Top 5: Christmas Entertainment Releases

I’ve, surprisingly, found myself to be organised this year and have got my presents already – mainly because my family are all advocates of the “tell me what you want and I’ll get it for you” scenario – but I know how difficult it can be to buy for people when they don’t know what they want themselves.

At the request of a reader I’ve compiled a selection of, what I believe to be, the best entertainment releases just in time for Christmas.

1. Dynamo: Magician Impossible Series 1 -2 – I was fortunate enough to be working in the UKTV offices during the launch week for this incredible series and all the staff were talking about how amazing Dynamo is. I knew little about him before getting the opportunity to watch the first episode on a lunch break and I have been obsessed ever since. It is often the case with magicians that you suspect how they do their tricks or put it down to impressive camera skills, but I can honestly say I have no clue how he does any of his tricks. There are numerous celebrity appearances on this show including Travis Barker, Rio Ferdinand and Ian Brown.

Dynamo Magician Impossible Series 1-2; £18.85

Dynamo Magician Impossible Series 1-2; £18.85

 

2. Jack Whitehall Live – It’s no secret that I adore Jack Whitehall. I’ve seen him live twice now and found him to be absolutely hilarious. Sometimes his middle-class persona can be perceived as self-righteous but he certainly seemed to be very grounded and humble when he agreed to do a Q & A session for me. I suspect we may have heard some of the jokes on this dvd from his panel show appearances, but that’s to be expected. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing this one myself.

Jack Whitehall Live; £13

Jack Whitehall Live; £13

 

3. Far Cry 3 – Fans are already coining this the ‘Game of the Year’ and it’s clear to see why. The game really focuses on what should be included when focusing on open-world gameplay. Set on a lawless island, the lead character, Jason, and his friends are kidnapped by pirates. Jason is able to escape but must work to rescue his friends. Outside of missions, there’s an array of activities to complete, including taking over outposts and radio towers, collecting memory cards and hunting (not for the squeemish).

Far Cry 3; £39.97

Far Cry 3; £39.97

 

4. The Dark Knight Rises – Rounding up Christopher Nolan‘s Batman Trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises was a critical and commercial success when it was released in July. The film follows Batman as he c0mes out of retirement to stop the militant  Bane from destroying Gotham City. The film also features the brilliant Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway.

The Dark Knight Rises; £10 DVD, £12.50 Blu-Ray

The Dark Knight Rises; £10 DVD, £12.50 Blu-Ray

 

5. Playstation Move: Sports Champions 2 – Last Christmas, my family found ourselves playing the first Sports Champions game in our down-time. It’s incredibly fun and with an array of different activities, can keep you entertained for hours. This new edition includes six new events – golf, boxing, bowling, skiing, tennis and an updated archery mode.

Sports Champions 2; £12.99

Sports Champions 2; £12.99

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Q & A: James Buckley From The Inbetweeners

When James And I First Met in June 2009

Like my previous interview with Jack Whitehall, about a year ago I had a Q & A session with James Buckley, famous for playing foul-mouthed Jay in E4’s The Inbetweeners. At the time, James was frequently in the press as he had been filming for the prequel to Only Fools and Horses, ‘Rock & Chips‘, playing a young ‘Del Boy’, a role made famous by David Jason. Here’s what he had to say:

How long have you been acting?
I got my first professional job when I was 11.

Has acting always been what you wanted to do as a career, or did you have anything else in mind when you were younger?
I didn’t ever really decide on one thing I wanted to do as a job. Working never really seemed worth thinking about when I was mucking about with my mates at school.

What was your first acting job?
My first job was in the West End Musical ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ at the Aldwych Theatre.

How did you get the part in The Inbetweeners?
I auditioned for a pilot called ‘Baggy Trousers’, which is basically the Bunk Off episode of ‘The Inbetweeners’. I played Neil in the pilot though.

Do you have any say in any of the storylines of ‘The Inbetweeners’? How involved are you creatively?
We have a couple of little meetings before discussing ideas and us boys are close to the writers so we’ll email or text them funny stories that happened to us while we were at school but it’s mostly down to the writers. They deserve a lot of credit I think.

How did the part in the ‘Only Fools and Horses’ prequel come about?
Again, I just auditioned with everybody else. I wasn’t given any special treatment for already being on TV or anything.

How does it feel to be involved in such a huge programme, with such reputable actors?
It’s a great feeling and something I’m very proud to be involved with. Working with the likes of Phil Daniels and Nick Lyndhurst is a dream come true to a young actor. I made sure I listened to every word they had to say.

Do you have any stories from the set to share?
I did start singing Park Life to Phil Daniels one day, it didn’t go down too well.

How did it feel meeting David Jason? Did he offer you any words of wisdom?
It was a dream come true meeting David Jason. I was in absolute awe. He didn’t offer any wisdom specifically, but having lunch with David Jason, Nick Lyndhurst and John Sullivan and listening to them talk about how they made the original show was so interesting and I’m very lucky to have been in that situation.

You always seem to be busy, what do you do to relax in your spare time?
My spare time is just spent with friends and family. I’m lucky enough to have the same friends from Dagenham since I was about 4, so it might be lunch with David Jason one minute and them lot bringing me right back down to earth the next.

Finally, so many people ask whether you’re similar to Jay, do you ever get offended by that?
I don’t get offended at all. I’m so pleased to be a part of ‘The Inbetweeners’, I just take it as a compliment that my performance is so convincing.

‘Rock and Chips’ was picked up for a series, which James is now filming and there are plans for an ‘Inbetweeners’ movie, so it’s safe to say this Essex boy will be on our screens for some time.

Q & A: Jack Whitehall

Jack Whitehall

A year ago, I had a Q & A session with comedian Jack Whitehall as a part of one of my university assignments. At only 22 Jack has already fronted his own TV show The TNT Show alongside Holly Walsh and is a regular guest on panel shows Would I Lie to You? and 8 out of 10 Cats amongst others. Here’s what he had to say at the time:

You’ve done some acting in the past, is it something you would want to do more of in the future?
Yes, I’m currently going up for various roles in things and trying to develop a sitcom. I acted a lot when I was younger and I’m keen to return to it.

What television show would you love to be in?
The thick of it is fantastic. I love the fact they cast so many comedians as well as straight actors in the funny roles and the writing’s superb.

Who were your influences growing up?
I started out watching people like Jack Dee and Eddie Izzard, I then found Bill Hicks and as I went into more live comedy I became influenced by some of the less mainstream circuit acts like John Gordillo.

You’ve worked with a range of huge comedians, who is your favourite person to do shows with?
Frankie Boyle always makes me giggle like a little girl and Jason Manford’s one of the kindest and warmest people you could ever work with.

Do you have any funny stories to share from working on the quiz shows?
Frankie Boyle made a really rude joke about Adrian Chiles when Christine Bleakley was on Would I Lie To You? It was so bad they cut it from the broadcast, but it was hilarious because her parents were at the record of it which added extra awkwardness.

Your website says you were initially a child actor, what made you want to pursue comedy?
Well I was always a show off and I loved acting in sketches so it seemed like the natural thing and the purest way to get laughs.

How did it feel presenting ‘Big Brothers Big Mouth’, not having done much live television before?
I was so scared but as with all experience like that it’s about tricking yourself into being confident if you think “yeah I can do this” then you tend to be able to, so I prepared loads and then just tackled it head on. I was terrified I’d have the urge to shout c**t on live tv.

How does it feel to achieve so much success at such a young age?
It just puts more pressure on you to deliver. I don’t really think about my age just what’s going to come next.

Your jokes focus on stories of your family’s anecdotes, how do your parents feel about being the butt of your jokes?
My mum complains and my dad always just says “ha he’s talking about me!”.  He’s proud really!

How did it feel presenting ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ this year?
Nervous but very excited, as a fan of the show I wanted to do the job justice.

Do you prefer doing stand-up, acting, presenting or being on the panel-shows?
My answer is 100% stand up comedy. There’s no one to tell you what you can or can’t say.