Category Archives: Media

Brand new E4 comedy drama Gap Year

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Here’s an exclusive look at brand new E4 comedy drama Gap Year. Centred on British lads Dylan (Anders Hayward) and Sean (Ade Oyefeso), who are childhood friends that initially set out to backpack through China, but end up taking on the whole continent.

 

The drama takes in ancient rainforests, full-moon beach parties, futuristic Asian mega-cities and remote monasteries in the foothills of the Himalayas. In the first episode, Sean is horrified to discover that his best mate Dylan has a secret plan that threatens to derail their ‘lads holiday’ to China. Things start looking up when they meet two American girls, Ashley (Brittney Wilson) and May (Alice Lee), and middle-aged hanger-on Greg (Tim Key). But, when old tensions resurface and create carnage at a music festival on the Great Wall, Sean suddenly finds himself way out of his depth.

 

http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/exclusive-look-at-new-e4-travelling-comedy-gap-year

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Africa’s Only Gay Radio

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Africa’s only gay radio station broadcasts from Pretoria in South Africa.

GaySAradio produces content for Africa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex communities and is trying to counter homophobia and break down stereotypes.

Jason McCrossan talked to Hendrik Baird the Station Manager of Africa’s only gay radio station which broadcasts from the South African city of Pretoria.

 

Brexit: Wife Swap Special Returns to C4

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Channel 4 is set to bring back its multi-award winning format Wife Swap for a one-off Brexit special. The show that allowed families to experience different lifestyles and perspectives on the world, returns for an intimate look at the nation’s biggest talking point – Brexit.

The 60-minute episode, due to air later this year, will be the first since the show ended nearly eight years ago.will see couples from either side of the Brexit debate swap households for one week and live with a family with very different views.

Emily Jones, Commissioning Editor, at Channel 4 said:” Wife Swap was largely about how people chose to run their homes, but it always had political undertones. Now the world has changed and recent events have brought political issues into the heart of every household. What better time to bring back this much loved format to explore Brexit and hear firsthand the conversations happening in every home”.

Wife Swap first arrived on Channel 4 screens in 2003 and quickly became a global phenomenon. The final series aired in the UK in 2009.

 

Will Snowden be Trumps ‘Bin Landen’ scalp?

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We are just hours away from President-Elect Donald Trump taking the oath of office and becoming officially the 45th President of the United States.

I can only imagine how Ed Snowden is feeling right now.  There must have been a part of him which was hope for a Presidential pardon from the outgoing President Obama – alas, it wasn’t to come.  And so what now for America’s highest profile whistleblower and exile who has just been given leave to remain in Russia for another three years?

Well, like most things Russian – there is no such thing as a guarantee and if I were Snowden I’d be very very nervous right now.  The Russian’s will have obtained everything they need or wanted from Snowden and in fact, his presence there was merely Putin sticking a pin in the side of Obama.

If we enter into a thawing of USA/Russian relations, an easy win for Trump would be getting Snowden back to face the music for releasing millions of confidential documents.

Snowden has tweeted that he would rather be “without a state than without a voice” – soon, he may find himself in Russian state custody – whilst awaiting extradition back to the United States – facing the rest of his life in prison and finally losing the voice he cherishes so much.

In 2016 I spoke to the author James Bamford who has met and interviewed Ed.

 

R.I.P Sir Jimmy Young

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The news broke late last night that the nation lost yet another veteran broadcaster in 2016.

Sir Jimmy Young has died peacefully at home aged 95.

He was one of the original Radio 1 DJs at its launch in 1967.  He then cross channels to Radio 2 in 1973 and filled the early afternoon slot until he retired in December 2002, spending 3 decades at channel 2.

Jimmy was one of the reasons why I loved radio so much.  He had wit, knowledge and timing which took him to the top of broadcasting. I still remember being in a car driven by my father listening to Jimmy – and although I didn’t always understand the content – it was the voice and the style that I was interested in.

Here is a clip of two radio greats – no longer with us – the late Sir Terry Wogan in conversation with the late Sir Jimmy Young in 1978.

BBC History launches archive to mark 80 years of Television

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To coincide with the 80th anniversary of the launch of the first British television service by the BBC on 2 November 1936, BBC History has today launched a new microsite that provides the public with access to archive material from the early days of television.

The archive, which can be viewed at here contains a wealth of video and audio footage which tells the story of television – including, the invention of television, the opening night at Alexandra Palace in 1936, TV closure during the war and its resurrection in 1946, TV’s milestone moments such the Olympics and the Coronations of 1937 and 1953.

 

Some highlights of the history archive include:

Technology battle: Early TV was a battle between two companies, the Marconi-EMI partnership and the Baird Company, each developing different technologies. Idiosyncratically, the press favoured the Baird Company technology, mainly because there was a 60-second delay in the image appearing on screen. At a special demo for the press this enabled journalists to run round and see themselves on the screen. In 1934 the Government asked the BBC to formally launch a regular service testing both systems.

Two Coronations: The Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 12 May 1937 gave the BBC Television Service its first major outside broadcasting challenge, which was a huge technological leap forward. Despite the equipment failing just as the procession approached, the BBC’s Tony Bridgwater recalls EMI engineer Bernard Greenhead giving the equipment “an almighty biff with his fist” – which managed to restart the unit just in time.


The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 was a far more complex operation using more than 20 cameras in multiple locations. It was a seminal moment not just in British history, but in the development and popularity of television as a medium. BBC Director-General, Ian Jacob, said the Coronation “was the thing that made the Television Service take off… everybody from that moment on wanted to have television”.

Speaking about the archive, Robert Seatter, Head of BBC History, says: “We are delighted to mark this momentous occasion by sharing much never-before-seen material from the BBC archives. The anecdotes, images and recordings offer today’s audiences a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into the early days of television.

“It is also great to be doing this in partnership with media history experts from the University of Sussex and other UK research centres, who set our BBC story in the wider context of what was happening in communications and society.”

Professor David Hendy, Professor of Media and Cultural History at the University of Sussex, says: “These fascinating accounts, from the BBC’s own collection of oral history interviews, take us straight back to a time when the future of TV wasn’t yet known, when everything was new and uncertain. They offer us as never before the real inside story of those who set television going on its now 80 year-long journey. And a very human story it is: a tale of risk-taking, pioneering spirit, rivalry, hope, anxiety – and, of course, the slow working out of how to make popular art out of an obscure bit of rather cumbersome technology.”

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The Real Marigold Hotel Xmas special

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BBC Two has confirmed a two-part Christmas special for The Real Marigold on Tour, starring some familiar faces from the first series of The Real Marigold Hotel. Four of the original cast return to BBC Two as actress Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, darts champion Bobby George and chef Rosemary Shrager test out different retirement communities around the world, travelling to Florida and Japan.

The series successfully premiered on BBC Two earlier this year with impressive ratings and critical acclaim. It’s the highest rating factual series on the channel this year with a series consolidated average of 4.1million/13.6 percent share, and was awarded a prestigious Rose d’Or Award.


The BBC has also announced the hit travel documentary series will move to BBC 1 when it returns to screens in early 2017.

The new cast of famous senior citizens embarking on a journey of a lifetime include entertainer Lionel Blair; actress Amanda Barrie, snooker champion Dennis Taylor; TV personality Rustie Lee; Doctor Miriam Stoppard; presenter Bill Oddie; singer Sheila Ferguson; and actor Paul Nicholas.

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Inspired by, but otherwise unrelated to the blockbuster film, the series documents the authentic experience of eight characters in their golden years as they head to India on an experimental adventure to see if they would consider retiring to the other side of the world. The new four part series will see the group travel thousands of miles from home and this time land in Kochi, a city in the southwest Indian state Kerala, to test whether they can set up a more rewarding retirement than in the UK.