“It more than lived up to its pre-broadcast hype as a radical reassessment of the relationship between Wallis and Edward.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.


“There’s no real point making a Wallis Simpson documentary these days unless you make it a revisionary one. Based on private letters recently discovered by her biographer Anne Sebba, it argued that Wallis had become trapped in her relationship with Edward, only realising too late that the man she truly loved was her husband, Ernest… Sebba certainly made a believable case for an affair that started in knowing frivolity and ended in a cul-de-sac out of which she knew she couldn’t reverse.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“It more than lived up to its pre-broadcast hype as a radical reassessment of the relationship between Wallis and Edward. And yet the hype did get in the way. I was left with the nagging feeling that Sebba was pushing her material too far and being drawn into making unnecessary claims that could not be properly substantiated Which was a shame, because what she had uncovered was sensational enough on its own: proof that Wallis and Earnest were still fond of another even after their divorce and that Wallis felt trapped into maintaining a relationship with the king that she would rather have ended.”
John Grace, The Guardian

“Touted as the new middle-class Shameless comedy-drama. It failed on every count. No laughs, no drama, no edge. All it had going for it was suspense: the mystery of how it got commissioned in the first place.”
John Crace, The Guardian

“A Manchester-set comedy drama about average folk that was full of average plotting, average characterisation and average acting… it aped Gavin and Stacey by glorifying the mundane, forgetting that such an approach needs characters you care about. The main joy was in seeing Bobby Ball as a man in the throes of a (three-quarter-life?) crisis, which seemed to involve wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Innit.”
Ed Potton, The Times

“He’s now reached the Irish Sea and the recipe is essentially the same one that proved so successful in the first series – a lovely mix of fretful seamanship and intense pleasure in small things: “We come here across the Irish Sea! Like Vikings!” Spall enthused, which would only really be true if the Vikings spent most of their sea crossings worrying about bumping into other ships.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent


“The very personal character of Buddhism continues to strike a chord with modern audiences. Our presenter, the historian Bettany Hughes, wasn’t one of those starry-eyed converts but her enthusiasm and respect for the religion shone through. Part-travelogue, part meditation, her journey from India to Nepal, Thailand to Cambodia, Hong Kong to Los Angeles took in various temples while she considered what it meant to be a Buddhist.”
Matt Baylis, The Express


“The case of Mandy Sellars has baffled doctors for 35 years, during which time her limbs have grown to more than three times their normal size. Thankfully, while there are limits to knowledge, there are none to courage, good humour and determination. Not in Mandy’s case anyway.”
Matt Baylis, The Express