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Reliving the joys of an 80s TV Christmas

Jenny Morrill Dec 20, 2016

Russ Abbot, Bullseye, Noel Edmonds and a film we all watched in the same room. Christmas TV was more exciting in the 80s...

Cast your mind back to when Christmas Day wasn't about Doctor Who followed by sticking something on Netflix until it was time to go watch the annual fist fight outside the pub.

See related Looking back at Martin Scorsese's The King Of Comedy The Wolf Of Wall Street review The Wolf Of Wall Street & Scorsese's confrontational films

In the 80s, Christmas was about seeing which fantastic fare the TV had decided to bless us with. Of course, the more prepared among us knew this well in advance, having eagerly pored over the Radio Times/TV Times to check that Jimmy Cricket's Family Laugh 'n' Waz would be shown. There it was – right after Reflections On The Eucharist With The Reverend Paul Leyland.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Gareth Thomas, Blake's 7 actor, dies aged 71

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Welsh actor Gareth Thomas, the star of Blake's 7 and much, much more, has sadly passed away...

Some sad news. 

Gareth Thomas, an actor perhaps best remembered in these quarters for his role as the titular Blake in late seventies BBC sci-fi series Blake's 7, has died aged 71.

The Welsh actor's long career stretched all the way from the 1960s to the current decade, making Thomas a fondly familiar face on the small screen. Celebrated for his role as the lead in Blake's 7, he also made appearances in Torchwood, Heartbeat, London's BurningChildren Of The Stones and countless other productions over the decades.

The news of his death was reported last night on the Blake's 7 website with the following statement:

"It is with deep sadness that we have to announce that Gareth Thomas passed away this morning, 13th April 2016, from heart failure."

Rest in peace, Gareth Thomas, our thoughts
See full article at Den of Geek »

Downton Abbey helps increase ITV's audience share for first time since 1990

Broadchurch and I'm a Celebrity also contribute to main ITV channel's 16.2% share of all viewing in 2013

ITV's main network increased its audience share last year for the first time since 1990, on the back of successful shows including Downton Abbey, Broadchurch and I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!

The channel had a 16.2% share of all viewing (including the ITV HD simulcast channel and ITV1+1 timeshift service) in 2013, compared with 15.7% the previous year.

The last time ITV's annual share of viewing grew, John Major was prime minister and the broadcaster dominated British television with shows such as London's Burning, Jeeves and Wooster and Minder, starring George Cole – and The Big Match was still must-see football viewing. At the time, there were still only four terrestrial channels and BSkyB's satellite service was in its infancy.

In 1990, ITV had a 44% audience share and Coronation Street was the most popular show on TV,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Sky's Anne Mensah: 'It's about creating a drama habit on Sky'

The head of drama reveals how she is carving out a brand, her obsession with heroes, and how she measures success

Anne Mensah is ready to show her hand. From an eight-part series set in a London fire station to an Ian Fleming biopic starring Dominic Cooper, the Sky head of drama's commissions will premiere in the next few weeks and months.

This month Mensah hands the reins to drama commissioner Cameron Roach while she takes a six-month sabbatical, after spending the past two years since joining BSkyB developing new shows to expand the range and depth of its UK-originated drama offering.

The slate of programmes Roach will inherit from her reflect a strategy of doing for drama what Sky has already tried with comedy, pumping tens of millions of pounds into homegrown series to convince viewers that the broadcaster is not just about movies and sport. "What we are
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Anime Giveaway - Win Hellsing Ultimate Volume 5-8 Collection on DVD

Some horror thrives on understatement: the unexplained noise, a fleeting shadow, unsettling whispers. Hellsing Ultimate is having none of that - the eagerly-awaited Volume 5-8 Collection dials the action up to eleven with a rip-roaring, eye-popping, adrenaline-crazed orgy of action as Alucard, Integra and Seras battle undead Nazis and fanatical priests in the burning streets of London.

A gorgeous, gore-splattered rollercoaster of an anime, Hellsing Ultimate is a must for any horror fan. It's available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK from 20th May and thanks to Manga Entertainment we're offering you the chance to win a Hellsing Ultimate: Vol 5-8 Collection on DVD right here!

Read on for a synopsis and details of how to enter the competition:

London's burning in Hellsing Ultimate: Volumes 5-8 as assault zeppelins, SS vampires and pistol-toting Iscariot fanatics turn the UK capitol into a bloody ruin. The collection opens with
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Aubrey Woods obituary

Graceful stage actor who stood out in Doctor Who on TV and the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

In a long and distinguished career, the actor Aubrey Woods, who has died aged 85, covered the waterfront, from West End revues and musicals to TV series and films, most notably, perhaps, singing The Candy Man in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), starring Gene Wilder, and playing the Controller in the Day of the Daleks storyline in Doctor Who (1972).

Tall and well-favoured in grace and authority on the stage, he played Fagin in the musical Oliver! for three years, succeeding Ron Moody in the original 1960 production. He was equally in demand on BBC radio, writing and appearing in many plays, including his own adaptations of the Mapp and Lucia novels by Ef Benson (he was a vice-president of the Ef Benson society).

In the early part of his career he
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Aubrey Woods obituary

Graceful stage actor who stood out in Doctor Who on TV and the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

In a long and distinguished career, the actor Aubrey Woods, who has died aged 85, covered the waterfront, from West End revues and musicals to TV series and films, most notably, perhaps, singing The Candy Man in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), starring Gene Wilder, and playing the Controller in the Day of the Daleks storyline in Doctor Who (1972).

Tall and well-favoured in grace and authority on the stage, he played Fagin in the musical Oliver! for three years, succeeding Ron Moody in the original 1960 production. He was equally in demand on BBC radio, writing and appearing in many plays, including his own adaptations of the Mapp and Lucia novels by Ef Benson (he was a vice-president of the Ef Benson society).

In the early part of his career he
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Emily Watson: 'Sexuality is a big part of who I am'

Emily Watson's raw performances have made her one of Britain's most spellbinding actors. Now she's playing a woman running for prime minister – against her husband. She talks to Carole Cadwalladr about marriage, sexuality and the joy of viscose blouses

The plots of TV dramas are often so preposterous and far-fetched. And then sometimes they're not. The latest three-parter from the BBC, The Politician's Husband, stars David Tennant and Emily Watson as two senior politicians who are married to one another and whose domestic life starts to unravel when the husband's career begins to be eclipsed by that of his more talented wife. If this is a fantasy (and none too flattering) version of Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper's lives, then at least they can be happy with the cast.

It's a mark of how much the star of TV drama has risen that an actor of Emily Watson's stature is involved.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Emily Watson: 'Sexuality is a big part of who I am'

Emily Watson's raw performances have made her one of Britain's most spellbinding actors. Now she's playing a woman running for prime minister – against her husband. She talks to Carole Cadwalladr about marriage, sexuality and the joy of viscose blouses

The plots of TV dramas are often so preposterous and far-fetched. And then sometimes they're not. The latest three-parter from the BBC, The Politician's Husband, stars David Tennant and Emily Watson as two senior politicians who are married to one another and whose domestic life starts to unravel when the husband's career begins to be eclipsed by that of his more talented wife. If this is a fantasy (and none too flattering) version of Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper's lives, then at least they can be happy with the cast.

It's a mark of how much the star of TV drama has risen that an actor of Emily Watson's stature is involved.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Sky1 commissions eight-part drama set in London fire station

Sky commissions The Smoke from company behind Hustle and Life on Mars, as well as two-part family drama Moonfleet

Sky1 has commissioned a new eight-part drama set in a London fire station from the company behind Hustle and Life on Mars.

The Smoke will follow the lives of the members of White Watch and promises "bigger explosions and fires than any other British drama" but with a "strong emotional vein running through it".

It was one of two new dramas for Sky 1 announced on Friday, along with Moonfleet, a two-part family drama adapted by Company Pictures from the classic John Meade Falkner story.

The Smoke will be made by Kudos Film and TV, the Shine-owned independent producer behind Hustle and Life on Mars.

It is 10 years since another drama set in a fire station, London's Burning, came to an end on ITV after a 14-year run.

The commissions are part
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BAFTA TV Awards Preview: Performers

BAFTA TV Awards Preview: Performers
Unlike the Emmys, performers in single drama, mini-series and series are pitted against each other at the BAFTAs. (See BAFTA program contenders report here and explanation of voting process here.) Nominees will be annouced April 30 and the awards are on May 27. Among those men contending for Best Actor bids who starred in one-off dramas are Bill Nighy ("Page Eight"), David Morrissey ("London's Burning"), Matt Smith ("Christopher and his Kind"), David Tennant ("United"), Darren Boyd ("Holy Flying Circus"), Aneurin Barnard ("We'll Take Manhattan"), Ed Stoppard and Ian Hart ("The Man Who Crossed Hitler"). Leading men from mini-series include Dominic West ("Appropriate Adult"), Eddie Redmayne ("Birdsong"), last year's nominee Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock"), Chiwetel Ejiofor and Christopher Eccleston ("The Shadow Line"), Chris O&#39...
See full article at Gold Derby »

'Spartacus': Todd Lasance, Simon Merrells cast as Julius Caesar, Marcus Crassus

We've got some casting news for Season 3 of "Spartacus," and we're so excited to see what happens with these characters. Starz has announced the casting of Simon Merrells as Marcus Crassus and Todd Lasance as a young Julius Caesar!

Marcus Lincinius Crassus is the richest man in the Roman Republic. The highborn in the senate don't like him, and he is desperate to grab the power and respect that defeating Spartacus and his rebels would bring him. Merrells played Do Griggs in the UK dramas "London's Burning" and "Mersey Beat." He's also been seen in the thriller "The Wolfman."

Gaius Julius Caesar is a young rogue from a good family line. He's smart, deadly and he's not taking this rebellion lightly. We all know where he ended up. Lasance has been seen in the TV miniseries "Cloudstreet" and TV movie "The Great Mint Swindle."

"Spartacus: Vengeance" airs Friday nights on Starz.
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

Spartacus Casts Julius Caesar, Marcus Crassus for Third Season

Spartacus Casts Julius Caesar, Marcus Crassus for Third Season

Just how can you do justice in casting someone to play one of the most famous men in history?

Spartacus has at least partially answered that question, having officially announced the men to play Julius Caesar and Marcus Crassus. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Todd Lasance will star as the future Roman emperor, marching toward the throne when we pick up with him in season three. Caesar may have the intellect capable to take on Spartacus, but he's also got enough aptitude in battle to pose a real threat. Crassus, on the other hand, will be played by Simon Merrells; considered one of the richest men in history, he has the ambition and thirst for power to be a danger, particularly if paired with someone like Caesar.

Several key historical figures have been portrayed in the various seasons of Spartacus, including Crixus,
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Adam Deacon: 'I was too street and too scary for directors'

Adam Deacon talks about his Bafta for rising star and his desire to be a voice for modern youth

Adam Deacon has had an incredible week. Last Sunday he became the surprise winner at the Baftas when, against the odds, he took home the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star award. You get the impression life has been a non-stop party ever since.

He arrives for his interview an hour behind schedule, four days after his victory, but still carrying the Bafta in a carrier bag. He looks exhausted but on a high, so he gets the trophy out and we all take a moment to coo at it. He will pose for photographs only if the Bafta is in the shot, which seems terribly precious. But he says: "I'll be straight up with you. I was the outsider for this, bottom of the list. So this is huge for me."

The category,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

TV Highlights: 22/12/2011

  • The Guardian - TV News
Sports Personality Of The Year 2011 | Without You | London's Burning | Made In Chelsea: Christmas Special | Carole King And Friends At Christmas | Simon Amstell: Do Nothing Live

Sports Personality Of The Year 2011

8pm, BBC1

Once, this show was the flagship TV event of the sporting year, a straightforward retrospective clips-fest. In recent years, however, it has been meddled with, overhauled and modernised to the extent that it has become barely watchable. This year, further modifications; it's been moved to a Thursday night and comes from Salford. The controversy over the lack of female sports stars in the shortlist will, quite rightly, overshadow the occasion, especially in a year in which the men haven't overly distinguished themselves. Mo Farah, Darren Clarke and Mark Cavendish are likely to be frontrunners. David Stubbs

Without You

9pm, ITV1

Paul Ritter steals the final episode of this mystery thriller as the exasperated detective who has to listen
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Simon Brint obituary

Composer for many television comedy shows and half of the cult duo Raw Sex

Simon Brint, who has taken his own life aged 60, was a composer and the musical interpreter for a generation of comedians. He was also half of the cult comedy duo Raw Sex, and a celebrated nonconformist. Although he was never particularly happy in the limelight, he was known to many through the music he composed, for television comedy – a long list of shows, including The Comic Strip Presents ..., French & Saunders, Bottom, Absolutely Fabulous, Alexei Sayle's Stuff, The Lenny Henry Show, The Ruby Wax Show, The Mary Whitehouse Experience and A Bit of Fry & Laurie; for the long-running drama series London's Burning and Monarch of the Glen; and even for Blue Peter, a reworking of the theme tune that was used on the show between 1989 and 1994.

It was while he was working regularly at the Blitz
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Corrie's Sally 'to get new love interest'

Corrie's Sally 'to get new love interest'
Former London's Burning star Steven Houghton has reportedly joined Coronation Street. The Sun claims that Houghton will appear as businessman Jeff, who will be a new love interest for Sally Webster (Sally Dynevor). Billed as a 'ladies man', Jeff will apparently attract the attention of Gail Platt when he arrives on the street. However, he will instead opt to ask Sally out on a date. "Sally is flattered by the attention," (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

The Apprentice - week 10 live blog

The Apprentice teams have to set up their own London tour companies – cue ludicrous uniforms and a great deal of shouting. Sound like your kind of thing? Join me live from 9pm

Good evening, and welcome to The Apprentice Week 10! It seems only yesterday our intrepid 16 were running about like headless chickens making stupid decisions, and now...oh. Well. Plus ça change. Only six remain, with just two weeks to go before one of them pushes open those gilded doors into the magical technology wonderland of set top boxes and digital signage.

Tonight our remaining teams are pestering tourists to pay for London tours, a job that requires persistence, tenacity and the ability to persuade someone that seeing London from the top of a bus whilst choking on traffic fumes and listening to a crackly commentary is a good idea. I'm sure Stuart's unique brand of sales patter is going to go down a storm.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BBC announces 'Land Girls' casting

BBC announces 'Land Girls' casting
The BBC has revealed details of the cast for the second series of Land Girls. The daytime drama, set in the 1940s, focuses on a group of women working for the Women's Land Army during the Second World War. Jo Woodcock will return to the show as Bea, while Becci Gemmell will appear again as Joyce. Sophie Ward, Mark Benton, Danny Webb, Susan Cookson, Mykola Allen and Liam Boyle will also reprise their roles in the new series. Meanwhile, the BBC revealed that a number of new characters will feature in the show. London's Burning star Clive Wood will join the cast as American businessman Jack Gillespie, while Liam Garrigan will appear as Rev Henry Jameson. Raquel Cassidy, who has previously featured in Lead Balloon and Teachers, will play Lady Hoxley's sister (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Whatever Happened to Blake's 7?

Sky One recently announced plans to revive Blake's Seven for two new specials. Created by Terry Nation in 1978, the dark sci-fi show ran for four seasons and still has an impressive fanbase. But what has happened to the original Seven since they departed the Liberator and ended their quest to thwart the fiendish Federation in 1981? Gareth Thomas - Blake Now 63, the Welsh actor has kept busy since the heroic Blake was shot dead by his supposed ally Avon in the final episode of the show. He has acted in many plays, television shows and audio dramas, with notable guest appearances in staples like Bergerac, Midsomer Murders, Heartbeat, Taggart and London's Burning. Earlier this year, he was in a touring production of the John Steinbeck classic 'Of Mice And Men'. Thomas hasn't strayed far from the realms of cult television, (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

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