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1-20 of 44 items from 2014   « Prev | Next »

Diversity on our screens: never mind the 'initiatives', let's see some action | Observer editorial

26 July 2014 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Britain's television industry has for years been promising a better representation in its programmes of the nation's ethnic makeup. Now it's D (for diversity) Day

The countdown started early this year: if there was no new plan to privilege black, Asian and ethnic minority staff in British television, both behind the scenes and on camera, by August there would be a national call for the public to stop paying the licence fee. While diversity campaigners were slightly unsure about the detail of urging supporters to break the law in this way, one thing was clear: patience was running out. So, as the deadline draws near, has the director general, Lord Hall, done enough to convince viewers he is serious about opening up the BBC to a wider range of influences? And what about ITV, where chief executive Peter Fincham has suggested a quota system to improve the situation?

The credibility »

- Observer editorial

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Lenny Henry: BBC diversity push risks blaming the victim

8 July 2014 6:58 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Comedian welcomes Tony Halls new training initiatives, but says they may suggest ethnic minority people are not good enough

Lenny Henry has taken issue with the BBCs new initiatives to improve diversity in TV, saying they risk blaming the victim.

The actor and comedian, a leading critic of the sectors appalling record on diversity, said he welcomed director general Tony Halls new measures, announced last month, and said he had never heard such commitment to diversity training before.

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- John Plunkett

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British Film Institute Introduces Significant "3 Ticks" Rule to Ensure Diversity in UK Film Production - A Lenny Henry Effect?

7 July 2014 9:10 AM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

This speaks to two things recently discussed on this blog: first, my attempts to repurpose the Bechdel Test (a measurement used to highlight gender bias in cinema), to highlight and help erode racial inequalities also in cinema, using M. Asli Dukan's 5 basic criteria for blacks in sci-fi films (read that here if you missed it); and second, and maybe more significant, veteran black British actor Lenny Henry's very public ongoing diversity push, focusing his attention on the opportunities for black and minority ethnic groups in the UK TV and film industry today (catch up on that here). In short, the BFI (British Film Institute) Film Fund announced over the weekend that »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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20 Crazy Things You Won’t Believe Hotel Employees Put Up With‏

25 June 2014 3:12 PM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Warner Bros

Hotels are dark, disturbing places. As we learned from the Overlook Hotel from The Shining, they carry the twisted psychic energy of every bad deed that has been done in their halls by a passing traveller, even if that deed was just clogging up a toilet. It takes hours of plunger work and a lot of bleach to sort that, and they’re really never properly clean again. Gross. And you know who has to deal with all of the heinous mojo (and smells) that get left behind by these nefarious patrons? The hotel staff. You can just tell when you look into their eyes as they hand you your keycard: they’ve seen things, man.

So it should come as no surprise that a Reddit thread asking for people’s craziest experiences with guests whilst working in hotels has been wildly popular. Not all of them involved bodily fluids, »

- Tom Baker

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Lenny Henry criticises BBC's diversity plans: 'It doesn't work'

24 June 2014 8:49 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Lenny Henry has criticised the BBC's new plans to increase on-screen diversity.

The comedian said that the black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) community had "initiative fatigue".

Last week, Lord Tony Hall announced plans to increase on-screen diversity by 5% in the next three years.

"Tony Hall's announcement last week is something, but with massive respect, it's on an old model that doesn't work," Henry said of the new initiative.

Henry spoke at a culture, media and sport select committee hearing, saying there had been "29 initiatives at the BBC in the last 15 years and numbers (of people from Bame backgrounds working in the industry) have gone down".

He added: "Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor didn't need more training. They just needed a break."

The actor will be part of a new BBC action group, including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Asian Network presenter Nihal and Lady Floella Benjamin.

Henry said that »

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Lenny Henry tells MPs ethnic diversity plan of BBC does not go far enough

24 June 2014 7:30 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor to Dcms select committee: Idris Elba did not need more training to be a great actor he just needed a break

The actor and comedian Lenny Henry has said that Britain has been haemorhaging ethnic minority talent to the Us, and has expressed doubts that a BBC plan to improve representation of black and Asian people on air will prove effective.

Henry told MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee that Britain had been losing talent because of the mistaken belief that ethnic minority actors did not have star power.

Continue reading »

- Jason Deans and agencies

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Lenny Henry: diversity in the TV industry 'is worth fighting for'

20 June 2014 9:45 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

As a boy of 16 he did impressions of Tommy Cooper. Now, as he prepares to mark his 40th year on TV, Lenny Henry is on a mission to make broadcasters reflect ethnically diverse Britain and never mind the potshots

Lenny Henry isn't laughing. I've told him a joke but he doesn't crack a smile. Instead, he wearily tells me that it's too old, and not funny any more. Perhaps it's not surprising. Now a critically acclaimed actor, Henry is almost unrecognisable as the cuddly comic whose suits were once as loud as his bellowed catchphrases. Lean and aloof, today he remains straight-faced as I repeat a quip told by comedians from Gina Yashere to Stephen K Amos that the only way for a black comedian to get their own TV show, is "to wait for Lenny Henry to die".

"I guess when I had the Lenny Henry Show that was a decent joke to make, »

- Homa Khaleeli

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BBC boss reveals diversity plans

20 June 2014 4:10 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Tony Hall has set out his blueprint for boosting diversity at the BBC, including creating a £2.1m commissioning fund to help ensure the corporation “represents every family and community in the UK”.

The director general unveiled the package of measures in a speech at Elstree Studios on Friday, where he said “it’s time for action” on diversity. It follows the issue being thrust to the forefront of the broadcasting agenda over the past 12 months.

As well as the £2.1m Diversity Creative Talent Fund, the BBC has created two leadership development programmes, introduced new staff diversity targets and an intern scheme. Hall will also create an independent board to keep the BBC’s progress in check.

Hall’s measures at a glance

£2.1m diversity fundCreation of independent diversity boardLeadership and commissioning development schemesFresh diversity targets

He has stopped short of introducing Lenny Henry’s proposal to ring-fence a percentage of the BBC’s annual commissioning budget for programmes »

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BBC's Tony Hall announces new diversity strategy: "We need to do more"

20 June 2014 3:52 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

The BBC has announced a new strategy to improve the representation of ethnic minorities at the corporation.

Director general Tony Hall unveiled the proposals at the set of EastEnders in Elstree on Friday (June 20).

The plans include a new executive development scheme and a commissioning fund, while more training internships for black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) graduate trainees will be introduced.

Lenny Henry - an outspoken critic of organisations including the BBC over Bame diversity - will be among a panel of experts on a new independent action group to advise the corporation.

Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, broadcaster Baroness Floella Benjamin and footballer Jason Roberts will also be on the panel.

"The BBC gets much right on diversity, but the simple fact is that we need to do more. I am not content for the BBC to be merely good or above average," Hall said.

"I want »

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BBC announces raft of new measures on diversity

20 June 2014 3:06 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Corporation to launch more internships, introduce new targets, and Lenny Henry and Lady Benjamin will join advisory group

The BBC has announced new measures to improve the representation of the Black, Asian and minority ethnic community, including a new executive development scheme and a ringfenced commissioning fund.

Other measures announced on Friday include more training internships for Bame graduate trainees, an assistant commissioner development programme for people from diverse backgrounds and new on- and off-air diversity targets.

Continue reading »

- Jason Deans and Tara Conlan

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Prince Charles backs Nfts diversity drive

18 June 2014 5:24 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Letter from the Prince of Wales read at Ntfs Gala event.

Prince Charles has praised the work of the National Film and Television School (Nfts) in their ongoing campaign to improve levels of diversity in the industry.

Baroness Floella Benjamin took to the stage at the Nfts’s annual gala event, held at Old Billingsgate in London, to read the letter of support from the Prince of Wales.

It said: “I am delighted at the long standing commitment the Nfts has made to training of the highest standard. I am very conscious of the generous help that is provided to ensure that the courses you offer are available to those of the greatest potential talent whatever their means.

“Any successful industry is only as good as the people within it and its future success depends on the quality of those whom it attracts to join the profession now.

“So I could not be more pleased at the »

- (Michael Rosser)

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Casting for lead role in BBC drama

18 June 2014 12:11 PM, PDT | ScreenTerrier | See recent ScreenTerrier news »

Casting is underway for the lead role in Danny and the Human Zoo.

Red Production Company and the BBC are looking to cast the lead role in Danny and the Human Zoo, a new semi-autobiographical drama written by Lenny Henry.

Danny Fearon - Lead Role

Black male teenager of Jamaican parentage, late teens, with an authentic West Midlands accent.

An excellent mimic with the ability and willingness to learn impersonations of 70s cultural icons such as Tommy Cooper, Mohammed Ali, Elvis Presley, Harold Wilson, John Lennon, Dave Allen etc.

A comedian who is constantly entertaining his school mates, with a boyish charm and an innocence to the ways of the world.

If you're interested, please email a photo of yourself along with a CV/covering letter to the casting director, Lisa Makin, at no later than Tuesday 24th June 2014.

Danny And The Human Zoo is a 1x »

- (ScreenTerrier)

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Lenny Henry to introduce Nfts Gala

11 June 2014 4:29 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Annual event to be held on June 18 on the topic of Great British Film, Television and Games Event - Striving for Diversity Nirvana.

Lenny Henry is to introduce this year’s National Film and Television School’s (Nfts) Gala.

The Great British Film, Television and Games Event - Striving for Diversity Nirvana will take place on June 18 at Old Billingsgate.

Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE, is chairing the Gala committee, which includes Paralympic medalist Ade Adepitan, director Alrick Riley, Fujitsu UK and Ireland chairman Simon Blagden, MBE, Ingenious Investments CEO James Clayton, Wall to Wall TV founder Alex Graham, Coutts & Co’s media banking division director Judith Chan, Global Group executive president and founder Ashley Tabor and Nfts director Nik Powell.

