mon 25/03/2019

tv

American TV not always better, claims BBC boss Danny Cohen

Adam Sweeting

Here at theartsdesk we still receive the occasional missive from readers on several continents incensed at the BBC's axing of Zen in February 2011, a decision taken by then-controller of BBC One Danny Cohen.

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Love for Sale - Rupert Everett's guide to the oldest profession

Adam Sweeting

Anybody who has read Rupert Everett's book Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins will be well aware of his fascination with sex and prostitution, so it's no surprise to find him very much in his element as writer and presenter of the two-part Channel 4 series Love for Sale.

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theartsdesk at the Final Frontier: Trekkie weekend in Blackpool

Jasper Rees

“I don’t do the costumes,” says an intense bloke called Adrian. “That’s for people without a life. I’ve no interest in that.” Further down the corridor, or the Upper Deck as they’re calling it for one weekend only, there’s Kevin, who presumably has no life. Kevin is wearing a maroon zip-up blouson with black shoulders, retailing at £35. “Last year I wore normal clothes and I felt out of place,” he says. “I’ve been a fan for years but I’ve never had the courage to actually come to one.

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10 Questions for Screenwriter Sarah Phelps

Adam Sweeting

In a hectic writing career spanning theatre, radio, film and TV, Sarah Phelps can lay claim to such milestone moments of popular culture as both the return of Den Watts to EastEnders and his subsequent demise in 2005, and writing the screenplay for BBC One's adaptation of Dickens's Great Expectations at Christmas 2011, which starred Ray Winstone and Gillian Anderson.

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Listed: Celebrating Dylan Thomas

Jasper Rees

It won’t have escaped the attention of anyone with an ear for poetry that Dylan Thomas turns 100 this year. He was born in a suburban house on a hill overlooking Swansea Bay a few months after the outbreak of war, and by his early 20s had been hailed a significant poetic voice by TS Eliot. By 39 he was dead, hastened to his grave by a lethal combination of alcohol, pneumonia and New York doctors.

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Preview: Martin Amis's England

mark Kidel

On Sunday night, you can hear Martin Amis sound off about Englishness. An advance selection of extracts from the interview were published in the Radio Times on Tuesday. The reaction from the press was instantaneous: Amis is always good copy.

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BAFTAs 2014: Hollywood winners made in Britain

Emma Simmonds

Long before the stars had begun walking (and working) the red carpet, this year's British Academy Film Awards were a hot topic. Unfortunately it was for all the wrong reasons. A whistleblower writing for the Daily Mail alleged that many of the Academy's 6,500 members make little effort to consider the full gauntlet of options, often voting for the big-budget American favourites sight unseen.

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Listed: The 12 Derangements of Christmas

theartsdesk

We at The Arts Desk are as fond as the next person of swans-a-swimming, partridges and pear-trees, not to mention gold rings, but be honest: 'tis already the season to be jolly sick and tired of all those knee-jerk compilations of Slade, sleighbells and Celine Dion's "O Holy Night". Without wishing to audition for the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s time to admit that not everything made in the name of Christmas is of the highest artistic merit.

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'I've gone far far too early': David Coleman, voice of sport

Jasper Rees

David Coleman never said, "Juantorena opens his legs and shows his class," any more than Queen Victoria said, "We are not amused." The words belonged to Ron Pickering, but Private Eye got it wrong. The chances are that Coleman, who has died at the age of 87, was not amused. A lot of people were, however. Who knows how much damage that one mis-attribution did, how much it contributed to the image crisis that Coleman put up with for so many years?

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Sifting the Evidence: the Great Train Robbery, 50 Years On

Andy Plaice

There’s a wonderful moment in Bruce Reynolds’s autobiography when he describes what became of his mate, a fellow train robber who had fled to Canada but was hunted down by the enigmatic Tommy Butler. Four and a half years after the Great Train Robbery in which crooks made off with £2.6million, Detective Chief Superintendent Butler had come to arrest Charlie Wilson and was knocking on his door.

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