The PR Guru

December 20, 2010

More4 gets image change as X Factor gets into trouble by OFCOM for its image

More4 have announced that they are reducing the number of daytime TV shows they broadcast in order to focus on showing more high-end American programmes.

To do this they are cutting back from five editions of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart per week to just one. However, lots of people on Twitter are dead set against this, because they like the satirical news programme. Something that is proven even more by the news that it attracts an average of between 60,000 and 90,000 viewers in the UK.

Channel 4’s digital service will now only air the Monday Daily Show Global Edition, marking an end to the 5 year deal which began with More4’s launch in 2005.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said, “More4 will continue to show The Daily Show Global edition on Monday nights in the new year, so viewers will still have the opportunity to see the best of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show in the UK.”

In other news, needing a change of image is the X Factor. The racy final involving Christina Aguilera is being investigated by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

The show saw the star perform a suggestive routine with scantily clad dancers, while Rihanna also gave a raunchy performance when she stripped off her gown to parade around the stage in a bikini.

Ofcom received around 2,750 complaints about the pre-watershed scenes and broadcaster ITV had more than 1,000.

Christina’s routine was the most explicit of the night, with her dancers wearing only stockings, knickers and bras.

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December 8, 2010

Corrie at 50: live episode so high-profile it is under Al-Qaeda terrorist threat, following previous fears that Metrolink tram crash actually happened

There are fears that tonight’s Coronation Street 50th Anniversary live episode could be a target for an Al-Qaeda terrorist attack.

Police in Manchester are taking the possible threat seriously, and have issued a statement, “This is a public, high-profile event. The risk is consistent with the UK terror threat, which is currently severe. ITV have taken on a private security firm, and our officers will assist them.”

It’s thought that cast and crew members will undergo airport style security checks when they arrive on set ahead of tonight’s live show.

As well as the potential terrorist threat, Corrie bosses are also fearful that the bad weather could ruin tonight’s live broadcast, and a stand-by recording of the hour-long special has been taped.

Monday night’s Coronation Street was watched by a lot of people who knew that it featured a tram crash (great publicity there), which was apparently so realistic that several people called a travel advice line to check if the real Metrolink was still operating.

At least six calls were made about the tram system by passengers saying they had seen the carnage on television and wanted to check if there was a problem.

It is thought a spoof TV news broadcast after the show – watched by more than 14m viewers – may also have confused some people.

Actor Tom Burroughs, who played the part of the tram driver who actually survives the carnage, has told how it was an honour and dream job to be involved in the historic scenes.

Tom said: “I didn’t get my script until my first day of filming. It was funny because some of the cast were looking at me and asking me what I could tell them. It felt like shooting a film. It’s an honour to be a part of it.

And he revealed it is not the first time he has graced the cobbles. He said: “I did Coronation Street in 2007 and I played a nurse when Leanne Battersby was kidnapped but it was a very brief appearance. It was very different this time.”

The special episode is part of the programme’s 50th anniversary (the anniversary episode being shown as a follow-up tomorrow – 9th December).

The anniversary is also being marked by a special musical, called Corrie!, that is touring theatres.

November 19, 2010

Jason Manford quits The One Show after admitting he shared sexual messages online with fans, and Lord Young resigns after saying we’ve never had it so good

Last night on Twitter a lot of people were upset with the BBC because Jason Manford has quit The One Show.

The presenter admitted that he shared sexual messages online with female fans.

It is only three months since the comic took over the show with Alex Jones after the departure of former presenters Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley to ITV.

The 29 year old comedian handed his resignation to the show’s bosses, saying he wanted to leave to ease the situation surrounding newspaper allegations.

In an interview with The Sun, Manford said: “I have only myself to blame. I have never felt so low.”

BBC bosses are expected to hold talks over the weekend to find Manford’s replacement.

The presenter apologised to fans and his family at the beginning of the month after he was accused of exchanging a series of Twitter messages with a 22 year old female fan.

Manford took over presenting The One Show in August. He was an avid user of Twitter and had more than 200,000 followers – but has now removed his page (for obvious reasons).

Another story, making headlines today, is that the Prime Minister’s enterprise adviser has resigned after making a PR Gaffe. Lord Young apologised after saying most Britons had “never had it so good” despite the “so-called recession”.

He told The Daily Telegraph that the Bank of England’s decision to cut the base rates to 0.5% meant many homeowners were better off.

Following this, he wrote a letter to David Cameron apologising for his remarks, but has since resigned.

Other comments he made include his belief that the forecast of 100,000 public sector job losses a year was “within the margin of error” in the context of the 30 million-strong job sector.

Further to this, he suggested that the coalition government had overemphasised the impact of the cuts to “protect” the value of the pound.

November 15, 2010

I’m A Celebrity – is Gillian McKeith playing a PR game?

The latest Gillian McKeith-related story from the jungle is that her daughter Skylar (who is 16) has told the Daily Mail that she does not like to see her mum being put under so much stress.

McKeith has attracted the wrath of television audiences and fellow contestants, having been nominated for six bushtucker trials despite her list of insect phobias.

Fellow I’m A Celebrity contestant and X Factor singer Stacey Solomon was so concerned by the incident that she tried to convince McKeith to quit; but Gillian won’t because she believes that if she does her television career would be over.

Previous Gillian news, includes the fact that she smuggled banned food products into the Australian jungle in her underwear, breaking strict rules by hiding items including rock salt, garlic powder and soup in secret pockets she had sewn into her knickers. She had earlier been caught with contraband when she slipped salt in to her campmates’ food, resulting in her jungle jail privileges being removed.

This deception is only going to serve to make the public hate her more… a twitter page has been set up mocking the nutritionist here.

Another story from the series was that sprinter Linford Christie was forced to step up to the challenge of a bushtucker trial, after Gillian McKeith fainted live on air.

The thought of taking part in another trial was too much for the famous nutritionist who dramatically collapsed on live television after being told that the public had voted for her to take part in a seventh task.

Hosts Ant and Dec quickly cut to an ad break and then revealed that Gillian had been excluded from the task on medical grounds.

However, McKeith seems to be on the completely wrong programme. She has a phobia of water, heights, insects and more, which is why viewers chose to pick her for the tasks in the first place.

This is why some viewers have begun suggesting that her fainting episode was nothing more than a ploy to get out of doing the task.

Those who voted 50p a time for Gillian to take part in the bushtucker trial will get refunds, ITV confirmed last night.

Linford Christie stepped up to the task instead, after receiving the second highest number of votes – and managed to win 12 out of a possible 13 stars.

November 9, 2010

X Factor’s controversial contestants get booted off the show – when will Widde go from Strictly though?

This year it was thought that Wagner would win the X Factor and Ann Widdecombe would take the Strictly trophy, due to the public wanting to show that the talent shows are not always necessarily about talent.

Well, this was finally proven wrong this week when Wagner was evicted from The X Factor by the judges. However, Ann Widdecombe is still in Strictly – having avoided being in the bottom two for yet another week. Still, it looks like everyone on Facebook and Twitter are getting behind the fact that Scott Maslen, Matt Baker, Kara Tointon and Pamela Stephenson should be in the final.

Last night, Katie Waisel, who was hated by the public, and Wagner were sent home from the ITV talent show X Factor in a double eviction.

Wagner performed a version of Nat King Cole’s 1951 hit Unforgettable.

Ahead of last night’s show, a Facebook group called Rage Against the X Factor had more than 20,000 supporters. And Wagner has become the focus of a campaign on the U.S. website votefortheworst.com.

Katie Waissel was recently in the news because Treyc Cohen got knocked out of the TV show, in favour of the singer – who keeps forgetting her lines when singing.

Cheryl Cole refused to vote and let Treyc go, which has obviously resulted in an investigation.

Cole’s refusal to cast her vote for either of her acts during Sunday night’s results show sparked more than 1,000 complaints to TV watchdog Ofcom, ITV and The Sun. Why she didn’t just chose someone I will never know…

Host Dermot O’Leary tried to make her, telling her she was expected to cast a vote as one of the show judges, saying: “This is part of the role.”

Mr Cohen, Treyc’s father told the newspaper: “It’s a fix. It’s as simple as that. I have no idea why Treyc is out. She was easily the best singer and should not have lost to Katie.”

Even Treyc herself has admitted that she “put [her…] all into it, so if it was based on that then, yeah, I definitely feel I should have gone through.”

Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh opted to save Katie, despite saying she was the weaker singer.

November 3, 2010

Gareth Thomas and Nick Clegg anger students, whilst Christine Bleakely defends Daybreak and Katie Price raises Loose Women viewers

Politicans once again come out with remarks before thinking of the consequences.

Gareth Thomas has today announced that “students will be forced to choose the cheapest course, not the one that’s best for them”, which is obviously something that he should not be saying.

The government should make sure that they do everything in their power to ensure that students can study what they want to.

It is a knock on effect on the decline in money and the increase in tuiton fees, yes, but still I think they should have at least attempted to sound more optistic and not so blatently depressing.

Clegg and Cable are being attacked, saying they are betraying students – and who can blame everyone for doing so. Our country should not have come to this.

Also speaking without thinking of the consequences is Kevin Garnett, who called Charlie Villanueva a cancer patient during an NBA Basketball game. When will these famous people ever learn that one wrong thing they say makes them trending topics on Twitter – for all the wrong reasons.

The third, and final, instance of this cropping up on my Twitter feed today is the recollection of when Kayne West said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people (during the televised concert for Hurrican Relief in 2005).” That, at the time, provided some very bad PR for the then President – but now Bush is getting his own back by publishing it in his new book.

In his memoir, Decision Points, which will be released on Tuesday, Bush says that Kanye’s comment “was one of the most disgusting moments of my presidency . . . It’s one thing to say, ‘I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business.’ It’s another thing to say, ‘This man’s a racist.’ I resent it, it’s not true.”

Trying to turn poor ratings into success, however, is Daybreak host Christine Bleakley – who has defended the show by saying it has been undergoing teething problems.

The average viewer numbers fell to about 600,000 – a third of the audience for BBC Breakfast.

At its launch in September, one million viewers tuned in to the morning show but the numbers have vastly reduced.

Not having to fight for viewers, however, is the ITV programme Loose Women, which today invited Katie Price into the studio. “Loose Women” is not trending on Twitter and it seems that getting her in the studio was a great decision by producers.

October 29, 2010

Take That tour crashes See Tickets, Ticketmaster and other websites

What an amazing PR phenomenon!

90s band Take That (all 5 original members including Robbie Williams) are to perform together in concert for the first time in 16 years.

After only 6 years performing together, Take That had a massive string of hits including Relight My Fire, It Only Takes A Minute, Could It Be Magic, Love Ain’t Here Anymore to name just a few – enough to make a hit West End musical called ‘Never Forget’.

They have become incredibly popular. This blog you are reading now has received over 900 views in a matter of minutes – which is so mindblowing.

And this morning, it seems that it is impossible to get tickets for The Progress tour. I tried, knowing that my mum likes the band and would Never Forget seeing them on stage, but the See Tickets and Ticketmaster websites are both down this morning.

A lot of people have been very annoyed about this, saying that these massive companies are never sufficiently prepared for the high demand of such one off events – and I think they are right. Surely a ticket sales company should be aware that a lot of Take That fans will be scrambling for tickets on the day booking opens, and measures should have been taken to reduce the amount of traffic.

However, it has been revealed that the volume of calls was at least twice the amount than the number that was received for the Michael Jackson concert on sale last March.

See Tickets have a special automatic timer that is supposed to keep people waiting in a queue, but after a while it stops working. I did manage to select the price band I wanted but then it failed again. I can’t even get on Ticketmaster but I know that some people, who have managed to complete the booking process, were rewarded with an incoherant, dodgy reference number.

I have a feeling that all the dates will be sold out completely before dinnertime. It is very rare for an event to attract this many people fighting each other. Even Whoopi Goldberg’s last performance in Sister Act the musical was not as popular – with people joining the day queue at 8:30 and still getting front row.

Please share your Take That stories with us this morning. Did you manage to get tickets? What problems did you come up against?

EDIT – Monday 15th/Wednesday 17th November: On the same day as Michael Jackson’s song with Akon is released, so is Take That’s album Progress (after which the tour is named). It is sure to be a sell-out. The band have been busy promoting it, with a documentary on Saturday on ITV (Look Back Don’t Stare), followed by a performance on X Factor last night – AND on Friday the band will perform The Flood and the classic Take That song – Never Forget, for the first time as a five since Robbie left, on Children in Need.

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