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

Is 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.

Channel 4 OD joins Sky TV On Demand from Monday March 18th

Sky have announced the arrival of Channel 4’s 4oD service as part of Sky TV’s On Demand hub.

Landing next Monday, Sky subscribers with their boxes hooked up to the internet will be able to access on demand content from Channel 4 and More 4, with E4 and Film 4 content set to launch a little later.

As well as recently televised shows, the 4oD service also offers top-notch archival content, including great comedy shows like Peep Show, Brass Eye and The Inbetweeners.

“The way people enjoy TV is changing as customers embrace technology to take control over their viewing. We know customers have busier lives than ever, which is why we’ve created the most comprehensive catch-up service in the UK,” said Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s Director of TV Products.

“Offering great TV from Channel 4 on demand on Sky+ and on Sky Go at no extra charge is all part of our continued commitment to offer our customers the best combination of content and innovation.”

Sarah Rose, Channel 4’s Director of Commercial & Business Development, added:

“The launch of our successful VOD service, 4oD, on the Sky on demand and Sky Go platforms this month will extend the reach of our content to enable even more viewers to enjoy our wide range of programmes. And through the recent arrival of More4 HD and much anticipated launch of Film4 HD in September, we’re delighted to complete the roll out of our HD portfolio.”

The the free app should go live on Monday, so check back in your Sky On Demand portal then to view the new content.

Via Tech Digest

YouView ‘official’ launch with national treasure Joanna Lumley

Not sure how many launches digital terrestrial TV service YouView has had now, but at the latest ‘official’ launch we were treated to national treasure Joanna Lumley appearing to beat the hell out of the original Austin 1300 car used in the famous Fawlty Towers sketch (actually she wasn’t hitting it that hard because the owner of the beautifully restored car was standing right in front of her).

Ostensibly the launch was to showcase the latest partnership with Talk Talk which will see the company’s telephone/broadband customers receive a YouView set top box for a one off charge of £50 covering the cost of an engineer’s installation visit, providing they sign up to TalkTalk’s service for £14.50 a month.

And while sister site Tech Digest reviewed the Humax box and were less than impressed by its facilities (particularly lack of wi-fi), if YouView can get the hardware right then it promises to be a useful service for those who want to watch catch-up services like the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4OD via their TV rather than web tablet or games console.

To promote the official launch at the Vinyl Factory in London’s Soho, Talk Talk went back in time to recreate some of the best 10 TV moments in history, including the wrong chandelier moment from Only Fools and Horses which saw the usually glamorous Lumley exchanging high heels for a Talk Talk overall and holding a large white blanket. Very strange indeed.

Then there was an entire room from the 1970s showing Mr Ben on a lovely old boxy wooden TV set. Not sure which TV moment that was supposed to represent but it looked great – aah the good old days. See gallery from the launch event below.

Sky Atlantic confirms transmission dates for Boardwalk Empire season 3

Exciting times ahead for those of you hooked on HBO’s prohibition drama Boardwalk Empire. Season 3’s first episode will air on Sky Atlantic on Saturday the 29th of September at 9PM.

The new season will pick up a year after the dramatic events at the end of season 2, which saw Atlantic City’s de facto boss Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) kill rival/ surrogate son Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt). Expect the repercussions to play a big part in the new series. Al Capone (Stephen Graham) will also be much more involved in the machinations in the new series.

Terence Winter, the creator of the show said: “Dramatically we think of Season 3 as the night before the morning after – it’s basically the big party before the hangover. People still haven’t confronted their actions from season 2… Things have changed in the world and in the world of bootlegging – it’s a much more violent world, a much more competitive world, all of these things converge and it ultimately culminates in a really, really exciting season.”

Here is the trailer and below is a feature on the making of season 3.

First look at Charlie Brooker’s new comedy ‘A Touch Of Cloth’

After his superb 3-part comedy series Black Mirror aired earlier this year, screenwriter Charlie Brooker returns with cop comedy ‘A Touch Of Cloth’, which will air on Sky 1 in August.

The show stars John Hannah and former Corrie star Suranne Jones and id described by Brooker as ‘just Airplane-style daftness”

He continued: The inspiration there was just to entertain, I co-wrote the pilot in 2003, something like that. Then we adapted it and changed it a lot. So that’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do – something just daft.”

Here’s the trailer for the show.

Dracula is returning to TV in a major new series; here are some famous portrayals

It has been announced that Count Dracula is to return to the small screen in a major new 10-part adaptation, the NBC/ Sky Living production will star Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the famous vampire.

Created by author Bram Stoker in 1897, Dracula has been the subject of hundreds of film and TV adaptations over the years, let’s have a look at some of the most famous:

Bela Lugosi stars as what was, for many years, Hollywood’s defining Dracula.

Hammer Horror made dozens of Dracula films in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, many with Christopher lee in the role.

Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola directed Gary Oldman as the count in this 1992 film adaptation.

After spoofing westerns and Frankenstein, Mel Brooks has a go at Dracula.

A famous and creepy BBC TV adaptation from 1977.

And a recent BBC update from 2006

Alan Partridge returns to TV tonight: Here are some of his best bits

It’s been a few years (10 in fact) since Alan Partridge has been on our TV screens. In the meantime he’s toured the country as part of creator Steve Coogan’s live show and appeared in a series of internet only programmes.

Now he returns to Sky Atlantic with a series of specials, starting tonight at 9PM with Alan Partridge: Welcome to the places of my life. To celebrate we’ve trawled the archives to find some of his best bits. Enjoy, and A-Ha!

 

 

Alan Partridge ‘apologises’ to upset farmers

After upsetting the Norfolk farming community Alan interviews farming a union representative (played by Chris Morris) and digs himself even further into the hole.

 

Alan insults the Irish

While trying to land an Irish TV deal Alan manages to display his complete ignorance of the history of the country to two very embarrassed TV executives.

 

Dan!

Alan somehow makes shouting ‘Dan’ for a minute hilarious.

 

Alan previews the World Cup

From his first TV outing, The Day Today, Alan talks about the upcoming World Cup. Please note that the clip contains light swears.

 

Monkey Tennis

Alan lists potential TV programmes to the head of programming at the BBC. You should note that some of these have actually been made into programmes now (Gordon Behind Bars = Cooking in Prison).

Introducing Veep – Armando Iannucci’s new political comedy

After the BBC comedy The Thick Of It and it’s big screen spin off In The Loop took a satirical sledgehammer to UK politics, creator Armando Iannucci is looking to do the same in the US with new show Veep.

Veep starts this Monday (25th) at 10 PM on Sky Atlantic and stars Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the titular Vice-President Selina Meyer. Like The Thick Of It, the show is set within the corridors of government and uses a hand-held, semi-improvised style to mock the shenanigans of political bigwigs. It also has plenty of swearing, for those who like that sort of thing.

Already a big hit in the USA, where it aired earlier in the year, it has already been recommissioned for a second series. You can see a trailer for the show below.

 

The Comic Strip moves to UK Gold: Here are their 5 best episodes

Iconic comedy series The Comic Strip has moved home. The loose-weave collective of writers and performers will make a new film for UK Gold.to be shown in November.

In the near 30 years since the Comic Strip made their first film, many of the stars, writers and directors have gone on to become household names, some have made genuinely great TV and one or two have gone on to be that bloke, y’know, he was in that thing with the wotsit – him.

The Comic Strip was formed around a core cast of alternative comics including Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Robbie Coltrane, Peter Richardson, Alexie Sayle, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Nigel Planer and Keith Allen (with the occasional involvement of everyone from Leslie Philips to Kate Bush). Over the years, and increasingly sporadically, this loose affiliation of talents has made around 40 TV shows, specials and films. Some of the shows were great and still stand up today, some were only passable and are showing their age and some were utterly awful, but, if nothing else, everything the Comic Strip ever made was experimental and intriguing.

Here’s an introduction to the best of the team’s earlier work:

Bad News Tour

‘I could play Stairway To Heaven when I was 12, Jimmy Page didn’t actually write until till he was 22. I think that says quite a lot.’ The words of Vim Fuego, singer and lead guitarist with dodgy heavy metal group Bad News during this fake documentary which follows the band to a gig in Grantham. Vim (Ade Edmondson) and band mates Spider (Peter Richardson), Den (Nigel Planer) and Colin (Rik Mayall) are awkwardly accurate deluded rock n roll archetypes and the Comic Strippers involved wrote and played the songs themselves. Sounds a bit too much like Spinal Tap? It was made the year before, so you can’t say they copied.

Mr Jolly Lives Next Door

Basically Mayall and Edmondson doing their Bottom/ Dangerous Brothers shtick but with Peter Cook chucked in as a Tom Jones loving psycho killer. It stands out for being genuinely, down-at-heel funny and it’s lent a noticeable air of class by the presence of occasional Comic Strip collaborator (and proper A list movie director) Stephen Frears and a spectacularly game performance by Nicholas Parsons.

The Strike

Hollywood takes on Arthur Scargill’s finest year and, when Alexie Sayle’s naive screenwriter Paul sells his gritty, accurate script about the Miners’ strike to Robbie Coltrane’s forget-the-facts movie mogul, turns it into a syrupy love story. The Strike moves cleverly between the making of the film and the film itself as Peter Richardson’s Al Pacino makes increasingly insane script demands as he builds his remarkable Arthur Scargill performance and Jennifer Saunders plays Meryl Streep playing Mrs Scargill.

The idea of Al Pacino playing Arthur Scargill might have seemed a ridiculous one in 1988, but the notion of Meryl Streep playing Thatcher would have been equally unlikely until The Iron Lady came out. Maybe someone should phone Al and get him to start growing a comb-over.

The Yob

The best thing Keith Allen’s ever done – which is more of a recommendation than it sounds. Using the body swap concept of The Fly, The Yob sees Allen’s pretentious, coke-sniffing, money-obsessed pop promo producer Patrick slowly become a racist, homophobic, boorish football hooligan. Surprisingly he’s more endearing after the change. It’s a bit too 80’s, the UB40 cameo is bit too rubbish and it takes a while to get going but once it does Allen is unsurprisingly annoying.

Detectives on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Many years before Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, the Comic Strip parodied all of the most memorable 70’s, 80’s and 90’s cop shows in a single half hour show. This superior sequel to the earlier The Bullshitters finds the Professionals, the Sweeney and Spender all thrown together to find out who killed a Keith Floyd-style Gourmet Detective. Keith Allen plays both the Floyd-alike and ‘Bonehead’ opposite Peter Richardson’s ‘Foyle’, who also plays Jason King clone Jason Bentley; Phil Cornwell plays philosophical, lamenting Geordie ‘Spanker’; but it’s the ever-magnificent Jim Broadbent who totally steals the show as ‘Shouting George’, a no-nonsense ’10-Guv-a-day’ yelling, Regan-type who out-Gene Hunts Gene Hunt with ease.

First view of the new Alan Partridge TV series

The first teaser clip of the new Sky Atlantic series featuring Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge has been released.

After the hugely successful series of the Youtube only mini-shows Mid Morning Matters, Partridge is back in his first full TV outings for a decade. The one-hour special, Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life, will air in the next few weeks. You can watch a clip below.

Another special, Alan Partridge On Open Books With Martin Bryce, will follow and then a re-edited series of Mid Morning Matters. Steve Coogan says: “Alan has been off the TV for too long but he is even more excited than me about his chance to have a second bite of the cherry. Alan feels the second decade of the millennium is the right time.”