After The Wave

December 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Reviews

after the wave

The Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 engulfed 12 countries and killed an estimated 230,000 people. Although the worst hit were contained within the Indian Ocean, it resonated as a global catastrophe. Thousands of unidentified bodies from as many as 32 different nations were victims of pure chance.

After The Wave looks at the events after that fateful day, focusing on the mass forensic operation employed to identify victims and return them to their families. As one of the hardest hit countries Thailand sought outside help from the Australian Disaster Victim Identification team, who also played an instrumental role in disaster recovery after the 2002 Bali bombings.

Interweaving expert accounts with those of the survivors, After The Wave explores the painstaking attempts to identify the victims’ badly decomposed remains. The forensic team also had the additional challenge of negotiating the inevitable cultural clash involved in a large-scale international operation. As east met west and primitive resources conflicted with more sophisticated techniques, religious and ethical concerns fuelled tensions between the nations. Religious rituals influenced Thailand’s approach and its request to separate victims by nationality was deemed futile by the West, who adopted a more scientific method of identification. Aware that decomposition renders all bodies identical in rigor mortis made national identification impossible and also gave rise to the grave possibility of victim misidentification.

Unimaginable grief and shock is underpinned by overwhelming guilt at having survived while loved ones perished. Detailed biographical accounts and moving holiday video footage give a coherent identity to some of the thousands of victims taken by one of the world’s worst natural disasters.

The 2004 Boxing Day tsunami was the fourth largest earthquake the world has seen since 1900. Thailand was the only country to undertake an operation to return the 4,000 victims to their families. After The Wave is a poignant and powerful account by those who bore witness to the overwhelming scale of human and geographical devastation. It takes an exhaustive look at the scientific tactics and humanistic impact on both rescuers and survivors in Thailand and illustrates how ten years on, the effects of that fateful day will haunt them forever.

After The Wave will be broadcast on Discovery on 19 December

Skins Brings Back Old Faces

October 17, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Series Seven of the long running drama, that many believe to have defined Millennial adolescence, will return to E4 in Spring 2013. Written by series co-creator Bryan Elsley and Jamie and Jess Brittain, the multi award winning show will see Hannah Murray (Cassie), Jack O’Connell (Cook) and Kaya Scodelario (Effy) returning to the roles which gave them their first big break in three individual stories, split into two, one hour parts.

‘Skins Pure’ will see Cassie – alone and invisible in London, trying to make sense of her life.

Whilst ‘Skins Rise’ finds Cook working as a drug dealer in Manchester where he is forced to confront his violent past and a dangerous attraction.
In the final episodes, titled ‘Skins Fire’, Effy is now down in London, working as a receptionist and having an affair with her hedge fund boss when she stumbles across crucial financial information relating to a troubled deal and finds out that she’s in over her head.

E4 have promised that these episodes will push Skins into new, more adult territory. Whether this will involve extended scenes of domestic tedium or just more unorthodox sexual exploration remains to be seen.

The Official Rules of The TV Remote Controller..

August 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

Angus just couldn't take any more 'Don't Tell The Bride'

When it comes to deciding what you watch on television, we all know that possession (of the remote) is nine tenths of the law, so we’ve put together an intricate set of ground rules to help you decide who gets ‘the power’. They are finite and should be followed without exception…

1. The person who switches on the TV automatically has control of the remote… Unless they like Sex And The City.

2. The remote controller is obliged to flick through the channels during any ad-break to see what else is on, before returning to the original channel if nothing decent can be found. If they return after the ad-break is finished, they lose power of the remote.

3. In the event that the remote is lost, it is the responsibility of everyone to look for it. The person who lost the remote should be taunted throughout the search and banned from ownership of the remote until they redeem themselves by prank calling a mutual friend.

4. Anyone who allows Anne Hathaway to appear on the screen loses power of remote.

5. Any disputes over the remote which cannot be resolved by these rules shall be settled by Paper, Rock, Scissors or a brief soaf-based wrestling match.

