Kara Tointon, Spooks, House Prices – What’s Hot and What’s Trending 18 September 2011

18 Sep

Kara Tointon – Kara may be known to you as Dawn Swann in Eastenders or after last year she may be better known as the winner of the 2010 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

As well as winning the Strictly title last year Kara got herself a new man in her dance partner 29-year old Artem Chigvintsev, the Russian professional dancer who specialises in Latin dance routines.

Kara has said that it will not be easy for her watching the competitors in this year’s Strictly saying that she feels envious of them. Although she wants Artem to do as well as he can she has said that she will find it “really weird” watching him dancing on the show without her. She has said that as she works as an actress that sometimes means that she has to do things that might make Artem feel uncomfortable so she must respect the fact that dancing is his job.

She has nor spoken out about Artem’s partner for this series, the lovely Holly Valance was paired with him in last week’s opening show. That will really be a test for those jealous thoughts although she can take some comfort that Holly is also in a steady relationship and with a billionaire as well!

Kara has said that when she was playing the part of Dawn in Eastenders she used “chicken fillet” inserts to make the character appear more busty. Apparently during the filming of one scene she ran arounf too fast and the chicken fillets flew out of her top. She thinks that the scene made it into an outtakes video.

Alesha Dixon has also been talking about the new series of Strictly saying that she hopes like many other series this one provides some romance from the celebrities and professionals. She has said that as the competitors spend so much time together that some sort of affair is almost inevitable at some stage in the series. She aded that she thinks there are no single celebrities this year so that might make things a little different.

Spooks – the 10th, and apparently final, series of Spooks is starting tonight at 9pm on BBC1.

For anyone not familiar with the show it is about a group of MI5 officers working in Thames House in London. The series has become well known for killing off characters that you think are in it for the duration. In fact the only remaining main character from the first series is that of Sir Harry Pearce, the head of Section D (Counter Terrorism Dept) played by actor Peter Firth. Characters that have literally been killed off include those played by Rupert Penry-Jones and Lisa Faulkner. The characters played by Jenny Agutter and Keeley Hawes did not get killed off but were forced to leave the country.

The different series of Spooks have attracted a number of guest actors including Andy Serkis, Anthony Head, Hugh Laurie and Martine McCutcheon. The programmes tend to leave you either with a cliffhanger ending or an unexpected death. Those of you who saw the first series of Spooks will remember that Lisa Faulkner’s character Helen was violently killed using a deep fat fryer. This episode drew 2002’s largest number of complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Commission because of Helen’s killing.

The final series is set to show viewers more about what has made Harry Pearce tick. We will get to see a younger Harry (played by Sam Reid) during his time in the 1960’s dealing with the Cold War. There is also the prospect of seeing an earlier romance in Harry’s life. We are also promised that tonight’s first episode will have a major twist. The 10th and final series is set to have just 6 episodes like the first series.

Spooks has not just attracted great audience figures but has also won a number of award nominations including those from BAFTA for Best Drama Series in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2009, actually winning the award in 2003.

Take a look at these clips from the new series.

House prices – this is one of the great pre-occupations of the British. We seem to be very keen on monitoring the price of our houses. It seems that a lot of people think if their house rises in value it is the same as having more cash in your bank account. Sadly not, most house price movements just mean more money for solicitors, estate agents and the Government.

Recent news items have shown a drop in house prices although news this week expects prices to rise from this month.

It has been shown that the average deposit required is now £66k. This represents a tenfold increase over the last 20 years. One reason for this is the reduced level of mortgages available now compared to 20 years ago.

You can check the price of housing in your area or anywhere else by visiting nethouseprices.

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