bob Harris Country 8.0
Ana Matronic 10.0 The Summer of I Feel Love
(R) 11.0燬tanley Baxter?s Musical World (2/2)
12.0燭he Craig Charles House Party (R) 2.0
Radio 2 Playlists: Tracks of My Years, Have a Great
Weekend & Feelgood Friday 5.0 Nicki Chapman
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. Petroc Trelawny presents. 9.0
Essential Classics. Griff Rhys Jones guests. 12.0
Composer of the Week: Cole Porter (R) (4/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert. Music from the
Schwarzenberg Schubertiade in June. Schubert:
Quintet in A, D667 (Trout). Marc-Andr� Hamelin,
piano, Manderling Quartet: Bach: French suite No 1
in D minor BWV812. 2.0 Thursday Opera Matinee:
Cavalli ? Erismena. A performance from the Aixen-Provence festival. Francesca Aspromonte
(soprano: Erismena), Carlo Vistoli (countertenor:
Idraspe), Susanna Hurrell (soprano: Aldimira),
Jakub Jozef Orlinski (soprano: Orimeno), Alexander
Miminoshvili (bass: Erimante), Lea Desandre
(mezzo: Flerida), Andrea Bonsignore (baritone:
Argippo), other principals, Cappella Mediterranea,
Leonardo Garc韆 Alarc髇. 4.30 Bruch: A Scottish
Fantasy, Op 46. Jack Liebeck (violin), Ulster
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 TMS: Australia v England ? Fourth Test,
Day Three. FM: 6.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for the
Day, with Rhidian Brook. (LW joins at 7.30) 9.0 In
Our Time 9.45 (LW) Daily Service: The Poetry of
Christmas 9.45 (FM) Book of the Week: Adventures
of a Young Naturalist, by David Attenborough. (4/5)
10.0 Woman?s Hour. Presented by Jenni Murray.
Includes at 10.45 Drama: Incredible Women, by
Rebecca and Jeremy Front. (4/5) 11.0 Crossing
Continents: Taming the Pilcomayo. A journey up
the Pilcomayo river that separates Paraguay from
Argentina. (6/9) 11.30 Thinking Outside the
Boxset: How Technology Changed the Story. Mark
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
7.0 Ashes Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With
Chris燱arburton 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0
5燣ive Drive�0 5 Live Sport 8.0 Premier
League燜ootball: Crystal Palace v Arsenal (kickoff�m) 10.0 Sam Walker 11.30 The Ashes
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
43
Friday 29
PICKS OF
THE DAY
discussion and audience interaction
intended to help us all understand the
events of the past 12 months. A panel of
guests take him to task over his claims.
Edge and Presumed Innocent, with some
rather thornier gender-political provocations
thrown into the mix. Jonathan Romney
RADIO
COMEDY
Anansi Boys
Victoria Wood: Live 1997
Channel 5, 10pm
Radio 4, 11.30pm
One of Wood?s best standup shows,
which combines her trademark selfe?acing wit and clever wordplay. Topics
covered include spending Christmas at
someone else?s house. Mike Bradley
FILM
COMEDY
Gone Girl
BBC One, 9.15pm
Vic and Bob?s Big Night Out
BBC Two, 9pm
(David Fincher, 2014)
Possibly the funniest show on TV over
the Christmas period, this is Reeves and
Mortimer at their surreal best, fooling about
with rhubarb panpipes, magnetic hands
and an ?arse-kicking machine?. Best of all
is the Novelty Paddock in which we meet
David Little Peacock, who runs a double
entendre company in Long Knobbington.
COMEDY
Frankie Boyle?s 2017
New World Order
BBC Two, 10pm
The acerbic Glasgow comedian tries
to make sense of the modern world
in a combination of standup, review,
An even chillier proposition than his previous
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, this sees
David Fincher taking his Hitchcockian
inclinations to the extreme, in a thriller
that manipulates its viewers about as
outrageously as a psychological plot-twister
can. Of course, manipulation was already
of the essence in Gillian Flynn?s bestseller,
which the novelist herself has adapted for
the screen. Ben A?eck plays Nick Dunne,
who ?nds himself in deep water when his
wife Amy (Rosamund Pike, quite astonishing)
mysteriously disappears. As the Dunnes?
life together is picked apart in ?ashbacks, the
narrative curveballs start to come thick and
fast. This is a strikingly cynical confection, at
heart a sleeker, more coolly clinical update of
the 80s/90s psychosexual strain of Jagged
TV CHOICE
Delicious
Sky 1, 9pm
?Death takes a little getting used to,?
con?des deceased chef Leo Vincent (Iain
Glen) as the second series of the fraught
foodie drama gets under way. Leo lives
on, providing sage advice and aper鐄s
at one remove about the tangled webs
woven by the chaotic mortals who inhabit
the Penrose Hotel, the luxury venue he
began in Devon. Now his former loves
Gina Benelli (Dawn French, above) and
Sam Vincent (Emilia Fox) are struggling to
run it in tandem. Trouble is, a big society
wedding is looming, Gina has ?red half the
kitchen sta?, and Sam is fretting about
turning 40. More importantly the pair
are locked in a power struggle and they
wind each other up at every opportunity.
Cue: a hunky new chef, a casual a?air and
some very special anchovies. Have fun
?nding out if their fortunes will improve in
an opening episode that bodes very well
indeed. A welcome return. Mike Bradley
The penultimate episode of Neil Gaiman?s
enjoyable fantasy (beginning on Christmas
Day) ?nds Fat Charlie?s love life unravelling
as his ?ancee discovers she has two lovers.
An eventful instalment also features
magical scene changes, a ghost who
refuses to move on to the afterlife and
Hitchcockian ?ocks of vicious birds. Jacob
Anderson and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
star as Fat Charlie and his long-lost
brother, mischief-making Spider, in an
assured production that also features
Julian Rhind-Tutt, Adjoa Andoh and, as the
boys? father, Lenny Henry, whom Gaiman
credits with inspiring the original novel.
The concluding episode is on Saturday 30
December at 2.30pm. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Rugby Union
BT Sport 1, 7pm
Bath v Wasps: Premiership. To the Rec for
an evening?s entertainment that will see
Wasps keen to avenge the 25-9 defeat
they su?ered at the Ricoh back in October
last year. That day they were the architects
of their own undoing, giving away penalty
after penalty. Now with a recent spurt in
form, the tables may be turned. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.35 MasterChef (R) 7.35 G-Force (2009) 8.55 Big Family
Cooking Showdown (R) 9.55
Nadiya?s British Food Adventure
(R) 10.55 Natural World (R) 11.55
Three Coins in the Fountain
(1954) 1.35 Nature?s Weirdest
Events (R) 2.05 World?s Most
Extraordinary Homes (R) 3.05
Inside the Factory (R) 4.05
The Desert Fox (1951) 5.30
Thailand: Earth?s Tropical Paradise
(R) 6.30 Christmas University
Challenge 2017 7.0 Morecambe
& Wise: Leading Ladies (R)
6.0
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 Best Walks
with a View with Julia Bradbury
(T) (R) 9.50 Everything
or Nothing: The Untold Story of
007 (Stevan Riley, 2012) (T) 11.45
Bond Girls Are Forever (T) (R)
12.45 News (T) 12.55 Local News
(T) 1.0 Midsomer Murders (T) (R)
3.0 Tenable (T) (R) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) (R) 5.0 The Chase (T)
(R) 6.0 Paul O?Grady: For the Love
of Dogs (T) (R) 6.30 Local News
(T) 6.45 News (T) 7.0 Emmerdale
(T) 7.30 Coronation Street (T)
7.05 Black Nativity (Kasi
Lemmons, 2013) (T) 8.50
Lego Masters (T) (R) 9.50
The Simpsons (T) (R) 10.20
The Simpsons (T) (R) 10.50
The Simpsons (T) (R) 11.15
Hotel for Dogs (Thor
Freudenthal, 2009) (T) 1.20
Cutthroat Island (Renny
Harlin, 1995) (T) 3.40 Four Rooms
With Sarah Beeny (T) 4.45 News
(T) 5.0 The Simpsons (T) (R)
5.30 The Simpsons (T) (R) 6.0
Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 Travel Man:
48 Hours in Hong Kong (T) (R)
6.0
EastEnders (T) Mick has to
decide whether he is part of
Aidan?s gang.
8.30 Would I Lie to You? (T) With Steve
Davis, Craig Parkinson, Sara
Pascoe and Claudia Winkleman.
9.0 News and Regional News (T)
Includes national lottery update.
9.15 Gone Girl (David Fincher,
2014) (T) Crime thriller with
Ben A?eck and Rosamund Pike.
8.0
Eric & Ernie?s Home Movies
(T) Recording key moments
in the comedians? lives.
9.0 Vic & Bob?s Big Night Out (T)
Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer
present characters old and new.
9.30 Live at the Apollo (T) Katherine
Ryan hosts standups Marlon
Davis, Joel Dommett and John
Robins. Last in the series.
8.0
Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince (David Yates,
2009) (T) The wizard must
uncover the secrets of Lord
Voldemort?s past to try to
end the evil sorcerer?s reign
of terror. Fantasy adventure
sequel with Daniel Radcli?e
and Michael Gambon.
8.0
8.0
11.40 Michael McIntyre?s Big
Christmas Show (T) (R) The
comedy star concludes his
entertainment showcase with
a festive special, featuring
performances by soul singer
Seal and comedian Bill Bailey.
12.45 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.50 BBC News (T)
10.0 Frankie Boyle?s 2017 New Year
World Order (T) The comic tries
to make sense of the past year.
10.30 QI XL (T) Christmas special with
guests Jason Manford, Romesh
Ranganathan and Holly Walsh.
11.15 The Great Gatsby (Baz
Luhrmann, 2013) (T) Period
drama starring Leonardo
DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.
1.35 Sign Zone Doctor Who (T) (R)
2.35 Cinderella (Kenneth
Branagh, 2015) (T) Romantic
fantasy with Lily James. 4.30
This Is BBC Two (T)
10.50 News (T) Weather
11.09 Local News (T) Weather
11.10 Tina & Bobby (T) (R) The
former England star winds up
managing a lowly non-league
side. Last in the series.
12.10 Bear?s Mission With Rob
Brydon (T) (R) Adventurer Bear
Grylls teaches the comedian
survival skills, beginning by
taking him on an open-door
helicopter ride in the mountains
of Wales. 1.05 Jackpot247 3.0
100 Year Old Drivers (T) (R)
3.50 ITV Nightscreen
BBC One
6.0
Breakfast 9.0 Monsters v
Aliens (2009) 10.25 Shaun the
Sheep: The Farmer?s Llamas
(R) 10.55 Kung Fu Panda 2
(2011) 12.15 Bargain Hunt (R)
12.45 News 1.0 Regional News
1.10 Father Brown (R) 1.55
Revolting Rhymes (R) 2.25
Up (2009) 3.50 Room on
the Broom (R) 4.20 Brave
(2012) 5.45 Pointless (R) 6.30
News and Weather 6.45 Regional
News and Weather 7.0 Celebrity
Mastermind 7.30 Tim Vine Travels
Through Time Christmas Special
8.0
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
7.30am Premier League Match Pack 8.0 Premier
League World 8.30 Premier League Review:
2011/12 9.30 Premier League Review: 2012/13
10.30 Premier League Review: 2013/14 11.30
Premier League Review: 2014/15 12.30 Premier
League Review: 2015/16 1.30 Premier League
Review 2.30 Total Italian Football 3.0 Gillette
World Sport 3.30 The Ashes 5.0 Relentless 6.0
Rugby Tonight 7.0 Live Aviva Premiership Rugby
Union: Bath v Wasps (kick-off 7.45pm) Coverage of
the match from the 12th round of fixtures, taking
place at The Recreation Ground. 10.0 Cricket:
Big Bash League 11.0 The Ashes Live: Australia v
England. Coverage of the fifth and final day?s play in
the fourth Test, from Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Without a Trace 7.0 Without a Trace 8.0
Without a Trace 9.0 Without a Trace 10.0 Without
a Trace 11.0 Blue Bloods 12.0 Blue Bloods 1.0 Blue
Bloods 2.0 Blue Bloods 3.0 Blue Bloods 4.0 Blue
Bloods 5.0 Blue Bloods 6.0 David Attenborough?s
Gal醦agos 7.0 David Attenborough?s Gal醦agos
8.0 David Attenborough?s Gal醦agos 9.0 Game
of Thrones 10.15 Game of Thrones 11.30 Game
of Thrones 12.40 Big Little Lies 1.40 Big Little
Lies 2.40 Without a Trace 3.30 Richard E Grant?s
Hotel Secrets 4.20 Richard E Grant?s Hotel Secrets
5.10 Richard E Grant?s Hotel Secrets
E4
6.0am Hollyoaks 6.30 Charmed 7.25 Prep &
Landing 7.55 Prep & Landing: Naughty vs Nice
8.25 The Rugrats Movie (1999) 10.0
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011)
12.0-2.0 The Big Bang Theory 2.0-3.0 How
I Met Your Mother 3.0 The Big Bang Theory: Big
Bang A-Z ? Q Is for Quizzing, R Is for Rock, Paper,
Scissors, Lizard, Spock, S Is for Soft Kitty & T Is for
Trains 5.0-6.0 The Goldbergs 6.0-7.0 The
Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 We?re Going
on a Bear Hunt 8.0 The Crystal Maze: Celebrity
44
VARIATIONS
Special 9.0 The Hunger Games: Catching
Fire (2013) 11.50-12.50 The Big Bang Theory
12.50 Rude Tube: Welcome to 2017 2.55 Tattoo
Fixers 3.50 2 Broke Girls 4.15 Rude(ish) Tube
4.40 Charmed 5.20 Rules of Engagement
Film4
11.0am Rango (2011) 1.10 Gulliver?s
Travels (2010) 2.45 A Thousand Words
(2012) 4.30 Arthur Christmas (2011)
6.30 Battleship (2012) 9.0 Salt
(2010) 11.0 Predator (1987) 1.05
AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004)
Sky1
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 Gal醦agos 12.0 Hawaii
Five-0 1.0 Fungus the Bogeyman 2.30 Fungus
the Bogeyman 3.30 Modern Family 4.0 Modern
Family 4.30 The Simpsons 5.0 Futurama 5.30
Futurama 6.0 The Simpsons 6.30 The Simpsons
7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 The Simpsons 8.30
Modern Family 9.0 Delicious 10.0 Music Legends
We Lost 11.30 A League of Their Own: US Road Trip
2.0 & Rally Special 1.0 The Russell Howard Hour
2.0 Micky Flanagan Thinking Aloud 3.0 The Force:
Manchester 4.0 Monkeys: An Amazing Animal
Family 5.0 David Attenborough?s Gal醦agos
Sky Sports Main Event
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 13 of the PDC event at Alexandra Palace in
London, featuring the opening two quarter-finals.
4.30 Sky Sports News 5.0 Sky Sports News at�6.0 Sky Sports News at 6 7.0 Live World Darts
Championship. Featuring the concluding two
quarter-finals. 11.0-6.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.10am
Teleshopping 1.10 After Midnight 2.40
ITV燦ightscreen 5.10-6.0 Tenable (T) (R)
CHANNEL As ITV except 1.05am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen SCOTTISH As ITV except
12.10am Teleshopping 1.10 After Midnight
2.40 ITV Nightscreen 5.10-6.0 Tenable (T)
(R)燪uiz hosted by Warwick Davis.
ULSTER As ITV except 1.05am Teleshopping
2.05-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE N IRELAND 9.15pm The Blame
Game: The Best Bits (T) Tim McGarry fronts this
compilation from the爎ecent series of the comedy
panel show, alongside regulars Colin Murphy, Jake
O?Kane and Neil Delamere. 9.45�Gone Girl
(David Fincher, 2014) (T) 12.10-1.15 Michael
McIntyre?s Big Christmas Show (T) (R)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 5.30pm-6.30
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (T) Highlights
from the 2017 event at Edinburgh Castle, in which
musical talent with a ?Splash of Tartan? provided
the theme to the year?s show.
BBC TWO N IRELAND 10.0pm To Be
Frank Carson (T) (R) Dan Gordon explores the
story of the comedian Frank Carson, as he prepares
to stage a one-man show about the comic?s life.
11.0-11.15 Late Licence (T) (R) Comedy showcase
featuring Teresa Livingstone and Colin Geddis.
9.0
Jamie and Jimmy?s Friday
Night Feast (T) Jamie Oliver
and Jimmy Doherty are joined
by Ashley Jensen.
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
Christmas Special (T) Jimmy
Carr hosts the comedy panel
show, with Jon Richardson and
Catherine Tate teaming up against
Sean Lock and Joe Wilkinson.
10.0 Gogglebox 2017 (T) (R) Highlights
from the most recent series.
12.05 I Give It a Year (Dan Mazer,
2013) (T) Romantic comedy
with Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall.
1.55 The River Wild (Curtis
Hanson, 1994) (T) Action thriller
starring Meryl Streep. 3.50
Ramsay?s Kitchen Nightmares
USA (T) (R) 4.35 Four in a Bed
(T) (R) 5.0 Jamie?s Cracking
Christmas (T) (R) 5.15 The Three Musketeers (Richard
Lester, 1973) (T) Classic all-star
adaptation with Michael York.
9.0
Milkshake! 9.0 Arthur 2:
On the Rocks (Bud Yorkin, 1988)
(T) 11.10 Dirty Rotten
Scoundrels (Frank Oz, 1988)
(T) Comedy, starring Michael
Caine and Steve Martin. 1.20
Labyrinth (Jim Henson,
1986) (T) Fantasy adventure,
starring Jennifer Connelly and
David Bowie. 3.20 Look
Who?s Talking (Amy Heckerling,
1989) (T) Comedy. 5.10 Footloose (Herbert Ross, 1984)
(T) Drama with Kevin Bacon.
7.0 Winter in Yorkshire (T) (R)
World?s Strongest Man 2017
(T) Action from the third heat in
Botswana. Includes news update.
Victoria Wood By Her Friends
(T) Pro?le of the writer and
comedian, featuring clips
of some of the funniest
performances of her 40-year
career and contributions from
friends, fans and co-stars.
BBC Four
7.0
Lucy Worsley: Mozart?s London
Odyssey (T) (R) The broadcaster
traces the forgotten story of
the young Mozart?s adventures
in Georgian London, and how
his experiences in the city
?red his achievements.
8.0
Top of the Pops: 1984 (T) (R)
Lenny Henry presents a review
of all of the hits from 1984.
Eric, Ernie & Me (T) Biopic
of Eddie Braben, the writer
behind Morecambe & Wise?s
greatest successes, starring
Stephen Tompkinson, Mark
Bonnar and Neil Maskell.
9.0
10.0 Victoria Wood: Live 1997 (T) (R)
Standup and sketches, recorded
during Wood?s 1997 tour and
acclaimed as one of the very best
standup shows of the decade.
12.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.05 Love/
Hate (T) (R) 4.0 Winter in Alaska
(T) (R) 4.45 House Doctor (T)
(R) 5.10 House Busters (T)
(R) 5.35 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
10.0 Elvis: The Rebirth of the King
(T) Documentary charting Elvis
Presley?s Las Vegas period,
arguing that he reached his
peak as both a singer and
performer during his time
in the gambling capital.
11.0 Sings Elvis (T) (R) Artists
including Cli? Richard and John
Cale cover songs by Elvis Presley.
12.0 Top of the Pops: 1984 (T) (R)
12.55 Top of the Pops 1984: Big
Hits (T) (R) 2.0 Top of the Pops:
The Story of 1984 (T) (R) 3.0
Elvis: Rebirth of the King (T) (R)
Proms 2017: Prom�. A tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
and Dizzy Gillespie in their centenary year. Dianne
Reeves (singer), James Morrison (trumpet), Victor
Sangiorgio (piano), BBC Concert Orchestra, John
Mauceri. (R) 9.40 BBC Proms 2017: Prom 41. In
the mid-1960s Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar met.
The result was a collision of musical worlds and ?
some 25 years later ? a studio album that combined
Glass?s American minimalism with Shankar?s sitar
and the traditions of Hindustani classical music.
Passages is performed in this Proms concert by
the Britten Sinfonia under Karen Kamensek and
Shankar?s daughter, the sitar player Anoushka
Shankar. (R) 11.0 World on 3. Kathryn Tickell
is爄n燬heffield. 1.0 Through the Night
What started as one man, on his own, on the moors,
has grown into a group of individuals and agencies
whose ongoing work remains vitally important.
Professor Thomas is played at different points
of his life by Michael Pennington and Joshua
McGuire, alongside a cast including Anton Lesser
and Hannah Steele. 3.0 Gardeners? Question
Time: Garden Museum 3.45 Short Works: The
Boundary, by Jhumpa Lahiri. 4.0燣ast Word 4.30
A Good Read: Ed Byrne & Hardeep Singh Kohli (R)
4.55 The Listening Project: Sharon and Melanie
? Learning from Cancer 5.0 PM. With Eddie Mair.
5.54 (LW)燬hipping Forecast 6.0 News 6.15
Little Lifetimes: The Visit (R) 6.30 Dead Ringers
Christmas Special (2/2) 7.0 The Archers. Lynda
is on top form. 7.15 Front Row 7.45 Incredible
Women (R) (5/5) 8.0 Correspondents? Look
Ahead. Owen Bennett-Jones is joined by four of the
BBC?s top foreign and economic correspondents,
who give their predictions for 2018. 8.50 A
Point of View 9.0 Home Front Omnibus: 25-29
December 1917, by Katie Hims. (7/8) 10.0 The
World Tonight 10.45 Book at Bedtime: How to
Stop Time, by Matt Haig. (5/10) LW: 11.0 TMS:
Australia v England ? Fourth Test, Day Five. 12.48;
5.20 Shipping Forecast. FM: 11.0 Late Night
Woman?s Hour. Presented by Lauren Laverne.
11.30 Anansi Boys. By Neil Gaiman, adapted by
Dirk Maggs. (5/6) 11.55 The Listening Project:
Clare and Val ? Vicars in Pink Shirts and Shoes.
12.0 News 12.15 Bone Stories: Dodo (R) 12.30
Book of the Week (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast
1.0燗s World Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast
5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for the燚ay 5.45 iPM
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.30 The Breakfast Show With Scott and
Chris�.0 Adele Roberts 1.0 Jordon North
7.0燗nnie燤ac 9.0 Pete Tong 11.0 Danny
Howard�0 B.Traits 4.0 Essential Mix
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Sara Cox 9.30 Trevor Nelson 12.0
Jeremy燰ine 2.0 In Concert: Liam Gallagher
(R) 3.0 Craig Charles 5.0 Johnnie Walker
Meets Albert Hammond 7.0 Tony Blackburn?s
Golden Hour 8.0 Friday Night Is Music Night (R)
10.0 Sounds of the 80s 12.0 Anneka Rice: The
Happening 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Funky Soul, New
to 2 & 21st-Century Songs 5.0 Huey on Saturday
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. With Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Rob Cowan?s guest today is Griff
Rhys Jones. 12.0 Composer of the Week: Cole
Porter (R) (5/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert.
Ian Skelly presents highlights of the summer?s
Schwarzenberg Schubertiade. Schubert: Sonata
(Duo) in A major D574. Baiba Skride (violin); Lauma
Skride (piano). Weber: Sonata No�in A flat major,
Op 39. Paul Lewis (piano). 2.0 Afternoon Concert:
Best of 2017. 5.0 Words and Music: The Detectives
(R) 6.15 New Generation Artists. Tchaikovsky:
Valse sentimentale, Aleksey Semenenko (violin);
Inna Firsova (piano). Marcello trans Bach: Keyboard
concerto in d minor BWV974, Mariam Batsashvili
(piano). Liszt: Sarabande and Chaconne from
Handel?s opera Almira (S181), Mariam Batsashvili
(piano). Silvius: Leopold Weiss ? Sonata in A minor
Lbl29, Thibaut Garcia (guitar). Tartini: Sonata
? The Devil?s Trill, Aleksey Semenenko (violin),
Inna Firsova (piano). Liszt: B閚閐iction de Dieu
dans la solitude from Harmonies po閠iques et
religieuses (Poetic and Religious Harmonies No
3), S173. Mariam Batsashvili (piano). 7.30 BBC
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 TMS: Australia v England. Commentary
on the fourth day of the fourth Ashes Test, from
the Melbourne Cricket Ground. FM: 6.0 Today.
With John Humphrys and Justin Webb. 7.48
Thought for the Day, with Fr Edward Lewis. (LW
joins at 7.30) 9.0 Desert Island Discs: Bruno
Tonioli 9.45 (LW) Daily Service 9.45 (FM) Book
of the Week: Adventures of a Young Naturalist, by
David Attenborough. (5/5) 10.0 Woman?s Hour.
Presented by Jenni Murray. Includes at 10.45
Drama: Incredible Women, by Rebecca and Jeremy
Front. (5/5) 11.0 I?m Stuck in Here. Ian Sansom
finds himself trapped inside a radio documentary
about radio documentaries, podcasts and audiostorytelling and has less than 30 minutes to
escape. 11.30 David Sedaris: The Santaland
Diaries (R) 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 29 December 1917 ?
Joyce Lyle, by Katie Hims. (35/40) 12.15 You and
Yours 1.0 The World at One 1.45 Radio 4?s Pen
Pals: Louiza and Angeliki (5/5) 2.0 The Archers
(R) 2.15 Drama: Saving the Blue, Steve Waters?s
new drama set on Dartmoor in the 1970s, when
Prof Jeremy Thomas, then a PHD student, was
given the job of saving the Large Blue butterfly.
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
7.0 Ashes Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With
Chris燱arburton 1.0 Friday Sports Panel 2.0
Kermode and Mayo?s Film Review: Best of 2017
(R)�0 5燣ive Drive 7.0 Friday Football Social
10.0 Sam燱alker 1.0 Up All Night 5.0 When
Michael Met Johnny (R)
Saturday 30
PICKS OF
THE DAY
Hotel in his ?rst ever US solo show. This
13-track set features both old favourites
such as Morning Glory, Rock?n?Roll Star
and Wonderwall, and several new tracks
from his debut solo album As You Were.
substantial role, following the same year?s
The Asphalt Jungle; she was so terri?ed of
Davis that she threw up after completing
their big scene together. Jonathan Romney
RADIO
COMEDY
The Cultural Frontline:
Music Without Borders
2017: A Year in the Life of a Year
BBC Four, 11.05pm
World Service, 9.30am
Rhys Thomas is our host for an irreverent
assessment of the cultural highlights of the
past 12 months that includes skewerings of
Emma Watson, Ore Oduba, EastEnders and
Doctor Who. Recommended. Mike Bradley
FILM
DRAMA
All About Eve
BBC Two, 3.20pm
Spiral
BBC Four, 9pm & 10pm
(Joseph L Mankiewicz, 1950)
As a sixth series of the gritty Parisian crime
drama begins with a gripping double bill,
Laure returns early from maternity leave to
lead an investigation in which the detectives
must identify the torso of a murdered man
found under a heap of rubbish. Happily,
there?s a new inexperienced boss in charge,
which makes life easier for everyone. In
French, with subtitles.
MUSIC
Liam Gallagher: Live in New York
Sky Arts, 9pm
A recording from earlier this year, when
the former Oasis and Beady Eye frontman
performed at Manhattan?s McKittrick
Did any ?lm ever so decisively persuade so
many people that showbusiness might not
be the most pleasant profession to dedicate
your life to? This legendary backstage
drama has dialogue as sharp as its
characters? claws (?Fasten your seatbelts,
it?s going to be a bumpy night?), thanks
to proli?c screenwriter turned director
Mankiewicz (A Letter to Three Wives,
Suddenly, Last Summer). Bette Davis
gives one of her de?ning performances as
Margo Channing, a Broadway star hitting
the dangerous age of 40; Anne Baxter is
Eve Harrington, the young understudy with
ruthless eyes on the throne. The support
includes George Sanders, wearily silky as
ever, and Marilyn Monroe, in her second
TV CHOICE
A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong
BBC One, 7.10pm
The Mischief Theatre Company
present their take on Dickens?s classic
festive fable. Mischief is the word as,
banned by the BBC after ruining Peter
Pan, the Cornley Polytechnic Drama
Society force themselves back on the
corporation by hijacking the jewel of the
Christmas schedule, a live production
of A Christmas Carol staged by a
professional cast that includes Derek
Jacobi as an exceptionally irascible
Scrooge . However, not long after
their great coup, they realise they are
completely out of their depth, with no idea
how to operate a television studio or work
the special e?ects. Diana Rigg narrates
from her car, since she is stuck in a tra?c
jam, props go missing and apparitions
stumble about noisily. Slapstick spoofery
that aspires to Acorn Antiques but falls
short by some way. Lots of funny, silly
moments, though. Mike Bradley
Three musicians, who have all had to ?ee
their home countries, come together for
this special edition in which they collaborate
to create a piece of music. Their styles
could not be more di?erent with Rihab Azar
a classical oud player from Syria, Yasmin
Kadi an Afrobeat singer from Sierra Leone
and Tabrae an underground hip-hop artist
from Iran. With just one day to write and
record the song, Yasmin in particular is
worried when her emotions get the better
of her but the ?nal piece gels beautifully,
her haunting lyrics exploring how ?home?
can be both ?where the heart is? and
?where the pain is?. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Rugby Union
Channel 5/BT Sport 2, 3.30pm
Harlequins v Northampton Saints:
Premiership. Coverage of the Big Game
?xture from Twickenham, where ailing Quins
meet a Saints side living on borrowed time.
