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A variety of stars across TV, theatre and film have written to all major UK broadcasters calling for increased ethnic diversity on British TV and behind the camera.
Signatories on the letter, published in The Guardian today, include Lenny Henry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Richard Curtis, Russell T Davies, Idris Elba, Neil Gaiman, David Harewood, Harry Hill, Terry Jones, Asif Kapadia, Doreen Lawrence, Jimmy McGovern, Phyllida Lloyd, Bill Nighy, Lynda La Plante, Alan Sugar, Meera Syal and Emma Thompson, among others.
Read the letter to The Guardian in full
The recipients of the letter were BBC director general Tony Hall, ITV chief executive Adam Crozier, Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham, BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch and Philippe Dauman, chief executive of new Channel 5 owner Viacom.
"We are dismayed at the poor numbers of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) people both on our screens and working behind the camera," the letter reads. »
The film's producers have now gone on the record to say that isn't the case, saying in an official statement: "Contrary to reports, we are able to confirm that Robin Williams completed his voice recording for the role of Dennis. Everyone on the Absolutely Anything team was distraught to hear the sad news and we send our condolences to Robin's family."
The film stars Simon Pegg as Neil Clarke, a disillusioned teacher who discovers he has magical powers thanks to some aliens (voiced by all the Monty Python alum). Williams plays the voice of Clarke's dog Dennis.
Source: Empire Online »
- Garth Franklin
Though some had expressed doubts recently that Robin Williams completed his vocal work on Terry Jones’ new comedy Absolutely Anything before his tragic death last week, the film’s producers have gone on the record to assure us that Williams’ voice will indeed show up in the film as that of Dennis, canine chum to Simon Pegg’s main character.“Contrary to reports, we are able to confirm that Robin Williams completed his voice recording for the role of Dennis,” say Bill Jones and Ben Timlett in a statement. “Everyone on the Absolutely Anything team was distraught to hear the sad news and we send our condolences to Robin's family.”Pegg plays Neil Clarke in the film, a disillusioned teacher who discovers he has magical powers, albeit in more of a Thor sense of the word since the abilities come from some alien interlopers. The extra-terrestrials in question will be »
Following the tragic death of Robin Williams last week, we reported on four more films that would have performances from the late actor. However, it appears that one of those roles may not be completed as initially thought. The Telegraph has learned Williams' voice role in Absolutely Anything, the film that stars Simon Pegg as a teacher who experiences a series of mishaps after discovering he has magical powers given to him by a group of aliens, voiced by Monty Python veterans John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle & Michael Palin. Williams was voicing a talking pet named Dennis the Dog. Read on! The Telegraph also spoke to Pegg about Williams' work in the film, and he said: “I’m not sure Robin had completed doing his voice in the movie. He was doing the voice of my dog and I hope that he had completed it because it »
- Ethan Anderton
Following the tragic death of Robin Williams at the age of 63 last week, it has been revealed that the actor may not have finished the voice work for his final film project. Simon Pegg revealed in an interview with The Guardian that he isn't sure if Robin Williams had finished voicing his role as Dennis the Dog in Absolutely Anything.
"I'm not sure Robin had completed doing his voice in the movie. He was doing the voice of my dog and I hope that he had completed it because it would be a real shame not to have him in it. And of course there will be a degree of sadness there, but the work he did do would have been done with his usual verve and brilliance."
Ofcom is investigating Monty Python's final show after complaints over a lack of swearing.
The farewell performance, which aired on Gold before the watershed on July 20, received 34 complaints about "cuts" and "censorship", reports Press Association.
An Ofcom spokesman said: "All our licensees are required to comply with our broadcasting rules, which make clear that the most offensive language cannot be shown on television before the watershed.
"As a post-transmission regulator, we are not involved in editorial decision making and can only investigate programmes or take action against any channel after a programme's broadcast."
John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones all got back together for a series of live performances at London's O2 arena earlier this year, ending with a live broadcast on TV and cinemas in July.
The live broadcast brought in record ratings for Gold when it aired, with an average audience of 597,000 viewers. »
Comedian Robin Williams had four unreleased films in the can before his passing last week. It was thought his work in all of them was complete, but today comes word that his final role may not have been entirely finished.
That film, Terry Jones' "Absolutely Anything," is a comedy starring Williams as the voice of a dog and Jones' fellow Monty Python alum as the voice of a group of aliens. There's also a live-action cast led by Simon Pegg as a schoolteacher who is granted the power to make his every wish a reality.
Now, Pegg tells The Telegraph he's not sure if Williams finished recording the voice of his dog, Dennis, for the film:
"I'm not sure Robin had completed doing his voice in the movie. He was doing the voice of my dog and I hope that he had completed it because it would be a »
- Garth Franklin
Writing in The Guardian, Jones recalled meeting Williams at the Emmy Awards in 2010, where he agreed to voice Dennis the Dog in forthcoming movie Absolutely Anything.
Watch 8 classic Robin Williams stand-up comedy routines
"Alas! Four years later we finally got the money to make the film. We had Mojo the Dog playing Dennis, and doing it brilliantly," he wrote. "If only Robin Williams could do the voice, we'd be over the moon.
"I emailed him with a sinking heart, fearing that so much time had elapsed and he may not want to voice Dennis. But I need not have feared. He wrote back that he was up for voicing the dog."
Jones continued: "And here's the story: Robin was a perfectionist. »
The world is still in shock over the passing of Robin Williams yesterday and details are still coming out about what is now reportedly said to be an "apparent suicide attempt by hanging" following a battle with severe depression according to CBS News.
With the tragedy of an actor's untimely death though comes the grim business of show business, namely determining the fate of the projects they were involved in. The 63-year-old was a busy man with several films still awaiting release.
Williams was not in the midst of shooting a movie when he died, though he had been developing a sequel to "Mrs. Doutbtfire". Variety reports that the project, which was in the scripting stage, is now in doubt and will probably be scrapped.
That leaves four final films involving Williams that have yet to hit cinemas, the biggest being him reprising his role as President Teddy Roosevelt in »
- Garth Franklin
As obsessed with bodily fluids as it is with social awkwardness, The Inbetweeners, be it on TV or the big screen, determinedly sets out to make viewers laugh until a bit of lung comes out. And with The Inbetweeners 2 now taking the boys, ahem, down under for more sexual shenanigans in Australia, the gross-out levels are set to soar (or plummet, depending on your viewpoint).
But making audiences squint, wince and fight their gag reflexes has always been a part of cinema. Sometimes it's done for belly laughs (Cameron Diaz styling her hair with Ben Stiller's homemade gel in There's Something About Mary), sometimes to elicit feelings of shock or revulsion (Ray Liotta forced to dine on his own brain in Hannibal). And sometimes it does all of the above at once (an army of zombies being cut to dripping ribbons with a lawnmower in Peter Jackson's splatstick horror »
London – Less than two weeks after the final performance of Monty Python Live (mostly), its live screening in theaters has been named the third biggest live cinema event of all time in the U.K. An estimated 570 venues across the U.K. and Ireland – plus more than 1,800 around the world – broadcast Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam take to the stage in front of 15,000 fans at London’s O2 Arena for one last time Sunday July 20. In a tweet sent Wednesday, the @montypython account revealed, “Numbers just
- Alex Ritman
Without the help of some brave investors, or the pockets of their makers, the following films would never have existed...
It's now a fairly common mantra that you'd be a fool to put up all of your own personal money into a feature film. By all means invest, but share the risk, or throw a few quid at Kickstarter.
Paying for the bulk of the negative/hard drive yourself, and leaving your own assets exposed? Utter lunacy.
Not that anyone told this lot...
For some time, Mel Gibson had, alongside his acting roles, been heavily invested in his production company, Icon. As such, he had two significant ways to earn money, and he needed both of them when it came to making The Passion Of The Christ.
This is the kind of film that studios run a mile from. All »
The British comedy troupe Monty Python is beginning to roll out clips of sketches from its farewell run at London's O2 this year, and first up is the group's classic "Spanish Inquisition" bit, which dates back to 1970. Since nothing ruins a joke quite like explaining it, the clip will speak for itself – as long as the sketch's Cardinal characters, played by Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, can remember their lines. The YouTube description for the clip suggests that it is the first in a series of sketches that »
The surviving members of the iconic and influential British comedy troupe Monty Python recently closed out their run of reunion shows by bidding farewell in a befitting way: a sing-along of their tongue-in-cheek ditty "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." The comedians dressed in white suit jackets, with four conducting the London audience with batons as the song's writer, Eric Idle, played guitar. By the end of the song, a number of other performers from throughout the night, as well as Mike Myers, came out to wish the »
London — U.K. comedy group Monty Python's famous dead parrot has finally been laid to rest. A sold-out crowd of 15,000 attended the 10th and final Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down Five to Go show Sunday night, the troupe's much-feted reunion at London's O2 Arena. Mike Myers and Harry Shearer were among the celebrity guests making cameos by joining Eric Idle, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam onstage for an emotional farewell. The show proved to be a ratings smash-hit for U.K. comedy channel Gold, which aired the final performance
- Alex Ritman
Check out these Hollywood-themed ice cream flavors in celebration of National Ice Cream Day!
Sunday, July 20, marks the 30th anniversary of National Ice Cream Day. The first was in 1984, as proclaimed by President Ronald Regan.
Today's the day to treat yourself, but what if you aren't satisfied with regular flavors? What if boring old vanilla, chocolate and strawberry don't have enough Hollywood star power for your taste buds?
Here are 14 Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors that celebrate celebrities!
Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler
Named After: Willie Nelson
Ingredients: Peach ice cream with cinnamon sugar shortbread pieces and peach swirl.
Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road
Named After: Elton John
Ingredients: Chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, cookie dough, brickle candy pieces and white chocolate chunks.
Scotchy Scotch Scotch
Monty Python Live: One Down, Five to Go: Gold, 7.30pm
Live broadcast of the final show in Monty Python's London residency.
Taking place at The O2 arena in North Greenwich, the comedy troupe - featuring John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam - perform classic sketches on stage, with help from special guests.
The second series of the period drama picks up four years later, with the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 taking hold. Migrants from the south show up at Quarry Bank Mill looking for jobs, leading to the workers fearing that everyone's wages will be driven down.
Elsewhere, apprentice Esther (Kerrie Hayes) discovers that her own sister Martha (Vicky Binns) has become a beggar in the mill yard. Also starring Katherine Rose Morley, Sacha Parkinson and Lauren McQueen.
Family Guy: BBC Three, 10pm
Animated comedy from Seth MacFarlane. »
Python (Monty) PIctures
Originally broadcast as just a sketch show on BBC One, Monty Python would go on to become a multimedia phenomenon. Spin-off films were produced, albums, video games, the works. Even today some 45 years later, new products are still being made, such as the Monty Python version of the card game Fluxx.
In terms of performance media however, the live productions are often the most underrated. Long before Spamalot became one of the most popular musicals on both Broadway and The West End, the Pythons themselves were thrilling live audiences all over the world. Back in the day they toured Britain with recordings of performances such as those from Drury Lane given their own release. This weekend however, see the much anticipated final night of the reunion show, Monty Python Live (Mostly), which will be performed at London’s O2 arena, broadcast on TV channel Gold, as well »
- Ian Coomber
To mark the release of Monty Python Live (Mostly) coming to cinemas this Sunday 20th July, we’ve been given a rather lovely assortment of prizes to give away. The prizes include limited edition Monty Python Live (mostly) show t-shirts, Monty Python – The Movies 6 DVD box-set, limited edition Final Night of the Pythons cinema poster and the main winner will also receive a deluxe edition of Monty Python sings. 2 runners up will receive the preceeding items.
If you missed the Monty Python Live (mostly) press conference, here it is in all it’s glory and don’t forget you can order tickets to see the show at over 500 UK cinemas right here!
For the first time in more than three decades, comedy legends Monty Python will perform live on stage together this year. Broadcast from London’s O2 Arena, Monty Python Live (mostly) will play in cinemas around the globe on Sunday 20 July. »
For your chance to see an encore presentation of Monty Python Live (Mostly) on July 23rd, 2014 at the AMC Forum 30 theater in Sterling Heights, Michigan, enter the contest below!
For the first time in more than three decades, comedy legends Monty Python will perform live on stage together this year. Broadcast from London’s O2 Arena, Monty Python Live (mostly) will play in cinemas around the globe on Sunday, July 20th. At a combined age of just 358, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin will once again perform some of their greatest hits, with modern, topical, Pythonesque twists.
Monty Python are rightfully regarded as among the world’s finest-ever comedians. They influenced a generation and revolutionized comedy. Their eagerly awaited reunion promises to be among the biggest live events of 2014.
Monty Python first hit our screens with the Flying Circus, which saw 45 episodes broadcast over four »
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