“Dumbed down, sexed up, a tad dishonest and, at times, plain daft.”


Horizon: Sports Doping – Winning at Any Cost?, BBC2

“At times, it feels as if this Horizon has been made for CBBC. Sure, it’s entertaining and informative. In the end, though, this investigation is a superficial sprint through every doping issue – dumbed down, sexed up, a tad dishonest and, at times, plain daft.”
Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian

“It was a good documentary. Yet even with a story this good, Doctor Van Tulleken could not be trusted just to tell it straight. So we suffered him pretending to hide from a drug inspector and fiddling with a prosthetic penis with which to cheat a hypothetical urine test.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

The Search for the Lost Manuscript, BBC4

“For those as turned off by the words ‘medieval’ and ‘BBC4’, as I normally am, this was a revelation, a truly fascinating story about how Julian of Norwich came to write her extraordinary book.”
Daisy Wyatt, The i

“Oxford Historian Janina Ramirez was forced to turn the story into a hopeless search for an original copy of Divine Love. Her enthusiasm for Julian’s text was infectious, but I have a high immunity.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

Imagine, BBC1

“Yentob’s analysis is eloquent and perceptive. My beef is with his omnipresence. For every shot of Parker, there’s one of him. Has there ever been a middle-aged man so convinced of his own gorgeousness?”
Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian

Ramsay’s Hotel Hell, Channel 4

“Gordon Ramsay being nice to people on his show was oddly unsettling. It came across as scripted and unnatural, but the most frustrating part was that the actual makeover element was all crammed into the last ten minutes. That really was something to swear about.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

New Zealand: Earth’s Mythical Island, BBC2

“Watching this in the same week as an ill-advised attempt to enjoy Brian Cox’s Forces of Nature show, I realised how easily a good documentary can link stunning images to serious science, if it tries. Last night’s episode was full of wonders.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express