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3 items from 2012

Hotel Gb: checking out Channel 4's reality show

3 October 2012 4:10 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The week-long reality show is a jumbled mess of ideas and personalities. Will anybody, apart from Mary Portas, emerge with their reputation intact?

It may only be early October, but it's probably safe to call Hotel Gb the weirdest television series of the year. While its competitors have been busy ploughing funds into scripted television – drama in the case of ITV and the BBC, comedy in the case of Sky – Channel 4 has decided that it badly needs to invest in the kind of celebrity reality show that people haven't really enjoyed watching for five years.

If you haven't seen the opening two episodes, then Hotel Gb is best described as The Hotel, but with celebrities. Or Big Brother, but about a hotel. Or The Apprentice, but with more Gok Wan. Or Carry On Camping, but with Kim Woodburn instead of Barbara Windsor. Or Hell's Kitchen, but with Paddy McGuinness instead of any discernible point. »

- Stuart Heritage

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Rewind TV: True Love; Plan B, Leona and Labrinth: Project Hackney; The Strange Case of the Law – review

23 June 2012 4:04 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The Beeb's series of half-hour improvised dramas struggled to make a credible impact, while Plan B proved an exemplary mentor to troubled teenagers in east London

True Love (BBC1) | iPlayer

Plan B, Leona and Labyrinth: Project Hackney (BBC3) | iPlayer

The Strange Case of the Law (BBC4) | iPlayer

When Shakespeare said the course of true love never ran smooth, what he really meant was that his plays would be less interesting if it did. The lesson was at least half observed in True Love (a star-studded series of five short improvised dramas set in Margate), insofar as its dewy-eyed protagonists found themselves in difficult moral scrapes. Here was a married man compelled by an old flame to cheat on his wife; here a wife compelled by neglect to cheat on her husband; here a schoolteacher compelled by I don't know what to embark on a lesbian affair with one of her Gcse students. »

- Phil Hogan

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Chef Oliver Remembers Tragic Protege

24 January 2012 12:06 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has paid tribute to a former protege who was found dead three months after going missing.

Kevin Boyle appeared on the star's 2002 U.K. TV show Jamie's Kitchen, which saw Oliver give 15 unemployed youngsters the chance to work at his Fifteen Restaurant in London.

Boyle disappeared in October and his body was discovered in land near his home in south London last week (ends22Jan12), and Oliver has now spoken of his heartbreak after hearing the terrible news.

In a statement, he says, "I'm deeply saddened by this tragic news. I am proud to have been able to call Kevin a friend for 10 years.

"He was also a constant supporter of Fifteen and all the apprentices and graduates who came after him through the course. I last saw him in September 2011 at the graduation ceremony for the ninth group of apprentices and he was on good form, which makes this news even harder to take. My thoughts are with his family at this incredibly difficult time."

A Scotland Yard spokesman adds, "The death is being treated as unexplained at this stage. A post mortem will be arranged in due course." »

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