The chic assassin: Jodie Comer on playing Killing Eve’s Villanelle

There is something extraordinarily precise about Jodie Comer’s performance in Killing Eve, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s brutal and unexpected entry into the spree-kill genre that took our top spot as the best TV show of 2018. Comer’s petrifying psychopath, Villanelle, is chillingly playful – like a mastiff that will take your throat out just as soon as it has finished with its ball – with the face of a schoolgirl. In real life, Comer is a wholesome 25-year-old scouser who, when she is not working, still lives at home. Yet she does something to the role to give it an oddly comic texture. Some combination of Comer’s humour – even the muscles in her face have comic timing – and her turn-on-a-sixpence quickness, mental and physical, makes her performance absolutely mesmeric. You are desperate to know what will happen next, even when you know full well that it will just be someone else ending up dead.

Her nonchalant psychopath transformed Pheobe Waller-Bridge’s blood soaked drama into our TV show of the year. The actor on why we’re obsessed with violent women – and why she wants to punch herself in the face

“What I loved about the kills, though,” Comer says, “was that it was always something you’d never, ever think. It was never ‘someone gets stabbed’. Continue reading

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Sad, saucy and seductive, the Beeb’s non-Musical take on Les Mis is a hit

Les Miserables on BBC
Les Miserables on BBC

Gloomy French genius Victor Hugo’s grand masterpiece isn’t called Les Happychaps for a good reason.Les Miserables (BBC1) opened with an aerial shot of the carnage after the Battle of Waterloo, as ravens pecked the flesh of corpses and the thief Thenardier (Adeel Akhtar) dodged about stealing purses and gold teeth.Akhtar played it for laughs – and for the next hour, that blood-soaked battlefield was about as light-hearted as things got. Continue reading

Martin Clunes ready for eighth season of British series 

Doc Marten
Eighth Season for Doc Marten

Martin Clunes enjoys the challenge that Dr. Martin Ellingham brings to him in the series “Doc Martin.”

In fact, he’s enjoying the journey.

“I really love him,” he says in a recent interview from England. “What I love about the character is that there isn’t a pre-existing text or strict parameters. We don’t want to change him. At the same time, it’s good fun to throw him around.” Continue reading

Sister Wendy, nun and television art critic, dies aged 88

Sister Wendy Beckett, the nun and art critic who found fame in the 1990s with her popular TV documentaries on art history, has died aged 88.

Sister Wendy, born in South Africa in 1930, died on 26 December at the Carmelite Monastery at Quidenham in Norfolk. 

Sr Wendy joined a teaching order, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, in 1947 at the age 16. Recognising her intelligence, the order sent Sr Wendy to Oxford University in 1950, where she was awarded a Congratulatory First Class degree in English literature.

Sister Wendy

She returned to South Africa in 1954 to teach but, after 15 years, she was forced to give up the classroom after having epileptic seizures. in 1970, the Vatican gave permission for her to pursue a life of solitude and prayer.

Her order agreed to her living under the protection of the Carmelites in Norfolk as a hermit, devoting herself to prayer.

In her caravan in the grounds of the Carmel, Sr Wendy began to study art history, and in 1988 she published her first book, “Contemporary Women Artists”, to raise money for the convent.

She also began writing a weekly art column for the Catholic Herald.

In 1991, the BBC commissioned her to present a television documentary on the National Gallery in London.

Sr Wendy, who presented the programme unscripted dressed in a traditional black and white habit that she had designed herself, proved hugely popular.

Further programmes followed including “Odyssey”, “Sister Wendy’s Grand Tour” and “Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting”.

Her popularity was so great that she even had a musical written about her. “Postcards from God: The Sister Wendy Musical”, created by the originators of “Jerry Springer: The Opera”, ran briefly in the West End.

Sr Wendy presented her final series in 2001, after which she declined offers of TV work.