wed 20/03/2019

tv

The Slap: Australia’s Dramatic Maelstrom Comes to DVD

Kieron Tyler

theartsdesk’s Howard Male pointed out that The Slap was overshadowed by BBC Four’s concurrent screening of The Killing. The arrival of the series on DVD brings an opportunity to brush off the lint that might have stuck to it and consider whether it will have a staying power. Will it become a box-set essential?

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New Year Honours: Sir Tony Pappano, Helena Bonham Carter CBE - and Sir Big Brother

ismene Brown

Commercial TV's most influential and controversial figure Peter Bazalgette, mastermind of TV's Big Brother, Ground Force, Deal or No Deal and Ready, Steady, Cook!, is one of four arts knights announced in the New Year Honours. Bazalgette becomes a Sir alongside the Royal Opera House's musical director Antonio Pappano, Apple's chief designer Jonathan Ive and V&A Museum chairman and arts patron Paul Ruddock.

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Downton Abbey aims to rule Yuletide schedules

Adam Sweeting

ITV has been cunningly trailing its Christmas bumper edition of Downton Abbey, which will feature guest stars Nigel Havers and Samantha Bond and the spectacle of Mr Bates being dragged before the beak for murdering his first wife. Now that details of the Yuletide schedules have emerged, it's clear that Downton is the one to beat on Christmas Day.

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South Bank Show comes to Sky Arts

Adam Sweeting

Three years after it was, as they say, "let go" by ITV, The South Bank Show, with Melvyn Bragg at the helm, is set to return on Sky Arts in 2012. The idea has been in the wind since Sky Arts revived The South Bank Show Awards in January this year, but the news was formally announced yesterday (30 November).

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Pearl Jam Twenty doc comes to BBC Four

Adam Sweeting

Marking Pearl Jam's two decades together, long-time fan and ex-Rolling Stone writer Cameron Crowe has assembled the two-hour documentary Pearl Jam Twenty, due for an airing on BBC Four this Friday (11 November). It's a project which he's had in mind for years, and the effort which has gone into it is obvious from the amazing range and variety of footage, most of it previously unseen.

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Braquo and American Horror Story join the FX stable

Adam Sweeting

In TV's seasonal rush of Spooks, Downton etc, we must also hail the sterling (if gruesome) work going on at the FX channel. Alongside series two of The Walking Dead, they've thrown in the additional delights of gory French cop thriller Braquo and, last night, we saw the debut of the weird and scary American Horror Story.

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Natural Pursuits: Simon Gray at BFI Southbank

Jasper Rees Simon Gray: Through the glass, darkly

It’s hardly as if he needed critical resuscitation, but the work of Simon Gray is enjoying a moment in the limelight. Butley, starring Dominic West, is currently on in the West End, while in August BFI Southbank is to show a season of films written by Gray for the small screen and large.

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Just One More Thing: Peter Falk, 1927-2011

Jasper Rees Peter Falk: 'I’ve always said that Columbo was an ass-backwards Sherlock Holmes'

A few years ago I chanced upon something truly surreal. I was driving along a track in New Zealand. The way you do. There was a field on the left. In it there was a man sitting on a portable chair, a sketchpad in his lap, a pencil in his hand. Gathered in front of him, like a cluster of attentive disciples, was a tight semi-circle of cows. The man was wearing a black suit in a style popular at the end of the 19th century. The surreal bit is that, despite the grizzly beard, this was...

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Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die, BBC Two

Adam Sweeting

The argument in Terry Pratchett's BBC Two documentary Choosing to Die boiled down to the sanctity of life versus the quality of life. Pratchett's own reasoning, that he has Alzheimer's disease and would prefer to choose the manner and timing of his own death before he becomes incapable of making that decision, is eminently logical.

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Bafta TV Awards 2011

Adam Sweeting

Crikey, no gongs whatsoever for ITV1's Downton Abbey, but you can't grumble about Sherlock lifting the Best Drama Series award at last night's Baftas. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss's ingenious update of Conan Doyle for BBC One was one of 2010's telly highlights, and you might have thought it would have earned the Leading Actor award for Benedict Cumberbatch.

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