Turn it down: how to silence your inner voice

Your internal monologue shapes mental wellbeing, says psychologist Ethan Kross. He has the tools to improve your mind’s backchat As Ethan Kross, an American experimental psychologist and neuroscientist, will cheerfully testify, the person who doesn’t sometimes find themselves listening to an unhelpful voice in their head probably doesn’t exist. Ten years ago, Kross found himself […]

Barbara Blake-Hannah: how Britain’s first black female TV reporter was forced off our screens

In the 60s, long before Trevor McDonald and Moira Stuart became household names, a 26-year-old from Jamaica was a regular on the news. Then the racist letters and calls started In 2008, Barbara Blake-Hannah sat down to write a letter of admonishment to the Guardian. “I must put history right,” she wrote, explaining that a […]

Life in football’s cocoon – a photo essay

The Guardian’s sport photographer Tom Jenkins gives his perspective of covering the national sport behind closed doors in football’s strangest year It’s day two of lockdown 2 and a perfect night for watching football: cold and crisp with a slight mist descending. Ninety minutes before the kick-off, I’m outside St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. Around […]

Why DC’s move to the small screen could be great

DC is aping Marvel’s move to TV, thanks to its superhero streaming deal with HBO Max. It might even iron out the wrinkles in its flawed Extended Universe In print, DC Comics was the trailblazer for superheroes more than 80 years ago – while Marvel emerged as a 1960s enfant terrible, shaking up the genre […]

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 […]

She Come by It Natural; Dolly Parton, Songteller review – no Dumb Blonde

Two books, one by Sarah Smarsh and a ‘life in lyrics’ by Parton, offer a reminder that the singer is a social unifier, a musical trailblazer and a business genius In 1977, Dolly Parton was interviewed by Barbara Walters in a TV special. The singer was 31 and, having not long extricated herself from a […]

The 50 best TV shows of 2020, No 1: I May Destroy You

Michaela Coel’s taboo-breaking, convention-defying drama raised thorny questions and withheld easy answers It seems that black creatives are often positioned as perpetual rising stars. No matter what has been achieved, how far up the career ladder they climb, they are always at the precipice of a big break, suspended in up-and-comer limbo much longer than […]

On my radar: Patsy Ferran’s cultural highlights

The Spanish-born actor on her favourite Scrooge, her weakness for reality TV, and a ‘sensational’ steak baguette Actor Patsy Ferran was born in Valencia in 1989 and studied drama and theatre arts at Birmingham University before going to Rada. She graduated in 2014 and made her West End debut in that same year playing Edith, […]

Which singer introduced The Snowman animation on TV? The Weekend quiz

From North Korea to nock, test your knowledge with the Weekend quiz 1 What was planned at the Christmas court at Gloucester in 1085?2 Homo stupidus was a proposed name for which hominid?3 North Korea called which comedy film a “blatant act of terrorism”?4 Which carol is about almsgiving on 26 December?5 THC is the […]

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 […]

Portable projectors and virtual assistants: six of the best gadgets to help you connect with loved ones this Christmas

Celebrations don’t need to be cancelled. Get together with friends and family with the help of these handy devices This Christmas, we’re all going to be dialling in friends and loved ones who can’t be with us in person. But there’s a huge spectrum of how natural hanging out via video can feel, and it […]

‘Boys can be fairies – it’s the 21st century’: How Fate: The Winx Saga finds the reality in fantasy

The writer and star of the new Netflix series explain the myriad challenges of turning a manga-style kids’ cartoon into a live-action teen drama How do you make teen TV magic? You call Brian Young. The writer cut his teeth on The Vampire Diaries, a supernatural teen drama that emerged from the Twilight era of […]

‘Tony Blair wanted to be briefed about Deirdre!’ The inside story of Coronation Street

In the 60 years since the first episode was aired, the soap has gone from kitchen-sink serial to cultural institution. Its stars, writers and producers tell us the secrets of Britain’s best loved street In the winter of 1960, John F Kennedy had just been elected, a young rock band had changed its name to […]

From folk art farmhouses to a floating Arctic sauna: the very best of Swedish architecture

Renaissance castles, timber high-rises and achingly cool wilderness cabins – these design wonders reveal a beauty-obsessed country where form is function • New national restrictions apply from 5 November, please consult government advice before planning to travel A few decades ago, all that most people knew about Swedish design was what they saw in the […]

