Saturday, June 25, 2016

Taxi For Everyone!

The first views of Pearl Mackie on the Doctor Who set has been released through the official Doctor Who Twitter account. The first image shows Pearl with script in hand and ready to shoot a scene for series ten.
It's a big job, being The Doctor. If you're entrusted with the keys to the TARDIS, you're also thrust into the spotlight and you become an idol for millions of young fans. But never say that yer actual Peter Capaldi lets the pressure get to him. On stage at a Dallas convention recently, Peter delivered an off-the-cuff speech to a six-year-old fan so inspiring that it could've come straight from a Hollywood movie. The shy young fan - dressed in a Matt Smith costume - had asked: 'When I grow up, I want to be a part of Doctor Who. What should I do to get there?' 'Well, you're doing the right thing by coming here,' Peter replied. 'You've got to be nice to your Mum. You've got to be kind to people. You've got to work hard and make the very best of the gifts that you have, of your talents and take them out into the world. If you work hard, if you're kind and you're lucky, that will all be recognised. And, if you write to the BBC, and say, "I love Doctor Who - I'd love to work on it," [they will] put that letter in a file somewhere. When you're old enough, they may want to see you and talk to you about it. But the important thing is to have that ambition, to want to do that. Because if you want to do something like that, it means you're a clever and bright and creative person. That's the most important thing to take forward; that belief in yourself and a belief of how valuable it is to bring creativity into the world. So you'll do fine.' Of course, yer man Capaldi knows of which he speaks - as a teenager, he wrote Doctor Who fan letters to the Beeb and to Radio Times and now he's playing the Time Lord. The young fan's mother later posted Peter's 'beautiful' answer in full to Reddit and confirmed that her son is 'writing that letter to the BBC' at the moment. 'He was so nervous and practised so hard while we were in line,' she wrote. 'I am forever grateful for the patience they gave him to do this all on his own. He also got to get his autograph and photo op. To say it was a treasured weekend is an understatement.' Good on ya, Peter, you're an inspiration.
Comedy moment(s) of the week, by a mile, came on Celebrity MasterChef. Ludicrous full-of-her-own-importance figure of z-list ridicule Sinitta might well have been the single worst contestant in the history of the pro-celebrity cookery competition and, was extremely booted out of the MasterChef kitchen after nearly poisoning John Torode and Gregg Wallace. On two occasions, she attempted to serve the duo raw or undercooked fish and meat - but, thankfully, John and Gregg refused to eat the horrifying dishes she presented them with and showed her the way out of the gaff. Sinitta, meanwhile, revealed that she 'often' cooks for her ex-boyfriend, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads. Which is, clearly, good news.
Sinitta's various culinary disasters meant that almost equally worthless contestant Tommy Cannon (sadly, without his mate Bobby Ball who does still get some acting work these days) lived to see another dawn in the kitchen.

Hang out the flags, dear blog reader. Someone at the BBC News website has, seemingly, just discovered the rapidly-changing nature of TV viewing in the Twenty First Century and the difference between overnights and final, consolidated ratings figures. Took you long enough, guys.
And now ...
So, that Euro referendum thingy, then, dear blog reader? That was a laugh, was it not? Bit of a poor show, frankly. Although, this blogger has to be honest, dear blog reader, maybe it's because yer actual Keith Telly Topping has been suffering from a bout of - really quite severe - personal depression during the early part of this year, I find myself rather struggling to get anywhere near as worked up about the British public voting to leave the EU as some of my friends have; one or two of whom have gone into quite startlingly full-on 'stroppy drama queen meltdown' mode whilst doing a rather chilling impression of Harry Enfield's sulky teenager character. Yes, it certainly is very disappointing if you were/are on the remain side, as this blogger was/is/will remain; yes it will, probably, mean that the economy of Britain is in for a very rough ride for the foreseeable future. Yes, it will probably mean quite a rise in unemployment once the full implications of those businesses - big and small - that do most of their trading with Europe are clearer. (One imagines that many on the leave side will see this as a good thing since, at least those who will become unemployed will be our unemployed rather than Johnny Foreigner's unemployed.) But, I dunno, possibly because I've got real, honest-to-God personal shit to deal with at the moment this blogger just can't, really, summon up the willpower for the full sackcloth and ashes malarkey. That may come later but, for the moment, shit happens you know. And it didn't stop the sun from rising on Friday morning (a bit more on that later). So yes, disappointing - very disappointing, in fact - but, ultimately life goes on. Mind you, according to this piece on the BBC website, there may be an upside. 'Greenland is the only other country ever to have left the EU - or the European Economic Community (EEC) as it was back in 1985. Residents of Greenland - including the Inuit - appear to have done well out of leaving, but then their only export is fish.' There you go, dear blog reader, that's obviously where we've been going wrong all these years, then.
Just in case anyone was wondering, see that little splodge of yellow up at the top right there? That was this blogger, that was ...
And, of course, the issue has, ultimately, brought about the downfall of yer man Cameron. Although, given his likely replacement (Boris The Hairdo. Or, even worse, the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike Gove) the old maxim 'be careful what you wish for, it might just come true' springs to mind.
As for, Jeremy Corbyn's performance, I have this to say, dear blog reader and I fully realise this is not going to be popular with some of you, but it's how I honestly feel and I'd be a coward if I didn't say it.
    Yer actual his very self was sneered at by a fair number of Jezza Army sycophants when yer man Corbyn was first elected Labour leader and Keith Telly Topping dared to suggest that, whilst he's undoubtedly a decent, principled man (and, one whom, in many ways, I admire) Corbyn is, in this blogger's opinion, not leadership material. If a Labour leader says 'vote remain' and cities like Sunderland and Middlesbrough vote two-thirds-to-a-third 'leave' what does that say about the Labour leader's authority with his own traditional voters, let alone anyone in the undecided camp? This blogger is in Newcastle, dear blog reader (it's a small fishing village on the Tyne, you might've heard of it), a place where they don't count the Labour vote, they weigh it and my city only voted remain fifty one per cent to forty nine. All the Labour heartlands voted leave, the North East, the North West, Wales, Yorkshire, the East Midlands. Corbyn does seem a genuinely decent, honourable chap with some interesting ideas (and a few nutty ones, admittedly) but, when the acid test came, his leadership utterly failed to win over people that he should have had no trouble whatsoever in winning over. He appeared to run a thoroughly slovenly, lazy campaign and, frankly, gave the impression more than once during it of not really giving a damn whether Britain voted remain or leave. That doesn't exactly fill one with confidence for the next general erection, does it? This blogger is not saying Corbyn is the only reason that remain lost - not by any stretch - but to claim, as many of his supporters are currently doing all over social media - that none of this is, in any way, his fault and that he ran a flawless campaign, amounts to denial bordering on insanity. One of the reasons why this blogger was so relaxed about remain winning up until about a month ago was the electoral math; the Tories are an odd case, roughly sixty per cent of their MPs were remain and forty per cent leave though circumstantial evidence suggested the party membership was more likely to lean the another way round. But, the Tories apart, all of the other major political parties bar one were in favour of remain (the exception was UKiP who have a roughly ten per cent support base in the country but have only got one MP). Labour, the Liberals, the SNP, the majority of the Irish Nationalists, even the Green lass down in Brighton were all remainers (I must admit, I'm not sure about Plaid Cymru, they may have been leavers also). So, if this had gone on purely party political lines, even with the Tory vote split down the middle, remain should have won by a landslide.
    The fact that it didn't means that entirely legitimate questions need - and deserve - to be asked about the leadership of those parties - and Labour in particular since they are, by far the biggest - who couldn't even carry their own heartlands. As noted, when Sunderland fer Christ's sake, a city with three Labour MPs with majorities of eleven thousand, thirteen thousand and thirteen thousand and a city-wide fifty three per cent share of the electorate in 2015, votes essentially against Labour albeit on a single issue, you know something is wrong. This is Sunderland we're talking about, not some Tory marginal in the Thames Valley. As I say, this blogger quite likes Jezza Corbyn as a person but, as a leader of a major political party and a potential future Prime Minister, he appears right at this moment to carry all of the authority of Barry Chuckle. Here, you'll be dead relieved to know, endeth the lesson.
Well, except to add, of course, that it wasn't fellow MPs who elected Jezza as Labour leader, it was 'the ordinary people' - you know, exactly the same people who just voted that Britain should leave the EU. All of which goes to prove that the general public - this blogger very much included - know nothing; seriously, don't ask us anything, mate, we're bloody useless at deciding stuff. We couldn't even NAME A SODDING BOAT without screwing it up.
Despite everything, however, it must surely have come as good news that the official Eurovision Song Contest Twitter account has confirmed the UK will still be able to compete in the competition despite the Brexit EU vote. Phew. Cos, we were all so worried about that.
Friday, as it happened, quite apart from waking up to the horrible news that slightly over half of the people in the country I live in had voted THE WRONG WAY(!) - was a decidedly stressful and nasty day all round for this blogger. Keith Telly Topping trailed all the way into town to buy a new computer only to find that the one he had bought was extremely incompatible with the monitor which he already has. Thus, he then had to go all the way back into town to tell Argos that it was 'no bloody good' and ask, nicely of course, could yer actual Keith Telly Topping please have his two hundred and fifty notes back? That did his depression the world of good, let me tell you. To be honest, it was a bit of an impulse buy in the first place; Keith Telly Topping's old desktop was still working okay - it's very slow now, because it's five years old but then, it's only really used as a back up to this blogger's laptop these days. But, Argos had a sale on, this blogger had a bunch of gift vouchers burning a hole in his pocket and he had to go into town that morning anyway to pick up a new pair of spectacles, so this all conspired to him buying the PC. The one this blogger chose looked quite a nice one, slimline Hewlett Packard, 1TB hard drive, et cetera. Then, having gotten it home, just as this blogger realised that he'd have to take the damn thing all the way back, it started pissing down with rain and a previously nice summer June morning turned into a recreation of The Flood, as if to mock the fact that this blogger had another half-hour each way journey to make with a bulky (and, potentially fragile) package. There are people who will try to convince you that there's a God, dear blog reader. This blogger was, by this stage, so thoroughly stressed and pissed off that, ultimately, he did the only thing he could do in such circumstances; he put on the twelve inch, six minute version of Chad Jackson's 'Hear The Drummer (Get Wicked!)' And, lo, the sun immediately came out again. Superstar DeeJays, dear blog reader. Is there anything they can't make better? (Well, yes, as it turns out, they can't keep the rain away. It returned, with a vengeance, whilst this blogger was on the bus and, in Central Newcastle he got totally soaked through to his vest on the very short walk from the bus stop into Eldon Square.) In the end, it was all sorted and Keith Telly Topping his very self got his coin back no questions asked; they were, actually, very nice about it - they even apologised which this blogger thought was good of them since, in essence, it was as much his fault for not checking the compatibility in the first place. So, I'm currently back with the trusty old - but, very slow - Dell.
Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese's music business-based drama Vinyl has been very cancelled by HBO after one season. The US network said that it was 'not an easy decision' and had 'enormous respect' for its creators and cast. Though, not enough respect to recommission the series, seemingly. Set in the 1970s, the drama told of a charismatic record executive trying to revive his struggling label. Its ensemble cast included Bobby Cannavale in the lead role, House's Olivia Wilde as his wife and Mick The Jag's son, James, as a rebellious British singer. Jagger and Scorsese were among the show's executive producers, with the latter directing its pilot episode. The series premiere in February was watched by seven hundred and sixty four thousand viewers in the US, though the average audience subsequently dipped to around six hundred and fifty thousand per episode. 'After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl,' HBO said in a statement. 'We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.' Ray Romano, another actor in the cast, told an Australian newspaper on Thursday that the cancellation felt 'like a knife in the guts.' Wilde, meanwhile, thanked her Twitter followers for their 'kind words' and said that she had been part of 'something special.' Actually, it wasn't that special, dear blog reader it was, in fact, rather ordinary and, as with most show which are cancelled, hardly anyone was watching it. The Playlist website even suggested that the series could be regarded as 'TV's biggest ever flop' given the amount of money it cost. 'Hugely expensive (apparently at least one hundred million dollars) and much-hyped it, unfortunately, proved to be ... not very good.'
Line Of Duty's Vicky McClure has signed up to lead a new psychological thriller for BBC1. Written and directed by Joe Ahearne, The Replacement also stars Morven Christie, Richard Rankin, Dougray Scott, Neve Mackintosh, Navin Chowdhry and Siobhan Redmond. Quality cast. The series follows Ellen (Christie's character), a successful architect in her mid-thirties who falls pregnant and finds maternity cover in Paula (played by McClure). But, Ellen begins to fear for her safety when she suspects that Paula has 'a disturbing agenda.' Given that this is a character played by Vicky McClure who has made a very good career out of regularly playing characters with a disturbing agenda, it would be a major surprise if she wasn't this time. The three-parter examines 'the darker side of working women, motherhood, and the issues that arise from making the right choice' apparently. 'Joe Ahearne has written an incredibly complex and thrilling script,' McClure said. 'I'm really excited to play a role that is miles apart from previous characters. [I'm] looking forward to working with Morven and spending time in Glasgow.'
The first series of next year's Star Trek franchise revival will be thirteen episodes long. Co-creator and showrunner Bryan Fuller confirmed that the episodes will 'tell one story,' and that shooting will begin in September. 'We've got the arc of the first season entirely written, or arced out, and we've got the first six episodes entirely broken,' he told Collider. Fuller added that because the series will be on streaming service CBS All Access, the writers will have 'more flexibility. Because we're CBS All Access, we're not subject to network broadcast standards and practices,' he said. 'It will likely affect us more in terms of what we can do graphically, but Star Trek's not necessarily a universe where I want to hear a lot of profanity, either. I've met with a few actors, and it's an interesting process. There's a few people that we like and we want to carry on what Star Trek does best, which is being progressive. So it's fascinating to look at all of these roles through a colourblind prism and a gender-blind prism, so that's exciting.' Early reports have hinted that the new Star Trek will be set on a ship other than the USS Enterprise - and will 'maintain continuity' with the 1960s series (and, presumably its four spin-offs) but not with JJ Abrams's current movie universe.
Gotham has cast its new Poison Ivy - and Batman's prickly nemesis is going to be, ahem, 'all grown up.' Sorry if that came over rather Daily Scum Mail 'sidebar of shame', dear blog reader, this blogger just reports the news. Maggie Geha will play an adult Ivy Pepper in the DC drama's upcoming third series, TVLine reports. Fourteen-year-old Clare Foley previously appeared in nine episodes of Gotham across its first two series as the young Ivy. Geha will be a series regular for Gotham's third year, joining another recent cast addition - Once Upon A Time's Jamie Chung. Chung will play Valerie Vale, a journalist and the aunt of Batman's future love interest Vicki Vale.
Matthew McConaughey has revealed in an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show that he has spoken with True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto about a possible comeback to the cult drama. 'I've talked to Nic about it,' McConaughey confirmed. 'It would have to be the right context, the right way. I miss Rust Cohle, man. I miss watching him on Sunday nights. I miss watching True Detective on Sunday nights. I was a happy man when we made that for six months.'
Shamed (and extremely naughty) former Love Island-type person, Zara Holland, has claimed that the Miss GB organisation did not specifically tell her that couldn't have sex whilst on Love Island. Which is, possibly, true although the organisation - which stripped Holland of her title over the various sexy shenanigans she got up to on the island - have stated that they, in fact, did tell her that. It's probable that they also didn't tell her shouldn't swear her head off, make bigoted or homophobic comments or, you know, shit in the streets. But, one imagines, they would have hoped that she had enough common sense not to do any of those things anyway. Which, importantly, in the case of the latter three, she - seemingly - did have the common sense not to do them. Sadly, in the case of the former, she didn't.
Led Zeppelin have extremely won a lawsuit which alleged that they had plagiarised part of the music to 'Stairway To Heaven' from the band Spirit's instrumental 'Taurus'. A Los Angeles jury determined on Thursday that the lawyer representing the estate of late guitarist Randy Wolfe (better known as Randy California), who wrote 'Taurus', did not prove that the hairy old rockers lifted the song's intro from Spirit's 1968 instrumental. 'We are grateful for the jury's conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favour, putting to rest questions about the origins of 'Stairway To Heaven' and confirming what we have known for forty five years,' Jimmy Page and Robert Plant said in a statement. Well, presumably one of them said it, unless they chanted it in unison at the assembled multitude. Which, let's face it, would have been very weird. 'We appreciate our fans' support and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us,' they continued.
    'At Warner Music Group, supporting our artists and protecting their creative freedom is paramount,' the band's record label added in their own statement. 'We are pleased that the jury found in favour of Led Zeppelin, reaffirming the true origins of 'Stairway To Heaven.' Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands in history and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are peerless songwriters who created many of rock's most influential and enduring songs.' The lawsuit stemmed from a 2014 filing alleging that since Led Zeppelin had appeared on the same bill as Spirit during the early stages of their career, they 'would have been aware' of 'Taurus' and 'would have subsequently copied it.' The instrumental – written by Wolfe under his stage-name Randy California – appeared on Spirit's 1968 self-titled debut LP and contains two minutes and thirty eight seconds' worth of cinematic, psych-folk mysticism. It's rather good actually. And, it does, undeniably, sound 'a bit' - but, only 'a bit' - like the opening to 'Stairway To Heaven'. Which, of course, goes like this. You knew that, right? The instrumental features an acoustic guitar line playing a pensive melody which transforms into a descending chromatic pattern. A lawyer representing California's estate, now headed by a former music journalist, Michael Skidmore - who, obviously, was not, in any way whatsoever, motivated by avarice. Oh no, very hot water - claimed that Jimmy Page's acoustic guitar intro to 'Stairway' had 'borrowed heavily' from 'Taurus'. The trial quickly became a colourful and contentious battle between the two sides. Attorney Francis Malofiy, who represented Skidmore, carried a briefcase which resembled a Fender amp and, as Rolling Stone magazine claimed, 'played fast and loose with courtroom protocol.' He attempted to play videos which weren't admitted into evidence (a possible basis for a mistrial), conducted exasperating testimony which both the judge and defence team found objection-worthy (the judge yelled 'sustained' at one point before the defence could even object to one particular bit of theatricality) and referred to - let's face it, the great - Jimmy Page as 'the alleged songwriter' of 'Stairway To Heaven'. 'You're wasting a lot of time," the judge told Malofiy at a point where the lawyer was attempting to claim that the Mary Poppins song 'Chim Chim Cheree' was 'a possible influence' on Page (and, Page, interestingly, didn't necessarily disagree). Tragically, Malofiy didn't Dance The Old Bamboo whilst making this claim. Because, let's face it, most of us would have paid good money to see that.
    In his closing statement, Malofiy said that the case was 'about giving credit where it's due,' criticised Page and Plant's 'selective memory' during testimony and reminded the jury that he needed to prove his case by 'only fifty one percent' in order to win. Which, if you look us 'wholly incorrect things said by lawyers' on Google, you'll find that one quite close to the top of the list. The jury was not allowed to hear the original recordings of 'Stairway To Heaven' and 'Taurus' in determining their verdict. Instead, they heard an 'expert' perform both songs based on the original sheet music plus some private demo recordings of the song from Zeppelin rehearsals whilst it was still in its formative stage. Led Zeppelin attorney Peter Anderson kept a cooler demeanour. He argued that the Wolfe Trust did not own the copyright to 'Taurus' (a claim the judge dismissed) and that the musical characteristics Malofiy claimed Zeppelin 'copied' were musical traditions that date back at least to the 1600s and appeared in numerous songs - for example, 'Michelle' by The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them). In testimony, Page was excellent - charming, witty, candid and frequently sarcastic, offering rejoinders to Malofiy's sometimes insulting observations (when the lawyer asked if Page had discovered that he had the ability to play guitar in his youth, Page said, 'Well, yeah!' Burn.) Both Page and Plant testified they 'did not remember' ever hearing 'Taurus'.
