Sherlock Competition: Win Dinner For Two In Cardiff


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:
Entries close Friday January 17th 2014



Star Wars Episode VII Script: Michael Arndt Is Out, Lawrence Kasdan And J.J. Abrams Are In

Alderaan, Schmalderaan: this guy blew up Vulcan!


News that control of the Star Wars franchise had been handed over to J.J. Abrams initially had die-hard fans weeping in the aisles. Many a night’s sleep has been lost to the fear that Abrams would do a Star Trek on them.

Forget George Lucas tinkering with Jabba the Hutt in Mos Eisley, Abrams is eminently capable of rewriting the entire mythology. Alderaan, Schmalderaan: this guy blew up Vulcan!

Imagine Star Wars: Episode VII as the opening of an new era. One in which Anakin Skywalker never turned to the Dark Side, instead living out his life fixing moisture vaporators on Tattoine. One in which Darth Vader is unmasked as the tormented Jar Jar Binks (played by a snarling Benedict Cumberbatch)…

A news update from Star Wars HQ may not have alleviated all of those fears just yet: Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has confirmed that after a year on the project Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) is out as scriptwriter, and Abrams is in.

It’s not a huge surprise: Abrams told Collider in September that he’d ditched plans to direct Star Trek 3 in favour of spending more time with Star Wars VII. However, in news to gladden the most stalwart of Star Wars hearts, Abrams will be joined by veteran safe pair of hands, Lawrence Kasdan.

In genre circles, multiple Oscar nominee (and member of the George Lucas inner circle) Kasdan is best known for his work on The Empire Strikes Back (which has, let’s face it, the best script of any of the films to date) and Raiders of the Lost Ark. He also co-wrote The Return of the Jedi.

Kasdan made his name with sharp, witty scripts for landmark, star-making films bookending the eighties: Body HeatThe Big Chill and Grand Canyon. However, in the ’90s and early ’00s he had mixed fortunes with films ranging from Dreamcatcher to French Kiss. It will be interesting to see what he brings to the Star Wars table this time around.

“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” said Kennedy. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”

Location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway on Star Wars: Episode VII. Shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release.

The production team assembled so far boasts an impressive string of credits and is chock full of veteran Lucas and Abrams collaborators.

Confirmed members include Blade Runner costume designer Michael Kaplan, director of photography Dan Mindel (Star Trek Into Darkness), production designers Rick Carter (Avatar) and Darren Gilford (TRON: Legacy), special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (Skyfall) and sound designer Ben Burtt (Star Wars: Episodes I-VI).

Oh, and John Williams is returning to score the new film. Wheeee!

Excited much? Stay tuned for updates. @TVClaw

National Television Awards 2013: Who Won?

Photo: Mirror/Empics
Photo: Mirror/Empics

Who knew Martin Scorsese was such a big fan of Joanna Lumley? (As for Ken Barlow‘s creepy, lip-moistening reminiscences of “Jo” in Corrie aeons ago, let’s just not go there. Please.)

What was Dermot O’Leary thinking when he punched Richard Osman in the gut before making a feeble attempt at a Jaws joke? You’d never see Ant & Dec doing that, Dermot. Next time, I hope Pointless co-host Osman knocks O’Leary out cold. Now that would be funny.

Apart from Scorsese’s Bronx cheer for Lummers, Paul O’Grady and his dogs beating out the heaving breasts yeast of the Bake Off gang was the biggest TVClaw OMG! moment of the night.

So, who else won big, and who left with a brave smile, a bottle of vodka and a desire to kick some kittens?

Serial Drama Performance: Alan Halsall, Coronation Street, Tyrone Dobbs

Much as I would have loved Adam Woodyatt to finally win some recognition for his work as Ian Beale, Halsall was a worthy winner. He paid touching tribute to his late co-star Bill Tarmey by wearing his watch to the ceremony, and told reporters backstage afterwards that, “I’m sure he’ll be having a fag on me.” So, no reunion for The Banned just yet, dammit.

Newcomer: David Witts, EastEnders, Joey Branning

An upset, as tabloid favourite Witts beat out frontrunner Natalie Gumede for the win. The reluctant pin-up was even heckled by lustful girlies in the audience when he thanked his girlfriend. Backstage he said, “I’m still in a bit of a daze. … I didn’t expect to win. I really didn’t.”

Talent Show: Strictly Come Dancing

An overjoyed Tess Daly accepted the award while the rest of the cast performed a modified Kids from Fame “I’m such a dancy, exciteable person, yay!” jump-around.

Entertainment Programme: I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

The jungle juggernaut continues to dominate, proving that for the viewing public there’s (almost) nothing better than watching people humiliate themselves on telly.

Comedy Panel Show: QI

Okay, so HIGNFY was bested by its own smartypants progeny. Never underestimate the esteem in which Stephen Fry is held by the British public.

Entertainment Presenter: Ant & Dec

Next time you’re watching Doctor Who or Sherlock, just remember that we have Steven Moffat to blame for Ant & Dec. Without Byker Grove they might never have been in a position to take over British light entertainment.

Situation Comedy: Mrs Brown’s Boys

There were gasps and kettles dropped aplenty when realisation dawned that Mrs B. is, in fact, a waiter in real life. Accepting the award, Brendan O’Carroll made a funny and touching speech in which he thanked family, friends and viewers. “All of you at home,” he said, “you’ve no idea, but you’ve changed all of our lives, thank you so much.”

Documentary Series: Frozen Planet

In the absence of 56 Up, the most worthy winner. Sir David Attenborough was off filming in China so national treasure Joanna Lumley accepted the award on his behalf.

Factual Entertainment: Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs

Behold, the combined power of Radio 2 listeners and drag queens as they propelled O’Grady to victory. This is the one I really didn’t see coming: The Great British Bake Off seemed like such a dead cert.

Drama: Downton Abbey

A consolation prize for Downton, which was totally ignored in the acting categories.

Drama Performance Male: Colin Morgan, Merlin

I said it might happen, and as Morgan won’t win any of the critics awards (hello, Benedict Cumberbatch, your time will come) it was fun to see him take home the NTA for his work on Merlin. Even more fun was seeing the frenzy of “Why’s Merlin talking in an Irish accent?” Tweets.

Drama Performance Female: Miranda Hart, Call the Midwife

As expected, Hart took home the gong. Well, not literally as she’s in Australia right now, but you get the picture. It was probably just as well — Dermot O’Leary may not have been able to handle having to stand next to any more tall people on-stage last night.

Daytime: Come Dine With Me

Okay, This Morning won really, but I’ve chosen to ignore that fact and pretend that CDWM did instead. Sometimes it’s essential to maintain a healthy inner fantasy life.

Serial Drama: Coronation Street

The preternaturally youthful Donny and Marie got a warm reception from the crowd as they did their best to cheerfully introduce a bunch of nominees they’d obviously never heard of. (Ant & Dec: don’t sneer — this could be you in 2o years’ time.) The cast and crew paid tribute to Corrie stalwart Bill Tarmey, a.k.a. Jack Duckworth, when they accepted the award. Producer Phil Collinson said he “was just so much a part of everybody’s life for a long time … and so I think we’d love to dedicate this to Bill.”

So, there you have it. Some upsets, some touching moments and some suspense when many of us wondered if Darcey Bussell would shove Dermot O’Leary off the stage for having almost dislocated her shoulder.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw

National Television Awards 2013: TVClaw Picks The Winners

Photo: The National TV Awards
Photo: The National TV Awards

The National Television Awards 2013 are being dished out tonight at a suitably star-studded event in London. (I’m still waiting for my ticket *cough cough*.)

Who should win and who will win are often two different bags of chips, so before you cast your vote let’s take a Pat Butchers at some of the runners and riders.

Here are TVClaw‘s entirely subjective picks for winners:

Serial Drama Performance: Adam Woodyatt, EastEnders, Ian Beale

In lieu of a long service medal I’d like to see Woodyatt receive some long-overdue attention. He may not be the best actor in Walford, but he’s taken Ian from chirpy teenager to ruthless business tycoon to homeless with decades of consistently strong, believable performances. Plus, as the sole survivor of the Pete “Alright Treacle?” Beale–Arthur “Christmas Club” Fowler days, I hear he’s promised to put The Banned back together if he wins.*

(*I made that last bit up, but wouldn’t it be awesome if he did?)

Newcomer: Natalie Gumede, Coronation Street, Kirsty Soames

In soap-land, nasty wins, and they don’t come much nastier than evil Kirsty. She’s abusive, she’s obsessive and she’s … possibly leaving Corrie. Gumede told The Sun that, “I’m aware that Kirsty has a shelf life and I’m happy with that. People need to see a consequence and there will be a climax.” What better way to go out than with a bang and a gong?

Talent Show: Strictly Come Dancing

Because of Bruce Forsyth. Because viewers love it. Because it’s family viewing. Because of Louis Smith. Because we secretly dream of sequinned glory. It may lose out to X Factor.

Entertainment Programme: University Challenge

It won’t win of course, because too many people think of it as boring telly for posh prats in bad jumpers (and they’ll vote for TOWIE instead) but I’d really really really like it to. If CAMRA could rock the vote and persuade the pub quizzers to put down their pints long enough to vote, then maybe, just maybe, Paxo could take home the award in 2014.

Comedy Panel Show: Have I Got News For You

Yes, it’s a bit smug and a bit posh and a bit tired around the edges, but it’s still clever and (mostly) funny. Especially when it’s guest-hosted by Dominic West or William Shatner. It will probably lose out to Celebrity Juice.

Entertainment Presenter: Sir Bruce Forsyth

A tricky one, this. Everyone loves Brucie, but Savilegate may have hurt his chances. After months of revelations and arrests that makes the BBC Light Entertainment department in the 1970s sound like the last days of Sodom and Gomorrah, and coming hot on the heels of a rape charge against Stuart Hall (Eddie Waring must be spinning right now), viewers may have been reluctant to vote for a star from that era. In any case, Brucie didn’t make it off the longlist. Alan Carr may benefit from votes being split between cuddly twosome PJ and Duncan Ant & Dec and winsome newlywed Dermot O’Leary.

Situation Comedy: Mrs Brown’s Boys

The lovechild of Les Dawson and Mrs Doyle is a shoo-in for the win. Unless, that is, Mrs B gets her bloomers twisted in The Big Bang Theory juggernaut.

Documentary Series: 56 Up

The best documentary series ever. EVER. It — and Michael Apted — deserves to be showered with plaudits, but shamefully it didn’t make it onto the shortlist. Hopefully David Attenborough and Frozen Planet will win, but I have a nasty feeling it will be Big Fat Gypsy Weddings instead.*

(*Shake head and insert thesis on death of culture here.)

Factual Entertainment: The Great British Bake Off

Hands down the Silver Fox will take home the gong tonight. Everyone loves Mary and Paul and those joky girls from Late Lunch. A fantastic show in which everyone does their best while being sporting and nice to each other, and viewers can titter behind their buns about the  … altogether now … soggy bottoms

Drama: Upstairs Downstairs

Again, this is just wishful thinking on my part as the second (and final) series of Upstairs Downstairs didn’t make it onto the voting shortlist. This is an interesting category though, and is wide open. While Wallander or Whitechapel (yes, it’s hoky, but it’s beautifully shot, and RPJ is so very very good in it) could/should win in other years, the gong will most likely go to Doctor Who or Sherlock. Merlin is the wild card.

Drama Performance Male: Benedict Cumberbatch

While I’d love to have seen Kenneth Branagh take it for Wallander, or Rupert Penry-Jones nail it for Whitechapel, I think Cumberbatch will win tonight. However, there’s an outside chance that Colin Morgan (Merlin) or Matt Smith (Doctor Who) could sneak up on the inside and snatch victory from Bennie at the last second.

Drama Performance Female: Keeley Hawes

She deserves it, but won’t win. Surprisingly, neither she nor any of the Downton Abbey women made it through to the shortlist, so I’m guessing Miranda Hart will romp home with the win for Call the Midwife.

Daytime: Come Dine With Me

Because it’s hilarious and has the best voiceover and the best music of just about any show on television. Dave Lamb is a comic genius.

Serial Drama: EastEnders

A wild guess on my part, based purely on some strong storylines and general public affection for the series.

The National Television Awards air tonight, 7:30pm on ITV

Star Trek: Into Darkness — New Trailer! But Is It Khan?

Photo: Paramount
Photo: Paramount

Time to unleash the happy dance, Star Trek fans!

Paramount has unveiled a teaser trailer for Star Trek: Into Darkness, which shows Benedict Cumberbatch in all his villainous glory.

Cumberbatch has got the whole John Crichton vibe going on in the promo pic, but is he really the new Khan?

That’s the question which has been vexing fans since filming began. Personally, I’ve been lobbying from the beginning for Cumberbatch’s character to continue down the crazy Roman Emperor route and be called Caligula Morningstar. But, hey, I know J.J. Abrams doesn’t take my advice often.

The Radio Times has an interesting theory: the Japanese teaser trailer has an extra few seconds at the end, which do seem awfully reminiscent of the end of The Wrath of Khan.

But, it could all just be Abrams et al. messing with our heads. My, how they love a good bit of misdirection. And for my part, I am loving the fact that we still don’t know. We have another five months to go before it comes out, people!

I’ve got my fingers crossed that the arm in the green woolly jumper actually belongs to William Shatner, not Chris Pine, and that it’s Shat–Nimoy redux.

One thing’s for sure: Star Trek fans are über-protective of The Wrath of Khan. And rightly so. But is it still considered to be the best Star Trek film? Check out the Trekkies’ heated debate at Destination: London.

All will be revealed when Star Trek: Into Darkness premieres on 17 May 2013.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw