Shiny Shelf
By Iain Hepburn on 24 February 2011 1 COMMENT

A triumvirate of Scots comedy shows have broken through to critical acclaim in the last couple of years, gaining support from the likes of Grace Dent despite their availability on the other side of Hadrian’s Wall being limited to iPlayer.

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By Shiny Shelf on 25 December 2010 Comments Off

One late Christmas Ever Ebenezeer Scrooge was visited by three spirits who showed him the past, the present and the Yet To Come. This is like that, but with three reviewers & Shiny’s usual pop culture nonsense. Merry Christmas.

By Mark Clapham on 28 May 2010 Comments Off

I only know Martin Amis’ novel ‘Money’ by reputation, but it’s a big reputation as one of the defining novels of the 1980s, with lead character John Self hailed as a scabrous avatar for the excesses of the age.

By Mark Clapham on 29 March 2009 Comments Off

… they take up most of our time: recent UK TV crime series ‘Whitechapel’, ‘Moses Jones’, and ‘Red Riding’ hit DVD.

By Mags L Halliday on 26 November 2007 Comments Off

It’s hard to avoid Kenneth Clark’s 1969 landmark ‘Civilisation’ documentary series if you are doing a series on the history of civilisation…

By Abigail Twitch on 03 October 2007 Comments Off

This is the show that deserves to make Peter Serafinowicz into a household name. And rather helpfully for those households, there’s finally a definitive pronunciation of ‘Serafinowicz’.

By Mags L Halliday on 20 August 2007 Comments Off

There used to be a television clip series called ‘Best of British’. ‘British Film Forever’ is a modern, arch version of my old wet bank holiday friend. And that just makes it worse.

By Mags L Halliday on 03 June 2007 Comments Off

The history of modern Britain is a tale we think we already know…

By Jim Smith on 02 January 2007 Comments Off

You could be forgiven for thinking that Sydney Newman’s forty year old creation had taken over Xmas 2006 entirely.

By Mark Clapham on 21 December 2006 Comments Off

A fondly remembered BBC tradition, it was always a mystery through the 1980s and 90s as to why exactly the BBC never revived the ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ series of literary chillers…

By Eddie Robson on 14 December 2006 Comments Off

The BBC may have caused a bit of noise this year with its decision to cancel ‘Top of the Pops’ but it has, very quietly, kept the show ticking over…

By Jim Smith on 17 September 2006 Comments Off

‘That Mitchell and Webb Look’ is a TV version of the radio sketch comedy series from the team behind Channel 4’s skin-crawlingly excellent ‘Peep Show’.

By Eddie Robson on 31 July 2006 Comments Off

It was fundamentally wrong-headed for TOTP’s final edition to be an exercise in nostalgia: a compendium of material from the past, linked by ancient DJs…

By Stephen Lavington on 16 January 2006 Comments Off

There are some things about ‘Hyperdrive’ that are rather objectionable…

By Eddie Robson on 28 December 2005 Comments Off

The first in a series of reports on how the various British TV networks have fared this year, based on one man’s capricious channel-surfing…

By Eddie Robson on 24 October 2005 Comments Off

The history of British pop is such a well-worn subject that new angles to assess it from are very welcome…

By Mark Clapham on 24 September 2005 Comments Off

Last year, the first series of Jed Mercurio’s ‘Bodies’ ended in a way that seemed to make a follow-up impossible…

By Eddie Robson on 30 August 2005 Comments Off

I also considered calling this article ‘Don’t Fear the Repeater’, so consider yourselves lucky.

By Eddie Robson on 24 August 2005 Comments Off

As ‘Extras’ comes to the end of its BBC2 run, Ricky Gervais looks like a smarter operator than ever…

By Eddie Robson on 29 June 2005 Comments Off

Just as the BBC apparently feels a responsibility to take just about every retired British athlete of note to the Olympics, so Wimbledon coverage is now stuffed with all the former professionals they can get their hands on…

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By Eddie Robson on 20 May 2005 Comments Off

What Armando Iannucci and Jesse Armstrong have done here is very simply asked themselves what ‘Yes, Minister’ would have been like had it been made today, and then made it…

By Eddie Robson on 28 February 2005 Comments Off

Johnny Depp’s favourite comic actor returns in what is easily the best vehicle for his talents since ‘The Fast Show’…

