Thursday, 28 January 2010

Secret Diary of a Call Girl Series 3

Five years now Billie Piper has been a huge part of my life. You could say she has been my life. She sparked my love for 'Doctor Who', and the period dramas she brought us following on were something I fell heavily in love with. Though Piper's most 'moving' project following her departure from the beloved sci-fi show is by far 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl'; the intimate adventures of London Call girl Belle De Jour. Series one was a godsend, and the second was all the more delightful. So when series three finally aired this evening, I was beyond ecstatic. But was it going to deliver?

A few years after it all began and our Belle is now a best-selling author, in secretive of course. Her adventures in London continue, with a queue of client fantasies waiting to be fulfilled. As we could expect though it is not all as straight forward as Belle would like. Intertwined with her whoring preparations Hannah now has to deal with the interference of her curious sister Jackie, as well as the pressures to write a second book and the sly remarks from those cursed with jealousy. It may only the beginning, but already life for Belle is heating up!

As with the previous series', we are presented with not only a wonderful plot to keep us engaged but also a fantastic cast. Of course we have Billie, who is an utter delight (and I must add, looks fantastic post-baby!). We still have Ben too, again portrayed by Iddo Goldberg. There was a specific scene where for a moment I saw a mirror image of David Tennant in him, which was quite a shock to say the least. Goldberg is a charming actor, definitely well suited to the role. I was delighted to see Bambi was still as important as ever, another fantastic performance from the lovely Ashley Madekwe. Though we also have Jackie now as well, who although we'd seen her in glimpses we truly get to unravel the character now. Portrayed by Joanne Bobin, this is one character I look forward to seeing more of!

There's clearly a fantastic team of script writers behind the show. The language is quite strong, but is in a context such that it is not too vulgar or offensive, and feels part of natural conversation. There's a touch of humor to the show too, with one particular conversation which went as follows:

Bambi:"Is it because I'm common? Is it because I'm Black?"
Belle:No is because you're a whore you muppet!

It's so basic but so clever. And the second that caught my attention was when Belle simply claims, "Get out of my sister! It really is a wonderfully scripted show, award worthy alone for its charming use of language.

So we're two episodes into the series and so far there's not a scratch of negativity or flaw. It had been said that this series was going to be more raunchy that before, however so far I see no sign of this. Nonetheless, knowing Belle she is likely to have a few surprises up her sleeve for us in the upcoming episodes. Needless to say it is not for the faint hearted or easily offended, but if you don't mind a bit of whore then this is one that you cannot let pass by. Billie has done a fantastic job yet again with capturing our attention and I for one cannot wait for the rest of the series!

Amy x

Mock the Week Series 8

(Written 21/1/2010)

Over the last year or so I have become a massive fan of 'Mock the Week'. The show, presented by Dara O'Briain, is one of the greatest comedy shows around. It never fails to entertain me with its exciteful topics and witty panelists. I've had just enough time to catch up with as much of the previous series' as I could, when I was alerted that Series 8 was soon to begin. And just a few weeks after finding out the news, the new series finally began! But there was one change that was apparent from the word go...

The lack of Frankie Boyle. When he had announced that the previous series was his last, a cloud of devastation cast over all fans of the show. He was such an asset to the show and nobody really knew how it was going to turn out. Thankfully there was no noticeable changes to the set, and the lovely Dara was still in the anchor chair. We still had the gorgeous Russell Howard too; thank goodness for that, I wouldn't be able to cope otherwise, as well as Andy Parsons and Hugh Dennis. They were joined by Milton Jones, Patrick Kielty and Mark Watson. Now Mark Watson is amazing, so I was thrilled about that, but I had no idea who the other two were. I was hoping I was about to be introduced to two new comedy loves, but was this going to be the case?

As I had expected, the comedians I was already familiar with brought me nothing but delight, however I was not too impressed with Kielty and Jones. Milton Jones scares me incredibly, though I cannot actually work out what it is about him that makes me shiver. Whilst what Patrick Kielty was saying was funny, I had heard it all before, and I cannot be sure that I have heard it all through him before either! They were a bit of a letdown, but thankfully the positives outweighed the negatives. The jokes and lines given by Russell stood out quite a bit, especially the one he conducted about Frankie and a line about Kerry Katona, which alone is something to watch the show for! I shan't spoil it, but I can promise that you will laugh!

The show itself ran smoothly as usual with the usual format of scripting to videos and 'Unlikely Things to Hear', and the half hour show was generally a delight to watch. Yes, it is a little different without Frankie but it's not too much of a disaster and it still holds humour as hoped! There are six episodes in total throughout the series, each one aired on Thursday at 9pm on BBC2. It is definitely worth making an effort to watch, whether as it airs or on iPlayer at a later time. I believe Sarah Millican is going to be on the show next week which is definitely something worth tuning in for! An all round brilliant start to a series; I cannot wait for the rest!

Amy x

National Television Awards 2010

(Written 21/1/2010)

What do you get if you take a large room, fill it with famous 'telly' people, add some sparkly frocks and line up a bunch of shiny awards? Why, it's the National Television Awards of course! And this year brought us another evening filled with tears of joy and emotion as the nation's most loved shows and celebrities go head to head to find out who truly is the best of the best...

Last night the awards kicked off with a wonderful performance from last year's X Factor winner, 'Joe McElderry'. As much as this was a fantastic way to start the show, it soon became apparent that this ceremony very much had the X-Factor. Not only was it opened by our winner, but it was also hosted by the show's presenter, Dermot O'Leary. And if that wasn't bad enough, we also had a very 'X Factor' style introduction, and to top it off the King of television, Simon Cowell himself was almost sitting on the stage. With the initial stress out of the way, it was time to relax and actually enjoy the awards!

So the first award we were faced with was the 'Best Entertainment Programme'. Dannii Minogue, who officially announced her pregnancy on stage, and Tess Daily presented the award, which was quite nice, with the first win of the evening going to the lovely Ant and Dec. I love those two and they truly did deserve this for their Saturday Night Takeaway!

Following on we saw 'Gavin and Stacey' win Best Comedy Programme and Lacey Turner taking home the title of Best Serial Performance. I was thrilled to bits for Lacey when they announced the winner - 'EastEnders' have tackled Stacey's Bipolar Disorder amazingly, and Lacey has done such a wonderful job with her portrayal that no finer actress could have won that category.

Stephen Fry went on to win the Star Travel Documentary Award for his 'Stephen Fry in America', with Craig Gazey taking home the Best Newcomer award for his portrayal of Graeme in 'Coronation Street'. Again another well deserved award, such a talented actor with amazing comic timing.

Following on from this William Roache and Jack P. Shepherd give us a look at what is to come in the next few months of 'Coronation Street', and my breath was well and truly taken away. There seems to be what can only be described as insanely exciting storylines ahead of us; I am now more excited for 'Corrie' more than ever!

We were next brought the Best Drama Award, and much to my delight the award went to 'Doctor Who'. I was a little disappointed when David left all the talking to Bernard Cribbins, though he is incredibly funny and very lovely so it was not too devastating! After this little treat we were given another - in the form of John and Edward a.k.a Jedward. Singing their new single, 'Under Pressure', they sprang about the stage with more energy than ever and although this added to the X Factor connections it was still a delight and a wonderful way to create a break in the show.

The next category brought to us was Best Factual Programme, and as soon as I heard those words my heart began to leap. I knew exactly how I wanted this one to go, but whether or not I'd be granted my wish I didn't know. 'Loose Women' was going head to head with shows such as 'Come Dine With Me' and 'Top Gear', all of which are amazing. Though it did occur to me that 'Loose Women' have won every award they've been nominated for over the past few years, if I am not mistaken, and I had a feeling tonight was not going to be an exception. Well the second they were announced as the winners, I screamed. I jumped up. And a single tear slid down my cheek as I jumped around with delight. I must apologize to my Twitter followers as I did go slightly insane then, I did get a little overexcited! Well done to my Loosies, you all looked radiant and you well and truly deserve the win!

Then it was time for the Special Recognition which over the years has gone to many greats such as Jamie Oliver, Ant and Dec and Jeremy Clarkson. And this year the award went to the wonderful Stephen Fry. Although I knew very little about his life, in this one evening I learned so much about him and understood instantly what a fantastic character he is. Definitely a brilliant person to be chosen for the award.

We had just three awards left, and there was no surprise that the Talent Show Award went to the 'X Factor'. That went without saying. And then our Best Drama Performance Award went to the gorgeous David Tennant. Needless to say I was positively ecstatic. I got incredibly emotional with his speech, and as soon as they played his final clip in 'Doctor Who', I am not ashamed to admit that I cried. A lot. David is the finest actor to walk this planet and no greater man could have been chosen for the award.

Our last award is possibly the one that people look forward to the most. Yes, I am talking about the Serial Drama Award. It would seem that 'EastEnders' win this more often than not, but this year 'Coronation Street' took the trophy home, beating 'EastEnders', 'Emmerdale' and 'Hollyoaks' also. There has been a lot of negative words said about this win, but I must say that I feel 'Corrie' well and truly deserve it. I feel that the last few months with 'EastEnders' have been all about the Mitchells, and while I do love them, I feel that 'Coronation Street' has given us a much wider view of the show and enlightened us to a greater range of storylines and emotions.

So that's the NTAs down for another year, and we can only hope that we have another year of amazing television to make the awards all the more exciting next year. My fingers are crossed that 'Loose Women' walk away with an award in 2011, but only time will tell. A massive congratulations to all the winners last night, each and every one of them have done fantastically. Maybe one day I will be presenting the show or perhaps even winning an award myself (!) but until then I shall continue to enjoy the event on the box!

Amy x

Tracy Beaker Returns

(written 9/1/2010)

Sitting in the cinema, I tap my feet along to the music in the trailers. Another cereal advert. I don't mind trailers, I just never seem to pay much attention to them. On this particular day I was more interested in the 3D glasses hanging off my face as I waited to indulge in the festivities of 'A Christmas Carol'. Though when I heard a voice booming through the speakers, I snapped to attention. Is that...? No, it can't be! It is! Dani Harmer giving us the lowdown on her return to Tracy Beaker. Well, I never! It seemed that everybody in the cinema shared a sense of delight with this news. And personally, I could not wait!

As a child, Dani Harmer was very much a huge part of my life. 'Tracy Beaker' is one of the single greatest shows of all time; so brilliantly acted and wonderfully scripted. Of course I was devastated when it finally ended after its four year stint, but the show ended on such a high. I did wonder if bringing the show back was going to be a good idea - it ran the risk of ruining the magic that is Tracy Beaker. Only time would tell. And how slowly that time passed...

Finally that day came on the 9th January 2010 when I would once again be acquainted with a childhood love. But was I going to be filled with the same warm and fuzzy feeling as I was in the years previous? To answer bluntly: yes. But it's not all that simple.

We start off in the Dumping Ground and the children are watching TV. Seems normal? But then we notice Tracy Beaker is on the television, advertising her self-published book - all about her life in the Dumping Ground. It's quite a rosy start, but it was soon to change.

Following on we see Tracy arrested for 'stealing' Cam's credit card to self publish her books. Although the charges are soon dropped, I do feel that this negative opening is not something that should be on children's television. Yes, it highlights morality, but it's not really the style of the show. Nonetheless everything looks up from there. It goes as follows: Tracy bumps into Mike. Tracy visits the Dumping Ground. Tracy gets job at Dumping Ground. Tracy causes chaos.

And that is the one thing that made this so incredibly nostalgic. Had they made Tracy change her ways completely into a goody-two-shoes character, the show would simply not be believable. Yes she has matured slightly, but she is still feisty, she still has her attitude, and yes she still has her temper too! Now twenty years old I worried Tracy might not exactly fit in, but Dani has not actually changed a great deal since the her last series so it does work well.

The opening show was 50 minutes long, which is 20 minutes longer than what the rest of the thirteen episodes are going to be. I feel that having an extended pilot can only be a good thing, as it gave me plenty of time to fully absorb the new atmosphere, the unfamiliar characters. First of all I was surprised to notice just how different the Dumping Ground was. Since this series was filmed in Newcastle, a new location was going to be needed. I was quite shocked at how different they made it look though. It looks very cluttered and slightly 'mature', not at all the colourful attraction I was expecting.

As far as the characters go, I am quite torn between opinion. I like how they have created characters similar to those in past series'. We have Gus, who reminds me of a slightly older version of Peter Ingham (Series 1). Carmen resembles Alice (Series 5) in many ways too. Though I do find the children are all too similar in age; either very young or nearing half-way house age. There is also a lot of children too, some of which are not listed on the official website (www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/tracybeaker/ - check it out!).

As far as careworkers go, I was not really that impressed with Gina! She is simply too strict for my liking! However, it is a completely different story with Mike! I have adored Mike right from Series 1, and was thrilled to find out he would be returning for this. Connor Byrne is such an amazing actor, this simply would not be the same without him. I would have liked Elaine The Pain and Jenny to have been in this too, so my fingers are crossed that they get a mention further down the line! Also, the lovely Lisa Coleman has brought Cam back for us, which is wonderful. It's great to know that after all these years she and Tracy are still so close.

One thing that I felt was a bit of a let-down is the credits. Series 1-5 had the most spectacular credits with a wonderfully catchy and emotional theme song. We still have the occasional flashes into Tracy's mind where we see a cartoon image appear on screen, but I found it to be less frequent. Maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but I do feel that they could have used an altered version of the old theme tune.

All in all it was a pretty delightful episode! Although I do not feel the characters are as strong as last time, there is still a good mix of personalities in there to help keep plots strong. I have a good feeling about the other episodes to follow, and I can only hope that I am not disappointed! Several times through out I was drawn to tears, and already filled with nostalgia, the little moments seemed more magical. To be completely honest I do not think this show is something that children are going to fall in love with if they are not already fans of Tracy Beaker, but for us big kids who are in need of that trip down memory lane, this is a great way to recapture your childhood, for the Beaker's back!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Interview with Ellie Crisell!

There are three people in my life who I cherish most with my career. We have Andrea McLean, who is a sensation and such an inspiration. If I am half as successful as she is, I will be ecstatic. We then have two more lovelies who have played possibly the greatest part in shaping who I am. As a child I spent a lot of my time watching 'CBBC', and this brought me two great presenters: Konnie Huq and Ellie Crisell. Both are amazingly admirable professionals and influenced my career greatly, and I was fortunate enough to get in touch with the latter...

Me: You trained in Dance before you went on to study Broadcast Journalism - did you always know this was something you wanted to do?
Ellie: I used to watch Newsround and practise reading the news infront of the mirror as a kid! As I got older I was keen to have some kind of performing career but then felt I'd like to marry my love of reading and writing and curiosity about people with performance - it was either Broadcast Journalism or become a barrister, actually!

Me: Who has been your career inspirations?
Ellie: I grew up with John Craven and Moira Stewart reading the news - I admired both of them but truthfully, my parents have been my biggest influences. My dad is a Professor of Media and my mum is a Judge so there was a lot of media and law chat around our dinner table!

Me: You're worked for newspapers, radio and television - which would you say you prefer?
Ellie: Newspapers, Radio and TV are all enjoyable in different ways. I have loved the newspaper journalists I've come across - they are such fun and so talented. They can have quite a ruthless, cynical streak which I totally admire and a wicked sense of humour.
Radio is much more chilled out than TV, full of nice, friendly people and there is a lot more freedom to be creative.
TV is glamorous and you feel, particularly working in the BBC TV newsroom, that you are really in the centre of things. I love the excitement of live TV - it's a total buzz and it does not feel like work!

Me: You became a childhood idol for many when you became part of the CBBC 'Newsround' team in 2003. What are your highlights from working on the show?
Ellie: Newsround was a wonderful 5 years for me. The team were (and continue to be) enormous fun. I had great friends there and the whole production office had a lot of input into the programme, so you really felt your opinion mattered and you were part of something great. There is an enormous fondness across the nation for Newsround, so it's just a privilege to work for such a treasured programme that, let's face it, performs a unique role. There is no other television news for children and we felt we had an important, valued job to do.

Me: With a child of your own now, do you ever worry what he may be exposed to while watching television?
Ellie: My little boy is nearly two and I let him watch CBeebies, which he loves. I'd hesitate to let him watch anything else at the moment, mainly because of the number of adverts on other channels. But CBeebies is a nice combination of education and fun with no adverts of course, and I don't think it does him any harm to watch a little bit now and again, under my supervision.

Me: Social networking sites are on the increase. How do you feel about having fanpages dedicated to you with titles such as "Ellie Crisell from Newsround Massively Hot" (Facebook)?
Ellie: On the odd occasion I've googled myself I've felt a combination of pride and horror at what I've seen! Of course it's flattering to have fan groups, but there is just as much criticism as praise out there for anyone in the public eye and it's sensible to try and avoid reading too much. When I first got the job my dad said to me - don't believe your own publicity - not the good stuff, not the bad stuff, just keep your feet on the ground and stay true to yourself - and that's what I try and do. All that stuff is just part of the job I do - it's not who I am privately.

Me: Which presenters/broadcasters to you admire now? Anybody you'd like to work alongside?
Ellie: I have enormous admiration for many of the senior broadcasters here at the BBC - there are too many to mention, truthfully. I feel, as a younger member of the team, I have a lot to learn and it's a challenging environment for me. Good to keep on your toes though!

Me: What advice would you give to all the budding Journalists out there?
Ellie: For budding journalists - start reading newspapers/watching news as early as you like - the more you read about the world, the more interesting it becomes. Work hard and expect to continue working hard. Foster an interest in people and world events - after all - news is really just gossip of one sort or another!

Me: What are your hopes for the future?
Ellie: I'd like to become better at what I do and continue to work for the BBC - it's the best known and loved broadcaster in the world and I still get a huge buzz to be working in their newsroom.


Thank you, Ellie!

Amy x

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Interview with Dee Thresher

For several years now I've been addicted to Dee Thresher's celebrity fitness DVDs, and finally I am privileged enough to have the pleasure of interviewing her. Enjoy!

Me: How did you first get into fitness and personal training?
Dee: Started going to the gym and doing classes when I was working as a secretary in London, but was dragged there initially by my friend as she fancied the instructor! Became a regular and one day the instructor didn't turn up so I took the class and got the buzz from then.

Me: Have you always been a lover of keep fit and exercise?
Dee: I have danced from a young age but was never good at team sports, so this job was ideal for me.


Me: You've worked with various celebrities to help them lose weight with their own fitness DVDs; which would you say you enjoyed the most?
Dee: I have enjoyed them all and love seeing the results not just from celebs but every day clients.

Me: Are there any celebrities you'd like to reach out to and help?
Dee: None that spring to mind but always open to suggestions!

Me: What is your favourite form of exercise?
Dee: Dance for sure, but love powerful hard exercise that makes you feel great after.

Me: You're a columnist for 'Reveal' magazine - is writing something you think you'd like to do more of?
Dee: For sure, I would like to reach out to all sorts of people hence the TV work I do too.

Me: What would be your top fitness tip?
Dee: Find something you enjoy doing and the you will stick to it.


Me: What are your hopes for the future?
Dee: I would like to do more media work and keep teaching my classes which I love.

A star in many ways, thank you Dee!

Amy x

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Interview with Costaki Economopolous

There's something wonderful about British humor, but it generally falls into similar categories. Though if you stumble upon American comedy, you'll find that it is much more versatile. I first fell in love with American stand-ups thanks to one special person who goes by the name of Caroline Rhea. And it just so happens that Caroline's partner too is a stand up comedian, introducing me to a whole other world of laughter. Meet Costaki Economopolous!

Me: Your comedy career really came to light whilst at University - would you say your studies helped your acts at all?
Costaki: Yes- and actually in graduate school I was a teaching assistant and led the discussion groups and instruction for classes in political science and that helped me with being in front of "an audience."

Me: Did you always know you wanted to go into comedy?
Costaki: Yes, but I didn't think it was really possible, so I prepared to teach American government- my fallback position.

Me: Where do you most like to perform?
Costaki: I love good clubs. A smallish place where folks know to come see good comedy. And theaters where they know me are great too.

Me: What have been your career highlights so far?
Costaki: How about meeting the mother of my child at The Atlanta Punchline? I'ts my old home club and where Care and I met.

Me: Who were your career inspirations?
Costaki: There are a lot. I continue to be inspired and impressed by comics around me all of the time. But nobody influenced me as much as George Carlin.

Me: Where do you find ideas for your acts?
Costaki: Anything that really bugs me is a good place to start.

Me: You now have a little daughter - do you hope she will follow in your footsteps?
Costaki: I hope that kid does whatever she wants. If it's comedy, that's great. But I support her to follow her heart, wherever it leads her.

Me: What advice would you give to budding stars out there?
Costaki: Do the homework. Study the greats. Write. Write some more. Rewrite. Ask questions. Get on stage as much as you can. Drink it all in.

Me: What are your hopes for the future?
Costaki: I'd like more media exposure to help build an audience- especially more stand up on television.

Brilliant!

Thanks, Amy x

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Robbie Williams - Reality Killed the Video Star (review)

Robbie Williams is the creator of some of the most controversy in the world of music. Much like Marmite, he is either loved or loathed. And I must admit that while I do not mind his music too much, I am not exactly fond of him as a person. Arrogant, cocky and audacious are three words that spring to mind. I had never intended on listening to his latest album, but when asked to share my views on 'Reality Killed the Video Star', I realized I had nothing to lose...

