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 – 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 […]

TV Review – Simon Schama’s Face of Britain

“Don’t go. Don’t change. Stay with me.” Thus spake Simon Schama in an unusual apostrophe that began the fourth, penultimate episode of Face of Britain, his history of British portraiture. If it sounded like a fairly shameless appeal to channel-hoppers it was unnecessary: this was Schama the Charmer at his absolute best, quietly provocative, unpredictable, […]