CSI : Miami

June 26, 2007 by  
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CSI Miami is one of the long list of CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) based programs which have been taking the US and the UK by storm. 

Originally a spin off from the CSI : Crime Scene Investigation series, the fan base for this stable of programs has been growing for the last couple of years.  Set in some of the most beautiful scenery in the States,  CSI Miami contains a great mix of crimes stories, investigative techniques, and the internal wranglings of a busy forensic department.

CSI MiamiThe program has made stars of the likes of David Caruso, Khandi Alexander, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez and Jonathan Togo.  While there are dozens of crime shows hitting the UK from the States, CSI Miami seems to stand out due to the great attention to detail.  It is amazing to see how the CSI team can find even the smallest particle of evidence from a crime scene, and link to a suspect. 

Tonight’s show sees the team receive a random mobile phone call which leads to a frantic and desperate race against time to stop a kidnapping turning into homicide.  Using the latest techniques available in real life, and the latest technology, the CSI team pool their thoughts and ideas together in the hope of a positive outcome.

While the impact which TV can have on society has never been in doubt, there are reports that regular fans of the CSI shows who are called for jury service, have been demanding more evidence before deciding the outcome of serious criminal trials.  It seems that fact and fiction may be coming slightly blurred!

After watching CSI Miami, it seems that there is no such thing as the perfect crime in this day and age – even years later the smallest spec of blood, the tiniest slice of DNA can come back to haunt those who commit these crimes in real life.

New Tricks – old dogs can learn

June 25, 2007 by  
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The main cast of New TricksBased on the premise that you can not teach an old dog new tricks, this BBC series proves that old adage wrong. Three retired detectives, led by Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) examine unsolved crimes of yester-year using old and new policing methods.

Each of the detectives has their own areas of expertise – Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong) is the bi-polar intellectual, remembering past case histories, having an interest in analysis, maths, biology and generally open to new ideas. Jack Halford (James Bolam) is still trying to come to terms with the death of his wife, Mary and enjoys solving the old cases as a way of forgetting his loneliness. He is the elder statesman of the team. Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman) is the down-to-earth bad boy of the team. He has 3 ex-wives who are his friends, 3 daughters and a granddaughter and has even flirted with his boss. He is a fan of the old policing methods – having a snout or grass (informant) on cases and mixing with the underworld. He hates the bureaucracy and forms that need to be completed and leaves those to the rather obsessive Brian. Sandra herself is a highly successful career woman who has made sacrifices in her personal life. She keeps the team focussed and sweetens up the boss – Strickland.

The plot focuses on the lives of the 4 main characters as much as the crimes that they solve which range from feuds between two warring Ice-cream making gangsters, deaths associated with a Wiccan cult, Gangster property tycoons and violent dog killings.

The programme has just concluded its fourth series and repeats of series 3 are being shown. The series works because of the genuine humour and respect of the members of the team – they have become a surrogate family. Often being the butt of many “Little Britain” jokes about his size and tv roles, Dennis Waterman does indeed sing the theme tune!

Only Fools And Horses

June 24, 2007 by  
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Whoever said good humour does not age must have been watching “Only Fools And Horses”, the BBC cult comedy show enjoying a string of repeats on UK Gold and UK Gold 2.  Written by John Sullivan, the show follows the Trotter family of Peckham and their hilarious adventures.  The shows main run ended over 10 years ago, although there have been Christmas specials since then, and if anything the popularity has grown even further!

Only Fools And HorsesThe characters of Del Boy (played by David Jason) and Rodney (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst) in particular have become household names, with terms such as “this time next year we will be millionaires” and “plonker” common place in many areas of the country.  Tonight’s episode sees the Trotter family in yet more financial trouble with Rodney pushed into a directorship of Trotters Independent Traders with Del Boy currently banned.  While Rodney thinks he is the boss, Del knows otherwise and continues as normal, wheeling and dealing in his own inimitable fashion.   

In its heyday this program could draw in audience figures approaching 25 million, something which many TV programs of today can only dream of.  Originally rejected as a writer, John Sullivan has created a national institution which has spawned a mass market in websites, memorabilia, fan clubs and DVDs.  The program’s attraction seems to revolve around the expert writing and an array of characters with which we can all relate to.

There are many scenes which have gone down in British folklore including the Batman and Robin scene, Rodney’s wedding and Granddad’s funeral to mention only a few.  Sullivan has a gift of injecting moments of humour into even the saddest scenes, allowing the viewer to experience the full range of emotions.

There are very few comedy shows which can last more than a decade, seeming to take on a life of their own.  “Only Fools And Horses” is up there at the top of the tree, and it will take something really special to knock it off!

Jekyll – a new take on an old story

June 23, 2007 by  
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Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the original story about Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde in his book “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, which has been covered many times in film and on tv. The basis of the story is of the mild-mannered genius Dr. Henry Jekyll, having an alter-ego as evil Mr Edward Hyde.

James Nesbitt as Dr. JackmanThe BBC have updated the story in their TV drama “Jekyll”.  James Nesbitt of Cold Feet and Murphy’s Law takes the lead as Dr Tom Jackman, a supposed ancestor of Dr. Jekyll, and the twisted Mr Hyde.  Dr Jackman was abandoned by his mother as a young baby and left near a railway track. Gentle and brilliant by nature, he tries to keep the existance of the arrogant carnivore Hyde as a secret from his family. The two characters share the same body but know little of each other.

It is a convincing performance from James Nesbitt whose features get harder, teeth more visible and sharper, hair slicked back  and manner more confident as the Hyde character.  Dr Jackman awakes after a transformation wondering why he is blood soaked and his memory has been erased. To add to the plot Dr. Jackman is being followed by organisation intent on luring out Mr Hyde.

In tonight’s episode (the second of the series), Hyde found out that Jackman had children and communicated by a telephone that was not  in operation. Jackman took his children to the zoo for the day only to find that his son had been placed in the lion enclosure. This was the work of the secret organisation who had bought the zoo and placed the child in danger.

Jackman scaled the heights of the lions cage to roar back at a lion who was about to attack his son. Next was a scene of a dead lion ending up on the top of the organisation’s van and a blood soaked and ranting Hyde commanding the lions. He later proceeded to tie a naked man to a chair, make him deaf and blind with most bones broken and dumped him on the floor of the local hospital. Having seen what happened to the man and meeting a woman claiming to be his mother, Dr. Jackman took a heavy dose of tablets akin to Pro Plus, he vowed that Hyde would never take over.

It’s an interesting twist on an old story, but as Nesbitt plays Hyde in a “Hannibal Lecter” fashion, it perhaps ought be screened later than 9pm.

Glastonbury – Let The Mud Fights Begin!

June 22, 2007 by  
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Today saw the first day of the Glastonbury music festival, which runs from 22nd June to 24 June, with nearly 200,000 fans expected over the next 3 days.  When you consider that Glastonbury the town has a population of just 8,0000 you get an idea of the popularity of the event! The festival is renowned for the wet weather, mud fights and above all the hundreds of bands on offer – with some truly memorable music acts.

GlastonburyWhile recent weather forecasts had indicated a lack of rain, meaning none of the imfamous mud fights, its seems that the weather may just be about to turn!  However, once they see the list of artists appearing, it will make it all worthwhile, with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Bjork, Amy Winehouse, Super Furry Animals and many many more well known acts.

The main gig at Glastonbury is becoming much sought after in the music industry, with many mainstream acts refusing the honour of appearing unless they are the lead act.  While unfortunate for many of the thousands of music followers, it is an indication of how far this Festival has come since the first “Hippie” show of 1970.  The festival has grown a cult following which seems to be expanding year on year.

Even though the show is now a main part of the UK music scene attracting fans from all over the world, the organisers never cease to amaze with new shows, new stages and their grasp of new technology.  As has become the norm over the last few years, the shows is receiving extensive coverage on the BBC, with highlights available every night.

If this years event is as good as recent times then we are in for some great music – and lots of fun!


June 21, 2007 by  
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The amazing Hugh Laurie heads a cast of relatively unknown actors in this US based hospital drama, which is set in New Jersey.  Laurie plays “House”, the main anti-social, ignorant and down right rude leader of a group of doctors who take on a wide variety of illnesses and unknown conditions.

This really is edge of the seat addictive TV, and audience figures have been climbing steadily higher as the program continues to catch the public eye.  UK actor Laurie has been in the US for a couple of years now, leaving behind his young family and returning home when he can.  He was as surprised as anyone about the success of the series, which has also gone down very well in the States.

The last few weeks have seen ”House” pursued by a hard nosed detective who did not appreciate his forth right opinions when attending the hospital.  Noticing that ”House” was struggling with some kind of painful illness himself, the detective set about to ruin the doctor and prove he should not be practising.  After weeks of investigating the case finally ended up in court, although ”House” was cleared after his colleague lied on his behalf.

The program offers a great mix of medical drama, personal stories and a team spirit that has stayed strong throughout the many ups and downs of life in the hospital.  It is the unorthodox style of the medical treatment and the great plots which have made the series so popular.  It appears that Hugh Laurie may be spending a few more years in the States, although in real life he seems to be suffering from home sickness.

Tonight’s episode involved a young girl who was suffering from a mystery fever, and appeared not to be able to feel pain.  While there seems to be no reason for the condition, ”House” and the team begin a long drawn out process to find the answer.  Will they be able to save her?

Ziggy to be the new face of Lynx, family claim

June 21, 2007 by  
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Big Brother hunk Ziggy is being lined up as the new face of men’s deodorant Lynx, it has been reported.

The 26-year old came immediately to the nation’s attention after being the first male to enter the then-all female house and has been the subject of romantic gossip ever since.

However, according to his family and friends, the proposed deal with the cosmetic company will not be the first time that Ziggy, whose real name is Zac Lichman, has cashed in on his looks.

Prior to entering the Big Brother house, he had previously worked as a model on several campaigns, including one for French Connection.

Speaking to the Sun, a friend of the family said; “He knew his stint in BB could make or break his career.

“But he was determined to make some money from it and had arranged some deals before he went in.

“Lynx is going to be the ideal job for him.

“They wanted to use him anyway but Big Brother gives it more leverage.”

Jonathan strong favourite for eviction from Big Brother house

June 20, 2007 by  
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The female domination of this year’s Big Brother house looks set to continue, with Jonathan Durden the favourite to be evicted in the next public vote.

The 49-year-old multi-millionaire, who made his money through the success of his media agency, is up against Carole and Seany, who also picked up five nominations for evictions from their fellow housemates.

However, it is Jonathan who is firm favourite with the bookmakers to get the boot, with the average odds for him to go currently standing at 4/11.

“How Charley escaped eviction this week we’ll never know, but Jonathan is now the firm favourite to get the axe this Friday,” said Sharon McHugh spokeswoman for the bookmakers Paddy Power.

“Late arrivals are rarely popular with viewers,” she added.

What makes this latest round of evictions even more significant is that it is the first time that all of the housemates have been allowed to vote for who they would like to see leave.

In previous weeks, only Ziggy, Gerry and twins Sam and Amanda have been awarded the right to nominate others for eviction.

Eastenders : The Love Triangle Comes To An End

June 19, 2007 by  
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While the Dawn , Rob and May love triangle has been on going for some time it came to a dramatic climax tonight with Dawn finally making it home from her kidnap horror.  After being tied up by Rob and May, she finally escaped before the mad doctor was able to induce her baby.

EastendersAfter returning to Walford, Dawn fell into the arms of her old friend Gary, whom had been devastated to see her leave.  She told Gary about her living nightmare, then returned home to a barrage of questions from Keith and Mickey.  After finally breaking her silence she is confronted by Rob who has returned and broken into the kitchen, insisting he did not know what was happening and desperate to see Dawn was ok. 

After deciding against calling the police, Dawn suddenly ups sticks and makes for her mother’s home for a few days of rest, leaving Mickey, Keith and Gary to “have a chat with Rob”. 

Elsewhere the plot thickens with Ben and Stella as the two head off for a day practising football, with Stella intent on getting Ben ready for the football academy.  A great day suddenly turns sour when Ben accidentally hits Stella in the face with the football, with viewers left to wonder just how this unpredictable character will respond.

Over at the Queen Vic’ Peggy decides to dish out some revenge of her own to Yolande Trueman, who has been somewhat off with Peggy over the last few days.  Her barbed comments come back to haunt her in a hilarious scene with Peggy soaking Yolande with a powerful water gun.  While everyone looks around trying to find the culprit, it is only Pat who spots Peggy hanging out of the Queen Vic’ upstairs window.

The show ended with a desperate Dawn sitting on the London underground looking forward to a few days with her mother, when all of a sudden she goes into labour – surely she will not give birth on the underground!

Chanelle left feeling “fat” after latest Big Brother challenge

June 19, 2007 by  
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The latest challenge set by Big Brother has provoked rows and insecurity amongst the remaining housemates.

In order to be rewarded with a luxury shopping budget for the week, the housemates were set the task of swimming the equivalent of the English Channel, 21 miles, in the Big Brother swimming pool.

Though it is a team task, an added twist will see the housemate who contributes the greatest distance to the team’s efforts rewarded individually, while the one who swims the least will be punished.

Currently, it looks like Chanelle will be on the receiving end of Big Brother’s punishment after managing just seven lengths of the pool, prompting some of her fellow housemates to question her fitness.

“I can’t believe you called me unfit,” she shouted back.

“I go to the gym, I go on the treadmill, I do weights.”

Despite initially sticking up for herself, Chanelle was later left in tears as a result of Gerry’s comments which she said made her feel “fat”.

“I’m definitely going to have a boob job when I get out of here,” she promised.

The housemates have until the end of day 21 to complete the task.

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