7 items from 2013
As if we didn't already know how accomplished Kate Middleton is, it turns out that she can fly, too! Well, not all by herself, but in an airplane. While riding a Routemaster bus along with husband Prince William in honor of London Poppy Day and the Royal British Legion, the Duchess of Cambridge, whose late grandfather Peter Middleton was a Royal Air Force pilot, revealed that she has "had a few lessons on fixed wing." We're surprised that Kate didn't just take a turn driving the bus as well! Chatting aboard the retro ride with actress Barbara Windsor and newsreader Alastair Stewart, Kate said that their recently christened son, Prince George, had been "half »
He was a failed chat show host, now he's a movie star: Here Alan charts a remarkable life journey in his own words
Last week on Mid-Morning Matters, my radio and TV show (there's a webcam), I hosted a phone-in that questioned for the first time Jesus's ability to walk on water. My own theories include "thick layer of ice below surface" and "submerged jetty". Yet many of my callers refused to scrutinise Jesus's deeds at all, preferring to take them at face value, even if that betrayed a lack of intellectual curiosity. I was saddened by that, so when I was asked to sum up why I've become a national treasure, I wanted to look at the facts.
What is a national treasure? When does a man or, to a lesser extent, woman go from being roundly liked (James May) to loved – sewn into the fabric of British life »
- Alan Partridge
✒Some of those who relished the Pirandellian spectacle of the BBC's coverage of the Queen's visit to New Broadcasting House on Friday (climaxing in especially postmodern fashion with her contribution to a Radio 4 special about, well, her visit to New Broadcasting House) consulted the maps for BBC staff of the "goldfish bowl" newsroom, as previously reproduced in MediaGuardian. And, yes, the spot where Hm stood as she appeared panto-style behind the news presenters is the No 1 no-go area, marked "please don't stand here".
✒This wasn't the only instance of royal scorn for the rules, as she wore a hat in the newsroom and was accompanied by an equerry equipped with a sword, both contrary to BBC guidelines though more alarmingly so in the latter case. At one point it seemed possible the sword might come in to use, when a second chap in military garb could be glimpsed making a »
Channel re-shows soap at 10.30pm after transmission 'flop' leaves millions of viewers without early evening programmes
Millions of cable and satellite TV viewers were unable to watch ITV on Tuesday night, prompting the broadcaster to schedule a hastily rearranged repeat of an hour-long Emmerdale.
The channel went missing from Sky and Virgin Media homes in areas around the country for two hours, beginning about 6.20pm.
ITV blamed "technical problems" at transmitter company Arqiva.
The broadcaster said different ITV regions were affected for differing lengths of time, with some, understood to include ITV London, entirely unaffected.
Viewers who lost their standard definition feed were still able to watch on ITV HD, however. Freeview homes were not affected.
With viewers taking to Twitter to complain they had not been able to watch Emmerdale, which pulled in 5.3 million viewers at 7pm, ITV repeated the soap at 10.35pm, with its French Open Tennis highlights put back, »
- John Plunkett
David Dimbleby has some time to kill before the procession leaves the Palace of Westminster. Time to talk about the route, tell us about the undertakers and the horses – six black chargers led by Mr Twister – who'll pull the gun carriage after a pit stop at St Clement Danes.
And there are distinguished guests, mostly titled, in the studio overlooking St Paul's. Shirley Williams is generous, remembers the Iron Lady actually ironing, and praises her extraordinary single-mindedness and seriousness.
"What brings you here?" Dimbleby asks Terry Wogan. Sir T's not sure, he didn't know Lady T well, but he tells a story about her, Denis and a couple of gin and tonics I've heard before. Peter Hennessy, the historian, is on hand for pithiness. "She was a primary-colours politician who disturbed all the atoms in politics, »
- Sam Wollaston
BBC to lead television coverage, with David Dimbleby - wearing a black tie - presenting a three-hour programme on BBC1
The world's media will converge on St Paul's Cathedral in central London next week as Lady Thatcher's funeral ceremony is beamed to millions of viewers at home and abroad.
The BBC hopes to revive its reputation as Britain's national broadcaster after a bruising year, with David Dimbleby anchoring the only live and uninterrupted coverage of the service on terrestrial television.
Dimbleby will front a three-hour programme on BBC1 from 9.15am as the funeral procession leaves the Palace of Westminster for St Paul's Cathedral. The BBC's master of ceremonies will wear a black tie for the occasion, it was confirmed on Friday, avoiding the controversy generated by Peter Sissons more than a decade ago when he announced the Queen Mother's death in a burgundy number.
TV, radio and newspaper correspondents »
- Josh Halliday
BBC One has cleared its schedules to air a 90-minute obituary for Margaret Thatcher tonight at 8.30pm.
Thatcher, who was prime minister from 1979 to 1990, died this morning at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke.
The as-yet-untitled BBC One broadcast will replace Panorama's 'Britain's Sharia Councils' and first episode of three-part documentary The Prisoners in the schedules.
A news special will also run this afternoon from 4pm to 5pm, presented by Huw Edwards.
There will also be an extended edition of Newsnight at 10.30pm on BBC Two.
ITV will broadcast a special documentary at 10.35pm, presented by Alastair Stewart and produced by ITN.
Sky Atlantic will air its obituary at 8pm, and Pick TV at 9pm. »
7 items from 2013
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