Television and radio programme reviews, trailers, highlights, twilights and cinema news. Also the neglected gems from years past.
Manchester United have sacked Louis Van Gaal. The decision seems to have been taken months ago, although no-one thought to tell the Dutchman and Phil Neville, the former Man United defender now working as a pundit on the telly. Before the FA Cup final, which Manchester Untied won with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace, Neville appeared on the BBC’s Football Focus show. Did he think Van Gaal wold be sacked? Said Phil:
“If Manchester United win today I think Louis van Gaal will stay as the United manager next season.”
Phil Neville then told BBC Sportsweek on May 22, after Van Gaal had won the FA Cup with Manchester United and been sacked:
“I thought before the game that winning or losing would make no difference…it looked like the decision was already made.”
Whoever said punditry was easy was right.
Front-page news in the Sun: “Britain’s Got Talent ballet sensation is Beau’s cousin.” The “sensation” is Jack Higgins, 14, a young stage school ballerina who “wowed” the TV show’s judges with his dancing, causing Amanda holden to gape and stop blinking, Simon Cowell to use up the expression he was saving for when he sees the face of Mamon, David Walliams to swoon and Alesha Dixon to hail it as the best thing ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.
The best bit, of course, was that Jack cried. Tears are the cynical BGT’s pop shot, the moment of release. (Remember Hollie Steel who sobbed half-way through Edelweiss and triggered a race to see which celeb could reach her with the comfort hug? Hollie… Oh, never mind.)
Jack said he’d been “bullied for ballet since five”. He’s been at stage school for nine years, so you wonder who had been bullying him for that long – the smart money is on the tap dancing mob or the country dancing toughs?
Today the Sun tells us that Jack is related to Beau Dermott, the stage school singer who belted out a show tune one week earlier. Their mothers are twin sisters. To help us tell them apart. Jack’s mum Debbie is the one in the T-shirt yelling “GO JACK – BGT 2016”.
Jack says, “It would be amazing to both get to the final. We are completely different acts, so it wouldn’t feel like we were competing against each other.”
Not for you, maybe. But for your mums it could be. There will be T-shirts…
Beau Dermott is Britain’s Got Talent’s “sensation” (The Sun). West End musical Wicked has “reached out to her”. Beau, 12, is on the celebrity treadmill. Beau says that on an excitement scale of of ten, she is “TEN!”
Beau Dermott might be less excited at her appearance on the Star’s front page, where the headline labels her a “CHEAT”. How? Is she a 29-year-old professional opera singer? Was she miming over a backing tape? The Star soon tells us: “Star wannabe, 12, a stage school veteran.”
Can you be a veteran of anything at 12 – jelly, maybe, and burping? The Star thinks so, telling us that Beau has had singing lessons at “top arts school – despite her mum saying it was a big thing to perform”. The Star soon realises its scoop holds less water than Simon Cowell’s hairnet, continuing the story on Page 18.
The Star says “no reference was made to the fact, Beau, from Widnes, Cheshire, has had vocal training at the StagePro Academy in Warrington for five years”.
Other things not referenced on the show: pictures are manipulated; Amanda Holden is an actress; making Beau cry is ‘good telly’.”
Why did mental health professionals fail to identify Helen’s abuse?
That question to the, er, scriptwriters.
The Sun has news on ‘nation’s sweetheart’ Cheryl Cole and her X Factor career:
Isn’t The X Factor a music… Oh, never mind.
The BBC says it will not broadcast footage of Top Gear presenter Matt LeBlanc turning doughnuts around The Cenotaph on London’s Whitehall. Having leaked the event – one that took weeks to plan – to the Press, dear old Aunty says it was a bad idea and in poor taste.
Says the “mortified” Beeb:
Top Gear has been on location around central London over the past few days. Ahead of filming, the production team worked closely with the Metropolitan Police Film Unit and the Special Events Unit of Westminster Council. This was a large-scale, complex shoot, prepared over a period of four months, which required numerous road closures, health and safety regulations to be in place, and also included full disclosure to local residents, including the Treasury and Foreign Office.
The Cenotaph was at no point intended to feature in the programme and therefore will not appear in the final film. However, we are acutely aware of how some of the images in the press look today via the angle and distance they were taken and for which, as Chris Evans has already said, we sincerely apologise.
The driver of the car was briefed by production prior to filming as to where to drive and to not do any manoeuvres close to the monument, an instruction to which he fully adhered.
We would like to make it absolutely clear that the Top Gear team has the utmost respect for the Cenotaph, what it stands for, and those heroic individuals whose memory it serves so fittingly.
Now got watch it on the internet!
How do you trail the new series of BBC TV show Top Gear? Easy. You allow the BBC to shut roads in central London so that Matt LeBlanc can wheel spin around The Cenotaph in a Ford Mustang. Then you get the Sun to quote a few old duffers, like Col Richard Kemp – “It’s worse than doing a stunt in a cemetery” – and mop up the outrage with a syndication chitty from US telly.
You then get Chis Evans, show’s main presenter – there are hundreds of them in every conceivable demographic – to say, “If it was my decision I would say that scene shouldn’t be shown… We’re all mortified by it, so absolutely, one hundred per cent, it should not be shown.”
This will prove that whoever the presenters, the old formula of in-yer-face grunt remains undiminished.
Complete tosh, of course, something Evans pretty much admits: “The images on the front pages of the papers today – it doesn’t matter what actually happened – what is important is what these images look like.”
They look like PR bullshit, which is what they are. you can ever see the skid marks.
BBC Radio DJ used to have sex with underage kids. He remains a ‘national treasure’:
You can listen to the John Peel lectures on the BBC:
John Peel has not been dug up and beaten with sticks. Yet. He remains intact as John Peel OBE.
Heather Mills is off The Jump TV event. The former Mrs Paul McCartney was injured, thus becoming the seventh celeb to leave the show under doctor’s orders. In the Star, Peter Dyke gives Heather hope that she can return to celeb-fed telly soon. Stay tuned for Celebrity Competitive Environmentalist of the Year:
Competitive environmentalism will feature competitive environmentalists jetting off for the good of the common man.
In February 1970 the BBC broadcast the documentary Man Alive: The Disc Jockeys. The series was edited by Esther Rantzen’s future hubby Desmond Wilcox. (More on them here.) The show focused on the new wave of BBC Radio 1 DJs.
As Paul Gallagher writes:
In Britain during those promiscuous 1970s, millions of youngsters were shocking their parents by going to bed with John Peel and waking up with Tony Blackburn… and his dog Arnold. The sound of the DJs could be heard everywhere—from cars, shops, kitchens, homes, factories, schoolyards and those dinky little pocket radios that everyone and their Mom seemed to have, dangling from plastic wristbands.
The music revolution of the 1960s really began with the arrival of cheap polyvinyl chloride in the fifties which meant record companies could mass produce singles and albums. Previously record discs had been made of the far more expensive Bakelite. The PVC revolution tied in very neatly with the incredible flourishing of young musical talent—and so the Swinging Sixties were born.
Suddenly youngsters wanted to hear music before they bought it, or even if they didn’t buy it. This gave rise to Pirate Radio. At the time the BBC was the only organization in Britain with the license to transmit radio shows. However a small loophole in maritime law allowed DJs to broadcast from ships anchored just outside UK waters. And so pop-pickers Pirate Radio was born.
In 1967 the BBC admitted defeat and launched Radio One—a youth radio station for pop music. Radio One became the biggest and most successful radio station in the country with generation after generation of youngsters learning their love of music or finding their inspiration to form bands from listening to the station’s DJs.
This BBC documentary from 1970 looks at the rise of the Radio One DJ and features Emperor Rosko, John Peel, Kenny Everett and Tony Blackburn—a rum bunch of four very different radio hosts. Condescending in tone throughout, the documentary voice over even has the temerity to suggest that sex with fans was one of the perks of working for the BBC—-shurely not:
Radio One belongs to the taxpayer and doesn’t splash princely salaries around for men like Emperor Rosko. He accepts the BBC’s shop policy of paying low wages as both sides know about the big big perks that can accompany the adulation of this new empire—British teeny boppers.
The interviewer then grills one poor little teenybopper about her infatuation with Emperor Rosko:
“I listen to him and I like listening to his voice and I get carried away” says one young besotted teenager about the subject of her adoration DJ Emperor Rosko:
“What do you mean you get carried away?” says Ms. Prim from the BBC
“I just hear his voice and I imagine him…” says adoring young fan.
“When you say you imagine him…you imagine him doing what?” continues our interrogator.
“Talking and smiling and…all the actions with it. It’s just good.”
“And where do you do your listen to this?”
“In the bedroom.”
It’s an interesting hour well spent and worth watching mainly to see the pure genius of Kenny Everett making one of his shows and to hear some of the mumblings of the man himself, John Peel.
This is tremendous. Former Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray now works in Dubai with BeIN Sports. On those fascistic sandy wastes, Gray talks footy matters with his old Sky mucker, the absurd Richard Keys. Last week, while listening to a post-match interview with PSG defender David Luiz after the French side had played Chelsea, Keys and Gray attempted to translate the Brazilian’s words.
Gray was all barstool expert – until Graeme Souness told him that,er, Luiz was speaking Portuguese.
As seen on ITV’s This Morning show: “Live from Nilufer’s vagina”:
Former British Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle was badly injured competing on The Jump, a TV show featuring celebrities taking part in winter sports. It’s an absurd format. Watching the Winter Olympics is dull; watching celebs try out cold-weather sports in slow motion is dire. But the chance of seeing whathisface from Hollyoaks injure themselves should appeal to some TV fans.
And so to Tweddle, who the Daily Star says “broke her neck”. The Mirror says Tweddle snapped two vertebrae in her neck when she “smashed into a crash barrier”. The Mail says Tweddle “broke her back”. The paper also announces: “Beth Tweddle thanks fans for their support as viewers demand Channel 4 axes The Jump after she breaks her back on TV’s most dangerous show.”
Viewers demand a show on Channel 4 is axed? Those would be viewers who watch or don’t watch it?
Her exit follows that of fellow Olympian Rebecca Adlington, 26, who withdrew from the show on medical advice after a shoulder injury, and Holby City actress Tina Hobley, 44, who dislocated her elbow and suffered two fractures to her arm.
Right now a TV executive is trailing Celebrity Hospital Ward, Celebrity NHS and Celebrity Graveyard. The Mail adds:
Fans flocked to Twitter to call on producers to scrap the programme – now in it’s third series – due to the sheer amount of injuries among contestants.
Fans of a TV show asked for the TV show they are fans of to be cancelled? Better, surely, to replace the celebrities with the TV producers who think up pisspoor celebrity-themed shows. Who fancies for TV Executive Cliff Diving? The Newsnight team can go first.
To Australia, where the TV subtitle writer is illustrating the importance of remembering to press the space bar…
Listen as Terry Wogan signs off his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show. Wogan presented his final Radio 2 breakfast show on 18 December 2009. This is emotional:
Rick Wakeman played on David Bowie‘s Life on Mars. On January 10 2015, Wakeman played a piano version on BBC Radio 2. It’s lovely. Truly. Wakeman has since recorded a new version of the song along with a version of Space Oddity. All monies raised from the songs go to the excellent Macmillan Cancer Support.
We interrupt this broadcast to bring news of a new terroristic threat: Apache Frog is coming to the UK, says the BBC News:
Watch Pages of Death, an anti-porn film from 1962, brought to you by Citizens for Decent Literature:
In “BT Sport’s winning duo: Hoddle and Hargreaves showing Sky are no longer the limit” the Daily Express’. The story on Liverpool’s 3-3 with Arsenal is written by Jim Holden. It contains the following:
BT! And there was something else which made this a memorable match – the superb coverage last Wednesday evening by BT Sport…
This was the night when they proved their live football broadcasting can be the equal of the brilliance for so long provided by Sky…
Instead of going to an advert break at just the wrong moment before the start of the game, they allowed us to hear The Kop singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. As anyone who has been to the ground knows, this is an integral part of matches at Anfield and it should always be conveyed to TV viewers….
…the radical decision by BT to have two analysts talking about the match alongside the commentator worked a treat….
Owen Hargreaves and Glenn Hoddle combined perfectly…
This H-men double act of Hoddle and Hargreaves will give the best of Sky a run for their money…
The use of World Cup Final referee Howard Webb to give instant verdicts on contentious or surprising decisions by the officials is another bonus from BT Sport…
You want more?
It takes time, and it has taken time, for a new TV station to develop its coverage and win the loyalty of viewers at home across the country. In my experience, that hurdle has now been jumped by BT Sport.
They are a serious player, much like Arsenal in this year’s Premier League title race…
Nowhere does it say that Holden has another gig:
Back of the net!
Hours of fun with a washing machine, a brick and a small trampoline:
In an “exclusive” the Star says EastEnders are to bring back Dame Barbra Windsor only to kill her off. Babs, of course, is not going to die on the telly. This is about the character, she plays in the tired BBC soap opera, Peggy Mitchell. She will “Peg Out”.
It’s an ‘exclusive’ exclusive to every newspaper that got the message from the EastEnders PR department: “Peggy’s gonna die. It’s gonna be great.”
On page 7, the Star says Peggy’s death will be “tear-jerking”. Anyone reduced to tears by the trailed death of an occasional soap opera character is in need of urgent help. they should also switch off the magic box and get out, possibly to the actual East End of London, where every gardens square is now surrounded by glassy homes that cost millions of pounds and shops selling reassuringly expensive organic puss.
Newsflash: EastEnders is not a fly-on-the-wall documentary. It’s the BBC’s dystopian vision of what working-class people do.
Says Babs: “Peggy is a character close to my heart… but I need to say goodbye to Peggy once and for all, or she will always be there.”
Good luck with that, Babs. This is EastEnders, where people return from the dead. Although picking them out form the other zombies is tricky.
David Cameron has died. Well, so says Fiona Winchester, a newsreader for Heart FM.
Whoops! Her mistake.
That’s David Bowie who died. Spot the difference?