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Duration: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Kirsty Wark and guests, including Paul Morley and Natalie Haynes, look back over 2011's cultural highlights and lowlights. Plus live music from Neil Hannon.

  • Best of Film

    Best of Film

    The year on the big screen started with Oscar and Bafta success for Colin Firth in the Kings Speech. The Coen Brothers swapped the Duke for the Dude as Jeff Bridges took on the John Wayne role in True Grit and Kristen Wiig redefined the chick flick with the critically acclaimed summer smash Bridesmaids. Gary Oldman sexed up the Seventies in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and it was farewell to Harry Potter as he waved his wand for the final time in The Deathly Hallows Part II.

    The BAFTA Website
  • Best of Television

    Best of Television

    On the small screen, topical comedy was the talk of the town as Channel 4 grasped the stinging nettle of satire in their live studio show The 10 O’clock Show, while BBC Four's Twenty Twelve took a comic swipe at the preparations in the run up to the London Olympics. It was a bad year for long running crime series Taggart, which was axed this year, but Danish drama The Killing sated our appetite for murder with a second series. Dominic West made chameleon like changes from dapper Hector in the Hour to serial Killer Fred West in ITV’s controversial drama Appropriate Adult and Downton Abbey went to war.

    The Royal Television Society Website
  • Best of Art and Exhibiton

    Best of Art and Exhibiton

    The most eagerly anticipated exhibition of the year didn’t disappoint - Leonardo at The National Gallery has wowed the critics and public alike, and proved that the blockbuster art show isn’t dead yet. Earlier in the year two giants of 20th century art – Magritte and Miro – received retrospectives, and Tate Modern celebrated the work of an artist considered by many to be the most important at work today – Gerhard Richter. Ai Weiwei was held in detention for over two months, prompting a global campaign for his release. Ceramicist Grayson Perry showed pots alongside historical artefacts at The British Museum. And Martin Boyce walked off with the Turner Prize. And defying the downturn, this year saw a spate of major museum openings around the country – including Hepworth Wakefield, Turner Contemporary in Margate and Zaha Hadid’s Riverside Museum in Glasgow.

    The Royal Academy of Arts Website
  • Best of Theatre

    Best of Theatre

    Once again there was no getting away from Shakespeare in 2011. Many famous stars of the screen found the appeal of tackling the bard on stage hard to resist. David Tennant and Catherine Tate appeared in a 1980s update of Much Ado About Nothing. Kevin Spacey tried his hand at Richard III at the Old Vic, whilst the Wire’s Dominic West and Clarke Peters starred in Othello at the Sheffield playhouse. Liverpool’s Everyman theatre witnessed David Morrissey turn in a stellar Macbeth. Outside of Shakespeare, Oscar winner Danny Boyle directed Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller in an intriguing adaption of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and James Corden returned to the stage to perform the lead in the smash hit comedy ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’. The most ambitious play of the year came with the National Theatre of Wales’ outdoor production of ‘The Passion’.

    The Stage Website
  • Best of Books

    Best of Books

    Despite the economic gloom and enduring uncertainty regarding the future of publishing, 2011 was a bumper year. It also saw the inauguration of our Book Review Shows, bringing you the very best new writing. We kicked off in January reviewing Snowdrops by A.D. Miller, subsequently shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in October. Julian Barnes finally secured the title for his perfectly formed The Sense of an Ending. Tea Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife made off with the £30,000 Orange Prize for Fiction, and for the first time we featured the oldest literary prize in the country, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction and Biography. The Review Show brought you the superstar authors of 2011, Alan Hollinghurst, Joan Didion, Philip Roth and Lionel Shriver were just some of the literary luminaries from the past year. And as if that wasn’t enough, we also reviewed 2011’s literary resurrections from Jack Kerouac, Mervyn Peake, Alexsander Solzhenitsyn, Beryl Bainbridge and Daphne Du Maurier.

    The Man Booker Prize Website
  • Best of Music

    Best of Music

    For the world of music, 2011 was a year of record breaking achievements and most of them were by Adele. Her album 21 became the best-selling album of the last century. It was also a year of great loss with the death of Amy Winehouse. We look back at the year through musical highlights which include a Mercury Prize winning album by PJ Harvey, and the world’s first ‘App Album’ by Bjork.

    The Mercury Prize Website
  • The Divine Comedy

    The Divine Comedy

    Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon is renowned for his witty, intelligent and sophisticated songwriting, and he’s surely one of our finest musical eccentrics.
    The man behind the theme tunes to Father Ted and The IT Crowd, he’s previously recorded a concept album about cricket and now his musical adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons is running in London ahead of a nationwide tour. Tonight he performs live with a grand piano in The Review Show’s Christmas studio

    The Divine Comedy Website
  • The Review Show 2011 Archive

    We have added a selection of hand picked clips from our archive of the past year, from Anna Nicole the Opera to Stuart Maconie on Kate Bush.


Kirsty Wark
Natalie Haynes
Paul Morley
Neil Hannon


Chvrches live on The Review Show

Chvrches live on The Review Show

Watch the Glasgow electro-pop trio perform Recover live at Pacific Quay

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