Scene and Heard: This week's entertainment news

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge

Des O'Driscoll shares the latest from the entertainment world.

ON THE TELLY: Smell the cheese, cheer on the monkey tennis, and whatever other Alan Partridge lines come to mind — Steve Coogan has confirmed his classic comedy creation will return to BBC TV next month. This Time With Alan Partridge has our hero presenting a new magazine show where he’ll interview guests and take on topics of the day. In announcing the launch date, Coogan claimed his character would even be discussing the #MeToo issue. 

Denise Gough

Game of Thrones fans already mourning the loss of their beloved show can take some comfort from the fact that producers of the prequel have confirmed they’ll be back in the North to film in the autumn. The yet-to-be-titled series is set about 1,000 years before the current series, and among the names signed up for the pilot episode are director SJ Clarkson (The Defenders, Jessica Jones, etc), as well as Naomi Watts and Irish actress Denise Gough. 

Over the next few days, shows worth catching include Stewart Copeland’s documentary On Drums tonight on BBC Four; and the first instalment of season three of True Detective, on Monday on Sky Atlantic. Graham Norton tonight has Richard E Grant, Steve Coogan and John C Reilly.

FILM TIPS: You’d imagine being cast as Barbie could be a mixed blessing for an actress, but the well-sussed Margot Robbie probably had a good read of the script before signing up for a project backed by Warner Bros and toy maker Mattel. The doll’s manufacturer revamped its product a few years ago with different skin tones and more ‘realistic’ body shapes, and presumably the yet-to-be announced release date for this film will be preceded by plenty of hype about ‘empowerment’. 

Of today’s releases, Stan & Ollie will be among the more popular attractions this weekend, even it’s being widely rated as ‘grand’ rather than great. The Favourite is still the one for lovers of quality cinema, and Bohemian Rhapsody may get a bump following its big win at the Golden Globes. 

Cork Cine Club will begin its new season at St John’s College at the end of the month, with French-Belgian comedy Just to Be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un Doute) kicking off the 20-film programme on Thursday, January 31. 

From tonight, Triskel in Cork has currach-journey documentary The Camino Voyage and Mike Leigh’s drama Peterloo.

MUSIC NEWS: The RTÉ Choice Music Prize produced an eclectic mix of 10 nominations this week, with the likes of Villagers, Kojaque, O Emperor and Wyvern Lingo featuring. The winner will be announced on March 9. 


Overseas, TV documentary Surviving R Kelly has turned the spotlight back on the r’n’b singer, and while he has denied all the allegations made by the women who take part in the six-part series, several American radio stations have removed the 52-year-old’s music from their playlists. 

Kate Bush has also been in denial mode this week, explaining that she’s not a Tory supporter, despite her praise of Theresa May in 2016. The 60-year-old singer took to her website to state that her remarks had been taken out of context: ““My response to the interviewer was not meant to be political but rather was in the defence of women in power.” One is most relieved.

GIG WISE: Example had a UK number one album in 2011 (number six in Ireland) with Playing in the Shadows, and the British dance artist has announced a live show for Cyprus Avenue in Cork on February 12. 

Another UK act making their way to the newly-revamped venue is Freya Ridings, the singer-songwriter who hit the charts in 2017 with ‘Lost Without You’. 

In Dublin, upcoming attractions include the 1980s extravaganza that will be the double-bill at 3Arena of Alison Moyet and Tears For Fears.


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