Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Way We Were

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping wishes to report the delivery of a new PC to Stately Telly Topping Manor, dear blog reader. This is, obviously, part one of a War & Peace-style saga (probably of about eighty four installments). So, anyway, it arrived nice and early yesterday morning - quarter to eight, actually - and most of the installation ha,s thus far, gone relatively smoothly. Well, ish. I've got the majority of the important stuff downloaded onto it from the old machine - programmes, documents, got the music sorted, got most (although not all) of the video files installed. All-in-all things seemed to be going quite well. But, inevitably, there's a small problem - you just knew there would be, didn't you? I certainly did! I spent forty five fruitless minutes trying to connect to the Internet followed by forty five equally fruitless minutes on the phone to Demon's helpdesk (which was about helpful as mud) before discovering that Windows 7, which the new PC runs is 'incompatible' with the modem I currently have! So, I'm back on the old - half-dead - machine until they can send me a new, compatible one! You couldn't make this up, could you?

James May has revealed that the next series of Top Gear will involve less 'tomfoolery.' Which, of course, is something of a disappointment to many viewers like yer actual Keith Telly Topping who watch Top Gear precisely for the tomfoolery, larks and general cocking about. May, who presents the show with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, explained that he understands why some people don't like its pranks. 'It's easy to get carried away,' he told the Radio Times. 'It's like drinking - you start to believe you're funny and other people might not. Everybody wants their programme to be the biggest in the world. But it opens you to accusations of dumbing down.' May added that the crew had decided to alter the Top Gear format slightly, saying: 'The keen observer will see a subtle change - a slight retreat from the Last of the Summer Wine tomfoolery.' Meanwhile, the show's producer Andy Wilman claimed that Top Gear is like the BBC's 'naughty child,' adding: 'The BBC are like your parents. We exasperate them.' And, that's why we love it. That, and the fact that it's very existence pisses off a lot of individuals who really deserve a bit of pissing off.

Employees at the BBC have reportedly 'expressed their anger' at Christine Bleakley. The organisation decided to withdraw its offer to Bleakley recently after many weeks of speculation about her future. Bleakley has now joined ITV but BBC sources have alleged that she was waiting to make a decision to get the best deal possible. The insiders also criticised Bleakley for acting as if she was planning to stay at the BBC and meeting new ONE Show co-hosts Chris Evans and Jason Manford. Manford has reportedly written on Twitter that he is 'angry' about her decision. 'Christine was publicly saying she wanted to stay just two weeks ago and was discussing taking The ONE Show forward,' a source told the Mirror. 'She even met Chris Evans for lunch and has been chatting to Jason Manford about their future partnership. She then claimed on Sunday that the BBC had to move swiftly. But the truth is we have been negotiating for months.' The insider continued: 'Christine had ample time to decide and it looks like she was just holding out for more money from ITV. It's fair to say she has upset some important people here who feel taken for a ride, and they won't be rushing to work with her ever again.' Sources close to Bleakley have claimed that she was on holiday last week and was forced to make a decision about her future on Sunday, when she was abroad. Doesn't explain why she didn't make the decision before she went on holiday, of course.

Meanwhile, Chris Evans has reportedly revealed that he would be happy to reunite with Gaby Roslin for The ONE Show. Oh, now I get it. Adrian Chiles want GMTV to be The ONE Show and Chris Evans wants The ONE Show to be TFI Friday. Evans, who also co-hosted The Big Breakfast with Roslin in the early 1990s, praised the presenter for her appearance. He is quoted by Celebritain as saying: 'I get on with Gaby great. She's as mad as a box of frogs to be honest, and she looks incredible. I mean, better now than she did twenty years ago, which is great. Yes of course I would do it.' However, Myleene Klass is currently the bookies' favourite to replace Christine Bleakley. Because, she's pretty and can read an autocue. Horrorshow.

And, in a further twist, a number of ITV staff are feeling 'annoyed and concerned' over Christine Bleakley's forthcoming arrival at GMTV, a report has claimed. According to the Mirror, Bleakley's suitability for her new anchoring role has been called into question amid promises that the revamped breakfast programme will have a more serious tone. One - nameless - ITV executive is quoted as saying: 'We were told they want more journalistic focus to GMTV but then why give hard-working, down-to-earth reporters like Penny Smith and John Stapleton the boot, and effectively kick out Kate Garraway and Emma Crosby? Christine may be able to temper Adrian Chiles, but what is in question is [sic] her credentials as a journalist.' Another - equally nameless - source added: 'There is a big difference between asking a celebrity about their latest TV show and grilling the Prime Minister over budget cuts. It's very frustrating.' An ITV spokesman insisted: 'Christine and Adrian have a breadth and depth of presenting abilities and we have a hugely talented production team. We are very confident of their abilities to deliver top-level journalism and entertainment. Conversations are taking place with GMTV presenters regarding involvement in the new show.' Which all sounds like a load of crap to me but, we shall see.

Sean Murray will reportedly return to NCIS next season. Earlier this year, it emerged that a number of NCIS cast members were in negotiations over their new contracts. However, Entertainment Weekly says that Murray has now signed a deal to reprise his role as Tim McGee for several more years. Murray was the last cast member to agree a new contract after Pauley Perrette, Michael Weatherly, Rocky Carroll and David McCallum all signed up for more episodes. Mark Harmon and Cote de Pablo already had deals for the next season.

South African prosecutors have dropped charges against two Dutch women accused of a marketing stunt at the World Cup. The pair were arrested last week at the match between Denmark and the Netherlands. They were accused of 'ambush marketing' by wearing orange mini-dresses associated with a Dutch brewery and breaking strict FIFA marketing rules. The Dutch foreign minister strongly condemned the arrests. 'The charges have been dropped. FIFA indicated that they have no interest in proceeding with the matter,' said National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga. 'They reached an agreement with Bavaria Beer company,' he said. Under South African laws brought in after it was chosen to host the football tournament, the women could have been sentenced to prison terms by special World Cup courts. 'It is outrageous that the two women have a jail term hanging over their heads for wearing orange dresses in a football stadium,' Maxime Verhagen said in a statement. The case has led to the sacking of English football commentator Robbie Earle. He was found to have passed on some of the tickets used by the women from his allocation for friends and family, in breach of FIFA rules, and was promptly sacked by employer ITV. With a large chunk of FIFA's revenue coming from selling World Cup marketing rights, it vigorously pursues anyone who tries to associate itself with the tournament. Earlier this year a local low-cost airline was forced to withdraw an advertising campaign that boasted it was the 'Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What.'

Matt Smith has revealed that he enjoys watching himself on Doctor Who. Speaking to the Radio Times, Matt explained that he likes seeing the episodes when they air. 'I've become a real fan,' he said. 'I know it sounds very vain, but I do look forward to the ceremony of watching the show on a Saturday night.' He also said that he would like to be 'a Bond villain,' adding: 'I've never got away with being the handsome leading man. I suppose I'm the peculiar, odd lead, which may work in my favour.' In a very interesting piece of the interview, he gave some hints about Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat's long-term manifesto for the show. The actor admitted that it is 'a real challenge' to meet the head writer's expectations for the character of The Doctor. He explained: 'People ask me, "Who do you think your Doctor is?" and I'm reluctant to think of it in those terms, because it's still a work in progress. Steven Moffat, who's just the most brilliant writer, told me when I first met him that the interesting thing, the defining thing, about The Doctor is that he never quite knows what's going to come out of his mouth in any given situation.' Smith continued: 'His thoughts just combust spontaneously. I've tried to harness the brain-to-mouth rapidity. I mean, you could think about it forever, but how do you play the most charismatic man in the universe? If you play him constantly charismatic, he instantly loses the charisma. Of course, really charismatic people don't have to do a thing. They just are. I'm still finding my way on that one, but I like to think it gives me something creative to play with.'

Big fat cuddly Lorraine Kelly was forced to apologise yesterday when a GMTV correspondent swore on air. According to the Mirror, Ross King was speaking from Los Angeles about news that a copy of the latest Pirates of a Caribbean script had been left in a restaurant. Speaking about the accident, King said that he expects the employee responsible for the mistake to get 'a bollocking' from their boss. Kelly did not immediately reprimand King for his use of language but apologised to viewers when he had finished talking. Jesus. The shite some people chose to care about.

EastEnders scriptwriters have revealed the Queen Vic pub will be burned down as part of a major storyline later this year. The scenes will spell the end of the current pub set ahead of the soap's move to BBC high definition in the autumn. It has not been announced whether any characters will die in the blaze, although several are being written out, including landlady Peggy Mitchell. Actress Barbara Windsor is leaving the soap after sixteen years. In October, Windsor revealed she planned to leave the show, saying she would be 'so sad to leave Peggy behind. EastEnders has been wonderful to me and it's no secret that it changed my life all of those years ago,' she said. Since then it has also been announced that Minty Peterson, played by Cliff Parisi, Charlie Slater (Derek Martin) and Libby Fox (Belinda Owusu) are also being written out at roughly the same time. In April, Lacey Turner - who plays Stacey Branning, announced she would also be leaving the soap. The Queen Vic has been the scene of many memorable EastEnders moments, including the recent demise of Archie Mitchell.

Jason Lee has promised that his new show Memphis Beat is different to My Name Is Earl. Well, yeah. It would only be the same if you added some letters and took some other ones away. In an interview with TV Guide, Lee explained that he decided to take on the role in Memphis Beat because it was a new challenge for him. 'This came along and it was very different, unique and appealing to me,' he said. 'I'm very glad I did it because I'm getting to be in a completely different world. I like that this came in this stage in my life.' Lee added that the two series use different kinds of comedy, saying: 'Earl was just downright fun and goofy. This show is definitely a lot more grounded in reality. We also get to play a little bit. It's a bit quirky, as they say, it is a bit offbeat, but it's important that it's grounded for us and the characters are real and believable.' He continued: 'You can identify with the characters and they're accessible and likeable. If you get too silly with something like this, especially with all the Elvis stuff, you start to lose the importance of the show and the depth of the characters, so we're trying to walk that line between offbeat and real.'

Phillip Schofield has revealed the first celebrity contestants for the return of The Cube. The presenter hosted the first - not particularly well-received - series of the ITV game show, which saw members of the public having to complete challenges in a large glass cube in front of a studio audience. Writing on Twitter, he said: 'Do you want to come to see The Cube being recorded? Would love to see you. We record at Fountain Studios in Wembley. On my way there now! Oh and it looks like our celebs will be Ricky Hatton, Dame Kelly Holmes, Kelly Osbourne and Joe Swash.' He added: 'Only two shows are 'sleb. The others are "normal" folk! Last night we had a guy who was a self confessed Cube geek, very nail biting moments!' Thanks for the warning, Phil, we'll look out for that one so we can give it a miss.

Disgraceful former reality TV regular and waste-of-space-and-oxygen Kerry Katona has reportedly attempted to stop a Channel 4 documentary from airing. One which is said to include footage of her with her ex-husband Mark Croft. According to the Daily Mail, the programme features revelations about Katona's private life prior to her split from the cab driver. She is apparently heard shouting at her daughter Molly in the documentary: 'Shut your face or I’ll knock you out.' However, the sack former face of Iceland's manager said: 'The reason we were trying to stop the documentary being screened is because Kerry only signed a release form but she did not sign a contract.' Yes. Of course. Sounds entirely reasonable.

Piers Morgan has claimed that working as a TV talent show judge is harder than it looks. Only for you, Piers. Only for you.

No comments: