Mrs Murray to get moves on on reality TV

Andy Murray isn’t one for reality TV – even if his mother is starring on it.

British Fed Cup captain Judy Murray is set to compete this season on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, the show that inspiredrival reality TV show Dancing with the Stars.

”If it makes her happy, then I will support her. I’m not really into those shows, but she loves it,” her two-time major champion son said as he prepared for the US Open.

”I mean, she watches it all of the time, talks about it all the time,” he added with a grin.

Not that he plans to tune in.

”Probably not, no,” Murray conceded.

His mother must be an avid dancer, right

”I don’t believe I have ever seen her dance, to be honest,” Murray said.

”It will be interesting.”

What Murray is a fan of is the NBA, and with an offseason home in Miami, he has Heat season tickets. The Scot didn’t appreciate the implication that he might give them up now that LeBron James has left town.

”We don’t do that,” Murray shot back.

”In the UK, you don’t change teams when someone leaves.”

Murray took a day off from practicing last Friday for a busy slate of spectator sports. He followed Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy at The Barclays in New Jersey, then attended the USA Basketball exhibition at Madison Square Garden at night. It was the first time he’d observed professional golf live.

”It’s like pretty much any sport,” Murray said.

”When you watch them up close, it’s impressive.”

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– AP


Lorde’s VMA rock award outrages fans

Lorde made history at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards on Monday but her inclusion in the rock video category has shocked and confused even loyal fans.

The 17-year-old New Zealander took out the “moonman” trophy for best rock video for her song


Mythbusters: Separating fact from fiction

As his television show has shown, Jamie Hyneman is pretty much game for anything. However, bungy jumping will not be high on the list of his priorities during his first visit to New Zealand next month.

He and Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage will be making a whistlestop tour here to perform their Mythbusters – Behind the Myths stage show twice at Auckland’s Vector Arena.

Speaking by phone from San Francisco, where the Mythbusters team was doing a story about drones, Hyneman puts his reluctance to take the plunge down to a recent experiment for the show, which airs here on both Discovery and Prime.

”We did a story based on a commercial we saw where someone was bungy jumping for apples. In order to test whether it was possible I had to fall like a log and dive in where I could bite into an apple.

”I had to fall the same way every time and ignore what my body was doing so I could focus on biting something which was going to appear in like an instant and then disappear.

”I did it eight times and finally gave up. Adam managed only two –


Song threatens to kill Key

An Auckland hip-hop crew have released a song with lyrics that threaten to kill Prime Minister John Key and have sex with his daughter.

Kill The PM, by @peace, depicts a golfing, luxury car-driving Key, and says he should die – “ain’t doin’ nothin’ so I’m gonna kill the prime minister”.

It continues: “I been tryin’ to get a job but they got none/so I instead I got a sawnoff shotgun/and ‘pop’.”

The crew is fronted by Tom Scott, formerly of Homebrew, along with Lui Tuiasau, Christoph “El Truento” James and Hayden “Dick Dastardly” Dick.

In the leadup to the 2011 election, Homebrew released a track attacking tax cuts for the rich and a low minimum wage.

The latest offering also refers to having sex with Key’s daughter, Stephanie.

A spokesman for Key said last night that he had no plans to listen to the song.

“The prime minister is not aware of the song and does not intend to listen to it. He will leave it to others to judge.”

Kill the PM, which is available for download, is also being hosted on Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom’s file-sharing site Mega.

Last month, Dotcom encouraged a crowd at Internet’s “party party” in Wellington to chant: “F… John Key.”

@peace received $6000 in funding from NZ On Air last month to make a music video for their track Gravity.

Homebrew boasted a substantial Kiwi fanbase, and were nominated in four categories at the 2012 New Zealand Music Awards.

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– The Dominion Post


Shannon proves why she’s a handy host

Shannon Ryan is heading back around The Block to co-host a third season of the Kiwi reality series. Ahead of tonight’s series opener, she talks to James Croot about what viewers can expect.

What can viewers expect from this third season Any particular innovations

Viewers can expect four teams who have paid close attention to the previous two series. I really do feel this lot is going to raise the bar and produce some awesome stuff.

For those of us who live outside Auckland, please describe Point Chevalier.

The best way I can describe Pt Chev is a place in the city that’s near the sea so get your kayak or SUP board ready! I feel like it would be a great place to live in the city that has ”out of city” activities to enjoy.

What advice would you give this season’s teams, based on the last two seasons What makes a successful Block team

Remember when you watched the show and the other teams were tired beyond belief They weren’t acting. It’s real, so don’t be surprised! Success definitely comes with enjoying the ride and doing your best. It’s hard to renovate with an entire country in mind so do what you want and if people don’t like it, they can change it. Have you been inside a Bunnings lately They ain’t running out of supplies.

What’s been your favourite challenge from the past two seasons so far What do you think you would have excelled at and if you made up a challenge what would it be

I really enjoyed the Department of Conservation (DOC) challenge where the teams painted murals on DOC huts. The final huts are out there which is also super cool. It was a fun challenge where the teams got to be creative and vent some of their Block frustration through a paint brush.

What’s your favourite paint colour

Green, orange, yellow, brown. It’s not possible to choose one.

Favourite power tool or other home improvement gadget

Does having a green thumb count as a tool My tool kit is a work in progress, it’s pretty pitiful for the amount of tinkering I like to do. I’m always wanting to make things (my current task is making a desk out of old wood I’ve found) and at the moment the most useful tool has been a Japanese trimming saw that I picked up in California.

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Favourite room of the house

Whatever room is connected to the deck/outdoor area. Whether it be the kitchen, living or dining room, I love a big display of windows and ranch sliders connecting the outdoors with that part of the home you spend so much time in.

How would you describe your DIY skills and how have they improved since you’ve been on the show

I have always been pretty crafty and keen to get things done. I think it was just how I was raised and the environment I grew up in. If the gate doesn’t close, find a way to MAKE it close, even temporarily, otherwise it’s your fault the cows are running all over the farm. Plus, I think it’s in our makeup to want to do a bit of DIY and upkeep of our living environment.

What sort of Block team do you think you and your co-host Mark Richardson would make

I have a feeling we both know what we like but that we would be patient and listen to each other. However, there will definitely be moments of agreement, agreeing to disagree and all-out war on what colour to choose.

Who is the toughest judge and why

The teams and the viewers. Each team is hard on themselves and strives for the best and the viewers really do hold the contestants to their work, good and bad.

Finally, where would you like the next series to be set

I’m really into tiny houses at the moment so it would be great to pick 10 teams and have a tiny house building competition somewhere that shows off the gorgeous countryside of New Zealand. They’re homes on wheels, so if you wish to move it you can take it anywhere.

The Block NZ,


Pound Pups: On the side of the underdogs

I tried fostering dogs for a local rescue shelter a while ago.

Turns out I’m hopeless at goodbyes and as a result we’re now a four-dog household.

So, with my flag firmly in the dog-loving camp, I was keen to get a new look at local reality series Purina Pound Pups to Dog Stars (Mondays, 7.30pm, TV One) – cute dogs and an end to Monday nights watching people trying to lie their way through customs with narcotics and live chickens in Border Security.

Happy days. And happy days for ex-pound dogs is what the show is all about.

In New Zealand, it takes just seven days and a failed behaviour test for pound dogs to end up euthanised. Auckland-based animal behaviour expert Mark Vette tries to help those death-row dogs back into society.

Last night, he met a beardie cross called Ralphie, who had all sorts of problems. Well, who wouldn’t have if they’d been chained up for 18 months There was even talk of anorexia. Dog anorexia I can’t leave the butter on the kitchen counter top in case one of my dogs manages to reach it with the old stretch-and-sideways-head manoeuvre.

But poor old Ralphie wouldn’t even touch a bowl of food put in front of him.

Vette took him back to his behaviour centre and, along with one of the trainers, set about helping him.

There were some initial stumbling blocks but they all seemed to be overcome relatively quickly and in a couple of weeks Ralphie went off to live with a jolly-looking lady who already had a bit of a doggie family.

Job done.

It was a nice bit of light viewing that left me feeling a little bit happier than when I first sat down.

Sure, at times it was almost too light and I would have liked to see a bit more of Mark Vette in action with Ralphie.

At the end I still didn’t really know how they’d dealt with Ralphie’s problems, but it turned a pound dog into a happy dog and what sort of curmudgeon can argue with that

If you like your dog-rescue shows a bit more gritty, then try Pitbulls and Parolees (Saturdays, 10.30pm, Animal Planet). This long-running American reality show features the Torres family, headed up by slightly frightening matriarch Tia. Together they run the Villalobos rescue centre for pitbulls in New Orleans. And they have prison parolees help out at the centre – so it’s much-maligned people helping much-maligned dogs.

It feels like a case of second chances all round and the show has proved pretty popular. The fifth series started this Saturday. The family and their sagas are key, all interwoven with dog rescues. It’s a familiar reality format with moments of highly edited drama and quite a lot of moments of nothing much actually happening at all. But I must confess I’ve become hooked. I’ve always been on the side of the underdog.

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– Stuff


Emmy Awards: Who will win?

Nothing says television’s most prestigious award show like a Monday night in August.

And yet that’s exactly what we’ve got this year with the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards, which air August 25 and honour the best in the best in the TV industry. Seth Meyers of NBC’s Late Night will host the proceedings and try to spice up a three-hour show that generally remains pretty similar year after year.

But there could be some shake-ups, thanks to HBO’s fancy new mystery anthology, True Detective, going up against the last season of Breaking Bad for the best drama series crown. And Netflix’s critically beloved women’s prison show, Orange Is the New Black, might be just the series to take down Modern Family, which has won the comedy series trophy for the past four years. (If the ABC sitcom triumphs again, it will tie Frasier for the most wins in that category.)

Meanwhile, Orange Is the New Black star Taylor Schilling is running a close race with Veep lead Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has landed the comedy actress prize two years running. Throw in movie stars such as Matthew McConaughey (True Detective) and Jon Voight (Ray Donovan) competing with steadfast TV favorites such as Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Josh Charles (The Good Wife) and you have one intriguing night.

Here are our predictions about who could take home the gold:


Nominees: Breaking Bad (AMC); Downton Abbey (PBS); Game of Thrones (HBO); Mad Men (AMC); True Detective (HBO); House of Cards (Netflix).

Will probably win: Breaking Bad.

This is the biggest question of the Emmys: Will the last season of Breaking Bad or the first season of True Detective dominate in the night’s most celebrated category True Detective made waves, but the Television Academy should award Breaking Bad for its stellar season.

Deserves to win: Breaking Bad.

Not only did it go out on top, but the excellent series has simply earned the recognition for its unprecedented run from cult favorite to actual hit.

Dark horse: Game of Thrones.

HBO’s fantasy epic gets buzzier and more intense every year – it has lots of fans, and many of them are likely in the TV academy.


Nominees: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC); Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom (HBO); Kevin Spacey, House of Cards (Netflix); Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC); Matthew McConaughey, True Detective (HBO); Woody Harrelson, True Detective (HBO).

Will probably win: Cranston.

Yeah, it feels like Breaking Bad ended a million years ago – but Cranston was unforgettable and should win, unless McConaughey stealthily steals the prize.

Deserves to win: Cranston.

Walter White is now too iconic despite the great performances in True Detective.

Dark horse: Harrelson.

McConaughey got all the attention for playing the damaged philosopher-detective Rust Cohle – but his partner, Harrelson’s self-destructive Marty Hart, frequently stole the show.


Nominees: Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey (PBS); Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime); Robin Wright, House of Cards (Netflix); Kerry Washington, Scandal (ABC); Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (CBS); Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex (Showtime).

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Will probably win: Margulies.

The Good Wife had an epic Season 5 – the absence of it in the best drama category is somewhat unforgivable – and Margulies led the charge.

Deserves to win: Margulies.

She pretty much landed the trophy the minute her character found out about Will Gardner’s demise.

Dark horse: Caplan.

The first-time nominee landed the lone major nod for the excellent Showtime drama, and the other veterans could split the vote.


Nominees: Jon Voight, Ray Donovan (Showtime); Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (HBO); Mandy Patinkin, Homeland (Showtime); Josh Charles, The Good Wife (CBS); Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (AMC); Jim Carter, Downton Abbey (PBS).

Will probably win: Paul.

Again, the final season of Jesse Pinkman and Breaking Bad should not be denied.

Deserves to win: Charles.

His Season 5 portrayal of vengeful, heartbroken Will Gardner deserves the trophy, especially in light of his character’s final episode.

Dark horse: Voight.

Even on a show without a ton of buzz, never count out an academy favorite. Voight won the Golden Globe for this role this year.


Nominees: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (AMC); Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (PBS); Lena Headey, Game of Thrones (HBO); Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (CBS); Christina Hendricks, Mad Men (AMC); Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey (PBS).

Will probably win: Gunn.

This category is always a bit of a toss-up, but this really seems like the year for Breaking Bad to take a victory lap in any way possible: Look for Gunn (2013 winner) to triumph over Smith (2012 winner).

Deserves to win: Hendricks.

Joan Holloway had a standout year in the Mad Men universe, but as usual, it’s likely that the academy will overlook it.

Dark horse: Headey.

You never know when Game of Thrones is going to break through, and Headey landed the nod over her previously nominated co-star Emilia Clarke.


Nominees: The Big Bang Theory (CBS); Louie (FX); Modern Family (ABC); Veep (HBO); Orange Is the New Black (Netflix); Silicon Valley (HBO).

Will probably win: Orange Is the New Black.

Will the Netflix favorite snap Modern Family’s four-year winning streak It has to end sometime, and even though the inmates at Litchfield aren’t exactly hilarious, it is a stellar show.

Deserves to win: Modern Family.

As much as Orange Is the New Black has excelled in the art of darkly twisted humor, the ABC sitcom delivers a genuinely funny, laugh-out-loud episode every week – even if it’s not cool to think so anymore.

Dark horse: Veep.

Never count out an HBO show, even if it’s a half-hour comedy.


Nominees: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS); Matt LeBlanc, Episodes (Showtime); Don Cheadle, House of Lies (Showtime); Louis C.K., Louie (FX); William H. Macy, Shameless (Showtime); Ricky Gervais, Derek (Netflix).

Will probably win: Parsons.

With three trophies in this category, Emmy voters clearly have a favorite.

Deserves to win: C.K.

Enough with Jim Parsons already. C.K. is waiting right there with plenty of acclaim – even if this season of Louie was very controversial.

Dark horse: Macy.

Shameless lobbied hard to get into the comedy category this year, and Macy’s nomination is basically the only way it paid off.


Nominees: Lena Dunham, Girls (HBO); Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie (Showtime); Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (NBC); Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO); Melissa McCarthy, Mike and Molly (CBS); Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black (Netflix).

Will probably win: Schilling.

This is a tough one, but we’re going to give the slight edge to Schilling based purely on the solid buzz and the Netflix hip factor. If she loses to anyone, it’s going to be Louis-Dreyfus, but the Veep star has won two years in a row.

Deserves to win: Poehler.

Seriously, people. Let’s take a lesson from the Golden Globes and give Leslie Knope an overdue prize on the eve of the show’s final season.

Dark horse: Falco.

We can’t explain it, either.


Nominees: Adam Driver, Girls (HBO); Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family (ABC); Fred Armisen, Portlandia (IFC); Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC); Tony Hale, Veep (HBO); Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox).

Will probably win: Hale.

We’re calling a repeat winner for Hale, who picked up the award last year as the vice president’s wacky assistant.

Deserves to win: Braugher.

Looking dead serious at all times, Braugher goes one-on-one with the frenetic Andy Samberg every week. It’s impressive and delightful.

Dark horse: Burrell.

Always a solid choice (and previous winner) if none of the other nominees stands out.


Nominees: Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory (CBS); Julie Bowen, Modern Family (ABC); Anna Chlumsky, Veep (HBO); Allison Janney, Mom (CBS); Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC); Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black (Netflix).

Will probably win: Janney.

Voters love Janney (she already won for guest actress in a drama for Masters of Sex), and we wouldn’t put it past them to honor her again.

Deserves to win: Mulgrew.

Her character, the mischievous prison chef Red, always manages to get her way – and also lands the best one-liners.

Dark horse: McKinnon.

Because who even thought she would score a nomination

Stuff will be live blogging the 2014 Emmy Awards from 10am.

– The Washington Post


Lorde wins, Miley cries at VMAs

An adorably confused Lorde has won an award for best Rock Video, Nicki Minaj suffered an apparent wardrope malfunction and Miley Cyrus got emotional at today’s MTV VMAs.


Live coverage: Lorde wins at VMAs

An adorably confused Lorde has won the VMA for best Rock Video, Nicki Minaj suffered an apparent wardrope malfunction and girls are dominating the show at this year’s MTV VMAs.

“Is there like a specific place I’m supposed to be looking,” Lorde asked before thanking fellow Aucklander, video director Joel Kefali.


M7 Build Team leaves Mythbusters

Popular science-as-entertainment series MythBusters will be without its three better-looking presenters for the next series, leaving grizzled hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman to take the show back to its roots.

The departure of the so-called M7 Build Team from the Discovery Channel series was announced on a farewell video as the ninth season of the show wrapped up in the US.

“This is the very last episode of MythBusters to feature the incredible trio of Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara,” Savage said in the farewell video.

“I want to take a moment to thank you guys for the incredible work over the last 10 years. You’ve given literally your blood, sweat and tears in the name of science, and it has been a total pleasure not only to work with you but to call you our friends.”

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Hyneman added: “This next season, we’re going back to our origins which is just Adam and me.”

Byron tweeted: “The show is taking a new direction. It was an amazing run. I learned so much about myself and the world. I love you all @MythBusters.”

Followed by: “I am sad for an ending but there will be exciting new adventures for us.”

“Change is never easy, but I’m so excited about the future. Stay tuned,” Belleci said.

Imahara thanked MythBusters for allowing the trio to teach science in a new way.

“Also, explosions. Now, on to the next adventure!”

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– Stuff