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David Beckham kicks off Sport Relief with Only Fools and Horses debut
36 minutes ago
Footballer daunted by TV appearance alongside David Jason's Del Boy but Beckham's acting is described as 'very good'
He's better known for the delivery of precise crosses than perfectly timed dialogue, but David Beckham's acting in an Only Fools and Horses sketch has been described as "very good" by its scriptwriters.
Jim Sullivan, the son of the late Only Fools creator John, said he and his brother Dan were surprised and flattered when Beckham raised the idea of a reprise of the show, the last episode of which was aired in 2003.
"Since dad passed away the question of whether we'd be interested in writing any new material for Only Fools has been raised a few times, and we have always said no, »
- Conal Urquhart
Peppa Pig: wallowing in bad language? | Media Monkey
11 hours ago
Mother complains after her daughter imitates cartoon character apparently saying the F-word
After an incident last year in which a Peppa Pig theme park's Facebook page was hacked, the popular cartoon porker is in the headlines again over bad language. The Sun reports that a toddler from Cardiff shocked her parents by saying what sounded like the F-word after watching the show on DVD. Natalie Cox, who claimed her daughter repeatedly said "fucking gazelles", told the paper: "I couldn't believe my ears. She kept saying it over and over. I took the children out of the room and put on the DVD. One of the characters clearly says it. How on earth did it get past the editors?" In the episode, playgroup teacher Madame Gazelle has a leaving party and Welsh father Mr Rabbit mentions that she used to play in a band called the "Rocking Gazelles". A Peppa Pig »
Game of Thrones season four trailer: dragons, death and deception – video
13 hours ago
The new trailer for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones has premiered, with big-budget battles vying with personal power games
The fourth season of Game of Thrones is looming like an armour-clanking phalanx, ready to maraud into your social life from 7 April onwards.
The newest trailer for the series launched last night in the Us, during the finale of True Detective, and all the usual political power-plays, backstabbing intrigue and massive fantasy battle sequences all seem to be in place – Daenerys is massing her dragons and sounding ultra-tenacious, while Tyrion and Tywin continue their lip-curling fiendishness.
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In the very lightly spoilery words of HBO, who released a synopsis of the forthcoming series last week, the season will look a little like this:
"Encouraged by the Red Wedding slaughter in the Riverlands that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses, the Lannisters' hold »
Dancing on Ice bids farewell with retrospection and so much Bolero
13 hours ago
Dancing on Ice finished its eight-year run last night with a three-way skate-off, constant recapping, a shameless number of perfect scores – and Bolero on a loop
Dancing on Ice came to an end last night, much in the same way as it started back in 2006. As always, there were celebrities attempting to be graceful despite having gigantic razorblades strapped to their feet. There were judges, one of whom was notable for his astonishing level of self-hatred. And, of course, there was Phillip Schofield dressed up as the Judderman.
Sure, we've seen some changes over the years – faceless judge replacing faceless judge, and Christine Bleakley's intimidating froideur replacing Holly Willoughby's mumsy loveliness – but for the most part the key elements remained in place. Dancing. Ice. Torvill and Dean trying to raise a smile after hearing Bolero for the trillionth time. The sense that this was all a lot more »
- Stuart Heritage
Gogglebox return draws show's biggest audience to date | TV ratings - 7 March
13 hours ago
Channel 4 documentary series pulls in 2.7 million viewers, nearly twice the audience of ITV's 80s drama Edge of Heaven
Gogglebox returned to Channel 4 in its new Friday night slot with 2.7 million viewers, its biggest audience to date, sweeping aside ITV drama Edge of Heaven.
The TV show about people watching TV, which was a breakout hit for Channel 4 last year, has been moved from Wednesdays to a new peaktime slot at the end of the week.
Gogglebox pulled in 2.7 million viewers, a 10.8% share of the audience, between 9pm and 10pm, up on the 2.3 million (12.1%) who saw the last episode of its second series on 18 December.
- John Plunkett
Channel 4 buys UK rights to the TV adaptation of Fargo
15 hours ago
Small-screen production of Coen brothers' film is a 'perfect Channel 4 show with a stunning cast' says TV station
Freeman, star of BBC1's Sherlock and the big-screen version of The Hobbit, plays small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, similar to the character played by William H Macy in the 1996 film. Hollywood star Thornton is rootless, manipulative Lorne Malvo in the 10-part series.
Channel 4's chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: "Fargo is a perfect Channel 4 show – a dark comedy, beautifully directed with a stunning cast. We are excited to be bringing it to a British audience."
The TV series, »
- John Plunkett
A bomb disposal expert on the comedy Bluestone 42
17 hours ago
Bluestone 42 succeeds in capturing the gallows humour that surrounds this most dangerous of jobs, says bomb disposal corporal Daniel Whittingham
I was blown up in Afghanistan in 2009. I had to have a leg amputated – and had the operation done while wearing a musical cockerel posing pouch. Black humour is what gets squaddies through dodgy times, so I loved seeing one of the characters in this comedy about a bomb disposal unit in Afghanistan being awarded the "jockstrap of destiny". I've never heard of that, nor a "filthiest bastard" award. But I have heard of "regimental showers". That's when a grotbag – a guy who never washes – gets given a shower with a firehose and a huge brush. As for racing pubic lice, I've never seen that either. But I have seen squaddies race spiders, scorpions and even poisonous snakes.
So even though it's a comedy, I found this show true »
- Laura Barnett
Top Gear; review – 'Oh Lord, I laughed'
17 hours ago
Clarkson, Hammond and May crash about in Burma. It's puerile, it's silly and it's undeniably funny
Y ou've got to feel for poor Burma, Myanmar, whatever you want to call it. After getting on for half a century of oppressive military rule they limp painfully towards some kind of democracy, if not an especially liberal one. And then suddenly – just what they need – they get invaded by Jeremy bloody Clarkson and his Top Gear (BBC2, Sunday) chums.
For Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, it's basically still 1943 and the Burma Campaign; they're retaking the country for the British. Well, they're driving around it in lorries, being loud and annoying. Then they're going to cross the border into Thailand – sorry, Siam – to the river Kwai, which they will build a bridge across, of course. Dudes, relax, it's all right, the second world war is over. (They're like those Japanese commandos still fighting in the jungle, »
- Sam Wollaston
TV highlights 10/03/2014
17 hours ago
Paralympic Winter Games | Bang Goes The Theory | Mind The Gap: London Vs The Rest | Dci Banks | Edl Girls: Don't Call Me Racist | The Michael McIntyre Chat Show | Looking | Mark Lawson Talks To David Bailey
Paralympic Winter Games
6am, Channel 4
With the Sochi Olympics, sports you'd never heard of, let alone cared for, proved surprisingly moreish on viewing – expect the same to be the case for the Paralympics. Today's events include the women's super-g, cross-country skiing and wheelchair curling. Britain will, as ever, be well represented in the latter event, hoping to pick up one of the two medals targeted by Team Gb. The mixed gender team will be teeing off against Slovakia in today's round-robin fixture. David Stubbs
Bang Goes The Theory
And an eighth series of everyman-friendly experiments begins on a rather predictable note with a look at energy and how close Britain could »
- David Stubbs, Hannah J Davies, Hannah Verdier, Rachel Aroesti, Julia Raeside, Lanre Bakare, Andrew Mueller
Veronica Mars has sprung back to life, and deservedly so
18 hours ago
Ah, Veronica Mars, how you linger in the memory after all these years. Can it really be seven years since I came back to Los Angeles after a month in England, ready to savour four spicy, bitchy, twisty new episodes of hard-boiled high-school noir on DVR, only to discover that the Paul Rudd-as-mean-jerky-rock star episode had been obliterated by extended news coverage of the ferocious Griffith Park fire of May 2007? Jet-lagged and exhausted as I was, I knelt down and grasped my skull in anguish right there in front of the telly, bathed in the apocalyptic orange flames. It was a very Veronica moment.
This show really put you through it sometimes, both within the drama and without. »
- John Patterson
Mark Watson's favourite TV
18 hours ago
Comedian, sports pundit and novelist on his TV highs and lows
Sherlock. There's a real sense of occasion about it. [The reveal of how Sherlock survived the fall] was a lot less cunning than people thought it might be. But I liked the way they addressed that by starting with those fantasy scenarios. It's the sort of thing that could have annoyed people, but I thought it fitted perfectly. For 10 minutes the whole country thought that the writers had gone insane.
Earliest TV memory?
Watching the video of Into The Groove by Madonna on Top Of The Pops, in about 1985 or 1986. I would definitely have watched TV before then, but that is immortalised in my brain, for a number of reasons: it was my first experience of Madonna, my first experience of sexy women, and the first time I can remember understanding what TV was.
I'd lobby for a one-off Friends reunion. It had »
- Gwilym Mumford
James Ellis obituary
9 March 2014 5:31 PM, PDT
The actor James Ellis (also known as Jimmy), who has died aged 82, was the longest-serving original cast member of the hugely popular BBC television series Z-Cars. When Z-Cars began in 1962, it represented a major change in the way the police were characterised in fiction. The BBC police series Dixon of Dock Green had been running for seven years, with Jack Warner playing the understanding, avuncular police constable Dixon. Z-Cars, by contrast, had the actors Stratford Johns and Frank Windsor making cynical remarks about the death of a murdered police colleague whose funeral they were attending, and Ellis, as Constable Bert Lynch, hearing from a colleague how he beats up his wife, without doing anything about it. Z-Cars attempted to show how moral anarchy in the rundown industrial area of the »
- Dennis Barker
BBC to argue for licence fee link to inflation
9 March 2014 5:06 PM, PDT
Internal report into corporation's funding recommends move to inflationary rise in place of price freeze
The BBC will go into negotiations with the government over its future arguing for the licence fee to be linked to inflation, in place of the current income freeze.
The recommendation is made in an internal BBC report into the corporation's future funding, which also recommends raising the amount of money it makes through commercial ventures, the corporation said on Sunday.
The broadcaster made the disclosure following a newspaper report alleging that a review into the organisation's funding suggested replacing the licence fee with a subscription service from 2020.
The Sunday Times said that the majority of a 12-strong centenary review set up by James Purnell, the former Labour minister turned BBC director of strategy and digital, supported the change. It also reported that the review recommended freezing the licence fee until 2020.
A BBC spokesman said: »
- Jason Deans
Cosmos: how Seth Macfarlane has remade Carl Sagan's classic TV series
9 March 2014 5:05 PM, PDT
If you wanted to remake the greatest science TV programme of all time, Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, your first choice of producer might not be Seth Macfarlane. But Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, about the history of the known universe and everything in it, which begins next Sunday, would not have happened without the Family Guy producer's sweary cartoon creations.
Macfarlane decided to enter science broadcasting after meeting astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson at a regular lunch for Hollywood producers and scientists, who get together to discuss making the science in movies as accurate as possible. With the proceeds of Family Guy and the even more foul-mouthed film Ted burning a hole in his pocket, Macfarlane wanted to give something back. He wondered out loud to Tyson whether »
- Alok Jha