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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A ceramic figure is the only thing remaining at the site of this destroyed home in Fredalba, California. The dry Santa Ana winds roll into Southern California from the upper Mojave Desert, setting off car alarms and starting wildfires

It's time for God to step in on climate change

The winds of change are blowing in California, where science is trying to recruit and unlikely ally

Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year

Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series

The influence of Friends is so all-pervasive we often take it for granted

Aye-catching: Elaine C Smith in ‘Scotland in a Day’

Scotland in a Day, TV review: After a long month of campaigning, you've just got to laugh

After a day at the polls, a month of campaigning and centuries of increasingly fierce debate, Channel 4's mockumentary Scotland in a Day was a way for the healing to begin. Written by and featuring erstwhile Channel 5 talk-show host Jack Docherty, it featured an ensemble of Scottish comedians and actors playing characters on all sides – but especially the hitherto under-represented "Aaaarrrrghh! I just can't decide!" side.

BBC3’s new show Don’t Drop the Baby

Don't Drop the Baby, TV review: Can an experienced midwife "turn these bad lads into super dads"?

Life was also about to change for ever for the fathers-to-be in BBC3's new show Don't Drop the Baby. Can an experienced midwife, to use the BBC3 parlance, "turn these bad lads into super dads"? Sigh. If only this six-part series was a mockumentary like Scotland in a Day. Unfortunately, the paternal ignorance on show was all too real.

Blanket coverage: Amy Brenneman in ‘The Leftovers’

The Leftovers, Sky Atlantic - TV review: Apocalypse wow! There's still plenty of life at the end of the world

Mystery plots in which the mystery is never resolved are something of a speciality for Damon Lindelof, co-creator of Lost and now of The Leftovers. Sky Atlantic's big new HBO drama import is adapted from a book of the same name by Tom Perrotta and takes place after a rapture-like event, known as the Sudden Departure, which saw 140 million people, or two per cent of the world's population simply disappear.

Don't Stop the Music, Channel 4

Don't Stop the Music, Channel 4 - TV review

Don't Stop the Music is a show that's full of impetus. After last year's Notes from the Inside, classical pianist James Rhodes is fast replacing Jamie Oliver as Channel 4's most impassioned social justice campaigner. This two-parter, which concluded last night, follows Rhodes and the children at St Teresa's primary school in Basildon, Essex, as they fight to save music education. The school's budget for music teaching is exactly zilch, and that's hardly unusual. According to Rhodes, nearly a third of British primaries give children no opportunity to play instruments, while a newly mandated focus on "dead German men" in the music curriculum is causing staffroom grumbles. Here comes Rhodes to the rescue.

Traders: Millions By the Minute, BBC2

Traders: Millions By the Minute, BBC 2 - TV review

Traders: Millions By the Minute wasn't as much like Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street as I'm sure we'd all have preferred it to be. BBC2's new two-part documentary about the lives of stock market traders was much more concerned with the motives underlying their behaviour than the cut of their designer suits or the purity of their cocaine.

Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis

Cilla, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith plays the young singer perfectly

No wonder Cilla's chuffed with this story of her life – even the Beatles take a back seat

Once again, our depiction - and understanding - of those on benefits is wrong

Benefits Street returns: The myth that’s worth hitting

It might seem like grim viewing but, actually, it’s pure escapism

Game of Thrones fans can now perfect Dothraki pronunciation on new language course

The language now features upwards of 3,200 words

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Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin