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.

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Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links