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The best of culture in 2022

Rachel Cunliffe and the New Statesman culture team discuss this year’s TV, film, music and books.

A special Boxing Day episode hosted by Rachel Cunliffe, looking back at the best (and worst) of the year in culture. She is joined by Tom Gatti, the New Statesman’s executive editor for culture, Kate Mossman, senior writer, and Rachel Cooke, our regular TV critic, to talk about their picks across TV, music, books and film.

In music, they discuss the high-art cabaret of Christine and the Queens’ Redcar and Kate’s nerve-wracking interview with Nick Cave about his deepening faith and grieving for two sons.

In film, the stand-out was The Quiet Girl, based on Claire Keegan’s story of early-1980s rural Ireland which left Rachel Cooke and Tom weeping.

In TV, they move from the indulgent theatre of the Harry and Meghan documentary to the exquisite observations made in the BBC series Marriage, and explain why people can’t stop the watching the second season of The White Lotus.

And in books, highlights include the nasty but brilliant novel Vladimir by Julia May Jonas and Katherine Rundell’s The Golden Mole, while the unanimous lowlight is Matt Hancock’s retrospectively constructed and entirely delusional Pandemic Diaries.

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