Hugh Laurie: It’s ‘f–king galling’ to watch Tom Hiddleston play the lead in ‘TNM’

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Beyond one local magazine cover profile, Tom Hiddleston hasn’t done much to promote The Night Manager’s premiere this month on the BBC. Hopefully, he’ll be around to promote the thing in April, when it airs in America on AMC. Don’t you think Kong: Skull Island will be done by then? I hope so. So, with Hiddles in the wind, the promotional duties have fallen on Hugh Laurie. And he’s doing a brilliant job! He spoke to a British outlet this week about how he originally wanted to play Tom’s role – Jonathan Pine, the lead – when he first read John Le Carre’s book years ago. So now that Laurie is older, he’s playing Richard Roper, the “bad guy,” not the hero. And watching a whippersnapper like Hiddles play Pine is “f—king galling” according to Laurie.

Richard Onslow Roper, we are told early into this classy BBC John Le Carre adaptation, is the ”worst man in the world.” He is an arms dealer, a posh, plausible and fabulously smooth scion of the English upper classes whose cut glass accent belies a ruthlessness which is felt from the minute we first see him in a video espousing platitudes about some charitable cause he is fronting.

The Etonian actor wanted to play the part of the heroic Jonathan Pine when he first fell in love with the book back in the early 1990s. But it has taken a while to get this drama on TV (film producers tried and tried but the story was just too complicated to get into 90 minutes, I am told).

And in the intervening years Laurie has matured into a seasoned star. The man who found global fame as the grouchy lead of hit drama House is now more than capable of playing the super sharp villain. Jonathan Pine, the eponymous night manager and decent cove, is played by Tom Hiddleston.

Or as Laurie put it at the press launch: “Twenty five years ago I dreamed of optioning the book in the role of producer which it turns out I am absolutely pathetic at. But back then I rather arrogantly dreamed of playing the character Jonathan Pine and now I have to sit back and watch Tom Hiddleston being really virile and charming and it’s really f***ing galling to watch.”

[From Radio Times]

Tom Hiddleston. Virile. Charming. Sure. Just FYI though… a lot of women like craggy old bastards, and I’m one of them, which is why I have a great deal of affection for Hugh Laurie. And I think Hugh could easily give Hiddles a run for his money in sexiness. Hiddles is more “cute” you know? Anyway, I don’t think Hugh taking over the Roper role is any big knock – it really does look like the juicy, scene-chewing role. Here’s the trailer for The Night Manager:

TNM3

TNM2

Photos courtesy of the BBC & WENN.

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118 Responses to “Hugh Laurie: It’s ‘f–king galling’ to watch Tom Hiddleston play the lead in ‘TNM’”

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  1. Locke Lamora says:

    I think Tom looks like a young version of Hugh, circa Blackadder. They are quite similar. Both are very attractive.
    I didn’t know Hugh went to Eton.

    • swak says:

      My thought too. He could be Laurie’s son.

    • InvaderTak says:

      Can he please play Wooster at some point???

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Speaking of Jeeves and Wooster, I always thought Stephen Fry was very attractive in that.

      • Malificent says:

        I could see a mash-up out of that. Jeeves and the Night Manager. I’m sure croquet mallets can be a lethal weapon in the right hands.

    • lilacflowers says:

      Hugh went to the Dragon School. And Eton. And Cambridge. Just like Tom. But he isn’t asked about it in every interview. Unlike Tom.

      • Velvet, Crushed says:

        A worthy point, @lilac.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Poor Tom. The price he has to pay for all that privilege,
        But I agree, Hugh should be asked about it too.

      • Sixer says:

        No, but the BBC did invest in an entire documentary detailing the nepotism and influence of Cambridge Footlights in British TV comedy that featured him significantly. He took it in good part, which is the point really. Poor Ickle Picked On Tommy would probably spontaneously combust with the reverse classism of it all.

        And actually, not no. If Hugh’s been asked once about being a Cambridge rowing blue and competing in the Boat Race, he’s been asked a thousand times.

        Like I say, if LEGS ever once properly engaged with questions about unfair stratifications instead of trying to deflect them with a narcissistic reflex to defend his own identity, the whole thing would either go away entirely or at least become less of a thorn in his side. Just as it has for Hugh, Emma Thompson, and all the others.

        He doesn’t, so it doesn’t.

        PS: calling Nutballs! Happy Valley S2 starts next week, so get thee to iPlayer!

      • p'enny says:

        Hugh has been around on UK TV anyway for 30 plus years, the questions about his education are not really relevant anymore. Loooooong long time ago, and he often says that he was no academic and skipped a lot lessons, where Tom is very much an academic.

      • jammypants says:

        Well you know Lilac, Tom’s said many times how privileged he is, but let that fly over everyone’s head, since he didn’t answer with the ideal template answers they want him to, even though that changes nothing about the problematic system itself. Not trying to press buttons, just feeling bitchy :P

      • KTE says:

        Might be something to do with the fact that people used to be happy and impressed at Cambridge Alums doing well. Footlights is kind of legendary in comedy circles, and there didn’t used to be any finger-wagging when ex-members succeeded. It only seems to be in the past 10-15 years that having been to Oxbridge marks you out as being ‘priviledged’ and therefore somehow undeserving of your success. I see that all the time online now, despite the fact that at least 50% of Oxbridge students come from state-school backgrounds.

        I think it’s probably connected to university fees being introduced and grants scrapped, and has only intensified as fees have increased ridiculously.

      • Ariadne says:

        Part of the reason Hugh isn’t asked about it so much is because his comedy show with Stephen Fry was the most Oxbridge thing ever. They made their background the butt of many jokes and I think that’s partly why it gets left alone. Stephen still refers to it a lot on QI and it’s always tongue in cheek and very funny.

      • Sixer says:

        Exactly, Ariadne.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        Sixer, now that I’ve got a proper BBC account, I saw the email this week. Very happy for more Happy Valley. Sally Wainwright is my newest favorite. I see on her IMDB that she’s got a lot of work out there outside of this and Last Tango in Halifax. What else should I attempt to see if I can?

        My two cents on Hugh is that Tom’s not the only stud in this production. Then again, I have a soft spot for curmudgeons and I adored him as House.

        Specific to this thread’s topic, I don’t think that any answer Tom would give to his privilege would generate criticism. But he will be asked about it and so he ought to come up with a more satisfying response, one that doesn’t deflect from the realities of the issue or come off as whining about reverse classism. This is a real problem for many people so it deserves not to be treated that way. He doesn’t need to be apologetic about his own advantages or feel guilty about what he personally gained. It is what it is. But for those who feel held back by the system, it would do him good from a PR standpoint to be able to communicate effectively that he understands and gets why this is such a big deal to others.

      • Cranberry says:

        Agree with @Ariadne that Hugh and Fry made fun of Oxbridge culture so that provided a lot of awareness of who they were in the first place.

        Also, this was way back before social media were everyone puts their two cents in and passes judgement creating a lot of BS controversy over petty things that aren’t appropriately addressing the actual issue anyway.

        Tom has acknowledged his privilege several times not just in that recent trivial article. Honestly you know it would make no difference if he were to yet again approach the subject but only more forthcoming. So what if he deflected this last time. Repeatedly trying to hold actors that are trying to make it in a cut throat industry accountable for their privilege as if their supposed to apologize for it is just harassment. It’s great if an actor does talk about important issues and addresses their own privilege or views on class, but to dictate that all the privilege must do the same and do it “correctly” is just an exercise in hostility. What should matter more is whether that actor is a good person not holding them accountable for a system they did not create even if they did benefit from it. Politicians and those that hold real economic power, ‘The Players’ (not upper middle class actors) are who should repeatedly be held to task.

      • spidey says:

        Sixer I have the feeling that whatever Tom says on the subject fault will be found, especially in some quarters.

        And of course when Hugh was getting going in his career I doubt the issue of privilege and education was was brought up every single time he was interviewed in the way it has since tuition fees were introduced.

      • jammypants says:

        @spidey: “I doubt the issue of privilege and education was was brought up every single time he was interviewed in the way it has since tuition fees were introduced.”

        Perhaps that’s where it started? I noticed the younger actors getting pegged with these questions all the time, as if it’s their fault they put in these schools at young ages.

        @Cranberry: “Repeatedly trying to hold actors that are trying to make it in a cut throat industry accountable for their privilege as if their supposed to apologize for it is just harassment. It’s great if an actor does talk about important issues and addresses their own privilege or views on class, but to dictate that all the privilege must do the same and do it “correctly” is just an exercise in hostility.”

        I feel the exact same way, and this is from someone who grew up poor (and as a female PoC), a lot of disadvantages. I don’t judge those who were born luckier than me. I judge how our tax dollars get uneven wealth distribution through loopholes, government buyouts, and tax dodging. One of my best friends was born rich. I’ve been friends with her since childhood. I can’t give a flying rats ass if she acknowledges her privilege or not.

        @Nutballs: “But for those who feel held back by the system, it would do him good from a PR standpoint to be able to communicate effectively that he understands and gets why this is such a big deal to others.”

        That’s a good point. He doesn’t have an answer, but maybe he should work on one. He won’t ever stopped being asked, so might as well come prepared.

      • Sixer says:

        Nutballs: Scott & Bailey and Unforgiven. She’s very good, Wainwright, and always getting better.

        All: LEGS keeps his public profile totally nailed down. We all know that. So, for all we know, his private self could be the worst of the entitled Bullingdon type. It could be that he has crippling self esteem issues that make it difficult for him to look in this particular mirror. It could be somewhere inbetween. You guys, as his internet girlfriends, can go for the kindest interpretations if you like. That’s entirely fair enough.

        My position is this: he has LEGS, is a decent actor, and generally makes pretty good project choices, so I will continue to watch him. But if he continues to respond to this question with the equivalent of reverse racism anecdotes and deflections or trying to shut down discussion on the basis it’s divisive to mention it, I will call him an arse. Because he is being an arse. And that’s it and the end of it for me.

        But I will tell you this: unless he comes up with a different response, he will never stop getting asked. Even pompous BENNY doesn’t get asked any more for heavens sakes and he’s possibly the most entitled twit on the planet. He can go the route of mocking himself. He can tell interviewers to eff the eff off. He can become a spokesperson for the need for better access. It really doesn’t matter. But if he carries on as is, it’ll be the albatross around his neck forever.

        He’s spending a fortune on an expensive agency. It can’t be beyond their combined wits to come up with something to make it go away.

      • Cranberry says:

        Me too jammypants. I’m also female POC that grew up poor. Also my mother was very involved with civil rights activism so I grew up with a healthy does of race, gender and class inequality discussions around me. This economic inequality issue is treacherous and pervasive. Which is why it’s important to be careful not to let it slide into the muck of hate and quick judgement of people based only on one aspect, their socio-economic background. This can go both ways, if we’re always quick to judge the privilege just on that, then the reverse of judging the poor will be acceptable too. If we’re all going to be judged on our background then poor people will be stereotyped as no good or violent or unintelligent, etc. Just saying that anger, fear and ignorance can run both ways. For me, I’ve always wanted to be careful not judge someone just because I don’t identify or understand their background because I don’t want them to judge me for the same reason.

      • Cranberry says:

        @sixer

        Well I too hope he comes up with a satisfactory but honest way to handle this repeating question. Although I’m not sure I agree that it’ll just go away. But I do think you’re making too much of this. You seem to be a bit hyper critical when it comes to this and Tommy makes a good punching bag I suspect. I can definitely agree with your passion regarding the issue. I just don’t agree with your selected target as deserving of this level of recrimination. Come back to the light my friend. Don’t fret to much, it will give you wrinkles.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Perhaps because he isn’t likely get all shirty and take the question personally, which Tom does whenever the question comes up.

        The issue isn’t really about what school he went to. It’s about attitude. It isn’t even about wealth. It is about awareness, and Tom does seem to wear his class on his sleeve more so than most.

        Until he comes up with a response that shows some consciousness on this rather important nontrivial issue of inequality, he is going to get that question again and again. And he should. It is not an injustice and his insistence on treating as such is straight out of the Obnoxious Things Privileged People Say handbook.

        If I were his PR person, I would coach him on this: Don’t take it personally. It’s not about apologizing for who you are. Nobody is attacking you. Nor does the question imply that you have not worked hard or do not deserve your success. The question calls for you to simply be aware that there is a larger social problem, and (brace yourself) you *could* take it as a compliment when the question comes up– e.g., maybe the interviewer feels that you are smart, aware, and sensitive and able to talk about these larger issues. Just do that in the same way you might talk about any other issue, like feminism. Oh and also? Don’t friggin make it all about you, okay?

        Sorry but Tom has a problem. So far as I can see, Hugh does not. I say this as one who likes Tom, but he has got to start getting a clue.

        All this said: I am really looking forward to TNM. It looks good!

      • ennuiarethechampions says:

        I actually think his last answer would have been fine if he’d left off the defensive bits. If he’d just said, “There’s an inequality of access and I benefitted from that. I don’t know the answer to fixing the inequality, but I wish I did because everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the arts regardless of background,” and left it at that, I think that would have been good enough. That’s close to what he said, and I think he’s also made similar statements in the past. The problem comes in when he doesn’t stop there, but also makes statements that seem to minimize the issue or suggest that it shouldn’t be discussed. Maybe he could make the above statement, and then before he can say any more, one of you guys could rush in with one of the ball gags you seem to have lying around? :-)

      • Dara says:

        I’m going to make a sweeping generalization here, but it seems to me most of the non-Brits (internet girlfriends or no) really don’t see what is all that objectionable in how Tom has been answering the privilege question, while the Brits in the crowd are ready to start throwing stones at him.

        It’s not that he’s dodging the question, he has answered it – repeatedly. It’s just that his answer is one some don’t like. He’s been roundly criticized by a few here in CB land for always giving bland PR-friendly answers, or saying what he thought people wanted to hear – and now the one time he doesn’t do that he’s being criticized again. He can’t win.

      • lilacflowers says:

        I’m actually coming at this, not as internet girlfriend, but great granddaughter of a British coal miner and granddaughter of working class Brits who left Liverpool because there was no opportunity for them. Unlike many Americans, I don’t believe that simply working hard magically brings success. I know people need help and that employers need to look outside their own networks. I got my own education because I got help. But, and here I confess to cultural ignorance, I don’t understand what this Posh Act of Contrition is expected to accomplish. A few years ago, I watched Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael coerce Jessica Brown-Findlay into apologizing for being posh. Last week, I saw that some woman had started a petition to ban Damian Lewis from speaking at a state comprehensive school because “he went to Eton and those are not the values we want here.” I spent the first years of my legal career doing poverty law, particularly around the areas of access to health care. I now do labor law and a good part of my practice involves employment discrimination. My clients would not have benefited from rich people declaring that they knew they were privileged because they had access to health care or could get good jobs through their fancy school networks. They would benefit from rich people voting to ensure that all have access to good schools and good health care. Yes, I do realize that there are insensitive and clueless and some outright selfish and cruel affluent people, who do need to acknowledge that they had everything much easier than others. Ann Romney’s declaration during her husband’s Senate campaign against Ted Kennedy that people on welfare should have pride and sell their stock instead of applying for food stamps immediately comes to mind. (Ann’s contact with the media has been tightly controlled since that blunder.) But that doesn’t seem to the case here.

      • Cranberry says:

        Thank you @Lilac. Very well said as usual. This is a very important issue that I think everybody agrees with is a cultural and economic problem in society. Sure public individuals should be held accountable for their ignorant or insensitive statements, but those blunders should be pretty blatant like your Ann Romney example. I don’t believe Tom’s defensiveness to this repeated question was that offensive. Maybe not ideal fine, but he’s just human too. Even the rich and privileged can be insecure or make small, relatively harmless blunders. To some degree Tom is unaware of what the non-privileged experience is, but I think there’s been many times he’s tried to show solidarity and support to under privilege actors and people he’s come across like inner city children school. So it’s a shame he’s to be cast as an insensitive posh boy that knows and cares for no one but himself just because he’s made a small mishap in an industry where he is held under a microscope.

        @Miss Jupitero – No the issue is not trivial but the way it is conducted as in the case of this interview was trivial and insincere. And I don’t think Tom has any significant problem more that most actors. If Hugh were to be just starting out today, he would be having a hard time of it too with social media weighing in and without Fry backing him up. Plus it helped that he started in comedy.

      • Pepper says:

        Tom and Benedict and Eddie and to a certain extent Damien give off a posh vibe. It’s not a bad thing, but they do just kind of look and talk like people who went to the very best public schools.

        Laurie and Emma Thompson not so much. Mitchell & Webb not so much. Dominic West is about as posh as you can get, but until he played a posh character after The Wire, no one had really picked up on that and asked him about it.

        Stephen Fry has spent a great deal of time discussing and writing about his time at boarding school and at Cambridge. Partly because it’s not something he can really escape, he screams Oxbridge.

      • Tina says:

        The other reason that Hiddleston is asked about Eton and Laurie isn’t is because there was a healthier mix of posh and working class actors in the 80s, when Laurie was coming up (which is pathetic, but true). There weren’t multiple OEs coming up at the same time, as there are now.

      • spidey says:

        In the 80s people complained because the actors all went to Cambridge. Funnily enough a lot of them ended up working with/for Ken Branagh who went to the local comp and whose dad was a plumber.

      • Sixer says:

        Guys – you’re arguing straw men. I am not suggesting LEGS should apologise for being posh. I never have. I am registering my disapproval at LEGS employing reverse classist arguments when he is asked about Eton. And it’s not as though he’s just done it the once: he’s a repeat offender.

        Cranberry: I don’t have a “selected target”. I’m an equal opportunities critic.

        These are my views: reverse racism is NOT a thing. Reverse sexism is NOT a thing. Reverse classism is NOT a thing.

        Every time a celebrity with whom I am familiar suggests any of these actually IS a thing, I will register my disapproval in the comments section. If Charlotte Rampling suggests reverse racism is a thing, I register my disapproval. If LEGS suggests reverse classism is a thing, I register my disapproval.

        My advice to LEGS is this: stop suggesting reverse classism is a thing. 1) because it is NOT a thing. 2) because every time you suggest it is a thing, you ensure that you will continue to be asked this question. There is a reason nobody else is asked any more and your reverse classism response is that reason.

        Simples.

      • SloaneY says:

        Sixes- see, I didn’t get the same thing you did from that interview. I thought he was merely trying to deflect the question, not pull a reverse racism thing. I thought he was tired of people asking him specifically about Eton, and his was response was to say, hey look at all these great actors (male and female, some of who are on the posh end and some who aren’t) who didn’t go to ETON.

        I still think you have your mind made up and unless he says whatever the perfect thing in your head is, you won’t be happy. And even if he did, you would come up with something else that makes him out of touch.

        I’m not saying he isn’t somewhat out of touch, but I really don’t get an overtly racist or classist vibe from him a la Ann Romney.

      • Sixer says:

        Ha. SloaneY. You may be right. He’s done it so many times now, and I’ve moaned about it on here every single time he has, going back years. So even if he gets a decent response going, I’m unlikely to credit it as genuine. But what you lot could hope for is that I wouldn’t use the comment section to register my disapproval that his response is total self-serving shite. If he doesn’t say it, I won’t moan about it. So you guys would be happy, at least!

      • Crumpet says:

        What is this ‘LEGS’ business? I can’t figure it out.

      • Nutballs says:

        I concur that Sixer is an equal opportunity critic.

        I think that some can’t hear tell of any criticism of their beloved Hiddles and will always rise to his defense. While that’s an important trait in a friend- – to interpret their statements in the best possible light – - when applied to an celebrity with a carefully managed image, it comes off a bit as blind devotion to me. Especially when a critic’s statements are interpreted in the worst possible light, and given meanings beyond a face value interpretation.

        I prefer a balance of praise and criticism because of people don’t agree on something, it probably means it’s an important issue to discuss.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Every thing Sixer just said, +1,000,000

      • Cranberry says:

        @sixer

        I’m with you that reverse racism, sexism, classism is not a thing. But I don’t see Tom pulling the reverse classism card in this case, nor have I heard him ever say or imply that he subscribes to that view in fact quite the opposite. I’ve read and watched a lot of TH interviews too and although he might be insecure regarding his background and somewhat out of touch, I’ve never perceived any elitist or overt entitlement attitude from him. I understand that his entitlement, to a degree, is embedded and unconscious in him because of his class and upbringing. But I also think he was brought up to be gracious, kind and compassionate to others, and I’ve recognized this in his actions and statements on many occasions, and I don’t think it’s an act either. I’ve been on the planet a while now, and don’t generally invest much time in celebrity culture – it’s so invasive throughout our commercialized society anyway. So I’m pretty confident in my ability to be balanced even in the case of a celeb crush.

        @Nutballs,

        Maybe it would be blind devotion if you had really made your case, but you’ve merely speculated the worst interpretation of his responses. I truly think your criticism is overreaching and not an accurate interpretation of the events which is why I’m arguing the point not because of any loyalty to Hotness himself especially if he were to have behaved selfishly entitled. Honestly I see a lot of unchecked, overreaction against anything “posh” in the UK. Most of it is so hostile that it just becomes divisive and accomplishes nothing but more hostility, and I’m from poor working class background and in principle no defender of the rich.

      • Cranberry says:

        @Crumpet

        Tom is 6’2″ and is all legs. Since some of us enjoy us some long, tall drink of lanky legs Tom, he has earned yet another nickname, LEGS.

    • Alex says:

      Same. Hiddles always reminds me of Hugh…very similar affect to me. I love Hugh though he plays villain really well.

    • Mel M says:

      For sure. I never really got the attraction for TH but this trailer, damn!

    • spidey says:

      They didn’t go on about it when he was starting out like they do now.

    • Natalia says:

      Tom Hiddleston: Not sexy at all. Ugh.
      Hugh Laurie: MAJOR sexy.

  2. Kitten says:

    Ever since House, I find Hugh Laurie so, so sexy.

    I think Hiddleston is cute and I get why the ladies crush on him, but he’s not sexy at all to me.

    • mia girl says:

      Kitten – Given your feelings for Laurie, the note I left you on the Clooney thread applies even more. Watch the Kimmel clip from last night.

    • V4Real says:

      I used to love House. Hugh and Tom does look a tad bit alike.

      I only found Hiddles hot as Loki like some fan girls do. He does seem like a sweetheart though.

  3. kri says:

    Hugh Laurie could night manage me anytime. I adore him.

  4. Mia4s says:

    Hugh>>>Hiddles

    Come at me. ;-)

    • Holmes says:

      Why on earth would anyone “come at you”?

      • Mia4s says:

        Don’t underestimate the Dragonflies. They’re friendly…but scary. ;-)

      • Dara says:

        What’s the point of being friendly unless you can use it as a diversionary tactic to lull your intended victim into a false sense of safety? It works best when you want to sneak up on someone and severe an artery before they even know what has happened.

        Hmm, it occurs to me I may have just proven your point.

    • jammypants says:

      Since I’m not attracted to Hugh in that way, we’re good :P

  5. GreenBunny says:

    Hugh Laurie is so hot. He’s hot as cranky House, he’s super hot when you get to hear his accent, and as he gets older he gets hotter to me. TH doesn’t do it for me.

    • jammypants says:

      Hugh is definitely more attractive as an older man. When he was young, I didn’t think he was hot.

  6. Hannah says:

    Nothing against laurie and Hiddleston, both nice actors. But the BBC is as bad as Hollywood when it comes to diversity. All these white old Etonian actors in the lead, black and Asian actors are at best sidekicks. Unless it’s idris in Luther. It’s always the same lily white faces on the BBC, it’s really tiresome at this point.

    • spidey says:

      Actually Hiddleston hasn’t been on BBC for 4 years and Laurie since??????????????

      • Hannah says:

        I think you misunderstood my comment. It wasn’t about hiddleston and laurie specifically. I am talking about the casting at the BBC in general. It’s lily white.

      • jammypants says:

        I noticed the lily white faces on their big budget spring lineup like War and Peace, The Night Manager, and And Then There Were None for leads. If they modernize And Then There Were None (they didn’t), they could have diversified it more. The Night Manager has David Harewood and a rather diverse supporting cast, but none of them are leads. The Night Manager is modern in setting, so they could have easily made Roeper and/or Pine different races, but they didn’t. You’re right about that.

    • p'enny says:

      BBC TV production is more diverse than most, but it does get into trouble for bad stereotyping especially in comedies and soaps. But, BBC Three is where most of diversity lies and now that is being stripped down to internet TV only. And, then BBC Tv will lose even more opportunities to provide finance to new TV productions. BBC2 though is still the best place for diverse drama, but there just isnt enough of it in between all the documentaries.
      I really want my license money back

      • Janey says:

        BBC is really not that diverse. In most of their dramas the lead actor is white. They rarerly give a brown or black person the lead. Channel 4 is better at diversity. BBC programming target the white middle class. David hardwood has a part but as usual it’s not the lead. Guys like Tom Hughes, Ben whishaw, cumberbatch and hiddleston get the leads at the BBC.

      • Sixer says:

        Second Janey. The BBC is atrocious. ITV better and C4 better still.

        The only black lead I can recall from this year on the Beeb aside from the Luther special is Ashley Walters in Cuffs. It didn’t get renewed and it certainly didn’t get the money spent on it that other dramas do.

        And unless it’s a soap or a procedural, you only see middle class contemporary stories on the BBC. It doesn’t commission people like Shane Meadows, with the notable exception of Sally Wainwright.

        But Penny is right that they do better on the BBC3 youth channel, particularly with regard to factual programming.

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      +1000000000

  7. MexicanMonkey says:

    I was just recently struck by how similar Hiddleston and Laurie actually look. They could easily play father and son.

    I can’t wait for this series, I think it will see brilliant.

  8. Sara says:

    Hugh Laurie’s voice is so attractive. He is charming, witty and a musician. I mean….

  9. Sara says:

    Olivia COleman is a brilliant actress, so happy she can show off her range.

    • lilacflowers says:

      She was hilarious on Graham Norton when they showed the cast picture from TNM. I’m glad they recast the part of Burr as a woman.

  10. lilacflowers says:

    Tom may be cute but the character of Jonathan Pine is not. And let us give thanks for a woman director, Susanne Biers, because, if the trailer is any indication, we’re going to get lots of shots of Jonathan Pine smoldering, and moving, and just looking yummy. If a man were directing this, we would be seeing lots of shots of Elizabeth Dembicki’s character doing those things.

    Laurie seems to be having a good time playing Roper, the worst person in the world. Really looking forward to seeing this.

    • EnnuiAreTheChampions says:

      Yes, thank you Suzanne!

      Now if I had directed the series, it would have ended up consisting solely of that shot of him walking toward the camera wearing the henley, over and over on a loop. So it’s probably best that they didn’t ask me.

      • lilacflowers says:

        You would cut out the pool shot?

      • EnnuiAreTheChampions says:

        Good point. Four shots on a loop — henley, pool, bed with Sophie, and purposely slamming the hotel room door while pinning Jed against the wall. ::fans self::

      • Cranberry says:

        This would work for me. I’ll hire you. Shouldn’t be too hard to come us with the finances. :-)

      • ennuiarethechampions says:

        @cranberry, it’s a deal! We should probably raise extra money for legal expenses, though, as I might get carried away and get us sued by the High-Rise filmmakers for stealing and using their naked balcony footage.

      • Dara says:

        I’ll contribute to the legal defense fund if we can work a shirtless Adam into the line-up, especially the footage from the BTS documentary where Tom is prowling around the set getting into character for the “you drank Ian” scene.

    • p'enny says:

      it will be interesting to see how the story has changed, because Pine isnt a likeable character in the book. And, i believe the story has been polished to reflect modern times and the ending in the book is terrible, so i hope they solve that one.

      Still cant wait, love Hugh so much. He is another Tom really, but a lot funnier. Sorry Tom.

      • jammypants says:

        I thought Pine was likeable, especially to Roeper and Jed. Even Burr rooted for him. His Canadian visit broke a heart and warmed a bed. I think he’s a very attractive character, being a gourmet chef, former soldier, informant, hotel manager, seafarer :P

      • spidey says:

        @ jammy and mostly importantly – being Tom! :)

      • jammypants says:

        @spidey, oh yes, especially that ;)

  11. Mandy B says:

    OOh was that Tobias Menzies??

  12. Nancy says:

    I found it galling to watch House. Never understood the appeal of this guy.

    • Ally8 says:

      Ditto. I have a similar problem with the otherwise amusing Doc Martin, i.e. no one should be encouraging a terrible bedside manner in doctors (by portraying such behavior as hilariously lovable). There’s enough of that in the real world as it is.

    • Cranberry says:

      Me too. Couldn’t do it. Didn’t find the House character appealing but do like Hugh as an entertainer and all around very witty and talented gentleman.

  13. Arlene says:

    Is Hugh going to do that accent the whole way through the film? If so I’m out, I can’t bear listening to it in the trailer, let alone an entire film. His natural speaking voice is charming, I don’t know WHY he insists on this version of thespian vocal fry.

  14. L says:

    So it airs February on the BBC- when in February? What day,(s)? Why the heck doesn’t it say anywhere? It is actually February now; why keep the air date under wraps? Especially if the AMC date is released??

    • KTE says:

      BBC schedules are only released two weeks in advance. It goes back to the days pre-video when schedules were kept tightly under wraps to avoid the opposing channels scheduling their sure-fire established shows opposite new series to try and deny them an audience.

      It all seems a bit silly now, with so many catch-up options available, but on-the-night TV ratings are still used as a measure of success by many – especially in the press, who love nothing better than giving the BBC a good kicking – so I guess that’s why the pratice has persisted.

    • Ally8 says:

      Also, why the lag between the UK and the US releases? Absurd. The “And Then There Were None” episodes were uploaded within days (and taken down within days, but then other people uploaded them elsewhere); I just watched it on YouTube recently even though it still hasn’t aired on the US channel that bought it. The same will undoubtedly happen with “The Night Manager”. The actors are promoting it now; they cast Hiddleston partly for his fanbase… but they think people will just wait till April. Dopey.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        You can get a geo unblocker and watch it on BBC iPlayer when it airs in the UK. That’s what I’m doing. I’ve been enjoying several great BBC shows that aren’t yet available on Netflix.

      • jammypants says:

        Be careful of these region blockers. They compromise security and access and your ISP to bidders, the free blockers at least. That’s the catch with them being free.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        Jammy, I learned not to use Hola for the reasons you mentioned. I now use a paid service called “unblock-us” and I’ve been happy with it. My computer isn’t doing anything weird and viral scans show I’m protected.

      • jammypants says:

        @Nuts, glad to hear! There’s sadly a crackdown on region blocking from a lot of vendors. Maybe VPN will be the last one standing for bypassing region block and torrents.

        BBC seems to be working on a streaming service. Maybe we’ll finally get to be paying customers and use it in the future.

      • Nutballs says:

        Jammy, if they’d get with the rest of the 21st Century, no one would need to reroute through a foreign DNS! It amazes me that they haven’t figured out what Netflix has — there’s a lot of money to be made from paid subscription services if they make their shows available globally.

        On a side note, I discovered that after my free trial ended, all the BBC episodes I had downloaded still played, as long as my wi-fi was shut off. So I didn’t have to binge watch Dickensian, War & Peace, Luther and Hinterland in a week, before having to pay.

      • jammypants says:

        @nutballs, I think it explains a lot that BBC shows are slowly being yanked from Netflix. It created the whispering from viewers that BBC is working on a streaming service. They need to get on it like HBO has. I love that I only need to subscribe to HBO Now when there is a season premiering from a show I like.

        Edit: ok it’s actually happening, no longer a rumor http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/bbc-american-streaming-service/

        You should just screencast your streaming so you have a recording saved ;) I use simple apps like Quicktime and Voila to do the job (and sometimes trim videos to make gifs on Giphy).

      • NUTBALLS says:

        Well, I see some business manager wasn’t asleep at the wheel while streaming services make money on BBC productions. I don’t know if i’d pay much more than what I am for my unblocker which gives me access to what I want, but it’ll be interesting to see how things change in the future.

        This whole idea of showing TNM earlier in the UK than in the US was rather dumb. People who don’t have cable (or don’t want to wait) will just watch the BBC one instead. Silly AMC.

      • Sixer says:

        I think the problem for the BBC is that about 30% of its income comes from selling shows and formats overseas. Additionally, everyone in the UK has to pay roughly £150 a year for the BBC for the TV licence. They can’t really have an international streaming service that is cheaper than domestic citizens pay. Or an international streaming service that brings in less than the £1.5bn or so that overseas sales currently achieve. They’d have to have an international service with some kind of limitations on the content available, wouldn’t they?

      • NUTBALLS says:

        Sixer, I see what you mean. I guess they can charge what consumers are willing to pay. All I know is, if I’m paying $10-$15 a pop for Netflix, Hulu, BBC, HBO One, YouTube Red etc it wouldn’t take much to match what I was paying when I had cable 10 years ago. Fortunately, I don’t have time to watch Netflix and BBC as it is so I can keep my costs down!

    • murph says:

      the 21st

  15. jammypants says:

    I feel like Hugh is a hit or miss for me. He did nothing for me as House. He certainly looked hotter as House, but I didn’t like his character. I adored him in Black Adder and Fry and Laurie, but he was younger then, and younger Laurie did nothing for me. Maybe The Night Manager will finally get me on board ;)

    • Ally8 says:

      My favorite Hugh Laurie character is still his almost-cameo as the put-upon husband in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility. The way he unfolds the newspaper (irritated, resigned) after his wife has crumpled it lives in my memory!

      • Lilacflowers says:

        His facial expression when they learn that Winslet’s character has a fever and his wife whisks the baby out of the house!

      • jammypants says:

        I loved his character. He turned out to be a really thoughtful chap.

  16. Guest says:

    Hiddles is sexy when he is wearing suits. No one can wear a suit like him. Without the suit he is only cute. That’s it. And I really wonder why he did not promote the show a bit more. People from GB: are viewers even interested in this show? Just curious.

    • spidey says:

      Because he is busy filming in Hawaii/Australia/Vietnam?

      And I’ll take “only cute” if you don’t like it!!

      And I’m just hoping it is getting on for as good as the serial the Beeb did of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy in wait for it………………1979.

    • Cranberry says:

      IDK . That ultra fitted black leather jacket he used to wear back in the Thor days was more than just cute. It was delicious.

    • jammypants says:

      He’s sexy when he has no clothes on, ehem :D

      He’s one of the few men who makes cute sexy to me.

    • lilacflowers says:

      He promoted it at the TV convention in Pasadena at the end of the holiday hiatus for the Monkey Movie and I suspect that Guardian interview a few weeks ago was originally intended to promote the series before it turned into the “he went to Eton but doesn’t want to talk about it” show.

  17. spidey says:

    I tried to put the link in for this article but it got “disappeared” but if you google

    “Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie drama The Night Manager brings a Bond-like glamour and excitement to BBC1″

    You will find it.

    • ennuiarethechampions says:

      Yes! The article is very flattering to the series, as well as to both Tom and Hugh. I’m so excited for this show!

  18. Alexis says:

    For me, Hugh Laurie has always been pretty hot. Like I’d probably say he’s hotter older but that is more a product of the sort of work he does older. I enjoyed him in his Bit of Fry and Laurie/Blackadder days, too. It takes a lot of self-awareness to rule oneself out of a role you wanted to play due to age and play a role you suit better now on top of it.

    Tom Hiddleston has never done anything for me. I don’t get it. Weirdly I get the Cumberbatch love even though I don’t share it. But to each their own.

  19. Miss M says:

    In the meantime, he promotes the night manager via twitter. I can’t wait to see this movie!

  20. EscapedConvent says:

    Did I just see a glimpse of Tobias Menzies in that trailer? I think he’s fabulous. All three sexay English dudes in one thing, then? And I have to wait until April?

  21. Turkey says:

    Hugh has always make me weak. He does here too.

  22. raincoaster says:

    I saw Laurie on the street in Vancouver once, and however good he looks in pictures, he looks AMAZING in person. He is a very, very sexy man. Even though he smells like an ashtray.

    • SloaneY says:

      Ewe, really? Ugh, I know a lot of Brits smoke but it’s so disappointing to me when you find out someone you think is hot smells like an ashtray. Blegh. 🙁

  23. TotallyBiased says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. HIDDLESTON!