Sunday, April 04, 2010

Every Sunday Should Be Like This!

Matt Smith's impressive debut as the Doctor wasn't just an artistic and creative triumph for the BBC, it was also a popular one with just over eight million viewers on Saturday night. On a generally lacklustre evening for ratings when the next highest-rated shows were Over the Rainbow and Casualty, both with an audience of five and a half million, Doctor Who once again proved itself to be one of British television's great survivors - not even an eleventh change of lead actor affecting its continuing popularity. Elsewhere, it was a perfectly horrible night for ITV whose top-rated show was Ant & Dec's Push the Button with just 3.9 million viewers. The duo's Britain's Got Talent colleagues, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden, did even worse with the former's Life Stories interview with Geri Halliwell and the latter's game show format The Door pulling in a meagre 2.9m and 3.5m viewers respectively. Both were beaten by the BBC's coverage of The Boat Race which scored 3.6m. Remarkable - sixteen men in boats (with two cox) beating ITV's coxless pair. On the multi-channels, the good news for Doctor Who continued with BBC3's Doctor Who Confidential the second highest viewed non-terrestrial show of the day with almost nine hundred thousand viewers on BBC3. It was beaten only by Sky Sports' coverage of the Cardiff vs Swansea match with pulled in a highly impressive 1.74m.

Why is it, therefore, that so many of us still love Doctor Who? It's a question that's been really taxing yer Keith Telly Topping over the weekend as he got more and more excited waiting for Matt's long-awaited entrance. I mean, come on - this is stupid when viewed logically - it's a show primarily made for children. (Yes, I know the BBC's definition of it is - superbly - 'a family show.' But the key demographic in Doctor Who's audience has always been, and remains, the under sixteens). So why is it that someone like me - a man closer to my fifties than my forties - can get so wrapped up in the cult of this daft little show about time travel? And then, sometime shortly after Confidential ended on Saturday night, I think I finally worked it out. It's because for forty five minutes each week when it's on (or, in this week's case, sixty five minutes), I'm not a forty six year old self employed - internationally renowned(!) - author, journalist and broadcaster any more. Rather, I'm seven again. And I don't have to worry about the rent, or shopping at Morrison's tomorrow or the script for next week's show, or where I'm going to sell my next article. Or any of that grown-up crap. That little exchange between the Doctor and Amy summed it all up for me. The Doctor invites Amy to travel with him. She refuses. He asks why - after all, she seemed so keen fourteen years ago. 'I grew up,' she notes. 'I'll soon fix that' replies the Doctor. There you go. That's it. That's the show's mission statement. As a previous Doctor once noted, what's the point of being grown up if you can't act like a child every now and then?

Meanwhile, Matt Smith has described Doctor Who's showrunner, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He), as 'one of the great TV writers of all time.' Yes. He's the guy who created Press Gang and Coupling and wrote The Doctor Dances and Blink and The Girl In The Fireplace. You're preaching to the converted here, Matthew! The eleventh Doctor said that he can't praise Moffat highly enough. However, he added: 'Don't get me wrong, Steven's a peculiar man! We have a strange relationship in the press where we lambaste each other. His last one was that I'm in a constant state of wonder at my own limbs, so I've been calling him "peculiar."' Of his co-star Karen Gillan, Smith, said that she was as 'mad as a box of cats. She's pretty fly, isn't she?' he added, before giving his opinion on his predecessor David Tennant. 'Frankly I couldn't have wished to inherit the mantle off a nicer man,' he said. While Russell Davies's Doctor Who 'sat nearer the Superman end of fantasy,' Moffat has said that his show will be 'more Tim Burton.' Smith agreed, adding: 'There's a real sense of the fairytale about it. Russell made it the most popular show in the country, but I think Steven will make it the most magical. Even though I must make it very clear that he's peculiar.' Having met (and drank with) him on a few occasions, yer Keith Telly Topping can confirm this. He's lovely though, Steven. And now, he's got the best job in the world. Lucky bastard!

Billie Piper has revealed that she was diagnosed with post-natal depression. Piper welcomed her son Winston with husband Laurence Fox in 2008. However, in an interview with Glamour, the Secret Diary Of A Call Girl actress admitted that she struggled to cope after giving birth. 'The doctor said I had post-natal depression,' she explained. 'Secret Diary was a stressful time. I had started leaving Winston. I was finishing breast-feeding, which was really emotional. I don't know what warrants post-natal depression.' Piper added that she refused to take any medication, saying: 'They prescribed pills, but I never took them. Pills frighten me. They're a road to nowhere. I feel I'm too strong in mind and spirit for pills. I didn't feel it was that desperate - just a bad day.' Fox has also revealed that he found it difficult to deal with becoming a father.

It has been claimed that the cast of Grey's Anatomy are 'happy' that Katherine Heigl is leaving the show. Heigl confirmed last month that she has decided to quit the programme to focus on her family. A, seemingly, anonymous coward of a source has now told Us Weekly that the cast had clashed with Heigl and had been unhappy about the way she publicly criticised the show. 'Most of the cast and crew were like, "Finally!"' the insider claimed. 'There was such a release. With every movie, she'd get worse and start acting like she was the star.' The - nameless - source added: 'They're such a family and are glad to have this behind them. I doubt there will be a party to send her off.' However, Grey's Anatomy actor Justin Chambers said earlier this week that Heigl is 'much loved' by the cast who would be sorry to see her go. No, I don't know about you, dear blog reader, but I tend to trust people who'll actually put their name to comments above those who don't.

A unique range of pies have reportedly been created to mark Coronation Street's fiftieth anniversary. Hungry fans will soon be able to get their hands (and teeth) on the three Street-themed treats, which include a Steak And Coronation Street Ale variety. The pastry-based snacks will cost £2.49 each and have been created by Pie maker Holland's, based in Baxenden, Lancashire. A spokesperson for the company told the Sunday Mirror: 'This is the perfect vehicle to help us create brand awareness in the rest of the country.' Under the soap's half-century celebrations, bakers Warburtons was unveiled as the show's first 'Best of British' brand partner.

Hayley Tamaddon went on Dancing On Ice to 'raise her profile,' her father has revealed. The former Emmerdale star, who won the competition last weekend, had reportedly been struggling to find work since leaving the soap. Her father, Nassi, told the Sun: 'Hayley went on the show to win. The other contestants all have jobs but Hayley doesn't. She's been teaching drama part-time at Blackpool and The Fylde College, but that's been it. It has been tough. She hopes appearing on the show will raise her profile and help her get acting work.'

Amy Diamond has claimed that she has no regrets about her glamour modelling past. The Over The Rainbow hopeful told the Sun that she believes her work in the industry helped to prepare her for her career. 'Modelling was a great experience for me,' she said. 'It really opened my eyes to the entertainment industry. It enabled me to fund my singing and dancing lessons and go to auditions.' The twenty two-year-old added: 'I'm hoping it's not going to affect my chances at all. It's just a part of who I am. It shows I was willing to do anything to make my dreams come true.' Diamond also revealed that she is hoping to make the role of Dorothy more glamorous. She said: 'Dorothy was the original glamour girl, with the red sparkly shoes and everything, so I hope people can look past that.'

Cheryl Cole fears that she will never find love again if she divorces her husband Ashley, a press report has claimed. Ah. How sad. Anyway ...