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BBC Two is 50 - the British Broadcasting Corporation's second eldest child hits the half-century mark this Sunday (April 20) and, in those five decades, has delivered some phenomenally popular and powerful programming.
Kim Shillinglaw has a lot to live up to - with every channel controller from the very first, Michael Peacock, to the most recent, Janice Hadlow, serving up a range of diverse, entertaining and even groundbreaking shows.
Since 1964, BBC Two has become renowned as a home for great comedy - from the surreal The League of Gentlemen and Shooting Stars, to much-loved classics like The Likely Lads and The Goodies and modern favourites such as The Trip and The Wrong Mans.
But there's a tradition of fine drama too - running from the original The Forsyte Saga (1967) to Line of Duty (2012-present) and taking in such iconic series as I, Claudius (1976) and Edge of Darkness (1985).
Meanwhile, popular entertainment and »
Alan Titchmarsh hits back after BBC motoring show's host says gardening is 'a pointless way of passing the time until you die'
Alan Titchmarsh has hit back at Jeremy Clarkson after the Top Gear host claimed gardening only appealed to older people. The Express reports that Clarkson wrote in his new book that the pastime was "a pointless way of passing the time until you die". Titchmarsh responded by saying gardening was an "energising" activity that helped "broaden the mind" in contrast to the fleeting thrills sought by petrolheads: "Lets get this straight. For some, gardening is about growing geraniums, planting hanging baskets and tending window boxes in the same way that, for some, driving a car is about getting into a Ford Focus and going down to the shops. But for others, gardening is not an especially sedentary pastime, it is a vital and energising involvement with the world that surrounds us. »
Alex Skerratt is a writer at Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews - All the latest Doctor Who news and reviews with our weekly podKast, features and interviews, and a long-running forum.
Negotiations are underway for the Tardis to make a North Korean landing, it has been reported. Doctor Who is apparently one of three shows being considered for distribution in the region alongside other BBC favourites Top Gear and Teletubbies. There are only six and a half hours of broadcasting each day in North Korea, with a
The post Doctor Who to Air in North Korea? appeared first on Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews. »
- Alex Skerratt
The head of BBC Worldwide Productions also discussed the creation of sister company Adjacent Productions.
Speaking at the annual conference of the British Screen Advisory Council (Bsac) in London yesterday, Tranter said the activities of Bbcwp set out to “enhance the creative reputation of the BBC and the particular types of programming it does.”
Tranter is given specific commercial targets every year “that I need to make in order to return money back to the mothership in the UK.”
The executive has had a spectacular run of success since she went to the Us in January 2009. She headed there to launch BBC Worldwide Productions at the bidding of then BBC Director General, Mark Thompson.
Overseeing both scripted and unscripted Us re-formats of BBC programming, she has nurtured such Us hits for the Beeb as Top Gear (with History), Life Below Zero (Nat »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
Commissioning editor on BBC1's 9pm challenge, her pride in Sewing Bee, BBC3's demise, and new show The Gift
Alison Kirkham looks after some of the BBC's most popular shows: Antiques Roadshow, Crimewatch, Diy Sos, Watchdog, Gardeners' World and Countryfile. On an average week, what the BBC calls its "heritage" shows pull in around 29 million viewers in total. A big responsibility for Kirkham, commissioning head of factual features and formats. But on top of that she also oversees numerous new and returning shows she has commissioned such as The Fixer, The Interiors Show and The 100K House.
Now, four years into her role, she is looking to "broaden" out her programming. Wall to Wall's The Gift (which follows people wanting forgiveness or saying thank you to someone) is coming up on BBC1, which she describes as having "scale, real emotional depth and fantastic stories". It's an example of "the »
- Tara Conlan
However, she insisted that she has no regrets about the way her career has unfolded.
Asked by The Daily Telegraph about her worst business decision, she said: "Years ago, when TV was about to bring Top Gear back and rebrand it with Jeremy, James [May] and Richard, I sat down and talked to Andy Wilman, the series producer, about joining them.
"I remember thinking, 'I might be out of my depth and it might not be a good idea', instead of grabbing the opportunity.
"Looking back, I may have made a large error, but it's not like I didn't work for the next 15 years. »
London, March 29: An Indian-born actress has filed a lawsuit against 'Top Gear' presenter Jeremy Clarkson after he used the word 'slope', which is considered a derogatory term for people of Asian descent, in the final show of the series.
According to the Daily Express, 36-year-old Somi Guha's actions could cost the BBC 1 million pounds in punitive damages under equality laws, unless the network apologises and censures the hit motoring show.
In her formal written complaint, Guha said that casual racism in the media by established BBC stalwarts is constantly brushed aside.
Guha asserted that she finds it offensive. »
- Rahul Kapoor
After commenting - and some might say quite extensively! - on a few recent Digital Spy articles about the future of the BBC and the TV licence, I was asked if I would like to write a guest piece on "the pros and cons of keeping a licence fee".
Well, I was flattered as I've never been asked to do anything like that before, but it is something I feel rather strongly about and so I thought it might be a good idea - if only to try to counter some of the misinformed and not-very-well-thought-out "opinions" that seem to keep cropping up in the comments section of said articles.
In the modern era, when we have so many alternative sources of "television", the licence fee is thought to be archaic, outdated and anachronistic. But is it really?
We do have another public service that was brought in some 20 years »
BAFTA has announced the nominations for its annual British Academy Television Craft Awards.
The Voice UK topped the ratings for its first live show of the current series, according to overnight data.
An average of 6.21 million (27.6%) tuned in to the quarter-finals of the BBC One singing competition from 6.45pm.
After a short break for the National Lottery, the show returned to announce the results of the public vote at 8.50pm, with 5.89m (27.6%) watching as four contestants were eliminated.
Afterwards on BBC One, Casualty's latest episode brought in 5.61m (29%) at 9.25pm.
The Perfect Morecambe & Wise continued with 1.39m (6.1%) at 8pm, while history documentary The Plantagenets interested 1.16m (5.48%) at 8.30pm.
Over on ITV, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway continued to impress with 6.17m (26.9%) tuning in at 7pm, as well as an added 316k (1.4%) an hour later on ITV+1.
If you're an aficionado of cinema's most iconic spy James Bond, then the Bond in Motion exhibition at the London Film Museum, Covent Garden - open seven days a week from March 21 - is a must-see.
The largest official collection of original vehicles from the 007 films, Bond in Motion features iconic cars like the gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5 and the aquatic Lotus Esprit S1, plus a wealth of other classic props and vehicles - from You Only Live Twice autogyro Little Nellie to Octopussy's crocodile submarine.
At a press launch earlier this week, Digital Spy spoke to two men who between them span the Bond franchise's 50-plus years on the big screen - BAFTA-winning stuntman and director Vic Armstrong and racing driver Ben Collins.
"My first foray into Bond would've been 1966 on You Only Live Twice - I became a ninja for the princely sum of 65 pounds a week, which was fabulous in those days, »
Morgan began his column by describing how Clarkson "vented his spleen in a manner so blatant in its seething pettiness and jealousy that even his own readers were appalled".
He continued: "Should I point out that the pot-bellied, rotten-toothed, fag-stinking oaf has never himself been able to work in America because he is considered 'too ugly for TV' - the exact words used by the NBC executive (a friend of mine) who interviewed and rejected him when Top Gear was launched there?"
The Voice UK came out on top for its first Sunday episode of the current series, overnight data reveals.
BBC One's talent show dropped around 800,000 viewers from Saturday's instalment, but was still top with 6.90 million (27.0%) at 7.45pm.
Earlier, Countryfile interested 6.34m (29.9%) at 6.45pm. Later, The Musketeers continued with 4.30m (19.1%) at 9pm, and Match of the Day 2 scored 2.72m (22.6%) at 10.35pm.
On BBC Two, Top Gear climbed to a new peak for its series finale and second Burma special to 6.08m (23.4%) at 8pm. Wild Burma gathered 1.41m (6.3%) at 7pm, and Fast & Fearless brought in 1.44m (6.3%) at 9pm.
ITV's Catchphrase entertained 4.59m (20.6%) at 7pm (159k/0.6% on +1) upon its return. Prince Harry documentary South Pole Heroes attracted 3.11m (12.0%) at 8pm (195k/0.9%), while Mr Selfridge was seen by 4.54m (19.9%) at 9pm (264k/1.7%).
On Channel 4, Live from Space concluded with 1.74m (7.2%) at 7.30pm (128k/0.6%).
On Channel 5, Hellboy II thrilled 837k (3.5%) at 7pm, followed by »
The Voice UK topped Saturday primetime ratings once again last night (March 15) with an average of 6.7 million viewers and 29.2% of the audience share from 7.25pm, according to overnight data.
The BBC One show's first episode of knockouts peaked at 7.7m, marking an average increase of 1m more viewers than last year's equivalent instalment.
The singing programme was followed by National Lottery: Who Dares Wins with 4.77m (23.5%) at 8.40pm, while 5.17m (27.6%) tuned in to the latest episode of medical drama Casualty at 9.30pm.
The Perfect Morecambe & Wise continued at 8pm with 1.41m (6.18%), while an episode of Qi quizzed 1.29m (6.74%) at 9.30pm.
ITV's Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway held steady in the ratings with 6.5m (28.68%) tuning in to see the Geordie duo prank Holly Willoughby on the set of Surprise Surprise from 7pm. »
Launching simultaneously on three UK channels tonight, this documentary series explores how we first discovered the laws of nature and brings to life the wonders of the universe in space and time.
Hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the series will retain elements from 1980's original Carl Sagan series, including the Cosmic Calendar and the Ship of the Imagination, combining scientific storytelling with visual and emotional elements.
Harry's South Pole Heroes: ITV, 8pm
This two-part documentary follows Prince Harry and a group of wounded ex-servicemen as they travel to the South Pole in order to raise money and awareness for Walking With The Wounded.
The trek covered a grand total of 200km and was built up of three teams, representing the UK, Us and the commonwealth.
In this first episode, we see the UK team, led by Harry, saying goodbye »
Does digital data offer indicators that can be used to monitor marketing effectiveness and predict box office success even before awareness turns into intent? We analyzed this weekend’s new movies across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google (the methodology behind the numbers is laid out in the appendix below) over the seven days leading up to their release, when marketing campaigns should be at their peak.
The “Need for Speed” game franchise is one of the biggest of all time, having shifted over 150 million units worldwide, and social data suggests this popularity will translate to a box office win this weekend. Hollywood will have its fingers crossed for a strong performance from “Nfs” with a host of further video game movie tie-ins slated for release over the next few years, as studios look for reliable new source material as a launch pad for franchises appealing to the male audience. »
- Tobias Bauckhage
Each month, we turn our spotlight onto the unsung artists behind the biggest new movie releases. Last month we highlighted Phil Lord and Chris Miller, co-writers and co-directors of The Lego Movie. This month it’s Clint Mansell, composer of the original score for Noah.
Chances are, whether you realise it or not, you have heard the work of Clint Mansell many times over. Even if you have never in your life watched a film scored by this prolific musician and composer, you will have unconsciously captured the various strains of his melodies on countless adverts, film trailers and episodes of Top Gear. Mansell – the former lead singer and guitarist of ‘alternative rock’ band Pop Will Eat Itself – makes memorable, moving music.
As a founding member of Pop Will Eat Itself, Mansell helped kickstart a group that would evolve through many stages of development during its fifteen year career. With »
- Sarah Myles
Great Canal Journeys was a bitter-sweet journey that took us into deeper waters
As Prunella Scales and Timothy West puttered in their canal boat at 4mph towards Devizes, summery Somerset has never looked better. The lushness was outrageous, the stone bridges mellowed by the sun, and not even the occasional bloke on the towpath who had gone topless, the better to advertise his beer gut, could spoil the view.
It was 24 years since the couple had made this journey. In 1990 the Kennet and Avon Canal had just been reopened after being saved from dereliction by, West explained, volunteers, boy scouts and convicts. He recalled that he and Pru had removed 80 shopping trolleys from the canal, and there was old footage of the pair from 1990 in a canal boat passing over the submerged wreck of a Ford Escort.
And now, in the year of their golden wedding, the couple wer e »
- Stuart Jeffries
The final ever Dancing on Ice episode attracted over 6 million viewers in total on Sunday, according to overnight data.
The 2014 All-Star edition of the ITV series was seen by 5.94 million viewers (23.2%) at 7pm, with an added 232,000 (0.9%) on +1. It was the lowest-rated finale of the series, dropping from last year's 6.69m total.
Later, Mr Selfridge rose by 80k from last week to 4.58m (20.0%) at 9pm (335k/2.2% on +1).
BBC One's Call the Midwife remained on top once again for its finale episode, but dropped over 700k from last week to 8.20m (28.9%) at 8pm.
The Musketeers was up slightly from last week to 4.44m (19.7%) at 9pm, while Countryfile had earlier appealed to 5.78m (24.8%) at 7pm.
Channel 4's Crufts 2014 coverage attracted 1.25m »
Clarkson, Hammond and May crash about in Burma. It's puerile, it's silly and it's undeniably funny
Y ou've got to feel for poor Burma, Myanmar, whatever you want to call it. After getting on for half a century of oppressive military rule they limp painfully towards some kind of democracy, if not an especially liberal one. And then suddenly – just what they need – they get invaded by Jeremy bloody Clarkson and his Top Gear (BBC2, Sunday) chums.
For Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, it's basically still 1943 and the Burma Campaign; they're retaking the country for the British. Well, they're driving around it in lorries, being loud and annoying. Then they're going to cross the border into Thailand – sorry, Siam – to the river Kwai, which they will build a bridge across, of course. Dudes, relax, it's all right, the second world war is over. (They're like those Japanese commandos still fighting in the jungle, »
- Sam Wollaston
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