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'Being silly is what they do best': the return of French and Saunders

Thirty years after their first sketch series and 10 since their last TV show, the double act are back for a Christmas special

The first series of French and Saunders, in 1987, was, writes Dawn French in her autobiography, “pretty shabby” (though it also “showed promise”). The BBC had taken a gamble on French and her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders, or in the words of the light entertainment boss Jim Moir “I’ve got my dick on the table for you ladies”, as French recalled. “Thirty years later,” French writes, “we still wonder occasionally if they want us.”

They do. This Christmas – 30 years after their first sketch show, 10 years after their last TV show and nine years after the live shows that marked their then-retirement as a double act – French and Saunders are back, for a one-off show at least. It promises classic French and Saunders material – old parodies (among them, the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

2017’s Must Watch Christmas TV

Work has finished, the office party embarrassment is starting to subside and you’re ready to collapse into the hibernation period before your New Year’s Resolutions promise to make yourself a better person. Christmas TV can be a minefield of shows we would never see any other time of year and, for some, with good reason. Thankfully, we are here to take your alcohol-shaking hand and lead you through the chaos to some of the best options on your box this Christmas.

Cool Runnings (1993) – BBC 1 – 23rd December – 1:15 Pm

It’s important to lower yourself slowly into Christmas TV and whilst Cool Runnings is not your archetypal Christmas film, the heart-warming tale of a Jamaican bobsleigh team making it to the Winter Olympics is a great nostalgic throwback. Whilst the PG comedy may not have people laughing like it did 20 years ago, the overlying themes of teamwork and friendship
See full article at The Cultural Post »

Sally Phillips interview: Ferdinand, Taskmaster, Smack The Pony, Veep

Louisa Mellor Dec 15, 2017

We chatted to actor and writer Sally Phillips about comedy, European accents, special cuddles, writing films and more...

“I’m quite keen to meet a Finnish shaman, have you seen them?” asks Sally Phillips three minutes into an interview that’s supposed to be about her role in new family animation Ferdinand. Scrolling through her phone, she presents me with a photograph of a fearsome looking woman with Pris from Blade Runner eye make-up, wearing an elaborate headdress and holding a tambourine.

See related Star Wars: The Last Jedi review

“Look at the expression! Very, very miserable, tambourine, excellent eye make-up” says Phillips, delighted. “I play a character who looks a bit like that in Zapped! and I did something else recently where they painted a black chicken on one eye. I thought, well, it’s slowly, slowly happening, I’m turning into a Finnish Shaman.”

Despite not having visited Finland,
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Den of Geek Christmas 2017 UK TV and radio guide

Louisa Mellor Dec 13, 2017

We’ve taken a highlighter to this year’s Christmas and New Year TV schedules and circled what we’ll be watching this festive season…

Amid the cosy repeats and cranberry-stuffed cookery shows on TV over the next few weeks are a few gems. There’s no Sherlock or Charlie Brooker’s TV Wipe this year, but there are plenty of treats, not least the return of The League Of Gentlemen for a three-part anniversary series and Peter Capaldi’s last hurrah in the Tardis in the Doctor Who Christmas episode.

See related 26 new TV shows to watch in 2017

Over on Netflix, six new episodes of Black Mirror are coming to usher in the New Year, two days into which we welcome the return of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s genius anthology Inside No. 9.

Not to gloss over a spooky M.R. James night on BBC Four,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Former Doctor Who Star Tom Baker Was Hoping For A Different Female Doctor

After the initial furore over Jodie Whittaker’s casting as the Thirteenth Doctor back in July subsided, most seemed to be on board – or, at least, have come to terms – with the decision to make the Time Lord a woman. That said, one former Doctor Who star – in fact, arguably the most iconic Doctor Who star of them all – has revealed that he would have preferred a different actress to take the part.

The Fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker, was speaking with GQ when the topic of the new Doctor inevitably came up. First, let’s clarify that Baker is totally on board with Whittaker’s casting, as he mentioned that he was “thrilled” with the decision and is sure she’ll be “marvellous.”

“I was thrilled! So long as the girl comes over as an alien, a benevolent alien, she’ll be marvellous. I wish the girl the very greatest of luck.
See full article at We Got This Covered »

BBC Christmas 2017 TV line-up announced

Louisa Mellor Nov 28, 2017

Here's a pick of the BBC's drama and comedy for this Christmas, including Doctor Who and The League Of Gentlemen...

Get ready to mentally circle a few items in the festive TV planner; the BBC has officially announced its Christmas 2017 line-up.

See related Dark Universe: the undignified death of a cinematic universe

Our priorities first: Peter Capaldi’s outgoing Doctor Who episode in the leading role, Twice Upon A Time. The episode is written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay and stars Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Mark Gatiss and David Bradley.

According to the official synopsis, Twice Upon A Time will see Twelve and Bill “team up with the first ever Doctor to battle the enchanted glass people before he regenerates into the 13th Doctor”. Expect that to air on December the 25th as usual (we’ll confirm the time as soon as it’s announced).

Next up are three (hooray!
See full article at Den of Geek »

Baywatch, Björk and mimicking Madonna: 30 years of French and Saunders

With surreal silliness and spot-on parody, the comedy duo – who return to TV screens this Christmas – altered the face of comedy

At the TV Baftas in 2009, French and Saunders were given a joint fellowship in celebration of their comedy career. They walked on stage to the sound of Here Come the Girls, as was the legal requirement for every woman achieving something from the period between 2008 and 2012. They got a standing ovation from the crowd of TV insiders. The applause went on, and on, so much so that Jennifer Saunders had to shout at the audience to quieten them down: “Shut up, shut up! That’s very embarrassing. Far too long.”

Related: French and Saunders film version of The Handmaid's Tale in Christmas special

Related: Top TV spoofs: 'Don't I know you from Lark Pies To Cranchesterford?'

Related: Dawn French review – comic opens her heart in poignant solo show
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Prince William Sounds Off on Social Media Pressures: 'There Is a Sense of Being on Call 24/7'

Prince William Sounds Off on Social Media Pressures: 'There Is a Sense of Being on Call 24/7'
Prince William is echoing his brother Prince Harry‘s sentiments on the pressures of social media on kids and young adults.

The royal dad gave a passionate speech at a circus-themed gala Monday night, celebrating the partnership between The Children’s Trust, an organization that helps children with brain injuries, and one of his key charities, Skillforce.

“The pressure on young people these days is considerable — almost certainly more than even for my generation not so long ago,” he said.

“Children are tested more than ever before and are being prepared to enter a highly competitive work market,” he continued.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

French and Saunders film version of The Handmaid's Tale in Christmas special

Comedians Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders prepare parodies as they revive sketch show 30 years after its first outing

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are to return to TV screens this Christmas, 30 years after the first series of their sketch show was broadcast.

The BBC1 festive special of French and Saunders will feature the double act’s most popular sketches from the past three decades, plus rarely seen footage and new material.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

French & Saunders Reteam For BBC Special; ITV On ‘Manhunt’ – Global Briefs

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are set for a holiday special 30th anniversary episode of their award-winning sketch show French And Saunders. BBC One will air the BBC Studios Comedy production which marks the first time in 10 years that the talents behind The Vicar Of Dibley and Absolutely Fabulous will reunite on screen. Saunders says, "We have almost deliberately stayed alive this long just to force the British Broadcorping Castration to put us on television one last…
See full article at Deadline TV »

“Ab Fab’s” Joanna Lumley to Receive the BAFTA Fellowship

Joanna Lumley in “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie”: David Appleby/IMDb

Joanna Lumley is receiving the British Academy’s greatest honor. Variety reports that the “Absolutely Fabulous” star will be honored with the BAFTA Fellowship at the British Academy Television Awards on May 14. The special award is granted “to an individual in recognition of their outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television, or games.”

“Nothing could make me prouder or happier than being awarded this phenomenal honor,” Lumley said in a statement. “To be counted amongst the greatest talents and stars of our industry is an awesome gift.”

Previous BAFTA fellows include Lumley’s “Ab Fab” co-star Jennifer Saunders, Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”), and Julie Walters (“National Treasure”).

Lumley is best known as “Ab Fab’s” Patsy Stone. Created by Saunders and Dawn French, the comedy centered on best friends Patsy and Edina Monsoon (Saunders) and their many misadventures. The series’ six seasons aired sporadically from 1992 to 2012. The 2016 film “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” saw the duo fleeing to the south of France after accidentally pushing Kate Moss into the Thames. Directed by Mandie Fletcher and written by Saunders, the “Ab Fab” film was a big hit in the UK.

Lumley’s acting career spans six decades. She took home a BAFTA for her performance in “Absolutely Fabulous” in both 1993 and 1995. She and the cast of 1961’s “The Avengers” received a special BAFTA award in 2000. Among Lumley’s recent credits are Thea Sharrock’s “Me Before You” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

The British Academy Television Awards will take place May 14 at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Ab Fab’s” Joanna Lumley to Receive the BAFTA Fellowship was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Joanna Lumley to Receive BAFTA Fellowship

Pass the Bolly, darling!

Joanna Lumley is set to join an esteemed list of names on May 14 when she is awarded BAFTA's highest honor.

The near-legendary (and BAFTA-winning) star of shows such as Absolutely Fabulous and The New Avengers across a career spanning four decades will receive the BAFTA Fellowship at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards.

Others to have accepted the award in honor of their television work include Lumley's longtime collaborator Jennifer Saunders, plus Dawn French, Michael Palin, David Attenborough and Julie Walters.

“From high-kicking her way into our hearts as Purdey in The New Avengers to showcasing...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Delicious renewed for series 2

Rob Leane Apr 28, 2017

Sky is cooking up Delicious series 2! Dawn French and Emilia Fox will return...

Prepare for some more TV that's saucy in multiple ways! Sky 1 has officially ordered Delicious series 2, with creator Dan Sefton and stars Dawn French and Emilia Fox set to return for more food-adjacent romantic drama later this year.

The renewal news doesn't exactly come as a surprise. As CultBox tells us, series 1 of the show - which saw French's Gina and Fox's Sam battling for the affections of Iain Glen's sexy chef Leo - was Sky's most-viewed UK drama series last year. Of course the big cheeses behind the scenes want some seconds.

CultBox also has lots of quotes from people involved in the show, like this one from Dawn French...

"I am utterly delighted that there will be more of Delicious. It is that rare thing where everything from every department comes together well,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Bobby Warans To Be Honored At BAFTA Craft Awards; Tin Roof Media Invests In Outline Prods.; James Murdoch To Speak At Rts Convention — Global Briefs

Renowned prop master Bobby Warans is set to be honored with the BAFTA Special Award at this year's British Academy Television Craft Awards, which is set to take place on April 23 in London. The award recognizes Warans' outstanding contribution to production design across more than 100 television programs including Absolutely Fabulous, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, French and Saunders, Harry Hill's TV Burp and Strictly Come Dancing. Warans began his career in…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Bobby Warans To Be Honored At BAFTA Craft Awards; Tin Roof Media Invests In Outline Prods.; James Murdoch To Speak At Rts Convention — Global Briefs

Renowned prop master Bobby Warans is set to be honored with the BAFTA Special Award at this year's British Academy Television Craft Awards, which is set to take place on April 23 in London. The award recognizes Warans' outstanding contribution to production design across more than 100 television programs including Absolutely Fabulous, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, French and Saunders, Harry Hill's TV Burp and Strictly Come Dancing. Warans began his career in…
See full article at Deadline »

‘Decline and Fall’ Trailer: Eva Longoria Is Alluring in Acorn TV’s New Satire — Watch

‘Decline and Fall’ Trailer: Eva Longoria Is Alluring in Acorn TV’s New Satire — Watch
Acorn TV, the Emmy-nominated purveyor of some of the best British shows out there, is climbing in bed with Evelyn Waugh.

The streaming service announced Tuesday morning that it has acquired “Decline and Fall,” a three-part adaptation of the late author’s first novel. The limited series stars Eva Longoria, “Poirot’s” David Suchet and comedian Jack Whitehall.

Read More: Niche Streaming Site Acorn TV Lands Emmy Nomination for ‘Poirot’

Set in the late 1920s, “Decline and Fall” stars Whitehall as modest theology student Paul Pennyfeather, who finds his life upended when he’s expelled from Oxford University, having fallen victim to a prank by the privileged Bollinger Club gets him in trouble for indecent exposure. Unfortunately, that act means that Paul has defaulted on the conditions of his inheritance and therefore must take a job teaching at Llanabba, a school in Wales run by Dr. Fagan (Suchet).

There, he
See full article at Indiewire »

MipTV: ‘Little Big Shots’ Acquired by Australia’s Channel Seven

MipTV: ‘Little Big Shots’ Acquired by Australia’s Channel Seven
Cannes, France – Australia’s Channel Seven has picked up entertainment format “Little Big Shots,” which showcases talented kids, in a deal inked with Warner Bros. Intl. Television Production.

Wbitvp Australia will produce the local version of the show, which will star comedian, actor, writer, producer and director Shane Jacobson as host.

Seven’s director of programming, Angus Ross, said: “‘Little Big Shots’ is the ultimate feel-good program. We’re delighted to welcome Shane into the Seven fold. He’s a sensational performer and the perfect fit for this family-friendly show with a lot of heart.”

This deal brings the number of countries that have adopted “Little Big Shots” to 16. It launched in Britain on ITV in March, hosted by Dawn French and produced by Wall to Wall. In Germany, the show will air on ProsiebenSat1 as “Little Big Stars” from April 23, with Thomas Gottschalk hosting. It has also launched in Belgium (Vtm), Colombia (Rcn) and Italy (Mediaset
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Comic Relief: cast doubts and cynicism aside and stick a red nose on

It doesn’t matter if you don’t like Love Actually, French and Saunders in Carpool Karaoke or Greg Davies shouting in a hot tub – just stick your hand in your pocket

It doesn’t matter if you’re suspicious of the motives of some of the people involved (is it really all about charity, or is there an element of self-promotion?). Or if you hated Love Actually first time round, so more of it is not funny at all. Perhaps you’re uncomfortable with the sleb/slum juxtaposition, or you’re not 100% convinced that the answer to poverty in Africa is Greg Davies shouting in a hot tub on the O2. But cast your doubt and cynicism aside, even if it’s for one night only. Shut up, stick a red nose on… too much? Well, stick your hand in your pocket at least, dip into your stash.

Fabulous opening sequence,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Friday’s best TV: Red Nose Day 2017, Unreported World, Gogglebox

  • The Guardian - TV News
The Love Actually reunion will no doubt be the highlight of tonight’s charity extravaganza, although James Cordon and Ed Sheeran will also up the fun factor

The stage of the O2 in Greenwich is the new home for the Comic Relief charity fundraising extravaganza. Here the hosts include Lenny Henry, Jonathan Ross and Sally Phillips, while those doing a turn include Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer and Ed Sheeran. We can also look forward to James Corden’s Car Pool Karaoke with Take That, Greg Davies over on BBC2 and the cast of Love Actually in Red Nose Day Actually. Dig deep. Jonathan Wright

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Rae Earl interview: My Mad Fat Diary, teen mental health & social media

Louisa Mellor Mar 3, 2017

To mark the publication of her new book, #Help: My Cat’s A Vlogging Superstar!, we chatted to the brilliant Rae Earl

In the course of my conversation with Rae Earl about her new children’s book, the following topics came under discussion: Kirsty MacColl, the Playmobil Funko Willy Wonka figure, running marathons, Krysten Ritter’s fringe on Gilmore Girls, David Tennant on stage (“the only time Hamlet’s ever made any sense to me!), the layout of Stamford Morrisons' car park, the sound design on Jackie, McDonalds coke, the sanctuary of public toilets, Piers Morgan, Rory Gilmore’s paramours (“I’m a Jess fanatic and I won’t have any nonsense about Dean or Logan”), Anne Widdecombe, level crossings, Nazis and vomit.

See related Broadchurch series 3 episode 1 review Broadchurch series 3: air date confirmed Doctor Who: Steven Moffat quits, Chris Chibnall new showrunner Chris Chibnall interview: Broadchurch,
See full article at Den of Geek »
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