*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

TV review: Britain’s Best Beach Huts, Rose Ayling-Ellis: Signs for change, and We Hunt Together

07 July 2023

Channel 4

Ty Bowring and Laura Jackson in Britain’s Best Beach Huts (Channel 4, Thursday of last week)

Ty Bowring and Laura Jackson in Britain’s Best Beach Huts (Channel 4, Thursday of last week)

CLERGY on holiday, to their families’ disgust, like nothing better than visiting churches. But a civil registrar in Herne Bay has gone one better: so as not to be parted from her vocation, she has created, in a shed on what remains of that resort’s pier, and has had licensed her very own wedding chapel (strictly non-religious, of course).

In Britain’s Best Beach Huts (Channel 4, Thursday of last week), The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades and far too enthusiastic and repetitious Laura Jackson seek out the quirkiest and most admirable examples of this peculiar national obsession. The definition of the genre seemed to me suspiciously elastic: double huts and one example perched on a clifftop in a garden were happily included. This week’s prize winner, however, was surprisingly moving: Ty Bowring, who lives with autism and a learning difficulty, has modified his hut so that it is accessible and kitted out to provide a warm welcome and a day on the beach for people suffering from life-shortening conditions. It creates life-affirming experiences and memories for those who are often cribbed and confined.

Liberation and opportunity for people traditionally considered to have limited freedom was central to Rose Ayling-Ellis: Signs for change (BBC1, Monday of last week). Ms Ayling-Ellis’s sensational triumph on Strictly Come Dancing and her lead role in EastEnders have greatly altered public perception of the talents and abilities of deaf people. But, besides chronicling her personal achievements, the programme focused more memorably on the questions and issues that she posed.

Her mother still worries about whether she made the right educational choices: is it right to teach deaf children to speak, or is that denigrating rather than celebrating their identities? Some of those campaigning for British Sign Language to be accepted as an official national language say that exclusively signing people possess a uniquely flexible and beautiful medium of communication. And, despite all her success, Ms Ayling-Ellis is clearly still scarred by discrimination and abuse.

Churchwardens (like clergy) occasionally fall short of the high standards required by their calling; but, surely, the brutal murders committed by Baba Lenga in the new thriller series We Hunt Together (BBC1, Monday of last week) are exceptional failings in living up to that exalted office? This is very dark TV indeed: despite his faith, Lenga cannot escape the appalling killings that he was forced to commit as a child soldier in Africa; his partner, Frederika, a sex worker, reveals depth after depth of callous psychosis.

This couple, black man/white woman, are pursued by a parallel black/white police team: the plot’s symmetrical pattern and hysterical plausibility is as intellectually satisfying as the brutality and emotional depths are distressing to watch and remember.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Church Times Bookshop

Save money on books reviewed or featured in the Church Times. To get your reader discount:

> Click on the “Church Times Bookshop” link at the end of the review.

> Call 0845 017 6965 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

The reader discount is valid for two months after the review publication date. E&OE

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available

 

SAVE THE DATE

Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website

 

ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)