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07/04/2020 12:05:40  

The NHS continues to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak after the number of cases in the UK exceeded 51,000 on Tuesday. ITV News filmed a unit at the Royal Bournemouth hospital treating critically ill Covid-19 patients. Linda New, a patient and a volunteer at the hospital who was discharged from the unit, said : ‘I just wanted to get through it for my children’

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07/04/2020 02:02:05  

A three-part series tells the story of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal.
07/04/2020 01:05:20  

Writer behind ITV drama says he has doubts over Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? scandal

The screenwriter behind a new drama based on the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? coughing scandal has revealed he has doubts over whether Charles Ingram and his wife were guilty of cheating and said class and their accents may have contributed to their vilification.

The British army major was convicted alongside his wife, Diana, after a court ruled that he won the £1m prize in 2001 with help from a fellow contestant, Tecwen Whittock, using a series of strategic coughs to indicate the correct answer.

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05/04/2020 09:04:53  

I cheered the role of BAME medics in the battle against Covid-19 – but I didn’t expect the torrent of abuse that followed

“Little China girl.” “Paki doctor.” “Black bitch.” These are just some of the racist slurs directed at NHS nurses and doctors as they work on the frontline. I remember feeling sick when I first read an ITV report detailing these incidents at the end of last year. And it was at the front of my mind as I whooped in support of our carers on Thursday night.

I returned to that report last week after posting what I thought was an uncontroversial tweet, noting the fact that all four doctors who had tragically lost their lives to coronavirus at that point were people of colour, and that it was a reminder of how much the NHS relies on BAME and migrant doctors and nurses. Just over four in 10 NHS medical staff are BAME, and almost one in three doctors are not from the UK. From the first Caribbean nurses who arrived after the second world war, the NHS has been built on the backs of both migrant and British workers; in the late 1960s, half of all doctors below consultant level were non-British.

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05/04/2020 08:04:57  

Tests your arts knowledge with these questions from the Observer’s critics

According to John Huston, what was the best part of being a director?

The catering service

Sadism

You get to decide how long the bar stays open

Keanu Reeves’s first name is Hawaiian for what?

A cool breeze over the mountains

Mighty tree by the water

Fragrant cloud

Which of the following on set injuries did Twister director Jan De Bont suffer at the start of his career when he was working as a cinematographer?

He was mauled by a lion and had to have his scalp sewn back on

He broke a collarbone after falling out of a second-storey window while attempting to frame an establishing shot

He got his foot caught in a camera tracking rail, and his toe had to be amputated

Which of these is not a statue?

Venus of Willendorf

Venus of Milo

Venus of Urbino

Venus of Brassempouy

Which of these composers did Andy Warhol not paint?

Beethoven

Haydn

Wagner

Mozart

The head of which British composer has featured on a UK bank note?

Henry Purcell

Edward Elgar

Benjamin Britten

There are many strange musical instruments. One of the following is real. Which?

Cello Horn

Fiddle Flute

Rumen Drum

David Tennant is slated to star in Des, a three-episode ITV delight still poised for the end of this year. But who he is starring as?

1960s thriller writer Desmond Bagley, who out-Bonded Ian Fleming in his wartime spy exploits

Serial killer Dennis Nilsen

Desi Arnaz, warring husband of Lucille Ball (Katherine Ryan), in a period-sharp psychodrama

Which of these actors – not the characters – from Endeavour also played a role (as a dodgy don) in one episode of the original Morse?

Roger Allam (in Endeavour, Fred Thursday)

Sean Rigby (Jim Strange)

Anton Lesser (Reginald Bright)

The UK’s 2003 Eurovision song, by Liverpool group Jemini, scored “nul points”. What was the eerily prophetic song title?

Cry Baby

Don’t Play That Song Again

Why Do I Always Get It Wrong?

Which 20th-century Hamlet swallowed his father?

Simon Russell Beale

Daniel Day-Lewis

Jonathan Pryce

Which playwright said writers feel about critics “what lamp-posts feel about dogs”?

Christopher Hampton

Harold Pinter

Lucy Prebble

Which punk rocker declared “Like trousers, like brain”?

Joe Strummer

Paul Weller

Who “shot a man in Reno just to watch him die”?

Merle Haggard

Willie Nelson

Johnny Cash

Bob Dylan recently released a 17-minute track about the assassination of John F Kennedy. What was it called?

The Place Where Faith Hope and Charity Die

Murder Most Foul

Lower the Flags

Which British pop location received a spruce-up, thanks to Covid-19?

Salford Lads’ Club, made famous by the Smiths

The David Bowie memorial in Brixton

The zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios made famous by the Beatles

Which architect popularised the saying “Less is more”?

Le Corbusier

Adolf Loos

Mies van der Rohe

Which of these cathedral spires did not collapse?

Salisbury

Lincoln

Chichester

18 and above.

You're a cultural colossus!

17 and above.

Amazing knowledge… hats off to you!

16 and above.

Wow! You're good

15 and above.

You know your onions!

14 and above.

Pretty impressive

13 and above.

Very respectable

12 and above.

Decent effort

11 and above.

Not too shabby

10 and above.

Respectable at least

9 and above.

Acceptable. Just

8 and above.

Nothing to shout about

7 and above.

Average at best

6 and above.

A bit embarrassing

5 and above.

Rubbish

4 and above.

Very poor

3 and above.

Dismal

2 and above.

Terrible

1 and above.

Shockingly bad

0 and above.

Abysmal

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04/04/2020 19:04:58  

Potters Corner became the nearest thing we will see to a Grand National winner this year when he crossed the line first in ITV’s Virtual Grand National on Saturday. The computer simulation was broadcast in the slot that would normally be occupied by the Aintree race, abandoned along with the rest of the sporting programme because of the coronavirus crisis, and the result was disappointment for any romantics who hoped that Tiger Roll might be allowed to win, thus completing a hat-trick of sorts.

Related: Virtual Grand National 2020: Potters Corner takes victory – as it happened

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04/04/2020 17:04:46  

Normally at this time of year, the ITV cameras would be in the pre-parade ring interviewing various trainers, owners and stable lads as their horses are saddled and any last-minute adjustments are made. This year, TV viewers have to forego all that pre-race pomp and ceremony because The Chase is on and won’t be over until 5pm. In case you’re interested, a man named Huw has just failed to identify Chloe Madeley as the daughter of TV presenter Judy Finnigan.

Apart from Elizabeth Taylor, who won the Grand National on board The Pie in the 1944 movie National Velvet, a total of 30 horses have been ridden by women down the years in the Grand National.

Charlotte Brew was the first to get the leg up, in 1977, when her mount Barony Forth refused at the 26th fence. Geraldine Reece became first women to complete the course, finishing in eighth and last place on board Cheers five years later. While no woman has ever ridden the winner of the Grand National, Katie Walsh became the highest place finisher when she came third on Seabass in 2012.

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04/04/2020 14:04:48  

1.50pm Those of you watching the BBC’s coverage may have noticed a difference to this year’s coverage, to wit the absence of David Coleman, who normally presents Grandstand from Aintree on Grand National day. Alas for his admirers, Mr Coleman has been in a contract dispute with Auntie since the end of last year, so Frank Bough has bravely donned what appears to be a tweedy trilby and boarded a train for Lime Street.

So far, sightings of said trilby have been limited, because Grandstand’s producers were mad keen to show us some of the boxing from Wembley this week and of course they could hardly ignore the table tennis world championships taking place in Birmingham. But the gee-gees are now set to take over our screens.

1.45pm Early betting on the National:

8-1 Davy Lad
10-1 Andy Pandy, Gay Vulgan, Red Rum
12-1 Pengrail, Zeta’s Lad
14-1 War Bonnet, Winter Rain
16-1 Eyecatcher, Prince Rock, Sir Garnet, What A Buck
22-1 Sage Merlin
25-1 Sebastian V
28-1 Brown Admiral, Forest Rock

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04/04/2020 01:04:43  

The strict UK lockdown means that this virtual race could pull in more viewers than the actual Aintree spectacular could

Around lunchtime on Saturday, somebody somewhere will hit “enter” on their keyboard and, a fraction of a second and many millions of calculations later, it will generate the result of the 2020 Virtual Grand National. A few hours after, many millions of viewers – more, perhaps, than might have watched the real thing – will tune in to ITV to watch as the computer’s thought processes get the full CGI treatment and its calculation becomes (virtual) reality.

If algorithms are not your thing, think of it as the rolling of a 100-sided dice, with Tiger Roll’s name on about 16 of the faces and the other 39 virtual horses distributed around the remaining 84 faces in proportion to the computer’s idea of their chance. Poor old Double Shuffle, at 100-1, is only there once, but in the unlikely event that his name does come up, it should guarantee a healthy return for NHS Charities Together, which will receive all bookmakers’ profits on the virtual race.

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03/04/2020 17:04:34  

The ITV drama about a haunted submarine is available to rediscover on BritBox – but perhaps it was better off at the bottom of the ocean

Today I am going to tell you about a 14-year-old television programme. It isn’t being revived. It won’t be airing on any traditional channels any time soon. And yet it has occupied my mind completely for the past few days. I am talking about the 2006 David Jason vehicle Ghostboat.

I know you have questions. “What is a Ghostboat?” you are asking. “Can a show called Ghostboat possibly live up to the absurd promise of its title?” “Why is it called Ghostboat and not Ghostship?”

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03/04/2020 15:04:34  

Complaints about cursing halve in five years, with viewers more concerned about racism and sexism

Swearing on air is no longer offensive to the British public, the television and radio regulator has concluded, after finding that complaints regarding on-air cursing have halved in five years.

Ofcom research found widespread agreement among the British public that societal norms around offence have shifted in recent years, with audiences particularly forgiving of accidental mild on-air swearing, such as when the ITV political editor, Robert Peston, recently blurted out “oh shit” during a recent Downing Street press conference on the coronavirus.

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03/04/2020 01:04:26  

What would have happened at Aintree on Saturday if the great race had gone ahead? We’ll give an answer at 3pm...

It’s a tricky beast, this Virtual Grand National which so many of us will watch on Saturday (ITV, 5pm). Because of our reduced circumstances, it has become something to anticipate on about the same level as that half-pint of Carlsberg that John Mills sinks at the end of Ice Cold In Alex, but it cannot hope to be as satisfying, for all that an immense amount of work has clearly gone in to making it look convincing.

Related: Cheltenham faces criticism after racegoers suffer Covid-19 symptoms

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02/04/2020 23:04:27  

It’s mostly about eating the hottest chillies they can find and comparing everything to testicles. But buried in this weary outing is a glimpse of the Gordon Ramsay of old

Even at the best of times, I feel I need another programme following three men – especially Gobshite Clarkson, May and the wee one – on a trip to discover/sneer at foreign coastlines/cars/cultures like I need a hole in the head. The contrived scenarios. The forced banter. The woefully scripted links. The hilarious inclusion of bloopers that are neither hilarious nor, actually, bloopers. The pitifully fragile masculinity on display throughout.

All of the above are of course present in the latest instalment of the Gordon, Gino and Fred franchise, Gordon, Gino and Fred: American Road Trip (ITV). For the avoidance of doubt, I should state that Gordon is Gordon Ramsay, of Gordon Ramsay fame, Gino is Gino d’Acampo of “beginning his career as This Morning’s chef and presenting several of his own cookery series since” fame, and Fred is Fred Sirieix of First Dates fame. It is his conciliatory charm and ineffable grace that keep the two chefs from killing each other and provide balm to the soul of any viewer who would otherwise find the whole setup too pointlessly exhausting, especially in already emotionally draining times.

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02/04/2020 15:04:17  

Fast-talking comedian and impressionist who was one half of the TV comic duo Little and Large

The beaming, ebullient, fast-talking comedian and impressionist Eddie Large, who has died aged 78, having contracted Covid-19 while being treated for heart failure, was half of a double-act that partially eclipsed Morecambe and Wise on British television in the late 1970s and early 80s.

After years of success with the BBC had turned them into a national institution, Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were enticed to ITV in 1978, but through a combination of inferior scripts and Morecambe’s deteriorating health, the switch proved to be a disappointment, and marked the decline of Britain’s top double-act.

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02/04/2020 13:04:12  

Film-maker known for his world music documentaries, in particular his Beats of the Heart series

Jeremy Marre, who has died aged 76, was a British documentary maker specialising in films about popular music of every possible kind. Widely travelled, and with eclectic taste, he had a lengthy career that included adventurous documentaries about music in Africa, the Americas, the UK and the US, and profiles of artists such as Phil Spector, Roy Orbison, Youssou N’Dour and Count Basie.

His first major success was Roots Rock Reggae (1977), which grew out of an earlier commission on the British reggae scene for the ITV arts programme Aquarius. Deciding that he needed to go to Jamaica to fully understand the music, Marre “scraped together some money” and travelled to Kingston, filming in lawless areas of the city. Threatened by some locals who accused him of being a CIA agent, he convinced them he was English only after they quizzed him about cricket. He returned with historic footage of artists including Bob Marley, Sly & Robbie and Jimmy Cliff, but still had difficulty in placing the film. As Marre explained in an interview with fRoots magazine in 2014, “the BBC said it was boring, and you can’t mix music and politics, while PBS in America turned it down as communist propaganda. But it won a documentary prize at Cannes and then the BBC wanted to show it. It was different to anything, with no presenter and no commentary.” It is now regarded as a classic film on the genre.

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02/04/2020 11:03:38  

On Tuesday evening, ITV Political Editor Robert Peston made extraordinary and widely shared claims that “there is no shortage of the relevant reagents” – implying that the Government was either lying or simply hadn’t bothered to ask around. His tweet has attracted over 14,000 retweets and 20,000 likes. His single anonymous Chemical Industries Association source could […]

The post Peston’s Testing Shortage Disinformation appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

29/03/2020 09:03:24  

The British actor on the triumph of HBO’s Succession - and being cast as the ‘coughing major’ in ITV’s Quiz

I met Matthew Macfadyen on one of those days in ancient history, a couple of weeks ago, when we were still not quite sure whether to make silly jokes about elbow-touching greetings, or to fear for civilisation’s immediate future. In many ways, Macfadyen is the archetypal actor for this kind of moment, a master of shifting and ambiguous tone, whose frequent bursts of laughter often threaten to turn hollow. One of the many joys of his portrayal of the bullied and bullying son-in-law Tom Wambsgans in the HBO show Succession – arguably the defining contribution to the defining TV drama of our times – is his winning ability to switch from empathy to psychopathy in a heartbeat.

Next month, Macfadyen will bring all of that gift for nuance to the three-part ITV drama Quiz, in which he plays Major Charles Ingram, the “coughing major” who was convicted of cheating his way to the top prize on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 2001. The show, an adaptation of the West End play by James Graham, has been directed for television by Stephen Frears. Macfadyen’s major takes the hot seat across from Michael Sheen, who adds Chris Tarrant to his repertoire of uncanny impersonations.

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26/03/2020 18:35:26  

Not one for the kids to watch which is why it on after the watershed at 9 p.m. tonight. The 2011 film starring Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet is just too close to reality for comfort. Incidentally the doctor who was the chief scientific consultant for the pandemic film […]

The post Don’t Forget, Tonight On ITV: “Contagion” appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

26/03/2020 11:36:06  

Plus ... remembering Johan Cruyff and esports taking over from the real thing

1) To accompany our retro MBM series, here’s some actual footage of the events we’re retrospectively describing. Scott Murray talked us through Chelsea’s 1970 FA Cup final replay win against Leeds on Saturday – here’s the action from Old Trafford. Or to cut to the chase, it was all about the tasty, er, challenges. Next up, we revisited that Euro 96 semi-final – here are highlights of it not coming home. And if you really want to wallow in the mythology of that summer, here’s the full ITV documentary looking back on it all.

2) In a happy alternative universe, England’s cricketers would be taking on Sri Lanka in the second Test this week in Colombo, which was the venue when England won the tightest and most combative series these sides have contested, in 2001, with Graham Thorpe steering England to a nervy four-wicket victory to wrap up the series 2-1. And here’s the last time Moeen Ali looked truly on top of his game for England, skittling Sri Lanka in tandem with Jack Leach to seal a series whitewash in Colombo in 2018. And while we’re on the subject of Sri Lanka, shall we have a bit of Murali?

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26/03/2020 10:36:06  

As the coronavirus pandemic stops us from enjoying our favourites with our friends and family, come watch a classic from the BBC, ITV or Channel 4 with us

Long gone are the days when the idiot box was seen as a solitary activity that rots your brain. We’re in the golden age of television – and there’s no better way to enjoy it than with friends and family, gasping at the twists and turns of Inside No9 or the actions of Jessica after she downs another glass of Pinot on Love is Blind.

Sadly, one of the victims of the coronavirus pandemic has been the ability to come together to enjoy your favourite show – so we here at Guardian Towers thought it would be fun to revisit one of your favourite TV series of yesteryear and watch along all together, discussing it as we go in the comment thread.

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26/03/2020 09:35:21  

Polling for ITV’s Peston last night found that while the vast majority of people are following the Government’s advice, there are some significant holdouts. 10% of Brits are still meeting people outside their immediate family 10% of Brits are still doing more than essential shopping 18% of Brits are still taking public transport 7% of […]

The post How Many People Are Complying with the Government’s Lockdown? appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

25/03/2020 16:36:02  

Jason Manford will present programme of past highlights from the awards show, which has been postponed this year due to the coronavirus outbreak

The Olivier awards, the most prestigious prize ceremony in UK theatre, is to broadcast a special programme next month on the night it would have presented its 2020 awards show, which was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

Jason Manford, who had been due to host the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London, will present the hour-long programme, revisiting Olivier ceremonies over the past 10 years. There will be archive footage of performances and speeches, and a celebration of award-winning productions including Dreamgirls, Hamilton, The Lion King and Matilda.

The programme will be broadcast on ITV on Sunday 5 April at 10.15pm. Magic Radio will broadcast its own two-hour celebration from 6pm to 8pm on the same evening.

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25/03/2020 07:36:04  

Richard H King and Janet Mansfield offer their views on how TV could help us through the coronavirus crisis

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  • In this strange time can I suggest that the BBC, ITV, Sky and others open up their archives for sampling in the area of cultural and intellectual life. I think of Brian Magee’s great series/interviews on philosophers/philosophy in the late 1970s; The Late Show (1989-95); more retrievals from the jazz archives and chamber music concerts (and not just symphonic music). Such programmes could be re-shown at various times of the day and night.
    Richard H King
    Beeston, Nottingham

    • I’ve just been watching French TV and seeing how they are using the medium for information. Lessons during the day from pre-school to sixth form, and brisk, clear public service information about coronavirus. Why are we not doing the same? BBC Four is not being used in the day, and clear notices before popular programmes on BBC One and ITV would be perfect for those who don’t use the internet . If it was possible to bombard us with Brexit notices, why not now? Bring back the Ministry of Information, I say!
    Janet Mansfield
    Aspatria, Cumbria

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    24/03/2020 11:34:57  

    New figures out this morning reveal Boris’s address to the nation last night, announcing Britain’s first peace-time lockdown, was seen by at least 27 million people. That’s just from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News figures… Add in BBC iPlayer, Youtube and No. 10’s social media live streams and Boris is looking at one […]

    The post Boris’ Address was a Box-Office Smash appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

    22/03/2020 19:32:04  

    Production on Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Lorraine and Loose Women stops in light of coronavirus.