Thursday, April 08, 2010

Whose Idea Was This Anyway? John Logie Baird, You've Got A Lot To Answer For!

Yer Keith Telly Topping's tip from virtually the start of the series, Dhruv Baker, won the BBC's MasterChef title last night in a nail-biting final. Described by judge Gregg Wallace as someone who is 'one of the most extraordinary talents I've ever seen ... he cooks like an angel' Dhruv beat stiff competition from the other finalists, Tim Kinnaird and Alex Rushmer to win the title. On last night's show, the three finalists travelled to three of Europe's finest Michelin starred restaurants in France, Italy and Holland to cook dishes at the highest level. Previous MasterChef winners have included Thomasina Miers, who runs the Wahaca restaurant chain, James Nathan, who now works for Rick Stein and, last year's winner, The Wild Garlic owner Mat Follas.

Karen Gillan has admitted to feeling relieved at her first episode of Doctor Who finally being broadcast over the weekend. Speaking to ITV's This Morning, the actress suggested that the reaction to the series opener - The Eleventh Hour - seemed to be a positive one. Gillan said: 'Yes, the anticipation was quite pressurising but mostly just exciting because people care so much about it! It's a real privilege. We were filming for nine months and you get in to this bubble almost and you sort of forget that it's actually going out on television. And it did on Saturday and we're all breathing big sighs of relief because it seems to have gone down quite well.' She added: 'Matt is amazing! The pressure he was under, especially when the first episode was airing. We are generally great friends and are going through this experience together at the same time.'

Bruce Forsyth has admitted that he is not a fan of The X Factor, branding the hit show 'embarrassing.' The Strictly Come Dancing host explained that he has never managed to sit through a full episode of Simon Cowell's talent series because he does not find it entertaining enough. Speaking to the Mirror, Forsyth commented: 'It's not my cup of tea, I haven't watched an entire show. I can't hear people singing for two hours, that to me is not entertainment. I'm an old variety performer, I want to see a juggler, or something to break it up. I hate seeing people disappointed in public. It can be embarrassing at times.' The veteran entertainer also claimed that the ITV programme has become too over-the-top, remarking: 'Bigger venues and the pyrotechnics made it much more of an event last year. Sometimes it was like a firework display with someone singing to be voted on. The electricity bill must have been enormous.' For somebody who claims to have watched not a lot of the show, he seems remarkably well informed about the minutia of it.

The return date for the fourth series of Britain's Got Talent has been confirmed. Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan will return to search for Britain's best - or, at least, most marketable - talent on Saturday 17 April at 8pm. The first episode, hosted by regular presenters Ant and Dec, will run for ninety minutes. Stephen Mulhern will also return as the host of ITV2 spin-off show Britain's Got More Talent. The 2009 series, which launched Susan Boyle's music career, peaked with nineteen million viewers in the final. The show was the highest-rating programme of the year. Holden has claimed that the latest run will be the 'funniest' series to date - though coming from the woman who gave the world Big Top, we're taking anything she says in regard to humour with a vat of salt - while oily, full of himself Morgan has promised that there will be some 'extremely unusual' contestants. But the usual smug, irritating judges.

ITV is reportedly considering talking legal action over BBC Worldwide and ABC's new ice-dancing reality show. BBC Worldwide's Jane Tranter confirmed last month that the production company behind Dancing With The Stars was working on the project. 'This programme will be a truly unique and exciting experience for their viewers,' she said. However, according to the Sun, ITV is consulting its legal team about the programme, which they claim would have a similar format to Dancing On Ice. The broadcaster has aired the celebrity-based skating series for the last five years. A source said: 'ITV bosses are very protective of their shows - just like the BBC is of theirs. They're convinced it is a rip-off.' BBC insiders responded by pointing out that they created a one-off Strictly Ice Dancing special in 2004, two years prior to ITV launching Dancing On Ice.

Liverpool footballer Fernando Torres has revealed that he wants to take part in a Come Dine With Me World Cup special. The Spanish striker has frequently spoken about his passion for food and British cookery shows, confessing to holding competitions with his team mates Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. However, according to the Sun, Torres now wants to organise an episode of the Channel 4 dining show with rival footballers Cesc Fabregas and Rio Ferdinand. 'I'd love to arrange a World Cup Come Dine With Me. I've been a fan of cookery shows since I arrived in England in 2007 and Come Dine With Me is by far my favourite,' he said. A WAG World Cup Come Dine With Me Special, featuring Celebrity Big Brother's Nicola Tapendden, will reportedly air this summer.

The cast of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks fear that the drama could be cancelled due to poor ratings, a report has claimed. Over the Easter holidays, the teen serial slumped to just eight hundred and fifty thousand viewers - a mere ten thousand above the programme's all-time ratings low which occurred on New Year's Eve. Still, cheer up guys, it's half a million more than Live From Studio Five gets. Hollyoaks is currently undergoing a major revamp following the arrival of new series producer Paul Marquess, who has already culled a string of characters, shaken up the show's production team and begun casting for a new family. However, despite Marquess's attempts to turn the soap's fortunes around, one senior cast member is quoted by the Daily Star as saying: 'It's a really worrying time for everyone connected to the show. Not only have we had a new boss come in and cull a load of characters, we've had some of the worst viewing figures in years. It doesn't inspire confidence both on screen and off it. Watching The Bill being axed just shows that anything is possible. No-one is sure what the future holds. We're keeping everything crossed that we can pull through this.' Playing down the report, a Channel 4 spokesman insisted: 'Hollyoaks remains a strong part of Channel 4's schedule. And as the flagship soap it is still the only long-running nightly drama for young British audiences. Fans can look forward to explosive storylines in the coming months when new episodes from Paul Marquess hit the screens.'

