As we all off-the charts aware, there will be an IT Crowd Special finale. In case there is any doubt, The IT Crowd creator, Graham Linehan posted Vine videos relating to characters Roy (Chris O’Dowd), Moss (Richard Ayoade), Jen (Katherine Parkinson) along with the studio audience and crew, as part of the build-up to the long-awaited one-off special. You can see them here courtesy of the folks over at Digital Spy.
That said, this is so totally the moment you have been waiting for since the last moment you’ve been waiting for. The chance to hang with Roy, Moss, Jen and Douglas one last time in the corridors of Reynholm Industries for the IT Crowd finale. Ok, not really, but do you have a chance to be ‘in’ the finale when you submit a photo or video of yourself that might be actually used in the final episode. It just so happens that the producers NEED people to be in the IT Crowd Special. Submissions MUST be emailed to TheITCrowd@Retort.tv by 25th June 2013…that’s ONE WEEK FROM TODAY, just FYI.
Submissions should be photos or a video of you reacting to seeing an OUTRAGEOUS video on your phone or laptop. It would be really good if the photo can show a famous landmark in the background. Visiting the Eiffel Tower/North Pole/Great Wall of China? Take a snap of yourself pretending to look at something really gross on your device with the landmark in the background and BOOM! you’re in (with a very good chance of being in) the show.
Due to broadcasting regulations the producers need to be stringent about a few things, so here are the boring but necessary rules:
Remember, the video is OUTRAGEOUS. Not gross, really, but shocking.
Oh, yeah, one more thing, as Linehan cautions. “We have no money left so EXPECT VERY LITTLE REMUNERATION, POSSIBLY (DEFINITELY) EVEN AS LITTLE AS NONE *“. FYI, in case you can’t read the small print that accompanies the asterisk (*) that further emphasizes the point, it says: “That’s definitely. You will not be paid. There is no money“.
And, now….the fine, fine, small print direct from Linehan’s website….
The IT Crowd Special Terms & Conditions for Submission of User Generated Content. Don’t worry, there are only 15 terms & conditions to adhere to as you submit your photo.
For almost 500 years, from 1485 to 1917, he was the faithful manservant whose endless supply of cunning plans never quite elevated him beyond the level of Edmund Blackadder’s rather unhygienic servant. But, last Friday, the same night that Blackadder, the second most popular British sitcom of all-time (according to the 2004 Britain’s Best Sitcom series, celebrated its 30th anniversary, Baldrick finally turned the tables on his tormentor through the ages, Edmund Blackadder, after the actor Tony Robinson was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his public and political service.
Robinson, the current host of Channel 4’s archaeology show, Time Team, said of his award: “I’m thrilled, flattered and a little gobsmacked to have received this recognition from my country. I’ll use my new title with abandon to highlight the causes I believe in, particularly the importance of culture, the arts and heritage and the plight of the infirm elderly and their carers. I also pledge that from this day on I’ll slaughter all unruly dragons, and rescue any damsels in distress who request my help.”
Rowan Atkinson, who has entertained audiences around the world for over 30 years with his brilliant performances in Blackadder and Mr. Bean, also received a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) at the Queen’s Birthday Honours. One has to wonder (or hope) that the meeting between Atkinson and the Queen went a bit better than this…
Robert ‘Robbie’ Lewis was first introduced in 1987 as Detective Inspector Endeavour Morse’s sergeant during the iconic Inspector Morse series. Inspector Lewis, the spin-off series starring Kevin Whatley reprising his role, which premiered in 2006, had Lewis promoted to Detective Inspector Morse and paired with DS Hathaway.
Unfortunately, today is the day we all knew was coming but it still doesn’t make it any easier. Tonight’s Masterpiece Mystery! premiere on PBS of Inspector Lewis will be the first of the final three cases, all set in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford, for both Lewis (Kevin Whatley) and partner, Detective Sergeant Hathaway (Laurence Fox), the Cambridge-educated man who joined the police after giving up training for the priesthood.
In tonight’s episode, “Down Among the Fearful”, a psychic is found murdered and Inspector Lewis and D.S. Hathaway discover that the victim is really an Oxford psychology research fellow. As they probe further, the truth behind the psychic’s double-life unravels, revealing numerous possible suspects.
Following tonight’s premiere episode, “Down Among the Fearful”, will be “Ramblin’ Boy” on June 23 and “Intelligent Design” on June 30. ***FYI, viewers on KERA-TV in North Texas can see tonights episode at 7:00pm on June 23 followed by episode two at 8:30pm. The final episode will air on Sunday, June 30 at 8:00pm.***
Overshadowed just a bit by that little series we know as Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven and Katherine Kelly, which airs on ITV1 in the UK and PBS in the States as part of the Masterpiece series, will return in 2014 with 10 new episodes. Based upon the life of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, who founded the world-renowned store on London’s Oxford Street in 1909, the second series jumps ahead four years from the series 1 finale picking up the story in 1914 as the store celebrates its 5th anniversary of trading.
***Mr. Selfridge 2 plot spoiler alert below!***
Following the departure of his wife Rose (Frances O’Connor) for America at the end of series one, Harry has become accustomed to the life of a single man in London as the couple become increasingly estranged. But when she returns to British shores to celebrate Selfridges’ fifth anniversary of trading, Harry is determined to win back her affection. Getting in the way of Harry’s plan is Rose’s new friendship with bohemian novelist and businesswoman, Delphine Day, played by Polly Walker (Rome, Waking the Dead, State of Play), whom she meets on the boat back from New York.
Adding to Harry’s woes is his increasingly troubled relationship with business partner, Lady Mae Loxley (Katherine Kelly) as Aidan McArdle (Garrow’s Law joins the cast as Lord Loxley, returning from ‘the countryside’. Another cast addition sees Cal Macaninch (Downton Abbey) cast is newly appointed head of fashion, Mr Thackeray.
While Harry is proud of the store’s success, there is no time to rest on his laurels. With rumors rife and talk of war in Europe, he prepares staff for challenges times ahead. With World War One imminent and set to be the greatest and most devastating in history, it will inevitably affect the lives of everyone in the store. Throughout these troubled times, Harry will turn to his family and friends and try and heal the rifts of the past.
According to ITV, series 2 will transmit in early 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. U.S. broadcast is tentatively set to begin not long after in early Spring 2014.
This is almost too good to be true. Usually, summer movie releases are categorized in the blockbuster variety of which super-hero sequel can out box-office the others the most or the likes of Mission Impossible 6, Iron Man 3, Spiderman 3, Friday the 13th, part 25, etc. Not since 2004 and the release of Shaun of the Dead and Sideways have we had such a brilliant choice of non-superhero films or sequels to pick and choose from. Ok, I may have exaggerated just a bit, but these are two great summer viewing options with a number of names and faces that you’ll immediately recognize from the world of British telly.
The World’s End with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman – July 19
From the genius mind palaces of the creators of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, comes their next bit of greatness, The World’s End.
20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.
The World’s End also stars Pegg’s companion in crime, Nick Frost (Paul, Adventures of Tintin, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Rosamund Pike (Pride and Prejudice) David Bradley (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Broadchurch and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). In theaters July 19.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa – August 7
Alan Partridge’s long awaited big-screen adventure, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, a Die Hard-like hostage thriller has North Norfolk Digital’s finest facing off against a fellow DJ gone postal. Need we say more?
In a recent appearance on the Jonathan Ross show, creator Steve Coogan explained the film’s intricate plot: “Alan is in Norwich and he’s DJing on North Norfolk Digital, but a big horrible company called Gordale Media comes along to take over the radio station, rob it of all its personality and change it from North Norfolk Digital to ‘Shape’.”
Coogan said he was pleased to be writing new Partridge material but admitted that “..you do get sick of him because it’s like being in the room with an idiot. But then what you do is you leave him alone for a while and then after a while you start to miss him.” Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa will also star I’m Alan Partridge regulars Lynn (Felicity Montagu), Geordie BP garage worker Michael (Simon Greenall) and DJ Dave Clifton (Phil Cornwell).
Don’t know about you, but is there a better way to close out the summer than with true big screen brilliance? Don’t think so.
