Jade Goody, Popsessed, Christina Dalcher, Tove Lo

Hello and welcome to The Edit,

I hope you’ve had a good week. Production began on series two of my podcast Show This Thread yesterday which has given me a bit of a lift.

It looks like UK subscribers are going to need to strap in this weekend as a storm lashes the country. It’s already caused the cancellation of some outdoor events and travel disruption looks inevitable.

Probably best to do a big shop on your way home tonight, stay indoors all weekend and enjoy these five newish things I’ve picked out to read, watch or listen to.

📺 Euphoria (Sky Atlantic)

Season One of this controversial HBO series in now streaming in full for UK viewers. Drug addict Rue and her new friend Jules are at the centre of a group of teenagers tackling love, life and sex in suburban America. The show deals with issues including toxic masculinity, revenge porn and web-camming to name just a few. There are moments that were shocking to me as a 35-year-old man, perhaps not to a teenage audience though? It’s a long while since I was one!

🎧 Popsessed (Apple Podcasts)

This is one of the best pop culture podcasts on the Internet. Each week Holly Shortall and Conor Behan pull apart the big stories with charm, sophistication and a degree of intellect rarely found elsewhere. It caused me to describe the show as pop culture’s answer to Newsnight on Twitter earlier in the week.

📖 Vox by Christina Dalcher

In a near future America, women are limited to speaking 100 words per day. Any more and a thousands volts of electricity will be delivered by a sort of barbaric FitBit attached to their wrists. Dr Jean McClellan hates this and when she is called upon by the President to help save his brother, she begins to unravel an even more shocking evil at the heart of the government. Gripping, shocking and at times terrifyingly plausible. Vox is a must read. I can’t wait to read whatever is next from Dalcher. Kindle edition is just 99p on Amazon!

📺 Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain

Ten years since Jade Goody’s death at the age of just 27, Channel 4 are looking back at the rise and fall of arguably the biggest reality TV star of all time. Whether you loved her, loathed her or were entirely indifferent; this three-part documentary is really worth a watch as it examines the broader cultural context in which Jade happened. For what it’s worth, I met her once (post-BB/pre-CBB) very much off-duty in a country pub and found her charming, funny and far more intelligent than the character she portrayed in the glare of the public eye.

🎶 Tove Lo - Bad As The Boys (feat. ALMA)

A lovely summery pop song from two of my favourite lady singers. I’ve added this and some other top new tunes to Radio Edit: The Playlist which I urge you to follow on Spotify.

Tweet me your thoughts on any of the above - I’m @robgillett - or hit reply to this email to infiltrate my busy inbox.

That’s it for now. Have a lovely weekend!


Rob x

The Great Hack

Blown Away, Us on DVD, 90s Summer Playlist, Jon Ronson


How are you doing? I melted last week in the heat and could not revive my sweaty fingers in time to send out The Edit. I know I shouldn’t say it but I’m really glad it has cooled down for now.

A warm welcome to any new subscribers, I know a lot of you were enticed by the Chernobyl competition which has now closed. Congratulations to the winners - Mark Tuckfield and John Eccleston - your Blu-rays are on the way! I’ll have a new competition for you very soon.

I’ve just seen these wonderful pink seesaws reaching across the US-Mexico border on Twitter - what a joyful thing worthy of sharing.

Do let me know what you think of the below and tell everyone you know about The Edit on social media - the big blue button at the bottom lets you share it on Twitter really easily.

Enjoy the rest of your week. I might drop in on Friday as well.

Thanks for reading!

Rob x

The Great Hack

I’m still reeling from watching this new documentary about the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. It plays out as more of a horror movie. If you have a Facebook or any social media account and care about democracy at all, you really need to watch this. I’ve spent a lot of time since with my finger hovering over the ‘delete my account’ button but realise it might be too late.

Blown Away

This new reality show on Netflix is Bake Off but for the art of glass blowing. It’s a lot better than it sounds and I challenge you not to laugh every single time they mention “personal glory holes”. Also, look out for Deborah - a glass blower from New York City with 30 years experience who really likes to tell it like it is.


Director Joran Peels’s follow up to Get Out is out this week on DVD & Blu-ray. It tells the story of the Wilson family who, while staying at their vacation home, are confronted by evil twin versions of themselves. Us strikes a careful balance between being something truly original while retaining many of the hallmarks of a great horror movie. There’s an excellent twist as well so don’t Google it before watching!

Hot 90s Summer

I put this playlist together last week when it felt like the heatwave would never end. It’s a selection of summer hits from the 90s which for me evoke childhood memories of endless scorching school holidays. I appreciate it might not be the ideal soundtrack to a rainy Tuesday but I can assure you it will sound glorious when the sunshine returns.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

I’m currently researching the way in which reactions to things play out on social media and tore through this in two days. Looking specifically at the way public shaming occurs on Twitter, Ronson questions whether what may have at first seemed like a democratisation of justice is actually a dangerous form of social control. Along the way he meets people who’s lives have been ruined by a single tweet and suggests the nature of a ‘trial by Twitter’ mentality has more in common with 18th Century public shaming than any form of progress.

The Edit: Drag SOS | GameFace | The Farm

Five things to read, watch or listen to this weekend

Hi there!

How’s your week been? Have you watched the trailer for Cats yet?

If you are a new subscriber, welcome to The Edit - my weekly email with five things to read, watch or listen to. I hope you find something below to enjoy this weekend.

Just a quick reminder that there’s still time to win a copy of Chernobyl on Blu-ray. The show picked up 19 Emmy nominations this week! Click here to enter.

Right then, let’s get on with this week’s five…

Drag SOS (Channel 4/All 4)

A group of drag queens head to some of the UK’s more provincial towns in search of people in need of a drag makeover as a sort of leg-up to fulfil their dreams and ambitions. Drag SOS is surprisingly touching and insightful in places. I’m really happy that a format which could have been used to highlight divisions in our society, actually serves as a reminder that we all have a lot more in common than we think.

The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Golden Oaks is a luxury retreat, quietly transforming the fertility industry. Women receive the best of everything, from organic meals to daily massages and fitness training, provided they are willing to produce the perfect baby for someone else. This novel is a dark and funny mix which touches on race, class and inequality through the prism of what is ultimately a very extreme example of the gig economy.

Charli XCX & Christine and the Queens - Gone

In an era of collabs for the sake of collaborating, with many questionable results along the way, here’s one that makes perfect sense:

GameFace (Channel 4/All 4)

The second series of Roisin Conaty’s sitcom has just started. I’ve arrived late to the party and am just making my way through the first series on All 4. Roisin plays Marcella, a woman on a mission to improve her life with the help of her mates, dubious life-coach and ever-patient driving instructor. Genuine LOLs.

A Day Inside The BBFC (The Guardian)

Sex, violence, f-bombs and randy sausages. Simon Hattenstone spends a day inside the British Board of Film Classification’s headquarters to find out how they decide what rating the films we see in the cinema get.

BONUS: Summer 1999

A new playlist for you this week featuring the hits of summer 1999. Still the best summer of music ever. I refuse to believe it was 20 years ago!

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Please let me know what you think about any of the above by hitting reply or tweeting @theeditmail. If you enjoyed reading The Edit do forward it on to your friends and family or post about it on social media.

Have a great weekend!

Rob x

Always Be My Maybe

The Edit: Netflix latest rom-com, Stranger Things and win Chernobyl on Blu-ray

Hello friend,

Welcome to a bumper edition of The Edit, which should hopefully keep you entertained all weekend.

Don’t miss out on my Chernobyl competition. I’ve got two copies of the hit series on Blu-ray to give away - it’s very easy to enter - click here or read on to find out how.

As always, let me know what you think of this issue or send your own recommendations of things to read, watch or listen to by hitting reply. If you enjoy The Edit, please tell other people about it either by forwarding the e-mail on or posting a link to on social media.

Here are this week’s picks:

🎬 Always Be My Maybe

Explaining the plot of rom-coms always makes them sound terrible, so I’m not going to do that here. This Netflix movie starring, written and produced by Ali Wong and Randall Park does things a little differently but still very comfortably fulfils the basic requirement of laugh, laugh, laugh then cry your eyes out essential to any film in the genre. Oh, and it also stars Keanu Reeves playing himself in one of the most bizarre performances you will see this year (or maybe ever).

Netflix released a podcast director’s commentary track for Always Be My Maybe (The Verge)

Mariah Carey's Reaction To Netflix's 'Always Be My Maybe' Couldn't Be More Perfect (Bustle)

How Ali Wong, Randall Park Recruited Keanu Reeves to Play a Version of Himself (THR)

📺 Dark Money

The parents of a child actor who has been abused by a Hollywood producer accept a £3 million pay off in exchange for their NDA-enforced silence. This is a difficult and disturbing watch. It’s compelling viewing as we see the impact of the situation upon the family but offers very little in terms of light to balance the shade. The first two parts are on BBC iPlayer now, with the series concluding on Monday and Tuesday next week.

Meet the cast of BBC drama Dark Money (Radio Times)

Protect child actors from abuse, pleads star of new BBC drama Dark Money (The Guardian)

📖 The Madonna Of Bolton by Matt Cain

Publishers told Matt Cain his semi-autobiographical novel, strung together with the music of Madonna, was too gay so he turned to the crowd-funding platform Unbound to get it out in the world. A year later, with film rights sold and a paperback edition on the shelves he is well and truly proving his doubters wrong.

The story spans almost three decades of Charlie Matthews life, from his discovery and immediate obsession with Madonna as a nine-year-old through to leaving for university and a new life in London and on to the challenges of going back home and reckoning with his parents inevitable mortality. There’s a familiarity to Charlie’s experience which I think makes this book so appealing to gay men, and also anyone who has felt like an outsider.

"I was told my book was 'too gay' to publish - but now it's going to be made into a movie" (Manchester Evening News)

📺 Stranger Things 3

I’m fairly sure I don’t need to set this one up but I’m including it this week for anyone who is on the fence about starting the new series. You absolutely should. I wasn’t a big fan of the season two; I found it quite boring at times and felt that it was only really held up by its own hype. The new series could not be more different. It is really fun and entertaining with just enough frights to keep you on edge. The world of Hawkins is so meticulously rendered and immersive that it is no surprise 18 million people watched all eight episodes last weekend!

BONUS: Stranger Summer - a Stranger Things inspired Spotify playlist

Stranger Things 3 review – still frightening as hell, but far more fun (The Guardian)

Netflix Is Boasting About Record Numbers for Stranger Things Season 3 (Vulture)

🎧 The Dorothy Project

The lovely Alice Beverton-Palmer explores the connections between certain women and gay male society in this fascinating new podcast series. So far she’s spoken to comedian and London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé, author Juno Dawson and female drag queen Fanny Minka who all offer valuable and thought-provoking perspectives on what makes certain female characters so appealing to a gay male audience.

BONUS: I recently spoke to Alice about The Dorothy Project and Twitter (where she works) on my podcast Show This Thread.


I’m giving away a copy of Chernobyl on Blu-ray to two lucky readers. All you have to do is subscribe at (which you most likely already have) and then retweet this:

If you didn’t catch Chernobyl on Sky Atlantic earlier in the year, you need to see this series! Not only does it shed light on one of the most shocking incidents in modern history, it is also brilliantly acted and utterly compelling to watch. The best TV show I have seen this year.

Chernobyl is out now to download and keep, on DVD from Monday and on Blu-ray from 29th July.

Competition open to UK readers only, closes 23:59:59 on 29th July.

🎶 Radio Edit

Are you following The Playlist on Spotify? It’s my regularly updated playlist of the 30 best new songs with recent new additions from Naaz, Au/Ra and Ashley O.

The Radio Edit Spotify channel is also home to my themed playlists including Forgotten 1990s Hits and Stranger Summer.

Phew! That’s all for this week. A huge thank you for reading, especially if you have got this far. If you’re not yet subscribed to receive issues in your inbox, whack the blue button below.

Have a great weekend!

Rob x

Competition: Win 'Chernobyl' on Blu-ray

Your chance to own the hit Sky Atlantic series

To celebrate the home entertainment release of the hit Sky Atlantic drama Chernobyl, I’m giving two lucky subscribers the chance to win a copy on Blu-ray.

All you have to do is make sure you are signed up to The Edit at and then retweet this to enter:

UK residents only. Closes at 23:59:59 BST on Monday 29th July. Winners will be picked at random from all valid entries.

Chernobyl is available to download and keep now, on DVD from Monday 15th July and Blu-ray from Monday 29th July.

‘ENTHRALLING, QUIETLY spectacular, meticulously researched’ (The Observer) Sky Original drama Chernobyl explores the truth surrounding the disastrous nuclear power plant explosion in 1986 – a story of incredible heroism and sacrifice, but also shocking lies and conspiracy.

The result of extensive research, Chernobyl seeks to tell the stories of those directly involved in causing the catastrophe, and those affected by the nuclear fallout felt across the world.

Jared Harris (Mad Men, The Crown) stars as Valery Legasov, a nuclear physicist who is one of the first people to grasp the scope of the nuclear disaster. Ulana Khomyuk (Emily WatsonApple Tree Yard, The Theory of Everything) is a scientist committed to getting to the bottom of the cause, while Lyudmilla Ignatenko (Jessie BuckleyWild Rose, Beast) is the wife of a firefighter who was first on the scene. Stellan Skarsgård (Mamma Mia, Thor) plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shchergina, leading the government commission from a safe distance.

Directed by The Walking Dead’s Jonas Renck, the series is committed to a realism that refuses to shy away from the horrors, both physical and psychological, inflicted upon the victims of this uniquely horrifying event.

A deeply moving story about how individuals act when faced with something inexplicable, this drama seeks to honour the spirit of those who helped stop the devastation from spreading even further.

The BBC calls it ‘TV that doesn't just get you thinking, it stops you sleeping ★★★★★,’ and the Irish Independent says, ‘Devastatingly powerful – no piece of dramatised non-fiction has ever felt this authentic ★★★★★.’

Investigating the lengths to which governments will go to cover up atrocities and suppress the spread of information, Chernobyl also acts as a timely warning: the truth will out.

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