News At Seven: Round-Up

Tonight the death of Corey Haim the 1980s USA TV heartthrob, could EMI’s problems get any worse? One of Children’s BBC’s longest serving faces of recent years decides to retire and Sir Terry Wogan continues to out-do his replacement. Oh and despite what some reports say, June Whitfield is not ‘joining the cast of Coronation Street’.


1980s Hearthrob Dies


Corey Haim a teen star of the 1980s has died aged 38. The actor, whose career was damaged in the 1990s by a string of drug abuse problems, died from an accidental overdose of prescription medication.


“As he got out of bed, he felt a little weak and went down to the floor on his knees,” Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told NBC.


The Toronto-born actor first hit American screens in television commercials at the age of ten, before progressing into movies. In 1985 he starred opposite Liza Minelli in A Time To Live. Later success with The Lost Boys, a movie in which he battled against vampires, cemented him as a teenage heartthrob.



EMI Take On Banker Allen


Most people will be aware of what Charles Allen brought to ITV. As Sir Denis Forman once said: “In television you have to understand the public and then make your profits… …why put Charles Allen in? – All he can offer is top slicing.”


Allen, starting at Granada Television, took ITV from its strong local roots and identities to an uncertain ‘national’ ITV1 brand, and as some MPs had predicted years earlier from a network that’s key aim was to please viewers to a company that was there to please advertisers and shareholders.


Struggling music group EMI today may be looking for that cost-cutting touch of Allen in a quest to improve their fortunes. They announced today that Allen is to become the company’s Chairman – he was already non-executive chairman at the firm.


After ITV he became part of the biggest local radio operator – Global Radio. It has come in for christisium of ditching local brands and regional output, replacing many regional stations with the Heart FM brand, which makes it easier to ‘network’ programmes across the local stations.


EMI’s current Chief Executive Elio Leoni-Sceti, who has been with the company for just under three years, will leave the company at the end of the month.



Going for a Gong


Sir Terry Wogan has been awarded ‘Digital Radio Personality Of The Year’ by the Tric Awards. The 71-year-old radio and television presenter beat Radio 1 breakfast host Chris Moyles and new Radio 2 breakfast show host Chris Evans to the gong. Wogan left the Radio 2 breakfast show in December but continues to work for the BBC station on a weekend show.


Other winners include EastEnders‘ Barbara Windsor, who picked up a lifetime achievement award. Obviously avoiding the wilderness years of the 1980s where the highlight of her career was a summer show on a pier with ‘Nora Batty’.



Sky Has More Stars In It’s Eyes


Sky One has announced the return of Stargate Universe to its schedules. The series first appeared on the network in October 2009, however Sky One only screened the first half of the series.


The show follows a small group of military personnel, scientists and civilians who escape through the Stargate from their hidden base when it comes under attack. They take refuge on board a ship called the Destiny, but it soon emerges that the ship is on an unknown path and unable to return to Earth. The remaining episodes will air on Sky One and Sky One HD at 8.00pm from Tuesday April 13th.


Executive producer Robert Cooper said that the next episodes will explore the implications of leaving Rush on the planet, the real division that will cause amongst the crew [and] the judgment of those characters and their actions.” He added: “We have a lot of things planned for the second half of the season. There is a big story point coming up that does introduce an alien race.



CBBC Star Quits after 14 Years


It’s been a sad day for children across the UK with the news that after 14 loyal years and having to put up with numerous human presenters the Blue Peter dog Mabel is to retire.


The Border Collie Cross will officially depart Children’s BBC on Tuesday March 30th. She was Blue Peter’s first rescue dog and first appeared on January 8th 1996. Mabel is the shows second longest serving animal behind only the famous Petra who appeared from 1962 to 1977.


Current Blue Peter presenter Joel Defries says: “Mabel is a legend – she has spent 98 dog years working on Blue Peter and we will all miss her dearly.”



And Finally…


It was reported recently that ‘June Whitfield is to join the cast of Coronation Street’. I think you’ll find it’s a guest appearance of two episodes not a long term contract; no joining up, no stint.


Of course we hope the bosses at ITV Granada ponder on giving the former Absolutely Fabulous star a bigger role, Whitfield is a British icon and her talents should be cherished before its too late…