Thursday, November 12, 2009

Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting

Phill Jupitus has confirmed that David Tennant has filmed a Doctor Who-themed Christmas special of Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Writing on his Twitter page, the comedian posted a photograph of himself with Tennant and revealed that the music quiz line-up will also include Doctor Who actors Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins. The show will additionally feature Jo Whiley and Jamie Cullum as well as regular panellist Noel Fielding. So, that's four reasons to watch it and three to give it a miss. Jupitus said: 'Cribbins sat next to me singing Right Said Fred... Utter joy.' It is rumoured that the episode, which will air on 16 December, could also feature the TARDIS, the Cybermen and the Ood.

In the least unexpected news of the season, FOX has cancelled Joss Whedon's Dollhouse although they state they will still show all thirteen season two episodes of the show. In a statement on fan website Whedoneque Joss thanks crew and the fans for their support: 'I don't have a lot to say. I'm extremely proud of the people I've worked with: my star, my staff, my cast, my crew. I feel the show is getting better pretty much every week, and I think you'll agree in the coming months. I'm grateful that we got to put it on, and then come back and put it on again. I'm off to pursue Internet ventures/binge drinking.' As Keith Telly Topping has said before, on several occasions, it's hard not to feel a bit sorry for everyone connected to Dollhouse which has turned into a genuinely brilliant, deep and complex drama. But, at the end of the day, hardly anybody was watching it. FOX surprised everyone by recommissioning the show after its initial run but, ultimately, you can only keep on making a show for so long before the numbers have to be counted.

Sheila Kelley has signed up to appear on Lost in its forthcoming final season. The forty eight-year-old actress has previously appeared in a guest-star capacity on episodes of ER and The Sopranos. She is probably best known for her three-year stint as secretary Gwen Taylor on LA Law. The actress is to portray the recurring role of Kendall on the popular ABC series, Entertainment Weekly reports. The character was described by the show's producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof as being 'an intellectual beauty with a sharp-edge to her wit who is caught committing corporate espionage and has to lie her way out.'

BBC2 has launched its new programming press pack for winter and spring 2010 which you can find here. Looks to be lots of good swag in that little lot.

Dannii Minogue has reportedly not spoken to X Factor head-honcho Simon Cowell since Sunday's show. The results programme saw Cowell choose to save the twins, John and Edward (just in case you hadn't heard by now), leaving the judging panel in deadlock. Minogue's protégé, Lucie Jones, was eliminated from the contest by the earlier public vote. A friend of Minogue's told the Sun: 'Dannii has declared war on Simon. She is so angry with him and hasn't spoken to him since the show. Backstage on Sunday night it was very frosty and Simon just made things worse by smirking all the time.' Doesn't he always do that? Meanwhile, it is being reported that Cowell has banned X Factor contestants from speaking about Sunday night's controversial result publicly. The music mogul is currently facing something of a fan-backlash after indirectly causing the exit of Lucie. Competitors Olly Murs and Lloyd Daniels have since told reporters that they are 'not allowed' to publicly discuss the row, according to the Daily Star. An insider said: 'When Simon lays down the law, only someone stupid would think about breaking it.' Like Dannii, you mean? 'The whole thing is getting a bit out of hand and Simon doesn't want to make things worse with contestants mouthing off about the scandal. He runs a tight ship and they have been warned there will be serious consequences if they discuss anything outside the X Factor family.'

Pop Idol judge Pete Waterman has argued that The X Factor is essentially The Simon Cowell Show. Yeah. And...? Waterman claimed that the acts on the show are 'irrelevant,' saying that all Cowell is concerned about is viewing figures. Yeah. And...? 'I think everybody's got the show wrong, there is only one star in the show and that's Simon Cowell. It's The Simon Cowell Show and that's what people watch, all the rest is irrelevant,' the record producer told Live From Studio Five. Still requiring an 'And...' here. We know all of this, Pete, we've known it for five years or more. Mind you, hopefully the irony of faded glam queen Waterman saying all of this on a show with an audience of a couple of hundred thousand - as opposed to sixteen million -was not lost of those watching. Then again, most people who watch Live From Studio Five think that 'irony' is something Ian Wright's mum does with his shirts.

Sting has called The X Factor 'televised karaoke' and said judges like Simon Cowell have 'no recognisable talent apart from self-promotion.' Yeah. And...? What is this, 'state the bloody obvious week'? The bald singer and former milkman from Waalsend, fifty eight, told London's Evening Standard that the Saturday night show was 'a soap opera which has nothing to do with music.' Again ... what's your point, pal? We know all of this already. He added: 'I am sorry but none of those kids are going to go anywhere, and I say that sadly.' Oh, don't you have any rain forests to go and save or something, Gordon? You're impressing no one. Which is also a decent review of your last CD, as it happens. And, get a shave, you look effing ridiculous with that beard.

Ricky Groves and Erin Boag have denied that they used a lift during last Saturday's Strictly Come Dancing. Ex-Eastenders star Groves and Boag, who scored twenty five points for their salsa in Blackpool, said that suggestions they used the illegal move during the dance were inaccurate. Boag claimed that the duo 'need all the points' they can get, insisting that they 'wouldn't intentionally put a lift in. I go into the splits, but I'm holding my own weight,' the professional dancer told It Takes Two, while watching video of the move. 'He doesn't pick me up, I pick myself up off the floor. My feet are allowed to leave the ground as long as he doesn't physically pick me up and then put me down. Ricky goes around me and I'm holding my own weight. All Ricky does is steady me.'

Jimmy Carr has said that he is becoming a better stand-up comedian with every tour. Indeed. And, if he carries on at his current rate then, in about ten or fifteen years he might, actually, become mildly humorous. Might, I said. In life, nothing is certain.

Former Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones is to face trial at Mold Crown Court over driving and assault charges. The fifty six-year-old, who played Weatherfield loudmouth Les Battersby, discovered the news as he appeared for committal proceedings at a magistrates court in Prestatyn, Wales yesterday, BBC News has reported. Jones has been accused of two drink-driving charges, dangerous driving on the A55 (the North Wales Expressway) and assaulting his wife, Sandra. The ex-soap star has been bailed to appear at crown court on 10 December. He has reportedly been told that he must not contact his partner in the mean time. It is thought that Jones intends to plead not guilty to all the charges.

Emmerdale actor Joseph Gilgun is to leave the show early next year, it has been confirmed. The twenty five-year-old, who plays Eli Dingle in the rural soap, announced his decision to quit the soap at the premiere of Michael Cain's new crime thriller Harry Brown, in which Gilgun portrays a character called Kenny. He told the press on the red carpet: 'It will be sad to leave - I've made a lot of good friends there but I think it is time to move on as far as my career is concerned.' On the subject of what he'll miss about working with the programme, he added: 'The routine. You get into a massive routine working on a soap. I get to act every day, which is brilliant. And there are massive personalities there. I'll miss my friends.'

Lord Melvyn Bragg will rejoin the BBC in 2011 to front two new documentaries following the end of his long-running ITV arts programme The South Bank Show. In his first major TV work for the corporation in over thirty years, Bragg will front a BBC2 show about the class structure in Britain, including how it has affected culture over the past two centuries. He will also put together a documentary about the King James Bible to mark the four hundredth anniversary of the text's first publication. Bragg helped to launch BBC2 in 1964 as editor of the New Release strand, which subsequently developed into Arena. In 1978, he joined LWT to create The South Bank Show, but the arts programme is currently in its final series on ITV after being cancelled from the roster from the summer of 2010. 'I'm delighted to be going back to BBC television, it's difficult to think of two richer projects and I greatly look forward to working on BBC2,' said Bragg. Welcoming the move, BBC2's controller Janice Hadlow said: 'He'll be working on two programmes for us, for transmission in 2011, and we very much hope this will be just the beginning of an ongoing and fruitful relationship. We're still working through the detail of this, but Melvyn intends to examine class - upper class, middle class and working class - through all forms of culture, with a final programme on what has happened to our ideas of class in the last fifty years or so.' Commenting on the King James Bible documentary, Hadlow added: 'The King James Bible is a remarkable work of faith and literature that has shaped our language, history and culture. Melvyn will be looking at the Bible's extraordinary legacy and how ultimately, as it spread to the new world and the colonies, it helped shaped the world.'

