Archive for the ‘BBC Television’ Category

The Thick of It’s Peter Capaldi to play 12th Doctor Who – he’s a bit of a sweary man isn’t he Mummy?

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Peter Capaldi

I can’t work out whether this is the most inspired choices for Doctor Who in the world ever. Or one of the worst? Certainly it’s been pretty darned effective generating publicity.

Already on Twitter most people are fed up with swearing Doctor Who tweets like the one below because, as we all know kids, Peter Capaldi played a sweary man in a political comedy (note to self – Peter Capaldi is an actor and therefore capable of playing a role where presumably swearing is less of an essential requirement).

“Knock knock”
“Who’s there?”
“Doctor who?”
“Come the fuck in, or fuck the fuck off”

Or perhaps this more visual joke from Time Out (amusing nonetheless):

Peter Capaldi as doctor doctor

But my first thought was isn’t he a bit old to play the 12th Doctor at 55. Like policeman and, er, real Doctors it seems that the Doctors Who are getting younger and younger. And although I seem to remember John Pertwee being quite old when I was a kid, he was probably only 27 or something – people just looked older back then.

Anyway here’s a clip of Peter Capaldi swearing an awful lot in The Thick of It. Probably not great to watch in front of your 8 year old Doctor Who loving son.

The 11 Doctors

1. William Hartnell (1963-1966)

2. Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)

3. Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)

4. Tom Baker (1974-1981)

5. Peter Davison – pictured (1982-1984)

6. Colin Baker (1984-1986)

7. Sylvester McCoy (1987-1996)

8. Paul McGann (1996)

9. Christopher Eccleston (2005)

10. David Tennant (2005-2010)

11. Matt Smith (2010 – 2013)

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Arctic MonkeysWell as you know all too well the BBC were all over this year’s Glastonbury and today released a few stats about its coverage:

A record 1.5 million unique browsers – an increase of 98 per cent from the last Glastonbury in 2011, this means that not only was there more coverage, there were more people enjoying that coverage.

The Rolling Stones’ performance was the most requested Glastonbury programme with around 700,000 requests (TV and radio) – the most requests for any programme that day. The Arctic Monkeys were second with 379,681 requests on Friday and 163,650 requests for Mumford And Sons on Sunday.

There was a YouTube broadcast available which claimed around 1 million views with the most popular being The Pyramid Stage with 635k requests.

There were also quite a few video clips available with some of the most popular being Jake Bugg’s ‘Lightening Bolt’ with 70,580 requests, followed by Rita Ora’s ‘RIP’ with 39,280 requests.

The Arctic Monkeys saw more mobile and tablet requests (59 per cent of overall traffic) than any other performance. So now you know what your licence fee is spent on…


Tablets overtake smart phones for TV and radio catch up on BBC iPlayer

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

iplayer-stats-march-2013.jpgIt’s not exactly surprising, but for the first time the BBC iPlayer TV and radio catch-up app has received more streaming requests from tablets than from smartphones.

Revealed during the BBC’s monthly BBC iPlayer performance review, March 2013 saw 200,000 more requests come in tablets than from smartphones, echoing the rise in tablet adoption and the given that watching TV on a device 7-inches and above is always going to be preferable to squinting at a smartphone screen. Unless you have one of those Samsung Mega beasts anyway.

The iPlayer continues to be one of the most popular catch-up services in town, taking in 272 million streaming requests over March. 81 million requests (or 30% overall) came from mobile and tablet devices.

Top shows included the Top Gear: Africa Special and and Comic Relief 2013, while the radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere became one of the rare shows that wasn’t a Radio 4 comedy to top the radio playback lists.

Click here for more iPlayer stats.

Via Tech Digest

Get points on your Tesco Clubcard – watch ClubcardTV for free (with personalised adverts)

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

tesco clubcard tvIs this the future of TV? Tesco has announced a deal with BBC Worldwide which will enable its Clubcard customers to watch programmes such as Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Goodness Gracious Me and Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression for free.

The agreement, which also includes shows featuring star chefs Antonio Carluccio, Ken Hom and Gary Rhodes, will see hours of BBC Worldwide content made available to its 16 million Clubcard members via the ad supported service. As well as comedies and cookery shows the service will also features dramas such as Carrie’s War and Blackpool and children’s classics Stig of the Dump and The Secret Garden.

Clubcard TV has been developed by the team behind the Tesco movie and TV service blinkbox and, rather cleverly, is supported by targeted advertising based on users’ shopping habits. Wow – that’s clever, if a little sinister.

Says Scott Deutrom, MD Clubcard TV, said: “With this deal we’re adding a raft of new TV titles to our expanding catalogue, providing access to even more great digital entertainment in a way that’s easy and accessible for customers.”

Lisa Rousseau, Head of UK, Ireland and Pan European Television Sales, BBC Worldwide, said: “We’re thrilled to have concluded such an extensive deal with Clubcard TV which will offer their customers a rich range of fantastic British content.”

Tesco is the first retailer in the UK to reward its customers with their own online movie and TV service. Content spanning comedy, drama, kids TV, romance, thrillers and documentaries is on offer with no charges, contracts or subscriptions.

Peter Kay’s Car Share first series to air on BBC iPlayer before BBC 1

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Peter KayTV programmes that premier online before TV look set to become a real trend this year. For in the wake of the Netflix House Of Cards exclusive the BBC has just announced that that a new sitcom from Peter Kay called Car Share  will premiere on BBC iPlayer.

You will be able to see it online before it makes its way to BBC One. This makes it the first  first-ever series to premiere on BBC iPlayer in its entirety before a linear transmission.

The series, which has been created by Tim Reid and Paul Coleman, Car Share is directed by and stars Peter and Sian Gibson, who play John and Kayleigh who have been thrown together in a company car share scheme, as they journey to their respective jobs at a major out-of-town supermarket.

Just like Kay’s classic C4 Phoenix Nights series Car Share is set and will be filmed in the north-west.

Peter Kay says about the series: “To be finally working with the BBC on a new comedy is a great opportunity. And the idea of two people car sharing to work each day really appealed to me, as it highlights the comedy in the minutiae of the daily trek and allows the spiralling conversations of life to unwind in all of their glory.”

Windows Phone users to get BBC iPlayer. Over 600 mobile devices can now receive Beeb content.

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Nokia-Lumia-800-iplayer-400px.jpgThe BBC iPlayer app will soon be available to Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5 users.

The app will act as shortcut application available through the Windows Phone Store, making iPlayer available as a Live Tile, wrapping both the iPlayer website and dedicated Media Player software needed to run it together.

Windows Phone users will still be missing out on features available to Apple’s iOS devices however. Not only have iOS users had a dedicated iPlayer app since 2011, they now also have the option of saving shows for offline playback – something that will be missing from the Windows Phone versions upon release.

“We will be releasing a shortcut to BBC iPlayer in the near future which will be available in the Windows Phone Store, enabling the BBC iPlayer website to work on Windows Phone 7.5 and 8 via a live tile,” said Cyrus Saihan, head of Business Development, BBC Future Media.

“Working with the industry in ways like this helps our digital services reach more of the UK’s online population and gives our audiences ever increasing ways to access BBC services.”

The move will bring the number of devices that the BBC iPlayer app is available to to well over 650.

Via Tech Digest

See the amazing new trailer for Brian Cox’s Wonders Of Life

Friday, December 28th, 2012

As BBC2 prepares to roll out their new series Wonders Of Life, it has released an amazing trailer for the show.

The 5-part programme will follow Professor Brian Cox as he travels the globe exploring the story of life on Earth through physics. The programme is a remarkable co-production with Chinese broadcaster CCTV-9, the first time the BBC science unit has teamed up with the state-run channel.

The trailer runs for 3½ minutes and features clips from the programme soundtracked by an updated version of ‘The Universe Song’ from Monty Python’s film The Meaning Of Life. It features Python Eric Idle (who wrote the song) singing new lyrics about the history of the universe.

Wonders Of Life starts in January 2013, you can see the trailer below.

Wiggins wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, wears double-breasted Mark Powell suit

Monday, December 17th, 2012


It seemed a pretty much done deal last night that Tour de France/Olympic Time Trial Champion would win the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year. So in this parish at least it was as much about the suit he chose to wore as it was scooping the award.

Wiggins plumped for a bespoke velvet (very on trend) double-breasted suit made by Soho tailor Mark Powell. Wiggins has worn a lot of Powell’s clothes before – at the GQ awards in September, for example, he wore another Powell double breasted suit this time in grey.

Powell is a London-based tailor who has made bespoke suits for among others – George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Mick Jagger and David Bowie. Powell has worked with brands in the past including M&S and has recently launched a collection of eyewear. He says of the eyewear

‘My new ready-to-wear range, comprising 12 styles, is very retro but with a contemporary twist. A lot of designers are doing this at the moment, but mine is a nicer version.’

But then he could say that about his suits too.

If you do fancy one Powell has a ready to wear range, including some rather lovely double breasted jackets here.

