Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sex As A Weapon

Billie Piper has said that she refuses to watch The Secret Diary Of A Call Girl with her husband, Laurence Fox. Speaking to Closer magazine, the former Doctor Who actress suggested that it would be 'weird' for Fox to see her in her sex scenes with other men. 'I don't stop him, but we don't watch it together,' she said. 'I wouldn't watch it with my dad or brother, either. I have selective memory loss when it's on!' Piper, twenty seven, also revealed that the third series of the ITV2 show has even more sex scenes in it than the previous runs. 'I'm paying for the fact that I was pregnant during the last series and couldn't film much sex. There's loads in this one!' she added. Oh good.

Big fat cuddly Lorraine Kelly has dismissed claims that she is worried over her future on GMTV. Last week, press reports suggested that the morning show's hosts were panicking over a planned presenter cull. However, in an interview with The Big Issue, Kelly insisted that she, herself, is relaxed over the revamp and happy to accept any decision the programme's producers may choose to make. She commented: 'I have had a great time and if it did all end tomorrow - and it will at some point - it's been amazing. I'll go and do something else. I'm incredibly lucky it has lasted this long. I never lose sight of how blinking lucky I am.' Kelly, who fronts the LK Today segment of the show, said that the presenters have been advised to 'carry on as normal' following recent press speculation. GMTV bosses have confirmed that 'all areas' of the show are currently under review, though no firm details over its future have been announced as yet. Speculation that, by contrast, Kate Garraway is 'totally bricking it' cannot, at this time, be either confirmed or denied.

Glee made an impressive start on Monday night for E4, overnight viewing figures indicate. The first episode of the musical comedy, which stars Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison, pulled in a respectable 1.14m for E4 during the 9pm hour, making it the most-watched programme on the multichannel stations of the night. The second part, which aired immediately afterwards, drew nine hundred and thirteen thousand viewers.

Michael McIntyre has reportedly turned down the chance to take over Jonathan Ross's Friday night chat show slot. Over the weekend, McIntyre had emerged - at least according to press speculation - as one of the favourites to replace Ross after Ross announced that he would be leaving the corporation. However, according to the Sun, the floppy-haired comedian has vowed never to front a talk show. A friend of McIntyre is quoted as saying: 'He's flattered that he's being touted as a successor as he loves working at the Beeb. But he'll never take that chat show role. That's not what he wants to do. He's a comedian, not a talk show host. His home is Saturday nights, that's where he does his thing. That's where he prefers to be.' Sounds as thought this 'friend' of yours really knows your mind there, Michael.

Typhoo has signed up as Coronation Street's third fiftieth anniversary brand partner. Typhoo joins the 'Best British' ranks alongside bread makers Warburtons and soap manufacturer Imperial Leather. As part of the deal, each brand partner is afforded the use of Corrie's official fiftieth anniversary artwork on all advertising platforms. The show's official sponsor, Harveys, will 'remain at the centre of all activities' for the duration.

Meanwhile, Coronation Street character Blanche Hunt will be given an on-screen funeral later this year, the soap's producer has said. Actress Maggie Jones, who played the Weatherfield stalwart, died last month aged seventy five. Producer Kim Crowther said Blanche would be given a 'fitting send-off.' A funeral was held for Jones in London last month, and a memorial service is due to take place at Salford Cathedral on 25 February. 'We will pay tribute to Maggie personally then,' Mrs Crowther told ITV's This Morning. The producer said the soap's cast and crew 'miss Maggie greatly. She was a wonderful character and a real professional and fantastic to have on the show. Also, the character of Blanche was unforgettable and everybody loved her. She came out with the lines you couldn't give anybody else. She was brilliant at comic one-liners.' Blanche's funeral will also see the return of Maggie's grand-daughter Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford), who is in prison for murder. 'We will be giving the character a fitting send-off,' Ms Crowther revealed. 'Our characters say goodbye to the character and I think it will be touching and moving, and funny as well, and also have all the elements it should have.' Blanche's absence from screens has so far been explained by an extended break in Portugal with a friend.

Newsnight and Five Live have joined forces to broadcast coverage from a reunion between a former Guantanamo Bay guard and two released inmates. Titled Guantanamo Reunited, the programme saw former camp guard Brandon Neely come face-to-face with former prisoners Ruhal Ahmed and Shafiq Rasul, two thirds of the so-called Tipton Three. The three men recently came together at a BBC studio in London, eight years after they first met at the notorious US detention camp in Cuba. Coverage from the meeting was broadcast on last night's edition of Newsnight. Ahmed and Rasul's full story will also be told in a half-hour programme to air on Five Live on 14 January. On 28 November 2001, Ahmed and Rasul were detained in northern Afghanistan by the Northern Alliance and then sold to US forces for immediate transfer to Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray on suspicion of terrorism. After encountering them and others at the camp in his role as a military police officer, Neely started to have doubts about their guilt and the treatment that they were receiving. After the three men re-connected via social networking website Facebook, Neely agreed to travel to the UK for a meeting. The documentary footage will cover Neely's personal apology to Ahmed and Rasul for his involvement in their incarceration, which he now views as a great injustice. 'If you read the definition of torture it's a very vague definition. Physical, mental, it can be anything,' said Neely, now a Texas police officer. 'Well, to me, torture is taking an innocent man and locking him up in a cage for two-and-a-half years. So if that's how they do it, then everyone who has ever set foot in Guantanamo should be held responsible for torture, including myself.' Ahmed and Rasul expressed their thanks for Neely's apology, but also pointed to his admission as vindication of their allegations of ill treatment. 'When people like yourself come out and basically say the same things that we were saying, it helped us so much for people to believe what we were saying was true,' said Rasul. 'So I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart what you've done.' Ahmed added: 'It takes a lot of courage to say that "I was wrong." A lot of courage.'

The executive producer of 24 has suggested that the show may go on for a ninth season. Speaking at the FOX press tour, Howard Gordon said that the uncertainty surrounding the programme's future will not affect the way season eight ends. 'The way I've looked at it is that every single season [finale] could have been a series ender,' he said. 'We just want to take it across the line credibly and then let the [other part] take care of itself. As long as Jack's not dead, anything is possible.' Kiefer Sutherland added that he is 'absolutely open' to being involving in a ninth season. 'I've always said that as long as people wanted us to make it, and people were really interested in watching it, I would be interested. There are a lot of components involved. Right now my focus is on finishing season eight,' he said.

Michael Emerson has said he feels like he is sometimes starring in a comedy series when filming Lost. The actor, who plays the morally ambiguous Ben Linus, told Entertainment Weekly that during season five he 'began to feel that I was in my own little private comedy. [Ben] was very sarcastic all of the time,' he explained. 'There aren't a lot of characters you can just bounce jokes off of - Jack's not a big knee-slapper - but there's a special kind of Lost humour, where we talk glibly about very grave matters.'

David Strathairn has signed up to guest star on House. Last month, it was announced that Hugh Laurie will make his directorial debut on an upcoming episode. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Katie Jacobs, the medical drama's executive producer, said that Laurie 'hand-picked' Strathairn for a role in the episode. 'He's a patient who has scenes with Dr House,' she revealed. 'I'm excited to [watch] the two of them in a room together. Hugh really wanted him to play the role and [David] responded.' Jacobs also added that the Laurie-directed seventeenth episode will have a different format to the rest of the series.

And, in further House news Lisa Edelstein has revealed that filming a naked scene for the show was 'fun.' As Keith Telly Topping is sure viewing it will be for Lisa's army of admirers. It was previously announced that episode fourteen of the show's sixth season would focus on Edelstein's character, Cuddy, and include a naked shower scene. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she said: 'I had to announce to the crew that it was a little bit odd for me - having known them for so long - to be disrobed to the extent that I was disrobed for one of the scenes. And the crew - they're great guys - really held to their camera eyes rather than the view of the room. They were gentlemen!'

Kelly Rowland has suggested that she would be happy to join the X Factor judging panel. The former Destiny's Child singer has been tipped to replace Dannii Minogue on the reality talent contest or to sign up as a fifth judge. Rowland told New: 'Everybody keeps asking me about it. The X Factor is an amazing show and Simon knows that all he has to do is call me. I love Simon because he's so honest.' Yes. And rich. You forgot rich. 'When I watch it, everything he says I agree with ... Simon's got swag, which I think is cute.' She added: 'I don't know what kind of judge I'd be. All I'll say is, one of the things I love and respect about Simon is he knows there is no room for error in this industry and no room for slacking. If you're going to do something, you have to do it right. So when we see an upcoming artist, you either see potential or you don't see anything at all. It's important to be completely open and honest with them.'

Broadcaster Gabby Logan has described the Australian runner Jana Rawlinson as a poor role model for young girls. The four hundred metres hurdles champion, who reconciled with her ex-husband before Christmas, recently admitted that she had her breast implants removed to improve her performance in the Olympics. Logan wrote in her weekly column for The Times: 'It was shocking to hear such an incredible woman admitting to such low self-esteem. She has won two world titles, given birth to a baby boy in between, and still isn't happy with her physical lot.'

Diane Farr has revealed that David Duchovny helped to save her marriage. The actress, whose Californication character - Jill Robinson - slept with Duchovny's Hank Moody, said that preparing for the on-screen affair helped to spice up her sex life with her real-life husband, Seung Yong Chung. Farr told Marie Claire magazine: 'If I ever win an Emmy for my work on Californication, I'll open my speech with: "I'd like to thank the cast, the crew, and David Duchovny for inspiring me to have sex with my husband again."'

Katie Price has reportedly become 'obsessed' with watching her on-off boyfriend Alex Reid on Celebrity Big Brother. According to Heat, the staggeringly big-lipped glamour model has asked her friends for their opinions on Reid as he performs on the show. A source said: 'Katie is obsessed with watching him on TV. She keeps on saying, "He's not as famous as me, though," like it's some sort of weird mantra. She's really paranoid about it. She's not use to being in the half of the couple who's out of the public eye - and it's really unnerving her.' They added: 'She's been saying, "He's nice, isn't he? He is nice, yeah?," over and over again, as if she's trying to persuade herself. But a lot of her close mates secretly think he's been playing up to the cameras and being really fake and kissing ass. They think he's being a bit of an idiot so far.'