fiver's blog

Wednesday 3rd February 11.00pm

The reality series following some particularly demanding brides-to-be as they prepare for their impending nuptials continues. In this instalment, 30-year-old actress Kirsten from Florida upsets the band leader on her special day by refusing to pay him, while 27-year-old store manager LaJune prepares for her wedding by accusing her former best friend of having an affair with her fiancé.

This week’s first blushing bride-to-be is 30-year-old Floridian Kirsten Stiff, a canine tutu designer and part-time actress. Kirsten’s wedding is to be a “multi-media extravaganza” complete with singing, dancing, videos, choreographed dogs, a trapeze artist, a cocktail hour, a five-course meal and a charity auction. However, with so many things organised, there is a lot that can go wrong…

Kirsten is accustomed to getting what she wants by crying and stamping her feet, but it seems the act may be wearing a little thin. On the day of the wedding, the band leader refuses to tolerate Kirsten’s manipulative behaviour, so the bride refuses to pay him. Could things possibly get any worse for the happy couple?

Next it is the turn of 27-year-old LaJune, a demanding store manager who insists that her wedding “just better be perfect”. At her bachelorette party, this fiery Texan partook in a dance-off that ended up in a fight with another bride-to-be – so the wedding organisers will be keen to get this one right!

In the run-up to her big day, LaJune has a great deal of trouble with her bridesmaids, in particular her diminutive maid of honour, Tonya. However, the biggest problem is Tasha, LaJune’s former best friend. Tasha once dated LaJune’s fiancé, Dimitrius, and the paranoid bride-to-be is convinced the pair have been at it again…

Wednesday 3rd February 9.00pm

The rebooted version of the classic 90s drama arrives on Fiver. ‘Melrose Place’ charts the lives of seven glamorous twentysomethings in a West Hollywood apartment complex. In the opening episode, long-time Melrose Place resident Sydney Andrews is found murdered in the swimming pool. As her neighbours react to the news, aspiring film-maker Jonah proposes to his girlfriend. Elsewhere, medical student Lauren receives a startling offer.

David Breck (Shaun Sipos, ‘Shark’) is called away from a romantic assignation by a text message begging for his help. He rushes to a plush apartment complex at 4,616 Melrose Place and arrives at the home of Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton, reprising her role from the original ‘Melrose Place’). “Something’s happened. I’ve done something really bad,” Sydney tells David. Reluctantly, David agrees to spend the night and keep her company.

The next morning, the residents are shocked to discover Sydney’s dead body floating in the pool. The police report that she was stabbed during a fight. While the neighbours ponder their landlady’s demise, it seems not all of them are sorry to see her go. “You stab enough people in the back, eventually you get a knife of your own,” says sassy, no-nonsense publicist Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy, ‘Harper’s Island’, ‘Supernatural’).

David is taken to the police station and questioned by detectives. He is released without charge when Ella invents an alibi for him and tells police he spent the night with her. Outside the station, a worried David admits he cannot remember what happened. “I went to Sydney’s to make sure she was okay,” he says. “We hit a bottle, I passed out. When I came to, she was gone.”

David is picked up by his father, Dr Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro, another ‘Melrose Place’ veteran). Michael is trying to build bridges with his son, having denied his existence for years. Both father and son were entangled in affairs with Sydney. David also knows that his father helped Sydney fake her own death 11 years earlier (on the original show). But Michael is still keeping some secrets from his son – including the fact that Sydney was going to reveal their affair to his wife. Did Michael kill Sydney to keep her quiet?

Elsewhere, aspiring film-maker Jonah Miller (Michael Rady) proposes to his schoolteacher girlfriend Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas, ‘Cloverfield’, ‘CSI’). But Riley shocks him by failing to respond straightaway. “It’s not supposed to be a homework assignment. It’s a yes or no question,” Jonah says.

While Riley considers her answer, Jonah heads off to do an assignment filming an 18th birthday party. His agent, Ella, urges him to present his short film to Gary Sarling, the birthday girl’s father and a successful movie producer. Jonah’s attempts to woo the film producer fall flat, until he catches the man in a clinch with his daughter’s best friend. Desperate to stop his wife from finding out, the producer tries to buy Jonah’s silence by offering him a movie deal. Will Jonah abandon his principles and agree to the deal? And will this breakthrough in his career convince Riley to accept his proposal?

Also in the pilot episode, beautiful medical student Lauren Yung (Stephanie Jacobsen, ‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘Home and Away’) discovers that her outof- work father is no longer able to pay her tuition fees. She is invited on a date with the son of one of her patients, only for him to make a shocking offer. He will pay her $5,000 if she spends the night with him. “If you think about it, we both win,” he says. Will cash-strapped Lauren consider the proposition?

Tuesday 2nd February 9.00pm

The fishing adventure series with Robson Green continues. This week, Robson leaves Zimbabwe for the east coast of Kenya, where the Indian Ocean offers some of the best game fishing in the world. After going head to head with the elusive dorado and the fearsome wahoo, he joins some locals for a spot of traditional dhow fishing. The trip ends with a battle with a huge black marlin.

Following a week of fishing in the landlocked waters of Zimbabwe, it is time for Robson to experience the open ocean. The second leg of his journey begins in Watamu, a national maritime park off the Kenyan coast. This area of water is teeming with some of the best game fish in the world, but Robson has one particular species in mind. Ever since he lost a 14-hour battle with a dorado in the Philippines, the Geordie has wanted to catch one. “We’ve got a score to settle,” he says.

Local expert Callum has been fishing the Indian Ocean for over 20 years, and is confident he can bring Robson success. “If anyone is going to lead me to my nemesis, it will be him,” says Robson. Just ten minutes into their first outing, the pair come across the grisly site of a dead whale being devoured by a hoard of tiger sharks. Callum is keen to catch one of these deadly predators, but Robson has other ideas. “That’s too big!” he yelps.

At a safe distance from the sharks, the fishermen drop some live bait into the water and soon hook their first big fish. “This is the Usain Bolt of the Indian Ocean!” says an excited Robson as he pulls in a wahoo. “What a start!” But Robson will not be happy until he nets a dorado – and he gets his chance when Callum spots a group of the fish feeding in the distance. “At last, the wait is over,” says Robson. Will he finally manage to conquer his old enemy?

With the following morning comes a very different challenge for Robson. Having enjoyed the fast boats and hi-tech gear of game fishing, he is now going back to basics with a traditional dhow fishing trip from the former fishing town of Malindi. Originating in India, this technique involves just lines and bare hands, and has gone unchanged for centuries. After donning traditional costume, Robson joins his guides Hassan and Mohammed and sails out in search of red snapper and grouper. “This is extreme fishing – in a skirt,” says Robson.

Having been informed he is not allowed to wear protective gloves, Robson quickly falls behind his fellow fishermen. “This is getting embarrassing,” he says, as Hassan and Mohammed bring in fish after fish. However, the Geordie lad eventually gets the hang of the technique and bags a large grouper. “I have always wanted to catch one of these,” he enthuses. “This is one of the best-tasting fish in the world.” It is then time to return to shore to sell the day’s catch to the locals.

Taking a break from the coast, Robson flies inland to the world famous Lake Victoria – the second largest freshwater lake in the world. Here, local fishermen employ an unusual technique to catch whitebait. When night falls, Robson joins his guide Gilbert and heads out into the pitch black. In order to attract flies and the tiny fish that feed on them, floating lamps are laid onto the water. After waiting in the dark, the fishermen return and collect the whitebait gathered around the light using nets. “Fishing for me is a hobby,” says Robson. “For these fellas, it’s more about survival.”

Before Robson’s Kenyan adventure draws to a close, he returns to Watamu for an encounter with the notorious black marlin. Weighing up to 1,700lbs and capable of speeds over 60mph, these monsters are arguably the most highly prized fish in the seas. With expert guide Jackson at his side, it is not long before Robson has his first bite. “This is it folks,” he shouts. “It doesn’t get any better than this!”

Tuesday 2nd February 8.00pm

This week sees the return of the popular consumer technology show. Now
in its 13th series, ‘The Gadget Show’ is hosted by Jason Bradbury, Jon
Bentley, Suzi Perry and Ortis Deley. This week, Suzi and Jason head to
the Liwa desert to test a range of survival tools. Elsewhere, Jon
examines the new generation of e-readers and Ortis looks ahead to a new
year of gadgets.

In the first instalment of the new series, Suzi and Jason face their
most punishing challenge so far when they are dumped in one of the most
arid, inhospitable places on Earth – the Liwa desert in Abu Dhabi. The
intrepid duo’s task is to survive in the desert using a range of hi-tech
gadgets and garments. Among the products being put to the ultimate test
are items of clothing designed to keep the wearer cool in the intense
sun, state-ofthe- art water bottles that provide speedy hydration, and
the very latest in satellite phones.

Suzi and Jason’s main challenge sees them go head to head in an
adrenalin-fuelled sand race. The pair will be driving two of the most
awesome desert vehicles since the camel – the Sand X all-terrain quad
bike and the Sinister Sand Sports SR2, a steelframed buggy with a
powerful motorbike engine.

Elsewhere, Jon faces his own sand-based challenge on a tropical beach in
the Caribbean. He travels to the stunning islands of Turks and Caicos to
face the gruelling task of testing the latest generation of e-readers –
including the new Amazon Kindle. Meanwhile, Ortis looks into the future
to discover what will be the most covetable must-have gadget of 2010.

Weekdays at 10.30am

Aden and Nicole reassess their relationship. Liam is tempted by his old demons. Miles meets a new friend. Ruby makes an enemy of John Palmer. And a siege begins in the Diner.

Monday 1st – Episode 4997
Hugo and Charlie work together to take Suzy down. But will Hugo seize his chance to escape? Despite being wounded by Derrick, Angelo continues his pursuit. Will the stubborn cop finally get his man?

Tuesday 2nd – Episode 4998
The Summer Bay residents struggle to cope with the events of the past days. Elsewhere, after a drunken few nights on the beach, Miles is woken up by a little girl called Rabbit. When he returns home, he learns the girl is staying in the caravan park. Could the two become friends?

Wednesday 3rd – Episode 4999
Aden is on a high following his kiss with Nicole. However, she is unsure about where they stand. Aden confesses that he expected to feel guilty after the kiss, but in fact he felt nothing. Meanwhile, Liam begs Nicole to forgive him for cheating – but she refuses. Unhappy and distracted, will Liam return to his old ways?

Thursday 4th – Episode 5000

Liam continues to receive the cold shoulder from Nicole. He then finds some drugs left in his flat by Poppie. He initially throws them in the bin – but the temptation soon proves too much for him. Elsewhere, Aden confesses to Geoff that he has real feelings for Nicole. Will the two work out their differences? And Ruby furiously attacks John Palmer over his treatment of the refugees.

Friday 5th – Episode 5001

Liam arrives at the hospital following his drug use, asking for his stomach to be pumped. While he is still high, he bumps into Martha and tells her how beautiful she is. The next day, Liam comes down from the effects of the drugs and visits Gina to confess what happened. While he is there, he meets Martha and the two share a moment… Elsewhere, Leah and Hazem are attacked and dragged to the Diner, where a terrifying siege begins.

Coming Soon
Angelo receives a promotion. Charlie struggles with the aftermath of her ordeal. Nicole is devastated by her exam results. Alf withdraws from those who love him. Liam is hounded by the media.

Weekdays at 10.00am

Will the Ramsay kids be separated? Can Libby agree to Dan’s request? Lou makes a bold decision. Susan’s life is put in danger. Ringo and Donna drift apart.

Monday 1st – Episode 5816
Kate fights to keep her family together but prepares to run away as a last resort. Unfortunately, Lyn is forced to tell Roz, the DHS officer, about Harry’s troublemaking past. Confronted by Kate, Roz admits that she plans to recommend Harry be put in foster care. Elsewhere, Libby agrees to move away with Dan. Sensing that Libby’s heart is not in the decision, Susan pushes Toadie to speak to her sonin- law. But a furious Dan realises that Susan is meddling in his life once again…

Tuesday 2nd – Episode 5817
Toadie and Paul team up to bring the fleeing Ramsay children back to Erinsborough. Rebecca eventually puts an end to the flight by cancelling Kate’s debit card. Stranded with no money, Harry considers turning himself in so his sisters can be together. Donna, meanwhile, fears that she has been blacklisted by the fashion world following her dispute with Saffron, and is further hurt by Ringo’s lack of support.

Wednesday 3rd – Episode 5818
The Kennedys head off to their holiday house in the bush. Everyone is on their best behaviour until Susan questions Dan about his plans to move away. Later, Dan shocks everyone by saying he should not have agreed to the surrogacy. The next day, Susan accompanies him on a brisk walk. But Dan storms off after yet another row, and Susan suddenly falls to the ground… Back in Ramsay Street, Lou offers to be the Ramsay kids’ guardian. But can the ex-mayor and former publican convince the authorities?

Thursday 4th – Episode 5819
Unaware that Susan is in peril, Dan drives away from the holiday house. Libby and Karl find Susan alone in the bush and rush her to hospital. When he hears the news, a guilt-stricken Dan races to her side, only to learn that they have lost the baby. As Karl and Libby comfort each other, Dan feels frozen out of the family. Alone at home, Zeke and Sunny consider giving in to their passion.

Friday 5th – Episode 5820

Dan is unable to comfort Libby in her time of need. Lucas tries to heal the rift between his brother and sister-in-law. Sonya and Toadie bond when they help Callum train Rocky for his guide-dog tests.

Coming Soon
Can Susan and Libby forgive Dan for his actions? Is Ringo embarrassed by Donna? Zeke must choose between Sunny and his family. Paul and Lou try to work together for the Ramsays. Harry struggles to cope in foster care.

Romantic comedy inspired by the 1960s TV show, starring Nicole Kidman as a disillusioned witch who seeks out a new, less enchanted career path. The woman vows to renounce her supernatural powers – but when she runs into egocentric actor Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell, ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’, ‘Elf’), events take an unexpected turn.

Romcom queen Nora Ephron (‘Sleepless in Seattle’, ‘When Harry Met Sally’) writes and directs. The stellar supporting cast includes Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine and Steve Carell.

Nora Ephron
Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Michael Caine

Supernatural thriller starring Hilary Swank as an investigator who specialises in debunking religious phenomena. The woman is dispatched to a small town in Louisiana that appears to be suffering the effects of the ten biblical plagues. She is determined to find a scientific answer to the mystery, only to be confounded by seemingly impossible forces.

The cast includes Stephen Rea (‘V for Vendetta’, ‘The End of the Affair’), David Morrissey (‘Red Riding’, ‘State of Play’) and Idris Elba (‘The Wire’).

Stephen Hopkins also helmed ‘Predator 2’, bigbudget adventure ‘Lost in Space’ and biopic ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellers’.

Stephen Hopkins
Hilary Swank, Stephen Rea, David Morrissey, Idris Elba

Drama based on the true story of an unorthodox student doctor (Robin Williams) who believes that laughter is a valid form of medicine. Although popular with patients, his unique approach to treatment places him on a collision course with the medical establishment.

The film co-stars Philip Seymour Hoffman (‘Magnolia’, ‘Mission: Impossible III’), an Oscar winner for his eponymous role in ‘Capote’, and Monica Potter, who has appeared in ‘Con Air’ and ‘Along Came a Spider’.

Director Tom Shadyac’s CV includes ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’, ‘Bruce Almighty’ and ‘Evan Almighty’.

Tom Shadyac
Robin Williams, Monica Potter, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Sunday 31st January 9.00pm

Paul Merton continues his tour of Europe. Paul resumes his travels in Ireland with a stop to witness the unusual sport of road bowling. Near the lunar landscape of the Burren, he drops in on Father Ted’s house, before visiting a remarkable Brazilian enclave. In Dublin, Paul meets an enterprising pair who are selling Irish dirt to America, and an artist who lives in a 1930s house.

Paul Merton’s journeys through the western edge of Europe continue in County Wicklow. Paul meets a reclusive figure called Willy who has turned his bog land into an Amazon paradise for 20 rescued monkeys, as well as a number of geese, dogs, ostriches and emus.

Having fed this odd menagerie, Paul heads to County Cork to see the ancient Irish pastime of road bowling. Locals have gathered to watch two contestants attempt to fling a cannonball as far as possible down a country lane. The player who completes the distance in the fewest throws is the winner – and the spectators love nothing better than placing bets on the outcome.

Next, Paul travels to the lunar landscape of the Burren in western Ireland. These strange rock formations once lay on the ocean floor and represent 300 million years of compacted fish bone. Nearby, Paul visits the farmhouse used in ‘Father Ted’. The property belongs to Patrick, whose father appeared as an extra in the sitcom. But it seems that some of the locals were not amused by the show. “When they saw what they were involved with, they were totally disgusted,” Patrick says. “It was making fun of the Catholic Church.”

A young Brazilian lad living with Patrick’s family reveals that there is a town nearby with a large South American community. “They call it Little Brazil,” says Patrick’s wife. Intrigued, Paul heads straight to the very Irish-looking town of Gort. It takes only a few moments to realise that most of the locals look distinctly Brazilian – and there is even a Brazilian shop. “Even for elaborate hoaxes, to build a store and fill it full of Brazilian food would be going a bit too far,” says Paul.

It transpires that a large number of Brazilian butchers were brought to Gort over ten years ago to staff a meat factory. The plant has now closed down and the Brazilians have had to find other work. The locals seem content to welcome the newcomers, pointing out that the Irish themselves have a proud history of emigrating to find work. Paul’s next stop is Dublin, which was until recently Europe’s fastest-growing capital. The economy is facing tough times, but at least one pair of enterprising Irishmen have hit upon a profitable business. Patrick and Tim export tonnes of Irish peat to nostalgic Irish-Americans. “There’s 36 million Irish-Americans out there,” says Patrick. “Five per cent of that market – that’s what we’re looking for.”

Elsewhere in Dublin, an eccentric American has made the journey the other way. Artist David McDermott moved from New York 15 years ago and has adopted a 1930s lifestyle. David says he was inspired by the locals. “Even though the people might appear to be contemporary, they’re really old-fashioned,” he says. Paul is charmed and bewildered by David’s extraordinary home, which includes a large taxidermy collection. “I go for road kill,” David explains.

Finally, Paul spends an afternoon at a military reenactment at Fort Duncannon. A range of historic armies are on display, but Paul is especially interested by the Nazi encampment. While Paul is a little worried by all the Third Reich paraphernalia, it seems that the locals are more tolerant. “I’d probably get more adverse reaction if I had been wearing a British uniform,” says Joe, a member of the ‘Nazi’ team. The day concludes with a pitched battle and an appearance by Winston Churchill himself – complete with an Irish accent.

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