Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Marking Time

I have to start off today's bloggerisationisms with a brief word of appreciation for The Graham Norton Show last night. Keith Telly Topping reckons that to feature one of Britain's greatest living comedians (Stephen Fry) in an episode might be regarded as great fortune, Mr Norton, sir. To feature two (Stephen Fry and Bill Bailey) looks like carefulness. Good on yersel.

David Tennant has praised the former James Bond Timothy Dalton after the pair worked together on Tennant's last two Doctor Who episodes. The outgoing tenth Doctor told the Radio Times that the fourth James Bond (don't you be giving me any of yer Barry Nelson, Bob Holness and David Niven nonsense and I'll forgive you Peter Cushing) was a down-chap to-earth on set despite his film background. Tennant said: 'He was lovely. He had the panache and the skill of a movie star, without any of the alarming eccentricities or peculiar demands. At one point, he was singing the Doctor Who theme tune to me as I sang the James Bond theme tune to him!' It's love, clearly. Meanwhile, John Simm has said that The Master is desperate after his death and apparent resurrection in the upcoming The End Of Time. The actor also told Radio Times that the character he first played in series three's Utopia had been transformed into an 'emo Master' for the new episodes. Simm said: 'This is a Master who's lived and died and now lives again - although he's seen healthier days. He's desperate, and desperate means dangerous.' Outgoing showrunner Russell Davies added: 'It's personal for The Doctor. The Master is his enemy, his opposite, and yet so tantalisingly close to being his soul mate. There's something epic about their sheer existence - the last two survivors of an ancient race. It's a clash of the titans. Both of them, heading for death, and yet both determined to survive - at any cost!'

Craig Revel Horwood believes that Ricky Whittle's recently, high-profile arrest has brought 'yet more drama' to this year's Strictly Come Dancing. Well, yeah, possibly it has but that's a bit of a cynical way of looking at what might be considered in other circumstances something that Rick (and the chap he allegedly assaulted) would both rather have avoided. Frankly, that's more the kind of thing I'd expect Simon Cowell to say. Horwood apparently said that his first reaction on hearing that the Hollyoaks actor was being quizzed by police was, 'How amazing is that?' It just gets better and better, doesn't it? Horwood told the Daily Star Sunday that the incident showed how 'anything can happen' on the BBC1 show. The twenty nine-year-old actor was released on police bail on Friday afternoon after being questioned on suspicion of assault. Horwood said: 'What else can Strictly turn out this series? We've had injuries, people getting off with each other - well, a certain boxer and a Russian - and now the threat of prison. It really is all quite mad. I still can't quite believe it. Having one of the contestants arrested is definitely a first for Strictly. There is always something that happens that turns out to be a first for Strictly.' Well, I'm just glad that he didn't inconvenience you by going on the run, Craig.

X Factor favourite Joe McElderry is reportedly hoping to kindle a relationship with former contestant Rachel Adedeji. The Mirror claims that the pair became good friends in the X Factor house and have spent a lot of time on the telephone since Adedeji was voted out in the fourth week of the competition. 'Joe thinks Rachel's totally amazing,' a source said. 'They were best mates in the house but he'd like her to be his girlfriend. He has missed her since she left the competition and the house. They talk on the phone all the time.' The insider also claimed that the pair have a lot in common, saying: 'They are both really down-to-earth, genuine people and it's obvious when you see them they care a lot about each other.'

Rhydian Roberts has claimed that Cheryl Cole is only an X Factor judge because of her looks. Well, it's not for her intellect, that's for certain. Or her choice in men for that matter. The singer, who came second in the 2007 series, told the News of the World that Simon Cowell is the only important judge. 'She's not a great singer and being a judge isn't the hardest job in the world,' he said. 'You sit there and tell people when a note is flat. Cheryl's eye candy. Simon's the only judge people care about.' He joked: 'I'd do it for what they get paid.' Roberts, who has recently been critical of this year's X Factor finalists, added: 'X Factor's not about singers now, it's about making good TV. You have to capitalise when you can because your X Factor star soon dwindles.' Well, you'd know all about that Rhydian, kidda. This is a theme we're going to be returning to later.

The X Factor continued to dominate the weekend's viewing, but was somewhat lacking The Jedward factor, with ratings down since the Grimes twins' exit from the series last week. An average of 13.47m tuned in to see Lloyd Daniels voted off, four hundred thousand down on the previous week's figures.

TV and movie scriptwriter Andrew Davies has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the Writers' Guild of Great Britain. Davies is best known for his 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and his screenplay for 2001 film Bridget Jones's Diary. Sir Terry Pratchett was also honoured for his outstanding contribution to children's writing at the ceremony. The writers of Coronation Street won the best continuing TV drama award. Davies, whose other work includes adaptations of Little Dorrit, Sense and Sensibility and Bleak House, is currently working on an adaptation of George Eliot's Middlemarch.

Dara O'Briain has predicted that producers will not seek a permanent replacement for Frankie Boyle on Mock The Week. The comedy panel show was signed up for two new series last month despite Boyle's announcement that he would not return. When asked if Boyle would be replaced, O'Briain told Metro: 'I imagine they wouldn't. They'll probably just have rotating guests. And probably have them in different chairs to sidestep the comparison. It would be unfair on any new act coming in to put them in Frankie's chair because people will assume they're replacing him.' Although he admitted that he is disappointed by Boyle's exit, O'Briain added: 'He wants to do different stuff and also his family's up in Glasgow. He'd decided a while ago that he'd done enough of it. He's an enormously funny man. He will do other stuff, though - he's not dead.' Well, not yet. But Rebecca Adlington's lawyer is still at large, remember.

Alison Steadman has said that there aren't enough television roles for older women. Well, there's going to be one less as soon as your current gig ends, sweetheart. The actress, who plays Pam in Gavin & Stacey, told the Mirror that most dramas are about young people. 'Let's face it, it's a young person's world,' she said. I wonder if Alison was quite such an outspoken critic of ageism thirty years ago when she was in Abigal's Party? 'There aren't enough parts for older women,' she continued. 'The majority of dramas on TV are about young people and, in their essence, most are about love and sex. So I think I'm out of that category now. I'm now the parent of the young people who are in love and having sex.' Steadman also admitted that she refuses any parts which ask her to portray sexual scenes. 'I'm at an age where if I see in the script the character is in bed with someone in a sexual way I don't want to be involved,' she explained. 'I definitely don't want to be snogging.'

The BBC Trust has found daytime show Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting in breach of its guidelines after a cameraman posed as a member of the public. Other daytime shows Trash for Cash and Dealers: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, were also found to be in breach. The nine errors included off-screen purchases by production staff which affected on-screen challenges. The BBC suspended its contract with Reef Television, which made the shows, but has now reinstated the company. During the suspension, Reef Television was required to overhaul its compliance processes and editorial standards training. In a statement, the BBC said: 'Following a rigorous and thorough process, the BBC is now satisfied that the company has compliance procedures and training of an appropriate standard.' The BBC said Reef would resume work on two existing BBC projects and be free to pitch new formats to the BBC in future. 'Appropriate compensation' to be paid by Reef will now be set by BBC Executive, along with any new compliance measures to be introduced before the firm can recommence production for the corporation.

Sam Fox has criticised Katie Price, describing her as 'crude and vulgar.' Well ... okay, where to start with this one. Just because a pot is calling a kettle black it doesn't, necessarily mean to say that it's wrong. Just a bit ... tacky, that's all. The former big chested Page Three glamour model (err... Sam, this is, not Jordan) said that she struggled to hold a conversation with the thirty-year-old during their joint stint on I'm A Celebrity... as all Price wanted to talk about was her sex life with then-boyfriend Alex Reid. The Sun quotes Fox as saying: 'I don't like smutty talk. I don't like vulgarity. Katie was quite crude and any time there was crude talk I'd move out of the camp because I'm a prude. Whenever I heard about Alex and what they did in bed, I'd get up and go away. I didn't want to hear.' Yes, ladies and gentlemen this is Sam Fox speaking. Somebody who's gigged with Hawkwind. I'm just saying ... 'I'm an old-fashioned girl, so whenever there was talking that was vulgar, I'd move away. To be quite honest, it embarrasses me.' Fox - one of the original Page Three girls - also slammed Price for her lack of career. She added: 'Katie doesn't model or do Page Three anymore. She just sells stories. I didn't do that. I was a model and I didn't sell stories about my love life or sex life. Have I followed her career? Well, the career I've followed has been her private life, not a modelling career. Her phenomenon has been just press, but mine was as a model. I was the most photographed woman in Britain along with Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana. The picture was enough and it made people happy.'

Meanwhile, US chatshow host Chelsea Handler has described Katie Price as 'incredibly stupid.' Not really your day, is it Katie? Price failed to impress Handler during a recent interview on her show. After the chat, Handler joked: 'I'm not going to ask you anything anymore. It's your business what you want to do. You can go live with your horses and your kids and get Botox - I don't give a shit.' Speaking about the interview, Handler told the Sun: 'We had Katie Price on and I didn't know she was equivalent of our Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton or that kind of person. She was incredibly stupid so that was very entertaining for me. I try to treat the people who deserve respect with respect. The ones that don't, really don't know any difference anyway.'

Coronation Street actor Conor Ryan has announced plans to take a break from the soap to pursue a film career in Hollywood. The actor - who plays Len Windass on the show - is flying to the US in January to try and make in-roads into the US movie industry. Ryan's cast-mate from BBC drama Flesh and Blood Stephen Graham has become a big name in Los Angeles. Further, Corrie's former director Julian Farino has found fame helming HBO series Entourage. Speaking about his character's time on Coronation Street, Ryan told What's On TV: 'As the chief trouble-causer and all-round ducker and diver in the notorious Windass family, Len Windass has played a pivotal role in helping to turn the Windasses into a classic Corrie family.'

A TV host has been criticised for his remarks about Susan Boyle. The New Zealand Herald says that Paul Henry, who used to work for the BBC, was discussing the singer on New Zealand's TVOne's Breakfast. He described Boyle as 'retarded' and laughed when he read that she had been starved of oxygen at birth. 'If you look at her carefully, you can make it out,' he added. The Sunday Express claims that Henry's co-host, Pippa Wetzell, said: 'That is not funny. That's awful. She's had such a tragic life, that woman.' IHC New Zealand, a charity for people with learning disabilities, has criticised Henry's comments and urged people to complain. However, the Sunday News reports that Henry described the charity's campaign as 'shameful' and added that he 'didn't regret anything I say.' Ah, the 'Michael Richards defence.' Yes, that's bound to work ...

Roxanne Pallett has sympathised with families affected by the recent Cumbrian floods and said that she too knows the heartbreak of losing everything you own. The former Emmerdale actress, who bowed out from her role as Jo Sugden in 2008, was a victim of flooding in the region four years ago and also suffered a house fire when she was a teen. Pallett told the Sunday Sun: 'We saw so much heartache then, and we were right in the middle of it, and now to see it all happen again is so heartbreaking. 'My heart goes out to all the families who have lost their homes and been affected because of the floods in my home neck of the woods, Cumbria.' Pallett said that Newcastle's Theatre Royal is offering free tickets to a special performance of Cinderella to families hit by the tragedy in the hope that it brings some 'light relief.' Very kind. Course, they've got to get from Cumbria to Newcastle on their own and it is, after all, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RUDDY COUNTRY. It's sixty nine miles just in case you didn't realise, Rox. Are you planning on paying their transport costs as well?

Fans of John and Edward - all three of them - have launched an online petition calling for The X Factor duo to headline Glastonbury 2010. Yeah, that's gonna happen. Next ...

Pete Waterman has said that 'cheating' has taken over The X Factor. The music producer, who was critical of the Pop Idol second series winner Michelle McManus, told NME that music was '[irrelevant to its success.' Which, coming from Pete Waterman is hilarious, frankly. Waterman said: 'I was offered it and turned it down. People see these talent shows as "The way to do it." But they're not. Don't get fooled by The X Factor. The fundamental question is: What do you know about music? Are you in this for music or fame? And the musical genre - pop, rock, whatever - is irrelevant here.' He added: 'I'm still a cheerleader [for reality music shows] but what you've got now is not the show I was on, which was why I walked off series two. The cheating has taken over! It's irrelevant that there's even music on these shows.' Once again, irrelevance to music is something Pete was something of an expert on when he was producing Rick Astley. Anyway ...

Arlene Phillips has refused to confirm whether she would return to Strictly Come Dancing. The choreographer's former co-star, Craig Revel Horwood, took time out from expressing his delight over Ricky Whittle's arrest recently to tip Arlene to make a comeback, arguing that she is 'more than capable' of appearing back on the judging panel. Meanwhile, the axed panellist's replacement, Alesha Dixon, reportedly announced last week that she may quit the show to 'concentrate on her music career' after the current series. And, not in the slightest because she's rubbish at judging and nobody likes her. Oh no. Anyway, speaking to the Sun, Phillips commented: 'Would I go back? It's strictly private.' So, that'd be 'yes', then? A BBC spokesman had previously admitted that 'nothing is confirmed' about the judging line-up for next year's run. So, to repeat, that'd definitely be 'yes', then?

The BBC has apologised for Geoff Boycott's use of naughty language during Radio 5Live cricket coverage of England's one day international against South Africa on Sunday. Listeners overheard the cricket legend shouting 'fucking tosser' at someone during a live broadcast of the fourth match at Port Elizabeth. The comment came as England took South African's sixth wicket, with Ryan McLaren being brilliantly caught by Paul Collingwood for a fifth-ball duck. However, a BBC source said that it is still unclear exactly whom the comment was aimed towards and Boycott did not know that he was on-air at the time. In response, a Radio 5Live spokesman said: 'An off-air comment made by Geoffrey Boycott in a live broadcast was heard by some listeners' ... So, it wasn't 'off-air' then, was it? 'We apologised as soon as we realised it had been audible,' the spokesman concluded.