    Anderson made one ugly misstep during his cross-examination of Skidmore when he accused Wolfe's mother of having 'an illegitimate son' who was cut out of his father's royalties. He also brought in a musicologist as a witness who, apparently, spoke too academically and compared 'Stairway' to the obscure 1963 recording 'To Catch A Shad' by The Modern Folk Quartet. (Again, there is a vague family resemblance between the two.) Anderson closed his arguments by saying that Malofiy had not proved the case and that Spirit's music 'would not even be remembered', which is a little unkind, they were a more-than-decent band and sold quite a few records in their time, albeit nowhere near as many of Zep, obviously. Anderson also said that the plaintiff had 'failed to prove a case' which should have been brought more than forty years ago if there was any merit to it, whilst Wolfe was alive and Page and Plant would have had better memories. 'How can you wait a half century and criticise people forty five years later for the delay you caused?' Anderson asked. 'They should have sued in 1972.' It marked the end of a particularly combative trial. Before the judge called for the jury to deliberate, he asked of the attorneys, 'Any other catfights?' Heh. Why can't more judges show a sense of humour? Bloomberg reported in April that if Wolfe's estate had won, they would have been entitled to a share of 'Stairway To Heaven' revenue for only the three years before the lawsuit was filed, due to current copyright law. The estate would also have been entitled to royalties going forward. Malofiy filed his original complaint against Zeppelin, on behalf of the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust, in May 2014. He stylised section headers in the font the group used on its (untitled) fourth LP – home to 'Stairway To Heaven' – and claimed that Led Zeppelin had 'become influenced' by Wolfe and Spirit's performances after sharing a bill with them in 1968. Led Zeppelin did perform on the same bill as Spirit that year, at one of their first American shows, a gig where Malofiy claimed that Spirit played 'Taurus', and again in 1969.
     In his preamble, the lawyer asserted that Led Zeppelin began performing Spirit's 'Fresh-Garbage' – a song from the same record as 'Taurus' – at concerts (which they certainly did) and that Page and Plant composed 'Stairway To Heaven' a year after 'touring' with Spirit. Which, they didn't. Malofiy also included a chart of Led Zeppelin songs which he claimed 'infringed upon other songwriters' works' which the judge ruled as extremely inadmissible. Bit of an awkward point this as, indeed, Zeppelin do have considerable form in, let's be charitable and say, 'creating homages' of other peoples' songs in some of their own. As evidenced here. And here. And here. And, probably most infamously, here (which is, basically, the tune of this, mixed with the lyrics of this). Indeed, more than one wag was heard to comment on reading the headline Led Zeppelin Cleared Of Ripping Off Someone Else's Song 'shouldn't that finish with ... On This Occasion!' Ahem. Very hot water. Anyway, where were we? Oh yes. Malofiy claimed that Led Zeppelin had 'knowingly and willfully' infringed on 'Taurus' with 'Stairway To Heaven'. However, in a 1991 interview not mentioned at all in the complaint, Wolfe had described Led Zeppelin's members as 'fans' of Spirit in the late Sixties and said that 'if they wanted to use ['Taurus'], that's fine. I'll let [Led Zeppelin] have the beginning of 'Taurus' for their song without a lawsuit.' Malofiy, later said that he believed this statement was 'out of context.' Certainly, in 1996, the year before his death, Wolfe rather bitterly told an interviewer that he felt 'Stairway' was 'a rip-off' of 'Taurus'. Malofiy used Wolfe's following 1996 statement in the complaint: 'The guys made millions of bucks on it and never said, "Thank you," never said, "Can we pay you some money for it?"' It's kind of a sore point with me. Maybe someday their conscience will make them do something about it. I don't know. There are funny business dealings between record companies, managers, publishers and artists. But when artists do it to other artists, there's no excuse for that. I'm mad!'
   Wolfe tragically drowned in 1997 whilst rescuing his son from the sea in Hawaii. His mother established the Trust in his name, which purchases musical instruments for public schools - a very worthy cause indeed. After she died in 2009, she passed the Trust's ownership along to the suit's plaintiff, Michael Skidmore, who had assisted her in managing the Trust. After teaming with Malofiy - and, again, just to stress, in no way whatsoever motivated by greed - he sued Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement in various forms and for 'falsification of rock & roll history' (Wolfe's alleged right of attribution). He sought the defendants' profits, various forms of damages (including 'exemplary damages to set an example for others') and an injunction on selling the recording and attorney's fees, among other 'claims for relief.' Mucho wonga, in other words. Malofiy told Bloomberg that he felt the lawsuit was worth 'around forty million dollars.' 'This is ridiculous,' Jimmy Page said of the lawsuit that month. 'I have no further comment on the subject.' Led Zeppelin would later allege that the Trust did not even own the copyright to 'Taurus'. They claimed that Wolfe's son, whom he saved at the time of his death, did, though the judge in the trial rejected that argument.
   The suit quickly became a cause célèbre in the music industry, as it is the most high-profile copyright case to follow the estate of Marvin Gaye's victory over Robin Thicke in the 'Blurred Lines' lawsuit last year. Led Zeppelin's lawyer had asked District Court Judge Gary Klausner to rule in their favour without a trial in February, but the judge decided the songs were 'similar enough' to warrant one. Although, he wrote that Malofiy had not convinced him of Led Zeppelin's alleged infringement, the judge said that the 'similarities [between the songs] transcend this core structure' and that what would remain is 'a subjective assessment of the "concept and feel" of two works.' What would occur over the coming months would become an epic story all its own. Malofiy said at the time that any kind of settlement on behalf of Led Zeppelin would be 'a non-starter.' But later that month, he told Bloomberg that he would 'take a settlement of a dollar and a songwriting credit.' The band did not take him up on the offer. Page and Plant filed declarations to the court in March, before Klausner decided the suit should go to trial, in which they described how they wrote the song. Page wrote that while 'Stairway' opened with 'descending chromatic lines,' as did 'Taurus,' he had been 'aware of that melodic style' dating back at least to 1960. Moreover, he stated that he never heard 'Taurus' until 2014 when Malofiy filed his complaint. 'I am very good at remembering music and am absolutely certain that I never heard 'Taurus' until 2014,' he wrote. He also wrote that he 'did not recall' ever seeing Spirit live. Page has always maintained in interviews that he wrote 'Stairway To Heaven' from piecing together his own melodic ideas. 'I'd been fooling around with my acoustic guitar and came up with different sections, which I married together,' he once told Guitar World. He made similar claims to the BBC. 'But, what I wanted was something that would have drums come in at the middle and then build to a huge crescendo. So I had the structure of it.' Interestingly, in his declaration, Page wrote that he discovered a copy of the first Spirit LP in his record collection in preparation for the trial. '[I] do not know how or when it got there,' he wrote. 'It may well have been left by a guest. I doubt it was there for long, since I never noticed it before. But again I know I did not hear 'Taurus' until 2014.' Plant, too, wrote that he believed he never heard 'Taurus' before the lawsuit. 'I do not now and have never owned a Spirit record album,' he wrote. In April, Judge Klausner rejected all of Malofiy's 'expert' witnesses because they had prepared opinions based on sound recordings that weren't admissible under copyright law. He also barred recordings of some songs that the attorney wished to present, saying that recordings of songs had to be made from existing sheet music. The judge gave Malofiy time to find more witnesses.
     The judge also ruled that anything regarding Led Zeppelin's alleged plagiarism of other tunes in the past would not be allowed before a jury. Rumours about the group's drug and alcohol use would not be allowed either; Malofiy had hoped to claim that the band's substance abuse damaged the songwriters' memories. In May, Led Zeppelin accused Malofiy of attempting to 'taint the jury pool' by claiming that the band's members would not appear in court. Page and Plant always intended to appear in court, the lawyers claimed. '[Malofiy's] ongoing efforts to try this case in the press should be rejected,' they said in a motion. Earlier this month, Malofiy filed a motion to make Plant, Page and John Paul Jones appear in court on the first day of the proceedings, making it so that if they didn't, they wouldn't be allowed to testify. Judge Klausner denied the motion. The day before the trial was to begin, Malofiy filed a motion claiming that one of Led Zeppelin's own experts, musicologist Lawrence Ferrara, had 'engaged in a conflict of interest' by working with the group. Previously, he had provided comparative analysis of 'Taurus' and 'Stairway' to the publisher of 'Taurus', with whom Malofiy said he 'had conspired with' to undermine the lawsuit. Ultimately, the judge allowed Ferrara to testify, signalling the beginning of what would become a turbulent trial. In 1975, Page told Rolling Stone he felt 'Stairway' 'crystalised the essence of the band. It had everything there and showed the band at its best, as a band, as a unit,' he said. 'We were careful never to release it as a single. It was a milestone for us. Every musician wants to do something of lasting quality, something which will hold up for a long time and I guess we did it with 'Stairway'.'
     Page and Plant vividly recalled creating 'Stairway' at a country house, Headley Grange, in Hampshire (and not the Welsh cottage Bron-Yr-Aur, thus contradicting decades of Led Zeppelin fan mythology). Their recollections of Spirit, a band they opened for at their first US show in December 1968, were less clear (Page said that he only recalled the third band on the bill that evening, Vanilla Fudge and didn't even know Spirit were playing). Spirit's former bassist, Mark Andes, recalled performing 'Taurus' at the Denver show where Led Zeppelin opened, but there was no other evidence to support that (no audience recordings, for example). Page said he 'didn't stick around' to see Spirit play that night and he denied ever seeing them in concert, despite press articles in which he said he 'liked' seeing them and they 'struck' him on 'an emotional level.' 'Spirit and Led Zeppelin were never on stage together, they never toured together,' Anderson said. 'There was not a single person that said anyone from Led Zeppelin was present when 'Taurus' was performed.' Andes also testified that he met Plant at a show in Birmingham in 1970 when the two bands again shared a bill - this time, with Zeppelin as headliners - and that he 'played snooker' with Plant afterwards. Plant said that he had 'no memory' of that particular night, saying in all the 'hubbub and chaos' it would be hard to remember a one-off meeting forty years previously. Plant partially attributed his lack of memory to a bad car crash on his way home from the club later that evening. Both he and his wife suffered head injuries in the accident, he told the court, after the windshield of his Jaguar was left 'buried' in his face.
Those delightful louse-scum at the Sun have pulled an online article sneering at the appearance of Shannen Doherty after realising that she, in fact, has breast cancer. In a quite disgraceful article published on Monday headlined You Won't Believe What Beverly Hills 90210's Shannen Doherty Looks Like Now! it said that Doherty 'looked older than her years' and was 'unkempt and haggard.' It continued: 'Gone is her smooth porcelain complexion and shiny dark hair and in their place are a tired-looking face and a mess and unbrushed mane.' It made no mention of the fact that Doherty is receiving treatment for breast cancer, which the actress had revealed last August. She has since spoken publicly about coping with the illness. The article was written by an experienced showbiz reporter - ie. a scumbag - who has previously worked for Scum Mail Online and was based on agency photographs from a Q&A in Sydney. The writer has received abuse on Twitter following the publication of the story. Which whilst not being in any way excusable is, nevertheless, hardly surprising. Doherty's trip to the meet-and-greet with fans had been in doubt because of her ongoing treatment. However, during the Q&A she discussed the possibility of a reunion with her co-stars from Charmed. The online only story was removed after about ten hours by the Sun. It was then replaced with a sympathetic piece written by another reporter, headlined: Actress Shannen Doherty Makes Rare Public Appearance Sixteen Years After Beverly Hills 90210. The Sun declined to comment on the removal of the story.
Alex Hales and Jason Roy both scored centuries as England swept aside Sri Lanka to win the second one-day international by ten wickets on Thursday. The pair shared an England record ODI partnership as a target of two hundred and fifty five was chased with ninety five balls to spare in front of a raucous Edgbaston crowd. Some excellent fielding and bowling, particularly from Adil Rashid (two for thirty four), had restricted Sri Lanka to two hundred and fifty four for seven in their fifty overs. After a thrilling tied game on Tuesday, England lead the five-match series one-nil. Sri Lanka, who posted what appeared to be an inadequate total on a superb batting surface, are still looking for their first victory over England on this current tour. If Sri Lanka's batsmen had earlier under performed, then England's opening pair made their bowling attack look utterly toothless. Hales, on only six, offered one very difficult chance to wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis, standing up to the medium pace of Farveez Maharoof, but after that Hales and Roy butchered the bowling with drives, cuts and heaves into the crowd. Hales had already taken three sixes in the arc between straight and deep mid-wicket on the way to a third ODI century and then celebrated with three successive maximums over the leg side off the spin of Seekkuge Prasanna. The Nottinghamshire man was then inexplicably dropped by Danushka Gunathilaka at point before Roy completed his own century by belting Prasanna back over his head for the tenth and final maximum of the innings. When Roy completed the rout by driving Prasanna for four, he had one hundred and twelve, Hales one hundred and thirty three and England had completed the highest chase to win an ODI by ten wickets. Roy had earlier played his part in an England bowling and fielding effort that suffocated Sri Lanka. After Liam Plunkett removed Gunathilaka and Mendis, Roy brilliantly ran out Kusal Perera by swooping at backward point, transferring the ball from left hand to right, turning and hitting the stumps direct. Sri Lanka rebuilt through a stand of eighty two between Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal until leg-spinner Rashid repeated his accuracy from the first ODI to have Mathews top-edge a sweep for forty four. That began a collapse of four wickets for thirty two runs which saw Prasanna brilliantly caught by a diving David Willey off Rashid and Chandimal run out for fifty two with Roy once more involved. Only the late hitting of Upul Tharanga, who scored fifty three not out in an unbroken stand of sixty three with Suraj Randiv, got Sri Lanka to a score that was respectable, albeit nowhere near competitive. This is the sixth time England have won an ODI by ten wickets, three of which have come against Sri Lanka. The two hundred and fifty six shared by Alex Hales and Jason Roy is the highest for England for any wickets in an ODI, beating the two hundred and fifty of Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott against Bangladesh on the same ground in 2010. It is also the fifth highest ODI opening stand of all time. Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford turned some heads with a protective device worn on his left forearm. The self-designed piece of kit had a clear plastic circle at one end that Oxenford could use to cover his face or deflect the ball. The innovation is the latest to be used by umpires in response to concerns over standing just over twenty two yards away from batsmen striking the ball with immense power. Oxenford's countrymen Gerard Abood and John Ward have worn helmets when standing in domestic cricket, while umpires at the World Twenty20 were issued with helmets though they did not use them.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Days In Europa

Comedy line of the week came from the excellent Matt Le Blanc - rapidly becoming the single reason to keep watching Top Gear these days. Whilst introducing The Stig's latest lap of the track, in an Aston Martin Vulcan, Matt claimed: 'Some say he thinks Brexit is a laxative,' before adding: '... And for tax purposes, he is classified as a biscuit.' How you doin'?
Second-best comedy moment of the week was Cristiano Ronaldo getting aal stroppy when a Portuguese TV report dared to ask him a question. Oi, them microphones cost money, young man!
Almost as amusing was Ronaldo's sulky face at the end of Portugal's three-three draw with Hungary when he heard that a goal by Iceland in the final seconds of their game against Austria meant the Portuguese only finished third in their group and, instead of playing England, will now have a rock hard game against Croatia in the next round. This blogger must say, Iceland have certainly improved since they got rid of Kerry Katona.
Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke are among the Game Of Thrones cast members reported to have signed up for the show's eighth (and, probably, final) series. The duo and their co-stars Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey will now earn as much as five hundred thousand dollars per episode for the already-commissioned season seven - as well as a possible eighth run. HBO declined to confirm or deny these reports to Deadline, with the website stressing that these new deals 'don't guarantee' that all five characters will survive until the end of the popular adult fantasy drama. Producers David Benioff and DB Weiss have suggested that they have between ten and fifteen hours of story left in the entire series, whilst director Jack Bender recently claimed that series seven would only contain seven episodes. HBO has yet to make any firm announcement, probably waiting for the current series six to end before going public with any details about next year.
Wonder Woman's Lynda Carter is coming to Supergirl's second series. Carter has reportedly signed up 'a recurring role' in the CW-bound superheroine drama playing the US President according to TVLine. Well, I'd vote for her. Supergirl producer Greg Berlanti previously suggested that he had 'the perfect role' in mind for Carter during the last series. Carter joins a number of actors from various Superman and Supergirl franchise productions to get roles in the forthcoming series. Lois & Clark's Dean Cain and the original Supergirl star Helen Slater recur as Kara's adoptive parents - while Smallville's own girl of steel, Laura Vandervoort, causes trouble as the malevolent super-computer Indigo. Late last week, it was also revealed that Tyler Hoechlin will guest star in Supergirl's two-part season opener as the Man of Steel his very self.
The Frankenstein Chronicles is coming back for a second series. Yer actual Sean Bean will return as the troubled ex-soldier John Marlott, who discovers that strange and terrifying experiments are taking place in London's dark underworld. As you do. Series two will go into production in January, to be broadcast at some point next year on ITV Encore.
