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Will the TV prequels spoil past glories?

3 June 2012 4:05 PM, PDT

From no less than two Silence of the Lambs prequels to Sex and the City spin-off The Carrie Diaries, TV is obsessed with wringing every last drop out of past successes

From the 1966 Jane Eyre spin-off novel Wild Sargasso Sea to Ridley Scott's cinema release Prometheus, the prequel has been a much-used narrative device. And now Us television is set to utilise the genre that was once only the domain of sci-fi. Two offshoots from Silence of the Lambs are pencilled in for 2013. There's NBC's Hannibal, which tells the life story of Dr Lecter before he developed a taste for fava bean and chianti surprise, and Lifetime's Clarice, which joins our heroine just after she has solved the Buffalo Bill case and graduated from the FBI. Rival Us network A&E, meanwhile, is bringing out Bates Motel. The series will attempt to piece together the nascent personality of Norman Bates, »

- Priya Elan

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Haven't we had enough of murder on the telly? | Charlie Brooker

3 June 2012 4:05 PM, PDT

Homegrown serial killers. Bleak foreign detective thrillers. You can't go three weekends without another two-part exploration of the crushing banality of evil

Last week, ITV's Fred West reconstruction Appropriate Adult swept the board at the Baftas, which was nice, although in a shocking oversight, not one of the actors thanked the Wests themselves during their acceptance speeches. I mean, come on guys: if it wasn't for their pioneering character development, you wouldn't be there. Dominic West (no relation) even expressed a wish that hopefully the film – which was very sensitive and restrained, without a single musical number – might somehow lead to a reduction in the number of real-life Fred Wests out there in the future. Hear, hear. Don't know about you, but until I saw Appropriate Adult, I was ambivalent about murder. Now I realise it is wrong. When will the authorities see the light and do something to stop it? »

- Charlie Brooker

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TV review: Gary Barlow – On Her Majesty's Service; The Apprentice: The Final

3 June 2012 4:05 PM, PDT

Gary Barlow's jubilee song for the Queen is pretty awful, obviously – but you can't help liking him

Gary Barlow has a record to make. A special song, for the Queen. It's her diamond jubilee, you may have noticed, and she was a massive Take That fan, back in the day. This is Gary Barlow – On Her Majesty's Service (BBC1, Sunday).

First he goes to see Andrew Lloyd Webber, because Alw knows a thing or two about melodies and harmonies, and maybe because he looks a bit like Queen Victoria. Then Highgrove, where Prince Charles shares some of his world music collection with Gary. Of course, Charles was more of a Spice Girls man himself.

And then Gary is off out into the world – well, the Commonwealth, at least – collecting sounds and voices to put on his record. Like a Victorian explorer, but bringing back sound specimens for Queen and country, »

- Sam Wollaston

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Isy Suttie interview: 'I'd love to work with Victoria Wood'

3 June 2012 4:05 PM, PDT

She's a trained musician and wanted to be a singer. But when people laughed at her silly, twisted songs, Isy Suttie took up comedy. Brian Logan talks to the Peep Show star about her brutal new show

In 2008, when Isy Suttie was cast as the geeky love interest Dobby in the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show, she was working part-time in Oddbins and had only just created her first solo comedy show. Overnight, her life changed – but not entirely for the better. "I developed this paranoia," she says, "that suddenly I was being booked to headline gigs because of Peep Show – and not because I was ready to be a headliner. I worried that people coming to my shows would expect me to re-enact scenes from Peep Show, and not even know I'd been doing standup for a while."

Suttie, 34, is over it now – and revelling in the career Peep Show has made possible. »

- Brian Logan

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TV highlights 04/06/2012

3 June 2012 4:05 PM, PDT

Great British Menu | The Diamond Jubilee Concert | Gok Cooks Chinese | Revenge | Game Of Thrones | Surviving Progress

Great British Menu

7pm, BBC2

The current series of this cooking challenge has an Olympic theme, but if you don't grasp that immediately, there are enough references to "Olympian cooking", "gold medal food" and so on to leave you in no doubt. Interestingly, there's a new tactical, sudden-death element to the final week: not all the chefs will be cooking all of their dishes. If the judges didn't like the dish before, and the cook hasn't sufficiently tweaked it, they won't be getting a second chance to cook it. Airs throughout the week. John Robinson

The Diamond Jubilee Concert

7.30pm, BBC1

As with anything described as "the brainchild of Gary Barlow", this big gig could go either way. If you can gather four generations of slightly tipsy family round the box, there's plenty to »

- John Robinson, Hannah Verdier, Clare Considine, Phelim O'Neill, Ali Catterall, David Stubbs

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The Apprentice 2012 final: live blog

3 June 2012 2:51 PM, PDT

Join me from 8.30pm as Tom, Ricky, Jade and Nick battle it out to win the £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar in the final of the Apprentice

Good Evening Apprentice fans!

For reasons that might have something to do with misplaced grandeur – if only the Apprentices really knew what what the word meant or even which language it was written in – Lord Sugar's hunt for his new apprentice has culminated not on a boring Wednesday, but on this particularly damp and dreary Diamond Jubilee Sunday. I was secretly hoping that the Apprentices' final task would be to organise some element of the flotilla, ending in almost certain chaos and the Queen being furious, but alas it was not to be. Instead the final instalment of this year's series is the interview round, in which Lord Sugar's finest interviewers – or his angriest ones, at any rate – completely rip all the »

- Vicky Frost

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Richard Dawson, beloved host of Family Feud, dies at 79

3 June 2012 8:29 AM, PDT

British entertainer starred in the 1960s sitcom Hogan's Heroes before becoming wisecracking host of family game show

Richard Dawson, the wisecracking British entertainer who was among the schemers in the 1960s sitcom Hogan's Heroes and a decade later began kissing thousands of female contestants as host of the game show Family Feud has died. He was 79.

Dawson, also known to TV fans as the Cockney Pow Cpl Peter Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes, died Saturday night from complications related to esophageal cancer at Ronald Reagan Memorial hospital, his son Gary said.

The game show, which initially ran from 1976 to 1985, pitted families who tried to guess the most popular answers to poll questions such as "What do people give up when they go on a diet?"

Dawson won a daytime Emmy Award in 1978 as best game show host. Tom Shales of The Washington Post called him "the fastest, brightest and most beguilingly »

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GLAAD awards honour Facebook for fair representation of gay community

3 June 2012 6:52 AM, PDT

Grey's Anatomy and the Huffington Post also among media to receive awards at San Francisco ceremony

Facebook has the approval of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The social networking site won the special recognition award at GLAAD's 23rd annual Media Awards.

Other honorees at Saturday's ceremony in San Francisco included Grey's Anatomy for drama series, Days of Our Lives for daily drama series, Max J Rosenthal of The Huffington Post for digital journalism article, Wells Fargo for the corporate leader award and Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes for the Golden Gate Award.

The awards salute fair, accurate and inclusive representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives in the media.

Other winners from among this year's 35 categories were honored at ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles earlier this year.

Awards and prizesGay rightsFacebookCaliforniaTelevision

guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and »

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4Seven: the TV channel with programmes chosen by Facebook

2 June 2012 4:12 PM, PDT

Viewers have input on scheduling with shows that create a social media buzz earning a second airing the next day

Channel 4 will launch a new TV channel called 4Seven next month screening repeats of the programmes viewers and critics have most talked about from the previous seven days, prefaced by a snappy selection of their comments, good and bad.

The channel, which takes its place alongside E4, More4 and Film4, will keep open the weekday 8pm and 10pm slots so that shows that create a critical buzz in newspapers, chatter on social media through Twitter and Facebook, and reaction on the overnight log of comments kept by the broadcaster can be repeated the next day.

"We think it is the first time a channel has incorporated the views of viewers into what goes on air. We will run a montage of comments before the programme starts, the rough with the smooth, »

- Maggie Brown

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Rewind TV: Revenge; The Queen and I; The South Bank Show

2 June 2012 4:07 PM, PDT

Hysteria in the Hamptons, due deference in Hull, Melvyn Bragg on Sky Arts! What a week…

Revenge (E4) | 4Od

The Queen and I (ITV1) | ITVplayer

The South Bank Show (Sky Arts 1) | Sky Arts 1

Our premature holiday weather arrived just in time for E4's bonkers new glossy melodrama Revenge, set in the opulent maritime retreat of the Hamptons, where New York's glamorous, jealous and vindictive super-rich head for the summer to plot and murder and raise money for people less fortunate than themselves.

