wed 26/04/2017

tv

Tim Pigott-Smith: from The Jewel in the Crown to King Charles III

jasper Rees

It is the fate of a certain type of well-spoken classically trained actor to wear the livery of the English Establishment. Tim Pigott-Smith, double-barrelled and tall with a high forehead, was one such. But the full arc of his career encompassed vast breadth: he was a gifted tragedian, and a nifty comedian. 

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Back in the Line of Duty

adam Sweeting

At the end of last year’s third series of Line of Duty, we saw the back of the reprehensible Dot “The Caddy” Cottan, and with the much-abused Keeley Hawes consigned to the show’s morgue of deceased leading characters it felt as though important matters had come to a close. I was dubious about LoD when it began in 2012, but what has gradually become apparent is that its mastermind Jed Mercurio (pictured below) has been playing a long, labyrinthine game.

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Dr Michael Scott: How to make the most of globalisation

Michael Scott

The Guardian called Brexit “a rejection of globalisation.” That’s as may be, but the reality is we cannot, however much we might want to, check out of the globalised world in which we live. Globalisation has defined the 20th and 21st century and while the future is uncertain, one thing we can sure about is that it will continue to become ever more inter-connected.

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John Hurt: 'If I’ve been anything I’ve been adventurous'

jasper Rees

John Hurt, who has died at the age of 77, belonged to that great generation of British thespians who started in the 1960s and eventually, one by one, ended up knighted: Michael Gambon, Albert Finney, Ian McKellen, Anthony Hopkins, Ian Holm, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Jacobi. Of them all, Hurt was the outsider. It’s impossible to imagine an alien springing from any midriff but his.

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Interview: Claire Foy, Netflix queen

jasper Rees

It was a good night for British thespians at the 2016 Golden Globes. The stars of The Night Manager – Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman – all visited the podium to collect awards.

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The wisdom and wit of Carla Lane

jasper Rees

Carla Lane, who has died at the age of 87, was the first from Liverpool. Before Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell, long before Jimmy McGovern, hers was the loudest Liverpudlian voice on television portraying ordinary working people's lives. From The Liver Birds to Bread, from Butterflies to Solo, her comedies covered the waterfront of womanhood: husband-hunters, divorcees, matriarchal grandmothers, unhappy wives, mistresses.

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Antonia Bird: 'I get lumped together with Ken Loach'

jasper Rees

Antonia Bird died in 2013 at the age of 62. The last television drama with her name on it was the first series of The Village, but the career which is celebrated in the BBC Four documentary Antonia Bird: From EastEnders to Hollywood were from a golden age of single drama. You always knew you were watching a film by Bird. She made a name with single-issue films with single-syllable titles.

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Victoria Wood: 'Please could you repeat the question?'

jasper Rees

Victoria Wood was a very private national treasure. Not for her the tawdry catwalk of Twitter nor the klaxon of the confessional memoir. She wasn't comfortable talking to journalists and when she found one whom she could just about trust, she stuck with them.

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Peter Bowker on making 'The A Word'

Saskia Baron

Films, TV and books about autism often send me down memory lane; my older brother Timothy was one of the first children in the UK to be diagnosed with autism in the early 1960s, and I’ve kept a wary eye on how autism is portrayed ever since I can remember. But I wasn’t expecting the new BBC One drama, The A Word, to inspire a wave of nostalgia for Peter Perrett and The Only Ones, last seen at some grungy punk venue back in the late Seventies.

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First Person: The Estate We're In

Fran Robertson

Situated next to the beautiful Welsh Harp reservoir in North London, the West Hendon council estate was built in the 1960s to provide 680 homes to low income families. I first went there in November 2014. I had been following various housing stories around London and had heard about an estate where residents were fighting a multi-million pound regeneration which was forcing them out of their homes and where land valued at £12 million had been sold to developers for just £3.

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