Robert Hanks

Robert Hanks is a freelance writer and broadcaster.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web

Television Review

WHEN I hear the word "spirit-ual", I reach for my remote control, as when, in The Dome: Trouble at the Big Top (BBC2), Peter Mandelson said: "There is a spiritual dimension to our lives." Fortunately, I resisted the impulse to zap over and so heard him carry on: "And indeed, if it weren't for Christianity, we wouldn't be celebrating the millennium. I mean, we are, you know, 2000, er, you know, AD, um - no, what are we? BC? No no, AD. Oh..."

Television Review

IN FICTION, passions tend to have some sort of proportion to the circumstances that give rise to them; when they don't, we call the result "comedy". In life, though, the categories rarely function so smoothly.

Television Review

SCIENTISTS HAVEN'T, on the whole, done terribly well out film and television: you'd think that for every heroic boffin who's out there discovering a cure for cancer or just plain old pushing back the bounds of human knowledge, there are three more crackpots plotting world domination, or even the apocalypse.

Television Review: Omnibus

IN HIS NOVEL Misery, about a popular author whose "number one fan" imprisons him and cuts off his feet, Stephen King produced the best-known and scariest satire on the cult of the celebrity author. So it was ironic, and more than a little disappointing, to see him fall victim, in a different way, to the same cult in last night's Omnibus (BBC1).

Television Review: Timewatch

ONE LINE by the American epigrammatist Jenny Holzer that has always stuck in my head is: "Abuse of power should come as no surprise." It came back to me twice this weekend.

Television Review

AFFECTION, THE ordinary, day-to-day business of people liking each other, is rather a neglected phenomenon. Serious art rarely deals with it, preferring to concentrate on grander concerns (romantic love, inevitability of death, the search for meaning in an absurd universe, etc etc); and critics tend not to take a great deal of notice of the role it plays in our reactions to art.

Television Review

AFFECTION, THE ordinary, day-to-day business of people liking each other, is rather a neglected phenomenon. Serious art rarely deals with it, preferring to concentrate on grander concerns (romantic love, inevitability of death, the search for meaning in an absurd universe, etc etc); and critics tend not to take a great deal of notice of the role it plays in our reactions to art.

Television Review

JUST AS uncanny coincidences are bound to happen every so often (and shouldn't be taken as proof that the unseen hand of Providence is at work), so life is always at risk of seeming to imitate art. There is, after all, such an awful lot of life going on, and we have a strong urge to read familiar patterns into events. But does that mean that art really has an affect on the course of events?

Television Review

THE CLASSIC text of the anti-television movement is Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, which argues that by constantly submitting ourselves to the passive pleasures of television, we are destroying our capacity to think and feel.

Television Review

DRAWING A line between fiction and reality isn't always easy. According to Mark Lawson's new study of soap opera, Never Ending Stories - How Soap Cleaned Up (BBC2), there are two main accusations levelled at the genre: one is that soaps are ridiculously unrealistic (whoever has that much drama in their family?); the other that people believe they are real.
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam