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The Great British Bake Off 2014 episode four as it happened

1 hour ago

Its getting serious in the tent, and dessert week will turn up the heat for the nine remaining bakers. Follow the action, bake by bake, with Heidi Stephens

Last weeks live blogMeet the contestants

9.02pm BST

And thats it for another week! A brilliant episode, but Im all a-dither with the drama. Next week its pie week, and Ill be back here for more livebloggage. Come and say hi on Twitter if youre passing, youll find me @heidistephens having a lie down and breathing into a bag. Thanks for joining in, and Ill see you next week! Hx

9.01pm BST

Richard wins Star Baker, and Iain gets sent home. Should have been Norman, but inevitable, seeing as Iains Showstopper was a bin. Still, not really his fault and all a bit unfair.

8.57pm BST

I know he did it on the spur of the moment, says Mary, but its sort of unacceptable says Mary. »

- Heidi Stephens

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Daily Mail on the wrong trail over BBCs Sherlock success | Media Monkey

7 hours ago

Paper makes convincing case about the health of Us drama but then bizarrely claims Brits were humiliated at the Emmys

Props to the Daily Mail for manufacturing a BBC-bashing piece out of Sherlocks Emmys triumph: This is a golden age for TV: Shame the best shows are American and the BBCs struggling to keep pace, says the Mails television critic. While Christopher Stevens thesis that most of the best TV in this widely-hailed golden age is coming out of the States is on the money, using Mondays Primetime Emmys to back up the argument is somewhat perverse, to say the least. Once, Britannia ruled the airwaves, with dramas that were the envy of the worlds broadcasters, Stevens writes. But thats ancient history, and this week the Emmy awards in Los Angeles delivered fresh humiliation. American television shows swept the board. Er ... fresh humiliation? Sherlock won a total of seven Emmys, »

- Monkey

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Tfi Friday's 10 best bits, from Shaun Ryder swearing to anarchic Spice Girls

8 hours ago

As Chris Evans confirms his interest in reviving the hit 90s variety show, we look at its most memorable moments. Wiiiiilll!

With the 90s revival in full swing, its no surprise that Channel 4 is considering bringing back Tfi Friday, one of its rowdiest ever chatshows, for an anniversary special.

Known as the programme that kicked the door open to the weekend, Chris Evans relentlessly inventive variety show was steeped in a loud and proud mod-ish lad culture, from its fake pub setting to the Ocean Colour Scene theme music, right through to its heckling crowd. Before the show become naff and Partridge-esque, Tfi Friday tapped into the Britpop zeitgeist. Evans called it the embodiment of 20th-century pop culture, which was pushing it a bit, but he was on to something. Here are some of its most unforgettable moments.

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- Priya Elan

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Dominic West and Ruth Wilson tease The Affair new trailer

9 hours ago

A second teaser for Showtimes sinister new relationship drama has been released, and it exposes more of the mystery at the heart of the show

The Wires Dominic West and Luther star Ruth Wilson lead the menacing new drama series The Affair, for which a new trailer has appeared. The 10-part series follows the aftermath of an extra-marital affair between Wests character Noah and Wilsons Allison, a waitress in the Long Island vacation spot in which Noahs family are staying. The sun-kissed trailer shows events in flashback, with a voiceover suggesting that some as-yet-unexplained catastrophic event has ruptured the lives of those involved.

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- Guardian TV

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Veep: Julia Louis-Dreyfus leads the sitcom's third season to glory

12 hours ago

The Seinfeld star picked up yet another Emmy for her turn as Selina Meyer this week. As the White House comedy comes to London, what do you make of this season so far?

This years Emmy awards provided little in the way of surprises, with Breaking Bad showered in gold and wins for Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory, which suggested voters have not watched any new comedy since 2009. With her third Actress in a comedy series win, for her role as vice president Selina Meyer in the excellent Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is approaching the same blanket winner status. Thats not to say that the White House comedy is undeserving. In fact, the third season has shown Dreyfus demonstrating the kind of form that has transformed a promising, if at times patchy, series into one of the funniest comedies of the year.

So far, season three, which is airing »

- David Renshaw

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Ricky Gervais spoofs House of Cards in Netflix's Emmys ad | Media Monkey

12 hours ago

Star appears as Kevin Spacey in the Oval Office, in Lilyhammer, and clashes with inmates in Orange is the New Black

He may have lost out at the Emmys, where he was nominated for lead actor in a comedy series for Derek, but Ricky Gervais certainly knows how to make an impact. In an ad for Netflix, the Us home of his series, he crashes several of the streaming services hit shows including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. You know when youre watching your favorite Netflix show, and after five straight episodes, you wanna be in it? he asks viewers, before taking Kevin Spaceys role as Frank Underwood in the Oval Office. After a quick encounter with Lilyhammers Steven Van Zandt, Gervais appears in Taylor Schillings place in jail, clashing with the inmates because of his accent. Maybe Im better off just watching, Gervais concludes.

Continue reading. »

- Monkey

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Super Senses: The Secret Powers of Animals review: the elephants were gems, but the star was the golden mole

16 hours ago

Not only was the golden mole adorably cute, it was also satisfyingly bolshy

The nature documentary is gradually evolving into a single species; one that can be shown on any channel in any country. Presenters are stylishly scrubbed and wide-eyed with wonder. There are constant reminders of what weve already just seen and there is plenty of high-definition, slow-motion filming. Thankfully, the wildlife is often rather more resistant to homogenisation and the second instalment of Super Senses: The Secret Powers of Animals (BBC2), which explores the sound world, had more than enough standout moments to transcend its format.

Its hard to go wrong with elephants. A network would almost certainly pull in more viewers than London Live just by showing round-the-clock footage of a herd in the Masai Mara. It was an unexpected pleasure to find myself seeing something a bit different. Film-makers often allude to the sensory powers of elephants; here, »

- John Crace

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TV highlights 27/08/2014

16 hours ago

The Great British Bake Off | Hotel India | Panorama: Last Chance Academy | Addicts' Symphony | Star Paws: The Rise of Superstar Pets | Treehouse Masters | Chicago Pd

Week four kicks off with a self-saucing pudding, which gives Mel and Sue the chance to practise their Kenneth Williams impressions before getting their tongues around the words "massive spotted dick". Single entendres and puns aside, there's a high standard of craft on display. The technical challenge is Mary's tiramisu cake, and then there's the task of whipping up a baked Alaska, where the choices range from a Key lime pie-flavoured effort to a swan-shaped creation. Hannah Verdier

Continue reading »

- Hannah Verdier, Bim Adewunmi, John Robinson, Andrew Mueller, Ali Catterall, Phil Harrison, and Gwilym Mumford

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Richie Benaud must rescue us from the horror of KFC cricket | Russell Jackson

20 hours ago

The great man may broadcast from home this summer, and the game has suffered through his absence

There are a couple of ways you can take Channel Nine CEO David Gyngells statement that a convalescing Richie Benaud might call this coming summers international cricket from his Coogee lounge room; either its the ultimate tribute to Benauds unimpeachable standing in the game and at his network, or its an admission from Nine that his stand-ins were so woefully short on gravitas last summer that they need a kind of remote-access babysitter.

From column A, the thought of Richie coming to us live from the lounge room conjures some evocative and very specific hypotheticals; will he be fully suited up on the settee or resplendent in suit-like beige pajamas and monogrammed slippers? Will Daphne make any guest appearances from the kitchen? Will he be forced to crunch away on a Zinger Burger »

- Russell Jackson

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Shannon Matthews TV drama plans causes anger in Dewsbury

26 August 2014 2:17 PM, PDT

MP and residents voice concerns about mooted drama about the 2008 kidnapping hoax

A proposed BBC drama about Shannon Matthews, the nine-year old girl from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire who endured a hoax kidnapping organised by her own mother, has met with concern among her former neighbours and been described as "inappropriate" by a local MP.

During her 24-day disappearance in 2008, Dewsbury's Moorside estate came under intense media scrutiny, being branded "Beirut" by the Sun and compared to the Channel 4 show Shameless.

Continue reading »

- Ami Sedghi and Helen Pidd

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Scarlet women blend in with red carpet at Emmy awards

26 August 2014 11:54 AM, PDT

Celebrities' frocks err on side of 'perfectly nice' just two would have piqued fashion industry's interest

Is red the new black? The presence of at least 14 scarlet women at the Emmys on Monday night would seem to suggest so.

And yet, red is a tricky awards ceremony choice, partially because the colour is so difficult to get right. Finding a shade of red that flatters the wearer's skintone but doesn't clash or merge into the carpet is a styling challenge. And so, a lot of fashion types tend to avoid it, instead plumping for navy or black.

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- Hannah Marriott

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Chris Evans asked to revive 1990s TV hit Tfi Friday by Channel 4

26 August 2014 9:38 AM, PDT

BBC Radio 2 presenter says he'd be 'bang up' for a 20th anniversary special

Chris Evans has revealed TV bosses asked him to bring back his hit show Tfi Friday for a 20th anniversary special, but wanted him to do it a year early.

Speaking to Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2, Evans, who fronted five series of the Channel 4 show between 1996 and 2000, said: "Channel 4 have asked us to do a Tfi Friday 20th anniversary show and/or run next year. I was completely bang up for it until I did the maths last week and had to phone them and say it's only 19 years next year, it's actually 20 years the year after. I think they still want to go for it and just hope no one notices."

Continue reading »

- Press Association

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Emmy awards, VMAs and the return of Tfi Friday plus the rest of today's breaking pop culture news

26 August 2014 8:50 AM, PDT

Oompah, oompah, stick it up your jumper its the Guide Daily!

Music, film and TV gossip, updated throughout the day as if it were somehow important

Today: pointless statuettes, cosmic rock and the worlds second-most famous Chris Evans

Be a part of it all by tweeting @guideguardian or commenting below

4.50pm BST

If youre in Manchester, go and see Japanese psych sensei Acid Mothers Temple at the Ruby Lounge.

4.13pm BST

Thanks to Numbers affiliate Sophie and the mysterious PC Music clan, overbearingly cute K- and J-pop-influenced dance music is having a bit of an internet-hipster moment. Now Sophie and PC Music boss Ag Cook have pooled their resources for Hey Qt, an infuriatingly catchy number that comes across like Daphne & Celeste in the happy hardcore tent. Massive earworm!

3.34pm BST

Over at Wired theyve been having fun with emojis, creating emoji-bios for some of our favourite TV and movie characters. »

- Sam Richards

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Sofia Vergara's 'turn' at the Emmys was a gross, stereotypical objectification | Veronica Arreola

26 August 2014 8:42 AM, PDT

A celebration of industry diversity shouldnt feature a Latina woman spun around like a piece of meat on a vertical spit

On Monday night, the sitcom Modern Family, which traffics in some of the worst Latino stereotypes on television, won its fifth consecutive Emmy award for best comedy.

But minutes before that predictable showing, the shows Latina superstar, Sofia Vergara, allowed herself to be put on display as a human trophy during chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Bruce Rosenblums terribly boring speech (which touched on, of all things, diversity in the business). Vergara even let herself get spun around, like a pie in a display case, to cuchi cuchi in front of a large national audience. As a Latina, I was appalled, if not exactly surprised.

Continue reading »

- Veronica Arreola

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The corncockle kerfuffle, or why Countryfile isnt trying to kill you

26 August 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

The BBC has been criticised after a scheme it promoted on Countryfile distributed packets of wild flower seeds containing a poisonous plant. But the truth is more complicated, and far less alarming

What a corncockle up. In a classic summer scare story, the Telegraph has accused the BBC of spreading poison across the land after Countryfile offered viewers free packets of wild flower seeds via the Grow Wild project run by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

These included seeds of the corncockle, a rare wild flower that is pretty, and also poisonous. Youll find claims on the internet that it causes severe stomach pain, vomiting and even death. In Royal Wootton Bassett, the town council has hurriedly fenced off and cut corncockle flowers planted by local Brownies in a park after a resident reported the terrifying spectre of a tiny purple flower.

Continue reading »

- Patrick Barkham

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Lena Dunham memoir reveals a childhood 'afraid of everything'

26 August 2014 7:40 AM, PDT

Not That Kind of Girl, due out in September, recounts years of therapy and 'fear of life in general'

The first excerpt from Lena Dunham's forthcoming memoir gives an insight into the endless therapy the Girls writer went through from the age of nine.

Dunham's memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, reportedly netted its author a $3.5m (£2.1m) advance. Out in September, it comes garlanded with endorsements from the likes of Judy Blume ("Always funny, sometimes wrenching") and David Sedaris ("a fine, subversive book").

Continue reading »

- Alison Flood

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Emmy awards 2014: why the show never changes

26 August 2014 7:28 AM, PDT

The Emmys dont change because the establishment never changes: only the same straight white guys are allowed to be professionally funny

Everyones biggest problem with the Emmys is that it never changes. Modern Family, a crusty donut left out on the office counter overnight, took home the top honor for comedy and actor Ty Burrell won an award for it too. Jim Parsons got his third Emmy for The Big Bang Theory, because getting $1m an episode isnt reward enough. However the most crushing blow was The Amazing Race taking home its 10th trophy for competitive reality show. It lost last year to The Voice, only the second time that the show hasnt won the category.

Even when the awards are deserved, like multiple wins for Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Jessica Lange and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, its still upsetting when the status quo is maintained. It just shows that »

- Brian Moylan

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Benefits Street series two starts filming despite locals opposition

26 August 2014 7:18 AM, PDT

Council leader says makers of Channel 4 show have ignored residents wishes, as MP says it exploits vulnerable people

A council leader has said the makers of the controversial reality TV show Benefits Street have ignored pleas to stay away from his town.

Filming for the second series of the Channel 4 show has begun in Kingston Road, Stockton-on-Tees, despite opposition from local MPs, residents groups and the local authority.

Continue reading »

- Jason Deans and agencies

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The Comeback's comeback: what to expect from season two

26 August 2014 7:12 AM, PDT

Lisa Kudrow will once again play Valerie Cherish in the revived meta-sitcom. Weve watched the new trailer, and from reality TV to rivalries, heres what wed like to happen

A new teaser for the second season of The Comeback has appeared, and in it, we see Lisa Kudrows grand guignol creation Valerie Cherish emerging from a scrum of paparazzi. On the wrong side of the velvet rope, she seems to be mouthing the words: remember me at an anonymous celebrity. Who could it be? Her good friend Tom Selleck? Vals baby girl co-star from Room and Bored, Juna (Malin Akerman), perhaps?

Its been nine years since we left Valerie, last seen high on the unexpected success of the double-vomit of her reality show. But what can we expect from the new six-part season when it begins on HBO in November?

It's never too early, gang. Rt @chrisreindeer: Is it too »

- Priya Elan

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Is this real life or just fantasy football? Espn has NFL fans in rhapsodies

26 August 2014 6:00 AM, PDT

This weekend, 500 fantasy football devotees dreams came true. What does the boom in imaginary sports mean for the real thing?

These days, Bill Winkenbach wouldnt recognise the activity he started back in 1963, when what barely qualified as a cottage industry made its first appearance on the sporting scene. It has since become a business behemoth, a cornerstone of the National Football League as the new season approaches.

The simple fact is, fantasy football is a billion-dollar business, and the staging of the inaugural Espn Fantasy Football Convention in Orlando last weekend signified a level of approval that could even, given the demographics involved, threaten to put the real game in the shade.

I just love fantasy football. I spend half the year anticipating the season, and the other half being in it. I am in 10 different leagues and have 500 bucks invested in the process. When I first heard about this, »

- Simon Veness in Orlando

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