bexj's blog

Britain Sings Christmas
Monday 10 December 2007 8:00pm – 8:30pm on ITV1.

The country has been polled to find our top ten ultimate Christmas songs and in the first of two special programmes, Kate Thornton presents the results in Britain Sings Christmas.

In aid of The Princes Trust, Britain Sings Christmas also sees these top yuletide tunes recorded into an album by our twenty-strong celebrity choir.

From traditional hymns to rock classics, all our favourites are there, and in this half hour launch show Kate will find out just why they stand the test of time.

Radio DJs Craig Doyle and Simon Bates, actors Charlie Brooks, Claire Goose and Jeremy Sheffield, TV presenters Gaby Roslin, Andrea McLean, Steve Wilson and Diarmuid Gavin, comedian Jo Brand, pop stars Kelli Young of Liberty X, Liz McClarnon of Atomic Kitten and Blue’s Antony Costa, operatic stars Sean Ruane and Ruthie Henshall plus 80s pop sensations Kim Wilde and Martin Fry, plus 2006 X-Factor runner up Ray Quinn form our celebrity choir, and are seen in their first rehearsals where they come face to face with a professional choir.

At the end of this first show, Kate will ask the public to vote for their one favourite Christmas tune.

In the second main show to broadcast just before Christmas, the celebrity choir, led by top vocal coaches David and Carrie Grant, will record the album backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

At the same time big screens in Birmingham, Newcastle, Cardiff and Belfast will show the choir perform, and the public are invited to join in and sing along, uniting the country in this seasonal celebration.

Britain Sings Christmas is a fully interactive entertainment event. As it unfolds, viewers will be able to pay to download the tracks of the celebrity choir’s performances from ITV’s brand new Click-2-Buy facility on ITV.Com. Britain Sings Christmas has its own website at

All net profits from both the download and telephone voting will go directly to The Prince’s Trust, the charity that helps change young lives across the UK.

beat it
angry with my father (3/3)

Concluding tonight on Five is the documentary series that follows members of the public as they attempt to overcome a variety of psychological difficulties. Tonight’s instalment tells the story of 25-year-old Chris, who is coming to terms with a violent childhood and desperately hoping to eradicate his anger-management issues so that he can fulfil his dream of becoming a social worker.

In Worthing, West Sussex, two young brothers are clearing out the debris of their father’s life. Furniture, fittings and an odd, scythe-like object are flung onto a rubbish heap in the back yard. The boys are feeling strange – their father terrorised them with violence for years, and it is with a mixture of anger and elation that they now remove all tangible proof of his existence from their former home. “You walk into the kitchen and there’s a carving knife and you’re like: ‘I’ve felt that against my throat,’” says Chris.

His younger brother Richard, however, is worried that they might inadvertently continue their father’s legacy of aggression. “Chris has been more of a father figure than my Dad has,” he says, but goes on to note that after a drink, Chris can sometimes become violent.

After refusing to spend Christmas with the family in Bolton where the boys have lived for the past four years, their father died alone of heart failure, and went undiscovered for some time. Frightened of suffering the same fate, both Chris and Richard attend a weekend of anger-management counselling in the picturesque Sussex countryside, in the hope of laying their demons to rest.

Anger guru Mike Fisher is keen to help the brothers, along with all the other course attendees, work through their issues. Himself a former ‘angry man’, he has dedicated his life to helping people on the brink of violence regain control of their feelings. “The challenge with you,” he tells Chris, “is that you’ve been holding onto the grudge.” He then goes on to offer the advice: “transcend your limitations, and all the limitations that your father imposed on you.”

But counselling is not quite so straightforward, and even the placid Mike finds Chris a challenge. When Chris responds to a lovingly prepared meal with disgust, declaring “I’ve never seen ginger soup before in my life,” Mike has to leave the room. The next morning he explains to Chris that by goading him, he was indirectly trying to force Mike to express his own anger.

During the course of the weekend, the group undergoes intensive discussions, art therapy and a great deal of soul-searching. A real breakthrough comes when Ray, who also suffered a violent childhood, volunteers to try an exercise called the ‘detour method’. While mentally reliving a terrible trauma, Ray is asked to hit a cushion with a baseball bat, slowly increasing his self-control and expressing his pain verbally as well as physically. Mike hopes that this technique will lay the memory to rest. For Richard and Chris, who identify with Ray’s experiences, the process brings many painful memories to the surface.

At the end of the weekend, a smiling Richard explains how the course has helped him: “I feel like I’ve got an advantage on life now –I feel like I know what to do in that situation.”

Four weeks later, Chris has moved back to Worthing with his mother, having redecorated and refurbished his childhood home. Has the course provided catharsis and paved the way for a brighter future? “I’m more chilled out”, he says, and explains that despite several testing moments, he has not had an argument since the weekend of counselling. “I’m well on the way to beating it,” he concludes.

The Simpsons are pretty famous. So it makes sense that someone (Universal Studios) has put two and two together and has decided to take the show to a new level. Yes, we all know the series, and yes we are all holding our breath in wait of the movie, but now there is something else that is likely to take our breath away. The Simpsons, as of next year, will have their very own adventure-filled, fast-paced, screaming theme ride…

Read more.

The Panic Room sounds anything but harmless! Designed by two psychologists, Dr Lucy Atcheson and Dr Felix Economakis, the room is a self-contained enclosed space that uses projected images and light and sound techniques to bring phobias to life. Next? Insert a person and see what the end result is… I’m not sure I would want to be put inside… Anyone else?

The show will air on April 10 at 9pm on BBC Three

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It’s not hard to remember young Shaun the Sheep, who starred in Wallace and Gromit’s – A Close Shave! And now our furry friend will be getting his very own TV series!! The show, yet to be named, will broadcast on CBBC later this year in a 40-part animated series, set on a farm. Hurrah for Shaun!

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