sat 20/12/2014

England

The Choir: New Military Wives, BBC Two

This feelgood programme hit all the buttons with almost unerring precision, as we followed Gareth Malone's project to prepare a military wives choir for a special prom, commemorating the World War One centenary on 3 August 2014. On the way we...

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Steph and Dom Meet... Nigel Farage, Channel 4 / Bullseyes and Beer - When Darts Hit Britain, BBC Four

The idea of having a politician crossing the threshold of one's own home is enough to send most citizens diving for the Prozac (or the taser), and Nigel Farage provokes responses at the extreme end of the spectrum. Then again, Farage may have...

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Wolf Hall comes to BBC Two

You read the book, you saw the play, and in January you can see the BBC's new six-part dramatisation of Wolf Hall. Cunningly adapted by screenwriter Peter Straughan and directed by Peter Kosminsky, the series promises to be both a faithful...

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Karajan's Magic and Myth, BBC Four

There have been legendary conductors, and then there was Herbert von Karajan. He was a colossus of post-World War Two classical music, equipped with fearsome technical mastery allied to a vaguely supernatural gift for extracting exquisite sounds...

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Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty, Channel 5

Dan Jones has turned up to narrate the dramatised story of the Plantagenets in history lite mode, perhaps aimed at capturing a young audience. In Plantagenet country, as shown on TV, we witness a medieval version of soap opera family sagas where all...

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Confessions of a Copper, Channel 4

This will have brought a nostalgic tear to the eye of fans of The Sweeney (the TV show, not the Ray Winstone movie) or GF Newman's still-shocking 1978 series Law and Order. The producers had rounded up seven retired policepersons and got them to...

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The Passing Bells, BBC One

We seem to have spent most of 2014 examining the social, political, historical, geographical and military ramifications of the First World War. You would have thought, therefore, that the upcoming Remembrance Sunday commemorations could have been...

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Mr Turner

There's been much talk about Late Turner, to co-opt the name of the exhibition now on view at Tate Britain covering the last 16 years in the English artist JMW Turner's singular career. And as if perfectly timed to chime with those canvases in...

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RPO, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Zukerman, Royal Festival Hall

This concert was part of a tour of Canada’s National Arts Centre orchestra to five cities in the UK themed around the anniversary of the start of World War One. The Ottawa-based orchestra joined forces with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the...

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Neville's Island, Duke of York's Theatre

Hell is other people. It’s not the wilderness that poses the greatest threat to the stranded corporate bonding quartet in this docile Lord of the Flies-meets-The Office pastiche, but the endless stream of well-meaning incompetence. Yet while...

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A Night Under the Stars: Latin Spirit, Royal Festival Hall

London homelessness charity The Passage was set up in 1980 and has been growing steadily so that it now provides a day centre, short-term hostel and long-term housing in an effort to help street sleepers get their lives back on track. Its annual "A...

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LFF 2014: The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch leads a superb cast in The Imitation Game, the highly-anticipated biopic of Alan Turing, gifted mathematician and father of modern computing. The opening film for the LFF this year, this beautiful period drama, adapted from...

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