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The Great British Bake Off: Apply Now For Series 6

Dining Society

Calling all Nancy Birtwhistle wannabes: apply now for your chance to appear on The Great British Bake Off Series 6.

bake-offIf you yearn to unleash your show-stopping baked goods on the British public, you’re in luck. The lovely, floury people behind TV sensation The Great British Bake Off are looking for fantastic amateur bakers to take part in Series 6.

Can you bake a brilliant spiced bun, an exceptional celebration cake or a beautifully plaited bread? Do you think you could impress Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with your baking skills? Or do you know someone who might? Aged 16+ and a UK resident? Scouts honour you’ve never, ever worked as a baker?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above then click here to download an application form. Producers promise that all applications will be read, but as they’re expecting thousands of applications we suggest you get yours in well…

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Doctor Who 8: The Cybermen Are Back!

Peter Capaldi takes on the Cybermen in Doctor Who Series/Season 8

BBC Pictures

BBC Pictures

Panic not, shoppers of Cardiff: you’re not being invaded by cyborgs from another planet. Just a lot of Scots people and a camera crew. As this excellent photo gallery from Wales Online shows, Series/Season 8 of Doctor Who will see the new Doctor  surrounded by his ancient foes, the Cybermen.

Although the Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) is reportedly absent, the Doctor does have the assistance of plucky U.N.I.T. boffin Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere (Green Wing and Bad Education star Michelle Gomez, pictured).

The Cybermen first had children leaping behind the sofa in 1966 and have been through several changes of image and voice since then. Modern Cybermen are considerably bigger, buffer and more intimidating than their somewhat squishy progenitors. Sadly, due to the untimely demise of Head Cyborg Roger Lloyd-Pack these Cybermen will doubtless be in search of a new voice, but there’s been no word yet on who will provide it.

Check out the BBC’s new oh-so-short teaser trailer for Doctor Who Series/Season 8 below. Excited much?

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BBC Three Has Been Cancelled: TV Channel Will Move To Online-Only

“It’s not the end of BBC Three, it’s the beginning of a new BBC Three.”

Remember this? BBC Three in happier times.

Remember this? BBC Three in happier times.

As widely predicted, it seems that rumours of its demise were not premature: the BBC is axing digital TV channel BBC Three.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall has announced that as part of an extensive cost-cutting exercise BBC Three will become an online service, with all programmes moving to the BBC’s iPlayer.

As part of the move, BBC Three’s budget will be slashed from an estimated £90 million per year to £25m, and some shows will go out on other channels.

BBC One will reap the financial benefit, gaining around £30 million for new drama plus a substantial chunk of BBC Three’s budget to pay for a new BBC One +1 service. Some money will also be diverted to children’s programming via creating an evening extension of CBBC.

Alluding to the mobile, on-demand TV viewing market, “the environment that younger audiences are living in,” Lord Hall hailed the “historic” decision.

“It’s the first time we’ve asked a channel to transform itself to meet the needs of the audiences we’ll have in the future,” he added.

In its heyday, the younger-skewing BBC Three was the Sargasso Sea for ground-breaking, money-making, worldwide hits Torchwood, Little Britain, Being Humanand Gavin & Stacey. It launched The Mighty Boosh and Chris Lilley on an unsupecting public.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a breakdown of just how much money BBC Three shows like these have made for the corporation since the channel’s inception in 2o03? All those lucrative foreign rights, sales and remakes? Not to mention all the licensed Torchwood tie-in merchandise.

BBC Three not only reinvigorated John Barrowman‘s career, it was also a springboard for comedy gold, launching stars such as Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Jack Whitehall, Richard Ayoade, Ruth Jones and James Corden. Most of whom have come out swinging on social media since the news broke. (#SaveBBC3)

BBC Three is currently airing the second series of innovative comedy Bluestone 42 as well as imports like Family Guy and Lilley’s latest, Ja’mie: Private School GirlHowever, in latter years the channel has been heavily criticised for its roster of cheaper, formulaic, reality TV offerings such as Snog, Marry, Avoid? and Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents.

With a healthy annual budget it has also attracted the ire of BBC grandees like Jeremy Paxman and John Humphrys as well as viewers unhappy with the absence of arts programming.

Hoping for a Radio 6 Music- type reprieve, BBC Three veterans and fans have taken to the internet to protest the closure plans and an online petition to save the channel is up and running.

So why is it a bad thing to have BBC Three online-only? BAFTA-nominated comedy director, Ben Gosling Fuller (Pramface, Bad Education, The IT Crowd) points out that it’s all about the money. An online BBC Three will have considerably less money to spend on the legions of freelancers who work on TV shows.

Self-employed camera operators, editors, writers, directors and actors all have bills to pay. The people who find and nurture new talent have bills to pay. And if BBC Three can’t afford to hire them, they’ll find someone else who can.

What say you? Has BBC Three run its course? Or does it still have a role to play? Tell us in Comments!

Watch Tony Hall’s announcement here.

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Ripper Street Has Been Saved! By Amazon Prime Instant Video

Time for Ripper Street fans to dust off the bowler hats, fire up a cheroot and do the happy dance: Ripper Street is coming back from the dead. Yes, really!

BBC

BBC

The recently axed drama is being revived by Amazon’s brand, spanking new service, Amazon Prime Instant Video. It will re-run the first two series/seasons followed by an all-new third.

Lead actors Matthew Macfadyen and Jerome Flynn are confirmed for Series/Season 3, which starts filming in May. Fingers crossed, the rest of the fantastic cast will also be back. Step away from the razor, Artherton…

Flynn, who broke the news live on-air that Ripper Street had been axed, thanked fans with a heartfelt message on his Facebook page:

Dear friends, I’m sorry you have been kept in suspense for so long, but I’m afraid my hands have been somewhat tied whilst all the small details have been ironed out..but I’m delighted to say I can now officially share with you that Ripper St is going to a third series! And we start filming in May. … Its wonderful news, and I want to thank you all for being such a huge part in getting the show back after what felt like a premature death. So congratulations all of you! I know everyone involved is keen to make it even better than the 1st two series, and I really do believe we can do that…thank you again and catch you soon with another important post! A happy heart full day to you all, Jerome. X

Rumours of an Amazon/LOVEFiLM deal to save Ripper Street have been circulating for a while, and programme makers Tiger Aspect confirmed back in December that they were in talks to relaunch the drama.

Announcing the deal, Jason Ropell, Head of Amazon Instant Video International Content Acquisition, said: “We’re delighted to have secured not only the highly popular first two seasons of Ripper Street for our Prime Instant Video customers, but we can also confirm today that we will making season three, news that we know will delight the millions of fans of this brilliant British drama.”

Pantomime villain BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson said: “This deal gives fans another series of the show they love at excellent value to the licence fee-payer, ensuring that the BBC can also commission an entirely new, yet-to-be-announced drama series.”

Never heard of Amazon Prime Instant Video? You’re not alone. It is being launched today, with this most serendipitous news. From the horse’s mouth:

Amazon has announced that it is combining two of the most popular subscription services in the UK, Amazon Prime and LOVEFiLM, to become Prime Instant Video from Wednesday (26th February). Amazon Prime offers members unlimited One-Day Delivery on over 7 million items and access to 500,000 Kindle books to borrow. LOVEFiLM Instant includes unlimited streaming of more than 15,000 popular movies and TV episodes. When the two programmes combine, Prime will be offered at the low price of £79 a year – a 35% savings for all the benefits of the two previously separate services. As a special offer customers can lock in a full year of Prime at £49 until 26 February. Current Prime members can enjoy unlimited streaming at their current price until their renewal date. Customers who are not already members can start a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime by visiting http://www.amazon.co.uk/prime.

Excited, much? Stay tuned for updates. @TVClaw

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Sherlock Competition: Win Dinner For Two In Cardiff

BBC

BBC

Watching the Sherlock Series/Season 3 Finale keen-eyed viewers in Cardiff may have noticed a local gastronomic landmark: Giovanni’s Italian restaurant.

It was used as the backdrop for tense negotiations between Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen), and while they talk owner Giovanni can be spotted polishing glasses in the background.

Now Giovanni is offering Sherlock fans the chance to dine like Holmes by winning dinner for two in the very spot used to film that scene. All you have to do is correctly answer one simple question (TVClaw Top Tip: check Giovanni’s website for clues):

In the scene, Sherlock is eating a pasta dish. What dish was it?
A) Lasagna
B) Penne Amaffia Pesto
C) Spaghetti Carbonara
Email your answer along with your name and mobile number to: marketing@giovanniscardiff.com
Entries close Friday January 17th 2014

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Ripper Street Not Dead Yet?

Great news for Ripper Street fans: the drama could be back for a third series after all. But don’t put away your widow’s (t)weeds just yet…

BBC

BBC

According to The Guardian, Ripper Street production company Tiger Aspect is in talks with Amazon streaming service LOVEFiLM to secure a third series of the drama.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, LOVEFiLM would stump up most of the budget for Ripper Street Series/Season 3 in return for premiering it online in the UK. It would then air on BBC One shortly afterwards.

Should that actually happen, and should a third outing for Reid and the gang do well, then LOVEFilM would also have an option to commission a Series/Season 4.

Such a deal would be ground-breaking in the UK, but there is a precedent across the pond: cult fave (and subject of much lively fan agit-prop) Arrested Development was resurrected thanks to a co-production deal between Netflix and NBC.

A Tiger Aspect spokesman said, “The creative team have great vision and high ambition for future series of Ripper Street. It would of course be marvellous to find a route to make these plans reality.”

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC is looking at partnerships that could enable Ripper Street to return but at better value to licence fee payers.”

So there you have it. H Division could ride again. Stay tuned for updates!

Ripper Street is Cancelled

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The Great British Bake Off Series 5: Apply Now!

The royal icing’s barely dried on the giant Ruby Tandoh bitchfest cake and it’s already time to think about who will win The Great British Bake Off Series 5.

Love Productions/BBC

Love Productions/BBC

Want to be on the show? Aged 16+ and a UK resident? Scouts honour you’ve never, ever worked as a baker? Then you have until 10th January 2014 to get your application in.

The Great British Bake Off Team promise that all applications received before the deadline will be read. Download an application form here.

Bake!

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