Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Used To Be Apathetic. But Now, I Can't Be Bothered

Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat has said that the current financial climate has forced the show's production team to be creative. 'There will never be enough money to make Doctor Who,' Moffat said. 'We could spend Avatar's budget and still ask for more, because it's a show that's set in every point in history and every place in the universe.' Moffat told the BBC he did not consider the budget when writing episodes. 'What we think is what we need to achieve, and how we're to achieve it, given whatever financial circumstance we're in,' he said. 'A lot of the most iconic things about Doctor Who are a direct consequence of financial shortcomings'" He pointed out that the idea of the TARDIS was the result of the original production team in the 1960s making the best use of what was already available. 'They said "we've got a police box from Dixon of Dock Green - let's make a box that's bigger on the inside," and thus was born the single best idea in all of fiction,' said Moffat. He added: 'Budget cuts are tough: I don't like them, but they force you to be creative. You've seen that trailer. Does it look like we've had a budget cut?' Matt Smith's debut adventure - The Eleventh Hour - and a new season trailer were screened to the press in Cardiff last week. 'So much was new,' said Moffat, 'it would have been cowardly not to have a new TARDIS as well.' According to BBC Worldwide, Doctor Who has sold to over fifty territories and was a top five selling programme for the BBC in 2009. There have been over three million DVD sales to date, and more than seven million action figures have been sold meaning that, purely in terms of the money that it brings back into the BBC Doctor Who could be said to be one of only a handful of BBC shows that, actually, pay for themselves.

More Ideal casting news, Graham Fellows and Mark Radcliffe will appear in episodes of the forthcoming - sixth - series which is currently filming in Manchester. And, speaking of the latter ... A new documentary series investigating just what makes the 'perfect' rock band is to air on BBC2 this spring. Currently going by the working title Rock 'n' Roll, the series will examine each band-member's role in detail – from the singer to the lead guitarist to the mysterious 'other one.' In the process it will tell classic tales from rock folklore through comic book-style graphics and in-depth profiles of legendary bands. Rock 'n' Roll will be narrated by Mark Radcliffe, who said the series will 'really look at how a band works from the inside. It will be made all the more fascinating by the stellar cast of rock'n'roll stars who have agreed to take part,' he added. The series will culminate in a live studio finale, bringing together music industry experts and celebrity fans as the 'ultimate rock'n'roll line-up' is announced. This accolade will be voted for in an online poll at the programme's website, and the debate will also continue on Radio 2. Mark Cooper, the executive producer for the project, said: 'We've captured over a hundred interviews with rock'n'roll greats while making this series. It's crammed with great stories, brilliant archive and graphics that bring the mythological moments of the great rock'n'roll bands to life.'

The BBC is said to have received more than one hundred complaints from people dissatisfied with Brian Moore's commentary on England's Six Nations rugby international with France on Saturday. Among the issues raised by viewers were concerns about alleged derogatory references regarding the referee and claims that Moore's commentary was opinionated and biased.

Philip Glenister has claimed that Simon Cowell's TV shows are 'bullying disguised as entertainment.' The actor, who returns with a new series of Ashes To Ashes next week, also criticised the judges on The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, describing them as 'supposed experts. What I loathe about The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent is this idea that they're going to make someone a star,' Glenister told the Radio Times. 'It's just the Simon Cowell show. He runs the gig. Makes the money. End of.' He continued: 'The audition process is malicious and cruel, watching self-delusional people in front of three supposed experts who are smirking. It's bullying disguised as entertainment and they're lying to themselves if they think otherwise.'

The legacy of George and Joy Adamson will be the focus of a one-off documentary for BBC4. Produced by Icon Films, the sixty-minute The Born Free Legacy will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Joy Adamson's book about bringing up orphaned lions in Africa. The documentary will be directed by Alex Parkinson. It is expected to be broadcast later in the year.

Dermot O'Leary reportedly received a sinister voicemail message containing a threat to rape his X Factor co-star Cheryl Cole, according to press allegation. Police are currently investigating after O'Leary reported the matter, the Sun claims. The paper suggests that the individual who sent the message may have intended to contact Cole herself but had the wrong phone number. A source told the newspaper: 'The message was of a sexual, threatening and sickening nature. Dermot was horrified when he heard it. He thought at first it was a sick wind-up, but soon realised there was something sinister going on.' They added: 'Somehow this caller has tried to get hold of her number and somehow accidentally got Dermot's. If they were prepared to go to that effort, who knows what they would be prepared to do?' A spokesman for Cole said that the singer's management company is helping police with their enquiries. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the City of London Police said: 'We are investigating claims of an offensive message being left on a mobile telephone. It follows a complaint from a member of the public.'

Cilla Black has revealed that she may make a cameo appearance in Coronation Street. The former singer and Blind Date host claimed that she has been approached by the soap's producers despite turning down the chance to come to Weatherfield on a number of occasions in the past. Black, sixty six, confirmed that she would like to appear for a one-off episode but is wary of making a greater commitment due to the programme's demanding filming schedule. Speaking to the Mirror, Cilla explained: 'They have asked me to join the show. It's not their first approach - they have asked me several times. I love Corrie, but I keep saying no. I couldn't cope with all the hours they do, they work them like dogs. It's really hard work.' She added: 'It would be nice to do a cameo, but even Ian McKellen worked long hours when he did it for a while. If the role was right, I would do a one-off thing.' Black also admitted that she would like to do 'more acting' in the future and that a movie role would be 'wonderful.'

