Last Night's Television: Coronation Street, ITV1
The Apprentice, BBC1
Rain, BBC2

"We've already watched a lot of television tonight," moaned Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, flinching from the prospect of a marathon viewing of The Thorn Birds with Deirdre. Ken doesn't really approve of television, thinking there are better ways to spend your time, and who could gainsay him given the immeasurably more interesting drama you can get just down the road at the Rovers Return, a kind of Epidaurus with bitter on tap. Dynastic curses, incest, blood feuds and murder are stacked up behind the bar, alongside the pork scratchings and dry-roast peanuts. Last night, for instance, Colin – Rita's box-fresh fiancé – was revealed to have impregnated Julie when she was just 14 years old. Colin, rather unwisely in the circumstances, tried to argue his corner, pointing out that Paula wasn't exactly a blushing innocent at the time, but Rita was having none of it: "What you did is unforgiveable... you abused a child." She then went to sit in the dark in the Kabin, mascara streaming down her cheeks while her friends tried in vain to get her to pick up the phone. Rita declined, which won't really surprise you if you've ever seen her phone, a grim piece of faux-sophisticate tat that looks as if it's been made out of raw liver and prompts me to offer a word of congratulation to that unsung team of geniuses, the Coronation Street set-dressers. Ken, meanwhile, was off down the canal towpath looking longingly at a barge crowned with a stone Buddha, from which classical music was seeping through the net curtains. For Ken, this represents nirvana, and though he turned away from it last night I don't think it will be long before he succumbs to temptation.

I have a feeling Deirdre would have been watching The Apprentice anyway, rather than The Thorn Birds, since her mother, Blanche, takes a tricoteuse delight in the misfortunes of others, and things are beginning to get more heated. This week, the Testosterone Twins – Ben and Phil – were given command of a team each, a task which Ben, who can barely open his mouth without mentioning his Sandhurst scholarship, believed he was well equipped for: "Heavy gunfire, explosions going off around me, people getting injured, that's when I can bring a team together." Phil, meanwhile, was promising to rein in Mr Big Head and become a more sensitive, listening boss. Unlike Ben, Phil may not know of Von Moltke's celebrated dictum, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy", but he knows how he feels about Lorraine and the moment she opened her mouth (to make a point he would have been well advised to listen to) his commitment to consensual team-building collapsed.

The task was to value and sell 10 assorted items, mostly junk but salted with a couple of high-value nuggets. Both teams energetically unloaded the gems at a fraction of their real value and managed to return with a loss, an event that always converts Sir Alan's synthetic for-the-camera dyspepsia into the growling real thing. Ben, who had reacted badly to the modest combat stress of having to sell a pair of vintage high heels (and ultimately lost the challenge) sat in the boardroom like a man in shell-shock, calculation flickering behind his beady little eyes. Should he bring in Debra, because she'd already managed to irritate Sir Alan by getting brusque with Nick Hewer, or should he choose James? He opted for the latter, only for Sir Alan to throw James a faeces-smeared lifeline. "I hope you're not thinking about James like there might be a village missing an idiot somewhere," he said warningly. Not a big man for Idiots Rights, Sir Alan, but the implication was clear. Don't just pick on the gormless one because you think he's weak. Ben stuttered and shifted his choice to Debra.

I'd be a bit surprised if there was anybody watching who wasn't praying that Ben might finally get his comeuppance, but fortunately he'd taken Noorul in with him, a man who has so far shown all the business acumen of a piece of polystyrene packing. Noorul got the cab but, as if to console us for Ben's continued survival, we were given an uncharacteristic glimpse of post-boardroom bickering. "You showed there that you were totally spineless and you shat your pants," said James as they all relaxed in the convivial atmosphere of the showhome. Ben, equally uncharacteristically, didn't respond – or at least we weren't shown it.

Rain was very, very watery and nicely timed to accompany the arrival of the British summer, with its increasingly familiar parade of drenchings, cloudbursts, flash-floods and washouts. It also paid a modest tribute to the man who made it possible for us to attend to precipitation with a trainspotter's regard for detail – G J Symons, the Victorian obsessive who first began the systematic collection of rainfall data. When they say "since records began", it's Symons they owe it all to.

Arts and Entertainment
The Rolling Stones at the Roundhouse in London in 1971: from the left, Keys, Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor and Mick Jagger

Music ...featuring Eric Clapton no less
Arts and Entertainment
In the dock: Dot Branning (June Brown); Union boss claims EastEnders writers are paid less than minimum wage

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Roger Christian wrote and directed the 1980 Black Angel original, which was lost until 2011

film
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Green (Hand out press photograph provided by Camilla Gould)

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones reviewWarning: Spoilers aplenty
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Arts and Entertainment
The Clangers: 1969-1974
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
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 civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

    ‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

    Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

    ... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
    12 best olive oils

    Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

    Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
    Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?