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TV & Film

Netflix removes League of Gentlemen and Mighty Boosh over blackface controversy

Many programmes have been removed.

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BBC

Several programmes have been axed from streaming services due to white actors using blackface in a number of episodes and films. 

Blackface is the term used to describe theatrical makeup by white people to represent – usually insultingly – a caricature of a black person. It is a term that finds its origins in the US.

It demonstrates a long, deeply rooted and painful history found within racial ideologies that underpin transatlantic slavery.

It was created in a time when black people did not have the same rights as white people and were denied citizenship as an excuse to justify state violence. This meant that Black people were not allowed to be seen on stage due to their skin colour.

Blackface is often thought of as an old relic from the 1800s but there are many cases of modern 21st century TV programs still using it.

In the light of the resurgence of the BLM movement, critics have called for shows that depict blackface which are still on streaming services to be removed because it does little to combat racism.

Although in many cases it’s widely agreed the individual wearing blackface does not intend racism, it still causes harm through ignorance.

Little Britain/BBC

The League of Gentlemen and The Mighty Boosh are the latest shows to be removed from Netflix due to their use of blackface, the Guardian reports. 

Little Britain has also been removed from Netflix, Britbox and BBC iPlayer due to the use of blackface in some of the sketches of the show. 

 Come Fly With Me, also from Matt Lucas and David Walliams, has also been axed. 

“There’s a lot of historical programming available on BBC iPlayer, which we regularly review,” a spokesperson from the BBC said, adding: “Times have changed since Little Britain first aired so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer.”

Matt Lucas has previously admitted that Little Britain ‘aged terribly’, stressing that if the comedy was ever renewed, he would never play a black character again. 

Mighty Boosh/BBC

Gone With the Wind, an American civil war romance, positively depicts slavery and has since been removed from HBO Max where it was previously streamable. 

Channel 4 has removed Bo Selecta from its All4 streaming service and Leigh Francis, the comedian who played many black celebrities in the programme, such as Craig David and Trisha Goddard, has apologised for using blackface.

Ant and Dec have also issued an apology for a segment of Saturday Night Takeaway in 2003 where they impersonated people from other ethnic backgrounds using blackface. 

Despite the concept of blackface starting by white entertainers mimicking black people for entertainment purposes, many people are arguing that the programmes are ‘old’ and removing them from streaming services ‘takes away our right to choose’.

One Twitter user put: ‘The censorship of comedy – a favourite hobby in Hitler’s Germany – continues. Weary face Little Britain removed from BBC iPlayer, Netflix and BritBox due to use of blackface.”

It has caused much debate in the public, with one Twitter user explaining the issue thus: “Nobody is going on BBC iPlayer to watch those shows as a history lesson, they’re watching it to laugh – often at the expense of black people.”

TV & Film

First look at ITV crime drama produced by Line of Duty creator and starring Vicky McClure

Mother of God!

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Are you still questioning your existence following the dramatic season 6 finale of Line of Duty?

Well, I may have a little bit of good news for you: HTM Television, Jed Mercurio’s production company and the brains behind all 6 seasons of Line of Duty, has made the mother of all comebacks for a brand new crime drama, Trigger Point.

Trigger Point is the debut series by upcoming screenwriter Daniel Brierley, mentored by Mercurio himself. On the project, Brierley said he’s excited to share the ‘unknown story of the brave EXPO officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe,’ as per Bustle.

And, even more excitingly, AC-12’s very own Vicky McClure will be returning to the screen to take on one of the leading roles.

ITV

The new crime drama will focus on counter terrorism policing and the ‘extraordinary’ work of the Metropolitan Police Bomb Disposal Squad.

McClure will be taking on the role as frontline officer Lana Washington, and Adrian Lester as her colleague, Joel Nutkins. Both ex-military, the pair are close, having served together in Afghanistan.

When a terrorist campaign threatens London over the summer, the duo are at the forefront of urgent efforts to find out who is behind the bombings before the number of deaths increase.

On her new role, McClure said last year: “I’m so grateful to be working with Jed again. I’m really looking forward to creating a strong, bright and troubled character in Lana Washington. 

