Samsung have added Channel 4’s 4oD catch-up TV service to their range of connected Smart TVs.
Available through Samsung Apps, the company’s Smart TV service portal, 4oD offers thirty days worth of recently-broadcast content from the likes of Channel 4 and More 4, alongside archive content.
Shows like BrassEye and Peep Show are all available to be viewed on demand.
“We’re pleased to be able to extend the availability of 4oD, our successful video on demand service, to Samsung’s Smart TVs as we continue to widen the reach of Channel 4 content onto key platforms,” said Sarah Milton, head of video on demand at Channel 4.
“Smart TV owners will now be able to catch up with recent popular Channel 4 programmes and access many shows from Channel 4’s vast archive spanning 30 years of broadcasting – on demand via their television.”
The app is available to all Samsung Smart TVs released in 2012, or newer.
The announcement follows a similar move by Sky, who also recently added 4oD to their catch-up TV offering.
It’s probably the most hyped archaeological dig since dinosaur fossils were first unearthed, but the long-lost remains of King Richard III have been identified by archaeologists at the University of Leicester “beyond reasonable doubt” – much to Channel 4’s delight as they plan to screen a documentary about it tonight.
The remains were found last year exhumed from under a car park near where the king’s body was thought to be lost. Suspicions over the identity of the skeletal remains were initially raised based on the curvature of the skeleton’s spine and battle wounds consistent with historical accounts of Richard III’s death way back in 1485, as well as the nature of the burial.
Now a team led by Richard Buckley has used extensive radio carbon dating and DNA analysis comparisons with the king’s living descendants to confirm that the remains are in fact those of Richard III, ending a 500-year mystery as to the location of his final resting place.
Descendants used in the DNA testing included four living males, as well as a sample from Michael Ibsen, a Canadian-born carpenter and 17th generation descendent of the king’s sister.
The team were also able to ascertain that the late king was killed between his late 20s and early 30s, further details that correlate with historical accounts, as well as signs of scoliosis and the ten points of battle-inflicted trauma that was said to have caused his death.
Richard III’s death occurred at the conclusion of two years reign over Britain from 1483 to 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth. It marked the end of the War of the Roses and, for many academics, the closure of the medieval period. However, in modern times Richard III has become best known as depicted by William Shakespeare, one of the Renaissance playwright’s most vile historical villains.
The remains will now be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral, close to the Greyfriars site where he was first discovered. The cathedral will also house a new monument to the king, and is expected to become a tourist hotspot.
Richard III: The King in the Car Park, Channel 4 tonight (February 4th), 9pm
LoveFilm Instant’s catalogue of on-demand streaming titles gets a boost today with the announcement of a new content deal with Channel 4.
The Amazon-owned streaming service will now offer its members access to choice cuts from Channel 4’s 4oD online TV archive, including shows such as Peep Show (right), Father Ted, The Inbetweeners and Friday Night Dinner.
Older shows such as BAFTA award-winning Drop the Dead Donkey, drama Queer As Folk, and all four series of Teachers will also be available.
“Our TV offering has gone from strength to strength and this deal will bring even more iconic British content to the service,” said Jim Buckle, Managing Director at LOVEFiLM. “We’re proud to offer more diverse and exciting instant television programming to our members than any other subscription service.”
The new 4oD content will be housed in a branded collection on the LoveFilm Instant service, and will expand over time to include more Channel 4 TV shows including Shameless and The IT Crowd in their entireties.
“We’re very proud of our rich archive of shows on 4oD and we’re delighted to find another platform for many of them on LOVEFiLM,” Sarah Rose, Director of Commercial & Business Development at Channel 4 added
“Our growing mix of classic comedy, drama and documentary spanning 30 years of broadcasting, complements LOVEFiLM’s already diverse range of great programmes and films.”
‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ sang Andy Williams sang of Xmas. It’s certainly the best time of the year for TV ads. Traditionally, the big firms pull out all the stops in an attempt to grab attention in the build up to the festive period. Big budgets, big stars and big piles of fake snow are the order of the day when it comes to creating convincing the public to open their wallets.
Here are 10 of the best:
Coca Cola ‘Holiday’s are coming’
While Coca Cola isn’t Christmassy per se, we should remember that we have them to thank for Santa Claus being red and white. Per Noel had, in fact, generally been pictured in green or brown before Coke’s ad men got hold of him. This ad ran for quite a few years, mainly thanks to its horribly addictive tune.
Toys R Us ‘Magical Place’
Another one with a diabolically memorable earworm of a tune. Maybe music is the key to a great Xmas ad?
John Lewis Xmas 2011
John Lewis have now created a tradition of making mini-features for their Xmas ads, emotion-filled short films with a touching message. This year it’s a glove-buying snowman, last year it was this blub-causer.
Irn Bru Snowman Ad
Funny, clever and affectionate – If only all Xmas ads were as fantastic as this one.
Ferrero Rocher ‘The Ambassador’s Reception’
Yeah, we know, we didn’t realise this was a Christmas ad either. But not only is it a Christmas ad it’s probably the only one on the list that was shown outside of the festive period and that has become a cultural touchstone. That big pile of foil-covered sweets has been seen in everything from Father Ted to Little Britain and the line ‘with these Ferrero Rocher you are really spoiling us’ has entered the language.
Marks & Spencer ‘Xmas wouldn’t be Xmas without…’
M& S must have spent a small fortune on this campaign featuring numerous expensive-looking celebs expounding its virtues.
John Lewis 2007 ‘Shadows’
This very clever ad could have worked at any time of year but there was just something Christmassy about the concept.
Yellow Pages ‘Mistletoe’
Super-cute, super-schmaltzy, super-Christmassy.
Woolworths ‘Cracking Christmas’
Back when Woollies was still a thing they used to corral the big TV stars of the day and film then merrily gambolling around that year’s hot gifts while a terrible tune played in the background. It was the beginning of the end, probably.
No stars, no big budget, just a decent song and a Christmassy feel. Warms the cockles, dunnit?
It doesn’t sound promising, does it? Gok Wan hosting a Blind Date-style dating show where desperate singletons tell prospective dates about their faults in the hope of getting a snog? Well, that’s the premise of ‘Baggage’, which starts this Friday on Channel 4.
The eight part series will see contestants open suitcases containing details of one of their character flaws. The luggage gets bigger with each round, as does the flaw. The potential date then chooses which of the contestants he dislikes the least and they go for dinner. Or something.
It’s all a bit tawdry and harks back to the days when Channel 4 used to fill Friday night with the likes of the ‘I’d do anything to get on TV’ slot on The Word and that other awful thing that Denise Van Outen used to present which featured penises.
For those of you thinking ‘Oh, no. It’ll be fun. I like that nice Gok Wan and it all sounds like a harmless lark’, take a look at the clip below taken from the US version of the show, hosted by Jerry Springer. It shows women eating butter, glue and dirt while a man tries not to vomit – if that doesn’t convince you this thing will be dreadful then, frankly, you need treatment.
Tonight sees the start of Mad Week on Channel 4, when it shows a series of programmes looking at attitudes to mental health. This being Channel 4, though, the shows are generally celeb-fronted and appear light-hearted.
First up tonight at 10PM, depression-sufferer Ruby Wax follows a number of successful business people as they reveal their illness to employers, family and friends in Ruby Wax’s Mad Confessions.
Then on Tuesday at 10, sand up comic Jon Richardson presents A Little Bit OCD, where he meets numerous OCD sufferers and discovers more about the condition.
Wednesday at 10 brings the World’s Maddest Job Interview, which finds 8 people with serious mental health issues interviewed and assessed by a panel of business experts (including Apprentice job interview hatchet man Claude Littner) to try and see if their condition affects their work ability.
And finally, on Thursday at 10 is Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder: The Big Clear Out. Here, OCD sufferer and extreme hoarder Richard Wallace tries to rid himself of as many of his pointless possessions as possible.
All the programmes sound great, interesting and (worryingly) a little like the sort of thing Chris Morris would have been lampooning a mad TV of the future a few years ago. Here’s hoping the gimmickier-sounding of these shows are handled sensitively.
When the BBC announced that they were dropping Sunday food/ chat/ clip show Something For The Weekend most viewers were either relieved or indifferent. It had pretty much had its day and the prospect of a Sunday without Louise Redknapp’s woeful interview technique, Simon Rimmer’s half-hearted recipes and Tim Lovejoy’s hackneyed chumminess seemed very attractive.
Sadly Channel 4 have bought the programme (most of it, anyway) and a renamed version launches this Sunday at 10AM. Sunday Brunch – as it’s artlessly dubbed – still features Lovejoy and Rimmer but Redkapp has mercifully been jettisoned and it remains to be seen how many (if any) of the other regular contributors survive the jump.
Apparently the programme will still feature cooking, interviews and clips but presumably it will now also require ad breaks, which means it goes from being dull to being dull with added dull bits. Maybe the channel hop will rejuvenate the show and bring a bit more zip and zing to proceedings but, more likely, the law of diminishing returns will exact itself and the show will peter out again fairly soon.
With new Ricky Gervais’s new sitcom pilot ‘Derek’ due to air at a BAFTA screening next week, we wonder why commissioners Channel 4 appear so reluctant to simply order a full series.
The pilot features Gervais as Derek, a care home worker described as ‘a tender, innocent man whose love for his job and the people he cares for shines through. He’s 49 years old and loves animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, Deal or No Deal, Million Pound Drop and Britain’s Got Talent – but his main hobby is autograph hunting’. The show also features Karl Pilkington, in his first acting role, and (reportedly) Sean Connery.
So, with Gervais’s sitcom history and a big name cast, this would seem to be a significant opportunity for Channel 4 to score a sure-fire hit – why are they dragging their feet in only making a pilot?
In a statement the channel say: ‘Channel 4 is very excited to be working with Ricky Gervais on this new project and it’s wrong to say we have rejected a series. The pilot will be on TV in April and then there’ll be further discussions about the potential for a full series.’
However, after the critical disaster of Gervais’s last sitcom ‘Life’s Too Short’ and (relatively) poor audience figures it would appear either that Channel 4 have slightly cold feet about what would be a major series for them or that Gervais himself wants feedback before he commits to another less-than-popular project.
You get chance to decide for yourselves as the pilot airs on Channel 4 in next month.
As CIA/ Al-Qaeda/ is he?/ isn’t he? political drama Homeland passes its fourth episode of series 1 on Channel 4, we’ve been looking at opinion to see how we all think its doing. Is it a gripping thriller that takes the viewer on a white-knuckle ride through a post-9/11 America or is it a Lost-style sham, dropping just enough into each episode to keep ratings buoyant?
Homeland – for those of you who have series-linked the first few episodes and are still prevaricating about watching it – is the story of an American soldier (Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody) who has returned to the US from imprisonment in Iraq and the counter-terrorism CIA officer Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison) charged with his post-kidnap care. The big question is whether or not Brody has been brain-washed by his Al-Qaeda captors and is actually a double agent intent on destroying America from the inside. The show has won many awards in the US, where it also received a very positive critical response. It was bought by Channel 4 in the UK after bosses saw the first few episodes and were convinced of the show’s quality.
Many viewers, though, are less sure of the series with many on social networks saying that episodes 2 and 3 were a little lacklustre and others threatening to quit the show if the plot doesn’t coalesce soon. Some have compared it to desert island show Lost which won a massive initial audience but kept viewers tagged along for so many series that it ‘lost’ all credibility – frustrating more than it entertained. UK audience figures for Homeland have been steady, at around 2 million per episode, so it would seem that (for the time being at least) most are gripped enough to stay with it.
Advance word from the US is that episode 7 is a ‘watershed’ and it was then that reception of the show became 100% positive – so, will you be sticking with it?
The Gambling Commission is investigating Channel 4’s daytime quiz show Deal Or No Deal after a complaint that it breaks betting law. Game shows that contain no skill on the part of the competitor are considered gambling and must be licensed accordingly. If this is found to be the case then the show would also have to be shown in a later time slot.
But did anyone really ever believe that being on the show demanded any skill? Only the competitors (who have to live together cult-style for a week and so have cabin fever) and the studio audience (who are locked in a room with Noel Edmonds for hours on end and therefore inevitably traumatised) seem to think that randomly picking numbers and choosing to stick or twist is the work of a strategic genius. Surely the viewing public are sensible enough to spot an elaborate guessing game when they see one?
If the Gambling Commission do decide (after 7 years on air) that the whole shebang is against the law it could have consequences for other shows like Red or Black, which is also just a guessing game.
Peter Bazalgette, the owner of show creator Endemol, defended the programme by saying: ‘It would be very strange if the UK suddenly decided you couldn’t have Deal or No Deal on air.’ Not as strange, Pete, as the resurgence in Edmonds’ career that Deal Or No Deal provided. Proof, if it were needed, that we live in a strange world indeed.
Tonight Channel 4 shows the 50th Anniversary Secret Policeman’s Ball, recorded at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The show features the likes of Russell Brand, Jimmy Carr, Noel Fielding, Micky Flanagan, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart and Jack Whitehall, but can it stand up to some the great ball’s of the past?
Here are a few clips from yester-balls to help you decide:
Rowan Atkinson gives a masterful performance by simply reading the register.
Natalie Imbruglia shows she’s a game gal when she encounters a mime.
Classic slapstick Monty Python.
Tim Minchin stands up for his race.
Peter Cook plays E.L. Wisty and bores the pants off John Cleese.
Russell Brand in typically reserved form.
Considered by many to be the Secret Policeman’s Ball’s greatest ever sketch (but unfathomable to anyone under 40), the judge sums up in the Jeremy Thorpe murder case.
With new Countdown host Nick Hewer set to shoot a week of shows next week with former Apprentice counterpart Margaret Mountford in dictionary corner, we thought we’d take the opportunity to look back at some of TV’s most popular double acts and see if there’s any chance of them getting back together for one last job.
Newman & Baddiel
Who? – 1990’s ‘Comedy is the new rock n roll’ arena filling pairing. Started on the Mary Whitehouse Experience, ended up arguing about dressing room size.
Chances of a reunion? – Apparently they still don’t get on, so not great.
Fry & Laurie
Who? – Cambridge educated brain box pairing who made several critically successful series in the 80’s and 90’s. Since gone onto become (respectively) the Greatest Living Englishman and a massive worldwide TV star in a show hardly watched in the UK.
Chances of a reunion? – They’re still best mates (Fry is godfather to Laurie’s kids) so you never know.
Adrian Chiles & Christine Bleakley
Who? – ITV’s one-time breakfast golden couple were poached form the Beeb in a mind-bogglingly expensive deal only to find themselves kicked off their flagship show after only a few months of bad ratings. Not been seen together in public since.
Chances of a reunion? – Do they need it? Chiles is doing his footie and chat show, Bleakley is presenting Dancing On Ice with serial co-presenter Pip Schofield. Can’t see them teaming up again soon.
French & Saunders
Who? – Comic Strip alumni who have had innumerable sketch show and sitcom successes.
Chances of a reunion? – Virtually guaranteed, just wait until next Xmas.
Reeves & Mortimer
Who? – Surrealist mirth mongers recently dropped by the BBC for still unexplained reasons.
Chances of a reunion? – Vic and Bob are the best of friends and neither has flourished in solo projects. Expect more daftness from them soon.
Noel Fielding & Julian Barratt
Who? – Mighty Boosh team who haven’t worked together since the last series ended 5 years ago.
Chances of a reunion? – Fielding’s recent Luxury Comedy show sunk during its first episode and Barratt has only taken a few acting roles of late. Might be high time for them to get back to booshing.
Steptoe and Son
Who? – Odd couple father and son rag-and-bone men who both died many years ago.
A Countdown contestant prompted guffaws among Countdown’s mostly elderly crowd when he used the word “w***er” to win a round. IT consultant Mark Murphy left new host Nick Hewer red-faced when he submitted the slang word for someone who masturbates after being presented with the letters R,A,E,P,K,W,A, E, N.
Nick quickly asked competitor Nick Evans for his word – Weakener – which was then rejected because he had mistakenly used an extra E. So Hewer turned to dictionary corner and quipped: “Where does Mark stand on this?”, prompting words expert Susie Dent to reply: “He stands absolutely fine, it’s in the dictionary.”
A Channel 4 spokesperson said they tried not to cause any offense in the afternoon slot by bleeping out the profanity and not having Rachel Riley present it after the round as is normally done.
They said: A Channel 4 spokesman said: “The word was bleeped out and not shown on the board to ensure the programme is suitable for its daytime audience.”
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the definition of the word as: “British vulgar slang. A contemptible person (used as a generalised term of abuse).”
It is not the first time the word has been submitted as an answer on the show. Two contestants both submitted “w***ers” as their answer in a 1981 episode, while it featured again in 2008.
In 2003, dictionary corner guest also offered it as an alternative to the answers given by contestants.
She joked: “I wouldn’t have thought it was in the dictionary but it is in there and we all know what it means so I think we better move on.”
In November 2010, Channel 4 ordered a round to be filmed again after a contestant tried to submit the word “s**tface”. And in December 2010 a contestant submitted ‘Large Baps’ – see here.
Ricky Gervais is set to sign a deal with Channel 4. The 50-year-old comic has filmed a pilot for a new sitcom for the network and is said to be “very pleased” with the show, which has a working title of Derek.
Channel 4 chief Jay hunt is reportedly “thrilled” with the show, which is set in an old people’s home and features Ricky as elderly and confused resident Derek Noakes. The show features the comic’s sidekick Karl Pilkington in his debut acting role and is expected to feature a series of guest stars, including the likes of Sir Sean Connery.
The proposed move to Channel 4 comes after Ricky’s last series, Life’s Too Short – which starred Warwick Davies – was a ratings flop for the BBC in comparison to the funnyman’s previous shows The Office and Extras.
A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “There have been many meetings in a bid to discover why it missed the mark. No one really knows. Some you win, some you lose.”
Despite recording the pilot, Channel 4 executives insist they have not yet commissioned Derek for a full series.
A spokesperson said: “This is a continuation of our relationship with Ricky Gervais.”
The sixth series of Skins will feature “moral ambiguity, high drama and comedy.”
The E4 teen drama – which begins filming today (21.07.11) – will be written by a team of young British writers and teen contributors including Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless), Jack Lothian (Ashes to Ashes), Skins novelist Jess Brittain and new young writer Laura Hunter.
Camilla Campbell, Channel 4 Head of Drama, said: “I am delighted that the sixth series of Skins is now underway. Having set up this new set of characters in the previous series, we can now go into more depth as to where their stories take us.
“With moral ambiguity, high drama, as well as a strong dose of comedy, Skins six will not disappoint.”
John Griffin, executive producer, added: “We’re hugely excited about the fantastic mix of writers we have for Skins this year, some of whom are first time screen writers.
“They’ve spent the past few months developing exciting and challenging stories for our characters and as filming gets underway we’re all very excited to see them realised onto to the screen.”
Directors for the series include Jack Clough and Oscar-nominated Ian Barns, while Skins is being produced by Toby Welsh and Neil Duncan with Charlie Pattinson, George Faber and Bryan Elsley joining John as executive producers.
Channel 4 is to launch a spin off of Come Dine With Me. Called Come Date With Me, it will follow the same format as the original series – which is narrated by Dave Lamb – with four contestants hosting a dinner party in a bid to win a cash prize.
But the winner will also bag a romantic holiday and the chance to elect someone to go with them.
Producers are currently scouring the country for potential competitors but have warned background checks will be carried out to ensure the single status of applicants.
A flier sent to potential contestants reads: “Are you still searching for that special someone? Is your best mate single and you can’t understand why? Does a family member need help finding Mr. or Mrs. Right? We are looking for confident, outgoing, but unattached people.
“This time they will not only wow with their nights, there will be plenty of wooing as well.”
Filming is scheduled to begin later this summer, with the programme due to air in the autumn.
Chat show kings Alan Carr and Graham Norton have been handed new £4 million deals. The stars, who currently go head to head on Friday nights with their Alan Carr: Chatty Man and The Graham Norton Show programmes on Channel 4 and BBC One respectively, have signed new two-year contracts.
Alan, who has agreed to front a further four series of his programme, is said to have impressed Channel 4 bosses with his ability to attract high-profile names like Jennifer Lopez to his show. An insider explained:
“We took a risk and it’s paid off. People love coming on his show and we get top-flight guests. We’ve tied him down for two more years to stop anyone else getting him.”
Meanwhile, Graham, who has been a main feature of the BBC One line-up since 2005 when he moved to the broadcaster from Channel 5, is in the process of finalising a new deal, which will see him front 34 editions of The Graham Norton Show each year.
A BBC insider told The Sun newspaper: “Graham’s been having a blast and he can’t see himself going anywhere else.”
With lashings of ginger beer no doubt, The Comic Strip is set to return to our screens.
The classic series – which helped launch the careers of Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith Allen, Alexei Sayle and Adrian Edmondson – has been re-commissioned by Channel 4 for a one-off special.
The special will see former Prime Minister Tony Blair on the run after committing a murder. A source said: “Tony Blair vows to clear his name no matter what.”
Original stars Jennifer Saunders, Nigel Planer, Robbie Coltrane, and Rik Mayall will appear alongside newcomers James Buckley, John Sessions, Ross Noble, Catherine Shepherd, Ford Kiernan and Morgana Robinson.
Channel 4 comedy boss Shane Allen told The Sun newspaper: “It’s an irresistibly hilarious script from the Godfathers of modern comedy. There are so many juicy parts for the big comedy hitters of the Comic Strip team alongside newer talents.”
The Comic Strip was first devised by Peter Richardson in 1982 to showcase emerging talents, before going off the air in 1993.
The show then returned for three specials in 1998, 20000 and 2005.
You can see the first ever Comic Strip, the Enid Blyton spoof, Five Go Mad in Dorset, below:
Richard Winsor is unsure whether the potential romance between his Hollyoaks’ character Father Francis and Carmel Valentine will “explode”.
The actor is looking forward to exploring his alter ego’s conflict with his faith and attraction to the budding nun, played by Gemma Merna, but has no idea whether producers are planning for the pair to get together or respect the constraints of their religion.
He said: “Basically they’re tempting each other, more and more and more, there’s a lot of sexual tension which could just suddenly erupt. So we don’t know if they’re going so leave that place behind and just suddenly jump on each other, or just hold onto it. I can’t really let too much go!
“It’s quite a nice, budding, ‘Will-they-won’t-they?’ kind of relationship – obviously they have constraints so they can’t just jump in despite their attraction so they’re just working through that.”
To add to the pair’s problems, Father Francis also becomes a target for manipulative man-eater Cindy Longford (Stephanie Waring) and Richard thinks Carmel would be heartbroken if the priest went on to fall for someone else.
He added: “I think Father Francis would break Carmel’s heart if he suddenly just upped off and got interested in someone else – so we’ll just have to see! Though I think Cindy has a bit of a crush on him, regardless of whether anything will happen!”