thu 19/01/2017

BBC Two

Hospital, BBC Two

It’s the ghastly scenario of a grim morality play. A man called Simon comes into hospital for the removal of a tumour in his oesophagus and the construction of a new food pipe. But there are not enough berths in the intensive therapy unit to ensure...

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David Bowie: The Last Five Years, BBC Two

It’s been 12 months since the news guy wept and told us: David Bowie, ever out in front, became the first to depart in the year of musical mortality 2016. After the initial lamentations, the memorial tributes have been a mixed bag. Best was the...

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The World's Most Extraordinary Homes, BBC Two

This was the first of four programmes looking at houses made of extraordinary materials in various environments, some extreme. We began with "Mountain", and further explorations are promised to "Coast", "Forest" and "Underground". The presenters...

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Judi Dench: All the World's Her Stage, BBC Two

The hyperbole began as soon as the voiceover did: “For most of us Judi Dench is M…” So much for Bernard Lee. The implication was that if you can remember him, then Judi Dench: All the World’s Her Stage was not for you. After all, she played James...

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Lenny Henry: A Life on Screen, BBC Two

You couldn’t make him up – a big man in every sense, outspoken, spiky, adored, coming from a black working-class family to move from the proverbial nothing to become so much more than something. How to make a documentary tribute without it being...

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The Brits Who Designed the Modern World, BBC Two

The Kenwood Chef! Intercity 125! Kodak Instamatic! Wilkinson Sword disposable razors! Bus shelters! Parking meters! They were all designed by a British genius, Sir Kenneth Grange, who appeared here as the subject of a short and disarmingly confident...

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NW, BBC Two

“Why is everyone from your school a criminal crackhead?” “Why is everyone from yours a Tory minister?” These questions lie at the heart of Zadie Smith’s NW. Keisha (the wonderful Nikki Amuka-Bird), aka Natalie, is married to wealthy Frank (Jake...

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The Choir: Gareth's Best in Britain, BBC Two

Got Soul! Honeybelles! Mums in Durham! Three shortlisted finalists from the north and Scotland. Along the way we – and Gareth Malone – were sung to by the Mancunian Rhythm of Life, not to mention Too Many Cooks in Inverness, and a septuagenarian all...

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A World Without Down's Syndrome?, BBC Two

We’re all comfortable with the concept of actors presenting documentaries about endangered species. A famous name helps to bring an issue into the light. It was slightly different with A World Without Down’s Syndrome? Sally Phillips, the much-loved...

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Louis Theroux: Savile, BBC Two

The procedure of introductions in Louis Theroux: Savile seemed somehow more elaborate than usual. Knocking on the door of those he was about to talk to for what might have been dubbed “Savile Revisited”, Louis Theroux was unusually careful about his...

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The Fall, Series 3, BBC Two

The cliffhanger ending of series two – will serial killer Paul Spector survive his gunshot wounds? – has been quietly defused, since Spector (Jamie Dornan) now has series three stretching out ahead of him. What was less expected was that this opener...

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Damned, Channel 4/ Morgana Robinson's The Agency, BBC Two

Damned (★★★) is the third comedy drama in what could be termed Jo Brand's social/healthcare triptych (after Getting On, set in a geriatric hospital ward, and Going Forward, in which she appeared as a care-home worker). Damned, in which she also...

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