BBC Three

Archives for November 2010

How Not To Live Your Life: Ask Dan Clark a Question

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Dana Stevens | 10:44 UK time, Monday, 29 November 2010

Is Dan Clark really like Don Danbury in real life? Does he secretly love wearing that pink, granny's dressing gown? How did he persuade The Mighty Boosh's Noel Fielding to be in the new series?

How Not To Live Your Life

If you've got a burning question for Dan Clark, creator and star of How Not to Live Your Life, then now's your chance.

All you have to do is post your question here on the blog, the BBC Three Facebook page or via Twitter @bbc3tv and we'll put a selection of the best ones to Dan. We'll then have his answers here on the blog before next week's episode. Simples.

Just make sure you get them to us by midday on Thursday 2nd December. And don't miss tonight's episode of How Not To Live Your Life tonight at 10.30pm as Don tries to find love by dating a homeless girl.

You can also find out more about the process of making the new series in Dan Clark's filming diaries here on the blog.

Can't Bully Me: Beating The Bullies

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Dana Stevens | 14:55 UK time, Thursday, 25 November 2010

What happens when bullying gets so bad that you can't even go to school? That's the dilemma faced by the students featured in tonight's programme Can't Bully Me. Too traumatised for mainstream school, they're given the opportunity for a fresh start by the Red Balloon Learner Centres where specialist support helps them develop their self-confidence and rebuild their lives. Director of Can't Bully Me, Kate Taunton, explains why she wanted to share these inspiring stories:

The young people in the film were all bullied at their previous schools but their experiences were very varied. They each tell their individual stories in their own unique way in the film and express themselves brilliantly. It's taken real courage for them to speak so honestly and I'm sure their accounts will chime with many people watching. I felt it was important to show the huge impact bullying can have, but also that it is possible to recover from these experiences and that being a victim of bullying doesn't have to be the end of the story - things can improve.

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We filmed with a small crew of two over eight months at the Red Balloon Learner centre in Cambridge and a little bit at the centre in London. What struck me was that the relationships between the staff and students were very strong and very positive. There was always someone to turn to when something was up and the students felt that the staff were on their side. Some of the young people had lost their trust in adults as well as other teenagers, so this was particularly important if they were going to move on. I'm really grateful to the staff for letting us in to see the recovery process first hand, it's down to them that the kids felt able to be so open and I think they do an incredible job.

Can't Bully Me (Billy)

Billy, a student featured in Can't Bully Me

It's been really inspiring getting to know the staff and students of Red Balloon over the past year. I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a Red Balloon centre on their doorstep, but I hope that the film will raise awareness of the impact of bullying more generally and spark a useful discussion about ways we can address it.

Have you got advice about how to beat the bullies? Share your experiences and advice here on the blog.

Kate Taunton is the director of Can't Bully Me on BBC Three tonight at 9pm.

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60seconds Sam - The Student Debate: Should Tuition Fees Be Increased?

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Sam Naz Sam Naz | 09:00 UK time, Wednesday, 24 November 2010

"These proposals offer a thriving future for universities...they ensure value for money and real choice for learners." Universities Minister David Willetts

That was how the government announced its plans to increase tuition fees in England to up to £9,000 a year. And this was how the National Union of Students responded:

"This is utterly unacceptable and an outrage which could decimate access into our university system." NUS President Aaron Porter

Increasing the cap on tuition fees has become one of the government's most controversial plans and the backlash from student unions is set to continue today with more protests across the country. Both men will be discussing the issue on BBC Three tonight in a special Young Voters' Question Time, so let's take a closer look at the plans and why they've divided opinion so much.

Students graduating


What exactly does the government want to do and why?
  • Universities have had their budgets slashed over the past few years and in the recent Spending Review, so they need a new funding system to cover their costs.
  • Demand for places is higher than ever, pushing the costs up.
  • The cap on tuition fees needs to rise from £3,290 to £9,000 a year from 2012.
  • Universities charging the full amount will have to make sure they do more to help poorer students get places.
  • Graduates won't pay anything back until they earn over £21,000 a year.
  • Higher grants will be available for poorer students.
Check out Radio 1's Newsbeat's article for more on why this is happening now.


What do student unions say?
  • Tuition fees will treble leaving students with massive debts.
  • Students are being forced to shoulder all the costs of higher education.
  • The Liberal Democrats, who make up the coalition government with the Conservatives, had committed to scrapping tuition fees in their pre-election manifesto. (You can read more in this article).
  • The plans are being rushed through without proper assurances for poorer students.
  • Cuts in public funding threaten the future of our universities.


It's worth pointing out that the situation is different around the UK. Universities in Wales and Northern Ireland can charge up to £3,290 a year. In Scotland, Scottish and EU students pay no fees at all; those from elsewhere in the UK have to pay £1,820 a year. You can find out lots more about fees across the UK in this BBC News guide to tuition fees. It's pretty safe to say that everyone will be watching what happens in England closely and any increase in fees could lead to changes elsewhere too.

So, with MPs expected to vote on the plans in the next few weeks, we want to know where you stand on this. Is £9,000 a year enough to put you off uni? Or is it right that graduates should pay for their own degrees? Let us know what you think.

You can watch Young Voters' Question Time presented by Richard Bacon at 8pm tonight. The panel guests will be Aaron Porter NUS President, Universities Minister David Willets MP, Tessa Jowell MP, Simon Hughes MP, Douglas Murray, Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion and Irish comedian Ed Byrne.

Journalist Sam Naz presents the 60seconds news on BBC Three.

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Love Me, Love My Face: "Living My Life The Way I Want"

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Dana Stevens | 11:05 UK time, Wednesday, 17 November 2010

As part of the Born Survivors series on BBC Three, Love Me, Love My Face features the inspirational story of Jono Lancaster who was born with a rare genetic condition, Treacher Collins Syndrome. This affected the way his facial bones developed and he was given up for adoption after he was born. In the programme, we follow Jono as he searches for his birth parents and sets out to prove that the syndrome doesn't define him or his life. So how has life changed for Jono since filming ended?

Love Me, Love My Face (Jono and Laura)

Jono and girlfriend Laura

Jono writes:

I really wanted to do the documentary Love Me, Love My Face to get my face out there into the public eye, to show the world how happy someone can be regardless of who they are or what they're going through or have been through.

It was filmed during a quite emotional time in my life, but I felt it was the right time to find out about my birth parents. I felt that I was ready emotionally and I had the right people around me to support me - and although it didn't go the way I'd hoped I'm so glad I can say I tried. I've had a long time to think about what happened now and all I can say is that I hope they're happy. If they change their mind in the future I'd still like to meet them, I hold no grudges.

Also we're still in touch with some of the families that we met during filming and I just want to say it was a joy to meet them all. I'm so glad that they're still a part of my life, their presence fills me with loads of positive thoughts.

Me and Laura are still together and going strong, in fact we had an offer on a house accepted early this year and moved in towards end of summer. We love it, although Laura needs a lot of house training. Ha ha! Mum (Jean) is glad to finally have the house to herself, some peace and quiet at last, although she misses my cooking.

Love Me, Love My Face (Jono)

Recently I've been to a few weddings of my close friends which has meant plenty more stag do's with the boys, whoop whoop! The stags had their dads present and it's really got me thinking about those father bonding things that go on between father and son, and it's something I crave and something I can't wait to do.

What does the future hold??? Who knows? But we're really thinking about how and when we're going to start a family. It's still such a confusing subject in my head, it's something that will take time to sort out, but it's something that we want to do somewhere down the line. Then, who knows, there may be my very own wedding to attend.

There's one last thing I'd like to say: Love Me, Love My Face is part of a series of programmes called Born Survivors but I honestly don't believe I'm a survivor - just a regular guy living my life the way I want.

Jono Lancaster stars in Love Me, Love My Face 9pm, Thursday 18th November.

Next week's Born Survivors documentary Can't Bully Me (9pm Thursday 25th November)explores how young people are affected when bullying forces them out of mainstream schooling.

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Is she really Mad About The House?

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Dana Stevens | 15:16 UK time, Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Could you hand over all decorating and design decisions to your partner? I don't think I could but every week on Mad About The House, a woman leaves her partner alone with £12, 000 to spend as he wants on their house....although quite often a lot seems to go on a flatscreen telly.

I wanted to know what it's really like to take part in the show so I asked Natalie, who features in this week's programme, to tell us why she wanted to do the show, how she really felt about her partner Paul's changes and how it affected them as a couple.

Mad About The House (Natalie and Paul)

We only decided to take part after a long chat, due to the fact that I was very nervous (to say the least) of handing over full control to Paul. I am not a control freak but I do like my own way to a certain point as I design for work, but saying that, I decided that Paul needed to do this and I needed to give him the reins. I am a home bird and wanted to make a nest for me and did not really think about a nest for US so this was a great chance for him to assist in making our home.

My family thought I was absolutely mad and kept asking if I had forgotten my medication but his family just thought he would make me proud and told me not to worry. Paul and his family are so laid back that they make dead people look like they are flying but my family, who know me very well, thought that Paul had just signed his own death wish. We agreed that through it all they were not to discuss anything as if I had any inkling I would have lost the plot. Everyone was supportive and I knew deep down with some persuasion from the family that if he screwed up I could either re-decorate or trade Paul in for a new man.

When I came back after the three weeks, my first reaction was that I just wanted to see Paul, corny I know, but that was what was going on in my head. I absolutely adored the kitchen, it gave me a breakdown but in a good way and for the first time in a while it left me speechless. The boys' room was ok and I just thought well he has worked hard he deserves it.

Mad About The House (Natalie and Paul)

Then I entered my bedroom!!!!!!!!! Not such a happy moment, more of a full on panic attack. I hated it at first and just thought that sitting Paul in a cage full of starved lions would be easier than what he had coming when I got hold of him. I hate black decor and my room was something out of Apollo 13 and it took three attempts to get me in there. I asked for vodka to calm my nerves but had to settle with water as we were still filming. When Paul told me the reasons behind the bedroom and his thought process, I did warm to it and kinda thought it was a romantic gesture, but saying that it was great for a night or so but not for life. I knew straight away I would change the bedroom and I would be taking down the picture of the earth. It took over three months but I got there in the end. Well he had no choice as week by week I was slowly peeling it off the wall until he had to take it down. My kitchen is still the same except I have moved the cupboards around as I like to know where things are and every place has a home; Paul just likes to fill space.

Since doing the show I trust Paul a lot more in the house and we do discuss the changes we want to make together now, whereas before I told him what we were doing. We have just finished decorating our living room which we did together and choose the colours and wallpaper together. This might not sound like a big deal but trust me, allowing him input was like an ex-addict walking into a bar and just sitting with an OJ and a great big smile. I am quite a perfectionist and like things a certain way so this is a big step for me. It has strengthened us a lot and it ended with us getting married.

I had always dreamed of a big white castle wedding but being apart from Paul, and realising that he actually did the house for me, made me realise that I wanted to be his wife. I wanted to have a wedding without all the glamour and glitz as saying 'I do' was more important than 25k debt.

He proved a lot to me and he also made our families, and more importantly himself, proud. I have no regrets about doing it and would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Watch Natalie and Paul in Mad About The House tonight at 9pm.

Find out more About Mad About The House

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60seconds Sam meets Kara Tointon

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Sam Naz Sam Naz | 15:01 UK time, Thursday, 11 November 2010

Hi everyone, I'm Sam and you may have seen me presenting BBC Three's news bulletins 60seconds. I'm going to be blogging here every so often giving you more insight into news stories and issues. A big part of my job involves reading. I have to get my head round the main stories of the day, so I read the papers, press releases, websites, stories from news agencies...the list goes on. I had no idea how much I took reading for granted until I met Strictly Come Dancing star Kara Tointon. The ex-EastEnder has dyslexia and she's spent the past six months confronting her condition for a BBC Three documentary Kara Tointon: Don't Call Me Stupid. I managed to catch up with her in between Strictly rehearsals.

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Kara's not alone. The British Dyslexia Association told me 1 in 10 young people have the learning difficulty in the UK - around 1 in 4 of them is severely dyslexic.

Exactly what someone with dyslexia sees when they try to read or write varies from person to person, and depends on what level of the condition they have. But experts agree that spotting it and finding a learning technique that works is the key. So what are some of the main signs?

  • Reversing letters and numbers - 'b' becomes 'd', 'p' becomes 'q' or '6' becomes '9'.
  • Staring hard or squinting at the text.
  • Difficulty with handwriting. Uncomfortable grip on the pen - might hold it in a fist.
  • Confusing left and right, the order of week days, months of the year.
  • Bad spelling.
  • Problems understanding what he/she has just read.
  • Poor memory and being disorganised.
  • Lack of confidence and low self esteem.
There's no cure for dyslexia, but being taught in a different way can help. Kara's now saving hours and hours of her time by using a multi-sensory method to learn her lines for auditions. It involves using shapes, colours and movements to help the scripts sink in. Kara told me she felt lucky to have got the support she needed at such an early age. She was just seven when her parents found out she had dyslexia. The actress is proof that the condition doesn't have to hold you back and she's not the only one. There's a pretty impressive list of famous dyslexics (you can read more about them on the Ouch! website), including Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise, billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson and top TV chef Jamie Oliver. Now that's not bad company to be in, is it?

If you'd like to find out more about dyslexia, here are some links:
Journalist Sam Naz presents the 60seconds news bulletins on BBC Three.

Kara Tointon: Don't Call Me Stupid is on tonight at 9pm.

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How Not To Live Your Life: The Final Filming Diary

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Dan Clark Dan Clark | 16:47 UK time, Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The last few weeks of the shoot for How Not To Live Your Life were in the studio. Don's house is a brilliant crafted set built in a less-than-desirable studio in the town of Dumbarton, just outside Glasgow. I say less than desirable. I certainly wouldn't call Dumbarton Studios the most depressing place I've ever been to, but it's definitely not Hollywood. It's cold (even in August) and damp and the walls are covered in pebbledash. It has an eerie feel to it. But it's what we called home for three weeks.

If you want a reminder of what the set of Don's house looks like, here's Don sharing his thoughts on Sam's new boyfriend:

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By the time we reached the end of the shoot, we were all relieved that it was over. Well, everyone except Sam Leifer, the director. He's an android. I've never met anyone who can work so hard on such little sleep. He turned up one day having only had an hour of sleep. He looked and behaved no differently to previous days. He didn't even yawn. In fact, I think he only yawned twice over the whole seven weeks. And one of those was by accident. Believe me, when you're getting up at 5.45am everyday and filming for 12 hours, you yawn. Unless you're an android.

How Not To Live Your Life (Dan Clark)

It was a fun, exhilarating shoot which, I'm fairly certain, will culminate in being the best series of How Not To Live Your Life yet. By a mile. But I was thanking God when we got to the editing stage. Starting at 9.30am; sitting down all day, cutting funny scenes together, and lots of coffee and cakes. Oh, okay. I'll miss standing in the cold with a ball-gag in my mouth.

Dan Clark writes and stars in How Not To Live Your Life on BBC Three, Mondays at 10.30pm.

Exclusive Explosion: blowing up a paddling pool with hydrogen

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Greg Foot Greg Foot | 13:20 UK time, Thursday, 4 November 2010

Hey guys, I'm new to BBC Three so I thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Greg and for the past five months I've been off doing lots of cool stuff for a new BBC Three show called Secrets of the Universe. It's a science documentary, but it's kinda different to the typical science shows. First up they didn't send me anywhere glamorous like the jungle or the arctic - which was a bit gutting - but I did get to surf a tidal wave (over near Gloucester!) and play the guitar at 60mph strapped to a jeep. Hell yeah!

I even got Big Ben to chime thirteen times:

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The show sets out to answer one of those epic head-screw questions - where did we come from? And when I was told we'd be doing loads of stunts to find out what's going on I jumped at the chance. Literally. One of the demos involves my mates shooting me with some pretty fly paintball guns as I dropped out of a tree. Yep, it bloody hurt. Major purple bruises for weeks. Good laugh though, and it was all to check out the gravity that stops us floating off into space.

There's loads of other stuff like me microwaving ants, building a death ray and exploding a massive cream cake (that was an awesome day!) too so the show is pretty rammed. One thing that we couldn't squeeze in was some fun I had up on my roof terrace, so I thought I'd give you the chance to watch the extra scene here. My housemates don't know about this though, which is probably a good plan, as they're still wondering what happened to their beloved plants...

See what happened in this exclusive clip of a paddling pool explosion!

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This clip was a supersized version of a little demo I did in the show where I used a battery to rip water molecules apart and release the hydrogen inside. The test for hydrogen is to light it. If you get a pop, voila it's hydrogen. So I thought why don't I do a big one up on my roof? We got some car batteries and a paddling pool and set it going. Got a pretty sweet amount of hydrogen but when I lit it there was only a tiny flame and not the explosion I was looking for. So we called in a canister of hydrogen, just to get that proper bang!

The cool thing with this is that all the stuff exploding here - hydrogen - was made in the Big Bang, so it's over 13 billion years old. Which is kinda crazy cos when you drink a glass of water you're drinking down something from the dawn of time. Which I think is pretty neat.

It's been a blast making the show and fingers crossed I'll get to do another! I'd love to hear what you guys think of the show.

Greg Foot presents Secrets of The Universe tonight at 8pm.

Laura Fraser aka Cat answers your questions

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Dana Stevens | 16:30 UK time, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Lip Service (Ruta Gedmintas as Frankie and Laura Fraser as Cat)

Ruta Gedmintas as Frankie and Laura Fraser as Cat in Lip Service

Thank you to everyone who sent us questions here on the blog and via Facebook and Twitter for Lip Service actress Laura Fraser, who plays architect Cat. We put a selection of your questions to Laura and these are her answers. Enjoy!

From Luce Davies: What made you go for the role of Cat and did you audition or any other parts?

Hi Luce. I only read for Cat and I liked her because I thought it would be interesting to play someone so nervous and anxious. Compared to Cat I feel very happy and chilled!

From Emma Bjork Harland: What research if any did you do for your role; gay bars, websites or gay friends for example?

Hey Emma. I have quite a few gay pals but they are all loved up and no longer on the scene, so it was fun to go to a few gay bars in Glasgow and check it out. I only got the part a week before shooting so there wasn't time for a lot of research!

From Gill: Hi Laura, loving the show. Is it true you had to read 'The Guide to Lesbian Sex' to prepare for your role as Cat and if so, what was the most interesting thing you learnt from it?

Hi Gill, glad you're loving the show! We had a look at the lesbian sex guide to get some ideas and I thought the pictures were stunning. Women's bodies together are so beautiful. A very aesthetically pleasing book altogether!

Lip Service (Heather Peace as Sam and Laura Fraser as Cat.)

Heather Peace as Sam and Laura Fraser as Cat in Lip Service

From Kelsey Churcher: Can I ask are you and Cat similar in any way? Thanks. Love the show!

Hey Kelsey.Yes, I have to admit there are some similarities! I can be a bit of a control freak about the tidyness of my house and I can get a little anxious about small things, but generally I think I have a less fearful perspective than Cat.

From nebelkaetzchen: Which scene(s) did you enjoy filming the most? Which did you dislike the most?

I loved filming ensemble scenes so that I could enjoy watching the other actors, they really made me laugh. I wasn't a huge fan of the day I had three consecutive sex scenes, I found that rather stressful!

From pqst07: Laura, I just wondered what you found to be the funniest moment you experienced during filming. Am really enjoying the series and your work in general!

One day last December I was in the make-up chair with my three year old daughter visiting and we heard a rumbling coming from the hall outside. We looked out and saw two giant pandas on wheelie chairs whizzing their way towards us. It was Ruta Gedmintas (Frankie) and Heather Peace (Sam) dressed up in these panda costumes that were randomly lying around in production office, but from then on my daughter thought I went to work with pandas.

Lip Service (Laura Fraser as Cat)

From @Lisa_MD: Did you get along with the cast well? You & @heatherpeace are both gorgeous!

Thanks Lisa! Yes we all got along swimmingly, I really love the cast. Such an interesting group of bright, funny, kind women (and men!)They're very cool indeed.

From Katie Hyatt: Here is a question from an American who LOVES the show. :) I'd like to ask: Who is the better kisser, Ruta Gedmintas or Heather Peace?

Are you trying to get me in trouble Katie!?!

From jiggyquincy: What was it like starring in two BBC dramas at the same time, Lip Service and Single Father both starting a few days apart?

It was good fun and a little confusing, people were a bit like 'So you're a lesbian and you die?' And I had to say, 'No, I'm playing David Tennant's wife in one show, Single Father, and I die on Sunday, then I'm playing a live lesbian on Tuesdays'!

From Faye Clark: What do your family and friends think about you playing the role of a lesbian? Have you had any trouble because of it?

My peeps think the show is great! I gave them advance warning re sex scenes, which is what I always do gay or straight, as no one needs to see their sibling/daughter having sex! All the feedback has been positive.

Laura Fraser plays Cat in Lip Service. Don't forget you can watch Lip Service at 10.30pm Tuesdays on BBC Three.

What's your freaky habit?

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Dana Stevens | 12:51 UK time, Monday, 1 November 2010

Do you have an odd habit that you haven't told your friends about? Or maybe you're proud of that strange obsession that marks you out from other people?

In our new series Freak Like Me, comedian Russell Kane uncovers some of the weird and wonderful habits that people indulge in both secretly and in public. After episode 1 featured 18 year old Annie who still sucks a dummy, a viewer called Star went to the BBC Three Facebook page to tell us she still has a dummy at the age of 21! Do you know someone who is even older and still has one?

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Maybe you think chewing your own toenails is completely normal or you're obsessed with fancy dress? Whatever they are, we want to hear all about your freaky habits. Tell us now.

And in this week's show, the matter of national importance debated by the British public is.... 'How do you pass time while you're on the toilet?'

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So come clean and confess how you really pass the time on the loo. Is it ok to catch up with your mates and make phone calls while you're sitting on the loo? Is reading a book normal or just a male thing? Tell us what you think.

You can watch Freak Like Me on Mondays at 8.30pm.

Add details of your freaky habit here.

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