Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Film 2010: Autumn Revamp

Following the departure of Jonathan Ross from the BBC this summer, many of his programmes need filling (his Friday night chat-show, his Saturday morning radio show, and the 40-year-old Film Programme). The BBC are now set to revamp The Film Programme this autumn, with Claudia Winkleman stepping into the shoes previously worn by Barry Norman and Ross, with a co-host in The Guardian's film journalist Danny Leigh.

The BBC have released more details on the new-look Film 2010 today, which all sound like huge improvements for a TV series I've always believed operated far bellow its potential. The UK's been without a must-watch TV show revolving around films for... well, has it ever had one? Ross's The Incredibly Strange Filmshow from the '80s was perhaps the only one that ever grabbed me.

Film 2010 will ditch the show's long-standing monologue format to become more of a debate. It will also broadcast live for the first time (often to coincide with top movie events like festivals and awards ceremonies), feature more guests (actors, directors, critics) to chew over the week's releases, and be extended to 40-minutes. Chris Hewitt (Empire's news editor) and Antonia Quirke (novelist and journalist) will be recurring contributors.

Danny Leigh:

"When I was a kid in the dim and distant Eighties, becoming ever more obsessed with movies, there were two places I could find out about them -- my local fleapit cinema in Brighton and the BBC's film programme with Barry Norman.

Having been lucky enough to spend a chunk of the years since writing about film for a living, it entirely boggles my mind to have the chance to co-host the show now.

I'm really looking forward to working with Claudia and we'll have something for everyone from the casual Wednesday night passer-by to the most well-informed and passionate film fanatic."
Claudia Winkleman:

"I'm completely over the moon about Danny joining the team. He's going to be a fantastic companion discussing all things film -- from the latest Hollywood blockbuster to independent art-house cinema. We're even going to discuss the merits of Speed 2 at the weekends -- I'm being perfectly serious."
What's your reaction to this revamp? Is it exactly what the show needed? Can you see yourself warming to Claudia Winkleman in this live format, considering her nutty style is an acquired taste for many and in stark contrast to how Norman and Ross treated the show? Will she put on her serious head and surprise us, or will her ditzy irreverence draw in the ratings?

Film 2010 will be airing on Wednesday nights, but the exact timeslot isn't known yet. The Film Programme is notorious for its late-night scheduling, which has often been criticized by people who don't stay up past 11pm on a weekday, but I expect the BBC will ensure this airs at a more reasonable hour now. My money's on 10pm.

Thoughts? Comments?
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