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Catherine Tate nude” has become one of the highest-ranked Google search terms for Anglophenia. Clearly, lots of folks out there want a gander at Ms. Tate’s tumbling apples. (No, you won’t find them here.) But Tate’s performance as a horny schoolteacher in Under the Blue Sky is not some striptease stunt; it’s a real performance. Tate’s reviews have been almost uniformly positive. The Evening Standard‘s Nicholas de Jongh isn’t crazy about the play itself, but he calls Tate’s creation “splendid.” The Times’ Benedict Nightingale says Tate is “outrageously, hilariously, horribly slatternly.” The Daily Telegraph‘s Charles Spencer offers the most ecstatic praise:

At first Tate seems to be offering her default performance – noisy, crude, in-yer-face – while deploying her formidable bust like a weapon of mass distraction. But there is desperation beneath her cruel taunting, and as her creepy date, subtly played by Dominic Rowan, turns sinister, the piece becomes deeply painful.

There’s a dramatic courage in Tate’s explicit, no-holds-barred performance that bodes well for her career as a serious actress.

Why are people so stunned that Tate has chops? For some reason, people expect to be super-annoyed by her, thinking she can only play the out-sized “Am I bovvered?” characters from her sketch show. Look at the criticism she faced when she was announced as the new sidekick on Doctor Who. Now, after ably taking the reins from Freema Agyeman, she’s a fan favorite. Can we move past the shock and awe and respect the immense talent this woman has?

In other news:

  • You wanted new Doctor Who monsters: new showrunner Steven Moffat is giving them to you. He told audiences at Comic-Con that “we’re not in the business of being nostalgic, we’re making nostalgia for the future, new monsters, new friends.”(BBC)

  • The Mighty Boosh boys offer 10 secrets for success in The Times. One secret: “Keep it in the family.” Noel Fielding says, “Actors, I don’t know about. They’re not really people that I get on with; they’re very pompous and earnest. Often we write things with someone in mind – Bollo the gorilla is my best friend from art college; Naboo the shaman is my brother, our parents have all been in it, my mate does the animations. Casting’s a bit like being God, really. It’s ridiculous, all our family and friends; it’s like an art project.”
  • Robin Hood‘s Richard Armitage‘s greatest hits.(
  • Comedy duo Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller – the actor best-known as Worst Week of My Life‘s Howard and Primeval‘s Lester – have started their own comedy podcast at The Times. They play Times Online’s new “idiot savant cultural commentators,” Martin Baine-Jones and Craig Children.
  • Didn’t know The Daily Telegraph fancies itself a society rag, but you’ll be pleased to know that Emma Watson entertained three male suitors at a polo match in Windsor. (Slut! Just kidding.) “Her admirers included Italian actor Roberto Agnillera, a friend from RADA with whom she sat in the royal box to watch the match; Michael Walker, an 18-year-old who has just left Eton and is waiting to find out if he has won a place at Cambridge University; and Francis Boulle, a philosophy student at Edinburgh University.”
  • The first David Byrne/Brian Eno collaboration in 27 years will be released August 18th.(Guardian)
  • Carl Barat‘s favorite songs.(NME)
  • Since I left you yesterday, Amy Winehouse has been admitted and released from the hospital after a “reaction to medication.”(BBC)
  • Sir Salman Rushdie, who was nominated for a Booker Prize today, told Newsnight that he may just write that book on his fatwa. (BBC)
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.