While this relatively new series on TV did not receive as much publicity as many which have gone before, The Fixer is starting to build up something of a large following. The show stars Andrew Buchan, Peter Mullan and Tamzin Outhwaite in the world of undercover police work and assassinations. Mercer is the man whom the police come to when then need someone “fixed”, often somebody who has evaded justice for one reason or another. The middleman is a high ranking police chief by the name of Lenny who affectively pulls the strings of the hired assassin Mercer.
While Mercer has never knowingly questioned the orders of Lenny, tonight see Mercer involved in the proposed assassination of someone who is supposed to have kidnapped and killed a young lady on the orders of a known gangster. As the plot thickens the suspected killer starts to question Mercer about the involvement of the police in the young girl’s murder, which sees Mercer in a highly charged confrontation with Lenny. Words are spoken, threats are made and slowly but surely the story begins to unravel. What will the hired assassin do next? Will he get to the truth?
There have been a number of crime based shows on ITV over the years but The Fixer is an interesting angle on the life and times of the modern day police force. Whether any of the stories are based on an ounce of fact is unknown, but this look into the murky world of disappearing bodies, investigative journalists and the like is enthralling to the end. The acting is excellent, the storylines are very difficult to double guess and it is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
ITV have been criticised in the past for sub-standard shows but The Fixer is most defiantly one of their better efforts of late and sure to be back for a second series.
New legislation which is coming into affect next week will see local councils issuing parking tickets and traffic offence tickets by post, on the evidence of the numerous CCTV cameras in the UK. Parking Wars : Tonight looks at the impact which this is sure to have on the motoring public, who have already been hammered by rising road tax and ever rising fuel prices. So what exactly is going on?
Under the Traffic Act of 2004, which will come into force next week, parking tickets will be issued by councils throughout the UK based solely on CCTV evidence, but up to two weeks after the event (without giving the “offender” prior warning of the offence). There are a number of problems which this system imposes which include identifying the culprit, fighting the claim and possible harassment of certain parties to but name but a few. The CCTV evidence which will be used would unlikely be sufficient in a court of law yet it is the only form of proof required to handout what will be literally millions of pounds in fines each year.
This interesting show has uncovered the fact that councils will be allowed to keep the fines collected, adding weight to the claims that this is just another exercise to top up the governments ailing budget deficit. Since this current government have come to power there has been a concerted campaign against the UK motorist which has resulted in billions of pounds falling into the lap of the UK Treasury. What right of appeal does a recipient of such a penalty notice have? Will there be a system to ensure that the right person pays the fine?
On the flip side to the above argument we have seen a substantial increase in the number of attacks on traffic wardens which can in no way be tolerated. However, whether antagonising an already irate motoring population is the answer is really open for debate. A very interesting program to watch if you get the chance!
Can there be any other UK actors who have taken on so many roles and made them their own? While Ronnie Barker was much appreciated in his heyday it is only just now, after his sad death, that we are really seeing the skill and professionalism of the man who was on our screens for many decades. Open All Hours, The Two Ronnies and Porridge are some of his better known shows but the man was a genius!
While for years many people did not realise that Barker’s sidekick David Jason was part of the cast, heavily made-up as a small time petty thief, life in the “Nick” was never dull with Fletch (played by Ronnie Barker) around. This comical look at life in the UK prison sector was a classic in its time and is still shown on a regular basis to this day. Fun, games, laughter and tears all flowed in equal quantities as the hard faced Fletch tried to get through each day as he could.
Tonight’s episode sees one of the inmates receive the chance of parole, which to Fletch’s horror he turns down! Seeing parole as an admission of guilt the prison mate decides to stay in and complete his time, until Fletch catches him. Determined to see his fellow inmate make the most of what is on offer he sets about trying to find the truth and ensure his friend takes his chance to go home.
While Porridge was centred upon Fletch and Ronnie Barker, the show also saw the likes of Richard Beckinsale, Fulton Mackay and David Jason make their name, not to mention a number of appearances from the inimitable Christopher Biggins. While Richard Beckinsale was an excellent actor in his own right, he spoke very highly of the influence of Ronnie Barker before Beckinsale’s sad death at a very young age. The curse of Porridge?
Warren and Louise plan the perfect honeymoon – but hold that thought, kids, because Warren is arrested for Sean’s murder! Justin, scared that Warren will implicate him, is soon on his toes. Katy, meanwhile, is crushed after discovering that Sean’s body has been found and that Warren has been arrested. Louise is determined to stand by Warren – his secret is safe with her - but for how long? Later, a distraught Katy comes close to confessing all to Calvin about the killing. Clearly, Katy has a big decision to make as far as Warren is concerned.
Elliot is in hospital suffering from hypothermia. It’s a bad, sad situation as he tells his mum, Bonnie, that he no longer considers her to be his mother. Later, in an effort to turn his life around, the mixed-up kid adopts a new look – he’s no longer a geek, and won’t be pushed around any more. This new image worries Kris, who has a little chat about what’s been going on – Elliot reveals that he no longer wants any friends because he’s been let down by them too many times. On a roll, he threatens to tell the Dean everything about Sarah – will he carry out his threat?
Amy gets a call from Ste saying they’ve been robbed. She calls the police, desperate to catch the burglars who have cleaned them out… when she finds out that it was Ste! Newt agrees to hide his mate, Eli, who’s on the run from the army - could be a bad move, Newt. Mercedes wants her old job back. For a bet, Kris tries to seduce Mercedes via text, but gets more than a shock when some tough bloke punches him for texting his girlfriend. It’s a big, scary day for Myra, who goes to court to face her benefit charge. Fingers crossed.
Bianca is well and truly back in Square after walking out on a stormy marriage with mechanic Ricky Butcher eight years ago. Unfortunately, she’s down, almost out, and at the end of her tether. Last week, we even saw her and her gaggle of kids huddled together in a bus shelter. But as they say: when the going gets tough the tough get going - and Bianca is nothing if not tough. However, her actions shock even Pat. Later, she has a showdown with nice-but-dim Ricky about what has happened with the kids, who have been put into care – however, she may have found the answer to her problems. Devious Bianca later tells the social worker that she does have somewhere to live - but will Ricky go along with her plan? And after the Social Services come to inspect Pat’s house, will Bianca get her kids back?
A while ago, Shirley found a lump in her breast, and was forced by Phil, who has shown that beneath that grizzled exterior beats a heart of gold, to make an appointment at the clinic. Now, he insists that she actually gets her test results. Which seems as good a time as any for the return of Vinnie, who she first met many moons ago when he knocked her down with his car while she was on her way to Deano and Chelsea’s court case. He tells her she’s the one for him - but is he the one that she wants? Later, Shirley puts a certain question to Phil – what will he say?
Elsewhere, Gus meets the girl of his dreams. Or so he thinks…
Time’s almost up for Carmella. In fact it is up! This week, she goes into premature labour. She’d decided that she wanted a natural birth, without medication, due to her previous drug addiction. However, the doctor now informs Carmella that the baby is in discomfort and needs to be delivered quickly, so he recommends a Caesarean section. Needless to say, Carmella is left devastated. The baby is rushed to the neonatal intensive-care unit with severe breathing difficulties. The question remains - will the poor kid survive?
Last time around, Darren and Janae enjoyed an illicit little snog. Unfortunately, it was witnessed by Kirsten - and Ned found out soon after. Of course, Libby is oblivious to what went on – but she might soon find out the truth. Ned promises Darren he will keep quiet about the matter because he knows it won’t happen again, but Miranda - the latest in a long list of people who know the truth - cannot help feeling guilty about keeping quiet. Will she reveal all?
Steve and Miranda’s hopes of buying the Timmins house founder. Miranda apologises for cutting Janae out of the purchase, but wounded Janae refuses to forgive and forget. With Janae out of the deal, her mum is putting the house up for auction. The Parkers are dismayed when the potential buyer, Tim Collins, plans to build three townhouses on the site. Steve, Miranda and Ned go back to the drawing board to try and find a way to beat him. Steve’s delusions regarding money are evident, while Janae is left hovering on the fringe of the discussion.
Elsewhere, Karl is shocked when Zeke tells him that he does not feel like part of the Kennedy family. Elle is afraid that Riley is about to confess his true feelings for her. Bridget admits that she is still attracted to Declan.
The battle of the brothers continues apace. Carl is less than pleased when Matthew refuses his trucks access to the King-owned rubbish depot despite their agreed contract. To get his own back, Carl arranges for all trucks to dump the rubbish on the steps of Home Farm instead. Ooh, the stink! Does Matthew take this lying down? Actually no. In fact, fisticuffs ensue, and when Carl comments that it’s a good job he killed Tom, Matthew’s attack leaves Carl barely conscious. Will Carl calls the cops and shop his sibling?
There’s more drama when, at the Woolpack, Viv proudly hands a cheque to the charity representative in front of the villagers and local press. But Viv’s speech is interrupted in a dramatic fashion by the police, who arrest her for obtaining money by deception. At the police station, she is confronted with a copy of a contract she had signed making her chief executive of Happy Smiles, and with fact that she later transferred £50,000 into her personal account. It’s certainly looking grim for Viv.
Scarlett buys Daz a motor – which they soon transform into something of a passion wagon. Things don’t do to plan though as, in a state of undress, they’re interrupted by Ross who is sniffing around the car. The couple put their clothes back on, but have they been rumbled?
Meanwhile, back at the Woolpack, Katie, who’s had it up to here with all the snidey comments, tells all and sundry that she and Gray are in love and are having a baby together. But she may have spoken too soon because a little misunderstanding might mean the end for the pair…
At the pub, again, Lily and Pearl host their speed dating event. It turns out to be a very speedy event indeed - only two blokes turn up! Will the women ever find the men of their dreams?
Dubiously dotty David dominates proceedings once more. He finally ’fesses up to Gail that, well, yes, actually, um, he did push her down the stairs and leave her for dead. And after demanding that she phones the cops to put him out of his misery, he sets about trashing the street. Everyone watches on amazed as he continues to cause chaos and destruction - will there actually be much of the street left after he’s finished? Needless to say, the long arm of the law finally reaches out for the crazy kid, who is charged with multiple counts of criminal damage and assault, and is bailed to appear before the magistrates. Back home, sweet home, David talks to Gail and confesses to all the evil things he’s done in the past - let’s hope Gail’s got all night because it’s quite a long list. In court, David calmly insists he is guilty on all counts. It looks cut and dried until Gail pops up to add her tuppenceworth. Will she manage to save his hide, or is raving Dave going down?
Elsewhere, the loss assessor tells Paul and Leanne that the investigation could take months – perhaps arson wasn’t such a good idea after all! Will they get caught out? Darryl is a tad upset when Lauren dumps him after he refuses to steal money from his dad to pay for her rent – what a charming lady she is.
Meanwhile, Becky bats her eyes at builder Rick in the cafe and invites him over to the flat while Roy’s at a Railway convention. Of course, in traditional soap style, Roy returns early - and isn’t to impressed by what he finds. Talking of bats – Roy, concerned when he finds some bat droppings on the ground in the building site, suggests the building site should be shut down as bats are a protected species. Batty!
If ever there was a less apt setting for a Carry On film, then the macho world of cowboys and Indians is it!
Carry On Cowboy sees the likes of Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale and Joan Sims bring us the campest ever version of a cowboy film, with double entendres, suggestive comments and plenty of slapstick comedy – the type you might expect to see on the back of those old seaside postcards.
First released in 1966, Carry On Cowboy follows the capers of the Rumpo Kid, Judge Burke and Chief Big Heap in the fictitious Stodge City. Shoot outs, sing songs around the fire place, chases and some wonderful comic timing make Carry On Cowboy on of the better of the Carry On movies to be repeated of late. Is it just a coincidence that we are seeing the remake of the Carry On movies later this year?
For those who have not seen the rumours in the press, a new Carry On movie is planned for later this year in order to bring some much need humour back to our screens. However, there are concerns in some quarters that while the old movies were hilarious in their day, the may not be as politically correct as some might expect for this day and age. But surely it would be wrong to take away that old seaside postcard humour which made the Carry On series what it is today?
It will be interesting to see how the new movie compares with the old and whether they can retain that innocence and charm which attracted so many to the original works. There are concerns in some quarters that the crop of today’s actors might struggle to live up to the likes of Kenneth Williams who was a unique actor.
However, in the meantime we can all take a step down memory lane and enjoy the humour that is Carry On Cowboy.
For those early birds up with the larks what better start to the day can there be than the gentle pace of GMTV, with Penny Smith and John Stapleton covering the 6 o’clock news hour, then handing over to Fiona Phillips and Ben Shephard for the later segment of the show, which finishes just after 9 o’clock.
While the show has been through the mill of late with the phone-in scandal, it has now been on our screens for over 15 years, bringing us the news as it happens, showbiz gossip and much more. So why exactly is the show so popular and how has it stood the test of time?
Much of the credit for the show has to go down to the array of presenters they have had over the years, the gaffs they have made and the crazy stunts which they have attempted. GMTV is one of those gems of early morning TV, the kind of show you watch without actually realising that you have switched the TV on, the kind of show that just happens and keeps you coming back for more.
While many long running news style shows have changed their image, their set up and their presenters along the way, GMTV has seen some changes but nothing like the kind of change seen elsewhere. The beauty of the show is that you know the format each morning, your know that they will cover the general news and some major incidents in the press. The show has also been visited by a whole host of politicians who seem to squirm under the sometimes uncompromising interview techniques.
There are very few shows like GMTV and it seems that the more the press try to knock the show, the more popular that it becomes. There were many who wrote off the show after the phone-in scandal, but amazingly it looks as though the show has managed to retain its viewers, even if they have lost the phone-in income which was enormous!