6. In the event of two people entering the room at the same time, shotgun rules apply.

7. Anyone who asks what shotgun is should be slapped repeatedly….with the remote.

8. Everyone gets one power of veto over a programme. Once they have used their veto, they must accept the programme of the remote controller’s choice. Everyone receives their veto back when the controller is passed on.

9. Correct aspect ratios are to be used for all programming. If the person with the remote doesn’t know what this is, then they have no business with it and shall have it confiscated immediately.

10. It’s the remote controller’s responsibility to shut down anyone asking stupid questions or making inane remarks (EG. “The news? But we watched that yesterday!” – “Oooh I like this advert!”).

11. The person with the remote must be concentrating on the TV at all times. If you really need to ‘like’ your friend’s cake pictures on Facebook then do it in your own time…

12. If the remote controller needs to leave the room (for any reason) then they lose ‘the power’. If they surreptitiously conceal the remote in a bid to avoid their fate, they should be punished. Harshly.

13. No Loose Women. Not ever.

14. Attempting to disrupt a programme selected by the controller (“backseat controlling”) through the use of noise or profuse, negative commentary is unacceptable and represents a gross breach of these rules. There is one exception to this rule (see article 15).

15. If the remote controller selects three naff programmes in a row, their powers are automatically and unequivocally revoked. Force/personal insults are permitted in this instance.

16. The volume should never be left on an odd number.

It is our official OTB recommendation that these rules be printed out and signed by all members of the household. The rules and accompanying
signatures must then be framed and placed next to every television set in the aforementioned house.

Any person found to be in breach of these rules may then be mocked/happy-slapped/have their residence in the property forfeited at the discretion of the other signatories.

Darcey Bussell Waltzes On To Strictly Panel

April 25, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Disco Bussell

Having hung up her tutu and put her points shoes in storage, former ballerina Darcey Bussell has been announced as the heir to Alesha Dixon’s Strictly Come Dancing Throne.

And according to reports by The Sun, the 42-year-old mum of two will be taking home a hefty £100,000 for the privilege.

Bussell will join Craig Revel-Horwood (staunch supporter of DB), Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman on the panel when the new series begins in September.

But Bussell was no easy purchase.

Dixon left BBC bosses in the lurch last year when she switched talent show allegiance to Cowell’s Britain’ Got Talent for the princely sum of £300, 000. Despite Strictly providing a platform for the re-launch of her career back in 2007, the ex-Mis-Teeq singer had few qualms about making the move.

An BBC insider said: “Darcey is a living legend as far as dancing is concerned — and she is just perfect for Strictly.

“She took some convincing as it means uprooting and being in cold, wet and windy England for four months instead of sunny Sydney.

“But she said the Strictly job is probably the one thing that would bring her back. We’re delighted to have her on board.?

Bussell and the Beeb might be thrilled with the move, but there are sure to be a few rather bony noses out of joint over the news.
Former professional dancer Karen Hardy - who appeared on the show in the third series of Strictly – was reported to be under consideration for the panel spot. Meanwhile another
Karen (she of the Bruce family) was also in the running. The award-winning choreographer of west end shows Footloose The Musical and Fame, Bruce would perhaps have added some useful insights into the celebs’ toe-twiddling.

Having successfully beat off the competition, poor old Bussell will have to pack up and leave her Sydney home to join the panel of the show.

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TV Cameras To Be “Allowed In Court” For The First Time

March 28, 2012 by  
Filed under News

All rise...for the celebrity judge

The “courtroom drama? is set for a reality TV makeover – coalition style – as cameras will earn the right to broadcast judge’s verdicts live from court.

The move, first proposed in September last year and with the help of David Cameron, has now been confirmed by the Ministry of Justice and is designed to promote the concept of “open justice?. The ban – which has existed since 1925 (four years before the first TV broadcast) – is expected to be revoked in May when the Queen makes her summer speech.

Kenneth Clarke, justice secretary, has said: “The Government and judiciary are determined to improve transparency and public understanding of court through allowing court broadcasting. We believe television has a role in increasing public confidence in the justice system.?

Reports by The Telegraph so far suggest that broadcasters will only be allowed to film the judge’s verdict, and will not be allowed to film opening or closing statements by lawyers, or the testimonies of witnesses.

This has all come about because of a campaign by broadcasters, including the BBC, ITN and Sky News. In a joint letter, they said: “The ability to witness justice in action, in the public gallery, is a fundamental freedom. Television will make the public gallery open to all.?

But the move has not been uncontested in its progression through the corridors of Whitehall. Some critics have spoken of the undesirable side effect of turning court proceedings into some kind of TV spectacle. Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC has been particularly vocal, stating that there should still be a “big question mark? over allowing TV cameras into court.

As the issue was discussed in September, he warned: “The issue that then arises is, is this going to help public understanding or might it contribute to the whole thing being turned into a piece of theatre, which might also be undesirable?

“Clearly filming people actually being sentenced is likely to be undesirable as it would probably encourage theatricals.”

The question is: how far will the camera crews push it? Before we know it there could be “hot or not? courtroom outfit analysis and a spin-off series about life behind-the-scenes for a courtroom clerk. Is that a good thing for the concept of “open justice? or a gross invasion of our privacy?…

ITV And BBC Lock Horns Over Saturday Night Spot…Again

March 5, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Let the BBC vs. BGT battle commence...

A further twist in the BBC/ITV feud has left Auntie’s bosses smarting at the news that Britain’s Got Talent will launch on the same night as their brand new talent show.

Last month, the Beeb settled on March 24 for the glamorous launch of their new £22million singing contest, The Voice.

Jessie J, Tom Jones, Will.i.am and The Scrip frontman Danny O’Donoghue will be making their debut as coaches on the show, which has already experienced phenomenal success in the U.S.

Now an ITV insider has come skipping along to burst the Beeb’s bubble by revealing that March 24 is also the probable start date for the new run of BGT, judged by Alesha Dixon, David Walliams, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden.

An angry Beeb source said last night: “This is typical of ITV, parking their tanks on our lawn just as we launch a major new format.

“They are smarting because they didn’t get the show although they bid £10million more than us.”

Reportedly, the words “na-na-na-naaaah-na? were also heard being chanted in the background.

An ITV source said: “We haven’t declared our launch date but, if I was a betting man, I’d go for March 24.

“The BBC know we always launch BGT around this time. If anyone is parking tanks on a lawn, it’s them on ours!”

There have so far been no exact details about scheduling released but there is every possibility that the two shows will overlap at some point throughout the Saturday night slot.

Viewers should be prepared for the same infuriating battles seen in the dark days of the X-Factor/Strictly Come Dancing conflict.

Empire Review: Pax Britannia

February 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews

EMPIRE: Monday 27th February, BBC1, 9pm

“Did the British do anything good in the 70 years they spent here?” Jeremy Paxman asks an elderly cigar-smoking Egyptian gentleman. “I think no..” comes the response after a couple of seconds. The fact that the man in question is sitting in the Cairo Croquet Club, of which he has been a member for 55 years, might make the conversation sound like a deleted scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, but when he tells our host that “all Imperialism is bad”, you can’t help but disagree. Britain was never officially in Egypt, but with the Suez Canal just across the desert, the army spent a lot of time ‘on patrol’ there. How did we get away with such shenanigans? “It was all one big bluff” explains Paxman, which will probably annoy the ancestors of anyone who was brutally oppressed.. Read more

NBC Apologises For MIA’s Super Bowl Stunt

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Naughty lady

U.S. cable channel, NBC, has made a formal apology for Brit rapper MIA’s middle finger.

The digit in question was raised to cameras during a halftime Super Bowl appearance alongside Madonna and Nicki Minaj. The ‘Bad Girls’ musician had reportedly not done anything similar in rehearsals and was not expected to make the offensive gesture.

“The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show,” NBC said in a statement. “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologise to our viewers.”

A number of Twitter viewers reported that their screens had blurred briefly during the halftime show, speculating that it may have been to censor part of the performance.

“The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologise to our fans,” said spokesperson Brian McCarthy.

We’re beginning to wonder whether the Super Bowl perfromances are riggged to cause controversy across American audiences. Janet Jackson unleashed her breast a few years back and Christina Aguilera muddled up the words of the national anthem not so long ago…hmmm.

Either way, feel free to watch this year’s naughty Super Bowl half-time show below:

Masterchef Bites Back With Impressive Debut Figures

January 18, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Peekaboo: Gregg and John come up trumps for BBC One again

The BBC’s cookery giant, Masterchef, took its great big egg whisk of airwave domination and beat ITV and Channel 4 to a pair of floppy peaks, overnight figures have shown.

Around 4.75m viewers, who were hungry for a bit of John and Gregg, tuned into BBC One to catch the first in a new series of the hit cookery competition.

As a percentage, that’s roughly 20% of people who were tuning in across the nation at 9pm last night.

We were blogging live throughout the show and you can catch up with the “total jokes” here.

Ditching last year’s more elaborate X-Factor style knockout rounds (which served up sob stories alongside the main meals) appear to have done the show no harm.

Over on ITV, bosses opted to schedule a foodie show of a vastly different nature and came out all the worse for it. The Biggest Loser attracted 2.61m viewers…almost half the number who tuned into Masterchef.

Let’s face it: Losing weight is so “first week of Jan”. As February approaches, New Year diets have evidently left us ravenous wrecks who could not give a doodah about some other fatty’s plight. Give us high cal, high sugar, high fat restaurant standard foot any day.

Perfectly proportioned, Brian Cox, continued to provide BBC Two viewers with solid entertainment value with Stargazing Live averaging 3.26m in the 8pm slot.

The battle against the bulge continued over on Channel 4 with The Fat Fighters, who swallowed only 986 thousand viewers. While later on, 15 Kids and Counting delivered 2.89m from 9pm.

Our winner is ….clearly BBC One. Earning 23.8% of the audience share throughout the primetime slot.

We’re guessing the Masterchef novelty factor will not be wearing off tonight as the show continues with more nailbiting culinary battles. Tune in at 9pm on BBC One for more of Gregg, John and Aki’s face.

Have You Been Watching The Fades? Episode 4 Review

October 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

THE FADES: Wednesday 12th October, BBC3, 9pm

The Fades showed much promise when it debuted last month. Like all good sci-fis (or whatever this new BBC3 show wants to label itself) there were more questions than answers initially, but after two hours, the mystery was on the brink of becoming plain old confusion. So the third episode was just the game-changer we needed. What a difference another two hours has made..

Exposition isn’t usually something in short supply on TV these days, yet timing is everything. Last week’s episode ended with Paul getting hit by a truck and the angelic killer gaining a new body ala Arnie in Terminator 2. Yet rather than letting up, this new tempo was maintained as we delved into this living ghoul’s backstory. After tracking down a brain-dead Paul’s fade (genuinely moving bedside scenes by the way) and remembering how to talk without sounding like someone on the verge of a whitey, he made some strongly-worded accusations..

During his intriguing origins tale, in which he explained how he died during the Second World War at the age of 22, he accused the angelics of failing to help the fades stranded on Earth and abandoning them to their pain. “I was trapped for 60 years in a body that continued to age and rot,” he says. “Not nice.” You can say that again mate! So we begin to see why these spirits who failed to ascend tend to get ‘shitty’ with the rest of us.

Admittedly it’s hard to take these allegations at face value after he tears apart the Angelic’s HQ, but maybe Neil and his crew aren’t the good guys after all? They’re certainly not winning any PR battles with their own little Abu Ghraib torture bolt-hole. They say that the truth is the first casualty of war. Read more

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