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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John Oliver, a 37-year-old Birmingham-native, first found US fans as a correspondent on The Daily Show

Inside Television: John Oliver bucks the Piers Morgan effect on HBO

Another week, another tragic mass shooting in America, another excuse for inveterate feuder Piers Morgan to take to Twitter and bait his American followers on the subject of gun control. Of all the controversial, strident and simply ill-mannered aspects of the ex-tabloid editor’s now cancelled CNN show Piers Morgan Tonight, it is likely his gun control crusade which contributed most directly to the show being pulled off air in March.

My Granny the Escort, TV review: Is it the punters' gerontophile perversions that's the problem? Or society's ageist assumptions?

Focus on the women unfairly suggested that the 'problem' was all theirs

Burning Desire: the Seduction of Smoking, TV review: A compelling investigation into Big Tobacco's secrets and lies

Journalist Peter Taylor has been making documentaries about cigs, aka cancer sticks aka "the most lethal consumer product on the planet", for almost as long as we've known that smoking kills.

Comfort zone: Alan Yentob with Philip Roth in ‘Imagine’

Philip Roth Unleashed, TV review: Misogyny unbound as Yentob and Roth enjoy literary love-in

If you were Alan Yentob, the presenter/editor of Imagine – Philip Roth Unleashed, who had been trying to persuade “America’s greatest living writer” to appear on your programme for more than 20 years, then perhaps the greatness of your subject would seem self-evident. But if you were one of those “shiksa” women that Roth’s books fetishise, or one of the suburban Jews they sometimes mock, or an ex-friend mercilessly co-opted into his fiction, then you might have appreciated a more rounded portrait.

Putin and Baz the cat? Both were compared to Hitler

Everyone's a Nazi now: Godwin's 'Hitler' law now applies offline and online

What do Russian President Vladimir Putin and Baz the cat from Tredworth, Gloucestershire, have in common? Both were last week compared with Hitler, with consequences far beyond the insult's initial sting. Poor Baz, who has fur-markings above his lip resembling a toothbrush moustache, was found beaten and left for dead in a dustbin. His owner believes the attack was motivated by the cat's unfortunate resemblance to the Nazi leader.

Rubble in mind: Philip Glenister and Liz White in ‘From There to Here’

From There to Here, TV review: Manchester family saga won't revive happy memories

How well do you remember the events of 1996 to 2000? But hazily, hopefully; otherwise your enjoyment of From There to Here, BBC1's new three-part family saga will be marred. Certainly, if you could recall the outcome of the England vs Germany Euro '96 semi-final, this first episode was a lot less suspenseful.

Mears showed how an awe-inspiring landscape can shape the growth of an entire society

How The Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears, TV review: Paean to North America's epic beauty

Ray Mears has always been at the sensible end of the survivalist spectrum and now that he's back on the BBC after a brief sojourn at ITV, he's found a documentary subject that fits as snug as a beaver pelt hat.

Gabriel Byrne stars as a crime-solving pathologist in the 1950s-set Quirke

Inside Television: From There to Here, Mr Sloane and Quirke...nostalgia on TV is so much better than it used to be

They say if you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t there. Or at least that’s what they used to say, until television dramas like Mad Men, Endeavour and Inspector George Gently furnished us all with perfect recall of life in decades past - whether we were actually there at the time or not.

Mr Drew's School for Boys, Channel 4

Mr Drew's School for Boys,Channel 4 -TV review

In Mr Drew's School for Boys (Channel 4), headteacher Stephen Drew set himself the task of taming a group of eight-to-12-year-old tearaways and last night's final episode was a chance to assess how far they'd come.

In the dark: Eva Green and Josh Hartnett in 'Penny Dreadful'

Penny Dreadful review: Well-cast gothic horror fails to make a gripping start

A gripping, over-arching story line was missing from last night's episode

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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star