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The Great British Bake Off 2014: episode nine as it happened

6 hours ago

Its the semi-finals, and the atmosphere in the Bake Off tent was hotter than a freshly fired creme brulee. Heidi Stephens followed the action as our final four attempted some fancy patisserie.

9.00pm BST

And thats it for the semi-final! Next weeks final brings back all the previous contestants and is not to be missed, so join me here on Wednesday at 8pm.

Thank you for all your comments and contributions, feel free to come and wave at me on Twitter @heidistephens, and dont forget to join me on Saturday at 6.20pm for a 130 minute Strictly liveblog marathon.

8.59pm BST

So who will it be? Star Baker isRICHARD again! And going home isCHETNA! What a shame. I will miss her outstanding Converse collection, and amazing way with flavours.

Mary can hardly believe that Richards builders hands can produce such delicate flavours. Everyone is crying.

8.56pm BST

Nancys have lovely flavour, »

- Heidi Stephens

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CBS's Stalker presents violence against women as a horror movie sideshow

7 hours ago

Aside from horrific scenes of violence, Stalker is a paint-by-numbers network procedural and a bad one at that

Jessica Valenti: Maroon 5s Animals video insults every woman

In the first scene of CBSs new show Stalker, which premieres on October 1 at 10pm Et, a man wearing a Halloween mask douses a woman with gasoline. She breaks away, gets into her car and locks the door but soon realises the man has her keys. She honks the horn and screams, while he sprays gasoline all over the car, and sets it on fire. The woman, now hyperventilating, looks around thinking she might be able to get out of the car and flee her attacker. Then it explodes.

Stalker is ostensibly about the Threat Assessment Unit of the Lapd, the group of cops in charge of preventing and solving cases that involve stalking. But what it really peddles in is unnecessary and glorified violence against women, »

- Brian Moylan

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Elisabeth Murdoch set to quit television production company Shine Group

9 hours ago

21st Century Fox now merging Shine with Big Brother-maker Endemol and Core Media, which produces American Idol

Elisabeth Murdoch is expected to quit the television production company she founded 13 years ago after it merges with two others.

Murdoch established Shine in 2001 and oversaw its expansion with hits such as MasterChef, and by buying other production companies including Princess Productions and Kudos, maker of Spooks and Broadchurch.

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- Chris Johnston

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Assheton Gorton obituary

9 hours ago

Inventive film production designer who worked on Blow-Up, Get Carter and The French Lieutenant's Woman

Film production designers rarely get a mention in reviews, but Assheton Gorton, who has died aged 84, stood out because of his striking designs for 18 films, from The Knack and How to Get It (1965) to 102 Dalmatians (2000).

For Richard Lester's The Knack, a modish mod comedy that won the Palme d'Or, Gorton saw to it that the rooms of the three young male leads, including Michael Crawford, were painted in three contrasting tones, although the film was in black and white, in a house he visualised as "designed by a mad Art Deco do-it-yourself designer". This was followed by Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up (1966) and upon its release Gorton immediately became identified with British swinging 60s movies.

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- Ronald Bergan

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Michael Gambon and Sherlock's Andrew Scott join The Hollow Crown: War of the Roses

11 hours ago

Life on Mars Philip Glenister also joins existing cast members Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench and Hugh Bonneville as second Shakespeare series begins filming in UK

Mark Lawson on The Hollow Crown: as good as TV Shakespeare can get?

The best of British and Irish acting are set to unite under one banner as veteran actor Michael Gambon, Life on Marss Philip Glenister and Sherlocks Andrew Scott join Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Tom Sturridge, Sophie Okonedo and Hugh Bonneville for the second Hollow Crown series, The Hollow Crown: War of the Roses.

Principal photography has begun on the series, which covers Shakespeares first historical tetralogy, Henry VI and Richard III. Henry VI, which is usually performed in three parts, has been combined into two feature-length episodes.

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- Sian Cain

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Great British Bake Off: when iced buns meet intellectual property

14 hours ago

By retaining the IP rights the programmes indie producer, Love Productions, and not the BBC, is the real winner

Britain used to export coal, steel and iron to all four corners of the globe however, these days, its our television programmes that have us firmly established on the global exports map.

And, of course, its one particular type of television format that is the pick of the bunch: the talent show.