And now, dear blog reader, the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Four programmes, week-ending Sunday 12 June 2016:-
1 Euro 2016: England Versus Russia - Sat ITV - 9.74m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.35m
3 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 7.06m
4 Euro 2016: Wales Versus Slovakia - Sat BBC1 - 6.93m
5 Euro 2016: Germany Versus Ukraine - Sun BBC1 - 6.89m
6 Euro 2016: France Versus Romania - Fri ITV - 6.70m
7 Euro 2016: Poland Versus Northern Ireland - Sun BBC1 - 6.39m
8 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 5.89m
9 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.82m
10 In The Club - Tues BBC1 - 4.59
11 DIY SOS: The Big Build - Thurs BBC1 - 4.48m
12 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.40m
13 New Blood - Thurs BBC1 - 4.34m
14 Six O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 4.26m
15 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 4.24m
16 European Referendum Debates - Tues ITV - 4.12m
17 Britain's Busiest Airport: Heathrow - Mon ITV - 4.00m
18 Gogglebox - Fri C4 - 3.86m
19 Ten O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 3.79m
20 Tonight At The London Palladium - Wed ITV - 3.76m
21 The Musketeers - Sat BBC1 - 3.57m
22 The ONE Show - Tues BBC1 - 3.52m
23 ITV News At Ten - Mon ITV - 3.46m
24 Top Gear - Sun BBC2 - 3.44m
These consolidated figures include all viewers who watched the programmes live and on catch-up during the seven days after broadcast, but does not include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. On BBC2, besides Top Gear - which saw its consolidated audience drop from 6.42 million for its opening episode to 3.44 million by its third - and The Great British Sewing Bee (3.24 million), the next most-watched programme was one of the nightly episodes of Springwatch with 2.48 million punters. The second episode of Versailles was watched by 2.30 million and the series finale of Peaky Blinders attracted 2.27 million, followed by Gardeners' World (2.10 million), Mock The Week (1.77 million), Horizon (1.76 million), City In The Sky (1.74 million) and The Millionaires' Holiday Club (1.65 million). The latest Qi repeat drew nine hundred and three thousand. Aside from Googlebox, Twenty Four Hours In Police Custody was Channel Four's second highest-rated broadcast of the week (2.56 million), followed by the series finale of The Last Leg With Adam Hills (2.23m) and Twenty Four Hours In A&E (2.13m). George Clarke's Old House New House had 2.11 million, F1: Canadian Grand Prix Highlights 1.77 million and That Awful Bloody Keith Woman At Her Majesty's Service attracted 1.73 million. Why, for the love of God, why? Channel Five's top performer was Big Brother with 1.86 million. The Hotel Inspector had 1.79m, Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away drew 1.78 million and the latest episode of Gotham attracted 1.27m. Sky Sports 1's most-watched broadcast was coverage of Live International Rugby Union: Australia Versus England seen by three hundred and ninety four thousand viewers. The channel's simultcast of The Canadian Grand Prix has two hundred and eighty five thousand. Sky Sports 2's Live Test Cricket and England's rain-affected draw with Sri Lanka at Lord's drew two hundred and ninety seven thousand. One of the Live T20 Blast games - Kent's eight run victory over Hampshire - was watched by two hundred and five thousand. Sunday's Euro Report was Sky Sports News's highest-rated broadcast with one hundred and ninety two thousand. On Sky Sports F1, Live Canadian Grand Prix had an audience of seven hundred and twenty four thousand. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (1.04 million). Foyle's War was seen by seven hundred and thirty four thousand and Endeavour by seven hundred and seven thousand. Isle Of Man TT coverage headed ITV4's weekly top ten with eight hundred and thirty thousand. Worthless steaming pile of rancid shat Love Island was ITV2's most-watched programme with 1.48 viewers. Vera headed ITV Encore's top ten with eighty eight thousand viewers with DCI Banks seen by fifty nine thousand. BBC4's new imported French drama The Disappearance had audiences of eight hundred and three thousand and seven hundred and eighty thousand for its fifth and sixth episodes in a top-ten list which also included Make! Craft Britain (four hundred and fifty three thousand), Handmade: By Royal Appointment (also four hundred and fifty three thousand) and Horizon (three hundred and eighty five thousand). Parkinson Meets Muhammad Ali attracted three hundred and sixty three thousand, Top Of The Pops 1981 drew three hundred and sixty two thousand, The Good Old Days had three hundred and forty seven thousand and Guitar Riffs At The BBC was watched by three hundred and one thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by Hawaii Five-0 (nine hundred and twenty thousand), Agatha Raisin (eight hundred and fifty eight thousand), Modern Family (seven hundred and fifty two thousand), DC's Legends Of Tomorrow (seven hundred and twenty eight thousand) and Supergirl (six hundred and twenty six thousand). Rovers - which, almost in spite of itself, it actually quite good! - drew five hundred and six thousand. Sky Atlantic's list was topped, of course, by the latest Game Of Thrones (2.14 million, the highest-rated multichannel audience of the week). The Monday repeat of the popular fantasy drama's previous episode had 1.27 million. Thornecast was seen by four hundred and ninety seven thousand, Penny Dreadful, by four hundred and forty five thousand and Billions by two hundred and fifteen thousand. On Sky Living, Blindspot drew nine hundred and eleven thousand, Bones had seven hundred and seventy seven thousand, Grey's Anatomy, six hundred and two thousand and Madam Secretary, five hundred and thirty nine thousand. Sky Arts' broadcast of Freddie Mercury: The Tribute Concert had an audience of eighty six thousand. Most of whom, one imagines, were only there to see if David Bowie's performance of 'The Lord's Prayer' really was as bad as it's made out to be. (It was.) 5USA's The Mysteries Of Laura was watched by six hundred and twenty five thousand viewers. Law & Order had four hundred and seventy six thousand and NCIS was seen by four hundred and eleven thousand. NCIS also topped the weekly top tens of FOX - the latest episode of series thirteen attracting 1.16 million punters - and CBS Action (one hundred and seventy thousand) and featuring in Universal Channel's top ten list (one hundred thousand) as well as Channel Five's. Aside, from NCIS, FOX's list also included Outcast (four hundred and forty six thousand) and Wayward Pines (four hundred and three thousand). On CBS Action, Bad Girls was seen by one hundred and ten thousand. The Universal Channel's top ten was headed by Chicago Med (two hundred and ninety six thousand), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (one hundred and thirty five thousand) and Bates Motel (one hundred and twenty five thousand). On Dave, Alan Davies: As Yet Unfunny was the highest-rated programme - no, this blogger doesn't know why either - with four hundred and seventeen thousand punters. That was followed by Mock The Week (four hundred and twelve thousand), Storage Hunters UK (three hundred and eighty seven thousand), Have I Got A Bit More News For You (three hundred and fifty four thousand) and Qi XL (two hundred and forty one thousand). Drama's New Tricks was watched by four hundred and thirty one thousand viewers. Dalziel & Pascoe had three hundred and fifty two thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme was Quantico (three hundred and nine eight thousand), followed by Death In Paradise (one hundred hundred and seventy five thousand)and Father Brown (one hundred and forty thousand). Yesterday's repeat Blackadder Back & Forth was watched by two hundred and thirty five thousand. On the Discovery Channel, the new series of Wheeler Dealers continued with four hundred and forty two thousand punters. Deadliest Catch had an audience of one hundred and thirty nine thousand and Gold Divers had one hundred and ten thousand viewers. Discovery History's Fred Dibnah's Age Of Steam topped the weekly-list with thirty five thousand viewers whilst Off The Rails and Time Team both attracted twenty seven thousand). On Discovery Science, Mythbusters attracted thirty four thousand viewers. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programmes was another - older - episode of Wheeler Dealers (sixty five thousand). Indeed, all ten of the channel's most-watched programmes of the week were episodes of popular car restoration show. Nice to know yer actual Keith Telly Topping isn't the only viewer that spends many of his afternoons watching Mike and Ed. National Geographic's top ten was headed by Car SOS which had one hundred and forty six thousand viewers. Neither The History Channel nor Military History appear to have submitted their viewing figures to BARB this particular week although, regarding the latter, one of their ninety eight programmes about UFOs will, likely, have drawn the largest audience. Ghost Asylum, The Perfect Murder and Murder Among Friends were ID's top-rated programmes of the week (fifty three thousand, thirty six thousand and thirty five thousand viewers respectively). The Jail: Sixty Days In headed CI's list (one hundred and seven thousand). The latest episode of GOLD's repeat run of Mrs Brown's Boys attracted three hundred and seven thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for the movie Grown Ups 2 (two hundred and eighty three thousand). Your TV's Corrupt Crimes had fifty four thousand viewers. On More4, The Good Wife was viewed by eight hundred and eight thousand and The Thrilla In Manilla by three hundred and sixty six thousand whilst E4's latest episode of The Big Bang Theory drew 2.09 million punters. The Horror Channel's broadcast of Haunt, attracted ninety four thousand viewers. Bitten headed Syfy's top ten with sixty six thousand. Nuclear Meltdown had twenty nine thousand on Eden, as did Walking With Dinosaurs. Tanked was the Animal Planet's most watched programme with one hundred and twenty two thousand. On W, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders was seen by four hundred and ninety two thousand. My Four Wives was TLC's most-watched programme (one hundred and forty eight thousand).

England's goalless draw with Slovakia - which the majority of the British media seemed to regard as the greatest disaster since the Titanic (the actual boat, not the movie) - was the most-watched game of Euro 2016 to date with almost fourteen million overnight viewers. The draw, which secured England's progress to the knockout stages of the tournament, a definite improvement on their last major tournament appearance - had a match average of 12.8 million viewers on ITV and another one million viewers on ITV2, with a combined five-minute peak of 15.1 million. The game was not shown on ITV in Wales, which broadcast Wales' three-nil thumping of a piss-poor Russian side. It had a match average of eight hundred thousand - presumably deliriously happy - viewers in The Valley and had another six hundred thousand viewers nationwide on ITV4 (splitters!), a total of 1.4 million. England's game against Slovakia was up on the previous highest audience, the 9.7 million overnight viewers who watched the ninety minutes of England's opening draw with Russia, also on ITV. Overall, ITV's Tuesday night football coverage had 10.4 million viewers, a forty five per cent share; 9.8 million watching England and six hundred thousand watching Wales. It was up on the 9.2 million average for its coverage of the Russia game on 11 June. England's second game of the tournament, England's two-one win over Wales, had an overall average of 6.6 million viewers, lower than the other two games mainly because it was shown in the middle of the afternoon on 16 June. It was also streamed live by a record 2.3 million people on the BBC Sport website. The England versus Slovakia coverage topped the year's previous highest rating broadcast, the 10.3 million viewers who watched the second episode of ITV's Britain's Got Toilets on 16 April.
Even by Game Of Thrones' standards, this week's episode - The Battle Of The Bastards - was an epic; with possibly the biggest battle ever seen on telly (the odd adaptation of Henry V aside, obviously). As the bodies piled up, there were some gruesome, stomach churning twists. If you've loved to hate Ramsay Bolton - and, let's face it, who hasn't - you won't have been disappointed by the climax. Speaking on the Radio 1 The Breakfast Show, Iwan Rheon said he was 'pleased' the lying was finally over. And, when the end came, it was truly brutal. After being beaten to a bloodied pulp by Jon Snow, Ramsay was taken to a prison cell and tied to a chair. As he awoke, he sees his former wife, Sansa waiting for him, with his own pack of ravenous dogs. So, how does it feel when you're written out of such a big show? 'What a way to go, though!' Iwan told Nick Grimshaw. 'I've always said I'd like a dragon-related death. But I'll take dogs. It's a lot better than just falling down some stairs or dying peacefully in my sleep.' Iwan said that he wasn't too disappointed when he realised his time was up. 'You get a call. It was from David and Dan, the creators. They said "Hey congratulations, Ramsay makes it to the Iron Throne." And I'm like "I'm dead, aren't I?" When you get the call, you know what's coming.' But, he admitted keeping his on-screen death a secret for so long has been tough. 'I've known for about a year that it was going to happen. There is a kind of grieving process, even though I've known for so long. But, it's a relief that I can now talk about it openly. I filmed the final scenes back in December - so I've been lying to everyone for six months. It's difficult because I'm not a very good liar.' Not only was Monday huge for Game Of Thrones but also, there was the small matter of Wales topping their group at Euro 2016. Iwan was, he confirmed, down the pub with his mates, glued to the football. 'It was amazing. It was like a combo of Game Of Thrones texts and messages about Wales. And who did they finish above? Oh that's right, England. It really was an amazing night.'
Work on the next - tenth - series of Doctor Who started this week with a gift from one of the popular long-running BBC family SF drama's biggest stars of the past. New companion Pearl Mackie arrived to start work to find a bouquet of flowers from her predecessor Jenna Coleman. Which she then tweeted about.
He, memorably, brought the President of the High Council of Time Lords to life, so why didn't Timothy Dalton return to Doctor Who? His character, Rassilon - played by Dalton in 2009's The End Of Time - resurfaced in last year's episode Hell Bent, but played by a different actor, Donald Sumpter. Speaking to the podcast Radio Free Skaro, director Rachel Talalay revealed that Dalton had been asked to return, but his schedule wouldn't permit it. 'We did check to see if Timothy Dalton was available - and he was not,' she revealed. 'So, then a regeneration happened!' Talalay had nothing but praise for Dalton's replacement, though, calling Sumpter's performance 'deep, subtle [and] terrifying. It was wonderful to work with Donald Sumpter, just embracing a new version of Rassilon,' she enthused.
Beth Tweddle has revealed that she is seeing a psychologist to help her cope with the horrifying accident she suffered on The Jump. The former Olympian fractured two vertebrae in her neck after a crash during ski-jump training on the Channel Four show earlier this year in an accident that was, frankly, waiting to happen. Speaking on The ONE Show, Tweddle admitted that it is still 'difficult' for her to think about. 'The short of it is I did a jump and I collided with the end barrier,' she said. 'I'd actually fractured and dislocated my neck so they took a small piece of bone from my hip, put it between the two vertebrae and I've got a bolt and four screws in there now and it's fusing back together.' She added: 'For me it is still quite a hard thing to talk about. That's why I'm using a psychologist and processing the accident details.' Tweddle explained that her parents had flown out to watch her that weekend, saying: 'I had them by my side. When my brother first walked into the room, I just sobbed. I was so happy to see him.' She also thanked the public for their support, explaining: '[People said], "We've had the same injury as you, we know you'll be in a dark place right now but we're now running marathons." That kind of put a smile back on my face, thinking, "I'm not the only one that's gone through this."' So, does Tweddle have any regrets about agreeing to take part in The Jump? 'If you could take the accident out of the whole process then, of course, I don't regret it, but it has been a very hard road and I've been lucky to have so many people to support me on that road,' she said. 'I've been really upset, I've been saying to my mum and dad, "I can't do this, why am I doing this, it's so unfair." When I was a gymnast I don't remember that aspect.' But, she added: 'I don't want this accident to define me. I want to be able to go out there and do what I normally do. I love working with children and inspiring them to achieve their dreams. I'm glad to say I pushed through it.'
There's a second series of Poldark coming your way this autumn, but is a third already a certainty? Aidan Turner will be returning to Cornwall this September to play Ross Poldark once again, according to Radio Times. A third series is yet to be officially announced, however, with the BBC saying that it had 'no official comment' to make on the report.
Olivia Colman her very self has an exciting festive adventure ahead as she lends her voice to We're Going On A Bear Hunt. This Christmas, Channel Four will broadcast a half-hour animated version of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury's classic children's story. Call The Midwife's Pam Ferris and Mark Williams also supply voices to this tale of siblings whose hunt for a bear becomes a quest to reunite when they get separated. As a nod to the book's popularity, the bear will be voiced the author Michael Rosen himself. 'What appealed to me about the story is the bond the family have - they care for, and look after, each other,' Colman said. 'Another wonderful aspect of the story is that it's kids enjoying a natural adventure with their imaginations, fresh air and the wilderness. I love that they commit to their adventure. I would like to go with them!' Channel Four's head of drama Piers Wenger added: 'We're delighted to welcome Olivia, Mark and Pam on board this fantastic family adventure, and Michael playing the bear is an inspired touch. It's a brilliant cast for a brilliant, classic story; I can't wait for Christmas.' We're Going On A Bear Hunt is being produced by Lupus Films.
If you've always thought your dog was a Beyoncé fan or your gerbil favoured a nice bit of Mozart, Sky Arts might just have created the very show for you. Animal Symphony will see yer actual Chris Packham hosting a new programme investigating whether or not animals can be affected by music. It is going to test the theory out in a big way: by getting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to put on a concert for a mix of humans and animals. They're not doing this half-heartedly either, as they've signed up noted musician, producer and composer Nitin Sawhney to come up with a symphony which contains 'sounds, patterns and elements of song that animals may recognise and respond to.' Sky Arts has also ordered another show about the artist KAWS - The KAWS Effect - which will broadcast an 'insta-edit' of ten one-minute shorts on Instagram to recognise the impact the social network has had on his career. 'KAWS, The Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Instagram Curation [will] bring the work of this fresh and original artist to a wider audience,' said Sky Arts director Phil Edgar-Jones. '[And] the combination of Chris Packham, Nitin Sawhney and the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra making music for animals is impossible to resist. I am excited and so is my hamster.'
An adaptation of Agatha Christie's The Witness For The Prosecution is coming to BBC1. Two hour-long episodes have been ordered by the broadcaster and production will begin 'later this year.' The commission follows the success of last year's three-part Christie adaptation ... And Then There Were None. Sarah Phelps (who scripted The Casual Vacancy) will adapt The Witness For The Prosecution, while Julian Jarrold will direct. The thriller is set in 1920s London and details the murder of rich heiress Emily French. Sarah Phelps said: 'With the long terrible shadow of The Great War falling across the rackety, feral 1920s, The Witness For The Prosecution is a compelling story of deceit, desire, murder, money and morality, innocence and guilt, heartbreak and most painful and dangerous of all, love. At the centre of this dark and tangled net is the astonishing character of Romaine, a noir heroine for all our times.'
The BBC has denied media reports that Dermot O'Dreary's wretched and crass The Getaway Car has been very axed, describing the claims as 'pure speculation.' Albeit not, necessarily, ill-informed speculation, this blogger reckons. A report in the Sun on Monday suggested that the series – starring O'Dreary and The Stig from Top Gear along with numerous z-list wastes of space – had already been axed by the BBC 'because of low ratings.' But the BBC told the Digital Spy website that 'no decisions' about the show's future have been made yet because there is still a whole series to be broadcast later this year. 'This is pure speculation,' a spokesperson said. 'It seems to be a story more about Dermot than The Getaway Car. There is a second series still to [come] later this year and only after that will a decision be taken about a recommission. So there's no truth in the story whatsoever.'
Caitlin Moran, the author and Times columnist, has called on Twitter and other social media platforms to 'do something' about abuse against women. Well, they do 'do something', Cait; they spread it. Which is merely one or several reasons why the blogger loathes Twitter and everything it stands for so much. The writer - whom this blogger is a big fan of - said on Tuesday that Twitter 'could afford' to 'hire three people' to 'tackle' threats against women if it aimed to be 'the place to be for global debate.' Though, I personally don't think Twitter does aim to be the place to be for global debate or anything even remotely like it; rather it aims to be 'the place to be for tittle-tattle, slander, bitchery, meanness and talking about shite reality shows.' Just sayin'. Oh, and really awful spelling. Moran, who has five hundred and seventy thousand followers on Twitter (that's 'a lot', apparently), compared social media to a child at the earliest stages of its development. 'Social media is like a baby screaming and throwing tantrums. which is then soothed by a picture of a cat,' she told an audience at the Cannes Lions advertising festival. Moran said that horrific rape and death threats had prompted several female friends to quit Twitter, but she had urged them to stay. 'It's very important that we don't retreat from it. It's understandable that so many women have left social media but those voices need to be there,' she said. 'I want to be there and help it grow up. Social media will become a toddler, then it will learn to walk and then it will grow up.' Asked about several initiatives by the advertising industry to address accusations of sexism, Moran said that she disagreed with some of her friends who believed they were simply 'a cynical ploy' by huge multinationals. 'I'm okay with tokenism,' she said, raising a laugh. 'It's a step forward. It's not ideal but it's better than before.' Moran also backed The Times's online paywall, saying that it meant her regular column didn't have to have sponsorship. Although like many Times columnists, she initially raged against the barriers to readers, she now compared it to the wall in Game Of Thrones 'keeping out the white walkers' of economic collapse. 'We call it the mortgage paywall,' she added.
Penny Dreadful will not return after its third-series finale in the UK. The drama, starring Eva Green, Josh Hartnett and Timothy Dalton, will come to an end with 'a jaw-dropping' double bill on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday of this week. Commissioned by Sky and the US network Showtime, Penny Dreadful reimagined some of literature's most famous characters, including Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and figures from Bram Stoker's Dracula, brought together in Victorian London. Its creator, writer and executive producer John Logan said: 'I created Penny Dreadful to tell the story of a woman grappling with her faith, and with the demons inside her. For me, the character of Vanessa Ives [played by Green] is the heart of this series. From the beginning, I imagined her story would unfold over a three-season arc. To have had fans that have embraced us so passionately has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my career.' Anne Mensah, head of Sky drama, said: 'Penny Dreadful brought Sky and Showtime together to produce a show involving the best film, TV and theatre talent in the world. John Logan's wonderful vision of Victorian London has been perfectly realised over the last three seasons building a passionate fanbase.' Which, rather makes you wonder why they're cancelling it if it's that good. The drama, which spanned twenty seven episodes, was made by Call The Midwife and The Hollow Crown producer Neal Street and Logan's Desert Wolf Productions. Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Patti LuPone and Helen McCrory were among others to appear in the drama, which was filmed in Dublin.
And now, the start of another new, semi-regular From The North series: Adverts That Really Grate Yer Actual Keith Telly Topping's Cheese. Number one: Any of the - several - Trivago adverts for the hotel comparison website featuring the sort of Gruniad-reading Middle Class hippy Communist hipsters whom one would rather enjoy watching being punched in the face by a stranger in the streets of Barcelona. But, particularly, the latest ones featuring that really very annoying Australian woman who appears to have her smug-device set on maximum.
Loose Women is being very investigated by media watchdog Ofcom - a politically appointed quango, elected by no one - for 'offensive language' over an episode in which Katie Price's disabled son, Harvey, swore. Ten people - presumably, with nothing better to do with their time - whinged to Ofcom about the episode, which went out live on ITV on 17 May. In a segment concerning online harassment, Harvey swore when Price asked him what he says to people who are 'mean' to him. An Ofcom spokesperson said that they were investigating the programme because it 'included the most offensive language before the watershed.' Fourteen-year-old Harvey has multiple disabilities including Septo-Optim Dysplasia and Ofcom said that they had asked ITV for 'background information' about 'how they had ensured due care of Harvey' with regards to his welfare. 'We received sufficient assurances for us to decide not to pursue potential issues in this area further,' an Ofcom spokesperson said. The TV watchdog is also investigating episodes of Big Brother and This Morning. Ofcom is investigating 'sexual scenes' in an episode of Big Brother broadcast on 12 June on Channel Five. The watchdog received six hundred and thirty four whinges about the Sunday night episode. They are investigating whether 'sexual scenes' featuring Marco Pierre White Junior and Laura Carter 'exceeded generally accepted standards for its time of broadcast.' An episode of This Morning on 25 May this year that featured sex toys is also being looked into. The programme featured Tracey Cox discussing vibrators and made comments about a website which sells some of these vibrators. Cox - a classic example of nominative determinism if ever there was one - has her own range of products which can be purchased exclusively via that website. Ofcom are investigating whether 'editorial content was distinct from advertising in this programme, and whether products were given undue prominence.'
BBC business reporter Steph McGovern and disability correspondent Nikki Fox are to join the broadcaster's consumer rights show Watchdog. The pair will join existing presenters Sophie Raworth, Michelle Ackerley and Matt Allwright in the autumn. McGovern will help a team of citizen journalists, named The Watchdog Army, answer 'some of the biggest consumer questions,' the BBC said. The shake-up will see Chris Hollins leave the show for 'other projects' a well-known euphemism for getting the tin-tack. He said that he had 'had a great time working on this brilliant show for the last six years.' McGovern tweeted she was 'dead excited' to be joining Watchdog, while Fox wrote she was 'excited to be working on Watchdog alongside my day job as disability correspondent,' adding 'news would have a hard job getting rid of me.' Programme editor Gareth Collett said the returning show would be continuing 'to hold big companies to account in the way Watchdog viewers have come to expect, as well as introducing some exciting changes to be revealed later this year.'

Roger Daltrey his very self is to be honoured by the music industry in recognition of his contribution to music and his charity work. The Who frontman will be presented with the Twenty Fifth Music Industry Trusts Award at a ceremony in November. In a career lasting more than fifty years, the singer has also raised millions for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Daltrey said that it was 'great to be honoured by my friends and colleagues in the music industry.' Chairman of the award committee, David Munns said Roge is 'a "worthy recipient. Roger Daltrey is an inspiration when it comes to personal devotion to charities,' he said. 'We are proud to recognise not only Roger's musical output, both as a solo performer and as part of The Who, but also his tireless dedication for charitable causes and in particular the Teenage Cancer Trust which has helped thousands of young people throughout the UK and worldwide.' The singer organises the Teenage Cancer Trust's annual concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, booking artists including Arctic Monkeys and Paul Weller. The Music Industry Trust Awards ceremony in November is held in aid of the music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins and the Brit Trust charity, which Daltrey has also supported. 'Nordoff Robbins and the Brit Trust are wonderful charities,' said Roger. 'The Who were there at the beginning and I am proud to join the honourees that have received this award before me and themselves done so much not only for these charities, but also for many others.'
A former contestant on Mexico's version of The Voice has been shot dead in Chicago, police say. Alejandro Fuentes, died on Saturday in hospital after 'an ambush' on Thursday night. He was a Voice Mexico contestant in 2011. His death comes ten days after singer Christina Grimmie, who appeared on the US edition of The Voice, was shot and killed in Orlando. The number of murders in Chicago this year is up seventy two per cent from 2015. Fuentes had been celebrating his birthday with friends on Thursday night, the local medical examiner's office said. He was in his car on the street outside Tras Bambalinas, a performing arts studio which he ran for young people in South-West Chicago. A gunman ordered him out of the car - when he refused, the gunman shot him three times in the head. No arrests have yet been made. Grimmie was shot by 'a fan' in Orlando as she was signing autographs after a concert. Her attacker then killed himself.
Selma Blair was reportedly carried off a flight on a stretcher after having what was allegedly 'a midair outburst.' The actress was travelling on a Delta flight from Cancun in Mexico to Los Angeles with her four-year-old son, Arthur, at the time. It is claimed that she was carried off after crew on the flight 'became worried' about her and her behaviour. Blair was, reportedly, taken to a local hospital, with the TMZ website claiming that the pilot 'phoned ahead' to warn radio control that a passenger had, allegedly, been seen 'mixing medication with alcohol.' The alleged 'source' allegedly snitched to People magazine: 'She was met by paramedics at LAX as soon as her plane arrived. It looks like she had taken a combination of prescription medication with alcohol. We don't know what sort of prescription medications.' One wonders how much the alleged 'source' was paid for this bit of snitching? Alleged witnesses allegedly on board the Delta flight allegedly told TMZ that Blair, who was in the first class section, was 'enjoying a glass of wine' when she started crying, allegedly saying: 'He burns my private parts. He won't let me eat or drink. He beats me. He's going to kill me.' Who, exactly, burns her private parts, she did not elaborate. The site reported that two nurses on the flight 'tended' to the actress, checking her bags for pills. Blair subsequently apologised for her behaviour.
On Monday night, the staff at Scotty's Brewhouse in Southport, Indianapolis were celebrating as management handed out a series of awards to staff, including 'best waitress' and 'best server.' But, when it came to one employee, the award took a turn for the offensive when she was bestowed the 'best butt' award. 'I feel like I'm more than just a butt,' said the woman in an interview with Fox2now. 'I feel like I'm smart, I'm going to school.' Enraged, she took the matter to Scotty's corporate HR department where she claims she was told it had 'nothing to do with them.' No one offered an apology. 'I have two jobs so I can make money and continue to go to school,' she said, 'and then get my degree and not work two jobs anymore.'
A bank in China has suspended its chairman after 'a motivational trainer' smacked the bottoms of 'under-performing' employees. Changzhi Zhangze Rural Commercial Bank, a lender in China's Northern Shanxi province, hired the training company to run 'a performance breakthrough' course, an industry watchdog reported on a government website.
Two teenagers took an early-hours rollercoaster joyride after breaking in to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The pair reportedly climbed over locked gates to take control of the theme park's Blue Flyer ride shortly after 4am. They flicked the switch and took a trip on the eighty two-year-old ride before they also raided a cafe, the Blackpool Gazette reported. A fifteen-year-old boy was given a community resolution order following Friday's break-in and told not to be such a daft plank again.

Imagine you're sitting in your living room, watching some home-shopping show on QVC. Why you would be doing that is another question entirely but, let's just say. The host is showing off some of the features on a laptop computer and — wait, does that laptop have the N-word on it? A viewer says that her sister spotted this and some other none-family-friendly language while watching a recent laptop demonstration on QVC. 'They were selling a cheap laptop, which I thought she wanted me to see,' the woman told Consumerist. 'I just said "no" to her, I wouldn't get it, then she said look at the text on the screen. So I did.' The screen of the laptop, which was being sold for two hundred and eighty nine dollars, appears to showcase a social media site of some kind which displays usernames and actions, perhaps a search. Along with the aforementioned N-word, the screen displayed terms like 'Porn' and 'Sex'. 'This just floored me, I had a jaw drop moment,' the viewer added. 'I took the picture while my sister paused the screen.' The women e-mailed QVC with the photo, but according to her she only received 'an automatic response.' She also posted it on social media, but it, so far, hasn't garnered a reply. After Consumerist contacted QVC, the company issued an apology and claimed to be 'looking into the matter. QVC is investigating an incident in which inappropriate social media comments generated from an outside source were momentarily and accidentally shown on our live programming,' Doug Rose, SVP, Brand and Communications said in a statement. 'We apologise to any viewers that were offended by this unauthorised content. The language shown was in direct contradiction to our values at QVC, and has no place in our broadcast nor anywhere else in our community. We are evaluating our screening procedures for live streaming social media content to prevent an incident like this from happening again.'
Women in Montreal will be allowed to go topless in public this summer apparently. Which is jolly nice if you happen to be in Montreal this summer. There are flights, yes?
A Maryland judge has upheld a two-day school suspension for a boy, then seven years old, who chewed his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun and pretended to shoot it. Judge Ronald Silkworth of Anne Arundel County Circuit Court - who sounds like a right laugh - said that the suspension was 'appropriate' because the incident was 'disruptive' and the boy had a history of 'escalating behavioural issues,' the Washington Post reports. The boy attended Park Elementary School in Anne Arundel. He made his pastry gun less than three months after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The boy's family is represented by lawyer Robin Ficker, who said that he was 'disappointed' by the decision. 'There was no physical injury, and I think they should be able to deal with a seven-year-old in-house,' Ficker told the Post. Ficker told the newspaper that he has handled ten student discipline cases involving 'pretend guns' since the Newtown shootings. The Anne Arundel case is the only one in which school officials did not clear the student's record.

A jaguar - one of the big cats rather than an E-Type, obviously - has been shot very dead shortly after it was used in an Olympic torch relay in the Brazilian city of Manaus, the Brazilian army has said. The female jaguar escaped from its handlers after the ceremony on Monday and attacked a soldier, a spokesman added. Four tranquiliser darts failed to stop it and so a soldier shot it in the head with a pistol. That stopped it. Organisers for the Rio Games said that it had been 'a mistake' to exhibit the Olympic torch next to a chained wild animal and, one is sure that chained animal in question would probably have agreed. Although, it was probably more of a mistake to chain it in the first place instead of, you know, just leaving it alone. University of Brasilia animal behaviour scientist Joao Paulo Castro told BBC Brasil that it was 'likely' the animal escaped because it got 'stressed' during the relay ceremony. No shit? 'It's neither healthy nor advisable to subject an animal to such a situation, with lots of noise and people,' he said. 'Often, jaguars already are stressed by being kept in captivity, that's only compounded when they're exposed to hubbub.' Animal rights groups have condemned the killing, with some questioning why the animal was involved in the Olympic event in the first place. 'When will we learn? Wild animals held captive and forced to do things that are frightening, sometimes painful, and always unnatural are ticking time bombs,' Brittany Peet, director of captive animal law enforcement at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a statement. The animal called Juma was being kept at a zoo attached to a military jungle training camp. It was rescued as a cub by soldiers after its mother died in the jungle and was brought up at the camp, the military said. Jaguars seized from hunters are sometimes kept as mascots by jungle battalions and shown at military parades. An investigation into the jaguar's death will now be carried out by the military.
Significantly warmer winters have played an important role in the ongoing decline in EU greenhouse gas emissions. According to a new report, the use of CO2 and other gases across the bloc dropped by almost a quarter between 1990 and 2014. A switch from coal to natural gas, the recession and the rise of renewable energy all contributed to the fall. The latest figures, from 2014, show that a milder winter was the major factor in the reduction that year. So, it seems that climate change is helping to reduced emissions which cause ... err, climate change. Is it time for another round of How Ironic Is That now?
Reigning Tour De France champion Chris Froome will lead the Team Sky squad for the one hundred and third edition of the race. Froome will be supported by Welsh riders Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe, who will be the road captain in the nine-strong squad, while fellow Briton Ian Stannard is also named. Froome is the only Briton to win the Tour twice, claiming victory in 2013 and 2015. The Grand Depart leaves Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy on 2 July. 'Every rider obviously starts every new Tour equal and what has gone before counts for nothing. This year I am hungrier than ever for success,' Froome said. Thomas, Stannard, Rowe and Dutch rider Wout Poels were all part of the squad that helped Froome to victory in last year's contest. 'There are a number of riders in other teams capable of putting in a challenge for overall victory. That's great news for cycling fans,' Team Sky boss Sir David Brailsford added.

A former Premier League striker has been found carrying cocaine at children's theme park Chessington World of Adventures. Marcus Bent - a thirty eight-year-old who represented Charlton Not Very Athletic and Brentford, as well as Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Everton, Birmingham City, Middlesbrough, Ipswich Town, Leicester City and half-a-dozen other clubs during a seventeen-year career - was very arrested on Monday. He was held in custody overnight and appeared in a Wimbledon Magistrate's court on Tuesday morning to answer to a charge of possession of a class A substance. It is understood that Bent entered a very guilty plea, and was fined three hundred and eighty five notes, with eighty five knicker costs. Bent has had brushes with the law before. Last September, he was extremely charged with affray and possession of a class A drug after police used tasers to arrest him at his home in Esher. He had called 999 himself, believing that intruders were in his house, and attacked the officers with a meat cleaver and kitchen knife while under the influence of drugs when they arrived. He is said to be 'working in the oil industry,' having retired from the game.
Liam Plunkett smashed the final ball of the match for six as England tied a remarkable first one-day international against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge on Tuesday evening. Chasing two hundred and eighty seven, Jos Buttler's ninety three and Chris Woakes's unbeaten ninety five helped the hosts recover from thirty for four and eighty two for six earlier in their innings. Their impressive performances looked to have been in vain until number ten Plunkett launched Nuwan Pradeep's last ball down the ground and into the stand. Angelo Mathews scored seventy three and Seekkuge Prasanna fifty nine in Sri Lanka's total of two hundred and eighty six for nine in their fifty overs. The tourists remain without a victory against England on this tour, having lost the three-Test series two to nil with the third drawn. England went into Nuwan Pradeep's final over on two hundred and seventy three for eight, requiring fourteen runs for victory or thirteen for a tie. Plunkett's last-ball heroics were made possible by the superb innings of wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler and all-rounder Woakes. Buttler came to the crease with England tottering on thirty for four, having lost Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow for single figures in quick succession. Buttler initially provided able support for captain Eoin Morgan, then demonstrated his ability and temperament to build an innings following the loss of his captain for forty three. Buttler scored at about a run a ball throughout, finding the perfect foil in the equally efficient Woakes as the pair added an England ODI record of one hundred and thirty eight for the seventh wicket. Buttler's dismissal - courtesy of a superb leaping catch on the long-on boundary by Dasun Shanaka off Prasanna - looked to have derailed England's hopes of a win. But Woakes kept them in the game - amassing his highest ODI score in the process - to help set up the last-ball drama. Having lost the toss and been put in to bat, Sri Lanka's innings was built around two contrasting half-centuries - one a patient effort from captain Mathews, the other a brief, big-hitting display from Prasanna. Having arrived at the wicket with the tourists fifty six for three after David Willey and Woakes had removed the top three cheaply, the cautious Mathews - playing his one hundred and seventy second ODI - made seventy three off one hundred and nine balls before falling in the forty seventh over. He shared responsibility for steadying the ship with Dinesh Chandimal, who scored thirty seven in a partnership of sixty four, while Prasanna accelerated the run-rate by smashing a twenty eight-ball fifty nine which included eight fours and four sixes. Prasanna's dismissal - caught and bowled by Woakes - checked Sri Lanka's progress and, despite run-a-ball cameos from Shanaka (twenty) and Farveez Maharoof (thirty one), they fell short of three hundred. Woakes, Willey and Liam Plunkett picked up two wickets each but arguably the pick of the bowlers was spinner Adil Rashid, who went for only thirty six from ten superb overs.
Authorities at Euro 2016 in France are under pressure to stop fans smuggling flares into stadiums, but after one man was reportedly found to have hidden one such device up his rectum, is there anything they can actually do? Security at the Euro 2016 stadiums and fan zones is tight, but still not tight enough, apparently. A French-Albanian man is facing court on Monday of next week after he allegedly hid a banned flare in his bum crack to smuggle it into the Nice fan zone where two people were hurt when it was set off, prosecutors said. The eighteen-year-old is reported to have set off the flare in the fan zone during last Wednesday's game between France and Albania causing burns to two people as well as himself, prosecutors said. Security is at an all time high at both the grounds and the fan zones, but even in the case of the man, pat-down searches failed to find the eighteen centimetre by four centimetre flare which was reportedly hidden in a condom. The tournament has already been blighted by a few other incidents including flares, most dramatically during the Croatia versus Czech Republic match in Saint-Etienne, where UEFA brought charges after at least ten flares were lobbed from the Croatian corner of the stadium. Flares have also been fired at the Hungary and Iceland clash in Marseille, the Spain and Turkey match in Nice and Belgium versus Ireland in Bordeaux. UEFA and French authorities have been criticised for allowing so many flares in.
A Swedish footballer has reportedly been sent off for breaking wind during a match – with the referee accusing him of 'deliberate provocation' and 'unsportsmanlike behaviour.' Adam Lindin Ljungkvist, who was playing at left-back in the match between Järna SK's reserve team and Pershagen SK, was shown a second yellow card late on in what local media called 'bizarre circumstances.' 'I had a bad stomach, so I simply let go,' the twenty five-year-old told Länstidningen Södertälje. 'Then, I received two yellow cards and then red. Yes, I was shocked, it's the strangest thing I have ever experienced in football. I asked the referee, "What, am I not allowed to break wind a little?" "No," he replied. I don't get it but, maybe, he thought I farted in my hand and threw the fart at him. But I did not.' Opposition striker Kristoffer Linde told the paper: 'I was standing a good distance away but I heard the fart loud and clear. It's the strangest thing I've seen on a pitch, and I've been playing football since I was eight years old.' The referee, Dany Kako, confirmed that Ljungkvist had received the second yellow card for breaking wind, explaining: 'I perceived it as deliberate provocation. He did it on purpose and it was inappropriate. Therefore, he received a yellow card.' Ljungkvist told Aftonbladet: 'To provoke anyone with a fart is not particularly smart or normal. It's nonsense – I just broke wind and got a red card. I spoke to the referee afterwards, I was annoyed, but there were no bad words. I just said he was a buffoon.' Kako said that he had experienced 'similar incidents' before. 'Once there was a player who stood and peed next to the pitch. I showed him a yellow card, too.'
Now, as you probably already know, dear blog reader, Anton Yelchin, who played Pavel Chekov in recently released Star Trek movies, has died in an horrific car accident at the age of just twenty seven. The actor had risen to prominence with several blockbuster films in recent years - and has a starring role in Star Trek Beyond, which is due to be released next month. Publicist Jennifer Allen confirmed Anton's was killed early on Sunday morning. According to reports, the actor died in a freak accident after getting pinned between his car - a Jeep Grand Cherokee - and a brick pillar at his home. Anton was discovered after concerned friends visited his home in the San Fernando Valley because he had failed to attend a rehearsal hours earlier. An only child, Yelchin was born in Leningrad and moved to the US as a baby with his parents, who were professional figure skaters. His first screen role was in US drama ER in 2000 and appeared in more than a dozen TV series and films before his breakthrough role in 2006's Alpha Dog. Among his other big screen credits were Charlie Bartlett (2007), Terminator Salvation (2009), Fright Night (2011), Odd Thomas (2013) and the horror movie Green Room, released last year.
And finally, dear blog reader, the question of the day: Everybody seemingly wants to know if yer actual Keith Telly Topping is in or out. Nobody, it appears is giving this blogger the option of The Third Way (and, therefore, the chance to 'shake it all about'). Which is an opportunity missed I feel.
That's what it's all about, dear blog reader.