Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Twenty Two Days Of Christmas: In Israel, Will They Sing 'Happy Nöel?'

Hugh Laurie has revealed that House could end after the current season. Which is hardly news but I guess the implication that House might not end after the current season could be considered as such. During an interview on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show on Thursday, the actor said that no further seasons have been planned and that House executives are considering multiple factors before deciding whether or not to continue with the medical drama. 'Too soon to say. We're still wetting our fingers and sticking them up in the air to see which way the wind's blowing. There are lots of things to be taken into account,' Laurie explained. 'It may very well be [the last season], or we may drive on and see if we can make a clear two decades. Who knows? But I'm very proud of the show. I think we all are very proud of the shows we're doing now, and I hope that people enjoy them. So, steady as she goes!' Laurie recently said that he plans to pursue writing and directing projects after House ends.

Twenty Twelve will have two more series before the summer Olympics in London. The show, which won Best Sitcom at the British Comedy Awards this week, spoofs the preparations for the Games. Speaking at the awards, a show spokesperson said: 'Believe it or not there's a deadline, so we've got one series in February and another just before the games. A show like this really, really needs an award, because no-one really knows what it is. It goes out on BBC4 to a very appreciative audience, but a small one. Hopefully it'll pick up a bigger audience for series two.' Olivia Colman, who plays Sally Owen in the show, said that she felt good to be back in comedy after working on Paddy Considine-directed film Tyrannosaur, saying: 'That's been the last two years in my head. I'm a right miserable old cow now. Tyrannosaur was sort of like my soul food, but comedy is what I know and it's lovely.'

Karen Gillan has revealed that she wants to forge a career in the theatre following her exit from Doctor Who next year. Steven Moffat announced this week that Gillan and her co-star Arthur Darvill will leave the BBC's long-running popular SF family drama at some point during the show's seventh series which we begin late in 2012. Gillan expressed a desire to do more stage work once she leaves the role of Amy Pond behind for good. 'I want to do more theatre. I want to do more stage. I have a real passion for it,' the actress told the Los Angeles Times. 'I want to do it as much as screen stuff, in all honesty, so that would be really amazing.' She further explained: 'Maybe something on Broadway. I'd love to do that. Not a musical, maybe like a play on Broadway. I genuinely just want to do good work. I'm interested in character, whether that's in a play or a film or an indie film.' Gillan also revealed that she was 'thrilled' to play model Jean Shrimpton in the television movie We'll Take Manhattan, which will be broadcast in the UK on BBC4 in January. 'I really didn't think that would happen. When I got offered that, I was like, "Really?"' the actress admitted. 'She's actually watched it, and she loved it. That's all I wanted from that role. That's enough for me, that she was happy with what [we] did with it.'

Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed that Sherlock Holmes gains 'humanity' in the latest series of Sherlock. The show returns on New Year's Day and covers some of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous novels in the series, with episodes A Scandal in Belgravia, The Hounds of Baskerville and The Reichenbach Fall. '[Sherlock is] slowly gaining a humanity,' Cumberbatch told the Gruniad Morning Star. 'He's on the side of the angels. His methods are definitely devilish, but he's got good at the core.' Show co-creator Steven Moffat added: 'On the journey that Holmes is on, he's sort of realising that he's not completely amoral. By meeting Moriarty he realises that he's not [evil].' Andrew Scott will return in his role as Jim Moriarty from the finale of the first series. 'He has this amazing ability to conjure up this sort of blank-eyed desolation of a man too clever, too clever to exist almost,' Moffat said of Scott's portrayal. Sherlock also gains a love interest in the new series in the form of high-class dominatrix Irene Adler, played by [spooks] actress Lara Pulver. 'Very beautiful, incredibly smart, quick thinking and resourceful,' Cumberbatch said of Irene. 'She's got a lot of attributes that mirror his. She doesn't suffer fools gladly. [Sherlock] has a blind spot which is female emotional intuition. He's very good at guessing the kind of everyday circumstances in the sexes, the normal nuances of courtship, but I think what she has is much more complicated than that.'

Miranda Hart's role in a new midwife drama means there will be no new episodes of her hit sitcom until autumn 2012. Speaking after her win for Best Comedy Actress at the British Comedy Awards for the second year running - despite the fact that there hasn't been a new episode of Miranda shown on British TV throughout 2011 - Hart said that although there would be a wait for the third series, she was 'not thinking about the end.' Hart has repeatedly said in interviews during the last year that she hadn't started writing series three despite the show's success, and her commitment to new BBC1 drama Call the Midwife has delayed the series further still. Miranda's high ratings will see the third series air on BBC1 rather than BBC2.

Subscription broadcaster Sky won its first two British Comedy Awards last night. Darren Boyd took home Best Comedy Actor for Spy, while Victoria Wood won 'Best Female Television Comic for her Angina Monologues. Both shows are broadcast on Sky1. Boyd said that Sky executives were 'really nurturing shows and scripts that they believe in.' Well, it makes a difference from hacking phones, one supposes. A second series of Spy has now been commissioned. The broadcaster had a total of five nominations, with An Idiot Abroad and Sky Atlantic's This Is Jinsy also nominated. Armando Iannucci, winner of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award, said that 'there were no pre-conditions for taking Alan Partridge to Sky Atlantic.' He continued: 'I've done stuff with Sky News, Sky Arts is fantastic and Sky Atlantic is great. For years people have been having a go at them for making all this money and not putting it into home-grown, home-based production. Now they're doing that the last thing we want to be doing is have a go at them.'

Harry Judd and dance partner Aliona Vilani have won Strictly Come Dancing 2011. The pair secured the coveted Glitterball trophy after receiving the most public votes in the grand final. Waterloo Road actress Chelsee Healey and partner Pasha Kovalev finished in second place. Jason Donovan and Kristina Rihanoff finished in third place earlier on in the evening.
Saturday night's two Strictly shows averaged 12.18m and 11.94m on overnights respectively, peaking at 13.3m. In between, the penultimate episode of the current series of Merlin achieved a season's best overnight audience of 7.19m.

Holly Valance allegedly snubbed travelling on a coach booked by Strictly Come Dancing producers to take the eliminated contestants to the final in Blackpool. Instead, she flew there on the private jet belonging to her boyfriend, the property developer Nick Candy, according to the Sun. An alleged 'source' allegedly said: 'The kind of circles Holly moves in you don't really get the coach. They're seen as the kind of vehicles you use to ferry catering staff to your summer croquet party. She'll fly up with Nick and some friends and family who will all be cheering her on.' Nancy Dell'Olio reportedly secured a seat on the flight. 'Nancy wouldn't be seen dead on a coach so was in the process of hiring a chopper to get her up there,' the alleged 'source' allegedly continued. 'But when she realised how much that was going to cost she panicked. Fortunately she heard about Holly's plan and she was kind enough to offer her a seat.' Though she made the semi-final, Valance won't be going on the Strictly Come Dancing tour. An alleged 'source' - we'll have to presume it's a different one - allegedly said: 'Appearing on a weekly TV show is one thing - but traipsing round Britain in the winter months is another.'

Dozens of people attended a Lake District village venue to enjoy a musical play written by Kinks singer Ray Davies. Six students from John Ruskin School performed Child's Play, which features Kinks songs including 'Waterloo Sunset' and 'All Day and All of the Night.' The musician joined the one hundred and ten-strong audience for the sell-out performance at the Coniston Institute on Friday. The play was part of a Grizedale Arts project to revitalise the building. The first performance of Child's Play was at London's Southbank Centre in September. Speaking before the performance in Cumbria, Davies described the students as 'very accomplished.' He said: 'It's a great village, it's got a great community spirit.' Grizedale Arts deputy director Alistair Hudson said: 'It went really well. It was definitely a landmark moment in the village in changing the way people think about the institute.' He said that the play had been 'quite poignant' because of its subject matter, which examines the past sixty years of cultural and political life in the UK. 'There was an amazing warmth in the place,' he said. Hudson added that the Kinks legend had enjoyed the performance. 'He just said it was fantastic, seeing all the village come together in the institute.' Hudson described Davies working with the musician as 'fantastic', saying that he had really known how to encourage the students and push them the extra yard, but had been generous in letting them enjoy the limelight. Hudson said: 'Ray just sat back and let them have their moment.' And after the play, the musician went backstage to congratulate the performers. Hudson said they had more plans for the institute, including repainting the hall and building a library to develop it into a cultural centre. The performance is due to be put online so it can be seen by a wider audience.

Newcastle United fans paid an emotional tribute to former player Gary Speed. Welsh opera singer Gwyn Hughes Jones led the fans in a rendition of 'Cwm Rhondda' before the kick off in their home tie against Swansea. He was joined in the centre circle by members of Speed's family and former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer. The song was followed by a minute's applause and fans in the East Stand held up cards which picked out Speed's number eleven shirt from his Tyneside days. On the eleventh minute of the game, fans chanted his name again and waved their black and white scarves. The forty two-year-old was found hanged at his home in Cheshire last month. The tribute was originally planned before Newcastle's match against Chelsea two weeks ago but was delayed at the request of Speed's widow Louise. She was at the game with her sons and the player's parents. Speaking before the match, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said that fans were keen to let Speed's family know how highly they thought of him. He said: 'Louise and the family are coming and we are very conscious that we do it in the correct and proper manner and give them a tribute they can proud of. We want to do a tribute that brings honour to Gary's name and, in my opinion, there is no-one better to do that than people from the North East. I'm sure our fans will let Gary's wife know how we feel about him.' Speed made two hundred and eighty five first team appearances and scored forty goals for yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though, still unsellable) Magpies during a six-and-a-half-year spell with the club. He took over the Wales job in December 2010, despite only having four months' managerial experience. Speed began his playing career at Leeds United after coming through the trainee ranks, and was part of the side that won the last Football League title in 1992, before the introduction of the Premier League. He retired from international duty in 2004, after captaining Wales forty four times and scoring seven goals. The game ended in a nil-nil draw.

For yer actual Keith Telly Topping's Twenty Two Days of Christmas today we have one of the two or three greatest Christmas songs ever, in the opinion of yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self. Although it's one which, I doubt, too many blog readers will find being bellowed gormlessly by drunken Scotsmen at any Christmas parties they attend this year. It'd be pure-dead brilliant if it was, though. Budgie, Severin, the late John McGeogh and yer actual Siouxsie Sioux sorting out the Middle-East. Holy.

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