12 items from 2016
Hm Treasury and Chancellor George Osborne must take some of the responsibility for this misfiring and very jarring thriller. The original intention was to make it in an American city but the producers relocated the action to London to take advantage of the generous tax breaks available in the UK. The result is an American movie dressed up in British clothes that simply don't fit. »
- Geoffrey Macnab
It has got to the point where I can’t see a man in a hi-vis jacket and hard hat on television without wondering if it’s George Osborne looking awkward in an industrial setting. The man standing in a huge recycling plant on Hidden Britain by Drone (Channel 4, Sunday) wasn’t Osborne, but he did sound like him. “Ultimately,” he said, “it’s about making money.” And you thought recycling was about saving the world.
There was something dystopian and depressing about this programme, even though the idea was good: use cameras on drones to access secret and inaccessible places. It was presented by field-botherer Tony Robinson, who introduced the drones as if they were his pets, though »
- Emine Saner
This week, Neil Calloway argues that tax, language and excellent locations mean London is currently the best place to make films…
With the release this week of the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, eagle-eyed viewers noticed that Canary Wharf Underground Station was standing in for the Death Star in some shots. Now, anyone who has ever been stuck on the tube during rush hour can relate to the Underground being an evil engineering project designed to destroy people, but it also reminded the world that London has become probably the top destination for blockbuster film-makers.
Of course, films have always been shot in and around London, but in recent years more and more films have been shot in the capital, including films not set there (which, given that the Death Star is near Yavin and not on the Isle of Dogs, would include Rogue One). The 2012 adaptation »
- Neil Calloway
Chicago lawmakers have voted to repeal the tampon tax on tampons and pads, and now the European Union has agreed to allow each member state to decide independently if they will apply a tax. In Chicago, women were previously taxed 10.25 percent on feminine products, and this decision will eliminate the city's portion of the tax, decreasing the total tax by 1.25 percent, according to the Associated Press. The tampons and sanitary napkins are now considered medical necessities. The state of Illinois is also considering removing their tax on feminine hygiene and incontinence products. Currently, women in only five states are exempt »
- Julie Mazziotta, @julietmazz
Chicago lawmakers have voted to repeal the tampon tax on female hygiene products, and now the European Union has agreed to allow each member state decide independently if they will apply a tax. In Chicago, women were previously taxed 10.25 percent on feminine products, and this decision will eliminate the city's portion of the tax 1.25 percent, according to the Associated Press. The tampons and sanitary napkins are now considered medical necessities. The state of Illinois is also considering removing their tax on feminine hygiene and incontinence products. Currently, women in only five states are exempt from paying a tax on the products - Maryland, »
- Julie Mazziotta, @julietmazz
Exclusive: Creative industries agency taps into reserve to ensure effective delivery of services.
Since its contentious launch in 2011 UK creative industries financier Creative England has proven a boon to many UK companies and creatives.
The not-for-profit public and privately-backed organisation, whose primary aim is to invest in the regional film, games and digital industries, has invested tens of millions of pounds into more than 400 companies.
Among a host of film investments are Andrew Haigh’s acclaimed 45 Years and Kit Harrington thriller Spooks: The Greater Good, while it also runs perennial micro-budget film scheme iFeatures. It has also backed hit TV shows including Dancing On The Edge and Line Of Duty.
The company’s financial clout has grown from a budget of under £5m at launch to £12.5m for 2015/16 and it has attracted notable executives from the media, games and film industries to its board, including Karen Blackett OBE, Ian Livingstone Cbe and Studiocanal UK CEO Danny Perkins.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Only Top Gear could cause such an almighty hoo-ha before it has even reached the screen. (We’re talking actual Top Gear here – with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc, Eddie Jordan, the Stig, plus those other ones you’ve never heard of – not the Punchy Oaf and his old muckers’ Amazon Prime effort which we won’t see until the autumn.) The BBC show starts in May, but it’s already managed to annoy an awful lot of people. Including...
Those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and their relatives, after footage emerged of Matt LeBlanc pulling doughnuts around the Cenotaph in an insanely powerful car called a Mustang Hoonicorn. Retired colonel Richard Kemp called the stunt “gravely disrespectful”. Chris Evans said sorry on the radio. »
- Sam Wollaston
Actor the same as George Osborne, another ‘spoilt public schoolboy from the south kicking the north’, says former deputy Pm
Sacha Baron Cohen is another “spoilt public schoolboy from the south kicking the north” and “just the same” as the chancellor, George Osborne, John Prescott has said following the release of the comedian’s new film, Grimsby.
The former deputy prime minister said the film – a spy comedy set in the north-east Lincolnshire fishing town – was the latest example of “southern-based elites” sneering at communities in northern England.
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- Frances Perraudin
The TV presenter recalls the lessons of a life in the spotlight in a new book, Stop the Clocks. She joined us to answer your questions in a live webchat – from life and work lessons to the House of Lords via marriage and power naps, catch up with her answers here
Many thanks to everyone who posted questions, and to Joan for her time and her generous answers. Until next time!
Time to go. I've enjoyed the challenge of talking to you all... and each one of you. Goodbye.
Do marriage vows mean anything?
Vows matter to those who believe in them. I think we all accept that to take an oath in a court of law binds us absolutely to tell the truth. And indeed there is a punishment if we are found not to be doing so. Marriage vows are between two people, »
- Guardian Staff
Ricky Gervais was as sharp-tongued a host as ever and the guests included the cream of the world’s film and TV for the first awards show of the season. We followed every moment live
It was a night that started with a load of crass jokes, which then delivered its fair share of shocks before finishing with the familiar sight of Alejandro Inarritu holding a golden object over his head.
Branded as “the biggest party of the year” by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Golden Globe Awards are traditionally viewed as the fun, slightly tipsy cousin of Hollywood’s awards show circuit.
That didn’t lessen the delight of the team behind the night’s big biggest winner, The Revenant, which won a fleet of top prizes:, »
- Lanre Bakare and Alex Needham in New York, Nigel M Smith in Los Angeles
Stuart Jeffries calls for a revolution in British television to rid us of those costume dramas that have helped to keep us supine during the austerity years and not rise up and execute George Osborne for the public good (Last night’s TV, 4 January). As a Guardian columnist, is it inevitable that in his review of War and Peace, he brings in a “Bullingdon-meets-drones-club montage of poshos on the raz with unconvincing prostitutes”? All criticism is political and Jeffries’s overtly, so it was with a little surprise I discovered that he is actually hooked on Andrew Davies’s “latest sexed-up dozier of the classics”. Has he gone over to the other side?
Englefield Green, Surrey
• Your obituary of Lord Ezra (24 December) omitted his key role in master-minding Eisenhower’s “Transportation Plan” in 1944, which was the pivotal factor in preventing Rommel from getting reinforcements to the Normandy beachhead in time. »
This year could prove pivotal for both the BBC (charter renewal) and Channel 4 (potential privatisation).
As Creative Industries Federation chief executive John Kampfner says: “If 2015 was the year in which the government finally ‘got’ the creative industries – with a spending review settlement far less problematical than feared and with George Osborne stating the case for public investment – then could 2016 be the year when two of the organisations at the heart of creativity are imperilled?” However, he is “quietly confident” that “ministers may resist a battle over Channel 4 privatisation, although never say never” and “as for the BBC, expect difficult terms for charter renewal, but again perhaps not the dagger-in-the-heart once feared”.
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- Tara Conlan
12 items from 2016
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