3 items from 2011
I still haven't seen the edition of Question Time broadcast on 22 October 2009, and I probably never will. For me, it was the culmination of two weeks of total tumult, simply because I said yes. The politicians on the panel – Jack Straw, Baroness Warsi, Chris Huhne and Nick Griffin – had minders; some of them even had coaches to help them through. I had nothing: nothing to prevent journalists from ringing me 24/7, nothing to prevent the media speculating as to whether I was up to it or not. I was given advice in cabs, on the tube, in shops. Half my friends were violently against me doing it.
But as the daughter of a Mississippian who had to leave his home state because he spoke his mind, »
- Bonnie Greer
The 31-year-old show has never been more influential. Is it the news agenda, the brilliant panellists, or just David Dimbleby that makes it so watchable?
It might have gone through a dodgy phase where either Will Young, Alex James or H from Steps were on the panel every week outlining their thoughts on the single currency (only one of those three is a joke) but Question Time is now stronger than ever. Tonight it returns with a debate marking the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. It's agenda-setting influence has never been so powerful. Ratings have never been higher, and it consistently manages to set the Twittersphere ablaze every Thursday night with a no-frills discussion format that has changed little in 31 years.
It's strange for a programme to enter what is arguably its golden era at this stage, but these are strange times. After years of general apathy and disillusionment, »
- Sam Delaney
8.30pm; 9.30pm, E4
Judging by their clatteringly unsubtle format similarities, it's not unfair to suggest that these new Us sitcoms are taking a shot at becoming the new Friends. Perfect Couples even boasts the cloying soundtrack jingles between scenes. Whether you loved or hated it, Friends had sturdy gags by the truckload. Perfect Couples, however, goes tediously weighty on the analysis and introversion; while Happy Endings, which seems to feature a cast of lookalikes of better comedy actors, gives it a few too many "bro"s. Ben Arnold
Gwen is back in Wales, keeping her ill dad hidden from the heartless only-following-orders government enforcers. With only one more episode to go, aren't there more pressing »
- Ben Arnold, Phelim O'Neill, David Stubbs, Andrew Mueller
3 items from 2011