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BBC Stars Could Have Salaries Exposed

By | Wednesday September 22, 2010 @ 3:01am PDT

The BBC Trust, the Beeb’s internal regulator, is to give government spending watchdog the National Audit Office free rein to scrutinise its accounts. The Beeb is bowing to government pressure to give the NAO unfettered access to what it spends. This means that top BBC talent could have their salaries published for the first time. Plus many BBC stars make their shows for the Beeb through their own production companies. BBC stars who own their own production companies include Steve Coogan Read More »

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Imagine John Lennon And Sherlock Holmes Headlining PBS Masterpiece Fall Season

Masterpiece’s Fall kicks off on Sunday, October 3 with the second series of Wallander, the Swedish detective portrayed by Kenneth Branagh, memorably described by one critic as “having the permanent mien of a recently slaughtered halibut”. British critics have found series two relentlessly gloomy, although they couldn’t find much to criticise in the acting, stories or production design. The Sunday Times called it “close to perfect” while the Telegraph called this new miniseries “top-notch”. Branagh tracks murderers across the beautifully photographed, yet roiling with evil, farm country of southern Sweden. BBC Worldwide hopes that Wallander will sell as well internationally as ITV’s Inspector Morse did, which sold to more than 200 territories. Both shows share the same confounding storylines — with the solution to the mystery pleasingly beyond the ken of most TV viewers — and the same fjord-like glacial pacing.

Sunday, October 23 sees the BBC’s acclaimed modern-day retelling of Sherlock begins for three consecutive weeks. To be honest, I couldn’t see the point of updating the Conan Doyle stories to 21st century London, especially coming so soon after Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes being released at Christmas. After all, the Holmes character has provided the template for so many TV detectives from Horatio Caine in CSI: Miami to Doctor Gregory House (as in Holmes, geddit?) to the Beeb’s own Luther. Cor blimey guv’nor, I didn’t ‘alf call that one wrong. … Read More »

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