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News Archive: March 2006
Bleak House Wins Three Broadcasting Press Guild Awards
Posted at 5:51 PM (PST) on Thursday, March 30, 2006

BBC's star-studded adaptation of 'Bleak House' shines at awards
By Ciar Byrne, Media Correspondent
The Independent
31 March 2006

The BBC may have tried to inject soap opera values into its recent adaptation of Charles Dickens's Bleak House, but it spared no expense on actors, hiring a star-studded cast that included Gillian Anderson and Charles Dance.

Its lavish production will be honoured today at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. Anderson - best-known for her role in The X-Files - will be crowned best actress for her performance as Lady Dedlock, an aristocrat with a deadly secret. Anderson saw off the challenge of four other nominees: her Bleak House co-star Anna Maxwell Martin; Helen Mirren, for Channel 4's Elizabeth I; Ashley Jensen for Extras; and Billie Piper for her performance as Rose in Doctor Who.

Dance, who played Lady Dedlock's nemesis, the manipulative lawyer Mr Tulkinghorn, will pick up the award for best actor, triumphing over Doctor Who's last two incarnations, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, and The Thick of It's Chris Langham.

Andrew Davies's adaptation of Bleak House will be named best drama series at the awards lunch at the Theatre Royal in London. It was up against the BBC's revival of Doctor Who.

The success of Bleak House in the awards, voted for by more than 100 writers and broadcasters in the television and radio industry, bodes well for the series at the TV Baftas in May; it has four nominations.

Davies said he wanted the drama to appeal to younger viewers in the same way as soap operas like Hollyoaks.


Bleak House's 'terrific' cast hailed
Posted at 7:22 AM (PST) on Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kevin Young
BBC News entertainment reporter
March 28, 2006

The man who adapted Charles Dickens' Bleak House for television has said outstanding storylines and a quality cast earned the series four nominations at this year's Bafta TV Awards. The programme - broadcast on BBC One last year - has been shortlisted for best drama serial. Two of its stars, Gillian Anderson and Anna Maxwell Martin, are in the running for best actress, and Denis Lawson nominated in the actor category.

When the BBC News website broke the news to screenwriter Andrew Davies, he said: "That's wonderful. Actually, you're the first person to tell me. I'm delighted." Mr Davies, who had to just a fortnight to complete the script for each episode, said: "It's a terrific story. I think that [it was] the way we tackled it, aiming to tell the story with as much speed as possible, following the example of soaps, and studying the way they intertwined all the stories so that you could seem them all developing at the same time."

The series was "certainly good old-fashioned entertainment", he said. But its success "was very much to do with the quality of the story and the characters in it, and the wonderful actors portraying them".

Each 30-minute episode finished with a "cliffhanger", increasing the tension for viewers in a manner more usually seen in modern-day soaps. Mr Davies said this was not a challenge: "With a writer like Dickens, there's no difficulty in finding good cliffhanger endings."

He singled out for praise the actors who were recognised by the Bafta selection committee. "Denis [Lawson] is a wonderful actor. He's very, very subtle and he's got a very, very light touch. It would have been possible to make Jarndyce very, very heavy and Victorian. Without going out of period at all, he made him feel like a person that we could know now."

Mr Davies described Anna Maxwell Martin's performance as Esther Summerson as "wonderful". "She's the pair of eyes through which we see the whole thing, and we have to, in a way, fall in love with her," he said.

He also said Gillian Anderson - who played Lady Dedlock - was "a truly great actress". "I think she's going to go on and play more really big roles," he added.

Producer Nigel Stafford-Clark agreed with Mr Davies' list of the reasons behind the series' popularity.

"I think it really is one of those magical pieces of serendipity when everything comes together to make something that surprised us all - the book, the format, the script, the shooting style and the performances. It's very difficult to actually separate them because I think if any of those elements hadn't worked, then the show wouldn't have been what it was. But they did, they all came together. Very rarely do you have the good fortune for everything to come together in the way it did on this show. You need an enormous amount of good fortune to bring something off like this."

Mr Stafford-Clark added his thanks not just to the actors but to all those involved in the production of Bleak House.

"If ever there was a team effort, it was this show," he said. We owe this to every single person who worked on this show. Everybody had to pull their weight and everybody had to help each other out, and we couldn't afford to make a single mistake because we were moving so quickly, and it was extraordinary."

4 Bafta Nominations for Bleak House
Posted at 6:56 AM (PST) on Monday, March 27, 2006

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

BBC1's acclaimed Dickens adaptation Bleak House heads the nominees for the 2006 British Academy of Film and Television Awards (Bafta) with
nominations in four categories:

Gillian Anderson (Best Actress)
Anna Maxwell Martin (Best Actress)
Denis Lawson (Best Actor)
Best Drama Serial

Bafta nominations in full

This year's Baftas, sponsored by Pioneer, will be held at the Grosvenor House on May 7. Hosted by Davina McCall, they will be broadcast on ITV1.

Rent or own a copy of Bleak House:

Ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

If you purchase the DVDs through our online links, the referral fees will benefit Neurofibromatosis, Inc. Thank you for your support!

The DVDs should also be available for rental at your favorite video stores.

Update from Alinyiikira Junior School
Posted at 5:15 PM (PST) on Sunday, March 26, 2006

An update from Godfrey at Alinyiikira Junior School:
Dear All

On the plastering of the walls and cementing of the floor, the work is progressing on well and the workers have been working very fast to finish it as early as possible. In fact, this has been very fast that it may be completed by end of this week. I am going to attach the photos of the progress of the work showing men working on the building.

On the update of the power connection, the transmission line has been constructed up to the school and what is remaining is fixing the substation (transformer) on the main grid of 33KVA to step it down for domestic use. This should have been finished by now but the electricity company has so many pending jobs which they have to handle. But since the transmission line has been constructed, what is remaining is not so difficult so we hope that it will be done probably before end of this month.

We wish to thank you all for this assistance, for it has made the building look beautiful and the children and parents are very excited. Thank you all for that generosity and May the almighty God reward you abundantly.



BBC TWO: A Look at the Making of The Last King of Scotland
Posted at 4:36 PM (PST) on Sunday, March 26, 2006

Artworks Scotland

Capturing Idi Amin: A look at the making of The Last King of Scotland, a new film starring Forest Whitaker about the murderous Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, who was obsessed with Scotland.

BBC TWO: Tuesday 28 Mar, 10:00 pm - 10:30 pm (30 mins)

Last year Idi Amin returned to Uganda in the form of American actor Forest Whitaker who plays the late dictator in the film The Last King of Scotland. Amin was obsessed with the country, wearing a kilt, playing the bagpipes and even offering to be king of an independent Scotland.

But his antics were overshadowed by the violence and brutality of his time in power: the expulsion of 80,000 Asians and the killing of an estimated 300,000 of his own people.

ArtWorks had exclusive access to the making of the film and spoke to actors and extras about the experience of seeing their own history recreated and to those who actually knew Amin, including his British doctor and army commander.

Subtitles Stereo Widescreen

More... Celebrate Spring Specials
Posted at 12:56 PM (PST) on Thursday, March 23, 2006 FREE Standard Shipping!

Order now and mention "CelebrateSpring" when you call, or enter "CelebrateSpring" in the coupon field when you order online and, if you select the Standard Shipping method, you will receive FREE Standard shipping on all orders now through March 31st, 2006.

This promotion applies to all of their products, including the Celebrate Spring Specials!

"I've tasted these coffee cakes and they're every bit as good as they look - sweet and scrumptious. Too good - one slice leads to another!" -- Gillian Anderson

Proceeds from go to benefit those suffering from Neurofibromatosis (NF).

On loo-cation in Worcestershire
Posted at 2:16 PM (PST) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Newsletter Issue 27, March 2006 (p.23)

Oscar Glory for Treatment Centre Toilets?

International star of stage and screen Gillian Anderson turned to the TC toilets when a lavish set was needed for a key scene in her latest movie.

Gillian, who is famed for her roles as Scully in sci-fi smash The X Files and more recently as Lady Dedlock in the BBC adaptation of Bleak House, found herself on loo-cation in Kidderminster for the last day of shooting on her latest movie Straightheads – ‘a dark and twisted tale of revenge.’

The film’s production team were bowled over on a visit to the Treatment Centre and decided that the ladies loo in the main atrium was ideal place for Gillian to shoot the crucial scene, which takes place in luxurious toilet facilities.

The actress and film crew duly arrived and spent several hours on a series of takes, before leaving for their end of shoot party – but not before Gillian had stopped to pose for this picture with Assistant Operations Director, Teri Green and Sister Ellen Kaczor, an Emergency Nurse Practitioner at the Kidderminster MIU.

Teri told Connect: “We are very proud of the facilities we have at Kidderminster, but even we never expected they would attract the attention of an international film star!”

Straightheads was in pre-production as Connect went to press and is due to be released later this year. It might be too early to start thinking about Oscar nominations for 2007 – but watch this space.....

Thanks, Wendy and BobbyG!

Gillian at Belle Epoque Gala Dinner
Posted at 6:31 PM (PST) on Friday, March 17, 2006


Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Burton, Gillian Anderson and Marc Quinn attend the Belle Epoque Gala Dinner, in celebration of the exhibition 'Americans in Paris 1860-1900', at The National Gallery on March 16, 2006 in London, England.

The event was the first fundraising event of this type in the gallery's 182-year history, and the art auction conducted by Sotheby's raised GBP311,000 pounds for the gallery. It included donated works by some of Britain's most important living artists, including Frank Auerbach, Sir Peter Blake, Marc Quinn, Leon Kossoff, RB Kitaj, Ana Maria Pacheco and Maggi Hambling, the National Gallery's first artist-in-residence.

Thank you to Lorna for the photos:

(Photos by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

Two RTS Awards for Bleak House
Posted at 7:54 AM (PST) on Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bleak House wins TV drama award
March 15, 2005
BBC News

Charles Dickens' adaptation Bleak House has emerged as the winner of the best drama serial at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Awards held in London.

Andrew Davies won best writer for his work on the BBC series, which starred Gillian Anderson and Johnny Vegas.

From the RTS Programme Awards 2005 Winners Press Release (word doc):

Drama Serial

Bleak House BBC Drama Serials/Deep Indigo for BBC One

“The winning programme captivated the jury from start to finish: the pace, camera-work and bravura spirit of writing and performances singled it out as a truly exceptional, pretty flawless piece of work.”

Writer - Drama

Andrew Davies - Bleak House BBC Drama Serials/Deep Indigo for BBC One

“The jury praised the winning writer’s clarity and vision, his brilliant adaptation skills, his flair and his enormous care and commitment to what has been an outstanding piece of drama this year.”

Earlier this month, Bleak House also won the TRIC Award 2006 for Best TV Drama Programme. The Television and Radio Industries Club (TRIC) has been honouring stars and celebrities for three decades.

The Mighty Celt on Sundance Again
Posted at 1:47 PM (PST) on Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Sundance Channel will air an Irish triple feature including the films Borstal Boy, THE MIGHTY CELT and Mickybo and Me on St. Patrick's Day (Friday, March 17). Check your local listings!

Vote for Bleak House - UK Residents
Posted at 1:42 PM (PST) on Tuesday, March 14, 2006

BAFTA's Pioneer Audience Award for Best Programme of 2005 aims to honour the show that has helped define television in 2005, receiving critical acclaim through its original approach and capturing the public's imagination. What did you think was the best programme of 2005?

To cast your vote, click here.

Don't forget to read the Terms and Conditions.

The nominations for the Pioneer Audience Award for Best Programme of 2005 at this year's British Academy Television Awards were selected by a panel of TV industry experts including journalists, presenters and producers. Through a process of debate and elimination the extensive list of fantastic television programming from 2005 was whittled down to 8 shows which, in the panel's opinion, are amongst the best shows of 2005.

New Contact Method
Posted at 12:26 PM (PST) on Tuesday, March 14, 2006

To those who contact us via the email address, please be aware that we are retiring this address. In the future, please use our feedback form to contact us.

Thank you!

Charity Folks Auction Ends Tomorrow
Posted at 11:42 AM (PST) on Wednesday, March 8, 2006

The Charity Folks auction to benefit Artists for a New South Africa ends tomorrow, March 9.

It's your last chance to bid on these three items donated by Gillian:

Signed Photo of Gillian Anderson as her X-files character Agent Scully

X-files Script ("The Field Where I Died" - August 1996) signed by Gillian Anderson

X-files Boxed Set (seasons 1-4) signed by Gillian Anderson

The auction also includes 35 unique items from Jackson Browne, Samuel L. Jackson, J.J. Abrams ("Alias"), Naomi Campbell, Carlos Santana, Alfre Woodward, Whoopi Goldberg, Bernie Mac, Carrie Fisher, Don Cheadle, and others.

To learn more about Artists for a New South Africa, click here.

The Mighty Celt at 2 U.S.A. Film Festivals
Posted at 2:16 PM (PST) on Monday, March 6, 2006

2006 SF Irish Film Festival (March 8, 9, 10 & 12, 2006)

Festival Information: 415-495-7380

The Mighty Celt will be screened at the Roxie Cinema on March 10, 2006 (Friday), 9:15 p.m.
3117 16th Street at Valencia, San Francisco


at the La Peña Cultural Center on March 12, 2006 (Sunday) - 6:00 p.m.
3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley


30th Cleveland International Film Festival (March 16 - 26, 2006)
Tower City Cinemas at Tower City Center

The Mighty Celt

March 23, 2006 (Thursday)
Theater: RED
7:30 pm to 8:50 pm

March 24, 2006 (Friday)
Theater: GREEN
12:15 pm to 1:35 pm

National Doodle Day (UK)
Posted at 11:27 AM (PST) on Thursday, March 2, 2006


By Ben Pindar
Community Newswire

Two leading health charities were today calling on people across the country to join a host of stars by taking part in a national fundraising day of doodling. Celebrities including Rula Lenska, Ricky Gervais and Helen Mirren have already pledged to take part in the third National Doodle Day on March 3 which will raise funds for Epilepsy Action and The Neurofibromatosis Association.

This year's theme, "Puzzles, Patterns, Portraits, Pets, Passions and Places", reflects the huge diversity of subjects doodled day in and day out all over the country and keen scribblers now have the chance to gain recognition for their efforts.

Individuals can send their doodles to a special Freepost address for just £1 per entry and judging will be carried out by actor and author Maureen Lipman, the Doodle Day patron, with certificates awarded in various age categories.

All winners will have their work displayed in the Hall of Fame on the National Doodle Day website. A separate competition, which is open to schools, gives pupils and teachers the chance to win an interactive white board for their school. Businesses, brownie packs and sports clubs are also being encouraged to hold their own National Doodle Day competitions.

Around 800 famous names from the worlds of sport, entertainment, theatre, business and politics have added their weight to the campaign.

Also lending his weight to the campaign is Neil Buchanan, creator and presenter of CiTV's Art Attack. He said: "I love doodling. I doodle all the time and the really great thing about it is that it doesn't take much time and anyone can do it. You don't have to be an artist, so come on, pick up a pen and get doodling for a good cause."

An online auction will be launched on eBay on National Doodle Day (March 3) and will run for 10 days, giving people the opportunity to bid for their favourite celebrity doodle.

Paul Tranter, fundraising manager of Epilepsy Action, said: "Since Doodle Day started in 2004 people have doodled everything and anything from puzzles, patterns and portraits to pets, passions and places. All you have to do is let your imagination take over and enjoy yourself. In the last two years doodling has raised £80,000 to help support people with epilepsy and neurofibromatosis. And we have had such a good response so far to this year's event that it looks as if it is going to be even bigger and better."

Roberta Tweedy, of The Neurofibromatosis Association, said: "National Doodle Day has really entered the nation's consciousness. Each year more and more people are taking part and it is such a fun way to raise vital funds and increase awareness for two little known and often misunderstood medical conditions."

Details of all the initiatives, plus lots of ideas for joining in the fun, can be found on a special website at or by calling 0113 210 8800.

Individual entries should be drawn on an A5 piece of card and include name, age and address on the back. Closing date for entries is Monday, March 27. Each entry must be accompanied by a minimum £1 donation. Cheques should be made payable to National Doodle Day and submitted to National Doodle Day, FREEPOST NDD.

Gillian Anderson

Piper Anderson #1

Piper Anderson #2

Piper Anderson #3

Darren Waterston

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