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  1. The Apprentice: Four cringey lessons in business

    Monday 13 October 2014, 08:59

    Matt Hewitt Matt Hewitt Researcher, TV Blog

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    When Lord Sugar first exercised his dreaded index finger in The Apprentice on 16 February 2005, Daniel Bedingfield was heading into the top 20, Grange Hill was still on TV, London was bidding to host the Olympics and Lord Sugar was plain old Sir Alan.

    Lord Sugar, flanked by his aides for the first five series, Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer Lord Sugar, flanked by his aides for the first five series, Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer


    Music tastes and news stories may come and go.

    But year after year, Britain seems to produce a crop of razor-sharp business minds bursting with more entrepreneurial talent than the last, able to give of themselves hundreds more percent than mathematicians ever thought possible.

    Not all of us can be blessed with such ability – but we can all learn lessons from the candidates’ insightful strategies. No doubt you’ve got your own favourite moments – here are four of ours!


    1. Don’t take no for an answer

    Selling ice cream to Eskimos, yes. Coal to Newcastle, perhaps.

    But there’s a reason why 'selling spades and shower heads to Debenhams' hasn’t made it into the business dictionary.

    It certainly wasn’t for the want of trying.

    As the candidates dragged their bathroom appliances, garden tools and a large container of soil through spotless...

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  2. Cat Watch 2014: Urban cats with bags of personality

    Tuesday 7 October 2014, 16:33

    Sophie Maden Sophie Maden Researcher

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    Cat Watch 2014: The New Horizon Experiment is a three-part follow up to 2013's The Secret Life Of The Cat. This time the Horizon team tracked and monitored 100 cats from varying urban environments in a further scientific exploration of the behaviour of Britain's felines. Using the latest in GPS and movement technology, Professor Alan Wilson, and his team from the Royal Veterinary College, set out to discover how cats from the town, village and farm differ in their characteristics.

    And these feline subjects in particular proved that when it comes to personality, no two moggies are the same. We found out more about our favourite Cat Watch 2014 stars Ted, a chilled-out cat who's a sucker for having his belly stroked, and Ozzy, a cool cat who was the reigning king of Brighton's streets.

    Ted joins in with a morning yoga session Ted joins in with a morning yoga session

    Ted, the laid-back village cat, has mastered the art of being a pampered pet: turning over to have his tummy tickled and even joining in with owner Helen Chilvers’ yoga sessions.

    Helen says: "He is much more interactive than any cat we've owned. He is more like a dog really. He is never in a bad mood. He smiles at us and just uses his charm to get around...

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  3. Never Mind The Buzzcocks: Meet new host Rhod Gilbert

    Monday 6 October 2014, 17:03

    Rhod Gilbert Rhod Gilbert Comedian

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    What do you think you’re going to do that’s different to the two permanent hosts on Never Mind The Buzzcocks before you?
    All I can do is be myself and not let it keep me awake at night even though inevitably, it keeps me awake at night. I think my way is pretty sarcastic, dry, argumentative, competitive, bossy, piss-taking but ultimately inclusive, and I think that’s why they’ve asked me to do it.

    I’ve made a couple of suggestions and most changes have been taken on board. One of them is I don’t like it when I see people on the show just there to be just ridiculed. So everybody there is now there on merit. Everything’s subjective but they’ve got something to say or they’ve done something. So that, I think, is a change for the better.

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    Rhod Gilbert and the teams play the potato lattice game

    Also talking to the guys in the identity parade, it’s always felt a bit weird to me that they come out, get the piss taken out of them, and they sort of go off, they don’t even get to speak, they don’t even get a voice. It feels to me a bit objectified so I asked can I talk to them, can they say what they’re doing and stuff? I think in the show we did the other day that proved...

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  4. QI: A day in the life of a QI Elf

    Friday 3 October 2014, 09:36

    Alex Bell Alex Bell QI Elf

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    This year is QI’s 12th series, which means that we’re looking at all things L. I’m a researcher, otherwise known as a QI Elf, and along with the other elves I’ve spent the past nine lunar months leafing through large literary lexicons, learning long lost languages, lurking in lugubriously lit libraries, leering at lewd likenesses of Lucretius, lambasting loose logic, listing this ludicrous litany of L-words... you get the idea.

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    Puffer fish impressions: Episode one looks at the largest and littlest of animal life

    A typical day of making QI starts early. The studio has to be transformed...

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  5. The Driver: Acting again with my childhood friend

    Monday 29 September 2014, 10:37

    David Morrissey David Morrissey Actor

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    In The Driver I play Vince McKee, a taxi driver working in Manchester. He is struggling in life, not necessarily financially, but emotionally.

    His eldest son has left home prematurely, and Vince can’t cope with life without him.

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    Watch the trail: Vince McKee is an ordinary man who makes a terrible decision


    His wife Ros (Claudie Blakley) isn’t prepared to talk about it, and Vince is only holding onto his sanity by his fingertips.

    One night he picks up an old friend in his cab. Col (Ian Hart) has just got out of jail after six years.

    He has fitted back in with his old gang and manages to put some...

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  6. Bad Education: I'm not leaving Mitchell behind

    Tuesday 23 September 2014, 21:15

    Charlie Wernham Charlie Wernham Actor

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    Having played many young reprobates I can safely say that Mitchell is the most exciting and shocking.

    His constant abuse means I get to insult Jack Whitehall and the other cast members on a daily basis!

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    Alfie Wickers (Jack Whitehall) attempts to control his class with Game of Thrones

    Jack and I work very hard coming up with original schoolboy insults between takes, such as "Topshop Peter Sutcliffe" so the day never gets boring.

    However the insults get more immature and near the mark as the shoot goes on (which is Bad Education all over to be honest).

    I think each series got funnier and funnier as...

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  7. Marvellous: Q&A with Lou Macari

    Tuesday 23 September 2014, 15:37

    Lou Macari Lou Macari

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    Marvellous is an uplifting drama based on the true story of Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin, played by Toby Jones, a man who defied being labelled as having learning difficulties to lead a remarkable life. After a spell as a circus clown, Neil was offered a job as kit man for Stoke City Football Club by then manager Lou Macari. Lou spoke to the BBC TV blog about the film. 

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    Watch the trail: The extraordinary story of a man who confounds all expectations


    How did you first become involved with the film?
     
    Pete Bowker [the writer] came to see me at a hotel in Stoke - he said that he wanted a chat about possibly...

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  8. The Great British Bake Off: The rocky road to the quarter-finals

    Wednesday 17 September 2014, 19:56

    Tessa Delaunay-Martin Tessa Delaunay-Martin TV blog

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    Attention: This post contains spoilers and is intended for viewers who have already seen episode seven, Pastry, of The Great British Bake Off.

    The final five bakers are gearing up for Advanced Dough week and while we’ve seen some outstanding original creations, it hasn’t been easy baking the whole way.

    With 21 challenges behind them it’s not hard to lose track of all the signatures, technicals and showstoppers, so we decided to take a look at the bakes that have earned Chetna, Luis, Martha, Nancy and Richard a place in the quarter-finals:

    Chetna

    Chetna
     
    Dubbed the Flavour Queen by Paul Hollywood...

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  9. The Secrets: Filming five dramas in six weeks

    Friday 5 September 2014, 09:17

    Guy Heeley Guy Heeley Producer

    Morale can be lifted by the simplest of things.

    It was 3pm on Thursday, 6 February 2014, a day on which more rain fell on Hampstead Heath than on any other day throughout the notorious winter storms, and we had been filming on The Secrets since early in the morning without any respite from the weather.

    Everyone was soaked through and freezing cold but with fading light and spirit, some lukewarm hot chocolate arrived on set from the nearest cafe, which was a 30 minute walk away, and we once again were able to pretend it was a sunny family day out, as the script for The Visitor required! 

    Anthony Welsh as Dean, director Dominic Savage and Paige Meade as Cassie Director...

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  10. 21 Up New Generation: It's like my extended family

    Thursday 28 August 2014, 14:11

    Melanie Archer Melanie Archer Series Producer

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    I am the series producer of 21 Up New Generation, the third instalment of the new series of the famous documentary series Seven Up!, which began in 1964, and has filmed with the same group of contributors every seven years since.

    At the turn of the millennium, the BBC asked us to make 7Up 2000 to follow in Seven Up’s footsteps, with a new generation of children, all turning seven in the year 2000.

    The director Julian Farino and I met thousands of children from different social, ethnic and economic backgrounds living all over the UK and chose a group of them to film with.

    Melanie Archer with contributor Asif and director Julian Farino Melanie Archer with...

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