Professor Andre van der Merwe (L) who carried out the transplant. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A radio programme on the world's first ever penis transplant had me staring at the radio
By Antonia Quirke - 21 May 17:04

The interviewer, Matthew Bannister – generally known for keeping conversations moving dizzyingly ever forwards – was unusually quiet.

Marc Warren plays The Gentleman in Jonathan Strange. Photo: BBC
1864 and Jonathan Strange both suffer for being modern
By Rachel Cooke - 21 May 16:27

Jonathan Strange is an oddly lacklustre affair, aimed, it seems to me, at a generation brought up on Harry Potter.

French twist: Anaïs Demoustier stars as Claire. Photo: IMAGE.NET
Dark comedy The New Girlfriend is a ravishing portrait of a family after death
By Ryan Gilbey - 21 May 15:43

The films of François Ozon are polymorphously perverse.

BBC4’s “canal trip” nearly doubled the channel’s viewership. Photo: BBC
You loved the BBC’s “phantom ride” up a canal. So join me on a phantom walk . . . down an alley
By Will Self - 21 May 10:12

Our licence fees pay – in part – for two hours of lackadaisical nostalgia and lazy nature-gawping. 

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) during her wedding to Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Photo: HBO
It’s time to stop defending the rape scenes in Game of Thrones
By Sarah Ditum - 19 May 15:13

It’s hard to think of any satisfactory way for Game of Thrones to proceed now, short of Daenerys unleashing her dragons and barbecuing every man in the Seven Kingdoms.

The set for The Vote. Photo: Channel 4 Screengrab
Channel 4's The Vote was dull - especially compared to the real drama of election night
By Rachel Cooke - 14 May 16:03

For thrills, I would take that exit poll over Judi Dench and Jude Law any day.

Anthony Sher. Photo: Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images
From Falstaff to Loman: behind the scenes with Antony Sher
By Antonia Quirke - 14 May 16:00

It seems that Sher is never not speaking on the radio or being spoken about. 

Waiting for a sign: the young lovers in Slaboshpytskiy’s drama
Sign language film The Tribe defiantly refuses to meet the hearing world halfway
By Ryan Gilbey - 14 May 15:57

Hearing audiences might feel that they are being kept at arm’s length and they would be right.

Golden girl: Conchita performing at the Eurovision Song Contest, May 2014. Photo: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
"I'd love to see Angela Merkel dressing a bit more cosy": the passion of Conchita Wurst
By Sophie McBain - 14 May 13:42

The 2014 Eurovision winner already counts Cher and Lagerfeld among her fans. Now, her message of tolerance is going global.

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona reacts on the pitch after being tackled. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images
"I had a constant toothache in my back": learning the language of pain
By Antonia Quirke - 12 May 13:14

BBC Radio 4's The Language of Pain explores how we talk about pain - and why it helps.

Russell Brand, presenter of The Emperor's New Clothes. Photo: Alex Huckle/Getty Images
Don't mention politics! Rhianna Dhillon risks it on Radio 1
By Antonia Quirke - 30 April 10:31

Perhaps what Dhillon was picking up on as patronising was that if you’re addressing a slightly younger audience you have a responsibility not just to keep distracting them with quotable outrages; their minds are less experienced.

Cut to chase: Tom Hughes plays Joe Lambe, MI5
Second-hand spooks (but first rate cheekbones): BBC2's The Game
By Rachel Cooke - 30 April 10:26

With Tom Hughes as lead and a script by Toby Whithouse, The Game gives us a lot to like - but doesn't do enough to surprise.

A singing wren. Photo: Wikimedia commons
The birds are getting louder: untangling the dawn chorus with Chris Watson
By Antonia Quirke - 23 April 12:37

Birds are able to discriminate between waveforms in a way we cannot - and their cries are mutating.

The show must go on: Hugh Bonneville (left) in W1A
Sharpening the pen: media satire W1A is back, and its aim is as sharp as ever
By Rachel Cooke - 23 April 12:32

The mockumentary's second season opens with an hour long special - but some of it hits a bit too close to home.

Werner Herzog. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty
Film is a contact sport: Werner Herzog on the physicality of directing
By Antonia Quirke - 20 April 11:57

Do "whatever it takes" to get your film made.

Holey private: dreams of health for loadsamoney. Photo: BBC
Theatres of the absurd: the unadulterated horror of Harley Street
By Rachel Cooke - 16 April 17:17

Six months of treatment for cancer? A mere £30,000 at London's most exclusive clinics.

Paxman recumbant. Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Advertising Week
Paxman and other traps: how should the media tackle the election?
By Roger Mosey - 16 April 15:46

It's easy to get swept up in the thrill of the media and the shiny lights of the debates - but broadcasteres have a serious role to play in the election, too.

American B52s bomb Vietnam. Photo: STF/AFP/Getty Images
I was the morning DJ: the original Good Morning Vietnam shows a Hollywood History
By Antonia Quirke - 16 April 10:57

It came as no surprise to hear him confess, with a hint of suppressed but immense weariness, the extent to which Hollywood has used history as nothing but an enourmous prop room.

Kyle Chandler in Bloodline. Photo: Saeed Ayani/Netflix
Blame it on the binge: when you get to Bloodline, it may be time to take a Netflix break
By Rachel Cooke - 09 April 16:42

Netflix thinks of its audience in much the same way as small children think of ducks: keep the bread coming and fast, or they'll soon waddle away.

As a 12 year old, Twin Peaks was the most exciting thing I had ever seen.
What made Twin Peaks so special?
By Christian Donlan - 08 April 11:35

Nothing since has been able to measure up to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Nothing has had its power. Why not?

Why do we mock teenage girls who love One Direction when Top Gear fans are just the same?
By Elizabeth Minkel - 31 March 18:56

The online mockery of fans of Zayn Malik, who left One Direction the same day Jeremy Clarkson was fired, would never be levelled at grown-up sports or Top Gear fans.

Trevor Noah, the South African comedian announced as the new host of the Daily Show. Photo: Justin Barlow/Gallo Images/Getty Images for MTV
Why outsiders like John Oliver and Trevor Noah are taking over American late night TV
By Esther Breger - 31 March 14:25

South African Trevor Noah, the newly-announced host of The Daily Show, joins Brits John Oliver and James Corden in the US’s coveted late-night slots.

Wishy-washy liberalism or the sinister state? The revival of Aristotle in modern politics
By Jules Evans - 30 March 10:31

We now live in the era of the “politics of wellbeing”. But what does that actually mean?

The Coalition will be televised: behind the scenes of Channel 4’s drama about May 2010
By Anoosh Chakelian - 28 March 8:30

James Graham’s film about the formation of the coalition is an impressively human portrayal of constitutional torment.

Three colours: Cameron (Mark Dexter), Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Brown (Ian Grieve)
As this government comes to a close, Rachel Cooke is glued to Channel 4's Coalition
By Rachel Cooke - 26 March 15:34

James Graham's mischievous account of the heady days following the last election is Where’s Wally? for people who watch Newsnight.

Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper in 2005. Photo: BBC
Ten years later, the new Doctor Who is still here
By Jonn Elledge - 26 March 10:42

Ten years ago today, Doctor Who returned to our screens – and in spite of big changes, it continues to amaze its most loyal fans.

Rik Mayall’s memorial bench in London. Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images
Bedside Tales: a tribute to Rick Mayall’s charismatic comedy
By Antonia Quirke - 19 March 15:21

When he first arrived, in 1980, Mayall’s face was alternative comedy, just as Johnny Rotten’s voice was punk.

Giles Coren with the Robshaw family in “Back in Time for Dinner”.
Which is worse: working at KFC in 2015 or toiling in a 1950s family kitchen?
By Rachel Cooke - 19 March 15:17

Rachel Cooke reviews The Billion Dollar Chicken Shop and Back in Time for Dinner.

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