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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Dr Pamela Cox presents Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter

Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter, BBC 2 - TV review

Are you being served? In these days of automated checkouts mostly likely not, but as we learned in Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter last night, there was a time when even ordinary customers were waited on like royalty by the high street's army of obsequious female shop assistants.

An arresting sight: Sheffield policewomen Christine Fisher and Deb Parker

Police Under Pressure, BBC2 - TV review: 'A police patrol gives a valuable insight into life on the frontline'

Everyone in the BBC2 documentary Police Under Pressure was so downcast that they made the police drama Happy Valley look like escapist fantasy. Then again, in the summer of 2013, South Yorkshire Police had a lot to be miserable about: the legacy of the Hillsborough disaster, some of the worst crime figures in the country and large gangs of teenagers with nothing to do and nowhere to go.

Murdered by my Boyfriend sees a teenage girl fall for a violent older man

Murdered by My Boyfriend, BBC3, TV review: 'Compelling enough and realistic when it counted'

Cautionary drama based on extensive interviews entrals an older audience

Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, TV review: Brilliant bar-room-style show consistently delivers

More laddish in tone, and therefore more likely to suffer from the World Cup scheduling, was Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled on Dave. Still it's your loss, not Dave's, if you missed it. This bar-room-style show is brilliant, despite probably costing less than a pub round to produce.

The new series of Friday Night Dinner on Channel 4 will be starting this week

Inside Television: A feast of comedy on Fridays

This Friday night, as is traditional, I’ll be enjoying some family time over dinner. In other words, I’ll be watching the new series of Friday Night Dinners - alone, hopefully - with a family-size glass of wine. Glorious.

Close to home: Lorraine Pascale with Marion and John Bird, her first foster parents

Fostering & Me with Lorraine Pascale, TV review: A model guide to the country's foster-care crisis

If you thought Uruguay was a tough draw, then spare a thought for the poor TV programmes going up against an England World Cup match. Rising to the occasion means the opportunity to unite non-football fans around an exciting viewing alternative, but judging by what was on the other side during England vs Italy (Road Rage Britain: Caught on Camera, anyone?) most channels don't bother. Fostering & Me with Lorraine Pascale (BBC2) was a happy exception, thanks to the TV chef's natural manner and eventful personal history.

Curiosity shopping: Craig and Michael in 'The Auction House'

The Auction House, Channel 4 - TV review: 'These eccentric antique hunters are value for money'

The subject of Channel 4's new three-part series The Auction House was hardly original, but the setting had much to offer that Prestige, the pawnbrokers from April's Posh Pawn, didn't. Lots Road Auctions in Chelsea is a real-life Old Curiosity Shop, with satisfyingly Dickensian characters to match.

The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins

The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins, BBC4 - TV review

Those who spotted last week's salacious headlines about a woman and a dolphin may wonder why BBC4 didn't choose a very different verb to title last night's documentary, The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins. Those who saw last night's documentary, however, will understand. The story of Dr John Lilly's experiment with interspecies communication is about so much more than a bit of human-dolphin lovin'.

Making waves: ‘Orange Is the New Black’ star Laverne Cox

Orange is the New Black season 2: What diversity on TV should look like

Last month, the cover of the venerable American magazine TIME featured a first in its 91-year history; a transgendered cover star. Actress and activist Laverne Cox struck a graceful pose in a blue dress and black heels, while the cover line heralded ‘The Transgender Tipping Point’. How did Cox achieve such prominence? Her role in a little show called Orange is The New Black might have had something to do with it. 

Louie, TV review: Definitely not a sitcom but strangely riveting

It's time for us all to admit that Louie, the show created by and starring stand-up comedian Louis C.K. is definitely not a sitcom. If you haven't seen Louie, which is on its fourth series, but irritatingly scheduled at 11pm on satellite and cable channel Fox, then the closest comparison is probably Seinfeld.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice