My Autumn Television Favourites

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, it’s a far more welcome sight when it takes over from a glorious summer and this year, us brits have been spoiled, sunny days making staycations the holiday of choice for many. Television isn’t always at the forefront of our minds, when outside looks so inviting we tend to forget the box indoors.

It might be just me, but I’ve long been of the opinion that the selection of television programmes reflects the fact that most of us won’t be lounging on the sofa at the end of a long day at work. However, with the change of season comes a change of TV shows and I am loving the full Sky Box planner. My top 5 must-watch programmes this autumn are a heady mix of variety and drama, take a look:

Strictly Come Dancing

When that glitter ball trophy’s up for grabs each autumn, I’m ready for BBC One to take over my television on Saturday and Sunday nights. I love everything about Strictly Come Dancing, from the judges (Shirley Ballas is a fantastic replacement for Len Goodman) to the inspired mixture of contestants from across sports, television, etc. I also have a thing for professional dancer, Aljaz Skorjanec! So the sight of him cheers me up no end as the dark nights draw in. I am sorry that he and Kate Silverton have been voted off the show, as not only does that reduce my Aljiaz time, but I also really like and respect Kate – she was coming on leaps and bounds. It’s the ultimate autumn AND winter telly, though and much as I miss Sir Brucie (RIP) you’ve gotta love Claudia with her one liners and dry wit. It’s a TEN from every member of the panel at Entertainment Views HQ.

Doctor Who

Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor has stolen my heart and mind! She is everything I hoped she’d be and more. Sunday evenings are so much better for a dose of Doctor Who and together with her band of companions, the Doctor is rocking some exceptional storylines. Chris Chibnall should be congratulated for injecting verve, vibrancy and very current topics into the scripts. The Tardis has never been in better hands. The guest stars are brilliant too, Lee Mack was certainly a favourite (if not short-lived) addition in one episode and I can’t wait to see Phyllis Logan, I think she’ll be awesome as usual. Whittaker is my new favourite since the wondrous David Tennant took over the Tardis. If I’m not mistaken, their characterisation of the Doctor is similar.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here

Dingo dollars, Kiosk Kev (ahhh see ya later Kiosk Keith!) and a brand new set of celebrities for Dec and his newly appointed assistant, Holly Willoughby to play with! With Noel Edmonds has been the first camp mate to cause a stir, all seemed fairly settled in both camps until he became Emperor. Harry Redknapp is already established as one of my favourites, his stories are fantastic and he’s such a down to earth bloke. Anne Hegerty is doing a great job of raising the awareness of Autism and actually not handling jungle life too badly, although she does like to use the phrase ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ she has no qualms about it. Nick Knowles is proving himself to be a kind and useful sort of person and Rita Simons is so to the point, I love her. I haven’t picked a winner yet but there are a few who already deserve the crown. A superb line up this year!

There She Goes

This has just finished on BBC Four and it has been gripping yet hilarious drama. In fact it’s been the type of programme you feel it’s disrespectful to laugh at and yet that’s exactly what the script and performances are inviting the audience to do. There She Goes centres around a girl called Rosie who is learning disabled and although she’s age 9 she’s suffering from severe developmental delay. David Tennant and Jessica Hynes play her parents and they’re a great tag team, an ideal combination to take on a challenging drama peppered with light comedy. Watching their daily struggles, flashbacks to when Rosie was born and they were looking for answers and the brutal reality of the consequences of her impairment are at once cringe-worthy and life-affirming. It’s been a must-see series and if you can get it on catch up, I highly recommend you give it a watch.

The Apprentice

You’re fired! Good old Sir Alan is back with his straight-faced sidekicks, Karen and Claude (bring back Nick and Margaret!). Lord Sugar’s in search of a new business partner and as usual, there are a selection of candidates vying for the prestigious position and kicking each other when they’re down in a bid to be the one to win the prize. As much as there are always a number of candidates whom I find perpetually annoying, I always take a step back and remember that editing takes responsibility for the persona of each individual. Although the business world is dog eat dog and that is reflected in their behaviour. Some of the tasks have had me glued, the art gallery in particular was a fascinating watch and I had the fired candidate pegged from the start. Other weeks it’s not been so easy to guess. This series has renewed my love of the show, though and I can’t wait for the next instalment.

Photo Credits: BBC & ITV 

Advertisements

Downton Abbey Movie ~ Is It Too Late?

I’m a self-confessed fan of the popular ITV series Downton Abbey, to the point of fan-girling, checking out the fandom activity and feeling fairly bereft when the Abbey closed its doors at Christmas back in 2015. News of a movie to enable Downton’s enthusiastic following to take another peek into the upstairs and downstairs goings on was met excitedly, by me and by fellow fans of the Fellowes drama.

However, as the years have rolled by with (from what we mere members of the public could tell) not so much as a sniff of a script and longstanding cast members almost continuously cagey when asked questions about a possible movie by the media, the question mark over the potential movie hovered precariously. As a blogger who predominantly covers theatre I was delighted to discover so many of my favourite actors from the drama series treading the boards. Phyllis Logan toured with Noel Coward’s ‘Present Laughter’ which in turn offered a superb opportunity I might not otherwise have had.  I took a trip to Chiswick to carry out an interview and enjoyed coffee and croissants with Ms Logan while I was at it, she’s an actor who has been high on my radar since she played Lady Jane in Lovejoy. Her colleague, Lesley Nicol opened my eyes to fantastic and extremely worthy charities, so I was over the moon (bears!) to interview her for my blog, too. With the vast majority of the show’s famous faces being kept busy in various ‘jobs’ (just check out the credits that Lily James who played Lady Rose has wracked up!) the movie seemed a distant and not so urgent thought.

Phyllis Logan appeared in the UK tour of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter in 2016.

When the announcement of impending filming broke, not so long ago, and just over 2 1/2 years after the festive finale, my initial reaction wasn’t to jump for joy. What year are they planning on setting it in was top of my list of queries. Are we picking up straight after their new year celebrations therefore following Mr Carson’s (Jim Carter) journey of enforced retirement or will we pick it up long after life has changed for Downton’s inhabitants? I’m the first to admit that my over-active imagination already sees the Carsons living a different life and has Mrs Patmore paired off with widowed hanger-on, Mr Mason (Paul Copley).

With the Downton Abbey film’s release date now set for 20th September 2019, my humble opinion of a movie following long after momentum has been lost has shifted. I think it was the Instagram post from Michelle Dockery (the ever-popular Lady Mary – follow her: https://www.instagram.com/theladydockers/ to check out the post I’m referring to) that not only cemented in my mind that this IS happening, but also transported me back to the good old days when social media buzzed with anticipation of the next series of Downton Abbey. I recalled the Duchess of Cambridge visiting the set while the final series was in production, the excitement surrounding that was palpable. So maybe regaining some of that old Downton Abbey-inspired joy will be just the ticket for 2019?

One thing’s for sure, I’ve moved from sceptic to eagerly awaiting and hope beyond hope that Fellowes won’t let us down! In fact, I have one plea to make – do what you will with all of the characters but please let Mrs Patmore be happy!! Back in the day I would have begged for Lady Edith’s (Laura Carmichael) happiness, however unless a curve ball is coming our way, it seems that her future was looking rosy by the time we bid au revoir to the Crawley family.

Bring on 20th September 2019, then…

 

Photo Credits: ITV & Nobby Clark 

 

Vanity Fair ~ ITV

This wasn’t a television adaptation I expected to like, let alone enjoy and desire more of. William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic has not only been transformed into a glitzy ITV period drama with a subtle modern twist, there’s a cast of names and faces whom many television aficionados will be familiar with. As we linger on the past three episodes and dwell on the highlights of what has become, for me anyway, a must-watch series – here are a few of the many best bits so far…

Carousel

I love the carousel which opens the programme so wondrously and the appearance of Michael Palin as Thackeray. The carousel itself and the characters we see riding the horses is utterly symbolic of the story and tells a take just in that simple scene. A genius idea.

