Television

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Who's on next?

"When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won't be with me. Now don't make me cry. I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don't take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you'll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair."

That's David Tennant confirming he will not continue as the Time Lord beyond next year's four Doctor Who specials. Who will replace him? Well, the speculation begins ...
PS: The BBC lists rates potential contenders Paterson Joseph, David Morrissey, Sean Pertwee (third Doctor Jon Pertwee's son), James Nesbitt, James McAvoy and Russell Tovey here - and, of course, I'm available to be the first Australian Doctor. On a more serious note, I happen to know that Melbourne-based Queensland actor Paul Denny is a huge Doctor Who fan who'd love a stab at the intergalactic gig.

Beginning on The Bill

It seems everybody who is anybody in the UK acting community has been on The Bill. Now the Daily Mail has highlighted some of the more famous faces, including David Walliams, Sean Bean, Paul O'Grady, Spice Girl Emma Bunton, James McAvoy and a very young Keira Kightley. Read about it here.

Packer quits Nine

James Packer, John Alexander, Chris Anderson and Martin Dalgleish have quit the board of PBL Media, cutting the Packer family's ties with Channel Nine and Australian Consolidated Press. As one former Nine executive said: "I don't think Kerry Packer would have allowed this situation to happen. Kerry actually liked media and James likes gambling, that's the difference." But, as another analyst noted, it may be that James, who has already sold most of his holding in the company to CVC Asia Pacific, did not want to go down with a sinking ship.
PS: Meanwhile, Channel 7 is powering towards a national ratings victory for the year.

Ready, set swear!

It's getting increasingly hard to tell all these TV chefs apart. Swearing, which used to be Gordon Ramsay's forte, is no longer a distinguishing factor. Even Jamie Oliver is doing it now. In fact, Oliver tops a list of the most F-words used after the UK's 9pm TV "watershed", which basically gives the green light to adult content (on the increasingly erroneous assumption that all children are in bed). The Daily Mail notes that his new Ministry of Food program featured 23 F-words among a total of 27 "serious expletives". Other offenders were the shows Traffic Cops, Natural Born Sellers and Friday Nights with Jonathan Ross.

Golly, Molly, leave it alone

You can never go back. Unless you're Molly Meldrum and you want to squeeze some more mileage out of the Countdown franchise. The show will return for one night only to launch a new cable music, 111 Hits.

When Romilly met Philip

This may be an oldie - it happened last year and has just been repeated on UK television - but it's still a goodie. The Have I Got News For You clip, at right, records an encounter between TV reporter Romilly Weeks and Prince Philip in Malta, where the Prince and the Queen spent part of their anniversary.

Nothing but the news

National Nine News is now just Nine News. Well, that'll fix the ratings ...

Official: Palin a winner

Sarah Palin. Her appearance on Saturday Night Live scored the show's best ratings in years. Of course, as politicians always say, the only vote that matters comes in November.

Don't look at moi

October 20 update: Channel Seven in Austtralia has axed (sorry, "rested") the US version of Kath and Kim after it got just 729,000 viewers nationally.

The American version of Kath and Kim has lost 1.5 million viewers between its first and second episodes, and it's still getting a critical drubbing. The New York Post calls it the "worst idea for an import from the land Down Under since Vegemite" (which, of course, isn't fair to Vegemite). I predict a quick demise or, at least, a change of timeslot for the show, because it seems to be dragging down ratings for The Office which had hitherto been a hit for the NBC network.

Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!

As one of the web's leading sources of breaking Brady Bunch news, I can't let this one pass. Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia, has released her memoir, and according to E! it reveals "that she once traded sex for drugs and engaged in full-on binges at the Playboy Mansion* and at the home of Sammy Davis Jr". She also reveals she had relationships with her on-screen brother Barry Williams (but he's already told us that in his book), Steve Martin (a wild and crazy time, presumably) and Michael Jackson (surely not?) However, I'm not sure if she tackles those rumours about her and Eve Plumb, who played Jan.
* All I got at the Playboy Mansion was a press conference, a guided tour (by the now-single Holly Madison), a coffee and a bottle of water!
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