Over the past year, we’ve seen TARDIS cat houses, TARDIS refrigerators and TARDIS designed houses. The latest in TARDIS creations is David Lifton’s shed in Little Benton, Newcastle. Now comes the moment you’ve been waiting for. The entries for the Shed of the Year competition are in and your favorite time traveling police box is amongst the finalists.
Each year in the UK, the Shed of the Year contest trumpets the UK’s love of garden hideaways. The shed holds a very special place in the hearts of the British people everywhere. So much so, research shows that the average Brit spends 72 hours a year, or five months of their lives, in their sheds. Loved by writers, musicians, inventors and, in some cases actually, gardeners, it has long been a place with a charge to stimulate the creative juices.
Novelist Philip Pullman, poet Dylan Thomas, and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters are among those indebted to these humble, cobwebbed sanctuaries for producing some of their works. Arthur Miller specifically constructed one in his Connecticut garden just to write Death of a Salesman, his most famous play.
The 2013 winner has a lot to live up to given the 2012 winner. Turned into a fully-functioning pub, ‘Woodhenge’, the 2012 winner, is the creation of John Plumridge, and contains 500 ales and 150 ciders. It beat 2,000 other entries to win the contest.
So you don’t peak too early with anticipation, know that the overall winner will be announced during Shed Week on July 1. Judges include television presenter Sarah Beeny and designer Kevin McCloud, with the overall winner of the title and £1,000 being announced during…where else – ‘national shed week’. You can see all the finalists here. Any thoughts as to who you think should be the 2013 winner?
In 2011, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel followed a group of British retirees who decide to take their retirement to less the expensive and exotic India at the restored Marigold Hotel that has since fallen apart. With Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Dev Patel and Celia Imrie, the original cast reads like a who’s who of British acting royalty.
Based on Deborah Moggach’s novel ‘These Foolish Things’, the sleeper hit of 2011 has been tagged for a sequel in late 2013/early 2014 as Fox Searchlight has given the go-ahead to continue renovation on the Marigold. Most of the cast is expected to return, as well as Ol Parker returning to write the sequel and John Madden returning as the director.
Let’s the rumor mill begin. First up, With the news of the sequel, is the rumor that Helen Mirren and Colin Firth have signed on for the sequel although no word as of yet as to their roles. Purely speculative but it’s fun to think about for a bit anyway.
On the heels of last week’s announcement that a bit of PG Wodehouse would be hitting the London West End stage with Perfect Nonsense starring Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan comes the announcement by the BBC that Blandings, the period comedy series based on the Blandings Castle novels by the acclaimed English humorist, has been commissioned for a second series.
For those few that may be a bit unfamiliar with Wodehouse’s Blandings series, he wrote the first story in 1915. Fourteen novels and five collections of short stories later, he died in 1978, leaving Sunset At Blandings as his only unfinished work. Set in 1929, Blandings was filmed on location at Crom Castle in Northern Ireland and followed the Blandings family as they struggle to keep itself in order.This bit of writing brilliance has an equally as brilliant cast, headed by Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, Jam and Jerusalem) and Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech).
In addition to Spall and Saunders, who starred as the amiable, yet befuddled, Lord Emsworth, and his indomitable sister Connie, there are both big names and relative newcomers that have been added. Mark Williams (Father Brown, Harry Potter) will return as Beach, the long-suffering loyal butler to Lord Emsworth while Jack Farthing returns as Lord Emsworth’s financially irresponsible son Freddie. Whether or not David Walliams (Little Britain) or Jessica Hynes (Up the Women, Twenty Twelve, Spaced) will return in their guest roles is unclear at this point but, as with series one, the second series should continue the trend with more one-off characters popping up.
As with the first series, the second will also be filmed on location in Northern Ireland, at Crom Castle in County Fermanagh. Series 2 of Blandings will be shown on BBC One in early 2014. There is every reason to believe that American audiences will be able to see Blandings on a public television station near you in 2014 also.
Let’s see. First it was pink is the new black, then it was 50 is the new 30 and, now, after seeing The Call Centre, which premiered last Monday on BBC Three, many are convinced that The Call Centre is the new real-life Office. Nev Wilshire, chief executive of Swansea’s third biggest call centre, Save Britain Money, is definitely the new David Brent.
The fly-on-the wall-documentary series following the ups and downs of Nev and his staff of extraordinary characters. Real, but right out of the People Like Us and Office playbook. There are definite nods to The Office from a production standpoint, beginning with its name, the interviews to camera and the obligatory cutaways to endlessly running photocopiers.
Meet the staff at The Call Centre
- Nev Wilshire, the chief executive of Swansea’s third biggest call centre, Save Britain Money, bleeds Swansea. Born and bred in Swansea, Nev is a very hands on boss who makes it his business to know the ins and outs of the call centre workers’ professional and private lives. His motto? Happy people sell, of course.
- Hayley Pearce is the call centre tea lady. Hayley is a party girl who you will never catch without her fake tan or false nails. She often organizes trips for her friends to big dance events all across the UK. Now 23, Hayley has worked in call centres since leaving school at 16.
- Craig “Springer” Spring found himself at the Call Centre after having sold loft and cavity wall insulation for the past 16 months. Outside of work Springer is an avid footballer and is still on the look-out for the serious girlfriend he’s never had.
- Dwayne Batchelor has lived in the UK since 2001, originally coming over from his native South Africa to play cricket. Following a stint running a B & B in Scotland, Batchelor settled in at the call centre in Swansea nearly four years ago.
- Kayleigh Davis studied sport science at college but quickly decided that the office environment was more her style. She was cheated on by her last serious boyfriend and call centre boss Nev tried to mend her broken heart by holding a speed dating night in her honor to the tune of £500.
- Stephen ‘Twe’ Williams is the prankster of the call centre. Twe grew up wanting to be a police officer because of his desire ‘to tell people what to do’. But he found out that his forte is in sales and has been at the Call Centre for three years.
Series producer, Jon Connerty, shares his insights as to what it was like to spend 7 months in a call centre in this behind-the-scenes account of the making of The Call Centre.
Drift on over to BBC Three tonight if for nothing else but to cringe at Nev’s next newest one-liner. First week viewers have already been treated to the likes of ‘Swallow that frown’ and ‘Smile as you dial’. The best and/or worst, however, was ‘S.W.S.W.S.W.N – some will, some won’t, so what? Next!’. Laugh if you want, but Nev is laughing all the way to the bank. With over 700 employees making hundreds of thousands of cold calls a year, Save Britain Money is fast becoming a major player in the booming call-centre industry. The is cult telly at its finest. Let’s hope it makes its way to the States soon.
In what will be a reunion of sorts of former Atonement co-stars, Keira Knightley is close to signing on to co-star in The Imitation Game, a film based on the life of ground-breaking mathematician and Enigma code-breaker Alan Turing. While Benedict Cumberbatch is all set to apply his on-screen brilliance to the role of Turing, Knightley is being touted for the part of Joan Clarke, Turing’s co-worker in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park and good friend to whom he proposed marriage in 1941. Adapted from the book Alan Turing: The Enigma, The Imitation Game will focus more on the ‘complicated relationship’ with the code-breaker as opposed to Turing’s work at Bletchley.
Noted for writing the first blueprint for modern computing, Turing led the team at Bletchley Park that has been credited with shortening World War II by as many as two years by cracking the Nazis’ Enigma code, regarded by the Germans as unbreakable. Because of the Official Secrets Act, it is only six decades after his death that Turing’s contribution is beginning to be fully acknowledged. His code-breaking did not become public knowledge until twenty years after his suicide. His parents and brother never knew of his secret war efforts during his lifetime.
With Cumberbatch’s penchant for playing intellectual yet somewhat tortured souls (i.e. Sherlock Holmes, Steven Hawking and, let’s not forget his brilliant portrayal of the Creature in Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at the National Theatre) and after having recently watched the BBC-produced documentary one-off, Codebreakers: Bletchley Park and the recent PBS drama, Bletchley Circle, this low-budget indie will start with a competitive advantage beyond just the two leading stars and will be one that should be classified as a must-see.