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16 items from 2012


Doctor Who and Call the Midwife: Christmas TV turns into a weep-along

25 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Sentimentality ruled this year's Christmas specials, so thank goodness for Room on the Broom's grouchy cat

• When did Christmas telly become so sentimental? I found myself asking unfestively, rather in the manner of Room on the Broom's brilliantly grouchy kitty – harrumphing at the schedules and rolling my eyes as everyone else gently dabbed at theirs.

In fact things would have been markedly improved by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's cat, a star turn in BBC1's animated afternoon drama, bursting into other shows: sadly shaking his beautifully rendered head in the face of the many outbreaks of Christmassy kindness on show.

Instead, I'll have to make do with watching again this lovely adaptation of the book by Donaldson and Scheffler (of The Gruffalo fame), with its starry cast and brilliant gags. (The cat's almost throwaway needle-in-a-haystack discovery tickled me particularly.)

• The Doctor, retired to a cloud above the world »

- Vicky Frost

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Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special first pictures: Muamba, Jls Jb

18 December 2012 3:50 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

The first pictures of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special have been released by the BBC, featuring a selection of star names taking to the famous BBC dancefloor for the very first time. Ex-footballer Fabrice Muamba teams up with Aliona Vilani for a dance routine, while veteran actress Sheila Hancock is partnered by Ian Waite.

The festive edition of the BBC reality show also features Jls star Jb Gill taking a break from the X Factor boyband to show off his best moves with Ola Jordan. Katy Brand and Anton Du Beke are another couple who showcase their best Christmas spirit on the dancefloor.

Bobby Ball and Katya Virshilas and ex-Blue Peter host Helen Skelton, who partners Artem Chigvintsev, complete the (more) »

- By Alex Fletcher

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Strictly Come Dancing Christmas lineup includes Fabrice Muamba, Jls Jb

28 November 2012 10:30 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Former Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba, Jls star Jb Gill, S Club 7 popstar Rachel Stevens and veteran TV comic Bobby Ball are among the stars lined up for this year's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special. This year's festive edition of the BBC ballroom dance show, which will air on Christmas Day, will feature six new stars taking to the dancefloor and a team of Strictly All Stars from previous series, who will dance a group routine.

Ex-Bolton Wanderers star Muamba, who collapsed on the pitch during an Fa Cup match earlier this year, comic Katy Brand, actress Sheila Hancock, TV presenter Helen Skelton, popstar Jb Gill and Bobby (more) »

- By Alex Fletcher

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Celebrity grandparents and grandchildren

16 November 2012 3:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

From staying up late to cooking together, famous grandparents and grandchildren – from Sheila Hancock and Tony Benn to Daisy Lowe and Zoe Smith – celebrate the generation gap

Actor Sheila Hancock, 79, with Jack (17), Molly (15), Lola (14), Talia (nine), Charlie (eight), Alfie and Louis (five), and Rosie (two)

Sheila Being a grandma is lovely. There's a feeling of continuation. I know that when I go, which will be shortly, there will be people going on who have in them a tiny bit of me or John [husband John Thaw who died in 2002]. And that's nice. What I've most enjoyed is seeing them change and develop. I'm not that keen on them when they're weeny; they don't do much. Then suddenly, for example, Jack is a man. That is so odd. And these girls are suddenly young women.

It's totally different from being a parent. It's wonderful – you can lead them astray. I don't have to conform. It started with the teeth. »

- Simon Hattenstone, Becky Barnicoat

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Celebrity grandparents and grandchildren

16 November 2012 3:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

From staying up late to cooking together, famous grandparents and grandchildren – from Sheila Hancock and Tony Benn to Daisy Lowe and Zoe Smith – celebrate the generation gap

Actor Sheila Hancock, 79, with Jack (17), Molly (15), Lola (14), Talia (nine), Charlie (eight), Alfie and Louis (five), and Rosie (two)

Sheila Being a grandma is lovely. There's a feeling of continuation. I know that when I go, which will be shortly, there will be people going on who have in them a tiny bit of me or John [husband John Thaw who died in 2002]. And that's nice. What I've most enjoyed is seeing them change and develop. I'm not that keen on them when they're weeny; they don't do much. Then suddenly, for example, Jack is a man. That is so odd. And these girls are suddenly young women.

It's totally different from being a parent. It's wonderful – you can lead them astray. I don't have to conform. It started with the teeth. »

- Simon Hattenstone, Becky Barnicoat

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Joe Melia obituary

7 November 2012 8:09 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Outstanding actor of stage and screen who made his name as Bri in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

The British theatre changed for ever when Joe Melia, as the sardonic teacher Bri, pushed a severely disabled 10-year-old girl in a wheelchair on to the stage of the Glasgow Citizens in May 1967 and proceeded to make satirical jokes about the medical profession while his marriage was disintegrating. The play was Peter Nichols's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which transformed the way disability was discussed on the stage. It made the names overnight of its author, the director Michael Blakemore, and Melia. Albert Finney took over the role of Bri on Broadway.

Flat-footed, slightly hunched, always leaning towards a point of view, Melia, who has died aged 77, was a distinctive and compassionate actor who brought a strain of the music hall to the stage, a sense of being an outsider. »

- Michael Coveney

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Joe Melia obituary

7 November 2012 8:09 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Outstanding actor of stage and screen who made his name as Bri in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

The British theatre changed for ever when Joe Melia, as the sardonic teacher Bri, pushed a severely disabled 10-year-old girl in a wheelchair on to the stage of the Glasgow Citizens in May 1967 and proceeded to make satirical jokes about the medical profession while his marriage was disintegrating. The play was Peter Nichols's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which transformed the way disability was discussed on the stage. It made the names overnight of its author, the director Michael Blakemore, and Melia. Albert Finney took over the role of Bri on Broadway.

Flat-footed, slightly hunched, always leaning towards a point of view, Melia, who has died aged 77, was a distinctive and compassionate actor who brought a strain of the music hall to the stage, a sense of being an outsider. »

- Michael Coveney

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TV highlights 04/09/12

3 September 2012 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Unforgettable: The Sweeney | Voices of a Generation | Accused | The Midwives | Falling Skies | Suburgatory

Unforgettable: The Sweeney

8pm, ITV1

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner." Flashback to the 1970s, when a young John Thaw – the guv'nor with the one-liners – and his partner, a younger Dennis Waterman, would charge around London in a Ford Consul nicking villains. The Sweeney was hard-hitting, violent TV for the time, and realistic in that the coppers were willing to bend the law and quick with their fists. This documentary looking back at the series features Waterman, Thaw's widow Sheila Hancock and Ray Winstone, who stars in the upcoming big-screen adaptation. Martin Skegg

Voices of a Generation

8pm, Sky Arts 1

In which actor/knight Michael Gambon discusses his career. Born in Dublin, Gambon trained as a tool-maker, then discovered his vocation after joining an amateur theatre group. A key break came when Laurence Olivier »

- Martin Skegg, Jonathan Wright, John Robinson, Andrew Mueller, Phelim O'Neill, Ben Arnold

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Q&A: Ken Loach

1 June 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A secret? Eric Cantona is a giggler

Ken Loach, 75, was born in Warwickshire. After grammar school, he went to Oxford University where he read law. He started his career in the theatre and went on to become a BBC television director in 1963. He worked on Z Cars and then the Wednesday Play, where he directed the classic Cathy Come Home. In 1969, Loach made the award-winning film Kes. His other movies include Land And Freedom, Sweet Sixteen, The Wind That Shakes The Barley and Looking For Eric. The Angels' Share, his new film, is out now.

What is your greatest fear?

I would have said relegation for Bath City, the football club I support, but we've just been relegated.

What is your earliest memory?

Getting my fingers trapped in a deckchair when I was three or four.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?

Tony Benn, for moving to »

- Rosanna Greenstreet

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Sky Arts shows it means business

22 May 2012 7:25 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

With its Playhouse Presents plays, live opera and a new series starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm, Sky Arts is increasingly moving up the must-watch list

Sky Arts is keen on springing surprises of the "odd but interesting" kind. The latest example is the engagement of Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe and Mad Men's Jon Hamm to star in A Young Doctor's Notebook, an adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's Village of Muryovo set in 1917 which will broadcast next year under the Playhouse Presents banner. Made as a four-part comedy drama by Rev producer Big Talk Productions, it is bound to be worth sampling. Much the same thing can be said of the current, third and best run of original plays on the channel, which have featured pairings such as Sir Tom Jones and Brenda Blethyn discovering a lost love.

The results aren't always brilliant – but the key is that Sky »

- Maggie Brown

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Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol - DVD Review

21 May 2012 8:13 AM, PDT | Monsters and Critics | See recent Monsters and Critics news »

.Happiness will prevail.. I.m happy the Happiness Patrol is arriving on DVD. if I didn.t say that a group of gun touting gals would blow me away. I.m no killjoy. Actually, it.s not too bad with the production commenting on political elements while masking them in sci-fi garb. Just watch out for the usual lack of budget. The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophie Aldred) arrive on Terra Alpha to discover a society with Muzak piped in and sadness against the law. The repressive Helen A (Sheila Hancock) rules the planet with a happy yet iron fist, along with her companion Joseph C (Ronald Frasier) and her monstrous pet Fifi. If you.re not gunned down by »

- Jeff Swindoll

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Win Twice Round the Daffodils on DVD

19 April 2012 10:44 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

To mark the release of Twice Round the Daffidils on DVD, we’ve been given three copies to give away. It’s directed by Gerald Thomas and stars Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims, Sheila Hancock, Juliet Mills, Sir Donald Sinden, Nanette Newman and Jill Ireland.

A classic British comedy starring ‘Carry On’ legends Joan Sims and Kenneth Williams, Twice Round The Daffodils sees a group of four male patients arrive at a sanatorium to be treated for TB. As they adjust to their new home, each one of them starts to take a shine to the nurses that are there to care for them.

From the Carry On series team (producer Peter Rogers, director Gerald Thomas and writer Norman Hudis) and starring many of our well-loved British comedic stars, Twice Round The Daffodils is often considered an unofficial Carry On film.

To be in with a chance of winning this great prize, »

- Competitons

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David Tennant, Tom Jones, Emma Thompson for new Sky Arts shows

23 February 2012 1:41 PM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Sky Arts has unveiled its upcoming lineup of new comedy and drama series. David Tennant, Emma Thompson and Martin Shaw will star in a new collection of drama productions titled Playhouse Presents for the channel. Thompson will appear in a comedy drama about the 1982 event in which Michael Fagan broke into The Queen's bedchambers at Buckingham Palace. Tennant will star as an artist called Will in The Minor Character from Will Self, while Martin Shaw appears in City Hall, which focuses on a woman who becomes a viral hit after standing up to rioters and later becomes the mayor of London. Trevor Eve, Sheila Hancock and Gina McKee (more) »

- By Tom Eames

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Anderson And Fiennes Entertain British Royals At Dickens Event

7 February 2012 5:31 PM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Gillian Anderson and Ralph Fiennes entertained Charles, Prince Of Wales and his wife in London on Tuesday with readings to mark the 200th anniversary of literary legend Charles Dickens' birth.

The prince and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall led the global celebrations to mark Dickens' 1812 birth at the U.K. capital's Westminster Abbey, and also stopped by the Charles Dickens Museum.

Anderson, who played Miss Havisham in a recent BBC adaptation of Dickens' Great Expectations, gave a private reading for the royal visitors - and was delighted with her audience's reaction.

She says, "I was very impressed by how relaxed and how much fun they are. They're very funny and like to have a joke."

Fiennes read from Dickens' Bleak House.

A service honouring the author also took place in Portsmouth, south England - where he was born - and featured readings by actor Simon Callow and actress Sheila Hancock. »

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Happy Birthday Charles Dickens From Google Doodle

7 February 2012 6:21 AM, PST | ShockYa | See recent ShockYa news »

In honor of Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, Google is celebrating with a new Doodle. The search engine replaced its official logo on its homepage with an illustration of some of the author’s classic characters, including Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Pip. In honor of Dickens’ birth, Britain is hosting several celebrations today, including actors who have appeared in adaptations of his work-Ralph Fiennes, Gillian Anderson, Sheila Hancock and Simon Callow-performing in the author’s birthplace, Portsmouth, Hampshire. The Prince of Wales will visit Westminister Abbey to lay a wreath at Dickens’ burial in Poets’ Corner. Prince Charles is also expected to visit London’s Dickens Museum. Dickens was known for publicly reading »

- karen

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Sandi Toksvig becomes chancellor of Portsmouth University

23 January 2012 6:06 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Comedian, author and presenter succeeds Sheila Hancock and is welcomed by Professor John Craven (not that one)

The television personality and author Sandi Toksvig has been appointed the new chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.

Toksvig, made famous by her appearances on Whose Line is it Anyway? and other panel shows, will succeed the actor and author Sheila Hancock and take up the post in October.

Toksvig said: "I was surprised and delighted to be invited by the university to become chancellor and am very honoured to accept.

"I am passionate about higher education and am hugely impressed by Portsmouth's mission to encourage students from every walk of life to excel."

The vice-chancellor, Professor John Craven, said: "The university is very pleased to announce Sandi's appointment as chancellor and very much looks forward to welcoming her when she takes up her role at the start of the next academic year. »

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2004

16 items from 2012


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