Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week Nine: The Punk & The Godfather

So, just in case you're the one person in Britain who hasn't heard yet ... Stacey dunnit.

Yeah. Whatever.

It was a really good night of TV, last night - most unusual for a Friday. What with the live Easties (and nothing obvious going wrong, save for a couple of dialogue slips), a quite brilliant episode of Qi (Sue Perkins and, particularly, Jack Dee on fine form), a couple of very good Masterchef episodes (yer Keith Telly Topping was rather hoping that 'Musical Matt' would get through. And he did) and then, the TV quote of the week on the debut episode of The Bubble; the great Reg D Hunter noting 'what I wasn't counting on was Victoria's hatred of mothers!' Closely followed by the divine Ms Coren her very self exclaiming, indignantly 'you can't call a quiz Spank The Monkey!' And, on that bombshell, dear blog reader, let's have us some Top Telly Tips:

Friday 26 February
Calm down, dear, it's only Michael Winner's Dining Stars - 9:00 ITV. Fans of Winner's newspaper column (and, apparently, there are some sad, deluded crushed victims of society who have only recently be released back into the community who fall into such a category) will enjoy seeing the former film director in action in this new show. Everybody else will, hopefully, be watching Masterchef on the other side and giving Winner as wide a breath as possible. For this series self-important Winner is eating in private houses, hoping to find home-cooked food that rivals the top restaurants which he's used to. Because, he's rich and, therefore, better than the likes of us. I wonder if Nicholas Winterton would make an interesting travel guide for Michael? Anyway, if he does find a drum whose nosh he likes, he will dish out a 'prestigious' Perspex trophy. So, in other words, Michael Winner is going around the country, gatecrashing various people's gaffs and getting them to cook him their finest tucker. For free. And all they get in return his a cheap novelty prize. If they're lucky. Sounds like a bit of a raw deal for the householders to yer Keith Telly Topping, it has to be said. It's strange TV, really - in culinary terms, a wobbling, overdecorated meringue which deflates on contact with a fork with has an aftertaste of sour grapes. Winner has such a monstrously towering ego that he can be riveting to watch - in a kind of so bad, he's brilliant sort of way. It's like watching a giant toddler as he storms around screaming at his assistants (his poor PA and make-up woman accompany him everywhere) or collaring bemused passers-by for a bit of vox pop. Hot tongue, followed by a slice of cold shoulder, as it were. To add a dash of glamour to the proceedings, we also see some glimpses of Winner's own 'forty-six room west London mansion' (which, as you might expect, is all pink ostentatious bling and swirly carpet) and see him whisked to the chefs' homes by helicopter and Rolls-Royce. There's a sense of the great man descending from on high to bestow his sage wisdom upon The Little People, so it's rather disappointing when he comes across mostly as a peevish, fussy and unnecessarily cruel old twat. Stick with John and Gregg, dear blog readers, at least they have the faintest buggering clue what they're actually talking about.

Saturday 27 February
Ant & Dec's Push the Button - 7:45 ITV - is, of course, Wor Anthony and Wor December's brand new game show in which two families battle it out to take home a big cash prize. Family Fortune With Buttons as one previewer brilliantly described it. The teams face a series of 'hilarious games, unexpected challenges and silly costumes.' Each family starts with one hundred thousand pounds, and the games are designed to chip away at their pot. The only way they can stop their money slipping away is to ... wait for it ... Push the Button. Come on, lads, you're nearly forty now, grow up!

Sunday 28 February
There's another fine-looking episode of Being Human - 9:00 BBC3 - the witty flateshare-comedy-drama-horror-Sci-Fi gestalt entity about three twentysomething housemates trying to live normal lives, despite struggling with their unusual Telefantasy afflictions. Tonight, will Mitchell save his friends from Jaggat's macabre experiments and as Mitchell's heart blackens with rage and vengeance, will his friends also be able to save him from himself? Gotta say, Russell Tovey, Aiden Turner and Lenora Crichlow are fabulous in this. Thankfully, the BBC have already commissioned another series which will be filmed later in the year.

Monday 1 March
One of the BBC's biggest drama hits of the last few years was Five Days - 9:00 BBC1 - which was, of course, one of the first mini-series to be strip-scheduled on consecutive nights in 2007, a trick that, subsequently, benefited Occupation and, especially, Torchwood and which ITV half-inched to such success with Collison. Well, this is a completely new story with a completely new (and very impressive) cast - Suranne Jones, Anne Reid, Bernard Hill, Matthew McNulty, Ashley Walters and David Morrissey not least among 'em. The story involves off-duty police officer Laurie Franklin finding herself caught up in a strange sequence of events after a person falls in front of her train. When she learns that a newborn baby has been abandoned at the local hospital, Laurie becomes convinced that the two events may be connected. But both the train's victim and the baby remain unidentified. As she is drawn deeper into the mystery, Laurie realises this might not be a simple case of suicide at all, but something much darker. if this one is half as good as the last series then this is where most of us are going to be this week.

Tonight also sees the return for another series of one of Channel 4's genuine cult shows of the last five years, The Secret Millionaire - 9:00. If you've never seen it before, then you should have, but, anyway, this is a series in which a millionaire goes undercover in a deprived area in the hope of changing someone's life with a generous gift of their own hard-earned money. And, somehow, nobody ever susses when someone new enters their lives with a camera crew trailing behind them! Tonight, entrepreneur Dawn Gibbins leaves behind her affluent lifestyle in Cheshire to integrate in some of the most run-down areas of Bristol.

The popular comedian Rob Brydon explores Welsh identity and tries to discover what makes his patriotic countrymen so defensive in Rob Brydon's Identity Crisis - 9:00 Dave. Institutional racism? Inferiority complex? Having the leek as your national symbol? It's a tricky one, boyo and no mistake. There's lovely, isn't it? Along the way, Rob - who is as witty and personable as usual - talks to a host of Welsh celebrities, including Griff Rhys Jones, rappers Goldie Lookin' Chain and the vastly over-rated actress Ruth Jones, as he examines the national psyche, in particular questioning his own belief that the Welsh have a natural leaning toward pessimism. Rob also constructs a stand-up routine of Welsh-based material in surprise appearances at comedy clubs around Wales. Sounds quite good, that.

Tuesday 2 March
In EastEnders - 7:30 BBC1 - Stacey dunnit, just in case you hadn't heard. Meanwhile, Billy Mitchell's love life takes a turn for the better when Carol agrees to go on a date with him. Which should straighten his face up - and that would certainly make a change. Also, Masood makes a radical decision to prove his innocence and Billie Jackson struggles to turn his back on his gang. And under pressure, Lucas makes a promise he cannot keep. If you believe the BBC's publicity department, ten possible denouements (or 'duff-duffs' as aficionados apparently call them) had been written and rehearsed. It was only within minutes of the first live broadcast of the soap that the guilty party herself was finally tipped the wink. if so, that was one hell of a performance from Lacey Turner. As for the live episode itself, there were only a couple of minor stumbles of dialogue, one by Scott Maslen (Jack Branning) and another when Barbara Windsor accidentally called Janine June. They were quickly forgotten. Over on BBC3, fake gore still ripping from his head wound after his fatal fall from a rooftop, Charlie Clements (now actively taking job offers) was having a microphone thrust under his nose for instant reaction on EastEnders Live: The Aftermath. 'I didn't know...' was all he could manage when told that his screen-wife, Stacey, had admitted to doing the dirty deed. If it's tough to be a vicar in Walford - where every wedding is like a cross between a Millwall/West Ham derby and an illegal dog fight - it must be absolutely ruddy murder to be in the CID: half the Square was tampering with the evidence or planting false leads, while the other half were busy grassing up anyone who'd had the temerity to cross them in the last week. Or, indeed, the last twenty five years. Tension built throughout the episode with a number of characters pointing the finger at one another. Phil Mitchell, terrified that Shirley was going to stitch him up to the law, ransacked Ian's house looking for evidence, Janine confronted Peggy and then considered going on the run and Archie's daughter, Roxy, accused her sister, Ronnie, who revealed she was sexually abused by their total bad'un of a father. I also enjoyed the way the production dared to give Ian Beale a very self-aggrandising line of dialogue – following on from a rather charming little scene in which he and Dot Cotton (the only members of the original cast of character still with the show) looked at an old videotape offering a tiny reminder of some old favourites: 'Do you know what?' he asked, sadly as he looked at images of Michelle, Arthur, Pauline, Den and Ange, et al, 'I wish we could go back and do it all again. Do it right this time.' It could have been a horrible hostage to the caprices of outrageous fortune – but in the end they got away with it. More than that, they actually reminded viewers what EastEnders, at its best, can be. Frighteningly good. Happy Birthday.

From one successful shaggy dog story, to what might well be another. Paws, Claws and Videotape - 9:00 BBC4 - sees Mock The Week's Hugh Dennis reflecting on a host of artists from the animal kingdom who found fame on television and in the cinema. While their human co-stars may have passed into relative obscurity, it is Flipper, Skippy, Lassie, Black Beauty, Hammy the Hamster and Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion who live on. As the humans reveal the off-screen gossip, this is the ultimate guide to being a thespian top dog, top dolphin or even top hamster.

The award for the crassest title for a TV show of the week (if not the century so far) goes to My Breasts Could Kill Me - 9:00 Sky3. Which is a shame as this two-part documentary actually tackles a very weighty and important subject. Dawn Porter takes a personal look at breast cancer, a disease which claims the lives of almost twelve thousand women in Britain each year. Porter's mother and great-grandmother both died from breast cancer while they were still young, and her family history prompts Dawn to undergo tests to find out whether she is genetically predisposed to developing it. She also meets a number of women, and some men, whose lives have been changed by the disease. Good stuff - proper articulate, relevant television about a subject that touches many viewers lives. What a damned shame they had to go and ruin it by giving it a title straight out of Carry On...

Wednesday 3 March
There's a big international football match on tonight. Well, when I say 'big', it's England v Egypt - 7:30 ITV. So, you know, 'fair-to-middling' would probably be a better description. England's preparations for this summer's World Cup in South Africa start today at Wembley as Fabio Capello looks to use the first of his last three warm-up games to fine-tune his starting eleven. Current African Nations Cup champions Egypt are England's opponents in a dress rehearsal for the World Cup group game against their neighbours Algeria. And with that nasty little cheat Ashley Cole (I'm talking about football here not his private life) injured, it will be a first chance to see if John Terry and Wayne Bridge can put their personal issues to one side in the common cause of their country or, is it all going end like an episode of EastEnders, with a massive barney in the middle of the pitch and plenty of claret. Either would be good. Both would be preferable in the name of entertainment. The bout, sorry, the match coverage is presented by Steve 'You Know Nothing' Rider, with commentary from Clive Tyldesley and Gareth Southgate.

As ever, Top Telly Tips provides three alternatives if you don't fancy watching twenty two men (and a few substitutes) kicking a ball around North London. Or two blokes kicking each other round North London. Whichever applies. In Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers - 7:30 BBC1 - Nigel takes inspiration from his vegetable patch as he creates a week's worth of simple yet delicious meals. He shows how combinations of ingredients that grow in the same place at the same time often make the ideal starting point for a dish. There is no need to write down complicated recipes as Nigel's unflustered style makes these feasts easy to remember. Nigel also visits local allotment holders and creates a tasty feast from the fruits of their labour. I must say, of all the various cookery shows on TV I like this one, alone with Masterchef, way above the others. The guy has - at least - a personality, something Jamie, Heston, Gordon, Raymonde and all the rest struggle with.

Yer Keith Telly Topping recommended It's Only a Theory - 7:30 BBC4 - a few months back and he's delighted to report that it turned into a rather decent little show. Comedians Andy Hamilton and Reginald D Hunter (so good on the opening episode of The Bubble) host a series in which qualified professionals and experts submit their theories about life, the universe and everything for examination by a panel of Hamilton, Hunter and a guest celebrity, who then make a final decision on whether the theory is worth keeping or should be discarded to the dustbin of history. Tonight's guest celebrity is broadcaster Clare Balding and the experts are Professors Geoff Beattie and Marcus Chown.

