This Week In the UK According to the Internet

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One of the things I love most about watching British TV and films is feeling a part of the culture. But for me, enjoying the drama or the comedy is not enough. I have to search deeper; learning about the dialects and slang, the customs, the pop culture references and the people behind these stories I relate to so strongly. If you find yourself in the same boat as me, you have my sympathy for I understand the depth of your British obsession. If, however, you are a bit more reasonable but still curious about what's going on in the land with the cool accents where all those delightful Britcoms and Masterpiece series are born, then you are in luck. I propose to spread the bounty of my preoccupation with you.  All those hours spent scanning Twitter, Facebook and various British entertainment and culture sites should surely be shared with those who have less time on their hands. Therefore please indulge us at Telly Visions as we try out a new series featuring British stuff I've found online over the past week. For example:

Shakespeare's Missing Skull. A team of archeologists, filming a Channel 4 documentary called Secret History: Shakespeare's Tombreveal that something seems to have gone AWOL from the famous playwright and poet's resting place in Stratford-upon-Avon's Holy Trinity Church. 

Image credit: memecenterz on Tumblr

Long-kept Star Wars Secret Divulged. Carrie Fisher revealed on The Jonathan Ross Show  last week that Darth Vader could have made a very different impression if the actor who wore the suit, David Prowse, had also voiced the villain rather than James Earl Jones. A credible reenactment was performed with the help of comedian and presenter Russell Howard.


An Unlikely New Contender in the James Bond Race. Although we won't be able to see the BBC One John le Carre mini-series The Night Manager here in the States until April 19th on AMC, rest assured UK viewers' response indicates we're in for a scintillating spy thriller. Over the course of the series, social media was abuzz about the show's star Tom Hiddleston nominating him as the new Bond replacement (if and when Daniel Craig decides to quit). But after the series finale aired on Sunday, a new favorite was annointed - a pregnant Olivia Colman!

image credit: Radio Times online

Storm Katie Disrupts Easter Bank Holiday. The 11th named storm of the winter, Katie was an unwanted Easter guest for large numbers of residents in southern England. Flights were disrupted and thousands were without out power due to winds in excess of 100 miles an hour. On the bright side, gale force winds, hail nor flooding could deter this fellow from getting a bit of brekkie.


A Great British Bake Off Spin-Off Disappoints. On Tuesday evening, BBC2 debuted a new culinary competition show, a GBBO spin-off entitled BakeOff: Creme de la Creme. It featured teams of professional pastry chefs baking in a lavishly appointed kitchen in a country manor house somewhere. Intial audience response is that it's pretentious, stressful and mean-spirited. Also it's apparently rather humorless and lacking in warmth since all the judges and presenters have changed. Without Sue, Mel, Mary and Paul and the lovely amateur home bakers we come to know and love, it just sounds like another charmless, Gordon Ramsey-esque cooking show. No need to bring this one stateside no matter how fancy the bakers' piping skills are.

Carmen Croghan

Carmen Croghan often looks at the state of her British addiction and wonders how it got so out of hand.  Was it the re-runs of Monty Python on PBS, that second British Invasion in the 80’s or the royal pomp and pageantry of Charles and Diana’s wedding? Whatever the culprit, it led her to a college semester abroad in London and over 25 years of wishing she could get back to the UK again.  Until she is able, she fills the void with British telly, some of her favorites being comedies such as The Office, The IT Crowd, Gavin and Stacey, Alan Partridge, Miranda and Green Wing. Her all-time favorite series, however, is Life On Mars. A part-time reference library staffer, she spends an inordinate amount of time watching just about any British series she can track down which she then writes about for her own blog Everything I Know about the UK, I Learned from the BBC.  She is excited to be contributing to Telly Visions and endeavors to share her Anglo-zeal with its readers.

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