Live in Crenshaw. Photo: HBO Comedy specials can have a frictionless blankness to them. Sure, the material may be highly topical — jokes about presidents, jokes about recent cultural references, jokes about contemporary political flash points. But so often, the look of them is deliberately unremarkable. There’s a theater and a stage, a curtain, a stool, a wide shot, a close-up, maybe some audience reaction images. You can locate yourself roughly in time based on fashion choices, but the crowd could still be from anywhere. The potential upside is universality. This could be happening in your town! But universality is rarely the result of generality. Live in Crenshaw , Lil Rel Howery’s 2019 HBO special directed by Jerrod Carmichael , is the opposite. The guiding principle behind every choice is to allow the special to reflect and showcase a particular place at a precise moment in time. The direction of the special not only lingers and focuses on specificity, it insists … [Read more...] about The Standard-Setting Beauty of
Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines Surging migration | More than one million foreign nationals have been allowed to live in the UK for the first time in modern history as the Government was accused of breaking its Brexit promises. The data also showed that three-quarters of the initial asylum applications are being granted, the highest rate for 30 years , despite the Government's claims to be cracking down on illegal arrivals and bogus claims. Kevin Spacey | Star charged with four counts of sexual assault in UK Bernie Ecclestone | Arrested for 'carrying gun while boarding plane' How to Murder Your Husband | Author guilty of murdering husband Daily toll | Drivers over bridge face charges under privatisation plans Home video | Queen shown in her youth in never before seen footage The big story: Rishi Sunak announces windfall tax Tory MPs have warned Rishi Sunak that his windfall tax on oil and gas giants could stifle economic growth as … [Read more...] about Thursday evening UK news briefing: Rishi Sunak ‘throwing meat to socialists’
The running joke after Tom Pearson burst into the Gallagher Premiership with a player-of-the-match performance for London Irish on his debut against Exeter Chiefs was that there must be something in the water at Cardiff Metropolitan University, the alma mater of not only Pearson but also Harlequins' duo Alex Dombrandt and Luke Northmore . When you consider how smoothly all three players have adapted to top-level rugby in England, combined with a shrinking Premiership salary cap by £1.4m next season forcing clubs to look at alternative and cheaper ways to recruit, the floodgates might be about to open with talent from BUCS Super Rugby, the highest level of men's university rugby, pouring into the Premiership. Pearson, 22, has gone from joining London Irish only on a senior academy contract last summer to being called up by England regularly in the past few months. So, you can forgive him for pinching himself. "If I’m honest, my goal for the whole season was just to make my … [Read more...] about Tom Pearson: ‘Alex Dombrandt opened the door – university recruitment is the future’
When George Kruis made the life-changing decision to embark on a new career in Japan, taking himself out of the equation for England selection at the age of just 31, he did not consider himself as a trailblazer. The reasons behind his decision to opt for the brave new world of the Top League in Japan were old school desires to sample a new culture and create new memories before time ran out. What has surprised the former Saracens lock, who has won 45 caps for England and one for the Lions in 2017, however is the number of phone-calls he has received recently from players from back home in the UK about life as a professional in Japan. Kruis has enjoyed his year with the Panasonic Wild Knights, who face Eddie Jones’ Suntory Sungoliath in Saturday’s Top League final in Tokyo on Sunday, so much that he has signed up for another season. The league has already attracted a range of international stars including Beauden Barrett (Suntory) and Kieran Read, Michael Hooper and Willie … [Read more...] about Exclusive George Kruis interview: ‘More Premiership players will come out to Japan’
France won their first Grand Slam for 12 years and large sections of the England fanbase continue to grumble over Eddie Jones, but what else did we learn over the last six weeks? Who were the stars and disappointments? How safe are the six coaches and what do their World Cup prospects now look like? Telegraph Sport marks their cards. England Star of the tournament No one gave more to the cause than Ellis Genge. His scrummaging has come on leaps and bounds. Not many looseheads tie Tadhg Furlong up in as many knots as he did in the Ireland contest. His reward for such exertions was to be deployed as an NFL running back against France. Whatever the merits of that particular tactical ploy, Genge has enjoyed a coming out party in this Championship with Freddie Steward invited as his guest of honour. Disappointment of the tournament This is cow’s backside with banjo territory but when an attack has scored just three tries in its four games against opponents not called Italy it … [Read more...] about Six Nations report cards: How poor were England, are France unbeatable and could Wales be in trouble?
