No Doormats, No Wets: Olivia Colman in The Night Manager

Olivia Colman’s default mode, as seen on any of the countless awards acceptance speeches she’s given in the last few years, is jokey self-effacement. She smiles uncomfortably, looks embarrassed at all the fuss, deflects the praise on to anyone else she can think of, and makes a crack at her own expense. You don’t, however, […]

Screengrab – Back in Time for the Weekend, The Secret Life of the Zoo, Cats vs Dogs

One of the immutable laws of broadcasting is that you never, ever, quit while you’re ahead. If you, or more likely someone else, hit upon a good idea then it is your civic duty to flog that horse until it’s welted carcass is carrion by the roadside. Hence The Great British Bake Off and the […]

Screengrab – The Great Sport Relief Bake Off, Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur, The Real Marigold Hotel

Some people watching The Great Sport Relief Bake Off last week will have done so because they like baking, others because they wanted to do their bit for charity, but I suspect that most of us wanted to rubberneck at the Prime Minister’s wife. We don’t know that much about Samantha Cameron, really, given that […]

Screengrab – The Getaway Car, The Comic Strip Presents… Red Top, The Story of China

  I assume that Jeremy Clarkson had a clause in his contract saying, ‘No inane, embarrassing, ratings-grabbing spin-offs from Top Gear – or not while I’m on the show.’ That can be the only explanation for why crud like The Getaway Car has not dripped from beneath the wheel arch until now. The Getaway Car […]

Screengrab – Derren Brown: Pushed to the Edge, Tracey Ullman’s Show, Crashing

Wednesday must have been a really good day for three of the four stooges who took part in Derren Brown: Pushed to the Edge on Tuesday evening. “Wow, I saw you on TV last night. You pushed someone off a building.” “Yes, but it was an experiment designed to illustrate the power of social compliance.” […]

Screengrab – War and Peace, Jericho, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands

As Downton Abbey poop poops off in to the sunset and the BBC’s new War and Peace rumbles in to view, a suggestion: British television drama should all be period drama. We should stop trying to make anything else and just stick to what we’re good at. Forget nuggety, multi-layered, contemporary binge-watch series where we […]