The drama about real-life serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who murdered travellers on the so-called Asian hippie trail during the 1970s, reaches its halfway point on BBC1 this week.
When a scan shows that their unborn child may have defects, a nameless couple opt for an abortion.
In the wake of 9/11, an unlikely bromance formed between George W. Bush and Tony Blair.
Derry/Londonderry - where even the choice of name reflects 'which foot you kick with' - has a compelling and fractious history.
The true-life crime drama The Pembrokeshire Murders was not a whodunnit, as we knew who done it (John Cooper), and it was not a whydunnit.
My parents are now recovered from their nasty bouts of coronavirus back in November. Well, almost. My dad still hasn't got back his sense of taste or smell, ten weeks later.
Cerys Matthews was once best known as the lead singer of Catatonia, the Welsh band who sold a lot of records in 1998. Soon, Catatonia may be best known as the band that launched Cerys.
The debut novel of 71-year-old zoologist Delia Owens is a publishing phenomenon, dominating the audio bestseller lists for more than two years.
Set amid sectarian bloodshed in India, this powerful US debut follows a young Muslim shop clerk who finds herself jailed as a terrorist.
Pop stars, unlike policemen, are getting older all the time. Paul McCartney has just had a No 1 album at the age of 78.
The Great is a period romp based on the life of Catherine the Great, but it is not your average period romp as it is lavishly filthy, wonderfully funny, snappily paced, savagely witty and totally...
This enterprising album of English music for strings from the 1930s embraces some of the finest string playing ever put on disc by a British orchestra.
In 2015, medical researchers at the Mayo Clinic in America discovered that a cocktail of two drugs administered to elderly subjects made them biologically younger.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their roles as Marvel heroes Scarlet Witch and Vision, as they set up a new life in a seemingly idyllic sitcom-inspired town.
I'm not really into making New Year's resolutions, and especially not today because I find the notion of doing Veganuary and Dry January particularly preposterous during another lockdown.
Black Narcissus is based on the novel by Rumer Godden and was famously filmed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in 1947, starring Deborah Kerr.
A photographer I know shoots masterpieces, from Meissen to Monet, for museum catalogues. He explained that the trick to handling these priceless works was to ignore their importance.
The admirably unflagging Oates returns with a stylish, suspenseful quartet of novellas tinged with the supernatural.
'Five years,' David Bowie sang at the start of Ziggy Stardust. 'What a surprise.' Next week marks five years since his death, which is only half-surprising.
Quirky comedy drama about the great American poet Emily Dickinson, whose genius was unrecognised during her lifetime.
Prokofiev's Romeo And Juliet has claims to be the most dazzling of all romantic ballet scores.
This isn't the podcast I would have imagined Lee Mack hosting, but it's a pleasant surprise.
He is Simon Henry Arthur Fitzranulph Basset, Earl Clyvedon, Duke of Hastings or, for short, and as he quickly became known in this house: 'Hot Simon'.
After the huge success of The Great Escape, Steve McQueen's star status was such that he could get the backing to make whatever movie he wanted.
It's been a helluva year - the most shocking and life-changing that most of us have experienced.
In this richly spun folk tale of female fellowship and insurgence, silence is weaponised to subvert the patriarchy.
In a year of living anxiously, music has been a balm and a boost. Here are 20 songs to give you a lift while you wait for normality to return.
Pixar's Soul comes recommended by Barack Obama, no less, the first black President of the US fully aware of the cultural significance of it being the first Pixar film to feature a black leading c...
In 1969, a female archaeology student is bludgeoned to death in her apartment just off the Harvard campus. No one hears her scream, there is no sign of a break-in, and nothing is stolen.
This better-late-than-never Warners box, drawing on original EMI recordings, celebrates the recorded legacy of the Hungarian/American conductor George Szell.
There must be this belief among TV producers that so long as you throw a celebrity at a place, all will be well, and you don't have to come up with any new ideas, which could prove tiring.
Last night, after dining at Harry's Bar restaurant in Mayfair, I left to find paparazzi lurking in the shadows. I stopped to have a chat with them and asked how they were doing in the pandemic.
Regency London. Beautiful debutante Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and the devilishly handsome but rakish Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) are faking a romance.
A group of nuns attempts to establish a school in the Himalayas but the wild, elemental nature of the place has a disturbing effect on them.
In November, J. K. Rowling published her first children's book since her Harry Potter series. Its title?
Three years ago, the original Wonder Woman film was so good it not only established the first female superhero in a leading role but breathed new life into a superhero genre.
This streamed version of A Christmas Carol, is back with Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead and This Life star) playing Scrooge.
Just when I thought 2020 couldn't possibly get any worse, terrible news reaches me that I've been sent to permanent social Siberia by Kirstie Allsopp.
George Clooney likes a bit of science fiction.
Something strange has happened at Channel 5 lately, by which I mean it isn't as obsessed with, say, endlessly showing 'the human face' of bailiffs.
With their tight medallions and chest rugs, the brothers Gibb were figures of fun to some, but they wrote more than a thousand songs and had 20 No 1 hits across the globe.
Last weekend, Paul McCartney re-entered the chart at No 39 with Wonderful Christmastime. It's not his best song, or even his hundredth-best.
This year has been a strange one for the world of books.
A quirky, thought-provoking, beautifully written and illustrated book about the many ways in which fungi are fascinating.
This year's Booker Prize winner is the real deal, and a debut to boot.
Simon Russell Beale - an actor normally associated with the classical repertoire - is in his element as Scrooge in this cast- of-three version of A Christmas Carol.
'You've been invited on to a Christmas special of Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?,' emailed Tracey, my long-suffering PA.
The extraordinary, chaotic life of the late, truly great Argentinian is detailed in microcosm in Asif Kapadia's compelling account of Maradona's seven-year spell at Napoli.
Braving the terrors of the black chair, comedian Omid Djalili, Charlotte Crosby, Zoe Williams and James Haskell are the first contestants to face John Humphrys' questions in a new series of the q...
The author best known for the teen hit Gossip Girl returns with a warm, inviting slice of grown-up life, replete with doubt, dissatisfaction and some deeply questionable decision-making.
For reasons we can all appreciate, the major film awards next year have already been significantly postponed, with both the Baftas and the Oscars now taking place in April.
Who killed Elena Alves? At first I thought it was Jonathan (Hugh Grant). Then I thought it was Grace (Nicole Kidman). Then I thought it was their boy, Henry (Noah Jupe).
Beginning with Beethoven's 250th, here are two exceptional albums by British artists of core repertory that have rarely sounded better.
We all know that Everest is the highest mountain in the world, but few outside the climbing community appreciate that it is just one of 14 daunting Himalayan peaks that rise to at least 8,000 met...
Roy who? As Roy Strong admits in this, his third volume of diaries, only those beyond a certain age will recognise his name.
The GQ Men Of The Year Awards have always been a double-edged sword for me.
Amid a blizzard of dystopian fiction, Alam's novel stands out for its eerily languid shift from canny social drama to apocalyptic disaster fiction.
But was he successful? Was he any good?
Annus horribilis? Not for pop. This has been a year when music has meant more than ever.
Six-part psychological drama in which top psychotherapist Grace Fraser (Nicole Kidman) initially appears to have the perfect life.
Saint-Saëns would have hated this album. He thought Carnival Of The Animals (1886) threatened his reputation as a serious composer and refused to have it published during his lifetime.
A couple of years ago, Channel 5 gave us the lavish historical reconstruction Anne Boleyn: Queen For A Thousand Days.
It's season four of The Crown and everyone is asking: but is it historically accurate? No. It is not.
It's emerged that England football manager Gareth Southgate tested positive for Covid-19 on October 25 and kept his condition secret as he self-isolated, with 'not pleasant' symptoms, for ten day...
Even the most devoted reader of Jane Austen might find themselves surprised at the reality of life in Regency Britain.
For some time now, the exclamation mark has been going out of fashion. Perhaps we are all more wary and less excitable than once we were.
Imagine some murky but world-changing event. Here, it's called 'The Arrest', and starts with the death of television and the internet. There's no oil, and guns are useless.
Although we knew Jack Charlton was ill, his death in July at 85 still came as a shock. After all, he was Big Jack, a seemingly indestructible force.
For a musician in a band, going solo is usually a chance to get away from the gang, to do something small and introspective.
Social mobility is a phrase we hear a lot about these days, and quite right too.
DEBORAH ROSS: Industry is a drama series following five recent graduates as they set out in the world of investment banking, and already you have two problems with it, as I did.
In 2012, at a conference theatrically staged across from the Vatican, the Harvard Professor of Divinity, Dr Karen King, announced that she had discovered a fragment of ancient papyrus.
Christmas is coming: the discs are getting fat. A musical box set always makes a tempting present, and this year we may even have time to listen to it.
It is all there in the title: Anthony Quinn is head over heels in love with Jürgen Klopp. No wonder, really.
Suburban couple Emma and Chris have weathered the storms of redundancy, bereavement and broken dreams.
If you've been enjoying the streaming service's drama series based on Tom Wolfe's acclaimed book, you won't want to miss this two-hour spin-off documentary.
For me, this is the best crossover album in years.
Comedian and actor John Sessions has died, aged 67, and Stephen Fry led the tributes, calling him as 'warm, vulnerable, lovable and loving as anyone can be'. My experience of him was slightly les...
A Christmas Gift from Bob is an unexpected seasonal sequel to 2016's A Street Cat Named Bob and should have been in cinemas now.
'Good morning, Mr Morgan,' said a polite male American voice on the phone, 'this is the White House switchboard. Are you free to speak with the President?'
On the morning of Saturday, April 22, 1978, an 'Active Service Unit' (ASU) of the Provisional IRA in West Belfast was preparing to carry out a murder.
Sophia Loren is 86 years old and hasn't made a feature film for a decade, but she's on nomination-grabbingly good form here as Rosa.
Romilly and her artist pa live in a moated Suffolk farmhouse full of damp, deathwatch beetles and ghosts.
Sir Herbert Butterfield, the renowned Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, once said that history 'is just one bloody thing after another'.
During the first lockdown, many people suddenly found a new interest, while others lost themselves in something they already loved. Kylie Minogue, it seems, did both at once.
Don't Rock The Boat was the latest reality television show from ITV, which has taken to stripping its programmes across the week, as if no one has a life - and now we haven't.
Since it was created by Matt Groening back in 1989, The Simpsons has become one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time.
No one pinpointed the essence of Middle England both as lovingly and as sharply as Victoria Wood.
Has anyone ever written of the natural world with the piercing wit of Jules Renard?
A love letter to the Hollywood legend Billy Wilder. Calista, a middle-aged composer and mother-of-two, looks back at 1977 when she was working for the film-maker on one of his last movies.
ITV's latest forgettable thriller, spread over four nights, was The Sister , which was so forgettable I'm forgetting it as I'm trying to remember it.
This is a new album, billed as a 'grand finale'. After making records since 1957, Shirley Bassey has surely earned the right to retire. But in showbusiness every finale is a good excuse for an en...
During the 25 years between the sinking of the Titanic and the outbreak of the Second World War, thousands of women criss-crossed the Atlantic on the great ocean liners of the day.
Roadkill , the latest political thriller from David Hare, stars Hugh Laurie as shady Tory Minister Peter Laurence and Helen McCrory as the Prime Minister.
When Roald Dahl wrote his wonderfully scary children's novel about a coven of child-hating witches planning to turn all kids into mice, it was set mainly in England. Bournemouth, in fact.
I was very sad to hear that Eddie Van Halen, the world's greatest rock guitarist, has died aged 65 after a lengthy battle with various cancers.
No man is an island, unless he's a singer at a socially distanced gig. Donovan is playing the Cadogan Hall, alone with his acoustic guitar.
Actors' memoirs are invariably tales of triumph. There may be a few ups and downs, but when the curtain falls, the audience rises to its feet and delivers thunderous applause.
Growing up with her extended family in 1970s Uganda, Kirabo wonders why she was abandoned by her mother. She seeks answers from the local 'witch'.
Bath's exquisite Regency theatre is back in business. Hooray!
John Bishop's Great Whale Rescue wasn't John Bishop's exactly.
He sent a message saying, 'No thanks, mate, do yourself a favour and give it to someone else who would actually want it and like, read it. No offence, mate.’
Daphne du Maurier published Rebecca, her enduring psychological thriller, in 1938 and within two years it had been turned into an Oscar-winning film by Alfred Hitchcock.
With Cineworld now shut until further notice and many Odeons and Vues moving to part-time opening, these are dreadful times for cinema and it desperately needs our support.
Describing herself as a 'global icon, award-winning singer-songwriter, producer, actress, mother, daughter, sister, storyteller and artist', Mariah Carey can never be accused of selling herself s...
Bruce Springsteen has spent the past few years branching out, with an autobiography, a Broadway show, an orchestrated folk album and a lockdown radio series.
In the sequel to her best-selling debut, Hislop revisits The Island's leper colony of Spinalonga, which closes when a cure is found in 1957.
DEBORAH ROSS: Michael Palin's Around The World In 80 Days, originally broadcast in 1989, was the first 'celebrity travelogue', paving the way for the situation we have today.
There's one reason why people are talking about The Trial Of The Chicago 7.
A Holly Dolly Christmas prompts mixed feelings before you even listen to it. A Christmas album in early October would normally be sure to make the heart sink.
No one does boozy male regret better than Doyle, and he's on typically fluent form in this slow-burn tale of two old friends who hook up for a nostalgia-soaked crawl around the haunts of their yo...
This is the triumphant conclusion to the series of starry monologues at the Bridge Theatre - a truly heroic project to keep live theatre ticking over during lockdown.
Brian Blessed is not quite sure what a 'bodcast' is, but he sounds very pleased to be hosting one.
Spitting Image was one of my favourite TV shows when it first aired. The combination of its hideously grotesque puppets and savage humour sliced through all its victims' preening egos.
Reading these two extraordinary books, the chorus of The Beatles' song Eleanor Rigby kept floating into my head.
Andrew Marr's Elizabethans kicks off with the Queen addressing the nation just as coronavirus hit.
David Attenborough has spent the past seven decades travelling the wildest reaches of the globe and produced some of the most memorable documentaries of all time.
Swinging a baseball bat, Beyoncé sings: 'What's worse, looking jealous or crazy?' The Hold Up music video shows a woman betrayed by the man she loves.
Anniversaries are two a penny in pop these days, but the odd one can still stop you in your tracks.
Pointless has made Richard Osman an unlikely TV star and his first thriller has been much hyped. Does it deliver? Mostly yes.
This album, recorded in Vienna's celebrated Golden Hall of the Musikverein, commemorates an ecstatically received visit by John Williams to the Austrian capital in January.
Sofia Coppola, of course, is the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather trilogy and other fine films.
Life is the latest drama from Mike 'Doctor Foster' Bartlett and it had, excitingly, been billed as a Doctor Foster spin-off, as one of the characters is familiar.
In this gripping six-part podcast, the Daily Mail's veteran crime writer Stephen Wright sheds light on the attitudes that led to the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.
The question I am most often asked these days, by everyone from cabbies to supermarket staff, is: 'What time do you have to get up for Good Morning Britain?'
Thanks to Covid-19, many of us are dreaming of an escape from Earth at present - and Samantha Cristoforetti's absorbing tale of becoming an astronaut and venturing into space offers just that.
Since it was announced the beloved puppet show was returning to our screens after 14 years, we've been drip-fed photographs of the new characters who'll be appearing.
With his new spy book, Agent Sonya, Ben Macintyre enters fresh territory. Agent Sonya was a woman and no one in counter-espionage could imagine that a woman could also be a master spy
This new episode in the Cormoran Strike series sees the one-legged detective tackling his first cold case. London doctor Margot Bamborough vanished 40 years ago.
Us is an adaptation of the novel by David Nicholls about a middle-aged married couple who may or may not stay together, which doesn't sound especially compelling, but it is
A Feast In The Time Of Plague is terrific; a contemporary opera that's easy on the ear but never facile, with a storyline based on a Pushkin sketch that manages to combine death with humour.
Picture the scene. You've been a talent show judge for 14 years, a lively presence in millions of living rooms on a Saturday night. You have a husband, two daughters and a sideline as a DJ.
I began receiving a flurry of messages from famous friends worried that my death might be more imminent than I would like. Pranksters had been requesting 'advanced obituary tributes'
Actress Kate Winslet has expressed her horror at working with directors Roman Polanski and Woody Allen. Three years ago, however, she gave a rather different response to The New York Times...
This was very nearly the summer of the drive-in gig. A whole series of them was announced, with stars from Gary Numan to Dizzee Rascal playing venues like Leeds East Airport.
Cleeves's much-loved police detective, Vera Stanhope, is grumpy, dishevelled and middle-aged but not to be underestimated.
I still wonder whether spending three hours inside the head of a Dennis Nilson and - thanks to Tennant's brilliance - almost getting to like him, wasn't a slightly tainting experience
The enduring appeal of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure - released way back in 1989 - hangs on three things.
Millie Bobby Brown stars as Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes's little sister in the first of what seems certain to be a film franchise.
Throughout history there has been as great an urge to eradicate knowledge as to preserve it.
When is a novel not a novel? If you need an answer to this question, don't, whatever you do, ask Martin Amis or you'll never hear an end to it
Of all Captain Tom's achievements, helping me finally book Sir Michael Caine may top the lot
Featherhood is wise, self-aware, never forced, often funny, beautifully crafted, and, in the end, as moving as Kes
'The whole point in writing a book is to try and experience what someone else might feel. You may succeed or you may fail, but one has to have the freedom to try.'
Everyone is always having a go at the BBC for one reason or another, yet I'm rarely among them. But I wonder if there is something up with the people it deems fit to present documentaries.
Hats off to the producers. This is the first fully staged musical since lockdown.
The classic 1975 film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest gave us one of the screen's great villains in Nurse Ratched, the cold-hearted tyrant who rules her psychiatric wards with a rod of iron.
Riesling, from its spiritual home in Germany, is one of the greatest treasures of the wine world - and this month I'm delighted to raise my glass to '31 Days of German Riesling'.
Like many people, I'm now facing the possibility of several weeks confined with my four-year-old, a prospect only marginally less alarming than being cooped up with Frankenstein's monster
This is modern Indian cooking at its best, pure but never prissy, with the most eloquent understanding of spice