The Black Mirror creator recalls his days as an acerbic TV critic, insulting rock royalty, and the shows that he is most jealous of in 2021

In 2000, a relatively unknown video games journalist called Charlie Brooker took over as the Guardian Guide’s TV reviewer. His Screen Burn columns were like nothing else in British media before or since. Passionate and merciless, they guided readers through a decade that saw the beginnings of reality TV and the “golden age” of drama. The columns spawned two books and the BBC TV series Screen Wipe. Brooker wrote his final Screen Burn column in 2010, and then disappeared into obscurity – save for producing the TV phenomenon Black Mirror, which boasts Jon Hamm, Michaela Coel and Daniel Kaluuya among its stars, as well as inking a multi-show deal with Netflix, the fruits of which include last year’s Death to 2020 and, arriving on 28 September, Attack of the Hollywood Clichés!. The Guide caught up with Charlie to discuss TV criticism, causing an international incident involving George W Bush and the mysteries of The White Lotus’s notorious suitcase scene …

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