Cliff for Big Brother? Oh, who knows. I mean, honestly. Presumably he doesn’t need the money, but then again neither does Whitney Houston, and she’s been tipped too. The rumours have begun and it would be remiss of us not to report them, however improbable. (Fans may be interested to know that Summer Holiday was partly filmed in Elstree, where the Big Brother house is, so it’d be very much a homecoming for him) …Would you like to see Cliff taking his Summer (January) Holiday on the upcoming series of Celebrity Big Brother?
Archive for the ‘Channel 4’ Category
I’m quite disappointed about this news, it’d have been good to see how he held up. Surely he didn’t have much to lose – his dignity disappeared some time ago. He should take a leaf out of Michael Barrymore and Les Dennis’s book and give us, the potentially voting public, something entertaining to watch. To learn to love. Because, for all his tabloid ubiquity, former “Mr Cheeky” Lembit remains a bit of a spud-faced mystery.
Chantelle’s in the so-called ‘news’ today for a couple of large reasons, and although it’s true that we have really no expectations of her left, since the Preson fiasco, we’re cheered by the smile on her face and the twinkle in her eye these days. But the smile on her face makes us think of something else, too… has our Chanters started to resemble Pantomime cheeky chappy and funnyman-of-the-past Brian Conley? Just me?
We’ve had a few spoof reality shows over the past few years. Comic Relief Fame Academy springs to mind, as do the Big Brother sketches on Peter Serafinowitz’s sketch show, and now there’s that zombie thing Charlie Brooker’s doing for E4, set in the Big Brother house (which we hope will be better than Nathan Barley. Ooh, meow!) But the spoofs tend not to be great, largely because these shows are such a farce already. So will this Peter Kay thing be, you know… ANY GOOD?
Now, call me old-fashioned but I think that’s a bit disingenuous. I mean, he’s not getting paid, strictly, for being a chef, is he? Who came top? Courtney Cox, because she plays a chef in Friends? I heard Beyonce was the world’s highest earning blonde. Anyway, Ramsay makes £4million a year, apparently. In an interesting twist, he also happens to be the world’s third highest earning Ramsay, after Madge and Jack but before Charlene.
Although A Boy Called Alex originally aired on the 24th, I missed it. What else I was doing, I’m not sure, but I was thrilled that More 4 replayed the film again last night at 10:35. Did you see it? I hope you saw it, because it is a brilliant, inspiring little film that will instantly make you appreciate your life, and your lungs, just a little more.
A Boy Called Alex is about, well, a boy called Alex who is an incredibly talented musician and is 16-years-old. Alex is a music scholar at the prestigious all boy school, Eton, and has taken on the extremely difficult task of conducting Bach’s Magnificat. As if this piece wasn’t difficult enough to conduct, he has an orchestra filled with 62 of Eton’s finest musicians. (Mind you, that’s 62 teenage boys.) The catch? Alex was born with cystic fibrosis, which is a genetically-inherited disease which is slowly destroying his digestive system and his lungs.
When I first glanced at my emails yesterday, I thought that this was just another one of those nob-enhancement projects that my poor old inbox is bombarded with every single day of the week. Then I saw the email was from Channel 4 and I knew that all was well. Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory (was a S**T title for a series) starts in March and, title aside, it looks quite interesting.
The four-part series follows Willie Harcourt-Cooze (I beg your pardon) – a man on a mission to produce the best chocolate in the world. For my money, he’s got some way to go if he wants to beat the chocolate Hob Nob, but this guy wants to produce ethically-beautiful chocolate and make it fine from bean to bar. Read on for more…
Normally we split these posts into ‘Why I Love… A Certain Programme’ and ‘A Certain Programme – Why?‘ But the fact is, I just can’t make up my mind when it comes to Green Wing. I realise, by the way, that this isn’t the most topical show that I could turn my attention to, but for that you can blame the fact that Channel Four are currently allowing you to download or stream the best of their homegrown comedy shows for free, on 4oD. I already own and treasure my Peep Show and Spaced box-sets, so I thought I’d have a go at Green Wing.
I’ve tried before, really I have, and my colleagues here at the Scoop are clearly fans. And I really want to like it. I love every member of the cast in other shows, and it’s a quirky, British comedy. I should love it! And, for parts of it, I do. So why do I still find other parts such a trial to watch…?
Last night was a big night for season premieres. Over on ITV1, there were the first episodes of Tony Jordan’s project Moving Wallpaper/Echo Beach, and Thursdays continued to be Funny with a second series of Little Miss Jocelyn, and a brand new British comedy, Never Better. This latter show stars Stephen Mangan, and TV Scoop were lucky enough to get an interview with him.
Mangan is probably best known for his role as Dr Guillaume Valerie Secretan in Green Wing, and for playing rather self-absorbed types. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth in real life, and after a brief chat about Richard and Judy getting him a Routemaster bus for him to drive (“really scary!”) it was a delight to hear all about his new programme…
White Diamond, a supposedly revealing documentary about Kylie’s return to form following successful treatment for breast cancer, is part adoring homage, part meandering DVD extra. It never really succeeds in telling us anything about Kylie we didn’t already know, but it’s clear that Ms. Minogue definitely likes it that way.
Originally designed as, in fact, a tour DVD extra, the heaps of footage collected by Kylie’s best friend and “gay husband” William Baker were eventually made into a feature length documentary. As a piece of filmmaking it’s pretty bloated – lingering, worshipful, slo-mo shots and a lot of dancers in their underwear – but with some judicious editing could have been an engaging featurette about life backstage.
Instead this rather long and meandering documentary is sweet, but not particularly revealing, nor intimate.
Richard and Judy, that institution of chat, have announced that they are to quit their Channel 4 show when their contract runs out next year. I’m not actually that surprised – since they moved over to C4, their crowns of King and Queen of Daytime TV have slowly slipped over the years.
Why? People feared for This Morning when the golden couple left, but the inspired pairing of Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton have, arguably, done a better job. The Grey Fox is as smooth as Richard, but shows a bit less keeness to be ‘with it’ and hip, while Fern is just Fern – broadcasting gold. Then there’s the rise of Paul O’Grady. His C4 show pulls in greater viewing figures, as well as showing that he’s a natural in the format. So the the TV landscape has changed, Richard and Judy’s perceived dominance in daytime TV was actually built on a sand platform, and they can shuffle off to present one-off book club thingies (that became more newsworthy and interesting than their show itself). So farewell Richard and Judy, we’ll miss you… but not that much.
I have to say that I’m really looking forward to seeing Britz (Channel 4, Wednesday, 9pm). It’s the first of a two-parter which looks at the lives of a young brother and sister who are both British-born Muslims. That in itself isn’t all that thrilling, however, they both choose incredibly different paths from each other, and that is where the drama starts.
The brother, Sohail, is a go-getting type who is university educated and desperate to immerse himself into British culture. This sees him recruited by MI5 and given the task of tracking down a terrorist cell in his native Bradford. His sister, Nasima, is a medical student who becomes increasingly alienated and angered by Britain’s foreign policy after witnessing at first hand the relentless targeting of her Muslim neighbours and peers. These feature-length episodes close in on the events of two distinct perspectives and should provoke decent debate.
It’s time for me to trawl through the listings once more in an attempt to avoid you accidentally watching guff on the gogglebox! Feel free to share your weekend picks in the comments! Have a cracking weekend y’all!
Friday – Comedy Showcase: The Eejits, Channel 4, 10.30pm
Whilst everyone goes all dippy about The Armstrong and Miller Show (BBC One, 9.30pm), those in the know are getting all excited about The Eejits. Why? The Eejits is brought to us by the funny one behind Father Ted… the genius that is Arthur Mathews. Anyone who enjoyed Hippies, or who has read Mathews incredible Well Remembered Days will be panting with excitement at the prospect of an Irish pub band by the name of E-Z Feelin who are hoping to hit the big-time when a former U2 roadie gives them some of the stars’ old equipment. Expect preposterous turns of fortune, silliness and superbly smart gags. Pick of the weekend.
Read over for the rest of the weekend’s shows…
Paul O’Grady has stated that he would quit his show if he found out that his viewers had been conned out of money. The king of the mid afternoon talk show claims that presenters of shows that have been found guilty of the scandalous practice should leave the programme… and to be honest, I think he has a point.
Recently Ant and Dec’s shows Saturday Night Takeaway and Gameshow Marathon were revealed to have conned money from viewers, while Richard and Judy’s show was named and shamed earlier this year. O’Grady declared that if it were him he would quit, telling The Sun: “If it was my show, I’d probably leave. If you were running a pub and your name was over the door and someone was selling drugs in there then you’d be liable. If your name is connected to a show but you don’t know what’s going on with it, you need to take more notice. I think it’s good this stuff has been exposed. If it wasn’t for the viewers we wouldn’t be here, and if they’re being ripped off then it needs to stop.” Fair play to the lad!
Broadcast, the television and radio industry resource, has revealed its winners in this year’s Creative Report with TV Scoop favourite Life on Mars crowned as the most creative show in 2007. The poll, which celebrates the best in British television, covers 16 genres and is based on performance at major industry award ceremonies over the past tear, saw the buddy-cop show total 30 points, beating Planet Earth into second place with 28 points.
Interestingly Granada soap Coronation Street came in third, helping the production company win its category with 76 points. Other shows from its impressive stable included The Street, Longford, The Royle Family: The Queen of Sheba and Granada Reports: Morecambe Bay. Talkback Thames took silver in this group, based on well-received offerings such as The Apprentice, The X Factor and Green Wing.
I’ve got to level with you here. 9 times out of 10, Gordon Ramsay makes me want to kick the screen off my TV. He’s so knowingly loathsome that I often wonder if he is only able to reach arousal by screaming obscenities in people’s ears (that line of thinking led me to thinking about setting up a brothel full of deaf prostitutes…). That said, I can’t help my liking of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (Channel 4, Tuesday, 9pm) which starts a new series next week.
Ramsay, when faced with an ailing business, manages to mix some heart in with his usual chest beating nonsense, and Tuesday, we find the craggiest face on TV at a Brighton oyster joint call Ruby Tates. Naturally, Ruby Tates is… to put it bluntly… pissing pennies. As you’d expect, we find idle staff, awful food and an owner in denial. Ramsay manages to avoid his constant stream of scorn to become something close to nice. That in itself is worth tuning in for surely?
Russell Brand, the current Marmite of stand-up comedy (you either love him, or hate him) started his six night stint on Channel 4 yesterday with humourous ponderings on childhood and adolescence. The show’s format is essentially stand-up comedy with a few media props, as Brand liberally peppered his witterings with old commercials and dated TV to help break up his routine, beef up his arguments and enable us at home to experience his feelings of nostalgia.
We’ve all had conversations based on a saunter down memory lane, filled with memories of cult children’s television or adverts we used to sing along with when young, and so the source of Brand’s comedy was an easy home-run. Who doesn’t enjoy thinking back to when they were all innocence and scared of horrors as serious as quick sand? With his subject material guaranteed to please, Brand’s use of video clips neatly broke up the routine, so it didn’t feel overlong or stretched. But, with five more nights of the same to follow, is it worth tuning in for?
If you’re reading this, you should count yourself lucky. 20% of the UK’s children are currently leaving primary school without being able to read (or write) properly. 1 in every 5. Beginning the Lost for Words season in which Channel 4 will investigate causes and possible solutions to this socially crippling problem, tonight’s Dispatches program sent Alex Thomson to discover how a once universally acclaimed education system came to be in such a parlous state, and how a back to basics approach, despite being sneered at by the liberal tinkerers whose modern theories of teaching have caused so much damage to almost two generations, is turning the tide of illiteracy in some of the nation’s most underprivileged areas.
No-one would disagree that basic education is at the heart of a civilised society and can provide the key to unlock the whole of every child’s potential. Fundamental to any kind of education is the ability to read and write, and any parent listening to the statistics quoted in this programme must be left wondering how a government supposedly committed to “education, education, education” (not to mention previous governments stretching back over forty years) has managed to get things so wrong.
In Hollywood it is not unheard of for two movies with similar premises to be released within a short space of time. There was Armageddon and Deep Impact, Volcano and Dante’s Peak and A Bug’s Life and Antz. And now bizarrely, we have two programmes competing for our television affection that revolve around the backstage shenanigans at a live, comedy sketch show: More 4’s Studio 60 on the Sunset strip and Five’s 30 Rock.
One is an hour-long, verbally dense effort with a hard shell of meaty issues such as the integrity of news coverage hiding a soft under belly of romance and whimsy. The other is a succinct 30 minute sitcom that throws out killer lines amid the outlandish characters and outrageous set-ups. But though these differences are substantial and worth noting, so are the many similarities that the two American imports share. TV Scoop breaks down how the two are, in fact, TV twins…