Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Who's The Boss?

Kara Tointon has been ordered to delay training for Strictly Come Dancing over fears that she could have an unfair advantage in the competition. According to the Daily Star, 'show bosses', or, you know, 'producers' as normal people call them, handed a one-week ban to the former EastEnders actress due to her having already clocked up twenty one hours of training for a Sport Relief special that she won in 2008. 'Everyone working on the show recognised that Kara had an unfair advantage,' a 'source' allegedly claimed. 'Even for those who have danced before, ballroom is a completely different discipline, so the fact that she's got a week's training under her belt might well have outraged some viewers.' Because, clearly some viewers get 'outraged' over crass bollocks like that. Personally, yer Keith Telly Topping tends to save his personal 'outrage' for, you know, genocide, and intolerance and greed. Stuff that matters. Meanwhile, Tointon revealed that she had previously rejected an offer to join the 2009 series after her Sport Relief victory. 'They asked me to take part last year but I'd just come out of EastEnders and wanted to concentrate on acting. Then when they asked me again this year I realised what a fantastic opportunity it was to learn a new skill. And of course I love everything about the show,' she said. Tointon and ex-Blue Peter host Matt Baker emerged this week as the joint favourites to win this year's programme. Though, it's probably worth remembering it you fancy a flutter than the bookies know nowt. This time last year, please note, Joe Calzaghe was the favourite!

Craig Revel Horwood has said that there could be romances between celebrities and their professional partners on this year's Strictly. Last year, both Joe Calzaghe and Ali Bastian ended up in relationships with their respective dance partners, and Horwood believes that similar affairs are almost inevitable in the new series. The judge told New magazine: 'When you're working with someone that closely all day, every day, something is bound to kick off if they are two single people. You are dancing with someone for eight hours a day in a close hold. It is personal and it's difficult not to get involved - particularly if you fancy them!' So, should we be looking forward to Anton Du Beke and hot bachelorette Ann Widdecombe getting it on this year? Ew. Horwood also promised that he would be as brutally honest as ever with this year's contestants, insisting that he was not nastier than the other judges, just 'more direct. I'm not going to sit there and tell them they are great if they're not,' he said. 'I'm loving and warm when I teach but when I'm a judge I'm there to be critical. If people take it personally, they need their heads checking.'

Hugh Laurie has admitted that he finally regards his role on House as a success. In an interview on The Tonight Show, the actor told Jay Leno that he was proud of the medical drama's long-lasting appeal. 'I think I probably have to acknowledge that seven [seasons] feels like a bit of a watershed,' he said. Laurie added that he only 'grudgingly' acknowledges the show's success, explaining that he remains paranoid about the future. He said: 'I feel like there's always an impending disaster just moments away.' The actor also joked that he had struggled to film a sex scene with co-star Lisa Edelstein in the new season's premiere episode. 'There is a physical union that takes place early in the first episode,' he quipped. 'It's all work. It's hard bloody graft.' Oh, me heart bleeds for ya, Hughie, to be sure it does!

The stars of The Inbetweeners have confirmed that a fourth series remains unlikely. Blake Harrison previously suggested that continuing the sitcom past three series would be 'weird.' In an interview with BBC News, his co-stars James Buckley and that annoying Simon Bird agreed that a fourth series would likely be contrived. 'I don't think there ever will be another after this one,' said Buckley. 'I think we'd all want to do another series. We'd milk it dry to be honest, but we don't want to do it badly. If [the writers] have an idea where those four characters would still be together after school's finished, then maybe [it could continue], but because the series ends with school finishing, it seems natural that they would all go their separate ways,' added Bird. He continued: 'It's so nice and rare to have a comedy show that is so popular. We don't want to ruin that.'

