Lots of Laughs

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Summer may be over but that doesn’t mean it has to be all doom and gloom from now on. With a stellar line-up of comedy in London this autumn, you can book into one of the capital’s many hotels and enjoy a whole weekend of laughter. From now until Christmas, many of the country’s best comedians are putting on shows, beginning with Kevin Bridges on 28th September:

28th September – 1st October: Kevin Bridges ‘The Story Continues…’

In less than a year, he’s gone from playing a 50-seat room at the Edinburgh Fringe last year to performing in front of 10,000 people in his home town, and now Scottish comic Kevin Bridges is continuing his journey up the comedy ranks with a show at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.

1st – 20th October: Paul Merton ‘Out of My Head’

His first solo show for quite some time, the ‘Have I Got News For You’ star and master of improvisation returns to his stand-up roots at the Vaudeville Theatre. He’ll be joined by Comedy Store Players regulars Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster for the show which comprises sketches, music and magic.

19th October – 27th October: Dara O Briain ‘Craic Dealer’

The ‘Mock the Week’ presenter is a comedy legend and he will no doubt sell-out the Hammersmith Apollo for his honest, intelligent wit.

24th – 25th October: John Bishop ‘Rollercoaster’

For two nights Liverpudlian comic John Bishop will be bringing his life-affirming everyman observations to The O2 as part of his arena tour.

4th November: Alan Davies ‘Life is Pain’

Having been off stage for 12 years, the ‘QI’ and ‘Jonathan Creek’ star is back on the road with a London show at the Richmond Theatre. An hour of nostalgia, Davies reminisces about childhood holidays and phones with dials to make for a terrifically poignant show.

28th November – 3rd December: Michael McIntyre

The hugely popular comic is continuing his 58-date arena tour at the O2 Arena in Greenwich. Slick, silly, posh and baby-faced, he will undoubtedly have everyone in the huge audiences roaring with laughter.

With so much funny stuff to choose from, there’s no need to give into those winter blues just yet. Why not book into one of the many London hotels on offer and make a weekend of it?

Ed Milliband shares his ‘one nation’ vision to Coronation Street’s Rovers Return regulars

Labour leader Ed Miliband chose to end his week at his party’s conference in Manchester with a visit to Weatherfield.

Mr Miliband went into the Rovers to meet Michelle Collins (Stella Price), Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price) and Michelle Keegan (Tina McIntyre) and out on the cobbles he spoke to Eileen Derbyshire (Emily Bishop and Malcolm Hebden (Norris Cole) during filming for scenes to air at Xmas.

After delivering his keynote at the conference without notes or autocue, Mr Miliband wanted to know how the actors managed to learn their lines to which Michelle Collins replied that actors sometimes cheat by hiding their lines on props like beer mats.

“It feels very real”, Mr Miliband said after being asked his thoughts on the set. He later admitted that he is usually too busy to watch the soap but that his wife, Justine, is a fan.

Via Corrieblog.tv

 

X-Factor for geeks? Simon Cowell and Will.i.am discuss TV hunt for tech entrepreneurs

News has been spreading like wildfire across the internet this morning that super knowledgeable tech experts (and fame whores) Simon Cowell and Will.i.am are soon to be launching the hunt for the next big name in the industry to rival the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Yep, we have no words either.

According to The Telegraph today, at a recent event in London Will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas and stupid hat and glasses fame, revealed that he would be teaming up with Cowell to start a new tech-based endeavour:

“We’re working on a project called X Factor for tech — and it’s going to be out of this world.

“Singing and performance create a couple of jobs. But this will create lots.

“It’s about getting in touch with youth and giving them a platform to express themselves — whether that’s in science or mathematics.”

OK so it sounds fairly positive in theory if Will.i.am’s jumbled and vague explanation is anything to go by and it’ll be a great move if it gets “in touch with youth” about tech. Whatever that actually means.

We also imagine it’d be super entertaining, like some kind of X Factor, Dragon’s Den, Apprentice and hopefully even Battle Royale hybrid.

But on the other hand it all just seems far too contrived. But what else were you expecting from a member of The Black Eyed Peas and the big S-Co?

Via Shiny Shiny

Jeremy Clarkson rakes in a fortune as he sells out to the BBC

Jeremy ‘Jezza’ Clarkson has reportedly pocketed £15 million from the sale of his production company to the BBC.

Clarkson owned 30% of the firm Bedder 6 which makes Top Gear and owns the worldwide sales rights. The BBC already owned 50% of the company and the purchase of Clarkson’s share leaves 20% in the hands of Top Gear producer Andy Willman.

It’s also been confirmed that Clarkson and co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond will continue to host the show for at least the next 3 years. Jezza will also continue to make money from the sale of Top Gear products like DVDs and pocket an annual wage of £350,000. Clarkson is quoted by the Sun as saying: “I’ve got the best job in the world. Why would I leave?” Quite.

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.

I’m A Celebrity cast takes shape as Eric Bristow and Linda Robson sign up

Several sources are stating that former darts legend Eric ‘Crafty Cockney’ Bristow and Linda ‘Her from Brids of a Feather’ Robson have both signed up for the upcoming series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. They join Helen ‘Rosie Webster in Corrie’ Flanagan, Ryan ‘Jason Grimshaw in Corrie’ Thomas and Grace ‘Bound to really good value’ Jones in the ‘they’re-probably-doing-it’ file.

The new series doesn’t start until November so expect plenty more rumours and confirmations on the coming weeks. Apparently recently retired MP Louise Mensch is on the producer’s wish list and presenters Ant & Dec want Chris Moyles. We reckon they’re both long shots. We shall see……

Sherlock ‘remake’ Elementary is coming to the UK but do we really want it?

Since the BBC reinvented Sherlock Holmes for the small screen there have rumours about a US version set in the modern day. Now it’s here.

Elementary stars Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock and Lucy Lui (yes, Lucy Lui) as Watson and is set in current day New York. Similarities to the UK’s Sherlock, with Benedict ‘I look like an Otter’ Cumberbatch and Martin ‘Bilbo’ Freeman, are entirely coincidental, though, if the makers of the US version are to be believed.

It seems that the producers of Elementary, CBS, approached the makers of Sherlock, Hartswood Films, about a possible US remake based on the BBC’s Sherlock a couple of years ago but talks came to nought. Now CBS have got their own modern version and anyone who says they nicked the idea is clearly a fool.

Holmes has, of course been updated and brought into the modern world before (like when he fought Nazis in the 40’s film versions starring Basil Rathbone) but to have two very similar high profile updates so close together smacks a teeny bit of copying, don’t you think?

Anyway, Elementary starts this week in the US and will be shown on Sky Living in the UK very soon so you can make up your own mind which one is better (clue: it’s Sherlock, easily). Here’s a not-very-inspiring trailer for Elementary.

Sir Jimmy Savile’s huge headstone unveiled – it’s also available on Kindle

Since his death in October last year, Sir Jimmy Savile’s grave at Scarborough has been unmarked. This is because he requested that to be buried at a 45 degree angle (so he would be looking at the sea?!?!) and so his family had to wait until the land to settle before his stone could be laid. And now we can see why – it’s enormous!

The triptych stone features 2 pictures, a cross, family details, a list of Sir Jim’ll’s achievements and a sort-of poem written by the man himself. It even has another section of text on the back, which lead to some wag on Twitter joking that the headstone is also available for Kindle.

The stone cost £4,000 so it’s a shame that the makers didn’t spot the misspelling of chieftain on the right hand stone. Someone will be getting a slapped wrist for that one.

In other Savile news (amazing, isn’t it, that a bloke who died 11 months ago is still making news?) ITV are to air a documentary that he sexually assaulted young girls during the 70’s and 80’s. His friends are denying the claims.

Gary Lineker appeals to Simon Cowell to do the right thing

For the past few years one of the later live shows of the X Factor has aired at the same time as the Sports Personality of the Year. Both shows have suffered reduced ratings as a result. With 2012 being a landmark year for British sport, SPOTY host Gary Lineker has taken matters into his own hands by tweeting X Factor boss Simon Cowell directly to appeal to him to avoid a schedule clash.

Lineker tweeted: “Be a lovely gesture and mark of respect to our wonderful athletes if X Factor didn’t run against SPOTY. What do you think @SimonCowell?”

There was no response from Cowell but Lineker later retweeted a message from Mirror journalist Mark Jefferies which said: “Good news @GaryLineker and sport fans, I’ve been told by ITV spokesman there’s “no chance” X Factor will clash with SPOTY.”

How the clash will be avoided has still not been revealed and there has been no official statement from either the BBC or ITV so the stand off may yet happen. Watch this space….

Baggage: Would Gok Wan’s new show be better named ‘Garbage’?

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.