Your starter for 10, no conferring. Who connects the dates October 17, 2003 and April 8, 2011?
Unless you know a lot about Have I Got News For You or a certain dour comedian, then you’ll probably have no idea it was the first and last time Jack Dee hosted this ever engaging news quiz.
Dee has been one of this show’s most popular guest presenters over the past 11 years, hosting the show 10 times, but only being a contestant once, and that was 20 years ago. Now he’s back in the presenter’s chair for the latest half hour of topical questions.
Aside from those usual suspects Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, comedienne Bridget Christie will be returning to lend a hand with the laughs. Over the past few years she’s popped up on The Omid Djalili Show, Cardinal Burns, and last year’s It’s Kevin, as well as HIGNFY in April 2013. Let’s hope she proves as entertaining here.
Intriguingly this week’s volcano-centric episode co-incides with the release of big budget disaster epic Pompeii. Was that the plan all along or a happy accident?
We may never know, but while Michael Winterbottom’s sitcom may have a much lower budget than the 100million effects-fuelled saga, the script here is often priceless.
After visiting one of the world’s most famous volcanic sites, Steve and Rob have lunch at Relais Blu in the province of Naples on the Sorrento coast where they chat about poets Byron and Shelley, while slipping into more rib-tickling impressions.
Who will it be this week? Alan Bennett? Michael Caine? Al Pacino? Well, we’ll not let the cat out of the bag here, but safe to say the scenery is breathtaking, even if Mr Coogan seems to be taking more of a back seat and letting Brydon do the lion’s share of the work. (Given that he was working on hit movie Philomena at the time, we can forgive Coogan being a little sidetracked here).
It’s May, which means blockbuster season is upon us, and the third of four Marvel movies to be released this year is X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Bryan Singer returns as the franchise’s director for the first time since 2003’s X-Men 2, and his new project is the biggest so far, knitting together characters from the reboot, X-Men First Class, and the old school epics.
Dropping into the studio are Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) James McAvoy (Professor X) and Michael Fassbender (Magneto). That effects-filled extravaganza opens around the UK on May 22 and could be one of the biggest hits of the year.
Also in May will be the Eurovision Song Contest. Flying the flag for the UK is Molly, who performs the 2014 entry Children of the Universe tonight, and hoping to get a lot more than nul points.
And there’s also a chance of more members of the audience facing THAT red chair.
In the wake of an office block massacre, vengeful widow Celeste Woods, whose husband Nick perished in the bloodbath, launches a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the gun company which made the killer’s weapon.
She hires the famously incorruptible Wendell Rohr, while the firearms company enlists oily lawyer Durwood Cable and Machiavellian jury consultant Rankin Fitch. But neither side is ready for the mysterious intrigue launched by charismatic juror Nick Easter.
This movie has an excellent cast and slick pacing mean you dont dwell too long on the story’s more implausible aspects.
John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Bruce Davison, Jeremy Piven
Two struggling, drug-taking and alcohol-sodden actors living in a squalid Camden flat during the late Sixties decide to escape their miserable predicament by taking a break at the Lake District cottage owner by one of their uncles.
However, the trip is fraught with difficulties and it soon becomes clear the duo have gone on holiday by mistake.
This is arguably the best British comedy ever made is full of memorable lines, making it one of the biggest cult hits around. An unmissable treat from start to finish.
Richard E Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown