“Like so many holidays, Race Across the World is mostly lovely and occasionally quite stressful”

Race Across the World

“Race Across the World is a travelogue, a history lesson, an exploration of psychology, and a thrilling competition (the programme-makers are very good at making it all seem impossibly close in the edit, even when teams are hours apart). But I love that it is also humanitarian, when all can seem so very bleak, and suggests there is still hope in the world, if we open our horizons.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

“At its best RATW is a study of friendship, foibles, and how people need to learn to get along in the real world. It is not a format without faults. But any cracks are papered over here by the setting. Japan is a country both welcoming and forbidding, seemingly similar to the West and yet culturally worlds apart. It has a hefty language barrier and yet is also sensationally picturesque. I have booked my flight.”
Benji Wilson, The Telegraph

“Race Across the World is a good show because it’s about humans living on their wits without modern tech and, more importantly, it shows that the world is a far friendlier place than you’d think from watching the TV news.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“So far, we’re getting to know the racers and no one has been eliminated. The sightseeing is perfunctory, and it’s difficult to believe they’re able to pick up extra cash by doing odd jobs such as washing rickshaws or picking wasabi. But it’s great fun guessing who is in the lead and who has taken a wrong turn, as they chase a £20,000 first prize. My money’s on Alfie and Owen, if they aren’t felled by noodle indigestion.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“Like so many holidays, Race Across the World is mostly lovely and occasionally quite stressful – but even at its maddest moments, it’s infinitely more relatable than a pair of celebs trying to out-banter one another in a quirky B&B.”
Rachael Sigee, The i

“I have to admit that I find travel so exhausting that I’m at a loss as to why anyone would willingly watch an episode of Race Across the World, let alone have the stamina to keep up with the whole nine hours of viewing that lies before us. Having tagged along vicariously for the first leg of their journey, north to south across most of Japan, Race is best understood as being like tourism but in a more intense, condensed, concentrated and indeed exhausting form.”
Sean O’Grady, The Independent

Baby Reindeer, Netflix

“Baby Reindeer makes for stressful and often distressing viewing. Over the series, the sheer onslaught of pain is difficult to endure, and what it gains in scope, it loses in focus. Yet at the same time, it is original, compelling, and unforgettable.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

“The question with Baby Reindeer is: do you want to go there? It’s a complex, at times self-defeating portrait of a mind eating itself alive. It’s not fun and it’s not meant to be – that’s admirable as art, perhaps less so as entertainment.”
Benji Wilson, The Telegraph

“Baby Reindeer is rewardingly complex, challenging our perceptions of what a victim looks like, and asking urgent questions about the support available to both mentally ill people and victims of stalking. It dwells in pockets of moral ambiguity and cuts even deeper into Gadd’s own shame and psyche than the stage original.”
Rachael Healy, The i

“This is twisty, mature, self-interrogating stuff that will leave you more troubled than tickled.”
Nick Hilton, The Independent

Stacey Solomon’s Renovation Rescue, Channel 4

“Solomon simply can’t offer the distinctive insight that comes with a Kevin McCloud, George Clarke or even Nick Knowles fronted show. The problems are relatable, and the renovations well conceived and deployed. But if you want audiences to focus, it may be worth recruiting an expert whose skills match the level of the challenge.”
Leila Latif, The Guardian

“She radiates positivity to the point where you almost forget that if you attempt to plumb in a toilet and you stuff it up, your house will be flooded with poo. She is so entertaining that even the segments where she works on her own home with her useless husband Joe Swash, which should be excruciating, are gently amusing. Ultimately, Solomon rescues a series that is a bit of a fixer-upper: you’ve seen all of the materials that make up Renovation Rescue before, but you’ve never had a project manager like Stacey.”
Benji Wilson, The Telegraph