Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sir Roger Moore: The Hardest Working Eyebrows In Showbusiness

Sir Roger Moore has died aged eight nine. His family made the sad announcement on Twitter, saying that Roger had died after 'a short but brave battle with cancer.' The statement, from his children, read: 'Thank you Pops for being you and being so very special to so many people.' 'With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone,' read the statement from Roger's three children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian. 'Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina [his wife] at this difficult time.' It added: 'We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement.'
As the dashing Simon Templar in The Saint, the champagne-drinking adventurer Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders! and, most notably, 007 licence-to-kill James Bond in seven movies beginning with 1973's classic Live & Let Die, Sir Roger Moore was nothing if not the epitome of Upper Class British crime-fighting cool in the 1960s and 70s. Along with his good friend the late Patrick Macnee, Roger was, perhaps, one of the first great actors of the TV age, effortlessly using his charm - and more than a little occasional self-mockery - to present a series of characters whom audiences adored as much for their way around a pithy quip or a sly wink to the viewers not to take everything too seriously as for anything else. Often mocked by sneering 'serious' critics as, frankly, not a very good actor, Roger more than made up for any weaknesses in that department with an effortless suave. And, when given good material to work with - see, for example, his genuinely brilliant performance in the 1970 thriller The Man Who Haunted Himself - proved that he could hold his own with the best of them. 'During my early acting years I was told that to succeed you needed personality, talent and luck in equal measure,' Roger told the Gruniad in a wonderfully self-deprecating interview in 2014 that was so typical of the man. 'I contest that. For me it's been ninety nine per cent luck. It's no good being talented and not being in the right place at the right time.'
Roger George Moore was born in October 1927 in Stockwell. He was the only child of George, a police detective sergeant. Roger's mother, Lily, was born in Calcutta. He attended Battersea Grammar School, but was evacuated to Holsworthy in Devon, during the Second World War and went to Launceston College school. At fifteen, he entered art college and later became an apprentice at an animation studio in London, where it seems much fun was had at his expense. 'I was probably the lowliest in the entire building,' he said. 'They sent me on errands for things like tins of sprocket holes and the guy in stores would say he didn't have any - and would rainbow paint do instead?' He gained early acting experience at the age of seventeen appearing as an uncredited extra in the film Caesar & Cleopatra (1945) meeting his idol, the actor Stewart Grainger, on the set. Many years later, Moore and Granger were both in The Wild Geese (1978), though they had no scenes together. At eighteen, shortly after the end of the Second World War, Roger was conscripted for National Service. In September 1946, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps as a Second Lieutenant and eventually became a Captain, commanding a small depot in West Germany. He later looked after entertainers for the armed forces passing through Hamburg. Immediately after his National Service, Roger studied for two terms at the RADA, during which his fees were paid by Caesar & Cleopatra's director Brian Desmond Hurst (a family friend after Roger's father had investigated a break-in as Hurst's home) who also used Roger as an extra in another his films, Trottie True (1949). At RADA, Roge was a classmate of his future Bond co-star Lois Maxwell, the original Miss Moneypenny. He chose to leave RADA after six months in order to seek paid employment as an actor. In 1946, aged eighteen, Moore had married a fellow RADA student, the actress and ice skater Doorn Van Steyn who was six years his senior; Roger and Van Steyn lived in Streatham with her family, but tension over money matters and her lack of confidence in his acting ability, inevitably took their toll on the relationship. During the early stages of his career, Roger collected towels from the hotels he stayed in. However, he stopped when a newspaper printed a story entitled Roger Moore Is A Towel Thief. He revealed on So Graham Norton in 1998 that he still had the collection in his Swiss home.
On his return to the theatre, he found acting roles hard to come by but his well-toned physique meant that he was very in-demand as a male model. One of his engagements was playing the doctor in Woman's Own medical features. In the early 1950s, Roger worked extensively, appearing in print advertisements for knitwear (earning him the nickname 'The Big Knit') and a wide range of other products such as toothpaste - an element that some critics later used as typifying his lightweight credentials as an actor.
In his book Last Man Standing: Tales From Tinseltown, Roger noted that his first television appearance was on the BBC in March 1949 in a live performance of the play The Governess by Patrick Hamilton in which he played a minor part, Bob Drew. Unlike many of his contemporaries, however, Roger wasn't a TV regular for another decade, making the majority of his screen appearances in movies. In 1952, Roger met the Welsh singer Dorothy Squires, who was thirteen years his senior and then at the height of her popularity and Roger and Van Steyn divorced the following year. Squires and Moore were married in New York and moved to the United States in 1954 to develop both of their careers but tensions subsequently developed due to their age differences and, allegedly, to Moore's infatuation with the actress Dorothy Provine. They would eventually move back to the UK in 1961. Squires suffered a series of miscarriages during their marriage and Roger later said that the outcome of their marriage might have been different if they had been able to have children. In their often tempestuous relationship, Squires once smashed a guitar over his head and after learning of his affair with the Italian actress Luisa Mattioli, who later became Roger's third wife, Moore claimed that Squires 'threw a brick through my window. She reached through the glass and grabbed my shirt and she cut her arms doing it. The police came and they said, "Madam, you're bleeding" and she said, "It's my heart that's bleeding!"' Squires intercepted letters from Mattioli to Moore and later planned to include them in her autobiography but the couple won injunctions against the publication in 1977, which led Squires to unsuccessfully sue them for loss of earnings. The numerous legal cases launched by Squires related to her and Roger's relationship - she once, infamously and unsuccessfully sued the actor Kenneth More who, during a TV awards ceremony had spotted Roger and Mattioli in the audience and described the pair as 'Mr and Mrs Roger Moore' - led to Squires be declared a vexatious litigant in 1988. Roger, however, remained on reasonably good terms with her and paid a now near destitute Squires's hospital bills after her cancer treatment in 1996 and up to her death in 1998.
Although Roger signed a seven-year contract with MGM in 1954, the films that followed were not successes and, in his own words, 'at MGM, RGM was NBG [no bloody good].' He appeared in Interrupted Melody in 1955 - billed third under Glenn Ford and Eleanor Parker - a biographical movie about an opera singer's recovery from polio. That same year, he played a supporting role in The King's Thief starring Ann Blyth, Edmund Purdom, David Niven and George Sanders. In the 1956 film Diane, Roger was billed third again, this time under Lana Turner and Pedro Armendariz in a Sixteenth-Century period piece set in France with Roger playing Prince Henri. He was released from his MGM contract after only two years following the critical and commercial failure of Diane. After that, Roger spent a few years mainly doing guest parts in television series, including an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He signed another long-term contract, this time with Warner Brothers, in 1959. His starring role in The Miracle, a version of the play Das Mirakel with Carroll Baker as a nun, had previously been turned down by Dirk Bogarde. The same year, Roger was directed by Arthur Hiller in The Angry Young Man, an episode of The Third Man TV series starring Michael Rennie. Eventually, Roger made his own name in television. He was the eponymous hero, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, in the 1958 ITV series Ivanhoe, a - very - loose adaptation of the romantic novel by Sir Walter Scott. Shot mainly at Elstree and in Buckinghamshire, some of the show was also filmed in California due to a partnership deal with Columbia Studios' Screen Gems. Aimed at younger audiences, the pilot was filmed in colour, a reflection of its comparatively high budget - certainly for a British adventure series of that period - but subsequent episodes were shot in black and white. Christopher Lee - another close friend of Roger's over several decades - and John Schlesinger were among the show's guest stars and series regulars included Robert Brown (who in, the 1980s, would play M in several of Roger's James Bond films), Peter Gilmore, Andrew Keir as villainous Prince John and Bruce Seton as King Richard. Roger suffered broken ribs and a battle-axe blow to his helmet while performing some of his own stunts filming the thirty nine episodes and later reminisced, 'I felt a complete Charlie riding around in all that armour and damned stupid plumed helmet. I felt like a medieval fireman.'
His next series involved playing the lead as Silky Harris for the ABC/Warner Brothers 1959 western The Alaskans, with co-stars Dorothy Provine, Jeff York and Ray Danton. The show ran for a single series of thirty seven hour-long episodes on Sunday nights. Though set in Alaska, with a focus on the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s, the series was filmed on a hot studio lot at Warner Brothers in Hollywood with the cast costumed in fur coats and hats. Roger said he found the work highly taxing and his off-camera affair with Provine complicated matters even more. He subsequently appeared as the character Fourteen Karat John in the two-part episode Right Off The Boat of the ABC crime drama The Roaring Twenties. In the wake of The Alaskans, Roger was then cast as Beau Maverick, an English-accented cousin of frontier gamblers Bret Maverick (James Garner), Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) and Brent Maverick (Robert Colbert) in the much more successful western series Maverick. It later emerged that Sean Connery was flown over from Britain to screen-test for the part but had turned it down. Roger appeared as the character in fourteen episodes after Garner had left the series at the end of the previous series, actually wearing some of Garner's costumes. Roger had filmed a Maverick episode with Garner two years earlier in which Moore played a different character in a retooling of Sheridan's comedy of manners The Rivals. In the course of the story, Moore and Garner's characters switched names over a bet, with Roger consequently identifying himself as Bret Maverick through most of the episode. His debut as Beau Maverick occurred in the first episode of the 1960 series. Leaving after several months, Roger cited a decline in script quality since the Garner era as the key factor in his decision.
Worldwide fame arrived for Roger after Lew Grade cast his as playboy adventurer Simon Templar in ITC's adaptation of The Saint, based on the novels of Leslie Charteris. Roger said in an interview in 1963, that he wanted to buy the rights to Charteris's character and the trademarks and also joked that the role was supposed to have been written with Sean Connery in mind, but the Scottish actor was unavailable making the first James Bond movie. The Saint was made in the UK but with an eye to the American market and its widespread success there (and in many other countries) made Roger a household name. Many of Templar's characteristics, the easygoing manner, mocking eyebrow and ability to successfully charm every passing female, would later be incorporated into Roger's role as James Bond. Even his habit in many episodes of looking directly at the camera prefigures the later Bonds, where he all but winked at the audience. By spring 1967 he had achieved international stardom. The series also established his suave, witty-quipping style which he carried forward to Bond and beyond. Roger went on to direct several episodes of the later series, which moved into colour in 1967. The Saint ran from 1962 for six series and one hundred and eighteen episodes, making it at the time the longest-running series of its kind on British television. Many of the later, colour episodes, are still being syndicated today.
However, Roger grew increasingly tired of the role and was keen to branch out. He made two films immediately after the series ended: Crossplot (1969), a lightweight spy caper movie and the more challenging The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970). Directed by Basil Dearden, the latter gave Roger the opportunity to demonstrate a far wider versatility than Simon Templar had allowed, although reviews at the time were lukewarm and both movies did little business at the box office, The Man Who Haunted Himself has become something of a cult classic. In the film, Roger played a businessman who appears to be living a double life. It was, he once noted, 'the only film I was allowed to act in.' In recent years, a TV repeat of the film was praised online by the actor and writer Mark Gatiss which was replied to by Roger and led to an Internet friendship between the pair.
Television lured Moore back to star alongside Tony Curtis in The Persuaders! The show featured the adventures of two millionaire playboys solving crime across Europe. Roger was paid the then-unheard-of sum of a million quid for a single - twenty four episode - series making him the highest paid television actor in the world. However, Lew Grade claimed in his autobiography Still Dancing, that Moore and Curtis 'didn't hit it off all that well.' The concept of The Persuaders! originated in one of the final episodes of The Saint, The Ex-King Of Diamonds, wherein Simon Templar was partnered with a Texas oilman (played by Stuart Damon) in a Monte Carlo gambling adventure. Pleased with that combination, Robert S Baker and Grade funded the new series. Unusually, production began and continued without contracts between the producers and Roger. Curtis became involved because ITC knew it needed an American co-star to ensure the series would be picked up by US networks. Initially the role of Danny Wilde was offered to both Rock Hudson and Glenn Ford. ITC then asked the ABC for a list of suitable actors which included Curtis and, he agreed and flew to the UK in April 1970 to commence location filming. However, on arrival at Heathrow Tony was busted by the fuzz for possession of pot and fined fifty quid gaining the series much tabloid notoriety before they'd even shot a single episode. Filming was conducted on location in Europe (France, Spain, Sweden, and Italy) and at Pinewood. Each of the twenty four episodes cost around one hundred thousand smackers to make, an astronomical figure for the time. In a DVD documentary, the writer Bob Baker claimed that Lew Grade was prepared to finance a second series, despite the relative failure of the show in America. He proposed casting Noel Harrison as a replacement for Roger who had, by that time, got the James Bond gig but Grade was later convinced by others on the production that it was the dynamic between Roger and Tony which had worked so well. During the series, Roger acted - officially and practically - as his own wardrobe stylist. It stemmed from genuine sartorial interests and because he was marketing a line of clothes by bespoke men's tailors, Pearson and Foster. Every episode carried the closing credit, 'Lord Sinclair's clothes designed by Roger Moore.' Followed by the even-more hilarious 'gowns by The Total Look Of Debenhams'!
There has been much speculation over the years about the professional relationship between Roger and Tony enjoyed on and off the set, as evidenced by Grade's comments. In her autobiography Second Act, Joan Collins claimed that the pair did not get along when she was a guest star for one episode. She cited Curtis's frequent bouts of temper tantrums as the reason why the set of Five Miles To Midnight was so tense. Episode director Val Guest, in a 2005 interview to the British Film Institute, broadly confirmed Collins's assessment: 'Tony was on pot at the time and I used to have to say "Oh, go and have a smoke," because he always had some gripe. One day, we were shooting on the Croisette in Cannes and we'd been roped off our little thing and there were crowds all around watching us film. Tony came down to do his scene and he was carrying on at the wardrobe saying, 'You didn't do this and you should have done that and in Hollywood you would have been fired." Dear Roger Moore walked over, took him by the lapels, looked him straight in the eyes and said, 'And, to think, those lips once kissed Piper Laurie!" The whole of the Croisette collapsed, the unit collapsed and, I must say, even Tony had to laugh. We were asked to do another [series] we got the award that year for the best TV series and they wanted to do a repeat, I remember Roger saying, "With Tony Curtis? Not on your life!" And he went on to become James Bond, so he did all right.' According to Roger's autobiography, Curtis's use of cannabis was so extensive that he even smoked it in front of a police officer while filming in Downing Street. Despite third-party claims, however, both Tony and Roger consistently maintained that they enjoyed an amicable and friendly relationship. Roger says: 'Tony and I had a good on and off-screen relationship, we are two very different people, but we did share a sense of humour.' In a 2005 interview, Tony referred to Roger with seemingly genuine affection and stated that he would not participate in a remake of The Persuaders! without Moore.
The series failed in America, where it had been pre-sold to ABC, but it was highly successful in Europe and in Australia. In Germany, where the series was aired under the name Die Zwei, it became a hit, in part through especially amusing dubbing which only barely used translations of the original dialogue. Since then, The Persuaders! has been issued on DVD, while in France, where the series (entitled Amicalement Vôtre) had always been popular, the DVD releases were accompanied a monthly magazine. Again, like The Saint, syndication repeats of The Persuaders! continue to this day.
During this period, Roger was appointed the head of Brut Films, an offshoot of the aftershave manufacturer. He tried unsuccessfully to entice Cary Grant to make his acting comeback in a Brut advert, but succeeded in recruiting him as one of the company's advisers. Moore was also instrumental in the production of A Touch Of Class, the 1973 romantic comedy for which Glenda Jackson won her second Oscar. His brief tenure as a mogul was abbreviated when he signed a three-film contract to play James Bond. Because of his commitment to several television shows, in particular The Saint, Roger was unavailable for the James Bond franchise for a considerable time although, in 1964, he made a guest appearance playing Bond in the comedy series Mainly Millicent. Roger stated in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond (2008) that he had neither been approached to play the character in Dr No, nor did he feel that he had ever been considered. It was only after Sean Connery had declared in 1966 during the filming of You Only Live Twice that he would not play Bond again that Moore became aware he might be a contender for the role, but was unavailable due to his contract on The Saint. However, after George Lazenby was cast in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service and then Connery played Bond again in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Roger was approached and he accepted Cubby Broccoli's offer in August 1972. In his autobiography Roger noted that he had to cut his hair and lose weight for the role. Out went the harder, crueller edge of Connery's 007 to be succeeded by sardonic humour and the inevitable raised eyebrow. After Live & Let Die, Moore continued to portray Bond in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View To A Kill (1985). Three of them were great, two of them were really bad but all of them were a Hell of a lot of fun! He remains the longest-serving James Bond actor, having spent twelve years in the role. He was also the oldest actor to have played Bond – he was forty five when he was cast and fifty eight when he announced his retirement in December 1985.
Moore's Bond was very different from the version created by Ian Fleming. Screenwriters like Tom Mankiewicz and George MacDonald Fraser provided scenarios in which Moore was cast as a seasoned, debonair playboy who would always have a trick or gadget in stock when he needed it. This was designed to serve the contemporary taste of the 1970s. Roger's version of Bond was also known for his sense of humour and pithy one-liners, but also a skilled detective with a cunning mind. 'Sean played Bond as a killer and I played Bond as a lover,' he once said. Only on Fridays did he resemble a cold-blooded assassin: 'That's the day I received my paychecks.' Roger said that he had read several of Fleming's novels in preparation for the role and had particularly noted a line in which Fleming had written that Bond had recently returned from an assignment to kill someone which Bond had found distasteful. 'I thought, that's how I'm going to play him,' Roger said and his character was certainly something of a contrast with the rougher, more bullying Connery Bond. Mankiewicz, who wrote Connery's final Bond movie and Roger's first two spoke eloquently of the differences between the two, noting that if Connery were sitting opposite a beautiful girl he could either lean over and kiss her, or stab her in the back and the audience would accept either scenario. But, with Roger, the latter would just seemed mean. In 2004, Roger was voted Best Bond in an Academy Awards poll and he won with sixty two per cent of votes in another poll in 2008.
During Roger's Bond period he starred in thirteen other movies, beginning with the Wilbur Smith thriller Gold (1974) and the romantic comedy That Lucky Touch (1975, in which he was very good). He portrayed an First World War adventurer in Africa opposite Lee Marvin in a fine adaptation of another Wilbur Smith novel, Shout At The Devil (1976), a commando mercenary with Richard Burton and Richard Harris in the popular action movie The Wild Geese (1978), a counter-terrorism expert opposite Anthony Perkins in the thriller North Sea Hijack (1979) and a millionaire so obsessed with Roger Moore that he had had plastic surgery to look like his hero in Cannonball Run (1981). He even made a cameo as Chief Inspector Clouseau, posing as a famous movie star, in The Curse Of The Pink Panther (1983 for which he was credited as Turk Thrust II). Although most of these films were critically acclaimed a couple of them were quite commercially successful and Moore remained something of a box-office draw into the mid-1980s. Although critics often accused him of not looking tough enough to play Bond, he once allegedly beat up Marvin while they were filming Shout At The Devil. Marvin recalled, 'The guy is built like granite. Nobody will ever underestimate him again.' While filming the interrogation scene opposite Burton and Harris in The Wild Geese, Moore made the virtually unheard-of request to have a cut in his lines. After another take he suggested all his lines should be cut. When the director Andrew McLaglen asked him why, he replied, 'Do you seriously think I want to act against these guys? I'll just sit here and puff on my cigar.
After relinquishing his role as Bond, Roger's workload tended to diminish though he did star in the American box office flop Fire, Ice & Dynamite (1990), as well as the Michael Winner 'comedy' Bullseye! with Michael Caine. He did the overlooked comedy Bed & Breakfast (1991), as well as the television movie The Man Who Wouldn't Die (1994) and then Jean-Claude Van Damme flop The Quest (1996). He also took roles in Spice World (1997) and the American television series The Dream Team (1999). Although his film work may have slowed down, he was still very much in the public eye, be it appearing on television chat shows or hosting documentaries. In 1990 he appeared in writer-director Michael Feeney Callan's television series My Riviera. Between 1998 and 2002 he starred in all four ITV Christmas Pantomimes. At the age of seventy three, he played an amorous homosexual in Boat Trip (2002) and, although the film was critically panned, Moore's comedic performance was singled out by many critics as the one of the few enjoyable aspects of it. He was scheduled to make his musical theatre debut as Sir George in Lloyd Webber's Aspects Of Love in 1990 but he left the production days before his escape clause expired due to his own concerns over his singing ability. He was replaced by Kevin Colson. Roger became an object of mild mockery after the 1980s satirical show Spitting Image featured a puppet of him that expressed its emotions solely through its eyebrows. The joke proved robust, but not everyone realised that Roger had actually cracked it first. 'The eyebrows thing was my own fault,' he once said in trademark self-deprecating style. 'I was talking about how talentless I was and said I have three expressions as Bond: right eyebrow raised, left eyebrow raised and eyebrows crossed when grabbed by Jaws! And they used it, very well, I must say.' In 2009 Moore appeared in an advertisement for the Post Office. The following year, Moore provided the voice of a talking cat called Lazenby in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore. In 2011 Moore co-starred in the film A Princess For Christmas with Katie McGrath and Sam Heughan and in 2012 he took to the stage for a series of seven Evenings with in UK theatres and, in November, guest-hosted Have I Got News For You.
Despite having made millions through his film and television career, friends stressed he was one of the most modest and charming actors in the business and all that really mattered to him were his wife and family. In 1983 his life changed when filming Octopussy in India. Shocked at the poverty he saw, he became interested in the Third World humanitarian effort. Roger's friend Audrey Hepburn had impressed him with her work for UNICEF and consequently he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. Roger was also involved in the production of a video for PETA that protests against the production and wholesale of foie gras. In 1961, while filming The Rape Of The Sabine Women in Italy, Roger had left his then wife Dorothy Squires for the Italian actress Luisa Mattioli. Squires refused to accept their separation and sued Moore for loss of conjugal rights, but Moore refused the court's order to return to Squires in twenty eight days. Roger and Mattioli lived together until 1969, when Squires finally granted him a divorce, after the couple had been separated for seven years. Roger had three children with Mattioli: the actress Deborah Moore (born 1963) and two sons, Geoffrey Moore and Christian Moore. Geoffrey is also an actor and appeared alongside his father in the - hilariously bad - 1976 film Sherlock Holmes In New York. In later life Geoffrey co-founded Hush Restaurant in Mayfair with Jamie Barber. Geoffrey and his wife, Loulou, have two daughters, Ambra and Mia. Roger's youngest son, Christian, is a film producer. Roger and Mattioli separated in 1993 after Moore's affinity with the Swedish born Danish socialite, Kristina Tholstrup. Roger later described his prostate cancer diagnosis in 1993 as 'life-changing,' which led him to reassess his life and marriage. Mattioli and Tholstrup had long been friends but Mattioli was scathing of Tholstrup in the book which she subsequently wrote about her relationship with Moore, Nothing Lasts Forever, describing how she felt 'betrayed' by Tholstrup and 'discarded' by Moore. Roger remained silent on his divorce from Mattioli, later saying that he did not wish to hurt his children by 'engaging in a war of words' with their mother. The children all reportedly refused to speak to him for a period after the divorce, but they were later reconciled with their father. Mattioli refused to grant Moore a divorce until 2000, when a ten million quid settlement was agreed. Roger subsequently married Tholstrup in 2002 and would later say that he loved Tholstrup as she was 'organised, serene, loving and calm,' adding that 'I have a difficult life. I rely on Kristina totally. When we are travelling for my job she is the one who packs. Kristina takes care of all that.' Roger also said that his marriage to Tholstrop was 'a tranquil relationship, there are no arguments.'
Roger became a tax exile in 1978, originally to Switzerland and divided his year between his three homes; an apartment in Monte Carlo, a chalet in Crans-Montana and a home in the south of France. He became a resident of Monaco, having been appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by Prince Albert II for his efforts in internationally promoting and publicising the principality. He was vocal in his defence of his tax status, saying that in the 1970s he had been urged by his 'accountants, agents and lawyers' that moving abroad was essential because 'you would never be able to save enough to ensure that you had any sort of livelihood if you didn't work' as a result of the punitive taxation rates imposed on unearned income. Moore claimed in 2011 that his decision to live abroad was 'not about tax. That's a serious part of it. I come back to England often enough not to miss it, to see the changes, to find some of the changes good. I paid my taxes at the time that I was earning a decent income, so I've paid my due.' Roger was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2013, which left him unable to drink martinis. He had to learn to walk again after a bout of pneumonia and had a pacemaker fitted after collapsing on stage during a 2003 matinee performance of the comedy The Play What I Wrote. In 1999, Roger was created a CBE and advanced to KBE in June 2003. The citation on the knighthood was for Roger's charity work, which had dominated his public life for more than a decade. Moore said that the citation 'meant far more to me than if I had got it for acting. I was proud because I received it on behalf of UNICEF as a whole and for all it has achieved over the years.' In October 2008, Roger was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on television and in film. In the same year the French government appointed Roger a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. On 21 November 2012, Roger was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Hertfordshire, for his outstanding contributions to the UK film and television industry for over fifty years.
Moore admitted to being a lifelong hypochondriac; among those to whom he expressed thanks in the acknowledgements of his autobiography are five GPs, four cardiologists, two dermatologists and a proctologist. He visibly enjoyed his time as Bond and expressed only occasional regrets about his career. 'I spent my life playing heroes because I looked like one,' he said. 'Practically everything I've been offered didn't require much beyond looking like me. I would have loved to play a real baddie.' 'I'm the worst Bond, according to the Internet,' he observed. 'Generally hated! I was too funny, too light. Didn't take it seriously enough. Well, this is a man who is supposed to be a spy. And yet he turns up in bars and hotels around the world and everyone says, "Ah, Meezda Bond, we've been expecting you!" Everybody knows who he is and what he wants to drink. It's the same with the Bond girls. All the new ones say, "Oh, I'm going to be different from the others," but before long it's always the same - "Oh, James!"' Despite his other work and achievements, Roger never managed to quite shrug off the mantle of 007. But, he didn't mind. 'Of course I do not regret the Bond days,' he once remarked. 'I regret that, sadly, heroes in general are depicted with guns in their hands, and to tell the truth I have always hated guns and what they represent.'

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Extremis: "The Pope Smokes Dope, He Likes To Smoke In Mass."

'''Greetings sinner. Only in darkness are we revealed. Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage; good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit. Without hope. Without witness. Without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis. This is what He believes and this is the reason, above all, why I love him. My husband, my madman in a box. My Doctor." Your missus wouldn't approve.' 'How the Hell did you get here?' 'Followed you from Darillum. On the explicit orders of your late-wife, River Song. Warning: I have full permission to kick your arse!'
'Death is an increasing problem. With over a billion intelligent species active in this galaxy alone, it is an ever greater challenge to know how to kill all of them. On this planet we're proud to serve as executioners to every living thing. The destruction of a Time Lord, however, is a particular honour. This technology is precisely calibrated, as you can see. It will stop both hearts, all three brain-stems and deliver a cellular shockwave that will permanently disable regenerative ability. Following termination, the body will be placed in a quantum-foe chamber, under constant guard for no less than a thousand years. In case of, shall we say, relapses. Life can be a cunning enemy. '
'We have come here because your services and wisdom are recommended at the highest level. As you can see, this is a personal recommendation of Pope Benedict IX in 1045.' Pope Benedict! Lovely girl, what a night! I knew she was trouble but she wove a spell with her castanets!'
'Doctor, here's a tip. When I'm on a date, when that rare and special thing happens in my real life do not, do not, under any circumstances, put The Pope in my bedroom!'
'There are four hundred and twelve precedents in the Fatality Index. Divine intervention, therefore, is permitted for a maximum of five minutes. The executioner may now discuss his immortal soul and any peril thereunto.'
'Okay, so you're blind and you don't want your enemies to know, I get it. But, why does it have to be a secret from Bill?' 'Because I don't like being worried about. Around me, people should be worried about themselves!' 'Yeah, shall I tell you the real reason? Because the moment you tell Bill, it becomes real and then you might actually have to deal with it.' 'Good point, well made. Definitely not telling her now!' 'You're an idiot.' 'Everyone knows that!'
'Please stay close to me, the lay-out is designed to confuse the uninitiated.' 'Sort of like religion, really?'
'When do a bunch of scientists ask for prayers?' 'The same time anyone does, when they're very very afraid. Particle physicist and priests. What could scare them both?' 'Been down here for a while, that guy, whoever he is.' 'At a guess, the missing translator.' 'That's promising. At least one person read The Veritas and lived.' 'Go and see if he's all right, both of you?' 'I think we know he isn't!' 'We know nothing of the kind, he might need help or have useful information. He's about fifty feet that way.' 'Are you trying to get rid of us?' 'Why?' 'Cos you're sending us into the dark after a man with a gun.' 'Ah! Well I've thought of that. Nardole, make sure you walk in front of Bill!' ... 'Does it give you The Fear when he says "trust me"?' 'If I worked here, I'd cross myself!'
'On my oath as a Time Lord of the Prydonian Chapter, I will guard this body for a thousand years.'
'The thing about the universe is, whatever you need, you can always borrow. As long as you pay it back. I just borrowed from my future. I get a few minutes of proper eyesight, but I lose ... something. Maybe all my future regenerations will be blind. Maybe I won't regenerate ever again. Maybe I'll drop dead in twenty minutes but I will be able to read this. Now, I have no idea how that is going to affect me so, I'd be a bit stupid to reject the precautions provided. Could you help me please? I've read a lot of books that this chair would be quite useful for; Moby Dick. Honestly, shut up and get to the whale! Have you invited friends and family? Oh, it's the old-old story! You never look so good in the morning. Goodbye to the truth. I came a long way to read that book. Two thousand years at the last count. If you don't want me to read it you could have stopped me anytime you wanted, why the play acting? This is not a game.' 'This is a game.' 'Good, because I win!'
'Is that The President?' 'It was!' 'I take it he read The Veritas?' 'So did I. Well, I listened to it.'
'The Veritas tells of an evil demon who wants to conquer the world. But, to do it, he needs to learn about it first so he creates a Shadow World. A world for him to practice conquering full of Shadow People who think they're real.' 'There was a thing, The Shadow Test?' 'If you're in doubt as to whether you're real of not, The Veritas invites you to write down as many numbers as you like, of any size, any order, and then turn the page.' 'All the same numbers in the same order?' 'Yes. Let's bring the story up-to-date. Imagine an alien lifeform of immense power and sophistication and it wants to conquer the Earth. So, it runs a simulation, a holographic simulation of all of Earth's history and every person alive on the surface. A Practice Earth to assess the abilities of the resident population, especially the ones smart enough to realise that they are just simulants inside a great big computer game.' 'But, this is real. I feel it.' 'Computers aren't good with random numbers. If you ask a computer-simulated person to generate a random string of numbers it won't, truly. be random. If all the simulated people are part of the same computer programme then they'll all generate the same string. The exact same numbers ... The trouble is, when simulants develop enough independent intelligence to realise what they are there's a risk they'll rebel. Those deaths, they weren't suicide. Those were people escaping. It's like Super Mario figuring out what's going on and deleting himself from the game because he's sick of dying. Those pretend people you shoot at in computer games, now you know.' 'Know what?' 'They think they're real. They feel it. We feel it.'
'You are not real.' 'No, I'm not. I'm a shadow. A Puppet Doctor for you to practice killing.' 'We have killed you many times.' 'Well, what are you waiting for, why don't you kill me now?' 'You suffer pain is  information. Information will be gathered.' 'Turn me off. I've nothing. Not even hope.'
'A few months ago, after many centuries of work, The Veritas was translated again.' 'What did it say?' 'No one knows. Everyone who worked on the translation and everyone who subsequently read it is now dead. Dead, Doctor, by their own hand. The Veritas is a short document, a few pages only and yet it contains a secret that drives all who know it to destroy themselves ... Doctor, those translators were devout believers. They took their own lives in the knowledge that suicide is a mortal sin. They read The Veritas and chose Hell.'
'I need to know what's real and what isn't.' 'Don't we all?' Well, that was great. A clever, slyly subversive Moffat plot which mixed a basic The Android Invasion-style thriller with elements of defiantly Twenty First Century The Matrix-type shenanigans. Of course, some of The Special People didn't dig it so much (big surprise, huh?) and they weren't shy in letting The Interweb know about their impotent fury. One comment which, especially, caught this blogger's attention - and, trust me, this is a genuine whinge observed on Facebook within moments of the episode ending - was as follows: 'I thought it was a confusing mess. I only watched half-way through!' The thought did occur to yer actual Keith Telly Topping that if the chap making this observation had bothered to watch Extremis to the end it might not have been quite as 'confusing' for him. Radical suggestion, I know, but there you go, this blogger is full of such weird-brain malarkey. See, this is the thing Keith Telly Topping just doesn't get, maybe someone can explain it to him. 'I didn't like tonight's episode,' fine. I don't agree with that assessment but it is, undeniably, a valid critique to make about an episode of a TV show. But 'it was too confusing?' So, what are we actually saying here? That someone (a grown adult, one presumes) is too bone-numskull thick to understand a piece of - reasonably linear - TV drama? This blogger would be utterly ashamed to admit such a thing in public if it were ever true for him. And, whilst we're about it, since when did a bit of complexity become, in any way, a negative in a TV landscape increasing overrun by 'seven-seconds-or-less attention span required' lowest common denominator nonsense? Since when has something requiring the viewer at actually have a brain between their ears been a bad thing? This blogger must've missed that memo. Next week, maybe that particular whinger might want to think about giving Britain's Got Toilets a try on the other side, instead. That's a wee bit less demanding and requiring of too much thought on the viewer's part - should be right up his or her street. This blogger? He thought it was great.
'I'm not sure I believe anything, but right now belief is all I am. Virtue is only virtue in extremis.'
Pearl Mackie has spoken about her own Doctor Who future once yer actual Peter Capaldi leaves at the end of the current series (and this year's Christmas Special unless confirmed otherwise). Appearing on Thursday's episode of ITV's This Morning, Pearl was asked by that odious pie-mangler Eamonn Holmes if she would be leaving with Peter, or whether she would like to stay on for whomsoever the new Doctor turns out to be. Instead of telling the full-of-his-own-importance twerp to sod off and mind his own business, Pearl said: 'I don't know. Well, it's not up to me. But I feel like Peter is such a wonderful Doctor. I think the dynamic he and I have playing The Doctor and Bill really works, [but] that's not to say it wouldn't work with a new Doctor. I think it's always a new adjustment getting a new Doctor and that dynamic is different because you're different actors and characters.' Yeah. This blogger still thinks 'sod off and mind your own business' would've been a better answer, but there you go. Next ...
Meanwhile, Michelle Gomez has revealed that she is leaving Doctor Who. Gomez has played the villainous, mad-as-a-badger Missy since 2014 and said that she is leaving because the show's lead, yer actual Peter Capaldi and showrunner, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE), are going at Christmas. 'My pals are going, so I'm going,' Michelle told Radio Times. 'Everybody's leaving, so I'm going too. I mean, what would I do without Peter and Steven? Who would I be? Nah, it's done now. It's over. It's the end of a chapter.'
Doctor Who's David Tennant and Billie Piper are back together, reprising their roles of The Doctor and his companion, Rose Tyler. Unfortunately we won't be seeing the pair on TV, but they are reuniting for three new Big Finish audio plays. Part of Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures - Volume Two, the episodes will be released in November. Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said: 'Getting David and Billie back together was definitely on my bucket list.' Tennant, who portrayed The Doctor from 2005 until 2009, returned in the fiftieth anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor, with Matt Smith and the late Sir John Hurt in 2013. And, very good he was in it, too. He also worked on Volume One of the audio dramas with Catherine Tate her very self last year, but this is Billie The Piper's debut for Big Finish. Bill portrayed Rose in 2005 and 2006, returning for a number of stories in 2008. She also appeared in The Day Of The Doctor. And, she was very good in it as well. The first new audio episode will be Infamy Of The Zaross by John Dorney, in which an alien invasion of Earth isn't quite what it appears to be. They seldom are. In the second adventure, Sword Of The Chevalier by Guy Adams, The Doctor and Rose arrive in Slough in 1791 and encounter Chevalier D'Eon, an enigmatic ex-spy who has lived his life as a woman. Finally, in Cold Vengeance by Matt Fitton, the TARDIS arrives on a vast frozen food asteroid in deep space. The episode sees the return of The Doctor's old enemies, The Ice Warriors. Nicholas Briggs, who voices The Daleks for both TV and for the audio dramas, said: 'It was such a special time for me, working with Billie and David on the TV show and it is such an honour to revisit it with them on audio.'
And now, dear blog reader, a thought for this weekend of all weekends.
Particularly as, it would seem, back in The Black Lodge, everything has gone ... balls.
The final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Four programmes broadcast, week-ending Sunday 14 May 2017:-
1 Britain's Got Toilets - Sat ITV - 10.22m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.62m
3 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.07m
4 The Eurovision Song Contest - Sat BBC1 - 6.89m
5 Little Boy Blue - Mon ITV - 6.83m
6 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.51m
7 MasterChef - Fri BBC1 - 6.47m
8 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.72m
9 Grantchester - Sun ITV - 5.55m
10 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 5.37m
11 The Durrells - Sun ITV - 5.34m
12 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 5.27m
13 Six O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 4.80m
14 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.78m
15 The Truth About Sleep - Thurs BBC1 - 4.70m
16 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.40m
17 Ten O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 4.19m
18 Britain's Busiest Airport: Heathrow - Wed ITV - 4.00m
19 The British Academy Television Awards - Sun BBC1 - 3.90m
20 Keith & Paddy's Worthless, Unfunny, Shat-Stinking Picture Show - Sat ITV - 3.82m
21 Panorama - Mon BBC1 - 3.74m
22 The ONE Show - Tues BBC1 - 3.71m
23 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 3.66m
24 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 3.53m
These consolidated figures, published weekly by the British Audience Research Bureau, include all viewers who watched programmes live and on various forms of catch-up TV and video-on-demand during the seven days after initial broadcast. They do not, however, include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. Doctor Who recovered well from the previous week's series low, with a one-and-a-half million timeshift over the initially-reported overnight audience figure. MasterChef's three weekly episodes attracted 5.78 million, 5.75 million and 6.47 million viewers respectively, the latter episode, of course, being the current series finale. It was so disappointing last week to see ITV's latest wretched, laughless pile of toxic diarrhoea Keith & Paddy's Worthless, Unfunny, Shat-Stinking Picture Show pull in more than five-and-a-half million people for its opening episode. This week, however, it was really rather gratifying to observe the final audience for the second episode of this horrific ... thing being 3.82 million, 1.75 million punters who watched the first one having, seemingly, realised what a thoroughly rotten pile of depressingly brainless horseshit it was/is. It was a bad week all-round for that gormless professional Northern berk Paddy McGuinness, with Take Me Out attracting a mere 3.20 million. Once again, Doctor Who's consolidated audience rose considerably from a lower-than-usual overnight of 3.57 million, with a timeshift audience of around 1.7 million to a total of 5.27 million. BBC2's top-rated programme of the week was Gardeners' World (2.87 million). That was followed by the much-trailed King Charles III (2.48 million). Bake Off: Crème De La Crème was watched by 2.33 million, Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond The Lobby by 2.15 million, Nature's Weirdest Events by 2.03 million, Match of The Day by 1.98 million, Dara & Ed's Road To Mandalay by 1.83 million and Great British Menu by 1.79 million. From Morocco To Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure attracted 1.67 million viewers, Dad's Army, 1.64 million and Mexico: Earth's Festival of Life, 1.63 million viewers. The latest episode of Versailles had 1.54 million. Gogglebox - 3.11 million - was, as usual, Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast. F1: Spanish GP Highlights followed with 2.22 million. Then came The Island With Bear Grylls (2.06 million), First Dates (1.83 million), Born To Kill (1.77 million) and The Supervet (1.74 million). The Yorkshire Vet was Channel Five's top performer with an audience of 2.30 million, ahead of Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! (two million), Elizabeth I (1.35 million), GPs: Behind Closed Doors (1.28 million) and Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords (also 1.18 million). NCIS was watched by 1.01 million. Premier League action again dominated Sky Sports 1's top-ten. Stottingtot Hotshots giving The Scum a jolly good walloping was seen by 1.60 million punters whilst the game between West Hamsters United and Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws drew 1.15 million. Coverage of Dirty Stoke Versus The Arse was seen by seven hundred and fourteen thousand whilst, West Bromwich Albinos clash with Moscow Chelski FC, which saw the Premier League's only Russian club crowned champions, had seven hundred and two thousand and Sheikh Yer Man City against Leicester City, six hundred and twenty five thousand. On Sky Sports 2, Live EFL: The Playoffs action attracted one hundred and ninety thousand punters. Fight Night had one hundred and twenty seven thousand. Live Indian Premier League Cricket topped Sky Sports 3's list with seventy seven thousand, plus eighty one thousand on Sky Sports Mix. Gillette Soccer Saturday was, as usual, top of the shop on Sky Sports News HQ, with two hundred and sixty eight thousand punters and a further three hundred and eighteen thousand watching the Sky Sports 1 simultcast. Sky F1's coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix attracted six hundred and seventeen thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by the second episode of the much-trailed and rather sexy Jamestown (an impressive 1.34 million viewers with only a small drop from the audience of the previous week's opener). The Flash was seen by seven hundred and forty eight thousand, NCIS: Los Angeles by seven hundred and one thousand, Hawaii Five-0 by six hundred and ninety two thousand and Modern Family by six hundred and forty eight thousand. The Blacklist: Redemption had five hundred and twelve thousand (although, it's now been cancelled so, don't get too attached to it), Arrow, four hundred and twenty nine thousand and Supergirl, four hundred and sixteen thousand whilst the latest episode of Funny As A Geet Nasty Waaart On The Knackers Micky Flanagan's Thinking Aloud continued to shed viewers faster than a dog sheds hairs, being watched by four hundred and six thousand. Which, admittedly, is still four hundred and six thousand too many but it does, rather, restore ones faith in some of the viewing public knowing a pile of steaming vomit when they see one. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the latest episode of Billions (three hundred and eighty six thousand) whilst Blue Bloods was seen by three hundred and twenty two thousand. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver had one hundred and fifty nine thousand, The Trip To Spain, one hundred and forty thousand and both Silicon Valley and Veep, one hundred and ten thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of Criminal Minds was seen by eight hundred and eleven thousand whilst Elementary had seven hundred and thirty thousand. Blindspot drew six hundred and seventy eight thousand, Grey's Anatomy, five hundred and four thousand, Madam Secretary, four hundred and thirteen thousand and American's Next Top Model, three hundred and fifty nine thousand. Sky Arts' the third episode of Wor Geet Canny Brian Johnson's A Life On The Road was watched by one hundred and thirteen thousand viewers whilst Classic Albums drew fifty two thousand. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and forty three thousand viewers). Lewis was seen by six hundred and sixty two thousand and The Street by five hundred and nineteen thousand. ITV Racing Live headed ITV4's weekly list with three hundred and sixty thousand punters. Caught Being Naughty On Camera was seen by three hundred and one thousand. ITV2's most-watched broadcast was for the latest episode worthless rancid, stinking piles of fetid swill Z-List Celebrity Juice (1.43 million brain-damaged planks). Family Guy had seven hundred and ninety two thousand whilst Britain's Got More Toilets (seven hundred and eighty three thousand) and Take Me Out: The Gossip (five hundred and eighty seven thousand) completed ITV2's list of shame. Harlots headed ITV Encore's top ten with one hundred and twenty two thousand viewers, followed by Vera (seventy five thousand), Prime Suspect 1973 (fifty one thousand) and Victoria (forty eight thousand). The Real Housewives Of Cheshire was seen by seven hundred thousand of the sort of people who enjoy such risible exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. BBC4's list was topped by Buddy Holly: Rave On (seven hundred and eighteen thousand viewers) and the latest episode of the excellent Hinterland (six hundred and seventy nine thousand). Next came Eurovision Semi-Final (five hundred and six thousand), An Art Lovers' Guide (four hundred and seventy two thousand), Top Of The Pops 1983 (four hundred and twenty five thousand), It's Only Rock 'N' Roll At The BBC (four hundred and twenty thousand) and The Joy Of ABBA (four hundred and six thousand). 5USA's Person Of Interest was viewed by eight hundred and twenty two thousand viewers and NCIS by four hundred and eight thousand. NCIS also featured in the weekly most-watch programme lists of Channel Five, CBS Action (eighty eight thousand), the Universal Channel (ninety thousand) and FOX (eight hundred and ninety six thousand viewers). Prison Break was second in FOX's viewing figures with seven hundred and thirty thousand. Bull had four hundred and thirty six thousand whilst Outcast was seen by two hundred and twelve thousand. The Universal Channel's Chicago Med attracted three hundred and twenty thousand and Chicago Justice, two hundred and eighty eight thousand. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had two hundred and fifty seven thousand and Bates Motel, two hundred and six thousand. On Dave, unfunny nonsense Taskmaster drew eight hundred and twenty eight thousand, followed by Would I Lie To You? (three hundred and eighty five thousand). Channel staples Top Gear and Qi XL attracted two hundred and twenty one thousand and two hundred and nineteen thousand respectively. Drama's Taggart was watched by four hundred and fifty two thousand viewers who all enjoy watching a good marrrrdarrrr. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries was seen by four hundred and thirty seven thousand, Dalziel & Pascoe by four hundred and nineteen thousand, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries by four hundred thousand and New Tricks, by three hundred and seventy nine thousand. The Red Tent drew three hundred and thirty seven thousand whilst Life On Mars had three hundred and ten thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme was Rosewood (one hundred and ninety two thousand) whilst Murdoch Mysteries had one hundred and eighty thousand, Father Brown, one hundred and seventy four thousand, Quantico, one hundred and sixty thousand and Death In Paradise, one hundred and thirty three thousand. On the Sony Channel, Saving Hope drew seventy three thousand and Orange Is The New Black, forty four thousand. Yesterday's repeat run of Porridge continued with two hundred and seventy thousand, whilst The Two Ronnies Sketchbook attracted two hundred and sixty three thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Copper's Treasure was watched by one hundred and forty four thousand viewers. Diesel Brothers had one hundred and thirteen thousand, Gold Divers, one hundred and six thousand and Deadliest Catch one hundred and five thousand punters. From The North favourite Wheeler Dealers was watched by ninety four thousand. Wheeler Dealers also topped the weekly lists of Discovery Shed (twenty six thousand) and Discovery Turbo (thirty one thousand). Discovery History's Egypt Unwrapped headed the top ten-list with twenty six thousand. Industrial Revelations attracted twenty two thousand and both World War II In Colour and Time Team had twenty thousand. On Discovery Science, How It's Made was seen by fifty three thousand viewers. On Quest, Salvage Hunters was watched by three hundred and fifty thousand. Pick's The Cambridge Rapist had two hundred and forty thousand and Britain's Most Evil Murdering Bastards drew two hundred and twenty eight thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by the fourth episode of Genius with two hundred and fifty four thousand viewers, followed by Car SOS (one hundred and eighty three thousand) and Titanic: The Final Word With James Cameron (forty eight thousand). National Geographic Wild's India's Lost Worlds was watched by thirty nine thousand. The History Channel's weekly list was topped by Vikings (one hundred and fifty eight thousand) and Forged In Fire (one hundred and fifteen thousand). On Military History, History's Most Hated was watched by forty seven thousand punters. Homicide Hunters, Britain's Darkest Taboos and The Jail Atlanta: Sixty Days In were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with ninety seven thousand, sixty three thousand and sixty two thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. The Krays: The Prison Years, Murderisation Comes To Town and Reasonable Doubt headed Investigation Discovery's list (fifty three thousand, fifty one thousand and forty four thousand). The latest of GOLD's Mrs Brown's Boys repeats had two hundred and sixty thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for The Middle (two hundred and sixty one thousand). Your TV's repeat of Bones series two continued with eighty eight thousand. On More4, The Good Fight was the highest-rated programme with six hundred and twenty five thousand. Twenty Four Hours In A&E had three hundred and seventy thousand and Hidden Britain By Drone, three hundred and thirty nine thousand. E4's list was topped, as usual, by The Big Bang Theory, the latest episode seen by 2.19 million viewers, the largest multi-channels audience of the week. Made In Chelsea drew 1.02 million viewers and Hollyoaks, nine hundred and thirty one thousand. Sleepy Hollow, headed Syfy's top-ten with one hundred and eighty thousand. Interrupted Journey topped Talking Pictures list with sixty five thousand. Hercules drew two hundred and fifty thousand punters on Spike. The Life On Mammals was watched by thirty five thousand on Eden. Alaska: The Last Frontier and Animal Cops Phoenix were the Animal Planet's most-watched programmes with fifty seven thousand and thirty three thousand. Grimm on W attracted five hundred and ninety seven thousand punters. On the True Crime channel, The Riverside Killer had eighty thousand punters. True Entertainment's M*A*S*H was watched by one hundred and fourteen thousand. The Avengers had eighty thousand. That Bloody Annoying Oliver Fellow's Thirty Minute Meals attracted seventy three thousand on Good Food. Why, is another matter entirely. TLC's list was headed by Married By Mum & Dad (one hundred and twenty nine thousand). Shameful waste-of-oxygen Geordie Shore on MTV was viewed by eight hundred and forty eight thousand people who enjoy watching attention-seeking glakes swanning around Th' Toon like the own the gaff.

A fifth Game Of Thrones spin-off pilot is being developed by HBO and George R R Martin. The novelist says that another writer has been added to the four announced earlier this month but hasn't revealed who that person is. 'We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA last week, but by the time I left we had five,' he wrote in his blog. 'We have added a fifth writer to the original four.' He also revealed that he has yet to complete the sixth book in the series of A Song Of Ice & Fire. 'Yes, before someone asks, I am still working on Winds Of Winter and will continue working on it until it's done. I will confess, I do wish I could clone myself, or find a way to squeeze more hours into the day, or a way to go without sleep. But this is what it is, so I keep on juggling.' Jane Goldman - the British co-writer of Kick-Ass - and Carly Wray, who has written for Mad Men, will work with Martin on the projects. The Oscar-winning writer of LA Confidential, Brian Helgeland and Kong: Skull Island writer, Max Borenstein, have also signed contracts to work on the pilots. All Martin will say about the new writer is that they are 'an expert' on his work. 'I don't know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does,' Martin wrote. Martin also says that the new shows should not, strictly speaking, be called spin-offs. 'Every one of the concepts under discussion is a prequel, rather than a sequel,' he wrote. 'Some may not even be set on Westeros. Rather than "spin-off" or "prequel", however, I prefer the term "successor show." That's what I've been calling them.' He also tackled rumours surrounding the stories set to be covered in the spin-offs. A petition has been started to try to get Martin to write about Robert's Rebellion as well as Aegon's Conquest, the Dawn Age, the Age of Heroes and Dunk and Egg. Robert's Rebellion refers to the time when Eddard Stark, Jon Arryn and Robert Baratheon overthrew House Targaryen and started the Baratheon Dynasty. 'We're not doing Dunk and Egg. Eventually, sure, I'd love that and so would many of you,' Martin writes. 'But I've only written and published three novellas to date and there are at least seven or eight or ten more I want to write. We're not doing Robert's Rebellion either. I know thousands of you want that, I know there's a petition but, by the time I finish writing A Song Of Ice & Fire, you will know every important thing that happened in Robert's Rebellion.'
Game Of Thrones' one-time King In The North and Sherlock's great lost love are entering the world of Blade Runner author Philip K Dick for Channel Four's all-star science fiction series. Richard Madden and Lara Pulver have been cast in different episodes of Electric Dreams, an anthology series based on Dick's influential SF stories. Similar to the previously successful Black Mirror, Electric Dreams is comprised of standalone stories about the strange and frightening ways in which technology and human nature collide. Madden will star opposite Anneika Rose from Line Of Duty and Holliday Grainger in Life On Mars co-creator Matthew Graham's The Hood Maker, a 'cautionary tale about our dependence on modern technology.'
One of the biggest questions on The Blacklist has finally been answered, as this week's fourth series finale of the popular US espionage thriller confirmed the - long-suspected - familial connection between Reddington and Liz. Not that it was, exactly, a surprise to anyone who'd been watching the previous eighty odd episodes, obviously.
We already know that Taboo is returning for a second series, with Tom Hardy reprising his role as James Delaney, but we will, seemingly, have to wait for it. It appears it will be well over a year until the second series hits TV screens, at the earliest. Co-creator and writer of the hit drama, Steven Knight, told the Den Of Geek website that he is writing series two now and is working at top speed to get the script finished. 'I'm trying to write it as quickly as I can,' he said. However, whatever his pace, these things do take time. 'I would say we would hope to be shooting it – I don't know whether this is supposed to be secret or not – early next year.'
A senior police officer involved in the Rhys Jones murder investigation has whinged about her portrayal in a TV drama based on the events, describing it as 'simply wrong.' ITV's Little Boy Blue centred on the murder of Rhys, who was eleven when he was shot in Liverpool in August 2007. Patricia Gallan, who was Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police at the time, said that details in the drama 'should not be taken as fact.' ITV, by contrast, claimed that the four-part drama was 'fair' and based on 'extensive research.' So, either they are lying or Patricia Gallan is. Place your bets on how this one is going to resolve itself now, dear blog reader. In the series, a character based on Gallan, played by Sara Powell, was seen putting pressure on Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly, played by Stephen Graham, who led the investigation. 'The ITV programme is a drama and, although based on a real event, the details by their very nature are dramatised and should not be taken as fact,' Gallan told the Liverpool Echo. 'Indeed, much of the drama concerning my character is simply wrong. Crucially, my briefings were with the Detective Chief Superintendent in the case and not Dave Kelly. There was a whole command structure involved in this case, not a single detective and all of us wanted to see justice for Rhys' family and the people of Merseyside.' Gallan is now an Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police and the most senior female ethnic minority officer in British policing history. A noticably miffed ITV huffed: 'Little Boy Blue is a drama based on extensive research with the Jones family and many others involved in the case. We are satisfied that it depicts the officers involved in the murder investigation fairly.' Or, in other words, 'what the Hell is this woman whinging about?' Little Boy Blue, which concluded on Monday, was broadly well received by both viewers and critics. The Torygraph's Michael Hogan called Monday's climax 'a satisfying conclusion to this respectful rendering of an unbearably sad story.' He added: 'Little Boy Blue is an admirable achievement of which the channel, Rhys's family and the city of Liverpool can be proud.' Writing in the Radio Times, Ellie Harrison said the series 'shone with the best of them.' She wrote: 'It chose realism over sensationalism at every step. Here's to more true-crime dramas like this - and more real, regional talent.' In the Liverpool Echo, Paddy Shennan wrote: 'It was a harrowing and heartbreaking story - but it was a story that had to be told and it was told so well. Everybody involved in this excellent series should feel proud of themselves - but nobody should feel more proud than Rhys's family, for allowing their story to be told.' Earlier in the series, some Middle Class hippy Communist smegheed of absolutely no importance whatsoever in the Gruniad Morning Star described Little Boy Blue as 'very real and incredibly moving.'
Adeel Akhtar has made BAFTA TV history for being the first non-white best actor winner in the awards' sixty two-year history. He was recognised for his brilliant, tortured performance in the BBC3 drama Murdered By My Father. It featured Akhtar as a man who murders his daughter in a so-called honour killing, after she has been 'promised' to a man but fell in love with another. The significance of his BAFTA win was noted by the drama's screenwriter. Akhtar first came to prominence as Muslim extremist Faisal in Chris Morris's 2010 film Four Lions. He also starred in Channel Four's SF drama Utopia and Sky's woeful and wretched lack-of-comedy drama Trollied. His credits also include Apple Tree Yard and The Night Manager. Previous non-Caucasian actors to be nominated in the best actor category include Idris Elba, who received a nomination last year for Luther but lost out to Wolf Hall's Mark Rylance. David Oyelowo was also recognised in 2010 for Small Island but the award went to Wallander's Kenneth Branagh. But prior to that, there were no non-white actors nominated in the 1990s or 2000s. Art Malik received a nomination for the prize in 1985 for Jewel In The Crown, while Sir Ben Kingsley, whose father was Kenyan-born and of Indian descent, was nominated the following year for Silas Marner. Sophie Okonedo was the first non-white woman to be nominated for a TV BAFTA for best actress in 2010. But, it was Georgina Campbell who became the first non-white actress to win the prize, in 2015. Her performance in Murdered By My Boyfriend beat Sarah Lancashire and Sheridan Smith. It was a decent night for diversity at the ceremony, with Damilola, Our Loved Boy picking up two awards. Wunmi Mosaku won best supporting actress and the programme - about the murder of ten-year-old Damilola Taylor and the family's fight for justice - also won best single drama. In an emotional acceptance speech, Wunmi said: 'This is so bittersweet and I'd like to dedicate this to the memory of Damilola and his mother Gloria [who died in 2008].' The People Versus OJ Simpson: American Crime Story won best international show, while Exodus Into Europe - which gave refugees cameras to film their own, often dangerous, journeys from their homeland, picked up best factual series. Muslims Like Us, which featured ten British Muslims with contrasting world views moving into a house together, won best reality and factual show. BAFTAs host Sue Perkins also put gender firmly on the agenda, taking aim at sexism in the TV industry: 'I know what you're thinking. Not another woman hosting an awards show, when will it end?' she said. 'I find it a little like Halley's Comet, just a little less frequent.' She also joked the best actress nominees were paid 'just under the same amount as the leading actor' and introduced the award for best male performance in a comedy programme with: 'It's the age old question: Are men funny?'
Portugal is celebrating the fact that an intimate love ballad in their language conquered a Eurovision Song Contest audience for the first time. Salvador Sobral's success with 'Amar Pelos Dois (Love For Both Of Us)' has made him a national hero. Wearing a plain black suit he delivered an emotionally-charged song without the theatrics that often accompany other Eurovision acts. Previously Portugal had never got above the sixth place that it reached in 1996. It was a triumph for 'brand Portugal', music journalist and advertising executive Manuel Falcao told the BBC. 'The Portuguese language is present worldwide but sometimes it's hard for the national identity to make an impression, so for the brand this is very nice - people are very happy,' he said. The timing was fortunate for Portugal, as the nation shows signs of recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and a massive bailout from its Eurozone partners. 'Polls show people are more optimistic here than three years ago, the economic indicators are not strong but positive - even by EU standards,' Falcao said. Eurovision success 'coincided with a good mood in Portugal - we won the Euro 2016 football championship and tourism here is beating all records,' he said. He cautioned, however, that one song would not make a radical difference. It was a doubly memorable weekend for Portugal, as Pope Francis drew a vast crowd to the Fatima shrine, where he made saints of two Portuguese children. Their visions of the Virgin Mary in 1917 turned Fatima into a top Catholic pilgrimage site. There is national pride that Sobral's song 'Amar Pelos Dois' touched so many hearts, in a competition dominated by English lyrics. 'The language, more than the Portuguese language, was music,' Sobral said. The song was crafted by his sister, Luisa, an accomplished singer-songwriter and music college graduate, with several CDs to her name. A fellow Portuguese music expert, Sofia Vieira Lopes, said that the song's triumph proved that lyrics were 'not fundamental' to a musical message. 'It shows that it is not necessary to sing in English to understand the music,' she told Portugal's Publico daily. Salvador Sobral criticised the commercialisation of pop, after his triumph in Ukraine, speaking contemptuously of 'fast-food music. This is a vote for people who actually mean something with their music,' he said. 'Music is not fireworks, music is feeling.' The state tourism authority, Turismo De Portugal, is thrilled by the boost to the country's image. 'We are in the spotlight,' its president Luis Araujo told the Diario De Noticias. He characterised the winning song as 'simplicity, transparency, honesty.' There was a poignancy to Sobral's performance, as he has struggled with a serious heart condition. His success shows that there is still a market for national musical traditions, despite the dominance of Anglo-American pop culture. Portugal requires broadcasters to observe a quota of Portuguese-language songs. France and Spain have similar quotas, to showcase home-grown talent. Even before the Eurovision final Sobral's song was hugely popular in Portugal, Falcao said. Yet, English remains the default pop language, even in Portugal.
The US sitcom Roseanne is set for a revival, ABC network executives have confirmed after competing with Netflix to restart the show two decades after it ended. Most of its original cast will return for next year's eight-episode revival. It becomes one of a slate of TV series being revived, including Will & Grace, Twin Peaks, The X Files, 24, Prison Break and The Gilmore Girls. Roseanne ran for nine series in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. Original cast members Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson have all been confirmed for the revival. But Johnny Galecki, who played David, is busy with his role as Doctor Hofstadter in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. John Goodman will reprise his role as Roseanne's husband, Dan, even though the character died during the original series. Roseanne depicted a normal American family, the Conners, in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois. The sitcom won many awards and its final episode drew nearly seventeen million viewers when it broadcast in 1997. 'The Conners' joys and struggles are as relevant and hilarious today as they were then, and there's really no one better to comment on our modern America than Roseanne,' ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey wrote in a statement.
A model of a David Bowie statue planned for the town where his Ziggy Stardust persona was first performed has been revealed. The bronze sculpture, named Earthly Messenger, will be unveiled later this year in Aylesbury. It will be installed under the arches in Market Square, referenced by Bowie in the song 'Five Years'. The work features a likeness of Bowie in 2002 looking down at Ziggy, alongside of some of his other images. Funds for the statue, designed by sculptor Andrew Sinclair, have been raised through a one hundred thousand crowdfunding appeal, plus grants. When completed, speakers mounted above the life size artwork will play one of two thousand songs every hour. Some changes are expected to the design before the finished product is officially unveiled.
Yer actual Sir Paul McCartney (MBE) is set to follow in Saint Keef Richards' footsteps by appearing in the forthcoming fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean film: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Macca revealed how his swashbuckling character will look on social media on Saturday, in a picture captioned Pirate's Life. Fellow rock God Keef played Jack Sparrow's father, Captain Teague, in two previous films in the blockbuster series.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are to form a new film and TV production studio, with a new horror comedy movie the first item on the agenda. The Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz stars will executive produce Slaughterhouse Rulez as part of their new banner Stolen Picture, according to Deadline. The movie will be set in an elite boarding school, where boys and girls are destined for greatness and there are clear sets of rules. However, things are shaken up when a nearby fracking site causes tremors and all sorts of horrors are unleashed as a battle for survival ensues. The movie will be directed by Crispian Mills and is based on a script he co-wrote with Henry Fitzherbert. Si and Frosty have previously worked together on a number of modern comedy classics, starting out on the cult TV series Spaced. They then moved into movies with the Edgar Wright-directed 'Cornetto Trilogy' -Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End - as well as the Hollywood SF comedy Paul.
Meanwhile Nick Frost is also going to play Captain Pugwash on the big screen. The actor will play the bumbling and cowardly pirate in the live action movie based on the classic 1950s children's books and 1970s TV series. 'Besides Winston Churchill and Henry VIII, Captain Horatio Pugwash seems like a role I was born to play,' Frosty said. Production on the film will start next year. The movie will see the portly buccaneer on a ship to Botany Bay, where he eventually finds himself at the helm of The Black Pig on a mission to rescue Tom the Cabin Boy's father, who is marooned on a volcanic island. Movie-goers can also expect a hoard of treasure and an army of angry ghosts - and of course Pugwash's arch-nemesis, that black-hearted rapscallion Cut-Throat Jake. Jason Flemyng will also star in the film, with more casting to be announced soon. Created by John Ryan, Captain Pugwash first appeared as a comic strip in The Eagle in 1950, before becoming a series of short black-and-white cartoons, which ran on the BBC from 1957 to 1966 (eighty seven episodes). They became famous for their simple sets, with cardboard puppet characters controlled by levers. The series was later revived in 1974 for a second generation of thirty further episodes, this time produced in colour.
The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons has married the man he calls 'the best thing that ever happened' to him, after fourteen years together. He and Todd Spiewak tied the knot at New York's Rainbow Room restaurant on Saturday, according to reports. It comes as Parsons character, Sheldon Cooper's slow-burn relationship with Amy also reached a major milestone on the hit sitcom. The forty four-year-old is one of the highest-paid TV stars in the US. He shares that title with Big Bang co-stars Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, who all get paid an estimated nine hundred thousand bucks for each episode of the comedy.
BBC presenter Ben Brown was slapped after appearing to touch a woman's breast as he pushed her away when she interrupted an interview live on air. Brown was mid-interview with the BBC's assistant political editor Norman Smith on the streets of Bradford when a passerby stepped into the shot and looked into the camera saying 'absolutely fantastic' with a thumbs up. The BBC news presenter reached out and pushed the woman away, his hand on her chest, as he continued with the interview. Looking surprised, the woman slapped his arm and walked away. Brown, who is a presenter for the BBC's rolling news later said the incident had been 'completely unintentional.' The BBC would not confirm if there had been any complaints about Brown's actions but said that no further action would be taken against Brown as it was 'clearly an accident.'
McDonald's has decided to withdraw its latest TV advert, which was criticised for allegedly 'exploiting childhood bereavement.' The fast food giant had already apologised for 'upset' caused by the advert, was first broadcast on 12 May. It features a boy who struggles to find something in common with his dead father until he goes to McDonald's. A spokeswoman for McDonald's - showing the sort of lack of backbone that one normally associates with far less big and powerful organisations - grovelled that the advert will be removed from all media this week and it will review its creative process to avoid a repeat. 'It was never our intention to cause any upset,' read the statement. 'We are particularly sorry that the advert may have disappointed those people who are most important to us - our customers. Due to the lead-times required by some broadcasters, the last advert will air on Wednesday 17 May. We will also review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again.' The campaign, from London-based advertising agency Leo Burnett, had been scheduled to run for seven weeks. In the advert, the boy asks his mum (played by yer actual Esther Hall) about his absent dad, sparking some reminiscence. The boy is left to wonder whether he and his father had anything in common, until he arrives at a McDonald's restaurant and orders a Filet-O-Fish and the mother says: 'That was your dad's favourite too.' One should,perhaps, be relieved that it wasn't a Happy Meal as that might have been regarded as, you know, taking the piss. Bereavement charity, Grief Encounter - whoever they are - said, unconvincingly, that they had received 'countless calls' from parents claiming that their bereaved children had been 'upset' by the advert. Although, one imagines that actually, this is a load of crap and that the children involved were far more upset - entirely understandably, let it be noted - by the death of their parent in the first place rather than a TV advert some time after the event. But, of course, that's not much of a story in today's 'everybody's got a whinge about something' culture, is it? The Advertising Standards Authority also said that it had received complaints - not 'countless' however, one can be certain that they did bother to count them, unlike Grief Encounter - and would 'carefully assess them to see whether there are grounds to investigate.' Before, hopefully, telling McDonald's not to try flogging any more burgers by using death as a sales tool and everyone that whinged about it to grow the fek up.
A former producer on The Bill has been found very guilty of trying to hire a hitman to kill his partner. David Harris, who had become 'besotted' with another woman, offered to pay an undercover policeman one hundred and fifty thousand quid to murder Hazel Allinson. Jurors at the Old Bailey heard that Harris wanted to inherit her fortune and eight hundred grand home so he could elope with sex worker Ugne Cekaviciute. He said that he was researching a spy novel and denied solicitation to murder. The retired TV producer was caught when the police officer posing as a would-be hitman taped a conversation in which Harris said he was 'one hundred per cent sure' that he wanted his partner very dead. Former TV scriptwriter Allinson, who was present as details of her partner's betrayal were played in court, refused to co-operate with the prosecution and also offered to give evidence in Harris' defence. But prosecutor William Boyce QC described Harris' story as 'absurd' and said: 'You were utterly sinister, utterly convincing and utterly intent on the death of Hazel.' Harris told the court he had 'an active libido' and it was on 'a regular visit' to a brothel in Worthing that he met Cekaviciute. Harris said he thought Cekaviciute was 'too young and too nice' to be working in such a place. 'I had become besotted with her,' he said. Harris took the younger woman to expensive restaurants and hotels, spending fifty grand which Allinson, who also worked on The Bill, had given him as an allowance after his retirement. The pair were together twenty seven years and Harris used Allinson's reputation as a parish councillor and church chorister to borrow thousands of pounds from neighbours to fund his five-year affair. The court heard that he sneaked Cekaviciute into the house they shared in Amberley, West Sussex and photographed her posing on a bed. Harris often told Allinson, a cancer survivor who lost both her mother and sister to the disease, that he was 'tending to his sick brother' in a mental hospital, when he was actually away with Cekaviciute. The court was told Harris approached London mechanic Christopher May in March 2016 and said: 'I'm offering you two hundred and fifty thousand pounds to kill my wife.' May instead tried to warn Allinson, so Harris approached a second man, Duke Dean, in October 2016, and offered him up to one hundred and seventy five thousand knicker. Dean alerted City of London Police who brought in an undercover detective to pose as 'Chris', an apparent killer for hire, whom Harris offered one hundred and fifty thousand quid to kill Allinson. Speaking after Harris was found guilty, Detective Chief Inspector Adele Michael said: 'This is a man who basically presented himself as a retired middle-class pensioner, who in fact was a very manipulative, conniving and ruthless individual who approached not one but three individual men and offered them money to have his partner killed.' Sentencing has been adjourned to 14 July for a report on Harris's future risk. Judge Anne Molyneux QC said: 'There was a prolonged period of almost a year where he actively sought to murder his life partner. During that year, he displayed an ability to lie almost instinctively. He has demonstrated a lack of empathy and he has demonstrated a callousness and willingness to do what is necessary to achieve his own ends.'
Former Playboy playmate Dani Mathers is facing jail time for secretly Snapchatting a photo of a naked woman from the locker room at LA Fitness. The former centrefold attempted to evade trial by claiming the California privacy law she is accused of breaking is 'too vague' to be constitutional. Judge Gustavo Sztraicher disagreed and scheduled her trial for 26 May, the New York Daily News reports. Asked if Mathers would be testifying at her trial, her lawyer responded, 'Oh yeah, definitely.' Last summer, Mathers posted the photo of a naked, seventy-year-old woman to her public Snapchat story with the caption 'If I can't unsee this then you can't either.' Activists quickly accused the model of body-shaming. Prosecutors charged her with misdemeanour invasion of privacy. 'She should face the consequences of her cruel and criminal act,' the Los Angeles City attorney's office said at the time. Under California law, it is illegal to secretly photograph another identifiable person in a changing room without their consent. Charges can result in up to six months in The Big House and a one thousand dollar fine. Mathers previously attempted to avoid jail time by offering to apologise to the victim, undergo counselling and take an anti-bullying course. The judge declined, citing a lack of remorse. Mathers was also extremely banned from all LA Fitness gyms. The model grovellingly apologised for the Snapchat shortly after posting in last summer, claiming the posting was an 'accident.' One or two people even believed her.
An 'extraordinary' Oxford University student who stabbed her ex-boyfriend in the leg may avoid doing jail as it would 'affect her career prospects,' a judge has said. Whether this is something that judges will take into consideration for other people tried and found guilty out wounding is not yet known. But, one can probably guess. Lavinia Woodward attacked the man at Christ Church College, 'while she was under the influence of drink and drugs.' She admitted inflicting grievous body harm, the Oxford Mail reported. At Oxford Crown Court, Judge Ian Pringle QC said that he believed the attack was 'a complete one-off. To prevent this extraordinary, able young lady from following her long-held desire to enter the profession she wishes to, would be a sentence which would be too severe,' he said. 'What you did will never, I know, leave you, but it was pretty awful and normally it would attract a custodial sentence.' Medical student Woodward met the Cambridge University student on dating app Tinder, the court heard. During the attack at the college, she thumped him, lunged at him with a bread knife and stabbed him in the leg. She also threw a laptop, glass and jam-jar at him before stabbing herself, the court heard. Judge Pringle was told Woodward had become addicted to drugs and had previously been 'in an abusive relationship' with another boyfriend. He said that he would take an 'exceptional' course of action and defer sentencing until September. Defence barrister James Sturman QC had argued that it would be 'almost impossible' for Woodward to become a surgeon once she had disclosed her conviction to employers. According to The Times, Woodward 'previously dated Inigo Lapwood, an Oxford student who was temporarily banned from Christ Church after taking a flamethrower to a party.' The judge ordered Woodward to remain drug-free and told her she would be sentenced on 25 September. Francis FitzGibbon, the chair of the Criminal Bar Association, told the BBC's Today programme that the case was 'unusual. The judge must take into account determination or demonstration of steps to address addiction, so it sounds as though he's giving her a chance and I think the judge would do that for anyone wherever they came from in the right circumstances. I don't know if her future prospects are the critical factor in this. Maybe if she does really badly [on her drug rehabilitation] he'll think again.' As noted, whether someone who committed a broadly similar offence and who was, rather than an Oxford educated would-be surgeon, say a sheet-metal worker from Gateshead is, of course, another question entirely.
Two former BBC radio presenters had sex in parkland in full view of a group of teenage boys, a jury has heard claimed. Tony and Julie Wadsworth are also accused of indecently assaulting under-age boys between 1992 and 1996. Mrs Wadsworth, now sixty, encouraged boys to engage in sex acts with her while her husband, sixty nine, 'acted as look out', Warwick Crown Court heard claimed. The couple, of Broughton Astley in Leicestershire, deny indecent assault and outraging public decency. Opening the case against the pair Miranda Moore QC, prosecuting, said that the couple had sex in the open 'knowing and taking delight in the fact that young lads were watching.' Some of the couple's alleged victims claim Mrs Wadsworth was variously dressed in 'a flasher's mac' trench coat, white high-heels, stockings, suspenders and a split-skirt at the time of the offences near Atherstone in Warwickshire. Moore said: 'Not only did they have sex in the open but they did it in the open, knowing and taking delight in the fact that young lads were watching and they encouraged the young lads to view the sexual encounters. The boys at the time were all too young by law to be participants in any sort of sexual activity. Julie would encourage one of the boys at a time to engage in sexual activity. Julie was doing the activity but Tony was there to watch in line of sight usually; to act as a look-out or "minder" for Julie.' The alleged activity involved seven boys aged about fourteen and one aged eleven, the court heard. Moore alleged two 'tranches' of victims emerged after a complainant went on a child protection course and realised what had taken place in the 1990s 'was not right and not appropriate.' One alleged victim came forward after hearing a news report about two presenters being charged with offences dating back to the 1990s. The man then researched details of the couple and recognised Mrs Wadsworth as 'being the woman who had had a sexual encounter with him' when he was aged fourteen. Another alleged victim alleged he had sex with Mrs Wadsworth on up to fifteen occasions. The court heard that both defendants denied any wrongdoing in police interviews. During her police interviews, Mrs Wadsworth said that she had 'got a bit frisky on the odd occasion' and engaged in 'outdoor hanky panky' with her husband to 'spice up' their sex life. The trial was told that her husband told officers he had not had sex with his wife in view of boys and had never acted as a look-out. The couple have both worked for BBC WM and BBC Radio Leicester. Wadsworth denies ten charges of indecent assault while his wife denies twelve charges of indecent assault. They both also deny five counts of outraging public decency. The trial continues.
Convicted sex offender Rolf Harris was nicknamed 'Groper Rolf' after allegedly assaulting a sixteen-year-old girl at a TV recording in the 1970s, a court has heard. The former TV presenter is accused of grabbing the woman's breasts and putting his hand between her legs during the filming of the now virtually forgotten sporting show Star Games in 1978. The accusations were made in a trial at Southwark Crown Court. The eighty seven-year-old denies four charges of assault against three girls. The alleged victim said that Harris told her she was 'a little bit irresistible' before running his hands up her legs in a taxi in Cambridge. On Wednesday, the woman told Southwark Crown Court: 'This was Rolf Harris, my sister and I adored him. I was shocked and confused. I did feel a bit dirty but I didn't feel it was my fault. Until very recently I had not talked about it in any detail. But he was called Groper Rolf in our house.' The woman then said that after telling her father about the alleged incident, he told her she should not have worn such a tight-fitting top at the recording. She said: 'If my father's reaction had been a bit dismissive, what would someone who didn't love me say?' Earlier the jury heard that in 1983 Harris allegedly molested a thirteen-year-old girl during a recording of the BBC's Saturday Superstore. The court heard the entertainer approached her after the recording of the show - which featured the pop group Wham! - had ended. Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told the court that Harris touched the alleged victim's breasts and then said: 'Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?' On Tuesday defence lawyer Stephen Vullo accused a third person of jumping on the 'compensation bandwagon,' after claiming Harris put his hand up her skirt in 1971. The woman, who was fourteen years old at the time, claims Harris abused her at a music event in the Lyceum Theatre in London. The case extremely continues.
A chap in Texas is, reportedly, suing a women for texting during their date at a cinema. According to the Statesmen, thirty seven-year-old Brandon Vezmar wants a seventeen dollar and thirty one cent settlement, which was the price of the ticket to see Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume Two. 'It was kind of a first date from hell,' he said, after the couple met online. The woman, who didn't wish to be named, insisted that she 'didn't know' about the claim and that it was 'crazy.' Brandon claims that after around fifteen minutes of the movie she started texting on her phone, which was one of his 'biggest pet peeves.' In the court papers filed in the small claims court in Travis County, he claims that she did this 'at least ten to twenty times in fifteen minutes.' After asking her to 'do it outside,' the woman apparently left the cinema and didn't return. However, the woman insists that she only 'did it' two or three times and that she was messaging a friend who was having a fight with her boyfriend. In response the woman said that she planned to take legal action of her own against Vezmar for getting in touch with her sister in an attempt to get the money. 'I'm not a bad woman,' she claimed. 'I just went out on a date.'
An Islamic Shariah court in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to a public caning, further undermining the country's moderate image after a top Christian politician was recently imprisoned for alleged blasphemy. The court, whose sentencing Wednesday coincided with International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, said that the men, aged twenty and twenty three, would each receive eighty five lashes for having sexual relations with one another. One of the men wept as his sentence was read out and pleaded for leniency. The chief prosecutor, Gulmaini, said that they will be caned next week, before the holy Muslim month of Ramadan starts on 25 May. The couple was arrested in late March after neighbourhood vigilantes in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, suspected them of being gay and broke into their rented room to catch them having sex. Cellphone video that circulated online and formed part of the evidence shows one of the men naked and visibly distressed as he apparently calls for help on his cellphone. The second man is repeatedly pushed by another man who is preventing the couple from leaving the room. The lead judge, Khairil Jamal, said the men were 'legally and convincingly proven to have committed gay sex.' He said the three-judge panel decided against imposing the maximum sentence of one hundred lashes because the men were 'polite' in court, cooperated with authorities and had no previous convictions. 'As Muslims, the defendants should uphold the Shariah law that prevails in Aceh,' Jamal said. International human rights groups described the treatment of the men as 'abusive and humiliating' and called for their immediate release. 'Every human being has a right to privacy, a right to enter consensual relations, and a right to physical protection,' Amnesty International's deputy director for South East Asia and the Pacific, Josef Benedict, said in a statement. Human Rights Watch said in April that public caning would constitute torture under international law. 'The prosecution is very harsh. The verdict is harsher,' said Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch. 'It shows the increasingly conservative judiciary in Indonesia.' The US State Department said that all people are equal in dignity and rights, regardless of sexual orientation. 'We encourage Indonesia and all nations to provide equal protection to all their citizens and to conform to international human rights standards. We maintain that caning, as described in our human rights report, is an extreme form of punishment,' said Anna Richey-Allen, a department spokeswoman for East Asia. Prosecutors said the men had waived their right to defence lawyers. It was not clear why, but guilty verdicts are certain in most cases that reach the Shariah court. Aceh is the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia allowed to practice Shariah law, which was a concession made by the national government in 2006 to end a war with separatists, but other some other areas have introduced Shariah-style bylaws. Aceh implemented an expansion of Islamic bylaws and criminal code two years ago that extended Shariah law to the province's non-Muslims and allows up to one hundred lashes for 'morality offences' including naughty bum-sex and sex between unmarried people. Human Rights Watch says that the Aceh laws violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - not to mention violating sanity - which Indonesia ratified in 2005. Caning is also a punishment in Aceh for gambling, drinking alcohol, women who 'wear tight clothes' and men who skip Friday prayers. And, looking at those that make these sick laws 'in a funny way' presumably. More than three hundred people were caned for such offences last year. Homosexuality is not illegal elsewhere in Indonesia but a case before the country's top court is seeking to criminalise gay sex and sex outside marriage. Indonesia's reputation for practising a 'moderate' form of Islam has been battered in the past year due to attacks on religious minorities, a surge in persecution of gays and a polarising election campaign for governor of the capital, Jakarta, that highlighted the growing strength of hard-line Islamic groups. Earlier this month, the outgoing Jakarta governor, a minority Christian, was sentenced to two years in prison for campaign comments deemed as blaspheming the Qu'ran.
A Florida judge is currently weighing a request by a defence attorney to allow the jury to view his client's penis as 'evidence' in a murder trial. Richard Patterson is very on trial over the death of his girlfriend, whose body was found in her apartment in October 2015. Prosecutors say that Patterson choked her to death, then left her body there for several days before calling his attorney first, then contacting authorities. Defence attorney Ken Padowitz said Francisca Marquinez died 'accidentally' by choking on the defendant's enormous dong during a frenzied oral sex session. He filed a pretrial motion with a Broward County judge requesting that the jury 'view his client's penis,' saying it was 'required' for the jury to 'fully understand' Patterson's defence. According to the Sun Sentinal newspaper, the autopsy was 'inconclusive' as the medical examiner 'could not determine' the exact manner of death. Prosecutors claim the decomposition of Marquinez' body after several days in her apartment 'led to the uncertainty.' Prosecutor Peter Sapak told Judge Lisa Porter he had 'no objection' to the defence motion, but that there were 'several details to work out first.' Porter has not said whether she will allow the motion and, if so, under what conditions. Patterson is charged with second-degree murder and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
A student has been kicked off her university's wi-fi for a month because she illegally downloaded a film according to the Metro - if not a 'real' newspaper. Even worse for naughty Gianna Mulville-Zanetta is that she didn't download a current blockbuster or a movie that would have been hard to track down. Allegedly, she lost her Internet privileges – during exam season – for downloading Chicken Run, the animated movie released in 2000. It's also available on Netflix. Gianna is a first-year social policy student at Bristol University.
Authorities say that a Louisiana woman living illegally in a vacant home in Florida answered the door naked when a sheriff's deputy called to investigate. Monroe County Sheriff's spokeswoman, Becky Herrin, said that a real estate agent called officers to report that someone was squatting at the home on Big Pine Key without the owner's permission. Deputy Richard Wang looked in the window of the apartment and saw thirty six-year-old Feliciamae Farrington extremely naked. He knocked on the door and she answered, still unclothed but, seemingly, not ashamed. Farrington refused to get dressed and investigators say she then fought with Wang as he tried to take her into custody. The struggle continued when other deputies arrived. Farrington, from Harvey, Louisiana, has been charged with trespassing, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.
A man is to face trial charged with pulling cigarette lighters out of his back passage and hurling them at nurses and medics according to the Daily Record. Adam Nicolson faces charges that alleges he 'behaved in a threatening, abusive and aggressive manner' at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire. He is charged that he, among other things, did 'remove cigarette lighters from your anus and throw them at medical staff there.' Wasn't aware that was a crime, personally but, there you go, apparently it is. The incident is said to have been 'likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear and alarm.' Nicolson is also alleged to have shouted and sworn, slammed doors and uttered offensive remarks and threats of violence. But then, we've all done that.
Police in Scotland are hunting a man who assaulted a teenage girl with her own shoe on a train. The attack happened on a service between Partick and Glasgow Central on Wednesday 26 April. The girl was among a group of three who are thought to have 'played a prank' on the man by locking him out of one of the train's coaches. Which, to be fair isn't a very nice thing to do. When he got into the carriage, the man allegedly attacked one of the girls by kicking her before taking off one of her shoes and throwing it at her face, British Transport Police said. The man is thought to be aged around fifty, white, five feet ten inches tall and was wearing a suit and glasses. And, also, ruddy furious.
A woman, who was carrying a bearded dragon lizard in her bra, was extremely arrested on Monday afternoon after driving drunk and crashing through multiple mailboxes on Staple Street in Taunton, Massachusetts police said. The Taunton Gazette reported that Amy Rebello-McCarthy was arrested on charges of operating under the influence, driving to endanger and marked lane violation. Police said that the 1999 Mercedes that Rebello-McCarthy had been operating, struck six mailboxes, some of which flew through the air and smashed the rear window of a parked car and crashed into a lawn. The Mercedes had four flat tires, the airbags were deployed and both bumpers were ripped off. Witnesses told police that the woman who had been driving the car had fled the scene and her male friend had gone into the driver's side in an attempt to drive the vehicle back onto the road. When police arrived at the scene Rebello-McCarthy was laughing and asked the officers to call a tow truck so they could be on their way. Police said Rebello-McCarthy's blood alcohol level was 'just shy of double' the legal driving limit. Before being transported to the police station Rebello-McCarthy revealed that she was also in a possession of a bearded dragon lizard which, while driving, she had held in her bra. At the rear of the vehicle, smoking a cigarette, was a twenty two-year-old man from Waltham, who was also slurring his words and couldn't remember his own name when police asked. In the man's waistband police saw what looked like the butt of a semi-automatic weapon, which was later identified as an air-soft replica. The man was placed in 'protective custody.' The lizard was turned over to animal control, police said.
A father and son who brutally assaulted a prankster after 'a mooning mix-up' wrongly led them to believe their victim was 'a peado flasher' have both been jailed. William Petro senior and junior left John Cameron unconscious on the ground after the horror attack. The pair repeatedly kicked and stamped on Cameron's head in Dundee's Reid Square on 9 May last year according to reports. Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court that Cameron had spotted his girlfriend, Claire Petrie, at her window as he left a block of flats and had bared his backside at her 'for a laugh.' As you do. However, this was spotted by a four-year-old relative of the Petros - who went to her mother and said: 'Manny's bum.' Police were called and Petro Senior and Junior then turned up. When Cameron - who was later fined two hundred notes on a public indecency charge for his bum-related malarkey - returned to the flats he was barred from entering the block by a concierge. When he went back outside, the Petros struck. Bell said: 'When he left the block Mr Cameron spotted Miss Petrie at the window and lowered his trousers, baring his buttocks to her. This was seen by the four-year-old who shouted "manny's bum", prompting her mother to go to the window and shout to the accused, who told her to leave him and Miss Petrie alone.' Turning to the assault, Bell added: 'Miss Petrie and Mr Cameron went into the car park where Mr Petro Junior was now standing. He pulled Mr Cameron to the ground and both of the accused then began assaulting him. They repeatedly kicked him on the head and body and stamped on his head and body, all of which was captured on CCTV. This continued until two independent witnesses saw what was going on and approached. The accused then left. Cameron was left lying on the ground, dazed and with blood coming from his mouth. When Mr Petro Jr was apprehended he told police "you didn't get here quick enough when he flashed." And when Mr Petro Sr was later traced he said "He flashed her - he's a paedophile."' The Petros both pleaded very guilty to a charge of assault to severe injury. Defence solicitor Mike Short, for Petro Junior, said: 'He didn't know the full extent of what was happening - he heard the child saying "bad, bad", phone calls had been made and the mother of the child was upset. He was not someone who was simmering for a period of weeks - it was a reaction and he reacted badly.' George Donnelly, for Petro Senior, added: 'He is seventy-years-old and was last sentenced to imprisonment in 1989. He certainly considers himself to be a protector of his family and has fulfilled that role since he was released from prison after that last sentence. There's no doubt that given the nature of the offence and his record that this is a serious matter.' Sheriff Alastair Carmichael jailed Petro Senior for fifteen months and Petro Junior for eleven months. He said: 'My view is that there is no alternative to custody given the serious mater of this offence. You pulled him to the ground, repeatedly kicked and stamped on his head and body rendering him unconscious. Kicking and stamping on the head involves a serious risk to somebody's health.'
A man was arrested by police after twelve thousand litres of liquid manure was sprayed outside the office of Quebec’s professional farmers' union on Monday, police said. They also advised motorists to treat it as a roundabout. A fifty six-year-old man from Henryville, south of Montreal, was very arrested by Longueuil police and taken to hospital for an evaluation. According to police, a tractor pulling a tank of the semi-liquid manure sprayed the substance in the parking lot of the Union Des Producteurs Agricoles office about 6:30am. Patrice Juneau, a spokesman for the union, said that the suspect is a dairy farmer who is facing financial difficulties and the union didn't wish to file a criminal complaint against him. Longueuil police said that he could still face a 'mischief' charge, but the exact motivation for his alleged actions remained unclear. Police said there was no danger to people living nearby, but cleaning the product from the lot and the building gave off 'a strong and nauseating odour.' No shit?
Amiens were promoted to the top flight of French football for the first time with a stoppage-time goal that carried them from sixth place to second. In a remarkable climax to the Ligue Deux season, the top six were separated by but three points before Friday's games. Amiens were set to finish sixth - and not even make the play-offs - when Emmanuel Bourgaud scored a ninety sixth-minute winner at Reims to trigger a pitch invasion from club officials and players. Club president Bernard Joannin said: 'It is an extraordinary moment. I saw a fighting team again. At the start of the season, our ambition was to stay up - and now we are in Ligue Une. Football is a play every Friday night. We gave this evening an extraordinary drama.' Joannin also said that he had offered new French president Emmanuel Macron - born in Amiens - a signed shirt before the game which had brought them both luck. Strasbourg sealed the title after a two-one home win over Bourg En Bresse. Third-placed Troyes came from two goals down to beat Sochaux three-two but Bourgaud's late goal for Amiens means that they now face a play-off against the side who finish eighteenth in Ligue Une following the final round of top-flight games on Saturday. Both Strasbourg and Amiens have now won back-to-back promotions, with the latter having never played top-flight football during their one hundred and sixteen-year history. It is also a fourth promotion in six years for Strasbourg, who return to Ligue Une for the first time since 2008, having entered liquidation in 2011 and been placed in the fifth tier of French fitba.
Adrien Gulfo of Swiss lower league side Pully Football tried to clear the ball with an overhead kick and manages to score a spectacular own goal in a recent cup game against FC Renens. Which to be honest, has to be seen to be believed.
NASA space probes have detected a massive, human-made 'barrier' surrounding Earth and tests have confirmed that it is actually having an effect on space weather far beyond our planet's atmosphere. That'll, presumably, be to stop all the aliens from getting in. Not that we on Earth are space-racist, obviously, some of our best friends are aliens, but ... The 'barrier' means that we're not just changing Earth so severely - scientists are reportedly calling for a whole new geological epoch to be named after us - but also our activities have been changing space too. But the good news is that unlike our influence on the planet itself, that bubble we created out in space is actually working in our favour.
The actor Powers Boothe, who was known for his roles in Sin City, Deadwood and, most recently, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, has died aged sixty eight. His publicist said that the EMMY award-winner died 'of natural causes' at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday. Boothe, who played Gideon Malick in S.H.I.E.L.D after appearing in The Avengers on the big screen, also appeared in TV shows Nashville and 24. He won an EMMY in 1980 for his acclaimed role as the mass-murdering cult leader Jimmy Jones in Guyana Tragedy: The Story Of Jim Jones. Powers gained a reputation for playing villains after a string of roles in the 1980s and 90s including Tombstone, Sudden Death and a fabulous performance as a shadowy, scheming Al Haig in Oliver Stone's Nixon. He went on to play the ruthless saloon owner Cy Tolliver in the TV western Deadwood, which ran for three seasons. The son of a ranch owner in Snyder, Texas, Powers was the first in his family to go to university and began acting in the 1970s. He made his film debut in 1977 Richard Dreyfuss film The Goodbye Girl and had a number of other small roles in movies like Cruising, but his big break came in 1980 when he got the title role as cult leader Jim Jones in the TV movie. The part was followed by another leading role, in 1983 TV series Philip Marlowe, Private Eye. The following year he starred in Red Dawn, which imagines a US conflict with the Soviet Union. He is survived by his wife of forty eight years, Pam, and their children Parisse and Preston.
Sadly, news has only just reached this blogger that the playwright and author Eric Pringle died in mid-April at the age of eighty one. Born in June 1935 in Morpeth, Eric wrote a number of TV scripts, including Pretenders and Kate (both 1972) and The Carnforth Practice (1974). He was wrote the popular 1984 Doctor Who two-part story The Awakening - a particular favourite of this blogger who once, with Martin Day, wrote a sequel to it for BBC books. Eric's play Meeting Bea, about the life of Beatrix Potter, was broadcast on Radio 4 in 1993. Eric had lived in Kendal for about thirty years before moving to Ledbury in Herefordshire. Another of Eric's radio plays, Hymus Paradisi, about the life of composer Herbert Howells, won a Sony Award. Eric's work for radio also including adaptations of The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase and JB Priestley's The Good Companions. 2001 saw the publication of his children's novel Big George. This was followed by two sequels Big George & The Seventh Knight and Big George & The Winter King.
A serial groper was believed to be at the centre of the bloody all-in brawl which derailed an Australian wedding reception. Mathew Carione and Rebecca Becvarovska went 'all out' on their wedding day with about two hundred people thought to have attended the reception at Leichhardt's Albert Palais Theatre after they tied wed in Gladesville on Saturday. However things soured about 10pm when a fight broke out outside the venue with one witness describing 'blood splattering' from 'the frenzied violence.' Carione's mother, Zorica, told the Sydney Daily Telegraph that it all started because a guest was groping women, including pinching the bottom of the best man's girlfriend. 'It all stemmed from one guest who we now realise was groping a lot of women, myself included,' she claimed. 'The brawl started because they wanted him to be removed.' The owner of Albert Palais, Michael Onoufriadis, also said that he believed the violence began after a man pinched a woman. Brad Allsopp, a security guard at the nearby Petersham Inn, said he saw 'a dozen guys' chasing after one man across the road. 'They bashed him out the front of a business, they pretty much started laying into him,' he said. 'I ran across to push them all away and get off him, there were five or six of the guys who had a hold of him; they were punching him and kicking him.' Allsopp described 'blood splattering everywhere' after one man was headbutted in the nose. Police said that the forty three-year-old was 'trying to break up the fight' and he was treated for a broken nose before being taken to hospital. Zorica said that, otherwise, it was 'a lovely night' and the bride and groom 'didn't let the violence destroy their evening. {They] had a great time, they didn't have to see a lot of that stuff, they have left for their honeymoon,' she added. However a twenty six-year-old - whom Zorica said was the best man at the wedding - was arrested for allegedly 'aggressive conduct to police.' He was issued with a criminal infringement notice for offensive language and released pending further inquiries. Police have not made any other arrests in relation to the fight but will be reviewing CCTV from the venue.
On a somewhat-related note, this blogger is indebted to his Uncle Scunthorpe for uncovering this photograph of probably the best wedding fight you'll ever see. There are so many things here that deserve commenting upon. Like the bride's 'you're all ruining my special day' expression. Is that bald chap on the extreme left about to cop a feel of the woman in green's bum? I particularly like the woman-in-black near the door at the back with her head in her hands saying 'oh no, they've done that again?' But, I think this blogger's favourite is the casual Lord Brett Sinclair-lookalike on the extreme right wearing a white poloneck and drinking what looks like a rather fine brandy. And, seemingly, thinking, 'Hmm ... excellent right hook' before popping off for a night at The Purple Pussycat nightclub with Jason King and the lads out of The Sweeney. And finally, it's the 'utterly shocked and appalled'-look on the mush of the ginger chap with glasses in the middle of the ruck that makes it art.