Thursday, May 05, 2011

Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But History

Hustle creator Tony Jordan has confirmed that the show will come to an end after its eighth series. Broadcast magazine reports that the programme will end with a twist and claims that the finale may make viewers wonder whether the whole show has been a con. So, that spoiler's save us all the trouble of watching it, thanks muchly Broadcast. 'Do you allow the show to fade away or say it's been a blast and quit while you're ahead?' Jordan said. 'You want to go out like James Dean in a fast car.' Not sure about that, Tone. However, Jordan explained that Hustle could return with a new cast in the future. The show has previously changed a number of cast members and had a break between its fourth and fifth series. A spokesperson for the show's production company Kudos confirmed that the programme is being 'rested,' though a BBC representative explained that the channel is in discussions about the 'continued life' of the programme. 'Recommissioning decisions are always made once a series has aired,' she said. The seventh series of Hustle, which was broadcast earlier this year, picked up an average audience of 6.8 million viewers. The show currently stars Robert Glenister, Robert Vaughn, Matt Di Angelo, Adrian Lester and Kelly Adams.

Neil Gaiman has revealed new details about his upcoming episode of Doctor Who. The fantasy author told SFX that The Doctor's Wife will take the show's lead character back to his roots. '[It's set on] a junkyard planet,' he revealed. 'If I can't actually take them back to [the setting of the first ever episode] Totter's Lane, then I can take them back to somewhere which I described in the script as "the Totter's Lane at the edge of the universe."' He added that the original inspiration for the story was 'a desire to go further into the TARDIS than we'd been before. When I was thinking of ways I could go further into the TARDIS, I suddenly had this idea for a plot creep up at right angles to me,' he said. 'I got to do something that you're only allowed to do once.' Gaiman previously confirmed that he was 'impressed' with the filmed version of his script, and also dismissed suggestions that the episode was limited by budget restrictions.

ITV has ordered a second series of its drama Kidnap and Ransom. The show, which premiered in January, stars grumpy old Trevor Eve - who's too expensive for the Beeb - as international hostage negotiator Dominic King. The cast for the first series also included Helen Baxendale, John Hannah, Emma Fielding, Natasha Little and Rebekah Nathan. The three new episodes will focus on Dominic trying to save a group of tourists who are taken hostage in India. Dominic is forced to battle against the Indian police and work out what the kidnappers want. As well as starring in the show, Eve will executive produce through his company Projector Pictures which is also currently producing the Waking The Dead spin-off The Body Farm for the BBC. 'I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of producing the first series of Kidnap and Ransom for ITV and bringing Dominic King to life,' he said. 'On behalf of Projector Pictures we're delighted we've been given a second series.' Meanwhile, ITV's director of drama commissioning Laura Mackie said: 'Trevor is a fantastic screen actor and really made the character of Dominic King his own. The second series with its plot twists and turns promises to be as unpredictable and absorbing as the first.'

The BBC has defended its reporting of the death of Osama Bin Liner. US President Barack Obama confirmed late on Sunday night that the al-Qaeda leader had been killed by special forces when they raided a compound in northern Pakistan. However, it has been claimed - by various media outlets with a sick agenda - that 'some viewers' felt that the BBC had 'devoted too much coverage' to Bin Liner's death and the aftermath of the announcement. I'm not sure what else these 'some viewers' thought the BBC should be covering instead? More slavvering bollocks to do with the royal wedding, perhaps? 'The discovery and death of Osama Bin Laden was by any standards a major news story,' an official response from the corporation stated. 'The operation to find him had lasted over a decade, during which time al-Qaeda has continued to mount attacks around the world. The details of his killing, his hiding place and the many political ramifications in the US, Pakistan and elsewhere fully justified the level of coverage BBC News devoted to the story.' Media organisations around the world continue to provide widespread coverage and reaction to Bin Liner's death, as new photographs from within the compound showing several dead bodies were leaked to Reuters.

Meanwhile, DNA results on Osama Bin Liner's body has just come back and been released to the media. Experts speculates that the fact this comprised of twenty eight per cent cocoa butter, thirteen per cent sugar, thirty per cent desiccated coconut, ten per cent Soya Lecithin (E322), nine per cent skimmed milk and nine per cent monosodiumglutonate plus some trace elements of salt and natural vanilla extract might have something to do with the Bounty on his head. Nah, lissun.
I'm here all week.

BBC News is to shed a further forty five jobs in the final stage of a five-year plan that will see the loss of more than forty hundred and fifty posts. The latest job cuts are unconnected to BBC director general Mark Thompson's latest cost-saving initiative, 'Delivering Quality First,' but the conclusion of another three-word initiative launched by Thompson in 2006, 'Delivering Creative Future.' He does more delivering than a midwife, this bloke. BBC News has already closed four hundred and twenty posts in the first four years of the Creative Future plan. By the end of year five, with another forty five jobs to go, BBC News will have saved one hundred and sixty one million smackers, of which the corporation said £63.4m has been 'reinvested into journalism.' One would love to know what the rest was reinvested in. Further cuts are expected in the news division as a result of Delivering Quality First, the review which is examining how to make twenty per cent of budget cuts as a result of last year's flat licence fee settlement. Ideas already been put forward include merging some local radio output, axing overnight programming on BBC1 and BBC2, a 'slimmed-down' news channel and scaling back the Parliament Channel. Major savings are also expected in newsgathering when the separate operations of the BBC News and the World Service are brought together at the redeveloped Broadcasting House. A final list of proposals is due to be prepared in June and the report will be presented to the BBC Trust in July. A BBC spokeswoman said the forty five posts would close by April next year. She said compulsory redundancies would be avoided 'wherever possible. The closure of forty five posts proposed today are part of the BBC's Delivering Creative Future project – a five-year plan to achieve savings,' said the BBC spokeswoman. 'In years one to four network news has radically changed the way it works and the way it is organised. At the beginning of the five-year plan it was said that this would be a continuous process and so today in the final year. News has a very good record on redeploying people and the BBC remains committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies wherever possible. Volunteers for redundancy will be considered.'

FHM has announced that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is the winner of its annual One Hundred Sexiest Women in the World poll. The model and actress has 'sensationally stolen the crown' from two-time winner Cheryl Cole according to various obscenely self-important tabloid headlines. Course, if they'd used the AV system, Cheryl might've won again. Bet you didn't think of that when you were backing the 'no' vote, News Corp? Mind you, it has to be noted, Karen Gillan at no forty two, Eliza Dushku at no thirty eight, Olivia Wilde at no five? Who the hell votes in this thing?!

A serving MP may have taken out a so-called superinjunction preventing details of their activities being exposed, it was disclosed today. The revelation, according to the Independent, came in the Commons as MPs discussed future Parliamentary business - including whether to debate judge-initiated privacy laws and the spiralling use of gagging orders in the courts. Each Thursday MPs are allowed to press the Leader of the House, Sir George Young, to allocate Government time for debates. Conservative Matthew Offord (Hendon) used this week's session to raise the issue of gagging orders. He said: 'There has been much public discussion on the increasing use of superinjunctions and the ability of judges to decide policy instead of elected Parliamentarians. Is the Leader of the House aware of the anomaly this creates if, as has been rumoured, a member of this place seeks a superinjunction to prevent discussion of their activities?' He urged the Government to set aside time for a Commons debate on gagging orders. Sir George replied: 'This is a very important issue about how we balance on the one hand an individual's right to privacy and, on the other hand, the freedom of expression and transparency.' He said that an inquiry by senior judge Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls, would examine superinjunctions 'and other issues relating to injunctions which bind the Press.' Sir George added: 'The Government will await the report from the Master of the Rolls before deciding the next step, and it may then be appropriate for the House to have a debate on this important issue.' This disclosure came two months after former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin was named in the Commons as the alleged subject of a superinjunction. The court gagging order, it was claimed, was so strict it even banned references to Goodwin as 'a banker.' Or, even a 'right banker.' But it was exposed in the Commons by the Lib Dem MP John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley) who used Parliamentary privilege to reveal its existence without fear of legal action. And, therefore, to allow anyone to publish the fact that he had claimed it without the risk of breaking the terms of the injunction. Hemming said in March: 'In a secret hearing Fred Goodwin has obtained a superinjunction preventing him being identified as a banker. Will the Government have a debate or a statement on freedom of speech and whether there's one rule for the rich like Fred Goodwin and one rule for the poor?'

Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville has insisted that the upcoming second series will be 'even better than the first.' The ITV period drama was renewed for a second series in October and filming on the new episodes has now begun. 'The scripts are as good if not better than the first series,' Bonneville told What's on TV. 'There are some great adventures on the way with new characters, twists and turns.' He added: 'It's also set in the First World War, so the weight of that wears down on the house, which becomes a convalescent home at one point, so there's a whole new atmosphere.' The actor, who plays the Earl of Grantham, admitted that 'the stakes are higher' for the new run following the huge success of the first. 'The public has embraced the show in a way that none of us ever predicted and it's very gratifying,' he said. 'It genuinely became a Sunday-night fixture for families.' Bonneville added that he had also been surprised by the show's international success which has seen maybe of the cast - including Bonneville himself - have their international profile significantly raised. 'You think you are doing something which is very parochial and very English and nobody will get it,' he revealed. 'But the quality of the writing means that everyone can understand the themes and the way these characters interact.'

Channel Four has denied widespread Internet rumours that its topical show Ten O'Clock Live has been cancelled. The programme - hosted by David Mitchell, Jimmy Carr, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne - began in January after the success of the presenters' previous Alternative Election Night special. The show includes a mixture of sketches, interviews and comment on current events. The final episode of the series was broadcast last week. Channel Four has denied speculation that the programme will not be returning and explained that the future of the show is 'still up in the air.' In a message on the Channel Four press Twitter page, somebody speaking on behalf of the broadcaster said: 'Contrary to the rumour mill - Ten O'Clock Live has not been cancelled. No decision has been made.' In March, Channel Four's comedy and entertainment commissioner Darren Smith defended the show's ratings, describing them as 'fantastic.' Which they weren't although they certainly weren't anywhere near as bad as various scum tabloids with an agenda have suggested.

The BBC is in negotiations with actors' union, Equity, in a bid to reduce royalty repeat fees for drama. According to Broadcast magazine the corporation is 'thought to be keen to reduce costs so it can show more repeats, although the discussions are not understood to be directly motivated by the Delivering Quality First cost-saving measures.' The cost of repeating dramas from other territories, notably the US, is far lower and Equity head of communications and membership Martin Brown said: 'We are keen to ensure, as far as is possible, that broadcast time is filled with work from our members rather than overseas. Our talks are over how to maximise the potential for British made programmes to be used during the daytime schedule.' Negotiations with other groups, including the Musicians Union, have also seen repeat fees come under the microscope. The Writers Guild, which agreed to halve repeat residual fees two years ago, has not entered negotiations with the BBC this time around, but general secretary Bernie Corbett said he was keen to engage on the matter. 'You can justify lower royalty fees if more content gets repeated and more people get paid – if the programmes become more affordable, more writers would be paid. I'm not here to negotiate rotten rates for our members, but making a repeat fees deal is certainly an idea we should be exploring.' Broadcast revealed last month that repeating drama in daytime or overnight slots, a proposal from the DQF initiative, would not save much money because the cost of repeat fees is so high.

Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter has claimed that ITV plans to produce a new television prequel based on the character. The one-off drama is expected to focus on the detective's early years as a student at St John's College, Oxford. 'I wrote a short story all about him coming to Oxford to study,' Dexter told the Witney Gazette. 'Morse did wonderfully at language and literature, but did not very much like philosophy or ancient studies, so he dropped out and joined the police.'He continued: 'ITV came to me and said it would be marvellous if we could do something with those stories. I was not terribly enthusiastic at first, but I [then] thought it would be a nice story to tell.' ITV's original Inspector Morse series, which ran from 1987 to 2000, starred the late John Thaw as the irascible crime-solver. 'I don't really have any actors in mind who could play him [as a young man],' said Dexter. 'Morse was in his forties when we first met him, but I suspect he'll still have a lot of the same character traits.'

Sky Atlantic has revealed details of three new commissions including a fishing fly-on-the-wall series. The first show, which has the working title Brixham - Fish Town, has been given the green light by the commissioning editor of factual and features Siobhan Mulholland. Across ten sixty-minute episodes, the character-driven fly-on-the-wall documentary will provide an insight into one of Britain's oldest and busiest fishing ports and the people who live and work there. 'It's a pleasure to be working with the people of Brixham on this exciting new series - the first of its kind to be broadcast on Sky Atlantic HD. It's a filmic, intense, yet gentle insight into this historic Devonshire town and the great characters who inhabit it,' said Mulholland. She has also commissioned Treasure Seekers, a programme which will mix 'travelogue, interiors and transactional TV.' The format involves two designers, Paul Liengaard and Sarah Brunner, scouring the UK for objects that can be used in the country's most exclusive contemporary spaces. 'This series is full of the unexpected and the unusual,' said Mulholland. 'Set against some genuinely beautiful backdrops, Treasure Seekers expert team will show that what seems like junk to one person is a collector's item to another, and our seekers will have an eye not just for the objects themselves, but for the best locations to find them in.' The final new commission is The Devil's Dinner Party, which will be produced by ITV studios. Every episode will open with six guests, who meet each and chat casually before revealing their innermost thoughts in individual interviews. The guests will enjoy champagne and canapés, but there will also be sudden eliminations and personal questions about their vanity and self-image. When the guests are asked questions, the other diners must predict their answer to win money. The process is intended to be 'subtle yet brutally stark process' with the personal questions driving the group apart. Producer Amanda Stavri said: 'We're thrilled to be partnering with Sky on this commission. The Devil's Dinner Party exploits and explores the simple truth of dinner parties up and down the land - people simply can't resist making judgements about their fellow man.'

E4 has asked Twelve Yard Productions to reveal the traditions and initiation tests of American sororities and has ordered a comedy duo sketch show as part of a slate of commissions. The ITV-owned producer is making the eight part Sorority Girls, in which a group of young British women will attempt to win places in an exclusive UK-based sorority chapter set up by five American girls. They will have to cope with humiliating tasks while still being pristinely presented as they attempt to impress their US counterparts. The reality series, ordered by entertainment commissioning editor David Williams, will be executive produced by Andy Culpin, Michael Mannes and Matt Walton. Comedy duo Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns will also debut on the channel later this year in the six part Cardinal Burns, made by Left Bank Productions. The duo's sketches have been described as madcap and cartoonish, with their live act featuring a Parkinson-style chat show interview with an average person. Comedy editor Fiona McDermott ordered the series, which will be executive produced by Andy Harries. McDermott has also commissioned a one-off clip show from Zeppotron. Little Box Of Horrors will be narrated by The Inbetweeners' James Buckley. The programme aims to collect 'the strangest, most outrageous and disturbing clips broadcast around the world.' Neil Webster and Peter Holmes will be executive producers. YouTube performers The Midnight Beast have had a series ordered following a pilot earlier this year. Comedy commissioning editor Nerys Evans ordered the series starring the trio, who have clocked thirty three million hits on YouTube after parodying 'Tik Tok' by Ke$ha. Warp Films and Cuba Comedy will co-produce the series with Mary Burke as producer. Finally, Objective Productions' Tool Academy, the reality series boot camp for bad boyfriends, will return for a second eight-part run.

Eddie Izzard has vowed to pursue a career in politics by standing as a candidate for the position of London Mayor in 2020. The comedian is a vocal supporter of the Labour party and campaigned on former leader Gordon Brown's behalf in the run-up to the general election last year. He has now confirmed he will put himself forward to run London as a Member of Parliament or a Member of the European Parliament in the 2020 ballot. Izzard tells Sky News, 'I'm standing for either Mayor of London MP or MEP in nine years' time, in 2020. Can you set your watches?'

My Chemical Romance have waded into a row with the conservative US pundit - and moron - Glenn Beck. The FOX News talk show host - soon to have his ass kicked out of the door by the broadcaster - chose the New Jersey band as his latest target on his programme last week. Claiming that 'our whole culture right now is set up for you and the values that we grew up on to lose,' he discussed the hit TV series Glee – and, in particular, the use of My Chemical Romance's 'Sing' on an episode which was broadcast in the US in February. Beck accused the band of 'propaganda,' urging parents to remain vigilant against the song, which has just been re-released as a charity single for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief: 'Pay attention to the lyrics,' Beck said. 'It's an anthem saying "Join us." How can you and I possibly win against that?' The sing features the lyrics: 'Cleaned-up corporation progress/Dying in the process/Children that can talk about it/Living on the railways/People moving sideways/Sell it till your last days.' Beck appeared to take lyrics from the song, which is set in a post-apocalyptic California, literally. My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way has responded to Beck's comments via a blog on the band's website. 'I think the word Glenn Beck was looking for was "subversion" not "propaganda," because I don't know what it would be considered propaganda for – Truth? Sentiment? And I can't tell what he's angrier about – the fact that it's how I feel about the persistent sterilisation of our culture or the fact that it's on network television for everyone to hear. And railways? Is it 1863? Seen any children living on these lately instead of the Internet? I'm actually shocked that no fact-checking was done on the lyrics,' Way wrote. 'I mean FOX is a major news channel, covering factual topics in an unbiased and intelligent – oh wait – to quote the man himself "You don't have to live by the standards that society has set." I couldn't agree more.' The band has had previous run-ins with the right-wing media both in the US and the UK. In 2006, they were forced to respond to an article in the Daily Scum Mail by the repulsive and odious Sarah Sands which - ludicrously - portrayed them as part of 'a cult of suicide.'

Channel Four is to examine how buildings affect our lives in a series fronted by architecture critic Tom Dyckhoff. The broadcaster has commissioned Renegade Pictures and Christie HQ to make the series The Secrets Of Buildings (working title), which will see Dyckhoff investigate 'how the constructed space impacts humans at home, work and play.' It will be the first time that the critic has carried a show alone, having made appearances on BBC2's The Culture Show as an architecture expert. He also contributes regularly to The Times. In the series, Dyckhoff will avoid musing about empty buildings and immerse himself in the lives of people who use them. He will explore the emerging science of space and how buildings affect the brain, including running experiments challenging how we carry around fixed ideas about using space. The theory of environmental determinism – the idea that the physical environment, rather than social conditions, determines culture – will also be unpacked. The Secrets Of Buildings will feature interviews with renowned British architect Norman Foster and other industry figures, such as Alex de Rijke. Dyckhoff will challenge their assumptions and argue that architecture should be less about ego, art and economics.

A prequel to Mario Puzo's classic novel The Godfather is to be released in June 2012, publisher Grand Central says. The Family Corleone, to be written by author Ed Falco, has been authorised by the estate of Puzo, who died in 1999 at the age of seventy eight. The book, to be set in the 1930s, is based on an unproduced Puzo screenplay. Puzo, whose 1969 book sold more than twenty million copies, won Oscars for writing The Godfather and Godfather Part II films with Francis Ford Coppola. The saga - along with the flawed-but-interesting Godfather Part III made in 1990 - follows the fortunes of a fictional Italian-American family, initially led by Godfather Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando in the first film, Robert de Niro playing a younger version of the character in the second). Puzo's son Tony described the new novel, which will tell the tale of Corleone's rise through the criminal underworld, as being 'true to Mario Puzo's legacy.' Grand Central Publishing said the novel 'thrillingly brings back Puzo's classic characters in a prequel that both honours the original and stands on its own.' Puzo followed up The Godfather novel with two further books in the series - The Sicilian, published in 1984, and Omerta, published posthumously in 2000. In recent years, two sequels by Mark Winegardner - The Godfather Returns and The Godfather's Revenge - have been published.

Reality TV regular Imogen Thomas has said that she would be 'interested' in returning to the Big Brother house. Probably since it's just about the only place in Britain at the moment where she might be able to avoid getting asked about the identity of the premier League footballer who's been given her one. The former Big Brother housemate - and that's all she's ever done in her life to deserve the slightest smidgen of wider attention, in case you were wondering - hit the headlines last month when it was revealed that she had been having an affair with a married Premier League footballer. However, while she was publicly named by the media, an injunction taken out by her ex-lover prevents her - or anyone else for that matter - from revealing who he is. According to the Daily Lies, which of course has a fantastic record of nothing but total accuracy over this sort of thing - producers are 'interested in having her in the celebrity version of the show because of the love life secrets that she might reveal.' A little like the Daily Lies claiming in September 2010 that prostitute Jenny Thompson, who slept with footballer Wayne Rooney, had been linked to I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! Having produced a series of - as it turned out, entirely fictitious - quotes from a 'show rep', the alleged newspaper then reported, three weeks later, that the production had no intention of featuring Thompson. Or any other prostitutes for that matter. Anyway, back to Thomas. Speaking about the show's return, the glamour model allegedly told the alleged newspaper: 'I can't wait! I think it will be bigger and better and I would definitely consider going in again if they do a celeb one. I couldn't go back into the normal show. Maybe they would want to chuck me in.' Maybe. But, given that it's the Daily Lies you're talking to Imogen, love, don't hold yer breath.

And finally, apparently Cheryl Cole got that job she'd been up for which the tabloids have been so frigging obsessed about for the last six months. Maybe now, they'll shut-the-fek up about it.

The latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day is one towering juggernaut of almost Wagnerian techno-house-disco-jungle-handbag from the rock hard Basement Jaxx. Everybody in the house say 'Disco!' Fabulous disaster movie parody video as well.

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