6 items from 2009
The BBC sports presenter - who was criticised for wearing a ''constipated'' expression on his face in previous shows - did not win the judges' vote but got the public's backing to beat 'Hollyoaks' actor and show favourite Ricky Whittle in a shock result. The 38-year-old presenter managed to score a set of perfect tens for his Charleston to 'Fat Sam's Grand Slam' from the musical 'Bugsy Malone'. Ricky also scored a perfect 50 in his first dance but then botched a lift in the second, staggering beneath his partner Natalie Lowe The judges' final scores gave Ricky 190 points and Chris 186 .. »
6pm: Good evening, everybody, and welcome to the official start of Christmas, otherwise known as the Strictly Come Dancing final! One by one, the contenders have fallen by the wayside - whether it be judging decisions, ineptitude or injury that cast them aside - and now Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan (aka Team Cola, aka the hobbits) take on Ricky Whittle and Natalie Lowe (aka...well, nothing really. Apart from "him off Hollyoaks and the scary robot lady") to lift the sacred trophy. The first instalment of tonight's action begins at 6.35pm, and it's time to lay all the cards on the table - I'm firmly Team Cola tonight for their sense of fun and enthusiasm; if Ricky and Natalie win, they will certainly have been the »
- Carrie Dunn
Playing the daughter to Angela Lansbury's ancient mother, the Hollywood star is unconvincing as a rejected lover
Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, directed by Trevor Nunn and the biggest opening in New York this season, is a tough gig for a Broadway debut, even for a movie star who won an Oscar for Chicago. With its complex score and no conventional showstoppers, it requires the skills of a seasoned stage actor. And while Catherine Zeta-Jones can act and sing, she can't do both at once in this production – at least not in one take.
The show is a musical interpretation of Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night, a tangle of love affairs and mistaken intentions set in Sweden at the turn of the last century. It is also a study of self-consciousness, which sadly for its star is not the same thing as being self-conscious. »
- Emma Brockes
Could this year's Strictly be any more controversial? For a show about dancing, sequins and sometimes inexplicable scoring, it's had more than its fair share of incidents.
All of last week's Strictly action
Has this year's Strictly Come Dancing been set on a path pointed straight to doom? It's the most controversial series ever: we've had Arlene Phillips getting the boot, Anton Du Beke using racist language, Brucie apparently supporting him and now Ricky Whittle, series favourite, was arrested yesterday on suspicion of assault. It's like some kind of behind-the-scenes soap.
But will this week's show be as riveting? Ricky Groves and Erin Boag left last Saturday, leaving Natalie Cassidy, Ali Bastian, Laila Rouass, Chris Hollins and of course Ricky Whittle in the competition. Who will avoid leaving this weekend? Join us on Saturday from 6.50pm to find out.
6.40pm: A few quick questions before we begin. Will Ali dance tonight? »
- Carrie Dunn
Despite an interesting cast and passionate pleas from more than one film critic, Brett Simon’s Assassination of a High School President is the latest project to be burped out of the gaping, bankrupt maw of the Yari Film Group and directly onto the DVD market. Yari’s failure has claimed some terrific films - most notably a pair of Rod Lurie movies - and although Assassination doesn’t quite deserve to be lumped in with the best of the studio’s aborted litter, it’s certainly better than most direct-to-video projects, and well worth a rental and 90 minutes of your time. My review after the jump:
Sort of a clownish, noir-scented blend of Rushmore and The Usual Suspects, Assassination stars the deliberately Jason Schwartzmann-like Reece Thompson as Bobby Funke (it’s pronounced “Funk,” but everyone says it “Funky”), a wannabe cub reporter for the paper at St. Donovan’s High, »
- Jeff Giles
We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
One minute you’re a pimple covered teen railing at the injustice of adults, the next you are an adult! Welcome to the improbable world of body switching comedies. Kirk Cameron and Fred Savage failed to launch film careers from such auspicious beginnings, but that hasn’t deterred Zac Efron from taking his shot in 17 Again. He’s not totally copying his illustrious predecessors, 17 Again is more of a body getting a second chance than parent-and-child-switching-places type film, but the principle’s the same. Who doesn’t wish they were an adult as a teen? What adult doesn’t consider what he or she would do differently if given the chance to be a teen again? And who doesn’t love the total wackiness that ensues? That’s what I thought. Here are 7 of the best.
- Megan Lehar
6 items from 2009
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