Monday, March 15, 2010

Dancing In The Dark

Comedian Rufus Hound has won Let's Dance For Sport Relief after an entertaining parody of Cheryl Cole's hit 'Fight For This Love.' Hound's version, complete with lipstick, balloony harem trousers and military-attired backing dancers, was voted the top performance by BBC1 viewers. He said afterwards 'I believe this moment defines me and is history.' Fellow comedian big fat Katy Brand came second following her energetic performance of Beyonce's 'Single Ladies.' Reigning champion Robert Webb, who won the TV contest after he donned a leotard for his version of 'Flashdance,' presented Hound with the trophy. Webb, who this year was on the judging panel alongside Jack Dee and John Culshaw, said: 'It almost goes without saying you are more compelling than Cheryl Cole.' And, probably, more to Ashley's tastes at the moment. 'You have chosen a costume that clearly hurts and in my experience the British public loves that.'

Christopher Dean's wife has claimed that the former Olympian's obsession with Dancing On Ice is to blame for their recent split. Dean confirmed last week that his sixteen-year partnership with Jill Trenary was over. The mother of his two children has now told the News Of The World that she filed for divorce because he was never at home. Trenary added she was stunned by reports which claimed that Dean has been spending nights with fellow judge Karen Barber. 'I wasn't aware he had a relationship with Mrs Barber - it's hurtful,' she said. 'I really don't have any information about her as it's not something Christopher and I have discussed. Let's just say I didn't and don't want to discuss it with him.' Trenary said Dean ignored her pleas to give up his mentoring role alongside Jayne Torvill on the ITV show. 'The success of the show, with long, long separations over almost five years now, isn't conducive to a happy marriage. It was the breaking point,' she said. Both Barber and Dean have denied that they are having an affair, with Barber insisting she is just helping an old friend through his marital break-up.

The BBC had a great day on Saturday, topping the TV ratings for the entire twenty four hours (except for half-an-hour between 00:30 and 01:00). Let's Dance For Sport Relief (19:00 - 7.09m), The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins (20:15 - 6.21m), Casualty (21:05 - 5.69m) and Live Six Nations Rugby Union (16:35 - 5.33m) gave the corporation a lead right across prime-time with, ITV being unable to respond. The top ITV performers were Harry Hill's TV Burp (19:30 - 5.10m) and a very disappointing audience figure for Ant & Dec's Push The Button (20:00 - 4.89m). Also, is it really so wrong to be wondering if Piers Morgan's Life Stories, which featured an interview with Corrie's Kym Marsh, getting under four million viewers will see Piers bragging about his numbers quite as eagerly as he has in the past? Somehow, I doubt it.

The X-Files star Annabeth Gish has been cast in FlashForward. According to the website, the thirty eight-year-old actress will make her first appearance in early May. The show's executive producer, Jessica Borsiczky, confirmed at last week's Paley Fest: 'Oh, you know who's coming up on the show. And... I'm giving you an exclusive thing - Annabeth Gish is going to guest star on the show.'

Peter Graves - the star of the classic 1960s TV series Mission: Impossible - has died in Los Angeles. The actor had a suspected heart attack outside his home after a meal with his family, about a week before his eighty fourth birthday, his publicist Sandy Brokaw told reporters. Graves was probably best known for his role as special agent Jim Phelps in the massively successful Mission: Impossible. He also played bungling pilot Clarence Oveur in the 1980 film Airplane! Born in Minneapolis, Graves was of German and Norwegian descent and was the younger brother of actor James Arness (Gunsmoke). Early in his career, he also turned in a memorable performance as a Nazi spy in the 1953 prisoner-of-war drama Stalag 17 and in Charles Laughton's only movie as a director Night of the Hunter. Peter had just returned from lunch on Sunday with his wife and children when he collapsed before making it into the house, his publicist said. One of his daughters tried in vain to revive him. 'He had this statesmanlike quality,' Brokaw told the Associated Press news agency. 'People were always encouraging him to run for office. But he said: "I like acting. I like being around actors."' His most famous role was in Mission: Impossible, in which Graves led a squad of American government special agents battling pan-continental evil conspirators. Joining the series at the start of its second year as a replacement for Steven Hill, each show would began with Graves, as Agent Phelps, listening to instructions detailing his team's latest breathtakingly difficult mission on a tape, which would then self-destructed within seconds of being played. The show ran on CBS from 1967 to 1973 and was revived on ABC from 1988 to 1990.

Coronation Street bosses have today denied press claims that Julie Goodyear is being lined up for a return to the show. Yesterday, a newspaper reported that new producer Phil Collinson is hoping to bring back Goodyear's character Bet Lynch when he takes over as showrunner later this year. It was also claimed that Collinson had decided to recruit other old favourites like Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts) and Sherrie Hewson (Maureen Naylor) as the drama approaches its fiftieth anniversary. However, a Coronation Street spokesperson today told Sky: 'At the moment there are no plans for Bet to return. The new producer hasn't even started yet, he's not made any decisions. There are lots of exciting things being planned for the fiftieth anniversary but nothing has been finalised.' Collinson will officially take office at Coronation Street in the summer as a replacement for current leading producer Kim Crowther. Goodyear left the soap in 1995 after twenty five years, having scooped a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' at the NTAs. A 'source' was reported to have told the - always totally reliable - News of the World 'Phil feels viewers have been turning off because the show has become a teen soap, like Hollyoaks. So he's set a brief to make changes and revive the golden days.' But that would now appear to have been a load of scum-lies. In the News of the World? How very surprising.

One of the contestants on Dancing On Ice has reportedly claimed the show is 'a fix.' According to the People, contestants are said to be angry that favourite Hayley Tamaddon was a stand-by skater two years ago and has had more time to practise. One anonymous coward of a contestant explained: 'Hayley and [her professional partner] Dan [Whiston] definitely are not popular within the group - they haven't made much effort to get involved. It would be fair to say that several people dislike her. Even hate her. She is the butt of a lot of bitching sessions.' The insider reportedly also said that Tamaddon, who received a perfect score last week, has been skating since her teens. 'Nobody else really stands a chance,' the source added. 'She's had two years knowing there was a high chance she was going on, so she has put the preparation in. The talk among some is that it is a fix.' A spokesperson for the show dismissed the claims, saying: 'Hayley has never been a standby contestant. She told us she has never skated before.' They then added, 'and when we find out who the dirty little Copper's Nark who's been spreading this shit about is, they're out of here.' Under their breath, obviously.

Location, Location, Location presenters Kirstie, Kirstie, Kirstie Allsopp and Phil, Phil, Phil Spencer are reportedly launching their own independent production company, company, company. The Glasgow-based independent, named Raise The Roof Roof Roof, will see Allsopp, Allsopp, Allsopp and Spencer, Spencer, Spencer team up with Sarah Walmsley, Walmsley, Walmsley and Jane Muirhead, Muirhead, Muirhead who previously worked for Location, Location, Location's producer IWC Media. According to the Gruniad, Gruniad, Gruniad, Raise The Roof, Roof, Roof has already agreed a deal with BBC Worldwide for international distribution of its content, content, content along with other commercial opportunities. Allsopp and Spencer will sit on the firm's board, while Muirhead will act as managing director and Walmsely will become the creative director.

A group of MPs have warned that proposals to expand Channel 4's remit could 'significantly increase the broadcaster's market impact,' meaning tighter controls would be required. The government's digital economy bill, which is currently going through parliament, includes proposals to extend Channel 4's public service broadcasting remit to cover not only its main TV channel, but also E4, More4, Film4 and all online services. According to reports, the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee has said that the approach would make Channel 4 'more akin' to the BBC, but supported by revenue derived from commercial sources. The MPs said that such an expansion would lead to 'issues regarding the extent to which its governance framework should be revised.' In the Channel 4 Annual Report, the committee said: 'The extension of Channel 4's primary functions beyond the core PSB television channel, along with the growth of its non-PSB activities, means the market impact this public organisation has might increase significantly, raising questions about how this market impact should be monitored and controlled. We recommend that the government consider and address these issues now, during the passage of the digital economy bill.' The report added: 'In the case of the BBC the need to have such functions undertaken by an entity separate from the organisation's management was a key factor in the creation of the BBC Trust.' The committee also questioned whether Channel 4 is currently upholding the requirements of its PSB remit, as US imports, game shows and reality TV shows dominate the broadcaster's schedule ahead of quality UK-produced content. After examining all Channel 4-aired programming on 1 December last year, the committee found that that the schedule was 'composed largely of non-PSB programming,' such as repeats of Friends and Frasier.

