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13 items from 2011

'The Fades' begins brightly for BBC Three

22 September 2011 3:24 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

BBC Three's The Fades started brightly last night, the latest overnight data has revealed. Scouting Book For Boys writer Jack Thorne's six-part horror drama, starring Iain De Caestecker and Lily Loveless, premiered with 732k (3.1%) in the 9pm hour. Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds was the most-watched multichannel broadcast, following The Fades with 746k (5.4%) for the digital channel. Elsewhere, a new episode of ITV1's Midsomer Murders starring Neil Dudgeon educated 5.01m (21.3%) and 259k on +1. Meanwhile, Planet Dinosaur logged 3.49m (15%) for BBC One at 8.30pm, then Barry Gibb's Who Do You Think You Are? episode mustered 3.95m (16.5%). Channel 4's Location, Location, Location leapt to 2.63m (11.4%) at 8pm (+1: 200k). Grand Designs continued with (more) »

- By Paul Millar

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'Life Of Riley' return nets almost 4.5m

14 April 2011 3:01 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

BBC comedy Life Of Riley returned with almost 4.5m viewers on Wednesday night, but The Crimson Petal And The White suffered a big audience dip, the latest audience data has revealed. Life Of Riley, a sitcom starring Caroline Quentin and Neil Dudgeon, averaged 4.46m (18.9%) for BBC One from 8.30pm. MasterChef then cooked up 5.12m (20.8%) in the 9pm hour. The two shows performed admirably against live coverage of Tottenham Hotspur's heartbreaking Champions League exit to Real Madrid, which pulled in 5.32m (19.9%) on ITV1 between 7.30pm and 10pm. The Crimson Petal And The White, a four-part psychological thriller starring Chris O'Dowd, Gillian Anderson and Richard E. Grant, continued with 1.6m (6.5%) on BBC Two in the 9pm hour, down 540k on last week's debut episode. Elsewhere on BBC One, Diy Sos: The Big Build entertained 5.9m (more) »

- By Andrew Laughlin

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Tonight's TV highlights

12 April 2011 11:59 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Petworth House: The Big Spring Clean | If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home | The Crimson Petal and the White | Jamie's Dream School | Fringe | Life of Riley

Petworth House – The Big Spring Clean

8.30pm, BBC4

Andrew Graham-Dixon is used to standing in front of works of art and talking eloquently about them. In this series, though, he's going to get his hands dirty as he joins a special National Trust conservation team that gives Petworth House in Sussex a thorough vacuum, dusting and wipe over. The property closes in the winter for three months, during which time rare rugs, delicate ceramics and the Van Dycks and Turners are all given a careful clean. Graham-Dixon is keen to get stuck in and is ready to deliver a quick art history lesson in between tasks. Martin Skegg

If Walls Could Talk: The History Of The Home

9pm, BBC4

In the cornerstone »

- Martin Skegg, Jonathan Wright, Rebecca Nicholson, Phelim O'Neill, David Stubbs

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TV review: Midsomer Murders: Death In the Slow Lane

23 March 2011 6:18 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

After Brian True-May's comments on the all-white casting the programme now feels soiled, says Mark Lawson

Viewers have always watched Midsomer Murders in a suspicious frame of mind, wondering which of the half dozen or so familiar British character actors contracted to look shifty in this episode will prove to be the latest English rural mass murderer sent to the presumably overcrowded Midsomer nick.

But, following the suspension of producer Brian True-May for seemingly suggesting that the show benefits from an all-white casting policy, Wednesday night's opening episode of the 14th series will have been watched with a different kind of suspicion – seeking evidence of acting apartheid.

The background to this story, Death in the Slow Lane, was motor racing, a sport in which Britain has had a recent black world champion and so a promising opportunity to extend the facial palette. Characteristically though, the plot line involved events »

- Mark Lawson

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TV review: Midsomer Murders | Secrets of Whitehall | The Truth about Lions

23 March 2011 5:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

ITV's Midsomer Murders welcomes (though not by all the Causton locals) a new Dci, and a mysterious relocation

Some things are changing in Midsomer Murders (ITV1). Causton, which used to be situated somewhere near Oxford, has been mysteriously relocated to Windsor, and after 12 years and more than 220 murders, Dci Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) has retired. So, last night many Causton locals gave a decidedly lukewarm welcome to the new Dci, Tom's cousin, John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) – presumably more out of loyalty to the ancien regime than disgust that their police regard nepotism as a prime consideration for promotion. Much remains the same though.

It's possible the Causton police recruited another Barnaby out of misplaced concern that viewers would be confused by a lead character with a different name. More likely is that it was done as a favour to the screenwriters. Whatever heavy medication you need to take to watch this tosh, »

- John Crace

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Midsomer Murders co-creator to step down at end of current series

23 March 2011 11:04 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Brian True-May had been reinstated by TV company after apologising for saying show was 'last bastion of Englishness'

The co-creator of Midsomer Murders, Brian True-May, is to step down from his role at the end of the current series after he sparked a race row by suggesting there was no place in the programme for ethnic minorities.

True-May, the co-creator and producer of Midsomer Murders which began on ITV in 1997, described the show as the "last bastion of Englishness" and said it "wouldn't work" if ethnic minorities appeared on screen.

The programme's production company All3Media, which launched an investigation into his comments in an interview with the Radio Times earlier this month, said True-May had been "reinstated" as producer of the show.

But ITV said it understood True-May would step down from his role at the end of the current production run. Midsomer Murders returns to ITV on Wednesday with a new leading man, »

- John Plunkett

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TV Boss Treated Like 'A Criminal' Over Racial Comments

16 March 2011 5:16 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The TV producer behind popular British detective show Midsomer Murders claims he has been treated like "a criminal" since he was suspended for making controversial racial comments about the programme.

Brian True-May hit headlines in his native Britain earlier this week (beg14Mar11) for claiming multicultural characters would "look out of place" and "just wouldn't work" in the longrunning series, which is set in a quaint English village.

His bosses at the ITV network branded his words "shocking and appalling" and suspended him from his job while an investigation gets underway.

True-May has now opened up about his suspension, telling Britain's Daily Mail, "According to press reports I am going to be investigated as if I was a criminal. There's not a lot to investigate."

And when he was told some viewers had branded the reaction to his comments "hysterical", he replied, "You said it, not me. But I agree."

Lead actor Neil Dudgeon, who has replaced former star John Nettles in the series, has also spoken out to defend True-May, telling Britain's Daily Express, "If people have been quite happy for it not to change in 14 years, there's no reason to suppose they're going to want it to change now." »

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TV Producer Suspended Over Racial Remarks

15 March 2011 9:16 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The TV boss behind popular British detective show Midsomer Murders has been suspended over comments he made in a candid interview suggesting the programme "just wouldn't work" without an all-white cast.

The show's executive producer, Brian True-May, has hit headlines in his native Britain for claiming multicultural characters would "look out of place" in the longrunning series, which is set in a quaint English village.

He told Radio Times, "We are a cosmopolitan society in this country, but if you watch Midsomer you wouldn't think so. I've never been picked up on that, but quite honestly I wouldn't want to change it... Maybe I'm not politically correct.... We just don't have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn't be the English village with them. It wouldn't work.... They (fans) love the perceived English genteel eccentricity. It's not British, it's very English. We're the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way."

But his comments have angered bosses at ITV, the network behind the show, and he has now been suspended while an investigation is launched.

An ITV spokesman says, "We are shocked and appalled at these personal comments by Brian True-May which are absolutely not shared by anyone at ITV.

"We are in urgent discussions with All3Media, the producer, who have informed us that they have launched an immediate investigation into the matter and have suspended Mr True-May pending the outcome."

The show formerly starred John Nettles, who quit last year after 13 seasons. He has been replaced by Neil Dudgeon. »

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Midsomer Murders producer suspended over diversity remarks

14 March 2011 5:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Co-creator Brian True-May said ITV crime drama 'wouldn't be English village' if it featured minority groups

The producer of one of ITV1's best-known crime dramas, Midsomer Murders, has been suspended from his job after he suggested in an interview that there was no place in the programme for ethnic minorities and it was the "last bastion of Englishness".

Brian True-May, the co-creator of the show which began on ITV in 1997, said the series "wouldn't work" if there was any racial diversity portrayed in the sleepy village life of the fictional county of Midsomer.

Production company All3Media has suspended True-May while it conducts an inquiry and an ITV spokesman said the broadcaster was "shocked and appalled" by his comments.

"We just don't have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn't be the English village with them," True-May said in an interview with the Radio Times. "It just wouldn't work. Suddenly »

- John Plunkett

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DVD Giveaway - The Arbor - Now Closed

14 March 2011 1:10 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

British artist and filmmaker Clio Barnard's acclaimed documentary The Arbor is released on DVD and Blu-ray this coming Monday, 14th March, and to celebrate the lovely people at Verve Pictures have kindly supplied three copies of the DVD to give away to our readers.

The Arbor, which tells the powerful true story of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar (The Arbor, Rita, Sue and Bob Too) and her daughter Lorraine, was been nominated for a host of awards this past year including the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer (Clio Barnard and producer Tracy O'Riordan), while Barnard was the recipient of the Douglas Hickox Award at the British Independent Film Awards.

Take a look at the synopsis and trailer...

Andrea Dunbar died tragically at the age of 29 in 1990, leaving ten year old Lorraine with bitter childhood memories. The Arbor catches up with Lorraine in the present day, »

- flickeringmyth

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Arbor, The | Review - True/False Film Festival 2011

8 March 2011 8:26 AM, PST | SmellsLikeScreenSpirit | See recent SmellsLikeScreenSpirit news »

Director: Clio Barnard Writer: Clio Barnard Starring: Manjinder Virk, Jimi Mistry, Christine Bottomley, Natalie Gavin, Monica Dolan, Danny Web, Neil Dudgeon, Kathryn Pogson, Jonathan Jaynes In what has come to be known as verbatim theatre, transcripts of interviews, hearings and/or trials are dramatised on stage by actors. Rob Epstein’s film Howl is probably the best cinematic example of this novel storytelling technique, but director Clio Barnard really ups the ante by having her actors lip-sync their dialogue to audio-recorded interviews, further morphing the line between reality and fiction. Barnard’s film is about Andrea Dunbar, the West Yorkshire author of three gritty social-realist plays who died in 1990 of a brain hemorrhage at the ripe young age of 29. Dunbar hailed from Bradford, England's rough and tumble Buttershaw Estate (dubbed "the Arbor"). The dialogue in The Arbor is taken directly from interviews conducted by Barnard of Dunbar's family, friends and »

- Don Simpson

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Midsomer Murders: Bye bye Dci Barnaby

2 February 2011 6:30 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

John Nettles will finally leave the role of the rural sleuth tonight after 14 years of fetes, local pubs and blood-spattered patios

A respectful silence will fall upon the nation's living rooms tonight as Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby leaves ITV1's ever-popular Midsomer Murders for the final time.

After nearly 14 years playing the affable rural sleuth in the fetes and fatalities pot-boiler, John Nettles will take one last look around Midsomer – from Elverton-cum-Latterly in the east, to Great Pelfe, with its overflowing graveyards and blood-spattered patios, in the west – and bid this most murderous of counties adieu, satisfied in a job well done. Apart from the hundreds of dead bodies. He'll be replaced by Neil Dudgeon as another Barnaby, his equally dependable cousin, just transferred to Causton Cid. Handy.

Dci Tom Barnaby is not your average TV copper though. He doesn't have a drink problem or a failing marriage. His lovely »

- Julia Raeside

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'Midsomer' Nettles final show confirmed

18 January 2011 4:26 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Details of John Nettles's final episode of ITV1 detective series Midsomer Murders have been revealed. Nettles's character Dci Tom Barnaby will make his final appearance in 'Fit For Murder', which will air on Wednesday, February 2 at 8pm. Nettles has played the role for over 14 years and 80 episodes. Co-stars Jane Waymark and Laura Howard, who have played Barnaby's wife and daughter, will also bid farewell to the show next month. Guest stars in 'Fit For Murder' will include Geraldine James, Lesley Manville, Jason Durr, Ronni Ancona and Shaun Dingwall. It will also feature the first appearance from Neil Dudgeon, who will take over as the lead in the show, playing Dci John Barnaby, Tom's cousin. Jason Hughes will continue as sidekick Di Ben Jones. Speaking about his departure, Nettles said: "I wanted to die in noble fashion (more) »

- By Alex Fletcher

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