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Question time over Fiona Bruce and the BBC | Letters

Readers discuss the treatment of Diane Abbott on Question Time, audience balance and the need for impartiality

I was the “woman at the back” on last Thursday’s Question Time from Winchester. On a previous occasion, I was the “woman in pink”. How Question Time has changed. These days you are obliged to supply your personal details and political affiliation in order to get a ticket. This is presumably to get audience balance, but who decides what the balance should be is not clear.

The choice of panellists also raises more questions than it answers. Apart from politicians, the BBC calls on a limited list of journalists and so-called independent thinktank representatives (lobbyists). The usual suspects, who somebody in the organisation has defined as right or left, crop up with monotonous regularity along with random celebrities who rarely make a relevant contribution.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Question Time: Why can’t the BBC admit if it’s wrong? | Jane Martinson

The weird response to errors such as those when Diane Abbott was on the show often makes things worse

I have a sad confession to make: I used to love BBC’s Question Time so much that I would only go out on a Thursday night if it meant coming home in time to watch it live. Now it just makes me sad. With public discourse increasingly polarised, all views cheered or jeered by a baying crowd online and off, Question Time is the public square where we get to watch bears being poked. It not only televises the deep divisions in the country, but the uncomfortable position the BBC adopts to straddle them.

Since replacing the veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby with Fiona Bruce, the show has stirred up a hornets’ nest of right/left division in just three episodes, ending last week with a clarification about whether Labour or
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Diane Abbott: Fiona Bruce 'repeated Tory propaganda'

Shadow home secretary says Question Time host misstated Labour’s position in the polls

Diane Abbott has said Fiona Bruce was “clearly repeating Tory propaganda” and rejected the BBC’s apology after the Question Time host misstated Labour’s position in the polls, as the shadow home secretary shows no sign of backing down in her row with the corporation.

Labour has formally complained to the BBC over Abbott’s treatment on last Thursday’s episode of the programme. Bruce wrongly backed claims by panellist Isabel Oakeshott that the Conservatives were leading in the polls, amid disputed claims that Abbott was also mocked during the programme’s warm-up.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

John Hurt remembered by John Boorman

22 January 1940 – 25 January 2017

The film director remembers his friend, the actor with ‘a single malt of a voice’, who despite his ups and downs, remained a rare talent and a true professional

Darcus Howe remembered by Diane Abbott

That voice, distilled from alcohol and Gauloises, a single malt of a voice, caressed the nation for half a century. In The Elephant Man it was only the voice. As Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant the voice swerved into a gay queenery. It expressed pain and suffering as a monster exploded out of his stomach in Alien. His Christ for Mel Brooks persuaded us that Jesus had such a voice. Its emollience spread over hundreds of movies, plays and commercials. On stage, it put audiences into a light hypnosis.

He lent it to me for two short films which were the most enjoyable of my career. He was a fine companion over 45 years.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Diane Abbott fires back after ITV News tweets her interview stumble

Writing in the Guardian, Labour MP accuses broadcasters of missing the story, treating her differently to white, male MPs, and ignoring racist abuse

Diane Abbott has accused broadcasters of being proud to pursue “fact-free, research-free and investigation-free” journalism and of failing to acknowledge racist abuse against her.

Related: TV journalists set out to make me look stupid – and missed the real news | Diane Abbott

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Darcus Howe, writer, broadcaster and activist, dies aged 74

Bonnie Greer and Diane Abbott among those leading tributes to Trinidad-born campaigner who became prominent civil rights figure in the UK

Darcus Howe, the broadcaster, writer and civil rights campaigner, has died aged 74. His family announced his death in a statement released on Sunday that read: “Darcus died quietly and unexpectedly in his sleep on the evening of Saturday 1 April. Our private grief is inseparable from our public pride.”

Howe, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, lived in Brixton, south London, for 30 years and was well known for his Channel 4 series Black on Black and late-night current affairs programme The Devil’s Advocate.

Related: Darcus Howe obituary

May u Rip Darcus Howe. British #BlackPanther & a pioneer in the fight for #equality in UK.I enjoyed our last talk immensely & learned much. pic.twitter.com/fOi5wYy3fg

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

It’s time to smash the cosy Question Time chumocracy | David Lammy

The BBC needs to start reflecting the people who pay for it – and that means doing more than just having Diane Abbott on the TV now and again

Not every white person thinks the same: Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and Nick Griffin share not much more than a skin colour. There are class, gender, cultural, political, national and religious differences that are far more powerful than ethnic similarities.

Everyone, of course, realises this – not least the media. Watch a programme such as Question Time and you will see a wide range of white panellists representing the wide range of views that white people in the UK hold.

Related: David Lammy says 60% of Question Time panels are all-white

Related: Why TV’s first interracial kiss is a proud British snog | Maurice Mcleod

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Jimmy Carr, Frank Skinner, Ann Widdecombe for celebrity Fifteen to One

Jimmy Carr, Frank Skinner and Dara Ó Briain are among the contestants taking part in a new celebrity series of Fifteen to One.

Adam Hills will return to host four primetime specials, having previously fronted the show as part of Channel 4's '80s Night last year.

Fifteen to One: Why we're glad the classic quiz show is back

Jason Manford, Steve Pemberton, Stephen Mangan and Ade Edmondson will also be appearing, as will politicians Ann Widdecombe and Diane Abbott.

Hills will also be joined by his co-hosts from The Last Leg, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe.

The programme will see 15 celebrities taking part in the general knowledge quiz to win thousands of pounds for their chosen charity.

Jo Brand was the winner of the previous one-off show, taking home £21,100 for Stepping Stones charity.

Originally running from 1988 to 2003, Fifteen to One returned to screens in April with Sandi Toksvig as host.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

The Voice's Jermain Jackman: 'David Cameron is a good guy, but I don't like his policies'

Jermain Jackman stormed to victory on The Voice, but the 19-year-old singer isn't stopping there. He talks about being the new face of Hackney, his plan to add youthful energy to party politics and why he's a leftie for life

Is Jermain Jackman the first winner of a TV talent contest more interested in politics than pop? The 19-year-old from Hackney gripped 6.6m viewers on Saturday, when he won the third series of The Voice. Unlike James Arthur or One Direction, though, Jackman mentioned his work with the Labour Party within seconds of addressing the judges. He is a member of the youth party and his ambition to become, as he put it, "the nation's first singing black prime minister" is unheard of in light entertainment, usually so removed from party politics that voting is something that happens only on premium-rate phonelines.

Watching the teenage activist capture the nation with Ed Miliband,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

'Question Time' to air from St Paul's Cathedral for first time

Question Time will be broadcast from St Paul's Cathedral for the first time in the programme's history.

The show will air from the historic building in the City of London on Thursday, February 21, featuring a panel including Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable, Conservative politician and former deputy prime minister Lord Michael Heseltine and Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

© Pa Images / Mentorn Media / BBC Scotland

"We're delighted to be producing the programme from St Paul's, and I am sure the quality and passion of the debate will match the sublime setting," said Question Time editor Nicolai Gentchev.

"The site of the Cathedral is one of London's oldest places of debate, and we hope it will inspire our audience and panel."

Gentchev also promised that "other new locations" for Question Time would be announced later in the year.

© Pa Images / Anthony Devlin / Pa Wire

© Pa Images
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

My friend Sodiq Adeojo dreamed of a different life | Adeyemi Michael

He may be serving a life sentence, but Sodiq wanted more than just a life on the streets, as my film will show parliament

I was 19 when Sodiq Adeojo banged on my mum's door on a Peckham housing estate and asked me to help him set up a football team. He was only 12, and just wanted to have something to belong to that wasn't a gang. Football can give you that credibility so that you're accepted in social circles without having to prove anything. We asked local people to sign up to support our team, Peckham Youngsters Fc. We had to use old kit and battered balls… but we did it. The first year, we were dreadful – we lost every match. But in the second year we won the local league and kept on winning. It was amazing. I'd always dreamed of being a film-maker so in 2008, when Sodiq was
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

TV review: Borgen | Sherlock

It's brilliant, it's Danish – and it's got knitwear! It's Borgen, the new The Killing

Imagine it. There's a general election. Neither David Cameron nor Ed Miliband wins the number of seats needed to form a government. The country waits while coalition deals are made and broken. Nick Clegg, who made a surprisingly good speech during the live TV debates, holds the key to Downing Street.

There's a heap of other stuff going on, too. Cameron's head of strategy, Steve Hilton, suddenly has a heart attack and tragically dies, which saddens newsreader Katie Derham, with whom he's having an affair. Derham's more experienced colleague, Kirsty Wark, is back on the bottle, gets snitched on, and is fired. Samantha Cameron meanwhile is addicted to tranquilisers and shopping and spends £8,000 at Mulberrry, which husband Dave pays for using taxpayers' money. He gets found out, which scuppers his chances of remaining in No 10, though
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Britney Spears' 'Criminal': The Story Behind The Video

'Criminal' is facing off against 'Slave 4 U' in the finals of MTV News' Britney Spears tournament — vote now!

By Jocelyn Vena

Jason Trawick and Britney Spears in "Criminal"

Photo: Jive

The competition was stiff in MTV News' "Britney Spears Tournament: 30 Videos for 30 Years," but we're finally at the homestretch.

After narrowing down 30 videos to the final two — Brit's sweaty, old-school clip for "I'm a Slave 4 U" and her newer, equally sexy one for "Criminal" — it's all up to the fans to decide which video will go on to reign supreme on Friday (December 2), the same day the pop star turns 30.

But before you click and cast your vote for which video you think should win the tournament, here's the full, behind-the-scenes backstory on the Chris Marrs Piliero-directed video for "Criminal."

Shot in London in September, the video promptly piqued interest when Spears was snapped on set with her real-life boyfriend,
See full article at MTV Music News »

David Cameron, we have a few questions for you…

From Piers Morgan to Polly Toynbee, Jemima Khan to Jarvis Cocker – David Cameron takes questions from public figures who want answers

Hear what the Pm has to say in our audio interactive

David Mitchell, comedian

Do you wish you were less posh?

"[Laughs] No. You can't change who you are. For a long time I thought my full name was 'The Old Etonian David Cameron'. I had parents who gave me a wonderful start in life, who sacrificed a lot to give me a great education. So I don't ever want to change – I don't want to drop my accent or change my vowels. I am who I am."

Piers Morgan, TV presenter

If you could relive one moment in your life, excluding births of children and marriage, what would it be?

"God, that's a really good question. Piers, why don't you ever ask really good questions like that normally? I
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Readers' reviews

The best of your comments on the latest films and music

It's not every week we get an MP turning up in the Film&Music comments threads. But last week Diane Abbott weighed in on the subject of the "Mammy" role in Hollywood movies – the loyal, black housemaid – a character given a new treatment in The Help, which Xan Brooks wrote about last week. "I enjoyed the book. And I will go and see the film," Abbott wrote. "In the 1950s 80% of Black American women were maids, so it is right and relevant that someone writes about that reality. But it is still sad that, 60 years after Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for playing a black maid in "Gone With the Wind", this year's prize role for a black actress is … playing a maid."

Actually, suggested insomniac506, "Mammy" was not always the simplistic caricature – verging on a simpleton – Xan's piece
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Britney Spears Gif-ting Fans With 'Criminal' Teases

One of five gifs posted online includes footage of Spears with boyfriend Jason Trawick.

By Jocelyn Vena

Britney Spears' "Criminal" teaser

Photo: Jive/Sony

It's a big week for music video premieres thanks to Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and Rihanna. And Britney Spears wants in on the fun too, as her "Criminal" video is also set to drop this week. Spears gave fans a taste of what to expect with a series of GIFs at Tumblr.

The five GIFs begin to weave together the story of the Chris Marrs Piliero-directed video. In one tease, Spears is all dolled up in a lacy cocktail dress as she attends a glamorous party. In another tease, Spears is seen running out of a building with gun in hand.

Another tease represents art imitating life. In it, Spears and real-life boyfriend Jason Trawick, who also plays her love interest in the video, share a kiss.
See full article at MTV Music News »

Britney Spears To Premiere 'Criminal' Video Next Week

'Just saw the final cut of the Criminal video... It's so hot,' Britney tweets.

By Jocelyn Vena

Britney Spears' <i>Criminal</i>

Photo: Jive/Sony

Britney Spears is ready to release her cheeky clip for "Criminal" next week, Spears and director Chris Marrs Piliero confirmed Thursday (October 13) on Twitter.

"Just saw the final cut of the Criminal video... It's so hot. Can't wait for you guys to see it next week," the pop songstress tweeted.

So when exactly will the video drop? A rep for the singer had no further details about the premiere when contacted by MTV News.

Earlier this month, Piliero stayed pretty quiet about what fans should expect from the video, but he did gush about Spears' performance on Twitter. "Not a whole lot i'm allowed to say about the @britneyspears criminal vid other than that i love this video and can't wait for it to come out,
See full article at MTV Music News »

Britney Spears To Premiere 'Criminal' Video Next Week

'Just saw the final cut of the Criminal video... It's so hot,' Britney tweets.

By Jocelyn Vena

Britney Spears is ready to release her cheeky clip for "Criminal" next week, Spears and director Chris Marrs Piliero confirmed Thursday (October 13) on Twitter.

"Just saw the final cut of the Criminal video... It's so hot. Can't wait for you guys to see it next week," the pop songstress tweeted.

So when exactly will the video drop? A rep for the singer had no further details about the premiere when contacted by MTV News.

Earlier this month, Piliero stayed pretty quiet about what fans should expect from the video, but he did gush about Spears' performance on Twitter. "not a whole lot i'm allowed to say about the @britneyspears criminal vid other than that i love this video and can't wait for it to come out," he wrote. "oh and that she looks gorgeous in it.
See full article at MTV Music News »

Britney Under Fire by Brits for 'Criminal' Video Violence

  • Extra
Britney Under Fire by Brits for 'Criminal' Video Violence
Making headlines for the gun-toting violence depicted in her "Criminal" video filmed in London, Britney Spears is once again the subject of controversy due to the widespread UK riots that occurred last month.

Spears' camp released a statement which read: "The video is a fantasy story featuring Britney's boyfriend Jason Trawick, which literally plays out the lyrics of a song written three years before the riots ever happened."

Brit's Not Gettin' Hitched, Y'all

In the video,
See full article at Extra »

Britney Spears Under Fire For Carrying Gun In 'Criminal' Video

Clip, filmed in London, has drawn the ire of British politicians.

By James Montgomery

Britney Spears and Jason Trawick on the set of her "Criminal" video shoot

Photo: Eagle Eyes / Splash News

Britney Spears is packing heat in her new "Criminal" video, and that's landed her in hot water with U.K. politicians.

Earlier this month, Spears filmed scenes for the video in and around London, including one in which she flees a building in the borough of Hackney while clutching a pistol. And for a community still scarred from the August riots that spread across the nation, that crossed a line.

Britney Spears responds to the "Criminal" video controversy.

"I think she should apologize and make a sizeable donation to a Hackney charity that deals with young people, in compensation for the rudeness and damage that she's done to our community," borough Councilor Ian Rathbone told the ITV news program "London Tonight.
See full article at MTV Music News »
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