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13 November ‘12

TV Critics: Chateau Chunder; Some Girls; Heston's Fantastical Food; Dara Ó Briain's Science Club; The Mind Reader; Deirdre and Me

“Cheeky, vivacious but with surprisingly complex undertones.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

Chateau Chunder, BBC4

“A very enjoyable parable 
of snobbery, success and self-damaging greed… Cheeky, vivacious but with surprisingly complex undertones, Chateau Chunder slipped down a treat.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“This engaging, rather rollicking film told the story of how Australian wine’s reputation changed so dramatically… This film wasn’t – or wasn’t meant to be – a giant advert, but I enjoyed it so much that I can forgive its boosterish enthusiasm. Australians do things with such verve, you hardly realise you’re being marketed at.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“Some people poo poo BBC4 archive docs, but Chateau Chunder about how Australian table wines came from being a Monty Python joke to outnumbering French wine imports into Britain was a satisfyingly complex treat.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“One thing was missing from Chateau Chunder… One unmentioned factor above all others, convinced Eighties Britain that Australia and everything from it was cool and desirable. An exotic new daytime soap called Neighbours.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“The crude description of Some Girls would be a female Inbetweeners. It’s got four crisply differentiated school-age friends and a similar salty take on teenage sexuality and exasperation with the adult world. But the crude description doesn’t entirely do justice to what’s distinctive about Bernadette Davis’s comedy, which is a definite tilt towards drama and sympathy… . I’m far too old and male to say whether it’s authentically representative of young girls’ lives, but there’s heart here.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“Heston’s mission suffered from a woolliness of intent that made it hard to justify the grandeur of the project… Heston talks a lot about “magic” in his series, but in all the pointless supersizing I see only off-putting excess.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“Ó Briain’s budget experiment managed to make a complex concept at least partially comprehensible.”
Sam Wollaston , The Guardian

The Mind Reader, BBC1

“In one of the most dramatic documentary moments of the year, we watched a hidden part of 39-year-old Scott Routley, injured in an accident 12 ears ago, flash into life when asked to imagine himself playing tennis… The million dollar question was not asked by his parents, although it was suggested by Fergus Walsh, the BBC health reporter who brought this important story to Panorama: was his life worth living?”
Andrew Billen, The Times

Deirdre and Me: 40 Years on Coronation Street, ITV1

“The hairdos and the spectacles change, thankfully. The person behind them doesn’t. We see Deirdre making the same mistakes, decade after decade, choosing the wrong man, having faith in her monstrous daughter Tracey. Each time disaster strikes we can smugly say we saw it coming, a power we lack over our own lives. Mark my words. Deirdre Barlow isn’t just a soap character, she’s a religion.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

Readers' comments (7)

  • Chateau Chunder superb TV - informative, entertaining and at times very funny. Critic Matt Baylis of Express should actually watch the programmes he reviews. He should be ashamed of his inaccurate comment.

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  • Dear Anonymous

    I did watch Chateau Chunder as, indeed, I watch every tv programme upon which I comment. And aside from being, as you say, informative, entertaining and funny (which I do not deny), the programme did not mention the 'Neighbours' factor, so my comment was in no way inaccurate, nor do I feel any need to be ashamed of it. Feel free to contact me via the Daily Expresss if you wish to discuss this further, and even identify yourself. Matt Baylis. Daily Express.

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  • Hi guys...
    I'm the writer/director of Chateau Chunder - I really appreciate the great reviews we have had across the board. I'm a Brit who grew up in the UK but now live in Sydney with an Aussie passport so am well aware of the impact of Neighbours. It is indeed in the film, with the main comment coming from wine writer Max Allen who says, underneath some Pythonesque animations of Scott and Charlene's wedding.
    "You know, Australia was absolutely flavour of the month. You had the whole Crocodile Dundee thing, you had Neighbours, Neighbours was, and you know for many years following, just had an enormous influence in how people perceived Australia."

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  • Hands up, to both Steve Oliver and Anonymous, my mistake, entirely.

    Matt Baylis

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  • No worries at all Matt. Thanks for watching and reviewing. But being down under myself I didn't see the rest of your review and can't find it online. Can you send to

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  • I wonder why Matt would make a song and dance about Channel 5 show Neighbours in the pages of the Daily Express...?

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  • Rofl

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