Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Works For Me

The previously announced sixth series of Graham Duff's mega-dark comedy drama Ideal will premier on BBC3 on Tuesday 17 August at 10.30pm. The new eight episode series sees Johnny Vegas return in his role as Moz, and features acclaimed American comedy actress Janeane Garofalo (The West Wing) as new neighbour Tilly. There are also guest apperances from comedians Sean Lock and Graham Fellows, cult musician and composer Barry Adamson, author John Robb, DJ Mark Radcliffe and Elena Poulou of The Fall. Plus, Cartoon Head, Psycho Paul et al. Great to have it back. One episode, apparently, features a Hallow'een fancy dress party in which you'll have the bizarre sights of Ben Crompton dressed as Frankenstein's Monster and Alfie Joey as The Wicked Witch of the West! Only on Ideal, ladies and gentlemen.

TV quote of the week: From Celebrity MasterChef, former Olympic decathlete Dean Macey telling John and Gregg, 'I'm disappointed with me egg. Glad you liked me chips!' Yeah, that's an excuse yer Keith Telly Topping's been using to dinner guests for many, many years!

Russell Davies has revealed that BBC1 controller Jay Hunt phoned to congratulate him on Torchwood's audience figures last year. However, the award-winning writer admitted that he felt the Doctor Who spin-off was given 'a graveyard time slot' on the channel. He told SFX: 'To be honest, Children Of Earth took the whole of BBC by surprise - they didn't expect it to be quite that successful. It went out in the summer, five nights a week, and you think, "Well, that's a bit of a graveyard slot, isn't it?" Then I was getting the controller of BBC1 phoning me on the Thursday going, "Oh my God, everyone's watching it!" Frankly, in this job you've got to make hay while the sun shines.' BBC1 saw audience figures averaging close to six million across the five episodes of the SF drama when it aired in a stripped weekday format last July.

Sherlock is on the verge of being renewed for a second series by the BBC, the corporation confirmed yesterday. Not particularly surprising given the reaction to the opening episode, but welcome none-the-less. Written by Doctor Who's Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the first episode of the modern-day adaptation premiered with a huge audience of seven-and-a-half million, and was very well-received by critics. 'We'd like to do more. But if we do, they won't air for at least a year. Drama takes at least a year to get made and Steven is also really busy with Doctor Who,' head of drama Ben Stephenson said in a statement.

Kelly Brook will appear in the upcoming series of Skins, it has been announced. The thirty-year-old will reportedly guest star in one episode of the show's fifth series, which starts in January, as a fitness instructor called Jemima. A 'source' told the Sun: 'Kelly is very funny in it. She is great as a really sexy fitness instructor who drives the boys wild.' Hopefully, this job will last a bit longer than the previous entry on her TV CV.

Wallace and Gromit will reportedly appear in an upcoming episode of The Simpsons. According to the Los Angeles Times, showrunner Al Jean announced the news at Comic-Con. Jean, who claimed that there is 'no end in sight' for the cartoon, also said that Hugh Laurie and some of the cast of Glee will be making an appearance. He added that this year's Christmas special will see the Simpson family as puppets.

Dawn French has revealed why she wanted to star in her new BBC2 sitcom. Because she's unemployed and desperate for work since Jam and Jerusalem got binned, perhaps? Just a wild stab in the dark. The actress will play food technology teacher Val in Roger and Val Have Just Got In alongside Alfred Molina as her on-screen husband. 'It's so bold,' French told What's On TV. Oh, bold. Right. That would've been my second choice after desperate. 'I wanted to do another sitcom, but one quite unlike anything I'd done before. I thought it would be very interesting to do a two-hander and something set in real time. This seemed so different. It's challenging, but we think it works.' On the subject of her character, French described Val as 'a minx.' What, a semi-aquatic, carnivorous mammal? Blimey, that is a departure for Big Dawn. 'She gets her pupils to do ironing practice on her curtains. Roger and Val don't like authority,' she said. 'They live above the law. They have no other distractions. Inside the house, they can simply play and amuse each other with stories.' She added: 'Their home is very busy and full of stuff – all their enthusiasms are fully realised in there. They never venture outside it. They've created a magical universe where all the diversion is centred on them.' Sounds crap. So, maybe not such a radical departure for the actress, then.

