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Canadians contribute to and are present in many television shows and movies.  We produce our own shows as well, as can be seen on the CBC and several other channels. I am not trying to suggest that remaking a show is wrong.  I quite like “The Office” – both versions – and I have heard good things about the American versions of “Shameless” and “Skins” although I myself have not seen either.
While there is nothing wrong with a good remake, as rare as they are, I thought that with all of the original, top quality, and not credited as much as it should be here across the waters British television out there, that I could present some future viewing possibilities. Before I jump in and bombard you with reviews of specific shows, I thought it would be helpful to discuss some differences found within British television.  That way when (Yes I am saying when.
Ever find that show that you love so much that you never want it to end?  Me too *cough* LOST *cough*…Yes I was a mess.
Sarah Townsend: Senior Television Editor of We Eat Films and writer of the Brit Picks column. UK TV users may soon have an unprecedented 1,000 channels to choose from according to official regulator Ofcom, up from the current 948.
Predictions from Ofcom state that this is likely to happen at some point in 2011 due to the current rapid growth of channels and networks. In fact, up until the launch of Channel 4 in 1990, UK viewers had to settle for a paltry 3 channels of entertainment.
With terrestrial, satellite, cable, and Freeview all available as simple home viewing methods, it is easy enough and cable networks, the UK is on record as being second only to the USA for number of total TV stations, with some networks covering a wide variety of specific topics to appeal to a target audience, amongst them 45 home shopping networks, and over 30 minority language channels, covering tongues such as Hindi, Arabic and Urdu.
These broadcasting licences seem to be more accessiable than many would think, with costs being stated as ?2,500 for a first year, and ?1,000 for each year that follows. Statistics-wise, UK is behind USA on 1,783 total channels, but far ahead of European rivals France (297), and Germany (227), which is impressive considering that there are fewer people in the collective region of the UK than their rival nations on their own, offering a much-stronger viewers-to-channels ratio (65,444 on current estimates), than other major producers of television around the world. In its current form, TVCatchup is very simple, offering only live streams of almost all UK Freeview (free to-air) channels.
Playback on TVCatchup works very well, considering the computational task of encoding live signals on the fly and sending to thousands of viewers at once. With The Inbetweeners Movie recently scoring big box office returns in the UK I thought there was no time like the present to look at the best British sitcoms and comedy series to make that leap to film.
In recent memory most obvious to American audiences is the work of Ricky Gervais, Sacha Baron Cohen and Simon Pegg, the creators and stars of The Office, Da Ali G Show, and Spaced respectively. But what other British comedy television shows have made a successful transition to film and where do these three comic geniuses rank? The much-loved show from creators Damon Beesley and Iain Morris follows the exploits of the British Jason Biggs (otherwise known as Simon Bird) as he enters a new school after his parents get a divorce. The hugely successful film from 2011 grossed over ?45 million at the UK box office having been made for ?3.5 million. The film, like the series, is notable for the array of celebrity guest stars that appear as fictional versions of themselves. Like Spaced, The League of Gentleman was a television show that celebrated the macabre, this time transporting the urban squalor of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s brilliant series to the green hills and Derbyshire stone houses of a parochial northern English village. The instantly lovable pairing of well-meaning inventor Wallace and his trusty canine and best friend Gromit arrived on UK television screens for the first time in 1989. The 2005 feature film saw the disaster-prone twosome coming to the saviour of the local village after a mutated rabbit starts eating all the crops before the annual vegetable competition.
Dad’s Army, running from 1968 to 1977, followed the misadventures of a bunch of Home Guard recruits during World War II.
The film version of the series was released in 1971 and featured a more cinematic interpretation of the story with the Home Guard rescuing hostages held captive by three German pilots. Created by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, The Likely Lads featured two working class young men in the North East of England who have grown up together and now work at the same factory. The 1976 film centres around Terry and Bob later in life as they reminisce about their past and find themselves at a crossroads – Terry is awaiting his final divorce papers while Bob is growing tired of married life.
Borat proved the most popular with the film version seeing the journalist travel from his home town in the Republic of Kazakhstan to America to make a documentary about the “greatest country in the world”. Created by The Likely Lads writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, Porridge follows the exploits of British comedy legend Ronnie Barker’s Norman Stanley Fletcher, a habitual criminal, who finds himself in prison once again. The film, released in 1979, sees the hapless pair escape from prison only to have to break back in before the police realise they’ve gone. Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson’s Spaced featured two London twenty-somethings who live together in a small flat. One of the most famous comedy troupes of all time, made up of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, first appeared on British television in 1969 with their comedy sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Your turn – what are your favourite films based on or inspired by British television comedy?
About the AuthorEditor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. I just watched Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit last week,it is hilarious!! My Mrs is from Kazakhstan but it still didn’t make me want to see Borat ?? Great list Dan, as always! Python and Spaced are great but the jokes that stick in my mind are from the classic BBC comedies – Dads Army and Porridge. Frazer – “Do you want mi ti tell the men the story aboot the auld, empty barn Captain Mainwaring?
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On the BBC iPlayer website you can watch the BBC channels live and you can watch previously recorded programs. Surprisingly good, particularly BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, and Channel 5 which all play in high quality.
I watched BBC1, BBC2 and ITV over my home Wi-Fi and all streamed beautifully with good quality (ok maybe not perfect but very good). The Sky Mobile TV app allows you to watch Sky Sports 1,2 and 3 as well as Sky Sports News, Sky Sports Extra, Sky News, At The Races and ESPN.


The app is free but you have to pay a monthly subscription to be able to watch the TV channels. SlingBoxes integrate with almost any hardware – Sky+, Apple TV, cables boxes – and can control them remotely.
Works similar to SlingPlayer with the difference that Orb streams the video programs from you computer.
Orb works by recording live TV on a personal computer, which is then accessible on the owner’s Apple device using the Safari web browser. I have tried TVU and like many others must say the picture quality is generally very unreliable. This one is more of a social media TV where everybody can create their own channel and stream it live on Justin.tv. Can you stream TV from overseas on your mobile, then view this on your actual TV using apple TV? I have watched live TV using tvcatchup on my iPod touch plenty of times and you are correct, it has a very good picture quality.
Jokes about our fair country appear on shows such as “How I Met Your Mother” (I think they’re funny, others do not).  Despite this, it can’t be ignored that most of what we Canadians watch is American shows from American networks – at least, that’s what we all think right? With that said, I have gone into watching several remakes being cautiously optimistic and been disappointed far too many times to watch more than the first episode or two. Find an actor you like?  Chances are they’ve been in something else…probably several somethings. The news is a far cry from even 13 years ago, when viewers were looking forward to the launch of the aptly-named Channel 5, after lengthy periods of just 3 (and later 4) channels available in the preceding decades. Religion is a key beneficiary of this growth, and the relative ease of production of television compared to major networks can be seen by the example of a channel called Revelation, which is run by a married couple in their home.
When the site launched in late 2007, TVCatchup offered live streams of UK Freeview TV channels, along with the ability to record programmes.
The player is flash based, and has controls for full screen toggle, aspect ratio, volume, and channel list. Although, it was revealed in a recent interview (by yours truly) with TVCatchup’s Adam Smith, that TVCatchup has now resolved the legal hurdles to recording TV programmes via the internet and intends to restore PVR functionality to TVCatchup later this year. Thanks to their success films inspired by or directly based on British TV comedy have been made. Although Gervais hasn’t made as successful a move into film as Cohen and Pegg, he’s understandably the most well-known given his head-turning performances on the Golden Globes. Cohen, who found moderate financial return with his feature film outing for Ali G, had audiences queuing up around the block for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan which he followed up with the amusing Bruno. The series has been lavished with praise since first airing in 2008, winning numerous accolades including the Audience Award at the British Academy Television Awards 2010.
Not shying away from the creator’s influences, The League of Gentlemen focused on an array of strange characters as the show wallowed in homage to Hammer Horror, classic characters like Frankenstein and Dracula, the work of horror fiction writers such as Stephen King and James Herbert, and well-known films such as the The Shining.
The film follows fictionalised versions of the actors as they are stalked and kidnapped by their own characters in the real world after the show’s creators decide to stop making episodes.
Creator Nick Park envisioned a world made entirely of plasticine as Wallace (voiced by equally lovable Londoner Peter Sallis) whisked audiences away on several misadventures in four short films. Based partly on creator Jimmy Perry’s real-life experiences in the Home Guard as a teenager, the show followed the exploits of a group of soldiers led by the pompous but well-meaning Captain George Mainwaring played by Arthur Lowe.
Terry (James Bolam) is a cynical working man who might not be happy with his lot in life but makes no attempt to better himself, while Bob (Rodney Bewes) is ambitious and wants to move onto a better life.
The two get up to many scrapes during the film including stranding Bob’s wife and Terry’s new girlfriend accidentally while on a caravan holiday and inadvisably picking up two attractive hitchhikers, and getting into trouble with a landlady who walks in on Bob canoodling with her daughter. The television series was first broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK and provided a pedestal for the comic to use his array of characters, that included faux suburbanite gangster Ali G, outwardly homosexual fashion reporter Bruno, and curious but dim-witted Kazakhstani journalist Borat, to interview leading public and political figures to ostensibly highlight their prejudices towards race, class, homosexuality, religion and anything else that might crop up during the course of an interview.
Through the character of Borat, who is himself sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic, the largely unscripted scenes find his own prejudices often bringing out the worst in his subjects.
The television series follows Fletcher’s various schemes as well as his blossoming friendship with cellmate Lennie Godber (Richard Beckinsale, who tragically died at the age of 31 of a heart attack but not before having two daughters, one of which is actress Kate Beckinsale).
The series was noted for its surreal humour, Edgar Wright’s kinetic visual style and its celebration of pop culture. Their influence on comedy has been likened to The Beatles’ influence on music, and their show not only led to several films but also books, music, and stage plays, as well as propelling the performers and producers to individual stardom. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana. I figured there could only be one number one when it comes to the British TV comedy to film crossover. The film is not as great as the tv show, but the story of the Prime Minister’s enforcer scaring the hell out of the cabinet is all consistently hilarious. I’m a huge fan of british comedy and maybe a Movie based on Black Books should also be on the list ?? Not to mention Not Going Out, but that works best as a series, so no movie. To celebrate this event Titan Books have published a book as a tribute to the show that defined Sixties television and raised the bar for other British shows to follow. I was driving to my friend’s house to watch the game but I was stuck in stop and go traffic in a small residential road.
On ITV player, Channel 4 On Demand, and channel 5 websites you get to see only previously recorded programs.
One thing I noticed is that on all three channels there was an exact 40 second time delay, and yes I timed this with my iPhone stopwatch (a true geek).
Sky iPhone tariffs include unlimited Wi-Fi access over BT Openzone and The Cloud Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK (including most Starbucks).
SlingPlayer is for slightly more advanced users who want to get all their standard TV channels live streamed their iPhone. Hook up a SlingBox Solo or Pro to your home network and TV equipment, and it takes your TV signal, encodes it, and streams it over the internet.
But the setup is expensive – ?112 for a SlingBox Solo, plus the cost of the app which is ?17.99.
You are able to check the signal strength for channels and I must say that from my experience many channels have low signal strength resulting in buffering and cut offs.


Now when I watch a show or a miniseries it is sad to say that I rarely make it through a viewing from start to finish without recognizing someone. Unfortunately, copyright concerns saw TVCatchup withdraw their site, until relaunching, sans PVR functionality, in late 2008 (Source). However, just creating an account with a UK IP address is no-longer a loop hole for viewing out side of the UK. TVCatchup recommend a minimum connection speed of 800kbps to view their streams, although in our testing we had satisfactory video quality coming through at an average 100kbps, during peak time no less.
That’s not all, their site is showing HD channels as being on the way, and we also know that premium content is coming to TVCatchup. Pegg found even more success turning an episode of Spaced into the brilliant Shaun of the Dead which he followed with the equally cool Hot Fuzz. After the extraordinary success of The Office, both in the UK and internationally, he and co-conspirator Stephen Merchant conceived of Extras. Jackson, Patrick Stewart, Orlando Bloom, Daniel Radcliffe, Chris Martin, Robert De Niro and David Bowie.
The series was notable for creator’s Reese Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss and Steve Pemberton playing all the principle characters which included both men and women. The wonderful friendship between the films two main characters is so charming you can’t help but be overcome by their joyous camaraderie. The humour derives from the very class orientated society the story revolves around, and sees the twenty-something men trying to enjoy the swinging sixties on their meagre finances. It was an instant hit and each of the three main characters had a feature film made about them.
The charm of the film comes from Borat’s inability to come to terms with the American culture he experiences throughout the film – there’s a wonderful awkwardness that is as cringe worthy as it is funny. Life of Brian very loosely tells the story of Jesus while Holy Grail bases itself on the legend of King Arthur. Written by Marcus Hearn (The Art Of Hammer, Hammer Glamour and The Hammer Story – the latter with Alan Barnes), with a foreword by Steed himself – the legendary Patrick Macnee, this large format hardback book is packed with newly discovered photographs and exclusive memories from the cast and crew.
I had never tried to watch live TV on iPhone so I thought let’s see if I can open ITV-Player in Safari. Now if you try to open any of these websites in your iPhone or iPad browser (Safari) unfortunately you won’t be able to watch the TV programs. If you are looking for some very special focus channel or foreign language channel this might be for you. TVCatchup are actively monitoring connections at all times and are even blacklisting known VPN services. As with all the other VoD sites we’ve reviewed, TVCatchup also has unskippable pre-roll adverts (Ed. This more conventionally styled sitcom follows the exploits of television extra Andy Millman (Gervais) as he tries to break into the industry with his sitcom script for an original show called When The Whistle Blows. Significantly, since Gromit never speaks and only communicates through gestures, the brilliant writing of Nick Park and Bob Baker comes to the fore. One particularly interesting sequence sees Borat unintentionally offend guests at an exclusive eating club in one of the southern American states. While playing Resident Evil 2 on the Playstation he begins to think the zombies are coming alive and attacking him for real.
Although 50 years old, the show was so unique that it has yet to be rivaled for its wit, adventure and style. There are many positive comments but also some concerns and complaints have risen over the streaming quality and the high price for iPad subscription. For example there is a channel only dedicated to single dads and another one is for black belt karate viewers.
In actuality, Doctor Who, at 13 episodes and a Christmas Special each series, is one of the longest series that the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has.   A typical series of a British drama is either 6 or 8 episodes long. The feature film – arriving after two very successful series – concludes the story as Millman becomes famous off the back of his new show but at the expense of his friendship to best friend Maggie (Ashley Jensen). He then gets thrown out when he invites an African-American prostitute named Luenell to join their party. This led to the conception of the critically and commercially successful feature film Shaun of the Dead.
It became a worldwide sensation, its theme tune as familiar today as ever, and was syndicated to 90 countries, including America, where it was a prime time hit.
I am watching live BBC1 very good quality over the 3G Network.” The delay is the same as on WiFi, 40 second.
I haven’t yet tested the sky streaming myself so if you are a subscriber please share your thoughts on this.
Even though this means that a series is over far too quickly and that it is a long wait until the following it also means that it is less difficult to fall behind, or that if you do it is rather easy to catch up.  It is also easier to commit to a show (or several) if they only last 6-8 weeks each year. This is reasonable enough, although if you happen to tune in to a commercial channel during their own adverts, there could end up being up to four or five minutes of adverts before the desired programme begins! This affectionate, well-written and funny film is a fitting finale for what is arguably a better television sitcom than The Office.
The shows are today as original as they were when first transmitted, and The Avengers has become a cult status icon of the days when TV shows were not just good, but great.
Because ITV player similar to many other video players uses Flash technology to play video, and flash is not supported in iPhone or iPad. As one would expect from Titan, both the design and the quality of the printing is outstanding. Frustrated, I decided to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly how I can watch live TV on my iPhone.
A must-have for fans of the show - and for those who want to be reminded just how good British TV used to be.



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