Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Fire Is Sweepin'

So, the world didn't end, then dear blog reader? Pity, I was rather looking forward to taking the piss out of some Atheists! After 6pm passed without incident in New Zealand and Australia, Stephen Fry tweeted: 'Marvellous news! Rapture doesn't mean end of world; apparently all the planet's imbeciles disappear in one go.' Amid the sound of some ruffled feathers he later clarified: 'Calm down. Never said all Christians are imbeciles. Just those who think they'll be raised up today. They do the faith a grave disservice.' Nice save, Fry! Earlier, the TV scientist Professor Brian Cox had suggested it was a good time for a global practical joke: 'I think we should all pretend the rapture is happening so that when Harold Camping gets left behind later today he'll be livid.' Some of the first reports that the apocalypse was not keeping to schedule emerged from New Zealand. Kiwis confirmed there were no signs of the dead rising from the grave, nor of the living ascending into the clouds to meet Jesus Christ. By the time the rolling tsunami of 'super horror' failed to reach Europe, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) noted 'Look, it took a bit of doing, but the world is safe after all. Now show some gratitude and all go and watch Doctor Who.' We did, Steven. We did. In New York, retired transportation agency worker Robert Fitzpatrick was inspired by Camping's message to spend over one hundred and forty thousand dollars of his life savings on subway posters and outdoor advertisements warning of the 21 May Judgment Day. As he stood in Times Square surrounded by onlookers and tourists, Fitzpatrick, sixty, carried a Bible and handed out leaflets as he waited for Judgment Day to begin. By his own reading of Bible, which was slightly different than Camping's, Fitzgerald expected the great worldwide event to begin at 6pm Eastern Time. When the hour came and went, he said: 'I do not understand why nothing has happened.' Camping had said doomsday would begin at 6pm in the various time zones around the globe. David Richardson, who visited the Camping's radio station Saturday morning, observed that Camping's prophecy was already 'in partial failure mode.' Richardson works at Lawrence Berkeley Lab and isn't a follower. He said he is 'a compassionist,' and was there to tell people that 'if the theological speculation of a fallible man fails, then that does not mean God has failed you. We all make mistakes.' It wasn't Camping's first attempt to use numerology from the Bible to predict the end of the world. He had once said Judgment Day would be in September 1994, which passed without incident. 'Predicting the end of the world is a bit like alcoholism,' Richardson said. 'Once you get started, it's hard to stop.'

Dannii Minogue has reportedly been offered a number of solo projects at ITV. The broadcaster is said to be 'keen' to keep her at the channel following the fan outcry over her exit from The X Factor. The singer has already reportedly been offered a slot on BBC's version of The Voice, while Sky and Channel Four are also thought to have made bids for her. A 'source' allegedly told the News of the World: 'This episode is turning into a disaster for ITV. There has been an overwhelming response from X Factor fans saying they won't watch now Dannii isn't on the panel. If she works on the BBC's new show The Voice it would be a real blow for The X Factor. So ITV has offered several high-profile shows.' Simon Cowell has apparently encouraged her to stay at ITV. The source added: 'He's been hinting there are projects they could work on in the future. The last thing he needs is for Dannii to work for his biggest rival. He's already being criticised for letting her go in the first place.'

Billie Piper has described finding fame at an early age as having 'too much, too soon.' The actress started out as a pop star at the age of fifteen and had success with hits including 'Because We Want To' and 'Honey to the Bee'. Speaking of starting out so young, she told the Mirra: 'I feel it was all too much, too soon for me. At the time I loved it and thought I could handle it. But now I think I should have done more teenage angst stuff, more staying at home, being with family and enjoying the trials and tribulations of being a teenager. On reflection, I think it was kind of mad. I don't blame anyone around me because I was active in pursuing all those things, but it could have gone a very different way. I think it's going to be an absolute disaster for most kids being that famous that young, living alone in the middle of London. Being away from your home so much at such a young age has a massive impact. You become fiercely independent, which can be hard. I was literally living on my own as a fifteen-year-old in my flat in London. At the time I couldn't have asked for anything more brilliant, not having to be parented or to live under their rules. But it was kind of mad.' Piper added that she has no plans to return to music, or to reprise her role as Rose Tyler on Doctor Who. She recently admitted that she is struggling to find work since Secret Diary of a Call Girl ended.

And, speaking of faded teen pop stars who've going on to greatest success in acting, Primeval's Hannah Spearritt has insisted that her character Abby will be more prominent in the new series. The actress told SFX that the character's role in the SF drama's previous run had been reduced in editing. 'Abby is more in the forefront in series five,' she confirmed. 'Definitely you won't feel that [she's been sidelined].' Spearritt explained that the zoologist will be 'put in a difficult position' early on in the fifth run. 'As you know from series four, Matt's from the future [but] Abby doesn't know this yet,' she said. 'At the beginning of series five, she actually walks in on Matt and discovers that he's from the future. And that kicks off an alliance between Matt and Abby.' She continued: 'It starts off this relationship where she is now privy to a lot of information that she maybe initially didn't want, but she is very interested in why Matt is here and making sure that things don't go wrong. That's her journey in a nutshell.' Spearitt's co-star Andrew-Lee Potts recently claimed that a Primeval film is still in active development.

Hundreds of Twitter users have reacted to a footballer's bid to find out who is putting information about him on the website by posting new messages online. The player, whom an injunction says can only be identified as CTB, is taking action against ex-Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas and the Sun newspaper. He has now obtained a High Court order asking Twitter to reveal details of users who had revealed his identity. Twitter has not commented but hundreds of users have repeated his name online. The legal move by the footballer comes two weeks after a Twitter user tried to unmask several celebrities who, he claimed, had obtained privacy injunctions to prevent publication of details of their private lives. The Twitter user claimed to 'out' a number of UK public figures, although the tweets appeared to contain at least one error. Media commentator Steve Hewlett said CTB's lawyers were, in all likelihood, 'trying to establish the real identity' of that user. He said that the privacy injunction preventing CTB's identity being revealed had been challenged on the grounds that it was already in the public domain because it was already available on the Internet. Hewlett said 'arguing that it's in the public domain because it's already on Twitter' would 'put you in a very serious position in terms of contempt of court' if it transpired that 'you had anything to do with putting it on Twitter' in the first place. Meanwhile, a Twitter spokesman said it was unable to comment on the case against it. The order against the US-based micro-blogging website requires Twitter to disclose the requested information within seven days – or within the appropriate time required by the law in California, where it has its headquarters. However, legal experts claim that lawyers at Schillings, who represent the professional footballer at the centre of the row, would need to file their case in California to have any chance of success and this would require them to publicly reveal the name of their client. Lawyer Mark Stephens, who does not represent anybody involved in the case, said: 'If you want to sue Twitter, you have to go to San Francisco. Any attempt to enforce English privacy or libel law will not be accepted in the US.'

ITV is exploring a tie-up with the production company owned by two of its biggest stars, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, and a rival outfit owned by one of the BBC's most popular presenters, Graham Norton. McPartlin and Donnelly's Gallowgate and Norton's So Television have been targeted as ITV looks at investment options to boost its in-house production arm, ITV Studios. The broadcaster is said to be looking at buying a stake in one or both of the companies, or buying them outright. 'They were very close to reaching a deal a while back. The talks have been going on for at least six months,' said a 'source' familiar with the negotiations. 'There are talks with other companies going on but these are the main ones.' So Television was founded by Norton and producer Graham Stuart eleven years ago. The company makes the talk show host's Graham Norton Show, broadcast on Friday nights on BBC1. It would be unusual but not unprecedented for an ITV-owned production company to make shows for the BBC; others include University Challenge and The Royle Family. Gallowgate, founded in 2004 as a vehicle to produce Ant and Dec shows including ITV hit Saturday Night Takeaway, is rather closer to home. It also produces Vernon Kay's ITV quiz Beat The Star. The company made a loss of three hundred and fifty eight thousand smackers in the year to 31 March 2010, according to abbreviated accounts filed at Companies House. Industry observers said that a deal with Gallowgate made sense as it would give ITV more control over formats that are developed featuring the duo. So Television's relationship with the BBC is also seen as potentially valuable for the development of ITV Studios.

Dom Joly has told the Digital Spy website that he suspects Channel Five will 'ruin' Big Brother. The TV comic who was a regular guest on the Big Brother spin-off shows during the Channel Four years, said that the new series would probably be just more 'stupidity and breasts.' You mean, the Channel Four series wasn't? 'I think it will be ruined by Channel Five if I'm honest. I don't think it will be the same without Davina [McCall]. I think it will become a conveyor belt for OK! magazine to produce instant freaks, put them in the mag and then churn them out,' he said. 'I expect even more stupidity and breasts. I thought it had reached its maximum breast stupidity level and I did think the last series was the best ever, but ... just leave it.'

In his memoirs, Frank Skinner, wrote: 'You would be able to tell when my career was in ruins because I would start saying I was passionate about radio.' He is now a presenter on Absolute Radio, of course – but at least he has a sense of humour about it. At the recent Sony Awards, he told the audience: 'I don't know if you're familiar with my own petard, but it's very good for hoisting I've discovered.'

The Only Way Is Essex cast have reportedly hired SAS-trained security guards for their upcoming trip to Marbella. The desperate wannabes of the ITV2 reality show, including Mark Wright and Amy Childs, will take 'a top security team' to 'protect' them while filming scenes in the Spanish resort. A 'source' allegedly told the Sun: 'Marbella is going to be packed when they film the scenes as loads of superfans have booked to go at the same time. The cast are taking all precautions to ensure there's no nasty incidents.'

The Simpsons have apologised to comedian Kristen Schaal in the only way they know how, a blackboard joke. Schaal was owed the apology after animators misspelled her name in the closing credits for the episode in which she made a guest appearance earlier this month. After playing Taffy, a potential love interest for Milhouse in the episode called Homer Scissorhands, the Flight Of The Conchords actress was billed as 'Kristen Schall.' But on last week's episode the error was corrected as Bart wrote out his lines on the school blackboard. 'Wow! Simpsons,' Schaal tweeted after seeing it. 'Thank you for the chalkboard correction. I can't stop smiling. No one's ever been that nice.'
BBC Sport has announced plans to broadcast all England games at the FIFA Women's World Cup Finals next month in Germany, putting the spotlight on women's football. Coverage of matches featuring tournament favourites England will be shown live on the BBC Sport website and BBC Red Button interactive service, starting on 27 June for the tie against Mexico. England play New Zealand and Japan in their other group games. BBC Sport will follow England's progress through the tournament with more live coverage should the team pass through the group stage. The World Cup final will be shown live on BBC3. Gabby Logan will present the coverage, joined by ex-Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown (he's not a woman!) and former England midfielder Jo Potter. Nigel Adderley will provide reports from around Germany on the atmosphere of the tournament, while Guy Mowbray will be joined by former Leeds United Ladies striker Lucy Ward for commentary on the live matches. A highlights programme featuring all England's matches will be broadcast on BBC2 at 11.20pm, as well as be offered on the BBC Red Button and BBC Sport Online. BBC Radio 5Live will also air 'comprehensive' coverage of the Women's World Cup, including reports, previews, live updates, match reports and interviews.

And so to the first post-judgement day Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day. And, it's somewhat remarkable - I reckon - that I've managed to get, what is it, eight months into this regular daily feature (over six hundred records so far, fact fans) and I've hardly featured The Rolling Stones at all. That's gonna change. At least once in their lives, everybody must get stoned. So, in no particular order other than the purely chronological, here's fourteen of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourite moments from Mick, Keef, Brian, Charlie, Bill, Mick and Ronnie. Starting in 1964, on Ready Steady Go.
Next, 1965 on Top of the Pops
1966 on Aussie TV.
One from Aftermath the same year.
Another masterpiece from '66 on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Early 1967 on - I think, - Italian TV. Listen to the screams!
Into '67, for the infamous promo film for 'We Love You' (and, yes, that is John and Paul on backing vocals). Observe, also, just how totally frigging out-of-it Brian Jones looks on this.
The highlight (in fact, some would argue, the only decent thing on) Their Satanic Majesty's
December 1968 on The Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus.
1969 on The David Frost Show.
One of single greatest four minutes of TV ever, another one from 1969 on Colour Me Pop.
December '69 in Alabama recording 'Wild Horses' for the Gimme Shelter movie. Check out in particular Keef's excellent snakeskin boots!
Dive-bombing into the 70s on Top of the Pops.
And, finally, from the wildest tour of rock and roll excess, ever, in Phill Jupitas's words 'the sound of a man inches from death having the time of his life.' From Ladies & Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones.
And that's without 'Satisfaction', 'Jumping Jack Flash' or 'Honky Tonk Woman', kids.

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