Krishnan Guru-Murthy: ‘If I could bring something extinct back to life, I’d choose civil debate’

The television journalist on Tom Jones, a brush with death at a fairground, and why he wants to apologise to every offended interviewee Born in Liverpool, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, 50, began presenting youth television for the BBC at 18. He went on to report for and produce Newsround and Newsnight. In 1998, he joined Channel 4 […]

Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal: ‘It’s been a wild few months for us’

The stars of the BBC’s hit Sally Rooney adaptation on their quarantine viewing, and how their lives have changed since playing Marianne and Connell Was there a show this year that everyone else loved but you just couldn’t get on with?Daisy: That’s a hard one. I honestly think I watched every show that’s aired on […]

Tell us: what were your favourite TV shows of 2020?

We would like to hear what TV shows you loved that we might have missed from our top 50 list From Netflix hits Tiger King and The Queen’s Gambit to the BBC’s standout drama I May Destroy You and the gripping documentary Belsen: Our Story, 2020 provided some great television to keep us occupied during […]

Heather Couper remembered by Floella Benjamin

2 June 1949 – 19 February 2020 The broadcaster and parliamentarian remembers her friend and fellow TV presenter, a distinguished astronomer and advocate of science Little Richard remembered by Bootsy Collins Read the Observer’s obituaries of 2020 in full I got to know Heather working on the Millennium Commission, which was a great organisation with […]

Gillian Anderson and Richard E Grant lead cast of Aardman’s Netflix musical, Robin Robin

Exclusive: Anderson will purr as villainous Cat in the British studio’s first collaboration with the streaming service Gillian Anderson and Richard E Grant will lead the cast of Aardman’s first collaboration with Netflix, Robin Robin, the Guardian can reveal. The feature-length tale of a robin who is adopted by a family of mice after its […]

BBC’s A Suitable Boy rankles ‘love jihad’ conspiracy theorists in India

BJP reaction to depiction of Hindu-Muslim romance follows recent rows over interfaith marriages When the BBC’s adaptation of Vikram’s Seth’s novel A Suitable Boy recently landed on Indian Netflix it did not take long for the fanfare to turn to controversy. The series, it was claimed by politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), […]

Celebrating Black NHS nurses through the decades – in pictures

The NHS is one of only two things that hold Britain together as a community. The second being the BBC. During Covid-19 these two national treasures have become our guiding strength. Black people have been an integral part of the NHS since the 40s. I am very proud to say my mother worked for the […]

Explosive interview with Diana leaves one big question: how was it secured?

Story of BBC journalist Martin Bashir’s dealings with Princess of Wales is of searing public interest It was just six days before transmission that Buckingham Palace learned that the BBC’s Panorama programme was to broadcast Martin Bashir’s compelling, explosive – and now highly controversial – interview with Diana, Princess of Wales. In the palace press […]

The room where it happens: why writers’ rooms make for great TV

It’s been a staple of American shows for decades, but the collaborative model has proved less appealing in the UK. So what is the reason for the new cultural shift? Watch a behind-the-scenes feature on any American TV show and you will see the clip where a gaggle of Biro-twiddling, Evian-sipping writers sit around an […]

Veteran presenter Harry Gration to leave BBC’s Look North

The 69-year-old has fronted the Yorkshire local news programme for 38 years The veteran BBC regional news presenter Harry Gration has announced he is stepping down after more than 40 years in broadcasting. The 69-year-old has become a Yorkshire institution after fronting the corporation’s Look North programme for much of the last 38 years. He […]

‘It’s about breaking boundaries’: Nicola Adams on dancing with a woman on Strictly

The Olympic boxing champion retired last year, but her competitive spirit will soon have a new chance to thrive – when she takes to the ballroom and makes TV history Nicola Adams is used to being a trailblazer. As a boxer, she fought her way to historic firsts, picking up trophies in a sport that […]

‘How do I monetise this?’: a meditation teacher learns how to build an online business

Meditation Rocks is a popular online wellness resource. Here, its founder discusses with a mentor how to make an income from the website When Lucy Stone worked as a BBC radio journalist, she would often have panic attacks in the bathroom before she went on air. That was, until she started meditating. “I’d say, I’ll […]

‘I spent a long time being this macho man’: Jay Blades on love, loss and the liberating power of tears

The Repair Shop star’s most awesome job of restoration was … himself. He tells how he overcame racist teachers, police brutality, homelessness and a breakdown The Repair Shop is about many things. People bring items to its picturesque thatched barn workshop to be brought back to life in front of the BBC show’s cameras. It’s […]

Three Kings review – Andrew Scott shines in fatherhood elegy

Old Vic: In CameraThe Sherlock and Fleabag actor is transfixingly tender in Stephen Beresford’s skilful monologue, performed against an eerie, empty auditorium Three Kings is an unusually quiet play in these noisy times. Stephen Beresford’s monologue is a measured and meticulously crafted tale of fathers and sons, tenderly performed by Andrew Scott. Played against the […]

Battlestar Galactica: all hail a cult classic of 21st-century TV

Humanity is fighting an invisible enemy, with no end in sight … the epic battle between humans and Cylons, now back on our screens, still holds up as prescient, brilliant television Earth, 2020: humanity faces an existential threat and, perhaps even worse, a slowdown in our TV content pipeline. So the BBC iPlayer box set […]

Belarus authorities strip accreditation from foreign journalists

BBC journalists among those whose accreditation is revoked before fresh protests against election results Belarusian authorities have deported two Russian cameramen and withdrawn the accreditation of several foreign media journalists, including the BBC’s, in advance of fresh demonstrations challenging the results of the presidential election. On Saturday the BBC’s press team said two journalists working […]

A game of few laughs: can football and sitcom ever mix?

Ted Lasso, Apple TV’s attempt at a Premier League-based comedy, has arrived to a muted response. Is the sport just inherently unfunny? No sooner had the extended Premier League season ended than another footballing story started. You might not have noticed, but Apple TV’s culture-clash sitcom Ted Lasso, about an American NFL coach with no […]

Jenny Agutter: the original railway child still bringing hope to prisoners

The actress has recorded a reading from the classic film for the Liberty Choir charity, which helps rehabilitate prisoners. Here she tells the choir’s founder why she feels she must help ‘Daddy, my Daddy!” With these three words at the climax of the drama, Jenny Agutter 50 years ago created one of the best-loved roles […]

The week in radio and podcasts: New Storytellers; Led By the Science – review

The winners of the 2020 Charles Parker prize for best student radio feature captivate. Plus the science behind Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 response New Storytellers (Radio 4) | BBC SoundsLed By the Science (Radio 4) | BBC Sounds Charles Parker was a remarkable BBC radio producer who valued the voices of working people. He died 40 […]

Mike Bartlett on Albion, Brexit and Covid: ‘national identity is critical to coming out of this’

The drama first staged after the EU referendum has taken on new relevance and is being broadcast by the BBC. Its creator reflects on the ‘emotional weight’ of Britishness Mike Bartlett’s 2017 play Albion returned to London’s Almeida theatre in February, the week after Britain left the EU. It didn’t mention Brexit but the story […]

‘For someone from Syria, the authoritarianism is vivid in Britain’

Hassan Akkad fled Damascus after he was tortured by Assad’s regime. But nothing prepared him for his job as a cleaner on a Covid-19 ward in London… There have been times in the past 10 years, Hassan Akkad says, that his life has felt more like a movie. Thinking that occasionally kept him sane – […]

Baftas: writers today still find women boring, says Glenda Jackson

Winner of best leading actress award tells pre-show panel she fears for equality in the arts Glenda Jackson, winner of the leading actress award at this year’s Bafta TV awards for the BBC drama Elizabeth Is Missing, has voiced her fears about gender equality in the arts. Taking part in a virtual, pre-show panel for […]

Artist Toyin Ojih Odutola: ‘Through drawing, I can cope with racism, sexism, cultural friction’

Ahead of a new Barbican show, the visual artist discusses being a ‘weird, creative type’ and why moving to Alabama made her question everything Toyin Ojih Odutola was born in Ife, Nigeria, in 1985. She moved to the US aged five, first to Berkeley, California, then to Huntsville, Alabama, where her father worked as a […]

Swan Lake in the bath and a quarantine Elvis: dazzling lockdown dance

With venues closed, choreographers including Mark Morris have been creating increasingly inventive work at home Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance online Choreographer Corey Baker’s Swan Lake, reimagined in the bath, is a total delight. Made for the BBC, which goes some way to explaining why its production values are so much higher […]

On my radar: Monica Dolan on her cultural highlights

The Bafta-winning actor on Bowie’s last years, the unlikely comforts of Charlie Brooker, and a very funny film about our animal and civilised selves Actor Monica Dolan was born in 1969 in Middlesbrough and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She starred in all three series of the BBC comedy W1A and […]

Smart speakers risk creating ‘big-tech monopoly’ in homes

BBC radio boss tells MPs regulation could allow other digital assistants to compete Services such as Amazon’s Alexa could be regulated to allow rival digital assistants to operate on smart speakers and stop the tech giants building a monopoly “in people’s kitchens and living rooms”, the head of the BBC’s radio operation has said. James […]