Day in the strife of TV ratings battle

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The Independent Culture
Daytime television may or may not be stupidvision. It is certainly battlevision, with some nifty poaching of talent taking place.

American-born Julia Foote LeStage has jumped ship from Channel 5 - where she has been heading Thames Television's development team for the new channel - to join Channel 4 as deputy to daytime commissioning editor Fiona Chesterton, whose curriculum vitae includes the first television interview with the Sex Pistols. John Willis, Channel 4's director of programmes says: "We need to compete more effectively, and distinctly, across the whole of daytime."

Mark Lamarr, who has undergone a transformation from irritating presenter of The Word to a surprisingly funny stand-up comedian, has come up with a novel way of dealing with a heckler. When said heckler walked out of his show at the Neptune Theatre, Liverpool, saying he would rather watch the comic at the Everyman, Lamarr marched out his entire audience to pursue him. The 400-strong crowd followed Lamarr through the Liverpool streets as he continued his routine en route to the Everyman, where he concluded his act in the foyer. There's one piece of live performance that television could not replicate.

Bill Kenwright, West End producer and football fan, clearly didn't check his diary when he booked last Wednesday for the first night of his production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, clashing with England v Germany. Kenwright tells me he got round the problem by "putting a television set in every orifice". Down the road, the football-mad cast of Twelve Angry Men were grateful the play was only 2 hours 10 minutes long, and finished just in time for the penalty shoot-out.

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