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Steve McQueen's drama 12 Years a Slave dominates this year's Baftas, with nominations in five main categories including best film and best director.
Its star Chiwetel Ejiofor is up for best actor, with Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o also nominated for supporting actor awards.
Space drama Gravity and David O Russell's American Hustle and Philomena are also in the running for best film.
Winners will be announced at a London ceremony on 16 February.
Tee Poulson's insight:
Here's the complete list of nominations: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25648930
Sony Music is proud to announce the release of the original motion picture soundtrack of August: Osage County, featuring songs specially written for the film by Kings of Leon and by JD and The Straight Shot, as well as celebrated songs by Bon Iver, Eric Claptonand Billy Squier. These tracks are backed up by new music composed by Gustavo Santaolalla and others. The original motion picture soundtrack of August: Osage County is available on January 7, 2014.
The songs on the album make up an irresistible compilation. “Last Mile Home” by Kings of Leon, a soulful track with an understated guitar accompaniment, was specially written for the film by the band. The acoustic version of it was used for the end titles and the track featured on the album. The simple, moving “Violet’s Song” by JD and The Straight Shot was also recorded for the movie, and as a special treat the soundtrack includes the pleasure of hearing the actor Benedict Cumberbatchperform as a singer (“Can’t Keep It Inside”).
The return of Sherlock to BBC One was watched by an average of 9.2 million people, according to overnight figures.
Viewing peaked at 9.7 million during the first 5 minutes of the drama, which saw the detective reunited with Dr John Watson after he appeared to die at the finale of series two.
The first episode of the third series offered fans several different versions of how Holmes survived the fall.
Consolidated figures, including iPlayer viewing, will be released next week.
Sherlock was scheduled against Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on ITV, which pulled in an average 5.1 million viewers.
Sherlock's audience is an improvement on the series two premiere, which was watched by 8.75 million on 1 January, 2012 - rising to 10.66 million after seven days of consolidated viewing.
Some 9.78 million watched the series finale, which saw Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, plunge to his apparent death.
Steven Moffat, Sherlock's co-creator, executive producer and writer with Mark Gatiss, called the ratings "thrilling news".
"A tribute to the team who work so hard, and with such pride, on the show, and of course to the genius of [Holmes author] Sir Arthur Conan Doyle," said Moffat.
"It's proof that audiences will show up if you give them what they want - though we can't throw Benedict off a roof every week."
Reviews for Wednesday's episode were generally positive, with The Guardian's Sam Wollaston saying he thought Sir Arthur "would approve [and] enjoy it too".
The Daily Telegraph's Chris Harvey hailed it as "the triumphant return of the most charismatic, most fun character on British television".However the Daily Mail's Christopher Stevenscalled it a "cop-out", saying Holmes's complex explanation for his survival was "barely more convincing" than the red herring versions.
According to social media analyst SecondSync, the opening episode generated more than 300,000 tweets on Twitter.
The drama also featured Cumberbatch's parents, appearing as his on-screen mother and father.
The actor said he was "so proud" of Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton, but admitted it was "kind of nerve-wracking" to appear alongside them.
Sherlock co-creator Gatiss said he was "delighted our loyal audience tuned in on an appropriately bleak and stormy New Year's night".
He added: "After two years it's fantastic to have this response to Sherlock, John and all the team being back on TV. All this and Dr Watson gets married in three days time!"
The next episode is due to air on BBC One on Sunday night.
OK, I’ll be honest. I’ve never done this before. I’ve written Radio Times articles before. God knows, I’ve probably popped up fairly recently claiming that it’s the Christmassiest Christmas special since the birth scene in the manger. And, as it happens, I’ve spoken to Benedict many, many times. But I’ve never interviewed anyone before.
So bear with me. Be merciful. The trouble is, you see, Benedict is very clever. And he gets interviewed a lot, so can probably spot a Scottish fake. And Sherlock Holmes lives in his head these days, so he might not always be kind...
The tape is running (there isn’t actually any tape but I haven’t updated my personal vocabulary in 30 years) and I’m flailing. I can’t help noticing, though, that he’s wearing a coat. As starts go, it doesn’t get more predictable than this!
Steven: Looking at you in your Sherlock clothes, they’re so iconic now. How does it feel to be inside that? Does that feel weird?
Benedict: Sometimes when I put it on, it feels like fancy dress. Obviously when in character, you don’t contemplate that. I’ve got a resistance to repeating success, so an element of me wanted to develop the hair, the coat, and there’s no reason why we can’t. There might be a reason that we have to, because the Belstaff coat is no longer in existence. [The manufacturer, Belstaff, has discontinued it.] But yes, it’s become iconic. Actually, I’m disparaging of the coat. I call it the carpet, especially when you write Christmas scenes for us to film in August. I’m resigned to the fact that it completely works. It was a brilliant combination of Ray [Holman, costume designer] on the pilot and Sarah [Arthur, costume designer] on the series, and you, and myself.
SM: I was the least involved.
BC: But when you saw it, you knew it worked.
SM: I went into a sulk when I saw the other coat they made for series three. Remember, we tried to make another one work that was supposed to be similar and I just sulked.
BC: It wasn’t good.
SM: It was a fine coat but it just wasn’t the coat.
[Fine, ice broken. Now I’m getting confident. Going to try a question that’s a bit less coat-centric, one he won’t see coming...]
SM: There’s a genuine character question I have for you about Sherlock, because my fellow writer Mark Gatiss and I have pondered this...
BC: Is Sherlock vain?
SM: Yes, how much effort is he putting into this?
BC: Is he footballer vain? No. Is he movie star vain? Possibly. But it’s not really about the image he wants to project in order to make people fancy him; it’s about what he wants to use of himself to control a situation. His look is part of his armour. I don’t think it’s vanity.
[See, clever. I nodded during all of that, like I’d thought of it myself. I’ll pass it on to Mark so he can already have thought of it, too. Then we’ll both look like clued-up showrunners, instead of a couple of middle- aged men who play with action figures when no one’s looking.
OK, back to work. Because now I’m going for the jugular! Being a PROPER interviewer! One thing Benedict HATES talking about is his sex-symbol status. But by sliding sideways into the subject, using all my journalistic skills, I’m pretty sure I can surprise him...]
SM: So it’s not vanity. He sort of knows he looks good, though. This leads me to my next question.
BC: If you’re tying this thing with me now becoming a sex symbol...
SM: No, no, I’m not. God, no. Would never do that. Leave that stuff to the tabloids, that’s what I say.
[Benedict is now waiting patiently for what I was actually going to ask him. Mind blank. And he’s eyeing me narrowly. No wonder Moriarty shot himself. Have you ever tried to make your phone ring with an urgent call just by staring at it? Doesn’t work!]
SM: ...No, what I was going to say is that I remember in the first year, and to some extent the second, Mark and I would be telling you about Sherlock Holmes and you’d be making some suggestions and some would work and some would not. I’m now finding your ad-libs and the bits that you add completely perfect.
BC: Thanks, boss! [Boss! That’s SO going in.]
SM: Series one, two and three – it’s fair to say during that time you’ve boomed as an actor. It’s been phenomenal and you haven’t stopped working, you’ve played all these different parts from Julian Assange to Star Trek. The first time we didn’t know Sherlock was going to be a hit. How did it feel coming back for series two?
BC: It felt awkward, actually, coming back the first time. Not because it was strange but in a way because it had been such a success. I think we both felt slightly that we were outside of it, looking in. I was looking at Martin Freeman and thinking: “God, I saw you on the telly in something rather good during the summer.” It took a little bit of time to get the rhythm and pacing back, partly because of what had happened in the meantime. This time round it seems to have held in my mind, it seems to be something I can press pause with and then press play again.
SM: You and Martin have become so huge. Mark and I were joking that if we pitched this show now and said we wanted you both in it, people would laugh at us. We did wonder if you’d both come back to Sherlock. It all might seem a bit small.
BC: No. It’s not like coming back to a series. It’s a very special thing. It’s unique. It doesn’t feel like you’re constraining yourselves to a format in the normal television way. You always delight us. The pressure is always on because we’re your first TV audience, we’re the people sitting down with a drink at 9pm on a Sunday getting ready for it to start. That’s Martin and me when we first read the scripts. We’re the first people to get that hit. You’ve not disappointed us on any single occasion. It will keep going. [SO keeping all that in. Wonder if it would work on a T-shirt.] And the guests we have this year are extraordinary.
SM: Sherlock’s going a bit Scandi. [Lars Mikkelsen from The Killing and Borgen will play villain Charles Augustus Magnussen.] And now we’ve got Amanda [Abbington, Freeman’s real-life partner] as Mary Morstan. John’s new... erm, best friend.
BC: Amanda is not a guest star. She’s very much part of the family, but what an amazing ally and friend and fellow actor to have on board. She’s a joy to work with and be with.
SM: Sherlock is a bit different when he’s with Mary –why is that?
BC: I think he is. He still exists in his own limelight and he’s not smothered by that relationship. But she’s an incredibly strong female character. She’s very involved and that’s brilliant. I love the dynamic. Amanda is just astonishingly subtle and has sublime good taste as an actress. She’s really special.
SM: I’ve got my own views on this but I want to ask what you think – how different is Sherlock when he comes back?
BC: I think he’s regressed, which is a shame in a way as it would have been lovely to have evolved him into somebody who was perversely different for a little bit. I think without Watson the stabilisers have come off the bike a little bit, or they’ve been put back on, I don’t quite know. He’s not in tune with London, he’s not in tune with his natural habitat and he’s nowhere near in tune with what it is to be a human being in society.
Although he’s been through a s**tload, as we discover. In his own way it’s cost him. It’s all about how Watson responds to this man coming back. Spare a thought for Sherlock. He’s had his challenges and had to confront them on his own. He’s coming back to, not a changed London, but his London is very changed. An empty flat, an engaged best friend, and not knowing how to engage with that is heartbreaking. It should be. It should be funny, but it should also be upsetting, hopefully. I hope to God it’s not too cute and that I got it right. I’m more nervous about that than anything else, about the gradations of him introducing himself back to Watson.
SM: So he comes back in the first episode to a slightly different world...
BC: It’s important for me to state this. Everyone keeps on banging on about the expectations of how he survived his fall at the end of series two. I’m much more worried about how I reintroduce myself to the world.
SM: So! Big final question. If it was up to you – and in many ways it is – what would you do next in Sherlock? Where would you like to see it go?
BC: I wouldn’t presume. You and Mark are so clever and handsome that you’re bound to have all the best ideas, and I certainly hope you’re not going to make your own answer to this question just to make yourself look good.
[Perish the thought! Though, of course, I did. Because Benedict came out with a lot of clever and cool ideas, and if Mark and I are going to take the credit for them, there’s not a lot of point attributing them to our star in a Radio Times interview.
Anyway, he kept going for quite a while. After a bit, I popped out for a drink. Then dinner and a short holiday – I don’t think he noticed. I probably should pop back there some time and see if he’s still going.
Between you and me, when it comes to Sherlock, I think Benedict will be going for quite a while yet. Unless we kill him in episode three, of course.]
TV's biggest cliffhanger will be solved on New Year's Day when millions of Sherlock fans find out how the master detective survived his rooftop leap at the end of the BBC hit show's second series.
Fans tuning in to the last episode saw Benedict Cumberbatch's character seemingly lying dead on the pavement after tumbling from the top of a building, before resurfacing very much alive and watching over his own grave.
Co-creator Steven Moffat said fans contemplating theories on how Sherlock survived ahead of the first episode of the third series is "much more fun than being told". And Mark Gatiss admitted the hype from the fans put pressure on them to come up with a suitable solution.
He said: "We knew right from the start how we were going to do it.
"But we had absolutely no idea it would take on the epic proportions it has so that really by the time we came to actually do it we really had to address the fact it had become so huge and there are only so many ways you can jump off a building onto the pavement."
Moffat said he had been surprised by the fans' response to the show and its stars Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
He said: "The response was huge, it almost instantly became a sort of national institution and Benedict went from being that bloke with a funny name that people looked blank about when you mentioned him, he went from that to star more quickly than anything I've ever witnessed.
"He was a star in one day."
Following a busy year that including roles as a bad guy in Star Trek Into Darkness, a fire-breathing dragon in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a headline making hacker in The Fifth Estate, a reasonable slave owner in 12 Years a Slave and one of a large ensemble family in August: Osage County, we have the first look at a 2014 film with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead. In The Imitation Game, the actor plays Alan Turing, an important man of UK history said to be the father of computer science as he played a pivotal role in the creation of the modern computer. The script made the Black List, so it's bound to be a good one.
The Imitation Game is directed by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters) making his English language debut from a script by Graham Moore. The film follows Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he works on cracking the German “Enigma Code” during World War II which was integral the Allies stave off defeat. However, the genius would later be prosecuted by Britain in the early 1950s for being a homosexual. Clint Mansell (The Fountain, Stoker) will score the film which also stars Mark Strong, Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode. Warner Bros.will release the film sometime in 2014, but there's no official release date set yet.
Jennifer Lawrence and Ryan Gosling have been named the sexiest celebs of 2013 in a poll.
Hollywood's woman of the moment J-Law dominated the vote, organised by Digital Spy, notching up support of 17.6 per cent - with Mila Kunis her closest rival on 12.6 per cent.
Scarlett Johansson and Nicole Scherzinger were behind them - both on 9.4 per cent - with Michelle Keegan a whisker behind on 9.3 per cent.
Things were tighter at the top of the male vote however, with R-Gos taking the win with 12 per cent - narrowly in front of diving hunk Tom Daley on 11.4 per cent.
David Beckham was in third spot on 9.9 per cent, while Channing Tatum garnered 9.3 per cent of the vote.
And the top five was rounded out by Benedict Cumberbatch with 7.7 per cent of the votes.
The epic fantasy sequel 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' remains in the top position at the North American box office despite the release of the well-publicised comedy 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'.
New Line Cinema's hit fantasy film is No.1 at the North American box office for a second straight week, earning $31.5 million this weekend.
On opening weekend it garnered an impressive $73.7 million from ticket sales and became the fourth biggest December opening ever, coming behind 'Avatar' ($77 million), 'I Am Legend' ($77.2 million) and 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' ($84.6 million).
Behold. The celebrity dance off to end all other celebrity dance offs. You have been warned. The dancing you are about to witness is spectacular. Quite spectacular indeed.Although, hold up—is there really even a question about who the actual "winner" here is? HIDDLES KILLS IT. Cumberbatch is OK, if you like awkward, half-hearted dance moves. He's just not that committed. Sorry, Cumberbabes. Your man is slacking. But Hiddles. Come on. You tell that guy to dance a few steps and he'll be macarena-ing around the freaking globe until the cows come home. You know what I mean.
DANCE OFF WINNER, UNDISPUTED: TOM HIDDLESTON. VICTORY TO THE HIDDLESTONERS.
[Click the title to jump to the page and view the dance off.]
Tee Poulson's insight:
Awww - come on! Most of the 'dance' moves attributed to BC are just movements! [Genuinely hilarious, though.]
Benedict Cumberbatch inspires the sort of rabid, overwhelming Internet love usually reserved for cats wearing sweaters and cute baby videos, but sitting with the actor even briefly, it’s sort of easy to understand why. In the course of 20 minutes, Cumberbatch, while enjoying a cup of tea and some Swedish Fish, sounded off with ease and eloquence on his personal relationship to the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, his “porn star dragon” Smaug — one of the two characters to receive title billing in the latest epic fantasy from Peter Jackson, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — and dealing with international celebrity (specifically being recognized for his acclaimed portrayal of Sherlock Holmes by a waitress in Oklahoma, a tale he shared by dropping in and out of a rural American accent).
HC: How did you come to play Smaug?
BC: I approached them. I put myself on tape. I auditioned. I was asked to audition, I guess, at some point. My dad read this to me when I was a kid. I must have been about 6 or 7 because I went to boarding school at 8. So, it was a bedtime treat. This is for him. I owe a lot of it to him. I don’t know how much of his performance I ripped off. I can remember his Smeagol, his Golum, was brilliant. He did that a long time afterwards just to keep me sweet when I was in a grump, get my attention or make me laugh. It was one of the first things I said to [Gollum actor] Andy [Serkis] when we first met… Dad was sort of the seed of it. I loved the “Lord of the Rings” films, I wasn’t that into the books as a kid, but “The Hobbit” was a huge deal for me from dad reading it. That made me realize, Christ, the written word. You can read a book and have that much going on in your head as an imaginative world of characters and places. So, it sparked off my love of reading as well. It’s a big book in my life, in a lot of kids’ lives, and when I heard it was happening I thought I really need to audition for this. I knew I wasn’t really right for a hobbit and maybe an elf, or a dwarf. It was always Smaug for me, always, always. He’s just such an extraordinary creature in the book. He’s got a lot of personality. He’s not just a presence of animal — he’s got very wrong human emotions, avarice and venality and cruelty but also charm. I just thought he was a fascinating villain, a beautiful mythical creature.
HC: Peter Jackson mentioned something about you rolling around on a bit of carpet…
BC: It was motion capture, so I did roll around a bit on the carpet. He’s talking about the dragon porn that happened a little bit later, in the sort of third installment of our work together… they built the platform in the main soundstage at the post-production facility down in Wellington and it was great. It was sort of above [the floor] so I had this kind of thing of superiority. They built a wooden platform on stilts and they had this hard board that they’d padded with some foam and mats and stuff and on top of that they put this sheepskin. It was literally like “Baum chicka baum baum,” me up on my Smaug-y platform. I was like, “This is cool, I can slink around like a porn star dragon.”
Cabin Pressure, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is among the nominees for this year's BBC Audio Drama Awards.
Radio 4's Cabin Pressure is up for both the scripted comedy and scripted comedy-drama titles.
The ceremony will be staged at the Radio Theatre in the BBC's Broadcasting House on January 26.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Olivia Colman have been nominated for a National Television Award 2014.
The 'Sherlock' star and the 'Broadchurch' actress will go head-to-head for the new TV Detective gong at this year's ceremony, taking place at London's o2 on Wednesday January 22.
Idris Elba will also battle it out for the prize after being recognised for his role in 'Luther', along with Bradley Walsh for 'Law & Order UK', Suranne Jones for 'Scott & Bailey' and David Tennant for his part in 'Broadchurch'.
Alan Turing, the second world war codebreaker who took his own life after undergoing chemical castration following a conviction for homosexual activity, has been granted a posthumous royal pardon 59 years after his death.
The brilliant mathematician, who played a major role in breaking the Enigma code – which arguably shortened the war by at least two years – has been granted a pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy by the Queen, following a request from the justice secretary, Chris Grayling.
Turing was considered to be the father of modern computer science and was most famous for his work in helping to create the "bombe" that cracked messages enciphered with the German Enigma machines. He was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 after admitting a sexual relationship with a man.
He was given experimental chemical castration as a "treatment". His criminal record resulted in the loss of his security clearance and meant he was no longer able to work for Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), where he had been employed following service at Bletchley Park during the war. He died of cyanide poisoning in 1954, aged 41.
Announcing the pardon, Grayling said: "Dr Alan Turing was an exceptional man with a brilliant mind. His brilliance was put into practice at Bletchley Park during the second world war, where he was pivotal to breaking the Enigma code, helping to end the war and save thousands of lives.
"His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed.
"Dr Turing deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science. A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."
Another day, another denial for the rumor that won't go away (not that we want it too, at all! We have a whole segment about it on our podcast!) Benedict Cumberbatch addressed the rumors surrounding him and Star Wars Episode VII in a recent interview with GQ UK saying,
"Urgh! I mean, I think everyone is talking about it apart from JJ and me! Look, I mean, maybe when there's a script we'll know for certain, but from what I understand the heroes are really, really young, so that's late teens early twenties, and then I don't know, maybe there's a baddie in there? But I think both JJ and I realise we've just done that with another massive sci-fi film, so that obviously hinders things a bit. I mean, there's a possibility, of course there is, and JJ knows how much I would love to be a part of it, simply because, more than Star Trek, it really was something I grew up with. It does make me want to do it even more as well [that people want him to do it]. I don't know. It would be terribly disappointing I suppose if I didn't, but I completely understand what the reasoning might be, which is that this is too close to what we've already done, and what it is that I could do in this film. I mean, JJ and I are yet to have that discussion and I don't even know how many of them he is developing at the one time. I'm pretty sure he's working up one part of three and the spin-off films, there's a shit load more."
That's the tantalisingly brief synopsis for the Sherlock mini episode titled Many Happy Returns, although the extra line of plot detail fails to confirm whether Benedict Cumberbatchand Martin Freeman will star.
The seven-minute short was previously believed to be premiering on 25 December but new information released by the BBC confirms fans of the detective series will get an early Christmas present...
Prior to being shown at various intervals between Christmas Day and 2 January, theSherlock short will be released on BBC iPlayer from around 2:00pm on Christmas Eve before transferring to the red button service, with the Beeb also unveiling the list of times it will be available to watch thereafter:
Wednesday 25 December, 8:25pm-5:30am
Sherlock returns for three new episodes, beginning on Wednesday 1 January at 9:00pm on BBC1
Walt Disney Home Entertainment has officially announced the Blu-ray release of director Bill Condon's The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, Daniel Brühl, Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci and Anthony Mackie. The film offers a dramatic portrayal of Wikileak's Assange, and arrives on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD Digital Copy combo pack on January 28, 2014.
Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed that Sherlock series 3 will see the hero "in real peril" as "a master villain brings him to his knees."
The actor explains: "We know from the end of series two he staged his death, he was out of the game but calculating every move and therefore in charge.
"[But] What’s exciting about this series is we see Sherlock in real peril.
"In the third [episode] they are challenged by a situation and a master villain who brings him to his knees."
He adds: "He really does lose his authority on the situation and it’s really exciting to see a hero in that much jeopardy."
So, who is this new villain? Played by Borgen and The Killing star Lars Mikkelsen, Charles Augustus Magnussen "is a businessman," says Cumberbatch.
"He’s not a mad chaotic villain, not like the award-winning performance Andrew Scott gave as Moriaty.
"He is so measured and precise – he is like a shark, a terrifyingly perfect predator of our age"
Before that, there is the small matter of Sherlock's return to deal with and it seems John Watson (Martin Freeman) isn't too happy about him faking his death.
"[Sherlock] is expecting a wry smile, a handshake and maybe a laugh or two and then off on a case. He gets it so wrong, so so wrong."
He explains: "They start from a point where they are almost strangers again."
But fear not, the duo are soon back on top form, and "they have some extraordinary adventures in the first and second episodes," promises Cumberbatch.
* Sherlock series 3 airs on Wednesday 1 January 2014 on BBC One