Former Heartbeat star Joe McFadden has campaigned for more money to be spent on television drama. The actor, seen right polishing his helmet, told the Sun that viewers had become tired of reality shows such as Big Brother. Thank you, Joe McFadden. Not that I disagree with any of that, necessarily, but I wasn't aware that you'd been voted to speak for all television viewers. Did I miss that memo? 'Reality TV is so disposable,' he argued. 'People want to watch drama more.' They do? Well, as their duly elected representative, you'd certainly know, wouldn't you? 'There has to be a place for both, but we are not making as many of these great dramas now.' McFadden played PC Joe Mason on Heartbeat from 2007 until the show's cancellation earlier this year. And, strangely, in all the time he was doing that he never thought to mention his aversion to reality TV before. Until he was out of a job. He added: 'I am looking forward to seeing what dramas are made with money that used to be spent on Heartbeat.' On ITV, mate? Absolutely none whatsoever.

X Factor contestant Gamuchirai Nhengu may have to withdraw from the competition due to immigration issues, according to reports. The Zimbabwean-born singer impressed judges at the Glasgow auditions this year with a version of 'Walking On Sunshine.' However, the Sun reports that she may be forced to pull out of the show because of an ongoing visa dispute. According to the newspaper, the eighteen-year-old and her two younger brothers were granted residence in the UK five years ago under their mother's work visa, but thirty eight-year-old Nokutula's visa has expired and not been extended. The family's case is due to be heard by officials on Thursday. If the request to remain is denied, Gamu will have to leave the country and will no longer be able to compete in The X Factor. Although, to be honest, being sent back to Zimbabwe, a country run by a psychotic genocidal madman would probably seem like light relief to the poor lass after having to deal with Simon Cowell. Gamu's passport has already been taken by officials, which could cause problems for the Judges' Houses stage if she was required to leave the country. The family's lawyer Francis Farrell said: 'Discussions are ongoing and we hope the situation can be resolved.' In other words, ITV are leaning on the Home Office to let her stay because she can sing. Which, to be honest, this blogger had no problems with, I just hope they're honest about it.

Crazed megalomaniac cult leader His Lordship Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed that he is interested in doing more musical reality shows. Though, hopefully, not on the BBC since the last two stank the place up. The West End composer, who has worked on BBC series' Over The Rainbow, I'd Do Anything, Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, said that the programmes have generated 'a sea change' in people's attitudes to musical theatre. And, as a small side point, made His Lordship his very self vast wads of moolah. Speaking on The Michael Ball Show, Webber said: 'When we looked for Dorothy, we had ten thousand girls. There was a few hundred really good ones. Eighteen, seventeen and sixteen-year-olds doing consummate performances. 'We heard a lot of Hairspray, a lot of Sweet Charity. We asked, "Where did you get all this from?" And they explained that it was after they saw the Maria programme, they thought they would start a drama class at school.' On the possibility of doing a fifth show, His Lordship revealed that he has already had some ideas and is keen to focus the talent hunt on male performers. 'I always said we would do three shows, but now we've done four. It's interesting,' he said. 'It's got to be something that TV audience know about. Something like Eliza in My Fair Lady. But I think it should be a bloke next time. We've had far too many girls.'

Gordon Ramsay has criticised Marco Pierre White, claiming that the chef's bandana makes him 'look like someone from the Taliban.' Ramsay, who is famously said to have been reduced to tears when working for White in the 1980s, insisted that he would change channels to avoid Marco's Kitchen Burnout, but admitted - grudgingly - that White was an excellent chef. Ramsay told Radio Times: 'Having been there and worked with him I know that he was an amazing chef, so when I see him philosophising, as opposed to cooking his arse off - being the real Marco - I find it a little bit sad. When I see him sat there looking like someone from the Taliban with that rag on the top of his head it makes me laugh. But then I want to see him cook.' White took over from Ramsay on ITV's Hell's Kitchen in 2007, and attacked his predecessor's performance on the celebrity cookery contest.

Katy Manning has revealed that she enjoyed reprising her Doctor Who character Jo Grant for the upcoming fourth series of Sarah Jane Interferes. In a statement posted on her official website, Manning said that she found returning to the role much easier than she ever imagined. 'I was really surprised at how it all came back, and how quickly I felt like Jo again,' she said. 'It was a genuine pleasure to be playing her once more.' She continued: 'And to be inside the TARDIS again was the icing on the cake. I love how it's been updated - or retro-dated is more accurate, I suppose.' The actress is to revive the character for a two-part serial called Death Of The Doctor, which will also feature an appearance by current Doctor Matt Smith. Manning - seen right holding her jugs - acknowledged that Jo has changed dramatically since she left the third Doctor in 1973. 'You'll have to watch the programme to see what I mean, but Russell Davies has done a wonderful job of showing how Jo has developed over the years. You can still see the young and awestruck girl she was, but that's been tempered by experience and maturity - not replaced, but tempered.'

Actress Julianne Moore has conceded that sex scenes are difficult for her to shoot. Just lie back and think of England, sweetheart, that's what I usually do. The forty nine-year-old's latest movie, The Kids Are All Right, features several scenes of an adult nature between Moore and co-star Mark Ruffalo. Despite rave reviews of the surprise hit, Moore has admitted that she finds sex scenes both awkward to shoot and to talk about. 'My husband hasn't seen the film yet,' Moore told Australian Women's Weekly. 'I try not to ever talk about the sex scenes in a film. It's always an issue, so the less I talk about it, the better. I act like it's not happening.' However, Moore insisted that shooting with Ruffalo could have been worse, saying: 'Mark is a really good friend so that made it easier. I'm good friends with his wife.'

Oscar-nominated actor Kevin McCarthy has died at the age of ninety six. McCarthy was probably best known for his starring role in the classic 1956 SF thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He died on Saturday at a Cape Cod hospital, reports E! Online. Other details surrounding his death have not been released. During a career that spanned more than seventy years, beginning on stage in New York in the late 1930s, McCarthy played Biff Loman opposite Paul Muni's Willy in the 1949 London production of Death of a Salesman. Reprising his role in the 1951 film version opposite Fredric March, he earned a supporting-actor Oscar nomination and won a Golden Globe as most promising male newcomer. McCarthy's long career included numerous guest appearances on TV series including The Twilight Zone, Burke's Law, Flamingo Road, Murder, She Wrote, Dynasty and The Golden Girls. Kevin was born in 1914 in Seattle. His father was from a wealthy Irish Catholic family based in Minnesota and his mother was born in Washington state to a Protestant father and a Jewish mother. Kevin was the brother of the author Mary McCarthy. They were orphaned at a young age when both of their parents died in the 1918 influenza epidemic and were sent to live with relatives in Wisconsin. He was also a distant cousin of former US senator and Democratic presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy. Kevin graduated from Campion High School in Prairie du Chien in 1932, and attended the University of Minnesota, where he participated in his first play. He went on to have a long and distinguished career as a character actor, with occasional starring roles sprinkled in, most notably as Miles Bennell in Invasion of the Body Snatchers in 1956. In the film's most memorable scene, Bennell runs frantically into traffic, screaming to motorists, 'They're here already. You're next!' He also appeared - as, essentially the same character, twenty years on - in an amusing cameo role in Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake of the movie. McCarthy got a lot of mileage out of the original film in his later years, often appearing as a guest at film festivals, conventions and autograph shows. 'I must say I'm enthralled by the power of the picture all over the world,' he told the Knoxville News-Sentinel in 2000. 'It's the science-fiction picture of our time. The toasts just keep coming my way.' McCarthy dismissed assertions that Invasion of the Body Snatchers was an allegory about the Communist infiltration of America or, even more pointedly, an indictment of right-wing McCarthyism. (Joe, in case you're wondering, was no relation.) 'There was no assignment of political points of view when we were making the film,' he told the Bangor Daily News in 1997. 'People began to think of McCarthyism later. I thought it was really about the onset of a kind of life where the corporate people are trying to tell you how to live, what to do, how to behave. And you become puppets to these merchants that are somehow turning individuals into victims. It seemed to me to be about conforming, the need to control life so it would be more tolerable.' On television, he appeared with Alexis Smith in the NBC anthology series, The Joseph Cotten Show. He also guest starred in the 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone Long Live Walter Jameson. His other notable movies include The Misfits (1961), A Gathering of Eagles (1963), The Howling (1981) and Innerspace (1987).

