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

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?