Tom Sutcliffe

Tom Sutcliffe was The Independent's first Arts Editor in 1986 and is a former columnist and television reviewer

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Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets

TV review: Summer's Supermarket Secrets, BBC1

Greatest Little Britons: Cake Decorators, Sky1

L. S. Lowry Industrial Landscape 1955 Tate © The estate of LS Lowry

See 60 Lowry paintings in a row and deep melancholy sets in – wherever you're from

Plus: A DVD player – the ultimate in retro and now Amazon wants to sell art

TV review: The Greatest Shows on Earth, Arab World (Channel 4) was shocking, not titillating

Something revealing turned up at the end of the preview version of last night's The Greatest Shows on Earth. It was a trailer for the programme that actually opened the series, the one about Brazil that headlined on semi-naked women. That rather suggests that there'd been a late change to the transmission order of the programmes.

TV review: Phil Spector, Sky Atlantic

David Mamet has always been a writer who prides himself on narrative craftsmanship. He builds a drama like a carpenter builds a chair, conscious of where the stresses are going to fall and looking for the best way to carry them. He's not above following a traditional blueprint either, which is why quite a lot of his dramas and screenplays have an old-fashioned sturdiness about them, the sense of a folk pattern adapted and personalised.

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke talk – and talk– as Before Midnight’s Celine and Jesse

Dialogue heads in the right direction when the stars of Before Midnight are in the driving seat

Plus: A chocolate price that's hard to swallow and David Mamet plumps for (non)bio

TV review: Happy Families, ITV
Eye Spy, Channel 4

I'm guessing that the title of Happy Families – ITV's panopticon documentary series – is meant to be ironic. Or at least that it understands there may be a little friction between the childlike innocence of those two words and what you see on screen. Because they don't look at all happy – or at least not in any uncomplicated way.

Naomi and Lex from Why Am I Still Single? First Cut

TV review: Why Am I Still Single? First Cut, Channel 4

Dates, Channel 4

TV review: Imagine: Vivian Maier – Who Took Nanny's Pictures? BBC1; Secrets from the Workhouse. ITV

Imagine's film about Vivian Maier, a French nanny who turned herself into a remarkable photographer, began with the tabloid headline reduction of her life: "Mary Poppins with a camera". If you already knew her story, I imagine that might have made you wince a little. If you didn't know her story, it was a mark of how good Jill Nicholls's film was that you winced in retrospect, when the Mary Poppins tag came round again. By then you understood how far short that simplification fell of Maier's captivating and thought-provoking tale, full of sad ironies and fruitful paradoxes.

Day In a Page

Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor