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Comic Relief stars face arrowing ordeal | Media Monkey

1 hour ago

Darts, the sport of bling, is set to become part of Comic Relief as BBC2 lines up a show that pitches celebrities against some of the sports biggest names. The Sun reports that the imaginatively titled Lets Play Darts for Comic Relief (Monkey wonders how many BBC meetings it took to come up with that one) will be filmed at Lakeside Frimley Green, home of the World Darts Championship, and will be hosted by Gabby Logan. The BBC has promised a highly competitive tournament It will be full of jeopardy and sporting triumphs. Jeopardy? After Channel 4s The Jump and ITVs Splash, can we now expect extreme darts to become a thing?

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- Monkey

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Abbott government calls on internet providers to punish illegal downloaders

2 hours ago

Malcolm Turnbull and George Brandis release a discussion paper calling for ISPs to police online piracy

Australians embracing the internet - but as a supplement to TV

The Abbott government has moved to crack down on illegal downloading, saying internet service providers (ISPs) will be forced to take reasonable steps to prevent it including possible sanctions against offending customers.

The proposals, contained in a discussion paper, are likely to be controversial with Australian consumers who are among the worlds most prolific illegal downloaders of popular shows such as Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.

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- Lenore Taylor, political editor

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TV highlights 30/07/2014

3 hours ago

The Stuarts | This Old Thing: The Vintage Clothes Show | The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway | The Mimic | Inquisition | Sharknado 2: The Second One | Football: Manchester City v Liverpool

Dr Clare Jackson presents this new series about "the first family of Great Britain". When Elizabeth I died without an heir, her distant cousin James VI of Scotland inherited her lands all with their own histories of conflict and set about trying to unite them. While the film-makers do some striking work with slowed-down footage of snorting horses, Jackson reveals the nature of James through his Basilikon Doron, a treatise on government. The upshot? Try and keep a middle course between Papists and Puritans. John Robinson

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- John Robinson, Hannah Verdier, Andrew Mueller, Ben Arnold, Hannah J Davies, Lanre Bakare

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Is there any TV worth watching in silly season?

4 hours ago

With little but repeats, sport and gardening on the schedules, I've fallen out with my TV. But rewarding viewing is still out there if you look beyond the mainstream channels

Television and I are not getting along. This is a committed relationship, and I know we're in it for the long haul, but I'm starting to find the small things irritating. I'm less interested in spending time together. I remember when it would pull out the stops to dazzle me. But over the past few weeks, something has shifted. I come home to a lazy slob, languishing in its trackie bottoms and eating cereal from the box. It's become routine. It's a chore. I've started to practise the "it's not you, it's me" speech, even though secretly I don't feel like it's me, at all.

Newspapers call it silly season and stick children with funny-shaped rashes on the front page, »

- Rebecca Nicholson

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Espn suspends Stephen A Smith for comments on Ray Rice assault

11 hours ago

Sport broadcaster disciplines commentator for a week over remarks made about NFL player who assaulted his fiancee

Stephen A Smith apologises for Ray Rice comments

Espn says it has suspended sportscaster Stephen A Smith for a week because of comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure they dont provoke attacks.

Smith has apologized for the comments that were made last Friday during an on-air discussion about NFL running back Ray Rices suspension for assaulting his fiancee. But Espn said Tuesday that Smith would not appear on the ESPN2 show, First Take, or on Espn radio until 6 August.

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- Associated Press in New York

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Ross Burden obituary

16 hours ago

Chef who found fame through the TV series Ready Steady Cook

Ross Burden, who has died aged 45 after undergoing treatment for leukaemia, was a celebrity chef who espoused the virtues of using local seasonal produce. He first came to public attention as a contestant in the TV cookery competition MasterChef, then became a regular on the BBC series Ready Steady Cook and a favourite private chef of stars such as Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Known for his charm as much as for the culinary skills he had learned from his grandmother as a child, he was once dubbed "the tastiest man in Britain".

Born in Taradale, in the Hawke's Bay region of North Island, New Zealand, he was adopted by Kelvin Burden, an electrician, and his wife, Anne, and described his childhood as idyllic. He told a New Zealand magazine: "As a kid, we had a bach [beach house] in Mahia. »

- Anthony Hayward

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Sharknado 2 video game splashes onto iOS in time for TV-movie sequel

17 hours ago

Broadswords! Hammerheads! Chainsaws! And, er, in-app purchases of £34.99 virtual buckets of chum!

What a world we live in: Kim Kardashian is fronting one of the most lucrative mobile games in the world, and now its being joined on Apples App Store by an official game for the Sharknado films.

Sharknado: The Video game has been released for iOS devices in time for the premiere this week of Sharknado: The Second One on TV channel Syfy. That follows last years breakout success of the original Sharknado film.

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- Stuart Dredge

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Fashion TV: the shows reinventing style for working women

17 hours ago

The Honourable Woman is the latest series to showcase sleek chic for its heroines. This shift in television wardrobes gives big brands a starring role in the drama

Why The Honourable Woman is the most stylish show on TV in pictures

Last week's episode of The Honourable Woman had all the ingredients to make it the best thing on TV: pretzel-like plot twists, excellent swearing from MI6 chief Julia, and political skulduggery conducted in lifts. Told in a flashback to events eight years ago, the episode also offered up something else tasty for the eagle-eyed (or easily distracted, depending on your point of view). Nessa Stein the protagonist played by Maggie Gyllenhaal wore jewellery for the first time.

Hugo Blick's drama makes compelling viewing with plot strands including spoiler alert! how Nessa's child was passed off as Atika's, and whether Stephen Rea's Hugh will get back together with his wife, »

- Lauren Cochrane

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Walken in the jungle and 2 Chainz is a zombie plus the rest of today's breaking pop culture news

17 hours ago

It's close to lunchtime, and there's something evil lurking in the web

Regularly updated scrolling news, videos, gossip and time-wasting malarkey, from the people who brought you the Guardian Guide

Coming up today: Karen O, Joy O, Jackie O (maybe) and Christopher Walken wants to be like you-oo-oo

Get in touch on the comments below or by tweeting @guideguardian

4.58pm BST

Thanks for reading today. Ill leave you with a tantalising snippet from the new Run The Jewels album, another autumn release to be very excited about. Lanre Bakare will be here tomorrow to solve all your thorniest dilemmas via the medium of pop culture gossip. Night.

4.42pm BST

If you're in Glasgow, go and see the imperious Fka Twigs at Stereo.

3.42pm BST

Here's some news to make your day: soulful art-rockers (and former Guide cover stars) TV On The Radio will release a new album in the autumn, »

- Sam Richards

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Thai junta unamused by comedian John Oliver's royal jibes

17 hours ago

British performer and host considered a threat by government for 'undermining the royal institution' with jokes about prince

The British comedian John Oliver has come under fire in Thailand after mocking members of the royal family and poking fun at the ruling junta's so-called "happiness" campaigns two jokes that may have landed the satirist on a government blacklist.

Talking last month on his late-night HBO show Last Week Tonight, Oliver ridiculed Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha's "dystopian nightmare" of a government, called Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn a "buffoon" and an "idiot", and ridiculed a clip of a contentious home video of the prince and his semi-naked wife at a poolside birthday party for their pet poodle Foo Foo.

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- Kate Hodal in Singapore

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The Bachelorette is supposed to be a fantasy, but the finale was a nightmare | Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy

17 hours ago

Slut-shaming just turned America's top romance show into an advertisement for the #YesAllWomen movement

ABC's The Bachelor/ette is supposed to show viewers a fantasy a strange one, to be sure, involving hot tubs and competitive dating, but one that nonetheless underscores the importance of marriage. On the franchise, marriage between two heterosexual, white adults is the ultimate prize, and we viewers are asked to suspend our disbelief and accept that this is the only possible version of not just happiness, but success.

But Monday night's season finale put something else on display for the show's mostly-female audience: what you choose to do with your body will always be subject to the opinions and anger of men.

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- Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy

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Nick Cotton and five more soap characters who came back from the dead

20 hours ago

Nasty Nick is back in EastEnders to torment Dot and everyone else. Its the latest in an enjoyable tradition of soap-opera resurrections, from Bobby Ewing to Harold Bishop

Soaps may be violent but Soap's obsession with killing off its leading ladies

"Hello Ma": two words that can chill or thrill, depending on whether youre a diehard Nick Cotton fan, or one of the many EastEnders characters he has tried to rob, poison or burn.

Just when Walford residents thought Nasty Nick was dead and buried, the original bad boy of Albert Square is back. No, hes not really dead. Hes not even a bit dead. The moment his son, Charlie the copper, arrived to break the news of his death to Dot, the clues were blindingly obvious: from dodgy undertaker Les Coker taking a bung to keep something secret to the hastily arranged cremation that laid to rest Dots »

- Hannah Verdier

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The BBC not acting on Clarksons racist comment shows its disregard for us | Carmen Fishwick

20 hours ago

For east and south-east Asian Britons like me, who already feel under-represented in the media, this weeks Ofcom ruling highlights our voicelessness

Slope is a derogatory term used specifically to reference people of Vietnamese or Chinese descent in relation to their facial features, which originates from the Vietnam war era. Jeremy Clarksons use of the racial term to describe a local man in Thailand should never have been considered anything but offensive and was in total breach of broadcasting codes, as Ofcom concluded this week.

I was born in the UK and am of Vietnamese origin. Ive experienced casual racism of this kind frequently. In central London Ive been called a chink, people shout konichiwa and ni hao, others bow towards me, and Ive even been complimented on my English accent. I would have been appalled had Ofcom not ruled Clarksons comments a breach of section 2.3 of the broadcasting code, »

- Carmen Fishwick

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PewDiePie still world's biggest YouTube star with 351m views in June

21 hours ago

Gamer's channel still ahead of Shakira, Pitbull and Katy Perry, while Psy's Snoop Dogg Hangover returns him to top 10

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg aka PewDiePie remains the most popular star on YouTube, with his gaming channel generating 351m views in June 2014 alone.

That's more than 8,100 views a minute on average, fuelled by the UK-based Swede's huge fanbase on Google's video service. PewDiePie ended June with 28.2m subscribers on YouTube, but that has since grown to nearly 29.1m.

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- Stuart Dredge

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Open Thread: How much screen time is too much for your kids?

22 hours ago

Television, games and apps shouldn't replace non-digital activities, but how do you strike the right balance?

Writing about children's use of technology can be surprisingly controversial, judging by some of the comments on yesterday's feature on apps that kids might enjoy using while travelling.

"Tomorrow's shelf-stackers will be screen pokers. Give them a pencil instead."

"If you don't want to 'deal' with kids, don't make them. More Apps to pacify (passive? Aye) them. This article is nauseating."

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- Stuart Dredge

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After Manimal, which other 1983 TV shows should Will Ferrell reboot?

23 hours ago

The actor and comedian is planning to reprise the ultimate naff 80s action-adventure as a comedy. But there are plenty of others he could have gone for

Master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man Manimal has been a symbol of TV naffness for so long that Will Ferrell producing a big-screen reboot feels almost pre-ordained. Repositioning it as a comedy is a smart way of leveraging the shows mushrooming online reputation try to keep a straight face while watching the original credits but whats really impressive is the fact that Ferrell has tracked down a TV show from 1983 that hasnt already been rehashed. The A-Team, Fraggle Rock, Bananaman, Inspector Gadget, LeVar Burtons Reading Rainbow and Bob Holnesss Blockbusters all debuted that year, and all have either been remade or are being prepped for some sort of comeback. ITV even rebooted Good Morning Britain, for all the good it did. »

- Graeme Virtue

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Famous city scenes from TV and film comedies: share your pictures

29 July 2014 2:24 AM, PDT

Recreate your favourite scenes or just show us your selfies against the urban backdrops of sitcoms and comedies, from the small screen to the silver one

It's comedy week on Guardian Cities, and we're starting with the relationship between sitcoms and the urban environments they portray. New York and London are popular, of course, but from San Diego and Philadelphia to Slough and Sheffield, the cities captured in comedy TV and movies aren't always the usual suspects.

Have you eaten at Tom's diner from Seinfeld? Perused the shelves at the bookshop in Notting Hill? Found a frozen banana stand in La? We want to see you in your favourite comedy locales whether you ended up there unwittingly or made a special pilgrimage. Share your pictures, videos and experiences with GuardianWitness and we'll feature the best on Guardian Cities. Just click on the blue 'Contribute' button, or if you're out and »

- Guardian Staff

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New York state of mind: how American sitcoms depict Us cities

29 July 2014 2:22 AM, PDT

From the suspiciously affordable West Village in Friends to the cosmopolitan Huxtable house in The Cosby Show, sitcoms have shaped our most elemental images of urban America. Maria Bustillos surfs from Cincinnati to Queens to Springfield, USA

Visited any city comedy locations? Share your photos

The New York of my imagination, before I came to the real thing, was a weird amalgam of notions gathered from all over the Ramones, Rosemary's Baby, James Thurber, the Velvet Underground, Woody Allen, Diana Vreeland, Taxi Driver, Henry James and Edith Wharton, The New Yorker. But my most seminal images of New York, lodged all the more firmly in my mind for having been subliminally implanted when I was but a wee tot, were sitcom ones.

From That Girl, I learned of the exciting and sweet Manhattan life of an aspiring actress, one who went on dates and lived in her own apartment! I Love Lucy, »

- Maria Bustillos

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The Mill, Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend, Monty Python Live, Veep and more: TV review video

29 July 2014 2:00 AM, PDT

This week, telly addict Andrew Collins enjoys two striking portrayals of the North of England: the industrial revolution period drama The Mill on Channel 4 and a post-industrial musical revolution in BBC4's documentary Northern Soul: Living For The Weekend. He also expresses disappointment at Monty Python Live (Mostly) on Gold; nods to the topicality of Last Week Tonight on Sky Atlantic and The Honourable Woman on BBC2; and gives transatlantic hurrahs for Rich Hall's California Stars on BBC4 and season three of Veep on Sky Atlantic

Warning: This video contains strong language Continue reading »

- Presented by Andrew Collins

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The Block: our renovation nation is chipping away at the Aussie dream

28 July 2014 11:27 PM, PDT

Australia's home improvement obsession, as showcased in Channel Nine's ratings winner, is eating up our money, time and for some, the chance of ever owning a home

Jazz Tremlow on The Block: it's TV that needs renovating

With Gold Logie winner Scott Cam once again at the reins, the latest series of The Block exploded onto our screens on Sunday night. Touted as the "biggest Block ever", it gave contestants the challenge of renovating a dilapidated office block in Prahran, Melbourne into five stylish new apartments.

It was an explosion that, well, fizzled. I can't help but feel the show has become as dilapidated as the building theyre renovating. With Channel Nine airing five episodes each week, the premiere offered none of the excitement I expect in my reality TV.

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- Simon Copland

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