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3 items from 2009

Misjudging viewers is one of the BBC's least appealing habits

14 December 2009 6:35 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The exposure of a list ranking Alan Yentob ahead of Delia Smith and Michael Palin in viewer appeal has rattled the corporation

Delia Smith and Michael Palin of 'limited appeal'

Forget Stephen Fry. Forget Jeremy Clarkson. Hell, even forget Paxman. There is a new star in the BBC firmament. Step forward Alan Yentob!

We know this because a talent rating list for BBC Knowledge, the factual arm of the Beeb, published in fine style by the Daily Mail, prompted red faces all round due to the lowly rankings of some big name stars including Delia Smith and Michael Palin.

To my mind it goes to show that the corporation is in a sorrier state than previously realised, if Auntie regards the BBC creative director as its top trump.

The list puts Fry, Clarkson, Andrew Marr, Kate Humble and others in the "highly valued" top tier. It says Alan Titchmarsh, Ben Fogle, »

- Stephen Brook

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'Friend of gays' Queen Elizabeth

28 August 2009 4:08 AM, PDT | Monsters and Critics | See recent Monsters and Critics news »

Alan Cummings is amazed Britain's Queen Elizabeth is "a friend of the gays". The 44-year-old actor was shocked to receive an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his work as a gay rights activist, as well as for his services to the arts, but was thrilled with the accolade. He said: "I didn't know the queen was such a friend of the gays." Alan received the award in the queen's birthday honours list in June. Others famous faces to be honoured included chef Delia Smith who received a Commander of the British Empire (Cbe), golfer Nick Faldo who was knighted and 'Dracula' actor Christopher Lee who also got a knighthood. The outspoken star has also revealed his shock at »

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News: Matt Smith Reaction

5 January 2009 4:46 PM, PST | | See recent Kasterborous news »

Gawd strewth! Another Smith in the Tardis! Sarah Jane Smith, Mickey Smith, John Smith and now some relatively unknown youngster called Matt Smith! Whatever next? Delia Smith as the new companion??? I, for one, am happy with the casting of the "relatively unknown 26 year old" (you'll be hearing that phrase A Lot over the coming days!) - he looks the part and seems genuinely charming with some extremely expressive hands, a quirkiness that can only add to the role. And he has weird »

- Simon R. Mills

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