tue 16/04/2024

tv

The South Bank Show, ITV1

Adam Sweeting

They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and despite its sometimes erratic quality control, the loss of The South Bank Show (ITV1) is going to be like having a leg sawn off TV's arts coverage.

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Trinity, ITV2

Gerard Gilbert

Secondary school teachers accused of not pointing their brighter students towards Oxbridge might feel vindicated by ITV2’s Trinity - although the messages were a little mixed. On the one hand the fictional elitist university college in this new teen dramedy-thriller is dominated by sadistic, floppy-fringed toffs and their debauched secret societies. On the other hand some state-educated freshers might quite like the idea of being asked by lithe, blue-blooded blondes, “Have you ever...

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The Cut (episode five), BBC Switch

Jasper Rees

“If you've been affected by any of the issues in this episode, click here.” I wouldn’t bother. Really. In fact I haven’t put the link in. They are – trust me - just ticking boxes. Some kind of Ofcom diktat. “If you’ve been affected bla bla bla,” it says when you click, “here are the details of organisations that can provide help and support.” It’s a long old list. You’ve probably not got the time, but here goes.

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Spiral, Series 2, BBC Four

Adam Sweeting

Though our French cousins like to boast of their superiority to the Anglo-Saxons in every sphere of endeavour, the Paris-based police dama Spiral, returning after a three-year absence, suggests that the Cartesian paradise across the Channel is under siege.

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The Cut (episode four), BBC Switch

Jasper Rees

I have a little story concerning correct usage. Several years ago, when BBC Three had yet to overtake Channel 5 and VH1 as perhaps the world’s leading purveyor of documentaries about breasts and suchlike, I received a press release in the post. The young channel’s fresh approach to quality control on screen had percolated through to its publicity department.

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The Cut (episode three), BBC Switch

Jasper Rees

Last night the latest segment of the BBC’s new online soap for teens played on computer screens across the land. OK, if we’re splitting hairs, it wasn’t technically last night. The show is streamed every afternoon at ten past five. However, the grand Panjandrum who pulls most of the strings round here advises that frontloading your opening paragraph with last+night this and last+night that will hoik you rapidly up the squash ladder that is Google Search.

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The Cut (episode two), BBC Switch

Jasper Rees

The Beeb’s bold new experiment continues: to dish out a daily online teen soap in five-minute episodes. Am just about over the cyber-stress of Sunday’s part one. Couple of streaming issues were in play. Basically my laptop took to it like a boa wolfing down a rhino. All ironed out now. I can happily report that part two didn’t even touch the sides.

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Design for Life, BBC2

Gerard Gilbert Design for Life: Meet the Starck 'tribe'

Design for Life is a new BBC2 series about the philosophy of Philippe Starck, he of the iconic ‘space rocket’ lemon-juicer, in the form of an Apprentice-style reality show. It was also an intriguing insight into the control exercised by producers of such shows - for, unlike The Apprentice et al, the choice of contestants and the nature of the challenges were left to Starck himself. ‘Bloody terrifying’ was how Joe Houlihan, the executive producer, described to me the...

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The Cut (episode one), BBC Switch

Jasper Rees

Appointment-to-view content. That’s what they’re calling it. Not drama. Not soap. Content. Which you have to make an appointment to view. Although you actually don’t because it’s all on the iPlayer but let's let that pass. Here I am on BBC Switch, 8.10 sharp, for the Beeb’s first online daily soap, The Cut.

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Harper's Island

Adam Sweeting

Caught in a crossfire between licence-payers and rival media groups, the BBC has reached the frankly surreal conclusion that the answer is to cut down on imported programmes. Luckily Harper's Island (BBC3) has snuck in under the wire.

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