Rant & Rave: A bad week for estate agents, but an excellent one for the BBC's pointy-heads


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The Independent Online


Warning: don't read this if your heart bleeds easily. Yes, it's been a bad week for estate agents, with three in Great Yarmouth learning that they must stand trial for making false statements, while Foxtons faced a Londoner's rant which has, like the shower tray in many a rented property, "gone viral". The case of the Great Yarmouth Three involved a brochure for a property boasting "a plot of approximately 0.75 of an acre". Very approximately: it measured 0.4.

Meanwhile in London, a university lecturer has shared online his unanswered complaints about the leaking roof and lack of vacuum cleaner in his rented flat. Foxtons "did not wish to comment". We bet it didn't! Frankly, for estate agents to face justice over 0.35 of an acre and a mucky floor is a bit disappointing – many of us will have anticipated a more fitting end-of-days denouement, such as Purgatory.


Three cheers for BBC2, which has uncovered the pinnacle of human evolution: Professor Alice Roberts, the presenter of last week's Prehistoric Autopsy. As Britain's favourite paleopathologist, Dr Roberts rescued one of the most depressing nights in BBC history (the Panorama-Newsnight-Savile implosion) with a convincing reconstruction of a Neanderthal man made out of a 70,000 year-old skeleton, plasticine and a ginger wig.

By live-tweeting links to all the research, she has reinvented academic footnotes for the 21st century. And she even indulged a few "don't fancy yours much" jokes. This, surely, is what the BBC was made for. When the self-flagellation is over, please go out and find a few more like her.