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Late-night hosts: 'We men are complicit in perpetuating a culture that devalues women'

6 hours ago

Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and Seth Meyers discussed the sexual assault allegations against Senator Al Franken and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore

Late-night hosts on Thursday addressed the sexual harassment allegations against senatorial candidate Roy Moore and Senator Al Franken, who after being accused of misconduct by Leeann Tweeden later apologised for his behavior in a statement.

“Every day it seems like we find out about another high-profile sexual harasser,” Stephen Colbert began. “And today is no exception. Brace yourself, because it’s Senator Al Franken. He’s been accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent. I guess there are no good people left. Let’s just get it over with: tell us whatever you did, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Malala.”

Related: Late-night TV on Roy Moore and Louis Ck: 'Each community has to kick out its creeps'

Related: Donald Trump tweets about Al »

- Jake Nevins

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The best TV this week: Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It

11 hours ago

Nola Darling feels as fresh as ever in this TV reimagining of the 1986 film, while it’s back to the jungle for I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!

Spike Lee’s first TV joint is a reimagining of his film about a woman juggling a trio of lovers and a successful career as an artist. DeWanda Wise stars as Nola Darling, whose unapologetic sex-positive feminism made her a pioneering character back in 1986 and who feels pretty much in tune with 2017, too.

Available from 23 November, Netflix

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- The Guide

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Search Party: how the hipster noir finds a way to surprise in season two

12 hours ago

The breakout dark comedy finds a way to top its first season, adding satirical undercurrents to a propulsive and mysterious plotline

After a droll, suspenseful, tightly plotted first season, Search Party, the ever-inventive millennial murder mystery, stared down a predicament faced by many television shows whose first batch of episodes provides a clear, satisfying and complete narrative arc: how do you top it for season two or, better yet, how do you prolong a story that might simply be finished?

Related: 'I'm not a quirky 17-year-old any more': what Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat did next

Related: The show mustn't go on: the TV dramas that didn't know when to quit

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- Jake Nevins

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Friday’s best TV: Children in Need 2017; Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices

17 hours ago

Pudsey and friends are back to put us through the emotional wringer while soul and jazz singer Porter celebrates the power of the voice

Only the darkest heart could turn a blind eye to Pudsey and his fundraising chums as they take viewers on the annual rollercoaster of emotions. Tess Daly and Ade Adepitan host and Joanna Lumley honours the king of CiN, Terry Wogan. Former Blue Peter presenters including Anthea Turner and Diane-Louise Jordan try their luck at a little Strictly Come Dancing and the cast of EastEnders flex their vocal chords in an Albert Square medley.

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- Hannah Verdier, Andrew Mueller, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Ali Catterall, John Robinson, Ellen E Jones, Ben Arnold, Paul Howlett

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Love, Lies & Records review – Kay Mellor squeezes every last drop of excitement out of the register office

17 hours ago

Ashley Jensen keeps things the right side of mawkish as Kate – a registrar juggling grumpy teenagers at home, office politics at work, and some amateur sleuthing on the side

Kate is in bed when she is woken by a hooded youth trying to get through her front door. She calls the police. How does she know he is an intruder, they ask. Never mind, she says, she will take the law into her own hands, with her husband’s gun (she is lying; there is no gun, she just wants them to get there quickly). There is a cricket bat, though, with which she whacks the hand that comes through the letterbox. Oops, it’s not an intruder, but her stepson. Then the police turn up. Plus the intruder’s dad, Kate’s partner, Rob, who is also a copper, as it happens. Everyone goes inside, for explanations, apologies and »

- Sam Wollaston

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George Clooney returns to television for Catch-22, two decades after ER

20 hours ago

Clooney will direct and star in the serialised adaptation of Joseph Heller’s darkly comedic 1961 novel

George Clooney will make his return to television in a serialised adaptation of Catch-22, Paramount Television revealed on Thursday.

Clooney, who left hit medical drama ER nearly 20 years ago, will direct and star in the six-episode series, based on Us author Joseph Heller’s darkly comedic 1961 novel of the same name.

Related: Lucy Mangan bids farewell to a ER, the show that revolutionalised TV drama

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- Staff and agencies

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Burning Bush review – Walter Presents' latest offers dark Czech drama from the Soviet era

16 November 2017 10:43 AM, PST

This superb three-parter from Oscar-winning Agnieszka Holland begins with a student burning himself to death in political protest, before widening out to tell the story of a nation in turmoil

What is it? Czech period drama set during the Soviet occupation in the late 1960s.

Why you’ll love it: Although part of Walter Presents’ Christmas box-set season, this three-part drama based on real events isn’t exactly what you would call festive. But it is superbly made, acted and directed, and in every other sense a gift to viewers with an eye for real quality.

