Gerard Gilbert

Gerard Gilbert is a television writer and feature writer for The Independent.

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ITV's documentary 'The Dentists'

The Dentists, ITV - TV review: Not entirely entertaining

ITV's documentary The Dentists pinpointed its greatest weakness when it declared that going to have your teeth fixed was "the nation's biggest fear", Mark Jones's film immediately excluding viewers averse to the high-pitched whine of a dental drill.

Secret society: 'CCTV: Caught on Camera'

CCTV: Caught on Camera, Channel 4 - TV review

CCTV: Caught on Camera (Channel 4) sounds like one of those cheapo clip shows you find nestling between "My Neighbour the Benefit Cheat" and "50 Greatest Breakfast TV Presenters of the 80s", but is actually more thoughtful than its title suggests.

Home truths: Ann featured in ‘Britain’s Benefit Tenants’

Britain's Benefit Tenants, TV review: Insightful programme shows there's such a thing as society

Advice to documentary makers: if you want to be commissioned by Channel 4 or Channel 5, write a proposal with the word "Benefit" or "Immigration" in the title. The two broadcasters are currently in fierce competition to attract the sort of mass viewership that turned Channel 4's Benefits Street into a national conversation, and while that programme's makers are reportedly struggling to find claimants willing to appear in a second series, or in a proposed project set in Southampton entitled Immigration Street, there seems to be room for a new show on the subject; something along the lines of last night's Channel 4 film Britain's Benefit Tenants.

Mad Men has ended its current run on a mostly high note

Inside Television: Plinky-plonk notes in documentaries don't raise a smile

I can't help noticing that the incidental music in television documentaries is becoming increasingly hard to differentiate from one programme to the next.

Alan Davies, Kevin Eldon and Jo Brand in 'Playhouse Presents: Damned'

Playhouse Presents: Damned, TV review: Yes, it's formulaic - but it's my kind of formula

The professional social services depicted in Playhouse Presents: Damned, the latest in Sky Arts 1's series of one-off comedy-dramas didn't seem to care.

On the ball: Team England in Brazil in 'Street Kid World Cup'

Street Kid World Cup, BBC3, TV review: 'Streetwise teens show their winning ways in a heartening documentary'

"Lelah! No phones out here, this is a game of football!" cajoled the England coach Jack, having managed to persuade his star midfielder to extinguish her cigarette but not to remove her piercings. Roy Hodgson's problems with his England team may be many, but they don't extend to asking Stevie Gerrard not to send text messages during a World Cup match.

The first batch of Celebrity MasterChef contestants

Celebrity MasterChef, BBC1 - TV review: Reheating of stale personalities is back

I'm genuinely intrigued to watch tonight's concluding episode to see how they get on – far more interested than I am to see who wins this year's Celebrity MasterChef (BBC1).

A whole new ball game: 'David Beckham into the Unknown'

David Beckham into the Unknown, BBC1 - TV review: 'Brand Beckham's Amazon adventure is a bit of an own goal'

One of the more interesting moments in last night's not-uninteresting BBC1 documentary David Beckham into the Unknown, in which the footballing star and three of his closest male friends travelled by motorbike through the Amazon rainforests, occurred before he even left home.

Hot spot: Simon Reeve, left, and Kate Humble, second left, visit Australia in ‘Wildfires 2014: Inside the Inferno’

The Weekend’s TV: Wildfires 2014- Inside the Inferno, I Bought a Rainforest

This workaday look at the science  of wildfires lacks a bit of spark

Dublin-born Gabriel Byrne returns to the city to star in BBC1's Fifties-set crime noir Quirke

The show is the creation of Byrne's compatriot Benjamin Black – aka Booker Prize winner John Banville. They tell Gerard Gilbert why Ireland still stirs up painful memories
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Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty