Robert Hanks

Robert Hanks is a freelance writer and broadcaster.

i Newspaper
The Independent around the web

BOOKS: PAPERBACK REVIEWS - Why we ignore Camus' goalkeeping career

The Word From Paris by John Sturrock Verso pounds 15

Television Review

THERE IS a long tradition of the broadsheet press recycling the most salacious titbits they can glean from the tabloids under cover of righteous disapproval; and I don't intend to break with it now.

Television Review

STOP PRESS: football hooligans enjoy fighting, don't like black people! Workers in homes for mentally handicapped underpaid and unhappy, sometimes take frustration out on patients! Fashion industry exploits young girls!

Television Review

YOU WOULD think that the everyday business of the Los Angeles Police Department would be pretty exciting stuff: after a heavy morning beating up innocent black motorists, you entrap a pop-star in a public toilet by way of light relief, before mounting a very slow car-chase after an ex-footballer suspected of killing his wife. In fact, as it is portrayed in The Real LAPD (C5), the policeman's lot is really quite a dull one. The high points of last night's opening programme included Officer Sharon Reece putting on her face in the ladies' toilets down at the precinct, and her partner, Officer Charles Rodriguez, giving a meticulous explanation of his laundry routine: "And yes, I separate the whites from the colours. I was brought up with three older sisters and a mom, so I'm not the type that puts colours in with the... only once in a while, if I only have very little to... wash, I'll mix 'em. But I prefer not to."

Television Review

THERE'S A common misapprehension that television can't deal with complex issues, a view that the medium itself is sometimes depressingly keen to confirm. But, as at least three programmes this weekend showed, there are ways of doing the tough stuff.

Television Review

ONE HUNDRED and fifty kilometres inside the Arctic Circle, Ray Mears pulled out a banana and rapped it against a piece of wood to show how solidly it had frozen: "You could use it as a tent peg," he announced proudly. Well, thanks. Next time I'm in the far north with a crateful of bananas and find I've left the tent pegs at home, I'll be sitting pretty.

Television Review

THERE WAS an episode of Men Behaving Badly in which Tony found out that he needed glasses. Telling Gary about this, Dorothy begged him not to make fun. Gary stared at her for a moment, then said: "You must be mad." One of the strengths of the writing of Simon Nye, the man responsible for Men..., is his sense of the way that even the closest relationships can be underpinned by a little edge of nastiness (as Morrissey of the Smiths put it, we hate it when our friends become successful). Conversely, even extreme cruelty doesn't preclude friendship, affection, general warmth and humanity.

Television Review

CHARLES Fort, from whom the Fortean Times takes its name, believed that everything was connected to everything else (in honour of this insight, he always used dashes rather than full stops, believing that a full stop was either a lie, or a dash coming straight at you). Why 5 (BBC1), a science series aimed at children, rests on the same principle: every week a genial chap called Ortis (pronounced "Otis") has to make connections between five incongruous objects - this week it was a frying-pan, a nutcracker, a lump of concrete, a washing-machine and a sugar-cube.

Television Review

IN THE beginning was the word. In fact, in the beginning were lots and lots of words, all of them saying the same thing. Just as the universe consists of tiny amounts of matter floating in vast tracts of emptiness, so Universe (C4) consists of tiny particles of information adrift in endless wastes of verbiage.

Television Review

AT FIFTY, everybody has the face they deserve. I can't begin to imagine what David Jason has done to deserve his face, but at any rate, it's an uncommonly interesting one - easily the most interesting thing about All the King's Men (Sun BBC1).
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform