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17/02/2019 08:15:17  

A wondrous week for crime drama saw the return of young Morse, a final series of Shetland, and Iceland’s Trapped

Endeavour (ITV) | itv.com
Shetland (BBC One) | iPlayer
Trapped (BBC Four) | iPlayer
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix) | netflix.com
The Making of Me (Channel 4) | channel4.com
Storyville: Under the Wire (BBC Four) | iPlayer

An arm is washed ashore on a remote beach. A body is found lying below a pylon: flowers in her hair, and a white horse whinnies. A shambling man forcibly hugs his twin sister outside the Icelandic parliament, and sets them both gruesomely on fire. Welcome, then, to this year’s first splendid week of modern crime thrillers: there can have been few single weeks in which we have had such a quality surfeit. And, intriguingly, all on terrestrial, known by some who should know better than to patronise as “council telly”.

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17/02/2019 08:15:04  

A young girl in Margate finds escape from her bleak life through comedy, but there’s no such luck for the audience

James Gardner’s Margate-set feature debut attempts to wring comedy from disaster, but at times its protagonist’s lot seems too bleak to transcend. Foul-mouthed 15-year-old Sarah Taylor (Liv Hill) is her family’s sole provider, skipping school to pick up shifts as a cleaner at the local arcade and soliciting handjobs by the bins for extra cash while her depressed mother (a believably manic Sinead Matthews) remains bedridden and unfit for work. She resists when her performing arts teacher (Cyril Nri) asks her to channel her frustrations into a comedy monologue, but eventually finds some release in standup.

Frustrating, then, that the film itself doesn’t offer the same catharsis and instead simply deflates as it approaches its conclusion. Newcomer Hill is compelling in the serious moments; she’s brilliantly calculated in a scene that sees her seduce, spar with and swindle an older estate agent so sleazy his beer breath practically emanates from the screen. Yet though Hill’s performance enlivens an overwritten script, her jokes never quite land, undermining the film’s basic premise.

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16/02/2019 16:15:09  

From the 1960s to the 1980s, music from afar united Paris and London in a vibrant cultural age. A new exhibition celebrates the era

London, 1962: the Rolling Stones make their debut at the Marquee Club and the Beatles arrive from Liverpool to record their first single, Love Me Do. Across the Channel, the “French Elvis” Johnny Hallyday, Françoise Hardy, Georges Brassens and Brigitte Bardot are topping the music charts.

So far, so European, but the music scene in both capitals would soon undergo a profound transformation. Waves of migrants shipped to London from newly independent British West Indian colonies – the Windrush generation – and to Paris from former French colonies in north and sub-Saharan Africa, were trying to adapt to new lives and make themselves heard. Many did so through music.

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16/02/2019 12:15:21  

Far from the usual cynical reality fare, this new show invites us to root for the emotionally wounded

“Men are trash – in particular Ryan,” announces Nikita from Cardiff, minutes before sitting down to dinner with him to pick over the rubble of their relationship. Nikita and Ryan are former work colleagues who dated for two years, during which he cheated on her and insisted they kept their relationship a secret. So now Nikita wants answers, or closure, or possibly to rekindle their romance. Quite honestly, Nikita is not sure what she wants from Ryan other than a free dinner. If making that happen means going on telly to have her heart smashed to pieces all over again, then so be it.

The natural successor to Channel 4’s First Dates, Eating With My Ex (Tuesdays, BBC Three) invites assorted twentysomethings to blow sad snot bubbles over plates of spaghetti while reassessing past relationships. Under the gaze of bored-looking waiting staff, the show delivers awkward yet mesmerising dissections of love gone sour. Each of the couples’ plates arrive with doleful questions inscribed on the rim, among them “Were we good together?”, “Did you cheat on me?” and “Will we see each other again?”, a flourish designed to inject drama but also, one suspects, because not all the participants can be trusted to tie their own shoelaces, let alone keep the conversation flowing over a two-course meal.

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15/02/2019 17:14:43  

The channel’s cinema wing has 13 nominations at this year’s Academy Awards, only two fewer than Netflix. A blip in the system or a new phase for the British film industry?

The Brits are off to the Oscars next Sunday, although it’s unlikely many of them will come home with an award. The highest-profile nominees – Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Christian Bale and Richard E Grant – may dominate the headlines, and, in the case of the first two, the Baftas, but all are outside chances at the Academy Awards, set to be pipped to the post by American actors.

Yet in one corner of central London, awards season has, for some years now, been soundtracked by the constant noise of corks popping. Film4, the feature-film production arm of Channel 4, has, over the past few years, established itself as a pint-sized Oscars powerhouse. This year, it has a total of 13 Academy Award nominations, thanks to The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos’s Queen Anne romp starring Colman, Weisz and Emma Stone, and Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski’s follow-up to Ida.

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15/02/2019 15:14:37  

The writing is increasingly on the wall for the ludicrously expensive HS2 scheme after a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation this week revealed the ballooning cost of the white elephant project, with fears that the final bill could be as high as £100 billion. The investigation claimed that ministers have already secretly increased HS2’s budget allocation […]

The post High Speed Fail: Now California Ditches HS2 Equivalent appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

14/02/2019 23:14:14  

LG's next upcoming flagship smartphone is the LG G8, which is expected to debut at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month. While much of the phone is similar to last year's model, LG yesterday announced some news on the phone's audio capabilities. "The phone uses the same 'Crystal Sound OLED' branding that LG has used on some of its TVs before; this means that the entire display will vibrate to work as a speaker, which was previously rumored," reports The Verge. "The news also confirms that the G8 will be the first flagship G-series phone not to use an LCD." From the report: The G8 still has a bottom-facing speaker for louder use cases like speakerphone calls, and LG says this can be paired with the top part of the screen for 2-channel stereo sound. Elsewhere, the signature quad DAC from LG's recent flagship phones returns -- which means there'll be a headphone jack -- as does the "Boombox Speaker" functionality that produces surprisingly bassy sound when the phone is placed on a table. LG has already confirmed that the G8 will have a front-facing 3D camera with a time-of-flight sensor, while rumors suggest there could be an optional second screen accessory.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

14/02/2019 11:15:08  

This week’s round-up also features a Nascar crash, the World Club Challenge and parkour

1) Farewell, then, Gordon Banks. Where else to start than The Save? Or, A Version Of The Save. Here he is keeping Denis Law out at Wembley in 1967, beating the looping deflection in style. The Pathe news report on 1966 is always worth a look, not least for some jaffas of saves by our man. No patriotic conviviality a few years later when he saved a penalty from Geoff Hurst in a broiling League Cup semi-final between Stoke and West Ham. Enjoy a compilation of his top stops, soundtracked by some delicious 1960s lounge jazz. Certainly more appropriate than Sabrina Vaz (us neither) to go with this clip of the last game Banks played before the car crash that effectively ended his career as a top-class goalkeeper, although as you can see in this Channel 4 interview, he declared the loss of his right eye “not too bad.” Finally … go on then, here it is.

2) It’s the rugby league World Club Challenge this weekend, as Wigan take on the Sydney Roosters. Here’s the first official edition of the game, when Widnes turned over Canberra in 1989. And regard the time Wigan won it for the third time, a belter against Brisbane in 1994, featuring the British national anthem as played on a toy Stratocaster. The 2010 edition was a bit weird: Melbourne Storm won the game, beating Leeds Rhinos 18-10 (first half, and second here), only for them to be stripped of the title due to financial irregularities, but rather than give the crown to Leeds it was just…left in the ether.

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14/02/2019 06:14:42  

One of the most well-regarded journalists in the world, Maria Ressa has made a powerful enemy in President Duterte

Maria Ressa is one of the most highly-regarded journalists in the Philippines. She spent two decades working as an investigative reporter, foreign correspondent and both Manila and Jakarta Bureau Chief for CNN. She then headed the news division of the Philippines biggest TV news channel, ABS-CBN.

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14/02/2019 02:12:55  

HMS Victory sank in 1744 with the loss of 1,110 sailors - why have efforts to raise the ship stalled?
13/02/2019 23:14:57  

In desperate times, what else can television do to hold the rich, powerful and morally bankrupt to account?

About halfway through Skint Britain: Friends Without Benefits (Channel 4), the first of a three-part documentary series tracking the impact of replacing multiple separate welfare payments with the consolidated one known as universal credit (UC), you could honestly feel you were going mad.

First, there was the basic fact that in a system that already leaves people living hand-to-mouth or, if they are lucky, paycheck to paycheck (because various modern forms of employment, fact fans, do not do anything so retro as keep you out of poverty! Let’s hear it for progress!), the switch to UC leaves them without a payment for the first five weeks. If you are in a position to manage without income for five weeks, lucky you. And if you can’t imagine being in quite the opposite position – if you can’t imagine not even being within hailing distance of that position or knowing a single other person who is – shame on you, and would you like to take up a prominent position of your choosing in the cabinet whenever you fancy? They are looking for just your sort. There is footage, amid the shots of Nathan going hunting with his dog in the fields around Hartlepool to supplement the starvation rations he and his girlfriend are on while they await their money, of Theresa May bruiting across the Commons that the Tory party is the party that understands the working class.

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12/02/2019 23:14:49  

Through four years of caustic dissection of marriage and parenthood, the charisma, warmth and chemistry of Catastrophe’s brilliant leads ensured we went out on a high

After four scabrous series in as many years, covering sex, pregnancy, cervical dysplasia, a child whose name its father can’t pronounce, drunken encounters with stray young penises, bereavement and alcoholism in cruelly, hilariously honest fashion, Catastrophe (Channel 4) last night reached its end. Pulling, the first comedy by Catastrophe’s co-creator Sharon Horgan, is often cited (perhaps because it was so misunderstood, and cruelly cut off in its prime, by the commissioning powers-that-be) as her masterwork. Even its brilliance is but a candle to the blazing beacon that is the story of American ad man Rob Norris (played by Catastrophe’s co-creator Rob Delaney), Irish schoolteacher Sharon and their journey from one-week stand and accidental pregnancy to married parents of two living in domestic bli-… well, living happily together. Well, living together with enough moments of happiness to make it worthwhile. Probably.

Related: Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney on sex, parenthood and Catastrophe

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12/02/2019 18:10:36  

The trains will run on time - at least temporarily - while the UK and EU renegotiate terms.
12/02/2019 16:13:24  

The EU Commission has this afternoon published legislation on ‘Railway safety and connectivity’ which would guarantee the Channel Tunnel remains open for three months after a no deal Brexit, enough time for the UK and France to renegotiate the treaty that provides the legal underpinning for the crossing. Another piece of a managed no deal that Brexiteers […]

The post Channel Tunnel To Remain Open If No Deal appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

12/02/2019 14:15:02  

Governor to undergo training after flaws found in rulings filmed for documentary series

A prison governor has been ordered to undergo training after delivering two unlawful verdicts in jail adjudications that were watched by more than a million TV viewers.

The verdicts have been quashed and all adjudications the governor has made are to be reviewed. The governor also told a prisoner on camera that staff who felt threatened by inmates were “allowed to strike them”, in clear breach of prison rules on the use of force.

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12/02/2019 13:15:06  

Caustic Coastal, Salford
In this collaboration between musician Beatrice Dillon and artist Keith Harrison, sound directs all manner of gloop and goo

This collaboration between experimental electronic musician Beatrice Dillon and artist Keith Harrison – presented by Outlands, a new national experimental music touring network – brings a warehouse space in Salford rumbling to life with an interweaving collision of sound and vision. Speakers circle the room, and in the middle, varying sizes of speaker cones are built into plastic crates with strip lighting scattered throughout. Within the cones are a variety of materials from fluffy powders to sugar-like granules, coloured liquids and not-yet-firm homemade play-dough. As Dillon begins playing through the multi-channel system, the speaker cones reverberate and bounce, interacting with the materials and sending mini powder-bursts rocketing or creating rippling and immersive shapes that move from fluid patterns to gooey pulses.

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12/02/2019 13:10:44  

The BBC Scotland channel's flagship news programme has revealed the first picture of its talent line-up.
12/02/2019 12:19:55  

A new Channel 4 documentary meets those struggling on the new benefit – and gives the lie to ministers’ cheery PR

You have to hand it to Nathan: benefit-sanctioned, hungry, and waiting weeks for the renewal of his universal credit payment, he takes the dog out into the fields and catches himself a rabbit for dinner. Back at home he and his partner, Abbey, skin it. They eat rabbit soup, the dog gets to chew on the rabbit head. There may be few jobs, the dole doesn’t stretch far, and the price of baked beans has gone up; but starvation can be held at bay, he reckons, if you are prepared to hunt wild animals.

