Sunday, October 30, 2011

If You Make Sure You're Connected The Writing's On The Wall

Television Comedy Moment Of The Week, by about a million miles, dear blog reader. It was that bit in Match of the Day when John Terry very amusingly fell over on his arse like somebody wearing a whopping great pair of oversized clowns shoes allowing Robin van Persie through to score. Hilarious, thigh-slapping, 'rolling on the floor kicking your legs in the air like one of those robots on the "For Mash Get S.M.A.S.H" adverts'-funny. Seriously, dear blog reader, if you missed it, it was funnier than anything on this week's Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, Would I Lie To You? and Qi XL put together. This man is, clearly, a comedy genius. I laughed. Until I stopped. And then I laughed some more.
A howlingly funny moment for Hallow'een weekend.

In what might be seen in weeks and months to come as a genuinely symbolic moment, for the first time since 2007 an episode of BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing had a higher overnight average audience - 10.2m - than an episode of ITV's The X Factor which was broadcast on the same evening - 9.9m (and that includes ITV+1 and ITV HD figures). Strictly won, dear blog reader. Not just the head-to-head crossover between the two shows but the entire night. This blogger has, somewhat, poo-pah'd in the past the seeming tabloid campaign of whispers against The X Factor of late and this whole 'show in crisis' malarkey. No show getting ten million viewers is 'in crisis' or anything even remotely like it. But, it is now an undeniable fact that The X Factor appears to have lost approximately fifteen per cent of the audience which it had last year. That's not the end of the world, of course, there may be a variety of different reasons for this situation - very popular long-running TV shows often find, eventually, that their audience plateaus. And it's still very difficult to try and paint a show getting var nigh ten million viewers each week as one that is close to being 'in trouble.' Nevertheless, at least a portion of X Factor's regular audience from previous years has clearly found something lacking this time around. And if ITV aren't maybe just a little bit worried about that then one imagines their advertises who are paying premium mucho wonga for thirty second slots during the show, perhaps, will be. The Strictly episode - which slightly overran its slot by about three minutes - has a peak of a whopping 11.5m during the final fifteen minutes. Following that, Merlin continued its good form with an overnight audience of a fraction under six million. The bad news of the night was that 4.4m people chose to watch the odious unfunny egomaniac Piers Morgan's Life Stories featuring an interview with another odious unfunny egomaniac, James Corden.

That's Just Wrong TV Moment Of The Week: Sticking with Strictly, whose bright idea was it to have miniature pop puppet Harry Judd and Aliona strutting their funky stuff to 'Psycho Killer' by The Talking Heads? I mean, that's just all sorts of wrong.
Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Meanwhile, actress Chelsee Healey blubbed her poor little heart out after she suffered 'a wardrobe malfunction' on Strictly. The Waterloo Road star was visibly upset after dancing a tango with her dance partner Pasha Kovalev, but one of the show's hosts, Tess Daly, assured her afterwards: 'We saw nothing.' Whether that actually helped is another matter. One of the judges, Craig Revel Horwood, told her: 'You coped with the wardrobe malfunction quite well, but it did throw you, that's why it was a bit of a mess towards the end.' The dancers' tango to 'Love Potion Number Nine' received one of the best scores of the evening, thirty two out of a possible forty. Alesha Dixon - who still knows nowt - told her: 'You have nothing to cry about, my darling. It did not distract from the dance.' Bruno Tonioli added that she was 'a wicked little dancer' and said she had 'great musicality until the little incident happened.' The lowest score of the night went, again, to Nancy Dell'Olio, who with partner Anton Du Beke collected only fourteen points. The show had a Hallow'een theme and Dell'Olio climbed out of a coffin at the start of their rumba to 'Spooky.' Horwood - with his usual lack of tact - told her, no unreasonably: 'The moment you stepped out of that sarcophagus was the moment it went horribly wrong.' Len Goodman added: 'There were moments of Mills and Boon, and moments of meals on wheels.' Footballer Robbie Savage, whose performance last week was described by Horwood as 'sloppy,' gained some revenge when he jumped on a desk in front of the Australian whilst clutching his crotch. Errr... his own crotch, not Horwood's. Just wanted to make that very clear. Oh yes, very hot water. He and partner Ola Jordan had just performed a paso doble to Michael Jackson's 'Bad.' The pair collected twenty six points. After something of a off-week last time around, red-hot favourite Jason Donovan and Kristina Rihanoff were back at the top of the leaderboard with thirty seven points for their quickstep, the best score of the series so far.

Well-known faceache (and drag) Arlene Phillips has said that she has come to 'accept' her Strictly Come Dancing 'departure.' Which is big of her since it wasn't, actually, a departure it was a sacking. The sixty eight-year-old claimed to be 'over' her 2009 axing from the judging panel in favour of Alesha Dixon, but accepted that she will be 'forever tangled up' with the show. Dear blog readers with longer memories may remember that last year bitter old gasbag and well-known faceache (and drag) Phillips was claiming 'Strictly's the last thing on my mind. It doesn't feel like it is a part of me any more. It's so tiresome. I'm bigger than Strictly.' Which presumably explains why barely a week has gone by for the last two years without well-known faceache (and drag) Phillips appearing in some national tabloid rag or other talking about some aspect of Strictly. me thinks the lady doth protest too much. 'I've come to accept it,' she told the Daily Scum Mail who, of course, lapped all this up like a fly nibbling on a big sweating dog turn in the road on a hot day. 'What's been a real surprise is the endless tweets, e-mails, comments on Facebook and in the street. I really thought it would have completely faded by now. But I realise I'll be forever tangled up with it in some way. It's a huge programme - a mega programme. I just live with it now.' Odd, then, that it was only last November that well-known faceache (and drag) Phillips was claiming that she believed Strictly Come Dancing had 'gone flat' in her absence. And yet, ironically, it's now getting far greater ratings than it ever received in the past when embittered old faceache (and drag) Phillips herself was on the judging panel. Go figure, dear blog reader. Maybe some unemployment counselling might help. Phillips explained that the pain of her Strictly exit had been diluted by the death of her agent and friend Michael Summerton, which occurred within twenty four hours of her firing. 'It was so hard to separate the emotion because it came one after the other,' she recalled. 'My personal loss was greater than Strictly and my grieving went on and on. Strictly was actually floating up somewhere.'

Eddie Izzard reportedly got so attached to the crutch he used as Long John Silver in the new Sky 1 version of Treasure Island that he took it home after the shoot. He said: 'I grew to love the crutch. It looks great.' Eddie revealed that he made a last-minute decision to ditch a West Country accent and play Long John Silver as a Cockney villain. The comedian plays the pegged-legged pirate in Sky's new adaptation of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson story - in which a ship of pirates and sailors sets sail from Bristol in search of buried gold - and said he opted to make a break with tradition just before filming started. 'I chose to make him London rather than West Country,' said Eddie. 'I was getting ready to do him West Country then I thought, "Everyone does him West Country!" There must have been so many sailors from London too, and it just twisted it a bit and made it mine.' The forty nine-year-old added that it was also his idea to shave his head to play Silver. Eddie said he only agreed to take on the role if the tone of the two-parter was more like Tim Burton's dark Batman and less like a pantomime or The Pirates Of Penzance. He said: 'I agreed to do it if it could be a kick-arse Goodfellas version. I think the analogy I was using was Tim Burton's Batman.' Producers used CGI to make it look as if Eddie had only one leg, and the actor said he learned to enjoy using Long John Silver's crutch. 'It became part of the character and I actually grew to like it, you know how soldiers keep their guns with them at all times? I just wanted to be with that crutch,' he said. Treasure Island, which was filmed in Ireland and Puerto Rico and which also stars Donald Sutherland, Elijah Wood and Rupert Penry Jones, will be on Sky 1 during the Christmas period.

Director Steven Spielberg paid tribute to The Adventures of Tintin co-writer Steven Moffat and his other British contributors: 'Steven wrote one of my favourite TV shows, which is Doctor Who. Peter (Jackson) and I felt whoever did Doctor Who would have a good sensibility for Tintin. And it so happens Steven had read Tintin since he was eight. Even when he had to leave the Tintin project to get on with making Doctor Who, I got two other Brits — Shaun of the Dead's Edgar Wright and Attack The Block's Joe Cornish — to finish the job. They're two great British writers.'
The greatest actor on the planet, Richard Schiff, has signed up to appear on Once Upon a Time. The former West Wing star will play King Leopold on ABC's fantasy drama, according to TV Line. Leopold is the father of Snow White (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) and a denizen of the Enchanted Forest. The character will first appear in the show's eleventh episode. Since The West Wing concluded in 2006, Schiff has appeared in episodes of Burn Notice, White Collar and the axed CBS procedural Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour as well as spending much time in the theatre both as an actor and a director. True Blood's Kristin Bauer van Straten, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Emma Caulfield and Lord of the Rings's Brad Dourif have also signed up for roles in Once Upon a Time.

BBC1's award-winning school drama series Waterloo Road is to re-locate from its current Rochdale base to Greenock in Inverclyde. The move will see the former Greenock secondary become the new on-screen Waterloo Road school from next year. Shed Productions make the popular drama, which is currently in its seventh series for BBC Scotland. Inverclyde Council agreed to lease the former Greenock Academy building for the filming of the next two series. Over the next two years the re-location is expected to provide a boost to the Scottish creative sector worth an estimated twenty million smackers, while up to two hundred jobs could also be created. The move is part of BBC's aim to increase network programming from Scotland and the other nations of the UK. Shed Productions CEO Eileen Gallagher said: 'Waterloo Road has had an incredibly happy six years in Rochdale working with one of the best TV crews in the country. But now we have outgrown our present site and we couldn't resist the BBC offer to take the show to Scotland.' Inverclyde Council Leader Councillor Stephen McCabe said: 'We have been working hard for the past four years to invest in our schools, leisure facilities and town centres to transform Inverclyde into a place to work, live and relax. Waterloo Road's relocation reflects how far we have come and what we have achieved.' Filming is expected to start in April 2012.

Jonathan Ross will stay with ITV for a second series of his new chat show, according to a report. The Daily Lies Sunday claims that the presenter has signed an extension on his deal with the broadcaster. 'Both ITV and ­Jonathan were worried it might not work after he moved from the BBC but it has been a massive hit,' an alleged 'source' allegedly revealed. But, it's probably lies. 'Paul O'Grady's show hasn't worked as well for ITV so they want to keep Jonathan on board to give the BBC's Graham Norton a run for his money.' The fifty-year-old, who left the BBC in January last year, had originally agreed to film eighteen episodes of The Jonathan Ross Show. The programme's first series is expected to continue in the New Year. O'Grady confirmed earlier this month that he would be focusing on projects other than his Friday night show.

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl star Billie Piper is pregnant with her second child, according to a report. The actress feared that she would have to pull out of upcoming London play Reasons To Be Pretty after learning she is expecting again, according to the Daily Scum Mail. She approached director Michael Attenborough and offered to bow out of the production but he assured her the script would be rewritten to accommodate her. Attenborough says, 'She was upset and told me she was pregnant. However, she was Neil LaBute's and my first choice for the part - and fortunately the character is pregnant - so with a bit of judicious re-writing we're all delighted she'll be with us. I told her that I'd love her to do it and she just wept on my shoulder. She thought that was it. She was thrilled.' Piper has a three-year-old son, Winston, with her actor husband Laurence Fox.

The world's second greatest actor (after Richard Schiff), Michael Sheen, is to take on the role of Hamlet in a new production at the Young Vic: 'It's the most dangerous play that exists, yet our culture has made it safe,' he told Wales online. 'What I want is to make it difficult and jagged again, unsettling and uncomfortable and disorienting for the audience.' Speaking about the language of Shakespeare, he said: 'We've debased our language in lots of ways now. We speak in not particularly expressive ways. The way people express themselves in Shakespeare's plays is so rich and so tense. It takes more energy and uses more of yourself. It's an investment and once you adjust to it, it becomes an incredible kinetic experience, really extraordinary. It works on your imagination and emotions just like music – you can be incredibly moved just because of the rhythms and notes.'

Peter Andre is to host this years Collars & Coats Gala Ball for Battersea Dogs and Cats home. One imagines an ITV2 documentary about that can't be far behind.

Johnny Vegas's forthcoming autobiography might be on hold as we reported a couple of days ago – but here's a little bit of his well-hidden personal history - his very first TV appearance. He appeared under his real name, Michael Pennington, as a contestant on the wretched (and now, thankfully forgotten) Bob Mills fronted game show Win, Lose Or Draw in 1996 on a team with celebrities Windsor Davies and Kriss Akabusi! True story. Watch it here. Where's Monkey you really need him?

Spare a thought, dear blog reader, for 1980s children's music quiz show host, Keith Chegwin, who was reportedly lined up for a starring role on ITV's Twatting About on Ice. Except his first rehearsal for the ITV show didn't go entirely to plan after he broke three ribs and fractured his shoulder, reports the Sun. 'I couldn't breathe or talk,' said Cheggers. What a pity such a thing didn't occur when he was on Multi-Coloured Swap Shop every week. The good news, though, is he will still be able to do his panto in Swindon.

And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And a bit of proper sage advice from yer actual Stereo MC's. Vital for all Top Telly Tippers, some might argue. Yer actual Keith telly Topping his very self couldn't possibly comment.

No comments: