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Top Gear keeps on racking up the accolades. In December, viewers of UK broadcaster Channel 4 named it the “Best Program of the Noughties.” And just yesterday, we reported that Season 12 of the automotive series was the sixth most-downloaded TV season on iTunes last year. Now, Top Gear has been nominated for Best Factual Program at Britain’s National Television Awards, a rough equivalent to our People’s Choice Awards. Top Gear has won Best Factual Program three years in a row. It faces off against BBC AMERICA’s The Apprentice this year.

Other BBC AMERICA nominees include The Inbetweeners and Gavin and Stacey, both up for Best Comedy Program. Doctor Who is nominated for Best Drama, and departing star David Tennant competes with DemonsPhilip Glenister for Best Drama Performance. Voting has opened on the National Television Awards website. I’m not sure if international votes count, however.

In other news:

  • Katty Kay, Washington correspondent for BBC World News America, was named one of “Washington’s top talking heads” by bookers of Sunday morning talk shows.(Washington Examiner)

  • ABBA‘s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus were once tapped to do a Torchwood musical, show creator Russell T Davies reveals in his new book, The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter.(BBC)
  • The Times looks ahead at the year in pop, which includes a new Goldfrapp album. (Yay!) They also note, “With so many A-list arena-packers lying low for the year – Amy Winehouse, Take That, Paul McCartney, Britney, Madonna, Beyoncé, David Bowie, and Kings of Leon among them – the vacancies for new stars are manifold. Jedward had perhaps best not get their hopes up.”
  • Even with some extra belly, I still wouldn’t kick Gerard Butler out of bed for eating crackers. Or fish ‘n’ chips, for that matter.(The Sun)
  • Gwen Stefani and her British rocker husband, Gavin Rossdale, show off their gym bodies on the Caribbean beach.(Daily Mail)
  • Rage Against the Machine is planning a free gig in the UK to celebrate beating X Factor winner Joe McElderry for the Christmas No. 1. And they want Simon Cowell as the host. RATM guitarist Tom Morello told “We’ve invited him [Cowell] to be the presenter of our free show so we have to see how he responds…We’re thrilled about doing it. It’s going to be the victory celebration to end all victory celebrations. If ‘Killing In The Name’ is the song that liberated the UK charts, we are planning to go there and make it as big and as free as can be.”
  • Sir Paul McCartney agreed to play on Travis frontman Fran Healy‘s solo album. As a “thank you” to the former Beatle, Healy’s gone vegetarian.(Guardian)
  • The final season of Celebrity Big Brother is airing in the UK, featuring an eclectic cast of has-beens, almost-weres, and hot messes; actor Vinnie Jones, Alex Reid (Katie Price‘s cage fighter boyfriend), Ekaterina Ivanova (Ronnie Wood‘s ex), Heidi Fless, Swedish producer Basshunter, rapper Lady Sovereign, “Thong Song” singer Sisqó, and Stephen Baldwin are all in the house. The show started Sunday, and yes, controversy had already happened. The person I feel most badly for in the house is Stephanie Beacham, who could still have a career as a soap villainess if she wanted to. (She rocked as Dynasty‘s Sable Colby back in the ’80s.) Time for new management, lady.
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.