Russian Spy Assassins: The Salisbury Attack review – as stunning as a le Carré thriller

In this gripping Dispatches documentary, all the right questions are asked, of all the right people, even if they’re not all answered

You’re so tied up in Cambridge Analytica that you’ve let your attention slip from the other Big Story for March? Well it’s Ok, Dispatches and Matt Frei are here to remind and rekindle. It is “straight out of the explosive pages of a political spy thriller,” says Matt, inevitably, though it is hard to disagree.

There is a quick catch-up first on Sergei Skripal: child of the cold war, paratrooper, Fsb, recruitment by MI6, capture, prison, spy swap. He moved to Salisbury for a quiet life, but he and his daughter Yulia ended up slumped on a bench, catatonic, after their bodies were attacked by a nerve agent. The police moved in with their blue and white tape, and eerie biohazard suits. “When
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Trump & Russia: Sex, Spies and Scandal review – a perilous land of Oz, without the whimsy

Matt Frei’s documentary is almost overwhelming – especially for those trying to avoid bad news. Plus: moral dilemmas in Army: Behind the New Front Lines

Even if you try to avoid the headlines these days, you can’t help but catch snippets of news about how the world is going to hell. Plus there have been other subtle tipoffs, such as the birds fleeing across the skies as the firmament turns orange before our disbelieving eyes. Not for nothing did it turn that vibrant hue. Orange is the colour of Trump, and the barest smattering of knowledge about the man and his presidency has been quite enough to make most of us want to make like the birds and flee.

To have so many of the gaps in that smattering of knowledge filled in – or, if you are better informed, to have it so remorselessly and comprehensively laid out before
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Julian Assange Hits Back at ‘Constant Lying’ and ‘Cold Creepiness’ of Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s press tour promoting her new book What Happpened appears to now be in its international phase of interviews and appearances. This weekend saw her discuss with Channel 4’s Matt Frei the alleged sexual assaults of President Donald Trump (which she said he had admitted to) and today we see she recently sat down with Australia’s […]
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Ivanka Trump: America’s Real First Lady review – politics, poison and creepy clips

Ivanka for president? Stranger things have happened … But what is that weird father-daughter relationship all about?

Quiz question: who was the first female Us president? There hasn’t been one? No, this is a quiz in the future, so there has. Elizabeth Warren? Michelle Obama? Hillary Clinton? Catherine Cortez Masto, maybe? No, no, no and no. The correct answer is … Ivanka Trump!

“Not impossible” is the conclusion Matt Frei reaches in Ivanka Trump: America’s Real First Lady? (Channel 4). “Stranger things have happened.”

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Meet the Trumps: From Immigrant to President review – a warning from history

Matt Frei looks at the generations of Trump past, who built their legacy on illegal emigration, trespass and prostitution

He is going to be hard to avoid this week. This programme – Meet the Trumps: From Immigrant to President (Channel 4) – is sort of Who Do You Think You Are? It only goes back a couple of generations, but that’s all it takes to unearth lots of interesting stuff. Forewarnings, you might say. It’s a shame it doesn’t reveal that Donald was actually born in Mexico, but it’s still pretty good.

We start with grandad Friedrich Trump, who arrived on a boat from Germany in 1885 aged 16, and worked as a barber in New York before going west to seek his fortune. After running a restaurant in Seattle for a while, he went north to follow the gold rush, because young Friedrich dreamed that one day his grandson
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President Trump: Can He Really Win? review – it's no longer a ridiculous question, sadly

When anger meets bigotry, the outcome could be President Trump, as Matt Frei’s campaign-trail documentary makes clear. Plus: goodish/baddish Happyish, and the joy of Raised by Wolves

From the hair alone you may infer the Donald. Ridiculous, unconstrained by normal rules of reason, taste and decency, and yet, against all the odds, surviving.

So we must turn, with darkening eyes and heavy hearts, to last night’s documentary by Channel 4’s Europe editor Matt Frei, which posed the question that would have seemed as ridiculous as the hair even three months ago – President Trump: Can He Really Win?

Related: We've entered uncharted territory. But don't blame it all on Donald Trump

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Wednesday’s best TV: Secret Britain; Storyville: My Nazi Legacy; Happyish

  • The Guardian - TV News
A tour around the less-populated parts of the UK; a lawyer explores a grim Holocaust family history. Plus: Steve Coogan plays Thom Payne, an ad-man on a crash course with midlife

President Trump. President. Trump. Impossible to process as that phrase still is, the floss-haired one looks assured of the Republican nomination, which would put him just nine or 10 Hillary Clinton gaffes away from becoming CEO of Earth. Matt Frei investigates how, and if, Trump can be stopped. Why are his manifest weaknesses so tricky to exploit? Will his opponents see that his ability to communicate with the economically disenfranchised gives him great strength? Jack Seale

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Tuesday’s best TV: Winterwatch 2016; Sugar Free Farm; The Real Marigold Hotel; The Mad World of Donald Trump

  • The Guardian - TV News
Michaela Strachan and chums head to the Caingorns to see how wildlife is coping with the warm winter; D-list celebs give up sugar for a fortnight; eight Oap-list celebs consider retiring to Jaipur. Plus: Matt Frei investigates the Donald

A welcome reminder that the Beeb’s interest in window-scraping season extends beyond viewer photos of snow-covered miscellanea. Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games head to Cairngorms national park to examine how the furry and feathered residents are coping with the season. With this winter wandering from warmest on record to wettest within weeks, continued survival must seem like the wildlife equivalent of the Ninja Warrior course. Mark Gibbings-Jones

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President Obama -- Smiles Like a 'Split Watermelon' ... British Anchor Says (Video)

  • TMZ
[[tmz:video id="0_2ovbi53j"]] President Obama smiled "like a split watermelon" when Pope Francis visited the White House ... according to a British news anchor who is now getting a crash course in racist stereotypes. Channel 4's Matt Frei used the unfortunate turn of phrase on-air during a taped report on Wednesday about the Pope coming to America. Frei pleaded ignorance when the inevitable social media backlash began, claiming ... "It was intended as an entirely innocent phrase that apparently
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Mishal Husain named broadcaster of the year at London Press Club Awards

Mishal Husain has been named broadcaster of the year at the London Press Club Awards.

The host of BBC Radio 4's Today programme was nominated alongside colleagues Tulip Mazumdar and Alison Holt, as well as Channel 4's Matt Frei.

Husain also presents BBC television bulletins, having joined Today in 2013. She has previously presented the News at Ten, Newsnight and Breakfast.

She has reported from around the world including Pakistan after the death of Osama bin Laden, Cairo during the Egyptian revolution and China during the Beijing Olympics.

"It's wonderful and much deserved," said the BBC's director of news James Harding.

Meanwhile, The Mirror was named best daily newspaper after a year of "regaining its passion and authority", while the Mail on Sunday won Sunday newspaper of the year.

The Sunday Times won scoop of the year for its FIFA exposé, while The Sun's Ally Ross won reviewer of the year.
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Cliff Richard raid and Fake Sheik nominated for Scoop of the Year at Rts awards

The BBC's coverage of the raid on Sir Cliff Richard's house has been nominated for Scoop of the Year at the Royal Television Society Television Journalism Awards 2013/14.

The singer's home was searched by South Yorkshire Police in August following allegations of historical sex abuse - claims that have been described as as "completely false" by Richard.

Both the BBC and South Yorkshire Police were criticised over the coverage, prompting a Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry. The report stated that police should not have cooperated with the BBC after a journalist discovered information about the search.

The coverage is up against Panorama's Fake Sheikh Exposed documentary, along with BBC Northern Ireland's A Woman Alone With The Ira.

The Panorama special centred around Mazher Mahmood, who had exposed various individuals in the tabloids while posing as a fake sheikh. The documentary arrived after he was accused of "serious misconduct
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UK TV readies Robin Williams films

UK TV readies Robin Williams films
UK broadcasters have begun changing their schedules to celebrate the work of Robin Williams, the Us actor and comedian who has died at the age of 63.

Sky’s director of entertainment channels Stuart Murphy said he and colleagues had spent the morning discussing the Good Will Hunting star after news broke of his death broke on Monday night.

Sky 1 will air Jumanji at 8pm this evening, while Awakenings will be scheduled at 10pm. This will replace episodes of Modern Family, a repeat of An Idiot Abroad and an episode of Glee.

Sky Movies will also line up other Williams films, including Dead Poets Society, Hook and Mrs Doubtfire as well as features in which the comedian had supporting roles such as Night At The Museum and The Butler.

Murphy hinted that there may be further coverage. “We have all been talking about #RobinWilliams today at work. Total genius. Looking to see what else we can get on
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TV review: The American Roadtrip: Obama's Story; Harry & Paul

Matt Frei is in the midwest on serious business – searching for magic Mormon knickers

Matt Frei has himself a pick-up truck; he's hitting the road, going in search of the American Dream. "Somewhere along the line I know there'll be girls, visions, everything," he says dreamily, arm hanging louchely out of the open window. "Somewhere along the line the pearl will be handed to me."

Oh, sorry, no he doesn't, my mistake; that's Sal in On The Road. But Frei does seem to be feeling the freedom of the open road, released from the seriousness of being a serious Channel 4 news person (Washington correspondent, now presenter).

This – The American Roadtrip: Obama's Story (Channel 4, Sunday) – is serious television; Frei is testing the temperature in the crucial midwest swing states ahead of next week's election. But he does have a Dodge Ram 1500 dual cab. He can let himself go a bit,
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Channel 4 News remains the Jon Snow show, for now

Jon Snow still rules the roost at C4 News but the show must plan for a future without its revered anchorman

The Spectator is getting an unlikely petition together. Save Jon Snow! Don't let Matt Frei and Cathy Newman, the two new recruits to Channel 4 News, drive poor old Jon, 64, out into the cold. Keep our national treasure in his rightful, commanding place.

But Snow's warm admirers should sit comfortably amid such fuss. There's no thought and no sinister plan to so much as pull a thread on Jon's famous ties. Maybe Channel 4 News needed a bit of a makeover. Newman and Frei make the programme less of a one-man band. But Jon Snow is still its heart and soul.

Yet don't confuse admiration (going on adulation) present with future possibilities. Any gruelling TV news show dependent on a presenter/reporter in his 65th year has to think transition,
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Channel 4 News: 'It will always be the Jon Snow show'

As C4 relaunches the 7pm news bulletin, Krishnan Guru-Murthy and his co-presenters discuss the challenge of reporting Britain

Jon Snow is having a mea culpa moment. For 22 years he anchored Channel 4 News with a junior colleague – sometimes a woman, often from an ethnic minority, occasionally both – sat in a corner of the studio with a remit little beyond a brief news round-up.

"It was biologically and anthropologically awkward," says Snow. "I thought it was really eternally demeaning but convenient to me because it meant I could hog the whole thing. But to have somebody hanging around in the corner being abused by me is not sensible." And not very Channel 4, he might have added.

Which raises the question – why did he not say something sooner? "It was a very long time and I did nothing to change it," he admits. "I was not knocking on the editor's door
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Search for Michael Crick replacement causes rumblings at Newsnight | Media Monkey

The search for a replacement for Michael Crick, the latest BBC News star to defect to commercial rivals after announcing his departure to Channel 4 News, is causing rumblings within the Newsnight team. David Grossman, the programme's current political correspondent, believes the political editor's job should be his. It is not so simple, however, not least because Iain Watson, the assiduous BBC political correspondent and Politics Show reporter with excellent contacts, would also fit the bill. However, Peter Rippon, the Newsnight editor facing the lowest ratings in the current affairs show's 31-year history, apparently has other ideas. With some broadcasts going out to fewer than 200,000 viewers before the hacking crisis, he feels he needs to act. So after losing Crick, famed for his doorstepping of unwilling ministers, he wants to poach a "personality" from the BBC's competitors; after all the corporation has not just seen Crick go to C4, but Matt Frei,
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BBC's Laura Kuenssberg to join ITV

Corporation's political correspondent to become rival's business editor, contributing to news bulletins and Tonight

ITV News has snapped up one of the rising stars of BBC news, political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg, to take the newly created role of business editor.

Kuenssberg, chief political correspondent for the BBC News channel and one of the TV stars of the 2010 general election coverage, will join ITV in September and contribute to the broadcaster's ITV1 bulletins and current affairs strand Tonight.

She is also one of the most high profile UK journalists on Twitter, using the social networking service to deliver breaking news.

Kuenssberg said: "The BBC has been an integral part of my life for more than a decade and I will always be grateful for the experiences I have been given. But while families round the UK cope with the squeeze and the country grapples with making its living, moving to cover
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Samira Ahmed to leave Channel 4

News presenter and correspondent Samira Ahmed to go freelance after 11 years at Channel 4

Channel 4 News presenter and correspondent Samira Ahmed is to leave after 11 years.

Ahmed joined ITN, which makes Channel 4 News, in 2000 as a reporter before adding presenting responsibilities from 2002.

She has been a presenter of the evening news, weekend programme and News at Noon – before Channel 4 cancelled it at the end of 2009 – and was part of the documentary team behind 2003's Islam Unveiled.

Ahmed intends to go freelance as a journalist, broadcaster and writer.

Channel 4 News announced last month that political correspondent Cathy Newman is to become the bulletin's third regular presenter alongside main anchor Jon Snow and co-host Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

As part of the on-screen rejig, Channel 4 News also hired Matt Frei and Jackie Long from the BBC to be Washington correspondent and social affairs editor, respectively.

Channel 4Television industryTelevisionITNTV newsMark Sweney

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Why BBC news anchors are the television hosts with the most

From Paxman to Dimbleby, the BBC is using its trusted news anchors to give gravitas – and a dash of celebrity – to its shows

Until surprisingly recently, Jeremy Paxman was the only BBC news anchor regularly moonlighting for another department. Last Monday he was part of a BBC2 evening line-up that shows how things have changed: Fiona Bruce at 6.30pm, David Dimbleby at 7pm, Paxman at 8pm, Kirsty Young at 9pm, all in non-news shows.

Between them, this quartet represent most of the plethora of succulent possibilities open to multitasking news presenters, and it's the patrician Question Time host who was the unlikely serial trendsetter. Dimbleby has been regularly ahead of the game in exploiting opportunities away from the news studio: in current affairs series, in entertainment shows (hosting Top of the Form, The Goodies) and latterly as an ebullient pink-shirted tour guide – Seven Ages of Britain follows earlier explorations of art and architecture.
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