Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Keith Telly Topping wishes to draw your attention, dear blog reader, to Jana Bennett's piece in the Guardian on changes in TV viewing habits: 'While traditional viewing remains robust these other numbers are creeping up as more people watch TV programmes on computers, games consoles and mobiles and record programmes on PVRs. A staggering 2.6 million people recorded Doctor Who on a PVR to watch at their convenience and 1.4 million watched it on the BBC iPlayer. New technologies lend programmes a Doctor Who-like regenerative quality, extending their life and value.'
Colin Baker has suggested the likelihood of a new multi-Doctor story in Doctor Who 'very small.' Keith Telly Topping, on the other hand, would suggest the likelihood of a new mutli-Doctor story in Doctor Who as 'about a likely as the dead rising from the sea and taking up residence in Eastbourne.' Rumours, from glakes, have persisted that the previous surviving incarnations of the Time Lord will 'unite for a one-off adventure,' possibly for the show's fiftieth anniversary in 2013. Speaking to the Digital Spy website, Baker, who played the Sixth Doctor (badly), said he had 'not heard a word' about the idea. '[I] haven't had a single approach from anyone connected to Doctor Who about doing anything,' he said. 'Not even going along to watch an episode of it, never mind being in one.' Baker added that his changed appearance would also hamper the chances of a convincing Doctor Who reprise. 'I don't look the same.' Yes, Col, we've noticed. 'I started playing the part twenty five years ago! Peter [Davison] does still look pretty much like he did then, but not me. I suspect I could play a part in the new series without you even knowing it was me!'

New Doctor Who companion Amy Pond is working as a kissogram when she first meets the Time Lord, it has been revealed. Fans had expected the time traveller's latest assistant, played by Karen Gillan, to be a policewoman after early on-set pictures had emerged showing her wearing an police officer's uniform. However, it is now thought that she only dons the attire as part of her telegram job. A source told the Sun: 'Everyone thinks she is this prim and proper policewoman, however it's going to be revealed early on that she works as a kissogram. It's going to be a bit of a shock for the fans, but I think they're going to enjoy it. Amy Pond's a really strong character and Karen is great in the role.' New executive producer The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has also been tipped to 'spice up' the programme in other ways as the forthcoming new series progresses. The insider added: 'Moffat's an edgier writer and the show is going in an exciting new direction.'

The BBC is developing 'an updated version of Our Friends in the North,' according to reports. Written by Paula Milne, the series has been commissioned for BBC2 as part of the channel's new project to revive 'thought-provoking adult drama,' says Media Guardian. With the working title of White Heat, the programme echoes Peter Flannery's acclaimed epic which followed four friends from 1964 to the present day. The venture is being produced by ITV Studios, and signals ongoing changes by BBC director of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson.

The BBC has reportedly apologised after complaints that a report on The ONE Show was biased against the Conservative Party. According to the Daily Telegraph, over one hundred complaints were received about the item on last Thursday's programme, which asked whether 'being posh' is 'a bad thing for politics.' Kaye Adams, who hosted the piece, reportedly said that if the Conservatives win the election 'we will be electing a Cabinet filled with no less than eighteen millionaires.' Meanwhile, people who were interviewed for the show allegedly described David Cameron as a 'toff' and 'unashamedly a Sloane Ranger.' The BBC said: 'We received complaints that the item was biased against the Conservative Party. We accept that the piece was not as good as it should have been. The ONE Show production team are aware of their responsibilities to ensure fairness in their output.' Indeed. Keith Telly Topping suggests that a future edition of The ONE Show should include the observation that 'the government are all a bunch of scum too,' that 'in fact, all politicians are sleezy, corrupt lice' and that viewers should be encourages to spit on them in the streets and call them rude names. It's the only language these people understand.

British Telecom is set to kick-start a price war with rivals over TV's top sporting occasions in a move that could slash the cost of watching football and cricket. The communications and media giant indicated it is prepared to charge customers in the region of fifteen pounds a month for Sky Sports 1, around ten pounds less than its main competitors. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Retail, said: 'The case is crystal clear - the customer benefits if they get more choice.' In March, media watchdog Ofcom is expected to publish its decision following an investigation into pay TV. Experts believe it will tell Sky that it must drop the price it currently charges rivals for access to services such as Sky Sports and Sky Movies. An update on the investigation is being considered by the Ofcom Board for this week. The expected move could open the way for Virgin Media and BT to pass on the cut and slash the cost its customers face if they want to watch the premium channels. In the Sunday Telegraph article, Patterson described the current arrangements in which Sky can dominate the TV market as 'unfair.'

BBC Wales has unveiled plans to create a new TV production centre which will be used to film dramas such as Casualty and Doctor Who. The corporation expects construction work at the designated Roath Basin site in Cardiff Bay to start within the next six months, reports BBC News. Director of the project Menna Richards revealed that the centre will house a number of different shows including Casualty, which is transferring to Cardiff from its long-running home of Bristol. Last year, the BBC confirmed that the hospital drama would be moving to Wales as part of efforts to double the quantity of network TV production in the country by 2016. 'The BBC has confirmed it is to build a drama centre at Roath Basin in Cardiff Bay and has reached agreement with key partners to complete the site, subject to planning consent,' said Richards. 'This is a fantastic opportunity to build on the success of BBC Wales drama production and the wider creative industries in Wales. We look forward to welcoming the cast and crew of the enormously successful Casualty to this new centre of excellence to work side-by-side with the other award-winning dramas which are already made in Wales.' When it starts filming in Wales next year, Casualty will join fellow BBC shows Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Interferes and Torchwood in the country's growing production operation. The new Roath Basin production centre will consolidate current sites at Llandaff in Cardiff and Upper Boat, near Pontypridd, along with various other locations around Wales. Deputy First Minister Ieaun Wyn Jones confirmed that the Welsh Assembly Government is working closely with BBC Wales and Cardiff City Council on the construction project. 'Crucially, when operational it should also play a vital role in terms of creating sustainable jobs supported by training and skills provision and prosperity - which is central to my vision of bringing about economic renewal in Wales,' he said. 'The drama production centre plan is part of the BBC's commitment to double television network production from Wales by 2016.'

EastEnders bosses have refuted rumours that one of the show's most-loved characters is to commit suicide during the soap's live twenty fifth anniversary episode. A tabloid newspaper yesterday claimed that Bradley Branning - played by Charlie Clements - will stun the residents of Walford by leaping off a building and plummeting to his death in 'one of the most heart-breaking soap goodbyes ever.' However, a spokesperson for the soap told Digital Spy: 'We will not comment on Bradley's exit storyline other than to say he does not commit suicide.'

Coronation Street star Katherine Kelly has revealed that she sometimes requests changes to the soap's scripts in order to make her character's behaviour more extreme. The actress's alter ego Becky McDonald - wife of businessman Steve (Simon Gregson) - has become known for her hellraising antics since making her debut on the Weatherfield drama in 2006. Speaking to the Sun, Kelly explained: 'The script often says, "Becky slaps Steve" but we try to find a different way to do it. I always think she wouldn't slap, she would punch. The other move was kicking Simon in the balls. We did that when Becky found out Steve had given her Michelle's engagement ring. She was waiting for him outside the cab office. We decided that instead of slapping him she would kick him in the bollocks. The slap is too common in soaps.' The thirty-year-old also said that she came up with the idea of Becky angrily jumping over the Rovers Return bar after being dumped by Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas). She confirmed: 'It wasn't in the script - I just wanted to go over the bar some time. There was a crash mat on the other side but it was down to Ryan to catch me and take me safely to the ground.'

The BBC is said to be considering dropping The Met Office as its weather provider after putting the contract up for tender for the first time in nearly ninety years. The broadcaster is in talks with New Zealand agency Metra, which already provides it with weather graphics, to take over when its contract with The Met Office expires in April. The BBC said it had decided to put its forecasting out to tender to 'ensure value for money.' The moves comes after The Met Office admitted it had wrongly forecast annual global temperatures for all but one year in the past decade. It also admitted it failed to provide adequate warning over the recent heavy snowfall, while its prediction of a barbecue summer was much mocked. Critics have also said it failed to predict the past three wet summers. It is expected that Metra will attempt to undercut the Met Office bid using its British subsidiary Weather Commerce.

Joss Whedon is reportedly considering taking some of his shows to FX. The producer has often been urged by his fans to team up with cable networks to secure longevity for his cult series - always assuming, of course, than any of the cable network actually wanted to make any of Joss's shows, something that the more fabid end of Whedon-fandom seem never to have even considered. Anyway, according to FX president John Landgraf, a meeting has been set up which may see Whedon's work wind up on the FX network. 'Actually his representatives called and scheduled a lunch, I think I'm supposed to have lunch with Joss in the next two or three weeks,' he said at the TCA. 'And I have enormous respect for him. And by the way, if you look at Shawn Ryan who created The Shield and is running Terriers, Shawn learned at the feet of Joss Whedon, the Joss Whedon school. And [Lost executive producer] Carlton Cuse by the way, as well. So I don't really know Joss, but I'm really looking forward to meeting him. I love his stuff.'

Christina Hendricks has admitted that the US series Mad Men is 'exceptionally sexy.' Hendricks, who plays secretary Joan Holloway, also claimed that she would like to see her character's affair with Roger Sterling (John Slattery) re-ignited on screen. 'There's something really hot about a thigh or a garter, a bead of sweat. A breath; a look. Watching Betty [January Jones] on a dryer. It's like, "Oooh shit, that's so hot!,"' she told the Sunday Times. When asked about her personal favourite romantic scene from the AMC drama, she said: 'The scenes in the hotel room with Roger were the only truly flirty scenes. John Slattery and I are praying for our affair to start again. He's the only one for Joan. She would destroy anyone else.' The actress also downplayed the chances that Joan may end up in a relationship with Jon Hamm's lead Donald Draper. 'The world would explode,' she joked. 'People want it so badly, but there's no been no set up for that, no indication that they would ever be attracted to one another.'

Katie Price is considering quitting Twitter after receiving 'relentless' abuse on the website, a report has claimed. According to the Mirror, the reality TV regular is upset over comments which have been directed at her on the social networking service since she split from Peter Andre. A source said: 'Kate is a tough cookie and she's grown used to what she calls "the haters" who are constantly taking pops at her. But the level of abuse on Twitter can be intolerable. She really is in two minds about staying on the site.' Price criticised the critics on the website last November. Addressing them at the time, she commented: 'Come on haters attack me! You're right, I'm always wrong. I'm hated. I never do anything right, [I'm] sorry for that!' Not sorry enough to stop doing it, seemingly. But, anyway, the insider added: 'She gets lots of really lovely messages from her true fans who look up to her and they are an absolute pleasure. But in the same breath, there are the mindless idiots who bombard her with crude, abusive comments - which are there for all the public to see. She tries to ignore it but it's hard not to be upset.'