Worried About The Boy

Ever since meeting Simon Hobart, getting involved with Ghetto and hearing his stories of the club scene of the 80s, I’ve had fascination with the decade. Ashes to Ashes helped bring that along even further and I’ve loved delving back in time and so far merely scraping the surface of all the brilliant electro pop that came out of that era. I always say that if I had a time machine I’d love to go back to 1980s London and see what it was like. I was here a hell of a lot, but as a child who didn’t really see much.

It’s very exciting to read then about the BBC’s 80s season which is the already made part of the now dropped Decades TV season the corp were planning. The first programme to be announced is 90 minute drama Worried About The Boy which revolves around the life of Boy George. He’ll be played by Douglas Booth who’s only really known at the moment for being the male face of Burbury. Joining him are Mark Gatiss as Malcolm McClaren, Marc Warren as Steve Strange, and Matthew Horne as Jon Moss. I’m a bit face scowly at the idea of Matthew Horne, but we shall see. Excitingly as Worrapolava noticed, it’s being made by Red Productions who are most famous for making Queer As Folk. The Blitz club will be central to the plot and who knows, maybe even Simon’s Kitkat club might get a mention. Boy George is a figure who has his own little role in my life who as a friend of my dad once showed up to my fifth birthday party and gave me a red soap in the shape of a heart. This was in 1987, hopefully it’ll play a central part in the programme.

Glee!

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Buffy, Angel, Veronica Mars, Doctor Who, Gossip Girl, Pushing Daisies True Blood and now Glee. These are the shows that have / would make me cry actual tiny tears should they be cancelled.

One of the major things I want in life (save love, peace, a new Billie single, unlimited crispy aromatic duck) is to join a choir that sings pop songs. Earlier in the year I had singing lessons for the first time and now I feel a little bit more confident about singing in front of others. Though if you ask any of my Singstar pals I’ve felt confident in that for years. So pop choirs are you out there? I’m Jewish – so I didn’t do choir at my CoE school and I don’t want to start praising the lord or anything like that now, I just want straight down the line Girls Aloud, Abba, JLS, Mamas and Papas, Sean Kingston style nonsense with over the top harmonies and my name in lights. London – can you sort this out please? One exists in Barnes, but unless I move into Jack’s, it seems an unlikely distance. It might as well be in Wigan.

Anyway, back to the seemingly random list of TV shows. Fox’s Glee is yet another show to make me want to go back in time and redo high school but be in America. The notion of a glee club in US high schools seems to be a choir but with choreography who take part in country wide championships like a sport. This is where I want 15 year old me to be.

The show will be on E4 later this year, and is the first of the new US season shows to be picked up for a full 22 episode series with massive ratings and twitter trending insanely.

Here’s an idea of what you should expect. It’s quirky and often laugh out loud, I could bang out about how hot Matt Morrison is or blah blah blah but I don’t want to spoil anything:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzWrnsASi3c[/youtube]

And in this week’s episode Kristin Chenoweth guest starred. Olive Snook! The way she hits the chorus of ‘Alone’ is jawdropping. She also performed a brilliant version of ‘Maybe This Time’ but it’s probably better to see that in context.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmj6Vdlteo8[/youtube]

If nothing else, it will make Helen ridiculously happy.

Being Erica

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zGkg-l-8tU[/youtube]

If you’re a girl and like your comedy / dramas with a bit of time travel, then E4 at 10pm tonight is the place to be as Canada’s ‘Being Erica’ hits our shores. I was lucky enough to catch the first series last year in Canada and while I’m surprised it’s been picked up over here (hell, if Privileged can be…), it’s well worth your time.

Erin Kapluk plays the brilliantly named Erica Strange, a down in the dumps late 20 something with no direction and no hope for where her life is going. Then the mysterious Doctor Tom enters her life and gives her the opportunity to go back into her history and change key decisions she now regrets. Cue bad outfits, 90s hair, and ‘hilarious consequences’. Even if the plot is a bit clunky, Erin is so much fun to watch that you’ll easily find yourself rooting for her. She both looks and has the comedy acting of Jennifer Aniston and I’ve often caught myself thinking it is in fact ‘tragic Jen’, plus there’s Wonderfalls’ very swoonable Tyson Leitso as eye candy. Series 2 has just started in Canada taking a darker twist, so it’s well worth checking out, particularly as you can enjoy a double bill tonight. In reality I think about 9 people will watch it, but hey, cult hit. Come on you 9!

Beware the 456

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUMipXqC6Wo[/youtube]

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to the screening of the first episode of the next Torchwood series. Entitled ‘Children of Earth’ it’s a mini series that will be shown on BBC One at some undisclosed point this summer. As a massive fan of the modern day Whoniverse, it was exciting enough to see the show, never mind sit next to RTD in the orange juice and pastry lobby. I knew I was going to be interviewing lovely Welshman Gareth David Lloyd who plays Ianto the next day, but to make things even better we were taken into another room after the screening for roundtable sessions with John Barrowman, Gareth, Eve Myles and RTD himself. On a table with experience telly journalists all fighting to get their questions in it was quite an experience. Also watching a show with the cast and crew is a strange experience because they find random bits HILARIOUS.

My Torchwood piece (incidentally my first ever print TV article – exciting) will be on the shelves in Attitude out next week but here are some sneaky cuts that didn’t make it into the finished edition

* ‘I love his tongue in my mouth.’

* ‘He’s been my long time lover for years, that’s why we’ve given him more lines.’

* ‘I have to walk through the Tardis…’

* ‘It’s in John’s contract that we all look at him with doe-y eyes’

* ‘That person up there on the screen has changed my life.’

* ‘There are a couple more snogging scenes, but most of our time is spent saving the world’

Surrounded by Cilla

Cilla Black

Just thanks to flicking through catch up on Virgin last night I spotted that BBC Four had a whole night of awesome old light entertainment shows on last night surrounding the excellent Queens of British Pop series. The light entertainment variety show is something that doesn’t really exist anymore, or at least didn’t until the strangely awful Tonight’s The Night appeared last week.

Back in the 60s though it was all the rage, and the popular thing seemed to be to turn chart topping singers into TV personalities. ‘Cilla’ was one of those shows and ran impressively from 1968 – 76. In the episode shown last night, you’ll hear Cilla singing the McCartney written theme ‘Step Inside Love’, as well as performing with a bunch of dancing backing singers and duetting with Georgie Fame. Dusty sings a couple of solo tracks before Cilla joins her for a comedy duet and manages to crush her beehive into a hat. Dusty herself had a shorter 30 minute programme on the BBC in 1966. Watch it here and marvel at just how Jewish a young Tom Jones looks. I’m not sure there’s a better voice in the world out there.

Two other shows were broadcast which I’ve not yet watched. The Sandie Shaw Supplement features ‘Sandie Shaw performs music on the theme of transport and travel. She is filmed riding a horse on a Welsh beach, in a racing car, on a Marylebone station platform and in the studio, singing Route 66, Do you Know the Way to San Jose, Homeward Bound, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Girl Don’t Come, Got to Go, Planes and Boats and Planes, Day Tripper and Ticket to Ride.’ Skip forward then to 1979 for the strange concept of the Kate Bush Christmas Special. Recorded at Pebble Mill, Kate performs songs from her first two albums including a special guest starring from Peter Gabriel.

Watch them all here.

Torchwood Returns

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The first promo shot for the new series of Torchwood has just been released by the BBC. Rather than a 13 week series, this year Torchwood is subtitled ‘Children of Earth’ and will run over five nights in one week, currently scheduled for June. In the next couple of weeks I’ll be interviewing (and trying not to visably swoon in the face of) Gareth David Lloyd who plays Ianto Jones in the show for Attitude Magazine. If you’ve any questions you’d like me to ask, feel free to leave them in the comments, and I’ll do my best!

Ghetto Princess

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Remember trashtastic Big Brother contestant Aisleyne? She’s back. Not content with inexplicably becoming Charlie Brookers bezzie mate, her autobiography will be hitting shops this May. I was one of few people in my circle at the time who really didn’t like her on Big  Brother, but since, she’s become a bit of a giggle particularly in this week’s Snog Marry Or Kill, the uber-shonky makeunder show on BBC Three.

Now her autobiography looks unmisssable. Just look at that cover:

1. The title – Surviving Guns, Gangs and Glamour.

2. The quote – “Women like Aisleyne make the world go around . . .  She’s A Lioness” – AMY WINEHOUSE (?!)

3. The fierce pout.

Never mind the synopsis which includes life stories such as a childhood surrounded by Boy George, predatory men of the city’s gang culture and a potential marriage to Mike Tyson, all we really care about are the juicy details of the must-happen love affair between her and Brooker.

2009’s essential reading? Yes please. Bring it on.

Eurovision 2009

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Some people are scarily obsessed with Eurovision. To my friends, I probably seem the obsessed one, but in my case it’s only mild. However, in 2006, thanks to a couple of press passes and a why not attitude, my friend Darren and I went off to Helsinki to check the contest out. It was amazing. Finland was so excited to be hosting the contest and everyone but the UK seemed to be taking it deadly seriously. Of course, we sent Scooch, and fully deserved the bottom two placing we got.

Last year, I became Lucio’s official Eurovision ‘correspondent’ on Capital FM in London and had great fun engaging London in the contest. We discussed who the UK should represent, were horrified when the decision was made and then took to deciding which country London should vote for. We went for Ukraine’s strut-tastic Shady Lady and Ani Lorak even dropped in for a chat.

So this year, we’re claiming to take it a bit more seriously, mainly by getting the bizarrely endearing should be couple of Graham Norton and Andrew Lloyd Webber involved. ‘Your Country Needs You’ replaces ‘Making Your Mind Up’ and started on BBC1 last night. At times it was spit at your drink funny but we didn’t seem to take the advice of Europe with the idea that we need to send an actual professional performer. Although Jade will certainly satisfy Adrian’s strutting criteria, surely her failure to make it so far, despite being signed twice must be an indication. The twins are frankly annoying and already failed at X Factor this year and Emperors of Soul were pointless. Solo men traditionally don’t do very well, so despite Damien and Mark seeming the most professional, I’m not sure they’ll win. That leaves the slightly lacklustre Charlotte. Not a brilliant selection – but in reality it’s more about the song. If Webby can pull together a fabulous ballad, then we’ll be in with a chance.

I’m vaguely tempted to go again this year, just because I really want to go to Moscow anyway and it’s a good excuse. I shall ponder.

Sing it girl!

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Making plans on a Saturday night for the last six months have been hell. While in previous years it didn’t really matter if you missed an episode or so of X Factor, this time round there was no way we were missing a single moment of Cheryl Cole time.

Two superstars were born this series. Alexandra and Cheryl. From the very first episode, Cheryl dazzled and proved that she really did have “the most beautiful eyes” Pete Waterman spotted all those years ago.  Honestly – is there anything more beautiful than Cheryl’s tear stained face? Despite the horrifying news that Eoghan won 6 shows (seriously!), it was always about the girls. From amazing Laura’s sudden defeat, Rachel’s transformation from brilliant auditionee to live train wreck, Diana’s claw, and Ruth’s rocking out to Alexandra’s win, the boys never stood a chance.

I’m so delighted Alexandra won and wow, what a show.  The duet with Beyonce was jaw-dropping, not only for managing to get her to perform, but watching Alex near collapse on her idol and the diva tastic hair flicking song itself. ‘Listen’ is my favourite Beyonce song and it’s impossible to watch this duet without feeling gleeful at Alexandra’s excitement and astonishment.

[youtube]http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bV-ERgAHqXo[/youtube]

As well as a great result, the last two weeks of X Factor have also provided some comedy gold. Who could forget Eoghan’s song crashing as Diana left and as for this week? Well Alexandra snatching the winner’s CD off Dermot was funny enough for me, but also why was Mark from Westlife singing with severe and anger and don’t forget the very odd ‘Merry Christmas’ from one of JLS. Plus Cheryl herself made a bit of a boo boo in the press conference (flick to 1.28).

‘Hallejulah’ is breaking all sorts of chart records as we speak. I know it’s a bit of a gut wrenchingly music purist tune to cover, but despite the swelling key change I love it. It’s the first winners song I’ve ever bought.