Friday, May 07, 2010

Is It Over Yet?

The BBC was the most-watched broadcaster last night for its coverage of the general erection results. According to early data, BBC1's Election 2010 programme averaged just over four million between 9.55pm and 2am, the cut-off point for overnight ratings. ITV's coverage drew 1.26m during the same period, while Sky News's election programme managed just three hundred and thirty thousand between 9pm and 2am. Simulcasts of the BBC's coverage on BBC News Channel and BBC HD averaged a total of close to one million viewers. BBC1 peaked with 5.84m at 10.50pm, while ITV peaked with 2.43m at 10pm. Channel 4's Alternative Election Night, hosted by David Mitchell and Charlie Brooker, delivered a more than decent 1.6m average from 9pm (beating ITV's coverage of the actual event itself). Earlier, Watchdog managed 3.89m for BBC1 in the 8pm hour, then a repeat of an episode of Qi and a new Outnumbered took 3.78m and 4.71m respectively.

Former GMTV reporter Gloria De Piero won a Labour seat in Ashfield in the election by a small margin. De Piero, who was a political correspondent on GMTV from 2003 to February 2010, defended the Nottinghamshire seat by just under 200 votes. In February, she was selected by Labour from an all-women shortlist to stand in the seat after former defence secretary Geoff Hoon stood down. Following voting yesterday, De Piero took sixteen thousand two hundred and thirty nine votes, just one hundred and ninety two ahead of the Liberal Democrat candidate, Jason Zadrozny. The Conservative candidate Garry Hickton came in third. Before joining GMTV, De Piero began her broadcasting career at the BBC, including stints on The Politics Show, On The Record and BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour. The thirty seven-year-old also latterly acted as a guest presenter on Five's magazine programme Live From Studio Five to cover for Kate Walsh and Melinda Messenger.

Meanwhile, Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia has expressed her sadness after her former fiancé, Lembit Opik, lost his seat in the House of Commons. The Liberal Democrat politician suffered after a thirteen per cent swing to Conservative candidate Glyn Davies last night. According to 24Dash, an e-mail from Irimia to the Press Association suggested that Opik should have been used more by his party in the run-up to the election. 'I was very sad to hear that Lembit has lost his seat as MP for Montgomeryshire. This Should Never Have Been Allowed To Happen!' she said. Ah well, y'see unlike, for instance, Ceaucescu's Romania, love, these things do happen in Great Britain. It's called 'democracy.' It has its drawbacks but it's all we've got. Get used to it. 'Lembit's priority in life was always his politics, the Lib Dems, his job as an MP. On his first visit to our house in Sussex, he sat in the kitchen and told us all that politics and the Liberal Party would always be first in his life! I understood this, and accepted it.' She continued: 'The voters have lost a dedicated man who cared for his constituency and the people in it. It was his life!'

And, finally in From The North's whistle-stop general erection round-up of all the stories that matter (basically, the ones that amused yer Keith Telly Topping), if you're looking for further in depth analysis, dear blog reader, I'd advise you to check out Rory Cellan-Jones' excellent blog assessment on what's been described as 'the first Internet election' here: 'So it wasn't an election won or lost by the Internet, but nor was it untouched by the technology. New voters appeared to enjoy their first experience of an election campaign, and will now expect to engage with future elections via the web. The real question to ask is whether politicians and the voters will be more or less inclined to use the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Google. I cannot imagine that having gone down this path, they will now retreat to the old methods.' Top stuff.

Jeremy Paxman and Joanna Lumley have reportedly turned down the opportunity to host Have I Got News For You. The current affairs panel show uses rotating guest hosts but its executive producer Richard Wilson has now revealed that he has not been able to sign up all of his dream guests. 'We have a wish list of presenters who we have asked on lots of times, but they keep refusing,' he told the Daily Mail. 'It includes John Prescott, Joanna Lumley and Jeremy Paxman. We must have asked Paxman hundreds of times, but he said he would rather have his testicles crushed between two bricks so please stop asking.' However, Wilson added that there a number of hosts who happily return to the show. 'We have a repertory company now of rotating presenters including Jeremy Clarkson, Kirsty Young, Jack Dee, Jo Brand, Alexander Armstrong and Martin Clunes,' he said. 'Young Boris [Johnson] will be back after he ceases to be London mayor.' He also revealed that he is surprised the show has lasted so long but said that he does not intend to change much about the programme. 'As long as Ian [Hislop] and Paul [Merton] enjoy doing it and have an appetite for it and we have an audience, it will go on,' he explained. 'Why muck around with it? Apart from a new carpet, we haven't fiddled with it very much. It's the third carpet we've had since the start.'

The BBC could reportedly lose the rights to the next season of Mad Men. All three seasons of the AMC drama have been broadcast on the BBC but the Sun claims that other channels are now planning to bid for the fourth run. The series, starring Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks, follows a group of advertising executives in 1960s New York. BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow said: 'Obviously we want the fourth series of Mad Men.'

Lawyers representing Morrissey threatened the BBC with an injunction last week to stop it from broadcasting one of the singer's early recordings, it has emerged. The twenty-second audio clip was removed at the last minute from a BBC 6Music documentary on 3 May about producer Stephen Street. The outtake was recorded during sessions for Morrissey's 1988 debut solo LP Viva Hate, which was Street's first major production credit and led to later work with Blur and Kaiser Chiefs. Speaking to Contact Music, Street said that there were no ill motives behind airing the clip as he just wanted to show that Morrissey 'still sounded great' on a four-track cassette. However, Morrissey's lawyers informed Street and the BBC on 30 April that they would apply for an injunction to prevent the clip from being aired. 'On Friday afternoon, both the BBC and myself received a letter from Morrissey's solicitors threatening an immediate injunction preventing any broadcast unless the material was removed,' Street said. 'Apparently their client was, "Horrified that the proposed material would be broadcast." I cannot understand [his] way of thinking at all. Throughout the programme I am extremely in full praise of Morrissey. I didn't think it would do any harm to play a small segment.' Street also noted that there have never been any problems before with playing recordings on 6Music, despite featuring the work of high profile artists such as Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen. He added: 'Rough demos have been played with their blessing and this is the first time they have been threatened with an injunction. Oh well, some things, or people, never change!'

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