tue 15/10/2019

reality TV

CD: James Arthur - You

It’s an easy joke to suggest that James Arthur needs an editor. By this point, the 31-year-old singer is almost as famous for his lyrical mis-steps and ill-advised use of Twitter as his 2012 The X Factor victory. You, his third album, seems to have...

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The Great British Bake Off, Episode 7, Channel 4 review - bakers hampered by pointless celebrities

What’s extraordinary about Bake Off is not just the staggering complexity of the cooking challenges, but the amount of technical shenanigans that go into turning it into a finished programme (actually, spoiler-averse Channel 4 had teasingly left the...

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Saving Lives at Sea, BBC Two review - derring-do on the ocean wave with the RNLI

Learning support officer. Student. Chip shop owner. Mobile caterer. Gym owner. These were the day jobs of some of the volunteers featured in this week’s portfolio of tales on BBC Two from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, who would all...

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Love in the Countryside, BBC Two review - reaping a harvest of marital bliss?

If you’re a farmer who works round the clock to feed sheep, milk cows and so forth, how on earth do you make time to find a partner and reap a harvest of marital bliss? Well you could ask Sara Cox if you can join in her dating game for “lonely rural...

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Sink or Swim, Channel 4 review - the Channel awaits for these celebrities

Is there any challenge that television producers haven't filmed celebrities doing? They won't be happy until they've followed a bunch of them snowboarding down an Alp while baking a cake, conducting an orchestra and researching their family history...

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Bear's Mission with David Walliams, ITV review - celebs go wild in the country

In the past, Bear Grylls has taken President Obama up an Alaskan glacier and trekked through the Swiss Alps with Roger Federer. This jaunt with David Walliams (ITV) was on a more modest scale, merely requiring the Britain’s Got Talent judge to be...

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Olly Murs, SSE Hydro, Glasgow - a little cheesy, a little laddish, but sincerely entertaining

In an alternate timeline, Olly Murs - runner-up on a TV talent show a full decade ago - would have faded into obscurity by now. This, as the relentlessly charming performer on stage delights in reminding us, is not that timeline. Some internet...

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CD: Olly Murs - You Know I Know

Olly Murs has done alright for himself. After finishing second in 2009’s X Factor, he’s managed to forge a successful pop career and made a genuinely decent fist of TV presenting (most recently as a mentor on The Voice). ...

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100 Year Old Driving School, ITV review – a warning with history

While Horizon, on BBC2, was telling us that the first person to walk on Mars could well be walking among us now, ITV's 100 Year Old Driving School suggested that the space mission could take a major setback if that wannabe astronaut were to...

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The Great British Bake Off, Channel 4 review – a cake with adverts is still a cake

By the outrage it prompted, you’d be forgiven for thinking that The Great British Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 was a national disaster. If only the public felt so indignant about the sale of the Post Office, or the creeping privatisation of a...

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Election Night 2017, BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, Sky News

The latest test of the nation’s perseverance and patience – a snap election called just before the negotiations for Brexit are due to start – seemed like an extraordinary act of hubris at the start. The initial billing of “Strong and...

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Mutiny, Channel 4

The masochistic reality show heralds a culture with an inferiority complex. There have been documentary re-running the race to the South Pole. Countless series place modern Britons in historical contexts where the dietary, sanitary and heating...

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