“There was a decent half-hour documentary in here, struggling in vain to get out”

The Trouble With M&S

The Trouble With M&S, Channel 5

“There was a decent half-hour documentary in here, struggling in vain to get out. Instead it was padded out to an hour with archive clips, a teeth-gnashing overuse of the word ‘funky’ and far too many shots of Fiona Phillips doing her best Mary Portas impression by striding down high streets in skinny trousers and spiky heels, talking to camera.”
Michael Hogan, The Telegraph

“In TV terms, M&S is catnip. Everyone has been a customer and everyone has an opinion on it; it is the BBC of retail, except with no licence fee.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“Frankly, the backers ARE not Dragony enough. They’re not shouty like Gordon effing Ramsay, or tossers like Alan Sugar, or that guy who used to do The Apprentice in the US. There’s an issue with the format, too, because the three tasks are basically the same. Otherwise, it’s great. Interesting subject, new restaurants – zeitgeisty even.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“Fast food, world food, health food, comfort food — it doesn’t matter. This show is all about taking quirky restaurant ideas and sucking the originality out of them till you’re left with nothing but pap fit for motorway services.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

Great Art, ITV

“Great Art is in some ways the programme that many people wanted the BBC’s Civilisations to be: a straight-bat explanation of art in which the viewer listens and learns. In this age of shouty, formulaic documentaries it was rather lovely and a reminder that good TV needn’t be flashy.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

Humans, Channel 4

“Now that it has reached series three, Humans has lost its novelty factor and some of its narrative momentum. Instead it has settled down into a thoughtful, domestic take on Sky Atlantic’s bells-and-whistles Westworld, with half the budget but twice the heart. Altogether a more human drama.”
Michael Hogan, The Telegraph

“What really makes this format work is the final round, a cook-off between the two worst performers of the week. The other candidates perch on stools in the middle of the kitchen, watching through their fingers as their rivals attempt to conjure a dish under pressure. Both were endearingly hopeless, which highlights another successful tactic of this series: there are no trained chefs here.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail