Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pariahs

Particular favourites of yer Keith Telly Topping, Sue Perkins and Giles Coren are reported filming a new reality series based on The Good Life. The 1970s Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal sitcom focused on a couple who decided to give up life in the rat-race to aim for self-sufficiency. Perkins and Coren, who previously worked together on BBC2's much admired Supersizers series, will now try to recreate the ideas behind the comedy to celebrate its thirty fifth anniversary. According to the Daily Scum Mail, they will take on challenges such as growing leeks in the front garden, grazing goats in the park, weaving cloth to make clothes and constructing a methane generator for electricity. 'Sue and Giles will get advice from experts if needed, but much of the time they'll be trying to find their own answers to everything from carrot blight to how to treat a constipated pig,' a 'source' allegedly said. 'They have got their woolly jumpers and bobble hats.' The three-part series Giles And Sue Live... The Good Life will be broadcast later this year on BBC2 along with a Christmas special. A book to accompany the show will also be released.

Lie To Me star Tim Roth has revealed details of the show's next season. The final episode of the crime drama's second run will air on Fox on 26 July. A thirteen-episode third season has already been commissioned. 'We have been talking about the third season,' Roth told TV Is My Pacifier. 'I'm very close to the two guys that are running the show now, the two writers. We've been talking about what we would like and different ideas and so forth. I am meeting with them next week and they're going to pitch stories to me and see what my feelings are.' The actor admitted that he enjoys playing his morally ambiguous character, Cal Lightman. 'I think what's interesting about him is he operates in a [moral] grey area,' he explained. 'I have to say I like that about him. So I think we’re looking at developing the kind of rogue element of him even more in the third season.' Roth also revealed that he would like his lie-detecting role to face a criminal with similar abilities. '[A character I want] is somebody that is way better than him at what he does. How do you deal with that? If you keep not being able to read them. And your face gets rubbed in it time and time again, how would he deal with that? I think [that] might be fun.'

The Wire's Aidan Gillen has reportedly landed a role on HBO's upcoming Game of Thrones. Gillen - currently in ITV's Identity - will play a scheming character called Littlefinger in the fantasy adventure series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Littlefinger is described as the manipulative advisor to King Robert. The series is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George RR Martin. Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Sean Bean, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Jason Momoa will also star in the show, which premieres next year on HBO.

The BBC is considering moving its flagship Breakfast show to Salford, it has emerged. A spokesman said the corporation was 'considering a range of options,' adding that no final decision had yet been made. The daily show is fronted by Bill Turnbull, Sian Williams, Susanna Reid and Charlie Stayt. The BBC has already announced that several other departments will move to its new northern base in Salford. These include sport, children's, parts of Radio 5live and learning. 'It has not been decided yet, but if BBC Breakfast were to move to Salford, viewers could really start to notice that the BBC was making more of its programmes in the North - just as listeners may when Radio 5Live moves,' said the BBC's media correspondent, Torin Douglas. 'Breakfast runs for three hours a day on BBC1 - and the Salford Quays waterfront and new buildings could provide a highly visible backdrop for the programme.' Breakfast features a mix of news, weather, sport and celebrity guests. Its other presenters include sports broadcaster Chris Hollins and weather presenter, Carol Kirkwood. It is currently broadcast from the BBC's Television Centre in west London and runs for three hours on a week day and on Sundays and four hours on a Saturday. The programme celebrated its twenty fifth anniversary in 2008. About two thousand five hundred jobs from five departments are moving to Salford Quays in 2011 from their current London home.

Tom Owen has criticised the BBC for not ending Last Of The Summer Wine with a special episode. However, everybody else who's suffered thirty years of that twee garbage would, by contrast, like the thank the Beeb for putting the knackered old carthorse out of its misery. Even if it is a couple of decades, at least, overdue.

Joanna Page has described Britain's Got Talent as 'a celebration of mediocrity.' Well, you'd know all about that, darlin'. After all, you were in a massively over-rated sitcom and now you're about to host a show for Sky about pets doin', like, the funniest things, like ever and all that totally fantastic original malarkey. That's mediocrity in a nutshell, I'd've said. The actress told Heat that she is no fan of the ITV talent show. Asked about the strangest thing she had seen on TV, Page said: 'Britain's Got Talent - some of the people who go on there are really bizarre.' Quizzed about which programmes make her want to switch off her set, she added: 'Again, Britain's Got Talent. I can't stand it - it's a celebration of mediocrity'" However, Page admitted to being a big fan of Australia's Next Top Model and America's Next Top Model. 'I love both,' she said.

David Mitchell and Robert Webb have compared their relationship to being 'in a sexless marriage.' Speaking to the Daily Record, the pair admitted that they sometimes worry about splitting up. 'We're aware it's a distant possibility,' Webb said. 'Sometimes it feels like a very attractive possibility, if we have a massive row. But that's what comes from working together as a double act. Without sounding poncey, it's like being in a sexless marriage.' He continued: 'Yes, it's a lot of hard work. But after sixteen years, if we were going to have a massive fit at each other, we'd probably have done it by now. There's too much at stake. And it would be a shame.' Meanwhile, Mitchell explained that everyone has to behave a certain way with colleagues. 'We do have to be polite and bite our tongues,' he said. 'It's a job. And it's a good job. People at work have to be civil to each other under all sorts of pressure. There's no reason why we can't be as well.' Webb added: 'You don't tell your boss to go and shove it up his arse unless you've found another job.' The pair returned with the first episode of the four series of That Mitchell & Webb Look last night. And very good it was too. I particularly enjoyed the final sketch about a crazed boss of a public relations firm who executes members of his staff who mispronounce stuff. That was funny.

V actress Laura Vandervoort will reportedly return to Smallville for the show's final season. The actress was a series regular throughout the seventh season, and later made a guest appearance in the season eight episode Bloodline. According to Entertainment Weekly, Vandervoort will reprise her role as Clark Kent's cousin Kara in an episode scheduled to be broadcast in October. It was previously announced that John Schneider will also return to the show as Clark's adoptive father, Jonathan Kent. Former stars Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang) and Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor) have also been rumoured to be making an appearance in the tenth and final season of Smallville.

The BBC has reportedly decided not to order another tun of The Restaurant. The show, which ran for three series, focused on couples competing to go into business with celebrity chef Raymond Blanc. According to the Gruniad Morning Star, the BBC believes that the format is no longer suitable because of the economic climate. However, the channel is reportedly hoping to develop new projects with Blanc and another series of his BBC2 show Kitchen Secrets. 'The Restaurant has proved a popular format with audiences, regularly attracting around two million viewers across its three series' a BBC spokesperson said. 'However, we feel the time is right for The Restaurant to close its doors. Raymond is an outstanding culinary talent who is very popular with our audience and we are in discussions about a new series of Kitchen Secrets with Raymond as well as talking to him about a number of other projects.'

Andrew Lloyd Webber has agreed to host an art documentary on ITV. According to the Sun, the broadcaster is hoping to persuade Webber to sign a permanent deal with them. 'He loves his art, so this show should help,' a 'source' allegedly explained. Mind you, 'he loves his art, does Andrew' sounds like just the kind of thing some glake in ITV would say. 'We think it will please him.' And, of course, as we all know everybody just bends over backwards to please the crazed midget megalomaniac. See, for instance, the format of Over The Rainbow and his bizarre shoe-tree of despair. The programme is expected to focus on Webber's own collection of artworks, which includes pre-Raphaelite paintings worth around two hundred million quid and a Picasso valued at forty million. Previous reports have suggested that Webber is considering a move to ITV now that his deal with the BBC has ended. Particularly as his last show, Over the Rainbow, was such a massive audience turn-off.

Meanwhile, one of His Very Lordship's old BBC minions, John Barrowman, has admitted that he would love a guest role on Glee. The actor and singer, seen right giving David Tennant a long-overdue French-tonguing, told Heat that he has already spoken to the team behind the show about a possible cameo. 'I have no idea if I'll be in it,' he said. 'I met with their casting people and I said I'd love to be in it - I'd be good as one of Rachel's gay dads!' Earlier this year, the show's executive producer, Ian Brennan, denied previous claims that Barrowman had been in touch with producers about a guest spot.

A US appeals court has struck down a government policy that sought to ban the broadcasting of any profanities, ruling that the attempt was unconstitutional. The policy was drawn up in 2004 and meant that broadcasters could be fined if indecent words went on air. The court said the FCC's policy had 'a chilling effect' on broadcasters. The many media outlets that challenged the rule said that they were satisfied with the ruling. The court said banning all 'patently offensive' references to sex, sexual organs and excretion without a clear definition of what is considered offensive, effectively chills free speech and creates an atmosphere of fear among America's broadcasters. FCC commissioner Michael Copps called the court's decision 'anti-family' and said the commission would 'clarify and strengthen its indecency framework.' The court, presumably, then told him to go screw himself and the horse he rode in on.

Christine Bleakley has reportedly been left 'upset' by criticism following her move to ITV. The former ONE Show presenter will co-host GMTV alongside Adrian Chiles when it relaunches - as Daybreak - in September. The Daily Star claims that Bleakley has been hurt by the backlash caused by the move from the BBC and has been asking friends: 'Why does no-one like me?' Possibly because you're an over-paid dolly bird without, it would appear, two brain-cells to rub together, who seems to believe that her ability to smile and read an autocue at the same time somehow makes her broadcasting's answer to buried treasure. And, that viewers really do have a very low tolerance threshold for people with at best limited talent - albeit a bright, if not particularly articulate, personality - attempting to hold a network (and especially a publicly funded network at that) to random and start a bidding war for the dubious pleasure of their signature. Just a wild stab in the dark, love. It might be some other reason or reasons completely. 'Christine has worked really hard to get where she is and the fact people are calling her a money-grabbing opportunist is really upsetting her,' a 'source' supposedly told the newspaper. Shame, eh? But then, people who 'work really hard to get where they are' usually do so at the expensive of little things like making friends on the way up the ladder. How was it Charlie Brooker once described Natasha Kaplinsky? 'A skeleton covered by a skin of ambition.' Bleakley allegedly 'broke down' after reading headlines about herself, telling friends: 'Everywhere I look people are criticising me. I don't know how much more I can take. I feel like I have nothing of myself left.' Well, you wanted to be in television in the first place - if you're that thin-skinned, chuck, I think you might've picked the wrong career. Still, I imagine ITV's pay cheque will soften the blow, somewhat. A 'friend' is alleged to have told Reveal that Bleakley is being 'looked after' by her boyfriend, Chelsea star Frank Lampard. 'She was in a bad way but Frank has been doing his best to console her while trying to explain that it's all part of the territory,' they said. Well yes, because he's also got lots of experience of people calling him an over-rated, over-paid waste-of-space, to be fair.

Piers Morgan has signed an eight-and-a-half million dollar deal to take over from Larry King on CNN, according to press reports. A 'source' allegedly said: 'Bosses were impressed by the quality of Piers' interviews.' The forty five-year-old is now expected to move to the US permanently. Best news all year, that. And, long overdue payback for them inflicting The Dukes of Hazard on us.

Anna Chapman, one of the Russian spies deported from the United States, has been deprived of her British citizenship, the BBC has reported. Chapman has lost her British citizenship, meaning she cannot travel to the UK. Chapman was among ten Russians arrested in the US who admitted to being agents for a foreign country. Last week her lawyer said she would like to come to the UK as she has a UK passport through a previous marriage. Russia agreed to exchange four US spies for the ten Russian agents and the swap was carried out in Vienna on 9 July. Chapman, who is also known as Anya Kushchenko, is the daughter of a Russian diplomat. Until the Home Office's decision, she had dual Russian-UK nationality. BBC home affairs correspondent Andy Tighe said Chapman became the best-known of the Russian spy ring after details and photographs from her Facebook entry were picked up by newspapers around the world. He said her lawyers were handed a letter formally revoking her citizenship and she was told her passport was no longer valid. It is understood steps are also being taken to permanently exclude Chapman from travelling to the UK in the future. Earlier this month, Alex Chapman, from Bournemouth, talked to a newspaper about his four-year marriage to the twenty eight-year-old Russian. He said they had met at a party in London in 2002 and married five months later. He claimed that she changed dramatically during the marriage, and by the end was having 'secretive' meetings with 'Russian friends.' Chapman did not seek to conceal her Russian identity when she arrived in New York from Moscow in February 2010, saying she wanted to build up a recruitment agency targeting young professionals in both cities. But following the Vienna spy swap, a Home Office spokesperson had said they were reviewing Chapman's passport situation. 'The Home Secretary has the right to deprive dual nationals of their British citizenship where she considers that to do so would be conducive to the public good. This case is under urgent consideration' the spokesperson said. Shadow Home Secretary Alan Johnson had said it 'cannot be in our interests' to let Chapman settle in the UK. The BBC's Dominic Casciani said only half a dozen people have been stripped of British citizenship since the law was introduced in 2002. The law was partly introduced to make it easier to deport radical cleric Abu Hamza al Masri. The Home Secretary can strip someone of citizenship if their presence is 'seriously prejudicial' to British interests: for example, if they are a threat to national security. The ten Russian agents had all pleaded guilty in New York to 'conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign country.' More serious money-laundering charges against them were dropped. Prosecutors said the accused had posed as ordinary citizens, some living together as couples for years, and were ordered by Russia's External Intelligence Service to infiltrate policy-making circles and collect information. On Sunday it was reported that two of the four Russians expelled from Moscow as part of the spy swap were believed to be staying undercover in a British hotel. The brother of one, Igor Sutyagin, said he had called his wife from a small town on the edge of London, but had not been told exactly where he was.

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