Grace Dent on Muck Rack

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Television Writer — Independent

Grace Dent on TV: After watching Teens, thank goodness there was no social media when I was that age — Sat in my room, under a thatch of crimped hair, down-wind of a joss-stick, listening to The Pixies' 'Surfer Rosa' on repeat and crying because Paul Gilmer has dumped me for Joolz Robins. Her with the Sun In highlights and the riding lessons. Not even dumped me properly either.

Ashya King: Was the NHS's choice of cancer treatment right or wrong? Let's not go there — I do feel, however, wary of headlines which suggest the neat idea of a "miracle" or indeed definite "cure" for Ashya, which was the result of the King family rejecting the NHS's care-plan and taking him to Prague for proton beam therapy. The King family must be tired and battle-weary after 24 months of caring for Ashya.

Dolce and Gabbana's views on IVF are wrong, but should we really be surprised? And what do all their new haters actually want? — This isn't a snide aside at Elton's appearance. No, Elton is perfectly average man-in-the-street sized. Not a lettuce and laxative devotee. In fact, the sort of body shape one might see in Sainsbury's by the bread - ergo, not anyone that Dolce and Gabbana, or the higher echelons of the fashion planet, and its interminable hierarchy of fools - cater for.

Grace Dent on TV: Masterchef shows there is no shortage of berks clamouring for airtime — And lo, another series of MasterChef, the never-ending BBC find-a-chef hunt. I have written about MasterChef, due to its acid reflux staying power, more times than almost any other show. Sometimes I fear I'll breathe my last, in the year approx 2065, ancient and washed-out like an old negative, slumped forwards on my MacBook, mid-typing "Gregg was pushed on to set in his bath chair.

Grace Dent reviews Shackfuyu — A positive boon for any restaurant to possess is a name diners can remember, in order to help with locating it. Shackfuyu, a new Japanese fast food filling stop on Old Compton Street, fails beautifully for me on this count. Some of the 17 other names I called it pre-visit were even accidentally smutty.

Crufts dog poisoning: This 'murder' lifts the lid on our canine failings — The deceased was, according to Aleksandra Lauwers, "our love, family member and best friend to our son". Lauwers, a dog breeder, wasn't speaking of a child or a sibling, but of a shaggy-haired, russet-toned Irish setter called Jagger, poisoned, it is believed, at Crufts last week.

Grace Dent on TV: Jimmy McGovern's Banished sheds light on sex slavery, leaves us feeling decidedly woebegone — Stupid me. I'd overlooked the beginnings of Australia and the matter of 18th-century New South Wales penal colonies. We really are awful, evil b******s. Until Banished - a seven-parter, the first of which aired this week - the Royal Navy's grim mission of dragging convicts to the farthest side of the world felt, to me at least, like a footnote in time.

Grace Dent reviews West Thirty Six — There is no clearer example of London's constant state of flux than how the West and East swapped roles. At one point within my memory, Golborne Road was still where 'it' was 'at'. Fifteen years ago, moving to Clapton - in the eyes of the cheekboney, arty, muso set - was like fleeing to Milton Keynes.

Grace Dent on TV: Mary Portas: Secret Shopper delves into a grim cornucopia of retail wrongness — At some silly level, many of us dream of owning our own little shop or cafe. Or maybe a shop with a cafe attached, because when people popped by your shop - which would be bloody amazing - they would definitely want to hang out with an organic, skimmed, frappé latte.

Grace Dent reviews Blacklock — Off I went this week to Blacklock, a former basement brothel in Soho, for chops and loud Human League and Devo. Vast, honking, delicious platters of chops. Who doesn't like chops? OK, vegetarians, yes. Or anyone who doesn't care for seeing friends speckled in meat juices, ripping it from the bone like a Tudor monarch.
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