Diamond Geezers and Gold Dealers: Hatton Garden characters make a gem of a documentary

By Sandy Rashty, July 24, 2014

In London's prime jewellery quarter of Hatton Garden, doing well in business depends heavily on who you know. Perhaps that is why so many Jewish traders - from the Charedi diamond merchants to secular shop owners - have managed to prosper. An old-school way of doing business persists.


Big Brother watch: Will Davies now learn?

By Sandy Rashty, June 12, 2014

Sigh. Big Brother is back and it is more mind-numbing than ever.

Sixteen fame-hungry contestants are vying for the show's prize money and the possibility of a subsequent media career.

But no housemate's entrance has been more embarrassing than that of former JFS student Matthew Davies.


Spoilt boy's Big Brother gaffe

By Sandy Rashty, June 12, 2014

An antisemitism watchdog has criticised a former JFS student for recycling "stereotypes about Jews and money" on the Big Brother reality TV show.


Friday's family fortunes

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, June 12, 2014

Of all the TV programmes I'm involved with, the one that gives me most pleasure is Channel 4's Friday Night Dinner, in which I play Auntie Val. The programme follows the weekly exploits of two 20-something (acting 12) Jewish sons at their parents' home every Friday night for their chicken and crumble.


Young pundit has no time for elevenses

By Rosa Doherty, June 6, 2014

Grace McLaughlin has performed stand-up in Scandinavia, holds strong political opinions and has just made her TV debut on a Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall documentary. Grace is 11.

The west London schoolgirl was a voluble participant in Dinner at 11, broadcast on Monday, in which a group of children from diverse backgrounds were filmed at a dinner party discussing issues important to them.


Phyllis, 92, cooks up a storm

By Sandy Rashty, June 2, 2014

Grandmother Phyllis Morgan is about to make her TV debut at 92 as one of the stars of retail expert Mary Portas's show, Mary's Silver Service, which launches on Channel 4 next week.

The programme follows Portas in her quest to bring pensioners back into the workplace and Harrow-based Morgan is one of them.


Richard Desmond set to sell Channel 5 for £450 million

By Sandy Rashty, May 1, 2014

British Jewish businessman Richard Desmond is set to complete the sale of Channel 5 for £450 million, it was reported this morning.

The deal - which is yet to be confirmed by Mr Desmond or buyer Viacom, the American broadcaster and owner of MTV – falls £250 million short of the billionaire’s initial £700 million asking price.


Irving's Hitler hair sample shown to be fake

By Sandy Rashty, March 27, 2014

The sample of Hitler’s hair which Channel 4 paid Holocaust denier David Irving more than £3,000 for, has been revealed as a fake.

The Channel bought the sample for its documentary series Dead Famous DNA, but said tests had shown it was not authentic.


Channel 4 buys Hitler's hair from David Irving for £3,000

By Sandy Rashty, March 24, 2014

Channel 4 has defended its decision to buy a lock of Hitler’s hair from Holocaust-denier David Irving.

Television executives said paying £3,000 was justified on scientific grounds.

The hair will be tested on the channel “Dead Famous DNA” programme which will be broadcast this week.


The TV tale of the happy slappy beauty consultants

By Sandy Rashty, March 20, 2014

Take two cheeky blonde beauticians, tell them to sell a “ridiculous” face-slapping treatment to trusting customers and you’ve got a great TV show.

At least, that’s what Channel 4 executives thought when they recruited Melissa Hartzel and Sammy Jacobs to take part in Shop Secrets: Tricks of the Trade, whose opening episode was broadcast on Monday.