LIVING today announced a festive commission and four celebrity documentaries to air in December that have been produced by ITN Productions.

The four celebrity documentaries will air as follows; The Beckhams’ Crazy 2010 (1st December), Robbie Williams’ Crazy 2010 (8th December), Cheryl Cole’s Crazy 2010 (15th December) and Simon Cowell’s Crazy 2010 (22nd December).  Jenni Falconer’s Secret Santa will air on December 23rd, giving a celebrity Christmas sparkle to the end of the year.

Jenni Falconer’s Secret Santa is a show about the true spirit of Christmas in which Jenni takes up the role as Secret Santa, rewarding the most generous and deserving local heroes across the country with surprise Christmas gifts while inspiring others to follow her example. This seasonal special combines a series of powerful and heart-warming human interest stories as Jenni recognises and rewards individual acts of kindness and inspiration, drawing on the help and support of other celebrities along the way.

Secret Santa culminates with Jenni’s biggest mission of all – creating the ultimate Christmas extravaganza for the kids at Great Ormond Street Hospital, attended by a host of celebrities and including a performance by Olly Murs. The circus-themed party, featuring the doctors and nurses of the hospital dressed up as circus characters, will bring Christmas cheer to the children there, creating a festive day that the children will never forget and an emotional and inspiring finale to the programme.

Jenni Falconer said: “Christmas is such a fantastic time of year and this show will give credit where credit is due, rewarding people who truly embody the Christmas spirit, and most importantly giving something extra special to the children in Great Ormond Street.”

Commissioning Executive for LIVING, Alex Ayling, said: “Jenni Falconer’s Secret Santa is a feel-good show that will bring that festive cheer to LIVING’s viewers, with Jenni helping deserving people pass on that Christmas Spirit.”

Emma Read, Creative Director ITN Productions and Executive Producer on the Secret Santa show said: “Jenni Falconer is the perfect Secret Santa in this inspirational and heart-warming show which connects viewers with the true spirit of Christmas and the joy of giving. ITN Productions is delighted to be working with LIVING on such a worthwhile endeavour.” 

The Celebrity ‘Crazy 2010’ one offs will give LIVING viewers a sneak peek into what 2010 has been all about for some of Britain’s biggest celebrities, filmed right up until transmission, and comment on what kind of year they’ve had from key celebrity commentators.  Who has got married, divorced, won or lost the publics’ hearts, or done something out of character in this year of celebrity surprises?

Steve Carsey, Chief Creative Officer, ITN Productions said of the Celebrity Crazy 2010 shows: “”These four specials are a perfect example of ITN Production’s commitment to delivering quality, affordable, popular factual programming to broadcasters in the UK around the world. Certain celebrities stand out from the crowd as iconic, influential and inspirational drivers of popular culture – and there can be no better time to celebrate their lives or explore how 2010 has been a transformational year for these stars.”

Katie Waissel and Wagner Carrilho have been eliminated from The X Factor tonight.

The two acts have been voted off the ITV show with Waissel receiving the least public votes and Carrilho losing a sing-off with Mary Byrne.

Waissel said after her exit: “I just feel so grateful to have got this far and I hope I’ve inspired people that no matter how many knocks you get, you put your head up and smile.”

Carrilho was voted off by the first three judges, Louis, Dannii and Cheryl before Simon addressed the situation: “You’ve been a great sport. But why I’m happy with the result is because there are people out there trying to derail this show and now the control is back in the public’s hands. No offense to you Wagner.”

Carrilho said: “Like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone gone gone. I loved every moment that I spent here and I think I have achieved so much and I am so pleased that, you know.”

Source: Digital Spy

Patsy Kensit has been voted off Strictly Come dancing on Sunday night.

The actress placed in the bottom two alongside Welsh rugby player Gavin Henson following her dance on Saturday’s show.

After the elimination, Kensit said: “I’ve had the most incredible time. I have to thank everyone that voted for us. It’s been the most beautiful experience.”

She went on to thank the BBC for giving her “the best present ever” following her exit from Holby City.

Source: Digital Spy

It’s 26 days till Christmas which means the cold, dark nights are drawing in, snow is on they way, the shops are packed with Christmas shoppers, supermarkets are decked out Christmas goodies, the Christmas lights are being switched on all over the country, school is almost finished for 2010, and the winner of The X Factor will be crowned.

It also means that a whole host of comedians will be bringing out their live DVDs in the hope that one, or maybe even their back catalogue to boot too, will find its way to your stocking this Christmas.

We at Throng UK have been lucky enough to review a few of the top billers this Christmas just for your benefit so here’s our take on Ross Noble’s ‘Things’, Simon Amstell’s ‘Do Nothing’ and Sean Lock’s ‘Lockipedia’.

Ross Noble


Improvisation floppy-haired maestro Ross Noble brings out his sixth live DVD, ‘Things,’ tomorrow. 

Recorded at the Manchester Opera House as part of his whopping 180 date world tour, Noble brings back to form his innate ability to create comedy from audience participation rather than relying on mostly pre-prepared material.

Noble thrives on talking to the audience and does this right from the word go.  He spends the first few moments of the show picking out notable things in the audience that strike him as weird or funny; namely the two empty front row seats in front of him.

Completely at ease on stage, he veers around the stage following whatever whim and fancy he can get from the audience to make a mockery of including but not limited to Scousers, late comers to his show and pineapple soup. 

The advantage of Ross Noble’s comedy is that people who went to see his show would still love the DVD as each show appears unique from one other.  Many die hard Noble fans are renowned for seeing his shows on consecutive dates and even in the same venue because they get to see a different show.

There’s no denying his enthusiasm as he manically prances around the stage shouting and shoving his hair behind his ears while enunciating every point with his pointing and probing of the air.  

If you love his manic, vibrant and over enthused style you will love this DVD because at a lengthy 2 hours plus long, it’s definitely value for money.

Watching the DVD makes me wonder how much prepared material Noble actually takes with him on stage as it looks like every show is purely based upon whatever takes his particular fancy that night and who is in his audience. 

It’s refreshing in comedy to see someone who is so unrehearsed and Ross Noble shows himself in ‘Things’ to be extremely quick witted.  Love or hate his style, you have to commend him for his improvisational comedy, fast thinking and comic skill.

Things is released on Monday 29th November

Simon Amstell

Do Nothing

Simon Amstell has always been a force of nature ever since his Popworld days with his floppy curly locks and outspoken humour; a sense of awkwardness while yet coming across with intelligence and quick wit.

In stark contrast to Ross Noble’s DVD, Amstell’s debut with his live DVD launches straight into his pre-prepared skits. 

This isn’t a bad thing though; Amstell immediately runs from joke to joke receiving laugh after laugh from the audience.

He builds a great rapport with the audience and immediately gets them on his side with his opening amusing anecdote of his miserable love-life of rather, lack of one.  Throughout the DVD, this transcends into various different jokes about his awkward personal life, before coming to a sort of conclusion at the end.  Amstell is able to weave all his stories together with great coherence and achieves many laughs along the way.

A reserved performer, Amstell isn’t a performing monkey.  He doesn’t do the whole shouting thing or jumping around the stage thing or over articulate with over the top hand gestures.   Instead he paces up and down, often fiddling with the microphone and the stand in a way that he seems awkward and unsure.

His small part of the show which included the audience participation is still genuinely funny and you get the feeling that he could definitely hold his own ad-libbing his way through a stand up gig.

Often renowned for his acerbic wit and often out of tact comments, his live debut features jokes mostly comprised of his own life experiences.  His comedy therefore is much funnier because we can all relate to it in some way; whether it be the lack of a love life, a pet peeing on your bed or the embarrassing responses you say when you’re nervous.

The DVD consists of the hour long show which was recorded in Dublin earlier this year as well as two DVD extras.  Despite its shorter running time, Amstell’s first live DVD is genuinely funny all the way through.  He shows himself to be intelligent, witty and charming and most importantly extremely entertaining as a stand up performer.   A DVD that’s definitely worth a watch, it really makes you hark for the days when he hosted Never Mind The Buzzcocks every week.

