Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Failure Is Always An Option

The Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour is, not entirely unexpectedly, to return for a full series. The original project, which starred Shaun Evans as the young Endeavour Morse, attracted 8.2m viewers in January. Evans will reprise the role in four two-hour episodes, to be filmed in Oxford later in 2012. Also returning from the pilot are Roger Allam as Morse's mentor Inspector Fred Thursday, James Bradshaw and Abigail Thaw, the daughter of original Inspector Morse star John Thaw. 'It was fantastic that the audience responded so warmly to Endeavour,' said ITV drama's Sally Haynes. 'Shaun's portrayal of a legendary character was captivating and Endeavour thoroughly deserves a series - there's so much more we can do with the character.' Producer Dan McCulloch added: 'We're delighted to be making a series of Endeavour and have been overwhelmed by the reaction to the first film. Russell Lewis has some bold plans to further enrich the mythology of Morse, introducing some significant new characters, and re-establishing some old favourites, all of whom are destined to have a massive impact on the future inspector's life.' The new series will be produced by McCulloch and executive produced by Mammoth Screen's joint managing directors, Michele Buck and Damien Timmer. Last year, Shaun Evans told the Digital Spy website that he was eager to reprise the role of Morse in a full series of Endeavour. 'I certainly had a good time and I feel like, in terms of the story and where he's at, there's definitely room for growth,' he said. In addition, a further four two-hour episodes of Inspector Morse spin-off Lewis will be broadcast on ITV from May.

Reports from Spain suggest that veteran actor Garrick Hagon is currently filming Doctor Who. The organisers of the FreakCon convention have announced: 'Garrick Hagon, our guest at FreakCon, is currently shooting in Almeria, filming a series of Doctor Who.' This was confirmed by the actor Rob Cavazos, who tweeted: 'I am currently working with an actor who was in the first Star Wars film. I am by no means a fanboy, but that's still pretty awesome!' Garrick previously appeared in Doctor Who, alongside Jon Pertwee in 1972's six-parter The Mutants as the Solonian rebel Ky. His movie appearances include A Bridge Too Far, The Spy Who Loved Me, Batman, Mission: Impossible and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He is probably best remembered as Luke Skywalker's friend Biggs in the original Star Wars movie. Television appearances include Moonbase 3, Colditz, Cambridge Spies and Oppenheimer.

The climax to England's nail biting 24-22 win over France in the Six Nations rugby was watched by more than six million viewers on BBC1 on Sunday. Live Six Nations Rugby Union had an average of four and a half million viewers between 2.30pm and 5.10pm on Sunday. The match itself, which kicked-off at 3pm, averaged 5.1 million viewers, peaking with 6.2 million for the final fifteen minutes. Later, BBC1's Upstairs Downstairs, slipped to its lowest audience of the series to date with 4.8 million viewers between 9pm and 10pm. It was down on the five million viewers who watched the previous week and the six and a half million who saw its launch on 19 February. It lost out in the Sunday night drama stakes to ITV's Wild At Heart, which was watched by 6.6 million viewers across ITV and ITV+1. Upstairs Downstairs also lost out to the Twatting About on Ice results show, which had six million viewers between 9.30pm and 10.05pm. Earlier, the main Twatting About on Ice show was watched by 7.4 million sad, crushed victims of society between 7.15pm and 8.30pm. It had the edge over BBC1's pairing of Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow, which each had 6.3 million viewers between 7pm and 8pm, and 8pm and 9pm respectively. Channel Four's imported drama Homeland continued with 2.3 million viewers across Channel Four and Channel Four+1 between 9pm and 10pm. As with the previous week, it lost out to BBC2's latest space exploration, Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey, which was watched by 2.8 million viewers. Orbit was followed by Match of the Day 2, which had 3.4 million viewers between 10pm and 11.10pm.

Consolidated ratings now; here's the Top Thirty rated shows for week-ending 4 March 2012:-
1 Coronation Street - ITV Mon - 10.32m
2 EastEnders - BBC1 Mon - 9.25m
3 Emmerdale - ITV Mon - 7.94m*
4 Twatting About On Ice - ITV Sun - 7.65m
5 Wild At Heart - ITV Sun - 6.88m
6 Benidorm - ITV Fri - 6.84m
7 Whitechapel - ITV Mon - 6.51m
8 England Friendlies - ITV Wed - 6.40m
9 Countryfile - BBC1 Sun - 6.30m
10 Casualty - BBC1 Sat - 6.04m
11 Let's Dance For Sport Relief - BBC1 Sat - 5.87m
12 Upstairs Downstairs - BBC1 Sun - 5.86m
13 Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 Sun - 5.85m
14 Top Gear - BBC2/BBC HD Sun - 5.79m
15 Holby City - BBC1 Tues - 5.61m
16 Big Fat Gypsy Weddings - C4 Tues - 5.58m
17 The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins - BBC1 Sat - 5.36m
18 The ONE Show - BBC1 Tues - 5.00m
19 The Food Inspectors - BBC1 Wed - 5.00m
20 Prisoners' Wives - BBC1 Tues - 4.98m
21 Ten O'Clock News - BBC1 Wed - 4.86m
22 Kidnap And Ransom - ITV Thurs - 4.81m*
23 Take Me Out - ITV Sat - 4.79m*
24 Warerloo Road - BBC1 Wed - 4.77m
25 Six O'Clock News - BBC1 Mon - 4.71m
26 Harry Hill's TV Burp - ITV Sat - 4.64m*
27 MasterChef - BBC1 Thurs - 4.55m
28 All New You've Been Framed - ITV Sat - 4.43m*
29 BBC News - BBC Sun - 4.41m
30 Pointless Celebrities - BBC1 Sat - 4.35m

Shouty Griff Rhys Jones is to host a new comedy panel show for Channel Four. The comedian will appear alongside regular team captains Marcus Brigstocke and Charlie Baker on A Short History of Everything Else. The six-part series, described by Rhys Jones as 'a serious nostalgia-fest,' will use archive TV clips to look back at the last few decades. 'This entertaining new series will be a satirical and engaging look back at strikes, depression, unemployment figures and the faux pas of yesterday's leaders,' said Channel Four's head of factual Ralph Lee. 'Hopefully offering an escape from the strikes, depression and leaders of today.' Rhys Jones added: 'The haircuts, the hits and the horrors. It's all flooding back. Actually, it's a great way of gathering up the recent past. Personally, I can't wait, and I'm in it.' The show will test panellists on their knowledge of recent history, with subject matter ranging from 'the sublime to the ridiculous, and the serious to the highly questionable.' A Short History of Everything Else will be broadcast on Channel Four in the spring.

Showtime has announced return dates for both Homeland and Dexter. The seventh season of Dexter - which stars Michael C Hall as the eponymous killer - will premiere on Sunday 30 September. The Homeland second season premiere will then follow at 10pm (9pm Central), Showtime's president of entertainment David Nevins confirmed. The hit drama stars Damian Lewis as a former US marine suspected of being a terrorist and Claire Danes as the CIA agent determined to prove his guilt. The first season of Homeland averaged 4.4m viewers, with the last episode becoming the highest-rated season finale for a freshman series in Showtime history.

Friday Night Dinner has been confirmed to return for a six-part series later this year and a Christmas special. A second run of the Channel Four sitcom - which stars Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird, Mark Heap, Paul Ritter and Tom Rosenthal - has begun filming in North London and is scheduled to air in the autumn. The forthcoming series will introduce Martin's mother, known as 'horrible grandma', and see both Adam and Jonny start new romances. 'Having spent the past eight months in almost solitary confinement as I wrote the show, I'm so excited to be out the house again among living human beings,' producer Robert Popper said. 'Friday Night Dinner was such a thrill to make last year, and I'm chomping at the bit to start again. And by "chomping at the bit," I mean I am actually wearing a horse's harness right now, which I am chewing manically, in excitement.' Channel Four Comedy commissioning editor Nerys Evans said: 'We're delighted we're going to spend some more Friday nights with the Goodmans, we can't wait to find out if Adam has had any luck with the females yet, and if Dad's cooled down enough to start wearing a shirt at dinner. After such a confident and funny first series we can't wait to see more.' Friday Night Dinner's inaugural series picked up four nominations at the British Comedy Awards and was shortlisted for the 'Best Situation Comedy' prize at The National Television Awards.

Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg and The Inbetweeners's Greg Davies are to star in a new BBC Three sitcom. Cuckoo will star Samberg as an idle young man who marries a British girl, according to the Independent. The character will come into conflict with his new wife's overprotective father, played by stand-up comic and actor Davies. In addition to his Saturday Night Live work, Samberg has appeared in such films as 2007's Hot Rod and 2009's I Love You, Man. He is also a member of musical comedy troupe The Lonely Island. Davies - best known for playing Mr Gilbert on The Inbetweeners - frequently appears as a panellist on the BBC's Mock The Week and previously starred in BBC3 disastrously unfunny We Are Klang. It was announced last year that risible and odiously unfunny Jack Whitehall will appear in new BBC3 comedy Bad Education. Whitehall will play Alfie, who is described as 'the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system.' Which, given that in reality, he's the worst comedian ever to be passed off as such on television (and, yes, that does include Holly Walsh) might be seen as a bit of typecasting, frankly. BBC3 controller Zai Bennett described the two shows as 'where I want BBC3 comedy to be.' Not very funny, basically. 'I can't overstate the importance of comedy,' he said. 'If you get comedy right it can define your channel.' This, dear blog reader, for the arsehole who cancelled Ideal. Which will, hopefully, give you a rough idea of how much credence to give to pretty much anything that Zai Bennett has to say. On any subject.

Jessie J has admitted to reducing her acts to tears on The Voice. Blimey, I know her singing isn't to everyone's taste but I didn't think it induced outbreaks of blubbing.

Mark Watson and Micky Flanagan's dreadful panel show The Mad Bad Ad Show has been pulled from Channel Four's schedules midway through its run. Because it was shit and nobody was watching it, basically. The show – about the advertising industry – has been going out at 10pm on Fridays. But after three episodes which had all fared disastrously in the ratings, it has been pulled from the slot. This week it will be replaced by a rerun of Alex Zane-fronted Internet clip show Rude Tube. The Mad Bad Ad Show was attracting an average consolidated audience of seven hundred thousand punters - a million viewers down on what the slot was achieving last year. Trade magazine Broadcast has revealed that the final three episodes, hosted by Mark Dolan with Watson and Flanagan as captains, are expected to be broadcast 'later this month' but a slot has yet to be confirmed.

EastEnders executive producer is to step down with the soap lagging behind Coronation Street in the ratings. Former Hollyoaks producer Bryan Kirkwood, who has been in charge of the BBC1 show for two years, said it was 'one of the most exciting jobs in TV, but also the most exhausting.' With a typical overnight audience of eight million viewers, EastEnders is around one million viewers down on the same period last year and has been regularly being beaten in the ratings by its ITV rival, Coronation Street of late. Kirkwood is also understood to have had some disagreements with the BBC's controller of drama production and new talent, John Yorke, over the soap's general direction. The cast were told about his departure in a meeting on Monday lunchtime. Kirkwood will leave the show next month. Series producer Lorraine Newman will take over on an acting basis until a permanent replacement is appointed. Kirkwood's tenure will be remembered for the 2011 new year baby-swap storyline, which generated a large number of complaints to the BBC. From people with nothing better to do with their time and with the shit well and truly stirred up by various tabloid scum newspapers. The plot, which saw Ronnie Branning, played by actor Samantha Womack, lose her baby James and swap him for Kat and Alfie Moon's newborn son, Tommy, was brought to an early end following the viewer complaints. It was later cleared of breaching any broadcasting regulations by Ofcom. Kirkwood also oversaw the final days of one of the show's longest-running characters, Pat Evans, who died of cancer in a New Year's Day episode that was watched by nearly ten million viewers. Kirkwood said: 'Being the executive producer of EastEnders is one of the most exciting jobs in TV, but it's also the most exhausting – so after two years, I've decided it's time to leave Walford. It's been a thrill to work with such talented people as John Yorke, Simon Ashdown, and our amazing cast and crew. Most of all, it's been a privilege to tell stories that have genuinely had the nation talking. I'm going to take with me some brilliant friends and memories. I'm delighted to leave the show in the capable hands of Lorraine Newman. Lorraine has been by my side every step of the way for the last two years and knows EastEnders inside out. I wish her and the show every future success.' Kirkwood succeeded Diederick Santer as executive producer of the soap in May 2010. He spent three years producing Channel Four's Hollyoaks before switching to its late-night spin-off, Hollyoaks Later. He also spent a decade working on Coronation Street. Yorke said: 'I would like to thank Bryan for his extraordinary hard work, a chestful of awards, and some great storylines. It's been a pleasure working with him and I wish him every success for the future.'

Coverage of The National Movie Awards has been binned by ITV who have screened the event since 2007. Event producer Indigo has, however, insisted that the ceremony will still go ahead, and will be broadcast in October this year on a different network. Last year's presenter the Curiously Orange greed bucket Christine Bleakley, who is - happily - locked into an exclusive contract with ITV, will also be replaced. James Nesbitt hosted the ceremony in 2008 and 2010, while Alexander Armstrong fronted the first ever show. Of ITV's decision to cut the Movie Awards, an alleged 'source' allegedly told the Sun: 'As awards bashes go, last year's National Movie Awards was an absolute stinker. It was essentially a big long series of trailers,' the alleged 'insider' allegedly added. 'It's no surprise ITV has axed it as it was utterly embarrassing for them.' The 2011 ceremony, which saw the likes of Johnny Depp and Colin Firth win prizes, attracted only 2.4m overnight viewers.

EastEnders actor Steve McFadden has accepted undisclosed damages in the High Court after suing the publisher of the now defunct disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World. McFadden, who plays hard man Phil Mitchell on the BBC1 soap, took legal action against News Group Newspapers for libel over a November 2010 article which alleged he had 'harassed' a former girlfriend. McFadden, who was in court, told reporters afterwards that he was 'glad it's all over.' According to press reports, David Price QC, representing McFadden, told the court that the article, headlined Nicked! Exclusive: Cops Arrest Enders Star, reported McFadden's arrest in 2010 in relation to 'alleged harassment to cause violence' towards a former lover. Price added that the police investigation had been closed with no charges brought against McFadden. The actor was therefore concerned that the Scum of the World article 'may have been understood to suggest that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that he was guilty.' He was also, as everyone should be, appalled at the dreadful moron-friendly wording of the headline which, to be honest, barely qualifies as English. The lawyer said that News Group Newspapers, which published the Scum of the World until it was shut down last July in disgrace and ignominy at the height of the phone-hacking scandal, had agreed to pay McFadden undisclosed damages and his legal costs. Brid Jordan, representing News Group Newspapers, also apologised to McFadden personally.
The chief inspector of police told the Leveson inquiry that he was asked by the Home Office what he thought of a Gruniad Morning Star article written in 2009 which stated that phone-hacking was widespread at the Scum of the World. To which he, presumably, replied 'I dunno, maybe I was too busy reading their latest twenty three anti-Top Gear pieces to get to that bit.' Sir Denis O'Connor, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said that he believed at the time the 'revelations merited some sort of independent review' – but the Home Office seemed to 'have little interest' in taking the issue on. The story, by Nick Davies, lifted the lid on the phone-hacking scandal two-and-a-half years after the original inquiry had ended with the imprisonment of the Sunday scum tabloid's royal editor, Clive Goodman, and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. The article had been published at around 5pm on 8 July 2009, and it was on 9 July that O'Connor took the call from an unnamed official, he told the inquiry. O'Connor said that the official asked him for 'his view' on the Gruniad story. He claimed that he thought if the allegations were 'true in any degree, [they] would raise substantial public confidence issues.' He then spoke to a second, more senior official at the Home Office, but noted that the HMIC was reluctant to launch a probe as they were already involved in an unrelated inquiry into government leaks to the then frontbencher Damian Green. O'Connor said: 'My understanding was a discussion ensued with a minister and the Home Secretary at the time but there was no appetite for HMIC being involved. It never got off the ground, sadly, and I was particularly taken with it in one sense in that I was already looking at a leaks inquiry, the Damian Green affair.' The Home Secretary at the time was Alan Johnson. His attitude contrasts with that of John Yates, the assistant commissioner at the time, who was asked by the Met commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, to investigate the allegations. Yates came back to Stephenson within eight hours to tell him that no further investigation was warranted. O'Connor said he 'had been round the block on these things' and knew from his involvement in the Stephen Lawrence inquiry that this was a story that could pose 'real difficulty' and could blow up into a national controversy if 'even in small part it was true.'

An Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has told the Leveson Inquiry there was no 'culture of leaks' from the police to the media. But Cressida Dick - fantastic name, it has to be said - conceded that some officers have been prepared to take money for information. Dick, now the counter-terrorism chief, insisted that this had been carried out by isolated individuals. She also defended her predecessor, John Yates, for ruling out reopening the phone-hacking investigation in 2009. On the issue of leaks she told the inquiry into press ethics: 'I do acknowledge that there has been - and no doubt is - some of this going on. I don't think we'll be unique in that. We have to try to reduce it to a minimum and hopefully get rid of it. If we think of other forms of corruption, I genuinely believe that the police service that I am now in is less corrupt then it has ever been.' Yates, who resigned in July amid pressure over alleged links to a former executive at the now defunct, disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World, has expressed 'extreme regret' over the decision not to reopen the investigation into phone hacking. 'I know Mr Yates well, I find it impossible to countenance that he would not have done what he saw as the right thing,' Dick said. 'What is clear is he did not get a good understanding of what had gone before. It is not unusual for further work to be done after an announcement has been made.' In response, Lord Leveson said: 'The outcome of the decision was not only poor, it was disastrous.' Dick also described how she had to 'put down a marker' to London mayor Boris Johnson's deputy when he kept questioning whether the police were putting too many resources into the phone-hacking investigation. After Kit Malthouse raised the issue for a third time, she claimed that she 'reminded' him that it was for her to decide, not him, because British police operated independently. Former Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson told the inquiry last week that Malthouse had complained about the level of resources being driven by political and media 'hysteria.' Dick also told the inquiry how journalists had waited outside her house after Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police when he was mistaken for a suicide bomber the day after failed attacks on London in July 2005. 'I have no complaint about scrutiny received, I expected it and was not surprised by any of it. Senior public officials have to expect a great deal of attention,' she said.

Simon Cowell's risible game show Red or Black? has been given a second series by ITV, despite heavy criticism from critics and hugely disappointing ratings for last year's high-profile launch. Ant and Dec will return as the hosts of the new run, which will feature a number of format tweaks from the 2011 series. The new series will feature a reduced prize fund of only half-a-million smackers, half of last year's prize, for the winning contestant. However, if there is no winner, the prize will be rolled over until the following week's episode. This means there could be a potential prize fund of three and an half gazillion mucho wonga at the end of the series if there are no winners before that point. Also, Red or Black? will now be broadcast weekly rather than stripped across seven days. The ending of the show will be the same as last year, with one contestant allowed the chance to go all or nothing for the prize fund. Ant and Dec said about the show's return: 'Red or Back? is an extravaganza of a show, it's the most nerve-wracking thing to work on but hugely exciting with so much at stake for the contestants. We're really excited to be going again with the new series.' Well, presumably one of them said that unless they both chanted it in unison or they have now, indeed, turned into a single gestalt entity. Which, to be fair, this blogger would willingly pay good money to see. The first series launched with big ratings, peaking at eight million (for about five minutes) during the launch episode, but the show shed numbers quickly and very amusingly across the rest of the week. As well as being savaged by TV critics, Red or Black? also faced controversy after it was revealed that the winner of the one million smackers prize in the first show, Nathan Hageman, was a bit tasty and had been convicted for attacking an ex-girlfriend. ITV's director of television Peter Fincham said: 'We have developed Red or Black? and built on what we did with the first series. The scale of the challenges will still be huge but this time around, contestants will have more control over their own destinies as they are able to use their skill and judgement in an attempt to win big money prizes.' Full-of-his-own-importance Simon Cowell added: 'One of the things I love most about this show is that it's exciting, unpredictable, scary, and a bit nuts all in one. I'm delighted it's back and am excited about the possibility of rollover winnings and some even bigger games.'

The family of The Monkees' Davy Jones have held a private memorial service in his birthplace of Manchester. The service took place on Sunday at Lees Street Congregational Church in Openshaw where Jones performed as a child in church plays. Jones' wife and daughters travelled to join his British-based relatives after his funeral in Florida last week. His niece Beverley Barber said: 'We had a beautiful service, and a wonderful celebration of his life, as a family.' The actor and singer died from a heart attack at the end of February at his home in Florida. He moved from Manchester to America in the mid-1960s. Barber said that the family wanted the service to be private, but added that a public event could be staged in the US or UK in the future. 'We needed a little bit of time on our own,' she said. 'From a family perspective we've said our goodbye. We managed to keep it very private and very personal. All his family together in one room. He'd have been thrilled to bits to see that.' Jones' wife Jessica took his ashes to Manchester, Barber added. 'He came home to Manchester,' she said. 'His ashes weren't scattered in Manchester although they were placed on his parents' grave for a little while.'

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been forced to apologise to a policewoman after his teenage son threw a tomato at her. Fifteen-year-old Louis, whose mother is Sarkozy's ex-wife Cecilia Ciganer, bombarded the unnamed officer as she paced the street outside the Élysée Palace. According to Sky News, she was also hit on the cheek by a pellet as Louis and his friends played in the courtyard. Police sources say that Sarkozy later met with the policewoman and apologised on his son's behalf. However, his office declined to release a statement of their own. Sarkozy also has two adult sons from his marriage to Ciganer, which ended in 2007 shortly after he was elected president. He welcomed a baby girl named Giulia with his new wife, Carla Bruni, last October. It marked the first occasion that a French president has had a child while in office.

And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Here's Eddie.


David Alexander McDonald said...

85719Actually, Sam Waterston played the title role in Oppenheimer, as in Robert J. Oppenheimer; Garrick Hagon played brother Frank.

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping said...

So noted! (Show off!!)