TV Weekly: ‘How come he can sit in a hot tub with Holly Willoughby?’

Weekly Telly news highlights and ITV News on GMB isn’t really ITV News even although its branded ITV News so Piers Morgan can ‘get away’ with comments Alistair Stewart wouldn’t be able to get away with. Confused, yes me too…

The Corrie cast prepare to ‘go live’ in 2015.

No live Corrie for 60th

“It will have a little bit of everything so that nobody goes away unsatisfied. We won’t be doing a live episode. It’s time to do something different. But it won’t be any less ambitious.” – Corrie Boss  Iain MacLeod

ITV Granada executives have ruled out doing another live episode to mark the show being on air sixty years this December. When Coronation Street first began transmissions in December 1960 one of the two episodes was live each week for the first seventeen weeks on air. It wasn’t until 2000 that Corrie went live again to mark its 40th anniversary.

Since the 2000 special the show has marked a couple of other landmark moments with live episodes, but now top brass at the Salford based production have said its ‘time to do something different’.

The series, launched by Granada Television as a gritty northern serial drama, celebrated its 10,000th episode last night (Friday 7th February) with an hour long pre-recorded special that saw the end of Dennis Tanner and a big announcement from Ken Barlow. The episode has been much praised for being ‘classic Corrie’ at its best.

Emotional moments included sounds of past characters heard in the Rovers and a special end sequence using archive clips from previous opening and closing shots.

In Brief

Viewers were pretty furious with ITN over the departure of Alistair Stewart last week. The high editorial standards and rules they have for ITV News apparently forbid the kind of things he has been saying on social media. However, as many viewers pointed out Piers Morgan says far worse on Good Morning Britain.

Now ITV note this is a different production and not part of ITV News – however the set and graphics are covered in ITV News logos.. so critics of the decision to drop Stewart note GMB should be, as ITV News branded, subject to the same standards expected across the ITN programmes too.

The BBC defended its duty of care standards following a complaint from a sex-worker about a Louis Theroux documentary. The programme, entitled Selling Sex, left one of three tarts featured feeling ‘mistreated’ with one complaint being the crew “kept touching my plaits“. I’ve never heard them called that before.

The woman is noted to have raised a formal complaint about a “prominent member of the crew,” who, the female notes, did not conduct himself “in a way I see as professional.” I guess a professional way to be inapt would be to pay for it, cash in hand of course? Anyway the BBC said there was insufficient evidence to back-up the allegation the Beeb employee had been anything other than a pro… I mean professional and not prostitute of course.

Sky has announced plans to go net zero carbon by cutting the emissions created by people using Sky, its suppliers across the world and by its business. Sky has been a carbon neutral company from its direct emissions since 2006 and it was the first media company to make that step. It is now starting the next phase of its journey, taking it further and reaching net zero carbon across its entire value chain by 2030.

Caitlyn Jenner has made an appearance in a forthcoming episode of All Round To Mrs Brown’s. The series starring Brendan O’Carroll as foul-mouthed, but well-meaning, Agnes Brown recently won a top comedy gong at The National Television Awards for its festive specials of sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys.

The All Round To Mrs Brown’s format is more Noel’s House Party than a sitcom with star guests, competitions and even cookery. Viewers love Mrs Brown, critics generally loathe her. Either way she’s never seen on TV before 9pm so if you don’t like it, you can easily avoid it…

The cost of the annual television licence fee will increase by £3, from £154.50 to £157.50, from the appropriately placed April 1st, 2020. Now personally I find the BBC brilliant at somethings, but incredibly wasteful in other ways. And they can afford to be wasteful when they don’t have to worry about earning an income like every other broadcaster.

The Beeb noted they would lose millions if the telly tax was decriminalised.

Now for a corporation that boasts its such great value for money, why would they think that? If you, BBC, ‘for every person’ are such great value viewers will be throwing their money at your fee; like women chuck knickers at Tom Jones. Personally I think the best option would be the RTÉ format where low-rating Public Service Broadcasting is funded by a licence fee (but a very much reduced cost) and the populist shows funded by commercials, like broadcasters in the real world have to pay for their productions.

