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BBC TwoNewsnight Review
Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 18:29 GMT
19 January, 2007
In this week's programme presented by Hardeep Kohli :

By Hardeep Kohli

Paul Morley | Denise Mina | Sarah Churchwell | Ian McMillan

Comment on this programme

Black Book

Black Book
Paul Verhoeven returned home to the Netherlands to film Black Book and the work is a departure from his Hollywood hits Basic Instinct, Robocop, Starship Troopers and the less successful but notorious Showgirls.

Set in September 1944, Black Book stars Carice van Houten as Jewish cabaret singer, Rachel Steinn. After Rachel's family are killed by the Nazis, she finds herself in The Hague where she is drawn into the Dutch Resistance by Hans Akkermans (Thom Hoffman) and Gerben Kuipers (Derek de Lint). Dyeing her hair blonde, Rachel takes on the new identity of Ellis de Vries and sets about seducing senior Nazi officer Müntze (Sebastian Koch). Working as Müntze's secretary at the Nazi headquarters, Ellis comes across the opportunistic Ronnie (Halina Reijn) who she's horrified to find is the mistress of the sadistic Franken (Waldemar Kobus), the man she recognises as her family's murderer. Ellis sets about her most dangerous mission when she gets involved in an attempted rescue of Resistance fighters who have been sentenced to death by the Nazis. When the rescue is ambushed it becomes clear that the Resistance has a mole. Under suspicion herself, Ellis must expose the real traitor to save her own life.

Will the panel be gripped by Verhoeven's Second World War thriller or will it be as shocking as Showgirls?

  • Black Book, certificate 15 is released on 19th January.

    Comedy: Ricky Gervais - the Fame tour

    Ricky Gervais

    Ricky Gervais started his third live UK tour, Fame, in Scotland . With his name in lights above, he walks out on stage amidst a Stars In Their Eyes introduction wearing a crown and to his left is a over -sized Emmy Award. Gervais is the creator of comedies The Office and Extras, which have been a success on both sides of the Atlantic. At the 2004 Golden Globes he received two awards for his work on The Office. He made a guest appearance Alias, and he wrote an episode of The Simpsons, appearing in it in cartoon form and as he tells us himself in the show, he has made the most appearances by a British comic on the Letterman show. Back in Britain, he has received numerous British Academy Television Awards and British Comedy Awards. His new show Fame became the fastest selling live comedy tour in history and he performs for the largest audiences of his career. Having toured with Animals in 2003 and Politics in 2004, Ricky decided it was best to talk about what he knows rather the more generalised topics from previous shows. He offers some first hand insights into the nature of celebrity, with a more anecdotal and autobiographical stand up act and the ever-present twist of irony.

  • Ricky Gervais tours 'Fame' around the UK until the end of March this year.

    Celebrity Big Brother

    The seventh instalment of the mammoth enterprise that is Celebrity Big Brother lumbered on to our screens at the beginning of this month. At first, critics sniped: boring housemates - how could they match the legendary Pete'n'George? - and the country was divided into those who did watch and those who consciously didn't. Ratings were initially low. It even looked like this might be its last outing.

    And then: Jade Goody, the original Big Brother star met Shilpa Shetty, Bollywood celebrity. The personality clash between the two would have been obvious to the producers, but even they could not have hoped for the bombs that have been going off this week. Jade, with her cohorts Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Meara, has complained about being unable to pronounce Shilpa's name, about her cooking, and publicly berated her, accusing her of fakery and lying.

    Comments made by the three have caused the outside world to ignite in debate as to whether Shilpa is a victim of common bullying, or of racially motivated abuse. The repercussions have been manifold; both the Indian and British governents have commented on the matter, the show itself has lost its Carphone Warehouse sponsor, while Jade has been dropped as spokesperson from the charity Act Against Bullying. Ratings meanwhile have gone through the roof. Our panel discuss the television programme turned international incident.

  • Celebrity Big Brother continues every night on Channel 4 until Sunday 28th January.

    Daljit Nagra 'Look We Have Coming to Dover!'

    Daljit Nagra

    In 2004, the Willesden based secondary school teacher Daljit Nagra won The Forward Poetry Prize for best single poem for Look We Have Coming To Dover! With Sikh Punjabi parents who came to Britain in the late 1950's, Nagra took inspiration from his personal life exploring ideas of identity and immigration in contemporary Britain, whilst also acknowledging a rich literary tradition by paying homage to the nineteenth century poet Matthew Arnold and his poem Dover Beach, itself an expression of a modern sensibility. Yet, instead of the outward look at conflicts abroad, Nagra reverses the gaze to immigrants coming to Britain and to those who have settled here successfully.

    A few years later, and Nagra's debut collection (which takes the title of his award winning poem) has been published by Faber and Faber. Continuing with themes of immigration and British Asian identity, Nagra blends a humorous mix of English and Punjabi to create a new voice for the Indian community. Poems such as Parade's End and Singh Song! are respectively, poignant and amusing portraits of multi-cultural Britain.

  • Daljit Nagra's 'Look We Have Coming to Dover!' is published by Faber and Faber on February 1st.

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