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Darcus Howe, writer, broadcaster and activist, dies aged 74

Bonnie Greer and Diane Abbott among those leading tributes to Trinidad-born campaigner who became prominent civil rights figure in the UK

Darcus Howe, the broadcaster, writer and civil rights campaigner, has died aged 74. His family announced his death in a statement released on Sunday that read: “Darcus died quietly and unexpectedly in his sleep on the evening of Saturday 1 April. Our private grief is inseparable from our public pride.”

Howe, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, lived in Brixton, south London, for 30 years and was well known for his Channel 4 series Black on Black and late-night current affairs programme The Devil’s Advocate.

Related: Darcus Howe obituary

May u Rip Darcus Howe. British #BlackPanther & a pioneer in the fight for #equality in UK.I enjoyed our last talk immensely & learned much. pic.twitter.com/fOi5wYy3fg

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Bonnie Greer: why I turned my Question Time appearance with Nick Griffin into an opera

In October 2009, the BBC controversially invited BNP leader Nick Griffin on to Question Time. Fellow panellist Bonnie Greer ended up writing a libretto about the experience

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,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Question Time: this is its golden era

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,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 08/09/2011

Perfect Couples; Happy Endings | Torchwood: Miracle Day | The Story Of British Pathé | The Ta And The Taliban | Celebrity Big Brother: The Final | Question Time 9/11 Special

Perfect Couples; Happy Endings

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

Torchwood: Miracle Day

9pm, BBC1

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
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV review: Beckii: Schoolgirl Superstar at 14

Beckii is 15 and famous in Japan for dancing on the web. Isn't that a little bit odd?

Rebecca Flint, or Beckii Cruel as she renamed herself, has big eyes, a sharp chin, fluffy hair and slender limbs. It's a look that, in the cartoon worlds of anime and manga, is about as cute as it gets. So when Beckii posted a video of herself dancing to a Japanese pop song in her bedroom at home on the Isle of Man, she became an instant internet sensation 6,000 miles away in Japan. She's the subject of Beckii: Schoolgirl Superstar at 14 (BBC3), a fascinating but worrying documentary.

Beckii's parents' first thought was: "Hang on, what's going on here then?" But then a couple of things persuaded them that it was all actually Ok. First of all, there's the fact that in Japan it's perfectly acceptable for pretty young girls to be worshipped in
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Happy Soul film festival from April 20-30 in London

Happy Soul film festival from April 20-30 in London
The Happy Soul film festival 2010 will run from 20th -30th April in London. The two-week, free festival will comprise over 20 film-screenings and well-being themed events taking place in Kingston, Wimbledon, Merton, Lambeth, Sutton and Richmond.

Films being showcased during the festival include: the BAFTA and Oscar award-winning Precious, London River which is set during the 7/7 terrorist attacks on London, The Color Purple, the Iranian drama About Elly, Chris Rock’s Good Hair and Eyes Wide Open.

Festival highlights include An Audience with Alice Walker event and the Happy Soul Youth Film Awards, which will see young people from schools and community groups in South London making short films which explore mental health awareness from their experience. Alice Walker is making a visit to the UK to support the festival – and will attend a screening of the Color Purple which will be followed by her being interviewed by Bonnie Greer.
See full article at DearCinema.com »

The feminist year ahead

This looks set to be an exciting year for feminism. Here Viv Groskop rounds up the books, films, theatre and marches that will inspire us all in the coming months

This is a big year for feminist anniversaries. It was 40 years ago that the first ever National Women's Liberation conference was held in the UK, that Germaine Greer published her groundbreaking book The Female Eunuch and Kate Millett published the life-changing work Sexual Politics. The year looks set to include a whole host of celebrations then, one of which is already underway – the Ms Understood exhibition at the Women's Library in London, which traces "the sisterhood and spirit of 1970s feminism" and runs until the end of March.

But this year's feminist calendar isn't solely historical. Three major new feminist books are to be published in Britain, the TV series Mad Men continues to explore the sexual politics of the 1960s,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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