And, as a final alternative to the footie, The World Wild Vet - 8:00 Sky1. Join veterinarian Luke Gamble as travels around the world, treating and saving animals in need. A bit like Armstrong & Miller's Doctor Tia, only people take Luke a bit more seriously. Hopefully. Luke's first stop is India, where he tries to help disabled dogs, a buffalo cow with an infected horn and a temple elephant.

Thursday 4 March
Country House Rescue - 8:00 Channel 4 - sees scowling, risible, hard-faced and not particularly likeable businesswoman Ruth Watson 'advising' (for which read, bullying) the owners of some of British's most lovely stately homes on how to 'diversify and raise money' to secure the future of their properties in these harsh financial times. Because, as we all know,dear blog reader, greed is good. Cornelia Bayley has poured her life and finances into Plas Teg, a Grade One listed Jacobean mansion in North Wales. Very nice. However, sadly, funds are now at an all-time low. Plus, Cornelia is - almost - named after a Shakespearean princess, so how seriously can anyone actually take her? Nasty, hard-faced, scowling, risible Ruth 'advises' (for which read, orders) Cornelia to rent out the house as a location for movie and photo shoots and the like. But, Cornelia is horrified by the very suggestion. Oh, yes. Seems she is worried about 'strangers' (for which read 'ordinary, common people', one presumes) 'harming' her beautiful home and its grounds with their nasty, smelly oikish ways. Well, fine. Then you shall just have to starve in the gutter instead you daft woman.
BBC2 has a great record at producing superb, current documentaries and How Safe Are Our Skies? Detroit Flight 253 at 9:00 looks to be a classic example. On Christmas Day 2009, as Northwest Airlines Flight 253 began its descent towards Detroit Metropolitan airport, a twenty three-year-old Nigerian attempted to detonate eighty grams of military-grade explosive PETN, a deadly bomb designed to take the plane out of the sky. Luckily, he only succeeded in setting fire to his own pants, was apprehended and taken into custody and has become a running joke on Mock The Week ever since, but it could have been a tragedy of epic proportions. With eyewitness testimony and expert analysis, this documentary examines how the alleged bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, slipped under the US intelligence radar and evaded three sets of airport security. Following the attack, how safe is it to fly?

My Daughter Grew Another Head and Other True Life Stories - 9:00 Channel 4 - is a Cutting Edge documentary about the phenomenally popular True Life magazines, which are read by over eleven million people each week and feature extraordinarily moving and bizarre stories. Why does the public hunger for these weird and wonderful tales, and who actually writes them? Cutting Edge meets two successful True Life journalists and speaks to those who have confessed all.

And, lastly, Eddie Izzard: Marathon Man - 10:30 BBC3 - is a rather fun little series which follows comedian Eddie Izzard whilst he was rising to the challenge for Sport Relief by running an astonishing forty three marathons in fifty one days. In this opening episode, Eddie meets the medical advisors and sports therapist who have the task of trying to turn Britain's best loved action transvestite into an athlete, before setting off west from London. Just three days into his run, however, Eddie's body begins to crumble and only fierce determination carries him on. The journey takes Eddie to places from his past that hold significant memories, such as his old house in Welsh Wales. Now yer Keith Telly Topping is, of course, an enormous fan of Eddie's comedy - and acting - long-term readers of this blog will already know that. But that pales into insignificance when compared to how impressed he was by this feat. Forty three marathons? I can barely get out of bed in the morning. Nothing but total respect for the Edster.