The show comes ready-anointed from the Us, with an award from tv.com for "favourite guilty pleasure", while leading lady Madeleine Stowe, who plays the excitingly unpleasant "queen of the Hamptons" Victoria Grayson, has shown great spectrum with nominations from both the Golden Globes and the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association. Breathless news arrives that the second series will supplant Desperate Housewives in ABC's fiercely coveted Sunday-night 9pm slot. »

- Phil Hogan

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The Voice final: live blog

2 June 2012 1:27 PM, PDT

Join me from 7.20pm on Saturday as Leanne, Tyler, Bo and Vince sing it out for £100,000 and a record deal

Good evening, and welcome to The Voice final: the liveblog. These last three months have been a rollercoaster - albeit one of those rollercoasters where everyone jumps off halfway through because they're so incredibly bored - and it's all been leading up to this point. Tonight we'll discover who'll win The Voice and receive a record company contract. Given that nobody actually watches The Voice any more, it'll probably be a contract to clean windows, but beggars can't really be choosers at this point.

So who'll win tonight? Well, it won't be favourites Jaz Ellington, Ruth Brown or Becky Hill -  because they all got booted off on Sunday during a genuinely shocking results show. So it's either going to be Bo, Vince, Leanne or Tyler. It's anyone's game. Except for Tyler's. »

- Stuart Heritage

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Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother – review

1 June 2012 11:00 PM, PDT

Alan Titchmarsh is the sycophant in the room at the jubilee

Jeremy Paxman, John Humphrys – watch out. There's a new hard man in town, a pit bull of interrogation. Ok, Alan Titchmarsh has been around for ever, but here in Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother (ITV), he reaches new levels of bad-dogness.

How about this for a question, to Princess Anne: "As the only girl in the family of boys, the Queen could be a more direct role model for you than for you brothers – did that feeling occur to you?" No, not really, says Anne. But Titch isn't going to let it go: he won't be brushed aside, he has her in the corner now, he's going in for the kill. "Can I ask you," he inquires, "about the Queen's strength as a mother?"

Or take this to Prince William, as they wander through Clarence House: "Sir, do you »

- Sam Wollaston

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BBC documentary shows poignant images of a Queen in the making

1 June 2012 4:12 PM, PDT

Prince Philip's cine film captures historic moment as Princess Elizabeth flew back to Britain after hearing of father's death

Private footage of a solemn and slightly wan Queen, flying back to Britain from Kenya after George VI's death, has been made public for her diamond jubilee celebrations.

The poignant images, believed to have been shot by the Duke of Edinburgh, are the first of her to be taken after she learned she had become Queen. They were filmed aboard a Boac Argonaut within hours of her being informed her father had died.

She is seen sitting at a dining table in a cabin aboard the chartered plane. Initially she looks pensive and sad, then as the camera lingers briefly she breaks into a quiet smile, as though responding to a smile from her husband behind the lens.

The historic, 25-second sequence is one of many family and private films »

- Caroline Davies

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Susie Dent: my greatest mistake

1 June 2012 4:09 PM, PDT

Facing questions from Ann Robinson and John Humphrys, the Countdown lexicographer was at panic stations

I was invited to appear on Test The Nation, the live BBC television programme hosted by Phillip Schofield and Ann Robinson, where members of the public and celebrities answer general knowledge-type questions. It was going to be a big test for me, too, because it was prime-time TV and I'd only just gone full-time on Countdown; in 2005 I wasn't as experienced in television as you'd imagine.

I hardly remember being in make-up or the green room. I do remember seeing John Humphrys, sitting very calmly, with just a faint look of ennui. But my mind was racing and I was really worried about how fierce Ann Robinson would be, particularly if I didn't do very well. I also knew that John Humphrys can be fierce about spelling and grammar, so I didn't want to make any mistakes. »

- Mark King

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Katie Piper: I asked Mum to kill me

1 June 2012 4:09 PM, PDT

In 2008, Katie Piper was raped by a man she'd met online. He then arranged for someone to throw acid in her face. Kira Cochrane talks to Katie and her mother, Diane, about her inspiring recovery

In the 1980s, when her children were young, Diane Piper kept a diary of their progress. They were an ordinary family. The Pipers lived in a sleepy Hampshire village, where Diane was an infant-school teacher. Her husband, David, was a barber, and their children, Paul, Katie and Suzy, proceeded happily through karate and ballet lessons, kite flying and beach excursions. Katie was, by some measure, the loudest. "She was quite wilful, headstrong, very independent and made friends wherever she went," says Diane.

"You're being very diplomatic," says Katie, laughing.

The diary petered out, but four years ago she resurrected it, this time not for a happy reason. Diane was at the gym one day, when »

- Kira Cochrane

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Jools Holland: My family values

1 June 2012 4:08 PM, PDT

The musician and broadcaster talks about his family

We make too much of class differences in this country. I meet people from really grand backgrounds who had horrible parents who took no interest in them, whereas I'm a working-class boy from Deptford who was worshipped by all my rellies. Everybody in my extended family helped to raise me, and I realise now how lucky I was to grow up among kind folk.

People forget that music is a therapeutic, healing thing. At 11, I went to live with my maternal nan and grandad temporarily, after my parents separated, and Nan would let me have a go on her piano. My grandparents were like something out of the Noël Coward play This Happy Breed and it was magical to hear them sing music-hall songs. Every five minutes, no matter what had happened – either someone had dropped dead or war had been declared – they would say, »

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It's a good week in television for republicanism

1 June 2012 4:07 PM, PDT

The Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen, opines artist Caroline Coon in Punk Britannia (Fri, 9pm, BBC4), was an antidote to the "ghastly arselicking" of the monarchy during the silver jubilee celebrations in 1977. As David Hockney, Paul McCartney, Bono, and, most deflatingly ironic of all, punk stylist Vivienne Westwood queued up to grovel at a recent diamond jubilee celebration for Her Maj, Johnny Rotten and co must have wondered if their outrages were a waste of saliva.

Latest polls show a boost in support for the Queen and her stoical ability to carry on existing, if only to keep her son, with all his attendant talking-to-the-trees proclivities, from occupying the throne. Kingdom Of Plants (Thu, 7pm, Sky Atlantic), hosted by David Attenborough, might be grimly apposite in that event. However, those who agree with Tom Paine's dictum that the monarchy represents a "degradation and lessening of ourselves" can »

- David Stubbs

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Catch-up TV Guide: From Princess Elizabeth to Alan Carr: Chatty Man

1 June 2012 4:07 PM, PDT

Audio & Video: Princess Elizabeth

It's the Queen's Christmas or something this week, so why not celebrate by shunning the festivities entirely and instead sit in front of a computer screen, taking in some footage of Her Maj pre-coronation? The BBC Archive has put together a collection documenting the life of Elizabeth II back when she was just plain old Princess Elizabeth (pictured, right), including a newsreel of her marriage to Philip Mountbatten, a radio message from the Princess to the nation's children, and a rather gloomy eyewitness account of how she received the news of her father's death.

BBC Archive

Audio: Radiolab

A typically frenzied edition of Radiolab, dealing with the topic of colours, begins with a story about Isaac Newton stabbing himself in the eye, and doesn't really let up from there. Gladstone, The Odyssey and colourblind monkeys all feature, obviously.


TV: The London Markets

The final »

- Gwilym Mumford

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TV Od with Lucy Mangan: Desperate Housewives

1 June 2012 4:07 PM, PDT

As their waistlines withered, so did the audiences. Now, finally, these Desperate Housewives are heading to the big underused kitchen in the sky

As we enter the home straight of Desperate Housewives (Wed, 11.30pm, Channel 4), with just three episodes left before the eighth season ends and the show bows out for good, I think I'll miss the kitchens most of all. They were so beautiful. I would happily live on a street full of murderers, nosy parkers, predatory divorcees, arson attacks, suicide attempts, car accidents, electrocutions and plane crashes if it meant I could have something as light, airy and perfectly appointed as the rooms at the hearts of all the homes along Wisteria Lane. Then again, if your strongest emotional attachment to a series is via its set design, it's probably time for at least one of you to go.

It was always a preposterous show – but at the beginning, »

- Lucy Mangan

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The Hard Sell: Mars

1 June 2012 4:07 PM, PDT

'If we all eat enough rectangular slabs of migraine-compounder, England can win a penalty shoot-out!'

Chocolate may seem like a universal obesity-facilitator, but advertising has taught us otherwise. Yorkie bars are for real men who subscribe to 17 different lads' mags and didn't even cry during Watership Down. Milky Bars are for kids who will grow into yellow-haired nonagenarians. Flakes are largely eaten by moisteningly seductive femmes with a passion for Kierkegaard, Chopin and chocolate bars that double up as sex aids. Then there's the new Mars advert, which straddles the line between banter and its Hackett-wearing cousin, xenophobia. It involves a penalty shoot-out between England and Holland. England losing a penalty shoot-out at major tournaments is one of the first things on the curriculum, just after self-loathing and split infinitives. But it doesn't have to be this way!

If we all eat enough rectangular slabs of migraine-compounder, England can win a penalty shoot-out! »

- Rob Smyth

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