BBC

ITV announced on Sunday that it has signed an exclusive three year deal with Christine Bleakley.

She will co-host the new-look breakfast show with Adrian Chiles from the autumn and will also present prime-time ITV entertainment shows.

Peter Fincham, ITV Director of Television, said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Christine Bleakley is coming to ITV – she’s one of television’s brightest stars.  It’s great that she’ll be reunited with Adrian Chiles and their unique and brilliant partnership will be at the heart of our new-look breakfast show from this autumn. Christine will also become a familiar face to ITV peak-time audiences. We can’t wait to get started.”

Christine said:

“I am looking forward to a brand new experience at ITV albeit with an old friend.  And it will be exciting to work alongside Peter Fincham again who kindly gave me a break on The One Show in the first place.

“I have had the most wonderful three years at the BBC and The One Show.  It has consumed my life in that time and I would not have had it any other way; I have made great friends and met some incredible people.

“It is with regret that this experience is coming to an end.  I have been torn between working with Adrian Chiles and remaining at the BBC.  I fully understand the BBC had to move more swiftly than I could, and as a result they’ve managed to help make my mind up for me.

“The BBC, and specifically Jay Hunt and her team, have been nothing but supportive, fair and encouraging since I stepped foot inside there.  I will be eternally grateful for everything they have done for me.”

Put on your blue-footed booby shoes, flutter those butterfly wings or paint on big cat whiskers – whatever your favourite wild animal, step into their “shoes” for the BBC Wildlife Fund’s Wear Your Wildlife To Work Day on Friday 18 June.

Wear Your Wildlife To Work Day is part of the BBC Wildlife Fund’s appeal to help save threatened species and wild places around the world. So support wildlife by swapping your Friday work wear for more animal-friendly fashion – from zebra stripes to leopard spots.

Andrew Marr, BBC broadcaster and president of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, is wearing his blue shoes to work on Friday 18 June, in support of the Trust’s Blue-footed Booby Day – which is part of the wider Wear Your Wildlife To Work Day.

Imitating the bright blue webbed feet of these Galapagos seabirds is just one of many ways to join in. Anything wild goes, but do remember to make a donation to the BBC Wildlife Fund to avoid wearing your usual work gear.

Find out more and donate at bbc.co.uk/wild/donate, or by calling 03705 100700 (standard geographical charges from landlines and mobiles apply).

One of the highlights of the appeal is a live fundraising extravaganza, Wild Night In, on Sunday 20 June on BBC Two, from 8-10pm.

Kate Humble, supporter of the BBC Wildlife Fund and a presenter of Wild Night In, said: “I hope everyone will join in and support the BBC Wildlife Fund appeal and celebrate the wonder of our natural world through conservation – whether it’s restoring humble habitats for dormice or saving majestic species such as sharks.

“Let’s all go truly wild and help bring our most vulnerable wildlife back from the brink of extinction.”

Amy Coyte, director of the BBC Wildlife Fund, said: “Never has the need to help save species and restore wild places been more urgent. Working with charities taking positive action across the globe we hope to make a real difference for wildlife.”

The BBC Wildlife Fund’s first live appeal programme, Saving Planet Earth, was broadcast in 2007. The appeal raised a total of just under £2m, which has been used to help save threatened species ranging from albatrosses and Galapagos penguins to slow worms and spiders.

Other success stories include securing a vital land corridor for rare African elephants in Namibia and a programme of rabies prevention vaccinations for Ethiopian wolves.

In the UK, the BBC Wildlife Fund has helped to restore the habitat of the Adonis blue butterfly in Sussex and supported an innovative survey to safeguard the future of Bechstein’s bat, one of the UK’s rarest mammals.

All of the money donated by the public will be used to support wildlife conservation. Money raised will be distributed via grants to UK registered charities involved in conservation work around the world and also on our doorstep.

Wildlife enthusiasts of all ages can take part in the appeal and celebrate the diversity of life on Earth. A special fundraising pack, full of ideas of how to go Wild For Money at school, work or home, is available from the BBC Wildlife Fund’s website: bbc.co.uk/wild.

 

BBC 6 Music DJ Steve Lamacq and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens today revealed the line-up for the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2010.

From Friday 25 June to Sunday 27 June, the BBC Introducing Stage showcases 31 under-the-radar artists from around the UK.

It is the fourth time that the BBC Introducing stage has been at the festival, having launched itself at Glastonbury 2007.

Jason Carter, Editor, BBC Introducing, says: “The BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury is such an important platform for us. It was the first festival to host a stage back in 2007 and it remains a key part of our calendar. Being able to bring brand new talent, sourced via the BBC networks, to a festival with such great musical heritage is a great privilege and is a big moment for all the artists involved.

Not only do those artists get to perform to the festival goers at Glastonbury but our commitment to filming the stage and recording the sets, means those watching and listening from home get to experience some of the best new music emerging from across the UK.”

The bands performing on the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury 2010 are:

Kid.Adrift

Lady Leshurr

Meursault

Dog is Dead

Ms Darks

Fellow Stranger

D.M.E

Two in a Boat

The Federals

Louis Elliot & The Embers

Out Like A Lion

Chew Lips

P Money

Dark Horses

Napoleon In Rags

Man Without Country

Jesca Hoop

Seven Summits

Yr Ods

Lettie

Roll Deep and guests

Dry the River

Pulled Apart By Horses

Broadcast 2000

May 68

Patch William

Celt Islam

End of Level Baddie

Newislands

John E Vistic Experience

Lanterns on the Lake

The Theory of Six Degrees

 

Kid Adrift, Pulled Apart By Horses and Chew Lips headline the stage each day in the new returners slot – artists who have been supported by BBC Introducing in previous years, who have now started to find a wider audience, are given the chance to return to stage where it all started and perform in this prestigious slot.

Special guests Roll Deep also feature on the stage, bringing with them some artists that have graced the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury in previous years.

For further information on the artists, please visit – bbc.co.uk/introducing.

Sets from the stage are streamed online and highlights are available to watch on the Red Button across the weekend. Live music highlights from the BBC Introducing stage are broadcast across BBC Local Radio, Asian Network, 1Xtra, 6Music as well as Radio 1 on Huw Stephens’ show 9-10pm, Wednesday 30 June.

Huw says: “Once again we’re delighted to take some of the finest new artists to the legendary Glastonbury Festival, and introducing them to a new audience.”

For the first time ever, the BBC Introducing story is to be told on TV in a special documentary for BBC Four. The documentary follows three artists playing the stage and gives the audience a perspective of the festival through the eyes of these new performers. Continuing the BBC’s aim of nurturing new talent, the documentary is directed by a first time director as well as featuring new musical talent on screen.

BBC Radio 1 Stories: The Story Of Glastonbury (Radio 1, Monday 28 June, 9-10pm) also highlights the BBC Introducing talent, when it gets on the tour bus with a host of Glastonbury virgins as they head to perform at the world famous festival.

The BBC has extensive coverage of Glastonbury 2010 across television, radio, and online, with digital radio station 6 Music offering continuous coverage during the festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Details and additional content at bbc.co.uk/glastonbury.

BBC Introducing is a multi-platform initiative across Radio 1, 6Music, 1Xtra, the Asian Network, Switch, over 35 BBC Local Radio stations and at bbc.co.uk/introducing – all working together to provide an internal network dedicated to showcasing the hottest new talent from across the UK. The BBC Introducing Stage is now present at key UK music festivals throughout the year, including Glastonbury, T in the Park and Reading and Leeds. Musicians can upload their music at bbc.co.uk/introducing for the possible opportunity of being broadcast on BBC Radio, which could lead to a slot on one of the BBC Introducing stages.

 

A special BBC Inside Out documentary for the North East and Cumbria, to broadcast this Wednesday 9 June, will look back over the tragic events that took place in West Cumbria last week.

This one-off special will piece together the events as they happened and provide eye-witness accounts from the public and the emergency services – as well as testimonials to those who sadly lost their lives.

BBC Inside Out Special – The Cumbrian Shootings, BBC One (North East and Cumbria), Wednesday 9 June, 7-7.30pm.

When the BBC’s new Sherlock Holmes series premieres in July, the pilot episode will be missing.

The network has decided to shelve the first episode of the series despite the fact it cost £800,000 to produce and includes the firepower of The Office’s Martin Freeman and Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat.

“It must have been a real stinker,” a source has said. “BBC One controller Jay Hunt and drama head Ben Stephenson felt the pilot didn’t work so ordered the changes. The crew couldn’t just re-use footage because the series is now totally different. The stories are now more intricate and detailed, so they basically had to start again.”

The BBC has since said that there is nothing to worry about and that this sort of thing happens all the time.

“As with the rest of the industry, we occasionally use pilots to experiment with the best ways of telling stories,” a spokesperson said. “As a result of this pilot we commissioned a series of three 90-minute episodes.”

A premiere date has been set for July this year.

Source: Digital Spy

 

The BBC is to provide viewers with a definitive look at a seminal period of history, the resonances of which can still be felt today, in a season focusing on the Normans across BBC Two, BBC Four and BBC Learning.

Leading the season will be The Normans, a three-part series on BBC Two that will examine the extraordinary expansion and unchecked ambition of this warrior race between the 10th and 13th centuries.

Presented by Professor Robert Bartlett, the series will bring the history of the Normans to life by uncovering the personal stories of shadowy figures like Tancred of Hauteville, best remembered as a poor 11th-century Norman lord who fathered no less than 12 sons, two of whom left their homeland and risked their lives to become great rulers in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

Sweeping across borders and centuries, Bartlett will journey from the st

ormy shores of Great Britain via Jerusalem to the Kingdom of Sicily, explaining how and why a dynasty of dukes and warriors became conquerors and kings. Bursting with colourful manuscripts, documents and artefacts, this series will give voice to an unfamiliar world of princess historians and mixed-race monks.

Martin Davidson, Commissioning Editor, History and Business, says: “The Battle of Hastings in 1066 is such an iconic landmark in our history, but what do we really know of the dynasty of dukes and warriors that staged this Norman invasion? And what do we know of the frenetic energy of the centuries that followed? I’m extremely pleased that a world authority like Robert Bartlett will be at the helm of our Norman season, providing BBC Two viewers with a definitive look at the warrior-race whose ambition and power transformed Europe and irrevocably changed the course of British history.”

Alongside The Normans, Dr Stephen Baxter will present a one-off BBC Two documentary on The Domesday Book. Locked in a special case deep within the British National Archives, this Norman treasure holds many secrets of the past. This special programme will shake the dust off Domesday and reveal that this ancient public record unleashed enough red tape to help create the modern nation state.

BBC Four will be turning the spotlight on the art and culture of the Normans. In The Stones Of Rosslyn, art historian Lady Helen Rosslyn will delve into the art and architecture of one of the most famous medieval chapels in the world, exploring what it is about Rosslyn Chapel that has enchanted visitors as diverse as JMW Turner, Robert Burns and Tom Hanks.

In Norman Walks, Dan Snow will uncover the forgotten Norman Empire – one that has been largely overlooked but which laid the foundation for modern Britain. Each episode will take in prominent Norman landmarks and feature a mixture of aerial archive and bespoke filming via helicopter.

In The Art Of The Anglo-Saxons, Dr Janina Ramirez will tell the story of how England in the Dark Ages became one of the art capitals of Christendom. She will examine highlights of Anglo-Saxon art, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, decoding the imagery within them and examining the sophisticated techniques required to create them.

Poet Simon Armitage will show how the legend of King Arthur matured in the years after the Norman invasion in Armitage On Arthur. Revealing the greatest masterworks of Arthurian literature, Simon will tell Arthur’s tragic story and ask what role the mythical king still serves in our national consciousness.

The Norman Season will also launch Hands On History, a two-year BBC Learning campaign offering audiences inspiring opportunities to take the next step from watching programmes to discovering history around them. Working in partnership with more than 20 heritage and history organisations, Hands On History will offer a range of events and activities as part of the Norman Season, including Norman walks.

The Norman Season will take place on the BBC later this year.

 

The BBC has announced that three new pilots will be premiering online.

A trio of new BBC Three shows, Pulse, Dappers and Stanley Park, will make their arrivals on the network’s official website a week before the show’s debut on television.

Pulse debuts online on May 27 while Dappers and Stanley Park hit the website on June 3.

Pulse is a supernatural drama series which centres on a medical trainee who begins to notice strange happenings in the hospital in which she works. The series stars Claire Foy.

Dappers is a comedy series about a pair of singles mums starring Lenora Crichlow and Ty Glaser while Stanley Park features Sharon Horgan in the dramedy centring on a group of London friends.

“We want to keep experimenting with the relationship between the web and TV, and these pilots provide a great opportunity to get the BBC Three audience discussing our programmes and helping to plan our future.” BBC Three’s controller Danny Cohen said.

Source: Digital Spy

 

Television actor and vintage plane enthusiast Martin Shaw will be taking to the skies over Yorkshire and Derbyshire this week for a documentary from the BBC in Yorkshire which aims to uncover brand new information about the RAF’s famous wartime Dambusters raid.

Shaw, who holds his own private pilot’s licence and flies vintage planes, will be flying over the Upper Derwent Valley in the Peak District above Sheffield where 617 squadron famously practised their bomb runs before embarking on their mission to destroy dams in Germany during the Second World War.

He will be joined in the cockpit of the Piper Navajo plane by war hero and Dambusters expert Wing Commander Chris Norton who led the Harrier jump jets of the RAF’s elite No1 Squadron against targets in Kosovo and the latest Gulf War. Using modern GPS technology they’ll be testing the accuracy of the wooden bombsights used to drop the bouncing bombs.

Later the pair will trace the entire route from RAF Scampton to the Ruhr Valley in Germany. Thanks to a special dispensation from the Civil Aviation Authority they will fly some of the route at the same ultra low level used by 617 Squadron’s Lancaster bombers.

Executive Producer for the BBC Ian Cundall said: “The amazing story of the Dambusters has been told many times, especially in the famous Richard Todd movie – but in this documentary we think we have come up with some exciting new evidence that reveals secrets which have remained hidden for the last 67 years. Wartime censorship and a desire to protect what, at the time, was a wonder-weapon led to many aspects of the raid being hushed up. When modern viewers find out what really happened we believe the raid will be seen as even more extraordinary.”

The plane, flown by Wg Cdr Norton, holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross, will leave RAF Scampton near Lincoln – home to the original 617 Squadron – today. On arrival in Germany they will overfly the Mohne Dam and meet a local survivor of the raid.

Ian Cundall said: “Only by recreating this hugely important moment in wartime history can we fully understand the courage and skill of the airmen who carried it out. For too long their exploits have been lost in a fog of myth and half-truth.”

The programme is due to be broadcast this autumn in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire on BBC One and again, later in the year, across the country on BBC Two.

 

The BBC Trust has today published the conclusions of its review of the BBC’s on-demand services, including the BBC iPlayer.

The review, conducted two years after the launch of on-demand services, found that the iPlayer has performed in line with its usage expectations, has effectively promoted ‘niche’ or less well-known programmes, appeals well to its target younger audiences, and represents good value for money.

The review also says future versions of the iPlayer should ensure audiences continue to be able to find a wide variety of content, and agreed with the BBC Executive that more could be done to promote the parental controls on the iPlayer.

BBC Trustee Diane Coyle said:

“The response to our public consultation was large, and overwhelmingly positive, which clearly showed the value placed by audiences on the choice and convenience offered by the iPlayer.

“Reach and appreciation levels are high, with a third of all UK adults claiming to have used the iPlayer.

“Looking ahead, the BBC needs to ensure that it continues to meet the expectations of audiences.”

The Trust has also today launched a consultation on the proposed changes to its on-demand syndication policy and the BBC Executive’s syndication guidelines, which will run for eight weeks.

Diane Coyle said:

“The BBC has a duty to consider carefully the impact of its activities on the wider industry. We hope to learn more about what audiences and the industry think about on-demand syndication in the forthcoming consultation.”

 

Stephen Fry has announced he is working on three new TV shows.

Fry has revealed he has a pair of ITV dramas despite the fact the network axed his previous show, Kingdom, on the channel.

The 52-year-old actor also has a BBC show in the works, in which he will star in later this year.

“I hope to be doing some drama in the next two years with ITV,” he said. “Two projects we are working closely on have not yet come to fruition – they are in development. There is also a BBC thing I am doing this autumn, but that has not been announced yet.”

Source: Digital Spy

 

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