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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 26/09/2009 - 15:10

Nostalgia rules the ether tonight as the channels pay tribute to a couple of giants. First up, BBC2 says Farewell to Floyd at 9.05pm to mark the passing of television's first rock 'n' roll chef, the late, great Keith Floyd. Pour yourself a large glug of cabernet sauvignon to accompany this celebration of the maverick foodie.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 25/09/2009 - 15:47

There's an annoying trend across the channels that's sprung up in recent years - the 30-minute documentary. It started with the return of Panorama in this truncated format then spread faster than swine flu to the other networks. It's frustrating because you can't really do a subject any justice in 30 minutes - even an hour will barely cut it most of the time. On the commercial networks, you don't get even 30 minutes because of the ad breaks. And Panorama is proof now that the short format is the televisual equivalent of reading Take A Break.

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Telly Notes: The one with the sitcom birthdays

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 25/09/2009 - 11:28

This week we have said ‘happy birthday’ to two legendary, beloved sitcoms, one American, one British, both incredible. The elder, Friends, premiered on NBC on 22 September 1994, the younger, Spaced, arrived on 24 September 1999 on Channel 4.

The 15th birthday celebrations for Friends would be more poignant had the sitcom not been played over, and over, and over, and over again on E4 and Channel 4 ever since its official end in 2004. It seems likely that we’re locked in a sort of ‘groundhog day’ where Friends is concerned. Hardly an hour goes by in which it is impossible to flick over and find a ‘The one with ...’ just starting or finishing.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 25/09/2009 - 07:17

Weinsteins go back to their roots
The Weinstein Company
has revealed that its Dimension production company will be preparing a number of remakes and franchise reboots. The company is currently talking to Wes Craven to return to direct Scream 4, which has already announced that Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell and David Arquette are due to return. The company also has plans for Spy Kids 4, Halloween 3 and remakes of Children of the Corn, Short Circuit and An American Warewolf in London. More on this story at Variety.

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RAGE: The Premiere...

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 25/09/2009 - 00:04

Tonight (Thursday September 24 2009) saw the fruition of the world’s first ever completely interactive, multi-venue film premiere. Held at London’s BFI Southbank, Rage, written and directed by Sally Potter, was broadcasted live via satellite to over 35 additional venues across the UK.

The unusual one-night-only screening of the film was then followed by a Q&A session with the director and some members of the cast. Questions were submitted by members of the audiences across the UK via text or Skype direct from their mobile phones, or via the internet using Twitter.

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Telly Notes: Live From Studio Five settles in but misses the point

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 24/09/2009 - 10:46

We’re still very much in the bedding-down period of Five’s new nightly "magazine" show Live From Studio Five, hosted by Ian Wright, Melinda Messenger and Kate Walsh, whose collective toothy smiles are brighter than the sun. A pacey, glittery, energetic hour, Live certainly has something to offer, and it’s quite surprising that Five’s only just set something like this in motion. But there’s something distinctly nervous about it.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 24/09/2009 - 08:37

Sex sells. Even on telly. Even when it's the wrong kind of sex. Earlier in the week, we had the cameras following the Met's Paedophile Unit. Tonight, it's the turn of the Met's Vice Squad (Five, 9pm), a six-parter looking at the work of the Vice Unit. People's natural prurience guarantees reasonably good ratings for this kind of documentary, but I wonder if this programme will show us anything new. I can't help feeling it's all been done before, but I live in hope of being surprised.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 24/09/2009 - 07:51

Universal to bring Barbie to life

Toy maker Mattel has signed a deal with Universal to bring Barbie to the big screen in a live action feature. Many studios are racing around to snap up any well know properties at present, making this acquisition a major deal due to the global appeal of the doll. More details at Variety.

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London Film Festival bookings open this weekend

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 24/09/2009 - 07:27

LFFExcitement is mounting (well, among us film buffs it is) as the 2009 London Film Festival gets closer. And the good news is that public booking for tickets opens this Saturday, September 28. You can book tickets via the official website, by phone (020 7928 3232, from 9.30am to 8.30pm) or in person at the BFI Southbank Box Office, which is open daily from 11.30am to 8.30pm.

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Telly Notes: Nigel Slater makes a right meal of supper

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 23/09/2009 - 17:12

Define ‘simple cooking’. Easy? Quick? Cheap? It’s all of those, certainly. What it is unlikely to conjure up are visions of growing your own seasonal vegetables, planning and nurturing your various roots and shoots for months on end before finally picking a few of them to form the basis of a stew. There’s something terribly flawed in the concept of the series Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers (BBC One) and, more generally – let’s not blame Nigel here – with TV’s incessant blending of cookery and ‘grow your own’ as though the two activities are one and the same thing.

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