Bernard and the Genie
Bernard and the Genie is a 1991 British fantasy comedy-drama television film directed by Paul Weiland and written by Richard Curtis. Co-produced by Attaboy and Talkback for BBC Television, the film was first shown on BBC1 on 23 December 1991. A comic fantasy that takes its inspiration from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, it follows Alan Cumming as an art dealer, not having a good day; the film begins in an ancient location where a man is cornered by a sorcerer after a knife-throwing accident. The sorcerer traps him in a lamp as punishment. Two thousand years Bernard Bottle, an art dealer for a prestigious firm in London, scores a huge sale and earns his company fifty million pounds, his boss, Charles Pinkworth, congratulates him on the sale, but when Bernard reveals that he gave half of the money back to the original owners of the paintings, Pinkworth fires him. Bernard returns dejectedly to his flat and seeks comfort, but discovers that his girlfriend has been sleeping with his best friend.
She clears Bernard's flat of nearly everything, leaving behind only a small amount of furniture and an ornate antique lamp. He attempts causing an explosion that sends him to the hospital; when Bernard returns to his flat, he encounters a man. During the fight, Bernard wishes; when the man states "Your wish is my command", Bernard wishes for the fight to stop. Bernard learns that the man, named Josephus, is a genie, trapped inside the lamp for two thousand years, that he can grant any wish; the two forge a friendship in which Bernard introduces Josephus to modern food and entertainment, as well as using wishes to furnish his flat with expensive furniture and the authentic Mona Lisa, subsequently reported missing from the Louvre. After a night on the town, Bernard returns to his flat without Josephus to find someone inside, he picks up a sword and attacks the person around the corner, inadvertently killing a police officer. A detective in the flat reveals Pinkworth, who accuses him of grand theft, pointing to the Mona Lisa.
Bernard is arrested for grand theft and murder. At the station, Bernard tries multiple times to call Josephus at his flat, but at first Josephus doesn't hear the telephone ringing fails to understand how the device works, he starts hanging up the phone each time it rings, which the police interpret as a form of coded communication. Bernard is put in jail, Josephus joins him in the cell. Bernard wishes he could go back and do things differently, which causes time to rewind back to when Bernard was about to enter his flat. Bernard enters his flat with confidence, where his boss again accuses him of grand theft. However, this time, a different and much less notable painting is on the wall, the detective learns the Mona Lisa has been returned to the Louvre; the police leave. Bernard and Josephus discuss the meaning of Christmas and how the holiday has become commercialized over time they set out to grant wishes for children at a local mall, they cause Bernard's elevator operator to win the lottery, get Bernard's former girlfriend and best mate arrested on drug charges, bring about a rare snow to London.
They cause Pinkworth's entire fortune to be donated to a charity organization which, in a televised news event, gathers at Pinkworth's house to express their gratitude, to his great dismay. Josephus expresses a desire to return to his own time, after an emotional conversation, Bernard absentmindedly says he wishes Josephus would go, causing the genie to disappear. Bernard is left with a ticket to the shopping mall, he hands the ticket to the woman at the entrance to see Santa Claus, she asks him what he would like for Christmas. A moment Bernard is outside and waves to the woman through the window, who blows him a kiss in return, he heads home. The opening scene of the film is repeated. However, this time Josephus bargains with the man, revealing a thick-slice toaster that piques the man's interest. A DVD was released for Region 1, albeit unauthorized, on 4 September 2007. On November 11, 2016, the German home entertainment company Pidax Films released the first official DVD of the film, under its German title Bernie und der Weihnachtgeist.
This is a Region 2 release, compatible with UK DVD players, contains the original English audio as well as the German audio. Bernard and the Genie on IMDb
QI is a British comedy panel game television quiz show created and co-produced by John Lloyd, features permanent panellist Alan Davies. Stephen Fry was host of the show from its initial pilot, before departing after the final episode of the M series in 2016, with frequent QI panellist Sandi Toksvig replacing him prior to the beginning of the N series in 2016; the format of the show focuses on Davies and three other guest panellists answering questions that are obscure, making it unlikely that the correct answer will be given. To compensate, the panellists are awarded points not only for the right answer, but for interesting ones, regardless of whether they are right or relate to the original question, while points are deducted for "answers which are not only wrong, but pathetically obvious" – answers that are believed to be true but in fact are misconceptions; these answers, referred to as "forfeits", are indicated by a loud klaxon and alarm bell, flashing lights, the incorrect answer being flashed on the video screens behind the panellists.
Bonus points are sometimes awarded or deducted for challenges or incorrect references, varying from show to show. QI has a philosophy that "everything is interesting if looked at in the right way". For its first five series shown between 2003 and 2007, which corresponded to the first five letters of the alphabet, episodes premiered on BBC Four before receiving their first analogue airing on BBC Two a week later. From 2008 and 2011, the show was moved to BBC One, with an extended-length edition of each episode broadcast on BBC Two a day or two after the regular show's broadcast under the title of QI XL. Series G and H saw the regular show broadcast in a pre-watershed slot with the extended edition remaining within a post-watershed slot. Beginning with the I series, the regular show returned to a post-watershed slot on BBC Two. Syndicated episodes of previous series are shown on UKTV G2/Dave; the show has received positive ratings from critics and has been nominated for multiple awards. Several books, DVDs and other tie-ins to the show have been released, international versions of QI have been made in other countries.
The panel consists of four participants: three rotating guests and one regular, Alan Davies, who has the seat to the immediate right of the host. Davies has appeared in every episode, although in "Divination" he was not able to appear at the studio but was still able to play "from beyond". Despite frequent wins, Davies finishes last due to incurring forfeits. Questions posed to the panellists are misleading, obscure, or difficult. Providing an "obvious but wrong" answer results in a sequence of klaxons, alarm bells, flashing lights and a score penalty. Davies is the panellist who gives these answers. In the first two series, Fry produced the given answer on a card to show the panellists, while it flashed on the large screens behind them In the third series and onward, Fry's answer cards were dispensed with altogether, leaving only the screens as proof that such answers had been predicted; because the show's creators expected that hardly anyone would be able to give a correct answer without significant prompting, they instead encourage sheer "interestingness", how points are scored.
As such, tangential discussions are encouraged, panellists are apt to branch off into frivolous conversations, give voice to trains of thought, share humorous anecdotes from their own lives. The number of points given and taken away are decided by Fry or beforehand by QI researchers known as "The QI Elves". For example, in one episode Davies was docked 10 points for suggesting "oxygen" to the question "What is the main ingredient of air?"Negative scores are common, even the victor's score may be negative. Score totals are announced at the conclusion of the show. Fry has said, "I think we all agree that nobody in this universe understands QI's scoring system." John Lloyd, QI's creator, has, on one occasion, admitted that not he has any idea how the scoring system works, but there is someone, paid to check on the scores. According to the Series A DVD, guests are allowed the right of appeal if they believe their score is wrong, but none has so far exercised that right. Panellists are given buzzers to use in signaling a response, each of which produces a different sound when pressed.
For the first three series, the sounds were random things or followed an arbitrary theme in each episode, such as heard everyday sounds in the Series C episode "Common Knowledge." From Series D onwards, all four sounds are based on the particular episode's theme, such as in the Series F episode "Films and Fame". The buzzers are always demonstrated at the beginning of the programme, but are given a shortened version for repeated use during the episode in General Ignorance. Davies "always gets the most demeaning sound" for his buzzer. Sometimes, the buzzers have unique points such as having questions based on them.
Channel 5 (UK)
Channel 5 is a British free-to-air television network. It was launched in 1997, was the fifth national terrestrial analogue network in the United Kingdom after BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4, it is the fifth-placed network in the country in audience share, has been since its inception. The station was branded as Five between 2011, when it was owned by the RTL Group. Richard Desmond purchased the station from RTL on 23 July 2010, announcing plans to invest more money in programming and return to the name Channel 5 with immediate effect, it was relaunched on 14 February 2011. On 1 May 2014 the channel was acquired by Viacom for £450 million. Channel 5 is a general entertainment channel that shows both internally commissioned programmes such as Fifth Gear, Big Brother & Celebrity Big Brother, The Gadget Show, The Hotel Inspector, Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! and Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun and foreign programmes. The station has been successful with imports from the United States in particular, including the CSI franchise, the NCIS franchise, the first 3 series in the Law & Order franchise, Power Rangers, The Mentalist, Body of Proof, Once Upon a Time and Under the Dome.
In July 2014, Channel 5 announced plans to open up its production arm and allow it to create shows for other channels, following the new policies of the BBC and ITV Studios. Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited was licensed by the UK Government in 1995 after a bidding process that started in 1993 and lasted throughout 1994; the initial round of bidders, which included a network of city-TV stations planned by Thames Television and the Italian politician and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, was rejected outright and the ITC contemplated not awarding the licence at all. The difficulty with the project lay in use of television broadcast frequencies, allocated to RF outputs from domestic videocassette recorders. To achieve national coverage, large numbers of domestic video recorders had to be retuned or fitted with a filter, at the bidding company's expense; the project was revived in mid-1994. Tom McGrath, then-president of Time Warner International Broadcasting, put together a revised frequency plan with NTL and consulting engineer Ellis Griffiths, involving less retuning and greater signal coverage.
Lord Hollick chief executive of Meridian Broadcasting took up the project as lead investor as UK law prohibited Time Warner from owning more than 25%. Pearson Television, who by now owned original licence bidders Thames Television came on board; when McGrath left to become President of Paramount, Time Warner dropped out of the project and was replaced by CLT. Other bidders for the licence included UKTV (led by Canwest and Select TV which bid £36m for the licence, New Century Television Virgin TV Wolf Olins and Saatchi & Saatchi were the main companies behind the pre-launch advertising campaign: "Give Me 5"; the channel would be both mainstream. A logo and visual motif were used, an attempt was made to establish a collection of Channel 5 faces. A series of pre-launch screens were displayed on the frequencies Channel 5 would begin broadcasting on in the months before launch as well, including a trailer for the channel and information screens. After re-tuning, around 65% of the population's televisions could view the channel on launch night.
The channel's launch on Easter Sunday 1997 at 6 pm featured the Spice Girls singing a re-written version of Manfred Mann's hit "5-4-3-2-1" as "1-2-3-4-5". Presenters Tim Vine and Julia Bradbury introduced the nation to the UK's fifth terrestrial channel with half-an-hour of previews; the rest of the Channel 5 launch night schedule, along with the official viewing figures, was as follows: Overall, an estimated 2,490,000 tuned in to see Britain's fifth free network launch, a figure higher than that achieved by launch of Channel 4, fourteen and a half years earlier. On 16 September 2002, Channel 5 re-branded to Five, in a multimillion-pound project directed by Trevor Beattie; the channel's director of marketing at the time, David Pullen, said: On 27 February 2004, it was reported that Five and Channel 4 were discussing a possible merger. Channel 4 and Five announced in November of that year. Early in 2009, rumours started re-surfacing about Five, Channel 4 and ITV conducting a three-way merger.
Pearson Television and CLT merged, becoming RTL Group who became part of Bertelsmann and, control the network, after buying UBM's 35.4% stake for £247.6 million on 20 July 2005. The acquisition was approved on 26 August 2005. After Holleck became involved, he and McGrath brought on board Greg Dyke as interim CEO during the application and launch phase of the project. On 18 November 2005, it was announced that Five had bought a stake in DTT's pay-TV operator, Top Up TV, it was said that the investment may lead to the development of new free and pay services on DTT, other platforms. Following this, Five launched two new digital TV channels in autumn 2006 on Freeview and Virgin Media: 5 STAR launched as Five Life on 15 October 2006
Lemon La Vida Loca
Lemon La Vida Loca is a British mock reality show created and written by, starring, comedian Leigh Francis and actress Laura Aikman. The show's title is derived from Ricky Martin's 1999 hit single, "Livin' la Vida Loca"; the series follows the character of television personality Keith Lemon, capturing his home and work life, everything in between. The series began airing on 2 August 2012 on ITV2, concluded its first series on 23 August 2012. Whilst on Let's Do Lunch with Gino & Mel, Lemon announced that a Christmas special of Lemon La Vida Loca would air in December, he confirmed this news on his Twitter account as well. A second series began airing on 6 June 2013. Aikman announced that she would not be returning to the show for the second series, but she did make an appearance on the first episode of the second series, it was announced in January 2014. Leigh Francis as Keith Lemon Laura Aikman as Rosie Parker The second series began on 6 June 2013 at 10pm on ITV2; the complete first and second series of Lemon La Vida Loca was released onto DVD on 18 November 2013 as a three-disc set.
Lemon La Vida Loca at ITV.com Lemon La Vida Loca on IMDb Lemon La Vida Loca at British Comedy Guide
Alas Smith and Jones
Alas Smith and Jones is a British comedy sketch television series featuring Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones that ran for four series and two Christmas specials on BBC2 from 1984 to 1988, as Smith and Jones for six series on BBC1 from 1989 to 1998. A spin-off to Not the Nine O'Clock News, the show had a brief run in the United States on A&E and PBS in the late 1980s, as well as on CBS in the early 1990s during their late-night block; the show's creation followed the ending of Not the Nine O'Clock News in 1982. Rowan Atkinson and Pamela Stephenson followed individual career paths, whilst Smith and Jones opted to form a double act instead; the first post-Not… appearance as a duo was in a short sketch in the BBC1 comedy special The Funny Side of Christmas in 1982, where Jones played a complete stranger-annoying hospital patient Smith to the extent that Smith's character walks out in a rage, leaving Jones's character to enjoy Smith's Christmas gifts. Shortly afterwards the BBC offered the pair their own show, with much of the material written by themselves with help from a large team of other writers.
The show's title was a pun on that of the American television series Alias Smith and Jones, popular in Britain. The show continued along the same steps of Not… of using taboo-breaking material and sketches in questionable taste, featured head-to-head'duologues' between Smith and Jones, it shared several script writers with Not the Nine O'Clock News including Clive Anderson and Colin Bostock-Smith, used Chris Langham as a cast regular, while using Andy Hamilton, which helped keep the show to a high standard. The head-to-head sketches were much in the Pete and Dud mould—Smith was the idiot who knew everything, Jones the idiot who knew nothing; the format of the head-to-head with similar characters was used by Smith and Jones in a series of commercials. The final full series to be produced by the BBC was series 4 in 1987 the last series to be broadcast on BBC2. Starting from the 1987 Christmas special, The Homemade Xmas Video, the show became one of the first to be produced for the BBC by an independent production company, TalkBack, of which Smith and Jones were founding directors.
Series 5 in 1989, the first series to be broadcast on BBC1, was the first full series of the show to be produced by TalkBack for the BBC. Smith and Jones would sell TalkBack to Pearson Television, by owners of Thames Television, in 2000 for £62 million. Pearson PLC sold Pearson Television to CLT-UFA in 2001 to form the RTL Group. Pearson Television was renamed FremantleMedia and its UK division took the Thames Television name; the operational departments of TalkBack and Thames were merged to form Talkback Thames in 2003. However, in 2011 it was announced the individual brand names would return and'Talkback' is now once again used for comedy productions; the show ran for ten series across 14 years, each comprising six 30-minute episodes.: Series 1: 31 January 1984 – 6 March 1984 Series 2: 31 October 1985 – 5 December 1985 Series 3: 18 September 1986 – 23 October 1986 Series 4: 15 October 1987 – 26 November 1987 The Homemade Xmas Video: Christmas Special 1987 Alas Sage and Onion: Christmas Special 1988 The show moved from BBC2 to BBC1 starting from the fifth series in 1989, at the same time'Alas' was dropped from the title.
Series 5: 16 November 1989 – 28 December 1989 Series 6: 22 November 1990 – 3 January 1991 Series 7: 22 October 1992 – 3 December 1992 Series 8: 6 September 1995 – 18 October 1995 Series 9: 19 June 1997 – 24 July 1997 Series 10: 9 September 1998 – 14 October 1998 In early 1987, between series 3 and 4 of Alas…, the duo produced a six-part series for London Weekend Television called The World According to Smith and Jones. The BBC came close to not renewing their relationship. Reviews for this series were mixed. Smith and Jones soon appeared back with the BBC for a fourth series that year. Despite the criticism, The World According to Smith and Jones returned for a second six-part series in 1988, but disappeared from the schedules without a repeat. Series 1: 11 January 1987 – 15 February 1987 Series 2: 16 January 1988 – 20 February 1988 Smith and Jones in Small Doses was a series of four comedy playlets shown on BBC2 from 19 October 1989 to 9 November 1989, each written by a different comedian or screenwriter.
It was the last show the duo made for BBC2, broadcast shortly before the fifth series of Smith and Jones. The Whole Hog by Graeme Garden: 19 October 1989 The Boat People by Griff Rhys Jones: 26 October 1989 Second Thoughts by Anthony Minghella: 2 November 1989 The Waiting Room by John Mortimer: 9 November 1989The series was repeated a year on BBC2 from 25 October 1990 to 15 November 1990, albeit in a different order. Following on from the success of The Two Ronnies Sketchbook the previous year and Jones returned in 2006 with The Smith and Jones Sketchbook; the six-part series consisted of Smith and Jones introducing highlights from the show's original run from 1984 to 1998. Some of the classic head-to-head sketches were updated with new material written for the programme; the series was broadcast on BBC One on Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. from 21 April 2006 to 26 May 2006. It has not been released commercially. In 1991, a compilation of footage from series 5 and 6 wa
Griff Rhys Jones
Griffith Rhys Jones is a Welsh comedian, writer and television presenter. He starred in a number of television series with Mel Smith. Rhys Jones came to national attention in the 1980s for his work in the BBC television comedy sketch shows Not the Nine O'Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones. With Smith, he founded television production company Talkback Productions, now part of RTL Group and in 2005, he started the production company Modern Television, he went on to develop a career as a television presenter and writer, as well as continuing with acting work. From 2008 until 2016, he presented the television bloopers show It'll be Alright on the Night for ITV, having replaced Denis Norden who hosted the show for 30 years. Rhys Jones was himself replaced on the show in 2018 by David Walliams. Rhys Jones was born in the son of Gwynneth Margaret and Elwyn Rhys Jones, a medical doctor; the family moved because of his father's occupation to West Sussex. Rhys Jones attended Conifers Primary School in Midhurst, West Sussex, junior school in Epping and Brentwood School in Essex.
After a short spell working as a petrol pump attendant, Rhys Jones gained a gap year job on the P&O ship Uganda, working for a company organising school trips. In his autobiography, Semi-Detached, he describes how he was charged with helping to look after 600 Canadian schoolgirls, followed by a similar number of younger Scottish schoolchildren, refers to the experience as being like "St Trinians at sea", he wrote to eight of the Canadians afterwards. Rhys Jones went to Cambridge, reading history and English at Emmanuel College, graduating with a 2:1. After Cambridge, Rhys Jones joined BBC Radio Light Entertainment as a trainee producer, with his output including the satirical show Week Ending and Brain of Britain. An evening planned to spend watching his hero Frankie Howerd at the invitation of friends Clive Anderson and Rory McGrath, who were writing the show at the time, resulted in Rhys Jones replacing the show's producer, who had suffered from a stress-related illness from dealing with the comedian.
He produced Rowan Atkinson's show The Atkinson People for the BBC and has appeared twice on Whose Line Is It Anyway? Rhys Jones filled in several minor roles in the first series of Not the Nine O'Clock News, was brought in as a regular cast member from the second series onwards, replacing Chris Langham. Rhys Jones says that the reason he got the part was not due to his appearance in the initial shows, or his talent, but because producer John Lloyd was going out with his sister at the time. Rhys Jones became a regular from the commissioned second series. Rhys Jones was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1984 for Best Comedy Performance in Charley's Aunt and in 1994 for Best Comedy Performance for his performance in An Absolute Turkey, he played Toad in The Wind in the Willows at the National Theatre in 1990, as well as a number of other theatre roles. He provided the voices on the series of short cartoons Funnybones, for which he sang the theme tune. Rhys Jones has continued his acting career, having roles in Casualty and Agatha Christie's Marple as well as starring in Russell T Davies' drama series Mine All Mine on ITV.
It'll be Alright on the Night returned with Rhys Jones as the new presenter, taking over from Denis Norden. The first programme starring Rhys Jones aired in 2008. In January 2012, Rhys Jones returned to sketch comedy at the BBC alongside "some of the biggest names in TV", including Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander and Larry Lamb, for one of a three episode series in which comedy legends take to the stage for a mix of stand-up and sketches, it featured a special guest appearance by former comedy partner Mel Smith in a new Head to Head sketch, referring many times to it having been 16 years since their last. After Not the Nine O'Clock News, Mel Smith and Rhys Jones decided to create and write more material together, to start a management company. From 1984, Smith and Rhys Jones appeared in the comedy sketch series Alas Jones. After the first series, the pair appeared on the big screen in Mike Hodges' sci fi comedy movie Morons from Outer Space and in 1989, the LWT production Wilt. Smith and Rhys Jones were reunited in March 2005, for a Comic Relief sketch, which led to a revival of their previous television series in The Smith and Jones Sketchbook, recorded that same year but aired over twelve months later.
Their final television appearance together was a Head To Head routine for the special of 2012 The One Griff Rhys-Jones. When Smith died in the summer of 2013, Rhys Jones wrote a moving piece about his comedy partner in the Radio Times, saying it was "sheer bliss" to perform with Mel. In 1981, Rhys Jones along with Mel Smith founded Talkback, a production company which produced many of the most popular British comedy series of the past two decades, including Smack the Pony, Da Ali G Show, I'm Alan Partridge and Big Train, they sold the company to Pearson for £62 million. In 2005, Rhys Jones created his own production company'Modern Television', which has since made a number of productions with Rhys Jones as presenter and executive producer. Rhys Jones has developed a career as a television presenter, beginning as the co-host on several Comic Relief programmes, he presented Bookworm from 1994 to 2000, was the presenter of the BBC's Restoration programme and has done a considerable amount of fundraising work for the Hackney Empire theatre conservation project.
In 2004, he led a demonstration at the Senate House in Cambridge University for the purpose of saving architecture as a degree in Cambridge. Since 20