My debut on Film 2010 With Claudia Winkleman

Wednesday 13 October 2010, 13:05

Danny Leigh Danny Leigh Presenter

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Some people are born performers. I, on the other hand, was a shy child, who it only seemed natural would then spend his career shut away on his own hunched over a laptop - working first as a film journalist, then a novelist and then a bit of both.

But life is a strange old beast - and with that in mind I suppose it makes perfect sense that I would be offered the chance to appear on at least some of the nation's TVs every week as co-host of Film 2010 alongside the wondrous Claudia Winkleman.

Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh

Those large shoes occupied first by Barry Norman and then Jonathan Ross? Peculiar thought as it is for me as much as anyone, I'm stepping into one of them.

The novelty factor for me is, as you might expect, vast. The sum of my TV experience to date involves appearing as a talking head on a pair of documentaries about British gangster movies and, yes, Sylvester Stallone.

This time round though, not only is the audience likely to be somewhat larger - we'll also be going out live. Weirdly, I'm feeling pretty relaxed about that particular aspect - which I'm putting down to my lack of understanding about what it entails.

Do please feel free to remind me of my current composure when, shortly before episode one goes on air on 13 October, I'm found crying and hyperventilating in a quiet nook at the BBC.

The good news is that there are, thank the Lord, a crack squad of proper professionals involved with the show - and on screen there will be Claudia, who obviously has all the experience I don't and can deal with anything live broadcasting could throw at us (clearly for my part I'll have to provide a lot of the glamour for the show, but I'm ready for the responsibility).

We did seem to click back at the screen test, which bodes well. My favourite film (David Lynch's masterpiece Mulholland Drive) reduced her to baffled hysteria, but that's OK, I'm used to baffled hysteria.

She's also someone with a real passion for films, and I'm nothing if not the same. So while there will be all manner of interviews, reports and debates going on, poring over the week's new releases will still very much be at the heart of the programme. It's just that there's going to be two of us reviewing instead of the traditional one.

People have asked if it's going to be tricky giving an honest verdict on a film if one of the stars is just off-camera waiting to be interviewed, but I think I can guarantee that whatever else happens, anyone watching will be getting a straight deal from us both (and when it all kicks off, I'll be hiding behind Claudia).

That said, I hope that most of the time we'll be getting to talk about films that deserve our love anyway.

Looking ahead to what's coming out while we're on air, there's a huge amount of movies I'm genuinely excited about, some of which I've seen already, most of which I haven't (in the former camp there's the new, 60s-set adaptation of a beloved novel of mine, Brighton Rock, in the latter director Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan).

There's obviously an element of risk hanging in the air, what with a writer wandering in front of the camera on live TV, and on a BBC institution to boot... but between the talents of the rest of the team and six months' worth of fantastic movies, I think we'll be all right.

That's another thing you can remind me of when they find me gibbering with fear on the night of the 13th.

Danny Leigh is the co-host of Film 2010 With Claudia Winkleman.

Film 2010 With Claudia Winkleman starts on Wednesday, 13 October at 10.45pm on BBC One

For further programme times over the next seven days, please visit the upcoming episodes page.

If you use Twitter, you can join in the conversation about Film 2010 using #bbcfilm2010.

Danny will be writing a regular column discussing the online reaction to the week's film news. Please visit Danny's page on the Film 2010 to read all his columns..

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    Comment number 2.

    Nooooooooooooo! Caught the last 10 minutes of film 2010 so this view might be slightly distorted, but Nooooooooooooooooooooo!
    Yes, play with the format a bit (I liked questionnaire), but trying to replicate the ‘Kermode & Mayo’ dynamic on screen just didn’t work.
    I grew up watching Barry Norman who helped a struggling teenage sift the wheat from the chaff; I grew reluctantly to like Jonathan Ross, whose obvious love for film, particularly genre film, gave me a different perspective on film and Hollywood.
    However this blatant attempt to manufacture an ‘on screen chemistry’ and have a live K&M clone on the BBC1 is doomed to failure.
    While I love the good doctors, (I can only assume that they wouldn’t do the show) trying to replicate it with other presenters can only soil the beloved format of Film {Insert year} and will always pale in comparison with the real thing to be found on Friday 2pm , Radio 5Live on the AM.
    Again I say, Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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    Comment number 3.

    I thought I'd hit "AutumnWatchLate!!" but it was just a cbbc audition.

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    Comment number 4.

    The 'live' segment from the LFF was cringeworthy.

    The show has been changed from an adult conversation between the presenter and his audience, to a scattergun of different condescending geek opinions ("Hi, I'm from Empire y'know, I must be oh so great") and a happy smiley cover girl.

    Is this Film 2010's Alesha Dixon moment - replace someone with a strong opinions and knowledge with some lightweight eye candy? I could cope with Ross's occasional sycophancy as the consequence of him being someone who really loves the medium and the people involved, but you get the feeling that Winkleman's love of film started when it was written into her bio. Would she ever get shot at with an air rifle while standing at the Hollywood sign with Werner Herzog?

    I might find Kermode abrasive, but at least I would respect his opinions. At least he would have opinions!

    And what's with the twitter feed? Can anyone contribute anything useful in 160 characters? It's this obsession with interactivity for the sake of interactivity - it adds nothing to the show. Works on a show like Question Time, as it is genuinely interactive. Doesn't work on a show of this format, where the comments are wedged ad hoc between non-interactive segments. Don't bother - free up the time for your presenters.

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    Comment number 5.

    I'm really not quite sure what everyone has to complain about.
    The two presenters were likeable enough.
    Claudia felt quite at ease with it and she clearly knew what she was talking about. The other guy (is it Danny? I can't quite remember) is one of those nerdy-type who seems know everything about movies. And that's exactly what you'd expect from a show about movies.
    The actual packages "behind the scenes" (like the one about the Social Network) were very nicely produced and put together (though I would have liked them a bit longer too).
    Not so sure about all those extra presenters, but maybe that was just because it's the first episode. It might settle down in the future.
    The top 5 wasn't completely stop on, but once again I can see that device working better in future possible installments and it will certainly get people talking.
    The idea of the questionnaire is also quite intriguing, especially if the audience gets to ask the questions.
    All in all, I'm looking forward to the next episode.
    Finally something about movies with people who love movies.
    I just wish it was all a bit longer.

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    Comment number 6.

    I hadn't realised how skilled Jonathan Ross and Mark Kermode are until I saw the new Film 2010. Danny has the excuse that he hasn't done TV before, but in that case why is he presenting the BBC's flagship cinema programme? Claudia is a professional broadcaster but cheerfully admits in the Radio Times that she knows nothing about film, so why is she here?

    The programme included at least two very long puff pieces where film makers told us how great their latest product is. I can get this sort of thing from the film companies' web sites. From the BBC I don't want adverts. Do show us a clip of the film, but then lets have an independent expert opinion.

    The gimmick of being live is a cruel handicap to throw at a largely inexperienced group of presenters. One of its results was the embarrassing interview with drunk actors at a party. When Danny said afterwards that he'd rather be there than in the studio I think he meant it - anywhere but here!

    One more example of the ineptitude of the programme (and perils of being live) is that someone tweeted that Capricorn One should have been included in the Top5 "Moon" films. This was passed through to the presenters and they both agreed, without anyone mentioning that this film is famously about a mission to Mars, not the Moon.

    Please fix Film 2010

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    Comment number 7.

    Since the departure of Barry Norman it's not been essential viewing for me anyway. I just couldn't bring myself to like Ross but this pair are truly plumbing the depths of all that is dire.

    I assume that Kermode is just too critical of too much to be acceptable for auntie's flagship movie guide. Gotta wonder whether no programme at all would be better then this.

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    Comment number 8.

    Just watched the new show. Depressing very depressing. From Barry Norman to that idiot Ross. Now this, with lazy analysis, slack humour. A child's programme. Well done Janice Hadlow, you really have let the country down, this was a great opportunity lost. Sad very very sad.

 

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