Friday, April 08, 2011

Now I'm Dying In The Living Room

A burka worn by the BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson and a bullet which grazed Kate Adie's leg in Beirut are to go on display for the first time. Simpson wore the burka as a disguise to enter Taliban-controlled Afghanistan shortly before the US-led attack in 2001. His fellow BBC correspondent Kate Adie was scratched by a stray bullet in Lebanon and subsequently kept it as a lucky charm. The items will be part of an exhibition on war reporting at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester from 28 May. The exhibition, called War Correspondent, will examine the roles and perils of journalists in conflicts from World War I to the present day. It will also feature the white suit which became Martin Bell's trademark during the Bosnian war, the typewriter used by ITN's Michael Nicholson in Vietnam and a Reuters Land Rover that was hit by a rocket in Gaza in 2006. The BBC's Jeremy Bowen and the late Brian Hanrahan will also be featured, as will Richard Dimbleby, the Daily Telegraph's Clare Hollingworth, who is credited with breaking the news of the German invasion of Poland in 1939, and the American journalist Martha Gellhorn. Imperial War Museum North director Jim Forrester said: 'The remarkable men and women featured in this exhibition have all brought momentous events and important stories into our lives and living rooms, often at considerable risk to themselves.'

Doctor Who showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods before He) has described series six's pirate story as 'so much fun.' Starring Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville and model Lily Cole, The Curse Of The Black Spot will be broadcast as episode three of the new series. Speaking to SFX in the magazine's latest issue, Moffat revealed: 'Steve Thompson’s pirate one is just a glorious, hugely clever, very funny but again properly scary adventure.' He continued: 'I knew Steven from Sherlock and other projects, and he desperately wanted to do Doctor Who. So he brought all that wonderful giddy enthusiasm of someone who's a hugely distinguished playwright and very much the coming man in television suddenly getting to play with Doctor Who. It's just bursting with Doctor Who-ness, and it’s so much fun, and a wonderful contrast to our opener, which is quite intense.'

Robert Sean Leonard has admitted that he is uncertain if he will return to House next season. None of the medical drama's cast - except for Hugh Laurie - are currently contracted for an eighth year, with Leonard recently signing up to appear in Broadway play Born Yesterday. 'This is my last season of House,' he told TV Line. 'I'm shooting my last episode now. Contractually this is it. There's also no deal for House next year because Comcast bought NBC Universal and no-one has a deal.' He continued: 'If I do House next year it'll be under a new umbrella. But legally and contractually, I'm free after this.' However, Leonard added that he is uncertain if he will remain with the show or not. 'The long and short of it is, I don't know,' he said. 'I assume they'll make another year of House. And I assume I will do it. But I can't say for sure.' The actor went on to say that if House is renewed, he will have to miss 'quite a few' episodes due to his Broadway commitments. 'I would either have to not be in the first few episodes or they'd have to delay the start date,' he claimed. 'Or I can be written lightly in them and shoot a couple of Mondays here and there. Anything's possible.' He also denied that the show's upcoming seventh season finale will write out his character, James Wilson. 'That's not the plot of the episode,' he insisted. 'That's not what the episode is about at all. [Wilson] can't just go away. The show just isn't structured that way. He has to be there. It's the way the show works.'

Broadcaster and gadget fan Stephen Fry is to present a one-off special on gadgets for Channel Four. The three-hour list show from All3Media production company North One Television will see Fry talk viewers through his top one hundred personal favourite gadgets, ranging from curling tongs, the corkscrew and trouser press to the iPod. The show - just the kind of thing that Channel Four claimed they were stopping making a couple of weeks ago - will be broadcast in the summer. But, it is Stephen Fry doing it so, to be honest, yer actual Keith Telly Topping will probably watch it, being the crass hypocrite that he is, baby. 'As people might know, there's little I like more than discovering a clever or quirky piece of technology, so being given the chance to play with and appraise so many weird and wonderful gadgets and gizmos from past and present was just too tempting to pass up,' said the Fryster his very self. A similar list show on the one hundred greatest toys was presented by Jonathan Ross on Channel 4 in 2010, attracting a decent sized audience.

