12 items from 2014
The BBC is using YouTube for a high-minded complement to one of its radio programs. Actors Harry Shearer and Gillian Anderson are two of the narrators who present philosophical topics in a web companion for A History Of Ideas. The web series (which doesn't seem to have a name of its own) is an animated accompaniment to A History Of Ideas, a BBC Radio 4 program hosted by Melvyn Bragg. Each week, Bragg invites guests to join him to analyze an open-ended question (such as "how do I live a good life?") by sharing the wisdom of famous philosophers. The web series explains a some of the philosophical topics discussed on the radio show by drawing them out in an engaging black-and-white style. The first episode features narration from Shearer as he explains Diotima's Ladder, a concept from Plato's Symposium. In the 90-second video, viewers get a brief overview of Plato's thoughts on love and beauty. »
- Sam Gutelle
Gillian Anderson and The Simpsons star Harry Shearer will explore some of lifes biggest ideas from philosophers including Plato in animated YouTube videos to accompany a Melvyn Bragg series on BBC Radio 4.
Anderson, about to return to BBC2 in a second series of serial killer thriller The Fall, and Shearer each voice 12 animated takes on philosophical conundrums, such as free will, beauty and what it means to live a good life, as a digital spin-off from the 60-part series, A History of Ideas.
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- John Plunkett
Award-winning actor, screenwriter, director and producer David Morrissey will take to the stage as the closing keynote of Broadcast’s Production and Post Forum next month.
The star of The Walking Dead and Welcome to the Punch is the final keynote to be added to the conference line-up joining Melvyn Bragg, Studio Lambert boss Stephen Lambert and writer/director Hugo Blick.
Morrissey will discuss his prolific career and contribution to the UK and Us TV industry, which also includes Sky 1 crime series Thorne, BBC1’s State Of Play and upcoming miniseries The Driver, plus the state of production in the current “golden age” of drama.
The two-day event, organised by Screen publisher Mbi, takes place at BAFTA on Nov 5/6.
The Forum hosts an array of industry names and top talent as they debate TV’s burning issues, reveal the secrets of their production success and answer delegates’ questions. The audience will hear case studies from technical and creative »
More4 will broadcast a special tribute to Lord Richard Attenborough tonight (August 26).
The one-off programme will look back at the career of the actor and director, who died aged 90 on Sunday (August 24).
"He was Deputy Chairman from 1982 to 1987, having turned down the Chairmanship as he was busy making Ghandi. He was then »
BBC One's Tumble premiered to more than 3 million viewers last night (August 9), according to overnight figures.
The celebrity gymnastics show averaged 3.16m (20.7%) across its 90-minute timeslot from 6.30pm.
It was followed by The National Lottery: Break the Safe (3.16m/17.7%), before the latest instalment of Casualty treated 3.99m (21%) from 8.50pm.
ITV's Tipping Point: Lucky Stars continued with 2.68m (15.3%) from 7.45pm, with All Star Family Fortunes grabbing 2.4m (12.7%) afterwards.
On Channel 5, the latest Big Brother was caught by 865k (4.6%) from 9pm, with Bit on the Psych later drawing 340k (3.3%).
Earlier in the evening, test cricket highlights between England and India entertained 1.01m (6.4%) and World's Worst Storms took 468k (2.6%).
On the multichannels, »
The chronicle of radical priest John Ball and his battle to aid the working classes against the Church of England and the state brought viewers back to the 14th century
In a weekend where the TV schedules were still full of Commonwealth Games action and summer limbo repeats of You've Been Framed! and Dad's Army, the first of Melvyn Bragg's Radical Lives (BBC2) stood out. It was a refreshingly simple, Bragg-to-basics hour of television. Who needs elaborate CGI recreations or fancy graphics when you can film a nice field in England? Why bother hiring actors to bring everything to life when you can just point a camera at Bragg and let his enthusiasm carry us back to the 14th century? He was in his element, walking and talking around Essex, Kent and London to tell the story of John Ball, the subversive "hedge priest" whose radical interpretation of the »
- Richard Vine
The latest Big Brother instalment appealed to more than 800,000 viewers last night (August 2), according to overnight figures.
Channel 5's reality show managed 829k (4.1%) from 9pm, with Bit on the Side earning 379k (3.6%) later from 11pm.
Sandwiched in between Big Brother was Autopsy: The Last Hours Of, which had 563k (3.4%).
BBC One's Commonwealth Games coverage averaged 5.37m (28.6%) during primetime, with a peak of 8.07m (38.6%) at around 9.15pm.
BBC Two continued airing the Commonwealth Games from 10pm, drawing in 1.48m (8.3%).
On the multichannels, ITV3's Foyle's War drew 874k (4.8%) from 9pm. »
While there'll always be a place for down-the-line observational stand-up, there are thankfully also some comics doing stranger stuff at the fringes.
From the mid-1990s on, Simon Munnery has intrigued and innovated. Ahead of his spot on Stewart Lee's The Alternative Comedy Experience, Digital Spy got on the phone with Simon to talk singing Kierkegaard, "fylm" and whether or not we'll ever get Attention Scum! on DVD.
"It's perhaps less mainstream acts, a bit more quirky, a bit more interesting."
Of almost half the comics on the show being women, he added: "There are a lot of very good women comics and quite a lot of them are on this.
"There just are quite a lot of good »
Daniel Radcliffe has admitted to finding the early Harry Potter films "hard to watch".
The actor - who played the young wizard in all eight films - said that his performances in earlier instalments of the series lacked "nuance".
"We never had an acting coach in all the time we were there and there were times we could have done with one. I know I could have.
"There wasn't a lot of nuance to my performance when we were young and I find those early films very hard to watch personally.
"There were certain things I just didn't know. There were certain things like how to break down a script, or even certain questions »
Julie Walters Cbe is to receive the BAFTA Fellowship.
The 64-year-old actress will be presented with the award, the highest the Academy can bestow, at this year's Television Awards ceremony on Sunday, May 18.
On hearing she was to receive the Fellowship, Julie Walters said: "I am honoured to receive this prestigious award and extremely shocked.
"I've worked with some brilliant people over the years and have been very fortunate to have had the opportunities to work on such a variety of projects."
Amanda Berry, chief executive of BAFTA, said: "Julie Walters is one of the most talented individuals to grace our screens.
"She has the innate ability to draw the viewer in across any genre, captivating and entertaining with every performance. Julie is thoroughly deserving of the Fellowship, the highest honour the Academy can bestow."
Walters has won seven BAFTAs, two International Emmys and two Oscar nominations.
Recent recipients of »
A father-and-son editing team has compiled a new anthology in which 100 prominent male figures reveal the lines that make them cry
The cover of a new collection of poetry should probably carry a sticker bearing Shakespeare's warning: "If you have tears, prepare to shed them now."
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry is an anthology of some of the most emotive lines in literature chosen by 100 famous and admired men, ranging from Daniel Radcliffe to Nick Cave, John le Carré and Jonathan Franzen. Published next month and edited by the journalist and biographer Anthony Holden and his film-producer son, Ben, the book is winning praise for introducing male readers to unfamiliar works – and emotions.
Contributor Simon Schama has tweeted enthusing about his choice, Wh Auden's Lullaby, the poem that opens with the words "Lay your sleeping head, my love, Human on my faithless arm." Auden turns out to be the »
- Vanessa Thorpe
Basking in the reflected success of Team Gb at the Winter Olympics, BBC2 is on a roll. Home to the BBC's coverage of the Sochi Games, Great Britain's medal haul helped double the channel's all-day share of the audience, eclipsing its far bigger commercial rival, ITV, for two weekends running.
But when the Games end, the questions will begin for BBC2, which was in effect cut in half last year after almost its entire original daytime output was axed to save money, and will lose its controller, Janice Hadlow, next month when she leaves after more than five years in charge.
The channel, which will mark its 50th anniversary on 20 April, has been rejuvenated by Hadlow with a winning mix of drama (Line of Duty, »
- John Plunkett
12 items from 2014
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