Friday, November 26, 2010

Gold Is The Metal With The Broadest Shoulders

From The North had a couple of dozen more hits than usual yesterday. Which, obviously, yer Keith Telly Topping was fair delighted about. The reason, however, was curious. It wasn't, particularly, because of the nasty cold weather that hit Britain and people being stuck in their gaffs looking for some entertainment to cheer them up. No, mainly, it would appear, that it was people searching for information about Freddie's Great British Granny Bang which, you may remember dear blog reader, was mentioned, in passing, on the blog yesterday. Words fail me! It's always nice to see some new people in church but, please, do me a favour. Wipe your hands before you touch anything. Thanks.

BBC Television is set to deliver the best end of year figures of any major UK broadcaster, following strong performances across its channels throughout 2010 the BBC had announced in a press release. Analysis reveals that the AI (audience appreciation index) figures have gone up and that the portfolio has grown its share to thirty three per cent – half a percentage point up on last year – and now reaches over eighty five per cent of the UK population each week. Which, put into layman's terms, means that more people than last year are watching BBC programmes and they're saying that, by and large, they enjoy them, basically. Except for The Ludicrous Ms Dahl. Nobody enjoyed that. Jana Bennett, the BBC's Director of Vision, says: 'It's been a strong year for BBC Television, with distinctive and uniquely BBC initiatives like the year of science, opera and poetry seasons and the launch of BBC1 HD. We've seen truly ambitious and challenging moments like Five Daughters and Turn Back Time: The High Street, resulting in a portfolio performance that has bucked the trend and grown its AIs and audience share, whilst keeping public service broadcasting values at its heart.' Bennett also announced this week that the BBC will be introducing a new way of measuring its audiences, alongside traditional 'overnight' methods. The system, called Live Plus 7, will incorporate the total audience consuming content across all platforms, including live, recordings, time-shifting, narrative repeats, HD and, for the first time, BBC iPlayer for seven days after initial transmission. This will be particularly interesting as much discussion has been focused during the last year on the way in which viewing habits of the audience are changing. iPlayer, in particular, is a factor often forgotten about when it comes to viewing 'figures' per se and yet, as the BBC notes, it has a massive viewership. Next year the BBC plan to start revealing this information by publishing some of the Live Plus 7 information each month in a similar fashion to the way they currently announce iPlayer stats. Bennett added: 'We know that viewing habits are changing and we're changing with them. As our content becomes available in more ways than ever before, traditional methods of overnight measurement are now just one part of the picture. The new Live Plus 7 system will allow us to look at the total impact of a show and use this insight to continue creating the programmes our audiences want to see.' With regard to specific channel, BBC1 has continued to grow in 2010, reaching 44.6 million people each week, up from forty four million last year. Share has remained broadly stable at 20.7 per cent for all hours and BBC1 is the only terrestrial channel to have gone up in peak time (to just under twenty three per cent). It has consequently increased its lead ahead of other terrestrial channels in both peak and all hours. Highlights of the year have included The Young Ones, the success of Sherlock and the live EastEnders episode, which was watched by over twenty million people on all platforms. BBC2's share has remained ahead of its main competitors in peak hours: The channel reaches 31.3 million people each week. Despite a dip in peak share to 7.8 per cent, this still kept BBC2 comfortably ahead of its competitors Channel Four and Channel Five. As part of Putting Quality First, the channel has taken creative risk with distinctive programmes at 9pm including Secret Iraq, BP: Thirty Billion Dollar Blowout and The Song Of Lunch and has experienced some of its highest ever AI scores. The high quality of BBC2's output, recognised by audiences and by the BBC Trust, is clear in the numerous successes this year, including Wonders Of The Solar System and a resurgence of mainstream comedy on the channel, with Miranda, Rev and The Trip. BBC3 - despite its detractors, most of whom never actually seem to watch the channel, merely read the titles of its schedule and tut - is now the most-watched digital channel in the hours it broadcasts: The MGEITF Non-Terrestrial Channel of the Year, BBC3 saw both its share and reach grow in 2010, with the channel now reaching 5.2m (or over thirty six per cent) of all sixteen to thirty four each week, up from 4.8m in 2009. Highlights for the channel this year have included EastEnders: The Aftermath, which was watched by four and a half million viewers – the highest audience for a programme on a digital channel ever. Him And Her saw the highest ever audience for a sitcom launch on the channel, Russell Howard's Good News remains popular, topping a million viewers, and there was a successful second series of Being Human. Women, Weddings, War And Me saw the highest audience appreciation figure of any factual programme on any British channel whilst the successful Adult Season reached almost half of sixteen to thirty four year olds with programming hits that included the remarkable documentary Small Teen, Big World, which saw the channel's best ever documentary audience with 1.2m. BBC4 has also increased its reach and share considerably in the hours that it broadcasts: It has been an excellent year for BBC4, the report suggests, which now reaches eight and a half million viewers each week, up from 7.2m in 2009. Reflecting the Trust's findings that audiences appreciate its high quality and distinctive content, 2010 has seen a wide variety of successful programmes and seasons on the channel; highlights included the Fatherhood and Sea seasons, a series of programmes on opera and original pieces which offered something that no other channel would, like Indian Hill Railways, Pavarotti – A Life In Seven Arias, Britain Goes Camping, Treasures Of The Anglo Saxons and, possibly the best single programme on British TV all year, the drama The Road To Coronation Street. The BBC's other portfolio channels have also had a successful year. BBC HD has experienced growth and BBC1 HD, launched just a couple of weeks ago, is 'already doing well' according to the report. BBC Parliament has increased its weekly reach by forty per cent. 2010 has been a record year for the BBC News Channel. An average of 9.6 million people now tune in each week – up twenty four per cent on 2009. A series of major news events has given the channel its best ever figures, with 7.4 million viewers tuning into the channel on the day of Gordon Brown's resignation, seven million watching the day after the General Election and almost the same number watching on the day the Chilean miners were freed. The BBC's children's services are still the nation's favourites: CBBC has grown and still reaches more six to twelve year olds than its competitors. CBeebies has maintained its position as the most-watched pre-school channel during the hours it broadcasts. Finally, iPlayer has hit new highs, with one hundred and thirty nine million requests last month. There was a year-on-year increase in the number of requests received for TV and radio programmes every month. October was the best performing month to date. BBC iPlayer went live in September with an updated design on the web, incorporating new social and personalisation features. Top Gear did well throughout its run and the EastEnders live episode, and every one of the thirteen premiering episodes of the new Doctor Who series, received over one million requests each.

Anna Maxwell Martin, Claire Foy, Jodie Whittaker and Harry Treadaway will star in a tragic and tender adaptation of Sarah Waters' best-selling novel, The Night Watch. Adapted by award-winning writer Paula Milne (Small Island, Endgame, The Virgin Queen and The Politician's Wife) and made by BBC Drama Production. Paula Milne said: 'One of the themes which attracted me to Sarah Waters' delicate and haunting novel is its theme of invisibility – how in the Second World War, under the deathly mantle of darkness as the air raid sirens wailed, her characters found an invisible arena to explore their sexuality. In that sense it is truly a noir novel. Add to that its wayward structure, jettisoning the story from the present back into the past, it was simply a challenge I couldn't resist.' Set against the turbulent backdrop of Forties London, The Night Watch tells the stories of four young Londoners inextricably linked by their wartime experiences. In a time when the barriers of sexual morality and social convention have been broken down, Kay (Maxwell Martin), Helen (Foy), Viv (Whittaker) and Duncan (Treadaway) enjoy a freedom never experienced before as they engage in secret liaisons and passionate trysts. The drama opens in 1947 as the country is trying to rebuild itself after the war; we find Kay mysteriously roaming the streets, haunted by some traumatic personal loss. Meanwhile, Helen and Viv run a marriage bureau, helping people rebuild their shattered lives by finding love. But their own complicated love lives are less easy to solve. Helen obsessively clings to her tumultuous and volatile relationship with Julia while Viv is continuing an affair with a married man whom she seems unable to break free from. Viv's vulnerable young brother Duncan harbours a terrible secret, when a face from his past re-appears which threatens his fragile existence. Moving back in time through the Forties into the maelstrom of the Blitz, the lives, loves and losses of these four central characters are unravelled. For them, the post-war victory is bitter sweet, for it returns them to the margins of society from which they hoped they had been liberated. In order to build their future they must each make peace with their past.

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has confirmed that there are no plans to resurrect the Torchwood character Ianto Jones. Although, why on earth anybody is asking The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat about a character from a TV show that he had no direct involvement in is, sad to say, somewhat befuddling. You might as well ask him if he's got any plans to bring Arthur Fowler back to EastEnders. The character, played by Gareth David-Lloyd, was killed off in the fourth episode of the Torchwood mini-series, Children of Earth. Moffat wrote on Twitter: 'Ianto fans only: Russell's character, and I thought his death scene was brilliant. Not reversing it. Stop asking.' In response to a further fan question, from somebody who, seemingly, dind't understand the meaning of the words 'stop asking' Steven, showing far more patience than yer Keith Telly Topping would have managed, added: 'Torchwood is Russell's - nothing to do with me.' Jeez, some people just won't let go, will they? Anyway, Steven, is there any chance you could bring Hilda Ogden back to Corrie for me? What? What!

Barbara Windsor has admitted that she would consider an offer to appear on Strictly Come Dancing next year. The former EastEnders actress, who is preparing to appear in panto this Christmas, told BBC's Breakfast programme that she had been invited to compete in the dancing series before. 'They've asked me several times,' the seventy three-year-old revealed. On whether she would follow her former co-stars including Scott Maslen and Kara Tointon onto the dancefloor, she added: 'Maybe next year.'

Joss Whedon has admitted that he struggled to find direction while working on Fox's Dollhouse. In an interview with SciFi Now, the writer and director said that while the programme did not live up to his previous work on Firefly, it still managed to 'accomplish' several things before its cancellation in January 2010. For what it's worth, yer Keith Telly Topping thought that, after a few shaky episodes, Dollhouse was pretty fantastic. Unfortunately, nobody watched it. 'The situation with Dollhouse was that FOX was trying to get it, but we had come at two different shows, we had done that accidentally, and it got to a point where I didn't know what I was trying to accomplish, and you can't go into a story room with that feeling, because it's already really hard,' he explained. 'I remember thinking this is the difference between this and Firefly, because with Firefly, I knew, and here, now I'm not even sure. [Dollhouse] accomplished some of the things I wanted to accomplish. The questions of identity and humanity I thought were out there front and centre, and I've heard people responded really well to that, and I've heard people say the show even helped them.' He continued: 'I never conceived of a more pure journey from helplessness to power, which is what I always write about, and in that sense I feel we accomplished a lot of it. I do feel that part of what we tried to get at kind of got taken out at the beginning – and it really was more important to how the show would work than I even realised when they took it out – which was sex. The show was supposed to be, on some level, a celebration of perversion, as something that makes us unique. Sort of our hidden selves. You can talk about your hidden selves and identity, but when you have to shoot each other every week, you get a little bit limited. The show was supposed to flip genres every episode, and the moment we did that, they shut us down and said, "Quickly, have someone shoot at someone."' Whedon added that he felt limited by the network's expectations for the series. 'I feel when we had to take sex out of the equation, it became kind of a joke or almost unsettling. Because we couldn't hit it head-on – and so much of our identity is wrapped up in our sexuality, and this is something Eliza [Dushku] was talking to me about, as something she wanted to examine before I even came up with the idea,' he explained. 'To have that sort of excised and marginalised and sanitised, and not to be able to hit on the head what they were doing, made the show a little bit limited and a little bit creepy at times. I think we still did some fairly out-there stuff, and I’m proud of what we did, given the circumstances, but with those circumstances, it was never really going to happen the way it should have.'

Dara O Briain is to take part in a three-day astronomy event for BBC2. The comic will be joined by Professor Brian Cox and Jonathan Ross. Stargazing Live will be broadcast from the site of one of the world's largest telescopes – the Lovell Telescope at the University of Manchester – and aims to spark public interest in astronomy. BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow said: 'Next year BBC2 will build on its factual strategy for 2010 – putting really creative and ambitious series in the heart of the schedule with the best experts and the most passionate advocates. In our live Stargazing event, Brian Cox is to be joined by a surprising duo of astronomy enthusiasts, Dara O Briain and Jonathan Ross, for a live exploration of the solar system.' O Briain studied maths and theoretical physics at University College Dublin, and has recently started incorporating scientific ideas in his stand-up shows, whilst Ross is said to have telescopes at his home. Although, that could just be a dodgy rumour. Anyway, the series airs in January and hopes to capture three of that month's unusual astronomical events: a partial solar eclipse, the Quadrantids meteor shower and Jupiter aligning with Uranus. No jokes please. Amateur astronomers will also be invited to share their best photographs of the night skies online, to be showcased during the live shows. So, The Sky At Night with jokes, basically. Great. I'll be watching that.

Lyndsey Marshal has admitted that she is unlikely to reprise her role on Being Human. The Rome actress played Lucy Jaggat, a love interest and nemesis for vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner) in the second series of the BBC3 drama. 'I think that's it [for my character] as I had a stake through the heart in the last episode,' the actress told What's On TV. However, Marshal admitted that the show's supernatural nature meant that a return for Lucy was still a possibility. 'Everyone was like, [dying] doesn't mean anything!' she said. '[I could] come back as a ghost! I loved doing [that show].'

Now, let us have ourselves the first new instalment of Huntwatch in a while: Oily Jeremy Hunt, the lack of culture secretary, has been urged by Labour to sort out the 'mess' at Welsh language broadcaster S4C before it descends into farce and chaos. Not that he will, of course. He doesn't do stuff like that. However, as the Gruniad Morning Star notes, it may already be too late for that. The broadcaster was plunged into fresh turmoil this week with a disagreement between the S4C Authority chairman, John Walter Jones, and the rest of its governing body about whether he was leaving immediately – or at the end of March. Jones publicly confirmed that he had handed in his resignation to Hunt, with the Department for Culture Media and Sport saying he would be leaving at the end of March. However, Jones' soon-to-be former colleagues on the S4C Authority issued their own press release insisting that after Jones confirmed his resignation with them last week, he later told them it would take 'immediate effect.' Ivan Lewis, the shadow culture secretary, called for Hunt to 'act quickly to resolve a mess of his own making.' S4C has been in crisis since last month when Hunt negotiated a deal with the BBC for the corporation to take responsibility for its governance and most of its funding in 2013, without consulting the Welsh-language broadcaster before he announced this. S4C is also facing an almost twenty five per cent budget cut in real terms as part of the government's comprehensive spending review. 'S4C is too important to the people of Wales to be allowed to descend into farce and chaos,' Lewis said. 'Jeremy Hunt's appalling handling of the transfer of S4C to the BBC has caused this crisis. As the chair [of S4C] is appointed by the secretary of state it is his job to sort this mess out,' he added. 'More than ever before S4C needs effective leadership as they negotiate a new future with the BBC which protects the editorial independence of Welsh language television while improving the quality of programmes for viewers.' The S4C Authority's press release yesterday also stated that the chairman of the S4C Authority audit committee, Rheon Tomas, said to be a leading critic of the way Jones has handled negotiations over the broadcaster's future, had been appointed vice chairman. 'There has always been unanimity within the authority about the importance of discussions with DCMS and the BBC. We have a further meeting next week,' the statement added. The manoeuvring has created an outcry in Wales, with Alun Cairns, the Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan telling BBC Wales: 'The actions of the authority members are bizarre. This demonstrates how unsuitable these people are to run a public body and to spend a hundred million pounds of taxpayers funds.' The deputy first minister of the Welsh assembly government, Ieuan Wyn Jones, repeated his call for an urgent, independent review — though the WAG has no jurisdiction over S4C. 'This cannot be allowed to continue. What S4C needs at this time is a strong united authority which has a clear set of purposes. Debate surrounding the channel cannot continue to degenerate into a slanging match,' he said. The S4C Authority's priority is to negotiate a new partnership with the BBC, but this has already got off to a bad start, with a very public exchange of what the Gruniad describes as 'peppery letters' between Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, and John Walter Jones about the degree of independence it could expect. The authority also faces allegations of mismanaging S4C. On Tuesday, the first sitting of a Commons Welsh affairs committee investigation into S4C heard damning evidence from the three first witnesses, which was said to have 'shook' some MPs. Possibly, all night long, in a Rainbow stlye(e). Geraint Talfan Davies, former controller of BBC Wales, told the committee S4C management had 'lost its authority and credibility and is in no shape to conduct negotiations with the BBC.' A second witness, Ron Jones, executive chairman of the large Welsh independent producer Tinopolis, which makes shows including Question Time, said that while the S4C Authority and the broadcaster's management both have to carry the can for the loss of credibility, there must be a review to reform the structure and a change the leadership. Jones added that S4C should be properly supervised, with shared political involvement by both the DCMS and Welsh assembly government. 'There has been a sense of insularity, its been very unfortunate,' he said. The witnesses also said that hiring a new chief executive for S4C – applications close this Friday — to replace the ousted Iona Jones should be suspended, until the membership of the authority and its future was sorted out. Later this week S4C is due to publish an independent report on its governance track record, and it is expected to reveal what the paper describes as 'blemishes.'

Hawaii Five-0 actress Taryn Manning is to make a guest appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. TV Guide reports that the actress will play an unwilling porn actress in a forthcoming episode of the NBC crime drama. Manning plays Mary Ann, the younger sister of Steve McGarrett, on Hawaii Five-0 and also features in the recurring role of Cherry on FX biker drama Sons of Anarchy. She has also made guest appearances in episodes of CSI: Miami and NYPD Blue.

Christopher Biggins has described Gillian McKeith the worst contestant to ever appear on I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! The 2007 'King of the Jungle' said that McKeith had 'ruined' this year's series by declining to take part in bushtucker trials and sulking around the camp. He told the Sun: 'She refuses to do anything, and if she cannot do it she should get out. She has a huge ego and probably thinks she's being picked for the tasks because she's so popular, the poor, deluded woman. She must be the most obnoxious, selfish, vindictive woman I've ever had the misfortune to watch on TV. She's ruining the programme. My advice to her would be to try harder and be kinder. But there is no way back for her now. She's the worst contestant - ever.' Biggins also said that he was not surprised his friend Nigel Havers lasted such a short time in the jungle. He added: 'I think poor Nigel believed he was going to spend the time having interesting conversation with a dozen intellectuals. It's not like that.' Yes. We've noticed.

Two months ago Sarah Murdoch's embarrassment at naming the wrong winner of Australia's Next Top Model live on air became a viral hit across the world. Now ITV's Australian production subsidiary has paid the price for the screw-up, losing the Australia's Next Top Model contract, according to a local media report. The incident, which Murdoch – the show's presenter – said had resulted from the wrong name being fed to her via an earpiece, has gone down as one of the biggest cock-ups in the history of reality TV. Murdoch is, of course, the wife of Rupert Murdoch's eldest son, Lachlan. The Murdoch family part-owns the show's broadcaster, Foxtel, through News Corporation. ITV subsidiary Granada Media Australia has made the past six series of the reality TV show, but Murdoch confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week that a change in production company was being made. 'Granada produced Australia's Top Model for six years. I worked with them for two years,' she said in a statement. 'They are a very talented and hard-working crew. But after what happened this year I thought very hard about it and decided it was probably time for a change.'' It is not yet known which production company will take over for the seventh series, but the Sydney Morning Herald suggests that Shine, which is owned by Murdoch's sister-in-law, Elisabeth, is probably the favourite.

Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow stripped down to nothing more than a racy red leotard for a guest appearance on the hit TV series Glee this weel. The thirty eight-year-old showed off her slim physique and long legs during a cabaret-style version of Chicago hit 'Nowadays.' Gwyneth performed alongside Lea Michele, who plays Rachel Berry in the show. The pair started the performance wearing matching long, black coats with red fluffy edges, then stripped off to reveal their fringed-leotard outfits. While dancing and shimmying around, the actresses used props including fedora hats and fake guns to aid their act. Gwyneth, who is married to Coldplay front man and living hummus Chris Martin, played substitute teacher Holly Holliday in the episode. Ms Holliday covers for Will Schuester's Spanish class and Glee club when he falls ill, and quickly wins the support of the New Directions group. At first, it seems Holly will steal Will's role in the club, especially since she bonds with his arch-rival Sue Sylvester, but the pair end up joining forces at the end of the episode. And, all's well. Apparently. I dunno, I've never watched the thing personally although I'm told it's pretty good. Paltrow is currently filming for a role in the big budget SF action-thriller Contagion, which is due out in the US next autumn.

The Simpsons' producers were not shy about featuring Katy Perry's assets in an upcoming episode of the show. The singer's appearance will hit back at Sesame Street bosses who cut a scene which she filmed for the children's TV show earlier this year because her outfit was considered to be 'too revealing.' In the Simpsons episode, Katy plays Elmo's girlfriend, but ditches him in favour of bartender Moe. She also gets to grips with Mr Burns in The Fight Before Christmas, clutching him to her chest during one scene. Well, we've all wanted to do it, be fair. And The Simpsons' producers were certainly not worried about Katy looking too raunchy, as she donned a rather revealing red rubber dress throughout the episode and during publicity photographs released this week. 'After Elmo's betrayal, The Simpsons stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Katy,' said producer Al Jean. The episode will air on 5 December in the US and uses puppets rather than live animation. Katy recently requested that her chest was downsized in VH1's Divas Salute the Troops adverts. The songstress took to Twitter to clarify that she had asked for the reduction rather than her managers, saying: 'I was the one who asked VH1 to tone down my digitized image on the poster, particularly the size of my chest. I don't have handlers.'

N-Dubz - and, nope, yer Keith Telly Topping still hasn't the faintest clue who they, actually, are although, seemingly, two of them wear very silly hats - have reportedly received a writ after cancelling two appearances on the ITV2 series Ghosthunting With... According to the Sun, the group have received an eighty four thousand pound bill from the show's production company Antix. The nine-page writ is said to include claims of six thousand pounds for the services of presenter and producer Yvette Fielding and over nine thousand pounds in hotel costs. The musicians are also reportedly being charged fourteen hundred pounds for loss of deposits at filming locations Chislehurst Caves and West Norwood Cemetery, three thousand pounds for a researcher and five hundred quid for food. Most of that for Yvette Fielding judging by the size of her these days. If N-Dubz had actually turned up and filmed the series, they would only have received a fee of one thousand pounds each. Meanwhile, band member Tulisa - she's the one who isn't wearing a silly hat, apparently - reportedly had a doctor's note explaining that she had 'exhaustion.' A spokesperson for the band said: 'They will fight this all the way.'

Channel Four has announced that it will broadcast a special edition of One Born Every Minute on Christmas Day. The Gruniad Morning Star reports that One Born At Christmas will include pre-recorded and live sections. A prime time show on Christmas Eve will introduce a number of expectant mothers and four hours of programming on Christmas Day will be devoted to the series. A special studio will be set up at Southampton's Princess Anne Hospital to document some births live as they happen. An interactive map called Gurgle Earth will allow viewers to post details of Christmas births around the country and people will be encouraged to contact the show with their stories. Meanwhile, a member of the medical staff at the hospital is expected to deliver the channel's alternative Christmas message despite previous suggestions that Dappy from N-Dubz had landed the role. Sanjay Singhal, the managing director of the show's production company Dragonfly, said: 'I can't remember the last time Channel Four gave over its Christmas Day schedule to a live factual event, so it's great to be working on such a bold and innovative production.'

Some sad news, now. Peter Christopherson has died aged fifty five. The musician, video director and designer, who played in a number of bands including Throbbing Gristle and Coil, died on Wednesday at his home in Bangkok. Born in Leeds in 1955, as a visual artist, Peter worked as member of the design agency Hipgnosis, creating iconic record sleeve artwork in the 1970's for turgid hippies-on-drugs like Led Zeppelin, Yes and Pink Floyd, plus, subsequently, for the much cooler Factory Records. 'I worked as a free-lance photographer and contributor, was promoted to an assistant to Hipgnosis, before becoming a partner, and continued to act also after I officially left the organization,' he once noted. 'My contributions ranged from attempted but rejected artwork or design work, to partial contribution in either/both as an assistant, to being fully responsible for all design and artwork, such as the Peter Gabriel LPs.' He also took some of the first promo photographs of the Sex Pistols and among other claims to fame, created a highly controversial window display for Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's clothing shop, SEX in the mid 1970s. In 1976 Christopherson met Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and Genesis P-Orridge and together they formed Throbbing Gristle and Industrial Records. The band, whose music was discordant and sometimes disturbing but always fascinating, was infamously described in the Daily Scum Mail by Tory MP Nicholas Fairbairn as 'the wreckers of civilisation.' After Throbbing Gristle split in 1981, Christopherson and Genesis P-Orridge formed the spin-off Psychic TV, who went on to release a huge body of work. Peter also played with another seminal industrial group, Coil, with his partner the late John Balance who died in 2004. Peter later worked extensively as a video director with artists as diverse as The The (shooting the celebrated promos for 'Infected' Heartland' and 'The Mercy Beat'), Erasure, Paul McCartney, Malc Almond, Rage Against the Machine and Van Halen. At his time of death, Christopherson was planning a new project, a cover version of Nico's 1970 LP Desertshore.

Well known turkey murderer Bernard Matthews has also died at the age of eighty, his firm said. The farmer and businessman - best known for his 'bootiful' catchphrase used in some of the very cheapest and nastiest TV adverts ever made - amassed a multi-million pound fortune through his vast poultry company and is widely credited with bringing cheap turkey meat to the masses. Not to mention drumsticks. So, I won't. In a statement on his company's website, chief executive Noel Bartram said: 'It is with a great deal of personal sadness that I confirm Bernard Matthews passed away on the afternoon of the 25 November. I have personally known Bernard Matthews for well over thirty years, and on behalf of myself and my fellow colleagues, I wish to express our great sorrow and extend our thoughts and sympathies to the family.' The Bernard Matthews empire began with a humble two pounds ten shillings investment in 1950 with twelve turkey eggs and an incubator in the heart of Norfolk. It grew into the biggest turkey processor in Europe.

And so we come to the latest of yer Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And, it's yet another one from a time when the drugs, seemingly, did work. Let's face it, who doesn't fondly remember lurid yellow label with red edging?

No comments: