Soccer superstar David Beckham is preparing to play seven matches on seven continents for BBC One special Beckham: For The Love Of The Game. The former England captain will join local communities from all walks of life who play the beautiful game in some of the most challenging, remote and extreme locations on the planet. He will travel to the likes of Papau New Guinea and the frozen wastelands of Antarctica to meet the locals and play a seven-a-side or 11-a-side game with two teams drawn from the community. The 90-minute special was jointly ordered by BBC Worldwide and the BBC from 7 Games and Big Earth Productions. Beyond the pitch, Becks will explore the lives of those who struggle to make a living in environments that present a daily challenge as well as those who get to live the dream when they make it to the big leagues. The journey ends where it all began for Beckham at Old Trafford, where he plays his final game with a host of internationally renowned football legends who he played for and against during his career.
Maisie Williams is scoring a hat trick with Doctor Who. The Game Of Thrones star recently appeared on the show for the first time as Viking girl Ashildr in the episode titled “The Girl Who Died.” This weekend, she returned for “The Woman Who Lived.” Williams will now have a third guest shot in the season’s 10th episode, “Face The Raven,” penned by Sarah Dollard. Dollard was on a panel over the weekend at the MCN London Comic Con, where creator Steven Moffat insisted Williams is not the new companion. Current companion Jenna Coleman is exiting at the end of the season to star in ITV drama Victoria.
Under a new rule designed to maintain smooth governance of the Biennale di Venezia, Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera’s contract has been extended by one year. His four-year mandate normally expires in December this year, as does the mandate of Venice Film Fest president Paolo Baratta. The Ministry of Culture appoints the president who in turn appoints the artistic director. But if there were a delay, it could mean a hiccup in programming plans for 2016. To avoid that, the law allows the extension of the mandates for a year — and likely will lead to each being renewed for further four-year terms. This step will guarantee that in the future there will be a year’s difference between the end of the term of office of the Board of Directors and the mandate of the Artistic Directors, making the planning process more effective and efficient, and ensuring continuity in the activities, the festival said today. Barbera is coming off of four strong years on the Lido, where he’s had the world premieres of such major titles as Gravity, Birdman, Everest, Spotlight and Black Mass.
Over the weekend, China’s state news agency, Xinhua, reported that Chinese officials have said they will look to further crack down on box office fraud. Ticket sales in the No. 2 global market were allegedly inflated earlier this year on such titles as Hundred Regiments Offensive, Monster Hunt and Lost In Hong Kong. Xinhua says media watchdog SAPPRFT is planning to introduce more technical measures and stricter regulation to improve management of ticket sales, threatening to blacklist offenders. This comes after a national digital platform was implemented in 2014 to get everyone on the same page. But that hasn’t stopped some. SAPPRFT deputy head Li Dong told CCTV that statistics from the platform “show that a few cinemas and distributors have manipulated viewing figures and sales. For example, 300 tickets may be sold in a hall of 200 seats and all tickets sold are counted at full price.”