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  • Review: After Life is not deft enough to avoid causing friendly fire

    TV Review | Ed Williamson | 22nd March 2019

    To promote his new Netflix show After Life, Ricky Gervais is out doing the podcast rounds, and telling anyone who'll listen why people who are offended by any of his jokes must have misunderstood them. He's probably right in some cases. But what he never considers, or at least never acknowledges, is that if a lot of people are misunderstanding your jokes, maybe it's because you aren't skilled enough at delivering them.

  • Leaving Neverland and our need for chaos

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 8th March 2019

    In the summer of 2002 Michael Jackson came to Exeter, my hometown, where I was living again having just finished university. In a series of events that are ludicrous in hindsight, some businessmen had bought Exeter City FC out of administration and installed Uri Geller as a co-chairman. Geller duly brought Jackson and David Blaine down for a public appearance, in which they drove round the pitch in an open-topped car with a load of children.

    I didn't go. But I do remember watching it on TV, noting that, despite the hit his image had taken from the Jordy Chandler trial, he was still surrounding himself with children wherever he went. And thinking: "No one in this guy's life ever pulls him aside and says, 'Listen, Mick: maybe ease up on the kids in public, eh?'"

  • The Apprentice: season 14, episode 12 recap: "High Nut Content"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 18th December 2018

    It's drawing to its close and we're all better people: informed, educated and entertained. Let's build on this experience and learn to live together in harmony, then burn the world in a big skip.

  • The Apprentice: season 14, episode 11 recap: "Pretty Big Deal in Peterborough"

    TV Feature | Becky Suter | 13th December 2018

    Well, that was a big fuss over nothing. I give a vote of no confidence in delaying The Apprentice by ten minutes and totally messing up my dinner plans. I was hoping to see Theresa May saying "Thank you for the opportunity" before walking out of No.10 with her wheelie suitcase.

  • The Apprentice: season 14, episode 10 recap: "Work, Rest and Play"

    TV Feature | Becky Suter | 8th December 2018

    I feel about Christmas the same way John Oliver feels about New Year: both are like the death of a pet - you know it's coming, but nothing can quite prepare you for how awful it is. The same can be said for the latter stages of The Apprentice.

  • The X Factor: season 15, final recap: "Lastly, thanks to Just Eat"

    TV Feature | Matthew Horton | 4th December 2018

    All good things must come to an end. Complacent, repetitive, nowhere near as vital as they used to be things must come to an end as well. And the TV shows they recap. Sorry, this could go on forever. Speaking of which – it's the X Factor Final!

  • The Apprentice: season 14, episode 9 recap: "Bad-Up TV"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 30th November 2018

    In a meta twist, the housemates, if they're called housemates, are appearing in a TV show in a TV show. It's a bit like the Larry Sanders Show, only with a big pink-lips inflatable sofa and the creeping sensation that all around you is decay.

  • The X Factor: season 15, semi-final recap: "It's the same old song"

    TV Feature | Matthew Horton | 26th November 2018

    As Benjamin Franklin once said, there are only three things that are certain in life: death, taxes and pre-GCSE hip-hop sensations Acacia & Aaliyah singing Skepta's Shutdown if The X Factor happens to be on. Look it up. When he wasn't flying kites or finding nations, that guy couldn't half predict a teen grime duo. Sorry, what's that? Franklin my Benjamins, it's only the X Factor semi-final!

  • The Apprentice: season 14, episode 8 recap: "Don't Make an Exhibition of Yourself"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 21st November 2018

    I worked in an art gallery for a year or so. A guest at an event once asked me to order him a taxi, so I called a minicab, then when it turned up outside he obviously thought it was too downmarket and so pretended he didn't realise it was for him and continued to wait in the foyer. I let him sit and wait. He sat there for a good ten minutes before it drove away, then another five before he wandered over and asked whether his taxi was on its way. "Oh, you mean the minicab that was outside?" he said, feigning a puzzled look, when I told him it had just left. "I presumed that couldn't have been for me." And the moral of this story is that all art galleries should be burned down.

  • The X Factor: season 15, 5th live show recap: "Rules? I AM the rules!"

    TV Feature | Matthew Horton | 19th November 2018

    It's Big Band Week! You know Big Band Week. It's when the finalists sing any song they like, in any style they fancy, just as long as there's a big band somewhere in the room, playing or otherwise. And that's not the only rule bent out of shape this weekend. No. They also flout all of the others. It's like nothing matters anymore.