This Week

January 31, 2008 by  
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This WeekThis Week is a topical political programme that conveniently follows Question Time on a Thursday evening.  It has now been on air for 5 years and is presented by former newspaper editor,  Andrew Neil.  Former Conservative MP Michael Portillo also appears with Labour MP, Diane Abbott. Although Michael and Diane represent different political parties, they are good friends and there is a healthy respect of views. The purpose of the programme is to look at the last week in politics and of late, there has been a focus on political sleeze and payment of funds for MPs leadership campaigns. Normally, one or more political figures appears on the programme each week with a media personality. Various pop stars have appeared in the past and provided their views, for example, Lily Allen and guest should be prepared for some gentle teasing.

There are several running jokes throughout the programme as Andrew Neil asks the viewers to settle down with a glass of “Blue Nun” and watch the programme. Gordon Brown is often referred to as “Our Great Leader” or “Our Leader” and this phrase is often delivered with a sense of sarcasm. There are jokes about the three regulars not having much intelligence, when in fact they all were all well educated. This Week is highly watchable and has many funny moments (who can forget the recreation of “Is this the way to Amarillo?”) and it makes politics more accessible. Unsurprisingly, the programme has received an award for doing just that.

Neighbours Round Up January 31, 2008

January 31, 2008 by  
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Things are tense for Carmella this week as she discovers her pregnancy may be at risk and is rushed to hospital with complications. Marco and Oliver hurry to be by her side, but an argument soon erupts when a jealous Oliver questions Marco’s motives in befriending her. Carmella decides to settle their relationship once and for all, and tells Oliver the truth – she loves him. With her heart on the line, Carmella is devastated when Oliver admits that he does not feel the same way. He reminds her that they will always be in each other’s lives because they are having a baby together, but will this satisfy Carmella?

Rosie is having a hard time at work, as she continues to be intimidated by hotshot city lawyer Christine. Christine challenges Rosie’s idealistic belief that she can balance a legal career and have a family. Unfortunately, Christine pushes Rosie’s patience too far and she tells her exactly what she thinks of her. An indignant Christine abandons the case and Susan is left without a lawyer. Can Rosie and Toadie handle Susan’s defence on their own?

Elsewhere, Bridget’s slow recovery is still proving far from easy as she faces her first day back at school. Elle is told to fire either Paul or Oliver and faces a tough decision. Pepper struggles to keep Ringo’s eating disorder a secret when a fatigued Ringo almost drowns after taking appetite suppressants.

Hollyoaks Round Up – January 31, 2008

January 31, 2008 by  
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Nancy is worried about Jake’s priorities this week as he seems more concerned about the wedding than Charlie’s chemotherapy. She is stunned when Jake announces that he’s made arrangements for them to be married in the hospital chapel so that Charlie can be there. Russ has concerns about Nancy and Jake getting married at the hospital, but agrees to be Jake’s best man. Nancy spurns Jake’s advances on their wedding night, but he uses his strength to overpower her, until Steph walks in. Jake is desperate to win Nancy back after the event, but she refuses to come out of the bedroom, reducing Jake to a whimpering mess.

Sasha is frustrated that Leo and Calvin treat her like a child while demanding that she grow up, and Fletch convinces her that getting stoned is the answer. Sasha refuses to accept Calvin’s apology for hurting her, packs her bags and leaves with Fletch to stay with Amy and Ste. Sasha and Fletch suffer a massive comedown in Ste and Amy’s bathroom after taking heroin the night before. Will she come to her senses?

Elsewhere, Gilly asks Rhys to be his best man, unaware of Rhys and Beth’s secret kiss the night before. Summer convinces O.B. he needs to tell Tom that he’s leaving for London. O.B. ends up reminiscing with Max about the old days and the mischief they used to get up to. Will O.B. still want to leave Hollyoaks when he realises what he’s giving up?

East Enders Round Up

January 31, 2008 by  
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In this week’s visit to Walford, Stacey is continuing her downward spiral and is in hospital after collapsing in the club. Sean is a man on a vengeful mission and wants Max to pay for what he has done to her.

It’s Valentine’s Day and couples on the square use the occasion to demonstrate their love for each other. Love is in the air, and Stacey and Bradley talk through their problems and attempt to reunite. They decide to visit a Doctor Who convention together, but will it be enough to repair their broken relationship? It’s also the day of a very unromantic event – Tanya’s first divorce hearing. Will it go well for her?

Elswhere, Mo is on a mission, and decides that it is her job to find a new love interest for Charlie. Her first stop is to place a Lonely Heart’s advert in the Walford Gazette. Meanwhile, Tanya realises Sean is disturbed and asks him to leave. 

Emmerdale Round Up – January 31, 2008

January 31, 2008 by  
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Sam’s predicament increases this week, as Samson’s health deteriorates. Sam is wary of the security at the hospital and calls Marlon for help. Sam opens up to his cousin and is eventually convinced to turn himself in to the police. Sam finds himself arrested and Samson is taken away. He tells his side of the armed robbery to the police and David supports Sam’s story that it was a misunderstanding. They downgrade Sam’s charges to breaking and entering and release him. A furious Sam has no choice but to return to the Dingles where he is told by the social worker that unless he remains with his family, Samson could be taken into care.

Gray and Katie receive positive news from the latest baby check-up but he is evasive when Katie suggests lunch. Persuasive, Katie seduces Gray and he softens but insists they take things slowly. They arrive at the Woolpack to find Carl and Matthew in the midst of an argument and, to Katie’s horror, word of her surrogacy is shared with the regulars. Later Gray returns home with Katie and it seems that the earlier setback has done nothing to dampen their affair as they head for the bedroom.

Elsewhere, Jonny is forced to impart some bad news when he discovers the wedding venue has been destroyed. He speaks to Paul and they discuss the option of a registry office, much to Val’s dismay. Nicola attempts to wear David down over his objections towards her murderous plans. When she can’t convince him Nicola decides to act alone.  

Coronation Street Round Up – January 31, 2008

January 31, 2008 by  
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The big day has arrived for Liam and Maria but the wedding looks likely to be a memorable one for all the wrong reasons. After witnessing Carla seductively kissing her fiancé on the doorstep of their house, Maria is in turmoil over whether to go ahead with the wedding at all and confesses her fears about Liam and Carla to a concerned Fiz. Carla dresses to kill in a scarlet dress – determined to outdo the bride. As the car pulls up to the hotel, Maria refuses to get out of the car, saying she can’t go through with the wedding. Will the wedding go ahead?

Michelle is proud of Ryan as he takes on his duties as best man and apologises to him for the recent disruptions, insisting that he’ll always come first. Meanwhile, Alex causes a scene when he turns up at the hotel unannounced claiming he wants to meet his family. Ryan is distraught and Michelle immediately demands that she take Alex home before her family discover what’s going on. Will Michelle let events spiral out of control?

Elsewhere, Roy is torn about whether or not to visit Hayley in Africa – he’s worried about leaving the café and the flat and he also has a fear of flying. Violet is becoming increasingly exasperated with Sean’s baby talk and Sean is still troubled about the home birth idea. It isn’t long before he comes up with an alternative solution.

What Women Want

January 30, 2008 by  
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What Women WantWhat Women Want is a comedy starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt in the lead roles. Mel Gibson plays  Nick Marshall, a male chauvinist business man. He is a divorcee with a teenage daughter who he does not understand.  Nick works in the advertising industry, but finds that he is passed over for promotion and that Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt) gets the job instead.

He is quiet keen to impress his boss, Dan (Alan Alda) and for the next assignment attempts to get in touch with his feminine side in advertising a range of products for women.  Unfortunately, he has an accident in the bathroom whilst testing out the products and is electrocuted by the hairdryer and water in the bath tub.

The next day he can hear strange voices and it turns out that he can hear everything that females think about (and is drowned by the noise!). He decides to consult  a psychiatrist about this but she persuades him that this is a gift. Still smarting at Darcy getting his job, he gets close to her using his new “gift” and steals her idea based at advertising Nike to women.  Darcy loses her job and Nick loses his new found powers , but he realises that he has feelings for Darcy.  What Women Want is an enjoyable romantic comedy based on a single theme.

A Boy Called Alex

January 29, 2008 by  
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A Boy called AlexA Boy Called Alex was a documentary following the life of Alex Stobbs at Eton collage. Alex had a particularly severe form of cystic fibrosis (an inherited disease which affects the lungs and digestive system). Alex needed regular physiotherapy and a mixture of drugs to control the disease. It was affecting his bones and his hearing too.

Despite this, Alex was a pupil at Eton college and a highly gifted musician who played piano and sang in the choir. He had taken up the extremely demanding challenge of conducting a piece at a special performance at Eton Chapel. This was the Magnificat – Bach’s choral work. The programme followed Alex through his preparation for this task over a three-month period and highlighted what he had to contend with, but also the support of his tutors, doctor and family.

Alex became extremely ill on more than one occasion but was determined to rise to the performance, as music was his life. The programme was extremely inspiring as Alex met the challenge.

Double Jeopardy

January 28, 2008 by  
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Double JeopardyDouble Jeopardy is a legal defence in some countries (for example in the USA), which says that a person can not be tried twice for the same crime. This is the premise for the film of the same name. It stars Ashley Judd as Libby Parsons and Tommy Lee Jones as Travis Lehman.

Libby is happily married to Nick and has a young son Matty. Libby and Nick spend time on their boat and she awakes one day to find the bed empty, blood on the sheets and blood in the shower. However, her husband is nowhere to be seen.  It is assumed that her husband has been murdered, but the investigation finds that he has a rather large insurance policy. Libby is arrested, charged with his murder and sent to prison to serve a 7 year sentence.  

Angela, Libby’s friend is charged with looking after Matty but on one phone call she realises that Nick is still alive. Having been wrongly charged with murder, Libby is determined to get revenge. She learns that using a defence of  “Double Jeopardy” she can kill Nick and not be charged. Travis Lehman is her parole officer and becomes involved in the process.

Rick Stein’s Food Heroes: Another Helping

January 25, 2008 by  
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Rick SteinIf you are a “foodie”, then the world is your oyster (pardon the pun) at the moment. There is no end of cookery or food preparation programmes, yet they all have something slightly different to offer.

Rick Stein’s Food Heroes encourages us to examine the food that we eat and look for the best sources. He has written a vast number of books and won many awards for himself and for his restaurants and specialises in the cooking of fish.

In this series, Rick tours around Britain and Ireland in search of good sources and visits Southern Ireland for traditional Irish fare. The programme gave chance to take in the stunning scenary and learn something of Ireland. A favourite dish is corned beef and cabbage which was served on Easter Sunday in Ireland. Most people are more used to having fatty corned beef from a tin and mixed with potatoes and served as “hash”. However, traditional corned beef was a quite thick hunk of meat (usually brisket) with the corn being the process of curing the meat with salt, rather than the grain of corn.

We were also shown how to make Irish soda bread , something which Rick Stein was particularly excited about as he visited Cork. Like most good things, the recipe and procedure for making the bread had come about by accident as Ken Buggy made some for his guests. He was disturbed part-way through the process many years ago and forgotten how much of the ingredients has been added. His soda bread had now become a particular favourite. Rick Stein’s Food Heroes: Another Helping was quite a mouth watering experience.

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