Tom Curry has been backed to become England’s youngest Test captain since Will Carling, with Eddie Jones poised to announce his most inexperienced Six Nations team on Thursday. Curry, the Sale Sharks flanker, is widely expected to be unveiled as England’s captain for the Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland on Saturday in the absence of the injured Owen Farrell and Courtney Lawes, who is recovering from concussion . At 23, Curry would be England’s youngest captain since 22-year-old Carling was appointed captain in 1988 and would lead a side missing many of their senior campaigners heading to Murrayfield. According to Alex Sanderson, the Sale director of rugby, Curry’s leadership qualities bear a striking resemblance to Farrell . He also believes they are ideally suited to the international environment because Curry’s intensity levels can burn out his team-mates at club level. “The depths of his energy are fathomless,” Sanderson said. “That is his biggest … [Read more...] about Tom Curry backed to fill Owen Farrell’s shoes in Eddie Jones’ least experienced Six Nations side
What’s happening with Emma Raducanu’s coaching situation? It’s the same question everyone has been asking since the news originally dropped, on September 24, that she had split with her US Open mentor Andrew Richardson . Admittedly, Raducanu spent perhaps three-and-a-half months working with the German coach Torben Beltz, but it never had the look of a lasting partnership . And now, as she heads into Sunday’s French Open, she will have no dedicated coach in her player box for the first time at a slam. Telegraph Sport has reported before on the unconventional approach of Raducanu’s family. Her father Ian has never had much faith in coaches as sources of continuous improvement. Instead, he likes to mine them for areas of specific expertise before casting them aside. But there could be another issue influencing Raducanu’s lack of a regular, steady appointment: a growing feeling inside the game that there could be more to lose from coaching her than there is to gain. Yes, she … [Read more...] about Why coaching Emma Raducanu is no longer the golden ticket
The final version of Sue Gray’s long-awaited report felt a bit like being presented with a birthday cake only to find some of it had already been eaten. Six months on from reports of partygate first surfacing – and coming after the senior civil servant had already published her interim findings in January – it seemed as stale as a week-old sponge. A leak ensured that we had already seen the best photograph, showing Boris Johnson toasting staff at Lee Cain’s leaving do, while the key finding that there were “failures of leadership” at the heart of Number 10 and that those who broke the rules they’d set should have known better rang as familiar as the tune to Happy Birthday. Some of the events should never have taken place; staff should never have been so drunk at “ Wine Time Friday ” that they vomited; “There is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed immediately across Government”. It was nothing that we didn’t know already. Just as … [Read more...] about Sue Gray report seemed stale as a week-old sponge, leaving Boris Johnson to fight another day
It may have won the best show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show , but Monty Don has questioned whether Rewilding Britain’s beaver-themed exhibit was a “real garden”. The installation - designed by Adam Hunt and Lulu Urquhart, first-time Chelsea exhibitors - was an unexpected winner of the top prize on Tuesday, beating long-time show garden designers including Andy Sturgeon and Sarah Eberle. The decision has divided audiences at the prestigious flower show, including Joe Swift and Monty Don, presenters of the BBC’s Gardeners’ World programme . Referring to Mr Sturgeon’s more traditional mental health-themed Mind Garden, Mr Don said: “I think they’re both fantastic. The question it raises to me - Rewilding Britain was beautifully done - was it a garden? “It is a show garden and therefore has a right to win, whether it is a real garden or not, I’m not sure.” Mr Swift added: “Andy Sturgeon’s is a beautiful garden. The other one - to me it’s a landscape, a recreation. … [Read more...] about Monty Don asks: Was Chelsea Flower Show winner a ‘real garden’?
Former Labour MP Claudia Webbe has lost her appeal against her conviction for harassing a love rival. Webbe, who represents her Leicester East constituency as an independent after being expelled from the party, targeted Michelle Merritt, 59, between September 2018 and April 2020. Prosecutors said the 18-month harassment campaign was driven by "obsession" and "jealousy" over her boyfriend Lester Thomas's relationship with executive assistant Ms Merritt. The victim told how Webbe branded her a "slag" who "should be acid" and threatened to reveal naked photographs to her family in a string of phone calls. Webbe, a former adviser to the National Police Chiefs' Council on firearms, was found guilty of harassment by Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring and handed a 10-week suspended jail sentence following a trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court last year. On Thursday, following an appeal hearing at Southwark Crown Court, she was again found guilty by Judge Deborah Taylor and two … [Read more...] about MP Claudia Webbe loses appeal against conviction for harassing partner’s ex-girlfriend