The BBC has been forced to pull a major adaptation of classic 1950s novel Room At The Top from the schedules at the last minute, following over a row over rights to the story. BBC executives reluctantly ordered the eleventh hour cancellation on Thursday night of the drama, which stars Maxine Peake, after a legal challenge over the ownership of the screen rights. Written by John Braine, one of the angry young men of the 1950s, Room At The Top follows the rise of a ruthless working class man, and became a literary sensation upon its publication in 1957. The TV adaptation was meant to be screened on BBC4. A 1959 film version was acclaimed for its gritty 'kitchen sink' drama and won an Oscar for Simone Signoret. However, the recent remake was taken out of the schedules amid fears that the BBC could end up in court if it went ahead with the two-part serial, which stars Matthew McNulty as Joe Lampton, the amorous Yorkshireman who destroys everyone he comes into contact with in his desire to get to the top. Braine died in 1986 and his widow, Pat, who receives royalties from his works, approved the BBC adaptation. But just days before transmission, a rival producer claimed a previous ownership of the screen rights, which had been negotiated by a London agency, David Higham Associates. Tony Braine, the author's son, told the Daily Scum Mail: 'My mother has the rights to the book and she was looking forward to watching the drama on Thursday night. We just heard that it won't be on and it's disappointing. The objection is nothing to do with the family members.' A BBC spokesman said: 'Transmission of Room At The Top has been postponed while we address a potential contractual issue which has emerged in the last few days.' The BBC replaced the drama with a repeat of Fanny Hill. The corporation said it would not screen Room At The Top until the rights dispute has been settled. The 1959 film was produced by two wealthy movie-making brothers, Sir Jonathan Woolf and James Woolf. But the rights were acquired by Thames in 1970 for an ITV spin-off series Man At The Top, which itself became a feature film. Kate Triggs, co-producer of the BBC version, said that the new version, set in 1948, would be faithful to the book but also 'brings all the shock value that the piece had at the time, right up to the present day.' Peake, the star of the BBC One legal drama Silk, plays Alice, the married woman who seduces Lampton. She said: 'She's a woman who got trapped in that time. I think it's quite a universal story, people trapped in relationships that are not fulfilling.'

Top Gear's James May will be back in North Devon next week for another Tarka Trail railway bonanza. The BBC presenter will be teaming up with wine expert Oz Clarke competing against a team of German miniature railway enthusiasts in a railway race on Saturday 16 April. May and Clarke will be competing against the trio of German brothers who run the Miniatur Wunderland, the world's biggest model railway exhibition in Hamburg. May's previous attempts to run a model train from Bideford to Barnstaple along the Tarka Trail in 2009 were foiled by bad weather and vandalism. The spin-off show to the BBC2 series, James May's Toy Stories, will see the teams race three model trains along nine miles of track between the towns' stations. The 2009 attempt saw the train end three miles short of its target after almost twelve hours of constant setbacks. Some four hundred volunteers helped to build the track, but this year May will be helped by a track laying device. Director Tom Whitter said of the last attempt: 'When we came to do the train link, it went a bit wrong for a number of reasons. 'But this time, by hook or by crook we are determined to get a train from one end to the other. We've been experimenting with different types of propulsion but all trains will be box-fresh Hornby originals. James will be racing his own personal 1972 Flying Scotsman Hornby original, the same train that famously broke down fifty yards from the start last time.' Since May's last attempt the world record for the longest model railway has been beaten in the States. But Whitter said that the pair would be doing their best to beat the Germans. Bideford Reverend Alan Glover will be blessing May's Flying Scotsman before the race and both town mayors will be present. Each team will set off from stations at 7am and spectators are welcome to cheer on the teams at either station.

Noel Gallagher has reportedly turned down a one million pound offer to join The X Factor. Hang on. 1 April was last week, wasn't it? The former Oasis songwriter and guitarist was previously tipped - by people who didn't have a frigging clue what they were talking about, admittedly - for a role on the upcoming US version of the show, with reports claiming that Simon Cowell was a fan of Gallagher's 'no-nonsense attitude.' Now, the Sun - of course - reports that the music mogul told the forty three-year-old to 'name his price' to take up a position on the ITV show's judging panel. However, despite apparently being offered a 'head-spinning amount of cash,' Gallagher said that he wanted to focus on his music career. Which is probably shorthand for 'no, I've got a bit more dignity than that.' 'Noel could name his price,' an alleged 'source' allegedly told the paper. 'Simon promised global fame and a crack at the US panel in future years. He was setting it up for him to make the show his own and fill his boots.' Louis Walsh has confirmed that he has yet to see a contract but has been told to keep his diary clear, while Dannii Minogue is said to be flying in to the UK this week and will meet with ITV bosses.

The BBC is planning a TV retrospective of the work of Sir David Attenborough next year in a move that may signal the twilight of the famous naturalist's career. The series, which has the working title Life Stories from a series of Radio 4 lectures Attenborough has been giving since 2009, will look back on his life's work to mark sixty years since he joined the BBC in 1952. According to a senior BBC natural history source quoted in the Gruniad, the project, due to be formally approved soon, indicates that the eighty four-year-old may soon be calling it a day. Attenborough is due to return to the BBC this autumn with a seven-part series called Frozen Planet, following the cycle of the polar seasons, which took three years to make and saw him filming at the north pole for the first time. 'He was much more involved in the making of this than he has been with other series and is on screen a lot more,' said the BBC 'source', who added that it was unlikely Attenborough would make another large-scale project for the corporation along the lines of Frozen Planet or his other epic series, such as Blue Planet or Planet Earth. 'Frozen Planet took three years to film and David braced seriously cold temperatures that most people, let alone someone in their eighties, could not endure. These projects don't happen very easily and I'd be very surprised if he makes another major BBC natural history series,' said the senior source. 'He is eighty five this year and you cannot go on forever.' Towards the end of Frozen Planet Attenborough will deliver what the BBC source called 'a big polemic' on his views of nature and the environment in what the insider identified as something akin to a final word on his life's work. The episode, called Meltdown, will be a 'look at what the future might hold for the animals and people that live at the poles and what these changes might mean for the rest of us,' according to the BBC. 'The poles – north and south – look superficially very similar, but when you visit them within a few weeks of one another, as I have just done, you realise how profoundly different they are – and how what is happening to them is going to affect the entire planet,' Attenborough said in pre-publicity for this autumn's series. 'A century ago the poles were just about the most inaccessible places on earth. Today that has changed. Nonetheless, to have visited them both within a few weeks of one another is a huge privilege.' Speculation about when he would stand down has long dogged Attenborough. In 2005 he told the Sunday Times that his work up until then had 'given a series to every group of animals' and that he had made 'enough.' Officially the BBC denies that Attenborough's career will be over after 2012 and Attenborough himself remains defiantly hopeful that he will go on. He is currently filming another 3D film for Sky about botanical work at Kew Gardens in south-west London. This follows his 3D film Flying Monsters for the broadcaster last year. 'Yes, I will be making Life Stories for 2012 to mark the anniversary, and I am not sure how much original filming it will involve,' he said. Asked if he would continue with his filming work, he said: 'I sincerely hope so, yes.' It is almost impossible to imagine the BBC without Sir David Attenborough, just as it is difficult to picture the presenter and naturalist making programmes for anyone other than the BBC. Attenborough makes genuinely popular programmes with a strong educational element, the type of content that even the corporation's most vehement critics habitually applaud. Few, if any, broadcasters embody the BBC's mission statement to educate, inform and entertain more fully than he does. At times his name has been employed by executives as a simple two-word riposte to any accusations that it was dumbing down its programming. When Attenborough first applied to join the BBC in 1950 as radio producer, his application was rejected but he was offered a job in TV instead. Four years later he presented the first edition of Zoo Quest, which ran for a decade. His 1979 series, Life on Earth, was the most ambitious natural history series ever undertaken. But Attenborough had a long spell as a BBC executive between such landmark shows. He was the first controller of BBC2 when it launched in 1964, introducing the coverage of snooker when the channel went colour in the early 70s. Other programmes commissioned by Attenborough included Civilisation and The Ascent of Man. He could probably have been director general if he had wanted to, but has confessed he had no desire to lead the organisation. Instead, he went back to making programmes, all of them multiple award-winning, including Blue Planet in 2001 and Planet Earth five years later. As an elder statesman of the BBC he has occasionally criticised the corporation, telling the Radio Times earlier this year its 'sails need to be trimmed.'

Here's a tip for you, dear blog reader; check out Mark Kermode's impressive (and impressed) review of the new Hammer ghost chiller Wake Wood (starring Tim Spall, Sarah Cavendish and Aiden Gillan. Yer Keith Telly Topping wishes he had a fraction of Kermode's turn of phrase, he really does.

Three Virgin Media employees have been sacked after using internal data on X Factor voting patterns to bet on the show. The three staff members bet on the outcomes of the show's weekly eliminations. The Gambling Commission investigated after being alerted to suspicious activity by online bookmaker Betfair. 'We are satisfied that the bets placed were substantially unfair as the individuals involved had inside information,' the commission said. 'We have worked closely with all the bodies involved to ensure that those individuals do not profit from their activity and that appropriate action has been taken to prevent a recurrence of such activity in the future.' Two of the staff members monitored the number of phone votes being cast by Virgin Media customers for each contestant, while a third was involved in placing the bets. A Virgin Media spokesperson said the company took the matter 'extremely seriously' and had co-operated with the Gambling Commission and Ofcom to look into the case. 'Following a thorough investigation, we can confirm this was an isolated incident where three individuals were found to have misused their legitimate access to internal data to identify the volume of calls being made,' a statement said. The employees were suspended when the allegations were made and have since been dismissed. 'At no point was any individual customer data shared and the outcome of the phone votes was not affected,' the statement continued. 'However we have since introduced additional monitoring to our systems to ensure this cannot happen again.' According to the Gambling Commission, sixteen thousand pounds worth of bets have been declared void, the first time such powers have been used under the Gambling Act 2005. Almost fifteen and a hald million votes were cast during the last series of X Factor, which was won by Matt Cardle.

John Yates, the senior police officer at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal, faces a new set of allegations that he has misled parliament. The Gruniad Morning Star claims that an investigation which they carried out has found that all four leading mobile phone companies dispute evidence which Yates gave to a Commons select committee about police efforts to warn public figures whose voicemails were intercepted by the News of the World. During the original police inquiry in 2006 phone companies identified a total of at least one hundred and twenty politicians, police officers, members of the royal household and others whose voicemail had been accessed by Glenn Mulcaire, the News of the World's private investigator. Yates told the home affairs select committee last September that police had 'ensured' the phone companies warned all of their suspected victims. But all four companies have told the Gruniad that police made no such request and that most of the victims were never warned by them. Two of the companies, Orange and Vodafone, wrote to Scotland Yard last autumn, confirming they had told none of their customers that they had been hacked and that police had never asked them to. The home affairs committee on Thursday said that more than four months after those letters were sent to the Yard, it was unaware of Yates having made any attempt to tell it that there might be a problem with the evidence he gave. The committee chairman, Keith Vaz, said he would write to Yates and to the phone companies to clarify the position. The latest allegations come after a public dispute in which Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, has challenged Yates's account to parliament of the advice that police were given by prosecutors and the impact this had on the original investigation of the affair and the number of victims who were identified. At a session of the committee on Tuesday, Vaz said the DPP's evidence clearly contradicted the account which Yates had given to the committee the previous week and that he would be writing to Yates to ask for an explanation. Yates is currently acting deputy commissioner of the Met. In relation to the phone companies, the key evidence from Yates was given to the committee in September last year when Vaz asked him whether police had warned all the public figures whose pin codes had been found in Glenn Mulcaire's paperwork. Yates said: 'We have taken what I consider to be all reasonable steps in conjunction with the major service providers – the Oranges, Vodafones – to ensure where we had even the minutest possibility they may have been the subject of an attempt to hack or hacking, we have taken all reasonable steps.' Mary Macleod MP asked what he meant by 'reasonable steps,' and Yates replied: 'Speaking to them or ensuring the phone company has spoken to them.' The four leading mobile phone companies all say that statement is not correct and that the police did not ask them to warn any victims among their customers. All of them searched their call data as part of the police inquiry in 2006 and all initially followed the standard procedure, which is to keep such inquiries confidential. Vodafone found about forty customers whose voicemail had been intercepted. They told none of them that they had been victims but warned a small number in particularly sensitive positions to check their security. A spokesman said: 'We were not asked by the Met police to contact any customers but believed it was important that we inform as many as we could. As it was a live investigation, however, we were very limited in the information we could pass on to customers. We were only able to remind customers, where we believed it was appropriate, of the importance of voicemail security.' Orange identified about forty five customers whose voicemail had been dialled from Mulcaire's phone numbers. It said it warned none of them but passed the customers' details to Scotland Yard. A spokesman for Orange said: 'At no point during the investigations were we asked, nor did we feel it right, to take further action in relation to these customers. The Metropolitan police are fully aware of our position on this.' T-Mobile gave police information from its call records but says it never finally identified customers who were victims and therefore warned none. A spokesman said: 'We have never been supplied with a list of names or telephone numbers by the police of customers who may have been compromised, nor were we asked by the police to contact any of them.' O2 identified about forty customers whose voicemail had been accessed. It is the only company to have taken a corporate decision to approach and warn all of them. Asked about Yates's evidence, a spokesman for O2 said: 'We weren't contacted by the police and asked proactively to get in touch with customers to warn them if they had been victims.' The Gruniad states: 'It is now clear that police failed to inform not only those victims who were identified by the phone companies but a large number of others whose details were found in notebooks, computer records and audiotapes seized from Mulcaire in August 2006 but never properly investigated until the Yard began its third investigation into the affair in January. The failure means that police broke an agreement with the DPP that they would contact "all potential victims." It also means many of the victims were deprived of the chance to check the call data, which is kept by the phone companies for only twelve months, and that they had no opportunity to change their pin codes or to assess the damage done by the interception of their messages.' The immediate problem for Scotland Yard is that the phone companies, like the DPP, are now challenging the evidence given to the public and parliament by the most senior officer in the affair. In July 2009, Yates made a public statement: 'Where there was clear evidence that people had potentially been the subject of tapping, they were all contacted by police.' In February 2010 he wrote to the culture, media and sport committee: 'Where information exists to suggest some form of interception of an individual's phone was or may have been attempted by Goodman and Mulcaire, the Metropolitan police has been diligent and taken all proper steps to ensure those individuals have been informed.' Yates's evidence about the phone companies last September prompted an exchange of letters. According to one 'senior police source,' speaking to the Gruniad 'on condition of anonymity,' Detective Chief Superintendent Philip Williams, who works directly under John Yates, wrote to mobile phone companies in October, claiming that he believed that the companies had contacted 'all of the people potentially identified as being victims.' On 2 November, Orange wrote back to Williams. The company is understood to have told him that police had never asked them to contact victims and that they had not done so. On 22 November Vodafone also wrote to DCS Williams. It is understood that the company expressed surprise that he was claiming to believe that it had contacted victims in 2006; it pointed out that it was for the police, not for the phone companies, to establish who had been victims of crime and indicated it had no record of the police ever asking it to contact customers. Last month – more than four months after that exchange of letters – Yates gave evidence on phone-hacking to the home affairs committee and to the culture, media and sport committee. He made no reference to the letters. Nor did he tell the committee that the two companies had challenged his previous account. However, in evidence to the media committee, he did indicate some awareness of a problem. He said: 'I think there is some confusion with some of the mobile phone companies as to who was doing what, and we need to get some clarity around that. I am not sure that the follow-up was as thorough as it could have been.' In a statement on Thursday night, Scotland Yard said that Yates had told the home affairs select committee in September 2010: 'We think we have done all that is reasonable but we will continue to review it as we go along.' A spokesman said the correspondence with the phone companies was part of that review and Yates had acknowledged in recent evidence to both select committees that more should have been done for victims. A spokesman said the current inquiry was reviewing the victim strategy.

Nine layers of BBC management will be reduced to a maximum of seven, the corporation said on Thursday, as executives gave more details of the corporation's seven hundred million pound cost-savings plan. Caroline Thomson, the BBC's chief operating officer, conceded that 'the complexity of the BBC' had long been an issue and that the new seven-layer rule would apply from 'the director general to the most junior staff.' She would not say how many jobs would be at risk, but with the BBC typically using eight and sometimes nine layers of management, the expectation is that some middle managers will lose their jobs or responsibilities as a result. Thomson was speaking after BBC employees were updated as to the progress of the 'Delivering Quality First' programme – the BBC's plans to contend with the licence fee freeze imposed on the broadcaster by the coalition government last year. In a sketchy briefing, Thomson offered no new information about any cost savings that would be immediately be noticed by viewers, saying that BBC was still considering proposals including dropping overnight programming, cutting sports spending and increasing repeats. However, the chief operating officer did confirm that BBC will to reduce its property usage by at least twenty five per cent and possibly thirty per cent, largely by cutting down on the number of buildings it uses in west and central London, including the White City block currently used by Mark Thompson, the director general, for his principal office. Thomson could not immediately say how much would be saved by the office space cuts, and she stressed that the building rationalisation programme was not intended to lead to a reduction in the BBC presence in cities and towns outside London, where the broadcaster's offices are used for local radio stations. 'This is not about cutting local radio,' she added. The BBC is now evaluating the remaining cost saving proposals, and further details are expected to emerge over the coming weeks and months.

Channel Five has unveiled details of its coverage for the upcoming royal wedding. And, as expected, it's so lighweight and crassly celebrity-obsessed that it makes the Phillip Schofield-fronted ITV line-up look like BBC4 by comparison. The programming will include, Five claims, 'in-depth coverage across its existing flagship shows,' as well as 'some special one-off commissions.' Which will, of course, be total arse-gravy. The coverage will begin with a week-long build-up to the event, with a 'romantic and royal' theme running throughout the preceding seven days. The channel has secured the rights to the Lifetime TV film William & Kate: The Movie, directed by Emmy Award-winning Frank Konigsberg. Channel Five's Head of Acquisitions Kate Keenan said: 'The William and Kate movie has sparked worldwide interest and anticipation and we are really pleased that Channel Five will be able to offer viewers its UK TV premiere.' On Friday 29 April, Matthew Wright will present a special edition of The Wright Stuff, with royal commentators on the panel and live links to Westminster Abbey. Because nobody with any taste within The Establishment would dream of letting Matthew himself within ten miles of the Abbey. The Five News coverage will be led by Emma Crosby and Matt Barbet, who will provide live updates throughout the day. Barbet will broadcast just outside Buckingham Palace, while Crosby will be stuck in Middleton's hometown of Bucklebury, Berkshire. Crosby said: 'I am delighted to be part of this historic event for Channel Five and I am looking forward to celebrating the day in Kate Middleton's hometown of Bucklebury. I know the locals will put on a good party as I grew up very close by!' Barbet will also present the documentary William and Kate: The Story So Far in the lead-up to the wedding. Australian soap opera Neighbours will also incorporate scenes and dialogue about the wedding on the day itself. Finally, the most shallow and vacuous programme currently stinking up my telly, OK! TV, has a 'special' - and I use that word, dear blog reader, because that's what's written on this piece of paper I have in front of me - OK! TV At The Royal Wedding which will broadcast on 29 April, and will 'provide a look back on the day's events.' Only, not a very good, interesting or worthwhile one. As usual. Channel Five's Head of Factual Andrew O'Connell said: 'Channel Five's coverage of the royal wedding aims to bring the event to life for our viewers and will have a characteristically showbiz, friendly and entertaining take on the big day.'

Google is reportedly preparing to invest millions of dollars in original programming for YouTube as part of plans to revamp the website for the emerging connected TV market. According to the Wall Street Journal, YouTube will spend up to one hundred million dollars on professionally-produced content after observing that an increasing proportion of its users are accessing the site on their TV screens. YouTube is also thought to be planning a series of changes to its homepage, including the introduction of dedicated 'channels' for topics such as arts and sports. Around twenty YouTube channels will eventually feature several hours of original programming a week, according to people familiar with the matter. The move would represent a significant step away from the user-generated videos that powered YouTube to become the third-most popular website in the world. However, a YouTube spokesman attempted to play down the report. He said: 'We're always updating the look and feel of YouTube. Any changes in YouTube's design would involve lots of research and would be rolled out slowly, over time to ensure the best possible user experience.' Speculation about YouTube's future strategy comes as the streaming video market is becoming increasingly competitive, including US subscription DVD giant Netflix recently securing the rights to stream hit series Mad Men online. Google has been exploring various ways to harness YouTube's massive user base to unlock more revenues streams and increase advertising opportunities. YouTube currently hosts full-length shows from Channel Four and Channel Five in the UK, and has previously hosted a range of special programming, such as the Indian Premier League. In February, it was reported that Google was in talks with the major Hollywood studios about launching an unlimited movies subscription service on YouTube, going head-to-head with LoveFilm and Netflix.

Sunderland football club are being sued by one of their own supporters who was injured whilst watching the team train, the chairman has revealed. Niall Quinn was responding to a question during a BBC Newcastle phone-in about whether fans were still allowed to watch training sessions. He said that legal action was ongoing after the supporter was hit in the mush and knocked out by a stray shot. The Premier League club has declined to release further details about the incident. Niall Quinn said: 'We had a supporter who got a bad injury, I think it was one of Djibril Cisse's misses where he had a shot from twenty yards. I'm making fun of it now, but it knocked a supporter out. It was quite serious. That supporter is in the process of suing us.'

Thus we come to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Which, today, features a final song from the Spiral Scratch EP and, in this blogger's opinion, the best song ever to close a concert with. What y'been doin', Howard?

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