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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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