Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Brothers

More4 is reported to be planning to broadcast a docudrama about David and Ed Miliband. The piece is expected to focus on the sibling rivalry between the brothers, who are both currently standing for the Labour leadership. According to the Sun, the Milibands' family background, childhood and political careers will be explored. Dramatic reconstructions will be mixed with interviews from other Labour personalities, including Tony Benn. A source explained: 'It's going to be light-hearted and will ask the question, "How did these brothers come to be in the highly unusual situation where they're both gunning for the same job?"' The show has been written by David Quantick, the former NME writer who previously worked on Spitting Image. It is expected to be broadcast on 24 September, the night before the new Labour leader is named.

Yer Keith Telly Topping would like to thank all of the ladies over at the Cold Dead Seed forum for really boosting From The North's readership over the last couple of days. Merci beaucoup. I'll try to find some hot James Marsters stories especially for you asap. Or, even just some hot James Marsters pictures.

And speaking of lean, talented actors with cheekbones like geometry and eyes like sin, Benedict Cumberbatch has expressed his delight at the response to his new drama Sherlock. The Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' drama has been lauded by critics and fans alike and pulled in an average audience of over seven million viewers across its first series. Speaking at the show's Los Angeles press launch, the thirty four-year-old actor revealed that he is 'flattered' by the public's opinion on how the modern-day version compares to the original Victorian setting of the Sherlock Holmes stories. 'If I had a penny for every time a fan of the originals had come up to me and said, "I didn't want to like this, but I did," I'd be a rich man,' Benedict told the Press Association. Which is likely to be verbal shorthand for, 'I'd have about three pounds, sixty eight.' But even that amount, if invested in a long-term, high-interest account could, eventually, yield enough to buy Benedict something nice. So, it's certainly not to be sniffed at. 'The response has been phenomenal and it's great. We are very flattered,' the actor concluded.

Meanwhile, Sherlock's producer Sue Vertue has confirmed that there will be a second series of the adaptation. Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Vertue - who appeared along with her husband, the show's co-creator The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat - revealed that a provisional agreement has already been made with the BBC. 'There will be more. We're having a meeting, just to sort of talk about how many and when, really. Steven and Mark [Gatiss] are both busy,' she said. 'Obviously Steven is doing Doctor Who as well so it's just when we are going to do them.' Presenter Sian Williams then, rather stupidly in yer Keith Telly Topping's opinion, asked Moffat why only three initial episodes had been commissioned. To which he replied, with a healthy slice of the trademark sarcasm for which we all love him to bits: 'They're ninety minutes long! Three ninety-minute episodes, that's longer than a sitcom, stop complaining!' Thou shalt worship no other Gods before he. The BBC's head of drama, Ben Stephenson, has already stated that any future episodes of the show are unlikely to air for 'at least a year' due to the time it actually takes to write, prep, cast, shoot and then schedule drama these days. We can wait, Ben. We know how to wait. Let's face it some of us waited sixteen years for a new series of Doctor Who. A year's just a handful of heartbeats in comparison.

This week's episode of Leverage, a show which has previously displayed a few witty references that suggest that a Doctor Who fan or two on the writing staff, gave us an even bigger clue as to what they all watch in their spare time. When Haridson and Eliot are undercover posing as detectives, they introduce themselves as 'officers Moffat and Davies.' Nice. The episode itself - The Three-Card Monte Job - featured a very tasty guest performance by the great Tom Skerritt as Nate's legendary con artist dad, Jimmy Ford. A strong episode with, as ever, some great witty little moments of one of the most gifted ensemble casts on TV. When it eventually turns up over here on Bravo I urge you all, dear blog reader, to seek it out.

Gossip Girl star Blake Lively is reportedly threatening to quit the show. According to an unnamed 'source' quoted by Heat magazine, the actress has become 'tired with constant behind-the-scenes arguments' and wants to kill off her character, Serena Van Der Woodsen.

Torchwood creator Russell Davies has revealed that Gwen Cooper's husband, Rhys, will play a prominent role in the show's forthcoming fourth season. Rhys (played by the great Kai Owen, who once bought yer Keith Telly Topping a pint, dear blog reader, so as far I'm concerned the chap's a God) spent the first three seasons of the sci-fi series as a sidekick to wife. However, Davies told the After Elton website that Rhys will be an integral part of the Torchwood team as the story becomes more globalised. 'I can't imagine Gwen without [Rhys],' said Davies. 'Rhys is now ahead of the game, as it were. There's no secrets. They're a team.'' Davies added that the news of Rhys' increased role in Torchwood comes on the heels of a big event in Kai's personal life. 'He's just had a baby himself in real life, so he's very happy.'

Michael Emerson has confirmed he and former fellow Lost star Terry O'Quinn are shopping around for ideas for a TV show. Emerson says they both want something more lighthearted than Lost. He hopes the show can acknowledge their 'age and frailty.' Emerson says he envisions a show where, if their characters get hit in the face, they 'don't get up for a month.' The fifty five-year-old Emerson and fifty eight-year-old O'Quinn are both up for best supporting actor Emmy Awards. Well, I'd watch it, if that's any help, Michael.

CSI creator Anthony Zuicker has rejoined the show's writing team for the upcoming eleventh season. Zuicker was heavily involved with the first four seasons of the popular and influential crime drama but later took a back seat to focus on new projects. His most recent written contribution to the franchise was a 2006 CSI: NY episode. The producer told Deadline: 'The main reason I went back to CSI is to write with my partner in crime Carol Mendelsohn. Over the first five seasons, we've written many, many scripts together. We have so much fun writing the show. And when I went off to develop, I really missed the day-to-day action of writing episodic television.' Zuicker promised that the new season will be 'explosive' and dismissed fears for the programme's future following declining ratings. 'Today, CSI is watched by 73.8 million people [worldwide] a week. That's amazing,' he said. He added that forthcoming episodes will be 'fun, Vegas-centric, and very character-driven.'

Former Hill Street Blues star Daniel J Travanti will appear in an upcoming episode of Criminal Minds. TV Guide reports that the actor will play Mr Mullens, a seventy five-year-old serial killer with Alzheimer's. Having committed a series of brutal murders twenty years ago, the character will encounter Hotch (Thomas Gibson) and his team when he attempts to re-enact the violent past that he can no longer remember. Travanti previously played police captain Frank Furillo on the legendary NBC cop drama Hill Street Blues between 1981 and 1987. He has more recently starred in episodes of Prison Break and Grey's Anatomy.

The overturning of California's Proposition Eight will feature in an upcoming episode of the new NBC crime drama Law & Order: Los Angeles. The measure, which banned gay marriage in the state for nearly two years, was recently ruled as unconstitutional. Executive producer Rene Balcer told AfterElton.com: 'One of the episodes that we're doing is [about] the money behind the Prop Eight people and the hypocrisy of black churches supporting a Proposition like that and also looking at the whole "initiative industry" and how these lobbyists make a lot of money.' Balcer said that the storyline had seemed a natural fit for the new spin-off's Los Angeles setting. She explained: '[We] were sitting around talking about it and thought, "Okay, we got the first six stories. What's the next seven?" And then this came out.'

Jack Parnell, the British jazz drummer who served as bandleader on The Muppet Show for its entire five-year run, has died at the age of eighty seven. Parnell died at his home in Southwold, Suffolk on Sunday following a year-long battle with cancer, his family have announced. As musical director at ATV from the late 1950s, Jack oversaw the music for Sunday Night at the London Palladium. He also served as musical director on The Benny Hill Show. Born in 1923 into a well known theatrical family (his uncle, Val, was the general manager of the Palladium), Jack began drumming professionally as a teenager. After World War II, during which he served with the RAF, he joined the renowned Ted Heath jazz band, going on to lead his own ensembles from 1951 onwards. During his time with ATV he composed theme tunes and produced specials featuring Tom Jones among others. He composed many television theme tunes, including The Golden Shot, Family Fortunes and Love Story (for which he won the Harriet Cohen Award). In 1973 he won two Emmys for his work on Barbra Streisand... and Other Musical Instruments. Jack was never seen on The Muppet Show, his role being filled on screen by the puppet character Nigel. He is survived by his third wife, two daughters and three sons, two of whom are drummers.

Jonathan Demme is to direct two episodes of upcoming HBO comedy Enlightened. The new sitcom stars Laura Dern as Amy, a self-destructive woman who has a spiritual awakening and decides to live an enlightened life, complicating her relationships with family and friends. Deadline reports that The Silence of the Lambs director Demme signed on as he is a friend of Dern's and is said to admire her work on the series. The Oscar winner's previous television work includes an episode of detective series Columbo and a segment for Saturday Night Live. His most recent cinematic release was the 2008 Anne Hathaway film Rachel Getting Married. Hedwig and the Angry Inch director John Cameron Mitchell will also helm an episode, making his television directing debut.

Popstar To Operastar will move to a different time slot when it returns to ITV next year. According to the Daily Star, the reality show will air on Sunday evenings following the success in that slot of The X Factor and, to a lesser extend, Dancing On Ice. 'Popstar To Operastar may not have been a huge ratings winner but it didn't do badly,' said a 'source.' Yes, it bloody did. It did wretchedly and the only reason it's getting another series is that it didn't do quite as badly as some of the other crap formats that ITV have come up with recently. 'There have been many false reports saying the show has been axed but it hasn't,' the 'source' continued. ITV's group finance manager Ian Griffiths previously announced that the programme had been recommissioned alongside daytime show May The Best House Win. Operastar attracted mediocre ratings on Fridays following ITV's plan to introduce more entertainment to the 9pm slot. In related news, the report also claims that Alan Titchmarsh may be axed from presenting the series as part of a shake-up to get more viewers. According to the Star, the sixty one-year-old - who co-hosted the first series with Myleene Klass - may not return because of a reduced budget. 'It will have a new look and just one presenter as we thought having two was a bit of an overkill. We're confident that fans will like what we are planning,' the 'source' said. Klass is apparently the current frontrunner to keep her job because of her classical music background. And because she's pretty and can read an autocue. However, Titchmarsh's popularity with older viewers and current contract with the broadcaster means that no final decision has been made the newspaper claims. Some seven hundred thousand pounds will reportedly remain in the budget for eight singing celebrities, who will be trained in the art of opera. It is not known yet if the judges from the first run - Meat Loaf, Katherine Jenkins, Laurence Llewellyn Bowen and Rolando Villazón - will return next year.

Being Human creator Toby Whithouse has revealed details of the show's upcoming third series. He told Collider that ghost Annie (Lenora Crichlow) and vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner) could get together in the new episodes. 'Perhaps tragically, there is an element of Mitchell that would fit into Annie's relationship history,' explained Whithouse. 'She's not exactly made good choices, so why not go for a one hundred and twenty-year-old mass murderer?' He added: 'They kissed once [in the first series]. All I can say is, watch episode four in season three. All will be answered, or maybe it will just be answered with more questions. But, it will be addressed in some kind of vague way.' The finale of the show's second series saw the villainous Herrick (Jason Watkins) resurrected. However, Whithouse hinted that the character may have been changed by his experiences. He teased: 'Herrick does feature very much in season three, but the question is, is he the Herrick we remember?'

Newcomer Simon Stratton has won the 2010 John Brabourne Big Five Comedy Award with his screenplay Get Miles. The Cardiff-based screenwriter will now have his script made into a short film, funded by the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. He will also receive a cash prize of one thousand pounds from Working Title. Stratton said he was 'ecstatic' to have won: 'It's very hard at the moment to be a new writer and so it's nice to have someone take a punt on you.' He said that it was only recently that he started to feel confident about his comedy writing. 'I've been a writer since I was at school but it's only in the last three years that I've been writing scripts. Stand-up helped me prove to myself that what I was writing would get laughs.' The film, which follows the life of the unlucky main character, will be made with the support of the Big Five award sponsors. CTBF and the UK Film Council will fund the production.

Camelot showrunner Chris Chibnall has revealed that sex is a vital part of the new Starz drama. The writer - who has previously worked on Doctor Who and Torchwood - told Blastr that the new series would be an 'adult' retelling of the Arthurian legend. '[Sex is] part of our palettes, and also we have some beautiful actors as well,' he explained. 'This is an adult drama.' He added: 'The extraordinary thing in all the versions of Camelot and Arthurian legend is it's all about the romance. It's all about the passion. It's all about great ideals compromised by falling in love with the wrong person. So it's an element of our storytelling.' Joseph Fiennes, who plays Merlin, agreed that the show is romantic. 'It's a beautiful, riveting, romantic, sensational epic story that has never been told in all of its episodes,' said the actor.

Jason Manford has admitted that the prospect of 'difficult' guests on The ONE Show scares him. Speaking to What's On TV, the comic also confessed that he is nervous about being on live television. He said: 'I have lain awake in bed late at night wondering what I'd do if a guest is difficult. Hopefully we'll have a laugh and make the best of it. One of my main worries is sitting! Where do I put my hands? Do I cross my legs? Am I slouching? If you see me sitting bolt upright suddenly, it's probably because my mum is talking to me through my earpiece!' Manford continued: 'Literally anything can happen on a live show. People love when things go wrong on live telly, that's why they watch it!'

Alex Jones has named Davina McCall as her role model. Manford's ONE Show co-host praised the Big Brother presenter in an interview with Star magazine. 'She's warm and really natural,' she said. 'You feel like you know her when you watch her.' Jones revealed that she is also nervous about taking over the show next week. 'I'm a perfectionist and I just want to do a really good job. I'm just hoping that the nerves don't take over completely,' she continued. The Welsh presenter explained that her predecessor, Christine Bleakley, had not been in touch with her but added that she is 'so happy' with her new job. 'In fact, I’m probably the happiest girl in the world,' she said. 'I still haven't gone out and properly celebrated getting this job yet, but I really do feel so very lucky. It's an amazing opportunity.'

Long-running Australian soap Neighbours will celebrate its six thousandth episode with a whodunnit storyline. The landmark episode - to be shown on Five in October - will revolve around an attempt on the life of villainous Paul Robinson, played by Stefan Dennis. Viewers will be left to guess the culprit out of a number of possible suspects in a plot strand similar to the Who shot JR? mystery on Dallas thirty years ago. Neighbours moved to Five in 2008 after more than twenty years on BBC1. Dennis appeared in Neighbours' first episode in 1985 and remained with the show until 1993. He returned in 2004 following appearances on such UK TV shows as Casualty, The Bill and River City. Viewers in Australia have already seen the episode which was broadcast in July. Five has called the attempted murder plot 'one of the show's most dramatic storylines to date.'

Film 2010 will be revamped ahead of its return this autumn, the BBC has confirmed. Claudia Winkleman, who replaces Jonathan Ross as the show's host, has been given a co-host in film journalist Danny Leigh. Leigh said in a statement: 'When I was a kid in the dim and distant 1980s becoming ever more obsessed with movies, there were two places I could find out about them – my local fleapit cinema in Brighton, and the BBC's Film Programme with Barry Norman. Having been lucky enough to spend a chunk of the years since writing about film for a living, it entirely boggles my mind to have the chance to co-host the show now. I'm really looking forward to working with Claudia and we'll have something for everyone from the casual Wednesday night passer-by to the most well-informed and passionate film fanatic.' Winkleman added: 'I'm completely over the moon about Danny joining the team. He's going to be a fantastic companion discussing all things film - from the latest Hollywood blockbuster to independent art-house cinema. We're even going to discuss the merits of Speed 2 at the weekends - I'm being perfectly serious.' As the show approaches its fortieth anniversary, it will extend its coverage from thirty to forty minutes, as well as broadcast live debates with chosen critics.

A Facebook campaign to get Kerry Katona - and her mother - on I'm A Celebrity... has failed to gather any support. A group calling for the series three winner to return for a second stint on the ITV show only picked up twenty six members, reports the Daily Star. Katona had given her backing to the campaign and linked to the page from her own Facebook profile. However, according to a source, the disappointing response may have damaged Katona's chances of heading back to the jungle for a second time. 'Kerry is a big name but she's already had her shot on the show and her mum is not even a celebrity,' the 'insider' allegedly said. 'After seeing how little interest there is in this campaign, producers are not going to touch them with a barge pole. Kerry fans who were hoping to give her the chance of getting back in the jungle could well have had the opposite effect.'

Police are seeking the owner of a pair of inflatable breasts. Officers, who found the blow-up breasts in Cheltenham around Christmas last year, believe that they were stolen. They have now appealed for the victim of the crime to come forward, reports Metro. The inflatable titties were found in a bag along with a teddy bear photo frame, a silver clock, a coin with the name 'Jonathan Jones' and the birthdate 5 November 1989. So, this is a Sherlockian style guess, right, but I'd say they're probably looking for a twenty one year old man called Jonathan Jones. Just a wild stab in the dark, you understand. A police spokesman said: 'Some of the items seem to have sentimental value.'

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