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- Julia Raeside

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A right shower: I'm a Celebrity's 'fake' waterfall scandal

16 November 2017 10:43 AM, PST

First it was the news that some of the rocks in the jungle weren’t real. Now we have to cope with the latest drip-drip of revelations

All faith systems have their totems, but what happens when objects upon which so much value is placed by so many turn out to be rather less than they seem? This apropos of new reports that not only is the I’m a Celebrity jungle camp populated by papier-mache rocks but also, in perhaps the cruellest twist of all, the waterfall under which numerous camp inhabitants have just so happened to lose so many of their clothes is not really a waterfall at all. It is a water feature that turns on and off and is built above a man-made lagoon.

This news originally came to light more than a decade ago, when former contestant Lauren Booth explained in a column that it »

- Peter Robinson

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Blue Planet II episodes drowned out by music | Letters

16 November 2017 10:20 AM, PST

Eleanor Davison and Pat Brody are annoyed by the ‘intrusive’ music on David Attenborough’s new series, while George Pearce found the ‘pointless’ music score on the BBC’s adaptation of Howards End equally galling

I couldn’t agree more with Sam Wollaston (Last Night’s TV, G2, 13 November) about the intrusive background music in Blue Planet II. It is overbearing, annoying and insulting, as he says, though of course the photography is amazing. The next programme I had been looking forward to was Howards End. That was worse – conversation was often impossible to follow because of the intrusive, often strident, music and background street noises.

Eleanor Davison

Esher, Surrey

Howards End “sober” (This sober Howards End is a timely remake, 13 November)? I found it unwatchable because of the cacophonous, pointless, unsuitable music score, composed virtually throughout, even over dialogue. Plinky-plonky piano, overbearing string quartet (shrill violin). Even my deaf wife complained. »

- Letters

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Have I Got News for You where Jo Brand rebuked all-male panel tops complaints

16 November 2017 6:47 AM, PST

Show in which comedian criticised lineup for not taking sexual harassment claims seriously listed in fortnightly figures

An episode of Have I Got News for You in which host Jo Brand rebuked an all-male panel for seemingly not taking allegations of sexual harassment seriously was the most complained about programme on the BBC in the past two weeks.

Figures published by the BBC reveal the comedy panel show attracted 234 complaints after being broadcast on 3 November.

Related: BBC to publish details of viewers' complaints under new Ofcom rules

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- Graham Ruddick

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There will always be consequences: The Deuce comes to an end

16 November 2017 4:21 AM, PST

As the finale of this gripping drama pulled its emotional grip tight, there was a sense that the time spent with these characters has been far too short

Spoiler Alert: This is for people who have watched all eight episodes of Season One of The Deuce.

It has been far from conventional, but The Deuce finished its remarkable first season this week with something approaching a conventional ending. The writing on this drama, ostensibly about the sex trade around Times Square in 1970s New York, but inevitably about so much more, has been so impeccable that it resists simplicity at almost every turn. But to break it down simply, it pressed the lesson that it had hinted at all along: that there will always be consequences. The fragile relationships of the world it portrays are built on an imbalance of power that can be lethal, and it is always ready »

- Rebecca Nicholson

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Peaky Blinders review – Adrien Brody joins Brum’s bloodthirsty gangsters

15 November 2017 10:00 PM, PST

The Shelbys are back, with more roaming accents and gratuitous slo-mo. Plus: anthropomorphism at Chester zoo

You have to hand it to this wily upstart: four years on from first transmission, with a raft of starry names on the credits and a horde of new international fans (thank you, Netflix), Steven Knight’s Brum-set gangster thriller has made it to the top of the TV pile. The sniffy gatekeepers of “prestige drama” have been forced to stand aside and let Peaky Blinders (BBC Two) swagger on in. They have been scandalising us with their anachronistic taste in indie rock, wildly roaming accents and tendency to break into gratuitous slo-mo ever since.

And so, it may be mid-November in 2017, but in 1925 (adopts Noddy Holder voice) … it’s Christmas! The perfect excuse for some Slade on the soundtrack? They’re bold, but not that bold. Instead, a cliffhanger-resolving prelude reveals that treacherous »

- Ellen E Jones

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Peaky Blinders recap: series four, episode one: The Noose

15 November 2017 2:00 PM, PST

This cracker of an opening episode was tense, well-paced and tightly plotted, with a vengeance-driven bad guy played by Adrien Brody

Hello, and welcome back. Let’s all take a deep breath and raise a glass to John Shelby. He wasn’t the smartest brother, nor even the best at killing people, but I always had a soft spot for the hot-headed John with his empty bravado, big “We’re the Peaky fucking Blinders” speeches and not-so-deeply buried pain. Oh John, if only you could have seen out your days pretending you were a country squire while ineptly shooting at pheasants with a handgun …

This was a cracker of an opening episode, tense, well-paced and hinting at a welcome return to tightly plotted form after the baroque Russian excesses of the last series. For 18 episodes, Nick Cave has sung about a gathering storm, and it now truly feels as though »

- Sarah Hughes

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Keith Barron: from coppers to adulterers, a star of hit TV to the end

15 November 2017 9:08 AM, PST

The prolific actor, who died this week, kept viewers coming back to shows such as Duty Free and Haggard with his charm, vocal clarity and sharp comic timing

Whereas many frontline actors conduct parallel careers in television, stage and film, Keith Barron, who has died aged 83, was essentially a peak-time TV specialist.

His small-screen career stretched a remarkable 55 years, from the 1961 BBC comedy A Chance of Thunder to the ITV police series Dci Banks, in which, as recently as last year, he played the main character’s elderly dad. This Christmas, he will be seen posthumously in the seasonal special of the BBC1 sitcom Not Going Out, his final performance.

Related: Duty Free star Keith Barron dies aged 83

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- Mark Lawson

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'It's confronting television': Struggle Street goes broader for second season

15 November 2017 9:00 AM, PST

After politicians blocked filming in Queensland and Melbourne, the controversial Sbs series returns to tackle national issues

Civic opposition, denied permits and a council fine haven’t got in the way of controversial documentary series Struggle Street, with Sbs revealing the first trailer for the second season, which will premiere at the end of November.

Related: Sbs reality show Struggle Street betrays vulnerable people, says missionary

Related: Sbs Struggle Street: lawyer George Newhouse investigates defamation suit

Related: Struggle Street protest brings garbage truck blockade to Sbs Sydney offices

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- Steph Harmon

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A Lord of the Rings TV series? Nobody has the stamina

15 November 2017 3:48 AM, PST

Amazon’s cynical venture is based on a period in Middle Earth so boring that Tolkien didn’t even write about it. It risks junking the franchise for ever

Amazon’s just-announced Lord of the Rings series carries with it the inescapable sense of make or break for the service. Its television output is divided between: 1) rampantly depressing comedies about disaffected urbanites who waft their hands listlessly through beams of sunlight in their apartments in lieu of telling any jokes; and 2) Jeremy Clarkson wincing and belching while attempting to ward off gout.

But Lord of the Rings could be its Game of Thrones. It could be the big, expensive, prestigious breakout show that finally pushes Amazon over the edge.

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- Stuart Heritage

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Duty Free star Keith Barron dies aged 83

15 November 2017 3:40 AM, PST

Actor who appeared in three series of sitcom and also starred in Take Me Home has died after short illness, agent says

The actor Keith Barron has died after a short illness, at the age of 83, his agent said.

Barron starred in three series of Duty Free, the Yorkshire Television sitcom written by Eric Chappell in which he played David Pearce.

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- Press Association

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'Apu was a tool for kids to go after you': why The Simpsons remains problematic

15 November 2017 3:00 AM, PST

The standup comic Hari Kondabolu talks about his documentary The Problem with Apu, which uses the notorious Kwik-e-Mart clerk as a springboard to discuss issues of representation and minstrelsy in pop culture

The words “thank you, come again” have haunted Hari Kondabolu, the Queens-born standup comic, for 28 years, he tells us at the beginning of his new documentary. Why? Because that’s the catchphrase uttered repeatedly by a certain cartoon store clerk, The Simpsons’ Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, a beloved recurring character who was more or less a noxious pastiche of south Asian stereotypes.

Voiced by the white actor Hank Azaria, Apu is an unlikely subject for a documentary, having appeared in less than one-third of the show’s 623 episodes. But he’s also an appropriate case study into issues of representation, especially for a film that’s as much about The Simpsons as it is Kondabolu’s attempt to unpack – per »

- Jake Nevins

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Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico review – Mustangs, clams and Cary Grant impressions

14 November 2017 9:59 PM, PST

The Padstow chef retraces a road trip he made in 1968 and finds that you can’t escape from Brexit – even in Santa Barbara

Rick Stein is travelling down through California, by Mustang. Not the wild horse (though there will be horses later), the car. Blue and topless – the car, not Stein, though if he was topless he would probably be blue, too, today. The Golden State didn’t read the script, it looks more like Blackpool in November, grey and dreary. He can’t even take the coast road, because of mudslides.

It is called Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico (BBC2), and he is retracing a road trip he made in 1968, the year after the summer of love. “I wanted to live a little bit dangerously, and I did,” he says. Did you wear flowers in your hair, Rick (I’m assuming there was hair, in 1968)? Did you get high with girls without shoes? »

- Sam Wollaston

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Wednesday’s best TV: The Secret Life of the Zoo; Peaky Blinders

14 November 2017 9:59 PM, PST

Olivia Colman talks us through a traumatised black rhino birthing a calf at Chester Zoo. And a terrific opener of the fourth season of Stephen Knight’s gangster drama

Olivia Colman narrates a homely tour behind the scenes at Chester Zoo. The zookeepers also commentate retrospectively on the stories that unfold, like an animal version of 24 Hours in A&E, and enjoyment will be determined by how cute you find the staff’s earnest emotional investment. Without them, it’s a nature film shot in a series of bland pens and tanks. This week’s big unknown: can a traumatised black rhino finally birth a healthy calf? Jack Seale

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- Jack Seale, Jonathan Wright, David Stubbs, Ellen E Jones, Ali Catterall, Hannah Verdier, Graeme Virtue and Paul Howlett

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