Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bam-Ba-Lam!

House's Lisa Edelstein has revealed details about Candice Bergen's forthcoming n the show. The former Boston Legal actress will play the mother of Edelstein's character Lisa Cuddy in an upcoming episode. Edelstien told Give Me My Remote that the pair have 'a complicated relationship. They're sort of at each others' throats a little bit,' she explained. 'It's also fun watching House relate to Cuddy's mother. There's a lot of fun stuff coming up with that.' The actress admitted that she was not surprised by the tumultuous relationship between House and Bergen's character. 'Imagine introducing a man like House to your mother,' she noted. 'Even if you have the best relationship with your mother, it would be complicated.' She added: 'There's a really fantastic dinner scene [between the three characters]. I'm looking forward to seeing it.'

The Discovery Channel has teamed up with the Catholic Church for a new show about exorcisms. Entertainment Weekly reports that The Exorcist Files will reconstruct cases of alleged hauntings and demonic possession investigated by the Church. The documentary series will include access to the Vatican's case files and interviews with the organisation's top exorcists. Discovery is allegedly hoping that if the first season is a success, the Church will allow camera crews to accompany exorcists as they work. Discovery president Clark Bunting said: 'The Vatican is an extraordinarily hard place to get access to, but we explained we're not going to try to tell people what to think. The work these folks do, and their conviction in their beliefs, make for fascinating stories.'

Charlotte Church has criticised The X Factor. The singer and former Over The Rainbow judge suggested to Esquire that the talent show is more about appearance than talent. Church said: 'That show doesn't have any interest in true craftsmanship or skill - it's all about your ass, and hopefully you can keep half a tune. It's dreadful news for everyone else because there's no room on radio or TV for anything else.' She added: 'I'd make a better judge than the others on that show because I know more about the technical side of singing than even Simon Cowell. But he wouldn't be able to control me, so he'd never have me on.' Church has criticised The X Factor several times in recent years. Show boss Cowell has also said that he would send X Factor contestants a poster of Church as a cautionary tale because he did not want them 'on chat shows swearing at the age of twenty.' More recently, Church was quoted as saying that she and her family 'love' The X Factor, but she added that she would not work on the show because she could not move her children to London away from their father.

Now, you remember dear blog reader, that story the Daily Scum Mail were running a few days ago about how Downton Abbey was being 'downsized' for its American PBS debut? Which, to be fair, From The North also reported. Well, it seems - and, you kind of knew this was going to happen, didn't you - that the entire thing was, how can I put this? A morass of not merely bad reporting, but also some purposeful lies. Let Jase, The Daily Beast's TV Columnist, take up the story. 'The journalist in question - that would be Chris Hastings - wanted to talk about Downton's journey across the pond and specifically the cuts that had taken place along the way. When ITV aired Downton Abbey, it did so as seven episodes of varying length, while PBS was airing it as four ninety-minute episodes. Which brings us to the main point of this post: despite the fact that I spelled out for Hastings that barely any cuts had been made to Downton Abbey, he wrote a now much-publicized piece for The Daily Mail in which he alleges, according to the hyperbolic lede, that "Downton downsized by two hours because American TV executives fear its intricate plot will baffle US viewers." To put it bluntly: it's simply not true.' An inaccurate story? From the Daily Scum Mail? Surely not?

The News of the World has suspended its news editor Ian Edmondson over allegations of phone-hacking at the paper in 2005-06, the BBC has learned. A spokesman for the newspaper said an individual had been suspended following 'a serious allegation of wrongdoing.' The BBC said that it understands these relate to allegations made by the actress Sienna Miller that her phone was hacked. The paper's former royal editor was jailed in 2007 for conspiracy to access phone messages. Clive Goodman had intercepted voicemails left for royal aides. Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months on the same charge. The newspaper's then editor Andy Coulson resigned - despite saying he had not been aware of what was going on - and is now Prime Minister David Cameron's director of communications. The News of the World said the case was a one-off, but former employees have subsequently claimed the practice was widespread, and some of those who say they were targeted, including Labour politicians, have called for Coulson to be sacked. Despite this, Coulson has received strong backing from No 10. A spokesman said the latest allegation was the subject of legal action as well as an internal investigation and, if proven, 'appropriate action' would be taken. 'The News of the World has a zero tolerance approach to any wrong-doing,' he added. Well, since last week, anyway.

