9 items from 2013
Video games and gaming culture are virtually ignored by real-world television, but what games-related programming would you like to see?
Grand Theft Auto V – the most ambitious instalment of the world's most notorious gaming franchise, which will finally be released on Tuesday after unprecedented levels of hype – is about doing whatever you damn well want to do. Players exploring Los Santos, GTA V's sprawling yet crammed simulacrum of Los Angeles and the surrounding area, will do an awful lot of shooting and dangerous driving to develop the narrative. But you can just as easily treat GTA V as an endless adventure holiday in a state-of-the-art digital sandbox. You can go parachuting, play golf, punish yourself with a triathlon or even take up yoga. And if all that sounds like too much effort, you can just kick back in your crib and watch telly.
Sadly, the basic-cable subscribers of Los Santos »
- Graeme Virtue
He's better known as a comedian, but Dara Ó Briain's inner geek is coming to the fore as a presenter of three TV shows about maths and science. He tells us about a passion for sums, trouble with quantum physics - and why science is no laughing matter
For the photographs to accompany this article, one suggestion was that Dara Ó Briain dress up as a spaceman. Everyone loved this idea except, crucially, Ó Briain who, to use his word, "nixed" it. It was made clear – genially but firmly – that we could forget, too, about asking him to pose with props such as a Bunsen burner or wearing a white lab coat or any of the other visual cues that let people know instantly and without equivocation that something scientific is taking place here.
Ó Briain, the theatre-filling comedian and doyen of the panel show, would probably not have had »
- Tim Lewis
Celebrity Big Brother scored big ratings for Channel 5 on Thursday (August 22), overnight data reveals.
The launch show was down by nearly a million viewers from January's opener, attracting 2.66 million (14.2%) at 9pm (174,000/1.3% on +1). However, this is consistent with last summer's launch, which scored 2.7m. Bit on the Side brought in 892k (9.6%) at 11pm.
On BBC One, Celebrity MasterChef fell by nearly a million from its previous episode to 3.84m (18.7%) at 8pm.
Paul O'Grady's Working Britain was the most-watched show outside of soaps with 3.95m (19.1%) at 9pm.
On Channel 4, the latest series of Location, Location, Location attracted 1.74m (8.5%) at 8pm (310k/1.5%). Documentary film The Imposter appealed to 1.02m (5.4%) at 9pm. »
Golf: Johnnie Walker Championship | Dara O'Briain's Science Club | Celebrity Big Brother: Live Launch | Paul O'Grady's Working Britain | The Men Who Made Us Thin | Poaching Wars With Tom Hardy | American Underworld | Chickens
Golf: Johnnie Walker Championship
10.30am, Sky Sports 1
Live coverage of day one from the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles. Scotland's Paul Lawrie will return to defend the title he won last year, but the local support will be split among a substantial Scottish contingent including 2007 winner Marc Warren. Other contenders include Lawrie's Ryder Cup teammates Francesco Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts, and Ireland's Paul McGinley, who will lead Europe's Ryder Cup team over the same course next year. Andrew Mueller
Dara and guests turn their attention to very big things and very small things. In terms of small stuff, that means ridding hospitals of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Turns out using more copper, »
- Andrew Mueller, Jonathan Wright, Hannah Verdier, Ali Catterall, Ben Arnold, David Stubbs
Earlier on Channel 4, How To Get A Council House brought in 1.3 million (6.5%) at 9pm.
The latest Celebrity MasterChef brought 3.4 million (16.8%) at 8pm on BBC One, while Paul O'Grady's Working Britain won the 9pm slot with 4.0 million (19.9%).
Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience increased BBC Two's audience to an impressive 1.1 million (5.8%) at 10pm.
ITV's primetime highlight was My Dwarf Family at 9pm, which pulled in 3.0 million (15.7%).
Live At The Electric snagged 261k (1.4%) at 10pm on BBC Three, while the latest episode of Us drama »
The Field of Blood returned for a new series with over 3 million viewers on Thursday (August 8), overnight data reveals.
The David Morrissey two-parter opened with 3.36m (16.6%) at 9pm on BBC One. This is around 800,000 more than its previous peak in 2011 for its first run.
Earlier, Celebrity MasterChef rose slightly from Wednesday's episode with 3.91m (19.5%) at 8pm, topping the night outside of soaps.
On BBC Two, Dara O'Briain's Science Club attracted 1.35m (6.7%) at 8pm, followed by The Men Who Made Us Thin with 1.34m (6.6%) at 9pm. Rhod Gilbert's new series Work Experience amused 1.05m (5.9%) at 10pm.
ITV's Married to the Job continued with 2.44m (12.3%) at 8.30pm, while new documentary Fraud Squad opened with 2.42m (12.0%) at 9pm.
On Channel 4, The Dealership dropped to 795k (4.0%) at 8pm (123k/0.6% on +1). How To Get a Council House appealed to 1.46m (7.2%) at 9pm (327k/2.0%). Legally High interested 547k (3.4%) at 10pm (119k/1.4%).
Channel 5's »
Big Brother hauled in an audience of 1.44 million (8.25%) at 10pm, while The Hotel Inspector entertained 1.48 million (7.26%) at 9pm.
Channel 5 had an average audience share of 5.62% in primetime. Meanwhile, Channel 4 could only muster 4.19%.
First Dates only brought in 893k (4.37%) at 9pm, while Catching A Killer: Crocodile Tears fared slightly better at 10pm with 1.09 million (6.36%).
On BBC One, Britain's Favourite Supermarket Foods brought in 3.02 million (15.77%) at 8pm, while Crimewatch brought in 3.24 million (15.82%) at 9pm on BBC One.
The return of PhoneShop on E4 tickled 308k (1.59%) at 10pm and the latest episode of Scandal on More4 captured 156k (0.77%). »
If anyone still needed convincing that television has a stupefying impact on the public at large, it's worth examining the case of doctor and BBC presenter Michael Mosley's episode of Horizon on the 5:2 diet, broadcast in August last year. Before he came along with a scientific take on the apparent health effects of fasting for two days out of every week, this was just another in a long list of fads.
Of course, it is now ubiquitous – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Benedict Cumberbatch and Beyoncé, among many others, are confirmed fans and this newspaper even tried to persuade readers to "5:2" their entire lives. In his programme, Mosley travelled across America, spoke to scientists and successfully tried the diet himself. »
- Alok Jha
Live T20 Cricket: Durham v Leicestershire
5.30pm, Sky Sports Ashes
Two sides slumming it at the unfashionable end of an eventful North Group table face-off. The Leicestershire Foxes will be hoping for a reversal of fortune from last season's encounter between the two, which saw the Durham Dynamos crack their way to an emphatic nine-wicket victory, not least thanks to Phil Mustard's 51 runs from 30 balls. In-form Foxes batsmith Joe Burns could well ensure that it's not so simple for Durham this time. Mark Jones
Britain's Favourite Supermarket Foods
Here comes Cherry Healey again with some stunning statistics about filling the Albert Hall with tea. Then she drinks some coffee before getting on a treadmill and raising her eyebrows at some people eating chocolate. »
- Mark Jones, Hannah Verdier, Hannah J Davies, Ali Catterall, John Robinson, David Stubbs, Julia Raeside, Andrew Mueller
9 items from 2013
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