Monday, 26 December 2016

Radio 2 Pointless Celebrities, 7th January

On 7th January 2017 at 6.10pm there's a Radio 2-themed edition of Pointless Celebrities, featuring Jo Whiley and Jeremy Vine, Zoe Ball and Michael Ball, Ken Bruce and Anneka Rice, and Vanessa Feltz and Craig Charles. Mika will perform at the end of the show.

Good group of broadcasters - this should be fun!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

It's all change for #Pointless1000!

Little did Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman know, way back in 2009 when Pointless began, what a gameshow institution they were starting up. But so it was - and soon Pointless will reach its 1000th show. To mark the occasion, Xander and Richard are swapping places, with Richard behind the host's podium and Xander as his pointless friend.

Richard says:
I'm so delighted that the ridiculous rise and rise of Pointless continues and have loved spending 1,000 episodes alongside my TV husband Xander. Swapping roles was a real treat but let's just say I'm not in a hurry to do it again - Xander's job is much harder than it looks.
 Xander adds:
I can't tell you how exciting this is for Richard and me. I imagine it's probably fairly obvious how much we love making Pointless - but to pass the 1,000th episode mark is a great tribute to a show that so many people work so hard on.
The show has a special jackpot starting at £2500 for charity with £!000 added for any pointless answers, and the contestants include the first ever winners, the couple who won the highest ever jackpot, a team who got three pointless answers in the final, and representatives of celebrity contestants.

I was at this recording, and very good t was too. I'm looking forward to seeing it on screen, some time early in the New Year.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Alexander Armstrong on Lip Sync Battle UK

Lip Sync Battle UK is a musical reality TV competition on Channel 5, in which celebrities take each other on with lip sync performances to pop songs. Alexander Armstrong is taking part against Jimmy Carr, at 10pm on Friday 13th January 2017.

I was at this recording, hosted as are all the shows by Mel B and Professor Green. I can promise you that you won't have seen Xander (or Jimmy) quite like this before. Definitely worth a watch!

Italy's Invisible Cities

Following the success of Rome's Invisible City, Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott have travelled through three of Italy's most fascinating cities - Naples, Venice, and Florence - to explore 2000 years of history. Utilising an arsenal of cutting-edge technology, including ultra-high definition 3D scans, underwater LiDAR, photo-real CGI and drone cameras, Alexander and Michael discover Italy’s hidden past in new vivid detail.

In the first episode of Italy's Invisible Cities, on the 4th of January at 9pm on BBC1, Alexander and Michael seek to expose the buried treasures contained in one of the world’s oldest cities, Naples. A series of underground tunnels constructed by ruling Bourbon kings in the 19th century link historic quarries and Roman aqueducts, interacting with the modern city above in surprising ways – including the intrusion of an abandoned metro line.

The duo visits Herculaneum and learns about an underground theatre buried after the eruption of Vesuvius, rediscovered when Roman statues began surfacing in one of the town’s wells. Alexander and Michael not only head underground, but underwater - in Baiae’s sunken harbour, Portus Julius. Michael completes a dive to view a perfectly preserved mosaic floor among the ruins of submerged Roman holiday homes.

In episode two, Xander and Michael uncover how a city built in a swamp - Venice - became one of the most powerful in medieval Europe and dive into its canals to experience how the city remains standing. Plus, they reveal how the city's beauty once masked a ruthless secret state and a world of excess and vice.

In the final episode, on 25th January, the duo explore the hidden side of romantic Florence and uncover the birthplace of the Italian renaissance, historic home to the all-powerful Medici family. They investigate the Medicis' fraught relationship with one of their employees, none other than Michelangelo. Xander and Michael complete their Tuscan exploration with a visit to the world-famous Uffizi - including the Botticelli room. Michael takes Alexander along the Medicis' private corridor running more than a kilometre through the city from the Uffizi to the Medici’s stately residence on the south of the river. Using cutting-edge technology, this secret space is recreated as an astonishing virtual reality experience revealing Florence as it’s never been seen before.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Pointless Celebrities 31st December

Reflecting 2016's utter randomness, the last Pointless Celebrities of the year is a repeat of a unthemed show, on New Year's Eve at 7.45pm).

Rich Hall and Shappi Khorsandi, Sian Lloyd and Fred MacAulay, Mark King and Stuart Maconie, Chemmy Alcott and Amy Williams all take part. Interesting mix...

Friday, 9 December 2016

Walking In The Air for refugees

The Hands Up Foundation raises funds and awareness for those affected by the crisis in Syria. One of the ways it raises money is through singing, and they have recently launched the Singing For Syrians campaign.

The first event of the campaign is a carol concert at St Margaret's Church in Westminster on 13th December, led by a choir of MPs including Victoria Prentis, Will Quince, Nicola Blackwood and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, and with readings from Simon Callow, Michael Morpurgo and Robert Peston. In addition, Alexander Armstrong and Tom Hollander will sing and whistle Walking In The Air.

A similar event last year raised £45,000, and it's hoped that this year's concert will double that. Tickets are available from the Singing For Syrians site.

The Sound of Music (a bit less) Live

Last year's splendid Sound of Music Live is repeated on Christmas Eve at 3.50pm on ITV3, followed at 6.30pm by The Making of Sound of Music Live.

Alexander Armstrong plays music promoter Max Detweiler. The production also stars Kara Tointon, Julian Ovenden, Katherine Kelly, and Maria Friedman.

A must to get you in the seasonal mood!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Armstrong & Miller With Great Pleasure at Christmas

Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller are reunited to present With Great Pleasure at Christmas, at 10pm on Radio 4 on Christmas Day (repeated on Boxing Day at 4pm).

Expect laughter and maybe the odd tear as they present readings from their favourite works of fiction and poetry, many with a Christmas feel, and a song or two (including, I'm reliably informed, The Hatmakers' Song). They're assisted by one of their favourite female collaborators, Sarah Alexander.

Christmas Pointless Celebrities

It's Christmas! This year's Pointless Celebrities special goes out on Christmas Eve at 6.30pm.

The show features Lesley Joseph and Duncan James, Faye Tozer and Bobby Davro, Joe Pasquale and Wendi Peters, and Natasha Hamilton and Keith Chegwin.

I was at this recording, and can exclusively reveal that it was filmed in the middle of a heatwave. So give a thought to poor Xander, Richard, and the contestants, all in their heavy costumes. I know ice packs down the trousers were involved for at least one person.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Alexander Armstrong's Land of the Midnight Sun

Hats and scarves on as we join Alexander Armstrong on his epic trek half-way round the Arctic Circle in midwinter. In this series, repeated from 2015, Xander witnesses natural wonders, experiences the lure of the magnetic North, and meets the people making this harsh landscape their home.

In the first episode, going out today (Sunday) at 10pm on ITV3, Xander begins in Scandinavia and heads toward Iceland, as he swims with locals in the ocean, faces the worst storm in 25 years, and goes down the world's first major tunnel to be built into the heart of a glacier.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Dear BBC schedulers....

Dear BBC schedulers,

I'm a Pointless megafan. On the bell curve labelled 'level of interest in Pointless' I'm way out there on the furthest right hand edge. But even I am beginning to wonder if you're deliberately trying to put people off watching.

Over the past month or so, BBC1 has shown a couple of weeks of new shows, followed by a block of repeats. On Monday 12th December, we have new shows again.

For three days.

That's right, on the Thursday of that week it's repeats again, running (by the looks of it) all the way up to Christmas.

Richard Osman has said in interviews that more than 1200 shows have now been recorded. You haven't shown the 1000th episode yet. What are you hanging on to them all for? (Not Christmas, evidently.)

I understand that you need to get your money's worth out of your commission, so repeats are inevitable. But why not at least string them all together (Summer would be the obvious time) so we can get a long, uninterrupted run of new shows at other times?

Please, schedulers. For the love of Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Kiribati, of Dysprosium, Darmstadtium, and Neodymium, give us our Pointless!


Team Xander

Friday, 2 December 2016

Sports Personality of the Year Pointless Celebrities

Saturday 17th December at 5.50pm sees a Sports Personality of the Year-themed Pointless Celebrities. Jayne Torvill and Geoff Thomas, Paula Radcliffe and Dame Mary Peters, Robin Cousins and Fatima Whitbread, and Maggie Alphonsi and Greg Rusedski are all taking part.

Sports shows are always good, because the celebrities are just so competitive. Looking forward to this one.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Alexander Armstrong on Alan Carr's 12 Stars of Christmas

Alexander Armstrong will appear on Alan Carr's 12 Stars of Christmas, on Monday 19th December at 10pm on Channel 4.

12 Stars... is being broadcast over Christmas week. Three celebrities will compete every night to win hundreds of prizes for the studio audience, taking turns to choose doors from a giant advent calendar, Behind each door is another celebrity armed with a question about the highlights of the past 12 months..Also competing on the same night as Xander are Alesha Dixon and Rob Beckett, and the questions will be posed by Miranda Hart,, Matt Lucas, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Roger Moore, Little Mix, Bear Grylls and William Shatner.