Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shoot The Messenger, He Deserves It

Those Marks & Spencer TV food advert don't get any better, do they? Dervla Kerwin's 'honey-toned gastro-porn' delivery when giving every male in the country The Horn via her use of the word 'drizzled' was bad enough, of course. However the new ones are, if anything, even worse. I don't know about anybody else, but I really don't want to wake up on a Sunday with a bit of a hangover, switch on the TV and have Caroline Quentin telling me that she likes her buns 'soft and fruity.' We've all heard the rumours, Caroline.

The snorting, middle-class, middle-everything diarrhoea-scum at the Daily Express have - believe it or not - managed to write a story which doesn't mention Princess Diana once. Remarkable in and of itself, I'm sure you'll agree ladies and gentlemen. However, beyond that, the article is an absolute twenty four-carat comedy gem. FAMILIES HIT BY BBC 'FILTH' apparently. And, it must be true because it's in capital letters. Well, fair enough I guess - I mean there's plenty of 'sick filth' that yer Keith Telly Topping would like to see banned. The loathsome Daily Express and all who sail in 'er for a kick-off. Yes, it would seem that an enterprising Express journalist has finally - two years after it went live - worked out how to actually use iPlayer. Jolly well done, old chap. Having done so, they apparently insist that, in an Internet full of (if you believe everything you read in newspapers like the Express) 'filth', the first thing that any self-respecting five year old is going to head for is downloading an episode of Live At The Apollo. Words, dear blog reader, fail me. But, not for long. You may have noticed the Express have avoided mentioning that among the 'filth' BBC shows available on iPlayer for impressionable young minds to be sickly warped by are, you know, Songs of Praise, Antiques Roadshow and Countryfile. Disgusting! Won't somebody please think of the children. Two 'quotes' from the article neatly illustrate the absurdity of this piece of garbage. The first notes that 'It also discovered that only twelve per cent of parents with children aged five to fifteen had bothered to set up a PIN or password, and almost forty per cent of parents had "no idea" the safeguards even existed.' The second is rather atypical rent-a-quote comment by some politician that you've never heard of; one Barry Sheerman, a Labour MP and the Chairman of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee, who gives us the benefit of his, no doubt, sage wisdom: 'Our broadcasters who put this sort of filth online should be forced to ensure children are unable to access it.' So, essentially, the BBC are being blamed - by the Express and by yer man Barry - for the actions of parents who can't be bothered to check what their children are getting up to in their bedrooms. Now, why doesn't this spectacularly sinister, mendacious, spiteful, vomit-flecked agenda-based accusation surprise me? Oh, that's right, because it's been made by a bunch of feckless right-wing thugs with the intellectual capacity of a crab. Knew there'd be a logical explanation lurking somewhere. Perhaps, the Express would be better advised spending a little less time on arrant nonsense like this and a bit more time on some of yer actual proper journalism. Like, just for instance, asking their very quotable 'friend' Mr Sheerman when we, the tax payers of this country, can expect him to pay back the excessive expenses which he claimed. Whenever you're ready, Baz, we're all eagerly waiting.

Manufacturers of Harris Tweed have reportedly been swamped with interest after the first pictures of Doctor Who's Matt Smith showed him wearing the traditional Hebridean material. Costume designer Ray Holman selected the jacket after developing the eleventh Doctor's outfit in consultation with Smith, who believed that the traditional weave had a certain 'authority.' The jacket was found in a London warehouse of Angels costumiers and has since been analysed by weavers on the Scottish islands who have identified it as a Mackenzie two by two dogtooth, 'probably produced in the 1960s.' The Harris Tweed Authority's Lorna Macaulay told The Times: 'We've had a huge amount of interest in this authentic product.' Yeah. Sounds about right.

The Bill cast and crew were left 'in stunned disbelief' this week after being 'told to go home' as the show was 'all over.' At least, that's the sort of language used in a variety of press reports, anyway. ITV bosses had confirmed on Thursday that the thirty-million-pounds-a-year soap would be cancelled due to a steady slump in viewing figures over the last few years. Early morning calls were made to the cast and crew to break the news, with those due on set told to take the day off. A - nameless - senior member of The Bill's cast revealed that he was already at the studio when he heard the news. 'We were setting up for filming when a guy from the props department came down and told us simply, "It's over - we're all out of work."' Show producer Talkback has entered into a thirty-day consultation with staff. Trudie Goodwin, who played Sun Hill's June Ackland for twenty four years, said she was 'saddened, but not surprised' by the announcement. 'I'm sad to see it ending; sad for the people who worked tirelessly for the programme over all those happy years; people without whose close friendship and many talents we would never have lasted so long. I think I can say, for all of us, tears will be shed,' she said. A tribute was also made by the former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, who said its transformation into a soap opera in recent years was 'inevitably doomed. The Bill fell between the pull for audiences of its origins and the desire of its scriptwriters to match the soaps, with the inevitable consequence of falling viewing. I am sorry at its passing. "Good night, all,"' he said. Err... wrong cop show, Sir Ian.

Christine Bleakley is reportedly in talks with ITV. The ONE Show host is alleged to have been 'lined-up' for 'a number of projects on the channel,' the News of the World claims. ITV is said to be hoping that Bleakley will agree to host The Xtra Factor as its former presenter Holly Willoughby is now working on This Morning. 'ITV are desperate to nick Christine from the Beeb,' a source said. A 'source' who, seemingly, talks in that dreadful tabloidesque way of never using words with more than one syllable in case the News of the World's shit-for-brains readership don't understand. Hence 'nick' rather than 'recruit'. Etc. 'They're in talks about a number of very big projects. But she's very reluctant to leave The ONE Show, and that would make it hard for her to present Xtra Factor on Saturdays and Sundays because it would mean working seven days a week.' However, the insider explained that Bleakley has agreed to discussions with ITV executives. 'ITV has been going after Christine for ages and now she is at the table,' the source said. 'The BBC will be very worried as they've been building her up into one of their big icons by getting her to co-host events like Sport Relief and putting her in Strictly Come Dancing. But she doesn't have a golden handcuffs deal which means she can do shows on rival networks. Obviously the Beeb don't want her on the rival station but they might have to let her do some work there just to keep her on The ONE Show.' Meanwhile, a 'source close to Bleakley' (presumably, a different one to the one that only talks in one-syllable words) reportedly confirmed that Bleakley is in talks with the channel. 'She is still committed to The ONE Show but ITV are extremely keen on signing her,' the insider explained. See. 'committed' and 'extremely.' Not really standard News of the Word type words, them. 'She's interested in presenting big prime time shows but The Xtra Factor might be difficult. Working every day of the week simply isn't practical.' Why not? Farmers manage it.

Cherie Lunghi has reportedly revealed that the BBC is axing Casualty 1909. The actress, and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant, told the Sunday Telegraph: 'The BBC have suddenly decided that period drama is not their thing. It was doing very well, but they've decided not to do any more.' Lunghi said that reality TV is favoured due to financial restrictions. 'There isn't much money around and drama is expensive and reality TV is cheaper,' she said.

Suzanne Shaw has dismissed comparisons with her former Hear'Say band mate, Kym Marsh. The actress and singer, who recently joined the cast of Emmerdale, said she could understand why people would want to draw parallels between her and Marsh, who has appeared in Coronation Street since 2006. However, Shaw said she was not willing to wage war and praised Marsh's work on the rival soap. 'I know [comparing us] is an obvious thing to do because she's in a rival soap but the soaps themselves compete against each other,' she said. Oh, I think we all know that's so not true. 'I don't think the actors should be doing that. I'm just doing my own job, my own character and I'm doing what I enjoy doing.' According to Metro, Shaw said she was proud of all four of her former Hear'Say band mates, although she admitted their varying schedules made it difficult to keep in touch.

Hallmark Channel has acquired the UK rights to two new dramas. Royal Pains, which airs on the USA Network in the States, stars Mark Feuerstein as 'a young doctor for hire to the rich and famous' in the Hamptons. Meanwhile, Facing Kate - also from USA - is about a lawyer who leaves her job to become a mediator. Both series will air on Hallmark and its new HD service from later in the year. In a separate deal with Five, Hallmark has also acquired the rerun rights to the first four seasons of CSI: NY.

Sheridan Smith reportedly cried after watching an audition performance on BBC talent show Over The Rainbow. That bad, eh? The Gavin & Stacey and Jonathan Creek actress, who is currently starring in a West End stage production of Legally Blonde, appeared on the reality series as a mentor to a selection of the final twenty contestants. Smith, Spice Girl Mel Chisholm, Oliver! actress Jodie Prenger, Tamzin Outhwaite, Kelly Ellis and Ruthie Henshall offered advice to the West End hopefuls, who were aiming to be chosen for the role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production. Contestants Katie Honan, Bronte Barbe, Claire Harbourne and Lauren Samuels all impressed Smith, with one of the girls moved her to tears after singing the title song. Speaking afterwards, Smith says: 'This is such an honour for me, I'm the world's biggest Wizard of Oz fan. That was just brilliant girls. That's how it should be done. I should take tips from you!'

Big quiffed Mark Kermode has revealed that he will not be the new presenter of Film 2010. Kermode has been consistently linked to the show since Jonathan Ross announced that he will leave the BBC in July. However, the critic dismissed the speculation during an appearance on Radio 5Live. 'I'm not doing Film 2010,' he said. 'I've never been doing Film 2010. They've never approached me, they've never asked me about it, nor indeed would they - not that I ever expected them to.' Kermode explained that the show 'requires a mainstream sensibility' and added: 'I don't do moderation.' He continued: 'I don't know what plans they have for it. Whatever they are I'm sure they will be, you know, wonderful and successful. I promise you I am nothing to do with it. Please, bookies, stop giving odds on me.'

Phillip Schofield has revealed that he was stalked for two years by 'a grinning Chinese woman' who 'chased him around the country.' The presenter and Dancing On Ice host said that the woman would hide from him then jump out to take his picture - just to catch his startled expression. 'There were times that things got scary from one particular fan. She was Chinese, actually,' he told the Sunday Mirror. 'It sounds funny but her thing was to leap out at me everywhere to take a picture. Literally, wherever I went she would jump out. She's got hundreds of pictures of me with a horrified look on my face. She jumped out grinning from behind trees, from behind signs, from behind cars. I used to say, "Don't do that. Just stand here and we'll take a proper picture. We'll get someone to take it." But all she wanted was pictures of me with a terrified look on my face. That was her thing. I was like, "Arrgh, goddamnit, it's happened again." It went on for a couple of years, at least once or twice a week.' Schofield said that he was once in Blackpool when his stalker leaped out from behind a street sign. 'I nearly had a heart attack,' he said.

Richard Madeley has 'slammed' (that's tabloid-speak for 'criticised' or 'commented upon negatively') press reports suggesting that his wife Judy Finnigan is an alcoholic after recent pictures showed her with bleary eyes and struggling to walk. The presenter said that Finnigan has damaged ligaments in both her knees and is recovering from two eye operations, which will leave her with impaired sight for the rest of the year. Madeley told the Daily Mail that reports surrounding her alleged alcoholism were 'deeply unpleasant' and said that he was helping his wife to walk due to her recent illness. He said: 'As a family, we are all very angry and upset about it, and almost at the end of our tether. It is ridiculous that such private matters should have to be divulged in order to quash lazy, stupid and cruel reports about my wife. She must be allowed to go about her normal family life without this kind of harassment.' Madeley added that although Finnigan is 'exceptionally wise and forgiving,' she has nearly had enough of the claims. 'I certainly have. It has got to stop,' he said.

Police reportedly swooped on the home of Steve McFadden after being tipped off that he was hoarding weapons. However, the News Of The World reports that officers sent to the EastEnders actor's property were 'met by McFadden's porn star friend Omar Williams also known as Big Omar.' Sounds like a hell of a party, that one. Scotland Yard came away empty handed after a quick search of the fifty one-year-old's Highgate home revealed that he had been the victim of a hoax. A source said: 'The police got two tip-offs that Steve had guns hidden in his home - so an armed team was sent round to check it out. No one was more shocked than Steve. The police did a quick search but put it down to a malicious call. They were very apologetic. The only weapon there, so to speak, was Omar's. Steve was very co-operative but wasn't impressed. He is wondering who would want to stitch him up like that.' McFadden declined to comment about the hoax, however, his agent confirmed that the raid had taken place and that no guns were found.

Rockin' Ronnie Wood sustained a black eye and a swollen lip after he was allegedly hit by his new girlfriend, reports the Sun. The newspaper claimed that Brazilian polo teacher Ana Araujo lashed out after discovering that the Rolling Stone was drinking alcohol behind her back. Araujo assaulted Wood after ripping up two of his paintings, an 'insider' alleged, adding that the rocker then called his ex-wife Jo 'in a state.' The source said: 'Ana had been keeping him off the bottle. She rumbled him on Wednesday having a drink and an argument escalated quickly. He was calling her all sorts of names for criticising his drinking and she just snapped. Two of his prized paintings, which he had hoped to sell, are ruined. She ripped them to shreds. He crossed the wrong woman.'

A financial news and opinion website has named Mr Bonio Out of U2 as 'the worst investor in America.' 24/7 Wall Street claimed that the U2 front man and inventor of world peace has made large investments in several financially unsuccessful corporations. Topping the list is Elevation Partners, a private equity firm which invests in entertainment and consumer-related products. The singer co-founded the firm, a move that the website claimed to earn him the title of 'worst investor,' according to the San Francisco Business Times. '[Elevation Partners is] arguably the worst run institutional fund of any size in the United States,' the site said. Mr Bonio Out of U2 has also been linked to failed investments with Palm and Yelp.

Meanwhile, the daughter of Mr Bonio Out of U2's co-inventor of world peace, Peaches Geldof, has reportedly denied claims that she took heroin during what some members of the press have described - very amusingly - as 'a sex romp.' The twenty one-year-old socialite, and waste-of-space, was forced to 'quash' the allegation after an American, known only as Ben, posted naked pictures of Saint Bob's daughter on the Internet. According to the Sun, he alleged that he had a one night stand with the model in Los Angeles last November and claimed that they took a friend's car, bought some needles to inject the drug, then went to her room and 'did it every way possible. Things got hot and heavy and before I know it we're naked. We had a naked dance party on her bed,' he said. Not to one of Saint Bob's tunes, though, I'm sure. The pair then allegedly drove to Hollywood's Scientology Centre for 'purification' in the sauna and exercise room. A 'friend' told the newspaper that Peaches was 'spitting fury' over the claim, while a 'spokesman' said: 'The allegations that our client was carrying and injecting heroin are denied, our client having just consumed alcohol with the other individual leading to the "highs" described and portrayed in the photographs.'

Phil Collins has revealed that he is now forced to tape drumsticks to his hands in order to play. One wonders if it would be possible for him to do the same with his mouth?

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