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Culture vulture: my June hitlist

Less time propping up bars means more time enjoying the creative arts right?! From documentaries and radio to my recommended read, here's what I'm loving this month.

I’M WATCHING: The Last Dance

This 10-part Netflix documentary follows the story of basketball legend Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls team in their ’80s and ’90s imperial phase. I promise you don’t need to be interested in basketball whatsoever (I’m not) to find the series utterly compelling. Come for the hilariously boxy ’90s suits and Madonna cameo (remember she dated Jordan’s teammate Dennis Rodman?), stay for the often-poignant exploration of friendship, teamwork and ambition.

I’M LISTENING TO: Desert Island Discs

The BBC Radio 4 series – which asks guests to chose eight tracks, a book and a luxury to take to a desert island – has been running since 1941 and there’s something deeply soothing about listening to its podcast version during these chaotic times. Desert Island Discs will always endure! The most recent episode featured lockdown hero Martin Lewis (Mr Money Saving Expert campaigned for self-employed workers and set up the Coronavirus Poverty Emergency Fund to help small charities) and is a bit of a tear-jerker, as he speaks about losing his mother when he was 11. I have a new ritual of listening to DID on my daily walk and losing myself in someone else’s story.

I’M STREAMING: The Madness of George III

It’s not often they you get to experience the best theatre from the front row, let alone for FREE – but one of the silver linings of lockdown is that the National Theatre Live is releasing loads of shows for home viewing on its YouTube channel. One of my favourites so far was A Streetcar Named Desire, starring the brilliant Gillian Anderson – you’ve missed the boat on that one I’m afraid (shows are only available for seven days) but The Madness of George III is dropping on 11 June and looks like a goodie. Written by Alan Bennett and starring Olivier Award-winners Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey) the plot follows the King’s downfall at the hands of ambitious politicians and the scheming Prince of Wales.

I’M DANCING TO: The Glastonbury Experience

With my big Glastonbury plans scuppered this year (sob), I’ll be tuning into the BBC to celebrate the festival’s 50th birthday at home, from 25 – 29 Jun. BBC television, BBC iPlayer, BBC radio and BBC Sounds will all plundering the Glastonbury archives with iconic performances from David Bowie, Adele, Beyoncé and The Rolling Stones. Set up a tent on your lawn, cover yourself in glitter and erm, don’t shower for three days and it’ll be just like the real thing.

I’M READING: The New Girl by Harriet Walker

Film rights have already been snapped up for this gripping debut thriller by The Times’ fashion editor. Margot is, er, a fashion editor (well, they do say write about what you know) who goes on maternity leave but can’t help feeling there’s something slightly odd about her replacement – or is she just being paranoid? Retire to your garden with a cuppa and read it in one fell swoop like I did.

I’M LOVING: London Fashion Week

Anyone else lost all concept of fashion during lockdown? I’ll be virtually attending London Fashion Week this month, which is going online for the first time in 40 years, to rehabilitate my personal style and avoid funny looks in the street when life returns to normal (sweatpants inside, bikini in the garden is my worrying new uniform!). It’s going gender neutral and instead of physical shows there’ll be interviews, digital showrooms and podcasts.

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