Coronation Street producers have decided to recast the character of Amy Barlow for the fifth time. Amber Chadwick, who played the Weatherfield youngster for almost four years, has been replaced by another actress, Elle Mulvaney, according to the Sun. The decision ties in with the return of Amy's mother Tracy, who is currently serving a fifteen-year prison sentence for the murder of her lover, Charlie Stubbs. It is thought that the show's producers felt the plot required 'a really good little actress' in the role of Amy. A source said: 'Amber was lovely but Elle is a very natural little actress.' As well as Chadwick, the part of Amy has previously been played by Holly Bower, Rebecca Pike, Louisa Morris and Madison Hampson.

EastEnders star John Partridge has been criticised by the campaign group Mediawatch after claiming that the soap should take a more candid approach to its handling of gay issues. In an interview with Attitude magazine, the openly gay actor suggested that the BBC drama's producers should continue to push the boundaries as they create storylines for his character Christian Clarke and the barman's love interest Syed Masood (Marc Elliott). Christian and Syed embarked on an affair in the serial last year, but have since ended their fling as Syed wants to concentrate on his new wife Amira (Preeya Kalidas) and 'staying true' to his Muslim faith. Discussing how the plotline should continue, Partridge commented: 'Part of me would like to see Christian and Syed have the first civil partnership in the soap. But there is also another part of me that would like to see them have to deal with things that aren't associated with being a heterosexual couple - the infidelity, the threesomes, the side of gay culture that's not necessarily viewed at 7.30pm. I think we have pushed boundaries so much that it would be a cop-out to wrap it all up in a civil partnership and adopt an Afghan baby.' Mediawatch's director Vivienne Pattison took exception to Partridge's idea of threesomes featuring on the programme. She told the Daily Star: 'This type of storyline would be wholly inappropriate for a pre-watershed show. Thank goodness Mr Partridge isn't a scriptwriter.' Ah, it's always nice to hear from the great silent minority of bigoted, homophobic right-wing scum, isn't it?

ITV has refunded more than five thousand pounds to viewers after the wrong competition phone-in question was read out on antiques show Dickinson's Real Deal. The repeat show broadcast on 19 January had been re-edited to include a new on-screen competition, but an accompanying voiceover was not updated. ITV said it had paid back five thousand and twenty six of the almost sixteen thousand entrants eligible for a refund. Ofcom said it was 'concerned' by the 'materially misleading information' but accepted it was an 'isolated incident.' One viewer complained to the media regulator that it was not clear which question viewers were supposed to answer for the competition. It cost one pound to enter via text message or premium-rate phone number and offered the chance to win two thousand pounds. ITV said the episode had been re-edited for broadcast by its production company, RDF Television. It told Ofcom that RDF had identified the discrepancy at the end of the programme between the voiceover and the on-screen competition, but it had not been corrected due to an 'error in the dubbing process.' The mistake was subsequently not picked up by the ITV compliance adviser prior to transmission. The broadcaster said it cancelled the competition and implemented a refund procedure after it received 'a small number of complaints' about the matter, concluding there was 'a clear possibility of viewer confusion.' ITV said an additional check had been introduced and pledged to be 'extra vigilant' to ensure a similar error did not happen again. Ofcom said it 'accepted this was an isolated incident arising from an unusual sequence of human errors. Further, we noted the prompt refund procedures put in place to compensate entrants, and that the broadcaster had improved its processes to prevent a recurrence. We therefore considered the matter resolved,' it added. ITV was fined over five and a half million pounds by Ofcom two years ago after a string of premium-rate phone-in scandals. The broadcaster said any refunds not claimed within three months of the broadcast would be donated to charity.

Actor Sir Christopher Lee has been ordered to pay six hundred and forty thousand pounds by a court in Spain to an illustrator for work he did for a DVD cover. Gerardo Moreno sued the eighty seven-year-old claiming he was not properly paid for the DVD artwork on 1998 film Jinnah, Spanish paper El Pais reported. The judge ordered the actor's assets to be frozen until the money is paid. Jinnah starred Sir Christopher as the founding father of Pakistan, Muhammed Ali Jinnah. Moreno sued the actor, his official website run by agent and son-in-law Juan Aneiros and production company The Quaid Project at a civil court in Burgos, northern Spain. The artist said he designed and illustrated the cover for the DVD, which was released in 2004, after being hired by Aneiros with the consent of Lee and the film's producers. Moreno said he received a payment for a digital illustration of the DVD cover and was then asked to design more content including interactive menus and an informative book. He claimed he did not receive any further payments for the work which were used again for the second edition of the DVD. Sir Christopher and his associates were not in court for the ruling.

The captain of yer Keith Telly Topping's beloved, though unsellable, Magpies Steven Taylor is in hospital today amid allegations of a training ground bust-up with team-mate Andy Carroll. The club have refused to comment but BBC Radio 5live claims that Taylor was admitted to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary on Sunday evening. Several national newspapers also claim that the defender suffered a broken jaw in the row. Taylor, who has been out with a knee injury since January, is likely to miss the rest of the Championship season. Newcastle, who visit Doncaster tonight, are seeking an immediate return to the Premier League and are currently two points clear at the top of the Championship, with nine games remaining - and, frankly, needed any further bad publicity like they needed a frigging hole in the head following a period of relative stability for the last few months after a mostly miserable 2009. Centre forward Carroll has played a prominent part recently, having scored nine goals in his last ten games. 'The alleged altercation is believed to have taken place inside Newcastle United's training complex,' said BBC Radio 5live's senior football reporter Ian Dennis. 'And the former England under-21 captain has stayed overnight in hospital for the last two nights. The news is certainly an unwelcome distraction at such a critical stage of the campaign and a broken jaw will mean the end of Taylor's season.' Come on, lads, I know the song says 'we are the boys in the black and white, we know how to sing and we know how to fight' but, seriously, not with each other.

Peter Andre says that Kerry Katona has 'a good heart.' So, he's a surgeon now, is he? Well, he's certainly not a singer.

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