Olivia Cooke

In the leading role of Becky Sharp, she has me hooked. Those facial expressions wouldn’t be out of place in a theatrical performance and her every move proves that she’s sharp by name and sharp by nature. The chemistry with every performer she crosses paths with is electric, quite as one would imagine it would be for those who fell under Miss Sharp’s spell. The character is the epitome of a person who falls into manure and comes up smelling of roses, and Cooke carries that air of smugness which this ‘trait’ necessitates.

Clunes behaving badly

As much as I’ve grown to love the series, I had found it a little slow going to begin with, therefore the introduction of Martin Clunes in the role Sir Pitt Crawley grabbed my attention. Clunes looks like he’s having a whale of a time playing the villain and he’s predictably bringing plenty of humour to the role too.

Tour De Force

Frances de la Tour as Miss Matilda Crawley is as resplendent and batty as I know she has the capacity to play, another television favourite who looks as though they’ve had great fun with a well written role. Her humour and raucous laughter enhance the character and she plays brilliantly opposite both Cooke and Clunes.

Crawley’s a Crawler

Tom Bateman as Rawdon Crawley, a character so overtly benign it’s a wonder Miss Sharp didn’t see spot it a mile off as his lack of money is surely a hindrance. However, whatever her game, it appears that he and she have married for love and that crawler Crawley may be blissfully unaware of his secretly wedded wife’s motives.

Summary

There’s tongue-in-cheek humour and nods towards the classic story not having been taken too seriously, perhaps to attract and retain a younger audience. However, from the pop soundtrack to the perfect casting – this adaptation has surprised me in the best possible sense. I can’t wait for Sunday evenings and hooray for autumn telly! Vanity Fair has landed on our screens at just the right time.

Photo Credits: ITV

This Morning Live! ~ NEC, Birmingham

Put your hands up if you love ITV’s This Morning! I think it’s one of the best television shows and find it an amazing achievement that the award winning magazine programme has been on our screens for 30 years now. We’ve all got our favourite presenters and items on the show, This Morning Live! encompasses everything, it’s like the team stepped out of the television screen! You can:

  • Shop!
  • Meet the Presenters
  • Get your hands on a ton of freebies
  • Watch your favourite Cooks at work
  • Pick up make up and well being tips
  • …and much, much more

Plus the atmosphere is a combination of chilled decadence mixed with the thrill and excitement of walking amongst some of the most popular faces off the television. As an event it has it all, and I was only able to attend on the Saturday and Sunday this time. It’s actually a four day event and next year I’m going to make sure I’m there every day to get an even fuller picture of one of the year’s hotly anticipated shows.

The added bonus this year was that we were able to watch the Royal Wedding on the big screen on the main stage with commentary from Rylan Clark-Neal. It was great fun watching a milestone occasion with other This Morning enthusiasts, I’ll never forget it. Here’s some more memories from my weekend together with some useful hints and tips for your trip next year and a few reasons why you should go!

Top 5 Highlights Of The Weekend

  • Alison Hammond – Alison won one of my blog’s awards for Pantomime last year. Her performance of ‘Get Ya Freak On’ as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at Malvern Theatres. I was over the moon to be able to present her with the award, personally. She truly is the Queen of Birmingham.
  • The Speakmans – This inspirational pair are always a favourite of mine on This Morning and their session about teaching yourself to be happy was invaluable. They speak so much sense and their style of self-help is the best I’ve ever come across. An uplifting, life-affirming presentation.
  • Charlotte White – Charlotte White is one of my best-loved foodies and her session all about red velvet cupcakes made my day. She’s one of the most comprehensive Cooks in my humble opinion and her style adds to her natural vivacity. A fantastic piece to listen to and interesting too. Nobody makes red velvet like Charlotte does.
  • Ainsley Harriott – Ainsley is like a breath of fresh air and I can attest that his Rum punch packs a punch too. Watching him cook and create was a privilege, he’s a talented man and engaging to listen to.
  • Eamonn Holmes & Ruth Langsford – I love these two, their style of presenting and the way in which they complement one another makes Fridays one of my favourite days to watch This Morning, on. They were predictably superb on the Main Stage and my only regret is I didn’t manage to meet them, but everybody who did couldn’t stop gushing about them which was so awesome to hear. My little dream of a selfie with the inspirational duo can stay on the wish list for another time!

Top 5 Tips To Get The Best Out Of The Show

  • Meets and Greets: If you want to meet the This Morning Presenters and have a photograph taken with them as well as a bit of a chat – Gold tickets can be purchased (there are two type of ticket, with Silver being the basic admission ticket available). Gold tickets do sell out fast as meeting the Presenters is on many show-goers agenda so if you do fancy upgrading to get the VIP experience, book early. However, it is worth noting that where possible a few Silver ticket holders were permitted to join the queue for the meets and greets – although you’ll be queuing slightly longer due to the Gold ticket holders having booked their slot in advance. Is it worth queuing to meet the Presenters? If that’s your bag then a resounding YES!
  • Shopping: I was unprepared for the number of bargains to be had at a variety of different stalls, so if you’re the type of person who’s head is turned by a good deal have your purse or wallet to hand. From jewellery and books to food, there’s lots of choice and there are loads of gift ideas.
  • Schedule: If you want to make the most of the content on the various stages, make sure you take a look at the show schedule – you can find this on screens around the arena and I saw many people have the bright idea of taking a photo of it on their phones. It’s sound advice! There’s the Main Stage, Beauty & Well-Being and Food & Drink – make a note of the times your preferred article is scheduled for and get yourself to the appropriate area early if you want a seat. Seats for the Main Stage fill up very quickly with so many show-goers keen to get a good view of the main Presenters.
  • Book Signings: Another great way of meeting some of the Presenters if they happen to have a book out, times of the signings can be found near the book stand they’ll be appearing at. I made the mistake of realising too late that The Speakmans were signing their latest, so be sure to check out the book signing list early and be prepared to queue if you are up for this activity. I watched the interaction fans were having with Rylan and it looked well worth the queuing to me!
  • Competitions: There are loads of competitions so keep your eyes and ears peeled. Plus this year there was a selfie competition so make sure you’re connected with This Morning Live! on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Top 5 Reasons To Go Next Year

  • Stars of the small screen – where else will you see them all in one place?
  • Atmosphere – if you want to go to an event where you’re surrounded by the buzz of happy show-goers and plenty of exciting content for a full day’s outing, this is the place for you.
  • Bargains – it comes back to shopping again! The deals and offers are incredible, I’m still getting over it now… as you can tell!
  • Live demos – Cooking, Happiness Training, Beauty tips, there’s a long list of demos you won’t want to miss.
  • It’s a fantastic day out, fun and entertainment for all the family and worth going on more than one day if you can as no two days are the same.

Keep a look out on the This Morning Live! website for details of next year’s show and you can also sign up for news: This Morning Live! Website

Weekend Watch List ~ 24th & 25th March 2018

Telly at the weekend is a must for all of us at Entertainment Views HQ, we all enjoy a relax in front of the box and last weekend there was plenty to keep us all entertained. Here’s a few of the top picks from our chilled out couple of days as couch potatoes:

Milkshake!

This is usually the start of our weekend, Saturday morning kids television and I love it as much as my little boy does! Milkshake! is a great ‘magazine’ style show which includes an episode of a number of different children’s television favourites. Thomas the Tank Engine, Peppa Pig, Noddy, Shimmer and Shine, they’re all there keeping the smallest member of the family amused. The presenters are all bubbly, energetic whirlwinds, Amy Thompson is the favourite in our house, though.

Pointless Celebrities

Grange Hill week on Pointless Celebrities! I think this should be a monthly thing, it was fantastic to see all the old favourites, including Mr Robson who hasn’t changed one iota. An amazing episode and worthy winners, too.

The Voice UK

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and I have no idea who will win, there’s no front runner in my humble opinion. Some of the judges’ picks for the final have been a surprise, there are three artists in the final line up who may appear too similar to one another and therefore would they stand the best chance? If I were to back a team at this point? Team J Hud!

Casualty

Robyn (Amanda Henderson) and Glen (Owain Arthur) got married and then tragedy struck! Argh!! I suppose it was always going to head in that direction when the episode kicked off with Glen having a scan due to his worsening condition. At least the pair made it up the aisle without a hitch… almost. It was certainly a lovely moment with Duffy (Cathy Shipton) and Charlie (Derek Thompson) part of the big day. I know there’s been plenty of excitable fan comments about the ‘selfie’ that Duffy insisted on, too!

The Durrells

I’m late to the party with this one, The Durrells has long been a favourite of my husband’s however I’ve really got on board this series. I like the comedy elements and the absurdity. The location is pretty extraordinary too. I now need to binge watch the episodes I’ve missed. See you on the other side! I have a connection to the show because I have visited Jersey Zoo many times as a child so I’m delighted to have ‘discovered’ this.

Weekend Watch List – 10th & 11th March

My weekend television watch list is ever growing and the amount of programmes backed up on the planner is ridiculous (I’m fighting for space on the Sky box! First world problems!!). So here’s my must-see shows from last weekend which made it past the catch-up stage:

Pointless…Picture shows: Alexander Armstrong

Pointless Celebrities

I love Pointless because I’m a quiz-a-holic – and Pointless Celebrities always ticks the box for me, not least because some of the contestants they pull out the bag have often been missing form our screens for a while. Although one of the finalists last week included recent Strictly Come Dancing revelation, the lovely Debbie McGee. I’ve not yet found myself a pointless answer, but the time will come!

The Voice UK

The final week of battles and it was a tense week. The fact there were no steals left throughout most of the episode was quite a feat to face for the contestants. I agreed with each of the judges’ choices though and thought Will.i.am had a fantastic steal. I can’t wait for the knock outs now, I have no idea who might win it. J Hud does seem to have one of the best teams though.

Casualty

The mystery blogger has been at the hub of recent goings on in Holby and Jac (Rosie Marcel) was soon on the warpath on behalf of Serena (Catherine Russell), kicking Ethan (George Rainsford) up the backside to try and get a result. Alicia (Chelsea Halfpenny) is rather like a rabbit in the headlights when Ethan asks her outright, although she denies it. However, it’s not long before she’s confessing and Ethan is unimpressed. I foresee more trouble ahead!

Dancing on Ice

Torvill and Dean back on the ice together? Glorious! Max Evans not making it to the final? disappointing (he had all my votes). Brooke Vincent in the final? A remarkable journey for that girl and she deserved to be there. Jake Quickenden winning? Amazing! The right choice and he really has had an incredible journey. I’ve loved Dancing on Ice!

 

Hold the Sunset

I’ve enjoyed this, more so for the supporting characters though – and of course the mighty Alison Steadman. Although I feel the central storyline is flimsy and whimsical, it’s Queenie (Anne Reid) and Roger (Jason Watkins) that are holding my attention. It’s an easy-viewing comedy though and definitely belongs on a Sunday evening.

The Sooty Show ~ Stafford Gatehouse Theatre

The Sooty Show is on UK tour and you can book your tickets to see the TV legend, here: The Sooty Show Live

Star rating: *****

Sooty is a television legend, so to be able to see him with his pals – Sweep and Soo on stage was a treat for not only me, my husband and the other adults in the audience who have also grown up with the little yellow bear during his 70 year career. To be able to share the show with our three year old was even better and goes to prove that the popular trio are still able to engage with audiences, new and old!

Richard Cadell is their right-hand man and he is a terrific comedian, he’s as talented at physical comedy as he is at keeping the old cheesy jokes flowing. A natural addition to the set-up and adding the comic timing required to make the show what it is.

With a fabulous ‘showbiz’ set and audience participation aplenty, the magic, humour and energy was boundless. I find it baffling that Sooty, who doesn’t ‘speak’ still draws the attention of the young theatre-goers as well as the adults. It goes to show that basic family entertainment with a simple yet effective storyline still has its place.

There are many dates on the tour schedule, so get ourselves along to see a real star on stage! Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Busy!

 

 

Broadchurch Series Three, Episode Eight ~ Review

The Broadchurch finale was so spectacularly packed with the unexpected, twists, turns and yet as the plot unfolded I was aware that I had fleetingly considered the configuration. Although I hadn’t counted on grooming and the fact that one of the culprits would have no shame whatsoever. This series has been incredible, it’s been full of well-crafted scripts with excellent casting and it’s gone out on a high. I would love a fourth series, even though I know it’s not going to happen.

My highlights can be found in the video below, I felt that a unique ending deserved a unique (unique for my blog, anyway!) send-off…

As I bid a fond farewell to my favourite on-screen double-act, I thank Chris Chibnall for exceptional work. I thank the cast and crew for a quality television programme and David Tennant, I’d like to just thank, generally (I’m sure I speak for many!!).

Broadchurch Series Three, Episode Seven ~ Review

The penultimate episode of Broadchurch and I am first to admit that I still don’t know who the culprit is (or culprits!) and I’m not even going to hedge my bets. I am completely clueless on this one, just possibly leaning towards it being more than one perpetrator. So what do we know as we head towards the final instalment? Plus, hands up if you’re going to miss this amazing drama? (I’m holding both of my hands up!!).

Mark’s alive! ~ At the end of the previous episode the nation held their breath when Mark (Andrew Buchan) attempted suicide. I think I knew in my heart that he would survive, but it was touch and go and a hospital stint was the result of his cry for help. It seems to have put more weight onto Beth’s (Jodie Whittaker) shoulders though and she is insisting that he sees a professional to break down his grief. I’m sure all will not be resolved for the Latimers by the time the series wraps up, but perhaps they’ll have made positive steps.

Ed in the clear? ~ I got the impression that Ed (Lenny Henry) was being removed from the spotlight this week, he has declared that he has feelings for Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) and seems to think that his behaviour i.e. taking photographs of the object of his affections without her knowing, is perfectly OK. I feel he can’t be entirely blameless but if he didn’t do it, then will Trish find out just how creepy her boss is?

Cath makes peace ~ Cath (Sarah Parish) obviously feels that the detaining of her husband, Jim (Mark Bazeley) may be warranted when she goes on a search of his possessions and finds his magazines. The discovery of condoms in his car glove compartment seem to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and she is on the phone to Trish pretty swiftly. First of all asking if her rapist used a condom and then apologising to her. Cath suspects her husband, that’s for sure!

Ian comes clean ~ Ian (Charlie Higson) admits that he had spyware installed on Trish’s laptop so that he could check up on her. Another ‘stalker’ (even if it is her husband) who claims that he is still in love with her. Trish certainly seems to attract ’em doesn’t she? Who installed the spyware? Leo (Chris Mason) of course, tying up that little mystery, in a fashion.

Clive’s collection ~ To finish the episode on Clive’s (Sebastian Armesto) wife finds a drawer full of bits and pieces that appear to belong to women. There’s a keyring photograph of Trish and her daughter which puts him in the frame. He’s none too pleased when he finds out that his wife has tapped into this secret, either. However, he’s a taxi driver, is he just a hoarder of belongings that are left behind in his cab? I’m playing devil’s advocate!

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: