British telly bits and bobs – Spooks, Downton Abbey and more…


Downton Abbey 2 vs. Spooks 10 vs. Mildred Pierce

With Downton Abbey 2 and Spooks 10 set to battle it out Sunday night in the UK, the States have a battle of their own as the Sunday night telecast of the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will pit the original Downton Abbey 1 series against HBO’s Mildred Pierce for Outstanding Mini-Series or Movie in 2011. Having already won the Emmy for both Outstanding Costumes and Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie, rumor is the ITV produced series just might get the nod this year in a mild upset.

Downton Abbey lands in the Guinness Book of Records

Emmy award or not on Sunday, Downton Abbey will wake up Monday morning with the knowledge that it has been given the Guinness Book accolade for having the highest critical review ratings for a TV show. According to the record book, this means the ITV-produced series which ran in the U.S. as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series and created and written by Julian Fellowes, is the most “critically well-received show in the world.” DA grabs the honor from previous record holders Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy and Modern Family. Think I’d rather have the Emmy…..

30 years of Only Fools and Horses

OFAH fans around the world celebrated 30th anniversary of the most popular British situation comedy of all-time this past week. Created and written by the great John Sullivan and starring Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, the series was first transmitted on 8 September 1981 in the UK. If the date somehow passed you by, you can still celebrate with other fans from around the world at the Only Fools and Horses 30th Anniversary Convention on 13 November 2011. If you’re near the Mountbatten Leisure Centre in Portsmouth, stop on in…it’s only £5.

IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade lands in Hollywood

Look out Hollywood, Moss is in the house. Richard Ayoade from the greatness of The IT Crowd and fresh off his recent success as writer/director of the independent comedy, Submarine has been cast in Ben Stiller’s newest project, Neighborhood Watch. The sci-fi comedy, also starring Vince Vaughn, is about a man (Stiller) who joins a local anti-crime group after leaving the big city for life in the supposedly quiet suburbs. The screenplay is by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the writing team behind Superbad. Not a bad group to hang around with if you’re a British sitcom star wanting to establish yourself in Hollywood.