Rachel Cooke trained as a reporter on The Sunday Times. She is now a writer at The Observer. In the 2006 British Press Awards, she was named Interviewer of the Year.
How fantastic to have a show in which the two main characters are competent, sane, ambitious women who like their work and gain an awful lot of satisfaction from it.
If this feels familiar, that’s because it is. Here are all the tired tropes, arranged for our middle-class delectation.
It is impossible to look back on the world of light entertainment in the Savile era and not come to the conclusion that it was strikingly weird.
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.
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.
This is a plot so grossly overloaded, so swollen with coincidences, that it makes EastEnders look lithe and minimalist.
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.
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.
University Challenge, which first aired in 1962, is an institution. Raiding its archive and interviewing students past and present makes for vivid social history.
Nothing on telly is going to be this good for some time to come.
Cool Britannia 20
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