By Eddie Robson on 03 November 2004 Comments Off

‘The Smoking Room’ has been deemed a failure already as it arrives on BBC2 from BBC3, with the trailers tossing around quotes from glowing reviews in a desperate attempt to win higher ratings than its BBC3 run…

By Mark Clapham on 07 July 2004 Comments Off

Jake Arnott’s debut novel ‘The Long Firm’ has the unusual distinction of having TV cameras present before it was even signed to a publisher…

By Mark Clapham on 30 May 2004 Comments Off

A decade ago, writer Jed Mercurio created hospital drama ‘Cardiac Arrest’ under the pseudonym John Macure…

By Jim Smith on 20 April 2004 Comments Off

I haven’t read any Trollope – not even ‘The Pallisers’ – and ‘He Knew Was Right’ (serialised October 1868 – May 1869, published in book form May 1869) is apparently far from typical of the author’s work.

By Eddie Robson on 23 February 2004 Comments Off

Six years ago this line-up would have been labelled ‘It’s Ross Noble Night on BBC2′ and a special BBC2 logo in the shape of Ross Noble would have been commissioned to mark the occasion…

By Jim Smith on 05 January 2004 Comments Off

Even now ‘Porridge’ is the best sitcom the BBC has ever made…

By Eddie Robson on 15 December 2003 Comments Off

Congratulations to BBC2 for running the grand final of ‘The Big Read’ at nine o’clock on a Saturday night. Why was this a good thing? Simple – it means that ‘Harry Potter’ didn’t win…

By Eddie Robson on 28 November 2003 Comments Off

‘Top of the Pops’? That’s square, daddio. That was your granddad’s pop music show. These days the kids are watching ‘All New Top of the Pops’…

By Eddie Robson on 15 August 2003 Comments Off

It takes something quite significant for me to turn over from ‘Scrubs’ – so, what’s so good about ‘Trevor’s World of Sport’?

By Eddie Robson on 16 May 2003 Comments Off

Since it doesn’t look like anybody else is going to praise this I suppose I’d better, because it’s brilliant.

By Eddie Robson on 11 May 2003 Comments Off

It’s a mark of just how long a shadow ‘The Royle Family’ still casts over its co-writer Craig Cash that I haven’t seen a single review of his new show, ‘Early Doors’, that draws any comparison with ‘Cheers’.

By Jim Smith on 26 April 2003 Comments Off

‘Double Take’ is a series I decided to give a few weeks grace to after its entirely under whelming opening instalment. I did this partially because I thought it might grow on me…

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By Jim Smith on 11 February 2003 Comments Off

As noted in my review of season one, when ‘Red Dwarf’ was at its best it wasn’t the series the show’s producers wanted to make. This, perversely, means that this, the finest season is presumably the one they’re least happy with.

By Eddie Robson on 09 February 2003 Comments Off

I would’ve given you my full assessment of the opening night of the BBC’s new channel, but I’ve only been able to watch the first couple of hours on account of the lacklustre manner in which digital television has been introduced in this country.

By Jim Smith on 08 February 2003 Comments Off

Travel back in time to when it was all still funny and fresh; it’s three million years in the future and a dead man, a rasta and a semi-sentient cat are squabbling with a balding computer.

By Eddie Robson on 11 November 2002 Comments Off

Now that Steve Coogan has finally accepted that no TV project will ever work as well for him we get a second series of I’m Alan Partridge, almost five years on from the first…

By Eddie Robson on 08 November 2002 Comments Off

This is something that should have come out on DVD aaaages ago. The Young Ones easily ranks alongside British TV’s best ever sitcoms, with the added benefit that it stands up to more re-watching than most.

By Eddie Robson on 01 November 2002 Comments Off

The main purpose of this review is to let people know that Look Around You exists at all because it’s the sort of show that you could very easily fail to notice.

By Mags L Halliday on 18 October 2002 Comments Off

Somewhere, there’s a checklist of what all period TV drama must contain. Tipping the Velvet checks all the boxes and then some…

By Eddie Robson on 15 May 2002 Comments Off

Anthony Head returns to British TV like a prodigal son, and his presence ensures that the BBC will be able to sell this slick series about mid-life crises abroad. And it is very slick indeed…

By Eddie Robson on 15 May 2002 Comments Off

Trust the BBC to jump on the bandwagon when it’s already fifteen miles down the road…

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