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.

King Richard III: The King in the Car Park. How the last Plantagenet king ended up in a Leicester car park

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.richard-iii-grave.png

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 

Via Tech Digest

 

Can animals talk to each other? Top 10 Natural History questions revealed by Eden HD

Can animals understand and use language? What actually happened to the dinosaurs and why do cats purr? These intriguing questions  top a list of natural science mysteries which the British public would most like to see answered according to a new study released today. The survey of 2,000 British adults was commissioned to celebrate the launch of new TV show David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities, screening every Tuesday 8pm on Eden HD.

The perennial conundrum of whether animals have a language proved the most popular mystery of natural science, with almost a third (31%) of those polled choosing this question as one of the questions they would most like to see answered. In second place was the answer to the age-old question  – why did dinosaurs become extinct (29%)? The top three is rounded off by the public’s desire to know why our feline friends purr (22%) – a question which remains unanswered despite the fact that Britain houses 10.3 million domestic cats!

Here is that Top Ten list in full.

1.       Do animals have language? – 31%

Scientists are still unsure. Animals can certainly communicate in sounds and gestures and trained to follow commands, but in terms of using this language between them there is no final answer. The vervet monkey alarm call in particular has led people to question ‘language’ in animals. It is thought that prairie dogs can in one chirp, distinguish the identity of the predator, its size and its direction of travel.

2.       How did dinosaurs die out? – 29% 

No one knows conclusively, but it’s suggested that the decline was due to volcanic eruptions affecting the world’s climate, combined with drastic falls in sea level. A huge asteroid struck the seabed near Mexico 65 million years ago which may have finally wiped out dinosaurs.

3.       Why do cats purr? – 22%

This is still up for debate. Although it is tempting to state that cats purr because they are happy, research suggests that for a cat purring is a means of communication and a potential source of self-healing

4.       Why does the zebra have stripes? – 19%

There are several theories, but no conclusive answers. Theories include: to confuse predators when they’re in a group; to keep away blood-sucking flies because the striped patterns reflect light; and that zebras use the stripes to recognize each other.

5.       How do animals navigate? – 17%

It’s been suggested that carrier pigeons and migrating birds all navigate using magnetic fields, in addition to visual references. This has been proved as a pigeon with a magnet strapped to itself will get completely and utterly lost! No one knows how the brain is able to sense magnetic fields, and as such no one knows whether humans also may be sensitive.

6.       How can dogs predict epileptic seizures in humans? – 16%david attenborough

There’s no conclusive answer to this remarkable ability. One popular theory is that a dog’s superior sense of smell helps to make a prediction, whilst others believe that dogs are more sensitive to body language so they can pick up on tiny changes in behaviour that occur prior to an epileptic seizure.

7.       Why did the giraffe develop such a long neck? – 14%

No one really knows – they don’t necessarily need it for eating food, so it’s been suggested that it’s used in males to club other males during the mating season or a combination of both.

8.       How do creatures survive at the bottom of the ocean? – 12%

Different animals that live deep in the oceans have come up with their own solutions to solve the problem of living in a dark, cold and high pressured environment.  Some of these adaptations are well understood others less so. One sea creature with amazing abilities still baffling scientists is the tardigrade which can reversibly suspend its metabolism enabling it to withstand the vacuum of space and temperatures from -273°C to 151°C.  As of yet, no one fully understands how these animals can reverse the suspension of their metabolism and come back to life

9.       How are oysters able to change sex?– 12%

Oyster’s reproductive organs contain both eggs and sperm- a successful reproductive strategy evolved to ensure the survival of the species; one oyster can produce an egg and then fertilise it or, change sex. The question of how however, is still not certain and further research is required to fully understand the process

10.   How does a bee buzz? – 8%

It used to be thought that the movement of the wings caused the sound. However the bees can buzz even when the wings are at rest. So it may be that the vibration of the muscles in the thorax that causes the buzzing sound, but this isn’t conclusive – and it may be a combination of both.

David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities, Tuesdays at 8pm on Eden.

Review: Tom Daley’s Splash! ITV1. Omid Djalili’s dive saves the day

Omid Djalili after completing his rather impressive dive from the 10m high board

Maybe it was seeing Tom Daley and a few B-list celebrities without many clothes on (I’m thinking the Sugababes girl and Benidorm actor here, rather than Helen Lederer or Omid Djalili)? Or maybe it was the fact that there really wasn’t much else on telly that night and it was a cold evening.

Whatever, it seems that Splash! really did make a Splash! in the ratings on Saturday, reaching over 6 million (sad?) people. Certainly it was as cheesy as hell. Right down there with the rest of ITV’s reality TV programmes. But in my opinion whatever brings the art of diving to a greater audience has to be a good thing.

For years councils up and down the land have been mercilessly ripping out diving boards at local pools for fear of being sued if someone lands on the boards on their head, so it’s about time that diving – one of the most technically complex and frightening of Olympic sports – began to fight back. The show is filmed at the brand spankingly new £26 million Inspire leisure centre in Luton, complete with Olympic sized swimming pool, and rarely has Luton looked this good on camera, thanks largely to some nice red lighting illuminating the boards.

Presented by Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay, who looked like an accountant who has just rolled his trousers up to go for a walk on the beach (those long shorts looked terrible), the show wasn’t without its moments, including Jo Brand’s judging commentary – the wittiest I’ve ever seen her. But if ex-Olympic diver Leon Taylor was supposed to be Simon Cowell (ie the bad guy on the panel) it didn’t really work.

Ultimately the problem with diving as a massive spectator sport is that it’s over in a few seconds. Really I think each of the divers needed to have at least a  couple of dives so there is a bit more to judge them on. Other than the dive off at the end following the cheesy elimination process of the rubbish divers (Helen Lederer being the worst by some distance) we only got to see them once. Perhaps it was because there simply wasn’t time to cram it all in alongside the inevitable emotionally heart wrenching back story about how the contestants were scared out of their wits by water/heights/diving etc.

Still, even if you hated the programme, it was undoubtedly worth watching for Omid Djalili’s performance alone. The actor/comedian is a big fella and when he said he was going off the top 10m board (the height of more than double decker buses) I feared the audience members might be in for a chloriney water soaked shower. Would it be like Peter Kay bombing into the pool in the John Smith’s ad or would it be a fat man embarrassingly belly flopping into the pool? Actually it was neither. It was a fairly decent dive – OK with a bit of over rotation – but better than anything I could do. The man clearly has guts. You can see it here: http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-01-05/see-comedian-omid-djalilis-winning-splash-dive/.

You can see the divers who took part in Saturday’s episode below:

 

 

 

 

Come Dive With Me! Tom Daley puts celebrities through their paces in Splash!

ALL PICTURES: ITV

It’s been hyped to death, but I am genuinely interested in seeing Splash! this weekend – though they really should have called the programme Come Dive With Me (maybe legal issues prevented it). Featuring Olympic diver and all round pretty boy Tom Daley as mentor, it stars fifteen celebrities, all of whom will try and master the art of diving off the boards. One of the most difficult Olympic disciplines, diving is one of the few sports that is genuinely terrifying (even Daley himself admits that he gets scared every time he dives so heaven knows what the molly coddles slebs will be feeling).

Hosting the show will be Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan. Says Kay: “I’m looking forward to bantering with anyone in Speedos!” while Gabby Logan adds, rather more intelligently: “It’s fascinating to watch people try to overcome the fear factor. Watching people climb up the stairs and decide which board to dive from is one of the most exciting moments of the whole programme.”

Celebrities in the first episode include Sugababes singer Jade Ewen, TV Presenter Jennie Falconer and best of all comedian Omid Djalili. I don’t want to sound mean but I’m kind of expecting him to do a Peter Kaye type ‘bomb’ off the high board like the John Smith’s advert. But then maybe he will surprise us all!

Here’s the full line celeb line up:

Show 1

  • Jake Canuso, actor
  • Omid Djalili, comedian
  • Jade Ewen, Sugababes singer
  • Jennie Falconer, TV presenter
  • Helen Lederer, comedian

Show 2

  • Caprice, model
  • Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, ski jumper
  • Joey Essex, TOWIE
  • Diarmuid Gavin, TV gardener
  • Charlotte Jackson, Sky Sports presenter

Show 3

  • Linda Barker, TV designer
  • Dom Joly, comedian
  • Tina Malone, actress
  • Jennifer Metcalfe, actress
  • Anthony Ogogo, Olympic boxer

Splash! Saturday January 5, ITV1,  7.15pm

End of the world as we know it. But I’ll just sit and watch Corrie!

It seems frankly amazing to me, but according to research carried out by digital TV solution YouView over 1 in 10 of us would spend our last half an hour on planet Earth watching Coronation Street.

Apparently, should the world end tomorrow – as predicted by the Mayan Calendar – 11 per cent of us would rather spend our final moments on the sofa watching Corrie than doing something, let’s say, more physical with a loved one/passing stranger.

Other shows that we would choose to watch in the final moments include Dr Who (9%), Downton Abbey (9%), Homeland (8%) and Eastenders (7%).

Surprisingly very few would turn to their TV for some light-relief during their last hours on Earth, with no comedy programmes featuring in the top five at all.

Classic comedy Dad’s Army was the first to make an appearance in joint sixth place alongside Gavin and Stacey, with one in 20 (5%) of the 2,000 respondents surveyed looking for laughs in their last hours.

It may come as little shock to some that reality shows The Only Way Is Essex and Made in Chelsea failed to make it into the top ten at all, although together they were still the preferred pick for 3% of the nation.

For more information visit: http://www.youview.com

The 10 Best Musical Moments On TV

Forget the X Factor, forget the Brit Awards, forget Top Of The Pops (what do you mean, you have already?) – when it comes to great, memorable musical moment s on your tellybox all of them come from non-musical shows.

Supposed ‘musical programming’ is all well an good but it’s the times when the music surprises you, makes you laugh or moves us that really stick in the mind. Don’t believe us? check this list…

The Simpsons – monorail song

Morecambe and Wise – Andrew Preview

The Office – David Brent’s dance

Our friends in the north – Don’t Look Back In Anger

The Royle Family – Mambo no. 5

Alan Partridge – Nobody Does It Better

Monty Python – The Lumberjack Song

The Muppets – Mannah, mannah

Les Dawson plays the piano

Adler and Perlman perform Summertime on Parkinson

The 10 best Christmas TV adverts

‘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.

Boots 1981

No stars, no big budget, just a decent song and a Christmassy feel. Warms the cockles, dunnit?

A Beginner’s Guide To Helen Flanagan – All you need to know about the jungle babe

She may be currently ‘wowing’ the nation by wearing a series of very revealing bikinis and crying at the sight of anything that comes within 10 feet of her, but Helen Flanagan did, in fact, have a life before joining I’m A Celebrity Get me Out Of Here. Not a very varied one, but a life just the same.

 

Helen was born in 1989 in Bury and went to school until she was 10 years old. She then joined Coronation Street (in 2000) and continued to go to school while playing Kevin and Sally Webster’s daughter Rosie.

 

Rosie, you may remember, had been born in a taxi on Christmas Day. Helen was not, as far as we can ascertain, born in a taxi. But she might have been. We can’t rule it in or out, to be honest.

 

Nothing much then happened to Rosie (or Helen) for a few years until she suddenly turned into a schoolgirl minx and started seducing her teacher John Stape (this is Rosie now, not Helen. Again, as far as we know). Then, almost overnight, Rosie turned into complete flibbertigibbet. The producers seemed to take any opportunity to include scenes where Rosie needed to appear wearing just her underwear, she started trying to pull all the men in Weatherfield, wearing very skimpy outfits and behaving, generally, like a bit of a gold-digging slapper.

 

Helen, meanwhile, started dating footballer Scott Sinclair.

 

After Helen took a 3-month break from the soap in 2011 life started to imitate ‘art’ as Rosie was a fairly unsuccessful model in the show and Helen decided to quit Corrie to become a sort-of unsuccessful model. She has dedicate the last few months of her life to a couple of fairly low profile modelling jobs that involved her wearing very few clothes and tweeting pictures of herself wearing very few clothes.

 

And now she has returned to our screens! Wearing very few clothes and squawking. Welcome back, Helen!

 

 

Coronation Street’s Jack Duckworth dies. RIP Bill Tarmey

One of Corrie’s greatest stars, the man who played Jack Duckworth for more than 30 years, Bill Tarmey has passed away.

Bill left the soap in 2010 to spend more time with his family after suffering with heart problems for many years. Details of his death are not yet available.

Bill Tarmey joined Corrie after a career as a singer and acting extra. Brow-beaten Jack and his battle-axe wife Vera swiftly became one of the greatest double acts in soap and beloved by the nation. The constant battles they had with wayward son Terry and combative yet loving relationship they shared ensured they stayed at the heart of the show right up until Liz Dawn, who played Vera, left in 2008. Bill stayed with the show for a couple of years after but Jack was killed off and he retired.

Goodbye, Bill. Creator of one of the funniest, most touching and universally-loved characters that British TV has seen.

 

 

You can see the final touching scenes from Coronation Street when Jack Duckworth passes away below: