tue 27/07/2021

Channel 4

Before We Die, Channel 4 review - Lesley Sharp excels as a detective in crisis

Perhaps inspired by its ever-intriguing Walter Presents strand, Channel 4’s new thriller Before We Die is based on a Swedish original called Innan vi dör (“before we die” in Swedish). The action has been transplanted to Bristol, whose buildings,...

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We Are Lady Parts, Channel 4 review - female Muslim punk band rocks the house

It’s crazy, but could it possibly work? Writer Nida Manzoor (a veteran of Doctor Who and BBC Three’s sitcom Enterprice) grew up in a Muslim family, but that didn’t stop her being a fan of punk rock, Blackadder and This Is Spinal Tap. She also writes...

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The Great, Channel 4 review - Russian history gets a whirl in the fictional blender

History ain’t what it used to be, not on television at any rate. Recently we’ve witnessed the ongoing furore about the factual accuracy or otherwise of The Crown, while Bridgerton has cheekily galloped bareback over the conventional cliches of telly...

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Best of 2020: TV

Okay, so some people taught themselves the violin or wrote a novel, but under this year’s circumstances, it was inevitable that television (terrestrial, cable, online or otherwise) was going to clean up. With large chunks of the population forced to...

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Taskmaster, Channel 4 review - comedy show makes seamless transfer

After nine successful series, a Bafta and an Emmy nomination, Taskmaster has moved from Dave to Channel 4 – amusingly, the broadcaster that its creator Alex Horne first took it to but which turned it down. It has made the transition seamlessly – ie...

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The Talk, Channel 4 review - coping with the legacy of racism

Shall we talk about racism? Currently we seem to be talking about it all the time, and it’s the question non-white parents in Britain sooner or later find themselves pondering as they watch their children grow up in our increasingly confrontational...

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Our Baby: A Modern Miracle, Channel 4 review - trailblazing couple's amazing journey

On one level this documentary could be summed up as “parents have baby”, but since the parents in question are “Britain’s most prominent transgender couple”, it was a lot more complicated than that. Jake Graf used to be a woman and his wife Hannah...

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A Very British Hotel Chain: Inside Best Western, Series Finale, Channel 4 review - let's hear it for Alasdair the hotel inspector

It’s impossible to tell whether this reality-doc series (C4) came to praise Best Western hotels or kill it off entirely. Some viewers have been weeping with laughter at the David Brent-style antics of the company’s Aussie CEO Rob Paterson and his...

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Philharmonia, Channel 4 review - death on the podium

Great idea to use a symphony orchestra as the basis for a TV drama, because all of human life is there. Not to mention death, since this entertaining, though melodramatic, new French import (Channel 4) began with the dramatic collapse on the podium...

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A Very British Hotel Chain: Inside Best Western, Channel 4 review - requiem for the hospitality industry?

Do TV companies get some sort of financial incentive to use the phrase “A Very British…” in their programme titles? This now-meaningless descriptor has been applied to airlines, brothels, political coups, the Renaissance, Margaret Thatcher, sex...

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Grayson's Art Club, Channel 4 review - too many clichés and platitudes?

The national treasure that is Grayson Perry, CBE, RA, is hosting a six-episode national art club on Channel 4 for professional artists, amateur artists and the public. Since Perry came to national attention when he won the Turner Prize he has been...

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The Steph Show, Channel 4 review - magazine show debuts from host's front room

As we are learning each day during lockdown, necessity is the mother of invention. In Channel 4's case, it is learning how the wonders of modern technology can save a situation: to wit, The Steph Show was meant to come live daily from a shiny...

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