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The Times Times 2 - 19 December 2017

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December 19 | 2017
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Plus The best and worst low-alcohol wines
2
1G T
Tuesday December 19 2017 | the times
times2
The science of
It’s women, not
men, who loathe
the mother-in-law
Robert Crampton
W
hen I was a
kid growing
up in front
of the
flickering
fuzzy
unreliable
telly in the
Seventies, watching Les Dawson and
Jim Davidson and even, for my sins,
Bernard Manning, the mother-in-law
joke was a comedy staple.
“I can always tell when the motherin-law’s coming,” Dawson would
deadpan. “The mice throw themselves
on the traps.”
“I answered the doorbell and it was
the mother-in-law come to visit. ‘Don’t
stand out here in the rain,’ I told her,
‘Go ’ome!’ ”
And so forth. Whatever you think
of the humour, what these one-liners
had then and lack now was genuine
cultural resonance. As Dr Terri Apter,
a senior tutor in psychology at
Cambridge University, has just
demonstrated. Apter asked a selection
of married adults which family
relationship caused them the most
stress. Her results prove that the
mother-in-law joke — as it is
traditionally conceived — is
conclusively dead and buried.
While a mere 15 per cent of
husbands ranked their other half’s
mum as their top source of
emotional grief, a whopping 60 per
cent of wives cited their partner’s
mother as their number one
nightmare. My experience fully
bears out Apter’s findings.
Loyal son that I was and am,
I have no wish to disrespect my mum,
deceased these two years. She had
many admirable qualities. Honesty
compels me to report that she also
made life difficult — to put it mildly,
the truth is she was on many
occasions insufferably rude — for
my wife. My wife’s mother has never
made life difficult for me. Quite the
opposite. Especially when the kids
were small.
Obviously personality plays a part.
My mum was what is often called
“a strong character”. Rather as those
individuals deemed “colourful” are
sometimes in truth shameless
attention-seekers, “strong character”
can serve as a euphemism for
“domineering”. Yet, if you’re looking
Rats? Pah!
My cats
kick ass
A cat in Strensall, near
York, has turned up a bit
worse for wear owing to
the presence — a vet
at stats of 15 per cent versus 60 per
cent, it can’t all be down to personality,
can it? A more historically significant
change has taken place.
I’m not sure what that might be.
I don’t think, however, that the
increased friction between mothersin-law and daughters-in-law can be
ascribed to the old “no woman is good
enough for my boy” standby. That’s in
the mix (I guess it always has been),
but it wouldn’t explain the reversal of
in-law directed antipathy that has
occurred since Les, Jim and Bernard
were bossing the airwaves.
My take is that pre-feminist era
mothers are simply jealous of younger
women who have benefited from the
huge social changes — economic,
legal, sexual — of the past 40 or 50
years. My mother, born 1933, was
(like my wife, born 1964) pretty
independent by the standards of her
time. But societal constraints being as
they were at the point when it
mattered, the older lady could not
hope to compete with the younger
one. And she resented it, and she
let it be known.
Maybe I’m mistaken. Generalisation
is a dangerous business. As extended
families gather for the festive season,
however, I reckon I know where, in
all the myriad bilateral relationships
involved, the potential flashpoints
will most likely be located.
swiftly discovered — of
a 7in black rat in its
stomach. Seven inches
minus the tail, that is. By
’eck, they breed ’em
tough in Yorkshire, eh?
If anything, I was
even more impressed by
this story than I was by
the coffee story above.
Impressed — yet, as the
proud owner of two
feline assassins — not
entirely surprised. Cats
really are the most
phenomenally lethal
creatures on the planet,
even more efficient
killers than David
Attenborough’s terrifying
bobbit sea-worm, about
which I’m still having
nightmares several
weeks after transmission.
Hair of the dog
won’t work, but
scientists are
closing in on a real
cure. By Peta Bee
I’d love to
see my face
in froth
A café on Oxford Street
is getting stick for
developing a high-tech
printing method by
which they can
reproduce a customer’s
face in the froth on a
cup of coffee.
Commentators are
asking whether this, the
so-called selfieccino,
finally represents a selfie
too far. Peak selfie, if
you will.
NO, I say. I’m not one
for selfies (I tend to hold
the phone the wrong
way round), but even so,
if some brilliant barista
has learnt to do
individual likenesses in
coffee foam, surely you
have to stand back and
applaud. In my day the
selfie equivalent was
shoving 50p into the
photo booth at Hull
railway station, jostling
your mates for pole
position and hoping for
the best.
I am seriously
impressed. I feel the
same when I order a
Guinness and the
bartender traces a
shamrock in the head:
total respect for a totally
cool, totally inexplicable
skill. Much like
magicians. Or acrobats.
Not footballers, though:
whatever tricks they
perform, I always think,
“Huh, OK, so I can’t
actually do that . . . but
I could if I really,
really tried.”
If you live as I do in
London, the supposed
rule is you’re never
more than 8ft from a
rodent. But not, I
submit, if you keep a cat.
Or better still two. On
the rare occasions a rat
has effected entry into
our back garden, its life
expectancy has been
measured in seconds.
Y
our head feels like a
bass drum, your
mouth is parched and
you swear never to
drink again. We all
know the symptoms
— hangover-suffering
typically peaks 12 to 14
hours after a binge and lasts an average
of six and a half hours, according to a
survey by Cancer Research UK. And it
hurts the economy heavily — one
survey conducted by lastminute.com
reckoned that Christmas parties set
businesses back by almost £260 million.
Apparently about a quarter of staff
waste the first four hours of the day
afterwards and a fifth will call in sick.
While there’s plenty we know about
hangovers, there’s a lot we don’t. For
years they remained a neglected area
of study, but since 2012 more papers
have been published on the hangover’s
causes and cures than had emerged
over the previous three decades. This
is thanks largely to the efforts of the
Alcohol Hangover Research Group
(AHRG), a collective of experts
dedicated to making the fog of the
next day a little less bleak. At their
annual conference in Utrecht this
year, the group finally defined the
hangover in scientific terms as “a
combination of mental and physical
symptoms, experienced the day after
a single episode of heavy drinking,
starting when blood alcohol
concentration approaches zero”.
Alcohol is a diuretic, and most of us
think of a hangover as a consequence
of dehydration. Yet scientists have
struggled to find a strong link between
high levels of the hormones associated
with dehydration and the severity of
hangover symptoms. “A hangover is
mistakenly thought to be solely caused
by dehydration and that drinking
water is sufficient to relieve it,” says
Dr Sally Adams, an assistant professor
in health psychology at the University
of Bath and a member of the AHRG
team. “In fact, there are many causes,
including dehydration, but also
inflammation, electrolyte imbalance,
sleep disturbance, alcohol metabolism
and low blood sugar.”
Sean Johnson is another AHRG
member. A researcher in the faculty of
health at the University of the West of
England, he studies the “drinking
practices of students”, which must keep
him busy. “Drinking alcohol depletes
your body of all the things it needs and
leaves you with its nasty by-products,”
he says.
Inflammation plays a considerable
role. “When you drink you experience
an increase in the feelgood
neurotransmitter dopamine in the
brain,” he says. “So alcohol tricks you
into thinking that it’s making you feel
great, but at the same time it is
altering and unbalancing lots of other
brain chemicals. Have ‘one too many’
and you’re likely to experience a
comedown from the surge of
intoxicating chemicals. That
contributes to hangover symptoms.”
Part of our susceptibility to
symptoms is genetic. “When your
body is metabolising alcohol, the first
Most cures are
just an expensive
version of a
banana and milk
step involves the conversion of alcohol
to acetaldehyde,” Adams says. “At high
concentrations acetaldehyde can be
toxic and lead to symptoms including
increased heart rate, sweating, skin
flushing, nausea and vomiting. The
presence of a particular genetic variant
can cause acetaldehyde to accumulate
in some individuals, where even small
amounts of alcohol can cause sweating
and flushing symptoms.”
Avoiding drinks with a high content
of congeners, the impurities produced
during fermentation, is advisable.
They “may play a role in exacerbating
some of the pro-inflammatory
the times | Tuesday December 19 2017
3
1G T
times2
the hangover
COVER & BELOW: GETTY IMAGES
The morning after:
what helps
By Katie Perrior
1
I
Replacing fluid and electrolytes
may ease your thumping head.
Sports drinks are your best bet,
with SOS Hydration Drink Mix
(sosrehydrate.com) gaining a
reputation as a potent hangover
tonic. Alternatively, try Dioralyte,
an electrolyte-rich drink developed
for people with acute diarrhoea.
2
Of the new remedies, Thrive+ is
available from decidethrive.com
or from amazon.com. A bottle of
30 capsules (three capsules per
dose) costs $29.99. Morning
Recovery can be shipped from
morningrecoverydrink.com ($30
for a pack of six bottles).
3
Taking an anti-inflammatory
with water may help to reduce
the flu-like symptoms, says Sean
Johnson from the faculty of health
at the University of the West of
England, “although there is limited
scientific evidence to support this”.
4
Avoid sugary drinks. Studies
show an alcohol and glucose
combination can elevate lactate
levels that makes hangovers worse.
5
Get outside the next morning.
“I make a point of walking my
dog even if I feel like death,”
Johnson says.
responses”, Johnson says. Generally,
the darker the drink, the higher the
congener content, so switching from
whisky to vodka and from unfiltered
craft beers to lighter, less flavourful
beers can offer some protection.
Johnson says that “replacing the lost
water, electrolytes and blood sugar is
a good start to getting on top of your
hangover” and that over-the-counter
anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen,
“may help in relieving some of the
flu-like symptoms you experience”.
He notes that there’s been “an
upsurge for products that claim to
provide the ultimate antidote” to a
hangover, many emerging from
Silicon Valley start-ups and linked to
published research. Morning Recovery
is one. A drink containing the herbal
compound dihydromyricetin (DHM)
sourced from the oriental raisin tree,
it was developed with help from Dr
Jing Liang, a University of California
hangover researcher. Another is
Mentis, a citrus-flavoured powder
developed by a pair of Yale students
who claim that the blend of vitamins,
minerals and amino acids “are a
hangover preventative” (it’s not
available in the UK at present). Then
there’s Thrive+, the brainchild of
Brooks Powell. He was a Princeton
University student when he came
across a paper in The Journal of
Inside Number 10’s
Christmas party
Neuroscience that suggested DHM
given to drunk rats could sober them
up immediately and rid them of any
hangover symptoms. He showed it to
his neuroscience professor, who
became a mentor in his business. They
later tested a prototype on colleagues.
“My professor took a bunch of our
homemade versions with him to a
neuroscience conference and tested it
with all of his neuroscience-scholar
friends,” Powell says. “DHM has a ton
of science behind it. Studies on it have
exploded in the past three years. We’re
seeing more and more human studies
that are revealing its effect in animals
is carrying over to humans.”
It sounds promising, but experts
doubt that the ultimate elixir has yet
been produced. “Most of what’s
available is an expensive version of a
banana and a glass of milk, providing
electrolytes, carbs and fluids,” Johnson
says. “They’ll improve symptoms, but
none have been definitely proven
effective as a cure.”
The scientist Professor David Nutt,
who teaches at Imperial College
London, recently announced plans to
sell a product called Alcarelle, which
delivers the mood-boosting benefits of
alcohol without the after-effects. He
suggests that alcosynth drinks could
be on sale by 2020, putting an end to
hangovers among those who choose to
drink them. But for those who want
the real stuff, Johnson recommends
patience. “The good news is that, with
the research into the alcohol hangover
increasing exponentially in the past
few years, we may be moving towards
a time when an effective treatment is
available,” he says. Hallelujah.
t all starts with a team photo of
each department with the prime
minister, Theresa May, and her
husband, Philip. They sit and smile
while each team traipses into the
White Room, usually reserved for
entertaining visiting heads of state,
and poses for a picture.
The PM then gives the nod for the
State Dining Room to be turned into a
party zone with a disco, beige-looking
buffet and karaoke. This year she had
to go back to her office and work
around the clock to keep Brexit (and
her job) on track. I don’t suppose it’s
much fun munching on a sausage roll
while on the phone to the leader of the
DUP as everyone parties around you.
Staff do appreciate that they are
lucky to be in surroundings that are
steeped in history. In 1955 Churchill
entertained the Queen and the Duke
of Edinburgh here at a farewell dinner.
Roll forward 30 years and all surviving
prime ministers came together to dine
in this room to celebrate 250 years of
10 Downing Street. A painting by
JMW Turner hangs on the wall. To get
there one has to climb the famous
stairs, with pictures of previous prime
ministers hung on the walls. As I
discovered
at last year’s
Christmas
Ch
party,
it’s
pa
hard
ha to resist
dancing
da
down
the
do
staircase,
sta
Love
Lo Actually
style,
sty when
you
yo are a few
drinks
the
dr
merrier.
m
To be on
the
th safe side,
all the silver
The best
low-alcohol
wines W
and anything that can be broken are
locked away. This is the one big event
of the year where special advisers and
civil servants mingle without politics
or personalities getting in the way.
These people are normally stuck
inside the same building from dawn
until dusk every day. It was fascinating
to see some of my very well-behaved,
serious colleagues hit the karaoke
hard, singing 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton,
with many seeing the irony and
renaming it 7 to 10. Doesn’t quite have
the same ring to it.
Of course, many start the festivities
a few hours earlier, sneaking in a glass
of prosecco at their desk, which some
poor soul has to buy from the Tesco
Express in Whitehall and wheel back
to No 10 in a suitcase. The glamour.
With only a couple of toilets in the
main press office area, the women
have to start getting ready early.
It is hard to have a life outside
politics, so it’s not surprising that there
are many inter-office relationships
inside No 10. There are one or two
men who think they are the bee’s
knees and last year one particular lad
proceeded to snog two women on the
same night. Always the sign of a good
party when someone is crying in the
toilets, sobbing, “He said he loved me.”
Last year the party wound up at
11pm in the State Dining room, but
word went round that we would all go
back to the events team, where there
was a stash of crisps and booze. I’ll
never forget the look on the face of
Richard Jackson, the PM’s right-hand
man, as staff climbed over desks in his
office, turned the lights off and the
music up. I put my foot in some of
Larry’s cat food by accident, which was
a bit grim. Finally Richard ran out of
patience and chucked everyone out.
The party moved on to Little Italy in
Soho, which could be described as a
soulful late-night venue to dance the
night away, or a meat market. The
choice is yours. Either way, it was a
great place to end the evening. Many
staff got home about 4am, much to the
unhappiness of their partners. Mine
opened the front door grumbling how
he couldn’t understand how I’d been
drinking all night with people “you
don’t even bloody well like”. I had to
explain that there were only a handful
of idiots and the rest were fine people,
and furthermore I was showing
exemplary leadership skills by still
being
there at the bitter end.
b
The hangover was a three-day
affair.
It was obvious by the odour in
a
the
t office the next day that several
had slept at their desks, and by midafternoon everyone was flagging.
Thank God it was the one day that
we didn’t have a massive crisis on
our hands.
I’ve been to many Christmas
parties over the years, but none
quite as special as this. Despite
some unhappy times at No 10, the
night
of the Christmas party is a
n
memory
I hold dear. Now how do
m
you top that?
Katie
Perrior is Theresa May’s
K
former director of communications
4
1G T
Tuesday December 19 2017 | the times
body&soul
Say cheers to
Painkillers are not as
effective as we think.
It’s time for a reappraisal
Dr Mark Porter
P
ain. No one wants to live
with it, yet the prospect
of living without it can
be just as daunting, as
the Marsili family have
discovered to their cost.
Researchers have just
mapped the genes of this
Italian family to find the rare mutation
with which five of them were born
that prevents them from feeling much
pain, even after a serious injury.
A few years ago I interviewed a
young Englishman with a similar
genetic glitch who feels no pain.
Indeed, to show off to his friends at
a teenage party he once jumped from
a second-floor window, breaking his
legs without batting an eyelid. When
I met him he was in his mid-twenties
and his legs were six inches shorter
than they should have been due to
repeated fractures over the years. His
sister, similarly affected, accidentally
chewed off part of her tongue while
sleeping. Both families are helping
with research into how their
mutations might help to unravel the
mysteries of pain for the benefit of
the rest of us.
Pain may be essential to avoid
injury, but while acute (short-lived)
discomfort serves a useful purpose
when you are recovering from surgery
or touching something too hot,
longer-term (chronic) pain does not.
And while many painkillers work well
in alleviating acute pain, they are not
that effective when it comes to
treating chronic discomfort.
Yet opiate/opioid drugs such as
codeine and morphine are taken by
millions of people in the UK for longterm conditions, such as low back
pain, despite growing evidence that
they are nowhere near as effective as
they, or their doctors, believe.
Too often when someone on a
painkiller complains that it is not
working, the dose is simply increased,
or they are moved to a more powerful
version. As a result opioid prescribing
in the UK has risen fourfold over the
past 20 years and we are now the
biggest consumers of the painkillers in
Europe. In America the situation is
worse, and there is growing unease
among doctors in the UK that we are
likely to follow suit — unease that is
prompting a change in practice.
As I write, long-term painkiller
prescribing in our practice is being
reviewed by an external pharmacist
to look for worrying patterns of
prescribing (typically patients who are
on very high doses of morphine-like
drugs). And similar audits will be going
on in GP surgeries across the UK.
The benefits of long-term
medication must outweigh the risks to
justify their use and if someone is
taking very high doses of a drug that is
potentially addictive, and affects their
ability to drive, work, or even interact
with their family, but isn’t providing
the relief they seek, then it should be
stopped and another approach
adopted. Yet it often isn’t, resulting in
tens of thousands (and possibly
hundreds of thousands — no one
knows for sure) taking morphine-type
drugs at such levels that the risks far
outweigh any benefits (see right). So
what should you do if you think you
may be one of them?
First, do not stop your medication.
If you have been on opioids long term
you are likely to suffer withdrawal
effects and should only reduce
treatment under supervision.
Don’t underestimate the
psychological component of pain.
Opioids may not give you the pain
relief you seek, but they can numb
accompanying mental anguish and
distress, which is why many people
continue to take them. But there are
better ways to tackle that distress. Ask
if you can be referred to a specialist
pain management clinic, which can
offer a combination of alternative
medication, psychological support
and even exercises to help you deal
more effectively with the pain.
Don’t be scared. It may seem
counterintuitive, but most patients
with ongoing pain despite huge doses
of opioids eventually feel better
on less medication. I often hear
patients say they have got their
life back, and you won’t know
for sure unless you try. Might
the dawn of a new year herald
a new start?
NB Very high doses of opioids
are often justified in people
with cancer who
face different
challenges to most off
those in chronic pain.
Drink wine, stay thin? It’s possible, says
Tony Turnbull, while Jane MacQuitty
rates the best and worst diet tipples
How to check
whether opioids
are appropriate
0 Long-term opioids
are not that effective
at relieving chronic
pain, such as back pain
and arthritis.
0 People likely to
benefit typically
demonstrate a
favourable response
within a month.
0 Even where they do
help, trials show no
benefit in taking more
than the equivalent of
120mg of morphine a
day. To see how doses
of other opioids such
as codeine, tramadol
and oxycodone
compared to morphine,
visit bit.ly/2Btwf2S.
If you are on a higher
dose then you should
talk to your doctor
about alternative
strategies.
If you have a health
problem, email
drmarkporter
@thetimes.co.uk
T
he launch last
Thursday of what’s
claimed to be the
world’s first low-calorie,
carb-free, sugar-free
wine was met with such
wild excitement, you’d
think they’d discovered
the Holy Grail rather than produced
a perfectly drinkable Italian red, white
and fizz. “Is this the healthiest wine
ever?” screamed one headline.
“Guilt-free boozing,” declared another.
There’s nothing new about a wine
being marketed as low calorie, but
normally this is achieved by reducing
the alcohol content. The SlimLine
Wine range, however, weighs in at
a respectable 10 to 10.5 per cent
alcohol and still contains only 373
calories a bottle, compared with a
more typical 600 to 700 calories for
a 12 per cent wine. No wonder
everyone has got excited. In a
fortnight when one is often looking
for a certain level of refreshment
without the accompanying damage
to the waistline, it’s like every wine
drinker’s Christmas has come early.
Paul Anthony Gidley, the British
wine consultant behind the range, did
not intend it as a low-calorie offering
per se, but more a nudge in a healthier
direction, prompted by his partner’s
involvement with the cancer charity
Macmillan. “At certain stages of
cancer treatment, sugar is not your
friend,” he says. “So we started talking
about sugar in wine and how, just at
that moment when you need a glass of
wine the most, you can’t have one.”
Working with a winery in Piedmont,
northern Italy, he spent several years
developing a wine that contains not
only no added sugar, but also no
residual fructose from the grapes.
He won’t be drawn on the precise
process, but claims he uses none of the
scientific wizardry usually used to strip
wines of unwanted elements, such as
reverse osmosis or spinning cones.
“It’s not about extraction. It’s a natural
process,” he says. “There is a way
to train a certain yeast in the
winemaking process to eat the sugar.”
The result is a wine that, because it
has no sugars, also contains no carbs.
There is clearly huge demand for
healthier wines and by focusing on
sugar, carbs and alcohol, Gidley is
pushing the three principal buttons of
his audience. He expects to sell out of
his £8.99 white sauvignon blanc and
red barbera and £10.99 chardonnay,
pinot noir and pinot grigio fizz.
Good luck to him, but in reality his
wines are less revolutionary than they
might first appear. Any wine made
from grapes grown in the cooler
climates of, say, northern Italy,
northern France or northern Spain
and Portugal will naturally be less
sweet and less alcoholic, and as Jane
MacQuitty’s taste test here shows,
there are plenty of naturally lower
calorie choices out there.
“Because of the fashion for healthier
drinking, wine producers have started
to take the category much more
seriously and tried to cut down on
levels of alcohol, for example by using
better quality grapes and controlling
the amount of sugar in them by
picking earlier,” she says. “This
naturally results in less calorific wines.”
And unless your tipple of choice is
port or sherry or some of the more
sugary Californian blush confections,
the zero-sugar claim is less remarkable
than it might seem. A light white wine,
for example a muscadet or sancerre
from the Loire valley, typically has a
residual sugar level of 0.7g per litre,
which contributes less than half a
calorie per 125ml glass.
No, it is alcohol that does most of
the damage. On average an 11.5 per
cent alcohol wine will contain 100
calories per 125ml glass, with every
additional percentage point of alcohol
adding just under 20 calories. So
looking at the taste test here, your first
instinct may well be to skip the tasting
notes and work out how to get the
biggest alcoholic bang for your calorie
buck. No one is judging you, but it is a
grubby and mathematically confusing
process — so I have done the sums for
you. The glass of SlimLine red
contains 13.125ml of alcohol, which
works out at 4.72 calories per millilitre
of alcohol. Co-op’s Mount Benson
shiraz, on the other hand, is 4.5
calories per millilitre of alcohol.
However, if you want to end up in
an elegantly thin slump, at 3.6 calories
per millilitre of alcohol, it has to be
Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut champagne.
Ektertaikmekts
Theatres
HER MAJESTY'S 020 7087 7762
THE BRILLIANT ORIGINAL
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020 7836 1443
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Book your advertisement or announcement now at:
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the times | Tuesday December 19 2017
5
1G T
times2
the new low-cal wines
White wine
2016 Torres Natureo
De-alcoholised Muscat,
Spain
Waitrose, £4.79 down
from £5.99 until Jan 23
Alcohol 0.5 per cent
Calories 29 calories per
125ml glass
A de-alcoholised wine,
therefore the lowest
calorie count. Oodles of
exotic, musk peach and
hothouse grape fruit, so
serve it well chilled and
you might not even
notice the difference.
{{{{{
Winemakers’ Selection
Alvorada Vinho Verde,
Portugal
Sainsbury’s, £5
Alcohol 9 per cent
Calories 73 per 125ml
An easy-slurping,
sweet, spritzy, bargain
basement party
white that will have
wide Christmas
crowd appeal.
{{{((
2016 Hunter Valley
Semillon, Australia
Marks & Spencer, £13
Alcohol 11.5 per cent
Calories 82 per 125ml
A tasty, lemon curd and
Key lime pie of a classic
unoaked semillon.
Less sweet than most
of its ilk and, as such,
it’s the calorie counter’s
ideal big food-friendly
festive white.
{{{{(
Fizz
2016 Bourgogne
Chardonnay, White
Burgundy, France
Marks & Spencer, £10
Alcohol 12.5 per cent
Calories 86 per 125ml
From the quality-first
Buxy co-operative, but
this 2016 light, simple,
yellow apple and melon
fruit is not one of its
best white burgundies
and is let down by a
short finish.
{{{((
Skinny Champagne
Grand Cru, Alexandre
Penet, France
Selfridges, £49.99
Alcohol 12 per cent
Calories 82 per 125ml
A shocker of a
champagne. Forget the
grandiose “grand cru,
no added sugar, 40 per
cent reserve” guff
on the label: within
is a vile, malodorous,
dusty cardboard box
of a bubbly.
(((((
Laurent-Perrier Ultra
Brut Champagne,
France
Majestic Wine, £40 or 6
for £36 each; Sunday
Times Wine Club,
£44.99 down from
£49.99 until Dec 31
Alcohol 12 per cent
Calories 54 per 125ml
Masses of lean, biscuity,
yet seductive slimline
fruit, plus a fine, smoky
finish. All that and only
54 calories a glass —
what’s not to like?
{{{{{
2016 Taste the
Difference Conegliano
Prosecco Superiore,
DOCG, Italy
Sainsbury’s, £7.50 down
from £10 until Jan 1
Alcohol: 10.5 per cent
Calories 75 per 125ml
A light, fruity, easyswigging, pear and
apple orchard of a
sparkler. Softly sweet
and with just a few
grams more residual
sugar than most
champagne.
{{{{(
Slim, Zero Sugar
Sparkling Wine, Vino
Spumante Bianco, Italy
slimlinewine.com,
£10.99
Alcohol 10 per cent
Calories 62 per 125ml
Inoffensive, light, frothy,
party fizz, with some
pleasing pear drop
and banana flavours,
but let down by its
lightweight lemon
sherbet dab style.
{{{((
Skinny Prosecco Brut,
DOC, Italy
Selfridges, £17.99
Alcohol 11 per cent
Calories 84 per 125ml
A few calories more
than Sainsbury’s
superior Taste the
Difference DOCG
version, but a world
away in quality. This has
a pleasant enough tutti
frutti nose, but its
stringy palate and
short, grubby finish will
not endear it to calorieconscious drinkers.
{{(((
Red wine
Slim, Zero Sugar Red
Wine 10.5 per cent
slimlinewine.com, £8.99
Alcohol 10.5 per cent
Calories 62 per 125ml
2016 Sumika Shiraz,
South Africa
Marks & Spencer, £7.50
Alcohol 8.5 per cent
Calories 65 per 125ml
Deep purple red with a
jammy nose, but a dank,
strident, green palate,
like no barbera I’ve
tasted before. How a red
wine can be both
jammy and green at the
same time is a mystery.
{((((
Horrid, coarse, surly,
burnt rubber of a red.
As for the “reduced
calories and alcohol”
claim on the front label:
this one’s only a touch
less alcoholic and less
calorie-laden than the
real thing. One to avoid.
{{(((
2016 Irresistible
Mount Benson Shiraz,
Australia
Co-op, £6.99
Alcohol 13.5 per cent
Calories 76 per 125ml
Brilliant oak-chipped
red with some fine,
burly, blackberry and
blueberry fruit. There’s
less alcohol and fewer
calories than you
would expect from a
chunky Aussie shiraz.
{{{{(
. . . but this is
what I’ll be
drinking
(and no, they’re
not diet-friendly)
Jane MacQuitty
My bargain party red of 2017
2016 Sous le Soleil du Midi Merlot,
France, 13.5 per cent
Waitrose, £5.99
Masses of smooth, sweet,
easy-drinking, blueberry fruit and a
dab of inky tobacco spice on the finish.
The best of the winter zinfandel
2015 The Society’s California
Old-Vine Zinfandel, United States,
14.5 per cent
The Wine Society, 01438 741177, £7.95
Zinfandel is as happy with turkey as
with mature game. This is a terrific,
creamy, cassis, blackberry and
loganberry sweet version.
Perfect with turkey
2016 Glenelly Glass Collection
Unoaked Chardonnay, Stellenbosch,
South Africa, 13.5 per cent
Booths, £10 (down from £12)
A strong, unoaked, gunflint-smoky
chardonnay with honeysuckle, cloves
and preserved lemon to the fore,
which will be perfect with turkey and
all the trimmings.
Extra calories — but it tastes good
Louis Roederer Brut Premier
Champagne, France, 12 per cent
Waitrose, £31.99 (down from £42.99)
until Dec 31
Champagne often has more residual
sugar than you’d expect because of
the dosage added to kick-start the
second fermentation in bottle.
A small price for such a racy, honeyed,
biscuity champagne as this one.
Amazingly good value
2004 Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos
Vintage Port, Portugal, 20 per cent
Tesco, £20 (down from £27.50)
until Jan 1
You’ll have a wonderful Christmas
with this blueberry, slate and damask
rose-scented single quinta vintage port.
If you try only one fortified wine . . .
Cayetano del Pino Palo Cortado,
Viejisimo 1/5,
Sherry, Spain,
21 per cent
The Wine
Society,
01438 741177,
half-bottle, £21
A gorgeous
30-year-old
palo cortado,
halfway between
an oloroso and
an amontillado.
It’s a dry,
meaty, toasted
hazelnut and
dried-fruit gem.
6
1G T
Tuesday December 19 2017 | the times
television & radio
These gentlemen are still delightfully depraved
JAMES STACK/BBC
Dominic
Maxwell
TV review
The League of Gentlemen
BBC Two
{{{{(
A
bsence is a multi-tasker:
it makes the heart grow
fonder and skews the
memory while it’s at it.
So when The League of
Gentlemen returned last night for their
first television shows since 2002 I found
myself reassured and surprised.
Reassured because Mark Gatiss,
Steve Pemberton and Reece
Shearsmith reassumed their various
guises in their fictional northern town
of Royston Vasey with such ease.
There was Shearsmith’s ordinary-guy
Benjamin, heading back — don’t do it!
— to the house of his Aunt Val and
recently deceased Uncle Harvey. There
Radio Choice
Catherine Nixey
Black Music In
Europe
Radio 4, 9am
When would you date the
first recording of black
music in Europe? The
1950s? The late 1940s, after
Windrush, perhaps? Not
a bit of it. As the actor
Clarke Peters (The Wire)
explains, the earliest
recordings date from 1900
and some Senegalese war
songs captured at the Paris
World Fair. These songs are
not just interesting, but in
musicological terms
important: as one of the
contributors explains, they
form the musical “missing
link” between pure folk
music and the jazz and
blues that evolved from it.
Bach Walks
Radio 3, 7pm
Horatio Clare sets off across
Germany on foot from
Arnstadt to Lübeck. He’s
following in the footsteps
of Johann Sebastian Bach,
who made the same journey
in 1705 at the age of 20 in
search of the organist
Buxtehude. As he goes he
describes what he sees
(“Oh! This is nice — the
footpath is going to take me
across a bridge,” etc). This
is slow radio — not quite as
slow as it might be, but still
definitely on the leisurely
side. Lovely music too.
was Pauline, the scourge of local job
hunters, somehow still venting spleen
at dole-queue regulars Ross and
Mickey after all these years. And there
was the genteel brutality of the series’s
poster couple, Tubbs and Edward, now
running their “local shop for local
people” from a condemned flat.
Ending with an in-jokey nod to
Pemberton and Shearsmith’s series
Inside No 9 (which also returns next
month), this first of three nightly
reunion episodes was as rippled once
again with the influence of horror. As
I’d remembered it. What I’d forgotten
about the League was just how many
gags per minute they can pack into
their small-town visions of failure,
danger, dysfunction and depravity.
Some visual sequences, such as the
literal-minded “food bank” dispensing
cheese slices through a hole in the
wall, were more Airplane! than The
Wicker Man. And the carnage brought
about by Gatiss’s disaster-prone vet Mr
Chinnery has never made me laugh
more than in the hilariously awful
consequences of last night’s attempt
to cure a gassy hedgehog. The League,
which includes non-performing
co-writer Jeremy Dyson, updated us
fast, kept scenes snappy, disproved
their obsolescence with nods to it.
How could Barbara, the butch,
transsexual cab driver, still make sense
amid today’s gender politics? By
bringing them into the cab: demanding
Radio 1
FM: 96.7-99.8 MHz
6.30am The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with
Nick Grimshaw 10.00 Clara Amfo 12.45pm
Newsbeat 1.00 Scott Mills 4.00 Greg James
5.45 Newsbeat 6.00 Greg James 7.00 Annie
Mac 9.00 The 8th with Charlie Sloth 11.00
Huw Stephens 1.00am Annie Nightingale
3.00 BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra’s Stories: Heroes
with Annie Nightingale 4.00 Adele Roberts
Radio 2
FM: 88-90.2 MHz
6.30am Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce. Craig
David performs 12.00 Jeremy Vine 2.00pm
Steve Wright 5.00 Simon Mayo. Rick
Wakeman performs 7.00 Jamie Cullum.
Alternative musical picks for the festive
period 8.00 Jo Whiley 10.00 Levi Roots
11.00 Nigel Ogden: The Organist Entertains.
Festive favourites from the Tower Ballroom
in Blackpool 11.30 Listen to the Band.
Frank Renton showcases the very best of
Christmas brass 12.00 Sounds of the 80s (r)
2.00am Radio 2’s Folk Playlist 3.00 Radio 2
Playlist: 90s Hits 4.00 Radio 2 Playlist:
Wednesday Workout 5.00 Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
FM: 90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30am Breakfast
Petroc Trelawny presents
9.00 Essential Classics
Brian Blessed joins Suzy Klein to discuss the
experiences, times and places that have
inspired him throughout his life
12.00 Composer of the Week:
Bach (1685-1750)
Donald Macleod explores JS Bach’s time in
Weimar, where he writes music for the court
chapel — the Himmelsburg or Castle of
Heaven. Bach (In dulci jubilo, BWV608;
So lasset uns gehen in Salem der Freuden
— Cantata, BWV182 — Himmelskönig, sei
willkommen; Partita No 2 in D minor,
BWV1004; Sheep May Safely Graze —
Cantata, BWV208 — Was mir behagt,
ist nur die muntre Jagd!; and Chromatic
Fantasy and Fugue, BWV903)
1.00pm News
1.02 Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert
In the latest in this week’s series of solo
Bach concerts from LSO St Luke’s in London,
the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani performs.
Bach (Sonata in D minor, BWV964; Preludes
and Fugues — Book 1 of The Well-Tempered
Clavier — No 20 in A; No 22 in B; No 24 in B
minor; and Partita No 5 in G, BWV829)
Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith returned
2.00 Afternoon Concert
Penny Gore presents a performance by the
Netherlands Bach Ensemble, directed by
Peter Dijkstra, recorded earlier this year
in Utrecht. Bach (Preise, Jerusalem, den
Herrn, BWV119; Lobe den Herren, den
mächtigen König der Ehren, BWV137; and
Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele, BWV69)
4.30 Words and Music
There’s music by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Erik
Norby, Samuel Barber and John Lee Hooker
in a programme exploring snakes — real,
mythological and metaphorical (r)
5.45 New Generation Artists
The mezzo Kathryn Rudge and the Van Kuijk
Quartet. Schubert (An die Laute); Bridge
(Coleridge Settings — Thy Hand Is Mine;
Where She Lies Asleep; and Love Went
A-Riding); Beethoven (String Quartet in E
flat, Op 127); Finzi (Let Us Garlands Bring);
and Schumann arr Liszt (Widmung)
7.00 Bach Walks
In the first of five “slow-radio” walks in the
footsteps of Bach’s 1705 journey to Lubeck,
Horatio Clare sets out from Arnstadt in the
direction of Erfurt. See Radio Choice
7.30 Radio 3 in Concert
From Wigmore Hall in London, the pianist
and Radio 3 New Generation Artist Beatrice
Rana, plays Bach’s mighty Goldberg
Variations. Twenty-four-year-old Italian
Rana, a silver medallist at the 2013 Van
Cliburn Competition, is one of the most
talked-about pianists to have appeared on
the scene in recent years, and joined the
Radio 3 New Generation Artist in 2015. Since
then Gramophone magazine has described
her as an artist who “possesses an old soul
that belies her years, and more than a touch
of genius”. Introduced by Sara Mohr-Pietsch.
Bach (Goldberg Variations) (r)
10.00 Free Thinking
Peter Stanford, Ulinka Rublack and
Diarmaid MacCulloch discuss Martin Luther,
and ask whether he was a fundamentalist,
reactionary or enlightened creator of the
modern world (r)
10.45 The Essay:
Luther’s Reformation Gang
The Edinburgh writer Andy Drummond
profiles Thomas Müntzer, the failed
revolutionary of the Reformation. Part of
Radio 3’s Breaking Free series of programmes
exploring Martin Luther’s Revolution (r)
11.00 Late Junction
Exploring the history of black music in
Europe before the Empire Windrush in 1948.
Plus, amazing sonic experiments using
sparkling water and plastic bottles
12.30am Through the Night
Radio 4
FM: 92.4-94.6 MHz LW: 198kHz MW: 720 kHz
5.30am News Briefing
5.43 Prayer for the Day
5.45 Farming Today
5.58 Tweet of the Day (2/12)
6.00 Today
With Mishal Husain and John Humphrys
8.30 (LW) Yesterday in Parliament
9.00 Black Music in Europe:
A Hidden History
Uncovering the stories of black musicians
in Europe. See Radio Choice (1/3)
9.30 One to One
Sian Harries and guest discuss ambivalence
towards having children. Last in the series
9.45 (LW) Daily Service
9.45 Book of the Week:
Village Christmas
By Laurie Lee (2/5)
10.00 Woman’s Hour
Discussion and interviews, presented by
Jane Garvey. Including at 10.45 the Drama:
Holmes and Watford by Jon Canter (2/5)
11.00 Mysteries of Sleep
Guy Leschziner examines how a lack of sleep
affects minds and bodies (3/3)
11.30 Viz: An Unfeasibly Large Success
How Viz became a best-selling magazine
12.01pm (LW) Shipping Forecast
12.04 Home Front
By Shaun McKenna
12.15 Call You and Yours
1.00 The World at One
1.45 His Master’s Voices
Examining the legacy of the UK’s first
gramophone records (2/5) (r)
2.00 The Archers (r)
2.15 Drama: Have You Seen This Child?
By Clare Dwyer Hogg. A trip to the park turns
into a nightmare when a woman realises her
four-year-old grandson has wandered off (r)
3.00 Short Cuts
New documentaries set at Christmas
3.30 Mastertapes
Benjamin Clementine responds to questions
about his album At Least For Now (8/8)
4.00 I Was
Andrew McGibbon talks to trauma surgeon
Dr David Halleran, who tried to save John
Lennon’s life after he was shot (4/4) (r)
4.30 Great Lives
Louise Richardson nominates Daniel
O’Connell. Matthew Parris presents (3/8)
5.00 PM
5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast
6.00 Six O’Clock News
6.30 Mark Steel’s in Town
The comedian visits Inverness (3/6)
“no hate speech”, insisting on “genderneutral pronouns only . . . we are no
longer the source of cheap humour
and laughs”. The desperate duo trying
to sell pirate DVDs of Nineties hits
were greeted with shrugs by the local
youths. Ever-abrasive Geoff’s attempt
to get cash from his old drinking
buddies was delivered in the faltering
formality of a pitch on Dragons’ Den.
Sketch comedy tends to be a young
person’s game, but because the
League’s characters always tended to
belong in deflated and/or depraved
middle age anyway, these three
excellent performers are even better
kitted out to play them now they are
about 50. Thankfully, they’re not so
mature that they can’t still get excited
at the thought of poisoned birthday
cakes sprouting pink-iced intestines or
a person-eating picture booth. Yeah, I
could have lived without quite so much
of Gatiss in his bush-heavy nude suit
as Aunt Val. We all have our own cutoff points, though. Ross getting his jaw
smashed by a whirlwind whiteboard,
say? Ouch. Made me howl.
Let’s hope the town, under threat
from a redrawing of boundary lines,
still exists after tomorrow night’s third
and final episode. The League will need
it for the autumn live tour they have
just announced. Then again, as last
night’s blessedly undisappointing
comeback reminded us, nothing ever
really dies in Royston Vasey.
7.00 The Archers
Lynda puts her foot in it
7.15 Front Row
7.45 Holmes and Watford
By Jon Canter (2/5) (r)
8.00 What Would Bagehot Say?
How Walter Bagehot’s The English
Constitution reflects modern British politics
8.40 In Touch
9.00 All in the Mind
Programme exploring the limits and
potential of the human mind (8/8)
9.30 Black Music in Europe:
A Hidden History (1/3) (r)
10.00 The World Tonight
10.45 Book at Bedtime: Eleanor
Oliphant Is Completely Fine
By Gail Honeyman (7/10)
11.00 Where’s the F in News
11.30 Today in Parliament
12.00 News and Weather
12.30am Book of the Week:
Village Christmas (r)
12.48 Shipping Forecast
1.00 As BBC World Service
Radio 4 Extra
Digital only
8.00am The Ken Dodd Show 8.30 The Men
from the Ministry 9.00 The Now Show 9.30
The Small World of Dominic Holland 10.00
Ring for Jeeves 11.00 Truman Capote Short
Stories 11.15 Lost and Found 12.00 The Ken
Dodd Show 12.30pm The Men from the
Ministry 1.00 Killing Orders 1.30 The
Number One Ladies’ Opera House 2.00 The
Remains of the Day 2.15 A Cause for
Caroling 2.30 Dombey and Son 2.45 Alive,
Alive Oh! and Other Things That Matter 3.00
Ring for Jeeves 4.00 The Food Quiz 4.30
Semi Circles 5.00 Guests Are Like Fish 5.30
Mark Steel’s in Town 6.00 A Little Twist of
Dahl 6.15 Charles Dickens: Tales of the
Supernatural 6.30 Dad Made Me Laugh
7.00 The Ken Dodd Show 7.30 The Men
from the Ministry. Grumbling Hampshire
locals oppose the bungling duo’s building
plans 8.00 Killing Orders. Crime thriller
by Sara Paretsky 8.30 The Number One
Ladies’ Opera House. The conversion of a
garage in Botswana into an opera house
9.00 Truman Capote Short Stories. A
Christmas Memory: Part Two. Abridged and
produced by Jane Marshall 9.15 Lost and
Found. By Ian Kershaw 10.00 Comedy Club:
Mark Steel’s in Town. The comedian performs
in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire 10.30 Richard
Herring’s Objective. Opinions on the
controversial Page Three tabloid feature
10.55 The Comedy Club Interview. A chat
with a guest from the world of comedy
11.00 ElvenQuest. Comedy with Darren Boyd
11.30 Lucy Montgomery’s Variety Pack
Radio 5 Live
MW: 693, 909
6.00am 5 Live Breakfast 10.00 5 Live Daily
with Adrian Chiles 1.00pm Afternoon
Edition 4.00 5 Live Drive 7.00 5 Live Sport
7.45 5 Live Sport: Carabao Cup Football
2017-18: Leicester City v Manchester City
(Kick-off 7.45). At the King Power Stadium
10.30 Phil Williams 1.00am Up All Night
5.00 Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
talkSPORT
MW: 1053, 1089 kHz
6.00am The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
with Ray Parlour 10.00 Jim White 1.00pm
Hawksbee and Jacobs 4.00 Adrian Durham
and Darren Gough 7.00 Kick-off. With
Mark Saggers 10.00 Sports Bar 1.00am
Extra Time with Adam Catterall
6 Music
Digital only
7.00am Shaun Keaveny 10.00 Lauren
Laverne 1.00pm Mark Radcliffe and Stuart
Maconie 4.00 Huey Morgan. Sitting in for
Steve Lamacq 7.00 Marc Riley 9.00 Gideon
Coe 12.00 6 Music Recommends with Tom
Ravenscroft 1.00am The First Time with
Neil Hannon 2.00 Joe Strummer’s London
Calling 2.30 6 Music Live Hour 3.30
6 Music’s Jukebox 5.00 Chris Hawkins
Classic FM
FM: 100-102 MHz
6.00am More Music Breakfast 9.00 John
Suchet 1.00pm Anne-Marie Minhall 5.00
Classic FM Drive 7.00 Smooth Classics 8.00
The Full Works Concert. Manchester’s Halle
Orchestra, Halle Choir, Youth Choir and
Children’s Choir take part in arrangements
of classical works. Vaughan Williams (The
Wasps — Overture); Adam arr. Darius
Battiwalla (O Holy Night); John Rutter
(Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day);
Traditional arr. Pearsall (In Dulci Jubilo);
Adam Saunders (Fairytale Sleighride);
Prokofiev (Waltz, Winter Bonfire); Darke/
Rossetti (In the Bleak Midwinter);
Rimsky-Korsakov (Dance of the Tumblers);
Delius (The Walk to the Paradise Garden);
and Butterworth (A Shropshire Lad —
Rhapsody for Orchestra) 10.00 Smooth
Classics 1.00am Sam Pittis
the times | Tuesday December 19 2017
7
1G T
CRAIG SUGDEN
artsfirst night
Theatre
Mischief Movie Night
Arts Theatre, WC2
Concert
LPO/Jurowski
Royal Festival Hall
W
T
{{{((
hen I picked up my
tickets for this new
“improvised movie”
it was a surprise to
be handed a printed
text of the show. A script for an hour
in which the cast take audience
suggestions and then make up a story
as they go along? Ah, but this is
Mischief Theatre, the young company
whose publicity campaign for its
first hit spoof, The Play That Goes
Wrong, was as mischievous as the
show itself. There had to be a twist.
There was a twist. All the pages
in the printed script were blank.
I’d been suckered! Hooray.
This is Mischief returning to its
roots as an improv company. Jonathan
Sayer, who co-writes the scripted
shows with Henry Lewis and Henry
Shields, was our host, gleaning
suggestions from the audience for a
genre and a title. The genres we
offered were sci-fi, rom-com and
Christmas movie. All three ended up
feeding into the story, dubbed “Jingle
My Laser Beams”. Sayer then sat at the
side of the stage watching his seven
co-stars perform, setting the scene and
pausing to critique or celebrate a fluff
or a missed opportunity.
He did a great job. As with
Mischief’s other shows, though, we
were usually happiest whenever Dave
Hearn took centre stage and made
plying extravagantly unlikely ideas
look easy. Lewis, playing the best
friend of a greetings card
manufacturer who left his girlfriend
behind when he departed Earth for
the planet Zygon, and Shields, playing
our hero’s polysexual alien room-mate,
also impressed.
The rest of the cast had good
moments without being quite quick or
consistent enough to set us entirely at
ease, but there was enough team spirit
and sufficient good ideas to make for
an enjoyable hour. On this evidence
they are a notch less reliably inventive
than other “long-form” improvisation
companies, such as Austentatious and
the Showstoppers. Still, it’s Mischief
that has also made it to the small
screen: A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong,
the follow-up to last year’s Peter Pan
Goes Wrong, is on BBC One on
December 30.
Dominic Maxwell
Box office: 020 7836 8463, to Jan 27
Theatre
The Grinning
Man
Trafalgar Studios,
SW1
{{{{(
{{{{(
e’s a boorish Little
Englander, dispenser of
bigotry and booze — so
why would anyone imagine
Al Murray’s Pub Landlord
would make a suitable panto star?
Yet here he is, as hero Jack’s totally
superfluous bone-headed brother.
Shorn of any satirical context it might
have in Murray’s stand-up, his loutish
sexism and xenophobia are about as
welcome and appropriate in a family
show as a toenail in a mince pie.
It’s only one problem for a
production that’s hideously misjudged
on multiple levels. Alan McHugh’s
crass, charmless script rarely raises
a snicker. And Thom Southerland,
known for his strong stagings of
musicals, directs with a disastrous
lack of vim. Children often get their
first taste of theatre from an outing
to a pantomime. I fear that after
this many of them will be begging
never to have such a treat inflicted
on them again.
It ought to act as a corrective to
Murray’s incongruous presence that
his co-star, as Dame Trot, is Clive
Rowe, panto veteran and all-round
class act. Yet Rowe is given little
scope — no decent numbers to
unleash that magnificent singing voice,
no witty set pieces to show off his
comic panache. He’s scarcely more
than a sidekick, dragged into
wearisome antics with Murray that
leave grown-ups rolling their eyes and
children nonplussed. In one leaden
routine Murray moans about his wife’s
reluctance to have sex with him in
gags laced with alcoholic puns. “You
must have wanted ter-kiiill-’er!” quips
Rowe. Boom boom.
Of course panto is cheeky, and camp
innuendo should be part of the fun.
This, though, repeatedly crosses the
line between saucy and unsavoury:
Murray working himself into a priapic
lather at the expense of a mortified
female audience member; a song
during which the giant’s henchman
Fleshcreep tries to stick his tongue
down the throat of the protesting
Princess. In light of the #MeToo
campaign, it’s astonishingly tone deaf.
On the plus side, the junior dancers
are sweet, particularly when dressed
as a flock of little woolly sheep. And
the show delivers some spectacle —
there are ogre puppets, a colossal
beanstalk and a 3D sequence.
Oh, and rather than climbing to
Cloudland, Murray takes a ride in
a mini helicopter. It’s the closest this
Christmas turkey ever comes to
taking flight.
Box office: 0844 8717646, to Jan 14
rumpets and kettledrums
bustle. Violins dart in
intricate duet. Oboes conjure
up the sounds of shepherds’
pipes and woolly flocks.
A brace of horns signal gifts of gold.
The six cantatas that make up Bach’s
Christmas Oratorio were never
intended to be performed on one
evening, but were composed for six
services between Christmas Day 1734
and Epiphany 1735. The music is
blithe, tender, courtly, magnificent: a
sequence of paintings in sound that
range from intimate cradle scenes to
visions of serried ranks of angels.
Prayers and hymns are shaped as
dances. Inevitably, there are
warnings too, in the Passiontide
melodies and in the narration of the
Evangelist, sung sublimely by Jeremy
Ovenden in Vladimir Jurowski’s
performance with the London
Philharmonic Orchestra and the
London Philharmonic Choir. From the
first cry of, “Jauchzet, frohlocket!” to
the crisp placing of the final T in the
last chorale, this was a performance
in which the text was animated with
energy, attention and love.
Jurowski’s speeds were forthright
and unhurried, the articulation
brightly detailed in a severe and
grand style redolent of Germany in
the mid-1980s. Valved trumpets and
horns are a rarity in Bach these days.
There were nudges towards unequal
temperament, beautifully executed
by the flautists Juliette Bausor and
Sue Thomas, but there are limits to
what can be achieved by a quartet
of modern oboes without sounding
like Berlioz.
The bassoonist Jonathan Davies
and the violinist Tania Mazzetti
showed a natural affinity for baroque
style. The bass-baritone Stephan Loges
and the mezzo-soprano Anke
Vondung delivered their arias with
grave devotion, while the soprano
Maria Keohane sang with a cherryripe tone and a breathless sense of joy.
Ovenden’s singing was dazzling
throughout: exhilarating in supple
duet with Bausor in Frohe Hirten
and in the trio sonata textures
of Ich will nur dir zu Ehren leben,
and exquisite in the hushed, elevated
lines of So geht! Genug, mein Schatz
geht nicht von hier.
Anna Picard
Amanda Wilkin as Josiana
Toby Olié to provide similarly fluid
moments of puppetry here: a large pet
wolf that pads around the stage, or
puppets of young versions of our
troubled heroes that at one point put
on a puppet show themselves.
It’s that kind of worlds-withinworlds story, as we journey back to a
late 18th-century England that never
quite was, where the royal palace is at
Catford, where a dissolute royal prince
nips off to Trafalgar Fair to see the
disfigured title character, Grinpayne
(Louis Maskell), tell the story of how
he came to have a huge gash across
his face. As we swap perspectives, as
we meet the royal clown Barkilphedro
(Julian Bleach, more commandingly
macabre here than as Davros in
Doctor Who), the showman and
adoptive dad Ursus (Sean Kingsley)
and Dea (Sanne Den Besten), the
blind girl who loves her adoptive
brother, this becomes a search for
truth for audience and hero alike.
The carnivalesque flourishes on Jon
Bausor’s set always serve to plunge us
deeper into a riot of the imagination
that is all about the hazards and
necessity of knowing what’s real.
Deliberately, deliciously convoluted, it
loses momentum only as they tie the
strands together near the end. Yet the
fourth-wall-busting finale made me
bite back a sob, the songs are
uncommonly strong, and the cast of
16 are outstanding, especially Maskell
and Den Besten, who sometimes have
to sing their hearts out while
crouching down to work their puppets.
Whatever you call this moving,
amusing oddity, I simply loved it.
Dominic Maxwell
Box office: 0844 8717632, to Feb 17
Clive Rowe as Dame Trot and Al Murray’s Pub Landlord as Jack’s superfluous bone-headed brother
Go? Oh no you don’t
This feeble
and misjudged
show could
turn children
off panto
for ever, says
Sam Marlowe
Theatre
Jack and the
Beanstalk
New Wimbledon
Theatre, SW19
{((((
H
A
War Horse for weirdos?
A Phantom for freaks?
A Les Mis for misfits? No,
however much I try to put
this stunning new British
musical into a box, it crawls out and
demands to be seen as its own
deliciously strange thing. This fanciful
musical adaptation of The Man Who
Laughs, an 1869 novel by the Les
Misérables author, Victor Hugo, mixes
the comical, the grim and the
shimmeringly romantic in its own way.
It’s a triumph for its director, Tom
Morris, its writer, Carl Grose, and its
composers, Tim Phillips and Marc
Teitler, all of whom worked on the
lyrics too. Morris co-directed War
Horse before taking up the reins at the
Bristol Old Vic, where this began life
in 2016. And he has called on the War
Horse veterans Finn Caldwell and
8
1G T
Tuesday December 19 2017 | the times
television & radio
Viewing Guide
Chris Bennion
Shamed
Channel 4, 9pm
“This ain’t my
stag do, is it?”
No, it isn’t.
Nathan (Nick
Blood), who had been
on his way to his prewedding blow-out with
the lads, has woken up
locked inside a dingy
Early
Top
pick
basement, with only the
haziest memory of how
he got there. Anthony
Phillipson’s one-off
drama begins like a
Saw movie (the grisly
film franchise in which
people tend to wake
up in locked rooms
before something very
unpleasant happens to
them), but moves into
far more interesting
psychological territory
than mindless torture
porn. Even when
Nathan is joined by a
second man, Mani
(Ryan McKen), he has
no idea why they have
been kidnapped, nor
what their kidnapper
wants with them.
Watching them on the
intercom is their jailer,
27-year-old Sarah (Faye
Marsay), who knows
precisely what she
wants with Nathan and
Mani: “Everything you
took from me.” To
reveal much more
would spoil the delicate
trickle of information
that allows us to begin
to piece together the
puzzle. Suffice to say
that the role of social
media is interrogated,
while, in our postWeinstein society, the
piece is a reminder of
the effect that abuse
can have on victims
long after an event that
the perpetrator has
forgotten or dismissed
as trivial. It isn’t quite
top-drawer — it feels a
like a Black Mirror
episode that didn’t
make the cut — but
Marsay is tremendous
as the young woman
trying desperately to
bring an end to her
living nightmare
and the off-kilter,
oppressive atmosphere
gets under your skin.
The Royal Variety
Performance 2017
ITV, 7.30pm
Miranda Hart is your
host for the 80th Royal
Variety Performance,
and you can count on
the galumphing comic
to poke some goodnatured fun at Britain’s
second-favourite royal
couple, Kate and Wills,
up in the pricey seats.
Among the treats
tonight are Kelsey
Grammer, who will be
performing a number
from his West End
musical Big Fish; music
from the Killers, Seal,
Louis Tomlinson and
the “Leading Ladies” –
Beverly Knight, Cassidy
Janson and Amber
Riley; plus the usual
gaggle of circus
performers, talentshow winners and
stand-up comedians.
BBC One
BBC Two
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.00am Breakfast 9.15 Let’s Get a Good Thing Going.
Four people from Barry, Wales pitch community projects
to locals, all hoping to win the cash to get started 10.00
Homes Under the Hammer. Featuring properties in
Carlisle, Kent and Fife (r) (AD) 11.00 Street Auction.
Paul Martin and Danny Sebastian help raise funds for a
Somerset man who spends all of his time helping others
11.45 Fake Britain. The scandal of counterfeit part-worn
tyres being sold on high streets all over Britain and the
dangerous kitchen gadgets that are fooling the public (r)
12.15pm Bargain Hunt. A team of men and a team of
women compete at Newbury racecourse (r) (AD)
1.00 BBC News at One; Weather 1.30 BBC Regional
News; Weather 1.45 Father Brown. A baby is kidnapped
(r) (AD) 2.40 Escape to the Country. Jonnie Irwin helps a
couple in the East Midlands (r) (AD) 3.25 The Instant
Gardener. Transforming a boring and unused deck in
Tredegar, south Wales (r) 4.15 Money for Nothing.
Sarah Moore salvages items in Greater Manchester
and Surrey (r) 5.15 Pointless. Quiz show hosted by
Alexander Armstrong (r) 6.00 BBC News at Six;
Weather 6.30 BBC Regional News; Weather
6.00am Flog It! Trade Secrets (r) 6.30 Let’s Get a Good
Thing Going (r) 7.15 Street Auction (r) 8.00 Sign Zone:
Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (r) (SL) 9.00 Victoria
Derbyshire 11.00 BBC Newsroom Live 12.00 Daily
Politics 1.00pm The Link. Quiz show (r) 1.45 Equestrian:
Olympia Grand Prix Highlights. The Olympia International
Horse Show. Lee McKenzie presents action from the
prestigious event at the Olympia Grand Hall in London,
featuring the latest round of the FEI World Cup 3.00
Inside Claridge’s. Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia,
returns to stay in the suite in which he was born in 1945
(r) (AD) 4.00 Alaska: Earth’s Frozen Kingdom. Summer
arrives and grizzly bears fatten up on a sudden wealth of
salmon, and a caribou calf joins a vast herd on its
migration (r) (AD) 5.00 The Blue Planet. The ways
in which marine creatures exploit tides, revealing how
giant stingrays rest on currents and South African sea
snails surf the waves in pursuit of a meal (r) (AD) 6.00
Sacred Rivers with Simon Reeve. The adventurer visits
some of the world’s most famous waterways and
investigates how they have shaped the lives of the people
living along them, beginning with the Nile (r) (AD)
6.00am Good Morning Britain. The comedian Al Murray
discusses his Make Christmas Great Again special, and
talks about making his panto debut 8.30 Lorraine. Hugh
Jackman chats to Lorraine Kelly about his new film, The
Greatest Showman, a biopic of circus entertainer PT
Barnum 9.25 The Jeremy Kyle Show. Studio chat show
10.30 This Morning. Phillip Schofield and Holly
Willoughby present chat with a famous guest and
lifestyle features, including a look at the stories making
the newspaper headlines and a recipe in the kitchen.
Including Local Weather 12.30pm Loose Women. More
interviews and topical debate from a female perspective,
and the cast of new musical Elf perform live 1.30 ITV
News; Weather 2.00 Judge Rinder. Cameras follow
criminal barrister Robert Rinder as he takes on real-life
cases in a studio courtroom 3.00 Dickinson’s Real Deal.
David Dickinson and his team of dealers are in Edinburgh,
where David Hakeney, Henry Nicholls and Helen Gardiner
seek to pick more valuable items (r) 4.00 Tipping Point.
Ben Shephard hosts the arcade-themed quiz show (r)
5.00 The Chase. Bradley Walsh presents the quiz show
6.00 Regional News; Weather 6.30 ITV News; Weather
6.20am 3rd Rock from the Sun (r) (AD) 7.35 Everybody
Loves Raymond (r) 9.00 Frasier (r) (AD) 10.05 The Big
Bang Theory (r) (AD) 11.00 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA. The Greek at the Harbour restaurant in
California (r) 12.00 Channel 4 News Summary 12.05pm
Jamie’s Cracking Christmas. Jamie Oliver whips up some
of his favourite festive dishes 12.20 FILM: Carry On
Cabby (PG, 1963) The neglected wife of a workaholic
taxi owner secretly launches a rival cab firm using women
drivers to tempt customers away from him. Comedy
starring Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Connor and
Charles Hawtrey (b/w) (AD) 2.10 Countdown. With
Rufus Hound 3.00 Lost and Found. Two strays start their
rehoming journey together after being picked up by the
dog warden 4.00 A Place in the Sun: Winter Sun. Danni
Menzies helps a retired GP find a holiday home in Valencia
5.00 Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas. Four crafters race to
create festive wreaths against the clock, and Kirstie’s
Allsopp’s competition judges reveal how to create a
Christmas garland 6.00 The Simpsons. Patty and Selma
kidnap guest star Richard Dean Anderson (r) (AD) 6.30
Hollyoaks. Ryan collapses in front of Ste and Tegan (AD)
6.00am Milkshake! 9.15 Access 9.25 FILM: The
Nutcracker Sweet (U, 2015) A girl is drawn into a
magical world when the nutcracker her grandfather gave
her comes to life. Animated fantasy with the voice of
Alicia Silverstone 10.45 FILM: Free Birds (U, 2013)
Two turkeys try to change history so their species will
not become the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Animated
comedy with the voices of Owen Wilson 12.30pm FILM:
Five Children and It (U, 2004) Five youngsters
encounter a strange creature when they go to live with
their uncle. Fantasy starring Kenneth Branagh 2.10
FILM: A Royal Family Holiday (U, TVM, 2015)
A couple act as if they are preparing to divorce in order to
lure their children home for the holiday. Festive drama
starring Vivica A Fox 3.50 FILM: Hearts of Christmas
(PG, TVM, 2016) A doctor falls for the hospital’s chief
financial officer, but opposes his plans to slash the
budget. Romantic drama starring Emilie Ullerup 5.25
FILM: A Prince for Christmas (PG, TVM, 2015)
A European prince travels to America incognito in an
effort to escape an arranged marriage, and meets a
charming waitress. Romance starring Viva Bianca
Get a
Armistead Maupin – How I wrote Tales of the City
The Perfect
Christmas Gift
Paula Byrne Celebrated houses of fiction
Edward Allen Marianne Moore, and more
Nabeelah Jaffer Islam and Britishness
Libby Purves Tinder of the 1940s
SEPTEMBER 15 2017 No. 5972
972
n
www.the-tls.co.uk
.the-tls.co.
THE TIMES LITERARY
ARY SU
SUPPLEMENT
Patrick J. Murray Montaigne’s social network
Jamie Fisher Angry like Mailer
Charlotte Shane Provocations of feminism
Samuel Earle Never getting bored of Barthes
SEPTEMBER 29 2017 No. 5974
n
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THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
SEPTEMBER 22 2017 No. 5973
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www.the-tls.co.uk
THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
Tales of addiction
Inspirations of Dante
Rowan Williams
Ian Thomson
Wandering, wondering
£20
Laura Freeman Dress like a writer
Colin Grant Lost voices of immigration
Anne McElvoy The passion of Merkel
Krishan Kumar On statues and Nazis
UK £3.50 USA $8.99
UK £3
Eric J. Iannelli
Terri Apter
UK £3.50 USA $8.99
Waterstones
Gift Card when
you subscribe
to the TLS
Annette Kobak on women and the Grand Tour
Jan Marsh on Ruskin in Europe
7.00 The Repair Shop at Christmas
Experts try to restore family heirlooms
and treasured possessions to their
former glory in time for Christmas.
Among the items is a Victorian version
of a juke box called a Polyphon, that
has rusted into silence (AD)
8PM
8.00 Holby City Rushed off her feet on
Christmas Eve, Morven is stunned
when an old flame returns to Holby,
and she finds herself emotionally torn
between her past and her future.
Meanwhile, Essie is surprised to
bond with Gaskell over an intriguing
patient. Last in the series (AD)
8.00 MasterChef: The Professionals
— The Finals The four remaining
contestants cater for a gathering
of leading chefs in the City of London,
preparing food for diners who
hold more than 30 Michelin
stars between them (AD)
9.00 U2 at the BBC The band performs
some of their biggest hits at Abbey
Road Studios, alongside new tracks
from their latest album. U2 also chat
to Cat Deeley about their lives and give
her a backstage tour as they prepare
to perform in São Paulo, Brazil in
November 2017. See Viewing Guide
9.00 Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico The
chef reaches Oaxaca, home to Mexico’s
national cheese Queso Oaxacana and
a land where vanilla grows wild and
cacao orchards are harvested to make
superb chocolate (6/7) (AD)
Late
11PM
10PM
7PM
7.00 The One Show Another mix
of nationwide reports and live
studio-based chat, hosted by
Matt Baker and Alex Jones
7.30 EastEnders Personal matters force
Mick to miss an important gang
meeting, while Robbie tries to get back
in the stall-holders’ good books (AD)
9PM
Waterstones Gift Cards may be redeemed in any Waterstones store in the UK towards the purchase of all eligible Waterstones products available. Gift Cards cannot be redeemed for cash. Waterstones Gift Cards will be sent within 28 days of purchasing a TLS subscription.
10.00 BBC News at Ten
10.30 BBC Regional News and Weather;
followed by National Lottery Update
10.45 Drugsland MP Thangam Debbonaire,
substance-misuse experts and some
recreational drug takers question
whether the 1971 Misuse of Drugs
Act is it still fit for purpose (4/4)
11.45 KKK: The Fight for White
Supremacy Documentary following
the young leaders of a North Carolina
chapter of supremacist group the
Ku Klux Klan, showing them taking
part in their secretive rituals and
explaining why their members choose
to don the infamous hood (r) (AD)
12.50am-6.00 BBC News
7.00 Emmerdale A villager is kept
in for questioning, and a family is
thrown into turmoil (AD)
7.30 The Royal Variety Performance
2017 Miranda Hart hosts the annual
event, this time from the London
Palladium Theatre in the presence of
the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The line-up includes Alfie Boe, Michael
Ball, Seal and the Britain’s Got Talent
winner Tokio Myers. Tom Allen and the
cast of Benidorm are among the acts
providing the laughs. The Frasier
veteran Kelsey Grammer also makes an
appearance with the cast of the stage
hit Big Fish, and there will be a chance
to see routines from the musicals
42nd Street and Annie. Plus, music
by Paloma Faith, the Script and
the Killers. See Viewing Guide
10.00 The League of Gentlemen Boundary
changes threaten to erase Royston
Vasey from the map (2/3) (AD)
10.10 ITV News
10.30 Newsnight Analysis of the day’s
events presented by Emily Maitlis
10.40 Regional News
11.15 NFL This Week Mark Chapman is
joined by Jason Bell and Osi Umenyiora
to present action from the 15th round
of fixtures, which included Buffalo Bills
v Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks v
Los Angeles Rams, and Pittsburgh
Steelers v New England Patriots
10.50 Lethal Weapon As Riggs’ attachment
to Karen Palmer deepens, so do his
impulsive actions — a cause of further
concern for Captain Avery. Elsewhere,
Trish explores the potential of an
amazing new career opportunity as she
is courted by a billionaire (r) (AD)
11.50 Lethal Weapon Riggs makes a
shocking discovery about Miranda’s
death. Last in the series (r) (AD)
12.05am Dara and Ed’s Road to Mandalay The
comedians Dara O Briain and Ed Byrne explore South East
Asia (r) (AD) 1.05 Sign Zone: The Apprentice. The final
five candidates are put through a series of tough
interviews (r) (SL) 2.05-3.05 Expedition Volcano. The
team takes a helicopter to a volcano (2/2) (r) (AD, SL)
12.35am Jackpot247 Viewers get the chance to
participate in live interactive gaming from the comfort
of their sofas 3.00 Loose Women. The cast of the new
musical Elf perform live (r) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen.
Text-based information service 5.05-6.00 The Jeremy
Kyle Show. Guests air their differences (r) (SL)
7.00 Channel 4 News
7.00 World’s Strongest Man 2017
Highlights of the British Open from the
Doncaster Dome, where Eddie “The
Beast” Hall will be looking to take
his fourth British title (2/11)
8.00 Jamie’s Italian Christmas In a cosy
log cabin, accompanied by his mentor
Gennaro Contaldo, Jamie Oliver cooks
up an epic meal for the big day, taking
turkey and trimmings and giving it
extra sparkle with an Italian twist.
See Viewing Guide (AD)
8.00 Jo Brand’s Cats & Kittens
Christmas Special A cat colony has
got out of control at a house in
Liverpool, and five tiny kittens have
been abandoned in a crisp box in
Birmingham. Jo also meets stray
Pucino and abandoned mother-anddaughter cats Suzie and M (6/6)
9.00 Shamed When she was 17, Sarah Ivy
was a happy teenager with a world of
opportunity before her. Fast forward
10 years and she has two men,
a fiancé and a stranger, held captive in
a prison cell. Revenge drama starring
Faye Marsay, Nick Blood and Ryan
McKen. See Viewing Guide
9.00 Britain’s Favourite Biscuit
Famous faces including Sally Lindsay
and Joe Swash reveal their verdict
on the best biscuit before the results
of a top 20 survey of the nation’s
favourite is revealed. There is also
opportunity to see what copes best
in a cuppa as cookies are put through
their paces in the dunk test
10.00 Extraordinary Teens: Young,
Gifted and Broke Cameras follow
what happened to the pianist and
composer Shane Thomas, who hit the
headlines in 2009 when he was hailed
as Britain’s answer to Mozart (AD)
11.05 Micky Flanagan’s Out Out Tour
A performance by the comedian from
his sold-out nationwide tour. He tells
the story of his upbringing in London’s
East End and his rise to fame, making
observations about the British class
system along the way (r)
12.10am Naked Attraction A 22-year-old woman and
25-year-old man seek their perfect partners (r) (AD) 1.05
The Supervet at Christmas (r) (AD) 2.00 The Secret Life
of the Zoo at Christmas (r) (AD) 2.55 Grand Designs
Australia (r) 3.50 Phil Spencer: Secret Agent (r) (AD)
4.45 Extreme Cake Makers (r) 5.35-6.20 Countdown (r)
10.30 Greatest Ever Christmas Movies
Countdown of the best festive films,
from White Christmas and It’s a
Wonderful Life to Bad Santa and Elf.
The Gremlins star Zach Galligan and
Miracle on 34th Street’s Mara Wilson
talk about their experiences making
their movies, while Aled Jones reveals
that he hadn’t even seen the classic
animation The Snowman until
nearly 20 years after having a hit in
1985 with a version of its famous
song Walking in the Air (r)
1.15am SuperCasino Live interactive gaming 3.10 GPs:
Behind Closed Doors. A patient with a history of deep
vein thrombosis visits the surgery (r) (AD) 4.00 Now
That’s Funny! Clips include gym rats struggling with
exercises in futility (SL) 4.45 House Doctor (r) (SL) 5.10
Great Artists (r) (SL) 5.35-6.00 Wildlife SOS (r) (SL)
the times | Tuesday December 19 2017
9
1G T
television & radio
Jamie’s Italian
Christmas
Channel 4, 8pm
Andy Williams thought
it was the most
wonderful time of the
year; Jamie Oliver,
however, believes
Christmas is “the most
delicious”. Which, if
you can cook like he
can, it probably is.
The exuberant Essex
boy is in the Italian
Alps with his good
friend and mentor
Gennaro Contaldo,
knocking up a frankly
outrageous festive feast
that includes a
porchetta that looks so
delicious you may want
to waterproof the front
of the TV before you
watch. “If you overcook
it by an hour, it’s all
Kool and the Gang,” he
says. Have no fear — he
prepares a turkey too.
U2 at the BBC
BBC One, 9pm
These days the Irish
rock behemoths can
usually be spotted only
in cavernous stadiums,
and even then you need
to be at the right end
of a decent telescope.
So this intimate gig,
recorded at Abbey
Road Studios, is a
welcome tonic as the
foursome blast through
songs from their latest
album, Songs of
Experience, and, phew,
some of their hits. Cat
Deeley is on hand to
chat to Bono, the Edge
and the other two, and
ask such questions as:
What name is on
Bono’s coffee cup? Who
has the worst dress
sense? And why does
the Edge never take
that hat off ? (Only one
of those is made up.)
The First
Silent Night
Yesterday, 9pm
On Christmas Eve
1818 a primary-school
teacher and his
friend, a young
assistant priest,
performed a new carol
for the long-suffering
parishioners of
Oberndorf, an Austrian
hamlet near Salzburg.
Simon Callow has the
enviable job of
exploring the villages of
the northern Alps to
winkle out the story of
how Franz Gruber and
Joseph Mohr came to
write Silent Night. In
those unmistakable,
sonorous tones, Callow
explains how a broken
organ, the Year
Without a Summer and
Napoleon contributed
to the world’s most
enduring carol.
Sport Choice
Sky Main Event, 7.30pm
Leicester City and
Manchester City meet
at the King Power
Stadium in the
quarter-finals of the
Carabao Cup (kick-off
7.45pm). The visitors
needed a penalty
shoot-out to see off
Wolves in the previous
round, while the Foxes
beat Leeds United 3-1.
Sky One
Sky Atlantic
Sky Living
Sky Arts
Sky Main Event
Variations
6.00am Futurama (r) 7.30 The Simpsons (r)
9.30 Modern Family (r) 11.00 David
Attenborough’s Wild City (r) (AD) 12.00 Hawaii
Five-0 (r) 2.00pm NCIS: Los Angeles (r) 4.00
Modern Family (r) 5.00 The Simpsons (r)
6.00 Futurama. Fry unearths the remains
of his beloved dog, Seymour (r) (AD)
6.30 The Simpsons. Triple bill (r)
8.00 Sky Sports’ Funniest Moments: Best Bits.
Comical moments from the world of Sky Sports
10.00 Trollied: Christmas Special. Gavin has an
important proposal for Cheryl (r) (AD)
10.30 A League of Their Own Christmas Party.
James Corden hosts a festive edition
of the sports panel show (r)
11.30 The Russell Howard Hour (r)
12.30am A League of Their Own (r) (AD)
1.30 NCIS: Los Angeles (r) 2.30 The Force:
Manchester (r) 3.30 Micro Monsters
with David Attenborough (r) 4.00 David
Attenborough’s Wild City (r) (AD) 5.00
Monkeys: An Amazing Animal Family (r) (AD)
6.00am Urban Secrets (r) 7.00 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation. Back-to-back editions (r)
2.00pm Blue Bloods (r) (AD)
6.00 Blue Bloods. Erin brings a Mob informant
to New York and tries to keep him safe (r) (AD)
7.00 Blue Bloods. An emotionally distraught
man holds Baez at gunpoint (r) (AD)
8.00 Arctic Peril. Lewis Pugh swims along the
edge of the sea ice in the Arctic
9.00 Game of Thrones. Ned refuses to trust
either Pycelle or Littlefinger as he searches for
the truth about Jon Arryn’s death (r) (AD)
10.15 Game of Thrones. A suspicious death
threatens to overshadow the tournament.
