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Friday, 21 September 2018

Celebs set to patrol streets in Famous & Fighting Crime


A group of famous faces are set to take on the challenge of their lives, as they work on the front line of British policing with one of the country’s busiest police forces in Channel 4’s Famous and Fighting Crime.

TV presenter Katie Piper, Loose Women panellist Penny Lancaster, Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, Gogglebox star Sandi Bogle and comedian Marcus Brigstocke are the five well-known rookies being given the chance to see what it’s really like to be at the sharp end of policing.

Our famous crime fighters will be with Cambridgeshire Constabulary, responding to real 999 calls, working in custody, and even CID, as well as taking part in high risk drugs raids and keeping order in rowdy city centres at the weekend.

After years of budget cuts, police forces are under more pressure than ever and the five will be joining an army of 12,000 volunteer officers who police towns and cities all across the UK. Volunteers known as ‘Special Constables’ have all the powers of a warranted police officer and work alongside their regular colleagues on the frontline but do so in their spare time, often working around their own careers and personal lives.

Lee McMurray, Commissioning Editor for Formats at Channel 4 said, “We’re delighted to have secured such a smart, diverse cast of famous faces for this once in a lifetime opportunity, which will not only provide Channel 4 viewers with fascinating insights into the realities of modern policing, but also allow them to see some of their favourite household names in a new and surprising light.”

Edmund Coulthard, Executive Producer from Blast! Films adds, “As police budgets go down, and the pressures on police forces go up, our celebrities are joining the thousands of volunteers risking everything on the frontline of policing today. It’s certain to be a life changing experience – no one can predict the criminals or the crimes they’ll encounter”.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Dan Vajzovic says “This is a great opportunity to showcase the valuable work of the Special Constabulary and give viewers a chance to see some of the excellent work our officers do day in day out, but which often remains hidden. The series promises to be entertaining and impactful, offering the viewer a unique view of the role volunteers play in policing their own communities, and I hope it will inspire many others to volunteer for their police force.”

Have I Got News For You returns for its 56th series on BBC One from 5 October at 9pm.


Have I Got News For You returns for its 56th series on BBC One from 5 October at 9pm.
Team Captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton answer Emma Cox's questions about the popular satirical news quiz.

What is the secret to Have I Got News For You’s longevity?
Paul: "You have five people on the screen every week, three of whom weren’t there the week before.

"So there’s a freshness immediately to what you’re seeing and what you’re hearing.

"And because the subject matter is the news, which is always changing, you’ve got a freshness of approach there too.

"If we just did the week’s two top stories every time in the first bit of the recording, that would get boring.

"But the first story doesn’t have to be the biggest one. When we did the hummus shortage, that was a huge middle-class story!

Ian: "I don’t think there was a bigger middle-class story in the whole year!"

Paul: "Ian is very good at what he does because he does both the comedy and also the serious stuff. He says what he thinks about stuff. But that’s not me."

Ian: "And also every recording is a different atmosphere because of the people there and it’s a different audience and you’ve got a different set of reactions to people who may or may not get on, who may or may not find each other funny.

"I don’t know about Paul, but I still get nervous. Our audience is very sharp.

Paul: "Ian gets nervous because he does it twice a year but there’s a gap of several months when he’s not doing it. Because I’m doing it with The Comedy Store Players all the time I don’t really get nervous. I get ready but not nervous."

And how do you prepare?
Ian: "I remember Paul once said he was accused of preparing for the show by someone and he said he was going to sue.

"I think that was probably the only time I’ve agreed with a writ - I thought that was absolutely monstrous to suggest that either of us would do anything to prepare!

"No, the whole point is we turn up and create the show there. The one thing we’ve realised that our audience don’t like is a feeling that this is prepared."

Paul: "Ian’s right. There is a sort of lightness and the audience can tell the difference immediately between somebody saying, ‘Okay there’s a big story this week so I’m going to write five jokes about it and trot them out’."

If a big story breaks on a Tuesday or Wednesday, is your first reaction, ‘Oh this will be good for the show’?
Paul: "It depends what it is.

"If it’s a terrible disaster or a terrorist action, no. You think, ‘Are they going to include this, how are we going to do it?’"

Ian: "Usually I find if a really large story breaks, (a) it gives you something to say but also (b) it may be that everyone else has already been there and done it before we film. So, there’s a slight imperative to be better [than the competition]."

Paul: "If it breaks at 6 o’clock on a Thursday night, an hour before filming - which has happened a couple of times - then it’s a completely different thing."

Ian: "What we really like is when the story breaks when we’re on air and then Steve (the floor manager) has to come on and tell us - the last election show where everyone resigned, Steve had to come on and update us every 10 minutes!

"It’s a perfect improv because there isn’t any time to think so often that’s when the show feels really fresh."

If you’re sitting at home and Theresa May is dancing in front of South African children do you sort of think, I wish she’d just waited four weeks until we were back on air?
Paul: "No, because you can still say ‘This is a bit like watching Theresa May dance in front of a load of African children’. It can still be funny later."

Ian: "I’m very keen on that round but usually it’s Prince Charles who has to do the dancing.

"I think from my point of view, it’s an interesting political shift in that it used to be the heir to the throne who had to look absurd in foreign countries.

"Now it’s our Prime Minister. What’s happening? It is harder when the news doesn’t change. When it’s fresher it’s better."

Paul: "Trump is something I find it hard to be funny about, I can’t say anything that’s fresh about him."

Ian: "The week of Trump’s election, the big story for Paul was the fact that Toblerone were increasing the space between the wedges. I’ve rarely seen such genuine passion."

Paul: "It was my childhood!"


What makes a really great guest for you? What qualities do they need to have?
Paul: "The ability to listen and join in."

Ian: "I have a specific interest in unwary politicians who agree to come on and are amazed at what happens next. They’re my favourite.

"But also there are people, like Ross Noble, who are regulars who come on and they’re just always good and it’s just such a pleasure when you know they’re there."

So who are some favourite ever guests then?
Paul: "Spike Milligan, Peter Cook. Janet Street Porter’s always funny."

Ian: "I liked Conrad Black, Alistair Campbell. Well, I liked having them on.

"Conrad Black was a cracker. He was quite uncomfortable. I suggested that the fact that he was guilty of fraud was quite interesting. He kept saying he was innocent. I kept saying, ‘That’s not what the jury said’. That was very entertaining.

"Who else? Victoria Coren Mitchell used to be a regular favourite guest, but she now hosts it and is always good.

"Lucy Prebble, she was great, she’s now done it twice."

Paul: "Yes, very good, very confident. It’s people that, so long as they’re trying, and they remember that they’re not watching the show, they‘re in it."

Ian: "The great thing our producers do is just find new people. I liked Lucy Prebble because she was a playwright and we hadn’t done that before.

"And we’ve had people like Robert Harris on and he was great and he’s a novelist. You get people from other worlds."

Paul: "They don’t even have to be funny, just interesting."

Who is the dream guest?
Ian: "Well I’d like Blair. I think he’d be terrific."

Paul: "And I think Lionel Blair’s an excellent choice [laughs].

"So that can be both our answers. Tony Blair and Lionel Blair.

"It might be confusing to have them on the same show though. I could swap them half way round and not tell anybody."


And what would you ask Blair?
Paul: "Well, how long have you been a dancer? That sort of thing (laughs).

"Actually, that would be the funny thing. You could ask Tony Blair about dancing.

"And then you ask Lionel, ‘So, these weapons of mass destruction…’"

Ian: "Where are they, Lionel? Come on.

"The show with Bruce Forsyth has got to be one of the oddest things that’s ever happened on TV and probably, I think it was Paul’s favourite show, wasn’t it?"

Paul: "Yes, just about, I would say so, yes. It shouldn’t work but he was so good at what he did, and he had nerves of steel. He was used to going out in front of 2,000 people at the London Palladium.

"He was very nervous before we went on, when I was standing backstage with him, because he didn’t know how the audience would react.

"So, he’s not going on thinking ‘Okay, they’ll love me they’ll think I’m fantastic’ and falling flat on his face.

"He’s thinking, ‘I hope this is going to be all right’, and as soon as he went out - whoosh, he was away!

"He was incredibly charismatic and skilful so somehow made it work when he started doing Play your Iraqi Cards Right…"

So going back to Tony Blair - has he been asked?
Ian: "Yes, I think he has been asked but I haven’t seen the written response [laughs].

"And presumably we can’t afford the fee because he’s very busy doing the Kazakhstan toilet industry’s federation evening which obviously sets him back."

Paul: "I did wonder who got that gig. They said there was one guy ahead of me…"

Ian: "No, I just think [Blair] would be very interesting.

"The great thing about having those sorts of guests on, and it happened when we had Paxman on and it happened when Campbell came on, they’re used to being in charge.

"But when you’re recording a television show as live, essentially no-one’s in charge, including the person in the chair."

Paul: "Jeremy Paxman particularly, the first time ever in his television career, he said something, and I said, ‘Well that’s a load of old rubbish’.

"And he can’t come back to me and say, ‘Yes but what about your education qualifications?’. I haven’t got that! And you can’t give me a starter for 10 because I don’t care. I don’t want to get the question right."

Ian: "I think ‘You patronising git’ was the phrase to Paxman which no-one’s said to him for a while. It was Steph McGovern. It was very funny."


What happens in the Green Room afterwards?
Paul: "Drinks afterwards, a sort of quick chat with producers sometimes when you say, ‘You’re going to keep the bit about the onion aren’t you?’"

Ian: "I always go to the Green Room thinking, ‘Are the guests going to be there?’, because sometimes people leave, and they don’t come and have a drink afterwards.

"Sometimes it’s a bit frosty. John Prescott was not thrilled after the show he was on. He found it less funny than I did.

"So, there’s always a bit of that for me, who’s going to be there and will they have left or will they be having a drink through gritted teeth?"

Paul: "Most people do come up, most people do. Most people are game for a drink afterwards. We certainly are.

"After two hours of thinking on your feet, you want to unwind afterwards."

Can you make any predictions about what you’ll be talking about in this series?
Paul: "The big American elections, the mid-terms happen in November so that’ll be a story one way or the other for us."

Ian: "Domestically we’ve got a situation where all three parties are full of people who want to split, which is quite new and none of the party leaders are safe.

"So, you’ve essentially got parties accusing each other saying ‘Well, you’re pretty divided’ and the other going, ‘Not compared to you we’re not’.

"So, it’s an extraordinarily chaotic period and there’s not much evidence that anyone’s changed their mind."

It’s not just Trump that talks about ‘fake news’ now - people trust news sources less and less than they ever did. How does that affect your programme?
Ian: "I think one of the most cheering things about Have I Got News For You is quite a lot of people get their information from us, which should be terrifying in a proper functioning society!

"I walked in through the door of this hotel today and a man came up and said, ‘I absolutely love Have I Got News For You’ and I said ‘That’s really nice of you’.

"He said, ‘I’m from Israel, he said, it’s the only sensible news we get’. And you just think, ‘Oh’.

"We’ve got a very big fan base among immigrants and people from backgrounds where they can’t believe you’re allowed to be this rude, which is a thrill compared to the countries they’ve come from. But also, they get a version of the news which they’re not used to, which is a rather more subversive take."

Paul: "People certainly do that, that’s certainly part of the element of its longevity is that people come to it for the news.

"But I feel that people trust it. That if Ian says something or we say something, we show something - our view is trusted implicitly.

"I think they trust Ian. Seriously, they do."

Are there any advances in technology that have had an effect on the show, such as social media?
Ian: "The news cycle has speeded up but there is a very good movement called Slow News, which is just suggesting it takes a bit longer to digest it and have anything interesting to say, which I agree with.

"People do say, ‘Why isn’t Have I Got News on every day?’.

"Well if you look at programmes that react to something every day, there’s very little to say because you don’t know anything yet.
It’s literally like ‘Well we’ve got this footage and there’s some guys in uniform running about but we don’t know what’s going on’.

"And that’s no use to anyone and (a) you can’t work out what’s going on but (b) you certainly can’t offer any jokes about it because you don’t know what’s happening. You need time."

Paul: "We’re not a big enough island to have a whole plethora of news happening every day.

"You could try to run a topical satirical show from Monday to Friday and it’d fail because there isn’t enough material (a) to inspire you, (b) to get a good script in time."

Are you on social media?
Paul: "There used to a man pretending to be me on Twitter, but he only ever posted one tweet, and it was round about May and he said, ‘Oh well, time to fire up the old barbecue’. That was it!

"Why not say, ‘I met Stephen Fry at the Groucho Club, went round to Ian’s, he’s just come back from holiday in Thailand’ - why not make up something interesting?

"I’ve never fired up a barbecue in my life."

By not being on Twitter, you’re missing Piers Morgan knocking ten bells digitally out of Alan Sugar.
Paul: "Not as good fun as in a real boxing match."

Ian: "I’d enjoy seeing that."


How would you describe your relationship?
Paul: "I’ve always respected Ian. From the first time I met him really and knowing the job that he does as the editor of Private Eye.

"So, I realise he does both and so sometimes Ian doesn’t get the credit for the comic stuff he does as well on the show which is very funny.

"We are similar in the respect of how we view what we are doing, and we want it to be the best that we can do at any particular time."

Ian: "Whatever our differing attitudes to life and in the early days, I think I had to prove myself to Paul because you know, he just thought, ‘Stuck-up twit’, which is perfectly reasonable."

Paul: "Stuck up Oxford twit."

Ian: "Stuck up Oxford twit. All of that was perfectly acceptable and true. But also, we realised that what we both enjoy doing was this show and doing it in our different ways. And the basic thing is, Paul makes me laugh and you can see it on the show. I enjoy myself. It’s a real pleasure and that hasn’t gone at all."

"We have had a drink after every show for the entire 28 years."

Paul: "Sometimes we tell the same joke at exactly the same time. There was one last series. We’re so comfortable in each other’s presence, it can be almost telepathic when it’s going well."

Ian: "What I really like is when Paul says stuff that I haven’t even thought of and wouldn’t. That’s the pleasure of someone else’s mind."

Paul: "Whenever we’re off air people say, ‘When are you coming back?’.

"It’s good to be missed. You’ve got to get away from it and then come back to it renewed and refreshed.

"We have a run of ten from October to Christmas which is always the best period with lots happening."

Can you tell me something about the other person that would surprise me?
Ian: "When I first met Paul, I thought I knew quite a lot about classical music, for example, but now Paul knows more about that and indeed most other subjects than I do.

"I feel that I’ve atrophied somewhat. He is much, much better read than he pretends."

And you don’t stay in touch in between series?
Paul: "Occasionally we might go out for a meal, but we do see each other four months of the year, every week."

Ian: "And people do think we’re like Eric and Ernie. I think for a lot of people they genuinely think we share a flat and that’s how we live."

Paul: "But we see each other 20 times a year already."

Ian: "Which is more than most friendships. It’s certainly more than most marriages."


Sue Johnston joins the cast as Hold The Sunset returns


Shooting has started on the second series of the BBC One comedy Hold The Sunset, written by Oscar-nominated writer Charles McKeown. The show, made by BBC Studios, was the most successful comedy launch on BBC One since 2014, with over six million viewers turning in.

The end of the first series saw Edith (Alison Steadman) and Phil (John Cleese) still planning to move abroad, but with Edith’s 50 year-old son Roger (Jason Watkins) showing no signs of leaving home or reuniting with his estranged wife Wendy (Rosie Cavaliero), is their dream of a sunset happy ever after slipping ever further away?

Joining the cast this series are actress Sue Johnston as Edith’s impossible sister Joan; Christian Brassington as hopeless estate agent Percy; and Shauna MacDonald as Bob’s irrepressible and individual daughter Georgie.

Alison Steadman says: “I am delighted to be back working on Hold The Sunset, I had a great time working on the first series and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Edith and Phil.”

Sue Johnston says: “I'm thrilled to be working with such a great cast of actors. Some are new friends and some are old friends - it is a joy to be joining them all.”

John Cleese says: “I really enjoyed making the first series. It was great to be able to do so much sitting-down acting. I look forward to seeing our lovely cast again.”

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning at the BBC says: “We’d like to see the sun to rise on another series of this hugely popular family sitcom which shimmers with legends of British comedy.”

Chris Sussman, Head of Comedy, BBC Studios, says: “It's been a dream working with such a cast of comedy legends, and I'm thrilled that we're getting the chance to bring them back together again.”

Hold The Sunset is a BBC Studios production. It is written by Charles McKeown, Oscar-nominated co-author of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and subsequent films. The Executive Producer is BBC Studios Head of Comedy Chris Sussman, the Producers are Moira Williams, Humphrey Barclay and John Cleese, and the Director is Sandy Johnson.

Peston launches new Wednesday show


Robert Peston’s political magazine show moves to Wednesday nights next week - to provide viewers with a fresh, intelligent and lively perspective on the big matters of the day in a brand new slot.

Promising a stellar line-up of guests from across the political spectrum as well as cultural figures, Peston will feature major interviews with Westminster heavy hitters, topical guests and the very latest political gossip from inside the bubble.

The hour-long programme will be broadcast live on Twitter in a first for British terrestrial TV, as well as on the ITV News website while it is recorded from 8pm before it airs on ITV at 10.40pm. Peston will be getting his own Twitter emoji, which triggers when #Peston is typed by users.

Co-presenter, The Guardian's political editor Anushka Asthana will help Peston fuel the conversation in the studio and online, with updates from social media taking in perspectives from viewers, experts and key-players throughout the programme.

As Autumn nights darken and the political temperature rises, with Brexit looming and politicians returning to work after a long hot summer off, Peston aims to shine a light on the stories you might have missed and to be at the heart of national debate.

Pictured on his brand new set at BBC Studioworks, Peston says: “Britain is on the verge of making history. The stakes could not be higher, but so too are the uncertainties. What kind of Brexit will we have? Is Brexit certain? Can the divisions in the Conservative and Labour Parties be healed or will one or both parties split? How long will Theresa May remain as PM? How many Labour MPs will be thrown out by disgruntled members? Perhaps most important of all, can hope be restored that the UK will become a richer, fairer, less divided country?

“Rarely has there been such a need to hold our political leaders and our elected representatives to account. Which is why I am so excited by the launch on Wednesdays of Peston, which will continue the tradition of Peston on Sunday with agenda-setting interviews, a digital conversation with the audience, cutting-edge graphical analysis, informality and fun.

“And for those of you unaware why the show moved from Sunday to Wednesday, it was for no other reason than that the repeat of Peston on Sunday on Sunday nights was watched by twice as many people as the morning live show. So I and ITV thought we should convert it into a proper night time show. I could not be more pleased to be broadcasting after News at Ten on arguably the most important political day of the week."

Jennifer Hudson, Olly Murs, Sir Tom Jones and will.i.am all to return for new series of The Voice UK


The Voice UK’s stellar panel of coaches – Jennifer Hudson, Olly Murs, Sir Tom Jones and will.i.am -are all confirmed to return to their iconic red chairs for the new series. They will be seeking the very best solo singers, duos and, in a competition first this year, trios. The four music superstars will commence filming the Blind Auditions next month with the series launching on ITV early next year.

Grammy, Oscar and BAFTA winning singer and actress, Jennifer Hudson was recently cast in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash musical Cats and is set to star as the young Aretha Franklin in the upcoming biopic about the Queen of Soul. Continuing as a coach on The Voice on both sides of the Atlantic, Jennifer also recently performed the title anthem ‘I’ll Fight’ by Diane Warren on documentary feature, RBG. Returning to the UK, Jennifer said: “I'm so happy to be re-joining my coaches at The Voice UK. I’m ready and excited to discover some beautiful voices.”

With five multi-platinum albums and countless sold out arena tours, Olly Murs made his debut as a coach earlier this year.  Since then, he has been putting the finishing touches to his hotly anticipated sixth studio album. His new music set to be released later this year, Olly said: “Now I’ve got one season under my belt, I can’t wait to see what my second season has in store for me. Last year I managed to get seduced and picked some entertaining performers. The other coaches might think they have worked me out but I’m coming back with a bang, just you wait!”

The legendary Sir Tom Jones, with a phenomenal 6 decades in showbusiness, will be back following a tour of the UK and Europe this summer. Sir Tom said: “I’m raring to go on the search for some talented new singers.  Bringing in the trio element will present a new sound that could shake everything up.  We’ll have to see of course, but whether it’s a solo singer, a duo or a trio, I’m hoping to find someone with that special spark. I’m so proud and excited about my winner, Ruti, who is in the studio doing some very impressive work, she’s developing into a true artist and I can’t wait for you all to hear her!”

Entertainer, innovator and seven-time Grammy award winner, will.i.am returns as Black Eyed Peas celebrate 20 years together and are prepping to perform across Europe with their Masters of The Sun Tour this autumn.  will said: "The UK always surprises me with some of the freshest artists and this keeps me coming back for more. By adding trios, we’re raising the bar, so bring it on UK!”

Alongside the powerhouse coaching panel, Emma Willis is also back to present, she said: “I’m so happy we’re about to get going all over again. I’ve learnt to expect the unexpected with performances, some make me wanna bust a move, some give me goosebumps, and some make me cry like a baby! No day is the same, I’m forever wondering ‘where have YOU been?’ and with trios signing up this year, it gives us an added layer.”

The winner will be set on the road to realising their artistic ambitions with the ultimate prize of a recording contract with music giants Polydor Records.

The Voice UK is an ITV Studios production of a Talpa format and the new series will air on ITV early next year.

ITV greenlights a fourth series of hit drama, Unforgotten


ITV has announced today that critically acclaimed drama, Unforgotten, will return for a fourth series.

Produced by Sally Haynes and Laura Mackie’s Mainstreet Pictures, the new series will see BAFTA award nominees Nicola Walker (Last Tango In Halifax, The Split) and Sanjeev Bhaskar (Goodness Gracious Me, Paddington 2) reprise their roles as DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan as they investigate another emotionally charged and compelling cold case.

Praised for its realistic portrayal of a police procedural, empathetic approach and powerful performances, each series of Unforgotten follows the unravelling of a historical crime. Attracting a high calibre of acting talent, previous series have starred stellar names including Tom Courtenay who won the Best Supporting Actor BAFTA for his performance in 2016, Trevor Eve, Ruth Sheen, Mark Bonnar, Wendy Craig and Lorraine Ashbourne. The latest series which aired earlier this summer featured moving performances from Alex Jennings, Kevin McNally, Neil Morrissey and James Fleet.

The new six-part series will once again be penned by creator Chris Lang (Innocent, Dark Heart) and directed by Andy Wilson (Ripper Street, Endeavour), both of whom have worked on all three of the previous series. Guy de Glanville (Unforgotten, Age Before Beauty) will also return as producer.

Writer and Executive Producer Chris Lang said:

“I am so delighted to have been asked to make a fourth series of Unforgotten. The reaction to series 3 was better than I could ever have expected (with more people watching the last episode than any other in all three series) and I cannot wait to discover what lies ahead for Cassie and Sunny, and to create a whole new cast of characters for them to grapple with.”

The commission follows the huge success of the third series which aired on ITV earlier this year. Proving immensely popular with viewers and critics alike, the drama was hailed as “television’s best crime drama” by The Daily Telegraph and “the year’s most addictive thriller” by The Independent Online. The series finale received average consolidated figures of 6.9m and a 28% share.

The new series has been commission by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, who said:

“We have been delighted with the reception of the first three series of Unforgotten and are thrilled to commission a fourth instalment. Chris Lang’s writing is incredibly powerful and his storytelling utterly compelling, so we have no doubt that the new case will have viewers gripped again.”

Executive Producers Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes added:

“Unforgotten has gone from strength to strength and we were so pleased to see the audience grow for the third series.”

Series 4 of Unforgotten will see Mainstreet Pictures’ Sally Haynes and Laura Mackie as Executive Producers alongside creator Chris Lang and will be distributed by BBC Worldwide.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

I Feel Bad (NBC) First Look Preview HD - Sarayu Blue comedy series


Emet is the perfect mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter. OK, she’s not perfect. In fact, she’s just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly. From executive producer Amy Poehler comes a modern comedy about being perfectly OK with being imperfect.