Sunday saw the start of the latest outing to the jungle in I´m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, with the usual mixture of known and unknown “celebrities”, wannabes, once wases and the one that the glamour mags will look for in the shower. Newsreader Michael Buerk, TV presenter Melanie Sykes, Allo Allo actress Vicki Michelle and Corrie soap actor Crag Charles heading up the list of most well known, along with footballer Jimmy Bullard, model and singer Nadia Forde, music creator Tinchy Stryder, Superbike champ Carl Fogarty and Essex based staged reality “star” Gemma Collins being joined by reality show model Kendra Wilkinson.
Although a very popular show, this year it received the smallest audience for the opener in five years, according to figures provided by UK TV Ratings. An average of 10.3 million viewers did tune in though, compared to 11.9 million last year, giving ITV a 42.2% share of the audience in the timeslot, making it the most watched Sunday night show, ahead of second place Strictly Come Dancing results show with just over 10 million, a 40.8% share. Not since 2009 has the show started with so few viewers, with 9.8 million, whereas the year later, in 2010, they had just 38% of the audience share.
Anyway, now we know who everybody is, we can go through the next few weeks enjoying the dramas that unfold before us. But, one TV presenter who has stood up against IACGMOOH this week is wildlife guru Chris Packham, who wrote an open letter to Ant and Dec asking them to end "abuse of animals", in the so called Bush Tucker Trials. Not likely to make that much of a difference though.
Back to the real-staged drama now and we can´t ignore the fact that as the door closed on another season at the big house of Downton Abbey, ITV announced that yet another series has been commissioned, with production beginning early next year on the sixth series of the globally successful and multi award-winning series which debuted on ITV in 2010.
On the subject of big houses, although slightly smaller than Downton Abbey, fans of Channel 4´s Gogglebox will be delighted to know that the “posh couple” have got their own spinoff show, currently given the working title of “At Home with Steph and Dom”, which will take viewers into the heart of the Parker pair´s plush B&B, The Salutation, and share their experiences as they have an increasingly famous guest coming to visit. They show will see their local MP candidate, Nigel Farage, on a wine-fuelled evening with the couple. As the show is advertised as “an entirely new style of television interview, were chaos ensues as Farage is grilled like never before”.
Other delights from Channel 4 that we might want to look forward to include The Massage Parlour, an hour long observational documentary that will follow the ups and downs of a unique family business in the North of England. Run by a mother and daughter team, it’s in many ways a typical warm and friendly family run enterprise – except for the personal services it offers. The Massage Parlour will explore the everyday life of the staff and the regular customers frequenting the establishment, challenging preconceptions and revealing the workings of a rarely seen world.
Next summer, a group of ordinary Brits will go on the run in a new Channel 4 shown, Hunted. They will film their own adventures as they take extreme measures to try to evade capture from expert hunters, highlighting the practicality of trying to hide in a world dominated by CCTV and other surveillance techniques. What they do and where they go will be up to them – but with a team of Hunters seeking them out and tracking them down, their task of going dark will be truly tested.
On the subject of summer, and being on the run, the BBC has announced that filming has begun on their new comedy show, Woody. Set on a fictional Spanish island, Fonejacker Kayvan Novak plays Woody, an undercover reporter who is forced to flee from the British authorities after being framed by his corrupt newspaper editor. Woody goes on the run to find Brutus, which sees Bradley Walsh back on our screens in an acting role, his former mentor at the newspaper and the one man he can trust. But Brutus, who is now an expatriate living a quiet life running a bar on a Spanish island, is less than thrilled to see Woody. Despite their efforts to lay low, trouble seems to find them, so Brutus and Woody end up joining forces to take on a series of investigations, crimes and mysteries, seeing Woody running rings around the locals by adopting a variety of guises at a moment’s notice.
The six-part comedy show will air in the spring and has been created and written by Neil Webster and Charlie Skelton, whose credits include Would I Lie To You, 10 O’Clock Live and C4 Comedy Presents: Them From That Thing. Woody boasts an impressive supporting cast too, from the likes of Hotel Babylon´s Emma Pierson, Comic Strip star (also known as Lily´s dad) Keith Allen and a range of cameo appearances from TV favourites such as Lee Boardman, Clive Swift, Tracy Ann Oberman, Jack Dee and Sean Gilder, to name but a few.
Bradley Walsh says, “My goodness, what a blast it is filming Woody. With a very funny script, brilliant cameos from the likes of Keith Allen and Paul Kaye as Señor Big and Frederico Mercury, what’s not to like! I’m loving every second working with the brilliant Kayvan Novak, it’s a hoot from dawn to dusk”.
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