Videogame Nation: saluting a great UK gaming TV show




After a shaky start, Challenge TV's now-cancelled Videogame Nation grew into a pretty perfect gaming magazine TV show...

At 10.27 a.m. on the morning of Saturday 4th June 2016 gaming enthusiasts across the land screamed in a collective wail of distress as it was announced that the following week’s episode of Videogame Nation was to be its last ever.

For fans of the


’s only weekly show devoted to games it was a hefty blow. Yet another television programme centred on the world of videogames was meeting its demise after 4 series and an impressive 106 episodes. The outpouring of disbelief across social media was immediate. Fans who felt that the show had finally landed on a fun, winning formula for gaming TV were doubly dismayed.

As emerged in the days following the announcement, Videogame Nation was a victim of circumstance. Challenge TV chose not to renew the
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Interview – Pat Mills talks Dan Dare and his role in bringing him to 2000Ad

Villordsutch talks to Pat Mills about his role in bringing Dan Dare to 2000Ad…

Pat Mills could safely wear a well-earned badge upon his chest that reads, “You’re Welcome!”. He has been called in the past, “The Grandfather of British Comics”, known for creating 2000Ad, having a hand in the genesis of Judge Dredd, along with the ABC Warriors and Nemesis the Warlock. He brought us Marshall Law, Accident Man and Charley’s War, and he continues today to write Sláine, Greysuit, and Requiem Vampire Knight. We managed to take a few minutes out of his day to discuss his role in bringing Dan Dare to 2000Ad, which has recently been released as a collected works called Dan Dare – The 2000Ad Years – Vol.1 and you can check out our review here.

Villordsutch: When you set out to bring Dan Dare to 2000Ad – back in 1977 – was this down to a
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Fifteen to One, Catchphrase: Which other game shows should be revived?

It's game show heaven on television right now. Not only do we have all sorts of new formats making their way to screen, but some old favourites are getting a second lease of life, too - from Fifteen to One (airing daily on Channel 4) to the second series of the revived Catchphrase (Sundays on ITV.) But it got us thinking - what other game shows would we like to see return to our living rooms?

Well, we asked that very question to Fifteen to One's Sandi Toksvig and Catchphrase's Stephen Mulhern - and then had a bit of office debate about our own favourites...

You Bet! - Stephen Mulhern (Host, Catchphrase)

"This is an easy question: You Bet! It was one of my favourite TV shows and Matthew Kelly was one of my favourite presenters. I love it.

"I can give you some great examples that still amaze me to this day.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

10 Shows That Prove BBC Three’s Cancellation Is Actually A Good Thing


When it was announced earlier this year that BBC Three would cease broadcasting as a channel, the media response was predictable. Some of it focused on the better end of the channel’s output- including documentaries such as Our War, or comedy like Him & Her- but most of it attacked its worst excesses, in the form of lifestyle programmes like Snog Marry Avoid.

The thing about BBC Three is that it was an easy target. As a channel for young people, it was never going to have the critical admiration of its loftier sibling, BBC Four, and most of its critics were not equipped to understand the appeal of a bitchy supercomputer that gives fashion tips. That critical perception of the channel wasn’t entirely accurate, but it did make it seem like the obvious choice to shunt online.

That said, there were more than a few occasions when
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Live from Space and Cosmos: did the Earth move for you?

You wait years for a big TV show about space, and then two come along at the same time … but did they have the all-important 'Wow!' factor?

In lists of television's most memorable images, America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) generally claims three spots: the pictures of the first Moon landing in 1969, the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 and the videos of Mars sent back by Nasa's Viking craft in the 1970s.

Despite this, space has disappeared from TV schedules for long periods. Star Trek in the Us and Doctor Who in the UK, the two most celebrated extra-terrestrial dramas, both had runs with long interruptions and – until Ron Howard's and Tom Hanks's movie Apollo 13 and their related HBO mini-series From the Earth to the Moon in the mid-90s – parents and teachers were often startled to discover that young people had no
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The Sky at Night presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock: 'In space, race doesn't matter'

The space scientist who is about to replace Patrick Moore on how Spock, Sherlock Holmes and physics inspired her

As a child, space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock was allowed to stay up late and watch one programme, The Sky at Night. She mainly grew up in light-polluted London, unable to see much outside the window of her family's council flat in Camden, but still she had a fascination with space. Some long winter nights, walking home from school across Hampstead Heath, she would look up and think, "Patrick talked about that constellation, I can see it now."

Patrick Moore presented the astronomy programme for more than 50 years; from next month, Aderin-Pocock will present the series, with astrophysicist Chris Lintott, in a new monthly slot on BBC4. "It's a wonderful opportunity, but with a bit of fear and trepidation as well," she says. "[Patrick] was just such an iconic figure. There is no
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Maggie Aderin-Pocock to host The Sky at Night

Space scientist will join Chris Lintott when show moves to BBC4 a year after death of founding host Sir Patrick Moore

Space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock is to be the new host of long-running astronomy TV series The Sky at Night.

She will join existing presenter Chris Lintott when the show moves to a new home on BBC4 with a monthly half-hour slot.

Founding host Sir Patrick Moore died just over a year ago and there had been fears the programme could be axed until the BBC said it would move to the niche channel after years on BBC1.

Aderin-Pocock – who has led teams designing scientific instruments, including a replacement for the Hubble space telescope – has become a familiar figure on TV and radio over the past few years, and heads a firm that helps to engage the public with science.

She has hosted BBC2's Do We Really Need the Moon?
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The Sky at Night gets new slot on BBC4 following 40,000-signature petition

The astronomy show – first broadcast in 1957 – will run an expanded 30-minute programme in its new monthly home

The sun will not set on the The Sky at Night after the BBC announced the long-running science show would move to a new slot on BBC4 following a petition signed by 40,000 viewers who feared it would be axed.

The astronomy show, first broadcast in 1957, will lose its slot on BBC1 but will be expanded from 20 to 30 minutes in its new monthly home on BBC4, with a repeat on BBC2.

The future of the series appeared to be in doubt last month after the corporation declined to confirm its future beyond the end of the year.

More than 40,000 fans signed an online petition in support of the show, which was presented by Sir Patrick Moore until his death last December, aged 89.

The programme will be off air in January, when the gap will
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'The Sky at Night' axe rumours provoke fan petition

Rumours that The Sky at Night is facing the axe have provoked an angry reaction from fans.

The monthly BBC One astronomy series could be dropped following the death of its original host Sir Patrick Moore, claims The Daily Mail.

The tabloid quotes a BBC spokesman as saying: "The Sky at Night is on air until the end of the year. Plans for subsequent series are being discussed."

Moore began presenting the show in 1957, with his final episode airing in January 2013, following his death in December 2012.

Chris Lintott and Lucie Green have hosted the programme since February 2013.

A fan petition campaigning for the The Sky at Night to continue has now reached over 1,500 signatures, with the post reading: "The BBC is a Public Service Broadcasting organisation and no programme could be as well described as being a Public Service as The Sky At Night."

> Sir Patrick Moore 1923-
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Grand Theft Auto does TV, so why can't TV do video games?

Video games and gaming culture are virtually ignored by real-world television, but what games-related programming would you like to see?

Grand Theft Auto V – the most ambitious instalment of the world's most notorious gaming franchise, which will finally be released on Tuesday after unprecedented levels of hype – is about doing whatever you damn well want to do. Players exploring Los Santos, GTA V's sprawling yet crammed simulacrum of Los Angeles and the surrounding area, will do an awful lot of shooting and dangerous driving to develop the narrative. But you can just as easily treat GTA V as an endless adventure holiday in a state-of-the-art digital sandbox. You can go parachuting, play golf, punish yourself with a triathlon or even take up yoga. And if all that sounds like too much effort, you can just kick back in your crib and watch telly.

Sadly, the basic-cable subscribers of Los Santos
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Through the Keyhole: TV review

Without David Frost and Loyd Grossman, Through the Keyhole is all about the banter – and Keith Lemon

Iremember Through The Keyhole. I remember it as a gentle show. I remember Loyd Grossman pottering around Patrick Moore's cluttered cottage, crammed with telescopes and xylophones, asking the same question he asked every week: "Who would live in a house like this?" As if it could have been one of Britain's many famous astronomer-xylophonists. I remember Grossman's ridiculous nasal voice, every vowel long enough for the viewer to nip out and pop the kettle on and still be back in time for the end of the word.

And Frost! I remember David Frost, in his suit and glasses. I remember him as a dignified figure, a respectable grey silhouette, conducting the studio section as if it were his sworn and solemn duty, nudging the panel towards declarative sentences for the audience to encourage with applause.
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Exclusive Interview: Simon Garfield talks ‘On the Map’

I love maps. I recall last year spending an inordinate amount of time in Standfords map shop in Covent Garden last year, much of it spent staring at a map of London with the tube lines marked on in their familiar colours. What was interesting was seeing where these lines ran in real life, freed from the familiar, practical but geographically inaccurate tube map many of us are familiar with.

Given this fascination I have, I was delighted to receive Simon Garfield’s On the Map for Christmas from my beautiful and intelligent girlfriend. Garfield (pictured above) has edited Time Out and written for The Independent and The Observer. His previous book, Just My Type explored the history of fonts. On the Map is a charming and near-comprehensive study of maps and cartography that delves into the human stories behind the creation, discovery, study, trade and theft of these enticing objects.
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Why Britons are looking to the skies as astronomy becomes our national hobby

Thousands of people are taking academic courses in the subject, there's been a huge interest in Curiosity's landing on Mars – and this week millions will watch the BBC's Stargazing Live. Tracy McVeigh reports on a science phenomenon

They have helped turn a nation on to stargazing, located an undiscovered planet, saved the astronomy Gcse from being scrapped and enabled local astronomy and science clubs to see great surges in membership and interest. Now they think they can find life on Mars.

Comic and cosmologist Dara Ó Briain, along with his co-presenter, the physicist Professor Brian Cox, are back on our television screens this month for a third year of the successful BBC2 project Stargazing Live.

Tapping into the swell of interest in the heavens, the three programmes are accompanied by live events, talks and exhibitions at towns, schools and cities all over the UK and, if past years are anything to go by,
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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: Music That's Nu2Me

  • Nerve
Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: Music That's Nu2Me A new project from an ex-Handsome Fur, and an Ep called Sex. We're all in. By Patrick Moore Music That's Nu2Me was created in March of 2011 to share music that people may not hear through mainstream media. It's grown into a fun, genre-spanning collection of songs, artists, and albums. For music without limits or elitism, be sure to check back daily. 1. The 1975, Sex (2012) The 1975's new Ep, Sex, is a short but enjoyable experience, which is fitting, considering the title. Despite only having four songs and one hidden bonus track, Sex has a cohesive, complete sound to it that most full-length albums would aspire to. The 1975's dreamy, expansive songs make a great addition to your daily work playlist — let your stress drift away into a sea of ethereal guitars and [...]
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Patrick Moore's home to be turned into astronomy centre

Sir Patrick Moore's home is to be turned into a public astronomy centre. The late Sky at Night presenter's home in Farthings, West Sussex will become a museum of sorts in order to inspire young astronomy enthusiasts, reports The Daily Telegraph. The broadcaster died aged 89 last week, having presented a large amount of episodes from his Farthings home. > Sir Patrick Moore 1923-2012: Tributes and reactions The home contains Moore's large collection of telescopes, xylophones and other memorabilia from his long career. "Sir Patrick always wanted to turn the house into an astronomy centre that would help inspire a new generation of stargazers," a friend said. Moore previously said of the property: (more)
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Special 'Sky at Night' broadcast attracts over 2m fans

BBC One's special broadcast of The Sky at Night, in tribute to the late Sir Patrick Moore, attracted a bumper audience late last night (December 11). Some 2.11m (a 15.8% share) stayed up after 10.35pm to watch a newly-scheduled second showing of last Saturday's December edition.

> Sir Patrick Moore 1923-2012: Tributes and reactions The Sky at Night has been airing monthly since 1957, and Moore presented 704 out of 705 of the episodes. It is not yet clear whether the format will continue. Earlier on, the recently-recommissioned new romantic drama Last Tango in Halifax continued to impress with a solid 6.04m (25.4%) in the 9pm hour, prior to which Holby City and EastEnders held up well. ITV's factual offerings, in stark contrast, could only muster audiences of 1.83m (7.9%) for Inside Guinness World Records at 8pm (more)
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Patrick Moore dies: British astronomer passes away after heart problems

  • Pop2it
Famed British astronomer and broadcaster Patrick Moore has passed away. Though a cause of death has not been reported, Moore had been suffering from heart problems prior to his death and was confined to a wheelchair. He was 89.

According to a statement released to the Associated Press, Moore had contracted an infection and was briefly hospitalized last week. It was determined that there was no treatment that could help him and his wish to return home was honored. It was there that he passed away.

"Over the past few years, Patrick, an inspiration to generations of astronomers, fought his way back from many serious spells of illness and continued to work and write at a great rate, but this time his body was too weak to overcome the infection which set in a few weeks ago," the statement reads.

Moore is best known for his BBC TV show "The Sky At Night.
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Patrick Moore: gentleman, astronomer and master of the universe | Brian May

An inspiration to thousands in his personal life and to millions through his 50 years of unique broadcasting

For many years Patrick has been a dear friend and a kind of father figure to me. I am going to miss him terribly, as are all his close friends and colleagues; and the world has lost a treasure that can never be replaced.

Patrick was the last of a generation, a true gentleman, the most generous that I ever knew; an inspiration to thousands in his personal life and to millions through his 50 years of unique broadcasting. It's no exaggeration to say that Patrick, in his tireless and ebullient communication of the magic of astronomy, inspired every British astronomer, amateur and professional, for half a century.

Most astronomers I know will tell you Patrick is the reason they first looked through a telescope. Through his countless books and articles and TV appearances,
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U.K. Media Pay Tribute to 'The Sky At Night' TV Presenter Patrick Moore

U.K. Media Pay Tribute to 'The Sky At Night' TV Presenter Patrick Moore
London – The death of astronomer and presenter of iconic British late night TV show The Sky At Night Patrick Moore gave the U.K. media an opportunity to herald the eccentric multi-hyphenate's stellar career. Moore died on Sunday at his home in Selsey, England, aged 89. His death was announced by friends and colleagues in a statement Sunday. The television show host was also the author of popular science books whose writing resume boasts an astronomy tome co-written by Queen guitarist Brian May. The BBC, which aired The Sky At Night, lead the celebratory obituaries of the

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Sir Patrick Moore obituary

Astronomer, television personality, British eccentric and a great populariser of science

Sir Patrick Moore, who has died aged 89, had the air of a crusty, uncompromising bachelor and slightly dotty boffin who could have walked straight out of a Victorian or Edwardian novel. An amateur but distinguished astronomer, star of television programmes including GamesMaster, prolific author, composer and manic xylophone player, he was a true, quite unselfconscious British eccentric – and a populariser of science without equal in an era of great but often abstruse discovery.

In his capacity as an astronomer, he helped map the moon and was for more than half a century until his death the presenter of BBC TV's The Sky at Night, missing only a single episode through illness, in July 2004. The following year the programme spawned a monthly magazine.

The Sky at Night appealed hugely to laymen as well as experts. This was largely because of
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