With downloads becoming increasingly popular, CD sales are naturally decreasing so it is important for a label to sell the albums with an attractive cover. I must give Mr Williams praise here. Where a lot of artists are going for more 'modern' styles, with unnatural backdrops and bright colours that creates more than an eyesore, this album has something a bit more calm. Robbie is astride a motorbike, resting lethargically on the front, with a dusty plane painted behind him. It's quite peaceful and relaxed, not at all 'in your face'.

Okay so so far I was reasonably impressed, but I had to explore the tracks. Scanning down the song list, I noticed that I knew of just one of the options - not surprising at all. Not knowing what to expect, I set myself up ready to listen, hoping for a pleasant experience...

The first track on the album is 'Morning Sun' - a beautiful title for a song. Much to my surprise, this was equally as peaceful and melodic. It's quite gentle and has such a soothing aura. It turns out that Robbie actually wrote the song as a tribute to the late Michael Jackson. As much as my admiration for both artists is lacking somewhat, that still brought a tear to my eye.

Following this we have something a bit more tempo. 'Bodies' is one of Robbie's latest hits to reach the charts, and I must say it is quite catchy. I'd not really attached to any of his releases since 'Rudebox' in 2006, so I was quite pleased that he had finally released something else. Now I had expected this to be the first track on the album to kick start things off with a bit of bounce, but it's still a great song and having it as the second track is not a bad thing at all!

The pattern begins to flow as we enter another gentle track, with 'You Know Me'. I hate to admit it, but this is one of the most beautiful tracks I've heard in a long time. It's so lovely and warm, and the vocals are so precise. Mr Williams, I am impressed with this one!

'Blasphemy' is our fourth track, yet another slow paced song with a soothing tempo. The lyrics are beautiful and worth paying attention to, rather than just listening to the rhythm with half an ear open. Again, the vocals are delightful and this is certainly another to draw a tear or two.

My mood was starting to lower at this point and I was hoping for something a little more uplifting with the next track. Thankfully, it was spot on. 'Do You Mind' is not so powerful that my body went into shock with the sudden change, but it did have a bit more spring in it that the previous few tracks. Its upbeat tempo was perfect for giving my spirits that little lift they desired, and better still it was an all round good song too!
'Last Day of Disco' approached next. I wasn't sure what to make of it when I first listened. It has quite a techno rhythm to it but the vocals are more gentle than I would have expected. It isn't a bad track as such - it has no significant flaws - it simply is not to my taste. I feel it will grow on me in time though.

Following this we have 'Somewhere'. Now I've found that pretty much every song with the word Somewhere in the title has been very peaceful. While this song is not too paced, its the length that struck me the most. At a little over a minute this isn't a typical song. Though despite its length it does stick with you and has the most beautiful ending.

The eighth track on the album is 'Deceptacon'. When the first word of a track is 'microwave', it is fair that I was quite amused from the beginning. It's another soft song, flowing beautifully with such soothing vocals. Although it is not my favourite song on the album, it is still wonderfully pieced and one certainly worth listening to.

'Starstruck' is our next track, and right on cue it gives us a fairly upbeat tempo. It has quite a bounce to it and although the lyrics are not too catchy, the rhythm makes up for that by far. Not a song I'd buy on its own, but still quite a good track for the album.

The title of the tenth track is a little unusual. 'Difficult for weirdos' had me intrigued straight away, and I was quite surprised at the pace of the song when it began to play too. It is definitely one of the most energetic tracks on the album, a lot more upbeat. Again this is not exactly to my taste but the song itself is not too bad. Though I don't think I'll be listening again to this one in a hurry.

'Superblind' is our second last track, and by this point things start to wind down usually. Thankfully, Robbie does not break the 'rule' with this one. Although it isn't really a catchy song, it still flows wonderfully and is a great one for relaxing to.

Last but not least we come to 'Won't Do That'. It's important that the last track on an album is quite powerful as it is generally the one that gives us our final impression. Thankfully, this one did create an impact. Although it's a little more uptempo than the previous track, it is still quite soothing and most certainly one of the most splendid songs on the album. A great way to end!

Priced at around £10, this is definitely an album worth buying. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am not a fan of Robbie Williams. Although I still am not keen on himself, I must admit that I do like his music a lot more than before. I think this is partly because I've never really given it the chance, but now that I have sat down and dedicated the time to Mr Williams, I have to admit that I am quite impressed. He is a great artist, I cannot deny that, and maybe in time I will come to love his personalty. Until then though, I shall just gorge in my new found appreciation for his latest album!

Amy x

Friday, 1 January 2010

Doctor Who - End of Time

Jumping in the Tardis and going back to Christmas Day 2005, I discovered a television show that was about to change my life. Doctor Who, Christmas Special, The Christmas Invasion. David Tennant and Billie Piper. It was all new to me. I had missed an entire series, the show passing me by for months. Until it finally crossed my path, ready to become the most important thing in my life.

I finally caught up on the first series of the show, and began gorging on episodes day after day until I knew the scripts word for word. Then I brought myself back to the present ready to enjoy series 2. So much wonder, so much delight. And then Doomsday struck.

Seeing Billie leave Doctor Who was one of the most heart aching things on television. she had become, and still is, one of the most important people in my life with so much say over what I do. I couldn't believe it. Nonetheless I carried on watching the show albeit with difficulty, and powered through another two series'.

And then the news that would top all news was broken. David Tennant announced his departure. How could this be? He was the man who introduced me to the show, the man who I adored over for many years. And he was leaving the single show that had transformed my life, my opinion, my personality. How would I cope?

During the run up to the show I tried to prepare myself for the departure as best as I could. I'd found out that both Billie and Camille Coduri would be returning to the final episode, and this did give me a glimpse of excitement. Only time would tell how I was going to react...

As the episode started, my heart was racing. I knew exactly what was coming - I knew the verdict - but I didn't know how it was going to develop. Seeing Christopher Eccleston regenerate into Tennant was not too distressful - because I fell in love with Tennant first it was like I was losing one thing to get something better. But with this, I wasn't sure how I was going to react to Matt Smith. There had been a lot of controversy when it was first announced that he was going to be playing the 11th Doctor. I personally was worried. Although he has been in a lot of shows with Billie, and his acting skills are wonderful, I just wasn't sure if he was going to suit the role of the Doctor.

Finally the episode got underway, and I'd just like to point out my new found love for Bernard Cribbins. Wilfred Mott was a character I fell in love with straight away when we were introduced to him back in Series 4, but never did I think I would have such a level of affection for him. I do wish Catherine Tate was in it more than she was, but I'm thrilled she was still there. As for the Master, well that's a whole different story...

I was never fond of the Master. I knew we hadn't seen the last of him at the end of Series 3, but I never thought he'd be involved in Tennant's last episodes. To be fair, I think his part in it all was a bit rocky. Throughout both the Christmas episode and the final, he was played out to be the central character aside the Doctor. Having nearly every human in the universe as a version of himself was a big deal for a while. Then the Timelords storm in and reverse this. Guns are pointed. The Timelords and The Master disappear. I think the Doctor should have grieved a bit more than he did. Deep down I am thrilled - if Tennant expressed any more emotion I may just have died. But as far as the quality of the episode, I think they could have made a bigger deal of the Master's departure.

Even though the end was drawing closer, as soon as the Doctor went to get his 'reward', my face lit up slightly. When all the wonderful characters came back at the end of Series 4, I was ecstatic. And now, they were all back again. Billie, Camille, Freema Agyeman, Noel Clarke, Elisabeth Sladen, John Barrowman...and all the aliens. The music intertwining was taken from series past. Emotions ran high. It was amazing. When the Doctor came face to face with Rose it did take me a while to realize that it was in the past, and I thank you Doctor Who for this. Had it been present day and the Doctor had to face Rose and tell her he was dying, I wouldn't have been able to cope. Thank you.

The tears streaming down my face and my heart still racing, the infamous regeneration takes place and we say goodbye to the gorgeous David Tennant, and come face to face with Matt Smith. Our new Doctor. In the short few moments we saw him, I actually had to blink a few times to make sure it was him. He sounded like Tennant, he looked like Tennant. But he wasn't Tennant. I'll admit his few few moments were good, and he may just excel, but he will never be David. He can never be David. Our Tenth Doctor is dead, and in many ways so are all the characters from the first four series'. The Doctor cannot interact with them in the same way. So it is time to take that blank canvas and star afresh. The memories will always be there, the most cherished things I possess, but it is time to look at the show in a new light.

Not as a life any more, but a past time.

Amy x