General

Five today unveiled some compelling new winter programmes for 2008, with an emphasis on engrossing human interest stories, factual programming and contemporary documentaries.

It Pays to Watch is a new money programme presented by Martin Lewis, one of Britain’s leading consumer journalists. In this entertaining new magazine series, money-saving zealot Martin Lewis shows viewers how to get more cash in their pockets without having to get a new job, downsize or rob a bank. Expert Lewis can save a family an average of £5,000 a year, not by teaching them to cut back, but by showing them how to beat the system.

Britain’s Bravest tells the incredible stories of real emergencies, rescues and bravery from around the country. Using powerful testimonies and dramatic reconstruction of the events, the series will make use of all available archive footage from the emergency services videos and recordings, CCTV images and user generated footage.

I Own Britain’s Best Home, a series which aims to unearth the most desirable domiciles in Britain and the people lucky enough to live in them. A team of presenters – each representing a different field of expertise – will be scouring the nation for remarkable and beautiful homes before the viewer decides which deserves to be crowned Best Home in Britain. Coming at the subject from three directions – Architecture, Interior Design and Construction – the series will also be full of information about how to recreate the looks featured in each show.

The Rough Guide To…, a new 15-part series presented by Julia Bradbury and Toby Amies. For viewers who really want to know where the very best beaches, luxury destinations and island-escapes are, or how to choose the most responsible holidays and sporting and wildlife destinations in 2008, this new series is going to tell it as it is, revealing the ultimate travel experiences for the savvy international traveller.

Make Your Child Brilliant is an aspirational, ground-breaking series following expert brain trainer Bernadette Tynan as she embarks upon a nationwide search to spot children who are slipping through the net of our education system, and unlock their hidden gifts. Bernadette has spent nearly 20 years researching the secrets of the brain and developing brain training techniques guaranteed to bring out the best in any child. Each week she goes into a new school and picks a seemingly ordinary child whose gifts are being missed.

The Shop is an eight-part high street fashion entertainment series. The Shop will be a place where the audience can genuinely interact with the show, with fashion takeouts and entertainment stunts featuring the shoppers themselves. Guest celebrities will also have the chance to stock and set sections of The Shop themselves, but will anyone buy what they’ve got to offer? The Shop will transmit later in the year.

Five’s Director of Programmes, Jay Hunt, said: “From money to food, dramatic rescue to ground breaking natural history, Five’s winter programming is distinctive and ambitious. I am excited to have such a creatively interesting line-up at the heart of the peak schedule.”

Other programmes coming up on Five in early 2008 include:

In The Man Who Lives With Bears, Charlie Vandergew has, for the last 15 years, allowed 30 bears – black bears and the more dangerous grizzly brown bear, the same breed that killed Timothy Treadwell – into the backyard of his cabin in Alaska. This programme documents Charlie’s story, following him into the wilds of Alaska as he attempts to live with wild Grizzlies.

The Kate Moss Years, follows the life of Kate Moss, undoubtedly the most iconic and controversial British model and icon for our generation. This two-part, history documentary charts the story of British popular culture since the late 80’s, using Moss as a prism for wider events and phenomena within the era.

So You Think You Can Be A Single Parent follows three celebrities as they attempt to cope with the rigours of being a single parent. Rhona Cameron, Jayne Middlemiss and Iwan Thomas take on the role of being a single parent with real families, on real budgets and in real circumstances.

It Pays To Watch is a Money Saving production for Five.

Britain’s Bravest is a Fever production for Five.

I Own Britain’s Best Home is a TalkBackThames production for Five.

The Rough Guide is a Lion Television production for Five.

The Shop is a Twofour production for Five.

Make Your Child Brilliant is an Electric Sky production for Five.

The Man Who Lives with Bears is a Firecracker production for Five.

The Kate Moss Years is a North One production for Five.

So You Think You Can Be A Single Parent is a Granada Factual London production for Five.

The Walt Disney Company’s ABC Studios & Disney Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon & Paramount Comedy Offer Wide Range of Programmes in ITUNES for £1.89 per episode.

Apple(r) today announced that hit television programming from ABC Studios, Disney Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy is now available for 1.89 an episode from the iTunes(r) Store in the UK (www.apple.com/uk/itunes/). iTunes customers can choose from a wide range of popular primetime programming including the Emmy Award-winning series “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ugly Betty” and locally-produced UK series such as MTV’s “Barrio 19,” Nickelodeon’s “Genie in the House” and Paramount Comedy’s “Comedy Blue.” The iTunes Store in the UK currently offers 28 television programs for purchase and download which can be viewed on a PC or Mac(r), fifth generation iPod(r) or on a widescreen TV with Apple TV(tm).

“We’re thrilled to bring TV programming to the iTunes Store in the UK,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We’ve got 28 shows and expect to continue to add more great programming.”

The complete list of television programming on the iTunes Store in the UK includes:

* Disney’s ABC Studios’ dramas and comedy-dramas “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ugly Betty,” “Commander in Chief” and “Night Stalker”

* Disney Channel’s renowned children’s programming, including “American Dragon: Jake Long,” “Kim Possible,” “That’s So Raven,” “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and Playhouse Disney titles “Handy Manny,” “Little Einsteins” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”

* MTV’s reality favourites “Pimp My Ride,” “Barrio 19,” “Bam’s Unholy Union,” “Laguna Beach” and “My Sweet Sixteen”

* Nickelodeon children’s programming “Avatar: The Legend of Aang,” “Drake and Josh,” “Dora the Explorer,” “Genie in the House” and “SpongeBob SquarePants”

* Paramount Comedy hits “South Park,” “Comedy Blue,” “Jongleurs Unleashed: Part I,” “That ’70s Show” and “The World Stands Up”

With Apple’s legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as Cover Flow, integrated podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, seamless integration with iPod and iPhone(tm)* and the ability to turn previously purchased songs into completed albums at reduced prices, the iTunes Store is the best way for PC and Mac users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online.

Pricing & Availability

iTunes 7 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Store and is available as a free download from www.apple.com/uk/itunes/. Purchase and download of songs and videos from the iTunes Store requires a valid credit card from a financial institution in the country of purchase. Television shows are available in the US and UK only, and video availability varies by country. Television shows are

1.89 per episode in the UK. TV shows from the iTunes Store are downloaded in near-DVD quality at a resolution of 640×480 (up to 480, depending on the aspect ratio) and can be viewed on a computer, fifth generation iPod or widescreen TV with Apple TV.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

The iPhone will also be available in Europe in late 2007

Paul Abbott, once a writer for Coronation Street, had criticised current TV shows as being “diluted, half baked porridge” as well as “dull and lazy”. He also says that storylines have been thinned out unnecessarily.

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It looks likely that there will be price rises for customers of Virgin television as the company strategises to expand its portfolio.

Read the full story here.

Channel 4 has a whole new look for spring this year – with a variety of different shows to be shown, including, Schoolboy Joel – about a boy smoking since he was eight, The Yellow House – about artists Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin when they shared a room and Wife Swap is back with celebrities getting involved…

Read more.

Television soap operas might be encouraging teenagers to drink more, according to a latest survey published in The Food Magazine. Alcohol – shown in the background or consumed by characters has found to make up a considerable proportion of screen time, with some soaps faring worse than others.

Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and Emmerdale have alcohol featured in 18%, 17% and 16% of scenes respectively. With soap operas having alcohol featured in this amount suggests, according to study author Cally Matthews, that alcohol consumption is appropriate, healthy and normal.

Read more.

BBC Leeds is getting on board with Comic Relief with a Stars In Our Eyes spectacular and a unique comedy show.

Three comedians from different faiths give their hilarious take on life for I Can’t Believe It’s Comedy.

The evening will be hosted by Bennet Arron, who describes himself as the only Welsh Jewish comedian on the comedy circuit.

He’ll be joined by a first-class line-up including John Moloney, a Roman Catholic and winner of the Best Live Performer award for two years running at the London Comedy Festival.

Also performing is Inder Manocha who draws on his Bahá’í faith to delight audiences with his mix of cross-cultural satire, current affairs and nonsense.

I Can’t Believe It’s Comedy will be held at Jongleurs in Leeds at 7pm on Sunday 11 March. Tickets are available from Jongleurs or Bar Risa on Albion Street in Leeds.

The evening promises lots of laughs, good company and an excellent night out with all proceeds going to Comic Relief.

On Monday 12 March, BBC Look North’s Harry Gration will be strutting his stuff on the stage of the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds. Harry is just one of the contestants performing at a special Comic Relief Stars In Our Eyes show.

BBC Radio Leeds’ presenter Graham Liver and broadcast journalist Johnny I’Anson will take to the stage as the pop sensation Wham!

TV’s Christa Ackroyd and Paul Hudson will join another two celebrities to form a judging panel of the acts all performed by BBC staff.

Tickets for Stars In Our Eyes are £12 and £10 and are available on 08456 441 881. The show is on Monday 12 March at 7.30pm at the City Varieties.

Later in the week, Radio Leeds’ Graham Liver will broadcast from a king-size water bed at the National Media Museum in Bradford.

Inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Graham will have a 24 hour lie-in from Thursday 15 March, overnight and into his show on Friday 16 March from 9am to 12-midday on Radio Leeds.

The water bed will be auctioned on air on Friday 16 March to raise money for Comic Relief.

During Graham’s Big Bed Broadcast, each of his guests will be interviewed in bed.

Photo Opportunity: BBC Look North’s Christa Ackroyd will join Graham Liver in the king-size water bed at 10.30am on Thursday 15 March at Bradford’s National Media Museum.

Three programmes set to be screened on Channel 4 have been shelved after the huge criticism and controversy that surrounded Celebrity Big Brother.

A season of programmes dubbed “w**k week” that included a “masturbate-a-thon”, and the “Virgin School” will no longer be screened as they would likely have brought further controversy and criticism – something Channel 4 is desperately trying to avoid at the moment.

Read more.

It looks like viewers will be able to watch their favourite shows online and / or download them onto their own computers not long after they are broadcasted… Approval has been given by BBC Trust and such plans could be up and running later this year. Meanwhile much tougher restrictions will be placed on music.

Read more.

Already Channel 4 has screened two shows about Tony Blair, “A Very Social Secretary” and “The Trial of Tony Blair” and it is now planning to make another drama about Blair and the current Labour government. Robert Lindsay, who played Blair in both the previous dramas has reportedly said he would be happy to play the role once again.

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