TV listings | A little early for Shirley, surely?

September 28th, 2012

This article is more than 11 years old.

Is Shirley Bassey dead? No, but neither is Maggie Thatcher or Elizabeth II, and that didn’t stop the biopics about them. Maybe women are less litigious?

Err, not in Katharine Hepburn’s case. Her lawyers were the main reason we had to wait so long for The Aviator, 28 years after Howard Hughes’s death.

Anyhow, the 70-minute BBC drama Shirley (2011) is neither controversial nor intriguing. “Grit is swept under the carpet; it’s all about the glitz,” warns the Guardian, conceding that fans of the mixed-race singer, who was born in Cardiff in 1937 and went on to achieve international fame as the singer of three James Bond title tracks, will love the “sultry, captivating, gorgeous” performance by Ruth Negga. But according to the Independent, it’s cliched and made it “wonder whether scriptwriting software might have been involved in its creation”.

Common sense accounted for This is England ‘86 (SV2, Fri 22:15), a series that delves deeper into the colourful characters, three years on from the film.

Set against the backdrop of the World Cup, director Shane Meadows welcomes back every key cast member with a script that is dramatic (the rape in episode three, cut with footage of pub-goers complaining about Maradona’s handball, is harrowing), humourous and nostalgic.

Also taking us back to the 1980s is Imagine: The Fatwa – Salman’s Story (BBC World, Sat 22:10 & Sun 16:10), an interesting recollection from the author about what it was like living in hiding.

Elsewhere, Tabloid (SV1, Tue 22:00; DR2, Tue 21:00) details how a former Miss Wyoming abducted a young Mormon; don’t miss the second seasons of Homeland (DR1, Wed 22:30) and Flight of the Conchords (SV2, Fri 23:00); the subject of Infamous Assassinations (DRK, Mon 22:30) is Mahatma Ghandi while Stars Of The Silver Screen (DRK, Tue 18:25) remembers Frank Sinatra; the obligatory war docs include Firestorm – the Bombing of Germany (DRK, Mon 20:00) and Last Day of World War One (DRK, Mon 21:40); while Fake or Fortune (DRK, Tue 20:00) is not as fun as it might suggest, but should interest serious art enthusiasts.

Read this week's full TV listings.


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