“Defined by Tucci’s natural charm and laid-back enjoyment of all he experiences, it makes for particularly soothing Sunday night viewing”

Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy

Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, BBC2

“The new series, as with its predecessor, is intimate and easy. Defined by Tucci’s natural charm and laid-back enjoyment of all he experiences – the food of Italy, and, crucially the people who cook it – it makes for particularly soothing Sunday night viewing: his chatty, interested approach helps transport you away from your freezing cold flat and right there into the Italian countryside or golden beach with him.”
Lauren O’Neill, The i

“One of the familiar problems with this type of programme is the way the host is beadily watched by the people who have cooked for him. Tucci is hardly likely to vomit into his hand and use words such as ‘disgusting’ and ‘inedible’, even if food in Italy rarely is, but it made the whole thing feel slightly repetitive, which, if you were being charitable, you could say was mesmerising. I found it dull.”
Ben Dowell, The Times

Everyone Can Rap, ITV

“I liked the meeting room aesthetic and the low-stakes, anti-hysterical feel of it all. It’s all incredibly sweet and heartwarming. It lives in the same territory as Gareth Malone and his choirs, and is uplifting wherever it can find an opportunity to be.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

1978: The Winter of Discontent, Channel 5

“It was one of those social history programmes thrown together by Channel 5. You know the type: archive footage, celebrity talking heads, and a desire to pad out the serious stuff – strikes, inflation – with nostalgia. The programme served as a trip down memory lane for those old enough to remember it, and a serviceable primer for any young person who would like to understand why people keep drawing parallels between 1978 and now.”
Anita Singh, The Telegraph

Dal y Mellt, S4C/BBC iPlayer

“Dal y Mellt is an attempt to replicate the jittery energy of Guy Ritchie films and Irvine Welsh adaptations, while paying homage to Tony Soprano’s leather jacket. It does this with mixed success. Writer Iwan Roberts has adapted his own novel for television and the screenplay could do with tightening up – the viewer is introduced to various characters but made to wait for any explanation of who they are, how they’re connected, or what they’re doing. But if you stick with it, it has a scruffy charm.”
Anita Singh, The Telegraph

Karen Pirie, ITV

“Karen Pirie continued to weave its magic, deftly holding its two timelines together in its story of the cold case investigation into the grisly 1996 killing of Rosie Duff in St Andrews. It’s defiantly slow, deservedly luxuriating in its two-hour episodes (normally how long it takes ITV to wrap up a murder investigation). The more time spent with Lauren Lyle’s magnetic heroine, with her tank tops, bovver boots and bum bag, the better, I say.”
Ben Dowell, The Times “