Victoria Wood - comedian, actress, singer and songwriter, screenwriter and director - has passed away at 62 on 20 April 2016, after a short battle with cancer. [more inside]
Paul Daniels, internationally renowned magician and television performer, has died aged 77 after a diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumour in late February 2016. [more inside]
Children of the Stones (previously) is the revolutionary 1977 British children's television drama telling the story of an astrophysicist and his son who arrive in the village of Milbury to study the giant Neolithic stones which surround it, and the community which is held in a strange captivity by the psychic forces generated by the stones. For BBC Radio, writer and comedian Stewart Lee explores the ground breaking television series and examines its special place in the memories of those children who watched it on its initial transmission in a state of excitement and terror. [more inside]
This video shows highlights of the inaugural (and only) Tenball tournament. Hosted by Phillip Schofield with 6 time World Snooker Champion Steve Davis. (The action starts at 16:50 but in the first few minutes Steve Davis explains the differences between Tenball and Snooker) [wiki][slyt]
Fan's of cult 90's UK children Television shows rejoice, Knightmare, the virtual reality kids show is back for a one off episode. [more inside]
RIP Alan Whicker globe trotting reporter and 'television natural'. In a career that spanned 60 years he presented the BBC/ITV documentary series Whicker's World for nearly 30. He was the inspiration for the Monty Python Whicker Island sketch. (previously) [more inside]
How we made Knightmare The creator and the dungeon master of the 1980s fantasy game show revisit dodgy technology and terrified children. The wikipedia entry explains more. Knightmare mentioned previously on mefi
In a recent exposé, Sir Jimmy Savile OBE – children's television presenter and tireless charity campaigner – was revealed to be what some had suspected and many had known: a predatory sex offender who abused hundreds of young girls. [more inside]
Breaking: There Is No News A supercut of awkward silences in news reports.
We've finished our news, homo sapiens have outgrown their use, all the strangers came today, and it looks as though they're here to stay
"None of us are gods, evil, good, or any other kind of god. We are mortal. If I am cut, I bleed. If you are cut, you bleed. We are all flesh and blood. We are born. We live. We die. The only thing that makes us different is that we are a new kind of human being , One day everyone in the world will be like us. We are Tomorrow People, Hsui Tai, and you are one of us!" [more inside]
In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
Irene Shubik started as a television script-writer, first writing for Encyclopædia Britannica Films (some videos on Archive.org) in the United States before moving back England, where she was hired on at Associated British Corporation. There, she worked as a story editor for the prolific TV producer Sydney Newman on the anthology series 'Armchair Theatre.' A long-time fan of science fiction, Shubik approached Newman about creating a science fiction version of 'Armchair Theatre,' and Newman agreed. The result was 'Out of This World,' which ran for a single season in 1962. Shubik followed Newman to BBC, where they continued the theme of 'Out of This World' with a new program, 'Out of the Unknown.' Between the two series, 63 episodes were made, though only 21 episodes survive in full, and audio and video clips survive from another 18 episodes. The videos and original short stories are linked below the break. [more inside]
It's the BDO world championship final and the Guardian has The Joy of Six: darts the six best moments in darts history* which has a great anecdote about the Indoor League, a near legendary television programme. [more inside]
Downton Abbey has become one of the UK's most popular drama series of recent years and will take pride of place in ITV's schedule with a special episode(video) on Christmas Day that is said to be so good as to be potentially 'vomit inducing'. [more inside]
Tim Minchin's performance of Woody Allen Jesus won't now be seen on the big Christmas edition of the Jonathon Ross TV Show after ITV's director of TV banned it. According to him it was enjoyed by fellow guests including Tom Cruise. Lucliky, Tim already had a copy of the performance.
Last night, British ITV broadcasted "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA", a documentary which included this 1988 Provisional IRA footage the filmmakers found on YouTube. Unfortunately, the footage is actually and blatently from videogame ArmA 2. ITV has stopped streaming the documentary.
"… if I ever have to see this gurning little maggot clicking into faux reverie mode again – rising from his seat to jazz-slap the top of his piano wearing a fake-groove expression on his piggish little face – if I have to witness that one more time I'm going to rise up and kill absolutely everybody in the world, starting with him and ending with me.". Charlie Brooker, the UK Guardian's TV 'critic', calls it quits.
TV idents provide a bridge between programmes, remind the viewer of the channel they're watching and give the announcer something to talk over about what's on next and later. YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of idents, especially British ones, including
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's, [more inside]
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's, [more inside]
Erstwhile British TV star Jeremy Beadle died yesterday from pneumonia, aged 59, having just recently fought off kidney cancer then leukaemia. While most famous for hidden camera pranks, stunts and general cruelty, and subject of undoubtedly the funniest joke in the world (due to a birth defect), his lesser known activities included knowing just about everything, euthanasia and raising millions for charity. Love him or hate him, RIP.
TheBurg is an internet TV show set in Williamsburg and features hipsters doing what hipsters in Williamsburg do. Pretty funny stuff! Comes out once a month.
In '24 Hour Quiz', three contestants spend many days in a mini-Big Brother environment ('The Pod') constantly having questions fired at them with no end in sight. 'off the telly' fill in the blanks: "There's no getting away from it, '24 Hour Quiz' is quite the worst thing currently showing on ITV1 (that's even allowing for 'Footballers' Wives'). That it's spread-eagled across the schedules in three separate editions just compounds the agony. This is cheap, worthless television, offering up a huge mallet with which to beat the ITV network. It plays to our worst suspicions about the channel, and that's just annoying. There's nothing about the show that's prepared to confound or surprise, other than its sheer shoddiness." Has anyone else seen this? Is it really the worst gameshow format ever?
Met by "howls of outrage" and questions about his sanity, Michael Meacher, the ex-Environment Minister for the UK, known mostly for his opposition to GMOs, and revelations about the less than honest and upright behaviour surrounding the issue, has spent some time thinking, free from the constraints of Ministerial duties. "the PNAC blueprint of September 2000 states that the process of transforming the US into "tomorrow's dominant force" is likely to be a long one in the absence of "some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor". The 9/11 attacks allowed the US to press the "go" button for a strategy in accordance with the PNAC agenda which it would otherwise have been politically impossible to implement."
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ITV Digital is dead. I woke up this morning to find channel after channel replaced with a blue screen, telling me they can no longer broadcast pay-tv. Mtv UK are marking the occasion with lots of slow contemplative music. I want my Mtv! (and E4, UK Gold and ....)