Saturday, July 03, 2010

Yesterday's News Is Tomorrow's Fish & Chip Paper

It's not damn well fair is it, dear blog reader? You wait three weeks for a potential 'Match of the World Cup' to turn up, then two come along on the same day! Yer Keith Telly Topping's thoughts on the singular 'just like London buses' Day Twenty Two, his beloved Netherlands beating the Brazilians and Uruguay's dramatic penalty victory over plucky - and unlucky - Ghana can be found here. Along with yer Keith Telly Topping's horror, disgust and outrage (and, I'm actually being serious here, for once) at ITV's miserable lack of impartiality and general incompetence. I'm never normally one to celebrate in the misery of others but the sight of Marcel Desailly with his face like a smacked arse last night had me, quite literally, rolling around on the floor laughing and kicking my legs in the air like one of those robots off the 'For Mash Get S.M.A.S.H. adverts.' And, it's been a long time since that happened.

Now, here's something else that is, quite literally, wee-in-yer-own-pants funny. Just a few days after the Daily Scum Mail ran that ridiculous 'Doctor Who is getting poor ratings, no honest guv' story, the final ratings figures for the penultimate episode of the current season, The Pandorica Opens, were released yesterday. They show that - including timeshifts of over one million seven hundred thousand - the story was watched by 7.57 million viewers. More than either of the two episodes of EastEnders shown that week, for instance. And, almost exactly the same as the final figures for the twelfth episodes of the first two David Tennant Doctor Who series in 2006 and 2007. On BBC1 Doctor Who had 6.94 million watching, enough to make it the fourth most watched programme of the week for BBC1, being beaten only by the BBC's coverage of three matches at the World Cup. An additional six hundred and thirty five thousand viewers watched on BBC HD. The episode had an overall audience share of thirty seven percent. A full top thirty list for the week is not yet available as figures have not been released for all channels. However it would appear that Doctor Who finished the week as the ninth most watched individual programme on British Television. One wonders if the Daily Scum Mail's Peter Revoir is busy at his word processor writing a story about that? No, of course he won't be. What a stupid suggestion. Meanwhile, if ever you wanted an almost textbook example of the Daily Scum Mail's disgracefully obvious anti-BBC agenda at its most nasty and desperate, have a quick look at this story, which claims that 'TV viewers have accused the BBC of ruining the genteel atmosphere of Wimbledon with "voyeuristic" shots of the crowd - at the expense of the tennis.' Then, have a look at the photographs they've chosen to illustrate the story with. Some people, as has been noted, are just scum. And some people are hypocritical scum.

Still on the subject of all things Gallifreyan, in one of the most unexpected press releases in the history of the broadcasting medium, the BBC have denied that a Doctor Who movie featuring Johnny Deep is currently being proposed. Which is absolutely shocking, because it was so believeable an Internet rumour in the first place. According to io9, the BBC has now confirmed that there are 'no plans' for a Doctor Who feature film and that reports to the contrary were 'pure speculation.' Well, that certainly surprises me, I don't know about you, dear blog reader.

And, speaking of films that aren't getting made, the new James Bond movie has reportedly been scrapped due to a shortage of studio money. The filming of Bond Twenty Three was put on hold indefinitely in April, but there are now rumours that the movie has been scrapped altogether. MGM studios, who were co-funding the Daniel Craig film, have suffered from well-documented financial troubles in the past year, and reports suggest they have cancelled the one hundred and thirty two million blockbuster. A 'source' allegedly told the Mirror: 'Members of the production crew have been told the Bond film has been canned. There is a lot of bad feeling as a lot of time, money and hard work has already gone into this.' Director Sam Mendes and Frost/Nixon writer Peter Morgan were already attached to the project.

British teenage tennis player Laura Robson, who won through to the girls' singles semi-finals earlier this week, received an apology from the BBC commentator David Mercer after he claimed on air that 'puppy fat' was affecting her performance. Mercer's comments came during Robson's second-round win over Krista Hardebeck on Tuesday and were broadcast on the BBC's interactive service. 'I suppose the one thing that I have at the back of my mind at the moment,' said Mercer, 'is Laura mobile enough around the court? Perhaps a little puppy fat at the moment, the sort of thing you'd expect her to lose as she concentrates on tennis full-time.' After her victory over her compatriot Tara Moore, 7-5, 6-1, Robson was asked about the comments. 'Yeah, I've spoken to the guy who said it,' she said. 'It's not a big deal. It doesn't bother me at all. It's just his opinion. I don't really care.' Pressed if she thought that similar comments would be made about a male she added: 'Yeah, I think if they thought it, then they'd say whatever was on their mind.' A BBC spokesman said: 'David has apologised to Laura for any offence caused.'

Daniel Roche will play the title role in a new BBC production of Just William, it has been revealed. The ten-year-old, who stars as Ben Brockman in the sitcom Outnumbered, has been cast as William Brown in the television adaptation of the Richmal Crompton story, reports the Daily Scum Mail. Just William producer John Chapman said: 'It's not an accident that Daniel Roche's Ben is regarded as the Just William of today.' Brown's nemesis, Violet Elizabeth-Bott, will be played by Isabella Blake-Thomas, best known for starring in Green Balloon Club on CBeebies. The series, which begins shooting later this month, will reportedly consist of four half-hour episodes shown in the run-up to Christmas. It will be penned by Men Behaving Badly's Simon Nye, who most recently wrote Doctor Who episode Amy's Choice.

There's a very good piece in the Independent by Ben Dowell and Tom Rowley on the potential 'media war' which could be sparked if the BBC Trust follows through with its intentions to press for the publication of salaries. 'In a climate where presenters such as Jonathan Ross and Adrian Chiles are already following their purses to commercial broadcasters, could a drop in salaries at the BBC lead to an exodus? "The real winners in this could be Sky and ITV," says Mark Borkowski. "They'll find it much easier to attract talent." An anonymous agent went further: "If things change the talent might just hit the road. Everyone's under the microscope at the moment but there needs to be an element of trust and a focus on value. Morecambe and Wise were on big wages that nobody knew about. But they were worth it."'

There was a quite brilliant bit reportage on Sky Sports News on Friday night after the announcement that Fabio Capello would be staying on as England manager. Ever seeking to be 'the voice of the common man' - ideally, the more common the better - Sky sent one of their camera crews out onto the streets of Leeds to ask for opinions from 'normal' members of the public.' Well, as normal as they could find in Leeds, anyway. The first tremendous example of thoughtful critique from someone who was not-at-all a crass-Little-Englander was, I kid you not, 'the blowwwwke caaarn't even taaaark proper Eeeenglish!' I thought, that's a bit pot calling the kettle black, pal, neither can you. Anyway ...

BBC2 has announced the cast for its new noir thriller The Shadow Line. The six-part series, which has been written by Hugo Blick, focuses on a group of individuals who become connected when drug baron Harvey Wratten is murdered. The characters, including a police officer with amnesia and a drug lord, will all be affected by Wratten's death and will be forced to choose between right and wrong. Chiwetel Ejiofor, who starred in American Gangster, and Doctor Who's Christopher Eccleston have both signed up to appear in the drama alongside Sir Anthony Sher and Stephen Rea. The cast also includes Lesley Sharp, Desperate Romantics' Rafe Spall, Five Daughters star Kierston Wareing and Sean Gilder from Shameless. Freddie Fox, who appeared in Worried About The Boy, has joined the drama along with Malcolm Storry, Richard Lintern and David Schofield. The BBC's controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson said: 'As we continue our drive to build a bold and exciting drama story on BBC2 with commissions like Crimson Petal and The Hour, I am thrilled that we have attracted such world-class talent to Hugo Blick's thrilling scripts. Chiwetel and Chris are two of our finest actors and we couldn't be more excited to have them, and the rest of the amazing cast, on board for this original and epic six-hour series.'

Veteran costume designer Barbara Kidd is to return to work on Doctor Who. Kidd, who won an Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Costumes' on Little Dorrit, previously worked on the Telefantasy series during her early career. She is credited as having designed costumes for episodes featuring Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison. The BAFTA winner's agent confirmed on her website that Kidd will design for 'series six and [the] Christmas special.' You know, the one that the Daily Star claims might not happen because they've 'lost the script.' The listing also announced the return of Sanne Wahlenberg, who has worked on shows including Wallander and Murphy's Law as a producer for Steven Moffat's first Christmas special.

Stage and screen actor Geoffrey Hutchings, most recently seen in ITV's Benidorm, has died at the age of seventy one. Hutchings, who trained at RADA, saw his career stretch from Shakespearean theatre to popular TV dramas, including the BBC's Our Friends in the North. His agent said the actor died suddenly in hospital on Thursday morning from a suspected viral infection. Hutchings' final series, the sitcom Grandma's House, is due to be screened by BBC2 this summer. He was due to begin filming the next series of Benidorm shortly. The Dorchester-born actor studied at Birmingham University, later attending RADA and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1968. He won an Olivier Award for best comedy performance in 1982 for his role in Poppy before moving into TV and film work. His British films included John Cleese's Clockwise, Wish You Were Here and the adaptation of Bruce Chatwin's On The Black Hill. He later appeared in Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy. Hutchings' TV appearances included roles in shows such as Brass, Holby City, Bad Girls, Accused, Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders and a stint in EastEnders. In 1998, he was part of the cast for the acclaimed Carry On-inspired National Theatre production Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle And Dick, in which he played comedy actor Sid James. The play was later adapted for TV as Cor, Blimey! Hutching's agent Roger Charteris said: 'He never stopped working. Geoffrey was a delight to work with and he was absolutely one of a kind.'

Futurama recently aired an episode which poked fun at Britain's Got Talent singer Susan Boyle. In the episode, Attack of the Killer App, which was broadcast this week on Comedy Central in the US, it is revealed that one-eyed mutant sex-bomb Leela (voiced by Katey Segal) has 'a singing boil' on her rear named Susan. When her boyfriend Fry (Billy West) discovers the boil, he uploads a video of it to a website and creates an online sensation, mirroring Boyle's real-life Internet success. The episode was the third broadcast since Comedy Central resurrected Futurama. The show was originally, stupidly, cancelled by FOX in 2003 after four seasons.

Sons of Anarchy showrunner Kurt Sutter has admitted that he has 'grown' as a writer and producer. Sutter created the series when The Shield - on which he served as writer and producer - came to an end in 2008. He recently confessed on his blog that he 'lacked self-awareness' and 'maturity' when working on the previous show. 'I was a motherfucker,' he wrote. 'Unfortunately, I didn't know it at the time. I loved the world, loved the characters and I took a deep sense of ownership in that show. I gave it one hundred and twenty five per cent and fucking hated it when other people treated it like it was just a job (which of course, it was).' He added: 'Thank God I wasn't running that show. It would have sucked.' Sutter also admitted that he has learnt a great deal working on Sons of Anarchy. 'I am challenged every day to rise above my self-destructive defaults,' he said. '[The] last three years has been a series of professional and personal life lessons. I've grown a lot as a writer/producer and as a man. I'm not the same person I was five or even two years ago. I'm growing up, but clearly I've got a fuckload of growing left to do.' The producer further revealed details of the Sons of Anarchy third season premiere. 'The season picks up a few days after the season two finale and the episode is about Jax's emotional journey through the devastation of losing a child.'

The Paxman's chum, Dizzee Rascal, lost his temper with a studio audience this week while filming Sky1's new talent show Must Be The Music, a tabloid report has claimed. According to the Sun, the hip-hop star was 'left stunned' when audience members booed him and his fellow judges after they made a controversial decision. It is thought that the panel - which also features Jamie Cullum and Sharleen Spiteri - were jeered and heckled after choosing to send home a female hopeful who had won over the crowd. Responding to the audience, Dizzee allegedly picked up a microphone and complained: 'What's going on? Don't boo us. You guys need to get behind us. If we don't like someone you guys need to get behind us - otherwise it will create a shit vibe.' A show producer is understood to have then stepped in, telling the crowd: 'Guys, you need to work with us. These guys have sold millions of albums so they know what they're talking about.'

Kate Garraway has been offered a new GMTV role according to reports. Making the tea? The Mirror story suggests that the presenter, who has been with the breakfast show since 2000, will work as 'Christine Bleakley's holiday stand-in' and also conduct special interviews if she chooses to accept the position. A 'source' allegedly told the newspaper: 'After being one of the stars for so long, she will need a lot of thinking time before she decides if she wants to be second-best to Christine.' Well, hurry up Katie. If you leave the milk too long, it'll curdle. Apparrently, Adrian likes two lumps. No sugar, though.

And finally, Paris Hilton has reportedly been arrested in South Africa after police suspected that one of her team was smoking marijuana. As reported on this blog yesterday, Hilton has flown to South Africa to watch the final stages of the world Cup. Dispatch Online reports that Hilton was detained after being confronted at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Provincial head of detectives Mark Magadlela confirmed that Hilton has since been released. 'There is an inquiry. I don’t want to comment further,' he said. An Eyewitness News reporter wrote on Twitter: 'EWN can officially confirm that socialite Paris Hilton has been arrested on a drug-related charge and will appear in court later tonight.' Hilton has been keeping fans on Twitter updated about her trip but has yet to comment on the reports. The heiress's most recent message said: 'It's so beautiful here. I can't wait to go on the safari this week and see all the amazing animals.' Well, if you're looking for a holiday, Paz, I hear that Robben Island's very nice this time of year.

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