When I set out to write a history of the activities of the Women's Institute of England and Wales in 2009 I had no inkling that it would lead to a full-blown television drama series. I am a historian, so the suggestion that a village women's institute might be a potential seed of an idea for a drama came not from me but from the brilliant mind of Home Fires' creator and writer, Simon Block.
It's the Eurovision Song Contest this Saturday - but a recent poll has found the UK would vote 'Leave' if there were a referendum on our participation, in some kind of musical Brexit. This must surely be one the most depressing results of recent times. One can only extrapolate that in these times of austerity, us Brits are cutting back on our sense of fun too.
In 2014 my husband was kidnapped by ISIS. I do not know if he is alive or dead, and every day I pray for some news of his well-being. Eighteen months ago we made the difficult decision to leave. But the problem throughout the world is that nobody wants Syrian people. To the rest of the world Syrian people and their children are very cheap; their blood is very cheap. We don't come to Europe to eat, we don't come here to have a flat. I stayed for years in Syria without much food, we stayed for five years without a lot of things. I don't want to eat, and I can stay in the streets if I need to. But I don't want to see my children dead in front of my eyes.
This list is comprised of my personal (that means my own opinion) picks for the top 5 kick ass-iest (if you're wondering, I coined the term) female driven television shows currently on air. Kick ass being defined as extremely good or impressive with or without actual ass kicking occurring within the plot lines.
It's that time of the year again - cherry blossoms, the year's first barbeques and dusting off the summer wardrobe. That heady combination of fruitiness, big flaming whoppers and costume changes culminates neatly this week at the Eurovision Song Contest.
It goes by the less catchy title BBC Young Musician and has no sassy, glitzy celebs on its panel but, for sheer star quality, it leaves ITV's larks at the end of the pier. You may not care for classical music, but don't dismiss it on those grounds - after all, did you know how much you like shadow puppetry and dancing dogs till you gave BGT a whirl?
Last summer I had been given the job to add to the Attenborough Birthday celebrations by producing a special programme to celebrate both the happy day and his life's work for the BBC. Clearly, a lovely thing to do, and right from the start I was not in the slightest concerned about filling an hour with wonderful stories, clips and anecdotes courtesy arguably the worlds foremost storyteller. However, there was one slight problem - persuading David to agree to actually take part.
Outraged traders in Eastenders have this week started a petition against Cost Mart - a fictional cut-priced priced discount retailer it's feared will wipe out footfall from Walford's famous market and nearby business including 'The Caff', Queen Vic and Minute Mart convenience store...
No-one would invent the BBC today. But thank God our predecessors did. The BBC is one of this country's greatest institutions: it developed organically, almost accidentally, but it's become a central part of the public realm without being part of the state.
It's one of Grayson's greatest gifts as a documentary voice to ask the questions to which he's genuinely curious to know the answer. Not rocket-science you might think, but so much television interviewing is really a targeted exercise in quote-harvesting.
For generations now, television has been used to display the ways in which people outside of our comfort zone live. We've seen white and black, rich and poor, gay and straight. Yet bisexual men? Now that's really pushing the boundaries. Apparently showing the life of a bisexual man is a step too far for British television.
For the record no, it doesn't put me off having kids. Not in the slightest. And yes I can watch the baby's head crowning and a woman have a c-section without diving behind a cushion on the sofa and screaming.
Let me break this down for you. Beyoncé's album is not an attack on anyone. It is a celebration of the strength, endurance and potential within black womanhood. The fact that you are mad/uncomfortable/agitated about it is evidence enough of how blind you are to the realities of being one.
I am of course falling prey to 'clickbait' and also happen to be just one of the many b*stards on the planet who use the dark art as part of their vocation - it is a tool in the armoury of many industries.
It was only in February that I realised how enormously spoiled we are in finding statistics. It happened when I tried to check a statement made by Michael Gove, who claimed that the proportion of UK trade done with the EU is lower now than it was before the UK joined the EU.
It seems that I've been talking about it for months, but by this time next week I'll have actually completed the London Marathon. I'm absolutely terrified. I'm not that worried about it from a fitness point of view, although I am under no doubt it will be challenging.