Friday, July 16, 2010

No Sex Please, We're Not Very Well

That well known media organ of total factual accuracy, the Sun, is reporting that Matt Smith 'plans to quit Doctor Who next year.' One to file alongside their 2006 assertions that Zoe Lucker had signed up to play The Rani and, the piece from the following year that David Bowie would be appearing on the show, perhaps? Both stories included alleged 'quotes' from 'insiders' and both turned out, ultimately, to be nothing more than a pile of wet and stinking horseshit. Time, I guess, will tell whether this is another such instance. It usually does where Doctor Who is concerned. Matt, who is currently filming the show's Christmas special, hopes to crack Hollywood by landing more movie roles, claims the newspaper. 'Matt plans to quit after the next series,' a 'pal' allegedly told the paper. Does anybody use the word 'pal' in anything other than an ironic sense, these days? As in, you know, 'are you lookin' at me in a funny way, pal?' And so on. 'He is eager to try new things and thinks Hollywood beckons.' Yes, that sounds like just the sort of thing that a - nameless - 'pal' of someone would tell a national newspaper. Particularly one with the unsurpassed record of complete honesty and trustworthiness that the Sun has. Production on the next - thirteen episode - series of Doctor Who will begin when filming of the special is completed in August and run through to early next year. A BBC spokesperson added: 'Matt is filming the Christmas special and then goes on to film the second series. Beyond that, the BBC and Matt won't speculate on things.' Now, as far as I was aware, from 'sources' a lot closer to the production than this alleged 'pal' of Matt Smith's appears to be, Matt was on a three year contract on the show (with an option to two more). And, frankly, if the Sun told me black was darker than white I'd want a second opinion. And, possibly, a third as well. So this could be another case of a load of old made-up tabloid bollocks. But, as ever, there's that old ticking time bomb that even a broken clock is right twice a day. Once again, time will tell. And From The North will be here to report the outcome, one way or the other.

Writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have revealed that new BBC drama Sherlock will not focus heavily on the great detective's drug abuse. Speaking to Last Broadcast, the pair explained that the use of drugs was not as prominent a theme in Conan Doyle's original stories as some viewers may think. 'Many people point out the drug use in Sherlock Holmes, but there are more references to Sherlock Holmes laughing than there are to taking cocaine or morphine but, oddly enough, people never think about that,' argued Gatiss. He added: 'I understand why, but the important thing is to not get it out of context with the rest of the character." Doctor Who showrunner Moffat explained that he and Gatiss had considered Holmes' drug habit when adapting the character for the modern age. 'I think you'd have to ask the question, would a man like Sherlock Holmes be a coke addict today?' he said. 'In Victorian times everybody was taking some kind of drug, largely because there was no such thing as a painkiller. It is a very different thing to say that Sherlock Holmes is a coke addict now.' Moffat wrote the first episode of the series, titled A Study In Pink, while Gatiss penned following instalment The Blind Banker. The three-part series begins on BBC1 on 25 July.

CSI will reportedly introduce a female bomb expert as a new regular character in the upcoming eleventh season. The role will serve as a replacement for DNA technician Wendy Simms, played by Liz Vassey. It was previously announced that Vassey would not be returning to the show for the new season. According to TV Guide, the new addition will be named Kacey Monohan. Having been setting off bombs from a young age, Monohan will join the CSI team and form a partnership with Nick (George Eads). So, it's probably just as well that Eads himself signed up for another year on the show only yesterday otherwise there might've been some last minute rewriting going on.

Heartbeat star Tricia Penrose has revealed her ambition to join Coronation Street. Yes, you and just about every other soon-to-be-unemployed actor in the business, hen. The forty-year-old (seen right, in her funky go-go boots), who plays the barmaid, Gina, in the long-running 1960s drama, admitted that the main reason why she is keen to be on the serial is the location of its studios. Well, I'm sure that's going to really impress Phil Collinson and his team and have them flocking to your door, Trish. She told What's On TV: 'Home life and family comes first, which is why I'd love to be in Coronation Street as it's right on my doorstep. I'll be on the cobbles in a flash if they call!' If. Interesting word, that. As 'come and get me' pleas go, that really wasn't one of the most successful I've ever seen.

Filming has reportedly started on a new Channel 4 comedy made by Green Wing creator Victoria Pile. The show, Campus, which was commissioned after the channel's Comedy Showcase season, is set in the fictional Kirke University. Dead Set star Andy Nyman appears in the series as the university's vice-chancellor Jonty De Wolfe. '[Campus] is very funny and treads a very fine line,' he told BBC News. 'It's her vision and she has a brilliant warped sideways sense of looking at things. Some of it is very odd.'

Larry King has said that he is not very familiar with presumed CNN replacement Piers Morgan. Oh, you will be, Larry, trust me, you will be. Speaking with Forbes, King said that he has never seen the America's Got Talent judge interview anyone and that he did not know if he would 'recognise him if he was walking down the street,' even though Morgan has appeared on his chat show. 'I've never seen him interview [anyone] but I hear he's quite good. I don't know him,' King said. He added that his favourite candidate to replace him is still Ryan Seacrest.

The actress who played Aveline in the dreadful 1980s Liverpool sitcom Bread has died from a suspected heart attack. Gilly Coman, played the Boswell family's flame-haired sister for five series of the alleged comedy, before leaving to have a baby in 1989. Brought up in Wavertree, she joined the Elliot Clarke drama school on Rodney Street when she was seven. Coman also appeared in Brookside, Boys from the Blackstuff, Coronation Street and Emmerdale Farm. Written by Carla Lane, Bread - a thoroughly patronising and crassly stereotypical slice of wacky Scouse jiggery-pokery - attracted more than twenty one million viewers for the episode when Aveline married Protestant vicar Oswald in 1988. Because, basically, people were, basically, stupid back then. Lane said: 'She was a nice girl, a good actress and she never questioned the lines I gave her. She knew how to walk to make people laugh and she knew the character better than I did.' When Coman, a mother-of-four gave up her part it was taken over by Melanie Hill, who played Aveline for the final two series.

The cast for the third series of Above Suspicion has been announced by ITV. Ray Fearon (Missing), Robbie Gee (The Fixer, Murphy's Law) and Andrew Woodall (Place of Execution) among others will join the main cast for the crime drama, written by the vastly over-rated Lydia La Plante. Kelly Reilly returns as Anna Travis alongside Ciarán Hinds as Superintendent James Langton and Shaun Dingwall as Mike Lewis. Meanwhile, Celyn Jones reprises his role as Paul Barolli, and Manda Lawrence as Joan Faukland. Deadly Intent, which will run for three episodes, will be broadcast on ITV early next year. One well worth avoiding if the last mini-series was anything to go by. La Plante says of the plot: 'DI Travis and DCS Langton are back together to investigate the death of a former colleague and friend of Langton's in dreadful circumstances. It's very exciting that Kelly and Ciarán are reunited to bring both characters back for a third season with an adaptation of my fourth novel in the series.'

The Sun - remember then? Always print stories that turn out to be one hundred per cent true ... except for the ones that don't - has pulled the plug on its Jon Gaunt-fronted Internet radio show SunTalk after just over a year. SunTalk, which began broadcasting in April last year, styled itself as 'the home of free speech' and aired every weekday for three hours a day. A message on the SunTalk homepage, after yesterday's final edition, said: 'SunTalk is no longer live. Thank you for listening over the last eighteen months. Please continue to enjoy our podcasts.' The closure comes just two days after Gaunt lost his legal battle with the media regulator Ofcom over an on-air exchange in November 2008 while he was still a presenter with the national speech station TalkSport. Gaunt was censured by the regulator after calling a local councillor a 'Nazi.' SunTalk's closure is said to be unrelated to the case. The station was available online via the Sun website and broadcast on FM to the expatriate community in parts of Spain. News International management were considering extending the station's reach by launching it nationally on DAB digital radio. But it is understood they baulked at the extra cost. A News International spokesman said: 'News International can confirm that SunTalk has closed. This was a business decision taken as part of an ongoing review of costs and strategy to focus on core operations.' Insiders said SunTalk was not part of News International's core business and its costs could not be justified with budget cuts going on elsewhere in the organisation. SunTalk employed Gaunt and two other staff.

Cheryl Cole has reportedly been banned from having sex while recovering from malaria. The twenty seven-year-old left a private clinic on Thursday to return to her Surrey mansion. However, she was warned by doctors not to do anything to aggravate her already-high blood pressure, reports the Sun. 'Cheryl managed to summon enough energy for a giggle when she was given the news about a sex ban. It's the last thing on her mind right now,' a source said.

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