Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade's End

And so, dear blog reader, we reach the two hundred and fifty eighth - and last - blog posting of 2009. At the start of this decade yer Keith Telly Topping was still working for the Civil Service and writing books for Virgin in his spare time - evenings, weekends, holidays, sick days. 'Blogs' themselves were still, largely, something that a few Americans with more time on their hands than they knew what to do with created to post pictures of their cats to anybody that was interested (and, indeed, anybody that wasn't). If you wanted to get hold of a hot new tune you'd just heard on the radio you went to a 'record shop' and 'bought the CD.' If you heard about some excellent new TV show on the other side of the world, you'd have to wait for about six months and it might, eventually, turn up on a broadcasting network in your general vicinity. Unless, like me, you had a lovely friend or two who'd send you over a video tape of it. Doctor Who was a range of books published by the BBC featuring characters from a TV series that they used to make and, likely, never would again. Because, as some chap from ITV famously noted 'families don't watch TV together anymore.' Simon Cowell was the boss of a small independent record company and most people, if asked, couldn't have picked him out from a line-up of other equally unknown individuals. Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The West Wing were battling it out for the title of 'the best TV show in the world', Keith Telly Topping's beloved Magpies were not even close to being unsellable, Oasis still had two men called Gallagher in their ranks, Jeremy Clarkson was an out-of-work former chat show host, Barack Obama was a lawyer in Chicago, Pierce Brosnon was still James Bond and Tony Blair was the Prime Minister. That was The Noughties, that was. And now it's all over and here come The Teenies.

David Tennant has said that viewers will be left heartbroken by the final 'brilliant' plot twists as he bows out of Doctor Who. Tennant, who has been acclaimed by many viewers as the best Doctor in the Time Lord's forty six year history, gave a hint about the epic climax to The End of Time, which airs on BBC1 on New Year's Day. The story sees the tenth Doctor staring into the face of death as the prophecy 'He will knock four times' looms. Tennant told BBC Breakfast: 'Coming to the final episodes, you [think] will these live up to one's hopes for what that finale will be? And then you read the script - The Doctor's been told he's going to die, he knows he's going to die, so you get to play that new flavour with this character that you've got to know so well. Suddenly you're playing a man who knows his end is coming. He's been told: "He will knock four times" and you get The Master with these four beats in his head and you think, well, that's what that is. When you find out tomorrow night what that really means - [it] just breaks your heart - it's brilliant.' David confessed to being 'maybe a little jealous' of the new Doctor, Matt Smith, because of the fantastic time he would be having in the job. Tennant, who has filmed a pilot for a show in the US, Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, was asked about his plans for the future. He said: 'I'm sort of waiting to hear, to be honest with you. It could go one of two ways and I'm literally waiting to be told.' Asked what he would be doing if he had not taken the Doctor Who job, Tennant said: 'Who knows? It's like Sliding Doors isn't it? Things can work out very differently. Even when I accepted it I had no conception that four years later it would still be going strong.' In another interview, Tennant was also asked about speculation that Madonna had approached him to take part in a movie project. But he told GMTV: 'I've never met the woman. She's never called me.'

The BBC has announced a five-part Doctors special to air in January. The daytime medical drama will tackle a week-long storyline called Master Of The Universe, which features Lewis Cutler, a fellow student and friend of Doctors regular Jack Hollins, becoming entangled in a hostage and shoot-out situation at Letherbridge University. The plot, which begins on 25 January, features Alexander Vlahos as Lewis. Other guest stars include Steffan Rhodri, Tom Kane and Rebecca Ryan.

Myleene Klass has criticised political correctness for 'alienating immigrants.' WENN reports that the television presenter believes people who move to Britain should make more of an effort to integrate into society. 'It is sad that we are not supposed to fly the Union Flag for fear of what that might misrepresent,' she said. 'Or that we aren't supposed to say "Merry Christmas" anymore for fear of offending someone. What is all this "Season's Greetings" business? It's so infuriating - in trying to please everyone, we please no-one.' Klass added that her Filipino mother had successfully integrated into British culture when she arrived in the country. 'My mother arrived from the Philippines thirty three years ago and is probably the most British person I have ever met,' she explained. 'She made a decision to embrace our customs, culture and language. She refused to speak with fellow Filipino nurses on the wards for fear of offending her English counterparts.' Klass continued: 'The government should encourage integration and education instead of sending out bills in dozens of different languages which only creates alienation.' So, that's Myleene Klass's considered and not at all wholly worthless views on immigration and political correctness, dear blog reader. Tune in tomorrow to hear Paris Hilton's thoughts about possible solutions to the problems of the Middle East.

A former BBC governor has criticised the corporation, accusing the broadcaster of ageism, losing direction and paying staff 'extraordinarily large salaries.' Baroness James of Holland Park, a Conservative peer better known as the crime writer PD James, was guest-editing the Today programme on Radio 4. She asked the BBC's director-general Mark Thompson why there were thirty seven BBC executives who earned more than the Prime Minister. 'It is really quite extraordinary that three hundred and seventy five BBC employees earn over one hundred thousand pounds,' said Lady James, eighty nine. 'An organisation that has thirty seven of its managers earning more than the Prime Minister surely ought to ask itself "Is this justified?" Somehow the people who are making the programmes don't receive this largesse – it seems to be a huge great waste of middle management which is very difficult to justify,' she said. Lady James said that although some BBC programmes were of 'superb quality,' others were difficult to justify, including Britain's Most Embarrassing Pets, Dog Borstal and Help Me Anthea, I'm Infested. 'If one opens the Radio Times, it might not be easy to pick out which [programmes] were made by the BBC,' she said. Thompson replied that there was a public demand for the BBC to provide entertainment on Saturday evenings, which sometimes led to clashes with ITV schedules. But, he added that at other times their programmes were 'more different than they have been at any time in the history of the BBC. I believe that if John Reith and his colleagues who founded the BBC came to today's BBC they would be surprised and heartened by the fact that people inside the BBC still have a passionate enthusiasm for what they do.'

Vinnie Jones has reportedly agreed to 'look after' Paul Gascoigne in the Celebrity Big Brother house. Let us all hope, for the sake on any potential children that Gascoigne made wish to father in the future, that this 'looking after' is somewhat different to the way Jones infamously handled Gazza in 1988 (see right). According to the Sun, Jones has secured a one million dollar fee from Channel 4 after promising to 'keep an eye' on the troubled Gascoigne in a special deal with producers. It is thought that show bosses believe the former footballers will boost ratings for the new series, which starts on Sunday night. A source close to Jones told the newspaper: 'He's been offered a massive chunk of cash. He was planning to take January off - but one million dollars for three weeks' work was difficult to turn down.' The insider added: 'It doesn't even sound like work to Vinnie if it means a chance of three weeks with Gazza. They go way back and still keep in touch.' Gascoigne himself has struggled with alcohol-related problems and depression in the past, but has allegedly been given the all-clear to enter the house following consultations with a psychologist. Whereas Kerry Katona, reportedly, hasn't. That's got to sting. The latest rumours follow reports that Jones had been negotiating hard in last-minute discussions with producers.

Sharron Davies has reportedly alienated her Dancing On Ice co-stars by making 'catty' remarks behind the scenes. According to the Daily Star, the former Olympic swimmer and TV presenter is the only contestant who is proving unpopular in training for the ITV reality show. A snitching 'source' told the newspaper: 'Sharron hasn't got off to a great start in terms of making friends. A few people have taken offence at some things she has been saying. Everyone else has been getting on like a house on fire.' And, when you consider dear blog reader that this 'everyone else' includes Heather Mills, that, also, has to sting somewhat. She's alleged to be the least popular vegetarian since Hitler.

Olly Murs - remember him? - has reportedly been offered a deal at a holiday camp. What, free bed and board if he doesn't annoy the other campers? According to the Mirror, Haven has offered the X Factor runner-up a job as part of its latest recruitment drive. 'Come to Haven, it's where all the losers end up'? Yeah, I can't quite see how they might think that would have the potential to be useful, personally.

Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi has criticised the boycott of Jersey Shore. The MTV show has been the subject of controversy after UNICO, a group representing Italian-Americans, called for its cancellation. Meanwhile, various companies including Domino's Pizza have decided not to advertise during the programme. However, Polizzi has now criticised the boycott in an interview with Steppin' Out. 'I just have one thing to say to Domino's, Dell, UNICO and all the other haters out there,' she said. 'Fuck you! If you don't want to watch, don't watch. Just shut the hell up. I'm serious... Fuck you!' Interesting attempt at winning over some hearts and minds, there, Snooki. Let us all know how that works out for you. Recent press reports have claimed that the cast of Jersey Shore are currently charging up to seven thousand five hundred dollars each to make personal appearances.

Tyra Banks is 'difficult to work with,' staff on her chat show have reportedly said. Banks announced the end of The Tyra Banks Show earlier this week, but her former employees have now allegedly described her as a diva. 'There had been a high turnover of employees for years,' a source told the New York Daily News, adding that it was 'pretty difficult to work for Tyra. She and the higher-ups on the production staff could be extremely brutal,' the insider added. 'She really is a diva.' The source added that it 'wouldn't be surprising' if rumours that staff hadn't been told about the end of the chat show prior to Banks' on-screen announcement were true. 'When the show moved from LA to New York, several staffers weren't even directly told about the change,' the insider said. 'They heard through the grapevine it was going to move locations. Even so, a lot of those people gave up their lives on the West Coast so they could continue working for the show. Now they're out of luck.' Another insider agreed that the America's Next Top Model host is hard to work with, explaining: 'Everything had to be done Tyra's way.' However, one employee claimed that they had enjoyed working with the former supermodel. 'Honestly, I don't know how it would be to work under her,' the source said. 'But for me, it was a good experience. Tyra just knows how she likes things done. And as for her "diva-ness," well, it sells.'

Fergie - who isn't the manager of Manchester United as I thought but is, apparently, a 'pop singer' of some description - has vowed that she will never wet herself on stage again. Sounds like a very good idea indeed to Keith Telly Topping, love. If you could also avoid crapping diarrhoea in yer own keks, that'd be pretty splendid too. The 'I Gotta Feeling' singer was photographed in 2005 with a wet patch on the front of her pants during a gig, which, she later admitted, was because she had not found time to visit the toilet before the start of her performance and has wee-wee'd herself mid performance. According to Showbiz Spy, Fergie now claims that she has learned a lesson from her mistake - which she once described as the most embarrassing incident in her life - and insists that she will not get caught short again. Well, that's a relief.

And finally, dear blog reader, we end the decade with a special moment. A few days ago I had an e-mail from a young man who signed himself as Matthew and who said that he was a regular reader of this very blog and that he liked it, particularly as it features 'lots of pictures of massive jugs.' That's a decidedly odd hobby you've got there, Matt old boy. But, as a new year and, indeed, a new decade are both almost upon us, especially for you, here's some more.And, with that, dear blog reader, it only remains for yer Keith Telly Topping to wish you all a safe New Year's Eve and I'll hope to see you again in 2010.

1 comment:

Robin Brown said...

quite a few jugs on show in this post. Have a good one