What was going on behind the scenes with stateside model Caprice Bourret on Dancing on Ice? We may never know but there was such a ‘fanny on’ the past few weeks over her it makes for baffling head scratching. First, a hugely popular professional ice skater Hamish Gaman, who had been partnered with her, was suddenly dropped.

He’s certainly never had any problems with any of the other celebs he’s worked with, so you think ‘well it can’t be him that’s got issues’. Seems its not just the ice that’s cold when things go full on weird; a week after Caprice appeared on the ITV series with replacement pro Oscar Peter she quits the series and doesn’t even appear to say goodbye – leaving Holly Willoughby to make the announcement.

Following the news Nick Grimshaw is to take on a 100-mile triathlon for Sport Relief 2020 other names have been announced for the fundraising event On Thin Ice. Frankie Bridge, Rob Rinder and Louise Minchin were the first of the other celebs revealed to be taking part with Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Samantha Womack later announced for the triathlon with a perilous icy twist.

Dr Zoe Williams will also be joining the expedition team on the ground to offer medical advice and help keep the public up to date on how the extreme elements will affect them all.

Will Sean Tully in Corrie be eaten by an escaped Lion from Weatherfield Zoo? Is Dot Branning going to get trapped in a cupboard for six weeks and come out with a perm in EastEnders? Are there going to be consequences for Ste in Hollyoaks when he beheads a sheep in a tribal ritual? Will Kathy give half of Albert Square the trots when she accidentally puts laxatives in the tuna bake? Will Kim figure out the meaning of the historic Beckindale scrolls in Emmerdale before the village is consumed by a spiritual force full of Seth Armstrong clones from the planet Dehydration?

Will the bloody Metro soap section ever stop with the iffy click-bait headlines with questions? Not unless Phil Mitchell cuts off their fingers. Will Phil, cut off their fingers?

When is ITV News not ITV News even though all the news is branded ITV News? …Good Morning Britain.

Tomlinson isn’t a Breakfast person

Louis Tomlinson has said he will not appear on BBC Breakfast again, after being asked questions about the deaths of his mother and sister, the BBC reported. Now most diva singers are women, so this is a new level of self-indulgent bollocks from a guy – and his fans – who need to get with the industry he’s in.

“Defo wont be going on there again,” – Louis on social media

The BBC Breakfast programme defended their line of questioning, rightly, noting that ‘we wanted to cover all aspects of Louis’s life that have influenced his new album and feel the questioning was fair.’

Tomlinson’s mother passed away from cancer in 2016 while his sister Felicite died of an accidental drug overdose in 2019; he openly has noted some of the tracks on his latest album are influenced by these tragic events. Now, I may be pointing out the obvious to most, but, that means questions on the content of the album and what the inspiration came from will be asked about.

Something BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker noted, ‘We were asking you about the song on your new album about your mum.’ he continued on Twitter, ‘We know it’s painful which is why we didn’t dwell on it. No intention to upset you or be ‘gossipy’ about it at all. That’s not our style.’

Louis said his creative career (how me makes money, remember that) is how he was dealing with the grief, ‘I’m lucky enough to have a creative outlet for me to talk about grief this doesn’t however give you the right to talk about it for gossip purposes.’ Well, actually, it does. You’re A) making money from the tracks; so you’re trying to sell the songs; so that means talking about their content, and, B) If you’re using personal experiences in those tracks then you are going to have to discuss the content of the material.

If you don’t want to talk about the grief, don’t use it in a commercially on sale track. Record a load of songs to get through the pain and keep them locked in a vault like our Cilla did for years. Although none of Cilla’s songs were based on pain, although the sound of them may have given some people ear ache.

One Direction fans of course defended the diva behaviour, cos he’s ‘lush’. This is the music industry in 2020, one can only despair.

Louis Tomlinson, got huffed by BBC Breakfast… aww diddums.

Lesbian kiss cut from Aussie Soap

‘A same-sex kiss between Home and Away’s Alex (Zoe Ventoura) and Willow (Sarah Roberts) was cut from Australian broadcasting’ reported TV Tonight. However viewers were alerted to the cut when the episode aired on New Zealand television with the kiss intact.