Neil Fox has described Pete Waterman's Your Country Needs You! as 'a shambles.' The Magic FM DJ, who worked with Waterman on two series of Pop Idol, said that the quality of contestants on the BBC1 Eurovision talent hunt was embarrassing. 'The comparison between Leona Lewis who won X Factor a few years ago and Your Country Needs You!, which was that Eurovision shambles on Friday ... I've never been so embarrassed watching anything in years,' said Fox. 'We have not got a chance of ever winning Eurovision if that is the best we can do. There were people singing on there who were so tone deaf, it really was embarrassing. And Pete Waterman didn't say "that was awful." He would have said that on Pop Idol.' He added: 'An average song and an average singer. Best of luck and all that, but crikey there must be better than that, surely?' The Friday night show was won by nineteen-year-old Josh Dubovie. He will now go on to represent the UK in Norway, singing Waterman and Mike Stock's song 'That Sounds Good To Me.' But, not to anyone else. Certainly not to Neil Fox, anyway.

One in ten children believe that the Queen invented the telephone, a new survey has revealed. You mean, she didn't? Crikey. You'll be telling us next that Vic Reeves didn't invent saucepans. BBC News says that the study of one thousand primary and secondary school children found that many are confused about scientific achievements. Charles Darwin and Noel Edmonds were also believed to have inventing the telephone, whilst one in twenty children thought either Luke Skywalker or Richard Branson had been the first person to walk on the moon. Almost sixty per cent of nine and ten-year-olds believe that Sir Isaac Newton discovered fire (when, of course, every idiot knows that it was actually Jeff Fire who did), while some students thought he had invented the Internet. However, the study also found that more children want to win a Nobel prize for science than The X Factor. At least, that's what they told thge people asking them serious questions. To be honest, if those are the only two options for future employment, I'd've probably gone for the Nobel myself. If you include a third - like a job asking 'do you want fries with that?' - then the result could be somewhat different. Dr Pam Waddell from Birmingham Science City, who organised the research, said: 'While some of these findings will raise a smile, it suggests that schoolchildren aren't tuned into our scientific heroes in the same way that they might be to sporting or music legends.' Not shit, Sherlock. And, they gave you letters after your name for that, Pam?

Kerry Katona reportedly called the police after her former husband, Mark Croft, failed to return their daughter. The couple split up last month but the People reports that Croft refused to bring their three-year-old daughter, Heidi, home after a visit. She has allegedly also claimed that Croft sent her threatening text messages, including one which read: 'I want you dead.' A source explained: 'Heidi had been at Mark's since Thursday and was due to be returned to Kerry yesterday, but he called and told her she wouldn't be getting Heidi back for a very long time.' At that point Kerry and [her mother] Sue began to worry and take it all very seriously indeed. She is beside herself, she doesn't know what to do. Mark was being completely unreasonable and got really nasty. Kerry thinks Mark is unhinged and fears he might do something stupid to herself or Heidi.' The 'insider' added: 'She was in bits and decided to call the police. She has also contacted her lawyers to stop Mark treating her like this, as well as to get Heidi back. She's prepared to go to court.' Croft refused to comment on the allegations, while Cheshire Police said: 'We are not taking press queries until Monday.' Meanwhile, Croft himself has dismissed claims that he is a drug dealer. He claimed that his mother-in-law had started the rumour. 'No, I wasn't dealing cocaine,' he told the News of the World. 'I am not a cocaine dealer despite what has been said about me. Kerry's mum, Sue, said that. Sue branded me a cocaine dealer but nobody else has. She did it because she hated me taking Kerry from her. She has caused problems in my marriage and turned the public against me.' Croft also denied reports that he was involved in making a video which showed Katona taking cocaine.

And, finally, Katie Price is hoping that her ex-husband Peter Andre will find love with Kerry Katona, a report has claimed. Blimey, I know it was something of a bitter break-up but that's really harsh.

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