News

Morecambe & Wise top poll of nation's most memorable Christmas TV

Comedy duo more memorable than the Queen’s Speech, though younger viewers are more likely to recall watching Doctor Who and Elf

Years after they last appeared as the Christmas centrepiece on BBC One, The Morecambe & Wise Show is still the most memorable festive TV programme according to the British public. Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were the highest-rated BBC Christmas Day show in eight of the nine years between 1969 and 1977, and they have just topped a survey of Christmas TV memories.

BBC researchers asked UK viewers the programmes they “most clearly remember watching over Christmas” within their lifetime. Morecambe and Wise topped the list, with the Queen’s speech coming second. The public’s top TV memories also included The Snowman and Top of the Pops.

Related: French & Saunders, Black Mirror and Doctor Who: your Christmas TV planner

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Strictly Come Dancing week 10 – as it happened

All seven remaining couples took part in the Pasodoblathon this week – who mastered their Spanish line, and which duo did we wave adiós to?

8.01pm GMT

And that’s it for another Strictly Week! Thank you for joining in, I’ll be back next week for the Quarter Finals/Musicals Week, so please come along and bring your jazz hands and sparkliest dancing shoes. In the meantime you can find me on Twitter/Instagram @heidistephens, so feel free to come and say hello. Have a fabulous week! Hx

8.00pm GMT

Susan and Kevin dance their final dance to “Let’s Dance The Last Dance” by Donna Summer, and throw in a bit of Morecambe and Wise. They will be missed.

7.58pm GMT

Susan and Kevin say lovely things about each other, and it’s all got a bit dusty in here. They’ve had an amazing run, and it’s
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Victoria Wood statue to be built by creator of Eric Morecambe memorial

Graham Ibbeson, whose work the late comedian is said to have admired, will sculpt lifesize bronze for her home town of Bury

Late actor and comedian Victoria Wood is to be honoured with a lifesize bronze statue in her home town.

Graham Ibbeson, who created Lancashire’s Eric Morecambe monument, will design and sculpt the piece to be erected in Library Gardens in Bury, Greater Manchester.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Mel Brooks: ‘Donald Trump doesn't scare me. He's a song-and-dance man'

One of America’s great comics for the past 60 years, the maker of films Blazing Saddles and The Producers talks about why he can’t take the president seriously – and the White House sidekicks that are no laughing matter

Related: Mel Brooks to receive the 2017 Bafta fellowship

On Sunday night, the legendary director, producer, screenwriter, gag writer, standup comic, composer, impressionist and drummer Mel Brooks will be honoured for a lifetime of comedic excellence by Bafta. Noting that an awful lot of great British comics – Morecambe and Wise, the two Ronnies, even Rowan Atkinson – never made it big in the Us, Brooks says, “I was happy that they got my work in Britain. And I was surprised.”

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Entire Universe review

Pete Dillon-Trenchard Dec 26, 2016

With Eric Idle, Prof. Brian Cox and guests, The Entire Universe is a rare programme that manages to inform, educate and entertain...

The Royal Institution Lectures are a grand Christmas tradition, having been on our screens for the last eight decades of their nearly two hundred-year history (The first of this year’s lectures, about Michael Faraday, will already be available on iPlayer by the time you read this). Designed to bring science to a general audience, the lectures feature scientific concepts delivered in an entertaining fashion.

See related Amazon Prime UK: what’s new in January 2017?

However, for all of their fun tricks and experiments, the Ri lectures are ostensibly still that - lectures - and as such they are often lacking in such key areas as comedy sketches, full-blown musical numbers and Warwick Davis. Step forward Eric Idle and Brian Cox, then, and The Entire Universe
See full article at Den of Geek »

Reliving the joys of an 80s TV Christmas

Jenny Morrill Dec 20, 2016

Russ Abbot, Bullseye, Noel Edmonds and a film we all watched in the same room. Christmas TV was more exciting in the 80s...

Cast your mind back to when Christmas Day wasn't about Doctor Who followed by sticking something on Netflix until it was time to go watch the annual fist fight outside the pub.

See related Looking back at Martin Scorsese's The King Of Comedy The Wolf Of Wall Street review The Wolf Of Wall Street & Scorsese's confrontational films

In the 80s, Christmas was about seeing which fantastic fare the TV had decided to bless us with. Of course, the more prepared among us knew this well in advance, having eagerly pored over the Radio Times/TV Times to check that Jimmy Cricket's Family Laugh 'n' Waz would be shown. There it was – right after Reflections On The Eucharist With The Reverend Paul Leyland.
See full article at Den of Geek »

David Walliams and the rise of comedy infidelity

Gone are the days of inseparable pairs like Eric and Ernie … by taking multiple partners in his new sketch show, Walliams proves that the future of laughs lies in speed-dating

Ernie Wise was a talented and admired comedian, but the last part of his career hangs over showbiz as a warning. During the 15 years that he outlived Eric Morecambe, the sawn-off half of Morecambe & Wise never found a replacement partner.

Being half of a former double-act is the artistic equivalent of widowing: those who loved you as a couple may struggle to adjust to you single or – even worse – with someone new. Sometimes the severance is actually caused by bereavement, and sometimes by unsynchronised retirement: carrying on after Ronnie Barker quit The Two Ronnies on health grounds, Ronnie Corbett remained permanently in work but would always seem to be followed by a shadow.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Florence Foster Jenkins review – all the right wrong notes

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant are on top form as the ‘diva of din’ and her dutiful manager in an enjoyable biopic from Stephen Frears

As Les Dawson proved with such precision, any fool can play the piano badly, but it takes real skill to play it brilliantly badly. Similarly, Morecambe and Wise knew that the perfect way to mangle “Grieg’s piano concerto by Grieg” was to play “all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order”. Now, to the august list of superbly maladroit comedic musicians we may add Meryl Streep, who takes centre stage in this very likable, frequently hilarious, yet still poignant tragi-comedy from director Stephen Frears. Streep plays the titular songbird, a New York socialite and eager patron of the arts whose enthusiasm for a good tune is matched only by her inability to sing one. Not that it stops her from trying.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Florence Foster Jenkins review – all the right wrong notes

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant are on top form as the ‘diva of din’ and her dutiful manager in an enjoyable biopic from Stephen Frears

As Les Dawson proved with such precision, any fool can play the piano badly, but it takes real skill to play it brilliantly badly. Similarly, Morecambe and Wise knew that the perfect way to mangle “Grieg’s piano concerto by Grieg” was to play “all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order”. Now, to the august list of superbly maladroit comedic musicians we may add Meryl Streep, who takes centre stage in this very likable, frequently hilarious, yet still poignant tragi-comedy from director Stephen Frears. Streep plays the titular songbird, a New York socialite and eager patron of the arts whose enthusiasm for a good tune is matched only by her inability to sing one. Not that it stops her from trying.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Guardian view on Victoria Wood: funny, northern, female, ours | Editorial

Multitalented, and with an ability to use humour for a serious purpose, she embodied a special sort of Englishness

National treasure is an overused term. But the prime minister was right to use it about Victoria Wood, because it’s exactly what she was. Wood combined Alan Bennett’s ear for dialogue, Noël Coward’s songwriting skills, Ronnie Barker’s comic acting talent and Ken Dodd’s command of gag-cracking. She had the loveability of a Gracie Fields or an Eric Morecambe and at her best she could channel some of the same humanist poignancy as a Chaplin or a Chekhov. Let’s be clear, though, what kind of national treasure Wood actually was. She died in London on Wednesday, but Wood was a northern, English, working-class, Lancastrian and Mancunian female treasure. She was the authentic voice of an optimistic, decent, unpretentious, take-people-as-they-come, mucking-in sort of Britishness that is almost
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Toast of London and Jon Hamm: the making of great TV guest stars

The Mad Men star is on Channel 4 on Wednesday, putting a spin on a gag that stretches from Morecambe and Wise to The Simpsons and Friends

It was at about this time of year, in the television of the 70s, that speculation began about who might be the guest stars in the Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show, with some of the impressive answers to this question being entertainment stars (Glenda Jackson, Elton John) or politicians, including, in 1978, a recent prime minister, Sir Harold Wilson.

Celebrity cameos, though, are not just for Christmas, and Wednesday’s early-December edition of Toast of London (10.30pm, Channel 4) boasts a notable loan signing, in a turn from the actor Jon Hamm.

Related: Toast of London reviews Michael Fassbender’s Macbeth: 'Utterly, utterly dreadful'

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Michael Dean obituary

Broadcaster and regular presenter on BBC2’s Late Night Line-Up in the 1960s and 70s

Michael Dean, who has died aged 82, was an outstanding BBC broadcaster in the 1960s and 70s. On Late Night Line-Up, a nightly discussion programme on BBC2, he shared presenting duties with Denis Tuohy, Tony Bilbow and myself, two of us for each transmission. With 364 programmes a year over eight years, the pressure was never off: we were forever writing scripts, interviewing and filming, as well as contributing to a steady stream of ideas.

Michael took ideas seriously, and admired talent without sycophancy. He made friends of both Woody Allen and Barbra Streisand, who agreed to come back to appear on the programme again if Michael would interview them. His interviews with Tony Hancock, Morecambe and Wise, Gore Vidal and Peter Sellers were no showbiz soundbites but thoughtful conversations, in which Michael used his modesty and
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Strictly Come Dancing 2015 live blog: Week Two and things are getting serious

Strictly Come Dancing was all very pleasant last week - everyone danced and had a lovely time. We even had a wardrobe malfunction, courtesy of Anthony Ogogo and his trouser-splitting jive. But no amount of glitter can disguise the fact that tomorrow night the first celebrity will be eliminated. Sniff.

Luckily, we have 15 exciting celeb dances ahead of us tonight - and we're sure it's still going to be a lot of fun, elimination fears aside. So slip on your sparkliest lycra and join us on the sofa from 6.20pm as we bring you all the action from the Strictly ballroom...

20:25But that's it! The first results show will be airing tomorrow at 7.15pm as we lose our first celeb of the series - and Rod Stewart has a bit of a sing-song. We're already feeling nervous (about the elimination, not about Rod, obviously). But for now, thanks for
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

What were they thinking? The X Factor's most shocking exits, from Laura White to Ella Henderson

The X Factor knows how to create drama. From the blast of 'O Fortuna' as Simon Cowell and his buddies enter the stage, to former voiceover man Peter Dickson hamming it up, they've got the atmosphere nailed.

One of the most exciting elements of the show will always be the big Sunday night eliminations, especially if the dreaded Deadlock comes into play. Most of the time, the judges get it right, but sometimes there are downright shocks. Here are the biggest to date, brought to you in association with TalkTalk's new Bopheads app:

1. Laura White (series 5)

Wigan lass Laura was tipped for X Factor success in 2008's early stages, but found herself in a tough girls group with the public's favourite indie fairy Diana Vickers and future victor Alexandra Burke. Even so, no-one expected her to leave as early as the fifth week, especially with Ricky Gervais lookalike Daniel Evans still knocking around.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

11 magnificent moments that made Cilla Black the queen of entertainment TV

Cilla Black was a hugely popular entertainer for over five decades, presenting some of the biggest variety shows and teaming up with the biggest stars.

As the country says goodbye to 'Our Cilla' today (August 20) at her funeral in Liverpool, we've chosen a bunch of hilarious and moving moments from her successful career.

1. Meeting a real-life Mr Bean on the real Blind Date

Blind Date was known for its wacky contestants looking for love, and you can't get much wackier than Geoff Carter. Despite wearing a ludicrous shellsuit and carrying a Sooty puppet, he managed to win a date to the Seychelles. Suffice to say, they didn't get married.

2. Owning an undercover journalist on Blind Date

Cilla had her major comeback with Blind Date, a show which had so many memorable moments. One of the most controversial was when Cilla publicly outed a Cosmopolitan journalist who posed as a contestant,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

How the sitcom nailed British aspirations| Letters

Nowhere is Jonathan Freedland’s observation that “TV comedy has an uncanny knack for capturing the spirit of its age” (Opinion, 15 August) more pertinent than in comedy’s attitudes to social aspiration. Tony Hancock aspired to be a cut above everybody else generally but his hopes of reaching the same philosophical level as “Bertie” Russell foundered when he couldn’t understand his books. Morecambe and Wise’s Ernie once aspired to a better diet but was ruthlessly put in his place by Eric, who regarded this as dangerous and pretentious. In Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Bob was torn between his wife’s aspirations to owner-occupier bettering oneself and his mate Terry’s refusal to drop a working-class lifestyle of drinking and making the most of what came his way. This theme has since played itself out, as aspiring to ever more expensive owner-occupied houses has become the unquestioned norm.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

These are the 7 TV shows you cannot miss this week

Digital Spy recommends the very best in television - these are the seven most exciting shows airing this week, from steamy period drama with The Scandalous Lady W to the return of hit Us series The Americans.

Monday - The Scandalous Lady W, BBC Two at 9pm

Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer stars as Seymour, Lady Worsley in this drama based on her 'scandalous' life.

The notorious 18th-century noblewoman dared to leave her husband (Endeavour's Shaun Evans) and elope with his best friend, Captain George Bisset (Cilla's Aneurin Barnard).

But when the powerful Sir Richard Worsley seeks compensation from her lover in a very public trial, she decides to expose the truth about her marriage and the affair.

Tuesday - Aquarius, Sky Atlantic at 9pm

The latest instalment of the 1960s crime thriller starring David Duchovny.

Mike Vickery, Sam's chief informant, has been accused of murder, so Sam
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Javone Prince: The sketch show is not dead

Javone Prince is looking to bring back the sketch show with a vengeance, with his new BBC Two vehicle The Javone Prince Show.

PhoneShop star Prince has re-teamed with that show's creator - writer Phil Bowker - for his new series, which blends sketches with stand-up and musical performances.

"There's been a lot of talk over the last few years about the sketch show being dead," Bowker says. "I don't think it's dead at all.

"I think we got to a point where sketch shows got a little bit cool and ironic, and almost forgot to be funny - and so this was a deliberate attempt to roll back to those days when Javone and I used to watch Morecambe and Wise and Dave Allen.

"With all of those things, what was at the heart of those shows was the personality of the host."

Prince agrees: "You know, when you see Morecambe and Wise,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Richard Starzak & Mark Burton interview: Shaun The Sheep

Aardman, Jason Statham, Whizzer And Chips, Wall-e and more, as we talk Shaun The Sheep with its directors...

A new Aardman movie is always something of a treat. And today, Shaun The Sheep: The Movie lands in UK cinemas. It's just the fourth stop motion feature the company has made since 2000's Chicken Run, and what's more, there's barely a word of dialogue in this one. We got to chat with its directors, Richard Starzak and Mark Burton, about what on earth they were up to.

And here's how it went...

I'm a long-time fan of Aardman stuff. Not just for the craft side - I think at the heart of the best of Aardman is very, very strong storytelling. Here, you've given yourself a sizeable challenge by telling a story without dialogue. Can you take us through that, and give us an idea of how that makes the screenplay itself look?
See full article at Den of Geek »

10 Best Comedy Duos Working Today

IFC

Not to paint the entire comedy community with a single brush, but most people get into it because they’re outsiders. Loners. People with a gift for standing on the outside and looking in, making funny observations about everything that they see. That’s why it’s so surprising when you find a comedy duo that works together and actually maintains a somewhat functional relationship. Sure, a comedian can be funny up there on stage (or on the screen) all by himself, creating his own material and standing in the spotlight solo. But there’s something special about a pair of funny men and/or ladies who work together creatively to build a set that plays to both of their strengths. Gradually they develop a patter between them that is totally unique to their own stage personalities.

Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Morecambe and Wise, the list goes on and on.
See full article at Obsessed with Film »
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Credited With | External Sites