Category Archives: TV

The Royals – on the small screen and in the Big Apple


The writer of The Queen and The Audience is creating a new drama series about the British monarchy for Netflix.

The Crown is being written by Peter Morgan and each series of the drama will look at the political rivalries and personal intrigues across a decade of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, beginning with the young princess who is faced with leading the royal family as well as trying to develop a relationship with Winston Churchill.

The series should be available from 2016.

Does anyone think Call The Midwife’s Jessica Raine might be a good choice for the young queen?

Meanwhile William and Katherine will be traveling to New York in December.

The three day visit to the Big Apple will include a gala dinner benefiting their former university, St Andrews, a visit the 9/11 memorial and a stop-off at a basketball game in Brooklyn in support of an ongoing collaboration between their Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife and the NBA.

Sadly Prince George won’t be joining his parents on the trip which takes place December 7-9.

An Afternoon with Mark Gatiss And Friends


I’ve just got home from spending an afternoon with Mark Gatiss and Friends.

The Sherlock star hosted the event in aid of the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard, of which he is patron.

And what friends! The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Moriarty (Andrew Scott), Mary Morston (Amanda Abbington), Queenie (Miranda Richardson), Sue Perkins and Derren Brown.

It was an afternoon full of laughter and some interesting anecdotes. The event included questions from Gatiss, some previously submitted online and some from the audience this afternoon. So here are some of the highlights:

Andrew Scott was asked if there was any point in him continuing to deny Moriarty will be in Sherlock season 4 as it’s on IMDb. He replied ” well if it’s on IMDb then absolutely not!”.

Amanda Abbington revealed her character in Mr Selfridge, Miss Mardle, was originally going to be a lesbian but the ‘powers that be’ wouldn’t allow it.

Miranda Richardson talked about being cut from Maleficent (she and Peter Capaldi played the King and Queen of the Fairies but ended up on the cutting room floor). “They tell you they want you so much” she revealed. “And the they cut you. Who makes that decision? I haven’t seen it actually – but not out of spite!”

Obviously one of the big draws of the afternoon was the presence of Capaldi and, as always, he was charming and sweet. He says his life hasn’t changed that much since playing the Doctor – he still does the shopping and has to get his car MOTed! He said the thing he’s noticed he most is that he’s met with so many smiles, people are so pleased to see him.

Capaldi said he didn’t get too caught up in the overarching themes of the last series “I operate on a need-to-know basis” he said. “I concentrate on scenes rather than an overview of the whole thing. I have ideas of my own about the internal life of the Doctor, but I keep those to myself”.

Away from Sherlock and the Doctor, the panel were asked if they had a favourite musical. Andrew Scott revealed he’d love to be in a musical but he can’t really sing! Capaldi said he likes Blood Brothers as it’s very British. Gatiss announced his favourite is Carousel – which then became a theme throughout the event.

Another question was “do you have anything left on your bucket list?”. Capaldi said “my ambition at the moment is to not regenerate for a while”.

One of the most interesting questions was what figure from history would Capaldi like the Doctor to meet? He’d obviously thought about this before as he immediately answered “Martin Luther King. I don’t see why the Doctor shouldn’t be involved in the civil rights movement”.

Gatiss said he’d certainly be interested in writing a script for that but “you have to be careful about the tone of the story. It would be a big challenge”.

One of the final questions was if any of the panel had any funny stories from set. Capaldi revealed he was once punched in the head by Brian Blesssed! It was when they were filming Tom Jones and the Doctor Who star needed nine stitches! “I came round” said Capaldi. “And I wasn’t wearing a wig, and I remember hearing one ambulance guys saying ‘get his wig off’ and I kept saying ‘no, it’s my own hair!'”.

Finally, one of the highlights of the afternoon was when Sue Perkins was talking about putting on a production of The Hobbit whilst at school. She advised the audience member to always know your limitations and not to be too over ambitious. Gatiss then retorted about how The Hobbit goes on to ages these days. That got a hard stare from Amanda Abbingdon! And a big laugh from the audience!

So that was my afternoon and it was a very enjoyable one! The LLGS filmed the event and it should be on their site soon. And the charity will be hosting a special online auction later this week and Andrew Scott has donated his suit from Sherlock!


Bradley Whitford is Happyish


Bradley Whitford has joined the cast of new TV drama Happyish.

The Showtime series was originally due to star Philip Seymour Hoffman but has been recast with Steve Coogan in the lead role.

Whitford has joined the cast as Coogan’s boss who is described as an “advertising industry legend whose success is due in equal parts to his creative genius and moral cravenness”.

So a lot different from Josh in The West Wing then.

A modern Little Women?


The classic story of Little Women is to be brought into the modern age in a new drama for US TV.

The miniseries, which will be made by ABC and is being produced by British actress Natascha McElhone.

She’s expected to also star in the series which will see the March girls coming of age against the backdrop of a military scandal leading their family to lose their its fortune and position.

I have to say I have serious reservations about this. I read Louisa May Alcott’s stories as a teenager and have loved them ever since. I hope they don’t change them too much.

Julie Walters – A Life in Pictures


National treasure Julie Walters will be the debut subject of the TV strand of BAFTA’s A Life In Pictures.

She’ll be discussing her career at BAFTA’s HQ in Piccadilly on December 3.

Back in 2000 when she won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Billy Elliot I got to interview her backstage at the awards.

Earlier that weekend she’d also won an Olivier Award so I asked her what she was going to do on the Monday morning. “I’ve got a pile of washing to do” she told me. Still one of my favourite stories.

The Big Lego Theory


The Big Bang Theory is being turned into Lego!

The new set is expected to include figures of the new characters including Sheldon and Leonard as well as their living room – which of course is where most of the sitcom is set.

The idea was submitted to Lego by some fans who then put it to an online vote and the idea received over 10,000 votes.

No word yet on when we can but it.