Such collision of social ideologies has the potential to be exploitative, but for the most part, it’s measured and tasteful. These aren’t super-rich bankers rolling up to council estates with hankies over their mouths – they're people in very similar situations with differing attitudes to the benefits system. Topical, relevant, responsible telly? Sort of. Not even the BBC can resist the temptation to vilify a sponger: look out for some – shall we say – ‘selective’ editing when single mother-of-two Kelly heads to the pub for her weekly darts night. She’s drinking a vodka and tonic! And another! How dare she!
For fans of gentle condescension and well-trodden clichés about work ethics, it’s a real treat. Expect more of the same in next week’s conclusion, when the boots change feet and the dole-queuers get a taste of working life.
Madison Terrace Bar & Lounge
Did Sir Christopher Wren adroitly combine the traditional gothic style of church-building with the grace and ambition of Renaissance design, or was his cathedral too decorative for a seat of English ecclesiastical power and a dangerous transgression towards the old faith? There’s no better place to consider the points of debate circling around St Paul’s than this new rooftop terrace bar in Jean Nouvel’s One New Change shopping complex. The name of the bar is meaningless – a vague attempt at Manhattan glamour. The looks are unimportant, as the whole mall is in thrall to its neighbour. Madison seems to exist largely as a viewing platform. But what a view it is. A glass lift takes gawpers from the ground floor, sweeping up parallel with St Pauls’ east elevation. Once in the bar or its generous outdoor space, an unrivalled close-up is offered of the drum, peristyle, upper balustrade, upper drum, dome and lantern of the cathedral – all the godliest bits – with the ball and cross silhouetted perfectly against the sky. You can of course drink in more than the views: cocktails range from standards (mojitos and whatnot) to concoctions with names ripe for being cackled at by hen parties (Pornstar Martini, Hot Bitch Martini). There’s a good range of spirits, and Heineken is offered by the ‘schooner’ (a two-thirds of a pint measure). There are snacks, some of which may cause puzzlement if piled on small plates in Spain, but called tapas here nonetheless: the likes of Welsh rarebit fr
Venue says: “Our new Manhattan inspired cocktail menu is now available with six classics vs six contemporary twists. Which side will you choose?”