“Bleak yet funny.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.


This is England ’86, Channel 4

“This sequel was disconcertingly different in tone, and much of it was about as realistic as a Bill Forsyth comedy…Yet at the centre lay a wonderful piece of television, the wedding.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“Bleak yet funny.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“The mood and style is Ken Loach at his lightest… There are hints too that the warmth of these opening passages may be a lulling strategy, designed to get an audience far enough in to be able to withstand the darker realities that Meadows often admits to his dramas.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Times

“A quiet menace permeated Meadows’ previous work… In making the leap to the small screen, that’s vanished and what we got for our money was Phoenix Nights set in Nottingham: funny, sharp, big-hearted but not quite right.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

The Big School Lottery, BBC2

“A terrifying documentary about the battle to get into the best secondary schools in Birmingham.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

My Story, BBC1

“Very strange indeed – an oddly miscegenated programme… The machinery of a competition has been bolted on.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Times

Nature Shock: India’s Silent Killer, Channel Five

“The perfect antidote to the fluffy, sentimental ‘ain’t meerkats cute?’ school of natural documentary film-making.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express