Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No, Meezda Bond. I Expect You To Wait. Patiently. At The Airport, Like Everyone Else

The production of the next James Bond film has been suspended 'indefinitely' because of uncertainty over the future of film company MGM. Bond franchise producers, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, said they did not know when work on the twenty third Bond movie would resume and there was no set date for its release. The latest Bond, due to star Daniel Craig as 007 for the third time, had been provisionally announced as due to enter production late this year with a potential release in 2011 or 2012. Wilson and Broccoli, of EON Productions, said: 'Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on Bond 23 indefinitely.' Daniel Craig, who made his Bond debut in the acclaimed Casino Royale in 2006, said: 'I have every confidence in Barbara and Michael's decision and look forward to production resuming as quickly as possible.'

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg (seen left, demonstrating his brilliance as a shadow puppeteer) has admitted that he is not a fan of the UK's soaps. Are you deliberately trying to lose this election, bonny lad? Do you have any idea how many people watch them? And, they've all got the vote these days, as well! The politician made his confession in an interview with the Radio Times after being asked whether he preferred Coronation Street, EastEnders, The Bill or The Archers. Clegg replied: 'I don't watch or listen to any of these, I'm afraid.' He compounded his lack of appeal to couch potatoes everywhere when asked to pick a favourite X Factor judge from Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue and Louis Walsh. The forty three-year-old stated: 'None of the above.' I admire your frankness, Nicky me auld china, but there's a very thin line between bravery and crass stupidity. Mind you, it wasn't all bad. When asked to chose his favourite Time Lord from a list of Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, David Tennant or Matt Smith, he replied, like a true diplomat, 'All legends. But, it's got to be Tom Baker.' Ah, a connoisseurs choice, sir. And he expressed an admiration for The West Wing as well. Steady on, old chap, keep on saying stuff like that and you might get Keith Telly Topping to consider voting for you! Clegg also explained that his children are usually allowed to watch TV for only forty five minutes per day, while his own childhood saw him facing 'very strict' rules when it came to television. 'We didn't watch half as much as people at school, which was a big source of resentment,' he said. 'But we were allowed to watch anything with animals in like Lassie, Black Beauty and BBC nature documentaries.' Oh, you'd like Britain's Got Talent, mate. It's got tons of wildlife. Dogs. Parrots. Piers Morgan.

And, speaking about 'the single greatest TV show in the history of the world ... that doesn't have the words 'Doctor' and 'Who' in the title,' The West Wing. References to Aaron Sorkin's masterpiece political drama seem to crop up in the most unlikely of places. For example, I give you Gideon Haigh's excellent summation of last year's Ashes cricket series which appeared in the recently published 2010 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanac. 'Stretched over two months, the effect was of the slow unfolding of very abrupt events. Like an Ingmar Bergman film remade in the style of The West Wing.' Style.

Meanwhile, in further election news, Dermot O'Leary is set to interview the party leaders for a programme aimed at first-time voters on BBC3. Rumours that analysis from Davina McCall and Alesha Dixon will follow immediately afterwards on the Red Button cannot be confirmed or denied at this time.

The story of Iceland's volcanic ash as it spread across the skies has generated BBC News' heaviest online traffic ever. Breaking news of cancelled flights and the unprecedented closure of UK airspace made the volcano the top story on the BBC News website on Thursday, and the single biggest story of 2010 so far with more than four million hits globally. Overall, all but one of the top ten most viewed stories of the day related to the Icelandic volcano and its implications for flights across the world. The daily use of the BBC News site also jumped to more than seven million for Thursday. But it was figures over the weekend that broke records, with provisional data indicating that April 17 and 18 was the biggest weekend ever for global traffic to BBC News online, with over five million unique users on both Saturday and Sunday. Figures suggest Sunday was the busiest weekend day ever for BBC News online with over five and half million global unique users.

Ben Shephard and Andrew Castle are to be unceremoniously axed from GMTV to make way for the arrival of Adrian Chiles, a report has claimed. Yesterday, it was announced that Chiles is to start fronting the breakfast programme five days a week as part of his new four-year contract with ITV. According to the Mirror, Chiles' deal means that Shephard and Castle will both leave the show later this year. Meanwhile, the future of female anchors Kate Garraway and Emma Crosby is also said to be uncertain as bosses reportedly hope to lure Chiles's ONE Show co-host Christine Bleakley over to GMTV so they can continue their partnership. The notoriously 'I'll do anything to get my face on TV, me' Myleene Klass has also been tipped as a possible replacement. Now, why does that not surprise me? A source said: 'Ben, Andrew and Kate have been nervous for some time about the future, but everyone is astonished by how radical the revamp is. It's clear the show is going to be transformed around Adrian five days a week.' A spokesperson for Bleakley dismissed reports linking her to GMTV, insisting that she is 'very happy' at The ONE Show. I wonder if Adrian, meanwhile, has pondered on the supreme irony of all this; that he is, to Ben and Andrew (and Steve Rider), what Chris Evans is to him! 'Adrian,' let us remember, 'has absolutely nothing against Chris Evans, but feels he should be launching his own show rather than gatecrashing someone else's which is already successful.' Now 'a source' close to whom, in the wide, wide world of sport could possibly have fed the newspapers that quote on Monday?

Meanwhile, poor old yesterday's man Steve Rider is thinking of taking legal action over ITVs decision to hire Adrian Chiles, according to reports. The Daily Mail claims that Rider has a strong case against the commercial broadcaster as it is believed his five hundred thousand pounds-per-year contract states that he will front the World Cup football programming. However, an ITV spokesperson said: 'Steve is a fantastic sports presenter and we hope to continue working with him.' You know, exactly what the BBC were saying about Adrian Chiles last week. Of course, before you all start feeling too sorry for Rider, dear blog reader, let's remember that he, too, left the BBC when ITV dangled a tasty contract in front of him in 2005. When Rider himself elbowed Jim 'You Know Nothing' Rosenthal to one side to present ITV's Formula 1 coverage. I guess, what goes around comes around. If it's any consolation, Stevie, I imagine that in about five years time, some pretty-boy BBC sofa-merchant will be pushing your nemesis Adrian not so gently towards the 'out' door. That's showbusiness, baby. When yer Keith Telly Topping's looks go, I'm out of here as well.

One person, at least, is impressed with Chiles' move to ITV. Fiona, who left GMTV in 2008, has claimed that Chiles will be a good host on the programme. Writing in the Mirror, she said: 'Although the arrival of Adrian Chiles at GMTV will inevitably mean turmoil for some of my mates still manning the sofa, it is a move akin to a perfectly placed free-kick for him. The blokeishly charming ONE Show star inherits a programme that's well-loved, but also tired and in need of an injection of heavyweight sparkle. His laid-back manner, down-to-earth ease and his sometimes biting dry wit will provide some much needed stuffing for that famous well-worn sofa.'

Richard Armitage has revealed that his [Spooks] character Lucas North will be 'less physical' in the future. Armitage, who will star as John Porter in Sky's upcoming series Strike Back, explained that he enjoyed returning to [Spooks]. 'It was actually quite thrilling and what's really interesting about Lucas this year is he's much less physical than he has been in the past,' he said. 'It's almost as if, and not through choice, John's been out there doing all the fighting and Lucas is back engaging the cerebrum, if you see what I mean.' He continued: 'It's a very interesting juxtaposition and I quite like that I've now got both those characters under my belt.'

Nigella Lawson has expressed her admiration for competitive cooking show Iron Chef. The Nigella Express host told Metro that she was a big fan of the contest, once brilliantly described by Charlie Brooker as 'like Ready, Steady Cook if it was directed by Michael Bay,' which will come to the UK on Channel 4 later this year. Lawson said: 'It's quite something. I'm a judge on it. It's filmed in a huge stadium with well-known chefs with their own crews and commentators as if it's a sporting event. They'll announce, "This chef is issuing white liquid into a pan, we'll come back when we identify what it is." It's like having John Motson commentating on what ingredients people are preparing. It's fantastic.' When asked if she would compete on the show herself, she added: 'No, I'm a cook not a chef - they're different species. Chefs thrive on tension and enjoy conflict and are theatrical, cooks tend to be conflict averse. I just have to sit there and eat which is great.'

Former disgraced reality show contestant Danielle Lloyd is reportedly planning to host her own fishing show. The glamour model who, in 2006 on Celebrity Big Brother declared she thought the Indian actress Shilpa Shetty should 'fuck off home,' adding that 'she can't even speak English properly,' explained that she is currently in negotiations with Sky1 to co-present a show with her fiancé, the footballer Jamie O'Hara. 'Me & jamie got [sic] a meeting today about doing our own fishing programme!!' she wrote on Twitter. 'Hilarious think [sic] they just want me for a bit of glamour! J loves fishing & I sometimes go with him & get my wellies on its fun [sic] I've caught a few fish I will post u [sic] all a pic [sic] later of me & my fish.' She later added: 'The fishing meeting went well start filming in a couple of weeks.' So, run this one past me again, Danielle. Who, exactly, is it that 'can't speak English properly'? Lloyd also uploaded several photographs of her fishing trips and continued: 'By the way no fish was [sic] hurt in the process we always put them back!!! Its [sic] relaxing!! Sad yes but jamie loves me going with him. [sic]'

And, speaking of people who made their reputation on reality TV shows, Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh has revealed that she would 'love' to appear as a guest judge on The X Factor this year. Yes, you and every other desperate wannabe in the entire industry, Kym my love. The former Hear'Say singer discussed her ambition following widespread reports that a variety of stars will be recruited to fill in for pregnant Dannii Minogue at the auditions. Writing in her New magazine column, Marsh explained: 'I read that Simon Cowell is thinking about having a guest judge to sit in for Dannii Minogue at each regional audition for The X Factor. I would really love to be considered as a stand-in at the Manchester rounds!' Hate to be the one to break this to you, but I think it's likely he'll want somebody with a bit more, how can I put this without sounding nasty, 'credibility' than some faded-former pop star who now works in soap operas. Sorry, love but you'll note they did say there were looking for 'stars.'

Meanwhile, another former pop singer-turned-actress (albeit, a much better one) Patsy Kensit has revealed that she would also like to secure a role as a reality show judge. What the hell's so good about that job? Well, apart from the pay, obviously. And, the hours. The actress spoke about her ambition in an interview with the Radio Times after being asked whether she would ever appear as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing On Ice. Kensit replied: 'I never say never, but I'd rather be a judge on those shows.' Kensit also discussed her decision to bow out from her role as Holby City's Faye Byrne, which she announced last month. Discussing the reasons behind her exit, Kensit confessed: 'I'm knackered! I work from 7am until seven at night five days a week. When I did Emmerdale, I saw more of my friends and family than I do working on Holby. I've had great storylines, but you have to have a life as well. I've been working flat-out and if you book a month out, as unpaid leave or whatever, you have to fit your whole life into that. The pressure to be happy and have a good time - it's impossible and you can't live like that. I love my job, and I'll continue working, but now I'm writing my autobiography.' And you can bet a whole host of ex-husbands are looking forward to that.

Laurence Fishburne has allegedly signed up for another season of CSI. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor has extended his contract through the 2010-2011 season. The tenth season's finale will reportedly see Fishburne's character, Ray Langston, facing off against two serial killers, played by Matt Ross and Bill Irwin. The episode is thought to end with a life-or-death cliffhanger. But not his life-or-death, seemingly.

Several events have been planned to mark the end of Lost. The ABC show will end next month and E! Online reports that a number of celebrations have been planned. Executive producer Carlton Cuse wrote on his Twitter page that UCLA's Royce Hall will play host to 'Lost Live: The Final Celebration' on 13 May. 'Our Oscar winning composer Michael Giacchino will conduct a programme of music from Lost,' he said. 'Also a special screening of the last episode of Lost before the finale. And special appearances by mem. of the cast.' Although ABC has not officially confirmed the event, Cuse added that tickets will go on sale soon. Meanwhile, Cuse and his fellow executive producer Damon Lindelof will appear at an event organised by the New York Times on 20 May and members of the cast are expected to host parties in Los Angeles and New York. The cast will also appear on an Jimmy Kimmel's hour-long special Jimmy Kimmel Live: Aloha To Lost immediately after the finale has aired. However, Jorge Garcia, who plays Hurley, admitted that he might not attend the celebration. 'If they're pre-taping stuff, I'm cool with that,' he said. 'But on finale night, I decided I want to lay low and be with close friends because it's a huge chapter in my life. I just want to face it there rather than face it on a national television show. I just want to take this one on my own.'

Alexa Chung has claimed that Americans did not get her irreverent interviewing style. Oh, the tragedy. The ex-T4 presenter, whose US show It's On With Alexa Chung was cancelled in December, suggested to Radio Times that American producers were not used to dealing with opinionated young women. Chung said: 'They don't have the tone that T4 has anywhere in American TV. If you're a girl and you're my age, you're on a shiny night-time show and you've got your boobs hoiked up and you're not really giving opinions. You're merely a conduit. Sometimes I'd be in the middle of interviewing - insert starlet's name here - and I'd aim to have a joke and be irreverent, and then it would transpire that they weren't getting it and I had to switch back and do a straight interview.' She added: '[Channel 4 was] like being in sixth form and calling your teachers by their first names. You know, executives that you go bowling with. Whereas at MTV, people sit in their offices and don't come down.'

Sir Ian McKellen has claimed that The Prisoner is 'very adult.' Unfortunately, no adults are currently watching it. Or, anybody else come to that.

ITV has reportedly decided to 'cash in' on the success of Britain's Got Talent by offering huge sums for advertising space during its commercial breaks. This is Money suggests that the broadcaster is charging two hundred and fifty thousand pounds for thirty-second advertising slots during the reality show. Britain's Got Talent is one of ITV's highest-rated programmes and fetched a peak audience of nineteen million viewers for its final last year. However, Nick Ilston of Pace Media has said that most agencies would only pay one hundred and twenty thousand pounds for the rounds leading up to the final.

Former Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallett has claimed that 'being an actress is hard.' Quite how she'd know such a thing is another question entirely.