Grace Dent

Grace Dent writes about television for The Independent

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Grace Dent on TV: meet the room-boys who scrub baths all day but don’t have one at home

This week Grace watched... Hotel India, BBC2

Grace Dent on TV: When two tribes went to war all you got was Richard Osman’s first flop

This week Grace watched... Two Tribes, BBC2

Pauline Pearce is exactly what politics needs. But politics is too safe and boring to accommodate her

The Hackney Heroine could have invigorated the Lib Dems

Recipe for success: the format for BBC’s ‘The Great British Bake Off’ has been bought by 11 European countries and five farther afield

Grace Dent on TV: Four years on, The Great British Bake Off remains a warm slice of escapism, rising to the occasion

This week Grace watched... The Great British Bake Off, BBC 1

A cute, adorable cat

If you care about Claude the cat – or any animal – you should support the RSPCA

This is a charity that deserves to be given more power, not less

Grace Dent on TV: Only happy campers in a portrait of the soggy-sandwich brigade

This week Grace watched... My £9.50 Holiday BBC1

A Chelsea Pensioner walks among red poppies at the Tower of London’s moat yesterday

Sombre TV moments filled a day when we were reminded of how war’s lessons are never learnt

There was so much dignity in the generation that endured this horror

Grace Dent on TV: The Stuarts doesn't give light, sideways glances. These are history lessons

As the good people of Scotland mull over independence, it’s worth taking some time to work out how we ended up in this curious, often unsatisfactory four-way group hug at all. Until I watched the rather marvellous The Stuarts on BBC2 this week I can’t say I was wholly certain myself. My fuzzy A-level history recall is of Elizabethan Scotland and England, chalk and cheese, forever battering each other in Berwick and forming hollow alliances with France, or Spain, to keep the other country nervous. I don’t remember Wales being mentioned at all. Then at one point we appear to have joined forces, all as one observing a baggy pact with a swaggering name: “Great Britain”.

Grace Dent on TV: Kirsty Young in a Whistles frock emoting controlled disgust at paedophiles on Crimewatch

For many years Nick Ross told us, “don’t have nightmares”, in the closing moments of BBC1’s Crimewatch. It was a chipper little phrase which we all enjoyed, although it did little to assuage the bleak mental remnants of 60 televised minutes of man’s inhumanity to man. Violent muggings, bank clerks from Rugby – always Rugby – tied up and tormented in vaults, the random unexplained murders and that bit midway through about missing, beloved antiques that no one gave a stuff about. Oh, you lost a vase? My heart bleeds for you, we’ve just watched news of a series of unfortunate events happening to an innocent mother-of-two in a parochial commuter-station car-park.

Are we politely looking the other way when it comes to Kate, the ever-shrinking Duchess?

There’s a small chance we’re turning a blind eye to what many Americans feel is a big fat fact

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor