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

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

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.

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project