ITV

“Daniel Brierley has produced a brilliant and nail-biting script. I can’t wait to get started later this year.”

And, more recently, after teasing a picture of the script in April, McClure shared some behind the scenes shots from filming on her Instagram account, writing: “Meet Lana Washington & Joel Nutkins! We’re off to an explosive start!! Can’t wait to reveal more as we go along…We’ve got an incredible cast!! And the crew are creating absolute gold!”

Filming is currently underway for Trigger Point, and a release date is yet to be released.

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TV & Film

Stephen Graham and Shane Meadows offered to adopt Thomas Turgoose after his mum died

‘Shane Meadows and Steven Graham were going to adopt me if things didn’t work out with my dad’

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FilmFour & @thomasturgoose1 / Instagram

Thomas Turgoose has revealed that This is England director Shane Meadows and costar Stephen Graham offered to adopt him after his mum passed away.

The actor’s mum died from lung cancer shortly after filming for the 2006 This is England film had finished, leaving the then-thirteen year old with no other choice but to move in with his dad, who he didn’t know very well. 

Speaking on the Private Parts podcast, Turgoose explained: “My mum passed away from lung cancer after I finished filming This Is England. She never got to see the finished film.

@thomasturgoose1 / Instagram

“Shane Meadows dedicated the film to my mum.”

He went on to detail his close relationship with the two men, noting that Graham in particular had vowed to always look out for him.

He said: “Stephen Graham promised my mum he’d look out for me. Everyone involved in This is England are family to me.”

Turgoose then revealed that the pair had even promised to adopt him if things didn’t work out with his dad.

FilmFour

He said: “When my mum died I moved in with my dad and I didn’t know him so Shane Meadows and Steven Graham were going to adopt me if things didn’t work out with my dad.”

He also credited the This is England cast for preventing him from ending up in prison, admitting that he was ‘destined for prison’ before landing his breakout role in Meadows’ film.

He said: “I was destined for prison. Shoplifting things I didn’t need. There was a hardware store in Grimsby that I used to steal spray paint from for no reason.”

Thankfully, Turgoose has gone on to enjoy huge success, with him landing roles in several more This is England projects, Game of Thrones, and the new TV series Intergalactic.

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TV & Film

Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins looking for contestants from Manchester for new series

Do you think you have what it takes?

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Channel 4

Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins is on the lookout for brave new contestants from Greater Manchester.

The hit series, which first aired back in 2015, sees five ex-Special Forces soldiers recreating the SAS’s secret selection process and putting a group of contestants through it in the ‘ultimate test’ of their physical and – more importantly – psychological resilience.

The sixth season, which concluded on Sunday night, saw twenty-one men and women leave the comfort of their homes and head to Scotland for a gruelling selection course including tasks built around abseiling, swimming through freezing water and bracing for chemical weapon attacks.

Channel 4

Only two contestants were crowned as the winners – that’s how laborious this show really is.

Ant Middleton has always hosted the show but, following his public falling out with Channel 4 and a string of misconduct allegations, he won’t be returning for the seventh season.

Anyway, not one to waste any time, Channel 4 have got the wheels turning for the seventh season and are now accepting applications from those who think they’re tough enough to endure an SAS selection process.

Filming is set to take place between September 9th and September 26th 2021, so applicants need to be available for these dates.

Channel 4

There’s also a list of criteria SAS hopefuls need to meet – you must be between the ages of eighteen and forty-four, you must be a British citizen, an Irish Republic Citizen, British Commonwealth Citizen or hold dual nationality, and you must be at least 158cm (5.1”) tall and weigh at least 50kg (8 stone). 

Oh, and you must not be currently serving in the armed forces – you know, for obvious reasons.

You must also be able to adhere to a certain fitness standard – you must be able to complete a minimum of forty-four push ups in two minutes, a minimum of fifty sit ups in two minutes, be able to carry two 20kg weights over a distance of 120m in two minutes and complete a Beep test with the level of 10.1 – this is the equivalent of a 1.5 mile run in nine minutes and thirty seconds.

Has that still not put you off? If so, you can fill out your application here.

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