Sean Lock


If you haven’t heard of Sean Lock from his turn on 8 out of 10 cats where he is captain of one of the panels each week or from Q.I where he guest stars occasionally, then you need to get this DVD and become well and truly informed.

Lock is a great British comic and this DVD, ‘Lockipedia,’ while only his second, it’s a definite must watch. 

As a comic who maybe flies under the radar a little bit in the sense that he doesn’t release lots of DVDs, nor does he push himself out there in the publicity stakes or appear on every TV show going; he is happy to settle for the recognition he currently holds and for people to discover him in their own time and let his talent impress them.

His humour is performed with ease as he wanders around the stage before running or dancing around to illustrate his point.  A fatherly figure sort of comic, he has a twinkle in his eye as he goes through his routine, often using the can’t-be-bothered / angry sort of stance, but Lock still manages to get you onside as he goes from talk of his new baby, to the wonders of shopping at Lidl, to talk of bedding Madonna.

A naturally brilliant funny comic, who always comes up with the best lines on 8 out of 10 cats and makes host Jimmy Carr giggle in that ridiculous laugh of his, his DVD is no different.  Suited and booted, he launches into joke after joke and before you know it the DVD’s ended having taken you along the ride, laughing out loud.

Sean Lock’s Lockipedia is out now

Ricky Gervais has branded The Apprentice’s Stuart Baggs, the real life David Brent.

The comedian is a huge fan of the show and said he “loved” Baggs for his similarity to the character he played in The Office.

Baggs has made comments such as, “I’m Stuart Baggs ‘The Brand’ – I’ve got a certain type of charisma,” and made viewers cringe when he said, “Everything I touch turns to sold’.”

Gervais said of Baggs, “Isn’t he a joy? When he won his task he did that face like a puffed-up toad. Oh I love him, he’s amazing. I’m loving that he’s the new David Brent.”

Gervais has been carving out a career in America with his popularity on the rise after appearing in hit movies however he said he was back in the UK and catching up on all the reality TV shows.  Also a fan of I’m a Celeb he said, “I’m two behind on I’m A Celebrity, so don’t give anything away.”

Meanwhile, after Christopher Farrell got fired on Wednesdaym only 7 contenders remain in the race to become Lord Sugar’s next apprentice.


Sherlock picks up awards for craft and design

BBC series Sherlock has picked up three awards at the recent Royal Television Society’s Craft and design Awards for its picture enhancement effects, editing and title music. Doctor Who claimed the digital effects award and Channel 4 series Misfits picked up prizes for sound and special effects.

Gascoigne eliminated from I’m A Celebrity

Sheryl Gascoigne has been eliminated from I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, making her the first casualty of the show besides Nigel Havers.

Glee cast confirmed for X Factor

The cast of Glee have been confirmed to appear on next week’s semi-final episode of The X Factor. The cast will perform on the show, making their first TV stage performance outside of the US.

MTV picks up Hellcats

MTV has picked up new American drama series Hellcats to screen in the UK. The network will screen the show, which stars Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale, early next February.

The cast of popular US musical series Glee have been confirmed to appear on next week’s X Factor semi-final.

The performance by the cast will be the first they have done on a TV stage outside of the US.

Confirmed to appear are the following: Lea Michele (Rachel), Cory Monteith (Finn), Amber Riley (Mercedes), Chris Colfer (Kurt), Kevin McHale (Artie), Mark Salling (Puck), Dianna Agron (Quinn), Heather Morris (Brittany), Naya Rivera (Santana), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Harry Shum Jnr (Mike) and Chord Overstreet (Sam).

Source: Digital Spy

New series Hellcats has been picked up by MTV to be broadcast in the UK.

The all-new American drama series, which centres on high school cheerleaders, debuted earlier this year in the US.

The show features High School Musical’s Ashley Tisdale alongside Aly Michalka.

The show will premiere on MTV in February next year.

Source: Digital Spy

Sheryl Gasgoigne has become the first contestant to be voted off I’m A Celebrity… Get me Out Of Here! this season.

The former wife of Paul Gasgoigne was picked to leave ahead of Shaun Ryder, Gillian McKeith, Dom Joly and Stacey Solomon.

 Speaking afterwards, Gasgoigne said: “It wasn’t that bad. There’s only so much damp and darkness and rain and wet towels you can take, [but] I am pleased [to be out].

“The last three or four days with the rain and the prison experience wasn’t good, but yeah, I enjoyed it.”

She placed her bet on Stacey Solomon to take out the title this year.

Source: Digital Spy

ITV Commissions drama about two angels on Earth from Kudos Film & Television and Monastic Porductions.

Six part drama series Eternal Law, created and written by Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham, has been commissioned by ITV for 2011.

Set in the beautiful city of York, Eternal Law is a bittersweet, uplifting drama which focuses on two central characters, Zak and Tom, who are angels sent to earth to both help a community and try to understand the human condition.

The series will examine and explore the baffling human spirit as Zak and Tom, who are both lawyers working for a local legal firm, attempt to influence humans to do right by one another.  However, things don’t always go according to plan particularly when they come up against old adversary and dark angel, Richard Pembroke, who is determined they won’t succeed in their challenge to lead the community to a more harmonious way of living.   Life-affirming, warm and witty, Eternal Law is a highly original contemporary series, a unique blend of the intensely real and the magical.

All episodes will be written by Ashley and Matthew, and the drama will establish that Zak is the more senior and experienced angel who has been visiting earth for 200 years.  He has developed a cynicism borne out of his experiences in assisting and advising humans.  However, Tom is on earth for the first time and he believes the human spirit is a wonderful thing.  He has a naivety which is very appealing, but this will cause him problems throughout the series.  Zak’s dilemma is more critical. The last time he was on earth he fell in love with a human, Hannah, which is completely against angelic law. He has been severely reprimanded and he knows this is his last chance to hold on to his wings. So it is a delicious and cruel irony when he discovers that Hannah is now in York, working for Richard. If he falls in love again he will become mortal and be scorned by  his own kind. But Zak’s yearning for this remarkable woman is so intense… 

At moments of intense emotion the viewer might see a dramatic spread of angel wings as Tom and Zak go about the streets of York, but for the most part they appear just like everyone else.

Since its inception in 1992, Kudos Film and Television has become one of the UK’s most successful and original producer of popular and award winning television drama.  Productions include Spooks, Hustle, Life On Mars/Ashes to Ashes, Law & Order:UK, Occupation and The Fixer. 

Monastic Productions is Matthew and Ashley’s Production Company founded in 2006.  Matthew and Ashley created and wrote the highly acclaimed and award winning Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, whilst Ashley also wrote and created Wild at Heart, which is in its 6th series for ITV.

Pre-production for Eternal Law begins in November 2010 and shooting starts on 14 February 2011. 

Commissioned by ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning, Laura Mackie and Controller of Drama Commissioning Sally Haynes, Eternal Law is due for transmission during 2011. 

“Eternal Law is a unique and original drama from two of the country’s best and most imaginative writers.   They have created two brilliant characters in Zac and Tom and I’m delighted we’re shooting this in the spectacular city of York.

Alison Jackson, co-executive producer with Jane Featherstone and Simon Crawford-Collins for Kudos Film and Television said:

“We are delighted to be making this compelling, witty and entertaining new series for ITV which has the ultimate love story at its heart. The stories are about good people in bad situations, often facing a crisis in their lives and the angels who are charged to help them.  Matthew and Ashley have brought their magic to another wonderfully fresh and original concept and we are thrilled to be working with them again.”

And on behalf of Monastic Productions, Ashley Pharoah commented: 

“This idea has been a passion of ours for some years now and we always thought its natural home was ITV. To make it with our friends and long-term producing partners at Kudos just makes it that much more exciting”.

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