An examination of the turbulent relationship between Diana, Princess of Wales and her formidable stepmother Raine Spencer, who rose from humble origins with the help of her larger-than-life mother, the novelist Barbara Cartland, to become a countess and a member of the royal family. Raine was a divisive figure, who was doted on by her husband Johnnie Spencer but loathed by Diana and her siblings. Yet as the princess’s marriage collapsed, she reached out to her stepmother for support, marking a change in the women’s relationship.
The riotous sports panel show reappears for a football-themed one-off ahead of series 12. Yes, twelve: the fact this stag-night-in-a-studio has proved so durable is partly down to the glee that hardworking host James Corden brings to everything he does (even the adverts) and partly to the enduring laddish alchemy of Freddie Flintoff, Jack Whitehall and Jamie Redknapp.
News of the latter’s possible split with his wife, Louise, might put a dampener on the regular quips about her (referring to her cooking, or lack of it, Jamie joked on a recent show that he hid her Christmas presents in the oven).
But the stunts are sure to be as noisy and boysy as ever – including, for this edition to launch the Premier League season, a round of Popstar Penalties that will see spot kicks from McFly’s Danny Jones, singer/songwriter Kate Nash and R&B star Lemar.
Life is a tapestry of horrors for Sydney cop Robin Griffin, who must fend off the attentions of the worst of Australia’s menfolk. One creep, a work colleague, offers her a dating deal because he’s “kinda between relationships and I’m finding it pretty tough, to be honest”.
But this is positively hearts and flowers and boxes of the finest Belgian chocolates compared with a terrifying confrontation with an unwelcome visitor from Robin’s past (and the first series of Top of the Lake). This comprises about five minutes of the strangest television I’ve seen in a long while.
Thank heavens for Nicole Kidman as the ghastly Mary, who presides over a restaurant meal from hell. You’ll cringe at its awfulness.
Once you’ve seen Stephen Fry in the title role of Oscar Wilde it’s difficult to imagine anyone better suited. Playing to the myth of the giant of wit, restraint and wisdom, Fry conveys the strain of a public figure tied to a false marriage (with Jennifer Ehle) while besieged by his love for another man (a bitingly excellent Jude Law as the rich and spoilt Lord Alfred Douglas). Assertive in its graphic exploration of male love (two years prior to TV’s daring Queer as Folk series), this may not suit all tastes. Nevertheless, it is beautifully written and its attention to period detail is spot-on. As a profile of one of Ireland’s greatest writers, this is a thought-provoking and desperately sad film.
Old People’s Home for Four-Year-Olds
This social experiment puts into action theories about the benefits of bringing the very young and very old together. Pre-schoolers are let loose in a care home, with results that are both heart-meltingly lovely and, in terms of how we as a nation can avoid marginalising the elderly, potentially highly instructive.