Broadcaster behind Home and Away in Australia the Seven Network said that the cut was a ‘mistake’ made by ‘human error’ and the Australian viewers should have seen the kiss. The channel blamed a mix-up with an earlier edit of the episode airing by mistake rather than the finished edition.

The series, which airs on Channel 5 in the UK, has been praised by LGBT fans of the long running daily soap opera. The episode aired unaffected in the UK. The first lesbian kiss on the saga was back in 2008 when the characters of Nicole and Freya had a public smooch.

Mixed reaction to Eamonn Holmes’ reaction to Phillip Schofield’s big announcement

Most newspapers reported positively about the news yesterday that Phillip Schofield had burst out of the broom cuboard and announced he was gay. However The Mirror reported how Eamonn Holmes’ reaction to the big reveal was noted by some viewers as “gross” and “unhelpful”.

Phillip announced he is homosexual on social media before speaking on Friday’s This Morning to pal and co-host Holly Willoughby about his struggles in recent times over his sexuality. The Friday edition is anchored by Ruth Langsford and Eammon, with the couple joining Phillip and Holly for support at the end of the segment.

“I’m disappointed in a couple of ways. First of all I thought you were going to come in and announce you had resigned and I could have your job, but that wasn’t to be. And the second thing, there is this great imponderable in life that has always bothered me, I thought how come he can sit in a hot tub with Holly Willoughby and Steph doesn’t have a problem and Dan doesn’t have a problem.” – Eamonn speaking on This Morning.

However the majority of people with common sense could see Eammon was just trying to bring some light to the end of a serious situation. Phillip later spoke on social media to thank both Ruth and Eammon.

“Can I just say that @EamonnHolmes & @RuthieeL were utterly magnificent with me today, privately downstairs just the three of us and upstairs in front of the world. I couldn’t have hoped for a better, calming and loving set of hugs and support, I adore them both.” – Phillip Schofield

The X Factor dropped for a year

It probably, going by its past few years’ performance, should be put down and out of its misery entirely however X Factor mogul Simon Cowell has decided to rest the show and ponder a format fix for 2021. The Sun revealed ‘The X Factor is being rested for 12 months as Simon Cowell ponders changes to the ITV series.’

ITV has had a recent, somewhat surprising success, with The Masked Singer which has put the fun back into ITV entertainment. It isn’t the first time shows have been rested by the ents department. Saturday Night Takeaway took a break and returned refreshed.

The X Factor once a massive ratings banker for the broadcaster has floundered in the past few years with old rival, now millions of viewers ahead, Strictly Come Dancing becoming the king of the winter Saturday night ratings.

Strictly Come Dancing has proved the victor in the battle of Saturday night ratings against The X Factor.

Top Gear to move up a gear

Long running motoring magazine turned petrol-head extravaganza Top Gear may be leaving its traditional home of BBC Two for BBC One following a buoyant revival in its fortunes following the arrival of new hosts Andrew Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.

Deadline exclusively revealed that BBC director of content Charlotte Moore is impressed with how the series is performing, probably better than a 1992 Vauxhall Nova, so wants to elevate the show to the flagship channel.

‘Flintoff, Harris and McGuinness’ first season averaged 3.8M viewers last year, some 1.5M ahead of the previous Matt LeBlanc-fronted season. And the show returned in January with 4.2M viewers, which was up on 2018’s premiere. Crucially, the BBC has noted that Top Gear is performing better with young viewers, something it will hope to capitalize on by moving it to BBC One, where it will be exposed to a bigger audience.’ Deadline noted.

The comings and goings of Silent Witness

The BBC announced that Silent Witness will return for a further two series, a 24th as well as the 25th Anniversary series. The 23rd series of the hit drama came to an explosive conclusion on Wednesday night (Feb 5th) and saw the shock departure of two of the series’ regular characters: Clarissa Mullery (Liz Carr) and Dr Thomas Chamberlain (Richard Lintern).

“Silent Witness entertains audiences from all generations and continues to be one of the UK’s most successful returning crime drama series. I’m thrilled it will continue to grip the nation in 2021, and can’t wait for viewers to see what is in store for its 25th Anniversary in 2022.” – Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama

All change, for Silent Witness.

From Albert Square to Westminster, the life of Michael Cashman

Headlines like that are usually seen for an obit, but fear not ‘Enders fans for Michael Cashman, now a Lord no less, is still very much alive and well. The former EastEnders actor has written an autobiography charting his remarkable career and life.

When BBC One launched their Walford based twice-weekly saga back in 1985 they wanted to shake-up the serial landscape. With a little inspiration from Channel 4’s Brookside the gritty set, socially aware and character lead EastEnders was launched by creators Julia Smith and Tony Holland. Several taboo, controversial and hard hitting topics were covered in its first year on air, before in 1986 the show introducing its first gay character Colin Russell who later became romantically involved with Barry Clark (actor Gary Hailes).

Their on-screen relationship lead to the first same-sex kiss between two men in a continuous drama serial. In drama it had happened on BBC One back in 1979 when Play for Today aired Coming Out and even earlier for women when Alison Steadman and Myra Frances smooched in 1974 BBC Two drama Girl.

For Lord Cashman however an early evening ‘soap opera’ airing two men kissing caused a huge outrage in the tabloid press with headlines such as ‘EastBENDERS’ bringing the height of gutter journalism to the fore. Recently articles containing words such as ‘poof’, from the time, were pictured and shared on social media with the journalist behind them – a certain Piers Morgan – apologising for the 1980s horrific press coverage of gay and lesbians.

“As I’ve said before, I’m ashamed of some of the inappropriate language I used in The Sun thirty years ago about gay stars. They were different times, but that’s no excuse – it was offensive, it was wrong, and I apologise for it.” – Piers Morgan

Lord Cashman featured regularly in EastEnders from 1986 and 1989 and made a brief return in 2016 to see old pal Dot (June Brown.) After his original time in Albert Square Michael went on to fight for gay rights and equality, including founding LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall alongside Sir Ian McKellen.

Michael Cashman, far right, as Colin with Natalie Cassidy as Sonia and far left June Brown as Dot in EastEnders, 2016.

Quote of the Week

Gossip, oh such gossip, and gong shows are rive for tittle-tattle. Following ITV’s National Television Awards – devised as one social media user noted ‘to enable ITV to win some awards’ – it was reported that the actress behind factory boss Carla Connor had been seen smooching with the actor behind baddie Gary Windass.

However while Gary performer Mikey North remains tight-lipped, un-smooched tight-lipped that is, Carla alter-ego Alison King was tampin’, fumin’, ragin’ about the reports she’d been tonging with the ginger sex symbol.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say that, whilst it was obvious to see that regrettably I did have too much to drink at the National TV Awards, and chose to leave the event early, I did not kiss my co star Mikey North as has been reported.”

Everyone happy now?, It didn’t happen. It came direct from the none kissed horses mouth as were.

The Chase spreads

ITV Studios this week confirmed that game-show format The Chase, has been commissioned by TVE-owned LA1 in Spain, becoming the 14th territory to order the show.

It is also to return in Israel on KAN 11, where last year it won the award for Best Game Show at the Israeli Television Awards for the second year in a row. KAN has commissioned two further series.

The Chase is now into its eleventh year on ITV, having first appeared on screens back in 2009. During that time, it has regularly won its slot and grown its audience share, making it one of ITV’s most successful daytime shows in recent times, with more than 1500 episodes.

Since then it has gone on to be commissioned in territories including Australia, Denmark, Germany and Russia, with six of the 14 international versions produced locally by ITV Studios.

In Germany the show launched in 2012 in a late night slot, before being moved to primetime in 2015 where it airs on Das Erste, while in Serbia one in five viewers tune in to watch on RTS1. It launched in Finland on MTV3 in August 2018, where it added +80% to the slot for individuals.

The Chase is a hit with ITV viewers in the UK.

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


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