Category Archives: Downton Abbey

Everything’s a Drama!!!

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Having finally caught up on the first two episodes of ITV1’s Titanic, I feel now equipped to pass judgement, and as I have already said I HAD reservations……. Firstly we all know what happened, what different spins could be put on a real life event…..Secondly ITV’s budget wouldn’t compete with that of Hollywood, and thirdly would it not just be Downton Abbey but on a boat?


In this instance I don’t mind being proved wrong….. With Downton Abbey such a huge success of course it was going to work, the only two similarities between Downton and Titanic are firstly the characters virtually fit into staff and 1st class passengers both having separate and intertwining stories…..And  secondly exceptional script writing…. So why stop a winning formula!?!!!


I am not loyal to a particular channel and even sometimes get caught on QVC for longer than advised….. But throughout this consent channel hopping I have begun to notice how very different they are no more so than BBC1 and ITV1. When comparing Eastenders to Coronation Street, there are of course the obvious differences London/ Manchester, The Square/ The Street and The Queen Vic/ The Rovers.  But there are so many more……….Eastenders uses more point of view camera shots, and creates tension with this technique, for example Phill walking through the market whilst everyone stared at him made me feel very uneasy (presumably how they hoped) if you were to compare the overall colour of both Corrie and Eastenders, Corrie has a much warmer orangey feel whilst Eastenders more cold and blue. 
But whilst watching The Syndicate (Tuesday’s BBC1 9pm and on iplayer) which is great, I found myself thinking this is very ” BBC” I’m not certain why exactly I came to this conclusion…..The great writer Kay Mellor who wrote both The Syndicate and the amazing series Fat Friends, I presumed that The Syndicate was going to be more like Fat Friends, more comedy perhaps and although I love it, I presumed that Fat Friends must have been an ITV drama, because it was more light hearted and perhaps more closer to reality! 

New Coronation Street coming along nicely.

I have to tell myself that drama on tv isn’t real, on a practically weekly basis! Living in Manchester means that I often bump into cast members from Corrie, and have to refrain from calling them their character names after all they are in my front room several times a week! This was more than testing when I literally bumped into John Stape in Topshop at the same time he was on the run from the police (on the soap) I was taken a back…….. Then realised the whole thing is fictitious!  The lives of people on Coronation Street are crazy, and although based of reality all of the extreme events don’t all happen to people who live on the same street all at once!!!!! 


This weeks highlights!! 

  1.  The Matt Lucas Awards- Tuesday 10:35 BBC1 comedy awards with host Matt Lucas
  2. Peter Andre- My Life Wednesday 9pm ITV2- love it or hate it Peter’s life makes great TV
  3. The Sinking of the Conordia: caught on camera- Wednesday 9pm channel 4- what actually happened, passenger stories!
  4. The Sarah Millican Television Programme- Thursday 10pm BBC2- comedy chat show last in the series. 
  5. Piers Morgans life stories- William Roache- Friday 9pm ITV1- set to be a very revelling interview start if the new series!
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The Queen and talent for Her Majesty

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This week saw the last episode in the current series of Tracy Beaker returns on CBBC, now here is an amazing example of fantastic script writing developed from a book………so good in fact that I have been watching the series since it began in 2002, and that the main character is now far to old to fit within the story so has returned as an adult carer and has been made to fit within the story. ………. Sadly this really did seem like the end of Tracy Beaker as she has left the dumping ground, we have seen this many times before and she always comes back….but maybe this time it really is the end. But it was good while it latest. For many years now, I have been wondering why it has only been Tracy Beaker that has been made into a long running series, and as Jacqueline Wilson has written so many more books, maybe that’s the future of CBBC drama, (you heard it here first) Me and the rest of the CBBC audience will have to content our need for amazing drama with the 4 o’clock club, which is a great watch the Grange Hill of today with rap.


The much-acclaimed Voice UK started yesterday, the format which has already been hugely successful worldwide…… I was surprised as I thought it was going to be a bit more of a national search, rather than looking at semi professionals and ex professionals but perhaps its filling a gap which these other talent finding shows may have missed. And it sure was great!!!  This yet again starts the rivalry between ITV and BBC for the Saturday night prime time slot as ITV too launched this years Britain’s Got Talent.
These two programs will start again the fabulous talent TV, which does so well because it appeals to virtually the whole of the channels audience range, we shall wait and see who comes out on top, and if the Queen likes the act chosen for her by the Britans Got Tallent Judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, and new judges Alisha Dixon and David Walliams.

This week saw the official opening of the BBC North buildings at their new home at Media City UK, Salford Quays, and the Queen was there too. 
It was an exciting day with security on high alert, and barriers and people everywhere, after the Queen had looked around BBC children’s and BBC sport she came out onto the piazza waved her flag for the crowd which signaled the start of the sport relief mile and as I helped to launch the balloons, she stood for some photos before being whisked away to the next stop on her diamond Jubilee tour. 
    

A few weeks ago I was at conference where Adam Crozier the controller of ITV gave a key note speech, where he explained the up and coming changes to ITV, he of course spoke about the move of Coronation Street…..but also about the great dramas the channel had coming up…..
This weeks progress of the street.

I was dubious at first, a drama about Titanic……we all know that’s been done… and without a Hollywood budget how can ITV compete…..but he sold it well, as did all the other speakers at the conference it was the hot topic….and has before broadcast been sold internationally to 8 different countries….I have since then decided to give it a try and if the early reviews are anything to go by, after transmission every other country is going to be after the broadcast rights.
It has been written by Julian Fellows who wrote Downton Abbey and after Downton’s success I’m sure this will be a huge hit. Definitely worth a try if like I used to be you are a bit undecided.

This week sees the start of 3 great drama series and here are the highlights: 

  1. Titanic- ITV1 9pm Sunday- part 1 /4
  2. The Syndicate- BBC1 9pm Tuesday part 1/5 written by Fat Friends writer Kay Mellor.
  3. One Night- BBC1 10:35 Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/ Friday BBC new drama taking the story of one night told in each episode by a different character.
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/cbbc/episode/b01dcznx/My_Life_Series_3_Me_My_Dad_and_His_Kidney/ don’t forget to watch this amazing episode of My Life before it disappears from Iplayer.- Anytime
  5.  Million Pound Drop- Channel 4, 9pm Friday, Live quiz show with the chance to win 1million pounds Gok Wan and Alan Carr try their hands in this episode.