Cater's Choice

Nick Cater serves up this week's choice offerings from the media.

Nick Cater
Nick Cater




Mother does everything for selfish but charming Toby, 33, who is disabled.

Keen to carry on as normal after she dies, Toby tells no one and leaves the body in her bedroom, but his life begins to unravel in The Spastic King on Channel 4, 22 November.

This is not quite an everyday story of folk with disabilities, but then it is from "disabled writer Jack Thorne" - C4's description - whose credits include Skins, Shameless and more.

The penultimate episode of BBC2's Long Way Down, on 25 November, demonstrates Unicef's investment in celebrities and TV, as Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman take a day out of their John O'Groats to Cape Town motorcycle adventure to see the charity in action, rehabilitating former child soldiers in Uganda.




In a programme with implications for all those engaged in advocacy, Spectator editor Matthew d'Ancona argues in Radio 4's Power And The Web, on 25 November, that the internet is lowering the threshold for collective action.

A five-part Radio 4 series, The Centre Of Our World, starting on 27 November, examines the trends that could turn Birmingham's white majority into a minority in a few years, asking Irish, Polish, Chinese, Yemeni and Greek Cypriot people how they feel about England's second city.




Among recent and upcoming tomes is Ribbon Culture: Charity, Compassion and Public Awareness, by Sarah EH Moore (Palgrave Macmillan, £45), on the cultural and commercial dimensions of charitable campaigns. Altruism, by Niall Scott and Jonathan Seglow (Open University Press, £18.99), examines the economic, political, biological and psychological dimensions of this fragile virtue and whether a welfare state channels or crowds out altruistic sentiments.

Just About Managing: Effective Management for Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups (London Voluntary Service Council, £25) is the 4th edition of Sandy Adirondack's guide. Meanwhile, deep in the recesses of the Directory for Social Change must lurk a book-lined club library, where fusty old charity trustees smoke cigars, drink brandy and consult volumes such as the DSC's nicely-priced (£99), leather-bound 20th edition of the Directory of Grant-making Trusts.

Contact Nick Cater at


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