And so begins the 2018 Entertainment Top 25 as chosen by the entertainment obsessives at Red Bee.
25. Shechter Underground
Set in the dark, unsettling tunnels beneath Somerset House, internationally celebrated choreographer Hofesh Shechter's eight apprentice dancers led the audience through this atmospheric subterranean underbelly, dancing to a thumping, pulsating tribal score. It was incredibly intimate, at times moving and an experience that stood out for us this year.
24. FIRST MAN
As a mainstream movie with an autumn release date and a less-than-animated performance from Ryan Gosling, First Man may not be everyone's favourite for Oscar glory. However, it's our tip not so much for the acting (although Claire Foy delivers an exceptional emotional range with her facial expressions alone) but for the direction and craft. We thought the way it captures the experience of hurtling into space in a tiny tin can with rudimentary technology was extraordinarily visceral and powerful. It left us wondering whether man really, truly did go to the moon 50 years ago if he had to get there in a contraption that seemed less robust and technically-advanced than a rusty old Ford Cortina.
23. England football team’s YouTube channel
OK, so football didn't quite come home but the nation's love of its national team was restored in a way that brought back memories of Gazza's tears at Italia 90. The coverage by the BBC and ITV was as slick as ever, but we particularly enjoyed our regular visits to The Lions' Den. Who would have thought that an official online channel would have offered more than a series of anodyne interviews with wooden, media-trained players? But, presented with the natural and infectious enthusiasm of Craig Mitch, like this example with Eric Dier the day after his penalty heroics, The Lions' Den captured an England squad full of exuberance and bantz and put smiles on our faces throughout the World Cup.
22. Killing Eve
“I am going to find the thing you care about the most, and I am going to kill it.” The series that confirmed Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the freshest creative voice of a generation. Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw blazed onto the screen as funny, human three dimensional characters moving through a landscape styled in the freshest hues. A drama that our industry contacts across the planet from BBC America, to TVNZ, RTÉ to the BBC all report their audiences passionately falling for. The second series is reportedly being written by another Red Bee favourite Emerald Fennell, who will have a huge 2019 as she plays Camilla Shand in Series 3 of The Crown. We can’t wait.
21. Films to be Buried with WITH Brett Goldstein
What is so frustratingly brilliant about this podcast is that it’s one of those ideas that makes you cry out: 'How has no one done this before?!'. It's Desert Island Discs meets Empire magazine, as celebrities reminisce on and review the films that made them who they are. The ever-excellent writer/director/actor/comedian Brett Goldstein hosts, and his laidback rapport gives the show a much more down-to-earth atmosphere than that of its more serious Radio 4 older sister. The series opens with James Acaster, with subsequent highlights including Nish Kumar, Aisling Bea and Ricky Gervais.