“Children are the ruin of even the most carefully watched budget.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.


“If the programme extended gentle ribbing towards some of its contributors it also showed compassion to those who’d got into dire straits.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“The pleasure and the power of [Vanessa] Engle’s programme lay in the extraordinary ordinariness of the participants and the honesty with which she probed and they spoke.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

“For some people this is very comfortable living, for others it’s painfully pinched. Main finding? Children are the ruin of even the most carefully watched budget.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“Money mastered the obvious point that whether you feel rich on £40,000 or not is down to your spending habits and your circumstances – especially, your circumstances.”
Andrew Billen, The Times


“What these parents were dealing with was in fact something far harder than a lack of perfection. It was their own inability to make things all right for their children.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“As with the original series, there are as many layers to My Big Fat Gypsy Christmas as there are petticoats to the bridal frocks and if you start searching through them you’re liable to end up more confused than when you began.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

“It’s so loving itself towards the characters it has created, and so careful to acknowledge that bad times don’t pass in a single episode.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Guardian

“The really great thing about This is England is the acting, which easily overcomes even the odd dodgy patch of writing, such as Lol’s rapist father’s materialisations in her bathroom.”
Andrew Billen, The Times