First Report: Strictly Comeback

Edition two of ATV First Report the weekday morning round up of soap and television news stories from ATV Network News.

As you may be aware this is part of a two-week trial experiment of bringing you the news of the day at set times – However following feedback from yesterday’s first outing we’ve made changes.

9am is First Report, followed by separate reports as stories reach us as previously. Then we round up the days news at 6pm with ATV Network Today – the in-depth TV and Media news round-up and at 6.30pm the ATV Soap Update. Today: Sir Trevor on Crime, is Arlene coming back to Strictly? and new commissions for BBC TV.

Strictly Come Back

Arlene Phillips, according to tabloid reports will be part of the new series of Strictly Come Dancing – despite being dropped for a younger female by producers earlier this year.
The 66-year-old will not reprise her role as a judge on the live panel however instead will provide the key dance choreography to the series. A role she previously had on the ill-fated Dance X reality series.

A show source told The Sun: “Arlene may not be a judge any more but we still want her on board as her expertise is unparalleled… …We’ve offered her a role doing what she does best, which is choreography.”

The changes to the programme are believed to be part of a bigger revamp which hopes to attract an younger audience – however the proposed changes have already gone down baldy with the Strictly fans. Arlene’s replacement on the judging team is former winner of the series, singer, Alesha Dixon. This appointment hasn’t proved popular with a lot of fans suggesting she will be “too nice” to participants. Alesha joining the show also lead to viewers and some MPs suggesting the BBC has yet again proved itself to be ageist against women presenters – following on from the ditching of popular newsreader Moria Stewart and closer to home the removal of dancer Karen Hardy from the Strictly series.

Fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood, 44, has waded into the row commenting in New Magazine that Alesha was “a natural gifted performer”, but lacked Arlene’s experience. “A celebrity contestant can never match someone who has been dancing their entire lives, who has been competitive and in professional competitions.”

Arlene is also believed to be lined up to be a critic of the dancing contestants on the spin-off BBC Two nightly slot It Takes Two – along with fellow axed star Karen Hardy – and Arlene has also been confirmed as The One Show’s correspondent for the nightly 7pm BBC One programme.

Katona Caution

Now we usually don’t report on anything like this but I couldn’t resist the temptation to make a cheap joke at someone who is fast becoming just that. Yes former face of supermarket Iceland – why I never shop there frankly – Kerry Katona has been issued with a police caution after she was filmed secretly snorting cocaine. I suppose it made a nice change from a Prawn Ring or a £1 Chicken Tikka Lasagna.

An insider at the police station told reporters “She was in pieces in the police station. She cried and at times was barely able to answer the questions.” Sounds like her This Morning interview all over again doesn’t it?

BBC Daytime Drama to mark War Anniversary

New period drama for the autumn, Land Girls, starring Nathaniel Parker and Christine Bottomley will be stripped across one week at 5.15pm as a one-off special event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

The drama follows the lives and loves of four girls away from home, striving to do their bit for Britain in the Women’s Land Army (WLA), while trying to come to terms with the fact that their lives may never be the same again.

Land Girls, which is Daytime’s first commissioned period drama, has been scheduled by BBC Daytime Controller Liam Keelan.

He says: “I’m delighted to be able to place Land Girls at this time of the day as part of a unique week of programming. We hope to pay tribute, not only to the many lives that were lost in the Second World War, but also to the land girls who played such an important role on the home front. We hope it’ll be seen by as wide an audience as possible.”

The five-part series marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War with a stellar cast line-up which also includes Sophie Ward and Mark Benton.

MasterChef Spin-Off for CBBC

Based on the successful, if often revamped, MasterChef, a new junior version – part of Children In Need fundraising campaign will give some of Britain’s best young cooks the chance to become the Junior MasterChef 2010. The BBC, through the programme, aim to find and encourage talented young cooks who have a flair for making exceptional food from scratch.

In each heat children will be challenged to cook a two-course meal – main and pudding – in just one hour. The range of food will be dictated by the diverse range of children and be based on what they think yummy food is all about.

The 13-part series will have eight heats, two quarter-finals, two semis and a final cook-off with the remaining three children. The competitors will be aged between nine and 12 years old and have real passion, enthusiasm and potential.

Controller, BBC Children’s, Richard Deverell [pictured right] said:

“It’s wonderful to announce this new series following the success of the special Children in Need episode. We hope to inspire children round the country to get cooking in what promises to be an aspirational, fun and enjoyable cooking competition.”

TV Pick Of The Day: Car Crime UK with Sir Trevor, ITV, 8.00pm

This programme features the work of specific car crime teams: The Burglary Task Force from Tameside, East Manchester. The Lothian & Borders Road Crime Reduction Unit based in Edinburgh, the Neighbourhood Task Force in Stockport and the CO15 ANPR Intercept Team in London.

Persistent offenders are responsible for the majority of all crime in the UK – just 100,000 criminals commit over half of all crimes, approximately five million crimes each year. The most common crimes for persistent offenders to commit are burglary and car crime, so the country’s specialist car crime teams have a particular interest in finding their worst offenders.
The episode starts in Gatley, south west of Stockport, Greater Manchester. Sgt Andy Torkington is in charge of an operation to catch a gang of burglars. There are 24 officers watching the gang. The plan is to arrest them while they are out of their car to prevent a possibly dangerous pursuit. They are en route to arrest the gang when they hear they have got back in the car. Sgt Torkington spots the gang’s car as it tries to escape and blocks it in. But the driver isn’t stopping and rams the police car resulting in a pursuit. The car gets away but it’s damaged and soon stops, seven people are arrested. Sgt Torkington’s car is a write off but he’s got the people he was after.

The series also follows Sgt Torkington on patrol with PC Colin Mason when they spot a blue flat bed truck coming towards them, driven by a known villain in the area. After a short chase the driver ends up in a dead end street. He claims to own the vehicle and to be driving legally. But the officers don’t believe him due to his past record and decide to find out more. Nothing adds up – the tax disc doesn’t match the number plate or the engine number, and the man has 16 points on his licence. Despite his comedic pleas of innocence, he is nicked, to the officers’ amusement
Mobile drug dealers – who use their cars to transport product to drug users – are becoming more and more common in the UK. In London Sgt Simon Crump’s on board computer alerts him to a car with a drugs ‘marker’ on it. When he stops it the car smells of cannabis, plus the driver has a large sum of cash on him, the car contains digital scales and bags of the type used to package drugs. But there are no actual drugs on the man or in the car. However, he is driving with no insurance so his car is seized, though Sgt Crump was hoping for more.

In Stockport PCs Nathan Gulam and Gavin Frith stop an Audi they suspect might be stolen. It turns out to be legitimately owned, but it reeks of cannabis. After initial denials, the driver admits to having ‘a small amount’ of cannabis in the vehicle – but PC Gulam finds two bags full of it, over a thousand pounds worth. The driver and his female passenger are arrested.

The programme ends in Tameside East Manchester with PC Roger Galt from the Burglary Task Force. His colleagues have been tracking a car believed to be selling drugs – the driver has been arrested but his two passengers have gone into a house. Believing they are inside destroying the evidence, PC Galt kicks in the door and arrests three people. The bathroom floor and toilet bowl have herbal cannabis in them – it looks like the suspects have flushed away the drugs. But PC Galt breaks their drain pipe, an officer inside flushes the loo while the waste is caught in a plastic bag. They don’t know what to expect, but the bag soon fills with water – and drugs. The cops have come up smelling of roses rather than something worse.