Henry recently launched a nationwide campaign to increase diversity on our screens by calling for a change in the law to boost the number of Black and Minority Ethnic workers in British broadcast media.

The Gala aims »

- (Ian Sandwell)

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Feel-Good New UK Poster For Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’

14 May 2014 5:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Aside from the friendly, food-loving looking Us poster and that entertaining trailer, we’ve only heard great things for Favreau’s Chef and we’re all looking forward to seeing it finally in the UK on June 25th.

It’s written, directed, produced and starring Jon Favreau himself, alongside a bloody lovely cast that includes Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Robert Downey Jr. and young actor Emjay Anthony. Here’s some official synopsis for you folks who haven’t heard much about it yet:

When Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son (Emjay Anthony) to launch a food truck. »

- Dan Bullock

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Strictly's Darcey Bussell: 'Bruce Forsyth is an incredible entertainer'

11 May 2014 3:03 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Darcey Bussell has spoken about Sir Bruce Forsyth leaving Strictly Come Dancing.

The former ballerina explained she had no idea that the host was stepping down, but was delighted he plans to return for the Christmas special, reports the Daily Record.

She said: "I knew he wasn't feeling great, but he's amazing for 86. My father-in-law was really shocked because we were in Australia when the news came out and he said, 'Oh, the guy's retired', and I said, 'Well, yeah, it is kind of incredible'.

"He said, 'Well, how old is he?' and I said '86'. He went, 'What? What do you mean? He's been performing all this time?' I said, 'Yeah, he's got the record for being the most amazing entertainer for this long'.

"We're going to miss him."

Bussell added that Claudia Winkleman, who has been confirmed as Forsyth's replacement, is "part of the family" at the BBC One show. »

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BBC undecided over whether to fire Jeremy Clarkson over 'N-word'

2 May 2014 12:21 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Controversy over Top Gear presenter's use of racist epithet continues, with BBC waiting to see public response to apology

Jeremy Clarkson's fate at the BBC is still undecided, with the corporation monitoring public reaction after the Top Gear host was forced to apologise for using the N-word during an outtake.

The BBC has not yet said if he will appear on the next series, and executives want to see how diversity campaigners such as the comedian Lenny Henry and Homeland actor David Harewood respond.

Continue reading »

- Tara Conlan

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Bob Hoskins dies, aged 71: Tributes pour in for Long Good Friday star

30 April 2014 5:59 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Bob Hoskins passed away earlier today (April 30) at the age of 71.

The British actor was known for his starring roles in a variety of films and TV dramas, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Hook, The Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa.

Stars of stage, screen and beyond have paid tribute to the respected actor. A selection of messages are presented below:

Bob Hoskins was an acting great and a wonderful, kind man. I am truly saddened by his passing. My deepest sympathy to his loved ones.

— christina ricci (@ChristinaRicci) April 30, 2014

Oh no, Bob Hoskins. Gone? That's awful news. The Long Good Friday one of the best British movies of the modern era. A marvellous man.

Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) April 30, 2014

Just heard the very sad news Bob Hoskins has died. He was one of the best. I feel honoured to have met & worked with him. Rip Bob. Xx

Vicky McClure (@Vicky »

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Lenny Henry campaign: back TV diversity or we'll boycott licence fee

23 April 2014 10:13 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor launches petition and email push lobbying culture minister Ed Vaizey to change the law on ethnic minority workers

Supporters of a campaign launched by comedian and actor Lenny Henry to change the law to boost the number of black, Asian and minority workers in the television industry say they will consider boycotting the licence fee if the government fails to take action.

Continue reading »

- Tara Conlan

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British Actor Lenny Henry Tells BBC: "There Will Be A Call To Arms. Diversify Now"

21 April 2014 8:31 AM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

“There will be a call to arms. Nothing happens without conflict and this is our time to stop moaning to ourselves and to take the argument public,” said veteran British actor Lenny Henry, in a recent statement as he continues his diversity push, after delivering BAFTA's annual Television Lecture for 2014 last month, focusing his discussion on the opportunities for black and minority ethnic groups in the UK TV and film industry today.  During his hour-long speech, Henry argued that funds should be set aside to boost the presence of black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the British broadcasting industry, describing the situation as "appalling" because "the »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Shakespeare productions, Gemma Arterton play among BBC Arts plans

25 March 2014 5:55 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

The BBC has outlined plans for its upcoming arts coverage.

Director General Tony Hall stated that the corporation aims to increase its art output with its "strongest commitment to the arts in a generation".

"The arts are for everyone, and from now on BBC Arts will be at the very heart of what we do," he added.

Productions from Glyndebourne and Shakespeare's Globe will be filmed for broadcast, along with Gemma Arterton's appearance in The Duchess of Malfi at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

The One Show will broadcast live from the Hay Literary Festival in May, while the makers of The Hollow Crown will reunite for filmed versions of Shakespeare's Henry VI and Richard III.

The BBC Arts... strand will be used on TV, radio and online via the BBC's iPlayer service.

iPlayer will premiere BBC Two series The Story of Women and Art, along with coverage of »

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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