We were briefly in London last Fridat for a visit to the National Portrait Gallery. Anna’s heritage studies continue, and the NPG is a fascinating study – as well as one of our favourite museums in London. It has, of course, one of the largest collecti0n of early modern paintings in the world, and that’s an added bonus. As was the small Bob Dylan exhibition, of photographs taken from the new Barry Feinstein book. Also, the cafe apple juice Dan was joined in enjoying by an ex-pat Brummie chum was rather fine.
Also over the weekend, The Thick of It returned. The best British satire in years, it remains as sharp as ever: “He’s so dense light bends around him,” raged Malcolm Tucker, the show’s Alistair Campbell stand-in, as a last-ditch reshuffle tanked before his very eyes. The relationship between Tucker and the new DoSAC minister, Rebecca Front’s Nicola Murray, looks set to be a particular highlight of the new series. The show’s specials, great as they were, suffered from the conspicuous absence of Chris Langham as the departments now-ousted minister, Hugh Abbot, and the restoration – in fresh form – of this important dynamic will benefit the show considerably. (As will the return of Roger Allam as shadow minister Peter Mannion, please.)