Thursday, February 04, 2010

Tonite, Matthew, I'm Gonna Be A British Icon!

Matt Smith was turned down for a part in the forthcoming BBC drama Sherlock, Steven Moffat has revealed. Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine, the Doctor Who showrunner noted that Smith had auditioned for the role of John Watson before landing the coveted part of The Doctor. Recalling the first time he met Smith, Moffat said: 'He was auditioning - bizarrely enough, if you can picture this - for the role of Dr Watson in Sherlock. We'd already cast Benedict Cumberbatch [as Holmes] and the very first person we saw for Watson was Matt, who came in and gave a very good audition. But he didn't have a chance in hell of getting it because he was clearly more of a Sherlock Holmes than a Dr Watson. There was also something a bit barmy about him - and you don't actually want that for Dr Watson, you want someone a bit straighter.' Moffat added that he felt Smith was 'clamping down on his barminess' during the audition. He added: 'Oddly enough, I wrote an e-mail where I said, "I saw this guy today for Dr Watson and I'd noticed he was on the list for Doctor Who" - so the Doctor did flip through my head at that time.' Moffat admitted that Smith did not, initially, fit his 'imaginary profile' of The Doctor. Recalling Smith's Doctor Who audition, he said that he thought the twenty seven-year-old actor was too young for the role. 'He so didn't fit my imaginary profile of where we were going. I did think we were probably going older ... mid-thirties to mid-forties. I still maintain that's where most of your Doctors will be, in that age group - young enough to run, but old enough to look like they can be King of the Universe.' Meanwhile, in other news, several Doctor Who cast members have been spotted filming near Stonehenge. According to the Sun, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston were seen on location at the Bronze Age landmark in Wiltshire. The scene, which was shot at night, shows the stones illuminated by floodlights and surrounded by fog. Last month, shooting in Wales continued on the new series despite the heavy snow. In December, the cast and crew were said to be filming scenes in Croatia.

Alleged 'comedy duo' Mathew Horne and James Corden are no longer on speaking terms, a report in the Sun has claimed. This claims that the pair have no plans to work together again and have not seen each other for months. Horne and Corden teamed up for a number of projects after striking a friendship on the set of Gavin & Stacey. Along with their self-titled - and appallingly bad - sketch show on BBC3, they were seen together in the - equally appallingly bad - movie Lesbian Vampire Killers. A source told the newspaper: 'They were being billed as the next Morecambe and Wise, and that sort of thing. It went to their heads. While their success was on the rise they slowly started irritating each other to the point where now they don't speak. They used to be in touch all the time, like best pals are. But they never go out together and just do their own things. They seem sick to death of each other - well Mat certainly seems to be fed up of James.' Speaking in response to these tabloid claims, Corden insisted: 'We are incredibly close mates and I love him dearly.' A spokesman for Horne added: 'Mathew is an extremely busy actor. He was before the Horne & Corden series and continues to be so. Both actors have their own respective workloads and projects, as they always have had.' Make of all that what you will, dear blog reader. Although it'll be interesting to see which of them gets custody of the talent. Such as it is.

John McCallum, the Australian film and TV pioneer who helped create classic series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, has died in Sydney at the age of ninety one. McCallum, who acted alongside his wife Googie Withers in a series of movies in the 1940s and 1950s, had reportedly been suffering from leukaemia. Born in Brisbane into a theatrical family, McCallum began his career in London before returning to Australia. Skippy, which ran from 1965 to 1968, went on to be shown around the world. The popular children's series followed the exploits of a brave kangaroo, her young owner and the rangers of the Waratah National Park in New South Wales where she lived. McCallum had originally wanted to call the titular marsupial 'Hoppy', but was apparently overruled by his co-producer, Lee Robinson. He was the father of actress Joanna McCallum, a familiar face on British TV thanks to appearances in Holby City, Poirot and Doctors.

