Grace Dent

Grace Dent writes about television for The Independent

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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

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

No one ever says it about men, so why say it about women?

Nick & Margaret: Too Many Immigrants?

Grace Dent on TV: Nick and Margaret: Immigration Gain or Drain transpired to be rather illuminating television

One thing the Brits all shared was utter conviction about their specific anti-immigration bugbear

Novelist David Mitchell has published a short story on Twitter

Twitter is no place for novels. Unless you're David Mitchell

Bravo to him for discovering the site and then achieving anything at all

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Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her