Thursday, August 19, 2010

Manic Pop Thrills

Tim Westwood has revealed that he may be part of next year's Dancing On Ice line-up. The Radio 1 DJ, claimed that producers offered him fifty grand to join the programme - but gave mixed messages over whether he is signing up. He tweeted: 'Been offered fifty thousand pounds to go on Dancing On Ice - could you see me wearing sequinned outfits. [sic]' When some of his followers begged him to appear on the show, Westwood retorted: 'I'd have to dance on ice with a woman who looks like a man in drag.' However, he later said: 'What time does Baywater rink shut tonite? I've neva been on Ice before - need to try it out.'

TV Joke of the Week, dear blog reader: 'What's Lisa Faulkner from Celebrity MasterChef's favourite bit of the Monopoly ®™ board?' 'I don't know, what is Lisa Faulkner from Celebrity MasterChef's favourite bit of the Monopoly ®™ board?' 'The waterworks.' Next ...

Johnny Briggs has warned the cast of Coronation Street that anyone could die in the upcoming tram crash. The actor - who played Mike Baldwin on the soap - told the Sun that none of the soap's actors should risk asking for a pay rise in the next few months. 'They'll get rid of anyone who asks!' he claimed, before adding. 'You can't predict who will go - it could be anyone. They seem to get rid of people right left and centre.' Speaking at the launch of the new Corrie! stage play, Briggs claimed that the show needs to 'listen to the fans.' He continued: 'Give them a bit of what they want, but leave them wanting a bit more. But sadly TV doesn't work like that. Producers give fans what they want them to have, so I don't know if everyone will be happy at Christmas.' He added: 'When I worked there you got paid per episode so older cast members on more money might get used less!' Producer Phil Collinson recently admitted that there would be 'surprise exits' from the Weatherfield soap later this year.

The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies has revealed that the second season of the drama will feature more storylines based on real-life events. The actress told the New York Post that an episode tackling the issue of cheating politicians would open up old wounds for her character Alicia Florrick, after catching her husband Peter (Chris Noth) with a prostitute in the first season. She promised that viewers will see 'how it affects Alicia and Peter's life all over again, seeing [the scandal] on the news.' Margulies explained that real-life events are 'great fodder for the writers,' adding that they explore the issues in 'a very classy way, the way they relate it back to each character and how we are dealing with [it].' She also confirmed that another plot would deal with the recent BP oil spill. '[That episode] is right away,' she said.

House executive producer Katie Jacobs has explained how the production will deal with Olivia Wilde's absence. Wilde, who plays Thirteen, will miss several episodes of the new season because she is working on the movie Cowboys & Aliens. However, Jacobs told Fancast that House will include a storyline explaining Thirteen's departure and eventual return. 'It's linked to narrative,' she said. 'When Thirteen does come back, it's not like she's just going to be sitting in the office doing a diagnosis. There's a real reason why she had to leave - it's surprising and juicy and it deepens her character and our understanding of her.'

Mad Men's fourth season will premiere on BBC4 next month, it has been confirmed. The Gruniad Morning Star reports that the BBC has reached a deal with AMC over the acclaimed US period drama, bringing forward the air date by four months. BBC4's previous runs have been screened approximately six months after being broadcast in the US, however the corporation has apparently reacted to positive reviews and viewers' e-mails, as well as attempting to reduce illegal downloading of the show.

Shawn Ryan has revealed that the second season of Lie To Me will end on a tense cliffhanger. The departing showrunner confirmed to TV Guide that the finale will lead directly into the third season. 'We put some characters in jeopardy,' he explained. 'We really tried to end the season as a launching pad for Season Three.' Ryan will depart the show at the conclusion of the season, with Alexander Cary replacing him as head writer and producer. 'It's not a Dynasty-esque cliff-hanger, where there's bloody people on the floor,' added Ryan. 'But there are some pretty high stakes.'

Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert have joined the list of presenters for the sixty second Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast. Also joining Fey and Colbert as hosts are fellow Emmy nominees Laurence Fishburne (CSI), Will Arnett (30 Rock) and Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), according to Gossip Cop.

FX UK has agreed a six-figure deal with Joop! Homme for the perfume brand to sponsor the digital channel's biggest dramas. The deal, which was negotiated by Sky Media and OMD UK, will see Joop! Homme sponsor approximately one hundred and eighty hours of FX dramas every month over a nine-month period. Alongside FX's regular shows such as Dexter and NCIS, the agreement also includes sponsorship of new drama Burn Notice, along with the hotly-tipped zombie series The Walking Dead and Will Ferrell's comedy Eastbound And Down. Hang on, Dexter?! How the hell are they going to link that to a perfume? 'The fragrance serial killers prefer'?! 'We are delighted to be sponsoring the drama strand on FX with Joop! Homme,' said Zarouhi Grumbar, senior brand manager at Joop! Homme-owner Coty UK. 'The partnership brings together FX's dynamic programming, with our sexy new creative, and injects fresh energy into the Joop! Homme brand.' Is anybody else having a Mitchell and Webb-style laboratroire Garnier moment here? Deborah Armstrong, Fox International Channels' senior vice president of media sales and partnerships, added: 'We are really proud to have Joop! Homme on board as sponsors of our award-winning drama portfolio. We feel that the sexy, edgy brand attributes of Joop! Homme lend themselves perfectly to the FX environment and are delighted to welcome them onto the channel.' What a right load of old sodding toot!

Holly Valance has revealed that she is excited about working on the Agatha Christie's Marple drama The Pale Horse. The former Neighbours actress explained that she hadn't realised how popular the detective was in the UK. 'I'd heard of Marple obviously but I wasn't as aware of it as I'd have been if I'd lived here all my life,' she said. 'So everyone I'm telling about my part is saying, "My mum loves that show!" It's really nice to be part of an institution here. I'm spending a lot more time back in the UK now, so Marple is a nice one to have on the resume. Everyone obviously loves it and I wanted to be involved in something that was really popular and special in the UK.' Valance also revealed details of her character in the drama, saying: 'I'm playing an Australian named Kanga with Cruella De Vil hair! I think she's a forward-thinking woman - she's a little outspoken for the time. And she seems to be rather understanding of her husband's infidelities - she's obviously a sharing woman!' Pop-star wannabe Valance, dear blog readers may remember, was seven years ago alleged - by the Daily Star, anyway - to be 'in discussions' with a view to replacing Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Except that she wasn't, it was a load of utter lies.

Meet The Parents and The West Wing acrtess Teri Polo has joined the cast of Law & Order: LA. NBC confirmed yesterday that the forty one-year-old actress will play a recurring role in the police procedural spin-off. Polo will portray Casey Winters, the wife of Detective Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich), with whom she has settled down to raise a family.

The BBC's unederwater drama The Deep plunged to an audience of four million viewers last night. The third part of the mini-series, which stars James Nesbitt and Minnie Driver, averaged 3.77m for BBC1 in the 9pm hour, down seven hundred thousand with the previous week's episode and over a million on its debut broadcast. However, a further two hundred and thirty thousand viewers watched the new episode on BBC HD. I must admit, despite having found the first two episodes flawed bu interesting, this blogger completely forgot it was on last night and watched part Simon Armitage's The Making of King Arthur on BBC4 instead. Despite The Deep's sinking ratings, it was still able to comfortable beat The Bill in the 9pm hour, after the police drama achieved an audience of 3.2m for ITV1, with an additional one hundred thousand tuning in to ITV HD. Earlier on ITV, Grimefighters had 2.27m viewers from 7.30pm and New Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? was watched by 3.31m in the 8pm hour. But the gameshow was outperformed by good old reliable Holby City, which took 5.48m on BBC1. After their successful debut on Monday, Jason Mountford and Alex Jones continued to attract viewers to The ONE Show, with four and a half million watching from 7pm. For BBC2, a repeat of Coast attracted 1.64m in the 7pm hour, before new factual entertainment series The Great British Bake Off had an audience of a sliver over two million. Later in the 9pm hour, That Mitchell And Webb Look and Shooting Stars had respective audiences of 1.45m and 1.58m, then Russell Howard's Good News got 1.18m. I have to say, after a few weeks of rather disappointing fare, Mitchell and Webb pulled out all the stops for their end of season episode. The Princess Diana death-hoax scene and the Sorry-remake piece were both excellent but even they were surpassed by a quite extraordinary, virtually laughless final sketch which featured a dementia-stricken Sherlock Holmes. Beautifully played by David and Robert, it remind me of that achingly sad and moving Rowley Burkin sequence in The Fast Show where one of the 'very drunk' QC's rambling reminiscences suddenly turns into a description the death of a woman that he loved. Comedy of the absurdly dramatic.

Jason Manford's debut as a ONE Show host has been broadly praised by critics. Reviewers of the comedian's high-profile debuts largely commented on the chemistry between Manford and co-host Alex Jones. Opening the show, Manford had commented: 'This could go either way: Really well, or we'll be escorted off the premises after the show.' Afterwards, he tweeted: 'My God,never been so nervous in my life but lucky Alex knows what she's doing and Whoopi was ace. Cheers for the lovely messages of support too.' Polly Hudson in the Mirror wrote: 'There's already a nice chemistry between Jason and Alex, you can believe they'd go for a drink together in real life. They were competent, more slick than I expected and I can't imagine many ONE Show fans not taking them immediately to their hearts. I think we've just witnessed the birth of a showbiz double act to be reckoned with.' In the Daily Telegraph, Michael Deacon concluded: 'Manford is much jollier than Chiles – although, to be fair, so is a traffic bollard – and has an eager-to-please boyishness that is only slightly disconcerting in a man of twenty nine who has a wife and two children. His ad-libs don't feel very ad-libbed but he can work on that.' However, the Daily Scum Mail's Amanda Platell - a woman with a thoroughly sour face that resmebles a smacked arse at the best of times, and who talks about as much sense as one as well - was less enamoured than her colleagues, writing: 'Jason's little cupid mouth was in a constant pucker.' Delightful.

The BBC has apologised after weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker was seen on air making 'a rude gesture' at a BBC News presenter. The incident occurred yesterday morning on the BBC News Channel when Schafernaker gave a one-finger salute to Simon McCoy after he made a lighthearted remark. After realising that the camera was on him, Schafernaker quickly tried to hide the gesture by moving his hand up to rub his face. McCoy immediately tried to amend for the incident by saying: 'Every now and then there's always one mistake, that was it.' In a statement, a BBC spokesman apologised for the incident and confirmed that the corporation had received seven complaints about the gesture. Seven people with nothing better to do with their time than that. What a sad, sorry reflection on our society that is, ladies and gentlemen. 'Tomasz was not aware that he was on-air, and whilst the gesture was only shown for a second, it was not acceptable,' he said. Oh, for God's sake, who effing well cares apart from seven professional whingers? 'The News Channel presenter live in the studio acknowledged a mistake had been made, and we apologise for any offence caused.' This isn't the first time Schafernaker and McCoy have got in trouble. During a cold spell two years ago, the newsreader handed over to his colleague for a weather forecast with the line 'You've got a frozen ball there,' causing Schafernaker to have a fit of the giggles. He ended his forecast saying: 'Apologies for the giggling earlier on. I swear it's not my fault. Bye bye.'

David Bowie has denied reports that he has collaborated with Lady GaGa on a song for her next studio CD. Well, at least they have one thing in common, they've both been the subject of wholly mendacious tabloid stories that suggested they'd been cast in Doctor Who. That's something, one supposes. According to MTV News, rumours 'began swirling' last week. as rumours do, when a supposed 'confirmation of recorded music' document appeared online featuring Bowie's name on a list of the 'Bad Romance' singer's collaborators. The scanned file alleged that GaGa had worked with Bowie on a song called 'Vinyl.' However, Bowie has since taken to his official website to reveal that the entire story was a cleverly devised hoax. 'The hoax was started by some bright spark or other with the above forgery. However, in a nutshell, the suggestion that David Bowie is producing and participating in the production of Lady GaGa's next album is untrue and a hoax,' an official statement from Bowie's website said.

Stand-up David Whitney was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning after allegedly headbutting a heckler at the Edinburgh Fringe. Police were called to The Canons Gait pub on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, part of the PBH Free Fringe, after thirty one-year-old Whitney got into an altercation with the punter. Witnesses in the one hundred-strong audience said that the victim was left bleeding after the incident, which came after he protested he had intended his interjections to be helpful. One audience member, Robert Dare, told Chortle: '[Whitney] just nutted a heckler. Incredibly unprofessional and stupidly childish.' A spokesman for Lothian and Borders police said: 'I can confirm that a thirty one-year-old man was arrested and charged with serious assault following an incident that happened within The Canons Gait pub last night.' Whitney, who worked on Channel 4's Fonejacker series, once plated bagpipes at Gwen Stefani's wedding and was a finalist in the Hackney Empire Best New Act of The Year in 2007. He had been performing The Scot And The Jew: Doubly Cheap at Zoo Southside during this fringe, a double-bill with Dave Florez. Originally from Aberdeen, he attended military school in Surrey before studying for an acting degree in London.

Londoners have been warned about divebombing seagulls who may attack to protect their young. The RSPB has claimed that the birds have been unusually noisy this year, attracting the attention of those in the capital, the Evening Standard reports. Spokesman Tim Webb said: 'I'd urge Londoners to be as tolerant as possible. Gulls are often perceived as intimidating, but if they are aggressive it's because they're either protecting their young or feel threatened by us. They are very protective parents, but they'd much rather poo on people than peck them. However, they will divebomb people if provoked.' Sussex-based student Amy Derham was left with a cut to the head after a gull attack in Hove. She told the newspaper: 'I saw a baby seagull sitting down on the pavement making a high-pitched squeak. I thought to myself "I am not going anywhere near that," so I crossed the road. The next thing I know I was hit on the head by what looked like an adult seagull swooping down - it was extremely painful and happened all of a sudden.'