Another look at the good, the bad and the ugly from August 2019.

Stacey Dooley’s ‘IS saltue’ gaff sees beeb apologise

“We wrongly described a gesture made by women filmed in a Kurdish controlled detention camp in northern Syria as an ‘IS salute’,” – BBC Statement

Following the apology from the corporation they also announced the programme would be edited to remove the comment from the full programme, following clips transmitted prior to broadcast on the BBC News website and also BBC One’s Ten O’clock News. A Panorama documentary saw celebrity Stacey Dooley describe a Muslim prayer gesture as an “IS salute” with a sequence of women raising their fingers in the air. The gesture had been adopted by some Islamic State militants in their propaganda images and videos, notably after executions.

The Panorama special, entitled, Stacey Meets the IS Brides, aired its edited version on BBC One to no complaints, well other than why is ‘BBC Three face’ Stacey Dooley appearing on Panorama.

“While IS have attempted to adopt [the finger action] for their own propaganda purposes, for accuracy we should have been clear that many people of Muslim faith use this gesture to signify the oneness of Allah. We apologise for this error and have removed this description from the footage.” – BBC Statement


Sheeran’s not in Shape

Ed Sheeran is currently not receiving any royalties for his hit Shape Of You, the Metro newspaper reported, after being accused of ‘appropriating’ other people’s music. A legal complaint noted that Sheeran is ‘consciously or subconsciously in the habit of appropriating the compositional skill and labour of other songwriters’.

The High Court received documents from musician Sam Chokri. The Oh Why writer believes that Sheeran copied the chorus for Shape Of You from his 2015 song. The allegations note that Chokri sent his track, Oh Why, to ‘Sheeran’s people’ in the hope of a collaboration however was later peeved to have heard parts of the track worked into Shape of You.

In his claim, the Metro paper adds, Chokri also alleges that Ed has used material from other artists in his music, including TLC, Jasmine Rae and Shaggy. The Marvin Gaye estate is currently in litigation with Sheeran over similarities they believe are contained in Ed’s Thinking Out Loud and Marvin’s Let’s Get It On.

Ed Sheeran, joins a host of music royalty accused of ‘copying’ be it intentional or accidental. George Harrison was just one who paid the price.

Former Heartbeat and Emmerdale star Mark Jordon was cleared of assault following a row outside a boozer. The argument between Jordon and Andrew Potts in July last year saw the performer bite into Potts face in what has been accepted as self defence, clearing the actor of assault.

Minshull Street Crown Court, in Manchester, found Jordon not guilty of affray, unlawful wounding and assault by beating. Mark, who played Daz Spencer in Emmerdale and was PC Phil Bellamy in 1960s set period police drama Heartbeat from its launch in 1992 until 2007, had always denied the charges.

BBC News noted that ‘Mr Jordon bit 68-year-old Mr Potts in “sheer panic and fear” after being attacked.’ The incident followed ‘vile comments’ and abuse from Potts towards Jordon and his family in the pubs beer garden the Beeb noted.


Big Brother money doesn’t stretch far

Channel 5 network executive Ben Frow spoke last month about how the network has spent the money saved by axing reality series Big Brother. The programme controller told an event at the Edinburgh TV Festival that the dosh saved by dropping the long running series did not stretch as far as he would have liked.

Big Brother launched in the UK back in 2000 on Channel 4 with Davina McCall as host. The production was a ‘social experiment’ which saw housemates live together in a custom-built house for weeks without any access to the outside world. The winner would receive a large cash prize. Channel 5 swooped to pick up the programme in 2011 when Channel 4 ditched it.

“Some of the money went to the bottom line. It’s very tough out there. The advertising market is brutal. Brexit is a big concern to us frankly. We decided to put more money into drama. I think we have been a bit more ambitious with our factual programmes. We can be so much more luxuriating with the budget we can be spending on people. But the money from Big Brother didn’t go as far as I would have liked it to have gone, truth be told. We had something like 220,000 hours of television to fill.” – Ben Frow

Under Ben Channel 5 has become a mix of populist entertainment programming mixed with quality factual commissions.

Channel 5 axed big brother eight years after Channel 4 ditched the show.

Coogan’s Car Ban shorted by Partridge plea

Steve Coogan escaped a lengthy driving ban, reported The Guardian, after successfully arguing that losing his licence would scupper another series of the Alan Partridge show, which returned earlier this year to the BBC. Coogan told the court his character could ‘not be filmed on public transport.’

Magistrates in Crawley gave him a ‘shorter’ punishment, banning him from driving for two months instead of six. The comedian, who was also one of the voice artists on Central Television’s Spitting Image satirical puppet show, was stopped by police driving his Porsche at 36mph in a 30mph near his mansion in East Sussex.

It isn’t the first time Coogan has been done for car offences, his latest three-point endorsement joins nine points already tallied up. It isn’t all bad news however as August also saw it announced that Coogan will be honoured later this year by BAFTA Los Angeles as he’s bestowed with the Charlie Chaplin Britannia award. The gong is issued to talent who have provided ‘excellence in comedy.’


Rewind Quickies

[] Eileen Derbyshire is to be seen once more as popular Coronation Street resident Emily Bishop following her departure as a regular in January 2016. The character was first seen back in 1961, becoming a fixture of the street and storylines over the decades. Now Emily will be seen as part of Ken Barlow’s 80th birthday celebrations in a video message to her former neighbour and friend. William Roach, as Ken, is the longest serving cast member having appeared in the very first episode in December 1960.

[] Jeremy Kyle resurfaced into the public eye in August, having hid away for weeks following the axing of The Jeremy Kyle Show from ITV. Jezza, as his followers call him, bounded back into the media to announce his fiancée Vicky Burton is pregnant. No DNA or lie detector tests needed hopefully…

[] Sandra Marvin announced she has decided to depart ITV Yorkshire saga Emmerdale. The actress joined the Leeds based serial as headteacher Jessie Grant in 2017. Plots have seen the introduction of her sons and a marriage to chef Marlon Dingle played by Mark Charnock. Sandra noted the bosses have ‘left the door open’ for a possible return in the future.

[] Nicholas Gleaves best known for his roles in BBC One’s drama Bodyguard and ITV soap Coronation Street will take on the iconic role of The Demon Headmaster for the modern age when the show returns to our screens later this year on CBBC.

[] In other CBBC news Chucklevision star Paul Elliott – best known by his stage name Paul Chuckle – branded the Beeb’s tribute to his late co-star and brother Barry, a ‘slap in the face’. Paul felt that uploading episodes to the BBC iPlayer wasn’t good enough, he wanted a rerun of Chuckles on TV. He however will be feeling better following Radio Times readers voting the show the best CBBC series ever. To me, to you…

[] Terry Wogan once mourned the passing of his waxwork, and the nation may have indeed joined him in that sad moment. However that is the nature of Madame Tussauds. One minute you’re the wax life-like figure everyone is wanting to be photographed with, next you’re melted down to make the tit of Gemma Collins. The latest to be ditched from the London outlet of Tussauds is Cheryl Tweedy. Her wax figure has been removed because “she is no longer relevant” enough to merit such prominence the museum revealed.

[] Lacey Turner shared on social media the sad news her beloved dog Rusty had passed away. The EastEnders actress who plays Stacey Fowler was said to be devastated by the demise of her pooch. Lacey recently gave birth to baby daughter Dusty with husband Matt Kay. Her character fled Walford having bashed Phil Mitchell over the bonce. The plot allowed for her maternity leave from the BBC One saga.

[] Ant Middleton & Liam Payne: Straight Talking is to be ‘a unique and brand-new interview special’ Sky One last month revealed. Airing on the network and Now TV in November the programme sees extreme adventurer Ant Middleton joined by singer/songwriter and former One Direction star, Liam Payne. The programme will see Ant Middleton travel with Liam to Southern Africa, leaving the hustle and bustle of day to day life to allow honest conversation and self-discovery to thrive.

[] Hugh Laurie will return to BBC screens as a Conservative minister in a major new political thriller for BBC One written by David Hare. Roadkill, a four-part fictional thriller about a self-made, forceful and charismatic politician sees Hugh in the lead role of  Peter Laurence. The Beeb PR teases ‘With enemies so close to home, can Peter Laurence ever out-run his own secrets to win the ultimate prize?’

Ken Barlow will receive a video message from old friend and neighbour Emily Bishop.

Channel 4 gains new Head of Entertainment

Channel 4’s Director of Programmes, Ian Katz, last month appointed Phil Harris as Head of Entertainment. Phil joins Channel 4 from Thames Television where he has been Creative Director for the UK’s biggest entertainment indie since 2017.

He will take up his role with Channel 4 early next year and will be responsible for the entertainment output and live events across the Channel 4 portfolio and All 4.

Whilst at Thames, Phil supercharged the slate across five new brands for five different platforms – BBC One, BBC Three, Facebook, Comedy Central and E4. Recent successes include The Greatest Dancer which was BBC One’s highest entertainment launch for three years; a comedic reboot of classic quiz show Blockbusters for Comedy Central which became its highest rating show this year and BAFTA and Broadcast award nominated Eating With My Ex, which has been sold in five territories globally.  

Phil has also developed new commissions including the new topical social media comedy clips show Rob Beckett’s Savage Socials for E4 and a prime-time reboot of Supermarket Sweep for ITV2.

“Channel 4 was the reason I got into TV and this is a great job with a great team. All we need now is your great entertainment ideas.” – Phil Harris


She’s Making Her Mind Up

A former singer with Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz has been selected as a candidate for the Brexit Party, ITV News reported. Jay Aston Colquhounis is to run as an MP in Kensington, London.

The Making Your Mind Up singer aims to swipe the area away from Labour. Jay, who has most recently been touring with a revamped version of Bucks Fizz, rebranded for legal reasons The Fizz, is best known for her years in the band following their Eurovision Song Contest win back in 1981.

“I used to live in Kensington and it still feels like home. I want to stand for the Brexit Party and fight to uphold democracy for the sake of the people. As an MP, I will work to rebuild trust and help the Brexit Party make the necessary reforms to unite the country after we break free of the European Union.” – Jay Aston Colquhounis speaking to ITV News


Rewind Quickies

[] Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner has quit the skating show after discovering ITV bosses were ‘secretly’ trying to replace him following his brutal, but honest and right jibes at reality bum Gemma Collins. It was reported by the tabloids that executives were looking to replace Jason due to his ‘too truthful’ digs at the overweight self-proclaimed ‘Essex diva’. Jason joined DOI in 2006 at its launch, only missing one series when bosses replaced him with Louis Spence.

“To all of my DOI fans I really thank you for your support and encouragement over the years, I know we’ve gone through some controversies and I’m glad you got my unique judging style and honestly.” – Jason Gardiner on social media

[] A Met Police poster girl was facing the sack after she defied her cop bosses to appear on the Nigerian version of Big Brother. Having already been granted leave, before big wigs discovered where she was heading, Khafi Kareem entered the BB house and has since caused further embarrassment by enjoying several ‘steamy romps’ with a fellow contestant. Before her Big Bonking the cop had been a poster face; used in promotions to encourage female and black recruitment in the force.

[] Good Morning Britain viewers were said, by The Mirror, to be left feeling somewhat “uncomfortable” during an interview with Love Island 2019 star Curtis Pritchard when the conversation turned to his sexuality. Curtis had previously noted he would consider dating men in the future, amid his blossoming romance with co-star Maura Higgins. On GMB however he wouldn’t commit to being bisexual.

[] BBC One announced another attempt at comedy. Their latest production Starstruck follows Rose a twenty-something millennial living in London struggling to juggle two dead-end jobs to make ends meet. An awkward morning-after-the-night-before is made even worse when she discovers she has accidentally slept with a film star, setting in motion a series of complications she could never have imagined. The series is written by, and will star in the lead role, Rose Matafeo

[] As Loose Women celebrates twenty years on air the regulars have been reflecting on their time with the show across August. However one story really did take the piss. Nadia Sawalha recalled the time during rehearsals one of the production crew amusingly fell over leaving her to ‘burst out laughing and just gushed… I was wearing gold trousers and everyone on the front row saw. When we went on air, the girls said, “Nadia wet herself!”’

[] Josh Kloss accused Katy Perry of ‘sexual misconduct’ when she whopped out his willy to her male friends. Kloss, a model and musician who co-starred with Perry in the video for her single Teenage Dream a decade ago recalled the events of his allegation in a series of Instagram posts. ‘When I saw her, we hugged and she was still my crush… but as I turned to introduce my friend, she pulled my Adidas sweats and underwear out as far as she could to show a couple of her guy friends, and the crowd around us, my penis… Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed I felt?’ Following Josh’s social media reveal Russian journalist Tina Kandelaki also accused Perry of inapt sexual advances.

[] Pam St Clement opened up about her ‘year from hell’ on Loose Women, and it had nothing to do with Coleen Nolan surprisingly for a Loose Women guest. I joke of course Coleen’s impression of Pam’s famous EastEnders alter ego Pat Butcher was hilarious and indeed if they ever bring back Crossroads she’d be first in line to play Meg Richardson I’d have thought. No Pam shared with the slack lasses how she’s been forced to postpone surgery due to a leg injury. While on holiday in Australia Pam cut her leg open in a fall, thwarting her knee surgery scheduled for her return to Blighty.

[] BBC Wales fell off air following a power fault. Television and radio services were disrupted after a power cut saw the Beeb’s headquarters in Cardiff left in darkness. ‘BBC Wales Today was unable to go out at its regular time of 6.30pm and BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru fell silent.’ the corporation noted. Viewers to BBC One Wales were treated to BBC One Northern Ireland. The shortage lasted around an hour.

[] Footballer Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah is pregnant with her fifth child, The Sun revealed.

Curtis Prichard, doesn’t mind relationships with men or women, but GMB presenters can go to the end of the que.

Joe Lycett returns to dole out another dose of consumer justice

Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, is returning to Channel 4 for a supersized run of eight hour-long episodes as Britain’s customer service hero vows to continue to fight the good fight on behalf of the British public.

After battling a raft of consumer complaints from the likes of Britannia Hotels and easyJet, Joe not only managed to change the policies of several multinational giants including Uber Eats, SpareRoom and RBS but also got thousands of pounds of people’s money back and celebrated everyday customer service heroes.

With more scams, dodgy practises and unacceptable consumer standards at large, national business will be once again be exposed, and watchdog Joe will also look to uncover those solo rogues exploiting innocent victims such as cowboy builders and crooked car salesmen.

“Got Your Back was my dream job because it let me do two of my favourite things – be an idiot and shove two fingers up to greedy corporations. I’m over the moon we’re back for longer episodes and a longer series and if I’m not at least banned from a high street bank by the end of it I will see that as a failure.” – Joe Lycett


Rewind Quickies

[] BBC Breakfast regular Steph McGovern was rushed to the doctor after waking up with a golf-ball sized bite on her forehead, The Sun reported. The paper added, ‘The popular presenter, 37, was bitten in the night by a spider, forcing the station’s in-house make-up department to ply her with extra-thick foundation.’

[] The Sun also had baby news from former Coronation Street actress Lucy-Jo Hudson who had announced she’s pregnant with ‘new man Lewis Devine after split from Alan Halsall’.

[] There was a plea last month to Corrie from a couple of celeb names asking ITV Granada bosses to stop killing off their lesbian characters. During a panel discussing LGBTQ+ programming at the Edinburgh TV Festival former Coronation Street writer Russell T. Davies hit out at the programme noting ‘There are bad deaths, when you can’t think of anything else to do. There is an extraordinary history on Coronation Street of young women being murdered. Truly, it’s slightly out of control and needs monitoring.’ Comedian Sue Perkins added ‘If you’re a lesbian, it’s death – an early death.’

[] A ‘very wet grassy slope’ could be the Strictly curse for former Treasure Hunt personality Anneka Rice, who banged her backside falling down one recently; leaving her former rear of the year possibly bruised. The incident means the Challenge Anneka host has had to change her rehearsals and dance routines for Strictly Come Dancing which returns to BBC One next week.

Rewind Quickies – Spilt Ends

[] Strictly Come Dancing professionals Neil Jones and his wife Katya announced their separation in an official statement. The Mirror noted how ‘they celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary earlier this month, and have been together for 11 years.’ It all went tits up for the pair last year when Katya got smoochy with her Strictly celebrity partner.