Related: The Guardian view on universal credit: flawed calculations | Editorial

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12/02/2019 08:14:39  

A new US channel shows freshly colourised 20th century footage and the peerless Catastrophe ends in tears

If you assumed PBS America had exhausted the supply of classy, if slightly staid, factual shows, think again: here’s a channel of the stuff from the Smithsonian Institution. The opening night headliner, America in Color, attempts to bring jazz-age America to life in the way Peter Jackson’s film They Shall Not Grow Old did for the first world war. The series covers the 1920s to the 1960s and is narrated by Liev Schreiber. Upcoming highlights include a real-life Green Book and an aerial view of Ireland. Available on Sky, Freesat and Virgin. Gwilym Mumford

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11/02/2019 18:10:38  

The singer's family claim the Leaving Neverland documentary breaks programming guidelines.
11/02/2019 15:14:42  

Letter is latest broadside from family over Channel 4-HBO documentary about men who accuse singer of molesting them

Channel 4 has rebuffed a letter from the Michael Jackson estate which warns that a documentary about two men who accuse the singer of molesting them as boys violates its programming guidelines.

Related: 'Secrets will eat you up' – inside the shocking Michael Jackson documentary

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11/02/2019 00:14:35  

French footballer among those who have donated £120,000 to help David Ibbotson’s family

More than £120,000 has been raised by a campaign to restart the search for the pilot of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala, with Gary Lineker and Kylian Mbappé among those to have donated.

A page raising funds to continue the search for David Ibbotson, who was flying the plane carrying the Argentine footballer when it crashed in the Channel, was set up on Friday.

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10/02/2019 08:14:19  

Dominic West led Les Misérables to a triumphant close, England was brought to life through Don McCullin’s lens, and Ade Adepitan looked at Africa anew

Les Misérables (BBC One) | iPlayer
Das Boot (Sky Atlantic)
Don McCullin: Looking for England (BBC Four) | iPlayer
Africa With Ade Adepitan (BBC Two) | iPlayer
Catastrophe (C4) | All 4

How untickled I have grown at constant comparisons drawn between Les Misérables, which drew to a sombre, score-settling, ultimately triumphant close last week, and War and Peace, the Beeb’s big January drama three full years ago. Other than the fact they were both bog-blockingly big reads - Les Mis ran to 1,900 pages in the French – and adapted, with nothing less than a genius for abridgement, by the very same man, Andrew Davies, Tolstoy’s tight sprawl fused place, time and character indissolubly, whereas Hugo’s was the story of two men that just happened to be set against the Parisian barricades.

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09/02/2019 20:14:36  

Nantes and Cardiff deserve enormous praise for the touching and sincere tributes to Emiliano Sala but it is grim to see the row over transfer instalments played out in public

If nothing else, at least there is a body now. Emiliano Sala’s family can grieve properly. A funeral can take place and, tragic as it is, it has to be better this way rather than finding out it was not him in the wreckage of that plane at the bottom of the English channel. At least Sala has been recovered and, as Neil Warnock has said, the family can hopefully find some peace rather than the alternative of him being lost at sea, possibly for ever.

Not the pilot, though. The family of David Ibbotson may never have that comfort. The search has stopped now and how can anyone even begin to comprehend the kind of shattering grief and stress they must have endured before, during and after the identification process? It was only going to be one of the two. For the friends and family of Sala, the arrangements can be made to repatriate him to Argentina. As for the second person on that Piper PA-46 Malibu, flying from Nantes to Cardiff, nothing so far. Awfully, there is no guarantee that is ever going to change.

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09/02/2019 12:14:25  

Empty seats, low rankings and an ever-present ‘fear of winning’. What has gone wrong across the Channel?

On Thursday, the French rugby club Carcassonne announced that they were entering into a commercial partnership with the pornographic website Jacquie et Michel, on the grounds that they “share values of power, endurance, and vigour”.

Carcassonne’s general manager, Christine Menardeau-Planchenault, explained that “as a family club” they had put limits on what Jacquie et Michel could get up to. “There won’t be any naked young women at half-time or any naked rugby,” she explained. Despite that, Menardeau-Planchenault added that while it is normally “hard to get people to the stadium”, tickets for their upcoming match against Biarritz were now “flying out of the box office”.

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