Big Brother Live Final

August 31, 2007 by  
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Big Brother 8 finalistsIt’s hard to believe that Big Brother 8 and the Summer is over. It started 13 ½ weeks ago where we were introduced to an all female household and ended with a modest guy called Brian winning the event! This year’s intake were extremely watchable and likeable. During the weeks we have seen:

  • Charley arguing with everyone in the house (bar the twins). It was difficult to take her seriously as she had one big argument with Brian and said he looked ridiculous, as she herself was in a clown’s outfit!
  • Carole’s obsessive cleaning, taking care of the housemates, but having some fun at the same time especially with “her boys” – Ziggy and Liam.
  • Tracey’s catchphrases – “Deal with it”, “Sketchy”, “Ave it”, “Phat”.
  • Amanda and Sam proving they were not dumb blondes, as they befriended everyone, but had much fun bouncing on settees and being thrown around by Liam, Brian and Ziggy.
  • Liam winning £100,000 after only being in the house a short time. He remained dignified as he never discussed the win to anyone. Who can forget his line “With my wings of steel…”, as he chatted up Amy?
  • The start and end of the romance that was Chiggy, ending with the classic line “It’s not you, it’s me” from Ziggy to Chanelle.
  • The first gay kiss from Seany and Gerry
  • A fake eviction and re-entry into the house (Charley). A fake housemate (Pauline) and her fake psychic readings (“you have the spirit of a cookaburra”).
  • Five halfway housemates enter and much disruption as housemates and half-way housemates moved between the two houses. Amy’s betrayal of her housemates.
  • Three romances – Chanelle and Ziggy, Liam and Amy, Brian and Amanda – will any of these take-off outside of the house?
  • Jonty’s stint as Big Brother for an afternoon asking Ziggy to change his name to Plastic Grass.

The Big Brother Live Final focused on the last 6 (or 7) housemates and managed to squeeze in interviews with them all in front of a live outdoor audience. Liam and Ziggy were particularly concerned that there would be booed, but none of that happened. Davina McCall controlled the evening well and managed to ask the former housemates all of those questions that we wanted to ask. The finalists were as follows:

6th place – Jonty
5th place – Carole
4th place – Ziggy
3rd place – Liam
2nd place – Amanda and Sam

with Brian crowned as the worthy winner. Roll on Big Brother 9!

EastEnders Sharon set to come dancing?

August 31, 2007 by  
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It looks like fans of EastEnders will have to wait a little longer for the return of Sharon.

According to industry rumours, actress Letitia Dean, who plays Albert Square’s favourite blonde, is being lined up for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, due to start in October.

Sharon quit the square after the death of her brother-cum-lover Dennis, though the way was left open for her return.

However, given that Letitia learned how to dance at Syl v ia Young’s top stage school (which also boasts Billie Piper among its many famous former pupils) it looks likely she will be keen to take up the BBC talent show’s offer and will surely consider herself to be a strong contender to win, particularly given the calibre of some of the recent guest stars.

While the actress will no longer be able to work alongside Nigel Harman’s Dennis, she could soon find herself sharing screen time with Robert Kazinsky -  Sean Slater in the show – who was recently crowned ‘Hottie of the Month’ by users of the website FemaleFirst.  

Mock the Week

August 30, 2007 by  
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Mock the Week regularsMock the Week is another comedy panel show, this time a news-based one, produced by Dan Patterson and chaired by Dara O’Briain, professional Irishman and comedian. Unlike its BBC equivalent “Have I Got News for You” this is all comedians and little savage political satire.

One team captain is Hugh Dennis, of the Mary Whitehouse Experience. The other side has a guest captain, this week professional Irishman and comedian Ed Byrne (some sort of trend here). Dennis is usually accompanied by the third Proclaimer, Frankie Boyle, and this week also by depressed-looking newcomer Alun Cochrane. Byrne was flanked by over-aged teenager Russell Howard and bald-man with strange facial hair, Andy Parsons.

The whole show is designed to allow the comedians the chance to run through some stand-up routines disguised as a quiz. The points are awarded by O’Briain to each team on a very random basis, which is mostly whim and never explained nor argued with. As always with panel shows there are regular rounds, this week:

  • Headliners, where the initial letters if a headline are given along with a picture. This gives the panel an opportunity to run through all of their gags on the chosen subject before somebody finally gives the right answer. This week they had the manna from heaven subject of John Prescott, the greatest source of comedy of the past decade.
  • Spinning the News, where four of the panel go to the stand-up area and a random new topic appears. One will step forward and do a stand-up routine on the subject. The last two battle it out over one subject and Dara chooses a winner.
  • This is the answer, what is the question? Where an answer is given and the panel has to guess the question. This week an answer was “Sparrows, Otters and Hedgehogs”. This appears to be a genuine improvisation section where they think of amusing questions that fit the bill: “What does Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s breath smell of?”; “What is the least favourite Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream flavour?”; “What is the biggest selling porn mag in Norfolk?” before somebody comes up with the correct answer “What have recently been put on the endangered species list?”
  • Scenes we’d like to see, where a random question is put up for them to make gags about in the stand-up area, such as “The Worst Thing to say when Running for US President.” Ed Byrne finished with a “bad one”: “I did experiment with marijuana, I did it in sleet, I did it in snow but I did not in hail”.

Hugh and Andy’s team won much the bewilderment of Hugh Dennis.

Mock the Week is generally good fun to watch but few standout moments like its BBC nemesis or Dan Patterson’s previous project “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

Bowie to be Doctor Who space oddity?

August 30, 2007 by  
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Another day, another celebrity linked with a guest appearance on Doctor Who.

Today it’s the turn of pop icon David Bowie to be reportedly lined up for a role in the BBC’s hit sci-fi show, with the producers keen to make use of his ‘other-worldly’ looks in a forthcoming two-part special.

The singer, who had a hit with the song Space Oddity’ will play an evil alien who abducts the crime writer Agatha Christie, if the rumours are to be believed.

One legend of the entertainment world who will definitely be taking a trip with the nation’s favourite time lord is the veteran actress Joan Collins, who will play one of the Doctor’s new foes, a scientist called the Rani.

Fans of the show will also have been given a boost by the news that Russell T Davies has confirmed that David Tennant will not be leaving the title role midway through the next series, despite recent rumours that he may be moving on to pastures new. 


August 29, 2007 by  
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SupernannySupernanny, Jo Frost certainly knows how to control children and is back for a fourth season on Channel 4. Tonight she contends with 4 year-old Cameron, whose parents, Nicky and Chris, are unable to control his aggression. Since the loss of their second child, Josh, through cot death, Nicky has found it particularly difficult to enforce any discipline. The opposite is true of Chris.

Cameron becomes quite aggressive when he does not get his own way, using his mother as a punch bag, slapping his new baby brother, Mackenzie and other children he comes into contact with. His temper tantrums can last 4 hours at a time and his parents have just three weeks to get him to behave (so that he can go to a new nursery).

The Supernanny gets to work by introducing some new techniques, one of which is to introduce a reward chart. Every time that Cameron does something right, he moves one step up the chart and can see his own progress.

Nicky is taught how to control Cameron by:

• Not giving in to his tantrums, by ignoring Cameron, walking out of the room or removing him from the room (as his father does);
• Telling Cameron when he is doing something bad early on (instead of letting it develop into a full-blown tantrum).
• Using different tones of her voice to indicate when Cameron’s behaviour is not acceptable;
• Removing his hand and put it to his side when Cameron hits her;
• Explaining the consequences to Cameron of bad behaviour – e.g. not getting a treat, not going out.
• Rewarding Cameron when he does something right – with lots of hugs and cuddles.

The programme looked at the progress and saw that the length of a tantrum went down from 4 hours to and hour and a half and gradually get less frequent. At the end the whole family are happier, but time will tell whether Cameron’s behaviour will continue to improve.

Doherty lined up for BBC zombie role

August 29, 2007 by  
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The creator of cult sci-fi show Buffy the Vampire Slayer wants troubled singer Pete Doherty to play a zombie in his new BBC show.

Ripper will be a spin-off of the hit US series, with English actor Anthony Head to resume his role as Giles and the man behind it all, Josh Whedon wants the Babyshambles  frontman to play one of the baddies.

“Josh admires [the] pop references in Doctor Who and thought it would be great to get some British musical and comic cameos in the new series,” a source close to Whedon told the Daily Star.

“Pete seemed the obvious choice, with his love of the macabre. The blood paintings and the self-styled night creature are perfect.

“It’s thought he’ll play an approximation of his real-life persona – the zombie remnants of a rock star and poet unable to rest and therefore haunting London – with grisly results, of course.”

The news comes as the latest list of celebrity stars to guest on BBC’s Doctor Who has been unveiled.

Felicity Kendall, best known for her role in the 70s sitcom The Good Life and former Blackadder actor Tim McInnerny will both appear on the show, alongside comedian Catherine Tate. 


August 28, 2007 by  
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Cast of SkinsSkins is a programme about a group of teenagers from Bristol and their angst about school, relationships, family, drugs and sex. Tonight’s episode was the second of the series on Channel 4 and was mainly about Cassie and her life – an unloved anorexic who is a bit strange and has an ethereal quality about her. Last week, the programme was about Sid (who Cassie likes) and the series focuses on a different member of the group per episode.

The programme commenced with ethereal Cassie waking up in her friend Michelle’s house after a party. She was sharing the settee with Chris but awoke to see noodles and dark stuff on the walls and what looked like vomit. The party had resulted in a food fight and this was much in evidence in the house. On her way out, Cassie saw the marked calendar in the kitchen which said that Michelle’s mum was due back from her honeymoon. Cassie warned a half-asleep Michelle, who was in bed with boyfriend Tony and his best mate, Sid, lying on the floor.

As Cassie left the house, Michelle’s mum and new husband turned up and shortly after screams were heard, half-naked teenagers flew out of the house and the police were called.   Cassie returned home (after receiving a sticky note and later text messages that said “Eat!”) to parents enjoying each other in the kitchen. Her father was an artist who liked to paint her mother naked and had little time for Cassie or their young baby.

Cassie made her last visit to the clinic where she was told that she did not need to return (as she had made her target weight – albeit by sneaking in some weights into her skirt). At her final group therapy session, she came across an appropriately named character, “Madison  (or Mad) Twatter”, who had Sid’s student card (Sid had bought dope from him last week and Madison wanted payback). Mad later turned up at Cassie’s school as a supply teacher in pursuit of Sid.

The episode went on to explore Cassie’s battle with food and she came to realise that the person telling her to eat, was in fact herself.

Charley and Chanelle in TV showdown

August 28, 2007 by  
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Charley and Chanelle are to take their Big Brother rivalry one step further as they battle it out to be given the opportunity of presenting their own TV show.

The pair’s antics have been among the highlight’s of this year’s series of the reality TV show, whether it be for their argumentative nature or romantic competitiveness.

Since they were both kicked out of the house over the past few weeks, the two ‘wannabe-Wags’ have made an effort to avoid each other at numerous parties and openings, though they are expected to be re-united at this Friday’s live final.

According to a source of the Sun newspaper, the two girls have been asked to come up with their own shows, with MTV viewers to then decide whose programme is worthy of a whole series.

“They’ve both made loads of contacts since leaving the house and this will put them to the test,” the source said. 

“Charley reckons she’s got lots of footballer mates so maybe she’ll do something with them. And perhaps Chanelle could do something with her idol Posh?”

For now, however, it seems that Chanelle is most looking forward to meeting up with her in-house boyfriend Ziggy, one of the bookmaker’s favourites to win the show, at the end of the week. 

Live International Cricket: England vs. India

August 27, 2007 by  
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England vs. India in Test CricketAfter traditionally being aired firstly on BBC One and then Channel 4, the coverage of Test matches and One Day Internationals (ODIs) are now shown on Sky Sports and are well worth the subscription.

The Sky presenting team consists of David Gower, Sir Ian Botham, David Lloyd, Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain plus sundry other guests. So that’s four England captains and one England coach. The current guest is Indian spin legend Ravi Shastri and a regular each summer is also Michael Holding, one of the greatest of West Indian fast bowlers.

The combination of presenters is interesting and as two are paired together for commentary for each half-hour segment we get to understand their relationships with each other as well. Gower and Botham were England team-mates from the Seventies but whilst Gower plays the urbane, smooth lead presenter, Botham takes on the role of grumpy old pro.

Lloyd was an England player with these two but was also coach of the team when Atherton and Hussain were playing. He is also known as “Bumble” and he bumbles along with daft references, an obsession with the weather in Reading and crowd observations. He is the butt of much of the humour but this is tempered by an immense respect for a test player and coach who has also umpired and has a great depth of knowledge of the game. He also has a great Accrington accent and supposedly once played for the legendary Accrington Stanley Football Club.

Atherton and Hussain are the children, often bickering amongst themselves but are great friends (they keep telling us). Nasser is the latest addition and was initially stilted in his delivery but has settled down to a comfortable pundit. Michael Atherton is the dourest, like his batting, but has a dry wit, which bounces off all of his colleagues. He is also the presenter of the match awards at the end of each game, no one knows why but it seems to work. Shastri just appears lost but carries on like a trooper; Holding is a very cool dude.

The addition of technological wizardry helps with difficult decisions. The use of Hawk-eye, which predicts the flight of the ball, is invaluable for Leg Before Wicket (LBW) to determine if the ball would have hit the stumps if the batsman hadn’t shoved his legs in the way. Hawk-eye was used in the latest match when the umpire adjudged the England captain Paul Collingwood ‘Not Out’. Actually, even a second showing at full speed showed that Collingwood should have been back in the pavilion but Hawk-eye showed us beyond doubt that he would have lost two stumps, if not for his pads. Other technology includes the aging ‘Snickometer’, which listens out for the sound of leather on willow, for edged catches. This is now being superseded by ‘Hot Spot’, which is where infra-red cameras show any contact. All of these are invaluable tools in making the umpire look a complete chump.

The third match in the series between England and India was held at the Edgbaston ground in Birmingham. This is always a good batting pitch. India won the toss and captain Rahul Dravid made England bat first. Last time he did this at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire, England won by over a hundred runs. This time it was closer but the conclusion the same. Man of the Match Ian Bell held the England innings together for most of the fifty overs, with 79 runs, after a good start by the openers, with a nice cameo at the end by bowler Chris Tremlett. In reply, the India team was doing well with long-term greats Dravid and Ganguly both getting fifties, but once they went the rest of the team fell apart.

Sky Sports does an excellent job with its coverage of cricket.

Dickinson’s Real Deal

August 24, 2007 by  
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Dickinson's Real DealDickinson’s Real Deal is an interesting twist on the old antiques program theme which sees David “The Duke” Dickinson introduce a number of his industry friends to many unsuspecting members of the public.  What is the idea behind the program?

Simple, the members of the public bring in their antiques and offer them up for sale either at auction of to a dealer – the choice is theirs.  Sitting down at a table, one to one with a dealer, they go through their items giving as much history and background as they can.  The professional dealers then attempt to negotiate a bargain for themselves,  offering what they see as a “fair” deal for the objects.

While the majority of the items which pass through the showrooms, on the way to possible auction, are nothing spectacular, they do actually see some hidden gems passing their way – but who knows best, the owner or the dealer? Will the dealer offer a price acceptable to the owner, or will they decide to go to auction?

The show has many interesting encounters with members of the public looking to negotiate the best deal with a professional dealer – as easy as getting blood out of a stone! Surprisingly it s not always the dealers who win, with many members of the public rejecting what have in the past been handsome offers, instead deciding to go to auction.  There have been many success, although probably a lot more failures!

“The Duke” is the perfect presenter for this show, coming cross as the publics friend, often stepping in to push a bid higher where he thinks that the dealer may be trying to “pull a fast one”. Dickinson’s profile went sky high after he appeared on Celebrity Jungle,  and the public seem to have taken to this loveable old rogue.

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