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4 Great British Political Dramas (To Keep You Entertained on Election Night)

Graeme Robertson with 4 great British political dramas to keep you entertained on election night…

Election fever has gripped the British people once more, with the country going to the polls to decide who will walk into Number 10.

Will it be “strong and stable” leadership of the incumbent Conservative leader and u-turn master Theresa May and her brilliant plan for Brexit, even if she still won’t really tell us the plan apart from “Brexit means Brexit”? Or will it be the very left-wing humourless dour faced haunted scarecrow that is Labour’s divisive leader Jeremy Corbyn and his plan to renationalise everything including the very air we breathe?

Well regardless of who will win, you can be guaranteed it’s going to be a long night of inconclusive exit polls, boring analysis from pundits, politicians arguing about whose party has more unlikable arseholes in their ranks and a near
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Mick Jackson interview: Denial, The Bodyguard, Donald Trump

Simon Brew Jan 27, 2017

Director Mick Jackson on Denial, Donald Trump, directing films, and how he followed The Bodyguard...

Mick Jackson has lived through several chapters of his directorial career. His background was television, in particular the stunning Threads, and his classy adaptation of Chris MullinsA Very British Coup. Then he went to Hollywood, directing the likes of L.A. Story, The Bodyguard and Volcano.

He’s been away from cinema for a while, courtesy of some intriguing television projects. But he returns to the big screen this weekend with Denial, a classy courtroom drama that brings the story of Holocaust denier David Irving’s infamous libel action to the cinema. We snagged a chat with him ahead of its release, with the promise of further conversation about his 90s output at a later date too.

Can you talk us through this particular film, and why you wanted to bring it to the big screen?
See full article at Den of Geek »

Get McKinty – he’s up there with Elmore | Letters

I am sorry to see that your roundup of the year’s best thrillers (Review, 5 December) makes no mention of Adrian McKinty, whose intelligent, razor sharp thrillers star a deeply flawed Royal Ulster Constabulary inspector, Sean Duffy. Taut, lean prose and dialogue up there with Elmore Leonard. McKinty has not had the attention he deserves. Gun Street Girl is his latest. If you pick it up, I guarantee you won’t put it down.

Chris Mullin

Northumberland

• I learned to code in the 1960s, but then we were given problems we could solve, not ones we couldn’t (Should kids learn to code?, 3 December). It is all very different now, and I’m sure I couldn’t cope. It is probably still true to say that a programmer (we didn’t call ourselves coders) is someone who, if you ask them to pass the sugar, will ask you if you want the bowl as well.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

A Very British Coup box set review: ‘a startlingly prescient, first-class governmental drama’

Ray McAnally is superb as the former steelworker-turned-prime minister Harry Perkins, who counters the dirty tricks of a threatened establishment with wit and heaps of political nous

It is the near future. After a wave of public revulsion at the excesses of corrupt bankers, the Labour party has enjoyed a landslide victory under a far-left leader. He’s got a mandate to revitalise the British economy on a more equitable basis and ditch the UK’s nuclear deterrent. His rise to power surprises and horrifies the establishment, as well as the Us, who assumed he was the usual “bungling incompetent” under whose leadership previous attempts at British socialism had run aground. They tried every dirty trick on him, particularly media vilification. The Times, says the Pm in his victory speech, called him a “simple-minded fool”. He duly takes the opportunity to thank the mass of “simple-minded fools” who just voted him into office.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Chris Christie -- Buy Me Some Peanuts and Crackerjacks (Photo)

  • TMZ
New Jersey governor Chris Christie bravely donned a baseball uniform and played in Wednesday night's "True Blue" celebrity softball game, which honored three NYPD officers killed in the line of duty. Joe Torre, Todd Bowles, Rex Ryan, Chris Mullin, Bill Cowher, Dwight Gooden, Bernie Williams and Rudy Giuliani were among the celebs who also played. Christie was actually named the unofficial Mvp of the game, whose proceeds go to the Silver Shield Foundation and the Pba Widows' and Children's Fund.
See full article at TMZ »

Interview: Cliff Robinson talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

  • Hitfix
On the basketball court, Cliff Robinson's statistics were quite robust. He ranks ninth in NBA history in games played and, with playoff appearances in 17 of his 18 seasons, those were often meaningful games. He was the league's Sixth Man of the Year for the 1992-1993 season, was an All-Defensive Team second teamer twice and an All-Star once. Thanks to his longevity, he ranks in the Top 50 in NBA/Aba history in scoring, ahead of Hall-of-Famers like Chris Mullin, Isiah Thomas and Scottie Pippen. Sadly, Cliff Robinson won't be remembered for his "Survivor" longevity. This week, Robinson became the fifth player voted out on "Survivor: Cagayan" and the first player booted after the season dissolved its Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn twist.  Cliff could have been voted out even earlier, but a basketball-themed Immunity Challenge thwarted Brawn teammate Sarah's attempts to throw the game. After leading his post-Shuffle tribe to a big Reward win,
See full article at Hitfix »

NBA Legends Chris Mullin & Mitch Richmond -- Reunited ... For Frozen Yogurt

  • TMZ
Ex-Golden State Warriors Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond took it to the hole yesterday in L.A. -- the holes on their faces ... and we got video of their frozen yogurt get-together.The two basketball stars were hanging outside of Menchies Frozen Yogurt in Calabasas and told us they're "friends for life" who kick it all the time.Check out the video to hear their thoughts on modern day basketball and the perks of retirement.
See full article at TMZ »

How Margaret Thatcher left her mark on British culture

From Meryl Streep's Iron Lady to Spitting Image and the Spice Girls, Observer writers and critics pick the films, books, art, music and TV that show Thatcher's lasting influence

Art, chosen by Laura Cumming

Treatment Room (1983)

In Richard Hamilton's installation, Thatcher administered her own harsh medicine from a video above the operating table with the viewer as helpless patient: a case of kill or cure.

Taking Stock (1984)

Hans Haacke portrayed Thatcher enthroned, nose in the air like a gun-dog, surrounded by images of Queen Victoria, the Saatchi brothers and, ominously, Pandora. Caused national furore.

In the Sleep of Reason (1982)

Mark Wallinger edited Thatcher's 1982 Falklands speech from blink to blink, fading to black in between, emphasising her solipsistic tendency to close her eyes when speaking as if nobody else existed.

The Battle of Orgreave (2001)

Jeremy Deller's restaged the worst conflict of the miners' strike from multiple viewpoints, uniting
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

How Margaret Thatcher left her mark on British culture

  • The Guardian - TV News
From Meryl Streep's Iron Lady to Spitting Image and the Spice Girls, Observer writers and critics pick the films, books, art, music and TV that show Thatcher's lasting influence

Art, chosen by Laura Cumming

Treatment Room (1983)

In Richard Hamilton's installation, Thatcher administered her own harsh medicine from a video above the operating table with the viewer as helpless patient: a case of kill or cure.

Taking Stock (1984)

Hans Haacke portrayed Thatcher enthroned, nose in the air like a gun-dog, surrounded by images of Queen Victoria, the Saatchi brothers and, ominously, Pandora. Caused national furore.

In the Sleep of Reason (1982)

Mark Wallinger edited Thatcher's 1982 Falklands speech from blink to blink, fading to black in between, emphasising her solipsistic tendency to close her eyes when speaking as if nobody else existed.

The Battle of Orgreave (2001)

Jeremy Deller's restaged the worst conflict of the miners' strike from multiple viewpoints, uniting
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Ian Breach obituary

Former Guardian journalist and television presenter who became one of the BBC's first environment correspondents

Some Guardian journalists stay for life; others move on. Ian Breach, who has died aged 72, was in the second category at a time when many stayed. He joined the Manchester features department as a young subeditor in May 1964. By 1972 he had already been the paper's jazz critic, become its first technology correspondent and, indeed, its first "anti-motoring" motoring correspondent. Environmental concern increasingly clashed with road-testing new cars.

The story goes that Ian went in to see the editor, the austere Alastair Hetherington, suggesting that what the Guardian needed was a transport correspondent. "Really?" replied Hetherington, "I love driving my Jaguar." Ian left; a few months later the paper appointed a transport correspondent.

Ian's path to the Guardian had hardly been conventional. As a 16-year-old Manchester working-class lad with a few GCEs, he took a marine
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV listings and previews: plan your week's viewing - 19-23 November

  • The Guardian - TV News
Stephen Fry indulges his love of gadgets and gizmos, David Attenborough celebrates 60 years of groundbreaking science – and Hunted reaches its finale

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

MondayStephen Fry: Gadget Man

8.30pm, Channel 4

While last year's rundown of Fry's top 100 gadgets had as much room for apple peelers as Apple iPhones, this new series focuses on gizmos aiming to shape the world of tomorrow. First up, a look at how technology can help tackle the drudgery of the daily commute, from gadgets ending public transport tedium to new types of tiny electric vehicles designed to whisk you to work as briskly (and cheaply) as possible. Plus, of course, the odd futuristic folly, such as a contraption best described as a Penny Farthing Nano. Or "Lawsuit In Waiting". Mark Jones

Four Born Every Second

10.35pm, BBC1

Astonishing documentary from Bafta-winning director Brian Hill examining how where you live in the world
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Rewind TV: Secret State; Dara O Briain's Science Club; Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature; Imagine – review

Political thriller Secret State was stripped of ideology and a plot, while Dara O Briain had a decent stab at making science sexy

Secret State C4|4oD

Dara O Briain's Science Club BBC2 | iPlayer

Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature BBC1 | iPlayer

Imagine BBC1 | iPlayer

In an age when politics lacks any great thrills, it appears harder to make a great political thriller. The last one that comes readily to mind was Paul Abbott's State of Play, which was way back in 2003, during Tony Blair's eventful second term as prime minister. But since then the air has seeped out of the Westminster bubble and not even the prospect of global economic collapse has succeeded in reflating public interest or screenwriters' conspiratorial imagination. The Killing and Borgen suggest the Danes know how to breathe life into coalition politics but so far it's an art for which British TV
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Rewind TV: Secret State; Dara O Briain's Science Club; Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature; Imagine – review

Political thriller Secret State was stripped of ideology and a plot, while Dara O Briain had a decent stab at making science sexy

Secret State C4|4oD

Dara O Briain's Science Club BBC2 | iPlayer

Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature BBC1 | iPlayer

Imagine BBC1 | iPlayer

In an age when politics lacks any great thrills, it appears harder to make a great political thriller. The last one that comes readily to mind was Paul Abbott's State of Play, which was way back in 2003, during Tony Blair's eventful second term as prime minister. But since then the air has seeped out of the Westminster bubble and not even the prospect of global economic collapse has succeeded in reflating public interest or screenwriters' conspiratorial imagination. The Killing and Borgen suggest the Danes know how to breathe life into coalition politics but so far it's an art for which British TV
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV Review: Was It Worth Making 'Secret State'?

  • Aol TV.
TV Review: Was It Worth Making 'Secret State'?
Right from the apocalyptic opening sequence, we knew what waters this boat 'Secret State' was heading, straight into the seas of all those other elliptical political thrillers - 'State Of Play', 'House of Cards', 'Heart of Darkness', something of something else.

Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne) is a man with a lot on his mind

As the Deputy Prime Minister, Gabriel Byrne was a man with a lot on his mind - capably portraying existential guilt ("you're thinking about Bosnia, you did the right thing"), the ambition ("what if I stand?") and fear of a deputy prime minister who can see that the disappearance of his boss carries with it opportunity, but also the burden of too many secrets. Hopes for a residence at Number 10 loom, but in the meantime, he had to clean up the mess of a
See full article at Aol TV. »

TV review: Secret State; The Comic Strip Presents … Five Go to Rehab

Secret State is just like real British politics – but sexed up and Spookified

I think the prime minister is abroad at the moment isn't he? In the Gulf, selling arms to countries with dodgy human-rights records; not in America talking to a dodgy petrochemical company as the Pm is in this political conspiracy thriller, Secret State (Channel 4). Same idea, though – dubious big business ahead of domestic hardship.