Sky News anchor Kay Burley has admitted that she was 'mortified' when Peter Andre broke down in tears as she interviewed him yesterday. Andre was too emotional to continue with a live appearance on Burley's Afternoon Live programme after the host quizzed him over how he would feel if Katie Price's new husband Alex Reid wanted to adopt his children. Writing on her official blog last night, Burley claimed that Andre bears no ill will towards her after she apologised backstage for upsetting him. The newsreader commented: 'What a day. Peter Andre broke down on my show and when I went to check during an ad break that he was okay, he sobbed on my shoulder in the green room. He'd discovered not twelve hours earlier that the mother of two of his children had married without even bothering to tell him and was devastated at the very thought that she might want take the youngsters away from him. I was mortified at having upset such an obviously doting family man and was keen to offer sincere apologies, but he was his usual charming self. As we stood and chatted about parenthood he said he was relieved he'd finally vented some of the pent-up tension he'd been feeling and I sympathised but warned him not to ever cry in front of the children.' A spokesperson for Ofcom later told BBC News that it had received a number of complaints concerning how the segment was handled. However, the media regulator would not reveal how many people had been in contact and said that a decision on whether to launch an investigation had not yet been made. Meanwhile, the former tabloid editor Kelvin MacKenzie, who appeared on Sky News for the channel's newspaper review last night, said that viewers had also contacted the station itself to complain about the interview. He told This Morning: 'I know, because I was at Sky News last night, that they received a load of e-mails from their viewers saying that they didn't warm to that.' MacKenzie, who said that he has known Burley for 'many years,' added: 'If Kay Burley could do it again, she definitely wouldn't do it again and I know Sky News fantastically well and they wouldn't want it to happen either.'

Coronation Street actress Helen Worth has revealed that she does not expect her character Gail (Potter-Tilsley-Hillman-Platt-McIntyre) to marry for a sixth time. Gail's latest romance takes a fatal twist next week as her husband, Joe (Reece Dinsdale) drowns after being knocked overboard in a boating accident in the Lake District. The plot line comes just a month after Gail and Joe's wedding ceremony and will leave the long-suffering character mourning a lost love once again. I mean, becoming a widow for the third time is tough luck on pretty much anyone. In an interview with the Digital Spy website, Worth expressed surprise after being told that many viewers would like to see Gail find happiness in the future. She replied: 'Really? I think viewers like to see drama and it's almost expected with Gail now - here comes the next man! I have to say, though, I can't see that there can be any more men in her life. You can only have so many husbands in your life!' Oh, I dunno. Compared to Liz Taylor, you're still a novice, chuck. Asked whether she keeps a collection of Gail's wedding rings, Worth said: 'I think they might be mounting up in my make-up box!' Gail had two screen weddings with first husband Brian Tilsley in her early years on the ITV soap before he got stabbed to death. As well as latest lover Joe, she has since tied the knot with Martin Platt (who managed to survive Gail's black widow tendencies) and the notorious serial killer Richard Hillman. Yeah, that wasn't one of her finer decisions either.

The Daily Show correspondent Rob Riggle has signed to star in a comedy pilot for CBS. Riggle will portray a bombastic high school football coach in single-camera sitcom Team Spitz. Bill Martin and Mike Schiff wrote the pilot, which is executive produced by Sony and CBS TV Studios, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Martin and Schiff have also signed as executive producers along with a team of developers including Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz. Riggle signed a talent holding deal with CBS in 2008, first leading to his recurring role on the sitcom Gary Unmarried.

Sharron Davies has 'hit back' at the acid-tongued Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner - suggesting he is not fit to foster kids and dubbing him a 'vindictive attention seeker.' Blimey. Bitter much? Mind you, her bile-flecked-rage is not without more than a smidgen on solid fact, dear blog reader. Gardiner is, after all, a judge on a TV talent show, being 'a bit of a twat' sort of goes with the territory, does it not?

Cynthia Watros has joined the cast of House in what has been described as 'a major recurring role.' According to Entertainment Weekly, the actress, who played the popular Libby on Lost, has been cast in the role of Wilson's oft-mentioned but never previously seen first ex-wife. Watros is scheduled to make her debut in the show in an episode which is likely to broadcast in April, when she turns up as Wilson's new girlfriend. The actress was a series regular on Lost between 2005 and 2006 until her character was unexpectedly shot dead just as she was in the process of establishing a relationship with poor old Hurley. Meanwhile, House's executive producer Greg Yaitanes has revealed that he may yet centre a future episode of the series on the character of Taub. Earlier this season, the show focused an episode on Robert Sean Leonard's Wilson and next Monday's episode - 5 to 9 - will be seen entirely through the eyes of Cuddy. Asked by a fan on Twitter if Peter Jacobson will get his own episode, Yaitanes hinted that it may be on the cards 'one day. Although I am directing a Taub heavy [episode] now.'

The BBC have reported fined Reef TV around half a million pounds in the wake of last year's fakery scandal and have cancelled the Sun Sea and Bargain Spotting brand, according to Broadcast magazine. The corporation ordered Reef to pay the compensation last November, after a three-month investigation which the magazine claims turned up 'a string of editorial breaches.' The size of the fine was never revealed publicly, but a source told Broadcast that it was 'in the region of five hundred thousand pounds and was calculated to hurt Reef without putting its future in doubt.' The compensation was also designed to cover the BBC for the loss of hundreds of hours of daytime shows it had been planning to repeat. The breaches are said to have occurred in three different Reef series - Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting, Trash for Cash and Dealers: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is - but the negative press largely centred on the former after the Sun revealed that one of the show's cameramen had posed as a member of the public. Trash For Cash and Dealers: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is are both due to return, but the corporation has now dropped Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting altogether. The show - fronted by Angela Rippon - was in production with its sixth series and was one of Reef 's most successful returning brands. The company has also pulled the series from its distribution catalogue. Meanwhile, the third series of Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is has been pushed back six months. It was originally due to broadcast in the Autumn of 2009, but is now lined-up for late spring or summer this year. A BBC source told Broadcast that it had been delayed because the editorial compliance team was scrutinising it 'frame-by-frame,' but a BBC spokeswoman said it would be subject to the same editorial process as every other programme. 'The show was delayed because Reef was suspended, and is going in spring/summer due to availability and scheduling,' she said. Reef themselves declined to comment.

RTÉ's drama Single-Handed is to be resurrected for a second series after ITV agreed to act as a co-producer. The first series of the dark Irish police drama, made by RDF Media Group's Touchpaper Television, was fully funded by the Irish network and won a thirty eight per cent audience share when it aired as a six part series in Ireland early last year. Single-Handed was subsequently acquired by ITV, repackaged as a three part one hundred and twenty-minute series and launched in August when it was given the prominence of an original commission. On ITV it attracted a solid - if unspectacular - audience on Sunday evenings, debuting with an average of 4.2 million viewers and ending with 3.2 million. However, the series was highly praised by critics - including yer Keith Telly Topping who was really rather taken with it - and contributed moderately to last year's renaissance in ITV drama. After broadcast, RTÉ said it wanted to make a second series of Single-Handed but could no longer afford to fully fund the project because of a sharp downturn in advertising income. Commissioning editor Jane Gogan then approached ITV to co-fund the project at the outset instead of just taking it as an acquisition. Like the first run, the new six-part series will be filmed on location in Connemara, and follows Owen McDonnell as Jack Driscoll - a police sergeant relocated from Dublin to his rural hometown. Laura Mackie, ITV's director of drama commissioning, said the second run would be as 'gripping and atmospheric as the first.' Barry Simner, Clive Bradley and Colin Teevan have written the drama, which will be produced by Clare Alan (The Vice, Wild Decembers). The series will broadcast in 2010. Pursey said: 'Single-Handed proved to us that it's possible to make great drama for more than one territory without compromising our ambitions.'

Paddy McGuinness has said that he would 'love' to work on another series of Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere. Well, of course you would, Pad, mate. Because it's just about the only time that people have found your extremely annoying Professional Lancastrian act even remotely amusing in. Sadly, yer pal Peter seems to have bigger fish to fry these days. So ... back the Gregg's advert then, I suppose.

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