Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Let's Dance (Sport Relief 2010) - Ellie Crisell

Just a quick blog update for you...

When I found out Ellie Crisell was taking part in this year's Let's Dance, I was more than ecstatic!

Ellie does mean the world to me, of course she does! She is 50% the reason why I fell in love with TV Presenting (the other 50% naturally being Konnie Huq...) and I am quite surprised that whenever I raise her name in a conversation, I am more often than not responded with 'Who?'.

When I discovered that Louise Minchin too was dancing, I was bordering on being overwhelmed! It was as if the newsreaders group had been put together for my sake. They were just missing Bill Turnbull! Their performance was perfect to say the least, and given Ellie's dancing background I could have expected nothing less!

There were a few remarks made on twitter re Ellie, and I must agree with the fact that she did adopt a much more sexy, 'flaunt it all' persona. A great deal of difference from her squeaky clean Newsround image, for sure! She did look delightful and did not stop smiling throughout the comments, and even when it was announced that they were out of the competition (first, I would like to point out! FIRST!).

So the seven times I voted may have lost me a fiver and may not have helped my Newsreaders trio, but it did leave me feeling proud of myself. I don't tend to vote unless I truly want somebody to progress. I may not have made a difference this time, but I am still incredibly proud of Ellie and the rest. They did fantastically well!

So best of luck to Katy and Rufus, and I cannot wait for Shappi Khorsandi's dance next week - anybody know who she is dancing with? Just a week to go until the excitement can begin again...

I have found a new love, in the form of Sport Relief!

Amy x

(originally posted 20/2/10)


Beth Broderick
"Balls! Balls! Balls! Balls!" - Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Carol McGiffin
"Spotty...Spotty...Spotted...?...OH!...Dick?!" - All Star Family Fortunes

Caroline Rhea
"And a one-a and a two-a and a three-a!" - Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Coleen Nolan
"They're chocolate coated strawberries!" - Iceland advert, Christmas 2009
"My cowboy just touched me ass!" - Nolans tour DVD

Curt Andersen
"Mr Kraft needs milk!" - Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Jackie Brambles
"Robert's on the bird table!" - Loose Women
"Is he messy?...Tissue?" - Loose Women

Salem, Sabrina The Teenage Witch
"Pilgrim! Pilgrim!"
"Your house is on m'fire! You can't m'fire me, I m'quit!"

Tracy-Ann Oberman
"Welcome. To Torchwood!" - Doctor Who

Friday, 19 February 2010

EastEnders Live episode 19/2/2010

19th February 2010, Friday

Wake up. Realise today is the day when the nation finds out who killed Archie Mitchell. Yelp with delight.

Leave for college. Keep thinking of EastEnders to help get through the afternoon.

Turn on the soaps. Realise that EastEnders starts in just an hour. Yelp with delight.

Just half an hour to go. Yelp with delight.

Draw all attention to the television. Control shaking as theme tune starts. Yelp with delight. And breathe...

Scream. Cry. Wail.

I'm now sitting here, watching 'The Weakest Link: EastEnders Special', calming down. I was looking forward to tonight's EastEnders. Of course I was. But at the same time,I was nervous. Very nervous.

There were two main reasons for my uncontrollable shaking, aside from the excitement. First of all, you have the aspect that the show was going to be live. I'd never before watched any show live before, so I had no idea what to expect. I can now confirm though that the show ran amazingly for the thirty minutes. Watching carefully I waited as somebody took a tumble or mumbled up a line. However the whole cast managed to float through their scripts with grace and if any mistakes were made, they went unnoticed.

And the second factor that had me in a tizz was the fact that this was the episode which revealed to us the murderer of Archie Mitchell. I had my predictions: Jack, Ryan, Sean. When dear Lacey whispered in fear at the end, sharing her darkest secret with Max, Stacey's life was setting up to take a dramatic turn. Not for one moment did I believe that Stacey was the killer. In my head I simply could not get it to fit. But now that the secret is out, I can just about adjust to the way the story has turned. I only hope that we do not see the back of Stacey now, that would be horrid!

That brings me to Bradley. Bradders. My fellow Doctor Who lover. The man with the nut allergy. Many people were not very impressed with him when Charlie joined the cast back in 2006, but I have always had a soft spot for Mr Clements. I'd heard so many rumours about Charlie's exit. One said he got shot, others said he committed suicide. It's hard to work out what exactly happened, but all that we know is that Bradley plummeted from the roof of the Vic. He may have jumped, he may have simply lost his balance. Either way he will be truly missed, and I can only hope that one day my heart will stop grieving for the loss of a great character!

The 25th birthday live episode was well and truly a phenomenon. It is one episode that will go down in history, and is something the BBC should be more than proud of. A lot of work has clearly gone into the show and it has certainly paid off. It was a delight to watch, albeit exceedingly emotional, and one that will be a challenge to beat.

EastEnders, you are a gem of a show, no finer one around.

Amy x

Friday, 5 February 2010

Coronation Steet - Peter Barlow, alcoholic

I knew it was coming. Yet I was still astounded.

We all know Peter Barlow was a recovering alcoholic, but I think I speak for the majority when I say I truly thought he was safe from drink. Though, this being 'Coronation Street', we can often be easily deceived. And when Leanne set about opening the bar, trouble was not too far away...

It goes without said that Peter was going to be tempted; surrounded by drink on a daily basis is to be any recovering alcoholic's nightmare. It's like putting a child in a sweet shop and dragging them out before they get to sample the fine delights. Having seen clips, I was aware that Peter was going to slip up, but I was incredibly surprised at the pace of it all.

It's the welcome night at the bar, Leanne is happily swanning around and greeting her guests. And Peter? He's left to his own devices to down all the glasses of champagne he wishes. And just as Ken turns up, with a change in his heart ready to support his son, Peter finally spirals.

And it is not even he who I feel sorry for. It's Leanne. It's Ciaran. It's Ken. It's all those who are hurt by Peter's reckless actions. It broke my heart to see Leanne so distraught, heartbroken. And then I remembered little Simon. That was when I suddenly realised this was not just a case of alcoholism, but of potential child neglect and family disownment...and I'd expect nothing less from 'Coronation Street'!

I must give an enormous amount of praise to the wonderful Chris Gascoyne though. This is naturally not going to be an easy storyline to tackle, but he is doing such a fantastic job at portraying the problem, as I am sure he will continue to do. Peter's problem is most certainly likely to cause a stir across the street, my heart pounding as I wait to find out what happens. Only time will tell as the story unravels itself, and I expect nothing but great things from the soap!

Amy x

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Interview with Lynda Bellingham

Last April I met one of the kindest people I've ever had the pleasure to be around. Of course, I'm talking about the lovely Lynda Bellingham. She took time out of her busy schedule during the 'Calendar Girls' tour to share all with us...

Me: When did you realise you wanted to follow the route of acting?
Lynda: I wanted to be an actress from the age of thirteen. My first public performance semi-pro was as Puck in a 'Midsummer Night's Dream' at the Pendley Shakespeare Festival at Tring in Hertfordshire.

Me: You are a much loved panelist on 'Loose Women' - what do you like best about working on the show?
Lynda: I love the friendship of the other girls and meeting all the guests.

Me: Which fellow panelists are you closest to?
Lynda: Jane McDonald. Carol McGiffin.

Me: You were a delight on 'Strictly Come Dancing'; do you still keep up with the dancing?
Lynda: No, I am ashamed to say I have had no time. But it has helped me when I go to Charity Balls etc because lots of people ask me to dance!

Me: You met your 'Mr Spain' in Spain, do you ever go back to where it all began?
Lynda: We go to Spain whenever we can because we have a villa there. I love it.

Me: This is your second time touring with 'Calendar Girls'. Would you say it is easier this time round as far as 'getting your kit off' is concerned?
Lynda: Yes in a way. I have been helping the other actresses to not feel nervous.

Me: I'd imagine they're very glad to have you around then! You've done a mix of television, film and Theatre, but which would you say you prefer?
Lynda: I love Theatre because it is live - by that makes it more scary. Film is the most fun.

Me: What advice would you give to all the budding actors out there?
Lynda: Keep going at all costs. If you don't believe in yourself you will not survive the knocks. And there are lots of those.

Me: Wise words! And finally, what are your hopes for the future?
Lynda: To keep working and I want to write more books. My autobiography is coming out February 22nd, called 'Lost and Found'.

Well I am certainly looking forward to that! Thank you, Lynda!

Amy x

(Lynda is currently touring the UK with 'Calendar Girls')

Monday, 1 February 2010

Interview with Adam Woodyatt

I was fortunate enough to have the pleasures of interviewing one of the greatest British actors of all time. You may know him as Ian 'Squeal' Beale, also known as the lovely Adam Woodyatt!

Me: You are one of the few left from the original 1985 cast of 'EastEnders' - when you first started out did you think Ian would still be here today? 
Adam: Never thought and still don't look that far ahead, I just look at the end date on my contract.

Me: How well did you think your EastEnders audition initially went? 
Adam: Initially I thought it was a case of don't call us we will call you, then they realised I lived so far away and that a recall would be difficult. They got Julia Smith to come and do another audition there and then. I knew then that I had a good chance of getting it.

Me: Over the years you've worked at EastEnders, who would you say you have been most privileged to work with? 
Adam: The Crew, The Production teams, basically everyone involved with making it. It is a team effort, without everybody doing there jobs, it doesn't get on screen.

Me: We all love the Beale family, but if you were to be placed in another family on the Square which would you like it to be? 
Adam: Masood's.

Me: I imagine life with Zainab would be very eventful! Obviously we never want Ian to leave, he's such a cherished character. Do you think you'd like to stay with the soap right to the very end, or would you want to branch out a bit more with roles? 
Adam: What could I do with another role that I don't get to do with Ian, over the course of the year I will get to play a far wider range of emotions in EastEnders than if I was in a one off drama.

Me: As well as television you've also done a bit of theatre work. Is that something you think you could do long term? 
Adam: Fitting it around our schedule is difficult but if something was offered that fits with the filming schedule and my other commitments then I would consider it.

Me: What do you like to do in your spare time when you're not at work? 
Adam: Support Liverpool FC, go on holiday.

Me: You're such an inspirational actor, is there anybody you look up to? 
Adam: Look up to is probably the wrong phrase, I just try and do my job the best I can. Actors that I really like? Steve McFadden, Nitin Ganatra, Jake Wood.

Me: What advice would you give to all those budding actors out there? 
Adam: Get an education or a skill that you can fall back on if it doesn't work out. Listen and react, know what your character thinks of the people he is with or referring to, where he has been. If you know where he is going (storywise) you will have a journey to follow and can pace the development of the character in that situation but remember we only have an idea where we are going in the real world, we don't know the future. That is why we never used to get told the future storylines so that we wouldn't "sign post" with our performance what was coming as a surprise.
Me: And finally, do you have any hopes for the future? 
Adam: Good health!

A huge thank you, Adam!

Amy x