mofgimmers's blog

I'm Mof Gimmers.

I've been writing about TV for a long time. I love it and loathe it in equal measures. I'm pretty sure the TV feels the same away about me too.

Phil and Kirstie, them two with The Lifestyle, are teaming up again for a holiday show – Kirstie And Phil: Holidays Uncovered.

In the show, they’ll look at deals you can get on trips.

Hmmm. It doesn’t feel like a show that’s been crying out to be made does it?

In the show Phil and Kirstie will travel to a different destination and will organise a holiday including meals, accommodation and things to do.

One of them will receive a luxury budget but the other will be given only a small sum. At the end of each instalment, the duo will review the deals they used and decide which holiday was better.

“Phil and I are really looking forward to revealing how to have a fantastic holiday whatever your budget,” Allsopp said.

“For the last ten years we have travelled up and down the UK staying in every sort of accommodation. Now the time has come to put that experience to good use and travel further afield to find fun and good value for everyone.”

Meanwhile, Channel 4’s deputy head of features Andrew Jackson said: “From cheap boutique hotels in the Med to the most expensive of cruises, Kirstie and Phil will be checking out whether holiday-makers get true value for money, and inspire viewers to make their two weeks in the sun a whole lot brighter.”

The Living channel (it’s on Sky) has commissioned its first ever scripted UK comedy for a programme about the comeback of fictional ex-Page Three girl Gayle Tuesday, who is of course, played by Brenda Gilhooly.

The hour-long pilot is being filmed in a documentary style and will air on Living in September.

In the show, we’ll follow Gayle’s progress as she attempts to revive her career in showbusiness, including botox treatment, charity work and a reality cookery show.

The script has been written by Harry Hill, who will also appear in the pilot, along with chef Heston Blumenthal and Pineapple Dance Studios star Louie Spence.

Other cameos in the programme will come from Ainsley Harriott, Toyah Willcox, Paul O’Grady and Hollyoaks actress Roxanne McKee.

“Gayle is back, and where else would she want to be than on Living, the UK’s top celebrity channel,” said the Living TV Group’s head of commissioning Mark Sammon.

“We know that Living’s young audience love scripted comedy on the channel, like US hit Cougar Town, so we’re very excited to have made our first commissioning step into this genre and to have secured the services of such a great comedy writer and performer in Brenda.”

Oh dear!

Big allegations being thrown around at the moment as the X Factor producers have been accused of rigging the show after they ALLEGEDLY signed a deal to guarantee one act safe passage through to the live shows.

A member of the girlband Husstle told other contestants at London’s Boot Camp round that her group had already been promised a place in the studio finals, according to various reports.

A (hopefully televised) fight is supposed to have broken out after one of the group apparently claimed that her band’s manager Spike Dawbarn (formerly of 911 and thereby, most likely to have a link with Cowell) got a guarantee from Simon Cowell and show producers that the group would make it past both Boot Camp and Judges’ Houses.

A source said: “This girl was boasting and winding everyone up about it. They had already been swanning around the place acting like top dogs, so when one of them said they were told they’d be in the final lineup it all kicked off.

“People were screaming and jabbing fingers at each other and some girls even burst into tears. The row got so nasty that producers had to rush in and cool it down.”

Cowell’s spokeswoman insisted that the claim was “total rubbish”.

Beleaguered ITV are looking at ways of making more money.

They weighed up having commercial breaks that lasted one hour at a time, but that wasn’t feasible. So they’re looking at the internet to make some cash.

The broadcaster is looking to launch an online micropayment system and has admitted that it will charge for some of the content it provides on Project Canvas.

Adam Crozier, ITV’s chief executive, said today that the broadcaster was “not punching its weight online”; it was only doing as well as Channel 4 despite being a much bigger player in TV revenues.

“ITV failed to equip itself to compete… ITV.com lags behind competitors in audience, functionality and revenue terms,” he said.

“We need to invest online – our site isn’t as good as some of our competitors. We need to start to find a way to develop pay online and look to launch micropayments.”

“Project Canvas is an important part of our future and it is also a way into ITV.com. The two are inextricably linked – Project Canvas is not the be all and end all but it is a key part of the answer going forward.”

But does ITV have anything that people will deem worthy of their money?

As it stands, it really doesn’t.

Lets face it – ITV is rubbish isn’t it? If it wasn’t for Simon Cowell, the occasional Champions League match and Corrie, no-one would watch the channel.

And so, with ITV making a move to pay-TV with three high-definition channels vanishing behind Sky’s subscription wall, you have to wonder if anyone will tune in at all.

The agreement with Sky, as reported by MediaGuardian.co.uk, covers HD versions of ITV2, 3 and 4. Yes, really.

Along with an online presence, it seems that ITV are putting £75 million aside for their digital channels.

The company’s chief executive, Adam Crozier, said: “For the past decade ITV has not faced up to the challenges presented by the rise of internet-based platforms, the continuing growth of pay TV and subscription services and the globalisation of content.

“Our priority for the next 18 months is to make ITV a creatively dynamic and fit-for-purpose organisation while maintaining strict financial controls. Over time we expect to move to a position whereby half of ITV’s revenue base will be derived from non-television advertising sources and today we are announcing our move into pay television with the agreement to make HD versions of ITV 2, 3 and 4 pay channels on Sky.”

ITV’s HD channels will become available to Sky+ HD subscribers in autumn, starting with ITV2 in October.

ITV was in talks with other providers, Crozier said, including Virgin Media, but the deal was exclusive to Sky among satellite platforms.

Really though… is anyone actually mental enough to pay to watch these channel in their own right?

I can’t deny being a recently converted huge fan of BBC Two’s Rev.

The world weary tale of an inner city vicar with a face longer than his congregation. It’s wonderful and clever and it’s a must to catch up with on iPlayer while you can.

Brilliantly, one fan of the show is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who thinks the series is “really rather good” and reveals “something about the continuing commitment of the church to run down and challenging areas.

“It also shows us someone who prays honestly,” according to the Guardian.

He’s not the only man of the cloth who is into the show.

The Right Rev Alan Wilson, the bishop of Buckingham wrote on his blog: “At last the BBC has moved beyond The Vicar of Dibley. It’s a noble enterprise. Those who wrote it know whereof they speak. Adam sits in his church trying to pray the office, wishing God would bloody do something, but secretly suspecting he won’t … It’s a ministry that resents all the distractions, until it realises that the ministry is the distraction.”

“On a personal and emotional level, Rev is remarkably surefooted. It brings back vividly for me memories of 10 years’ urban ministry.”

A spokesman for the Church of England said it was great to see a church drama on television that did not resort to tired old stereotypes” and instead gave “an edgy insight” into the work of its clergy today.

Here’s hoping that the BBC recommission this charming and very funny show.

They’d better or they might get smited or whatever it is God does to naysayers.

Alan Titchmarsh, the man who chaired that woeful debate on video games, has hit back at critics of chatshows.

He argues that the format is not dead and is in fact, in rude health!

The ITV presenter told What’s On TV that he believes his show’s success is down to his love of talking to his guests.

“I like talking to folk and listening to people, I enjoy conversation,” he said.

“I can’t believe it when people say the chatshow is dead. The chatshow will be dead when conversation’s dead and conversation will never die.

“The chatshow is dead when the host doesn’t actually want to know an answer to the question he’s just posed.”

Titchmarsh said he is looking forward to his show’s new series next month and revealed that he had so far been “lucky enough” to have most of his wishlist of guests appear on the show.

“When you’re interviewing people like Julie Walters they’re just good conversationalists and good entertainers, the best guests are those who realise they’re there to entertain,” he said.

A thinly veiled attack at Wossy perhaps?

The licence fee is a prickly topic that sees people vigorously defending the BBC or attacking them for having an unfair advantage over other stations… or in some cases, people don’t like the way it is spent.

Well, according to one thinktank called the Adam Smith Institute, the £3.5bn annual licence fee should be scrapped and replaced with a voluntary subscription service.

The report, Global Player or Subsidy Junkie? Decision time for the BBC, reckons that Auntie could be offered a “transitional guarantee” of income from 2012 when viewers would first be told they didn’t have to pay the licence fee.

An interim annual fee of £145 (the current cost of the licence fee) would be charged up to 2015, the report proposes, after which BBC services would become subscription-only.

David Graham, the report’s author and a former BBC producer who now runs the media consultancy Attentional, tells the Guardian that the BBC “invests heavily in opinion management and capturing UK regulators rather than looking outwards towards the international media market”.

“Continuing with the current funding model means justified hostility from the rest of the industry, contraction and decline for the BBC,” he added.

“The new government seems ready to rethink fundamentals. I hope this paper will help to encourage a serious debate, at a critical time, about a very important British institution.”

In terms of the licence fee the report argues that the BBC would, over a “limited period of time”, allow licence fee payers to “either lapse or switch to voluntary subscription”.

What are your thoughts?

The next series of The X Factor will be different from previous outings. Yep, it’s all change!

Well, not quite that drastic.

One difference will be that mentors on this year’s show will now pick from eight acts rather than six during the Judges’ Houses phase, it has been confirmed.

Writing on her official Facebook page, Minogue commented: “Exciting change to X Factor Judges’ Houses – I’ll get to pick from eight acts instead of six this season!”

ITV confirmed reports that the upper age limit for the boys’ and girls’ categories has been increased to 28 “to strengthen the competition and talent”.

A show statement read: “Here at The X Factor we’re never ones to rest on our laurels. If something needs a mix up to keep the show fresh and exciting, then that’s exactly what we’ll do!

“Last year we added a live audience to the auditions, this year it’s Boot Camp that’s bringing about some changes.”

It continued: “Instead of the usual six, eight acts will now go through to the Judges’ Houses stage so that Cheryl and Dannii, having missed the auditions, will have the opportunity to choose their finalists from a wider range of talent.”

Sky1 has commissioned a load of comedy shows starring some big comedy names as it aims to be taken seriously in the field.

Dawn French, Victoria Wood and Stephen Fry have been announced as taking part in shows, along with Gavin and Stacey’s Ruth Jones and, most importantly, some new talent.

First to tell you about is Ruth Jones’ new show, Stella, which sees the funnywoman playing a fortysomething mother. It’ll be set in South Wales and should air in 2012.

Former Coronation Street star Sally Lindsay, takes the lead in new show Mount Pleasant where she plays a thirtysomething Mancunian, alongside The Street’s Daniel Ryan.

The big guns are out (Fry, Wood and French) to appear in Little Cracker, a season of autobiographical short films that relate real-life incidents from the protagonists’ past. That sounds like it could be fun.

Meanwhile, Catherine Tate, Kathy Burke and Bill Bailey will also be directing their tales and the films will be broadcast over the Christmas season.

There’s also a new show from newcomers. It’s called Jinsy, and is a series of eight programmes written by Chris Bran and Justin Chubb and features the weird and wonderful goings on of the inhabitants of fictional eponymous island.

Lucy Lumsden, who commissioned shows including The Thick of It and The Catherine Tate Show when she was at the BBC, said: “It’s been an exciting time spreading the good news about Sky’s investment in comedy and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to attract a wealth of comedy talent … We’re providing a home for on- and off-screen talent to flex their creative muscle; somewhere for their work to be nurtured.”

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