The BBC has announced the cast for its new adaptation of Just William. The channel confirmed reports that Outnumbered star Daniel Roche has landed the lead role in the series, which is based on Richmal Crompton's novels. The Thick Of It's Rebecca Front and Linda Green star Daniel Ryan will appear as William's parents, while Warren Clarke and Caroline Quentin will feature as new neighbours the Botts. Denis Lawson, John Sessions and Bruce Mackinnon have signed up to play William's teachers, while Martin Jarvis, who worked on the classic Just William recordings, will narrate the series. Isabella Blake-Thomas will play William's nemesis Violet. Other cast members include Judy Parfitt, Roy Hudd, Harry Melling and Bertie Carvel. CBBC controller Damien Kavanagh said: 'We are thrilled to have attracted such a wonderful blend of established stars and exciting new talent to breathe new life into these much-loved stories. I can't think of anyone better than Daniel Roche to bring loveable rogue William to the attention of a new generation.' Steven Andrew, CBBC's head of productions, added: 'If you think Ben in Outnumbered is bad, you wait until you get a glimpse of William! We are incredibly excited to be making this production and have brought together a wonderful cast to do justice to Richmal Crompton's timeless characters and stories.'

Filming has wrapped on the second series of Psychoville with co-creator Reece Shearsmith saying: 'I believe we've captured something rather special.' He also apologised to any fans who felt cheated by the ambiguous ending of the first series, adding that the next run promised some 'real treats.' He and co-writer Steve Pemberton have spent the last eight weeks recording the new episodes: A one-off Halloween special and a second series due to air early next year. Writing on the BBC's website Shearsmith said: 'It's hard to talk about the series and what's in store without ruining our surprises (already ruined by suggesting there are surprises. Damn.) So I won't say anything to jeopardise any of those moments or all that careful work. Suffice to say, there are some great people joining us for the ride, and I don't think in writing a second series we have at all tarnished our first instalment. In fact, it only gets better.' The first series ended with an explosion at the mental asylum where the key characters had all previously been patients. They had all returned to the institution following a series of menacing notes, leaving uncertainty as to who was still alive. Shearsmith added: 'The last series ended with a cliffhanger (of sorts), that left some people hating us for daring to end our first series with some unanswered questions. "Short changed" and "ripped off" were some of the comments I seem to recall.'

And, just when you thought ITV's idea of entertainment couldn't, possibly, get any worse. Celebrity Grimefighters has been commissioned by ITV as a spin-off to the factual programme. John Sergeant will host the special, which will feature celebrities including former GMTV host Andrew Castle, Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, I'm A Celebrity ... winner Gino D'Acampo and Trinny Woodall. Some proper brilliant 'celebrities' you've got there, ITV. But, I just have to say John Sergeant, hang your head in shame. Shame, I say. 'There's nothing better than watching celebrities outside their comfort zones. That's why we love I'm A Celebrity...,' an 'insider' told the Daily Star. Speak for yourself, mate. Some of us find the idea of people crawling around in the muck eating worms to be a sad, rather tawdry example of the depraved, degrading levels to which our society had descended since morality and honesty and self-respect became things to be sneered at, rather than cherished. Welcome to the Twenty First Century, ladies and gentlemen. Wallow in a sceptic tank to win a thousand quid. It's all good. And people will laugh. 'This is just brilliant,' the enthusiastic 'source' continued. 'We look at celebs and we think they have the perfect lives. So imagine what it would be like to see them do the jobs that thousands of Brits do every day. They are really going to have to get their hands dirty this time.' Yeah, just imagine. Trinny Woodall has to wipe her own bottom when she's taken a dump. How thrilling.

Martin Freeman has claimed that The Doctor and Sherlock Holmes would make 'the perfect fictional team.' What, better than Melchester Rovers? It's possible. Speaking to What's On TV, Freeman said: 'I don't feel as passionate about Doctor Who as Steven does, but I've enjoyed watching it more since being a father. We met Matt Smith while filming Sherlock in Cardiff because the Baker Street set is next to the [Who] set. It was strange seeing Sherlock Holmes and The Doctor together. They are the perfect fictional team.'

Channel Three licensees UTV, Channel TV and STV could be facing increased costs of as much as fifteen million pounds per year after media regulator Ofcom said that ITV pays a disproportionate amount of the overall costs of running the national TV network. Analysts at Liberum this week noted that if the way costs are calculated are overhauled in ITV's favour it could prompt mergers and consolidation among the holders of the Channel Three licences. Ofcom kicked-off a review of the ITV networking arrangements after the licensees submitted reports developed by consultants claiming that the existing system for sharing costs of running the Channel Three network was 'providing a significant net financial benefit to the other group of licensees.' Former ITV chairman Michael Grade has argued that the broadcaster's share of the costs, which stand at ninety three per cent of the total, is too much and that it is 'subsidising' the other licensees. The media regulator said that while there is no 'uniquely correct way of allocating common costs between the different licensees' its preliminary analysis suggests that 'ITV plc's contribution to relevant common costs in 2009 could be up to [redacted] more than would be the case using an appropriate alternative cost-sharing mechanism.' It is thought that Ofcom's analysis identified a disproportionate payment of about fifteen million pounds per year. However analysts at Liberum are reported to believe that ITV could benefit by as much as twenty five million in overall savings if there was a restructure. 'We think that, medium-term, this could also drive forward the consolidation of the ITV network, as the minority licence holders may feel the regulatory environment becomes less favourable,' said Liberum in an analyst note. Ofcom cites basing costs on the basis of each licensee's share of qualifying revenue as 'an appropriate benchmark from which to analyse the net impact of the existing arrangements on the licensees.'

Lee Nelson's Well Good Show - funny as a kick in the stones though it might well be - has been given a second series by BBC3. The broadcaster has confirmed that it has commissioned another series from character comic Simon Brodkin, expected to air early next year. A spokesman said: 'BBC3 continues to give new writers and comedians their first break in TV. On the back of a hugely successful first series, Simon Brodkin returns with Lee Nelson's Well Good Show.' The first seven-part series, made by the TV arm of Brodkin's agents Avalon, has only just finished. It performed well for the channel, attracting up to seven hundred thousand viewers per broadcast, as well as being a hit on iPlayer. It's said to be very popular with students. Which, given the shocking state of education in this country at the moment, probably says much. The second series will feature more of the character's trademark 'excitable banter,' overseen by Nelson's best mate, and 'fat legend,' Omelette. Cannot wait. The commission was announced at the launch of BBC3's autumn schedule, which also includes a second series of Dan Clark's How Not To Live Your Life, the new twentysomething relationship sitcom Him And Her, a third series of Russell Howard’s Good News and Simon Bird's new entertainment show The King Is Dead.

The Rolling Stones have reportedly confirmed that they are not retiring, despite a report about the band booking a 'farewell tour.' The Sun claimed earlier in the week that the legendary rock band was ready to 'call it a day' after an upcoming worldwide farewell tour booked by promoters Live Nation for next year. 'The band realise that age is creeping up on them. They want to bow out on top of their game, and not short-change their fans,' read a 'quote' in this 'report.' However, a 'source' told Gossip Cop that the Stones have yet to book a tour, and Live Nation is only one of the promoters that have approached the band about new concert dates. Further, a representative for the band said: 'No, they are not retiring.'

Musician and songwriter Plastic Bertrand did not sing on his classic power-pop hit single 'Ҫa Plane Pour Moi,' an expert linguist has told a court in Belgium. He spent three months comparing the 1977 recording to a 2006 cover version by producer Lou Deprijck - and decided it was the same voice on both. Deprijck has been taken to court by the record label AMC for claiming that it was his voice on the original. An earlier case, in 2006, had ruled that Bertrand was the main performer. Deprijck told Le Parisien newspaper that he was 'relieved. I hope I will finally get my rights,' he added. During his evidence, the expert said he could determine that it was Deprijck singing on the record because of his accent. 'The way the phrases end on each record show that the song could only have been sung by a Ch'ti - otherwise known as someone from the Picard region of France,' he said. 'It could therefore not have been Plastic Bertrand - who was born in Brussells - and was surely Monsieur Deprijck, who hails from Hainaut, the region in the south east of Belgium where the Picard dialect is spoken in the same way as in the north of France.' In 2006, Deprijck released his own recording of the same song - marketed as being the 'original voice' on the song - which prompted record label AMC to take legal action. Deprijck said the case is about a question of honour not money. The original song - a particular favourite of yer Keith Telly Topping's incidentally - went to number eight in the UK charts in 1978. Allez Oop.

1 comment:

Paul Mount said...

Couldn't agree more with you about I'm A Celebrity and the like...the cancers at the heart of British culture, frankly. Oh, and BBC3 has commissioned the third series of the excellent How Not To live Your life, the second is currently screening at some daft late night slot on BBC2.