It's difficult not to replace characters with their counterparts from the real world. Of course, no one would wish it on our Pm, but if his plane were to come down in suspicious circumstances (Boris, was that you, with your big grouse-buster blunderbuss?) on the way back, there could be a similar scenario. The home secretary and the foreign secretary fight for power. So that's Felix Durrel (Rupert Graves) and Ros Yelland (Sylvestra Le Touzel), respectively, in Secret State; Theresa May and William Hague in real life.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Secret State: I played the vicar in the TV version of my novel

When Secret State hits our screens, watch out for the vicar: he's played by novelist and former MP Chris Mullin, who wrote the book it's based on, A Very British Coup. Here is his diary from his time in front of the camera

Thursday, 16 February, 2012

To Manchester where I am to have a walk-on part in a new TV version of my first novel, A Very British Coup, about the overthrow of a radical, very left-wing prime minister. Not that this new series bears much resemblance to my book. Even the title has been changed – to Secret State – and the credits say "inspired by" rather than "based on".

Director Ed Fraiman has kindly agreed that I might have a walk-on part, a la Alfred Hitchcock. I thought he might reincarnate me as a backbench MP or even a minister; instead I am to be the vicar conducting a memorial service
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Secret State: I played the vicar in the TV version of my novel

When Secret State hits our screens, watch out for the vicar: he's played by novelist and former MP Chris Mullin, who wrote the book it's based on, A Very British Coup. Here is his diary from his time in front of the camera

Thursday, 16 February, 2012

To Manchester where I am to have a walk-on part in a new TV version of my first novel, A Very British Coup, about the overthrow of a radical, very left-wing prime minister. Not that this new series bears much resemblance to my book. Even the title has been changed – to Secret State – and the credits say "inspired by" rather than "based on".

Director Ed Fraiman has kindly agreed that I might have a walk-on part, a la Alfred Hitchcock. I thought he might reincarnate me as a backbench MP or even a minister; instead I am to be the vicar conducting a memorial service
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Gabriel Byrne's Secret State is ludicrous

'You could reverse an oil tanker into the gulf between what Secret State thinks it is (important, good) and what it actually is (cobblers with exploding CGI bells on)'

"The country needs you, Tom," hisses reptilian chief whip John Hodder (Charles Dance), cufflinks oscillating with indignation. Doughty Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne) is unconvinced. "I'm not a leader," he mumbles, peering gloomily out of his Downing Street window. "You give off stability," persists Hodder. "People are craving that. We need someone (voice rises, eyebrows scrunch)… With Balls."

It's a rum old business, this modern politics lark, so thank Christ Secret State (Wednesday, 10pm, Channel 4) is here to sort everything out. A four-part conspiracy thriller ("inspired", the credits thunder, "by the novel A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin"), it arrives amid considerable hoopla. Its lavish trailer depicts a downtrodden Byrne gliding glumly through a deserted SW
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Gabriel Byrne's Secret State is ludicrous

'You could reverse an oil tanker into the gulf between what Secret State thinks it is (important, good) and what it actually is (cobblers with exploding CGI bells on)'

"The country needs you, Tom," hisses reptilian chief whip John Hodder (Charles Dance), cufflinks oscillating with indignation. Doughty Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne) is unconvinced. "I'm not a leader," he mumbles, peering gloomily out of his Downing Street window. "You give off stability," persists Hodder. "People are craving that. We need someone (voice rises, eyebrows scrunch)… With Balls."

It's a rum old business, this modern politics lark, so thank Christ Secret State (Wednesday, 10pm, Channel 4) is here to sort everything out. A four-part conspiracy thriller ("inspired", the credits thunder, "by the novel A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin"), it arrives amid considerable hoopla. Its lavish trailer depicts a downtrodden Byrne gliding glumly through a deserted SW
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Gabriel Byrne Scores A ‘Coup’ With Channel 4′s UK Conspiracy Thriller

  • Deadline TV
After three seasons on HBO’s In Treatment, Gabriel Byrne is returning to UK TV to star in a four-part drama series for Channel 4. With the working title Coup, the Company Pictures/Newscope Films conspiracy thriller starts production in February and will air later this year. Byrne will play politician Tom Dawkins, a reluctant hero thrust into the spotlight following an industrial disaster that raises questions about the safety procedures of the U.S. petrochemical company involved. Dawkins risks everything by taking on the establishment in his pursuit of the truth, uncovering a web of secrets along the way. The series is based on the novel A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin and was adapted for the screen by Robert Jones. Ed Fraiman is directing with Johann Knobel (Shameless) producing. Executive producers are Jason Newmark, Fraiman, George Faber and Charles Pattinson.
See full article at Deadline TV »
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