TV Reviews

One of the early rumours that swept the world when HIV finally became an issue was that of revenge sex. People who had been infected, the story went, were deliberately setting out to infect as many other people as they could. This story was largely promulgated by the lock-'em- up-and-throw-away-the-key brigade as evidence that people with HIV weren't merely unfortunate, or even irresponsible, but actually psychotic. Last night's Inside Story, A Deadly Secret (BBC1), made one thing very clear: that the risk of Aids infection lies not in revenge, but in denial.

Jan Ruston was 42 when she went to Cyprus, fresh from a divorce and looking for a new life. She met Pavlos Georgiou, "Paul", a fisherman who was looking after his four children while his wife died back in Britain from cancer. They fell in love - Jan is evidently not someone who takes sexual relationships lightly - had an affair, and everything looked rosy. Except it wasn't. Martha, Paul's wife, wasn't dying of cancer at all: he had infected her with HIV, contracted during one of what his doctor described as "hundreds of affairs", and died in 1994.

When Jan got wind of this, via a friend's boss - nobody among Pavlos's family or close acquaintances had seen fit to inform her, despite the fact that the story had been in the local papers - she confronted him. "He denied it," says Jan's cousin, Sharon. "He denied it again and again. No, no. My wife is dying of cancer. The press got it all wrong, they had no right to print that ... he convinced Jan completely." The tragedy of it is that he was probably this convincing because he had convinced himself. Pavlos didn't want to be HIV positive, so he wasn't.

Jan is back home now, in Essex, being cared for by her elderly parents. During the course of Carrie Britton's film, she lay, wasted and hairless, on the sofa, though happily she had rallied somewhat by its close. Sharon, in Cyprus to press the authorities to prosecute under a law that allows a two-year prison sentence for knowingly transmitting a deadly disease, encountered another example of ostrich syndrome: a solemn official who stated that "we can't tell who infected, male or female". Given that Martha was ill before Jan met Pavlos, the evidence would seem quite straightforward. We never actually found out what has happened to Pavlos, or what state he's in now. Jan and her family are devastated. The disease, meanwhile, remains blithely indifferent to legislation.

The House Detectives (BBC2) combines many pleasing ingredients: attractive settings, the potential for snooping, stories about the lives of strangers, handy decorating tips. The gumshoes of the title are the architectural historian Mac Dowdy, the interior designer Judith Miller and the landscape archaeologist David Austin, who each week are given five days to find out as much about a house as they can: who built it, who lived in it, how it was decorated, what bits were added on and taken away. Cue woodchip, utility fireplaces, and layers and layers of ancient gloss paint.

Last night's subject was a fine example of that red-brick and wooden- beam style that the Edwardians so rejoiced in - "wedding cake architecture", as one of the experts called it - which rejoiced in the marvellously arts- and-crafts name of Fayre Haven. I love watching experts on the telly: they do ham it up so for the camera. Every expert I've met in real life has erred toward the unenthusiastic: "I'm not sure, I'll have to verify it, but ..." is usually as committal as they get. Not so on the BBC. Here, they squat by skirting boards, they say things like "isn't that wonderful", they interrogate other experts.

Fayre Haven, it has to be said, was priceless: built by a wealthy plumber, painter and decorator, it read like a sample book: every type of Anaglypta was represented, as was all the stained and crenellated glass an Edwardian suburbanite could want. The experts cooed and warbled, they found another expert to show them how to restore the damaged wallpaper, they tracked down photos of the builder in his incarnation as Mayor of Preston. Anyone who's ever wielded a paint-stripper will love it.

Arts and Entertainment
Kate Bush: 'I'm going to miss everyone so much'
Arts and Entertainment
Boy George performing with Culture Club at Heaven

musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years

Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
film
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
News
Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
Music Album is set to enter UK top 40 at lowest chart position in 30 years
Arts and Entertainment
The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014
Comedy
Arts and Entertainment

Review

These heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
books'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' sees the writer become the third Australian to win the accolade
Arts and Entertainment
New diva of drama: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London