TV style icons of 2020: Michael Jordan’s sartorial slam dunk

Gripping Netflix series The Last Dance was more like a Marvel movie than a sports documentary, putting Jordan – the man, the myth and his power dressing – front and centre The Last Dance, the Netflix show about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, scored 24 million viewers around the world within a month of […]

Bill Bailey: Comic, musician … and now Strictly dance master

Behind the comedian’s hippy persona lies a quick mind and even quicker step, as fans of the TV show are finding out Bill Bailey has been focusing on Blondie. Specifically on the band’s 1978 hit One Way or Another. It is a slightly menacing track, covered more recently, it is true, by One Direction, in […]

Are we the baddies? Pop culture’s grand reckoning with good and evil

As film and TV deal with a rapidly changing world, it’s becoming harder to tell who the real villains are If pop culture is any guide, we tend to be more honest with ourselves through our villains than our heroes. In crimefighters and caped crusaders, writers invest humanity’s most aspirational qualities, creating an ideal against […]

The shadow of Obama: what influence will the ex-president have on Biden?

The president-elect knows that he will always be able to call on his old boss for advice – but he has big shoes to fill and could suffer by comparison He’s back with a vengeance. After four years lying low as Donald Trump occupied the White House, Barack Obama is suddenly everywhere again – on […]

TV style icons of 2020: Schitt’s Creek’s absolutely fabulous fashion overload

From sequins and ruched lamé to neoprene, kilts to drop-crotch trousers, we can all learn from mother and son fashionistas Moira and David, clinging to their glory days through more-is-more outfits You might think Schitt’s Creek is just a show about a wealthy family who lose everything and have to move to a motel they […]

Couch potatoes, assemble! How 2020 taught us a whole new way to be a hero

The German government has released an advert asking people to be as ‘lazy as racoons’ – because there are few finer ways to fight this pandemic than by eating pizza in front of the TV Name: Couch potatoes Age: Shush, leave me alone, I’m watching telly. Continue reading…

‘Charles is very stylish’: how The Crown’s costume designer brought 1980s to life

Season 4’s wardrobe includes Diana’s Cinderella dress and Thatcher’s power shoulders With its power bouffants, sweetie-wrapper party dresses and alarming shoulder pads, some call the 1980s the time that fashion forgot. But in the fourth season of The Crown, which starts on TV tomorrow night, the era’s extraordinary clothing plays a pivotal role in bringing […]

Michelle de Swarte: ‘Me, Method Man and Sarah Jessica Parker were in a hot tub’

The actor, comedian, and TV presenter on the things that make her laugh the most Siblings – a hilarious London duo – do a sketch about two American soccer dads who have so much in common they end up getting together. I blew a funny fuse. Continue reading…

Jed Mercurio: ‘Some of the colloquialisms in Line of Duty are inspired by my dad’

The screenwriter on series six of the police procedural, laughing at Ted Hastings’s colloquialisms, and his forthcoming drama about Stephen Lawrence Staffordshire-raised Jed Mercurio is a former RAF officer and hospital doctor. He answered an ad in the British Medical Journal for an adviser on a TV show and ended up writing the acclaimed BBC […]

Princess Diana, her brother and the questions about the Martin Bashir interview that won’t go away

Diana’s revelations to Panorama 25 years ago rocked the royal family. Now the BBC is being accused of setting her up Confidence is crucial. It has to be established to entice a big name to give a candid TV interview. It is also, of course, the basis of many a scam. Pulling off a confidence […]

Battle for control: why the age-old console wars show no sign of stopping

From Sega v Nintendo in the early 90s to PlayStation v Xbox in 2020, the world of computer games is still a battlefield Modern Toss on console wars It is an exciting time in video game world: two new consoles, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, are arriving this month. With a long, lonely […]

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project review – the ultimate news junkie

Matt Wolf’s profile of the woman who recorded more than 70,000 video tapes’ worth of TV footage is never less than reverential Between 1977 and 2012, when she died aged 83, Marion Stokes recorded more than 70,000 VHS and Betamax tapes’ worth of television footage. A wealthy African American, one-time member of the Communist party […]

Geoffrey Palmer tribute: perfect portrayals of male emotional incompetence

In Butterflies and As Time Goes By, Palmer embodied romantic uncertainty – but his other speciality was authoritarians who overreached themselves His long, thin face tending to dolefulness even in repose, Geoffrey Palmer, who has died aged 93, was one of the finest screen purveyors of pain, sadness and other male emotions desperate to remain […]