Robert Hanks

Robert Hanks is a freelance writer and broadcaster.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web

PAPERBACKS

Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms

PAPERBACKS

Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms by Stephen Jay Gould, Vintage £7.99

Television Review

"WE BEGIN tonight," Juliet Morris announced, "with a story about people who claim they can picture what others are seeing without actually being anywhere near them. In fact, they could be thousands of miles apart... I know some of you may find the whole concept unlikely."

Robert Hanks' Television Review

"`MERREDITH SAID it was better to bear things than to be a sneak.' The captain's stern look relaxed gradually into a smile. `So Merredith told you that, did he? Well, you can tell Merredith from me that he's a brick; and as for you, you're a brave fellow. I shan't ask you again, for I think I know who did it; but I'll tell you what - I shan't forget you. You're the right sort, and I wish all new boys were the same.' " - from Frank's First Term by Harold Avery

Television Review

MARK WAS with Cherry for 18 months before he felt able to tell her he loved her. That happened one night after they had made love. He told the camera that this was the last night they spent together: soon after, Cherry got sick and died. This is a sad story: does it make it any less sad that Cherry was a pony?

Television Review

ILLUMINATION COMES and goes in unexpected ways in Eureka Street (BBC2). When Jake, the hard-man narrator, comes home from a tough day repossessing household goods in north Belfast darkness wafts in from the edges of his flat: he opens the door to let the cat in, and light bursts over him. To mark the 30th birthday of Chuckie, his lumpish best friend, a barmaid balances a candle on the head of his pint of Guinness - it sputters and sinks as he broods over the passing of youth. Jake sleeps with the same barmaid, and her fiance literally punches his lights out. Eager to con a million quid out of the Ulster Development Board, Chuckie is momentarily stumped by their demand for a business plan, until light explodes inside his attache case. And radiance seems to flow around Max, the beautiful American woman who unexpectedly falls for Chuckie's "teddy bear" charms.

Robert Hanks' Television Review

YOU CAN tell from miles away when a politician has started talking about family values: just keep an eye out for the vultures circling overhead. They must have been licking their lips back in 1990 when Margaret Thatcher dreamed up the Child Support Agency. As the Conservative government saw it, making errant fathers pay for the upkeep of their offspring was a marvellous way of reinforcing family values, and if the Treasury could make a few bob at the same time - well, why not?

Television Review

THERE ARE two basic categories of history. On the one hand, there is the history that everyone can remember. This sort is typified by Let Them Eat Cake (BBC1), a so-so new vehicle for French and Saunders set around the time of French Revolution. This was apparently cobbled together from a variety of sources: a half-remembered Blue Peter feature on Marie-Antoinette; the first 25 minutes of Dangerous Liaisons; and Carry On, Don't Lose Your Head. In Peter Learmouth's script, Versailles is populated by thick aristos with ludicrously high coiffures and correspondingly low morals, and their sly-boots servants. The humour relies heavily on blunt double entendres (big laughs when aristo Saunders' husband is alluded to as "the old comte"), but there are also numerous references to goitre and "the pox". As in Blackadder, the past is viewed, not unreasonably, as a Third World country with appalling sanitary arrangements.

Television Review: Deadly Dragons with Steve Irwin

IT ALL comes down to shorts. When David Attenborough goes questing after exotic beasts, he wears shorts, but they look sensible and practical, proper tropical kit. When Steve Irwin goes hunting, his shorts look like something out of Just William - turn out his pockets and you'd expect to find a broken pen-knife, some string, a couple of conkers, and the odd white mouse. Irwin is the Peter Pan of herpetology, an excitable, overgrown Australian schoolboy who has made a career out of going around the world bothering reptiles who were just sitting around trying to mind their own business.

Television Review

ALAN COREN once published a collection of his writings under the title Golfing for Cats and put a swastika on the front cover, on the grounds that the most popular subjects for books were golfing, cats and the Third Reich. Much the same thinking seems to have provided the rationale for last night's Second World War documentary, Sex and the Swastika (C4). At any rate, there wasn't much internal logic apparent in the way that this feature yoked together two disparate themes.
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
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