LOVEFiLM vs Netflix

Many of you will already be aware that there are a few internet based services from which you can rent or stream the best of films and TV series’.  LOVEFiLM will be the company most will be familiar with due to its prevalence in Northern Europe and large number of UK subscribers.  LOVEFiLM is an Amazon company and has over 2million European members.

Now other companies are getting involved in film and entertainment subscription services, you’ll find many articles pitching the likes of LOVEFiLM vs Netflix or a variety of other exponents of the trade.

The thing that seems to set LOVEFiLM apart is its vast library – via the postal service, you can access over 70,000 Blu-rays and DVDs – and with the instant service you can stream from a selection of over 5,500 movies.

3 discs a month by post is as little as £5.99 which seems like incredible value and the fact that LOVEFiLM posts out films as well as streams notches up another point in the LOVEFiLM vs Netflix debate.

As a viewer you must decide whether you like to rent films online or prefer to have them sent in the form of a DVD via the post.  The LOVEFiLM postal service is handy as you get free first class postage either way with no late fees.  LOVEFiLM try to bridge a service that sits in-between streaming and DVD rental as they know that a lot of people don’t like the fuss of streaming.  They do acknowledge though that 80% of their users have viewed a film online at some point.

If we judge the contest between LOVEFiLM and its competitors mainly on how many films are available to us it seems as though LOVEFiLM is a clear winner and the fact that streaming hasn’t entirely taken off yet puts it in poll position regarding its huge DVD collection.

In Association with LOVEFiLM

LOVEFiLM to bring Peep Show and Inbetweeners to Instant service thanks to Channel 4 deal

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.”

Wondering what else is available through LoveFilm Instant? Check out our handy guide to every Netflix and LoveFilm Instant movie or TV show available in the UK now.

Via Tech Digest

Coronation Street’s Sophiya Haque, 41, dies of cancer

Actress Sophiya Haque has died after a short battle with cancer, it has been announced. Sophiya, 41, appeared in Corrie in 2008, playing barmaid Poppy Morales.

Her agent Oliver Thomson spoke about his client after she passed away peacefully in a London hospital, saying: “Sophiya was a wonderful actress, a wonderful client but so much more than that a wonderful friend. She was adored by everyone she worked with and will be deeply missed.”

Sophiya also had a successful stage career and had been appearing in Privates On Parade in the West End when she became ill with pneumonia. It is understood she developed a clot on her lungs.

Her uncle, Syed Haque called her “a loveable person and very beautiful,” the Evening Standard reported.

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

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

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.

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

Don’t buy the Radio Times! Here’s our guide to the pick of Xmas TV

In these cash strapped times there really is no need to hand over your hard-earned dosh for a copy of Radio Times (other listings magazines are available), because we’ve bought a copy and have worked out which are the best shows over the holidays. It’s our Xmas gift to you.

QI: Jingle Bells

Stephen ‘National Treasure’ Fry hosts a Christmassy edition of the show with guests Sarah Millican, Danny Baker, Phill Jupitus and regular sidekick Alan Davies. Go on, admit it, the show has now been on TV for so long that most of the things you know you learned from QI.

Friday 21st December BBC2 10PM

The Snowman And The Snowdog

Altogether now: ‘We’re walking in the aaaaair. With a dog’. The long-anticipated sequel to The Snowman features a snowman and his dog. Or something. We’ve not properly looked into it because we don’t want the surprise spoilt. It’ll be ace whatever happens. Monday 24th December Channel 4 8PM

Friday Night Dinner

Christmas with the Goodmans – a truly nerve-tingling proposition. Robert Popper’s magnificent sitcom gets its first festive special, if you’ve not got into FND yet this is the perfect opportunity.

Monday 24th December Channel 4 10.30PM

Doctor Who

You’d have thought it impossible for Doc Who’s producers to replace Karen Gillan but they seem to have done a fantastic job with Louise Coleman. Here she makes her debut proper in a storyline that sees her and the doctor take on some funny/ fearsome-looking snowmen. Tuesday 25th December BBC1 5.15PM

Call The Midwife

Miranda Hart, Jessica Raine, Jenny Agutter et al are back for some Xmas midwifery antics. TV’s most visceral period drama follows the midwives of 50’s East London as they deliver a load of post war sprogs called Carol and Noel. Probably. Tuesday 25th December 25 BBC1 7.30PM

Downton Abbey

Xmas. Downton. Downton. Xmas. Was there ever a time when these two words were not synonymous? One day they will stop making Downton Abbey. Now there’s a thought to chill the soul.

Tuesday 25th December ITV1 8.45PM

The Royle Family

Let’s be honest, the Royle Family Xmas special has always been a bit hit and miss. But we’ll all still be sat in front of it in the hope that it’s a vintage year. After all, it’s the Royle Family, innit?

Tuesday 25th December 25 BBC1 9.45PM

Miranda

Oh look, it’s Miranda Hart again. This time not in period costume and not delivering babies but talking to camera and falling over a lot. At Christmas.

Wednesday 26th December BBC1 9PM

Dancing On Ice 2013: Meet the celeb skaters

It’s back! Dancing On Ice, the celebrity ‘reality’ show that demands the most work of the contestants while offering the least reward. Seriously, which of the former winners have gone on to do particularly well? We reckon you’d even struggle to remember who actually won in previous years. Go on, try and remember Sam Attwater or Hayley Tamaddon. Or Gaynor Faye. Yet these poor people have to spend weeks learning not only how to skate but how to dance while skating. No easy task.

Anyhow, here are the runners and riders for the new series, which kicks of on ITV on Sunday the 6th of January.

Anthea Turner

Anthea hasn’t been on our TV screens much since the ill-advised incident at her marriage to Grant Bovey when they ate Cadbury’s chocolate bars for money. A cheap stunt that backfired quite severely and which Anthea probably doesn’t want anyone to mention any more. Oops.

Beth Tweddle

Beth is an multi-medal winning artistic gymnast, which must surely make her a favourite to win the show. All she has to do is learn to skate and she should walk it. Bit of a ringer, truth be told.

Gareth Thomas

2013 should be quite a year for Gareth as he is due to be the subject of a Hollywood biopic. Mickey Rourke was due to be playing Gareth but has recently dropped out, presumably because the film would have to end with Gareth’s appearance on Dancing On Ice and Rourke would look insane in lycra.

Joe Pasquale

Come on Pasquale, you’ve already been King of the Jungle. Let someone else have a go!

Keith Chegwin

Here’s hoping Cheggers doesn’t decide to make this series of Dancing On Ice the second time he’s appeared on TV nude.

Lauren Goodger

The latest of the woeful crop of ‘scripted reality’ show ‘stars’ to make the move to ‘proper’ ‘reality’ shows, Lauren will be rubbish at skating. You watch, rubbish.

Luke Campbell

Hull’s Olympic boxing hero, Luke has wasted no time in making a bid for TV stardom. You’d think he’d be to busy building a boxing career to take part but apparently not.

Matt Lapinskas

This year’s token Ex-Eastender. We’re seriously struggling to remember who he played. Was it Dirty Den?

Oona King

So Oona used to be an MP but lost her seat to George Galloway, then Galloway went on Celebrity Big Brother and made a complete fool of himself, now he’s an MP again. Will Oona be attempting to do the same thing by making a complete fool of herself on Dancing On Ice and then running for parliament again? We hope so.

Pamela Anderson

A few years ago, getting Pamela Anderson on Dancing On Ice would have been a genuine coup. Now it just weems weird. One for the dads, though.

Samia Ghadie

This year’s token Corrie star. ITV know how to get the most value from their salaried artistes, don’t they.

Shayne Ward

Go on, think real hard, you remember the name don’t you, yes, no, do you want a clue? OK, he won X Factor. No? Still don’t remember? Neither do we.

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

Via Brandish.tv

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