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Tag: British Things (21-30 of 349)

'Titanic with Len Goodman': Yes, that's the 'Dancing With the Stars' head judge messin' about on PBS!

Since his one-hour PBS special debuted April 10, Dancing With the Stars head judge Len Goodman has become roving shipbuilding documentarian Len Goodman! If you were flipping channels this week and thought you heard our beloved crankypants DANCMSTR exclaiming wildly about topics other than which ballroom couple had been “messin’ about” too much during a cha cha cha, you’re not crazy! Well, you might be — I don’t know your life — but you’re not wrong.

In Titanic With Len Goodman, Len explains his connection to the doomed 1912 ship: He’d worked as a welder at Harland and Wolff  — the company that built Titanic at its Belfast headquarters — 50 years later in London. “I used to weld all day, get home, scrub me-self up, and dance all night,” Len explained with his abundant zest for life. “Great times.”

I had NO IDEA Len Goodman was the original inspiration for Flashdance!

To help mark the centenary of the tragedy, Len visited modern day descendants of the shipbuilders, passengers, and crew in Southampton and Belfast, stood bellowing in the actual slipway on which the Titanic had been built, pounded some rivets in the factory, and even wore a life vest! (Screengrabs after the jump.)  READ FULL STORY

James Bond's boss, M, to die in 'Skyfall' -- maybe. Who should take over?

It was upsetting enough when rumors started popping up online that James Bond’s vintage Aston Martin was going to get blown to smithereens in the next 007 movie. But this is just too much: The British tabloids are reporting that Judi Dench’s top spy character, M, is going to get killed off in Skyfall, currently shooting in England. Dench took over the role back when Pierce Brosnan was being fitted for his first tuxedo, in 1995’s GoldenEye, and was the only actor from that series of Bond films to make the transition into the Daniel Craig era.

The role has a long tradition—the late great Bernard Lee launched the character on the big screen in 1962’s Dr. No, and played it until 1979’s Moonraker—but Dench, 77, brought a fresh take to the part that charmed even die-hard fans of the Sean Connery epoch. In fact, making M a woman was one of the smartest choices Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson made when they took over the franchise from their father, Cubby Broccoli, in 1995. Casting a class act like Dame Dench was a stroke of pure genius.

Eon Productions, the company that produces all things Bond, won’t comment on the rumors of Dench’s rumored departure from the franchise. But then Eon never comments on any rumors. So lets for the moment assume it’s true. Who should replace Dench as the head of the British Secret Service? Should it be a woman again? Helen Mirren? Vanessa Redgrave? Susan Boyle? Or is it a man’s turn again? We know Ralph Fiennes has a role in Skyfall, presumably as an upper level Secret Service employee. Rumor has it he’s warming up for the role.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Who should play M if Dench departs? (And while we’re at it, is it time to bring Q back?)

Read more:
James Bond: Check out the first official photo of Daniel Craig in ‘Skyfall’
Javier Bardem goes undercover in new ‘Skyfall’ photo
Skyfall’ featurettes: Meet the new Bond girls! — VIDEO
From Holland With Love? James Bond is ditching martinis for Heineken in new ‘Skyfall’ ad

Extra! Extra! Ryan Gosling saves woman's life!

With great handsomeness comes great responsibility. In his ongoing quest to clean up the streets of New York, one fist fight and vehicular manslaughter at a time, Ryan Gosling has now saved a woman’s life. British journalist Laurie Penny tweeted about a harrowing near-death, nearer-to-dreamboat incident yesterday. She was wearing a pink wig and Gosling was wearing… It’s hard to know where to start. Penny wrote,

“I literally, LITERALLY just got saved from a car by Ryan Gosling. Literally. That actually just happened. I was crossing 6th avenue in a new pink wig. Not looking the right way because I am from London. Ryan Gosling grabbed me away from a taxi. He did not say ‘hey, girl.’ He said ‘hey, watch out!’ Identity of no-idea-if-actually-a-manarchist-but-definitely-a-decent-sort Ryan Gosling confirmed by girl near me, who said ‘you lucky bitch.'”

One downside: According to Penny, Gosling was wearing “double denim.” Then again, every Clark Kent needs his own version of horn rims to keep his superhero identity under wraps. READ FULL STORY

James Bond will parachute into Olympics opening ceremony: Reports


Bond’s latest assignment: Kick-start the 2012 London Olympics. According the The Sun, Queen Elizabeth II personally invited actor Daniel Craig (who stars in the upcoming James Bond installment Skyfall) and Danny Boyle (the artistic director of this summer’s Olympic games), to Buckingham Palace to film a 007 mini-movie in honor of the games.  READ FULL STORY

Wallace and Gromit praised on the floor of Parliament. Hear hear! -- VIDEO

Place yourself, for just a moment, back in the days of the George W. Bush administration. Now imagine the head of Bush’s economic team standing before Congress and declaring that their newest budget was expanding tax breaks not just to Hollywood, but the world of videogames, pay-cable television, and animation as well — with a full-throated endorsement of Woody and Buzz Lightyear to boot.

Kinda hard to picture, isn’t it?

But that’s exactly what happened this week across the pond in Parliament — and we’ve got the footage to prove it below. READ FULL STORY

Gillian Anderson: 'I was actually offered a part in Downton Abbey'

While chatting up her role as Miss Havisham in Masterpiece Classic’s upcoming Great Expectations in this week’s TV Guide Magazine, former X-Files star Gillian Anderson dropped an equally great tidbit: She’d been offered the role of Cora Crawley in Downton Abbey. Forget being shocked about Agent Scully living at Downton — Anderson has acted in enough English period miniseries in the last decade to make her a welcomed face in the genre (she even used to host Masterpiece Classic). And she could certainly play an excellent determined buccaneer.

But what kind of Cora Crawley would she have made? READ FULL STORY

'Wallace and Gromit' take on science in new series coming out on DVD -- Exclusive VIDEO

Our favorite British inventor (ok, maybe second to Tim Berners-Lee — we couldn’t PopWatch without the Web!) and his smart but silent dog are back in a new six-part series available on DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday, Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention. In the series, which originally aired on BBC One, Wallace is in front of the camera, teaching about inventions that help with everything from space travel to housework — and trusty cameradog Gromit is producing behind the scenes. Check out Wallace’s Rube Goldberg-meets-Mr. Wizard act in this exclusive clip after the jump.


Kenneth Branagh’s red carpet ritual, and more notes from a small island’s Oscar party

The Brits have brought us the Mini, Top Shop, and proper pints — but in Hollywood, their greatest contribution has been their talent. The stars came out Friday evening to honor their homeland’s 21 Oscar nominees at a pre-Oscar party hosted by British Consul-General Dame Barbara Hay at the British Consulate’s residence in Los Angeles.

U.K.-born acting nominees Kenneth Branagh, Janet McTeer, and Gary Oldman were all in attendance (along with Canadian nominee Christopher Plummer — yep, he is Canadian — Google it!), as well as behind-the-scenes talent including Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close director Stephen Daldry and The Iron Lady makeup artist Mark Coulier. And since no British event is complete without cucumber finger sandwiches and Victoria Beckham, those were on hand as well. READ FULL STORY

Gary Oldman searches for the poetry in 'Jersey Shore'

It’s understood that a British accent can class up the most pedestrian of American dreck. As far as we’re concerned, every Brit went to Oxford and has afternoon tea with Colin Firth. But the British lilt was put to the test last night on Jimmy Kimmel, when Oscar-nominee Gary Oldman was tasked with reading an episode summary from the most recent Jersey Shore. Alas, there is no poetry between the words Snooki and urinary tract infection, no matter the graceful delivery and background violins. Still, this is as tasteful as Jersey Shore will ever sound. READ FULL STORY

Bates, please! Seven 'Downton Abbey'-inspired Tumblrs that will delight or enrage you

For what it’s worth, the Internet is filled with productive people who actually want to help change the world. Unfortunately, those people are not the ones who made these seven Tumblr blogs, all inspired by the hit PBS series Downton Abbey.

Have a look at these Downton-inspired memes (a.k.a.: a disturbingly enjoyable joke that is employed repeatedly until the humor of it is clobbered into the ground), which will either contribute to your love of the show, or enrage you with their blatant disregard for the Downton canon.  READ FULL STORY

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