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Time Team and the TV Shake-Up

The archaeology program Time Team, which is a bit of an institution on British TV, is going through some serious reshuffle problems as its producers and director attempt to reinvent it. What began as a way of opening up the show’s remit and explaining the sometimes confusing processes to less enlightened viewers (such as myself) … Continue reading

Polly Travels: Dickens World, the weirdest celebration of Dickens yet

[All images my own]. With all of this Charles Dickens hype at the moment (February 7th will be the bicentenary of his birth), I’ve been thinking about the great man and felt the need to blog about my visit to his very own mini theme park in Chatham, Kent. The area is well suited to … Continue reading

Saudi Arabia: women can vote in 2015, but don’t let them mix with men or drive

Electoral reform is always a slow and painful process, especially where gender equality is concerned. In Britain we began by giving the over 30s the vote in 1918, with the Representation of the People Act, even though parliament had first been presented with a Women’s Suffrage bill in 1832. Yes, nearly 100 years to achieve … Continue reading

One of Your Own: Carol Ann Lee discusses her book on Myra Hindley

‘That awful mug shot’ was how the famous murderess Myra Hindley described the 1965 image that has sealed her in the public memory for decades. She bemoaned the fact that it was permanently associated with her, arguing in an open letter to the Guardian newspaper that ‘people can change’. Carol Ann Lee grew up knowing … Continue reading

The Hour: Episodes 3-4

Episode 3 A clever piece of plotting trickery leaves the audience in suspense within minutes as we open on a murder scene; it is soon revealed that we’re just part of the audience watching Adam Le Ray (Ruth Elms’ fiancee) acting in a play. Bel is keen to point out that Le Ray doesn’t appear … Continue reading

The Hour, Episodes 1-2

[Images taken from Digital Spy, BBC on Youtube and ComicsBulletin.com]. I was really impressed by the first two episodes of this six-part series, which had been given the unfortunate label of the ‘British version of Mad Men’ to live up to. I don’t think that this is an entirely fair comparison, as The Hour can … Continue reading

Jane Avril dances on: Images from the Courtauld’s Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition

As you can see, the exhibition that I visited yesterday was colourful to say the least. Viewers were offered many types of visual stimuli – paintings, preparatory studies, newspaper articles, Moulin Rouge programs and Toulouse-Lautrec’s other sketches and lithographs. It was a comprehensive exhibition squeezed into a few rooms of this expansive gallery, which is … Continue reading

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