Eastwick executive producer Maggie Friedman has voiced her frustration over the programme being axed. ABC announced earlier this week that it will complete production on its initial thirteen-episode order of the Rebecca Romijn series. The remaining shows will be broadcast at an undetermined date. Friedman revealed that Eastwick writers will not be able to 'wrap up' the story-lines, Entertainment Weekly reports. She said: 'We're smack in the middle of several insanely juicy stories. And so we do not get a chance to wrap things up in a bow. Which is killing me. The magic was getting crazy, the story-lines were getting really exciting and sexy and dangerous. I [just] wish we could've given the fans - and ourselves - real closure.' She added: 'I'm pretty furious, too. We have such an amazing group of writers and actors - best people I've ever worked with. None of us can believe this is really happening.'

Peep Show star David Mitchell has been confirmed as the host of new BBC comedy quiz The Bubble. The show will involve guests being locked in a media-free zone for four days before being brought into a studio and asked about celebrity gossip and showbiz news that happened while they were away. Guests will have to figure out which stories are true and which are made up. The contestants will be a mixture of 'comics, smart celebrities and wild-card bookings.' The Bubble, which will be produced by Hat Trick, was unveiled yesterday as part of the BBC's Winter/Spring 2010 programme launch.

Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead, Spaced), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men, Angel), Emma Pierson (Little Dorrit, Hotel Babylon) and Jerry Hall (Calendar Girls) have been announced to star in Money, a BBC Drama Production two-part adaptation of Martin Amis' darkly comedic tale of excess, greed and flawed ambition set at the beginnings of Eighties capitalism. Bold, irreverent and satirical, Money follows the story of John Self (Nick Frost), a successful British director of commercials who is thrust into the world of New York movie deals, shark agents and impossibly petulant actors in order to shoot his first film. Navigating larger-than-life characters including Über-slick film producer Fielding Goodney (Kartheiser), wooden soap actress Caduta Massi (Jerry Hall), clean-living method actor Spunk Davis and ageing Hollywood hard-man Lorne Guyland (casting to be announced), Self lurches from one crisis to the next as he chases his dream – and the money. Juggling his girlfriend Selina (Emma Pierson) with an old film-school crush and movie stars, Self relies on his wits and luck to survive an increasingly degenerate lifestyle – but a mysterious danger lurks that Self can't seem to shake, and it might just threaten the dream. Filming will begin mid-November for one month. Money is part of a BBC2 series of programming focusing on the Eighties which also includes Abi Morgan's drama special Royal Wedding, Grumpy Old Eighties and a special Eighties edition of Top Of The Pops 2.

Criminal Justice's Maxine Peake is to play Nineteenth Century landowning lesbian Anne Lister, in a BBC2 dramatisation of her 'painfully honest' diaries. The ninety-minute Oxford Film and Television production, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, will chronicle Lister's decision to defy convention and live with her female lover, as well as her multi-faceted life as 'landowner, industrialist, traveller and diarist.' BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow said: 'This is the world of the Bröntes, with an unexpected twist. These remarkable diaries have shown that life and love in Nineteenth Century Yorkshire was more varied and surprising than you might think from reading the great novels.' Peake added: 'Anne Lister was a extraordinary woman who up to recently has only really been documented in lesbian history. Hopefully with this film and documentary she will reach a wider audience exposing them to this inspirational and formidable woman. I am honoured but petrified to be embarking on the role of such a pioneering lady.'

BBC Worldwide has emerged victorious over Woolworths' liquidators in an appeal case over the value of DVD publishing business 2Entertain. Deloitte tried to overturn a judgement, handed down from the High Court in August, that allows BBCW to buy Woolworths' forty per cent share for a knockdown price instead of the one hundred million it was prepared to pay before the retailer went into liquidation. The dispute centred on whether the collapse last November ended a licensing agreement between BBCW and 2Entertain, and on BBCW's right to buy Woolworths' stake in the company. BBCW, which holds a sixty per cent stake in 2Entertain, argued that Woolworths' insolvency triggered a contractual clause reverting all rights in 2Entertain's BBC content back to BBCW. And, because only BBCW is able to exploit the rights, the stake is worth little to any other buyer.

ITV has put its remaining interests in cinema advertising company, Carlton Screen Advertising, into creditors voluntary liquidation. The commercial broadcaster appointed financial services company Grant Thornton to handle the process on 26 October. It is unclear exactly what part of CSA is still owned by ITV as a majority of the business has been sold off over the past two years. In 2008, a joint venture between Odeon Cinemas and Cineworld Group acquired CSA's UK business for five hundred thousand pounds and relaunched it as Digital Cinema Media, while the company's Irish business was sold to media entrepreneur Dermot Hanrahan for an undisclosed sum in May this year. It is understood that ITV has sustained losses on the remaining parts of the business since other contracts were sold.

The BBC iPlayer has been compared to innovations including the steam engine, jet engine and Viagra by the RTS judges who honoured its creators at an awards ceremony last night. Picking up the Judges' Award at the 2009 RTS Innovation Awards in London last night, the catch-up service was applauded for 'showing great vision in determining how media might develop in the future.' Jeff Henry, chair of the awards, said: 'In June 2007, I was sitting in ITV working on our own plans to deliver a video platform which would transform the way consumers enjoyed the wonderful world of video content. Although we did beat it to market, it was on 25 December 2007 that the BBC gave the nation the Christmas present of iPlayer. The impact was certainly both immediate and profound. There have been great British innovations – the steam engine, the gas turbine, radio waves, jet engines and arguably video games. Even the inventors of Viagra. But seriously, the role of honour of great British innovation now has a proud new addition.' The ceremony, held at BAFTA in London, recognised other outstanding achievement in the development of new technologies in distribution, production and manipulation.

Camilla Campbell, the commissioner behind Shameless, is to replace Liza Marshall as Channel 4's head of drama, Broadcast announced on Wednesday. Campbell is currently commissioning editor for drama series at the broadcaster, overseeing Shameless as well as Hollyoaks and Skins. Marshall leaves Channel 4 on 4 December to join the production company Scott Free. Campbell will take up her new role then.

Liam Gallagher has described X Factor twins John and Edward as 'annoying fucking brothers.' Yeah. And...? Sorry, I know that's developing into a mantra. The former Oasis frontman, who is currently promoting his Pretty Green clothing line, claimed that he could not understand how people restrained themselves from hitting the Irish duo. 'I know all about annoying brothers. But nobody comes close to them,' he told the Mirror. 'How do you not smack them? What the fuck is happening to British music? And what are those things on their heads?' Valid questions all, Liam.

Katie Price is rumoured to be earning five times the fee of her fellow contestants on this year's series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! According to the Sun, the glamour model will receive three hundred and fifty thousand pounds for her stint in the jungle, while the other celebrities are said to be earning around sixty five grand each. A friend of another - unnamed - contestant said: 'This really is taking the mick. We were pushing for more cash but were told things were tight this year. Now we know why. If ITV are looking for trouble in the jungle, they will certainly get it once she turns up.' Price has reportedly flown to Los Angeles for a three-day stopover before arriving in Australia, supposedly later than all the other contestants.

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