Who is the new James Bond? Everything we know about the next 007 film

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Bond will stay in cinemas… for now Broccoli and Wilson have seen off previous attempts at a Bond TV series — “We’ve resisted that call for 60 years,” Wilson told Total Film – and, along with a resistance to spin-offs, EON are committed … Read more

Under the Banner of Heaven, review: Andrew Garfield can’t elevate this murky Mormon mystery

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Whither the art of fictional TV crime? It feels like most new whodunits nowadays fall into the increasingly crowded genre of “true-crime drama”. Try not to roll your eyes but here comes yet another series plundered from news headlines, rather than a writer’s … Read more

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize winner 2023 – on the interplay between force and opinion in government

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE “Government must depend for its Efficiency either on Force or Opinion.” From ‘The Colonist’s Advocate’, VII. (Feb 1, 1770)  We have become accustomed, today, to seeing our own societies as the pinnacle of human achievement because we have reached a settlement which once … Read more

Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize for young writers – the 2023 winner

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Citizen Fontaine by Ciara Griffiths   ‘Government must depend for its Efficiency either on Force or Opinion.’ The Colonist’s Advocate, VII. (Feb 1. 1770)   I am a complete fool. Nobody had come to break down the door yet, but I was certain they … Read more

The Taste of Things, review: a mouth-watering banquet of full-fat foodie cinema

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Sometimes while watching a film you will find yourself marvelling in passing at its visual effects budget, or its costume budget. But I’m fairly sure The Taste of Things (originally titled The Pot-au-Feu), is the first to make me reel at its butter … Read more

Poetry or prose? Anne Carson proves the question doesn’t matter

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE “An Evening with Joseph Conrad” begins with the poet seeing a man in an elevator who looks a bit like Conrad. Its four pages name-drop (among others) Hardy, Euripides, “the Gorkys”, Eugene Lyons, Goethe, Freud, the poet HD, Achilles and Lacan, who’s quoted … Read more

The Zone of Interest, review: Jonathan Glazer’s Auschwitz film is horrifying in its banality

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Meet Rudolph and Hedwig Höss (Christian Friedel and Sandra Hüller): a young, attractive, well-to-do German couple who live with their five children in a neat, spacious house in the bucolic Polish countryside. Friends and family often come to visit: their large, well-tended garden … Read more

Forget The Crown’s lies – this glorious book reveals the real Charles III

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE When one reads something by a person termed a “royal expert” or “royal insider”, one normally expects to be served 80 per cent speculation by someone the Princess Royal once told to “naff off”. This is not so with Robert Hardman. For a … Read more

Champion jockey Frankie Dettori voted off I’m a Celebrity

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Frankie Dettori, the champion jockey, has become the first contestant to be voted off I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Nella Rose, the YouTube influencer who has repeatedly clashed with campmate Nigel Farage over politics, narrowly survived the elimination after receiving … Read more

The 50 best books of 2023 – ranked

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE 4. The Marriage Question by Clare Carlisle A luminously warm and intelligent reading of the courageous life, writing and philosophy of George Eliot, the 19th century’s wisest novelist. FWRead our full review. Buy the book. 3. Israelophobia by Jake Wallis Simons This powerful analysis … Read more

What links David Bowie and Enid Blyton? You’ll be surprised

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE There are two writers named Nicholas Royle: there’s the Nicholas Royle who’s a novelist and critic and used to teach at Manchester Metropolitan University; and there’s the Nicholas Royle who is a novelist and critic and used to teach at the University of … Read more

Is Churchill a hero or villain? Why both sides have missed the point

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE On Nov 12 2022, 1,500 Albanians went to Parliament Square to express their dismay about a speech by the then-home ­secretary, Suella Braverman. Some gathered at Ivor Roberts-Jones’s bronze effigy of Winston Churchill and wrapped the double-headed eagle flag of Albania around its … Read more

Did a female astronaut cover up a plot to kill JFK?

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE This is an anxious, furious, forensic contribution to the study of the assassination of US ­president John F ­Kennedy. Forensic, because Haverstick has spent a dozen years learning how to read the US National Security Archives; furious, because the subject of this work, … Read more

PinkPantheress, Heaven Knows, review: lurid lyrics lurk behind butter wouldn’t melt vocals

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE PinkPantheress is a signifier of pop’s future, a homemade superstar whose viral pop bites have made her queen of a corner of the internet whilst remaining effectively invisible to the mainstream. A 22-year-old young woman from Kent who has managed to keep her … Read more

600 sex toys and a diamond dog-collar – the last days of the Indian princes

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Among these was the 17-gun-salute state of Bashawlpur, whose ruler Sadiq Muhammed Khan could trace his ancestry back to an uncle of the Prophet Muhammad and who, Zubrzycki writes, ruled with a mixture of “piety and perversion”. When the Pakistani army took over … Read more

The 80 greatest horror movies of all time

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Trouble Every Day (2001) From that insidious Tindersticks soundtrack, to those predatory, unsettling hotel scenes, everything about French director Claire Denis’s deliciously dismal cannibal love story will haunt you for days afterwards. It might fall on the slower, sadder, more arthouse end of … Read more

How Caster Semenya threw world athletics into gender chaos

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE In March, World Athletics banned transgender women from competing in female world-ranking events. Henceforth, anyone who had gone through male puberty would not be permitted to compete: an update on the previous rules, which demanded that transgender women reduce their blood testosterone to … Read more

Does Richard Burton’s secret shame explain his wild life with Elizabeth Taylor?

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE “I make no apology,” roars Roger Lewis, “for this being a visionary book, a fierce book, a prose version of a portrait in pinks and lilacs and orange and yellow…” He could perhaps apologise for it being such a very long book – … Read more

Britney Spears’s memoir is the most sickening tale in modern pop

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Britney Spears holds nothing back in her short, bittersweet and extremely powerful memoir. Once America’s teen pop princess, she reveals that she was drinking, smoking and having sex by the time she was 14. She went through a horrific home abortion at the … Read more

Why Stone Age recipes could be the future of food

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE If you have dreamed of eating neolithic bread while feeling a combination of existential terror and nostalgia, this is the book for you. The Lost Supper is the Canadian food writer Taras Grescoe’s account of his search for the food we used to … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2023: week 5 results, live – Eddie Kadi faces a second dance-off

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE We’re just one week shy of Halloween, and it’s Eddie Kadi who has the most to fear going into tonight’s Strictly results show. He finished dead last on the leaderboard after performing an underwhelming samba on Saturday, and could well be heading into … Read more

Paul Auster brings moral weight to this portrait of a man in mourning

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Paul Auster’s last novel, 4321 (2017), was an uncharacteristically sprawling affair. It contained many of his familiar meta-text games, but it painted them on a wider canvas than ever before. Baumgartner, Auster’s 17th work of fiction, is contrastingly modest: an aside, rather than … Read more

Jada Pinkett Smith’s memoir opens up about her suicide fantasy, Tupac’s proposal and that Will Smith slap

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE What was Jada Pinkett Smith’s state of mind, when her husband mounted the Oscars stage and slapped Chris Rock in March 2022? We wade through 95 per cent of her memoir, Worthy, to get to that moment, and it isn’t really worth the wait. Not … Read more

How ‘white holes’ could explain the mystery of dark matter

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE At some point, theoretical physics shades into science fiction. This is a beautiful little book, by a celebrated physicist and writer, about a phenomenon that is permitted by equations but might not actually exist. Or perhaps white holes do exist, and are everywhere: … Read more

The book proving that Ranulph Fiennes and Lawrence of Arabia are twins

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE In his new book covering the Arab Revolt of 1916-18, Sir Ranulph Fiennes says he “can offer a unique perspective” on the “fascinating” life of TE Lawrence. He is right.  For in 1967, as a bored officer in the Royal Scots Greys, Fiennes … Read more

‘Horrible’ – why Judi Dench loathed The Merchant of Venice

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE There can be few higher pleasures in civilised life than hearing Judi Dench recite the poetry of Shakespeare. “Recite”, of course, is not the adequate word – because she lives the text, inhabiting and illuminating it through the warmth of her vocal timbre, … Read more

Think you understand migration? This book will teach you otherwise

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Do tougher border controls – whether stricter visa regimes or more patrols at ports and beaches – reduce immigration? Government policy and ministerial speeches would certainly suggest as much. Yet the evidence suggests otherwise. Making it harder to cross borders can in fact … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2023: week 4, live – Angela Rippon performs a rumba

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE I don’t know about you, but I’m still recovering from the dramas of Strictly Movie Week – particularly that bizarre early 10 from Shirley Ballas. Will Eddie Kadi nab another 10 in Week 4? He’s doing an American smooth to Sex Bomb, so … Read more

‘A city born from one man’s ego’: the glory of Alexandria

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE But, to return to the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. Among its other treasures – from its Pharos Lighthouse (the last of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World and, for centuries, the tallest man-made building), to the lavish, and now lost, tomb … Read more

Michael Caine confirms his retirement from acting

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Sir Michael Caine has confirmed he has retired from acting after the release of his latest film. Sir Michael, 90, told the BBC: “I keep saying I’m going to retire. Well I am now.” “I’ve figured, I’ve had a picture where I’ve played … Read more

Eileen, review: Anne Hathaway flirts with danger – but where’s the sexual tension?

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Eileen could not be more of a cross between the midcentury noir of Patricia Highsmith and Jim Thompson if Carol had conceived a child with The Killer Inside Me. Commuting its way around wintry Boston in the 1960s, this teasing, wrong-footing semi-thriller, adapted … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2023: movie week 3 results, live – one box office bomb will be heading home

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE It was a seriously dramatic Movie Week on Saturday night, with plenty of award-worthy performances and a few flops – plus head judge Shirley Ballas shocking everyone by awarding the series’ first 10 to Eddie Kadi’s freestyle Men in Black number. I reckon … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2023: movie week 3, live – Nigel Harman dances a Batman jive

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Are the celebrities ready for their close-up? Let’s hope so: it’s Strictly Movie Week! The first of this season’s regular theme weeks, it’s an extra excuse for the wardrobe department to pull out all the stops – either fuelling or overwhelming the actual … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2023, live: first results show – Les Dennis is in danger

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Which celebrity will fill that ignominious role of first boot from the ballroom in 2023? Last year it was Loose Women presenter Kaye Adams (who frankly seemed relieved). Looking at the leaderboard after Saturday’s show, it could well be Nikita Kanda and Les … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2023, live – week 2: Les Dennis is all at sea with his sailor samba

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Nigel Harman is the drama king Another smouldering acting performance from Harman, in a well-crafted storytelling routine by Katya Jones – their Viennese Waltz to Until I Found You by singer-songwriter Stephen Sanchez (aka Elton John’s distinctly underwhelming “surprise guest” at Glastonbury) was … Read more

A grand new Iliad translation – and it’s an English triumph

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Why are our contemporaries so keen on buying, and presumably reading, new translations of the Iliad’s Iron Age reminiscences of Bronze Age combat? Some years ago, I asked the same question at the start of a lengthy article on the composition and editing … Read more

Lupin, series 3, review: old-fashioned fun with Bond thrills and Gallic charm (and bad wigs)

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Lupin, series 3, review: old-fashioned fun with Bond thrills and Gallic charm (and bad wigs) . MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE

Brassic, series 5, review: raucous Northern gem is the funniest show you’re not watching

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE So, is he or isn’t he? Dead, that is. If you’ve been hanging on since the end of Brassic’s (Sky Max) season four finale to find out exactly what became of Dylan (Damien Molony), as two masked thugs set about him on a … Read more

Terrorist links and sex-abuse claims: inside Sinn Féin’s rotten soul

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The title of Máiría Cahill’s searing account of sexual abuse describes, at one level, the appalling individual allegedly responsible. At another, it is a reference to WB Yeats’s poem, The Second Coming: “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last / … Read more

Grand Slammers, review: England’s champions find a new home for rugby talent – prison

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE It was not a tremendous start for Martin Johnson and co in Grand Slammers, ITV1’s documentary in which members of the 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning squad reunite to assemble a rugby team inside HMP The Mount in Hertfordshire. “Hello, mate. You interested in … Read more

Moulin Rouge: Yes We Can-Can! review: forget Parisian cool – it’s all about Brits and boobs

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Worst programme title of the week, without question: Moulin Rouge: Yes We Can-Can! But that’s BBC Two’s arts coverage for you. It’s a documentary taking us behind the scenes at the Parisian cabaret venue, and it would make perfect daytime viewing if it … Read more

Gen V, review: this blood-spattered Hogwarts is not for the faint of heart

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The Boys, which has delayed its fourth season owing to the Hollywood writers’ strike, is savagely satirical. Its most famous character, Homelander, is essentially a gonzo cross between Superman, Donald Trump and Hitler. Gen V is nowhere near as ferocious. But there are … Read more

Want to understand England’s history? Let David Mitchell explain it

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Had Edward I been a cricketer, argues David Mitchell, he would have played spin badly: “A smasher of the ball, not one for glancing or nurdling, or using his pad. Any edge he got on a delivery would have flown straight into the … Read more

Did Ian Fleming’s secret wartime mission inspire Goldfinger?

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE That said, it’s a richer reading experience, written with Fleming-esque brio and insouciance, with a feeling for the tragic aspects of his life as well as the ironic comedy of it. The amount of new testimony Shakespeare has truffled up about a man … Read more

The Great British Bake Off, review: Alison Hammond is a welcome newbie – but Noel now looks creepy

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE *spoilers below* The showstopper challenge was to make a cake in the shape of an animal; for Bake Off aficionados, this summoned fond memories of Cecil the Bread Lion in series six. Only Amos chose an animal that could kill you – an … Read more

Beware, Fox News – you’re Michael Wolff’s real target

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Michael Wolff is the biographer who, in his 2018 book Fire and Fury, brought us the image of Donald Trump tucked up in bed by 6.30pm, watching three screens simultaneously while eating a cheeseburger. Never mind the politics, it’s that image of the … Read more

Who Killed Jill Dando? Netflix review: case that gripped Britain is still no closer to being solved

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Documentaries are all about how they are edited. “If anybody in this documentary, who you interview, says that Barry George did it, I think they need to see somebody… get help,” says Jill Dando’s former agent, Jon Roseman, in Netflix’s absorbing three-part reinvestigation … Read more

Pete Doherty, Who Killed My Son? review: a compelling plea for police to reopen this cold case

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE On 3 December 2006, Mark Blanco, 30, fell from the balcony of a flat in east London. The flat was known to police as a crack den frequented by the then-vastly famous rock star Pete Doherty, who on CCTV was seen, like others, … Read more

Real American life, in a series of (very) brief encounters

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Lydia Davis did not invent flash or super-short fiction; think of that one-line story sometimes attributed to Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” But she has, in recent years, become its most successful and prominent practitioner.  Her work often plays with the … Read more

Hamza: Strictly Birds of Prey, review: what a joy to see the Glitterball champ in his natural habitat

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE What to do with a Strictly winner? It’s an an age old question that has vexed the BBC over the years, often failing to capitalise on the surprise popularity of the winner of the coveted Glitterball. How else did Bill Bailey get stuck … Read more

A love affair amid the apocalypse? This story is far too rich

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE What do novelists have against tech billionaires? Several recent books have used Elon Musk types as bogeymen, from the excellent (Eleanor Catton’s Birnam Wood) to the dire (Sebastian Faulks’s The Seventh Son). Done well, their inclusion gives real-world crunch to outsized conceits. Done … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 week one: Golden oldies know how to get the party started

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Strictly Come Dancing 2023 week one: Golden oldies know how to get the party started . MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE

Black Snow, review: this middling Aussie crime drama at least tries something different

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Black Snow (BBC Four), an imported Australian crime drama, is a bizarre amalgam of the clichéd and the really quite interesting. In the hackneyed column we have a detective, James Cormack (played by Travis Fimmel), so weltschmerzed and careworn he looks like a … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2023, week 1: live – Angela Rippon dances the cha cha cha

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Let’s face the music and dance! Last week, we saw our new celebrities paired with their pro partners; tonight, the competition begins in earnest. Each contestant is performing either a ballroom or a Latin dance – we’ve got plenty of cha cha chas, … Read more

When the British Empire reached its peak, it was already falling apart

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE While the current fashion is for micro-history that examines a particular group’s relationship to the Empire, there’s much to be said for the kind of top-down vision that this book provides. For the colonisers, this is often deeply unflattering – no attempt is … Read more

My Mum Your Dad finale, review: grown-up Love Island is proof that older isn’t always wiser

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Watching Love Island from the vantage point of middle age, it’s easy to conclude that the contestants are making mistakes on account of their youth. Of course they’re falling for narcissists and players. It’s because they’re 22! They’ve seen nothing of life. When … Read more

How Roger Moore and Miss Moneypenny helped to ‘win the peace’ in Germany

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Given the widespread hostility to the costly occupation, the civilians of the Control Commission for Germany and the British Armed Forces stationed in the ravaged country had to produce tangible results fast. The men and women charged with that task form a colourful … Read more

A horrible history of body parts – from Pepys’s bladder to Frida Kahlo’s eyebrow

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE In the nave of Salisbury Cathedral is a 13th-century stone effigy, worn and faded. This is the tomb of William Longespée, an illegitimate son of King Henry II. Despite being one of the most powerful nobles of his day, Longespée met an unexpected, … Read more

Why Bob Dylan defeats his biographers

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Not that Dylan himself is given an easy ride. His rampant womanising, heavy drinking, moral double standards and habitual obfuscations are irreverently laid bare. Crucially, his artistic judgement is constantly called into question, as Heylin pours through old notebooks and rehearsal tapes to … Read more

Still Up, review: a charming portrayal of platonic friendship between two chronic insomniacs

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Apple TV has become the unofficial home of the thinking person’s sci-fi epic, courtesy of shows such as Foundation and Silo. But the streamer has also emerged as a production line for quietly affecting sitcoms which cast a wry eye at contemporary life. … Read more

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, review: Matt Hancock’s misery is the entertainment the nation needs

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE There’s only one reason viewers will be tuning in to watch the latest series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins (which begins on Channel 4 on Tuesday 26 September). And that’s for its customarily nuanced dissection of modern masculinity. Only kidding – everyone … Read more

The best fiction avoids glib agendas – the Booker shortlist is proof

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE It’s often said of contemporary literature that too many novels look inwards, prioritising the experience of the self at the specific expense of the form’s imaginative and linguistic possibilities. Escoffery’s sourly funny If I Survive You might sound, on the face of it, … Read more

Sex Education, season 4, review: a series that once eschewed soppiness ends up encrusted in schmaltz

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Sex Education, season 4, review: a series that once eschewed soppiness ends up encrusted in schmaltz . MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE

Celebrity Race Across the World, review: a fascinating peek at celebrities’ family relationships

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE There is always one Race Across the World contestant who struggles with the concept of budget travel. In Celebrity Race Across the World (BBC One), that person is the All Saints singer Melanie Blatt. In her pop-star days, she said cheerfully, she would … Read more

Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law? review: this desperate plea was uncomfortable viewing

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Chris Packham cares about the environment. That fact is undeniable, whether you love him or hate him. Actually, if you hate him, you probably didn’t watch Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law? (Channel 4). It was aimed wholly at people … Read more

The grim comedy of the boy who was neither black nor white

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE One of the many problems with our increasingly tribal world is that life can be especially difficult for those people whom no tribe is willing to admit. Trelawny, the central character in Jonathan Escoffery’s debut novel, If I Survive You, is the Miami-born son of … Read more

The Continental, review: Amazon’s John Wick spin-off is fast-paced, ludicrous fun

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Mel Gibson’s biggest success was directing a gory retelling of the Crucifixion in The Passion of the Christ. So it’s fitting that Gibson should himself be subject to a bloody resurrection as one of the stars of The Continental: From The World of … Read more

Rise of the Nazis: the Manhunt, review: why we must never forget the horrors of the Holocaust

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE To those who wonder why television revisits the Second World War and the horrors of the Holocaust with such regularity, the opening statement from Justice Robert H Jackson, speaking at Nuremberg, explains it in the simplest and most powerful terms. “The wrongs which … Read more

Can playing squash fix a broken heart?

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE For a book whose subject is the raw grief of an 11-year-old mourning the death of her mother, Chetna Maroo’s Western Lane is surprisingly unemotional. Its sentences are softly-spoken, its affect mostly flat, its novella length – 161 pages – brisk and contained.  … Read more

The book that reveals the true problem with Rishi Sunak

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Make no mistake, however, this is not a hit job by Ashcroft. At least not on Sunak, anyway. Pitching him as an inherently low-tax Tory compromised by Johnson’s “desire to throw money” at any situation, the former party deputy chairman denies claims of … Read more

Naked Cleopatra, promiscuous Romans… Amanda Holden guides us through a ‘bonkers’ history of sex

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE If the lame pun in the title of Sex: A Bonkers History didn’t inspire much confidence then the sight of Amanda Holden as the lead presenter of this six-part history was a complete turn off. Holden is not known as either a budding … Read more

Juice, review: Mawaan Rizwan’s BBC Three sitcom careers through genres with have-a-go glee

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Juice (BBC Three/iPlayer), a surreal comedy from 31-year-old actor and stand-up Mawaan Rizwan, throws everything at the wall to see what sticks. It is the kind of show that, in order to make the point, would literally have people throwing things at walls … Read more

How the 1922 Committee saved the Tories from oblivion

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The 1922 Committee may not excite most people, but this account of its first century – for, as Philip Norton writes, it was actually founded in 1923 – exhibits impeccable scholarship and a degree of charm. Norton has not only, as a Conservative … Read more

A misfiring novel about masculinity in crisis

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Elaine Feeney’s debut novel, As You Were (2020), followed a woman with terminal cancer whose fellow female patients, on the ward they shared, were reckoning with the shadows of shame and punishment cast by the Catholic Church. It was a masterwork of polyphonic … Read more

How Michael Palin’s great-uncle survived Gallipoli – then went to the Somme

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Private HWB Palin drew one of history’s shorter straws. Having survived Gallipoli in 1915, in 1916 he fetched up on the Somme. His body, known only unto God, was never recovered. To participate in one of humanity’s bloodiest battles may be counted a … Read more

The Super Models review: a stylish history of fashion’s original stars – but where’s the gossip?

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE It functions well as a history documentary because, as British Vogue editor Edward Enninful points out, these days models are booked based on their Instagram follower count. Back then, models came up the traditional way, doing catalogue shoots and entering competitions. Before the … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 Launch, review: A moving homage and tea-time tears for Len Goodman

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Elsewhere, daring twirls and plucky pirouettes were to the fore as the ratings juggernaut returned with a fresh batch of contestants vying for the Glitterball Trophy. Among the celebs stepping into the spotlight in a fast-paced and enjoyable first episode were newsreaders Angela … Read more

Picture Slam, BBC One, review: Alan Carr takes first prize for TV’s most random quiz

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Tina Turner, Dairylea Lunchables, RuPaul’s Drag Race, a Shetland pony. Dolmio sauce, a protractor, Abraham Lincoln, Alison Hammond. This is Picture Slam, a new Saturday teatime quiz, for which the four answers would be: BBC One, shiny studio, Alan Carr, just-killing-time-until-Strictly-comes-on.  Whoever commissioned … Read more

Strike and Robin return – but JK Rowling really needs an editor

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE For a decade now, J K Rowling has steadfastly refused to allow the mutual passion between her fictional detectives Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott to be consummated, even though the blazing chemistry evident from the opening pages of her first pseudonymous “Robert Galbraith” novel, … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show 2023 live

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE 16 September 2023 • 6:20pm 6:20PM The professionals are ready Can Jowita Pryzstal repeat that astonishing success from her debut year? She certainly has both the talent and the determination. But the rest of Strictly’s returning pros will be eager to get their … Read more

Strap in for a thrilling chase across the American wilderness

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Winter 1610, in the new Jamestown colony of Virginia, and the inhabitants are dropping like flies: bitterly cold, starving and diseased. One snowy night, under the cover of darkness, a desperate young servant girl rejects the inadequate protections of the fort, and flees … Read more

Sex, scandal and Somerset Maugham – an old-fashioned tale of imperial Malaya

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE In 1911, Ethel Proudlock, a married British woman living in Kuala Lumpur (then in British Malaya), shot dead a local manager called William Steward in the grounds of her bungalow. Proudlock claimed that Steward had tried to rape her; yet she was found … Read more

Chrissie Hynde has never sounded so sincere – the week’s best albums

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Pretenders, Relentless ★★★★★ The Pretenders’ 14th studio album opens with a wall of reverb-heavy guitar fuzz against which Chrissie Hynde sings forebodingly about going through “pre-senile dementia or some kind of psychosis”. She’s “nostalgic and sad”, believing that culture has become tired, and … Read more

The best poetry books of 2023 so far

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE August: From Our Own Fire by William Letford A godlike Artificial Intelligence becomes sentient, secretly escapes the firewall built to contain it, then alerts humanity to its existence. How does Scotland respond? By naming it “Andy”. As in Andy Dufresne – “because,” as From … Read more

A novel of modern Nigeria that Dickens could have written

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Wúràolá is a doctor from a wealthy Lagosian family, cruising through the early stages of her medical career. Yet her family are more fixated on her fast-approaching 30th birthday and her marriage prospects to Kúnlé, a superficially charming family friend who in reality … Read more

Helping Our Teens, review: Covid’s lost children deserved better than this

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Record numbers of children have been missing from school since the pandemic, according to Helping Our Teens (BBC Two). The attendance officer at Beacon Hill Academy in the Midlands explained why: “Young people have got used to being at home. Parents have got … Read more

The 30 best Christmas shows and pantos to see in 2023

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The Snowman, Peacock Theatre Bill Alexander’s gentle adaptation of Raymond Briggs’s eternally beloved book is still, in its 26th year, a pretty unbeatable first theatre outing for kids. Although it won’t just be the youngsters who are transported by that heart-stopping Walking in the … Read more

The Tory centrists are back – and they may be right

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Four years have now passed, and I still struggle to get my head around the fact that David Gauke is no longer in the Conservative Party. The man is sceptical of utopian schemes, uncomfortable with current spending levels, distrustful of radical change and … Read more

The most staggering children’s book of the year

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The title of this fantasy, Impossible Creatures, might just as well refer to Katherine Rundell herself, whose career seems almost too extraordinary to be true. At the age of 36, she has written eight books and an award-winning play; she has been appointed … Read more

Wilderness, review: a good old mindless thriller – complete with the worst Welsh accents of the year

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Then Cara, the other woman (played by Ashley Benson), bumps into them on the trip. What are the chances? The stage is set for a murder, which comes with an episode three twist so obvious that a toddler could see it coming. It’s … Read more

A first-class novel starring a dysfunctional family like no other

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Tolstoy said that all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way, but anybody who reads a lot of novels may well think they’ve seen every possible permutation of familial unhappiness. Not the least of Paul Murray’s many achievements in his fourth novel, … Read more

His lyrics for Elton were good, so why is Bernie Taupin’s book laughably bad?

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE When we listen to Elton John we also listen to Bernie Taupin. “I’m not the man they think I am at home…” “I remember when rock was young…” “And it seems to me that you lived your life…” Melodies from a flamboyant showman; … Read more

The Morning Show, series 3, review: Phil and Holly parallels aside, Apple’s drama is all out of chat

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE But the writers wimped out in the middle of series two by killing off Mitch. With that, the show’s dramatic engine puttered out. And so for series three, we’re left with a monotonous workplace drama with no decent storylines. Abortion rights in Texas, … Read more

A haunting story of glamorous new neighbours with sinister plans

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE It’s 1988, and Sunday, a woman with autism, is living in a close-knit but sometimes unfeeling part of the Lake District. Having inherited her parents’ house, she has crafted an independent life, and is bringing up her headstrong teenage daughter, Dolly, who yearns for independence … Read more

My Mum, Your Dad, ITV1, review: middle-aged Love Island? Think again

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE New dating show My Mum, Your Dad (ITV1) arrives on screen billed as the “middle-aged Love Island”. Cause for alarm. Will we get a bunch of 50-somethings with ice-white teeth and those up-the-bum bikinis? Or will they spend their time in the villa … Read more

Laura Kuenssberg: State of Chaos, BBC Two, review – the story of Brexit told at breakneck speed

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE “Incredible hypocrisy by Boris Johnson.” “Baroness Hale’s behaviour was disgraceful.” “There are many words I’d use to describe what Michael Gove did. Betrayal. Deceitful.” Plenty of the salty old tunes came out again in Laura Kuenssberg: State of Chaos (BBC One) as a … Read more

A look inside Elon Musk’s strange world – and what he thinks of himself

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The danger with writing about a person as mercurial as Elon Musk is that by the time your book comes out, they will have done something outrageous that you couldn’t include. For instance, Walter Isaacson’s approved biography of the tech billionaire is published … Read more

Neighbours, review: A glossy new chapter for life on Ramsay Street

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The old guard are joined by marquee signing Mischa Barton, former star of The O.C., cannily cast to add international appeal. As a mysterious American stranger staying at Lassiter’s hotel, she’s a Dynasty-style femme fatale. Shaggy rescue dog Trevor proves a scene-stealer in … Read more

The Woman in the Wall, BBC, episode 4, review: sticking with this dark tale pays dividends

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE I didn’t get on with the first episode of The Woman in the Wall (BBC One). It was too odd, too disjointed. Was that bit a dream sequence, or did it really happen? Why is Ruth Wilson’s character so nuts? How come some … Read more

Alone, the Final, review: not only boring – but voyeuristic and cruel

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The winner of Channel 4’s survival series, Alone, lasted 34 days in the wilderness. Well done to him, but for the viewer it felt like 34 years.  The show involved 11 people being deposited at separate points in Canada’s Northwest Territories, with no … Read more

Sasha Swire laments the death of England (in self-indulgent style)

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Sasha Swire’s debut, Diary of an MP’s Wife (2020), gave us an insight into the kind of cliquey people who run Britain, not least one Alexandra Patrusha Mina Swire and her husband, Hugo, since elevated to the Lords. Set in the world of … Read more

How to run an empire (according to Mary Beard)

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE In a satire of his own imperial predecessors, the fourth-century Roman emperor Julian described the first, Augustus, as a “chameleon”. It was an apt metaphor. An emperor had no written job-description, and much of his success lay in his ability to adapt – … Read more

Desire and death at the beauty spa – a gothic thrill of a novel

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Belle is a thirty-something woman obsessed with beauty routines. The first chapter of Rouge, Mona Awad’s fourth novel, opens with our protagonist hiding in the bathroom at her own mother’s wake, watching a video about skincare on her phone. By day, she works … Read more

The best thing about the new series of Mrs Brown’s Boys? The sense it may finally be ending

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE One of the unwritten rules of popular sitcoms is that things stay the same. Everyone wanted Joey from Friends to just keep on saying “How you doin’?” and not move away from the others to try his luck in Hollywood (and so the … Read more

Our verdict on the new Mick Herron – and the autumn’s best crime novels

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Happily, we don’t have to wait 60 years for the Ellroy of the future to do a similar number on the Hollywood of today: Jordan Harper is on the case in his third novel, Everybody Knows (Faber, ★★★★☆). Although Harper cannot make hay … Read more

‘Dear Sebastian, I hate you’: a tale of three gutsy Victorian girls

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE For any young-adult readers who’ve had their fill of trilogies set in the dystopian future, the historical novels of Sally Nicholls will be a breath of fresh air. In the past 10 years, she has galloped us through the centuries: All Fall Down (2012) was … Read more

A smart novel of Soviet exiles and silky prose

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE It’s “the darkest / hour of the darkest / day of a Berlin black-milk winter”, and two women are sitting in a fifth-floor apartment. The opening of Yelena Moskovich’s fourth novel, Nadezhda in the Dark, is almost oppressive in its quietness. Nadezhda and … Read more

Mel Giedroyc and Martin Clunes’s ‘literary’ travelogue is tailor-made for philistines

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Ever wondered why factual TV has such boring, on-the-nose titles? It’s because programme-makers need to snare the scrolling channel-hopper, and they’ve got a split second to do it. Hence Mel Giedroyc and Martin Clunes Explore Britain by the Book (ITV1). That title tells … Read more

Geordie Hospital, review: less NHS waiting lists or whistleblowers, more jolly accents

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Question. How many Geordies does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: 50. One to change the lightbulb, 49 to tell you (in a Geordie accent) “how great the people are!” Geordie Hospital (Channel 4) is back and as ever its mission is … Read more

How four great composers captured the tragedy of the Second World War

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE “Nothing is so invisible as a monument,” said the Austrian novelist Robert Musil, referring to the way our glance slides off public memorials “like water droplets off an oil-cloth.” Which is why we need that special form of memorial embodied in works of … Read more

The Beast, review: Léa Seydoux confronts her past in a strange, Lynchian sci-fi

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The new film from Bertrand Bonello is in love with Léa Seydoux’s face: frankly, one can relate. This spirallingly creepy science-fiction fable, playing in competition at Venice this year, is all about emotion – both the stemming and venting of it – and … Read more

Ukraine: Holocaust Ground Zero, review: brutal film footage reveals true horror of Nazi atrocities

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE In 1941 many Ukrainian nationalists welcomed the Wehrmacht as liberators. There they are in the archive footage, cheering the Panzers’ arrival. As Ukraine suffers another invasion, there was plenty of complexity and nuance to get through in Ukraine: Holocaust Ground Zero (Channel 4). … Read more

Priscilla, review: Sofia Coppola shunts Elvis to the shadows, to beautiful effect

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Barely a year after the release of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, do we really need another Elvis Presley film? Luhrmann’s maximalist pop biopic felt like it got the first and last word on its subject, as well as most of the other words that … Read more

How to survive being mistaken for a conspiracy theorist

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE In February 2021, Naomi Klein, the Canadian public intellectual and author of No Logo, posted an eight-word Tweet about Naomi Wolf, the American public intellectual and author of The Beauty Myth: “Your periodic reminder to keep your Naomis straight.” That weary joke about … Read more

Meet Henry VIII’s fool – and gasp at how Tudor England treated him

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE In several 16th-century portraits of Henry VIII, with or without his family, he is attended by a strange-looking man. Sometimes the man is at the edge of the painting, but in more than one case he is right next to the King. The … Read more

Trevor Phillips gets off to an error-strewn start on Sky News

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE There’s been a change at that hinge hour in weekend current-affairs broadcasting. Sophy Ridge has migrated away from her regular berth and branched out to weekdays, to be replaced by her holiday cover. Hence Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips (Sky News): out with … Read more

Beware, Tory radicals – Rory Stewart is on the warpath

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Rory Stewart was never going to be prime minister. He had far too many glaring flaws. For one, he’d held a variety of difficult jobs in the real world (soldier, diplomat, professor at Harvard), rather than becoming a Spad straight out of Oxford, … Read more

Should we trust an academic to reform the Royal family?

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Ed Owens is a serious-minded academic, which can be a difficult gig when your specialism is royalty – a subject never given the weight it deserves. His new book, After Elizabeth: Can the Monarchy Save Itself?, accordingly takes itself very seriously indeed. This … Read more

Poor Things, review: Emma Stone’s raunchy gothic comedy is unlike anything you’ve seen in years

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE When word got out that a film version of Alasdair Gray’s Poor Things was in the works, lovers of the late Scottish author were as nervous as they were thrilled. Gray’s novels – playfully designed and intricately illustrated – always felt irreducibly bookish. … Read more

Secrets of the Female Orgasm, review: a Love Islander’s tender look at the key to sexual pleasure

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE ‘I didn’t expect to come to a sex party and leave thinking about my relationship with my mum,” sighed 26-year-old Yewande Biala, half way through Secrets of the Female Orgasm (Channel 4), a tender documentary about female sexual pleasure. But, raised in a … Read more

Ferrari, review: Adam Driver’s racing drama is an electrifying ride

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE It has been eight years since a new Michael Mann film played in cinemas – his last, the monstrously underrated techno-thriller Blackhat, opened in 2015. And for the first stretch of Ferrari, which had its world premiere tonight at Venice, it feels a … Read more

Sex-gurus and vegetarians – how the West fell under India’s spell

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Mick Brown, longstanding feature writer at this paper, most often covers art, culture and music; but he has an equally established sideline in the history of spirituality and religion. His previous books include American Heartbeat: Travels from Woodstock to San Jose by Song … Read more

The Equalizer 3, review: Denzel’s underwhelming slaughterfest makes an offer you can refuse

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The Equalizer 3 starts mid-bloodbath. Slain mafiosi litter the halls of a Sicilian winery – throats slit, machetes wedged in skulls. One man, of course, is the source of all this: Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), who’s first glimpsed seated on a high-backed chair, … Read more

Get your children off the internet – and into a cracking science book

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Has the internet sounded the death knell for children’s non-fiction? Such was the view of 26 children’s authors who, a few years ago, wrote to the Guardian warning that the genre was in terminal decline, with “endless” Horrible Histories imitations and not much … Read more

Comandante, review: a wartime thriller that thinks the fascists and British were the same

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Brooding clouds have gathered over Venice – and not just the ones that brought rain sluicing down on the heads of arriving critics as they scuttled down the alleyways to their hotels last night. The 80th edition of the city’s film festival is … Read more

Richard Osman’s latest murder-mystery takes on old age with comic skill

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Richard Osman’s first three Thursday Murder Club mysteries are among the 10 bestselling hardback novels since UK records began; I ­suspect only nuclear armageddon or an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant plague can prevent this fourth entry in the series from muscling onto the list. … Read more

‘Abuse of power’? Theresa May is the expert

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The Abuse of Power is a promising title for Theresa May’s book. There is much she could say on the theme: how she ran government as a triumvirate with two unelected special advisers, keeping her Cabinet colleagues in the dark about things such … Read more

Heart of Invictus is a mess – but at least Harry talks about someone else for a change

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Spotify may have called time on its relationship with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but Netflix still believes in Harry and Meghan, with whom it signed a $100 million production deal in 2020. Yet, to date, the streamer’s alliance with the Sussex’s … Read more

How the ‘identity trap’ dragged our politics down

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Either way, few have begun to explain the phenomenon, and in this, Mounk excels. Compared to so many shrill denunciations and poor intellectual histories, which often reduce the problem to “blame Hegel” or “blame Foucault”, Mounk’s painstaking and thoroughly researched account is a … Read more

Farewell to The South Bank Show, a titan of the British arts

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE ‘I’m going to have no space soon,” said David Hockney, 86, to Melvyn Bragg, 83. Space, for artists, tends to mean the place where they show their work. But that wasn’t the sort of space Hockney was referring to. “I’m going to die,” … Read more

The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies, review: playful satire revels in its own weirdness

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The first thing to say about The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies (BBC One) is that it’s unusual. That title for starters. Shows with titles that go on forever are already testing an audience’s patience, and must be damn sure … Read more

Sebastian Faulks’s ‘novel of ideas’ is devoid of any good ones

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Sebastian Faulks is the author of 15 previous novels, four works of non-fiction, and the best line of literary criticism I can remember. ­“Reading a Penelope Fitzgerald novel,” he once wrote, “is like being taken for a ride in a peculiar kind of car. … Read more

Forget Oppenheimer – meet the wild scientist who invented ‘The Maniac’

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Forget Oppenheimer – meet the wild scientist who invented ‘The Maniac’ . MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE

The Tower, ITV1, review: all the urgency of a copper counting down the days until retirement

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The Tower (ITV1) returned for a second series but since its debut run, seemed to have mislaid all its main selling points. When it arrived in 2021, this police procedural was characterised by the orange anorak worn by lead detective Sarah Collins (Gemma … Read more

Cindy Beale’s return to EastEnders was a camp, compelling Bank Holiday treat

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Who needs Barbie when we’ve got Cindy? In a summer of blockbuster blondes, villainess Cindy Beale made her Albert Square comeback after 25 years away. EastEnders (BBC One) was a camp, compelling Bank Holiday treat. Cue fireworks, face-slaps and a shot in the … Read more

Why Joan of Arc was an unhinged fantasist (and England really lost France)

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Given the profound importance of the Hundred Years War – conducted between 1337 and 1453 between England and the French – on the subsequent history of both combatants, and indeed on much of Western Europe, it is astonishing that its details are so … Read more

The Woman in the Wall, BBC One, review: Ruth Wilson and a wild take on the Magdalene laundries

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Kilkinure, boasts the roly-poly sergeant (Simon Delaney), “is a very boring town. I’m proud of that. It’s my job to make sure things don’t get interesting.” Not many writers can make this forthright blend of Grand Guignol and quipping levity come off. Shakespeare? … Read more

Midsomer Murders, ITV1, review: mysticism, sorcery, tarot readings –and Holly Willoughby

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The world of Midsomer Murders (ITV1) never gets less fanciful. This episode’s crime scene involved mysticism, sorcery, tarot readings and other manifestations of the hocus pocus industry.  Meanwhile, on the undercard was a subplot about great crested newts, beavers and – oh hello … Read more

A strange sequel to Animal Farm, set in post-Brexit England

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE On the face of it, George Orwell’s novels don’t leave much room for sequels. Time and time again, the same story repeats itself: an attempt to break free from overwhelming social forces (money, middle-age, imperialism) ends right where it started, with all hope … Read more

The philosopher who says liberalism is dead – and HR managers killed it

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the University of California Berkeley’s Rubric for Assessing Candidate Contributions to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging – but it makes for salutary reading. It demands that a low score be given to any applicant who “states the intention of … Read more

A sad literary example of Brexit Derangement Syndrome

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Brexit Derangement Syndrome is a terrifying condition. It can take intelligent people and turn them into the type of activists you see outside Parliament wearing blue berets with yellow stars. Consider the case of Peter Foster who, for many years, wrote sensible reports … Read more

How fear came to rule our lives

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Remember the UK intelligence claim that Saddam Hussein could strike the UK with a ballistic missile within 45 minutes? The story goes that this was spun out of a two-year-old conversation with a taxi driver on the Iraq-Jordan border. One thing’s for sure: … Read more

A Very British Space Launch, Channel 4, review: how Richard Branson’s dreams crashed to Earth

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Who needs Cape Canaveral when we’ve got Cornwall? Forget Nasa, how about Newquay? From the farce-style title to the parochial theme, A Very British Space Launch (Channel 4) promised to be a gently wry documentary. A whimsical look at us peculiar Brits and … Read more

Alice Cooper scrapes the barrel with macho clichés and misogyny – plus the week’s best albums

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Burna Boy, I Told Them ★★★★☆ Burna Boy has been on quite the journey since his first album release 10 years ago. The Grammy-winning superstar and self-proclaimed ‘African Giant’ made history in 2022 as the first Nigerian to headline Madison Square Gardens. Then, … Read more

London Bridge: Facing Terror, Channel 4, review – a sensible, subtle look at lives lost and changed

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Director Fred Scott’s excellent film about the London Bridge terror attack on 29 November 2019 was laced with bitter ironies. First among them was that two of the three men who tackled and stopped Usman Khan, after he had killed Saskia Jones and … Read more

Amputating Alice, Channel 4, review: an amazing story hindered by a mish-mash of humour and emotion

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE There are hurdles in life, there are hurdles in sport, and then there’s choosing to have your leg amputated seven months before competing in the Commonwealth Games. Luckily Alice Tai, a paralympic swimmer, has spent most of her 24 years overcoming hurdles with … Read more

A harrowing vision of Ireland as an sinister police state

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The Irish writer Paul Lynch’s Booker-longlisted fifth novel, Prophet Song, is a book of encroaching terror, an atmosphere of foreboding seeded from its opening lines where “the dark gathers without sound the cherry trees. It gathers the last of the leaves and the … Read more

And Just Like That… Samantha is back! Well, sort of

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE There are many things that didn’t make sense about the second season of And Just Like That… (Sky Comedy). Carrie’s aversion to saying the word vagina, despite the fact she earned millions writing columns, then books, about sex. How Miranda went from the … Read more

Behind the scenes of Alnwick Castle’s transformation into a magical wonderland

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Her new brainchild would feature fairy grottos, a hobgoblin prison and the world’s largest play structure. Dream big, your Grace. One began to feel for the team tasked with making her fantastical visions a reality. “Working with Jane is a challenge,” said operations … Read more

Frasier: the five funniest episodes

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE As ever with the greatest Frasier episodes, it combines carefully timed physical farce – Martin’s partial deafness, caused by a bad cold, leads to his passing on the wrong information, that leads to the characters present, including Frasier, Niles, Daphne and her friend … Read more

Theater Camp, review: this joyous mockumentary is the funniest film in years

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Theater Camp is a kind of film we haven’t seen much of recently: a very, very funny one. Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman’s feature about a summer getaway for young aspiring thesps isn’t an action comedy, or horror comedy, or superhero film with … Read more

Terrified of the AI apocalypse? This professor says you’re wrong

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Mildly anxious that uncontrolled AI threatens to plunge civilisation into a dystopian hellscape? A tad alarmed about surrendering the future to superintelligences without human essence, conscience or heart? A Cambridge political philosopher wants you to calm down, dear, and listen carefully: we sold our … Read more

Ahsoka, Disney+, review: the saviour the Star Wars franchise needed (again)

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Ahsoka represents an unashamed bid for the hearts and minds of hardcore fans. As with the titular character, General Thrawn is a big box-office draw in the Star Wars universe. Portrayed by Lars Mikkelsen, he’s kept intriguingly off-screen in the first two instalments. … Read more

Hozier joins the all-time greats – the week’s best albums

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Unreal Unearth ★★★★★ Irishman Andrew Hozier-Byrne is a singer-songwriter who deserves to be considered among the very best of his peers. Operating as Hozier, Unreal Unearth is only his third album in nine years, but it is further evidence of an artist who … Read more

Strays, review: Will Ferrell’s doggie Jackass definitely isn’t for pups

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE There’s a way of describing the plot of Strays which would give you entirely the wrong idea about who this live-action comedy is for. A lovable Border Terrier called Reggie (voiced, Babe-style, by Will Ferrell) is lost and trying to find his owner … Read more

Shelter, review: Harlan Coben’s YA whodunit has heart, soul and an infectious sense of fun

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Shelter opens with Mickey watching his father die in a car crash. He is promptly whisked from LA to small-town New Jersey, where he is put in the care of his slacker Gen X aunt, Shira (Constance Zimmer). He also makes a girlfriend … Read more

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Sanditon remains TV’s most comforting watch

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE There is a love interest for the redoubtable Lady Denham (Anne Reid, marvellous as ever) in the shape of an old flame, played by James Bolam. Meanwhile, Georgiana Lambe – the West Indian heiress who was Austen’s first black character – is the … Read more

The 1970s Supermarket, Channel 5, review: a tasty helping of nostalgia

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE A recent Telegraph feature explored the idea of “eating like it’s the 1970s”. In this instance, it was a sensible consideration on the virtues of smaller portion sizes (as opposed to ‘“portion distortion”), and featured a fillet of salmon accompanied by two lettuce … Read more

Blue Beetle, review: DC’s Iron Man with a spray-paint job is powerfully boring

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE No more “resets”. Enough plundering of B- and C-tier comic-book assets. The recent offerings from both Marvel and DC mount the best possible argument for scorched earth. Blue Beetle, with the best will in the world, is not going to save the latter … Read more

Henpocalypse! review: Strippers, bridezillas, Armageddon… hurrah for Britain’s bawdiest new comedy

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Henpocalypse! review: Strippers, bridezillas, Armageddon… hurrah for Britain's bawdiest new comedy . MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE

At Home with the Furys, review: Netflix series should have dived deeper into Tyson’s mental health

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The couple are also proud of their gypsy roots. Venezuela left school at 11 in the “traveller tradition”. Fury’s happy place is a caravan site a mile down the road, to which he takes off whenever he feels bored. Retirement doesn’t suit him. … Read more

Paranormal: The Girl, The Ghost and The Gravestone, BBC Three, review: a tediously rehashed tale

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Everyone loves a ghost story. In the late 1990s, a farmhouse in North Wales gained notoriety as one of the most haunted houses in Britain. English couple Dr David Gower and his wife Rose-Mary moved into Penyffordd Farm in 1997. Soon they were … Read more

Court Martial: Soldiers Behind Bars, review: a compelling window into military prison

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE What makes a good documentary? Access to the subject. Compelling characters. A window into a closed-off world. Court Martial: Soldiers Behind Bars has all of this in spades, and shows how far Channel 5 has raised its game in recent years.  The setting … Read more

Alison & Larry: Billericay to Barry, review: a comically low-key travelogue anchored by friendship

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE “It’s all the drama, Mick, I just love it!” When the definitive list is written of TV’s great comedy characters, Alison Steadman in Gavin & Stacey has to feature. She and Larry Lamb played Gavin’s parents, Pam and Mick Shipman, and they were … Read more

Is Millie Bobby Brown a great novelist? Read her debut and weep

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE The 19-year-old star Millie Bobby Brown – known for Stranger Things, Enola Holmes and the Time 100 list of the world’s “most influential people” – has now written her debut novel. Nineteen Steps, set in the Second World War, is apparently based on … Read more

Arnie, Sly, Chuck – the wild years when action men ruled Hollywood

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE It was a simpler time. Sinew, firepower and muscle mass would save the day, whatever day needed saving. Forget “Iron Man” or “Captain Marvel”: heroes could be identified by their first names – Sly, Arnie, Bruce – regardless of what roles they took. In … Read more

The phone rings – it’s Stalin. What do you do?

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE In June 1934, the story goes, the Russian poet Boris Pasternak received a call from Joseph Stalin. Osip Mandelstam – Pasternak’s contemporary, but a more forthright critic of the Soviet regime – had just been arrested. What, the tyrant wanted to know, did … Read more

Yes, Dürer was self-obsessed – but it made him a peculiar genius

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE “No other artist of the day begins to compare,” writes David Ekserdjian, “in terms of the obsessive interest he displays in himself, his own biography… and his surroundings.” This is the artist who painted four self-portraits in an age where most artists didn’t … Read more

Public Image Ltd take a swipe at the Pistols – the week’s best albums

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Public Image Ltd, End of World ★★★★☆ Even though he’s the flame-haired agitator who changed the passage of popular music twice – first coining punk rock in The Sex Pistols in 1976, then inventing post-punk two years later with his first line-up of … Read more

The British Army’s oldest enemy? Hopeless politicians

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE It was most notoriously the case in the 1930s, consideration of which forms a substantial part of Victory to Defeat (★★★★☆), Lord Dannatt’s and Robert Lyman’s detailed account of the Army from the eve of the Armistice to the Fall of France. Both … Read more

Heart of Stone: Gal Gadot’s Bond-alike thriller lands with a thud

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Keeping track of the terminology in Netflix’s spy thriller Heart of Stone is the first challenge. There’s a hush-hush peacekeeping organisation called “the Charter” whose job is to save as many human lives, anywhere, as they can. The main piece of tech at … Read more

The Case Against Cosby, ITVX, review: the powerful story of the woman who brought down America’s Dad

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Andrea Constand was a young employee of Temple University in Philadelphia when she met Bill Cosby. She had every reason to trust him: he was on the institution’s board and one of its most generous benefactors. More than that, he was the beloved … Read more

Not afraid of Disney’s Haunted Mansion? You should be

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Inside, a menagerie of spooks are wreaking havoc, and Ben has to work alongside a medium (Tiffany Haddish, with some funny lines) and a professor (Danny DeVito, with fewer) to neutralise the source of the ghosts’ disgruntlement. Perhaps inevitably, that disgruntlement can be … Read more

Matthew Broderick’s cartoonish spin on Sackler ignores the gravity of the opioid crisis

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Painkiller is framed as a testimony by Edie Flowers, a prosecutor who led the fight against Purdue. Flowers is fictional – unlike the equivalent character in Dopesick, Rick Mountcastle (Peter Sarsgaard). She is played with impressive forthrightness by Orange Is the New Black’s … Read more

Annika, review: even Nicola Walker can’t resuscitate this stale whodunit

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE “Oh no, she’s about to talk to the camera again.” This thought will likely go through your head many times when watching Nicola Walker in Annika, which started life as a Radio 4 drama set in Norway and then became a Scotland-set television … Read more

Kate Garraway’s Life Stories: Ruby Wax, review: a fascinating hour in the company of a survivor

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE I miss Ruby Wax’s interviews. The best ones were great. Rifling through the Duchess of York’s drawers, messing around with Carrie Fisher, sparring with OJ Simpson – they changed the face of celebrity encounters. Only Louis Theroux gets close to that kind of … Read more

No, modern Britain isn’t made toxic by its imperial past

MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE FULL TIME INCOME ONLINE: CLICK HERE Salman Rushdie – still recovering from the attack last year that cost him the sight of one eye – has never been shy of confronting the excesses of British imperialism. Nor, quite rightly, has he been alone in doing so. Critiques of Britain’s … Read more