Michael Praed and Jason Connery
Audio and radio plays

Spiteful Puppet has some new Robin of Sherwood stories available from today!

A couple of years ago, Spiteful Puppet released a Robin of Sherwood audio adventure that managed to reunite just about everyone from the original TV series for charity. Based on an original Richard Carpenter script, it was probably the most authentic attempt you could make at a new Robin of Sherwood story, albeit as an audio play with all of that medium’s various limitations – no Robert Young blood red filters on the camera lens for starters.

So successful was the result – and so enjoyable for the cast, it seems – that Spiteful Puppet has released today on CD and download a set of four new plays, including one that finally reveals what would have happened if there’d been a fourth series. No Ray Winstone this time, due to scheduling conflicts, but they’ve hired Jon Culshaw to do his best Winstone impression apparently. Details after this trailer and the jump…

Continue reading “Spiteful Puppet has some new Robin of Sherwood stories available from today!”

BFI Radio Times Festival 2019
BFI events

The BFI Radio Times TV festival is back next year and here are some of the highlights

Since the first one was in 2015 and the second one was 2017, I’m going to hazard a guess that the rechristened ‘BFI and Radio Times Television Festival’ is now a bi-annual thing, as it’s back at the BFI between 12 and 14 April next year. It’s a little far out to have the full details yet, but here’s what’s just been announced:

The BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, the biggest, most exciting public television festival in the UK, featuring the very best TV shows and a star-studded line up of talent, is returning for a second outing at BFI Southbank from Friday 12 April – Sunday 14 April 2019.

Over three days the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival will showcase some of the biggest hits on TV today, preview the most eagerly awaited new shows of 2019, celebrate classic series and perennial favourites and feature unique events that spotlight rarely-seen material from the BFI National Archive.

Some of the biggest names in front of and behind the camera will join audiences to discuss their work on stage at BFI Southbank. Guests already confirmed include:

  • Jed Mercurio, the man behind one of 2018’s most critically acclaimed programmes, Bodyguard, and creator of BBC One’s hit police corruption drama Line of Duty. Jed will be talking about the return of the hit series and introduce stars from the cast.
  • Jamie Oliver celebrates 20 years since the programme that launched him, The Naked Chef, which changed the way we cook. Jamie will be talking about his life and career and whisking up a classic recipe in a live demonstration.
  • Big Narstie (Tyrone Lindo), star of Channel 4’s cult comedy The Big Narstie Show, one 2018’s breakout hits, will be joining proceedings alongside co-star Mo Gilligan, aka Mo the Comedian.
  • For over 30 years murder has stalked Midsomer. Now the stars, past and present, of ITV’s Midsomer Murders reveal what it’s like to make one of the deadliest – and most popular – detective shows ever made.
  • The festival will also be celebrating one the most loved British comedies of all time, Dad’s Army. Three episodes from the second series – The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker, A Stripe for Frazer and Under Fire – were seemingly destroyed after they were first broadcast and are now being remade. Hear from the new cast about the making of the new shows.

The full line-up, with over 30 sessions over the weekend, will be announced in early 2019. Co-programmed by the BFI and Radio Times, the festival will draw on the expertise of both organisations, to entice a broad range of audiences from telly addicts and boxset-bingeing aficionados to those who love to discover archive gems and people who love nothing more than coming together to watch the latest in prime-time entertainment. This year’s festival will also include a strand programmed for and by young people, to reflect their radically different TV viewing experiences.

On sale dates

Thursday 7 February, 11:30 – BFI Champions and Patrons
Friday 8 February, 11:30 – BFI Members
Monday 11 February, 11:30 – Radio Times Subscribers
Friday 15 February, 11:30 – General public

Talent appearances subject to change. Please check the BFI website for updates to the programme and sign up for email alerts about the festival: www.bfi.org.uk/tvfest


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Plan Cœur (The Hookup Plan)
French TV

Third-episode verdict: Plan cœur (The Hookup Plan) (Netflix)

Available on Netflix

Cast: large, alcohol units lots. cigarettes not as many as you’d think

As you’ve probably already noticed, Netflix has been quite successful with its worldwide original programming, with its catalogue now bursting with dramas that have been made specifically for Netflix in countries around the world ranging from Mexico to Australia, South Korea to Canada, Germany to South Africa (as of this morning). However, despite being fair packed full of French shows that it’s bought up from the local networks Canal+, M6, TF1, France 2 and the like, there’s so far only been one genuine Netflix French original – Marseille, which didn’t exactly wow the world on the general grounds it was terrible, despite the presence of Gérard Depardieu.

Now we have a second French Netflix original, which Netflix is desperately trying to bill as “not a romcom” – or at least a “romantic comedy as it would happen in real life”. Despite its being an obvious fictional romcom.

Look at how hard they’re trying, both in English…

… and in French:

Isn’t it cute?

At least the English name for the show is a bit more convincing on that score.

Plan Coeur (The Hookup Plan)

Plan cœur (The Hookup Plan)

Plan cœur – which is probably best translated as ‘plan of the heart’ rather than The Hookup Plan, although there is the obvious double reference to the Sacré-Cœur of the show’s Parisian location and a possible pun on ‘plein cœur’ (full heart) – sees the Bridget Jones-esque Zita Hanrot (Chefs) playing a down-on-her luck civil servant. She still can’t get over her ex, Guillaume Labbé (Hotel de la plage), despite their having broken up two years previously and his being on the verge of getting remarried. She’s also has been forced to move back into her old room at her father’s house, which is somewhat awkward since he’s a doctor and it’s now his waiting room.

In an effort to get Hanrot’s mind off Labbé, one of her BFFs, Sabrina Ouazani (Les Vivants et les Morts) decides to hire a male escort (Le Chalet‘s Marc Ruchmann) for her. Except she doesn’t tell her he’s an escort and instead gives Ruchmann all the inside information he needs to help woo her and make her feel generally lovable again.

What could possibly go wrong, hey, particularly once other BFF Joséphine Draï‎ (L’Art du crime, Nu) finds out what’s going on?

Continue reading “Third-episode verdict: Plan cœur (The Hookup Plan) (Netflix)”

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