Grace Dent on Muck Rack

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Television Writer — Independent

The man-only panel is bad, but the token-woman panel is even worse — As summer approaches, brimming with festivals, conferences and official gatherings, one will no doubt find oneself in perilous proximity to a "manel". The manel - for the non-acquainted - is a men-only panel of experts. Don't be coy, we've all enjoyed a manel at some point recently.

Grace Dent on TV: Benefits Street benefits us - because poverty should be funny, right? — There is no busier bee on the pavement than a heroin or crack user with a 10-quid note en route to score. But if the new series of Channel 4's Benefits Street taught me anything - and I'm really grasping hard for positives here - it's that Class-B drugs aren't as conducive to focus.

Grace Dent reviews Chick 'n' Sours — If Fulham is the land of the red chinos, Dalston is the land of the singlet. Or the 'wife beater' as we once knew it jokingly, before we decided jokes need trigger warnings. You know you're dining in springtime Dalston when you're eating bespoke chicken within sight of vests exposing armpit hair and jeans so tight you can see the wearer's mild arousal.

Cook to learn to love yourself — London - Jamie Oliver speaks a lot of sense. Of course I would say that, I tend always to agree with him. Oliver's latest off-the-cuff comment - primed to infuriate thin-skinned whiners - pillories the shambolic nature of compulsory British school cooking lessons. "They are not measured or evaluated.

Me, Jeremy Vine, Kay Burley and a long night of bantergeddon — The super-efficient 10pm exit poll results were no true friend to Dimblebot, Paxo, Boulton and all the other mostly male stuffed shirts in charge of 2015 election telly. They seemed too outlandish to be fully believed.

Grace Dent on TV: The Enfield Haunting's poltergeist was about as scary as a drunk uncle — On reflection Sky Living should probably have saved The Enfield Haunting for three consecutive nights at the end of October. This "based on true events" poltergeist tale would have been perfect for Hallowe'en spooking, over a few long dark nights, when we could send ourselves half-daft with netherworld terror.

Grace Dent reviews Maze Grill — You know you're dining in Maze Grill off the Fulham Road when a dapper, sun-drenched Boris Becker blocks the restaurant doorway. Or Tamara Beckwith strides past your entrée sublime in skintight coral denim. Or the yummiest of mummies congregate for Tuesday-night catch-up supper at the adjacent table, one of whom is clad in a breathtaking ivory linen, flared MaxMara trouser suit.

Teaching children to cook at school is a recipe for self-respect — "They are not measured or evaluated. Not all teachers know what's required," Oliver says. "We are seeing everything from schools rewriting their entire curriculum around food, to schools that say: 'We do a bit of cooking... we make fairy cakes in year one'." Ah, the humble home-made fairy cake.

Grace Dent on TV: BBC One's Car Share actually made me laugh out loud — I rarely laugh at modern sitcoms. Statisticians could prove this with a graph. Gosh, I want to laugh. And many times while watching a celebrated writer's latest labour of love a willing smile will dance around my mouth. Still, a genuine LOL (as the hip things say) is rare.

Grace Dent reviews Roux at Parliament Square — Let's be frank, nigh-continuous chat about politics is enough to make anyone fall asleep in their consommé. The last thing I want to see right now is a bloody politician gibbering on about fiscal reform. So this week I headed for dinner at a Westminster hotspot.
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May 20, 2015

@chrispople It was very scary, definitely when the ghost started throwing the marbles. Marbles.

May 20, 2015

@chrispople Chris, there are episodes of Scooby-Doo scarier than that.

May 20, 2015

@chrispople yes. it’s good, if you don’t like restful sleep, ever.

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