4 items from 2013
Apparently, we're heading for a new ice age – but at least we've still got tennis …
The flesh-coloured knickers, the oversized pecs, the medieval hair extensions. But enough about me. There was so much to enjoy on TV this weekend – from the hagiographies of tennis stars (does no one realise how counterproductive it is to keep telling us Andy Murray is charming in private?) to the unmissable hokum that is The White Queen – that it didn't matter that my Iq dwindled briefly into single figures. If I'd also watched Saturday's BBC eulogy to Helen Mirren (So she swears at gay drummers in the street? This is what it takes to be a national treasure now?) I would have become too stupid to type, which might have suited you, but not me. But I didn't so I can.
It's not all good news. On The Secret Life of the Sun (BBC2, Sunday »
- Stuart Jeffries
The Village | Catchphrase | Doug Loves Movies | Pop! The Science Of Bubbles | MasterChef | Youngers
TV: The Village
Enjoyment of Peter Moffat's new grand-scale drama will largely rest on viewer tolerance for the show's unrelenting working-class gloom. More than a few critics have baulked at the show's bleak depiction of early 20th-century rural life – tin baths, spoiled crops and the rest – but it's hard not to be drawn in by Moffat's richly drawn universe. Episodes one and two are available to view on the iPlayer.
Recognising that we're all nostalgia addicts now, ITV has resurrected say-what-you-see quiz Catchphrase. Sadly, there's no Roy Walker, but the dodgy set, clip-art visuals and Mr Chips remain. Get reacquainted with it on the ITV Player.
Podcast: Doug Loves Movies
Doug Benson's ribald podcast is usually worth a listen, especially when he ropes in such comedy podcast veterans as »
- Gwilym Mumford
Big Body Squad
8pm, Channel 5
Series two for this uncompromising look at the problems the NHS face with patients whose sizes have left them far less mobile than they'd like. Here we meet Denise, one of hundreds of Britons left bed-bound by their weight, whose husband must juggle a direct payment council grant to best meet her needs. We also encounter 35-stone teenager Daniel, who is taking part in a project aimed at transforming the lives of overweight youngsters, and have a look at how specialist footwear can help avoid the threat of amputation. Mark Jones
The lottery parable continues, and a big, glittery hammer rams home the well-worn message that money doesn't buy happiness. This week, »
- Mark Jones, Hannah Verdier, Jonathan Wright, Andrew Mueller, Gwilym Mumford, Ali Catterall, David Stubbs
As the nation's voice of science and natural history nears retirement, a host of presenters prepare to take up the mantle
"I'm not going to be doing this when I'm 92," Sir David Attenborough said late last year. Given that the veteran broadcaster is now 86 and still producing as many programmes as ever, that may be far from certain.
This week, Attenborough gave the clearest indication yet of who he sees as his natural successor, saying that if he had a torch, he would hand it to Brian Cox, the physics professor turned presenter. Cox declared himself "lost for words", insisting that Attenborough still had many great programmes ahead of him. But the compliment has focused attention yet again on the challenge facing programme makers: how they fill perhaps the biggest shoes in British broadcasting history once Attenborough – eventually – steps aside.
For Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC's commissioning editor for science and natural history, »
- Esther Addley
4 items from 2013
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