TV Weekly: ‘I am now just about the happiest TV presenter in Britain, though also, sadly, one of the oldest!’

This week Fred is back on HOW and he’s happy about that, the BBC is wasting more money on ‘eco consultants’ rather than just using common sense – or Google, the BFI celebrate Play for Today and the BBC looks into the life of their biggest pedo as Vivian Summers ponders…

‘Ender the Beef Burger

The BBC know how to waste money, especially on shows that seem to think they’re still in 1989 and top of the ratings, rather than the reality that they’re bottom of the barrel in both content quality and viewing figures.

Yes dear old EastEnders, they have four PR people you know – four – which between the ratings (don’t count the iPlayer as they don’t provide honest actual full programme views for that) means there’s about one PR for every seven hundred fifty thousand viewers.

But that’s another waste of money for Defund the BBC to take charge at. One thing Defund the BBC has already taken aim at is the Beeb chucking money at an ‘eco consultant’ who came in and told them how to cut carbon emissions. Does Google not f**king work on BBC computers?

“…all food now shown on air is vegetarian. This means Quorn sausages and bacon, and some sort of kidney bean concoction for black pudding…” a ‘source’ told The Sun

In other EastEnders news, The Sun headline read this week, ‘Tina Carter star Luisa Bradshaw-White to leave soap in explosive storyline after seven years.’ Bradshaw-White was best known for her roles in Holby City and This Life prior to joining the East End set saga in 2013, as Tina, whose storylines have included being knocked around by her girlfriend and caring for her dementia-stricken mother.


Riches for ITV

ITV has commissioned a ‘compelling, multi-layered six-part drama’ called Riches. I think an award could be given there for great self promotion, whoever at ITV wrote that line it truly is worth a gong. ‘compelling, multi-layered’ love it.

Now reading the presser info it seems it will be worth watching. The drama follows the exploits of the super-successful and wealthy Richards family, written by Abby Ajayi and produced by Greenacre Films.

Meet Stephen Richards, a successful and smart businessman, who always gets his own way. He’s built his life and business empire around the fact everything he touches turns to gold. Even abandoning his first wife and two older children, Nina and Simon, turned out well for him.

After 20 years of success, Stephen’s at the helm of his multi-million-pound cosmetics empire and is reaping the rewards of his business acumen and ambitions. He’s a great advocate for black-owned business, powerful, driven and impassioned, and with a glamourous, younger second wife, Claudia, life is never dull. Along with their adult children, Alesha, Gus and Wanda they love spending their hard-earned cash. The Richards are all about the good life and they’ve earnt it.

In New York, Nina and Simon have established themselves as business people in their own right but when Stephen suffers a stroke, the family’s world comes tumbling down. As Stephen’s life hangs in the balance, his children are about to collide and with secrets and lies rising to the surface and the empire at stake, it’s bound to be a complicated family reunion…

You see, ‘compelling and multi-layered’.


Play for Today at 50

The Beeb celebrate five decades since the first Play for Today was broadcast.

The drama, known for depicting contemporary issues from around the UK and beyond, began in October 1970 with The Long Distance Piano Player by Alan Sharp. The series went on to broadcast more than 300 single dramas, before it ended in 1984, with some plays reaching audiences of more than 8 million.

Filmed across the country in regional locations including Pebble Mill Studios in Birmingham, the strand developed a reputation as the heart of television’s creative response to national current events, pushing boundaries and sparking debate.

BBC History has partnered with the BFI National Archive to offer an academic perspective on the importance of Play for Today. In a special feature, available to read here, Katie Crosson, guest curator at the BFI National Archive and PhD researcher at The Centre for the History of Television Culture and Production, Royal Holloway, looks back at the people and politics that inspired the series through rare materials from BFI National Archive special collections.

The BFI is also revisiting the plays with a release of a remastered BFI Blu-ray box set, Play For Today: Volume 1 on the 26 October and season at BFI Southbank from 19 October – 30 November.

More than 130 of the plays can also be viewed for free in the BFI Southbank Mediatheque.


BBC Drama to chart life, fame and fiddling of Jimmy Savile

A bit like a farm producing a video on all the bad things about farming, the BBC are making a drama out of one of their biggest stars and one of their most alleged prolific paedophiles.

The one-time darling of the BBC, Sir Jim wandered the hallways of TV Centre chuffing on a cigar, wearing a string vest and grabbing the tit of any random female while corporation bosses turned away to look at how to piss some more telly tax up the wall.

Now, no doubt following the success of Des for ITV, good old Aunty Beeb has pulled down her knickers and unleashed this ‘great idea’ upon the nation.

The mini-series will trace the life of Jimmy Savile, a man who rose from working-class origins to become one of the biggest stars of BBC television, but in death has become one of the most reviled figures of modern history. The story will trace Savile through his early years in the dance halls of northern England, his career with the Beeb, to his twilight years when, in failing health and with his fame in decline, he sought to dispel the growing rumours about his life and the legacy he would leave behind.

The team are working closely with many people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect, and the drama series will also draw on extensive and wide-ranging research sources. It will examine the impact his crimes had on his victims and the powerlessness many felt when they tried to raise the alarm.

Due to dying before any of the claims were taken to court of course, he can never be found guilty and conversely it can never be proved how much is true about his filthy ways, which surely means it would have been better to do ‘The Trial of Jimmy Savile’ as Channel 4 have done in the past with famous perverts.

That kind of programme would at least let us see what accusations would stick and which would be thrown out. Then at least we’d know just how much was happening at the Beeb and his charities over those decades.


Fox gets the Willes

Jessica Fox found fame, well if it could be classed as that, in the worst version of Crossroads ever to hit ITV screens – although it didn’t harm her career or that of co-star Freema Agyeman.

Having escaped the ‘glam motel from hell’ in 2003 she’s been a regular part of Hollyoaks for fifteen years.

She’s been a regular on the show over the years its evolved from a “teen soap” into an early evening serial worthy of a place on primetime television on any channel. And while there’s been a fair bit of heartache recently on-screen off-screen its been much happier news for Jessica.

This week she revealed on social media that she has tied the knot with Nicholas Willes.

“While we wait for the wedding we planned to go ahead… we thought we’d get on with the business of being married.”


Search is Off

For the seven viewers who actually care, the ratings are so bad it makes That Antony Cotton Show seem like a good idea, Little Mix: The Search (for ratings) has been dropped from its usual slot due to a covid-19 concern.

The BBC in a statement said:

“We can confirm that a small number of people on the Little Mix The Search production have tested positive for coronavirus and they are now self-isolating following the latest government guidelines.

“Due to the format of the show we have made the decision to postpone Saturday’s programme. There are rigorous protocols in place to manage Covid-19 as the safety of all those involved in the production is paramount. We hope to be back on air on Saturday 24 October.”


Much a Hairdo about Nothing

BBC Three, the channel without a channel, is to air on the iPlayer another series of its fly-on-the-wall documentary series Angels Of The North.

Returning to the Beeb in November fans will be pleased to know that Sammyjo and her ‘Mamager’ Bev will be back streaming on BBC Three with the series picking up right where it left off.

Launching on November 1st at 6am the programme sees the salon and its staff coping with Covid-19, and preparing to reopen in July.

There’s drama, tears and tangle teasers, but you wouldn’t want it any other way!


How 3

“Having appeared in every one of the hundreds of HOW? and HOW2 programmes over more than thirty years, I am thrilled to be a part of the new series of HOW. The wheel will have turned full circle! I am now just about the happiest tv presenter in Britain – though also, sadly, one of the oldest! But my energy and enthusiasm are undimmed – and so is my desire to show, once again, younger viewers – HOW!” – Fred Dinenage

Following the news of the return of iconic children’s television show HOW, the presenting team this week were revealed as Vick Hope, Sam Homewood and Frankie Vu along with a welcome back for one of the original hosts Fred Dinenage.

Produced by Terrific Television the new series will be shown on CITV and simulcast on ITV from November. Launched by Southern Television in 1966 the original how ran until 1981. Its revivial as How 2 was launched in 1990 by Southern’s replacement TVS. The show ran until 2006 with STV taking over production from 1993 onwards.

The format brings various ‘how to, how does…’ situations to screen explaining how they work. Fred is part of the fabric of HOW and will be the only presenter to have appeared on all three versions of the format.

Fred has been a household name for decades on national ITV programmes including World of Sport, Tell the Truth, Pass the Buck, Gambit and Tiswas. He continues to present the regional news programme for ITV Meridian in the south of England and is regularly seen on Sky hosting his own series Fred Dinenage Murder casebook. (Pictured top).


Face the truth

Last night Channel 4 and Nationwide Building Society joined forces with Co-op and Network Rail to highlight the abuse and violence carried out against customer facing staff in the UK in a primetime ad-break takeover.

The impactful #TogetherAgainstHate campaign featured recordings and CCTV footage of both verbal and physical abuse experienced by each companies’ employees and delivered the important message that violence and threatening behaviour is never acceptable. Though there is only a small minority of the public perpetuating the abuse it should not be tolerated.

The ad break aired during Gogglebox (Friday 16th October) and illustrated some of the 400 plus abuse incidents that UK customer facing staff experience every single day.


Talent delay

Production was halted this week on the Britain’s Got Talent Christmas special after some of the production staff fell-ill. Sky News reported that at least three workers on the Thames Television production are self-isolating, while ‘several’ had tested positive for coronavirus.

“The safety of all those involved in the show is our number one priority and we follow extensive COVID-19 related procedures to adhere to all government guidelines.” – Thames Television statement

BGT was won this year by comic piano player Jon Courtenay. The delayed festive special is believed to be a ‘best of’ with several winning acts returning to entertain ITV viewers once more.


TV Weekly views are those of the author and are not endorsed by ATV Today, ATV News or ATV Network.
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One Reply to “TV Weekly: ‘I am now just about the happiest TV presenter in Britain, though also, sadly, one of the oldest!’”

  1. i remember when Fred worked for Southern Television on many shows and he hosted the Gameshow Gambit for Anglia Television in the Seventies ive met him at Anglia House he is a kind caring man and we all Fred!!

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