Mick Karn, the former bass player of art-rock group Japan, has died at the age of fifty two after suffering from cancer. A statement on Karn's website said the musician 'passed away peacefully' on Tuesday at his London home in Chelsea, 'surrounded by his family and friends.' Japan came to prominence in the early 1980s with hit LPs that included Tin Drum and Gentlemen Take Polaroids. Their biggest hit singles were the haunting 'Ghosts' and a baroque cover of Smokey Robinson's 'I Second That Emotion.' John Taylor of Duran Duran said that Karn was 'one of the great visual and sound stylists of the late-70s/early-80s.' An appeal was launched last year when news of Karn's illness was announced. Porcupine Tree - a band featuring former Japan keyboardist Richard Barbieri - were among those who donated profits from auctions and CD sales. Born Adonis Michaelides in Cyprus in 1958, Karn emigrated to London when he was three years old. His official biography tells how he bought his first bass guitar for five pounds after a bassoon he played in an orchestra was stolen. He formed Japan in 1974 with David Sylvian and the latter's younger brother Steve Jansen, performing for the first time when Karn was just fifteen. Having been joined by Richard Barbieri, another school friend, and then Rob Dean, Japan landed their first record contract in 1977 with the German disco label, Hansa. With their dyed hair and make-up, Japan offered a 'glam' alternative to punk and later became associated with the New Romantic movement. Although, to be honest, they were always a bit more serious and experimental than contemporaries, something reflected in their lack of major single success. After Japan split in 1982, Karn continued to work on solo projects and recorded with Kate Bush, Gary Numan, Midge Ure, Pete Murphy of Bauhaus and Joan Armatrading among others. Karn briefly reunited with other members of Japan in 1991 for the one-off project Rain Tree Crow. His autobiography, Japan & Self Existing was published in 2006 which explored not only his musical career before, during and after Japan but also his work in sculpture, painting, his childhood, relationships and family. Tributes have been left on Karn's website, with one fan saluting his dexterity with the bass. 'No one will ever touch him on the fretless' wrote one 'ngriff' on Wednesday. 'He shaped the way that instrument is played like no other.' The BBC presenter Jeremy Vine - a long time fan of the band - also remembered the musician's 'sensual and stylish' playing.

An Ohio man has apparently blamed Ozzy Osbourne for his recent arrest. Drunk-driving suspect William Liston was taken into custody outside of Cleveland on Christmas Eve. According to Fox WJW-TV, Liston told officers at the scene: 'Ozzy Osbourne and his music made me do it.' It is unclear if Liston was listening to Osbourne's music while driving before the arrest. Police officers said that Liston was 'bouncing from curb to curb' and losing consciousness when driving. The suspect reportedly had prescription drugs in his pocket. He was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired.

Ofcom has received ninety five complaints about a BBC News interview with an anti-gay extremist as part of the broadcaster's coverage of the birth of Sir Elton John's son. On 28 December, the BBC's News At Six bulletin featured an interview with Stephen Green, of right-wing group Christian Voice, who is understood to have previously publicly claimed that he supported the proposed death penalty for gay men in Uganda. In the interview, which was later repeated on the BBC News channel, Green claimed that Sir Elton's first child with his partner David Furnish was 'a designer accessory,' and said that depriving the child of its natural mother was 'an act of pure selfishness.' The BBC defended the decision to give a platform to Green's views, arguing that his contribution was to reflect the wider debate on surrogacy for gay couples. According to Pink News, the interview also resulted in complaints being made directly to the BBC. In an e-mail sent to the people who complained, the BBC said: 'We appreciate some viewers were unhappy that a report on Sir Elton John recently becoming a surrogate father included the views of Mr Stephen Green. We recognise this issue can arouse a diverse range of contrasting opinions. This brief report featured Sir Elton John's thoughts and an opposing view on the matter at hand. It must be stressed that over time we have heard from all sides of this debate, dealing the subject in a fair and impartial manner. We acknowledge the strength of sentiment on this matter, thanks again for taking the time to contact us.'

Rival media firms have urged the lack of culture secretary the vile and odious Hunt not to be swayed by News Corp's proposal to divest Sky News in order to win approval for its Sky takeover bid. Not that the vile and odious Hunt will take the slightest bit of notice of these pleas, of course. On Friday night, the vile and odious Hunt received a protest letter from Slaughter and May, the amusingly-named but shit-powerful law firm representing the Gruniad Morning Star Media Group, Trinity Mirra, the Torygraph Media Group, BT and the Daily Scum Mail and General Trust. News Corp is understood to have suggested separating Sky News from Sky in order to persuade the vile and odious rascal Hunt not to hand the firm's bid to take full control of Sky to the Competition Commission for a lengthy review. And, to give them exactly what they want. According to the Financial Times, the Slaughter and May letter claims that it would be unacceptable to hive off Sky News as a solution to concerns about the Sky takeover. The media firms have consistently argued that a combined News Corp-Sky would pose a significant threat to media plurality in the UK. The letter points out that in order for the Sky News proposal to be effective, the broadcaster would have to be completely separated from Sky, including full independence on editorial, operational and financial grounds. Which would be really bad news for Murdoch lapdogs like the vile and odious Kay Burley, for one. However, it notes that the loss-making Sky News would most likely face significant challenges even surviving under those circumstances. Let's face it, when it's not part of a Sky package, who in all honest would pay to acquire it when they get the BBC News, ITN and Channel Four News for free? The lawyers concluded by claiming that the issues surrounding the Sky takeover are sufficiently complex so as to require a full Competition Commission investigation.

Lark Rise To Candleford will not be returning for a fifth series, the BBC have confirmed. The 'memorable and much loved' period drama - which stars Julia Sawalha, Olivia Hallinan. Mark Heap and Linda Bassett - will end when the current run reaches its conclusion on 13 February. In a statement to the press, BBC1's controller Danny Cohen explained: 'Lark Rise To Candleford has been a truly wonderful part of the BBC1 schedule over the last few years, but after four series we feel that the time is right to make room for new dramas which we hope will be taken to the nation's hearts in just the same way. We are incredibly grateful to Bill Gallagher and the Lark Rise To Candleford team for producing such a memorable and much loved series.' Cohen added that the programme's departure will leave room for an array of new dramas, including an upcoming adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations and spy series Morton. 'I hope that these commissions begin to express the range and creative ambition we want BBC1 drama to capture in the coming years,' he said. 'There are great opportunities here for new writers, as well as a new commitment to blue-collar drama and classic period pieces.' Julia Sawalha previously suggested that the series would likely be cancelled following the departure of creator Bill Gallagher.

Former GMTV presenter Penny Smith has recalled how the axed breakfast show wreaked 'havoc' on her life. The newsreader - who left the ITV programme in June 2010, mere months before it was revamped into the disastrous fiasco Daybreak - outlined some of the extreme challenges that she faced during her seventeen years on air. Writing in the Daily Scum Mail, Smith explained: 'It's one of the biggest challenges, working out how to cope with getting up at the crack of dawn. It causes havoc with your relationships because it's almost impossible for anyone to know how appalling you feel every day unless it's experienced first-hand. You are permanently jetlagged and tetchy. If you're not careful, you end up with a relationship in crisis, and the only friends you'll have are either in the same business or breast-feeding.' Weighing in on Daybreak's widely-reportedly early troubles, Smith openly urged the creative team behind the new format, as well as the programme's presenters Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley, to remain positive. 'With any TV programme, when things are going well and ratings are high, it's easy. But funnily enough, you can still have a good time when things aren't going so well. It's a bonding process - you're all in the same boat, so you make the most of it.'

Miranda Hart was the big winner at the British Comedy Awards after picking up three awards - one voted for by TV viewers. She scooped Best New TV Comedy Show, Best Female Comedy Actress and the People's Choice Award. Hart said that she was 'genuinely thrilled' by her success and hinted that her show, Miranda, might switch from BBC2 to BBC1. Which is - frankly - the worst kept secret in television at the moment. The awards, at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, were hosted by Jonathan Ross, who poked fun mercilessly at his fellow comics and celebrities. But he was on the receiving end himself in a video message from comedian Russell Brand who won an Outstanding Contribution To Comedy award. Referring to the Manuelgate scandal, in which they were both implicated, he said: 'Jonathan, you're a father figure, what were you thinking?' The first award of the evening, for Best Male TV Comic, went to Michael McIntyre. Best Comedy Panel Show which was won by Would I Lie To You? Accepting the award, one of the team captains of the BBC1 programme Lee Mack joked: 'We'd just like to thank the creators of Call My Bluff for not suing us.' The award for Best TV Comedy Actor to The Thick Of It's Peter Capaldi. Charlie Brooker won the Best Comedy Entertainment Programme gong for his satirical show Newswipe.

Red Dwarf actor Robert Llewellyn has confirmed that the show will return for six half-hour episodes in 2012. His co-star Craig Charles recently told Real Radio that digital channel Dave had commissioned another series of the popular SF sitcom. In a statement on his official website, Llewellyn wrote: 'The whole point was that I was told not to saying anything. [Series co-creator] Doug [Naylor] told me, face to face, "Don't tweet this, Bobby. Not yet." So I didn't.' Regarding Charles's announcement, he added: 'You'll [sic] got to love him, he knows to spin the scoop. So yes, we are making a new series, commissioned by Dave, not a special or a movie or a one-off dooberry.' Llewellyn also suggested that the new series will be filmed with a live audience, unlike 2009's three-part special Back to Earth. 'The plan at the moment, and this could change, is that we record [it] in front of an audience,' he confirmed.

Skins actress Freya Mavor has claimed that the show can inspire teenagers to act rebelliously. Well, so can the government if there's a hand fire extinguisher nearby but that's not, necessarily, a good thing, young lady. The actress plays Mini in the new series of the E4 drama, which begins on 27 January. Discussing the show's first run in 2007, she explained to What's On TV: 'I was living in France and I was really badly behaved back then. I was leaving the house without my parents knowing, throwing parties and stuff like that when I was really, really young.' She added: 'It's an inspiration almost, Skins, to act rebelliously as a teenager.' Mavor went on to suggest that the show is 'shocking' but is simply 'documenting a teenager's life. Sixteen-year-olds do take drugs and have sex and there's no point covering that up,' she argued. 'It's very risqué, but that's what makes it work.' She concluded: 'I think if you were to follow a teenager around with a camera, [then] you'd find out so much more about them than when they're just with their mates. Even your friends don't know half about you.'

The BBC has apologised after Japan's embassy complained over jokes on an episode of Qi. Panellists were discussing the experienced of Tsutomu Yamaguchi who survived the Hiroshima atomic bomb in World War II and also the Nagasaki one three days later. The Japanese embassy in London was not amused and sent a letter to the BBC this month accusing the programme of making light of the bombings, which are still a highly sensitive subject in Japan. The BBC also received complaints from Japanese viewers who saw the clip on YouTube. Yamaguchi, who died of stomach cancer last year aged ninety three, was on business in the city when the bomb dropped, killing eighty thousand people instantly and another sixty thousand from radiation poisioning in the months that followed. After spending a night in Hiroshima, a badly burned Yamaguchi took a train back to his hometown, Nagasaki. That city was bombed on 9 August, killing an estimated seventy thousand people. Presenter Stephen Fry described Yamaguchi as 'the unluckiest man in the world, or perhaps the luckiest.' Fry thought it was somewhat bizarre that Yamaguchi was able to travel by train so soon after the disaster, prompting panellists into a discussion in which they made fun of Britain's own public transport. The BBC, showing the collective backbone of a worm, said that it was sorry for any offence caused and would be replying shortly to a letter received from the Japanese embassy in London. A spokesman for the corporation added: 'Qi never sets out to cause offence with any of the people or subjects it covers, however on this occasion, given the sensitivity of the subject matter for Japanese viewers, we understand why they did not feel it appropriate for inclusion in the programme.' A joint statement of apology was issued with Talkback Thames, the production company which makes Qi. Japanese viewers reportedly contacted diplomatic staff after the programme, featuring comedians Alan Davies and Rob Brydon as panellists, was broadcast last month. Yamaguchi, who died last year at the age of ninety three, is the only person to have been recognised by the Japanese government as having survived both. Hopefully, whilst they're about it the Japanese embassy will be issuing their own apology for things like the invasions of Singapore and Burma. Just, you know, so that everybody will be happy and friends again. Yamaguchi's eldest daughter, Toshiko Yamasaki, who lives in Nagasaki, said that the programme had 'looked down on my father just as the world is moving towards nuclear disarmament.' Which it didn't or anything even remotely like it. She told Kyodo News her family had joked about Yamaguchi's unlucky experience themselves. 'But it is a different story when [he] is treated in that way in Britain, a country that possesses nuclear weapons.' Yamaguchi had to wait until 2009 to be officially recognised as the first person to have survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Dozens of other people are also known to have been exposed to radiation in both cities. After the war, he worked as a translator for the US forces in Nagasaki and later became a teacher. He did not speak publicly about his extraordinary past until the death in 2005 of his second son – who was six months old at the time of the Nagasaki bombing – from cancer, aged fifty nine. The Qi clip drew a lively response on the Internet, with many people coming to the BBC's defence. The comedy website Chortle noted that many comedians feel the BBC 'has become over-sensitive to criticism of its comedy programmes.' And that instead of meekly issuing apologies every time a complaint is received, no matter how trivial, they should be standing up for their right, in a free society, to say things which some people may occasionally find uncomfortable. Other commentators pointed out that Fry clearly mentioned Yamaguchi's extraordinary longevity and the heroic status which he achieved late in life. In his first public comment on the row, Fry said on Twitter: 'I'm coming to Japan the week after next as it happens, and I'll certainly let my regret known (if they let me in!)' A Japanese blogger who has lived in England said that Qi had been insensitive rather than malicious. 'The majority of the Japanese public is totally unaware of British comedy and what it's about.' A British resident of Japan wrote on his blog that the target of the jokes had clearly been Britain's rail service, and that 'in no sense' did the panel poke fun at Yamaguchi himself.

John Cleese has been forthright about ex-wife Alice Faye Eichelberger again. 'I feel very cross sometimes when I'm packing a suitcase to go to yet another place to film a job I'm not really interested in and I hear she's on a month-long cruise around China,' he said. 'When I met her she was living in a council flat in London. She didn't bring anything into the relationship. I have several things I want to write about but that's not going to happen at the moment unless Alice Faye gets kidnapped by aliens and taken off to another universe. I've been trying to contact aliens but so far I haven't had any success.' Ooo. Bad break-up.

Plans to set up a new digital TV channel for Scotland should be funded through a 'fairer redistribution' of licence fee cash, according to a group of media experts. A report to be published on Monday looks at how the proposed Scottish digital network - which would include a TV channel for public service broadcasting and online services - should be paid for. The study comes after the Scottish Broadcasting Commission called in 2008 for the establishment of such a network, which would cost seventy five million pounds a year. The Scottish Digital Network Panel was chaired by Blair Jenkins - the former head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland, who also headed the Scottish Broadcasting Commission. And it concluded the licence fee was the 'most appropriate' source of funding. Speaking ahead of the report's publication, Jenkins said: 'Essentially what we argue for is a fairer redistribution of the television licence fee income as the best way of funding the Scottish digital network.' With the licence fee frozen for six years, former BBC director general Greg Dyke has said the establishment of a new channel north of the border would have to be a Scottish decision paid for using Scottish money. But Jenkins argued cash raised by the licence fee did not just fund the BBC, pointing out Welsh language broadcaster S4C is to receive seventy five million smackers a year from 2013-14. He said: 'It now seems agreed across the political spectrum that the licence fee is to fund public service broadcasting in general and not just the BBC. The BBC is always going to get the vast majority of the licence fee income, but there has been recognition in recent years that the sheer scale of revenue from the licence fee now is such that to put it all in one basket doesn't seem the best use of those funds.' While he said the new network could be up and running as early as 2013, Jenkins added: 'What we need would be the UK Government to agree to an allocation from the television licence fee. That would be required from the UK Government.'

Question Time's Alastair Campbell-George Galloway Punch and Judy Show proved more popular than Channel Four's new satirical current affairs format Ten O'Clock Live (the two shows overlapped for half an hour, 10.35pm to 11.05pm). The much-hyped Channel Four show launched with 1.37 million viewers, with around another one hundred thousand watching an hour later on Channel Four+1. Question Time, from Burnley, pulled in 2.79 million viewers and a twenty one per cent audience share. Last week's show attracted 2.738 million. However, Ten O'Clock Live had a higher share of the supposedly vital sixteen-to-thirty four-year-old demographic with their vast wads of disposable income. Not that anyone actually has much disposable income these days, but still ... The Channel Four show also appears to have taken some viewers away from Newsnight, which drew just three hundred and sixty eight thousand viewers, one of the BBC2 current affairs programme's lowest audiences in the past year.

Adam Boulton's interview with Alastair Campbell on his new Sky News show this week, eight months after the Sky political editor memorably lost his rag during their exchange in the aftermath of the general election, was a rather more genial affair. Indeed it ended with an apology from Campbell and a handshake – as well as the least likely namedrop ever when Campbell told Boulton: 'Peter Schmeichel sent me a text and said "Shake his hand at the end..."'

Keith Olbermann, the liberal, outspoken anchor of MSNBC's Countdown show, had his contract dramatically terminated by the US cable news network's parent company NBC on Friday night. Olbermann had two years of a four year contract remaining, worth an estimated thirty million dollars, and was the network's highest-rated personality, responsible in large part for MSNBC's orientation as a liberal, Democratic-leaning channel. Abruptly announcing in a lengthy farewell that the current show would be his last, Olbermann said: 'This may be the only television programme wherein the host was much more in awe of the audience than vice versa. You will always be in my heart for that.' Giving no reason for the departure, Olbermann ended by calmly reading aloud a piece by James Thurber before signing off with the words: 'Good night and good luck.' While Olbermann was live on-air, NBC issued a statement reading: 'MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of Countdown with Keith Olbermann will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.' The Associated Press reported that Phil Griffin, MSNBC's president, would not comment on Olbermann's sudden departure. But a spokesman did say that the acquistion of NBC Universal by cable and telecoms giant Comcast, which received regulatory approval this week, had nothing to do with the decision. And, everybody - of course - believed him. As speculation flooded the Internet about the timing, Comcast later put out a statement denying any connection: 'Comcast has not closed the transaction for [NBC-Universal] and has no operational control at any of its properties including MSNBC. We pledged from the day the deal was announced that we would not interfere with NBCU's news operations. We have not and we will not.' Olbermann had a stormy relationship with management and had been suspended from hosting the nightly show by the network last November after violating station rules by making donations to three Democratic candidates. He was reinstated the following week. (One of the three candidates was Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswomen recently attacked in Tucson.) Olbermann's show Countdown, which screened at 8pm and repeated at 11pm, was the network's top-rated programme. On Thursday the show attracted 1.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings, far ahead of CNN's Parker-Spitzer, which managed just 520,000 in the same time slot. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly – a frequent target of Olbermann's ire – dominated the hour with 2.9 million viewers.

An environmental charity has launched a campaign to clean up soap characters' bad litter habits. Keep Britain Tidy have asked soap audiences to report littering in Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Eastenders to them. The campaigners plan to contact soap bosses and ask them to show the offending characters facing the consequences of littering. Spokesperson Jill Partington said: 'We like our soaps to reflect reality, and people’s bad habits are part of this. In the real world, if you are caught littering you will be fined. It is illegal after all!' The 'Soapland Litter Watch' will take place on Mondays between 7pm and 9pm. Because, of course, they believe that people have nothing better to do with their time, seemingly.

Wor geet canny Sarah Millican says that her worst ever gig was a toss-up between an 'horrific' hen-night dominated show in Coventry when the crowd gave racist heckles to the compere and a night when she was talking about her marriage break-up and a drunk old man climbed on stage and said: 'I've been divorced. I've got a couple of stories.' He was subsequently led off by the bouncers.

Twentieth Century Fox has downplayed reports that a film based on the popular television series 24 is due to begin filming later this year. Earlier this week, Kiefer Sutherland told Extra that the film would begin filming in eight months. However, a publicist for FOX has now been forced to clarify the actor's comments. 'Unfortunately, Kiefer is overly optimistic,' the publicist's statement read, according to Yahoo News. 'The project is still in development, with no director attached.'

Simon Cowell has admitted that he is 'selfish and weird.' And, you're proud of that, are you Simon?

Marriott International has announced plans to phase out pay-per-view adult movies from its hotel rooms. The decision comes after revenue from customers accessing porn through their in-room entertainment systems dramatically decreased and follows discussions over whether it was appropriate for their clientele. According to USA Today, the company said: 'Changing technology and how guests access entertainment has reduced the revenue hotels and their owners derive from in-room movies, including adult content.' Joe McInerney, CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, added: 'It is a hotel's prerogative, as well as a business decision, regarding what services it provides to its guests, including those striving to enhance their family-friendly image.' The plan will initially be executed in new hotels by replacing the old video systems with on-demand services.

Chloe Madeley has revealed that she has been dating a man for the past three months. Who cares? You're not famous, darlin'. You're not a celebrity - the only reason that you keep on getting bit-parts on reality TV shows is because of who your mum and dad are. Nobody gives a monkeys about you or your shallow, narcissitic, worthless lifestyle or who you're dating or whose clothes you're wearing. Or not wearing. You, and Peaches Geldof. Now, back to anonymity with you.

Cricketer Dominic Cork has claimed that he is in awe of the other contestants on Dancing On Ice. The former England all-rounder said that he doesn't consider himself a celebrity and that when he looks back on his experiences on the programme, it will be something to cherish. 'It is a bit strange. When I bump into these people I'm in awe of them. I'm quite shy as a person, so I'm quite stunned to meet them all,' he told the Digital Spy website. 'But then you get to meet them all and Vanilla Ice becomes a great guy called Rob and you realise that they're all brilliant people. But with all the famous people backstage and in the audience watching it's a fantastic experience for someone like me. Whenever it comes to an end this will be something that I cherish and remember.' He added: 'I don't really consider myself a celebrity. I'm just someone who was blessed with a talent to play cricket and I loved doing that. I was lucky to do that for over twenty years. I'm not a celebrity, I'm a sportsman who is happy to show off his talent. And in many ways I'm just doing the same thing now on the show.'

Noel Gallagher has donated a platinum disc for Oasis' 'Roll With It' to a school in Manchester. BBC News reports that the guitarist has given the disc to Lancasterian School in West Didsbury, which teaches disabled children and is raising funds for a new therapy pool. It is hoped that the school can raise one hundred and twenty thousand pounds for the facility to help its ninety six pupils, many of whom suffer from cerebral palsy. Fundraiser Samantha Hough said: 'He gave it to us to auction at a gala dinner we held last year, but we realised it was far too valuable to sell that way and after taking advice we put it into a pop memorabilia auction. We were really pleased to get it because our target is huge. We had no idea that Noel knew anything about the school, so it really came out of nowhere.'

Today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day dear blog reader takes us all the way back to the cool, wet, bronchitis-filled autumn of 1977. Ram Jam's fierce minimalist heavy metal adaptation of Lead Belly's 'Black Betty' was a-rockin' the airwaves of the free world. Meanwhile, on Top of the Pops Sue, Gill, Patti, Rosie, Pauline and yer thirteen year old Keith Telly Topping's particular favourite, Lulu, were giving it some headbanging welly right there on the telly. All introduced by yer actual Kid Jensen. Wearing a particularly vile jumper that his mom probably knitted him.Mesmeric TV, ladies and gentlemen - all hair, fishnets and suspenders - guaranteed to give teenage boys The Horn. So, thank you, Legs & Co. Thank you for getting me through some long cold nights on me Jack Jones.

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