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Radio TimesRadio Times

Radio Times 22-28nd June 2019

Get the same great content you know and love, from the UK’s biggest selling quality magazine. Every week: -> News and Views from broadcasting’s biggest names, best writers and brightest stars. -> Find unmissable entertainment with our roundup of the Best of the Week -> Stunning photo-shoots, red carpet reportage and exclusive behind-the-scenes pics. -> Guides to the best TV, film and radio each day. -> Film review from the Radio Times’ Film team, including Barry Norman and Andrew Collins. -> The best of iPlayer, Netflix and other catch-up and on-demand services. -> Comprehensive listings so you’ll never miss a show, and with handy links so you can jump to your desired day of the week. -> Puzzles, including crosswords, Egg Heads and Only Connect.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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51 Issues


1 min.
‘every element has gelled beautifully’

MY RELATIONSHIP WITH Stephen Poliakoff dramas down the years has not been entirely smooth… I loved Caught on a Train from the moment I watched its first broadcast in 1980, and it will always be in my TV Top 20, possibly even my Top Ten. (It’s the one with Peggy Ashcroft at her most imperious, and a very young Michael Kitchen as her hapless, accidental travelling companion.) I didn’t, alas, like his 2016 work, Close to the Edge, which felt wilfully dull and stodgy. But that’s forgotten now, praise be, after the lovely Summer of Rockets, which ends with a feature-length episode on Wednesday BBC2. It’s the most satisfyingly complete finale to any Poliakoff that I can remember and might even, gasp, leave you smiling. Throughout, every element, not least the choice…

1 min.
this week 22—28 june 2019

WHAT I’M WATCHING… PIERS MORGAN ‘I’m a Jed Mercurio superfan,” says the presenter. “He makes drama how I like to watch it, where loads of s*** happens. All the time. He’s basically James Bond for the small screen. Always great twists and turns, ultimately, his brand of television drama is what I love.’ Is Piers Morgan a psychopath? — page 26 GURINDER CHADHA ‘63 Up was so moving and emotional,” says the writer and director. “It was a reminder of how short life is and all we can do is stay healthy and create happy memories for ourselves and the loved ones we will leave behind. I’m also addicted to the US comedy series Drunk History, which is funny and informative. I have Chernobyl taped and I’m looking forward to binge watching it this weekend…

2 min.

THE BBC LICENCE FEE FURORE The BBC took quite a battering with the announcement that it’ll be rescinding free licence fees for a large number of over 75s by 2020 — even though it was the Government that forced this upon the Corporation during the 2016 negotiation of its Royal Charter. So what can the BBC do? It can’t make the Government address the issue without reopening the whole Charter deal, negotiated by director-general Lord Hall (left) and which currently has eight more years to run. With the rise of subscription services like Amazon and Netflix, some people in Whitehall tell me that if the deal did go back on the table, the BBC would be lucky to get more than a four- or five-year guarantee on a Charter. See Feedback,…

1 min.
we’re all off to scarborough!

Prepare to set sail for sun-filled Scarborough — the latest BBC1 comedy coming later this year. The action follows Mike (Jason Manford) and Karen (Catherine Tyldesley), who are giving their relationship another go, five years after a split. Mike’s ambition to become a professional entertainer meant that he was never at home, but now he’s given up life on the road to come back to Scarborough and Karen. But Karen also comes with her mum, Marion, (played by Stephanie Cole) who lives nearby. Between the local salon, Geraldine’s, and a pub/karaoke hot spot, The Good Ship, we’re assured that there’s never a dull day in this world. And given that the show is written by Derren Litten, the man behind ITV hit Benidorm, how could there be? Litten promises a similar mix…

3 min.
‘who’s doing all this cooking?’

I AM LIVING IN three places each week. I feel like Michael Palin without the budget. Monday to Friday I’m in a boxlike flat, high up in a dystopian building overlooking the Manchester Ship Canal and abutting ITV’s Coronation Street building. At the weekends I’m in London, clearing my desk and reminding my grandchildren who I am, and then I race to Buckinghamshire to have some caring time with my partner Guido. Confused? Sometimes I get up in the night to visit the bathroom and walk straight into the wall. I’ve noticed my viewing habits are different in all three locations. At home I have Radio 4 from dawn till dusk and only turn on the telly for the news and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. In Bucks I watch whatever Guido has programmed…

1 min.
from the rt archive… 25 june—1 july 1988

WHAT WE WATCHED Pat and Frank Butcher, one of Albert Square’s most iconic couples, were moving into the Queen Vic as the fabled boozer’s new (land)lord and lady. EastEnders fans will know that the road ahead was to be far from smooth for brassy Pat and her smooth-talking bloke. But when we spoke to the actors behind Pat and Frank, Pam St Clement and Mike Reid, they were full of optimism — and also admitted that their characters were still a work in progress. “I’m still trying to find the character of Frank Butcher,” Reid told us. “I think I’m on the right track.” WHAT YOU SAID An Ocean Apart, David Dimbleby’s magisterial seven-part examination of the relationship between Britain and the USA, had just finished, and our postbag was packed with superlatives. “I…