Tom Jones: “Last year was a bloody wake-up call. Without an audience, I can’t do anything.”

Five years ago, Sir Tom Jones wondered if he would ever sing again. His wife Linda – the childhood sweetheart he’d married when they were both 16 – was dying of lung cancer, and wanted to know what her husband was going to do next. “I said, ‘I don’t think I can sing – theContinue reading “Tom Jones: “Last year was a bloody wake-up call. Without an audience, I can’t do anything.””

Don’t leave me this way: the Reverend Richard Coles on the madness of grief

“The thing about grief,” says the Reverend Richard Coles, “is that we think there are ways of doing it, and there aren’t. You don’t do grief, it does you. You just have to let it work its way through you.” In 2020, Richard had plenty of time to let grief work its way through him,Continue reading “Don’t leave me this way: the Reverend Richard Coles on the madness of grief”

Jed Mercurio: “Our cast know that no-one in Line of Duty is safe…”

In the course of his eclectic and intimidatingly high-achieving career, Jed Mercurio has gone from being a doctor and an RAF pilot to arguably the most successful and powerful writer-producer in British television. And he owes it all to an episode of Blockbusters. “When I was in the lower sixth, there was a kid onContinue reading “Jed Mercurio: “Our cast know that no-one in Line of Duty is safe…””

Anna Friel: “I had to learn to be a tough cookie. I don’t take any nonsense.”

Anna Friel is wearing a jumper with the word HAPPY emblazoned across it in large, bright letters. Which feels like a bold statement from an actress whose recent successes have largely come from mining the depths of human misery. “I don’t know why I seem to be attracted to those parts, or those parts areContinue reading “Anna Friel: “I had to learn to be a tough cookie. I don’t take any nonsense.””

Russell T Davies: “The way I write is like life – sad one minute and sunny the next, and not a hair’s breadth between the two.”

When Russell T Davies wrote It’s A Sin – his new Channel 4/HBO drama about the 1980s AIDS crisis, which might just be the best work he’s ever done – he didn’t expect to be premiering it during a global pandemic. “We shot this before lockdown,” Russell tells Weekend over a Zoom call. “This drama in whichContinue reading “Russell T Davies: “The way I write is like life – sad one minute and sunny the next, and not a hair’s breadth between the two.””

Away

Netflix With planet Earth not exactly enjoying a vintage year, Away – in which Hilary Swank’s NASA astronaut blasts off on a three-year mission to Mars – ought to feel like a timely proposition. So it’s a shame that Netflix’s big-budget drama struggles to achieve escape velocity. Swank plays Emma Green, an ex-Navy pilot tasked with commandingContinue reading “Away”

All Creatures Great & Small

Channel 5 / My5 Channel 5 may seem an unlikely home for a reboot of one of the BBC’s most beloved dramas but, having recently given us The Yorkshire Steam Railway, Our Yorkshire Farm, Made in Yorkshire and, tellingly, The Yorkshire Vet, it was probably only a matter of time until James Herriot popped up over a dry-stone wall. OfContinue reading “All Creatures Great & Small”

Lovecraft Country

Sky Atlantic / NOW TV The premise of Lovecraft Country – HBO’s timely new creature feature from super-producers Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams – is certainly bold.  As its title suggests, it’s inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft, whose lurid ‘cosmic horror’ stories gifted the world such monstrosities as the giant, octopoid ‘Cthulu’. He was also,Continue reading “Lovecraft Country”

Isa Guha: “I feel a responsibility to the game that’s given so much to me.”

When Isa Guha made her England cricket debut aged 17, she had no idea she was also making history. “It never crossed my mind,” says the celebrated pace bowler of becoming the first British Asian woman to represent her country in any sport. “It’s only later I actually discovered why it was a big deal.Continue reading “Isa Guha: “I feel a responsibility to the game that’s given so much to me.””