A decade after Robot Wars was sent tumbling into the Pit of Oblivion, the tech game challenge is to be rebooted for a new generation of individuals who derive pleasure from destroying someone else’s labour of love.
Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon will be in the pits congratulating and commiserating with contestants, while the excitable Jonathan Pearce reprises his role behind the commentary mic.
A new purpose-built fighting arena has been built in Glasgow and state-of-the-art cameras – capable of capturing every crushing, sawing and scorching moment – will bring viewers closer then ever before to the action.
“I am thrilled to be presenting Robot Wars,” said Dara O Briain. “For too long, the schedules have cried out for a show in which dedicated amateurs, toiling day and night, handcraft sophisticated automatons built on the delicate interplay of hand-wired servo motors with custom-built circuit boards and fingertip motion control, just to see them get smashed to pieces by a dustbin carrying a massive hammer. It’s war, and how I love it so.”
The new six-part series will be produced by Mentorn Scotland, and will feature a new structure with more robots, more battles and more science than ever before. It also includes a raft of technological advances since the show first aired over a decade ago, and viewers can expect to see more innovative fighting machines as teams of amateur roboteers battle it out to win the coveted Robot Wars title.
Watch the show live!
Peter Kay’s Car Share has been named the Comedy.co.uk “Comedy of the Year 2015”.
In an online public vote the sitcom, which also co-stars and is co-written by Sian Gibson, who also co-write with Tim Reid and Paul Coleman, also won the award “Best New British TV Sitcom”.
Other TV shows that won awards included the final series of Peep Show, which won “Best Returning British TV Sitcom”, children’s show Horrible Histories for “Best British TV Sketch Show”, Would I Lie to You? for “Best British TV Panel Show”, The Graham Norton Show for “Best British TV Entertainment Show”, and Inside No. 9 for “Best British TV Comedy Drama”. The special “Editors’ Award”, given to the show that did was not vote for any of the major categories but felt deserve recognition by the websites editors (for whom the editor of On The Box happens to be one) went to political sitcom Ballot Monkeys.
An online vote was also held for the worst comedies of the year. Most of the worst comedies where those hosted by Keith Lemon. The Keith Lemon Sketch Show was the worst sketch show, Celebrity Juice the worst panel show, and Keith Lemon’s Back T’Future Tribute the worst entertainment show. However, the worst sitcom, the show voted the worst comedy of the year, was Mrs. Brown’s Boys.
The awards, which are decided by a public vote via readers of the British Comedy Guide and which nominate all comedy shows across the year to be name the best and worst in their category, are now in their 10th year. The awards cover both TV and radio comedy.
Below is a full list of winners of the best awards:
- Best New British TV Sitcom: Peter Kay’s Car Share
- Best Returning British TV Sticom: Peep Show
- Best British Radio Sitcom: John Finnemore’s Double Acts
- Best British TV Sketch Show: Horrible Histories
- Best British Radio Sketch Show: Dead Ringers
- Best British TV Panel Show: Would I Lie to You?
- Best British Radio Panel Show: I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue
- Best British TV Entertainment Show: The Graham Norton Show
- Best British Radio Entertainment Show: Mark Steel’s in Town
- Best British TV Comedy Drama: Inside No. 9
- Comedy of the Year: Peter Kay’s Car Share
- British Comedy Guide Editors’ Award: Ballot Monkeys
It seems comedy shows are to be the main feature of BBC Three’s launch online on Tuesday 16th February.
Among the programmes launched on the night of the switchover will include the third series of Greg Davies’s sitcom Cuckoo. The series originally focused on father Ken (Davies), whose daughter married an America hippie named Cuckoo while on her gap year. The character of Cuckoo, played by Andy Samberg, was killed off after the end of the first series and was replaced with his long-lost son Dale (Taylor Lautner).
Also featuring on the launch night is a new stand-up series, Live From the BBC, showcasing stand-up performances from comics including James Acaster, Dane Baptiste, and Danish comedian Sofie Hagen, the most recent winner of the Edinburgh Newcomer Comedy Award.
So far the only other programme confirmed for the launch day is a new film in BBC Three’s documentary series Life and Death Row. One of the station’s new online shows is a selection of short stand-alone films from Life and Death Row entitled Love Triangle.
BBC Three is using comedy to promote the switchover, with a trailer featuring People Just Do Nothing’s Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry) currently online. People Just Do Nothing, a sitcom about a pirate radio station, began as an online pilot before moving to TV on BBC Three, and now moving back online with a new series shifting with the channel as part of the switchover.
By now almost everyone has heard the news that the BBC has fired Jeremy Clarkson as a host of the highly rated show, Top Gear. For those that don’t know the show, it is about the three hosts traveling around the world, testing out cars and experimenting with extreme stunts and challenges in said cars. It’s every thrill seeker’s dream show.
However, things have gone off course as BBC kicked Clarkson off the show after allegedly reporting a producer of the show. This is apparently not his first account of being violent towards other staff members.
What’s interesting about this move is that the affects seem to be worse off for the BBC than for Clarkson. Some fans have vowed to stop watching the show, while others have criticised BBC for firing the most right-winged host of the three. It looks like their motto for a balanced network is tipping more left than ever.
This prompts the question, will Top Gear survive without Clarkson?
Netflix has done it again with a new original series filled with humour, wit and some unforgettable characters. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt premiered on March 6th and is written and produced by the hilarious Tina Fey.
Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) finally emerges from an underground bunker where she’s been living for the past 15 years thanks to a doomsday cult that kidnapped her. For the first time in her whole life, she’s on her own and trying to survive New York City. Viewers watch as Kimmy tackles subjects such as dating, getting her GED and learning how to use the internet with her roommate Tituss (Titus Andromedon) and employer Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski).
This show is brings the laughs, an original story idea and most importantly, some diversity to the television business. With a woman as the main character and minorities in supporting roles, it shows how Netflix is behind the times and changing the face of television.
ITV has commissioned thirteen-part drama Beowulf, an epic re-imagining of one of literature’s greatest and most enduring heroes.
Created by James Dormer, Tim Haines and Katie Newman, this action-packed series is set in the mythical Shieldlands, a place of spectacle and danger populated by both humans and fantastical creatures.
Essentially, a western set in the Dark Ages of Britain’s mythic past, the story unfolds on a huge canvas, filmed amongst the breathtaking beauty of England’s North East.
The first episode sees Beowulf who, after spending many years wandering as a mercenary warrior, returns to Herot to pay his respects to the recently deceased Thane, Hrothgar – the man who raised him. But when Herot is attacked by the terrifying monster Grendl, Beowulf has no choice but to hunt it down, winning favour with Herot’s new female Thane, and the wider community, in the process.
And so begins a personal journey that sees this mighty and capable man slowly reconnect with the notion of family and home.
Beowulf is a series about courage, greed, betrayal, revenge, loyalty, power, man versus wilderness and, of course love. It is a series that explores the notion of good and evil, heroes and villians. However, beyond these wider political undercurrents and inner personal turmoils are the excitement, danger and sense of adventure that any great Western has. Epic fights, thrilling chases, raids, celebrations and battles are an essential part of the promise.
James Dormer (Strike Back, Wallander, Outcast) who will write and executive produce said:
“Hundreds of years ago our ancestors listened to the story of Beowulf because it was a great adventure story – it scared them, thrilled them, made them laugh and cry. But they also listened because they recognised themselves and their fears in it. By holding a mirror up to them this story helped define them and thus – us. So it’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to make it relevant again for a wide audience – to let them own it again. To let them see themselves in it.”
Stephen Mulhern is back as host for another series of ITV2’s hit show Britain’s Got More Talent, ready to unleash more acts, more mayhem and more backstage antics.
The sister show to ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, More Talent is like your annoying younger sibling, creating general mischief, asking questions which no-one else would dare and making everyone laugh.
Stephen will once more be bringing a playful, cheeky charm to proceedings as only he can. Getting close to the action with exclusive unseen acts and backstage interviews, Stephen will be meeting the weird, the wonderful and the funny!
Stephen will also be getting up close and personal with the judges – Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams – asking them what they really think of the acts and each other. He’ll also be pitting Ant & Dec against one another with a series of ridiculous games to see who is the best.
Speaking ahead of the series, Stephen said: “I’m back again and I couldn’t be happier. Britain’s Got Talent is one of the best jobs there is; where else could you spend your day interviewing roller-skating twins, a man who plays a pork chop or listen to a rap song about chicken. Unbelievable!”
Britain’s Got More Talent returns to ITV 2 in Spring
The award-winning drama series Foyle’s War, starring Michael Kitchen, will air its final episode on Sunday 18 January 2015 at 8pm on ITV.
Writer and creater, Anthony Horowitz OBE, has penned the iconic Foyle’s last ever case, Elise, which sees award-winning actor, Michael Kitchen star as one of television’s favourite detectives, Christopher Foyle, Senior Intelligence Officer for the secret service, MI5, for the final time in this two-hour drama.
In the dramatic finale to the much loved series, Foyle must re-examine Hilda Pierce’s top secret role during the war within SOE (Special Operations Executive) following an assassination attempt on her life outside MI5. SOE French section sent many agents behind enemy lines and Foyle suspects the shooting may be connected to the hunt for a traitor within SOE called Plato who could have been behind the deaths of nine agents in France.
Anthony Horowitz first thought up the idea of Foyle’s War in 2000 and has scripted twenty-four two-hour films. Foyle’s War has travelled from the start of the war to Dunkirk, the Blitz, VE Day and the Cold War with secret intelligence, Soviet spies and the atomic bomb. Along with the murders and mysteries, Foyle’s War has explored many remarkable stories including the quiet heroism of the SOE, the genius and original thinking of the men and women behind the bouncing bomb, the development of plastic surgery and the invention of radar.
Anthony Horowitz said: “It feels a terrible wrench to say goodbye to characters I’ve lived with for more than fifteen years. But the truth is that I’m not sure there are any more stories to tell and anyway it was always my intention to end on a high note and I think this year’s episodes are the very best we’ve done.
“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved with Foyle’s War and I’m very grateful to the audience that has stayed with us for so long. I’ve had a good war.”
Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s literary masterpiece will star Paul Dano (12 Years A Slave, Prisoners, There Will Be Blood), Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) and James Norton (Happy Valley, Belle, Grantchester), it is announced today.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time, War And Peace will be told over six one hour episodes. Director Tom Harper (The Scouting Book For Boys, Peaky Blinders, Woman In Black: Angel Of Death) will bring this classic to life for a modern audience on a truly epic scale in what Davies calls “a thrilling, funny and heartbreaking story of love, war and family life”.
James Norton says: “I’m thrilled to be entrusted with Andrei in this exciting adaptation. It’s a privilege to bring to life one of Tolstoy’s wonderfully rich and conflicted characters. And to get to work alongside talents such as Tom Harper, Andrew Davies, Lily James and Paul Dano is very exciting – I can’t wait to get started.”
Paul Dano will star as Pierre Bezukhov, Lily James as Natasha Rostova and James Norton as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky. Also heading up the rich cast of characters are Stephen Rea (An Honourable Woman, The Shadow Line) as Prince Vassily Kuragin, Ade Edmondson (Prey, Blood) and Greta Scacchi (The Falling, Brideshead Revisited) as Count and Countess Rostov; as well as Jack Lowden (The Passing Bells, The Tunnel) as Nikolai Rostov, Tom Burke (The Musketeers, The Hour) as Dolokhov and Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, Good Cop) as Sonya.
Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman and Executive Producer for The Weinstein Company says: “I fell in love with Tolstoy’s War and Peace as a teenager when I read it for the first time. Putting an epic, iconic story like War and Peace on screen with a cast of this calibre is an incredible thrill. Lily, Paul, and James are all amazingly talented actors and it takes their level of talent to capture the scale of Tolstoy’s words. We are excited to get underway with Andrew Davies and the phenomenal team at BBC.”
The new, fifth season of Sky Atlantic’s Game of Thrones will premiere on the channel on Monday 13 April at 9pm, the day after it returns in the US.
Based on the bestselling book series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is an epic drama set in the world of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honour and ill-repute live in a land whose summers and winters can last years.
Members of the ensemble cast for the fourth season included Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Natalie Dormer, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner. Executive producers, David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin.