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14 items from 2010

Eric and Ernie: Victoria Wood's Morecambe and Wise biopic

31 December 2010 2:30 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise return to our screens tonight in Victoria Wood's lovingly recreated biopic chronicling their early years

Victoria Wood says she only met Morecambe and Wise, separately, on one occasion each. Wise when she accepted a comedy award some years ago, and Morecambe when she was 25, at the Midland hotel in Morecambe. He said to her: "Oh you're that girl from Morecambe." In fact she's from Bury. She didn't mind.

Wood decided to tell the story of the pair's early days around a decade ago. The result finally hits screens on New Year's Day in the form of a BBC2 biopic, Eric and Ernie, which focuses on the pair's lives before they were famous because, as Wood puts it: "They were not born middle aged."

"This is not about the middle-aged comedians in suits that everyone remembers. It is a story that nobody has told," Wood says. »

- Helen Carter

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Strange bedfellows: comedy double acts

21 December 2010 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Double acts dominate this year's Christmas TV schedules. So what's the secret of a great comedy duo? Is it always as cosy as it looks? And when – if ever – should they go solo?

At the centre of the seasonal TV schedules is a triple act of famous double acts. On Christmas Day, David Walliams and Matt Lucas launch their follow-up to Little Britain: a spoof airport documentary series called Come Fly With Me. Ronnie Corbett returns with his own TV show for the first time since the loss of his other half, Ronnie Barker, in The One Ronnie. And on New Year's Day, there's Peter Bowker's play about the British duo from whom all subsequent comedy pairings are descended: Morecambe and Wise.

The traditional comparison for double acts has always been marriage, since the same questions arise: who is the dominant partner, do they secretly hate each other, »

- Mark Lawson

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'Being Human' scoops Writers' Guild award

22 November 2010 1:06 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Being Human has been named 'Best Television Drama' at the 2010 Writers' Guild Awards. The show, which is penned by Toby Whithouse, beat Doctor Who and Ashes To Ashes to take the crown. The ceremony was held last night and also celebrated the BBC Four show Getting On, which triumphed over Peep Show and The Thick Of It to be named 'Best Television Comedy/Light Entertainment'. Peter Bowker's (more) »

- By Catriona Wightman

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Vic Reeves cast in Morecambe and Wise BBC drama

9 September 2010 2:47 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

But the comedian isn't playing who you might think in Victoria Wood's feature-length show

He has long been compared with Eric Morecambe – particularly in the spectacles department – so it seems fitting that Jim Moir, better known as Vic Reeves, has been cast in the BBC's new drama about Morecambe and Wise.

But Moir will not play Morecambe in the feature-length BBC2 drama, instead taking the role of Eric's father George, while Victoria Wood – who also conceived the project – appears as his pushy mother Sadie.

Morecambe & Wise will chart the pair's rise from children's variety performers to much-loved television stars, with the story starting in 1930 and running until 1954 – the year of Running Wild, Morecambe and Wise's first television series.

"We may think of Morecambe and Wise as that brilliant and much-loved double act, but I've always thought that a film about their days as child performers in variety and »

- Vicky Frost

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Your next box set: Blackpool

30 July 2010 12:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Blackpool, the all-singing, all-action drama from 2004, features whipsmart dialogue and gripping chemistry between its three principal characters

Perhaps it's the Glee effect, but Blackpool seems less weird now than when it was first broadcast, in 2004. At the time, many viewers balked at a crime drama in which the cast burst into hallucinatory song-and-dance numbers, Dennis Potter-style, at climactic moments. And it's hard to think of any other series that would run to an elaborate staging of the Smiths' The Boy With the Thorn in His Side, complete with a chorus line of twirling policemen, lip-synching tramps and a leering David Tennant.

The six-parter was written by Peter Bowker, with a cast led by David Morrissey, a pre-Doctor Who Tennant and Mistresses' Sarah Parish. Ostensibly a domestic whodunnit, Blackpool is really the portrait of Ripley Holden (Morrissey), a charismatic monster to rival Ashes to Ashes' Gene Hunt. »

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Irish Wins at BAFTA TV Awards

8 June 2010 6:07 AM, PDT | IFTN | See recent IFTN news »

The winners of the BAFTA TV awards held on Sunday, June 6th include Northern Irish born actor, Kenneth Branagh, Northern Ireland filmed drama 'Occupation' and other productions with strong Irish connections such as Julie Walters for her role in BBC One's 'Mo' and Channel 4's 'Misfits'. Sunday evening saw BBC One and Kudos Film and Television walk away with the BAFTA TV award for Drama Serial for 'Occupation'. The drama from Peter Bowker, Derek Wax, Nick Murphy and Laurie Borg was shot on location in Northern Ireland and Iraq in 2008 and stars James Nesbitt (Five Minutes of Heaven, Bloody Sunday), Stephen Graham and Warren Brown. »

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Patrick Spence, Tiger Aspect in drama venture

14 May 2010 5:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

London -- He commissioned such projects as Peter Bowker's "Occupation," "Ballet Shoes" and "Murphy's Law" for the BBC. Now, BBC Northern Ireland drama head Patrick Spence is setting up his own production shop within U.K. drama house Tiger Aspect, opening up for business in mid-July.

Spence, who exec-produced the Sundance director and screenplay winner "Five Minutes of Heaven," and has worked on a slew of BBC primetime crime procedurals including "Silent Witness," "Waking The Dead," and "Messiah," will work with the Endemol-owned British indie to develop specialist and mainstream drama.

He will work with Tiger Aspect's head of drama Greg Brenman, launching his own label within Tiger Aspect supported by the indie's production and back-office resource.

"Patrick has shown time and again that he is a great champion and producer of talent," said Brenman, who worked extensively with Spence when he was at the BBC.

"This is the perfect marriage for me, »

- By Mimi Turner

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TV brain surgeon James Nesbitt

5 May 2010 8:00 AM, PDT | Virgin Media - TV | See recent Virgin Media - TV news »

James Nesbitt is to take the lead in new ITV medical drama series 'Monroe'. The 'Cold Feet' actor is set to star in the upcoming show, where he will play the unusual, ''charismatic'', brain surgeon title character in the script penned by screenwriter Peter Bowker. ITV's Director of Drama Commissioning, Laura Mackie, said: '''Monroe' will breathe new life into the medical genre, I hope the combination of Pete's sharp and pacy script and Jimmy's performance as the charismatic surgeon will make this one of the most compelling new dramas for 2011.'' Each weekly episode will focus on a serious injury or disease and the .. »

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James Nesbitt joins ITV medical drama

4 May 2010 9:18 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

James Nesbitt has reportedly landed the title role in ITV's new medical drama Monroe. According to What's On TV, the Cold Feet star will play a neurosurgeon in the show, which revolves around patients, relatives and staff in a modern hospital. The programme has previously been described as a replacement for The Bill and has been penned by Peter Bowker. ITV's director (more) »

- By Catriona Wightman

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Wood joins Morecambe and Wise drama

28 April 2010 2:14 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Victoria Wood has joined a new drama about Morecambe and Wise. The Mirror reports that Wood will play Morecambe's mother Sadie in the BBC Two show. The programme focuses on the duo's early career as they struggled to gain mainstream success. The script has been penned by Desperate Romantics and Occupation writer Peter Bowker. The BBC has not yet cast the parts of Morecambe and Wise. BBC Two (more) »

- By Catriona Wightman

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'Occupation' & Terry Wogan Lauded at Bpg Awards

7 April 2010 6:17 AM, PDT | IFTN | See recent IFTN news »

The winners of the 36th Annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards were announced recently at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal in London and saw wins for Northern Ireland drama series 'Occupation' and Terry Wogan. 'Occupation', a Kudos Film production for BBC One came away from the awards ceremony with the title of Best Drama Series. Written by Peter Bowker (Flesh And Blood, Canterbury Tales) and directed by Nick Murphy (Surviving Disaster, Heroes & Villains), 'Occupation' traces the lives of three British soldiers and spans the five years following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Their fates – and the destiny of Iraq itself – become inextricably linked and, united in war, the three men, and their friendships, are torn apart during the peace that follows. »

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ITV chooses 'The Bill' replacement?

31 March 2010 10:05 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

ITV has chosen a replacement for cancelled long-running serial The Bill, according to reports. The Guardian reveals that the broadcaster, which axed the crime drama last week, commissioned a new medical series which will take its place in the schedule. Monroe, which is to focus upon the work of a hospital neurologist, will reportedly be shown in the Thursday 9pm slot. Peter Bowker, the new show's writer, compared it to Us series House, starring British (more) »

- By Paul Millar

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The Bill: ITV drops police drama after 27 years

26 March 2010 3:56 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Long-running show The Bill to be axed by ITV in autumn after revamp and switch to new 9pm slot fail to revive ratings

The Bill, one of the UK's longest-running TV dramas, is to be dropped by ITV in the autumn after 27 years, can reveal.

ITV has taken the decision to axe the police drama after last year's revamp and switch to a new 9pm slot failed to halt a long-term ratings decline.

The Bill was moved last year from being aired twice a week at 8pm on ITV1 to a single slot on Thursdays at 9pm. The show's storylines were tweaked to take account of the new post-watershed slot.

However, ratings for the show have failed to pick up. In 2002 the show averaged more that 7 million viewers, while more recently audiences been about 3.5 million.

The broadcaster said that the decision to drop the series was made »

- Mark Sweney

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BBC1 dominates Rts awards with wins for The Street and Small Island

17 March 2010 6:22 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

BBC flagship channel takes nine prizes as The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent lose out to Charlie Brooker's Newswipe

Rts awards in pictures

Read the full list of winners and nominees

BBC1 dominated the Royal Television Society 2009 programme awards last night with nine prizes, including best drama series for The Street and both the best actor and best actress awards for Small Island.

BBC2 and BBC4 won four awards each, Channel 4 three (with another for E4) and ITV1 two.

Naomie Harris and David Oyelowo's triumph for Small Island, about Jamaican immigration to Britain in the 1940s and 1950s, meant that both big acting awards went to black actors.

Harris thanked her mother, who was also her voice coach for the role, and "without whom Hortense wouldn't have been half as good as she was".

Oyelowo was in Los Angeles filming, but sent a message saying: "I »

- Stephen Brook

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