Images PA, BBC

BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012

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Sports Personality of the Year: Who’ll win is anyone’s guess

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Every other year the winner of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the year is fairly easy to spot. Usually there has been little of no British sporting success and so all anyone has to do is come second in something and they are a shoe-in to win. This year, though, is very obviously a different kettle of fish.

Normally Andy Murray’s Grand Slam win or Rory McIlroy’s PGA victory would see either of them walk SPOTY, but they are up against Olympic gold medal winners including Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Nicola Adams, Ben Ainslie, Katherine Grainger, Sir Chris Hoy and Paralympic champions Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey and David Weir. A ridiculous wealth of competition.

Our pick to take the title, however, is gold medal Olympian AND winner of the Tour De France Bradley Wiggins. In a year of unparalleled British sporting achievement Wiggins’ achievement is all the more remarkable and surely should be recognised.

Team GB, we also reckon, will take the team award so Wiggo will get another two titles to decorate his already-stuffed mantelpiece.

Sports Personality of the Year is on this Sunday at 7:30PM on BBC1. It is presented by Gary Lineker, Claire Balding and Sue Barker and is broadcast live from London ExCel Arena.

BBC and ITV confirm their Christmas Day schedules

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Although these days there are a million TV channels and programmes can be recorded or viewed on catch-up with ease, there is still a great deal of interest in what the BBC and ITV have got planned for us on Christmas Day. Well today we found out.

The BBC lead with the now-traditional Doctor Who special ‘The Snowmen’ at 5:15PM (featuring the introduction proper of new assistant Jenna-Louise Coleman) and then a special edition of Strictly Come Dancing.

The big clash of the night is at 8:45 when the BBC have put a festive edition of Call The Midwife against the Xmas Downton Abbey. Downton will win that one.

Then everyone will switch back to BBC1 at 9:45 for the Royle Family Xmas special, which apparently feature Dave (Craig Cash) pitching an idea on Dragons’ Den.

Earlier in the day ITV have a cartoon double bill either side of the Queen’s speech with Toy Story and Tangled. And then a You’ve Been Framed Christmas special and something called Paul O’Grady’s For The Love Of Dogs, which sounds awful.

Elsewhere, the BBC have Boxing Day Xmas specials of unfunny comedy Miranda and even-unfunnier Mrs Brown’s Boys and the final ever Merlin will be shown on Christmas Eve.

New BBC Red button options lets you catch up with off-air channels

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The BBC has launched a new Connected Red Button service.

Hitting Virgin Media’s TiVo box first, it adds a host of new functionality to the established digital TV feature.

First up, the new Connected Red Button will let you catch programmes on channels that are off-air, including the BBC children’s channels, BBC Three and BBC Four, day and night.

Catch-up TV comes baked in, letting you hit the red button to be offered up previous episodes of the show currently being watched, taking advantage of the TiVo’s web connected features. Sporting coverage gets similar features, with extended clips and coverage available through the red button.

Finally, news, headlines and weather reports get expanded for the new red button service too, offering details at a glance at a press of the button.

“With today’s launch of BBC Connected Red Button, the BBC is seamlessly bringing the Internet together with live TV, while making the technology completely invisible”, said Daniel Danker, General Manager, BBC Programmes and On-Demand.

“This is red button reinvented, and the beginning of the exciting future of television.”

Victoria Jaye, Head of IPTV & TV Online Content, added: “With BBC Connected Red Button, we’re starting with the TV audience who love our broadcast output and we’re curating online content on the big screen in ways that add value to their TV viewing. The audience can sit back and relax – the internet just made TV better.”

Virgin Media’s Executive Director of Digital Entertainment Cindy Rose was glad that her team could offer the service ahead of competitors:

“The BBC understands as passionately as we do how important connected television is for home entertainment. We’re delighted the BBC is working with us to launch another milestone in interactive services. Our commitment to this partnership of innovation means Virgin Media TiVo customers are the first to experience the latest interactive services at the press of a button.”

The Beeb’s new Red Button service will be rolling out to other connected sets and devices next year, with Sir Alan Sugar’s YouView boxes expected to be next to receive the update.

Via Tech Digest

Have I Got News For You makes another attempt to break US TV

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

British TV institution Have I Got News For You has been piloted in a third attempt to sell the show to the US.


The BBC show, which features long-term team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, has been made by production company Hat Trick since 1990. They have made two previous unsuccessful attempts to get an American version of the show off the ground and now a third pilot, featuring talk radio presenter Sam Seder as host, has been made for US station TBS.


Hat Trick boss Jimmy Mulville tweeted: “It’s the third pilot made for US TV. Hopefully, third time lucky.”


The US pilot was shot last weekend in New York but there are no plans to show it on UK TV

Jeremy Clarkson rakes in a fortune as he sells out to the BBC

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Jeremy ‘Jezza’ Clarkson has reportedly pocketed £15 million from the sale of his production company to the BBC.

Clarkson owned 30% of the firm Bedder 6 which makes Top Gear and owns the worldwide sales rights. The BBC already owned 50% of the company and the purchase of Clarkson’s share leaves 20% in the hands of Top Gear producer Andy Willman.

It’s also been confirmed that Clarkson and co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond will continue to host the show for at least the next 3 years. Jezza will also continue to make money from the sale of Top Gear products like DVDs and pocket an annual wage of £350,000. Clarkson is quoted by the Sun as saying: “I’ve got the best job in the world. Why would I leave?” Quite.

Sherlock ‘remake’ Elementary is coming to the UK but do we really want it?

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Since the BBC reinvented Sherlock Holmes for the small screen there have rumours about a US version set in the modern day. Now it’s here.

Elementary stars Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock and Lucy Lui (yes, Lucy Lui) as Watson and is set in current day New York. Similarities to the UK’s Sherlock, with Benedict ‘I look like an Otter’ Cumberbatch and Martin ‘Bilbo’ Freeman, are entirely coincidental, though, if the makers of the US version are to be believed.

It seems that the producers of Elementary, CBS, approached the makers of Sherlock, Hartswood Films, about a possible US remake based on the BBC’s Sherlock a couple of years ago but talks came to nought. Now CBS have got their own modern version and anyone who says they nicked the idea is clearly a fool.

Holmes has, of course been updated and brought into the modern world before (like when he fought Nazis in the 40’s film versions starring Basil Rathbone) but to have two very similar high profile updates so close together smacks a teeny bit of copying, don’t you think?

Anyway, Elementary starts this week in the US and will be shown on Sky Living in the UK very soon so you can make up your own mind which one is better (clue: it’s Sherlock, easily). Here’s a not-very-inspiring trailer for Elementary.

Sir Jimmy Savile’s huge headstone unveiled – it’s also available on Kindle

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Since his death in October last year, Sir Jimmy Savile’s grave at Scarborough has been unmarked. This is because he requested that to be buried at a 45 degree angle (so he would be looking at the sea?!?!) and so his family had to wait until the land to settle before his stone could be laid. And now we can see why – it’s enormous!

The triptych stone features 2 pictures, a cross, family details, a list of Sir Jim’ll’s achievements and a sort-of poem written by the man himself. It even has another section of text on the back, which lead to some wag on Twitter joking that the headstone is also available for Kindle.

The stone cost £4,000 so it’s a shame that the makers didn’t spot the misspelling of chieftain on the right hand stone. Someone will be getting a slapped wrist for that one.

In other Savile news (amazing, isn’t it, that a bloke who died 11 months ago is still making news?) ITV are to air a documentary that he sexually assaulted young girls during the 70’s and 80’s. His friends are denying the claims.

Gary Lineker appeals to Simon Cowell to do the right thing

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

For the past few years one of the later live shows of the X Factor has aired at the same time as the Sports Personality of the Year. Both shows have suffered reduced ratings as a result. With 2012 being a landmark year for British sport, SPOTY host Gary Lineker has taken matters into his own hands by tweeting X Factor boss Simon Cowell directly to appeal to him to avoid a schedule clash.

Lineker tweeted: “Be a lovely gesture and mark of respect to our wonderful athletes if X Factor didn’t run against SPOTY. What do you think @SimonCowell?”

There was no response from Cowell but Lineker later retweeted a message from Mirror journalist Mark Jefferies which said: “Good news @GaryLineker and sport fans, I’ve been told by ITV spokesman there’s “no chance” X Factor will clash with SPOTY.”

How the clash will be avoided has still not been revealed and there has been no official statement from either the BBC or ITV so the stand off may yet happen. Watch this space….

Bruce Forsyth and Louis Walsh capture valuable headlines with pointless feud

Friday, September 14th, 2012

With X Factor struggling in the ratings and the new series of Strictly Come Dancing launching tomorrow, both shows need is to grab as many tabloid pages as possible to increase ratings. If only there was some way that they could do that. What’s that you say? There is? Wonderful.

Apparently, a couple of years ago, Strictly host Bruce ‘Brucie, nice to see you, good game, what do points make, not in this game, I’m in charge, hands off the wig’ Forsyth had some kind of war of words with X Factor ‘judge’ Louis ‘Louis, Louis, woah, we got to go now’ Walsh and they have decided to reignite it just in time for both of their programmes to get a tabloid boost. What fortuitous timing.

We won’t spoil your tea by going into too many details but it seems Louis thinks Bruce should retire and Bruce thinks Louis is a bizarrely coiffured idiot who’s over-reliance on botox has left him looking like a shiny-faced weirdo. Or something like that. We’re paraphrasing, obviously.

Who’s right, who’s wrong, who cares, what will happen next in this facile, manufactured war? Find out in the next exciting episode of TV Scoop.

Strictly Come Dancing 2012: Your guide to the celebrities

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

And so it’s back, the hugely popular (but terribly titled) Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 for a new run this Saturday.

This year’s line up of hot-footing slebs is the usual mix of sports stars, soap stars and TV presenters and, as always, the judges include Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Len Goodman but this year ITV-defecting Alesha Dixon will be replaced by actual dancer, ballet star Darcey Bussell. Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly are back as hosts and Claudia Winkleman and Zoe Ball will be running the spin-off show.

Here are the runners and riders and their chances of winning:

Denise Van Outen

The former Big Breakfast weather girl has proven herself very adaptable so will no doubt make a decent fist of it. Her extended stint in the musical Chicago will also have honed her hoofing skills.

Sid Owen

Ex-Eastender (or is he still in it? We can’t remember) Ricky, sorry, Sid will bring a fair dose of cheeky Cock-er-ney charm but will he be able to dance? We doubt it. He’ll likely prove to be the SCD equivalent of his ex cast mate Todd Carty on Dancing On Ice – i.e. rubbish

Victoria Pendleton

The Olympic cyclist is as fit as you can get so she’ll have no worries with her stamina. But can she do anything without her bike?

Kimberley Walsh

When she was in Girls Aloud she had to frug around in videos a bit but this is in a whole different league, we reckon Kimberley will struggle.

Dani Harmer

Who? She used to be Tracy Beaker. Oh. Who’s Tracy Beaker? Never mind, just leave it.

Fern Britton

Ex ‘This Morning’ couch dweller, now disparately-employed, thinner TV presenter. She will try very hard, cry occasionally and be lovely. But she won’t win.

Louis Smith

Another Olympic fitty, Louis’ gymnast training will stand him in great stead for all the twisty turny stuff. Should be amongst the winners.

Jerry Hall

Former squeeze of Mick Jagger and Bryan Ferry, Jerry is – ahem – an older lady but we think she’ll bring a touch of Texan class to proceedings.

Colin Salmon

Actor. Was in a Bond film. And some telly stuff. We haven’t a clue. Can you tell?

Johnny Ball

Legend. Say his name to anyone over 35 and they will go misty-eyed remembering the avuncular bloke who made maths fun on the telly. Should win simply because he has the bottle to do the show in the first place.

Lisa Riley

Ex Emmerdale, Ex You’ve Been Framed – expect lots of crying, tales of dancing causing weight loss, a twisted ankle and early retirement from the competition. You heard it here first.

Michael Vaughan

You would expect the former England cricketer to do well as sportspeople normally do, but with 2 Olympians in the line-up he may well be demoted to second fiddle.

Nicky Byrne

Was in Westlife, who’s entire dance routines consisted of them getting off a stool when the key change kicked in. Not a great grounding is it?

Richard Arnold

Think ‘skinny Russell Grant’.

The Thick Of It is back! Here’s the trailer

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

After a couple of years off TV, during which time the creative team made a film (In The Loop) and a major US series (Veep), The Thick of it is back for its fourth series.

The magnificent political satire has not been on our screens since before the election of the coalition government so this new 7-part series covers just that and the new trailer, which you can see below is call ‘Coalition’.

All the major characters – Peter Mannion (Roger Allam), Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front) and TV’s greatest swearer Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) – return and this time the humour looks set to be derived from the major parties struggling with being forced to work together. Should be great stuff.

The series starts on BBC2 on September the 8th. Here’s the trailer.

BBC2 announces 2 new sitcoms and the return of Bottom

Friday, August 24th, 2012

BBC2 are planning to strengthen their comedy out put by reprising Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson’s classic sitcom Bottom as well as producing new efforts by Mitchell and Webb and stand up/ conductor/ bake show host Sue Perkins.

There hasn’t been a new series of Bottom since 1995 but now Richard Richard and Edward Hitler will return in a 6-part adaptation of their vintage stage show ‘Hooligan’s Island.

David Mitchell and Robert Webb will appear in Our Men, about a pair of British embassy officials in Tazbekistan and Sue Perkins’ show will be about a gay vet who is struggling to come out to her parents so her friends give her an ultimatum.

The new (and old) shows were announced by BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow at the Edinburgh TV Festival.