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- Wayne Beynon

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Peaky Blinders is only the latest drama to show off Birmingham's wild side

15 hours ago

Heres a Crossroads-free guide to the second citys history on the small screen, from Pebble Mill and Atv Today to the postmodern surrealism of original crime show Gangsters

This week, the new series of mumbling and gambling Birmingham epic Peaky Blinders hits British screens. Cillian Murphy and his flat-capped crew get itchy feet in episode one and head to a louche jazz bar in London, where flappers brazenly bump cocaine then pleasure their beaus. Its a far cry from pork scratchings and a pint at The Garrison. Or, as Arthur Shelby Jr more succinctly observes: Its a fowking freakshow. Disappointingly, Peaky Blinders is shot in Liverpool, Manchester and the Black Country Living museum rather than in the Small Heath and Digbeth districts of Birmingham it portrays. The accents are dodgier than the dealings on Benefits Street, but the sleazy gang-glamour of the show has electrified Brummies, who primarily love Peaky Blinders »

- Christopher Beanland

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BBC Newsnight: Evan Davis draws more than 600,000 viewers | TV ratings - 30 September

16 hours ago

Former Today presenters audience rises on his second night at the helm, but show is beaten again by Channel 4 News

Evan Davis topped 600,000 viewers for his second appearance on Newsnight on Tuesday night, but the revamped BBC2 programme lagged behind Channel 4 News for the second day running.

The former Today presenters second night in the lead anchor role previously occupied by Jeremy Paxman was watched by 606,000 viewers, a 5.3% share of the audience between 10.30pm and 11.20pm on Tuesday.

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- John Plunkett

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Gillian Anderson: 'intolerable' sexism 'happens all the time in Hollywood'

16 hours ago

The actor told Red magazine that sexism comes as standard in the film industry, and that the expectation is that, if a woman is wearing a short skirt, shes asking for it

Gillian Anderson: actor with a very distinctive X factor

The actor Gillian Anderson has said that sexism still thrives across society, describing the situation for modern women as intolerable.

In an interview with Red magazine, she said that sexism is built into our society its easy to miss and its easy to get used to it. She added that: There are things that are intolerable in todays world in terms of the perception of women. Whether theyre vamps or vixens the expectation is that, if a woman is wearing a short skirt, shes asking for it.

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- Ben Beaumont-Thomas

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Cinema chains may boycott Netflix's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel

17 hours ago

Companies owning more than half the USs Imax screens angered by decision to release film simultaneously in cinemas and streaming online

Furious cinemas chains have threatened to boycott the forthcoming sequel to the Oscar-winning martial arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon following Netflixs announcement that the film will be available to view on the same day it hits cinemas.

The streaming service announced on Monday that it is teaming with The Weinstein Company, the firm owned by famed Hollywood superproducer Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob, to co-produce the new movie. They plan to debut Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, simultaneously at Imax cinemas globally and via Netflix on 28 August next year.

However AMC, Cinemark, Regal and Carmike, which together own more than half the USs 400 Imax screens, all said they would refuse to screen the film. They are angry because the plan radically ignores the longstanding theatrical »

- Ben Child

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CBBCs Millie Inbetween shows family can come in all shapes and sizes

17 hours ago

Comedy series about about a girl whose parents have just split up aims to explore difficult issues and cross over to adults

Childrens channel Cbbc is venturing into new territory with comedy Millie Inbetween, which explores the dilemmas facing kids living in the growing number of blended families, as their birth parents split up and form new relationships.

While the 13-part series, which launches on Cbbc at 5pm on Wednesday, owes a debt to BBC1 hit Outnumbered and Us comedy Modern Family, the key difference is that the events in Millie Inbetween are seen entirely through the eyes of the children affected.

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- Maggie Brown

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YouTube star PewDiePie was watched 449m times in August alone

18 hours ago

Gamers 30m subscribers help him top online viewing chart again, ahead of DisneyCollector, Katy Perry and Stampy

YouTubes 100 biggest channels videos were watched nearly 10.2bn times in August, with gamer Felix PewDiePie Kjellberg continuing his reign as the most popular YouTuber.

Kjellbergs videos were watched 449.2m times in August, according to the latest chart published by online video industry site Tubefilter. PewDiePie also added more than 1.1m new subscribers on YouTube, taking his total to 30.4m.

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- Stuart Dredge

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'Underrated' Naomi Campbell to take role in Lee Daniels' TV series Empire

18 hours ago

The British model will have a major recurring role in the Fox drama, exploring the power struggles in a hip-hop label

Naomi Campbell is to resurrect her acting career in a prestigious TV project: Empire, a forthcoming drama from Lee Daniels, the Oscar-nominated director of Precious and The Butler.

She joins the likes of Terence Howard and Taraji P Henson with a major, recurring role on the show according to the Hollywood Reporter. Set amid the power struggles of a hip-hop record company, Campbell will play Camilla, a woman having an affair with the man in line to take over from Howards character as head of the label.

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- Ben Beaumont-Thomas

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Frankie Boyle gives BBC his vote with Scottish referendum autopsy | Media Monkey

19 hours ago

Controversial comedian returns to the corporation with iPlayer-only show picking over the entrails of the independence vote

Frankie Boyle is back! The second most controversial man on television (theres only one Jeremy Clarkson) returned to the BBC with a one-off programme reflecting on the Scottish referendum. The iPlayer-only affair features a variety of guests because many people consider me a cunt, the BBC have decided I cant be trusted on my own, says Boyle. He believes the BBC is capable of presenting Scotland accurately, despite recent criticism. Doctor Who is Scottish and its difficult to think of a more archetypal Scottish character, he adds. An old man armed with a screwdriver dragging young women into a phone box. They call me the Doctor. Im taking you back to the 1970s. Like Mock the Week meets Charlie Brookers Screenwipe, the most memorable contribution comes not from Boyle but the Scottish chap »

- Monkey

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My £999 Wedding review theres pride in thrift

21 hours ago

George and Amal could have saved a fortune at the Azur and had a lovely time

I cant seem to get an accurate and reliable figure for the cost of the Clooney/Alamuddin wedding the other day. Estimates vary between $4.6m and $13m. Whatever it was, they could have saved a tidy sum by having it at the Azur restaurant in St Leonards instead, where, as the sign says, they offer a grand wedding for a grand. For that you get a three-course meal starter, main, vegetarian alternative, choice of desserts, tea/coffee, after-dinner mints a master of ceremonies, and a beautiful view of the English Channel. Ok, so its not quite the Grand Canal, but on the plus side, theres probably less chance of being pestered by paps. Plus you get the excellent Dean, who runs the Azur with precision, pride, passion and panache - pretty much as if »

- Sam Wollaston

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TV highlights 01/10/2014

21 hours ago

Champions League Football: Arsenal v Galatasaray | Our Zoo | This World: Rwandas Untold Story | Scott & Bailey | Oh! You Pretty Things: The Story Of Music And Fashion | The Paedophile Hunter | South Park | The Strain

Very much in need of three points to kickstart their Champions League campaign, Gooners everywhere will be hoping the Wengerboys learned some of the footballing lessons meted out to them by Dortmund in their opening group match. Turkish side Galatasaray visit London hoping to keep Arsenals European campaign in neutral, in the first meeting between the sides since the 2000 Uefa cup final. Liverpools trip to Basel airs on Sky Sports 5 (7pm). Mark Jones

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- Mark Jones, Bim Adewunmi, Andrew Mueller, John Robinson, Hannah J Davies, Jonathan Wright, Rachel Aroesti and Ben Arnold

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South African TV show Generations cut short as cast fired in pay dispute

30 September 2014 11:24 AM, PDT

The show has been running for 20 years but will see a break while the production company finds an entirely new cast

Seven million fans of South Africas most popular television soap opera will be cut off from their daily dose of drama this week after the entire cast was sacked for demanding better pay.

The last available episode of Generations which has been running for 20 years were due to be screened on Tuesday , the South African Broadcasting Corporation announced.

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- AFP in Johannesburg

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How to watch Amazon's Transparent all in one sitting

30 September 2014 10:05 AM, PDT

A six-hour odyssey into Amazons new original series starring Jeffrey Tambor, complete with analysis, summary and, of course, snacks

Like so many who watched the Transparent pilot when it debuted last year on Amazon Prime, I couldnt wait for the full series to hit the book-retail-come-streaming-service, which it did on September 26. After its debut, I set myself the challenge to watch the show as any good internet entertainment should be consumed: in one sitting, while staying up all night to my detriment and against my better judgement. My verdict: the show is brilliant. Like all great television, once you start watching, its hard to stop.

This is a world in which adulthood is evasive and sincerity is wildly underrated.

Maura's paradise isnt all she dreamed it would be now that shes there all by herself

This was the best episode of the series marked with an ornate, beautiful sadness that »

- Brian Moylan

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BBC criticised for inaccurate sketch showing Florence Nightingale as racist

30 September 2014 9:47 AM, PDT

Trust says Horrible Histories clip should be removed from website after viewer claimed it was insulting to nurses memory

The BBC has been accused of insulting the memory of Florence Nightingale after a sketch on its award-winning childrens TV show Horrible Histories featured her racially discriminating against a fellow nurse.

The BBC Trust said the clip, featuring Nightingale and Jamaican-born Mary Seacole, was inaccurate and the charge of racism very serious.

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- John Plunkett

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Joaquin's mutton chops and Belle & Sebastian return plus today's pop culture news

30 September 2014 9:07 AM, PDT

Welcome to Guide Daily, keeping tabs on todays pop cultural tremors live til five!

Coming up: Inherent Vice, Belle & Sebastian, Noomi Rapace, Mastodons twerk frenzy and, um, Robbie & Avicii

Join the fun by commenting below or tweeting @guideguardian

4.56pm BST

If youre in Manchester, go and see Sbtrkt at Albert Hall.

4.39pm BST

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the TV shows that refuse to die. But we neglected to mention the positively jurassic Never Mind The Buzzcocks, which began its 28th series last night (it debuted way back in 1996, when jokes about rockers getting blowjobs from groupies were apparently still funny). After years of guest presenters, the programme has finally settled on a permanent host. And surprise surprise, its another waspish, middle-aged white bloke.

To be fair, the bespoke opening sequence about Rhod Gilberts first day on the job was mildly amusing.

3.29pm BST

Earlier today, we »

- Sam Richards

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