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16 articles

New York: America’s Busiest City review – oysters, railways and sex toys

34 minutes ago

The BBC’s intrepid reporters tried commuting in New York – and the result did not make you swell with pride about the British transport system. Plus: loveliness pours forth in The Great Orchestra Challenge

Eight in the morning at Grand Central Terminal, the world’s largest railway station. Forty-six platforms, 200,000 commuters and 100 boxes of oysters getting shucked in the world-famous Oyster Bar. Ah, New York, how do you manage to make even the daily drudgery of going to work look cool? On a single platform, a train pulls into the station every 47 seconds, each one pouring out 1,200 commuters. Welcome to rush hour in New York, which looks pretty much like rush hour in London. Except cheaper. And less crammed. And more iconic. And without some dreary Jeremy Corbyn #traingate scandal brewing in the tunnels.

New York: America’s Busiest City (BBC2) was about “the hidden systems and armies of workers »

- Chitra Ramaswamy

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Wednesday’s best TV: The Great British Bake Off; Skies Above Britain

1 hour ago

It’s biscuit week in the big tent, so we get the complete history of dunking. Plus, an eccentric look at oddball amateur fliers

Enable cookies! The theme for week two of the genteel baking joust is biscuits, though Sue actually abandons the tent of dreams for the entire episode, nominally to find out about the history of dunking. Mel guides the remaining contestants through their biscuit-based challenges, including a high-stakes showstopper that might have viewers of a nervous disposition reaching for a different kind of bourbon. Graeme Virtue

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- Graeme Virtue, David Stubbs, Andrew Mueller, Ben Arnold, Jack Seale,

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Rav Wilding sues makers of Splash! after diving injury 'changed my life'

1 hour ago

Former Crimewatch presenter says he had to cancel his wedding and has put his home on the market because of accident in pre-show training

Former Crimewatch presenter Rav Wilding is suing the production company behind ITV’s Splash!, saying an injury he suffered while training for the diving show has derailed his career.

The ex-Strictly Come Dancing contestant said he had to cancel his wedding and has now put his home on the market because of the accident, which occurred in pre-show training in 2013.

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- Press Association

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Jeremy Vine posts video of alleged road rage incident

13 hours ago

BBC presenter uploads footage on Facebook showing altercation with motorist as he cycles through west London

The BBC presenter Jeremy Vine has published video footage showing a driver threatening to knock him out and allegedly assaulting him while he was on his bicycle.

Vine said the incident took place while he was commuting through Kensington, west London, on Friday. The Metropolitan police said it had no record of an incident being reported.

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- Haroon Siddique

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The five best Nickelodeon shows: from SpongeBob SquarePants to Doug

14 hours ago

This month sees the 25th anniversary of Nicktoons, an offshoot of Nickelodeon that delivered kids’ TV and changed the way we think about animation itself

Nickelodeon broke a lot of ground: it was the first offering of its kind on television, it attracted (and maintains) a huge audience of children, and since the late 1980s it’s been a hive of high-concept game shows, unusual animation and clever visual gags. In August 1991, the network debuted Nicktoons, an incubator for talented, eccentric artists who had gross, heartwarming or just plain weird ideas about what would make good kids’ TV. In 2002, Nicktoons became its own channel.

This month, that incubator celebrates its 25th anniversary. Some of its ideas were very good and some were too strange to live for very long, and sometimes they were the same ideas. For pure creativity, here are our picks for the best five shows that came out of the program. »

- Sam Thielman

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'This is warfare on our doorstep': what life is really like inside a London gang

18 hours ago

Film-maker Paul Blake gave cameras to gang members and let them record themselves. What they shot was more shocking, and personal, than he expected

A new documentary will offer uncompromising access into the workings of some of London’s most brutal and notorious street gangs, using footage shot by the young people who operate within this world.

Film-maker Paul Blake managed to get a rare insight into some of the 225 gangs that operate in Britain’s capital, including shots of large weapons caches boasting dozens of guns and knives, and the packaging and selling of class-a drugs.

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- Hannah Ellis-Petersen

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How to save Jean-Claude Van Damme's career? Recruit him as a spy

20 hours ago

Using his bargain-bin action movies as cover, Van Damme has changed his name to Van Johnson and become a secret agent in a TV show that is bonkers to behold

Amazon’s policy of hurling its pilots online and letting them fend for themselves has created some interesting orphans along the way. For every Transparent there’s been a Down Dog or a Hysteria or an A History of Radness, a doomed-to-be-forgotten shot at greatness that withered in public because it failed to hit the heights of, say, Bosch.

I cannot emphasise what I’m about to say enough: Jean-Claude Van Johnson must not be allowed to become one of those orphans. It is far too bonkers to go out like that.

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- Stuart Heritage

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Joe Wicks: The Body Coach review – a seductive, sincere smoothie of health bosh

29 August 2016 11:20 PM, PDT

This muscular messiah’s energy makes Jamie Oliver seem indifferent

If, like me, you were unaware that the search was on for the new Jamie Oliver, the intelligence that Channel 4 has found him might seem less than earth-shattering. After all, the current Jamie Oliver continues to be a too-easily dismissed force for good with his energetic campaigning and, thwack-bosh-laaavely shtick aside, he has that whole kitchen supper herb-chucking scene pretty much sewn up. But he doesn’t look like Jesus in active wear.

Enter Joe Wicks: The Body Coach (C4), a beauteous walking press-up with tumbling brunette curls and an enthusiasm that could make Oliver seem positively indifferent. “He’s helped thousands,” says Daniel Rigby’s comparatively laconic voiceover as Wicks hoves into view, beaming like a muscular messiah, referring to the 1.3 million Instagram followers who hang on his every health-conscious word. With that much social media sway it »

- Julia Raeside

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The glory and terror of Adriano Zumbo and his prescient levitating Willy Wonka cake | Ben Pobjie

29 August 2016 10:48 PM, PDT

Many have compared the Australian pastry chef to the famous fictional child-torturer immortilised by Gene Wilder – yet even Wonka asked less of his subjects

They say that when Adriano Zumbo made his first Zumbaron, he gazed upon his creation and murmured softly to himself, “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.” He knew that from this point, there was no going back.

It is only now that we, the populace upon which he has performed his experiment in civilisational transformation, are beginning to realise what he meant.

The best thing about the end of the Olympics is no more Channel 7 promos. I could not care less about how Zumbo made that cake float.

Related: How to cook the perfect red velvet cake

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- Ben Pobjie

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Tuesday’s best TV: Wolf Creek, New York: America's Busiest City

29 August 2016 10:05 PM, PDT

There’s campfire carnage in the explosive Aussie slasher spinoff, plus a treat for Yankophiles as the BBC gets under the skin of the Big Apple

Over three nights, this programme invites a team comprising historian Dan Snow, presenter and Paralympian Ade Adepitan, journalist Anita Rani and car bloke Ant Anstead to get under the skin of New York, to see how it works. Tonight, they broadcast from Grand Central Station. As they discover, all across the city, the real business isn’t on show, but going on under the surface. Not the event TV they no doubt hoped for, but not boring either. John Robinson

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- John Robinson, Andrew Mueller, Ali Catterall, Hannah J Davies, Phil Harrison

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Dancing with the Stars: Rick Perry's latest attempt to shimmy up a poll

29 August 2016 8:27 PM, PDT

Ex-governor of Texas and two-time presidential hopeful will once again compete for nation’s favor alongside Ryan Lochte, Vanilla Ice and Calvin Johnson

Rick Perry may have infamously forgotten the third government agency he wanted to abolish in 2011 – but he’ll need to remember his dancing shoes this fall.

The three-term governor of Texas and two-time failed Republican presidential candidate is appearing on the reality show Dancing With The Stars. According to a report from Entertainment Tonight, Perry will join Olympian Ryan Lochte, one-hit rapper Vanilla Ice and former NFL star Calvin Johnson on the televised dance competition.

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- Ben Jacobs in Washington

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Inside the seasonal anthology: TV writers tackle episodic storytelling

29 August 2016 9:28 AM, PDT

The classic genre revamped by American Horror Story takes finesse in order to restrict plots to standalone seasons while retaining drama and visual appeal

Prolific TV showrunner Ryan Murphy recently compared American Horror Story to The Twilight Zone. What seems like a ridiculous juxtaposition is actually one of the more reasonable things the Nip/Tuck creator has said recently: the shows are more similar than they appear. American Horror Story is, perhaps, the most visible show in the genre that The Twilight Zone has exemplified for decades: the anthology.

TV’s early anthology shows (in addition to The Twilight Zone, there’s Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Tales From the Crypt, and The Outer Limits) produced distinct, standalone episodes almost totally unrelated in plot and character, connected by an overarching sensibility and creative team. These stories are more like different songs on an album than the way current TV shows conceive of »

- Eric Thurm

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Rage revolution: TV needs far more seething, devastating women like Fleabag

29 August 2016 6:31 AM, PDT

Angry young men are commonplace on our screens – but it’s refreshing, and rare, to watch a woman use the c-word like a bullet

In the first episode of Fleabag, there’s a line that perfectly skewers the mood of the entire series. Fleabag – we never learn her real name – is in the art studio of her passive-aggressive stepmother (Olivia Colman) late at night and says, in a confiding aside to the camera, “She’s not an evil stepmother, she’s just a cunt.” She smiles tightly. She’s livid. The c-word is like a bullet.

Fleabag, which began life as a fringe play at Edinburgh, is a dark, filthy comedy of many layers. It is, at first glance, the story of a city-dwelling young woman in that painfully familiar territory of taking too long to figure out who she really is and being a bit of a dick along »

- Eleanor Morgan

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Victoria review – Jenna Coleman goes back in time to become a future queen

28 August 2016 11:13 PM, PDT

Coleman swaps Tardis travel for court machinations as the young Victoria. Plus, a little Are You Being Served? and Porridge go a long way

We have had The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt. Now The Even Younger Victoria starring Jenna Coleman. What next? The Extremely Young Victoria, let’s hope, starring a Gogglesprog. And then In Vitro Victoria, in which the heroine will be played by a grownup swimming in amniotic fluid in a repurposed burkini that the costume department have borrowed from armed cops who removed it from women on French beaches. Failing that, in Laura Trott’s used omnium outfit.

In Victoria (ITV), Coleman wakes up one morning to discover she isn’t time-travelling in the Tardis with Peter Capaldi any more. Instead, it’s 1837 and she is poised to become the queen following (sad face) the death of her uncle, the king. I don’t know who Coleman’s agent is, »

- Stuart Jeffries

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Monday’s best TV: Great British Menu; All Aboard! The Country Bus; The Coopers vs the Rest

28 August 2016 10:10 PM, PDT

Chefs create dishes to mark the ‘new Elizabethan age’; slow TV returns with a gentle bus ride over the Yorkshire dales; comedy pilot starring Tanya Franks and Paterson Joseph. Plus: My Millionaire Dads and Me

The stalwart show returns with an even more patriotic flavour as chefs create dishes to mark what is described as the “new Elizabethan age”. Accordingly, the bombast is ramped up to absurd levels, with Douglas fir leaf culinary pyrotechnics and intricate beetroot origami. But will the scarily named Guts and Glory triumph over a maverick starter inspired by airport packed lunches? Weirdly enthralling, as though the fate of the country itself were at stake. Laurie Chen

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- Laurie Chen, Phil Harrison, David Stubbs, Ben Arnold, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Grace Rahman and Paul Howlett

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Fear the Walking Dead: season two, episode nine recap – Los Muertos

28 August 2016 7:00 PM, PDT

Nick finds himself in a brand new cult while Madison and her crew check into the Mexican hotel from hell

Spoiler alert: this blog is published after Fear the Walking Dead airs on AMC in the Us on Sundays. Do not read on unless you have watched season two, episode eight (which airs in the UK on Monday)

As the episode starts, Nick wakes up in the infirmary of the colony where he ended up last time. Wait, when did this turn into the Nick show? Is it going to be all Nick all the time? At least he finally found some clean clothes that fit him. What will it take for him to get a haircut?

Related: Fear the Walking Dead: season two, episode eight recap – Grotesque

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- Brian Moylan

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