tue 23/07/2019

tv

Beyond good and evil: Silk goes to court

Adam Sweeting Maxine Peake and Rupert Penry-Jones (second left and centre) head the cast of Peter Moffat's new six-part legal series

The legal drama has become a staple of stage and screen, for a variety of excellent reasons. All of human life really is there, from love and hate to good and evil, crammed into the claustrophobic cockpit of the courtroom. Adding an extra squirt of kerosene to an already explosive mix is the fact that, as Dr Gregory House likes to say, “Everybody lies.”

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Interview: Film Director Beeban Kidron

Hilary Whitney 'People do not have proper witness to their lives and I am really interested so I start asking them questions'

It’s a fairly safe bet that when director Beeban Kidron made her first film, the documentary Carry Greenham Home (1983), she never envisaged that 20 years later she’d be directing a whopping great blockbuster about a Chardonnay-swigging young woman’s desperate quest to get a ring on her finger - Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). But then Kidron’s career trajectory has never been predictable.

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theartsdesk's Christmas Presents Guide

theartsdesk

With the lightning speed of online delivery, there is still masses of time to select the best and most enjoyable presents for Christmas, thanks to the taste and wisdom of theartsdesk's pack of writers.

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The X Factor Xamined

theartsdesk

And so we reached the climax of Series 7, long awaited by cognoscenti but greeted with mounting apathy by non-believers. Though some had held out hopes for boy - infant? - band One Direction, it was live poll favourite Matt Cardle who ultimately romped home to victory.

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John Lennon's Love and Death: 30 Years On, Part 2

james Woodall

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John Lennon's Love and Death: 30 Years On, Part 1

james Woodall

The couples profiled in the series included the likes of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Sartre and de Beauvoir, Monroe and Miller, and remoter figures from the German 19th century. Pop hadn’t made it onto the list, though I learnt, once embarked on the commission, that Lennon-Ono had been considered but no author found. In 1996, I happened to be in the right place (Berlin) at the right time.

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How To Start Schools and Influence People

Toby Young It's free: Toby Young introduces his son Freddie to Latin

"You do understand you'll have no editorial control? None. The BBC and Channel 4 are very clear about that. Control will rest solely with the broadcaster. There's absolutely no wiggle room." The speaker was Alan Hayling, editorial director of Renegade Pictures. We were sitting in Soho House and he was one of over 40 television producers who approached me last autumn with a view to making a documentary about my group's efforts to set up a Free School in west London.

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The BBC's new TV dawn for the Proms

Adam Sweeting Paul Lewis, Beethoven specialist and pioneering subject of the Q-Ball camera

For the couch-bound classical music lover, keeping up with the Proms is pretty straightforward. Step one: open bottle of agreeable claret. Step two: turn on Radio 3 and listen, or watch selected Proms on BBC Two or BBC Four. Or, indeed, catch up on the iPlayer. But needless to say, there's a colossal amount of work going on behind the scenes to make it all happen.

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Alan Plater, thinking aloud

Adam Sweeting Dramatist Alan Plater, enjoying a good yack

Alan Plater's final drama for television, Joe Maddison's War, is due to be screened on ITV this autumn. Fittingly, it gave the Jarrow-born Plater the opportunity to revisit his background in the north-east. The story is set on Tyneside during World War Two, and reflects the impact of the war on a closely knit group of working-class families. The cast looks a little like Plater's own extended family, since it includes Geordieland stalwarts Robson Green, Kevin Whately and Trevor Fox (...

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Alan Plater, 1935-2010

Jasper Rees Plater's republic: the cast of Z Cars

They don't make television writers like Alan Plater any more. He entered the profession when there was still an audience that could be relied upon to sit down in their millions and watch challenging drama from strands such as Armchair Theatre and The Wednesday Play. He made his name in that great academy of small-screen writing, Z Cars. Other than Dennis Potter, it's difficult to think of a writer who, though he also produced half a dozen novels and many stage plays...

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