Former Coronation Street actress Debra Stephenson has revealed that she would like to return to the world of soap in the future. The actress, who played Frankie Baldwin between 2004 and 2006, explained that she hopes to be part of a serial drama during the later years of her career. Speaking to Take 5 magazine, Stephenson commented: 'I'd love to be an old actress and still be in a soap. I admire the older ladies who carry on working. Look at Betty Driver on Coronation Street - she's incredible. But working on Corrie didn't fit in with family life. I didn't want to be away so much.' Stephenson's latest project was the BBC1 comedy series The Impressions Show, which saw her team up with Jon Culshaw. She confirmed: 'We're hoping to do another series. We're just waiting for the green light.'

The cast of The Inbetweeners have started filming series three, James Buckley has confirmed. The twenty two-year-old actor, who plays Jay Cartwright on the E4 teen comedy, used his Twitter account to inform fans of the progress on the new episodes.

Ceri Thomas, editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, has claimed that alleged sexist comments he made about female presenters have been misrepresented in the media. Writing in the Gruniad Morning Star, Thomas said that he has been called 'a misogynist, a mediocrity [and] a moron' for supposedly saying that only men have the skills and tenacity to survive on the long-running radio show. However, Thomas claimed that he 'didn't say any of those things,' and that the accusations of sexism actually stemmed from a series of 'overcooked and under-researched' comment pieces. Thomas believes that the lack of women on the Today programme is actually down to the paucity of top-flight female journalists, but he also admitted to making 'a mistake' by not clarifying the comments. 'I did say we don't have enough women on Today, as presenters, reporters or guests,' he said. 'I said the main reason is that we're part of a wider BBC, and a wider news world, in which women have not been well represented in the most senior positions.' The controversy derived from Thomas' comments on a BBC Feedback show about why there are more women on BBC News than the Today programme. He said: 'Those are slightly easier jobs. They are difficult jobs but the skill set you need to work on the Today programme and the hide that you need, the thickness of that, is something else.'

British actor Christopher Cazenove, who was best known for his role in Dynasty, has died after 'a valiant battle' with septicaemia, his family has said. The actor, who played Ben Carrington in the 1980s US soap opera, was sixty six. In a statement released by his agent, his family and girlfriend Isabel Davis said the actor 'died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones.' He died on Wednesday at St Thomas's Hospital, London, after contracting septicaemia at the end of February. The news comes a week after the death of John Forsythe, the former Dynasty star who played oil tycoon Blake Carrington.

Nathan Fillion has credited Joss Whedon for 'single-handedly' changing the direction of his career. The Canadian actor starred as Caleb in the final series of Whedon's Buffy The Vampire Slayer and in the lead role of Malcolm Reynolds in his 'sci-fi western' Firefly. Fillion told Metro of Whedon: 'He's the one who took me from being cast as the main guy's brother or best friend or the main girl's ex-boyfriend and gave me lead roles. Until someone gives you that opportunity, people are reluctant to cast you as the lead. He was the first person to cast me as a villain, in Buffy, and in a lead role, on Firefly, then as the lead in a motion picture on the Firefly movie [Serenity]. He's done more for me than anyone else in Los Angeles.' When asked if the fans of Whedon's shows were 'kooky', Fillion replied: 'No, they're level-headed and intelligent and passionate about the shows. I was on a daytime soap opera and that attracted kooky fans, people who were reluctant to draw a line between fantasy and reality. They didn't want to know my name was Nathan, they wanted to pretend I was really Joey.' Fillion is currently starring in the title role in ABC's Castle, which premiered in the UK last night on Alibi and has reportedly been renewed for a third season in the US.

Buzz Aldrin has said that he is not surprised by his elimination from Dancing With The Stars. The former astronaut and second man to walk on the moon also became the second celebrity to leave the ABC competition after landing in the bottom two alongside Bachelor star Jake Pavelka. Speaking to ET Online, he said: 'I'm never really surprised at how things turn out. I didn't start with a big advantage over everybody else. I had to overcome considerable obstacles, age maybe being one of them. Physical agility, whether I could learn things fast or not.' He added: 'I know inside what is easy and not so easy for me. I'm just happy I did the best I could and we came as far as we did and I established a great friendship with a lovely family.' Former Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed actress the spectacularly unloved Shannen Doherty was the first competitor to exit the competition last week.

Liam Gallagher was reportedly 'shy' when he recently met Mariah Carey. The Oasis frontman is believed to have timidly introduced himself to the singer at a hotel in Florida earlier this month, where she was staying with friends as part of her fortieth birthday celebrations. An eyewitness told the Mirror that Gallagher had nervously approached Carey before introducing himself by saying 'Hi, I'm Liam from Oasis,' and quickly wishing her a happy birthday. Blimey, that's not very rock and roll, is it Liam? Couldn't you, at least, have, you know, butted her in the face or something for the crimes she did to 'Hey Jude' at Live 8?

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