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4 items from 2011

This craze for putting real-life news anchors in dramas has to stop

3 November 2011 7:55 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Kirsty Wark, Nina Hossain, Adam Boulton – they're all at it. But why do producers think that giving journalists drama cameos is a good idea?

A creeping blight has started to drift across British drama. You might not have noticed it at first – but lately it has grown to such proportions that it can no longer be ignored. It's the newsreaders.

They've started to hijack everything.

Take BBC1's recent conspiracy miniseries Hidden. To reinforce the high-powered political stakes, Hidden kept drafting in real-life journalists to interview the characters and offer plot developments.

It hired an all-star lineup of news broadcasting talent – Kirsty Wark, Nina Hossain and Adam Boulton, who had so much screentime that I half expected him to start featuring in the opening titles, wearing a cowboy hat, chomping on a cigar and spinning to face the camera, Dallas-style. And that was just one show. Spooks did it. Doctor Who does it. »

- Stuart Heritage

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Hidden: episode three

20 October 2011 2:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Philip Glenister's Harry Venn finally starts to get some answers – but the forces battling against him seem stronger than ever

Spoiler Alert: This blog is for people watching Hidden on BBC1. Do not read on if you haven't seen episode three

Stuart Heritage's episode two blog

Last we saw of him, Harry Venn – lover of women, user of drugs, fan of faintly preposterous sub-Get Carter dialogue – was in a pickle. There he was, in an abandoned Parisian warehouse, about to be murdered by a man who apparently died 20 years ago. He got away of course, but several questions remain. Who has it in for Venn? What does this have to do with the prime minister? Does anyone actually know what's going on? Anyone? No? The third episode of Hidden went some way to clearing things up.

Thanks to the dying breath of Mr Tanzir – the man who killed the woman outside the bakery, »

- Stuart Heritage

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Natasha Kaplinsky takes ITV news anchor role

3 August 2011 10:23 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Former BBC and Channel 5 newsreader lands interim role on London Tonight and national network news programmes

Natasha Kaplinsky, the former BBC and Channel 5 newsreader, is to take an interim role at ITV presenting London Tonight and national network news programmes.

Kaplinsky, who became the highest-paid newsreader in Britain when she signed a deal in 2007 to defect from the BBC to Channel 5 on a reported deal of £1m a year, left the Richard Desmond-owned broadcaster at the end of last year.

ITV has hired Kaplinsky to cover the maternity leave of newsreader Nina Hossain and will pick up her pattern of shifts anchoring ITV London Tonight from mid-September.

She will also present some ITV network news programmes on an ad hoc basis through to spring next year when Hossain is expected to return to work.

"I am very much enjoying being part of ITV's lineup, and thrilled to be returning to my first love, »

- Mark Sweney

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Tanya Jessop's troublesome week

2 August 2011 9:00 AM, PDT | Virgin Media - TV | See recent Virgin Media - TV news »

Natasha Kaplinsky is joining ITV News in September. The former BBC and Channel 5 anchor - who became the highest-paid newsreader in the UK when she was paid £1 million to leve the BBC for Five News in February 2003 - will front ITV's 'London Tonight' show in place of current star Nina Hossain while she is on maternity leave. However, the role will also see her present a whole host of other programme's for the network. She said: "I am very much enjoying being part of ITV's line-up, and thrilled to be returning to my first love, news. This is an exciting »

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