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8 items from 2011


The best of television 2011: comedy

29 December 2011 3:05 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

This year saw more hits than misses. There were surprises too – Spy, Jack Whitehall's acting and the end of Shooting Stars

Without even a sniff of Peep Show, 2011 still managed to be a strong year for comedy. No honestly, it has. Here follow my own choices for the good, the bad and the stinky – feel free to add your own in the comments section. We'll start with Fresh Meat: Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong's take on student living, which made a confident start on Channel 4 and revealed Jack Whitehall to be an actual actor who could act. Who knew?

Spy on Sky1 was for me the surprise sitcom hit of the year. Darren Boyd has been solidly delivering funny best friends and boyfriends for years, so it was great to see him taking the lead in such a brilliantly written show. It makes stunning use of »

- Julia Raeside

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Miranda Hart leads nominees for British Comedy Awards

12 December 2011 12:43 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Star of sitcom Miranda on course to repeat last year's success with four nominations

Miranda Hart could repeat her triumph of last year after being nominated for four gongs at the British Comedy Awards.

Hart, who picked up three awards last year, is in the running for best female television comic and best TV comedy actress.

Her hit show, Miranda, is nominated for best sitcom and she is again in the running for the people's choice award.

Also up for the award, voted for by viewers, are David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Jack Whitehall, Jo Brand and Sarah Millican.

There are four nominations for Channel 4's Friday Night Dinner, including best new comedy programme and best sitcom.

Two of the stars of the show, Tamsin Greig and Tom Rosenthal, are nominated for best TV comedy actress and best comedy breakthrough artist respectively.

Other nominees include Harry Hill, who gets three nods, »

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Charlie Brooker: the dark side of our gadget addiction

1 December 2011 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

We are addicted to gadgets – but what are their side-effects? In his new drama series, Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker explores the dark side of our love affair with technology

Every life includes significant landmarks: your first kiss, your first job, your first undetected murder. Maybe that's just me. Anyway, last week I experienced a more alarming first: my first unironic conversation with a machine.

I was using the new iPhone, the one with Siri, the built-in personal assistant you talk to. You hold down a button and mutter something like "Set the alarm for eight in the morning," or "Remind me to ring Gordon later," and Siri replies, "Ok, I'll do that for you," using the voice of Jon Briggs, better known as the voice of The Weakest Link. And he sets everything up, just the way you wanted.

Siri is a creep – a servile arselick with zero self-respect – but he works annoyingly well. »

- Charlie Brooker

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'Gypsy Weddings' soars to 8.2m

9 February 2011 4:57 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Weddings continued to impress last night, grabbing 8.2 million viewers. The documentary series about the lives of gypsies and travellers in Britain had an average of 7.48m (29.2%) from 9pm, picking up a further 710k on +1 (3.9%). The Cutting Edge programme outperformed new BBC One sci-fi drama Outcasts, which dropped to 3.32m (13%), a fall of 1.13m from the previous night's series premiere. Elsewhere, ITV1's Taggart earned 3.03m (11.8%) with a further 144k watching on +1 (0.8%), which was a 600K increase on last week's installment. Over on BBC Two, Justin Rowlatt's The Chinese Are Coming drew 1.34m (5.2%), while Charlie Brooker's How TV Ruined Your Life amused 1.04m (5.1%) at 10pm. Channel Five's CSI (more) »

- By Alex Fletcher

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'Gypsy Wedding' soars to 8.2m

9 February 2011 4:57 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Wedding continued to impress last night, grabbing 8.2 million viewers. The documentary series about the lives of gypsies and travellers in Britain had an average of 7.48m (29.2%) from 9pm, picking up a further 710k on +1 (3.9%). The Cutting Edge programme outperformed new BBC One sci-fi drama Outcasts, which dropped to 3.32m (13%), a fall of 1.13m from the previous night's series premiere. Elsewhere, ITV1's Taggart earned 3.03m (11.8%) with a further 144k watching on +1 (0.8%), which was a 600K increase on last week's installment. Over on BBC Two, Justin Rowlatt's The Chinese Are Coming drew 1.34m (5.2%), while Charlie Brooker's How TV Ruined Your Life amused 1.04m (5.1%) at 10pm. Channel Five's CSI (more) »

- By Alex Fletcher

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Tonight's TV highlights: A Farmer's Life For Me | Do We Really Need The Moon? | How TV Ruined Your Life | Boardwalk Empire | World's Youngest Daredevils | Secret Diary Of A Call Girl

31 January 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A Farmer's Life For Me | Do We Really Need The Moon? | How TV Ruined Your Life | Boardwalk Empire | World's Youngest Daredevils | Secret Diary Of A Call Girl

A Farmer's Life For Me

8pm, BBC2

Putting on a proper old grumpy face to prove this is a little more than just another reality TV show, Jimmy Doherty fronts a series in which nine towny couples compete for the chance to run a 25-acre Suffolk farm. The first challenge the hopefuls face is choosing one of nine small plots and working out how to make it pay, before embarking on initial work such as ploughing, putting up fencing and buying livestock. As Jimmy says, agriculture isn't just about living the good life, it's a business. Jw

Do We Really Need The Moon?

9pm, BBC2

Maybe not a question that you ponder every day, but for space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, the answer is a resounding yes. »

- Jonathan Wright, Martin Skegg, David Stubbs, Julia Raeside, Rebecca Nicholson

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Tonight's TV highlights: A Farmer's Life For Me | Do We Really Need The Moon? | How TV Ruined Your Life | Boardwalk Empire | World's Youngest Daredevils | Secret Diary Of A Call Girl

31 January 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

A Farmer's Life For Me | Do We Really Need The Moon? | How TV Ruined Your Life | Boardwalk Empire | World's Youngest Daredevils | Secret Diary Of A Call Girl

A Farmer's Life For Me

8pm, BBC2

Putting on a proper old grumpy face to prove this is a little more than just another reality TV show, Jimmy Doherty fronts a series in which nine towny couples compete for the chance to run a 25-acre Suffolk farm. The first challenge the hopefuls face is choosing one of nine small plots and working out how to make it pay, before embarking on initial work such as ploughing, putting up fencing and buying livestock. As Jimmy says, agriculture isn't just about living the good life, it's a business. Jw

Do We Really Need The Moon?

9pm, BBC2

Maybe not a question that you ponder every day, but for space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, the answer is a resounding yes. »

- Jonathan Wright, Martin Skegg, David Stubbs, Julia Raeside, Rebecca Nicholson

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Rewind TV: How TV Ruined Your Life; Scenes from a Teenage Killing; Posh and Posher; The Killing

29 January 2011 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Film-maker Morgan Matthews's compassionate view of gang life was television at its most chilling

How TV Ruined Your Life (BBC2) | iPlayer

Scenes from a Teenage Killing (BBC4) | iPlayer

Posh and Posher (BBC2) |iPlayer

The Killing (BBC4) | iPlayer

As Charlie Brooker noted in his astute and acerbic How TV Ruined Your Life, one of the most fundamental jobs of the box in the corner is to scare us. Or, to put it in Brooker-speak, shout: "'Boo!' in your mind." Not only is that the function of a large amount of primetime entertainment, it has also been the reliable aim of public information films – sort of health and safety porn – designed to reform our behaviour. That explains why, if we're to believe the treasure trove of paranoid PIFs that Brooker's researchers unearthed, you no longer see schoolboys swinging fishing rods beneath low-lying electricity pylons.

Although, leaving absurdity aside, repeated images over »

- Charlie Brooker, Andrew Anthony

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2014 | 2013 | 2011

8 items from 2011


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