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 […]

Pulling the strings: meet the people who brought puppets to life

Puppets were once ubiquitous on TV, but over the past two decades they’ve all but vanished. What happened to them – and to the humans who used to control them? I was the producer of The Broom Cupboard, with Phillip Schofield, which wrapped around the children’s programmes on BBC1 for an hour-and-a-half each day. No […]

Samira Ahmed: ‘Run for director general of the BBC? Maybe next time’

What next for the broadcaster who blew the whistle on gender inequality at the BBC? A groundbreaking TV series on the treasures of Persia, and – if her mum has her way – a crack at Bollywood A couple of years ago, Samira Ahmed was interviewed for the BBC’s archives about the roots of her […]

Bafta TV awards nominations 2020: Netflix and HBO dominate at the BBC’s expense

There is little for the corporation to shout about on the shortlists. Spare a thought, too, for Jed Mercurio, Andrew Scott and Martin Freeman Due to his notoriously unreliable eyesight, Dominic Cummings may have had to read the shortlists for the British Academy Television awards a few times before he could be absolutely sure.  But […]

Swan Lake Bath Ballet to be performed in dancers’ own bathtubs

BBC commissions choreographer Corey Baker’s splashy new lockdown-friendly take on the classic ballet It has been performed by ballet companies in the grandest of opera houses around the world. Now a new take on Swan Lake, commissioned by the BBC, is to be performed in the confines of dancers’ own bathtubs. Swan Lake Bath Ballet, […]

The week in radio and podcasts: Wind of Change; Scarlett Moffatt Wants to Believe – review

Scorpions meet the CIA in a great new US podcast yarn, while the BBC’s own new conspiracy podcast is secretly a good gab with a lovely couple Wind of Change (podcast) | Spotify Scarlett Moffatt Wants to Believe (podcast) | BBC Sounds Here’s a great new podcast for fans of bonkers conspiracy theories and billowing […]

The Great British Battle: how the fight against coronavirus spread a new nationalism

With the country in crisis and the NHS stretched to breaking point, Boris Johnson’s government has seized on war rhetoric, national pride and nostalgia For about five weeks, the mayhem of coronavirus rendered the political mayhem of the previous four years irrelevant and dated. The divisive, petty, mendacious battles that had been waged in the […]

‘Why should you cry?’ Ghana’s dancing pallbearers find new fame during Covid-19

Benjamin Aidoo, the group’s leader, wants to teach the world to hold joyful funerals, and is planning to expand his business across the globe Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The Nana Otafrija pallbearers might look slick, but they are not afraid to get dirty. Their signature moves, carried out with a […]

Coronavirus crisis ‘may have staved off threats to BBC licence fee’

ITV chairman and Today editor say coverage has restored broadcaster to heart of nation The coronavirus crisis may have saved the BBC licence fee, the chairman of ITV has said, while the editor of the BBC’s Today programme on Radio 4 said the broadcaster’s coverage had restored its role at the heart of the nation. […]

What the Dickens! Do we really need another TV Great Expectations?

The literary classic is getting the Tom Hardy and Steven Knight treatment for BBC One. Great if you’re a newcomer – not so great if you’ve seen it a trillion times before Coronavirus might have brought the television and film industries to a total standstill, but not even a catastrophic global pandemic can change some […]