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Late-night hosts on Roy Moore's defeat: 'The real loser here is Donald Trump'

10 hours ago

Comics, including Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee, covered the Republican loss in Alabama and how the president is coping with the news

Late-night hosts have discussed Roy Moore’s loss in the Alabama Senate election and how the result will affect Donald Trump.

Related: Late-night hosts to Roy Moore: 'Hello you and the horse you rode in on'

Tonight at 11/10c, America breathes a sigh of relief knowing that Alabama isn’t sending Cowboy Roman Polanski to the Senate. pic.twitter.com/RK9e8w7dnH

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- Guardian staff

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Thursday’s best TV: Amazing Spaces Snow and Ice Special, Love, Lies & Records

20 hours ago

The offbeat property programme goes festive as it visits an ice hotel in snowy Norway. Plus: Kate wrestles with others’ emotions while her own love life is in turmoil

George Clarke launches the seventh series of his offbeat property programme, confirming an apparently bottomless market for such shows. In search of what is doubtless considered a fittingly festive backdrop – ie, snow – Clarke and Will Hardie head to Norway, where building habitable habitats is a challenge, what with it being cold, damp and dark. Solutions contemplated include a mountain retreat, a geodesic dome and a snow hotel. Andrew Mueller

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- Andrew Mueller, Ellen E Jones, Graeme Virtue, Ali Catterall, Ben Arnold, David Stubbs, Jonathan Wright and Paul Howlett

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The 50 best TV shows of 2017: No 4 Blue Planet II

20 hours ago

This majestic ocean tour was not only gorgeous viewing, but brought scientific discovery and a timely reminder of ecological fragility

Top TV of 2017 - our pick of the best in one place

With Blue Planet II, Sir David Attenborough captivated audiences once again and helped the BBC grab more viewers than Strictly, Simon Cowell doling out stink or indeed any other TV show in the UK. And all with the magic of the natural world.

Four years in the making, and 16 years on from his original series, this latest seven-episode tour of the oceans came complete with a portentous soundtrack from composer Hans Zimmer and Radiohead, plus specially curated playlists and an excellent accompanying podcast. It also served as a reminder of the danger that our fragile world is in. “We’ve also recognised an uncomfortable fact,” said Attenborough. “[The oceans are] changing at a faster rate than ever before in human history. »

- Hannah J Davies

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Vanished by the Lake review – all the coincidences of a classic French thriller

20 hours ago

Walter Presents’ latest Gallic import has the requisite good-looking cop and a close-knit-community riddled with secrets. Plus: Penelope Keith goes coastal

How do you like your foreign-language thrillers? Period-set and perfectly plausible? Psychologically astute with a side of gruesome violence? Or Scandi-influenced, but mostly in English. From Broadchurch to The Bridge, Witnesses to Wallander and Dicte to Dark, there is now enough choice to cultivate some pretty recherché tastes. Personally, I won’t lift the remote for anything without a fortysomething, single-mother protagonist investigating serial murder in a mid-sized Jutland community, with a gaping class divide and stark, functionalist architecture for a backdrop. And still, I’m spoilt for choice. So how does Walter Presents’ latest French import Vanished by the Lake (Channel 4) measure up?

It’s got the looks, that’s for sure. The titular lake is a brochure-worthy expanse of twinkling turquoise in Provence that makes Broadchurch »

- Ellen E Jones

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Choose your own adventure – how tech is changing TV

13 December 2017 10:20 AM, PST

Streaming networks such as Twitch and Amazon are working on interactivity - the industry’s next big thing

At the start of the latest season of a hit TV detective series, interviews are taking place to find a new recruit to the murder squad. As the Dci grills the contenders, viewers decide, via an app, which character/actor combination will get the gig. Later, as the cop we have employed looks at the whiteboard listing persons of interest to the investigation, we highlight a name on screen and pick the prime suspect to be quizzed.

This scenario may not be far off. The California-based network Twitch – which began as an interactive gaming site before moving into original programming – is exploring the possibility of viewer-influenced TV dramas. Its boss, Kevin Lin, says: “The studio would script a drama to be performed live and – at certain points in the plot – there would be forks, »

- Mark Lawson

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Three Billboards leads Screen Actors Guild nominations as The Post is snubbed

13 December 2017 8:19 AM, PST

Dark comedy-drama picks up four nominations, but there’s no room for The Post’s Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep or Phantom Thread’s Daniel Day-Lewis

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri leads the way in nominations for the Screen Actors Guild awards, historically one of the key indicators of which films will triumph at the Oscars.

Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy-drama, which stars Frances McDormand as a mother who takes desperate measures to bring her daughter’s killer to justice, received a total of four nominations in total, with nods for McDormand (best female actor), Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell (supporting actor) and best ensemble.

Related: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri review – violent carnival of small-town America

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- Gwilym Mumford

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Judd Apatow: The Return review – Netflix stand-up special is a bit of a trainwreck

13 December 2017 3:48 AM, PST

Hollywood super-producer’s attempts at self-deprecation don’t combine well with boasts about schmoozing the president

We have Amy Schumer to thank for the filmmaker Judd Apatow’s return to standup. Apatow directed Schumer’s movie Trainwreck, and found himself envious when, after a day’s shoot, Schumer kept stealing off to perform live comedy. Twenty-five years previously, his younger self quit standup, convinced of his inferiority to his peers, such as Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler. “Looking back,” he said in a recent interview, “I’m surprised how bad I was.” Fellow comic – and co-producer of Apatow’s new Netflix special The Return – Wayne Federman is more upbeat about his friend’s standup skills. But only slightly. “Judd,” he says, “was not that bad at all.”

Related: ‘Life is messy’: Judd Apatow on Freaks and Geeks, Lena Dunham and his return to standup

It’s about tone – and »

- Brian Logan

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The Twilight Zone review – a spooky ride into the supernatural

13 December 2017 3:35 AM, PST

Almeida, London

Anne Washburn has adapted the TV show for an inventive production featuring tales of vanishing children, amnesiac teachers and alien interlopers

Anne Washburn is clearly haunted by American popular culture. In Mr Burns she implied the most enduring relic of western civilisation would be The Simpsons. Now she has hewn a drama out of the iconic TV series that mixed sci-fi and the supernatural, and that ran on CBS from 1959 to 1964, and has been endlessly repeated. I admired the inventiveness of Richard Jones’s production: the big problem is that, while many of the stories explore the mysteries of the fourth dimension, the characters barely exist in two.

Related: Anne Washburn on watching 156 Twilight Zone episodes for freaky remake

Related: Thirty Christmases review – a merry little comedy about festive stress

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- Michael Billington

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The World’s Most Expensive Presents review: a ballgown for your dog, anyone?

12 December 2017 11:00 PM, PST

This grotesque display of pricey Christmas gifts is pointless, immoral and horrid. Plus – the hateful Giles Coren hates Jane Austen

I haven’t even thought about, let alone done, my Christmas shopping yet. Perhaps I’ll get some ideas from The World’s Most Expensive Presents (Channel 4). Well, it has been a reasonably good year. I’ve floated a couple of little interests, moved some stuff offshore, I won’t go into details … know what I mean?

So, how about an adult colouring book (as in for adults, not Diy pornography) with 10 bespoke illustrations by a renowned artist and a leather cover with gold lettering. That’s £23,900, Vat included; colouring pencils not. But it goes way beyond a colouring book, says Marcel, the man whose idea it was. “It’s a tapestry of emotions, it’s memory after memory after memory. It’s an heirloom.”

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- Sam Wollaston

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The 50 best TV shows of 2017: No 5 Big Little Lies

12 December 2017 10:00 PM, PST

The cleverly plotted tale of murder and yummy mummies brought a masterly twist on soapy Us drama and a career-best performance from Nicole Kidman

More on the best TV of 2017More on the best culture of 2017

Big Little Lies, adapted from the novel by Liane Moriarty and transferred from New South Wales to Monterey in California, starts with kitchen envy, and a whole load of fun. Yummy mummies with lots of yummy money lead adorable lives in their adorable beachside homes.

Hey, guess what though: maybe they’re not so happy after all, and all the fund-raising and keeping-up and being perfect can lead to power struggles and insecurities, jealousy and grudges.

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- Sam Wollaston

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Wednesday’s best TV: Vanished by the Lake, Peaky Blinders, Detectorists

12 December 2017 9:59 PM, PST

A teenager goes missing in a case familiar to detective Lise Stocker, and the period crime drama’s penultimate episode. Plus: there’s an auction in store for Becky and Andy, in this final-ever episode

Just last month, Bob Mortimer was crowned fifth season champion of Taskmaster. But now the man who so emphatically demonstrated he could tear an apple into perfect halves with his bare hands must compete in a two-part tournament against previous victors Josh Widdicombe, Katherine Ryan, Noel Fielding and Rob Beckett, all to determine who is the ultimate master of tasks. As ever, Greg Davies both officiates and castigates. Gv

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- Phil Harrison, Graeme Virtue, John Robinson, Jonathan Wright, Ali Catterall, Ellen E Jones, Paul Howlett

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Robert Rowland obituary

12 December 2017 9:41 AM, PST

My husband, Robert Rowland, who has died aged 80, was a committed public service broadcaster, a former editor of Panorama, a pioneer of distance learning as head of Open University broadcasting and senior controller of the BBC in charge of equal opportunities.

He was born in Forest Hill, south London, to Tom and Joan (nee Veal), who were both opera singers. Robert and his elder brother, Christopher, were educated at Chesterfield grammar school and both won scholarships to Oxford University.

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- Nuala Rowland

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Strictly-inspired alternatives to ‘dad-dancing’ – from Harriott Hopping to Nancy Prancing

12 December 2017 8:52 AM, PST

Former contestant Jeremy Vine has complained the derogatory term could put off blokes desperate to boogie. Here are some alternatives based on the TV dance competition’s alumni

Is it time to give dancefloor dads a break? Jeremy Vine has said that the term “dad dancing” should be made illegal, as it could put off any blokes desperate for a boogie. But how would we describe that aimless-yet-adorable shuffling otherwise? Maybe some of Vine’s fellow rhythmically challenged (but much-loved) Strictly Come Dancing alumni can offer inspiration.

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- Justin Myers

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Althea Efunshile joins Channel 4 board after government U-turn

12 December 2017 5:40 AM, PST

Former Arts Council England deputy chief executive was only candidate for all-white board rejected by culture secretary last year

The government has appointed Althea Efunshile, a former deputy chief executive of Arts Council England (Ace), to the board of Channel 4, in a dramatic U-turn after the culture secretary blocked her appointment a year ago in favour of four white men.

Efunshile was the only one of five candidates for Channel 4’s board rejected by Karen Bradley in November 2016.

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- Mark Sweney

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TV comedy like Chinese Burn doesn’t smash stereotypes. It reinforces them | Yuan Ren

12 December 2017 3:13 AM, PST

A BBC pilot about Chinese women in London may tick diversity boxes, but offers no real breakthrough in how east Asian people are represented on screen

There’s been a recent boost in east Asian presence on British TV. The arrival of Us sitcom Fresh Off the Boat on 5Star; the Australia-made Ronny Chieng: International Student on BBC Three; and at the end of last month, Chinese Burn, a show about three women’s lives in London, has seemingly given Chinese people greater onscreen prominence.

Related: 'Sweet, innocent, good at ping pong? Screw that!' The new show savaging Chinese stereotypes

The image of east Asians today has diversified beyond restaurant owners or Fu Manchu

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- Yuan Ren

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Keith Chegwin: a born entertainer with natural likability

11 December 2017 11:00 PM, PST

From huge early success, to an adult entertainment blip, to a late career comeback, Cheggers was almost a family member to viewers

Keith Chegwin dies aged 60Share your tribues and memories of Keith Chegwin

The career of Keith Chegwin, who has died aged 60, is characterised by having presented both one of the most popular children’s TV shows in history and a contender for the medium’s most notorious adult entertainment.

Viewers saw the best of him in Multi-Coloured Swap Shop (BBC1, 1976-82) and its successor, Saturday Superstore (1982-87), on which Chegwin became an honorary big brother to several generations of goggle-eyed British children, through his cheeky grin and giggle, high-pitched Liverpudlian-accented enthusiasm, and psychedelic knitwear.

Related: Keith Chegwin obituary

Related: Naked Keith Chegwin hits the heights of 'memorably rotten' TV

Related: Keith Chegwin – a career in clips

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- Mark Lawson

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Nigella’s Christmas Table review – time for mortals to feel inadequate

11 December 2017 10:00 PM, PST

Having humil​iated our ordinary kitchens, friends and utensils, Lawson has her sights set on our Christmases. Plus, Sarah Parish in new detective drama Bancroft

Nigella is on the road, driving at night. She arrives somewhere rural and barny, steps red-booted and red-coated out of the car. Oi, Nige, you left your lights on! But, of course, she meant to, they’re two more bright stars to add to the twinkling firmament.

There are lights everywhere, in the sky, twisted around the gate, hanging in strings from a tree, catkins of luminescence. Nothing coloured, or tacky, no sleighs or Santas, just white and pure and perfect.

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- Sam Wollaston

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The 50 best TV shows of 2017: No 6 Mindhunter

11 December 2017 10:00 PM, PST

The David Fincher-produced drama about the FBI’s cooperation with serial killers featured strong turns, great directing and the creepiest of bromances

• More on the best TV of 2017

• More on the best culture of 2017

For a show about some of the 20th-century’s bloodiest murderers, Mindhunter doesn’t have that much blood. Or murder, for that matter.

Related: Jonathan Groff on Mindhunter: 'I walked into makeup and saw a scalped woman's head'

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- Will Dean

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Tuesday’s best TV: The A Word; The World’s Most Expensive Presents

11 December 2017 9:59 PM, PST

Series finale brings out the right mix of pain and hope; how do you persuade someone to pay £40,000 for a dog’s ballgown? Plus: Motherland comes to an end

Dramas as nuanced as The A Word don’t come along too often and must be cherished. Centred on a specific issue, but not at the expense of characters or narrative, it honestly shows people who are “a bundle of anxieties” without descending into irredeemable darkness. Season two ends with Joe (Max Vento) being encouraged to perform at his old school’s end-of-year show, an emotional flashpoint that brings out just the right mix of pain and hope. More please. Jack Seale

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- Jack Seale, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier, Ali Catterall, Sophie Harris, Mark Gibbings-Jones, Phil Harrison and Paul Howlett

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Theresa May stable gag wins Christmas cracker jokes competition

11 December 2017 4:01 PM, PST

Brexit, Donald Trump and Catalonia also feature in groan-inducing selection of jokes sought by TV channel Gold on Twitter

Brace yourself. Here is the most hilarious topical Christmas cracker joke of 2017: “Why was Theresa May sacked as nativity manager? She couldn’t run a stable government.”

Not convinced? How about the second most side-splitting: “Why don’t Southern Rail train guards share advent calendars? They want to open the doors themselves.”

Related: What do British politicians want for Christmas – and what do they deserve? | Jack Bernhardt

Related: Comedians on how to banish festive fear and have a better Christmas

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- Mark Brown Arts correspondent

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