On to the news. Amd, we start, with a sad bit. The well-known actor and director Lionel Jeffries has died at the age of eighty three, his family has announced. Best known for directing The Railway Children and appearing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Lionel's long career spanned theatre, film and television. With he trademark bald head, deep baritone voice and bristling moustache, the London-born actor trained at RADA before making his screen debut in 1950. In later years he played the loveable grandfather in the children's TV show Woof! According to a family friend, Jeffries died in a nursing home in Poole, Dorset. Actress Jenny Agutter, star of The Railway Children, remembered him as being 'an extraordinary character and wonderfully funny. He was a total dear to work with,' she told the BBC. 'He very much created a family on set.' Born in the East End in 1926, Jeffries served in Burma during World War II and would later blame its humidity for his subsequent hair loss. His career saw him play an array of larger-than-life characters, notably the odious Marquis of Queensbury in 1960 drama The Trials of Oscar Wilde. Despite the success of The Railway Children, whose script he wrote, he only made four more films as a director. These included The Amazing Mr Blunden in 1972, Wombling Free in 1977 and The Water Babies the following year. Jeffries's features served him well over the years but would often consign him to authority figures and elderly relatives. He played Dick Van Dyke's father Grandpa Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, despite being the US actor's junior by six months.

Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace has said that he doesn't like food shows which preach to viewers. Ahem, brother! The fruit and veg expert admitted that there were lots of 'political issues' surrounding food, but claimed that he was wary about using TV shows to address them. 'I am really nervous when people preach about how we should and shouldn't eat,' Wallace told the Digital Spy website. 'I don't like it. Food is political and there are lots of issues about where it comes from and how much it costs, but I don't want to get involved in that.' Wallace's Masterchef co-star, John Torode, added: 'That is all boring bollocks. Come on, let's be fair. Food is meant to make you smile. You start to go on a soap box and bang on about it ... let people do what they want!' This, ladies and gentlemen is why yer Keith Telly Topping loves these guys and, at the same time, would pay good money to see them roast Jamie Oliver in his own juices. Or, on a spit. Either would do.

Brand analysis firm Margaux Matrix has estimated that product placement on Coronation Street would be worth over three hundred thousand pounds per week to broadcaster ITV. Using technology developed for gauging brand exposure around sporting events, the firm analysed the appearance of consumer products in leading television programmes and then estimates their value. The government recently confirmed its intention to relax the rules governing product placement on television to provide a new revenue stream for beleaguered commercial broadcasters. However, the initial proposal was reduced to exclude products deemed potentially damaging to the public health, such as high fat and salt content foods, alcohol, gambling and tobacco. Earlier in the month, Margaux Matrix used its technology to analyse a week of episodes of ITV's flagship soap, in which the character Jo McIntyre died in a boating accident. As well as detecting branded items that appeared on the episodes, the firm also looked for potential opportunities for product placement within and outside the government's proposed guidelines. Despite efforts by the producers to conceal branded items, the analysts spotted six noticeable product placements - such as McIntyre's Nokia mobile phone on the O2 network. The analysts also noted that generic products such as cereal boxes, drinks cans and toiletries appeared in the episodes for a total of three minutes over the week, which they estimated at being worth three hundred and thirty thousand pounds to ITV. Placing point-of-sale and poster advertising in key locations, such as Dev's corner shop and Audrey's salon, was estimated at being worth a further two hundred and thirty thousand pounds on average across the episodes. Margaux Matrix also said that if alcohol product placement was permitted on Coronation Street it would bring in one hundred and eighty one thousand pounds a week for ITV, representing an additional annual income of over nine million.

Labour MPs have called on the BBC's head of corporate affairs, Tina Stowell, to resign her post after launching a bid to become a Conservative candidate at the general election. Stowell currently runs the department responsible for maintaining and protecting the BBC's image, and also lobbying politicians on issues connected with the corporation. Despite previously being a senior advisor to William Hague in the Conservative Party, BBC sources said that Stowell had not been 'politically active' since she joined the corporation in 2001. After she was accepted onto an approved list of Tory candidates last November, Stowell informed senior BBC executives about her intention to stand and was immediately told that she could not represent the BBC for the entire duration of her political campaign, reports the Guardian. She lost out on a bid to become the Tory candidate for Bromsgrove two weeks ago, but still hopes to secure a different candidacy elsewhere. However, Labour politicians are concerned about a potential conflict of interest in Stowell retaining her post during the campaign. Paul Farrelly, Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, said: 'People in local government at a senior level are barred from getting involved in politics. I would think the BBC would have to be seen to be squeaky clean on this issue. She should step down from her job while she is active politically.' In a blog posting, Labour MP for Glasgow South Tom Harris directed attention to Stowell's personal website, which features Conservative branding and messages from Hague and shadow chancellor George Osborne. 'The right-wing is always going on about the left-wing bias in the BBC,' he said. 'I wanted to know what they say now about this? If this was a Labour candidate they would be jumping up and down.' In response to Harris' comments, Stowell posted a message offering assurances that she is operating well within the BBC's guidelines for staff pursuing public service. 'I can assure you and all your blog readers that the BBC has established procedures which allow its staff to seek public service through elected office,' she said. 'Of course, I am not involved in any way in the production, reporting or distribution of the BBC's news or any editorial content.' A BBC spokesman also stressed that as soon as Stowell declared her intention to stand, she was blocked from speaking for the corporation. He added: 'The BBC has established and rigorous procedures which allow its staff to seek public service through elected office, and it is not unusual for BBC staff to do so.'

They were once the best of friends – on screen at least. But now a feud which has simmered between the estranged stars of the legendary sitcom Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? for almost thirty five years has erupted again in public. In the words of the theme song, 'what became of the people we used to be?' Rodney Bewes, who played Bob Ferris, has accused his former co-star James Bolam of condemning fellow cast members (ie. him) to poverty through Bolam's refusal to grant permission for the series to be repeated on network television - an issue that goes all the way back to the original 1964 contract signed by the pair which gave both the right to veto any terrestrial repeats. 'Jimmy Bolam's killed it, which is such a pity,' Bewes said: 'I'm very poor so I have to tour one-man shows because Jimmy has buried The Likely Lads. You have to sign a waiver for them to repeat it and he stopped it while he did New Tricks. Well, New Tricks has been on so long, and is so repeated, that he must be very wealthy; me, I've just got an overdraft and a mortgage.' Of course, all of this ignores the fact that Whatever Happened To...? is repeated, regularly, on digital channels like Watch. And is available on DVD. Bewes added: 'He should let it be repeated on BBC2 or BBC1; to stop other people earning money is cruel.' The original sitcom - which ran for three series, initially on BBC2 from 1964 - made the pair household names. Written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, The Likely Lads was about two best mates, Bob Ferris and Terry Collier, from the North-East and their adventures and misadventures. It spawned an - even better, and genuinely groundbreaking - sequel in the 1970s and a feature film. But its stars have not spoken since they made the film in 1976, reportedly over an interview that Bewes gave in which he discussed Bolam's then-current divorce much to his fellow actor's distress. It was not always that way, according to Bewes: 'We were great friends. When my babies were born, his was the first house I went to. I had a daughter first, Daisy, and then we had three boys who were triplets.' When asked why the pair haven't spoken since 1976, he said: 'It's this actor's ego thing: he thinks he is important. Actors aren't important. I'm not important; I have fun. I think Jimmy takes himself very seriously as "an actor."' Bolam, in an interview to promote the children's TV series Grandpa In My Pocket, said: 'It's irksome that people like you bang on about it as if it's the only thing I've ever done in my life. When the series is over it's over and you move on to other things. You see, because one played great friends it doesn't mean that you are great friends.'

Darius Campbell has been crowned the winner of Popstar To Operastar. Campbell reached the final alongside fellow singer Bernie Nolan. The pair performed in front of the previously evicted contestants as well as a live audience in the race for first place.

David Tennant has been cast in a new BBC dramedy called Single Father. The four-part series sees the Doctor Who star plays Dave, a man struggling to raise his four kids after his wife passes away. Set in Glasgow, the drama follows Dave as he battles his feelings for his late wife's best friend Sarah as well as trying to bring up his children. 'I feel very lucky to have been sent this script,' Tennant said. 'When I read what Mick Ford had written I was desperate to be part of this project.' The thirty eight-year-old actor is also attached to the NBC pilot Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, which has reportedly been delayed until the autumn. Filming for Single Father begins next month in Glasgow.

William Shatner has reportedly signed up to star in new CBS comedy pilot Shit My Dad Says. The announcement comes following news last year that plans were afoot to turn the hit Twitter account, which has attracted more than one million followers, into a TV show. A pilot was later sanctioned by CBS and a script was finished in November. Following the acquisition of Shatner, an episode of the project has now received the go-ahead. Halpern has co-written the script with Patrick Schumacker and both are expected to co-executive produce. The title is also expected to change if the show gets series approval. No shit?

Sky1 has confirmed the exact dates that House, Bones and Fringe will return. Hugh Laurie fronted House resumes its sixth season on Sunday 7 March in a 10pm slot, with Fringe following two days later. Bones returns to UK screens on Thursday 11 March also at 10pm, while Lie To Me is yet to be confirmed. Indeed, no new episodes have been broadcast in the US since before Christmas. Additionally, Sky1 has announced plans to show Fringe's unaired season one episode Unearthed on Tuesday 2 March. Meanwhile, Bones producer Stephen Nathan has said that Booth and Bones's relationship will change 'emotionally' by this season's end. According to Entertainment Weekly, Nathan also hinted at a possible 'roll in the hay' between the characters. 'The season finale is taking shape now and it's going to be quite a surprise. We literally are in the process of working it out. We've had this in our minds for quite a while, and it's gelling now. It's going to be a pretty big episode for us in terms of what happens to Booth and Brennan,' he said. Asked if it is going to be as big as last year's conclusion, Nathan responded: 'Yes, but in a very different way. It will be real. It's our reality.' Nathan also reiterated that there would be no more dreams and hallucinations. 'No. [The season four finale] was a very big episode in terms of production and everything like that. This one will be as big in emotional terms,' he said.

Nicky Wire has criticised Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien. The Manic Street Preachers bassist was responding to comments from O'Brien, who recently accused Wire of 'talking bollocks' about file-sharing. 'Apparently Ed O'Brien called me a wanker, I'm really fucking scared! Go back to your boarding school, you cunt!' Heh. Wire reportedly said during their set at the twentieth birthday of the Glasgow club King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. The Manics bassist previously accused Radiohead of only caring about illegal file-sharing after they had earned millions.


Robin Brown said...

Rather sad that Bewes and Bolam don't get on. Then again, curiously in keeping with Whatever Happened... that they haven't talked for 35 years.

I bet Clement and Le Frenais would love to do a one-off Likely Lads.

Keith Telly Topping said...

Oh, they've wanted to FOR YEARS! But, by all accounts, James Bolam's never interested whenever they broach the subject. Ian La Frenais once noted in an interview that the plotline for any third series, or second film, or whatever would have been that 'Bob would have probably lost his job and gone bankrupt. Terry, who'd gone though life without much ambition, would have no doubt received £200,000 for an "unspecified injury received in a drunk-driving accident." And Bob would just keep saying "Terribly unfair! So terribly unfair!"'

Which, ironically, is pretty much the real life situation between the two now. It's a shame, although mind you, when I interviewed Ian and Dick a few years ago and asked about how James and Rodney used to get on, Dick said that they weren't *that* close even back in 1964! I know Bolam can seem a bit of an arsehole with regard to his retrospective opinions on The likely Lads - certainly when Paul, Martin and I were writing Classic British TV and wanted to include a photo of Bob and Terry and Bolam's agent put a block on it because his client, reportedly, 'has some problems' with the character traits Terry Collier represented (his sexism, chiefly), the sound in this house was definitely one of idols with clay feet shattering. But, after a while, I kind of knew where he was coming from, even if I didn't necessarily agree with it. It's stated in Richard Webber's book on the making of the series - - that James suffered from quite a long period of unemployment shortly after the original 1960s series ended (ironically, during a period when Bewes himself was one of the most in-demand comedy actors in the country thanks to a, now mostly forgotten, series he created and starred in for ITV called Dear Mother, Love Albert, which was a huge hit circa 1969-70). So, one can perhaps understand Bolam's sometimes difficult relationship with the series and the part. The fact that he did come back to make Whatever Happened to in 1973 (and then, the film) proves he thought enough of it, at the time, to take the job. And, of course, in doing so he was part of what is, quite possibly, the greatest sitcom that has ever, or will ever, be made.