Catelyn takes Tyrion east in search of refuge at
the Eyrie, home of her sister Lysa (r) (AD)
11.25 Game of Thrones. Ned investigates
rumours about the Lannisters (r) (AD)
12.35am Band of Brothers (r) 1.45 FILM:
Confirmation (15, TVM, 2016) Fact-based
drama starring Kerry Washington and Zoe
Lister-Jones (r) 4.00 Blue Bloods (r) (AD)
6.00am 60 Minute Makeover (r) 7.00 Obese:
A Year to Save My Life USA (r) 8.00 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation (r) 9.00 Criminal Minds (r)
11.00 Motorway Patrol (r) (AD) 12.00 UK
Border Force (AD) 1.00pm Stop, Search, Seize
(r) (AD) 2.00 Nothing to Declare (r) 4.00 CSI:
Crime Scene Investigation (r) 5.00 Criminal
Minds. A couple are murdered (r)
6.00 Criminal Minds (r)
7.00 Children’s Hospital (r) (AD)
7.30 Children’s Hospital (r) (AD)
8.00 Elementary. Holmes investigates
the murder of a police officer (r) (AD)
9.00 Chicago Fire. Chief Boden learns
the school fire was not an accident
10.00 Criminal Minds. The BAU discovers
ritualistic marks on human remains (r)
11.00 Elementary. The sleuth investigates
the murder of a shop owner (r) (AD)
12.00 Bones (r) (AD) 1.00am Criminal Minds
(r) 4.00 Bangkok Embassy (r) (AD) 5.00
Nothing to Declare (r) (AD)
6.00am La Boheme 8.05 The Three Tenors:
Christmas Concert 9.45 Landscape Artist of the
Year 2017 10.45 Frank Sinatra: A Man and His
Music 12.00 Johnny Cash Christmas Special
1976 1.00pm Tales of the Unexpected 2.00
André Rieu: Making the Magic 3.00 Discovering:
Doris Day 4.00 The Sixties (AD) 5.00 The
Seventies. A look at the Watergate scandal (AD)
6.00 The Eighties. Documentary (AD)
7.00 Alexander Armstrong: In a Winter Light
8.00 André Rieu: European Dream. The violinist
celebrates the music of his classical heroes
9.00 Royal Air Force in Concert. A performance
at Birmingham Symphony Hall
10.30 Edinburgh Tattoo: Pipes and Drums.
With the Band of the Scots Guards
and the US Army Drill Team
12.00 Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1976
1.00am Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music
2.10 Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank 2.40
Royal Air Force in Concert 4.10 Tales of the
Unexpected 5.05 Trailblazers: Dance
6.00am Good Morning Sports Fans 10.00
Premier League Daily 11.00 Sky Sports Daily
11.30 Sportswomen 12.00 Sky Sports News
5.00pm Sky Sports News 6.00 Sky Sports News
7.00 Skyy Sports Tonigght
7.30 Live Carabao Cup: Leicester City v
Manchester City (Kick-off 7.45). Coverage of the
quarter-final at King Power Stadium. The
visitors have been in excellent form in the
league, but were held to a goalless draw by
Wolverhampton Wanderers in the previous
round before prevailing on penalties, while
Leicester claimed the scalp of Liverpool here in
this season’s competition. See Viewing Guide
10.00 Live World Darts Championship. Coverage
of day six of the PDC event at the Alexandra
Palace in London, featuring one contest in the
preliminary round and three first-round clashes
11.00 Live One-Day International Cricket:
New Zealand v West Indies. Coverage of the
first ODI in a three-match series, which takes
place at Cobham Oval in Whangarei
BBC One Scotland
As BBC One except: 8.00pm-9.00 River City.
Christmas Day brings an unwelcome surprise
for Bob and Kim 10.45 Holby City. Morven is
torn between her past and her future. Last in
the series (AD) 11.45 Drugsland. Whether
the Misuse of Drugs Act is still fit for purpose.
Last in the series 12.45am KKK: The Fight for
White Supremacy (r) (AD) 1.45 Weather for
the Week Ahead 1.50-6.00 BBC News
Find a lifelong companion in the TLS, the world’s leading international literary journal.
Buy a subscription to the Times Literary Supplement as a present
(even for yourself) and get a £20 Waterstones Gift Card.
BBC One Wales
As BBC One except: 10.40pm Children’s Ward.
Behind the scenes at the doctors and nurses of
Wrexham Maelor in Wales. Last in the series
(r) 11.10 Drugsland. Whether the Misuse of
Drugs Act is still fit for purpose. Last in the
series 12.10am KKK: The Fight for White
Supremacy (r) (AD) 1.10 Weather for
the Week Ahead 1.15-6.00 BBC News
BBC Two N Ireland
As BBC Two except: 10.00pm-10.30 Jonathan
Rea: 3 in a Row. Profile of the record-breaking
Co Antrim motorcyclist (r) 11.15 The League of
Gentlemen. Boundary changes threaten to
erase Royston Vasey from the map (AD) 11.45
Detectorists Christmas Special. Russell thinks
Lance has been cursed (r) (AD) 12.15am-1.05
NFL This Week. Action from the 15th round
STV
As ITV except: 10.40pm Scotland Tonight
11.15 Lethal Weapon. Riggs and Murtaugh find
themselves enmeshed in a drug dealer turf war
(r) (AD) 12.10am Teleshopping 1.10 After
Midnight 2.40-5.05 ITV Nightscreen
To subscribe visit tlssubs.imbmsubs.com/tlswater12 or call 01293 312178 and quote code TLSWATER12
UTV
As ITV except: 12.35am Teleshopping
1.35-3.00 ITV Nightscreen
BBC Four
E4
More4
Film4
ITV2
7.00pm Beyond 100 Days
7.30 Christmas University Challenge.
Bristol takes on Nottingham (r)
8.00 Armada: 12 Days to Save England. Dan
Snow concludes the drama-documentary by
revealing the circumstances that led to the
Armada’s defeat and how Elizabeth I’s stature
was enhanced by victory (3/3) (r) (AD)
9.00 Invasion! With Sam Willis. The historian
discovers French plans to invade Britain by
balloon, the subterranean fortress built for
troops in the 19th century, and examines the
Huguenots’ legacy. Last in the series
10.00 The Science of D-Day. The innovations
that made the Normandy landings possible (r)
10.30 Flying Scotsman: Sounds From the
Footplate. A guide to life on the footplate of the
nation’s favourite steam engine (r) (AD)
11.30 The Trains That Time Forgot: Britain’s
Lost Railway Journeys. Andrew Martin revisits
the bygone golden age of railways (1/6) (r) (AD)
12.30am Mexico: Earth’s Festival of Life 1.30
Bought with Love: The Secret History of British
Art Collections (r) 2.35-3.30 The Man Who
Collected the World: William Burrell (r)
6.00am Hollyoaks (r) (AD) 7.00 Charmed (r)
7.55 Rude(ish) Tube Shorts (r) 8.10 FILM: The
Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation (PG,
TVM, 2012) Comedy sequel starring Gary
Valentine 10.00 Rules of Engagement (r)
11.00 How I Met Your Mother (r) (AD) 12.00
New Girl (r) (AD) 1.00pm The Big Bang Theory
(r) (AD) 2.00 Kevin Can Wait (r) (AD) 3.00 How
I Met Your Mother (r) (AD) 4.00 New Girl (r)
(AD) 5.00 Kevin Can Wait (r) (AD)
6.00 The Big Bang Theory (r) (AD)
6.30 The Big Bang Theory (r) (AD)
7.00 Hollyoaks. Harry and Ste get closer (AD)
7.30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (r) (AD)
8.00 The Big Bang Theory (r) (AD)
8.30 The Big Bang Theory (r) (AD)
9.00 Tattoo Fixers at Christmas (r) (AD)
10.00 Rude Tube Christmas Cracker 2016 (r)
11.05 The Big Bang Theory (r) (AD)
11.35 The Big Bang Theory (r) (AD)
12.00 Gogglebox. Reality series (r) (AD)
1.05am Tattoo Fixers at Christmas (r) (AD)
2.10 Rude Tube Christmas Cracker 2016 (r)
3.05 First Dates (r) (AD) 4.00 How I Met Your
Mother (r) (AD) 4.45 Charmed (r) (SL)
8.55am Food Unwrapped (r) (AD) 9.35 Four in
a Bed (r) 12.10pm A Place in the Sun: Winter
Sun (r) 2.20 Time Team (r) 4.30 The Great
British Bake Off (r) (AD) 5.50 Jamie’s Best Ever
Christmas. Festive culinary programme (2/2) (r)
6.55 The Supervet. A senior neurologist treats a
Chihuahua born with fluid on the brain (r) (AD)
7.55 Grand Designs. Kevin McCloud revisits a
project undertaken by a couple who moved to
Brittany to create an earth-sheltered home built
almost entirely from recycled materials (r) (AD)
9.00 David Jason’s Secret Service. From hi-tech
intelligence to undercover ops, the actor reveals
how masterminds defeated Hitler with their
problem-solving. Last in the series (AD)
10.00 It Was Alright in the 1970s. Matt Lucas
narrates this look at the shows that flirted with
danger during the decade, including Blue Peter,
which carried on as a fire broke out live on air (r)
11.05 24 Hours in A&E. The stories of patients
who are facing adversity head-on (6/8) (r) (AD)
12.05am Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA
(r) 1.10 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (r)
2.15 David Jason’s Secret Service (r) (AD)
3.15-3.55 8 Out of 10 Cats (r)
11.00am Magnificent Obsession (U, 1954)
Melodrama with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman
1.15pm Drums Across the River (PG,
1954) Western with Audie Murphy 2.55 Billion
Dollar Brain (PG, 1967) Spy thriller starring
Michael Caine (AD) 5.05 Sword of Sherwood
Forest (U, 1960) Robin Hood adventure
starring Richard Greene and Peter Cushing
6.45 Night at the Museum (PG, 2006) The
exhibits at a New York museum come to life and
run riot after dark, causing mayhem for the
nightwatchman. Fantasy comedy starring Ben
Stiller, Dick Van Dyke and Robin Williams (AD)
9.00 Carol (15, 2015) Two women from
different backgrounds fall in love in 1950s New
York, but have to keep their relationship a
secret. Romantic drama starring Cate Blanchett,
Rooney Mara and Kyle Chandler (AD)
11.20 Safe House (15, 2012) A CIA agent
has to protect a captured fugitive from
mercenaries, but also has to resist his prisoner’s
mind games. Thriller with Denzel Washington,
Ryan Reynolds and Vera Farmiga
1.35am-3.55 Girlhood (15, 2014)
Drama with Karidja Touré and Assa Sylla
6.00am The Cube: Celebrity Special (r) 6.45
Britain’s Got Talent: Our Top Ten Ant & Dec
Moments (r) 7.35 Emmerdale (r) (AD) 8.00
Coronation Street (r) (AD) 9.00 The Ellen
DeGeneres Show (r) 9.50 Mr Bean (r) (AD)
10.30 Totally Bonkers Guinness World Records
(r) 10.45 You’ve Been Framed! Gold at
Christmas (r) 11.15 I’m a Celebrity… Get Me
Out of Here! Coming Out (r) 12.20pm
Emmerdale (r) (AD) 12.50 Coronation Street (r)
(AD) 1.50 The Ellen DeGeneres Show
2.40 Jeremy Kyle: DNA Bombshells (r)
6.00 Take Me Out Celebrity Special (r)
7.00 You’ve Been Framed! at Christmas (r)
7.30 You’ve Been Framed! (r)
8.00 Two and a Half Men. Two shows (r)
9.00 FILM: The Hangover Part II (15, 2011)
Comedy sequel starring Bradley Cooper (AD)
11.10 Family Guy (r) (AD) 1.05am American
Dad! (r) (AD) 2.00 The Keith and Paddy Picture
Show (r) 2.25 FILM: Carrie (15, 2013) Horror
remake 4.05 Britain’s Got Talent: Our Top Ten
Ant & Dec Moments (r) 4.50 Totally Bonkers
Guinness World Records (r) 5.40 Vicky Pattison:
The Hot Desk (r) 5.50 ITV2 Nightscreen
ITV3
ITV4
Dave
Drama
Yesterday
6.00am Judge Judy (r) 6.20 Classic Coronation
Street (r) 7.10 Heartbeat (r) (AD) 8.15 The
Royal (r) 9.15 Judge Judy (r) 10.35 A Touch of
Frost (r) 12.40pm The Royal (r) 1.40 Heartbeat
(r) (AD) 2.40 Classic Coronation Street (r) 3.45
A Touch of Frost (r) 5.55 Heartbeat (r) (AD)
6.55 Murder, She Wrote. Jessica investigates
the death of a theatre critic (r) (AD)
8.00 Midsomer Murders: Ghosts of Christmas
Past. At a Christmas family get-together,
a cracker riddle states two people will die
before midnight on Boxing Day (r) (AD)
10.00 Cilla. Reunited with Bobby, Cilla’s
confidence returns and she once again dazzles
crowds with her vocal talents. However, when
her first record fails in the charts, Brian Epstein
suggests a change of direction (r) (AD)
11.00 The Guilty. A trip to Germany puts a key
witness statement in a disturbing light, and
Maggie uncovers a secret when she brings
Daniel in for questioning (2/3) (r) (AD)
12.00 The Knock. Plutonium smuggling (r)
2.05am Agatha Christie’s Marple (r) 3.45
A Touch of Frost (r) (SL) 5.30 ITV3 Nightscreen
6.00am Football Rivalries (r) 6.10 The Chase
(r) 7.50 Storage Wars: New York (r) 8.40 Pawn
Stars (r) 9.35 Ironside (r) 10.40 Quincy ME (r)
11.50 The Sweeney (r) 12.50pm The
Professionals (r) (AD) 1.50 Ironside (r)
2.55 Quincy ME (r) 4.00 The Sweeney (r)
5.00 The Professionals (r) (AD)
6.05 Storage Wars: Texas (r)
6.35 Storage Wars: Texas (r)
7.00 Pawn Stars. A 1960s car (r)
7.30 Pawn Stars. An antique watch (r)
8.00 The Celebrity Chase (r)
9.00 FILM: Rambo — First Blood Part II
(15, 1985) John Rambo returns to the jungles
of Vietnam on a rescue mission. Action
adventure sequel with Sylvester Stallone (AD)
11.05 FILM: Navy Seals (15, 1990) Action
adventure starring Charlie Sheen (AD)
1.20am FILM: Everything or Nothing —
The Untold Story of 007 (12, 2012)
Documentary about the making of the James
Bond films (AD) 3.10 It’s Not Rocket Science (r)
4.00 ITV4 Nightscreen 4.20 The Professionals
(r) (AD, SL) 5.10 The Sweeney (r) (SL)
6.00am Home Shopping 7.10 Scrapheap
Challenge 8.10 American Pickers 9.00 Storage
Hunters 10.00 American Pickers 1.00pm The
Hurting 2.00 Top Gear (AD) 3.00 Sin City
Motors (AD) 4.00 Ice Road Truckers 5.00
Timber Kings. A 15,000-square-foot mansion
6.00 Top Gear. Jeremy, Richard and James
try to improve the ambulance (AD)
7.00 The Hurting. Clip show
7.30 The Hurting. With the voice of Jake Yapp
8.00 Taskmaster. In the semi-final, Nish Kumar
is presented with a coconut harness, while a
blindfolded Sally Phillips handles a slice of bread
9.00 QI XL. With Nina Conti, Sean Lock, Alan
Davies and Bill Bailey. Stephen Fry hosts
10.00 Dave Gorman: Modern Life Is Goodish.
Dave reveals the secrets of how television
is made. Last in the series
11.00 Alan Davies: Xmas Untitled. With
Jason Manford, Jo Joyner, Joe Lycett
and the Reverend Richard Coles
12.00 Room 101 12.40am Mock the Week 1.20
QI 2.00 Room 101 2.40 Mock the Week 3.15
Parks and Recreation 4.00 Home Shopping
7.25am Call the Midwife (AD) 10.00 The Bill
12.00 Catherine Cookson’s A Dinner of Herbs
3.00pm Call the Midwife 5.40 Last of the
Summer Wine. The trio visit the seaside (AD)
6.20 Last of the Summer Wine. Seymour tries
to put the sparkle back in Christmas
7.00 Steptoe and Son. Christmas special from
1974. Harold plans to spend Christmas abroad
8.00 Death in Paradise. A voodoo priestess is
found dead after predicting her own murder.
Ben Miller and Sara Martins star (3/8) (AD)
9.20 Death in Paradise. A woman confesses to
shooting dead her husband, but Richard is
puzzled by the absence of a body at the crime
scene. Miranda Raison guest stars (4/8) (AD)
10.40 New Tricks. Sandra and the team
investigate a man’s disappearance
five years earlier (6/10) (AD)
11.50 Taggart. Feature-length episode.
A woman’s remains are found under the
floorboards of a Glasgow house, and a baby is
kidnapped from a multi-storey car park (2/3)
2.20am Crocodile Shoes 3.15 Garden
Hopping 4.00 Home Shopping
6.00am Battleplan 8.00 Time Team 10.00
Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency
11.00 Private Lives of the Monarchs (AD) 12.00
Time Team 2.00pm The Hunt (AD) 3.00 Coast
(AD) 4.00 Porridge 4.40 Steptoe and Son 5.20
Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?
6.00 The World at War. Japan’s early victories
7.00 The Light of Dawn: The Normandy
Landings. Part one of a two-part
documentary about the D-Day landings
8.00 Elegance and Decadence: The Age of
the Regency. An insight into the backlash
against the Prince Regent’s excesses
9.00 The First Silent Night. The origin of
the Christmas carol. See Viewing Guide
10.00 Porridge. The inmates decide on
a wager as the parole board gathers
10.40 Steptoe and Son. Harold dreams
of becoming a male model
11.20 Steptoe and Son. Harold
invests in a heated waterbed
12.00 Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the
Regency 1.00am The First Silent Night
2.00 The Hunt (AD) 3.00 Home Shopping
BBC Alba
5.00pm Saoghal Bodach na Nollaig (r) 5.15
Oran le Fiona (r) 5.25 Calum Clachair (Bob the
Builder) (r) 5.35 Na Bleigeardan (Little
Monsters) (r) 5.40 Leum is Danns (Jump and
Dance) (r) 5.50 Ard-Sgoil a’ Chnuic Annasaich
(Strange Hill High) (r) 6.15 Alpha and Omega:
Triall Nollaige (Howliday) (r) 7.00 Tathadh (r)
7.25 Binneas: Na Trads (r) 7.30 Speaking Our
Language (r) 7.55 Earrann Eachdraidh (History
Shorts) (r) 8.00 An Là (News) 8.30 Air an
Smùid (Steaming) (r) 9.00 Opry an Iúir (r)
9.50 Dhan Uisge (Easdale) (r) 10.00 Trusadh:
An Àird (Off Radar) (r) 11.00 Quay Sessions:
Lucy Spraggan 11.25-11.55 Alleluia!
(Spiritual Music & Verse) (r)
S4C
6.00am Cyw: Do Re Mi Dona (r) 6.15 Abadas
(r) 6.30 Halibalw (r) 6.40 Sam Tân (r) 6.50
Bing (r) 7.00 Meic y Marchog (r) 7.15 Sbarc (r)
7.30 Boj (r) 7.40 Teulu Ni (r) 7.50 Igam Ogam
(r) 8.00 Octonots (r) 8.15 Chwilio am Cyw
8.20 Y Dywysoges Fach (r) 8.35 Tili a’i
Ffrindiau (r) 8.45 Twt (r) 9.00 Nodi (r) 9.10
Sbridiri (r) 9.30 Pingu (r) 9.35 Bobi Jac (r)
9.45 Pentre Bach (r) 10.00 Do Re Mi Dona (r)
10.15 Abadas (r) 10.30 Halibalw (r) 10.40
Sam Tân (r) 10.50 Bing (r) 11.00 Meic y
Marchog (r) 11.15 Sbarc (r) 11.30 Boj (r)
11.40 Teulu Ni (r) 11.50 Igam Ogam (r) 12.00
News S4C a’r Tywydd 12.05pm Heno (r) 1.00
Dai ar y Piste (r) 2.00 News S4C a’r Tywydd
2.05 Prynhawn Da 3.00 News S4C a’r Tywydd
3.05 Byd O Liw Nadolig (r) 4.00 Awr Fawr
5.00 Stwnsh: Ffeil 5.05 Stwnsh: Tag 5.35
Stwnsh: Dreigiau — Marchogion Berc (r) 5.55
Stwnsh: Fideo Fi Nadolig 6.00 News S4C a’r
Tywydd 6.05 Parti Bwyd Beca (r) 7.00 Heno
7.30 Rownd a Rownd 8.00 Pobol y Cwm. It
remains to be seen what Gethin is hiding from
Ffion, and Chester worries that Hannah wants
to return to Australia (AD) 8.25 Carol yr Wyl
2017. Part two of two. The five remaining
choirs of young singers compete for the title,
with judges Steffan Rhys Hughes and Elin
Llwyd deciding who wins Carol yr Wyl 2017
9.00 News 9 a’r Tywydd 9.30 Y Byd ar Bedwar
10.30 Noson Lawen. Tudur Dylan Jones hosts
an evening of entertainment at Carmarthen’s
Lyric Theatre, with performances by Fflur Wyn,
Gary Griffiths, Ifan Gruffydd and the
Carmarthenshire YFC Choir (r) 11.30 Cythrel
Canu. With Dewi “Pws” Morris, Gareth Glyn,
Mary Lloyd Davies and Robyn Lyn Evans (r)
12.00-12.35am 999: Y Glas (r)
10
Tuesday December 19 2017 | the times
1G T
MindGames
times2 Crossword No 7526
1
2
3
4
Codeword No 3210
5
9
6
7
13
7
7
1
6
Train Tracks No 285
12
7
6
25
19
1
5
F
8
13
10
22
12
25
19
16
20
13
3
1
4
5
4
4
4
12
3
18
4
L
13
4
1
19
6
9
9
19
23
Y
12
11
12
1
4
12
20
13
12
23
8
5
9
14
15
16
17
20
1
1
13
5
18
26
16
9
15
19
3
18
4
5
1
1
23
19
3
5
A
10
3
4
16
6
12
4
18
17
19
20
21
13
13
18
7
9
5
11
1
13
22
3
23
16
3
5
5
12
23
12
4
3
13
1
23
19
16
1
2
24
13
3
23
Prevent, inhibit (8)
Of low quality (4)
West Indian song (7)
Frequently (5)
(Of rain) fall heavily (4)
Slight suspicion (7)
Not fair (6)
Commit an illegal act (6)
Wounded (7)
Solution to Crossword 7525
G
A
B
L
E
12
23
26
14
1
12
26
14
16
19
2
19
B
12
Lay tracks to enable the train to travel from village A to
village B. The numbers indicate how many sections of rail
go in each row and column. There are only straight rails
and curved rails. The track cannot cross itself.
27
Across
J
U
N
I
P
E
R
14
UK E BO
A A
ERV Y
M
E A
F R
L
AC I A L
R G
E A RWH
W A
E L OV E
E E
RROR
X MAC
E A A
RARE B
X S
I
EQUEN
S P E
V I C T
S A
E E L
K
A
H
D B RA
O O K
G L A Z I
AW
I
I T
T
CY
I M
A
I T
A
ND
O
ER
21 Acid-tasting (4)
24 Greek dialect; room (5)
25 Paper-folding art (7)
26 Arab bazaar (4)
27 Canines (3,5)
3
2
24
26
7
16
12
21
12
4
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
8
9
21
22
F
10
11
12
13
23
24
25
26
Y
© PUZZLER MEDIA
26
1
5
9
10
11
12
14
16
19
26
25
L
Down
1
2
3
4
6
7
8
13
15
17
Hard blow (4)
Paralysing disease (5)
Sounds of gunfire (7)
Calm, dependable (6)
Exceptionally large (7)
Treacherous deserter (8)
Move side to side (4)
Killjoys, prudes (8)
Martial art (2-5)
Right-wing authoritarian
(7)
18 Very stupid behaviour (6)
20 Stack of hay (4)
22 Habitual practice (5)
23 Having much money (4)
Numbers are substituted for letters in the crossword grid. Below the grid is the
key. Some letters are solved. When you have completed your first word or
phrase you will have the clues to more letters. Enter them in the key grid and
the main grid and check the letters on the alphabet list as you complete them.
Yesterday’s solution, right
Solve the puzzle
and text in the
numbers in the
three shaded
boxes. Text
TIMES followed
by a space, then your three
numbers, eg, TIMES 123, plus your
name, address and postcode to
88010 (UK only), by midnight.
Or enter by phone. Call 09012
925274 (ROI 1516 303 501)
by midnight. Leave your three
answer numbers (in any order)
and your contact details.
No 4054
E
R
E
W
D
O
A
Need help with today’s puzzle? Call 0906 757 7188 to check the
answers. Calls cost 80p per minute plus your telephone company’s
network access charge.
SP: Spoke, 0333 202 3390 (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm).
6Winners will
receive a Collins
English Dictionary
& Thesaurus
Lexica
P
I
G
E
E
T
I
T
I
M
N
U
N
T
J
N
E
D
G
U
B
H
N
C
L
L
H
O
H
N
O
L
G
F
L
I
S
T
Calls cost £1.00 (ROI €1.50) plus your telephone company’s
network access charge. Texts cost £1 plus your standard network charge.
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Slide the letters either horizontally or vertically back into the grid to produce a
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KenKen Medium No 4202
Futoshiki No 3067
© 2010 KENKEN PUZZLE & TM NEXTOY. DIST. BY UFS, INC. WWW.KENKEN.COM
∨
All the digits 1 to 6 must appear in every row and column. In
each thick-line “block”, the target number in the top lefthand corner is calculated from the digits in all the cells in the
block, using the operation indicated by the symbol.
∧
<
>
∨
4
Win a Dictionary & Thesaurus
Fill the grid so
that every
column, every
row and every
3x2 box contains
the digits 1 to 6
Cluelines Stuck on Codeword? To receive 4 random clues call 0901 322 5000 or text
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No 4053
What are your favourite
puzzles in MindGames?
Email: puzzles@thetimes.co.uk
Kakuro No 2026
1
16
17
30
16
9
23
∨
16
32
21
29
4
4
Fill the blank squares so that each row and column contains
all the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Use the given numbers and
the symbols that tell you if a number in the square is larger
(>) or smaller (<) than the number next to it.
11
16
17
4
16
19
∧
10
4
26
∨
17
24
29
38
19
3
16
17
13
10
1
29
12
10
11
10
Fill the grid so that
each block adds up
to the total of the
block above or to
the left. You can
only use digits 1-9
and you must not
use the digit twice
in one block. The
same digit may
occur more than
once in a row or
column, but must
be in a separate
block.
8
9
12
22
3
4
6
4
3
8
24
17
© PUZZLER MEDIA
24
the times | Tuesday December 19 2017
11
1G T
MindGames
White: Wilhelm Steinitz
Black: Emanuel Lasker
London 1899
Vienna Game
1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 f4 d5 4 d3
This is inexplicably passive.
Much stronger is 4 fxe5 Nxe4,
when both 5 Nf3 and 5 Qf3 are
possible.
4 ... Nc6 5 fxe5 Nxe5 6 d4 Ng6 7
exd5
It seems odd to encourage the
development of Black’s queen in
this fashion. I would prefer gaining space with 7 e5.
7 ... Nxd5 8 Nxd5 Qxd5 9 Nf3
Bg4 10 Be2 0-0-0 11 c3 Bd6 12 00 Rhe8 13 h3 Bd7 14 Ng5
An excursion that meets with a
drastic refutation. By this time it
was mandatory to consolidate
with 14 Bd3 or even 14 c4.
14 ... Nh4 15 Nf3
15 ... Nxg2
A brilliant coup, inaugurating a
thunderous sacrificial onslaught.
16 Kxg2 Bxh3+
The bishop is immune to capture as 17 Kxh3 loses to 17 ... Qh5+
18 Kg2 Qg4+ 19 Kh1 Qh3+ 20 Kg1
Re4 with a crushing attack.
17 Kf2
White avoids immediate cataclysm but after Black’s next the
advance of the black kingside
pawns can be averted only by
ineffective palliative methods.
17 ... f6 18 Rg1 g5 19 Bxg5
Utterly hopeless but in the long
run the advance of the black
g-pawn to g3 will be decisive.
19 ... fxg5 20 Rxg5 Qe6 21 Qd3
Bf4 22 Rh1 Bxg5 23 Nxg5 Qf6+
24 Bf3 Bf5 25 Nxh7 Qg6 26 Qb5
c6 27 Qa5 Re7 28 Rh5
White’s forces are strung out
like tightrope walkers over a
chasm. Black’s next move snaps
the rope.
28 ... Bg4 29 Rg5 Qc2+ 30 Kg3
Bxf3 White resigns
Full results and all games from
the London Chess Classic can be
found via the 2seeitlive link on
the header of The Times Twitter
feed @times_chess.
________
árD D 4kD] Winning Move
à0pD D gp]
ß h D DpD] Black to play. This position is from
Jones-Anand, London 2012.
ÞD DPh D ] White’s
forces are scattered randomly
Ý D DPDqD] around the board and his king is
ÜH D G DR] uncomfortably placed. How did the
ÛP) ! DPD] ex-world champion quickly cash in?
ÚD $ IBD ] For up-to-the-minute information, follow
ÁÂÃÄÅÆÇÈ my tweets on twitter.com/times_chess.
EASY
MEDIUM
HARDER
SQUARE
IT
208 x 4 + 86
276 + 813 x 4
x2
50%
OF IT
2/3
OF IT
+ 11 x 2
–6
÷5
+ 77 x 2 – 88 ÷ 8 + 37
SQUARE
IT
90%
OF IT
+ 1/2 – 644 90% + 977 + 1/2 – 885 ÷ 2
OF IT
OF IT
OF IT
2
3
Polygon
Killer Moderate No 5775
9
10
14
18
7
4
14
12
3
13
25
5
10
12
13
7
11
14
19
Killer Tough No 5776
8
19
16
23
28min
7
15
22
14
6
19
+
x
3
+
=
24
9
8
5
9
7
5
7
9
8
2
1
3
5
7
9
8 7
6 9
6
8
4 5
2
1
3
7
5
1
6
8
3
2
9
4
2
8
4
5
9
7
6
1
3
8
9
2
7
1
5
4
3
6
=
315
13
6
1
5
8
3
4
7
2
9
5
4
8
9
2
6
3
7
1
9
2
3
4
7
1
8
6
5
1
7
6
3
5
8
9
4
2
1
9
4
8
5
2
7
3
6
8
2
5
3
7
6
4
1
9
7
6
3
4
1
9
2
5
8
6
1
2
5
8
7
3
9
4
9
5
8
6
3
4
1
2
7
4
3
7
9
2
1
6
8
5
2
4
6
1
9
5
8
7
3
5
8
1
7
6
3
9
4
2
3
7
9
2
4
8
5
6
1
Please note, BODMAS does not apply
8 5
9 7 5
6 8
8 9
8 9 7
9
7 9 3
2 4 1
1 3
4 8
O
F
F
A
L
S
CRA
O D
P RO
E
P
S T
16
6
2
1
3
4
8
5
7
9
7
9
5
1
2
6
3
8
4
4
8
3
7
9
5
6
1
2
7
4
3
6
8
5
1
2
9
2
6
5
1
9
4
8
7
3
8
9
1
3
7
2
5
6
4
13
19
18
4
4
12
As with standard Sudoku, fill the grid so that every
column, every row and every 3x3 box contains the
digits 1 to 9. Each set of cells joined by dotted lines
must add up to the target number in its top-left corner.
Within each set of cells joined by dotted lines, a digit
cannot be repeated.
5
1
7
6
8
2
4
9
3
2
7
6
8
1
3
9
4
5
9
5
8
2
6
4
7
3
1
1
3
4
9
5
7
8
2
6
6
3
4
9
5
8
2
1
7
1
5
7
4
2
6
9
3
8
5
2
9
8
6
7
3
4
1
4
7
8
5
1
3
6
9
2
3
1
6
2
4
9
7
8
5
5
4
5
2
1
5
3 > 2 > 1
4
∧
5
6
3
+
6
1
3
9
7
÷
x
+
-
3
∨
2
2
5
1
+
+
+
-
1
5
6
3
4
3
2
5
2
5
4
2
5
A
1
I
C
I
N
G
B
Suko 2111
9
6
7
5
3
8
2
1
4
5
2
4
6
7
1
3
9
8
3
8
1
4
9
2
5
6
7
4
9
8
7
1
5
6
2
3
6
5
2
8
4
3
9
7
1
1
7
3
2
6
9
8
4
5
7
4
9
3
5
6
1
8
2
2
3
6
1
8
4
7
5
9
8
1
5
9
2
7
4
3
6
G
B
C
O
O
O
A
T
A
I
T
C
Y
K
L
C
H
A
R
G
E
N
D
Y
Lexica 4052
1
∧
3
8
3
Lexica 4051
4 < 5
∨
∨
3
4
+
1
B
R
O
K
E
Sudoku 9531
3
4
2
5
7
9
1
6
8
Set Square 2028
2
6
6
2
12
8
6
9
4
3
1
2
5
7
9
8
2
7
3
1
4
5
6
4 > 2
4
Train Tracks 284
P AR T
E DD Y
C
E
X
O
T H
E M P OWE
E
T
O
S
I DGE
S L E E
R
E
J OR ODOUR
P
F
N
Z E
AQUA T I
N
V
S W
V I SO UN I O
N
U
R
S
AG R E P U T E
Futoshiki 3066
23
23
I M
A
I L
A
BR
I
MA
Killer 5774
Cell Blocks 3092
15
=
13
Sudoku 9530
4
3
7
2
6
9
1
5
8
KenKen 4201
23
÷
Codeword 3209
8
1
2
7 5
9 7
7 6 9
9
1
8
3
6 8
4 9
22
13
-
5
2 > 1
13
+
x
x
All the digits
from 1-9 are
used in this
grid, but only
once. Can you
work out their
= 216 positions in the
grid so that
each of the six
different sums
works? We’ve
=8
put 2 numbers
in to help you.
Do the sums
left to right and
top to bottom
=3
x
x
Killer 5773
12
12
6
Kakuro 2025
3
6
9
1
4
2
5
8
7
16
12
3 2
x
Sudoku 9529
13
6 3
Divide the grid
into blocks.
Each block
must be square
or rectangular
and must
contain the
number of
cells indicated
by the number
inside it.
Solutions
6
2
1 4
3 1
9
16
3
19
12
13
7
16
6min
21
17
18
2
-
Yesterday’s answers
hum, huss, hut, isthmus, mush, muss,
must, musth, muti, shtum, shut, smut,
stum, suit, sum, sus, sushi, thus, tui,
tum, tush
5
7
3
Set Square No 2029
From these letters, make words of
three or more letters, always
including the central letter. Answers
must be in the Concise Oxford
Dictionary, excluding capitalised
words, plurals, conjugated verbs (past
tense etc), adverbs ending in LY,
comparatives and superlatives.
How you rate 17 words, average;
23, good; 27, very good; 31, excellent
Bridge Andrew Robson
It was the most disappointing scor- Dealer: East, Vulnerability: Both
ing up ever.
♠J 7 6 5
“Plus 940.” I read out Allfrey Teams
♥9 7 6 4
and my score, the first board of the
♦K 9 6 5
penultimate set of the Gold Cup
♣J
semifinal.
♠ 10
♠Q 9 4
N
“Plus 940?” asked Gold.
♥K J 10 5
♥Q 2
W E
“Yes, we made 6♦ plus one.”
♦J 4
♦10 7 3 2
S
♣10 7 6 4 3 2♠ A K 8 3 2 ♣A KQ 9
“So did we. We’ve sat the same
direction.”
♥A 8 3
We were leading the match and
♦AQ 8
both pairs had had good sets. We
♣8 5
both thought the match was over.
S
W
N
E
Now we had to play a substitute
1NT
set of eight boards, feeling our
Dbl
3♣(1)
Dbl(2) 4♣
bubble had burst. The opposing
4♠
End
Patterson team felt as Lazarus
must have felt, back from the dead. (1) Pre-emptive.
You can guess the rest. We (2) Take-out, skimpy but shape-suitable.
underperformed for the last 16
Contract: 4♠ , Opening Lead: ♣7
boards, Patterson overperformed
and we blew our healthy lead, seemed likely on the heart plays,
being finally overhauled by just he was probably his actual
one solitary imp on the very last 1♠ 4♥2♦6♣ shape (six clubs for
board (having led for 69 of the 70 his bid and not a singleton diaboards). Our disappointment was mond or he’d have led it).
Assuming West held ♥KJ10x,
compounded by a questionable
East had to have the queen of
slow play penalty.
Ah well. I was determined to put spades for his bid. But declarer saw
it behind me and have a very how he could succeed if West’s sinworthwhile Sunday — as I did. No gleton spade was the ten or nine.
Declarer cashed the ace-queen
point in morosing. I did not watch
the final but was pleased Patterson of diamonds, West playing smalljack, further suggesting the
won (easily).
This deal comes from the happier 1♠ 4♥2♦6♣ shape. He then ruffed
first half of that fateful semi-final. a club and led the jack of spades,
West led the seven of clubs to intending to run it. East covered
East’s queen, East switching at with the queen, declarer winning
the ace and noting West’s ten.
trick two to the queen of hearts.
Declarer crossed to the king of
Declarer ducked and won the
second heart with the ace. The diamonds, West discarding, and
first two tricks appeared to mark led a spade to the eight. He cashed
East with ace-king-queen of clubs the king, felling East’s nine, and
and (only) the queen of hearts. If claimed his game.
andrew.robson@thetimes.co.uk
West really held ♥ KJ10x, as
33 ÷ 11
© PUZZLER MEDIA
Emanuel Lasker, world champion
from 1894 to 1921, registered one
of his greatest successes in London, emerging victorious from the
huge London International Chess
Congress of 1899 and dominating
his rivals by a substantial margin.
I see Lasker as the Magnus Carlsen of his day, interpreting chess
primarily as a fight rather than an
art or a science. The style of both
players is characterised by extreme versatility and the ability to
maintain tension and thus avoid
at all costs any tendency for the
position on the board to fizzle out
into sterile equality. Today’s game
is an extraordinary annihilation of
Lasker’s predecessor as world
champion.
________
á Dk4rD D]
à0p0bDp0p]
ß D g D D]
ÞD DqD D ]
Ý D ) D h]
ÜD ) DNDP]
ÛP) DBDPD]
Ú$ GQDRI ]
ÁÂÃÄÅÆÇÈ
© PUZZLER MEDIA
Lasker in London
Cell Blocks No 3093
Brain Trainer
ANSWER ANSWER ANSWER
Chess Raymond Keene
3
+
x
4
Quiz 1 He transforms into the superhero Captain Marvel
2 Goodfellas 3 Volkswagen 4 Babylon 5 5 Ornette Coleman
6 Melissa McCarthy 7 A specific gene has been inactivated,
or “knocked out”, by the introduction of a foreign
(artificial) DNA sequence — they exhibit modifications in
phenotype (observable traits) and thereby provide
important clues about how individual genes work 8 A
space settlement design formed by two counter-rotating
cylinders (the 1976 book is subtitled Human Colonies in
Space) 9 Portishead 10 Wormwood 11 Ali Abdullah Saleh
12 Freon-12 13 Romain Gary 14 Kim Collins 15 Mongolia
B
A
A
I
R
E
E
R
H
E
L
V
D
Y
O
T
U
O
R
B
Word watch
Agoge (b) The rigorous
Spartan educational system
Agloo (a) A breathing
hole made in ice by a seal
Agone (c) An archaic
word for “ago”
Brain Trainer
Easy 64; Medium 144;
Harder 4,266
Chess 1 ... Qxh3! 2 gxh3
Nf3+ 3 Ke2 Nxd2 wins
easily on material
19.12.17
MindGames
Mild No 9532
Fill the grid so that
every column, every
row and every 3x3
box contains the
digits 1 to 9.
Difficult No 9533
1
6
7
7 6 4
5
2 3
8
6
8
6
2
6
9
7
2
6
7 1
7
5 3 4
8
2
3
Word watch
by Josephine
Balmer
Agoge
a Monstrous
b An education system
c Amazed
Agloo
a A breathing hole
b A sneeze
c A dance move
Agone
a In pain
b A contest
c Time past
For interactive
Sudoku puzzles, visit
thetimes.co.uk/puzzles
Answers on page 15
2
Super fiendish No 9534
6
9
7
9
4
5
7
PUZZLER MEDIA
Sudoku
5 1 9 2
2
9
9
6
4 6
8
by Olav Bjortomt Times MindGames books
The Times MindGames: Word
Puzzles & Conundrums and
Number & Logic Puzzles are
out now. To order copies visit
timesbooks.co.uk or call
0844 576 8120. Also available
from all good bookshops.
11 Which first
president of Yemen
has been assassinated
by the Houthi?
2 The unsanctioned
murder of Billy Batts is a
key event in which 1990
Martin Scorsese film?
12 Thomas
Midgley found that
dichlorodifluoromethane
could be used as a
refrigerant. This CFC
has what brand name?
15
6 Which US actress had
her breakout role as the
chef Sookie St James
in TV’s Gilmore Girls?
7 In what way has a
“knockout mouse” been
genetically engineered
in the laboratory?
8 Proposed by the
physicist Gerard K
O’Neill in his book
The High Frontier,
what is an O’Neill
cylinder?
9 In 1991, which
Bristol band was
formed as a duo by
Geoff Barrow and
Beth Gibbons?
10 The Chicago
liqueur, Jeppson’s
Malört, is named
after the Swedish
word for which herb?
13 Chien Blanc (1970)
is an autobiographical
novel by which
Frenchman?
Yesterday’s
Quick
Cryptic
solution
No 985
14 Which sprinter
from St Kitts & Nevis
was the 2003 men’s
100m world champion?
15 The flag of which
country is pictured?
Answers on page 15
The Times Quick Cryptic No 986
1
2
3
4
5
6
8
10
11
12
14
15
18
21
22
24
13
16
17
19
20
23
R
A
N
S
A
C
K
EM I
A
I N E
E
N A T
T
E E P
P R Y
I
R
C
A
MURM
R
I
D E E D
ND E
I
S Y
T
H EM
M
U P
E
R E
R
H E
O U
C AMO
M
A
I
L
N A
L EGU
T
R
I N V E
C
V
VO
A N S K
A
E
I
GA T H E R
A T
C
R E
O
N
Y
ME
A
S T
L
L E
A
E D
Follow The Times Crossword
Editor @timescrosswords
by Joker
7
9
1
to receive four clues for any of today’s puzzles. Calls cost 75p plus your telephone company’s
network access charge. SP: Spoke, 0333 202 3390 (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm).
1 What happens when
Billy Batson says the
magic word “Shazam!”?
5 Rolling Stone magazine
called Lonely Woman
(1959) the “signature
dirge” of which US
jazz saxophonist?
5
8
GETTY IMAGES
4 The Minbari, Narn,
Centauri and Vorlons
were civilisations in
which 1990s US sci-fi
TV series?
1
3 6 7 8
1 8 6
3
7 2
6
7
2
8
4
3
8
6
9
6
1
6
8 1
1
3 7 9
5
Cluelines Stuck on Sudoku, Killer or KenKen? Call 0901 322 5005 before midnight
The Times Daily Quiz
3 Which German
carmaker purchased
the Bugatti trademark
in 1998?
8 7
Across
1 Making a gain, I quit casino
rolling (11)
9 Bellini opera is not quite
standard (5)
10 Forgetting men abandoned in
large continent (7)
11 Rows in some corn being
ahead of time (9)
13 Polish gemstone endlessly (3)
14 Go along with our heartless
wooer (6)
16 Unspectacular ways of
operating trains initially (6)
17 What twitch regularly shows?
(3)
18 Purchaser outside United
States is one that keeps
stocking up (9)
21 Awful about Securities and
Investments Board being open
to inspection (7)
23 Take on a party? Parliament’s
gutted (5)
24 Sad mountain top has
collapsed (11)
Down
2 Drayman despatching the
fourth tender (5)
3 Thinking alike, I’m absorbed
by intellect when chasing girl
(9)
4 Son to accept bet (5)
5 Brown toast and nothing on
top (3)
6 See irregular verbs in Old
English (7)
7 Uncaring invitees sin
atrociously (11)
8 British decide a dispute about
university’s sedative drug (11)
12 Be defensive in reactions to
new allowances (9)
15 I deployed sonic cleaner finally
for tooth (7)
19 Bundle of corn mostly cut off
with force (5)
20 Doctor finished shortly and
went off in a car (5)
22 Public transport’s not all
overcrowded (3)
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