Archive for tira shubart

“Taking the Flak” goes Down Under: Damian O’Hare on Australian TV

Posted in taking the flak, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 7 January, 2010 by ambarussa

I’m interrupting my daily scheduled snow-shoveling to remind you that “Taking the Flak”, the BBC’s dramedy will start its run on Australian telly today. The show will be aired on Thursdays, 10pm, on ABC2.

Taking the Flak on ABC

Damian won’t show up before episode three, but that’s no reason for missing the start of the series; it’s really good.

“(…) Sharp, witty, political and relatively fresh, so of course it’s on at matchsticks-holding-eyelids-open time. Programming genius. (…)”

“(…) It’s 100-mile-a-minute comedy with a witty script and fantastically funny British and Kenyan actors. (…)”

Damian O'Hare as Rory Wallace and Doon Mackichan as Jane Thomason in "Taking the Flak"

You can find the schedule for “Taking the Flak” and other TV series / movies Damian’s been in in the


section of this blog. The listings are not complete (solely based on google alert), though.

Ambarussa’s Big Yuletide Contest!

Posted in taking the flak, tv, Uncategorized, website with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 7 December, 2009 by ambarussa

Not too keen on 600+ hours of repeats?

Then you should enter our


Your friendly neighbourhood Webgnome’s favourites are all you’ll need for a canny night in:

1 x DVD “Taking the Flak”
Martin Jarvis, Doon Mackichan, Bruce Mackinnon, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Joanna Brookes, Lydiah Gitachu and of course Damian O’Hare in the excellent dramedy about a BBC news team reporting from a civil war in a fictional African country.

1 x DVD “A Christmas Story”
Peace, harmony, comfort and joy? Maybe next year. Ralphie Parker desperately wants a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas, but his mother refuses, fearing he’ll shoot his eye out. But neither his mother, Santa Claus nor the neighbourhood bullies can destroy Ralphie’s dream… hilarious Christmas comedy, set in the 1950s and one of my favourites.

1 x L’Occitane en Provence: Bougie parfumée “Cannelle Epices”
Spicy cinnamon scented candle from L’Occitane – this will turn your home into winter wonderland. L’Occitane is a French company, known for cosmetics of best quality. They support local production and don’t test their products on animals. C’est le pied!

And because Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without sweets, you’ll also get some chocolate!

And what do you have to do to win this smashing Yuletide package?

Just send an email to

webgnome at ambarussa. net

and answer the following question:

“What is Rory Wallace’s (Damian O’Hare) job in ‘Taking the Flak'”?

That’s all. Even I could answer that!

Deadline: 15 December, 2009, midnight GMT.

Please read the following rules before you send off your mail.


1. By participating in this contest, you confirm that you have read, understood and accepted the rules.

2. You have to be at least 18 years old to participate.

3. Please be fair: only send in one mail per person.

4. No cash pay-out of your prize.

5. No correspondence will be held over the outcome of the contest.

6. If you are the winner, you’ll have to provide us with your name and address.

7. We’ll send your prize out asap, but have no influence on postal services. We hope the DVDs will be with you before Christmas, though.

8. Should, for any reason beyond our control, one of the prizes not be available, we’ll replace it with a different prize of the same value.

“Taking the Flak”/Charity: DVD signed by Tira Shubart up on ebay

Posted in taking the flak, tv, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28 November, 2009 by ambarussa

Desperate finding the perfect Christmas present?

Look no further and bid on a “Taking the Flak” DVD which has been signed by Tira Shubart, co-creator, co-writer and co-producer of the show. Not only will you get a great DVD, you’ll also support a good cause:

This lot is being sold as part of Save the Rhino’s 15th Birthday online auction; Hornucopia.  SAVE THE RHINO fundraises for the conservation of endangered species of rhinoceros by supporting community and education programmes in key wildlife habitats in Africa and Asia.


“Taking the Flak” in German

Posted in taking the flak, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 27 November, 2009 by ambarussa

Something positive following the downer that was the BBC’s axing of Taking the Flak.

I managed to find ZDF_neo, the German TV station which is showing “Taking the Flak” (“Reporter auf Kriegsfuss”), and from what I can tell, the dubbed version is really good, the voices match the characters, especially the ones of Joyful and Margareth. Nothing travels as badly as humour, but the jokes have been adapted in a way that actually works for a German-speaking audience. Some of the changes are strange, though. (Or very clever; depends on your point of view.)

Remember that one scene in “The Past is a Different Colony” with the beading soldiers? There’s a lady who whacks one soldier on the head when he points his gun at the BBC crew and confiscates the weapon. I can’t remember all of the dialogue, but if I remember correctly, Rory makes a comment that they could use someone like her in Ballymena (?). In German, it was “could use someone like her when we play poker in Belfast”…

The official German website calls Rory an “… alpha male who manages to talking his way out of even the most difficult situations”. Don’t tell David, he’d be shattered.

Damian O'Hare as Rory Wallace in "Taking the Flak" - Reporter auf Kriegsfuss

“Taking the Flak”: Bad News >:-(

Posted in taking the flak, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 18 November, 2009 by ambarussa

The BBC has decided not to produce a second series of “Taking the Flak”.

This just in from the Official Taking the Flak Facebook:

“(…) Hello Flak fans…sad news I’m afraid…the BBC has decided that there will not be a Series Two of Flak. Too bad as we loved making Flak and had exciting plans for the next set of adventures for our intrepid team. (…)”

Major disappointment and grumpiness here and elsewhere!

Thanks a lot to everybody who worked so hard to give us “Taking the Flak”; it was a neat series with unusual, lovable characters and great potential.

If you’d like to leave a “thank you” note to those involved with the production, you can do so on their Facebook.

"I think they are fans - they have torches and pitchforks and sixpacks of cider."

“Taking the Flak” (“Reporter auf Kriegsfuss”) to premier this Sunday on German TV

Posted in taking the flak, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30 October, 2009 by ambarussa

If you can receive German TV channels, there’s something to look forward to:

On Sunday, 1 November, “Taking the Flak” will premier on “ZDF_neo”, Germany.


The pilot is scheduled for Sunday, 1 November, 2009, 9.55pm (21.55h); the following episodes will be shown on Thursdays, 10.30pm. The German title of the show will beTaking the Flak – Reporter auf Kriegsfuss.”

There seems to be quite some interest in the series, if the hit numbers for the German version of the website are anything to go by.


Doon Mackichan and Damian O'Hare in "Taking the Flak"

“Taking the Flak” on German TV!

Posted in taking the flak, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23 September, 2009 by ambarussa

On 1 November, German channel “ZDF_doku” will be replaced by “ZDF_neo” – an addition to the digital offer of  the ZDF (which is comparable to BBC2). The target-audience of ZDFneo are people between 25 and 49 years of age.

Good news: ZDF_neo will broadcast “Taking the Flak”!


The pilot is scheduled for Sunday, 1 November, 2009, 9.55pm (21.55h); the following episodes will be shown on Thursdays, 10.30pm. The German title of the show will beTaking the Flak – Reporter auf Kriegsfuss.”


"Alex? Rory here. About that job in Germany - are you absolutely positively sure that Dieter Bohlen is a news anchor...?"

Germany’s a big market – congratulations!

( Source )

“Taking the Flak”: Tira Shubart talks about the DVD extras

Posted in taking the flak, tv with tags , , , , , , on 5 September, 2009 by ambarussa


“(…) Our wonderful art department hired some delightful Tanzanian artists to paint portraits of our actors in various places in the city of Arusha. Margaret–played by Jo Brookes–could be seen on the back of a Dala Dala (a local bus) while David (Martin Jarvis) was painted on a wall near the market. Rory –Damian O’ Hare–was on the corner of a busy intersection, with camera at the ready. Jane–Doon’s character was above a shop on one of the busiest markets streets. (…)”


You can buy the “Taking the Flak” DVD with many prettiful extras HERE.

Have you read the “Flak” entries on the BBC’s comedy blog, by the way? If not,


  • Cameramen and War
  • Animals
  • Strictly Come Tribal Dancing
  • Red Button and Photos
  • Ruby Wax
  • The Red Button

Last but not least, here’s another DVD review; this time in French.


Here’s a (quick and probably not very accurate) translation of the summary at the end of the review for those who don’t speak French:

Therefore, Taking The Flak is not a memorable series, but it still offers something to satisfy the fans of the genre. There was a lot of potential in the beginning which remained unexploited; the show opted for a more futile and superficial approach. The result will pass the time. And that’s about it.

“(…) Taking The Flak n’est donc pas une série mémorable, mais offre tout de même de quoi satisfaire quelques adeptes du genre. Il y avait un bon potentiel au départ qui restera plutôt inexploité, le show optant pour une approche plus futile et superficielle. Résultat, ça fait passer le temps. Sans plus. (…)”

“Taking the Flak”: DVD Review

Posted in reviews, taking the flak, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21 August, 2009 by ambarussa

Disclaimer: I’m not moonlighting as cheapjack movie critic here, I just really think your money will be spent on a good product. We all have bills to pay and a life to manage; £11.48 (through Amazon) is a lot of money for many of us, so I feel decent information before you buy is nothing but fair. If I thought otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend the DVD, no matter who’s on the show.


Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Martin Jarvis, Joanna Brookes, Doon Mackichan and Damian O'Hare in "Taking the Flak".

Don’t judge this DVD by its cover! If you like your DVD to come with printed information of any kind, then you’ll be disappointed. I’d at least expected a list of the episodes and their titles. All you get is a blurb which once again mentions “irritably-bowelled” Margaret, an “aspect” of the character that only turned up in the pilot, was annoying to the ninth and luckily got dropped for all future episodes. Jane is described as hard-nosed, which is rubbish and gives a wrong impression of the character. The way this DVD looks, it will be difficult for anybody to tell the difference between the real thing and a pirated copy…

But it’s the content that counts, and here, the “Taking the Flak” DVD is definitely not on the cheap side.


On two DVDs, you will find all seven episodes of the series, including the one-hour pilot. Due to the unrests that broke out in Kenya after production of the first episode, the work on the series was interrupted for many months and production was moved to Tanzania. It shows; not only does the 30 minute format suit the series better than the 60 minutes it was waltzed out to for the pilot, the first episode also suffers from some  awkward scenes and jokes which are simply not funny. The series improved from episode to episode, and those who gave it a chance after the pilot were not disappointed.

Taking the Flak: Screencaps S01E07, “Enter the Lion”

Posted in taking the flak, tv with tags , , , , , , on 21 August, 2009 by ambarussa



Damian O'Hare as Rory Wallace and Martin Jarvis as David Bradburn in "Taking the Flak".

If you missed the grande finale of Taking the Flak, you can still catch up with the latest goings-on in Karibu here:

BBC iPlayer

Now let’s all keep our fingers crossed for a second season!


And don’t forget to let the Flak crew know you enjoyed their work:


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