James Cameron is reportedly producing a new TV series based on his 1994 hit film True Lies. The original movie starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as a government spy struggling to conceal his job from his wife, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. According to Deadline, Rene Echevarria (The 4400, Castle) will be the head writer and showrunner on the series. Echevarria, who also worked on Cameron's short-lived SF TV show Dark Angel, is producing MTV's Teen Wolf revamp.

Police are investigating complaints made by Jeremy Vine that he was the victim of a stalker. The Panorama presenter told the Daily Scum Mail that he has been repeatedly followed by a woman whom the paper named as Alida O'Reilly. He made an official complaint to police last month. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: 'Officers from Westminster received an allegation from a man aged in his forties. The allegation was made on 11 August.' O'Reilly has not yet been charged in relation to Vine's complaints. Vine told the paper that O'Reilly, twenty eight, from Earlsfield, followed him on many occasions over the last few months. He said that she regularly walked behind him as he made his way to a nearby Tube station after finishing work at the Radio 2 studios. O'Reilly was previously found guilty of conducting a five-month campaign of harassment against two presenters from Radio Jackie, Steve Mowbray and Dave Owen. O'Reilly's sentencing had been due to take place this week but neither she nor her legal team appeared in court and the case was adjourned to Kingston Magistrates' Court on 11 October.

Big Brother's 'bosses' (again, it's producers, guys) plan to keep the famous house used in the show open until 2013, paving the way for possible future series according to press reports. According to planning documents submitted to Hertsmere Council - which covers the area where the Big Brother house is situated in Elstree Studios - executives on the show want to keep the iconic building there for three years, sparking rumours the series will continue in some capacity. A spokesperson for the show revealed: 'We are currently looking into a number of options for the site.' Councillors debated planning permission at the studios and decided to agree to the request. 'Sources' have previously suggested the show - which has been fronted by Davina McCall for the last ten years - may move from Channel Four to Channel Five. Meanwhile, 'insiders' who may, or may not, be the same, or different, from the 'sources' have claimed that there may be one more series of Celebrity Big Brother before the series is completely axed. A 'source', or 'insider', we're not sure which, said: 'Channel Four has been really pleased with the ratings and the amount of coverage for this year's Big Brother and Ultimate Big Brother, so they don't want to let it go just yet. 'It will probably look a bit strange after everyone thought it would be the last we'd see of it on Channel Four but it will be worth it financially for them to have one final run.'

Gemma Arterton has confirmed that she will be meeting director Ridley Scott and is hoping that they will be discussing a role in the Alien prequel. The former Bond girl told reporters at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada that she would love to get into shape for an action part. 'The honest truth is that Ridley Scott has approached me to meet with him about something in the next few weeks.' She remained tight-lipped on whether the meeting would be about Alien, as rumours have suggested recently. But Arterton claimed she would love a part in the film. 'I'd love to get buff. But maybe I'll be playing an alien! I wouldn't mind that, actually. I like dressing up. That's why I became an actor in the first place.' Scott is apparently planning to make the prequel in 3D. He told MTV about the plot: 'The main character will be a woman, yeah. We're thinking it could go down that route. When I started the original Alien, Ripley wasn't a woman, it was a guy. During casting, we thought, "Why don't we make it a woman?" [The film] is about the discussion of terraforming - taking planets and planetoids and balls of earth and trying to terraform, seed them with the possibilities of future life.'