Plus ITV's Quiz, a retelling of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? scandal of 2001by Chris Harvey / February 29, 2020 / Leave a comment
Putin: A Russian Spy Story, Channel 4, 23rd March
Promised as the definitive account of how Vladimir Putin’s power has changed the modern world, this three-part documentary filmed across Russia, America, Europe and the UK intends to show how the former KGB operative has used his knowledge of spy-craft during his 20 years as Russian president. It also shows how other leaders have followed the Putin playbook. Perhaps inevitably, it’s still under wraps, but it’s one worth noting in the diary.
The Art Mysteries, BBC Four, 17th March
Ever since Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce gave art the thrill of a detective show in Fake or Fortune?, television has been in love with the stories revealed by X-rays and experts. Here, critic Waldemar Januszczak delves into the secret meanings hidden in celebrated masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Seurat. He begins with Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, detailing a story of brothels, heartbreak and jealousy that reveals why the great painter slashed off his own left ear in 1888.
Quiz, ITV, April
The Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? scandal of 2001 was one of the stranger moments in television game show history. The prosecution of Major Charles Ingram for cheating his way to a million pounds with the help of well-timed coughs from an audience member was turned into a play in 2017 by James Graham—who wrote Brexit: the Uncivil War. Now ITV have assembled a heavyweight line-up of talent to bring it to the screen in this three-part drama, with Stephen Frears directing, Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen as Ingram and Michael Sheen as host Chris Tarrant, below.