Weekly Telly news highlights including a broken toe, lasting storyline legacy and the end of being extra camp – Larry Grayson would be very disappointed.

That’s Toe Business

For years soap opera has been the home of witty one-liners and verbal exchanges that kept viewers entertained in their millions, however from time to time actors are called upon to do a little more physical action. If its too dangerous a stunt double will be called upon, however you’d not think a ‘sex scene’ would be considered a dangerous sequence to record.

However as Emmerdale performer Natalie J Robb discovered a quickie in a caravan can turn into a visit to A&E.

In an interview with the Sunday Post the actress reflected on her incident thanks to her on-screen affair as Moira Barton with Nate Robinson (Jurell Carter).

“I broke my toe doing a love scene with Jurell Carter in a caravan! You couldn’t swing a cat in there, never mind a 6 foot 3 Adonis… I just moved my foot up and I stubbed it. It hurt so much I couldn’t speak and my eyes were watering. Then it turned black and I had to go to hospital. It was fractured. I couldn’t train for a while after that so I had more energy than normal and was driving everybody mad!” – Natalie J Robb


In Brief

Stephen Merchant will bring The Offenders to BBC One and Amazon Prime. follows seven strangers from different walks of life forced together to complete a Community Payback sentence in Bristol.

At first, they seem like archetypes we can easily pigeonhole, but gradually we see behind their façades, understand their hidden depths and what made them the people they are today. We are reminded that no one is all good or all bad. Everyone has a story.

The BBC defended the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special’s use of an uncensored version of The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ following 866 complaints from snowflakes. Just think of faggots as that delicious dish you can eat and then everyone is happy surely? Apart from maybe sluts on junk… but tough titty.

Comedian and writer Katherine Ryan has made her debut as a team captain on E4’s 8 out of 10 Cats. Katherine is head-to-head with Rob Beckett as the opposing captain in the usual format as the panellists chew over the country’s most talked about topics and guess the results of a wide range of surveys and opinion polls.

Coronation Street boss Iain MacLeod teased that there would be a ‘horrific’ fallout from Tracy Barlow cheating on partner Steve MacDonald with Paula. Speaking to Inside Soap Magazine he noted the fallout would be ‘the most far-reaching impact of any story we’ve done since I’ve been on the show.’

Janine Smith, previously ITV’s Head of Digital Entertainment, has joined Channel 4 as its new Digital Content Director. And Laura Marks, previously Nations and Regions Executive at Channel 4, has taken on the role of Digital Content Commissioner.

Channel 4’s Digital Content Unit will ensure the broadcaster engages and influences young audiences in the places they are increasingly spending more time they note.

According to the National Audit Office BBC Studios has fallen way short of their targets for commissions from third-party streamers and broadcasters. The findings also note the Beeb has become too reliant on old brands such as science fiction serial Doctor Who to prop up its annual revenue.

Samira Ahmed won her case against the BBC for discrimination after noting she was paid far less than Jeremy Vine for his role as host of BBC One’s Points of View. Samira hosted the BBC News Channel’s Newswatch programme and had been paid around the same wage, the Beeb note, as Newswatch’s previous male host. The findings set an odd precedent.

Will the 10am newsreader on the News Channel get paid the same as Huw Edwards when he reads the evening news on BBC One? Newswatch was hardly in the same league as Points of View; no matter whether it was a fella or female presenting. Baffling ruling…

It was the end of a broadcasting era on January 7th as VH1 in the UK and Ireland went off air for the final time following a bumper run of Ru Paul’s Drag Race over the festive period. The channel originally launched as an all-music video network in 1994 but over the years added programming to its content alongside the videos.


Bristol deserves a BAFTA says drama exec

Viewers have become gripped on six-part drama The Trial of Christine Keeler, which takes a fresh look at the 1960s ‘Profumo Affair’, currently airing on BBC One following its extensive shoot at The Bottle Yard Studios and a host of Bristol locations in 2019.

Addressing cast, crew, Film Office and Bottle Yard staff and other local partners that supported filming at a private Bristol preview in December, Executive Producer Douglas Rae said:

“What you have created here in Bristol is very special. To be able to produce a major drama with over 80 speaking parts and up to 500 people working on it, and to find everything you need in one city that you can get around so easily compared to London, is a remarkable thing. Bristol deserves a BAFTA for the best place to make drama.”

And to think the BBC moved Casualty out of Bristol… always ahead of the game is Aunty Beeb eh…


Boasting BBC doesn’t figure

It was was a big boast from the BBC Press Office that EastEnders had 15 million requests on the iPlayer this festive time. It sounded like an episode had lured in huge audiences – almost the figures the show used to get on BBC One when it was worth watching back in the 80s and 90s. ‘Events in Albert Square had people hooked’ they said, adding ‘EastEnders was the most requested programme with over 15 million’.

However that was the figure for all the episodes shown over the period combined, with the most viewed single outing being 2,207,000 for the edition that aired on Christmas Day. The actual most watched single progamme on the iPlayer was, with no surprise, Gavin and Stacey with 4,553,000 views.

Imagine if we’d done that with a week’s worth of episodes back in the 1970s over the festive period; ‘Coronation Street viewed by 36 million’ (two episodes combined), ‘Crossroads watched by 64 million (four episodes combined)’ or ‘Emmerdale Farm viewed by 4,201′  (two episodes combined). You can’t really add all the episode figures up and then boast a massive rating for a very obvious reason – the same people watch the individual episodes.


No more Camping for ITV2

A tabloid reported that the ITV2 sister show to Ant and Dec’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! has been dropped from the schedules. The companion series originally called I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here NOW! was rebranded as Extra Camp in 2016; however according to The Sun won’t be back to compliment the IACGMOOH! 2020 series.

Launched in 2002 the programme brings on-location news, interviews, opinions and features from the I’m A Celebrity jungle camp directly after each main ITV programme. The most recent series has been fronted by Emily Atack, Adam Thomas and Joel Dommett with previous hosts including Joe Swash, Laura Whitmore and Rob Beckett.

The reason for its departure from the schedules has, according to an ‘ITV Insider’, been put down to costs with the programme proving too expensive for ever scrutinised budgets.


Celebrity Bake Off stars revealed by Channel 4

Actor Richard Dreyfuss, documentary maker Louis Theroux, British tennis number one Johanna Konta, TV presenter Carol Vorderman, Queer Eye’s resident fashionista Tan France have been announced for the Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off special.

They’ll be joined in the tent by singer songwriter James Blunt, actress and TV presenter Caroline Quentin, presenter Alex Jones, TV judge Rob Rinder, TV personality Scarlett Moffatt, comedian Mo Gilligan, radio and TV presenter Kelly Brook, This Morning’s Alison Hammond, Love Island favourite and sports personality Ovie Soko, former EastEnders actress Patsy Palmer, West End star Joe Sugg, comedian Joel Dommett, actor James Buckley, comedian Russell Howard and comedian and author Jenny Eclair.

The five-part series will air on Channel 4 later this year and as usual each episode will see four celebrities battle it out over three rounds – the Signature, the Technical and the Showstopper – in a bid to be crowned Star Baker.

Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood will be ever present to meticulously judge each bake, be they delicious delights or devastating disasters and Bake Off hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig will be on hand to provide tea and sympathy for the celebrity bakers as they go head to head in the pressure-filled tent.


Beeb support for small British indies

The BBC unveiled this week a new package of support for small and emerging indies, with turnovers of less than £10m per annum, designed to help boost the strength of UK production in the context of global competition and producer consolidation. The initiatives will have a strong focus on diverse and out-of-London producers.

The Beeb has, they note, ‘a clear role in supporting the UK creative economy, and believes that small independent producers play a vital role in creating the next generation of on and off screen talent, whilst producing programmes with a rich range of stories and perspectives across all four Nations.’ The BBC already commissions significantly more small producers than any other broadcaster and wants to sustain plurality of supply and support innovation in all its forms. This is a strategic priority for the corporation and these measures are designed to enhance support for small UK companies who have brilliant British stories to tell, and don’t have the support of big international corporate groups they state.

“We’ve listened to the sector and understand the pressures small indies face in this fast changing global landscape. Small indies are a vital part of the UK’s creative industry and crucially deliver content that speaks to British audiences. We recognise how valuable they are to the ecology and this additional support will enable them to compete more effectively.” –  Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content


Quote of the Week

“When the queen came over to me and asked me what I did, ‘what do you do?’, in a very nice way. And I said, like a twat… I said I’m the best reader of stories in the whole world. She went like that [pulled a face]. And she immediately left me and went to the next person and asked,’ what do you do?’.”

Miriam Margolyes speaking on This Morning.


Shayne Ward praises the legacy of Corrie’s suicide plot

Shayne Ward’s Coronation Street departure storyline is still having a positive effect on the public the actor and singer observed when talking to ITV’s perky morning personality, Lorraine Kelly. Ward played factory executive Aidan Connor on ITV Granada’s Salford-based saga from August 2015 through to May 2018 with his character leaving Weatherfield when he took his own life, much to the shock of his family and surprise to his friends.

The issue of male suicide was something ITV and Coronation Street took incredibly seriously and Ward feels the way it was portrayed has left a lasting effect.

“We had to tackle a scary taboo that us guys do not talk, and we’re still not talking. I still get inundated with incredible messages of bravery from a lot of men saying thank you. Not just to myself but the whole team as a collective. I gave a hug to a guy in a shopping centre recently. I was just paying for something and he said his mum was a fan and then he just put out his hand and I knew what he was doing. He just said, ‘I want to say thank you, because I was in that place last year’. And he’s in an amazing place now.” – Shayne Ward speaking to Lorraine

Corrie bosses introduced the character of Aidan – Michelle’s (Kym Marsh) distant cousin – the first member of a new trio of Connor family members to arrive on the cobbles back in 2015. His father Johnny (Richard Hawley) and sister Kate (Faye Brookes) soon joined him in Weatherfield whilst it later transpired that Johnny was also the father of street regular Carla Connor (Alison King).

Aidan prior to his death had been involved in a high-profile love triangle story that saw Eva Price (Catherine Tyldesley) scheme against him after discovering that he had been sleeping with Maria Connor (Samia Ghadie) behind her back. The plot led to the two women tussling Dynasty-style in a fountain.


The views in this opinion piece is those of Mike Watkins and are not endorsed by ATV Today.

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