• Jeremy Kyle bosses criticised as ‘irresponsible’ over lie-detector tests
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Jeremy Kyle bosses criticised as ‘irresponsible’ over lie-detector tests

    MPs are grilling ITV bosses about the programme.

  • Matt Cardle says Meghan Markle messages were ‘absolutely nothing’
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Matt Cardle says Meghan Markle messages were ‘absolutely nothing’

    The X Factor star will soon be seen on stage in Jesus Christ Superstar.

  • Jeremy Kyle guests were warned about his ‘presenting style’, documents show
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Jeremy Kyle guests were warned about his ‘presenting style’, documents show

    MPs have released documents relating to the now defunct TV show ahead of a grilling of ITV bosses.

  • Phillip Schofield's star pals rally support amidst Amanda Holden feud
    Celebrity
    Albertina Lloyd

    Phillip Schofield's star pals rally support amidst Amanda Holden feud

    James Jordan, Jo Malone and Mat Evers are among those to have come out in support of Schofield.

  • When TV audiences attack: why Julie from Friends and Betty Draper don’t deserve our venom
    News
    The Guardian

    When TV audiences attack: why Julie from Friends and Betty Draper don’t deserve our venom

    Lauren Tom has revealed she was booed during Friends tapings – but she is not the only actor to come up against unexpected and explosive fan fury. In these days of unrestrained online rage, registering one’s disapproval of a fictional character with a real-life, real-time heckle seems almost quaint. In season two of Friends, Lauren Tom played Julie, the nice palaeontologist girlfriend of Ross. Tom recently revealed that her character was so unpopular among fans of the show clinging to their Ross/Rachel agenda that they would boo her during the tapings. “I wasn’t prepared for the amount of venom I was about to receive in a live audience where they actually booed my character,” she told the NBC show Today. But TV history is littered with (mostly female) accidental villains who inspired disproportionate fan fury. Skyler White, Breaking Bad Anna Gunn was so appalled by the loathing fans held for Skyler that she wrote a sharp defence of her for the New York Times. “My character, to judge from the popularity of websites and Facebook pages devoted to hating her, has become a flash point for many people’s feelings about strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women,” she said. It’s still possible to argue that Breaking Bad’s female characters were underwritten, but Gunn’s articulate disgust at the vitriol Skyler inspired was wonderful and necessary. Dawn Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season five introduced a surprise little sister for the Slayer, upsetting fans who had not yet picked up on season four’s heavy hints. Dawn was whiny, entitled and ruined every quiet night in, but Michelle Trachtenberg, who played her, argued that her more irritating qualities were true to the teenage experience. “It used to be a 60-40 ‘I hate Dawn’. Then it became 50-50. Now, I think it’s 60-40 being supportive of Dawn. Maybe even 70-30,” she told EW in 2017. Lord Grantham, Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville received threats after his Downton character ignored the advice of a doctor, resulting in the death of his daughter Lady Sybil. “I’ve had hate mail and bomb threats, because I’m obviously the most evil person on the planet for favouring one piece of medical advice over another,” Bonneville said, although he somehow failed to call in the dowager countess to sort it all out. Jess Mariano, Gilmore Girls Luke’s brooding nephew arrived in Stars Hollow with a bad-boy, won’t-do attitude and a literary bro armoury of Beat Generation references. Milo Ventimiglia said that his first fan interaction involved a Gilmore Girls viewer telling him she “hated” him at the gym, but at least Jess showed Dean up for the possessive creep that he was, so he wasn’t all bad. Betty Draper, Mad Men January Jones said that once Betty had left Don, Mad Men fans turned against her, even berating her for sleeping with other male characters. “[Fans] were mean to me on the street,” the actor recalled. Oddly, and in contrast to most critics, she felt that Betty’s fat suit era, written to disguise Jones’s pregnancy, made people warm to her again, rather than leaving them wondering if the showrunner, Matt Weiner, had truly lost the plot.

  • Kim Kardashian West shares new pictures from White House visit
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Kim Kardashian West shares new pictures from White House visit

    The reality TV star is campaigning for criminal justice reform.

  • Police release hundreds of files from Smollett investigation
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Police release hundreds of files from Smollett investigation

    It includes more than 90 hours of video footage.

  • Judi Dench says failing eyesight saved her from fear during crocodile encounter
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Judi Dench says failing eyesight saved her from fear during crocodile encounter

    The Oscar-winning actress came face to face with a baby crocodile during a trip to Borneo.

  • Elisabeth Moss: The Handmaid’s Tale is shockingly relevant
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Elisabeth Moss: The Handmaid’s Tale is shockingly relevant

    The actress plays Offred in the dystopian drama based on Margaret Atwood's book.

  • Line Of Duty and Game Of Thrones in running at TV Choice Awards
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Line Of Duty and Game Of Thrones in running at TV Choice Awards

    The awards will be held in London on September 9.

  • Jameela Jamil giving Kim Kardashian’s body make-up a ‘hard pass’
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Jameela Jamil giving Kim Kardashian’s body make-up a ‘hard pass’

    The actress said she would rather make peace with her 'million stretch marks and eczema' than use body make-up.

  • Yewande Biala dumped from Love Island villa
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Yewande Biala dumped from Love Island villa

    Yewande's partner Danny is now in a new couple with Arabella.

  • Mindy Kaling ‘listening to music and weeping’ as she turns 40
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Mindy Kaling ‘listening to music and weeping’ as she turns 40

    The actress said her birthday is a time to reflect.

  • Amanda Holden claims Phillip Schofield ignored ‘olive branch’ coffee invitation
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Amanda Holden claims Phillip Schofield ignored ‘olive branch’ coffee invitation

    She responded to claims of a rift between the pair on her Heart Breakfast radio show.

  • New Top Gear line-up scores highest launch figures since 2016
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    New Top Gear line-up scores highest launch figures since 2016

    The show now boasts a presenting team of Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.

  • Pool drama at the Clooneys' ahead of the Obamas' Italian visit
    Celebrity
    Katie Archer

    Pool drama at the Clooneys' ahead of the Obamas' Italian visit

    The A-lister was in a fluster over a malfunctioning pool.

  • Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer accidentally checked into a sex hotel while making 'Gone Fishing'
    Celebrity
    Katie Archer

    Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer accidentally checked into a sex hotel while making 'Gone Fishing'

    The comedy pals got more than they bargained for with one overnight stay.

  • Caroline Flack: Love Island couples will be tested
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Caroline Flack: Love Island couples will be tested

    The presenter said she 'felt love, like steam, coming off' Amber and Michael.

  • One girl to be dumped from villa in Love Island recoupling
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    One girl to be dumped from villa in Love Island recoupling

    Danny Williams faces a tough choice.

  • Channel 5’s The Sex Business breached broadcasting rules
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Channel 5’s The Sex Business breached broadcasting rules

    Ofcom said the images in the three documentaries were more explicit than viewers would expect.

  • 'This Morning' presenter calls for ITV to sack Amanda Holden over Phillip Schofield row
    Celebrity
    Katie Archer

    'This Morning' presenter calls for ITV to sack Amanda Holden over Phillip Schofield row

    The guest presenter was not impressed by Holden's attitude.

  • Courteney Cox teases Friends reunion with girls’ night selfie
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    Courteney Cox teases Friends reunion with girls’ night selfie

    She joined her female co-stars on Sunday night.

  • Tonight with Vladimir Putin: how did this clunking comedy ever get made?
    News
    The Guardian

    Tonight with Vladimir Putin: how did this clunking comedy ever get made?

    Tonight With Vladimir Putin … it’s no Mrs Merton. Photograph: BBC/PANothing on TV gets swifter justice from viewers like a bad new comedy. The latest show to be deluged with extremely negative tweets is BBC Two’s spoof chatshow Tonight With Vladimir Putin, which aired last night. So, is it the worst comedy of 2019?Not quite, but only because it is airing in the same year as Warren, BBC One’s cancelled sitcom starring Martin Clunes as an irascible driving instructor. Warren was an old and familiar format done very badly, committing the twin crimes of not being funny and not being new. Tonight With Vladimir Putin is at least innocent of the latter charge, and performers who try something different deserve credit, precisely because of the inherent risk that a TV first will be a car crash.The fresh thing Tonight With Vladimir Putin does is to make a 3D animated avatar its presenter: guests converse with writer/performer Nathaniel Tapley, but in the broadcast version Tapley has vanished, his movements mapped by a CGI cartoon of Putin. It’s an impressive innovation. The question is what this toy allows its owners to achieve.Tonight With Vladimir Putin is a descendant of Da Ali G Show, Brass Eye and The Mrs Merton Show: the celebrity guests are stooges. The Putin show’s fall guys obviously don’t have the problem of thinking it’s a real interview, as the victims of Chris Morris and Sacha Baron Cohen did, so it is essentially a Mrs Merton situation where the character gives Tapley cover to hurl vicious put-downs.Except, it doesn’t because it’s not a fictional creation like Mrs Merton. It’s Vladimir Putin. So Tapley has to satirise Putin, which he does by portraying him as a narcissist whose bigotry and authoritarianism are an expression of his vain inadequacy. It’s breaking a basic rule of character comedy by trying to base itself on two competing ideas: if Tapley had written a question as elegantly cruel as “So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”, delivering it while simultaneously sending up the characteristics of a real world leader would just be confusing. He tries to bridge that gap by interviewing June Sarpong and Guilty Feminist podcaster Deborah Frances-White, but you can sense his heart is not really in it as he tries to get laughs out of being insensitive about racial and gender equality. The encounter with the jovial D-lister Joe Swash is pointless.Tonight With Vladimir Putin … pointless. Photograph: BBC/PAThe best hope is the opening episode’s first guest, Alastair Campbell: viewers aghast at how effortlessly one of the architects of the Iraq war has been allowed to reinsert himself into British public life should at least expect a cartoon Putin to be extremely rude to him. But, perhaps because, in 2019, it’s a bit late, and perhaps because it would again be a bit weird coming from a digital simulacrum of Vladimir Putin, the punches are pulled and, despite being very short, the interview is an awkward mash of half-jokes and awkward pauses that plays like the least worst bits the film editor could salvage. Even if Campbell were on the end of a proper zinger, Tonight With Vladimir Putin doesn’t offer one of the great pleasures of a good spoof interview, which is to watch the unwavering interviewer look their target square in the eye. You need to see the comedian’s face: the gimmick of replacing Tapley with pixels actively impedes the comedy.None of this is as flat-out bizarre as the show’s middle section, in which Putin vacates the stage and a computer-generated Meghan Markle, voiced by Gbemisola Ikumelo, takes questions from the studio audience. Ikumelo is in BBC Three’s superb sketch show Famalam but she has nothing to work with here because she plays the character as a vulgar, vituperative egotist, ie everything the real Meghan isn’t. Satirising people by imagining how they would act if they were a different person simply isn’t a thing: no joke can come of it. You have to feel particularly sorry for Ikumelo, who doesn’t even get to show the fleeting glimpses of improv talent that Tapley displays in his performance.When a comedy misfire arrives, the reaction is always the same: how did this get commissioned? Usually that’s not quite the right question. Most duds are concepts that could have worked, but small mistakes have gradually added up to one big one. Here, though, it’s a mystery that nobody objected to Tonight With Vladimir Putin by saying: we have acquired the power to make cartoon celebrities interact with real people – but why on earth should we?

  • KT Tunstall details emotional journey to find biological father and half-sisters
    Celebrity
    PA Entertainment

    KT Tunstall details emotional journey to find biological father and half-sisters

    The singer has always known she was adopted.

  • Crissy Rock reveals history of abuse at the hands of her grandfather
    Celebrity
    Katie Archer

    Crissy Rock reveals history of abuse at the hands of her grandfather

    The 'Benidorm' star revealed her painful childhood.