Category Archives: Media

Brand new E4 comedy drama Gap Year

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Here’s an exclusive look at brand new E4 comedy drama Gap Year. Centred on British lads Dylan (Anders Hayward) and Sean (Ade Oyefeso), who are childhood friends that initially set out to backpack through China, but end up taking on the whole continent.

 

The drama takes in ancient rainforests, full-moon beach parties, futuristic Asian mega-cities and remote monasteries in the foothills of the Himalayas. In the first episode, Sean is horrified to discover that his best mate Dylan has a secret plan that threatens to derail their ‘lads holiday’ to China. Things start looking up when they meet two American girls, Ashley (Brittney Wilson) and May (Alice Lee), and middle-aged hanger-on Greg (Tim Key). But, when old tensions resurface and create carnage at a music festival on the Great Wall, Sean suddenly finds himself way out of his depth.

 

http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/exclusive-look-at-new-e4-travelling-comedy-gap-year

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Africa’s Only Gay Radio

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Africa’s only gay radio station broadcasts from Pretoria in South Africa.

GaySAradio produces content for Africa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex communities and is trying to counter homophobia and break down stereotypes.

Jason McCrossan talked to Hendrik Baird the Station Manager of Africa’s only gay radio station which broadcasts from the South African city of Pretoria.

 

Brexit: Wife Swap Special Returns to C4

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Channel 4 is set to bring back its multi-award winning format Wife Swap for a one-off Brexit special. The show that allowed families to experience different lifestyles and perspectives on the world, returns for an intimate look at the nation’s biggest talking point – Brexit.

The 60-minute episode, due to air later this year, will be the first since the show ended nearly eight years ago.will see couples from either side of the Brexit debate swap households for one week and live with a family with very different views.

Emily Jones, Commissioning Editor, at Channel 4 said:” Wife Swap was largely about how people chose to run their homes, but it always had political undertones. Now the world has changed and recent events have brought political issues into the heart of every household. What better time to bring back this much loved format to explore Brexit and hear firsthand the conversations happening in every home”.

Wife Swap first arrived on Channel 4 screens in 2003 and quickly became a global phenomenon. The final series aired in the UK in 2009.

 

Will Snowden be Trumps ‘Bin Landen’ scalp?

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We are just hours away from President-Elect Donald Trump taking the oath of office and becoming officially the 45th President of the United States.

I can only imagine how Ed Snowden is feeling right now.  There must have been a part of him which was hope for a Presidential pardon from the outgoing President Obama – alas, it wasn’t to come.  And so what now for America’s highest profile whistleblower and exile who has just been given leave to remain in Russia for another three years?

Well, like most things Russian – there is no such thing as a guarantee and if I were Snowden I’d be very very nervous right now.  The Russian’s will have obtained everything they need or wanted from Snowden and in fact, his presence there was merely Putin sticking a pin in the side of Obama.

If we enter into a thawing of USA/Russian relations, an easy win for Trump would be getting Snowden back to face the music for releasing millions of confidential documents.

Snowden has tweeted that he would rather be “without a state than without a voice” – soon, he may find himself in Russian state custody – whilst awaiting extradition back to the United States – facing the rest of his life in prison and finally losing the voice he cherishes so much.

In 2016 I spoke to the author James Bamford who has met and interviewed Ed.

 

R.I.P Sir Jimmy Young

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The news broke late last night that the nation lost yet another veteran broadcaster in 2016.

Sir Jimmy Young has died peacefully at home aged 95.

He was one of the original Radio 1 DJs at its launch in 1967.  He then cross channels to Radio 2 in 1973 and filled the early afternoon slot until he retired in December 2002, spending 3 decades at channel 2.

Jimmy was one of the reasons why I loved radio so much.  He had wit, knowledge and timing which took him to the top of broadcasting. I still remember being in a car driven by my father listening to Jimmy – and although I didn’t always understand the content – it was the voice and the style that I was interested in.

Here is a clip of two radio greats – no longer with us – the late Sir Terry Wogan in conversation with the late Sir Jimmy Young in 1978.

BBC History launches archive to mark 80 years of Television

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To coincide with the 80th anniversary of the launch of the first British television service by the BBC on 2 November 1936, BBC History has today launched a new microsite that provides the public with access to archive material from the early days of television.

The archive, which can be viewed at here contains a wealth of video and audio footage which tells the story of television – including, the invention of television, the opening night at Alexandra Palace in 1936, TV closure during the war and its resurrection in 1946, TV’s milestone moments such the Olympics and the Coronations of 1937 and 1953.

 

Some highlights of the history archive include:

Technology battle: Early TV was a battle between two companies, the Marconi-EMI partnership and the Baird Company, each developing different technologies. Idiosyncratically, the press favoured the Baird Company technology, mainly because there was a 60-second delay in the image appearing on screen. At a special demo for the press this enabled journalists to run round and see themselves on the screen. In 1934 the Government asked the BBC to formally launch a regular service testing both systems.

Two Coronations: The Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 12 May 1937 gave the BBC Television Service its first major outside broadcasting challenge, which was a huge technological leap forward. Despite the equipment failing just as the procession approached, the BBC’s Tony Bridgwater recalls EMI engineer Bernard Greenhead giving the equipment “an almighty biff with his fist” – which managed to restart the unit just in time.


The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 was a far more complex operation using more than 20 cameras in multiple locations. It was a seminal moment not just in British history, but in the development and popularity of television as a medium. BBC Director-General, Ian Jacob, said the Coronation “was the thing that made the Television Service take off… everybody from that moment on wanted to have television”.

Speaking about the archive, Robert Seatter, Head of BBC History, says: “We are delighted to mark this momentous occasion by sharing much never-before-seen material from the BBC archives. The anecdotes, images and recordings offer today’s audiences a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into the early days of television.

“It is also great to be doing this in partnership with media history experts from the University of Sussex and other UK research centres, who set our BBC story in the wider context of what was happening in communications and society.”

Professor David Hendy, Professor of Media and Cultural History at the University of Sussex, says: “These fascinating accounts, from the BBC’s own collection of oral history interviews, take us straight back to a time when the future of TV wasn’t yet known, when everything was new and uncertain. They offer us as never before the real inside story of those who set television going on its now 80 year-long journey. And a very human story it is: a tale of risk-taking, pioneering spirit, rivalry, hope, anxiety – and, of course, the slow working out of how to make popular art out of an obscure bit of rather cumbersome technology.”

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The Real Marigold Hotel Xmas special

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BBC Two has confirmed a two-part Christmas special for The Real Marigold on Tour, starring some familiar faces from the first series of The Real Marigold Hotel. Four of the original cast return to BBC Two as actress Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, darts champion Bobby George and chef Rosemary Shrager test out different retirement communities around the world, travelling to Florida and Japan.

The series successfully premiered on BBC Two earlier this year with impressive ratings and critical acclaim. It’s the highest rating factual series on the channel this year with a series consolidated average of 4.1million/13.6 percent share, and was awarded a prestigious Rose d’Or Award.


The BBC has also announced the hit travel documentary series will move to BBC 1 when it returns to screens in early 2017.

The new cast of famous senior citizens embarking on a journey of a lifetime include entertainer Lionel Blair; actress Amanda Barrie, snooker champion Dennis Taylor; TV personality Rustie Lee; Doctor Miriam Stoppard; presenter Bill Oddie; singer Sheila Ferguson; and actor Paul Nicholas.

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Inspired by, but otherwise unrelated to the blockbuster film, the series documents the authentic experience of eight characters in their golden years as they head to India on an experimental adventure to see if they would consider retiring to the other side of the world. The new four part series will see the group travel thousands of miles from home and this time land in Kochi, a city in the southwest Indian state Kerala, to test whether they can set up a more rewarding retirement than in the UK.

Interview with Danny Lucas of @LitterGram

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Litter currently costs Britain £1bn per year and Jason’s guest tonight has set up a smart phone app which lets users report sights of litter directly to their council to clear it up.

Danny Lucas developed the Littergram app over a year ago and as well as chatting to Jason McCrossan about how it works – we also hear how Facebook is trying to force Littergram to change its name.

Terrorism & The Media with Prof. Charlie Beckett from London LSE

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News organisations descended onto a street in London to report on the latest terror attack to strike Europe recently.. A women in her 60s lay dead and 5 other people suffered stab wounds. Professor Charlie Beckett is Head of Polis a journalism think tank at the London School of Economics, and he spoke to Jason McCrossan on 106.9 SFM

Key 103 Competition inbreach of OFcom rules

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Manchester radio station Key 103 fell foul of the regulator recently after complaints about their ‘Heartless Hotline’ competition.

The breakfast show competition involved a member of the public making a case as to why they should receive a particular prize that they have chosen. The station telephone lines were then opened for 30 seconds, and any listener who wished could phone in and steal the prize for themselves.  If no listener calls in, the person who requested the prize and gave their reason- gets it.

Ofcom received a complaint from a listener who described the treatment of the competition entrant on 27 April as “disgusting”. Separately we received two complaints about the 29 April competition from listeners who considered the competition had not been conducted fairly.

 

The competition went as follows:

The Heartless Hotline competition was introduced by the breakfast show presenters, Mike Toolan (“MT”) and Brooke Vincent (“BV”).

MT: Today’s person facing the Heartless Hotline is Sarah from Eccles. Sarah?
Sarah: Hello.
BV: Hi. You alright?
Sarah: I’m alright. A bit nervous.
MT: You’ve contacted us to try and win your dream prize. Tell everybody what it is.
Sarah: It’s £2,000 to cover divorce costs including a court order

MT: …Tell us the story. You were married – when did it all go wrong?
Sarah: It was just over two years ago and I discovered my husband was cheating on me with somebody he worked with. A couple of weeks after that literally, my dad died unexpectedly. It has been an awful – I can’t tell you what it’s been like the last two years [voice breaks]…sorry I’m a bit upset.
BV: Oh, don’t be upset.
Sarah: [voice wavering] I don’t have any luxuries. I have enough to cover the bills but really if I could get divorced I could also get a court order that would mean that my children’s father would have to help with the housing costs ‘cos I just don’t think, of moving house right now, they could cope with it. It’s just been heart-breaking.
MT: So your ex-husband, well I guess he’s still your husband at the minute until you can get divorced. He’s not helping you pay the bills? Sarah: He’s given me a little bit of basic maintenance but it’s not enough to be able to keep us in the house where we live.
BV: Is that for the kids as well? It’s for everything?
Sarah: Yeah. [voice wavering] You know, for me to lose my support network and for them to lose their friends and possibly have to move schools. I just don’t think they could cope with it.
MT: So you want a sort of court order that will allow you stay in the house
you are in.
Sarah: Yeah, you can obtain a court order which means that he would have to help with housing costs – he would have to contribute a little bit more in order to keep a roof over our heads.
MT: He should be doing it anyway.
BV: He’s in our ‘Bad Dads’ Club’.
MT: […] So you’re paying all the bills. You want to stay in the family home.
You need £2,000.

Sarah: I do work, I work in healthcare. I help look after children and adults with additional needs. It’s not that I don’t work but I just need a little bit more help in order to cover the mortgage…and that would do it really. I have been to see a couple of solicitors so I know what’s involved and I know the exact cost and that [the £2,000 prize] would cover the
paperwork for the divorce and the solicitor’s fees.
MT: So you need £2,000?
Sarah: Yes.

MT: We’ve got it for you.
Sarah: Right [nervous laughter].
MT: I’ve been through a divorce myself, I know exactly what you’re going through and it’s just horrible.
Sarah: It’s awful.
MT: Okay. 30 seconds. We’re going to open up the Heartless Hotline on Key 103. Really good luck Sarah in Eccles. Let’s hope no one calls. Let’s hope people allow you to take this £2,000.
Sarah: Please Manchester. I need this more than anything.
MT: How old are your children?
Sarah: Nine and seven now.
MT: Nine and seven. Aww. Are they okay?
Sarah: They’re okay. They’ve took it hard but they’re okay.
MT: Okay. 30 seconds. [Telephone number given]. It’s up to you if you want to call and steal this cash. It’s on your conscience. The Key 103 Heartless Hotline is now open.

[A ticking clock was heard, followed two seconds later by the sound of a phone
ringing.]

MT: We’ve got a call in already.
Sarah: Oh no.
MT: Hello? Key 103’s Heartless Hotline. Who’s this?
Caller: Hiya. It’s Leigh.
MT: Leigh? Why are you calling us?
Leigh: I want to steal the money.
BV: [gasp] Do you Leigh?
Sarah: Oh no.
Leigh: [laughing]
BV: What you want to steal it for, what do you want?
Leigh: Well I would like a holiday.
BV: But Leigh!
Sarah: This is my children’s future!
Leigh: I know but I’ve got children of my own and I could do with a holiday for us.
Sarah: You could do with a holiday? I could do with keeping a roof over my children’s heads. How could you?
Leigh: Sorry?
Sarah: [Sounding close to tears] I want to keep a roof over my children’s heads and you just want a holiday? Are you serious?
Leigh: I am serious. I’m sorry about this, but yes.
Sarah: You’re not sorry. How could you?
Leigh: Well that’s the name of the game!
BV: I don’t know what to say.
MT: […] Leigh, do you not think this is a bit out of order? Do you not think she’s been through enough and she deserves a chance to fight for the right to keep her kids in the same house?
Leigh: Well…yes, we’ve all got a story to tell and I just need the money myself so I just thought I would ring up.
MT: Okay.
Leigh: Sorry, I didn’t know her situation.
Sarah: Just for a holiday.
Leigh: I just want a holiday. Long overdue.
MT: Alright. Leigh, you’ve won your holiday.
Leigh: Oh thank you! [laughing].
MT: Okay. Bye.
Leigh: Thanks a lot. Bye bye!

MT: Sarah. I don’t know what to say.
Sarah: Okay well, she won it fair enough I suppose.
MT: Stay on the line, we’ll have a chat in a minute.

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After a music track was played the presenters discussed what had happened and
read out messages from listeners. These included:

MT: Sarah Elliot has texted… ‘Words fail me. What a cow!’
BV: I’ve got some on Twitter…we’ve got Jamie who’s put “nearly in tears at Key 103 Heartless Hotline”. I’ve got Tracy Elliot who’s put “what a vindictive, disgusting woman. Sickening”. Nicholas put “to be fair with this Heartless Hotline, you can’t blame people who are stealing. It’s the name of the game” and that’s true but – it’s just hard as these are people’s lives that we are trying to also help but other people are stealing from, so it’s not good.

MT: Someone’s put “you need to stop this evil game now. I’m at the point where I’m going to be switching stations”.
BV: I think the thing is, it also depends what the person is asking for because someone could ask for a car and it’d not be that bad. It’s just like, you know, they’ve stole a car, but when it’s that raw and personal, as a divorce, and someone comes on and tells a story, and someone just goes “yeah”. That’s a bit harsh.

The presenters also spoke to a number of callers over the course of the subsequent 30 minutes. The majority expressed their anger with Leigh for stealing the money, although some defended her actions. By way of example, callers’ comments included:

“I am absolutely disgusted with that woman from Wythenshawe that’s just stolen
that prize…words fail me”.

“That was bang out of order…”.

“…we’ve all been through issues and we don’t know what’s gone on in this girl’s
[Leigh’s] life to make her want a holiday. She could have been through anything
and there’s nothing like a holiday to make you feel better and I think we’re all
judging here without knowing what she’s been through…”.

One listener also offered to donate £100 towards Sarah’s cause which one of the
presenters agreed to match.

Ofcom found that Key 103 were in breach of their Rules 2.3 and 2.13 and said “In our opinion, the Licensee should have been more aware before transmission of the potential for offence arising from including Sarah as a contestant in this competition on 27 April 2016”.