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It was the cast and characters of “Downton Abbey” like we’ve never seen them before on the UK’s “Text Santa” television fundraiser event. Sure, Maggie Smith‘s Dowager Countess breaking a world ski record was only seen in one ridiculously awesome newspaper photo in the nine-minute video spoof, but the rest of the hilarious moments were captured on-screen
As an example, the Granthams discover that they could save $40,000 annually simply by learning to dress themselves.But of course, the family finds this idea absolutely absurd.
- Jason Hughes
A review of "The Affair" season finale — and a few thoughts from co-creator Sarah Treem — coming up just as soon as I'm alone and need a kidney... When I spoke with Sarah Treem before this season began, she said of the show's split-pov device, and the way details would change from one account to the other, "And the memory is tricky — that you remember things through your own prism." That, for the most part, is how I've chosen to look at the way "The Affair" depicts the two halves of the story. Noah remembers Alison being in a pristine white dress when he and Helen come to fetch Whitney, because she's his angelic savior from the life he no longer wants, while Alison remembers a less striking outfit (albeit one where the skirt was still white). And the business with the pregnancy test in the trash can last week isn't »
- Alan Sepinwall
Text Santa was seen by an average audience of 4.2 million (21.9%) on Friday (December 19) evening.
Citizen Khan was seen by an average audience of 2.92 million (14.2%), an evening high of 3.83 million (17.7%) tuned in to watch Have I Got News for You at 9pm, while 3 million watched Not Going Out at 9pm.
Elsewhere, Mary Berry's Absolute Christmas Favourites secured »
ITV's Text Santa managed to raise its highest total ever at £5,503,065 on Friday night (December 19).
The show - which featured George Clooney starring in Downton Abbey, an I'm a Celebrity choir that saw McBusted take on some jungle tasks, plus Alesha Dixon and Paddy McGuinness in a rap battle - has now raised over £20.5 million in four years.
Viewers also saw Phillip Schofield climb the highest point in Europe - London's Shard, a special version of The Cube starring Dixon, McGuinness and Keith Lemon, plus Paul O'Grady making an appearance as an unlikely Santa in Birds of a Feather.
He's already Hollywood royalty, but now George Clooney has become an Earl - in the world of Downton Abbey, anyway. Clooney assumed his long-awaited and temporary role in the British aristocracy in a special 9-minute episode of the show for the TV fundraiser Text Santa. In the hilarious tongue-in-cheek video above, Lord Grantham - with the help of Ab Fab's Patsy Stone! - sees what life would be like at the Abbey if he were replaced by a certain George Oceans Gravity, Marquis of Hollywood - otherwise known as Lord Hollywood. And we'll just say Downton has been turned upside down by Clooney's charms. »
- Philip Boucher
Shown as part of the charity drive's annual ITV broadcast, the one-off sketch poked fun at events in the main show and added a Christmas Carol twist.
After Lord Grantham receives a telegraph informing him he has squandered the family's fortune, he curses the fact he was ever born.
He then decides to "take the car for a spin" and plans to never return.
However, an angel (Lumley) stops him in his tracks and takes him on a journey to show what life at the manor would have actually been like had he never existed.
Piven reprised his role as Mr Selfridge in one magical premonition, with his department store underwear causing a stair upstairs as a game of strip-poker takes place among Downton's downstairs staff. »
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The director and writer of You’re Next team up once more for one of the coolest and most acclaimed films of 2014. Boasting an awesomely badass standout performance from Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, The Guest is one of the most talked about movies of the year and perfectly balances explosive action, wit and genius script writing.
Adam Wingard directs this Us thriller in which an ex-soldier causes mayhem within a family. David (Dan Stevens) knocks at the door of the Peterson family and informs mother Laura (Sheila Kelley) that he was a close friend of Caleb (Chris Harding), the son she lost in combat. Welcomed into the family home, David is initially granted a hostile reception by Caleb’s brother and sister, »
- Gary Collinson
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Can a girl get a better Christmas present than a kiss from George Clooney? And not just any kiss. If you happen to be the Countess of Grantham, you get to enjoy a Clooney smooch the full length of your left arm from wrist to shoulder. The romantic moment is featured in the latest sneak peek of the Hollywood star's cameo - he was previously seen taking a selfie on set - in a charity Downton Abbey sketch, which airs Friday on British television. The clip shows Clooney passionately kissing Elizabeth McGovern's arm in front of a valet, while »
- Philip Boucher
Nick Frost guest stars as the Doctor is back to save Christmas, Downton Abbey host a somewhat subdued festive affair and Miranda Hart is caught up between two proposals. Plus: Michael McIntyre’s getting very Christmassy, Jonas Armstrong is all at sea in The Whale and a high-flying tribute to Michael Jackson from Cirque Du Soleil
Henry VIII created the royal gardens by removing commoners from central London and turning it into a private park. If Alan Titchmarsh recognises any parallels with modern London, he’s not saying. This rummage around in Her Majesty’s foliage isn’t that sort of show. The Queen’s garden is huge enough to be host to everything from deer to football pitches and Titchmarsh explores it with the deference of a true courtier. Ten minutes earlier it’s Her Maj’s annual message to her subjects, also shown on BBC1 and Sky1. Phil Harrison
Continue reading. »
- Guardian Staff
Speaking about his cameo, actress Laura Carmichael said that the Dowager Countess "ends up on the floor" when Clooney offers her a kiss.
Meanwhile, Clooney joined the cast of the period drama for one amazing selfie during his time on set.
Downton Abbey will return to ITV with a two-hour special on Christmas Day. »
ITV has debuted a first-look trailer for the new series of Mr Selfridge.
The period drama, starring Jeremy Piven as real-life entrepreneur Harry Selfridge, will return to screens next month.
The new promo - which features the track 'Worthy' by Jacob Banks - provides a glimpse at what to expect from the upcoming third series.
Picking up in 1919, Piven's Selfridge is seen mourning the loss of his wife Rose and distracted from running his grand department store.
Kara and Hannah Tointon will join Mr Selfridge for its new run, with the two sisters playing Harry's daughters Rosalie and Violette, while Zoe Wanamaker has been cast as Russian princess Marie de Bolotoff.
"It was always conceived of as four series - that is, if people liked it enough," he explained earlier this year. »
On Christmas night, 1937, the BBC television studios at Alexandra Palace on London’s Northern Heights were shrouded in freezing smog. When the Music Hall Cavalcade finished at 10pm, viewers were so concerned for the performers that they rang up the studios to offer them lifts home. That Christmas, a year after television broadcasts had begun, showed that the few thousand people with TV sets were forging an intimate relationship with the new medium. Hundreds of them sent cards to the studios or phoned to wish the artistes a happy Christmas. The idea of a special festive schedule was taking shape, with an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, a Christmas cabaret and Television’s First Grand Christmas Pantomime: Dick Whittington and His Cat. »
- Joe Moran
Text Santa: 8pm, ITV
The festive fundraising extravaganza returns, as Ant and Dec, Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley, and Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon are joined by a host of famous faces to raise money for six deserving causes.
The second season of the comic book drama continues. The team discovers the ancient city before Hydra, but revealing its secrets may require one of Coulson's agents to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Elsewhere, May and Skye race to save Raina before Whitehall can take her.
Gogglebox: Channel 4, 9pm
The fourth series of the BAFTA award winning observational documentary comes to an end this week, as all your Gogglebox favourites review TV's latest offerings.
The families, couples and friends »
The Hollywood actor will make a cameo appearance in the charity sketch, which airs tonight (December 19) on the ITV telethon.
Speaking about Clooney's appearance, Carmichael said: "It's amazing and we didn't even know if it would actually happen until he turned up! We were filming away and then heard, 'He's here, he's here, he's arrived'.
"But he was wonderful and so brilliant and I'm very excited for everyone to see it."
Downton Abbey will return to ITV »
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Is anyone immune to the charms of George Clooney? Clearly, the famously frosty occupants of Downton aren't - even the stiff upper lips of butler Carson and housekeeper Mrs. Hughes have been turned into glowing smiles by the Oscar-winner's presence. The selfie was taken during the filming of Clooney's appearance in a special charity sketch of Downton Abbey. The hit period drama airs on British TV on Friday at 4 p.m. Et. Photos: George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin's Whirlwind Wedding Weekend A new teaser clip is also going to be released in the lead-up to the annual Text Santa fundraiser, »
- Philip Boucher
Lights, camera, selfie! George Clooney's appearance on Downton Abbey wouldn't be complete without photographic proof that the newlywed fit right with the cast of the period drama, right? The 53-year-old is shown posing alongside the main characters of the mega-successful miniseries and seems to have no problem being the center (well, slightly to the right, but you get the idea) of attention. And while Clooney's debut at Highclere Castle isn't exactly for the main show, it is for the network's Text Santa Christmas Charity, which is an annual fundraiser benefiting six U.K. charities. According to recent report, Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville was »
The third Night At The Museum installment hits theaters this weekend with one of Robin Williams‘ last performances, plus amusing turns by several series regulars, as I say in my video review above. The cast is led by Ben Stiller as the nightwatchman dealing with lively exhibits at the museum, played by Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan, Rebel Wilson and Ben Kingsley with a terrific performance by Downton Abbey alumnus Dan Stevens as a gung-ho knight.
Veteran comedy helmer Shawn Levy directed from a script written by David Guion and Michael Handelman, from a story by the pair and Mark Friedman. Producers are Levy and Chris Columbus. Fox is handling distribution.
Are you going to see the film? Watch my review and let us know.
- Pete Hammond
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