Review of the Year 2012: October

Bond and The Beatles turned 50, the BBC hit crisis-point, Strictly and X Factor kicked off their head-to-head and Felix Baumgartner leapt from space


The month of October kicked off with two stalwarts of the British entertainment industry marking their fiftieth birthdays. On 5 October 1962 the first James Bond film, Dr No, appeared in UK cinemas and in a timely coincidence, The Beatles released their inaugaral single, Love Me Do – the entry under ‘L’ in our Beatles A to Z


And it was a month of Bond as film critics and fans alike eagerly anticipated the franchise’s latest addition, Skyfall, with chart-topping warbler Adele finally revealing her Bond theme of the same name. 

After four years in the top job, Barack Obama’s first presidential term was coming to a close and his campaign trail culminated in a string of live televised debates – we rounded-up the reviews from the first, second and final showdown. 

The BBC hit crisis point as sexual abuse claims emerged against Jimmy Saville – culminating in a late-night airing of ITV’s Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile which was watched by 2 million of you. That was followed up later in the month by Newsnight editor Peter Rippon’s resignation and a Panorama special: Jimmy Saville – What the BBC knew which attracted 5 million viewers.  

There were dark days too for comedian and former Friday Night Project host Justin Lee Collins who was found guilty of harrassing his ex-girlfriend and sentenced to 140 hours of community service.

On a brighter note, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner made headlines worldwide for his record-breaking skyfall from space, meanwhile Girls Aloud delighted tabloid editors nationwide by announcing details of their reunion album and tour.

And speaking of newspaper fodder, after weeks of auditions The X Factor‘s live show contenders were announced – and we went on a behind-the scenes jaunt to watch a live recording of Gary, Nicole, Tulisa and co plus a casual encounter with One Direction’s Niall Horan. 

Simon Cowell’s current nemesis Strictly Come Dancing also kicked off its live shows – but before the competition got underway, we caught up with the celebrity girls and boys for some pre-match interviews. And following the success of celebrities dancing, viewers will soon get the chance to see them diving following the commission of Tom Daley’s new high-dive talent show, aptly named Splash!

Over on ITV, Downton Abbey series three was chugging along nicely, that is until Julian Fellowes killed off Lady Sybil – a move met with vociferous outrage by the Twittersphere. Meanwhile Homeland’s hotly anticipated series two finally hit British shores and over in the States a wise man signed a deal to commission a third season of Claire Danes and Damien Lewis’s political thriller. 

Emmerdale went where many soaps have gone before and staged a live episode to mark their 40th anniversary, ambiriously featuring two weddings, two births and Carl King’s death by polystyrene brick in its hour-long broadcast.

Meanwhile, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry named their Great British Bake Off victor, John Whaite, who beat off fierce competition from James Morton and Brendan Lynch – he told us all about life after Bake Off in his very first post-match interview

While Channel 4 were busy crashing airplanes into deserts for their cavalier experiment The Plane Crash, Ceefax finally disappeared from our television screens as part of the digital switchover – and former employee William Gallagher bid it a fond farewell

Sherlock may have been noticably absent from our TV schedules but its stars were mighty busy. Benedict Cumberbatch appeared at the Cheltenham Literature Festival and shared his views on Elementary before revealing he’s more of a Watson and Martin Freeman’s more of a Sherlock

And talking of our friend, Martin Freeman, we caught up with him backstage at Channel 4’s Stand Up to Cancer telethon where he told us all about what he thought of Sherlock series three. We also had a cosy chat with Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill who assured us of his plans to work with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan again following the Ponds’ recent departure. 

London briefly became the focus of the cinematic community with the 56th annual BFI London Film Festival which saw screenings of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, The Sapphires and the critically-acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild – plus the premiere of Mike Newell’s Great Expectations. Meanwhile, the next chapter in the Star Wars franchise began as Disney announced its £2.5 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm and plans to release Episode VII in 2015. 


And as we begun to look forward to 2013, October teased us with trailers for some of next year’s biggest releases: Quartet, Django Unchained, A Good Day to Die Hard, Hitchcock and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tantalising first clip of Star Trek Into Darkness…