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Final Oprah Winfrey talk show to be broadcast later

May 25th, 2011

Veteran talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s final programme will broadcast on Wednesday, after 25 years on the air.

The 57-year-old, widely regarded as one of the world’s most influential women, has already recorded the show.

The talk show queen will be seen alone on stage, telling viewers how much they mean to her.

The finale follows a two-day special farewell show at the United Center in Chicago, which Madonna and Beyonce took part in.


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George Entwistle appointed director of BBC Vision

April 27th, 2011

George Entwistle has been appointed to one of the most senior jobs at the BBC, director of BBC Vision, the person responsible for the BBC’s television channels.

Entwistle has been acting director since the end of January, following the departure of Jana Bennett to the BBC’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide.

The job of director of BBC Vision is one of the biggest in the corporation and includes overseeing more than 20,000 hours of programmes.


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BAFTA TV Awards – the nominations…

April 27th, 2011

Misfits leads the nominations for this year’s BAFTA Television Awards, being named in four catgeories. The E4 drama, about ASBO superheroes, has gained huge acclaim. Now it has been recognised by the British Academy establishment. It is nominated in the Best Drama Series and New Media categories.

Close behind is BBC One’s Sherlock, which is nominated for Best Drama, with both of its stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman up for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. Cumberbatch finds himself up against Doctor Who star Matt Smith. Both shows are written and produced by Steven Moffat.


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YouTube to launch pay service

April 26th, 2011

Web video giant YouTube is launching an on-demand streaming service offering customers Hollywood studio films, according to a US report.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures have licensed content for the service, which could begin as early as this week, according to US entertainment newswire The Wrap.

Lionsgate Entertainment and other smaller studios are also involved, though majors Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Disney have so far declined to join.


Posted in: WizzyLeaks

Britain’s Got Talent adapts to life without Simon Cowell

April 14th, 2011

ITV had its first glimpse of a future without Simon Cowell at the launch of the new series of Britain’s Got Talent, which will return on Saturday without the man who created it.

Cowell, who is busy making a US version of his other ITV1 hit, The X Factor, will not appear on Britain’s Got Talent until its final week.

Such are his US commitments that doubts remain whether he will appear on ITV1’s The X Factor at all, and it was a reflection of the broadcaster’s sensitivity, perhaps, that at the Britain’s Got Talent press launch on Wednesday there was a blanket ban on any question not relating to that show.


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My Family dropped after 11 years

March 25th, 2011

Long-running BBC One sitcom My Family, starring Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker, has been axed.

The 11th series of the show – which depicts the comic trials of a modern family – will be aired on BBC One later this year and will be its last.

“Now that all the Harper children have fled the nest we feel it’s time to make room for new comedies,” said BBC One controller Danny Cohen.

Its two stars would remain “part of our BBC One comedy family”, he added.


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Prisoner of Azkaban named film of the decade

March 16th, 2011

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has been named film of the decade at the First Light Awards.

Producer David Heyman said it was an “honour and a privilege” to receive the award at a ceremony at London’s Odeon Leicester Square.

The prize, voted for by the public in association with the Bafta Kids’ Vote, was chosen by children aged five to 15.


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Pinewood Shepperton studios to help fund UK films

March 8th, 2011

Pinewood Shepperton, the film and television studios group, has said it will invest millions of pounds in British films.

The firm, which unveiled a 31% rise in pre-tax profits to £5.8m, said it was looking to the future with “confidence” despite a poor economic climate.

In 2010, Pinewood’s facilities were used for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter films.

But the firm has unveiled an investment plan for small-budget British films.

The company will target films with production budgets of about £2m each and will invest equity up to 20% per film.

Chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said: “Although our financial commitment to each film will be relatively small, we can, in addition, offer British films access to the world class facilities and production expertise at Pinewood and Shepperton studios which would normally be beyond their budget.”

Pinewood also intends new investment in its facilities.


Posted in: UK - Film news, WizzyLeaks

Product placement ban on British TV lifted

March 1st, 2011

A ban on product placement has been lifted, allowing advertisers to pay for their goods to be seen on British TV.

Paid-for references to products and services are now permitted for the first time in shows produced in the UK, including soaps and one-off dramas.

The first product, a Nescafe coffee machine, has appeared on This Morning.

The Church of England and doctors’ leaders have opposed the move, saying it could damage trust in broadcasters and promote unhealthy lifestyles


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Three BBC World Service language broadcasts end

February 25th, 2011

Three of the BBC language services are going off air later, as a result of cuts to the World Service budget.

The BBC Serbian and Latin American services end more than 70 years of broadcasting on radio, but the Latin American service continues online.

The Portuguese for Africa service, which is widely listened to in Angola and Mozambique, has also been closed.

The BBC Yugoslav service began in 1939 at the start of World War II. Later it split into Serbian and Croatian.

The Croatian service was closed in 2005 and BBC managers say Serbia now has reliable media, diminishing the need for the BBC’s service.

BBC Spanish broadcasts began in 1938, in an effort to counter Nazi propaganda, but faced their greatest challenge during the UK war against Argentina in 1982 over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).


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