Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown. Photograph: Netflix

The spice and the hype around the fourth season from Netflix on a turbulent decade for the House of Windsor There has barely been a dull moment (...)

Maxine Peake  plays a middle-aged Leeds woman drawn into an unlikely dalliance with a widowed shoe-fetishist

Alan Bennett occupies a sacrosanct place in English drama and the original Talking Heads, which aired in two runs in 1988 and 1998, is revered as a cl(...)

Irish actor Eve Hewson in BBC’s new period drama The Luminaries. Photograph: Kirsty Griffin

Opium! Gold! Astrolabes! Fancy hats! Olde-timey sidearms! Colonialism! Sailboats! It’s the olden days again on the British national broadcaster. And t(...)

Angelina Jolie is too nice in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Are we sure about that title? Maleficent: Mistress of “Evil” would make more sense. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil? would be even better. A punter com(...)

Downton Abbey: disarming and charming

Allow me a moment of TV archaeology. Close to 50 years ago, Upstairs Downstairs, the unmistakable forerunner to Downton Abbey, almost shook apart over(...)

Tony Slattery: most of his celebrity chums and hangers-on vanished ‘when the money dried up, which was saddening. Yes, very saddening’. Photograph: Atrium

When I moved to London in 1990, I knew that, in order to fit in at school, I had to educate myself about the important British celebrities. While my c(...)

Director Mike Leigh attends the ‘Mr Turner’ press conference during the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 15th, 2014 in Cannes, France. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/Getty Images

Mike Leigh has a reputation for not suffering fools gladly (a euphemism if ever there was one). I can’t say I’ve any direct evidence to support this l(...)

Glen Matlock: “I think Sam Neill would make a great James Bond”

Favourite current book? I’m halfway through A Walk on the Wild Side by Nelson Algren. It’s about Fitz Linkhorn, a ne’er-do-well from the American Mid(...)

'Alexa literally listens to everything you say, waiting to hear the magic wake word.' Photograph: Getty Images

I’ve fallen into some very bad habits lately. I’ve given over a certain amount of control of my house – and family – to another woman. It makes sense (...)

Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa  is built into its Echo devices, ranging from the budget-friendly Echo Dot to the smart home hub Echo Plus. Photograph: Daniel Berman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Let’s lay it on the line: I am a fan of robots and automation. I have a small army of devices in my home to make my life a little easier, from wifi l(...)

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