The Friday News Roundup: The Last Roundup of 2011 Edition

Happy Friday, Telly Visions readers! And Happy New Year's Eve Eve! Hope everyone is planning to have fun (and be safe) ringing in 2012 this weekend. We're looking forward to lots of great things in the New Year.

But, onward! Click right on through because there are plenty of goodies of all shapes and sizes in the Roundup this week - from playing catch-up with some holiday news (Christmas ratings and No. 1s, oh my!), to updates on the Royal Family, to news aboutSherlock, Downton Abbey , Bedlam, Great Expectations, Titanic, Upstairs Downstairs and more.

We have a Christmas winner: EastEnders emerges victorious in holiday ratings battle with Downton Abbey as the Albert Square residents scored 9.9 millions viewers for their Christmas special.  Downton didn't go down without a fight though - the popuar ITV drama scored 8.1 million viewers, though that number is down slightly from the 10.5 million who tuned in for the Series 2 finale.

In other holiday battles, Military Wives Choir outsold The X Factor’s Little Mix five-to-one to take the Christmas No. 1 this year. Sorry, Simon?

There’s just been an explosion of excellent Sherlock stuff ‘round the internet, as the UK gears up for the Series 2 premiere this weekend. Some highlights:

  • An extremely fantastic interview in the Telegraph with star Benedict Cumberbatch. They call him “the ideal Holmes,” and he gets to talk about playing Smaug in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit again. Win-win.
  • Another fun Cumberbatch interview wherein the actor worries about being typecast for “being too posh.”
  • A great interview with star Martin Freeman about Series 2 and filming The Hobbit.
  • A fantastically put together clip showing all the different languages Sherlock has been translated into, all put in the same scene.
  • A new interview with Lara Pulver, who plays Irene Adler. (Warning: Mild Spoilers)
  • And a new interview with Moriarty himself, Andrew Scott.

Honestly, who doesn’t want to pop up in Downton Abbey at this point? Now Harrison Ford is apparently eyeing a role on the Edwardian drama.

A historian complains to the Telegraph that the Downton Abbey servants are “far too clean” to be accurate, among other things. (WARNING: There are bigspoilers for the Downton Christmas special in this. I find these things out so y’all don’t have to.)    

In case you didn’t see this over the holidays, Prince Phillip underwent a heart procedure to install a coronary stent over the Christmas weekend after suffering from chest pains. He spent four nights in hospital and missed the traditional royal Christmas celebrations at Sandringham, but was released on Tuesday and headed to the family estate.

Interesting year-end prediction: a group that surveys the English language says that “Kate,” as in the Duchess of Cambridge, will be the most used word in the media for 2012.

And in one last bit of Royals dish, Pippa Middleton visited the set of Downton Abbey.

Wait, just kidding, one more thing that's a must-share – I am not entirely sure what kind of dance Prince William is supposed to be doing in this picture, but this photo is now possibly my favorite shot of the Duke of Cambridge ever.

Bedlam Series 2 story details revealed. Not entirely sure how to feel about the cast overhaul here, but…okay.

Take a look at the first image gallery from Downton creator Julian Fellowes’ upcoming Titanic mini-series. Maria Doyle Kennedy looks lovely!

Jedward will not just go away, apparently set to make return appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.

Vanity Fair profiles Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton.

I’m not sure what Great Britain – or the rest of us for that matter – has done to deserve this, but: Cee Lo Green to get UK reality show.

In case you want to be an extra authentic Anglophile whilst celebrating this weekend: A New Year’s Guide to British Booze.

Or, why not throw a Doctor Who themed party to ring in the New Year?

Alex Kingston teases her new character in the upcoming second series of Upstairs Downstairs.

Gillian Anderson, former star of The X-Files and current star of the BBC’s new Great Expectations, talks about preparing for the role of Miss Havisham.