Russell T Davies, the creator of groundbreaking British TV show Queer As Folk, is to explore modern gay life once again with two new programmes for the U.K.'s Channel 4 network. Cucumber and Banana are due to debut next spring (14)
Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood and the man he replaced in the band, Mick Taylor, appear to have formed a new supergroup after hitting the stage together for an exclusive gig in New York on Thursday (07Nov13). Taylor joined Wood and his band onstage at the BluesFest in London at the beginning of the month (Nov13) after becoming fast friends with his Stones successor on their 50 and Counting Tour, during which the group's former guitarist joined his ex-bandmates for parts of their show.
And it seems the get together has become so much more - Wood and Taylor joined veteran musicians Al Kooper and Simon Kirke at New York's Cutting Room for one of the Big Apple's hottest tickets this week.
Fans including The Kinks star Ray Davies paid up to $300 (£200) to pack into the venue to see the new group's first official U.S. gig.
Among the old rockers' set list was one Stones track, Can't You Hear Me Knocking, and a host of blues classics from their heroes like Jimmy Reed.
Filmmaker and video director Julien Temple was honoured with the Icon Award at the sixth annual U.K. Music Video Awards in London on Monday night (28Oct13). Longtime friend and collaborator Ray Davies handed Temple his latest accolade at an event, which also served up trophies to Kahil Joseph (Video of the Year Award for Flying Lotus' Until The Quiet Comes) and Bison (Best Alternative Video Award for London Grammar's Wasting My Young Years).
Veteran filmmaker Dick Carruthers was also honoured with the Best Live Coverage award for his work on Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day DVD.
British actor Alan Davies has paid damages to a former politician after he re-tweeted a post falsely linking him to a child abuse scandal. Last year (12) the BBC ran a report on its Newsnight programme on alleged sexual abuse at a Welsh children's home, and accused a "leading Conservative politician... of sexually abusing boys in care".
The Jonathan Creek star then asked his thousands of Twitter followers for "clues" to the alleged abuser's identity. He received a message mentioning the name of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's advisor, Lord McAlpine, which he then re-tweeted.
The politician launched libel action against Davies, among others in the public arena, and on Thursday (24Oct13), the actor agreed to pay undisclosed damages to Lord McAlpine, while apologising for the "great damage and distress" his actions caused.
After the hearing at London's High Court, which neither party attended, Davies' lawyer Steve Hudson said the star hopes the case makes people think about how they operate on social media.
He said, "Mr Davies hopes that as a result of this matter other Twitter users will be more aware of the potential damaging consequences of tweeting and be more careful in how they use that platform."
Since the movie industry is full of adults who act like children, it makes sense that it's preoccupied with the story of the boy who never grew up. And audiences feel the same way. Animated and live-action movie history are rife with adaptations of the J.M. Barrie story. In fact, it seems we should be due another one any moment now. From the musicals we grew up with to the inevitable Johnny Depp vehicle, here are our rankings of the most famous versions.
6. The Direct-to-DVD Disney Fairies Tinker Bell Series
No longer the hair-pulling, murderously jealous fairy that we all know and love, Tink was made nice for these generic kiddie movies. What's wrong with a little darkness, Disney? No one wants your friendship-obsessed, lobotomized fairy.
5. Return to Neverland
Disney released this animated sequel set during the London blitz and featuring the adventures of Wendy's daughter Jane and Peter in 2002. It had a theatrical release that we barely remember, but did okay on DVD. It's almost entirely forgettable except for its theme song, a ridiculous cover of "Do You Believe in Magic?" by British boy band BBMak.
4. Finding Neverland
Marc Forster directed Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet as Barrie and his friend and muse Sylvia Davies in this 2004 film. It's a must-watch for any Pan fan with the fair warning that you will cry all of the tears in your body.
3. Walt Disney's Peter Pan
Walt Disney, that crafty guy, made a deal with the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to option the rights that Barrie bequeathed upon his death. The result was this 1953 film, which largely dominates the public consciousness when it comes to this story. Though the conglomerate would probably prefer that we forget that whole "What Made the Red Man Red?" part, for obvious reasons.
2. Peter Pan (2003)
This live-action version was the first to feature a young boy in the title role, as, for years, the stage tradition was for Peter to be played by a woman. (Mary Martin, most famously.) The film did observe the practice of double-casting one actor as Captain Hook and George Darling; here, Jason Isaacs. Isaacs is an elegant Hook; and the previously unknown Jeremy Sumpter and Rachel Hurd-Wood have innocent but absorbing chemistry as Peter and Wendy.
Despite its walloping by critics, the 1991 Spielberg adaptation defined a generation of movie lovers who still throw out an occasional "Ruf-i-oooo!" when they get drunk. You have to respect pure committment to a dubious idea, and Hook has confidence in droves.
As the lackluster later seasons of The Office finally begin to fade from our collective memories, apparently it's time to take another beloved British sitcom and attempt to adapt it to retrofit it for NBC. The series in question is last fall's Cuckoo, a big hit starring Andy Samberg, pre-Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Here, instead of white collar drudgery, the subject at hand is unwelcome son-in-laws. Unwelcome American hippie world traveler son-in-laws, to be more precise. Samberg, playing Cuckoo, said hippie, returns home as the surprise spouse of a smart, middle-class English girl on a semester abroad. The young woman's father, played in the British series by Greg Davies, begins to feel like a fish out of water in his own home when his daughter, wife, and even grumpy teenage son all start to like the lazy, shallow mooch.
As the gags build, it's a recognizable brand of entitlement masquerading as enlightenment that the creators Robin French and Kieron Quirke have accurately pegged and mined for laughs. If this will ever successfully be adapted, a new type of conservative family, over-achieving daughter, and layabout son-in-law will have to be created. Usually, American adaptations flounder when they become intent on directly replicating their European origins with different accents, but hopefully, because the story calls for some major detail changes, the new showrunners can take this very funny premise and do something uniquely American with it. And no, ruining good sitcoms from other countries is not unique to America — look no further than the British adaptation of That 70's Show.
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The Kinks rocker Ray Davies fears gun crime levels in the U.K. are rivalling those in America. The musician has opened up about how he was shot during an attempted robbery while on vacation in New Orleans in 2004, and the star is adamant his native Britain is becoming just as dangerous - especially due to a rise in gang crimes in London.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail, "It is disturbing how it is now on the increase, even in my home area of Muswell Hill (in London)."
Speaking in detail about his own shooting experience, he added, "You know about fight or flight - well I responded with fight. I found it totally unacceptable. I don't think people realise how they will react or behave in any given instance.
"You expect you will be passive but for some reason I was incensed and I chased the guy down the street. A car came with his accomplices in it and he took up the classic stance and shot me."
Ray Davies has further fuelled talk of a The Kinks reunion to mark the band's 50th anniversary next year (14), revealing, "It's negotiating". The singer/songwriter was asked about the chances of reforming the band he founded with his brother Dave during an appearance on a BBC TV breakfast show on Thursday (03Oct13) - and he revealed the feuding siblings are at least talking about the possibilities of a get together.
He said, "I'm not sure... There's got to be new music involved. I'm proud of the back catalogue... but I was talking to my brother two weeks ago and as long as there's something new to go forward with... I'd do it.
"It's negotiating... In sporting terms, he's talking to his agent!"
However, Davies then added that even a confirmed reunion plan would not necessarily amount to anything as they are "very unpredictable people".
His comments come just days after brother Dave told Rolling Stone magazine that his talks with The Kinks frontman had stalled.
He said, "The first two meetings were great. We talked about the old days and maybe doing something next year. I thought to myself, 'Oh s**t, maybe we could do something before we fall down dead'. It was very positive."
But then things took a turn for the worse: "We had tea right before I came over to America, and he was so negative, grumpy and just mean. It was like he fell into a black hole... He's a really troubled man."
Adding, "the ball is very much in Ray's court," Dave told the publication he wasn't keen on the idea of recording new material: "I can't face the concept of days and days in the studio with Ray. I just can't do it."
Dave Davies has given The Kinks fans hope of a reunion after revealing he's 50 per cent sure the band will regroup next year (14) for a 50th anniversary tour. The guitarist tells Rolling Stone magazine he has met with his once-estranged brother Ray, who fronts the British band, over the summer (13) - and their initial get togethers were "positive".
The band split over the siblings' fabled rivalry and fans feared they'd never see the Davies brothers onstage together again.
Talking about his meetings with Ray, Dave says, "The first two meetings were great. We talked about the old days and maybe doing something next year. I thought to myself, 'Oh s**t, maybe we could do something before we fall down dead'. It was very positive.
But then things took a turn for the worse: "We had tea right before I came over to America, and he was so negative, grumpy and just mean. It was like he fell into a black hole. He didn't want me to come back to America. I think it's because I'm happy and I was doing something without his approval. I feel like he was miserable because I'm happy. He's a really troubled man."
Now, the guitarist reveals the odds of the 50th anniversary tour happening are "50/50". He adds, "The ball is very much in Ray's court."
But Dave Davies insists there's absolutely no chance of a band reunion in the studio: "I can't face the concept of days and days in the studio with Ray. I just can't do it."
Fashion mogul Dame Vivienne Westwood took to the streets with protesters in the U.K. on Friday (16Aug13) to demonstrate against fracking. The designer marched past a proposed drilling site in West Sussex, England along with around 1,000 other activists as part of ongoing protests against the controversial gas-extraction method.
Westwood waved a placard as she marched, and later explained her involvement in the protest to the Press Association, saying, "I'm anti-fracking and I'm here to protest. There has been no debate. They are trying to rush this thing through, for what? It's not going to go away. We don't know whether it will do good or bad. I'm sure it's bad and the only people who are going to benefit from it is this energy company who are associated with the Government... It won't supply energy security whatsoever. It will actually store up trouble for the future, financially as well as environmentally."
Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies' activist daughter, Natalie Hynde, was arrested during a protest at the same site last month (Jul13).
Fracking has also caused outrage in the U.S. - Yoko Ono set up a campaign against the practice last year (12) and won support from stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore and Lady Gaga.