Five fascinating film and TV facts #81

From Maze Runner cameos to Doctor Who family trees and Friends trivia, check out these bite-size film and TV facts




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The Maze Runner author James Dashner couldn’t miss out when the film hit the big screen now, could he? Nope! So as with many authors and directors before him, Dashner found a little spot for himself in the movie remake. So, when the film cuts to a scene inside WCKD with Ava Paige, Dashner is to her right hand side, seemingly involved in the plan that put the Gladers in the maze in the first place. Ten points if you spotted that on the first watch!

Amy Pond is the Doctor’s (Matt Smith) mother-in-law twice over.
In the series, it’s revealed in 2011’s A Good Man Goes to War that the Eleventh Doctor’s wife River Song (Alex Kingston) is actually the daughter of his companions Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) – this was a major surprise plot point, so fans know this of course.
However, in a later episode – 2012’s The Power of Three – Amy accidentally gets married to Henry VIII, who is the father of queen Elizabeth I. The same Queen Elizabeth I that David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor was forced to marry in 2013 anniversary special The Day of the Doctor.
Ipso facto, twice over his mother-in-law.

James Michael Tyler – aka Gunther from Friends – was only ever meant to be an extra in the long-running comedy series. 

“I spent the first year and a half of the series being called ‘coffee guy’,” Tyler admitted at this week’s launch of Comedy Central’s FriendsFest

It’s said that he got the original gig because he was the only extra who knew how to use a coffee machine. But as the owner of the Central Perk cafe, his character went on to have almost as many credits as the main cast in the show’s ten series run, although not quite as many lines…

The Chase presenter Bradley Walsh says he’s very aware of the speed at which he reads questions out for the final chase of the show. 

“You have to be at such a speed: if you’re a contestant and I go ‘what’s… the capital… of France… ‘ they’d be dead and buried in thirty seconds,” Walsh told “I have to make sure they get up to speed and they’re getting about 18 or 19 questions answered correctly. That’s the real banana skin score [that will trip the chasers up]. Once the chasers get in a rhythm there’s no stopping them. They can answer 24, 25 questions in two minutes. We’ve even almost reached thirty. It’s about 3.6-4 seconds on average to ask and answer a question.” 


Before The Great British Bake Off officially kicks into action, those all important ovens are tested. After all, it wouldn’t make for much of a show if half of them didn’t turn on. So, to avoid a defunct oven spoiling our chance of seeing some star bakes, Victoria sponge mixes are prepared and placed into each oven at exactly the same time by members of the production crew. The contestants are also shown how to use the ovens, although that hasn’t completely stopped those awkward moments where a baker is grilling a cake…