Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weekend Bliss: North & South Groupwatch and WETA UK June 1-3

For many of us UK Television fans around the world, this blissful weekend will start tomorrow and continue through Sunday with the North and South Groupwatch on Twitter and Facebook. 

For all the details, time zones, Twitter training, and more, go to Armitage Watch at the link below. I'm planning on participating and adding to the Twitter chatter.

For my fellow Anglophiles in the Washington DC Metro Area more good news awaits this weekend. Starting this Saturday PBS/WETA will launch WETA UK with twenty-four hours of pilots and previews of all the programs that will be on the regular lineup starting on Monday.  

In between watching North and South, doing laundry, and paying bills this weekend, I plan to tune in to my favorite programs on WETA UK.

Of course, I have to highlight one program starring the man who is at the top of this post as John Thornton. Richard Armitage also stars as Guy of Gisborne in BBC's Robin Hood on WETA UK this weekend. Below is a clip of an interview with Armitage talking Gisborne:

For all the news on the WETA UK lineup this weekend, go to Telly Visions at the link below:

Here's the preview of Robin Hood that WETA has been showing on their Programmer's Choice site:

How can I not mention also that this weekend is the start of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne. For all the news click on the official website link below:

Who is Buried in Elvis' Tomb?

Apparently not Elvis.

For the right price Elvis Presley's crypt may be yours on June 23. Seems Elvis' original tomb in Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis will be up for sale as part of the "Music Icons" auction.

Yes, Elvis Presley and his mother were buried there, but two months after he died both of them were re-buried at Graceland and his original family tomb has remained empty. 

The "Music Icons" auction will take place June 23-24 in Beverly Hills, California:

Friday, May 25, 2012

WETA UK Launches June 2 - Preview of What is to Come

I opened my mailbox today and saw the cover of WETA Magazine announcing the start of WETA UK on June 2.  In my previous post about this new 24-hour All UK TV channel for viewers in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) I talked about what WETA planned to show in general in this new channel.  

You can go to WETA Programmer's Choice website and get a day by day schedule of what we'll soon see on WETA UK. You can also see clips of some of the shows including the Vicar of Dibley's Handsome Stranger (Part I) with the handsome stranger Richard Armitage:

Richard Armitage and Dawn French

WETA UK will also have a Special British Television Marathon June 2 and 3 showing all the shows or previews from the shows that those in the viewing area will be able to see on the channel. 

If you look at the photos on the WETA Magazine cover you can see other shows I've featured on this blog in the past, like BBC's Robin Hood and MI-5 (Spooks). (Advise to WETA: In future Robin Hood PR make sure to use Guy of Gisborne as well. Your female audience demographics of all ages will increase, I'm sure of it.)

Though I love watching the classic British Television comedies and my favorite shows that I've already mentioned before, I do hope WETA UK brings us some new shows we haven't seen in the US before. Below I'll list a few new or never before seen in the US program suggestions that star or feature some of the cast we'll see in some of the shows already on the channel's schedule:

Richard Armitage (Robin Hood, MI-5, Vicar of Dibley):

Strike Back  (2010)
Miss Marie Lloyd (2007)
The Impressionists (2006)
Sparkhouse (2002)

Dawn French  (Vicar of Dibley)

Roger & Val Have Just Got In (2010-2012)
A Bucket o' French and Saunders (2007)

Rupert Penry-Jones (MI-5)

Silk (2011-2012)
North Square (2002)

Peter Firth (MI-5)

World Without End (2012)

Hermione Norris (MI-5)

Outcasts (2011)
Kingdom (2007)  
Cold Feet (1997-2003)

Mathew Macfadyen (MI-5)

Ripper Street (2012)

Some of the shows I've mentioned above I've seen, or seen some episodes, but many I have not seen, but want to, and I'm sure others do as well. For information on the shows I've mentioned above, go to IMDB. 

I'm also really looking forward to Saturday nights and The WETA UK Movie, which seems to be more UK TV Dramas than movies, at least in June: Place of Execution, The Last Enemy and Tess of the d'Urbervilles.  

One new comedy series that's new to me, but I'm looking forward to seeing on Fridays is Black Books (2000-2004). Just the type of dark, crazy, UK comedy I like the best!

I'll be watching the new channel starting in June, and as I said before, I'll be reporting back once in a while on what I think about the new channel and some of the shows, especially those new to me. 

Thank you again PBS in Washington DC Area for WETA UK! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Great Way to Start the Summer: North & South and Richard Armitage Global Groupwatch and Sharpe and Sean Bean Global Groupwatch

So now that the regular fall shows are all having their finales, and that we only have three (is it?) episodes to go of Game Of Thrones, we need a way to start the summer.What could be better than watching Richard Armitage and Sean Bean in the two British TV programs that made them both famous in the UK and known around the world.

Join Armitage Fans and lovers of the best of period drama on June 1-3 for the Global North and South Groupwatch on Twitter and Facebook.  For details click on the links and go to the two sites below:

And the following weekend if you're a Sean Bean fan or saw him first on Game of Thrones, join the Sharpe Saturdays Groupwatch starting in June. Sharpe Saturdays is still in the planning stages, but look for more information on Twitter #SharpeSaturdays from organizer Fanny/iz4blue

If you haven't seen either program or are curious about the early work of either Richard Armitage or Sean Bean, or both, this is a great opportunity to find out more and see them in two roles they made their own,while sharing the experience with others around the world.

Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the idea or the planning for either of the Groupwatches, but I plan to take part in both. 

Look forward to watching these two great series together.  

Update May 23:

From Saturday to Sunday! Sharpe Sundays starting June 24? Still in the planning stages, but check Twitter and #Sharpe or #SharpeSundays in early June for more information.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Man Worth Knowing Better: Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H'ghar)

A man can sometimes play a role and make an impression. Such a man is Tom Wlaschiha who plays Jaqen H'ghar in Game of Thrones Season 2.  For those of us that love Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) it was wonderful to find she had an equally great Jaqen as an ally of sorts. 

So I went out in search of more information about this German actor. I found out that Wlaschiha speaks German, English, French, Russian, and Italian and acts in all those languages. He's been in several English language films and British TV series, including Enemy at the Gates (2001).

Below is a bit of an interview he did for the UK/German film Resistance (2011). A film I haven't seen, but I now hope to check out soon.  

 Below is the trailer for Resistance (2011) directed by Amit Gupta:

Wlaschiha was born in Saxony and got his acting training at the University of Music and Theatre Leipzig and the Conservatoire pour les Arts Li├Ęge.  In addition to his film and TV work he has a theater career in Germany and is known for his voice work and audiobooks. 

A man can have many talents.

Thanks to Getty Images, Wikipedia,  Game of Thrones Wiki

Update: German Interview with Tom Wlaschiha about Game of Thrones (with English Subtitles):

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Voices 9: Discoveries: Joseph Mawle, Paul Trussell, Andrew Gower. Also Richard Armitage Reads a Poem

For my occasional Voices series I always hope to find a clip of a poetry reading or a clip of an actor's performance that is unexpected and new to me. I don't always succeed in finding the perfect sound bite or clip, but I always find something interesting.

In this post I'm featuring three new "discoveries":

Joseph Mawle

The first it turns out I've seen for a few years now, but he's always been one of those wonderful British actors whose performances I've loved but whose name I never memorized before. We've all seen him recently in two wonderful performances as Benjen Stark in Game of Thrones (Season 1) and as Jack Firebrace in Birdsong (2012).

Joseph Mawle  was born in Oxford and left school at 16 to become an actor. He contracted an ear disorder known as labyrinthitis that left him 70 per cent hearing-impaired. Mawle won a scholarship to study at the Bristol Old Vic's theatre school and graduated in 2002.  He's appeared in numerous British television productions and has a busy career on stage as well.

Below is a clip of Mawle in a recent TV production of Persuasion (2007) and in a video interview about acting that he did for A-Night-Less-Ordinary project.

Click on link for video interview:

Paul Trussell

The second is an actor I've known and loved mostly for one role, Rifleman Tongue in the British television series Sharpe, based on the novels by Bernard Cornwell. But I recently discovered he is an artist of many gifts. Trussell is also a wonderful writer/playwright.

During his career he's appeared in many films, UK television series, and plays. Trussell's stage career includes appearing in his own play, "Mouse" (2007), at the Edinburgh Festival. He will soon be appearing in the play  "6 Actors in Search of a Director"  at the Charing Cross Theatre in London.

Below you can listen to Paul Trussell read an excerpt of his own short story The End of Gray's Malaise:

To listen to Trussell read the entire story go to the link below:

Andrew Gower

The third is a new actor for me, but who played one of the characters I most enjoyed in Being Human Season 4 (2012).  Gower played vampire/lawyer Nick Cutler (insert your own lawyer jokes here.) Getting back to voices, I thought his voice has a very interesting quirky quality.

Gower was born in Merseyside (Liverpool). He is a graduate of the Oxford School of Drama (2010).  In the UK he is known for a recurring role in the ITV series Monroe and is also a member of a rock band called Emerson. 

In the video below we can see and hear Gower playing Frankenstein in a live television broadcast of the new musical, "Frankenstein's Wedding... Live in Leeds" (2011). The show was broadcast live on BBC Three from a set at Kirkstall Abbey.

......and now for The Voice:

Filming for The Hobbit continues in New Zealand and not even a new Video Blog from Peter Jackson lately. I needed a little relief from the drought and my search unearthed the poem below read by Richard Armitage.

Back to the Land was written in 1917 by Cyril Bretherton a writer and poet who was a regular contributor to Punch. Most of his work was credited as Algol or CBH.  According to little is know of his life beyond that.

Join the Global North & South Watch  June 1, 2, and 3 on Twitter and Facebook. For details go to N&S Watch organizer Fanny/iz4blue's blog at the link below:

Or to the Armitage Watch dedicated site:


Thanks to Wikipedia, Google Images, YouTube,, Richard Armitage Central

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