Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am hopeless with time. I always think that I have more at my disposal than is actually the case. I think it stems from my childhood; my primary school was across the road from my house – five minutes walk. And yet I was often late, usually arriving way after the school bell rang.
But anyone that knows me will tell you that there are five things I am never late for: 1. the hairdressers 2. hospital/dentist/doctor 3. weddings 4. football 5. press screenings/interviews.
I have a paralytic fear of being late for press screenings. I literally break out in a cold sweat at the thought. When I worked as an editor on MSN’s Movie channel, I attended loads of press screenings. Having looked after MSN’s TV channel for a couple of years now, I can say, without hesitation, that TV press screenings are on West Indian time (‘soon come’). They hardly ever start when they’re supposed to!
A case in point. Last week, I attended the press screenings for Gavin & Stacey and Doctor Who episode The Waters Of Mars. Neither started on time. The former was at a very plush hotel in London’s Bayswater. Just as well they kept us wined and dined (hors d’oeuvres – lovely onion bhajis) while we waited.
We were shown the first two episodes of the third and final series. Gavin (Mathew Horne) starts his new job but the move to Barry Island means big changes for Stacey (Joanna Page) and the entire family. Smithy (James Corden) questions his friendship with Gavin, along with his own role as father to baby Neil.
Nessa (Ruth Jones) is also adjusting to new circumstances. Pam (Alison Steadman) and Mick (Larry Lamb – so much nicer here than in EastEnders) have to get used to an empty nest. Gwen (Melanie Walters) has a full house again and Bryn (Rob Brydon) is just as protective as ever.
It’s the little moments in Gavin & Stacey that make it such a riot to watch. Of course it’s well written, acutely observed and blessed with fantastic characterisation, but it really is the little moments that do it for me. I don’t want to say too much because I’d hate to spoil what’s coming. Suffice it to say that I laughed my a**e off really loudly at a couple of scenes in each episode. They’re just classic. And anyone that knows me will tell you that once I start laughing like a drain, it’s time to evacuate the planet.
On to Doctor Who and there are no words for how awesome David Tennant has been in this role. It’s so sad that we’re on countdown to his departure. Funnily enough, since the screening, I’ve been flashing back to the first time he made me sit up and exclaim, ‘who the bloody hell is that!!!?’
It was the night Casanova first aired on BBC Three in 2005. As the world’s best known and most notorious seducer, David Tennant brought an irresistible playful sexiness to the role. And let’s not forget his wonderful comic timing which has so enriched his portrayal of the Time Lord.
So the venue for The Waters of Mars was a hotel in London’s Soho; the cream of the media’s TV/arts press was out in force. Oh, and yours truly too.
I was at Boyd Hilton from Heat magazine’s table. I tried very hard not to eavesdrop on his conversation (loads of gossip!) but he had to shout to be heard. It’s not my fault if I caught snatches of what he said, is it? Unfortunately, I can’t repeat so don’t ask. When we eventually took our seats for the screening, Russell T Davies and David Tennant bounded into the room. Mr Tennant looked ever so dapper in his striped suit.
The Waters Of Mars got underway and is it wrong that my heart flipped when Peter O’Brien (Shane Ramsay in Neighbours) appeared on screen? I’ve got a soft spot for the glory years of Neighbours.
After the credits rolled – there was a stunned silence. Then rapturous clapping. We were asked for questions and… silence. "Nobody’s got any questions?" said an amazed Russell T Davies. "Give us a moment to recover from what we’ve seen first," piped up a journo from the Daily Mail (at least, I think it was the Daily Mail). Yes people – it’s that good. The Waters Of Mars actually took the breaths of an entire roomful of journalists away.
Asked if some kids might find it too scary, David Tennant pointed to the Harry Potter books and films concluding that it’s along similar lines. A playful Russell T Davies added: "Yes, and if any don’t watch, I’ll slap them!"
Talking about the episode, David Tennant also said: "It tells a different sort of story, I think. It’s not the standard sort of structure. The Doctor knows he’s running against his own demise." Russell T Davies added: "The chickens are coming home to roost. Well, outer space chickens!"
Asked how he felt about leaving the role behind, David Tennant acknowledged the poignancy of it all but professed a great deal of excitement too: "We’ll tell a big old farewell story and then hand it on in rude health. I’m thrilled that it’s carrying on."
Gavin & Stacey airs in November on BBC1
The Waters Of Mars airs November 15 at 7pm on BBC1
A list of the fab TV coming this November: including I’m A Celebrity and Spooks
Today I am mostly loving – Arsenal 3 – Spurs 0. Take that Spuds! Sorry Famouseccles my Spurs supporting mate. Hope you’re in good health. Still trying to get you your Last of The Summer Wine stuff. 🙂
Today I am mostly hating – If I see that cash4gold advert one more time, I’m climbing into my TV and getting Medieval on everyone in the commercial.
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