Last Night's TV: The Road to Coronation Street/BBC4
Alan Davies' Teenage Revolution/Channel 4
True Blood/Channel 4

What's this? Coronation Street on the BBC? Apparently so: starring Jessie Wallace off of EastEnders no less. Is this, one wonders, the producers' latest attempt to beat ITV at its own game? After all, this is the Corporation that broadcast Strictly Come Dancing at the same time as The X Factor, an unmistakably aggressive move made in blatant opposition to the public interest (something which, on a Saturday night, is quite obviously only to be satisfied by the combination, not choice, of spangles and crushed dreams. Obviously!).

But no: there is not a trace of malice in The Road to Coronation Street, a disarmingly moving drama about Britain's longest-running soap opera. If anything, it rather over-romanticised things, to the extent that the Street's against-the-odds origins as the unfashionably banal brainchild of a young, would-be writer appeared less docudrama and more fairy tale.

Not that it matters. In return for the romanticism we got strong, if somewhat theatrical, performances, notably from David Dawson, who was unstintingly engaging as the determined young writer Tony Warren, and the perpetually lovely Celia Imrie. There were some genuine shiver-down-the-spine moments, too. Such as the point at which a Granada TV tea lady paused her work at the sight of Warren's pilot – which, at this stage, was destined straight for the scrapheap – plainly fascinated by the ordinariness of the on-screen world. "So-and-so's got those curtains," she remarked, cheering on Pat Phoenix with a fiery "You tell him, love!" It was this tea lady's intervention that got the programme made, in the end. Someone get her an OBE will they?

"Is it," pondered Alan Davies some 25 years ago, "possible to get off with someone at a women's radical-lesbian feminist peace camp?" The answer to that, I suspect, very much depends. If your name is Alan Davies and the object of your affection is one of the campers, probably not. Still, always worth a try, eh? Or perhaps not: brace yourselves, if you will, for what might just be the greatest university society ever to have existed in the history of the universe: SCUM aka the Society for Cutting Up Men. Could you think of anything more divine?

Anyway, Alan, as we learnt in Teenage Revolution, had plenty of other things to try in the Eighties: squatting, protesting, the Chicken's Liberation Movement. Regular, if not terribly successful, attempts were made to shut down his university by invading the registry office. This, said Alan, happened so frequently that a button had to be installed allowing officials to instigate a state of lockdown. Fortunately for them, the softly spoken students of Kent University usually picked weekends to invade – don't want to cause too much trouble, do you? – the result being, of course, that very little shutting down was needed.

Away from the cosy confines of the lecture halls, bigger changes were afoot. These were the days of the miner's strike, and Kent had its pits to worry about. Fortunately, Davies was on the side of the miners. Unfortunately, he chose to demonstrate this by peeing in the letter box of Thatcher House. He revisited it last night, offering his apologies to a very gracious Norman Tebbit. The meeting was not without friction. Thatcher's former right-hand man continued, doggedly, swinging that old chestnut: that miners didn't want benefits, they wanted strikes. It was weird, watching the two square up. Tebbit is charm personified, and yet there was so much anger between the two once.

True Blood has been the latest smash hit to come out of serial winners HBO. Fans wear the programme's maker as a badge of honour. It's HBO, we say, so it must be good. And, indeed, it is good. Very, very good and very, very addictive – but it's also incredibly trashy, flashy and sexy. This is from the network's Sex and the City/Entourage tradition – categorically not The Sopranos/The Wire school of production.

Last night was the first episode of the second series and – goodness – it couldn't have arrived a moment sooner. In the US, of course, they're way ahead, and Rolling Stone has done its bit to whet our appetite too, with that headline-garnering front cover of the show's stars. Not for them the high-end fashion of Vanity Fair's Mad Men cover. No, they wore precisely nothing. Except blood.

And so to last night, where we picked up exactly where we left off. Sookie and Tara, having recently stumbled upon a dead body in the local police chief's car, discovered that the deceased is, in fact Miss Jeanette, minus her heart. Miss Jeanette, for the uninitiated, was the conwoman exorcist who rid Tara's mother of her alcohol-loving demons last series. Anyway, she's dead now, though no one knows why. Also dead: Sookie's great-uncle Bartlett who was killed, it transpired, by Sookie's vampire boyfriend, Bill. Confused? That's only the start. Bill is babysitting Jessica, a strong-willed newly created vampire. Tara is living with Maryann, a sinister adopter of waifs and strays. Tara's camp, drug-dealing brother, meanwhile, is being held prisoner in an unmarked dungeon, while Sookie's brother is moving ever more into religious fanatasism. In short: it's one giant leap of fantasy (with added sexy bits to boot). Which, after all, is exactly what we wanted.

News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Reach for the sky: there are around 250 new buildings of 20-plus storeys planned for London alone, some 80 per cent of them residential
architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
television
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
filmReview: The ingenious film will intrigue, puzzle and trouble audiences by turns
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

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

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
News
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
people
News
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Arts and Entertainment
A life-size sculpture by Nick Reynolds depicting singer Pete Doherty on a crucifix hangs in St Marylebone church
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Escalating tension: Tang Wei and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Blackhat’
filmReview: Chris Hemsworth stars as a convicted hacker in Blackhat
Arts and Entertainment

Oscar voter speaks out

film
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars race for Best Picture will be the battle between Boyhood and Birdman

Oscars
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance)
tvReview: Wolf Hall
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Meighan of Kasabian collects the Best Album Award
music
Arts and Entertainment
Best supporting stylist: the late L’Wren Scott dressed Nicole Kidman in 1997
film
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor)
tv occurred in the crucial final scene
Arts and Entertainment
Glasgow wanted to demolish its Red Road flats last year
architecture
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.

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower