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Where have all the working-class actors gone? | Alex Andreou

5 hours ago

Funding cuts, a bourgeois industry, and a glut of middle- and upper-class parts might explain why its harder than ever for the non-wealthy to make a career in the theatre

On Monday Edward Kemp, the director of Rada, added some interesting arguments to the more general debate on whether a career in the arts is fast becoming the preserve of the wealthy. It is not that they only train posh kids, he claimed, it is that they train kids to be posh, because that is what will get them work. He added that actors are to a significant extent victims of what people choose to put on our TVs. He is partly right, but only partly.

There is no doubt that the class divide is at its most potent in the context of professions with uncertain income and unstable career progression, especially in the current climate of an increasingly monetised »

- Alex Andreou

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The Walking Dead: season five, episode two  recap

5 hours ago

Last night we gained a shady priest, and lost a valuable part of the crew

Spoiler alert: This piece discusses the second episode of the new season. Dont read on if youre waiting for it to show on FoxTV in the UK

Everyone is together in the post-Terminus landscape, but thats about the only thing they have going for them. The lack of shelter, transportation, and direction is weighing on the crew, so its a good thing they found a time-consuming problem to solve in the form of Priest Gabriel (The Wires Seth Gilliam).

I hope someone thought to grab iodine somewhere along the way since everyone is filling up their water bottles in streams, but Tyreese and Carol were more concerned with making sure they never have to tell anyone that Carol killed Karen and David at the prison, and they both killed that psychotic little girl in the grove. »

- Danielle Henderson

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Ali Mazrui obituary

7 hours ago

Kenyan political thinker who was unafraid to confront contentious issues

The Kenyan political thinker Ali Mazrui, who has died aged 81, was best known in the west for writing and presenting a groundbreaking television series, The Africans: A Triple Heritage (1986). In the nine-part documentary, co-produced by the BBC and the Us Public Broadcasting Service in association with the Nigerian Television Authority, Mazrui set out to explore wide-ranging aspects of African culture and society from the inside. Episodes focused on subjects including nature, the family, exploitation, conflict and political instability.

The common theme of the series was the impact on the continent of three distinct influences: indigenous African culture, Islam and Christianity. Drawing on a thesis first put forward by the Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkrumah, Mazrui argued that this mix of non-traditional religious ideals and sentiments had made it difficult to identify an authentically African way of doing things. He painted a »

- Ahmed Rajab

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The Apprentice is the worst of a rotten bunch of TV shows that reflect everything horrible about life

9 hours ago

Put the humans in the ring and watch them being ripped apart, despised and rejected. Why do we love watching these demolition jobs?

What a pity The Apprentice is back. It is so depressing. I watched it a couple of times years ago, but never again, because it is everything horrible about life: ferociously competitive; grovelling; ruthlessness; greed; the crushing and humiliation of the weak; desperation; showing off; sneering; mockery; and money, money, money.

Its like life, says Fielding glumly. The workplace is a jungle. And he should know, he has been a teacher. Same thing: sucking up, panicking, slaving away, total obedience to the rules, fighting for your livelihood before a critical, heartless, nitpicking, unsupportive panel of judges, Aka Ofsted.

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- Michele Hanson

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Toys R Us Breaking Bad dolls: the must-have Christmas toy for your kids?

10 hours ago

Walter White figurine comes with tiny bag of crystal meth, as shocked and appalled Florida woman starts petition to get them removed from shelves

Youre probably already aware there are only 65 shopping days until Christmas. If youre a parent, this means youre frantically fretting about what the must-have toy of winter 2014 will be, but stop looking right now. A woman called Susan Schrivjer, from Florida, has discovered that Us branches of Toy R Us are stocking a highly desirable range of Breaking Bad action figures.

The Walter White figurine comes packaged with a duffle bag filled with presumably pre-laundered non-sequential banknotes and a tiny bag of (fake) crystal meth, while the Jesse Pinkman figure sports a gas mask, teaching children an important lesson about the dangers of inhaling the noxious byproducts of the methamphetamine production process.

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- Luke Holland

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Lynda Bellingham, actor and presenter, dies aged 66

10 hours ago

Actor who played mother in long-running Oxo advertisements died in her husbands arms after suffering from cancer

The broadcaster and actor Lynda Bellingham, known as the nations favourite mum for her role in a long-running series of adverts for Oxo, has died after a very public battle with cancer.

Her agent, Sue Latimer, said the 66-year-old died in the arms of her husband Michael Pattemore on Sunday. She had been suffering from cancer of the colon since July 2013.

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- Matthew Weaver and agencies

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Kerry Howards favourite TV

10 hours ago

The Him & Her and Give Out Girls actor on her TV blockbusters and busted flushes

I have to watch Veep every week. I love how Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays anxiety so well. Theres so much angst in her performance. Shes just fantastic. And Modern Family. Its just one of those lovely gentle shows that I watch with my husband. He reminds me of Phil. And my dads like Jay. And my husbands constantly trying to make my dad like him.

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- Gwilym Mumford

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Homeland recap: season four, episode two Trylon and Perisphere

11 hours ago

Homelands return to form was too good to be true, as this ill-judged episode proved has it all become a bit of a drag?

Spoiler Alert: This blog is for people watching Homeland series four. Dont read on if you havent seen season four, episode two.

Read the episode one blog here.

The problem for me with this show is the rise of Is in the real world. Current events in the Middle East and in the so called "war on terror" are moving more quickly and spectacularly in the real world than in this show. Season one was right on the edge of current affairs, this one feels a bit like it could have been made four years ago...

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- Gwilym Mumford

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Lynda Bellingham: a life in clips

13 hours ago

The actor and presenter, who has died aged 66, was famous for her role as the Oxo mum, but also starred in Doctor Who, All Creatures Great and Small and The Bill, and hosted Loose Women

The actor and presenter Lynda Bellingham, who has died aged 66, enjoyed a long and varied career on British television. In addition to her iconic Oxo mum role in the long-running adverts, and her presenting stint on the chat show Loose Women, she also had roles in iconic shows such as Z Cars, Doctor Who, The Sweeney and The Professionals. Here are some of her finest small-screen moments.

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- Guardian TV

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Lynda Bellingham obituary

13 hours ago

Star with a wide-ranging TV and stage career, best remembered as the Oxo mum in a long-running TV ad

Lynda Bellingham, who has died aged 66, played many roles during her five-decade professional career, but became synonymous with one. Being a mum making gravy was not quite how I had seen my career advancing, she said once. But between 1983 and 1999 thats what she did in 42 episodes of an award-winning TV ad. Since the early 1980s, her name was rarely mentioned in print without it being prefaced with Oxo mum.

During her career, though, she starred on TV as the vets wife Helen Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small in the 80s and as one of two divorcees trying to forge a relationship in the 90s sitcom Second Thoughts, opposite James Bolam. On stage she was best known for playing the lead in a touring production of Calendar Girls between 2008 and 2012. She was also, »

- Stuart Jeffries

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Hitlers Hidden Drug Habit; Downton Abbey review high Hitler, and hang Bates

15 hours ago

Hitler had stomach cramps, flatulence, halitosis and mushy stool so his personal physician pumped him full of drugs. This quack had a lot to answer for

Hitler has only got one ball. / The other is in the Albert Hall. Not true, Im afraid. Its on the kitchen wall? And Görings are very small? No, the first line, re: Adolfs monorchism a lie, according to a 1945 dossier compiled by the Us military based on Hitlers medical files. Sexual organs showed no indication of abnormality, it reads.

Dont worry, though. Because theres plenty of other stuff about the Führers health and medical characteristics in this dossier and in the journals of his personal physicians journals, on which this Secret History documentary Hitlers Hidden Drug Habit (Channel 4, Sunday) is based, that shows tons of abnormality.

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- Sam Wollaston

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Doctor Who's new web game aims to teach children programming skills

15 hours ago

Latest attempt to make coding fun for kids involves rescuing a Dalek and exploring the unscreened world of Sontar

Doctor Whos latest adventure sees him teaming up with a Dalek and trying to save the universe, but also teaching children some early computer programming skills.

This isnt a TV show, however: its a game due to launch on Wednesday 22 October on the broadcasters Cbbc website. The Doctor and the Dalek includes voice narration from current Doctor Peter Capaldi, and a new story by Phil Ford, who has written for the TV show.

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- Stuart Dredge

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TV highlights 20/10/2014

16 hours ago

Big Dreams, Small Spaces | Premier League Football: West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United | The Art Of Gothic: Britains Midnight Hour | New Tricks | The Kitchen | Gotham | Gomorrah | Dance Mums With Jennifer Ellison

Monty Don helps amateur gardeners to make their humble plots into something they can really dig, both with a spade and just generally. Helen and Richard live near Doncaster and long for a highly productive allotment of things to pickle, preserve and eat. Jan and John in West Sussex have a building site they hope to convert into a Portuguese paradise. Don spends the course of a year popping back to assist them with clearing, building, weeding and so on. A new episode shows every night this week. Julia Raeside

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- Julia Raeside, Gwilym Mumford, Jonathan Wright, John Robinson, Hannah Verdier, Ben Arnold, David Stubbs and Hannah J Davies

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Dating Naked: reality TV nobody should be exposed to on a sofa

19 hours ago

Genitals are a fruitless (and blurry) gimmick in Channel Tens punishing new dating show where everyones in the buff

Coming up with TV shows seems to be a never-ending voyage to the bottom. Were on a quest to break through the mantle that is reality TV and one day discover the terrifying, molten core of television. Who knows what shows theyll have down there? Probably the kind that can only exist when adjectives and nouns are allowed to have entirely unsupervised threesomes: Emergency Prostate Makeover. Celebrity Dog Hypnosis. Drone Strike Idol. A bit like Australian election slogans.

Another word combo that ought not to correspond to something anyone should be exposed to on a sofa is Dating Naked (Channel Ten). Its everything thats unwatchable about dating shows, combined with the gimmick of arbitrary nudity (I doubt this show is trying to be political). A double dose of disappointment, then, like »

- Jazz Twemlow

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14 articles



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