BBC Three

Archives for April 2010

La La Land

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Graham Matthews | 16:14 UK time, Tuesday, 27 April 2010

La La Land (Shirley Ghostman, Gary Garner and Brendan Allen)

Meet Gary Garner, Brendan Allen and Shirley Ghostman... well meet Marc Wootton who plays all three of them in brand new comedy La La Land on BBC Three.

Marc's creations are entirely made up, but the people they meet are completely real and have no idea that they are talking to an actors. It's like a crazy cross between Summer Heights High, The Gemma Factor and Borat.

La La Land (Gary) Gary Garner's porn-star Mum has just died. and using his inheritance he's trying to make it as a Hollywood actor. Does he have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of his heroes Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones?

La La Land (Brendon) Brendan Allen is an aspiring documentary maker who has plans to make a film about sharks from an entirely new perspective, although it might already have been done.

La La Land (Shirley) You may remember Shirley Ghostman from his previous series on BBC Three, High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman. A professional psychic, Shirley had to escape the UK after being exposed and is now trying to start again in LA.

You can watch La La Land online, then come back to the blog and let us know your favourite bits.

Graham Matthews is content producer for BBC Three online.

E20: Meet the writers

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Graham Matthews | 16:33 UK time, Friday, 23 April 2010

The E20 writers With E20 ready to jump from the web to television, I caught up with some of the writers, who are all aged between 17 and 22, to find out about their experiences working on the programme.

Nicole Lecky: "So what feels like a million years ago is finally here. The premiere of EastEnders:E20 on BBC Three. The wait has been anticipated by me and the other writers as we feel like we have finally come full circle. From starting out with no idea on what project we would be working on to trekking down to visit the EastEnders set and actually bumping into cast such as Barbara Windsor and Patsy Palmer - it has been a lot of hard work but definitely fun."

What was it like being a writer, and working with the other writers?

Joyce Lee: "Oh my days.  Being a writer on E20 is an incredible experience.  Every Saturday morning, thirteen young writers invade the BBC.  Security guards look at us like we're a tour group that has got lost!  Sometimes, we catch a glimpse of Peggy (Barbara Windsor) and Dot (June Brown) in the canteen. 

"The writing room is where it all happens.  Having spent so much time together, the writing team has become a gang, a family.  Not so different from the gang you see in E20.  We talk.  We laugh.  We joke.  There are endless jokes.  Only we have serious writing to do as well.  Everyone throws in ideas.  The good, the bad, and the ugly make it onto the board.  Then we get rid of the bad and the ugly.  And try to make the good better. We spend so much time talking about our characters that they begin to feel like real people, like your friends.  Zsa Zsa, Fat Boy, Leon, and Mercy grow into living breathing people with lives of their own... And lots of secrets."

Nicole Lecky: "We spent four weeks story lining and crafting our characters from our own experiences of East London (and as I grew up there I'd say we did pretty well!). At the end of what felt like a really hard 'writing summer school'  I think we all came to the realisation that E20 could and would be much bigger than we had anticipated."

The E20 writers

What was it like to see your writing being filmed?

Nadia Gasper: "Going to the shoot was an unforgettable experience! After weeks of drafting, re-drafting, endless cups of coffee and more re-drafting, it was amazing seeing my work jump from page to camera. Being in the presence of respectable producers, directors and artists made me feel privileged; reminded me why I'm a writer... and the biscuits weren't bad either!"

How does it feel to know your writing will be on BBC Three?

Abigail Pahnke: "If seeing my name on the credits at the end of my online episode wasn't enough to feel proud of, the prospect of seeing it rise on the television screen is unbelievable. On top of that, we've been given the go-ahead for series two, and are currently developing some juicy stories to really sink your teeth into."

"One of the best things about this journey has been the amazing people I've met, I've made some of the best friends as well as memories that, even though some are nearly a year old, still make me laugh out loud, in sometimes somewhat awkward situations, particularly when on my own.. on a bus... We've proved that young people have something to give, have our own views on the world and opinions that we want to be heard."

Graham Matthews is content producer for BBC Three online.

The Autistic Me - One Year On: Interview with Tom and Kirsty

The Autistic Me - One Year On revisits Oliver, Tom, Alex and Kirsty 12 months on from when we last met them in The Autistic Me.

I had a chance to speak to Tom and Kirsty to find out what they have been up to since filming.


Tom. After being part of the first film, why were you keen to be in the second film?

I wanted to show people that I was happier after the first show made me look unhappy and depressed. I wanted to show other people with autism are the same as normal people and can get on okay.

Your course tutor in the film is very encouraging about your progress at college - how is the course going?

Its going really good. He said a couple of weeks ago that with my scores I could get into any uni in the country to do sound engineering. He was worried about my social problems though if I did go to uni but I think I can cope as I am so far.

Have you been making plans to continue studying music at university?

Yes. I have been to visit a uni fair and got some leaflets. I want to go and see all the uni's that I think will do the course I want. Mum thinks it will do me good to stay on campus with other students and my brother James is looking into whether his uni have a music course for me. That way I could be with him too if I need anything.

How do you feel about heading off to university on your own?

I would say 'Hooray!' I am happy to try any opportunity and I am not scared of people or being different. I have learned to just get on and do what I want to do and I am more confident. I would look for a job but I also get disability allowance so I can live on that. I know people would help me.

Tell us more about the band that you are in with your mates at college.

My band has changed its name to 'Seize the World' now We have a new bassist and rhythm guitarist and we are going to play live at a festival sometime maybe in the summer.


Kirsty. In the film we see you writing your autobiography, why did you want to write your autobiography?

I wrote my autobiography because I wanted to raise awareness and inspire people of what it is like to have autism. As it comes from me I thought it would help people to understand so there is a balance of professional's point of view but my own point of view. I also wanted to let people know that not everyone with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (thats a word i use to cover the whole spectrum) is the same, we are all different in our own way, we just need some support in our areas of our lives just to have an Independent life.

Are there some specific of aspects of living with autism that you want people to know about from reading your book?

I just wanted to show how I think and feel of what it is like to live with my autism and how it affects me. I balanced the book out not just with a negative view but also positives as I see Autism as a unique gift and not something bad it's a way I can learn to cope and accept who I am and the way I am.

We see you singing at your youth club in the film, how important do you think it is to have somewhere like the youth club where you can go and hang out socially?

I think it is very important going to my youth club as it helps me to socialise and gain new friends but also to enjoy the things that I love doing such as my singing.

Have you and Alex had a chance to meet up since your birthday in February?

Me and Alex haven't met up since February yet but we are trying our best to get to see each others. It is very difficult when we live so far apart.

Has your relationship with Alex changed how you feel about the future?

Our Friendship had developed into being a couple on August 7th. Alex asked me out and I had a think about it and in the end I said yes.

It was a sad day on August 7th as it was my dog's birthday but he were put down, but when Alex asked me out on that day it lifted my mood up into happy and excited mood. We text each other every week and there was a text saying 'If I asked would you Marry Me?', the response I gave back was asking 'is it ok, If I think about it' and Alex replied back saying 'Of course, I will let you think about it'.

I can see future working out between me and Alex. We love each other and care about each other. Alex means the whole world to me.

You can watch The Autistic Me - One Year On online, then come back to the blog and let us know your thoughts.

Graham Matthews is content producer for BBC Three online.

Blood, Sweat and Luxuries: What are the human costs of our luxuries?

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Graham Matthews | 16:48 UK time, Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Blood, Sweat and Luxuries throws up lots of interesting issues and questions around the human cost of our luxuries. Maybe the answers aren't as clear cut as they first appear.

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Did the programme change the way you think? What choices will you make?

We want to know your thoughts about this issue. Join the debate by adding your comments to this blog post.

Graham Matthews is content producer for BBC Three online.

Exclusive Coming of Age Announcement - brapppp!

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Graham Matthews | 14:12 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

The cast of Coming of Age

Dana's away, but boy is she going to be gutted that she's missed this news...

We can exclusively reveal that Coming of Age has just been re-commissioned for a third series. You'll be able to see the brand new series first when it transmits on BBC Three in early 2011. If you can't wait until then (and I know I can't!), here's a clip of outtakes from the last series. BALAMORY!

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Graham Matthews is content producer for BBC Three online.

E20: The web stars of Walford are coming to BBC Three

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Dana Stevens | 16:13 UK time, Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The cast of E20 I have to admit to being a bit slow catching on to the online series E20. But after hearing that the spin-off of EastEnders is going to start showing on BBC Three I thought I'd better have a look and see what all the excitement is about. So I've just watched some episodes online and blimey those characters come loaded with all sorts of secrets! Just the first episode has enough to get you hooked and wanting to know more about the havoc they're about to wreck on the East End.

For those of you that might be new to it like me, E20 focuses on four young characters Zsa Zsa, Fatboy, Leon and Mercy who start squatting in a flat in Albert Square. And not only are the actors new talent that you might not have seen before, the writers are all young people aged between 17 and 22 - which is pretty impressive!

But let's get back to the actors and specifically Sam Attwater who plays Leon. I could tell you that it's his character's heroic antics that made me want to watch more of him but the truth is a lot more superficial. Have a look at his tour of Walford...

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The good news is that the first series starts on BBC Three on Friday 23rd April at 8.30pm. And the even better news is that a second series has been commissioned which will focus on four new characters who'll all be sharing a flat above Roxy's beauty salon. The new series will be on BBC Three in September and we'll be bringing you some exclusive behind the scenes videos on the BBC Three website.

Zsa Zsa Carter (Emer Kenny)

Dana Stevens is content producer for BBC Three online.

The Gemma Factor: Meet Ross Adams who plays Jeff

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Dana Stevens | 17:09 UK time, Thursday, 8 April 2010

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? I can't believe The Gemma Factor is at the end of the series already. So firstly I thought we could take a long lingering look at some of the love-ly bits from the series....

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250x400_jeff_drink.jpg Over the past few weeks I've brought you fame tips from Gemma and fashion fixes from her flamboyant friend Jeff. So I thought today I'd delve a bit deeper and chat to Ross Adams, the actor who plays Jeff, to find out what it's been like being involved in the show.

Ross tell us about your character Jeff...

Jeff is a very colourful, flamboyant, high-camp young guy but for all of his "couldn't care less" attitude he really does have a kind heart and thinks the world of both Gemma and his Mum, Betty. Personally, I think his outlandish behaviour is just a mask to hide the problems and heartache that he has gone through so far. Jeff looks after his Mum entirely and sorts her out when she is too drunk or incapable of looking after herself and we get the impression it has been that way for years. Underneath his make-up and crazy outfits, I think he is actually a really caring guy so it's been a great role for me to play.

You mention your crazy outfits, of which there are several. Which one for you sticks out the most?

This is a difficult one because as you say there are literally so many! I think for me, there are 2 particular outfits which spring to mind. The first is the bunch of grapes outfit in Episode 3 when we do the fun run. It was filled with loads of small balloons which kept deflating without warning. We were doing a scene where we had to scramble up the side of a very steep hill and the ground was really wet and slippery. I kept falling over and popping balloons in the process. I felt so bad for the Costume team, as they had to keep blowing up more balloons to push in the outfit!

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I also had to wear purple tights as part of that outfit which was not a pleasant experience. During filming, my Dad who lives in New Zealand, came to visit me on set. We hadn't seen each other for 6 years, and when we did, I was dressed as a bunch of grapes with loads of makeup on!! What a reunion!

It sounds like you had great fun on the set...

I think the thing that has been so wonderful about this job is the way that we have all bonded so well and have developed real friendships with everyone in the cast. We did a pilot episode of The Gemma Factor in 2008. From that, a series was eventually commissioned and we all stayed in touch with one another and saw each other regularly. It's been great all staying together in the same hotel when we've been on location. We all go for a meal and a few drinks after a hard days filming and then before bed, we all help each other learn our lines for the next day's shooting schedule. Anna and I are both Geordies, not that anyone would know by our accents in the show, so I think we have a strong Geordie bond too. I feel like I've made great lifelong mates on this series.


As you've mentioned Jeff is extremely camp, as a straight guy did you find any of his scene's particularly embarrassing?

All of them! But at the end of the day I am a young actor who has been lucky enough to be given a wonderful part. I really don't care what I play, as long as I do it well. I've been told I'm very convincing and I actually based Jeff on someone I know. I'm not saying who though! Wearing such a huge amount of makeup was a very strange experience too, but my makeup lady Jess was brilliant and always helped me to take it all off after a days work. It took quite a long time!

What advice would you give to other young aspiring actors?

Never give up. It is a very hard industry, no question about that, and the competition is fierce. But if you keep working at it, you'll get there in the end. I did a degree in Performing Arts at the University of Salford in Manchester and got an agent in my graduate showcase at the end of the course. Since then, I've been up for many parts. Some I've been lucky enough to get and others I haven't. But believe in yourself and never give up. I also did some work in production first, as a runner and 3rd Assistant Director. I think this really helped me to understand the process of making television, and how to treat everyone as you'd want to be treated yourself.


Now the series is coming to an end, what next?

I really hope that people like the show. Hopefully we will go on to make a second series and see what happens next in crazy world of Gemma and friends. It would be great to think that we could all be back together soon to film Series 2 and there are a lot of loose ends left at the end of this series which would be nice to know how they are resolved. I really hope you've all enjoyed it as much I have enjoyed making it.

Ross Adams stars as Jeff in The Gemma Factor.

Don't miss the final episode of The Gemma Factor is on Tuesday at 10.30pm.

Dana Stevens is content producer for BBC Three onlne.

Exclusive Family Guy Announcement - Freakin' Sweet!

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Dana Stevens | 11:12 UK time, Thursday, 1 April 2010

"Oh this is almost as intense as that time I forgot how to sit down!" Peter Griffin


OK listen up because this is more exciting than a night at The Drunken Clam. Not only can I confirm that BBC Three will be showing the brand new series of Family Guy - that's season 8 FG fans - but we're going to host a whole weekend of Family Guy fun. Let's call it Family Guy Weekend - freakin' sweet!

There'll be double-bill of brand spanking new episodes - the first time they'll be shown on telly in this country. And there'll also be a special programme celebrating the global phenomenon that is Family Guy, from the same team that produced the BBC Three Family Guy specials 'Creating the Chaos' and 'The Story So Far'.

Here's the producer and director, Richard Mills to tell you more:

"In a nutshell our fab show sees the first count of character air-time in the show's history. We'll chart the top 20 characters featured in the show, based on the amount of screen time they have had across all of the Family Guy series.

Alongside exclusive interviews from the cast and crew (Creator - Seth MacFarlane, Voice of Chris Griffin - Seth Green, Voice of Meg Griffin - Mila Kunis etc) we are approaching British celebrity fans to get their view on Quahog's finest residents, and of course, we'll be showing some all time favourite clips as well as some exclusive footage from the new series."

"Oh! Oh! This story is so good, it must be fattening!" Stewie Griffin

And if that's not enough you can also watch a special one-off event, Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show. Starring Seth MacFarlane and his co-star Alex Borstein it's a "variety special" which will "highlight the duo's subversive and unique comedic sensibilities." There'll be comedy sketches, celebrity guests, original animation and even some live action performances of the most memorable musical numbers from the show. I have my fingers and toes crossed that there's a version of Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Best Family Guy song ever. Fact.
(If you haven't seen it, watch it on YouTube - after reading the rest of this of course.)

Now before you head off to find that clip of Brian dressed as a banana, there's more! Oh yes, there'll also be a chance to watch some classic Family Guy episodes. I'm hoping for Da Boom - my personal favourite.

"You know, some people think that dandelions are weeds, but, you know, I always think, who the hell decided tulips were so great?" Peter Griffin

One last thing...this new season also includes the Star Wars themed episode with the catchy title 'Something Something Something Darkside" which is a follow up to the previous, brilliant Star Wars special Blue Harvest. Although this won't be on over Family Guy Weekend it will be on BBC Three soon after.

"Lois (Princess Leia): Governor Tarkin. I recognized your foul stench as soon as I was brought onboard.
Stewie (Darth Vader): Um, actually that's me. I made a Darth Doody. I sithed my pants. My diaper's gone over to the darkside. I got pages of these, I could go on."

So by now you'll all be crying 'When is it?' All I can tell you at the moment is that it's 'Coming Soon'. But watch this space, as soon as the exact date is announced you'll be the first to know. If that lot doesn't make you happier than Brian on a Martini-binge, I don't know what will.

Giggity giggity goo!

Dana Stevens is content producer for BBC Three online.

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