This Caroline Aherne narrated series was an unlikely hit for C4 in spring and, no less importantly, cheap to make. So a return visit to the front rooms of Britain was probably inevitable; ‘Gogglebox’ spies on 16 households as they watch the past week’s telly and deconstruct it in occasionally incisive, occasionally banal fashion.
Expect to see B&B owners Steph and Dom, OAPs Leon and June and hairdressers Stephen and Chris back among the armchair critics, while ‘The Great British Bake-Off’, ‘The X Factor’ and – flying the flag for the mother channel – ‘Educating Yorkshire’ will be among the shows under discussion. Expect the inevitably inane to nestle alongside the oddly compelling over the next 13 weeks. It’ll be like ‘Newsnight Review’ never left our screens.
The Red Lion
The Red Lion has long been an interloper on the Stoke Newington pub scene. Never as feisty as the Auld Shillelagh, as cosy as the Rose & Crown or as beer-savvy as The Jolly Butchers, it had the air of a regional local randomly transplanted into the hipster paradise of Church Street. Which is hardly a bad thing – after all, the pub has always been bustling, affordable and friendly. Following a refit there were fears it might emerge reborn, as when the Defoe down the road became the baffling Stoke Newington Tea House. Fear not – from the blinking slot machines to the rowdy punters, the smiling staff to the faint whiff of a student union bar, The Red Lion is pretty much exactly the same. Albeit with an expanded range of draft ales to please the beardy beer crowd. The other new wrinkle is an in-house pizza kitchen – spectacularly bad timing, given that London’s new favourite bread-slinger, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, just opened across the street. My roast ham, gorgonzola and mushroom creation was hearty if unmemorable, while the accompanying watercress salad was starting to wilt. But the prices are reasonable, and if you’re looking to soak up a long afternoon’s drinking this kind of cheese-slathered stodge will be just the ticket.
Venue says: “Local craft beer, delicious thin-crust pizza and the best in sports TV. Monday to Friday lunchtime: any pizza for just £5, noon-3pm.”