On a TV note, the arrival of live coverage on
Channel 5 is welcome, as is the rehabilitation
to live rugby of much missed presenter and
jocular stalwart Mark Durden-Smith. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast (T) 10.0 Saturday
Kitchen (T) 11.30 Nigel Slater?s
New Year Suppers (T) (R) 12.0
Football Focus (T) 1.0 News
and Weather (T) 1.15 102
Dalmatians (Kevin Lima, 2000)
(T) 2.50 Penguins of
Madagascar (Eric Darnell, Simon
J Smith, 2014) (T) 4.10 Final Score
(T) 5.30 News (T) 5.40 Regional
News and Weather (T) 5.50
Celebrity Mastermind (T) 6.20
Pointless Celebrities (T) (R) 7.10
A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong (T)
6.35 Birds of Paradise: The Ultimate
Quest (T) (R) 7.35 Tinker
Bell and the Pirate Fairy (2014)
(T) 8.45 The Big Family Cooking
Showdown (T) (R) 9.45 Natural
World (T) (R) 10.35 Jane Austen:
Behind Closed Doors (T) (R)
11.35 Mans?eld Park
(1999) (T) 1.20 The World?s Most
Extraordinary Homes (T) (R)
2.20 Six Robots & Us (T) (R)
3.20 All About Eve (1950)
(T) 5.35 Talking Pictures: Barry
Norman (T) 6.20 Alice in
Wonderland (2010) (T)
6.0
CITV 9.25 ITV News (T) 9.30
Saturday Morning with James
Martin at Christmas (T) 11.25
Endeavour (T) (R) 1.15 News and
Weather (T) 1.30 The Chase (T)
(R) 2.30 Three Men and a
Baby (Leonard Nimoy, 1987) (T)
4.25 Despicable Me 2 (Chris
Renaud, Pierre Co?n, 2013) (T)
6.10 Local News (T) 6.20 News
and Weather (T) 6.30 Ant &
Dec?s Saturday Night Takeaway
Presents: Who Shot Simon
Cowell? (T) 7.0 Guess the Star (T)
7.05 Bridge to Terabithia
(Gabor Csupo, 2007) (T) 8.50
Lego Masters (T) (R) 9.55 The
Simpsons (T) (R) 10.25 The
Simpsons (T) (R) 10.50 The
Simpsons (T) (R) 11.20 The
Simpsons (T) (R) 11.50 We?re
Going on a Bear Hunt (T) (R)
12.25 Born Silly (T) (R) 12.50
Ever After: A Cinderella
Story (Andy Tennant, 1998)
(T) 3.15 Pride & Prejudice
(Joe Wright, 2005) (T) 5.40
News (T) 5.55 Crocodile
Dundee II (John Cornell, 1988) (T)
6.0
Avengers: Age of Ultron
(Joss Whedon, 2015) (T) The
superheroes battle a robot
created to protect the world
? who intends to wipe out the
human race. Sci-? adventure
sequel with Robert Downey
Jr and Chris Hemsworth.
8.0
Dad?s Army The King Was in
His Counting House (T) (R)
8.30 Grand Tours of Scotland?s Lochs
(T) New series with Paul Murton,
starting with Loch Etive.
9.0 Feud: Bette and Joan (T)
(5/8) Joan tries to stop Bette
winning a third Oscar.
9.45 Feud: Bette and Joan (T) (6/8)
Warner pressures Aldrich to
create a new ?hag horror?.
8.0
Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (David
Yates, 2010) (T) Voldemort rises to
ultimate power over the magical
world, so the wizard and his
friends set out to ?nd the magical
artefacts that hold the key to
destroying him. The ?rst half of
the two-part conclusion to the
fantasy saga, with Daniel Radcli?e,
Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.
8.0
10.30 Hush, Hush, Sweet
Charlotte (Robert Aldrich, 1964)
(T) A reclusive southern belle
trying to save her family home
is driven to the brink of madness
by memories of her traumatic
past. Thriller with Bette Davis
and Olivia De Havilland.
12.40 Absolutely Fashion: Inside
British Vogue (T) (R) 1.40 Sign
Zone: Mary, Mel & Sue?s Big
Christmas Thank You (T) (R)
2.40 Rick Stein?s Road to Mexico
(T) (R) 3.40 This Is BBC Two (T)
10.40 News and Weather
(T) Local Weather
11.0 The Mask (Charles
Russell, 1994) (T) A timid bank
clerk ?nds an ancient mask
that gives him superhuman
powers and self-con?dence.
Comic-book comedy starring
Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter
Riegert and Peter Greene.
12.50 Jackpot247 3.0 Babushka
(T) (R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen
BBC One
6.0
8.0
10.10 News and Weather (T)
10.30 Match of the Day (T) Featuring
Man Untd v Southampton and
Liverpool v Leicester and .
11.55 The NFL Show (T) Presented
by Mark Chapman.
12.25 Dinner for Schmucks (Jay
Roach, 2010) (T) An executive
befriends an amateur taxidermist
in the hope of winning a contest
to ?nd the most ridiculous dinner
guest. Comedy with Steve Carell
and Paul Rudd, adapted from the
French comedy Le d頽er de cons.
2.15 Weather (T) 2.20 News (T)
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
7.30am Premier League Preview 8.0 Scottish
Football Extra 8.30 SPFL 10.0 Aviva Premiership
Rugby Union 11.30 Premier League Preview
12.0 Live Vanarama National League: Aldershot
Town v Maidstone United (kick-off 12.30pm)
Coverage of the match from the Electrical Services
Stadium. 2.45 BT Sport Score 5.0 Live Premier
League: Manchester United v Southampton (kickoff 5.30pm) Coverage from Old Trafford. 8.0
Premier League Tonight 9.0 The Ashes 10.30
Aviva Premiership Rugby Highlights 12.30 UFC:
Inside the Octagon 1.0 Live UFC. Coverage of the
preliminary bouts from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,
Nevada. 3.0 Live UFC: Cris Cyborg v Holly Holm
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Regarding Susan Sontag 8.0 Ferrell
Takes the Field 9.0 The Fall: Decker v Budd
(2016) 11.0-4.0 Without a Trace 4.0 Making
David Attenborough?s Flying Monsters 5.0 Flying
Monsters With David Attenborough 6.30 Making
of David Attenborough?s Bachelor King 7.30 The
Bachelor King 9.0-12.0 Game of Thrones 12.02.10 Big Little Lies 2.10 Bright Lights: Starring
Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds 4.0-6.0
Richard E Grant?s Hotel Secrets
E4
6.0am Couples Come Dine With Me 7.0 Hollyoaks
9.10 Big Miracle (2012) 11.15 Dr
Dolittle (1998) 1.0 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas
1.30 Toy Story OF TERROR! (2013) 2.0
Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014) 2.30 Toy
Story Toons 3.0 The Big Bang Theory: Big Bang A-Z
? U Is for Underpants, V Is for Valentino the Rabbit,
W Is for Weddings, X Is for X Chromosome, Y Is for
Yelling & Z is for Zazzles the Cat 6.0 The Big Bang
Theory 6.30 Snow White & the Huntsman
(2012) 9.0 Fast & Furious 6 (2013) 11.351.45 Naked Attraction 1.45-2.45 The Big Bang
Theory 2.45 Made in Chelsea?s Christmas Ding
Dong 3.40 In Bed With Jamie at Christmas 4.10
VARIATIONS
The Crystal Maze: Celebrity Christmas Special
5.05-6.0 Rude(ish) Tube
Film4
11.0am Baby?s Day Out (1994) 1.0 Cheaper By the Dozen (2003) 2.55 The
House of Magic (2013) 4.35 The Chronicles
of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
6.50 The Rewrite (2014) 9.0 Men
in燘lack 3 (2012) 11.10 The Guest (2014)
1.15 Taxi Driver (1976)
Sky1
6.0am Ashley Banjo?s Secret Street Crew 7.0
Futurama 7.30 Futurama 8.0 Futurama 8.30
Modern Family 9.0 Modern Family 9.30 Modern
Family 10.0 Soccer AM 11.30 Best PL Goals:
Season So Far 12.0 Football?s Funniest Moments
1.0 Sky Sports? Funniest Moments: Best Bits 3.0
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 Football?s Funniest Moments 9.0
A League of Their Own: US Road Trip 2.0 10.0
Minority Report (2002) 12.45 Spielberg
3.30 A League of Their Own: Rally Special 4.0
Monkeys: An Amazing Animal Family 5.0 David
Attenborough?s Gal醦agos
Sky Sports Main Event
6.0am Sky Sports News 7.0 Good Morning
Sports Fans 10.0 Soccer AM 11.30 Live SPFL:
Celtic v Rangers (kick-off 12noon) Coverage of the
Scottish Premiership clash at Celtic Park. 2.30
Gillette Soccer Saturday 3.0 Live PRO14 Rugby
Union: Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh (kick-off
3.15pm) Coverage of the PRO14 encounter at the
Scotstoun Stadium. 5.15 Live EFL: Bristol City
v Wolverhampton Wanderers (kick-off 5.30pm)
Coverage of the Championship clash at Ashton Gate.
7.30 Live World Darts Championship. Coverage of
the semi-finals from Alexandra Palace. 10.30 Sky
Sports News at Ten 11.0-6.0 Sky Sports News
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.50am
Teleshopping 1.50 After Midnight 3.20 ITV
Nightscreen 5.10-6.0 Babushka (T) (R)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.50am-3.0
ITV燦ightscreen (T)
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.50am
Teleshopping 1.50 After Midnight 3.20 ITV
Nightscreen 5.10-6.0 Babushka (T) (R)
ULSTER As ITV except 12.50am
Teleshopping 1.50-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 4.10pm-5.30
Sportscene (T)
BBC ONE N IRELAND 5.0pm-5.30
Final燬core from Northern Ireland (T)
BBC TWO WALES 2.20pm-3.20
The燱orld?s Most Extraordinary Homes (T) (R)
BBC TWO N IRELAND 8.0pm The Nathan
Carter Christmas Special (T) (R) The host is joined
by Melanie C, Curtis Stigers, Una Healy and the
children from St Patrick?s Junior Choir. 9.0 The
Blame Game: The Best Bits (T) (R) Tim McGarry
fronts this compilation from the recent series of
the comedy panel show. 9.30 Frankie Boyle?s
2017 New Year World Order (T) 10.0 QI XL (T)
10.45-12.15 Feud: Bette and Joan (T) (1&2/2)
12.15-1.40 Jump (Kieron J Walsh, 2012)
(T) A gangster?s daughter is saved from suicide
on New Year?s Eve by a man whose brother may
have been killed by her father. Drama with Nichola
Burley and Martin McCann.
9.0
The Price Is Right (T) Alan Carr
presents a special edition of
the TV gameshow.
The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay ? Part 1 (Francis
Lawrence, 2014) (T) Katniss
Everdeen becomes the
?gurehead of a revolution
against the despotic Panem
regime. Sci-? adventure sequel
starring Jennifer Lawrence.
11.20 Speed (Jan De Bont,
1994) (T) A cop tries to save
the passengers on a bus that is
wired to explode if it goes below
50mph. Action thriller starring
Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock,
Dennis Hopper and Je? Daniels.
1.25 Speed with Guy Martin (T) (R)
2.20 Hollyoaks (T) 4.05 Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R) 5.0 Four
in a Bed (T) (R) 5.25 Kirstie?s
Handmade Christmas (T) (R)
5.45 The Four Musketeers
(Richard Lester, 1974) (T)
Swashbuckling adventure sequel.
Milkshake! 10.50 The
African Queen (John Huston,
1951) (T) 12.55 Greystoke:
The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of
the Apes (Hugh Hudson, 1984)
(T) 3.30 Live Aviva Premiership
Rugby Union (T) Harlequins
v Northampton Saints (kicko? 4pm) Coverage of the
top-?ight ?xture, which takes
place at Twickenham. 6.05
World?s Strongest Man 2017.
Action from the fourth heat in
Botswana. (T) 7.0 Blind Date (T)
New series. Paul O?Grady hosts.
BBC Four
7.0
Tutankhamun: The Truth
Uncovered (T) (R) Dallas
Campbell reveals new scienti?c
research about the boy pharaoh?s
death at just 19. 7.30 Planet
Earth II: A World of Wonder (T)
(R) Highlights from the series.
8.0
Greatest Celebrity WindUps Ever! (T) New series.
Joe Pasquale narrates.
9.0 News (T)
9.05 Football on 5: The Championship
(T) Colin Murray introduces
highlights from the weekend?s
games in the Championship,
including Middlesbrough v
Aston Villa and Bristol City v
Wolverhampton Wanderers.
9.0
Spiral (T) New series. The French
detective drama returns, as Laure
returns early from maternity
leave to help the team put a
name to an anonymous murder
victim identi?able only by use
of his dismembered torso.
Meanwhile, a high-pro?le criminal
trial tempts a jaded Josephine,
and magistrate Roban grows
distracted. Caroline Proust stars.
10.15 Football on 5: Goal Rush
(T) Including Blackburn v
Scunthorpe and Blackpool
v Plymouth Argyle.
10.45 How Magic Changed TV (R) The
story of magic on television,
featuring the likes of Paul Daniels,
Penn & Teller, Derren Brown,
David Blaine and Dynamo.
12.15 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Our
Dream Hotel (T) 4.0 Our Dream
Hotel (T) 4.45 House Doctor
(T) (R) 5.10 Wildlife SOS (T) (R)
5.35 Chinese Food in Minutes
(T) (R) 5.50 Access (T) (R)
10.0 Spiral (T) Laure and Gilou reunite
with a their former colleague
while investigating their latest
victim, and lawyer Josephine
pushes her client to plead guilty.
In French with subtitles.
11.05 2017: A Year in the Life of a Year
(T) Rhys Thomas presents a
spoof review of the past year.
11.35 Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone
Cowboy (T) (R)
12.35 Chuck Berry in Concert (T) (R)
1.35 Tutankhamun: The Truth
Uncovered (T) (R) 2.35 Planet
Earth II: A World of Wonder (T) (R)
of the Dt6, recorded at BBC Scotland?s Pacific
Quay studio in Glasgow. (R) 6.30 Opera on 3:
Opera North Double Bill. Performances of two
rarely performed short operas: Leo? Jan�ek?s
semi-autobiographical Osud (Destiny) which
the composer wrote in the first decade of the
last century, and Leonard Bernstein?s jazz
inflected Trouble In Tahiti, written in the 1950s
as an observation on marriage in the age of
consumerism. The two operas were recorded at
the Grand Theatre in Leeds earlier in the year. Osud
Cast: Giselle Allen (soprano: Mila Valkova), John
Graham-Hall (tenor: ?ivn�), Rosalind Plowright
(soprano: Mila?s Mother), Peter Auty (tenor: Dr.
Suda), Richard Burkhard (baritone: Lhotsk�),
Dean Robinson (baritone: Kone?k�), Ann Taylor
(mezzo-Soprano: Miss Stuhl�). Trouble in Tahiti
Cast: Quirijn de Lang (baritone: Sam), Wallis Giunta
(mezzo-soprano:Dinah), Fflur Wyn (soprano: first
trio member), Joseph Shovelton (tenor: second
trio member), Nicholas Butterfield (bass: third trio
member). 9.30 Between the Ears: Yuletide in the
Land of Ice and Fire (R) Icelandic poet and author
Gerd饀r Kristn� sheds light on the curious world
of her homeland?s Christmas myths, with music,
sound, poetry and accounts by native Icelanders.
10.0 Hear and Now. Tom McKinney introduces
Elaine Mitchener?s Sweet Tooth, performed at
the Bluecoat in Liverpool in November, and more
highlights from the Huddersfield contemporary
music festival. 12.0 Geoffrey Smith?s Jazz:
Boogie-Woogie 1.0 Through the Night
Scents ? The Story of Perfume. With Bridget Kendall
and guests. 11.30 From Our Own Correspondent
12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04
Money Box: Price Comparison Websites. With Lesley
Curwen. 12.30 Dead Ringers: Christmas 2017 ? 2
(R) 12.57 Weather 1.0 News 1.10 Correspondents
Look Ahead (R) 2.0 Speaking With Smaller
Tongues. Rory McGrath performs a Cornish song at
the SUNS international festival. (R) 2.30 Drama:
Anansi Boys. By Neil Gaiman, dramatised by Dirk
Maggs. The fantasy author?s contemporary African
folk parable concludes as Spider finds his life in
peril and Fat Charlie, his estranged brother, travels
across the world in search of help. (6/6) 3.30
The Body Electric (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 7.0 Profile:
Denise Coates 7.15 Saturday Review. Tom Sutcliffe
and guests examine the week?s cultural highlights.
8.0 Archive on 4: UK Confidential. An analysis of
recently released confidential government files.
9.0 Drama: April in Paris. John Godber?s comedy
?爋riginally commissioned for the Hull 1992
festival. (R) 10.0 News 10.15 We Need to Talk
About Death: Bury Me at Sea (R) 11.0 Bard Brain
of燘ritain (R) 11.30 The Stately Pleasure Dome
(R)�.0 News 12.15 Bone Stories: Man-Eating
Tiger (R) 12.30 Short Works: The Boundary, by
Jhumpa Lahiri. (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0
As燱orld Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30
News 5.43燘ells on Sunday: St Petroc, South
Brent爄n Devon 5.45 Profile: Denise Coates (R)
Radio 4
5 Live
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.0 Dev 10.0 Radio 1?s Greatest Hits with Matt
Edmondson 1.0 Luke Franks 4.0 Radio 1?s Dance
Anthems with Adele Roberts 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燚J燣imelight 4.0 David Rodigan
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.0 Sounds of the 60s 8.0 Saturday Breakfast
with Ricky Wilson 10.0 Graham Norton 1.0 Pick
of the Pops 3.0 Suzi Perry 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?s Showtunes Playlist 2.55
Pause for Thought 3.0 Radio 2 Playlist: Love
Songs 4.0 Radio 2 Playlists 5.0 Huey on Sunday
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
7.0 Breakfast. With Elizabeth Alker. 9.0 News
9.03 Record Review. Tom Service contributes
to Building a Library as he compares recordings
of Mozart?s Prague Symphony, No 38 in D, K504.
At 10.15, Andrew McGregor presents a selection
of outstanding new and recent releases, ending
at 11.45 with his Disc of the Week. 12.16 New
Generation Artists. Recorded in July at the Royal
Hall in Harrogate. Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B
minor, Op 115. Annelien Van Wauwe (clarinet),
Van Kuijk Quartet. Preceded by two songs.
Brahms: Da unten im Tale and Es steht ein Lind.
Fatma Said (soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano).
1.0 News 1.02 Saturday Classics. John Rutter
introduces new year carols. 3.0 Sound of Cinema.
The first of two programmes celebrating the
film music of Franz Waxman. 4.0 Jazz Record
Requests. Listeners suggest the best jazz records
of 2017. 5.0 Jazz Line-Up. Performances by
the pianist Tord Gustavsen and the gypsy jazz
combo Rose Room, plus the organ-driven sounds
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
5.30 TMS: Australia v England ? Fourth Test,
Day Five. FM: 6.0 News and Papers 6.07 Open
Country: Nan Shepherd?s Cairngorms (R) 6.30
Farming Today This Week 7.0 Today. 7.48 Thought
for the Day, with the Rev Dr Steven Croft. 7.30
(LW joins at 7.30) 9.0 Saturday Live. Extraordinary
stories and remarkable people. 10.30 The Kitchen
Cabinet: Dumfries (2/7) 11.04 The Forum: Making
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Saturday Breakfast 9.0 Danny Baker (R) 11.0
Fighting Talk 11.55 Scottish Premiership: Celtic v
Rangers (kick-off 12noon) 2.0 5 Live Sport 3.0
Premier League Football 5.0 Sports Report 5.30
Premier League Football: Man Utd v Southampton
(kick-off 5.30pm) 7.30 6-0-6 9.0 To Helmand
and Back 10.0 Adrian Goldberg 12.0 Headliners
1.0 Up All Night 5.0 The Day I Met Diana
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
45
FULL TV AND
RADIO LISTINGS
Christmas Eve
PICKS OF
THE DAY
The week?s listings
start on page 40
turn out to be ?disappointingly ordinary??
As the bodycount rises, the a?able chief
inspector worries that the murderer may
just be getting started . A real thriller.
