Television

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Blackadder's cunning plan

Forget the lone gunman theory, the real assassins of JFK were Blackadder and Baldrick. That's according to Richard Curtis, who revealed that he an co-writer Ben Elton wanted to make a fifth series of the comedy, this time set in the 1960s. In the end, they couldn't get the cast together.

Charles Who?

"He turned us down, the miserable swine."

So said writer-producer Russell T. Davies about heir to the throne Prince Charles, who was invited to appear on the popular sci-fi show Doctor Who. But it's not as simple as that. Apparently Charles - re-imagined at left as the Doctor on the Daily Mail website - didn't actually get to see the invitation, which was declined on his behalf. If he wants to make royalty relevant again, he should overrule his minders and take up the offer.

Seven goes after Nine and Ten

"We haven't been arrogant and we're not going to be."

So says David Leckie, boss of Australia's Seven Network, in The Australian. But, the story continues ...

Asked if he was saying [Channel] Nine was "f..ked", Mr Leckie said: "I have said it for the last two days."

He basically says Nine has nothing but Two and a Half Men and the various Gordon Ramsay shows, and that the Ten Network only appeals to the "pocket-money generation". Unsurprisingly, his rivals disagree.

Holmes, sweet Holmes

Many, many years ago, I managed to impress a few people by knowing the answer to this trivia question: Which fictional character has been portrayed most in movies? The answer is (or, at least was) Sherlock Holmes, and the reason I knew the answer is that I'm a fan. The last time I lived in the UK, I bought and quickly devoured the complete collection of Conan Doyle's Holmes stories. I've seen many big and small screen portrayals of Holmes, from Basil Rathbone (pictured) to Jeremy Brett and John Cleese. Guy Ritchie is now making another film starring Robert Downey Jr who, according to the Daily Mail, will play the character as a Charlie Chaplin lookalike. I don;t like the sound of that, but it doesn;t matter. However the film turns out, and whether I like it or not, the character is resilient enough to turn up again. And again. And again.

Queenslanders in focus

Times may be tough for Channel 9 but it seems that hasn't diminished the network's commitment to local programming. Starting on Sunday at 5.30pm is a documentary series Extraordinary Queenslanders. Hosted by Bruce Paige and produced by sometime 4BC announcer John Miller, it focuses on "our unsung heroes, the people that really make our state great".
PS: According to the publicity blurb, the series was "initiated by the Bank of Queensland", which seems to suggest that Nine didn't bankroll it alone (or, perhaps, at all).

Hef's double fantasy

He's split with Holly, Kendra is dating a footballer and Bridget wants to concentrate on her TV career, but it doesn't look like Hugh Hefner is lonely. The 82-year-old is reportedly getting cosy with 19-year-old twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon. Another TV series cannot be far away because it sure can't be about sex.
PS: The picture shows me with Holly, Kendra and Bridget in happier times at the Playboy Mansion.
Update: Apparently the twins have .

Holly goes, not so lightly

Hugh Hefner's No.1 girlfriend, Holly Madison, has reportedly split from the Playboy boss. She has said she wants to have children, and that's not on the 82-year-old Hefner's agenda. I was at the Playboy mansion early last year, and Holly made it clear then that she was hoping for a family. She got quite excited when one of my fellow journalists suggested that Hef had hinted he might be willing to become afather again. My video, at left, reveals some of what Hef told us about Holly and his two other girlfriends, Bridget and Kendra. If reports of the break-up are true, it casts doubt on the future of the "reality" show Girls of the Playboy Mansion (also known as The Girls Next Door.)

On his Todd?

"I'll just have to handle it all with class and I intend to do that."

So says Todd McKenney, who is facing court on charges relating to the possession of the drug GHB. Given that it's been alleged that McKenney - who is about to begin a run in drag in the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and is on TV's Dancing with the Star and Sydney's Mix radio station - took his trousers off at a party to dance because it was hot, and the drug was then planted in his pants, that may be difficult.

Football fever

The National Rugby League grand final, where the Manly Sea Eagles downed Melbourne Storm 40-zip, rated its shorts off in east-coast Australia. It secured 66.3 percent of the total viewing audience for Channel 9. In Brisbane, the figure was 75.5 percent. It was one of the biggest television events of the yer and, in all, about 2.465 million Australians watched the game at some point. Or, as I like to think of it, 17.969 million didn't watch it.

Wendy Richard dying of cancer

Wendy Richard, the star of Are You Being Served and Eastenders has revealed she has terminal cancer. Richard, 65, who played Miss Brahms in the 70s sitcom and Pauline Fowler in the soapie, says she wants to marry her partner Richard Burns, 45, before she undergoes chemotherapy on October 13. She says her doctor had told her she has "several useful years" ahead of her, but her condition had deteriorated since then.
PS: Richard also had a role in the Beatles film Help!, as a character called Lady Macbeth, but the scene was deleted from the original cut.
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