Media

The Privileged Few

There Are Too Many ‘Privileged Few’ There’s a simple way to work out how rich you are; count the number of choices you have. Could you choose a new house, a new car, a new career? Most in the poverty trap have no choices. I chose my job out of instinct rather than careful consideration. […]

Maggie’s Twilight Zone Messages

As a former model, my only simultaneously fictional and non-fictional friend Maggie Armitage has always known how to pose for a photo. I have no bad shots of her. Hair-raising, terrifying, yes; bad, no. This was taken just before chemo turned my hair white and made most of it fall out. Maggie is wearing a […]

Common Nonsense: The Arrival Of GB News

‘Sensible Thinking’ Friends working in media spent a decade keeping Fox News out of the UK. They did it not because they were politically opposed to the channel’s views but because it stoked fear in the vulnerable for ratings. The arrival of Andrew Neil’s GB News, a US-style news opinion channel partly funded out of […]

Information, Please: We Are Bellingcat

A career in IT was once seen as cool; not anymore, apparently. Latest surveys indicate that there’s been a fall in interest among the young just when job opportunities in the sector are climbing again. That’s bad news for Eliot Higgins, but thankfully he has people with the passion, time and patience to uncover injustices […]

Got A Brain? Keep It To Yourself.

When did having a brain become a liability? It seems everyone made the same friend during the lockdowns; Netflix could do no wrong. The streaming service rendered DVDs obsolete as it kept refreshing its catalogue. It put out a more diverse range of product than any other service. It produced originals, part-funded co-productions and bought […]

The Year In Documentaries

  Just as the literary world yielded some of its best surprises in non-fiction books this year, the top factual films have bested their fictional counterparts in terms of courage and originality. Fiction films have suffered from the black hole created by studio absence, but our attention has been shifted onto far more interesting material. […]

30 Coins: Take The Money & Run With It

  The third lockdown is by far the worst. No sun, nowhere to go, no novelty in being home this time. I don’t know about you but there are only so many hours I can work or do chores or walk around the immediate neighbourhood without wanting to machine gun somebody. Usually King’s Cross is […]

Sixty Years Of Eccentricity

Right now, deserted London looks like every episode of ‘The Avengers’.   It’s the sixtieth anniversary of the series and by way of celebration TV is currently awash with old episodes. Why would such an early TV show continue to exert an influence, or is it pure nostalgia? This year we lost the marvellous Diana […]

Consigned To History: The Concept of Shared Entertainment

More than half of British homes no longer have a dining table. While I hate having my predictions proved correct, it does now seem that the future of western entertainment will be in the home, not the cinema. Netflix has announced its slate of 70 major motion pictures, more than any studio slate could ever […]

The Undoing: How I Knew Whodunnit Before I Saw It

How did a second-rate potboiler become a global phenomenon? (Spoilers galore) This week ‘The Undoing’ undid itself in the final episode of the six-part limited series from HBO. The hybrid murder mystery/courtroom drama, very similar to the much better novel and film ‘Presumed Innocent’ by Scott Turow, is a compendium of scenes from other crime […]