Monday, March 01, 2010

Floccinaucinihilipilification and Mediocrity

Yer Keith Telly Topping's never bothered joining The Anorak Zone Forum, or any other web forums apart from Gally Base. Lack of free time apart from anything else. Plus, GB and this blog are pretty much enough excitement for one man in one lifetime. However, I do get occasional amusing tidbits thrown my way from The Zone and one occurred earlier this week when a regular dear blog reader (and fearful Copper's Nark) told me that there'd been a thread about me on there some weeks ago and that someone had described my work as 'mediocre.' Top bit of grassing there, Raymond! Anyway ... Mediocre, eh? Yeah, fair comment, actually. I'd've preferred 'incandescent in its shimmering brilliance' obviously but, you can't have everything. No, mediocre will do me. Not bad. Not good, either, admittedly. Just ... adequate. There's something delightfully British about the whole concept of being mediocre. It's a sort of summation of our national psyche and our view of our place in the world. We're British, we're not crap, we're just ... mediocre. And we crave disappointment. Possibly because it rains a lot. Anyway, thanks to the guy that described my stuff thus. I'm really, genuinely, rather chuffed by that.

And, speaking of mediocrity the culture secretary, Ben Bradshaw, has queried the value of the BBC's licence fee and said there is 'good reason' for a debate over its future. Jeez, does every politician think that slapping the BBC around is a vote winner in election year? It would certainly seem so. Bradshaw (seen left, looking very cultural) told the totally impartial and unbiased Sky News there were questions over whether the licence fee should continue 'as the best funding mechanism' for the BBC. The debate over the £3.6bn settlement should consider the size of the corporation, he said. But Bradshaw declined to comment on reports about proposed BBC cuts. Bradshaw told Sunday Live: 'I think there is a good reason to have a debate in the run-up to the next licence fee, which we shall have if we are in government, as to how big the BBC should be, how big the licence fee should be, even if we should continue to have a licence fee in the long-term as the best funding mechanism.'

The great Janeane Garofalo has signed up to appear in CBS's new medical drama. The untitled show, which is being produced by former ER and West Wing executive John Wells, focuses on a group of doctors who travel around the United States helping people in medical crises. Entertainment Weekly claimed that Garofalo, who herself previously starred in The West Wing, and also in 24, will play the chief nurse and operations manager, Angel. The character is said to be calm, compassionate and vital to the organisation. Twilight star Rachelle Lefevre has also joined the cast of the show.

The cast and crew of Lost are said to be attempting to find shelter from an expected tsunami. The show is filmed in Hawaii, which is bracing itself after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake off Chile over the weekend. Writing on Twitter, the show's executive producer Carlton Cuse said: 'To ALL on the Lost crew - responding to the Tsunami warning - safe refuge is available at the studio.' He added: 'Waves to reach Hawaii just after 11AM.' Actress Carrie Preston, who is married to Lost star Michael Emerson, reassured fans that she and her husband are in America. 'Michael and I are safe in LA and praying the tsunami doesn't hit the islands too hard!' she wrote. 'Thanks for the concern.' Meanwhile, the show's co-creator Damon Lindelof posted: 'Praying for Chile and all the islands of Hawaii. Please send our cast and crew all your positive energy.'

Some of the cast of Coronation Street are reportedly worried that they will lose their jobs under a new producer. Former Doctor Who boss Phil Collinson will join the show next month after Kim Crowther decided to step down. However, the News of the World reports that the cast of the ITV soap are concerned that Collinson will decide to kill off up to six characters. Though, where they got that particular figure from, no one seems able to say. Veteran stars of the show, including William Roache (Ken Barlow), Barbara Knox (Rita Sullivan) and Bill Tarmey (Jack Duckworth) are expected to be safe because of the fiftieth anniversary later this year, according to the paper's rather hysterically overblown piece. However, they continue, Malcolm Hebden (Norris Cole), Jimi Harkishin (Dev Alahan), Sue Cleaver (Eileen Grimshaw), Steven Arnold (Ashley Peacock), Julie Haworth (Claire Peacock) and Samia Smith (Maria Connor) are all thought to be facing the chop. So, at least one of them has pulled the oldest trick in the TV soap actors book and gone grassing to the tabloids. This anonymous coward reportedly told the paper: 'Everyone fears for their jobs. I know I do. I'm just keeping my head down. But a new producer will always want to make their mark - bringing in new characters and getting rid of those they believe have gone stale.' The insider added: 'We have had Corrie murderers Tricky Dicky and Tony Gordon but the new boss could kill off more characters than those two put together.' So, that'd be three, then? Jeez. Yer Keith Telly Topping is now trying to visualise the idea of Phil Collinson - one of the nicest people in the TV industry that I've ever met - wading, knee deep, through the tidal wave of blood of his victims, a huge sword of righteous extermination in his hands as he gleefully looks for more sacred cows to slaughter. Kym Marsh in particular. That's an image I'm not going to get out of my head in a hurry. Particularly as, in my mind, they're all naked as well. I really should get out more.

Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton has completed a two thousand-mile kayak trip along the Amazon for Sport Relief. The twenty six-year-old was greeted by cheers and celebratory gunfire as she crossed the finish line in Almerim, Brazil. Skelton has clocked up two thousand and ten miles since she set off on her solo journey from Natua in Peru on 20 January. The BBC star, who had never been in a kayak before training for the attempt, broke two world records as she became the first woman to paddle the entire length of the river. The records - for the longest solo journey by kayak and the longest distance in a kayak in twenty four hours by a woman - are awaiting official verification. The TV presenter paddled about sixty miles a day, six days a week, to reach the target. Skelton said of her challenge: 'It's been tough but I've had enough highs to make it more than worthwhile. I'm very lucky to have amazing people in my life who've picked me up when things got hard and most importantly inspired me to carry on. My bottom is bruised, my shoulders are sore and the muscles in my neck are making it hard to differentiate between my head and my shoulders but to be honest I am proud of the war wounds.' Good on yersel, Helen. Impressive stuff. Although, it should be noted your description of how you're feeling sounds like an average weekend party round our gaff.

Adrian Chiles has signalled that he is 'on the brink of leaving the BBC,' a series of reports have claimed. The host feels he has been snubbed by the corporation over the decision to hand the hour-long Friday edition of The ONE Show to another presenter. The move has reportedly been made in order to attract more A-list celebrity guests. Radio2's Chris Evans has been touted as a possible host for the Friday night slot. A source told the News of the World: 'Adrian knows the best guests will be targeted at the Friday show. He'll do the spade work then Chris grabs the glory. It's not fair. The BBC would be crazy to lose Adrian.' This is, presumably, the same - tragically anonymous - 'source' who's been doing all of the press briefings about what an utterly fantastic job Adrian's doing and how the BBC are numb skulls to treat him in such a way? One just has to ask the obvious question, does this source have a West Midlands accent by any chance? Don't get me wrong, I like the chap and I like the show and I'd be loathed to see him go. Especially as I can't, really, see him getting a vehicle that suit his undoubted talents as well as The ONE Show elsewhere. The presenter is allegedly locked in a one million pound contract, but wants to leave the BBC as soon as possible. Could be the most disastrous move you ever make that, Chilesy. A bit like Jason Koumas - doing all right for yer very own Baggies till heads were turned by an offer from the Premiership. Now, he can't hardly get a game at Wigan. Grass isn't always greener on the other side of the hill. I'm just saying.

Movie-goers should have more information about how many calories are in cinema snacks, the Food Standards Agency has said. The nutrition watchdog is concerned about the portion sizes of cinema snacks which are often high in fat, sugar or salt. The FSA said that cinemas sell 'pretty large portions' and do not offer a smaller choice to customers. FSA chief executive Tim Smith told The Times cinema food was 'a concern.' So, in other words popcorn, hot dogs and sweet fizzy drinks make you fat? Jeez, what a revelation, dear blog reader. And, also in today's hot news, apparently lard makes you fat as well. No, I didn't know either...

Michael Jackson's family were reportedly 'left in shock' after watching a new documentary about the singer's death. The Daily Star reports that the programme - part of VH1's Famous Crime Scenes series - shows a body double re-enacting the singer's death last year. 'Imagine how his three children must be feeling,' a source apparently close to the Jackson family revealed before, in a curious follow up statement adding: 'They support one hundred per cent the programme's well-researched assertions that Dr Murray failed to do his job properly and is responsible for Michael's death.' A VH1 spokesman refused to comment, but a network insider said: 'We feel we uncovered some important truths and sometimes the truth isn't easy to swallow.' They didn't manage to explain - using graphs if necessary - how a black guy can father three white kids, though. Pity, that.

Mohammed George has spoken of the 'depression' he suffered as a result of his departure from EastEnders. The actor, who lost the role of road sweeper Gus in 2008, revealed that he 'broke down more than once.' He told the Daily Star: 'It was like having a noose around my neck, I couldn't breathe. I pleaded for help and broke down more than once but they did not want to help me. When I look back there were times I was so low I could have topped myself. I felt like I did not want to live. Depression is one of the worst things you can go through in life. I've seen them support so many people through drink and drug problems, so they could easily have supported me too.' George also suggested that he was forced to leave the BBC soap, after executives 'believed' tabloid headlines which the actor later proved to be wrong. He added: 'They said I'd be leaving by mutual agreement but, of course, it wasn't really like that. Instead of supporting me, they believed the bad press I'd got after all that bother with Emma. They just sold me down the river. It's been nearly two years since I left and I haven't had one single acting job since. But I’m not going to give up.'

Nelson Mandela left Jeremy Clarkson baffled after mistaking him for an astronaut - and asking what the moon was like. The Top Gear host said that he did not want to embarrass Mr Mandela and stammered: 'It's rocky and there's not much gravity.' The former South African president made his mistake at a recent charity event as he had been due to meet a group of American astronauts on the same day. According to the Sun, Jeremy could not bring himself to correct the legendary leader - so pretended he had been to the moon. Clarkson said yesterday: 'It was tricky. I couldn't very well say that we weren't astronauts as that might look argumentative. Nor could I say that we made a poky BBC2 programme about cars - because then he might wonder what on earth we were doing wasting his valuable time. I did what I thought best and said it was very rocky and dusty and there was not much gravity.'

Mark Croft has hired a private investigator to watch Kerry Katona, according to reports. The estranged husband of the former Atomic Kitten singer and reality TV regular - who was allegedly dumped by her last week - apparently intends to 'sue' her. A source told the Daily Star: 'Mark is furious that Kerry is no longer interested in him and wants to know how close she is to this trainer. He wants to screw her for everything she's got in the divorce so he's asked a private eye to work for him.' But ... hasn't she been telling everybody for the last year that she's bankrupt and, therefore, doesn't have anything worth suing over? Curious. Another source revealed: 'Kerry's very down at the moment but she'll survive this and hopefully get her life back on track. Once the divorce is settled, she hopes Mark will leave her alone and give her a chance to be happy again.' Or, is this merely yet another desperate attempt by two wilfully narcissistic and sad individuals to play out their entire lives as though it's a soap opera in the hope of getting themselves a few more tabloid inches? What's the deal, here - seen Katie and Peter's divorce turn into a multi-media event and decided you'd like a piece of that action? As the greatest private investigator of all would say, 'when you have eliminated the impossible, what is left, however improbable, must be the truth.'

Cheryl Cole has turned down the chance to 'tell all' about her marriage on TV as she reportedly doesn't want to play out her split with husband in front of millions on the television as Katie Price did. The heartbroken pop singer was due to be interviewed by Jonathan Ross on his Friday night chat show this coming weekend. But she has now pulled the plug on the interview, and if she appears at all, it will only be to perform her new single, 'Parachute.' The twenty six year-old declined the opportunity to put her side of the story over her split from there England and Chelsea left back and bounder and scoundrel, Ashley, over allegations that he was unfaithful behind her back with up to four women. The Heaton Horror reportedly told the chat show producers: 'It's tacky. It's got Jordan written all over it.' Meanwhile, with regard to her former husband, let's remember that his 'Cashley' tag was earned by his laughable account of his distress at Arsenal's mere fifty five thousand pound-a-week offer (he said that he nearly crashed his car) and the way that he wheedled a move to Chelsea and then tried to blame his old club for reacting badly when he was caught having illegal meetings behind their back. Cole's seemingly blindness to how badly others perceive his crass posturing, his writing an autobiography (My Defence) before his twenty fifth birthday, his ostentatious bling-bling lifestyle and his treatment of his 'national treasure' ex-wife means that even Chelsea fans seemingly aren't all that bothered if he buggers off to Europe as he appears to be threatening.

1 comment:

Mietek Padowicz said...

You had had me and my wife cheering at knee deep in the blood of Kym Marsh. Other than Dev and Norris, that hit list has it about right. Time to clean up Kim Crowther's mess and get back to the Corrie we love.