Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and welcome to the Radio Times Covers Party 2012.
If you’re reading this, it looks like your invitation was probably lost in the post (again) this year, sorry – but never fear, we’re going to have a right royal virtual party of our own tonight, and everyone’s invited.
Throughout the evening, this is the place to be to see and hear what the cream of British television, radio and film talent get up to as we celebrate another fantastic year for Radio Times. Our team of crack reporters will be feeding back the gossip, and if we’re lucky we might even see a few pictures as the night goes on.
If you want to join in with our bash, it’s simple. Feel free to leave your comments below – or you can tweet us @RadioTimes, and please remember to use the hashtag #rtcoversparty.
So without further ado, it’s time to grab a drink, put your feet up… and (virtually) party…
6:49 OK. Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Radio Times Covers Party live blog!
6:51You may – due to some administrative error, no doubt – have missed out on an invitation to the party itself but you are very much invited to this, its virtual cousin.
6:56 Celebs spotted so far include Sherlock and Doctor Who impresario Steven Moffat, Lewis himself Kevin Whately, Ann Widdecombe, Sophie Raworth, Karren Brady… Oh the list is endless…
Look out on the site tomorrow for video interviews and photos, by the way.
6:59 Speaking of which, we’re currently talking to Apprentice star Susan Ma.
7:00 Right this minute, live, on camera, that is…
7:00 And very glamorous she’s looking, too.
7:02Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss and Mr Terry Pratchett – two more guests, who’ve just arrived.
7:06From my vantage point here in the lobby I can see everyone as they come in and… Life’s Too Short’s Warwick Davis is our latest arrival.
7:07 @CarolineM40 Emily Maitless is wearing her @TheKilling jumper! #rtcoversparty [via Twitter]
7:09Right, who else have we spotted? Jim Carter (the Unstoppable Sex Machine) – aka Carson the butler from Downton.
7:10BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey, and our very own film critic duo Andrew Collins and Barry Norman enter the fray.
7:12Darren Boyd, star of Spy, Whites and those insurance ads with Chris Addison is talking to Vic Reeves – it’s comedy central round here (not the TV channel).
7:13 I’m just star-spotting right now but there’ll be gossip, photos and loads of other stuff I haven’t even thought of yet as the evening goes on.
7:13Just star-spotting? What am I on about? Star-spotting is a fantastic pursuit…
7:14@MIGmanagement: @CollingsMichael is at the#rtcoversparty with a host of tv stars. Will tweet photos if appropriate. Just met warwick davies #lifeistooshort [via Twitter]
7:14@lisson17: #rtcoversparty jeaaaaaaaalous!! [via Twitter]
7:14Yeah, you are!
7:18Russell Grant is here, looking as sparkly as you might expect from a former Strictly star…
7:18 Although, admittedly, the low lighting conditions and bad camera phone don’t really do that sparkliness justice…
7:19@CarolineM40: David Morrissey and John Simm havinachat – presumably discussing stubble length?#rtcoversparty [via Twitter]
7:20The Apprentice winner Tom “The Inventor” Pellereau is here, chatting to our ed Ben Preston.
7:22 Comment From Ames Christian: having a bit of a sereal night watching this intetively and listening to the calipso king harry belafonte singing ‘hava nageela’ …..
7:22 And why not indeed – sounds like a lovely evening!
7:24Fern Britton has entered the building, along with Lulu, looking lush in leggings.
7:24@WGallagher: Russell Grant is such a pro: wouldn’t leave a video interview until he’d checked we got what we needed. #rtcoversparty [via Twitter]
7:25The leggings are on Fern by the way, although Lulu is, of course, looking lush too.
7:26Antony Cotton: Sean from Corrie and I’m a Celeb jungle star – get him in to here!
7:29 OK, this is fantastic – Russell Grant and Ann Widdecombe dancing together (for a photo opportunity – no-one’s had that much to drink yet). We will, at some point in the coming days, have photographic evidence of that!
7:35@CarolineM40: Wow, Holly Valance wearing an amazing gold shift dress #rtcoversparty [via Twitter]
7:43 Terry Pratchett – the man in the hat – getting his pic taken.
7:46Katy Perry’s Firework kicks in, which can mean only one thing – the presentations are about to begin!
7:47Just to explain how this works, Radio Times cover stars of 2011 are here to get up on stage and accept their framed covers. Graham Norton and our ed Ben Preston will be our hosts…
7:49Graham has taken to the stage…
7:52@HelenHackworthy: Week one was Eric & Ernie – here’s @VicReeves1 and Bryan Dick to collect the cover… #rtcoversparty [via Twitter]
7:53 Graham doing some good Channel 5 gags I’m told. Probably best not to share…
7:55Being Human star Lenora Crichlow – aka Annie the ghost – and writer Toby Whithouse go up to collect their cover.
7:56 Being Human returns for a fourth series later this year, supernatural fans…
7:57 And Mark Gatiss will be guest-starring as a vampire. RadioTimes.com: for all your entertainment news needs…
7:58Chris Packham collects his week 15 cover for The Animal’s Guide to Britain, sadly unaccompanied by is co-star, Mr Owl.
7:59@CarolineM40: Justin Webb has a diamanté phone cover?! #rtcoversparty [via Twitter]
8:01John Simm collects his cover for thriller Exile.
8:03 SHERLOCK. That’s right, SHERLOCK. I know how you all love it. Co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat collect their cover, featuring… that’s right… Benedict CUMBERBATCH!
8:03 Sorry… but I think we all get a little bit excited when it comes to Sherlock don’t we?
8:05The band doing the music are awesome, by the way. Each cover star gets a special version of their theme tune – I know a capella means without music but it’s kind of a capella but *with* music, if you see what I mean…
8:08@jackseale: Craig Colton to the left of me, @gracedentto the right… That’ll be the #rtcoversparty then [via Twitter]
8:10 @CarolineM40: Ooh, John Simm is my Master! Lookin good with the stubble tonight #rtcoversparty [via Twitter]
8:11Ooh, a haunting rendition of the Downton theme – and I’m told that despite how it sounds this music is entirely done with voices. Fooled me. But I am notoriously stupid.
8:15Comment From Dawn: Could you please let us know which members of the Downton Abbey Cast are there?
8:15Yes, we have Jim Carter, Jessica Brown Findlay and Laura Carmichael, who have just collected their cover.
8:19Corrie blonde Katherine Kelly is here – as a brunette! That’s right, she’s coloured her hair just for Radio Times.
8:20It’s a BOB, people, it’s a BOB! She’s looking really quite different, yet still very good.
So here’s the photographic evidence – along with Katherine (centre) we have Antony Cotton, aka Sean, and Catherine Tyldesley, also know as Eva…
8:27@johnmanthorpe: @RadioTimes The#rtcoversparty is the best tv showbiz who’s who party in the business. Well done @RadioTimes [via Twitter]
8:27OK, we’ll take that John, thanks.
8:33 X Factor star Craig Colton currently being interviewed by our very own Xpert Jack Seale.
8:35Breaking news: Emily Maitlis has removed her Killing jumper due to just HOW HOT this party is.
8:38Alex Jones arrives, fashionably late…
8:40Darren Boyd – you may know him from comedies Spy and Dirk Gently – is here with fellow Monty Python’s Holy Flying Circus star Rufus Jones. Jack Seale is prising ALL KINDS of information out of them, I’m sure.
8:42OK, I think it’s time to treat you to some more photos…
8:45First up, one for the Downton fans – it’s Jim Carter, aka, Carson. No buttling for him tonight – he’s the one being waited on hand and foot at this champagne reception.
8:46Coming next, one for fans of both Being Human and – dare I say it? – bootiful ladies…
8:47Lenora Crichlow (see below)
8:47Yes, it’s Annie the ghost, the lovely Lenora Crichlow.
8:50It really feels as if the party is getting started now – possibly because my kind colleagues have finally brought over some drinks. There is going to come a point, though, where I’m going to have to leave my post and nip to the loo. But I’m devoted to the job and you, the loyal reader, and will hold out as long as humanly possible.
8:52 Lenora “Lennie” Crichlow (do people call her Lennie? Probably not)
8:53My colleague – RadioTimes.com’s news editor Tim Glanfield – is deep in conversation with Warwick Davis, star of Life’s Too Short. Oh, and Willow, Harry Potter, Extras and, like, a million other things…
8:55And now my other colleague Jack Seale is interviewing him – check out the site in the next couple of days to see the video.
8:58Well, the drinks have lined themselves up nicely in front of me and, bladder issues aside, the evening is going from strength to strength. Give me a minute and I’ll be back with something amazing… I don’t know what but it’s definitely kicking off in here so there will be something celeb fans, don’t you worry…
8:59@CarolineM40: Fern Britten is obviously a fan of X-Factor’s Craig Colton! Hugs and kisses all round#rtcoversparty [via Twitter]
9:03Sometime Radio Times columnist Caitlin Moran is saying hello to Downton’s Jessica Brown Findlay, having just finished chatting to Steven Moffat. We’re through the celebrity looking glass here people. The potential combinations are endless. More to come…
9:05Warwick Davis news: everything that happens in Life’s Too Short has actually happened to him. A new series is on the cards – Ricky Gervais just needs to get off his arse and write it. And, from our correspondent Tim Glanfield: Warwick is “a lovely, lovely man” – as if there was any doubt about that.
9:08Yes, it’s only the Moff!
9:09Purveyor of Doctor Who *and* Sherlock.
9:11OK. This is what I’m looking at right now – Jessica Brown Findlay and Caitlin Moran sticking their faces through a cardboard Radio Times cover. Normally, that’s the result of too much cheese. Tonight, the dream has become a reality…
9:12Were there canapes? I’m sure there must have been canapes. Any coming my way any time soon…? Colleagues…?
9:15You want more photos?! I got more photos! Coming your way soon…
It’s Warwick and Samantha Davis!
9:17 @terryandrob: Thank you @radiotimes you sure know how to throw a superb #rtcoversparty [via Twitter]
9:19That’s right, Terry Pratchett has just tweeted us! If I remember correctly, he invented a world carried on the back of a giant turtle borne up by four giant elephants. Which, let’s face it, is pretty damn cool.
9:20Comment From Louise Mulvany: yay for warwick xx
9:20Yay indeed, Ms Mulvany.
9:23Right, this is that time where I have to leave you for a moment (we discussed it before). Back soon. When I return, there will be a picture of Mark Gatiss…
9:25And we’re back…
9:25Guess who I saw in the gents?
9:27No, you’re all wrong – it was Life on Mars’s John Simm.
Here, as promised, is Mark Gatiss, complete with Sherlock cover. And now, on a related theme, I have a SHERLOCK SCOOP from Steven Moffat!
9:31We’ve all been wondering how it was done – how did SH survive that fall? Everyone has their theory but the Moff says: “All of the fair clues were in there – NO-ONE HAS SPOTTED THE BIGGIE.”
9:32Comment From Emory: Whoa, what can it be?
9:32 Comment From Guest: as Sherlock would say ‘you see but don’t observe’. can you tell us?
9:33I can’t tell you a) because I don’t know and b) because I can’t tell you!
9:37Lady Edith and Lady Sybil in the house! Yes, the Downton duo are being interviewed as I type. And yes, from a purely objective point of view, they are an attractive pair.
9:39Actually, why does Jack get to interview them and I get to sit in a corner typing? Something I did in a former life? No, very probably something I did in this life…
9:41 Comment From Guest: Moffat and Gattis make everyone’s brains work HARD!
9:41Comment From Josie: The bicycle knocking John over?
9:41No, we definitely noticed that!
9:41Comment From Cressy: Put dead Moriarty in his coat and dropped him off the building?
9:42 Hmmm… I reckon the body was brought out of a morgue by Molly. But that’s just me.
9:42Comment From Jack: Woo! This virtual party is fun! 😉
9:42Yeah, it is! Thanks for coming!
9:43Comment From Ames Christian: ‘its all a magic trick’ sherlock gives you the answer himself.. miss direction and doubles
9:43 Comment From Emory: Waste lorry, hanging dummy.
9:43Comment From Kate: Regarding Sherlocks “death” did his survival have anything to do with the small open top lorry with lots of bags in it? did he fall into that and then gently roll off ?
9:43 Comment From Ames Christian: dead men don’t wave their arms when they fall cressy
9:44Comment From Emory: And Molly Hooper works around dead bodies.
9:44Both good points…
9:44Comment From Josie: The sniper with the gun… it looked like Sherlock. Is that just me?
9:44Well everybody, is it…?
9:44Comment From Jessica: Gotta love the Moff’s power over us – one comment and we’re all guessing!
9:45Ha ha, you’re right Jessica. Shall we talk about something else?
9:47 But, actually, since we’re talking about her, how about a party pic of Molly, aka actress Louise Brealey?
9:47Yeah, OK then…
9:48Comment From Ingrid: Molly, aka Louise Brealey is our queen!!
9:49Comment From Kirstie: Awww, she’s sooo beautiful
9:52Comment From Jessica: Yay Louise! Fandom’s most loved Pathologist 🙂
9:52Quite a claim, Jessica. Is this true, people…?
9:54Comment From Ames Christian: yes… a million times yes
9:56Comment From Ingrid: Yes!!! She is our Queen 🙂
9:56Comment From Emory: The only one, really.
9:58Your love and loyalty is a beautiful thing but surely there are other TV pathologists…?
10:03 Comment From Mad Matt: Could you get of Photo Ronan Parke For his Fans
10:04 I love it when someone asks me something I can actually help them out with. Stand by.
10:07 See? Ronan and, indeed, Parke.
10:08 Comment From Mad Matt: Thanks Paul
10:13 Comment From TeamColton: CoulD you get a picture of Craig Colton for his fans please? 🙂
10:14 I don’t have a picture right now but I do have an inside source who tells me he said: “Hopefully, in two years time, I will have a six pack and be on the cover of Radio Times, like Tulisa.” Then he went out for a cigarette – and, I assume, to do some sit-ups.
10:18 One of my insiders has discovered that Terry Pratchett likes…
10:19 …MEATLOAF! (and yes, I do mean the rock god)
10:30 OK, I have been sitting in this corner for several hours. I think it’s probably time I stood up for a minute or two, maybe walked around for a bit, and stopped live blogging. Thanks for being here. You have all been beautiful. GOOD NIGHT! We love you xxx