Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hello, Hurrah, There's A Price To Pay

The finale of MasterChef: The Professionals pulled in a bumper 3.7m audience of BBC2 on Tuesday night, besting everything on ITV between 7:30 and 10:00. (During that period River Monsters had an audience of 3.21m, Fiddles, Cheats and Scams got 2.78m and 71 Degrees North continued to limp along to its conclusion with 3.5m. Some bloke from Hollyoaks won, apparently. Nobody really cared.) Thirty-year-old Claire Lara took home the MasterChef, beating David Coulson and John Calton at the final hurdle. Claire found out she was pregnant after taking part in the show and credited some of her success to her heightened sense of smell. The Wirrel-based chef told the Press Association: 'I think being pregnant gave me an advantage. It heightened my sense of smell and taste. I felt so sick and was vomiting each day but I put it down to stress on the show as David was feeling the same. But obviously, he wasn't pregnant!' well, at least, as far as we know, anyway. Speaking about being the first female winner of the award, she said: 'It feels brilliant, but at the time I didn't know I was the first female winner. Men have definitely dominated. I feel quite proud. Hopefully other young female chefs will be inspired to go on.' Explaining their final verdict, Gregg Wallace said: 'Claire has unbelievable talent; an indication of what is possible if you devote yourself to the pursuit of perfection. This is a person who has lived nothing but food for the last fifteen years with incredible results.' Michel Roux Jr added: 'I think she's the most complete chef that I've come across. Not just in the MasterChef context, but anywhere, in the last five years. We started off the competition looking for a talent and we have uncovered a diamond. She has that exceptional talent that will take her to stardom.' It was a good night all round for Gregg Wallace as the opening episode of Turn Back Time: The High Street on BBC1 brought in 5.36m punters.

Meanwhile, speaking of ratings, Daybreak host Christine Bleakley has defended the show's desperately poor ratings, describing them as 'a teething problem.' In the same way as Shane MacGowan has teething problems, presumably? Figures released last week showed average viewer numbers fell to below six hundred thousand - at times as little as a third of the audience for its rival BBC Breakfast. 'It's unfortunate other people don't quite believe in us yet,' she said. Well, to be fair, you lack credibility, somewhat. Bleakley was speaking at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Of The Year awards where she won a prize for TV presenting. And, yes you're absolutely right dear blog reader, that is a little bit like giving Pamela Anderson an Lifetime Achievement Oscar for her brilliant acting. 'It's a tough sort of job and we always knew it was going to be and that's not a shock to us at all,' the Orange One said. 'Any wee show has its teething problems and that's kind of how we see it. At its launch in September, one million viewers tuned in to the morning show but have slipped since.' Yes. we noticed. By quite a lot. Initial overnight figures for Tuesday 2 November showed that Daybreak's viewing figures had raised slightly to an average of eight hundred thousand viewers, whilst 1.7 million tuned into BBC Breakfast although Daybreak's audience share stayed almost exactly the same, anchored around fifteen per cent of available viewers.

And still on a related subject, ITV programmes are aimed towards 'the lowest common denominator,' channel bosses have admitted. Well, we'd all suspected that for some time now, to be fair. ITV chairman Archie Norman said that the broadcaster, home to shows such as Coronation Street and The X Factor, is stuck in 'a ratings rat-race.' ITV chief executive Adam Crozier also told the Lords communications committee that ITV's schedule had 'a remarkable lack of diversity.' Again, we had noticed, Adam, you're not telling us anything we didn't already know. He added that he would like to start investing in arts and factual shows. But that he's not going to. The former Royal Mail chief executive, who took up the top job at ITV in April, criticised the Contract Rights Renewal. He wants the CRR - the framework which governs air-time advertising sales deals - to be scrapped. The CRR, let's remember, was introduced - at ITV's own request - following the merger of Carlton TV and Granada into ITV in 2003. It linked the amount that advertisers spend on the channel to ITV's audience share - which means that advertisers pay less money to advertise on shows with lower audiences. 'Ad revenue has fallen by about twenty two per cent since CRR was introduced,' Crozier said. 'That has led us to invest less and less in programmes.' He added that if the CRR was ditched, then ITV would not have to 'chase volumes of impact that would allow us to have a much more diverse schedule.' In theory. He said the ITV schedule was limited because 'we have to invest in programmes that drive the biggest audiences, rather than the most unique audiences.' ITV cancelled its flagship arts programme The South Bank Show earlier this year while Simon Cowell has just signed a new three-year deal with the channel to broadcast The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent. In January, the Competition Commission rejected an ITV proposal that the broadcaster should have more flexibility in how much it charges advertisers. But Crozier has called on the lack of culture secretary, the vile Jeremy Hunt to look at CRR and its benefits. ITV has claimed it has lost about two hundred and sixty two million pounds in revenue since the CRR was introduced in 2003. At, let us just repeat, its own request. Something about reaping what your sow seems appropriate at this point.

Last week, notorious Eton rifle David Cameron said that he found the cuts imposed by his government to the BBC budget to be 'delicious.' Speaking at a Brussels press conference, the PM began his salvo with a dig at the BBC for sending too many journalists to cover major events. He said: 'Good to see that costs are being controlled everywhere - let's take the third question from the BBC.' He then declared that 'we're all in it together including, deliciously, the BBC.' This brought a wave of anger from many within the broadcasting sector and, indeed, from anybody who doesn't enjoy the sight of crass bullies crowing about how much pain they've inflicted. Now, seemingly, he has now backed down and offered the Corporation a sort of half-hearted apology. Questioned about the remark in the Commons by Tom Watson, a Labour member of the culture select committee, Cameron ruefully replied: 'I probably shouldn't have used the word "delicious."' No, baby, your really shouldn't. That one - coming from somebody who had previous insisted he was a friend of the BBC and would 'never do anything to put the BBC at risk' - isn't going to be forgotten for a long time. As with many things his coalition is currently enacting.

Torchwood's Gareth David Lloyd got married to his fiancée, Gemma, on Monday. The wedding took place at Craig y Nos Castle in the Welsh Brecon Beacons. The ceremony was held in a Grade One listed Victorian theatre within the castle and was followed by a wedding banquet and a masked ball. Everyone at From The North (so, that'd be me, basically) would like to wish the happy couple all the very best for the future. My thanks go to Deb Williams for alerting me to that little titbit on Gareth's website.

A leading American environmentalist has criticised Channel Four over a forthcoming documentary which - allegedly - misrepresents his views. Speaking to the Gruniad Morning Star, sustainability consultant Adam Werbach claimed that the producers of What The Green Movement Got Wrong failed to inform him of the documentary's nature before he agreed to contribute. After seeing the film, Werbach believes that the way his contribution has been portrayed fails to reflect his actual views. He wants the contribution edited out of the programme, or he will consider making a formal complaint to media regulator Ofcom after transmission. Scheduled for broadcast on Thursday evening, the documentary is claimed to feature a series of environmental advocates who now argue that the green lobby should embrace certain science and technology that it previously opposed, such as nuclear energy and GM Foods. The programme, created by Darlow Smithson, will be followed by a live studio debate chaired by Channel Four News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Werbach claimed that the ninety-minute film 'misrepresents who is to blame for many of our social and environmental problems.' He said that Smithson claimed the documentary would focus on the ideas of Stewart Brand, author of The Whole Earth Catalogue, but the final film turned out to be much different. 'They told me they were doing a documentary about the ideas of Stewart Brand, who is a friend of mine, and looking at other inspiring ideas and new ways to protect the planet,' he said. 'They didn't tell me that it was basically about nuclear reactors and genetically modified foods. They first referred to the film as The Stewart Brand Documentary and then they called it The New Environmentalists.' He added: 'I don't feel the film accurately represents my opinions, which leaves me uncomfortable. I'd rather not be part of it. Being critical of the environmental movement is important to make the environmental movement better. But to attack the environmental movement for thousands or millions of deaths in Africa is far beyond anything I believe. I'm upset that I was not told the proper title of this film. I would rather my contribution was edited out of the programme.' A Channel Four spokesperson denied that Werbach had been misled about the nature of the documentary, or that his opinions have been misrepresented. 'The correspondence with Adam Werbach clearly and accurately describes the basis for the film as the eco-pragmatist thesis of environmentalist Stewart Brand,' they said. 'It was made clear that the different titles for the project at the outset were working titles. There was no intention to deceive him, the final title was only chosen and confirmed at the time of billing [two weeks ago].' Environmental charities Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth have also attacked What The Green Movement Got Wrong on grounds that it is misleading and could spread misinformation. In 2008, Ofcom ruled that Channel Four's The Great Global Warming Swindle treated scientific contributors unfairly and was not sufficiently impartial after receiving numerous complaints about the film.

Jonathan Ross is to host Channel Four's 100 Greatest Toys this Christmas, it has been announced. What's On TV reports that the countdown show will be the presenter's first TV appearance since leaving the BBC in July. Ross, who is a well-known and avid toy collector, said of the three-hour show: 'I've finally come to terms that I'm never really going to grow up, so I have decided to unashamedly and openly embrace my love of toys. We all have favourites from our childhood. Now thanks to Channel Four we have the chance to find out which of them really are the nation's favourite toys.'

Veteran broadcaster John Simpson has accused the Government of 'water-boarding' the BBC with a six-year licence fee freeze. The sixty six-year-old world affairs editor said: 'The Government has staged an unprecedented ambush against the BBC. The rules were thrown into the rubbish bin.' He said the BBC's income would shrink year-on-year by amounts which would be unknown because no one knows what inflation will be in the future. In a letter to BBC staff magazine Ariel, Simpson said: 'It'll be like water-boarding. As our head is pulled out of the bath, we'll be so desperate that we can't be certain what compromises and deals we might be tempted to make. We will be at the Government's mercy.' He added: 'The BBC won't die. It'll just cease to be the envy of the world. That's an outcome which only the far right ideologues and the Murdoch empire will welcome.'

One of Simpson's contemporaries, Channel Four newsreader Jon Snow has also been in the news, hitting out at what he calls 'poppy fascism' after being criticised for not wearing the emblem on-air before Remembrance Sunday. The row broke out last week on the sixty three-year-old's Snowblog site when a viewer, calling himself Stan, accused Snow of 'dishonouring' those who died in the war. In response, Snow wrote: 'They died that we might be free to wear a Poppy whenever we wish. I wish to wear mine on Remembrance Sunday. When you wish to wear yours is your business. Compelling people to wear poppies because you think they ought to is precisely the Poppy fascism, or intolerance, that I have complained of in the past.' He added: 'On yer bike Stan, with or without a poppy, it's all your own free choice. Hitler lost the war!' Snow continued to vent his frustration this week on his Twitter page, again claiming that people died in the war defending our freedom of choice. The presenter told his followers on the site that he will choose to wear a poppy on Remembrance Sunday when he is 'with others, in church, not on telly.' A Channel Four spokesman said: 'We don't impose a requirement to wear poppies, nor is there a deliberate decision not to do so.' Last week, the BBC was criticised by a single mouthy Royal British Legion worker - although significantly not by the British Legion themselves - for allowing its presenters to wear remembrance poppies on-air before fundraising was, officially, underway.

Robert Llewellyn is gearing up for a new career as a TV chat show host in his new interview show, Carpool. But he almost ended up in the hot seat himself this summer - when he got pulled over by the anti-terrorist squad. With his car rigged up with mini-cameras and microphones, Llewellyn was on a test trip with his producer when events took an unexpected turn. 'We were just driving round the block, but the block happened to go past MI6,' recalls Llewellyn, star of TV shows Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge. 'So there we were in a white car, with blacked-out windows and a big camera thing strapped on the side that could look like a gun, and - what a surprise - we got pulled over by the anti-terror police. They were armed to the teeth. I was actually quite scared. I thought they might say this is illegal. I got out of the car and the one advantage of Scrapheap Challenge is that more or less every policeman has watched it. And so he said: "Oh it's you - carry on." I didn't even have to say anything!' Llewellyn's Carpool started life on the Internet in early 2009. In the show, Llewellyn gives lifts to celebrities like Stephen Fry and Patrick Stewart, interviews them, and then puts the results online. The web series was an instant hit, and this week Carpool makes the leap to TV's Dave channel. 'I'm excited to see how it's received,' says Llewellyn, 'because it's not a total unknown, but it's totally unknown in this way.' He notes that 'the actual format hasn't changed at all. It's just produced in a much better standard. The sound and the pictures are much better than when I did them - when they were slightly sideways and out of focus.' Despite its 'home-made' feel (a handful of episodes had to be scrapped due to technical glitches), Carpool quickly amassed thousands of fans. 'It was a fluke,' recalls Llewellyn. 'I don't know how the very first one got seen. It was with Ed Bye, the director of Red Dwarf. I hadn't announced it to anyone. I just put it on iTunes, went away for the weekend, came back and just over four thousand seven hundred people had downloaded it.' Next up in the Carpool hot seat was Jonathan Ross. Other guests have included Ruby Wax, Professor Brian Cox, the film director Duncan Jones and Internet entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox. The Patrick Stewart interview has been downloaded more than one hundred thousand times. Guests on the TV series will include Jason Manford, Rufus Hound, Rob Brydon, Chris Addison, Ross Noble and Tim Minchin. There will also be return visits from balding former TV magician Paul Daniels, Jo Brand, Craig Charles and David Baddiel, who all took part in the original web shows. 'I did seventy six episodes on my own, which was bonkers,' says Llewellyn, who doesn't prepare a list of questions for his interviews, but lets the conversation flow naturally. Safety on a car-focused show like Carpool is, of course, paramount. 'I do drive extremely carefully,' notes Robert. 'I never get near the speed limit. We've never had a prang.'

Audio recordings of a number of lost episodes of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's ground-breaking TV series Not Only … But Also have been unearthed. Fan Graham Webb discovered the recordings of the BBC series on old reel-to-reel tapes in his Kent home. He recorded the audio of the shows from the TV when they first aired between 1965 and 1970. He boxed them up and kept them in his attic – unlike the corporation, which wiped the original footage to reuse the tape and save on storage space. Their recovery means that some form of recording now exists for every episode of the series. The eleven newly discovered episodes are said to be of 'generally good quality' with plans for them to be released commercially on CD. Dick Fiddy of the British Film Institute says the tapes are 'an amazing find.' He said: 'A lot of the comedy is quite verbal. You’re not losing a tremendous amount.' Webb told specialist website WipedNews that he kept quiet about the recordings because he 'thought it was illegal, recording stuff off the BBC.' Well, technically, it was, of course. But the Beeb have very much a 'don't ask, don't tell, don't care' attitude these days towards the sources of missing material in private hands.

Coronation Street actresses Barbara Knox and Eileen Derbyshire have been made MBEs by the Queen this week. The two long-serving actresses, who play Rita and Emily respectively, were included in the Queen's birthday honours list and were rewarded for their services to acting. Speaking outside Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, Knox told the Daily Scum Mail: 'It's very overwhelming quite honestly because it's something I've done all my life and loved and suddenly I've got an honour. I suppose we do give a service, so many millions love the programme, so there you are - it's still very surprising.' The seventy seven-year-old praised the show's cast, writers and extended team. 'They are a great team of actors and they are portraying marvellous people with great humour,' she said. "We have marvellous storylines, very strong ones, and we have hit a nerve with the nation for almost fifty years and that's pretty special for a programme to do that. Australia, New Zealand, Canada - all these places adore the Street so we must be doing something right.' Barbara first appeared in the soap in 1964 and became a regular from the early 1970s onwards. Eileen's debut came in early 1961, in the fifteenth episode of Corrie. She remains the show's second longest-serving cast member after William Roache.

Kiefer Sutherland has said that he does not want his 24 character Jack Bauer to walk off into a perfect life. The series finale of the FOX show was broadcast in May and the script of a planned feature film spin-off has reportedly been completed. Discussing his preferred fate for Bauer with the Independent, Sutherland suggested that he would like him to be killed off after saving the world from a nuclear disaster one last time. 'Do I think he should go off to the countryside and have a perfect life? No!' Sutherland said. 'Jack is walking across the street and he gets hit by a car! Wouldn't that be a great ending?' Of the decision to stop making the TV show, Sutherland explained: 'Even in the second series, people were saying, "How many bad days can this guy have?" So, creatively, the series had to end for us to go on and make the film.'

Mark Dacascos has signed up for a role in Hawaii Five-0. According to the Zap2It.com website, Dacascos has agreed to play the legendary villain Wo Fat in the CBS series. The show's executive producer Peter Lenkov revealed last month that the team was looking for someone to take on the role of Wo Fat, Steve McGarrett's nemesis. Wo Fat was played by Khigh Dhiegh in the original series.

Felicity Kendal has admitted that she was 'mortified' to be in the bottom two on Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday. The Good Life actress survived the chop at the weekend, but found herself in danger alongside soap star Tina O'Brien. Speaking on It Takes Two, she said: 'I was more desperately unhappy than shocked. I knew that we would get there one day and I knew it could be this week or next week. But I was a little blasé and I have to say I was absolutely devastated. 'I tried not to show it, but I was mortified, I hated it!' She continued: 'Nothing quite prepares you for how emotional it will be when you get there. It actually is devastating. I don't know why. It is extraordinary. It really is your whole life when you are living this journey. It takes over. I think I was particularly sad because I didn't do my best. I don't mind going out because I'm not as good as other people, but I hate going out not being as good as I can be.' Her professional partner, Vincent Simone, joked: 'I was devastated. I feel upset, because being as gorgeous as I am, I thought all the older women would vote for me.' At least, we assume he was joking.

Cheryl Cole has reportedly banned Cher Lloyd from changing her stage name to Cher-L because it is too similar to her own. And, similarly, she's told Natalie Cole to cut it out as well. The X Factor producers apparently wanted Lloyd to adopt an 'edgier' one-word moniker but cannot use Lloyd's Christian name because it is already taken. By Sonny's missus. Perhpas they should have a competetion and let the viewers decide? I vote 'Wretched.' Cole, a tabloid newspaper claims, 'had to step in' when it was suggested that Lloyd attach the first letter of her surname to make 'Cher-L', according to the Sun. A 'source' allegedly said: 'Cher has already been called a mini-Cheryl and now she could end up with almost the same name. X Factor chiefs want Cher to change her name after the show to give her something a bit edgier and more fitting to her image. They don't like her having two names and think she should have something a bit different.' I'm telling you, Wretched could really work. If you use it, mind, I want five per cent of all royalties in perpetuity.

The National Union Of Journalists has issued a plea for public support as its members prepare to go on strike this Friday over the BBC's pension cutbacks. Last week, NUJ members opted to forge ahead with plans for a forty eight-hour strike on 5 and 6 November after rejecting the corporation's final pension scheme offer. However, BBC employees at the BECTU, Unite and Equity unions will not join the strike as they decided to accept the deal tabled by BBC management. The NUJ has scheduled another strike for its BBC members on 15 and 16 November, with further dates to be announced by the union later. Members of the union will also refuse to take on additional or voluntary duties as part of an indefinite work-to-rule, beginning on 5 November. Last month, the NUJ claimed to have seen a financial report that put the BBC's pension deficit at one billion pounds, considerably below the two billion previously estimated by management as a justification for the pension changes. Jeremy Dear, the NUJ general secretary, today asked the public to show their support for BBC employees when they go on strike over what he describes as 'pensions robbery. BBC journalists are not asking for higher pensions. They are not even saying they wouldn't consider paying more or working longer for a fair pension settlement. That means a deal based on the real deficit in the scheme, not speculative and questionable figures,' he said. 'It means a pension which does not lose a significant part of its value every single year for the rest of their lives - which is what will happen under the current proposals. And it should be a deal that means what has been promised to them - which they have already paid for - is protected. The current offer fails those tests and it fails BBC staff. That's why they've been left with no choice but to take industrial action on 5 and 6 and 15 and 16 November. They can't afford not to and they need your support.'

Coronation Street's Bill Tarmey has revealed that he cried whilst filming Jack Duckworth's final scenes. The soap veteran, who is due to leave the Weatherfield show after thirty years next week, told TV Times that he struggled to keep his emotions in check while filming Jack's final moments. Tarmey said: 'It was delightful. And very moving. It was a case of, "Pass the hand towel," never mind the box of tissues. I've become a right old Jessie in my old age. But, you know, filming those scenes was difficult. I'm leaving my other family. I've worked with all these people for thirty-odd years and it was impossible for me to act or watch the death scene and cut that off.' Viewers will witness Jack die in the same chair that his screen-wife Big Vera (Liz Dawn) died in three years ago, and will also see the legendary couple reunited on screen one last time.

Celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa Faulkner has recommended adoption to families that are struggling with IVF treatment. Speaking on This Morning, the former Holby City and [spooks] actress revealed that it was her husband Chris who suggested they give up on IVF. She told Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby: 'What's difficult is you have a plan in your head of how you're going to live your life - that you're going to get a job, get married and then you’re going to get this many kids and this don't [sic] work out like that. So we went through trying to have a baby, trying IVF, and none of that worked. And it was Chris my husband who went, "Well we can always adopt," and he was the one that was so forward-thinking about it.' Faulkner continued: 'I decided to take control and enjoy it instead of being scared and I think it was about fourteen months from starting the adoption process until I got the phone call about our daughter. But the moment they said we were "approved" it was the best news because you're on the road to having your family. I feel like I'm the luckiest person in the world and I hope people don't get put off [adoption] because of the long journey because it's so worth it.'

An Australia man has been jailed for addressing a magistrate as 'mate.' Thomas John Collins was locked up after twice using the term to address Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin during a hearing in Ipswich, Queensland. When McLaughlin objected and ordered Collins to address him as 'sir' or 'your honour,' Collins is reported to have replied replied: 'Okay mate,' reports the Courier Mail. That was the final straw which resulted in Collins being sent for a stint in the cells. He later returned to the courtroom to apologise. But the incident outraged one local politician who is calling for all Queensland magistrates to attend anger management classes. Ipswich councillor Paul Tully said there was nothing 'more Australian than calling someone mate' and it was hard to believe someone could be locked up for using the word. 'It is getting out of control,' he said. 'Some of these magistrates see themselves as Lord of the Fiefdom.' Well, they kind of are, mate. Goes with the territory. 'It's probably time for magistrates to understand they have a wide variety of people before them and calling someone mate is a term of endearment. I say to every magistrate - "Come on mate, get off your high horse and show some tolerance."'

The Social Network, A Few Good Men and The West Wing screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has signed to script Hugh Jackman's Broadway musical Houdini. Jackman is to star as the famous magician. Composer Danny Elfman, lyricist Glenn Slater and director Jack O'Brien have also joined the project, reports Entertainment Weekly. 'Right now Aaron Sorkin is writing. He's writing away, and we all have high hopes that Aaron's going to come through and do some good stuff,' said Elfman. The composer went on to say that the show could open in early 2012. He added: 'Hopefully [the show] will happen, but I know that there are so many things that need to still happen, and reasons why it may or may not. I just try to take an attitude of, "If it happens, great, and if it doesn't, I'll have learned what it's like working on a Broadway musical."'

Doctors in China have reportedly removed a chopstick from a man's stomach after he swallowed it in anger twenty eight years ago. According to China Daily, the fifty-year-old man, known only as Zhang, did not seek medical help earlier because he was not bothered by the chopstick. The man assumed he had completely digested the implement but recently went to the doctors after he passed out with stomach complaints, Oriental Morning Post reports. Surgeons removed the chopstick remnants through a small incision in the man's stomach. Zhang reportedly admitted being in 'an agitated emotional state' when he first swallowed the chopstick almost thirty years ago. Last March, a chopstick accidentally swallowed by a kung fu master was removed twenty years after it was first ingested. In January, doctors removed a chopstick which had become lodged in a child's brain after going up his nose.

Yer Keith Telly Topping was interviewed on Jon and Emma's Drive Time show on BBC Newcastle on Wednesdsay evening in relation to a forthcoming Doctor Who convention in Seaton Burn in a couple of weeks time. (I think they had me on because they couldn't get hold of any of the Doctors at such short notice, to be honest!) If you want to catch it, you've got six days from today. Go here. I'm on about forty five minutes (ish) into the show, just after the traffic report!

Today's exciting chapter in yer Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day reminds us that not every single in many people's collection is, necessarily, a cool one that they'd gladly shout about from the rooftops. Most of us have, I daresay, bought something, at some stage in our lives, that we look back upon from the distance of a few years and say 'my God, what was I on?' In this particular case, I was eleven and I was probably on Tizer.A band from Nottingham singing a song about 1930s Chicago. Yes, there's something frightfully seventies about that, somehow! And, not the cool, groovy 1970s either. But, don't worry dear blog reader, we'll be back to the groovy happenings tomorrow.

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