Jools’s Annual Hootenanny

December 31, 2007 by  
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Jools HollandNow something of a tradition, Jools Holland’s Hootenanny started as and end of year special for his late-night music show ‘Later’. Broadcast over the bringing in of the New Year it features music acts that have made an impression over the previous year and has a lot of celebrity guests as the audience. It has run every year since 1992/1993, with the exception of 2000, when Holland and his Big Band were bringing the New Year in with the Queen at the Millennium Dome.

The illusion is that the show is broadcast live but is actually recorded two weeks before in the middle of December when the acts and guests are more likely to be available. Jools himself has said that anybody that reveals that the show is not live will be “tracked down, along with their families, and slain by archers”, thus revealing that the show is not live and is now looking over his shoulder for would-be Robin Hoods.

Regular guests include Dawn French and Lenny Henry, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal, and his old friend Roland Rivron who is called upon to make predictions. This year the audience included Doctor Who, David Tennant, and the Master, John Simm, both of whom were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Music guests this year included Sir Paul McCartney and Kylie Minogue, as well as the Kaiser Chiefs; Madness; last year’s new big thing, Kate Nash; this year’s new big thing, Duffy; Soul legend Eddie Floyd; small, Scottish woman with big voice, Lulu; Holland’s Big Band regular, Ruby Turner; curly-haired Freddie-a-like, Mika; and straggly Southern Bluesman, Seasick Steve.

All the music went down well but the surprise package on a real musician’s music show was pop princess, Kylie. Looking a little more curvy than in the recent past, she showed it off in a very tight long dress and did a ‘Pfeiffer’ on Jools’s piano, singing the jazz song ‘Come On Strong’. Holland has vowed never to clean the piano again and allowed her to come for a repeat performance whenever she likes. She also did a big-band version of ‘2Hearts’, a torch-song version of ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ and sang with McCartney on his 2007 hit ‘Dance Tonight’. Even Seasick Steve had trouble competing with that.

As always, Hootenanny didn’t disappoint, and the timing ‘issue’ of midnight is almost becoming a running joke. Next year, expect the chimes any time between 11:50 and 12:10, but enjoy it anyway.

Flavia’s former flame speaks of Strictly heartbreak

December 31, 2007 by  
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While he may have been pipped to the post by singer Alesha Dixon, it appears that actor Matt di Angelo has won the race for the affection of Flavia Cacace.

According to the 27-year old dancer’s long-term boyfriend and Strictly Come Dancing rival Vincent Simone, Flavia managed to get extremely close to the Eastenders star over the course of the series.

Now, after confronting her at the after-show party, Vincent has revealed that he feels “angry and upset” about how Flavia has behaved.

“When she and Matt went off to cosy up on a sofa in the corner together, that was it,” he said.

“She cried and told me she’d fallen for him. I know what we have is special and lasting so I just hope that if I give her some space, things will fizzle out between them.”

To make matters worse for the 29-year old, Matt and Flavia are due to be travelling and dancing around the country in the forthcoming Strictly Come Dancing tour which kicks of next month.

“I’m suffering every single day that I’m not with her and to see her with Matt on and off the dancefloor will be unbearable,” he added.

Dannii tipped for new BBC acting role

December 28, 2007 by  
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Following her older sister’s festive appearance in Doctor Who, rumours are circling that Dannii Minogue is to take a leading role in a new TV show.

According to the Sun, the Australian singer is to play a part alongside John Barrowman in Torchwood, the hit spin-off series of Doctor Who.

“I’d love it if Dannii appeared in Torchwood. She has an edge and I know she’s a fan of the show,” the actor, who plays Captain Jack on the show, told the paper.

Should she land the part, it is expected that she will appear in several episodes, unlike sister Kylie who met a dramatic death after saving the Doctor’s life.

The news comes on the back of a successful Christmas season for Dannii.

Just days after his victory on the X-Factor, her young protégé Leon Jackson has topped the charts with his debut single, while runner-up Rhydian has also managed to secure a lucrative record deal.

Kylie’s guest appearance on Doctor Who saw the show attract 12.2 million Christmas Day viewers, equivalent to around half of the total TV audience.

Dr. Who Christmas Special

December 25, 2007 by  
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Kylie and The DoctorChristmas is not Christmas without something good to watch on the television and Dr. Who never fails to deliver.
This special one-hour  episode of Dr. Who was called “Voyage of the Dammed” and started with the Titanic going through the TARDIS and Dr Who exclaiming “What!!!?” The programme had a number of famous faces including Geoffrey Palmer, Kylie Minogue, George Costigan and Bernard Cribbins.

As he enters the Titanic, the Doctor comes to terms with strange Robot Angels and a red spikey faced dwarf named Bannakaffalatta (who is a cyborg). The Titanic is actually not a ship on the sea but is a space ship in orbit around the Earth (a level 5 planet). Titanic is part of Max Capricorn Cruiseliners. One of the  Robots  -The Heavenly Host –  tells Dr. Who that  the purpose of the cruise is to examine primitive cultures from Planet Sto. The Robots have a habit of going on the blink. – one has almost strangled a passenger whilst fixing her necklace.

Kylie Minogue plays Astrid, a put-upon waitress who becomes the Doctor’s side-kick and provides some love interest.

Mr Copper, a (false) Historian tells the guests they intend to visit that UK, which is ruled over by Good King Wenceslas; that human beings worship the Great God Santa and his wife Mary;  and that every Christmas Eve, people of the UK go to war with Turkey  and then eat the people of Turkey (like savages). A team visit the UK on Christmas Eve to find it is empty. London at Christmas is not thought to be safe as a Christmas Star electrocuted last year and there were space ships the year before.

They get back to the Titanic because of power fluctuations.  Meteoroids are heading towards them and there is no protective shield in place.  When asked whether the shielding has been checked, one of the Robot Angels quips “Information – you are all going to die!”

The ship becomes bombarded with meteoroids and has huge holes in it. Unfortunately, the TARDIS has left the Titanic and has locked onto the orbit of the Earth, and the Robot Angels are intent on killing people. There are reminders of the film, The Poseidon Adventure as some of the passengers, led by the Doctor climb to the top of the ship and use a defunct Robot Angel , whilst others try to kill them by taking off their halos and throwing them like deadly frisbees. Bannakaffalatta  and his fuel supply help to save the day.

When faced with a number of Robot Angels, the Doctor says he wants to ask 3 questions and wastes two of them before proclaiming himself a stowaway (and thus not able to be killed). He then says “Take me to your leader” – one of many comedic moments in the programme. The Doctor meets Max who consists of a human head wired up to a cyborg life support system.  The Titanic has just a small amount of energy left to stop it from crashing  into the Earth, but Max Capricorn is intent on destroying it.  Astrid gets into a fork lift trick and aims to push Max in to the gaping hole of the ship – which she does.

With Max dead , the Host Robots consider the Doctor to be their superior and transport him to the bridge of the Titanic – Superman style. However, it looks like the Titanic is on a collision course for Buckingham Palace and the Queen and corgis are seen leaving. With the Doctor at the wheel, the ship misses the Palace . He manages to bring Astrid back but just as set of atoms and kisses her so that she can travel forever, like fairy dust.  The Doctor takes Mr Copper down to the UK

BBC to launch televised search for Oliver!

December 24, 2007 by  
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Following on from the successful searches for the next big things of the stage in Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marai? the BBC has announced that it is to launch a nationwide televised contest for the role of Oliver in the hit musical.

The show, which will be called I’d Do Anything, will see thousands of young boys from across the UK battle it out on prime-time television to land the title role on the West End stage.

As well as guaranteeing to change the lives of three boys, the show will also be on the lookout for an undiscovered actress to play Nancy in Lionel Bart’s musical adaptation of the Dickens classic.

As with previous shows, I’d Do Anything will be hosted by Graham Norton, while Andrew Lloyd Webber and fellow composer Cameron Mackintosh will be among the judges.

“We’re really pleased to be building on the success of Any Dream Will Do with a new search for West End stars next year,” Elaine Bedell, the BBC’s controller of entertainment commissioning said.

“Oliver! is a much-loved British musical so we’re sure the show will unite families and melt hearts across the UK as we watch some of Britain’s best new talent take centre stage.”

As part of its Christmas programme, the BBC is also bringing together Connie Fisher and Lee Mead, who leapt to stardom through the channel’s talent shows, in a festive one-off. 

Comedians to take over the Big Brother house

December 21, 2007 by  
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Jimmy Carr is to lead a team of famous comedians in running the Big Brother house in the latest twist on the voyeuristic reality show.

Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack, which kicks off on January 3rd, will see celebrities take over from the usual producers in running the show, while, rather than the usual dim-witted attention seekers, the housemates will be made up of Mensa members, talented artists and musicians and some of the country’s finest scientific minds.

Dermot O’Leary, who is to return as the presenter, revealed: “There are two main differences to the new show.

“Firstly the celebs will actually be Big Brother. And secondly, rather than auditions, we went out and deliberately cast some very gifted people to be in the house – so hopefully it’ll lead to a really fun experience.”

This latest twist comes as the producers shy away from the Celebrity Big Brother format after the show was rocked by allegations of racial abuse by last year’s famous housemates.

Racing critic and former housemate John McCirick will also be on the panel controlling this house, as will Matt Lucas and Joan Rivers.

Second-placed Ryhdian lands £1m record deal

December 20, 2007 by  
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Welsh wonder Rhydian Roberts is set to follow in the footsteps of Dame Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones after he signed a £1 million record deal with music mogul Simon Cowell.

Despite coming second to Leon Jackson in this year’s X Factor, the show’s top judge nevertheless has decided that he has what it takes to become a star, though it is not yet clear whether his new career will focus on the musical show-stoppers that won him so many fans over the past few weeks.

A source close to the singer told the Daily Star: “Rhydian is thrilled to have got a record deal. He knew he would get something out of appearing on the X Factor.”

However, the news is unlikely to bring an end to the ‘vote-fixing’ controversy surrounding the recent result, with thousands of fans still maintaining that the result was ‘rigged’, despite the protestations of the show’s producers, judges and even Rhydian’s mother.

At the same time, victor Leon has revealed that he celebrated being crowned the country’s top singing talent by going on a ‘drinks binge’ in London.

Move on, he lost, Rhydian’s mum tells fans

December 19, 2007 by  
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The mother of X-factor star Rhydian Roberts has advised to fans to move on from the controversy surrounding the result of Saturday’s final.

Barely a minute had passed after Leon Jackson was crowned as this year’s winner when supporters of the bleached-blond Welshman began to voice their concerns over the fairness of the voting system.

Broadcaster ITV has already received in excess of 700 calls from viewers claiming that they were unable to get through to register their vote for Rhydian and, with just one per cent ultimately separating the final two acts, they claim that this could have cost their favourite the title.

“The whole final stinks,” one viewer wrote on an internet message board.

“Whilst I would not go as far to say it was fixed, I do not believe that the results were representative of the audience.”

However, X Factor judge Louis Walsh has been quick to dismiss claims that the result was fixed, stating: “As far as I am aware, of the 7 million plus people who voted, Leon won by a margin of around 10 per cent which is pretty clear as far as I’m concerned.”

Rhys Ifans tipped as the next Doctor Who

December 18, 2007 by  
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Welsh actor Rhys Ifans has emerged as the hot favourite to become the next Doctor Who once current incumbent David Tennant steps down at the end of the next series.

The Notting Hill star, who is currently making headlines as a result of his rumoured romance with Sienna Miller rather than his acting abilities, is known to be a big fan of the hit sci-fi show.

A source from within the show told the Daily Express: “It’s felt that Rhys would bring very different dimensions to the role and would make a more maverick, slightly menacing Doctor, perhaps more in the mould of the former Timelord Tom Baker.”

However, Ifans could face stiff competition from Ulsterman James Nesbitt who is also expected to be in contention for the prestigious role.

One person who will definitely be stepping into the role of the Doctor is Jennifer Saunders, with the Ab Fab star set to take on the role for a special episode to be filmed and screened next year.

Saunders will become the first-ever female actress to play the Timelord, though she has expressed her wish for it to be simply a one-off.

Gethin gets Strictly Come Dancing chop

December 17, 2007 by  
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Blue Peter’s dancing Welshman Gethin Jones has been voted off the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing after a tense showdown with actor Matt Di Angelo.

Prior to the weekend’s show, the children’s TV star had been the bookmakers’ favourite to take first place in the celebrity talent show, however his Paso Doble and Argentine Tango ultimately let him down when it mattered most.

Judge Arlene Philips said of his Paso Doble: “At times it was not very pleasant, like a Spanish omelette, at other times it was like a fine Rioja.”

However, fellow judges Craig Revel-Horwood, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli failed to take anything positive out of his dancing and voted to send him home, leaving former Eastender Di Angelo to face pop singer Alesha Dixon in next week’s final.

After the judge’s decision was announced, Gethin remained upbeat saying: “I’ve had an incredible adventure and now I have some great dance moves.

“My friends never expected me to get past week two.”

The Welshman will now have Saturday evenings free to take out opera star Katherine Jenkins after the pair recently confirmed that they are seeing each other.

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