[] It was also a farewell kiss goodbye for singer Gareth Gates and actress Faye Brookes who called off their engagement. The couple split after dating on and off for seven years. The Sun reported ‘The Pop Idol star, 35, and the former Corrie regular, 31 –  who were planning their wedding – have decided they are better off as friends.’

[] The Sun also revealed that ‘Maya Jama has split with Stormzy after four years of dating. The TV star parted ways with the London-born grime artist, 26, so they could concentrate on their careers.’ 


Sir Michael Morpurgo’s Mimi And The Mountain Dragon to be ‘BBC One festive treat’

“We’re delighted to be bringing this enchanting mix of music and storytelling to BBC One this Christmas. Sir Michael Morpurgo’s wonderful book will be perfectly complemented by the music of Rachel Portman, The BBC Philharmonic and singers from the Hallé’s family of choirs – a real festive treat for all the family.” – Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content

Airing this winter on BBC One, a special 2D animated adaptation of Sir Michael Morpurgo’s children’s book Mimi And The Mountain Dragon is to have its television premiere this festive period as part of a wider literature focus on the BBC in 2019-20.

The one-off story on BBC One will have an introduction from the award winning writer himself, Sir Michael Morpurgo, and will be narrated through classical music in an original score written by Oscar award-winning composer, Rachel Portman. It will be performed by the BBC Philharmonic featuring singers from the Hallé’s family of choirs and will be recorded at Media City UK, Salford.

Based on original illustrations by Emily Gravett and adapted for the screen by novelist, poet, and playwright, Owen Sheers, Mimi and the Mountain Dragon is a story about a village that quakes in fear of the mighty Mountain Dragon. One winter, a shy little girl called Mimi finds a tiny baby dragon asleep in her family woodshed. Mimi takes the perilous journey through blizzard and darkness to return the baby dragon to her mother who all the villagers fear.

The newly animated film from Leopard Pictures and Factory started life when Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning for BBC Music TV, approached Sir Michel Morpurgo and asked him if he would write a children’s story that could be set to classical music for BBC television. Inspired by a trip to a village in Switzerland some years before, Michael Morpurgo wrote Mimi And The Mountain Dragon which was also released as a children’s book.


Let them eat cake… and die

The NHS should leave obese people to deal with their fat issues to save money television presenter Michael Buerk declared last month. 

“You’re fat because you eat too much.” – Michael Buerk

He went on to ask ‘Who can calculate how much an obese person would have cost if they were slim?’… ‘How much would he or she cost if, instead of keeling over with a heart attack at 52, they live to a ripe, dementia-ridden old age, requiring decades of expensive care? In any case, VAT on takeaways, confectionery and fizzy drinks more than covers it.’

Buerk, who recently fronted a series on The Blitz for Channel 5, was speaking to the Radio Times on the issue. He concluded that obese people should be allowed to indulge if they wish, adding they were weak, not ill.

Former newsreader, turned Channel 5 documentary host, Michael Buerk, has strong views on fat people. 

RIP August

In August we said goodbye to, and fondly remember…

Author Toni Morrison (88) Princess-Christina (72) Footballer Junior Agogo (40)
Rugby player Steve Booth (42) Actor Peter Fonda (79) Animator Richard Williams (86)
Actor Ben Unwin (41)  Parys Lapper (19) Actress-Sheila Steafel (84)
TV personality Jessi Combs (39) Actress Valerie Harper (80) F2 driver Anthoine Hubert (22)

Adam Thomas joins ITV2 presenter line up

‘He finished third on I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here! three years ago, but now Adam Thomas is returning to the jungle in a presenting role.’ The Sun reported.

The former Emmerdale actor will join comedian Joel Dommett and last year’s I’m A Celeb runner-up Emily Atack to present ITV2’s gossip show Extra Camp, brining behind the scenes news and features about the main jungle show. Joel is the only to remain from previous series with former co-presenters Scarlett Moffatt and Joe Swash deciding not to return for the forthcoming run.

“Adam showed how brilliant he was on camera during his time on the show and has plenty of TV experience from his years as an actor. He also knows the jungle inside out – and is sure to have great banter with Joel and Emily. Adam couldn’t believe his luck as he found out and can’t wait to start.” – an ‘ITV insider’ speaking to The Sun

Adam Thomas is joining the I’m A Celeb presenting team on ITV2


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