Does Andrew Davies prefer Kevin Spacey’s version of ‘House of Cards’ to his own?

2 April 2014 11:07

It sounds like the screenwriter of the original House of Cards prefers the US version, although, of course, he couldn’t possibly comment. Andrew Davies, who adapted the BBC version from… Continue reading

Made In Chelsea Perfume Launch - Arrivals

They’re not all made of money on ‘Made in Chelsea’

31 March 2014 17:34

With the new season of Made in Chelsea set to air in on Channel 4 next week, I hear that all is not well in SW3. Extras and cast members… Continue reading

Tonight's edition of Dispatches on Channel 4 will reveal that at least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts in the last two years. (Image: Getty/PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Burning foetuses to heat hospitals: a perfect metaphor for modern Britain

24 March 2014 18:16

By way of a metaphor for the way the NHS and, come to that, the law regards foetuses, you can’t really better the reality, viz, that foetal remains from abortions… Continue reading

Rose Leslie. Image: Getty

Life imitates art as Game of Thrones returns to our screens

24 March 2014 15:48

The last season of Game of Thrones ended while a rough and ready rabble from north of ‘the wall’ were preparing to make life difficult for the establishment down south… Continue reading

The media pack, desperate for something to report on missing MH370, has decamped to Perth.

Can we stop 24 hour news?

21 March 2014 9:39

As there is an intermittent debate over media ethics in this country, might we reflect on the following? The story of the missing Malaysian plane is an unimaginable nightmare for… Continue reading

Investigation In Jimmy Savile Allegations Continues

When Free Speech isn’t free

13 March 2014 14:33

BBC3’s Free Speech programme is a good example of why the channel deserves to be shut down. Aimed at giving a voice to young people it is endlessly dumbing-down, seeks… Continue reading

(Photo: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)

Janet Street Porter chickens out of Mensch showdown

27 February 2014 11:58

Gobby Janet Street Porter has been silenced – for today at least. She pulled out of this morning’s edition of the BBC’s Daily Politics just two hours before broadcast when she… Continue reading

ITV's Take Me Out: the new Blind Date. Photo: Talkback Thames/ITV

Saturday night telly worth staying in for

23 February 2014 12:00

If you don’t go out on a Saturday night, you stay in and imagine what it would be like to be out. And if you do that, there’s a chance… Continue reading

Borgen actress Birgitte Hjort Sorensen.

Denmark’s ban on ritual slaughter is not kosher

20 February 2014 10:16

Fey metropolitan ponce that am I, I love nothing better than curling up on the sofa with my partner to watch a Scandinavian drama. Borgen, The Killing; we haven’t got… Continue reading

Is 'Sherlock' compassionate or imaginative?

Writers tend to the Left because they have imagination, not compassion

10 February 2014 14:00

I apologise for writing a blogpost about a tweet, which can look a bit like over-analysis, but I was intrigued by a couple of things that writer Graham Linehan wrote… Continue reading

Actress and director Lena Dunham is at the centre of a body-ogling row between two women's publications. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Ugliness and cynicism – all in the name of feminism

21 January 2014 12:27

Another day, another ‘victory’ in the name of feminism. Jezebel, the feminist blog aimed at women’s interests, last week offered $10,000 to anyone who could provide them with ‘unaltered’ images… Continue reading


Educating Yorkshire was, for the most part, self-indulgent pap

28 October 2013 9:28

I don’t know if you’ve seen the documentary series, Educating Yorkshire, which has been as depressing as you might imagine from the title. Some of the teachers in the film… Continue reading

Local radio and Five Live do a much better job of reflecting the concerns and opinions of middle England than TV does. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

Radio is more representative of middle England than TV

15 October 2013 12:45

Greetings from the 2013 Radio Festival, in Salford. I’m here to take part in a debate about whether or not radio reflects the opinions and concerns of a broad enough… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

4 October 2013 17:18

The latest adaptation of one of Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s books is Filth  - a film so filthy that Deborah Ross had to ‘endure’ the film ‘from behind her hands’.… Continue reading

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2009/10 A-League Season Launch Portrait Session

Robbie Fowler’s simile was bad, not sexist

30 September 2013 14:40

Viewers of Saturday’s edition of Final Score on BBC 1 would have seen former Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler apologising (doubtless after a prompt from the voice in his ear-piece) for using… Continue reading


Tory MP wins the Game of Thrones

30 September 2013 13:06

There can only be one winner when you play the Game of Thrones. Any fan will tell you that. The victor, though, always comes as surprise: witness below Tory backwoodsman… Continue reading

spec play

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

27 September 2013 17:51

When you hear the words ‘English art’, there are very few people who would immediately think of embroidery. As Dan Jones said when he was asked if he would like… Continue reading


A bridge too far for Ian Katz

16 September 2013 17:54

More adventures in television from new Newsnight boss Ian Katz. Fresh from his truthful-if-embarrassing slating of Labour’s Rachel Reeves, I hear that Katz has upset another Labour big-wig, Alistair Darling.… Continue reading

David Dimbleby - Book Signing

There are upsides to live TV, but being spanked by David Dimbleby is not one of them

9 July 2013 18:05

Belated thanks to readers who wrote in about the BBC’s Question Time last week (still viewable here). It was a slightly odd edition, I thought. The panel – Margaret Hodge,… Continue reading

Clive James has translated The Divine Comedy by Dante (pictured).

Clive James – laughing and loving

8 July 2013 17:19

Clive James was a recurring presence in last weekend’s literary press. There was, I regret to say, a valedictory feel to the coverage. Robert McCrum, of the Guardian, was not… Continue reading

'Sex And The City' has been blamed for the disappearance of lice.

Save lice!

7 July 2013 12:39

Someone alert the World Wildlife Fund and Sir David Attenborough. Yet another indigenous British creature is facing extinction, its ranks denuded to almost nothing by arrogant human behaviour. In particular… Continue reading

Enthusiasts Take Part In The Annual Reenactment Of The Battle Of Hastings

The 10 “best” historical novels, sort of…

19 June 2013 11:35

The BBC adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen, which began last Sunday, has led numerous books editors to pick their 10 best historical novels. I played this silly dinner… Continue reading

Scotland's First Minister Launches His Economic Paper For Independence

Prime Time for Nationalists: STV screens a 60 minute advert for the SNP

5 June 2013 13:04

Until now, television coverage of Scotland’s independence referendum has largely been confined to news bulletins and specialist, late night, political programmes unwatched by most of the general public. In that… Continue reading

The Family at Home

Scenes of domestic bliss, chez Liddle

25 April 2013 10:57

I was sitting on the stoop with a cigarette after dinner while my wife browsed the television channels to see if there was anything we might want to watch. Eventually… Continue reading


At home with the Balls family

22 April 2013 16:57

Do you recall The Politician’s Wife by Paula Milne? It was a TV drama that aired in the dying days of the Major government. Milne recognised that Major’s government was more… Continue reading