Carpenter, MR James and Stephen King, but
knocks this year?s adaptation of the latter?s
It into a cocked hat. Jonathan Romney
RADIO
COMEDY DRAMA
A Festival of Nine
Lessons and Carols
Trollied
Sky 1, 9.30pm
Radio 4 and World Service, 3pm
This hilarious festive special of the
supermarket comedy sees thieves attempt
to pinch the Christmas takings at Valco.
To borrow a phrase from manager Gavin:
?Grade A workplace humour?. Mike Bradley
FILM
ENTERTAINMENT
It Follows
Film4, 1.05am
Mary, Mel and Sue?s Big
Christmas Thank You
BBC One, 7pm
(David Robert Mitchell, 2014)
Mary Berry, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc
reunite to help organise ?the ultimate
Christmas party? for the town of Pentre in
the Rhondda valley. An uplifting seasonal
treat which reveals a real sense of
community that should be an example to
us all. Plus two new stars are born in the
form of Da? and Bu?y. Meet them tonight.
DRAMA
Maigret in Montmartre
ITV, 8.30pm
A killer is on the loose in Paris. Is Maigret in
pursuit of ?a fascinatingly complex sexually
deranged psychopath? or will the culprit
Here?s something that feels fresh and
innovative while being essentially an oldfashioned chiller with a simple premise:
there is this malevolent being, and if you
become its target, it will come and get
you. This being?s peculiarity is that it takes
di?erent forms, appearing to victims
sometimes as a stranger, sometimes as a
person they know: as one character says,
?Sometimes I think it looks like people
you love just to hurt you.? Writer-director
Mitchell follows this idea through with
superb economy and single-mindedness,
providing a distinctive, intelligent twist on
American horror?s characteristic anxieties
about teenage (especially female) sexuality.
Hugely atmospheric, this quietly nervewracking exercise variously channels John
TV CHOICE
Ratburger
Sky 1, 6pm
As this year?s adaptation of a David
Walliams children?s book opens, 12-yearold Zoe (Talia Barnett) is living happily in
a tower block council ?at. Then disaster
strikes: her mum dies and her dad loses
his job at the local ice cream factory.
Worse still, it?s not long before he invites
another woman to move in. Zoe?s already
having a tough enough time being teased
at school without crisp-munching slob
Sheila (Sheridan Smith, above) adding to
her problems at home. Enter unsavoury
burger peddler Burt (Walliams, above),
who sells grease-slathered patties of
dubious origin from his van outside the
school. Burt soon takes a fancy to Zoe?s
evil new stepmum, and his interest is
aroused still further when Sheila tells him
about Zoe?s pet rat Armitage ? a possible
candidate for the mincer. Thank goodness
Armitage has a secret that may just save
the day. Good fun. Mike Bradley
Broadcast live from the candlelit Chapel of
King?s College, Cambridge, this traditional
service is a magical Christmas broadcasting
highlight. Since 1983 the event has
included a newly written carol with this
year?s commission breaking new ground
by being composed in Welsh. Composer
Huw Watkins was asked by music director
Stephen Cleobury to set part of a Welsh
carol, Carol Eliseus. A non-Welsh-speaker,
he admits he was ?slightly daunted?,
adding: ?My mother (a native speaker) has
helped me with the sounds and stresses
of the words, and I feel like setting this
language has unlocked an inde?nable
Welshness in my music.? Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Rugby Union
BT Sport 1, 2.30pm
Leicester Tigers v Saracens: Premiership.
Live coverage from Welford Road, where
Leicester will be eyeing the visitors as a
wounded beast (following a run of losses
including a 46-14 Champions Cup thrashing
by Clermont Auvergne) to be shown no
mercy. Sarries, by contrast will be looking to
reassert their dominance. Unmissable. MB
TELEVISION
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.15 Nature?s Weirdest Events (T)
(R) 7.0 Island Parish Shetland (T)
(R) 7.30 The Prince and Me
(2004) (T) 9.15 The Big Family
Cooking Showdown (T) (R) 10.15
Saturday Kitchen Best Bites (T)
11.45 Mary Berry?s Absolute
Christmas Favourites (T) (R)
12.20 The Hairy Bikers Home for
Christmas (T) 1.20 Alex Polizzi?s
Perfect Christmas (T) (R) 2.20
Cheetahs: Growing Up Fast (T)
(R) 3.20 Guys and Dolls
(1955) (T) 5.45 Carols from
King?s (T) 7.0 Dad?s Army (T) (R)
6.0
7.0
The Rugrats in Paris (Paul
Demeyer, Stig Bergqvist, 2000)
8.15 The Big Bang Theory (R)
9.05 Jamie?s Quick & Easy Food
(R) 9.40 Christmas Brunch 12.40
Paul Hollywood: A Baker?s Life
(R) 1.10 Jamie?s Italian Christmas
(R) 2.10 The Simpsons (T) (R)
3.35 The Borrowers
(Peter Hewitt, 1997) (T) 5.20
The Snowman (T) (R) 5.55 The
Snowman and the Snowdog
(T) (R) 6.20 News (T) 6.30
The Muppet Christmas
Carol (Brian Henson, 1992) (T)
6.0
EastEnders (T) Lauren and Abi
make their feelings clear to Max.
8.30 Michael McIntyre?s Big
Christmas Show (T)
With Seal and Bill Bailey.
9.35 Not Going Out Christmas
Special (T) Lee buys the perfect
Christmas present, but the kids?
grandparents have the same idea,
leaving him in a race against time.
8.0
Christmas University Challenge
2017 (T) New series. Durham
University take on Keble, Oxford.
8.30 Winter?s Weirdest Events
(T) Chris Packham explores
unusual natural events.
9.30 The Great Gatsby (Baz
Luhrmann, 2013) (T) F Scott
Fitzgerald adaptation, with
Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey
Maguire.
8.30 Maigret in Montmartre (T) The
Paris detective investigates the
seemingly random murders
of a countess and a showgirl,
and discovers an unexpected
connection between the two
victims? past experiences.
Rowan Atkinson makes his
fourth appearance as Georges
Simenon?s French detective.
8.0
Child Genius v Celebrities
Christmas Special (T) Richard
Osman hosts a Christmas special
in which past competitors return
to take on Rob Delaney, Cathy
Newman, Dom Joly and Janet
Street-Porter.
Gogglebox 2017 (T) Highlights
from the most recent series.
8.0
10.15 News (T) Weather
10.30 The Vicar of Dibley The
Christmas Lunch Incident (T) (R)
11.15 The Two Ronnies Sketchbook (T)
(R) Messrs Barker and Corbett
reunite to provide an insight into
their comedy. Katie Melua guests.
11.45 Midnight Mass from Leeds
Cathedral (T) The traditional
Christmas Eve service from St
Anne?s Roman Catholic Cathedral.
1.0 Great Expectations (Mike
Newell, 2012) (T) Drama with
Jeremy Irvine, Ralph Fiennes. 3.0
Weather (T) 3.05 BBC News (T)
11.55 Christmas TOTP2 Special (T)
(R) Mark Radcli?e presents
festive performances from the
Top of the Pops archive, with
classics by the likes of Slade,
Wham!, Wizzard, East 17, Mud,
the Jackson 5 and Johnny Mathis.
1.25 Whitney: Can I Be Me (Nick
Broom?eld, Rudi Dolezal, 2017)
(T) Documentary telling the
life story of the singer Whitney
Houston, who died in 2012 at
the age of 48. 3.05 Sign Zone:
Holby City (T) (R) 4.05 This Is
BBC Two (T)
10.25 News and Weather (T)
10.45 A Night for the Emergency
Services (T) (R) Members of the
emergency services show o?
their performance skills.
11.45 Christmas Carols on ITV (T)
Al?e Boe introduces a traditional
Christmas Eve carol service.
12.45 Casino Royale (1967) (T)
Spoof James Bond adventure
starring David Niven. 3.0 ITV
Nightscreen 5.0 The Aquabats!
Super Show! (T) (R) 5.25 Make
It Pop (T) (R) 5.45 Mr Bean: The
Animated Series (T) (R)
11.05 The Inbetweeners Bunk O? (T)
(R) The four lads play truant.
11.35 The Inbetweeners The Field Trip
(T) (R) The boys go to Swanage.
12.10 The Inbetweeners Night Out
in London, The Fashion Show
& The Trip to Warwick (T) (R)
1.35 Man Down Christmas
Special (T) (R) 2.0 The Last Leg
Christmas Special (T) (R) 2.55
The Crystal Maze: Celebrity
Special (T) (R) 3.50 Ramsay?s
Kitchen Nightmares USA (T) (R)
4.40 Location, Location, Location
(T) (R) 5.35 Four in a Bed (R)
BBC One
6.0
Breakfast 7.25 Match of the Day
(R) 9.05 Planes (2013)
10.30 The Santa Clause
(1994) 12.0 Life in the Snow (R)
1.0 News 1.15 Songs of Praise:
The Big Sing 1.45 Shaun the
Sheep: The Farmer?s Llamas (T)
(R) 2.15 Hammy?s Boomerang
Adventure (T) (R) 2.20 Monsters University (2013)
(T) 3.55 Doodlebugs (T) 4.10
Home (2015) (T) 5.35 News
(T) 5.50 Regional News (T) 6.0
Country?le (T) 7.0 Mary, Mel and
Sue?s Big Christmas Thank You (T)
8.0
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
6.0am Scottish Football Extra 6.30 Scottish
Professional Football League 8.0 Premier League
9.30 Premier League Tonight 10.30 Premier
League Review 11.30 Aviva Premiership Rugby
Highlights 1.30 The 16th Man 2.30 Live Aviva
Premiership Rugby Union: Leicester Tigers v
Saracens (kick-off 3pm) Coverage of the match
from the 11th round of fixtures, which takes place
at Welford Road. 5.15 Premier League Review
6.15 The Lane 7.15 Premier League 8.45 Premier
League Reload 9.0 Aviva Premiership Rugby
Highlights 11.30 The Day the Series Stopped
12.30 Ghosts of Ole Miss 1.30 The Gospel
According to Mac 3.30 Run Ricky Run 4.30 UFC
Top 10: Title Reigns 5.0 The Clare Balding Show
Sky Atlantic
6.0am CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 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 Without a Trace 2.0 Without a
Trace 3.0 Without a Trace 4.0 Without a Trace
5.0 Without a Trace 6.0 Attenborough at 90:
Behind the Lens 7.0 Making Attenborough?s
Gal醦agos 8.0 David Attenborough?s Gal醦agos
9.0 Game of Thrones 10.10 Game of Thrones
11.20 Game of Thrones 12.40 Band of Brothers
1.55 Band of Brothers 3.15 Without a Trace 4.10
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 5.05 Blue Bloods
E4
6.0am Prep & Landing 6.25 Prep & Landing:
Naughty v Nice 6.50 Made in Chelsea 7.50 Don?t
Tell the Bride: Christmas Revenge 8.55 All
About Christmas Eve (2012) 10.40 Diary of
a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011) 12.45 Dr
Dolittle (1998) 2.30 The Big Bang Theory 3.0
The Big Bang Theory 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
46
CITV 9.25 Save Money: Good
Food (T) (R) 9.55 Jack
Frost (Troy Miller, 1998) (T)
11.50 Catchphrase Christmas
Special (T) (R) 12.45 News and
Weather (T) 12.55 Harry
Potter and the Chamber of
Secrets (Chris Columbus, 2002)
(T) 4.0 Cannonball Christmas
Special (T) 5.0 You?ve Been
Framed! Unwrapped (T) (R) 5.30
Local News (T) 5.35 News and
Weather (T) 5.50 A Christmas
Chase: Celebrity Special (T)
6.40 All Star Musicals (T)
VARIATIONS
Bang Theory 6.0 The Big Bang Theory 6.30 The
Big Bang Theory 7.0 The Secret Life of Children
at Christmas 8.0 Miracle on 34th Street
(1994) 10.20 The Big Bang Theory: Christmas
10.50 The Big Bang Theory: Christmas 11.20 The
Big Bang Theory: Christmas 11.50 The Big Bang
Theory: Christmas 12.20 The Big Bang Theory:
Christmas 12.50 Gogglebox: The Best Bits 1.50
Tattoo Fixers at Christmas 2.55 Hollyoaks
Film4
11.0am Casper (1995) 1.05 Baby?s
Day Out (1994) 3.0 Jingle All the Way
(1996) 4.45 Eragon (2006) 6.50 Night at the Museum (2006) 9.0 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) 10.55
Predator (1987) 1.05 It Follows (2014)
Sky1
6.0am Hour of Power 7.0-8.0 Futurama
8.0-11.0 The Simpsons 11.0 WWE Raw Hlts
12.0 Hogfather (1&2/2) Comic drama adapted
from the novel by Terry Pratchett. David Jason
stars alongside Ian Richardson, David Warner, Marc
Warren, Michelle Dockery, Neil Pearson and Joss
Ackland. 4.0-6.0 The Simpsons 6.0 Ratburger
7.30-8.30 The Simpsons 8.30 A League of
Their Own Christmas Special 2017 9.30 Trollied
Christmas Special 10.30 The Late Late Show
11.30 A League of Their Own Christmas Special
12.30 The Russell Howard Hour 1.30 Michael
Bubl�s Christmas in Hollywood 2.30 Michael
Bubl�s Christmas in New York 3.30-4.30
It?s Me or the Dog 4.30 The Bachelor King
Sky Sports Main Event
6.0am Sky Sports News 7.0 Good Morning Sports
Fans 10.0 Sky Sports Today 12.0 Sports Sunday
1.30 Live International T20 Cricket: India v Sri
Lanka. Coverage of the third and final match of the
three-game series, held at the Wankhede Stadium
in Mumbai. 5.0 Sports Sunday 5.30-1.0 Live
NFL. Two matches. 1.0-6.0 Sky Sports News
THE NEW REVIEW | 24.12.17 | The Observer
ULSTER As ITV except 12.45am
Teleshopping 1.45-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC ONE SCOTLAND 11.45pm
Christmas Celebration (T) Sally Magnusson
introduces readings and music for Christmas Eve
from Crichton Memorial Church, featuring the
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Choir
and燛mily Smith, as well as singers and readers
from Dumfries and Galloway. 12.35-1.35
Sportscene (T) (R)
BBC TWO SCOTLAND 1.20pm-2.20
River City (T) (R) It?s Christmas Day in Shieldinch
? and it brings an unwelcome surprise for Bob and
Kim. Lenny works hard to unite his family while
Maggie puts her all into giving her girls the kind
of Christmas they never had as children. 5.45
Christmas University Challenge 2017 (T) 6.15
Sportscene (T) Jonathan Sutherland presents.
7.15-8.30 Carols from King?s (T) The annual
service from King?s College, Cambridge, featuring
traditional and modern carols, plus readings from
the Bible and the poems of Christina Rossetti and
Christopher Pilling.
9.0
9.0
Milkshake! 9.20 Gone With
the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)
(T) Epic romantic dramawith
Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.
1.35 Oklahoma! (Fred
Zinnemann, 1955) (T) Rodgers
and Hammerstein?s musical
western. 4.15 Scrooge: A
Christmas Carol (Brian Desmond
Hurst, 1951) (T) Alastair Sim
stars in this adaptation of
the Dickens tale. 6.0 Agatha
Christie?s Crooked House (T) (R)
Adaptation of the mystery novel,
with Max Irons, Terence Stamp.
The Yorkshire Vet at Christmas
(T) Peter Wright is called to an
emergency at John Swales?s
farm. Last in the series.
Andr� Rieu: My Life in Music
(T) A pro?le of the violinist,
examining his upbringing in
the Netherlands, musical
in?uences, and the moves
that have made him one of
classical music?s biggest stars.
BBC Four
7.0
James May: The Christmas
Reassembler (T) (R) In a
festive special, the presenter
puts together a Hornby Flying
Scotsman, his favourite
childhood Christmas present,
which he was given in 1972.
7.30 TOTP Christmas 1973 (T)
(R) With Suzi Quatro and Slade.
8.15 Whatever Happened to the
Likely Lads? (T) (R) Bob and
Thelma look forward to an
entertaining festive holiday.
9.0 MR James: Ghost Writer (T) (R)
The actor and writer Mark Gatiss
examines the life and career of
the author MR James, attempting
to uncover the inspirations behind
his stories of the supernatural.
10.20 Andr� Rieu: Christmas in London
(T) (R) A festive concert by the
Dutch violinist and the Johann
Strauss Orchestra, featuring
carols as well as songs including
Leonard Cohen?s Hallelujah and
the Concierto de Aranjuez.
11.30 An Audience with Donny & Marie
(T) (R) The Osmond siblings
entertain a celebrity audience.
12.35 Lip Sync Battle UK Rufus Hound v
Jorgie Porter (T) (R) 1.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.05 Love/Hate (T) (R)
4.0 My Mum?s Hotter Than Me!
(T) (R) 4.50 House Doctor (T) (R)
10.0 The Tractate Middoth (R) Mark
Gatiss?s version of MR James?s
tale stars Sacha Dhawan and
John Castle.
10.40 No 13 (T) (R) Dramatisation
of MR James?s short story,
starring Greg Wise.
11.20 Charles Dickens? The Signalman
(T) (R) Denholm Elliott stars.
12.0 Christopher Lee?s Ghost Stories
for Christmas (T) (R) 1.0 MR
James: A View from a Hill (T) (R)
1.40 TOTP Christmas 1973 (T) (R)
2.25 James May: Christmas Reassembler (T) (R) 2.55 No 13 (T) (R)
Walks: Roseburg to L黚eck (5/5) 7.30 In Concert:
Spirit of Bach. Ian Skelly presents a performance by
Vox Luminis under Lionel Meunier, recorded at the
Utrecht early music festival in August. Bach: Mass
in B minor, BWV232. Vox Luminis, Anna Besson and
Jan van den Borre (flute), Jasu Moisio, Christopher
Palameta and Mario Topper (oboe), Lisa Goldberg
and Ana飐 Ramage (bassoon), Bart Cypers (horn),
Rudolf L鰎inc, Moritz G鰎g and Tibor Meszaros
(trumpet), Peppie Wiersma (kettle drums), Tuomo
Suni, Jacek Kurzyd?o and Johannes Frisch (violin
I), Cynthia Freivogel, Antina Hugosson and Nadine
Henrichs (violin II), Raquel Masadas and Annemarie
Kosten-D黵 (viola), Lucy Scotchmer and Anton
Baba (cello), Beno顃 Vanden Bemden (double bass),
Bart Jacobs (organ), Lionel Meunier (director).
9.30 Music Matters: Spirit of Bach. with Sarah
Mohr-Pietsch. (R) 10.15 Early Music Late. Bach
Performances from around Europe. 12.0 Spirit of
Bach Mixtape (R) 12.30 Through the Night (R)
Broadcasting House (R) 2.45 The Listening Project
Omnibus: Inspiration 3.0 A Festival of Nine Lessons
and Carols. A candlelit service of Christmas carols
and readings from the chapel of King?s College,
Cambridge. Featuring the first performance of a
new carol by Welsh composer Huw Watkins. 4.30
Four Seasons: Winter Solstice (R) 5.0 What Would
Bagehot Say? (R) 5.40 Profile 5.54 Shipping
Forecast 6.0 News 6.15 Pick of the Week. With
Antonia Quirke. 7.0 The Archers. Helen counts
her blessings. 7.15 Just William ? Live!燭he
Christmas Truce. Martin Jarvis performs a pair of
Richmal Crompton comic classics, recorded live
at the Theatre Royal, Winchester. (1/2) 7.45 The
Reservoir Tapes: Ginny?s Story, by Jon McGregor.
(13/15) 8.0 Feedback (R) 8.30 Last Word (R)
9.0燤oney Box (R) 9.26 Radio 4 Appeal (R)
9.30營n Business: Uganda?s Refugee Entrepreneurs
(R) 10.0 News 10.15 Pick of the Year. The year?s
radio highlights. 11.0 The Film Programme:
Christmas Presents (R) 11.30 Midnight Mass. A live
service from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ
the King in Liverpool, led by the Most Rev Malcolm
McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool. 12.45 Bells
on燬unday: Manchester Cathedral (R) 12.48
Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service 5.20
Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for
the燚ay 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of the
Day: The燭welve Tweets of Christmas (7/12)
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.0 Dev 10.0 Greatest Hits With Matt Edmondson
1.0 Maya Jama 4.0 Life Hacks With Cel Spellman
and Katie Thistleton 6.0 Most Played 7.0 Rock
Show With Daniel P Carter 10.0 Phil Taggart 1.0
Monki 3.0 Artist Takeover With Craig David 4.0
Adele Roberts
Radio 2
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 Alan & Mel Live on Christmas Eve 3.0
Johnnie Walker 5.0 Dressing the Tree With David
Emanuel 6.0 Rob Brydon Meets Priscilla Presley
8.0 A CMA Country Christmas 10.0 Matt Goss
12.0 Sounds of the 60s (R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists:
Blues & Pop Ballads 4.0 Roger Royle
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
7.0 Breakfast. Featuring the final daily prelude
and fugue from Bach?s Well-Tempered Clavier. 9.0
News 9.03 Sunday Morning: A Bach Christmas.
Sarah Walker presents music by JS Bach, including
the Christmas Oratorio, organ works played by
Simon Preston and jazz interpretations by John
Lewis and Jacques Loussier. 12.0 Private Passions.
Guests from past episodes reveal how Bach has
changed their lives. 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: Spirit of Bach. A specially recorded concert
from the National Centre for Early Music in York
with the Musical Offering, a work Bach dedicated
to the Prussian monarch Frederick the Great,
performed by the young ensemble BarrocoTout.
2.0 The Early Music Show: The Spirit of Bach.
Dame Emma Kirkby shares her memories of singing
Bach. 3.0 Choral Evensong: Music and Readings
for Advent (R) 4.0 Choir and Organ. A selection of
Bach?s organ music. 5.0 The Listening Service: The
Joy of Bach. With Tom Service. 5.30 Words and
Music: A Celebration of the Life of Bach 6.45 Bach
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 News 6.05 Something Understood: On
the Eve. Mark Tully talks to the Most Rev John
Sentamu, Archbishop of York. 6.35 Living World:
Ancient Holly (R) 7.0 News 7.0 Sunday Papers
7.10 Sunday. With Edward Stourton. 7.55 Radio
4 Appeal: Handicap International UK 8.0 News
8.0 Sunday Papers 8.10 Sunday Worship: Hope
for the Future 8.48 A Point of View (R) 8.58
Tweet of the Day: The Twelve Tweets of Christmas.
With Alison Steadman. (6/12) 9.0 Broadcasting
House. Presented by Paddy O?Connell. 10.0
The Archers Omnibus 11.15 Desert Island Discs:
Bruno Tonioli 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 I?m Sorry I Haven?t a Clue (R)
12.30 The Food Programme 1.0 The World
This Weekend. Presented by Mark Mardell. 1.30
From Our Home Correspondent. Mishal Husain
presents a new monthly series, featuring dispatches
from journalists and writers across the UK. 2.0
Gardeners? Question Time: Christmas Special at
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 9.0 SportsWeek 10.0 Pienaar?s
Politics 11.0 5 Live F1 12.0 Usain Bolt: 100 Days
That Shook the World 1.0 5 Live Sport 3.0 Rugby
Union: Leicester Tigers v Saracens (kick-off 3pm)
5.0 Sir Bobby Charlton at 80 (R) 6.0 Flintoff,
Savage and the Ping Pong Guy 7.0 Fighting Talk
7.30 From Doris to Depeche: The Football Fans?
Songbook 8.30 The Sports Panel (R) 10.0
Stephen Nolan 1.0 Kermode and Mayo?s Film
Review: Best of 2017 3.0-5.0 Bunce?s Tales of
the Extraordinary 5.0 Jane Garvey & Peter Allen
a Cox 9.30 Trevor Nelson 12.0
Jeremy燰ine 2.0 In Concert: Tears for Fears
(R)�0 Craig Charles 5.0 Johnnie Walker
Meets Blondie (R) 6.0 Johnnie Walker Meets
Alice Cooper (R) 7.0 Bob Harris Country 8.0
Ana Matronic 10.0 The Summer of I Feel Love
(R) 11.0燬tanley Baxter?s Musical World (2/2)
12.0燭he Craig Charles House Party (R) 2.0
Radio 2 Playlists: Tracks of My Years, Have a Great
Weekend & Feelgood Friday 5.0 Nicki Chapman
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. Petroc Trelawny presents. 9.0
Essential Classics. Griff Rhys Jones guests. 12.0
Composer of the Week: Cole Porter (R) (4/5) 1.0
News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert. Music from the
Schwarzenberg Schubertiade in June. Schubert:
Quintet in A, D667 (Trout). Marc-Andr� Hamelin,
piano, Manderling Quartet: Bach: French suite No 1
in D minor BWV812. 2.0 Thursday Opera Matinee:
Cavalli ? Erismena. A performance from the Aixen-Provence festival. Francesca Aspromonte
(soprano: Erismena), Carlo Vistoli (countertenor:
Idraspe), Susanna Hurrell (soprano: Aldimira),
Jakub Jozef Orlinski (soprano: Orimeno), Alexander
Miminoshvili (bass: Erimante), Lea Desandre
(mezzo: Flerida), Andrea Bonsignore (baritone:
Argippo), other principals, Cappella Mediterranea,
Leonardo Garc韆 Alarc髇. 4.30 Bruch: A Scottish
Fantasy, Op 46. Jack Liebeck (violin), Ulster
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
LW: 5.30 TMS: Australia v England ? Fourth Test,
Day Three. FM: 6.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for the
Day, with Rhidian Brook. (LW joins at 7.30) 9.0 In
Our Time 9.45 (LW) Daily Service: The Poetry of
Christmas 9.45 (FM) Book of the Week: Adventures
of a Young Naturalist, by David Attenborough. (4/5)
10.0 Woman?s Hour. Presented by Jenni Murray.
Includes at 10.45 Drama: Incredible Women, by
Rebecca and Jeremy Front. (4/5) 11.0 Crossing
Continents: Taming the Pilcomayo. A journey up
the Pilcomayo river that separates Paraguay from
Argentina. (6/9) 11.30 Thinking Outside the
Boxset: How Technology Changed the Story. Mark
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
7.0 Ashes Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With
Chris燱arburton 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0
5燣ive Drive�0 5 Live Sport 8.0 Premier
League燜ootball: Crystal Palace v Arsenal (kickoff�m) 10.0 Sam Walker 11.30 The Ashes
The Observer | 24.12.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
43
Friday 29
PICKS OF
THE DAY
discussion and audience interaction
intended to help us all understand the
events of the past 12 months. A panel of
guests take him to task over his claims.
Edge and Presumed Innocent, with some
rather thornier gender-political provocations
thrown into the mix. Jonathan Romney
RADIO
COMEDY
Anansi Boys
Victoria Wood: Live 1997
Channel 5, 10pm
Radio 4, 11.30pm
One of Wood?s best standup shows,
which combines her trademark selfe?acing wit and clever wordplay. Topics
covered include spending Christmas at
someone else?s house. Mike Bradley
FILM
COMEDY
Gone Girl
BBC One, 9.15pm
Vic and Bob?s Big Night Out
BBC Two, 9pm
(David Fincher, 2014)
Possibly the funniest show on TV over
the Christmas period, this is Reeves and
Mortimer at their surreal best, fooling about
with rhubarb panpipes, magnetic hands
and an ?arse-kicking machine?. Best of all
is the Novelty Paddock in which we meet
David Little Peacock, who runs a double
entendre company in Long Knobbington.
COMEDY
Frankie Boyle?s 2017
New World Order
BBC Two, 10pm
The acerbic Glasgow comedian tries
to make sense of the modern world
in a combination of standup, review,
An even chillier proposition than his previous
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, this sees
David Fincher taking his Hitchcockian
inclinations to the extreme, in a thriller
that manipulates its viewers about as
outrageously as a psychological plot-twister
can. Of course, manipulation was already
of the essence in Gillian Flynn?s bestseller,
which the novelist herself has adapted for
the screen. Ben A?eck plays Nick Dunne,
who ?nds himself in deep water when his
wife Amy (Rosamund Pike, quite astonishing)
mysteriously disappears. As the Dunnes?
life together is picked apart in ?ashbacks, the
narrative curveballs start to come thick and
fast. This is a strikingly cynical confection, at
heart a sleeker, more coolly clinical update of
the 80s/90s psychosexual strain of Jagged
TV CHOICE
Delicious
Sky 1, 9pm
?Death takes a little getting used to,?
con?des deceased chef Leo Vincent (Iain
Glen) as the second series of the fraught
foodie drama gets under way. Leo lives
on, providing sage advice and aper鐄s
at one remove about the tangled webs
woven by the chaotic mortals who inhabit
the Penrose Hotel, the luxury venue he
began in Devon. Now his former loves
Gina Benelli (Dawn French, above) and
Sam Vincent (Emilia Fox) are struggling to
run it in tandem. Trouble is, a big society
wedding is looming, Gina has ?red half the
kitchen sta?, and Sam is fretting about
turning 40. More importantly the pair
are locked in a power struggle and they
wind each other up at every opportunity.
Cue: a hunky new chef, a casual a?air and
some very special anchovies. Have fun
?nding out if their fortunes will improve in
an opening episode that bodes very well
indeed. A welcome return. Mike Bradley
The penultimate episode of Neil Gaiman?s
enjoyable fantasy (beginning on Christmas
Day) ?nds Fat Charlie?s love life unravelling
as his ?ancee discovers she has two lovers.
An eventful instalment also features
magical scene changes, a ghost who
refuses to move on to the afterlife and
Hitchcockian ?ocks of vicious birds. Jacob
Anderson and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
star as Fat Charlie and his long-lost
brother, mischief-making Spider, in an
assured production that also features
Julian Rhind-Tutt, Adjoa Andoh and, as the
boys? father, Lenny Henry, whom Gaiman
credits with inspiring the original novel.
The concluding episode is on Saturday 30
December at 2.30pm. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Rugby Union
BT Sport 1, 7pm
B
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The Observer, journal
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