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
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
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.

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...