Last Night's TV: Tiger Woods: The Rise and Fall, Channel 4
Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne, BBC2

Is there any scandal less in need of a feature-length documentary than that of Tiger Woods? The unedifying details of his private life were, after all, spread across every supermarket tabloid, every newspaper, every magazine and every news channel for months on end. And now almost half-a-year after the whole mucky thing exploded into view: 80-odd minutes more, courtesy of Channel 4.

The answer of course is no. No, we don't need to hear any more. I don't at least. I had quite enough of it at the time. As scandals go, it was rather on the tiresome side: an initial burst of sensationalism followed by endless sordid revelations, each one – rather like the women from whom they emerged – almost indistinguishable from the next.

Disclaimer thus made... my goodness, wasn't Tiger Woods: the Rise and Fall fun? Presented by the pleasingly unassuming Jacques Peretti, it offered an unexpectedly intriguing insight into the world of sports management, elite athletics and tabloid scandal. We got a tour around Woods's childhood neighbourhood, historically a solidly white suburb where the golfing protégé was frequently bullied for his race. Looking at the wealth divide that persists, and the strength of its correlation with race, it's impossible not to ponder the psychological toll it must have taken on Woods. Even once he had broken into the wealthy, white golfing establishment, he continued to receive death threats. These, said those who knew him, would be converted into "cold calculating" motivational fuel by the pro.

Earl, Woods's late father, seemed to have set about parenting as if it was some kind of messianic project. He wanted, said Peretti, to raise a son who would be like Gandhi or Buddha. Naturally, this meant teaching him golf; sending him to "golf boot camp" at the old naval course, finding an instructor to draw up military-style SOP training rituals, hiring a hypnotist to keep him on track – not to say on message. In an unusually candid interview, the 15-year-old Woods reflected on his race. Everyone stares, he said. It was an aberration not to be repeated. By the time he had hit the big time, face adorning dozens of corporate logos, Woods had become curiously devoid of racial identification. Instead, he had been cast as the strait-laced, clean-cut, all-American bachelor (then, later, family man) – a depiction that not only became hopelessly inaccurate but was hopelessly inaccurate from the word go. His father, speculated Peretti, had installed an "infidelity chip" in Woods by continuing his own illicit liaisons. As soon as the success began, so did the sordid liaisons about which we now know so much.

A million miles away from Woods's photogenic on-screen "crew" – Thierry Henry and Roger Federer – were his real friends, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan. The three, says Peretti, were regulars at the gaudy nightclubs of Las Vegas. They were "whales", a rat pack of sorts, heading out each night in search of girls, gambling and games. It was on one such night than he met Joslyn James, a stripper with whom he conducted a three-year relationship. Rather like Mindy, the pancake waitress whose relationship with Woods would eventually become his undoing, James claims never to have asked for anything from her high-flying beau. She got something though: two pregnancies – neither of which she kept – and a green golf jacket. Somewhat gratuitously, her entire interview is conducted in her underwear.

In fact, if there was a weakness in the surprisingly engaging Tiger Woods: the Rise and Fall it was that. Peretti was good, and the material he uncovered engrossing, so why the need to intersperse interviews with Woods's associates with cynically shot clips of women's breasts, bottoms and bras. It was a small detail, but an irritating one, in what was in all an impressive bit, not just of celebrity investigation, but rather compelling personal profiling.

In Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne, a group of teenagers are given the chance to perform in a brand new opera at the famous August festival. Unfortunately, none of them actually want to take it. So, chirped Malone, after his initial introductory spiel at the local school, anyone interested? One boy raised his hand, to be met with ridicule from his contemporaries. Malone remained undaunted, overcoming the unfortunate obstacle of his youthful appearance (it must be difficult persuading 15-year-olds to do what you say when you resemble less one of their teachers and more their goody-two-shoes younger sibling).

After a slow start, though, things started to look up. Malone conquered his fear of youth centres and youth-centre attendees appeared, at least, to conquer their fear of opera. As we left things, 100-odd volunteers were attempting to make it through the final stages of the audition process. Curiously, given the cocky swagger with which most had approached the project, many – particularly boys – began to crack under the pressure, squeaking out of tune to "Somewhere over the Rainbow". With the cast for the final production lined up, a few stars were already beginning to shine – in particular the twinkly-eyed Des, who left school in year 11 after a fight on the school bus and has worked as a painter-decorator ever since. He's always loved performing, he said, though he's not sure about opera. "As long as you don't have to put on a pair of tights and swan around stage," countered his mother. "I wouldn't mind wearing tights," observed Des. This boy'll go far.

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
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

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
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.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee