Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Turn Off The Waterworks, Baby, They Don't Move Me Now More

ITV's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Celebrity New Year's Special was watched by just 3.47m viewers on Tuesday night, according to overnight data as ITV suffered yet another dreadful night. They've been having quite a few of those, lately, you might've noticed. The Chris Tarrant-hosted quiz show also attracted an additional one hundred and eighty thousand punters on +1. River Monsters preceded it with 2.86m from 7.30pm, whilst the sickest, most degrading and evil reality format on television, The Biggest Loser ended up with 2.8m from 9pm. The 9pm timeslot saw a late change on BBC1, as a Panorama special on the outcome of the Stephen Lawrence murder trial replaced the opening episode of Anna Friel and Daniel Mays' drama Public Enemies. Panorama was watched by 2.62m. Elsewhere on the channel, Celebrity Mastermind continued its impressive form of late with 5.23m from 7pm, Holby City was watched by 5.44m from 8pm and Lee Mack Going Out Live had 2.02m overnight punters. It was a very good night for BBC2. Hairy Bikers' Best of British began the night with 2.04m. Nature's Weirdest Events with Chris Packham and the first of the two-part documentary King George and Queen Mary: The Royals Who Rescued the Monarchy followed with 3.83m and 3.38m respectively. Overall, BBC1 won primetime with an overall audience share of 20.8 per cent ahead of ITV, which had 13.7 per cent. BBC2 followed with 11.3 per cent.

The BBC will not edit out nude scenes from the new series of Sherlock when the hit drama is repeated from 7pm this weekend on digital channel BBC3, despite more than one hundred complaints. Nice to see somebody at the corporation for once showing a bit of backbone in the face of such an obviously sinister and concerted attempt to undermine it in matters of artistic concern. The footage of actress Lara Pulver, who plays Irene Adler, led to 'criticism' from the Daily Scum Mail for showing the scenes before the 9pm watershed. As noted yesterday, the Scum Mail appeared to have taken their lead from a handful of comments on Twitter (they quoted three anonymous sources). Sherlock was broadcast on BBC1 over ninety minutes from 8.10pm on Sunday to an overnight audience of almost nine million viewers. By Wednesday morning, the BBC had received one hundred and two complaints about Sherlock, relating to alleged 'inappropriate scenes' broadcast before the watershed. In the New Year's Day episode, A Scandal in Belgravia, Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes meets Adler, who is naked when they first meet. However, thanks to the camera angles and Pulver's carefully placed arms and hands, viewers do not see any of her naughty nakedness except for her back and legs. The BBC told the Gruniad Morning Star - who, seemingly, couldn't decide whether they wanted in on the moral outrage and another chance to beat up the BBC or whether what's bad for the Scum Mail is good for them in a sort of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' type way - that when Sherlock is broadcast from 7pm on Saturday night on BBC3 the scenes will be aired in full. Good. A spokesman for the BBC said that due to the bank holiday it could not tell when the complaints had been made, or how many came before or after the troublemaking Daily Scum Mail story. But, you can probably use your own brain and guess, dear blog reader. Interesting, at no stage in the Daily Scum Mail's story do they mention the fact that Cumberbatch's naked back was also seen a few minutes earlier in the same episode. Because, that's not a story.

Check this out, dear blog reader. Lee Hardcastle's thrilling Pingu remake of John Carpenter's The Thing. Well, that's brightened up a boring Wednesday afternoon, to be sure!

More Twatting About On Ice contestants, including Heidi Range and Laila Morse, have - reportedly - been 'struck down' with injuries ahead of the first show this weekend. Chesney Hawkes (he is the one and only, apparently) was forced to pull out of a press day event on Tuesday after suffering a serious leg injury on the ice and he may now be forced out of the competition altogether. Oh, the inherent tragedy. Speaking to the Digital Spy website, Sugababes singer Range revealed that bones in her wrist and ribs have 'popped' after accidents in training, while EastEnders actress Morse claimed that her shoulder muscle ailment felt like 'a constant toothache.' Only, in the shoulder. Obviously. Range previously suffered the setback of having to switch professional skating partners after her original partner, Sylvain Longchambon, was ruled out with a torn bicep. Late last year it was reported that faded old hasbeen Keith Chegwin had been removed from the original Twatting About On Ice line-up after he damaged his ribs and collar bone in early rehearsals.

Alan Yentob, the BBC's creative director, is to join the board of BBC Studios and Post Production as a non-executive director, it has been announced. A commercial subsidiary of the BBC, Studios and Post Production is the UK's largest provider of studios, post production and digital media services to the broadcast and media industry. Based at London's Television Centre in Elstree and Bristol, the company has the BBC as its client, but also works with various other broadcasters, including ITV, Channel Four, Channel Five and Sky. BBC veteran Yentob has acted as the corporation's creative director since 2004, with oversight across all of the BBC's services. Previously controller of BBC1 and BBC2, Yentob is also currently chairman of BBC Films and presenter of the Imagine arts and culture strand on the BBC. 'I am delighted to be joining the BBC Studios and Post Production Board as it continues to build on recent strong performance,' said Yentob. 'I look forward to working with colleagues on the board to further develop a successful business model for the future.' John Tate, the BBC's director of policy and strategy who was appointed chairman of BBC Studios last September, added: 'I am delighted that Alan is joining the BBC Studios and Post Production Board. He brings a wealth of experience from the UK creative sector, and I'm very much looking forward to working with him and building a strong future for the business.' Under the leadership of chief executive Mark Thomas, the BBC's studios and post production business has just completed its best ever year, generating its highest profitability since it was formed in 1998.

Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton has begun her bid to reach the South Pole after bad weather had caused a delay. Skelton will travel five hundred miles across Antarctica using an ice bike, skis and a kite to raise money for Sport Relief. In the process, she hopes to set a new world record for the longest bicycle journey on snow. The twenty eight-year-old will use a bicycle with specially adapted tyres with a width of twenty cm. Skelton's latest adventure follows her successful high-wire walk between the chimneys of Battersea Power Station, in London, and a solo kayak voyage down the length of the Amazon. She said: 'I am desperate to get started and to get a few miles under my belt. Bad weather delayed the start of my challenge by four days and that means I now have less time to reach the South Pole - so the sooner I get going, the more likely I am to finish. I've decided to start my polar challenge on my ice bike as I'm determined to prove that you can ride part of the way to the South Pole.' Skelton will pull a sledge that weighs a total of eighty two kg and contains her supplies.

The growth of online TV viewing in the UK is slowing, according to new figures from the broadcasting industry's audience measurement body, BARB. Almost fifteen per cent of respondents to BARB's biannual study, which tracked viewing habits over a week in November 2011, said they watched TV on a PC, laptop or tablet computer during that period – a rise of only half of one per cent compared to November 2010. The study of about four thousand viewers saw online watching rise from 11.2 Per cent in November 2009 to 14.4 per cent the following year. BARB said the plateau in online viewing could be attributed to the rise in digital set-top boxes and the boom in popularity of catch-up services on Internet connected TVs, such as Sky+ and Virgin TV On Demand. The study found that viewing on mobile devices continued to rise – almost doubling in use among young adults, year-on-year – as Britons rushed to buy smartphones in the second half of 2011. Almost three per cent of respondents claimed to have watched TV on their mobile phone during the tracking period last year, up from 1.9 per cent in November 2010 and 1.1 per cent in November 2009. Unsurprisingly, the biggest growth in mobile TV viewers was among those aged fifteen to thirty four: 9.8 per cent said they had watched TV on their handheld device in November last year, compared with 5.8 per cent in 2010. The proportion of all adults who claimed to have watched TV on their PC, laptop or tablet computer reached 36.2 per cent at the end of 2011, a rise of 5.1 per cent year-on-year.

Director Martin Scorsese is to be honoured with the British Academy fellowship at the BAFTA Film Awards ceremony next month. The annual award is BAFTA's highest accolade and was bestowed to actor Christopher Lee last year. BAFTA chair Tim Corrie called Scorsese 'a legend in his lifetime, a true inspiration to all young directors.' The film-maker will collect his accolade at the BAFTA Awards in London on 12 February. Scorsese, whose latest movie Hugo has been well-received by the critics, said: 'It is a great honour to be recognised by the British Academy and to join the ranks of such an esteemed group of industry colleagues and friends.' Previous recipients from the discipline of film-making to gain the award include Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. Scorsese's film career spans six decades, with work including Taxi Driver, Gangs of New York and The Aviator. He has picked up nine BAFTA nominations for directing, winning in 1991 for Goodfellas. The film-maker, aged sixty nine, picked up a string of Oscar nominations during a long wait to finally win best director for The Departed in 2007. In 1990,he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to film preservation. Previous honorary accolades for his life's work have included a Cesar in France, a life achievement from the American Film Institute in 1997 and recognition from the Director's Guild of America in 2003.

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day is a little twenty four carat rockabilly classic, The Johnny Burnette Trio's cover of Big Joe Turner's 'Honey Hush'.

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