Monthly Archives: December 2014

Returning series

This is a round up of some returning series in the next week or so. I don’t follow all of them personally but sometimes it’s easy to miss them or think they are repeats.

BBC1
Room 101 – the comedy series hosted by Frank Skinner where panellists discuss their pet hates, returns on Friday 2nd January at 08:30pm. No sign of the extended version “Room 101 – extra storage” at the moment.

The Musketeers – Friday 2nd January at 9pm. Yes, Friday, used to be on Sundays! The swashbucking drama returns for a second series minus Peter Capaldi who has disappeared into a strange blue police box!

Father Brown – the sleuthing priest returns on Monday 5th January for a third series in the daytime schedule for 15 (or maybe just 10, unsure on this) episodes Mon-Fri at 2:15pm (for its first week at least. Times could change slightly thereafter).

Silent Witness – the long running forensic science series returns on Tuesday 6th January 9pm

Death in Paradise – the murder mystery series in a tropical paradise returns for a fourth series of eight episodes at 9pm on Thursday 8th January, yes Thursday (new day)

ITV

Foyles War – returning on Sunday 4th January at 8pm (till 10pm) for a series of three brand new episodes.

Broadchurch – returns for a second series (8 episodes I think) on Monday 5th January at 9pm.

Non terrestrial channels

Sony Entertainment
Franklin and Bash – The comedy drama series about two lawyers resumes its 4th season on Thursday 8th January at 10pm.

Sky Living
Bones – The forensic science police series returns for a 10th season on Wednesday 14th January at 9pm.

E4
Supernatural – The brothers continue their monster hunting as they move from Sky Living to E4 for its 9th season on Tuesday 6th January 10pm.

The Big Bang Theory – the geeky comedy returns on Monday 15th January at 8:30pm.

Universal
Psych – The series returns for its 8th and final season on Sunday 18th January at 7pm.

Alibi
The Murdoch Mysteries – The late 19th century detective drama returns for its 8th season on Monday 26 January at 9:00pm

Watch
Grimm – The fairytale monster series returns for a 4th season on Wednesday 28th January at 9pm.

Syfy UK
Continuum – The time shift cop show returns for its 3rd season on Wednesday 28th January at 10pm.
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Christmas lectures, spies and waltzes

With a line up like that, it could only be BBC4!

For those who love their annual fix of The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, just a reminder of where and when they are this year. Since leaving BBC2 many,many years ago these lectures have bounced around the channels until finally returning to the BBC in 2010 on BBC4.
They’ve down to 3 rather than 5 episodes these days and they’re less lecture more workshop but there is still a lot to enjoy.

This year they are on 29th, 30th and 31st December at 8pm and entitled “Sparks Will Fly – How to Hack your Home”. Professor Danielle George from the University of Manchester takes three great British inventions – the light bulb, the telephone and the motor – and shows you how to hack, adapt and transform them to do extraordinary things.

Following the first Christmas lecture on the 29th at 9pm is Al Murray’s Greatest British Spy Movies. Comedian and history buff Al Murray is joined by former director of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington, political comedian Matt Forde and film expert Matthew Sweet for a fresh look at the great British spy movie.

Following this at 10pm is classic spy film “The Ipcress File” starring Michael Caine. Even if you don’t watch the whole film, check out the opening title sequence which is just perfect, with John Barry’s now iconic spy theme setting the tone and hinting at the intrigue to come over the mundane task carried out by Caine’s Harry Palmer in the visuals.

On New Year’s Day, some highbrow entertainment from Vienna with the New Year’s Day Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra playing polkas, waltzes and marches, accompanied by dancing by The Vienna State Ballet. Petroc Trelawny presents highlights from the concert in which internationally renowned conductor Zubin Mehta joins the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra to conduct, for the fifth time, their traditional start to the new year from the Musikverein in the heart of Vienna. I think the Blue Danube might just be one of the pieces.

Strictly Christmas special

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Couple Dance Song Scores (see *)
Chris and Iveta Charleston Sleigh ride 7,8,8,8=31
M 7
Rachel and Tristan Viennese waltz Please Come Home for Christmas 9,9,10,10=38
M 9
Russell and Joanne Cha Cha Cha Could It Be Magic? 7,8,7,7=29
M 5
Sophie and Aljaž American Smooth I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas 9,10,10,10=39
M 10
Lisa and Robin Jive Step Into Christmas 8,8,8,8=32
M 6
Louis and Aliona Quickstep Jingle Bells 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Opening number

Bruce arrived in a taxi and arrived at the West End theatre where supposedly (in theory) the Strictly pantomime was being held. Joanne and Aliona were trimming the tree. Bruce joined them along with other pros Natalie, Iveta. Tristan and Aljaž then joined the group along with Robin and Ian.
Opening number “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” leading into “All I Want For Christmas is You”

Read the rest of this entry

Strictly week 13 – The Final

The Glitterball is within reach

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Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison. Couples still in the competition in blue.

Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2
ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina Judges pick -Charleston My Old Man 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
After 1st dance – joint 2nd
After 2nd dance – 2nd
After 3rd dance – 2nd
Dance off in week 3
Dance off in week 5
Dance off in week 11

Three good dances, but the AT was outstanding.
Finalists, joint runners up.
Showdance A Little Less Conversation 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
Couple’s favourite dance -Argentine tango Roxanne 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and Aljaž ——————- —————— —————- ———————– Dance off in week 6
ELIMINATED in week 7
Jake and Janette ——————- ——————- ——————- ——————- ELIMINATED in week 12 (semi final)
Judy and Anton ——————- —————— —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 8
Caroline and Pasha Judges pick -Cha Cha Can You Feel It 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
After 1st dance – 1st
After 2nd dance – 1st
After 3rd dance – 1st
Dance off in week 7
Great routines, all.
****** WINNERS *******
Showdance Angels 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
Couple’s favourite dance -Charleston Istanbul (not Constantinople) 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan ——————– ——————- —————– —————————- Dance off in week 8
Dance off in week 9
ELIMINATED in week 10
Mark and Karen Judges pick -Cha Cha I’m Your Man 8,9,9,9=35
M 8
After 1st dance – 4th
After 2nd dance – 4th
No 3rd dance
Dance off in week 4
Dance off in week 10
Dance off in week 12
Fun and frenetic but not technically great.
Finalists, 4th place
Showdance Don’t Stop Me Now 8,9,9,9=35
M 8
Couple’s favourite dance – Samba That’s The Way I Like It not performed due to elimination
Scott and Joanne ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 11 (quarter final)
Steve and Ola ——————- —————— —————— ————————- ELIMINATED in week 9
Frankie and Kevin Judges pick -Samba la Bamba 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
After 1st dance – joint 2nd
After 2nd dance – 2nd
After 3rd dance – 3rd
Showdance and Paso doble were their best dances.
Finalists, joint runners up.
Showdance Get Happy 9,9,10,10=38
M 9
Couple’s favourite dance -Paso Doble America 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Congratulations to the Apprentice winner

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After 10 gruelling tasks and a round of piercing interviews, it came down to Mark Wright vs Bianca Miller.
search engine ranking assistance vs ladies tights to match skin tone

and Lord Alan Sugar chose …
Read the rest of this entry

Strictly winners

Well congratulations to the winners of Strictly Come Dancing
who were … Spoilers in rest of post

Nick Hewer leaves The Apprentice

Embed from Getty Images

Well after 10 years as Alan Sugar’s trusty advisor on The Apprentice, Nick Hewer is leaving the show. Hewer has been with the programme since day one and he and co-advisor Margaret Mountford made a formidable team following the candidates around on their tasks and reporting back to Sugar before joining him in the boardroom. Mountford left after five series and was replaced by Karren Brady.  It’s now the end of the era as the original advising team have gone.

The question is who will replace Hewer but maybe also how long will Lord Sugar himself carry on with “the process”. I don’t think the show has been the same since the prize changed from a job to a business investment. They were asking for contestants to apply for the next series on the companion programme “You’re Fired” so there’s at least one more intake of potential business partners. The show may be nearing its end though.

Anyway, farewell to Nick, his pithy comments, and his wonderful stares and raised eyebrows!

Strictly Apprentice!

Well that Mark Wright has been a busy chap. Wright has reached the notoriously difficult interview stage of the penultimate episode in The Apprentice which airs tonight on BBC1 at 9pm.

He is also in the Strictly final on Saturday.
Oh hang on, someone is whispering in my ear … Oh so it’s a different Mark Wright!

This is Strictly’s Mark Wright (with dance partner Karen)

The Apprentice Mark Wright is in the picture below along with fellow candidate Daniel Lassman and the picture underneath that shows other remaining candidates Roisin Hogan, Bianca Miller and Solomon Akhtar.
(See my Apprentice page for table of past tasks and firings)

To those thinking it was a Strictly and Apprentice mash-up, sorry, but now that would be interesting. I wonder if Pixie is a good businesswoman, and if Jake is good at selling. Daniel could be a wow at salsa. I bet Roisin is a dab hand at the waltz, she’s brilliant at everything. Oh well…

 Strictly’s final airs on Saturday at 6pm to 7:55pm and again on Saturday at 8:50pm till 10pm.

 The Apprentice final airs on Sunday at 9pm till 11pm.

Strictly Final – songs and dances revealed

All four finalists will perform the Judges’ pick first and later their showdance. After this the finalist with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated at the beginning of the results show. Then the three remaining finalists will perform their favourite routine of the series.
The music for the showdances and the dances and songs for the couples choice dance are revealed below. The judges choice will be revealed on the Saturday show. (Click on “read rest of entry” to find out)

Strictly week 12 – Semi Finals

Close but no cigar for one couple

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Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison. Couples still in the competition in blue.
Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2 ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina Samba I Like to Move It 6,9,8,7=30 M 7 after first dance =4th Dance off in week 3 Dance off in week 5 Dance off in week 11 Samba could have been brilliant, but made some mistakes and the music wasn’t really suitable. Foxtrot was excellent. He really is best in the ballroom.
Foxtrot My Guy 9,10,10,9=38 M 10 after second dance 3rd
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and Aljaž ——————- —————— —————- ———————– Dance off in week 6 ELIMINATED in week 7
Jake and Janette Cha Cha Boogie Shoes 6,8,8,8=30 M 6 after first dance =4th All his Latin dances are looking the same now. Poor footwork in Cha Cha. V.W. was the better dance, but footwork still not great. ELIMINATED in week 12
Viennese waltz When a Man Loves a Woman 7,8,8,8=31 M 7 after second dance 5th
Judy and Anton ——————- —————— —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 8
Caroline and Pasha Foxtrot Diamonds 8,9,9,9=35 M 9 after first dance 1st Dance off in week 7 Foxtrot was almost a foxtrot fusion with a rumba, due to the music. Caroline always dances emotionally. Salsa was very good but it didn’t quite wow me for some reason.
Salsa Maria 10,10,10,10=40 M 9 after second dance 1st
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan ——————– ——————- —————– ————————– Dance off in week 8 Dance off in week 9 ELIMINATED in week 10
Mark and Karen Viennese waltz I Got You Babe 8,8,9,8=33 M 8 after first dance 3rd Dance off in week 4 Dance off in week 10 V.W. had an American Smooth feel about it, not quite enough standard rotations in it for me. I’m not a fan of contemporary dance and there weren’t many standard rumba basics in it as Len said, but I expected to not like this, but I did! Dance off in week 12
Rumba Fields of Gold 9,8,8,8=33 M 8 after second dance 4th
Scott and Joanne ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 11
Steve and Ola ——————- —————— —————— ————————- ELIMINATED in week 9
Frankie and Kevin Rumba Somewhere Only We Know 7,8,9,10=34 M 9 after first dance 2nd I’m not keen (pun intended!) on this song, but they did a sweet take on this as a rumba and I liked it. Absolutely loved their Argentine tango. Difficult music but coped admirably.
Argentine tango Beethoven’s 5th 9,9,10,10=38 M 10 after second dance 2nd
* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.
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