The Culture Show, BBC2

Did we like it?
Back in the day, this was a weighty look at culture – high and low – but now it has descended into a lightweight magazine desperately hoping to woo viewers who couldn’t give a damn about the arts.

What was good about it?
• Sparks were on! One of the greatest bands of all time, with Ron as deadpan as ever. Pity they had to perform This Town… rather than one of their more recent tracks.
• Andrew Graham Dixon making connections between Klimt and Freud in a thoughtful, gimmick-free item.
• Mark Kermode slated Sex And The City (“consumerist awfulness at its most ghastly” won’t be appearing on the posters, we suspect).

What was bad about it?
• We like Karl Pilkington’s bemused everyman schtick but his ‘report’ from the set of Ricky Gervais’s movie was merely embarrassing silliness.
• Why can’t Lauren Laverne say anything without putting on a silly voice? It makes her sound so annoying, as if everything she utters is an attempt at sarcasm or parody.
• Mark Kermode’s self-satisfied grin which was switched on to maximum as he got pally with poet Simon Armitage.
• The bitesize format is so unsatisfying. Every attempt at revamping the show has simply made it worse.
• The clapping audience.
• The lovely Verity Sharp doesn’t host it any more.

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