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2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

9 items from 2012


The Snowman and the Snowdog: the pitfalls of remakes

14 December 2012 9:07 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Channel 4 has revisited The Snowman, broadcasting a brand new animated film in the style of the 30-year-old favourite on Christmas Eve. But is it ever wise to tinker with a classic?

As Martin Clunes and Paul Merton discovered when they appeared in new productions of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, and The Blood Donor – taking over roles originally played by Leonard Rossiter and Tony Hancock – remakes of television classics are a risky proposition. The likeliest outcome is that viewers familiar with the original will be outraged, while a younger audience will be indifferent. It's easy to imagine the reaction if it were announced that Dad's Army or Fawlty Towers were being re-made: unless the tapes of the originals dissolved, they could simply go on being reshown.

Despite this, Channel 4 has decided to create an alternative version of a show that has the probably unique distinction of »

- Mark Lawson

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How we made: Mark Lester and Ron Moody on Oliver!

4 December 2012 1:17 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

'Playing Fagin was one of the happiest times of my life. I loved the boys' mischievous minds – I wanted to make them laugh'

Mark Lester, actor (Oliver Twist)

The auditions had narrowed down to two other boys and me. We were put in a room in a London hotel and Carol Reed, the director, ordered the dismayed hotel barber to cut our hair badly to resemble a workhouse style. Then he just looked and looked at us, and we were sent home with this awful hair. When I heard I'd got the part, my reaction was that it was a chance to miss a lot of school. Actually, I spent most of the time in my dressing room reading Sherlock Holmes.

Ron Moody, who played Fagin, was very jolly and used to play cards with us boys between shoots. But we were all terrified of Oliver Reed. He was one »

- Anna Tims

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Fred Ridgeway obituary

16 November 2012 4:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor in One Man, Two Guvnors who switched from Wall Street to Broadway

Very few actors start out in middle age, having thrown off a previous life as a high-flying money broker, and live the theatrical dream to such an extent that they play a season on Broadway with the National Theatre. But that is precisely the extraordinary story of Fred Ridgeway, who has died aged 59, after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease shortly before he repeated his performance as a cockney criminal in Richard Bean's uproarious One Man, Two Guvnors, which completed its run in New York 10 weeks ago.

By then, Ridgeway was paying for an extra dresser to help him in and out of costume, but hardly anyone knew he was ill. He had opened in Nicholas Hytner's now famous production, which starred James Corden, on the South Bank in May 2011, continuing with the role on the play's UK tour, »

- Michael Coveney

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Sir Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi play gay couple in Vicious ITV comedy

6 November 2012 5:38 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Family Guy and Will & Grace writer Gary Janetti's sitcom will feature actors playing a book-reading, bickering couple

Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi are to star in a comedy as a gay couple who have lived together in the same Covent Garden flat for nearly 50 years, ITV1 has confirmed.

The sitcom, Vicious, will feature McKellen as Freddie, once a budding actor, while Jacobi will play Stuart, who was a barman when the pair first met. Now their lives consist of reading books, walking their dog and bickering.

Frances De La Tour, best known for her role as the object of Leonard Rossiter's unrequited affections in the 1970s sitcom Rising Damp, plays their best friend, Violet. The trio's world is upended by the arrival of a young man as their new upstairs neighbour.

The sitcom will be written and co-produced by Gary Janetti, whose Us TV comedy credits »

- Jason Deans

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Leonard Rossiter latest star to be accused of sexual abuse at the BBC

3 November 2012 9:03 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Leonard Rossiter has become the latest TV star to be accused of sexual abuse while at the BBC. The Rising Damp actor appeared in many BBC productions in his career, including his iconic role as Reggie Perrin in The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin, before his death at the age of 57 in 1984. The Sun reports that a man has alleged he was the victim of a sexual assault on the set of the Rossiter-starring TV play The Year of the Sex Olympics, while working on the production as an extra at the age of 18. The accuser claimed that Rossiter was present for the attack and that he arrived after being "tipped off" that it was taking place. He was then alleged to have "watched with glee". The man said that he attempted to report the abuse to a senior BBC figure working on the play but was ignored, (more »

- By Paul Martinovic

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Great Expectations – review

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

Rarely has Dickens been such flat fare: the meat and humour are gone, replaced by gristle and a damp-pancake Miss Havisham

Great Expectations isn't just Charles Dickens's best book. It's also his soapiest. Of all the novels he wrote in instalments, it's this that most graphically caters to the cliffhanger, drips with deadline sweat and amps up the action at every chapter's close. So it takes a special type of talent to turn it into a film quite this flat.

Mike Newell (of Four Weddings fame) must take the lion's share of blame, but a chunk too should be saved for One Day's David Nicholls, who supplies a York Notes adaptation, a bowdlerised whistlestop tour round keynote scenes. He appears to have extracted not just much of the book's humour – early scenes with Mrs Joe (Sally Hawkins), Mr Joe (Jason Flemyng) and young Pip fall notably flat, despite David Walliams »

- Catherine Shoard

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A movie version of Dad's Army?

16 August 2012 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

You may find the new Ben Stiller movie The Watch strangely familiar. But that's not necessarily a good thing

You might be forgiven for thinking that you've seen The Watch before. Not because Ben Stiller's character is the same uptight blowhard that he has played in everything for the past 15 years, or because Richard Ayoade is basically just Moss from The It Crowd again, or because Vince Vaughn remains content to sit back and bibble out the same directionless patter that has been his stock in trade for what seems like centuries.

No. The reason is because, once you've scraped away all the sex jokes and clanging Costco product placement, you're basically left with Dad's Army. Both are essentially stories about a group of ill-prepared middle-aged incompetents trying to escape the monotony of their day-to-day lives by fudging together a defence against an enemy they don't fully understand. With The Watch, »

- Stuart Heritage

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Is The Watch just a movie version of Dad's Army?

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

You may find the new Ben Stiller movie The Watch strangely familiar. But that's not necessarily a good thing

You might be forgiven for thinking that you've seen The Watch before. Not because Ben Stiller's character is the same uptight blowhard that he has played in everything for the past 15 years, or because Richard Ayoade is basically just Moss from The It Crowd again, or because Vince Vaughn remains content to sit back and bibble out the same directionless patter that has been his stock in trade for what seems like centuries.

No. The reason is because, once you've scraped away all the sex jokes and clanging Costco product placement, you're basically left with Dad's Army. Both are essentially stories about a group of ill-prepared middle-aged incompetents trying to escape the monotony of their day-to-day lives by fudging together a defence against an enemy they don't fully understand. With The Watch, »

- Stuart Heritage

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It's a good week for … Drinking

20 January 2012 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Pretty much every show this week is a morality tale foretelling doom for all boozers. So if you're one of those (scientifically misinformed) January abstainers, the TV is your friend this week. Almost every broadcast moment reinforces any self-congratulatory smugness with a resounding "Told you so".

Channel 4's superlative Coppers (Mon, 9pm, C4) this week follows the beat bobbies of Worksop as they front up to a hellish parade of binge drinkers. Once you've seen someone drunkenly head-butt a plod, Leonard Rossiter casually spilling a cocktail down Joan Collins's blouse suddenly seems a very long time ago.

If it's graphic depictions of the young and pickled you're after, then head over to Party Paramedics: The Booze Bus (Mon, 10pm, C4), which examines the work of a Colchester chuckwagon that drives around town scooping up every mooning plonker and girl with her face in a dropped pie. Imagine their proud parents. »

- Julia Raeside

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2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

9 items from 2012


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