TV and radio: best of 2006
This year did you marvel at polar bears, blub at Leo McGarry‘s funeral, whoop as OAPs sang Outkast‘s ’Hey Ya‘, download Gervais, turn off Davina, giggle at ’Green Wing‘ or wish all ambassadors could be more like ’The State Within‘s‘ Mark Brydon? We did. Here are our highs, lows (and guilty pleasures) of 2006
Do you agree? Tell us about your TV and radio hits and misses of 2006
EntourageITV2Ricky Gervais in ‘getting it wrong’ shocker! Watching beautiful people being successful can be fun, especially when success involves celebrity cameos, insider gossip and a fantastically irascible agent called Ari.
Folk BritanniaBBC4A thorough and evocative series that was timed perfectly to coincide with the upsurge of interest in all things folky and featured an abundance of fine archive material and interviews with most of the surviving main players on the British folk scene.
Jane EyreBBC1Beautifully adapted, directed and performed, particularly by relative newcomer Ruth Wilson, this was a BBC costume drama that was true to the channel’s finest traditions while bringing in a good deal of the depth and style of ‘Bleak House’.
Life On MarsBBC1Take an unwieldy premise, add John Simm and Philip Glenister, a witty, thoughtful script and a sprinkling of period trappings, and before you can say ‘The cops are out, they’re running about’, you’ve got TV gold.
The Line Of BeautyBBC2Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Alan Hollinghurst’s novel overflowed with the energy, cynicism and tragedy of being young, Tory and gay in the mid-’80s. A fine evocation of an era, which ultimately managed to avoid being a mere period piece.
Hit: 'The Lost World Of Friese-Greene'
The Lost World Of Friese-GreeneBBC2Dan Cruickshank repeated inventor and photographer Claude Friese-Greene’s journey up Britain’s west coast and brought us some vivid tales of life in the 1920s.
Planet EarthBBC1In the year that climate change finally started to be taken seriously at governmental level, this dazzling series offered us a uniquely intimate and beautiful insight into the wonders we’re in danger of destroying.
Prison BreakFiveThe premise was simple and the plot unbelievably complicated, yet somehow the twists, turns and occasional threats of gang rape kept viewers glued for a whole 22 episodes. But now they’ve broken out, what can they call season two?
Rain In My HeartBBC2An unflinching documentary by the ever-challenging Paul Watson. It featured interviews with four alcoholics in various stages of decline, relapse and recovery, and was especially striking for Watson’s acknowledgement that, in the process of such intimate probing, a journalist can never honestly keep himself entirely out of the story.
SaxondaleBBC2Steve Coogan’s summer sitcom documenting the trials, disappointments and anger management issues of burnt-out roadie-turned-pest control expert Tommy Saxondale was a slow-burning delight, full of dryly melancholic humour, acute observation and genuine warmth.
The State WithinBBC1Complex and fast-paced British thriller that got us caught up in the deadly games of diplomatic process. Jason Isaacs gave a hugely engaging performance as British ambassador Mark Brydon.
That Mitchell And Webb LookBBC2The stars of ‘Peep Show’ turn their comedic chemistry to their own material. Proof that a sketch show can rely on charm and quirky originality rather than endlessly parotted catchphrases to sustain itself through an entire series.
Time TrumpetBBC2Armando Iannucci’s comic creation gave list shows and celeb culture a much-needed ribbing within an inventive concept. Funny, political and more than enough to wind up the Daily Mail.
Young@HeartMore4Warm and touching documentary about an geriatric choir based in Massachusetts that reminded us old age can be as fun as we want it to be.
Find out what were the misses, what we're bidding a fond farwell to, what were our guilty pleasures and what the radio highs and lows were.Do you agree? Tell us about your TV and radio hits and misses of 2006?
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