Diana, framed by some crafty editing. Photo: BBC/Love Productions
Diana was framed: why did the Great British Bake Off throw an innocent WI judge to the wolves?
By Caroline Crampton - 28 August 12:40

Accusations of a stitch-up are flying after the baking show’s most controversial episode to date.

Opulent: staff at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai
Don’t blame it on the bellboy: how India does hotels
By Rachel Cooke - 28 August 12:07

The Taj Mahal Palace, which looks like the bastard child of Sandringham and St Pancras Station, is India’s biggest and most epically decadent hotel. 

Moo closer: presenter Max Mosley
Cattle royale: why red meat should be a treat
By Rachel Cooke - 27 August 10:00

Chicken is permitted to remain on the all-you-can-eat buffet, even if it has been produced in a vast shed containing 54,000 birds. Ditto mussels.

Let’s do the Time Lord again: Laurie Penny and Nicholas Lezard debate Doctor Who
By Helen Lewis - 22 August 16:38

With Peter Capaldi about to step into the Doctor’s shoes, two passionate Whovians talk to Helen Lewis about favourite companions, gender politics and missing theremins. 

Floella Benjamin is one of the stars who has given the issue more prominence of late. Photo: Getty
Making a permanent change to the representation of ethnicity on our screens
By Stuart Murphy - 21 August 11:29

Sky’s Stuart Murphy explains why the broadcaster has introduced targets to combat the absence of real change in BAME representation.

Idris Elba in the BBC’s Luther. Photo: BBC
What does it say about Britain that our best black actors have to go abroad to succeed?
By Musa Okwonga - 21 August 10:53

For a country that prides itself on its multiculturalism, our television is shockingly unrepresentative of what the UK is really like.

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, ready for action in the new series of Doctor Who. Photo: BBC/Ray Burmiston
The global force of Doctor Who: what does Britain’s biggest cultural export tell the world?
By Elizabeth Minkel - 20 August 16:35

In advance of Peter Capaldi’s debut as the Twelfth Doctor, the cast have been on a world tour, doing their duty to its global fandom. By exporting this British cultural institution, what are we saying about ourselves?

Igor Stravinsky walking down a London street, between rehearsals with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1964. Photo: Getty
Time out of mind: recollections from Stravinsky’s childhood
By Antonia Quirke - 18 August 10:00

His parents opposed the idea of him becoming a composer, pushing him bullishly towards the law. 

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan in Masters of Sex. Photo: Showtime
Masters of Sex: a drama of sex, ambiguity and darkness
By Caroline Crampton - 14 August 16:25

This US cable drama about William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the American sex researchers who pioneered physiological study of human sexuality, just keeps getting better and better.

Unexpurgated! An early copy of Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover: Photo: Chris Drumm/Flickr
Lady Chatterley’s lawyer: Jeremy Hutchinson interviewed
By Antonia Quirke - 13 August 12:28

Once married to the actress Peggy Ashcroft, Hutchinson was known be a dashing, lyrical figure liable to quote poetry. 

Baby blue: midwife Vicky (Christine Bottomley) in Kay Mellor's new drama
Soapy and box-ticking: Rachel Cooke on Kay Mellor’s In the Club
By Rachel Cooke - 08 August 16:13

This is a plot so grossly overloaded, so swollen with coincidences, that it makes EastEnders look lithe and minimalist.

Paul Ready.
There are no clear answers in Channel 4’s conspiracy thriller Utopia
By Charlie Royle - 08 August 15:19

Channel 4’s Utopia is a complex and unpredictable thriller which refuses to give easy answers on the challenges of population growth.

Comedy in locomotion: Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot (1959)
Sax and spats: The Culture Studio reviews Some Like it Hot
By Antonia Quirke - 05 August 10:19

There’s such pleasure for the listener in hearing something you know being chewed over properly.

Structural adjustment, Westeros style. Photo: HBO
Game of Thrones: why Braavos is banking on regime change
By Peter Antonioni - 30 July 12:37

The Iron Bank of Game of Thrones embodies aspects of real-world institutions like the IMF, wielding its own form of power and backing those it feels support its interests.

Go team: John Craven (left) and the other presenters of Countryfile
Vintage cheddar: Countryfile – John Craven’s 25th Anniversary on BBC1
By Rachel Cooke - 29 July 10:14

While I understand the impulse to watch a show about otters and dry stone walling, I can’t understand the success of Countryfile at all. It’s so awful: so cheesy and laboured.

Photo: Getty
Whack down the alpaca poo
By Antonia Quirke - 25 July 12:57

The radio column.

Jacques Peretti.
Why does nothing last? The Men Who Made Us Spend on BBC2
By Rachel Cooke - 18 July 15:00

The Men Who Made Us Spend (Saturdays, 9pm) is a fascinating, well-researched series but be warned: it will make you want to punch the nearest wall. Plus: Britain’s Poshest Nannies.

Cave Italia: the Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri. Photo: Getty
Filling the gaps: Outlook on the World Service
By Antonia Quirke - 17 July 16:40

No radio interviewer inserts themself quite so barmily into a dialogue like Matthew Bannister.

Knowledge is power: the winning Leicester team in 1963. Photo: Rex Features
Fingers on buzzers! University Challenge: Class of 2014
By Rachel Cooke - 10 July 15:54

University Challenge, which first aired in 1962, is an institution. Raiding its archive and interviewing students past and present makes for vivid social history.

Centre Court at Wimbledon. Photo: Getty
Thrilling in the name: Wimbledon on BBC Radio 5 Live
By Antonia Quirke - 10 July 11:58

Is it just me or is everyone enjoying saying the word “Kukushkin” rather a lot?

Dystopian future: a still from Bladerunner (1982)
The Bladerunner book: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep on Radio 4
By Antonia Quirke - 04 July 16:00

Jonathan Holloway’s adaptation rightly cherished many things that the film ultimately minimised, in particular the novel’s mourning of the extinction of various animal species.

An installation at the Channel 4 building in London. Photo: Oli Scarff, Getty Images
The Secret Life of Students: a Channel 4 documentary or an episode of Jeremy Kyle?
By Beth Lambert - 04 July 12:49

Channel 4's new documentary series The Secret Life of Students once again fits into their trend of perpetuating stereotypes and vilifying social groups. 

Emma Rigby in Ripper Street. Photo: BBC
Enough is enough: from TV’s “crime porn” to endemic violence, the assault on women has to stop
By Doon Mackichan - 04 July 10:26

Violent images of women onscreen fuel violence against women in society. Actress Doon Mackichan explains why she now has a zero-tolerance policy on taking part in any storylines that use violence against women as entertainment.

Sad-eyed lady: Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein
A walking target: The Honourable Woman on BBC2
By Rachel Cooke - 03 July 15:54

Nothing on telly is going to be this good for some time to come.

Jewish and German: Frontkämpfer Lustig
First World War: the losers’ viewpoint
By Robin Lustig - 01 July 10:00

Robin Lustig’s grandfather, a non-practising Jew, fought for Germany during WWI. By 1943 he had no reason to feel sympathy for the country but his cool appraisal of what had led to the earlier conflict is remarkable.

How now: cows in the Cotswold Hills. Photo: Getty
Through my Window with Laurie Lee
By Antonia Quirke - 27 June 11:40

A 1981 archive recording of the Cider With Rosie author looking at the view from his study in Slad, Gloucestershire.

Elevated position: the original Selfridges lifts, now installed at the Museum of London. Photo: Getty
Rebecca Front: “When I’m filming, I feel more relaxed than at almost any other time”
By Rebecca Front - 26 June 15:27

The star of Nighty NightThe Thick of It and Lewis on literary competitiveness, the cameraderie of the make-up truck and learning to cope with lifts. 

Scandi rouge: Norway's Got Talent
Imperial gogglebox: TV is one of Britain’s most successful exports
By James Medd - 26 June 10:00

China is obsessed with Sherlock, Iran loves Top Gear and Azerbaijan has its own Anne Robinson. But these shows are worth much more than money, writes James Medd.

Dawn O'Porter.
I can’t concentrate on football: the World Cup coverage is far too distracting
By Rachel Cooke - 25 June 15:00

The all-male tedium of football pundits makes me wonder if Dawn O’Porter likes football. Her vintage bandeau tops and frocks would knock Alan Shearer’s super-tight pants into a tin hat.

Lots of money: characters from Channel 4's The Auction House
Zebra-stripe pouffes and a big bronze vagina: Channel 4’s The Auction House
By Rachel Cooke - 19 June 15:38

I loathed pretty much every buyer we saw but I was able to keep my disgust in check by thinking of them as upmarket recyclers. 

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