Thursday, 29 June 2017

Food & Drink Pointless Celebrities, 8th July

There's an oasis in Wimbledon's Pointless-free desert on 8th July at 6.45pm, with a repeat of a Food & Drink edition of Pointless Celebrities.

Ed Baines and Paul Rankin team up to battle fellow chefs Tony Singh and Cyrus Todiwala, Jean-Christophe Novelli joins forces with TV cook Jo Pratt and former Great British Bake Off finalist Richard Burr works together with 2013 finalist Frances Quinn.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Pointless shortlisted for TV Choice Awards

Pointless has been shortlisted in the Daytime category of the TV Choice Awards. Please give them your support: if you've voted previously this year, that was to get them onto the shortlist - now they need your help to win!

The 2017 TV Choice Awards take place on Monday September 4 at The Dorchester in London, and will be hosted by Richard Osman.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Animals, Cats, Peter, and the Wolf

Alexander Armstrong has been recording an album with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, in which he narrates several pieces of classical music.

Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf tells a children's story while the orchestra illustrates it. A young boy, Peter, and his friends, the farmyard animals, capture a big grey wolf that comes out of the forest.

Carnival of the Animals, by Saint-Saƫns, is a humorous musical suite of 14 movements, each representing a different animal or animals. In 1949, Ogden Nash wrote a set of humorous verses to accompany each movement.

20th Century British composer Alan Rawsthorne wrote orchestral pieces to accompany poems from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the same poems that inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. This composition has only been recorded once before, in the 1950s.

The album comes out in the autumn, and Xander will be taking part in a live performance of the pieces in Liverpool.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Family Pointless Celebrities, 1st July

Pointless Celebrities on 1st July at 5.45pm is a repeat of the Family special.

It features Louis Theroux with his wife Nancy Strang, Michael Underwood and his wife Angellica Bell, Calum Best and his mum Angie, and Gary Lineker with his son Harry.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


As is the norm, Pointless goes on hiatus for the two weeks of Wimbledon, from Monday 3rd July. It will (I assume) return on Monday the 17th. In the meantime, if you have withdrawal symptoms, just about every Pointless episode ever is on YouTube, and it'll still be on Challenge every evening at 7pm, so fill your boots!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Alexander Armstrong wins Silver Clef Award

Alexander Armstrong has been announced as the winner of the PPL Classical Silver Clef Award for 2017. The prestigious O2 Silver Clef Awards are presented by music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, which does life-changing work with people with disabilities and illnesses.

The award, along with others to Dame Shirley Bassey, Phil Collins, Blondie, Emeli Sande, Mumford & Sons, Anne-Marie, Nile Rodgers and Pete Tong, will be presented on Friday 30th June at the Grosvenor Park Hotel, Park Lane, London. Congratulations, Xander!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Child Stars Pointless Celebrities, 24th June

Pointless Celebrities on Saturday 24th June is a repeated Child Stars special, at 5.55pm.

Outnumbered's (and Xander's one-time screen son) Tyger Drew-Honey teams up with This Is England's Thomas Turgoose, while Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory's Julie Dawn Cole joins forces with Oliver! star Mark Lester. Plus, former Grange Hill stars Lee MacDonald and Erkan Mustafa take on old classmate Michelle Gayle as she partners ex-Coronation Street actor Adam Rickitt.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Crikey DM, it's Series 2 of Danger Mouse!

The delayed premiere of series 2 of Danger Mouse has finally been scheduled for this Wednesday, 14th June, on CBBC.

In the first episode, Dark Dawn, at 6pm, Danger Mouse, played by Alexander Armstrong, battles an army of vengeful soft toys. There's a second episode at 6.35, The Admirable Penfold, in which Baron Greenback and Penfold are stranded together on a desert island.

A third series of Danger Mouse has already been commissioned, so we have lots more DM to come in the future.  The world is safe!

Friday, 9 June 2017

The Imitation Game

Alexander Armstrong will host the pilot of a new comedy panel show, The Imitation Game.

Top impressionists Rory Bremner and Debra Stephenson along with Britain’s Got Talent’s Jess Robinson and rising star Luke Kempner are challenged to perform their stunning big name impersonations in a series of witty rounds and hilarious games. So what will happen when Donald Trump rubs shoulders with Cheryl Cole, or Boris Johnson duets with Adele?

The show takes place in the evening of Friday 7th July at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, north of London. You can apply for free tickets (over 16 only) here.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Music Pointless Celebrities, 17th June

There's a (repeated) music-themed edition of Pointless Celebrities on Saturday 17th June at 5.55pm.

Taking part are Sinitta and Jaymi Hensley, Vernie Bennett and Easther Bennett, Claire Richards and Ian 'H' Watkins, and Tony Christie and Ben Adams.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Alexander Armstrong on The Real Full Monty

Alexander Armstrong presents The Real Full Monty on ITV1, on Thursday 15th June at 8.30pm. The programme marks the 20th anniversary of the film The Full Monty, and aims to raise awareness of men's cancers. Along with Xander and choreographer / co-presenter Ashley Banjo, the cast consists of McFly drummer Harry Judd, star of TOWIE Elliot Wright, ballet dancer Wayne Sleep, Matthew Wolfenden from Emmerdale, TV presenter Dom Littlewood, and Danny John Jules from Red Dwarf and Death in Paradise.

How did the concept of The Real Full Monty come about and why did you decide to get involved?
It appealed to me on lots of different levels. I’m a huge fan of the film. I remember when it came out Sheffield was suddenly the epicenter of everything, everybody adored Sheffield. I was filming the second series of Armstrong and Miller in Sheffield and we were there for three weeks and I’ve never fallen in love with a place as quickly as I did with Sheffield. It was magical and The Full Monty was a massive part of that. When this opportunity to revisit and celebrate The Full Monty came up, on that level alone I was completely won over. I adored the film and I adore Sheffield.

The reasons behind the documentary make it even more important. This is a crucial opportunity for us to bang the drum for awareness for male cancers. What kills people in the case of testicular cancer and prostate cancer is that blokes just don’t talk about it and never go and get checked. If you catch either of these cancers early you survive, if you don’t you die and 48,000 men a year die because they haven’t bothered checking. That’s 48,000 families, that’s a lot of people affected.

Were you worried early on that it was going to be difficult to convince people to take part?
Inevitably it was. I was thinking it would be a doddle, lots of people would come flocking and I honestly thought we’d have to start turning people down. I asked Eamonn Holmes when myself and Ashley were on This Morning, and thought he’ll sign up, he’d love to do something like that. Did he hell! He was very nice about it, deeply supportive. All the people we initially started asking said, ‘Brilliant idea but not sure I would take my kit off’. It’s important that we make a massive statement with this. It’s got to be something that a lot of people notice, it’s a great way of getting people to sit up and think, just by just taking our kit off!

As host for the documentary, did you feel added pressure to lead by example when it came to having the confidence to do the strip?
Yes I think I probably did, but equally that was a line we were going to have to cross at some stage and I think it was very important that we kind of all did it together. There were a few different points throughout filming that tested us all. One of them was getting us to take our tops off and that was actually far more scary for the boys than taking all our bottoms off. Men are just as body conscious as women.

The other thing that was really uncomfortable was just getting us to dance. Ashley made us dance on our own with no music at all, in front of each other. As soon as we’d passed that particular hurdle it was amazing how we all bonded instantly.

What has the rehearsal process been like - which element has been the most challenging for you personally?
It was all broken down into very manageable bits. Learning anything, when you first look at it you think, ‘Oh god, I’m never going to learn that’. The way Ashley did it, he broke it down, we got each little section done and then by the time you smoothed it all together you think, ‘Oh, this is okay’. It is only three and a half minutes long!

The first time we saw the choreography all the Diversity guys did it for us and we were thinking, ‘We’ll never do that’. They do it with such polish and finesse that I suspect you’ll never get from us. But amongst our number we’ve got some really good dancers. Harry’s a fabulous dancer, as is Matthew, Danny John Jules and Wayne Sleep. Actually you know what Mark Foster, Elliott Wright and Dom Littlewood they’re all pretty useful actually, they can all do it. You want to have every section of society represented by our troupe and I’d like to think I’m carrying the flag for the non-dancers!

How nervous are you feeling about getting on stage at the Palladium?
I’m feeling quite nervous, it’s like a combination of all my worst nightmares, being on stage and not knowing what you’re meant to be doing and being naked in front of a crowd. I’ve got such a fabulous bunch of guys around me that makes a world of difference. If I was doing it on my own I wouldn’t have slept for the last fortnight. We’re all in it together. It’s going to be great. I’m so deeply proud of what this show has become.

There’s a lovely spirit to the programme, there are so many individual stories, Danny’s story, Wayne’s story, Elliott’s dad’s story. Even Ashley’s got a story, there’s something so winning about this. I love it.

What do you hope the outcome of the documentary will be?
What we want to achieve is awareness. If we can get people talking about it the next day and saying they will go and get their prostate checked, which is just a simple blood test, there’s no rubber gloves that go on these days. It’s a very simple process, we could save thousands of lives. If we can get 10,000 people to go and check themselves out, or maybe we can get 50,000, maybe even 100,000, or maybe best of all we can make it something that men talk about.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Outdoors Pointless Celebrities, June 10th

June 10th's Pointless Celebrities, at 4.15pm, is a repeated Outdoors special, with participants from the world of TV wildlife shows.

Taking part are Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games, Tom Heap and Jules Hudson, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Paul Heiney, and Naomi Wilkinson and Bill Oddie.