Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Grand Old Duchess Of York, She Had Ten Thousand Quid...

Jason Manford has been announced as the new co-host of The ONE Show. The twenty nine-year-old comedian is to replace Adrian Chiles on the programme in July, presenting alongside Christine Bleakley from Mondays to Thursdays. Manford said: 'I am thrilled to be part of The ONE Show team. My dad put ten pounds at five-hundred-to-one that I'd get the job so it just made sense.' BBC1 controller Jay Hunt added: 'Jason looked instantly at home on the ONE Show sofa. His intelligence and humour strike just the right tone for the programme and he is an exciting addition to the team.' Meanwhile, the show's editor Sandy Smith commented: 'Jason's strength is his likeability, his natural warmth and his quick wit. He's intelligent and curious about the sort of subjects discussed every day on The ONE Show and is equally at home with the light-hearted and the serious issues.'

A series of reality documentaries featuring the Duchess of York has reportedly been cancelled by ITV following her recent 'cash-for-royal-access' furore. So, there is a God after all it would seem. According to the Daily Star, Sarah Ferguson had landed a three hundred thousand pound deal for three fly-on-the-wall programmes following her daily life, which are now not expected to air. At the weekend, a Sunday newspaper reported that Ferguson had accepted a bribe to introduce a 'businessman' to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew. The man in question was in fact a reporter involved in a sting operation. A TV source said: 'She recently finished filming two documentaries and was meant to be doing a follow-up. But nobody wants that now we know she has secret meetings and does dodgy deals. She's an embarrassment and has been axed. It's not clear whether she'll be able to work again.' Earlier this week, Ferguson said that she was 'very sorry' for her behaviour - or, at least, for getting caught, anyway - and 'deeply' regretted the embarrassment she had caused. What a great pity she didn't also apologise for two series of The Duchess On The Estate whilst she was about it.

A gardener due to feature on TV home makeover show DIY SOS has been found dead after apparently holding his wife hostage inside their home. Jenny Walters, had called police to report she was being held prisoner by husband Mark, at their house in Bushey Mill Lane, Watford, on Sunday. Mrs Walters managed to leave but when police arrived they found the father-of-three dead with a gun. The couple were due to feature on the BBC1 show on Bank Holiday Monday. A BBC spokesperson said the episode would not be broadcast.

BBC3 has revealed that three of its pilots will premiere online. Pulse, Dappers and Stanley Park will all be broadcast on the channel's official website a week before being aired on television. Viewers will also be able to add their comments about the shows on BBC3's blog. Supernatural drama Pulse stars Claire Foy as a woman who returns to medical training after her mother's death but starts to notice strange events in her hospital. Meanwhile, Being Human's Lenora Crichlow joins Ty Glaser for Dappers, a comedy about two single mothers, and Pulling star Sharon Horgan appears in comedy drama Stanley Park, which focuses on a group of friends living in a London suburb. BBC3's controller Danny Cohen said: 'We want to keep experimenting with the relationship between the web and TV, and these pilots provide a great opportunity to get the BBC3 audience discussing our programmes and helping to plan our future.'

ITV executives are considering a complete clear-out of GMTV's current lineup of presenters, a report has claimed. Anchors Kate Garraway, Andrew Castle and Emma Crosby, reporter Richard Arnold and weathergirl Clare Nasir are all expected to be fired in the summer as part of the programme's major revamp, according to the Daily Scum Mail. Sources say that the show's newly-appointed editor Ian Rumsey is in favour of 'a cull,' as are ITV's director of television Peter Fincham and the network's daytime controller Alison Sharman. A GMTV insider commented: 'Quite honestly, everyone is running scared. Nobody knows what is happening as they are all waiting for Ian Rumsey to arrive. But it looks like everyone will be going.' It is thought that GMTV will take a break later this year before returning with a new name - expected to be ITV Breakfast or ITV Day. As previously announced, Adrian Chiles will be the main host and is likely to be teamed with a new female co-presenter. The Scum Mail also claims that GMTV's newsreader Helen Fospero could escape the axe as she is still being considered for an anchor role.

Karen Gillan has dismissed claims that the current series of Doctor Who is too sexy. The BBC received a small number of wholly ludicrous complaints, from morons, after airing a recent episode of the show, which saw Gillan's character Amy Pond attempting to seduce the Doctor (Matt Smith). However, Gillan has now denied suggestions - made, again, by bloody idiots - that the show is setting a bad example to young viewers. 'We're not sending out bad messages because the Doctor isn't reciprocating,' she told the Mirror. 'And actually, people who do find that quite raunchy: really?' Gillan also joked that she wouldn't rule out more romantic scenes on the show after kissing both the Doctor and Rory (Arthur Darvill). 'I bring the best out in them,' she said. 'For the Christmas special? Who knows. Another kiss would be fine.'

Joanna Lumley has joined the cast of Mistresses, it has been announced. The sixty four-year-old actress and Queen of the Gurkhas, who will play Katie's mother Vivienne in the drama, is to star alongside regulars Sarah Parish, Orla Brady, Sharon Small and Shelley Conn. Lumley told TV Times: 'I'm thrilled to have been asked to join this talented cast for this finale of this hugely popular series.' Vivienne will arrive from South Africa in an attempt to help her daughter get her life back on track.

Graham Norton has criticised Ant and Dec's recent game show Push The Button. Speaking to Radio Times, the presenter also defended his involvement in last year's ratings flop Totally Saturday. He said: 'It obviously ain't nice to be involved in a big old flop. But what I do for a living isn't lifting bales or digging coal, so you just get on with it. And although the audience didn't go for it, we actually had a good time doing it. I'm just happy to have found one Saturday night hit, [Over The Rainbow] with Andrew [Lloyd Webber]. 'But look at Ant and Dec with Push The Button, Saturday night entertainment is what they do and they couldn't make that work. So it just goes to show how hard it is.'

Martin Amis has praised the adaptation of his novel Money. The Press Association reports that the author was unhappy with the first script for the BBC drama. 'The earlier script I saw was disappointing,' he said' "They took it back and worked on it and it's hugely improved. My advice was to use more of the language of the novel, the dialogue, rather than making it up.' However, Amis explained that he was impressed by the final production, which he said 'looked very expensive even though it wasn't.' Amis also congratulated Nick Frost on his portrayal of the lead character John Self. 'All the performances [were] without weak spots,' he said. 'I thought Nick Frost was absolutely extraordinary as John Self. He fills the character. It's a very unusual performance in that he's very funny, he's physically comic, but he's also strangely graceful, a pleasure to watch.' He added: 'I don't know what his secret is. I'm not surprised to learn he's a good tennis player and I have a hunch he's a good dancer, too. Some big men do have a grace and he's got it.'

Lost actors Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn are thinking about developing a new show together. The duo, who played Ben Linus and John Locke, already have some concepts for a new television series. Speaking to Access Hollywood, Emerson explained: 'Terry had a couple of really good, strong ideas and he pitched them to someone in the world of producers and they seem to respond to it.' He continued: 'I don't know where it's at or whether it'll come true but there's a good idea out there kicking around and if it comes to life, it would make me very happy.' Emerson also revealed that he became good friends with O'Quinn while they were working on Lost together. 'We were close and, as you know, we had many days where it was he and I working together,' he said. 'Those days were great working days, some of the best of my career.'

BBC Scotland has been forced to pull The Scheme. The fly-on-the-wall documentary followed a group of people living on the Onthank estate in Kilmarnock and has become a ratings-hit north of the border. however, the Daily Record reports that BBC Scotland has postponed the final two episodes 'indefinitely' as one of the participants has been arrested. The channel reportedly decided to delay the broadcast because of fears that the show could prejudice the upcoming court case. 'The Scheme really caught the imagination of the public,' a source said. 'The programme was riding the crest of a wave. There is fear that an indefinite postponement could kill that air of anticipation that viewers had waiting for the next episode. We are hoping that the court issue is solved sooner rather than later and that absence may make the heart grow fonder.' A BBC spokesperson confirmed the decision, saying: 'Someone who has not yet been seen on screen has just recently been arrested and is the subject of a live criminal prosecution. We understand that many viewers will be disappointed.'

The BBC Trust has concluded that the corporation's iPlayer video-on-demand service provides good value for money, but suggested improvements including raising awareness of parental controls to stop under-sixteens accessing unsuitable content. The Trust said it noted a 'lack of awareness and understanding' of the iPlayer's parental controls among the nine thousand responses to its public consultation on the review. 'We think that parental controls are an important part of the BBC's on-demand offering and believe that BBC management should aim to ensure that parents and carers are aware of them,' the Trust added. The BBC Trust said that the review did not include a market impact assessment of the iPlayer. 'We are clear that the BBC has an ongoing duty to consider the competitive impact of its activities as concerns have been raised in these areas by external stakeholders during this review,' the Trust added. The BBC Trust also ruled that the controversial 'series stacking' feature of the iPlayer, which allows users to view entire series of certain programmes beyond the usual seven-day catchup window, would continue to be available for up to a total of fifteen per cent of output.

Meanwhile, the BBC has today unveiled its new version of iPlayer, which incorporates social network functionality and links to other video on-demand websites. Currently in beta testing, iPlayer 3.0 incorporates a raft of new features, including a simplified user interface, enhanced personalisation options and greater content interaction functions. The BBC has also agreed a range of non-exclusive partnerships to enable users to connect with other viewers via social networking and messaging sites. Initial collaboration agreements with Facebook and Twitter will allow iPlayer users to recommend content to friends in their existing networks. The initiative is part of a wider strategy by BBC Online to introduce more social features to its operation. It is also working with other social networks to establish 'further similar partnerships.' BBC director of future, media and technology Erik Huggers said that the new iPlayer strategy is also about BBC Online doing 'fewer things even better. We must no longer try to do everything online, but focus on delivering genuinely world-class products like BBC iPlayer - which audiences love and which really embodies the BBC's core mission in a digital age,' he said. 'In two and half years BBC iPlayer has evolved to become one of our most popular websites, integral to BBC Online, and available on a wide range of Internet-connected devices.'

Amanda Holden has revealed that Piers Morgan once saw her naked in her dressing room. But, that he was too busy being his usual narcissistic, ignorant, twatty self to even notice. There's a surprise.

No comments: