Saturday, December 26, 2015

NEWS: June Spencer, Jade Harlow, Twitter Trolls, Jimmy & Hazel, Cord Cutting

The Archers star June Spencer has been with the British radio soap opera
since its debut in 1950.
Actress June Spencer: "The creator of The Archers thought he was God"
As the Radio 4 soap opera celebrates its 65th anniversary, June Spencer, the actress who plays Peggy Woolley, spoke to Telegraph about the first ever episodes in 1950.

“We doubled like mad in those days,” recalls Spencer. “As well as Peggy, I played the Irish Rita Flynn, using an accent I borrowed from my landlady.”

Spencer, now 96, doesn’t hold back on The Archers' creator Godfrey Baseley. “I can’t say he was greatly loved. He was a very abrupt man and he could be very dictatorial. He thought he was God. He wasn’t very popular but he knew what he was doing when he invented The Archers.”

The show, originally billed as “an everyday story of country folk” but now described as “a contemporary drama in a rural setting”, has become a national institution and the world’s longest-running active soap opera (second only to Guiding Light for total longevity), with more than 17,800 episodes in the bank.

Downton Abbey series finale wins Christmas Day ratings battle in the UK
The final episode of Downton Abbey beat Strictly Come Dancing’s Christmas Special to win the battle of the Christmas Day ratings, as 6.6 million tuned in to wish a fond farewell to the Crawleys. Downton went head-to-head with an hour-long special of EastEnders in the 8:45 p.m. time slot, but even a shock car crash involving the Mitchell and Beale families only captured the attention of 5.7 million fans. It still triumphed in the war between the soaps, with Coronation Street pulling in an average of 5.6 million and Emmerdale 4.3 million.

Drake posted a photo on Instagram of his reunion with Degrassi
co-star Andrea Lewis with the caption, "Forever my ting..
Drake can’t stop smiling after reunited with his Degrassi girlfriend, Andrea Lewis
Jimmy and Hazel, together again. On Thursday, Drake reunited with his former Degrassi co-starm Andrea Lewis, who played Hazel Aden on the show. Jimmy and Hazel started dating in Season 3, and lasted until Season 5. They met in detention, and were dating when Jimmy was infamously shot, which ultimately caused tension in their relationship. Things ended because of Jimmy’s attraction to Ellie.

Cord cutting is gonna suck in 2016, but it’ll get better
If you’re willing to break the law, you could supplement a meager streaming video service by torrenting pirated copies of your favorite shows. But with the feds cracking down on torrent trackers, that might not be an option for long, even if you’re willing to risk it. Or you could try staggering your subscriptions. Subscribe to HBO Now for for the few months that Game of Thrones is on the air, and then cancel and switch to Hulu. Subscribe to Sling TV in the fall for Monday Night Football, then cancel when football season is over. But that sounds like a hassle.

Such is the plight of the cord cutting couch potato in 2016. It will probably get better. The Federal Communications Commission is looking into Comcast’s data rates. Eventually, the advantage of exclusive deals with specific streaming providers may not be worth it for studios. For example, instead of going exclusive with Netflix, Marvel might make its superhero shows available on Netflix, Hulu and YouTube simultaneously, so you won’t need so many subscriptions.

Twitter says new measures "have tackled trolls"
Twitter has clamped down on internet trolls by introducing a series of measures over the past year, its European head Bruce Daisley has said. Speaking to The Independent ahead of Twitter's 10th birthday, Daisley said more effort had been put into user safety than any other issue.

"The measures we've taken correlate directly with a reduction in the amount of bad behavior," he said.

A series of high-profile users have quit Twitter, citing online abuse.

The newspaper reports that the site has been targeting suspected so-called internet trolls - people who use social media accounts to abuse others - by asking more users that they identify themselves through phone verification.

Days of our Lives alum Jade Harlow stars in movie inspired by real tragedy filmed in Massachusetts town
A feature film inspired by details of the Christa Worthington murder is planned for release this summer following a month of filming this fall in Provincetown. Harlow (Sheryl on Days) will star in Denton Harbor as a character meant to resemble Worthington.

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