“The genius of the show is that every rock cliche is skewered, often in background gags that flash past in a moment.”

Brian Pern: A Tribute

Brian Pern: A Tribute, BBC4

“The film is full of silly jokes, some of which are really funny, some of which are not as funny to me as they probably were to director Rhys Thomas and his team. The talking heads are top notch. And I’m still amused by the joke about Pern’s 80s comeback writing music for those Hallmark cards that played songs when you opened them.”
Chitra Ramaswamy, The Guardian

“The genius of the show isn’t just the gormlessness of Brian himself, a musician so self-obsessed that he can’t even remember the names of his children. It’s the way that every rock cliche is skewered, often in background gags that flash past in a moment. It’s as clever as comedy sudoku.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“This fast-paced mix of talking heads, ‘archive footage’ and exclusive studio scenes of Pern recording his final album, Heaven Calling, is full of incisive satire of rock pomposity, to the extent that its 40-minute running time could easily have been extended to an hour.”
Nick Mitchell, The i

“My feeling about such elaborate spoofs is that they need either to be so subtle as to be almost believable or else wildly, inventively absurd. This was neither.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

MasterChef, BBC1

“Obviously, most of the cooks make a pig’s ear of their dishes. It’s all a bit boring and samey, just as you would want it to be at this stage of the game. Hang in there, though: in about seven weeks it will be great.”
Chitra Ramaswamy, The Guardian

“The format, which has only been tweaked round the edges since 2005 with set redesigns and the like, still feels not so much tired as cosily familiar.”
Gerard O’Donovan, The Telegraph

“Gregg Wallace and John Torode throw out more clichés than is acceptable on a Wednesday night. Every contestant was either ‘thinking outside the box’ or ‘playing it safe’ – the latter a rather unfair criticism coming from a duo who have used the same tired lines since 2005.”
Chloe Hamilton, The i

Bare Knuckle Fight Club, Channel 4

“I am a naif in these matters but Ed Perkins’s superbly observed and curiously sensitive documentary enlightened me. There are folk out there who love violence for violence’s sake.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“This format might work if we saw every stage of the reconstruction, the way James May reassembles household objects. But in the rush to present three objects, too much of the process is missed out, especially the final polish. These jobs shouldn’t be hurried.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail