8 items from 2013
The BBC pays tribute to this great talent – but black comedy shows, in which he made his name, have been wiped off the schedules
I last saw Felix Dexter in the hospice. Even though he was in huge pain and could not walk, he still had a mischievous smile. He said there was room for me and it was rent-free with great views. He told me he was still writing stuff and couldn't wait to try it out. Sadly we will never hear it, as on 18 October Felix lost his three-year battle with multiple myeloma. It came as a huge shock to many – and that he was on TV at the time, in the BBC1 comedy Citizen Khan, made it all the more poignant.
I had worked with Flick (as I called him) on the BBC2 comedy sketch show The Real McCoy for three years during the mid-90s. He »
- Eddie Nestor
The Kumars star on dramas, budgets and the fight to have all facets of British culture portrayed on TV
Daytime television is generally regarded as cheap, schedule-filling fodder for housewives and the retired, but with the schedules facing cuts, actor Sanjeev Bhaskar has spoken up in its defence.
Earlier this year BBC2 daytime shows were axed and replaced with repeats and news in a bid to save money in the face of a licence fee freeze. But Bhaskar, who stars in the award-winning daytime BBC1 series The Indian Doctor, has argued that daytime television can and should be challenging. "Good quality drama is not just the preserve of the evenings," he said. "Traditionally, daytime shows were associated with cooking shows, bargain shows, Diy, etc – it was seen as the realm of the housewife at home or the retired person, that kind of stuff."
He said shows such as Jimmy McGovern »
- Tara Conlan
Sitcom writer on dealing with death threats and the importance of creating nostalgic family comedy
When the first series of the pioneering sitcom Citizen Khan aired last year, it sparked around 200 complaints and was accused of making fun of Islam, stereotyping Asians and being disrespectful to the Qur'an. A Facebook post said: "Cancel the show Or we will have repeat of riot we had a few months ago."
Well, a second series and a Christmas special have been filmed and there have been no riots – although shamefully some death threats were made.
However, Adil Ray, creator of the sitcom about a self-appointed "community leader", is not going to bow to pressure to make changes to appease his critics. Ray says he and the BBC knew there was "probably going to be an adverse reaction" as "it's a very sensitive area – it's the first time we've had a sitcom based on »
- Tara Conlan
Launched on Kickstarter last month, upcoming British gangster film, Hackney’s Finest, is heading for the last hurdles on its path to distribution.
The two-month production was completed earlier in the year, and is just shy of its £6,000 goal over on Kickstarter, with a little under a week left on the clock.
To help whet your appetite, a new extended trailer has landed online, giving a good look at what’s to come. And though some of the accents feel a little off – though, having never been to Hackney, take that with a pinch of salt – it looks like a kind of Lock, Stock fifteen years on.
Hackney’s Finest is a lighthearted journey into the dark underbelly of London. A fast-paced crime thriller, packed with intrigue, corruption, dirty police, Afghan heroin smugglers, Welsh-Jamaican arms dealers and Eastern-European skinheads!
A ruthless police detective plans to steal a shipment of heroin »
- Kenji Lloyd
British Asian film Amar, Akbar & Tony has started filming in London.
"I found the script so endearing and really appreciated the fresh depiction of South Asians," said David.
"Meera's character is so different from anything I've played, and it will be a wonderful challenge to play her. There are a lot of complex layers in her character. She is mysterious at first, and a lot is going on behind those eyes that you don't find out until later on in the story.
"The characters, and the storylines, are definitely going to get people talking."
The project is currently shooting in locations across London including Southall and Turnham Green.
Stars of television and the silver screen are among the cast line-up in a major new feature film set that began shooting in London last week. The ensemble cast, featuring some of the British Asian community’s most recognised celebrities alongside talented newcomers and familiar home-grown talent, will collaborate on the film, which celebrates multiculturalism within the UK.
Amar Akbar & Tony, is an independent production by writer and first-time film director Atul Malhotra, which embodies and celebrates the unique and vibrant landscape of the UK. A comedy drama with a highly original plotline and cleverly developed script, Amar, Akbar & Tony is scheduled for release later this year.
The title alludes to the 1970s Bollywood classic (Amar Akbar and Anthony) and revolves around the strong bond of friendship akin to brotherhood between the three main characters. But that is where the similarities with the Bollywood film ends. Amar, Akbar & Tony is »
- Press Releases
Tesco has signed a deal with BBC Worldwide to show various cookery, comedy and drama programmes on its ad-supported Clubcard TV service.
Shows covered by the deal include Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Goodness Gracious Me, Stig of the Dump, The Secret Garden and cookery programmes featuring Antonio Carluccio, Ken Hom and Gary Rhodes.
MD of Clubcard TV Scott Deutrom said: "With this deal we're adding a raft of new TV titles to our expanding catalogue, providing access to even more great digital entertainment in a way that's easy and accessible for customers."
Head of UK, Ireland and Pan European Television Sales at BBC Worldwide Lisa Rousseau added: "We're thrilled to have concluded such an extensive deal with Clubcard TV which will offer their customers a rich range of fantastic British content."
Clubcard TV has previously signed deals with Aardman, Endemol and Warner Bros.
The service »
The duo have posed as a saucy patient/doctor duo to help raise money for ITV's From The Heart TV charity event.
ITV's evening of entertainment, which is hosted by Dermot O'Leary, is aiming to raise awareness of organ donation and the NHS Organ Donor Register.
From The Heart airs tonight (February 13) at 9pm on ITV. »
8 items from 2013
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