The actor said the profession is becoming so limited that a 'messy kid from a council estate' like himself would no longer be able to forge a career
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Friday 16 January 2009
The Weekend's Television: Wallander, Sun, BBC1<br>Louis Theroux: Law and disorder in Philadelphia, Sun, BBC1</br><br>After Rome: Holy War and Conquest, Sat BBC2</br>
Monday 01 December 2008
Friday 28 November 2008
Spirits were high at the In & Out club on London's St James's Square on Tuesday night. As excerpts from books by the authors shortlisted for this year's Bad Sex in Fiction Award were teasingly read to the packed plush room, the crowd chortled loudly. It was Rachel (sister of Boris) Johnson's animal metaphors, comparing her male character's fingers to "a moth caught inside a lampshade", that made her the 16th winner for her satirical novel Shire Hell, follow-up to Notting Hell.
Thursday 20 November 2008
The English Civil War has a good claim to have been the best-written revolution in history, not because later writers have particularly done it justice but because those directly involved at the time spoke with such vivid brilliance. From Leveller debaters to Parliamentarian leaders to King Charles himself, the historical record is littered with an urgent vigour of speech that can often be transcribed straight into a shooting script. So, when Peter Capaldi's King, pale and indignant, stormed into the Long Parliament to seize the Puritan leaders and found them gone, his words – "I see my birds have flown"– have been drafted by history, not Peter Flannery. And the line with which the Speaker refuses his request for an identification of the guilty parties – "I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me" – didn't come from Flannery either, but from a man who, more than 350 years ago, decided on decorous rebellion.
Sunday 16 November 2008
Sunday 16 November 2008
Sunday 09 November 2008
I've been having a Yeatsian week. First off, I went to the British Library for Josephine Hart's Poetry Hour. The novelist has been promoting poetry since 2004, charming the likes of Jeremy Irons, Juliet Stevenson and Ralph Fiennes into performing for free. Hart introduced key themes from W B Yeats's work and life, and Harriet Walter, Dominic West and Sir Bob Geldof read a generous selection of the poems to a glam media crowd. Hart's ever-smiling husband, Maurice Saatchi provided the astonishingly huge spray of white roses on the stage, quite dwarfing the bouquet presented by Hart's Virago publisher, Lennie Goodings.
Friday 24 October 2008
Baltimore returns to prime time and it does so on the most prestigious stage in American television: Sunday nights on HBO, the home of The Sopranos and Six Feet Under. The news is that The Wire, a 13-week series about life on both sides of a major drug investigation in the Baltimore housing projects, deserves to breathe that rarefied air.
Friday 10 October 2008
Saturday 27 September 2008
Tuesday 23 September 2008
Awards should always be taken with a pinch of salt, as any aficionado of the critics' favourite TV show The Wire will tell you. But even fans of that long-ignored programme must have allowed themselves a little satisfaction at the latest Emmy Awards, where, for once, the right shows won. That included Mad Men as Best Dramatic Series. Set in New York's fledgling 1960s advertising industry, Mad Men will feel totally unfamiliar to anyone used to the conventions of most American primetime TV drama.
Sunday 31 August 2008
Q: Which TV series has probably garnered more column inches in the press recently than the number of viewers who have found it up in the dark corners of their satellite box? A: The Wire. Q. So what is it about this programme that makes it deserve the title of the best US crime show ever? A. The scripts. So when two of the chief writers both have novels out in the same month it must be a cause for celebration, and it is.
Friday 15 August 2008
Everyone agrees that The Wire is a great classic; it has been called the best series ever made by television, anywhere. It looks to me very much like a work of the highest literary art. As British viewers watch it heading into the later stretches of its fifth and last series, it maintains the power and range that have left everyone who has ever seen it struggling for superlatives. But – let's admit it – you haven't seen it; it's quite likely you haven't even heard of it. The first episode of this last series, broadcast on the FX cable channel, gathered only 38,000 viewers. It's a complete scandal.
Sunday 27 July 2008
Sunday 20 July 2008
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders