Thursday, April 01, 2010

Finger-Lickin' Good

Terry was the first of the six semi-finalists to be eliminated in last night's MasterChef. Clearly a favourite of John Tordoe (if not Gregg Wallace), the guy had obvious - and staggering - talent but he seemed something of a nervous wreck on occasions. This was particularly noticeable earlier when, whilst cooking for some ladies from the WI, he and Alex had a complete disaster trying to cook fishcakes. If the BBC are looking for an absurdist comedy-of-errors format to replace Big Top, a sitcom set around those two in a kitchen on the evidence of this particularly gig certainly has some car crash potential. Torode and Wallace praised Terry's delicious looking chicken and penny bun mushroom plate, but complained that his accompanying chicken pie was too tough. 'There some very big pluses on the plate and some very big minuses,' said Gregg. 'We need a little bit more seasoning on the mash potato. The chicken in the pie is a little bit hard.' John added: 'You have a gift, but at some stage you need to learn when to leave it alone.' Speaking afterwards, a tearful Terry said: 'That was my world. It's just been ripped apart. That was my chance and I blew it. I wanted to be there to the end and win. I really thought I could.' Elsewhere, yer Keith Telly Topping was with little Sunderland Stace all the way; there was absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong with the size of that portion of cream cake which she served the ladies. I eat one of them virtually daily. Mind you, that's probably why I'm the size I am. Anyway, I was rather surprised to find my own Top Tip for the title, Dhruv, beating himself up over his chicken and mushroom dish at the end, when it looked (and, seemingly, tasted) perfectly fine. High standards, one supposes. You do wonder if that perfectionism might become counter productive as the series gets tougher. I hope not because, clearly, he's a rare talent. Mind you, Alex's risotto looked like a work of art, too. And as for the taste, when Gregg's little face lit up on taking a mouthful and he simply said 'aw, yeah!' you kind of knew he wasn't in any danger of getting the old heave ho. Alex and Dhruv join Stacie, Tim and Nargis in the final five.

Kiefer Sutherland has revealed that 24's cancellation has saddened him. However, the award-winning actor - who plays one-man armour-plated killing machine Jack Bauer on the FOX action drama - claimed that he is comforted by the show's creative achievement. Yeah. I'm sure all of the production staff who probably depend on their wages to, you know, pay their rent and stuff, will also be comforted by artistic concerns. He told Variety: 'It's going to get sadder and sadder. But I think it's going to be tempered by a sense of accomplishment. I absolutely believe that creatively we finish in a really strong place.'

Charlie's vision will play a major part in the investigation in FlashForward, Sonya Walger has revealed. The actress, who plays Charlie's mother Olivia Benford on the ABC drama, said that the child will come to the forefront of the show in future episodes. 'The information Charlie has is so powerful that it forces a crisis between Olivia and Mark,' she told TV Guide. 'Olivia offers him an ultimatum that he can't live up to.' Hopefully, there'll be enough of an audience left for the show to watch these episodes.

Meanwhile, various TV-related websites are reporting that a number of FlashForward actors are already signing up to pilots that are currently being developed and which could possibly launch in the autumn. With FlashForward's ratings in ever declining freefall, actors now appear to be preparing to jump ship before it sinks completely, minimising what little hope that remains for a possible second series for the time travel saga. Christine Woods who plays lesbian FBI agent Janice, has already signed up to star in the NBC sitcom pilot, Perfect Couples. The actress has however confirmed that if FlashForward is renewed she will quit the lead role in the new comedy.

Elizabeth Mitchell has suggested that V will become more violent in future episodes. The forty-year-old actress, who plays Erica Evans on the series, joked that she has been perfecting her punches. 'I'm working on my right hook!' she said on Jimmy Kimmel Live. 'I did it a bit on Lost, but this is more right in-your-face-fisty!' Mitchell also revealed that she finds it funny that all of the V cast are attractive. 'All I know is I'm always surrounded by ridiculously good-looking people. My husband is surprisingly good about that!' she said.

EastEnders' Nina Wadia has admitted that she was 'in agony' after trying one of the world's hottest curries on The ONE Show. The actress, whose Walford character Zainab Masood owns an Indian catering business, was asked to sample the dish as she appeared on the magazine programme with her screen-husband, Nitin Ganatra. At the end of Tuesday night's episode, host Adrian Chiles explained that the meal had been cooked by chefs from a restaurant in Newcastle, adding: 'It contains Mexican chillies rather than the traditional Indian birds eye chillies and it's insufferably hot.' Before the credits rolled, the actors were both seen tucking into the curry and appeared rather blasé and unaffected by its intense flavour. At the time, Wadia told Chiles and co-presenter Christine Bleakley: 'My six-year-old eats hotter than this!' Oh, that's asking for it! Later, however, she confessed 'I literally couldn't wait for the credits to finish rolling! When they did, I said "Are we off the air?" and when they said yes, I was like "Holy shit!" My tongue swelled up, my lower lip was burning - Nitin said "This is a health and safety hazard for sure!"' Well, you were warned! The restaurant in question, incidentally, is the Rupali in the Bigg Market, a particularly fine eatery that yer Keith Telly Topping has frequented on quite a number of occasions. It's very nice - they do a superb mushroom biryani if ever you're passing. Sad to report I've never actually tried their infamous 'curry hell.' I've got too much common sense for that. Besides, my tastes run more towards a korma, or something equally bland.

Coronation Street's Nigel Havers has said that he is keen on renewing his contract with the Manchester serial. The actor, who plays male escort Lewis, also revealed that joining the show was a lifetime ambition of his. After being asked whether he wants to extend his stay on the ITV soap, he told TV Times: 'I'm really enjoying myself. This is my first ever soap, although I've worked at Granada before. This reminds me of doing Crown Court and A Raging Calm back in the 1970s. It's been lovely working with Sue Nicholls and Barbara Knox. Sue took me under her wing when I started and we've become good friend. Everybody was very friendly and made me feel welcome. Sue and Barbara are like royalty. I'm just an upstart compared to them.' Hardly Nige, you were in Chariots of Fire after all! And Don't Wait Up. Yeah, okay, I see where you're going with this. Havers, who signed up for the programme last year, continued: 'I couldn't say no [to Corrie]. Lewis is a fascinating character and he's got a really interesting story-arc. Besides, it's always been an ambition of mine to be [on the show]. It's so well-written and has such a unique take on life.' Speaking about this week's storyline, which sees Audrey slap Rita after arguing over Lewis, he added: 'I think Lewis is genuinely concerned about Audrey. When Rita gets involved, he has to box clever, but he's very good at that. Things move on, but I don't want to give anything away. Put it like this - all is not what it seems.'

Jonathan Ross has poked fun at his Film 2010 successor Claudia Winkleman as he helped host a special charity event. Hosting part of Channel 4's Comedy Gala at the O2 Arena in London, Ross joked: 'It's great to be here but the way my career's going, it's great to be anywhere. I had to get here quick before Claudia Winkleman stepped in.'

And, finally, just in case you'd forgotten, a quick reminder: This is back on Saturday.Are those windows the right size, young man?