Ellen E Jones

Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.

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The number of Romanians in the UK actually fell after immigration restrictions were lifted

The Great Big Romanian Invasion, TV review: Documentary-maker Tim Samuels went further than Nick and Margaret ever bothered to

The ancestors of documentary-maker Tim Samuels came to the UK from Romania, and this personal connection explains why Samuels' interest in the prophesied influx of Romanian immigrants (remember that?) has outlasted everyone else's.

'Child Genius': A television show celebrating exceptional intelligence in childhood

Inside Television: Pushy parents are taught a lesson in Child Genius

The young prodigies of Child Genius (Channel 4, Sunday, 9pm) all have their reasons for taking part in Mensa’s annual competition. Home-schooled Jocelyn wants to measure herself against the peers she rarely meets; miniature Mozart Curtis hopes to be prime minister one day and Rubaiyat, an 11-year-old studying Maths at degree level just wants to make friends. For viewers the show’s appeal is even simpler: clever kids make compelling telly.

Glasgow Girls on BBC3

Glasgow Girls, BBC3 - TV review

When the schoolgirl subjects of Glasgow Girls on BBC3 didn't like what was happening around them, they decided to take action.

London calling: 'Nick and Margaret: Too Many Immigrants?'

Nick and Margaret: Too Many Immigrants? BBC1 - TV review: A bridge too far for the Apprentice duo

Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford? Who left them in charge of Britain's social policy? Their combined repertoire of stern looks was ideally suited to acting as Sir Alan's advisers in The Apprentice, but surely the welfare system and immigration would benefit from more expert input? Apparently not, because almost exactly a year after Nick and Margaret: We All Pay Your Benefits, the gruesome twosome have returned with another over-simplified take on a complex issue. Nick and Margaret: Too Many Immigrants?, a two-part series and "social experiment" began on BBC1 last night.

Royal Marines Commando School, Channel 4

Royal Marines Commando School is a programme about real violence, the state-sponsored kind that sends young men to kill and die, but, from the vantage point of the Royal Marines' Commando Training Centre in Devon, all that seemed a very long way off.

Leading light: Rose Leslie in 'Utopia'

Utopia, Channel 4, TV review: Dennis Kelly's conspiracy thriller makes perfect start

No far-fetched conspiracy theories are necessary to explain the return of Utopia. Channel 4's acid-toned paranoid thriller got off to a disappointing start ratings-wise, but soon built a detail-orientated fanbase whose obsessiveness was almost a match for the show's own graphic-novel nerds. In February, David Fincher announced he'd be directing a HBO remake, scripted by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. That's no small compliment, so it says something about the originality of Utopia's writer-creator Dennis Kelly that his second series is still the more exciting prospect.

Brief encounter: Gillian Taylforth, with her partner Geoff Knights (right), arriving in court in 1994 for her libel trial with ‘The Sun’

Ellen E Jones: The Weekend's TV from The Trial of Gillian Taylforth to From Scotland with Love

Misogyny in the dock features in this salacious re-creation of a soap star’s humiliation

Magaluf remains a popular party destination for British holidaymakers, despite a growing reputation for street violence in recent years.

What happens in Shagaluf no longer stays there

People don't intend to treat their holiday destinations like a toilet bowl, and yet responsible tourism is still a long way off
Channel 4's conspiracy thriller Utopia will continue its interest in how genetic science might save or damn the human race

Inside Television: Sci-fi series set out to answer questions - and could deliver plausible theories

"Science fiction," said Ray Bradbury, “is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas.” If that’s true, then TV drama has lately been shirking its responsibilities and indulging instead in escapist genres like fantasy (Game of Thrones) and period drama (Mad Men, Downton Abbey). Now, sci-fi is back in a big way. So does that mean we’re once again ready to engage in some serious thought?

Space oddity: Halle Berry stars in ‘Extant’

Extant, TV review: Slick sci-fi series has an intriguing plot, but the characters aren't quite out of this world

If you're yet to sign up for an online streaming service, then Extant, the glossy new Steven Spielberg-exec produced sci-fi series, may be the one that lures you in. Episodes will be available on Amazon Prime Instant Video one day after they're first broadcast in the US.

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Day In a Page

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears