Radio Times "TV 100" 2019 – the full list

Phoebe Waller-Bridge tops a list of the biggest stars on television – but who else makes this year’s rundown?

Who has captured the imagination of TV viewers in the past year? Which stars are at the top of broadcasters’ wish lists, who landed the biggest roles, and who masterminded the moments that had you glued to your screen?

The Radio Times TV 100 put those questions to some of the most powerful television executives and broadcasting veterans who suggested names they thought should be included – and the final 100 was selected by a RadioTimes.com panel of editors.

The result is a rundown of 100 TV stars who’ve had a tremendous past 12 months. See the full list below…

1. Phoebe Waller-Bridge

“Phoebe is a phenomenal force of nature who has taken the world by storm with her breathtakingly original voice (creations Fleabag and Killing Eve). She’s an utterly unique writer and performer whose emotional honesty and mischievous wit constantly surprises and captures the zeitgeist, and leaves the audience only craving more.  I can’t wait to see what she’s done to 007!” CHARLOTTE MOORE – BBC’s Director of Content

2. Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham in Save Me (Sky, EH)

“Stephen has been giving us captivating and vivid performances on screen for years. He excels at bringing humanity to complex, challenging characters, which he manages to imbue with absolute truth and credibility. From This Is England to Save Me, he has shown what a brave and emotionally inquisitive actor he is. He gives himself over to each role completely, and as an audience, you can’t help but respond in kind.

“This year feels like a defining moment. His portrayal of Joseph in Shane Meadow’s The Virtues was astonishing. It completely blew my mind. And to move from that into playing Anthony Provenzano in Scorsese’s The Irishman, shows just how vast his range is. The rest of the world is finally waking up to his immense talent and audience appeal. I can’t wait to see what he does next.” NIRA PARK – TV and Film Producer

3. Rylan Clark-Neal

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Rylan Clark attends the Celebrity Big Brother male contestants launch night at Elstree Studios on January 5, 2018 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/ WireImage)

Rylan has a brilliant connection with the audience, he’s naughty and warm but incredibly sharp too. He brings something fresh to our screens with that elusive human touch.” CHARLOTTE MOORE – BBC’s Director of Content

4. Ashley Walters

Top Boy Netflix

“Ashley Walters is a true Renaissance man – a gifted actor, musician, father, brilliant collaborator, leader, friend-and this year, all his myriad talents were on full display, including his stunning return as Dushane Hill in Top Boy.” ARIA MOFFLY – Netflix content executive

5. Emily Maitlis

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: Emily Maitlis addresses students at the Cambridge Union Society on October 5, 2015 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Chris Williamson/Getty Images)

“Emily was already having a fantastic year. As lead presenter of Newsnight, she’d brought renewed urgency and clarity, making the show unmissable again. Who will forget her exceptional interview on College Green with a tearful Nicholas Soames and rueful Ken Clarke as they reflected on the abrupt end to their long careers as Tory MPs? But then, together with producer Samantha McAlister, she landed and delivered the scoop of the year. Her interview with Prince Andrew made for spellbinding television and was a masterclass in long form interrogative journalism. The nation was gripped. Brilliant.” PATRICK HOLLAND – Controller BBC Two

6. Stacey Dooley

Stacey Dooley: The Young and Homeless (BBC, EH)

“Stacey’s star rose to new heights on prime time TV as she held aloft the Strictly Come Dancing glitter ball in December last year. But since then her career has gone from strength to strength with hard-hitting documentaries on the BBC and her own investigative series on W. Add to that entertainment formats and regular presenting gigs, and you have a year that has demonstrated the versatility of Stacey as a journalist, presenter and broadcaster.” TIM GLANFIELD – Editorial Director, RadioTimes.com

7. Motsi Mabuse

Motsi Mabuse Strictly 2019 (BBC)

“While she’s been a familiar face to German audiences since her debut on their version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2007, in this country 2019 has seen Motsi go from relative unknown to one of the queens of Saturday night, showcasing her effervescent personality – and killer dance moves – as a judge on the biggest entertainment show on British TV. Now that’s what I call a good year.” PAUL JONES – Executive Editor, RadioTimes.com

8. Jodie Comer

Jodie Comer plays Villanelle

“Jodie Comer inhabited the role of [Killing Eve’s] Vilanelle with a bravura that captured everyone’s attention and hearts.” PHILLIPPA GILES – Managing Director, Bandit TV

9. Vicky McClure

Vicky McClure (BBC Pictures)

“Vicky’s got the incredibly rare combination of star quality and down-to-earth authenticity that sets her apart as an actor. She brings warmth, honesty and empathy to every performance.” JED MERCURIO – Line of Duty creator/writer [ . . . ]

See All 100 at RADIO TIMES: Radio Times TV 100 2019 – the full list – Radio Times

‘The audience knew they were in the hands of a master’

A musical number, a chat with a Hollywood star. A debate on the ‘burning issue’ of the day followed by a poem from the woman in the third row, a wave from the man in the fourth and then something for, well, everyone in the audience.

His work ethic was legendary, at the height of his career he was producing and presenting the Late Late, as well as presenting a daily radio show on RTÉ Radio 1.

And that wasn’t all – in the 1980s, while most of the country was enjoying the last days of summer, Gaybo had already started his autumn term, presenting the Rose of Tralee live from the Dome in the Kerry capital.

Add in the ‘Calor Gas Housewife of the Year’ competition and it was no wonder he was known as ‘Uncle Gaybo’ – for some he was as familiar a presence in the home as members of their own families.

Despite his ubiquity however Gay never became complacent about his work and both his television and radio shows broke new ground.

The Gay Byrne Hour, which became the Gay Byrne Show on RTÉ Radio 1, pioneered listener engagement, with listeners writing in and later phoning Gay about the issues of the day or problems close to their hearts.

“Consumer issues, recipes for fruit cake, relationship woes – in the days before social media Gay Byrne was the conduit for all kinds of discussion and debates”

One of the show’s most memorable broadcasts featured letters inspired by the death in childbirth of teenager Anne Lovett in Granard, Co Longford, in 1984.

When news of the tragedy broke, Irish men and women from all around the country wrote to the show with their own stories of abandonment, neglect and fear, stories from the heart which were broadcast to the nation. Continue reading

Shakespeare gets a sitcom in ‘Upstart Crow’

Upstart Crow

The popular film “Shakespeare in Love” seemed to unleash a wave of fictional imaginings of the English writer: the plays “Equivocation” and “The Beard of Avon,” the films “Anonymous” and “All Is True,” the short-lived TV series “Will.” But 1999’s frothy Best Picture winner was hardly the first rendering of Shakespeare as a fictional character.

The Bard of Avon made periodic appearances in novels throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, from a trilogy by Robert Folkestone Williams in the 1840s to Anthony Burgess’s 1964 book Nothing Like the Sun. And his first recorded stage appearance as a character is from 1679, some 60 years after the playwright’s death, when “the Ghost of Shakespeare” emerged to give a prologue to Thomas Dryden’s version of “Troilus and Cressida.”

There is nothing ghostly about the Shakespeare we meet in “Upstart Crow,” a delightfully cheeky BBC sitcom comprising three short seasons, available in the United States through the on-demand service Britbox as well as via Amazon. As played by the acerbic David Mitchell, one half of the comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, this Will Shakespeare is a mildly schlubby and insecure if well-intentioned striver, dividing his time between a bustling family hearth in Stratford and a rooming house in London from which he is building his playwriting career. The show’s title comes from an epithet hurled at Shakespeare in 1592 by a jealous poet, Robert Greene, in a pamphlet.

A fictional Greene is on hand as the show’s mustache-twirling villain to pound home the familiar theme of Shakespeare’s low birth and insufficiently fancy education. In a typical pithy putdown, he dismisses Shakespeare as “a country bum-snot, an oik of Avon, a town-school spotty-grotty.” The show’s Greene also functions as a literal nemesis, positioned (ahistorically) as the Master of the Revels, the impresario and censor through whom all staged entertainment must pass muster [ . . . ]

Continue at AMERICA: Shakespeare gets a sitcom in ‘Upstart Crow’ | America Magazine

This Time with Alan Partridge: Steve Coogan comedy on ABC iview

The funniest show on British television came to an end after six glorious episodes this week — and as of today, it’s also available for Australian viewers to watch for free in full.

This Time With Alan Partridge marks the latest outing for the character that comedian Steve Coogan and Veep creator Armando Iannucci first devised way back in 1991.

Partridge is a consistently inept veteran light entertainment personality: ruled by ego, an appalling listener and cack-handed public speaker and yet somehow — perhaps by virtue of being a straight white man — he remains gainfully employed.

Alan’s got a new gig.

Source: This Time with Alan Partridge: Steve Coogan comedy on ABC iview

Alan’s got a new gig.Source:Supplied

In his latest outing, Alan has been handed a career lifeline: He’d been slumming it as a presenter on a North Norfolk digital radio station when he’s whisked back to the hallowed corridors of the BBC in London.

He’s the new stand-in co-host of weekday lifestyle show This Time, the show’s regular host having fallen ill.

Scene one, episode one and he’s already feeling the pressure:

Alan Partridge is back… and it’s about time!#ThisTime. Tonight. 9.30pm. @BBCOnepic.twitter.com/MvF23TYFcF— BBC Comedy (@bbccomedy) February 25, 2019

Partridge and perpetually chipper co-host Jennie Gresham have a total lack of chemistry, Gresham gamely trying to keep her program on the rails while her new co-host demonstrates time and time again he’s really not the man for this job.

It’s hilarious — and frequently ridiculous. Here’s Alan giving viewers an unsolicited demonstration of how to use a public toilet without ever once using your hands:

Alan Partridge’s Hands-Free Train Toilet Drill will revolutionise your life. #AlanPartridge #ThisTimepic.twitter.com/WVTXYPU4AF— BBC Comedy (@bbccomedy) February 25, 2019

Alan doing his best to build a rapport with a guest who can only be described as Quite Scottish:

Alan has always been a man of the people. #ThisTimepic.twitter.com/Ppb40MrbZG— BBC Comedy (@bbccomedy) March 11, 2019

Alan furiously trying to down an entire sandwich — seeded bread — during a brief commercial break:

“You’ll never break it down”#ThisTime with Alan Partridge, Monday night at 9:30pm on @BB

Fawlty Towers named greatest ever British TV sitcom

John Cleese in Fawlty Towers

Comedy experts position series set in a chaotic hotel above Father Ted and I’m Alan Partridge

Fawlty Towers has been named the greatest ever British TV sitcom once again by a panel of comedy experts compiled by the Radio Times.

The comedy series set in a chaotic Torquay seaside hotel managed by an incompetent and highly strung hotelier played by John Cleese, was ranked above Father Ted, which chronicled the lives of three dysfunctional Irish priests and their housekeeper, and I’m Alan Partridge, in second and third place respectively.

Although Fawlty Towers ran for only two series, the popularity of its 12 episodes has endured and it is often re-broadcast, with the co-writer, Connie Booth, saying the show succeeds because it allows “infantile rage and aggression” to flourish even within “well-mannered English society”.

Basil Fawlty’s one-liners have gone down in comedy folklore. In one episode, a hotel guest complained that he was not satisfied, to which he replied: “Well, people like you never are, are you?”

During another, a guest asked if anywhere serves French food. Fawlty retorted: “Yes, France, I believe. They seem to like it there. And the swim would certainly sharpen your appetite. You’d better hurry, the tide leaves in six minutes.”

In a thinly veiled jibe at the broadcaster’s current management, Cleese said he was lucky to be working at the BBC when decisions were taken by people who had actually made programmes and paid tribute to his co-stars and producer, John Howard Davies, who directed the first six episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

“I’m proud we are up there with Porridge and Only Fools and Ab Fab and Blackadder and The Office and Reggie Perrin and The Thick of It,” he told the Radio Times.

Fawlty Towers co-writer Connie Booth told the magazine: “It’s unique in being a farce, with all the plot surprises and precision that the style requires. And it doesn’t hurt that the star of the show is a six–foot-five comic genius; if he was shorter I can’t imagine how it would have worked.”

Richard Curtis and Ben Elton’s historical sitcom, Blackadder, starring Rowan Atkinson, was fourth on the list, with Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s 80-episode, half-century-old Dad’s Army in fifth.

Only Fools and Horses, featuring Peckham wheeler-dealers the Trotter family, was named sixth best sitcom of all time, ahead of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais’s prison-based comedy drama, Porridge, in seventh.

Fawlty Towers was also named the best British sitcom of all time in a survey of comedians, comedy writers and actors in 2017.

Source: Fawlty Towers named greatest ever British TV sitcom