Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hop Off, You Kangaroos!

The Irish Daily Scum Mail has seemingly attempted to distance itself from the Jan Moir's controversial column about the death of Stephen Gately, claiming it is 'independent' of the UK edition of the paper. Moir's column, which has to date prompted over twenty five thousand complaints to the Press Complaints Commission, was not published in the Irish editions of the Daily Scum Mail on Friday. The Irish Scum Mail On Sunday carried four pages of coverage on Gately's funeral in Dublin and printed a disclaimer, as did the Irish Daily Scum Mail on Monday, which statedy: 'Comments made by journalist Jan Moir about Stephen Gately in her newspaper column caused controversy on Friday. Jan Moir's column has never been published in the Irish Daily Mail which, like the Irish Mail On Sunday, is edited and printed entirely in Ireland – independent of the UK titles – and does not have an online presence.'

Strictly Come Dancing duo Laila Rouass and Anton Du Beke have been rowing backstage again, according to a report. The dance partners clashed hours before Saturday night's live show and ended up missing their dress rehearsal slot, the Sun claims. Rouass allegedly had to be calmed by a BBC executive before they finally had their jive session out of show order. A source said: 'She got so upset she ended up in tears in [the executive's] office.' Meanwhile, Rouass is said to have become angry yet again when Du Beke made a joke about her backless catsuit live on-air later that day. Responding to their disappointing judges' score, Anton had commented: 'Pop the frock on back to front - we'll all have a lovely time.' The insider added: 'Laila was stunned.'

Cheryl Cole's performance on Sunday's X Factor appeared to go a bit smoother than Whitney Houston's who faced an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. It was the award winning singer's first performance in Britain for twelve years but half-way through Houston's rendition of new single 'Million Dollar Bill' the strap of her long, sparking silver dress snapped. Sitting in the six hundred-strong crowd for her performance, a reporter for Sky News Online saw the forty six-year-old looking confused after the incident. She almost stopped singing and looked towards the judges for assistance. As Houston tried to do up her strap, Simon Cowell gave her an encouraging nod and she continued with the song. But that was not the only problem with her outfit, she also appeared to have difficulty walking in it. The singer had to keep hitching her frock up to avoid tripping over it and at one point she even bumped into one of her dancers as she made her way across the stage. At the end of her performance she joked: 'I've sung myself out of my clothes.'

Robbie Williams has dismissed speculation that he took drugs before his performance on The X Factor earlier this month. The thirty five-year-old insisted that he was merely experiencing the effects of nerves and too much caffeine when he took to the stage to sing his new single 'Bodies.' 'People are alluding to the fact that I may have been high on something but I can only say I wasn't - because I wasn't,' Williams is quoted by the Mirror as saying. 'Unless someone spiked my drink and I would have noticed. I know what various drugs feel like. It's the same as the deer in headlights, the deer's not on anything other than fear. I'd had a few coffees before I went on, that's all.'

Coronation Street actress Maggie Jones is continuing to recover following her recent health scare, an ITV spokesman has announced. The veteran soap actress, who plays Blanche Hunt on the Weatherfield drama, was said to be in a 'critical' condition after being rushed to hospital for life-saving surgery earlier this month. However, producers later said that the seventy five-year-old was starting to improve. An ITV representative has now told the Manchester Evening News that Jones is 'continuing in the same direction' as she continues to be cared for at Hope Hospital in Salford. Full details of Jones's emergency operation have still not been made public. It is thought that she was taken off life support last week after showing the first signs of improvement.

The BBC has rejected Welsh Secretary Peter Hain's warning that it could face legal action over BNP leader Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time. The show is due to feature Mr Griffin and other panellists on 22 October. Mr Hain wrote to the BBC's director general arguing the British National Party was 'an unlawful body' after a court ruling on its membership policy. But Mark Thompson said the court case did not 'legally inhibit' the BBC from allowing Mr Griffin on the programme. In a letter to Mr Hain the BBC chief said: 'It remains the BBC's obligation to scrutinise and hold to account all elected representatives and to do so with due impartiality. We are also advised that if there were to be any election - local or national - tomorrow, the BNP would still be able to field candidates. We therefore do not agree that the developments in the Central London County Court proceedings legally inhibit the BBC from allowing Nick Griffin to participate on the Question Time programme and our position remains as set out.'

While the Brazilian Grand Prix over the weekend saw Jenson Button taking the World Champion title, it also revved up viewing figures for BBC1. An average audience of 6.6 million people tuned in on Sunday afternoon to see the British racing driver recover from a starting position of fourteenth to finish fifth in Sao Paulo and become Britain's tenth world champion. It was the penultimate race in this year's Formula One championship. Shown on BBC1 from 4.00 to 7.10 pm, it netted an average audience share of 34.4 per cent.

James Corden and Jamie Redknapp have signed up to front a new Sky1 show called A League Of Their Own. Corden will referee the panel show, which has recruited former England footballer Kedknapp as a team captain opposite England test cricketer Stuart Broad. League will set two teams of comedians, celebrity sports fans and major league sports stars against each other to see who has the most in-depth sporting knowledge.

Lesley Sharp has said that the story of The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice pre-empted some of the themes of The X Factor. The actress stars as the mother of Laura Hoff in a new West End production of Jim Cartwright's play, with the title role taken by former X Factor singer Diana Vickers. Sharp told Metro: 'Jim could never have predicted it when he wrote it but the play is a strong reply to all that. You might be able to mimic other styles but what's important is that you are true to who you are. You have to find your own voice.' She added of the new run: '[Cartwright] wanted to do a production for a long time but they couldn't do it until they found someone to play Little Voice. Jane Horrocks left such huge shoes to fill.'

V will receive a UK preview ahead of its US premiere, it has been announced. Sci Fi channel, which recently acquired the rights to the ABC miniseries, have announced that it will screen ten minutes of the pilot episode at this month's London MCM Expo. 'V is one of the most highly anticipated series of the year - and we can't think of a better place to showcase it and whet fans' appetites then at MCM Expo - where we know it's going to go down an absolute storm,' said Sci Fi's James Newton. 'Like millions of other people I watched the original V and can't forget those jaw-dropping moments which managed to chill a generation. Who can forget the rat-eating scene or the lizard-tongued baby? Audiences will be left equally gripped by this brand new series and anyone seeing our exclusive preview at the convention will be on tenterhooks until the full season launch on Sci Fi next year.'

Joss Whedon will reportedly direct an upcoming episode of FOX's musical comedy Glee. According to Entertainment Weekly, the Dollhouse creator will help out on one of the back nine episodes recently ordered by FOX. Showrunner Ryan Murphy confirmed: 'Joss directed one of the great musical episodes in the history of television on Buffy so this is a great, if unexpected, fit. I'm thrilled he'll be loaning us his fantastic, groundbreaking talent.'

Heroes producer Adam Armus has confirmed that a major character will be killed off later this season. Last week, it was reported that a leading male cast-member would be exiting the show in an upcoming episode. 'We always pull surprises on Heroes,' Armus told SciFi Wire.'"That's all I have to say. It is an epic battle. It's an epic struggle between two very well-loved characters, and it's going to be really compelling.' If it is then it'll be the first thing on Heroes that has been compelling since the tail-end of series one.

The songwriter behind The Addams Family theme tune, Vic Mizzy, has died at the age of ninety three. Mizzy also wrote the theme tune to comedy series Green Acres and songs for recording artists including Dean Martin, Doris Day and Perry Como. His hits included 'The Whole World Is Singing My Song.' Mizzy's manager Jonathan Wolfson confirmed his client had died at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, but said he did not know the cause of death.

Journalist and broadcaster Joan Bakewell has described the BBC's plans to clamp down on bad language as 'far too sweeping a diktat.' Bakewell, whose 2001 series Taboo listed the words people find most offensive, warned there was a major danger of censorship stifling creativity. She argued that 'society needs taboos' and spoke up for 'the right to shock.' Earlier this month, the BBC Trust announced it is toughening its stance on bad language with a new clampdown which means channel controllers must approve any use of the strongest swearwords. Proposed new editorial guidelines were announced, governing issues such as impartiality, accuracy, harm and offence and the Trust said use of the most controversial words must be 'justified.' The plans follow increased concerns about standards in the wake of Sachsgate and mean that it may be necessary to bleep out language even post-watershed. Writing in the Radio Times, Bakewell referred to the Strictly Come Dancing race row, saying it was right that using insulting words like 'paki' could get you into trouble 'as Anton Du Beke deservedly found out.' She continued: 'Casual swearing is lazy, ugly, a glib way to let off steam on the football pitch or in the kitchen. I don’t want it on my television at all. But when it's part of a tense, gritty drama - such as those set among soldiers at war like Occupation - or of an uproarious lampoon of our political system such as The Thick Of It, then that’s a proper use of the language and should be allowed.'

The BBC has pulled the plug on Christmas parties 'in light of the economic climate.' Last year the corporation halved its staff party budget from fifty pounds per head to twenty five pounds but it has now got rid of it altogether. Instead, it is encouraging staff to organise and pay for their own Christmas parties – warning that they cannot go via the back door and claim them back on expenses. The BBC blamed the move on the downturn but staff at the corporation, which has a fixed licence fee income of £3.4billion a year, say it is more to do with the political climate and fear of negative headlines. Erik Huggers, director of BBC Future Media and Technology, told his department: 'We hope that during this recession, you can appreciate the reasoning behind this change of policy. That said, Christmas is not "cancelled." Although no expenses related to Christmas parties will be approved, there is nothing to stop departments from organising their own parties or Christmas nights out.'

Tessa Finch is to leave The ONE Show and become head of development for Vision Productions. Finch, who led the launch of the early peak juggernaut more than two years ago and is now billed as its 'head,' will take up the new position in January, reporting directly to Pat Younge, Vision Productions' incoming chief creative officer. She will be responsible for 'large scale' projects across a range of platforms and genres – including entertainment, factual, comedy and drama – and will work closely with the existing development teams. Acting chief creative officer Nicolas Brown said: 'Tessa's impressive track record of creative successes, most recently in developing and launching The ONE Show which was the biggest single commission in the history of BBC Factual, made her the stand out candidate for this new position. Pat Younge is keen to hit the ground running when he starts in January, so making this appointment now allows for her to manage a smooth transition and to get properly up to speed in her new role.' Finch has already been replaced as executive producer on The One Show by Doug Carnegie, who has previously held the role but left recently on a secondment to Comic Relief.

STV has unveiled a raft of original new shows and acquisitions, including Lorraine Kelly helping people overcome mental illness and an observational documentary about Scottish troops in Afghanistan. The six-part factual series Make Me Happier will be produced by STV Productions and will see Kelly team up with Angus Purden to encourage a group of people with mental illnesses to engage with the community around them again. STVP will also produce the six-part series Scots at War which will tell the experiences of Scottish troops on the front line, and The Search for Sherlock Holmes. This movie-themed special will be timed to co-incide with Guy Richie's upcoming movie and will see TV cop David Hayman conduct his own investigation into the fascination with the detective. The broadcaster has also acquired the hit Australian gangland murder drama Underbelly. Set in Melbourne, the thirteen episode series focuses on the city's brutal underworld killings between 1995 and 2004.

The BBC Trust Editorial Standards Committee has upheld a complaint that talk around the relationship between Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson in BBC3's The Most Annoying People of 2008 had reinforced negative stereotypes of lesbians. Presenters Ron Jeremy and DJ Spoony had been 'crude and offensive' rather than ironic. And, they also considered that the latter has a stupid name, too. Rather than 'sending up a common attitude adopted by heterosexual people,' the comments had appeared to reinforce stereotypical views, judged the committee. Accusations of pro-Israeli bias in a Radio4 Today item and on the Panorama website, meanwhile, were not upheld. Nor was an objection that a 2008 edition of The ONE Show failed to make adequate distinction between the political aims of the British National Party and both The British Union of Fascists and The National Front.

Craig Revel Horwood has insisted that he did nothing wrong in comparing Strictly Come Dancing contestant Jo Wood to a 'bush kangaroo.' Wood and her professional partner Brendan Cole walked away from the judging panel after Horwood made the remark on Saturday's show. Speaking on It Takes Two about the incident, Horwood said: 'Obviously Brendan does not understand a technique we use in dancing and acting called animal imagery. It's so you can show how a dance looks through animals. We do it all the time, we do it with children. Unfortunately, [the performance] was very skippy and went totally against the grain of the Viennese waltz. Sadly, I wasn't given the opportunity to say much more.' Asked about the criticism he has received over the comment, the judge added: 'For me, it's water off a duck's back. If I think one thing, I will say it. That's my opinion and that's what I'm paid to do. If you don't like it, you are not a very good sportsman.' Cole has said that he will continue to walk off if Revel Horwood makes negative comments. Earlier, Bruno Tonioli had described Wood as looking like a 'grasshopper.' 'What I'm doing on Saturday night is I'm looking out for Jo,' the professional dancer told Claudia Whatsherface. 'She doesn't need a barrage of embarrassment from grasshopper to Bush kangaroo. She's putting in as many hours as she can to do a great performance and to get that negativity is hurtful and wrong. They are there to give constructive criticism not belittle people. The thing is that Bruno has already made the point that it was skippy. It's the judges' job to give us something to take away to next week. Unfortunately, Craig has been negative to us since day one. I find it a little bit too much. So on Saturday I thought, "I'm not going to give him the air time and I'm going to walk away." I feel bad that I left and didn't hear the other judges because I respect them. I'm sorry to Len and Alesha for not hearing them out.' Speaking about his partner Wood, he added: 'She is fine and we will always take it on the chin. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We can turn around and say, "I wish I hadn't done that," but I'm a person who does what I think at the time. But Jo and me are united. If Craig continues the abuse, I will continue to walk. I'm sorry if that upsets the fans.'

Tess Daly and Vernon Kay are considering moving to Los Angeles so that they can work on TV in America, it has been reported. The Strictly Come Dancing host hinted that the couple may head to the US in 2010. 'We're thinking of spending time in LA next year,' Daly told Look magazine. 'It'd be lovely to move there and combine a fabulous lifestyle with work - what's not to love?' Well ... unemployment for a kick-off?

N-Dubz star Tulisa has branded La Roux singer Elly Jackson 'a twat' for comments she made about other acts in the record industry. The twenty one-year-old, who is currently putting the finishing touches to new N-Dubz CD Against All Odds, criticised Jackson for her negative opinion on commercial urban music. 'She basically said all women who do urban music and UK R&B dress too sexily, so when I heard that, I was insulted,' she told Heat. 'I'm not one to bitch. Even if I don't like someone, it's not my style to do that. Then I hear that she's dissing everyone and saying the music is crap. I mean, that's just rude. Where was she brought up - in a barn? You don't talk about other people's jobs like that. It's just wrong. I think she's a twat.' Asked who would win in a fight between the pair, Tulisa insisted that she would come out unscathed. 'Oh, definitely me. She wouldn't last five minutes with me. I've been sparring with Fazer and Dappy since the age of five,' she said. 'I don't have to tell you the amount of black eyes I've given. No doubt about that. She don't wanna go there.'

And, finally ...Horrorshow!

No comments: